Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue
In between consecrated reeditions and philosophical pursuits, there is a lot of blue to uncover here. Whether on covers, titles or within the theme at hand, we are taking full advantage of this blue mood to dive deep into words, or to sail through, unapologetically, through figures of speech.
1- Helmut Newton SUMO, 20th Anniversary Edition, de Helmut Newton e June Newton, Taschen (2019), € 100.
2- Peter Beard, de Peter Beard e Nejma Beard, Taschen (2020), € 100.
3- Blue Nights, de Joan Didion, Harper Collins (2012), € 11,25.
4- O Livro Azul, de Ludwig Wittgenstein, Edições 70 (2008), € 13,41.
5- Flecha, de Matilde Campilho, Tinta da China (2020), € 15,21.
6- A Educação Dos Gafanhotos, de David Machado, D. Quixote (2020), € 14,90.
7- Marilyn & Me, de Lawrence Schiller, Taschen (2012), € 750.
8- Mykonos Muse, de Lizy Manola, Assouline (2018), € 83,85.
9- Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts On Christian Spirituality, de Donald Miller, Thomas Nelson Publishers (2001), € 11,97.
10- Yves Saint Laurent: Accessories, de Patrick Mauriès, Phaidon (2017), € 49,95.
Pantone 18-3918 TCX China Blue
We won’t take the term blue movies, jargon for “pornographic films”, too literally. Nothing against pornography, a little porno never hurt nobody. It’s just that blue movies don’t always have to be about that.
How many approaches fit into the color blue when it comes to cinema? We can start with Krzysztof Kieslowski and his Color Trilogy (1993-1994), inspired on the French flag. In Trois Couleurs: Bleu (1993) Juliette Binoche is a woman trying to overcome the loss of her husband and son, while she searches for meaning in her own life. Very much like in the Kieslowski trilogy, with a tricolored title and inspiration sourced from a flag – the one from Texas -, we have Red, White & Blue, the work of Simon Rumley from 2010. But in this case, there is no time left to wonder about life – in this immensely violent thriller, the idea is to survive. Going back to the classics, there’s Blue Velvet (1986), the masterpiece by David Lynch (with Isabella Rossellini, Kylie MacLachlan, Laura Dern and Dennis Hopper) revolving around the discovery of a cut and thrown out human ear, found on a park. There’s no escaping Lady Sings the Blues (1972), from Sidney J. Furie, a biographical drama about the life of Billie Holiday, featuring the unforgettable Diana Ross in the role of the jazz singer (which landed her a nomination for leading actress by the Academy), or The Blue Lagoon (1980), a movie about a first love, experienced in a desert island, starring the then teenager Brooke Shields. And since we’re talking about love, let’s discuss Blue is the Warmest Color (2013), a bold picture by Abdellatif Kechiche where Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos bring a very carnal and insatiable passion to life. Love is also at the center when it comes to Blue Valentine (2010), from Derek Cianfrance, with Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams playing into a complex and difficult romance – but not by any means lacking in love. Where there isn’t much love, at least not at first sight, is in Blue Jasmine (2013), where Woody Allen transforms Cate Blanchet into a socialite on the verge of a nervous meltdown – an emotional one. As a counterbalance, we find all love, or all hope, and innocence, in Blue Bird (2011), with the signature of Gust Van den Berghe, about two children, set in a remote village in Africa, that take on an incredible adventure in search of a mysterious blue bird.
Pantone 15-5218 TCX Pool Blue
Now that the colder weather compels us more and more to stay in, make room for some strategic getaways: since swimming in the vast ocean blue is not an option, entertain your body, and mind, in these wonderful interior pools.
Ritz Four Seasons
It’s one of the most iconic and sought-after indoor pools of Portugal. Located at the Ritz Four Seasons’ spa, in Lisbon, it is 18 meters long, it’s heated (between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius) and has a privileged view over the city. For more information visit https://www.fourseasons.com/pt/lisbon/.
Tivoli Marina Vilamoura Algarve Resort
If you’re heading towards the south of Portugal, odds are you’re probably heading to Vilamoura as well. If so, the day should start with a dip into the blue waters of this little Portuguese Miami of ours. Disclaimer: this pool actually exists, you’re not dreaming. For more information visit tivolihotels.com/pt/tivoli-marina-vilamoura.
Waking up to a city overview of Porto, the invicta, is a luxury in itself, but to swim in a panoramic indoor pool with that very same view is a case to swim and leave (always) wanting more. More swims, that is. For more information visit the-yeatman-hotel.com.
Anantara Villa Padierna Palace
Between the hills and with a privileged view overlooking the Mediterranean, the Anantara Villa Padierna Palace rises, in Marbella, as a little oasis with an interior pool resembling what we’ve always imagined the pool of a palace to be like. For more information visit anantara.com/villa-padierna-marbella.
In the midst of London’s buzz, to find time for a rejuvenescent swim is everything we long for. If that’s the case, this getaway has to be in one of the most prestigious hotels in all the lands of Her Royal Highness: the historic The Langham. For more information visit langhamhotels.com.
InterContinental Magnificent Mile
In one of Chicago’s main city routes, there, up above, nearly touching the sky (ok, it’s on the 14th floor), a piece of heaven awaits. We’re talking about a pool built in 1929, inspired by Spanish architecture, with a hand-sculpted fountain, marble pillars and a monumental stained-glass piece. This is a swim we need. For more information visit icchicagohotel.com.
There are many mandatory stops in the city of lights, but none stand a chance against the indoor pool of the Ritz, in Paris. A synonym? Impossible. Many synonyms? Most certainly. But there is no space, here, for all the metaphors we want to indulge in. For more information visit ritzparis.com.
Pantone 19-4121 TPG Blue Wing Teal
These aren’t exactly “new” records, but why should that matter, when the biggest voices of the Blues are coming out of them?
Experts in the matter tell us this was one of the biggest, most incandescent stars in all of Blues’ history. Not just because of her voice, unforgettable, but mostly due to the easiness with which she would take an electric guitar and make it produce sounds that could still be considered avant-garde today. Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a pioneer in the way she distorted, and manipulated, that instrument, paving the way for what would then become known as the electric blues. All her albums are worth it, and nowadays it’s easy to have access to them through online platforms and vinyl reeditions, but Rock Me is particularly close to our heart. Just as Ladies Sing Them Blues also is, the compilation of compilations when it comes to feminine Blues: Bessie Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, and yet another infinite roll of bow-worthy names every time you press play or, preferably, adjust the vinyl needle. The less renowned, though equally fabulous, Junior Wells, born Amos Wells Blakemore Jr., became famous in the 50s, when his harmonica conquered the US. The record signed with the Chicago Blues Band, named Hoodoo Man Blues, is in every list entitled “best blues records of all time” – where you can also find At Newport 1960, a record from Muddy Waters, the 49th best guitar player of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine, and forerunner of the Chicago Blues. Someone of Etta James or Billie Holiday’s caliber, that is. The two Blues’ divas carried remarkable paths, so the best really is to pick The Best of Etta James or The Very Best of Billie Holiday, respectively, where you can find most of their biggest hits. We’ll wrap it up with the king: B.B. King himself. His genius spares all introductions, so we’ll simply suggest the Live In Cook County Jail, recorded on the 10th of September 1970 at the prison that gives the album its name, and that forever marked, we’ll risk to say, all music history to follow.
Originally published on Vogue Portugal October 2020 issue, Into The Blue.