As Lisa Armstrong writes in this article for the Telegraph, the idea of who or what is a feminist has been endlessly debated this week. In this case, Armstrong uses it to discuss Gina Lollobrigida, the 50s pin-up whose extensive self-bought jewellery collection is going on sale at Sotheby's next month. I don't know much about Lollobrigida - or jewellery - but the piece is pretty fascinating. She moved from being a film star to becoming a photojournalist. There's a pretty amazing picture of her in the article taken on assignment, draped in Indian jewellery.
Yes, this is her with Fidel Castro, a photo taken in 1974. She tells WWD how she wanted to be busy between films, so would hop on planes to places she didn't know: "I used to see the poor, unknown people, but I also went to see heads of state. I must say they were more curious to see me than I was to see them. With me they were not afraid. I was not interested in politics. I was interested in the side of the person that was not written about in the newspapers." She apparently spent almost two weeks with Castro ("He was like a child"), and made a film that's yet to be shown - the mind boggles. Following on from my Cuba holiday last month, I've also been fascinated by Jay Z and Beyonce's trip to the country (we saw those stilt walkers!), and the subsequent reactions to it in the States.
Another woman who lived a fascinating life was Lilly Pulitzer, who died this week. Her colourful dresses - originally designed to conceal any stains obtained while working at her juice stand - sum up the appeal of a Palm Spring lifestyle for me (although as Lilly's own story makes apparent, that privileged lifestyle of leisure can be far from perfect). I especially enjoyed Lizzie's detailed post about her work over on the Vintage Traveler blog.
On the subject of 60s glamour, of course I couldn't let the week go by without the mention of the start of the new season of Mad Men. I've not seen it - DO NOT TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS. However, I have been enjoying all the spin-off posts and articles, particularly the supreme levels of geek behind 18 Mad Men anachronisms spotted by the internet and Mad Men in Notes: above is that sites take on the advert for Season Six. An excellent and very funny tool to swot up on all the various twists and turns, and to work out what happened when.
Finally, everyone enjoys a sneaky look behind the scenes don't they? I enjoyed Worn Through's piece on the privately-owned Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, containing over 12,500 pairs of shoes and shoe-related artefacts. And, like the rest of the fashion-curious world, I will definitely be trying to get onto one of LVMH's Journees Particulieres when they announce details this coming Tuesday. It's hard to even picture what all of the 40 sites could be, such is the mystery of the inner workings of the fashion world.
Have a lovely weekend. If all goes to plan I should have an exciting announcement to make on this blog on Monday. Eeek!