In the midst of this deep and snowy winter, the Swedish film Force Majeure, which I loved, continues to come to mind. It rather brilliantly walks the line between comedy and drama, and the characters are simply outstanding. And if you’re longing for the French Alps right about now, the scenery is transporting.
My favorite new discovery: Health-Ade Kombucha. Of course I admit, I was drawn in by the snappy packaging from across a crowded market aisle. Thank goodness! I had always really liked the idea of kombucha, but had never found one that I actually really liked. Until now. Health-Ade is lovely and delicious and quite uplifting. It’s made in small batches in Los Angeles using organic, seasonal, local farmers’ market fruits, and is fermented entirely in glass. So far I’ve only tried The Original and California Grape, but I very much look forward to sampling Ginger Lemon, Pink Lady Apple and Cayenne Cleanse next. Yum!
I was recently reminded of Sylvia Plath, after a walk past The Barbizon Hotel, and decided to revisit The Bell Jar, a book I read years ago and in a very different time in my life. I was much younger. This time around, I discovered the audiobook version read by Maggie Gyllenhaal. For me, her voice completely embodies that of Esther Greenwood, essentially that of Plath herself. Superb. And Plath’s prose is as resonant as ever. I still love it.
In my annual January/February quest to see all of the Oscar-nominated films that I missed during the previous twelve months, I watched the Polish film Ida last night. In its quietness and starkness it is remarkably powerful. And the cinematography is both striking and stunning, filmed in black and white in the classic Academy ratio, 1.37:1, no longer often used. Here it is flawless. An absolute work of art.
As I sit here at my desk amidst a serious case of writer’s block, I must say, I am very much enjoying the view of my nails. My new favorite color, Chimney Sweep, from my longtime favorite brand, Butter London, is a perfect metallic charcoal grey. Butter London is so very appealing, not only in its packaging and gorgeous color range, but also its formula — free of toxins such as formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, parabens and phthalates. Simple pleasures.
Wishing I was in Florence right this minute and LOVING the entire menswear collection presented on Thursday by Marni as guest designer of Pitti Uomo.
|Helena Rubinstein holding one of her masks from the Ivory Coast, 1934. Photograph: George Maillard Kesslere. Helena Rubinstein Foundation Archives, Fashion Institute of Technology, SUNY, Gladys Marcus Library, Special Collections.
I have been waiting for months, with very bated breath, for Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power at The Jewish Museum. It finally opened in October, and I just managed to get myself there after a super busy fall. It was indeed worth the wait. I have long been fascinated by Helena Rubinstein, a self-made global cosmetics magnate, entrepreneur, art collector and patron. She had a brilliant 60-year career and, arguably, single-handedly changed the way beauty and beauty products and treatments were perceived and made accessible in the first half of the 20th century. She also significantly set the standard for the salon as experience, hers each uniquely designed and filled with works of art. This stunning exhibition presents some 200 objects from Rubinstein’s personal collection, including paintings, jewelry, and clothing, as well as advertisements and samples from her cosmetics line. She was an early and important collector of African and Oceanic sculpture, which is amply represented in the show. She was also friend to and subject for many European modernists whose work, including a number of portraits of Rubinstein herself, form an essential part of the installation. Standouts for me were the selection of Helena Rubinstein products and packaging and the numerous beauty manuals and books she wrote. And there was something about her Venetian Rococo Mirror that drew me in, so personal and so evocative and reflective of a remarkable life lived, in absolute beauty.