bil donovan the great

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i never knew who bil donovan was, but i do know i’ve always loved his work.

entrancing, magical, and full of whimsy. fashion illustrations, and particular his illustrations, have captivated me since i’ve been a style-minded seven-year-old.

his work has a funny (beautiful) way of portraying the fashion industry that we all aspire to be apart of (you know, the one without screaming creative directors, 3am pre-show nights and last minute alterations).

and his most recent contribution to fashion community does not disappoint. commissioned by ny mag’s the cut, bil captured backstage moments at the likes of thom browne, carolina herrera and tadashi shoji and reminded us why we all work in such a pretty industry.

BD

 

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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.

against humanity

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 3.32.44 PMi am normally for humanity. i find it enriching, fuzzy and gooey, yadda, yadda.

but let’s face it…inside we are all a little (or in some cases completely) terrible, awful, disgusting people.

it’s the reason the word schadenfreude exists. and movies such as the hangover.

and because schadenfreude is just a fleeting moment of completely mal-intented glee, some really screwed up people created a game called cards against humanity.

self-described as “a free party game for horrible people,” its apples-to-apples gone wrong. very, very wrong.

the game is extremely simple (which makes it an even better drinking game). each round, one player asks a truly deep and probing question from a black card, such as “why am i sticky?” or “what did vin diesel eat for dinner?” and everyone else answers with their funniest white card: “a micropenis,” “glenn beck screwing a donkey,” “ghandi,” or “powerful thighs.”

completely pc and family-friendly.

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 3.26.01 PMthe more liquor you add the better and entirely incomprehensible the answers become. and the more people’s truly horrible inner-thoughts (autocannibalism anyone?) come out.

AND it comes in spanish, italian, german, Portuguese, polish, french, hebrew, dutch, estonian, danish, AND pirate. (i know you were worried.)

so as we ring in the new year, full of hope and ambition, i will salute my friends and wish upon them a year filled with “oompa loompas,” “toni morrison’s vagina,” and “super soakers full of cat pee” in plenty.

happy to new year to all, and to all a humanity filled night.

http://cardsagainsthumanity.com

here.we.go.

nyc refresh participants

“i am too much of a new yorker to be motivated,” i implored my friend.

i’ve never been one for motivational speeches, speakers, etc. i prefer my motivation to come in the quiet forms of etsy text art and quoted memes. more palatable and less yelling i find.

however, against my begrudging judgment i attended an event called “refresh” this past monday. what i expected to be trust circles with we-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for chants was anything but. in fact i might even say it was…refreshing.

under the dewy lights of the roosevelt’s tropicana bar, surrounded by mostly strangers and firelight, we met jared matthew weiss, chief inspiration officer of spring and arrow, “life-coach” wunderkind (although he hates the title), and refresh incubator.

the concept is simple: once a week he gathers friends, friends of friends, and more friends, to refocus, reenergize and regroup. what started with 8 people in new york, has since grown to 60+ people, and landed in la this week.

completely free of charge, jared kicks of the evening by walking the group through his life story (think of a real-life hitch), and his coined mantra: Here.We.Go. he breaks those three small words down into three teachable moments, ultimately concluding that when people are doing what they love, they’re better for the world.

fairly simple in theory, but also easier said than done. jared clearly recognizes the heaviness attached to his motto, so he asks each person to make one small commitment for the week. something that will ultimately…make you happy.

you do. (to FINALLY finish the book i started oh like 4 months ago.). you e-mail it to him (so he can gently check in to see if you’ve actually followed through) and then a musician performs – the expected kumbaya moment, but cultured and relevant– and it’s over.

it ended, i smiled, something about it made me feel happy, even excited (shock). partially because as someone in the throws of her quarter-life crisis i am the perfect audience, but also because the evening happily lacked the motivational hyperbole/laden guilt so often associated with such events. plus you find some pretty neat “parallels” (another jared term) between other attendees.

if you have the chance to attend, go. if nothing else it’s a great way to spend a week night, meet new folks who might be going through the same third-round quarter life crisis as you (ahem), and a little motivated self-love never hurt anyone.

more info: refresh – spring and arrow 

(photo: spring and arrow)

berlin, the comeback kid

i am stricken with the impetuous travel bug. like many, it ails me throughout the year, particularly on mondays, and generally between 2pm and 5pm.

today’s fix? berlin. why? the festival of lights.

for two weeks every year, berlin and its landmarks get bathed in artist-inspired, large-scale displays of light. the candyland concoction of colors, images and shapes on nearly 300-year old buildings, is not only visually stunning, but also pays tribute to the city’s dichotomous nature – the young with the old, the history mixed in with the present.

in truth, beyond the festival, berlin has actually always intrigued me. a city that is in constant juxtaposition with a sobering past, yet doesn’t ignore it, but builds upon it with modernism and a continually renewed sense of culture (the festival being a perfect example).

that renewed culture has lead to an influx of the european creative class – thick-rimmed glasses, tousled-hair, painstakingly disheveled – you know the type. a walk down the street recalls images of modern-day getrude steins and arthur rimbauds; refined hipsters perhaps…except there they are just berliners. no judgment though, these stylishly precocious denizens have galvanized the city with an explosive contemporary art scene, an independent film community and a food forum to rival that of london and paris.

all of this to say…i need to go. and i need to go now.

perhaps a stay at the schlosshotel im grunewald (anything that has oxblood walls and touts 600+ thread count calls my name), a saunter over to andreas murkudis’s eponymous concept store (i.want.everything.) and stop for a savory treat at konnopke’s imbiss (you just can’t go wrong with a 50-year old sausage stand)…and of course the festival of lights.

the city’s constant evolution is mesmerizing…even in pictures…and on this bland monday, i can think of no better place to daydream myself to than new ole’ berlin.

a collection: poor man’s art

it can be hard for a broke girl in the city. while my paychecks may have gotten bigger, so has my taste. and so goes the cycle of my life: crossing my fingers, toes and eyes every time i sign into my bank account.

sadly, my plight leaves little room to invest in the important things such as modiglianis, picassos and other great works of art and culture…until now.

as it turns out many share my cultural affliction and several companies have popped up to answer our aesthetically hedonistic pleas.

buy some damn art – having been featured on daily candy, apartment therapy and design sponge, this site has already earned its apartment decorating chops. each week they provide new work, from different artists – with some even creating originals for the site. the work remains listed for up to six weeks and boasts a range of prices ($100 – $500). from modern to portraits to spin art, every fledgling art collector can find something for their walls.

the tappan collective – started by two girls from l.a. who quickly realized there are some truly great artists out there, but few have a place to call home (read: gallery). the result: the tappan collective, an online-only gallery showcasing a select assortment of emerging artists. with some seriously iconic-l.a. art, i have already lost hours of my life (happily) musing on how to clothe my barren walls. #cultureproblems

20 x 200 – a.k.a. the grandfather to the democratic art movement. launched in 2007 (ok, so i am clearly late on this on, but hey i was still living in a dorm and making jello shots in 2007 – no judgment please). a simple formula, as the site says – limited editions x low prices + the internet = art for everyone. slightly more advanced than it’s sister sites, one can search by category, price, color, and artists. currently hosting over 904 works, 20 x 200 remains the most comprehensive in both art and style.

society 6 – think etsy, but with an entirely art focus. with thousands of contributors around the world, the site carries more than just art for your wall, but iphone cases, t-shirts, totes and cards. as a fellow art enthusiast stated, it’s kind of like art facebook…it’s so easy to get lost floating from one artist to the next with decorating daydreams abounding.

ok, so they might not be manets quite yet, but a girl’s got to start somewhere.

always #winning

it is easy for folks (aka yours truly) to get bogged down by the banal of everyday life. annoying bosses. aggravating traffic. people being too slow. people being too fast.

it is times like those that we need simple reminders that we in fact are winning. every day.

fear not, i am not about to jump into some sappy soapbox deluge of how lucky we have it (obligatory: yes, we do), but rather share this some of life’s little wins courtesy of thought catalog.

1. flipping a pancake over perfectly without it breaking in half and creating a partially cooked, gooey batter mess.

2. defying the laws of alcohol physics by drinking gallons of hard liquor but waking up feeling completely refreshed without the slightest symptoms of a lingering hangover. (i mean with this i feel like i have hit the kidney lottery and promptly engage in day drinking as a form of victory.)

3. hitting three or more consecutive green lights when you’re running late or in a rush to get somewhere.

4. almost calling it a night and going home but instead staying out for what turns into an epic time that you would’ve hated yourself for missing. (quite possibly one of the BEST feelings ever; thereby making the night entirely more epic.)

5. turning to the channel you were watching right when the commercial break ends, just in time for your returning tv show. (it’s that kind of groggy winning, when you’re drowsy at the end of the night, but seeing this just perks you right up…and then you end going to bed 2 hrs later. #fail)

6. getting the username you actually wanted. not since like 2001 has the ideal first choice panned out in my favor.

7. any day that involves eating bacon, churros and something, anything a la mode. (maple bacon fonuts…if you don’t know, find out.)

8. seeing the flashing red and blue lights rapidly approaching, being certain that you and your bank account are about to have their week ruined via expensive tickets, and then having that cop car speed right past you toward his poor victim. (this encapsulates the full spectrum of human emotion in about 9.2 seconds.)

9. writing out a tweet that’s exactly 140 characters long.

see all the other ways you are winning at  http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/22-little-life-wins/#1xfiwvlgyvqsqtdf.99.

in the meantime, just remember #epicwins happen everywhere.

 

a collection: zara goes home

apparently i have been snoozing at the mass-market wheel, because it has just come to my attention that h&m and zara both have home décor lines…and zara’s launched in the us last week.

ever the perpetual decorator, my mind is waltzing and my wallet is cowering.

while h&m offers diverse options with boldly colored velvet pillows meshed with farm-to-table accents in pinky hues and dusty gray linen sheets…it’s zara that takes the proverbial cake…and cake platter.

perfect touches of an english country manor are brought stateside in the form of rich floral table clothes and crystal wine decanters. the lookbook, which is nothing short of a henry james novel (british airs included) begets a time of stymied elegance, when tea was held at 4pm come rain or shine, and hunting was a worthy wednesday-afternoon pastime.

from bedding all the way to furniture, the primly cohesive collection is a jane austen dream in the making. and well, who doesn’t love jane austen, so excuse me while i hit the snooze button a little longer on this décor daydream.

 (images and further information provided by www.zarahome.com)