Always Seeing Stars.
It was a very Film Blanc et Noir winter fed by Netflixing my favorite old movie stars on cold nights. In narly 1950′s sandals and twinkling sunshine, I raced with Mama Sophia’s 10 kids on twisting strada di Napoli and later Ferrari whipped around Roma in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. I flinged with Almodovar, stuck my nez in French New Wave, fell in love with OSS 117 in Rio and traipsed again with Barbarella into new worlds.
To dress the part to absorb all these dreamy movies, (and very out of charactor for me) I fell in love with a so-simple, V-necked, tight, androgynous, (all-absorbing-the-lights and action) black cashmere sweater. It reminded me of my first trip to Italy where the uniform of ragazza was the same tight sweater, over and over a crisp white T-shirt. This sweater’s inspired Winter black, sent over from Europe, hugged me into Spring. Feeling and desiring MORE+MULTI-DIMENSIONAL, like packed seeds in the earth, with my body wrapped warmly and sorta layered beyond yesterday, today and tomorrow, I was really ready for new full-on Spring color doing its thing as the Creative Force.
By the time Spring hit New York, I became obsessed with the concept of multi-color and how to play it like a Symphony.
Here are the bright colored upstart stars and musings crashed through my basic black and silver screen Winter world, from bras to buildings and from vintage to virtual evolutions…these things left us starry-eyed this month.
Rainbows Will Always break through the Uni Form, unlimited potentiality of the Name-less, Formless Big
…par example…There was that one bright day in sunny Miami, when I knew my Dad’s Alzheimers was acute as he pointed “up there” and giggily conversed “with a leprechaun sitting on a rainbow.” Multi-colored happiness was a good place for him, I thought, trying to transcend my pain as my own world of form and surety disintegrated, no, crashed with his visions. Since then, I’ve become much more adept at transversing worlds. Let me explain.
Conjuring the infinite “Pi” via pan pipes. Printemps. Spring.
To always see stars between the black and white lines of time, between someone’s lips, or our own life lines is to feel a world of gorgeous color passion pushing all boundaries. Between the stripes of our ribs, a song from a Krishna’s flute or a Pan-pipe…there will always be people, places and things which instantly charm like Pied Pipers. Much like the painless “ocular migraines,” which appear suddenly as plush blotches on normal vision, and then grow to shimmery rainbows and Missoni-ish scintillating staircases building endlessly spiraling architectures, peaking, and then diminishing back into the Everyday…the best black sets the stage for Stars to appear suddenly and alter our navigation of Reality and Time. The word “pied” in Pied Piper is perfect, as it means this kind of stripey, strip away reality color breakthrough. Of course, the origin is Sanskrit, from the word prīyā́, which means ‘wife; dear/beloved one,’ which itself is the derivation of the word sapphire, the deep dark jewel. Married to the vast potential of endless Sapphire Blue and Black. The concept of endless blue/black in turn is the translation of the name Krishna, Christ or Crystal, even Krsta, also meaning “attraction.” Thus the little green leprechaun who sits as a crystal rainbow charms, his whispering magic flute leads children into the fields to play and Create, is best to pay attention to, whatever form the lil thing arrives in. When I was actually out and not Netflixing in bed, mesmerizing Busby Berkeley movie stars danced their mandalas on repeat at the Modern Museum of Art in NYC in the lobby where one waits in line to see films. For me, this kicked up where I left off in my last post, dreaming I was trapezing from one building into the next which hosted a bright, flashy party. My travels early Spring landed me, in real time, at this table display for the annual DIFFA tables at the Architectural Digest Home Show, with a Fragonard lady getting her skirts in a toss over a woodland feast, staged by Rachel Laxer Interiors and Robert Kuo.
Suddenly, it was time for a kiki.
Like space pioneering Jane Fonda, in Spring we are like Barbarellas cast into another world. We emerge with a grand exit from the ramshackles of Winter naps and nookie, to dramatically fling a long black and white furry bear tail behind us to face Spring’s new ventures, back commandeering in our bouncing Bubble Ships. Thus this image of full-on flowers and crystal throttle, created by multiple artists for Architectural Digest, became Spring’s image for me. How we push flowers through the constraints of our mind and time. The MOMA’s B+W Busby Berkeley Gold Diggers of 1933 movie endeared me to the ernastness of our shared hopes and flowery dreams, awakened by light.
Seeing Stars: Like dreaming of flower fields, musing on color and style is a Printemps passion in NYC.
Here are 9 multi-color, reality-pushing trends, purchasables+experientials to put your money on this Spring.
Bursting thru Bubbles. We are seeing a rise in the Burst.
A burst of one visual language into another. The deja vu of dreams and the everyday. From layering art in the landscape to the serendipity of sudden Spring in Wintry flea market finds on urban asphalt, Instagram and insta-visuals to the whole world, this has turned our globe into a kiki. Fleurs d’Excès, the bright, bursting drug-dream objets, above, by designer of Dior’s Haute Joaillerie, Victoire de Castellane has just debuted at the Gagosian Gallery in Paris. Buy the book here. Or get more burst for your dollar by snapping up old album covers for wall art or some Springy frocks on your way to Paris, like these I saw on a foray to the Hells Kitchen Flea Market in NYC, actually named one of the Top Ten Shopping Streets in the World by National Geographic. My favorite Pied Piper led me there, the new-age, bubbly-serious singer-songwriter friend, Jess Domain. Follow her Twitter and sweet songs here.
Spontaneous cha-cha dances or the incongruous enchantment of precious lights popping like these fairy mushrooms from Rune, or mid-century modern bubble glass lamps from Venice, and Morocco, pump up the volume of passion. You can find more like this at Electibull, a brilliant online flea market. Of course this month I met a couture lampshade maker from the best little couture lampshades made in NYC, Blanche P. Field, here.
Should pumped up circumstances call for a lampshade upon your head.
Pump thru Circumstance.
Besides Rainbow Children and happy unicorns, I wondered what else resonated with multi-hued-ness. I recalled that while every color has many meanings, for example, in Feng Shui each day resonates to certain colors, to re-balance “the circumstances” at hand. I loved that “multi-color” is actually matched to the day, Friday, and the origin of the word ”Friday” is Priya in Sanskrit, and in many other languages, Venus, planet of beauty and the arts. Just for fun, Hindus have a guy in charge of Venus, named Shukra is associated with poetry and sexuality and creative urges. (His name means “white” just to keep things even more playful.) Multi-color also corresponds to another “cure” concept in Feng Shui, called “the other” which specifically, un-specifically makes room for the spontaneous, the un-named. Like when reality, logic and myths are allowed to be porous sponges. Digital does it. Pan pipes do it. The Trickster Peter Pan, Green Man in Slava Mogutin and Brian Kenny’s SUPERM, Entropy Parade does it. We like it.
Seeing Stars: Speaking of birds doing it, bees doing it, “Pump”and the fluidity of basic circumstances…did you know our arteries are named for Ares, the masculine warrior force of fire and light, pumping our blood out from our heart and our veins, which pump and hum the blood back to the heart, are named for Venus, the Goddess of Love? Now we know Venus is a multi-colored, attractive wifey type who charms into Saturday, named for the sapphire, blue black of Saturn. After a day of Springtime inny and outy for Mars and Venus, the kids need a day of rest, renewal and a return to the infinite black. The Sun on Sunday, the white Moon on Monday brings us back into the multiple color wheel of the week… a riot of color and reality. Kick it!
Wilding Out Our Collective Rhythms.
Josephine Baker’s wilding out in Princess Tam Tam alternated with the Busby Berkeley knicker kickers at the entrance to MOMA was quite a contrast to my Pied Piper producer friend, Kim Jackson‘s Sundance Selects movie, Blue Caprice, also an IFP Lab selected film, which I had come to celebrate one evening. Starring Isaiah Washington, the film is based on the story of the Beltway sniper attacks and clearly points to Western society’s lack of healthy emotional release and processing. Sun dances, rain dances, vision quests…seeing stars…our souls need this connect. We love that artist Nick Cave, whom we’ve been following for quite a while, let his horses loose in Grand Central Station this Spring delighting the masses. PDA, Public Display of Art is on the rise, hmm, looks like Olde Time Religion to me! Seeing Stars: Allowing the wild Rainbow people to be the art. The rythymic dance of these lights echo the people who will bring color and movement to fill the scene, and are the design key to this entire ordered setting of Ralph Lauren’s DIFFA table. Speaking of which, further West, as in LA, where the real wild things are, our pal Lynn Hasty-Tejada at Green Galactic PR are ever on top of the “Gloving” craze, wild child of the rave scene. Like skateboarding, breakdancing and Parkour before it, gloving even has championships.
Coloring Outside The “Mens.”
Please boys! Your headlines of violence and exploitation of women for thousands of years can be a bit depressing and exploits you too. We love when men can express their color creatively, coloring outside the defined lines! I happily discovered a better Bond, actor, Jean Dujardin, as a spy named OSS117 in two movies directed by Michel Hazanavicius. He pops up in Rio and Cairo, kind of a Sacha Baron Cohen, twisting male and female stereotypes fairly brilliantly. We do like that the human male species are becoming more like peacocks. Manly color secrets we’ve spyed lately in NYC? Seeing Stars: My biz partner, Kristin Paladino, of Paladino Casting, recently lured me to a wild party at the Nolita mens store, Jay Kos, a soul brother of Etro and Paul Smith. Here the altar of Multi-color throb rivals a Hindu temple in full puja kirtan with flowers flying. The main room was full of colorfully swathed people to S+M film stars to men in basic black,
yet it was the secret lair downstairs, where…
…a Tibetan-traveling jewelry stone/stoned man presided over the space, where things got magic cave-ish via mystical awakenings tales in India as well as rings-n-things. On most days this is the place where stars like P. Diddy get fitted for python trousers and where NY scene writers, like Jon Caramonica of the NY Times wax ecstatic. To re-create in your own lair, watch the documentary on painter, Gerhard Richter, here, who will pop you in the aura of a master of color.
And sometimes, the multi-colorful men you see on the street rival anything on a gallery wall, catwalk or rack in a store. To wit, this holy man, shaking and conversing deeply with this parking meter.
Riding the Magic Carpet
“You don’t know what we can find. Close your eyes girl, look inside girl, let the sound take you away.”
Lately we noticed that the Exotic is local and the local is Exotic. Travel is a state of mind, not really about distance. One can be transported by local hotels in warehouse districts like NYC’s Wythe Hotel, designed by Morris Adjimi, my pal and colleague Courtney of Gotham PR‘s client. We particularly love the “local color” sign, a sculptural installation by local artist Tom Fruin, made of discarded old metal signs found locally and woven,(welded) together.
For straight out of the tube, pure color in NYC, the subway “tube” system is a global/local social experiment in mixing human behavior like no other. As a proud NYC strap hanger, this train art by Marcos Chin depicting the love children of Grand Central’s architecture and the transversed dreams of 21 million people per day, fascinated this month. GC’s history is the magic carpet of a global city, with its quirky beauty marks like the bare lightbulbs reflecting the then-new technology of the 1900′s and ubiquitous acorn motifs are symbols of the intriguing Vanderbilt family who built it. Yesterday Vanderbilt icons include Gloria, in the 1970′s and today, world citizen, Anderson Cooper…and tomorrow?
Meanwhile, at yesterday’s jet-setters’ kiki…
This Spring we began working with the New York School of Interior Design, whose exhibit, celebrated the Intercontinental Hotel luxury hotel chain’s famed interior designs by Neal Prince. Reflecting the smarts and local/global perspective of the college, the images also reflect the rise of the international star-designer world…as much as they document the emergence of multi-colored luxury global culture. (We love the staging of the lady’s green hat and pocket square to balance the light fixtures, perhaps a subtle Springy clue to put a lampshade on one’s head?)
Wow, Color Fields Good
We took several meetings this winter at Sebastian + Barquet in the Starrett-Lehigh building, where a buzz of creative color is as ultra-multi as any we’ve seen. The dish portraits of owners, Helena and Ramis by Julian Schnabel, are just one treasure in a field of vignettes featuring S+B’s curated collection of design, from Georges Nakashima paired with Italian classics from the 50′s and 60′s. The key difference is the elaborate room settings mixing era, curated pieces and original art in fresh scenarios. Ramis’s archives of Charles Eames photographs of machines produced for IBM and blown up massive is just one amusement in their lush patchwork quilt of rooms.
I have often thought flowers are machines, as is our cultivation of them to satisfy our desire for beauty.
Exotic color field-goods are as close as street markets, like these scarves at the flea market. Did you know that multi-color classic patterns are also mixed rainbow children? Paisley is the name of the town in Scotland which made the most Kashmir shawls and Madras is the name of the town in India where madras was invented as inspired by Scottish tartan? Get your tartan from Heritage of Scotland, where they also have this tartan of peace, here. It’s actually where I got my black cashmere sweater to fall in love with. Back to Black for a middle of the blog, come-to-Jesus moment and ponder this…
All Ways New Black
On our way to the flea market, Jess showed me Laduca, a NYC classic, maker of custom-made shoes with flexible soles made specifically for dancers in the theatre and movies. I loved these black starry sky boots in the window and their tacky shape. El sparkle boots got me thinking how New York women magically know how to wear black best, creating their unique silhouettes, making them the All-Colorful Star of the Show. This look has nothing to do with trends, labels, price, era or looking like a gothic groupie. It has everything to do with solid pieces that reflect an individualist’s perfection. And one colorful precious amazement or custom curiousity. For example,
My friend Courtney’s Armani black “bird feather” blouse surrounded by white leather. Her color hot shot, a yellow wallet…and, wait, a mysterious bright green…underneath? Just like her, her basics are anything but that.
I met this new friend and instantly bonded over her boots matching the bright color produce aisle of the local health food store where her energy and her “turn my head” fab Cavalli boots did just that. Bought in a London thrift shop “years ago,” they are magical boots she loves (and her 16 year old daughter detests!)
Black, like a dark theatre, just loves and lives for that one shot of color and light. In fact, most NYC women keep Deborah Marquit’s bold bras, found here, close to their multi-colored heart and souls. It’s our kind of Cadolle, voila, as per designer, Deborah…” I believe that fluorescent color appeals to the psycho-sexual collective unconscious and of course, is fun to wear.”
Slow Life, See Color
Slowing down is popping up. Unplugged, non-digital days are becoming ideas we crave. Time to care and cultivate the colorful details of life is an expression of gratitude and reverence for life and each other. Bless the Italians, reminding us to slow down, enjoy our food and each other like Slow Food. They know best how to seduce with full-on, pumped-up color on everything, such as these tubby refrigerators by Smeg at the Architectural Design show, seen with Courtney, she of the Armani blouse. Of course, she owns one of these. Are you surprised? Further on our trek at the show, luxe linens brand, Frette parted the striped B+W and laid out a lush Italia table with real olives, cushy pillows and bicicletta.
The movie Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Ieri, Oggi, Domani, defines slow and pumped up. The Academy-award winner from 1963 layers three decades imagining Sophia in different lives, from a desperate poor woman in Naples to a wealthy woman in Milan and a high-class prostitute in Roma, building the pace and intrigue of her charactor. It’s reflects how we now process life, appreciating it’s color and nuances, moving through dimensions of time by slowing down.
This October, we travel to Marrakech with our initiative, Slow Luxury, which is “a new standard for luxury design goods, where the highest design and quality meet excellent social, economic and environmental standards.” At the invitation of a retreat on a 24-acre artist’s atelier named Harem, our goal is to discover the hand-made in souks and philanthropic cooperatives while slowing down with all of Harem’s spa services. Celebrity event producer, David Beahm is my traveling pal, and stays at the Riad del Fenn of Vanessa Branson and the Kasbah of her brother, Richard, are happily on our itinerary. The rich color and play of the desert and lush tradition has always been with me, as I have spent a lot of time in New Mexico. A recent book documenting the culture clash costumes of the Herera Tribe in Nambia, Conflict and Costume by Jim Naughten, has lush images propelling me to Africa. As colorful as Japan’s cosplay or London punks, proving again the Multi is Ulti, it’s what moves Humanity Forward. These women in their colorful skirts remind me of mountains.
Pumping up Mars Men Like Atlas
I was hard-pressed to trace the name Charles Atlas back to Sanskrit, although it does go back to Marvel Comics and one of my favorite advertisements offering bench-pressing promises to pretty, skinny boys hooked on comics. One of the film events at MOMA, this past Winter, celebrated Charles Atlas, light and color filmmaker to great pretty dancing and crooning idols such as Merce Cunningham, Diamanda Galas, Leigh Bowery, Antony & The Johnsons among others.
Seeing Stars: It was great to see Antony in the audience to support Charles. Confirming my admiration of Antony, he actually remembered meeting me backstage many years ago. Now painting more than singing, Antony’s plays with his light in a new form. Actually a rainbow is a love affair between water droplets and sunlight. “Light enters the rain droplet and is re-fracted when it enters the droplet and then is reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it.” In another Alzheimer’s fueled gem, my father asked me when I would push light and color through a lens and inspire people. I was the one puzzled and confused by this until I understood that he meant film, as in “when would I make films?” Such a puzzling Pied Piper! Inspired by the likes of Green Men, Charles, Leigh and Antony…soon Pops, soon.
Pumping Up Venus Woman
For colorful “girls on film,” A Woman is a Woman and Barbarella are classics as both roll sequences in an unexpected dreamy, reality bending way. This Spring in NYC, the artist Olek played a Pied Piper with stereotypes of image, women and entrapment, with her global crocheting of public edifaces. Her crocheted live tableaus of relationship and pink camoflage poster-decor poke fun at girlish and cherished idealizations. We ran into her on the street just before we peeped her exhibit at Jonathan Levine Gallery, drawn in by tales of a live crocheted mermaid on a swing.
Proving that women’s dreams are ripe for pumped up power plays, we already saw a woman sporting the dreamy PJ top on the street in NYC, with the “look Ma, no bottoms!” look Marc Jacobs showed on his Spring 2013 runway. It’s going to be much fun if more women…
tapped into their personal creative dreams and take it to the streets. Look what NYC women actually do with multi-color and brights, this picture on a rainy day!
Rainbow Childrens, Stacking Up
Like Pandora presiding over a secret walled garden, I have kept all my crayons and color boxes, including this clay and time studio-scarred gem. They are my doors to the pleasures of Pan, in all its Spring green, Pi-infinite and multi-colored possibilities. Need more ideas to spark the Spring?
Seeing Stars: Meet Emily Pilloton, TED-talking revolutionary, encouraging kids to play with art+design and transform their lives and community in the process.
Out of the box solutions vs. problems stack up. Emily left a well-paying gig as an architect in San Francisco to learn and teach kids in a poverty-stricken rural township in the American South, with Project H. Getting high school boys to play with geometry and invent like an architect and encouraging girls to love power tools transformed their lives, hopes and visions for their future. Here is how her students played with stacking modulars for pop-up farmer’s market shelters, which aided the local economy, not to mention, added lots of local color and vibrancy.
Pre-Fab: Wishing Walls to Create FabulousSeeing Stars: Under the “build it, they will come” theory, before anything can become Fab it must be pre-Fab. That goes for creating our own dreams and building in the future. We worked this early Spring like busy beavers on a public event for Gluck+, the architectural firm espousing “Design:Build” or in the same spirit as Emily, a belief in “getting hands dirty.” Uptown in Gluck+’s pre-fabulous Malt House building, editor Susan Szenasy of Metropolis magazine led a panel of Gluck+ architects, developers, Janus Partners, the directors of openhousenewyork and Pentagram, to confab on the merits of being multi-disciplinarians vs. contrarians when building. By putting design, engineering and construction in separate camps, everyone loses something in the process. In the same efficiency-minded and collaborative spirit, Gluck is premiering the first ever pre-fab building in New York City, called “The Stack” due to stack up this June.
Another project spied in Gluck+’s offices plays with a different kind of wishing wall, breaking boundaries between home and earth. It reminds me of Dror’s magic carpet building we saw two years ago in Brazil here.
When she turns to the simple woman praying, you feel how her role as a duty-bound Princess has none of the import for her to compare with the simple, hopeful, earnest and connected things communities spontaneously build together, like walls of wishes to strengthen and inspire. The burst of collective creativity is now showing up everywhere – from social media to public art – and clearly has the potential to lead us away from “duties” or “silo’ed” separate engines.
It is the invite to roam on holiday like the multi-dimensional, colorful children we all are inside.
This spring another dreamweaver, artist Orly Genger’s primary color, red, yellow and blue walls sprung up in Madision Square Park and immediately like a Pied Piper, created play pens for people of all sizes. Orly said in the New York Times, ”She also wanted to explore the “very, very fine line between being contained and feeling like you’re suffocating” and “feeling contained and safe.”
Here …at the end!…would be where we’d talk all cozy about perhaps how the clarity of our 90% water bodies – like clear water or glass or minds – is the bubble, prism and lens to best entice the fire, passion and light to play this Spring.
Wave a tail feather “bye bye” to the wooly bears you hibernated with this Winter… inside your soul are new worlds of multi-color delights this Spring bursting like flowers…yesterday, today and tomorrow. Come fly with me.
some images by Jade Dressler, others borrowed, thank you Internet.
Filed under: ART, FASHION, FILM, ITALY, MEN, NEW YORK, NEW YORK Art, NEW YORK Style, NY STREET SCENES | 1 Comment
Tags: A Woman is a Woman, Amodovar, Anderson Cooper, Antony and the Johnsons, Architectural Digest Home Show, Armani, Barbarella, Blanche P Field, Blue Caprice, Brian Kenny, Busby Berkeley, Cadolle, cashmere sweater, Charles Atlas, Charles Eames, Conflict and Costume, David Beahm, Deborah Marquit, Diamanda Galas, DIFFA, Dior Haute Joaillerie, Domani, electibull, Emily Pilloton, Frette, Gagosian Gallery, Georges Nakashima, Gerhard Richter, Gloria Vandernilt, gloving, Gluck+, Gold Diggers of 1933, Gotham PR, Green Galactic PR, Harem, Helena Barquet, Herera Tribe, Ieri, Jay Kos, Jean DuJardin, Jim Naughten, Jon Caramonica, Jonathan Levine Gallery, Josephine Baker, Julian Schnabel, Kim Jackson, Kristin Paladino, Laduca, Leigh Bowery, Lynn Hasty-Tejada, machine photos, Madison Square Park, madras, marc jacobs, Marcos Chin, Marrakech, meaning of Krsta, meaning of the name Christ, meaning of the name Krisna, Merce Cunningham, Michel Hazanavicius, MOMA, Morris Adjimi, New York School of Interior Design, Nick Cave, NY Women in black, ocular migraine, Oggi, Olek, openhousenewyork, Orly Genger, OSS117, Paisley, Pentagram, Pied Piper, pre-fab, Princesse Tam Tam, Project H, Rachel Laxer Interiors, Ralph Lauren, Ramis Barquet, Riad del Fenn, Richard Branson, Robert Kuo, Roberto Cavalli, Roman Holiday, rune, Sebastian + Barquet, Slava Mogutin, slow fod, Slow Luxury, Smeg, sophia loren, Spring, Starett Lehigh, starrett-lehigh, SUPERM, Susie Funahara, tartan, the meaning of the name krishna, The Stack, today and tomorrow, Tom Fruin, Vanessa Branson, Victoire de Castellane, Wythe Hotel, Yesterday