Leonardo DiCaprio looks pissed in this picture playing The Great Gatsby, and it’s probably how he was feeling after being shutout again at the Oscars. However the film The Great Gatsby was nominated for two Oscars and it took home two, that is what I call batting 100%. Catherine Martin winning the award for costume design for her work in The Great Gatsby it also won for Best Production Design.
Spy Girl posted from Hollywood Dolby Theater.
Merchant Ivory Productions is a film company founded in 1961 by late producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory with whom my partners ( Thomas Scott Kaplan who was a kid out of Oxford now a billionaire natural resources investor, philanthropist and art collector; Daniel Sarnoff whose family founded NBC, and RCA, and the late Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza for whom King Jaun Carlos of Spain built an art gallery to house his art the largest private art collection in the world) entered into a five film financing agreement. Ismail Merchant was hot off his Oscar win for the film “Room With A View” had won three Oscars, Best Art Direction; Gianni Quaranta, Brian Ackland-Snow, Brian Savegar, Elio Altamura, Best Costume Design; Jenny Beavan, John Bright and Best Adapted Screenplay; Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Before the ink had dried on our contracts, Ismail had this brilliant idea that my partners and my fledgling entertainment company partially finance a film “The Deceivers”. No one really wanted to do, but then there was Pierce Brosnan the film would be made in India and how could you not make a film with the man who made ‘Star Trek Wrath Of Khan’ and said;
I was always a filmmaker before I was anything else. If I was always anything, I was a storyteller, and it never really made much of a difference to me what medium I worked in. – Nicholas Meyer
Life comes full circle at times and when it does it’s always a good thing and in this case it’s Sean Brosnan and his first directorial debut ‘The Kid’.
Sean Brosnan is not stranger to Hollywood, or talent. The film ‘The Kid’is mostly about Sean, and the (picture above) Sean films a scene right outside the building in which I once lived in Venice (in the apartment that was set for Sly Stallone film ‘Cobra’).
THE KID is a story of a young aspiring poet at the age of twelve, who because of harsh circumstances in his life; a mother who passed away and his father, a mechanic, still struggling to come to terms with it, is forced to grow up too fast. He finds his family in a group of kids older than he is and is thrown into a world of alcohol, drugs, parties and girls.
Much wiser than his years and almost everyone around him, Frankie literally sees himself as a man when he’s alone, while the rest of the world simply sees him as just a kid, except for one nineteen year old girl named Charlie.
Actor/Writer/Director, Sean Brosnan, assembled a multi award-winning cast and crew for this project. The film was produced by Sanja Banic and Sean who also wrote it. Sean’s talent shines in the film he knows that the camera lens if allowed to roam free can capture the soul and he lets it do just that, not to mention that the script is real and Sean keep’s it all real in the film ‘The Kid’
Sean has seen his share of Oscar hoopla, last year he was at the Vanity Fair party having a blast and I am sure this year Sean and Sanja will be doing the same. It would be great to have him over in Toronto at the Toronto International Film Festival one day he is a rare talent whose time has arrived. As the hours tick-away to showtime for the Oscars, this is a kid to keep an eye on, Sean Brosnan.
2014 Oscars Countdown – Caroline Mc Menamin From Belfast, Northern Ireland With A Look For The Silver Screen – Bowie Film Discovery
Show time to Oscars is hours away. Soon stars will walk down the Red Carpet and some will get the nod for The Academy Award. Each person you see all started at point “A” it’s where everyone starts and then one day that dream you have comes true. When I first saw the photo-shoot by Catherine MacKenzie in Belfast and Caroline Mc Menamin I instantly thought of Michelle Pfeiffer. It will be obvious to you that the camera loves Caroline. She wants to hold Beyoncé’s hand when she visits Belfast and walk her around showing her the history of her city. Caroline loves to hit the day charging and as in this world dreams can come true, and one day she could be walking down that Red Carpet. The Oscar goes to the lady with the blazing red hair. Caroline, likes David Bowie’s song “China Girl” and as I am sitting once again under a cherry blossom tree in Japan posting this in the background is China Girl outtakes from David Bowie Is Around The World film.
“I have listened to David Bowie since I can remember. I have always been intrigued by him. I always found myself reading up on him, finding out what inspired him, why he had a pupil more dilated than the other. I love ‘China girl’ and ‘Starman’. He has even inspired my style. I find that David Bowie defines the word ‘icon’, it’s like he is not a man, but a metaphysical force. – Caroline Mc Menamin”
1. Cognitive behavior therapy – what made you pursue studies in this area?
My first degree is in Drama, and I found whilst i was doing practical workshops working on specific characters that there was a lot of mental preparation and exploration about how your own personality fits a character. I found this had therapeutic elements. I found that it allowed for inward evaluation of the ‘self’. This eventually led me to focus my thesis on ‘Drama as Therapy’. I discovered a sea of therapeutic interventions with creative foundations, and so from that I wanted to broaden my repertoire of therapies as I wanted to contribute to helping people with mental health difficulties.
2.On your FB you like Tony Hawk, any reason for that?
As a teenager I was a rocker/skate boarder. Whilst I wasn’t so good on the skate board, I still enjoyed it, I loved watching my friends doing their tricks and I loved to watch the Extreme sport channel. I also loved playing the Tony Hawk underground game on the play-station. I was quite the tomboy, and I still have that element within me, it can be seen in my choice of clothing and the fact that I’d prefer to wear my leather jacket instead of a girly dress.
3. How did you start in modeling ?
You don’t do that full time? and what are your other interests. I started modelling when I was 15/16. I started off doing bridal fayres and then eventually I was working for a lot of hair salons and local boutiques. Eventually I signed with a modelling agency in Dublin and have had editorials from that. I work within the North of Ireland a lot and it has opened a portal through which I met and made friends with some amazingly creative people. I love modelling as it’s a lovely recreational outlet for me as working in the mental health field can be arduous. Along with modelling I work on my blog ‘The Red Dutchess’ which is a lifestyle blog, and whilst I’ve a million thoughts and theories in my mind the content of my blog and be quite unpredictable. I also write for a mental health magazine and write for other people’s needs. I love to write.
4. You like Beyoncé I can understand that in your words tell us why?
I was barely a teenager when my sister showed me a new album called ‘Writings on the Wall’ by a group that I haven’t heard of until then. They were called Destiny’s Child. From that very day and hour I’ve loved Beyoncé. Not only do I think she has an unprecedented beauty, I have found that she has had a MAJOR influence on how I perceive myself as a female in a male dominated world. Through her songs and lifestyle she has subliminally given me a me, and the rest of the world, a message that says ‘I’m a woman, look at what I’ve achieve, don’t hold back, depend on yourself, work hard and never be complacent’. There’s a great quote that says ‘You have just as many hours in the day as Beyonce’, that in itself tells me to waste no time and charge towards the day.
5. Beyoncé is coming to Belfast, if you were her tour guide what would you show her about your city? cafe, bar, restaurant etc.
I would take Beyoncé by her beautifully manicured hand and walk past the commercialism of the shops and show her the seeds from which Belfast and the North has grown. I would show her the history that is embroidered on the diversely coloured fabric that wraps around Belfast. Whilst there may be dark elements of the history, it is still a history that is rich and indelible and a namesake of Northern Ireland.
6. Who would you say are some of the people who inspired you?
Anybody that has a strong work ethic and assertiveness have a tremendous impact on me. Different people have different inspirational qualities that I aspire to have. My parents have inspired me to be honest, and sincere. Their modesty and support have always made me feel a great sense of pride that they’re my parents. My godmother and I are close, she is the epitome of a strong independent woman. She is unbelievably intelligent but has a jovial and loving personality. She has taken me travelling since I was 14. I’ve been to many places and gained knowledge that only travelling can give. She has been a medium through which I can experience the world. My little nephew and niece have inspired me to ‘just be’. To enjoy the moment, to become mindful of everything around me, to not think of the next hour, but to just enjoy the ‘now’, and that might be just playing with cars with my nephew and cuddling my beautiful niece, who also has red hair. I’m so proud to be their aunt.
7. If you could do anything in the world what would that be?
The first thing that comes to mind when I read this question is Albert Einstein’s quote ‘ I have no special talent, I’m just passionately curious’. This is just me. I want to experience and do everything. I may wake up and decide ‘i want to design a dress that I would wear to a party hosted by ‘Jay Gatsby’, or I might decide I want to know about ‘the French Renaissance’ or read the theories of philosophers. Or I might decide I want to be an actress, or a Mother or designer. My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and ideas, but I’m only one person, I don’t have enough years to do everything I want to do.
8. You did a photo shoot recently wore a wig, and had a cover of David Bowie LP in the picture, any thought on David Bowie?
I have listened to David Bowie since I can remember. I have always been intrigued by him. I always found myself reading up on him, finding out what inspired him, why he had a pupil more dilated than the other. I love ‘China girl’ and ‘Starman’. He has even inspired my style. I find that David Bowie defines the word ‘icon’, it’s like he is not a man, but a metaphysical force.
9.Lets talk food, what are some of your favorite foods you like to eat or cook?
Oh lets talk food indeed. My God I love my food, but to look at me you wouldn’t think I ate much. I love to cook but I especially love going out and travelling to different countries to experience their native foods and dishes. I love Italian and Indian. I find Italian food extremely satisfying, I just to come home from school and sit down to have bread and olives with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil, and my Mother would be standing making Irish Stew and I’d be sitting in an Italian reverie.
10. The Red Dutchess is your blog- how did that come about and how did you come up with the name?
I wanted a name that held power and strength, a name that denoted ‘i’m a strong woman’. I have red hair, so there was the word ‘red’, and one of my favorite films is ‘the dutchess’ that stars Keira Knightly who was the Dutchess of Devonshire who was a woman before her time. She was adored for her complex character She was also an active political campaigner in an age when women’s suffrage was still over a century away. She’s a woman who was empowered and ambitious with no inhibitions. She has inspired me to build my blog on the foundation of her qualities that she was so well-known for. Her trousseau, her interest in social issues and her need to speak her mind. She has been the source which has inspired the content of my blog.
2014 Oscars Countdown – Gucci Power and the Power Couple Patrizio di Marco and Frida Giannini – ‘Keeping It Sexy’
It’s crunch time in Los Angles as everyone is gearing up for showtime the biggest event called The Oscars. What’s taking place at the Beverly Hills Hotel? The Gucci power couple are at work, and Skype seems to be freezing up. Not only do Patrizio di Marco and Frida Giannini have to look after all the high-powered stars they also have to keep tabs on their young daughter. The transmission from their Beverly Hills hotel room froze Giannini’s image, raising concerns about how 9-month-old Greta, at home with her grandmother in Rome, might regard this potentially scary picture of her mama.
Who needs the right shoes, that clutch, and you know what Leonardo DiCaprio will be wearing as will most of the Wolf of Wall Street nominees, Gucci. So in true Italian fashion you have the team that have become lovers, parents and managing what their shareholder calls the spine of his fashion luxury group.
Pairings between executives and designers are not unheard of in the fashion industry, yet news of the involvement between Giannini, who is Gucci’s 41-year-old creative director, and di Marco, 51, the brand’s chief executive, created a sensation two years ago. Facing global headlines, the couple felt obligated to pinpoint the moment their professional relationship had turned personal—during a June 2009 business trip to open a new Gucci flagship in Shanghai—and to field intimate questions about the fallout if the relationship ever soured.
This caused Di Marco phoning François-Henri Pinault—chief executive of Kering, the luxury giant and parent company of both Gucci. Pinault—who he often calls his “shareholder”—to ask for a meeting in Paris. Pinault chuckles when he recalls the conversation that took place between the three of them. After explaining their involvement, di Marco offered to quit his job. Pinault batted the suggestion aside. “My first answer, you know what? I’ve been working with my family for 30 years. What is the issue here?
“It’s very demanding,” Pinault adds. And if things go sour, he notes, “That’s their own issue. I don’t want to be involved in their private life.”
The once-flashy brand has executed a U-turn as it aims for wealthier consumers, with a focus on sensuality and its Italian heritage. This strategy has paid off, with a 17.7 percent rise in profits before interest and taxes, to $1.26 billion in 2012. Today, 72 percent of Gucci’s revenues are of leather goods and shoes, says di Marco, while a few years ago 85 percent was of fabric products. The tricky part has been maintaining Gucci’s sexy image throughout.
“What has been done by Patrizio and Frida was to rebalance Gucci,” says Pinault. It’s only a beginning, he concedes, but notes, “Gucci is already becoming perceived as being more luxurious than it was.”
This repositioning is essential to Pinault’s plans for Kering. Before he took control of the company from his father, François Pinault, the brands of Kering (then called PPR) were left to operate autonomously, with little reliance on one another. “We were in a format that was called a conglomerate,” says the younger Pinault. Now, he says, “More and more we are developing brand synergies at the Kering level.”
Those synergies coalesce around Gucci, which Pinault calls “the spine” of Kering. More than its biggest luxury brand, Gucci serves as Kering’s innovation incubator. Its leather goods factory in Florence has also been used as a research laboratory for other Kering brands including Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta. Its apparel factory in Novara creates samples and prototypes for Kering ready-to-wear lines like Stella McCartney, enabling the giant to leverage the skills of its top artisans across its luxury universe. Di Marco is one of Pinault’s key players, with influence that extends beyond Gucci. He now sits on Kering’s executive committee, where he may weigh in on issues impacting the company’s 15 luxury brands and five sport/lifestyle brands, from Brioni to Puma.
At Gucci, di Marco has backed Giannini in taking a deep dive into the label’s own Florence-based archive. Di Marco recently engineered the purchase of a financially distressed Italian porcelain maker, Richard Ginori 1735, preserving both its name and its fine artisanal methods to produce products for Gucci as well as for Ginori.
Gucci is simultaneously moving away from the vampy edge that made the company’s name in the go-go ’90s, when then-designer Tom Ford riveted attention on Gucci with stunt advertisements (shaving a “G” in model Louise Pedersen’s nether parts) and sending a male model down the runway in a logo G-string. Pinault and di Marco pay Ford homage for building, in Pinault’s words, Gucci’s “fashion authority.”
“Gucci as a company exists because of what Tom Ford and Domenico [De Sole, then-CEO] did,” says di Marco. These days, the label is downplaying overt sexuality. Buttery silk dresses and stiletto heels suggest but don’t shock. A brand film shot by Bruce Weber focuses on a pretty model kissing a foal and long shots of meadows.
Gucci also recently emerged from a production overhaul, undertaken in 2004 to certify that its supply chain meets the “SA8000” standards of the independent inspection group Bureau Veritas. The effort promotes work practices that, among other things, meet the conventions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Though it’s expected to raise Gucci’s public image, the move was costly. It took three years and caused Gucci to sever ties with a number of its longtime suppliers in Italy. “You can have your own Bangladesh in Italy: Workers working over weekends; cots in factories. We had to make a lot of changes,” says di Marco. “We respect every law. That’s a big statement I’m making.”
Giannini has also stepped beyond the confines of her design studio, pursuing a scale of philanthropic activity that is unusual for designers. Gucci has become one of the biggest corporate donors to Unicef’s Schools for Africa program (cofounded by the Nelson Mandela Foundation), paying nearly $15 million to build schools and cover pupils’ fees. It has paid another $3 million for HIV/AIDS relief and disaster response initiatives, according to Unicef. Caryl Stern, president and chief executive of the U.S. Fund for Unicef, says Giannini has been so hands-on that the two have become friends, noting that she doesn’t believe their philanthropy is just part of a marketing strategy. “Nowhere do you see ‘brought to you by Gucci,’ ” she says. “What you see is schools and no school fees.”
Giannini herself conceived of Chime for Change, a global campaign for girls’ and women’s empowerment that launched last February and was celebrated with a June concert at London’s Twickenham Stadium. The concert was headlined by Beyoncé, Florence Welch, Jennifer Lopez and Mary J. Blige. Violence against women is a particular concern in Italy, where the disturbing trend of women assaulted by husbands and boyfriends has been making headlines. “In the south of Italy, it’s like the Middle Ages,” says Giannini, who grew up in a Roman household that her parents agree was a matriarchy.
I was introduced to Frieda by Pinault when Gucci had a London office. What I liked about her then was her interest in a shirt I was wearing, that had an open bow tie print on a tuxedo shirt. It was this keen interest that lets you know the person is all about creative ideas “I want to own Venice” and she meant it the city, and the Film Festival the foundation to were Gucci is going where laid and it will be rocking the Red Carpet the parties.