Saturday, December 19, 2009

Designing an Enticing Holiday Showroom Display

For a long time, I've had a thing for the glass domes that were used in the 19th century to protect important clocks, taxidermy specimens, or religious statues. They have certain quality to them that makes whatever is inside just a little more special. I bought a series of empty ones last year and it took me a while to figure how to do something creative with them. Here's what I came up with:

Vintage jewelry displayed on stacks of old leather bound books.

Old crowns on some crusty paperbacks in an oval dome. This group joined another "Souvenirs" dome:

This display needed some holiday cheer, so I added some Christmas balls and gilt finials:

These stacked books set the stage for some tiaras:

Here's the completed holiday card shot:

Happy Holidays to all my wonderful readers, you are very much appreciated!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Limited Edition Experiences at the Miami Design District

Last week, during my visits to the Design District, I also went to check out Limited Edition Experiences at the historic Moore Building. The idea is to "bring unique retail environments created by some of the most innovative names in fashion and design to the Miami Design District. Here is your virtual tour:

Zaha Hadid's installation "Elastika" at the Moore Building for Design Miami/ a few years ago.
These last few photo's are of the Fendi booth, I absolutely loved their styling in a vintage industrial look. They also had a Italian leathersmith working on site on one-of-a-kind handbags.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Design and Inspiration: Christian Louboutin and Matteo Bonetti at Design Miami/

Last week was really an inspirational week for me. While many criticize the hype of Art Basel Miami Beach week in Miami, the truth is that there is a lot of creative energy that one feels going to various shows and seeing the works that other human beings are or have created. The energy that comes from the enthusiasm people exude was rejuvenating.
I went to a fantastic talk with Christian Louboutin and Matteo Bonnetti, who described themselves not as designers or artists, but as artisans, craftsmen. This was quite meaningful to me. I find more value in the concept of being a craftsman, than just calling oneself an "artist". Somehow that word has developed some negative connotations for me. It made me realize that-to an extent-I am an artisan too. There is a certain artistry and workmanship to what I do. I put things together. I don't "make" them but I still create something with them. Mr. Louboutin, doesn't make the leather, he molds it and colors it and makes it something that it previously was not. And that ultimately is what expression is all about. Creating something helps us feel real and until now I've never really acknowleged that in myself. I've always seen myself as doing something more practical, for many years I feel like I've been going through the motions. I've focused on the function of furniture and design and forgotten to acknowledge that the right combination of a few pieces or a work of art can be more than the sum of its parts.
So, here's to new understandings and new aspirations, to figuring out who I want to be instead of what I want to be. And thank you to all the people who were out on the streets and all the artists exhibiting their work this week reminding me that I am part of something bigger, a community. No man is an island.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Closer Look at Design Miami

Some of my pictures from Design Miami/...some are 1stdibs colleagues

Donzella 20th Century

The work of Maarten Bass, designer of the year.

Sebastian + Barquet's shrine to Mexican Designer Pedro Friedeberg:

The rest, an unguided tour:

Thoughts anyone? Don't forget to leave me comments!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You'll never believe who I got to meet last night!

Last night was the opening Vernissage for Design Miami, a show that was born as an outgrowth of the famed Art Basel Miami Beach five years ago. It began in the historic Moore Building in the Design District, but for the last two years, it has been in an impressive temporary tent. The event was sponsored by Audi, and so my husband made me take a photo in front of the car...

This booth was one of my favorites, with whirling dervishes for lighting!

The highlight if my evening was that we ran into none other than Keith Johnson of Anthropologie and Man Shops Globe fame. For me this was the equivalent of meeting a major Hollywood celebrity! I quickly asked him if I could take picture with him and he was embarrassed saying this was the first time this had ever happened to him. I explained that I was an antiques dealer and had enjoyed watching his show. We then exchanged some notes about shopping in France and having some friends in common. I gave him our card and hope he comes to visit our shop one day. Here's the photo, I'm smiling so big I couldn't contain myself. Now it's published for posterity. I took more photos of our fabulous night out, so stay tuned!

Friday, November 27, 2009

This Black Friday...Shop in Paris!

Continuing on with my storytelling about my friends at Les Merveilles de Babelou, I thought I would show you some images that we took while visiting them on our last trip in June. So, this Black Friday--shop with me in Paris! Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Keith Johnson at Les Merveilles de Babelou

In our more than 15 years shopping in France, we have developed many relationships with dealers and merchants who have become more than business associates, they have become close friends. I was very excited to see one of those people, Francois Casals in his wife's vintage clothing and jewelry boutiques, Les Merveilles de Babelou, featured on Man Shops Globe. This has been an 8 segment series on the Sundance Channel covering the travels of Keith Johnson, buyer for Anthropologie. Check out the video clip! And yes, Mr. Johnson did in fact purchase the fabulous clothing racks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wallpaper Sacrilege or Some Thanksgiving Fun

Last Thursday was "Design Week" at the DCOTA (Design Center of the Americas), which featured visits by some pretty big heavy weights in the Design World presenting new lines of furniture or fabrics, etc...Barclay Butera, Kathryn Ireland, Lillian August, Amy Lau to name a few. Popular blogger, Claudia Strasser was at Pierre Deux presenting their new line and talking about her French flea market escapades. It's always fun to meet people in person after you've read about them and their lives.
One of the best little parties going on while I was visiting during the "Fall Market Event" on Thursday was the grand opening of the Romo

True to their British roots, their party was entitled "Come together for Beatlemania" and featured black and white vintage photos of the band with the appropriate endless soundtrack. My takeaway from this little shindig was a goodie bag filled with all their newest catalogs (after some delicious hors d'oevres and vino). I must say that they have really stunning textiles, here are a few photos from their website:

When I came home with a bag full of their catalogs, my five year old started to leaf through them with great interest. She also had a Thanksgiving project to do for her class. The task was to "disguise" their turkey so that he wouldn't be eaten on Thanksgiving. With catalogs strewn all over the table we both thought--we can camouflage him with wallpaper! (Okay, so this might not have been everyone's logical response, but it was ours!) Here is a close-up of the result:

Can you find these fine paper samples on our turkey?

Here he is....Wallpaper sacrilege or Thanksgiving fun?

She was very proud to take him to school becuase she knew there was no way anyone else's turkey would be remotely similar. I was a little nervous, but she got an "E" for excellent. Thanks God her teacher had a sense of humor.
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