9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

There is a certain sense of purity in the amount of matter of factness that is taken into clothing, fashion, and shopping habits. We do live in the age where sensory deprivation and Internet shopping reign supreme an era where whimsy can come off as trite and ugly can be honest too. Fashion by nature is frivolous though the act of not caring is in itself a dictation of style. Isn’t the most convoluted futurist Rick Owens offering as valid in linear narrative as the regular jo evoking mumblecore realness? Regardless  these garment live an endless sea of poetic expressions that at some point steer into pure unadulterated commerce.

We like to always stay out of the box and apart from the status quo as most of us are in figuring and navigating function and form through the lines of digital capabilities. There are times when I look into the past from the sociological standpoint and question what is the reasons a reflection or reaction to the times. Where does fashion form to dictate the editorial directions which are then consumed and processed. With that rant here are some memoirs and biographies which have been a great source of inspiration and show the entire depths of the humanity of fashion players.

Chiffon Trenches – André Leon Talley

One of the more salacious biographies of fashion to get dropped last year, this book contains all the needs of 70s and 80s era hedonism via Paris, New York. Tally reached into his humble upbringing with a goddess grandmother as well as the King Kaiser Karl Lagerfeld during his time at Chloe into Chanel. Though this book truly portrays a man deeply devoted to fashion, the sense on loyalty seems tragic as the separation of garment and identity is lost to the Vogue ins and outs of the fashion set. Names dropped include the fore-mentioned Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Anna Wintour, and Diana Vreeland. Also note the subtle shade towards Edward Enninful. Check out the last interview Andre Leon Talley did for Vogue’s Met Gala before being replaced by Liza Koshy. Buy it here.

The Woman I Wanted To Be – Diane Von Furstenberg

The thought of Diane von Furstenberg’s clothing has been essential in the cultural understanding of American sportswear. Her wrap dresses have been a constant standard of what the American woman would look like in the romanticize vision of metropolitan New York City life. This book offers up that and so much more as she delves into her familial past and family tree, traversing her mothers experiences of World War II and into her own Studio 54 era, marrying into aristocracy and becoming the prototypical fashion Girl-Boss. Beyond all the glamour and star studded shout outs in this memoir, the book offers more on the construction of culture and business as she moves through fashion, love, cosmetics, loss, cancer, family, and entrepreneurship. J’adore this throw back interview! Buy It Here.

Grace: A Memoir – Grace Coddington

Another title could have been “Anything for the picture!” A fascinating biography which shares the decorated and poetic life of Grace Coddington, the unsung hero of Vogue. The book highlights her deeply romantic journeys along side the consistent battle to attain creative autonomy. This book serves as a great launching point for anyone looking not to compromise their vision as well as proposes the glamour of the era of company cards and extended exotic trips for fashion. A must for those who thrive in pushing for a subversive stance in the creative industry. Her transition from model to editorial expresses so much more to be understood in the existence of being more than just a clothes hanger. This book though dusted with a heft of A list names really focuses on the creative auteurs which have been launched and cultivated by Coddington. Buy it Here

Loulou & Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent 

–  Christopher Petkanas 

Can we think of the 70’s era Saint Laurent woman without the tailored androgyny of Betty Catroux and the ultimate Rive Gauche haute bohémienne Loulou de la Falaise. A well-designed oral history featuring all the various bitchy drama we need from the compiled interviews spanning her eccentric upbringing by model/mother/muse Maxime de la Falaise, her time bordering NY Warholian trenches to London’s scene with Ossie Clark and ultimately her time molding Saint Laurent. The book features a lush depiction of sex, drugs and haute couture funneled through the eras’s bohemian party girl from Aristocratic beauty to her last days. The tragic nature of her story is not so cautionary but embraced as a life well lived and is well blanketed in the mystique of gossip as well as the smoke and anything goes attitude from Club Sept. Argh we just want to be drunk and on opium to be in this reenacted room with Léa Seydoux as Loulou in her turban glory, and Gaspard Ulliel as YSL is quite yum.  Buy it here.

Walking with the Muses: A Memoir – Pat Cleveland

The dancing queen, Halston and Stephen Burrows muse, the model who redefined the way models move on the runway, Pat Cleveland’s glittering life shimmers in this book which features all the drama of New York to Paris. So a forever light in fashions often dark scene, the book begins with Cleveland’s upbringing in the creative world her mother the artist Lady Bird Cleveland cultivates in Harlem to her initial discovery as a designer through Vogue and into her early career modeling with Essence through a reality shaking racist south. She offers heart breaking stories of racism and adversity which ultimately leads her to success in Europe aligning with Warhol before making it to iconic status in the states. Buy Here.  Watch this Show studio interview and do read in her voice

Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow – Detmar Blow

One of the most tragic stories to come out of fashion, with a glorious life that would eventually end in suicide, Isabella Blow is honored in this book by her husband Detmar. Her privilege and troubled upbringing sets the tone for a rebellious life which leads to a stylistic cultivation and savant like quality of picking up talent from Philip Treacy to her most bountiful discovery, Alexander McQueen. Though though the eccentric outfits of armor like couture and artful acquaintances were endless it was all to veil the mental illness and various troubles of the visionary editor. This Video Fashion Obit is such a mood  Buy it Here.

D.V. – Diana Vreeland

This is a playful and great book to have by the bed side as the ultimate fashion girl’s bedtime story. Each chapter is compiled as a surrealist experience presenting anecdotes and happenstances that seem all too good for reality.  Perhaps Diana simply lived a life of nonstop Kismet. Prolific moments include years spent around Chanel in the 20s, skipping out on the Nazis, her time at vogue and the Met as well as her beautiful youth surrounded by playful Demimondaine during La Belle Époque. Fun fact this scene from Funny Face “Think Pink” was inspired by Diana Vreeland. Buy the Book here.

I’ll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones

Beyond being a model/musician and postmodern muse to Jean Paul Goude and generations of gay men, the singer/model/actress finally wrote her memoirs. The first half of the book is heavy in tone set to her upbringing in Jamaica aligned with Pentecostal family hell. An experience which possibly created the fierce persona that came to make Jones. Once liberated and unleashed onto New York City Grace begins a modeling career which steers into endless nights as a queen at disco haven Studio 54. Though ultimately her career as a model and musician would maturate and become well envisioned in Paris where her disco tracks were abandoned for the underground sounds of dub and new wave aligning with the Parisian elite. Most fascinating was her time with Issey Miyake which gave way to her posing and kabuki inflected performances. Please also enjoy the longform video, A One Man Show which she was nominated for a Grammy and so got robbed of. Purchase here.

The Price Of Illusion by Joan Juliet Buck

Possibly the best for last, this novel is a brilliant deconstruction of the fashion editors persona and mental state. Though jam packed with the editorial allure that made #BTSlife a starring aspect of editorial, Joan Juliet Buck’s novel posed more than the glitteratti which we so often use to escape reality. Her roots in old Hollywood are punctuated by legends who were mere family friends. Her love life was shown in a pace through ripples of male presences not to detract from the high stakes world of designers, Vogue and the endless fashion calendar. Opening with her firing ahead of the Prada show, the only American editor of Paris Vogue philosophical unraveling came as she knew her opinion would not matter. The most self affirming part of this book for anyone who is or wants to be involved in fashion comes towards the end as the author finds true happiness in community and the sobriety from a lifelong addiction to Vogue. Can we also enjoy the authors turn as an actress in 2009 Julia & Julia.   Buy it now

The Feelist | Shea Marie Get to Know the Business Woman and Social Media Trailblazer

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9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

There is a certain sense of purity in the amount of matter of factness that is taken into clothing, fashion, and shopping habits. We do live in the age where sensory deprivation and Internet shopping reign supreme an era where whimsy can come off as trite and ugly can...

Ty Joseph | Social Connecting

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Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

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Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

Over the past two weeks, the art world has been rocked back and forth by an unprecedented emergence NFTs. NFT stands for “non-fungible tokens”, which are unique digital files and artworks that are stored on a blockchain. Just last Thursday, March 11, Christie’s auction house closed their first digital NFT artwork by artist Beeple for a whopping 69.3 million US dollars. This body of work titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” is composed of 5000 works ranging from scenes of children skateboarding whilst drinking cranberry juice, to Pikachu holding onto a goat. Within all this craziness, we spoke to Sage Willows about his take on this market and the body of work he will be auctioning off tomorrow.

What do you think about the current state of the NFT world?

First off, I think we are living in such a fascinating world today. The rapid rise of NFTs are undeniably challenging the traditional ways of the gallery system. I know the technology is here to stay, but I do think that we are in a bubble when it comes to acquisitions that are being made in the NFT world. What I am saying is, a lot of money is getting poured into garbage.

 

What do you mean “a lot of money is getting poured into garbage”?

The ecosystem of the NFT market is very “monkey-see monkey-do” at the moment. Graphic designers are making open editions of 5000+ works that are being completely sold out within minutes. Everybody wants a piece of this hot cake, and everybody is getting it. That is surely not how works become valuable. It is simple economics and human nature to desire something you cannot have, and in this current market, everyone’s getting what they want. I think it is completely okay to openly talk about economics even as a fine artist.

 

Why are you planning to release NFT works when it sounds like you are against them?

I still believe paintings should be tangible, and experienced in real life. There is something so special about forming an emotional and spiritual connection with a physical body of work. You see, I never really wanted to make any digital NFT works.

However, upon late nights of deep thinking, I came to a conclusion. I am promising to only make 4 digital NFT works ever in my career. As an artist, it is important to comment on the current society we are living in, to document this ever-changing simulation. With that being said, I felt the desire to make this series of works titled “Doesn’t” “Even” “Exist”, to poke fun at the NFT market and the nature of all of these works not existing in the physical world. I want my collector to sit in front of their computer screen looking at their acquisition, reading, “Doesn’t Even Exist”. I think it’s quite funny while simultaneously challenging perspectives and pushing boundaries.

Why are you limiting yourself by promising to only make 4 digital NFT works?

This is an interesting topic I want to play with. In the physical world, I have some collectors that have come into my studio to buy over 10 works at a time. Next thing you know, the works are delivered to them, and they get driven straight into their vault. Not onto their walls. That raises an eyebrow for me. It is almost as if they want me to pass away, so that the value of my works can exponentially appreciate. Anybody who has studied art history knows that there is a very curious economics to the value of fine artists’ works after they decease.

With this in mind, I am essentially killing myself from the NFT world after I release my 4 works. I don’t feel as if I am going to miss out on anything because I am more interested and fulfilled with creating works that can be physically experienced rather than digital works anyways.

So here’s to those collectors waiting for me to die. Have fun with these NFTs, because in that world, my death is certain, and its approaching quick.

 

Where will you be releasing your NFT works?

I will be releasing this series on the Foundation platform on Thursday March 18th (tomorrow) at 3:33PM PST. The series will be minted one by one and placed on auction for 24 hours. I suggest you join the platform tonight and get your account all set up so you can join the madness tomorrow.

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9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

There is a certain sense of purity in the amount of matter of factness that is taken into clothing, fashion, and shopping habits. We do live in the age where sensory deprivation and Internet shopping reign supreme an era where whimsy can come off as trite and ugly can...

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An Ode to LA Night Life built on paintings, photographs, installations and film

Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

Chatting up the young artist as he interacts with the modern NFT market on his own terms

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Bitcoin For Creatives | Angelina Dreem

Bitcoin For Creatives | Angelina Dreem

Bitcoin, Blockchain, Cockblock All the Same Right?

We take on the majestic world of bitcoin through a demonstration by art world darling Angelina Dreem, and while you’re at it check out some of the items you might need to pretend that Robinhood is the Matrix.

“As a child of the recession, the banks got the bail out and we didn’t, I got out of college with nothing. I want to help people understand money more as I am understanding it and learning it. I think the only way we will be getting back the power from these stupid billionaires is by understanding their tactics. I just want to help everybody understand this silly world of money.”

A self-described artist freak who loves information and revolutionary systems, bitcoin being all the above. Her interest began in 2011 when bitcoin first came onto the scene. She started seriously investing in 2016 buying and selling most around 2018 during the peak. Now we are at the point where the institutions and technology has caught up with what is possible: the potential to fuck big banks. Below she provides  Tips to confidently open Robinhood and break the simulatrix *shout out @signepierce. 

The Brief History

In 2008/2009 this open-source software came on the web and promised to decentralize Digital currency based on a peer-to-peer network, meaning no middle man. Blocks are stacked with two parties witnessing the transaction then it is time stamped and locked into the cryptographic box. That block adds to the block of all the histories staying connected and ensuring tight security, that is why it is cryptographic making it so no one can edit an old block eliminating the need for oversight organizations like banks. The information locked in can be anything. Also, why it is called crypto for short. From this technology other coins have emerged such as Ether or Lightcoin.   

The coins are the product of “mining” which is essentially when computers are crunching the algorithm and when they solve it the outcome is a coin. That is why it is held under the revolutionary umbrella of Fintech (Financial technology is the technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.) The fintech revolution started with PayPal revolutionizing the fact that you don’t need a bank, Venmo as well. Basically, not relying on centralized system, kind of anarchist. The people that know and the financial institutions are catching up to this tech as a means of securing and sharing information.

Right now, it is being treated like an asset, like a stock, bond or a house. Something you ‘hold’ and hope gains in value. It is exciting! For broke creatives, it is not too late to invest as no one really knows the true potential of where it is going. Projections have remarked that the price of a coin may reach $50,000 by 2021. A lot of work since 2016 has been in legitimizing this new paradigm. 

In the buying and selling there has been a lot of controversy. What are you buying and selling? Bitcoin is assigned to an address called a KEY. Apps like Coinbase, Gemini, Binance, or hard case keys, will create a private key for you as your address. A string of 17 numbers and letters. If you are purchasing into the 1000s a key is a must for the ownership. If the web goes out it has stopped people from cashing out. 

In total the amount of bitcoin produced by miners 18.5 million mined right now. With 20% lost to various happenings like people losing their keys creating obsolete bitcoins. We are potentially close to cap mining, creating scarcity which drives up the cost. There are risks, the future is unwritten. There could be changes in FCC rules, but the reward is to least have some skin in the future that we all wish to see and believing that future is worth the effort of learning how to buy bitcoin.  

How to buy Bitcoin

I don’t have 30k how can I buy bitcoin? You can buy fractions, which is cool. The 3 options I would like to discuss are assuming you aren’t day trading bitcoin and are on a more casual path involving buying and holding.

Robinhood is a free app and has no commission, but you actually don’t own it because you don’t get a private key, the 17 number and letters. You can’t send bitcoin, essentially can’t use it, it is only an investment portfolio set up. Which is fine if you treat it like an asset. It’s really easy and has a great graphic design, so you kind of feel like futuristic dystopic bitcoin seller hacker chick, which makes it fun. Money should be fun. Easy and sexy looking, you can sell it for dollars.

The second way to buy bitcoin which just launched is through PayPal you can buy sell and hold on PayPal. They have a fee structure based on the percentage of how much you buy. If you buy $101 it is a penny less than if you but $100 of bitcoin. The risk as with Robinhood is what if you get hacked since PayPal would be an excellent target but, but PayPal is also really secure, more so than Robinhood. You cannot send any of your coins to the Key. If you are actually going to invest some real money, this wouldn’t be the recommended way. By real money I mean $1000 or more.

If you just want to buy bitcoin to hold it within the $1000 range, I will just go with Robinhood, it’s just so easy, sexy, and cool. PayPal is corny, PayPal is Peter Thiel, PayPal is trying to be the cool kid, but they are not, but its PayPal, they are integrated with everything. They don’t allow you to buy items with it yet. But I think they are probably just working out some FCC stuff.

Lastly the most popular way to buy bitcoin is using Coinbase App. They are really cool they used to be janky in 2016. It’s great for learning about other coins. Finding out what is next. It’s cheapest if you use you ACH transfer, similar to the accounting and routing number. You get a private key and are able to buy, sell and convert coin to other coins. They also have a lot of educational information on their app and are the OG’s of online trading. The downside is logging in with their two-step authentication system can be confusing and many people panic getting locked out. Their support system is NOT helpful so try to write every password and system down before hand.

 

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9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

There is a certain sense of purity in the amount of matter of factness that is taken into clothing, fashion, and shopping habits. We do live in the age where sensory deprivation and Internet shopping reign supreme an era where whimsy can come off as trite and ugly can...

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Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

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Natura | Lumina

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Bertie Body | Back To Bath Rituals

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Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

There are some things in life which are held with the esteem as performance art in its various forms. From ballet and jazz dance to puppetry and geisha fan dance. In these spaces there is an expectation to innovate or clasp onto tradition. Either way the sheer visceral experience of live performances has been ultimately halted amidst openings and closings of regions and the limitations of a 25% capacity. While we have to think of the safety of ourselves and others, we are creatures who need social exchange and the entertainment of beauty in all of its abstractions.

At a recent socially distance interaction I chatted with Miss Tosh, the world-renowned burlesque performer and designer, who holds a devotional clasp on the tradition of the craft. Her presence has been one which cultivated and champions the contemporary beauty of LGBTQIA+, body positive and POC figures, while shattering the institutional white hetero-gaze which has long been so deeply rooted int the craft’s identity.

Her latest presentation The Beauty of Burlesque, has been one which celebrates the glitz, glamour, and the precision of the art, which affirms that the dimensions of the performer do not fit rigidly in the parameters of yesterday’s performancer. One thing is clear, the corsets are always gonna cinch you in, the crystals will glimmer, and the dances will knock you off your feet. See our conversation below as we speak frankly about the state of burlesque, breaking the 4th wall, and maintaining curiosity in the midst of sheltering.

What inspired you to put this event together?

The lack of authentic diversity in the entertainment industry is was motivated me to create Beauty of Burlesque. This is variatease revue starring diverse artist from around the world. As the founder & producer of the show it was very important from day one that we shine the spotlight on artist that represents diversity in talent & identity, focusing on lgbtqai+, poc, differently abled, and body positivity. 

At the start of the Covid Pandemic theaters shut down and so did live entertainment. Artist didn’t have any where to performer and especially our POC Trans community was facing so much hardship we had to come together as a community and do something to keep the showbiz flame still burning! 

Our annual halloween event is something we all looked forward to, so I created a the first ever Drive-In Burlesque Theater & Virtual Streaming Platform. The first event was on Halloween this year. All the talent donated their performances and we were able to raise funds for the Marsha P. Johnson Institute!

Do you feel like working digitally has been a helpful medium to expand in or has it be stifling?

One of the most beautiful things about artists is that they are resilient! I am so joyfully overwhelmed by the creativity admits this madness. Producing and performing in the first ever feature length Burlesque film was no small feat and comes with its own challenges. But the most exciting part is seeing what new innovative ideas the performers have. We are now able to reach a global audience, which is really incredible! Beauty of Burlesque has really brought the global burlesque community closer together during this hard time.

How do you see the art of burlesque adapt and change with the culture of social distancing?

There is something so special about performing live. Being close to the Audience, and sharing that energy when on stage is something that cannot be replicated. But there is also something magical about film! To bring the traditional burlesque act to the big screen opens a whole new arena for creativity.

What are some mediums and or techniques you have been using to adapt to a digital performance?

I wear many hats in my life and one of them was film. I worked in art departments and behind the scenes, editing, post production ect. These skills I learned always felt like a past life once I began performing full time. Its exciting that I can now combine past experiences with my performance art. There is always a silver lining if we look for it. 

How do you see the art of burlesque adapt and change with the culture of social distancing?

There is something so special about performing live. Being close to the Audience, and sharing that energy when on stage is something that cannot be replicated. But there is also something magical about film! To bring the traditional burlesque act to the big screen opens a whole new arena for creativity.

What are some mediums and or techniques you have been using to adapt to a digital performance?

I wear many hats in my life and one of them was film. I worked in art departments and behind the scenes, editing, post production ect. These skills I learned always felt like a past life once I began performing full time. Its exciting that I can now combine past experiences with my performance art. There is always a silver lining if we look for it. 

In these times of isolation and self reflection what else have you been working on?

I also have a fashion label (MissTosh.com) During isolation I’ve been able to really focus on designing new pieces, sewing everything in my pink garage. I was very lucky to have just moved in with my love right before lockdown in March. We have been nesting and having fun building furniture, painting murals and decorating our home. Im always making something.

How have you been able to maintain and celebrate yourself and your mental health?

With so much uncertainty finding a ways to cope, process and heal can be really hard. I get anxiety, and have non epileptic seizures when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. Maintaining balance by just taking it day. Enjoying a bite of food, feeling the sun on my face, and trying too remain grounded and present. All we can do is try the best we can. 

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Items available for sale at MissTosh.com Photographed by Eva Ziegfield

Do you have any luxuriant items that have kept you sane and well?

Luxury for me is a cup of tea, a cozy blanket with kitties and my girlfriend snuggled up by me. For the insomnia and deep stress moments I cannot express enough how much cbd/tch oils have changed my life. A few drops and its sweet dreams haha.

What is your next project?

I will continue to produce Drive-In Burlesque shows and virtual events at www.BeautyofBurlesque.com Be sure to tune into our Holiday show, “Merry Stripmas” and New Years Eve extravaganza. Creating safe and sexy ways to celebrate safely at home or at the Drive-In. You can also shop my fashion label at MissTosh.com We will be having a major Black Friday sale of our accessories, dress, and home goods. Everything is handmade by me here in Hollywood, CA. 

The Feelist | Shea Marie Get to Know the Business Woman and Social Media Trailblazer

We took a moment of the HBIC’s time to check in all the ways she organically took on this project, plant-based skin care, and her own regimen.

Pendry West Hollywood | Back to the Sunset Strip

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The Solo Journey Experience | Ojai

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Rico Starr | Gogo’s Entrepreneur

From the closet to the bar get to know more about the creative multi tasking the gay clubs

Dana Boulos | Talk By Brainfreeze

The hidden entrepreneur gets vocal with her latest podcast Talk by BRAINFREEZE.

9 Biographies for the Fashion Minded

There is a certain sense of purity in the amount of matter of factness that is taken into clothing, fashion, and shopping habits. We do live in the age where sensory deprivation and Internet shopping reign supreme an era where whimsy can come off as trite and ugly can...

Ty Joseph | Social Connecting

An Ode to LA Night Life built on paintings, photographs, installations and film

Sage Willows | NFT Works “Doesn’t Even Exist”

Chatting up the young artist as he interacts with the modern NFT market on his own terms

Natura | Lumina

Every blonde deserves a fortifying treatment that will keep you brassless and malleable

Bertie Body | Back To Bath Rituals

Get to know the Australian brand brings sexy bath, with soul, scent, and marine collagen.