WWD Blogtag:blog.wwd.com,2008-06-26:/wwd//12013-12-02T04:35:21ZMovable Type Enterprise 4.32-enThe Passionate Reader: Mavericks & Bombshellstag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.72958682013-12-02T04:18:55Z2013-12-02T04:35:21Z From Henry Ford 2nd to Madonna, fall's best reads look back at trendsetters' early beginnings....Lorna Koski
"Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43" (Abrams), by Paul
Hendrickson with photographs from FSA/OWI Collection, The Library of
Congress. "Bound for Glory" takes us into rural worlds of the past, with
prairie wives in aprons (like the one on the cover) and fairs complete
with games and Ferris wheels. A pair of musicians tune up at a square
dance, while a man and his horse haul boxes of peaches and a poster
urges us to buy war bonds. There is something appealing about the time
capsules here, reminiscent of a simpler age.
"True Crime Detective Magazines, 1924 to 1969" (Taschen), by Eric
Godtland, edited by Dian Hanson. The outrageous tag lines that belong to
these irresistible publications enliven the cover -- "Sin, Scandal, Sex
and Death," "Wild Daughters of Satan," "Girls Priced to Sell" and "The
Gutter Waits for Girls Like Me" -- with its image of a devilish looking,
bejewelled young woman in a low-cut dress smoking a cigarette. "Sex
Crimes! The acts of men who are lower than beasts! An aroused public
demands to know the cause and the cure." -- Real Detective, July 1934.
Hmm...interesting choice of words. The prurient interest behind these
lurid magazines becomes more evident with each page. And their
exaggerated, campy quality makes them wonderful. "I Was Queen of the
Stag-Party Strippers," indeed.
"Louis Vuitton City Bags: A Natural History" (Rizzoli), by Jean-Claude
Kaufmann, Ian Luna, Florence Muller, Mariko Nishitani, Colombe Pringle
and Deyan Sudjic, with contributions by Rei Kawakubo, Yayoi Kusama and
Takashi Murakami. This book delineates the genealogy of the Vuitton bag,
with stops along the way to show amazing photos of vintage Vuitton
bags, complete with travel stickers. There are terrific images from
vintage advertising dating back to the beginning of the 20th century.
"Detroit 1968: Photographs by Enrico Natali" (Foggy Notion Books),
edited by Jane Brown with an essay by Mark Binelli. Henry Ford 2nd,
women at the beauty parlor and secretaries at work are some of the
things that turn up on film here. Besides Ford, there are plenty of
other shots of auto executives and their wives, often at play. Young
boys sport awkward late-Sixties hair and clothes. This is Detroit long
before its bankruptcy. There are signs of trouble, in the poverty of the
black neighborhoods and in the sign urging us to get out of Vietnam.
But this is still a city in full flower.
"The Ferrari Book" (teNeues), by Gÿnther Raupp with a preface by Piero
Ferrari and texts by Werner Schruf and Rolf Sachsse. This book is for
lovers of fast cars, and those who favor this maker in particular. It's
divided into decades, and there are photos of gorgeous cars throughout,
essentially pinups of them for fans. Raupp cleverly juxtaposes the
vehicles with modern houses, traditional houses, hills, oceans, palm
trees, night skies, racetracks and other settings and elements that will
show them off. There are never any drivers, which is meant to amp up
the fantasy factor for the reader, who can then imagine him or herself
in the driver's seat.
"Beyond Chic: Great Fashion Designers at Home" (The Vendome Press), by
Ivan Terestchenko. This is a sumptuous volume, with inspiring interiors
created by top fashion figures. Fantasy elements and unusual
combinations of classic and ethnic pieces and patterns are the norm.
Among the wilder places are Franca Sozzani's Moroccan house, replete
with flaking walls and a big-cat rug, and Christian Louboutin's house in
Luxor, Egypt, with its arched doorways everywhere. And Giorgio Armani's
Saint Moritz place features a standing stuffed polar bear.
"Richard Corman: Madonna NYC 83" (Damiani/D.A.P., available Nov. 30), by
Richard Corman. Corman photographs a baby-faced Madonna wearing piles
of PVC bracelets, torn jeans, petticoats and crucifix earrings during
her early years in New York. Her considerable charisma comes across in
every shot, even when she's wearing loads of little fake braids and a
hat à la early Boy George or an Eighties' color-blocked sweater, with
her hair bleached blonde with black roots and full of styling product.
She has a powerful rapport with the camera.
"Bold, Beautiful and Damned: The World of 1980s Fashion Illustrator Tony
Viramontes" (Laurence King), by Dean Rhys-Morgan, with a foreword by
Jean Paul Gaultier and an afterword by Amy Fine Collins. Viramontes died
at 31, but his ultradramatic, colorful drawings, influenced by his
mentor Antonio Lopez, live again in the pages of this book. His images
have a vibrant, kinetic line that is difficult to resist. It's just
right, for instance, for showing what's special about Stephen Sprouse
and his designs.
"Lettering Large: Art and Design of Monumental Typography" (The
Monacelli Press), by Steven Heller and Miro Ilic. With their
big-is-better ethos, Heller and Ilic set out to showcase all sorts of
messages in large type in many kinds of media. Examples range from
lettered parapets on an English country house to lettered minarets in
Afghanistan and Morocco, to the big 9 in front of a 57th Street building
in New York to a statue of the word "ego" in huge letters that went up
in flames at the Burning Man Festival.
"Refashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing From Upcycled Materials" (Laurence
King), by Sass Brown. This book examines the work of a variety of
fashion companies, from the French OTRA (On the Road Again), which uses
bicycle tire inner tubes, to Australian MILCH, which turns men's wear
into women's clothes, including bags and hats made of men's pants
pockets, and Atelier Awash, which makes vegetable-dyed scarves from
materials sourced on a small Ethiopian farm. Meanwhile, Steinwidder's
off-the-shoulder sweater dresses and hoodies began life as damaged
"Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa"
(The Monacelli Press; available Nov. 12), by Karen E. Milbourne.
Milbourne, a curator at the Museum of African Art, shows ceramics and
earthworks from Africa here, along with mud-dyed cloth and stone or
bronze sculptures. Also considered: artwork in ancient caves, and the
patterns in a landscape created by miners panning for gold. This book
accompanies a current exhibition at the Museum of African Art.
"Sixties Fashion: From Less Is More to Youthquake" (Thames &
Hudson), by Jonathan Walford. With a teenage Twiggy in a yellow dress
and flowered tie on the cover, and a first chapter devoted to high
fashion in the early Sixties, this is a definitive book. Walford, a
founding curator of the Bata Shoe Museum and a founder of the Fashion
History Museum, both in Canada, traces the changes that come after
fashion comes under the sway of the young, from Mary Quant's miniskirts
to Biba's disposable fashion to the Sergeant Pepper look and paper
dresses. Remember those?
"Pearls" (V&A/Abrams), by Beatriz Chadour-Sampson with Hubert Bari.
This book is a tie-in with an exhibition currently at the Victoria and
Albert Museum in London. Chadour-Sampson is a jewelry historian, while
Bari is curator at the Qatar Museum Authority. Queen Victoria, the
Empress Eugénie, Queen Alexandra...pearls, particularly in the form of
necklaces, have long been a hallmark of royalty and aristocracy...or just
plain high society. The jewelry ranges from a big pearl earring once
worn by Charles I in a Van Dyck portrait -- and at his execution -- to
classic, long pearl strands to a pendant of a ship with Venus and Cupid
detailed in pearls. Queen Elizabeth I wore many of them to symbolize
purity, chastity and the wealth of her kingdom. And pearls were shaped
into an Art Nouveau dog collar called Yarrow, with the herb in question
fashioned in enamel, by Maison Vever.
"Amber, Guinevere & Kate Photographed by Craig McDean: 1993-2005"
(Rizzoli), with interviews by Glenn O'Brien. The title says it all. Here
are some of the most iconic models of our day, early in their careers,
photographed by a master. Amber, for instance, appears in everything
from face paint to a fur-trimmed coat, while Guinevere is at her most
striking in minimalist looks. Kate, for her part, is a pretty schoolgirl
in a little camisole, a big white shirt or underwear.]]>
Naomie Harris Talks 'Mandela'tag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.72932402013-11-26T21:44:44Z2013-11-26T21:56:49ZMeeting Naomie Harris for the first time after seeing her new film, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," directed by Justin Chadwick, is a little intimidating....Lorna Koski
After all, her character of Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie becomes a revolutionary firebrand who hates the government, believes in achieving freedom through violence and executes party members she suspects of being spies by viciously "necklacing" them with tires full of gasoline set afire. Harris' character in the film, which will open in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, undergoes a remarkable series of changes. She morphs from well-brought up, well-educated, pretty young lady who is a social worker -- dressed carefully in stylish late Fifties-early Sixties suits, dresses and hats -- to radicalized party leader wearing camouflage.
The change happens largely because of the harassment and cruelty the regime shows her as a proxy for her husband, who was in prison on isolated Robben Island at the time, an environment that was re-created in the studio. Harris handles the changes in the character with great skill, and it seems likely that she will be nominated for an Oscar.
However, Harris is nothing like Winnie Mandela, at least the one at the end of the film. In person, she is an elegant beauty and highly articulate. Harris, who is British, went to St. Marylebone School and received a social and political sciences degree from Cambridge University. After graduation, she began studying acting at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Her credits include the science-fiction TV series "The Tomorrow People," the film "28 Days Later" and the TV adaptation of Zadie Smith's "White Teeth." She was the first black actress to play Eve Moneypenny in the James Bond movies. It was her role in the film "The First Grader," directed by Chadwick, that helped her land the part in "Mandela." In "The First Grader," Harris is a schoolteacher teaching a class of students in Kenya, something she actually did during the film.
"I had no idea she was so controversial," says Harris of Winnie. The actress, who is 37, goes from being a woman in her 20s to one in her late-50s in the film, and the makeup that ages her is handled with considerable subtlety, something that's not always the case in the movies. Harris says that stronger maquillage was tried, but didn't work. She received a lot of advice about playing Winnie, and everybody had an opinion about her, but then she met the woman herself, who said, "All I am going to ask is that you portray me faithfully."
Harris says that this statement freed her, enabling her to "take ownership of the part." The political leader later said that she felt that Harris was the only actress who has "truly captured" her. "She had a really, really tough time," Harris says. She was frequently interrogated or arrested, spending one long stretch in solitary confinement, and any employer who gave her a job received an intimidating visit from security forces, which meant that she would be fired.
Harris enjoyed working with Idris Elba, who plays Nelson Mandela. "He is very good at diving into the darkest possible places but also having moments of lightness," she says.
Chadwick, for his part, praises Harris for playing a "personal and flawed" character, and says that he was impressed by her behavior and performance on the set of "The First Grader," too. "We were living in this very basic environment," he says. But she took it in stride.
Harris lives in London near her family, to whom she is very close. As for her career, "I never had a plan," she says. "I always just wanted to do great work." Thus far, the serendipitous route seems to be unfolding just fine.]]>
Possible Conversations: Karl Lagerfeld and Jessica Chastaintag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.72726882013-11-11T23:39:29Z2013-11-12T05:07:36ZAny journalist who's worked a red carpet or a press junket knows that there is such a thing as a stupid question -- but sometimes it's your job to ask....Jessica Iredale- Fashion Writer
Any journalist who's worked a red carpet or a press junket knows that there is such a thing as a stupid question -- but sometimes it's your job to ask. ]]>
Just ask Jessica Chastain, who agreed to interview no less a formidable
wit than Karl Lagerfeld in front of an auditorium full of people
Wednesday night at Lincoln Center. "It's hard. I have newfound respect,"
she said. "He's so quick and you have to really be on your toes. He
talks very fast, so you're there listening, and you're like, 'Oh wait, I
have to have another question.'"
Chastain did her homework --
she came armed with a stack of note cards on which her questions were
clearly typed out -- but Lagerfeld threw her a curveball 30 minutes
before the interview. "He saw I had questions, and he said, 'No no no, I
want to improvise.'"
Intimidating? Yes, even for a two-time
Oscar nominee who studied at Juilliard and has extensive theater
experience. But Chastain held her own, starting off with a Psych 101
softball -- "I want to know, what was baby Karl like?" -- and going on
to cover subjects ranging from Lagerfeld's mother to his love of drawing
and silent film to his famous cat Choupette to whether he owns
sweatpants ("No") and what his pajamas look like.
Lagerfeld thwarted that one, but for the most part let the quippy quotables flow.
On starting at Jean Patou:
"Maybe it was too early, but I was tired of being an assistant. I
wasn't born to be an assistant. In this business you can be an assistant
for a short time. If you are endlessly an assistant, there's no hope." On the perks of designing three collections, Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld: "I'm
very happy that I have a French version and an Italian version, and
then I have my own company. I'm not obsessed by my own name -- I
couldn't care less. What I like is a job. The ego trip comes later, and
who cares? I can't cross the street, but, please, it's not really
important. People in this business, they want to be like Chanel and
Fendi, but if you don't have the money of Chanel and LVMH [Moët Hennessy
Louis Vuitton], you cannot be like this, so forget about it. I wanted
my name, which is apparently quite popular, to be something less
expensive, that's why I did H&M, because today fashion has to be
well designed -- expensive or not expensive."
On his influences: "If
you analyze influence, you are on the border of doing marketing. I
prefer not to answer that question because -- how could I say? -- it's a
little off focus. I don't know and I don't want to know. Things come
and go, but I don't want to know how, why....I think it's not good to
have what influences you analyzed. Be influenced, but don't put words on
On showing the Métiers d'Art in Dallas on Dec. 10: "One
should not forget that America relaunched Chanel. When Chanel reopened
-- because of her past, I don't know -- the French hated. Beyond nasty.
Only America and especially Neiman Marcus were great about her. This is
nearly 60 years ago that she reopened, and 55 years ago she went to
Dallas to get the award from Neiman Marcus. I think it's a good thing to
pay homage to America, which could relaunch Chanel in the Fifties. It's
thanks to America, not thanks to China or Japan."
On clean living: "I'm
the most boring person in the world. That allowed me to survive better
than a lot of other people. Because if you don't drink, if you don't
smoke and you don't take drugs -- and I'm not missing it; I never wanted
it -- and you sleep for seven hours, I can tell you, life is quite
pleasant. You don't feel tired or exhausted and things like that. You
get up again and have the next day. I know that's very boring, but, you
know, I admire people who destroy themselves."
Chastain kept the audience, which included Ralph and Ricky Lauren, Jeff
and Justine Koons, Carolina Herrera, Carine Roitfeld, Stephen Gan and
members of Lagerfeld's entourage, amused for 40 minutes, after which
there was a gala dinner in Alice Tully Hall. Billed "An Evening Honoring
Karl Lagerfeld" and sponsored by Hearst Corp. and Harper's Bazaar, the
event benefited the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, which supports 10
organizations resident at Lincoln Center, including the Metropolitan
Opera, the New York City Ballet and the Juilliard School. The benefit is
intended to become an annual Hearst-sponsored event, with Stella
McCartney already lined up as next year's honoree.
hosted -- it was her idea to stage the evening as a conversation
between Chastain and Lagerfeld. "We were trying to find an actress who
would feel comfortable being an interviewer, because it's a lot more
difficult than it looks," said Bailey of the pairing. "Jessica was very
determined to do this in her own way....Let's see what happens because
Karl is so spontaneous and fast and witty. You never know what he's
going to say next."
So what was baby Karl like? "Apparently very cute," he told Chastain. "But all mothers say that."]]>
Breast Behavior at Nina Riccitag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.72726742013-11-11T23:34:35Z2013-11-12T05:00:17ZJoelle Diderich
Fashion show attendees may be jaded about antifur campaigners bursting onto the catwalk, but they got an eyeful this season when two topless Femen protestors briefly interrupted the Nina Ricci show in Paris. ]]>
In a statement, the organization said the protest was
aimed at revealing the "inhuman aspects" of the fashion industry. "Women
sacrifice their lives and their health for this masculine business,
which seeks to profit from women by any means," Femen said. "We are
sending out a warning to all these pimps and fashion dictators, we are
threatening them with our bare breasts."]]>
Flip Your Lid: Anna Piaggitag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.72726382013-11-11T23:31:47Z2013-11-13T18:13:38ZOn Via Bagutta, a dark, narrow Milanese street tucked safely away from traffic, visitors will find an unexpected splash of color at the side entrance to Palazzo Morando, which is hosting a tribute to the late Italian fashion editor Anna...Cynthia MartensOn Via Bagutta, a dark, narrow Milanese street tucked safely away from traffic, visitors will find an unexpected splash of color at the side entrance to Palazzo Morando, which is hosting a tribute to the late Italian fashion editor Anna Piaggi through Nov. 30.
Piaggi, a translator and journalist who died in 2012, also created
elaborate fashion editorial spreads. She wore many hats, literally and
figuratively: She never stepped out without a headpiece.
loved the hats first and then dressed herself, that was the process of
her everyday life," noted her longtime friend, milliner Stephen Jones,
who curated the exhibition. An opening party took place during Milan
Fashion Week, and all was well until the theft in early October of a
stiletto shoe-hat designed by photographer -- and one-time milliner --
"Bill and Anna were very close and it's a loss
to the collection and for the public to see it. However, Anna would
want it to be worn fabulously and not stuck in a museum," said Jones,
who praised the way the show captured the imagination of the Milanese.
Piaggi's nephew Stefano Piaggi, president of the newly founded Anna
Piaggi Cultural Association, said an exhibition catalog and related book
are in the works. He estimated that more than 3,000 people had already
Curious tourists continue to visit the
editor's imaginary home, where a red Olivetti typewriter and surfboard
topped with a frilly violet beach hat share office space with all sorts
of chapeaux draped on bookcases and chairs. Disco balls spin overhead in
the blue-carpeted press room, with the sounds of photographers' flashes
and clicks animating a wall plastered with images of Piaggi attending
fashion events through the decades. Piano music wafts through the
bedroom, where berets, bonnets and caps with feathers, sequins and veils
rest on Louis Vuitton trunks.
Throughout, humorous depictions
of Piaggi--including one of her swirling inside a fake washing
machine--lend a surreal, carnivallike atmosphere.
That all this is hidden from Milan's major thoroughfares is only fitting: Piaggi liked to keep people guessing.
Give Them A Hand: London's Man-Made Designstag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.72726872013-11-11T23:18:58Z2013-11-11T23:31:13ZPaint, scissors, pencils. London was awash with illustrations and prints made the old-fashioned way--with bare hands and no computer keyboards--on and off the spring runways. Designers including Matthew Williamson, Giles Deacon and Claire Barrow all opted for bold, naïve and...Samantha Conti- London Bureau Chief
Paint, scissors, pencils.
London was awash with illustrations and prints made the old-fashioned way--with bare hands and no computer keyboards--on and off the spring runways.
Designers including Matthew Williamson, Giles Deacon and Claire Barrow all opted for bold, naïve and hand-drawn prints, while Smythson, Claridge's and Roland Mouret hosted shows featuring freshly minted and vintage illustrations.
Williamson's collection was full of hand-drawn prints, a universe away from his usual digital ones. There were botanical motifs, hand-drawn daisies and dragonflies on loose, languid silhouettes while big, cartoonish flowers blossomed over floor-sweeping tunics and sheer blouses.
"I wanted the prints to look like a five-year-old girl had done them, and I wanted to take a different trajectory, to explore prints in a much more organic way, focusing on man-made rather than machine," Williamson said, adding that the hand doodling and graffiti was inspired by the late Keith Haring.
"Digital prints have been so popular in the last few seasons, and it really reflects where we are now in terms of technology: We are so heavily reliant on it. Switching off the computer and returning to hand-drawn techniques added a new dimension. The imperfect patterns gave the collection a more carefree, spontaneous spirit."
Deacon's show, a spiky take on springtime, featured bold, slightly smudgy gap-toothed ladies' mouth prints, hand-painted with acrylics by the artist Donald Robertson, who is head of creative development at cosmetics brand Bobbi Brown. Deacon said he discovered Robertson's work on Instagram.
"At the time, I had no idea who he was, but I loved his hand," said Deacon. "And I had wanted to do lips, but in a different way." He said he could easily return to handmade designs in the future. "I don't think anyone wants to see any more mental digital repeats anytime soon."
Off the runway, leather accessories and stationery brand Smythson tapped British illustrator and filmmaker Quentin Jones to create a series of collages of famous fans of the Panama Diary. The images are of a disparate bunch--from Sigmund Freud to Dita Von Teese, Erdem Moralioglu to Katharine Hepburn--and each features a letter of the alphabet that spells out Smythson.
"It's paint, it's paper, it's not digital or slick or computerized," said Rory O'Hanlon, the brand's design director. "The images are playful, and we're sharing what Smythson has been, what it is, and what it will be."
The exhibition is touring Smythson stores worldwide.
Mouret, meanwhile, teamed with Janina Joffe, founder of the online fashion illustration gallery East of Mayfair, to showcase rare and previously unseen drawings by the late fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez.
The show, at Mouret's Mayfair townhouse, was meant to mark the 70th anniversary of Lopez's birth.
"When I was young, Antonio was one of the people who made you dream about fashion," Mouret said of the bold, Pop Art-y works on show.
At the Mayfair Hotel, Claridge's artist-in-residence David Downton unveiled his "Midnight at Noon" exhibition, and talked about the intimate overlap between drawing and life. During his two-year residency, Downton has hand-drawn hotel guests including Diane von Furstenberg, Joan Collins, Alber Elbaz, Christian Louboutin and Erin O'Connor.
Of the latter, he said: "She looks like a drawing in all her proportions, and everything I try to do on paper she is in life--so she makes me look good."
With contributions from Stephanie Hirschmiller
Franco File: Paying Tribute to Franco Moschinotag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.72755672013-11-11T18:14:48Z2013-11-18T16:37:03Z"Fun. Happy. Playful. I certainly didn't want a funeral." So said Moschino creative director Rossella Jardini of the spring show, a celebration of the late designer and the brand's 30th anniversary....Luisa Zargani - Milan's Bureau Chief
"Fun. Happy. Playful. I certainly didn't want a funeral."
So said Moschino creative director Rossella Jardini of the spring show, a celebration of the late designer and the brand's 30th anniversary.
Although her first instinct was to publish another book about Moschino, following one marking the house's first decade, Jardini eventually embraced the idea of a show to celebrate the anniversary. Images of Franco Moschino were projected before the show. "I wanted his voice to be heard again and for people to understand his sense of humor, and how much he loved Italy," said Jardini, admitting she was "moved, but less so than other times. I was calmer--maybe I was too tired, but I am always emotional when I hear Franco's voice."
Jardini also asked the designer's favorite top models to return to the catwalk. They all agreed immediately, "before I even finished the call," she laughed.
Each model asked to wear the same outfit from back then--complete with accessories. Pat Cleveland wore a long strapless dirndl dress with a whimsical cow motif; Violeta Sanchez donned a coat with small teddy bears embellishing the shoulder line; Amalia sported the Italian flag top with a floor-length black skirt, and Gisele Zelauy wore a gown made entirely of garbage bags.
Jardini selected almost 50 archival looks, "the most representative" of each year, for the show--30 of them for the tableau vivant on the stage.
She also replayed Franco Moschino's favorite tunes for the soundtrack--including Gloria Gaynor's version of "I Am What I Am," performed live by the artist at the show.
Jardini feels the brand has become "a cult phenomenon" today, with young people appreciating Moschino's signature gold letter belts and quirky accessories, like animal-motif iPhone cases. To mark the anniversary, the brand teamed up with Samsung, a sponsor of the after party, to create a series of Galaxy Note 3 accessories and cases in the form of peace signs in black/gold and white/silver combinations and heart-shaped accessories in white/red and white/gold. They'll hit stores in November.
Moschino also launched a special-edition capsule collection of watches, bags, belts, T-shirts, eyewear, foulards, swimsuits, umbrellas and perfumes.
Asked how she felt looking back, Jardini admitted she was "quite proud" of the accomplishments she shares with her team. "Nobody would have bet on us when Franco died," she said simply. Her own dream project is to "create many small collections for different moments and usage, for example 10 little black dresses or five evening dresses, and to work by category," oblivious to merchandising or marketing demands. "Once upon a time, there was more freedom. Now there is no time to pause and think--it's a complex system."]]>
Racing With the Lundgrenstag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.70591502013-07-18T20:10:30Z2013-07-18T20:13:09ZI spent Sunday morning with Terry J. Lundgren....Jean Palmieri
The chief of Macy's, along with his wife Tina and around 4,000 others, participated in the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon on a hot and steamy day in Manhattan. Tina Lundgren swam just under a mile in the Hudson River (the current was swift and the temperature delightful), rode about 25 miles on the West Side Highway and ran a 10K to a finish line in Central Park. Her husband was the runner on a relay team and sprinted to a 52-minute finish, helping his team to a 2:47 time, ranking them 15th among all teams participating.
The Lundgrens were racing on behalf of the Ronald McDonald House. Macy's recently sponsored its first 5K run/walk along the Hudson River (do I sense a theme here?), with proceeds going to the organization. The Ronald McDonald House team included participants from Macy's, Bloomingdale's, PVH, Kenneth Cole, Speedo, B. Michael, Lars Cosmetics and Amex, and together they raised $180,000 for the charity, a number that exceeded last year's, Lundgren said.
The festivities for the race, which is so popular it now runs a lottery for those attempting to enter, started Friday night with the Freshpair Underwear Run in Central Park. Approximately 500 triathletes stripped down to their briefs, boxers, jog bras and fig leaves for the 1.7-mile jaunt. Freshpair's chief executive, Matthew Butlein, proudly participated in a blue tank top and matching briefs.
This marked the 13th consecutive year of the New York City race, which draws participants from around the world. The timing of the race is dependent upon the currents in the river, which can be quite strong and often flow north -- not a good thing when the swim is in a southerly direction.
I've done the race 11 times, and it's always a crapshoot. There were years when it was so hot I nearly came down with heat stroke on the run. There was a time when the bacteria levels in the Hudson were so high that they turned it into a duathlon, meaning we had to run another 5K in place of the swim. There were years of rain when our bikes were sitting in mud puddles. But for a big-city event, it's well-organized and, frankly, supercool. As I waited on a barge for my turn to jump into the Hudson, I looked back at the walkway along the Hudson, and all I could see were thousands of people in wet suits with different color caps indicating their age, waiting to race. Pretty impressive sight.
The race was won this year by Jordan Jones, a male professional triathlete from Golden, Colo., who was also last year's victor, and Jenna Parker of Santa Monica, Calif. Jones finished in 1:49:05 and Parker in 2:01:50. Jennie Finch, the Olympic gold medal-winning softball player, completed the race in 2:51:15.
I didn't go quite that fast, but we all wound up at the same finish line eventually.]]>
The Passionate Reader: July 8, 2013tag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.70454482013-07-08T22:01:28Z2013-07-09T15:02:11ZLorna Koski ]]>
Her mother, Nellie Pelikan, had been born into a circus family, the Pelikans, and apprenticed at an early age to the owner of another small circus, Willy Dosta. She gave birth to his daughter just before she turned 13. This child, Lillian Leitzel, began her circus training early, and went on to become one of the highest-paid performers at the Ringing Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. Her first two marriages were short-lived, but then she married Alfred Codona, one of the celebrated Flying Codonas. Their incendiary romance is at the heart of "Queen of the Air." She was melodramatic; he was jealous, and they were both big stars. Circuses are a passion for Jensen, and he never misses a trick in describing their appeal and the way they work.
"The Woman Before Wallis: Prince Edward, the Parisian Courtesan, and the Perfect Murder" (Picador), by Andrew Rose, covers a rather different segment of society. Rose has unearthed the surprising story of high-priced courtesan Marguerite Alibert. The daughter of a cab driver and a charwoman, Alibert became a courtesan in the house of a Madame Denart, who years later recalled that she became "the mistress of nearly all my best clients, gentleman of wealth and position in France, England, America and other countries." Denart added, "It was me who made a sort of lady of her."
During the First World War, Alibert worked for a time for the Red Cross in Touraine, then went to Egypt, where she became the mistress of a rich man, Mehmet Cherif. Later, in Paris, she was introduced to the Prince of Wales, who fell in love with her and wrote her impassioned letters. She, no fool, kept them. Their relationship lasted from April 1917 until the fall of 1918. In February 1918, however, the prince met Freda Dudley-Ward, who would become his mistress and closest confidant until Wallis Simpson arrived on the scene in 1934. In December of 1922, Marguerite married a wealthy Egyptian playboy, Ali Fahmy. Almost immediately, there were conflicts between the two. He was very jealous of her friendships with other men and had apparently made death threats to her. It all culminated on the stormy night of July 9, 1923, when the pair were staying at London's Savoy, and Alibert shot him three times. It would seem an open-and-shut case; but, in the end, after her lawyers apprised the Royal Family of her cache of letters, Alibert got off. Rose makes a good case for the notion that this was because the English government didn't want her relationship with the Prince of Wales revealed.
Then there's "The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Mac Griswold. The story this book tells is remarkable. One day in the Eighties, Griswold, a landscape architect, was canoeing up Gardiners Creek on Shelter Island when she saw, to her amazement, a set of 12-foot-high boxwood hedges surrounding a house, Sylvester Manor. Box grows very slowly, and she knew that their height meant that they were hundreds of years old. After writing repeatedly to Andrew and Alice Fisk, the owners of the house, she was finally able to visit it. The property had been in the same family for 11 generations, and the manor house was filled with heirloom furniture and ancient documents dating back to the time of the original treaty with Wyandanch, the 17th-century Grand Sachem of Long Island.
In her research, Griswold eventually discovered that the original owners had been Quakers who were involved in the slave trade. The Fisks knew that their ancestors were slave-owners, but believed that they had sheltered Quakers from persecution; the revelation that they themselves were Quakers was unexpected, since members of this group were historically committed abolitionists. Griswold skillfully weaves a historical tapestry of considerable complexity around the estate, which once encompassed the entire 8,000-acre island, and now comprises 243 acres. She writes about many of the items that have been discovered on the property during an ongoing series of archeological digs there, along with giving the history of the family's fortunes and the many public intellectuals who were family friends, among them Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sarah Orne Jewett, John Greenleaf Whittier and James Russell Lowell. The estate was inherited by Andrew Fisk's nephew Eben Ostby, who is a founder of Pixar and who didn't want to move from the West Coast to manage the property. His sister's son, Bennett Konesni, now supervises the estate, part of which has become an organic farm.
In "On the Floor," (Picador), a novel by Aifric Campbell, 28-year-old London-based investment banker Geri Molloy is trying to recover from a difficult breakup and resisting pressure to move to Hong Kong in order to service her firm's biggest client, Felix Mann, who has taken an unexpected shine to her. The fast-paced narrative brings to life the London banking world of the go-go early Nineties, just before the quants took over, with unexpected consequences that would eventually result in the Great Recession, which began in December 2007. Campbell, who worked in the City for 13 years, and, at Morgan Stanley, became the first woman managing director on the London trading floor, knows this world intimately, and she pushes the boat of plot out beyond predictability, while keeping her characters believable and engaging.
"The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P." (Henry Holt) is more playful. Adelle Waldman creates a young literary star, Nate Piven, narrating the book from his point of view. His girlfriends include business reporter Juliet, beauty Elisa and his intellectual equal Hannah....But when he gets involved with yet another young woman, Greer, who has received a big advance for a book about adolescent promiscuity, things change. The tenor of his observations is illustrated by a moment when, speaking of Hannah, who has just left to go to the ladies' room, he observes: "When she returned, she asked if he was mad at her. As if she had done anything that would have entitled him to be mad at her. Why the f--k did women, no matter how smart, how independent, inevitably revert to this state of willed imbecility? It wasn't as if he had the emotional register of a binary system, as if his only states of being were 'happy' and 'mad at her.'"
It's not a new book, but it's a fascinating one. "Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), by Douglas Smith, which came out last year, is a social history of what Smith estimates as the 12 percent of the nobility and aristocracy who did not leave Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, which broke out in 1917. Some members of the group who stayed were idealists who believed that the last czar's policies were wrong, and that changes needed be made. Others believed that the regime's animus against them would eventually wane, and that they would be able to live their lives in peace. This, however, wasn't what happened. Smith focuses primarily on two families, the Golitsyn and Sheremetev clans, each of whom had provided leaders in politics, the military and the arts in Russia for generations.
Throughout the Twenties and Thirties, these "former people" -- a Russian idiom -- were frequently arrested on laughable charges and given long sentences in Siberia. Sometimes they could bargain their sentences down, and when they were finally released, they hoped that their trials were over. But this was rarely the case. Libraries, archives and museums often employed "former people," since few members of the general public had their levels of education and language skills. But both Lenin and Stalin believed in perpetual class struggle, and this meant that anyone with the wrong surname was vulnerable to repeated arrest. In the end, after several prison sentences or periods in exile, they would often be targeted by particularly zealous prosecutors and executed, especially during the Great Purge of 1936 to 1939. One Orwellian euphemism used by the regime was that the people who had been arrested had been sent to prison camps "without the right of correspondence." What this meant was that they had been summarily shot. But it wasn't until the thaw that began under Khrushchev that their families, who had been trying to get news of them for decades, learned this.
The Saks Quandary tag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.69787232013-06-10T17:59:23Z2013-06-22T04:22:33ZThe well-oiled Saks Inc. rumor mill has gone quiet. There was the initial flurry of stories after it became known the luxe department store company hired Goldman Sachs to explore its options and possibly a sale....Evan Clark- Deputy Editor, Business
There was the initial flurry of stories after it became known the luxe department store company hired Goldman Sachs to explore its options and possibly a sale.
That's pretty much it.
Even if there is stuff going on behind the scenes, that really isn't a whole lot of intrigue given the chain's stature, its name recognition and how often it's been rumored to be on the market in the past.
Saks is a vital store to many designers, a key destination for well-heeled consumers and a cornerstone of the New York retail scene. It is important to the fashion industry any way you slice it. But the investment set still isn't quite sure what to do with the company.
At the annual meeting last week, Sadove talked about the possibility of specialty stores under different Saks concepts. That might be an interesting avenue for the company, which needs to show how it can keep growth up if it wants to draw suitors. Department stores just aren't natural candidates for overseas expansion and developers aren't breaking ground on lots of new malls.
Saks might well find a buyer, or not, but either way stores that sell other people's brands just aren't in vogue. For better or worse, investors are looking for focus. They want a brand, maybe with some wholesale, but definitely with retail stores that can be marched out around the world.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. is the obvious and oft-used example of what investors are looking for today, with its market capitalization of $12.59 billion. But there are others.
Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., where the focus is on Kate Spade, has a market cap of $2.62 billion. Many investors are hoping the company will sell off its Lucky Brand and Juicy Couture divisions to fuel Kate's continued expansion and ultimately push the value of the firm even higher.
The value of all of Saks' stock, even with the company's ample real estate and its sterling name and a boost from the Goldman news, is $2.15 billion.
All About the Shoes and the Bagtag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.69410812013-05-20T04:01:00Z2013-05-20T02:13:53ZSometime in the early Aughts, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears WWD business reporter, a colleague replied to some silly thing I'd said by looking aghast and asking, "Don't you know? Fashion is all about the shoes and the bag." The...Evan Clark- Deputy Editor, Business
Sometime in the early Aughts, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears WWD
business reporter, a colleague replied to some silly thing I'd said by
looking aghast and asking, "Don't you know? Fashion is all about the
shoes and the bag."
The shoes and the bag.
I didn't know then how right she was, in both sartorial and business terms.
Michael Kors and Tory Burch are just two brands that have parlayed success in accessories into wider empires.
And now, the fall of apparel is being catalogued.
Credit Suisse analysts this week wrote a report, titled "The Decline of Fashion Apparel in the Mall," that quantifies the impact of the hot accessories market on everyone else.
From 2007 to 2012, mall-based apparel stores saw compounded annual sales growth of just 0.8 percent, while footwear, accessories and beauty sales grew 5 percent, Credit Suisse said. Over that time frame, apparel's share of the mall market fell to 58 percent from 60 percent, while fashion, accessories and beauty products jumped to 32 percent from 27 percent.
Of course, there was the Great Recession in there, and it's easy and cheaper to update a wardrobe with a bag than a whole new look and so on. And eventually -- since I believe in the notion that what goes up must come down -- women will tire of having so many bags and look again with favor on apparel.
But it might take a while, since success in marketing is a self-replicating affair. When something works, retailers do more of it. And then even more of it.
As Credit Suisse said: "Increasing capital investment in alternative categories continues, suggesting the next five years will see continued share shift away from fashion apparel."
The analysts noted that stores are just starting to reset their footwear offerings, that accessories are taking floor space and that beauty goods are getting more attention.
All of this is going to lead to more and more and more. Until it leads to less and the next great fashion resurgence. But when will that come, and who will be around to take advantage of it?
Strong Words, Fashion Lets It Fly tag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.69198362013-05-03T21:17:32Z2013-05-03T21:35:21ZEvery once in a great while the fashion industry hits a sleepy patch and a week passes when nobody says much of anything -- at least in a public forum that we can scrutinize....Evan Clark- Deputy Editor, Business
This was not one of those weeks. Whether it was due to the seriousness of events, the onset of spring or something in the water, the fashion and retail crowd was ready and willing to speak their minds this week. Let's take a look at what was said.
"I'm troubled by the deafening silence from other apparel retailers on this." -- Galen Weston, executive chairman of Joe Fresh parent Loblaw Cos., on compensating victims of the Savar, Bangladesh, factory collapse.
Global supply chains are global, extremely complex and difficult to manage. It is possible for bad things to happen at factories that make goods for well-meaning brands. But just like some of the profits from factory workers' labors find their way back to the brands, so should some of the responsibility when something goes wrong.
"We want to know what every product in the world is. We want to know who every person in the world is. And we want to have the ability to connect them together in a transaction." -- Neil Ashe, president and ceo of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Global eCommerce unit
This is either a rhetorical flourish of hitherto untold proportions, a case of hubris or a sign that the $469.2 billion Wal-Mart is serious about continuing its growth curve. If the latter turns out to be the case, everyone else in retail better watch out.
"We have rationalized [during] the last five years. That's good news for the operating companies around America. It's bad news for the unemployment rate. Those people that we laid off in 2008 and 2009, there's no need for us to hire back. We've gotten more efficient. We've gotten more productive." --Ronald Perelman, billionaire financier and chairman of Revlon Inc.
OK, so that sounds kind of rough, but he's probably right. Capitalism is an unfortunately messy affair. Here's hoping that the tech start ups from Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley are successful enough to snap up the talent other companies are leaving behind.
"I would characterize the high end of retailing as undergoing an enormous period of transformation. There's more change going on than most of us have seen in our careers, and a lot has to do with omnichannel." --Steve Sadove, ceo, Saks Inc.
After two years of being sure that omnichannel was an empty buzz word, I've finally figured it out. Omnichannel is to retailing what convergence was to tech gadgets. The cell phone became a camera, a video camera, a computer, a map and on and on. Now stores are doubling as warehouses for e-commerce sites. That size two woman looking for a yellow dress in Kansas can order online, the dress is pulled off the rack wherever it is and shipped. That's one more full-priced sale and a better profit margin via the magic of omnichannel.
Here's hoping next week is as interesting.]]>
Judge Oing Knows But He Won't Saytag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.69096002013-04-25T18:21:56Z2013-04-25T18:27:00Z After two months listening to a small army of lawyers bicker back and forth over the sale of Martha Stewart-designed goods, it's safe to say that presiding Judge Jeffrey Oing has made up his mind on how he will...Alexandra Steigrad- Accessories News Editor / Legal Reporter
As the case wound down Tuesday and the defendants brought in expert
witnesses to testify about surveys they conducted, Oing seemed to be at
the end of his rope.
"I've had enough surveys to last me a lifetime," he said, in response to
Macy's lawyer Theodore Grossman's plea to bring in its own expert to
rebut the day's testimony.
"No means no Mr. Grossman," an exasperated Oing said, as he explained
that he had three boxes of files from discovery sitting at his feet and
ample testimony on the record from the trial. More testimony wasn't
warranted or welcomed.
He scolded all three legal teams, telling them that even though they
tried to frame the case as "complicated," the core issue was simple.
"This is a straightforward contract case," he said.
This wasn't the first time Oing lost his cool during the trial. Often,
the judge would stop the lawyers dead in their tracks during their
examination to ask his own series of questions to the witnesses.
The practice shaved off what would most likely amount to hours of
needless testimony, and it seemed to only underscore the fact that Oing
had a clear sense of what questions he needed answered to make his
Now that the case has wrapped and closing arguments are the only thing
keeping Oing from delivering a decision, I can't help but think that
he's already begun drafting his opinion.]]>
Girl Scouts: Geniuses of Scarcity tag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.68690282013-03-26T18:45:48Z2013-03-26T22:12:21ZI am a complete and absolute sucker for Thin Mints....Evan Clark- Deputy Editor, Business
It is a near-religious belief in my life that there is no finer way to get 25 percent of one's daily allotment of saturated fat than by eating four of the little marvels.
And although that is an immutable truth in my heart of hearts (and taste buds), my retail mind knows better. Intellectually, at least, I can acknowledge that my love of the Girl Scouts' Thin Mints is a product not of a magical bakery somewhere, but of ritual and the very successful marketing of scarcity.
On one level, the whole thing is totally insane. There are tons of really good cookies available all over the place and at fair prices. No other cookie brand demands that I know someone with a daughter in the Scouts, that I sign up for my purchase and then wait untold weeks until they appear on my desk one morning (as they did today).
Then again, there are no other cookies I look forward to for months. There are no other cookies I think about more than five minutes in advance.
Sometimes I wish Thin Mints were readily available in stores, but I know that would ruin them. I like the process, the sign-up, the anticipation and the knowledge that once I have my four boxes, that's all I'm likely to get for the year.
This is a trick that high-end handbag makers discovered years ago when wait lists made their wares all the more delectable.
I'm not looking for total reversal of the modern age. I like that so much is available all the time and at the press of a button, that I don't have to go hunting for the right kinds of T-shirts or pine away for jackets that I can't find in my size.
But I also love that some things -- even simple, little things -- just aren't available all the time. If brands and fashion companies and consumer products people could figure out a way to create more things that are less available, our lives would have just a tiny bit more special in them. And that would be a very good and delicious thing.]]>
The Passionate Reader: March 19, 2013tag:blog.wwd.com,2013:/wwd//1.68548412013-03-19T19:28:00Z2013-03-19T19:36:52ZPatricia Volk's new book, "Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli and Me" (Alfred A. Knopf), is a memoir about what she considers two of her biggest influences, her mother, Audrey Morgen Volk, and designer Elsa Schiaparelli, whose fragrance, Shocking de Schiaparelli, her...Lorna Koski
At 10, Volk read the designer's autobiography, "Shocking Life," and
considered it what she calls a "transformative" experience. Volk weaves
together stories about her mother (a great beauty who worked as a
hostess at her husband's Garment District restaurant Morgen's West) and
Schiaparelli. The designer was thought of as a belle laide, which
translates literally as "pretty ugly" but means a woman who is striking,
rather than beautiful. Elsa's older sister, Beatrice, was the beauty of
the family, as was Volk's sister, Jo Ann. Volk's mother Audrey took her
beauty very seriously and considered her face her fortune. The
Surrealist-influenced Schiaparelli compensated for her
less-than-classically-lovely appearance by becoming a designer whose
extreme personal chic and original designs made her a style leader.
There are many photographs in the book that depict Volk's family and
Schiaparelli's friends and pivotal designs. Other belles laides
mentioned in the book: Diana Vreeland and Wallis Warfield Simpson, who
became the Duchess of Windsor. This is Volk's second memoir; she has
also written "Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family," along with
two short-story collections and a novel. The new book, of course, is
encased in a jacket of shocking pink (Schiap's signature color).
Margaret Talbot's touching, affectionate book "The Entertainer: Movies,
Magic and My Father's 20th Century" (Riverhead Books) brings her father,
actor Lyle Talbot, to life. She also gives us a history of
entertainment in the 20th century, since his career spanned many of its
forms: vaudeville, theater, movies and TV. He began as a magician's
assistant and always felt that when things looked dicey, something would
turn up. It did. When he got a telegram to go to Hollywood to test for
the movies, for instance, the owner of his latest theater company had
absconded, and he had only $5 in his pocket, so he had to ask the agent
who had contacted him for funds to travel. Lyle made the transition from
potential star to reliable character actor, and even in his personal
life, which was characterized by short-lived marriages, something turned
up. His much-younger, later-in-life bride, Margaret's mother Paula,
whom she calls his "personal jar of sunlight," brought him happiness and
a family he had wanted but thought that he would never have. Among his
children was Margaret, a writer at The New Yorker and now his
Mary R. Morgan's book, "Beginning With the End: A Memoir of Twin Loss
and Healing" (Vantage Point Books), tells a story that's familiar to
many but not previously told from her point of view. The R. in Morgan's
name stands for Rockefeller, and she's a therapist and the twin sister
of Michael Rockefeller, who disappeared in November 1961 while on an
ethnographic and art-collecting trip to visit the Asmat tribe in what
was then Netherlands New Guinea. The boat in which he and Dutch
anthropologist René Wassing were travelling at the time overturned;
their local guides swam the river and went for help. Rockefeller got
tired of waiting for aid to arrive and decided to swim for it, at a
place about 12 miles from shore. Wassing stayed with the overturned boat
in the river and was eventually rescued, but Rockefeller was never seen
again and his body never found. This was worldwide news at the time.
Michael was declared dead three years later. By then their father,
Nelson Rockefeller, then the four-term (!) governor of New York, who had
left the twins' mother -- also named Mary -- two months before Michael
vanished, had married his second wife, Happy. But the book is really
about Mary's extended recovery from the loss of her twin, and she makes a
good case for the idea that it's more difficult to cope with such a
loss than that of any other type of sibling. After 9/11, Morgan did
grief counseling, specializing in twin loss; 46 twins died in the
Short stories have become more popular of late, possibly because they're
bite-size and somewhat easier to read on handheld devices than longer
forms of fiction and nonfiction. That said, Sam Lipsyte's short stories
are in a class by themselves, with their mordant wit and unexpected
twists, as those in his second and latest short-story collection, "The
Fun Parts" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), illustrate. Lipsyte himself is
a former performer in a noise band who has held onto his sense of black
humor through the adult rites of passage that often seem to force
attitude adjustments for others -- i.e., marrying and having children. He
manages to retain his wicked, wasted point of view about everything,
committing it to transactions that take place in relationships,
friendships and marriages and even -- sacré bleu! -- parenthood.
But there's still room for a good novel, such as Charles Dubow's
"Indiscretion" (William Morrow/HarperCollins), which concerns a
glamorous couple in their forties, noted writer Harry Winslow and his
wife, Madeline, who are introduced to the charming young twentysomething
Claire. They take her up, and she becomes the third person in their
relationship when she falls in love with Harry. Of course, any golden
couple in a modern novel must come to dust, and the plot here is no
exception to that brass-bound rule. It's to Dubow's credit that the
story plays out in a believable manner.
The jacket copy of Edward Ball's latest book, "The Inventor and the
Tycoon: A Gilded Age Murder and the Birth of Moving Pictures"
(Doubleday), describes its theme as the "true story of the partnership
between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who
built the railroads." Ball also wrote "Slaves in the Family" (1998),
which won the National Book Award. Eadweard Muybridge, a pioneering
photographer, originally from England, who changed his name several
times throughout his life, teamed up with railway magnate Leland
Stanford, later the founder of Stanford University. The reason: The
latter wanted to know the answer to the question of what happened to a
horse's hooves when the equine galloped. Was there ever a period of time
when all four hooves were off the ground? And if so, in which direction
were the hooves facing at the time?
Stanford also helped pay for his defense when Muybridge unexpectedly
learned that his wife Flora had been unfaithful to him with a San
Francisco con artist, Harry Larkyns. The photographer tracked Larkyns
down and shot him to death in front of witnesses, but when the case went
to court, the verdict that came back was "justifiable homicide." Even
in those freewheeling days, the letter of the law didn't really jibe
with this verdict, but no jury would convict Muybridge after learning
that his spouse had been in the habit of seeing another man while he was
away on his standard long photography trips. Flora often went to the
theater with Larkyns -- which Muybridge had told her not to do -- and was
with him at the birth of her son, a child that was probably not his.
After his acquittal, Muybridge created many of the thousands of
photographs for which he is known, among them the celebrated trotting
horse sequence. At one point he got the University of Pennsylvania to
back his photography for several years. He had complete freedom to
choose his subjects, and many of his shots depicted models -- men, women
and even himself -- in the nude. Not surprisingly, the university found
this all a bit worrying. Their solution was to fire painter Thomas
Eakins, who had been one of his principal backers.]]>