Walking in a certain world like an Egyptian Queen in her pristine, black patent leather and white lug soled Fratelli Rossetti oxfords, my meeting with fabric designer Bernie de le Cuono was like meeting “The Rosetta Stone of Linen and Wool” in Goddess form.  As founder and designer of her company, de le Cuona, Bernie has woven a path around the planet, mixing masters of looms, techniques, and fibers across cultures to achieve the most ethereal, subtle weaves to float unto beds, wrap pillows, or draw the curtains on a day’s close.
When we have our 25 ft high wall of window in my bucolic, restored 19th century barn set in rolling Tuscany hills, they will certainly be graced by her embossed linen in a pebble pattern woven on heritage French looms, looking for all the world like Edith Wharton herself hung the drapes.
We asked for her pensees to our ‘Tracing 9 Star’ power words and sketched her, above, to dive deeper into her world.  Our Tracing 9 Stars interview questions are based on something a bit more ancient and intuitive than the average interview questions. A little like the famed Proust’s Questionnaire and modern versions such as Vanity Fair‘s last page, and yet beyond.  Deeper insight into a Star.


Spend a timeless minute with Bernie.
bernie de le cuona
Africa and although I left over 20 years ago it’s still what shapes me, consumes me and still in my heart!
We loved the huge turquoise scarab on her necklace on the day we met her, so appropriate for one tirelessly rolling elements. Her luscious African collection pieces follow…

I am a dreamer, so much so my dreams don’t let me sleep!

Paisley Looms
Power looms that we weave our Paisley on. Only 3 meters a day but magical old treasures.
Alexander McQueen did a beautiful one, will find it when I land.
And mercy, what a heart! Did I expect THIS IMAGE? Non.
Is it by chance that our FIRST interviewee chose an Alexander McQueen image from the same exact collection that our FIRST EVER blog post covered, linking his art to that of elegant shaman aspects??? Non. Heart, indeed!
It’s hard to do…Some people are so good at it but true conversing has become harder to find with email and social media.  Is a tweet a conversation?
Above, Bernie’s linen and wool conversation inspired by her adventures in Livingstone, Zambia.
Someone who has mastered and is at peace with their mind and soul and has a huge capacity to forgive and love!
de le Cuona fabrics are for big statements like the above Guru portrait, sofas with guru design-pedigrees, and expansive views.
A sky full, full of stars and I know I am home in Africa.
This was the image of Egyptian women that reminded me of Bernie and her wovens.
We are all deciding our own.
Of linen, she informed me, that when woven by hand, it doesn’t wrinkle.  I told her my linen fun-fact that it repels stains, that is why linen bedding is preferred by lovers everywhere.


Dive into a relationship with Bernie’s newest collection inspired by the African world with hand-fringing, feather cashmere, leather, and Mali stripe detail on cushions and throws.

de le Cuona pillows

de le Cuona africade le cuona africa

 And from our first post, coming full circle:

Drala.  A Tibetan concept that translates to Beyond and Above Aggression. Blameless. Connected to the essential and transcendent powers of Nature.

“You can see people’s internal connection to drala in the way they behave: the way they pick up their teacups, the way they smoke their cigarettes or the way they run their fingers through their hair.”

*Chogyam Trunpa his book SHAMBALA: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Bernie and her fabrics have Drala! 



1-Hand-Maidens-Jade-Dressler copy
Wave hello to the futurists!
Peeking and pecking at new worlds sprouting up this past spring, we happily feather-rubbed with the masses, descending upon all the future-peeping creatives as they unfurled their feathers at showy events. First, cameras and tweets preened on about dresses or lack thereof flaunted on the red carpets of all the award shows, and next, futurist muses flashed their goods at major art and design fairs like ICFF, Frieze, and Salone. Then, suddenly the show tables, vignettes, and homes of interior designers at charity events like DIFFA, Design on a Dime, and Kips Bay were lusted after by thousands raising millions! As a poignant finale, even more millions flocked together for the end of the perhaps the most famous advertising/booze/cigarette/creative/design/sex-pimping TV series ever. And yes, there were parties, parties, parties.

And this is how a whole lot of tracks mapping the future are laid each spring.
Now that Wilds of Summer are here, we have a minute to share our peepings of

9 top trends at a glance.


trend alert menu! we have a little moon; mountain; clouds; umbrellas; horny, burly, and bronzed; high text messages; Goths in Gotham, folky-feel-goods and a sit-ins thingy for you.


Someone called me a muse lately, pshaaaw! I like to think we all are muses, attuning to the waves of the future, the timeless, the real GOOD.

To mark the trends migrating our world, we’ve interspersed a combo of my sketches of NYC street style and my illustrations of my studio designs from the series entitled hand maidens, inspired by Legendary Magical Beings, from Pocahontas to Black Madonnas, the real creative muses of the world.

We came, we saw, we connect the dots for ya.

TREND ONE:   The Moon Also Rises

A psychic channel once said I was a close pal of Confucius in another life. Made sense as I loved Kung-Fu movies as a child and as a teen, was obsessed by the I Ching. My latest Asian drama bender has stimulated my cute genes, inspired Kuan Yin above, and wow’d my cinematography lust. Recently, my eye and prediction for a design trend on the rise has been trained on the East, via a yen for two award-winning South Korean television series.

For me, the series’ visuals pre-saged and upstaged the Asian-inspired red carpets of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gala for China: Through The Looking Glass, in New York and the runways of Karl Lagerfeld‘s uncanny Chanel cruise collection presented in Seoul.

Watching each episode, I felt like a K-pop star waking up from a dream of a past life, the first in a vague 15th to 18th century time frame, the next, in an ultra-modern corporate world like Mad Men. In the royal court of the magical, the mysterious, and historical costume drama, Moon Embracing The Sun, two young earnest teens ( a young king and wise scholar’s daughter) fall and land together like this under floating petals.  So simple and the camera lovingly exploits the beauty.

Moon Embracing the Sun
Then we get expansive witnessing from afar and the impact is just as stellar.

Please tell me.
Close and far away shots alternate through the stunning landscapes along with intriguing (aka hot) actors in costumes that had me constantly snapping pics for reference. I was reminded of some of the intense perspective “witnessing” meditations given when I studied Feng Shui, this change up point of close-up and far-away perspective reveals facets of relationship and is fairly powerful stuff. Can something like “emotions”, “awareness” and “change” be a design trend? Yes. Like last year’s “blur” and “transparency,” now seen on items from Nike running pants to TV commercials, yes, let’s call it,“moon,” for short, and for the show.

The traditional full petal hanbok skirts and braid coils on the women inspired my Kuan Yin above, and also lo and behold, walked the Chanel runway.

Karl spoke of the Korean traditional bojagi, patchwork on his runway, above, which I also spied popping up as a pillow in the next Korean drama obsession. Fated to Love You In this comedy, love story between an eccentric CEO, here below, ripping off his jacket on his megalomaniacally-decorated offices, the grand Las-Vegas-y minimalism decor is set off by the mod patchwork echo’ing the bojagi of Korean textile history.

east now
This CEO, by mistake, winds up impregnating a shy, office worker girl when they are both drugged and end up in the same bed together. The characters, the insane-and-without-any- precedent-what-so-ever stylistic juxtapositions of odd clothing and interiors was so bad, it was so good.  For me, way more fascinating and clever than a pretentious fashion mag!

Other MOON peepings: This rise of EMOJI’S wraps up “emotions”, “awareness” and “change,” and the silliness of the Eastern cultures quite nicely, right?

Fated to Love you

TREND TWO:   Go Tell it on The Mountain

This month, Mad Men‘s Don reached Beyond, as creator Matthew Weiner smartly echo’d the long line of 60’s and 70’s seekers, touching today’s desire for the non-digital. Sorry Don, I must have felt you coming, I was there lotus’ing with Mad Men on the same cliff at Esalen this past December.

3-Saraswati Mountain Miss

Like an undeniable avalanche, the desire to break away from being constantly digitally connected, which is affecting our souls and literally making mountains out of us moles, tapping away at our own obscurity while 42 million tons of electronics are tossed out globally each year.  Traipsing the hills and mountains around Big Sur inspired this Mountain Muse illustrated above, as I breathed in every non-digital herbal, life force amazement imaginable. The value shift from mechanization to meditation is on. The coming impact on art and design? Vast.

This trend of “telling it on the mountain,” especially if that mountain is a person sitting in meditation, we’re calling it “solitary connection.” And calling it revolutionary.

Other MOUNTAIN peepings: Solitary salvation: a glut of research on our guts is now showing that not only is meditation healing to the gut and body, eating a little mountain dirt doesn’t hurt either. The trend is buzzing: meditation, mindfulness, good bacteria, paleo and gluten-free, and the microbiome as bantered at this conference, Revitalise2015, from MindBodyGreen; our client Happy Gut and even your own kitchen. Perhaps we’ve unearthed the next level of art, as mash-ups like algorithyms and digital code are now collectible art. Perhaps next, a designer will make microbiome maps for kitchen wallpaper?

TREND THREE:   Mighty clouds of roses.


Yes, there is a rose-colored-glasses vision trajectory from the Korean full flowing silks, a human-as-mountain blanket around one for meditation, global images of the muse, Black Madonna above, and to the latest red carpet garb. For some, nudity is ruling the red carpet. For me, it’s the opposite. Imaginary and poetic shapes are much more dramatic and culture turning, like the mighty cloud of rose Rihanna wore for the 2015 Grammys.  I saw this gown/cloud first appear on the runway of Giambattista Valli and knew it immediately to be a primo entrance maker.


The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals
While we all know the Greater Yellow Cloud of Scrambled Eggs Rihanna followed up with at The Costume Gala, this person-as-cloud idea pushes forward “the spectral absence of the body” as coined by T magazine. Furthermore, did you know that T called out cloudlike red cloaks as examples of this trend at the Freize art fair?  We called this trend a year ago in our post about hoods as cultural shift signifiers popping up on the street to runway, inspired by folk tales of Little Red Riding Hood to modern hijabs.

Other ROSE-COLORED CLOUD peepings: Try this at home! There is something to bathing in roses. Not pink rose petals from the florist, try REN Morrocan Rose Oil with a dash of peppermint. Not only will you touch a trend, you will make a “solitary connection” from your spectrally absenced body!

TREND FOUR:   Umbrellas on the Avenue

Got myself a little sketchbook for all the muses I see daily in NYC and my travels, such as these two rosy pink umbrellas spotted in quick succession on Park Avenue one sunny day. Like the falling cherry tree blossoms in the park a few blocks away, and the aforementioned rosy hoods, my street style neurons were turned on! Umbrellas, especially in soft-pink, are like domes of sun and paparazzi protection. Sunglasses and a big hat are done.

Protection and style on the avenue meets… bikes. We’ve been writing about bike culture for a long time, however, when an urban commuter item like these Senz bike umbrellas below, appear in Fortune magazine, it’s a sign that mobility, exercise, non-digital experiences, city bike shares, and bike lanes have hit the Avenue. Expect stilettos for bike-travel-show-offs.

Other UMBRELLA spottings:  While protection and safety are listed as basic umbrella-firsts in the Maslow-hierarchy of human needs, designer Stephen Burks for Roche Bobois Paris, took it one level higher. Burks designed for love, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization with his mis-en-scene for the DIFFA Dining by Design event, gathering his famed Traveler chairs around a beach bonfire. These chairs seat two, so why hide when you can share?


TREND FIVE:   More horny, burly, and bronzed please

2-Little-Wanton-Pocahontas copy

Settle down. By “more horny, burly, and bronzed” we don’t mean in the beach babe sense! Instead this:

More Horny. So sweet when a friend gets described in a W magazine review as the “…newcomer and former denim designer Rogan who stole the show with the provocative, abstract wooden forms that he carved by hand.” Rogan Gregory invited my friend, John Favreau and I to The Collective Design Fair and hands down, his 3-foot horns soaring through the walls felt like a world-changing indigenous sensation, akin to when Native American Queen Pocahontas was “presented” in Paris. When you think “timeless artifacts” they might look like Rogan’s work:

This grouping of Rogan’s sculptural forms are bronze, above, as seen in Wallpaper magazine and found at R & Company.  Two other designs impacted us this way, this season.

burled wood tree slice
More Burly. Burled wood has never looked better, this kitchen counter top has my vote for the most exquisite EVER, EVER.  Matched effortlessly to the golden lanterns, white marble, and deep dark cabinets, this textural surprise was the exclamation point in the kitchen designed by Christopher Peacock in the Kips Bay Showhouse.

More Bronzed. Ice-ice-cast baby.  In a stellar back room of The Collective Design Fair, we discovered the humble and most innovative designer, Steven Haulenbeek, surrounded by his interventionist experiments with the lost wax process for ice-cast bronze vessels, tables, and light fixtures. At once looking like they hailed from an ancient world discovered by Dr. Who or a Galactica spacecraft or some eerie Victorian seance parlor, they were the most intriguing artifacts I’ve peeped in awhile.

More HURLY, BURLY, and BRONZED peepings: If describing your latest love buddy does not include these three words…get trendy, you! Hit the beach.

TREND SIX:   High Text Messages


Infinite, singular textural expanses like the beach, the night sky, and the brief haiku of text messages can move mountains within us. The “high text” as in “highly textured” seen in the design world this season moved me. At the Kips Bay Showhouse premiere cocktail party, the universe of designer, Charles Pavarini and his Midnight in Manhattan room, was a very textural, sexy sanctuary that even the mythical, Mayan bird-goddess muse like Quezalcoatl above, could get homey in.

The midnight blue walls shimmered, absorbing and reflecting light, an effect achieved with “a base coat of lapis blue and top coats of aqua mixed with eye-shadow and finished in strié,” said Maestro Pavarini.

Charles-Pavarini-Kips Bay-1
I was really taken by the “also shimmering” pewter-leafed, travertine marble, Mondrian-mosaic tile wall. I wanted to be leaning on the mantle, wearing a sheer, floaty rose colored caftan with bells, and smoking cigarellos, in a deep convo about Miles Davis with a sultry man. And I don’t even like jazz music.

Charles-Pavarini- Kips-Bay
Pavarini further texted a power-packed bar and a bathroom with the raw masculinity of chocolate glass, metallic grass-cloth walls, and marble floor.

Other HIGH TEXT MESSAGE peepings: Speaking of marble, seen at ICFF, International Contemporary Furniture Fair, the towering marble walls of the Antolini exhibit, proved that “marble is a texture for eternity, the pinnacle of luxury, a scarce product that is only rarer and more valuable with time.” Like a Mayan God. (another fine descriptor for a love buddy, indeed!)

I predict more marble, moving from 70’s camp to high text. Marble mixed with with the raw and folky, like this egg carton lamp at the best “Curiouser and curiouser!” NYC design shop of my friend, Michele Varian, also seen at ICFF, gifts high sensory stimulation and yep, sustainability.

Michele-Varian-egg-carton pendant

See more on the sustainable, what we call the folky-feel-goods trend below, meanwhile…

TREND SEVEN:   Goths in Gotham

And now, a little design comedy break: #Thisreallyhappened:


2-Rick-Owens-am 3-NEW Rick Owens-Jade-Dressler


Seeing a fashion design influence in three distinct neighborhoods in one city three times in one day is enough to convince one of a trend. The Rick Owens’ Gothic Gamine has landed. From a motorized unicycling early adopter in Central Park in the am, a tall woman on Madison Avenue during lunch, and to a gender-unknown downtown Nolita in the evening. All sailing by like vultures, all with Samurai top-knots, and the last, with Rick’s Open Crotch-et Touche as seen on the runway.

Other GOTHS in GOTHAM peepings:  Please let me know if you see more of these creatures. Like Rainbow Children, they are rare and portend of the future.

TREND EIGHT:   Folky-Feel-Goods

“Kitchens and baths to the front of book,” declares Sophie Donelson, new editor-in-chief at House Beautiful. At a lunch with my client, interior designer Scott Sanders at Bergdorf Goodman’s BG restaurant, Milady proclaimed these two spots as hot.

Remember the previous “Mountain” trend with buzz words, mindfulness and microbiome? The pursuit of “Well-th” vs.”Wealth” by honoring the feeding oneself and others via the entry points of beauty and nourishment. My own epiphany came during a bath in the previously mentioned rose and peppermint oils…hmmm, lately all my digital experiences are so heightened by sensory, earthy dives and indeed, a folky-feel-good kitchen and bath are the new “destination resorts.”

Is this why fabrics with a homey-folky 70’s feel like Vallila‘s sketch-maps seem so right, right now? A cross between the “Scenes-of-Rome-Italy” placemats I remember eating dinners on in my childhood and something of a new sensory memory, they are nostalgia with full awareness of their kitsch.

Also, so folky was textile designer, Susanna Sivonen at the FTDA Expo showcasing Finland’s top designers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, and tech geniuses. Susanna is Mom to four kids which inspire her adorable, family/folky book, and she showed us the print that her child’s spilled milk birthed.

Susanna Sivonen
Here Susanna and I discuss Rick Owens.

Earlier in the week, we brushed past the “non-folky” yet “feel-good” Miley Cyrus in The Surrey Hotel lobby on her way out of NYC after the Costume Institute Gala, while we headed up to Cornelia Spa at The Surrey for some spa/bath inspirations. One of the city’s most elegant and comfortable spas, it is designed by Ellen Sackoff, who also has been a bit busy designing for the “kitchen.”

Ellen enthused on about the pedigree of her Cornelia signature honey, gathered from a single type of blossom, sustainably harvested from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to the hills of Tuscany, and 100% pure. Honey is actually an ancient healing remedy and features in the spa’s treatments and touch points. We wondered if Miley got some homie honey with her twerkments. Treatments! We meant to say treatments.

Other FOLKY-FEEL-GOODS peepings: In that same back room at the Collective, Doug Johnston‘s rope textural forms, like bee-hives coiled and gaped open like bird mouths, are caches perfect for the feel-good bath or kitchen toys and tools of folks and their families.

TREND NINE:   Now, let’s have a SIT-IN.

We are doing a lot with hotels, wellness, and spas lately, an area the design industry does not seem to yet focus their sights on per se. They should!

While Hyperallergic noted all the chair influences at the Frieze art fair, I actually sat in a chair, really a “healing pod” which changed my “innermost being.” The space-age chair pod, called a Somadome, pumped Color Immersion Therapy and Binaural Beat Meditation, around me. (I signed up for this.) I hardly minded sharing the space with the “Microcrystalline Tiles” there to promote relaxation and restoration as a soothing voice whispered sweet nothings in my ear.

Found: heaven in the Somadome landed in the Cornelia Spa. Find: Follow Sallie Fraenkel of Mind | Body | Spirit | Network, formerly of Spafinders, now offering trips like this event, ranging from near spa chairs to far-flung destinations. Design your own heaven.

Hector Zamora
Other SIT-INS peepings:  What’s the next Starbucks or communal work space? Perhaps we’ll soma-pod together. Instead of urban sharable bikes or Ubers, we’ll be able to pick up a rental pod and plonk it down next to our friends, sometimes the lid is open, we are communal, sometimes cocooning, and sometimes, we crawl blissfully back in to our own pod.

Wait! We do this now!

See ya, I’m headed for the hills for some summer fun. Pod-less.





Illustrations and text, Jade Dressler and parking lot image above from Hector Zamora.
Thanks to all the publicists, designers, and artisans mentioned and unmentioned. Thanks to our photographer, Alvaro Montagna, late night Netflix, Google Search, and My Mobile balanced with champagne, stilettos, and a futurist muse‘s lust for the moment.

THANK YOU Everyone!


“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!



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.
My sense of the absurd, and My Power of Wild Style Award goes to this merry trio we spotted among the throngs of shoppers, below.

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!

BORN -Jade-Dressler

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.

Nickelodeon bedroom

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.

Scott Sanders’ Beachy Haven.

No casting couch, just a peek at whole parade of Stars passing by Scott’s Casting Cabana, here. Of course, the red carpet mantra, “And WHO are YOU wearing tonight?” was incessantly bantered.

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!

Jill-John-and Scott-Sanders
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.)

Sean-Mellyn-Jade-Dressler 2
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.

Jade-Dressler-Andrew Joseph
This above? Not a 3-headed creature from a Japanese monster movie, just star-PR director, Andrew Joseph and I getting kissy huggy.


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;-)

Voila, Neal’s room…

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 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 Hamiltons 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.

My favorite piece of art in the show, in Marc Houston’s vignette is in the back there, the shape-shifting collage of two images, and here below. Ya feel me?!




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?

…to the end of this movie, Nostalghia (1983) dir. Andrei Tarkovsky.

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.

These astonishing images echo the creative passion to bring light and calculated movement to echo out and expand our vision. Whether in a sketch, an interior or a film. THIS wow’s.



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.

Comedy. Tragedy. The sheer design intensity and the gorgeous green walls also reminded me of the kind of signature Fassbinder melodramatic room antics seen in The Story of Film:

Fassbinder misery
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!

female graffiti art


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



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.

0 R UMAX     PL-II            V1.5 [3]
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.

Wasn’t there to witness the shopping frenzy descending, although we did catch the first one on line:

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:

Leslie-Silverman-Victor-John- Villanueva

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 John Villanueva-necklace
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.

Laurel and Hardy-ape
Next, and way better dressed, my award for Costume Design on The Coolest Couple of the Evening goes to…

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!

Arpana- Rayamajhi-Bruno-Levy
Directors! Take note! Smoldering good looks with the ability to turn the tables at any moment! LOVE!


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:

Flair Design on a Dime
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.

THANK YOU Everyone! Alvaro-Montagna-Jade-Dressler-Scott-Sanders


one wednesday, after all the animals and people creatures trekked through the snow,

snow tracks
they left only their tracks as portals.

snow melted into the earth, new peep-holes for flowers.

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.

Rick Owens peep hole
You are such a Filtration Membrain.

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.

Carol Morgan Eagle
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.


Dirt Perme-ability.

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…

…activating our shared earth-brain networks…

…to link and form a winnowing, sieving basket called…um, LOVE…

…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.

DIY, Sieved by 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.”



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.”

New Years Party in 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.

NY Times Rainbow 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 Ellen-Scarborough-Chuck-Scarborough-Debbie-Bancroft
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!”

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.

Of course, even if I didn’t consider her a friend and an inspiration, I’d still volunteer to retrieve it for her, given she was presenting that night! Picture me in a whirr of running-in-heels, in the rain, on both sides of the building, knocking on car windows of the long line-up of Uber drivers, all looking at me askance, on both sides of the building “Are you Jose?” “Are you Jose?”
Happy ending? Alexa and purse reunited. No ad-libbing necessary. (Although no one quite ad-libs like Alexa, oui?)
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)
In the olden days (1970’s) mugging used to be synonymous with NYC. In true Jade and Alvaro style, we caught a new kind of mugging by Deborah Marton and friend, ___________ (so gorgeous, please identify yourself and claim your prize!) Following NYC legend, founder Bette Midler, Deborah, on the right above, is Executive Director of New York Restoration Project (NYRP), the evening’s green honoree. NYRP is dedicated to transforming open space in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. Me loves NYRP long-time.


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?

miles ladin
And see the gorgeous, smoking blond in the leopard spots in the back? At this benefit dinner, that role was clearly played by NYSID trustee, Betsey Ruprecht, below.


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.


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.


NYSID Annual Dinner
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, 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.)

Design legend Jamie Drake shares a secret with Clinton Smith about using the inspiration of 30 Rock’s floors in his next project. Mr. Smith reacts.

NYSID Annual Dinner
Martha Stewart is a regular Star at NYSID galas, always escorted by a sharp gent. I’m kind of loving her earthy cape over the wrap dress, with soft gold purse and hair.

NYSID Annual Dinner
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.

The light for all the world will shine on true glamour. Combined with giving, everything about this image makes me smile. Viola, we give you Julianne Andersen and Dennis Miller, NYSID Trustee.


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.

Emilia Saint Amand and_Ann Pyne
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.

NYSID Annual Dinner
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.


NYSID Annual Dinner
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?)


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.

David Scott-Christina Juarez and Tori Mellott
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.


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!


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?)


Here just may be Catarine’s successor…world, please meet Jourdun Kristopher. Sartorially-smart, wise for his years, he’s a new student at NYSID, already volunteering with to help with the dinner.

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!



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