November 2007


“An unforgettable show for a very good cause” – London’s Evening Standard on Fashion Rocks 18th October, London, 2007

That’s a wonderful combination-fashion and rocks, that’s a good reason-the Prince’s Trust. The big fashion brands, the big rock stars, they are all the A-list designers and singer. Hosted by Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, Swarovski makes the stars shine the whole night, and Estee Launder launches a limited skincare collection for this event. We can see a lot of familiar and remarkable faces like: multi-Grammy award winning R&B singer Alicia Keys; the ‘coolest person in rock’ Beth Ditto; multi-platinum soul-singer Joss Stone; London’s favourite Lily Allen; 80’s new ‘romantic legend’ Marc Almond; twice BRIT nominated Razorlight, fronted by fashion trendsetter Johnny Borrell; award-winning super producer and artist Timbaland; the most popular British girls Sugababes,” and the attendance of the loyal families,Whitney Huston, Kate moss and many more to be announced.

The fashion brands include Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christopher Kane, Dolce & Gabbana, Marchesa, Stella McCartney, Valentino, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent. Moreover, after Valentino announced his retirement, Gwyneth Partlow presents the event awarded a diamond shaped Swarovski crystal to him. That’s the most moving scene of the evening.

Fashion Rocks for The Prince’s Trust: The history
Quoted :

In London in 2003 and Monaco in 2005, Fashion Rocks held sell-out audiences spellbound with a scintillating fusion of catwalk and concert, pairing the world’s top designers with music heavyweights. Both events exceeded all goals for money raised and publicity. In 2006, Big Group Ltd and Premium International Ltd purchased the Fashion Rocks brand from The Princes Trust securing a partnership that would enable The Trust to benefit from all future Fashion Rocks events.


Just as it’s name, Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s movie shows ‘4’ in many scenes: the number of people sit in the bar, the number of dogs on the road, the four sisters in the village…According to Khrzhanovsky, 4 was inspired by certain musical compositions (by Metalica on Valium?), the paintings of Goya and other artists, and the films of art-house directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and Andrei Tarkovsky. The movie features the grey Russian sky, the long and cold winter with everything seems lifeless and unusual. Are people satisfied with the way they are living, are people dreaming to experience something new in another life? In the movie, people are not satisfied with the way they live, but just a small number of them want to make a change. Sometimes, people who are alive are already dead inside.

Some people like to hide themselves in order to escape from the of themselves, however, there’s always some person to remind you who you really are. The talking in the bar is like a kind of escape for the three people, but when they go back to their life, the short break ends. One of them has to face to the suspect of murder, one has to face the death of her sister, one has to hide his love for dogs because of his controlling father’s Germaphobia issues. Life has to continue in the way it was. The movie talks about some serious issues in the contemporary Russia such as prostitution, masculinity, pragmatic identities. The man who loves dog but can not keep one himself, and eventually he was skilled because of a dog; a prostitute who is judged by all people is the one actually realizes how ‘different’ the village is and is determined to make a change. On her way home, different people sit beside her, they all ask the same questions, eat the same boiled eggs and drink Vodka, the scene looks like they are abusing on food and alcohol. Nobody seems to care about anybody else. What the difference between the individuals, just the names?

I can not forget the scenes of the village life, I said that is “different”, but actually it is cruel. A village which is almost occupied by old women, only three young girls (alive) and one young man. The eating scenes can be the most disgusting and cruel scenes of the year, I think. That is a village exists in the world, but out of the world. They relying on doing doll business, and by following one sister, they can earn money and live happily. I’m still shocked by the face of the dolls, it’s the doll without feeling and beauty and stuffed by chewed breads. Finally, the dogs eat the dolls, the chewed breads actually. After the young sister’s death, they started their “feast” (at least it looks like that), I can feel the other young sister’s lost because of the death, they keep drinking Vodka and crying, but the old just make the lose as an excuse to indulge themselves. They show off their breasts, tell the secrets of others, in fact, the feast never stops, they drink by the table, they drunk by the table and they sleep by the table. The young girls try to work out their relationships, the past and the future, they were born in the village, they know how “different”the village is but they have been living with that, after the death, they make their minds to do some change. When the old women put the whole roasted of pigs, the shocking starts. May some people think they can not eat the food like that, but the only difference is the size of your serve, the place where you are eating, but the difference between human and animals are just those moral sense. I still remember when I watched the scene one old woman throws the pig’s head to other living pigs, I closed my eyes, I really can not stand by it any more. I forced myself to think the world is beautiful, outside the theater is full of sunshine, there’s no chance to meet the people like that. But, can it? There must be some place are be like that, and some people live in that way, or, the place that most people are living in is really much better than the village in 4 ?

The gender issues, the war, the discrimination, the pollution, the national identity… there are a huge amount of issues that are irritating people, people are unsatisfied, people are feeling unsafe, people are struggling, therefore, who can find the way escape faster who wins.

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When I watched the movie Maria Antoinette (2006) by Sofia Coppola, I always forgot that the movie was set in the eighteenth century. Alternatively, Coppola’s Maria Antoinette is more like a queen in Hollywood’s translation. Frankly speaking, at least , I can understand the controversial life of this famous queen. I can find the same personalities from my friends who are just like Kristen Dunst’s Maria Antoinette. That is a based-on-history movie but makes you feel familiar to today’s life, today’s young women you know and understand in real life. Forget about the 18th century settings, it’s a movie about young women today.

Coppola puts her Hollywood translation of Maria Antoinette into the movie. The first sign is Maria’s accent, that’s really punk – the Queen of France has an American accent? In my opinion, if this Austrian lady ever speaks English, at least she has a British or European accent, but American English? I think that’s why the Queen makes me feel so familiar at the first place, the American accent lowered my guard. Back to the history of Antoinette’s life, most of the scenes in the movie tell the truth, but in a Hollywood way, I say. The most unforgettable scenes must be the dressing abusing, gambling abusing and cake abusing. As I know, almost all of my girl friends have that habit – when women feel pressure, upset or too excited, they always use those reasons to go shopping, spend money on clothes, makeups, shoes, handbags… and some will give up the diet and go dessert binge. All of the above are the 21st century women’s way of dealing with mood swings. Some people think women are the most sensitive animal in the world, especially the beautiful women, I believe that if Maria Antoinette was the Queen in the 21st century, she would be the most sensitive, beautiful, fashionable and powerful woman of the age. When the movie released in 2006, Kristen Dunst’s Maria Antoinette look from the movie was on the cover of many countries’ Vogue, the fashion bible started to dig the fashion that Sofia Coppola’s Maria Antoinette brings to us, and people started to read this controversial queen again. A Hollywood punk can bring this wave, like Vivienne Westwood leads the punk wave in the fashion field.

Compared to the Oscar awarded movie The Queen (by Stephen Frears, 2006), Maria Antoinette is much more Hollywood, and really can be the Hollywood Punk. The Queen gives us some moving stories about Queen Elizabeth II, it’s about a woman, a powerful woman’s political and family life. As a wife, a mother, the queen of England, any of her reactions are under the judgment of the world. From the movie we know how strong a woman could be and how struggling the life could be, to any women to any people. So if this movie brings the shocking to me, that is the moving actually. However, to a woman, the life in eighteenth century must be more unfair. Maria Antoinette also experienced the judgment from the loyal families, the pressure from her mother and motherland, the tension between her and her husband, that’s why she started to live in her way. In the movie, we can not find some shootings directly reveal her sadness or desperation, alternatively, Coppola uses the beautiful dresses, the delicious cakes and the luxury life to express the feelings of the young queen, like a fashion leader of the 18th century, Dunst’s Antoinette uses a happy way to criticize the loyal families in the year of 2006. At the end of the movie, no mention about the guillotine, no moving speech, the movie gives us a different Maria Antoinette, the queen in Hollywood translation, the punk translation.

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