Tom Ford
By Tom Ford


Yves Saint Laurent 
By Roxanne Lowit


The Big Book of the Hamptons
By Michael Shnayerson


A Message for You
By Guy Bourdin


Dior: The Legendary Images
By Florence Muller


Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan
By Maria Agnelli


Fashionable Selby
By Todd Selby


O.Z. Diary
By Olivier Zahm 


Meryl Streep

In the October 2010 issue of the Italian version of Style, we learned that Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld’s ideal leading lady is none other than American film royalty, Meryl Streep. Hardly surprising, as Vladimir is a man of taste... which of course runs in the family... Carine Roitfeld chose to feature Streep on two of three covers for Vogue Paris in May of 2010. Streep has been widely acclaimed as both a critically and a commercially successful actress for the duration of her career which spans more than three decades. Her greatest distinction is that of the most nominated actress in the history of both the Golden Globe and the Oscar awards.

Mary Louise (Meryl) Streep was a Vassar undergraduate and holds a Masters in Fine Arts from Yale. According to SimplyStreep.com, this German beauty is also fluent in Italian — enough to retort when Dino De Laurentiis complained in Italian about her looks during the auditioning for King Kong. I wish I’d been a fly on that wall...

She rose immediately from stage and television to a part in Julia in 1977. It was said everyone thought she was a great actress from the beginning, but her emotional range is hardly any wonder given what the young Meryl went through. Her fiancé, John Cazale, was dying from bone cancer during their filming of The Deer Hunter. They took their parts in the film to be close to each other in his last days. They filmed all his scenes first, and he would not live to see the finished film.

Streep won Oscars for Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice, of course, as well as a slew of other awards. Her other well-regarded titles include Silkwood, The House of the Spirits, The Bridges of Madison County, Music of the Heart, and the musical hit, Mamma Mia! And who can forget A Cry in the Dark? (You may want to. Let‘s try.)

Then there’s Julie & Julia, which I could watch again and again. In fact, I do. A friend of mine was recently in Paris and she found herself standing in front of the same peeling blue shutters she had seen in the movie — a famous book store in which Meryl’s Julia Child goes rummaging for a French cookbook in English, only to find one does not yet exist. Meryl is spot on as Julia, no question, but it is Amy Adams’ adorable Julie that makes me want to throw dinner parties and tackle an aspic (ewww). You will be hard pressed to come away from Julie & Julia without wanting to pick a passion and blog about it in hopes of getting a book deal.

Most recently I wanted to be Meryl’s affair-having, weed-smoking, pastry-chefing character in It's Complicated. She’s the best woman-with-her-act-together to aspire to since Diane Keaton’s character in Something’s Gotta Give. After viewing It’s Complicated, I immediately made my own croque monsieur dripping with Gruyere and went on a late night quest for lavender ice cream. Unlike many of her early films, my quest ended well.

Speaking of which, sadly I feel the ending to Adaptation was a travesty. In fact, the only salvageable part of the film in my opinion was Chris Cooper’s character and Meryl’s partial narration. Her voice so beautifully depicts the verbally sensuous book that the movie was loosely based on, The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession. I’m not going to recommend the movie, but rather the non-fiction book that inspired it.

Other than that, Meryl Streep is usually very selective about her scripts. I’ll admit to guilty pleasure in The Devil Wears Prada, and the largely forgotten Postcards from the Edge, based on Carrie Fisher’s book, but my personal favorites from the past are her exceptional romantic period dramas, Out of Africa and The French Lieutenant's Woman.

Out of Africa is based on the 1937 autobiography of classic authoress and coffee planter, Isak Dineson (a nomme de plume), starring 1970s alpha male Robert Redford and featuring an appearance by model Iman. The tale relates an old woman’s memories of an illicit love affair. She was a young wealthy woman married to a total slacker. Naturally, she falls for a real hero and adventurer (and big game hunter, but we'll ignore that because he's dashing and handsome). Incidentally, if you’re anything like me, you put on majestic film scores before settling on the couch for a nap, and the soundtrack to Out Of Africa is ranked 15th in the American Film Institute's top twenty-five. Out of Africa won seven Oscars and was nominated for four more! Wins included writing, art direction, and cinematography. This makes me want to see it again and soon.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman was close behind with five Oscar wins. Meryl herself received a nod for Best Actress but who could compete with an ancient Kate Hepburn in On Golden Pond? The film is based on the eponymous novel by John Fowles. Set in the Victorian era, the novel only relates the story of one couple, but because of certain narration challenges, the screenwriter introduces a second, parallel story — that of actors staging the aforementioned Victorian romance, a device that was not original but worked to great effect. In this story, the actors’ lives do not imitate their art, however. The dual story is a chance to use alternate endings written by the original author. Meryl’s mysterious fallen woman creates an iconic image, standing on the wave-swept quay of the gloomy English seaside town that has ostracized her. This film makes me want to trot down to the dock wearing a hooded cloak... I’d give passing strangers my best haunting, heartbroken stare, only to magically disappear into thin air (if I could) and leave them wanting (and not a little freaked out).

That brings us to Meryl’s latest project... Everybody knows you can tell the quality of an actress by how ugly she’s willing to get. Let’s not miss the legendary Meryl Streep as none other than Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, to be released later this year. If you’d like to read more about the life of this talented star, check out The Kindle Book of Meryl Streep by Celebrity Books, or The Meryl Streep Handbook by Donna Beech. For a more in depth look at her early years, try The Meryl Streep Story by Nick Smurthwaite.

Meryl Streep photographs © 2010 Condé Nast and courtesy of suicideblonde.tumblr.com, thecomedyoferas.tumblr.com, kingtartous.com, tarotquest.wordpress.com, instyle.com, imstars.aufeminin.com, littlegoldenguy.com, dailymail.co.uk, listal.com, examiner.com, purepeople.com, nummynims.wordpress.com, fanpop.com, last.fm, julianstark-moviesandotherthings.blogspot.com, and smh.com.au


Leo Castelli

When asked to share the last great book he read, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld named Annie Cohen-Solal's biography, Leo and His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli. Of course! Being a bright young gallerist himself, naturally Vladimir is reading the inside story on the pioneer that revolutionized the New York gallery scene, arguably America’s most influential art dealer to date.

Born in Trieste, Italy, in 1907, Castelli was an art lover and collector that opened his first gallery at the age of fifty; his first show was held in his apartment and consisted largely of works that he owned by Robert Delaunay, Jean Dubuffet, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock. He had a gift for discovering and cultivating talent and his stable included a long list of artists: Leo Castelli by Andy Warhol (1975)Richard Artschwager, Norman Bluhm, Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlain, Christo, Hanne Darboven, Ronald Davis, Willem de Kooning, Friedel Dzubas, Dan Flavin, Edward Higgins, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Wassily Kandinsky, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Jackson Pollock, Larry Poons, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, David Salle, Salvatore Scarpitta, Julian Schnabel, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier, Frank Stella, James Turrell, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner among them.

I was intrigued to learn that Castelli provided his artists with monthly stipends upon which they could depend for art supplies and living expenses, what a novel concept! This brilliant move alone likely accounts for much of his success... Note also Castelli's chic attire, another likeness to Vladimir. To learn more about the fascinating life of Castelli, read "Leo the Lion: How the Castelli gallery changed the art world" in the New Yorker or his obituary in The New York Times.

Leo Castelli posing with works by Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Lee Bontecou, Edward Higgins, and Robert Rauschenberg (1960)Leo and His Circle: The Life of Leo Castelli image courtesy of Knopf. Leo Castelli photograph © 1960 Condé Nast.


Feedback Ltd.

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld's career began in the film industry but he quickly realized that he wanted to work with art and artists more directly. He envisioned himself as a pop-up art curator and formed the successful private art dealership Feedback Ltd. in 2008 — he finds the artist, creates a unique space for the event, and typically sells out the show to a packed crowd of glamorous people. What a concept! Feedback Ltd. takes its name from a French radio program and makes its offices in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, successfully representing burgeoning and desirable artists while shunning the classic business model of a permanent exhibit space.

In Vladimir's own words, here is how he arrived at this brilliant theory:

After I graduated, I got a job assisting a producer at Paramount. It didn’t take long for me to realize the business in Hollywood wasn’t for me. I worked at Paramount for six months, and I was restless the whole time. I wanted to start my own project and find a way to work with new talent, people of my own generation. I kept thinking about New York, where I had so many friends who were doing things like taking pictures or painting. I love New York. When you’re young and studying a business, it’s a city that inspires you to do a lot... So a year ago I moved here, and a little while after I moved, I met Marco Perego, an Italian painter and sculptor who lives in the city, and we decided, why not do a show? We opened in Paris in June. PC Valmorbida, one of the Collective Hardware photographers, he helped with the Perego show, and he was also taking really nice pictures. And my friends David and Salim make very nice pictures, too, so it seemed like the natural next thing to do a photo show.

I was going to different exhibitions and it always had this feeling of a closed circle, and it was something very hard to enter for many, so I thought if I just did it in a different way, I could capture the interest of a different crowd of people. I just decided to rent very large spaces and invite a huge crowd of people and present art that I believe to be amazing and just make it more fun and open-minded. My goal was never to follow any conventions or establishments, but to follow my vision and create new, alternative and innovative ways to promote and exhibit artists in the art world today. This model offers me pure freedom and flexibility, which in return allows me to be 110 percent dedicated to each one of my artists. I also believe that with the globalisation of the art world market and the growing interest for art around the world, you need to find ways for your artists and your businesses to be visible and exist in as many cities and countries as possible. It is a model of its time... In my vision, it is the best way to promote and exhibit artists today. I think this is the modern way of representing artists and dealing art. It’s not very interesting for an artist to be shown once a year by the same guy in one city. I wanted to find ways to best represent the work of the artist I work with, and give each of them a separate environment and a separate way to present their work.

You have to come up with ideas, look around your environment. I don’t think, especially when you start in the business, you need 20 artists, but two to three people you really believe in [where you can] have a relationship that will last for a little bit... [Opening my own gallery is] not something I would jump into, because I still have a lot to learn and a lot to prove... I wouldn’t want to be in one place, as the art market is becoming so global and nobody lives this way. I was in Buenos Aires last week and I am going to Miami for two weeks, then I’ll be in London. People want to be mobile all the time. I try to accept the fact that there are always going to be a few cynics who say, Oh, he’s only able to do such-and-such because of who he is, because of his mother’s connections, etc. I don’t dwell on it. I am who I am. At the end of day, like anyone else who’s trying to work creatively, I have to be confident enough to know what I love and do what I like.

Vladimir's art dealership, Feedback Ltd., works to promote emerging artistic talent and to present unique and memorable exhibits. Many of his events are produced in collaboration with his friend Andy Valmorbida and various sponsors including Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton. The artists that Vladimir has represented are Marco Perego, David Mushegain, PC Valmorbida, Salim Langatta, Richard Hambleton, Nicholas Pol, and RETNA, see the exhibition list below for more details and links to photos of several of the shows. I look forward to many more fine displays of talent by Vladimir and Feedback Ltd.



Richard Hambleton

"Richard Hambleton’s brush stroke as an artist is genius and is in a league of its own. Most significantly, he is the most important and influential living street artist in the world today, with a story and career that is unparalleled."

Richard Hambleton: A Retrospective,” Phillips de Pury, September 2011
The Godfather of Street Art,” London, November 2010
"Richard Hambleton—New York," Moscow Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, September 2010
"Richard Hambleton—New York," AmfAR, Cannes, France, May 2010
"Richard Hambleton—New York," Milan, March 2010
"Richard Hambleton—New York," New York City, September 2009


David Mushegain, PC Valmorbida, and Salim Langatta

"I like that they’re so different. You know, this show, mainly I’m just giving these guys an opportunity to show in New York. I think David was part of a group thing here a while ago, but they’re all pretty underexposed. My only requirement was no fashion photography. I wanted the show to be more personal than that — moments out of each of their own lives. David is showing a lot of portraits, and what I love about his pictures is the way he can really document a person. That’s such a talent. If you know anyone he’s shot, you see his picture and you recognize a true image. Salim is the kind of photographer who spends a million hours in the lab. His sense of color is incredible. He shoots a lot when he travels, and I also feel like he’s got an amazing ability to tell a story in one shot. PC is younger, and he’s is still at the point where he’s experimenting, but his eye for form is quite impressive. You really see that in his architectural images. I love all of their work, and I trust them as artists and as friends, so I’ve given them a lot of leeway to choose what they show."

"The Works of Three Photographers," New York City, February 2009


Marco Perego

"I learned a lot about that when I did the show in Paris with Marco. It’s true, no matter how close you are, people come to a project with different ideas, and of course, you get into a few fights. I think if you keep reminding yourself that the fights are because you and your friend both want to make the show as good as possible, then it’s easy to get past the difficulties. And when the show opens, you can feel good about having gone through the experience with someone you love. I like working that way; I like the idea that you can be hanging out with your friends and say, hey, let’s do a show, and two months later, you have one. And everyone I’m working with on this Collective Hardware opening is part of the family, you know — the person who designed the invitation, the DJ, the guy hanging the pictures."

Paris, June 2008


Nicolas Pol

"My very good friend Stavros Niarchos, who I went to school with in Los Angeles and who came from a family that appreciated art, saw what I was doing and told me about a young artist that he knew from Paris. He sent me Nicolas' work and I thought they were incredible. I went to Paris and spent some time in his studio, and we talked about what we can do together.”

Neverlodge,” New York City, March 2012
Sick Atavus Of The New Blood,” New York City, May 2011
Mother of Pouacrus,” London Frieze, October 2010
The Martus Maw,” New York City, November 2009



"I have a fascination with street art, but I haven't only been looking for street artists. We mostly try to follow our instincts and what we like when we see the works of different artists, so of course there is going to be some continuation between them, but I think street art is becoming very big right now, and [RETNA] is one of the most talented artists I've ever seen... I wanted to give art lovers in New York a chance to see his work, and I think this is going to make a lot of noise for him. [As for the title of the show] he's always kept [the meaning] very secret. He's never even told us about it."

The Hallelujah World Tour,” London, June 2011
The Hallelujah World Tour,” New York City, February 2011

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld photographs © 2010, 2011 Condé Nast and © 2010 Alberto Guglielmi Photograph and courtesy of models.com, larmoiredustyliste.tumblr.com, thecobrasnake.com, and life.com. All Rights Reserved.


Pamela Love

When it comes to men’s jewelry, I subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle: “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” That’s why I was surprised when I saw the decidedly un-minimalist men’s jewelry designed by Pamela Love as worn by the decidedly cool and stylish Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld. And I loved it.

Leave it to Vladimir to carry off a bold pendant necklace without looking like some cheesy Flavor Flav wannabe. How does he do it? Let’s look past the fact that Vlad is young, hot, and linked with a serious babe, stylist extraordinaire, Ms. Giovanna Battaglia. Vlad, with his curator's eye, knows good jewelry when he sees it. Pamela Love’s crow skull pendants, talon cuffs, and bold cross rings are a departure from the minimalist adornment typically considered de rigueur for men, but the strength and masculinity of her designs cannot be denied.

In case you haven’t already heard, Pamela Love is a talented, cutting edge jewelry designer based in New York. You needn't take my word for it: she recently won the prestigious 2011 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award, an elite distiction given to promising emerging designers. Additionally Love has collaborated with many prestigious names in fashion and her designs have rocked the runways of Yigal Azrouel, Alice & Olivia, Marchesa, and Zac Posen to name a few. Pamela Love’s bold, chunky, organic, and scuptural pieces are coveted by cool girls and boys everywhere. Her signature talon cuffs and serpent rings can’t help but make anyone look a little more edgy.

Oh, and “Love” happens to be her real name. How perfect is that? I love it.

P.S. Vladimir isn't the only Roitfeld with a fondness for Love, she is also a favorite of Julia, her close friend.

Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld photograph courtesy of nowness.com
Julia Restoin-Roitfeld and Pamela Love photograph courtesy of models.com


Les Valseuses

In an interview with the Italian equivalent of Style, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld quoted Les Valseuses as being his favorite film. Based on his book, Bertrand Blier directed the film which was released in 1974. Les Valseuses is French slang for "the testicles" though the film was renamed Going Places in the English version, keeping controversy at bay. This is one of the most famous films from the Seventies and when I discussed it with a few French people I know, their instantaneous laughter and grins made it clear that the film's popularity has not decreased here in France. In fact, it is considered a classic.

French film legend Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere star as thoroughly nasty delinquents who spend their time doing what they want, stealing what they want, and basically being as self-consumed as can be, all whilst treating women as mere objects placed on earth, or at least in their towns, for sexual gratification. Two of France's leading ladies, Isabelle Huppert and Miou-Miou, also star in this film. It is worth noting that Les Valseuses is full of sex and maybe, due to the dialogue and violence, not ideal for those easily offended.

Les Valseuses image courtesy of fnac.com