One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters…But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk.

gabherman:

Some images from a travel story I shot around Maine last fall for Conde Nast Traveler. Check out the full story here that I just added to my site. 

©gabrielaherman

Floriane de Saint Pierre On CREATIVE LEADERSHIP

K-Hole: You describe “creative leadership” as a new organisational model, in which the role of the creative director and CEO come together. That statement is the impetus for this report. Can you expand on what that term means to you? What’s at stake in it, and how is it changing? Are there other organisational models competing with it, or is it the clear winner?

Floriane de Saint Pierre: There is a fundamental difference between design leadership and creative leadership. When the quality of a product or service becomes the minimum expectation, strong brands are successful not only thanks to strong design leadership, but also thanks to strong creative leadership. This is true for every product category, from cars to technology. Creative leadership includes design leadership and the ability to transcend established rules – business rules, for example – to invent new ones. Today, the question is: who leads a brand? Who creates the brand value? I would answer, undoubtedly, the creative leader, the individual who instinctively understands the spirit of a brand and the zeitgeist.

This is true whether the background of the creative leader is design or business. When you understand the spirit of a brand and the zeitgeist, you can lead creatively. This is why the nomination of Christopher Bailey as Chief Creative Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Burberry is extremely interesting, and incredibly smart. He’s retained Chief Creative Officer in his title, and it comes before the CEO title. It’s a major statement. Any winning global brand is aligned in the messages it delivers, not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but in terms of spirit – even in its business decisions.

» Read More.

The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused, while nature heals the disease.
9 JOHN MUIR QUOTES TO LIVE BY

TO BE MIND­FUL
“When we try to pick out any­thing by itself, 
we find it hitched to every­thing else in the Uni­verse.” 
- My First Sum­mer in the Sierra , 1911

TO LEARN
“I am los­ing pre­cious days. I am degen­er­at­ing into a machine for mak­ing money. 
I am learn­ing noth­ing in this triv­ial world of men. I must break away and get out into the moun­tains to learn the news.” 
- Alaska Days with John Muir by Samuel Hall Young 

TO FIGHT
“The bat­tle we have fought, and are still fight­ing for the forests is a part of the eter­nal con­flict between right and wrong, and we can­not expect to see the end of it. …So we must count on watch­ing and striv­ing for these trees, and should always be glad to find any­thing so surely good and noble to strive for.” 
- The National Parks and For­est Reser­va­tions” 
in a speech pub­lished in the Sierra Club Bul­letin, 1896

TO CON­SIDER
“How many hearts with warm red blood in them are beat­ing under cover of the woods, and how many teeth and eyes are shin­ing! A mul­ti­tude of ani­mal peo­ple, inti­mately related to us, but of whose lives we know almost noth­ing, are as busy about their own affairs as we are about ours.” 
- Our National Parks, 1901

TO RETURN HOME
“Thou­sands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized peo­ple are begin­ning to find out that going to the moun­tains is going home; that wild­ness is a neces­sity; and that moun­tain parks and reser­va­tions are use­ful not only as foun­tains of tim­ber and irri­gat­ing rivers, but as foun­tains of life.” 
- Our National Parks, 1901

TO LIS­TEN
“When one is alone at night in the depths of these woods, the still­ness is at once awful and sub­lime. Every leaf seems to speak.” 
- John of the Moun­tains: The Unpub­lished Jour­nals of John Muir1938

TO BREATHE
“Another glo­ri­ous day, the air as deli­cious to the lungs as nec­tar to the tongue.”  
- My First Sum­mer in the Sierra , 1911

TO SEE
“The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the dark­ness of igno­rance and unbe­lief, for when the light comes, the heart of the peo­ple is always right.” 
- John of the Moun­tains: The Unpub­lished Jour­nals of John Muir, 1938

Source: The Clymb

Can Couture be Modern? Despite its traditional codes, rituals and gender divisions, couture is modernising. But is modernisation at odds with its role as a creative laboratory for dreams?
BY ANGELO FLACCAVENTO
PARIS, France — Can couture be modern? The question surfaces regularly in Paris during Haute Couture Week. This season, more than ever, as designers engaged in a constant dialogue with history in order to progress: slicing, cutting, decomposing and recomposing shapes — the panier being a favourite — in a creative struggle to birth the new from a well-known repertoire. It did work, most of the time, but it also highlighted couture’s intrinsic anachronism.
Couture is a singular moment, made of peculiar rituals. For a start, there are the clothes: jewel-like creations reserved for an exclusive coterie of women. Indeed, in the audience are not the usual fashionistas, but the five-star luxury clientele, whose names are religiously kept secret by the maisons: wealthy madames and seasoned aristocrats coming from the four corners of the world, but also, increasingly, the nouveau, and decidedly younger, big spenders arriving to Paris from both established and emerging markets, well aware that the exclusivity of couture is the ultimate expression of power. There are also movie stars and celebrities, of course, but they rarely validate a show, or generate media coverage — tabloids are not exactly haute in spirit, you know.
In a world that is increasingly digital and manufactured — and thus infinitely replicable — couture is as old school as it can possibly get: hand-made, unique. Couture is like a journey into the past, a stroll in a different time period. It suggests women surrounded by maids helping them get dressed, ladies whose only preoccupation in life might be an immaculate coif and the will to shine as the irreproachable arm candy of their affluent husbands, to whom they dedicate their whole public existence. It is all about nipped waists and whalebones, arched eyebrows and splendid jewels. Ultimately, couture does without female emancipation and is the enemy of fashion’s increasing democratisation.
There is nothing democratic about couture and proudly so. It barely touches the glossies or the Internet, and, in return, is barely touched by the fever of visibility which has made fashion the religion of our time. It is a cult for the initiated and the cultivated, while mere fashion is, well, entertainment for the masses. Couture is based on values that are totally out of time. In a world that goes fast, it is slow. Extremely slow. You cannot have it right away. Buying does not happen in shops, but in ateliers or, better yet, in the mansions of clients themselves, where vendeuses reach customers to offer the best possible service. Then there are the conceptual and cultural boundaries to be considered. In a world that is increasingly open and hybridised, couture is closed and hyper-protective. (The very term haute couture is regulated by French law and membership in its governing body, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, is restricted to a handful of fashion houses). While the rest of the world embraces a visual language that is fluid and endlessly morphing, couture celebrates traditional codes, rituals and clearly defined gender divisions. In this sense, couture will never be truly modern.
Yet, in recent seasons, we’ve seen designers embrace modernisation and the couture week that closed yesterday offers further proof of this. Couturiers want to be relevant and act as such. Raf Simons has led the modernist pack since his arrival at Dior two years ago and so have Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino, whose main aim is to preserve and sustain the unique know-how of the traditional couture ateliers while creating clothes that, aesthetically, are meant for women of today. Their work is outstanding in technical finesse and grace, even when, like this season, it seems to lack coherence.
Karl Lagerfeld, too, at Chanel, keeps making the house codes lighter and younger. This means, essentially, faster lines and a stress on couture, not as occasion dressing, but as a complete wardrobe, encompassing daywear as well as incredible eveningwear and everything in between. Which is to say: couture is a service, exclusive to those who have infinite resources and prefer not to mingle with commoners.In this sense, it can be seen as modern, acknowledging that even jet-setters, today, lead hyperactive lives with very different behavioural patterns to those that came before them. Yet, with every good, there is also some bad. Although immaculately made and utterly precious, many of the pieces I saw this week — the Dior coats, for instance, or the ribbed jumpers at Valentino — looked a tad mundane on the couture catwalks, the difference compared to ready-to-wear not easy to detect with the bare eye (though if you wear or touch them, the distinction becomes blatantly apparent). These are creations that look real, maybe too real, and lack the dream element which is still couture’s main raison d’être. Or is it not?
Today, some ready-to-wear pieces are as precious, and as costly, as couture, so perhaps there is no point in exploring pragmatism in a couture collection. What we need from couture is invention: fashion’s fuel. Without this, the risk is homogenisation and fashion is already heading fast in that direction.
It’s a complicated riddle. Modernity is generally at odds with the will to make people dream. It is grounded, fast, tangible: qualities that might led couture to evolution — just think of the work of Raf Simons and Chiuri and Piccioli — or fatal extinction. One way or another, couture should be treated as a creative laboratory for beauty, much as Giambattista Valli does, consciously oblivious of what is modern and what is not. Beautiful things do not always need to be useful. They need to nurture the eye and the soul. For the rest, there are plenty of factories out there.

Can Couture be Modern? Despite its traditional codes, rituals and gender divisions, couture is modernising. But is modernisation at odds with its role as a creative laboratory for dreams?

BY ANGELO FLACCAVENTO

PARIS, France — Can couture be modern? The question surfaces regularly in Paris during Haute Couture Week. This season, more than ever, as designers engaged in a constant dialogue with history in order to progress: slicing, cutting, decomposing and recomposing shapes — the panier being a favourite — in a creative struggle to birth the new from a well-known repertoire. It did work, most of the time, but it also highlighted couture’s intrinsic anachronism.

Couture is a singular moment, made of peculiar rituals. For a start, there are the clothes: jewel-like creations reserved for an exclusive coterie of women. Indeed, in the audience are not the usual fashionistas, but the five-star luxury clientele, whose names are religiously kept secret by the maisons: wealthy madames and seasoned aristocrats coming from the four corners of the world, but also, increasingly, the nouveau, and decidedly younger, big spenders arriving to Paris from both established and emerging markets, well aware that the exclusivity of couture is the ultimate expression of power. There are also movie stars and celebrities, of course, but they rarely validate a show, or generate media coverage — tabloids are not exactly haute in spirit, you know.

In a world that is increasingly digital and manufactured — and thus infinitely replicable — couture is as old school as it can possibly get: hand-made, unique. Couture is like a journey into the past, a stroll in a different time period. It suggests women surrounded by maids helping them get dressed, ladies whose only preoccupation in life might be an immaculate coif and the will to shine as the irreproachable arm candy of their affluent husbands, to whom they dedicate their whole public existence. It is all about nipped waists and whalebones, arched eyebrows and splendid jewels. Ultimately, couture does without female emancipation and is the enemy of fashion’s increasing democratisation.

There is nothing democratic about couture and proudly so. It barely touches the glossies or the Internet, and, in return, is barely touched by the fever of visibility which has made fashion the religion of our time. It is a cult for the initiated and the cultivated, while mere fashion is, well, entertainment for the masses. Couture is based on values that are totally out of time. In a world that goes fast, it is slow. Extremely slow. You cannot have it right away. Buying does not happen in shops, but in ateliers or, better yet, in the mansions of clients themselves, where vendeuses reach customers to offer the best possible service. Then there are the conceptual and cultural boundaries to be considered. In a world that is increasingly open and hybridised, couture is closed and hyper-protective. (The very term haute couture is regulated by French law and membership in its governing body, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, is restricted to a handful of fashion houses). While the rest of the world embraces a visual language that is fluid and endlessly morphing, couture celebrates traditional codes, rituals and clearly defined gender divisions. In this sense, couture will never be truly modern.

Yet, in recent seasons, we’ve seen designers embrace modernisation and the couture week that closed yesterday offers further proof of this. Couturiers want to be relevant and act as such. Raf Simons has led the modernist pack since his arrival at Dior two years ago and so have Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino, whose main aim is to preserve and sustain the unique know-how of the traditional couture ateliers while creating clothes that, aesthetically, are meant for women of today. Their work is outstanding in technical finesse and grace, even when, like this season, it seems to lack coherence.

Karl Lagerfeld, too, at Chanel, keeps making the house codes lighter and younger. This means, essentially, faster lines and a stress on couture, not as occasion dressing, but as a complete wardrobe, encompassing daywear as well as incredible eveningwear and everything in between. Which is to say: couture is a service, exclusive to those who have infinite resources and prefer not to mingle with commoners.In this sense, it can be seen as modern, acknowledging that even jet-setters, today, lead hyperactive lives with very different behavioural patterns to those that came before them. Yet, with every good, there is also some bad. Although immaculately made and utterly precious, many of the pieces I saw this week — the Dior coats, for instance, or the ribbed jumpers at Valentino — looked a tad mundane on the couture catwalks, the difference compared to ready-to-wear not easy to detect with the bare eye (though if you wear or touch them, the distinction becomes blatantly apparent). These are creations that look real, maybe too real, and lack the dream element which is still couture’s main raison d’être. Or is it not?

Today, some ready-to-wear pieces are as precious, and as costly, as couture, so perhaps there is no point in exploring pragmatism in a couture collection. What we need from couture is invention: fashion’s fuel. Without this, the risk is homogenisation and fashion is already heading fast in that direction.

It’s a complicated riddle. Modernity is generally at odds with the will to make people dream. It is grounded, fast, tangible: qualities that might led couture to evolution — just think of the work of Raf Simons and Chiuri and Piccioli — or fatal extinction. One way or another, couture should be treated as a creative laboratory for beauty, much as Giambattista Valli does, consciously oblivious of what is modern and what is not. Beautiful things do not always need to be useful. They need to nurture the eye and the soul. For the rest, there are plenty of factories out there.

Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.