Rainbow Chillin and Rare Birds


top image Fiona Fraser, bottom image Adventure Time, Beautopia

January. Jaded and cold New York City slicker, tonight, I am slanketed, snuggilicious like a Suburbanite, way down, down, down under my down coverlets in the depths of my past. Crystal ball says: I see my first boyfriend at age 14, a sweet, golden, hippie mop-haired guitar player in suede Adidas and fringy shorts. He was the first boy chosen to choose a girl at the rollar rink, boys on one side, girls on the other. I was a nerdy, arty, skinny Jew fro’d girl thing who never had a “boyfriend” and didn’t expect to. Always chosen next-to-last for every sport or game, right before the mentally-challenged girl. Suddenly, I was The Chosen One as the hot guitar rock star of our Tween Tour of the Americas group rollar-ed up to me, hand outstretched for the first solo coupled spin round the rink. Yes, indeed, the BeeGee’s music did go up, the wind sailed through my curls, my black and white world did go suddenly this summer technicolor and I did feel like a treasure. (We spent the whole summer in the back of the tour bus creating heat, but that’s another story)

January 1, 2012. Hello year of the dragon.

“To see clearly,” the Greek origin of the word Dragon, is the mystery of suddenly being chosen for love, luck or transcendance. Something sees you, you see something, subject and object melt. This is LOVE. Myths say dragons rule the roost underground over the firey, rooted chandeliers of their caves where the world’s jewels and gold are hidden. In my world of NYC, fire-breathing dragons jog all over NYC above ground, every day. Where everyone thinks you are out partying constantly every night (you are) gabbing, dragging or in drag, pontificating, warming up or working a room seeking to see clearly.

There are also nights gasp ((( in )))) where the species cave and plot jeweled treasures to release in Spring. Really hibernating. Reading. Watching Cartoons. Portlandia. Restoring energy for the hustle the next day. Give us 2 days of rain in a row or snow, we enjoy our downy feathered nests (((slankets))) like the rest of y’all.

Inner discoveries under the covers of culture can inspire and re-generate. Like a bird in its nest, this month, upon a record-breaking auction sale of prints by John James Audubon, the artist and naturalist who inspired his namesake, The Audubon Society, I was fed by the artist’s fascinating story and my passion for art and nature. The Society’s stellar conservation efforts began as an outcry against the wildly feathered hats of the fashionable ladies of the 19th century, proving that beauty and appreciation can inspire, in balance and respect.

And so like an adventurer in the wild, I play an appreciative Rainbow Child sharing my cache of found jewels in NYC, through the people, places and things which crossed my path this month.

Appreciation is the latest App. One snowy day I found pleasure in the simple and free. A secret alien snow message on a car. (((see the eyes?))) Appreciating a Central Park view while my own might be more feet to the ground, given the rent in this Metropolis.

My own private “terrace” revealed a snowy bird, stalwart on her nest, keeping warm a white egg for Spring. Going Deep, a bear-like hiber’s quiet, simple meditations reveal the brightest and most valuable jewels, rainbow colored like a psychodelic umbilical cord straight from dragon’s Middle Earth to Almighty Whomever above. A meditation on the jewels inside, those wheels of energy they have not yet designed ad campaigns around, invented elixirs for or appointed stations for re-fuel -can rock you with power or just infuse simple, peaceful color. Simple to Elaborate, here’s what turned me on this month.

Get up close, this mighty, flighty ring is by my friend, Stan Gaz, a painter, sculpter and precious custom-order jeweler whose visionary world mixes meteor crash sites, spacesuited travelers and butterflies. “Cameraman,” or the oval at the top is the “eye” signature of his work. His paintings of colored butterflies are right now dreaming in their cocoons of white, in silence to capture new colors. Yep, it’s a themed post, inspired by simple color. Pretend I am your door-to-door Color Me Beautiful rep, coming to sell you on new inspirational make-up, wake-ups for Spring.

Treasure: Above and below. Tiny bird feet can sometimes be seen on the sidewalks on NYC. Let’s go!


Gold first. It began this month with a dream. I dreampt I stood up in an audience wearing a floaty transparent dress with flowers on it. I could feel the past blowing away from me, behind me, my head of hair+thoughts a complete golden wheat field in the breeze+sun in me and before me. (and then I got crafty and made this picture.)

Treasure: Then these golden coins greeted me on January 1 at a new pharmacy in the hood, 86th Street between First and Second Aves. called Tisane, like a Euro apothecary stocking herbs, homeopathy and a coffee bar with royal blue ceramic tiles and a fancy, frilled dish of chocolates for guests. Duane Reade has this? Nope. CVS, nope? More of this please, across America.


Gold, all agree is very refreshing and feels healthy, wealthy and wise. Gold is Good.

After gold discs, gold doors, like these at Storefront for Art and Architecture at 97 Kenmare, are for conjuring up and inviting transformative gold.

Treasure: Gold bowls and goblets. Ercole, the artisan mosaic studio known for its shop in one of the most treasured stores in New York, ABC Carpet and Home, gathers together its own atelier this Spring, to expand into furniture and wovens.  With an in-store atelier, and artisans crafting, the space promises to be a Mecca for Mosaic.

Old gold revisited this month is the first edition set of books by famed bird illustrator, John James Audubon (1785-1851) fetching 7.9 million dollars at auction. It was a treasure to discover his Thoreau-like history. Born in Haiti to a wealthy French sea captain merchant and a young slave, named Jeanne, who died six months after his birth, Audubon’s passion for nature over school studies kept him wandering in the countryside sketching and collecting. He struggled financially with other ventures for almost his whole life until giving in to his passion, gifting us with his legacy of serene images of rare and common birds.

Treasure: And so, with time on your hands this winter between parties, get back into under the covers of comforters and books. Discover this treasure: Self Publish Be Happy, (and their “Self-Publish, Be Naughty,” giving folks outlets for their “inlet” produced home-movies and sex tomes) It is slightly more evolved than 1970’s “don’t worry, be happy.” Times, they have changed. And now! To the rest of the mindless color romp!


White is blank slate. Snow, Crystaline, Mind, Metal, Mental, Blank pages. Containing all colors within. Defending the blank page, the creative pause that refreshes, is Paper Pete, from the Adventure Time cartoon. As leader of a little band of origami warriors with odd accents, formed from the blank pages at the beginning of all books, he defends libraries against Moldo, the gloppy bacterial chillins of sloth and “one day I will write.” Go buy a blank page journal, touch paper again. The promise and weight of white is measured by clouds, feathered down and porcelain plates. Snowy owls, matte blanque bowls, ball gowns heavy and nightgowns light, for Nights in White Satin.

Secret Treasures: Vases are from Holaria of Brazil, white bulbous dress treasures of Charles James and these porcelain plates, free-form shaped and colored are stacked in ABC Carpet and Home. Not perfect, random, ordered like growth rings inside a tree.


Glass, silver and white are “metal” and represent the mind, the temporality of glass and ice. Snow crystals. My Grandmother had a huge glass vase like this at the entrance of her home which entranced us when we “pinged” it and it sang.

Secret Treasures: My silver screen friends include silver-scalloped Kim Jackson and Jeremiah Newton, who produced the “Beautiful Darling” documentary on his close friend, Warhol screen star, Candy Darling, which received rave reviews such as this one from EW. Oh kids, only in NYC, can someone in the crowd surprise you with a sudden intimate historic connection or a “They Might Be Giants” premonition next month. Giants might be Kim, just back from Sundance Film Festival, having successfully raised funds on Kickstarter for the coming-of-age tale, “The Harder They Fall,” from directors Daoud Abeid and Dahkil Hausif. Set in Jamaica, where a city boy is sent to re-connect, like I was sent on my Teen Tour, mentioned afore. (after being grounded for a month…um, another story)

Jeremiah and Candy were friends and roommates, living together until the end of Darling’s quicksilver life in 1974. They met in the summer of 1966 when Jeremiah was on his first-ever trip to the Village from his home in Queens. You would think, as a Warhol film star, Candy slept every night in a Hollywood bed like this.

Nope. She rode the bus and often ate canned beans. Immortalized in songs by Lou Reed and David Bowie, she left us with the mercurial shiny siren call to come out from the Island (any island we imagine) and “Hey, babe, Take a walk on the wild side.”

Good Night Candy Darling.


Purple is high vibes, the color of the Princely One and also Susan Strong, of Beautopia, who lives underground and mumbles in Adventure Time. A kind of strong-willed, purple-passioned Amazon with a Hello Kitty hood, Big Galoofy Susan needs a human little boy and his Hero Heart, or red flower or fire to help her win back her people’s home. (this is not a metaphor for me, so stop it now;-)

Treasures: Blue Jays, Amazons and Dandies will love the vintage bowties at Brooks Brothers from blogger, designer, prepster K. Cooper Ray of SocialPrimer.  A new friend, he is a smart styler of manners, drinking and Life. ( Tip: Men wearing purple pass, women in purple are often found kaftan’d and coffee-tawking their chack-ras in the New Age fan club.)

Herons always look elegant, as does all white furniture, especially in a room painted matte purple grey-ish, charcoal-ish,  This is a new obsession and yes, I realize how hommie blogger this reads.


Blue is a watery, communicative, empathetic place, vibrating to voice and language and movement. Blue receives and it moves things. Like a dancing blue Krishna, it’s just before black space and infinity, where blue reflective water, sky and definitions eventually melt.

On a very rainy NYC city morning, I had my first glimpse of a new sculpture, Gran Elefandret, an upside down dancing elephant by Miquel Barceló’s, balancing until the end of May, 2012 in Union Square. A gift from Marlborough Gallery and The Union Square Partnership.

Secret Treasures: Other blue treasures include the blue form of the heron bird in Central Park. Back inside the city streets, at Crosby Street Hotel bar, a custom coat commissioned in Paris, arrived on my friend, John Favreau, and his larger than life baby blues and blue scarf inspired.  As head honcho at McCall’s and Vogue Patterns (can you say revival of crafts) he would say of his scarf: “Cut and sew your own!” Now there’s a wintery hobby.

Treasure: John also turned me on to a hilarious, not just about sewing blog, called “Male Pattern Boldness.” Love.

Perfect pattern match.


One day, before you were born, I was a tot in yonder 1970’s, and my mom came back from a trip to New York City, having gotten her make-up done by a place with a name like Makeup Unlimited or Makeup Experiment. The decreed adornment was metallic olive/avocado green eyeshadow which she then wore for 30 years. The glitter was from glam rock, the whole lid swath came from Cleopatra through Elizabeth Taylor. Like Spring’s first robins, green eyeshadow, green anything, indicates growth, money, promise, hope, heart. It’s Easy to be Green.

These greenish iridecent bufflehead ducks are doing their tiny cute, green eyeshadowed thing in Central Park right now and the robins are coming next. Wearing of the green is coming again, like Spring, new bouncing Beyonce babies and wearing green eyeshadow,things to obsess about in the cold Winter.

Secret Treasures: NYC cosmetic glory stories abound from the independance of entrepreneurs like Adrian Arpel and Estee Lauder to one of the latest, Dexter Philip, of DEX New York. Dex recently opened his secret jewel-box studio, a new home for his mineral makeup with anti-aging and healthy ingredients, behind Plaza Athenee on 65th Street. And the iridescent green black and white bufflehead ducks can be seen any day on Jackie O’s reservoir. They also prefer Upper East Side digs.


Another boyfriend, a professional biologist and bird-watcher, (remember the afro’d nerd girl from age 14?) well, he showed me that sometimes birds travel sideways on trees. Amazing. Sometimes things go best sideways. Side to side togetherness is more equal and less hierarchical than front to back. Birds do it. Yellow is that kind of color, friendly, sunny. The planet Mars is resting, going retrograde until April, so we get time to review energetic, initiative types of things before bolting forward in the Spring conquering new horizons. Until then, if SAD gets to you, lay sideways next to someone you love, change the way your books are stacked and make new horizons. Add mellow yellow.

Treasures. My Indian textiles and coverings stacked like “horizona” in a basket with my Grandmother’s linen crochet tablecloth. She made it. Each textile and blanket has a story of comfort, each a film from my Life. Why hide them in a closet? (I am scaring myself again, again with the hommie blogger thing, please forgive, it’s Winter nesting.)

People had a bird over the Gaultier, Amy Jade Warbler Winehouse homage this month, but I suppose they better get used to it. We tend to lionize our fallen pop-heroes endlessly. A yellow cotton blouse is beyond, and unbuttoned, almost bare-breasted warbler-like! Bound to get you sideways, (glances and body positioning.) (Isn’t that fashiony stuff better?)

Yellow is for Charlie Harper, whose hero was Audubon, and he invented his own bird-language.


Spicy and warm. Sunrise and Sunset shocking. Joy. Works jointly for Monk robes and Pratesi slankets. It’s saucy for hats and street fashion. Hermes boxes, tumeric and citrine. Orangina. Paris metro tickets. Day lilies. Orange is Nonsense and Sea Urchins.Gimme.

Orange is favored by happy artists. From kids’ drawings of birds to adult fetishes, like this safety cone pamphlet happily distributed by my friend, artist Erik Sanner. Beak-like the cones corral us as bea-cones (yup) to safety.

Treasure: This little video, “We will never be discovered,” is smart dancing like idiots by a French performance group I in fact, did discover,named le contremaître et sa contremaîtresse, who have tons of videos where they are wearing orange. The song is by The City and Horses and it reminds me of the silliness that lovers share in the privacy of their bedrooms. Those dances never get discovered, yet are among life’s best, best moments.

And then for all those private dancer Creatives, who ask me all the time, “How do you do everything that you do, how can I start my_______ ? (art, business, cooking, writing, etc. fill in the blank) I give the answer that a certain mentor gave to me when I asked the same question. “Just do it. Anyhow or way. Don’t wait.” The truth is, by discovering your dream yourself, the world discovers you back.

Dontcha wanna? Orange ya will be discovered. Take it to the streets! Now!

Treasure: Touting my clients and friends, Muhlbauer for their playful hats which appear on the heads of Brad Pitt, Yoko Ono and Madonna.


Pink is a softy. It’s all whimsy and gets attached to animal names and other serious things to add the element of fluffy, soft like Pink Panther, pink elephant and pink pigs. In the Pink,Tickled Pink. Hence, no reason for these free-form pink things in my path this month.

Pink Muhlbauer hat.

Pink Flamingo.

Pink Flamingo on The Runway.

Pink Aiko in Wynwood, Miami.

Aiko at The Standard, NYC.

Custo Delmau of Custo Barcelona in his Pink Custom Barcalounger,

photograph by our friend and client, Orlando Salmeri.

America’s first couturier and another famed luminary who died in the Pink Chelsea Hotel. James designed the first down jacket in 1937, an image which inspired me to design.


Ruby, Fire, Life force and dragon eyes. Red planet of Mars, blood, warrior, fort, comfort, strength, power. China red, Fruit, Ripe, Blush and flush on cheeks. Big Apple Red New York. Ralph Rucci, easily America’s next Couture King after Charles James. An inventor of weightlessness, soaring circumferences and references. Of this dress, stylist, Philip Bloch said, “Party in the back.” Does it get any more red hot than a flash of red from behind? On a pure white column?

Yes, it does. Our Angel bird at the Golden Globes, winged by her tiny writing tattoo, Brad and a red swoosh on a white column dress from Versace.

Treasure: Seeing a red-winged blackbird take flight and flash it’s red tips at you trumps all red in creation, from Louboutin pump undersides to even Dior’s best red confections. Do take a walk on the wild side, around Central Park and other parts this Spring and discover for yourself.

As a salute to illustrator René Gruau, famed for his red splashes and his work for Christian Dior in the forties and fifties, Dior’s 2011 inspiration got under my skin for so many reasons. As an art-school degreed Fashion Illustrator, I (((heart))) the lineage of fashion illustrators, Warhol and Galliano, turned runway designer as I’ve got a little somethin somethin for the runway in the works myself.  Also, it was the first appearance of the *New* version of 1947’s New Look skirts returning full force for Spring 2012, the red passion reawakening and ombre sheers touching the magic of Charles James. It-girl of the moment, Olivia Palermo, summed it up: “Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics.”

Basic Brown? Non.


Dirt, Earthy, Mirth. Basics, Chocolate, mudbaths, Spring plowing. I recall having a lime green, shirred Norma Kamali long column dress and all I wanted was to accessorize it with brown, like Spring leaves and dirt. Seemed natural to me. I could not find  the vision in my mind, brown was for daytime, thank you. No dress shoes, no exquisite purse. Years later, this winter I got crafty and dyed a 1940’s pair of silk shoes brown. I love the dirty+distressed, rhinestone Lost in Las Vegas look that resulted. See? Wintry crafts are bewitching.

This turkey vulture has all the pomp and high-heeled glamour of a runway bird. Like good models, they are so huge in person on the ground, scary beautiful, yet truly graceful and magnificent in flight. They are the soaring high T-shaped big birds you can see all over. (for the non-bird-watchers) For me, they are like the lotus flower, growing up through mud, pristine. The T-birds are vultures, eating carrion, yet soaring above like eagles. They are not the edible pheasants under glass. Here’s to gawky teen birds turned beautiful.

Treasures: Two of my favorite New Yorker rare birds in one pic, philanthropist and writer, Michele Gerber Klein and Montgomery Frazier, MTV fashion director for many years, who has me charmed with his unforgiving brusque honesty, humor and mostly his gentleman true nature.

Treasure: I love when people call me about my services as a referral but they don’t tell me who sent them. Or they do and I don’t know the person! Word-of-mouth is one of the best compliments and I guess why the term “bespoke” is used so much these days. Beyond custom, Wikipedia says the origin is to “speak for something”, in the specialized meaning “to give order for it to be made.”” I prefer the biblical, gospel, awed feeling of a trusted conversation between maker and receiver. Like when the world goes from black and white to Technicolor with its synergy and uncanny surprises.

Bespoke shoemaker to kings and polo players, artist, Norman Vilalta, was introduced to me in this way. Daniel Porcelli, the evangelicalist for the brand, and I connected again this month and I refreshed my memory on this story of shoes that look like wood grain, ombre’d and approaching works of art.


Night. Morning. One morning, up in the pitch black to meet my #earlyAM Twitter group at 7 am (yup) it was chilly, rainy, black, black, black and grey all over. I decided to make a little photo journalistic exercise and take pics of the black and grey commuters from underground NY. So pulled together, serene like black marble sculptures despite the drudgery of dreary weather dealing.

Is there an Audubon bird for a rainy day in NYC? The oyster catcher, running through the wet would be it. Red nose surfing the waves for pearls, parties and potentials.

Warm beacons in the grey and black this month included Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this coming from one who cringes at Victoriana anything. Like staring into Madame Blavatsky’s eyes, this place charmed, the drinks are artful, the tiny jewel box spaces and people sexy, fascinating and the walls of one cave are a glowing salmon pink.

My friend, hilarious video star, Amy Staats, and I found ourselves transfixed by a black haired woman with matte red lips, glossy white headphones and a black and white and red all over cape. We turned back to each other and at the same moment said, “Wow, she is…unforgettable.” My friend, did however, forget the name of the very attractive man, seemingly a regular at the bar, with a black studded jacket with a canvas painting hung delicately on it. If you know him, please tell him, I enjoyed our soulful stare at the door. (Thanks for any info, in Winter, one must employ every tactic.)

Which gives us the perfect way to embrace the Winter Chill at the Birth of the Year of the Dragon and end this month’s post. Busy. Chillin. 

Stop Reading, Rainbow Chillins!

February is For Lovers!

Embrace The Serpent of Love!

Bird in the Tree: A serpent! Help! Help! A serpent, a serpent!

Alice: But please! Please!

Bird in the Tree: Off with you! Shoo! Shoo! Go away! Serpent! Serpeeeent!

Alice: I’m not a serpent!

Bird in the Tree: You? Indeed? Then just what are you?

Alice: I’m just a little girl.

Bird in the Tree: Little? Little? [laughs]

Alice: Well, I am… I mean, I was.

Bird in the Tree: And I suppose you don’t like eggs, either?

Alice: Yes, I do, but, but, but…

Bird in the Tree: I knew it! I knew it! Serpent! Serpeeeent!

Alice: Oh, for goodness sake!

5 Responses to “Rainbow Chillin and Rare Birds”

  1. That was fantastically entertaining Jade! I enjoyed every moment of it!

  2. Magnificent! Beautiful! You always surprise me.

    • Thank you Lucy, a good sharing last night as always. To surprise you, whose essentual nose and smarts are so tapped into the magnificent and beautiful, well, that is an honor! indieperfumes.blogspot.com is a valiant read!

  1. 1 Circle Dance: The Don,The Mike,The Wit and Baby Blue Ivy « Jade Dressler

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