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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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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July 23, 2014

fashion Designers designing hotels

I love art that is creative and artists that can transcend and move into various fields, however I am not sure I love the concept of fashion designers trying to do interior design. While some do achieve success, most are a failure and waste of time and effort.

The marketing trend in which name brand fashion designers try to expand their brand or that a hotel piggybacks on the noteriety of a fashion brand by designing hotel rooms or entire hotels is questionable to me.   Some designers actually own their properties  and make them part of their brand  while others simple collaborate and design one specialty room, like a VIP or marketing room.

I like the Armani hotel, Bulgari Hotel and the Diane Von Fustenburg suite at Claridges Hotel in London best of the bunch. But some of these designs are atrocious and actually dilute the brand. In my opinion, the crossover is not always good as in the cases of  the Missoni hotel, Versace Palace Hotel and the Oscar de la Renta Puntacana Hotel. And of course the over the top Karl Lagerfeld chocolate suite at Schlosstel in Grunewald is just plain odd.

So I'm not quite sold on "designer" suites and hotels yet.  I might own a few Missoni pieces of clothing, but translating the style to a hotel does not always work for me.

http://www.armanihotels.com/en/index.html

http://www.bulgarihotels.com/

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July 21, 2014

Sabire Susuz

Every now and then you find an artist by accident. I was killing time in Istanbul and walked over to the Istanbul Modern Museum. I gravitated towards a painting of a shark and as I walked up closer to it I noticed it was not painted, it was created out of clothing tags. Amazing!!

Such detailed work with perfect shadows and such intense colors.  It was hard to believe it was all done with designer (and some not so designer) tags.  It was a collage of colors, perfectly placed according to their shade to create the image.  I am sure it was hugely time consuming, but more than that it was so interesting to look at when close up.  Cool stuff.

Turkish artist Sabire Susuz has found a unique way to express herself.  She studied biology for a short time and she feels the labels are like cells and each one is nothing alone. Just as thousands of cells create an organism, thousands of labels create her work.

http://www.sabiresusuz.com

http://artist.christies.com/Sabire-Susuz--61971.aspx

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July 18, 2014

Bjarke Ingels

I have an architectural crush on Bjarke Ingels!

The 39 year old, Danish architect is so creative and so full of great ideas that it's almost impossible not to love him. It doesn't hurt that he is cute, funny and super smart. He has been referred to as the Scandinavian Leo DeCaprio. And it's astounding that he has come so far and done so much at such a young age.

Bjarke has a reputation for challenging traditional ideas and for coming up with ingenious solutions. I think he is one of  the most inspiring architects practicing today and has unique and fresh views on design.  He believes in shaping life vs letting life shape our surroundings, by creating the world of our dreams. And his work is truly inspiring!

He now lives in NYC where he runs B.I.G. (Bjarke Ingels Group) and it seems every time I turn around I am hearing of a new project he is starting on.  From projects in Vancouver, Toronto, NYC and Denmark. This star-chitect is taking the architectural world by storm!

http://www.ted.com/playlists/11_must_see_ted_talks

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