Friday, April 25, 2008

gwyneth; art and fashion

Many people have already written about Gwyneth Paltrow's seeming "new look" since cutting her hair shorter (it feels almost like Reese Witherspoon's post-divorce Nina Ricci makeover, only there's been no divorce), so I'm only going to mention a few of the looks that have really caught my eye from her recent press tour for Iron Man.

There is very little I don't love of this picture of Gwyneth taken in Rome (if you must know, it's the shoes!). She's wearing a classic little black dress but it's an interesting one with lots of folds and intricate draping. She has my dream hair, just a hint of a spring tan (how does she look so good pale?) and is just radiant overall. If you are a bit creepy like me and like to look at the tiny details, she has two rings on the same hand, one looks like a big diamond but the really nice touch is a ruby surrounded by small diamonds worn on her pinky. She went with a classic pale pink manicure as well which I think is one of the marks of someone with impeccable classic taste -- making sure nails go with jewels. I also get a kick out of seeing her unabashedly towering over Robert Downey Jr!

Here she is in Berlin in a black minidress with pixilated sparkling accents that create a portrait. I suppose I like this dress because it reminds me of one of my favorite paintings, Salvador Dali's "Madonna in an ear" which similarly uses only black and white dots as in newspaper photographs to create a double image of the Madonna and of an ear.
(click to enlarge)

It's a timely analogy, because just today I was appreciating what I think it one of the most original fashion spreads I've seen in a while: this month's cover story for Harper's Bazaar with Julianne Moore. In it, she re-creates famous paintings by Edgar Degas, Egon Schiele, and John Singer Sargent, among others. I like the clever styling of these images to use contemporary clothing but be as faithful to the original as possible, but I also find it interesting how each photo, if not in this context, could believably be from a fashion editorial now. And I'm sure this was a lot more fun for Julianne than many magazine photoshoots can be!

I think that my favorite of the photographs is this one in which she re-creates John Currin's painting "The Cripple." Both she and the dress are a perfect match for this image, and like the painting she manages to capture the simultaneous retro feel and modernity that is so much at play in fashion right now.

View all the pictures at Harper's Bazaar

John Currin happens to be one of my favorite contemporary artists. I like that he goes back to a somewhat conventional medium of painting but makes things that really connect with things that are important today; and he does so with simplicity, grace, and often humor. My favorite painting of his is below, titled "Heartless." Clever, n'est pas?

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin