Tag Archives: fashion

Love in New York, New York

Love in New York, New York

Reaching an age where major life decisions and milestones come in multiples of 3, I have the pleasure of sharing that she, my soulmate, has gone off to pursue her Ph.D. in New York City. It’s an exciting time for both of us with different opportunities in our own careers.

This photo above by Tommy Ton for Style.com encapsulates how I imagine the two of us walking in the Big Apple. It’s up to you if you want to reimagine this photo with no beard on either person but just as much #swag.

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September 7, 2013 · 16:38

Music + video = true love

I thought I would share this beautiful video that uses analog technology. (16mm film footage and did you see that 110 film camera that Irina uses?!)

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December 23, 2012 · 22:07

Of Pantone and panettone

Dress by Thakoon, from gorunway.cm

Ferrari

ikea.com

Design by Nuno Grande and Pedro Gadanho, Portugal

 

Confusing Pantone for a baked good is a mistake that can easily be forgiven, if not by your waistline. Indulging in colour is a paralyzing fear that can easily be overcome with effort and patience. After all, not everyone is going to look good in 2012’s Pantone of the year: 17-1463 Tangerine Tango.

Orange coaxes feelings of happy mornings and as well as a ride through Spain in late summer when the orange trees are in bloom from Valencia to Madrid. It’s a particular colour — only the bold dare to wear an orange angora sweater or invest in an orange Lamborghini. It is a difficult hue but leave it to the experienced to teach us mere mortals a lesson. Is it the new red?

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Filed under Architecture, art, City Life, fashion, ideas, Industrial Design, Interior Design, lifestyle

Of plants and plastic

Cité de la mode et du design, Paris

A couple of weeks ago, tired from a full week of completing projects both at work and at home, I decided to do a little indoor gardening. The tropical plants, lucky bamboos of birthdays past and and whatever is  left of an orchid plant after the bloom is gone were the subjects of the Friday night impromptu botany experiment.

Fifteen years ago, my grandmother gave me a plant that has not been repotted since. Imagine a 4 foot tall plant in a 6-inch plastic planter. It was an odd thing to behold.

“Why don’t I cut stalks from this plant and put them in water? I know roots will shoot. Let’s just see,” I thought to myself. the success story involves the first plant, roots and all, being potted the day before yesterday.

I never fancied myself a greenthumb but here I was, little plant in my hands, dirty with soil. I started thinking: “What’s an interesting plant to grow?”

I started thinking about my lithops when I was living in Montréal. Lithops are also known as living pebbles because they are the perfect example of biomimicry. Their camouflaged appearance has helped these succulent plants (ex. cacti) escape predation and getting eaten by the thirstiest of animals for the water stored in their leaves. They are ‘designed’ by nature to withstand the dry summers in Southern Africa, their native habitat.

I know I am geeking out, dear readers, but they are such strange plants and lithops just made me read more about them and other succulent plants. The best design inspirations definitely come from nature. Have you read Darwin’s “Origin of Species”? Go ahead. You’ll see how Alexander McQueen‘s Spring 2010 collection makes sense.

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A bit of tennis with a side of nostalgia

René Lacoste and Suzanne Lenglen of France

Bjorn Borg

John McEnroe

Arthur Ashe

Jimmy Connors

Andre Agassi

After a slow start to the evening, a planet named Venus happened. She beat Roberta Vinci of Italy as easily as one steps on an unwanted bug. Federer’s magic is still there though his critics would argue that he is a step behind at the ripe age of 29.

Tennis is a mesmerizing sport that, in my humble opinion, I would enjoy less without the sound of the fluffy yellow ball being momentarily whacked out of shape for a split second. Have you seen a screen shot of Agassi’s two-handed backhand? The ball is flattened on the bed of strings on his racquet. The sound, along with the rhythmic back and forth, hypnotizes.

Throughout the decades of the Open Era, technology has changed. Wooden racquets soon were traded for the lighter metallic variety. Some would argue that aluminum racquets paved the way for the faster speed at which the ball travels at any given point of a match. Others would say a fitter average professional player is to blame. Evolution of the game has happened.

The more obvious change to the game would be the way players dressed. Women in Victorian England played with long skirts and whale-bone corsets; white linen dresses with droplets of blood was a common sight a Wimbledon. Bless ’em. Playing in dresses was just plain inconvenient.

It does not take an extremely attentive eye that the evolution of the way the men dress in tennis. Bjorn Borg, I am so sure, is the inspiration for Luke Wilson’s character in The Royal Tenenbaums. Here is my homage to men’s tennis.

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What’s the matter with you, bamboo?

Sustainable design has been the expression on everyone’s lips with the realization that natural resources we have taken for granted are finite.

As the forests thin out and at a less attractive rate than select Hollywood types’ hairlines, designers look to being conscientious of their choice of materials.  Certain issues come up because bamboo grows naturally in Asia, an ocean away from our backwards.  It is then treated either with heat or chemicals like formaldehyde for longevity.  Some say that it affects the quality of indoor air.

The Calfee-designed bike is made of bamboo sourced from Taiwan.  The bamboo is shipped to California where it is heat-treated and then shaped.  It is a beautfiul bike weighing about 19 pounds.  Isn’t coveting a sin? Forgive me.

Structures like Soren Korsgaard’s woven house were conceived with the idea that it would be built in a region that does not experience extreme weather and fluctuations in temperature.  To build such a structure in Canada would be as useless as a sequel to ‘Speed.’ Worse would be to ‘Titanic.’ Disastrous at best.

SANS is a collaboration between designer Lika Volkova and Alessandro Devito.  The designs include womenswear made of sustainable fabrics made of bamboo (!) and silk.  The designs’ simplicity is so elegant that Pol Chambost’s vases look too embellished.

Bambu‘s decorations for the home give a very natural element to the modern household’s ambience.  The natural tones that their bamboo pebbles are subtle but do not go unnoticed.  Imagine having such pebbles in the bath, with white scented Diptyque candles for a relaxing Sunday night soak.

The idea of relaxation is hard to conceive, on any other day, but the last weeks have led me to contemplate such an idea.  Having the time to relax is definitely luxury.  Nothing says luxury like having the choices and then making the right decisions when buying.

I trust that you understand the underlying processes to having ‘sustainable’ materials shipped from afar.  It would be a better choice than to produce an unwanted sequel.  The chemistry between Keanu and Sandra is a one-time deal.  Has anyone seen ‘The Lake House”?

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Filed under Architecture, City Life, fashion, ideas, Industrial Design, Interior Design

Getting to know a stranger

Disruption can definitely ruin your day.

The news came to me not by someone’s whisper or through Twitter but through an e-mail from my nü-Berliner friend Daniel who in bold letters said: HOW DID HE DIE? Curious and intrigued, I let Google be my guide.  Alexander McQueen is dead.

This man was a stranger to me but his work was familiar.  The man whose Victorian Gothic aesthetic was not from textbooks nor was it a reinvention of old staples; Alexander McQueen stood on his own.

I, sadly, never had the privilege of meeting the man nor his first client, Isabella Blow, herself a working artpiece, adorned by Philip Treacy’s head objets .  For a strange reason, unexplainable to anyone, I felt that he was someone I had met and with whom I have made better acquaintance through time.  Jeanne Beker showed his collections on Fashion Television.  Later, with the advent of the internet, McQueen’s designs were more accessible.  His embrace of technology contributed to the drama of his shows particularly his last, where the whole show was captured by two cameras on robotic arms.

Plato’s Atlantis, Alexander McQueen’s Spring Summer 2010 collection, is the most dramatic, eclipsing his apocalyptic Autumn-Winter 2009.  The 24 cm tall shoes shocked and awed.  A lot has been written about them so I will refrain from commenting any further on the spectacle that it was.

Lee McQueen, as he was known, was a genius.  His collections were a public declarations and visual manifestation of his mind.  I will never know the man yet, for a strange reason, I feel that I know him.  Furthermore, my chest feels heavy knowing that I will never see a fantasy in the flesh.  Mr. McQueen, I am glad to have made your acquaintance.

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