Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Do not walk...RUN to see the Alexander McQueen Exhibit at the Met if you are in the New York area.  It is both hauntingly beautiful and sad simultaneously.  I suppose just like Lee was; always at odds, a contradiction, exploring his feelings through his designs.  The exhibit showcases 100 ensembles and 70 accessories within 6 magnificent vignettes.

His designs have become legendary~ the late, great enfant terrible who took his own life in February of last year managed to be hypnotic, controversial, imaginative, and commercially successful.

With its interactive components, the exhibit was a feast for the senses.  It was a visceral experience.  This wonderfully macabre, disturbingly beautiful, raw narrative of McQueen's short life is a must see!  You most definitely ask yourself, "Why Alexander, Why?" and wonder what could have been?

Someone asked me what my favorite part of the exhibit was, but I really couldn't say.  I marveled at the magic of the creative mind behind the outfits, the robotic painting of a dress, and the hologram of Kate Moss.  Simply magnificent!!

Philip Tracey was an important collaborator of McQueen's; his headpieces, more than a footnote.  Read more about how the two met here.

For more on the exhibit, photos: The Met website. Running through August 7th.  

Clever Idea #2: Painted Sisal Carpet

Mary McDonald

Oh, how I do love an idea that elevates itself; looks more elegant, more expensive, more bang for the buck!

Painted sisal rugs are so easy to do and make such great statements, whether the look of the  room is buttoned up or buttoned down.

Bunny Williams took a very formal room with a classic design motif and gave it movement and pizazz with this painted sisal.

Bunny Williams@ The Mount ph: David Dashiell

She did it again for Kips Bay.  The custom painted sisal in this case brings a cohesiveness to the many  elements within the room.

It can be as bold or as subtle as you like.  The neutral texture makes any design really POP, and works as the perfect canvas for your creativity.
Geometric pattern play seems to really lend itself to this application

Kate Spade

This room marries my 2 clever idea posts~ black board paint and painted sisals.  That IS clever x 2!

I raved about Celerie's room in this year's Kips Bay Show house.  There were a lot of great take aways, amongst them, the painted sisal.  And I now realize how pain staking all those curved lines are to create.

Celerie Kimble

Roman & Williams via Decorate your Digs

I would not have known this was a white sisal that Beth Martin painted with a purple pattern that received so much press.  It looks amazing!

ph:Simon Updike via Elle Decor

The "How To" couldn't be easier.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  The right tools:  stencils or a ruler, painters tape, oil based paint painted on thickly with a stencil brush, and some polyurethane to protect it after it's dry is all that's required for you to go from drab to fab!

ph: Stencil Search

Sounds like a great summer project for the beach house!

                       For more details Design Sponge  has good directions or You Tube has a lot of How to's

My Aspen Love Affair.. Food & Wine Classic

This time last year I attended the Aspen Food & Wine Classic.  I always wanted to experience it.  It was three days of gluttony on a grand scale.  If you get a chance, it is quite an experience~

Don't adjust your monitors, the sky IS that beautiful and clear

Marcus Samuelsson sounds the horn; Let the festivities begin...

Twice a day inside the grand tasting tents, we ate and drank to our hearts' content.  Cheese, wine, and liquor from around the world; caviar, local specialities, chocolate ~ you name it

Top chiefs held seminars.  Or you could learn about perfect pairings, knife skills, and cooking techniques.

Art Smith talked about his recent weight loss, lowering calories on comfort food, and feeding Oprah (click on his name for a few favorite recipes).

Mario Batali declared, "Orange crocs for everyone!" and proceeded to talk about the cooking of the Ligurian region of Italy.

Giada de Laurentiis was so tiny and adorable.  I don't remember what she made because I couldn't stop thinking, "How does she remain so tiny??"

Michael Symon made the creamiest Mac and Cheese and demonstrated how to make a perfect roast chicken every time!

After all this~ It was time to take a good, hard walk...


                                         ... to do more drinking

I went to a TY KU sponsored party.  Click here for LOW CAL receipes.  The soju, sake, and liqueur are delicious, as were the different cocktails the bartenders whipped up.  I was into the 2 fisted drinking portion of the event.

Ahhh, the mountain air, the satisfaction of a productive day, the exercise.  I slept like a baby on that trip!

And a good time was had by all; and by all I mean me!

Don't Screen Me In

Tony Duquette via Dennis Miller ~LOVE~ but it's busy

I am beginning work on a job that I decided NEEDS a folding screen.  Bookcases and a fireplace occupy one side of the room and the other side is empty.  It needs visual weight and after careful consideration, I decided this is the answer.  The only question is; which one?

Maison Schembri via !st Dibs

I want an Art Deco vibe.  There is an Asian influence associated with that period, so it would not be out of the question to incorporate an Oriental look such as this and the tea paper background calls to me.

Decorative Crafts

A quintessential looking Deco aesthetic incorporates beautiful wood tones like the macassar and ebony below.  This period is marked by either a strong geometric or circular pattern.

Deco Dreams
I Die~This would have been a contender, but it sold.

Carlton Dailey via 1st Dibs.
 I love the shape and the movement the dancing gazelles create

From its simple roots as a room divider, the folding screen now has evolved into an integral, practical piece of furniture as well as an object of beauty.  It solves some problems and decoratively hides others.  What's not to love about that?

Porter & Plunk
Any fabric screen is a no brainer, in this case, Fortuny is FINE

Gracie Studio, custom
Loving the fan shape and it's repetitive simplicity

The beautiful wood and brass accents could be the perfect choice

Love the whimsey but I don't think my clients will.

Samuel Marx oxidized mirror
Had this not been $45,000.00 it might have been my 1st choice

Hmmm, stay tuned to see what we choose and how the room comes together.

Roberto Capucci ~ Art Into Fashion

"Creation is a sensory experience" 

Roberto Capucci is the most imaginative, timeless, iconic designer that no one has ever heard of.  He is a revered fashion visionary.  Called "the Givency of Rome" or "lite Balenciaga", many contemporary designers have taken inspiration from Mr. Capucci's  innovative designs.  Christian Dior praised Roberto's work, and the 1955 collection was considered as important as Dior's "New Look" of 1947.

This dress was inspired by the concentric circles the water makes when a stone is thrown into it.

He is known for his love of intricate origami like shapes, inventive use of pleating, ruffles, structured ribbons, and rosettes and unusual elements he would sometimes add like pebbles or straw.  

The dress below was inspired by peeling back the skin of an orange

Roberto refers to his work as a study in structure and form; much more like works of art than clothing to be worn.  In fact, Roberto was not really concerned with commercial success, obviously.
Roberto's fabric of choice was silk shantung, silk satin and silk taffeta.

This dress was inspired by a crack in the sidewalk

A trip to India captivated Roberto.  He would return many times.   The riotous color influenced  him throughout his career.   From his travels to Asia, he began experimenting with the tight pleats, either softly flowing or tightly manipulated.

The interpretation of this dress is like fire raising up  

I think you can see what inspired him here.  Nature was another important theme running through his collections.  Roberto shied away from recognition and publicity.  It's a shame his artistic vision was not realized for so long by so many.  Many successful designers referenced Roberto's work as inspiration for their own.  Ralph Rucci, Issey Miyake and perhaps Mary McFadden.

This baroque angel of gold pleated dress is his vision of an angel ascending to heaven.  Roberto saw the joy in living and wanted to imbue that in his work.

Roberto did a revolutionary box shaped collection which really started it all.  The outfits had 2 side seams and were stiffened and squared away from the body, but the waist was accentuated.

He designed an op art collection like his contemporaries, Rudi Gernreich and YSL.  He often incorporated interesting materials like straw, pebbles, and feathers, among other things.

A respect for traditional couture craftsmanship, a timelessness, and a Doric column inspired this satin number.

 "Pure art is not meant to be worn".   In 1980 he began showing 1 collection a year in 1 city per year.  Fashion was made richer by this maverick talent.

photos: Claudia Primangell, Phila. Museum of Art