cherchez la femme

imogene cunningham

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on April 12, 2011

I was struck the other day by this photograph, taken by American photographer Imogene Cunningham (1883-1976).

The word sinuous had come up for me in several different contexts last week. I had a vague idea of what it meant but still found it very intriguing.  I suppose this photo is now attached to the word in my mind.

Cunningham began her career circa 1906, a twenty-year old paying her way through college by photographing plants for the botany department at the University of Washington.

When she later focused her work on portraiture, it feels like she approached her human subjects in the same way she looked at plants and flowers:  gentle curves and organic lines, living and breathing in shadows and light.


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la marinière, revisited

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on March 31, 2011

The new équipe de France soccer jersey : iconic style, national heritage, haute couture and nike.

If the French team has exponentially dropped in popularity since 1998 (oh wow, was that really 13 years ago?),  I think this jersey could put them back on the right track.  Especially for the occasional soccer fan like myself who clearly has more of an interest for design and style than athletic performance.

In honor of the jersey unveiled just this week, and out of 1 part excitement (stripes!), 1 part boredom (rain), and 1 part procrastination (homework), I felt compelled to put together a brief pictorial history of the marinière… why it is both classically French and iconically cool:

Coco Chanel circa 1920

Picasso (no really, he was a Parisian at heart)

Brigitte Bardot

St. James, since 1850

Petit Bateau, since 1893

Gaultier (ridiculous but really, inevitable)

L’équipe de France

Now if only they could look good AND win…

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since we’re on the subject…

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on January 29, 2011

of epic cinematography:

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Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on December 16, 2010

In a film class I took in college, our professor had us chose at the end of the semester between 1. taking a final exam or 2. spending an entire saturday in the viewing room to watch the complete filmography to-date of Terrence Malick.

It’s a no-brainer, right?

This was my introduction to Malick. And let me tell you, six and a half hours of Terrence Malick material in one sitting makes for no easy digestion. This was in 2005, mind you, so we ended with the Thin Red Line.

I was a train-wreck at the outcome, but loved every minute of it: the power and simplicity of each shot, the candor of his characters, the beauty of nature, and the grit of human nature….

I was there on opening night to see A New World less than a month later, and I will there on opening night for this:

oh, the anticipation.

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paris // ny

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on November 9, 2010

With my semester in New York coming close to its end (just 4 weeks left!), the reality of moving back to Paris this January is really setting in.

…but the anticipation of returning to Paris after 6 years here in the United States has really got me wondering, where do I feel at home?

(images from the cool Paris versus New York )

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willy nilly

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on May 22, 2010

This is how I feel sometimes.

(I discovered model Willy Van Rooy thanks to the Sartorialist. I was intrigued by the blog’s brief description of her life and style… and a bit more research on my end turned up this Helmut Newton photograph of her in the early 70s…)

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the ghost writer

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on May 10, 2010

I recently saw Roman Polanski’s latest – a film of conspiracy and intrigue with a rainy, mysterious aesthetic – which takes place primarily on the beach-side property of a stunning modern New England home.

With a clean minimalist design, a muted wardrobe of  greys and browns , and a hazy-overcast sky… I pretty much wanted to step right through the screen.

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how I come to you

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on April 1, 2010

Even a rock has insides. Smash one and see how the shock reveals the rough dismantled gut of a thing once dense.  Making the cut into yourself, maybe you hoped for a rock solid through. That hope I hoped, too. I smashed myself and found my heart, a cave, ready to be lived in. This is how I come to you: broken, not what I knew.

(poem – M. Peacock; landscape dyptichs – Joao Henriques; portraits – Garance Doré)

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artist, unknown

Posted in Uncategorized by stefanie on January 26, 2010

Several years ago, this photograph was submitted to my school’s literary journal while I was working as Art Editor.  A group of art students and I had spent the afternoon going through the stack of submissions, reaching rather quick consensus on which pieces we wanted to publish — until this photo came up.

I still can’t say exactly what I saw in it — but one thing is certain, no one else saw it.  I may have aggrandized it in my mind, but I remember arguing about it for a while – argument which I lost faced with the unanimous opinion that the photo just looked accidental.

The decision to publish it was ultimately mine to make, but in some attempt to respect the editorial process, I chose not too.  But the image struck a chord in me. It had this nostalgia and fragility about it, and I decided to hold on to it. In the process, though, I failed to even make note of who had submitted it — artist or accidental point-and-shooter, I’ll never know.

But four years later, I still find myself going back to it. To the point where I sometimes feel like I took it myself. In some strange way this image has become a part of me… so this is where I begin.

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