February 12th, 2010


Homo aestheticus. (8)

Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed by Harold Koda.

Incredible and
Marvelous! The corset-sword
sharp in the Queen's hands.

This is the book I was reading when I found out Alexander McQueen had committed suicide. Reading it I had a mix of impressions: notably that Harold Koda loves Alexander McQueen. You can't blame him-- he is/was my favorite designer, too. Now in my case, I don't really know enough about fashion to delve too deeply; I feel like having McQueen as your favorite might be too easy, but either way, it is true. I have used McQueen's designs more than once to illustrate the otherworldliness of Oubliette, my role-playing world. Harold Koda, on the other hand, & the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection by extension, love him because his designs aren't arbitrary. They are comments on fashion-- or more to the point on fashion history. Thus, while every other example shown is a different designer or historical representation, almost a full half-- the rest-- are McQueen. Extreme Beauty is the intersection of biology & fashion-- of body & clothing. It is an awesome book-- I got if for X-mas & looked though it in advance so I knew I was in for a treat. The book discusses not just the evolution of style, but it places it in the context of the body, of the parts of flesh it accentuates or de-accentuates. Of the nape of the neck, the hip, the bust. & the massive exaggeration possible, & the morphing of the body to allow it-- the golden lotus of foot-binding, the rings that stretch the neck (or lower the shoulder, as the truth may be. Besides all the history, it is of course fabulously illustrated; the grass coat & quill crown (41), the sculpted busts (56), the ridiculously costume chimere (71), the pleats & gloves of alien looks (92), the fashion of African hunters who look tough as hell side by side with looks that are hot as hell (96, 97), the reveal of sheer corset wires (120) not to mention the notion of the corset's busk as a sword (72), the saddle obi (134)-- all just amazing, mind blowing stuff. So consider this doubly recommended, as both a visual reference & a historical resource. Now in a McQueenless world, will Thierry Mugler become my new favorite?
zombi wedo


A fussy day that eased into something better once I had some real food. It has been a meeting-centric work week, which messes up my ability to make smart digestion choices; look, a mound of bagels & pastries! Look, a four hours stretch of only drinking coffee! I came home & got my crank on. By which I mean my grouch, not my meth. Jenny cooked up some veggies & quinoa & pork, & we settled down to watch Tosh.0 which had some moments but I dunno, over-all I feel like this season has been less steller than last; last season I didn't have to cringe at some many of his jokes, for one. After that we decided to watch Zombieland. Here is what I have to say about that. Jesse Eisenberg really, really is the same guy as Michael Cera; it is uncanny. Woody is fine, but not as good as everybody claims-- like, he doesn't steal the show. Abigail Breslin cracked me up with her "who is X?" schtick, & Emma Stone does an amazing job of being the compelling girl who you decide to trust even though she clearly is the least trustworthy. Then she betrays you but you give her another shot. Hey, remember dating that girl? I do! Bill Murray is a cute cameo; I for one am fine with how it ends & all that. The weirdest thing about the movie is the pacing-- I kept being like "I've only been watching this for thirty minutes?" or "I've only been watching this for forty-five minutes?" or "I've only been watching this for an hour?" I think the best thing about it is that they all live. Spoiler alert, they all live, so that is some dramatic nonsense you don't have to worry about. After that we watched Community, which is just so effing funny? Classic sitcom success. Abed's sarcasm intonation? Or the mask under the mask? It really is successful at both following formulae, subverting genre, & breaking out original stuff. Then to bed! & to today; meetings all morning have, I fear, made me a little useless.