(Santa Barbara) Inspiration came in the form of a rock that looked like a house. Artist Lyndy Belchére has been creating art her whole life but this tangent off to using found materials became a delightful, surprising new direction for her. Known for her watercolors, pen and ink and pencil drawings, the rocks brought out a completely different muse for her. Stimulating her sense of three-dimensional work was a new avenue to explore and spurred her to become more inventive. “These whimsical little works of art are the fruition of my collection of miniature items. Deciding to use them as the embellishments to the natural surface and shape of the rocks, brought a lot of things together for me…they really make the scenes more interesting,” said Belchére.
Platforms for the scenes evolved as the rock art, using recycled and found materials, began to take shape. They range from rustic cottages to high-rises; from the farm to a castle. You’ll also find Wizards and Crystals set into the all-natural settings enchanting.
All will bring a smile to the viewer’s face. A selection of her paintings and drawings will also be in the show.
Affordably priced starting at $35, a portion of all art sold will go to Art From Scrap/Explore Ecology.
LYNDY ROCKS ‘n WORKSopens at the Art From Scrap Gallery Friday, May 18 and runs through July 22. Hours for the Gallery are: Thursday- Friday from 11am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4pm.
Gallery is on the second floor - enter by the stairs on the front of the building.
302 E. Cota Street, Santa Barbara, 93101. (805) 884-0459 Ext. 6
Love this interview with Eddie. I met him thru my ex-husband Martyn who was a truck driver for rock n' roll bands. Eddie was on tour in Europe with The Beach Boys when he and my ex just hit it off. Martyn always called him Fonzie. He reminded me of the guys I grew up with outside Philly, so I felt at home with him. Hung out btw '82 - '89 in L.A. We lost touch for several years until we crossed paths here in Santa Barbara and the rest, as they say, is history. He started a wonderful non-profit TRAP - The Rhythmic Arts Project. Be sure to catch the last part of the interview. More on TRAP? yes - go to www.traponline.com
TRAP will have it's annual fundraiser and auction at the Lobero on November 7. Michael McDonald is set as a special guest. You can see photos from the show at the TRAP Facebook page or website. [NAMM is the Nat'l Assn of Music Merchandisers]
As seen on PBS! Take a journey through Ireland at Christmastime with superb dancing, singing and Irish traditional music celebrating the international spirit of the holiday season.Santa Barbara Premiere.
An Irish Christmas, features an award-winning cast of Irish dancers led by World Champion Dancers Scott Doherty (Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Rockin’ Road to Dublin) Tyler Schwartz (Magic of the Dance, Gaelforce Dance, Celtic Fyre), Connor Reider and Kelly Pearson in a memorable night sparkling with the charm and magic only this festive time of year can bring. Celebrate the great tradition of butter making, chase the wren on St. Stephen’s Day, draw down the half door for spectacular dance, and enjoy superb music making along with the singing of Christmas carols in an unforgettable Irish night.Songs spinning out of the mists and into the familiar Silent Night, Little Drummer Boy and Carol of the Bells, and superb music of the pipes, flutes, fiddles, and bodhráns are just the beginning of this great Irish night.One night only!Not to be missed -- this is Ireland at its best.
Granada Theatre 1214 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
ABOUT: Maestro and virtuoso pianist Bryan Tari pairs with vocalist and recording artist Lina Loi for an unforgettable performance. Tari began his concert career performing “Rhapsody in Blue” at the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics. Now he combines his exceptional talents with vocalist Loi, an Atlantic Records recording artist discovered by Stevie Wonder, to create a unique blending. They will join forces to recreate an authentic experience of a nearly forgotten style of concert featuring great show tunes and jazz standards from the 20’s, 30s’s and 40’s and classical showpieces along with Tari’s original compositions and arrangements. Loi will sing selections ranging from Puccini to Gershwin classics and Billie Holiday favorites. Don’t miss this one night only performance. We are grateful to our major Concert Sponsor, Hotel Santa Barbara.
SYNOPSIS:Embedded into four fables are life lessons and moral principles, which will make up the entertaining one-hour show. Stories from Greece; Africa; China and a Native American tale directed by master teacher and performer James Donlon are included in the public show. Using a unique blend of storytelling, movement, masks, live music, and the imagination of their audiences, Boxtales presents an authentic re-visioning of the art form. You can meet the performers after the show on the Lobero front patio too.These are the only two public performances this year.
Featuring: Michael Andrews, Maria Ponce and Matt Tavianini
Direction by Andrews & Tavianini with James Donlon
WHEN:October 1 - 31, 2017Gallery Hours:Daily 10 am to 5 pm
SPECIAL EVENTS:Sunday, October 8th Opening Art Reception from 1 - 4pm
Saturday, October 21 “A Day in the Country” 1 - 4 pm
WHERE:Gallery Los Olivos, 2920 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA
INFO:(805) 688.7515 or GalleryLosOlivos@gmail.com
ABOUT: Celebrating 25 years of excellence this month-long juried exhibit will have the theme of “Silver” evoking the traditional anniversary designation for GLO artists to interpret and create a work of art for this special show. Visitors are encouraged to vote on their favorite piece for a “People’s Choice” award.
Member artists work in a varied array of genres and mediums from canvas, to paper, fabric, wood, stone and metal. At the opening reception light refreshments will be served and local wines are featured. It’s a fun way to meet, mix and mingle with the artists who can answer your questions about their work and reminisce about the humble beginnings of GLO.
‘A Day in the Country’ is a town-wide celebration now in its 38th year.You can enjoy the diversity of artists and their work at GLO all year long but make it a point to visit for the 25th Anniversary during the month of October.GLO is open 7 days a week.
35 Concerts is thrilled to announce the new live show BRAIN CANDY LIVE!, starring Adam Savage, editor-in-chief of Tested.com and former co-hostof the Emmy-nominated Discovery series "MythBusters,” and Michael Stevens, creator of award-winning YouTube Channel “Vsauce,” will debut at the historic Arlington Theatre for one night only on Thursday, April 6 at 7:00 PM.
BRAIN CANDY LIVE! is an outrageous evening of entertainment from two of the most amazing minds of our times. Adam Savage, one of television's most loved personalities, has joined forces with Michael Stevens, one of YouTube's biggest stars and are bringing along more than three tons of their crazy toys, incredible tools and mind-blowing demonstrations for a celebration of curiosity that’s been described as “A cross between TED Talks and the Blue Man Group.”
Savage and Stevens can’t wait to unleash their collective sense of wonder, curiosity and fun for audiences to join-in and get their minds messy. Adam and Michael’s BRAIN CANDY LIVE! experience is like a two-hour play date with Walt Disney, Willy Wonka and Albert Einstein.
Ask yourself, “Is it possible to 3D print a human - live onstage?” “Can you slow down the effects of gravity with something we throw away every day?” “What happens if everyone on earth jumps in the air at exactly the same time?” Discover all this and more as Adam and Michael entertainingly answer questions, question answers and talk Mother Nature into doing some things she’s never done before!
Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or 1-805-963-4408 and at the Arlington Box Office.
Event kicks off a series of events designed to bring attention to the "Moving Wall" coming in Oct 12 - 16 by our local VVA Chapter 218.
This doc won the 1995 Academy Award for BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE - see it on the bigger screen with an audience. The best way to share this authentically moving experience !
The story of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and its inspiring creator reveals the contentious origins of the memorial in Washington, D.C. and tells the story of Maya Lin, a 21-year-old architecture student at Yale. Beating out some of the most prestigious architecture firms from around the world, Lin’s plan was selected by a panel of experts commissioned by the memorial’s founders from more than 1,000 different designs.
For such a young and unknown artist to be chosen for this honor is just the start to what will become a very public battle over her design. In Washington to defend her design, Lin came up against a mighty opposition, challenging indignant veterans and a hostile Congress to ultimately prevail with her emotional “Wall.” And what began as one of the country’s most disputed public monuments became one of the world’s most inspirational and frequently visited memorials.
This riveting and dramatic portrait of Maya Lin, which won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, is told through interviews and archival footage and reaches back to show the genesis for the idea behind the memorial. Directed and written by Freida Lee Mock.
The film screens Wednesday, July 13 at 7:30pm at the Plaza Playhouse Theater, Carpinteria and is part of the public educational outreach programs of VVA Chapter 218 as it prepares to bring The Moving Wall--a 253-foot replica of the Vietnam Memorial--to Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara, October 12-17.
Tickets for “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision” are $5 and available in advance on line at www.plazatheatercarpinteria.com or at the box office the evening of the show. Seating is limited. Doors will open at to the public at 6:45pm and there will a short presentation about The Moving Wall prior to the film’s showing.
For more information about Chapter 218 and The Moving Wall go to: www.vvachapter218.org
The Plaza Playhouse Theater is located at 4916 Carpinteria Ave. and is wheel chair accessible and ADA complaint. It offers a full concession stand, plus beer and wine for patrons over 21. Plenty of free street and lot parking is nearby within easy walking distance of the theater.
Tags: Academy Award Winner, Vietnam Memorial, Vietnam Veterans, documentary
Wining and dining at it’s very best will be arriving in Santa Barbara for three palate pleasing days in August 12-13-14 - after it’s opening in San Luis Obispo Aug 10- 11-12 where it first took root.
The 31st Annual Central Coast Wine Classic gets enhanced this year with the addition of some stunning locations in Santa Barbara. This is now the only wine classic spanning two counties, and two with some highly rated vines and inspired vintners. Wine Spectator rated it one of the Top Ten Wine Classics. Registration is now open and advance is highly recommended. www.CentralCoastWineClassic.org.
Tastings, touring the vineyards, luncheons, brunches, winery dinners, symposia and auctions has been honed by founder Archie McLaren over the years and everyone who has attended the Wine Classic remarks on the intimacy, and almost family-like aire around all of the 18 events. McLaren insists on meeting every one who attends the event. His singular vision and passion for wine is matched only by his generosity for the arts non-profits in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. The Wine Classic Foundation has gifted an astounding $2.5 million since 2004 for 125 organizations.
The Wine Classic is a thoroughbred event that has proven itself over and over. In the center ring ladies and gentlemen, the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction, will be on the luxurious Bella Vista Polo Estate in Summerland owned by Pat Nesbitt Saturday, August 14 from 10:30am to 5 pm. You’ll be able to see some of the superb horses Nesbitt owns in the motor court when you arrive. The auction draws people from all over the world and with it being a polo estate, ladies, get your “Pretty Woman” hats out for this one. Part of the auction ambiance will have an Exotic Car Showcase featuring McLaren’s own 1987 Ferrari Gemballa Testarossa. Only one of three made, and two still existing, it’s as rare as some of the wine that will be up for bidding with fine art, foreign excursions, wine experiences, and other creative lots not found in many auctions.
Hard to chose highlights but a few other events to mention include: Dinners at Hearst Castle, The Mural Room at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Greengage Winery Dinner adds a dance to the evening which starts with barrel tastings and barrel auction, Louis Orderer Champagne and Black River Caviar symposium or brunch (because no one can ever have too much champagne or caviar), the learning aspects of other symposiums on the newest Rhone Rangers in Santa Maria, Santa Rita Hills’ Pinot Noirs, Napa Valley Cabernets and Australian wines from the - wait for it - McLaren Valley (no relation to Archie, but so symbiotic).
WHO: Archie McLaren
WHAT: 31st Annual Central Coast Wine Classic
WHEN: August 10 - 14
WHERE: 18 different venues from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara
COST: Ranges from $75 to $1,250. Best Bet: Great Packages Deals to attend all the events. NOTE: No tickets are issued for Wine Classic events; all registrants will be on guest lists at their confirmed activities.
CCWC believes in safety first, then enjoyment. Busses are provided to and from events to give patrons the safest and best way to enjoy the wines. More information online and when you register for the individual events.
Tags: Wine + Lifestyle Auction, wine, food, santa barbara, san luis obispo
Award-winning playwright, Yussef El Guindi, has created this black comedy, which examines the thwarted dreams of immigrants eager to make it in their adopted country. As converts to the American Dream, notions of success and failure become challenging and lethal. Mixing realism with memory and dance, the show dissects with increasing ferocity this couple’s marriage and aspirations.
*Contains strong language: for mature audiences only.*
LAUNCH PAD Previews a Black Comedy About the American Dream
UCSB’s Risa Brainin directs Yussef El Guindi’s ‘The Talented Ones’
Immigrants in search of the American Dream find it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in Yussef El Guindi’s "The Talented Ones," a play currently in production by UC Santa Barbara’s LAUNCH PAD.
A program of UCSB’s Department of Theater and Dance, LAUNCH PAD offers professional playwrights the opportunity to fully produce a new original work with faculty members, guest artists and students eager to participate. El Guindi is in residence at UCSB, continuing to rewrite and tweak the play even as the actors are in rehearsal rapidly approaching the first public performance.
“With LAUNCH PAD, our students work with a living writer on the very first production of his or her play,” said Brainin, professor and chair of the Department of Theater and Dance at UCSB and LAUNCH PAD’s artistic director. She is directing what LAUNCH PAD refers to as a “Preview Production.” Every performance is a preview allowing the playwright to continue working on the play while it is being played in front of an audience. “One of the unique opportunities presented by this process is that our students are actually creating the roles. The playwright often rewrites according to what he or she learns from working with the actors.”
Through the process, students develop important skills, Brainin continued. “For example, they learn to be extremely flexible with text. They have to be responsive to the writer when he or she is trying out a new line or a new scene. Sometimes they have to learn a new scene on the fly – sometimes even between performances. When they graduate, it is likely that new plays will be their bread and butter. LAUNCH PAD prepares our acting students for life after school.”
"The Talented Ones" features a cast of five, all roles for young actors. “The roles are rich and difficult,” said Brainin. “The play opens with a substantial scene between Cindy and Patrick, two characters who are very attracted to each other. But Cindy is married to Omar, and Omar is Patrick’s best friend. So the complications begin immediately.”
“I like that the play’s characters have very high stakes,” Brainin continued. “Every play has its own world and its own challenges. In the 10 plays we’ve worked on since LAUNCH PAD began, there have been no two alike in terms of style, content and form. I love that.”
She added that “The Talented Ones” is extremely challenging to cast as the play finds the characters at different stages in their lives. That meant double casting both Cindy and Omar. “Also, the characters are immigrants, so that imposed certain parameters on the casting,” Brainin said. Playing Cindy, younger and older, are Junior Joré Aaron-Broughton and Senior Emily Newsome. Junior Rigoberto Sanchez is Omar at age 22 and Senior Roberto Tolentino plays the same character at 30. Patrick is played by sophomore James Reisner.
With emotion-packed scenes laced with wicked humor, the play’s tone is unique. Brainin finds this an exciting directorial challenge. And there are other interesting challenges: “From a director’s standpoint, there are multiple realities in the play that must be addressed and made clear to the audience: present, past and fantasy,” she said. “How we move seamlessly between them is a fun, collaborative effort. Our design team of Greg Mitchell, Ann Bruice, Michael Klaers, Randy Tico, our choreographer, Christina McCarthy, and I all work together closely to create the distinctive world of the play.”
An award-winning playwright, El Guindi is best known for his play "Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World," which received the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association’s 2012 New Play Award and the Seattle Times’ Footlight Award for best world premiere play. His most recent play Threesome, originally produced at Portland Stage Company, is moving to Off-Broadway this spring. Other plays include Language Rooms, which earned El Guindi the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award as well as A Contemporary Theatre’s New Play Award The Review, a short Internet play performed via Skype with actors in Cairo and San Francisco Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes and Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat, which was among six finalists for the 2009 American Theater Critics Association’s Steinberg/New Play Award.
The first preview performance of "The Talented Ones" is Thursday, May 21, at 8 p.m. in UCSB’s Hatlen Theater. Additional performances will take place at 8 p.m. on May 22, 23 and 28-30, and at 2 p.m. on May 30.
Tickets are $17 general, and $13 for UCSB students, faculty and staff members, alumni, and seniors.
Hatlen Theater, UCSB Campus
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Parking off Ocean Road (Park in Lot 22 or 23)
Stay tuned for the screening of a documentary about LAUNCH PAD at the Pollack Theatre at UCSB on June 9th at 8pm. More information about the play and LAUNCH PAD can be found at www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu/launchpad
Author of GODS AND KINGS: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano
Your book traces dramatic changes in the fashion world over the last three decades. Why was this a momentous period for fashion?
In the late 1980s, the luxury fashion business entered a new era: a generation of ambitious business executives saw the growth potential of classic fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Gucci and Prada—most still owned and run by founders or heirs—and took control through straightforward acquisitions and hostile takeovers, listed them on the stock market and turned them into multi-billion-dollar global brands. I reported and wrote about that transition as it happened—for the Washington Post, Newsweek and the New York Times Magazine—and along the way noted the soul crushing sacrifices that the creative side had to make to accommodate business demands, sustain growth and generate profits for shareholders. For me, that period came to a two-step close with the suicide of Alexander McQueen in February 2010 and the public implosion of John Galliano in February 2011. Today, the creative is wholly subservient to the corporate side’s demands. And, not surprisingly, critics now regularly complain that the whole machine—the shows, the clothes, the stores, the ads—are boring, safe and predictable.
Why focus on Galliano and McQueen?
I focused on these two men for several reasons: they came from the same sort of background, attended the same art school, worked for the same corporation, and shook up fashion with similarly theatrical shows and rule-breaking designs. But also because their careers rose and crashed in step with the corporatization of fashion: they pushed the brands for which they worked into the global spotlight and gave all the creative juice that they could to make it happen, until they were both sucked dry, exhausted and depressed. Their self-destruction came within a year of each other—and not by chance, I believe.
The book provides many new details on the lives of these two influential designers. Tell us about a few of the discoveries that were particularly enlightening.
I didn’t know that John Galliano never came out of the closet officially—at least not with his family. Throughout the 1980s in London, when he was in long-term, serious homosexual relationships, he never told his parents, and he never brought his boyfriends home to South London to meet his family; he utterly compartmentalized his life. As a former model who lived and worked in Europe in the 1980s—the age of AIDS and the rise of gay activism—I found this sad on many levels and wondered if this was the root of Galliano’s apparent self-loathing that evolved into abusive addictions.
I was also surprised to learn that McQueen’s suicidal thoughts dated back to the mid-1990s, when he was in his early twenties, and that his self-harm was far more disturbing than his well-known drug abuse: he was a cutter and a habitué at hard S&M clubs. In fact, McQueen didn’t try cocaine until the mid-1990s, when he was 24 or 25 years old. Sadly, it took over his life, to the point of mad paranoia and acute anxiety.
The biggest revelation, however, came after two years of reporting the book: I learned that McQueen was HIV positive. Incredibly, he contracted the virus not in the 1980s when it was raging and little was known about it, or in the 1990s, when he regularly went to leather bars and cruised parks for sex with strangers, but in the early 2000s, when he was in a committed relationship—he told friends he was infected by his “husband.” I was heartbroken when I learned this, but I suddenly understood him and his work from that point onward. And, sadly, his suicide seemed to make more sense.
Tell us about the title of your book.
After Galliano was fired from Dior, I wrote a piece for the Washington Post about his downfall, and how it came almost exactly one year after McQueen’s death. As I wrote the piece, I realized that the tale was more than a story: it was a book. In fashion, top designers are often referred to as kings—in fact, at Galliano’s last Dior show, a fan carried a sign that read “The King is Gone.” But designers, like kings, come and go, and in this new luxury fashion corporate environment, their bosses—the owners—remain like gods, omnipotent. I remembered the reference in the Old Testament to gods and kings, and read it, and it seemed like a good fit. A few months later, I learned that LVMH (Louis Vuitton) owner Bernard Arnault’s employees, including his most trusted lieutenants, refer to him as “God,” as in “What would God think?” or “I shall talk to God about this.” That’s when I realized the title was perfect.
Both Galliano and McQueen were sensitive, complicated men under enormous pressure to produce more and more collections. Were there warning signs that they were buckling under the pressure?
Yes, there were plenty of warning signs—overdoses, benders, many missed days at work, violent outbursts—but nearly everyone looked the other way. Galliano’s drinking was long known, and there were times he did not show up for work for days—his employees and bosses assumed he was on a bender. McQueen’s drug addiction was obvious at work—he did cocaine in front of everyone, had attempted rehab on his own several times, was seeing a psychotherapist and was supposed to take anti-depressants but didn’t because he didn’t like the side effects. Unfortunately, as one French boss told me, the corporate team—particularly the French executives—believed it was not their place to say anything. In France, there is a distinct and deeply respected division between professional and personal life—a colleague or boss will never ask about your personal life, and you will never discuss it at work—so there was a serious and damaging cultural disconnect between McQueen and Galliano and their French chiefs. It only changed for Galliano at the very end, when he was sinking quickly into the abyss: his Dior bosses Bernard Arnault and Sidney Toledano confronted him and told them they would support him if he took off a few weeks and went to rehab. Defiant, Galliano brushed them off, and they backed down, and four weeks later, he was arrested for a drunken brawl at a café where he spouted anti-Semitic slurs—an act considered a hate crime in France. Only then was he forced to confront his addictions. He says now that had that not happened, he too would be dead.
Commerce has done in art across so many fields; in your book you show how it affected fashion and the careers of two of the greatest designers of this era. Is it a battle that is still playing out?
I believe throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the conflict between art and commerce peaked in all the creative businesses: film, art, theater, fashion… Movie studios, theaters, operas, fashion houses, and art galleries needed superstar artists to generate international headlines and take the businesses global. But once that had occurred—when Louis Vuitton and Gucci became as recognizable and desirable as Nike, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola—the artists were expendable, replaceable, and practically anonymous. Today, commerce is 100 percent in charge.
Your book comes out as Galliano re-enters the fashion world as creative director of Maison Martin Margiela. What are your thoughts on his appointment?
I don’t understand why Galliano finds it necessary to go work for someone else—for another house, with another name, and a storied history and defined look. He no longer owns his name—unwisely and against the advice of others, he sold it to Bernard Arnault years ago—but he surely could have come up with something new, like Hervé Leger did when he was ousted from his own house; he now designs under the name Hervé Leroux—Leroux meaning redhead, which he is. The Maison Martin Margiela is known for minimalism—the exact opposite of Galliano’s work, which is baroque and romantic. Also, it is owned by someone else—Galliano could be fired again if it doesn’t go as well as his employer desires. The designer Martin Margiela was and is fashion’s enigma: he has only been photographed once, surreptitiously; never took a bow at the end of his shows; never sat for an interview—in other words, the exact opposite of fame-loving Galliano. I thought what Tom Ford did after his firing from Gucci—using his own money to launch a new namesake brand, starting small, growing slowly, maintaining control, being true to his creative voice rather than beholden to an established brand’s codes and history—was exactly the right move. I wish Galliano had the courage to do that—and had done so quietly, discreetly. Then it would be about his voice and his talent, and it would be at his own pace; he wouldn’t be returning to the corporate machine, stepping back on the relentless, soulless treadmill from which he was already violently flung.
In addition to Galliano and McQueen, who are some of the more interesting figures in your book?
Oh, there are so many! Of course, there is Isabella Blow, the British fashion editor who was McQueen’s early champion and longtime friend and who sadly committed suicide in 2007 after a horrible descent into depression. There is Steven Robinson, John Galliano’s right hand man, described by many who had worked with him over the years as “Machiavellian,” maneuvering behind the scenes to maintain total control over Galliano. He died in 2007 too, of a cocaine-overdose-induced heart attack. There is Philip Treacy, the delightful Irish milliner also championed by Blow, who at first wasn’t sure he liked or trusted McQueen but eventually became McQueen’s chief hat maker, creative foil and great friend. There is the English milliner Stephen Jones, who met Steven Robinson back when Robinson was a student and knew Galliano in the 1980s London nightclub scene. Jones went on to work for them when Galliano moved to Paris, and remained on the studio staff through all of Galliano's triumphs and his downfall. There is Simon Ungless, the textile designer who was McQueen’s best friend at Central Saint Martins art school and helped McQueen launch his career and company. At the end, as the head of the fashion department at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Ungless tried to help McQueen extricate himself from the fashion business to begin a second career teaching—such a good soul, Simon. Alas, that did not happen. There is Sibylle de Saint Phalle, the French aristocratic-born 1980s It Girl, who swirled in the London nightclub scene and became Galliano’s first muse, inspiring his early work. There is Annabelle Neilson, another London social butterfly, who was briefly married to scion Nate Rothschild and served as a McQueen muse from his early collections onward; she was the last to see him alive.
There is McQueen’s mother Joyce, a strong East End matriarch, who pushed her son into the tailoring business on Savile Row, which eventually lead to his career in fashion. She was unquestionably supportive. It was after her death from cancer that McQueen finally decided it was time to end his own life. There is Anna Wintour, the indomitable editor-in-chief of American Vogue, who championed both designers—Galliano in particular—despite their bad behavior toward her, because she truly believed in their extraordinary talent. And there is Amanda Harlech, an English blueblood who helped Galliano launch his career and served as his muse as well as sounding board and creative force. After ten years of unquestioned dedication to him for very little money—they regularly described each other as “best friend”—Harlech was brutally castoff by Galliano when he signed with Christian Dior. Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld wisely stepped in and hired her to be his creative assistant and there she has remained and flourished for nearly twenty years. Amanda Harlech has many fans and rightly so: she is elegance incarnate and remade her life beautifully after Galliano’s profound and public betrayal of her.
February 11, 2015 is the fifth anniversary of McQueen’s death. How is his influence still felt today?
Many young designers turn to McQueen’s archives and past shows for inspiration—sometimes too literally: last year, Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing sent down his runway a white women’s pant suit that was nearly identical to one from McQueen’s first Givenchy haute couture show in January 1997. McQueen’s Bumster silhouette—suits with the pants and skirts slung so low they reveal the top of the derriere—still dominates fashion 20 years on. His love of the strong suit, with sharp shoulder pads, has come back to the forefront. But no one comes close to his boundless and courageous creativity—the way he was always trying to push the boundaries, to break the rules of fashion, in design and in presentation—or his arch commentary through clothes of the fashion industry, history and society today. He added an intellectual and soul-searching dimension to fashion design that no one else dares to explore, mainly because it is the antithesis of commercial work, and today—thanks to the gods—commerciality reigns.
If you’re a ‘fashionista’ then you need to save Saturday, April 11 at 2 pm to come and meet Dana Thomas, the author of “Gods and Kings, The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.” Buy a book, get it signed and ask her your questions about the fashion world at The Book Den, 15 E. Anapamu St., in downtown Santa Barbara.
Just thirty years ago, haute couture catered to a few hundred socialites globally and was in the hands of a few European family firms. Today, it is a major cultural force, and the CEOs of the great fashion conglomerates are some of the world’s richest people. Dana Thomas reveals how this momentous change came about. This American girl began her career in modeling but eventually moved over to reporting on the fashion scene from the hub of couture’s wheel… Paris, France for places like Newsweek, The Washington Post and the New York Times. She also authored, “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster.”
Reviews on her current book are outstanding:
“A compelling drama about the high-stakes world of couture culture….This is a dark story about excess, commerce, aristocracy and fashion as high theater that is as operatic as the dizzying shows it describes. A deep dive into the provocative art of creation and the toll it exacts from those touched by its gifts.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Dana Thomas has written a real-life saga that is as engaging and compelling as a work of great fiction. By taking us inside the fascinating world of fashion, she gives us a startling tale of ambition, creativity, ambition, fame, and ultimately tragedy. This is a terrific book.” —Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Thomas Jefferson and American Lion
"McQueen and Galliano were two peas in a perverse pod who revolutionized fashion. No one but Dana Thomas could have explained with such insight how their fantasies became ours and directed our dreams."— Richard Johnson, Columnist, New York Post
“Comprehensive, detailed, coldly accurate yet extraordinarily sympathetic, Dana Thomas’s Gods and Kings is a fascinating double biography of two dressmakers of genius. But it's also a riveting, definitive history of the three decades in which fashion devolved from a coddling cottage business to a cutthroat industry quite capable of killing its young. As commerce triumphs over art, you can only cringe, but you also have to admire Thomas's exhaustive account of what fashion folk would no doubt refer to as a moment that will never, and can never, be repeated.”
—Michael Gross, author of Model and House of Outrageous Fortune
“John Galliano and Alexander McQueen raised the bar creatively and theatrically with their high-impact fashion shows. In Gods and Kings, Paris based fashion writer Dana Thomas digs deep with the zeal of a historian, to chronicle the parallel dramas of the British fashion wunderkinds, whose careers ended tragically, way too soon.”—Teri Agins, author of Hijacking the Runway and The End of Fashion
Remember -- Saturday, April 11 at 2 pm, Dana will be at The Book Den, 15 E. Anapamu in Santa Barbara from 2 – 4 pm to autograph her book “Gods & Kings” about the famous fashion leaders – John Galliano and the late Alexander McQueen.
Come see a stunning combination of photography and painting highlighting the beauty and specialness of the Gaviota Coast. Combining the work of photographer Reeve Woolpert with the 150+ canvases blends easily for a dynamic overview of the area. Artwork ranges from watercolor, pastel, acrylic, oil, to pencil. Live music throughout the two-day show includes: Bruce Goldish, Susan and Sierra Reeves, Rebecca Troon Trio and more. This is the third annual fundraiser at Bacara on Easter weekend -April 3rd and 4th- where 40% of all sales are earmarked for the non-profit partners whose mission is saving this last remaining natural coastline from development: Gaviota Coastal Conservancy & Save Naples.
The event happens between 1 and 8 pm on Friday, with a special reception and auction between 5 and 7:30 pm, as well as from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday
The age restriction is 21+, seeing as there will be wine tastings from Biddle Ranch during the reception and auction
The event is free, but for more information call (805) 683-6631 or visit www.S-C-A-P-E.org
Of special note: A one-night stay at the Bacara and spa treatment will be raffled off (Do not need to be present in order to win prize) and Shaw Leonard will screen a trailer for his documentary on the Gaviota Coast to be completed in 2015 over the two-days in the theatre at Bacara
Other sites: www.gaviotaconservancy.org www.savenaples.org
Using Shakespeare’s works to create a new way of hearing and seeing
joyous reunions, sad farewells, jealous threats and pledges of affection
(Santa Barbara, CA) Love is complicated – it can take us to soaring heights and deep dark depths. No other playwright explored all the facets of love better than William Shakespeare. With Valentine’s Day coming up, the timing for DramaDogs, a Theater Company to bring this newly devised play -Tales of Woo and Woe - to life is perfect. Playing February 6 through 14 at Center Stage Theatre in Santa Barbara (www.centerstagetheater.org). E. Bonnie Lewis, co-director/choreographer stated, “We have all made complete and utter fools of ourselves in the name of love, in pursuing a relationship and we have all in our own way yearned and felt loss so deeply, so to the marrow of our bones that we had no words. Shakespeare, gives us words and they still ring true.”
Playwright Jinny Webber said, “This script has been in the works for some five years: Ken and Bonnie loved the idea of "wooing" and "woe" in Shakespeare's works, and I've played with ways to engage the actors and audience with these emotions from a universal perspective. It's daring to pick and choose among Shakespeare's many wonderful lines to create a whole new structure, but that's what Tales of Woo and Woe does; it creates an emotional arc which, rather than being the story of any particular pair of lovers, follows the feelings and stages of any of us in our own experiences of love.” She added, “The play takes us on a journey through the varieties and perplexities of love, flowing from one play or poem into the next.”
Body centered acting is the style DramaDogs has championed and made their own. Co-founder/director Ken Gilbert said of the production, “As with all of our projects the process unravels and evolves with the ensemble of individuals’ talents and skills. We demand the actors to work in the physical realm that evokes and provokes imagery and emotion. This is challenging in any language; especially with the richness of Shakespeare. Each performer is finding his/her way with connecting the words to physical and emotional action, which brings the words to life in unique ways. All of the movement in the rehearsal stimulates the actors’ breath, movement, sound, voice into the words of a sonnet, a monologue, a scene or a song.” Show runs about 80 minutes, without an intermission and staging has the cast on stage throughout.
“Our actors are sublime. Delving into the work fearlessly. As director/choreographer it is inspiring and actually pushes me forward,” said Lewis. They will have live music on stage; three actors Jennifer Marco, Josh Jenkins and Hylla Fischer are guiding the music. She continued, “As an actor, I savor taking on the challenge of making sense of and speaking the truth through this language. We don’t speak like this and there is a bawdiness partnered with gorgeous imagery and poetry, if you will, that I personally find exciting. I’m thrilled about creating a person speaking these thoughts, with this language.” Working with someone like our Jinny who has this great love and understanding of the times and the language makes my task easier, but is also quite infectious.” This is the company’s second play by Webber, the first was “Queen Undaunted” – a solo show created for Lewis that played to great critical and public acclaim. It was also culled from several of the Bard’s plays where Queen Margaret was a minor character but Webber found a through line and followed it.
Audiences don’t need to be familiar with Shakespeare, said the playwright, in fact she added, “Some of the audience may want to return for another viewing of the play (and we're making a special ticket offer to those who do), but our intention is to evoke the eternal feelings Shakespeare expresses for everyone who attends, regardless of what they know or don't know about Shakespeare as they walk through the doors of Center Stage Theater.” Webber added, “The fun of putting this show together is to transform powerful emotional moments of Shakespeare's works into a unified whole with wide appeal, particularly during the Valentine's season when thoughts turn towards love,” Webber said with a knowing smile.
“Tales of Woo and Woe” collects words from 15 different plays and eight sonnets by The Bard to be presented in its’ world premiere by DramaDogs at Center Stage Theater, 750 Paseo Nuevo, in downtown Santa Barbara from February 6 through 14. Call (805) 963-0408 or go online www.centerstagetheater.org to order tickets any time.
Center Stage is wheelchair accessible and has the Assistive Listening System
in place for people who are hard of hearing.
This Project is funded in part by the Community Arts Grant Program using Funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission. It is also funded in part by the Center Stage Rent Subsidy Program.
ABOUT DRAMA DOGS: DramaDogs was established in 1998 and registered as a non-profit in 2000. Continuing to work with and develop original material, DramaDogs stimulates and provokes personal and social responses from its audiences. It is the intention of DramaDogs, a Theater Company, to develop theatrical pieces, training programs, and educational outreach activities to touch the human spirit. If you’d like to find out more, take a class or contribute to the 12-12-120 fundraising campaign, please go to http://www.dramadogs.org.
WHERE: Milk & Honey (30 W. Anapamu), La Arcada Bistro (1112 State St.), Roy (7 W. Carrillo), Finch & Fork (31. W. Carrillo), Lovejoy’s Pickle Room (126 E. Canon Perdido), Blue Agave (20 E. Cota), Wildcat Lounge (15 W. Ortega St.) and Hat Store, Goorin Bros. (802 State St.)
SPECIAL: After-Party at La Arcada Bistro from 10 pm till…
INFO: http://repealdaysb.com or(805) 895-4897
COST:FREE (Food and beverages; ticketed tastings and After Party are all “pay as you go” or “pay as you quaff or taste”).
Remember to tip your servers !
ABOUT: Organized as a self-guided tour with maps provided at all eight great locations. The fourth annual evening of cocktails and vintage costumes are complemented by an art show, a fashion show and tastings at select locations. Those in Repeal Day wear will be treated to special offers throughout the night.
Goorin Bros. is giving 15% off on all hats to those in costume and has live music planned too.Anyone can join in at any time with real-time updates and special deals through Twitter and Facebook, and at repealdaysb.com.