Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Timeless and original

Pauline Trigère

Fashion is what people tell you to wear, style is what comes from your own inner thing.

Patrica Neal's sophisticated wardrobe in Breakfast at Tiffany's was the work of Ms. Trigère.

Now playing: Janis Joplin - Turtle Blues
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 29 September 2008

Between une rock and un hard place

La rock, the Vallois' stand with pieces by Elieen Gray.

Pair of painted commodes by Maison Jansen.

L' hard place, an Hermes leather room by Jean Michel Frank at Galerie du Passage.

Interestingly, the unsold items in Passebon's booth say strongly what no longer matters. Still for sale on Sunday were a pair of painted chests once belonging to the decadent Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Created for the Windsor's nuptial chambers in the Chateau de la Croe, Cap d'Antibes, the chests were really ordinary painted furniture. Decorated with flowers and butterflies, the chests are a product by Stephane Boudin, head of the House of Jansen. Emblazoned on one chest's drawers were the Windsor royal feathers. How was this common 20th-century painted furniture received? "Not even for the maid's rooms," sneered one tony decorator. So provenance just doesn't cut it these days, even when its royale. What matters are objects made by great designers. - Excerpt from Decorative Arts Diary , review of the 2000 Biennale des Antiquaires, by Brook S. Mason

What in the hell ever happened to well rounded people with catholic tastes? There is a very fine line between passion and narrow mindedness.

To dismiss the commodes as what no longer matters and ordinary painted furniture is ridiculous. Simply because things are no longer fashionable does not negate their relevance or historical significance.

Now playing: Ella Fitzgerald - Don't Fence Me In
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Masterful artistry

Description of Lot 150
Each with a faux marble top, each decorated with a ribbon trellis held with clasps of pearls, centering the badge of the Prince of Wales, one painted throughout with butterflies, including the Silver Studded Blue, the Machaon (called the Old Word Swallowtail), the Boloria Selene (called the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary), the Parnassius Apollo (called the Apollo), one with flowers including buttercups, forget-me-nots, holly, poppies, white clover, sweet peas, chicory, campanula, dianthus, cornflower, vetch, dog roses, Jerusalem artichokes and hedge bed-straw, each with mahogany and silk-lined drawers, and some of the carcases in mahogany, one inscribed in blue ink to the top corner of the back panel, '866', the other inscribed in blue in the same area '864' and also with small paper label with black and red type, 'EP 1613 ...7'
35 in. (89 cm.) high, 63 in. (160 cm.) wide, 24½ in. (62 cm.) deep (2)

Christie's Rockefeller Center
October 7, 2008

Now playing: Sade - No Ordinary Love
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 27 September 2008

When in doubt look to the masters

Las Meninas painted in 1656 by Diego Velázquez
Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

Detail of the Infanta Margarita

Infanta Margarita Teresa of Spain, painted in 1656 by Diego Velázquez
Museum of Art History, Vienna, Austria

Colour palettes are not just about the obvious choices of paints and fabrics. They are also about balance, light, texture, and mood. Why don't you do the unexpected and take colour out of its usual context.

Now playing: Snap! - Colour of Love
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 26 September 2008

Mary, please!

Skip ahead 9 minutes 3 seconds

Shazia (to Preston): ....Why don't you go do that because it's not so labour intensive. I thought that was the most disgusting thing you could have said to me!

Jeff: Shaz, did you call him an a-hole?

Shazia: I probably did.

Jeff (condescendingly): Isn't that the most disgusting thing you could say to somebody?

I shall say no more as this will undoubtedly only turn ugly. But, what a prig...

P.S. As for the exchange between Eddie and the dealer, if that had been me (in the role of the dealer, of course)... now that would have been some D. R. A. M. A.

Now playing: The Smiths - Frankly, Mr. Shankly
via FoxyTunes

Skip the first 12 minutes 58 seconds

and watch Charlie Rose discuss Full Gallop with Grace Mirabella, Isaac Mizrahi, and Mary Louise Wilson.

Now playing: Ella Fitzgerald - You're the Top
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Romain De Tirtoff

Alphabet Suite by Erté


Now playing: The Jackson 5 - ABC
via FoxyTunes

Finishing touches

Your double-wide missing that little something special? Well, how about a life-sized wall sticker of Vice-Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin? Offered in two versions, Republican (top) and Democrat (bottom), from the guys at WallMonkeys.

Now playing: Janet Jackson - What Have You Done For Me Lately
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

A perfect example of how it is not just about lamps and cushions

In Episode 3 of Top Design, five design teams are asked to create window displays for five different fashion designers. Fairly simple and straight forward. That is, if the designers are able to share a common frame of reference, or at the very least be able to interpret an abstract concept. This is where everything becomes interrelated and relevant.

Blade Runner

Now playing: Vangelis - Blade Runner Love Theme
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

A little ditty, not for the faint-hearted

Bitch, I Stole Your Purse by Wendy Ho

Monday, 22 September 2008

Graphic design

Jean-Paul Goude Retrospective

Ever since the poster and advertising assumed a major part in our culture in the twentieth century, great creative artists have made a huge visual impact on the feeling of every era that they have filtered and formulated. The most outstanding graphic artists gave life and expression to their epoch, making an indelible mark on our memories. - from So Far, So Goude by Jean-Paul Goude

Now playing: Fun Boy Three & Bananarama - It Ain't What You Do
via FoxyTunes

Just a thought

The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.John Stuart Mill, essay On Liberty (1859)

Now playing: Grateful Dead - Liberty
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 20 September 2008

More tales from the Road

Lot No 1258
Large Edwardian Taxidermy Figure of a Heron, first quarter 20th century, presented against a painted backdrop of sky and clouds and dried swamp weeds within a bowfront glazed display case, h. 34-1/4", w. 26", d. 12".

This is so good it could be one of ours. But it isn't, it is coming up for auction at the New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc. in early October.

Now playing: R.E.M. - Disturbance at the Heron House
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Project Runway Australia - Finale

I so wanted Leigh Buchanan to win, he was my favourite. He and I could be friends (something I don't often say). Or, as Wendy Williams would say, a friend in my head. Instead Juli Grbac won. Understandably so, her collection was brilliant and more importantly, commercially viable.

Now playing: The Kinks - Dedicated Follower of Fashion
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Shoot not the messenger


The sacred bull, was worshipped at Memphis from the earliest period, having probably been introduced into the religious system as early as the 2nd dynasty by the king Kaiechos, who instituted the worship of Apis and the bull Mnevis.

Damien Hirst's The Golden Calf

Even my signature's worth £200… does that make me the new Picasso?
By Lucy Cavendish for The Scotsman

Of all the press coverage, I like the piece in The Scotsman best. It gives an insight into the man behind the artist. Hirst states, Art can be about money as long as the art outweighs the financial side.

I wonder what the collectors of his work would make of that?

Now playing: Grace Jones - Art Groupie
via FoxyTunes

When pop artists aren't pop artists

Hey House of Beauty and Culture,

I came across your site while looking for sites who feature
Pop artists. Your site seems to be just what I was looking for.

The opening of this email caught my attention. Unfortunately, I was not thinking in today's vernacular. I was thinking more along the lines of Lichtenstein and Johns.

Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein

Flag by Jasper Johns
Encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood,1954-55

Sara at Ariel Publicity's Cyber PR meant something entirely different. Yet, still interesting and fresh.

Now playing: M - Pop Music
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 15 September 2008

F and B

Farrow & Ball's new wallpaper, The Rosslyn Papers , is a reproduction of a nineteenth century English cotton print that is available in 48 different colourways.

Now playing: Dean Martin - Wallpaper Roses
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Honourable mention

Natural History, in the September Issue of the Financial Times, How to Spend It.
If you blink, you will miss it.

Now playing: Irene Cara - Fame
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 13 September 2008

More tales from the Road


So there I was attempting to conduct our business, when this woman comes along and starts eavesdropping. I can't begin to describe just how much this pisses me, and my client, off. Simultaneously, he fell silent and I felt myself flush. This is never a good thing. Luckily, this particular client has been coming to us for years and not only knows what I am like , but has himself been on the receiving end.

Client: Don't get upset.

Can I help you?

Tourist woman: No, just looking.

Well, if you wouldn't mind...

Tourist woman: What is that?

It's a rock.

Tourist woman: vacant look

Want a closer look? Moving towards her, strained, venom dripping and anything but the vision of sugarplum fairies dancing through my head.

Tourist woman: her phone rings, she moves away to answer.

Saved by the bell.

Clearly, she didn't like the idea of others listening to her conversation.

Now playing: The Brothers Johnson - Get The Funk Out Ma Face
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 12 September 2008

More ways to waste time...

but in reality it is anything but a waste.

The David Weissman Collection
At long last, three of David Weissman's short films are available on DVD.

976 is a clever and engaging short spoof on phone sex, the style of 1990s 976 ads in light of AIDS, and one very creative alternative to the standard phone sex ad..."If you're tired of talking dirty and just want to talk dirt," then 976 will fill your every need.

Beauties Without a Cause, four lawless drag queens prepare for a night of light crime. A delirious moral comedy with compelling hairdos and an excitable soundtrack.

A frenzy of a film. Like all great American cinema, it's about our country's mythology: youth, speed, peroxide blondes and a car crash. - John Karr, Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco

Song From an Angel is a poignant film about the final performance of Rodney Price, a popular San Francisco actor and dancer who, rail thin and seated in a wheelchair, bravely sings a jaunty tune about his own mortality--and even tap dances sitting down--a mere two weeks before his death from AIDS. Weissman's film captures the courage, honesty and humor that made Price a consummate performer even on the eve of his death.

Now playing: Stevie Wonder - Superstition
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 11 September 2008

When I think armadillo

Armadillo baskets became popular after the 1902 New York World's Fair, where they were first exhibited by the Texan Charles Apelt, owner of the Apelt Armadillo Company and Farm.

I immediately think of an armadillo basket, or of the armadillo cake in Steel Magnolias. Never would I think of a barbecue. Actually nothing would make me think of a barbecue. Barbecue is either something a waiter delivers to the table, or something that other people do. Smiling happy people with bouncy shiny wash and go hair.

Bill Sorich's Armadillo Barbecue

Excerpt from Notes On "Camp", by Susan Sontag
Published in 1964.

Many things in the world have not been named; and many things, even if they have been named, have never been described. One of these is the sensibility -- unmistakably modern, a variant of sophistication but hardly identical with it -- that goes by the cult name of "Camp."

A sensibility (as distinct from an idea) is one of the hardest things to talk about; but there are special reasons why Camp, in particular, has never been discussed. It is not a natural mode of sensibility, if there be any such. Indeed the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration. And Camp is esoteric -- something of a private code, a badge of identity even, among small urban cliques. Apart from a lazy two-page sketch in Christopher Isherwood's novel The World in the Evening (1954), it has hardly broken into print. To talk about Camp is therefore to betray it. If the betrayal can be defended, it will be for the edification it provides, or the dignity of the conflict it resolves. For myself, I plead the goal of self-edification, and the goad of a sharp conflict in my own sensibility. I am strongly drawn to Camp, and almost as strongly offended by it. That is why I want to talk about it, and why I can. For no one who wholeheartedly shares in a given sensibility can analyze it; he can only, whatever his intention, exhibit it. To name a sensibility, to draw its contours and to recount its history, requires a deep sympathy modified by revulsion.

Though I am speaking about sensibility only -- and about a sensibility that, among other things, converts the serious into the frivolous -- these are grave matters. Most people think of sensibility or taste as the realm of purely subjective preferences, those mysterious attractions, mainly sensual, that have not been brought under the sovereignty of reason. They allow that considerations of taste play a part in their reactions to people and to works of art. But this attitude is naïve. And even worse. To patronize the faculty of taste is to patronize oneself. For taste governs every free -- as opposed to rote -- human response. Nothing is more decisive. There is taste in people, visual taste, taste in emotion - and there is taste in acts, taste in morality. Intelligence, as well, is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas. (One of the facts to be reckoned with is that taste tends to develop very unevenly. It's rare that the same person has good visual taste and good taste in people and taste in ideas.)

Now playing: Carrie Underwood - I Ain't in Checotah Anymore
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Let's talk dado rails

David Hicks via The Peak of Chic

Imagine if David Hicks had painted the wall section beneath the dado rail the same colour as the section above. Dreadful, no? And yet, this is something I have been seeing lately, rooms done with bright white dado rails. Either remove the dado rail or limit the dominant colour to the area above. Unless of course, one likes the idea of having one's room wearing a white belt. No? I didn't think so.

Now playing: Dido - White Flag
via FoxyTunes

More fashion

This October the Royal College of Art will exhibit over 150 black and white photographs and large-scale color works, spanning Sarah Moon’s entire career, and two new film installations, The Red Thread and The Mermaid. The Michael Hoppen Gallery will host a separate exhibition, which will include previously unseen fashion photographs alongside the iconic images that established her reputation. The two exhibitions will run concurrently from 17th October 2008.

Model turned photographer, Sarah Moon’s distinct commercial and personal work have made her a Grande Dame of contemporary photography. To date there have been over 35 solo exhibitions of her diverse and prolific work. She won the Grand National Prize for Photography in 1995, her feature film Mississippi One became a cult film in Japan, her book Coincidences brought her international esteem, and her fashion work for editorial and advertising including Cacharel, JP Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Comme des Garcons, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, have all ensured that her iconic and celebrated style is now instantly recognisable. - Michael Hoppen Gallery, New york

Sarah Moon 1 2 3 4 5, will be released by Thames & Hudson on 13 October 2008. Comprising of 5 notebooks assembled in a slip-cased box, and including over 400 images.

Now playing: This Mortal Coil - Kangaroo
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

It really is like falling down the rabbit hole

Project Runway US, Season5 Episode1

Project Runway Australia, Season1 Episode1

Project Runway Philippines, Season1 Episode1 Runway Show

Project Catwalk UK, Season 3 Episode 1

Project Runway in all its permutations. Luckily, August is the month that time, and everything else for that matter, forgets. As September presses on it is becoming increasingly difficult to while away the hours here and there. So much more entertaining than the decorating shows. Thankfully, my favourite, Project Runway Australia, concludes next week. The suspense is killing me.

Now playing: Jefferson Starship - White Rabbit
via FoxyTunes

Face to face

The Mike Wallace Interview - What you are about to see is unrehearsed and uncensored.

Amongst others Mike Wallace interviews,

Gloria Swanson

Salvador Dali

Elsa Maxwell

Now playing: Foy Vance - Shed a Little Light
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Rare as hen's teeth

The Egg sofa was designed by Arne Jacobsen for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Available now only by special order. The standards of production and sourcing of leather (here a huge, flawless hide is required) are of the highest quality. The sofa, like the Egg and Swan chair, is hand stitched along the sides so only a very limited number can be produced. The Egg sofa is also available in fabric.

Now playing: Louis Armstrong - I Want A Big Butter And Egg Man
via FoxyTunes

More tales from the Road

This one is called The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good:
Even though this couple have been haunting our stand, on and off, for about 8 years I have never once told them their fortune.
This isn't just good, it's a flipping miracle.

The Bad:
All began when the wife asked the price of a rare edition of a Rowland Ward Records of Big Game. In spite of its rarity she thought it too expensive. When I pointed out that a similar copy had sold at auction the previous week for double what we were asking, she thrust the book back at me saying, Well, you should probably sell it at auction. She thought she was being cute. I thought she was being a prat. And, how much I just wanted to beat her senseless with the book. I still think of it every time I see her. Ever since our first encounter all they do is ask prices and pull faces. That is, if they get the chance. Normally when I see them lumbering towards the stand I make myself scarce.

The Ugly:

Well, someone has to tell them. Mother Nature wasn't kind, I don't see why I should be?

Now playing: Burl Ives - The Ugly Bug Ball
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 5 September 2008

My Dears,

El Gordo Single Tassel

Evidently, we are meant to be having a big tassel debate. Fascinating.
So, let's have at it. I say yes. What do you say?

Now playing: Sarah Vaughan - My Favourite Things
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Attention Seattle

Miss Coco Peru is coming your way.

1114 Howell St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 233-9873

Now playing: Gary Numan - Stormtrooper in Drag
via FoxyTunes

More Rose Cumming

The original document for one of Cumming’s signature patterns, Banana Leaves—offered in five colors, including green and rust—was also found in the archives. Created by applying painted leaves to cotton, the design was first hand-printed in the Caribbean.

Bird in Circle, a linen hand-printed by Rose Cumming, features the vibrant contrasting colors that marked her textile and interior work. The fabric, simpler and more abstract than her chintzes, was never put into production by her company. It was rediscovered after Dessin Fournir acquired the firm and is available in gold, green and six other colors.

Text by Jeffrey Simpson/Photography by Billy Cunningham
Published April 2007, Architectural Digest

Now playing: Bette Midler - The Rose
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Guess who's coming to dinner

Peter Greenway

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

There is a difference between that which is pretty and pleasing and that which is beautiful and more difficult to bear.

Now playing: Rufus Wainwright - Dinner at Eight
via FoxyTunes