Friday, April 21, 2017

Wednesdays with Carol, April 19, 2017

A New Way of Thinking about
Georgia O'Keeffe:
She's a Style Icon
We are familiar with the paintings of American modernist, Georgia O'Keeffe. But did you realize that her style, in photographs and clothing, was carefully managed by her to project a serious and individual persona? In the age of Instagram, she could have been posting iconic photographs of herself, but I expect she would have thought of social media as not lofty enough for her purposes.

This past Wednesday I travelled to Brooklyn, to meet my friend, artist and designer, Elke Kuhn at The Brooklyn Museum. On our agenda was the exhibition, "Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern".

An early portrait of O'Keeffe.
 Arriving by the 3 train at Eastern Parkway.
 The facade of The Brooklyn Museum.
 First things first.
The gift shop. I covet this daybed.
Elke and I lunched in the museum cafe.
We shared a table with these lovely ladies from Japan.
We started to chat, and they recognized us
from the book, Advanced Style,
by Ari Seth Cohen.
An early illustration by O'Keeffe not only shows
her delicate drawing style, but also
gives us an idea of her fashion sense.
 O'Keeffe sewed these all-white costumes
for herself in the 1920s.
The workmanship is impeccable.
O'Keeffe in a simple dress.
In photographs, she maintained this serious demeanor.
The exhibit contains many photographs of her by
Alfred Stieglitz, her husband, and Ansel Adams,
Phillipe Halsman and Yousuf Karch.
 This handmade evening coat
is my favorite piece in the exhibit.
It has a painted-silk lining. The
geometric ribbon ornamentation at the top
has an Art Nouveau quality.
This painting of leaves has the orange-yellow
palette of the silk lining in my
favorite coat, above.
I was inspired by O'Keeffe's evening coat
 to make this drawing.
 Portrait of O'Keeffe with
a large, black bird.
This dramatic black and
white dress alludes to the
black bird in the portrait above.
At least in my mind.
 Elke, photographing the dress.
 She is wearing a Japanese cape.
Elke has a background in textiles, and has
worked with fibers and made jewelry and hats.
O'Keeffe wearing a black sweater
over a white blouse, intentionally
creating a black/white color-block look.
Painting by O'Keeffe with cut out shapes
like the white of the blouse.
I am wearing a fedora by Lola in this
shot with some later paintings by O'Keeffe.
Oh, how ordinary.
A trio of O'Keeffe's work shirts.
Jeans and navy-blue Keds for ranch work.
Elke looking fabulous
against the backdrop of some Japanese kimonos.
O'Keeffe projected a progressive, independent
style in her clothing, exemplified by these harshly simple
black suits.
O'Keeffe looking like a
small version of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Dress by the designer, Claire McCardell.
O'Keeffe loved this dress and had copies
made in other colors.
She called McCardell "the best woman designer
we've ever had."
 A Marimekko dress.
A group of O'Keeffe's more colorful
dresses. The blue one is from Neiman Marcus.
Photo by Elke Kuhn
This show was a revelation because I never thought of
O'Keeffe as an artist who would use fashion to promote her
brand. But clearly, she loved it and saw a direct correlation
between clothes and art.

À Bientôt!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wednesdays with Carol, April 12, 2017

Table for Three at
Red Rooster &
a MAD afternoon
I took the A train to Harlem this past Wednesday to meet two friends at a fantastic restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem

Sue Kreitzman, the prolific artist and maker of neckwear, garments and sculpture, is back in town from her home in London.  Dayle, known Artful City Style, joined us. We sat down in the bustling restaurant so creatively decorated with paintings, chatskas and what-have-you's, as to bedazzle the eye and make the menu choices all the much harder.

Red Rooster is the is the bright idea of celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson. He has infused both the decor and food with the traditions of Harlem and of his native Sweden in a delicious blend of comfort food.

 Sue in her trademark, big-red glasses.
Sue makes the neckware, always big, bold and
colorful from pieces found at 
flea markets in New York and London.
Here a necklace is adorned with Indian gods.
The stylish Dayle
dresses with verve in vintage finds
and exotic bangles and beads.
 The beautiful hostess at The Red Rooster
 A waitress shows off the desserts.
We did eat entrees which were great.
We had Helga's Meatballs,
corn bread and fried green tomatoes.
 We were honored to have Theresa, the pastry chef,
stop by our table to chat.
She shared her ideas about flavor and
and told us about her journeys in life that
have informed her baking.
Three Red Rooster boosters
 After lunch we were treated to a tour by Dayle who is a docent
at The Museum of Art and Design.
The show is Counter-Couture:
Handmade Fashion in an 
American Counterculture.
This is a crocheted outfit by 100% Birgitta Birgitta.
 These garments were made in the
1960s and 70s, an era known
as the hippie movement.
 An incredible velvet cape.
We were so inspired by all the costumes.
 An outfit by Fayette Hauser called
Cosmic Gypsy.
It was worn bare-breasted.
 One of the outfits by the
Cockettes who lived in
San Francisco.
 A dress made for the singer, Mama Cass,
of the Momas and the Popas.
 A futuristic outfit made by
an artist who was discovered by
Salvador Dali who was
a fan of the hippie style.

 The above two outfits and the
wall piece are by
100% Birgitta Birgitta,
who was from Sweden.
 Handmade shoes using rubber duck toys.
 A patchwork suit worn by
a person who worked in a hospital
and who did not like the hospital-issued scrubs.
 Patchwork dresses made of fabric,
ribbons and mola.

I hope you can see this show which runs through 
August 20.

À Bientôt!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Wednesdays with Carol, April 5

Whitney Biennial Washes Ashore
& Table for Two with Jeanne
The 78th iteration of the eclectic flotsam and jetsam known as the Whitney Biennial was the setting for my third Wednesday with Carol. Joining me for a jaunt through the Whitney Museum was my sister, Jeanne Markel.

The Meatpacking district around the Whitney is becoming a neighborhood of luxury condominiums and shops. There is the noise and dust of construction everywhere. Where once the whiff of the animal carcasses, lamb chops and T bones wafted through the streets of Belgian block, there is now only an olfactory memory.

There are 63 artists in the show which covers the 5th and 6th floors. Themes are painting, installation, activism and video-game design.
Carol on Wednesday at
The Whitney.
Photo by Jeanne Markel
Coat by Alpana Bawa
Herman's Dress by Jessi Reaves.
This is an actual Herman Miller sofa which
the artist has covered in pink silk.
Materials are silk and thread (so glad they
included the thread in the label).
We met this guy, David Dranoff
while looking at the Reaves works.
David is a graduate of Tyler School of Art
where Richard taught for 37 years.
We liked his necklace which
spells Dranoff in plastic letters.
Photo of David from a Tyler Look Book.
 An intriguing "closet" with a tile interior.
 Our favorite painter in the Biennial is
Celeste Dupuy-Spenser, a
38-year old artist living in Los Angeles.
Her work is described as raw and
cartoonish, with a wry humor
and sympathy for her subject.
 A teaching moment in front of a
painting by Henry Taylor.
Fashion in the Whitney.
We loved the red and blue palette
and the poppy motif on the pants.
 We admired this lady in a
whimsical Marni blouse.
 A stunning stained glass installation
with beaded figures by Raul de Nienes.
A figure covered in beads and tassels.
We lunched at a cafe called Bagatelle.
Two blocks from the Whitney,
it is a calm oasis amid the
clamor of jack hammers.
And a lovely Francophile space indeed.
On a trip to Paris, Richard and I wandered
the Jardins de Bagatelle within the
Bois de Boulogne.
There we lost ourselves amid
the intoxicating Rose Garden of over10,000 bushes.
Bagatelle, from the Italian, means
"decorative little trifle".
Wouldn't you know it?
Jeanne brought me a present just "for Wednesday".
And French-themed to boot,
in a French restaurant!
It was wrapped like the French flag.
Bleu, Blanc, Rouge.
Here is the lovely Equipment Femme blouse from Jeanne.
 It's embroidered  with tiny French flags
and Eiffel Towers.
Lunch was delicious. Hearts of Bibb lettuce
and a chicken paillard with quinoa.
After lunch we walked through the
bustling Chelsea Market.
Our destination was Del Posto
on Tenth Avenue
for their famed Negroni.
Jeanne sipped a Campari and tonic.

À Bientôt!
Tous les mercredis.