Steven F. Arnold (1943–1994) Born in Oakland, Ca., he moved to Los Angeles and set up a studio on the bend of Beverly and Virgil. His studio was dark—only when he lite it did you see all the extravangrant props and elements of his photography. In some ways, he felt San Francisco—though every visit to his studio would have someone from the movie business; Ellen Burstyn and Grace Zabriskie were regulars. He shot mostly from a tall ladder looking down. It was the first time I came to realize that a six pack could be created in illusion by painting shadows. He mastered in tromp l’oei (to deceive the eye) and the creation of photographic tableaus.He was also a filmmaker, painter, illustrator, set and costume designer, and assemblage artist.
This Sunday, Outfest presents the documentary about his life.
Angelica Huston narrates this exploration of the spectacularly dreamlike world of Salvador Dali’s protégé and PWA, Steven Arnold, and his strikingly creative and influential body of work filled with occult rituals, Hollywood camp, and surrealist art nouveau whimsy. Taken from more than 70 hours of original and archival footage, including rare scenes of Holly Woodlawn, director Vishnu Dass digs deeply into the decadent countercultural and inspiring life of this unheralded multimedia artist of the queer community.
Lights, cameras, action… Food, music, fashion! These are the staples that make up almost all of Southern California’s events, and it would be a disservice to attendees if even one of those necessities were forgotten. It’s a perfect formula, and emerging denim brand, Majority Denim, is looking to take advantage of what much of SoCal’s population thrives on — while also directly connecting to striving artists and influencers for amazing opportunities.
On Thursday, July 25, 2019, from 7 pm to 10 pm, Majority Denim will hold their first major event, titled “Meet the Majority – How Style Sounds”. This free special event is a celebration of a new beginning in Los Angeles for Majority Denim. This innovative, high-quality fashion brand, is designed to style all genders, and proceeds from every item purchased from the brand will be donated to charity. While designated to be an evening where fashion meets music, Majority Denim plans on introducing their new influencer program, “Meet The Majority”. The Majority influencers will unveil their creative craft by showcasing their custom denim pieces in collaboration with Majority Denim’s Creative Director/Co-Founder, Christian K.
Even more exciting, the event will feature live music performances from Jeff Bernat (@jeffbernat) & Nathi (@nathiofficial) with their original music. Fortunately, the fun doesn’t stop there, as the evening will also include a Majority Denim pop up shop with a DIY Custom Station, complimentary bites and drinks, a live DJ (DJ Street Fox) & live music, a performance by The Mob Dance Company (@themobdanceco), and a night of mingling with the trendsetters and tastemakers of LA. This special event will be held at As We Dwell, located in the Arts District of Los Angeles, at 440 S. Alameda St. More information about this new and beautiful location can be found on their website, while more details about the event can be found on Eventbrite.
Features and benefits of the “Meet The Majority – How Style Sounds” event include:
An estimated 1K+ attendees throughout the event.
An expansive network of fashionable artists, musicians, actors, dancers, and business entrepreneurs.
An innovative denim company fresh to the fashion scene introducing high quality styles fit for all genders.
A showcase of the “Meet The Majority” Brand Influencers custom denim styles created with the Creative Director/Co-Founder Christian K. The influencers collective network spans over half a million followers across digital media platforms.
“Sharing a sense of style through community, innovation, and unity. We don’t need to fit in, we stand out” – Majority Denim
“An innovative, high quality fashion brand, designed to style all genders. Made in Los Angeles. A team of veteran denim makers with over 30 years of experience using high quality Italian, Japanese, Brazilian and American denim. We are on the path of discovering the ‘nu’ generation movement and merging it with consistent high quality and tradition.”
Majority Denim also has a recently launched YouTube Channel where they give exclusive access to their business, their partners, lifestyle, and design process. Click the play button below for a deeper glimpse into what the fresh LA. brand is about.
If you haven’t already taken a summer vacation, odds are you will soon. And if you have taken that summer vacay already, you’ll probably be taking another one or doing some outdoor activities at the very least. For that reason alone, we thought it would be a great opportunity to revisit footwear brand MOBS Design. After all, in LA’s summer fun (and heat), comfort is a top-notch priority — and MOBS is here to delivery just that. If you missed our previous coverage of MOBS’ amazing brunch event, you can catch up here. Otherwise, keep reading to learn more about why we’re revisiting this amazing brand!
MOBS Design is a staple for the shoe connoisseur, and they’ve been creating extremely comfortable, light-weight, and attractive shoes for both men and women. With a variety of eye-catching styles, the shoes truly fit whatever occasion life can throw at you. From running and exploring the city, to picking up the kids after work, MOBS has taken into account that we live diverse and busy lives. As a result, the company’s offerings transcend the demands of daily life.
In addition to the many styles, MOBS features an easy-on-the-eyes array of color combinations to further meet your particular tastes. Whether you’re feeling sporty and need a breathable knit finish, or life is demanding something more formal to match your slacks, this brand has your feet covered with all-leather finish options. When we last met with the MOBS team, they wore their favorite pairs of stylish designs, and spoke eloquently of their mission, creative and design processes, and what’s to come in the company’s future. Here’s what that vision is like today, plus a little more insight from MOBS’ Founder and CEO, Alexandre Benaim, in a special Q&A interview:
Where do you find inspiration for the aesthetic of MOBS?
“I find my inspiration in culture all around the world but also in design, architecture, art, photography, cartoons, sport wear, work wear, combat wear, materials, high end and any fashion to create versatile sneakers that work in any situation and allow to be active and dress-up.”
What sparks your ideas, visually? Why unisex?
“Sneakers are functional product by definition which makes our designs are driven by technics and comfort. Otherwise I believe that men and women can definitely wear the same colors and materials.”
What are your imperatives as a creative director?
“Find the meaning without losing the goals. Create the aesthetic without losing the comfort. Build the story without losing the identity.”
How do you keep creative integrity and originality within the footwear market, while so many brands are copying from each other?
“We are not chasing the trends, we are not reinventing the wheels… In fact we are just trying to offer the best version of classic silhouette by offering a minimalist timeless design.”
Who would you describe as the quintessential MOBS consumer?
“Any active, nomadic people with a free state of mind.”
What direction would you like to see MOBS grow toward in the future?
“I would love to establish MOBS as a relevant high-end, athletic lifestyle brand with a diversity of products.”
Everyone has remarked the extreme comfort of MOBS shoes. What is the secret?
“The magic recipe! We design and engineer a real athletic in-sole and out-sole combined with leather uppers, and even the entire linings of all our models are made from natural leather. We have been through all the details to offer the best possible comfort.”
What is your favorite shoe from the collection, and why?
“Tough question… But the high top is really an awesome version of what I think is the most emblematic sneaker’s silhouette.”
MOBS Design brings innovation, unique colors, high-quality materials and undeniable comfort to the table. LA summers have become notorious for all there is to do regarding entertainment and activities — as well as the scorching weather. The MOBS brand is a refreshing eye-magnet in the world of sneakers, and it’s reassuring to find a brand of shoes that can bring many miles of durability to the feet of consumers in an extremely versatile and stylish way. Simply put, the shoes are just so damn cool!
THIS WEEK: DANCES WITH FILMS FESTIVAL, WONDERWORLD LA
DANCES WITH FILMS
The opening night green-carpet event for the Dancing With Films indie film festival took place in the gorgeous and historic lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, directly across from the TCL Chinese Theatres where the short and full-length works were set to screen over the next couple of weeks in multiple theaters. As directors, producers and on-screen talent made their way down the carpet, each group shepherded by a protective publicist, such as seasoned L.A. flacks Henry Eshelman and Diane Brown, cameras flashed and interviewers held up mics under the glaring lights. For many of these indie filmmakers from around the world and around the U.S., this was their very first brush with Hollywood glamour!
Now that the Los Angeles Film Festival has ceased hosting an annual event, Dances With Films — so named in its debut year by co-founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent to support a feature film they had made called Indemnity, in the wake of Sundance hosting a plethora of “dance” monikered film festivals — i.e., Slamdance, Digidance, No Dance, and several more with similar monikers.
Twenty-two years later, Leslee and Michaels’s Dances With Films is going stronger than ever while still sticking to their motto of “No politics, no stars, no sh*t.”
DWF has risen to fill the breach left by the L.A. Film Festival in supporting and featuring primarily indie film projects of all kinds, some of which this year included the heartbreakingly excellent The Land, which features a terrific star turn by actor Herman Johansen; the girl-centered video-gaming short Would You Like To Try Again?; Wowsers, produced by and starring the party’s most fabulously dressed guest Sam Fox, about a club where the BDSM isn’t always safe, sane and consensual; and the surprisingly witty horror-comedy Driven, starring the film’s writer, Casey Dillard, along with Richard Speight Jr. of HBO’s Band of Brothers and the CW series Supernatural.
Just down the street from where DWF was hosting their opening night festivities, the fabulous magical interactive pop-up museum that is Wonderworld LA was throwing their own soiree to introduce the Wonderworld brand of visual genius to celebrities and local media influencers, sweetening the pot with drinks, donuts, a cotton candy station, complimentary nail art, and swag bags for attendees. Even Fox 11 news showed up to cover it!
Co-founded by venture capitalist Hua Wang and businessmen Jay Yue and Jie Wang, Wonderworld first popped-up in New York’s Soho district where the threesome gathered a cabal of creative designers who were seeking a platform for their work. Wonderworld Soho ran for a year before coming to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame just this month, where local artists such as Josh Wong collaborated in customizing the build-out to be unique to L.A.
Pop-up museums may be a new concept in Los Angeles, but they’re a big — and lucrative! — trend in NYC, where the trio behind the original and L.A Wonderworlds is set to launch Wonderworld Brooklyn any day now.
In NYC, Wonderworld is something of a fashion brand, but here in L.A., they’re not targeting the nightlife set. Rather, Wonderworld is open only during daylight hours and is bracing for a steady stream of both the legitimately young as well as the so-called young at heart, who will no doubt be completely entranced by the Alice-in-Wonderland-esque rabbit-warren of 11 differently themed interconnecting rooms, all housing art installations in various crazy-wonderful themes, all of which are meant for extreme posing and photographic shenanigans. Memory-making shots of patrons climbing in, on, and around the various oversized and decorative props, and Instagram-worthy photo ops with your posse are highly encouraged. We can’t help thinking that kids, both little and big, will take to Wonderworld LA as if it were a more sophisticated version of a Disney theme park!
Wonderworld LA is set to pop at least through the second week of August. For tickets and information call (747) 284-9616.
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Young Men & Still Lifes by German photographer, Herbert List — The first exhibition of his legendary homoerotic male nudes in Los Angeles in over 25 years. List’s playful but austere, classically arranged compositions taken in Italy and Greece have become an indelible influence in modern and contemporary photography. Diary-like images of friends and still lives with found objects gave birth to a style that half a century later would influence fashion or lifestyle photography of masters like Bruce Weber or Herb Ritts.
Herbert List (1903 -1975) was born into a prosperous Hamburg merchant family and began an apprenticeship at a Heidelberg coffee dealer in 1921 while studying literature and art history at Heidelberg University. During travels for the coffee business between 1924-28, the young List began to take photographs, almost without any pretensions to art.
In 1930, though, his artistic leanings and connections to the European avant-garde brought him together with the American photographer Andreas Feininger, who introduced his new friend to the Rolleiflex, a more sophisticated camera that allowed a deliberate composition of images. Under the dual influence of the surrealist movement on the one hand, and of Bauhaus artists on the other, List photographed still life and his friends, developing his style. He has described his images as “composed visions where [my] arrangements try to capture the magical essence inhabiting and animating the world of appearances.”
After leaving Germany in 1936 in response to the danger of Nazi police attention to his openly gay lifestyle and his Jewish heritage, he turned his hobby into a profession. Working in Paris and London, he met George Hoyningen-Huene, who referred him to “Harper’s Bazaar”. Dissatisfied with the challenges of fashion photography and hired models, List instead focused on composing still lifes. The images produced there would later be compared to the paintings of Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico, and paved the way for List’s role as the most prominent photographer of the Fotografia Metafisica style.
Greece became List’s primary interest from 1937 to 1939. After his first visit to the antique temples, sculptures and landscapes, his first solo show opened in Paris in the summer of 1937. Publications in Life, Photographie, Verve and Harper’s Bazaar followed, and List began work on his first book, Licht über Hellas, which wasn’t published until 1953.
Working in Athens, List hoped to escape the war but was forced by invading troops to return to Germany in 1941. Because of his Jewish background, he was forbidden to publish or work officially in Germany. Several works, stored in a hotel in Paris, have been lost. In 1944 List was deployed by the German Wehrmacht to Norway where he served as a map archivist.
In 1951, List met Robert Capa, who convinced him to work as a contributor to Magnum. He turned his interest towards Italy from 1950 to 1961, photographing everything from street scenes to contemplative photo-essays, from architectural views to portraits of international artists living in Italy. He discovered the 35mm camera and the telephoto lens in 1953. His work became more spontaneous and was influenced by his Magnum colleague Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Italian Neo-Realism film movement.
Los Angeles fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (1922–1985) introduced the “monokini,” the thong, unisex caftans, pantsuits for women, and enough inventive clothing to earn him a worldwide reputation. Yet Gernreich was far more than one of the most prominent designers of his time—his clothing was fearless. Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich explores the visionary and progressive ensembles that transcended rigid social expectations and championed authenticity above all.
Gernreich, a Viennese Jew, immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1938, fleeing the oppressive and anti-Semitic Nazi regime. Beginning with his life in Los Angeles, the exhibition examines the circumstances that enabled Gernreich to grow into a trailblazing designer—from his early career as a dancer for the Lester Horton Dance Theater to his role as a founding member of The Mattachine Society, a gay rights organization. It shows how Gernreich dovetailed his personal background with his design vision to champion freedom of expression through his work.
The exhibition features over eighty Gernreich ensembles, along with accessories, original sketches, photographs, ephemera, and newly filmed interviews of friends and colleagues. All mannequins for this exhibition were custom produced with flat feet—a deviation from industry standard. Flat feet were a design feature Gernreich emphasized, dressing his models barefoot or in sensible short-heeled or flat shoes. Illustrating how Gernreich challenged conventional notions of beauty, identity, and gender, Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich reveals how the designer redefined style in ways that continue to influence fashion today.
THE SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER
The Skirball Cultural Center is an educational institution in Los Angeles, California devoted to sustaining Jewish heritage and American democratic ideals. It has been open to the public since 1996.
Address: 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049