Mary Katrantzou is a London-based designer who has been making waves since her début runway collection for F/W 2009. The attention is due largely to the virtuosity of her printmaking, but it is also due to her evocative sense of silhouette and proportion, that variety of exaggerated shapes by and large restricted to the haute couturiers.
Such statement-making pieces have quickly become the darlings of both fashion editors and street-style-stars alike (Ms. Anna Dello Russo wore Katrantzou to Chanel’s F/W ’11 show, and has donned myriad other Katrantzou duds…). The editorials featuring her work (ranging from the quite obvious to the more surrealistic) often complement her maximalist tendencies rather than juxtapose them. Yes, I realize florals v. industrial spaces is hyperoverdone (in as much as it was parodied in The Devil Wears Prada), but there’s a sleekness to her silhouette that is at odds with the prints, and I don’t think that particular tension has been duly explored.
Opining aside, the pieces are, as singular expressions of an artistic spirit, beautiful beyond reason. Even better? Buying one such dress is a near-finite guarantee that you’ll never be caught wearing the same thing as some other woman, unless you keep the company of the aforementioned Ms. Anna Dello Russo. (Editor’s note: if you do, please call me, immediately. Let’s be friends. Kthx.)
In these times of watered-down designer collections pandering to the last dollar, how often can you really say that something you bought is unique and different?
This dress will do the trick quite nicely. An investment piece, for sure, but look at it this way: when you tire of wearing it, you can hang it on the wall. Art, meet Fashion. Fashion, meet Art.
GET IT HERE.
This Thursday and Friday Neiman Marcus Copley Place will host designer Christian Siriano for an intimate presentation of his Resort and S/S ’12 collections. One of fashion’s favorite wunderkinds, Siriano is as well known for his ebullient personality as he is for his jaw-dropping designs. So, yes, come for the fabulous frocks, but also come to get a chance to meet this charming personality.
From ultra-feminine silhouettes to his virtuosity of tailoring, the collections are not to be missed. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing the Spring 2012 collection at NYFW, and, frankly, cannot wait to get to see these pieces up-close-and-personal.
Christian Siriano Presentation
& Personal Appearance
Thursday & Friday
Couture Salon on Level Three
RSVP by phone to (617) 536-3660, ext. 2052
Sarah Chang is a virtuoso violinist of the highest order. She began playing at the age of four. At the age of nine, she made her soloist début with the New York Philharmonic. Since that time, she has enjoyed the rare success of both critical acclaim and lasting commercial relevance, captivating audiences and record listeners alike with her measured approach to music and its many mysteries.
This Sunday, October 16th, Ms. Chang comes to Boston for a performance at Symphony Hall, as part of the Celebrity Series of Boston. At the heart of Sunday’s program are two richly expressive, Romantic-era chamber works: the Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 in d minor and the Franck Violin Sonata in A Major. Ms. Chang has performed these pieces the world over, and in her hands the sometimes-enigmatic motifs of each seem to unfurl, revealing unparalleled moments of musical transcendence. In short, this is a program you cannot afford to miss.
Sarah Chang, violin
Andrew von Oeyen, piano
Sunday, October 16, 3:00PM
Buy your tickets now.
Fuse and XFINITY have come together to give you a chance to win a full day and night of enjoyment in Boston! One lucky winner will win a pair of tickets to an event of their choice at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre, a music prize pack including an MP3 player and headphones, a gift certificate for a night on the town and a pair of tickets to a local Boston museum or attraction! In short, it’s one of the few contests worth entering.
To enter, simply head here and fill out the quick registration form. This sweeps is only open to residents of Massachusetts and ends next Thursday, October 13th, so get on it now.
That meant NOW, kids.
The new video collaboration between filmmaker Harmony Korine and Proenza Schouler is a doozy. After the brilliant film Act Da Fool, which showcased Proenza Schouler’s Fall 2010 RTW collection, I was overwhelmed with anticipation for this year’s creative iteration, titled Snowballs. The video was premiered (quite fittingly) at Silencio, a club in Paris designed completely by David Lynch.
Observing Act Da Fool in juxtaposition with Snowballs, I would venture to say that if you give Korine an inch he is wont to take a mile.
The first film stirred up some controversy, with arguments focused on the misrepresentation of urban culture. One must realize that Korine’s whole oeuvre focuses on groups that often go unnoticed. His portraits of these individuals come from a completely different angle than we are generally used to, and therefore arouse distain and controversy among many critics.
With that introduction, lets delve into Snowballs – the most alien portrayal of fashion I’ve witnessed. The video’s protagonists are two young females decked out in selections from Proenza Schouler’s Fall 2011 RTW line, juxtaposed against an assortment of cheap store-bought ‘Indian’ headdresses, plastic bags as shoes, and other passing accoutrements as costume. Styled by Pop magazine’s Vanessa Reid, the pairings point to society’s nascent obsession with Native American cultures, and are rightly spliced with a heavy dose of the derelict.
The two protagonists move through this dystopian space in a puckish manner, dancing in backyard forts, and wandering down deserted Nashville streets, where manufactured homes dot the landscape to form a decidedly lackluster setting for gorgeous clothes. It’s an unsettling narrative, to say the least, wherein a nasally sing-song voiceover vaguely references issues of American Indian oppression.
As the film proceeds, it explores a decidedly Lynchian aura, causing an inexplicable feeling that forced me to the edge of my seat multiple times. The sets become blanketed in darkness, with characters losing layers of clothing as day turns to night. At one point a male character enters the narrative, ranting prophetically, as if possessed.
Snowballs does not have the same evocative, dreamlike qualities of Act Da Fool; you can’t let it take you away like a magic carpet. But Snowballs is effective in that it incites a strong curiosity: what is the true context of these clothes, and what is their origin in terms of influences? Proenza Schouler said they looked at many Native American textiles for inspiration, yet the wearers of the clothing are far removed from those influences. We are trained to critique the conceptual within art, the aesthetic within fashion, but the true beauty of Snowballs is that Korine invites us to do both, giving the fashion a space within which to live and breathe, and indirectly imbuing the clothes with a meaning beyond artifice.
That said,when Alex Hall calls me with an invite, I know all of that will be different. Her parties are as dynamic and as wildly fun as she is. That is, as polished and perfect as they are effortlessly enjoyable. And it is a testament to her inexhaustible charm that she attracts the best and the brightest of Boston’s many circles: the artists, photographers, interior designers, PR folk, musicians, writers, models, and, yes, even the fashion folk. Nearly everyone knows her. Perhaps more notable is that I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t love her.
This past Wednesday she hosted a celebration of Boston’s top models at Forum, creating a unique and necessary niche during the Boston Fashion Week maelstrom. I went for the reasons aforementioned.
It may be the first time I’ve enjoyed a party in Boston that wasn’t for StyleBoston (our parties are EPIC). The models, a spot-on mix of incredible girls from the city’s top agencies (Click, Dynasty Models & Talent, Maggie Inc, Model Club), looked absolutely stunning, and represented the true range of Boston talent. Joico flew in celeb stylist George Papanikolas (who was quite handsome himself) from L.A. to prepare the models for their fête beforehand with Maxime Salon. Makeup was apparently done by Glow Beauty Boutique and Skincare in Braintree, but it was so flawless I hardly noticed makeup at all. A beautiful show of restraint on the part of the Glow team.
And yes, as is customary at such events, I gulped down more of the specialty Brugal Rum cocktails, particularly the “Cover Shot” (irony?), than is prudent to admit. But let’s just say I hate rum and I somehow couldn’t get enough of these concoctions. That’s how good they were.
As for the food Forum prepared, well, all I can say at this point is that there may or may not be photographic evidence of me devouring nearly an entire cheese plate, all by my lonesome. Let me also say that were such photographic evidence ever to surface, I know which photographer would be to blame, and there’s little worse than a woman scorned. Or besmirched. Or photographed devouring nearly an entire cheese plate by herself. I’m just saying I’d be angry, is all.
Below is a gallery, courtesy of Randy Gross of Elevin Studios. Cyberstalk the guests at your leisure.
This weekend the Boston Symphony Orchestra opened its 2011/2012 season, the first sans longstanding conductor James Levine. On the program were Mozart’s five violin concertos, performed over two consecutive evenings. It was a bold choice for the BSO, as of those five concertos only two—the third in G Major and the fifth in A Major—enjoy any notable popularity. The first and second concertos, while clear examples of Mozart’s early musical genius, are hardly ever played. The fourth is played more frequently than the first two, but not by any great margin. Clearly, the BSO understood: the third and the fifth concertos were slated for Friday’s Opening Gala; the remaining first, second and fourth concertos, the night thereafter.
The reason the BSO could afford potentially putting off its patrons with the latter program of less-popular material was simple: Anne-Sophie Mutter, the acclaimed German virtuoso, was scheduled to lead the orchestra as both soloist and conductor. While Ms. Mutter possesses many of the ‘star soloist’ characteristics that sell tickets–an award-winning recording career, performances in every major city, with every major orchestra, a sterling educational pedigree, etc–what separates her from her contemporaries is not her glittering CV. It is, rather, the distinctive and arresting emotional language of her playing.
That said, in the spirit of putting my attention span to the test, I opted for the latter of the two programs. [Having played the third and the fifth concertos in my younger years, I had little interest in seeing them performed. Frankly, even the rich musicality I expect of Ms. Mutter could not have erased the memories of being forced to play those works. All that frothiness, the lightness of bow, the incessant trills and superfluous grace notes. Give me Dvořák's Concerto in a minor or give me death, thank you very much.]
When I entered Symphony Hall just before 8PM on Saturday there wasn’t an empty seat in sight, save, thankfully, for mine. It is a testament to Ms. Mutter’s appeal that such a program appeared to be sold out, an otherwise unlikely scenario for a roster of concertos which most of the audience had doubtfully ever heard.
On the stage there was a significantly pared-down ensemble–one more in keeping with the chamber ensembles that would have performed these concertos during Mozart’s era. This more intimate arrangement, coupled with the lingering absence of Mr. Levine, seemed to suggest that the BSO would be doing things a bit differently this season. But the real focus was always Ms. Mutter, as the entire audience waited with bated breath for her to grace the stage.
Ms. Mutter did, in fact, grace the stage. First, with a black silk-satin and chiffon gown, and then, and much more notably, with her musicianship.
Throughout the program, she demonstrated an incredible range of voice in her approach, shifting effortlessly from fury to finesse, from defiant, heavy-fisted vigor to the most ephemeral effervescence. In each of the three concertos, she transformed perfectly ordinary motifs into something divine: sustained single notes which hovered above the room for a time and then melted away into nothingness; passages rife with deceptively difficult technical feats, wherein Ms. Mutter would jump from the G string to the E string (that is, skipping the two middle strings altogether) with aplomb; and her handling of Mozart’s characteristic, and nearly constant, trills–the rapid fluctuation between two notes. Typically, trills are almost purely decorative, but in Ms. Mutter’s hands they were sublime phrases in their own right, evocative of mischievous songbirds.
And yes, her many cadenzas–those perfunctory exhibitions of sprawling technical virtuosity–were certainly impressive, but it was during the fleeting minor motifs that she most impressed herself upon the audience. In these passages her tone was at its richest, languid and robust, one supple sostenuto after another. She seemed to burrow into the somber phrases and then languorously emerge, as if with a prolonged sigh. In short, her command of her instrument was often eclipsed by the conviction with which she played, inviting the audience into a musical experience as rare as it was otherworldly.
It is true that her sometimes less-than-traditional approach has earned her a Purist critic here and there, and I will admit that Ms. Mutter did seem most at home in Mozart’s music when she was playing his lighthearted Classical-era motifs with her trademark Romantic-era pathos. Yes, she took certain liberties: a generous and wide Germanic vibrato (which is not wholly historically accurate), a reoccurring rubato (the lingering to elongate a phrase–again, not wholly historically accurate considering how often it was employed outside of the composer’s notations), and, perhaps most frequently, her playing many already-rather-fast passages so rapidly that they were nearly indistinguishable, save for the passing effect they created. But it was precisely because of these liberties that the concertos, which to me have always felt claustrophobic in their ebullient simplicity, were suddenly fresh and relevant, intensely expressive instead of merely elegant.
The BSO did a commendable job of complementing Ms. Mutter’s musicality, especially considering that concertos like Mozart’s have a way of relegating the ensemble to a strictly supporting role. This pared-down setting seemed instead to highlight the individual musicians, affording a level of nuance often lost to the grand swell of a full symphonic setting. Gone was the stiffness, the separation between ensemble and soloist, the rigid call-and-response. At times, the relationship between the BSO and Ms. Mutter was so intimate I felt as though I was watching a relaxed rehearsal among close friends.
For the Boston Symphony Orchestra, this opening night series could have served to underscore the absence of Mr. Levine. Instead, it was a resounding celebration of those present: the dynamic virtuoso and the committed musicians of the BSO who, with or without their beloved conductor, are not only moving forward, but moving ahead.
It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to pull off wearing a hat–an amount that typically hovers above the (mostly hatless) heads of most Bostonians. Hats say: Look at me, damn it. Now. And: That’s right, bitch. I’m someone to be reckoned with. If not even sometimes: You know you wish you had guts enough to wear this. None of which are sentiments most New Englanders are exactly comfy with. The ubiquitousRed Sox cap notwithstanding, hats just aren’t our thing.
I’d reckon that was all changed last Monday night. The Boston Fashion Week show of Marie Galvin, milliner and longtime Boston fixture who for years has struggled with a local aversion to flamboyance, had just that kind of impact.
That’s largely because Galvin made two very smart decisions for the show: First, she went for wearability. Gone were her outrageous sculptural creations that may look beautiful behind glass, but would all but eclipse their wearer. (And have, in the past, emitted squawks of, “Where on earth would I wear that?“) No, she kept things earthly, unpretentious, and simply pretty with intricate fascinators festooned with netting and feathers; pom-pom topped wool caps; ’20s, ’30s, and ’60s-inspired numbers topped with petite poofs of feathers. The only hints at architectural derring-do–a fascinator of silk multi-curls here, a gorgeous, asymmetrical black meringue for the finale–were still sized well enough that they stayed proportionate to the models’ heads. Meaning they came off as daring rather than overwhelming or silly.
Her second smart move was tapping CONTRA to style the show, all the clothing and accessories pulled from Neiman Marcus with an eye toward elegance and streamlined refinement that still nodded to the runway. Gauzy blouses, python-patterned pencil skirts, silk shift dresses, and fur-collared coats–all of it a mostly neutral palette, and all of it as ladylike as it was edgy. They were the perfect foil for the hats–and arguably the most convincing argument for the hats themselves.
Together, Galvin and Contra showed Bostonians that not only are hats wearable every day; they showed them how to wear them–as an improvement to an already spectacular outfit. That’s the kind of equation capable of proving to the hatless public that style statements are nothing to be afraid of. And that, even as vintage-inspired as many of Galvin’s creations may be, is an idea that’s time has finally come.
For all you awash in the NYFW hubbub, I admonish you to stop for a second, take a cool sip of your diet coke, and give a little thanks to all of our designer ancestors. Specifically Giorgio di Sant’Angelo. Potentially one of the most cultured and well-traveled designers that ever were, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo successfully incorporated a mind-blowingly eclectic set of influences that even Comme des Garçons would balk at.
He is also the genius that brought jersey fabric into wide use for outerwear, praising the sensuality of the form of the body. “Silhouette as we’ve known it, as something imposed by fashion is finished. The only silhouette for 1971 is the body,” he stated. He was known as the wild child of fashion, bringing vibrant colors, ethnic influences, and massive clusters of jewelry into wide circulation.
Giorgio di Sant’Angelo was born in Italy and grew up in Brazil and Argentina. He eventually returned to Italy to study architecture and industrial design. Later on, he focused on art, ceramics and sculpture in Spain, boasting Picasso as one of his professors. Following that, he did a brief stint in California doing animation, then relocated to New York City and began freelancing. He soon caught the attention of Vogue editor Diana Vreeland with his unique and bizarre Lucite jewelry. The rest was history. Giorgio di Sant’Angelo brought hippie into high fashion by wrapping his models in layers and swaths of fabric and adorning them with the most brilliant of accessories. This is truly a case of artist-turned-designer, a man with a varicolored vision that ended up being most successfully expressed through dress.
He was quoted as saying, “I am not a fashion designer but an artist who works in fashion—an engineer of color and form.” This is clear when one spends a little time with his work, there is a painterly quality to his clothing compositions—they don’t exist merely to flatter the body but also to bring the mind into the persona the clothes create.
If you are going to be in Phoenix any time soon, make an effort to check out a retrospective of his design work, opening the 17th of September and running until February 12th, 2012. More details HERE.
For the premiere of StyleBoston’s third season, I partnered with an all-star team to bring you what I consider to be one of the best Fashion Forward features to date: a behind-the-scenes look at our Fall 2011 editorial shoot.
I’ll admit, as a whole this F/W season was wildly underwhelming for me. Throughout the shows in February, it seemed as though designers were reacting to continued buyer hesitation by pushing aside designs that could or would have felt new and fresh. Instead, in concert they gave us collections that not only pandered to the last-standing dollar, but also diluted, with their severe safeness, the very essence of the brands which designers were scrambling to save from financial woes. Gone were the idiosyncratic signatures of each designer–the differences that distinguish one brand from another–and in their stead was a mild sea of sameness. The waves advanced but never broke, and if they ever reached the shore, well, I must have missed them from where I was standing.
As a result of this conciliatory consensus among designers, the editorial pages of America’s major fashion tomes–Vogue, Elle, W, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and the rest of their ilk–were chock full of predictable features hailing the neoclassicist revival as the next best thing since the no-carb diet. “Finally, designers have come back to reality and created sensible collections that every woman, in every city, in every country, of every shape, of every age, can wear!” Never mind that no fewer than twenty designers brought you nearly the same pencil skirt silhouette. Never mind that you most likely already own that very silhouette and have for over a decade. These are clothes you can buy, said the editors. And though seeing that tired phrase over and over again definitely annoyed me, I could hardly blame them. After all, designers lose money when their more outlandish pieces don’t sell and their retailers scale back their seasonal buys. Designers losing money = designers having smaller advertising budgets = designers spending fewer advertising dollars with America’s paragons of print. Either way, it was clear: the buzzword of the season was buy buy buy buy buy, and it was repeated ad nauseum.
My word was somewhat different: bored.
Of course, I enjoy a somewhat rare position: we at styleboston maintain a pretty strict separation between our sponsors and our editorial coverage, so I’m not beholden to tell you to buy buy buy buy buy whatever’s sitting on the racks at your nearest boutique or department store. That, frankly, just isn’t my thing. If you already have it, you probably don’t need another, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, you don’t actually need any of this. But fashion, at its best, is an incredible form of escapism, a bit of fantasy that you can put on and take off as you see fit. By my estimation, when a design hits that mark, it’s always a worthy investment.
All that in mind, the team and I selected our favorites from the Fall 2011 season for this feature. That labels like Comme des Garçons and Proenza Schouler made it onto that list is to be expected, but there were certainly a few surprises, too: a diaphanous cocktail dress from Christian Siriano, for example. The designer himself dubbed the tulle confection the “ChaCha” dress because of the way the skirt floats and sways away from the body as you move, and frankly, who could resist a dress that makes you want to dance until you drop? I mean, damn, even I was tempted to purchase the thing, and I don’t wear dresses (they don’t fit) and I hate dancing (because I can’t dance).
All kidding aside, I hope you’ll take a few moments to peruse the feature, Cosas Oscuras, and maybe, just maybe, remember that while fashion is a serious industry, it is not serious business. Consider some of fashion’s most historic moments… In 1947, Christian Dior rebelled against post-World-War-II fabric restrictions by using over 20 yards in a single silhouette. It was a perfectly pedantic whim, but in the process he débuted the revolutionary New Look. Yves Saint Laurent fantasized about a modern power woman, slick and in control. That fantasy manifested itself as the Le Smoking tuxedo. It was the first clear foray into menswear as womenswear, territory designers are still mining for inspiration to this very day. Or Savage Beauty, the Met’s Alexander McQueen retrospective, which not only drew record crowds, but was then extended, then sold over 20,000 new memberships as people vied to skip the four-hour lines. When it finally closed, the museum could hardly meet demand. In short, a little fantasy goes a long way.
And for those who wonder at my admittedly pretentious title, Cosas Oscuras, I’ll come clean: the phrase was plucked from one of my favorite lines of Pablo Neruda’s verse, “Te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras…” I won’t bother translating it because, hey, this is the digital age. You, like me, have google.
So take it in, love it, hate it, burn it (difficult through a computer screen, but I admire persistence!). And, as always, please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section.
September and subsequent months in Boston can, in many ways, be viewed as our ‘Social Spring’. We are all back from our island vacations, tanned, relaxed, ready for commitment all over again. It is a month that launches the pre-new year in terms of major events in Fashion, Design, and Fundraising. Bostonians are feeling the love for all things social, and who can blame them? Fashion Night Out this past week was an enormous success not only for our local economy but for our social egos as well.
Come October 1, 2011 Boston will be partying it up yet again at ARTcetera, a major fundraising event to help raise money for the AIDS Action Committee. If you haven’t already, get your ticket asap, as this will be a sold out event!
” Twenty-five years ago, a group of Boston-area artists came together in response to the AIDS crisis, which was claiming the lives of so many of their friends, fellow artists and colleagues. They responded by creating and organizing the first ARTcetera, a contemporary art auction held at Boston City Hall, to raise money for AIDS Action Committee.
Over the years, ARTcetera has grown to become one of New England’s premier art auctions and an essential funding source for AIDS Action. And, while the AIDS epidemic looks nothing like it did 25 years ago, this epidemic and AIDS Action’s work are far from over.
This October, ARTcetera turns 25! Once again, the arts community and AIDS Action will celebrate our extraordinary partnership in this fight to stop the epidemic by preventing new infections and optimizing the health of those living with HIV.”
Chances are you know someone who has suffered from this disease and it is our responsibility to help educate and support such organizations in the flight to find a cure.
This year there are over 200 artists, both emerging and well established, along with local museums and private collectors, who have donated a plethora of works. To view the collection, and enter the online auction, please check out Bidding For Good.
Not only is it a great opportunity to bid on fabulous art for your own collection, for a client, or friend, but it can be used as an educational opportunity to introduce someone new to the art world. Not to mention raise money for an extraordinary cause.
You will not be disappointed.
It isn’t Armani. Nor is it Thom Browne. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s notion of the Dymaxion sleep schedule, designer Forrest Jessee recently designed the Dymaxion sleep suit – a full body suit (or cocoon, if you will) that is created from a web-like pleated structure of specially formulated foam called EVA foam. The three-dimensional pleat is laser-cut from a single piece of material, creating a tactile and strong form. The design of the cut fabric makes it easy to wrap around and form to the body of the user, adapting to whatever position they are snoozing in.
Because it was created with the Dymaxion sleep cycle in mind, the suit is built to be portable and easy to put on and take off, so that the user can take a nap in almost any situation. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Dymaxion sleep cycle was created by Buckminster Fuller, and is a method of sleeping that consists of four 30-minute naps spaced evenly throughout a 24-hour day. This sleep suit can help facilitate the process, making it super simple to pass out at a desk, on the stairs, or in the break room at work.
Furthermore, this thing is aesthetically quite incredible. It is intimidating enough to keep the weirdoes away in the park, and the laser-cut foam design allows you to breathe with ease no matter what strange location you deem appropriate for your forty winks. The goal of the object is to explore and query our understanding of personal space in relation to the surrounding environment. I think it definitely succeeds. Plus it makes for some damn good conversation once you wake up.
A little about the designer – Forrest Jessee has a masters in Architecture from Columbia University and holds a first professional degree (RIBA 1) from the Architectural Association in London. He was also recently named by Surface magazine as one of America’s most promising graduates. Check out his website and his other (equally as interesting) projects HERE.
Having been collaborators from 1987 – 1999, Issey Miyake and Irving Penn were able to bring out the best in each other’s work. Miyake has a supernatural ability to create pieces of clothing that transform the wearer into exotic and alluring beasts. Penn is a photographer that can tame these beasts into photographable masterpieces. Their work together was a journey into a phantasm, where human and clothing fused together into something far headier.
Design Sight in Tokyo will be putting on a brilliant show of their work together, investigating this unique relationship and the pieces produced during those years. Expect a magical leap into an alien collection of images that will make Avatar seem like child’s play. On from September 16th, 2011, to April 8, 2012.
If the Boston Design Community can be proud of one single accomplishment, it is the ingenious talents and multiple successes of Interior Designer Frank Roop.
This Thursday evening, Neiman Marcus is hosting the launch party celebration of Mr. Roop’s book, The New Bespoke. Not only is it an absolute honor to be invited to an event supporting such an amazing Designer, it also happens to be Fashion’s Night Out. What better way to spend a Thursday evening? I can think of no other!
Before I had the pleasure of running into Frank one evening outside his brownstone (and I literally ran into him), I have admired his unique, custom designed spaces from the get go. Originally hailing from California (see my previous post about where coolness hails……) and settling in Boston, Mr Roop has epitomized what high-end design can and should be.
An excerpt from the book’s Summary:
The New Bespoke is a compelling first monograph on the work of internationally recognized and published interior designer Frank Roop. A mastermind of original color palettes, Roop leaves his signature couture touch on each and every space that he creates. To create truly inspired spaces, the ingredients that go into his projects are unique: almost all of the furniture and furnishings he uses in his interiors are either vintage finds or custom made pieces of his own design. Roop began his design firm after a career in specialty menswear, where he acquired the principles of design that gave him a special and unexpected basis for formulating and conceptualizing his interior design schemes. For Roop, a room is not just a space to be inhabited: it is a garment to be worn, and an impeccably tailored garment at that.
I will also mention that Frank has paired up with photographer Eric Roth, a talent (and total ham) behind the camera, to create stunningly beautiful images showcasing the many spaces Frank has created over the years. Eric and I have worked on various photo shoots together and his eye for composition is second to none. What I love most about his Eric’s photographs is that he treats each space like a romantic still life. Each image not only portrays the designer’s talents, but draws a secondary, yet equally important appreciation for the image itself.
Yes, I ‘heart” both Frank and Eric.
Here’s to you Frank Roop, for providing the world with uncompromisingly sophisticated spaces, and for an unwavering dedication to what truly good design is all about.
Looking forward to my signed copy of The New Bespoke. Hope to see you all on Thursday!
Let’s leave behind “Black Swan” and the craze for wearing dainty tulle skirts, sky-high ballerina buns, and ballet flats the Oscar winning film inspired. This fall is all about strong, menswear inspired womenswear. The trend doesn’t stop at the tailored trouser; it extends to ladies’ manicured toes. Smoking flats, shoes that glide onto the foot like a favorite pair of slippers are one of the season’s biggest (and most comfortable) trends.
From metallic lamé to animal print and even velvet, there is a style for every woman. Its thick flat heel and almond shaped toe is practical for Boston’s cobblestone streets and provides a nice alternative to the over played ballet flat. (We all aren’t ballerinas, anyways.)
The most coveted pair atop my slipper loafer must have list are the Black Glitter Slipper Loafers by Kosy. The feminine, glittered outsole of this Hugh Heffner-esque shoe provides the perfect compliment to its masculine structure. Available at Topshop, they are the embodiment of casual cool.
GET THEM HERE.
One of my favorite things to do is drive around in my car between the hours of noon and 1pm, and listen to “Back in the Day Buffet” on Jammin 94.5. On most days this is possible, as I’m usually be-boppin to client meetings or some other design-related fiasco, excursion, or spree. What I find myself doing is extrapolating any number of hip-hop song phrases and thinking to myself “How the hell can I turn that into a blog post for Style Boston?” Cuz there’s nothing better than attributing Old School Hip Hop songs to any random facet of your life.
Something for the Travel Blog: Left Your Wallet In El Segundo? 5 Ways To Spend The Heck Out Of Your Paycheck, West Coast Style.
Something for the Dating Blog: You Can Go With THIS……Or You Can Go With THAT: When To Be A Baller, And When To Be, Well, A LOSER.
For the Interior Design Blog: You Down With O.P.P? Opportunistic Paint Palettes That Will Get ……You …….Noticed.
So imagine my Deee-Lite when I walked into the Dessin Fournir / Martin Group showroom at the Boston Design Center this week and cast my eyes upon the recently installed, custom painted, wallcover by artistic duo Kelly Porter & Bridgett Cochran, aka Porter Teleo.
Note: If the style looks vaguely familiar to you it’s because our beloved Executive Editor, JGC, posted on his “Hearting of Kelly Wearstler” on June 27. (Alas, Porter Teleo paper graces the foyer walls of Ms. Wearstler’s manse. Not to mention that these gals have been around for a few years, been written about in numerous blogs, magazines, etc. etc., and are ever present in the homes of Cool Folks across America.)
All of sudden I was all…”California, knows how to party…California knows how to party…” in my head. (Insert wrist gesture and gangsta frowny face here) Oh yes indeed, it’s fun time, fun time. Now, despite the fact that these lovelies are actually based in Kansas City, MO of all places, that song came to me because most cool things begin on the West Coast.
Why am I getting to this now? It’s because Boston has FINALLY gotten its ‘you know what’ together to rep such crazy cool-ness. I even heard a rumor from the showroom rep that their wallpapers have only been used by……….hold on a moment because I need to locate my inhaler…………….ONE OTHER DESIGNER ON THE ENTIRE EAST COAST. I nearly fainted from embarrassment. Are you kidding me??? Someone please debunk that myth. Because if it IS true, then I’m going to be the second Designer to use it.
Might I bring up that horrific list Boston just made it’s way to the top of? Here’s the dealio: word up to all you Bostonians, get cooler, fast, and look these chicks up. Let’s show these fools how we do things on the East Side. Cuz you and I know it’s the best side……..
NON-BREAKING NEWS FLASH: Lady Gaga makes innumerable fashionistas across the globe drool excessively and unabashedly at the sight of her most recent video. Most titillating? The dance scene in the barn, where everyone is wearing designer Zana Bayne’s handcrafted leather harnesses – these are fucking fierce! Plus, Zana Bayne is only 22 years old, making it quite impressive that she outfitted a whole crew of dancers for Gaga’s latest vid.
Another highlight: Blue blush! Rocking an aberrant blush color has always been a hobby of mine, but blue?! The look of death has never been more vibrant. Love the pale, pale skin accented by flashing cerulean cheeks.
That being said, I’m not a fan of the music. In fact, I had to mute it halfway through. I’m undecided as to how to classify it… Pop with an electro-country twang? Operatic backwoods disco-pop? Whatever it is, I’ll pass and sync mine up to something a little less…histrionic.
Check out the official video HERE.
There is an architect out there who is near and dear to my heart: Robert Whitton.
I have never met the gentleman and probably never will, but I love him in the same way I love my four-year-old UGG slippers [editor's note: Stephanie, this is unacceptable], the same way I love the pre-dinner aromas in my Mom’s kitchen on a late Sunday afternoon. Comfort love.
Why? In the early 70s, he designed a very special home. The home in which my husband and I now live. It has had a few owners, one major renovation; but it will grow old with us.
Here’s to the person who made me appreciate the makings of a pretty cool-looking box.
It took me about 6 years to track the man down. When I finally did, through a writer in Arizona, it was an honor to speak to the man who 1. Designed something pretty cutting edge, especially for this neck of the woods 2. Made me understand the spacial importance of the Golden Section and 3. Appreciate, yet again, the steadfast dedication of a true artist. I live within someone else’s sculpture.
And the Heavens aligned…
I found out that Mr. Whitton, not only an architect but an accomplished artist & furniture maker, designed a handful of houses similar to mine, randomly scattered across the country, from the East Coast to Arizona, where he now lives.
What at first appear to be a coincidental collection of boxes, arranged together to create solid looking yet unfixed dwellings, is subsequently a haven for the mathematically inclined. Every single wall, floating bookcase and window has been calculated to the n-th degree. For the ‘design-OCD mind’ (and really, I wouldn’t know), it really is heaven.
All of Robert Whitton’s houses have similar details: enormous expanses of stucco wall, Mondrian-like splashes of color, Meier-esque cantilevers and roof lines and a Walter Gropius blend of traditional and modern materials.
Additionally, Mr.Whitton’s jewelry and one of a kind pieces of furniture are black and white versions of the collaborative mingling of Art Deco, Modern, and Memphis Design.
Thank you, Mr. Whitton, for providing shelter in the form of a grand scale sculpture and for reminding me each and every day that some things are better left untouched.
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