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  • For over ten years, Art for Progress (AFP) has been providing vital, exciting music & art programs for students in New York City public schools.

    Why we need your help:

    * Public arts funding in the U.S. is suffering more than ever in the current political climate.

    * Many public schools in NYC do not have the funds to hire full time art teachers. AFP provides financial support to schools with budget shortfalls.

    * AFP teaching artists provide a safe place within the school environment for kids to learn who they want to be, and the results are astonishing!

    * AFP’s programs are customized to achieve the goals of of each partner school, while focusing on the lives and interests of the students .

    * Students need to explore their creativity.

    Art for Progress is able to provide these programs through private grants; but a grant that has been sustaining AFP’s programs was cut in half this year, and we’re asking for your help to make up the difference.

    AFP currently works with seven schools across the city with plans to expand into new schools next semester, but without your help we may not have the funding to accommodate these programs.

    Please help us today with a donation and help keep the arts in New York City’s public schools.

  • Looks like Maison du Soir’s gorgeous dark floral robe Isabella has already won Fall 2017. The robe has already sold out before its August 30 ship date, and according to Refinery 29, the company’s second run set for September 30 shipping has also SOLD OUT. There is now a third run that will be available in November — the time to pre-order the Isabella is NOW!

    What’s lovely and alluring about the Isabella is that it boasts a kimono floor-length style with side seam pockets and a dramatic high low hem.

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    Image Credit: Maison du Soir

    The luxurious silhouette of the Isabella (also available in ivory, below) harkens back to 1940s-era movies starring eternally elegant screen legends in stylish repose at home.

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    Image Credit: Maison du Soir

    But if you are ready to hang up that deteriorating pair of medical scrubs you love wearing while watching John Oliver, eating cereal, it might be the right time to invest in an au courant robe.

    And if you are unsuccessful in reserving an Isabella, fear not! Laura Urbanti offers a solid sender that might please your eye. Enjoy!

    Laura Urbinati Dressing Gown, $157, order at Yoox.

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  • Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

    Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

    The feature film debut by director William Oldroyd (with a screenplay by Alice Birch), Lady Macbeth is a stark, violent drama that takes place in a classically sedate setting: rural, 19th-century England. Based on the 1865 novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District, by Nikolai Leskov, Oldroyd’s film stars Florence Pugh as Katherine, a young bride who claws her way out of a stifling marriage with a cold, much older husband. The young actress (19 at the time this was filmed) is riveting in a role that demands tremendous effort, physically and emotionally.

    We first see Katherine at her wedding, wet-eyed and frightened under her veil; that night her glowering husband Alexander (Paul Hilton, darkly Dickensian) orders her to take off her nightgown, then doesn’t touch her. It’s clear this is a loveless, almost perverse match. Expected to stay indoors and play dutiful wife and daughter-in-law, respectively, to Alexander and his even chillier father Boris (Christopher Fairbank), the teen is clearly bored out of her mind, nodding off at dinner and napping constantly. Whatever hopes she may have had for this marriage, they sure aren’t being fulfilled. A resentful maid, Anna (Naomi Ackie), seemingly in thrall to “the master,” roughly brushes Katherine’s hair and yanks tight her corset, adding to the latter’s general discomfort.

    Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

    Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

    When Alexander and Boris have to leave town, Katherine escapes the dull house to walk out on the moors and the film’s mood changes drastically, becoming alive. An outdoorsy type, she is energized. Then, in a Lady Chatterley-like plot turn, she comes upon cheeky new groomsman Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis), who, along with some other workers, is engaging in some highly questionable hijinx with Anna. Katherine tries to be imperious, but winds up flirting brazenly with him. They embark on a crazed, lust-driven affair, which seems to release something wild in a girl who has already shown that she has a mind of her own.

    Boris returns to the house and a newly rebellious Katherine, who is clearly drunk at dinner. When he discovers that his favorite wine is missing, Anna is punished and humiliated. He also slaps Katherine for her insolence, but she’s steely and imperturbable. It’s a war of wills that Katherine soon wins in a brutal, darkly funny manner. The more Katherine rebels and  triumphs, the more distraught Anna becomes. At one point the maid is so traumatized she stops speaking.

    Katherine flaunts her affair with Sebastian in front of Anna and the rest of the staff. When Alexander returns, he takes his time before confronting his wife about her indiscretions, which are apparently the talk of the town, a source of great embarrassment to him. In response to Alexander’s cruel words, she spitefully initiates sex with Sebastian right in front of him. This results in a scuffle between the two men, which Katherine ends in viciously violent fashion, shocking even Sebastian. Charlotte Brontë, this isn’t. Katherine is one ruthless heroine.

    Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

    Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

    Sebastian is sickened and haunted by Katherine’s actions, as are we. But she’s not done yet. When an older woman, Agnes, shows up with a young boy she claims is Alexander’s ward (from a previous liaison with her deceased daughter), Katherine at first becomes attached to the adorable Teddy, until Sebastian expresses jealousy. Here’s where the film becomes truly unsettling, as we realize that its heroine has become completely (if coolly) unhinged by obsessive love/lust.

    Lady Macbeth is an audacious movie, one that’s all the more outrageous for its staid setting and deliberate pacing. There’s also a interestingly contemporary, biracial aspect (which is never really addressed), with Anna, Agnes, and Teddy all played by Black actors. Though at times almost comically over-the-top in its brutality, the film is a streamlined, beautifully presented piece, unburdened by extraneous dialogue or scenes. It’s costume drama as lean, mean killing machine.

    Lady Macbeth opens in theaters on Friday, July 14.

    Marina Zogbi

  • What better way to push your latest collection than by casually featuring it throughout an entire music video.

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    Photo: Urban Daddy

    That’s just what Raf Simons- helmed Calvin Klein did in a collaboration with Brit indie band The XX, featuring A-list teen stars Paris Jackson, Millie Bobby Brown, Ashton Sanders (‘Moonlight’), and designer Raf Simons’ go-to muse Lulu. Talk about an ideal off-runway opportunity that perfectly provides an outsider’s edge to the iconic mass All-American label!

    The mini-film within a traditional music video, set in Los Angeles, plays out like a sendup to mad-cap teen movies of the past like ‘American Graffiti’ or ‘Dazed and Confused’ — a day in the life of teens, beautiful and bored, looking for love and adventure. However in this instance, the kids are playing hooky from school, and the kids wind up in two architectural treasures — Lloyd Wright’s Sowden house and John Lautner’s Rainbow House. (Check out the video at the bottom of this post)

    But the triumph in this video is the fact that mostly every stitch of clothing in the mini-movie is from yet-to-be-released Fall 2017 collection from Calvin Klein. Simons, recent CFDA award winner for both best Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year, served as artistic director for the video — directed by Alasdair McLellan.

    According to The XX, this is the third video that McLellan shot for the band, and Simons provided the creative concept. It’s also a ‘love letter to Los Angeles, a city close to our hearts,’ the band says, ‘where we wrote and recorded parts of our album ‘I See You.”

    And finally, you’ve got to give it up to Simons, who is crushing it right now — effectively revamping the Calvin Klein’s clothing-for-all-price-points ethos. And this video solidifies that spirit. Enjoy!