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Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

YVES AND PIERRE, AND LOULOU, TOO

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2011 at 4:32 am

In Pierre Thoretton’s mesmerizing film, L’AMOUR FOU, the 52 year love story between fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and industrialist Pierre Berge is recounted with poetic beauty and tragic power. In its uncompromising depiction of the pressures which tortured Saint Laurent, as well as the glamour which fatally drew him in, it is also one of the best fashion films ever made.

Read my interview with Thoretton in FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL here

and to read my review of the film, also in the latest issue of FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, click here

Integral to Saint Laurent’s personal happiness as well as his professional success was Loulou de la Falaise, with whom he worked for decades, producing line after line of garments which forever changed the way women dressed. de la Falaise, one of the chicest women in the world, is also that rarity in fashion: a genuinely nice, very real and incredibly intelligent person.

In the late 1970s, particularly, there simply was not a more glamorous woman alive. Here’s why:


photo by Helmut Newton


with Yves and Betty Catroux, his other female BFF, who, as stated in the film, represented his “naughty, dark” side, as opposed to de la Falaise’s professionalism


with Marina Schiano, Yves and Steve Rubell at Stduio 54 on the night of the launch of the perfume Opium


with Yves


at her marriage to Thadee Klosowski


with lifelong friend and fellow immortal fashion icon, Marisa Berenson. In those halcyon 1970s fashion days, women like them, Marina Schiano, Elsa Peretti, Paloma Picasso, and the bevy of thrilling models Saint Laurent used – Grace Jones, Kirat, Mounia, et al. – possessed the kind of glamour and chic few so-called stars possess today, with their armies of stylists, who hold utter, often quite boring sway over them, turning the red carpet into one big yawn. Those ’70s girls didn’t need a red carpet – wherever they went simply BECAME a major event by virtue of their utter individuality and bold sartorial creativity.


with Yves


with Olivier Theyskens


with Stefano Pilati, now designing for Saint Laurent


with Catroux and Yves


with Catroux and Berge


with Catroux and Kate Moss. one of the rare women today who are in their exalted league, style-wise


with Amy Fine Collins and Somers Farkas


with her daughter Lucie


with Yves


with Catroux


photo by Gerard Malanga

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THE JEWELL THAT IS GERI

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2011 at 6:09 am

“You have to count your blessings,” Geri Jewell told me when I recently interviewed her about her life and new autobiography, I’M WALKING AS FAST AS I CAN. If someone like Jewell, who has had to deal with cerebral palsy from birth and managed to overcome physical, career and personal challenges with rare brilliance and soul-inspiring humor, can say that, who are any of us to question?

To read my interview with this really extraordinary lady, click here

LOVELY, LOVELY LONETTE

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2011 at 4:59 am

The gorgeous, gorgeously talented Lonette McKee just wrapped up an engagement at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York. I had the chance to sit down with this woman I have always admired, ever since seeing her make her epochal film debut in SPARKLE in 1975. She continued to give me so much pleasure throuh the years, in her exquisite but frustratingly brief appearance in THE COTTON CLUB (1984), and then her unforgettable stage appearances, as Billie Holliday in LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR and as Julie LaVerne in SHOW BOAT.

Over tea (me) and coffee (her) in the cosy Algonquin lobby, she proved as beautiful both inside and out, super-intelligent, warm and completely real as you always imagine your idols be to.

To read my interview, click here

One question I had that didn’t make it into the article was my asking her if she’d ever encountered that other great mulatto beauty of the 1970s and beyond, Diahnne Abbott. These women both represented to me the kind of ultimate stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks looks and intelligent sensuality which comes along a few times every generation.

Here is Lonette’s answer: “I loved her! What a sweet girl she was. When I first met her, she was with Robert DeNiro and I was just starting. I was running in that group after SPARKLE and I was the toast of Hollywood. That group would invite me to their little parties and Diahnne would talk to me privately and say, ‘You know, you have your sister and I was like, ‘Yeah, you don’t know…’ but she said, ‘I’m out here by myself and I don’t fit in with these people and I’m the only black girl among all these white people. So let’s be friends.’


Diahnne Abbott

“She was so sweet and real and honest. She was very gifted in her own right, but I don’t think she pursued it. It must have been hard to have a career in his [DeNiro’s] shadow, the way he took off…”

and please, enjoy her McKee’s talent here

and feast your eyes on beauty most rare