Dress It Up, Call It What You Will, It’s Still Marc Jacobs

Posted: April 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: welcome | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Isn’t it kind of intriguing how a designer can design multiple collections simultaneously?  It is one thing to create nice clothes.  It is altogether another talent to be able to distill the essence of a design house, in the absence of the founding visionary, and to design consistently with the feeling and aesthetic of the house, and at the same time completely shift gears and create a distinct vision for your namesake collection which is utterly separate.

In this context, Marc Jacobs’ relationship with Louis Vuitton is somewhat unusual.  Although Louis Vuitton had long since established itself in the world of luggage and leather goods, Marc Jacobs was Artistic Director for the first ready-to-wear collection.  So there is, in essence, no Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear style separate from Jacobs.  Yet somehow, over the years, he has managed to weave a fairly distinctive look for the brand.  Sometimes it is more distinct from the collection he puts out under his namesake label, sometimes less so.  Looking ahead to Fall 2012 I’m having an awfully hard time telling the two apart.  To a great extent it may have to do with styling.  Styling plays a not insignificant role in giving an identity to a collection.  But, however you look at it, I find the choices that Jacobs made in presenting these collections surprising.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2012

  
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Is It The New Shape Of The Magazine Industry … Domino Is Back

Posted: April 28th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: welcome | Tags: , , , , , ,

As a dedicated lover of shopping for things to make life more beautiful, I was extremely sad to say goodbye to Domino magazine (especially when they fulfilled the rest of my pre-paid subscription with something I had absolutely no interest in, but that’s another story).  But the mourning is over and Domino is back.  I think more than being a commentary on the home design business, the relaunch is an interesting commentary on the state of publishing and more specifically of magazine publishing.  Everyone knows that with consumers turning toward online media, they are leaving paper behind and leaving newspapers and magazines struggling.  That results in a game on the part of publishers that’s fairly interesting to watch, the game of trying to figure out how to stay alive, stay relevant, carve a niche that can’t be filled online.

In one such effort, Conde Nast shuttered Gourmet  magazine, only to relaunch it as a mobile app with only a limited number of special issues available at newsstands.  Their strategy with Domino  is somewhat similar.  Sadly, that means that it is not the return of the Domino that many of us knew and loved.  The new Domino will consist only of a limited number of special issues available exclusively through newsstands.  The first issue, entitled Domino Quick Fixes, on newsstands through mid-July, is a thick book and sells for $10.99, and like most special issues has fewer ad pages than the typical monthly magazine.  The next issue is due this fall.

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The City As The Ultimate Representation Of Twentieth Century Art

Posted: April 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: welcome | Tags: , , , ,

To mention Sol Lewitt and leave it at that is to do a disservice to the other artists showing at MASS MoCA since truly each exhibit is more engaging than the last. So, to continue my tour of our visit to the museum, one of the things I find most fun at a museum (and this is part of why I am particularly partial to contemporary art museums) is learning about a new artist whose work I like, but who is not as yet quite so well known. Yes, I’m sure this is only in small part due to an appreciation of the art, and in a large part due to the opportunity it represents to buy art, but I only buy things I genuinely like so I think it’s more or less the same thing at the end of the day.

The show that my husband had wanted to see, and which was the impetus behind our trip to MASS MoCA in the first place, is entitled “Invisible Cities”.  It is actually up until February 4, 2013, so if you have the opportunity to find yourself in North Adams, Massachusetts, within the next year, I highly recommend making the stop.  It was an overall interesting exhibit, not only for the individual works, but for the way in which it was curated and the varied interpretations of how we experience cities by the different artists, not just because each has a different vision, but because they actually appeal to different senses.  Emeka Ogboh’s Monday Morning in Lagos, 2010, consists only of a speaker mounted on the ceiling which plays the sounds of, as the title suggests, Lagos in the morning.  The city is given physical form, is literally mapped out, through the voices of the bus drivers calling out their destinations layered over the voices of other residents of the city.

In the first room we entered, full of fantastical three dimensional “cities”, the one set of painted collages mounted on the far wall was the least interesting work — that is until I got close to the images and discovered that they were in fact my favorite things in the room.  Mary Lum’s collages are surprisingly wonderful.  Surprisingly because from a distance I read them as yet another rendering of a certain kind of linear constructivism that has already been worked through in numerous ways by artists over the last century.  And yet, on closer inspection, Lum’s take on the subject is absolutely unique, contemporary and fascinating.  Her collages not only layer images and shapes, but layer a broad range of artistic idiom.  They bring together Constructivism, Cubism, Pop Art, you name it … there are elements Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Picasso, Rodchenko, El Lissitsky, and dozens of others, layered over each other to create an image of the city which is beautiful, but more than that, which has a depth that draws you in with increasing intensity the longer you look.  The modern city is, in essence, the ultimate signifier of the 20th Century, the object which much of 20th Century art struggles to come to terms with, to give form.  And that 100 years of visual culture gets compressed into the space and form of Lum’s collage.  The following images show some of Lum’s collage work that was included in a show at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts.  The first image is most representative of the work included in “Invisible Cities”.

Mary Lum, "Index 2." Acrylic and photo collage on paper. 10" x 13" (Photo courtesy Mary Lum) - image via Gwarlingo.com

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It’s On Your Face Folks, So Make Sure It’s The Look You Want

Posted: April 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: welcome | Tags: , , , ,

So today I finally had to break down and buy a new phone.  I had an iPhone 3S.  I have no idea when I got it.  Years ago.  But lately it has decided that it’s not terribly interested in connecting anymore.  Anything that doesn’t require an internet connection — great!  Making calls — no so great.  Texting — good luck.  Since the new phone, a 4S, is a different shape from my old phone, buying a new phone meant suddenly needing to buy a new case as well.  (In fact, buying a new phone seems to cost at least $100 in hidden fees in top of the $199 it claims it’s going to cost you if you renew your contract, but that’s another conversation altogether.)  And buying a new case got me to thinking about how significant a choice that has become.  The phone, after all, spends an enormous amount of time hanging out next to your face, so selection of a case represents an important opportunity to make an aesthetic statement about your identity.

We have AT&T — which may have great service in other parts of the country but is really an inexplicably stupid choice in this corner of the northeast since the coverage and service on Verizon are infinitely better, and yet, it’s what we have — so my experience of looking at cases while purchasing the phone itself is specific to the AT&T store.  I have no idea what they do or don’t offer, for example, in the Verizon store.  But in the AT&T store, any sales person doing the job right will try to sell you a case when you’re buying the phone.  The thought of walking out of the AT&T store and dropping that brand new iPhone without a case onto the ground and shattering it before getting around to purchasing Apple Care gives me an anxiety attack.  The offerings in the store, however, seem to be very pretty but simple cases in various colors that start at $35, a clear plastic protective sticker for the front and back of the phone for $30 (yeah, $30), or a screen protector for $20.  Which, in this day and age, is all just silliness.

There are a lot of truly great covers out there if you want your phone to have some personality, but if you’re less choosy, it really only needs to cost a few dollars on Amazon.com.

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Spring Dresses, Look Like Costumes From Mad Men, But Are Utterly Modern

Posted: April 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: welcome | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As spring gets into full swing, and the stores are starting to hold spring sales, it seems like must have item this spring and summer is not in fact floral jeans (although they’re still great, so don’t worry if you followed my earlier advice and got a pair), but the floral dress.  As a certain kind of over the top Monet floral print becomes ubiquitous, it seems like everywhere I turn Erdem has suddenly become “the” brand.  It may be that I only recently became aware of it and others have known the label for a while.  But it suddenly seems to be in every magazine, on every celebrity, in every boutique ….  And Erdem’s forte, as it turns out, is a certain style of floral print constructed into garments that seem almost sweet (kind of Mad Men style) but is tailored with a modern edge that tempers what could easily come across as awfully saccharine.  Is Erdem popular because the floral thing is such a big trend right now, or did the line play any kind of a role in shaping the trend?  That’s deep, right?

Erdem Spring 2012 Collection

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