Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures


Lotus Esprit – The Quintessential 1970s Supercar

In the mid-1970s, English automaker Lotus replaced the Europa, a boxy, mid-engined pocket-racer for driving enthusiasts, with a now-classic wedge design, and called it the Esprit. With sharp ‘folded paper’ lines and flat surfaces courtesy of legendary designer Giorgetto Guigiaro, the outrageously low and wide Esprit looked like nothing before it – and nothing since. It represented Lotus’s attempt to step into the higher-end exotic...

The Grand Budapest Hotel in the 1960s

In Wes Anderson’s latest masterpiece we embark on a journey into the last gasps of the aristocratic life and haute couture of eastern Europe in the late 1920s. This is not just a story of a eccentric Hotelier and his lobby-boy, but a journey into Anderson’s mind, including his trademark symmetrical design and perfected color schemes. The story of the Grand Budapest Hotel is set...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

Kill Your Darlings
January 4th, 2014 in Film

Kill Your Darlings

Kill Your Darlings begins in the early 1940s, with Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) surprising his poet father with the news that he has been accepted into New York’s Columbia University. His mother’s mental issues have forced him to grow up fast but Ginsberg is still unworldly, and a chance meeting with fellow student Lucien Carr opens his eyes to a world of strong drugs, freeform...

American Graffiti and Mel’s Drive-In Restaurant

Inspired by similar restaurants serving motorists in Los Angeles, Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs founded Mel’s Drive-In restaurants in 1947 in San Francisco, California. Night and day, hordes of patrons that fancied dining-in-your-car came early and often. It didn’t take long for the first restaurant to multiply into eleven. In 1972, the original Mel’s located at 140 South Van Ness in San Francisco was selected...

Mant! – The Movie Within The Movie

In 1993, director Joe Dante, made a little known film that has since become a cult classic for lovers of ‘B grade’ 1950’s science fiction. Matinee, starring John Goodman, is a feel good comedy about a Hollywood huckster who premieres his gimmicky new monster movie in the town of Key West Florida while the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis is coincidentally occurring. Events are particularly important to...

Stanley Donen’s Arabesque
April 27th, 2012 in Film

Stanley Donen’s Arabesque

arabesque def: 1. a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif. Nobody liked the screenplay. After three writers tried to make it better, it was worse! But director Stanley Donen knew, that if the audience would be staring at Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren the whole time, maybe the story really wasn’t all that important. The romantic thriller ‘Arabesque’ was released in 1966. ...

The Stylish Art of Kevin Dart
December 6th, 2011 in Design

The Stylish Art of Kevin Dart

Stylish, bouncy, curvaceous, deadly – And she wants her panties back from old men who carry them in briefcases! “Yuki7 and the Gadget Girls” are the Mangaesque brainchildren of L.A. artist Kevin Dart. As books and animation Kevin and 14 other illustrators take you into a “fixties” style milieu of jazzy action and toned down colors to underscore a mood of light hearted murder and...

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