Posts tagged ‘femme’

1 September, 2013

The Type by Sarah Kay

Wise, beautiful words from poet Sarah Kay.

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4 July, 2012

Sloughing Off Old Skin

It’s been awhile in between posts. There has been a move back home to Melbourne (huzzah!) and a new job to get used to in the last month. And most excitingly, I have new studies commencing in a couple of weeks. So, even despite the depths of winter, there has been a metaphorical sloughing off of skin – the hard, unpleasant, greyish, gnarly bits.  Already I’m feeling practically new, freshly scrubbed and gleaming.

And then I saw Preen Resort’s 2013 collection; their deliciously modern florals and prints are definitely my ‘new skin’ of choice.


(photos from here)

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28 August, 2010


Canberra might be a world away from London, but it has Australia’s National Film and Sound Archives and any number of embassies, consulates etc. keen to showcase their culture. The NFSA are currently running, in conjunction with the Alliance Française, an Alain Delon retrospective of sorts, and I’m taking full advantage of it.

Il n’ya pas de plus profonde solitude que celle du samourai si ce n’est celle d’un tigre dans la jungle… peut être
– Le Bushido

(There is no greater solitude than the one of a samurai, except perhaps that of a tiger in a jungle – Bushido: The Way of the Warrior)

Le Samouraï by Jean-Pierre Melville opens with the above quote, made up by the director himself.  Apt because the eponymous character, played by the felinely handsome Alain Delon (they shure don’t make ’em like that anymore!) is profoundly alone. Only a bird keeps him company as he goes about the business of hired assassin. His alibi (played by Delon’s real-life wife Nathalie Delon) is in love with him, a nightclub pianist (below) bewitches him, the police are out to get him. But even in the midst of all this action, in the midst of a bustling metropolis like Paris, he is, at the core of it, truly and wholly alone. As we all are, in truth. But in le Samouraï‘s case, his work (and hyper-cool) make it impossible to make any sort of connection.

It’s a stunning film and Jean-Pierre Melville’s mastery of stillness broken by the startling bursts of action, and silence, interrupted only by a few carefully chosen words, is absolute. And the film looks fabulous too. The characters are extremely stylish, as only actors in a Nouvelle Vague film can be. And the action (or lack thereof) takes place against a backdrop of dark modish interiors and the grey blue buildings of 1960s Paris.

Le Samouraï‘s apartment. The distressed, eggshell blue walls, the birdcage, the shabby chicness of it all – the look is still going strong fifty years later.

Moroccan-born actor Cathy Rosier is the nightclub pianist with fabulous outfits. My favourites: the shimmering silver dress and a golden threaded jacket and the perfectly cut leopard-print fur coat. All simple. All chic.

*pronounced in the most Gallic of Gallic accents.

(Images are taken from the film)

27 June, 2010

Jacques-Henri Lartigue

I have a poster of this image stashed away somewhere, amongst the floatsam and jetsam of my London life, still lying in boxes stacked neatly and hidden away in my current, temporary home… just waiting for the time they will be unearthed, revealed and settled for once and all.

It’s a beautiful photo of Renée Perle, a Romanian model during the 1930s and a muse of photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue.

Image from here.

20 June, 2010

That Haircut

One summer, during university, I cut my hair very, very short. I had just seen Godard’s À Bout De Souffle and I was inspired. And it was easy to manage, barely needed any shampoo or conditioner and I felt a hundred times lighter being freed from my thick, heavy hair.

One day, while I was straightening Loony Tunes t-shirts during a shift at what I can only describe as a horrifically awful gift store (a part-time job) I listened as a mother and her young son exchange words, and then money. Son wanted a t-shirt and Mum was going to buy one for him. “Go give the young gentleman the money,” she told him, giving him a note. He took it and then approached me, a little hesitantly.

I felt myself go a little red, but not as red as Mum when she realised that well – despite my short hair – I was very much female.

“Oh, sorry,” she said hurriedly.

I kept the haircut for awhile but eventually let it grow out. More for the fact that it needed constant, regular upkeep and the income from my casual university jobs didn’t stretch to that.

In any case, here are some images showcasing Ms Seberg’s immutable gamine cool and the haircut which inspired mine.

(The first four from here, the fourth from here and the last from here)

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15 June, 2010

Bloomin’ and Cecil Beaton

Thinking about blooms brought the glorious opening credits of the 1964 film My Fair Lady to mind. Which then led my thoughts – naturally – onto the film’s product and costume designer, the fabulous Cecil Beaton.

Here he is photographing Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle for Vogue in 1964.

(Photo from here)

And two of Mr Beaton’s glorious shots:

(Photo from here)

(Photo from here)

7 May, 2010

Gerda Taro

This woman is training for war, and wearing fabulous stacked heel oxfords while doing so.

Taken by Robert Capa‘s girlfriend Gerda Taro, who was killed tragically in 1937 at the age of 26 as she covered the Spanish Civil War.

Happy weekend, all – I’m off to Sydney for a wedding, a birthday and some warmer, brighter weather!

Image taken from here.

Republican militiawoman training on the beach outside Barcelona, August 1936

6 May, 2010

Florence Broadhurst

Ms Broadhurst was quite the gel.  A one-time singer, comedienne, painter, printmaker, teacher, businesswoman, arts academy director and general lady-about-town, she was murdered in Sydney during the 1970s.  The fact that her murderer has never been found adds a noir touch to a fabulous, full life.

Florence in Shanghai

(Image taken from here)

But design-wise, she is probably best known for putting Australia on the interiors map in the 1950s with her glamorous, modern wallpaper designs.  Good design never goes out of fashion or if it does, it soon cycles back.  After some decades in the wilderness, a recent revival has meant that her work is still beautifying interiors throughout the globe.

(Patterns from here, interior photos from here, here and here.)

26 April, 2010

Ms Deschanel

She’s named for a J.D. Salinger novel, she was Trillian in the 2005 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy film and the rather unsympathetic eponymous character in (500) Days of Summer and she’s married to Death Cab for Cutie main man Ben Gibbard.

She can sing, she can dance, she has a wardrobe every self-respecting indie girl would kill for.  And she’s as cute as a button.

And, along with M.Ward as She & Him, she’s just released Volume Two, a second album of nostalgia-tinged pop songs.  Which features a lovely version of I Can Hear Music, my all-time favourite Beach Boys’ song.

Take it away, Zooey (and M.Ward)!

6 February, 2010

Ms Bonham Carter

She loves corsets, has played Lucy Honeychurch (who “If [she] ever takes to live as she plays [the piano], it will be very exciting both for us and for her) and lives in a home connected to her partner’s by subterranean tunnel.

The gloriously kooky, porcelain-skinned Helena Bonham Carter from here.

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