Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Provence Collection By RH

Restoration Hardware has undoubtedly produced another timeless collection in the Provence Collection. Overall the look is southern France Mediterranean. The well groomed shrubbery, unfinished wood, iron, and wicker set the natural tone of the elements in the line. I have selected three of my favorite sets to showcase.

The image above features an aluminum Greek Klismos table set. The sleek urn base of the table showcases its unique pedestal details along with the curving legs of the chairs. Ivory cushions contrast with the charcoal gray aluminum. The pot of succulents provides structured greenery that looks as tailored as the hedges.

I am drawn to the natural wicker and neutral upholstery in the photos above and below. The simplistic attention to detail is shown in the clean lines and x motifs especially in the planters in the image below. The table looks like something that has come from an antique shop as the quality and solid craftsmanship are apparent. Over sized lanterns create warmth and enhance the vintage classic Provencial feel. Stone pots holding bits of wild lavender are placed in the center of the table for a subtle hint of color. Pea gravel is used commonly in European courtyards and is replicated here.

In the poolside setting the wicker is used again and upholstered in the same tones. The lanterns are present just in case of a midnight candle light swim. The small but very visually appealing pool is balanced on each side by two chaises and flanked at the head of the pool by a cozy daybed. The neutral color palate is accented with green shrubbery and purple lavender blossoms. The design here is simplistic and tasteful to contemporary Provencial design.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Toto, We're Not In Kansas Anymore....Oh Wait, Wrong Movie

Tim Burton is known for oddities, hiring a revolving door of the same cast members (Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter), and has directed the latest adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, in theaters now. I went into the theater last night prepared for his version of madness to be paired with Lewis Carroll's timeless tale of ludicrousness.

Happily, I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It's star shines brightly in Mia Wasikowska as Alice. She is a bit of a curious and dreaming girl but grows into her own stronger sense of self as she throws off the mantle of the conforming and traditional woman of the times. She can make the impossible a reality (especially when she realizes she isn't dreaming).

The ever shifting balance of proportion was more than amusing to watch as Alice shape shifted from a towering giant to the size of a mouse. In the original animated version, Alice's clothing shrunk and grew as she did but this was not the case in this film. She was constantly having to have new outfits tailored for her through out the show. I was delighted to see what came next.

Classic characters such as the Cheshire Cat were more of a special effect character but proved to be as tricky and squeezable as he was in the original film. With his over sized and toothy grin he seems not to be trusted yet when he twists and turns in the air and kneads his claws he is fuzzy and quite authentically catlike.

It only seemed quite natural that Alice should be the champion of the film and don the armor (which made her resemble some sort of Joan of Arc character - strong, yet feminine).

Another outstanding character was the white queen played by Anne Hathaway. I couldn't get enough of her darkly stained lips, black eyebrows and dark eyes all paired with alabaster skin, hair, and clothing. She was stereotypically graceful and comedic at the same time. Seeing her mix the special potion with the rancid list of ingredients was amusing to say the least.

See the film and try to look past all the over used faces and you will find a gem of a film with amazing special effects. It is filled with crazy, over the top characters that we all remember from the animated version but have been dramatically altered with fantastic results.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Temporary Couture

Tattoos have been around for centuries. They are thought to have originated as a form of acupuncture to alleviate pains in ancient cultures. Over time they evolved to have a more ornamental purpose and became things of beauty. Or eyesores, which ever your preference.

The Egyptians have a long history of tattoo culture where tattoos were status symbols and designs were sex specific. Lines and dots were the basis of their inkings.

In Japanese culture, tattoos had a mystical or religious significance. Oddly enough, it is thought that the 1st full body tattoos originated there. The trend reemerged and became popular once again for circus performers in more modern times where the number and multiple colors of tattoos the bearer had made them quite an attraction.

Celebrities and models have become quite popular for their choice of tattoos. Perhaps one of the most famous tattooed celebrities is Angelina Jolie. Her coordinate tattoos of her children's birth places seem to be one of the most touching tattoos I have seen. My favorite model, Freja Beha has words of inspiration written in various tastefully chosen locations on her body. I frequently see images of her on the runway without makeup covering them.

Chanel has released a line of temporary tattoos to add to their ever growing collection. This past January they hit the stores; $75.00 for 5 pieces of fleeting couture. The basis of the tattoos are ropes of draped layers of pearls adorned with bird and Chanel's double C charms. Lace also prevails and adds to the naughty yet feminine appeal of the body applique.

The tattoos the models are wearing around their neck and shoulders seem the most appealing to me and the charm appeal increases when you see the little birds twining them gracefully around her neck. While the thigh and leg tattoos seem to give the image of a cheap prostitute. Otherwise they are quite beautifully designed. I would be much more inclined to wear a removable tattoo than a permanent one with my ever changing perceptions.