10 EYE BOOKS - Kenzine, the Kenzo official blog

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The book corner section will highlight the most original aspects of Californian culture all summer long, through works selected and commented by Angelo Cirimele. This week, he picked a book about our favourite 3 's' of the summer: sand, sea and sky!

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It is striking, it is infinite, it is always unique and the light has endless variations. My eyes were glued to Tria Giovan’s images, like a movie screen, when you already know the story but just can’t seem to tear your eyes away until the very end. The (non) action takes place on the beaches of Sagaponack (NY), the actors are revealed in the title: the beach, water, sky and from there, nothing goes as planned. Calm or storm, the clouds, foam, twilight... we especially feel the time spent not watching for the right wave, but dealing with the elements. Tria Giovan is also known for her portraits and interior design photography – but we prefer the sea.

 


 

'Sand Sea Sky, Tria Giovan', 2011, 84 p. Ed. Damiani, Italy.
Kenzo - 60, rue de Rennes, Paris

This season, Carol and Humberto used their very own vision of California, their home state, as the inspiration for the collections. The book corner section will highlight its most original cultural aspects through works selected and commented by Angelo Cirimele. This week, he chosed a free supplement of Vogue Hommes International consisting of series of Kate Moss shot by the american photographer Bruce Weber. Bruce is well known for its provocative and idealistic pictures that depict the frivolity of youth, well represented by the never aging Kate.

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"If I like style magazines to the point of dedicating a whole publication to them, it is because they sometimes transcend their disposable status to become something else, a memory of time. This is the case of the September 2006 free supplement to Vogue Hommes International dedicated to Kate Moss and photographed by Bruce Weber, who had discovered her some years before. It is as much a collection of fashion pictures as an intimate album, and the layout is sometimes child-like, compiling as many pictures as possible. Spontaneity and presence hover on every page, and the pictures ooze sincerity. This glazed paper supplement did not have any value then, it is now a collector’s item."

 

"Kate Moss is the girl that got away", 2006, 48 p. Supplément à Vogue Hommes International, Ed. Condé Nast.
Kenzo – 60, rue de Rennes, Paris

We may well wonder about the place of drawing and painting as art and art form in our snap-happy digital lives. Artist Elizabeth Peyton embarks on an unusual experiment to explore the question, blurring lines all the more with her choice of subjects from the realms of royalty, sport and pop.

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Her drawings of Jarvis Cocker and Sid Vicious evoke the intimacy of a sitting, a shared space between portrait artist and model. Peyton shows us the person behind personalities we only know from TV, the web or the tabloids, rendering Napoleon, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles equally human under her paintbrush. This collection of some 200 selected works by Peyton is an unusual hybrid of photographic composition and painting technique.

 

"Elizabeth Peyton", 2005, 264 p. Published by Rizzoli.
Kenzo, 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.

Mass advertising’s relentless push to consume can be galling at times, but museums today lap up these valuable snapshots of the language and style of another era. Ad/Art is a collection of advertising artwork by photographer Cheyco Leidmann that takes us back to the 1980s, a relatively short jump in time that underscores how style outstrips everything else in terms of its rapid pace of change.

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The high-color fantasy imagery of 1980s advertisements is a phenomenon all of its own. The stylized reality of this movie-inspired dreamscape is populated by otherworldly models, often with props, such as cigarettes, which today seem outrageous. A time when budgets weren’t a problem and airbrushing was still largely unheard of. Also a thing of the past is the star status that once came with a career in advertising, since the name Cheyco Leidmann means little today.

"Ad/Art", Cheyco Leidmann, 1983, 132 p. Published by Love me tender.
Kenzo, 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.

Artist John Baldessari regards images with suspicion. He appropriates them because he can’t help seeing a pseudo-reality or constructing his own. This is the kind of series dreamed up one evening over a beer and a bag of chips. Potato chips come in all sorts of rounded, undulating and irregular shapes that offer obvious comparisons to human features. 

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Baldessari spots hidden faces, closed eyes and prominent cheekbones and presents a gallery of celebrity portraits that can only be picked out by scrutinizing the golden hues and greasy sheen of one potato chip after another. Back to that beer: such a well-judged leap of the imagination from the humble spud elicits admiration as well as wry grins all round. This is art at its most fascinating: poetry emerges from the subtlest twists. Baldessari’s chips –which the cover proclaims as “guaranteed fresh”– are served with a side of humor.

 

 

 

Miracle Chips, John Baldessari, 2009, 96 p. Published by Little Steidl, Gottingen.
Kenzo, 27, place de la Madeleine, Paris.

Now that the 1990s have been relegated to vintage territory, it could be fun to cast our eye a little further back, all the way to the punk era. And this collection edited by Julie Davis is the perfect excuse. Davis compiled gig reviews and interviews with a couple of dozen other punk bands such as The Ramones, Buzzcocks, and The Damned. 

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But never mind the content; the look of this book is what really caught our eye. It is presented as a fanzine, with typewritten copy, stenciled headers, corrections scrawled in by hand, raw black and white photography and an almost conversational tone. This is an unposed, unstyled snapshot of a generous and accessible musical genre for which performance matters as much as being in tune. So what changed? In the late 1970s, style was defined primarily by music (punk, ska, and later new wave), ideas, energy, and of course clothes and attitude. Style today tends to be disconnected from content and the 1970s are considered prehistoric.

 

 

"Punk", Julie Davis, 1977, 96 p. Published by Davison publishing, London.
Kenzo, 27, place de la Madeleine, Paris.

Artistic directors have the professional advantage of remaining anonymous for most viewers of their work, while the best of the bunch enjoy the recognition of their peers and photographer and editor colleagues. 

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Juan Gatti is known only to connoisseurs of Spanish movie poster and sleeve art from the 1980s onwards. These two retrospective books are a moving tribute to Gatti’s work with Almodovar, Miguel Bosé, the Elite agency logo, various fragrances and Peter Lindbergh’s photography books. The first volume is dedicated to his work as an artistic director and the second to his photography. Gatti’s signature style can be traced back to the rehashed European aesthetic he grew up with in his native Argentina, which he was to re-import to modern-day Spain and beyond.

"Juan Gatti Photo Graphics", Juan Gatti, 2011, 620 p. Published by La Fabrica, Madrid.
Kenzo, 49, avenue George V, Paris.

Fast fashion would have us believe that the entire free world now dresses the same. Documentary makers Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroeck demonstrate that strikingly rigid dress codes do in fact continue to exist.

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Teenagers, Young Executives, Tattoo Babes, Chairmen and Bimbos all express a group identity through their wardrobe choices. The book documents 58 social groups in 12 portraits. Each portrait is identically framed and shot on a white background, and the “models” have been asked to strike the same pose: “Exactitudes”, is a contraction of “exact” and “attitude”. This volume archives a defined period (1994-2002) but more importantly illustrates the combination of elements that make up a style, and how people are tied up with their social, political or sporting allegiances. A far cry from ready-made fashion.

"Exactitudes", Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroeck, 2002, 128 p. Published by 010 publishers, Rotterdam.
Kenzo, 49, avenue George V, Paris.

Galore takes magazine publishing back to its retro roots. Clearly wary of the constraints of modern technology, the editorial team has produced something closer to a fanzine. In an era when publishers are born with a mouse glued to their fingertips and a Mac never out of their sights, Galore seems to be breaking free of fonts and grids to bring the focus back to illustration, scissors, paste and all.

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Galore revels in retro 1970s glam, complete with a pin-up calendar and illustrated and photographed buxom beauties. Black and white features heavily in pages printed on newspaper in a mishmash of font styles. Galore follows the successful formula behind David Bailey’s Ritz, Andy Warhol’s Interview and its French equivalent, Façade. 100 deliciously carefree pages straight out of the sexy sixties.

Galore, n°1, 2012, 100 p.
Kenzo, 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.

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.

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"The Eye of the Moon"
Anonymous
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"
Henning Mankell
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"
Toni Morrison
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"
Laura Kasischke
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")
Aragon
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"
Siri Hustvedt
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
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"
Françoise Sagan
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"
Katherine Pancol
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.