Still from The Artist Is Absent

A Martin Margiela Documentary Debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival

Making a film about a man, Martin Margiela, who's always refused to be photographed and interviewed (to the point that some doubt his existence) presented quite the conundrum for documentarian Alison Chernick. Indeed, as she revealed to Hint, the most challenging aspect was "telling the story without any footage of your subject — and trying not to make a boring talking-head film."

"He lives a very private life and my intention was not to impose on that," she said about the short documentary, aptly titled The Artist Is Absent. "[But] when I saw the archival footage from the maison, I knew this would be anything but boring." For the film — currently premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival — Chernick said she was able to correspond with the elusive Belgian via email; Skype was, of course, out of the question. He gave her a list of trusted colleagues who respect his vision and his strict work ethos of absolute anonymity, e.g. Jean Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons, Suzy Menkes, and others from his original crew.

Chernick herself does not have a background in fashion, but was familiar with and admired the work of the designer, who retired from his namesake label in 2009 and whose current whereabouts are unknown. (The house is now owned by Italian conglomerate Only the Brave and designed by John Galliano.) The objective of the 12-minute doc, produced by Yoox Group, was simply to "share his genius with the masses and inspire originality." She adds: "I think technology now and iPhone video, for example, can make even your grandmother a documentary filmmaker. The trick is finding some sort of passion or interest in a subject because at the end of the day, it is a labor of love."

The full version will be viewable April 27. Watch the trailer here...

Apr 22, 2015 12:33:00
HIGH zine

On Weed Day, a Zine to Ogle Hot Stoner Guys

It's 420 Day. How better to observe the holiday set aside for weed appreciation than with a prolonged perusal of HIGH, the potent new zine by and of sexy stoners? The brainchild of Carlos Santolalla — New York DJ and one half of the gay-model (DKNY, Acne Studios, Moncler) couple known as Jarlos — blends smokin' pics of hot-and-high guys with educational facts about the benefits of cannabis legalization.

Really, though, it's about the pics. As Santolalla tells Dazed magazine, "The first time I ever hooked up with a boy was because he rolled a perfect blunt for me and I found that to be an extremely attractive talent.” For those interested in ogling barely-legal, Tiger Beat-like pics of Jarlos, head over to their Instagram (called Jarlos 420, naturally), where many a Mary Jane-laced makeout pic can be found.

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Apr 20, 2015 15:24:00
Patti Smith

Patti Smith Inducts Lou Reed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Patti Smith can be counted on to give good speech. Not only is she quipped with the language and cadence of a poet, but she paid attention to the gifted people and strange situations around her in the 1970s, helped by the fact that, while others indulged in excess, she chose to remain more or less sober. She can remember New York's rock heyday.

Lou Reed was one of those gifted people around her. The two were colleagues and friends, but not too close, affording her an objective take on his triumphs and struggles, kind advice and gruff foibles. Her thoughtful, poignant, emotional speech last night to induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (this is his first induction as a solo artist, following a group induction as the Velvet Underground in 1996, also with a speech by Smith), makes their mutual admiration abundantly clear...

"Hello, everybody. On October 27th, 2013, I was at Rockaway Beach and I got the message that Lou Reed had passed. It was a solitary moment. I was by myself and I thought of him by the ocean, and I got on the subway back to New York City. It was a 55-minute ride, and in that 55 minutes, when I returned to New York City, it was as if the whole city had transformed. People were crying on the streets. I could hear Lou's voice coming from every cafe. Everyone was playing his music. Everyone was walking around dumbfounded. Strangers came up to me and hugged me. The boy who made me coffee was crying. It was the whole city. It was more [pauses and tears up]... Sorry. I realized, at that moment, that I had forgotten, when I was on the subway, that he was not only my friend, he was the friend of New York City.

I made my first eye contact with Lou dancing to the Velvet Underground when they were playing upstairs at Max’s Kansas City in the summer of 1970. The Velvet Underground were great to dance to because they had this sort of transformative, like a surf beat, like a dissonant surf beat. They were just fantastic to dance to. And then somewhere along the line, Lou and I became friends. It was a complex friendship, sometimes antagonistic, and sometimes sweet. Lou would sometimes emerge from the shadows at CBGBs. If I did something good, he would praise me. If I made a false move, he would break it down.

One night when we were touring, separately, we wound up in the same hotel, and I got a call from him. He asked me to come to his room. He sounded a little dark, so I was a little nervous. But I went up, and the door was open. I found him in the bathtub dressed in black. So I sat on the toilet and listened to him talk. It seemed like he talked for hours, and he talked about, well, all kinds of things. He spoke compassionately about the struggles of those who fall between genders. He spoke of pre-CBS Fender amplifiers and political corruption. But most of all, he talked about poetry. He recited the great poets — Rupert Brooke, Hart Crane, Frank O’Hara. He spoke of the poets' loneliness and of the poets' dedication to the highest muses. When he fell into silence, I said, 'Please, take care of yourself so the world can have you as long as it can.' And Lou actually smiled.

Everything that Lou taught me, I remember. He was a humanist, heralding and raising the downtrodden. His subjects were his royalty that he crowned in lyrics without judgment or irony. He gave us, beyond the Velvet Underground, Transformer and 'Walk on the Wild Side,' Berlin, meditations to New York, homages to Poe and his mentor Andy Warhol and Magic and Loss. His consciousness infiltrated and illuminated our cultural voice. Lou was a poet, able to fold his poetry within his music in the most poignant and plainspoken manner.

Oh, such a perfect day [cries]... Sorry. Such a perfect day. I’m glad I spent it with you. You made me forget myself. I thought I was someone else. Someone good. You were good, Lou. You are good. True poets must often stand alone. As a poet, he must be counted as a solitary artist. And so, Lou, thank you for brutally and benevolently injecting your poetry into music. And for this, we welcome you, Lou Reed, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Apr 19, 2015 22:07:00
Tom Ford

When They Were Young

They all had an adorable baby phase; many of them had a geeky phase; some of them even pulled off a dashing adolescent phase. Eventually they all did their part to shape fashion and culture as we know it...

Tom Ford

Coco Chanel

Alexander McQueen


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Apr 17, 2015 23:52:00

Best Adult-Film Posters from the 60s/70s

In the 1960s and '70s, before VHS tapes, porn was shown in theaters, usually seedy theaters. That meant they had to be creative — dare we say smart — with their sexual innuendos and double entendres.

It also meant they had to have posters, which were often not just creative, but comedic. Here are the best adult-film posters, those that defined the era with a healthy dose of sleaze and satire...

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Apr 17, 2015 22:17:00
Aydian Dowling

Meet the Transgender Man About to Get a Major Magazine Cover

For transgendering folks, critical mass is everything. The movement itself is verging on critical mass. Trans-pioneers are popping up everywhere, from television to fashion runways — and now magazine covers. Aydian Dowling, a bodybuilder and trans-man from Eugene, Oregon, who already graces the April cover of FTM (short for female to male), is in the running to appear on the November cover of Men's Health. The major fitness magazine is currently conducting a reader poll (voting closes June 21), with Dowling in the lead by more than a few inches.

"As a transgender male, having a healthy body and mind is my ultimate goal to find peace within my soul," he wrote in his submission. “Having a trans person on the cover would tell people that no matter who you are, you can be the man you want to be...I think it would blow minds. I think it would be so affirming to young kids who are lost right now and depressed, to see somebody on a magazine, to see if I can do it, they can do it, too."

Disarmingly frank about his transition story, Dowling tells the magazine his first dose of hormone replacement therapy occurred in 2009 and he's continued injecting testosterone each week. In 2012, he had his breasts removed in a procedure called top surgery, but hasn’t set about enhancing the bottom. At least not surgically; the hormones have done some enhancing. “I don’t have a vagina,” he confirms, candidly. “People don’t have a problem when you call your penis ‘Mr. Winky,’ but when I call what I have a penis, some have a problem with that.”

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Apr 17, 2015 12:32:00

Kanye West's Ego Lands a Time Cover

"Every time I crash the internet, it's like this little drop of truth. Every time I say something that's extremely truthful, out loud, it literally breaks the internet." So spouts Kanye West in Time magazine, which, in its infinite wisdom, decided to put him on one of five covers of its 100 Most Influential People issue. He even managed to relegate his wife to a mere cover line.

Time got someone already familiar with spacey talk to write the intro. Not Anna Wintour (good guess), but Elon Musk, the South African entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX, a space-transportation company established to facilitate the colonization of Mars. He writes: "Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list...Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries. Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process."

Here are other uncomfortably delusional and/or not entirely logical things Kanye has apparently been thinking about...

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Apr 16, 2015 22:10:00
Carine Roitfeld

Carine Roitfeld Ventures into Fashion Design

She's the namesake founder and editor of CR Fashion Book, global fashion director of Harper's Bazaar, and former editor-in-chief of French Vogue. Now the irreverent Carine Roitfeld can put designer on her resume. Announced today, the style oracle who's set more than a few trends is collaborating with the Japanese fast retailer Uniqlo on a limited women's collection for fall.

Part of Uniqlo's comfort-based LifeWear category, the Carine Roitfeld Collection will "reflect Ms. Roitfeld’s broad experience with numerous designers and creators to bring new styles to the world," reads a statement. The designs — about 40 pieces in total, including outerwear — are being overseen by Uniqlo's design director Naoki Takizawa.

"I started from the idea of clothes that I would want to wear myself," says Roitfeld, the subject of Mademoiselle C, a revealing documentary by French filmmaker Fabien Constant just over a year ago. "[I] developed this into clothes that anyone would want to wear, a woman’s ideal of clothes that make her feel transformed when she wears them.”

No word yet what exactly the items will be. But given the kohl-eyed dynamo's personal predilection for trim silhouettes, precision heels, and a monochromatic black palette, it isn't hard to guess. 

At Uniqlo stores worldwide and online from the end of October 2015

Apr 16, 2015 12:45:00

Finally, a Giant Cat Head

Grumpy Cat has nothing on this Godzilla-sized wearable cat head, made of needle-felted wool by the students of the Japan School of Wool Art. It’s the only school in the world to offer a course in making realistic-looking cats, not just cat masks, taught by the world's foremost expert, Housetu Sato, who's even published books on the subject. Just imagine the possibilities. Choupette could double her 2014 earnings, said to be in the millions, by selling the rights to her likeness.

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Apr 15, 2015 22:10:00

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