Friday, April 23, 2010

Pulitzer & Peonies

A while ago I came across this photograph which incorporates two of my favorite things: the color pink and calligraphy. I can't remember if this was actually the Pulitzer home or an office or what, but I do like it!

While we are on the subject of pink, my favorite flower is in bloom—the peony. Pink and white are my favorite colors for this flower.

According to the good people at Teleflora, "peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Think Pink!

Spring is in swing, and why not celebrate by wearing my favorite color? By the way, leading lady Kay Thompson was also the author of the book Eloise.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Death by Fast Food Design

For some strange reason, our culture accepts desserts with dangerous names. Everyone's heard of Death by Chocolate; Homestar Runner's Stongbad created Chocozuma's Revenge. When it comes to anything else, the public does not like to be reminded of their mortality. Just breezing past this poster for a well-known fast food chain, I noticed the letters "RIP"—not good. Granted, this was part of the word "GRIP" that was obscured, but that fact that the food combined with the container looked like a tombstone did not help the situation. It's almost as if there is subliminal advertising reinforcing the idea that you will one day be just as dead as the chicken parts in the poster.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Run with It

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."
—Pablo Picasso

Love stories with suspense tend to lend themselves to specific poster imagery.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The House of Idiot

For all of my loyal readers who have read about fashion and costume dramas, it's time for a parody of both from French & Saunders called "The House of Idiot." It is based off of the BBC series The House of Eliott, a tediously long television drama with virtually no action, dry story lines, and British stereotypes of the 1920s. Naturally, I loved it! However, if you never saw the series, this is an excellent parody of period pieces with actors who fidget too much with costumes and misuse props.

If you liked Part I, don't forget Part II.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Who the Devil Cares What a Woman Wears?

How does one make a musical around clothing? How does one make clothes the centerpiece of the show, especially when you have someone like Katherine Hepburn in the starting role? Here's a clip from the 1970 Broadway musical Coco. This video includes great costumes (some of them, I'm not sure which, are Chanel originals) and an innovative use of sets and choreography.

By the way, what a great poster.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Lady GaGa Week—Schiaparelli Influence, Part II

Yesterday's posting observed Lady GaGa's Schiaparelli influence with her surrealist-inspired telephone hat. Showing no fear regarding bizarre millinery, Lady GaGa brought glamor by way of a crustacean with her silver lobster hat shown in the following photo.
Many designers have their iconic pieces: Diane Von Furstenberg gave us the wrap dress, Coco Chanel gave us the little black dress, and Elsa Schiaparelli gave us the lobster dress. It was beautifully designed with a waistband in her signature "shocking pink" and a large lobster gracing the front of the skirt.
This was another collaboration made with artist Salvador Dali, also known for his Lobster Telephone (also shown). The dress was worn by Wallis Simpson in a Cecil Beaton photo shoot, and has found its way into many fashion history books.
What made Schiaparelli's dress so opulent is the same sensibility that works for Lady GaGa: take a creepy creature from the deep that has been around for millions of years, and make it glamorous. Schiaparelli's lobster is very delicate, like something you would find in a Japanese sumi-e (or ink and wash) painting, where Lady GaGa's lobster sparkles like a Judith Leiber clutch. Does anyone remember in Sex and the City where Carrie got the bejeweled duck purse from Mr. Big to carry to the boring, WASPy party? Remember how they thought that these bags were carried by uptight, "more mature" women? Perhaps Lady GaGa is taking the trend of wearing cute and friendly animals and turning it on its head by substituting something that is not at all kosher and has claws that aren't afraid to hurt you.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Lady GaGa Week—Schiaparelli Influence, Part I

Because of the positive response I had from last week's postings, I have decided to dedicate an entire week to Lady GaGa and fashion influences. I thought I would begin with one of her most current conversation pieces, the telephone hat. If you haven't seen the video, I suggest you watch it; it's not just a music video, but a mini-movie in the style of Kill Bill (click here for the link). As you can see in the images below, whether made or hair or completely deconstructed, the telephone hat has taken on many forms.

Lady GaGa's headgear made me think of Elsa Schiaparelli's famous shoe hat—a collaboration with the surrealist artist Salvador Dali. For those of you not familiar with Schiaparelli, she was one of Coco Chanel's greatest rivals and known for her designs with surrealist influences, along with her bold use of color. Wikipedia listed the shoe hat as one of her major contributions to the fashion world:

In 1933 Dali was photographed by his wife Gala Dali with one of her slippers balanced on his head. In 1937 he sketched designs for a shoe hat for Schiaparelli, which she featured in her Fall-Winter 1937-38 collection. The hat, shaped like a woman's high heeled shoe, had the heel standing straight up and the toe tilted over the wearer's forehead. This hat was worn by Gala Dali, Schiaparelli herself, and by the Franco-American editor of the French Harper's Bazaar, heiress Daisy Fellowes, who was one of Schiaparelli's best clients.

Does the shoe hat look familiar, but you just can't put your finger on where you remember seeing it? For those of you film buffs, you may remember seeing Katherine Helmond ("Mona" from Who's the Boss?) wearing it in Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Banding Continues

I mentioned it before, and I'm seeing it again. Banding is everywhere, and it's such a nice detail. Here's where I spotted some great pieces in red and black (two colors I love) at the SoHo DKNY.

Thursday, April 01, 2010