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New Vision

The New Beacon Collection by Warby Parker — According to many loud voices in our culture being selfish in our choices is almost a duty or a sacred imperative. What are we to make, then, of the business strategy of companies like Warby Parker who, when you purchase a pair of their glasses, instantly sends an additional pair of glasses to someone in need? What are we to make of the ways this scandalous altruism actually adds to the allure of the product itself? Such questions are increasingly common in an era when the radical increase in interconnectedness delivered by communications technology and social media is giving rise to new and unexpected social and economic anomalies like Warby Parker. With the release of their new … [Read more...]

Memorial

For the many and the singular whose lives have been swept away through fear, anger and pride.   All Photography © Nancy Cantwell   … [Read more...]

The Great Confluence

 Revisiting the Maha Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, 2013 — A Nag Baba who has taken a vow to stand one leg for 9 years Last year from January 14th to March 10th the Kumbh Mela, thought to be the largest religious gathering on earth (estimated at over 100 million attendees in 2013), was held on the banks of the Holy 'Sangam'-the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers and where the mythical Saraswati River is believed to run deeply beneath. A holy dip into the waters is understood to cleanse the soul and free the adherent from their past sins (karma), and thus becoming eligible for liberation from the cycle of birth and death. As such the Mela is attended by millions of devotees and Sahdus, who leave their haunts, caves, temples, and … [Read more...]

Rocketing

The 4th of July is always a big fat party at our house. The streets are closed off, old fashioned pie baking contests take place and there is always a big bright shiny firetruck for all to climb aboard. Then the grilling begins, all pull their Webers out basking in the glow of the coals, anticipating the show. And the big bang never disappoints. BOOM! All Photography by Paul Cabanis   … [Read more...]

Emotional Landscapes

Le Salon de Musique: Recital, Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms, May 19th, 2013  — The program notes to the final concert of Le Salon de Musique's 2012-2013 season promised a review of Austro-German traditionalism and Modernism, but in many ways it was also a sturm und drang affair. Mahler's single movement Piano Quartet in A minor is a piece about which little is known, but its composition within the tradition of the conservatory is more remarkable when we consider Mahler composed it before his 17th birthday. Brahms' lieder, often used as palate cleansers between two works of great magnitude, did so leading up to the emotionally charged Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor Op. 60, a development of some of Brahms' more complex melodic … [Read more...]

The Memo

RTW Fall 2013, Marni, Stella McCartney & Alexander Wang – Not the most festive of fashion seasons, but certainly lush, focused and tactile. Fall RTW 2013 was filled with a sameness of concept and a heavy hand. The memo was sent and everyone got the message. There will be coats of sloped shoulder and volume. There will be fur and huggable handbags. There will be clunky shoes and a heavy boot (women's feet were given a glorious reprieve this year!). And androgyny will be, everywhere. All very serious stuff (with the great exception of Lavin whose sense of play was in full force; Elbaz ever the wit.) While the palette feels slightly constrained, when the viewer hones in on these three collections of incredible heft they will find a … [Read more...]

Rooting for The Invisible War

I have known the film maker Kirby Dick for close to thirty years now and have had the privilege of watching him grow into one of the most important documentary film makers of our time. On the eve of the 85th Oscars where his film Invisible War has been nominated for Best Feature-length Documentary I thought it fitting to refresh ourselves with the review written by TQ regular Rita Valencia of this extraordinary film whose difficult subject, sexual assault in the military, delves into the matter not just to awaken the audience to this hidden tragedy, but was actually made for the primary purpose of being distributed to the military establishment to shed light and provoke actual changes in policy. On January 23, 2013 the House Armed Services … [Read more...]

Influences

Impressions upon taking leave of  Balenciaga in Spain, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, March 26-July 4, 2011. This major exhibition traces the deep influence of the Spanish masters—from Zubarán, Velázquez, and Goya to Picasso and Miró—on the protean Balenciaga's designs. It also investigates the legacy of his native Spain''s religious dress and ceremony, it's lavish royal court, the tradition of flamenco dance, the drama of the bullfight, and the distinctive costumes of the country's diverse regions. As one emerged from the show it was difficult not to want to participate in the romance of the culture and let the influence of this exceptional designer take hold.       … [Read more...]

Balenciaga’s Wake Up Call

Nicolas Ghesquière Takes His Exit — On Novemeber 5, 2012 Nicolas Ghesquière took leave of his 15 year reign as creative director for the house of Balenciaga. Founded in 1918 by the Basque designer Cristobal Balenciaga, Balenciaga emerged as one of the great design establishments in the early decades of the twentieth century, and under the auspices of Ghesquière re-emerged as one of the greats of the twenty-first. Last year in San Francisco the de Young Museum mounted an extraordinary exhibition "Balenciaga and Spain" where three decades of sartorial genius were on display, tracing the designer's career as it was inspired and cultivated by Spanish traditions. In his in his introduction to the catalogue Balenciaga and Spain, Vogue's … [Read more...]

The Loupe

Highway 46, Thanksgiving, 2009 On the way from Cambria to Paso Robles in search of Opolo Vineyards   … [Read more...]