Tag Archives: art

Getting Inky

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I first spotted Shane McAdams’ work a few years ago and became immediately enamored with his use of the drippy, exploded ink of everyday ballpoint pens. The images were filed away in my brain (this was, after all, before Pinterist) and I went on with my internet hithering and thithering, with McAdams’ lush, colorful work crossing my mind every once in a while when I spotted some other variety of pen ink related art.

And then!

New York Fashion Week happened (yay!) and then London started up, and found myself perusing the goodies that fashion week brings. Always a fan of Matthew Williamson‘s fantastic prints and patterns, I checked on his show as soon as it went up on Style.com. From the very first look, I noticed something familiar:

I knew I recognized the drippy inky prints, but I couldn’t recall the name or place of where I’d seen it; luckily, I’m a fantastic google-er. Soon enough, I realized that it was none other than Shane McAdams’, and it all clicked.

At first, I thought I had stumbled upon some super-sneaky/shady “inspiration.” I was all ready to pop up and break some “Caught ya!” news….

Pretty swiftly though, I found Matthew Williamson’s Facebook Page, where they listed McAdams’ work as an inspiration for the collection and also a collaborator. A very good thing which has been noted in much of the press regarding the show.

For this, the collection’s 15th year, Williamson referenced his early years as a designer and the enduring inspiration he’s found in India.

It is the colorful Holi Festival that the Spring 2013 collection looks to, incorporating McAdams’ colorful ink explosions to mimic the colored powders thrown during the festival, along with landscapes of Kerala and Tibet.

Some of McAdam’s prints appear to have been used mostly as is – art  translated beautifully to fabric –  while other fashions were adapted from multiple pieces and amended landscapes alterations. There’s no question, though, that they served as color and flow inspiration.

Personally, I loved it. And I’m kind of wondering if some precise-drippy ink DIYs will be popping up around the interwebs. Hmmm.

Mod Walls

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If you’re interested in fashion history, you might know that the 1960’s produced a legion of paper dresses. I stumbled upon these gorgeous 1968 examples up for sale on 1stdibs while I was browsing vintage eye-candy indoors, doing my best to stay cool on this oh-so-sweltering hot day.

Oh course, these made my heart beat a little faster.

Designer Harry Gordon created these Poster Dresses out of 75% rayon and 25% nylon and though not truly paper, it was recommended that you not was wash them. Clearly a man after my own heart, the packages to these stunners advised:

“Toughness is woven into the non-woven fabric for long, l-o-n-g wear, and should you tire (which is doubtful), just cut open all the seams and hang it on your wall as a poster, or cover pillows.”

Now, I’ve long been a fan of hanging my dresses – especially vintage ones – up on my walls or in my windows. They certainly qualify as art, in my humble opinion, in addition to a piece of fashion and cultural history; and so, my closet, dress rack and drawers tend to overflow with vintage pieces I don’t frequently wear and yet can’t bear to give up. I consider them my small but growing “costume history collection”. It’s a totally valid method to my vintage hoarding madness, of course. So, yes, when I spotted these lovelies online for sale I agreed  wholeheartedly with the seller that, decked out in frames, they’d make killer pieces for your walls. Kind of like these vintage swimsuits showcased by DeCesare Design.

Though the Poster Dresses were originally sold in 1968 for $2.98 by the USA importer “Madison House”, today they cost a wholllleeeee lot more, so I’m betting that this complete addition is very, very, very out of my budget. Sigh. Nonetheless, they’re amazing and hanging them up on your walls is a perfect homage to these pieces.  I suspect, however, that if someone redid these in something like a lovely silk, they’d make quite a killing on the fashion front even today.

Get on it, fashion industry.

Nothing short of fantasical

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It looks like the ever-popular animated GIFs (that I adored when I first started making websites at 15) have grown up into something rather magical. Jamie Beck‘s cinemagraphs at first look like a regular photograph until you do a double take when you realize that not all is as it seems – they move! I can’t help but adore these and, of course, I’m filled with curiosity as to how they’re made. I can imagine the slew of possibilities that this photo technique can create.

Spring Forward

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I’ve been mildly obsessed with this gorgeous photo of ranunculus flowers by Jessica Nichols ever since they popped up on my Pinterist feed last week, where they were pulled from Poppytalk. The flowers in and of themselves are spectacular, but the combination of colors against that fabulous blue-grey background ups the ante for me. And so, I couldn’t resist pulling some of those colors out for our admiration.

Today also happens to feel so amazingly spring-y that I wound up decking my hair out in flowers on a whim to celebrate. At first I was just playing with a mega high bun to pair with my gleefully bare shoulders; then came a little headband (which I need to find in more colors); one flower, the orchid; and then! why not circling my bun in them?A sort of little tiara of flowers. It’s my first time doing it, so I may need to experiment more, and maybe find some new flowers. But definitely a fun prospective springtime little ‘do.

Here, there, everywhere

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I always find it kind of funny when two reasonably unrelated things attract me, and then eventually it clicks that oh these two things might look mighty fine together.

Just today, about 20 minutes ago as it happens, I stumbled upon Mona Simon‘s photographs of Transylvania’s traditional Roma (aka gypsy) population and was immediately struck by the vibrant colors and patterns of the community.

Then I remembered seeing Pamela Bennett Ader‘s paintings:

The flowers on their own are, of course, beautiful, but I’m certainly delighted and intrigued by the integration of the little color swatches within the painting. We’ve all become accustomed to seeing color swatches attached to artwork, pulling out their colors and giving them special attention. It’s interesting to see them incorporated into a fine art status and I find that it brings a sense of modernity to the work in addition to bringing attention to the beautiful colors themselves and drawing the viewers into the artistic process.

And then I found myself grouping them together in my mind. I think it has something to do with both the nature of the colors in both selections of work and perhaps the combined/collage-y elements.

I don’t know, but it works, doesn’t it? Click on the links above to see more :).

A paint-chip-y landscape

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Spotted this purchase-able piece of wall art – Sun 736 by Cocktail Designers and just had to share. It’s all lovely pixelated, and when you look close, made up of paint-swatch type forms:

Formerly covered paint chip related art goodness:
Paint Chip Evolution, and my own paint chip landscape wall attempt (though way more abstract).

Of Swans

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Before I start, I just want to say that I must have somewhere around a billion (ok… maybe more like 7?)  browser windows open and anywhere from 5 – 10 ( more?) tabs open in each one. I also like to think I have a pretty good memory, so often I’ll spot something in a magazine some kind of other somewhere and I’ll close my eyes and tell myself where it is and to tell myself to remember, assuming that I will. Sometimes I take a picture on my phone, thinking it will help. So, I may have some whole huge little article compiled in my brain and then I go to write it up and realize I don’t know where everything is, which I always find annoying because I like to think I’ve gotten better at organizing my adventures in curiosity.. I mean, come on, I’ve even organized my bookmarks! I did! Into categories. Sigh, anyway…. What I meant to say was that I had some killer shoes to go with this post, but it turns out I don’t remember who designed them and my searching (for the last 1/2 hour or so) has not yet yielded satisfactory results. Granted they were way more expensive than I wanted them to be, and you, too. So maybe it’s better that you didn’t see them… Because if you have a thing for all things ballet-ish (or just pretty shoes), well, you’d really want them, and then you’d be kinda bummed that you couldn’t have them. (But, I’ll still try to track them down, just because I love you all so much)

BACK ON TRACK:

So, I’m pretty jazzed for the film Black Swan.

Dance films can be like crack for me. I don’t really have the space to dance around here in my NYC abode, and watching dance makes me warm and fuzzy inside. Cheesy, I know, but true. This film looks both beautiful and dark in a way that dance related films don’t usually touch. And I’m excited about how much press and interest it’s been getting. The above promotional posters are, in a word, amazing. Released by Empire, sadly without notice of the designer (who certainly deserves to be recognized), they certainly set the tone. They’re intrinsically beautiful, with dark, hidden, look-closer details that hint at the mystery and thriller nature of the film. What’s so lovely about them, in my opinion, is how well they could stand on their own. I’d want them even if they weren’t associated with a film. Just because they’re great.

I feel like ballet/dance is seeping more and more into culture. It’s subtle, but it’s there. With the popularity of ballet flats (and the shoes I found but then lost, even had satin ties to wrap around your ankles), and of clothes that are reminiscent of dance/wear, and some of the headband craze, it seems like more and more people are looking to reflect the delicate strength and grace of a dancer.

Thinking about it, it’s kind of an interesting off-shoot to the beautiful garb of say the Mad Men age and other vintage eras that have gained popularity in the fashion world, and spreading into the mass market. The whole look of ages past is so very well thought out, all in the details. But with dance, sure the costumes for performances are gorgeous…. but the strength and the posture and the character is all internal. It’s all about you and your body and your mind. Granted, it’s competitive, too. And so is the real world.

Or maybe it’s the tiaras and Prima Ballerina “princess” sort of idea that captivates some…. haha.


Ray Lewis for Black Swan, some more photos here


The Australian Ballet has certainly taken wind of the trend with these fabulous tote bags. I saw them first on The Design Files, where they were having a giveaway – and it’s a good thing, because when I checked the site after ooh-ing and ahh-ing with glee over the bags, they were totally sold out. They’re back in stock now, but something tells me that it’s not just your standard ex-ballerinas, ballerinas or dance patrons snapping them up.