The Scene

Keep up with the Columbia Missourian's Arts & Entertainment beat writers

Audrey Tautou stars as Coco, becomes new face for Chanel

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Opening tonight at the Ragtag is a French film on the early life of Coco Chanel, probably the most well-recognized fashion designers of the 20th century.

Amélie star and most recent Chanel face, Audrey Tautou, plays the young designer before she achieved fame in Coco Avant Chanel.

Chanel created a name and style for herself by wearing and creating clothes that were dark, chic and not filled with flowers or frills. She is now seen as an early feminist, creating clothes for a more modern and on-the-go woman.

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Written by Katie Davis

November 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm

A gala affair

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A short while ago, world-renowned cello master Yo-Yo Ma gave a gala performance at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis as part of a fundraiser for the many programs provided by the city’s world-renowned orchestra. It’s always the case – as I suspect it might be with others – that after I go to a concert it’s mandated by some unseen force that I listen to that band or performer on repeat for at least a week. I’ve never quite been able to explain why.

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Written by Sangeeta Shastry

November 7, 2009 at 12:19 am

Ruben Toledo Creates New Covers for Classics

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Penguin Books unveiled new covers for three of their classic pieces of literature on August 25 to coincide with New York Fashion Week: Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights and The Scarlet Letter.

Toldeo's covers for The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights

They are available at the University Bookstore! I read about them in Vogue and The New Yorker a few months ago, but as is usually the case with designer specials, I didn’t think Missouri, much less Columbia, would get access to them. Until I saw them in the “Classics” section while perusing the fiction at the MU bookstore.


The brooding Heathcliff

Toledo is known for his whimsical drawings which can be seen in Nordstrom’s national designer ad campaign as well as The New Yorker, Vogue, the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Interview. His wife, fashion designer Isabel Toledo, designed the dress First Lady Michelle Obama wore at her husband’s inauguration in January. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City had an exhibition back in 2000 called “Toledo/Toledo: A Marriage of Art and Fashion” that showcased his artwork and her designs.

The covers are fantastic, and even though I read all three books years ago, they made me want to read them over again (and I did). The New York Times called his Lizzy Bennet on the cover of Pride and Prejudice “a Regency gossip girl and Darcy as her Mr. Big in knee breeches”.

Check out the covers at the MU bookstore in the Classics section.

Written by Nancy Stiles

November 3, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Anna Wintour & The September Issue

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The Septmeber Issue finally made it to mid-Missouri a few weeks ago, but it opened in New York August 28 and across the country September 1. The documentary, by filmmaker R.J. Cutler (The War Room, American High), takes an inside look at the making of Vogue‘s 2007 September issue, the largest of the year.

Coddington at Fashion Week

The film didn’t make Wintour seem too Devil Wears Prada, but she definitely had her moments. Reviews of the documentary said that creative director Grace Coddington is the real star — absolutely true. She is hilarious, and is possibly the only staffer not afraid of Wintour. One male employee is the obvious yes-man who agrees with the editor-in-chief on almost everything; Coddington remarks that he won’t sign off on something unless Wintour’s seen it so he doesn’t “make a mistake”.

I didn’t know that much about Coddington other than what she looked like, and I loved seeing her personality. She grew up in North Wales and entered a Vogue modeling contest and ended up winning; her modeling career was cut short by a car accident which required plastic surgery to fix facial injuries. She then was offered a job at British Vogue where she worked for some twenty-odd years before moving to American Vogue. She personally dresses and styles the models on her shoots, which she says is literally unheard of at other magazines/shoots (the model agrees). Coddington crosses swords with Wintour when spreads from her Jazz Age, John Galliano-inspired shoot keep getting “killed” (cut from the issue). I remember that spread because I absolutely loved it — I’m pretty sure I tore out most of the story and kept it. (See the photos here)

Shot from Coddington's "Paris Je T'aime" Spread for the September 2007 Issue

On the other hand, editor-at-large André Leon Talley barely features in the documentary but has a flashy monthly column with the names of celebrities mentioned in bold. He is over-the-top

flamboyant and it seems like he mentions Oprah in every column — which seems like a much easier character to play up in a film, but Cutler and his team chose Coddington. This gives the viewer a more intimate look at the magazine, instead of cliché (but funny) Talley, who doesn’t seem like he does much of anything at Vogue, whereas Coddington is just as involved in putting together the issue as Wintour. Cutler does show Talley at his tennis lesson. This is Talley’s idea of “working out”: Vuitton trunks carrying his belongings, a vintage Piaget watch littered with diamonds — “my idea of a tennis watch” — and a Vuitton beach towel thrown around his neck, which doesn’t leave much mobility to hit a tennis ball.

Coddington and Wintour take notes on the front row

I was a bit disappointed that some things were left out. Nothing was included about the writing in Vogue; maybe no one cares about that and it’s just the journalist in me. Contributor and socialite Plum Sykes was no where to be found, but now that I think about it, she might not have been a regular contributor yet back in 2007.

The criticism of Sienna Miller was a little disheartening. Her smile for the cover shot was deemed “toothy” and her fillings pointed out, but “that can be fixed, of course”. They even discussed using the body from one photograph and the head from another (I’m not sure if they actually ended up doing that). Scenes like this showed the not-so-glamorous side of the fashion industry that Cutler unfortunately sort of glosses over during the rest of the film.

It was entertaining and certainly a must-see for anyone interested in fashion, magazine publishing or photography. Some aspects of production weren’t included, which is a shame, but it definitely humanizes Wintour — something that is rarely even attempted.

The September Issue is playing at the Ragtag Cinema on Hitt Street through November 5.

Written by Nancy Stiles

November 1, 2009 at 6:30 pm

French Illustrator Garance Doré

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As an avid follower of fashion, I’ve found that blogs are an excellent source for inspiration. The Sartorialist, a photo fashion blog run by photographer Scott Schuman showcases street style in cities from New York to Paris to Milan to even Dallas. Schuman puts together a monthly column/piece for GQ (a magazine you should definitely read for style insight, even if you’re a girl–I steal my brother’s copy every month) and then posts those photos and countless others on his blog.

Schumans photo of his San Francisco driver

Schuman's photo of his San Francisco driver

The great thing is that Schuman hasn’t been formally trained in photography or fashion; he just has a great eye. He’s in the middle of doing a tour for his book The Sartorialist and posted a photo today of his San Francisco driver. “This man’s car was spotless, his shoes were shined and he knew exactly where he was going. He wasn’t dressed like that for me, he had no idea who I was, this was just another day and just another ride done in his own stylish way,” he writes in the post.

Of course, there are jokes about how to get shot by The Sartorialist–ride a bike, own something double-breasted–but I think Schuman’s subjects are impossibly cool. I recently stumbled upon his girlfriend’s blog: Garance Doré.

Doré with designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Doré with designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

She writes in French, but has recently started having her posts translated into English. A photographer and illustrator, she does work for Vogue Paris and, among other things, just had a sold out line of tshirts featuring her drawings at the très chic French boutique Collette. She’s spunky, cute, and oh-so-French. She worked with Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Carine Rotfield during Fashion Week, and yet is somehow approachable and the girl next door (albeit one with great fashion sense). She’s endearing rather than vicious, which is much more common in the fashion world (I love reading the girls over at New York magazine’s The Cut, but their tweets from the runway can be harsh).

One of Dorés illustrations

One of Doré's illustrations

Her most recent posts are translated into English, but overall, most of them aren’t. If you speak French, I’d recommend trying to go through them; it’s a lot easier than reading Le Clèzio! Go check her out. I’m planning on seeing The September Issue at the Ragtag this week so keep an eye out for that!

Written by Nancy Stiles

October 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Posted in art, Fashion

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The Doxies bring out a dancing crowd

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Local band, the Doxies, played a little country and a little rock ‘n’ roll at the Blue Note Saturday night. Feet started tapping and people started dancing as these guys took the stage.

Directed by the lead singer and guitarist, Brent Maness, further vocals and guitar were taken up by Tim Lloyd (who is, respectively, a reporter for the  Columbia Missourian).

The Doxies’ style is hard to define–it is something like folk-meets-rock-meets-country-meets-Americana.

The Doxies played at the Blue Note Saturday night as part of the Bluebird Festival

The Doxies played at the Blue Note Saturday night as part of the Bluebird Festival

Add in some backyard harmonizing, a couple of twangy guitar riffs and a rock-style attitude. Then, you might see (or, rather, hear) a glimpse of the “Doxie” style and the reason Columbians love this hometown band.

Written by Katie Davis

October 19, 2009 at 1:07 am

Columbia’s own revs up the Blue Fugue

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The Hooten Hallers never fail to disappoint with their rowdy, fun, loud performances. They took over the Blue Fugue Saturday night, yelling, hollering and reaching pitches I didn’t think possible for a crowd of 30 to 40 gathered tightly to the stage.

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