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MATTEmatters: It’s a bit of a mixed bag

By Marcela Filomena

This week we range far and wide, from quaint and sweet to timeless and stolid, from Brooklyn to Paris to (possibly) your very own mailbox.

art- So how smart is this: the Brooklyn Community Supported Art + Design, an art and design subscription service modeled after Community Supported Agriculture.  The idea is simple- subscribe, buy a half or full share & receive one of 50 pieces  selected by a jury, whether it be a t-shirt, lighting, jewelry, painting, ceramics or decorative objects.  The project seeks to connect artists and designers directly with the community, in exchange for support.  A favorite on MATTERS, Christine Facella of Beetle and Flor is one of the designers participating, as well as new personal darlings Chandra Bocci and Niv Tishbi.  Now we just need some enterprising soul to start an art CSA here… hint, hint, wink, wink… anybody?

music - Tall, pale, blond Australian rapper Iggy Azalea is a bit of a conundrum: a high-school dropout who supported herself cleaning hotels, moves to the US and goes viral by fee-style rapping, of all things.  I feel kind of like I’m behind the curve on this artist.  It took a while for her to grow on me...but now I just can’t get enough of her big, white girl ass.  The first video of hers I ever saw-courtesy of Carambola- was Work, in which she decks herself out in that slightly offensive Dolce & Gabbana collection, filling it out to perfection thanks to the aforementioned derriere.  I’ve absolutely nothing bad to say about her hip-hop cred, the flyness of her lyrics, or her sick beats (I don’t really listen to enough hip-hop to have anything near an informed opinion).  I will, however, call your attention to her sense of humor: “taste the rainbow, taste my skittles”, “taste this kitty, silly billy poppin’ pillys, smoke it like a swisher, lick this fillin”.  Any girl who’ll talk about her nether regions that straightforwardly, especially in a sexual culture that centers itself on the male orgasm and social submission, is ok by me.  Did I mention she’s also smoking hot?

design - Based out of New York, Jona (yes, he’s cool enough to join the ranks of one-namers) embodies the stoic androgyny of his line InAisce, Gaelic for “in vain”.  The collections sheem to have been created outside of time, in any conceivable period from the Civil War to some post-apocalyptic future of nomadic tribes.  The coats! The paneling! The organic, rigid yet pliable feel of the garments, with their rough edges and simple industrial closures! InAisce deserves exclamation points to punctuate the end of everything written about it- or maybe a love point- because it’s simply that good.  Case in point: for the Dendrophylax Lindenii coat from S/S 2011, Jona had fabric developed that reproduced a bark-like texture through intricate pintucking, echoing the root system that anchors the orchid for which the coat was named to its host.  Additionally, the asymmetry in the silhouette emphasizes the epiphyte relationship, wending its way quite naturally around the wearer.  This sort of methodical approach characterizes each of the garments, and it’s well worth looking through all the back catalog just for these sort of clever, well thought-out details, no to mention that Jona could give us all a lesson in impeccable Savile Row level tailoring.

film - I have an intellectual love affair with Doris Lessing. Not quite a sapiosexual sort of attraction, it’s more like I would have loved attend one of her dinners, sit a few chairs down, and just listen to her talk.  Not even necessarily talk to her, which to tell you the truth, seems intimidating beyond words.  All this boils down to is that whenever I hear of any of her stories, books or plays being turned into a new film, I cringe.  Book adaptations are generally awful reinterpretations that either leave too much out or, conversely, attempt to say too much.  Hats off to “Adore”director Anne Fontaine- her adaptation of Lessing’s short novel The Grandmothers is spot-on and brilliant.  The film diverges a tad from the original, focusing on the beginning of a pseudo-incestuous relationship two best friends from childhood have with each other’s respective sons, whereas the book concentrates on the families after the affairs have ended.  Robin Wright and Naomi Watts play the mothers, and nobody- outside of Charlotte Rampling ten years ago-, could have embodied middle-aged sexiness with more finesse and subtlety.  This film hinges not so much on what happens as on the indulgent journey to get there.  At Matters I’ve touched on upon mature female sexuality before- remember the jewel that is Heading South?- and this recalls that film in its unabashed refusal to pussyfoot around the subject. 

item - When was the last time a handwritten letter with foreign postage, penned by a mysterious stranger, actually arrive at your door, if ever?  Do you remember the anticipation as you slit open the envelope, slid out the paper and opened it, as though stepping through the looking glass into another world, another mind, another city… well, wait no more.  Lettres d’un Inconnu offers just that excitement, for the modest fee of 6.95 euros a month for the francophones and 7.95 for those of you who manage best in English.  From the heart of Montmartre, each subscriber receives two monthly letters, filled with stories, life moments or a souvenir.