Le Trois: Rhinestones

When I first started scouting jewelry for Colifichet, I quickly grew tired the ubiquitous rhinestone. It’s as if that was the default for all costume jewelry from the 20s to the 70s. Oh wait, it was. Thanks, Coco Chanel (truly).

But despite seeing them everywhere and in every incarnation, I still couldn’t resist the humble sparklers. Above are three of my favorite rhinestone finds.

28

05 2011

Pages + Screen: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

If you haven’t seen this swinging 60s film, particularly if you’re married, get thee to your Netflix queue stat. It’s a hilarious satire about marriage during the sexual revolution, and on top of great actors (ahem, my favorite, Natalie Wood) it has fabulous style. What, you don’t watch films for style? Admiring costumes or richly adorned settings is how I’ve gotten through many insufferable ones.

This one’s all Mod: long shiny hair, frosted lips and heavy eye makeup, Pucci-esque prints and California-cool decor. Good pictures are hard to find, so I recommend you just watch the film. Even if you’re not on board with the theme (partner swapping, of course), you can ogle the chic late-sixties style.

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05 2011

Friday (F)oto: Pas Vu, Pas Pris

It just occurred to me that I talk about Paris a lot here.  It’s kind of funny, actually, as I’ve only been there twice. But the references abound. Might be my affinity for macarons and Oscar Wilde.

This photo was from my very first trip there. We watched skateboarders at le Palais de Tokyo. As tourists wielding cameras unabashedly, I snapped photos of the kids doing tricks and documented the grafitti like an urban anthropoligst. (How cliche, right? Little did I know, I was only just getting started on my grafitti safari.) Visually, this isn’t the most striking street art, but I love the expression. Google tells me it’s French translation of a film called Now You See Him, Now You Don’t. Seems quite apt.

I wonder if it was one of tho who created this grafitti (our entree into the world of Euro street art). Translated

Maybe that’s where the (hopelessly trite?) obsession began.

13

05 2011

Joie de Vivre: Foreign Movie Posters

No, no, I’m not talking about posters for foreign movies, though I’m sure those are equally lovely and intriguing. I’m referencing foreign versions of American movies–posters that always put the film in a new light, sometimes with comical results. It’s true that American movie posters just seem to be more literal and formulaic: the lead actor/actress (cue: unrealistic, forced and gag-worthy pose), maybe some backdrop, blah blah.

The more artistic creations really belong to Czech graphic designers who created posters in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I suppose there’s a formula there, too—only it’s wildly unpredictable. You truly never know what you’re going to get: terrifying surrealism, confounding minimalism..or just crazy colors run amok. But you know it will be interesting.

While living in Prague, I frequently stopped in the wonderful Terry’s Posters shop, nestled in Kino Svetezor, for a look at these fantastical creations. I love this collage-like take on Barefoot in the Park (far more interesting than this, right?) And how cool–and sort of subversive–is this poster for The Seven Year Itch?

When I flew back to the US after a year of amassing all kinds of stuff–worst packing job ever–I had room for only a handful of Czech movie poster souvenirs. These are two of my favorites. Would you know the first one was The Great Gatsby if you didn’t see the word Gatsby? The second is even more abstract. See if you can guess…

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05 2011

Have a Seat: Wegner Wishbone Chair

Source: Portland Monthly

 

Oh, look–it’s the color of my future Vespa. For some reason, this cool, light green only works for me in scooters (on which I’d ideally zip around Paris) and mint chocolate chip ice cream. And maybe a glossy Wegner chair. I’ve always loved the Wishbone, and now it’s seemingly cropping up on all sorts of design blogs, tantalizing me further. Design Within Reach offers it in a rainbow of lacquers, much to my delight. It seems I can’t escape the appeal of the Scandinavian look.

Though I’ve prided myself on many of my furniture purchases as of late, I have less cozy feelings for my “dining room chairs”–folding chairs from IKEA that I’ve had for ages. Long ready for an upgrade, these–or some close imitation–top my Wish list.

15

04 2011

Friday (F)oto: Primp

IMG_1908

Here’s another one from the photography class archives. Shooting my friend Lydia for my portrait assignment was not only fun (Tyra/’smizing’ jokes aplenty) but also seemingly effortless. Photogenic and comfortable posing, Lyds was a natural–the dream subject. There were introspective poses, flirty poses, costumes and even an attempt at faux nudity (tube top, natch).

But of the 100+ images from that day, this one is my favorite. Taken during some down time (costume change?), it’s the only photo in which she’s not posing. It’s a lovely natural moment capturing the simple ritual of getting ready.

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04 2011

Chic is Where You Find It

Source: Coach

 

Repeat this quote over in your head a few times, and it starts to resonate. Chic isn’t just on the runways of Milan or the subject of the Sartorialist’s lens. Design inspiration can come from just about anywhere, and, more importantly, it should.

I first saw the reference on a lazy Sunday at Borders while browsing through coffee table books. Jonathan Adler’s Happy Chic–an ocular jolt, an impossible-to-be-sad-when-reading tome–cited legendary sportwear designer Bonnie Cashin. I had heard the name but wasn’t acquainted with her numerous contributions to fashion. What a mark she made.

Chic is where you find it.

After making her debut as a chorus group’s costume designer, Cashin became known for a host of design innovations that we know take for granted–layering, industrial hardware on bags (she created the trademark toggle for Coach) and ultimately, clothes that moved and that were easy, clothes for the modern, active woman.  Think pre-cursor to Donna Karan’s 7 Easy Pieces.

I’ll always be dazzled by the artisty of the McQueens of the fahion world, whether their creations are wearable or not.  But there’s something refreshing about Bonnie’s reach and impact–subtle and yet unmistakably chic.

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04 2011

Found: In the Stars

photos by Christine Sisson

 

I’ll cop to reading (and yes, sometimes wistfully believing) the occasional horoscope here and there. It’s the first page I look at in Elle, and when my local Starbucks posts the paper’s horoscope page by the drink pick-up area, you bet I’m scanning it while I wait for my vanilla latte.

My latest astrological discovery—Sextrology—has even quieted the lingering inner skeptic. (Seriously, check it out.) And I think there is some truth to it all. After all, I’m a Capricorn with a long history of making instant connections with fellow Earth signs.

But even if you think astrology exists solely for the purpose of cheesy pick-up lines, you have to admit there’s something fun about it. These vintage zodiac pieces found during my scouting adventures are pure kitsch. A bracelet with the traits of a Gemini spelled out? Self-aware style at its best. Another one with retro zodiac charms? Awesome.  My personal favorite is this charm holder pendant with two goats. But that one is no longer for sale. This proud Cap needs a signature talisman.

15

03 2011

Friday (F)oto: Trio

trio

Summer is far away, but we can dream, at least, of spring–that first day of the year when it’s nearly temperature-less: not hot, not cold, not really anything you can perceive. You might think you can guess the temperature, but you don’t think that far. You’re just comfortable. (Those days, I’ve found, are rare.)

This was taken on a sweltering one in Brooklyn last June. We were at a swap meet when I spotted this sweet group of three, enjoying some beers and some of Brooklyn’s finest people watching.

 

04

03 2011

Object of Lust: Cire Trudon Candle

 

There are few things as mood altering as a good scent. I use good liberally. Really, it can be anything that stirs my senses, is captivating, or conjures up a memory: a fog-mixed-with-sea-breeze Massachusetts morning; furniture polish; heady gardenias on a humid night; Beef Burgundy simmering in a crock pot; even mothballs—which make me think of hours spent in the attic as a child and now, estate sales ripe for  scavenging.

A good smell/taste lingers in the mind. I’ll always remember my first experience with truffle oil when it was suddenly everywhere in the early aughts. Couldn’t get enough. I won’t ever forget the taste of the best latte I ever had or the pungent aroma of Burcak.  I’ve even filed away in my brain an elusive perfume—smelled only once and now untraceable.

So is it any surprise that I wouldn’t balk at paying $75 for the perfect candle? When I first saw the display of Cire Trudon candles at Jayson Home & Garden months ago, I knew they were something special. They were housed in fancy glass domes and paired with elegant cards with the scent names. And the pedigree was nothing to scoff at: Cire Trudon is France’s oldest candle manufacturers. We’re talking candles-made-for-Louis XIV-and-Marie-Antoinette old.

The steep price tag is certainly a reflection of the time-honored craft, not to mention the quality materials and luxurious presentation for essentially 9.5 ounces of vegetal wax. But all that means very little when you actually get a whiff of one of these. Notes like rum, bergamot, clove, leather tobacco and amber are masculine and seductive. These didn’t smell like “candle”; the notes were distinctive and recognizable and yet magically blended to create something new and different from the parts comprising the whole.

My favorite candle perfectly captured the scent of burning wood, a damp campfire in a secluded forest. I truly felt like Veruca Salt in the hall with the lickable wallpaper (Snozzberries. Who’s ever heard of a snozzberry?) In short—an enchanting, transformative and almost virtual experience.

$75 for 80 hours of bliss? Well worth it.

25

02 2011