On Being Wild Flowers.

13Oct13

Goldenrod

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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.

ONE       GOLDENROD FLOWER POWER SHOWERS 2563 Todd Hido

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.

ETRO_yellow

  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.

NY Fashion Week yellow

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.

andrey bartenev unmasked

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.

Adrien De Melo Evite

TWO    JEWEL WEED POPPERS AND WILD TIGERS ( LILIES)

JEWELWEED 3

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.

bigorangetigerlily_lrg cotton-sweatshirt-in-french-navy-poppy-print_1 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.

orange surprise

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

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…

valeriesteele.xlarge

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.

QUEER FIT MUSEUM

THINGS: Other wild, wiry, transparent things flowering on Fashion Week streets as caught by Tommy Ton:

090613_Tommy_Ton_S2014RTW_slide_144 LORENZO MASI

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.

light feet above Bzrflowers

purple aster 2 ASTER Alexandre Herchovitz

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

blue chicory

woman wildflower

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.

Flavorpaper Featherlight-Maquette

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…

Marvet Britto and Maxwell

…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.

Josh Kilmer Purcell Brent Ridge jade Dressler

Central Park wedding

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

Pink

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.Pink Tommy_Ton_

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.

child slaves

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.

Vivienne Harr

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.

MONTGOMERY FRAZIER PINK

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.

Tracy Stern NY Cottages and Gardens

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.

Jacques Jarrige, Elle

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

red cosmos

ann-Demeulemeester-spring-2014-red-e1380234243493-505x760

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.

Thom Browne

RED WOMAN STREET

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…

steve stolman 1

Boris Krollred fall leavesPomagranates

  Red is never hard to wear and always pops up like a wild card, seen in these Tommy Ton street red head-turners.

red bike _Tommy_Ton_red Tommy_Ton_S2014RTW_slide_156

EIGHT   DUCK, DUCK, DUCK GOOSE. POKEWEED!

Iona Crawford dress 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 butterfly

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.

lanvin-spring-2014-look-38-e1380292813421-504x760

NINE    EAT YOUR WHEATIES AND YOUR MUGWORTS

wheat 1
ETRO wheat_0814.450x675mugwort-tea

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.mugwortdreamingplace-010

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.

“Green Garden”

Take me outside, sit in the green garden
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
And I’ll fly on the wings of a butterfly
high as a 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
Dance in my garden like we used to,
Uh ah, uh ah uh
Take me outside, sit in the green garden
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
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go
And I’ll fly on the wings of a butterfly
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,
the dance.
Dance in my garden like we used to..
Uh ah, uh ah uh
Take me outside, take me outside,
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
I’ll go, wherever you go, wherever you take me, I’ll go.
*********
post by Jade Dressler, images from style.com, Tommy Ton, moi, Jade Dressler and the WILD web. Thank you.

Love

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