2/27/08

J'Adore Dior


If you're in the mood to do some window shopping or take in videos of the Dior Couture runway shows on wall size plasma displays, and just happen to be near the Champs-E'lysées ... stop in and swoon. But, there's more to see here than just fashion.

In an 1867 mansion in the Eighth Arrondissement, the newly renovated Dior flagship salon is a celebration of artistic patronage, as well. Architect and designer Peter Marino commissioned furniture and site-specific art pieces including a steel console (by André Dubreuil), and a marble-topped desk by the brilliant Hervé Van der Straeten (who also designed the bottle for the Dior perfume, J'Adore, and who started his career designing jewelry. Read about M. Van der Straeten here, and see more pics here.)

In the entry rotunda, shown above, the wonderful Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne* bench of giant silver-plated bronze ginko leaves, must surely be the pièce-de-résistance. (Rest assured, the flowers are constantly refreshed.) The casement windows ringing the upper levels frame plasma screens (instead of glass) showing video art. See more pics of the salon here.

New Yorker Marino has worked his retail magic for many luxury brands, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi, and says his influences for the Dior interiors were Jean-Michel Frank and Pierre Chareau. See more pics here.

J'Adore, flaçon designed by Hervé Van der Straeten.

Louis Vuitton store in Hong Kong, designed by Peter Marino.


Top photos by Jimmy Cohrssen via
interiordesign.net.
* See TT's previous post on the Lalannes here.

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Rebecca Sexton Larson

THE ARTIST:
Tampa artist Rebecca Sexton Larson is back on the street, at least for this weekend.


The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, in downtown Tampa on Saturday and Sunday, will be, in a way, a return to her roots. Rebecca started out on the sidewalk circuit (at Gasparilla, actually), but put her tents in storage when she signed with a local gallery. Amassing awards, fellowships and grants along the way over the past 15 years, Rebecca has also excelled at teaching and speaking about art, which she does frequently.

Recently re-evaluating her career and her work, Rebecca has taken a slight change of direction. She left her gallery and established a blog (where she posts a new piece of art for sale every Friday), and a website (check out her impressive resume, and list of commissions, collections and exhibitions there).


HER ART:

Rebecca uses pinhole cameras (often made from a Tide detergent box) to create large black and white silver prints, which she then paints or draws on to create her one-of-a-kind works of art.


THE SHOW:

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is one of the largest outdoor shows in Florida. For more information, check here.

WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEKEND:
Rebecca says, "I have 3 new pieces (shown above) which incorporate pinhole still lifes with fabric, and 3 large pieces
about (60" x 40") on multiple sheets of paper - a là the Starn twins."

"In addition, for the first time I will have small works for sale - the works that I feature on my blog, 10" x 10" framed, for $125.00. These are original, one-of-a-kind, hand-painted silver prints; some are pinhole, some are paper negatives and some are experimental!"
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TT will be there, and if you're in the neighborhood, stop by!

STUDIO AND HOME TOUR NEXT WEEK!
Next week, TT will be featuring a studio and home tour at Rebecca's charming cottage in Wellswood, a historic Tampa neighborhood. So please check back - you won't want to miss it!

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2/25/08

Style Beat

TT recently discovered Style Beat, a terrific blog by Marisa, former style editor for House Beautiful and O at Home. TT recently did a post on Casamidy and the Oasis Hotel, and Marisa has the inside scoop on a new book coming out soon, called Casa San Miguel, about life and design in San Miguel de Allende. Visit her savvy blog to find out the details and the tie-in to Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada. Marisa has great resources for unique furnishings and accessories.

Awards fever!


Blog Awards Winner TopsyTurvy was quite surprised and thrilled today to receive a Blog of the Day award! Thanks to the Blog of the Day voting committee, and the support of my better half, along with Mitz, TT's top assistant (looking quite blasé about the whole thing, while posing on the dining table for publicity stills). It's not the red carpet, but we think a raffia table runner is quite nice.
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2/24/08

Calder Jewelry

Who knew Alexander Calder designed jewelry?
Mostly known for mobiles, he also produced about 1500 bracelets, necklaces, earrings, brooches and tiaras, throughout his career.


Tiara, c 1940, brass and steel wire. Necklace, c 1940, brass wire.

Bracelet, c 1940, brass wire. Necklace, c 1940, silver wire.

Hair comb, c 1940, brass wire. Necklace c 1940, gold wire and cord.

Calder's jewelry was quite sought after by his friends amongst the surrealist set, and was collected by Peggy Guggenheim and Georgia O'Keefe, among others.

We love Calder's jewelry as art pieces, plus they would be stunning to wear - perhaps with all black or all white to show off the workmanship and integrity of materials.

An exhibit running now through June 15, at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach features about 100 pieces. For more information, check with the museum here.
For other exhibition locations, see the schedule below.

There is also a new book devoted solely to the jewelry designs, edited by the artist's grandson, and available through Yale University Press.


As seen in Florida Inside Out Magazine.
Images from Calder Foundation.
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Exhibit schedule:
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida (February 23-June 15, 2008)
Philadelphia Museum of Art (July 12-October 19, 2008)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (December 8, 2008-March 1, 2009)
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (March 31-June 22, 2009)
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2/21/08

Carolina Eclectic was so kind to honor me with her "You Make My Day" award. Thanks Carolina for making my day. I think Carolina and I share a love for the unique and different.

I'm constantly amazed by the many smart and talented people out here in the blogosphere - it can be so difficult keeping up! I will pass on the award to just a few that I learn from or laugh with every day.
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The Rules:
1. Write a post with the links to 5 blogs that "make your day".
2. Acknowledge the post of the award giver.
3. Tell the award winners they won by commenting on their blogs.

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Bayou Contessa Always gracious, lovely and so talented. If you haven't seen her chandelier designs, go look now!

Liberty Post Just because she's cool. "Girl power" rules!

Cote de Texas Joni has been getting recognition right and left these days, so I'll pile on a little more. One of the first bloggers to contact me, she continues to be encouraging and supportive to everyone (except of course the infamous anonymous), whilst putting out some very impressive posts.

Maison 21 I get a daily dose of laughter from Christian. And very often a lesson! Plus he's really sweet.

An Aesthlete's Lament The intellectual's design blogger. I'm in awe of the depth of his knowlege.

Tonic Home I just discovered a fellow blogger in Tampa! And she has a wonderful online shop. (Can you say Oly?) We plan to meet up at the Hyde Park Home Tour next week.

Image from Saipua.

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Find of the Week

We love these for a child's room!
Pillows are a great way to add a splash of color and fun, and these are full of charm.

Designs were inspired by the animals of Ranthambore, India, hand block printed and embroidered on cotton by artisans in India. (12" x 6"). Set of 5, $60, at Aide to Artisans.
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2/18/08

Casamidy

Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada, partners in business and marriage, have established a thriving design business in the picturesque hilltop town of San Miguel de Allende.

Anne-Marie, previously a graphic designer who worked for Martha Stewart Living, is now a furniture designer, interior decorator, and co-owner of a home furnishings boutique. She and Jorge have created customized pieces for many of the top interior design firms in the U.S. and Europe.

Anne-Marie collaborated with her husband on the Casamidy furniture line, after moving to this Mexican city for proximity to traditional craftsmen skilled in working with iron, leather and tin. She aspires to be an artisan. "A lot of design is so perfect, it loses its human quality." And, "To me, only antiques and handmade things have true personality."* We couldn't agree more!

Casamidy designs respect the colonial traditions, but their fresh interpretations have a modern sensibility.

The Varenne Opera Chair, below right, is Anne-Marie's take on a Louis XVI design. Likened to "a line drawing of an armchair"* it has almost become a classic in its own right.
Most of the Casamidy line can be custom ordered to fabric and color specs.


Their charming, unpretentious Paris apartment:


Interior designs and Mitu Atelier:






Click on images to enlarge.

And, have a look at these interiors of the small boutique hotel, Oasis, located in downtown San Miguel de Allende. If you're like us, you'll want to take the next flight out!
Interiors by Anne-Marie Midy. Photos from Oasis.


* House & Garden, 01/05
Top photo by François Halard, for House & Garden, 01/05.
Interior Designs, top 2 photos by Pieter Estersohn for Elle Decor, 04/03.
Other photos from casamidy.com and oasishotel.com

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TT SHOPPING TIPS FOR AUTHENTIC MEXICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN DECOR:
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Casamidy: Contact them directly for purchases, or contact Colcha, a shop in Venice, CA, which is the exclusive Southern California retailer. Vivre is now also carrying some items.
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For Mexican folk art, ceramics, glassware and candles, check out zocalostyle.com and zocalofolkart.com. Here are some of our favorites:


We love: black glazed ceramic flower vase, 10"x7", $49 • set of 6 engraved goblets in clear, aqua or red, $123 • Oval copper tray with silver trim, 19"x13", $121.50 ceramic glazed pineapples, 18.5"x12", $179.
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Santa Rosa handmade candles with stamp (the warm color is achieved by melting amber into the wax), 3"x6" pillar, $14.75
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For latin american antiques, you'll find a wonderful selection at Dos Gallos.

Click on image to enlarge.

We love: painted buffet from Guatemala, shown in House Beautiful Show House 2005 (interior design by Peter Dunham) • hand carved and hand finished wooden mirror from Guatemala, 55"x84" • 19th century terracotta capones from Guatemala

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2/15/08

Modern art and antiques

This will be easier to look at if you're working on a laptop.
(Preferably a sleek new MacBook Air. If you haven't seen one, go straight to Apple right now! The super-slim beauty has no disk drive, and I think Apple has once again made a bold gesture towards the future. As my fabulous, award-winning, designer-friend out in Steamboat Springs pointed out, "It's a wireless, web-based world, baby!") (Hey, David Taylor!)


If, like TT, you work on a standard desk-top computer, it will take a little neck twisting to view these images, but we hope you'll find it worthwhile.

The equally fabulous and funny design-blogger Maison 21 recently wrote about the impact of big dramatic art in a home. (You can take a look at his hilarious post here. He even gave a tutorial on creating your own Jackson Pollock!) While reading Maison 21's post, I was reminded of an unforgettable feature that appeared in House & Garden magazine a few years ago (with a real Jackson Pollock or two), and was finally able to put my hands on.



The interiors are a theatrical blending of modern art on a grand scale, with 19th century furnishings and classical architecture. And, in almost as much of a magnificent gesture, House & Garden ran three consecutive 3- and 4-page foldouts to show off and accentuate the scale and rich, complex textures in this Manhattan apartment. (Please come back, House & Garden!)

In the living room shown above, the back-to-back sofa is so large it had to be reupholstered on site (in Bernadette gauffrage* velvet, Old World Weavers). A set of early 19th-century Swedish chairs in leopard-print velvet (Brunschwig & Fils) and an 18th-century marble-topped, Italian console provide wonderful counterpoint to jaw-dropping art: Yellow Ochre Scroll, 1948, by Jackson Pollock; The Word II, 1954, by Barnett Newman; Les Disques Dans la Ville, 1918-1919, by Fernand Léger; San Francisco I, 1950, by Clyfford Still; and, at far right, Browns, 1957, by Mark Rothko.
*As I understand it, gauffrage is an embossing technique which involves hot pressing an intricate pattern into velvet.



In the library, above, Alberto Giacometti's Portrait of Annette provides a bold splash of color against the rich wood paneled walls and resides quite beautifully alongside the 19th-century Italian chairs covered in a buttery leather.


An 18th-century Italian console and Ellsworth Kelly's Bay, (detail) 1959,
create a modern vignette in the dining room.



In a hallway, a 19th-century French chandelier casts a glow on
Andy Warhol's The Week That Was, 1964.


Roy Lichtenstein's Mirror, above an 18th-century console.

The apartment required major reconfiguring to accommodate an art collection that surpasses that of many museums. In order to achieve maximum wall space throughout, there were pocket doors installed so that they would not open out to cover walls and paintings; minimal window treatments were designed to be contained inside the frames; the library was designed to have no bookshelves (books are stored in a separate study); and architectural detailing was concentrated on the ceilings and floors.

Whether or not you feel that these interiors speak too much to the past, the furnishings, fabrics and art are masterfully composed. Does the modern art provide enough edge and interest? TT would love to hear your thoughts.

Interior design by Brian Murphy, architectural design by Ferguson Shamamian & Rattner. Photographs by Françoise Dischinger for House & Garden magazine, 02/01.

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2/12/08

Happy Valentines Day

"All You Need is Love"
2006, painting by Damien Hirst, estimated at $1,000,000-$1,500,000. (Via Vogue, 12/07)

Bono and Damien Hirst have teamed up with Sotheby's and Gagosian Gallery for the (Red) Auction, which will take place on February 14 and will showcase works inspired by the color red (all proceeds will go to benefit HIV/AIDS programs in Africa). (Via fashionweekdaily.com)



Photo by Sivan Lewin for W Magazine.





Red table from Alidad's Velvet Furniture Collection. Photo by Simon Upton for House & Garden, 04/05.


Gold and ruby bracelet, $29,450, from Shamballa Jewels. Via Town & Country, 02/08.



Photo of Drew Barrymore by Annie Liebovitz for Vogue. Chanel Haute Couture gray beaded dress.

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On a visit to the ever inciteful blog, An Aesthete's Lament, TT came across his post on Diana Vreeland (read it here), which included some of Vreeland's wonderful commentary on color:

"Red is the great clarifier—bright, cleansing, and revealing. It makes all other colors look beautiful. I can't imagine becoming bored with red—it would be like becoming bored with the person you love."

"About the best red is to copy the color of a child's cap in any Renaissance portrait."

Thanks Aesthete's Lament!

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We're still seeing red

Photo by Patrick Demarchelier for China Vogue.
We're loving the wallpaper!


Warszewiczia coccinea. Photograph by Nick Knight, from "Flora".


Sketchbook page by Ann Carrington.





Click on images for larger view.
Mexican hacienda, design by Casamidy.

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