Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's All In the Details

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

This past weekend I attended the Architectural Digest show at the Pier in NYC. The furniture and interior design that is exhibited at these shows are suppose to be new innovative designs, and for the most part I did see a lot of products that were cutting edge and a step up above previous years, but being in the industry I was familiar with most of the products that was represented. However, there were a handful of booths that stood out from the rest, in my opinion. One booth that I spent a lot of time at was Palo Samko's. Palo is a genius artisan who is located here in Brooklyn NY, I call him a genius because, he obviously pays attention to detail without compromising the quality of his workmanship. Just looking at the photos above, I'm sure you can get a visual of what I'm talking about. I love little details in everything - fashion, art, and especially in furniture, and I was very content just sitting at his booth all day-first, because I love his work, second, like his furniture, he's very easy on the eyes! He has the whole package - smart, creative, ambitious and good looking. But, all you single ladies...he's married and has adorable children. Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

Samko puts his own distinctive stamp on his pieces, just placed perfectly within a niche that's created in a table or chair, like little carved wooden birds with a rod inserted through them, so they can be turned with a flick of the finger (as seen in the top photo). I also love his little inlays in the wood-various circles of metals that sparkle like a little stream of gems (as seen in the two photos to the last). What really floored me was his amazing bench that had a piece of leather on a portion of the top (2nd and 3rd photos), and within the leather he stamped/carved words. I tried reading the story, but was just too excited to read the entire thing.

I will definitely be keeping my eyes on Palo Samko, awaiting his next creation of detailed whimsy...


Monday, March 30, 2009

Critique d'art dans la rue, NYC

I've seen Cheong Kwon around town a few times, and have wanted to photograph her, but it never worked out for some reason or another. I love her simple creative style, and she always looks so damn comfortable in it, so I figured she worked in the art industry in some form. Finally I bumped into Cheong walking around in Nolita, I fortunately I had my camera with me. When we spoke...sure enough-I found out she writes art and fashion reviews for a French website. Check it out when you get the chance.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Explosives are back at the Armory

Martin Klimas "Untitled
Photo from the blog, The Year in Pictures

Nathan Harger "Untitled"

Horst P. Horst "Mainbocher Corset"1939

Annu Palakunnatu Matthew - "Mens feet at temple"

Alexey Titarenko "City of shadows"

Jimmy Williams "Paris Flea Market"

Vivan Sundaram "Metal box, from the trash"

Visiting The Association of International Photography Art Dealers today at the NYC Armory blew my mind (pun intended). It was my first photography exhibit of it's size. It was pretty overwhelming, and I felt like a little kid in the candy store! Above are just some of several photos that I liked.

The AIPAD Show ends this Sunday, so if your in the area, make time for it! The photographs that are on exhibit and for sale are classic pieces like Man Ray, Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and many current photographers that are known and not so known across the world.


Prince St. - NYC

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Valentina, wearing one of her own designs

Valentina, wearing one of her own designs

Valentina, wearing one of her own designs

Valentina, during a fitting

Ask people today, when you think of New York, and it's fashion, glamour, and style who comes to mind? Many people would say Valentina! Yesterday, while at the Museum of the City of New York viewing the fashion icons gowns, I noticed all of the detailed draping that was involved with many of her designs, and thought that most of the dresses looked very current, and so now. While Valentina lied about everything, from where she was from, to her age and background, she did stay true to the one thing that mattered most to her... high end couture. Valentina designed for some of the most fashionable from the 1930's to the 1950's. Often times the designer and former dancer would show up on the red carpets dressed to perfection, devastating actresses because she would out do them in their fashion and style. I love that!!

Valentina Sanina Schlee (1899-1989) – known professionally simply as Valentina — was a fashion pioneer, clothing such luminaries as Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Cornell, and Mrs. Randolph Hearst and helping to invent American couture in the process. Hers was the quintessential New York success story: she arrived in the city as a young immigrant and reinvented herself as the epitome of style and glamour, becoming a fixture in the fashion pages and a major celebrity in her own right.

The Valentina Exhibition runs through May 17 at the Museum of the City of New York. The Museum is a little run down, but the exhibit makes up for whats lacking.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Photos: Jesse, C.C.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Drooling over Dooley

Yeah, I'm not a a girl, but I can still drool over Gemma Redux jewelry...can't I?! I've been interested in designer Rachel Dooley's work for quite sometime now. I guess you can tell by now, I love all things organic free-form. This is one of the reasons why I like Dooley's pieces so much, as well as her use of natural and vintage materials. Rachel is a self taught designer, who developed her creative approach to jewelry making while studying for the bar exam in New York. Her background in mechanical engineering, helps to bring each one of a kind piece to life. Check out her website for her current spring collection. Hmm...I'm looking through her bracelet designs now, and I'm thinking - maybe...just maybe, I can sport one of her bracelets...right?! I mean come on! They look kind of unisex.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Get the Skinny on Jeans, Shorts and Shades

On the Street, NYC

Photo: Jesse, C.C.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Downtown goes Uptown

In Los Angeles, I frequently shopped Downtown showroom for my clients and myself. Every time I entered the shop there was always something new and completely original that caught my eye. Over time, I swear the vintage and antique furniture and accessories yelled out “take me home, take me home.” Well, I guess in all actuality it was my darn mind with these voices! I have a complete weakness for original interior décor…décor that you don’t see in stores like Crate N Barrel, Room and Board, or even William Sonoma Home. I love the oddly shaped, shiny, textured pieces, pieces that are made from crystals, Lucite, malachite, zebra woods, horn, 18th century woods from Tibet, coral, porcelain, turquoise, and the highly lacquered. Anyway, some time back my favorite Los Angeles purveyors of décor, David Serrano and Robert Willson of Downtown joined forces with Los Angeles designer Joe Nye, collaborating on a gallery and collection that consists of all of those amazing items that I accuse of talking to me – 20th century furniture and lighting. The Showroom, Joe Nye New York at 1059 Third Ave on the Upper East Side on Manhattan must be visited. But don’t complain to me when you hear those darn little voices in the showroom saying “buy me, take me home!”


On the Ave. NYC

Photo: Jesse, C.C.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bloom Free!

I can attest that making chocolate truffles is a difficult task. My partner and I use to make them, and the process is slow, very challenging, and takes a lot of patience. The key is in the quality of the chocolate itself, and also in the procedures of tempering the chocolate just perfectly, so that the deep rich color of the chocolate does not turn white (called blooming) I’ve discovered two dandies in Brooklyn that make bloom free truffles and chocolate bars. They call their factory Mast Brothers Chocolate. Brothers Rick and Michael Mast use only the finest cacao from Madagascar, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. They handcraft each morsel to perfection, and are New York’s only bean bar chocolate maker, and one of the few artisans that produces chocolate in the United States. These bearded brothers may look as if they are lumber jacks, but don’t let that fool you, they just have that whole Williamsburg grunge thing going on. They definitely have the skills to produce those bloom free sweets!


6th Ave., NYC

Photo: Jesse, C.C.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Valentino, The Last Emperor

Shown around the world in film festivals to wide acclaim, VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR is a feature film that has captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences. It is a behind-the-scenes look at the world of fashion, featuring access never-before allowed in the high temples of Haute Couture. The legendary Valentino is the star of the film, along with his longtime business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti. VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR follows them for the final two years of their careers, and show the struggles the two men face as they confront the final act of a nearly 50-year career at the top of the world's most glamorous and competitive game. The struggle of art against commerce is at the center of the film. In the end, however, the story proves to be not one about money or expensive clothes, but about love.


OPENING MARCH 18 at the prestigious Film Forum.
For info and tickets please visit www.filmforum.org


MARCH 27 - CHICAGO, Landmark Century.
For info and tickets please visit www.landmarktheaters.com

For info and tickets please visit www.landmarktheaters.com

APRIL 3 - LOS ANGELES, Laemmle Sunset 5.
For info and tickets please visit www.laemmle.com

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Photo: Jesse, C.C.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Divine Cover

Be sure to check out April's edition of Dazed and Confused. I love these shots, photographed by Josh Olins and styled by Nicola Formichetti for the cover and spread.
Also, be sure to check out Dazed contributor Susie Bubble's blog. You may recognize her from various sartorial sites for her whimsical, cutting edge style.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Amazing Grace...

How sweet you pose. Last night I attended Tanyth Berkeley’s opening reception at James Danziger projects in Chelsea. As I entered the crowded and energetic space of the gallery, I knew I was in for a little treat. Working my way past the collection of eclectic people to Tanyth’s work, I would periodically catch glimpses of striking glow pale between the contrasts of New York’s dark fashion. I just wanted to finally arrive at one largely framed piece to soak in the photographer’s message, and enjoy the sensual beauty of Grace. Berkeley’s subject and friend of 7 years, Grace Longoria, I would say is somewhat of a muse. Grace’s unusual appearance and curvaceous body, is striking and fantasy like. Some of the photographs such as the one above capture a classical portrait painting quality. What photographer or painter wouldn’t want to use Grace as a model/subject, she’s quite stunning and amusing, as she was there last night gracing the crowd with all her qualities. So, after grabbing my glass of white wine, I finally arrive at my favorite photograph! The one you see just below. Grace’s head is tilted to the side, in front of a window that is filling her up with natural light, her eyes are closed and her hair is fine like that of a baby’s. Her mouth is slightly opened and her eyes are closed. Alright, yeah, you see the photo - I guess I don’t have to explain it to you. But I was recapturing last nights moment here damn it! Anyway, there is such a sense of innocence to this shot, along with the entire collection. But, when I look at this photo, I see; new, birth, womb, life, and grace…so refreshing. Tanyth Berkeley is a genius photographer, and her exhibit at the wonderful gallery space at Danziger projects should not be missed.

Tanyth Berkeley "Grace"
March 14-April 25

Danziger Projects
534 W 24th St.
New York, NY 10011


Friday, March 13, 2009

Just a Little Drama!! NYC

Photos: Jesse, C.C.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

From The Village to Vogue

Art Smith's orginal sign that was displayed
on his storefront in Greenwich village on Cornelia St.
in the mid 1900's

"Patina" Necklace inspired by Calder's mobiles

Recently, I visited the Brooklyn Art Museum for the first time, and was impressed by the enormity of the structure, but the exhibit that the Museum is currently housing through July 19th of Art Smith's jewelry was very inspirational. The exhibit honors the gift of twenty-one pieces of silver and gold jewelry created by the Brooklyn-reared modernist jeweler, primarily from Charles Russel, Smith's companion and heir.

The amazing biomorphic, surrealistic, and primitive inspired gems are very light weight and wearable. The jewelry dates from the late 1940's to the 1970's and includes his most famous pieces, such as a "Patina" necklace inspired by the mobiles of Alexander Calder; a "Lava" bracelet, or cuff, that extends over the entire lower arm in undulating and overlapping forms; and a massive ring with three semi-precious stones that stretches over three fingers.

I think I was instantly drawn to the jewelry because they reminded me of Alexander Calder's art, that organicness that you see in Calder's work you also see in Smith's as well.. Learning that Smith, along with other jewelers of his time were actually inspired by Calder and his kinetic, abstract designs made me even more intrigued with all the beautiful gold and silver creatures lurking behind the display cases.

Like Calder, they used high quality materials such as gold, platinum, and precious stones. "Their jewelry was an ornamental interpretation of contemporary art that integrated an awareness of the human form and the notion of wearbility."

If you are in the New York area, I highly recommend you check this exhibit out before it is pulled on July 19th.


Previous post about Alexander Calder

Photos: Jesse, C.C.