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Friday 2 October 2009

Vendôme Luxury Paris

Opening on 3rd October and running until 6th October, Vendôme Luxury is the place to be this month. Vendôme Luxury reaffirms its position as the premium Parisian tradeshow by continuing to present the most elegant clothes and accessories from upscale designers. Evening bags in the finest crocodile, python, and glittering crystals have become a staple in our selection of high-end accessories at Park Hyatt Vendôme. This season, the venue with its exotic and refined atmosphere has the added distinction of introducing Marchesa’s first accessories collection.

At a few metres distance, Le Meurice is the setting for our selection of cutting-edge women’s readyto- wear : a bastion of traditional Parisian elegance offering a historical counterpoint to contemporary style. Our side-by-side exhibition of contemporary art not only accentuates this unique juxtaposition but offers visitors a broader perspective of fashion. While signature styles from established houses such as Judith Leiber and Missoma form the core of our selection, Vendôme Luxury continues to honour its reputation as a fashion industry trailblazer by supporting fresh new talent. Mai Lamore, who is presenting her eponymous line of handcrafted shoes, is the latest in a series of designers (such as Ivana Helsinki, Isabel Marant,Christopher Lemaire, Erdem...) launched by Carole de Bona, the event’s founder and co-ordinator.

Through the medium of contemporary art,Vendôme Luxury’s new edition will be shown within a specially-crafted setting that reflect an esoteric and rarefied aesthetic inspired by the theme “Through the Looking Glass.”

Cutting Edge Designers at le meurice - 6, rue de castiglione include:

Afterglow, Catherine Deane, David Fielden, Gaïa Pace, Jade Jager, Marc Bouwer, Megan Park, Nina Skarra, Noir, Ports 1961, and many others.

High-end Accessories at park hyatt - 5, rue de la paix include:

A Cuckoo Moment, Amishi, Assya, Babe, Byzantia Jewelry, Celestina Maynila New York, Cleo B, Coralia Leets, Dassios, Fiona Paxton, and many others

Culinary Design Exhibition

Culinary design is an emerging movement first developed nearly ten years ago by Marc Brétillot, a teacher at the École Supérieure d’Art et de Design in Reims, France. The designers involved in the emancipation of this movement are fairly young and are creating quite a stir in the media. Anything is still possible: parquet made of chocolate, fanciful tarts, gigantic vegetables, or other incongruous creations.

The creation of macro sculptures and sound and video also contribute to exploring new forms of expression within the movement. With culinary design the idea isn’t to make fried eggs look more aesthetic, and the designers are not necessarily top chefs. They are helping to liberate the last deeply rooted taboos associated with food: “We need to sweep away the codes and break the traditional rules” (Marc Brétillot).

Whether or not it can be eaten is perhaps beside the point, as it is the design concept that remains the focus of interest. In Alice in Wonderland we see what lies beyond the looking glass, to see things that are astonishing, original, to discover apparitions that defy expectations and refuse to conform to rules. This then is the ideal subject to provide the framework for the most inclusive exhibition of culinary design this movement has ever seen.

Through the Looking Glass

Why then is all this going to feature in the Vendôme Luxury during the Paris Fashion Week? In an event where fashion seems to be locked into the strict rules of the market, culinary design can play the freedom trump card. Here, in the Vendôme Luxury Trade Show with what it has to offer to professional buyers. There, through the looking glass, Vendôme Luxury Live will allow imagination to soar. Perhaps this will have an impact and therefore open up a new perspective for all visitors .
A mirror only shows the appearance and physical aspect of things. What lies through the looking glass is what we will be looking for on the 3rd to the 6th October 2009 in the Hotel Meurice with Vendôme Luxury Live.

A Shaded View Of Vendôme Luxury
Internationally recognised as a fashion icon, Diane Pernet is the face and brains behind the acclaimed blog AShadedViewOnFashion.com and helped launch Iqons.com, the first social networking site for the fashion community. Although best known for her work in fashion design, Diane originally trained as a filmmaker. Having launched her own label in the 1980s, her avant-garde creations made her one of New York’s “it” designers of the era. She relocated to Paris some 13 years later, reinventing herself as a fashion journalist (Joyce, Elle.com, Vogue.fr, Dutch…) all the while keeping her passion for (and involvement in) her art of origin – film.

Having not only worked for many years as a fashion designer and filmmaker, Diane also had a stint as a costume designer for cinema (an obvious choice for a woman equally impassioned by fashion and film). She is regularly solicited to curate and consult for numerous fashion and photography festivals, and also acts as a talent scout for the Festival de Hyères and the Milan White Club. In 2006, she cofounded the travelling film festival You Wear It Well before independently launching A Shaded View On Fashion Film 2008.

Over the years, Pernet has made many fashion films of her own, and has also been captured on the other side of the camera, through cameo appearances in Robert Altman’s film Pret-a-Porter and Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate. Due to the depth and variety of her work in the fields of fashion and the arts in general, Diane Pernet has been named the ambassador for the new edition of Vendôme Luxury Live. She represents a whole generation of benefactors to champion the fashion for art cause, and embodies the spirit of Vendôme Luxury.

Based at luxury hotels around the famed Place Vendôme after which the event takes its name, Vendôme Luxury is now a ‘must-see’ event for professionals attending Paris Fashion Week. In March 2009 alone, the event attracted more than 5000 fashion and trade professionals from 32 countries spanning 3 continents.
Buyers from Japan constituted 25% of the overall attendance - an all-time high - followed by France(16%), Italy (15%), Middle East (13%), USA (11%), UK (10%), Russia (7%), and others (7%). The highest growth in attendance was represented by the Middle East (up 60% from last year) surpassing the USA (down 16%), followed by Russia (up 46%).

Vendôme Luxury is widely recognised by leading French (Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, Le Bon Marché, Montaigne Market…) and international (Neiman Marcus, Takashimaya, Harvey Nichols, Harrods…) department stores as well as by trendsetting boutiques such as Maria Luisa, Colette, Dover Street Market, Corso Como, Podium, Tsum, Boutique1, etc.

Vendome Luxury
October 2009, 3rd-6th
10 am to 10 pm, except 6th October 2009 : 10 am to 7 pm.

Le Meurice
6, rue de Castiglione
75001 Paris
Park Hyatt Vendôme
5, rue de la Paix
75002 Paris


New Issue Out Today

Aesthetica’s October-November issue examines the prelude to the recession through Tate Modern’s concentration on the business of art in Pop Life: Art in the Material World, and Martin Parr’s irreverent Luxury, while Julian Stallabrass discusses the role of art in our post-consumer culture. Counteracting this socio-political focus, Daniela da Prato argues for de-contextualising works of Middle Eastern artists with Golden Gates, and Alex Box relocates the fashion shoot into the realm of fine art.

Jacques Martineau’s Born in ’68 mythologizes the French student riots as a genesis of a new society and explores the fall out of free love, and Sadler’s Wells remembers the innovation of Sergei Diaghilev 100 years on with provocative collaborations across the worlds of dance, music and design. Looking forward, This CD Doesn’t Sell speculates on the future of live and recorded music and Aesthetica launches a new search for the best short filmmakers.

New work from Attica Locke is published with an excerpt of Black Water Rising while Keith Donohue discusses the role of human hope and heartache in his new novel Angels of Destruction. With all the best exhibitions, productions, music and writing releases of the coming months, Aesthetica reconsiders the consequences of significant events in the cultural memory.

Check it out today from WH Smith, Borders, galleries, newsagents or direct from www.aestheticamagazine.com

Monday 28 September 2009

Gideon Koppel chats to Aesthetica

[Image credits: Image of Gideon Koppel, copyright David Swindells. Further images stills from Sleep Furiously]

As Aesthetica is teaming up with the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange this October for the Inside Out Festival, we have had a chat with award-winning film-maker Gideon Koppel, an and academic at the Royal Holloway, in anticipation of his work at Inside Out Festival. Koppel will be leading a discussion with Theodore Zeldin about a new kind of film-based portaiture at the National Portrait Gallery. There will also be a screening and panel discussion of his mesmerising film Sleep Furiously.

See the latest issue of Aesthetica (Issue 31, Oct/Nov) for a Q&A with fellow Inside Out contributor Julian Stallabrass, as the writer, curator, photographer and lecturer discusses art and the economy, globalisation and the image.

Can you tell me a bit about inside out festival and how you got involved with that?
As I understand it, the Festival is a way of making more public the work of academics and exploring the space between what’s deemed commercial public work and what goes on in Universities.

Can you tell me a bit about your section at Inside Out?
I am both an artist/film-maker and academic at Royal Holloway where I teach an MA in documentary. My film ‘Sleep Furiously’ was a research output – so it is gratifying that it has gone on to be one of the most visible British independent films this year I think that it was Andrew O’Hagan who described it as one “the most beautifully elemental documentary films to have emerged in Britain in over a decade...” As well as a screening of the film followed by a discussion with Ian Christie, Annette Kuhn and Philip Crang, Theodore Zeldin and I will be talking about our explorations to find new forms of portraiture.

You’re discussing a new kind of portraiture at the festival, how far do you feel it’s possible to reflect the complexity of modern individuals in a film-based portrait?I’m not concerned with absolutes - that is to say I’m more interested in the question whether it is possible that any notion of an answer. I think that it is also important to recognize that it what you are asking is a two way process: perhaps the ways of looking at and experiencing portraiture might change, as well as the portraits which are being made.

Do you think it was more important in Sleep Furiously to make a statement about the community or more to simply reflect its nature?
I have to answer that question by saying that Sleep Furiously isn’t intended to be a film ABOUT the community of Trefeurig, so in that sense I don’t regard the film as ‘a documentary’ - or at least what documentary has become associated with now. For me the film is more to do with moments of intimacy, human gesture… and juxtaposing them with sense of space and time of the landscape. Then the landscape of sleep furiously for me is much more of an internal landscape than an external landscape. And it has a quality of childhood about it. In that sense it has a quality of my own childhood; but I’ve tried to make it have more universal sensibilities. The journey of the film could be described as one from nature to culture.

Does the paradoxical nature of the title reflect the cyclical events of the film?
I think your way of understanding it is really interesting and I really like that, but I don’t want to get involved in analysing my own work right now. In a way your question links to an aspect of the film. I think we live in a world which is so demanding of empirical truths that it becomes like a sort of cultural fascism: people want to know what something is ABOUT rather than simply experiencing it. In a way the title of a film or painting works in a more associative level – it can offer clues but I don’t think it’s for the artist or filmmaker to EXPLAIN it.

How do you feel the economic recession has hit film, do you think it’s important to film?
Yes, filmmaking is affected by the economic climate. Filmmaking is still - perhaps - unnecessarily expensive.

Do you think its affect is important to you in your work?
In any kind of creative process, the restrictions that you work with are a part of the work and you find ways of improvising and adapting around whatever limitations evolve. There always will be constraints.

Do you feel that globalisation and the rise of online culture have changed the role and value of contemporary film?
I don’t know. I mean all it makes me feel is that there’s so much stuff out there. There’s too much stuff. I don’t think that anyone need make another film…

Some people maybe think that’s liberating, do you think its degrading to the value of things when there’s too much of it?
No I don’t think it's degrading; I think that it becomes a bit overwhelming.

Everyone talks about contemporary artists pushing the boundaries of art and culture do you think film does this in the same way?
I don’t know how you distinguish between a filmmaker and an artist. For me, the film makers who are interesting are artists… they are people that are in some way innovative or most importantly provoke me to look at the world in a different way.

Do you think the idea of film as a more commercial form of art needs to be changed in some way?
There have always been very different kinds of cinema and the boundaries are constantly changing. I would be happier if there was less categorization. You know that when ‘sleep furiously’ was released non of the ‘tabloid press’ came to see it at the press screenings. They branded it too arty without even having the curiousity to check it out. Then their fascistic form of censorship is handed out to their readership. I guess this is what politicians call democracy.

Do you feel that in a world where the image is everywhere and we operate on a visual basis, do you think that visual film and documentary has a world altering impact any longer?
Well it seems to me that since the 1920s, film makers and artists from Vertov to more contemporary practitioners like Chris Marker have used notions of documentary as a way of making work and qualifying work that didn’t have a conventional screen play or a conventional script. That is to say, making work which is open ended. So I think that you’ve got to use the word documentary very cautiously: documentary was once an idiom of film making, and of fine art practice, and now it’s been conflated by broadcasters and even academics with factual television programme production. That is to say, polemical themes and journalistic structures prevail over visual observations and lyrical stories. The camera is used more as a recording device, than a kind of microscope which contains, discovers and evokes dynamics of the world that otherwise pass by unnoticed.

There’s this phrase of ‘compassion fatigue’ how do you feel about that as a label? And with a film such as yours which does seems to be intimate and personal as a way of going against this idea?
I don’t know the phrase. But as I understand it and in answer to your question I don’t make things to illicit specific response from the audience. That’s propaganda.

I think the soundtrack is very important- how do you feel the soundtrack to your film works with it, is it just as important as the visual for you?
I think of the sounds and the music in ‘sleep furiously’ as one. I think about the microphone like I do the camera – as a kind of microscope on the world. Not merely to record sounds that accompany or illustrate the image, but to create another dimension to the picture. This approach was developed in post production by Joakim Sundström – a brilliant sound supervisor – who created movements of sound which evoked the character-like presence of ‘the land’ and the ever-changing light, skies and weather. We talked about juxtapositions of scale – for instance rather than losing the tiny figure walking in the vastness of the landscape, she is given a particular presence as sound of her footsteps cuts through the gusting of wind.

Richard’s [Aphex Twin’s] music naturally found its way into the film from very early on in the editing process. It is not an accompaniment, but becomes an form of voice for the each of the main characters. I sent Richard a DVD of a rough edit of ‘sleep furiously’ – he really liked the film but was irritated by the way I had edited the music: cutting tracks short, repeating sections… we were both sorry that there wasn’t time for him to compose a specific soundtrack. The music is such a vital part of the film - I am really grateful to Richard for his support of the film.

So how do you feel that you’re going to move on from this? What’s your next plan?
Well I have several more projects that I’m working on, which one will be the next one, I’m not sure. The next one will be the one that’s financed first. I know what I want that to be but that’s not necessarily the one that’ll happen… but it never works like that

Could you tell me about the one you’d like to do next or is that under wraps until it happens?
I think it’s better to keep it under wraps, I think its tempting fate to discuss it.

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