Saturday, May 30, 2009

June fashion screensaver

It's free, it fun, enjoy!
June is always so very lovely. Sunshine, gentle breezes, raspberries and flowers fill the air with the kind of special delight that's as quiet and astonishing -- as the activities and songs of the wide variety of birds one is finding everywhere. The fashion sketch in this month's screen saver is a mix of that light hearted and dreamy mood that seems to prevail all month long. After struggling through some rather serious sketches, I finally landed on this one, which has the big over sized denim weekend bag (long weekend journeys must start now!) from a few posts ago, and a spontaneous layering of old and new clothes, based on a peplum effect. Don't we all feel like shedding our serious clothes and having some fun, defining our individuality and self expression? The background this month is a collage taken from my desk -- with a favorite birthday card from a friend and wonderful artist, flea market finds, postcard stands made from re-cycled plastic (which I'm really having fun with and will post more about it soon) and much more. Isn't one's desk always an expression of thoughts, wishes and things to do and not to forget... .

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Liberty of London style

The windows at Liberty, always have a story or a tale to tell,
...with their mix of vintage, retro and new, all combined with a fairytale magic that is so wonderfully imaginative. And along the way a tea-stop is a must,...
where they've covered lampshades, teapots, table legs, all kinds of housewares with their wonderful fabrics. Finally a pause to see what new scents are in their perfumery, that has been appropriatelly, lushly filled with an inviting, den-like coziness and their original furniture.
One simply can't resists their journals, their fantasy jewels, scarves, fabrics, kits of diy projects, bags and household accessories. It is all very daring and fun in that British voice that I so love from Liberty.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Browns and their mad hatted and masked mannequins

Browns on South Molton Street in London, has a unique love and understanding of the clothes that they sell. They don't just gather the chicest and prettiest clothes available with absurdly expensive price tags -- but they are convincingly honest about their enduring enthusiasm for them. They deeply appreciate the handwork, the textures, the creativity and force that went into their creation and delight in embellishing them with exquisite accessories. Even though there is a nonchalant attitude at the shop, they are serious merchants, and convinced about their understanding, their personal viewpoint and adoration for everything they cultivate in their shop ... and this has been going on for decades! Their window displays are artistic expressions of their creativity. The past week they were with masks and props, that stir your imagination, make you wonder, where and what, that take you on journeys to far off lands or big city events.

with a revolutionary and adventuress London style.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A New Magritte Museum

this sketch has been etched out of the white washed window front
of a shop under renovation, a few blocks from the museum
Yesterday, with great fanfare, a spectacular new art museum, devoted to René Magritte, the Musée Magritte Museum, officially opened in Brussels. Situated on Place Royale in the heart of the art and antique district, and an extension to the Brussels Royal art museum (filled with work from his illustrious Belgium colleagues), the Magritte Museum has gripped the city. Everywhere you look you find Magritte symbolism, which is not only amusing, but also creates the feeling that Magritte is amongst us, chuckling to himself ... Ceci n'est pas une musée… as you bite into an apple green macaron.

My personal introduction to Magritte was The Empire of Light II, hanging in the MOMA . Hanging next to a Salvidor Dali, I returned over and over again, week after week, in disbelief, trying to absorb the contrast of the magnificently painted blue sky and the lamppost lighting the dark street. The perfection was surreal and impossible to fit into my natural world. Permanently etched into my memory, the effect of this one painting, had such a demanding presence, even though it was a comparatively small work, in the far side of a large room filled with a stunning assortment of art, that I wonder if a whole museum devoted only to this artist, will make the same powerful impression? It will be a different kind of experience (the museum opens to the public in June) and why not, isn't that art?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

From Biba to Blahniks, wonderful fantasy shoes

from the UK, about 1720, a green tapestry shoe with a rust bow
One would imagine that there could be nothing more perfect than a pair of shoes by Manolo Blahnik, but actually, it seems that wearing the perfect shoe, has been a passion, and that every decade, or century, has their stellar shoes, that can leave 2009 in the dust. At a tiny display at the V&A in London, I discovered some of the most diverse and best examples of shoemaker fantasy, creativity, originality and craftsmanship.
Biba, 1972, Satin Platform sandal with sequins A red silk boot, trimmed in bobbin lace from about 1870
a serious shoe with ribbons and a rosette from Oxford Street -
reminds me of the Penhaligons Bluebells bottleSalvatore Ferragamo, 1930, suede booty - look at the TOE!
Andre Courreges, Paris, 1965, leather boot They are all splendid and each in a world of it's own.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A sunny weekend bag

A soft, light bag, that can always squeeze in something else, and also fit into any airport overhead luggage rack, makes for a perfect weekend or trip to the outdoor vegtable market. This one is about 22" square and made with old jeans (always) and fabrics pulled from the pile of scraps. The bright orange webbing shoulder straps are practical and summery.

And it's been fully lined with another contrasting printed cotton for delight and durability.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oriental sweets and rich gingerbread

These sweets were gathered together for a friend's birthday (who is not mad for chocolate, like me and my family) - and the freshness of another palette, rich in tradition and different from our usual dessert menu, simply enhanced the mood of the special occasion. From the top, there are assorted Moroccan sweets made with honey, almonds, and other nuts, followed by a gingerbread cake, that is so rich, we were advised by the baker to eat it smeared on thick slices of fresh bread...

... and finally, an almond cake. All handmade by different bakers, they are luscious specialties, rich in flavor, smells and tradition.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wardrobe Refresh on

click here for a tutorial on blog.craftzine
Blog.craftzine is a simply wonderful, free flowing, source of crafting possibilities and inspiration! They really do their research and comb the globe for ideas and trends. I am thrilled to also be a contributor, this time on their "Wardrobe Refresh" column.
Another blogger and creative "junk" artist I adore is Junkjewerly. She's a stylish crafter with an abundance of hip and easy ways to create your own jewelry.
Wishing you lots of fun - making, wearing and gifting your new summer jewelry!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

HATS and Stephen Jones

Master hatter, Stephen Jones, opens his world and milliner secrets at the exhibit he curated in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Infused with charm and desire, for DIYers, this exhibit inspires you to pull out any old forgotten hat, and to dress it up and make it personal. Naturally, I loved SJ's "denim" hat sketched above, created with a patchwork of worn, rugged denim, and a big bunch of blue cornflowers and margaritas that seem to have been so carelessly and naturally tossed on the rim, that you can imagine the sunny, country lane where they were gathered.
The exhibit, though chiefly SJ's hats, included also plenty of other hats pulled from the extensive V&A archives, including this pretty hand stitched country bonnet, stiffened with cord and lined in undyed linen from the mid to later 1800s, ...
and a colorful straw boater from 1937, heaped with water lilies.
Except for some uniforms and a few exceptions, hats are worn today to entertain, for our own pleasure and to fulfill some dreamy thoughts. They are a medium to express yourself and your lifestyle. Today there are no milliner rules, you can freely use the most unexpected or unusual materials - and I hope you're inspired (like I've been) to start rummaging around, through all your crazy re-cycled junk, pluck some things from the garden, or mix in some fine delicate silks and ribbons - and experiment with shape, texture and color - remaking some old hat found in the back of your closet into a happy, or romantic, or hip creation, to add some whimsical fun to your day! Hats are the newest accessory.