“All these dreams are yours as well and the only distinction between me and you
is that I can articulate them.”
Werner Herzog, director
Articulating dreams and emotion is the driving task of any artist, (or any creative being) from kids to world leaders to directors of film to interior designers. Can art really save lives? Can one director’s dream save lives? Can design save lives?
Yes. Yes. and Yes.
One spring evening we joined the design-lover hordes at New York City’s beloved Housing Works’ Design on a Dime event. Here designers direct, they create little theatres, mini mis-en-scenes filled with objets d’art, which shoppers go cray-cray snapping up ~ all to raise funds for housing for those affected by HIV/AIDS. At the time I was deeply entrenched in Bernardo Bertolucci‘s 2011 love fest to cinema, The Story of Film: An Odyssey and I could not help seeing the legacy of film in the spaces and people.
Bertolucci’s global survey articulates the vast world of human emotion as seen in the passion of directors, it becomes so clear that Art Invents Style. This style is what connects humanity emotionally and pushes our collective dreams forward.
Come romp with me, see how design directors at Design on a Dime and filmmakers throughout time ~ set styles, create our dreams, and our reality.
The Location, The Scene: Like a Fellini movie, a parade of human souls daily eagle eye the most famous, most chic thrift shops in Gotham. Housing Works Thrift Shops are a library of colorful lives, clothing, furnishings and mementos; an online auction site; and definitely the beloved secret of many a stylish New Yorker.
The Investors, The Producers: This year these events raised 1.3 million! Shove over Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio! We’re getting into Hollywood numbers here, dear design community! Presented by the likes of Elle Decor, National Media Sponsor, Ralph Lauren Paint, HSBC Private Bank, Double Cross Vodka, Viacom, and the New York Design Center.
The Directors: Inspired by this charitable holy grail, over 60 designers signed on to create little worlds. We are talking legendary society designer names, like Charlotte Moss, to donations from major brands like Ralph Lauren and Nickelodeon, to hot young thangs, see a full list here.
+ The Cast of 1000′s: A merry band of troubadours here! While incomparable to Vienna’s Life Ball, NY’ers marching through were precious Art Hipsters to Design and Media Brand Veep’s to Telly Celebrity Directors: Andy Cohen, Stephen Fanuka, George Oliphant, Evette Rios, Ryan Serhant, Bevy Smith and Lana Spencer, Nate Berkus, chairs. Design Stars made appearances, like Simon Doonan, Todd Oldham, editors Wendy Goodman of New York magazine’s Design Hunting, to Michael Boodro, editor-in-chief of ELLE DÉCOR, also the media sponsor; and to House Beautiful’s Sophie Donelson. Toss in characters like a Fashion Designer, Chris Benz, an Actress, Lorraine Bracco and yes, even add a Victoria Secret Model, Martha Hunt, and let the band play!
PLUS MANY MORE! SEE THEIR STYLE! LET THE ROMP COMMENCE! ACTION!
LE WILD STYLE.
One vignette perfectly summed up the arms-wide-open, bright community philanthropy and cultural bounty vibe of the Housing Works vision. A happy, potluck, circus-fest of cultural kitsch was created by Cooking for Others, a culinary adventure invented by journalist Stephen Henderson, who was inspired by world traditions of cooking for others as a gesture of humanity.
You win My Best Director’s Prize, Mr. Henderson, your vignette was so on Message! Are we surprised the director’s husband is the famed the P.R. James LaForce?
Here’s James, above, and below, his vignette, presided over by a director we all know, in this instance, Jesus, posturing like the famous character of Monsieur Hulot in Trafic (Traffic) the 1971 Italian-French film directed by Jacques Tati. Furthering the symbolism, Tati used the word spelled trafic for an “exchange of goods,” rather than “traffic” per se…as he was another acute observer of our modern consumerist pumped society using humor and kitsch to enlighten the masses. Parody and Satire, we’ve seen this year how this vital freedom feeds our souls.
Meet the 3 of the B.O.R.N.TO STYLE show cast members here, Jonathan Bodrick, Brandon Hood, JJ Langan. Jonathan’s real-life vintage shop in Harlem is the setting for the show, a Mecca calling the un-stylish to get make-overs. Of course, I gave them the option of a pic with or without me, and then because they were all fronting about me in the photo, I had to mess with these rising stars and photobomb them next!
Life as jump cuts is as French as Jean Paul Gaultier Breton stripe T’s everywhere, including in the film he gorgeously styled, The City of Lost Children. Stripes were all over the vignettes, perhaps a trend symbolic of our new wave feeling, a moving of boundaries, contrast, rebellion, and dreams. The energy, textures, and colors of this vignette get My “Almost Almodovar”Award. The teen bedroom was designed by Nickelodeon, inspired by their show ‘Bella and the Bulldogs.’
Zees whole sing, verrry French New Wave meets lost American teenager, verrrry, verrrry À bout de souffle (1959) dir. Jean-Luc Godard.
Below, designer Miles Redd has his wise way with stripes, angles, geometrics, film lights, and mirrors with a ponderous head plopped in the middle. An esoteric, cinematic take with roots in Metropolis, (1927) dir. Fritz Lang, yes?
Another candy-striper was designer, Scott Sanders’ whose beach vignette drew in design surfers in droves, like a gyrating Annette Funicello. Inside his beach cabana world, you understood his Ralph Lauren background, he began Lauren’s interior design biz. On message, his homage-to-summer vignette was smartly merchandised like a shop. No wonder his clients are art stars and moguls of entertainment. No surprise this beach party mesmerized the frenzied shopper folks, who slowed down, staring at the array of cool, like one stares at the sea for life’s answers.
Here as does Audrey Hepburn in Two for the Road (1967) dir. Stanley Donen.
I played paparazzi here with my mobile, snapping Scott with Marisa Marcantonio creator of the Stylebeat blog. As a vast background to her encyclopedic design brain, she smartly opts for the well-tailored, New York uniform of black.
(PS. She also wins My Gina Lollobrigida Look Alike Award.)
Some girl named Jade on the left, Scott in the middle with the super elegant and legendary designer, Jamie Drake. What is Jade Dressler wearing? More on that later, but first: Am I thrilled to be wearing Jamie Drake Hot Pink in my pic with him? Are you kidding me? Beyond thrilled!
Thank Jill John from Serena & Lily for all those yummy turquoise and cherry tangerine notes of style in the cabana. Who designed that cheery red jacket note of style on Scott? Thom Browne custom tailored, thank you! My Best Man Style Award goes to Scott, make sure you see the footwear below.
While Bari Mattes, above, posed with her dear friend, Scott, I played stylist and held her exquisite Chanel bag for her. Bari has been a co-director among top-notch directors, like Cory Booker and Tory Burch, so what other designer besides Chanel was she wearing? We honestly don’t know, but we LOVE her sartorial director-genius style, a perfect combo of politically-correct Michelle Obama-esque career wear in a very playful polka dot bikini pattern.
George Oliphant, Emmy award winning host of NBC’s George to The Rescue also swung by Scott’s cabana. We love that his bow tie matches his perky, fun personality plus Scott’s Tangy Tangerine color of the night. Plus George’s 1950-ish small check shirt renders all perfect with the dark navy jacket. Who cares WHO he’s wearing? We care more WHO he is!
In a similar mood, we spotted this tangy tangerine crochet flower lapel pin on Michael Ventol‘s dark plushy jacket. Michael is a salesman at Housing Works Chelsea, see how smart these people are? I saw and loved a similar tiny paper rose lapel pin on a dapper luxury real estate salesperson later in the week. No designers mentioned for this trend, but perhaps we can credit this au courant, “heart on lapel” style to The Godfather, courtesy of Marlon Brando‘s eerily elegant rose lapel pin whilst petting soft cuddly kitten, below?
Speaking of grandparents, my own lapel pin, here below, is courtesy of my grandmother. And I am wearing Jade Dressler. ( Editor’s note: This top was formally known as a pair of Nepalese trousers that I turned upside down, made a hole for my head, impulsed by my own incessant, archaic, Luddite and madcap-director desires to design and make my clothing.)
This machismo chest puff posing above? Inspired by artist Sean Mellyn‘s beefcake leather, here with me. I shall not insert a pic of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, because we all know Sean is a softy heart of the best kind;-) He is in fact, A Director With a Way, with flowers, Monet, and all things design.
Design-star Rio Hamilton shows us his treasure-find of the night, a sleek black bird. Was there ever a design match? Rio’s ever-sleek self captures the best of the design flock through his work with Assouline and his Mon Oncle blog. (I know! Crazee! I confirmed it…Mon Oncle as in Jacques Tati! Now that’s the kind of Designer-I’m-Wearing/Homage-to-Director we LOVE!)
Middle, stylist and blogger Raina Kettleson, luscious curls designed by “Universal”, me again;-) and on the left, the fab “What will you bring home?” graphic T’s all the volunteers wore. No, I did not bring Raina home, cute as her curls may be.
Here is The Karim Abay, publisher with Paper magazine, along with Neal Beckstedt, another talented style director. Pop culture note: The Karim showed me a picture he took of The Kanye‘s necklace on his mobile, taken up close at during the mag’s “Hubby of Kim” matching April cover shoot. Not really a matching cover, no man-parts on that cover, btw, just a thoughtful, pensive Kanye.
Why is the photo of the Victoria Secret model here? Honestly, I didn’t know where else to plop her. Neal’s way more subtle and gorgeous room follows after.
(and I do love Martha Hunt‘s dress and whole look;-)
Like the random picture of the model, Neal’s original and subtle style did not remind me of one specific film. The creamy colors, warm woods, black lacquer, maps and figurative art did hint of a set design for a film in the “Commedia sexy all’italiana,” genre.
More on that to come.
BLACK LIVES MATTER: THE DOCUMENTARY.
Black Girl (1966) dir. Ousmane Sembène is often called the first sub-Saharan African film by an African filmmaker to receive international attention. I call it astonishing for its hollow sound and deep emotional orchestration. We noticed quite a number of booths made instantly gorgeous by large photographs of African faces and features (above from Marc Houston‘s room) as well as the ongoing trend of dark, dramatic sultry walls.
Patrick James Hamilton‘s room, above, centered by luscious lips.
And here, Patrick beams on the right, as his room attracts the hordes of typically black-clad New Yorker shoppers. Below, designer Marc Houston‘s room, before the enigmatic, large portrait of the African woman as seen above was placed. Great to see how this rendered the whole room noble.
Here below with the designer, myself, and the crowning image. Marc’s subtle set mood-swinged from Dutch 17th century, to an undefinable modernism, to a play of scale and reality that touched on the pure magic of another African film, the visual-stunner, Cannes Jury prize-winning film, Yeelen (1987) dir. Souleymane Cissé.
Yes, I am coyly not including images from these two films. I want you to seek them out, they are a holy grail.
DANES BY DESIGN: PERSONA UPA CLOSA.
We have a jones for 2Michaels. The sister-twin interior designers bring an in-your face, stark and smart beauty that reminds me of Danish films like Persona (above, 1966) dir. Ingmar Bergman.
The close ups of Joan in The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer spoke to us of this very Danish simplicity and hip sense of cool (c’mon, peep that fur rug on sisal!!!) All night we’d run into one or the other sister looking for the other. Granted, not crying, like Joan of Arc did in the movie, but um, LIKE THE MOVIE!
Inspired by this “Danes on Design” simplicity, I am inspired to tell the whole history of film in 3 images! The first below is known as the first film ever,Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895) dir. Louis Lumière. Lumiere of course, means light in French, and how utterly amazing is it that women exiting a dark factory into the bright sun was the first-ever film?
Where all the story’s action was centered on a writer, his dog and travels within his country landscape, at the end, the camera pulls back and back and back, to the sounds of Native American chanting, wolf-like dog howling, and emptiness, until you see his whole world framed in a ruined cathedral, sunlight and then, like stars, snow falls softly.
CUT! ALL THIS AWE CAN ONLY BE FOLLOWED BY A SPAGHETTI WESTERN.
The Operatic, The Melodramatic, The Technoscopic Life. The real…slow…time perspectives of dir. Sergio Leone have influenced the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Baz Luhrmann, and me! I was transported into that 70′s real-time laconic and emotionally loaded style, as I became mesmerized by the multi-level terrariums in the vignette designed by Tom Lenz for 513. Anything spaceship-like instantly transports me and I pictured a set from Roger Vadim’s Barbarella, with a mini Jane Fonda inside leaping from frond to frond.
The only thing that can pull me from Barbarella is a setting for one of my all time favorite film genres, “Commedia sexy all’italiana.”
My Italianate Casa Bella Prize Award goes to Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates‘ malachite walled camera. One of the most swanky vignettes at the event, it’s an ornate lure for some Sex Comedy, with flashing 70′s wardrobes, hairdos, kinky antics, a hilarious script, and lotsa skin. LOVE.
The set of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) (aka Die Bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant) dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, was almost totally restricted to a woman’s bedroom, decorated and dominated by a huge wall reproduction of Midas and Bacchus nude and romping, a brilliant background to the woman’s woes upon her fur rug. The Standard for The High Art of Angst.
And one more stunner in that genre. This tour de force vignette hit all the trends we loved in the show, with the expressionist paintings, striped chairs, and gold footed sheep who like to graze and read design magazines. Brava, Megan Winters Design,you stopped us in our tracks on the strada!
THE VERTIGO OF LEADING LADIES.
Tamara Stephenson‘s room at first glance was an innocent, sweetly pale pink “pillow” atelier/shop and delivered some dizzying intensity via the above striking Italianate graffiti portrait, above. The combo eerily continued along with muted, mysterious people screened on her new collection of pillows she designed with Susan Young. Suddenly, I was Kim Novak shopping for flowers in Vertigo (1958) dir. Alfred Hitchcock.
Pushing the femme fatale envelope further, the vignette from Danielle Colding Design felt like a surreal homage to the allure and fantasy of women depicted in magazines and movies via the sky blue cloud/petal-like walls and well-scaled curation of images.
And, because the world needs more directors and designers of the female stripe, these quotes from the interview with Jane Campion in Bertolucci‘s film survey:
“The big betrayal of the female is that women want to see themselves through men’s eyes, so they are very interested in what men do. (with film)”
And her quote on cultivating creativity or the muse:
“The subconscious is like a shy pet…if it trusts you, it will come out and play…if you sit for 3 hours and nothing really happens, will you stay for the 4th hour?”
Jane Campion, director
CATCH A FLYING CARPET TO A CINEMA PARADISO.
Movies and interiors are at their best when they transport. The Thief of Bagdad (1924) dir. Raoul Walsh flew audiences into the exotic, as did dir. Lotte Reiniger and her precious, animated The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926.) Reiniger invented her animation 10 years before Disney and surprise! she was clearly a style influence of artist Kara Walker.
A trip to the Paradise of Marrakesh was imagined by Design on a Dime’s Founding Chair, James Huniford of Huniford Design Studio. All the visual cacophony of a bazaar was the essential alluring message of the event and fit the function. We LOVE.
Caught! A winking and laughing Kati Curtis laying claim to a set of blue lacquer Chippendale-style lattice bamboo chairs, very smart!
Segue her stylish snake bag to more exotic people we spotted strolling at the bazaar:
Cool kids and super fun to boot, Leslie Silverman and Victor John Villanueva, and whoa! Photobombed by another fellow from the B.O.R.N.crew, B.O.R.N. store manager and singer-songwriter, Terry Artis!
Victor makes these necklaces. This one. Don’t get me started on my second favorite movie genre, Japanese monster movies. I decided this necklace is either a pixel Godzilla or that strange ape that always appears in Laurel and Hardy movies.
Arpana Rayamajhi a jewelry maker from Kathmandu, Nepal, here with multi-disciplinary artist, Bruno Levy. Casting! Call-backs for their laid-back intensity! Wardrobe! Make sure you see her embroidered handbag, mix of leather and shine with folkloric, plus bedhead hair!
THE GOLDEN AGE OF CINEMA, CINEMA.
The table-turning sequence above, in Stalker (1979) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky has glasses moving as if by a ghost, dandelion seeds floating through, haunting train whistles, dogs barking…a symphony of visual and sound. The light intensity in the gaze of the girl, with her golden head scarf framed by the verticals of the window reminded me of this vignette:
The sinuous golden forms against the wispy wallpaper made this vignette by FLAIR, and this elegant cart-like table an excellent, unpretentious spot to display one’s Oscar.
This golden and black tones makes the stark white “casting couch” here beckon and sing like a cloud. LOVE’s here include the double chandelier echoed in the candle cluster, the long pillow bolsters, much more luxe than square, and the two green notes on the back table. A little cascading-like-hair plant and plexi pyramid are as beguiling as two green eyes of a cat. While we love their catalogs, kudos to the designer from Pottery Barn who orchestrated this scenario…A BIG GOLD OSCAR!
In closing, an homage to all the directors that inspired and why this one image we began with, Daisies (1966) dir. Věra Chytilová, sums up all we love about cinema, this event, and the Design on a Dime cause. In the end, as creative kids, its important to share our most precious dreams, creativity and relationships, honoring our dance together and the ultimate responsibility we have as designers to inspire via the rhythm of our times and encourage the eternal flowerings of creativity.
This Saves Lives.
Paparazzi people images from Alvaro Montagna, here below with meself, Jade Dressler, the writer, director and designer of this blog, with Scott Sanders. This image of us is from Rio Hamilton. Additional vignette images from Felix R. Cid, Sarah Sarna and Billy Farrell. Additional people and film imagery thanks to late night Netflix, Google Search and My Mobile balanced with champagne, stilettos, and a director’s lust for the moment.
Filed under: FILM, NEW YORK, STYLE, TRENDS | Leave a Comment
Tags: 2Michaels, Alfred Hitchcock, Alvaro Montagna, Andrei Tarkovsky, Andrew Joseph, Andy Cohen, Arpana Rayamajhi, Audrey Hepburn, B.O.R.N. TO STYLE, Barbarella, Bari Mattes, Baz Luhrmann, Beach Blanket Bingo, Bernardo Bertolucci, Bevy Smith, Black Girl, Black Lives Matter, Brandon Hood, Breathless, Bruno Levy, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Charlotte Moss, Chris Benz, Commedia sexy all’italiana, Cooking for Others, Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates, Daisies, Danielle Colding Design, Design on a Dime, Elle Decor, Evette Rios, Felix R. Cid, Fellini, FLAIR, Fritz Lang, George Oliphant, Godzilla, Housing Works, Housing Works Thrift Shop, Huniford Design Studio, Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Tati, jade dressler, Jaime Drake, James Dean, James Huniford, James LaForce, Jane Campion, Jane Fonda, Jean Luc Godard, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jill John, JJ Langan, Jonathan Bodrick, Kanye, Kara Walker, Karim Abay, Kati Curtis, Kim Novak, Lana Spencer, Laurel and Hardy, Leslie Silverman, Lorraine Bracco, Lotte Reiniger, Louis Lumiere, Marc Houston, Marisa Marcantonio, Marlon Brando, Martha Hunt, Megan Winters Design, Metropolis, Michael Boodro, Michael Ventol, Miles Redd, Mon Oncle, Monsieur Hulot, Neal Beckstedt, New York Design Center, Nickelodeon, Nostalghia, Ousane Sembene, Patrick James Hamilton, Persona, Pottery Barn, Raina Kettleson, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ralph Lauren Paint, Raoul Walsh, Rebel Without A Cause, Rio Hamilton, Roger Vadim, Ryan Serhant, Sarah Sarna, Scott Sanders, Sean Mellyn, Serena & Lily, Sergio Leone, Simon Doonan, Sophie Donelson, Souleymane Cisse, spaghetti western, Stalker, Stanley Donen, Stanley Kubrick, Stephen Fanuka, Stephen Henderson, Susan Young, Tamara Stephenson, Terry Artis, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The City of Lost Children., The Godfather, The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, The Thief of Bagdad, Thom Browne, todd oldham, Trafic, Two for the Road, Vera Chyytilova, Vertigo, Victor John Villanueva, Wendy Goodman, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory, Yeelen
one wednesday, after all the animals and people creatures trekked through the snow,
In this auspicious week after the latest lunar eclipse, we’ve spotted a trend we call: SIEVE US! An celestial eclipse is a bit of a sieve, a portal, a winnow, a window. It’s a filtering out of the old and no longer serving aspects of ourselves, saving only the best.
Legends and astrologers say an eclipse eclipses something out, irrevocably, to make way for the new. It punctures and makes a punctuation POINT.
Tracks that Winter wore into our souls are the furrow where seeds push out. Our “Flower Pimp” above, speaks to us in pixel language, a digital, macro-micro cosmic mash-up for us to dissect and hole-punch our former views of life and Self-Identity. It’s nothing the Pointillists, mosaic artists, or field workers in Bolivia don’t already know. Aligned points on a trail and nature-rythym patterning is just our intrinsic humanity SIEVE’ing us, trusting us and re-forming us.
This molecular osmosis, this is the ‘sexy, new, fun’ trend of SIEVE US! We see it in ourselves in the vast quiet of meditation to the loud demanding world upheavals around us. (And of course, expressing this zietgeist through shopping and DIY-activities is part of the action, more below.)
Make Tracks. Change Plot. Poke Thru.
The wintry tracks of a cat walk, from a bobcat to a house cat, puncture snow and run a straight line, walking in their own steps. When discovered, the mysterious sinuous imprints are deliberate power, instantly transforming the moment, like a runway model on a Rick Owens autumn/winter 2015 catwalk with a strategic peep-hole. When you can shock Paris and the world, as Owens did this season, with one tiny hole in some fabric, what’s gone before is eclipsed.
Tracks and holes are permuting realities and concepts from star light traveling from millions of years ‘past’ puncturing the night sky, to science decoding heredity, to designs’ laser cutting-everything, and to Earthship homes in Haiti. The fabric of our lives is now rife with our own responsibility to each other to make conscious choices. No one can hide behind rote, impenetrable fortresses of status quo or ego.
Just $3500., fully sustainable and built in two weeks for the above beauty. I toured the first-ever Earthships in their Taos, New Mexico birthplace back in the 1990′s and now thrill to see them being built in Haiti. Integrated systems for rainwater, natural drainage which purifies, home as a little bio-system! We are understanding and implementing cost-effective, nature-patterned systems by punching through walls of our industrial culture. From green roof forests in urban centers…
…to saving heirloom seeds and preserving the bio-diversity of seed libraries, it’s dawning on us that the planet’s destiny is our destiny and can no longer be so throw-away. Everyone, everywhere can be found hugging trees more than Julia Butterfly ever did. We breathe with our membrane trees, they filter, they winnow, the exchange is a language typing the keyboard controls of our experience. (That line there, is for the breathers, the meditators, especially.)
Skin as Sieve.
I always loved that snakes choose the forked bases of birch trees to slither through and shed their skins. This winter I bought this birch tree photograph, below from artist, Carol Morgan-Eagle. It reminds me of three women on a runway in sheath dresses, powerfully striding forward, like Druidic Women/Trees/Bad-a…es. Futuristic clothing as I can only imagine and lust for. Sustainably harvested materials for fabrics, a weather-intelligent second sieved-skin, seams and openings to allow movement, a kind of camoflage to silently move through forests and city streets.
Maybe this is a kind of SIEVE US attitude the world needs now, a little Old Egypt temple girl, a little power bondage action, and a little Barbarella huntress, like this nymph below in Lost Art’s reverent weaving and netting.
Even the osmosis and porosity of our skin is having a scientific re-look moment. “The skin microbiome is the wild frontier,” relayed one doctor in a recent New York Times article, ‘My No-soap, No-shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiments.‘ I’ve always been fascinated by our definitions of “dirt.” Why do animals roll in or children eat “dirt” or the earth? Science now sees this as a roll in nutrients or a bacteria wash!
Another doc, Dr. Steven Cole, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, has spent a decade studying the connection between our emotional and biological selves, seeking what a ‘happy cell looks like.’ “The old thinking was that our bodies were stable biological entities, fundamentally separate from the external world,” he says. “But the new thinking is that there is much more permeability and fluidity.”
Happy Gut, Happy Sieve-yours.
Intuitively we sense and know in our guts what makes us happy. Now a new science, called, mind-body genomics, confirms that our happiness is intrinsically linked with the biology of this rock we cling to. Fascinating that mind-oriented psychologists for years have called this ‘bodymind,’ while those more body/spirit oriented have intoned us to connect our ‘mind/body/spirit.’ Like a crafty, blackhole Buddha belly, what’s being termed ‘our second brain,’ our guts are not only the second seat of our intuition, but also our health. Releasing this year, the HarperCollins book, Happy Gut, from integrative physician, Dr.Pedre, makes the bridge between gut health and brain biology. Aha! We are what we eat.
Perhaps its time to leap and pounce on that “gut-felt idea” like a cat…
…so we sieve out the old, and are saviors to ourselves. Ah, after all, we are all just points of starlight beaming. wink, wink.
and. then. there. is. shopping.
And, here, because I promised the goods… a dashing circus wrestler painting gets the slash/sieve treatment before a window, making snow stars shine through in a home goods store. (Nifty DIY, too!)
Get the look for less and SIEVE others. One Wednesday, I found a bevy of bright woven sweet-smelling, sweetgrass baskets from Africa, called 92 Villages, benefiting over 10,000 women and their families. And I bought a bunch! So simple, so useful, so hopeful!
SIEVE the planet and yourself. DIY 101. Seed saving. Yogurt eating for your gut.
Peep SIEVE inspiration: So many videos on Earthships in Haiti, and the aerial cross-hatch, winnowing photo images of Las Vegas.
DIY 102: How can all this poking through and sieving make for crafty DIY’s, something a little more au courant than slashing up some sweatshirts and flash-dancing?
Try some Feng Shui today. Here’s some coaching. If being SIEVE’d vs. STUCK is your desire in an area of your life, and you are tired of the same old, same old, get a little shamanic and have at it. Grab something old, solid, tired and open up, slash up, carve open tiny airholes for some new fresh. Or for some fast Feng Shui, take something woven like a basket and place it in an area of the home. Sprinkle with lots of intent and wishing. If Feng Shui confuses, call me. I know the best Feng Shui person, ME. Call me. I will SIEVE you.
It’s Wednesday. Watch some flowers arise.
PS. Why Wednesday? Middle of the week, Wednesday relates to the planet Mercury, Hermes, which in turn is communication, exchange, healing. Open up kids, Mercury brings “messages from the Gods.”
Filed under: ARCHITECTURE, ELEMENTS, FASHION, FLOWERS, INTERIOR DESIGN, LOVE, TRENDS | Leave a Comment
Tags: baskets, bodymind, Carol Morgan Eagle, earthships, eclipse, Feng Shui, gutmind, happy cells, Happy Gut, Hermes, Lost Art, Mercury, microbiome, osmosis, Rick Owens, seed libraries, sieve, Spring flowers, sustainable, tracks, Wednesday
NYC, a rainy Tuesday in March, 7pm. Ask anyone what makes a memorable evening in a legendary New York City space, the answer will be the big people, big places, and above all, the little things encapsulating…humanity. For me, foodie, dancing, or dramatic evenings have nothing on nights when passion turned into action for a place, the arts and the future are celebrated. This turns me on. Music mogul, David Geffen perfectly and simply captured why he supports the arts, with his recent $100 million donation buying naming rights for Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall:
“I’m a kid from Brooklyn,” he said. “I love New York.”
The Scene: Another legendary “kid from NY” is the most iconic, and symbolic Rainbow Room, spinning “Top of the Rock,” aka 30 Rockefeller Center since 1934. This Art Deco skyscraper boasts an “Oh” at top, magnifying and rippling out in 360 degrees, the boldest dreams of its dancers, feasters and revelers. Recently restored and bestowed landmark status, it’s a BIG room.
And what: Another legend roaring awake again these days is the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID), coming around to its Centennial Year in 2016. Voted one of the best in the nation by the industry, the college’s “guiding principle is that the interior environment is a fundamental element of human welfare and the college is committed to actively improving the quality of life for all segments of humanity.”
Choosing The Rainbow Room for this year’s Annual Benefit Dinner was a genius landmark idea. (And PS, the college has a well-celebrated exhibition on now, Rescued, Restored, Reimagined: New York’s Landmark Interiors, until April 24, on Gotham’s greatest landmarked spaces.)
Now that I’ve given you the big space, here are the big people who filled it: The titans and moguls of the interior design industry are my favorite people, as there’s something about negotiating someone’s dreams while juggling their life, space, taste and budget, hmm…sounds something tantamount to marriage. Takes a socially-adept, psychologically-savvy character with a sense of humanity and humor to choose and master this path.
The ID community in NYC not only works internationally, parties much, vigorously supports philanthropy and honors its own, but clearly, enthusiastically supports its own, as testified by the completely sold-out NYSID Annual Benefit Dinner event, supporting scholarships for the designers of tomorrow. (Those are those green-shoot students hunkered down below in search of knowledge pouring over AutoCAD plans whilst the gala goers smartly spin above.)
“It’s one of the design community’s most anticipated annual events,” rightly coos Patricia M. Sovern, NYSID board chairman. So I coo’ed and convinced my talented artist and photographer pal, Alvaro Montagna, to join me and the hundreds come to honor Bunny Williams, John Rosselli, Edmund Hollander, and the New York Restoration Project. Headliners were benefit co-chairs, Alexa Hampton and David Scott, interior designers and NYSID trustees; Betsey Ruprecht, antiques dealer and NYSID trustee; and Newell Turner, editorial director of Hearst Design Group.
Ready to dive in with us and discover the Stars, Legends and Evening Bests?
BEST ELEVATOR UP WITH LEGENDS STORY
How uncanny to share the elevator up the NBC tower with Ellen Ward Scarborough, antiques dealer, Mrs. to Mr.Chuck Scarborough, the lead anchorman of NBC-TV and Debbie Bancroft! I joined both beauties headed north to the 65th floor. Both in stellar black dresses, dishing about shoes, like any girlfriends, in particular a gift of designer barely-worns from Beth DeWoody. I always heard Beth was super generous in terms of the arts, now you have it, she does shoes, too.
Alvaro was so struck by the women’s golden glow, that he actually tried to elbow Chuck out of this photo, before he realized who the venerable gentle giant and 31-time Emmy award winner was! “Oh, Chuck…sure, um Sir…yes, you get right in there!”
BEST RESCUE-ROMPING ADVENTURE OF THE EVENING
Life is an Adventure with Alexa! Seen here with Pat Sovern and Newell Turner, Alexa Hampton, in a gorg ombre’d blue gown, was as blue as her dress earlier in the evening. She mistakenly left her speech in her evening purse, in an Uber owned by a “Jose” sixty-five floors down.
I seriously doubt there was an actual memo to dress in Art Deco black and silvers to honor the building’s design, probably just a telepathic design vibe among this crowd. Memo or not, honorees and partners, John Rosselli and Bunny Williams win the prize for best dressed and best life. Their curation was introduced to me by my client, designer, Scott Sanders, he of an impeccable eye. I’d seen the magazine spreads of glorious homes and spectacular antiques, it was a thrill to meet them both. (I always want to call her Bunny Wailer, wait, am I the only one?) (Plug: My silk blouse is from Christine Manthey) (and…one of the little things…John Rosselli’s bright red socks with this ensemble, they say a lot)
BEST NY CHIC TWIN SANDWICH
Also mugging, designers Jayne Michaels, Brad Ford and Joan Michaels brought the dark and delicious intrigue to the mix. Brad in the middle is known for a super sleek, earthy aesthetic as well as his Field and Supply, a modern take on a country craft fair, and designing as 2Michaels, the twins bring a light, savvy eye, and rich history.
If you hadn’t noticed, bringing back the sexy in party pics is what’s next. Beyond stiff portraits, posing and selfies, we vote for old school images, like my favorite below from Miles Ladin. You must admit the bobbed, mugging Michaels above, remind one of Linda Evangelista, below, right?
BLONDS HAVING THE MOST FUN
Betsey…basically brings the life to the party. The gold-studded antiques dealer and designer has the power and presence to draw smiles. Here she’s corralled designer, Sandra Nunnerley, who wore the chic-est silk quarter sleeve top with sleek, cropped black slacks, very 1950′s updated. See more evidence re: The Betsey, below:
Way better than an Ellen-like group selfie here, yes, this is the “gathering, get-ready moment” before the “staged” version…and I love it so much more! L to R, Charlotte Barnes, Debbie Nielsen, Pat Sovern, Betsey and that smiling lady in black, Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence.
TIED FOR BEST TAKE AN ELEVATOR WITH A LEGEND STORY
Above, one husband of Betsey, Bill Ruprecht, former CEO of Sotheby’s. He’s going up, and if you catch him alone in a burled wood elevator, he’s up for some silliness. Alvaro stepped in to join Bill, announced his photo coverage of the party and added, “You know, a little gig between my Sports Illustrated swimwear shoots.” Bill promptly replied, “Yes, it’s just not the season for it, eh?” Ba-dum-bump.
OTHER TOWERS OF DESIGN POWER
The First Lady in this town and beyond is Margaret Russell, editor in chief of Architectural Digest. Joined by Jesse Carrier, one half of the design team, Carrier and Company. (Just a little in favor of the media, fashion, photography, and film types, with Vogue‘s Anna Wintour, Jane Rosenthal, Town and Country’s Jay Fielden, Jason Wu and Annie Leibovitz as clients.)
Drivers of good taste, all: Michael Bruno of 1stdibs.com, Lisa and Cary Kravet (see below) and interior designer, and now author, Suzanne Rheinstein.
I was happy to see Ellen Kravet, trustee at NYSID, a true Kravet, a legend in New York for its family-run, to-the-trade fabric and home furnishings business. How much do I love her Art-Deco get-up? She’s the head woman of her family-owned fabric leader, bring on the patterns! (We wrote about their DVF launch, here.)
Somehow I missed seeing Bari Mattes, most recently, president of the Tory Burch Foundation, alongside such a friendly face in the middle, Archie Gottesman, along with Jill Dienst‘s husband, Dan Dienst, CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
One of the main reasons NYSID reached top status for its graduate and undergraduate programs is president, David Sprouls, holding the torch for the growth, strength and professionalism of the industry, here with his wife, Kate Wood, president of the preservation group Landmark West and co-curator of NYSID’s landmarks exhibition. Joining them is Jill Dienst, doyenne of all things Dane and a super fun, energized woman to talk art, design and Feng Shui with.
BEST DRESSED SECRETS FROM LADIES WHO KNOW THE DEAL
Another cheery woman who always brings a smile is Jane Chen, vice president for finance and administration at NYSID, here with fellow trustee, Anne-Korman and et moi, Jade Dressler. Only at a design event would we be having this much fun over each other and sharing Jane’s best-kept sartorial secret, her Hong Kong tailor. With all the personality these ladies have, I still didn’t get the name of the tailor.
I mean. Wouldn’t you entrust the world to these gals? Presenting Emilia Saint Amand, (love a woman in a silk dress who looks like she could easily commandeer a sailboat in a hurricane.) And Ann Pyne, president of McMillen, Inc, the oldest and most esteemed interior design firm in New York.
De rigeur for boys, ain’t the Thom Browne cute suit anymore, it’s all about the malas! In my favorite Billy Farrell pic from the event, David Kleinberg, Sam Allen, Christopher Spitzmiller compare malas.
BEST INDUSTRY PILLARS AND POOL BOYS
James Druckman is one always-dapper gentleman. At the helm of the industry as president of the New York Design Center and a trustee of NYSID, he is here with designer Ellie Cullman. Dan Quintero on the right, is the hero of Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, as executive director. The passion the ID community brings to supporting that charity is remarkable! We covered Kips Bay this past fall, here.
So many supporting industry folks in the room, these two pool boys- from the Southhampton-based J. Tortorella company looked like they needed a floater, so we swam over. (I know, so corny, but summer is coming and we all need a laugh, a relief from another snowy, rainy, is-it-Spring-YET-evening?)
CURATORS OF LIVING WELL
While we didn’t meet in an elevator this evening, I have to thank both Susanna Salk, elegant design commentator on multiple platforms and Carolyn Englefield, editor at Hearst, for taking me higher. Golden girls of taste.
The one note of green in the room, a nice nod to that aspect of outdoor design and sustainability on trustee and designer, David Scott. Top of the always-elegant list, publicist and home decor platform expert, Cristina Juarez and Traditional Home magazine design editor, Star, Tori Mellott.
Tori’s self admitted “just tossed together” ensemble wins my Best Shoes of the Evening Prize, for her silver Roger Vivier‘s paired with wine-hued stockings. Which by the way is a definite spring trend. I am seeing it once a day on the gamine gams of NYC. I also saw it on a creme colored ronoculous flower edged in wine yesterday in a flower shop…I diverge…but you design folks get it.
GLAMINES OF NEW YORK
It’s so easy to swoon over Amy Lau, a redhead designer with a taste for red or gold dresses + dramatic entrances and spaces, see our coverage on her Ciao, Roma! room at Holiday House, here. Congrats to Sophie Donelson, the new editor in chief at House Beautiful. Between her midnight blue dress, mane of power brown hair, looking for all the world like Jackie O‘s sister…she ruled the room!
MORE RED PASSION IN ACTION
This girl in red. Watch her. She’s like Waldo. When I worked with NYSID, Catarine Wright was everywhere, volunteering, leading, giving events…showing up at events. Now a designer with James Rixner, this girl knows how to celebrate, give her time and basically put her passion into action. This is a huge ingredient for Star Interior Designer Status and Success. It was so good to see her (can you tell there’s mutual love here?)
STARS OF THE BEST NEXT GENERATION
It was fun to chat with him after the party moved inside for the dinner. Our evening’s work a wrap, Alvaro and I asked the bartender for two Manhattans, seemed like a good way to toast a super-fun evening with some of NYC’s top design legends partying for the next wave of design stars…before we headed out into the rain and rainbow neon of midtown NYC.
Alvaro Montagna and I wish to thank NYSID, David Sprouls, Ellen Fisher, Samantha Hoover, Elizabeth Kogen, Samantha Fingleton, Michael McGraw, John Mineri and Billy Farrell for their various gifts, such as the invitation, time, support, and for an exquisite evening!
Written by Jade Dressler, most images by Alvaro Montagna with supporting images from Billy Farrell. Please let us know of any names or titles we goofed on. Thank You!
Filed under: ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN, NEW YORK, NEW YORK Restaurants, NEW YORK Style, NY GREEN | Leave a Comment
Tags: 2Michaels, 30 Rock, Alexa Hampton, Alvaro Montagna, Amy Lau, Ann Pyne, Anne Korman, annual dinner, Bari Mattes, Beth DeWoody, Betsey Ruprecht, Bill Ruprecht, Brad Ford, Bunny Williams, Carolyn Englefield, Cary Kravet, Catarine Wright, Charlotte Barnes, Christine Manthey, Christopher Spitzmiller, Chuck Scarborough, Clinton Smith, Cristina Juarez, Dan Dienst, Dan Quintero, David Geffen, David Kleinberg, David Scott, David Sprouls, Debbie Bancroft, Debbie Nielsen, Deborah Marton, Dennis Miller, design scholarships, Edmund Hollander, Elizabeth Kogen, Ellen Fisher, Ellen Kravet, Ellen Ward Scarborough, Ellie Cullman, Emilia Saint Amand, interior design, J. Tortorella, James Druckman, Jamie Drake, Jane Chen, Jayne Michael, Jesse Carrier, Jill Dienst, Jim Druckman, Joan Michael, John Rosselli, Jourdun Kristopher, Julieanne Andersen, Kate Wood, landmarks, Linda Evangelista, Lisa Kravet, Margaret Russell, Martha Stewart, Michael Bruno, Michael McGraw, miles ladin, New York School of Interior Design, Newell Turner, NYRP, NYSID, NYSID gala 2015, Patricia Sovern, philanthropy, Sam Allen, Samantha Fingleton, Samantha Hoover, Sandra Nunnerly, Scott Sanders, Sophie Donelson, Susanna Salk, Suzanne Rheinstein, The New York Restoration Project, The Rainbow Room, Top of the Rock, Tori Mellott
As the wintry, snowy mix in #NYC this week ebbs…we found our own mix + warmth as usual in fluff from flashy awards + fashion shows, and snarky media to nature and the esoteric.
We’ve spotted 9 trends, c’mon follow our series for instant transformation of the deep chill of 2015,
*from group sleepovers at the home of a dominatrix to astonishing tinder surveys to star-shaped snowflakes to…*
#4 venerating ancestors, grey elders of ‘un certain age,’ now a ‘plus ultra trend’ playing everywhere!
Winter is always about tucking in to the Time-honored, an homage to roots buried deep in the snow. While the Elder Demographic this winter was suddenly chicer than ever… I am dedicating this post to my own living elder ancestor, my mother, now recovering from surgery, and below her stint as Snow Princess in a wintry parade, circa 1950′s. Here’s hoping this trend towards ELDERS continues, even as the earth warms to Spring.
Call it a modern form of Ancestor Worship. We like it.
Every winter in NYC, we sail through the gates of the majestic Armory to join the parade of princesses and princes of Young Collectors Night at the Winter Antiques Show. It is a cold-snap tradition, an homage to the elders of design.
Inside the vast, stately Park Avenue Armory, this year I was most transfixed by a late 17th/early 18th century pair of carved Bath stone armorial hounds, on duty above, oddly wise and laughing in the naive style. I kept petting the pups’ moss, feeling like it was the oldest, realist energy in the space and touching it might connect me to timeless Celtic Druids or even the elder hotness of Madonna/Annie Lennox at the Grammys, as if these were the energetic guardians of the gates of 2015.
I somehow managed this little elder ecstasy while also strolling the show with our client, designer Scott Sanders and Austin of Fremont Blue Events. Other worship-worthy elder statesmen and women paraded about, those royal guardians of design, emerged from their winter lairs, including curators, Tracy Stern and Renee Vara (seen below with me); publicists Michael McGraw and Stacy McLaughlin; designer, Geoffrey Bradfield; editors, Newell Turner, Wendy Goodman; and curator, Liz O’Brien. Legends, Ivanka Trump, Nate Berkus and Isaac Mizrahi were also strolling through, testifying to this growing passion for antiques, a sort of ELDERS worship. The lure and intrigue of ancient relics in our lives, re-purposed, taps us into the Timeless. (And can you spot the vintage frocks below?)
This season the trends at the show included naive, Early Americana, and I love it for the simple, wise, soothing vibe. To wit, look at this wise ‘ole owl. I love him/her as a reminder of what the grey gardens of Winter and Elders can reveal. You can see it paired in a well-lit modern barn or warehouse adaptive -reuse abode with something cooly modern and fluffy, like a light orange Creamsicle or lavender velvet chaise, yes? Those all-knowing, sneering, put-you-in-your-place-eyes, …hmmm…
…I think they are something akin to The Elder Prince‘s knowing, creamsicle-covered, wise King-sneer, yes? As truly the most exciting thing at this year’s Grammy Awards, you know it’s because he is the King Elder of music, having taught everyone…everything!
Pop culture has been rife with Elders Rule evidence lately. Now we see that Prince rules the music world, as does Tom Jones’ woo-woo-ing again at the Grammys, and of course, Lady Gaga’s teaming with Tony Bennett. In fashion, among many examples, there was the recent hot Father Time guys in Goth gear for Rick Owens’ Fall/Winter 2014 look book, featuring no less than a sprite 93-year old model.
And you saw legendary musician, Joni Mitchell’s appearance on a recent cover of New York mag which followed designers Celine and Saint Laurent crowning as muses, Joan Didion and Joni, respectively, yes? We all know gals like Joan and Joni, elders gifted with piercing eyes, words and hearts.
“Yes, Spring is coming,” said my friend Lucy Raubertas, who is one of THEM, and whose age 59 looks more like yesterday’s 33, on a winter’s evening visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art...and she should know. She has created a portal to the immortal lady Clarimonde, based on the 1908 story, a compendium of historical artifacts for modern lives desiring to dip and dive into the past at will. Lucy is a self-proclaimed hedonist, so many wise ELDERS are for good reason, so let drip the icicles, time to get back in the flow.
Like Pandora’s box, ancient people, places and things as libraries, museums, and portals of ancient wisdom are opening via Pinterest to Fountain of Youth-worthy breakthroughs, such as scientists’ recent freezing of light, the fastest traveling ‘thing,’ itself. Still, the equation remains the same. We are between Earth and Sky. The earth still rolls in the sky, even while we practice ancient arts like yoga and stop our breath and thoughts with meditation. This veneration of elders is more likely a return and remembering the roots of everything. We can go deeper than venerating sporty, older legendary pop stars or cool antiques alone. Let me lead you through a couple of layers plucked from 1000′s of years of ancient trends re-surfacing. Here, just let your inner wise person nod your head and say,”y…e…s…”
The art of the past two-thousand years opens The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky this Spring at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Below, a man’s shirt, easily imagined on a Brooklyn hipster. YES.
Seen on runways, kids sporting fringe reaching to the earth like roots, is sure to proliferate as hipsters roam the earth as she thaws. How many of those elder-worshipping beards, trapper caps, vintage furs and seventies fringe will be among us this Spring? More ancient than human ancestors, finding ways to honor the animal brother and sister elders is an Original People concept we have yet to explore. YES.
Our hipster might also be touching further on the elder-kinship wheel of life, drinking the hot, juicy Winter tonic of elderberries found in new kinds of age-defying elixirs, such as Komucha probiotic beer from Beyond Brewing Company. Anthropomorphising of nature’s plant world is a form of ancestor worship we as a culture still have as a vast plains to explore, way beyond Disney characters. Can any of us identify a medicinal plant as easily as a Mid-Century chair? NO. (I thought not.)
BUY IT: If you are more inclined, get a pair of stoned dogs from Barbara Israel Garden Antiques or a 1860′s folk owl oil painting at Jeffrey Tillou Antiques…Prince, I know we all want him, but HIM, honey, money can’t buy, he’s priceless.
by Jade Dressler, images happily credited.
Filed under: FASHION, HOME, NEW YORK, STYLE, TRENDS | Leave a Comment
Tags: Annie Lennox, Barbara Israel, Beyond Brewing Company, Celine, Clarimonde, elderberries, elders, Fremont Blue Events, Geoffrey Bradfield, Grammys, Isaac Mizrahi, Ivanka Trump, Jeffrey Tillou Antiques, JOan Didion, JOni Mitchell, Lady Gaga, Liz O'Brien, Lucy Raubertas, Madonna, Michael McGraw, Nate Berkus, Newell Turner, Park Avenue Armory, Plains Indians, Prince, Renee Vara, Rick Owens, Saint Laurent, Scott Sanders, snow princess, snowy owls, Stacy McLaughlin, Tom JOnes, Tony Bennett, Tracy Stern, Wendy Goodman, Winter Antiques Show