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’ve been seeing some very interesting new fashion for Fall 2013, among those are the voluminous and luxurious styles from Rochas. The looks are both retro and modern at the same time, recalling the shapes of the 1950s yet looking very new. Delicious! And who could not love the mosaic bejewelled treasures from Dolce and Gabbana? Early Christian byzantine art brought to life to be seen anew. I LOVE the colors and the complexity and I find them inspiring and very creative. There is so much inspiration in the fashion world.
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!
Today Helen Gurley-Brown, THE woman… the woman behind Cosmo magazine, the woman who told many many generations of other women that it was ok to enjoy being single…that it was ok for women to have sex without guilt, has died. All I could think about today though, was the luminous Natalie Wood, who starred in the movie based on Helen’s famous book, “Sex and the Single Woman.” The book was written in 1962, and if you are a fan of Mad Men, then you already know how it was for women in that pre- feminism era.
In retrospect, maybe the movie doesn’t have the impact or importance of the book. The incredibly beautiful Natalie is a “Sex Therapist”; she is a working woman- an educated woman. In the end of course, the inevitable happens and she falls for Tony Curtis. I haven’t seen it in a long time, so I can only reflect on these two thoughts… the death of a important cultural icon and feminist Helen Gurley-Brown, and the incandescent and unforgetable Natalie Wood. (Tony Curtis – meh!)
Rest in Peace, and thank you Helen!
All the pastel dyed jeans this season are affecting my color preferences. I quite like them… but what to wear with them? Batik-dyed skinny jeans also sound fab. For sure, the big platform wood shoes are a must for either!
I did buy this eyelet top from Banana Republic, I think it could work…
In any and ALL cases, though, the pastel clothing extravaganza will certainly work in the colorful city of Positano Italy, where I want to be wearing them SOON!
The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50 years in show business, as I recently read in the Wall Street Journal. It was interesting to be reminded that the Stones’ early style was very natural, as in, one could almost say JCrew-ish? I have to say that I prefer Mr. Jaggar in those clothes in that era. A most beautiful English lad! Here is what phtographer Gered Mankovitz said about their dtyle in the early days:
“In late 1965, when I first shot them, it was against the band ethos to dress up too much,” said rock photographer Gered Mankowitz, who toured with the band that year, and shot Stones album covers such as 1965′s “Out of Our Heads” and ’67′s “Between the Buttons.” “There wasn’t a lot of difference between their off- and onstage style, really. The look was natural, real—not flashy. Part of their visual strength was their individuality. And each had their own look.”
Although I also must say I love their jumpsuit and cape wearing in the years that were to follow, I think their classic look fit their youth well.
Click to view more fabulous Rolling Stones looks! May they Rock and Roll forever!!!
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!
It’s been long time between posts lately … you know, the holidays and all that. I’ve been enjoying my downtime and reading my iPad, watching movies (loved loved “The Artist”!), filling orders for my stores and generally being lazy! I recently have been perusing the Life Magazine app, which is just beautiful. They have organized their incredible iconic photos into slideshow-based themes and I discovered Françoise Sagan, (under the “romantic-drunken-mad-literary-artist category”) who by all accounts was a hard living, larger than life, precocious artist. Her first, and most famous book, “Bonjour Tristesse” was published when she was 18 years old. She was an eccentric, and I love her for that!
Here she is with some of her more famous quotes:
“To jealousy, nothing is more frightful than laughter.”
When asked if she believed in love: “Are you joking? I believe in passion. Nothing else. Two years, no more. All right, then: three.”
“A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you.”
“I have loved to the point of madness, that which is called madness, that which to me is the only sensible way to love.”
“One can never speak enough of the virtues, the dangers, the power of shared laughter.”
“Art must take reality by surprise.”
I know it appears I am in love with all things French …and I am! Only the French would make the new silent movie “The Artist”, and possess the effortless style of everyday Parisiens, speak the lovely language that I now master fairly well, not to mention the great bread, the butter, and Brigitte Bardot.
In French, “window shopping” is translated literally as “licking the windows” (leche-vitrines) as in, Je adore faire du lèche-vitrines pendant la période de Noël (I adore window shopping at Christmas time.) But after taking a break from my blog (and work) to have an extended stay in the City of Light, I can tell you that they have the BEST window displays there, bar none. You WILL want to lick the windows. The most amazing little stores, remarkably small and perhaps largely unnoticed, design a small feast for the senses for those who take the time to stop and look. It’s just how they do things in France (I never thought taking art education out of the public schools was a good idea. Ask the French about it!)
One late Sunday night (yes, I said Sunday) around midnight, I was walking back to my apartment in the 6eme and I saw a women, working alone late in her little hat boutique, designing her new window display for the following week. She would make the most incremental adjustments of the hats, then walk in the street to take a look, then go back and move things a teeny bit more. It was very late, but apparently, very important. That is why it is worth “licking the windows” in Paris! Thank God the French don’t like to change!
Here are just a few of the windows I photographed; mostly I was focused on photographing small Parisians scenes to embellish for my store. Take a look, they will be added soon!
And here is a photo of the flowers in bloom at the Jardin du Luxembourg (in October, no less) that will giving me endless inspiration for happy, joyous color.