i am a fashion designer. gee
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are you a fonts enthusiast? a typophile?
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find the beauty on your daily walk! take time to notice the details of your landscape.
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there is nothing like seeing a great handbag in action.
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plastics are our future. how can you resist plastic? it is so shiny and pleasing. I have a penchant for plastics.
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chronicling my quest for the one true
Greek Cup
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have you ever noticed the similarity between nyc fire call boxes and benevolent Kannon, goddess of mercy?
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every design, fashion and art magazine I read lately features some important directional artist making big contributions to their genre. and where do they live? brooklyn!
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who says there are no more 'new ideas' in art and design? the newness is in the juxtaposition.
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this is how I really get things done. with my little green co-worker/task-master.
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my clothing & accessories design
east-meets-west minimalism

my site

the look
dressy utilitarian

my concept
useful, economical, modular pieces that can be mix-matched in numerous ways (because why can't fashion be useful and lasting? I think it can!) So I say Maximize your Minimalism!

Satin Karate Belt featured in Dec 06 Real Simple

Voted Best Designer 2006 Style Bakery
'On the Rise'

Daily Buss Feature

Luckymag.com Feature

in the blog press
midtown lunch
the girl who ate everything
queens eats
(into) the fray
funky finds
style document
gowanus lounge
far too cute
ethereal bliss
couture in the city
independent luxe
decor 8
funky finds
urban socialite
lady licorice
high fashion girl

more press...

furniture (especially chairs from the 50s and 60s), uniforms, repeating patterns, menswear, Oscar Niemeyer, traditional Japanese architecture, the Rimpa School and Ogata Korin's 8-Point Bridge, Matisse, bromeliads, succulents and other waxy flora

particular loves
bamboo, coral, moss, woodgrain, silhouettes & other cut-outs, plastic, low-resolution images, the photo copier, off-registration prints, Max Ernst's Lunar Asparagus, NYC fire call boxes that look like Kannon, Fauvist color sense, the Noguchi Museum, pretty much all of Abstract Expressionism

magazines of current interest
Domino, Elle Decor (British), ARTnews, Art in America, Wallpaper

favorite heel style
the wedge, but a sleek modern interpretation

second favorite
the stiletto

current shoe obsession
alas, the sneaker. (because I live in nyc and walk a ton!) but not too sneakery of a sneaker. more of a sneaker disguised as a shoe, like a mary jane style or a high-tech looking black one with a metallic accent. how about Royal Elastics? I must go try some on. I really like the non-sneakeryness of their styles.





ylli: best new brooklyn boutique

DJ June D spins among the denim at the YLLI party last night

One of the pieces I tried on, by Castle Starr, $495.
(The sleeves and neckline were fabulous.)

This season's volumetric looks can be a challenge to wear.
The way I would wear this piece would be belted, and layered
over slim fit pants.
Heels are a must. Anything to lengthen the line.

Shopping was in full swing last night at the YLLI party to celebrate their being named "Best New Brooklyn Boutique" by New York Magazine (see the March 2007 issue). I was pleased 'to have written about them when..' and so I took a stroll over last night with my camera to wish them well.

I wanted to be the first to show you the inside of the beautiful 8000 square foot loft boutique devoted to exciting, luxurious and directional fashion collections. The vast selling space is choreographed with floating racks and suspended shelves which lead you through the selections from over 70 designers in womenswear, menswear, denim, childrenswear, and accessories including shoes, bags, belts and jewelry. I got a chance to talk with the owner Fetije, born and raised in Williamsburg by the way, to learn more about her background in fashion and how she developed her eye. I will bring you more on that story; but for now, I will give you time to look at the photos and start planning your trip to YLLI.

482 Driggs Avenue (at N 10th Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11211
L train to Bedford

Store Hours
Mon-Sat 11:30-8:30
Sun 12-7

A glimpse of the Williamsburg crowd at the YLLI party

All of the merchandise floats at YLLI. I love the effect of the suspended
racks and display shelves in the cavernous space.

The dress on the mannequin caught my attention.
Also by Castle Starr, silk with lining, not yet on yllibklyn.com.
You'll just have to visit in person.

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spring trend: print & pattern

This Spring, the print's the thing. From bold geometric (we like this best) to swirling Pucci-inspired retro to polkadot, highly patterned looks are in style this season. Keep your ensembles balanced by combining bold prints with saturated bright solids in green, hot pink, orange, yellow or red. And don't forget to accessorize! Try an over-sized necklace or some chunky bangle bracelets. And don't forget the sandals. Three inch heel espadrilles are hot this season.

  1. TORY BURCH SEQUIN TUNIC at Bloomingdales
  2. POLKA DOT SKIRT at Alloy
  3. CHARLES GREY JACKET at Nordstrom
  5. PHILLIP LIM BLOUSE at Net-a-Porter**

**Does this fabric look familiar? It should. It's my HANDKERCHIEF HALTER!

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riyaz design: contemporary indian miniatures

the juxtaposition of patterns really appeals to me

a slightly more traditional look

downright British and downright amusing

again, the patterns are great.
this one is almost Magritte-like

I was so excited by these paintings by Riyaz Design this past weekend at The International Asian Art Fair that I just wanted to share them with you. These East-meets-West contemporary takes on traditional Indian miniature paintings are by Alexander Gorlizki, an English artist, and Riyaz Uddin, a master Miniature painter from Jaipur, Rajasthan. The two met in 1997 and together formed Riyaz Design.

"Alexander wanted to combine the superb technique and sensibility of Indian Miniatures with a more modern approach to painting and design: to introduce new subject matter, compositions and colour palettes as well as new narratives. He tried to imagine the Surrealist painter René Magritte working centuries ago in the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

"When Alexander met Riyaz he found an artist who was old enough to have developed amazing levels of skill and concentration — he had been painting for 13 years — yet was young enough to be willing to experiment and even subvert his own tradition."

It helps to know a bit about traditional Indian miniatures so you can see how and where Gorlizki's and Riyaz's unique examples depart. You may want to take a look at this link or this example at Prahlad Bubbar Ltd. from London. At the Fair, Prahlad Bubbar's miniature paintings were museum quality. Now mind you, when I worked at at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, it was in Japanese Art, not in Indian miniatures. But I picked up certain information from the curator and the conservators. Prahlad Bubbar had very beautiful pieces indeed.

[images from riyazdesign.com]

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luxe paperie

Luxe Paperie is quite a one-stop-online-shop for well-designed handmade and small label paper goods. It is worth a long look. Great stuff! And for all you silhouette fans, the card pictured above by PINK LOVES BROWN is on sale for $1.99.

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the international asian art fair

The International Asian Art Fair at the Seventh Regiment Armory is currently in full swing. I was there yesterday and saw some great from Japan, China, India and England. England? Yes one artist from England was showing some very interesting East-meets-West Indian miniatures. You can still attend the event on Tuesday or Wednesday as of this posting. I will be back with more posts tomorrow about various trends I noticed and exquisite pieces that caught my eye. Above, the Armory was festooned with bright colors and inflatable white tubes. And the flower arrangements of orchids, forsythia and green cut bamboo were a show unto themselves.



subway station art

I have been wanting to get a shot of this mosaic on my transfer from the G to the L, but taking this shot means missing the train. And so I did yesterday. Miss my train. But I caught the next.

It has an eco message and an existential message all rolled into one, don't you think? You know where I mean.

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The Aubrey Bracelet Bag by Chloe. Available on Net-A-Porter. I thought, well, you just have to see this bag. Love it or hate it, fashion can certainly be dramatic when it wants to be. I like how this piece takes a decided stand. Your comments?

For those who love luxe, you must browse Net-A-Porter. Their stable of hot designers is quite comprehensive, with a few great exclusives too, like the Chloe Boutique.

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erdem akan

Erdem Akan, designs porcelain and glassware, lighting and furniture for the maybe design brand, a company he runs with 2 partners, Bora Akcay and Susannah Akcay, in Istanbul and Vienna. Akan was born in Turkey, and educated in Istanbul with a BSc. in mechanical engineering and in the UK with a masters in industrial design. He prefers the term 'product designer' to 'industrial designer' because he believes that "in order to be successful, industry should follow design and not vice versa." I like his sentiment.

I am attracted to his Thonet Bench, pictured above, for its humor and juxtapostion of materials. And then I read his design philosophy, with which I also find kinship. Akan is interested in "the tensions between opposites: fabricated versus hand-made, natural versus artificial, romantic versus hard-core, new versus old, and especially between cultures, eastern versus western." I think the piece succeeds in amplifying these tensions.

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old school stationers

Avian Collection

Avian Collection

Romance Collection

Botanical Collection

If you love bright color, graphic birds and the textured goodness of letterpress, I have a feeling you are going to love the Avian Collection of cards and prints by Old School Stationers. And if two birds are better than one, the Romance Collection, depicting two lovebirds on every card, should enchant you twice as much. Old School Stationers, based in Portland, Oregon, uses extra thick custom handmade paper and old world technology to create their beautiful designs. Each card is hand printed four times on their one-ton cast iron printing press, manufactured in 1890.

Although Old School Stationers does not e-tail, their cards are available online on Luxe Paperie, a wonderful card and wrapping resource in itself, stocking many special handmade collections. They also produce ready-to-hang prints, 8" square by 1/2" thick, hand printed by letterpress and mounted on a light wood frame, which are available on RareDevice.com. Alternatively, if you would like see their designs in person, you can visit these stores around the country.

If you are a letterpress enthusiast, it may interest you to know that letterpress -- printing from raised metal type and custom-engraved plates -- began in Europe in the 14th century as an alternative to calligraphy. The appealing tactile quality is achieved by pressing the metal plates into a soft paper. Compared with offset printing of today which is a four-color process, the letterpress process prints one color at a time and transfers more ink to the paper, creating more intense and vivid color results.

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sumo soaps

How did I not see these in the Paper Source holiday catalog? (I told you I was weeding my magazine stack, so I am finding all sorts of interesting things, although after the fact.) I am so glad they still offer them! Sumo soaps in red lotus, green tea and sandalwood, available online at paper-source.com. Approx. 4" x 3 1/4"

These happy little guys would make many a dinner party guest chuckle with delight.

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broxup wood jewelry

Broxup is the jewelry line by Vancouver designer and woodworker, Lindsay Staniforth. You may recall her wood inlay flora necklaces from my Blogger Roundup last week. I thought her work deserved a second post. I wanted to highlight for you this beautiful piece: a molded zebrawood hairband. The striped woodgrain is so sumptuous. And it is a tempting treat for a certain curly brown-haired girl. gee

Selected pieces are available locally at:
Rare Device
453 7th Avenue (btwn 15th & 16th)
Park Slope, Brooklyn

Lindsay is also an accomplished furniture designer. I want you to take a look at her portfolio [pictured below], which includes innovative yet classic pieces like this valet. And if you liked her flora inlay jewelry, you will want to see this hanging lamp.

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Spring means a free Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee (I got mine yesterday), Spring cleaning, and new shoes. For the past 2 days, I have been weeding excess belongings, recycling old magazines, hemming pants, and dusting.

Above, a freshly dusted arrangement: tiki Buddha, kiri wood trivet, silver wishbone and orange metal trivet. Below, the magazine stack, considerably weeded. Really!

for my clip file

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la delice, or yes i have found my birthday cake

La Delice signature cupcakes.
Yes there are frosted cupcakes inside these cute little green creatures!

All I have to say is Yum, yum and yum! It is my birthday today and the sugar ban has been lifted for the long weekend. So off we went yesterday to study the delicious treats at La Delice Pastry Shop. Unfortunately, we were an hour too early to sample their St. Joseph's zeppole. But I did take these great photos. This is possibly one of the most dramatic bakeries in Manhattan. I must return today for the zeppole.

La Delice Pastry Shop
Corner of 3rd Avenue and 27th Street
372 Third Avenue
Established 1935

The "Canolie Cake" would make an ideal birthday cake for yours truly.
Yes I have found my cake.
3 layers of vanilla sponge, 2 layers of cannoli cream filling,
and rainbow cookies all around

So cute! How can you resist?

Here's what the place looks like, so you can find it.

Their window looking out onto 27th Street lures you right in.

Merengue sandwiches with chocolate jimmies.
I like anything with sprinkles or jimmies.

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on topic: 5 books on my reading list

Browsing the St. Mark's Bookshop yesterday, I compiled a reading list with my trusty camera, so I could come back and investigate these titles gradually. The following books are decidedly 'on topic' for me right now.

  1. The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion, Yuniya Kawamura
  2. Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, Mary Jane Jacob (Editor) and Jacquelynn Baas (Editor)
  3. Readymades: American Roadside Artifacts, Jeff Brouws (Photographer), Wendy Burton (Essay), Bruce Caron (Essay)
  4. Dialogues in Public Art, Tom Finkelpearl
  5. Participation: Documents in Contemporary Art, Claire Bishop (Editor)

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please send cupcakes

If you can believe it, the Fashionista Cupcake Stand, as far as I can tell, does not include the cupcakes.

Here are some better ideas for birthday gifts for me. This. This. Or how about these? Just kidding. Maybe just wish me a happy birthday in the comments section. The nicest gift would be to know you are reading my blog.

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mangos bakery steakhouse bar

Mangos dazzling red decor

a closeup of the fascinating ceiling

I was dazzled by the decor at Mangos as we sipped our cafe con leche and sampled a flaky Colombian-style pastry filled with cheese and guava paste. It was a heady kind of dazzle. The kind I feel when we find something totally new. My husband and I chatted in between the roars of the 7 Train overhead. Right overhead. Mangos Bakery Steakhouse Bar is nestled under the elevated 7 Train on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens. If you have ever seen a film by Wong Kar Wai (Chungking Express, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love), you would be charmed by this spot. Urban, sleek and rather exotic, with great music.

In addition to the pretty spectacular array of chocolate desserts and French-style tartes, Mangos makes a tasty pandebono. I cannot describe the deliciousness of the pandebono in words. You simply must taste this cheese bread, at times shaped like a giant gumdrop, at other times shaped like a doughnut, made from corn and yucca flours. Make Mangos a must when you visit this fantastic food neighborhood that is jam-packed with restaurants, eateries, small groceries, and food carts from Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Mexico.

78-14 Roosevelt Avenue
Jackson Heights, Queens
E,F,R,V,7 to Roosevelt Avenue

I am sure Mangos is heaven for steak lovers.
If I ate steak, I'm sure I would love their Churrasco.

This post is featured on About.com for March 22, 2007

And also featured on The Girl Who Ate Everything
for April 4, 2008

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party pics at the domino issue release party

The coat check
curtained off with hole-punched craft paper.
I would describe the look as 'Eco-Moroccan.'
Don't you think?

The dramatic approach to Domino's festivities
at Industria Superstudio.
The invitations festooned.

Party revellers, featuring two staffers wearing the
Vanessa Barrantes Dress at center. At left, accessorized
the bronze open toe Art Deco-style heels.

I love this shot.
The 100% recyled napkins and stemless glasses at the bar.

The time at the Domino green issue release party was visually rewarding, as all design-based things should be. I give you my photographic observations and captions for your vicarious enjoyment, down to every last craft paper and pressed board eco-friendly detail.

Simply stated, the Conde Nast crowd is quite good looking. I enjoyed sipping my pomegranate and Prosecco cocktail in the stemless glass that is all the rage right now, enjoying an organic truffle or two, and watching all the fantastic outfits go by. At first I could not comprehend just how each outfit worked so well to make each woman look so fashion-forward yet so effortless. I was in the presence of fashion masters. Shalom Harlow was an expected guest at this party, after all. This was high-caliber dressing. I sipped and studied. Suffice it to say, many mental notes were made by me.

Indonesian fish cakes with tamarind sauce.
All hors d'ouevres were presented on a pressed board tray,

topped with craft paper, and adorned with a similar young branch.
I like this action shot I got.
In all of the photos I did not use a flash.

Domino commissioned soft, roomy totes made from certified organic hemp and cotton.
The bags were a limited edition of 500 and complimentary when you shopped.
So naturally, I shopped. I love my bag.

Domino Pencils provided to mark our shopping lists.
Some Fair Trade Organic French Roast Peace Coffee I purchased.

An example of The Dress (right, back) in the party crowd.
Note how the ruffle sleeve flatters her bare arm.

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