After spending the last glorious weekend of Summer upstate at the Ashram, back in NYC, I was up all night online and in my dog-eared Peterson Field Guide trying to ID a wildflower I saw. Positive I was the only sleepless, Manhattan-ite soul awash in botanicals of this sort at that moment. Finally, identifying what was a Summer bloom gone to Fall seed I fell asleep, fully satiated.
Fall is a golden moment where like butterflies dreaming of us, we are savoring the last passionate wild-flowering of color on the ground as Fall approaches. NYC, London, Milan and Paris unfurl sassy with Spring collections’ flower offerings, insisting that WILD PEOPLE, PLACES and THINGS return to streets and runways to fill our heads before we tuck in for Winter.
Right before we wind between buildings in the chilled air winds, hardly seeing each other, here are my NINE favorite WILD flowers and the People, Places and Things acting like shocking and satiating wildflowers turning my head, making me smile and keeping me awake at night these past months.
Gold, blonds and bright yellow shimmers always turn our heads when we sense there will be less of the golden heat of the summer. We loved this photograph in Spike Jones’ home by Todd Hido. Turned away from a being a portrait captured, her identity is just what she sees…what looks to be a treeless forest in wait for Spring.
On the runways, Etro is known for wild bold colored pattern on pattern and somehow this “yellow bud” skirt showered with flowers, paired with the stark black and white tight top seems to elicit that glare of a late season bud.
These PERSONS are my WILD FLOWERS of the month: Anna della Russo for those GOLDENROD yellow mink shoes seen above…so non PC; NY Fashion Week stalwart, here, the sweet Patrick McDonald sporting a GOLDENROD yellow slicker, spotted and shot by our friend Karin Kohlberg; and new friend and client, Andrey Bartenev, the Russian performance artist whose GOLDEN concepts via happy bubble costumes popped open the Dumbo Arts Festival this year, promoted with arts representation group, re:artiste.
WILD FLOWER THING: We loved working this Fall with Paris-based designer, Adrien de Melo, for his debut in the US and his wild, stackable desks and chairs, “Escaping Gravity” at Valerie Goodman Gallery, NYC, through November, produced by Gotham PR. Adrien’s desks perch on ribs and roar like dragon heads, floating somewhere magical between primal and futuristic.
TWO JEWEL WEED POPPERS AND WILD TIGERS ( LILIES)
Famous for its popping seeds and sitting nicely always next to poison ivy as an antidote…finding jewelweed is like a sudden field of citron diamonds bobbing in the wind. Wild tiger lilies pop up for just a day…so very “fashion” like.
I was tickled to know that this THING, my favorite print shoppe for interior fabrics, House of Hackney, now flings wild flowers on womens’ and mens’ shirts, dresses, jumpers, rompers, tights and even platform creepers. Um, LOVE THINGS.
This traffic-stopping (or inviting) jacket offers citron flowers as a city version of jewelweed to its field and stream crowd.
THREE THE EARLY ONSET OF CHILL AND BONESET
I always botch my botany between Boneset and Snakeroot, there are many varieties, it is just their look of bone with the coming chill that entrances me. Reminds me of structures, strength, delicacy, transparency and wild…
PERSON: Valerie Steele is one such delicate Tower of Power. Director and Chief Curator at the Museum at FIT, her shows are always superb, inspiring and defining with her friendly, pop-culture weaving ways. Seeing her show this season, “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk” was stellar for its human stories intertwined with the clothes, the guests on hand and history. To walk the show with great dandy friends like Robert Verdi, Cator Sparks, John Favreau and Zari Awodein of Issey Miyake and have them point to their own garments on display, offer up back-history or the details of having sold a superstar “that leather outfit there”…was priceless.
THINGS: Other wild, wiry, transparent things flowering on Fashion Week streets as caught by Tommy Ton:
Costume National’s transparent swoosh of a dress is how we might easily pass by the beauty of boneset wildflowers, waving in the cooler winds speaking of invisible bones. On the opposite pole, for the most transparent, multi-dimensional, “women are delicate dolls,’ on the boniest, laciest, skeleton-ish collection ever to walk a runway, topped by bedhead beyond and red-kiss-smudged lips, looky here at Thom Browne’s view of women (adults only)
FOUR PURPLE ASTER DOWNLOADS
Royal Purple Asters flush clouds of purples, lavenders and plums in Fall woods…seeing them is a cool-down from Summer heat and an inspirational flash forward. The legs here courtesy of a wee Etsy shop I found, proving that some of the smartest down-low, downloads for attention-getting flushed street or cat walks may be found way off the High Street.
Alexandre Herchovitz’s steely purple hazy silk winged THING here gives me that icy, ephemeral feeling like no flowered blouse can. I love the strength of these delicate wings fluttering…especially with this model’s fierce face. She reminds me of a dragonfly.
FIVE DON’T BE BLUE CHICORY, GO TO A PARTY
Chicory flowers are tones of blue or pink dependent upon the acidity of the soil, in turn due to ants deep underground. I love that the busy working, brewing underworld city of ants is the influence for what crops up above the surface. Like lithe and elegant “surfacey” guests at a party, you often see chicory flowers on the roadsides, waving, air-kissing this and that way with each passing car.
I cropped Anna Sui’s wispy, beautiful chiffon boho-kimono THING here, partly for the model’s blue face and gladiator boots Anna chose. Mostly, like chicory, readers can decide the level of acid-trip balance via accessories when dreaming themselves in this get-up.
PARTY THING: Parties chasing away the blues cropping up in my world spanned lately from one at Jon Sherman’s Flavor Paper, whose wallpaper cures wallflower walls everywhere, above is their Featherlight in blue. We opened Spring last year with a rooftop party at his nest, and…
…welcomed Fall’s warm Italian leathers, co-hosting with Courtney Lukitsch of Gotham PR, the Brett Johnson Collection launch at Soho House, NYC, where two of my fave PERSONS, mentor Marvet Britto and Maxwell, moved among the crowd matching in blue. Brett, blue in the middle, is a talented emerging designer to watch.
Turning WILD flowers and fruits into sweets, the Beekman Boys, Brent and Josh, celebrated life in sync with the seasons this Fall with a soiree at Madison Ave’s Christofle jewelbox shop (filled with happy, silvery, celebratory THINGS) for the launch of their new book, “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.” To discover their underground WILD “before they were famous” tales featuring WILD persimmons from Brett’s childhood home or the WILD “real cowboys” of Josh’s favorite cowboy cookies, I suggest you get a copy of their book pronto Tonto. Here, Jade Dressler, moi, with “the boys,” Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge.
And then, wild moments in the street, everyday people PERSONS in Central Park. Ten thousand, wild, wild THINGS…I loved this blue bride and her entourage rustling by one Sunday.
SIX DRINK THIS: PINK POSEYS FOR FREEDOM
Springs’ wild flower envelopes please, have all been opened by Fall’s crispness. So a pale pink furry envelope and skirt during Fashion Week conquering the concrete jungle’s pavements with pointed gold boots speaks of being WILD in a subtle strong way that I love.
On the other side of the envelope, imagine those same concrete slabs of the streets, on the backs of Nepalese child slaves, seen in this photo holding hands for strength. This image, seen by 8-year old girl, moved her so much, she vowed to help in some way.
That girl PERSON is Vivienne Harr, a world away in Santa Monica. Vivienne “made a stand” selling lemonade and sat on her sidewalk for 365 days raising $156,788, which she sent to charity, freed slaves, and began an inspiring crusade bolstered by international PR and an upcoming movie and childrens’ book. Talk about pink, girly power.
I love her WILD, wacky PINK fashion sense and smart parents who formed a lemonade brand based on their daughter’s determined stand. My friend Shelley Lewis is raising funds for a children’s book to tell Vivienne’s story on Indiegogo, RUNWAY there now and support this kind of WILD. And lest we think PINK is only for wildflowers, fashiony girly things, charity and Victoria Secret bottoms, one of my favorite dandy pals, Montgomery Frazier, rocks the pants and the shoes at a recent party at my pal, Tracy Stern‘s new home featured in a lush spread in NY Cottages & Gardens magazine.
This, the pale girly boudoir where Tracy dreams up her wildflower tea concoctions. We love Tracy the most for ALL her philanthropic endeavors, practical, smart and thrifty design ideas all the while championing lush LIFE.
One spot of pink color and Tracy’s respite from NYC wild leads us to this image from Elle, featuring the red screen of Jacques Jarrige, at Valerie Goodman Gallery, an artist we promoted this Spring. His open flowing forms, more about what’s not there than is…is the exact subtlety we love in design or the expression of self through style.
The French word for lace is “dentelle” which also means “little teeth,” which to me has always spoken about the little teeth of form which holds and releases life into the empty open. Red cosmos, one of the last saturated hot color wildflowers of Fall does that…
SEVEN RED COSMOS
I am a fan of lace for lingerie primarily, not clothing for day, unless its done with humor or irony. Rules are made to be broken by the WILD, thus, in a bold color like red…and on the runway of Ann Demeulemeester, we defer and suddenly are entertaining, demurely racy WILD daytime thoughts.
Backstage at Thom Browne, red lace becomes a field of red poppy flowers like the one enticing Dorothy.
On the street one day, I looked up to see that I walked behind this racy, red lace WILD FLOWER, it was…and then again? It could be anyone. Seen on the street lately casually as well as at parties, red on men is popping up more these days, especially in the form of red pants having finally emerged beyond preppy Nantucket Reds or bullfighter pantaloons. Worn by stylish PERSONS like Steve Stolman, CEO of Scalamandre, they mark one as a visionary with a good sense of humor, which he most definitely is. Steve obliged me and posed with New York School of Interior Design President David Sprouls’ similarly attired son, at the college’s opening of the Boris Kroll’s exhibition. Scalamandre smartly owns the archive of Boris Kroll, who was the first to introduce hot pinks, hot reds, oranges and turquoise into the weave of commercial fabrics, such as this hot pattern below called Medusa.
Red power entrances Fall leaves, fruits and PERSONS…
Red is never hard to wear and always pops up like a wild card, seen in these Tommy Ton street red head-turners.
EIGHT DUCK, DUCK, DUCK GOOSE. POKEWEED!
Like a wild gal you can never forget, pokeweed stains, makes great jelly or deathly poison depending on how you handle her. One of our championed Slow Luxury designers from Scotland, Iona Crawford, designed this Leda and the swan dress above, which made me gasp for its silken implicit simplicity and poking WILD sensuality. Flirting with death/sex/transcendence comes with every Fall into Winter, the time between worlds, whether we are in a dream, dressing before a mirror or out having a ball.
Lanvin. Lanvin. Lanvin. On repeat in my mind for 1000’s of branding, silhouette, structure, fantasy and wisdom reasons, I loved both their WILD Madison Avenue window of butterflies above and runway silvery petal pink froth of a frock below. With the bondage necklace straight out of the French porn classic “O,” plain as death pumps and the model’s amusing, next day, hung-over face …the genius of Lanvin is that you can already imagine yourself wearing this and the night you enjoyed.
NINE EAT YOUR WHEATIES AND YOUR MUGWORTS
The wild weed Mugwort is best identified by the silver underbelly of its leaves bowing en masse in the wind and thus making clear why tea or a bundle under a pillow elicits lucid dreaming. The scent is heavenly, it grows everywhere. I loved Etro’s silvery tan sliver of a dress for all its similar understated power, much like faded flowers or dried tea leaves still hold potency to heal.
Here is my friend Mugwort in all her forms so you can find her this Fall in a field, woods or roadside near you.
And for my final, WILD-Nerd-like-me musings: The plant gone to seed which inspired this post was Spiderwort, she of deep purple flowers in Spring which bloom in morning, last only until evening and end the season in a finale haze of silvery, golden brown, paisley-shaped seed heads that perch like space ships on slender spider leg leaves. In another “acid daydream” the tiny blue hairs of Spiderwort are “bioassays for ambient radiation levels” which means when exposed to gamma radiation they turn pink. For more fascinating spider tales, involving the Indian lore and lure of Pocahontas, spiderwort and suchness, read here or here for Mr. Micawber’s Recipe for happiness blog, where she (Mrs. MiCawber) rides her bike all about and tries to see how many wildflowers she can find.
See? I may be alone in my wild/nerd passion in Manhattan, but in the WILD, WILD world…there are many more of us.
In honor of those wild PERSONS…I wrote this blog…and to inspire you to get to know more of the WILD that breathes us as we breathe them.
To wave you on until next time, here is my sound love lately, this video “Green Garden” by Laura Mvula. I never tire of dancing in front of my mirror to this happy beat, mesmerized by the dancing cast, the brilliant STYLING and the ways she trolls “gaaaa-aaa-aaah-den.” May you too, explore this garden of Earthly Delight with as much sunlight and LOVE.
Nobody out there, but it’s okay now,
bath in the sunlight, don’t mind if rain falls,
take me outside, sit in the green garden,
Uh ah, uh ah uh,
Uh ah, uh ah uh
high as a tree top and down again
putting my bag down, taking my shoes off
walk in the carpet of green velvet
Uh ah, uh ah uh
Dance in my garden like we used to,
Uh ah, uh ah uh
nobody out there, but it’s okay now,
bath in the sunlight, don’t mind if rain falls,
take me out, seat in the green garden
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go
highs of tree top and down again
putting my bag down, taking my shoes off
walk in the carpet of green velvet
Dance in my garden like we used to..
Uh ah, uh ah uh
take me outside, sit in the green garden.
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go.
Filed under: FASHION, FLOWERS, HOME, NEW YORK, STYLE | Leave a Comment
Tags: Adrien de Melo, Alexandre Herchovitz, Andrey Bartenev, Ann Demeulemeester, Anna Della Russo, Anna Sui, “A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk”, Beekman 1802, Beekman Boys, boneset, Boris Kroll, Brett Johnson, Bubbles of Hope, cator sparks, chicory, Christofle, cosmos, Costume National, David Sprouls, dentelle, Dumbo Arts Festival, Etro, Etsy, FIT, Flavor Paper, goldenrod, Gotham PR, green grass, House of Hackney, Iona Crawford, Issey Mikaye, Jacques Jarrige, jade dressler, jewelweed, John Favreau, Jon Serman, Karin Kohlberg, lace, lanvin, Laura Mvula, leda and the swan, Marvet Britto, Maxwell, Montgomery Frazier, Mugwort, NYC, Patrick McDonald, pokeweed, purple asters, re:artiste, robert verdi, Scalamandre, Scotland, Shelley Lewis, Slow Luxury, snakeweed, spiderwort, Spike Jones, Steve Stolman, The New York School of Design, Thom Browne, Todd Hido, Tommy Ton, Tracy Stern, Valerie Goodman gallery, Valerie Steele, Vivienne Harr, wildflower, Zari Awodein
who will wear this today
was inspired by this pink cloud dawn this morning in this NYC
to put new bee pollen in a sugar shaker on silver top counter, in blue+white China bowl of apple juice with cinnamon
Filed under: FASHION, FLOWERS, HOME, NEW YORK, STYLE | Leave a Comment
Tags: bee pollen, dawn, Fall, full skirt, gold skirt, happy, jade dressler, morning, pink clouds, sugar
Life is just like this now. Grand Pagentry inside and out.
Updates coming soon.
In the meanwhile, please see two new pages of my latest styling work:
See you soon! I promise!
and…many thanks for following, supporting, cheering me on and the pleasures of being
in appreciation, as always, Jade.
Filed under: ART, FASHION, TRENDS | Leave a Comment
I am pondering where I take this blog this Summer. If you’ve landed here I wish you a creative pause, even if just a breath. What is to come unfolds with grace. See you soon.
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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.
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There’s a saying in sales that goes like this: “Nobody who bought a drill actually wanted a drill. They wanted a hole.” Isn’t it true that it is not actually the physical person/place or thing which turns us on, it is its/their inherent potential to transform us?
All things morph through desire. Identity is transforming and trapezing everywhere on this teaming blue planet. As Steve Jobs said,
“Creativity Is Just Connecting Things”
Our boy sold creativity, not computers. “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to change the world?,” he famously asked. If the desires of this world are just a veil for our spiritual dreams, all elements and things speak to us in code as dream offerings for decifering.
For connecting codes, I always turn to the East, especially the divination masterpiece, the I Ching, which magnificently built binary code thousands of years ago, the same cosmic code/blueprint of our computers. In sync with other Eastern systems, the Chinese Five Element Theory, or Five Movements, is based on the reality that all things change, and connecting to their inherent potential energy to transform us vs. their static form reveals:
Although I wish I could say this month’s post was inspired by a trip via the snowy slopes of St. Moritz, apres-ski toddies and jollies, it was actually the simpler life in NYC, which begot these elemental Wintry art/places/dreams/leaps/swings as choices for pondering, for sale, to eat and to leap off with for 2013.
The place of transformation is the exact same precipice both feared and yearned for. When one thing can no longer sustain itself against moving into the next realm of being, it leaps. You have been there 1000 times. And each time you jumped on the swing, grabbed the trapeze bar. Your hands grab the reins, the threads, the trapeze ropes and you leap. You Ease the Trap. Our desires and what the universe desires from/of us are speaking out loud in code in every moment and experience. Why struggle, why wait, when the beauty itself is just waiting for us to see it? Epiphanies everywhere.
We think we have to be so prepared for miracles or the next marvelous thing, yet the soft place is it. The open place. You can look down suddenly and *ridiculous* find a tiny letter or clue just resting in the “in between” …for you. There are no bags to pack and prepare. Of course, as the little brand advocate I am, I will tell you my favorite travel bags are T. Anthony, but what really sent me traveling this month were simple marvels like amazing pizza or really tasting a bag of potato chips while strolling elegant Park Avenue in the bright sunshine. As always, the art that crosses one’s path, seemingly by random chance, yet this is among life’s most beautiful gifts. This month, I re-visited the art of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, a French movie called Ridicule, two new exhibitions and, of course, the I Ching.
The little letter above is no cheap art-construct to be cute on Tumblr, it really just caught my eye, no accident, one day while walking at a key moment. The uncanny reference to Twin Peaks, where little letters appeared under fingernails as clues… well, let me explain, it all began with the trippy pizza by Chef Evyatar at Pulino’s in NYC…let’s travel there first.
The word EARTH is the word HEART in revolution. Do you think there is a reason the words “ART” and “EAT”are in there too? Well, so is HAT, and HATE, and RATE… it’s all a very heady mix of love and hate, judgement…fashion and food. The point is…eating and art transform elements, connect and create us so best to perhaps begin there.
A roll of the I Ching gave me #5 this month,the wisdom called “Waiting” or “Nourishment.” It says: All beings have need of nourishment from above. But the gift of food comes in its own time, and for this one must wait. Waiting isn’t something our modern culture thinks is cute, and yet, it is a quality containing the exact wisdom, pleasure and healing we very much desire.
Thus…Cavalo Nero Pizza. Worth waiting for. A holiday meal at Pulino’s New York brought this heavenly black kale, smoked mozzarella, squash and walnut pesto made by Chef Evyatar right to me.
But wait…a pizza is a mandala…is it not? Both are the architectural map of elemental change. The orchestration of sensory balance. The transformation of individual ingredient essence into nourishing. This meant the world to me, in cold NYC, waiting for answers, waiting to leap and here was this 5-element mandala, mesmerizing as the one by Lama Pema, to ephiphanize over and EAT. (as in devour lovingly, slowly)
Waiting is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching the goal. Such certainty alone gives that light which leads to success.
Anticipation is otherwise known as appetizers, small signs of life to come. Like a hungry monk, while waiting for my pizza, I went for in for them. Since I ching #5 is also the 5th chakra, center for Creativity, Expression, at the throat, the place of voice, mouth and where we take in and give out nourishment, I devoured the Artic char crudo with citrus, horseradish, grapes and trout roe as a sign from heaven of future prosperity and love. Hey! this I Ching thing really works! A heavenly honeycrisp apple salad with mache, watercress, walnuts, horseradish, pomegranates and honey-lemon vinaigrette, followed and virtually gave me wings and perched me exhalted on a cloud, to wait like an angel.
When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign that it will rain. There is nothing to do but to wait until after the rain falls. It is the same in life when destiny is at work. We should not worry and seek to shape the future by interfering in things before the time is ripe. We should quietly fortify the body with food and drink and the mind with gladness and good cheer. Fate comes when it will, and thus we are ready.
Creative is the focus of today’s download. We desire this creativity in the middle of Winter. We noticed that if we identify at any moment which of these are most activated or at their fullest apex, we can cultivate the next element to move things forward. Of course this is not waiting, let’s say its perservering. Persevering is a more likable word to Western ears. It’s also your basic Feng Shui utilized in a landscape of our body, personality, emotions, relationships and even the universal healing sounds all humans make. Try it. Novel.
Here is the eternal Creativity Code of Elements, how things change:
- Water nourishes Wood.
- Wood feeds Fire.
- Fire, turning to ash, creates Earth.
- Earth, condensing over time, turns to Metal.
- Metal or Air condenses to water in heat or cold and enhances the life-giving properties of Water.
(You can begin anywhere in the cycle, it loops. As it has for 10,000 plus years.)
The year 2013 began The Year of the Water Snake in Chinese astrology, so let’s begin there. No wonder the cascading falls that open “Twin Peaks” had me gazing transfixed, longingly like a lover. In classic David Lynch fashion, their pulsing tongues of water mesmerized.
Twin Peaks begins when the town prom queen, who led a double life, is found murdered, bound up and washed ashore. An end is a good beginning, we all know. The hero of the show, Special Agent, Dale Cooper, whose name means “dweller in the valley” and “barrel maker,” is exactly the man to capture, hold and contain what has gone amok in the tiny town of Twin Peaks. A Tibetan mysteries scholar, he is keen on discovering clues and wisdom through emotional, unconscious inner most longings, knowing that the roots of anything reveal source. In code, the roots of plants and situations belong to the water element.
Nourishing growth and wisdom, water governs the entrance to your home in Feng Shui, as it represents career and life path. The season Winter, colors blue and black, salty taste, the Bladder and Kidney meridian, all watery moves from pounding tsnamis to calm lakes express emotional desire. Emotions and their expression are key to career and life path. And may I express… I cannot wait and I do see this magnificent, career illuminating chandelier from Hudson Furniture in my front hall. Pretty Life Path indeed!
The clouds burst. Hexagram #5 says: The rain comes in its own time. We cannot make it come; we have to wait for it. The wood is quenched and springs forward.
Only a strong man can stand up to his fate, for his inner security enables him to endure to the end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness [with himself]. It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized.
Like a bee hovering over one’s life, walking in the woods, walking, walking, empties the soul to gather and pollenate fresh insight. The promise after Winter, the wood element is Spring, the color green, sprouting, bitter and sour foods that are receptive and encourage energy to contract and collect. I am adding bee pollen to everything these days. The Gallbladder and Liver meridians love yellow, sunshiney foods like lemon, pear, plum, mango, sauerkraut, wheat and barley for balance.
Ginger is very root, watery into wood and I succumbed this Winter to the phermones of this ginger soda, Fresh Ginger, “from the guy who wrote the book on ginger…literally,” Bruce Cost, Asian chef and ginger ingredient specialist. He and team hand-make this love juice with pure cane sugar, and my new habit led me to line these up in my fridge easy, quick access.(very wood)
That wood generates fire, we know. In Twin Peaks, we see a mysterious hand with passionate red nails, belonging to the mysterious and beautiful Josie from the Far East. Her lacquered hands caress the woods as an image of a chess piece arises. Adaptability is a strength of wood, and as such, Josie appears in many guises, victim, schemer, liar, lover, helpless, powerful…she is maddeningly a pawn and a queen at the same time. Excess emotions are the result of too much wood and timid Josie sports a pouting puss throughout most of Twin Peaks, when she isn’t nuzzled in the arms and chest of her lover, “Truman,” the Sheriff. She dies in the show, seemingly from the pain of it all, too much wood and water. If only she owned her vision and drive (fire and light) she might not have been such a pawn.
Rub wood sticks, get fire. The world and creativity moves on a woman’s hips. When lightening fire strikes sand/earth, it creates quartz. Crystal quartz holds light/fire and is reflective. Like the golden skin of smooth glass of this sculpture of Eve by Daum, a French art glass company since 1840, with whom we have the pleasure of working with this Winter, the warmth of fire, light and the heart are what nourishes us.
Waiting at meat and drink.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
Perserverance staring into the wood of a fire is easy, it is energy transforming and it calms us. Staring into the hops of a Czech Pilsner Urquell, the herbal fire of a Jagermeister or a Grappa, along with some fine farm-to-table Palacinky potato pancakes is simply a brunch on fire. At the “excellent little gastropub,” Hospoda, we nestled in, its odd spot in the odd Bohemian National Hall on East 73rd Street. Included in “Where To Eat 2013” by New York magazine’s Adam Platt, it is a hidden treasure on the Upper East Side of Gotham. Go there for the fire element hops, which will turn a Winter chill into clouds of joy and beeeer.
This is true in public life as well; it is not possible to achieve everything all at once. The height of wisdom is to allow people enough recreation to quicken pleasure in their work until the task is completed. Herein lies the secret to the hexagram. While waiting, we are sure of our cause and therefore to not lose the serenity born of inner cheerfulness.
The fire element corresponds to the color red, summer, the bitter taste and the Small Intestine and Heart meridian. While waiting gets fed, outside the cold, sleet and snow brews up the large leafy plants of summer Sous la Neige or under the snow, as in this illustration by French artist, Mathilde Aubier. Winter is the only time we actually see our breath, not just its effect. It’s frost appears to remind us of its presence, even to remind us to go inside, hibernate, meditate and chill. The tiny births of bitters, the first Spring greens like dandelion, all belong to the fire element. What a courgaeous firey heart can dream will likely birth on earth.
When Ben Horne, the slick and scheming, cut-throat business mogul of Twin Peaks, loses his “marbles,” he play acts a Civil War engagement and builds earthy mounds all over his office. All this earth cools the series mantra of “Firewalk with me.” Although psychotic and seeming ridiculous, the creativity actually renders him sane and redeems his life path towards the good. His “General” and the landscape is the healer for his likely disrupted Stomach and the Spleen meridian, which comes with worry and mental overload without a clear path to action. If you can’t build a planet or battlefield in your office, the sweet taste of late summer on fire, yellow fruits, can be a cure. If you need to shop to get earthy, the earthy warm yellow and dirt brown beakers in Mud Australia‘s window in Soho caught our eye one recent evening. We like the modern interpretation of Limoges china from France. Put a hot toddy in this.
Other earth foods to fill and ground are honey, apple, cherry, banana, corn, carrot, sesame oil, yam, millet and …chocolate, which is fire moving into earth. Knowing that makes consuming lots a creative act? We say yes.
And of course, there is the real hand working of Limoge clay, Haviland china, a brand from 1842, one we are proud to work with this Winter. Next in the cycle, as earth hardens into metal, it births gold. The plating choice of the Ritz Hotel in Paris and U.S. Presidents, Haviland is about having your earth and gilding it too. Does it make everything supremely delicious? Ask the bevy of Limoge-enthusiasts as they annually tour Limoge, France, this year, in October 2013.
Gems and gold are the jewels in the lair of the dragon fire, caught deep in the earth,”brewing” and creating, like pollen. The little dragons above the earth, heralds of Spring and warmer weather are the water black and yellow earth bees, gathering gold, step by step.
Strength in the face of danger does not plunge ahead but bides its time, whereas weakness in the face of danger grows agitated and has not the patience to wait.
Bee keepers, like patient Gods, build hexagon chess board worlds, a court of hives for queens and worker bees to elicit the golden honey. Our favorite urban beekeepers are HK Honey, buzzing on Twitter: and honey, you can read more about these designer/creators turned Pollenating Gods, here.
Work all day, a heavy winter meal and wine lays one down on the earth, to then dream in airy/metal clouds/comforters and create mental refresh.
When the thread (line) went around the block with a 2-hour wait on the last day for Ann Hamilton’s swing performance, Event of a Thread at the Park Avenue Armory, we headed a few blocks north instead to see the Asia Society exhibit of Bound Unbound: Lin Tianmiao. Lin winds silk threads around bones and artifacts…turning earth into air and metal. In her all white room dedicated to “Mother,” earthy becomes metallic white and a woman’s body is guarded by the hounds of love.
Letting go, death, abandonment, empty, release and sacrifice. These are words we try to avoid yet these are precise gifts for the soul. Each one offers transcendence into a vaster plane. The metal element corresponds to the color white, autumn, the time of harshness, cold, condensed energy releasing back to earth. Metal then magnetizes and generates new life via water rising from the core again. Witness the energy of this 1950’s Daum lamp, at Tsoda, the crystal is like water rising into wood into fire aka light…and expresses exactly that promise.
The acrid, pungent tastes and the Colon and Lung meridian belong to the metal element as do onion, chive, coriander, parsley, radish, garlic, ginger, cayenne, peppermint, clove and white rice. Metal are the gears of transformation, the knife that elicits blood and sap, the cold that elicits condensation, the heat pulling sweat from the body. This osmosis of elements is happening every minute for our sensory delight. (and divination)
Opposite to the cutting clarity of the metal/mental realm is the “controlling” aspect. The metal of breath stars in the movie Ridicule, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, about the French Court of Versailles and its high regard for wit as a judgement of social standing, among Kings, Queens, and the Pawns of the court. The idea of bullying and ridicule exists first in our own ego taunts inside our own psyche. In the movie, imagery of blowing, first white powder on the body of a noble countess, and later a lover blowing pollen from a long skirt onto a flower, made me think of the judgements of bees regarding flowers and our very breath, which has the power to convey love or fear, judgement, and the worst, indifference.
From a bee’s perspective we are their tools, by planting flowers, carrying pollen on our clothes and making bee hives. Lin Tianmiao’s most powerful piece in The Asia Society was a room with an expanse, a white field of bound-together bones and tools fused by tightly would silvery-grey threads, as commentary on structure, building blocks and elemental transformation.
Like an iron butterfly, the open delicate structure of the ribs and lungs cradle, a tool to protect the breath. Lungs actually represent “relationship” in Eastern thought, as they express the symbiotic relationship of the atmosphere, plant life and objects. The fleeting emotions of air currents, wind gusts and moments they rise and fall. In Ridicule, two lovers courting walk in a garden, the woman’s sweeping skirt furls, spirals and gathers pollen, while the pair spar and barb, at buzzy odds in their thinking.
Still “sparring,” the woman’s gold sweeping skirt is held by the lover, as he blows and dusts off of “seeds” and the mental veils of judgement between the two. The tiny miracles of chance and process that shift and dissolve between the elements, the solid thinking and humans. The pollen happens to be picked up which happens to meet the flower, the hand happens to meet the thigh.
The random judgement, discernment, meeting, the chance, the choice that creates miracles. That creates us anew. Lin Tianmiao portrays this boldly.
Then there is the man-hug moment in Twin Peaks, when Josie dies and her lover, Harry, is ending his bender of despondancy and retreat in a cold cabin. At the very end of his despair, he says to his friend, Cooper, “I don’t understand. There’s a whole lot I don’t understand.” Coop responds “We’re all like that.”
We must abandon the abandonment again and again…Begin the Beguine. In true David Lynch fashion…here’s a Perry Como interlude to inspire.
And while you wait around for LOVE FOREVER….there are 10,000 “things and their essential ability to transform us” to enjoy. Any moment can be liftoff. By coincidence (um, really?) while writing this post, a tune actually called “while the cold winter waiting” kept buzzing for my attention. The album by the artist Trentemoller is called The Last Resort.
Clearly if its good for the universe to live on the crest of a moment, what seems as waiting, a last resort, is just really the Choice to leap. Go There.
Because, at the end, unexpected epiphanies like a stroll on Park Avenue New York, crunching on Miss Vickie’s potato chips, tunes blaring on a winking, sunny day can be way more fun than ski slopes at St. Moritz.
Smiles and winks back at the sun raising Spring’s green grass up, up from under the veil of snow, trembling on new legs, waving in the heart.
“We used to dream about this stuff. Now we get to build it. It’s pretty great.” Steve Jobs
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DO NOT BE SAD! As we barrel towards “Doomsday,” December 22, 2012, “Life is a Cabaret” is the mood du jour. Let’s face it. Frankenstorms. Elections. Drones. Body Politics. Everyday life. Doomsday could be anyday, anywhere. No doubt, there will always be a “Next Day of The Life,” n’est-ce pas?
With some humor, some play, some artful “Day of The Dead” partying, we carry on and on. Getting in touch with our soul’s deep desires is very anti-Apocalypse strategy. Don’t front, every death has a birth on the other side. The big shift of the most serious planet, Saturn, now for the next three years in Scorpio, is where deeper dive, boundary-blurring issues of birth, death, wealth and sexuality come to the forefront. How we make creative boundaries, very black and white, relating to ourselves and others, and then present our renewed identity outwards can already be seen, as trends and signs of new masquerades and facades in art, design, environment and fashion percolate. The old folk riddle with “the newspaper” as the punchline to: “What is black and white and red/read all over?,” is like a metaphor for our duality-focused, mental plane. Red is the life force, the meaning behind the words. If we want more meaning in life, we must get very black and white with our desires and the power of life, and the power of red, the shocking pink of our pounding hearts will become obvious. Not so sure how to express and de-lineate the invisible?
Good News! You can buy it!
Here are our top ten favorite 2012 party tips. All purchasable! Ten very high to very low, very black and white ways to Purchase Instant Happiness, Invest for Infinity and Express Your Ephemerals. Come Doomsday, Hell or High Water:
ONE FLAUNT THOSE BODY PARTS. For 600 years the Buddha had no face. He was the story told by traveling monks who took up with trading routes, on the silk road, the spice trail or the circus caravan, entertaining a “captive audience” of “folkloric” folks traipsing for miles. Evening stories in exchange for filled bowls of food turned traveling salesmen artisan hands from idle to busy which, in turn, begot statues, paintings, yantras and knick-knacks, forever putting a face to the abstract ideas of the Buddha’s teachings. Today, our caravan may be more jet set, yet, placing spiritual desires front and center for manifest destiny is how we live. Making one’s home or body a temple with reverent statues or wearing our heart on our sleeves, with a frock such as this Spring 2013 trompe-l’oiel Lanvin dress, above, is a very good place to start. Puts one’s punim, one’s bella face, right above the perfection of a Venus marble statue.
Flaunting, Fronting, Done!
TWO NAME ME, PROCESS ME. “Use a name card without a name. Put an address and a smell instead.” said the artful Yoko Ono the other day on Twitter.
Trompe L’oeil. Tricks and Treats of the Eyes and The Naming of Things. Who Are You? Like a modern-day Buddah, you could be just a scent and a trail, as Yoko teases. No surprise, I am a big fan of process, the discovery of self through ephemerals, scent, journals and stream of consciousness writing, much like artist/explorer, Francis Picabia, and his Dadaist scribbled search for self, above. Claim your fame by filling classic drugstore black and white composition books for pennies or drop your identity and dollars at people’s feet with drop-dead, personalized calling cards, perhaps while wearing “boy’s T-shirts from Walmart” and million-dollar pearls as does Nancy Sharon Collins, the outre-chic stationer. Personal Stationary is one unforgettable smart investment.
photo Jeff McCay
Recently, I met the elegant Yves, brand ambassador for Mrs. John L. Strong, famed namesake of the strong and tiny powerful statement stationary of Madison Avenue. Letterpress. Hand-engraving. Signs and Seals. The Art of the Very Personal. Yves, who lived in Paris for many years knows of such things. We need lotsa jewel-box preciousness to appreciate the deeper places we restore our souls, touches beyond Twitter and Tech. Take time, invite others in to that realm, I predict the return of gentleness, appreciation of touch, time and together. (or at the very least, more touch time with your biz card)
THREE POKE HOLES IN THE OLD SELF. Opening, (albeit delayed in true Dada-style, apres Sandy) with a black and white gala party inspired by Francis Picabia‘s Relâche, the 1924 ballet, Performa is the highly anticipated and inspired biannual November New York treat. This full roster of performances and experiences throws permanent to the wind and melts open new ideas of Self. Experiences make good gift. Not in NYC? Music could take you anywhere. The ballet score of Relâche, composed by Erik Satie, was on repeat for me growing up. Good soundtrack to osmosis the surreal.
FOUR CLONE THYSELF ANEW. With Anna Dello Russo’s clones for her H&M launch and Jean Paul Gaultier’s runway clones of pop stars, the moment of the make-believe masquerade to make FUN is here. Why spend millions on chasing fame or cloning yourself, as Michael Jackson and other Hollywood-ites may be doing, when you can buy infinite amounts of instant fun at H&M? (hint: Anna’s garb is already 8-times its worth on eBay)
FIVE MESMERIZING LIQUID ASSETS. Move your world. Static art begets contemplation, yet video art on repeat, like the endless ocean waves, just might inspire Transcendance. I was transfixed this past month by this morphing orb video by Ori Gersht, called “Liquid Assets,” in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. An alchemical swish of an ancient coin/bella face/mask/womb. Drop lots of coinage of the realm to collect Gersht or travel to Art Basel Miami Beach in December for the second year of video art, for your own fascinator video art. An up and coming video artist to buy now? Robert Pearre, “a video artist living and dying in Brooklyn” makes meditations of strangely soothing, desolate landscapes and racy wordage. Curator, Kianga Ellis is now adding his Twitter feed to exhibition schedules. Really! Add your spirit of choice.
Invest and conserve the ocean, here at the Ocean Conservancy.
Invest at once in mesmerizing liquid assets of art, perception-busting and beauty with this still photograph to meditate upon for world peace. Photo by Sebastian Farmborough.
We absorb so much suffering and pain, we must filter and release. Performance artist, Marina Abramovic responded to the tidal wave Tsunami by leading a performance of beating the waves. “The Worst is the Best.” Post Frankenstorm, everyone needs a bath. Engendering strength, healing.
Huile sur toile by Frances Picabia 1942-43
SEVEN BE A WARM, WRAP STAR IN BED. Naps are free and one of the best re-vitalizers around. If you are afraid to sleep and miss the party, you have two choices. A well stocked bed-tray or a bed-buddy. Either way, the best sheets are linen. The Belgian linen sheets EVER to emerge from a bath, take to the beach or wrap in bed with a friend.
EIGHT NIGHTS OUT BEFORE LIGHTS OUT. Not yet ready for bed? Truman Capote’s famous first Black and White Ball was November 28, 1966, at the Plaza in New York. Everything in black and white silvery, wintery and glittering…with red tablecloths mind you. The soft buzz of a party is best felt behind the buzz of libations or as a libertine behind a mask. For libertines or wallflowers, original masks commissioned by artist, and our good friend, Katarina Wong, are a way to connect with the illusion of the world.
Old-fashioned goodness. Hangovers and hearts will love a red hot-water bottle and its 100% cashmere sweater made in Scotland for a cool $159. It’s a forever memorable gift no one buys for themselves. Practice being the lovely, thrifty friend, handy folks might make this double as a onsie for Baby. Adults needing a larger size can find cashmere slanket blankets here too.
NINE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION COCOONING. If we are to go deep, really deep, co-coo-ing and dreaming on the cradle of civilization, Africa, is healing to the soul and thankfully, this sleepy, powerful land is waking up. For connecting with The Source Within, Bonpoint is the onsie cocoon of choice for those fresh out the womb and for bigger kids, discovering and investing in art, commerce, music and fashion emerging from Africa is a powerful force re-birthing.
Gazelle and The Ambassadors are a rollicking band from South Africa, who played for a very packed and enthusiastic crowd at the White Box gallery last month. Gazelle himself has buckets of style and we suggest you also take a look at our friend, Zandile Blay’s Africa Style Daily, as she is the African Queen. She is a bountiful source for what designers are doing what and who is making the most beautiful music from the Motherland continent.
Photographs in the White Box Gallery portrayed the people of District Six, the South African suburb of Cape Town, that was demolished during the years of Apartheid in the 70’s. This marked photographer Cloete Breytenbach’s first solo exhibition in New York City. Touching African music on the land itself, of recent note, one of the world’s best music fests, Festival au Desert, held every February in the home of the Tuaregs, seemed challenged by recent uprisings. However, proving that culture is a show that must go on, the festival states, “in proud nomadic tradition, we will embark on a 2013 caravan of artists, fans and festivals uniting for Peace, Tolerance and Human Dignity.”
take a deeper look here.
show some love to the Motherland, book your trip here.
TEN ARISE, MAKE ART IN BLACK OUTS . While the dark envelops, the water rises and the clock ticks, the best way to prepare for Doomsday is to make art. Where to start? Get inspired by Netflix’s cache of stellar documentary dive-ins to the souls of artists. Some favorites catch-ups lately include, Ciara Clemente’s Our City Dreams, for a look at women artists at all ages; The Woodmans, on artist, Francesca Woodman, and her family of artists; and for fun fashion romps, Valentino, The Last Emperor and Ultrasuede, In Search of Halston. Discover your full-on spectrum and relationship with art, creativity and sexuality vicariously through the lives of Art Stars.
Life is Awake. If all these movies inspire investment, another emerging Art Star to collect now, while he is being discovered, is my new friend, former Serbian pro-basketball player turned photographer, Milos Duma. His garishly lit, isolated urban night scenes of Vienna, Belgrade and New York City, in his recent show entitled, Sleepwalk, are a wake-up and see art siren call. This image, above, of pink legs emerging from a subway staircase, is just the beginning of his deep dive into light upon urban and body interior landscapes. Inner realms of birth, life and death await you.
Life is Simple. Art Star #2. A focus on the simple and everyday can bring joy, such as my pal, photographer, Peter Emerick’s ongoing study of traffic cones. His latest exhibit this month at NYC’s Chashama gallery, is called “Koans.” A koan is a Buddhist tool for enlightenment, a story, dialog, question, or statement whose meaning cannot be accessed by national thinking, yet it may be accessible by intuition. The Buddhist nature of these everyday, non-natural sculptures in our midst can be mesmerizing puzzles.
Life is short. Francesca Woodman’s prolific art burn and early suicide may have been foretold by her images. This one, The Tree Has Entered my Hands, is a birch tree, symbolizing re-birth as snakes use the twinning towers of birch trees to move between and aid their essential moulting of dead skin for the new. For a very cheap thrill giving back monumental millenial thrills, watch this very short film of a cicada trading old skin for new.
Making Art is a Moulting, yes?
Life is Alive. Ori Gerscht, he also likes to blow up things. His Blow Up:Untitled lightjet print at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on until January 13 also mesmerized me. His gallery, CRG, is a good one to support, as they sustained damages during Sandy.
Life is Re-forming. Ghada Amer, in Our City Dreams, spoke about her Middle Eastern Motherland’s habit of blacking out of women in advertisements, mirroring a recent catalog Ikea apologized for, in which they disappeared the mother in the Saudi Arabian version. The scene with Ghada leafing through a catalogue with similar blacked-out lady parts, was touching, given her provocative images of women and all the recent “women, body” issues in the news. Here is one abstract from her as a “cover’ for her more “bare all” art. Behind the masquerades of our “different” bodies, genders and faces, go see her site.
ELEVEN COUPLING, CONNECTING AND RE-DECORATING FOR INNER WINTER SPORTS.
Inspiring art-partnered and New York City legendary couples this month went from screen to real life.
Coupling is Connecting. It began for me with Francesca Woodman’s parents and then to Nancy Spero and Leon Golub, she of New York’s deep-dive Lincoln Center subway mosaic murals and both art activists. The lineage continues with two vibrant and generous New Yorkers, Richard Perry and Lisa Perry, he of finance and she of pop-art frocks and both of Jeff Koons-caliber art collecting. As hosts of an event this month and ongoing supporters of Publicolor, where kids create murals in their schools for community building, the wealth of heart of this couple goes way beyond their flashy art-filled life. Just peek at their lush life in W mag! ( most important, they are sincere, friendly and earnest.) I knew it would be a lively party, as I followed an old collector of my own art, stylist, Barbara Flood, across the street, into the space where the gathered included Art Stars such as Hannah Bronfman,Ruth Lande Shuman, Fern Mallis and my party-pal, Souleo. Simon Doonan, entranced by Souleo’s gold sequin top, showed us precious (((happy school kids making art))) photos on his mobile, from his recent art fest with Publicolor. Buy a Lisa Perry Jeff Koons rabbit leather here for investment or a set of splatter placemats for a small but generous investment to bring some light into NYC schools.
deeper. “I think that the more people push the boundaries, the more people are going to respond and want to do the same for themselves.” Hannah Bronfman
deeper. still. Chiara Clemente awed with the scene in Our City Dreams, of artist, Kiki Smith taking a wax cast of her mother’s fingers after she died, a tiny mask…to keep, to access, the power of connection.
More Art Stars and parties. Jordan and Sun Bae Betten are one happy, inspiring couple. I met artist and designer, Jordan and crew a few years ago and have happily followed their Lost Art Art Clan, making shamanistic costumes for the famous and those who treat every day as a stage for their ritualistic tendancies. In another good coupling, Jordan partnered with McGuire furniture, they of self-described art detailing “…like the exquisite stitching of a French seam, or running your finger over finely engraved stationery,” for a redecorating collaboration good for “inner winter sports.” McGuire itself was founded by another passionate couple, John and Elinor McGuire and their bold idea: “to explore the relationship between outside and inside; between elegance and raw nature.”
The chairs were magnificent and thoughtful. Process and what’s behind any scene is always just as important. Kudos to Jordan and his PR person, Abe Gurko, for the invite. Peek at Gurko’s side gig, “I mean…What?” for a behind the scenes, snarky view of the news and the famous.
City Caves for Couplings and Travel. My other fave PR person, Alexandra Polier, of Dwell magazine, concepted and hosted a soiree at the D&D building called, City Modern, a co-starred vision by Dwell’s Editor in Chief, Amanda Dameron and President, Michela O’Connor Abrams, joined with New York Magazine Publisher, Larry Burstein and Design Editor, Wendy Goodman. Four precious room vignettes were playful time-travel capsules of various eras sporting decor by designers, Francis D’Haene, Ghislaine Vinas, Nate Berkus and Thom Felicia. Below, Nate Berkus waved a deco-dancing wand to craft a nest where golden stars of Studio 54-era might after-party crash, blurred into relax by his fiercely furry animal cave. Huggie-bearish, buttery yellow chairs and turtles warmed the black and white sleekness, courtesy of Nate’s rugs for Target and glossy bits by 1stdibs. Dream upon such digs for wintry cocooning or travel far and wide with a subscription to Dwell or New York Magazine. Ventures beyond these tiny designer caves were recommended by the event sponsor, Audi, as their latest model sat parked and ready outside.
Open Relationships. My other PR Art Star, Courtney Lukitsch, of Gotham PR, hosted a post-Sandy, warm-cell opening uptown at Valerie Goodman for sensuous sculptor, Jaques Jarrige. Collected by museums and well known in Europe, his organic, playful and poking-holes forms are now popping up in design magazines and we are wholly intrigued. One of his greatest inspirations is the woodworking class he has taught for 30 years to hospital patients whose wavy line inclinations inspired him. “It is why I work so well with the patients. They are in the moment, like me, finding solutions and expanding as we go. It was like a present to discover the beauty of this nonintellectual approach, and the innocence of their work.”
Imagine the Swiss Family Robinson, Avatar journal writing you might do at this sculptural desk.Back in the bunker, tete-a-tete, knees knocking, deep winter convos with a friend in front of a fire. Yes.
A shiny red-all-over, strip-tease screen to adjust ideas of boundaries, softer, un-divided hearts. Yes.
TWELVE FINALES. DOOMSDAY DO’S AND DON’TS?
DO CREATE. TRANSCEND RUINS AND WOUNDS.WE ARE EPIC WARRIORS THROUGH AND THROUGH. Floating blue earthy orbs and very long gowned gals made for the epic finale of Valentino’s massive anniversary extravaganza party in front of Rome’s Coliseum. I snapped pics on my Ipad entranced and later realized how the imagery portrayed the angel-like creatures about to leap past the ruins, past the constraints into freedom.
If Scorpio’s influence gives us boundaries to explore and life gives us situations to mash up, leave for ruins and recreate them anew, then perhaps, #life really is a party, a cocktail of Everything you Imagine, and much more you have not, shaken and stirred. Drink deep.
Another “collect now,” young and prolific artist is Sanjay Patel, a Pixar artist who has exhibited in major museums. With his words upon diving deep into his Hindu culture, he captures the timeless spirit with which to party here on Earth:
“…there’s a time to be both. A time to follow the rules, and a time to let go, explore your own happiness, and be playful. That you can win devotion that way, as well. I think that’s really neat, actually. It’s not just black and white.”
Buy this guy’s gleeful,big ideas of fun. The poster book of Sanjay’s warriors, with twelve removable 12 X 16 prints,is just $25.
ELEVEN NEVER, EVER FINALE, FINALE. This just in. Saturn, ruler of Scorpio and taskmaster planet, has its own “Black and White Ball” in the form of a sponge-like moon? Must contemplate THAT.
And symbolic of our true, passionate, eternal,never-ending and red-hot rambling towards the light …Doomsday-Be-Damned…in dreamy blur style, is this image of a woman in the Valentino movie. Massive red all over, heavy silk-satin dress, she is desire itself, as she dashes out last minute through throngs of party-goers, to catch the fireworks in front of the Coliseum. A priceless capture of Earth-seeking Heaven. May you enjoy all the invented “Doomsdays”…and find endless ways to spend the rest of your days as “Desiredays.”
DO NOT BE SAD! Tomorrow is…Forever.
Filed under: ART, NEW YORK, NEW YORK Art | 2 Comments
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