Where's the Costume Party?

I know this week has been video-heavy, but this is just too great to leave out. This is the kind of Halloween party I'd like to attend this year: costume sent by courier, with gouache illustration showing how to wear it and a chauffeured car waiting downstairs.

And the best part is that they don't even go to the party! I'm sure it's something Oscar Wilde said, but there's certainly as much pleasure in denying some invitations as accepting them. Nevertheless, I do wish they decided not to go to silly Mrs. Augustus Freelinghouser's costume party and kept the costumes on anyway.

Since it's impossible to go to parties in movies, maybe I would settle for the party where the lovely Chau would be my little pony:


Movie Night, Anyone?

In celebration of Halloween, today's featurette will be Tim Burton's first clay animation, the seldom seen Vincent. Narrated by Vincent Price, Disney gave Burton the money to create this short in 1982.

I admit that it reminds me of my own morose childhood. What kid raised on Edward Gorey doesn't hear this at some point from their mother:

"You're not Vincent Price, you're Vincent Malloy!
You're not tormented or insane, you're only a boy.
You're seven years old, and you are my son.
I want you to get outside and have some real fun."


Let's Make Masks, Like We Used To

You can choose to be something prettier if you like, but I elect to be the Wolfman. With the beard I'm rocking these days, it's not that much of a stretch.

When I look back at all the lovely costumes my mother made me over the years, it almost makes me feel guilty ... all that work for one rainy night.

Memorable years: the Love Ghost (a romantic version of the scary classic sheet-over-the-head, but with hearts cut out with pinking shears appliqued over the whole thing), and the Little Lame Prince (hero of a Victorian children's book, who dressed in pantaloons and a mystical cape that allowed him to travel, despite his paralyzed legs). The Prince costume saw traffic for years, until the doublet no longer fit. I wish I had pictures of those ... I'm sure they're somewhere.

My college years were less creative, maybe.

I think the runner costume falls under the realm of costumes designed to allow you to wear less clothing and look cute. Dumb idea. Everyone else looks charming, though. I love Holly as a little bumble bee. That night ended in a police chase for her, complete with scaled fences and mugshots.

This one I'm prouder of:

What am I, you ask? Puffin Capote, of course (Truman Capote dressed as a puffin).


ze speelden de MONSTERDANS.

Forgive me, but I heard this in a thrift store a few days ago and I can't get it out of my head! It's actually a great dance song. I don't think I've ever been to a party where it was played, which is a pity. I'd be so excited.

I defy you to listen to this song and not at least tap your feet. I think I'd like to have a Monster Mash cover band ... I don't have any remarkable musical skill, but I reckon that's okay, since we'll only be playing one song. Care to join?


Beauty's Lot

I think she still looks pretty good ... a little ghoulish, but hey. She's using that classic design devise: when confronted with a flaw, distract the eye.

"Adorn'd with tates, I well could Boast, of Tons and Macarony's Toast;
I once was Fair, Young, Frisky, Gay, could pleasure with Songs and Dance and the Hay.
Dear Bells reflect Ye Mortals see, As I now am, so You will be."

How about a nice momento mori to start the week, eh? Everyone got their costume figured out?


"Where the Wild Things Are" at Opening Ceremony

I'm always behind the curve. But this are too fun not to mention: clothes designed by Opening Ceremony in collaboration with Spike Jonze, director of Where the Wild Things Are. Have you not yet found a costume?

Steven & I saw the film last weekend, and we were both impressed. I think it's about as accurate a portrait of the tumult of emotions that is childhood that I've ever seen. And it's beautiful. Still, I think maybe I can't justify this jacket, though I do believe it would look quite fetching on me:

Though doesn't it look more lamb than wolf? I suspect Max would not be impressed. I bet he'd be ok with this silver cuff, though:

I think these coats are an interesting concept, with each supposedly inspired by a specific Wild Thing, though I wish they hadn't worried about making the coats even marginally attractive. If ever there were the need for a belle laide aesthetic, this would be the project. I just wish they were more messed up, or something:


Movie Night, Anyone?

"And it's nothing to go back 20 or 30 miles, to cross your T ..."
I can't recall the last time I saw anything written in the sky. Are we past this charming practice? I can think of many things I'd like to see writ large in the heavens, but most of them are personal. I suppose there's no signature, and afterward it just evaporates into nothing.

I'm also surprised this profession hasn't been mined by the movie industry -- doesn't Skywriter seem like a sexy profession for a leading man? In my screenplay, he will be brooding, but nice, and when asked by his sophisticated love interest what he does for a living, in shame he will say "Writer." Hilarity and confusion will ensue from this small lie, and it will only be revealed that he is a Skywriter when he decides to declare his feelings across the sky! Applause!

What would you like to see written in the sky?


We Need More Surprises

Nothing delights me more than a tiny surprise. Take this classic, standard issue US Navy deck shirt. There aren't many things that stay more rigidly to the prescribed than uniforms. These cuffs ...

And yet, tucked away ...

Why can't this be mine? Not that I'm really into barebreasted mermaids, but I adore the spirit of the thing! This sailor had surprises literally up his sleeves.

Perfection spied at ready4thehouse.blogspot.com.


Anna Lynett Makes ...

... beautiful clothes. These pieces are drawn from her work over the past year, and are self-modeled. Meet Anna:

Oh, isn't she lovely?

This sweet little jumper is "a nod to the end of a season: summer proportions and autumn materials." It looks specifically designed for gamboling and general mischief. I wholeheartedly approve.

Rigorously structured and tailored to a T, Anna's clothes are what I wish pretty girls would wear.

Lovely stuff -- everything looks vaguely saucy, but presentable. Though I think you might get into some trouble with that jumper.


Bonnie and the Dream of Horses

When I was growing up I had a second mother in my friend Greg's mom. Bonnie is remarkable in so many ways, but oddly enough, as a child one of the things that impressed me most were stories of how as a child she would stand on her horse's back as she rode. Bonnie is very capable, very organized, and I imagine she looked something like this:

I can imagine many practical uses of this skill, like moving furniture:

Or riding in Fourth of July parades:

If I could stand while riding, I suspect I would find it hard not to multitask ... perhaps combining the joy of travel with the joy of dance:

Or I could use it to more effectively woo Steven:

Unfortunately, I'm quite clumsy. I don't think I could pull this move off:


Tree Lust

I'm the most acquisitive person I know. I could collect stuff till the end of time. Really, I think I could pile up a bunch of just about anything, given enough time and money. Except maybe baseball cards and Civil War memorabilia ... those strike me as the dullest things imaginable.

Right now I'm really into plants made out of metal. I can't explain it, but I want them. At the top of my list are the tree or bush sculptures of Harry Bertoia, created during the 1960s:

This last one is my favorite:

I think my tablescapes need a little something to make them look like landscapes.


Movie Night, Anyone?

Today, something new! Never seen before! I proffer my very own video, part of a submission to win a trip to Bangkok via the Thai Tourism Board. In fact, in a few days you can vote whether or not to send me there, and check it out now, via:


Care to make a contribution to my travel roster? Ah well, in any case it was a lot of fun to make with my old pal Melissa.


Pattern, Glorious Pattern

I must admit I have a strong weakness for patterns. I think as someone who works with architecture I'm supposed to hate them (too much surface! no meaning!), but I just can't bring myself to. I even love Venturi Scott Brown's post-mod pattern phase, which is definitely not cool:

I know, I know, it's gauche and terrible. But I love it.

A few weeks ago, Brown University had one of its annual book sales, and true to form, I bought an insane number of books. That was par for the course. The real problem is the number of foreign language books I ended up with, all because of their seductive papers -- I can't read a lick of German, but ended up with all of these:

But really, can you blame me? Look at the patterns on the covers:

Several of these remind me of the work of the Wiener Werkstätte, but these last pieces especially. They look so much like the work of Dagobert Peche:


Gas: Yes, Please.

I don't think I'm usually a hot tempered person, but let me tell you, nothing makes my blood boil more quickly than ads for evil gas companies that try to convince you how much they're working to fix the environment. A grandmother washing a baby, maybe some kids running through a park, or someone smiling and walking through the rain, while some shithead with a soothing voice tells us in voice-over how much company x (who's pretty much directly responsible for countless oil spills, extraordinarily well funded lobbyists paying their way with weak legislators intent on squashing any reform, and a million other crimes against humanity) is doing to slow our descent into hell. I scream at the television in rage. I tell you, I could spit fire.

However, I might be more easily swayed if the advertisements were more like this:

Architects, really? Well, geez. Shell oil must be the best! Ad men were so much smarter in 1930 when Hans Feibusch painted these. But this is the best:

Okay, okay, I'll buy it! But I don't know about the next two, by other artists of the same vintage ...

I'm hard pressed to think of two groups with decision making skills weaker than movie stars & smokers. Maybe I shouldn't buy Shell ... I'm so fickle.


The Coming of Cold Weather ...

... has me thinking of austerity. In my mind I start to live in the rooms of Vilhelm Hammershøi:

I saw him first in Sweden, at a museum in Goteborg. The little room hung in a gallery full of Scandinavian paintings, and I was transfixed. For two years I was the only person I knew who knew his work, but then the Tate had a huge show, and now everyone knows of Hammershøi; still, I find myself retreating to his rooms to think.

He reminds me of Vermeer, minus the figures and the hype.

I think I need a suite of Biedermeier rooms in celebration of the cold months.


Cabana Chat

I hope one day to visit Chau & Daniel's elegant beach cabana, featured a few posts ago, but worry that with my current beach attire I will be woefully outclassed. Maybe this would help?

60" x 70," 100 % cotton. I love the idea of drying off using a limited edition Ed Ruscha beach towel. Suggestive? Maybe. But so charming and stylish. I'm even tempted to buy it for Chau and Daniel as a cabana-warming gift.

Available for a lot of money from artwareeditions.com. Buy your investment grade beach towel today!


Movie Night, Anyone?

In case you have not been fortunate enough to go to a small party where Caetano Veloso sings on a terrace, Pedro Almodóvar has given us the gift of the experience by proxy:

More often than not we live vicariously through films, but here I really believe Senor Almodóvar is inviting us to -- we are welcomed by the swimmer's smile, drawn into the tight coterie surrounding the singer and, after a tear, slip away into the summer night.

From Talk to Her, of 2002.


What's That on Your Face?

I have to start this post with a disclaimer: Though it may irritate many, for years I did not need glasses, and was wild with envy that other kids got to wear them. The way I see it, glasses are another design element you can control, and every crush I have ever had wore glasses. But these days I do need them, and this excites me endlessly. These are the ones I have now:

They look much less garish on my face, as the color is pretty close to my overall blond hue. I bought them in Rome, on Via Margutta near the Spanish Steps, and though I love them, I'm wondering if maybe I need something darker, perhaps more serious. I'm tempted by the same frames I have (Oliver Peoples' Riley) but in a different color:

Which color is the winner? Or maybe another Peoples' style, the Sheldrake, which is a bit riskier:

More in my comfort zone is the Paris frame from Prism of London. The first color is basically what I've got now:

So what do we think? Maybe an out of work interior architect shouldn't be planning an expensive glasses purchase? Probably smart. But the Miltzen from Moscot is so fun:

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