09/24/19
Photo: TheSultanette

When French Fashion Went To War: Vive La Fashionista!

Photo: TheSultanette

Felt emblem on WWI nurse’s bag from Bard Exhibit.

Is fashion liberating? Some say it encourages following the herd. But you won’t find a fashion victim on The Best Dressed List. That’s reserved for women who bend trends to fit their individual power, not the fashion police.

The history of feminism has been a story of good girls breaking rules and burning bras. We’ve always dressed, and undressed, for the revolution. So when The Sultanette learned of the exhibit, “French Fashion, Women & The First World War” at the Bard Graduate Center on New York’s Upper Westside, I put on my stilettos and sprinted across town for a look. Read more . . .

08/22/19

Hidden Venice: A Love Story In Black And White

Eugenio Novajra, 2017, The Great Beauty

“The black knot of gondolas in the canal of Mestre is more beautiful to me than a sunrise full of clouds all scarlet and gold.” John Ruskin, 1841

Just when you thought it was impossible to see Venice in a new light, La Serenissima sheds her color to reveal her bare essence, as expressed nearly two centuries ago by the Victorian art critic, John Ruskin.

Dream of Venice in Black and White, the third installment in the award-winning Dream of Venice series, continues its intimate portrait of the Adriatic Queen, this time as an homage to the city’s most precious and threatened commodity – her private worlds. Read more . . .

07/31/19
PHOTO: TheSultanette

Some Look For Love In Paris. Others Settle For Desire.

PHOTO: TheSultanette

Happily Ever After at the Palais Royal

Paris! City of Love or Capital of Desire? Choose your poison.

Love has occupational hazards (Think: Romeo and Juliet) and encourages odious feelings like guilt, jealousy, giddiness. Happily ever after requires contracts, vows, and facing a human at breakfast every morning.

Desire, on the other hand, is all feel-good in the moment. A tingling in the libido that makes the body smile. A stranger’s glance returned. A passing conversation ripe with innuendo. Desire requires no conquest, just the taste of possibility. It’s pure pleasure without the mess of plunder. Read more . . .

09/9/18

Is Passion Out of Fashion? The Bad Boy Charms of McQueen & McEnroe.

CoiledCorset 2004, ShaunLeaneforMcQueen.

“I want you to be repulsed or exhilarated,” Alexander McQueen offers viewers of his collection in the documentary, McQueen. “If you leave without emotion, then I’m not doing my job properly. I don’t want you to walk out feeling like you’ve just had Sunday brunch.”

You could say that Alexander McQueen and John McEnroe – born a decade and an ocean apart, pursuing distinct talents, and playing them out in completely different arenas – shared a similar passion. A zeal to be real.

With the simultaneous release of documentaries on both enfants terribles, I decided to chase down the theory one steamy summer weekend in Manhattan. (Bad boys are always persons of interest to The Male Harem.) Read more . . .

07/13/18
Photo: TheSultanette

Sex, Nudity & Handsome Strangers: Venice Biennale, Sultanette Style

Photo: TheSultanette

San Marco, straight up.

I know what you’re thinking. Is it possible for The Sultanette to post anything without the mention of sex, sex, sex? Even when the subject is the esteemed 16th International Venice Biennale of Architecture?

To that I say, isn’t it time we take sex out of the gutter? That we give it credit for more than scratching an itch in the libido? Admit that getting physical might release us from the tyranny of our brains? From those hidebound convictions, selfish inhibitions, and pious sentiments that sabotage our ability to live originally? If you don’t think architecture does that, read on. Read more . . .