2012 EDIDA Fabric Winner

Elle Decor Italia Maggio published a spread on the  2012 EDIDA (ELLE DECO International Design Awards).  The winners presented some amazing creations- one of my favorites includes a fabric from Vuelta by Sacha Walckhoff for Christian LaCroix.

Available at Designers Guild, the digitally printed fabric is a floral design inspired by the French city of Arles.  Florals are typically a big Spring trend, but the uniqueness of this print comes from the gradient fall of flora, almost like an ombre or dip-dyed cloth.

The colors remind me of this girl’s fastener hat in Renoir’s On the Terrace.  Monsieur LaCroix’s signature feminine style definitely shine through to meet la maison.

Renoir’s painting ‘On the Terrace’

Scary Fast Fashion

Refinery 29 recently featured a slideshow on how fashion gets from the runway to consumer’s closets.  Simply stated, the majority of what we buy is a knockoff of another person’s original design.  Of course we can’t all go around sporting the latest ($$$$$$) looks straight from the fashion shows.  And I’m pretty sure millionaires Marc and Karl are not going to be offended if you shop elsewhere.  Plus, some people think it’s fantastic that you can run into any Aldo, H&M, or Forever 21 and snatch up that identical-twin-of-a-sweater you saw your favorite celeb wearing.  Heck, for all you know, it may not be designer, but a knockoff as well (celebs are often photographed at retail chains).

Selena Gomez at Zara

But, if you’re like me, you have to wonder what really goes on when the visibility of a product becomes so foggy, you can no longer trace the item’s life prior to the rack at the store.  Living on a small island doesn’t, to my great dismay, exactly allow for unique boutique-like shops.  I now battle with shopping at Zara or Topshop (made in Bangladesh?), buying online (and paying dearly for shipping), or waiting to pick something unique up from traveling (what I try to do).

Where do you shop?  Do you have any qualms with process of the fashion industry today?  I guiltily walk out of Zara, sometimes with a purchase, sometimes not.  Check out Refinery29’s slideshow… it’s easily stated and might encourage you to ‘shop outside your box’.  :)

Pattern Party: Trompe-l’Oeil

Hermès dress (1952). Photo by Gordon Parks.

Trompe-l’oeil (‘trick of the eye’, en français) is a technique used in art and design to give the viewer a realistic, 3-D perception of a 2-D image.  Although applied on murals since the Greek and Roman ages, the trompe-l’oeil of the Baroque period and on really enhanced this method to make magnificent illusions.

Ceiling in Florence’s Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore(1579). By Georgio Vasari and Frederico Zuccaro.

This year’s Costume Institute  (@ The Met in NY) exhibition, ‘Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations’, has got me thinking about trompe’l-oeil in fashion.  Schiaparelli had Surrealism down-pat in her clothing and often used trompe-l’oeil images to reiterate the cultural movement.  Ms. Prada continues to trick our eyes with whimsy items for the 21st Century woman.

Elsa Schiaparelli trompe-l’oeil sweater (1927)

Miuccia Prada raincoat (Fall 2002). Photo by David Sims.

Cheeky boots by Prada.

Here are a few products and images I’ve found of trompe-l’oeil in the design world.  Enjoy!

Tracy Kendall wallpaper (paperbacks).

Dutch designer Egbert-Jan Lam’s wall furniture at Apartment Therapy

Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook ‘Plenty’

Master print maker Mary Katrantzou (SS 2012)

2012 Impressions

2012 has catapulted me into motherhood and across the ocean.  My identity has changed from a full-time employee/student to a full-time homemaker/mom.  Talk about adjustments!   Life, with its twirling and swirling roads, has taken my breath away several times these past four months.  From discovering my new home turf, to meeting friends with great ideas, to keeping myself busy with classes and projects (this blog), twenty-twelve has proven challenging, yet oh-so-rewarding.  Here’s a peek back at some of my favorite places, faces, and products I’ve discovered in January and February.  March and April coming soon.

JANUARY

Burning the last of Diptyque candle over wine/packing for Malta. Sigh.

Old view from our apartment in Milwaukee. Choo chooooo + lovely old buildings.

Milo’s cute clothes that no longer fit… H&M suspenders onesie.

Favorite find: Fieldguided shop. (moon print)

FEBRUARY

Malta’s superb knockers… ;) Seriously, from fish to elephant heads, these door handle designs continue to awe me.

Going to Gozo. Malta’s 2nd largest island is home to beautiful scenery.

Gozitian glass.

Carnival in Valletta. Super fun place to go in February.

Maltese Sweets

Favorite Find: Bringing up Bébé

Anthro ‘Weblights': Made In Kind and Magazine

I love looking at the Anthropologie website because they’ve always got something creative and interesting going on.  Currently, the folks at Anthro are showcasing some brands that the company carries (Made In Kind) and, a mini magazine!

Made In Kind presents us the name behind the label.  Each of the designers has made something special for Anthropologie.  You can see a few of their pieces styled on models, read a short bio of each creator, and find out their inspiration in making your super cute new blouse or palazzo pants.  Tracy Reese, Charlotte Taylor, and Karen Walker, just to name a few.

A little striped number from O by Organic (John Patrick)

Donkey print shift from Charlotte by Charlotte Taylor (LOVE her)

the MAGAZINE is a fun little feature on the us site that shows us behind the scenes of the wonderful world of Anthro.  From how those jaw-dropping window displays were crafted to the story behind the monthly catalog to more product profiles, the e-zine is definitely a place to see trends in the making.

Tasty tasty watermelon margaritas in the settled confetti tumbler. Find the recipe in the MAGAZINE.

Isn’t it neat to have a little knowledge of the things we buy?  It can be difficult to keep track of all the new designers out there, especially if you buy boutique or vintage.  It’s one of the reasons I loved working at Anthro… you really knew what you were selling!

Fabric swatches from Gregory Parkinson’s line

P.S. If you’re in Europe, the link will redirect you to the .eu site… simply click ‘us site’ on the bottom of the homepage, et voilà. :)

All photos via anthropologie.com.