Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Dear Frank McCourt has passed, 1930-2009 July 20, 2009

20mccourt.xlarge2Along with Dostoyevsky and F. Scott Fitzgerald, this is one of my favorite passages of all time. From Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes:

“When I look back on my childhood, I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: The happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

“People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and all the terrible things they did to us for 800 long years.”

Read more about Frank McCourt’s life here.

Another great link to Frank McCourt.

And a Facebook note.

 

Valentino movie takes Midwest by storm, still going strong July 19, 2009

A wonderful note about the success of the Valentino movie, but what touched me was that it opened in both Columbia, Mo., and Des Moines, Iowa, two small Midwestern cities I once inhabited. Brava, Columbia and Des Moines!

valentinoDear Friends & Fans,

After a very strong first weekend in CANADA, we are happy to announce that we’re adding more screens in TORONTO (now also at AMC Winston Churchill and AMC Kennedy Commons) and MONTREAL (now also at Cinema Fortune Cavendish). Check the full listing of all 7 theaters on our website.

In the U.S., while still going strong in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES after almost 4 months, Valentino continues to fill art houses around the country: This week WILTON, NH, and COLUMBIA, MO, are added to the list. And IOWANS, who so boldly embraced gay marriage a few months ago, can rush to the Varsity Theater in DES MOINES to learn a few lessons about longevity in relationships from the Italian couturier!

And that’s not all! We have a great program for the rest of the summer, which includes engagements in LAS VEGAS, MARTHA’S VINEYARD, THE VILLAGES in FLORIDA, ORLANDO, ESTERO, TEMPE, SACO, ELLSWORTH and return engagements to PALM SPRINGS and CHICAGO. See the list of all upcoming cities below or at http://www.valentinomovie.com.

Have a great weekend!

“What is the difference between good style and trash?
Darling, I have no idea!” -Joan Collins

The Valentino Team

 

Writing Dangerously: The Hinge Manual July 18, 2009

omegaCheck out this free writing manual, below, called the “Hinge Manual,” from the editor of Omega. Not sure what “Hinge Theory” is exactly, but it has some very ’60s echoes on exploring creativity:

This notice is to offer you a gratis copy—free of charge—of the “Hinge Manual” on PDF via e-mail. What is the function of a Hinge Manual, you might ask. It’s a comprehensive introduction to the revolutionary new genre of poetics termed “Hinge Theory,” which is just now beginning to ignite a river of inspirational fire and a storm of controversy in the world of literature, music, and art.

To receive your free copy (on PDF) of the Hinge Manual, e-mail your request to Michael Annis at WritingDangerously@howlingdogpress.com.

Visit Omega’s online literary journal site here.

Visit Omega’s FB page here.

 

Museum At FIT: Isabel Toledo July 17, 2009

Note: Best known for her inaugural day suit on display at this show, Isabel Toledo is a designer’s designer. Read more about her show at FIT and her story here.

newtoledo1aIsabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out
June 17 through September 26, 2009

The Cuban-born fashion designer Isabel Toledo is often described as “a designer’s designer.” Although she is little known to the general public, her work is greatly admired by members of the fashion community. As the late fashion journalist Amy Spindler once wrote, “Only great designers can dispense with themes and theatrics and let the work speak instead. Ms. Toledo does just that, letting fashion itself be the theme.”  Learn more …

 

Long live the British tabs

amyI spent a lot of time sitting in a doctor’s office today, reading trashy celeb/fashion tabloids from across the Pond, and they really do put our tabs to shame. See for yourself at HeatWorld.com, with headlines like: “Amy and Blake are officially divorced. Phew.” Get more British trash tab here.

 

Bags Plus More: Made With Simplicity July 15, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham, owner of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market.

Catherine Kaczanowski is the owner of Bags Plus More and is a member of the Reclaimed to Fame Market.  She designs fabulous tote bags, shoulder bags and plastic bag holders from recycled materials.

“My sewing bags, etc. all started a few years ago when my nephew’s school was having a fund raising bazaar. My sister-in-law (nephew’s mother) is an interior decorator and asked if I could sew up some items to sell. Well, the totes, etc. began! The bazaar was a success! This was two years ago. The school no longer has the bazaar, but I have continued sewing and selling at craft shows when I can and online. I also make donations to our local Physically Challenged Developmental Site, Cancer Centers and Nursing Homes.

“I use upcycled interior decorating fabric samples from my sister-in-law’s business. Instead of throwing these items to landfills, I reuse them to make useful handmade items. All items are double stitched with a zigzag finish. I keep it simple, durable, washable, and useful!”

 

Kenneth D. King: King of Couture Embellishment July 14, 2009

kingToday is the last day of my haute couture embellishments class at FIT, where we present our portfolios,  and I wanted to pay a little homage to my professor, Kenneth D. King. This man lives and breathes couture embellishment and approaches it with a curiosity and creativity that is as rare as it is delightful. Visit couture designer Kenneth D. King’s site here. 

For his Designer Bead Embroidery book, click here. book

 

Organic Gurus July 13, 2009

organicgurusIsn’t that just what we need in this confusing green world? This cleaner vs. that one, what are the p.c. beauty products and so forth. Well, there’s a new web site that’s just that: Organic Gurus offers everything from bath and body stuff to eco books. Their tagline is “Getting you green” and if that doesn’t just make me heave a big, ol’ sigh of relief, ‘cuz it sounds so painless. Get green here. Visit the Facebook fan page here.

Can something so pretty be good for you, too? Apparently!

Can something so pretty be good for you, too? Apparently!

 

Presenting Mitzi TV July 12, 2009

If there’s one blog I like to read consistently, it’s the saucy author Mitzi Szereto’s. Here, Mitzi steps in to the third dimension with her new Mitzi TV and ventures into Central London to meet up with the Westminster Morris Men, a team of Morris Dancers who do a lot more than shake their booty. This London expat lass is bawdy funny. Visit her blog here or view on YouTube below. Join Mitzi’s Facebook fan page here.

 

The Model as Muse exhibit at the Met July 11, 2009

model_as_muse_bigHurry on over to the Met before this show closes. I went with my FIT gal pals last night, and if you have an interest in either magazine or fashion history, this is a wonderful eye candy walk through the mid-20th century to now. What’s most wonderful about the show is that they have brought in the real designer garments (Balenciaga, Dior and more) that were featured in spreads, along with a pictorial history of fashion shooting through the decades. Plus, you have the music of each era in each section, so it literally is a walk down memory lane. See is through August 9. Learn more …

Cheap tip: Go on Friday night. The museum is open until 9 and it’s perfectly kosher to pay $1 admission, even though the usual fee is $20.