Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Art of the Dress

Happy Birthday, Mr. Kelly

Who: Ellsworth Kelly, artist
Age:  90
Lives: Spencertown, NY
What he did in 1952: designed a dress

Ellsworth Kelly, abstract painter who makes geometrically shaped paintings in pure colors, is celebrating his 90th birthday in May. There will be a slew of shows in the great museums and galleries of the world to celebrate son anniversaire. But my interest today centers around a DRESS that Mr. Kelly designed in 1952.
The original dress made and
worn by his friend, Anne Weber.
The Story:
Mr. Kelly was living in France where he had gone on the G.I. Bill. He had sold some textile designs to a silk manufacturer and had some money in his pocket. He took himself to the South of France with friends. There, in the marketplace of Sanary-sur-Mer, he found some dyed cotton fabric in bright hues which he purchased. After using some of the cloth to make art, he gave the rest to his friend, Anne Weber and asked her to sew a dress of his design.
A bateau à voile plying the waters in the port
of Sanary-sur-Mer.
 Red, white and blue -- the colors of the dress!
Mr. Kelly did not like the way Anne made the dress. The bottom panel was too big. She said that she made it that way because Mr. Dior was showing this below-the-knee hem length at the time.
The dress has been re-created by Francisco Costa, designer for
Calvin Klein. Here it is shown in the pages of the May issue
of Vogue worn by Dree Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's
Mr. Costa and Mr. Kelly, in the current issue of Vogue.
Two New Drawings
In the spirit of fashion as art, here are two of my new drawings for hat designs. 
 Drawing by Carol Markel, 2013. Felt-tip markers and paper.
Drawing by Carol Markel, 2013. Felt-tip markers and paper.

À Bientôt mes amis!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Un déjeuner avec mes soeurs

A Real Nice Lunch

Last night I had a pleasant surprise when I received a text message from my sister, Jeanne. My sister, Susan, from Syracuse, was at Jeanne's house in Katonah, NY (that's in Westchester, north of New York City) and they wanted to come to see us for lunch.

How delightful for a Monday! Richard and I busied ourselves putting the apartment in order. Jeanne texted: did I want Fern to come? Fern is Jeanne's black lab. I love Fern, and she loves me. Even though Fern does not like to ride in a car, she made the trip just for me.
Fern Herself.
Fern's Bowl of Water
Jeanne and Susan brought us this beautiful hydrangea plant,
one of my favorites.
My sisters got a take-out lunch from WM. Nicholas & Co. in Katonah. I am sorry that I did not take photos of the lunch spread, but here is the menu:
Everything was very tasty. I especially loved the big blackberries. Richard and I shared the turkey wrap, and Jeanne ate half of the big, messy roast beef on brioche. Susan had half of the vegetable wrap.
Sister Sue. Sue just spent 3 months in Naples, Florida,
where she and her husband, Rick, rented a house with a pool.
Sister Jeanne. Jeanne, her husband, Chris Wedge, and son Jack 
are going to Beijing, China on Friday for the Beijing Film Festival.
Chris will be promoting his new film, Epic, due out in May.
The cover of Misadventures -- in my interpretation, the author
as a cypher, except that she is wearing a
decorated, red dress, emblematic of
her creative self.
Jeanne loaned me two books. Above, is a book called Misadventures by Sylvia Smith. Ms. Smith, who died in February in London, published this memoir in 2001. Until that time she had worked at secretarial jobs. She was able to start writing when she became ill and stopped working. Jeanne and I learned about this book when Ms. Smith's obit was published in The New York Times. The memoir is a series of short vignettes about actual experiences in her life, written in short, declarative sentences in a matter-of-fact way. Paul Vitello, in the Times obit, says:
"The book, a plainly written, deadpan chronicle of an ordinary life, seemed to push the allowable boundaries of ordinary, entering an edge-of-space world where critics quarrel over literary metaphysics."
But Ms. Smith intended only that her books be "hysterically funny." And they are as her observations are given with a dose of the absurd.

Here is an example:
"My father had a habit of smoking in the car. Whilst driving the short distance to work one morning he threw his lighted cigarette butt out the window but unbeknown to him the wind blew it back in again. Some minutes later he saw smoke coming up from underneath him and looked down to see his cushion on fire. He stopped immediately, threw the cushion onto the pavement and jumped up and down on it until he had put the flames out. In full view of a very interested group of people standing at a nearby bus stop." Misadventures, by Sylvia Smith, published by Canongate Books.
The second book
is a collection of stories about
Parisians, both well-known and of modest origin.
Can't wait to read it.
Susan returned my DVD of Season 3 of Mad Men, the
last season for which I purchased a DVD.
I just signed up for Netflix and am now
catching up with Season 4.
Susan brought Richard two giant
Hershey Bars.
Which, of course, he loved.
I did manage a photo of dessert.
Chocolate babka.
Les Trois Soeurs.
Jeanne, me and Susan.

À Bientôt!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

On my Inspiration Board...

Lily Pulitzer died this week. She's the lady who put pink and green on map. She was an hieress living in Palm Beach when she practically went crazy with nothing to do. So she and a friend started an orange juice stand. When the juice splashed on their clothes, they came up with the idea of doing colorful patterns (like you would have on your kitchen curtains) to camouflage the stains. Et voila.
The Lily Pulitzer brand was born.

My homage to Lily.

Getting ready to go to lunch with Richard.
Agnes B jacket, vintage bead necklace
and Yves St. Laurent brooch.
Beady Eyed
 Some of my bead necklaces.

 With an Amanda Fatherazi brooch.

A new drawing....
Happy Spring, mes amis.