Hollywood on the Potomac
“I wrote the play,” Pascal Blondeau told Hollywood on the Potomac at the Residence of the Ambassador of France Gérard Araud after his multi-art performance headlined as “Ultra Violet & The Factory Tribute” at The Phillips Collection with special guests Laurence Cohen on vocals and Vincenzo Mingoia on piano. His one man show “Only You Could Have a Face Like That” / “Avec ta gueule pas comme les autres” pays tribute to Ultra Violet. Dressed in purple from her hair down to her shoes, the Warhol Factory icon and pop artist was a striking figure on the New York art scene for more than 50 years. Throughout the play, accompanied with songs and reading, the spectators witness personal and vibrant stories of the friendship between Ultra Violet and Pascal Blondeau.
“Pupil, studio assistant, and muse of Salvador Dali in the fifties, central member of Andy Warhol’s Factory in the sixties, Ultra Violet (1935-2014) emerged as a prominent and established avant garde artist who was exhibited throughout the world. Playfully and intuitively, she used time and talent to create works that are infused with energy, light, spirituality, symbolism, profundity, global meaning, and humor. Ultra Violet’s paintings, 3-D constructions, mixed-media installations, and drawings reveal a visual universe filled with rainbows, angel, blue skies and white clouds, but they also contain material related to the chaos and destruction that challenges our 21st century world. Above all, this artist sought to fill the viewer’s eye and mind with light.” Program notes
One of the greatest heroes in American History never fired a bullet! That hero was WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss who served during the Battle of Okinawa. He refused to bear arms and kill people over his religious upholding of the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” He became the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor for highhandedly rescuing roughly 75 of his wounded comrades while under heavy mortar and gunfire.
President Truman awarded Doss the Medal of Honor on October 12, 1945. “When my time came, I went up,” said Doss of the ceremony. “President Truman, he came out and he stepped over the line, he caught me by my hands, shook my hand like I was an old-time friend, somebody he had known all his life. He didn’t even give me a chance to get nervous.” excerpt from Medal of Honor: Oral Histories. Doss died on March 23, 2006.
“I thought the panel was excellent,” Marie Royce told Hollywood on the Potomac about the afternoon “Diplomacy by Design” panel at The Hay-Adams Hotel that brought together the diplomatic community and leaders in the American fashion industry for an engaging panel discussion to explore the role of fashion in international diplomacy. The panel, moderated by Robbie Myers, featured Robin Givhan, Fashion Critic, Washington Post; Steven Kolb, President and CEO, Council of Fashion Designers of America and Derek Lam, Designer, Derek Lam International followed by a reception at Blair House – the President’s guest house – hosted by Ambassador Peter Selfridge, Chief of Protocol of the United States and Robbie Myers, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE.
“One of the things that they were talking about was the main fashion centers in the world being New York, London, Milan & Paris, and how fashion is also an aspect of culture. Actually, this set of panelists talked about how they would like to see fashion more integrated and that a President would not only go out for a ball or a ball game, but also would attend Fashion Week because that’s so important to the people of the industry. That would really create an impact. They also talked about the importance of fashion that started with Benjamin Franklin and how he actually made an impact, too.”