Jan 28, 2009

Trends - How To Achieve The Eclectic Look

An eclectic style draws the best and truest from many sources and combines them into a gratifying whole.  
Here are three tips to remember when bringing eclectic chic into your home.

1.  Mix styles, periods and materials

2.  Control miscellany with color, arrangements, area rugs and background

3.  Acquire furniture and accessories to express your individuality
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Jan 25, 2009

Yaz And 80s British Synthpop

 Yazoo (1982)
Depeche Mode's main songwriter, Vince Clarke, and veteran punk and rock singer Alison Moyet formed Yazoo (Yaz in the US) in 1981. Shortly after, Clarke left Depeche Mode and Yazoo released its debut single 'Only You' B-sided by 'Situation' (1982).  Clarke had written 'Only You' while with Depeche Mode and offered it to them as a parting gift.  DM declined and Yazoo took the single to number two in the UK.
If you're a fan of Nina Simone and brooding vocals you may want to acquaint yourself with Yazoo.
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Jan 20, 2009

9 Jewelry Looks for Men: The Trends The Designers

Men's jewelry trends for 2009 are tripping back to the raw, earthy days of the late 60s and early 90s. Men's bracelets, in particular, have shown up on the runways of Burberry Prorsum, GUCCI, Roberto Cavalli, Jean Paul Gaultier, Robert Geller, and Paul Smith.
Think Easy Rider meets Reality Bites. Woodstock meets Lollapalooza.
Here are 9 trends and their designers.

Jan 19, 2009

How To Add Color To Your Home

1. Fill vases with rich flowers
2. Hang strong unframed artwork
3. Paint vintage mirrors using bright shades
4. Throw in rich pillow shams
5. Color doors
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Jan 16, 2009

How To Tie A Skinny Tie

There are 85 Ways to Tie a Tie, three of which you should know for your thin ties.

The Four-in-Hand knot is the best way to tie a narrow tie as it has a small knot. A knot favoured by James Bond and a recommended tie knot for shorter individuals, the four-in-hand is a small knot with a distinctive elongated, asymmetric shape. I've embedded a Four-in-Hand knot how-to video below, or you can view it here.

How To Tie The Four-in-Hand Knot

  The Small knot or Oriental knot is a simple yet lesser-known thin tie knot. This knot will not self-release, thereby being unfavourable for those who get hot under the collar. It's a symmetric knot that gets bigger as the tie gets thicker. These tie knots work best with loom ties or silk knit narrow ties.  
How To Tie The Oriental Knot

The Half Windsor knot is larger than the Four-in-Hand knot and works best with light and medium weight fabrics. The Half Windsor knot is one of the most well-known tie knots globally; see A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up: What to Wear, When to Wear it, How to Wear it. It's a symmetric medium-sized tie knot with the figure of a perfect triangle. I've embedded a Half Windsor how-to video below, or you can view it here.
How To Tie  Half Windsor Tie Knot

Jan 14, 2009

How To Accessorize Your Home Successfully aka Decorating Without Looking Like A Thrift Shop

Accessories are a unique addition to your home and should always be objects you love - never choose them solely to go with your furniture.  If you have a collection, display it advantageously by gathering it all in one place for the greatest impact. Arrange the collection so that the repetition of objects is rhythmic and compelling.
Here are 5 tips for organizing collections:
1.  Consider the kinship of objects to each other and to the background upon which they will be placed

2.  Anchor the collection by a piece of furniture of equal or greater visual weight beneath them

3.  Make large-scale drawings of your plans or lay them out on the floor before you commit

4.  Treat every wall as a potential artwork

5.  The best things in life are free
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Jan 12, 2009

Trends - Thrift Shop Paintings - An Interview With A New Yorker

With the barrage of social networking, virtual communities and urban densification brought on by the latter 20th century, the comfort of anonymity is developing into a romantic ideology fit for the 21st century.

French artist, Magdalena Gerber, explores anonymity in her work Tellerstories, British creative consultant to Swarovski, Graham Hollick, exhibits his anonymous portraits in his home, American musicians Fleet Foxes, pen lyrics such as Tiger Mountain Peasant Song and New Yorker, Chris Gallagher, shares his collection of anonymous portraits with the world.
I discovered Gallagher's collection of anonymous portraits while reading the Brooklyn Flea blog.
Being a collector of anonymous pet portraits I was inspired to track him down and explore the lure of anonymity further.
The interview that follows transpired over email the week of January 5th 2009. I began by asking Gallagher some background questions which developed into an exploration of stories, spirits and moods that will, no doubt, transcend time.
I sincerely thank Chris Gallagher for taking the time to explore the questions on the level that he did. Please lose yourself in a sampling of his collection.

When did you start collecting portraits?

I bought my first two in the nineties at the 26th Street Flea market in NY. It was two portraits by the same artist, a Winston Churchill and a Dwight Eisenhower. I was young and broke and probably couldn't afford them at the time but I bought them anyway.

How many do you have?
Probably around 100. In addition to the portraits I have other types of found paintings (landscapes, outsider type stuff).

Were they all acquired in the US?
All of the paintings so far were acquired in the US. I do look for them wherever I travel and have bought things in NY, Portland, LA, New Orleans etc. They make great souvenirs because they can really evoke the spirit of a place, more so than a t-shirt or coffee mug.
It was in Paris at the Cligancourt Flea Market though, that I first saw a grouping of them and it really inspired me to start a collection. I don't think I bought any there because they were out of my price range and the exchange rate wasn't great but the idea of them stayed with me. I would like to add some from outside the US in the future.

What motivates you to buy a portrait?
It's variable. Ideally I buy something because it's technically a good painting- it's just really well painted and captures a personality and mood. Sometimes I'll buy things that can be more technically crude but captures a spirit of some sort. I also have an interest in contemporary/modern art so sometimes I'll get a portrait that reminds me of another artist like Picabia or David Hockney or something like that. If a portrait can capture a past era really well but look contemporary at the same time- that will really motivate me to pursue it.

The Exploration:

The portraits capture an intimacy that provokes questions of the before and after, each with their own story. Have you become a story teller? Whose story is your favorite? Who provokes the most questions?
They can definitely tell a story and depending how you can group them, the story can change. If you group all "WWII people" together or the "robber barons" together or "the college students" together or the "families" together they tell one story but if you mix them all up the stories change. Individually, there is a portrait of a black woman that looks like it was painted in the 40s or 50s. The woman evokes a very jazz era feeling and there is a certain melancholy in the way she looks off. It's almost like listening to a Billie Holiday song (listen to Strange Fruit here)There is a painting of a not too attractive middle aged woman - she looks like a society matron from 1960's - which always elicits a comment. It kind of looks like if Goya did one of his royal portraits in the 1960's, this would would be it.

The portraits are considered anonymous, however, you've brought them together in a collection, a new family per se, giving them a new identity. Do you feel that your collection marks a single point in time or that it transcends time?
I hope it transcends time. I think that's what makes portraiture interesting- the fact that these faces endure long after their situations change or their lives end.

You're having a cocktail party and can invite only five of the anonymous sitters in your collection, who are they?
Chosen just because they all look like big personalities who've had some interesting life experiences (portraits of the invited below).

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Jan 11, 2009

12 Style Trends for Men

2009 begins with a brewhaha between mod and grunge that will result in a cordial fusion of the two. A few key trends will carry over from 2008 and even a few from seasons gone by. What we're seeing in the world of fashion, and this includes interiors and music, is a return to what's old is new. A merger of juxtaposing styles that represent the world's changing sensibility.

1. Lightweight silk or wool jersey cardigans
Try Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, LANVIN

2. tapered slim cut blazers and vests - Single or double breat, satin lapel tux jackets
Try Miharayasuhiro, Ann Demeulemeester, or Dolce & Gabbana

3. skinny ties - back with a Four-In-Hand knot
Try Neil Barret, Dior Homme, Givenchy
4. colored loafers
Try Tod's, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo

5. narrow pants/trousers - carry over but with a shorter hem
Try YSL, Costume National, Jil Sander, Lanvin

6. desert boots
Try Camper, Common Projects, Paul Smith, Fessura

7. vintage inspired leather jackets
8. combat boots
Try Diet Butcher Slim Skin, Marsell or a military surplus store

9. vintage inspired leather jewelry and distressed vintage belts.
Try Etsy.com, Burberry, Philip Crangi

10. bold horizontal stripes
Try Marc Jacobs
11. tapered yet drapey t-shirts with a vintage silky look

The Satanic Majesty's Request