Friday, April 30, 2010

Something Beautiful: Form, Function and Art

"Three generations of women artists who use a vocabulary of abstract forms." MOMA's Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940's to Now, May 5 - August 16. The middle picture is from the exhibition, artist unidentified.

Women, weaving, work. Curiously imbued with subtext of sexuality and feminism but I am simply caught by the beauty of these objects.

I use a dustbuster and something called a shark that steams my wood floors with no thought of indulging in objects of textural and emotional beauty. Practical not handmade and speaking without any subtext other than easy.

Oh No, My "Blogs I Love" Dropped Two Of My Favorites and I didn't even know.

Intuitive technology, easy peasy. Well, not quite. My blog is having its way not my way and I suspected nothing. Apparently blogs can reset themselves (last week I would have written "itself") and change their settings without leaving its binary footprint. 

In the last several days, I discovered that it wished to eliminate comments, rearrange photos to a rather random grid of its own choosing while showing a more orderly vertical arrangement in its preview but the coup de gras, the big deal, the whole enchilada that made me gasp in horror was the deletion, mean thing, of my two favorite blogs. 

I fought with the blog settings and restored the comments. Sadly disqus doesn't know why it will no longer show the number of comments. I wondered for a moment whether disqus and my blog had schemed together but of course that could not have happened. There is a certain detente at the moment in the matter of photo arrangement. It seems I am to edit the layout four or five times before it remembers its settings, although the while feigning compliance. The Blogs I Love setting was a small battle as well; it did not "save" when I pushed save, not for the first two attempts anyway. I did not give up, no. It took three prods of a sternly pushed "save" and so it did.

I must apologize for the very poor behavior of my blog. It has been warned (so to speak) that it is in danger of being, umm, terminated and replaced with, gasp, by Wordpress. I think a stern warning and a hard glint in my eye and the "W" word should suffice for now. and - I am so so so happy that your wonderful blogs are back on my Blogs I Love list. 

Oh and my deepest thanks to the patient and wonderful Lucy Beer,, for her help.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FIGS: FIGS and Bow Ties and School Uniforms in the Developing World

FIGS makes very good bow ties, a bespoke range as well. Not just another bow tie but something very special.  British wools and Italian silks, hand stitched red X bartack and tipped with fine men's shirting. There's a range of neck ties as well. The handwork is beautiful.  But there is more to this story, much more.

FIGS does something else wonderful and unique: With every tie purchased, FIGS provides a school uniform to a child in the developing world. It's called "Threads for Threads" and will expand within the year to provide uniforms to children at over 100 schools across Kenya and Tanzania. This is not Heather's first global goodness. While Heather was in college, she helped 170 Vietnamese children attend school by selling designer handbags.

Bow ties do have a bit of history. King Louis XIV ordered his tailor to make a bow tie copying the design of the uniform worn by Croatian warriors during the Thirty Year War. He fell in love with it and suggested (that would be a Royal Order, I think)  to his Court that they immediately follow suit. It's a debonair sort of thing, very Fred Astaire - Ginger Rogers. Fashionable but certainly less dandy than the cravat. Strange to think that I can now successfully place Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Karl Lagerfeld in the same sentence; all bow tie devotees. Brad Goreski is very cute in his, too.

I love what Heather and FIGS are doing. Full disclosure: Heather and Paige are my cousins. Heather is to the left of Jackson and Paige ( on his right. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

JADEtribe : Something Beautiful, Something Very Good

There really is a fashion train and for some it's Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo and beyond. Twice a year at minimum, elbows out and weighted down with laptops and camera bags, tottering in stilettos, and fashion du jour.

Kimberly Hartman simply stepped off.  My coolest friend, the one who scooped up the YSL Mombasa bag just as it was unpacked, casually threw her JADEtribe bag - the second photo - over her shoulder, kissing me goodbye after a too quick lunch last week.  I gasped, thinking this was one of her insanely spendy fashion It-bags.  Better, much better than that.

"I produce in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. I met amazing women in each of those countries in my initial travel and developed my first samples with the local artisans. The amazing Lao Lu tribe women grow cotton and organically dye and weave the textiles for me. It is truly remarkable. I also recycle traditional tribal costumes from Thailand and repurpose them into bags.

I just hope to keep designing and selling handbags and jewelry so I can keep visiting my amazing clients all over the world and keep my lovely ladies in Asia working and earning money so their lives and the livelihood of their families continue to prosper."

JADEtribe link to website here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

David Choe, Nothing To Declare, Lazarides Beverly Hills

David Choe is street, Los Angeles street and back, back again. It's been six years and his life on film, Dirty Hands, is showing here April 30 to May 6.  Lazarides has 8000 square feet, the vacant Anthropologie store, in Beverly Hills through the summer. Choe's exhibition, Nothing To Declare, runs April 23 - May 23. Juxtapoz printed  five different May '10 Choe covers with a poster inside. Street art is all kaching, nothing louche left.

The line of valets and security for the preview party Thursday evening was impressive, slightly intimidating; my camera couldn't frame them all. This was a big deal, guest check-in, reservations required and a VIP back room. The girls in black stilettos didn't really show up for opening night; but it wouldn't have been surprising if they had. 

Diana Vreeland red walls and ceiling floodlights aiming at the paintings combined for difficult lighting and ISO settings to 1600 or more; frustrated photographers headed for the bar. Crates painted yellow, over sized plastic blowups, garish throws strewn about, some hung haphazardly: pristine white gallery walls a couple of blocks away at Larry Gagosian, not here. Steve Lazarides does this well; the big event from across the pond that sells out. Conor Harrington and Antony Micallef will be part of the group show coming after Choe. Victoria's Secret on one side and Levi's on the other, camera bearing shorts wearing tourists heading to Nate 'n Al in a city that doesn't have graffiti (maybe there is a squad of anti-taggers sent out daily: even the allies are clean here.)

A weak dollar and Lehman's doing well surely helped Antony Micallef pull a crowd of English people flying in to buy, buying quickly and hard; the Impure Idols exhibition sold out within the first twenty minutes, lines around the block for several days. Sotheby's and Christie's are selling art again and the good things going for more than the estimates. Choe is priced at 8,000. to 100,000. (Nikki: Destroy All Men: sold 100,000. before the preview.)

"I will take all my love all my hate all my pain all my
rage, all my suffering and all my skills and experience ive collected over the years everything I’ve
learned in every medium from watercolors to oils to spraypaint I’m gonna express everything I feel
about this city and what it is to live and die and be born again in the city of angels…. los angeles
I’m coming home and when I come this time, I’m gonna come harder than I ever have before."
----david choe koreatown, los angeles MARCH 2010

Walking Not Driving

Summer time and Happy Earth Day. Walking not driving slows everything down from frenetic days of multi-tasking and a desktop cluttered with too many open tabs.  Luscious green grass helped by spring showers and sunny Saturday runners near the beach. Papa Bear sniffs every tree slowly, savoring something I don't understand while I look around. Two men have decided to wrestle on a blue gymnastics mat; they are ignored. People smile at Papa Bear and ask if they can pet him. We are both quite happy.

The flora and fauna are crayola colors with sunlit bursts, swaying in an ocean breeze; too vibrant to ignore, demanding attention like the prettiest girl in the room. My reverie is interrupted by a German Shepard without any manners and a preoccupied owner who seems to have his cell Krazy-glued to his ear. He waves his hand idly as his death on a leash growls with his fangs wide open, spitting with demented pleasure. Papa Bear and I walk away leaving a snarling dog and a careless man alone.

I need a floral skirt, a hot pink tshirt, green havianas and a straw hat with sky blue flowers pinned to it.

I'm happy in this place.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gigi Burris and The Craft of Hats : Something Beautiful

"I  have always loved headpieces,always wearing bows and headbands when I was younger, and consistently sketched designs complimented with a hat during my early training at Parsons. It wasn't until I studied in Paris, that I realized my real connection with hats and headpieces, and the want to preserve a somewhat dying art. After returning to New York I chose to really study the craft of millinery through a course at Parsons, and an apprenticeship with a local couture milliner. I graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons in May of 2009, and the seven look senior thesis collection I presented included a couture hat with each look. This collection led to the nomination of Designer of the Year, and I noticed the strong reaction to the delicate hats I had presented. 

I am inspired by surrealism, a strange dark sense of femininity, and a sense of irreverency. Witches, swamps, bows, veils and feathers are constantly on my brain when creating the one of a kind hats. Elsa Schiaperelli is my idol, and I often pay homage to her humor.  I find so much joy in creating each one, it really is about the process of laboring by hand. I love to work to classical music, my previous studio was shared with my best friend Niia,  a classical pianist, and she would play nocturnes while I worked, now I have to settle with Chopin coming from my I-pod. "

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On Blogging, On Anna, A Few Links

"We love as much coverage of fashion as possible. We don't care at all where it comes from, and we embrace bloggers and video and social networking, and anyone that's talking about fashion is a good thing. And we now have our own website that incorporates all of that. But I think what's interesting to us with this new phenomenon that 'everyone's a fashion editor, everyone's a fashion writer' is that all of that actually helps Vogue, because we have access and the understanding of fashion that, forgive me, but maybe some bloggers and some of the newcomers to this world have a little bit less experience of, but as I said, the more the merrier. We embrace it."  Anna Wintour speaking at Pratt this past week.

I love that a group of bloggers was featured in the March American Vogue. This year the Council of Fashion Designers of America sent off nominating ballots to a hand-picked group of bloggers including Tavi and Bryanboy. Blog, blogged, blogger, blogging, blogosphere -  the only blog-related words in my online Oxford American Dictionary. My favorite word, bloggerati, is not included. Oh and there's nothing on blog in the Oxford Writer's Thesaurus.

This is actually meant to be sort of an I Love Bloggers and Blogging post so without further pictures, videos and language ... here are a handful of links that I didn't know about when I began my very, very new blog. ... Independent Fashion Bloggers has absolutely everything a blogger needs: community, polls, videos, friends, a badge for your site. It's grown and grown and moving the main site to a new server that should be up tomorrow. You can set up a home page which miraculously keeps track of your tweets, your blog entries, your friends blogs, polls, everything. There's always someone to chat with and it's all about blogging. And you can follow the founder, the very nice Jennine Jacob @thecoveted. And @IFB is now on twitter too. ... Blogloving' - where all the blogs are and you can follow as many as you want, have them sent instantly or as you like and pick a badge to put on your blog so that people can follow you too. I love this. ... Blogger law - simple and good to know information.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Beauty and My Closet

It's time to sort through my closet and put the freshly laundered whites together, pale colors next and then navy and black.  Winter boots need to be hauled to European Shoe Repair and there are more than a few skirts with sagging elastic waists needing urgent attention.  I've put this project off so long that it's become too large to just pull the closet door open and put things right.

The thing is to toss (give away, of course) any thing that isn't your own style. Not to ever believe in the silliness of getting rid of anything you haven't worn in a year. I've just begun collecting Christie's and Sotheby's catalogs on fashion and there is not a downturn in vintage designer pieces or It-bags. Actually Christie's has hired an expert to certify that your vintage Gucci is authentic and place a value on it. 

My Chanel Baby Cabas bag, black patent and gorgeous, purchased on eBay is fake. Having paid through Paypal, I felt quite safe; authenticity guaranteed. Not really as it turned out. Ebay and Paypal allow ninety days to file a claim and it took me a bit longer to realize I'd been had. If it were canvas, I'd be quite comfortable spraypainting FAKE on it.  I'll get a large square of white canvas and scrawl FAKE in bold black letters to safety pin to the outside of the bag. Lesson: careful on eBay but you do have ninety days to file a claim.

Brigitte Bardot, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Bissett, Natalie Wood, Bianca Jagger, Jean Seberg ... beautiful.

Coachella When You're Sixteen and Forever Young

There's always The Moment, that one moment that you could miss if you're blinking. The Kids Are All Right and they can rock it. Jackson, sweet sweet sixteen, and friends drove off to Coachella. Maybe some mothers were thinking danger of a different kind but I thought about the price of a bottle of water - 2.00 - 5.00. Jackson coolly, as though he had spent his entire life at this, grabbed a case of Arrowhead from the garage. a bottle of Advil, blew me a kiss and off he went. Forever young and his The Moment in the moonlight caught.

And to make this a proper fashion blog, Yuli's It Look: Hipster Fashion at 2010 Coachella, link here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Corinne Day : Limited Edition Sales

Corinne Day is releasing editions of three hundred of her iconic fashion photographs at 100 Pounds with the proviso that they not be resold. Please contact for ordering information. Further images will be released until December of this year to raise money for an operation to be done in Arizona to treat her brain cancer.

The monograph, Diary Corinne Day, is available from resellers at Amazon here. 

A beautiful view of her work shown at the National Portrait Gallery is shown here.

Yohji Yamamoto, Zac Posen and Bob Dylan. Sort Of.

'Clothing is now consumed, nobody seems to live it anymore. That is a situation we have to change or else fashion will disappear from Japan.'  Yohji Yamamoto

Well, if I knew how to have have a soundbite here,  Bob Dylan would be a-saying "come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen, keep your eyes wide open the chance won't come again."

Change every day, technology and social media and here we are. I'm still cross and snippy at the House of Versace oh so many years ago for forbidding buyers, me, to take photos, no sketches, selling any boutique that could pony up the sky high minimum. Obviously they had not considered Pierre Berge's business model: do nothing to harm the brand. This year streaming video was de rigeur and Burberry sent it to you in 3D. On the 'net, on your iPhone and bloggers are sharing thoughts and photos from fashion shows and shoots on the spot, not chained to print media campaigns that will be on the stands in a few months.

Robert Duffy's tweeting began before Marc's Fall '10 show and we fell in love with him: especially as he ended the celebrity front row (except for BFF's).  And in the way that the more things change, the more they stay the same, Target seized the moment (they just do that so well) and has garnered celebrities in front of the camera as well as filming for their pop-up designer moments that are celebrations, collectibles that show up on eBay at a hefty premium, complete with VIP rooms and live music. Target pops up, sells out and moves on. Not the only company doing this but Target is working it for the mostly under 100.00 or so set the way major designers have. It's good and it's fun.

Pokeware is a tool imbedded in videos that allows shoppers to click and shop. Gilt is an online shopping site that partnered up with designers to gave flash sales of current season fashions at discounts and ponied up with Vogue on a test run of limited special things. Proenza Schouler took orders for a a special bag available from the runway collection for a few days this season. eBay is running its own flash sales with designers. I think the indie shops could be justified in feeling slighted here.  This is looking like an Amazon swoop through the industry: less monolithic shopping center anchors, more outlet stores and the question of whether the customer will buy fashion on line is solved. Oh yes. and sales were up 50% last year while the recovery was not firm and old school shops were wilting.

There's so much good news: pent-up need to shop ("I may die if I can't shop soon ...") and pretty, pretty clothes for summer. Store sales are pleasing to everyone and it's all getting sorted out. Pretty as opposed to somber grey, black and haven't had anything new since the recession.

Me? I think there's plenty of room for Target collaborations and Yohji too. Vogue and Bloggers. Luxury and fast fashion.
Powered by Blogger.