Thursday, July 15, 2010

California Design Biennial Opens this Weekend!

I am excited to see the work of all of the amazing designers who have been selected to be in the California Design Biennial at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, which opens this weekend. Its an honor to be on the host committee for the opening alongside so many amazing people I respect, especially as your Virginia/LA Steel Magnolia has only been living in this big city for 3 years.

The LA Times Booth Moore did a great preview on the fashion portion of the exhibition, and I truly look forward to seeing the other categories. The fashion category is curated by the ever so lovely and brilliant Rose Apodaca.

From the press release:
The curators, all design experts, will place the work in a context for the viewer that facilitates a deeper and richer understanding of the design that surrounds them every day. Curators include Louise Sandhaus, graphic designer and California Institute of the Arts professor; Rose Apodaca, pop culture and fashion journalist, and former Women’s Wear Daily West Coast Bureau Chief; Stewart Reed, head of Transportation Design at Art Center College of Design; Frances Anderton, Los Angeles Dwell editor and host of KCRW's DnA: Design and Architecture; and Alissa Walker, freelance design journalist for publications such as Good, Fast Company, and Core77.
I encourage you to come!

Saturday, July 17, 2010, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Opening Reception for California Design Biennial: Action/Reaction
$5 admission, Free for PMCA Members

Summertime sartorial style ca. 1895

Paul Gauguin playing the harmonium in Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha's studio in Paris, 1895. Mucha befriended Gauguin when he was broke, after returning from his first trip to Tahiti, and offered him space in his studio where the two worked on their art, each in their own corner. That is what friends are for!

What fun times this must have been for them both! I love this idea of the two of them with such different styles, working in the same space. I can imagine the conversations. I bet they had endless quantities of champagne on hand from one of Mucha's most known commercial works, seen below.

And then it seems they indeed had some things in common. A very young girlfriend. And who did design that Medée poster? Hmm... Scandals and lover's quarrels in the art world are certainly nothing new.

I have so much to do right now, and I should be sleeping like "normal" people, but here I am writing about a time that would have been a dream for me to live in. I should actually be dreaming.....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Glamour, Fun, & Torment: The Last Time I Saw Paris

"I'll never be a size 10 again," laments Elizabeth Taylor's "Helen" to her husband Van Johnson "Charles" after the recent birth of their child.

Ah, what would they say now if the film were remade starring one of our young actresses, "I'll never be a size 0...."
The film is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "Babylon Revisited" and stars Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson. A very tan Roger Moore plays her young boy toy. Donna Reed and Ava Gabor co-star. Ava's accent is entirely dreamy.

Helen Rose designed some absolutely stunning gowns for the film. One was rather Vivienne Westwood ala Carrie's S&TC wedding dress....

Oh, and there is some fast sports car racing too.

Gaetano Pesce @ Italian Cultural Institute LA. NY Times T Mag

Click HERE for the article by Brooke Hodege, curator of one of my most favorite exhibitions at MOCA in the past several years, "Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Never apologize for it

Time alone.

It seems to me so many people don't know how to take time away, to sit in solitude without noise and distraction. To be comfortable being alone with their own thoughts. Or contemplating the simplest thing, like the way a leaf might blow in the breeze.

My aunt Leslie (Bucky) gave this book "A Gift from the Sea" 8 years ago and I do go back to it quite often. I love the truths it holds. I figured out long ago I have to have solitude to recharge and to appreciate all the amazing activity and people I have in my life.

I'm preparing for the shift that occurs with the solar eclipse. Quiet. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Way into these: Woolypocket

This will make a perfect, perfect installation on my kitchen wall!

Such a cool invention. Modular plant pockets made completely of post-consumer recyclable materials. They make them for both indoor and outdoor use. I have to know these people! Love their random acts of planting around NY and wish it would happen here in LA just to bring a smile to my face (though of course we are not as in need of it as my big apple friends).

Available @ A + R in Venice here in LA.

The Man Who Fell To Earth

This is the man who fell to earth and turned into a snail. I found him on my porch after you left. He had been drawn to the light and conversation. He was shy at first, but I put on some music, invited him in, and soon he came out of his shell. He had a very long journey, so he's resting right now.