March 26, 2009

9 Best Mens Boots For Spring Summer


Do not fear if you bought a $1300 pair of Golden Goose boots last season - you can still wear them. The worn in grungey look from F/W '08 is carrying over into S/S '09.
Here are 9 boots to make your feet your friend.
1. Diet Butcher
available at Blackbird Seattle or online
2. Buttero

3. n.d.c.
4. Golden Goose
available at Browns UK and online

5. Fiorentti & Baker

6. Frye


7. Ann Demeulemeester
8. Gianni Barbato

9. Marsèll



The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter & Psychedelic Folk


I bought The Incredible String Band's The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1968) off eBay ten years ago because it was listed as a favourite album on a blog/web page I frequented but have since forgotten the name. Ah, the excitement of the good old days of buying an album and giving it its first listen. My first thought upon listening to this album was; 'What the f*?#?'. The second listen made it one of my top five favourite albums.

Said to have influenced the likes of Robert Plant and the Rolling Stones it's still difficult to put a genre on The Incredible String Band. To most, psychedelic folk fits well.
The dog's name is Leaf.
A Very Cellular Song (12:55) weaves together different sounds which take the listener on an acoustic trip while telling the tale of an amoebae. Listen to Secret Temple below or here.

10 Random Things About Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat 1982
© James Van Der Zee
  1. Initially Basquiat wanted to be a fireman.
  2. In third grade he sent a drawing of a gun to J. Edgar Hoover (no reply).
  3. Basquiat played the synthesizer with Vincent Gallo in a band called Gray (named after the 1918 classic of human anatomy Gray's Anatomy).
  4. He was the only kid in his grade nine academic life drawing class to fail.
  5. His mother encouraged his interest in art and stressed the importance of education.
  6. In 1981 he made his first trip to Europe to exhibit a one artist show under the name SAMO.
  7. Basquiat described his subject matter as, 'royalty, heroism, and the street'.
  8. His heroes included Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Charlie Parker, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson and Billie Holiday.
  9. The sidewalks of Greenwich Village were his temporary store front as he sold painted t-shirts and postcards under the name SAMO.
  10. Helped Andy Warhol rediscover his relationship to painting after 20 years of not picking up a brush.
Untitled (The Boxer), 1982 ~ sold November 2008 $13.5 million
© The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
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March 19, 2009

Forgotten Trinkets Find High Fashion

What's beautiful about passion is that it's a contagious cycle. Shereen de Rousseau has breathed life into long forgotten trinkets and sentimental medallions by giving them a new purpose - fashion. By resurrecting these found objets d'art de Rousseau not only pays homage to their creator but also to the individual who wears them. I had the pleasure of speaking with the designer, whose pieces grace five pages of the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, about who and what inspires her and the stories her designs tell.

Shereen de Rousseau

Your childhood was quite nomadic. You grew up in Brazil and spent time in various Canadian cities before settling in Vancouver. Have your travels inspired you?
Immensely. I've never quite recovered from a visit to St. Petersburg, specifically the Hermitage years ago. I was a changed person. I get lots of inspiration from art and architecture. I make a yearly trip to scrounge through Paris looking for trinkets and jewelry.
You were inspired to create your own designs after becoming disenchanted with the selection available, a common motivation for designers. Do you feel your designs speak to the mainstream or a niche market?

I'd like to think I sell to a niche market but I have such a variety of characters who like my jewelry I couldn't tell you what that niche is.


Design can be a very personal art form. When you design, do you design for you or a particular muse or theme?
I always design for myself. I wouldn't have a clue how to design for someone else. My fashion idols are all rock star girlfriends from the late 60s early 70s.


Who, in the realm of jewelry design, inspires you?
I love the work of Philip Crangi. He does this amazing stuff that looks industrial yet incredibly feminine. That's hard to pull off.

What kind of stories do your pieces tell? Does Colibri Noir speak something different than Médallions Antiques?
The found treasures in Médallions Antiques have their own story. The coins I use have amazing history. Some of the medallions are baptismal and have dates engraved on them. Some were given when family bought property. All have interesting stories behind them. I have a fellow I visit in Paris who takes the time to explain what all the different medallions were for and who the artist was who designed them. I have decided that coin collecting is an incredibly cool thing. The artistry and history is fascinating. Maybe in my next life. The collections are grouped together intended to be worn together or just aesthetically compatible.


When you started working in fashion what was your dream/desire? What about your dreams today? 
The entire time I worked in the crazy fast paced world of fashion, I dreamt of leaving to paint full time. I still don't find time, but I'm really happy working in a grubby studio creating things I love.
Why jewelry?
It was an accidental career change. I had been making pieces for myself and friends when it started getting noticed and a few shops inquired about selling it. It grew from there. I have always been crazy for jewelry. It is the easiest and coolest way to individualize your style. I can wear the same clothes but change my look completely with the jewelry I wear. It's also like my security blanket.
What does your intuition tell you about forthcoming fashion trends in jewelry?
I never follow trends in jewelry. I loathe mass production as I can't imagine how it would ever make the wearer feel special. I hope the trend is towards small production, more unique jewelry.


What material would you love to work with?
Gold! Big bold beautiful gold pieces are what I dream of. Unfortunately, with gold nearing $1000 per ounce this isn't going to happen. My designs are big and heavy and would require a second mortgage to produce them in gold. I'm experimenting with bronze right now.


When you're not living and dreaming fashion, what do you do?
I try to spend every minute I can with my son. I am also a collector of badly behaved dogs.

Shereen de Rousseau is available online at www.shereenderousseau.com and at Provide in Vancouver. All images © Shereen de Rousseau.

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March 18, 2009

10 Things You Should Know About Yayoi Kusama



  1. Italian police reprimanded Kusama at the 1966 Venice Biennale for hawking her art 'like hot dogs or ice cream' after she was caught selling off her installation, Narcissus Garden, for $2 a mirror ball.
  2. Kusama has published 19 novellas and books of poetry.
  3. Paintings by Kusama began showing up at junk shops after her New York studio was broken into and all her belongings were stolen in the late 1960s.
  4. The Yayoi Kusama Fashion Company collection was available in department stores under the label Kusama.
  5. Suffering from hallucinations since childhood, Kusama has been vocal about her mental illness and channeled its energy into her art.
  6. Andy Warhol and Kusama were merely acquaintances.
  7. In 1967, Kusama spent a series of weekends in New York city parks painting polka dots on members of the public who were invited to strip naked and be 'made into art' as part of her 'Body Festivals'.
  8. For her 1968 Fall collection, under the Kusama label, she had her models 'divest themselves of their excess clothing' while promenading up New York City's 5th Avenue to 57th Street in, what was known to the press, as the 'Fashion Promenade'.
  9. Kusama's mother was vehemently against her being a painter.
  10. Kusama's art is currently far exceeding auction estimates - Pumpkin 2001 (estimate $12,000-$18,000), realized $32,500. Infinity Net No. 2 1959 (estimate $2.5-$3.5 million), realized $5.8 million.
Yayoi Kusama will turn 80 on March 22.
An exhibition of her work is on through June 8th, 2009 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia. Images copyright the artist.

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For Sale: California Modern Masterpiece


Kaufmann Desert House ~ Richard Neutra
For Sale $12.9 million USD
image Stacy Reynaud
The human, like the hermit crab, competes for the best available home and carries it around on their back.
Initially put up for auction with Christie's in November 2007, the Kaufmann Desert House was estimated to realize between $15-$25 million. Numerous deals fell through and the home is currently on the market for $12.9. Located in Palm Springs, CA, the Richard Neutra designed home is an exquisite example of what is known as Desert Modern. Go ahead and buy one of the 'key residential structures of the 20th century' here.

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Spring Fever: 6 Best Mens Spring Summer Jackets

The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. Robert Frost
Layer. Layering is a great look for '09. Keep the spring chill out by layering your cardigan, waistcoat and comfy t-shirt with one of these looks in men's jackets.

1. Jil Sander
at Brown's UK online

2. vintage US military jacket
at military surplus

3. Lanvin
at Brown's UK online


4. vintage military liner
at military surplus

5. Comme Des Garçons
at Brown's UK online

6. vintage tuxedo jacket
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12 Men's Wear Trends

March 13, 2009

Handsome Furs - They're A Band

Handsome Furs - Face Control
Violent Femmes and Soft Cell share a ride back from a Canadian autumn bush party in the back of Gary Neuman's van.  Listen to the Montreal husband and wife duo here.  

Inspiring Design: Thighs, Breasts & Lips


1. The Champagne Coupe
Claimed to be the breast of a number of women: Helen of Troy, Marie Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour, Madame Du Barry, Empress Joséphine and Diane de Poitiers
Rumor has it that prospective members of Les Folies Bergère were subjected to the champagne glass test - a coupe fit over their naked breast determined who was eligible.  If the cup runneth over, her luck had runneth out.
2.  The Barrel Tile
Once hand made by potters by molding and smoothing handfuls of clay over thighs.  The half-rounded shapes were then baked in the sun before application
3.  Bocca sofa
Designed in 1970 and re-issued in 2004 by Studio 65 for Edra.  The famous sofa is rumored to be inspired by Marilyn Monroe.  Height 33", Width 82", Depth 29"
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A Slip Of The Foot: 5 Men's Sneaks

For 2009, what's old is new again. 70s surf chukkas, 80s hip hop sneaks, 60s trainers.
Here are 5 shoes to get you started.
1. Nike Air Sabaku
2. Adidas Tokio
3. Lanvin Hightops

4. Miharayasuhiro Puma

5. Vans Chukka
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March 6, 2009

3 Countries 3 Architects 3 Noninvasive Designs


1. The Herd - Mazama, Washington
AIA award winning firm, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, designed six vacation rental huts off the ground and set them on short wheeled legs thus preserving the meadow that had been damaged by 80 years of overgrazing by horses.
2. Tree Sphere - Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Tom Chudleigh wanted something different. To live in and among the trees, to move into and inhabit the forest without taking it down. The spheres, Eve and Eryn, are suspended by rope over old growth forest in a bio-mimicry fashion. See past post (July 2008) Tree Spheres - Micro Compact Vacation Rentals
3. Aldiana Club Med - Dakar, Sénégal
image copyright Édouard François
French architect and urban planner, Édouard François, finds inspiration in flora. Transplanting his vision from the Potager aquatique concept (Festival international des jardins de Chaumont-sur-Loire, 1999) into elevated peanut shaped pods for the Aldiana Club Med, Francois gives the luxury traveller a taste of living in harmony with nature.
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March 2, 2009

8 Men's Glasses: An Impressive Spectacle

Give your eyes a break and grab some specs.
Here are eight trends in men's eyewear for 2009.

2. vintage - try Paul Smith Spectacles for similar
3. 3.1 Phillip Lim eyeglasses
4. vintage - try Cutler & Gross for similar
5. Moscot
6. vintage - try Persol for similar
7. Moscot
8. vintage - try Mosley Tribes for similar


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