This weekend I drove up the beautiful California coast to San Simeon, in central Cali. It is always a pleasure to escape the city of Los Angeles and all of it’s hubbub. The Golden State is gorgeous, and although the weather forcast predicted rain, it was a rare, sunny weekend (lucky me!) It is easy to see why William Randolph Hearst purchased the land above San Simeon Bay to build his castle for himself and Marion… a more spectacular setting would be difficult to find. The castle is as awe inspiring as it must have been in it’s prime party days of the roaring ’20s.
I have always been fascinated by Marion Davies. According to Wikipedia, she was a much better actress/comedienne than history has claimed (due in a large part to a sad portrayal in Orson Welles movie “Citizen Kane”), but Hearst’s love, devotion and immense wealth did nothing at all to help Marion’s career. She was doomed to throwing lavish parites and drunken revelries, and never achieved the success as an actress that she so dearly wanted. In later life, she worked tirelessly for charities.
Still partially intact is Marion’s beach house in Santa Monica; I pass it often and think of her. It is now a private beach club. She is the ultimate story of someone who had it all, and at the same time, had nothing. Hearst’s wife would not divorce him so they never married, and her talent went unacknowledged. Though I rarely focus on this era for my art prints, the trip up north and the sad story of Marion inspired me to do a image of her. It is the Golden Age of Hollywood in the Golden State!
I particularly like the Patchwork dresses I’ve been seeing.. they remind me of collage and layering in art forms. It is something tricky to achieve in both fashion and art. What clashes… and what is harmonious together?
I think the use of black and white makes it much easier to pattern clash. It is something I should try as I usually use a lot of color.
Below is one of my newer more “earthy” patchwork pieces. For now it is only available in my Etsy store (click on the image to visit my store!) as I have too many industrious activities going on and keeping up with them is exhausting (my life functions as a patchwork as well!) I think it is most beautiful as a canvas.
But please take your time to peruse my website, where I have many images not on etsy:
And as Autumn is near, of course I think of Paris, and this seems to represent a piece of a patchwork memory of Paris… It is time to go again. YAY!
I read an excerpt of this book, “A Furious Love” by Sam Kashner, Nancy Schoenberger in Vanity Fair. I was so fascinated by the “Marriage of the Century” that I had to go and get the book! It was a fascinating read, and perhaps it romanticized their love, but Richard Burton was quite the romantic and wrote all kinds of sweet love notes and letters to Elizabeth. What woman doesn’t like that? They HATED to be called “Liz and Dick”…. they were Elizabeth and Richard. By many, many personal accounts, they were BOTH more beautiful in person than on film. Elizabeth’s loveliness lasted well into her prime and people were shock by her beauty in person. Richard, on the otherhand, was quite the hunk… every woman was attracted to him and his beautiful voice. I just love to read about their time and the era they lived in, and reflect about how it has passed, never to return. I miss old Hollywood glamour!
Tragic and sad story all around, though.
It inspired me to make a “Elizabeth” pop art influenced canvas of the infamous Hollywood icon for my store. If you like it, go check it out by clicking on the photos!
Quoted from Wikipedia’s entry on Coco Chanel:
In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. It was calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford.” Like the Model T, the little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
In homage to the classic and iconic dress (like it’s creator!) I recently added a canvas art print of my own rendition of “Little Black Dresses.” You can buy it in my etsy shop now (I will soon be adding it to my website.) It is a lovely 8 X 10 X .75″ canvas print, ready to hang on the wall or place anywhere you want color (and black!) Of course, it is based on older fashion image and all gussied up. Click on the image to see more views.
Here are more images, just food for thought on the classic and immortal “Little Black Dress.” I actually own the last image, the book based entirely on the theme. Available on Amazon.com, of course!
I don’t really know what is quite so appealing to me about retro culture, but I can safely say that Twiggy is one of the best reasons I can name. Perhaps it is the fleeting sense of time, place, and youth that retro culture reminds us of. Perhaps it is the “otherness” from the style of today. Yes, we imitate and mine the past for inspiration, but it was REAL then… not just a source of inspiration. Or, perhaps I love the feeling of nostalgia!
I found this 70’s dress that reminds me of something Twiggy would wear, but not in an obvious way. She was so thin and androngynous that she really rocked feminine and boyish styles. You can purchase it here, in my etsy store…
….and enjoy these images of Twiggy!
I love Chole Sevigny. She certainly is a style risk taker; she’s not afraid to play with fashion, and she loves vintage and vintage style. I even love her character’s style on the HBO series “Big Love.”
I have a new vintage 1970’s dress in my vintage store that reminds me of her. when you think of the 70’s you think “disco,” but there was also a lady-like, demure look that was a little quiet and kind of demure. I love this dress! Click here to see it in my store.
Sometimes, with great sadness, I think of wonderful items I gave away with ruthlessness, trying not to be attached to possessions (and leave more room in my closet.) But I have decided to find more room elsewhere, because I hate finding things in thrifts that are similar to the things I have given away!
I’m very excited for my upcoming trip to Marbella, Spain, and Paris. While I am there, I will undoubtedly take lots of pictures, see lots of art (there is a Basquiat and Monet special exhibition, as well as “Les Femmes” at the Pompidou) and bring home lots of new inspiration for new work. I’m just a travel junkie who gets VERY depressed whilst watching “Househunters International.” I thrive on being visually over stimulated.
Here is one of my shots of Paris available for sale in my etsy store. Buy it for a holiday gift for all those people you know who love Paris!
Of course, being the retro loving gal that I am, I picture myself looking like this as I traipse through “les attactions touristiques.”
Needless to say, packing is very difficult. Lots of black. I think I should bring this, but if I decide not to, look for it in my etsy store “Trolleyla Vintage” on November 1st!
Ok, this is why I love retro art and style so much. Today my favorite paper, The Wall Street Journal, has an article and slide show entitled “The Bosom is Back”, with the most glamorous 1950s era clothing from today’s top designers. I wouldn’t even call it new, it’s just elegant, retro style in new fabrics (so instead of buying vintage, you are buying “new vintage.” I can see why they have recalled these classy, feminine and luxurious looks…because they are timeless and tasteful!
See the article and slide show here:
The New Belle Curve
Here are some of Louis Vuitton’s retro-vibed dresses from the fall 2010 collection.
AND THE REAL DEAL!…
I’m not as 1950’s-specific as this current trend with MY vintage finds, but you will find many items from many eras!
I have been a bit absent from my blog lately, busy setting up a new etsy store. Being that I began in fashion design and very often used vintage clothing as my inspiration, it is natural that I have collected some vintage gems. I’m pretty open to any era; mostly I’m attracted to what the item “speaks” of, regarding it’s time. Not only do I love creating art with a retro allure, I also love collecting objects. Some pieces I find aren’t for me, but I still can’t seem to pass them up. ( I have heard this said by other collectors!) I hate to label my finds “vintage, ” because it’s really pop culture that I am interested in… the music, the style, and the art from the times of our lives. Very soon I hope to add an art and clothing store to this site, so be on the lookout for that!
If you’ve read my blog or seen any of my etsy pieces, then you know that Andy Warhol is one of my favorite artists. I love everything about him; The Factory, his art, his early commercial illustrations of shoes, his wigs, and his quiet, quick humor. Being fabulous in the 1960s also helps. I found a promo photo of Ann-Margret playing cowgirl, and I just finished adding it to my etsy shop.
It is obviously influenced by Andy and his “Elvis” portraits, and how appropriate! Cuz we know Annie and Elvis had a fling back in the “Viva Las Vegas” days. I have united them through Andy, forever in art. I want to blow this one up to room size!
Do you think my art will ever sell for $10 to $15 million (est.)??? Well, I would have had to been inventing this stuff first, but I’m happy honoring Andy. There will never be another!