Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Reaching for the Moon…

Posted by Winifred on May 30th, 2014  •  No Comments »

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For fans of design, we rather belatedly came across a lovely little treat in the way of the film, Reaching for the Moon, based on Carmen L. de Oliveira’s book Rare and Commonplaces Flowers. The film is about the life of American Poet Elizabeth Bishop, and specifically, the 15 years she spent in Brazil beginning in the 1950s. The film imagines her life in Brazil and is lush with 1950s fashion, dinner parties with politicians, artists, designers and of course great architecture, as Elizabeth meets and falls in love with Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.

Brilliant views of Samambia, outside of Rio, by Cinematographer Mauro Pinheiro Jr., as well as the Oscar Niemeyer designed house as a stand in for the one Lota designed herself, are worth the time spent on the film alone. There is also marvelously imagined interior design for the Niemeyer home as well as Lota’s apartment in the city. And then, of course, there is the story, Elizabeth making what was to be a short trip to Brazil to visit her college friend, Mary, who is in a long term relationship with Lota. Though they initially clashed, Lota soon falls for Elizabeth and Mary is out.

But Lota, a lesbian in 1950s Brazil and a self trained architect is quite used to having what she wants. What she wants is for Mary to stay and adopt a child while she proceeds to also have a relationship with Elizabeth. No room for the conventional in this story. The three live together somewhat harmoniously for 15 years, during which time Elizabeth writes poetry, wins a Pulitzer Prize and deals with severe alcoholism. There is plenty of melodrama and sad backstory, but the film was quite beautiful to us, both for all of its glamour, as well as the pacing and formidable acting of Miranda Otto as Elizabeth. With generous layering of Ms. Bishop’s poetry throughout the story, the film is feels like a tiny hideaway for artists and enthusiasts of all kinds.

A bit like knowing something chocolate and rich is awaiting us, we look forward to indulging ourselves again and hope to inspire you to do the same, by leaving you with this…

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One Art
BY ELIZABETH BISHOP

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Posted in : Dimensions, On Style, Travel  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the Air: Art Deco

Posted by Winifred on October 16th, 2013  •  No Comments »

Gucci did it for Spring, inspired by the Chrysler Building, Versace on the red carpet, and along with Tiffany, everyone was made giddy by the release of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby.’ Before the recent wave of roaring 20s excitement, long beating them to the punch was Terence Winter, the creator of HBO’S Boardwalk Empire, now in its 4th season. But luxury, glamour and exuberance will never be passing trends, these are always going to have it’s aficionados and enthusiasts and remain associated with great style.

The term, Art Deco, derived from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes, was first used by the architect Le Corbusier to describe the colors, geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation of what was in the 1920s a new design style. Created by the French, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and a belief in technological change. From interiors to architecture, fashion and its accessories, and of course art, hints of this style, particularly the geometric shapes still make the most beautiful of decoration, at once a celebration of the modern, still best expressed in a classic way.

Art Deco Bathroom in 'The Women' 1939

Art Deco Bathroom in ‘The Women’ 1939

Tamara de Lempicka 1931

Tamara de Lempicka 1931

Gucci S2012

Gucci

Versace

Versace

Hirschell

Hirschell

Angel Jakson

Angel Jackson

Images Via Silver Screen Modiste, deLempicka.org, Gotham Magazine, Twigs n Honey, Vogue.Fr, Citizens of Fashion

Posted in : A Taste Refined, Classic Films, Jewelry, Vintage Fashion  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eames and the lure of Zaandam

Posted by Winifred on January 25th, 2012  •  No Comments »

Ice Cube on Eames
Via The New York Times

We ruminated on this for sometime.  Why did we like it so?  Was it that he said “What was appealing was showing off Los Angeles to people who think they know what Los Angeles is all about?” He referred to it as ‘the wizard of oz.’  We agree, there is a hidden magic.  But then we understood what interested us so.  It was that we had experienced something hidden elsewhere…In Zaandam and the traditional houses that still line its winding dorp-like streets.  We loved those houses, and the feel of old Holland still so rich yet mysterious like fragrant air.  We enjoyed the tribute made to them by WAM.

Inntel Hotels Zaandam

Via the Guardian

Maybe one day we too will celebrate Zaandam and have the opportunity to take you with us…

Posted in : We digress  •  Tags: , ,

Tomorrow people, where is your past?

Posted by Winifred on November 11th, 2010  •  No Comments »

We will always remember that first week, those days before it really sunk in.  Those first days when we were transported to our new reality.  The days of discovery, where nothing was quite like what we had ever known, but before we knew it never would be again.  We will always remember the first taste of Apple Jacks cereal, Velveeta cheese, the overwhelming taste of smooth, rich peanut butter.  Those wide streets, all those cars, the very tall buildings, and of course English everywhere.  We had landed in America, Spijkenisse we had left behind.  This was the future though we did not recognize any of it – not the sounds, not the flavors, nor the landscape.  And there was nothing to cradle our passage to the other side.  There was no one to speak Dutch to us those first days of school when we did not understand a word that was spoken, a single word written.  There was no going back to Nederland.  If we wanted to see anyone we had ever known, it would require a 10 hour plane ride to do so.  Those early days, when the past seemed irretrievable…It would seem then – now perched 25 stories high, here where the buildings are as tall as ever, the streets as crowded as if each day there was a parade, here where we indulge our many American ways – that the past had left us.  Instead it is what we find ourselves continually returning to.  We have never felt closer to our Dutch and Surinaams beginnings.  We find our beginnings integral to how we chart our course.  It defines our soul – we continue to weave it into the pattern that is our walk in life.  Thus we question, what happens to the soul when the past is shoved aside and the future becomes some menacing statement as if meant to erase history?  What happened to Eindhoven?

massimiliano fuksas: de blob

De blob reminds us of the Stephen King novel, “Under the Dome.”  It looks like a force field, dark and foreboding.  Eindhoven appears as if it were occupied by something rather than that it had invited in an expansive new design.  We wish for Eindhoven not to abandon her story, we wish for her to stay close to it…

Posted in : Ohh...  •  Tags: ,