Tag Archives: Edmund White

Conversations On A Banquette: Didier Lestrade

Excellence is to be 52 and not ashamed by the choices I made. Excellence is being wary of money, because all the rich people I know are really fucked up. Excellence is saying what you want to say in a world in which you become a pariah if you dare to say what you think. Excellence is being able to die when you want, how you want. It’s finding a way to go through life without going to the shrink.” —Didier Lestrade

Um, ahem (clearing throat). Doctor, we couldn’t agree more, really, with Didier Lestrade, founder of Magazine, the legendary, still-influential-today, queer cult ‘zine from the ’80s, and the man who launched ACT-UP, Paris as well as TÊTU, France’s number one gay publication. We have a previously professed fondness for remembrances of great things past here at The Excellent People world headquarters, and Lestrade, along with Magazine, were but two of the French delights that astounded us with Outstanding Excellency during our all-too-brief coming-of-age period in Europe, oh so many years ago. At the time, we were big fans (still are) and readers of Magazine. Feeling nostalgic, we decided to catch up with Didier Lestrade. Now let’s focus on his long overdue close-up. To read the full interview, please click HERE.

Conversations On A Banquette: Didier Lestrade discuss his Magazine. Image courtesy Didier Lestrade, from the Magazine collection.

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Quote, UnQuote

His eyes were pinpoints of trouble, his mouth a flat line of pain, his shoulders so strong and high that he appeared to have no neck at all. He entered the room as if he’d just been asked to ascend a throne and, after an initial reluctance, now meant to show just how decisive he could be.Edmund White

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THE 2009 EXCELLENT PEOPLE AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN EXCELLENCY

Presenting, by category, the 2009 Excellent People Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Excellency.

Image courtesy the Excellent Thomas Ludacer.

1. Architecture: Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron for their Excellent sets for the Metropolitan Opera‘s upcoming production of Verdi‘s rarely heard Attila.

2. Art: Former dealer Jeffrey Deitch for his Excellently controversial, and much deserved,  recent appointment as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

3. Beauty: Her Excellency Pat McGrath, Outstanding makeup artist, for CoverGirl Cosmetics.

4. Cinema: Tie: His Excellency Colin Firth for his Outstandingly Excellent performance in A Single Man; Mo’ Nique for her heartbreakingly Excellent performance in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.

5. Communications: Messieurs Jean-Luc Dupont and Wade H. Grimbly of Système D press office in Paris. Global fashion PR at its most Excellent. Excellent need-to-know clients: Petar Petrov, Odyn Vovk, and Georgy Baratashvili, among many Excellent others.

6. NOT APPLICABLE. Winner removed. Please see number 7. Hey, that life in all it’s Excellency.

7. Disillusionment: The old friends lost vs. the new acquaintances gained during 2009. Goodbye. Hello. And best wishes for an Excellent 2010 to all.

8. Excellency:  The Excellent People.

9. Expectation: The extreme Excellency of The Excellent People: A Memoir, begun in Fall 2009, to be published in Fall 2011.

10. Fashion: Her Excellency Robin Givhan, of The Washington Post, also winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize,  for her continued Excellent reporting and writing about the wildly wonderful world of style.

11. Hope: His Excellency Barack Hussein Obama, the first light-skinned Black African American President of the United States sans Negro dialect, yo.

12. Icon: Her Excellency Sandra Bernhard. Enduringly Excellent. Perennially Outstanding.

13. Literature: Alice Munro for Too Much Happiness: Stories, also winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize.

14. Loyalty: Please see number #7.

15. Lust: South African actor Sharlto Copley. Outstandingly Excellent.

16. Luxury: The 2009 International Herald Tribune Sustainable Luxury conference held in New Delhi, India.

17. Media: Harvey Levin, the Excellent founder of TMZ.com, Excellent internet chronicle of Hollywood life.

18. Music: His Excellency Jason Bentley, program director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, at KCRW Radio in Los Angeles, for his Exquisitely Excellent musical tastes.

19. Nostalgia: His Excellency Edmund White for his memoir City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and 1970s.

20. Photography: Dean Sameshima for his Excellent work on view here.

21. Society: Derek Blasberg for his consistently Excellent, glittering café society reports for Style.com and other fashionable publications.

22. Style: Lady Gaga for her dubious and gaggingly overrated and hysterical influence on fashion and music.

23. Technology: The Excellent Nick Knight for his ShowStudio.com, Excellently forcing the fashion world to acknowledge the 21st Century.

24. The Look: Tights under shorts for men. Excellency for your consideration.

25. Theater: Cate Blanchett for her Outstandingly Excellent performance as Blanche DuBois in The Sydney Theater Company’s production of Tennessee Williams‘s A Streetcar Named Desire, presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

26. Thought: What is Excellence?

27. Travel: The City of Angles for its upcoming status as the capital of the art world.

28. Visuals: The Excellent staffs and artists of Peres Projects, Los Angeles and Berlin, for their Outstandingly Excellent program and exhibitions.

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