The Last Dance Style Discrepancy

The Last Dance Style Discrepancy

Andrea Tuzio · 3 years ago · Style

“In 1992, the NBA was broadcast to 80 countries. Now, it is broadcast to 215 countries. Anyone who understands the phenomenon of this evolution knows that Michael Jordan and his era played a key role in it.”
David Stern, NBA Commissioner from 1984 to 2014.

“There are great athletes who have no impact beyond their sport. And then there are athletes who become cultural phenomena. Michael Jordan helped pave the way for a new perception of African American athletes and a new idea of sport as part of the entertainment world. He has become an extraordinary ambassador abroad not of basketball, but of the United States and American culture in the world. Michael Jordan and the Bulls have changed the culture.”
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States from 2009 to 2017.

I decided to start this little journey into the world of aesthetics in The Last Dance, with two quotes that unequivocally explain how much the impact of MJ and the Chicago Bulls dynasty of Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and associates has been epochal and has indelibly marked more than one generation in all respects (sporting, cultural, aesthetic, etc.).
The docu-series produced by ESPN and Netflix, whose last two episodes were released yesterday here in Italy, has become the most-watched ever, a sort of collective ceremony that emphasizes even more strongly, the gigantic influence that all the protagonists of this epic and unrepeatable story have had, and still have, in the collective imagination.
Looking at the series you can notice a series of discrepancies of various levels from the point of view of style and I chose to put them together to shed light on some unclear things.

Balenciaga, Jacquemus e Vetements vs Bulls suits

Oversize.
This is the most used and abused term of the last 5 years. The fashion world, especially that of high fashion and streetwear, has rediscovered oversize by filling its collections with jackets, trousers, outerwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts and oversized sweaters. A clear and evident reference to the 90s aesthetic that winks at the normcore trend that makes comfort and soft colors a prerogative.
Brands such as Balenciaga, Vetements and Jacquemus, for example, have defined and redefined their aesthetic signature through oversized garments.
The brands I just mentioned are often taken as examples of contemporary fashion, the evolution within the contemporary.
The outfits of the Bulls players, Jordan and Pippen above all, could have come out of a Balenciaga editorial shot the day before yesterday, where the proportions are expanded and the architecture of the looks taken almost to the extreme. To build an outfit worthy of the Bulls of the late 90s but absolutely contemporary, here are a couple of links:

GIACCA MONOPETTO BOXY LINEA STRETTA
CHECKED WOOL-BLEND BLAZER
NAVY PINSTRIPE RELAXED TROUSERS
GIACCA BOXY A DOPPIO PETTO LINEA STRETTA

Air Jordan 1 vs Air Ship

Episode V of The Last Dance, opens with a wonderful memory of Kobe Bryant and his first encounter with Michael. Kobe’s words can only renew the pain for the tragic death of the Lakers legend too prematurely.
In the reconstruction that director Jason Hehir, we are catapulted to New York on March 8th, 1998.
The Bulls are away and have to play against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, “the World’s Most Famous Arena”, the focus is all on Jordan because that could have been his last game in the Big Apple, where MJ has always given performances at the level of the famous “Doublenickle”, 55 points put on report on March 28, 1995. Madison was his favorite arena and so he chose to wear a pair of “special” shoes for the occasion, his last visit to Mecca.
Michael says that he chose to wear a pair of old Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”, the shoes he had worn in his first game at the Garden that would also be his last.
Here, we need to stop for a moment and rewind the tape.
MJ’s first appearance at Madison Square Garden in New York City took place on November 8, 1984, and the images of the time belie the reconstruction that Jordan himself made. Michael scored 33 points, took 8 rebounds and placed 5 assists, a great performance overall but there is one though. As I was telling you the footage from that game shows Jordan with not a pair of Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” but a pair of Nike Air Ship, the silhouette that inspired Jordan 1.
Also from a release point of view we find some inconsistencies, in the locker room before the game, Toni Kukoč asks him the release year of those shoes that Michael is wearing and Jordan answers “1984”, but it’s a shame that the first release of Air Jordan 1 was in April 1985.
Why all this story? Simple, marketing. The real comet star that illuminated the path of MJ with Nike, thanks to which they laid the foundations of the greatest fortune linked to a sports brand of all time.
If you want to take home a pair of Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” here you can buy a pair, if you prefer a pair of Nike Air Ship, you can buy here.

Dennis Rodman vs anyone

To go into more detail about Dennis Rodman, we refer you to an article that we published a couple of weeks ago and that tells how Dennis is, still today, an icon of timeless style.

John Stockton’s shorts vs everyone else’s

This is a little curiosity about an extraordinary player. We’re talking about John Houston Stockton, Utah Jazz point guard who for two consecutive years (’97 and ’98) faced the Chicago Bulls at the NBA Finals.
Michael Jordan not only impacted the NBA in a deflagrant way from a technical point of view but also from an aesthetic point of view, Michael took little time to become the epitome of cool on a basketball court.
In the ’80s, the shorts of the game uniforms were very short and reflected the fashion of the times, but it was MJ who chose to wear shorts longer than normal. The players and the league liked it so much that they all adapted to this aesthetic, except one, John Stockton. The greatest assistman in the history of the game refused to homologate and throughout his career, he continued to wear the classic shorts of the 80s.
It should be remembered that the fashion for longer and wider shorts quickly went out of the parquet floor and all the kids in the world wore shorts at least two sizes up when they went to the camp. Michael continued to change the aesthetics of American society and the world over.
Here you can buy the 1998 Utah Jazz jersey.

Sonny Vaccaro vs The Last Dance

Another huge legacy that we have in our hands and that the documentary deepens is the link between Michael Jordan and Nike.
The whole story is told: Michael who actually wanted to sign with adidas; the change of strategy by Nike who wanted to start treating basketball players like tennis players from a marketing point of view, i.e. as individual athletes and no longer as part of a team; the negotiation and the fundamental role that Michael’s mother, Mrs. Dolores, played; the gargantuan offer that Beaverton’s company made to the very young Michael; in short, they told us well.
No, they didn’t.
There is one person who played a fundamental and unique role in the story between Nike and Michael Jordan, Sonny Vaccaro. An Italian-American who changed the history of marketing, sneakers, Nike and Jordan forever thanks to a “simple” intuition.
Towards the end of the 70s, Vaccaro enjoyed certain visibility and acquired enviable security due to the organization of summer basketball tournaments for young high school students at which the most important coaches of college basketball were present, which allowed him to have a certain knowledge of the environment. This led him to take a decisive step. In 1977 he called the Nike offices in Portland, Oregon, on the phone to propose his idea for a new shoe. The proposal was kindly declined but Rob Strasser, one of the company’s top managers, was charmed by the contacts that Vaccaro had put together with all the coaches of the various universities in the country, at the time the contracts for the shoes of the college players were closed by the coaches, you will well understand the enormous influence that Vaccaro could have on the latter. Strasser hired Vaccaro with a salary of 500 dollars a month, put thirty thousand dollars at his disposal on an account, and asked him to become Nike’s testimonial coaches…For him it was a piece of cake: he proposed to the coaches simple contracts with Nike, signed checks and sent them free shoes for the players to wear.
In 1982 Vaccaro was invited to the NCAA Final Four that year in New Orleans, 1982 Final Four were those in which, in the decisive timeout a few seconds before the end in the final between North Carolina and Georgetown, under one, Dean Smith gave the opportunity to a very young Michael Jordan and his Tar Heels to write the first word of what will be the most beautiful novel in the history of the sport. He said verbatim, “Knock it in, Michael!”
Jordan takes the last shot of that final one, the tongue is out and Georgetown’s defensive rotation is slow. Two points. Georgetown’s last possession ends in nothing and Carolina is champion. The prize for the best player was awarded to James Worthy but another one had stolen the scene from everyone according to Vaccaro and that player was the freshman from North Carolina with the 23 behind his back who had put the decisive shot, Michael Jordan.
Cowboy twisted all his plans, something had happened in front of the whole world and he had sensed it, he would convince Nike to invest all his money on that single player.
They would have created a shoe just for him, they would have created a whole dedicated clothing line, in short, everything you see today with the Jumpman logo is the result of the intuition of such Sonny Vaccaro who, if you have seen The Last Dance, is not even mentioned once.
The reason why is not given to know but if you want to deepen this incredible story I suggest you read “Michael Jordan, the life” by Roland Lazenby that you can buy here.

Here ends our brief journey into the aesthetics of The Last Dance, but don’t worry, there will soon be something else to see. ESPN has announced that on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00 p.m. it will broadcast “Game 6: The Movie”, the historic 1998 Game 6 between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz in HD with the addition of new footage and shots from the 5 NBA Entertainment cameras, the same ones that followed Michael and his Bulls throughout the season.
On the 21st, starting at 9 am, the content could be visible in Italy as well.

View this post on Instagram

LET'S GO ??? #TheLastDance

A post shared by ESPN (@espn) on

The Last Dance Style Discrepancy
Style
The Last Dance Style Discrepancy
The Last Dance Style Discrepancy
1 · 9
2 · 9
3 · 9
4 · 9
5 · 9
6 · 9
7 · 9
8 · 9
9 · 9
The unpublished shots of the great fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri

The unpublished shots of the great fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri

Tommaso Berra · 5 days ago · Photography

Gian Paolo Barbieri is one of the giants of fashion on film, a member of a group of photographers who have been able to depict the world of models, fashion shows and product by going beyond any superficial narrative.
An exhibition by the great master of photography Gian Paolo Barbieri opens in Milan today, Nov. 29, and at the 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery at 13 Via San Vittore, Milan, he will present a series of never-before-seen, full-color works.

© Gian Paolo Barbieri – Laura Alvarez, Venezuela, 1976 – Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri : 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery – © Copyright Gian Paolo Barbieri/ Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri / 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery

The title of the exhibition is ‘Gian Paolo Barbieri: Unconventional,‘ and it is indeed unconventional how the artist has approached photography and fashion, reworked based on the many experiences and celebrities with whom he has woven relationships and direct contacts.
In the shots of Barbieri, known mainly for his black and white production, provocation and history chase each other, taking up poses from art history, citations to design and architecture, a symbolism that is connoted by an ultra-personal and authentic vision. The new elegance and eroticism that Barbieri has been able to represent in his career can be seen at the 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery, in an exhibition that comes a few days after the cinema release of “L’uomo e la bellezza,” the first docufilm on Gian Paolo Barbieri and already awarded at the Biografilm Festival 2022 in Bologna.

© Copyright Gian Paolo Barbieri/ Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri / 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery
© Gian Paolo Barbieri – Eva Herzigova, Roma, 1997 – Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri : 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery – © Copyright Gian Paolo Barbieri/ Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri / 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery
© Gian Paolo Barbieri – Neith Hunter, Grecia – 1983 – Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri : 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery – © Gian Paolo Barbieri – Neith Hunter, Grecia – 1983 – Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri : 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery – © Copyright Gian Paolo Barbieri/ Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri / 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery
© Gian Paolo Barbieri – Moira O’Brien, Seychelles, 1981 – Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri : 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery – © Copyright Gian Paolo Barbieri/ Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri / 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery
© Gian Paolo Barbieri – Isa Stoppi in Coppola&Toppo, Milano 1968 – Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri : 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery – © Copyright Gian Paolo Barbieri/ Courtesy of Fondazione Gian Paolo Barbieri / 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery
The unpublished shots of the great fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri
Photography
The unpublished shots of the great fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri
The unpublished shots of the great fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri
1 · 7
2 · 7
3 · 7
4 · 7
5 · 7
6 · 7
7 · 7
Triangle of Sadness in 10 frames  

Triangle of Sadness in 10 frames  

Giulia Guido · 2 days ago · Photography

What happens to society if suddenly the status quo changes? Swedish director Ruben Östlund‘s answer is called Triangle of Sadness. 

Triangle of Sadness was presented during the 75th Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Palme d’Or for best film. Since then its success has crossed all borders. From Sweden to France, from France to the world, abetted by a trailer that in just a few seconds already manages to capture the viewer’s attention and catapult them into this critique of modern society watered by champagne and vomit. 

Carl and Yaya are two models who decide to take a luxury cruise. During the vacation they get to know the other passengers, without ever really relating to them, until at one point the ship sinks and the survivors find themselves on a deserted island. It is at this point that a role reversal begins, and those who were previously at the top of the social pyramid now find themselves having to work for the only people who really know how they can survive in that circumstance. Some will be able to forget the luxury and adapt to the new status quo, others less so, but the more days go by the more the transformation from human to beast takes place. 

Ruben Östlund, however, decides not to take sides and leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether this process of decivilization will be finished or whether there is still hope in human consciousness. 

In sharp contrast to the brutality and cynicism of the plot we find a clean and elegant aesthetic, also the child of the work of Fredrik Wenzel, a Swedish cinematographer who also collaborated with Luca Guadagnino on the miniseries We Are Who We Are. Thus, the more critical the situation becomes the more beautiful the image becomes, mesmerizing the viewer. 

One piece of advice, however, I will leave you with: watching Triangle of Sadness after dinner may not be the best idea. 

Triangle of Sadness in 10 frames  
Photography
Triangle of Sadness in 10 frames  
Triangle of Sadness in 10 frames  
1 · 11
2 · 11
3 · 11
4 · 11
5 · 11
6 · 11
7 · 11
8 · 11
9 · 11
10 · 11
11 · 11
“The Beauty of Imperfection”-the shots of Alina Gross

“The Beauty of Imperfection”-the shots of Alina Gross

Tommaso Berra · 6 days ago · Photography

The female nude body in the photographic shots of Alina Gross becomes an element far from any erotic representation, or rather the language of photography facilitate the attempt to evoke the ambivalences of sexuality and gender.
The Ukrainian photographer and now based in Germany brings to mind erotic elements through the associations of natural shapes and elements, combining them to create an imperfect beauty, the “Beauty of Imperfection” that is also the title of her latest artbook as well as the project the artist has been pursuing for the past four years.
Alina Gross does not show a univocal beauty – and figure of women – to be told only through traditional canons of beauty, but expands the meaning of forms, thanks also to a pictorial rendering of bodies, aided by the use of color that often sprinkles the skin. The disturbing effect of viewing naked parts is not masked, Gross however invites the viewer to review the mental process of analyzing reality and its definition, which leads to breaking down dizzying barriers.

Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
Alina Gross | Collater.al
“The Beauty of Imperfection”-the shots of Alina Gross
Photography
“The Beauty of Imperfection”-the shots of Alina Gross
“The Beauty of Imperfection”-the shots of Alina Gross
1 · 13
2 · 13
3 · 13
4 · 13
5 · 13
6 · 13
7 · 13
8 · 13
9 · 13
10 · 13
11 · 13
12 · 13
13 · 13
“Don’t Worry Darling” in 10 frames 

“Don’t Worry Darling” in 10 frames 

Giulia Guido · 1 week ago · Photography

Don’t Worry Darling is one of those cases where one watches the film more out of curiosity than healthy interest. The film, which arrived in theaters last Sept. 22 and was presented at the Venice Film Festival last Sept. 5, began to be talked about long before the trailer, teaser and first photos from the set. 

In fact, the controversies began right at the beginning of filming, when Olivia Wilde, who signs off as director, fired Shia LaBeouf, justifying this decision to the actor’s method of working, which according to Wilde did not fit her modus operandi.
Olivia Wilde’s problems also continued with the leading lady, Florence Pugh, with whom she seems to have had several tensions (never publicly confirmed).
Rounding out this complicated production phase came the director’s choice to replace LaBeouf with then-partner Harry Styles

Inevitably, all these events also took their toll on the promotion phase, which, however, shifted the focus from the actual film to pure gossip. 

A shame? Perhaps not. 

Alice and Jack Chambers are a happily married couple living in Victory, an experimental 1950s community where the men spend all day at work, while the women take care of the house, and then spend their free time with their neighbors. Something suddenly changes, however, and Alice begins to feel constrained in that life, with an increasing desire to discover what lies beyond the city limits. This is the plot, which in itself also hides something potentially interesting, unfortunately it is the development that is lacking. It’s like when teachers in school used to say “he has potential but he doesn’t apply himself.” 

Of all that Don’t Worry Darling puts on the table-which seems more like a need for redemption on Wilde’s part-something is saved and it is the reason why the film lets you watch it to the end: the aesthetics

In fact, the director used the work of Matthew Libatique, an American cinematographer and regular collaborator of Darren Aronofsky, to take care of the photography. In nearly three decades of work, Libatique has handled the cinematography for such films as Requiem for a Dream and The Black Swan, experience that led him to be prepared for the eerie reality brought to the big screen in Don’t Worry Darling. It is immediately noticeable how the warm light that illuminates the entire town becomes cold and gloomy when Alice is alone with herself, and becomes colder and colder as time passes. The use of light, then, goes hand in hand with the colors of the places: for example, the bathroom tiles are green, reminiscent of hospital uniforms. 

For this reason, it was particularly difficult to select only 10 frames from the film, which perhaps focused heavily on aesthetics and too little on content. 

“Don’t Worry Darling” in 10 frames 
Photography
“Don’t Worry Darling” in 10 frames 
“Don’t Worry Darling” in 10 frames 
1 · 11
2 · 11
3 · 11
4 · 11
5 · 11
6 · 11
7 · 11
8 · 11
9 · 11
10 · 11
11 · 11