Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The real House of Beauty & Culture

Originally the collaboration between shoe designer John Moore, fashion designer Christopher Nemeth and jewellery designer Judy Blame. Like gods, they fashioned their world, both collectively and respectively, in their own image.

A House of Beauty & Culture cropped white denim jacket, 1980s, the back inset with knitted panel Casa Vaselina together with a bracelet made from slivers of antler, by Judy Blame, with a pair of high-waisted black Demob trousers.

John Moore, London 1981

Legendary stylist and designer Judy Blame.

Detail of the sculpted style of Christopher Nemeth, who has long since decamped for life in Tokyo.

There is a lot of peer pressure today, that didn't exist before. There weren't any reality tv fashion shows back in 1981, to tell you what was cool. Popular opinion/taste is tyrannical. There is so much pressure to be cool today. Ultimately it is a marketing conspiracy . They are selling cool. It sells. And, there isn't anything necessarily wrong with it. Just acknowledge what it is though, and acknowledge there is a difference. What is today mostly isn't art though, it is fashion. There's a difference between what John Moore and people of his generation were doing back then, that really doesn't exist anymore. - from John More Defined a Generation by Joel Nikolaou

Now playing: Gnarls Barkley - Gone Daddy Gone
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 8 June 2009

And this...



Now playing: The Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, 7 June 2009

I, Quentin

Quentin Crisp: A Film By Denis Mitchell (1968)

Made in 1968 after Crisp's initial success with The Naked Civil Servant and broadcast in 1970 as part of Granada TV's World In Action series. It was this exposure that led to The Naked Civil Servant being made into a film.

Now playing: Sting - Englishman In New York
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, 6 June 2009

More ways to waste time

Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997)

The film adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award winning play, with Jason Alexander (Buzz Hauser), Randy Becker (Ramon Fornos), Stephen Bogardus (Gregory Mitchell), John Glover (John and James Jeckyll), John Benjamin Hickey (Arthur Pape), Justin Kirk (Bobby Brahms) and Stephen Spinella (Perry Sellars).

Gregory -

I love my house.

Everybody does.

It was built in 1895

and still has most
of the original roof.

The wallpaper in the dining room
is original, too.

So is a lot of the woodwork.

You'd have to be a fool
to change it.

I hope you appreciate detail.

The marble fireplace
is hand-carved.

The main stairs have
a very gentle rise.

Everyone comments how easy
it is to climb them.

I like to fill it with my friends.

Over the years,
we've become more like a family.

It makes me happy to have us
all together in our home.

Mine and Bobby's.

They don't build houses
like this anymore.

The golden age
of American house building.

Not architecture, mind you,

but house building.

This house
was meant to stand.


Make yourself at home.

Now playing: Mungo Jerry - In The Summertime
via FoxyTunes

Friday, 5 June 2009

In no need of chintz to distract the eye

A Diego Giacometti table sits comfortably with Georgian pieces.

In a guest room, a pair of chairs from the Edward James sale in their original Severini fabric.

The house which was used for What's wrong in this picture? appeared in the June issue of The World of Interiors. In fact it is Woolbeding House, a restored pile dating from the 1720s in West Sussex, home to the late cultural benefactor, Simon Sainsbury.

I was so taken with the individual pieces (and there are some incredible pieces ranging from Chippendale to Giacometti) I failed to take in the whole. The comments left by Mamacita and Hello Gorgeous gave me pause for thought. It never occurred to me that the room itself would not be well received. After all, it does have that typically English country house look which is usually so popular.

In spite of its fine architecture, it is not a pretty house or rather it has not been prettily done. Though, it does appear comfortable and inviting; which, from a cultural perspective especially, has always taken precedence. There is, however, an uncommon sense of connoisseurship in the understated English Georgian furniture and British pictures that is atypical of the English country house look.

Simon Sainsbury built the collection to furnish and complement Woolbeding House, which was leased from the National Trust. It was this and his personal taste that formed the nature of the collection.

Now playing: Christopher Cross - Sailing
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, 4 June 2009

I'm thinking...

Set of 5 Plaster Geometric Shapes

Set of 15 Plaster Geometric Shapes

Now playing: Thomas Dolby - May the Cube Be With You
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Green Tourmaline and 18K Gold Box
By Manfred Wild
Idar-Oberstein, Germany
Of Baroque design, mounted with broad borders of 18K yellow gold, the hinged lid and body of the box each formed of a single piece of Brazilian green tourmaline of the finest quality having a brilliant saturation of color and a high degree of transparency, with a sizeable weight of approximately 438.0 carats, signed M. Wild, length 2 ¾ in.


Now playing:
Annie Lennox - Precious
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Tit of the week

And here's why.

Now playing: Gnarls Barkley - Charity Case
via FoxyTunes

The name is Baas

Maarten Bass

Clay Furniture

Introduced at Salone del Mobile, Milan, 2006.

Made of a synthetic Clay on a metal skeleton. Each piece is modelled by hand. As no moulds are used in the production, each piece is unique. Available in eight standard colours: black, white, brown, red, yellow, blue, orange and green.

Now playing: Earth, Wind & Fire - Shining Star
via FoxyTunes

Monday, 1 June 2009

It is all connected

Mondrian's close friend, Maude van Loon, describes the painter's studio:

The front door was nothing special; just a wooden door. Between the front door and the studio there was a little vestibule and a dark corridor. Then you went through his door and suddenly there was a marvelous white studio with a colour plane here and there. It was like stepping into paradise….

Mondrian’s Paris studio, restored to colour ( Berlin, 1995)
Frans Postma and Cees Boekraad, with the assistance of Hans de Herder, RKD
National Gallery of Art

Piet Mondrian's Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian day dress, autumn 1965
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Architects Titina Ammanati and Giampiero Vitelli's Mobile Totale living unit, 1965
Phillips de Pury


Now playing: Stereo MC's - Connected
via FoxyTunes

I am the Gothic version of Garbo

So said Valentina (Valentina Nicholaevna Schlee, nee Sanina, c.1899 - 1989), the legendary Russian emigrée who was America's answer to Mme Grés and Madeleine Vionnet.

Valentina: American Couture and the Cult of Celebrity by Kohle Yohannan

Author, curator and historian Kohle Yohannan on Valentina.

Now playing: Stevie Nicks - Garbo
via FoxyTunes