Viva La Vera

An extra hour of daylight, bare legs, and gardenia perfume? Spring has
sprung for me for sure and I'm feeling love for Vera Neumann, the doyenne of
playful, cheery textile design. I love a print, something my pattern shy
mother does not understand, but I do. Vera's whimsy epitomizes spring and is
the fashion equivalent of Prozac. Not sure if you could be in a bad mood
wearing one of these prints around your neck as the temperatures climb and
the peonies bloom. Anthropologie created a collection of clothing and
homegoods last year utilizing her yummy prints. I am kind of a geek for
pretty textiles and wanted to share. Each scarf is a piece of art in itself,
as each design came from Vera's own hand. Happiest of spring time to you.
Life should have more moments that feel like these prints- happy, free, and
vibrant. Wear more prints and enjoy les PRINTemps in all its glory. XO

THE RETAIL WHISPERER

I love traveling. When visiting a city for the first time, many folks go to
museums, engage in a hike, maybe look at monuments of dead heroes. I'm down
with that stuff too. But alas I have other fish to fry.

One of my favorite brain games while traveling is pondering what kind of
businesses the places I visit could use. This sure doesn't come from an
ethnocentric place at all- I don't pretend to understand a town and its
people from being there for a few days or weeks. Yet, it's sort of
inevitable whenever I go somewhere I think about how it would be to live
there (or I am simply a daydreaming opportunist, always looking for that
perfect business idea). And I like to keep my mind firing and thinking -
living in NY all those years I didn't have too many thoughts of things
needed in the city (besides some peace and quiet) since everything was
simply there. There's really no other place like NY where its all there for
you- and if you think you have an idea, somebody else, or maybe ten other
people,have already scooped you. In many ways, NY is a consumptionista's
dream and an entrepreneur's conundrum.

Recently I spent a few in Boulder, Colorado, and I must say- that town has
an indie spirit and charm I gravitate toward, much like places like
Louisville, hometown of my beloved. There's lots of small restaurants and
boutiques that are really really good. It's shocking a place like Boulder
has a store like Max, which sells Marni frocks and Rick Owens deconstructed
sexiness. Very interesting to me- perhaps Boulder is more cosmo than many
give it credit for. I am still left wondering who is rocking head to toe
Marni to climb mountains, but hats off to the sisters that do. I suppose the
mountain air had my head spinning with thoughts of retail and restos. If it
were up to me, here's some of the stuff I'd love to start in Boulder:

A cool general store like those popping up in Long Island and Brooklyn.
Think general store 2.0- a community gathering spot yes- but also a place to
buy great candles, special locally made olive oils, as well as anything you
may need for small town living. Rustic chic if you will (I would).

A candy store like Miette Confiserie (see pics) in SF. Hipster girls in pink
uniforms. Grown up candy from around the world. Who doesn't love global
licorice?

A bespoke leather sandal and handbag store like Jutta Neumann in NYC.
Something about handcrafted items and artisanship feels right in that town.

A weekend flea market a la Rose Bowl or Chelsea Flea...if I lived in Boulder
I would decorate with a lot of found goods as opposed to all new stuff. It's
an eccentric town after all- why not embrace some vintage?

A breakfast burrito truck. Organic. Awesome. Boulder is a morning town so
think this would be great. Emphasis on health of course.

A pie store. All pies. Homemade. Organic crusts and stuff. Very sweet and
homey. Maybe have knitting classes there. Knitting and pie.

A bagel store. Just bagels and inventive spreads and sandwiches named for
local luminaries or landmarks. Only open till 1 pm. Later on the weekends-
would also have kick ass magazines from around the world to purchase and
peruse- think international newstand and bagels. Mags and carbs are a great
combo, non?

A cool jeans store like Ron Herman, or Jean Shop in NYC. Just great jeans
and tees, with an emphasis on made in the USA and organic denim.

A spot like Halcyon in Brooklyn or Base in Miami that sells cool vinyl,
books,coffee, and has a DJ. Maybe a barber chair for a rotating haircutter.

A kick back bar for the summer with hammocks and reggae and jerk of all
types. Bring a little island love to the place. It's laid back enough for
sure.

A place that specializes in the Brazilian. Full stop.

A loungey bar that maybe shows movies (campy ones) as well as host improv
nights, etc. Still would be a cool lounge with great DJs, etc.

A young designers showroom- maybe clothes from around the world or west
coast emerging talent. Or a showroom for people making cool stuff on the
left coast in general.

A silkscreened tee shirt shop. Go in and pick your design and get 'er done.
Vintage vibe.

And first and foremost (or last and foremost), a Jewish deli with the best
pastrami and matzoh ball soup the mountain set have ever tasted. Comfort
food feels right, and its a bit rebellious to serve this fare in such a
healthy town.

Yes I know this is not noble, top shelf, elevated thinking. And I'm not
pretending to save the world or shift culture with these ideas. I'm just a
girl who likes to shop, eat, and hang out. And I love cool little
establishments that feel like real local spots- that's what gives a town its
currency. That and some mountains- or maybe some ocean if that's more your
thing. As for big city living- those of you in NY know why you're there, and
I know why you're there too. Since I don't live there anymore, I tend to go
to other towns and fantasize about my own brand of city planning and how to
contribute to the local DNA so that when people like vous visit, you enjoy
yourselves. I know I feel much better when I find those special unique
places. City planners- are you listening? I'm offering a little retail
whispering. Don't get me started on Detroit. XO

Love you Longo

Hiya. It's snowing here in Boulder and I am feeling sleepy and chilled out.
Hard for me to post about the hard edge of the 80s in such a backdrop, but
I'll give it a whirl.

I love Robert Longo. Always have. I am a sucker for figurative and graphic
art and Longo is ingrained in my head as one of those artists that
influenced my sensibilities. One can't talk about the 80s New York art scene
without him- he and his contemporaries like Eric Fischl, Basquiat, Julian
Schnabel, and David Salle were making it happen and selling loads of art
courtesy of Reagan dollars. 'Twas a good time for the art market.

I am also posting a photo of Mary Boone, one of the most powerful art
dealers and gallerists of all time and a key player in the go go 80s art
world in NYC. I post this because she frightens me,and because she's Mary
Boone. And she's working that canary Tory caftan HARD in an effort to appear
sunny and less terrifying. So there.

Happy weekend lovelies...XO

Urgh!

One more for the 80s- you really can't talk about that era and not shout out
the music...I remember watching a particular brand of insanity called "Urgh!
A Music War" which blew my art school, asymmetrical mind. This amazing
performance filled film came out in 1981 but think I must have seen it a few
years later. Needless to say, I watched it over and over again and was
completely in love with it.

What is it about Urgh! that is so damn special? The two hour film is packed
with musical milestones and encapsulates the indie spirit of the era- watch
a young and zaftig Belinda Carlisle lead the Go Gos, a stellar and off the
wall Oingo Boingo, and an awesome awesome Klaus Nomi experience. Oh, Klaus.
His insane operatic voice, amazing appearance, and performance art are not
to be missed. We lost him to AIDS like so many other geniuses of that era,
but this film shows him at his kooked out best. When I meet people who even
know who he is, I tend to like them immediately.

My personal standout is XTC's performance of "Respectable Street". Amazing.
Just watching this film you simply knew something awesome was going on in
places like LA, Europe, and beyond. Everybody looks cool in that art school
way- Urgh! is the best snapshot of the new wave/post punk scene happening at
the time. And we also get to see Sting when he was still very much a bad
ass.

Film is hard to locate a bit but we recently were lucky enough to score the
vinyl of the soundtrack. Genius.


Here is a link to the the XTC jam from the film. Crank that shit.

What was your 80s?

Happy St. Pat's Day...to get in the party spirit, let's talk about the 80s
nightlife scene in NYC- the pantheon of creativity, naughtiness, and a fuck
of a good time. Everyone had "their" 80s- some went the Metal route, some went the Debbie
Gibson/Tiffany mall rat route, others went the new wavey art school route
and hung Psych Furs posters in their suburban rooms. Some were doing the
Gordon Gecko. I knew which avenue I wanted to take at a very young age- I
wanted to hop the first bus to downtown New York and dance.

I can recall sitting in my room in Philadelphia, dreaming about New York
City. I was reading the original Details at that time published by a
visionary Annie Flanders and oft chronicled by uber nightlife columnist
Stephen Saban- way ahead of her time and a media cyclone in the 80s. I would
get lost in pictures of New York nightlife luminaries and dream of the day
when I too could hang out with John Sex, Dianne Brill, and Rudolf at places
like The Mudd Club, Danceteria, and Area. It was all so very provocative and
fun and inspired. The way all good nightlife should be.

I loved how the downtown club scene included artists, celebrities,
degenerates- all were welcome as long as you could bring something fabulous
to the table. I was well aware that something very vital and liberating was
happening in Manhattan, and I was missing it. I knew that this whole
movement was a reaction to the uber gluttony of the Reagan era- that the
Boeskys, Steinbergs, and Milkens were the impetus for a lot of this
behavior, if not a reaction to its tackiness. I was well aware that
throughout time, New York served as a petri dish for trends- it was a real
yin/yang of culture- some went one way but there was always room for the
other way- the counter way- and I wanted in. It was clear these bright young
things were having a lot better of a time than I was. And they didn't give a
shit what people thought. To a dark teen such as myself, this was grossly
sexy.

I also read a lot of Michael Musto for the Voice and pondered a much more
glam existence- away from the Iroc-Zs of my high school, the bad denim
jackets, the mullets. I yearned to be part of this gorgeous coterie of high
glam goodness. I didn't know at the time that one day I would indeed end up
there- spending many nights pinching myself, knowing that I was having the
time of my life. Area would be no more, Danceteria gone, Basquiat dead.
Alas, my 80s were spent only reading about the people I wanted to hang out
with, while I wondered how much longer I could put up with being a teen in
what I had decided was a second (or third) rate town. On any given night,
you could run into a great artist (think Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring,
Basquiat), a total character (John Sex, Suzanne Bartsch, Musto) or a hot
model like Jerry Hall. It was magical and beautiful from where I sat. And
looking back at some of these photos, it surely was. I wonder what the 80s
was for some of you, and if you were too wee to know what was happening at
that time, what would they be? XO

People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles...

That's one of the best opening lines of all time, right? It's from "Less
Than Zero" written by Bret Easton Ellis, the poster child for 80s excess and
Gen X nihilism. When I read this book in high school, it spoke to me very
loudly (used to stare at the cover all the time too).

It was a book that had a whole new voice- much the way past generations had
"Catcher in the Rye", so did we have Clay and his displeasure with the
commercial trappings of wealth and the conspicuous consumption of the 80s.
His use of imagery from fashion and music of the time was super vivid- can't
seem to get that image of Elvis Costello's Trust poster (the title of the
book is a Costello song) that hung over Clay's bed in the book. A
contemporary of Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz (arguably the first to
reveal a "Sex and the City" type character in Slaves of New York), these
literary lovelies were cooler than cool and were my heroes for their brave
take on pop culture, youth, debauchery, and everything in between. Easton
Ellis went on to write books like "The Rules of Attraction" and "American
Psycho"- also amazing but no other work in his canon could sum up his
generation like this book. It is a raw look at youth feeling the effects of
video games, punk, drugs, advertising, and boredom.

Most likely you have seen the film version with a young Downey (kind of
playing himself), McCarthy as Clay and and a cute and young Jamie Gertz
(Also not to be missed is a very creepy James Spader as a drug dealer/pimp).
But if for some reason you missed out on this book, it's worth picking up.
XO to Bret for writing this as a very young man and nailing this time in
American youth culture. Will always remember this book as one of the greats.

In lieu of a proper 80s post...

Last week, I had all intentions of penning a proper 80s treatise in honor of
Corey Haim. The moment passed and I got distracted by Balmain and some other
random stuff. What is there to really say about the 80s anyway that hasn't
been said? Baggy clothes, eyeliner, Limahl- well, you know.

Lots of you were there and if you weren't, you too have probably danced
around to Joy Division and cried a bit inside just like the rest of us.
Anyway, here is Douglas Coupland's house in Vancouver, featured in the New
York Times style joint in August. Doug penned "Generation X", the
quintessential road map to a highly sought out generation by both marketers
and MTV alike. The book was evidence that something real was happening to
those of us who grew up playing with Rubik's cubes and donning asymmetrical
haircuts. I wish I had written about disenfranchised youth- perhaps I could
live in a midcentury modern surrounded by Damien Hirsts and cool toys too.
Dope.

Happy Saturday

This boudoir assemblage has me craving breakfast in bed. So sweet. Love the
heart shaped family polaroids. Enjoy a blissful, waffle filled, lovely
Saturday wherever you may be resting your head today. XO