The original film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farow, is arguably one of the most beautifully stylized films ever made. With fashions from the Jazz Age, as coined by Fitzgerald, or the roaring 20's, the iconic images of women doning cloche hats, long strand of pearls and flapper dresses trimmed with beading and lace is firmly ingrained in our collective memory. As Baz Lurman's 2001 Moulin Rouge was a visual feast, one can only imagine the great costumes and sets that he'll create for his new film. The costumes from the Great Gatsby and the roaring 20's era have influenced the fashion industry for years and has made yet another comeback. Alberta Ferretti's Pre Fall 2012 collection is a romantic homage to this era. For years I have LOVED Ferretti's clothing and her obvious celebration of all things feminine - but with this collection she reveals her true passion. The wonderful silhouettes, stunning silver gilded lace, beautifully patterned beading - some with festive dancing fringe, delicate cloches, and brilliant modern touches, by no means feel like a costume, but instead is what modern women today want - a bit of romance with swinging style. This collection shows that Ferretti truly designed with love and it is great!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
☕For years one of my favorite places to have coffee and a quick bite in the city is Le Pain Quotidien. Now, those who know me will say it's because the name is French and I love all things French - but that's not the case. The fact of the matter is - I LOVE the interior design! Le Pain Quotidien's decor is warm and inviting, with tables made from reclaimed wood, huge windows that let in plenty of light, and a wonderful attention to details - it begs you to stay put and indulge in some of my favorites - Cafe Au Lait with a chocolate croissant. They offer freshly baked bread and pastries daily as well as salads, soups and other light fare. Even though they have become a chain cafe - they have each managed to maintain a sense of individual coziness - unlike Starbucks, there's nothing generic about the design of each location. Although you can get things to go, the tables are only offered to those who want service - if you have the time, it's quite civilized!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
As I return to my original passion as a designer, today I find myself having a little bit of office envy - who wouldn't after seeing the offices of Inne design. Designers Vigdis Bergh and Marte Fredriksen have nailed the balance between antiques with beautiful modern elements and comfort with a great neutral palette. To become even more envious:), take a look at their website.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Over the years I have volunteered for organizations that help restore schools. I firmly believe that we need to show our children and communities that we care by giving them safe, beautiful and inventive environments where they can learn. While perusing the Architizer website, I came across The Queens Library and Discovery Center in Jamaica Queens renovated by the 1100 Architecture Firm. Many city libraries now serve as cultural centers and need funding for restoration. This is a project that I would love to see happen in neighborhoods all over the city - it would be a great way for corporations to give back! I bet that parents do not have to drag their kids to this library! For additional information click here.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
This recent ad for The Smith Journal reminded me of my LOVE of trains, old cameras and Underwood typewriters! I found my Underwood at an antique store in Harpers Ferry, Virginia years ago and it is one of my favorite antiques. Aside from the brilliantly handsome craftsmanship - all made in America:), the clicking sound that each key makes when typing takes me back to my childhood fantasy of becoming a writer and typing my masterpiece - HA! Mine still works, so who knows, it could still happen!
Sunday, January 15, 2012
One of the reasons that I LOVE PBS, and thank God that my high school Professor James Lowenstein insisted that we watch their programming, is because of the content of the material that they air. PBS' choice of shows heightens our understanding of the world and never stages an assault on our intelligence, as so many shows on television do these days. Recently, I caught the re-airing of the documentary "When I Rise" about the life of Barbara Smith Conrad. In case you missed it, Barbara Smith Conrad is a Black woman who stood up against racism in Texas in the 1950's. Ms. Conrad grew up singing in church and made the discovery upon becoming a student at The University of Texas, that she could sing Opera. She was cast in a production of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” opposite a white male. The Texas legislature then threatened to take its' funding away from the University if they allowed Ms. Conrad to perform. Watching the documentary I was struck by the extreme beauty and dignity that Ms. Conrad exudes and could not fathom how anyone could stand before this woman and deny her what she had earned. However, like many strong black women before her, Ms Conrad rose above the hate and ignorance being hurled at her and soared! With hard work and some help from Harry Belafonte, Ms. Conrad became a renowned opera singer with the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic , the Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and London symphonies, and many others. Most importantly, Ms. Conrad returned to The University of Texas and earned her degree!
Kudos to Don Carelton, The Executive Producer of the film and Executive Director of the Briscoe Center, at The University of Texas for making a terrible wrong - right. Ms. Conrad's story is one of many that needs to be told, for it's the telling of these triumphant stories of our history that helps us all rise.