furniture by karl

Imagedear uncle karl has done it again…

he is expanding his aesthetic empire once more (thank god, because i know i was getting restless about what else karl would be doing…chanel, his line, dove chocolate bars, and diet coke is just not enough).

so of course he went to the only thing left he hasn’t touched yet… furniture.

partnering with cassina, karl darling photographed the avant garde collection in his loads of spare time. as he says in the behind-the-scenes video, “i have less than a second to find a graphic composition.”

it is every bit of ridiculousness as one could imagine. he even kept his sunglasses on. true karl. true brillance.

enjoy.

fashion as fine art

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annie leibovitz’s “alice in wonderland” – vogue, 2003

art versus fashion. fashion versus art. a question of the ages. an argument as old as david and goliath.

ok, well not quite, but as art and fashion become increasingly more democratic, the two titans of aesthetic industry seem to be crossing paths more than ever.

while schaparelli might have started the conversation and designers such as hussein chalayan have kept it going, it is not until the past decade – with exhibits such as mcqueen at the met and a louis vuitton/marc jacobs retrospective at les arts decoratifs in paris – that art has truly given fashion a much-deserved spotlight. thus angling the designer’s cultural perception far more toward artiste than garmento.

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irving penn’s “harlequin dress” 1950

however now, a whole new medium comes to light. not from stitches and revolutionary draping, but in the form of the fashion photograph.

case and point? a lecture at this weekend’s annual photo la exhibit in santa monica, lead by vogue’s director of photography, ivan shaw. while 40 galleries from around the country showcased snapshots of time, emotion and experience, a panel of the industry’s foremost imageologists (this may or may not be a made up word) waxed poetic about the changes in fashion photography and the commodification of the editorial image.

according to the panel it is not so much that the fashion photograph of yesteryear didn’t meet the standards – just look at any shot from herb ritts, irving penn or lillian bassman – but rather, it seems as if one day the common man (and by common man i mean the overly wealthy, i-dont-know-where-to-spend-my-money collector) woke up, opened his wife’s vogue (most likely annie leibovitz’s alice in wonderland story – because if you are unmoved by that, you probably don’t have a soul) and decided “hey, this looks neat, i will call it art and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on it.”

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steven meisel’s “a walk in paris”

why this notion took so many years for the collecting community to catch on to and the art world to support is beyond me. annie leibovitz, the proverbial moses of the group, has inconspicuously and quite possibly subconsciously, been shepherding this movement since her days of whoopie in a white tub. she might not have said it out loud, but you knew – this is a statement, this is art.

however, the panel gave a more likely and less romanticized reason as to this newfound art-world acceptance – the fashion photographers of today, are not just one-dimensional camera clickers, but aesthetic wunderkinds with a list of never-ending talents – lagerfled, tom ford, hedi slimane, poster boy geniuses of the slasher (i.e. designer/photographer/direct/writer) generation.

that being said, the rise is still a slow one, and while herb ritts and avedon are finally getting their day at getty, the collecting community has only just began to dip their big toes in the editorial pond. just think for the price of $83,000 you can get your own steven meisel’s “a walk in paris” to hang in the foyer. from what i hear that’s a real steal in the art world…

i want to be a chow

arss-michael-chow-empire-02-hi need to be a chow.

they have single-handedly mastered the art of inconspicuous conspicuous consumption.

since the birth of mr.chow’s in the swanky london district of knightsbridge in 1968, michael chow and his growing clan have seamlessly permeated every aspect of popular culture, collecting restaurants, art and films as one would a set of stamps.

papa chow – the industrious ring leader, rich playground purveyor, preeminent art collector, and interior designer savant.

mama chow – aka eva chun – illustrious counterpart, tiger-mom, cfda designer, and muse to some of the best regarded artists in contemporary culture. she is a well-styled, more ebullient version of morticia adams, nimbly floating from industry to industry brokering some of the biggest cultural introductions of the 21st century.

the kids – a formidable trio of well-coifed elegance. clones of their designer-clad parents with agendas and cultural ambitions as thick as an encyclopedia britannica.  (you’re beginning to see why i belong, yes?)

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the chows have managed to carve out a unique space between notoriety and anonymity – surreptitiously adding their midas touch to many a gala, store, restaurant, and foundation without the added paparazzi flashbulbs.

they walk the streets (and by streets i mean rodeo drive) with us, yet don’t be fooled. their matching emerald gucci suits bely the truth – last night they had dinner with jeffery dietch, a night cap with sean penn and the youngest chow played a cello concerto for andre balzas and hockney. (p.s. totally what my tuesday night looks like too.)

they are luxury personified. elegance in caricature form. and i would fit in divinely.

i recognize i may be a bit late on the whole adoption thing, and marrying for culture/money unfortunately still has a negative tinge in society (sigh), so this is my public plea to the chows – take me in. 

i am fully-house trained, occasionally witty, make a mean pork chop, and play the trombone. granted it is not quite as elegant as the cello, but we all must do with what we’ve got.

look forward to your call.

sincerely,

tj

cruise me the right way

going on a carnival cruise is a lot like going to vegas.

there are a lot of people in all shapes and sizes, eating all sorts of foods that turn them into larger shapes and sizes (myself included), gambling, yard-long drinks in varying shades of azule, too-tight dresses with too many sequins (i may or may not have also fallen into this category. no judging please), toddling toddlers, pimply teenagers, and crocs. lots of crocs.

of course it didn’t used to be like this, or so i am told.

not that long ago, when crocs were still reserved for doctors and chefs (and even then they are questionable), cruising – on any ship – was the highest form of luxury.

staterooms appointed in the finest linens. four-course three-hour meals with white-gloved garçons, and ten-piece orchestras.

naturally once we docked i found it absolutely necessary to research if some such cruises still existed. they do. and instead of a cuddly towel animal at the end of your bed, it’s a bottle of dom perignon or a massage therapist named sven (and sometimes even both).

well naturally it is now my singular life goal to go on one-such (or many such) cruiseships, beginning with the below (future husband take notes)…

seabourn sojourn – an 11,400 sq-ft spa? i think yes. and maybe some more yes. some suites even feature solariums. i don’t even know what i do with a solarium, but i know i want one. and like most seaborns the menu in the avant-garde designed restaurant is curated by foodie darling, charlie palmer. can you say yum?
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the paul gauguin it sails where gauguin painted. if that isn’t pretentious enough for you, know that the ship is tailor-made for the shallow waters of french polynesia, so you can get your snorkel on without having to worry about those banal tender boats which are so déclassé. finished snorkeling?  enjoy some butler service (yes i did say another round of beluga), or sun tan on one of their seven decks. going topless is about the only thing you can’t do on this ship. pity.
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river queen – okay so it is a river boat, but i assure you huck finn and jim never found themselves on anything like this. with an art deco flair and a sheet count that far exceeds the number of guest rooms, the ship puts some of europe’s finest hotels to shame. and to make the deal even sweeter they offer complimentary bicycles and nordic walking sticks for any excursion. i mean really, who can say no to a nordic walking stick.riverqueen

and last but not least, which apparently can not be called a cruise ship, but rather a a residential yacht, is ms the world.

the expression the world on a string comes to mind as the world is constantly at sea, stopping for 2-5 days at ports as diverse as baffin island (a game of golf on the tundra anyone?) and as close as santa barbara (probably considered the applebees of their visits). twelve marble-encased stories are devoted to 250 full-time residents. the yacht boasts a movie theater, a spa, 6 restaurants, a grocery store, library, a learning annex, and of course residences that are double the size of my current apartment.mstheworld

but before you start counting your scheckles keep in the mind the ms world has a strict financial policy – residents must be worth at least $5 million dollars to be considered (rude) and monthly dues hover around $20,000 (double rude).

well, clearly that is out of my budget range for at least another 6 years. until then you can find me on carnival cruise ships, i’ll be the one happily sipping champagne out of a plastic mug and playing spot-the-mullet.

cheers.