Monday, May 31, 2010

Market Find/ The Magazine Antiques

A visit to the markets on Saturday at The Garage Markets, on 25th Street, had me unearthing a number of The Magazine Antiques issues from the 1950's, designed by Milton H. Glover, who from 1948 to 1973 was the magazine's designer and then art director.
The Magazine Antiques is a monthly arts publication that focuses on architecture, interior design, and fine and decorative arts.The Magazine Antiques was originally founded in in 1922 and still continues today.

I love these covers that are so cleverly designed, All illustrations, with a clever play on typography. It amazes me that so many magazines these days would never dream of that approach, but back in the 50's/ 60's and even into the 70's, magazines did sell with illustrations on the cover. I have to admit the inside of the magazine from this era is all black and white and the layout seems not to reflect the covers at all but for me it's the covers that really make it, Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any information on Milton H. Glover, I would be interested to know more about him and if he did the illustrations himself or commissioned them from other artists?

All the archives of all decades of The Magazine Antiques can be found on this great site,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Apartment Feature/ Stella Magazine

Quite some time ago, Photographer Jonnny Valiant, decided to shoot my old place, I was due to move out and even though I had probably shot it the year before with Hallie Burton, It had changed quite a bit that we felt it could be time to shoot it again and document it before I packed it all up and moved across town. We also gave it a different spin, looking at it from different angles and propping it out differently also. My old place was my prop cupboard before I acquired storage, so there was everything in it! No I can breather a little easier, but only a little bit!

Ian Phillips, Editor at Large for the German edition of Architectural Digest and who also runs an interiors photo agency in Paris called Tripod Agency, www., picked up the story and wrote a great story to accompany the shots. It finally made it into it's first publication, Stella, which is a magazine that comes with The Sunday Telegraph Newspaper on Sunday in the U.K which was very exciting! The ran it over 3 pages, using most of the shots we shot. Stella is a newspaper magazine so please excuse the scans, Even though a great read, the paper and printing quality means the scans came out a little blurry, still it is a great feature and very grateful it appeared.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

ICFF 2010/ NYC Furniture Fair

Every year I look forward to that time when ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) is back in town, It's a great way for me to tap into what is happening in the Furniture and Design world under one roof, This year it was the 22nd annual fair. May 15-18 at the Javitz Center. My schedule has been crazy as late so unfortunately for me I could only spend a Sunday afternoon there, I felt rushed as I raced from aisle to aisle like a human sponge trying to absorb as much as I could with my eyes and with brochures in a very short time, I felt guilty I could not spend more than that as it's often great to get the chance to chat with people about the designs and get some insight into the thought process behind some of the pieces.

Regardless of the size and info to absorb, I am not sure if it was just me but the fair seemed a little trimmed down this year or perhaps some exhibitors chose to hold their events off site and I just did not get the invite! : ) I did however enjoy seeing the latest offerings from many familiar suppliers as Arper, Blu Dot, Richard Schultz, Tom Dixon Also new stands by Diesel Living.

For me, here in my pics I took from the show, I was particularly interested in use of color, textures and materials. I really responded to the bright colors that seemed to be resonating with me, In particular the bright pinks. At Diesel Living it looked as if antique rugs had been re dipped in pure color, something that I have also seen at ABC Carpet & Home as late. People seem to be responding latley to including in their personal environments hits of pure color.

At the Czech Collection/10, An amazing luxury light fitting of glass bubbles "Bubbles in Space" by Jitka Kamencova-Skuhrava, At Molo from Canada, where their exhibit received an Editor's Choice award, It was like being under the sea with big paper jellyfish floating above you, Really magical! Paper and paper inspired pleats continued to dominate.

Over sized knits appeared in the way of rugs and floor cushions as did indigo tie dyed fabrics and African motifs. Colored wood was a big feature at Tom Dixon, where new and old silhouettes were embracing the clash of neon meets natural, also with Tom Dixon, Flat Pack was being profiled with cleverly laid out deconstructed pieces displayed on the floor, Council from San Francisco had cleverly supplied their Swarm room dividers, designed by Mike and Maaike that were scattered amongst the fair to provide separate spaces.

I of course have my bags of brochures to sift through, So many great exhibitors that can't be mentioned in one post, stay with me for more related posts in the future.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh hail the white plate!

So the one prop that most Food Editors ask for when propping for a food shoot is the "white plate", Like some holy saintly good doer, the white plate just can't go wrong and with Food Editors it seems you just can't enough of them! There is a simple explanation for this, Most food looks great on a white plate. When you are a Stylist, sometimes you see so many white plates that you just want to channel the inner Greek and smash them, but for the most part. I often think how I would love to do a story with a non-white plate rule but alas it's may never happen in my life time! ; )

Don't get me wrong, I do love a white plate really, I actually have my old staple Arabia white plates that I bought 10 years ago still standing proudly in a stack on my kitchen shelves, I got them in a divorce and they still stand the test of time and I still love using them, but sometimes I will admit I would love to lash out and serve some beetroot salad on some pale blue earthenware or some green string beans on pink hued charger, call me crazy but I love the play on color!

With this story for "Good Housekeeping" for the current June issue, The brief, guess what, white plates! Now you think it would mean an easy walk in Central Park but for my assistant Jeanne Lurvey, she actually spent a whole day just looking for that one right white plate! Never had a white plate ever been so thought over, after all it had to be repeated 50 times! We also had to make sure any plates we presented where available in multiples as the Food Styling team would have to be plating salads like a salad factory production line.

A meeting was set with a multitude of Editors to choose the options, It had to be just the right shade of white, not too white, not too cream, It had to have just the right sized lip, come in 3 different sizes so the salads could be adjusted to fit the scale of the plate and look everyday but not too down market, We had a winner at the end of the meeting, actually 2, they liked the shape of one plate but the color of another, so out went poor Jeanne again to find that and find that she did, In Macys around the block!

So the story was born, As you can see from the behind the scenes shots, Boards are set out with all the printouts of the shoot, The Art Director will often use these as a guide to laying out the story, I also use it, to regulate the flow and make sure the color palette is being woven through, In this case, It was white, so maybe not so much regulating for me on this one! ; )

We had a lot of fun shooting as always, Kate Mathis is a dream to work, and with 50 salads to shoot, She certainly had to keep focused, As did the Food Stylist Michael Pederson who did an amazing job of keeping those salads tossed!

Event Planner/ David Stark

It's thanks to Jeanne my assistant that I came across David Starks website,, Such a cute design in itself, you should really check it out! On top of that David has just released a book "David Stark Design", I was lucky enough to go to the launch at West Elm on Columbus Circle in NYC, Thanks again Jeanne! It was a popular function and through the sea of people eating pea green appetizers and sipping green capsicum infused cocktails, One could see a paper house looming in the distance, On closer inspection one could see with the mass of paper flowers at it's windows that it was in fact a pop up shop, selling paper flowers, paper tools, paper watering cans and paper bird houses amongst many things. An enchanted world made of paper, just like in a children's story book but with a sophisticated edge.

Always one its seems to dabble in humor, David has waved his design wand over many potentially dull functions, making them sing with promise and delivering the message that his clients are serious about their clients having a seriously good time! With not so dull clients to boast of, David has designed events for companies such as Anna Sui, MoMA, New York Magazine, Benjamin Moore Paints, Nicole Miller, Shabby Chic, Target and Saks to name a few.

It is really great to see a fellow Designer really pushing the limits and allowing creativity and corporations to fuse together in environments that are truly inspirational.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Life's Sweet with Amy Atlas!

In the latest May issue of Better Homes & Gardens, My assistant Kimberley Steward and I were called in to create a candy wonderland inspired by the very talented Amy Atlas, recreating a set that included one of her signature dessert tables used in many of her designed events.

Amy Atlas’ unique dessert tables have made her a sought-after event planner in NYC. Amy's story is inspirational, After several years of working on political campaigns and practicing law, Amy decided to return to her creative passion for entertaining and party planning.

The set was incredibly fun to pull together as you can imagine, Mountains of cupcakes and candy, that we sourced with suppliers that Amy likes to use. My favorite was the big over sized balloons which you only see a peak of in the final shots, but we had a half a photo studio filled with them it felt! Photographer, Francois at the end of the shoot, had particular fun jumping into the pile, let's just say a few went to balloon heaven! : )

We wanted to give the sense that Amy was in the process of preparation so we found a lovely vintage ladder which did not appear in the end either, but it's our job to create the environment, It does not mean all our props become stars!

See some of the behind shots here, plus a shot from Amy's website, See more amazing examples of her work by checking out Amy's website and blog at

The story was shot by Francois Dischinger.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Colorways/ Paint the town red!

I continue my colorways series with that ever so sexy color red, sin, guilt, pain, passion, blood and anger, It just is such a guttural color, perhaps the most relevant to the human races as our bodies have it running through every vein. Red seems to be the color of life in many ways, It can be a warning!, It can grab your attention, It's little wonder most large companies use red as their main color, McDonald's, Macy's, Virgin, Colgate, KFC, Nestle and Lego to name a few!

I personally use hits of red in my own personal decorating, A little goes a long way for me, however in my last apartment I did have a movable wall painted in bright red that surprisingly I enjoyed living with, In styling, I use it also to add life or drama.

As of late (At least this week) It's red that I have been photographing, My trip during the week to MoMA had me gravitating to red anything, I realized in the design section, that many iconic designs have been produced in red, particularly in the 60's and 70's, from sexy sports cars to alarm clocks. In the amazing Picasso exhibition that is running currently, A beautiful series of pages from a collaborative project with Pierre Reverdy, using his work Le Chants des morts (The song of the dead) are framed from a book published in 1948 are predominantly red. Some billboards and artwork plastered on a wall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn seem to marry different pieces slapped over each other, I always love this randomness, to me the best art is seen on the streets!

A piece of ceramic that I love is the fish series by Swedish Pottery company "Gustavsberg" attributed to Britt-Louise Sundell on a design site, unfortunately SOLD!

Red is a mood enhancer, but what color isn't really?, Red is loud, It's unashamed and it's always gonna pack a punch!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

It's Bridal Time at Macy's

Every now and again I get to style a bridal influenced shoot, In this case it was for Macy's for a mini catalogue that gets inserted into bridal magazines such as "The Knot" and "Martha Stewart Weddings". The catalogue was showcasing product available at Macy's for bridal registries and we shot it in their Brooklyn Studio that is housed above their store in Downtown Brooklyn.

The brief for the shoot was to use a palette of white on white, old meets new, so I set forth in search of vintage pieces, in particular old signage and a focus on typography. For an advertising/ catalogue shoot, the brief was quite open and creative which is a dream come true for usually these jobs can be over scrutinized by a horde of people to please. When the brief is open for the stylist then there is an energy captured that feels fresher and more alive!

I like to do catalogue work where you can push the brand but still keep within it's confines, branding is something that I take seriously, The communication of that brand needs to be clear and obvious but also inspire and attract new customers as well as keep older ones, It is a challenge at times.

The last image shows you some of my propping ideas/ concepts. The dice is supposed to represent "taking the gamble", taking that leap into marriage.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Colorways/ Blue on Blue

It goes without saying Color is my best friend, lover and confident, without it I would be lost. It could be said that all of us feel the same way, but as a Stylist, our pick of color determines everything. I often think what would have happened if I had been born colorblind, would I be an accountant right now?

I love color, I love the way that on it's own it's a brilliant flash of energy and then in combinations, the right hit of color with another can send shivers down ones retina, what are my favorite combos, I would say pale blue and scarlet red, emerald green with a dusty purple, chocolate brown with turquoise, yellow with sharp lime etc etc, the list could go on and on.

Wikepedia says: Color or colour is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, green, blue and others. Color derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light energy versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors.

For me, I have to say blue is my favorite color, to me it feels so soulful, so clean, so crisp, I just want to dive into it! It's a color that the last couple of weeks has been pinching my senses, I have seen it everywhere, With my new series of postings devoted to color, It only seems natural that I would pick blue to start me off. This time it's that almost electric blue that was so popular in the 1980's that is resonating with me; that It's the color of my canvas sneakers I bought in Florence two summer's ago, It's a stack of police barricades piled up in Madison Park (public service blue), A summers day's sky in my native Sydney or the surrounding ocean as you catch the ferry to Block Island, Rhode Island, The blue of the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis as it juts into the sky. It's everywhere, anywhere, it's all around!

I am feeling the blues and I could never be happier! : )