Monday, January 30, 2012

Would Lucy Defriend Ethel?

Dropped or the drop-ee.  Friended or defriended. It's me, not you. Or it's you, not me.

How many of us have life long friendships? I lose touch over the years, but at any moment if I reconnect with someone, it's as if time vanishes, and we pick up where we left off.

Rachel Phoebe Monica

A very interesting article in the Sunday New York Times HERE.

Laverne and Shirley

What do you do when a friendship shifts? It could be one friend, or a group of friends, mommy group friends, couples friends, work friends, gym friends, drinking buddies, school friends, people you share a hobby with, cyber friends...So many friends, so little time!

From the movie Bob Carol Ted and Alice

Ever dump anyone? Or get dumped? Not because of any major drama like boyfriend or husband stealing, but for other non drama reasons. How did you handle it? Any advice?

Thelma and Louise

Friends on TV and in the movies are friends forever

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Afternoon Delight With The Artist

It's Oscar month!  Every year, Alberto and I try to see all the nominees for Best Picture by Oscar night. And there are alot this year: The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Moneyball, War Horse, and The Tree of Life.

Go see the movie The Artist

During the year we saw Midnight In Paris and The Help, and yesterday we had a little afternoon delight and stole away too see The Artist. Alberto did not understand why anyone would want to see a silent film (filmed in black and white no less), but I convinced him he would not be disappointed. I had been following the buzz about this film, and it did very well at The Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago.

The Artist wins big at the 2012 Golden Globes

As a young person, I worked in an entry level job at The Museum of Modern Art in the Film Department (now called the Film and Media Dept.). It was my first encounter with silent movies. I didn't LOVE them at first. But as time passed and I was educated under the tutelage of curator Mary Corliss (her husband Richard Corliss is now the film critic for Time Magazine),  and the entire Film Dept. staff at MOMA.  As a result the genre became dear to me. It was amazing to have great silent film stars like Lillian Gish and Greta Garbo, who were still alive then, sometimes visit the Film Dept.

The Artist is an incredible combination of today's technology juxtaposed with what was then the incredible technology of the early movie making era of the silent film. It is hardly silent, with the evocative acting, the excellent camera work, the fantastic sets and costumes, and extraordinary music scored expertly for this film.

The Artist is a masterful study in black and white, sure to inspire all you visual vamps. The sets are fabulous and Oscar worthy. The costumes equally so.

Homage is paid to so many familiar cinematic touchstones. You will be reminded of Singing In The Rain, the real life story of Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, Sunset Blvd., any 42nd Street style movie musical, A Star Is Born, and the great Astaire Rogers films of the 1930's. Add to that an adorable terrier that reminds one of all the great Hollywood dogs, especially Asta from the Thin Man series.

Singing In The Rain

Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, great silent film stars and lovers, with director Clarence Brown - Garbo talked, and Gilbert tanked when sound came to the movies

Gloria Swanson, a super star of silent movies, in Sunset Blvd. in 1950

Janet Gaynor in A Star Is Born (the 1937 version)

Ginger Rogers in dark shorts in the movie 42nd Street, and in feathers with Fred Astaire

Asta with his co-stars Myrna Loy and William Powell

Everyone in the theater the afternoon we saw The Artist looked like they were in their 100's, perhaps old enough to have gone to silent movies in their heyday. Alberto and I felt like we were the youngsters in the crowd, even though it was 100 years ago when I worked at MOMA.

So if you are a movie lover, go see The Artist. I think it will win quite a few Oscars. We plan to see The Descendants next. I could pass on the 911 movie (Incredibly Close...). I want to see Hugo because our set designer friend Helen Britten said it is a marvel. We wanted to see Moneyball when it came out, so I hope they put it on the big screen again for Oscar season. War Horse should be interesting, and the tour de force of the genius Terrence Malick, The Tree Of Life, will be a challenge, but I am sure worthwhile.

Do yourself a favor and get out to the movies. See a film on the big screen with a group of people you don't know, who by the end of a good film, become less than strangers by sharing that warm and fuzzy and uplifting feeling that blankets everyone in the audience.

And if you haven't seen the films in the images above, do yourself a favor and find them on DVD, or on Turner Classic Movies, or at an art house showing classic films in your city.

And please do tell us what you think of the movies you see!!!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Black and White Chanel Interiors

The black and white rooms created by Coco Chanel in the 1920's are amazing. They are a treat for all you lovers of black and white decor.

The entry hall of Chanel's country home - white walls black trim

Actually these are images from the 2010 film, Coco & Igor,  a soft core biopic. It was on cable last week, so I watched it, and there were some great lines: Mrs. Stravinsky (upon seeing Coco's home) “You don’t like color, Mademoiselle Chanel?” To which Coco dryly responds, “As long as it’s black.”

Coco & Igor met (and ultimately bed) right after Coco's lover of nine years Boy Capel died in a tragic car crash. Apparently Chanel was kept by many rich men in her life. However, Boy Capel was, Chanel’s self proclaimed  “love of her life.”  After Capel's death, Chanel’s collections featured what became her signature black. Other designers of the time commented that she was making everyone mourn for her lost love by using black as a main color in her collections. Whatever the reason, Chanel broke barriers and gave new life to the color black.

So here's a round up of all the images I could find from the movie. There are some good ideas to inspire anyone wanting to try out a black and white decor scheme. 

The movie version of Chanel's country house - LOVE the  pair giant spiral topiary

You don’t like color, Mademoiselle Chanel?  Let me see if I have some red Russian rugs to throw around this dump.

Igor says this place is crazier than a set of piano keys - LOVE the black Venetian mirror

Step into my music room and tickle my ivories - Black drapes and hand painted walls are spiffy

Count the patterns - Fabulous rug, border under window, wall painting, and black trim

Let me see if you're wearing black under there

Don't be sad Igor, I'll 'sew you some black under pants - Check out the wall details

All that under pants sewing made me hungry - One of the lovely black and white dresses in the movie

So your wife dares to wear red in my house! Even though she's dying and the two of you and your four kids are living in my house too, I'll still seduce you and teach her a lesson in hospitality she won't soon forget! And everybody keep puffing those cigarettes next to the wife with consumption!

Please show me your bathroom renovation - I hear you got some good ideas from blogs - Mais oui! M.C, Escher has a blog.

Here's the bathroom - Whatever you do don't touch the parrot - it's still pissed that I dyed it black

Want  me to wash you?

Time to go to work in my black and white world

How big can my ash get?

Everybody must wear black and white, and maybe a little beige - That goes for you too humble shop girl!

All dressed up with nowhere to go - Oh Iggy where are you???

Lay Iggy lay, Lay across my big brass bed - LOVE the recurring Greek key motif

Now that's what I'm talking about! The black and white bedding is stunning!

Bitch stole my piano man  - The mix of pattern is extraordinary

Shit! I think I can hear them in the garden shed! LOVE the symmetry of the topiary

Shh...The old ball and chain  has big ears

Coco & Igor design inspiration or soft core biopic  - You decide

The real Igor -who knew he was so hot

The real Coco Chanel - who knew she was such a Vamp!

So what do you think of black and white decor? Do you think it's easy to do because there are only two colors to work with? Do you think it imbues a space with instant sophistication and high design?

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Little Pictures Everywhere

Alberto gave me a book for Christmas called Dealer's Choice  - At Home With Purveyors of Antique And Vintage Furnishings. Culled mainly from dealers who are on 1stdibs, with a forward by 1stdibs founder Michael Bruno, it is jam packed with ginormous beautiful photos and some witty text.

It is always interesting to see what dealers and shop keepers bring home. Sometimes it's things that don't sell, and sometimes it's things that emotionally resonate to the point that profit is no longer viable.

In the past twenty years or so, the antique market has changed with the inclusion of mid (20th) century wares. It has infused spaces using furnishings from the 16th, 17th, 18th, and/or 19th century with a certain "new" energy. Dealer's Choice has so many great examples of how to successfully put a room together using elements of all centuries.

I have book marked many pages, and from time to time I'll post one for you. Today it is the dining room of Richard Shapiro, a dealer from Los Angeles.

"The Surrogates" installation by Allan McCollum - 192 individual pieces - on the dining room wall in the home of Los Angeles antiques dealer Richard Shapiro, from  the book Dealer's Choice by Craig Kellogg

I LOVE all the little frames! So lo and behold I had another image in the old clipping file:

Via Google Images

And then BAM! Nicole Cohen posted this image the other day:

100 little paintings done by Nicole Cohen for IPGMedia Brands

Great design travels fast!!!!

Add the book Dealer's Choice to your design book collection. You can take a peek HERE

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Friday, January 20, 2012

A Sterling Provision For Your Home

Yay! A new kid on the block! As of October two stylish guys from Asheville, North Carolina via New York City have landed on Magazine Street. They opened the cutest home furnishings shop that I am sure will become another destination for local decor mavens, and for those who visit New Orleans too.

New kid on the block Sterling Provision - Just follow the arrow - 3634 Magazine Street

New York is for fashionistas, and New Orleans is the capital for locally owned home furnishings shops. People who live here would rather put their money into making  their homes pretty, and ready for entertaining (holidays, house tours, festivals, Mardi Gras, football season, family celebrations, etc., etc.), rather than on their backs.

Two stories of CUTE stuff!

So Sterling Provision will fit in perfectly, and sure to become a long time fixture. As with many shops, Sterling Provision takes over an old house, with two floors of merchandise. Dennis and Marin the owners, are avid savvy collectors of all things antique and vintage, so the shop has something from your favorite century.

A huge selection of great things awaits you at Sterling Provision - lots of lamps for sure! LOVE the pillow!

Mixing in Mid Century furniture has grown exponentially in New Orleans since Katrina, with the influx of young hip people into the city, and a rebirth of the locals looking for a way to express a refreshed point of view in their home decoration.

Sterling Provision has a collection of mirrors made from vintage industrial windows

Just a couple of shops have specifically carried Mid Century furnishings, Vic Loisel (the old Neophobia 2855 Magazine Street)), and Peaches (2122 Magazine Street). Now Sterling Provision adds to the Mid Century mix with a hefty offering of very well priced mod offerings. They gently refurbish pieces with sharp reupholstery, so they are good to go directly into your house.

Wonderful Mid Century offerings at Sterling Provision

Sterling Provision has a huge selection of Mid Century Marshall Studios Lamps. Dennis found and bought 1700 of them in a factory in Indiana a few years ago, and had sold most of them. On a recent trip to Indiana, a customer he originally sold 250 of the lamps to wanted to resell them to Dennis. He snapped them up for the New Orleans shop, where his partner Marin expertly restores them. The price point is so good it will make you blush (and a shade is included!).

Sterling Provision owner Dennis talks about his incredible selection of Marshall Studios lamps

The collection of Marshall Studios lamps at Sterling Provision

Beautiful wood finials original to the Marshall Studios lamps

The Marshall Studios lamps are rewired and come with a shade - a collectors item you can afford

If the 19th century is your thing, there are plenty of lovely pieces of furniture for you too. Dennis and Marin totally understand the art of the mix. There's a great selection of smalls too, including lamps and one--of-kind designer pillows at affordable prices.

Lovely Gueridon form table, early 19th century - Walnut with original marble top

Love this Eames settee with print upholstery

One of a pair of spectacular cloisonne lamps at Sterling Provision
More great lamps and a bargain gently used Kartell stool for $85. in the color of the year Tangerine Tango

So put Sterling Provision (3634 Magazine across the street from the restaurant Lilette) in your little black book of decor sources. Open Tuesday-Sunday 12-8, but call first as the boys travel to market and interior design jobs often, (504) 264 – 3303.

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