Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cirque Berzerk!

For my birthday at the beginning of the month, my friends treated me to the amazing Los Angeles indie spectacle that is Cirque Berzerk. The show closed on August 9th, but it has already been brought back once due to popular demand, and I have a strong feeling that this is not the last we'll be hearing of Cirque Berzerk.


Advertised as a "gothic, adult circus"(or in the words of a co-worker: "Cirque du Soleil gone very, very wrong"), Cirque Berzerk explores themes of mortality, greed, fame, and questioning social norms. Just so you know where this is going, Cirque Berzerk was founded by a group of performers that connected at Burning Man, the drug induced, mentally insane hippie clusterfuck that takes place every summer in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. The show is basically a modern re-telling of Orpheus' descent into the underworld. Set in a hellish place populated by freaks, murderous clowns, fire breathers, ballerinas and a jaw dropping trampoline act, it tells the story of a small town girl that sells her soul to the underworld she wishes she were a part of, and her journey to become one of them. I'm sure nobody in the Angeleno-filled audience could relate.


The best part about the show was that despite that it's relatively small venue, the level of talent and effort put forth by cast and crew was astonishing. Yes, there are stage hands that run in the aisles laying cable. Yes, the front rows are close enough to the stage that you could extend your foot and trip a clown. And yes, the entire big top spectacle takes place on an abandoned cornfield on the outskirts of downtown. But all of that doesn't matter. It may even add to the fact that as you're watching the show you get the feeling that you're witnessing something that has never been attempted before. It's truly groundbreaking, and Cirque Berzerk will obviously going to serve as inspiration for large-scale shows in the future, as Cirque du Soleil shows grow more mainstream and become passe and the public begins to search for something new. Hopefully Cirque Berzerk will be able to find a permanent home and continue their foray into inventive alternative performances.
As in fashion, performers seek inspiration from all areas of life, and use their costumes to illustrate important parts of the story they're telling. Do I even need to tell you how badly I wanted to wear a leotard and high-waisted hot pants with fishnets after I saw this show? My roommate advised against walking around in public in said outfit but I do see a night out at the Abbey in its future.
So, here are some ideas for translating the circus clothes that look so great onstage into your everyday wardrobe...

Valentino red. The man may have retired, but the color will never quit. This dress is perfect for channeling your inner circus starlet. Black thigh-high stockings and t-strap heels are a nod to cabaret, while the flowing fabric of the gown is a dramatic contrast to what lies beneath.

Obviously, I have to talk about a
Balmain jacket. One of the hottest trends for fall, these things are great for indulging your inner ringleader. Top hat and whip sold separately.


Sometimes, less is more. But not usually. So, pile on the accessories because stuff like these embellished "scoop" gloves from LaCrasia are just fun to wear.
Repetto ballet flats at Fred Segal Red is the hottest color of the fall, and every stylish girl should own at least one pair of Repetto flats.
When seeking inspiration from a theatrical production, the most important thing to remember is that you are not onstage. Unless you are Lady Gaga, there is no back row that you are dressing for. So, keep the ideas you loved from the show and make them work for you and your life. A pair of red flats, sexy stockings under a classic dress, or a highly coveted jacket will go a long way in the real world. Swiping style tips from costume designers can also be a fun way to experiment without adding to your wardrobe. Skinny jeans tucked into a tall, flat boot or a leotard under jeans topped with a structured jacket are other ways to bring the circus home with you.

Your Golden Girl,

Olive







Images courtesy of: Colin Young-Wolff for the LA Times, Brion Topolski for Fabrik Magazine, MetroxMixLA, Valentino, Balmain, LaCrasia, and Fred Segal

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to Life

After a short recess, I have returned back to Los Angeles. I have spent the last week sunning myself and admiring the beauty of nature in Key West. From the simplicity and history of Hemingway House to the beautiful coral reef off the coast of Looe Key, I have returned feeling rejuvenated and full of inspiration. I can't wait to share some of my ideas about everything from modern takes on island fashion, to a great charity I discovered while down there.

Stay tuned, as I definitely have some catching up to do with V is for Olive, but in the next few days a slew of posts will be added that are sure to inspire and entertain!

Stay Golden, but remember to always wear sunblock!

Your Golden Girl,

Olive

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

G-G-G-Gia!

A few nights ago, I watched Gia, the HBO film starring Angelina Jolie, based on the life of supermodel Gia Carangi.



The film has a great quote at the beginning: "When you are very of the moment, that moment inevitably must end." Gia rose to fame quickly straight out of high school and died alone in 1987 after contracting AIDS. She would show up to photo shoots high, was featured on the cover of every major magazine, partied like she never had to wake up early the next morning, and had sex with a variety of men and women. She was a supermodel before anybody even used that term. Forget self-proclaimed "first supermodels" Janice Dickinson, or Cindy Crawford. Gia was first. Nowadays somebody like Gia is sought after, but back then her erratic behavior lead to her demise. Even the supermodels of the mid-1990's would have had a tough time defining themselves if Gia didn't blaze the trail, and set a standard of looking unique and projecting your own personality into photo shoots.

Unfortunately, the dangers of IV drug use and unprotected sex weren't widely known in those days, and Gia contracted AIDS and was shunned by the fashion community until her death. In those days, people didn't build empires or provide guidance for young models. Models were disposable and she was very tragically tossed aside by the very world that built her up. If you would like to donate to or participate in the Los Angeles AIDS Walk, you can follow the link. It is a great event that helps a lot of people and there may even be a walk taking place in your home city.



While she is rarely given credit, the film helped expose Gia to a larger audience and showed people that AIDS is a devastating illness and that those who are suffering from it should not be treated as lepers.



Your Golden Girl,



Olive





Image courtesy of gia-carangi.com

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Current Wishful Drinking: Louis Vuitton Jeweled Leggings

Once again, I have fallen in love with something far out of my price range, from Louis Vuitton, and covered in sparkles. As much as I try to add bits of understated sophistication to my wardrobe, it is inevitable that I will end up with something like this for pretty much every occasion:


Just like with the Chloe campaign, I am dreaming of cold weather so that I have an excuse to sweep my hair into an electro-shock bun ontop of my head, and live in sky-high heels, a tight turtleneck sweater, and structured bubble skirt with these jeweled leggings from Louis Vuitton. I cannot help it, I am obsessed with this silhouette. It flatters nearly every body type, from pear to pencil and reminds me of ballerinas, vintage YSL, and most importantly, Paris in the winter.
But the real brilliance of the entire ensemble is the aforementioned leggings. Spandex, and sparkled with intricate beading details. Absolute perfection in legging form. These were featured in a photo spread in the July 2009 issue of Vogue, where my interest was initially sparked. Upon further inspection, I discovered several reasons to love them. We have seen black cotton stretch leggings. Then gray. Then perhaps camel. Or prints from denim to leopard. Don't get me wrong, this is wonderful. I love leggings. In fact, I love them so much I want to wear them even when I'm being fancy. And now thanks to one Mr. Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, I can.

Leighton Meister was even kind enough to test drive the look for me at this past Met Costume Institute Gala. While the look was widely panned, I think that was due more to the fact that she wore a head-to-toe runway look.
I think she looked great, but some people felt that the look didn't suit her. The key to pulling off something as bold as this look with flying colors is to mix it up a bit, and put your own style stamp on it. Add unexpected accessories or change out the suggested shoe for something equally as loud, but more masculine. Let people know that you chose to wear the clothes, not the other way around.


Your Golden Girl,
Olive
Images courtesy of coutorture.com, WWD.com, and style.com/vogue