Monday, April 6, 2009

The Beauty Diet

If love and beauty were foods, than I have been fully satiated this past weekend. Rather than an effort to limit my sustenance levels of these things, I soak them up in everyway I can. True beauty seems to be a rare commodity these days because it is often celebrated without the love that creates it, the result being an empty vehicle for commercial gain.

My first feast of beauty was viewing the film"Valentino, The Last Emperor" at the Film Forum this weekend. From the moment it began, I was swept up into a world of luxe living that can only be dreamed of. It wasn't just the exquisite fabrics and settings that wrapped a rich warm tapestry about me but the cloak of an abiding love and friendship that has existed for about fifty years between Valentino and his life partner, Giancarlo Giametti. Their love and security with one another was palpable on the screen, to the point that they seemed like two sides of a single gold coin trimmed in diamonds. The visual sumptousness of all those evening gowns on the runway were nothing compared to the sartorial lessons imparted by just watching those two turned out elegantly at every turn. You're left with wondering where have all the elegance gone? This film has been held over because of the sold out viewings, so I suggest you order tickets online to secure you seats.

Stepping out into the drizzling day afterwards, I strolled over to the June Kelly Gallery at 591 Broadway, to see the exhibition of sublime sculptural images by Elizabeth Catlett. June escorted me through the exhibit, sharing insights into the creation of each work and the motivations of the artist. Her loving descriptions and infinite patience only made me feel all the more blessed to know her, and motivated to continue to aspire to my own creative greatness. The 94 year old artist, who is an American national treasure, will be on hand on April 15th, at the gallery to greet admirers of her work and legendary life.

Finally, I dashed uptown as the weather broke, to the opening of "The Line of Fashion" at the Society of Illustrators, at 128 East 63rd St. At the behest of the director, Anelle Miller, Robert Richards had curated a marvelously beautiful showing from some of the leading Fashion Illustrators of our times. I was pleased to be among this selection of artists, some of whom I have admired for the entirety of my career. Having had a personal relationships with the likes of Antonio Lopez, Kenneth Paul Block, Steven Stipleman, Richard Rosenfeld, and an apreciation of others - like Mel Odom, Jim Howard, Eric, Bouche, Joe Eula, George Stavrinos, Bil Donovan - I felt right at home in the throng of admirers of their works. A new vanguard of artists like Steven Broadway, Alvaro, Carlos Aponte, Glenn Hilario were represented, giving a fresh look to the future of the artistic specialty. I was greeted there by Alva Chinn, (who appeared in the Valentino film), Renaldo Barnette (whose birthday bash last week was a blast)along with Kishiburo Ogawa, Steven Faerm, Erika Groeshel, Alston Greene, Judy Francis (another artist in the show), and so many others.

Filled by these images of beauty, I only felt lighter, if not heady, from so much luxe in my life this weekend. This is a diet I can recommend, that will fill you up yet will make you feel all too good.