Simply Cool

I like the simplicity of the silhouette in these Dries Van Noten dresses contrasted with the use of the prints. The prints have a cut and paste feel to them that seems perfectly contemporary even thought the prints themselves have specific historical or cultural references.

Sze Venice

Sarah Sze, Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat), 2011, stainless steel, wood, overall dimensions: 9 x 22 x 21 ft

I can't wait to see what Sarah Sze comes up with for this years Venice Biennale. The experience of walking through that city is so much about discovery. I visited Venice three times during my semester in Italy and since I was constantly getting lost in the city, there was always something new around every corner. I love the intricacy and fragility of Sarah Sze's work, it's a perfect fit for the city of Venice.

The Classic Shoe

In junior high I thought I was quite the style maven because I had a pair of black and white brogues from the Delia's catalog (nothing beats getting a catalog in the mail when you're thirteen). It was during the period of the nineties when there were all those retro zoot suit wearing bands and schools had swing dancing clubs. Well today I discovered the much cooler (and richer) older sister to my Delia's shoes, Church's Burwood Leather Brogues, which look like the classiest shoe around. Since so few people dress up these days (myself included) it also feels a bit rebellious to wear such formal looking shoes in your day to day life.

Special K

Mary Katrantzou's designs remind me of three dimensional op art. The level of detailing in her prints is really impressive and the prints all relate to the body in such interesting ways. I also love the surprises that arise upon closer inspection, who knew spoons could look so chic. Basically I love them all and am willing to date a Russian oligarch on the side if that will get me one of these beautiful dresses.

Ah, Mortality

I happened to read an article about caring for aging parents last week in the Atlantic, and this week I picked up Loosing Mum and Pup, Christopher Buckley's memoir about his parents in their last years of life. In the article, the author's relationship with her father was extremely conflicting. In some respects she was harsh,  as she made it clear she considered him to be a large expensive burden and couldn't wait until he passed away, yet she was also an enabler and seemed to acquiesce to his every bizarre whim and financial request.
Christopher Buckley's memoir was a much more interesting read as his  parents were more fully fleshed out in the book and his relationship with them thought complicated was ultimately one of love and admiration. It was interesting to read about the shifts in the parent child relationship through the years, culminating in the child's responsibility for deciding the final resting place of the parent. Taking care of an aging parent isn't something I'd given much thought to prior to reading these so I found myself examining my own parental relationships and thinking about how I might act in similar situations.

Mr Lucas

Halibut Jackson
I've been so dismayed by the lack of decent books for young children. About fifty percent of the books we find for the boys at the library have lame illustrations, text or both. Because of this I'm always overjoyed when we find a book that is engaging for the boys and not maddening for me to read.
I really love David Lucas's illustrations. We got his book 'Halibut Jackson' at the library sale and I thought it must have been about 40 years old since the illustrations reminded me of Andy Warhols early drawings from when he was a fashion illustrator. As it turns out the book was published eight years ago and he has about a dozen other books that I'd love to check out for the boys.

Cindy Sherman Work Out

Here's an excerpt that I liked from the NYTimes article about Cindy Sherman and her upcoming retrospective at MOMA. 
"She works alone in her commodious floor-through studio that houses her costumes, props and equipment. Women’s wigs dot window sills, and there are shelves of wax doll’s heads and body parts from medical mannequins. It is here that she becomes the subject, the photographer, the director, the makeup artist and the costume stylist. “Whenever I tried to hire people or use friends or family, even if I paid them, I felt like I had to entertain them,” she said. “When I’m working alone, I can push myself. And I don’t complain.”

Light and Dark

I just read Lillian Bassmans obit and looked through this slideshow of her photography. I love the way she highlights the shapes of the clothes using high contrasts.

"joy is not necessarily stupid"

 Here is a great little interview with museum architect extraordinaire Renzo Piano. He just finished up the addition to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and I can't wait to check it out myself someday. While studying architecture during my junior year abroad in Florence I discovered Mr. Piano's work and was completely enthralled. His designs encompass everything I loved about the architecture in Italy. They flawlessly connect to the past while being completely contemporary, the experience of being in the space is so thoughtfully considered and beauty is completely tied to functionality.
Here is his recent addition to the LACMA which during my visit I found much more compelling than  some of the art inside. 

Italian Envy

John Cuneo
It's official, everything is better in Italy. The architecture, the cheese, the clothes and now the Big Mac. I've never eaten a Big Mac, the thought of eating some secret sauce is troubling to me, what are they trying to hide. But after reading this article in the Atlantic I may give the Vivace Big Mac a try the next time I'm in Rome.

The Pitt

My Offering, 2011
It looks like we'll be moving out to PA this summer for school. Should we end up in Pittsburgh I can't wait to check out The Mattress Factory. An entire museum devoted to installation art, I'm in heaven just thinking about it.

Style File

Look 3

Look 11

Look 16

In honor of the start of New York fashion week, here are a few outfits that I loved from the Celine 2012 Resort collection. Each of these have a great bold minimalist feel with unexpected details. The long shirt peaking out from the slit in the 3rd look and the tucked in double breasted shirt from the 11th look. And finally I love the coat from the 16th look, since it reminds me of an Anni Albers textile.

 I used to feel a little weird looking at every week since everything in my closet definitely falls into the functional category (I'm talking to you maternity jeans). But I've decided it's just like looking at things in an art gallery, since no one actually buys things from galleries, right? Well at least not any I've shown work in. So I can just appreciate these images comfortable in the knowledge that I will never cross paths with the twenty people who actually have these rarefied  items in their homes.

Past Ann

Cameron gave me this book for Christmas and I'm just getting around to reading it. Art essays are not something I can usually crack into during the day. The house has to be marginally peaceful in order for me to make it through any dense reading, which is to say that it doesn't happen very frequently. Thankfully, my mom is in town for the week helping with the kiddos so I've managed to sneak in a few minutes of quiet reading.
I love this description from the preface:
Brush Head, Body Object Series #5, Ann Hamilton
What matters for me in Hamilton's work is that she offers the very small, such as thousands of gestures that we ignore, the thoughts evading us, the dreams we forget, the words we mumble, everything that actually constitutes us.

A Personal Approach

I just read an interview with the photographer Deborah Turbeville about her new book of fashion photography. Here was her response to a question about whether she has a particularly feminine point of view.

"There is a certain approach that women have. They do get into some kind of inner thing more than the male photographers do. It’s a more personal approach."

This focus on trying to convey an inner person through film is pretty rare in a lot of recent fashion photography so it's nice to be able to look back at some of her work.

Home on the Range

John Burcham for The New York Times
I'm always fascinated by homes that are true expressions of their owners. I'm all for bizarre architecture when it's on a grand scale, not in terms of size necessarily but in terms of effort or complexity. Reading about this home in Wyoming was pretty fascinating and I love that the home has become a legend within the town.

Go Pats!

The well coiffed Mr. Bruschi
Tomorrow we'll be watching the Superbowl and in honor of the fact that I once had my hair cut by Teddy Bruschi's barber, I'll be cheering for the Patriots.

Folk Father

I've been looking at the work of architect and designer Alexander Girard. At least half of the graphic designs I've seen on etsy seem to be based on his folk art aesthetic. His work also reminds me a bit of this video.


Yowza, with a price tag of $85,000 dollars this chair definitely calls for a little DIY with some upholstery needles, stuffed animals and a craigslist butterfly chair. I love Estudio Campana, but that price is just loco.


Watching this video reminded me of my little brother Ev and his love of trampolines.