September 10, 2014

Be Happy!

I just returned from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in NY and I really enjoyed the fashion presentations I attended.

The show that sticks out the most in my mind is California designer Trina Turk's presentation. I noticed that all of her models smiled, were happy and they pretended to be spending a day at the beach and really had fun showing off the colorful spring collection. It made me smile and think to myself, "how pleasant!".  Because 98% of the fashion models have extremely hard, serious faces- they never seem happy nor do they smile.  So it was refreshing to take in this fun and positive presentation. It seemed real and I loved it. 

Word to fashion designers:  make people smile more.  Be Happy!

http://trinaturk.com 

sandra espinet at Trina Turk

sandra espinet at Trina Turk

sandra espinet at Trina Turk

September 03, 2014

Carmen Marc Valvo

It's that time of the year again and off I go to NYC for Fashion Week.  One of the shows I will be attending this season is Carmen Marc Valvo and I am very exited because I have never seen his runway show. I will of course keep you posted, so keep social on FB and Instagram to see the pics.

Carmen Marc Valvo is a New Yorker who studied fashion at Parsons School of Design. He later worked at Nina Ricci and Dior before starting his own line.  He is best know for his fantastic gowns who have adorened numerous celebs on the red carpet. Carmen Marc has been called a master of styling and it's no wonder he is carried at luxury department stores such as Neiman Marcus.

This should be fun!

http://www.carmenmarcvalvo.com

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September 01, 2014

Hotel Matilda

I flew into San Miguel de Allende, Mexico last night for a bit of work and a bit of  R & R.  Checked into the hotel Matilda and I absolutely love it!

Unlike most small  boutique B & B hotels in the area, the Matilda is truly a luxury, urban retreat with touches of Mexico via great Mexican art and accessories. The designer intentionally selected important Mexican pieces and isolated them to celebrate them. The overall palette is neutral with lots of taupes, grays, browns and beiges. My feeling is that it does not compete with the cobblestones and the colorful, colonial architecture of San Miguel, buy instead it gives you a sleek modern place to come back to and absorb the beauty of San Miguel.

The interior designer of the project, Ray Booth of McAlpine, Booth and Ferrier Interiors, did a fantastic job in creating this tranquil, modern, elegant space that is a little gem of a hideaway in the otherwise traditional colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. 

If you find yourself in San Miguel, I highly recommend you making the Hotel Matilda your home away from home.

http://hotelmatilda.com

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August 25, 2014

Recycled Art Furniture

I adore unique, creative and unusual furniture and I am also a fan of all kinds of art, so recycled, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces are natrually no strangers to my design palette.

This environmental/eco-friendly philosophy is being adopted by those who value innovation and art. Anything used or vintage; copper pipes, skiis, street signs, coins or even wine corks, can be creatively used and repurposed into unique art furniture.  It takes the creative mind and talent of an artist to come up with these ideas and create these special pieces. They can't be mass-produced, but they do make for amazing one-of-a-kind statement pieces in decor.  They become functional  conversation pieces that we can live with.

Would you consider using a recycled art piece in your house instead of a store bought multiple of 100,000?  Does art furniture mean anything to you?

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August 19, 2014

Defacing your Hermes bag?

Some call it sacrilege, others call it customisation – but it's the newest celebrity trend and everyone from Lady Gaga, to Kelly Osbourne, to Kim Kardashian, to Nene Leakes is doing it: defacing their classic Hermes bag.

Lady Gaga took a marker to a brand new, white Hermes Birkin handbag in Tokyo and wrote:  "I love little monsters, Tokyo love". Kim Kardashian had an artist paint hers. Kelly Osbourne put patches and stickers on hers. The name of the game is "one-of-a-kind".

It’s somewhat ironic that the first person to deface the Hermes Birkin bag was the woman that it was created in honour of: Jane Birkin. Jane has carried the bag since its creation, but has almost always ‘customised’ it with protest stickers, beads or ribbons so that it doesn’t look like everybody else's Birkin Bag.

So what do you think?  Would you deface your 12k leather, impossibly-hard-to-get Birkin?  Should I do mine?

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August 14, 2014

Marilyn Minter

NY artist Marilyn Minter's work is so sensual and unique that it makes you look twice. She distorts the typical glam, fashion image into an almost grotesque splash of color that has a watermark style all it's own.

Born in 1948, Minter's over 30-year career started when she photographed her mother. It progressesd and developed into what we know her for today; images of stilettos and mouths that seem to capture you. Marilyn is best know for her ultra-glossy, hyper-realistic paintings in enamel on metal that depict closeups of lipstick-laden lips, eyes, and feet. The relationship between fashion, body and sexuality are exaggerated and magnified. She has photographed Pam Anderson and worked with giants such as Tom Ford to create some of her work.

Minter also explores this genre using video.  One recent video was shot using a piece of glass between the camera and the model, who wore bright red lipstick and licked gold paint from the glass.  The end product is extremely captivating and intense.

Her work is currently available in NY at the Salon 94 and in LA at the Regen Projects. And if you have a chance, it is well worth the trip to view it at these galleries.

 http://www.marilynminter.net

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hj5nygOPW9Q

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August 08, 2014

SLS Hotel Las Vegas

The new SLA Hotel Las Vegas is about to open with a lot of buzz.

 On September 1st the new massive SLS hotel complex in Las Vegas will open to the public.  Owner Sam Nazarian used interior designer Philippe Starke and Gensler to complete the interiors.  Located at the north end of the Vegas strip, it was a $ 415 million dollar renovation of the now famed old Sahara Hotel and Casino.

Apart from shopping and conference spaces, the hotel will also be home to a number of  restaurants such as Cleo, Katsuya, 800 Degrees, The Bazaar, Umami Burger and  The Griddle Café. It will create over 9,000 jobs for the city.

Congrats Sam on another fab hotel!

http://slshotels.com/lasvegas/

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July 29, 2014

Patricia Urquiola

I am a fan of anything well designed.  And today I am inspired by the amazing work of Spanish architect / designer Patricia Urquiola.  

Urquiola curretly lives in Milan and she has won numerous awards for her creative designs. If you have not heard her name, you surely will recognize the huge furniture brands that she has designed for such as : Alessi, Boffi, Cassina, Knoll, Kartell and B & B Italia.  She seems to quietly be everywhere in the design world and everyone wants to hire her to design furniture. Patricia said  "I’m not interested in the old meanings of what a bed, a sofa, or a bath is; I am only concerned with new and more sophisticated ways of living. A lot of the things on the market are outmoded." And I could not agree with her more.

She may be under the radar but she is woman with vision and changing the world we live in, for the better, through great design. And the simplicity of her web site says it all.  Someone I would enjoy having a glass ( or two) of wine with.

http://www.patriciaurquiola.com

http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/talent/patricia-urquiola-furniture-designer

 

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July 25, 2014

Gregory Siff

I love the downtown LA street art movement and I especially love working with artists that create unique pieces. I was visiting the studio of one of my favorite artists, Gregory Siff, and purchased a fantastic piece for a client that I can't wait to receive.

Gregory was born in Brooklyn NY and currently lives in LA. His urban artwork embodies a positive emotion that is currently seem more and more in the street art scene.  He paints emotions and feelings that combine graffiti, abstract expressionism and his own unique lettering. It is very recognizable and he possesses a sense of personal style all his own. His work seems to be popping up everywhere from museums to art galleries and billboards. Everyone from Helmut Lang to Red Bull to Vans is working with Gregory. He is on fire at the moment and has huge plans for the future.

But more importantly - the guy is cool.  He is such a great personality and so vibrant and focused. While it seems that many artists don't posses the ability to be creative as well as manage their business, Gregory has been blessed with the ability to do both and is also a professional in control of his path.  A great talent!  Keep him on your radar.

http://gregorysiff.tumblr.com/

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Sandra Espinet & Gregory Siff

July 24, 2014

Berbere Imports Book Signing

A quick thanks to everyone who attended my latest book signing at Berbere Imports in Los Angeles. It was a fun crowd and it was so great to see all of my friends who showed up to support.  And of course a huge thanks to Suad Cano for all of her amazing help organizing the event.  

Next book signing will be in Las Vegas at Design Camp during market.  Hope to see you there.

http://designcamp.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-duvgJLETCc&list=PL_u1zlH8ZdPIqHcrHEjcxqaO5eLwt6AGC

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