Sotheby’s Auction Fetes Swinging 60s London

Lot 158 David Bailey, Box of pin ups (est.£5,000-7,000)
Share Button
Box of Pin-ups by David Bailey

You could readily make a case that London in the 60s was the coolest place to be…ever. Mick & Keith, Paul & John, Mary Quant, Twiggy…Blow Up. There is arguably no parallel.

Sotheby’s London will be capturing all that wild spirit as part of a landmark auction, Made in Britain, taking place April 5. All of the decade’s provocative style and outre glamour is captured in classic photographs by the likes of David Bailey, Terence Donovan and Bert Stern – from Julie Christie to Marianne Faithfull to the notorious Kray Twins.

A pre-sale exhibition will take place March 31 – April 4; and on the 2nd, the Sunday at Sotheby’s: Gallery Talks will focus on the show.

Groovy, baby.

  • Marianne Faithfull by Terence Donovan
  • Twiggy by Bert Stern
  • The Kray Brothers by David Bailey
  • Julie Christie by Terence Donovan

BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Sexy New EP ‘Verses’ From Aussie Duo Lastlings

Lastlings image
Share Button

It’s true, springtime brings all manner of new urges. Australia has even taken to exporting them.

Indeed, the sensual, dreamlike EP Verses, from cool Aussie duo Lastlings, flaunts just the sort of alluring grooves and slinky sounds to likely cause the flora to begin blooming all around us – especially the libidinous lead single “Urges.” The brother / sister pair of Josh and Amy Dowdle have a particular talent for marrying ethereal sonics (“Stranger” and “I’m Here” have some very Cocteau Twins moments) and slithery, elegant R&B (steamy tracks like “You” and “Time”).

Amy D’s earthy, breathy vocal delivery makes it all so terribly irresistible.

BlackBook premiere’s the EP here. But you’ll surely hear more from them in this space, as we expect ours to be an ongoing love-affair.


BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Extravagant New Blood and Glass Album ‘Punk Shadows’

Blood and Glass 2017 image
Share Button

We hit the Montreal music scene whenever possible – as it’s never afraid to flaunt its more outré, sometimes seditionary inclinations.

One of our new faves is the flamboyant foursome Blood and Glass. Despite their rather dangerous sounding moniker, they’re actually more like some sort of subversive post-punk-pop circus, with outlandish frontwoman Lisa Moore coming on like an uninhibited cross between Nena Hagen and A Clockwork Orange.

Their new album, the intriguingly titled Punk Shadows (which BlackBook premiere’s here), is a fearless, madcap run through their utterly extravagant collective musical psyche. To wit, the oddball synth-pop of”Block of Ice” builds into a dissonant explosion of operatic metal; “Nowheresville” comes off like Cyndi Lauper genuinely losing her sanity; the glorious “Hop the Fence” is impossibly infectious new-wave calypso; and the title track layers an exuberant vocal over an alluring sonic intercontinentalism, that readily recalls Peter Gabriel.

Our favorite, “Chlorine Dreams,” is a spooky, evocative spoken word piece (“In came a hurricane of tears / Out came the vultures.”), which is best approached in an extremely calm state of mind.

Their live shows are beyond imagination and description – so it may be worth hopping a plane to Montreal to catch their record release gig at Cafe Cleopatra on the 21st. Look for us there.


INTERVIEW: Angela Missoni on Her New ‘Salotto’ Art Project

© 2017 Scott Rudd
Share Button

Enter Angela Missoni’s salotto, or living room, above the Missoni boutique on Madison Avenue, and it’s like being transported to nonna’s house in Italy – except with a whole lot of creativity thrown into the mix. The space is meant to make Missoni’s friends and customers feel like they are a guest in one of her homes; and indeed such was the case as right away when an Italian assistant insisted we have an espresso and some lasagna. With a quick stroll through the intimate space, that image is fortified by personal pictures and memorabilia from Missoni’s family. In the corner sits a stunning mosaic round table, where guests can interact while making crafts and bond through the beloved Italian arts of conversation and food.

The space is also meant to be an immersive experience of contemporary art. Dispersed around the salotto are art pieces from Missoni’s personal collection, some of which are available for purchase. It’s all part of the brand’s ongoing Surface Conversion project, dubbed as such from the concept of Missoni lending the space to artists to convert as they will.


© 2017 Scott Rudd @scottruddevents


This particular exhibition, the second in the series, is dramatically titled Surface Conversion Presents Kreëmart “Salotto Angela Missoni,” and was dreamed up by Missoni’s longtime friend Raphael Castoriano, the founder of Kreëmart – which brings the worlds of art and sugar together. As Missoni mentions, the two share a similar aesthetic; hence was born the idea of the performance art piece on display, “La Veglia,” by artist Romina de Novellis – who unravels 20,000 meters of custom-made red Missoni yarn in a contained area. In order for the intimacy of the piece to be achievable, Castoriano suggested the space also be intimate…thus, the birth of the salotto.

“La Veglia” the performance was by private invitation only – the result, an intricate sculpture of yarn, will be on display afterward for the general public.

We caught up with Missoni to discuss the project more extensively.



 How did the idea of this project come about?

It started a few years ago, thinking that maybe this location, this shop, this area is full of interesting art centers – and I thought of an art space. I have a lot of friends and parties so I thought let’s make an interesting space, a project that I called Surface Conversion, which means I give out the space to an artist to reinterpret it. The artist this past November used the windows. For this project with Romina I made her a special yarn for her performance. Since it is a “home” performance, it needed to be done in an intimate space. So basically this became an installation like my house, like a salotto, so she could perform. In fact this area could be my house, because any artist that you see around, those are all artists that I have.

Tell us about the process of choosing the artists for the salotto?

I am not a professional collector and I don’t call myself a collector. I am an assembler. There is no regular process. I might bump into an artist at a fair, but fairs are becoming too much, too much stress…it’s not anymore what I like to do. One of my bigger passions is flea markets. I also love second-hand shops, so my house is a mix up of values – even though the pieces are all precious to me. I often reassemble as well, bringing a second life to abandoned pieces.

In fashion, you seem to be drawn to ethnic elements. Does that also attract you in art?

I am very much attracted to arts and crafts, so I do have a fascination for artists who work with texture or artifacts. But at the same time, I also have a big fascination for conceptual artists, which is exactly the opposite. I am a very curious person, attracted to many, many things, those that surprise me.

What are your favorite museums and galleries here in New York? And worldwide?

Definitely the Guggenheim. I love the Smithsonian museum [in D.C.]. I try to see them all. I love the MET. I try to go to Naples once a year, and I make a point that I try to see all of the city. So this year it was the Museum of Capodimonte, at which I saw Barroco Napolitano. Last year I went to see Pompeii. I stop at Museo Provinciale della Ceramica di Vietri, and I get so inspired by the tiles there, every time! I just am very, very curious. Yesterday a Mexican artist stopped by and showed me her work through her book. And I said, but I know your work, I saw an exhibition of yours ten years ago in Puebla. And she was amazed! So it’s how I am, sort of random and curious.

This conversion space for artists – could it one day be a host space for aspiring designers?

No, not at the moment. But actually one thing I would really like to do is a museum for Missoni…and to make the history available for young designers to study – because I have amazing archives not yet organized. It’s sixty-five years of fashion history, so it would be great if I could do it.

What is your ultimate goal for the surface conversion project?

My goal for this project is to really give another vision to the store, to give the customer a different experience. And for me to find a reason to come to New York! But really to have a space to see people, since I don’t have a house in New York. I think we will go with this project until the summer, and then I have a new one in September.

INTERVIEW: Alison Goldfrapp on Greed, Volcanoes & Dirty Synthesizers

Silver Eye Shoot
Share Button
Self portraits by Alison Goldfrapp

Alison Goldfrapp was such a post-Millennium cultural force, that Madonna at the time found herself having acquired the particularly unflattering nickname “Oldfrapp.” All meanness aside, the point was made: Mlle. Goldfrapp was the new Goddess-with-a-microphone…and she had the songs, the voice and the Mercury Prize to back it all up.

Her namesake musical entity Goldfrapp is actually her and Will Gregory, sharing songwriting and synthesizer duties – and generally projecting all manner of mystery and intrigue. And though their early success was based on their ability to marry wicked electronic grooves and opulent soundscapes, simmering sexuality and fierce intelligence, their last album, 2013’s Tales of Us, was all beautiful, pastoral English folk.

The exalted Brit duo has at last reemerged, with the exhilarating new album Silver Eye due March 31 on Mute. From the opening song, the cool electro-disco “Anymore,”  it’s clear they’ve got their slinky back on. Other tracks like “Systematic” and “Become the One” combine lascivious synthesizers and alluring beats, while those like “Tigerman” and new single “Ocean” are characterized by lush, voluptuous  sonic histrionics.

Alison’s lyrics explore sensuality via elemental Earth explorations, {“There’s magic in the water”) and galactic metaphors (“We’re on fire / We’ll eat the stars.”). Silver Eye is indeed that rarest work that is as carnal as it is ethereal.

We caught up with Ms. Goldfrapp to chat about what it all means.


Your last album was quite bucolic, so to speak. Does the new album reflect a change in your mood or outlook?

Well yeah, I’m sure it does. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly, though. We always sort of have ideas about what we want to do – but it’s not until we’re together in the studio that we really figure out what they are.

There’s an outward exuberance to this one – whereas with the previous album you seemed to have turned very much inward.

I don’t know if I’d totally agree with that. This album has more variety, but there are reflective moments – they’re just dressed in a different way.

I found the lyrics to be quite elemental, even though the music is more technological. Was that a conscious juxtaposition?

I like that sort of juxtaposition – it’s maybe similar to Supernature….very electronic, but the themes are more elemental.

Do you feel any sense of being the “Earth sister/mother?” It seems like you’re speaking more to nature than to any particular person.

Yeah, there’s definitely an element of that. It’s very important in my life, a way of me translating thoughts about myself and the world around me. They’re visual tools to attempt to tell a story or explain some sort of feeling.

Do you find anything about yourself in the elements?

I think about water a lot, I fantasize about it. I love swimming, or just being in water.

We’re a bit at odds with nature now. It’s like, are we with the Earth, or are we against it?

I know! I think we always have been. The best sci-fi films are sort of psychological, questioning what it is to be human, and our relationship with the world around us. We all have dual personalities. The most obvious questioning for me is the song “Everything is Never Enough.” In a sort of literal way I’m just questioning things…

A fascinating song indeed. That’s been a regular Robert Smith [of The Cure] theme, the idea that we can never seem to be totally fulfilled or satisfied.

Absolutely. But I think it’s important to just stop and appreciate everything you have, and accept that this is your lot. Yet we’re all constantly taking from the Earth…it’s like it’s never enough.




In a sense, we have an abusive relationship with the Earth.

Totally. We worship and idolize it, and yet we’re constantly trying to fuck it up.

We demand things of it that it shouldn’t have to give us.

We’re very greedy, aren’t we humans? We’ve never got enough money, enough food, we’re always trying to change the way we look because it isn’t good enough…

You shot the photography on the island of Fuerteventura – what were you seeking there?

We’ll I’d been there quite a few times. I’m really into volcanoes – I actually went down into one in Iceland, it was quite extraordinary. But I love the metaphors, like things bubbling under the surface. And just visually volcanoes are very appealing.

The oceans, the desert, volcanoes – they’re replete with mystery. They don’t care about human beings, and maybe that’s why we find them more fascinating. And why you would write songs about them.

That’s why the moon is such a constant fasciation. And it’s still relatively unscathed.

You strongly reference early synth-pop again on this album. You can hear Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, Ulttravox…

I don’t know anything about Ultravox, I have no idea. But yeah, we’re definitely drawing on that. I’m actually a big fan of Suicide, I love the slightly dirty sound you get from old analog synths. They’re also totally unpredictable, which is appealing. And on this album we wanted to mix the clean, icy, digital with the more warm analog.

As both a photographer and a musician, do you find that what you do has been recontextualized by digital culture and social media?

Essentially no. What has changed is that we’re all expected to produce so much content around everything. Everyone is busy with just so much stuff.

Does it take away from the power of the songs?

I don’t know, I actually enjoy all the different elements. The thing I find difficult is that everyone just wants so much and they want it now. I find it frustrating that there’s not enough time to ponder things. I can really feel the pressure; but it doesn’t change the creativity.


Rihanna and Adam Driver Set to Star in Upcoming Amazon Film

2014 amfAR Inspiration Gala Honoring TOM FORD
Share Button

Rihanna and Adam Driver will star in a new drama just acquired for distribution rights by Amazon, Variety reports. The film, not yet titled, is to be directed by Leos Carax, the French filmmaker known previously for Holy Motors. This movie will be his first in English.

The film was reportedly also set to star Rooney Mara, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Carax now is searching for a replacement leading lady.

Driver is about to finish his final season of Girls, just starred in the acclaimed Patterson, and will reprise his role of Kylo Ren in December in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rihanna, meanwhile, is appearing in this year’s sci-fi thriller Valerian, next year’s Ocean’s Eight, and on the final season of Bates Motel. 

Amazon Studios is responsible for three Oscars this year for Manchester by the Sea, and has also added to its upcoming slate films such as “The Big Sick,” “The Only Living Boy in New York,” and “Wonderstruck.”

BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Bestial Mouths’ Eerie ‘Worn Skin’ Video

Still Heartless BestialMouths-PROMO D
Share Button

When we last heard from Bestial Mouths, we were collaborating with singer-provocateur Lynette Cerezo on an exclusive, romance-killing Anti-Valentine’s Day Playlist. But the fierce LA gothic stalwarts are launching a month-long tour this weekend, that will take them from Boston to NYC, Chicago to San Francisco, and then finishing up in Vancouver on April 15. As well, a thrilling new remix album, (Still) Heartless, is released today, based around the songs on their album Heartless, which came out last year.

To help them kick it off, we’re premiering here their strikingly unsettling new video for “Worn Skin.” The desolate, phantasmal Teutonic style and haunting narrative harken back to the likes of Gottfried Helnwein and Hans Bellmer…while also sharing obvious aesthetic ground with Marilyn Manson.

“This video is my most personal to date,” Cerezo reveals, “all my feelings, and what the song means to me. When the songs [for 2016 album Heartless) were written, I would often close my eyes and see my old dolls from my childhood. Only now with the signs of years of wear on their bodies and faces, now cast aside – alone, trapped in forgotten dark places, ignored, a meaningless existence. And yet once they had been so loved.”

Bestial Mouths will bring their foreboding musical pandemonium to the Bowery Electric this Sunday, March 19, sharing the bill with New York’s own Athan Maroulis fronted NOIR.


St. Vincent, John Legend, and Zach Galifianakis Are Collabing for Planned Parenthood

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.35.01 AM
Share Button
Photo: @st_vincent on Instagram

Celebrities all around the world are stepping up to help organizations like Planned Parenthood in light of Trump’s frightening and indecent presidency. The latest to take action? John Legend, St. Vincent, and Zach Galifianakis, it seems.

Brandon Stosuy, Editor-in-Chief of the Creative Independent, Tweeted this image of the trio, along with the caption “I’m working on something for Planned Parenthood on behalf of @TheCreativeIndp. These are some of the people involved. More soon:”

And that’s not the only exciting news. In a recent interview with the LA Times, Kristen Stewart said that, she, too, had some plans to help out PP: she said she’s working on a “musically orientated piece” with CHVRCHES, and that the project contains a “pretty simple but definitive narrative arc that highlights the cause in a sweet but quiet and confronting way.”

Hooray for working together to bring down tyranny!

Tinder Joins an Elitist Members-Only Online Dating Market

Eyes Wide Shut
Share Button

As if online dating weren’t already a minefield of unfortunate experiences with emotionally devoid small talk and swift attempts at a meaningless hookup, hopeless cyber romantics now have to worry if everyone’s having a figurative party without them. Members-only dating apps have gained traction in recent years, catering to an elite few via invitations and waiting lists.

Following cues from the likes of Raya and The League, Tinder is the latest app to cultivate a more exclusive niche. Operating within the popular dating app is Tinder Select, a platform for CEOs, supermodels, and Tinder users with particularly high swipe appeal. According to TechCrunch, the app within the app has been operational for about six months.

As Tinder has not officially announced the existence of Tinder Select, it appears that the dating service is meant to operate in secrecy like some modern version of Eyes Wide Shut. If Tinder hasn’t personally invited you, there’s still the possibility to receive an invite from a current member. Until then, perhaps love will prevail for us mere mortals confined to Tinder Basic.