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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Ultimate Fashion Baby!

Last week, stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe gave birth to her first child, a boy named Skyler Morrison. And just days before, she was doing what most other 9-months-pregnant women do...scooting around town in 6 inch leopard booties!

And not long before that...6 inch platform boots! Aside from the footwear, I'm kind of digging her maternity style- comfy yet completely chic. Lots of leggings. And she doesn't forget to accessorize.

It's kind of crazy that this picture was taken just last month!

Last night they posted their first picture of the baby. Unfortunately we can't tell what he's wearing, but I trust there's a fierce onesie under that blanket.

I am seriously hoping they bring back her Bravo show...I would LOVE to see how she functions as a mother- how hands-on she gets, if she tries to nurse, how this impacts her business, if she goes back to being scary skinny, etc. Oh RZ, you always continue to fascinate! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not So Brutal Brutalism

Brutalism, popularized around the mid 20th century, is a style manifested in architecture, furniture, and accessories.  Most people either love or hate the hard lines of brutalist architecture.  When I think of brutalist architecture, I have to admit it's usually not the most pleasant image that comes to mind.  Think boxy concrete buildings with lots of right angles and no embellishments whatsoever.  Function over form.  Le Corbusier is often associated with the popularization of brutalist architecture, which really became prevalent in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's, originally designed as an inexpensive and efficient type of building.  Many buildings in Washington, DC, including the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building shown below, have brutalist characteristics. 

The first Washington Metro stations were designed in the brutalist style by American architect Harry Weese.

Weese's Pentagon City Metro Station

Boston's City Hall was designed and built in the 1960's and is a classic example of brutalist architectural style.

Even if brutalist architecture isn't your favorite (I will admit that it is growing on me), there are certain brutalist design elements that are truly amazing.  Brutalist furniture and accessories are much less form-obsessed and are even (gasp) decorative.  They often have industrial characteristics, like rough metal or wood composition, but they also have decorative features.  Many of Kelly Wearstler's designs interpret brutalist styles in a Hollywood Regency light.

All photos courtesy of Elle Decor
This coffee table, consisting of a rough, deconstructed brass base topped with glass, incorporates brutalist elements.
1st Dibs

C. Jere, who has regained popularity recently thanks to Jonathan Adler, designed eyecatching brass accessories such as this sea urchin that could be characterized as brutalist.

1st Dibs

Our favorite brutalist interpretation comes in the form of lighting.  This brutalist brass chandelier was designed by Harry Weese.  It serves as an eyecatching work of art and adds the perfect element of edginess to a room.

A brutalist chandelier adds such interest and complexity to this otherwise simple bedroom.
Laura Stern Designs

In an absolutely amazing yet edgier room, a brutalist chandelier blends seamlessly and beautifully reflects light all over the neutral walls.
Judy Aldridge 

We are THRILLED to be listing a very similar brutalist chandelier for one of our readers on MoS Marketplace very soon!! Here is a sneak peak of this one-of-a-kind chandelier we are listing!

Be sure to stay tuned to MoS Marketplace for full listing details! 

So tell us what you think about brutalism!  Can you appreciate the architecture, or do you prefer brutalism in the form of furniture and accessories?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Target Misses The Mark (according to Proenza Schouler)

The fashion blogosphere is abuzz lately with a feud brewing between luxury brand Proenza Schouler and cheap-'n'-chic retailer Target. The culprit? Proenza Schouler claims Target's new Mossimo Messenger Bag is a wee bit too close for comfort to the iconic PS-1 messenger bag. 

What do you think? The $1,995 version is on top...the $34 version below.

Part of the reason Proenza Schouler is so upset? They've collaborated with Target in the past on one of their "Go International" collections. And as designer Jack McCullough told Cathy Horyn of the New York Times in her recent blog post, "Yeah, why save up and buy ours when you can buy theirs right away?"

Can you spot the difference?

Of course, knock off's are an issue that transcend fashion and carry over to many industries- including home decor. Look at Madeleine Weinrib style pillows and rugs- they've spawned a whole industry of copycat chic. 

Madeliene Weinrib Black Buche

Ikea Stockholm Rand
I think McCullough, in a way, over simplifies the dilemma- the same person who would (and more importantly, could) spend $1,995 on a designer handbag isn't going to say "Great! I'll buy this fake leather $34 one instead and be just as happy!" You're talking apples and oranges here in terms of clientele. However, I think that where the real dilemma comes in for high end designers is that knock off's dilute their look that they've understandably put a lot of research and development into. If thousands of teenagers wearing at suburban malls around the country are carrying this style of messenger bag, will fashion-conscious insiders still want to shell out big bucks for this bag? Unlikely. Sort of like what happened when LV knockoffs became so rampant.

So here we have another "democratization of design" dilemma on our hands- it's great that high style is becoming more affordable, but is this at the cost of diluting the work of high end designers? 

What do y'all think???

Monday, March 28, 2011

MoS Heads to Asheville's Tobacco Barn

I spent this past weekend in the mountains with my best friends celebrating birthdays and babies.  On Saturday we went to The Tobacco Barn in Asheville to see what was in store.  While the folks who work at The Tobacco Barn acted shockingly rude and unfriendly, we still had a fun time checking out the store, and none of us walked out empty-handed. 

Here are a few of my Tobacco Barn picks:

A pair of very unique Hollywood regency brass clamshell bookends

A pair of stone horses

Huge framed tapestry made of an Indian wedding fabric

Gorgeous gold and black lacquered coffee table with elephant motifs

Vintage library card catalog-turned-coffee table

Vintage croquet set

Pair of large moose (?) antlers

A HUGE real clamshell for $550 (shells in this size retail for $1500-$2000 in Florida)

One of my favorites, a huge pineapple table base, perfect for a breakfast room table

Hollywood regency gold tole wheat table for $165

Fabulous brass MCM gourd-shaped floor lamp (a designer needs to grab this up; less than $100)

This Pucci-esque vintage sofa caught my eye, as did the bolt of fabric in the same print.  I really wish I had bought the fabric, as it would be stunning on a Bergere chair with lacquered white wood legs.

Set of 4 vintage wire chairs

Large concrete obelisk for the yard

The deal of the day: $86 total for the bar cart and 2 end tables in this fabulous vintage style

I can't resist a ceramic elephant garden stool!  This one was around $250 I believe.

Pair of tole tulip electric sconces, so pretty for a bedroom ($195)

Isn't this vintage striped suitcase, monogrammed with MCD, just adorable?! ($40)

One of my friends is seriously considering this stunning set of gold and white china.  It is a German pattern, in pristine condition, with amazing serving pieces.  It's the perfect china pattern to serve as the setting for fun accent plates!

Both MoS Washington and I have camel saddles we love, but this is the first one I've ever seen that has a cute wooden camel head on it.  It was around $200.

A map of Africa with a large colorful bird would brighten up any room!

I almost DIED when I saw this set of chairs.  If you can get past the hideous hunter green painted wood and fabric, you will see that they are just liked the knotted tassle chairs Meg Braff has in her dressing room.   Someone needs to grab up this set of 6 chairs for a crazy $350.  FAST!

I'm not sure that I would ever actually use a cookie jar, but this vintage elephant jar is just adorable.

And for what came home with me....  This faux bamboo dresser will be perfect for baby girl's nursery.  All it needs is a fresh coat of paint!  (ignore the granite sample sitting atop it)

If you are around Asheville, be sure to check out The Tobacco Barn!  As I mentioned in my previous post about it, sometimes you can find some great deals on items you love that might not be as popular in the Asheville area!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Leather Done Right

I had the good fortune to go winetasting outside of Charlottesville last weekend, and of course while everyone else in my group was busy snapping pictures of each other, I was preoccupied with the furniture! 

One of my favorite vineyards- Veritas- easily trumps the other wineries in its decor. I love, love, love the weathered leather furniture that's great for hunkering down for a wine tasting. It looks beat up yet perfectly stylish. The color is superb- not to caramel but not to "espresso." Which got me thinking- there's nothing worse than leather furniture done "wrong" and nothing better than leather done "right," don't you think? 

After my Veritas visit, I stumbled upon the American Rustic article in this week's New York Times- wow, what a cool article! And speaking of perfect leather chairs, how about this one that belongs to David Coggins and his impeccable West Village apartment. You can't fake that wear.

 Old leather is where it's at, don't you agree? Granted, you couldn't stick this in just any room. But if you have the right place...

Of course, after seeing this photo, also from the American Rustic article, it all comes full circle...maybe there is such thing as TOO worn, ya think?

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