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August 23 2014

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7 posts tagged "Salman Rushdie"

Sir Paul Tells All in The Talks’ One Hundredth Interview

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Paul SmithWriter and Style Map contributor Sven Schumann founded online magazine The Talks in 2011, launching the site with nine interviews, which included subjects such as Valentino, Mick Jagger, and Patti Smith. In the two years since, Schumann hasn’t stopped talking, racking up Q&As with cultural titans such as Yohji Yamamoto, Woody Allen, Helen Mirren, and Salman Rushdie.

This morning, the site fetes its one hundredth chat, with inimitable Brit Sir Paul Smith. Since opening his first menswear shop, in 1970, Smith has built an empire of more than two hundred shops on his cheeky interpretations of Savile Row cuts—all while maintaining an almost infamous reputation as one of fashion’s “nice guys.”

So why choose Smith for this milestone moment? On top of his fabled status as a designer, “Paul’s story is ultimately that nice guys do sometimes finish first,” Schumann tells Style.com. “And I always love talking to older people, who have lived life and can reflect and share their wisdom.”

In his Talks interview, Smith chats about the livestock that’s passed through the Paul Smith reception, unusual fan mail, and the soundtrack to his hangovers. Catch the full interview on The Talks’ Web site.

Photos: James Mooney

At Landmark’s Sunshine, A Surprise Appearance from Pussy Riot

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Pussy Riot members Headlight and Puck at the screening of HBO's "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer"

“Women are a lot funnier than people realize,” said Maxim Pozdorovkin, one of the directors of HBO’s soon-to-be-released documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. He’s talking about one of the more unexpected takeaways from his new film, which screened courtesy of The Cinema Society last night at the Lower East Side’s Landmark Sunshine theater and tells the shocking, dark, and, yes, subversively comical story of feminist-punk-cum-conceptual-art group Pussy Riot’s February 2012 performances, arrests, and subsequent imprisonment in Russia.

The film drew in a full house, including Pat McGrath, Charlotte Ronson, Salman Rushdie, Girls’ Alex Karpovsky, and Patti Smith, who introduced the project with a compelling dedication (“There is not a time that I go onstage that I do not think about them or feel the freedom to speak out and say the things that upset or anger me about my own country that I don’t think about these girls”) before running off to the Bowery Ballroom to perform.

A Q&A following the screening dialed in Pussy Riot member Katia for her thoughts via Skype, and in a surprise, carefully anonymous appearance, two members of the group took the stage in Pussy Riot’s signature fluorescent balaclavas to tell the audience how they could take action now.

“I was extremely inspired,” said model Heidi Mount at the Pravda-hosted after-party. “I had heard of [Pussy Riot] because of Madonna’s representation of them, and have been following them for the past year, but to actually get to hear their statements, what they’ve been through, was really—I want to protest outside the Russian embassy now.” After a few sips of rye-tini, Mount added, “We take for granted, as women in America, that we can wear what we want and say what we want—especially in fashion—but the girls that I work with are coming from these places where they don’t have that opportunity. People need to hear this story.”

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer will premiere June 10 on HBO.

Photo: Nicholas Hunt /PatrickMcMullan.com 

In Chelsea, Portraits Of The Artist And The Primate

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Anh Duong was in Chelsea last night, surrounded by a gallery full of Anh Duongs. The painter’s new show, at New York’s Sonnabend Gallery, was devoted exclusively to self-portraits. “I decided I’m going to paint myself because I’m always available and on time,” Duong deadpanned. “So it started as an excuse, basically, and then it became a sort of diary. I’ve been painting myself for the last 20 years.” The portraits, which have the slightly off-kilter fluidity of Alice Neel’s (and the liquid eyes of Margaret Keane’s), show the artist nude and clothed, outdoors and in, with cameo appearances by dogs and stuffed toys. They also offer Duong an ample opportunity to dress up for her sittings, spotlighting a killer collection of frocks, accessories, and jewels. “I think they are also great excuses to use a color or shape or to add something to the painting, to the composition,” she explained. “That’s why I’m interested in painting objects, the bag, the shoes, whatever. I think also the clothes have a personal significance. As I child I would always dress up; I felt like it was some sort of make-believe world, where if the clothes were perfectly put together, then I was safe. It was a response to a chaos around me…I felt like it was this ideal world, so it came naturally that I would use that in my portraits.” A fashion-heavy crowd, including Barry Diller, Carlos de Souza, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, and Phillip Lim, came by for a look. Lim, a friend of the artist, found an especially good reason to keep a sharp eye open. “I think one of our trenches is in here,” he said, before spinning off to have a look. But Duong herself said she preferred to see her paintings as expressions of emotion and technique, rather than portraits, per se. After all, she added, “I really think that every work of an artist is a self-portrait—I just push it further.”

At Paul Kasmin Gallery nearby, the new show by Walton Ford was testing that hypothesis. Ford is known for his large-scale watercolors inspired by the animal paintings of J.J. Audubon and others, but several of the enormous pieces in the new show had no history at all: wall-sized paintings of gorillas mid-scream, without the context of time or place. A portrait of the beast within? The gallery was as thronged with stampeding visitors—Daphne Guinness, Salman Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi, and Olivia Wilde among them—but the artist himself was the picture of civility in a sharply tailored three-piece suit.

Photo: Patrick McMullan/ PatrickMcMullan.com

Girl Power, All Grown Up

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“I’m the token man,” Salman Rushdie half-joked at last night’s Women: Inspiration & Enterprise cocktail party. It’s true, he was entirely outnumbered. The celebratory rooftop fête (with a short set by Estelle) capped off a day-long symposium hosted by Donna Karan, Sarah Brown, and Arianna Huffington (pictured), that featured a formidable showing of the fairer sex—notable panel speakers included Queen Rania of Jordan, Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon, Nora Ephron, and Christy Turlington Burns. Rushdie, for his part, seemed to be enjoying the ratio just fine. “He loves women!” writer pal Kathy Frette, who stepped in to emcee a panel last minute, chimed in. “I’ve known for Salman for 25 years. We have a group of women that get together, and he’s the only male invited.”

Proceeds from the inaugural symposium went to benefit the White Ribbon Alliance, which aims to bring international awareness to maternal health issues worldwide. That’s something co-host (and mother) Karan is passionate about; the designer curated a runway show for the cocktail that featured white dresses (meant to symbolize purity and rebirth) donated by the likes of Stella McCartney, L’Wren Scott, and Marchesa. For those feeling for some relatively guilt-free shopping, pieces will go for auction on CharityBuzz.com. Coming off a hectic fashion week, you would think Karan would have runway fatigue, but the designer was amped from the day’s speakers. “The symposium was amazing. I mean, the stories you heard were just incredible,” she said. “How can you not believe in change in the world when you get such an amazing group of women together?”

Photo: Joe Schildhorn / Billy Farrell Agency

Who Knew? Paz De La Huerta Isn’t Afraid Of A Little Nudity

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“Being young, you don’t have this self-awareness,” Paz de la Huerta said last night. “It’s like when you see children running around naked. It’s completely freeing.” In that case, she may be the freest girl around. De la Huerta has been photographed naked before, but never more so than in her latest project: She’s teamed up with lensman James Macari (above, with de la Huerta) and creative director Rachael Bergstein for No. 3, an exhibition of Macari’s photos of the actress in various country locales (windy fields, sun-baked porches, forlorn beaches), almost always in the altogether. Salman Rushdie, Ellen von Unwerth, and Erin Heatherton were three of the spectators who dropped by the opening at Milk Studios last night to take in every freckle, goose bump, and beauty mark. The collaboration might have had some actresses screaming for a body double, but Paz embraced her role. “Working with James and Rachael felt safe for me. The way in which they both directed me was not unlike playing a role in a film,” she explained. The shots manage a tricky balance between innocence and eroticism, but some lurkers seemed to feel the pull of one pole more than the other. One leering gentleman—no, not Rushdie—approached Paz to ask, “Are you one of the models in this exhibit?” He pointed to a seductive nude shot. “I’m a photographer, you know.”

Photo: Billy Farrell/PatrickMcMullan.com