13 May, 2010

The Duchess Observes . . .

Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston


Apologies for the absence, dear readers, but feasting on the buffet of life keeps the Duchess quite busy. She's sure you understand. The late nights and endless libations are taking their toll, but at least this weekend she can get away for a little R&R. Until then, no rest for the weary.


None at all. Last night, for example, the Duchess and partner-in-crime Marchioness feted the west coast premiere of Whitney Smith's pseudo-documentary Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston. Conceived and created posthumously, Smith -- in an apparent quest to capture the zeitgeist of the swinging '70s, with Halston at its helm -- necessarily resorted to personal interviews with Halston's friends, confidantes, and business partners. The interviews range from the wildly fascinating (muse Liza Minnelli) to the substantial (the elegant Naeem Khan, who apprenticed with Halston) to the grossly comedic (M Andre Leon Talley); at best, though, they were an entertaining collection of anecdotes in loving memory to Halston, a man so emblematic of '70s glamour and excess that he cannot be adequately explored in Smith's film.

The film, oddly, was really not glamourous at all; it was witty and self-effacing, and garnered its fair share of laughs from what was probably a pretty humourless audience. For all its star-studded cast and provenance, it wasn't inspirational (like Matt Tyrnauer's excellent documentary on Valentino Garavani (book coming out in July, published by Taschen)) and it wasn't exciting (like Unzipped). It was fun and lighthearted; not exactly Halston-ish (or Duchess-ish for that matter) but certainly a good excuse for a party. Which we of course did.


Marchioness and Duchess migrated westward to a little dinner held in honor of the filmmaker at the Soho House. Although the food wasn't so yummy, the company certainly was. Oy.


On another note the Duchess kindly thanks the Duke for an introduction to The Black Keys' advance releases from its new album, "Brothers", which drops (as they say) on May 18. The song "Tighten Up" perhaps could not be tighter (production by Danger Mouse). The First Duke tells her too that on the very same day drops an expanded version of "Exile on Main Street", which is in the Duchess's top two or three favorite albums of all time, and contains many of her favorite songs too.

But baby, I can't stay. You've got to roll me and call me the tumbling dice.

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