A new model of masculinity was on display at the men’s runway shows for spring as designers tapped into today’s tectonic cultural shifts to offer softer, more fluid and gender-bending styles, including pearls and handbags for men. It all generated an artistic vibe, as seen here in a Comme des Garçons coat with pleated sleeves and shorts suit.
Sixties-era model and muse Peggy Moffitt, known for her distinctive five-point Vidal Sassoon haircut, harlequin eye makeup and for her collaboration with the late L.A. designer Rudi Gernreich, is poised to become her own brand.
Sage Licensing has revealed the development of a licensing program in fashion apparel and accessories based on the famed model, who made waves when she posed in Gernreich’s topless monokini in 1964. The deal is being spearheaded by the group’s president Bruce Giuliano, who has worked with Hello Kitty and Paul Frank, among other creative properties.
A native of Los Angeles, Moffitt studied acting, which led to roles in “Blow-up” and other films, and dance, which influenced her taste in clothing and her balletic style of modeling — and caught the eye of Gernreich, known for his avant-garde, body-con style. Her late husband, photographer William Claxton, also contributed to her legacy with his iconic Sixties images of the model.
Moffitt, 79, who lives in the Hollywood Hills, has been ill in recent months, and has not appeared publicly. The new brand-licensing program coincides with her archival images and clothing being showcased in the “Rudi Gernreich: Fearless Fashion” exhibition on view at L.A.’s Skirball Cultural Center. Open categories for licensing
Ms. Farrell talked to our critic about George Balanchine; her life as a dancer; and her company, which closed shop this month.
NYT > Arts
As far as family lineage goes, Lou Doillon’s tends to supersede her own biography. That’s the deal when your mother is the style icon Jane Birkin, your father is the prolific director Jacques Doillon and your half-sister is the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. Now with the help of & Other Stories, Lou Doillon is writing her own narrative by serving as the muse for the retailer’s Celebration collection.
The raven-haired actress, musician and model has helped & Other Stores’ Paris atelier come up with reimagined classics. Having always been influenced by men’s style in the Seventies, Doillon said, “This was a very easy shoot for me, as the style of this collection was very close to mine. I’m really into the velvet suit with the white shirt.”
Photographed at Le Trianon Theater in the 18th arrondissement, where Doillon staged one of her first performances, the shots include ones of her playing the piano and strumming on the guitar. The musical photos may also serve as a precursor for her third album, which will be out next year. Earlier this month she took to the stage with former Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley and John Grant for three concerts.
“I’ve always adored fashion, as I find
It turns out Victoria Beckham‘s muse isn’t a super-posh jet-setter who hobnobs with royalty (or, alas, a member of the Spice Girls). Rather, the designer has just revealed she finds her inspiration in 17-year-old Estonian model Alexandra Elizabeth Ljadov.
The model was discovered at a festival “while I was eating meat with ketchup” (true story!) and is a self-described tomboy who grew up climbing trees, building tree houses, and playing detectives. Certain activities she loved in her youth are still a draw, like surfing and wakeboarding, but others we can’t envision happening as much—namely, re-creating scenes from America’s Next Top Model.
She seems to have a sweet tooth too, copping to fries and milk shakes as a dinner option during Fashion Week’s frenetic schedule. Her go-to trick for staying focused during busy times isn’t yoga or meditation either. “I need to have my sugary ice cream to keep my mind sharp,” she’s said. The sugar-fueled focus is working: Ljadov walked in 74 shows during the fall ’15 season and has been seen in campaigns for Gucci and Saint Laurent.
Previously, Beckham’s said her work is influenced by retro style. “I get a lot of inspiration from the ’40s and 50s. Everything that I design I would wear myself.” For her latest resort collection, she was influenced by the circus.
Want more muse-worthy style? Check out rare photos of a young Elizabeth Taylor, coming to a photography exhibit soon.
(A BDSM Erotic Romance) An artist on her way up. Artist Sadie MacElroy has landed a sweet gig as the personal assistant to her best friend, Felicia Waters. Despite her scattershot creative nature, she’s a whiz at organizing, planning, and ordering people around. But her sweet gig turns sour at a charity art auction she’s organized when she bumps into a stage lackey and sends a 17th century Qing Dynasty vase crashing to the ground. Electing to take the fall, Sadie attempts to arrange payment of the vase to its owner, eccentric billionaire and (extremely) amateur artist Malcolm Ward. A powerful man on his way down. Malcolm, however, doesn’t care about the money or the vase, or much of anything. His whimsical, eccentric side hides a dark pain and a grim future, and only the promise of Sadie gives him hope. Inspired by his “muse,” Malcolm decides he only wants her, any way he can have her: in front of his camera, under his brush. or in his bed. An intimate passion. Unbeknownst to Sadie, time is running out for Malcolm, and when she discovers his secrets, it’s up to her to convince him that life is worth living, painful scars and all. This bargain priced bundle contains all five installments of the serial novel The Billionaire’s Muse: His Acquisition, His Canvas, His Inspiration, His Obsession and His Masterpiece. 91,000 words of romance, drama, and desire in one package. EXCERPT: He bent down, his face drawing closer and closer to mine. Dizziness overwhelmed me, made the world spin and tilt as he came closer. His scent filled my head, and I thrilled at his nearness, every inch of my body awake and alive to his proximity. Then his full, sensuous lips met mine, and I melted, like wax before a flame. Malcolm Ward could kiss. He wasn’t demanding, not at first. At first he seemed content to gently massage my lips with his, sweet and soft, teasing me down from the height of fear. Slowly the echoes of the past receded, replaced with first a slow smoldering, and then f
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The Muse That Sings is a unique behind-the-scenes look at both twentieth-century music and the nuts and bolts of creative work. Here, twenty-five of America’s leading composers-from Adams to Zorn, from Bolcom to Vierk-talk candidly about their craft, their motivations, their difficulties, and how they how proceed from musical idea to finished composition. While focusing on the process and the stories behind specific works, the composers also touch on topics that will interest anyone involved in creative work. They discuss teachers and mentors, the task of revision, relationships with performers, and the ongoing struggle for a balance between freedom and discipline. They reveal sources of inspiration, artistic goals, and the often unexpected ways their musical ideas develop. Some describe personal tonal systems; others discuss the impact of computers and other electronic tools on their work; still others reflect philosophically on the inner impulses and outer influences that continue to drive them. While serious music has a reputation for being difficult and inaccessible, The Muse That Sings provides a powerful antidote. The composers in this book speak clearly and thoughtfully in response to key questions of concern to all readers interested in contemporary music. Each interview has been edited to stand alone as a concise meditation on muse and technique, and the book includes selected discographies as well as brief biographical sketches. Anyone with an interest in twentieth-century music or in the creative process will find this lively collection a valuable source of inspiration and insight.
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I don’t believe in writer’s block.
There, I said it.
I do believe sometimes you write better than other times.
I was lucky. I grew up in the world of acting and had teachers who taught me that the creative process was not just about listening to your head, it was about listening from a different place, Sandy Miesner called it the impulse. So I learned you find the creative flow by opening the field of vision in order to listen with all of the senses.
After I left the world of acting and eventually learned about spirituality, it was great fun to discover the two disciplines had a lot in common: presence, listening, noticing the voice of the ego vs the voice of spirit.
It was Betty Buckley who opened my eyes to how to be a shamanic creatrix. Of course, she never would have used those words. I was lucky to work as an intern at the Williamstown Theater festival where she was performing. I will never forget sitting in her audience, feeling her song, and understanding for the first time the real power of performance. Betty anchored in the teaching that when you connect to the sacred through your creative act, when you step on to the stage with the intention to connect to the heart of your audience, you can have a profound impact.
I think of it as touching the void, that moment when you allow a universal truth to run through you. You surface something through your words/dance/acting/movement/song that your audience recognizes as true… they can feel it in a place that needs no words, and they experience the inner nod… because you are dancing with the muse.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Elizabeth Gilbert’s great TED TALK, The Elusive Creative Genius, where she discussed how the pressure of believing it is just you creating is enough to drive anyone insane.
But I digress. Lets cut to the chase and focus on the title of this post. If you are living in the illusion that you are creating all on your own and are feeling disconnected from the genius… I hope these tips help you break on through to the other side.
1. Stop Listening to Yourself
If what you are writing is crap, just stop.
Listen. The muse loves to play. All you need to do is be present enough to listen. She’ll come around often and lots when you stop pretending you are the only one creating.
Now that you stopped trying to create, go with the first thing that comes to mind. Even if it seems crazy and out of place, just go with it and see where it takes you. Trust.
2. Do Something That Scares You
I’m not saying jump off a cliff for heaven’s sake. I’m saying step out of your familiar comfort zone. Invite new experiences into your life. See what new conversations take place, what new material presents, what inspiration arises. (This is the quickest way to shake yourself out any kind of rut (right next to doing something good for someone else.)
3. Watch Robin Williams
When Robin died, I did what you did, started watching old videos of his interviews. He was out of control. Some of what he said was hilarious. Some of what he said wasn’t, but the fact that he said it was hilarious. For better or for worse, he didn’t censor what came through him. The result: We loved him for being his wild zany unpredictable self. We’ll probably love you for being your authentic self too… once you start sharing it with us.
3. Listen With Purpose
Imagine yourself surrounded by a muse/guardian angel. All she wants to do is inspire you, but the only way she can speak to you is through the physical things that surround you. NOW the annoying guy in the Starbucks line talking too loudly on his cell phone is about to say the title of your next book, the wind whispering through the pines is going to make you remember a sensation that explains your character in a way you didn’t dare to imagine. You get it. Everything is material. Everything. That little voice speaking…maybe it comes from behind you, inside of you, arrives in your mind’s eye…that is the muse my friend. Just take the first snipit and run like a banshee and don’t look back until you’re done. Edit later. It’s ok. Something will be in there.
4. Step Away
Everyone knows the most brilliant ideas arrive as soon as you get up to go to the bathroom. Why? Because when you’re going on and on for hours with your pals trying to create something epic, your line of vision can become so focused, it becomes narrow. So step away from what you are focusing on and allow your mind’s field of vision to expand again and let the muse in for another spin around the dance floor.
5. Leave No Pencil Behind
Walk with a notebook and pen everywhere you go. Write every little idea that comes to you. Put the ideas for new projects in a special place. Don’t think you will remember them. The muse can be fickle and can take what she offers right after she gives it. So write it all down. Right now. Before you forget. (You can use Evernote for this if you just. can’t. put. down. your. phone.
6. Do What You Love
If you’re still pretending you can’t get through your writer’s block or create anything of worth, then open up a new document, think about that other idea or concept or story idea that totally turns you on, and go for it. You’ll hate me in the morning. Why? Because you’ll stay up all night pacing with new ideas, high as a kite coursing with the passion for this new project, and write the first 17 chapters of your next book. Then you’ll have to decide which one you need to finish first. I apologize in advance. Meanwhile, you played in a river that was flowing and that was fun.
7. Leave Everything Behind And See What You’re Made Of
For an hour, for a day, for a month, for a year. Put the physical things that are taking up your energy aside. Clear all of your psychic debts. Deal with the people you have been avoiding. Clean up your physical space, and there will be so much more room for the muse and the genius to run though you.
8. Just Do It
I thought I had it all figured out until Paul Hawken (who has authored seven books) said something that stopped me in my tracks. He said something along the lines of how he just doesn’t buy it when people say “spirit wrote the book.” He said, YOU write the book. You are the one that sits down every day and writes.
I should add I also don’t believe in waiting for spirit to “move me.” It’s like meditating. It’s a practice, you show up every day and just do it. Some days are great. Some days aren’t as great. (And when spirit does come with a dose of inspiration, you know I right it down asap.)
Now I’m going to confess something. Last night I had a nightmare that this small being that I was caring for ran out into the street and was stabbed by a pitch fork. When I picked it up, there were holes throughout it’s body, but once it was in my hands, the holes healed. The whole day I was terrified that the dream was about the novel I just launched I kickstarter. I offered to give people one chapter at a time as I complete the final draft of the manuscript. (CRAZY.) I think my dream was pointing out my fear that people mike poke holes in this story that I was put in care of creating. I think of stories like that, as having a soul of their own that we have the good fortune of caring for.
It is inevitable, at some point, when you put yourself out there, people won’t care for your creation. But so what. Don’t let that stop you from creating. Most people don’t like the smell of your breath first thing in the morning either. Does that stop you from brushing? My point exactly.
The only reason anything happens is so the next thing can happen. So just keep on going and see what happens next.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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All may be familiar with the experience of working hard on a challenge, getting stuck and then, while taking a shower, exercising or preparing for bed, the answer suddenly pops up into one’s brain. The answer can be more or less complete, however, it is often quite novel.
Of course, without first putting in the long hours of focused work, no ideas will ever materialize. All new ideas are a combination of existing ideas, so, the more interconnected ideas one has accumulated the more likely one is to produce novel and useful ideas. However, an important question is, can one count on incubation as a reliable instrument for creative problem solving?
To answer this question, we studied thirty-four design students in Europe and the US. One student mentioned having a “aha” moment while in the shower, while most participants seemed to have insights while conducting ordinary activities, such as driving, walking, eating, people watching, going to bed or waking up.
Since the muse seems to be unconcerned about where her magic is acquired, we examined the time-lapse between when someone stops working hard on a problem and when the eureka-moment occurred. The following is what we found.
If one hopes for their muse to speak to them with twenty-five per cent luck, give her six hours. If one is indifferent to their muse, one has a fifty per cent chance, so, allow her four days. If one really needs her voice, with a seventy-five percent likelihood, allow her seven days and if one wants to be absolutely certain, with a ninety-five per cent probability, two weeks is ample time. Finally, if one’s life depends on it, with a ninety-nine per cent probability, make dead sure she has at least three and a half weeks to work her magic.
Essential for one’s muse to do her work is to stop thinking vertically/analytically and start thinking laterally/associatively. For this to happen, distance is needed from the creative challenge and then, begin to do something completely different. Relaxation is also very important since stress tends to converge thoughts and what are needed here are divergent thoughts. This may be where the mundane tasks of showering, cooking, walking, etc. work their simple magic.
So, how good is the muse at producing ideas? Well, design experts may be somewhat quicker than students and laypeople at coming up with new ideas and the chances that their ideas are actually new might also be much higher. Experts also may be more likely to come up with breakthrough new ideas, especially, if these experts master multiple domains and understand how to navigate them. With this experience, one will be able to judge the newness of ideas and, therefore, avoid re-inventing the wheel over and over again. On the other hand, those who retain their abilities of wonder and quiet observation within their environment can also occasionally surprise themselves and others with breakthrough innovations.
When designing incremental ideas/innovations, old ideas are readily available from which to extrapolate. However, if one is striving for breakthrough ideas/innovation, one must allow two to three weeks incubation time, on top of the up-front, hard prep work. In other words, when taking on an assignment, do not dilly-dally, since time wasted at the outset will be stolen from the incubation time of one’s muse. Respect the muse and her bountiful gifts and she will reward one handsomely!
Arts – The Huffington Post
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