10 EYE BOOKS
Enjoy our literary journey through an eclectic selection of 10 great books whose titles include the word "eye", inspiration and key pattern of our Fall/Winter 2013 collection, in singular or plural.
"The Eye of the Moon"
The hero of this fast-paced page-turner is a serial killer known as the Bourbon Kid. The Eye of the Moon is the follow-up to The Book with No Name, published online in 2007 before eventually coming to bookstores. Some suspect it to be the work of Quentin Tarantino but the author remains unknown to this day.
"The Eye of the Leopard"
Swedish writer Henning Mankell sets this novel in 1950s Zambia. The main character Hans is a Swedish expat in Africa who gets caught up in an impossible standoff between whites and blacks. An intense, unrelenting read.
"The Bluest Eye"
First published in 1970, The Bluest Eye was the debut novel from Toni Morrison, who would go on to become the first black woman to win the Nobel prize for literature. It tells the story of two African-American girls in the 1940s: one is proud of her identity, while the other dreams of white skin and a pair of blue eyes.
"The Life Before Her Eyes"
Forty-something Diana, played by Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood in the 1998 film adaptation, is living the American dream with her pretty young daughter, hunky husband and pet cat in picket-fenced suburbia. Diana should be happy, but she is tormented by flashbacks of a dramatic incident from her past that her memory refuses to let go.
"Les Yeux d'Elsa" ("Elsa's Eyes")
Each of the 21 poems in this collection stands as a declaration of love to Aragon’s wife Elsa Triollet, to whom much of the French surrealist poet’s work is dedicated. Published in 1942, this powerful ode to love and life appeared in stark contrast to the war that rampaged at the time.
The Blindfold is the internationally acclaimed debut novel by American author Siri Hustdvedt, wife of novelist Paul Auster. After its release the book shot to bestseller lists worldwide. Four short stories follow the exploits of Arts student Iris Vegan in her search to discover her identity.
"The Eyes of the Dragon"
Stephen King penned this 1984 novel for his 13-year-old daughter who at the time was too young for her father's usual hair-raising reads. This heroic fantasy for young adults tells the story of two brothers with radically different characters.
Silken Eyes is a collection of 19 short stories about new beginnings. Appearances can be deceiving in the world of Françoise Sagan, who leaves the reader reeling with one plot twist after another.
"Paris à vue d’œil" ("Paris Right Before Your Eyes")
Henri Cartier Bresson
Paris à vue d’œil is a paperback book of photography initially published as an exhibition catalog by Musée Carnavalet in 1984. It features images captured by Henri Cartier Bresson with his Leica between 1950 and 1970.
"The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles"
The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is the bestselling first installment in a trilogy started in 2006 which has sold millions of copies and been translated into 31 languages. The saga portrays several generations of women in their struggle to find happiness.
THE EYE SONGS MIXTAPE
This season, we're obsessed with eyes and we see them everywhere! In fashion, art, food or music. So here's our mixtape around the eye. 10 songs you probably already know...
Number 1 is "Eye In The Sky" by The Alan Parsons Project
An incredible record producer and audio engineer who collaborated with groups such as the Beatles and Pink Floyd in the early 1970s, Alan Parsons has also written a handful of pure, intergenerational tunes such as the undying "Eye In The Sky". Vintage, yet just as modern as ever.
Number 2 is "Mind & Eyes" by Nite Jewel
Far from the arty pop songs that led her to release an album under the label Italians Do It Better, California native Romana Gonzalez, aka Nite Jewel, has created soul pop with a distinct classic feel reminiscent of the silky-smooth vocals of Sade.
Number 3 is "Needles In The Camel’s Eye" by Brian Eno
As the opening song for "Here Come The Warm Jets", Brian Eno’s first solo album, this noisy, percussive piece released in 1974 could be considered to be one of the first punk records.
Number 4 is "Red Eye" by Kid Cudi feat. HAIM
The former protégé of Kanye West joined forces with the California-based all-female trio HAIM to create this downtempo, emotive duet featuring soft waves of synthetic sound. A slow jam v2.0.
Number 5 is "A Tooth For An Eye" by The Knife
This enigmatic Swedish duo put forward an electronic mantra to which they alone hold the secret. Indescribable, indefinable and unclassifiable, this song is from the album Shaking The Habitual, released in 2013.
Number 6 is "My Right Eye" by Laurie Anderson
Woman and machine coalesce in this strange lullaby by the queen of experimental music. Five minutes of sheer beauty that must be listened to with headphones in order to hear Laurie Anderson’s whispers.
Number 7 is "Tokyo Eye" by Sonic Youth
For Tokyo Eye, a song off of the album Experimental Jet Set Trash And No Star, this New York City band tinkered with a very hard rock guitar riff to create a veritable noise storm that within the middle of an immensely calm piece.
Number 8 is "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes" by Janelle Monae feat. Esperanza Spalding
As the second-to-last song on The Electric Lady, the latest album by Janelle Monae, this song (which was directly inspired by Stevie Wonder) is a tribute to Dorothy Dandridge, the first African-American actress to make a name for herself in Hollywood.
Number 9 is "The Man With The Child In His Eyes" by Kate Bush
Kate Bush wrote this song from her second album when she was 13 years old. She recorded it three years later at AIR Studios in London under the guidance of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, who discovered her and helped launched her career.
And last but not least, number 10 is "Eye" by The Smashing Pumpkins
This melancholy, minimal song from the Lost Highway soundtrack is one of the Chicago group’s rare pieces that was created almost exclusively using electronic instruments. It is a light and airy interlude in their extensive discography.
ALL EYES ON US #10: BUDDHA'S EYE
The eye is the iconic symbol of the season here at KENZO. If the one in our collection is a protective symbol, the eye has multiple meanings throughout the world. We have been presenting some of them on Kenzine. Time for the last one: Buddha's eye!
A question mark seems to extend Buddha’s gaze as He stares out from a stupa, or Buddhist commemorative monument. Buddha’s gaze is said to be not sad, joyful or strict. It is expressionless and non-judgmental. His eyes are omniscient: all-seeing, all-knowing.
Buddha’s nose, descending like a question mark from between the eyes, is used to denote the number 1 in Nepali. It represents the unique character of Buddha. The term “Buddha” means “the enlightened one”, a person who has reached Nirvana. The concept of Clairvoyance occurs throughout the Teachings of Buddha: it is the ultimate objective of the Buddhist way of life, the reward of Enlightenment. According to Buddhist tradition, meditation is the path to six types of higher powers. It is from the “divine eye” that all the others emanate. The divine eye sees a multitude of phenomena not perceived by the physical eye, both earthly and supernatural, near and far. The divine eye is also one of the “three wisdoms”, the others being knowledge of death and resurrection as well as knowledge of the future.
ALL EYES ON US #9: THE EYE IN AFRICAN CULTURE
In West Africa, especially among the Bambara people of Mali, sight is considered to be the supreme sense; the one which unites all the others. Su nye are “night eye” scarifications made on both eyes, which are believed to double one’s normal eyesight and bestow the ability to see the unseen.
The eye also has a more intimate role for the Bambara, who make love as much with their eyes as their bodies. In Central Africa, the eye is a perpetrator of justice. When trial by ordeal is used to determine guilt or innocence, a liquid irritant such as latex or pepper might be dropped into the eyes of the accused, or a panther claw placed in the eyelid. If the accused goes blind, they are declared guilty. If there are no damaging effects, they are innocent.
ALL EYES ON US #8: Eye of the Cyclop
The Cyclops is named after the single eye in the middle of its forehead. The dictionary tells us the word comes from the Greek “kuklôps”, meaning “(terrifying) rolling eye” or "circle-eyed". Various glorious and gory tales are told of these fantastical titans.
In Greek mythology, the three Cyclops –sons of Uranus (the Sky) and Gaia (the Earth), and blacksmiths by trade– are embroiled in family drama and spent most of their lives imprisoned in the deep abyss of Tartarus. They are ultimately killed by Apollo in revenge for the death of his son, who was murdered by Zeus using a thunderbolt forged by the Cyclops. In Homer’s Odyssey, they are the sons of Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquakes. Homer’s Cyclops are grunting, man-eating cave-dwellers who live on an island corresponding to present-day Sicily. One of the three Cyclops, Polyphemus, threatens to kill Ulysses, who has no choice but to blind the monster to escape from his cave. Whichever tale we attribute to the Cyclops, their single eye represents a primitive evolutionary state and under-developed intelligence.
CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU
The eye - iconic element of our Fall/Winter women's collection - has always inspired fashion and art. Here's a little selection of albums artworks we like, playing around it.
The Pretty Things
Savage Eye, released in 1975, was the eighth album by sixties rockers The Pretty Things, and their second on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records label. Singer and final founding member Phil May would quit the band the following year.
The cover of Michael Jackson’s "Dangerous" is a feast of detail and hidden meaning, from masonic symbols to The Wizard of Oz and Disney references. It was designed by painter Mark Ryden, a leading figure of the American Pop Surrealist movement.
Eyeball masks are the trademark prop of The Residents, a US-based art collective best known for avant-garde music and multimedia works. The prolific band has released over 60 albums since it was formed in the mid-1970s. This 1979 release was presented at the time as a concept album about the Inuit community.
Burning For You
English band Strawbs, who formed at the close of the 1960s, commissioned Patrick Woodroffe to create the sleeve art for this late-1970s release. Woodroffe also designed the album cover for metal group Judas Priest’s "Sad Wings of Destiny".
Gang Gang Dance
Brian Degraw, a member of NYC’s Gang Gang Dance, designed the cover for their 2005 release based on a photo by fellow band member Nathan Maddox, who was killed in 2002 when he was struck by lightning in a storm. Degraw imagined Maddox’s eyes roaming over the world.
ALL EYES ON US - PART #2: THE EVIL EYE
Tired? Trouble concentrating? Insomnia? Nightmares? If these symptoms appear in conjunction with a sudden bout of bad luck, magnesium isn’t helping and nothing unusual shows up in blood tests, it could be a case of the evil eye.
Those endowed with this malevolent killer look have the ability to destroy a life and bring all sorts of misfortune upon a person. It might sound like a lethal weapon to offload our enemies, but it’s not as simple as that. Evil eye is caused by deep-seated envy or uncontrollable jealousy. Acting on the impulse seems to be more involuntary than premeditated: in medieval times, only witches had the power to cast the spell, which they would invoke on the first misfortunate to cross their path. Centuries-old belief in the Evil Eye dates back to the Old and New Testaments as well as figuring in Judaism and Islam, and extends across borders from India to Greece by way of Ireland, Portugal and Italy. The good news is that the Evil Eye can be warded off by talismans and other amulets: we don’t know how it’s caught or spread, but at least we can avoid falling prey.
ALL EYES ON US - PART #1 THE THIRD EYE
What does the three-eyed crow that haunts the dreams of Bran Stark in "Game of Thrones" have in common with Blinky, the radioactive fish that swims past Springfield’s nuclear power plant in "The Simpsons"? Both have three eyes.
And they’re not the only ones. Buddhist statues, saints and Indian divinities such as the Hindu god Shiva also have one more eye than mere mortals. In India, the third eye or “Gyana chakshu” sits in the middle of the forehead between the eyebrows, one centimeter above the root of the nose. This is the point of the sixth chakra, one of seven spiritual centers dotted throughout the human body. This is the eye of knowledge, seat of conscience and divine intuition. The third eye opens to awaken “kundalini shakti”, the powerful force coiled at the base of the spine, as symbolized by a cobra. This state of awakening can be attained through meditation.