One of my favorite escapes since I was a child has been La Colombe d’Or in Saint-Paul de Vence, France. For years now La Colombe d’Or has been my version of what I imagine most kids envision when they think of a mystical fairytale in a far off land. The town of Saint-Paul de Vence, which was once a struggling artist’s community, has transformed into an epicenter for original works by the likes of Picasso, Léger, Caraccio, Chagall and countless others. In short, when some of the most renowned early to mid-twentieth century artists were nameless, they would seek refuge at La Colombe d’Or and donate a – then valueless – work in exchange for food and a place to sleep at night. By way of this trade La Colombe d’Or has amassed a priceless archive of painting and sculpture. Since I was a child I have dreamt of opening the pages of a fashion magazine and seeing a spread juxtaposed against their amazing collection, specifically sculpture. While rumor has it due to theft a few years back, all of the pieces on display are replicas of the real works given to La Colombe d’Or by the original artists, it is still thrilling to feast each summer with our dear friends in the garden amidst a colossal could-be-original work by Léger or a César sculpture.
While, as you know, I rarely feature photos of myself on Minnie Muse, I would love to become less camera shy and in doing so I took the opportunity while staying at Hotel du Cap to emulate the amazing Chanel Resort 2012 campaign – specifically Karl’s shot of Joan Smalls on the jungle gym, pictured below. While I fail miserably to appear remotely as graceful as Ms.Smalls, I do feel a bit more comfortable looking back knowing I was wearing one of my favorite suits EVER by Lisa Marie Fernandez. Although swimsuit season has come and gone, I highly recommend you invest in a LMF suit for any future winter getaway. My next purchase will be a simple one-piece like THIS or one of her amazing suits in collaboration (because we all know I love a collaboration) with Peter Pilotto which are both available on Net-a-Porter.
Happy September to all! It feels good to be home after an incredibly extensive two-week hiatus/vacation. As is the case every August, I made an end-of-the-summer journey to Europe with my family and roughly 25 pounds of magazines. In years past I’ve traveled both ways with the added weight but this trip, on account of a majority of the publications reaching record numbers, I decided to forego bringing them home and instead have a little fun of my own. Though there were plenty of editorials to look at and stories to read, the amount of ad pages was overwhelming. To get a visual understanding of the ratio of ads to editorials, I enlisted the help of my friend Maggie and after five hours of cutting, tearing, sorting, stacking and counting our work was done. The photographs show editorial pages on the left and advertisements on the right for six leading publications. While there was a point when I thought I was over September, my excitement soon returned after realizing I would have W and V waiting for me at home and a few European magazines still left to purchase.
I recently rediscovered the work of Berlin-based artist Mari Kasurinen after featuring her My Little Damien Hirst unknowingly HERE prior to my trip to Germany. Ever since returning from Berlin after seeing the Art and Toys show I have been drawn to the lighthearted nature of toys. Kasurinen’s entire My Little Pop Icons series is brilliantly playful serving as the perfect means of bringing together fashion and art. Her decision to start this body of work came when looking at the influential nature of both children’s toys and pop culture. She toys with, quite literally, the idea of materialism and excess. Now that every major fashion house has launched a children’s line, naturally it seems that My Little Pony apparel and such is the next step. Besides, a few years back I would have killed for my American Girl Doll to sport a Gaga-esque meat dress.
To date, Karl Lagerfeld and Vivienne Westwood are the only two designers to be ‘My Little Pony-fied’ but I’m hoping they are soon joined by an inked up My Little Marc Jacobs, My Little Peter Dundas complete with a perfectly styled blonde mane and two very prim My Little Viktor & Rolf’s.
I’ve been getting my LONDON ON with all of the Olympic fever as of late. This constant talk of competition got me thinking of which Londoners would win the fashion Olympics for best artistic inspiration. It was a close call and after many heats here is who came out on top.
The gold goes to newbie British menswear designer Joseph Turvey. I was first introduced to Turvey’s work just days ago in THIS Style.com feature. I am usually not drawn to clothing sporting massive faces, often thinking they serve as a distraction more than anything, but there in an innocence in these sketches pictured above that I love – I am particularly eyeing the backpack. All of Turvey’s sketches bear striking similarities to my favorite portrait artist, German-born photographer Thomas Ruff. Ruff’s subjects prove awkwardness can absolutely be beautiful. One day I dream of displaying one of these wonderfully uncomfortable shots in my home but until then, a Turvey piece hanging in my closet will be just fine.
Coming in a close second is Mary Katrantzou for her amazing Candida Höfer-inspired dresses. Although Katrantzou has been around for a few seasons now, I can still remember first spotting her wildly whimsical pieces at Colette a few years back. To date, her dining room series is still my favorite, but no matter what theme each season brings there is always an ode to Höfer’s symmetrical prints. Höfer is a German-based photographer known for her works of elaborate interiors. Both women’s use of balanced lines, depth and color make them the perfect European pair.
Just behind Turvey and Katrantzou is fellow Brit J.W. Anderson with the bronze. Anderson’s mod pre-fall collection must find a place in everyone’s autumn wardrobe, particularly those amazing sweaters of his. Everything from the colors to the clean lines in his color-blocking reminds me of the work of yet another Berlin-born artist, Daniel Pflumm. Pflumm’s minimalist light-boxes are part of his Censored Logo series produced in the late 90s. These pieces challenge the authority of corporate identity just as Anderson’s simple designs prove that chic needs no logo.
Shop J.W. Anderson on Net-a-Porter.
Reviewing the Resort 13 collections this past weekend got me thinking… Where will Karl hold his Chanel R14 show?? He has done posh venues season after season – Versailles, Du Cap, St.Tropez, Venice, Etc. – that I think next year it is time for Chanel to go rugged; moreover, hiking clothes may be the only market left for Mr.Lagerfeld to explore. The beautiful landmass pictured above (and below) is sculptor Robert Smithson’s most famous work, the Spiral Jetty. Located just off the coast of Utah in the Great Salt Lake, the Jetty was completed in 1970 and has evolved overtime with the changing climate. It has seen every season and, at points, has been completely submerged under water due to the changing lake levels. Although the structure may be manmade, it has grown to look entirely organic in it’s environment. I find it to be one of the most beautiful sites in the world. Assuming the Jetty is dry and walkable next spring, I think it would make for the most spectacular runway.
Smithson and his wife put out the most amazing short film, appropriately entitled Spiral Jetty, which I saw last Fall and highly recommend. It documents how the Jetty was constructed and offers footage of the structure from each and every angle. I have yet to visit the land-art, but hope to one day walk it’s spiral.
One of my favorite memories from our recent trip to Berlin was visiting the Sammlung Boros. The Sammlung Boros is an old Bunker turned private home and gallery. After being built in the early 1940s as a safe house, the building took on many roles – going from a prison, to banana storage, to a rave club in the early 90s – before being purchased in 2003 by art collector Christian Boros. There are still a few bunkers scattered around the city that are now either privately owned or up for sale. It was quite jarring to turn the corner and run into such an intimidating structure amidst the many quaint, surrounding buildings.
After acquiring the bunker, Boros spent four years renovating the inside and constructing a modern home atop the building. Now, Boros lives with his family in the penthouse and uses the stories below to house his insanely major art collection. The private gallery is open for viewing by appointment only. We were lucky enough to get a tour during our visit by our new best friend and manager of the Sammlung Boros, Hans.
The portion of Boros’ collection we saw was curated to compliment and highlight the space. These pieces – primarily sculpture and light installations – have been up for four years and will be taken down this summer to make way for a new group of work from Boros’ collection to be on view. It is exciting to know that during my next visit to Berlin I will be able to see entirely new art on display, however upsetting as a few of the works were created uniquely for the space and thus will be destroyed during the changeover. Oh well, if only I too could hire Anslem Reyle to come paint on my walls only to cover up his work a few years later. Maybe someday…
Christian Boros has the largest, privately-owned Olafur Eliasson collections in the world, so it was quite appropriate that Eliasson’s fabulous disco ball-esq glass piece is the first major work to greet visitors.
I do not recall this artist’s name, however there is an very interesting story behind this piece. The point of the work is to prove how corrupt the art world is. The artist invited individuals to a gallery show in an empty gallery. It turned out very few people realized there was actually no work on display, they just saw the invitation as an excuse to party. The artist then used trash from this ‘party’ – such as the bottles below – to construct works for his show.
This work by Santiago Sierra was another installation made uniquely for the space. Sierra is famous for his ‘permanent’ works often highlighting corruption and poverty, thus it is appropriate that in order to fit the four structures pictured below, Boros needed to modify the physical makeup of the bunker.
This unknown artist did a series of twelve vases all representing twelve of his closest fellow artist friends – the vase below is Elizabeth Peyton. The owner of each vase must sign a contract upon purchasing the work that they will always keep the depicted artist’s favorite flowers fresh in the vase – Peyton’s happen to be Gerbera Daisies.
There is nothing like the inspiration that comes from seeing an artist at work. Art & Toys brought out some of today’s top street artists to Berlin not only to show their support, but to create one of a kind works in honor of the show. You were briefly introduced to a few of Buff Monster‘s and Pete Fowler‘s pieces in my previous post, but take a look below to see them at work.
The pattern on the sculpture that Pete is woking on was done completely freehand with no stencil. Fowler mixes his paint entirely by hand and uses a fine bristle brush.
I am a huge fan of Buff Monster and even have one of his pieces, bought at Art Basel, hanging in my bedroom. It is always exciting to meet artists, much less one who’s work I wake up to each morning. He typically paints on a canvas but chose to spray in honor of the event. You can check out how the final piece turned out on his site.
Berlin was filled with so many unexpected surprises, the most memorable of which happened on our final day in the city. After hearing that Collectors Room Berlin has opened its doors to Selim Varol, a 39 year old native of Düsseldorf and lover of toys, we were determined to get a sneak peak of the Art & Toys show before heading back to New York. Turns out our relentless attitudes paid off and we were lucky enough to get a private tour of the gallery space on Friday, our last day in Berlin and just 24 hours before the show opened to the public. There were still a few works to be hung and toys to be placed, but considering in total there are more than 3,000 pieces on display, the space looked amazing even with a few bare spots on the colossal walls.
The modern simplicity of the gallery space is a perfect compliment to Varol’s collection. He has been amassing toys and street art since purchasing his first piece by KAWS almost fifteen years ago. Since then, his collection has grown exponentially and has become less of a hobby and more of a lifestyle. Varol now calls many of the artists his close friends, some of whom made the trip to Berlin for the opening and produced special works in honor of the show.
Art & Toys will be up at Collectors Room Berlin through September 16th. I highly recommend you check it out if want an excuse to start a toy collection; I have already added a few more small Bearbricks to my ever growing windowsill of trinkets.
Tomorrow at this time I will be well on my way to arguably the coolest city on the planet – Berlin. This will be my first time visiting Germany but judging by all of my research I already know I will love it. I am taking a girls trip with my mom and one of her best friends, so between art museums and meals there are sure to be a lot of laughs. Ironically, I’ve been putting off packing for the past few hours by making my packing list. Take a look below at what I am taking (if I ever manage to get these things in a suitcase) and my latest art inspiration board in honor of the contemporary art capital of the world. Can’t wait to share photos from my journey!
1. Berlin is a city for walking, but even so I can’t totally drop the fashion ball. These NIKECraft’s by Tom Sachs and black Isabel Marant’s will be my answer to walking shoes.
2. I don’t often wear big necklaces during the winter because I always have scarves on and they tend to snag. Now that the weather has warmed up I can bring out my go-tos from Marni and Tom Binns.
3. These Prada turbans and headbands are a favorite accessory of mine. Add them to any look as a fun alternative to jewelry.
4. I am a firm believer that black is just as much a summer color as it is for winter. This T by Alexander Wang canvas and leather jacket has been a staple in my closet for weeks. It is the perfect piece to take you from day to a casual evening.
5. I really hope Chanel puts this amazing quilted watering can, shown at last week’s Versailles resort 2013 show, into production. While I don’t plan on carrying around any gardening paraphernalia, I do hope to see some equally quirky fashions during my trip.
6. Isabel Marant makes the best fitting jeans, no question. I love these confetti Roxy shorts for day and these distressed black jeans for night.
7. Heels can make any outfit ‘dinner appropriate’. These Alaïa wedges and Céline’s are perfection.
8. I can’t totally abandon my favorite scarves just because the weather is heating up. They are still great to carry with your purse as an added pattern.
9. There is no denying I love my PS1′s, but Proenza’s Keep All is the best travel bag. The Céline Box bag is still a favorite of mine for any occasion. It is perfect compliment to any outfit at any time of day.
10. Despite the perfect forecast spring showers are never far away, that is why I always carry an umbrella with me, this Lanvin one is my favorite.
11. No packing jobs is complete without a few stripped shirts. They are the perfect basics without being too boring, also a great way to add color to an outfit.
Art Inspiration Board
1. Artist Tom Sachs’ take on high-end (Chanel, Tiffany, Prada and Hermes) vs. popular consumer products.
2. David Hockney’s iPad art is amazing. Always fun to see such an established artist embrace technology.
3. I am a huge fan of Katarina Fritsch’s monochromatic sculptures. I love the colors she uses especially considering they have a very matte finish. Beautiful.
4. The vacation home of artist’s Carsten Höller and Marcel Odenbach in Ghana is extraordinary. I bet Höller could make a sick water slide.
5. A stuffed animal installation at last year’s Art Basel by the late Mike Kelly.
6. The great artist and Tisci muse, Marina Abramovic.
7. A neon light chair sculpture by Ivan Navarro.
8. Such a fun way to use Damien Hirst as inspiration. I’d much prefer this Lego piece over a real animal’s carcass.
9. The Hamburger Bahnhof is a former railway station turned contemporary art museum in Berlin. Will be one of my first stops.
10. Cindy Sherman, a woman who truly transcends art and fashion, in Chanel Couture. This image and many others will be up at her gallery Metro Pictures come Fall.
After a ten-day hiatus in the form of a trip to the West Coast I am finally back home and slowly returning to my New York routine. Although it was hard to leave California with so much left to see, it was comforting to come back to equally blue skies and warm weather. Amid my LA venture I spent a few days with my best friend at her home in Newport. I had always wanted to experience the OC, if not for the beaches than for the A’maree’s.
There are only a handful of boutiques in the US that are comparable to the European high fashion powerhouses like Dover Street Market and Colette; A’maree’s is one of them. I spent time with the owners, Dawn and Denise, last March in Paris and felt foolish being such a fan of their store without ever actually stepping foot in it. Rest assured, I can now speak from experience that it is everything I imagined. The newly renovated space is suspended over the marina complete with portholes on the floor (see above). Dawn and Denise have stocked their palace with goodies from the likes of Alaïa, Comme, Céline, Dries, Lanvin, Rick Owens, Margiela and The Row. I especially loved all the amazing jewelry and interior pieces. Everything looks so fresh when seen in such a naturally beautiful and stimulating environment.
A’maree’s is located at 2241 West Coast Highway in Newport.