Gucci Got Me

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Gucci has not been on my radar for quite some time, but that all seemed to change with the Spring 2016 collection.  The fashion house showing during Milan Fashion Week culminated into what I thought was the most visually exciting collection in years!  The fanciful, candy colored, in some cases sparkly confections mixed with a melange of whimsical, vintage inspired pieces are making me swoon!  Everything was represented!




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In the short nine months that Alessandro Michele has helmed the house of Gucci as its creative director (he previously worked under Frida Gianini and was Gucci's accessories designer), he has transformed it into a relevant, eclectic, romantic, "gender ambiguous" flight of fancy.  In the context shown, there is a nerdy sensualism to some of these looks that are meant for men as well as women.  I am more interested in the "garden of good and evil" separates.  The delicate floral pieces, the snakes, fun appliqu├ęs, metallics, trompe-l'oeil, lace, ruffles: it's all my favorite things!  I suddenly feel pulled towards this bright, optimistic, playful world Alessandro has created.




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Gone are the days of Tom Ford with his overtly sexual looks.  Alessandro wanted to take risks, appeal to a new customer, create a new Gucci girl.  His thoughts turned to the Renaissance and the 1970's.   It's romantic and bohemian and luxe!  He referenced the brand's past, and is branding Gucci using a new vocabulary.




Alessandro is inviting the world to rethink Gucci and is asking the question, "What is contemporary
 now?"  I can't wait to see what he is going to do next!


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* photo: Jeff Yiu
   Video: Glen Luchford
   **Valerio Mezzanotti
    remaining runway photos: Yannis Valmos





Monkey Business




The Chinese New Year on the Lunar calendar has come and gone but there's nothing subtle about the 9th zodiac symbol of the 12 animals on the Chinese calendar, the monkey.  This year, specifically the year of the Fire Monkey, incorporates the fire element.  Its the most dominant of all the elements.  This combination heralds a strong pull with innovation, but unpredictability.  The Monkey's characteristics are curiosity and quick wit, while being mischievous, clever and resourceful.            

There is a plethora of playful patterns in wallpaper ranging from the whimsical to the artistic.  The Victorian decorative arts period brought with it the French and Eastern Asian style with monkeys often married with the Chinoiserie motif creating a perfect partnership.

DeGourney's "Deco Monkeys" conveys equal amounts of mischievousness and beauty!



A Shade Wilder makes the money a symbol that creates a bold graphic print that jumps off the wall.




Of course monkeys are represented in Jonathan Adler's menagerie




 A cookie connoisseur might appreciate Baccarat's crystal monkey cookie jar.



Seletti makes sure our "Monkey as focal point" lighting needs are covered in different ways




Monkey motifs have a storied past in decorative arts and design.  By donning different outfits, they convey a humanistic appeal, while simultaneously satirizing us, often in 18th century garb.




Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, Le Singe peintre



Hunt Slonem's "All Eyes" pattern is inspired by Monkey eyes.




The Dracula Simia or monkey orchid is a seasonless beauty blooming in the cloud forests of Ecuador,  and Peru. Their scent is one of a ripe orange.





See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,  conveyed in Conner's wise monkeys



This is an archival illustration by Harrison Howard who licensed his original works to Caspari for paper products as well as private clients for everything from invitations to wallpapers.





Robert Kuo's bronze, almost life size monkey, would bring good luck to any room.  Could it be any cuter?










 The Year of The Fire Monkey is a great year for new starts.  Where will your path take you?










Showing some LOVE to La Cornue



The artistry of this seriously chic stove along with the modern technology and stunning colors makes La Cornue a go to oven for people interested in a 5 star look.  This is a focal point not for the faint of heart, but boy could it elevate the stylishness of your kitchen.








It would encourage you to "bone up" on your culinary skills!










Happenings at the Gift Show






These are some of my favorite chunky knit throws and pillows that can be found at Homelosophy



Walking the floor of the Javits Center for the New York Gift Show is always an eye opening experience.  Handmade, artisanal, crafted pieces, each with an integrity and irregular beauty that defines "made by hand" speaks to the beauty that lies in the imperfect.  There was much of that displayed in almost every category, literally from soup to nuts (they have a food area).  I always discover something I didn't know a client or I needed.

Alex Marshall Studios not only does beautiful hand made dinnerware, but monograms as well.  A good two-fer






Making things meaningful is Sasha Nicholas' motto.  I love that.  I have always been a fan of customization, and monograming always adds that extra touch.  It really makes something one's own!






Mr. Brown is doing just that by allowing customers to use fabrics of their choosing on this breakfront and captioning it, "Your cabinet, your muse" ~ you can personalize it any way you choose.




The floor cloths from Israel caught my eye because we talked about the encaustic tiles being a current trend.  Maybe this is a good compromise if you want something LESS permanent from Kiss that Frog.





Crystals, selenite, and all things mineral are still taking center stage with their natural, organic, nature made characteristics that help give a room soul




and politically correct or not ~ fur is fashionable







Items on everyone's 2016 trend list were well represented!




Simon Pearce's Philanthropy is Personal




I spent the day at the New York Gift Show and saw a few themes happening which I will talk about in my next post, but this one caught my eye and pulled at my heartstrings.




I have always been a fan of the Simon Pearce brand.  They make stunningly simple (looking) hand blown glass and pottery tableware and have recently incorporated refined hand turned wooden pieces to their offerings.  They had a restaurant and store in the Brandywine Valley, not terribly far from me, and I loved going there to watch them blow glass and enjoy a rustic meal in their mill turned restaurant.  Sadly that closed, but if you happen to find yourself in Vermont...




It's a family owned and operated company that cares deeply about the things we call care about: sustainability, health, simple beauty, their kids.  Simon and Pia's son Kevin Pearce was a professional snow boarder training for the Olympics in 2009 when he had a terrible accident that left him with a permanent brain injury.  I remember this story and followed Kevin's progress.  Having kids participating in the sport and so close in age to Kevin made it feel like it hit a little too close to home.  I am glad to see he is doing well, but when something like this happens, awareness needs to be brought to the event so we can educate people and hope to prevent future accidents of this nature.














By buying a beautiful tea light votive with the proceeds going to the Love Your Brain Foundation you are helping support education, research and improving the quality of life for those whose lives have been affected.  I will also be after my son even harder than I have been in the past to wear a helmet when he skis and boards!













These are products I would buy anyway, so the mere fact that I am now also giving back is a win/win!