Archive for ‘design’

April 9, 2011

Jimmie Martin at the Milano Salone Del Mobilie 2011

Exclusive preview of the new Jimmie Martin Lamp Collection now on display at the MILANO SALONE DEL MOBILIE 2011 @ Frankie Morello’s flagship store – Corso Matteotti 3, 12th – 19th April.

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April 7, 2011

The most beautiful watch in the world?

Georg Jensen Men’s Koppel 18K Watch  pays homage to the original understated design that Henning Koppel created back in 1978. Elegant black dots replace the traditional numerals around the circumference of the 41mm dial. $6,200

April 7, 2011

DESIGN: Ward Bennett

Double Helix flatware for Sasaki, 1985, MOMA permanent collection

Crystal vase, 1960, MOMA permanent collection

In a career spanning postwar austerity to 80’s excesses, Mr. Bennett designed everything from furniture to dresses, from homes to jewelry. His clients included Gianni Agnelli, the Italian industrialist; David Rockefeller and the Chase Manhattan Bank; Tiffany’s; and Jann Wenner, the publisher of Rolling Stone magazine.

He was one of the earliest American designers to introduce industrial materials into the home, well before the high-tech look became popular in the 70’s.

”I design interiors, and furniture and flatware, and so forth. But I think the way I live is maybe the most meaningful.” Ward Bennett 1917-2003

Circa 1965, for Lehigh Leopold Sofa. Reupholstered in blue Spinneybeck leather, $14,000 at CONVERSOMOD.com

April 6, 2011

The Fashion Vampiress claims yet another victim: Christophe Decarnin at Balmain

Franco Moschino had a term for the havoc the  business of fashion can wreak on the  creative soul.

He called the entire industry the fashion vampiress. “Not only did his clothes question what became known as the fashion system – the ludicrous cost, ubiquitous ‘styling’, and 15-minute relevance – but his very advertising underscored his anarchic scepticism. Flicking through glossy magazines your eye would suddenly be arrested by Moschino’s black humour. A full-page advertisement depicted a vampire admonishing you, ‘Stop The Fashion System,” read in part his obituary in 1994 in The Independent.

The 15 minute relevance was Moschino’s way of describing the pressure that designers feel to produce something new and relevant every 6 months in a new collection. It is   this intense pressure, which has surely heightened since the 80’s when giant conglomerates had not yet begun to dabble in the fashion business,  that is the now  at the center of the recent infamous dismissal of John Galliano from Dior and perhaps also yesterday of Christophe Decarnin  at Balmain. Writing in The International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes, its chief fashion critic, noted recently

“While the vile statements seen coming from Mr. Galliano’s drunken lips on the Internet video deserved the nearly-universal condemnation they were receiving, there is pathos in the vision of one of the world’s most famous — and best paid — designers alone, clutching a glass in a bar. The pressure from fast fashion and from the instant Internet age to create new things constantly has worn down other famous names. Marc Jacobs, design director of Louis Vuitton, ended a wild streak in rehab. Calvin Klein famously rambled across a sports pitch and admitted to substance abuse. And the late Yves Saint Laurent spent a lifetime fighting his demons.”

Mr. Decarnin, who in a very short time established the once irrelevant Balmain into one of the world’s most coveted labels, seems to be the vampiress’ latest high profile victim. Cathy Horyn writes today in The New York Times that:

“Despite, or perhaps because of, a phenomenal run at Balmain, where he made ripped jeans and $5,000 motorcycle jackets seem the coolest thing since, well, Bardot and Brando, Mr. Decarnin hit some kind of personal impasse and lost control of the label.”

Surely, the entire story for Mr. Galliano and Mr. Decarnin (or Mr. McQueen for that matter) has yet to emerge. But it sure does look as if the fashion vampiress is on a feeding frenzy. Stay tuned.

Related Post: “J’adore Dior?”

April 3, 2011

Doggie Style: Jimmie Martin “Sausage Dog” cushions

With a middle part in each color, the Sausage Dog  can be extended as far as you like.

 

Order direct from JimmieMartin.com here

Related Post: Design–Jimmie Martin

March 24, 2011

How to double the life of your blue or grey suit? Brown shoes.

Before black shoes became appropriate to wear with everything, the traditional choice for a men’s shoe with a blue  or grey suit was brown.

Look closely at this 1961 portrait of Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia. All three are wearing a grey suit with brown shoes.

On any given day, if you tune into “The Today Show,” you can see how the conservatively but always impeccably dressed Matt Lauer follows this rule.

I always recommend to clients who buy a grey suit that they buy both black and brown shoes (usually from Ferragamo) so they can get two different looks from the suit.

The same applies to a blue suit. GQ magazine recently advised:

Always, Always Brown with Blue
1. Learn what every well-dressed European man knows: The best way to bring out the richness of your blue suit is with equally rich brown accessories.
2. A brown leather bag only gets better with age.
3. Brown dress shoes should be dark, like the color of coffee with just a touch of cream.

Cotton poplin suit, $1,845, shirt, $420, belt, $300, and shoes, $760, by Prada. Duffel bag, $3,420, by Louis Vuitton.

March 24, 2011

Design: Fernando Romero’s Museo Soumaya


If you’re the world’s richest man, worth an estimated $79 billion and have a 66,000 piece art collection, what do you do next?

If you’re Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican telecommunications mogul, you hire your son-in-law, a disciple of Rem Koolhaas, to design a building to house it all.

Here is an artist rendering of Fernando Romero’s Museo Soumaya which is slated to open later this spring.

Mexico City is home to astoundingly impressive museum collections, and now it may become home to a museum which is itself a work of art.

March 8, 2011

Design: Iconic mid-century portrait turns 50

George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames and Jens Risom

We are coming up on the 50th anniversary of this iconic photo which features “The Mad Men of of Mid-Century Design.” It appeared, believe it or not, in    Playboy, July 1961.

For lovers and collectors of mid-century furniture, we think of this image as the Playboy Playmates of the Century.

The photo was accompanied by  an excellent article which  I highly recommend you read here.

Yes, as you might have suspected, I do read Playboy for the articles.

I also recommend the link to the blog The Selvage Yard.

From a fashion standpoint, I want to point out that the men are dressed in suits of every conceivable shade of grey.

Guys, this is exactly what your closet should contain in 2011.

March 5, 2011

Lady Gaga wears Haider Ackermann on the cover of Vogue (Rachel Zoe wears out her welcome at the Academy Awards)


Yes, the backroom deals in the world of high fashion make trading derivatives on Wall Street look like a silly game for the eTrade baby. Let me explain.

Haider Ackermann is the best designer you’ve probably never heard of. He’s the Colombian born, Belgian trained designer that Karl Lagerfeld favors to take over at  the helm of Chanel. Tilda Swinton has already made a splash on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in his clothes. He is most certainly  on the very short list of designers to replace John Galliano at Dior.   Speculation will surely be running rampant today at the  showing of his Fall 2011 collection in Paris.

One of the most astounding missteps made by Rachel Zoe at the Academy Awards –apart from arranging the  gluttonous onstage costume changes–  was excluding Haider from her repetoire of gowns for Anne Hathaway. Ackermann is where fashion is headed and it would have said a lot for Ms. Zoe to be ahead of the curve. And ahead of the curve is where she sorely needs to be as it was recently documented that Ms. Zoe copied a dress she styled for Teen Vogue a few years back and passed it off as her own in her  laughably derivative debut runway collection. (All hail the next Tory Burch!)

So who needed to see the tiresome Oscar de la Renta (Raf Simons rip off) dress? The retro Vivienne Westwood ? The mothballed “archival” Valentino? The obligatory Tom Ford?

Not I.

Given that  Cartier paid Ms. Hathaway $750,000 dollars to wear its jewelry at the Academy Awards this year, you’d think she could afford to pay Ms. Zoe to do her homework.

At this point you have to feel a bit sorry for James Franco. Did he at least get a free “I’m with shady” t shirt for his hosting duties? Now at least we have a plausible explanation as to why Ms. Hathaway was over the moon onstage while Mr. Franco was under a rock.

Then again, perhaps it is Gwyneth Paltrow who should be complaining the loudest, not I. Louis Vuitton only paid her  $500,000 to wear its earrings and broach  on the red carpet. (Unfortunately, it occurred to no one to pay her not to sing.)  So the next time Tim Gunn interviews Valentino with Ms. Hathaway on the red carpet he can stop pretending he doesn’t know what “archival” means (DUDE, who are you kidding? Were you on the faculty at Parsons or at Carson’s?) and start asking “who are you wearing and how much were you paid?”

Kind of makes  one want to gag, right?

At any rate, it is thrilling to finally see (the all too often exurb oriented cover of American) Vogue make me go gaga.


Click here to see the entire  Spring  2011 Haider Ackermann on Style.com

March 1, 2011

The Best Dressed List: The Men of the 2011 Academy Awards

This year the freshest silhouette  for men was the six button double  breasted tux.

Hugh Jackman (in Ermenegildo Zegna), Jake Gyllenhaal (in Salvatore Ferragamo) and Tom Hanks all looked spectacular in it. Caveat emptor: you must be tall and lean to wear this kind of tux.

Hugh Jackman


The one button jacket was still going strong again this year. Jeremy Renner got it absolutely right in this shawl collar version from John Varvatos.

Justin Timberlake looked exceptionally good in a wide peak lapel version from Tom Ford.

Finally, it was refreshing to see Robert Downey Jr. riff on the tuxedo and get it exactly right.  The tux is actually navy. The piping along the lapels is quite sharp.

I want to run out and duplicate this look for myself!


What a difference a year makes: In 2010, both RDJ and Jeremy Renner were on my worst dressed list!