Latest Entries

New Hero: Alvaro Catalán de Ocón


Spanish artist, Alvaro Catalán de Ocón has found a way to address the growing mounds of plastic bottle refuse by turning them into something beautiful and functional. From 2011-12, Catalán de Ocón developed the PET Lamp Project which employes Colombian weavers from the Cauca region to create lamp shades using plastic bottles retrieved from the Amazon. With eventual support of Coca Cola, the project has garnered a lot of attention in both social and design realms. The workers are paid a fair trade wage to retrieve the refuse, then they use traditional materials and techniques to design vibrant, voluminous and decorative shades for the European market.

Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design, History, Material Culture has a wonderful exhibition Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture
through August 10, 2014.

Disney’s Paperman

Nominated for an Oscar. Film by John Kahrs. Fingers crossed it wins!!

5 minutes


If you could have 5 minutes as someone else, who would you be?
If I couldn’t be present to see Queen’s Live Aid performance at Wembley, I would probably choose to be Vera Ellen in this performance. What a hot little yellow number she’s wearing!

Visit Chicago: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

In 1946, French painter Jean Dubuffet wrote an essay “Prospectus aux amateurs de tout genre” in which he conceptualized an art that would be “spontaneously available for anyone to practice, an art that would require neither talent nor instruction, an art that would proceed from jubilation rather than initiation”. Dubuffet’s ideas stemmed from his reading of Hans Prinzhorn’s book Artistry of the Mentally Ill. The book explored the psychological and aesthetic aspects of art carried out by Prinzhorn’s patients-an area of psychology that hadn’t been researched until the 1920s. Dubuffet took an immediate liking to this art and started collecting it because, as he saw it, the work was completely devoid of social influence, technical instruction and intellectual consideration. The compositions were seemingly “primitive” and “childlike,” justified solely by the action of creating. This art goes by many names: Art Brut, given by Dubuffet; self-taught, naïve, deviant, intuitive, outsider, and visionary art, the last three which are the most common terms in the U.S. today; and the least eloquent label, art of the insane.

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Get a Life!

I’ve been thinking about historical and cultural illiteracy lately…don’t know why. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I became an proud Aunt last week. I think about how my nephew is born perfectly healthy and happy, poised to take on the world. I want for him what everyone wants for a child-happiness, freedom, laughter and emotional security. What I also want for him is to be culturally and historically aware. I believe there is a real problem with my generation-i don’t think we are culturally or historically literate. I am scare of how much I don’t know. It keeps me up at night. I think about what I should do to “better” myself. Should I take German language courses, read more historical biographies, learn butchery or tailoring, move somewhere exotic, explore computer programming (which we should all do on Udacity -it’s free!). Yes, I’ve considered all of these things–If I’m lucky I’ll tackle one in my lifetime.

This leads me to the following youtube clip of Vivienne Westwood, an absolute brilliant cultural theorist and designer. She provides some interesting assertions that motivate me to baby step. What resonated with me are her points about human responsibility (3:30)
-engage with the world.
-all art is perspective and criticism of the world we live in
-Get a Life! Are you sucking it in? are you a cipher?
-You have a responsibility to understand the world.

She is something else. Read her blog!

Fashion Museum at Bath, England

I finally made it to the Fashion Museum in Bath, England this summer!

It was beautiful for all the obvious reasons, and I was so pleasantly surprised to see the museum has open storage! These pictures didn’t turn out that great because of the reflective glass, but you get the idea!
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Ballet Costume Design: New and Old


This week, the New York City Ballet premiered two new ballets featuring costumes designed by fashion houses Rodarte, and J. Mendel.

Rodarte for “Two Hearts” by Benjamin Millepied

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Horrockses Fashions


This summer’s revival of the cotton floral dress will reach new heights once you explore the revolutionary brand, Horrockses Fashions.

Museum Curator, Christine Boydell highlights a selection of the ready to wear dresses featured at the Fashion and Textile Museum in 2010.
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Embossed Pencils


Remember embossed pencils? Why did we do away with them? I remember going to the county fairs all around the midwest as a young girl and at the end of each summer, my parents would buy me a new set with my name on them for the upcoming school year.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for them like me, consider these updated versions for gifts.

Teenage Power Couples

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Berliner Philharmoniker

Ever wonder what the inside of a handmade instrument looks like?

Me neither, but these photographs for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra are absolutely fabulous.

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