Sunday, November 21, 2010

On the set of "Here's Lucy", C 1968

When I was a kid, coming home from school could be quite a treat, snacks and T.V reruns, We had a few hours to unwind before homework would start so one of my favorite reruns to watch was “Here’s Lucy” I never really grew up watching any other Lucille Ball’s shows, so for me this is the one that seems to be imprinted on my brain.

A comic genius and lovable redhead, who could forget Lucille Ball, Here’s Lucy is Lucille Ball's third network television sitcom. It ran on CBS from 1968 to 1974. The program's premise changed from The Lucy Show. Ball's character lived in Los Angeles and was named Lucy Carter. In this new incarnation, she had two children named Kim and Craig, played by her real life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. She worked for an employment agency run by her brother-in-law Harry, played by Gale Gordon.

From a Stylist’s point of view I was drawn heavily to the show’s aesthetics of course, as the show started in 1968, there are so many references to that era and for Design it certainly was an influential era. The sets for the show mainly revolved around Lucy’s house, Although you never really saw the outside, other than a small courtyard, It looked like a Hollywood double story bungalow. With interior decorative brick walls and a color scheme that mainly consisted of blue and yellow with hits of pink, It was fun, sunny and a little zany like Lucy’s character. Daisies which were the flower of the 1960’s, influenced by the new hippy generation were scattered in bouquets around the house. American Blenko glass, and Bitossi Italian ceramics, were also popular, as was Murano glass bowls, Floral fabrics were used to cover French reproduction ottomans and scatter pillows. A yellow tufted lounge and a pale blue tufted headboard also featured. Each show the knick knacks would move, The glass Blenko fish would one week be on the mantle, the next week on a sofa table behind the lounge, Bookcases were filled with paper sleeved hardback novels and books. I also loved scenes in the kitchen where yellow pots and Heath Ceramic, mugs would feature.

I have drawn contemporary and actual references to create a gallery of Lucy’s look from this series, I would love to read more about the actual designers behind the show, and I know Lucy was a perfectionist and surrounded herself with very talented people, I am sure she had a lot of say in the look. BTW the clothes are also amazing, a younger Desi Arnaz Jnr and Lucie Arnaz Jnr look especially hip and Lucy in the occasional Pucci print as usual always stole the show.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Berlin/ Bode Museum

ceiling photograph by Martin Sasche
architectual photographs to left by Martin Sasche

architectual photographs by Martin Sasche

Berlin, a city with many contrasts, it's hard in parts, incredibly beautiful in others. A city that was torn apart by war, divided, held hostage and then set free. There is evidence of it everywhere. One can only imagine pre Nazi, what Berlin was like. The architecture was monumental and what is left still is, even in part ruins, Berlin has rebuilt and is still building. With so many museums, shops and parks,it's hard to believe it is only a city of 3.4 million. Berlin as many would know is the capital of Germany and one of it's 16 States. Around one third of the city's territory is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes so even if hard and severe in parts, nature is still a big part.

On a recent trip and Thanks to my local friends Neill & Damien who showed us it's many incredible sights, On Berlin's "Museum Island" sits Bode Museum, The museum was originally designed by architect Ernst von Ihne and completed in 1904, Closed for repairs since 1997, the museum was reopened on October 18, 2006, It is now the current home for a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, coins and medals. It is in this remodelling that I most intrigued, Of course the structure and the design of the building is amazing anyhow but with a new palette and approach, the Bode Museum has this clash of old meets new. The majestic entrance hall is just amazing with sweeping staircases and a huge domed ceiling which is dazzling but inside the museum itself, endless displays of sculpture is set against the most amazing color palette of cleverly chose hues of pale sky blue, kelly green, red, neon and pale musky pink. To some this may seem garish but for me, a color freak, It brought these sculptures into a whole new light, Their silhouettes enhanced by their surrounding colors. The cu ration and design is so thought out with a very graphic eye in mind, rows of columns, segments of broken sculpture placed graphically on the wall and in display cases. In some rooms the wooden ceiling is exposed bare and is just breathtaking.

I have to say I went crazy with photos, Here is a sample of how I saw the museum through my eye. As a Stylist I was really inspired by the purity of the sculpture on display and the clever and daring use of color, The Bode Museum is a must see! I applaud the design team behind this remodelling.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spice up your Life!

For the November issue of Better Home & Gardens in the regular Style section of the magazine, This month featured Maya Kaimal, creator of a premium line of South India inspired sauces bearing her name, We wanted to create a set that did not feel heavily cliqued, a light nod you may say.

The color of the shoot was determined to be plum which was one of the colors chosen by the Better Homes & Gardens team. I am interested to show you some of the thought process's and efforts that went into the making. Assisted by my lovely team Kaitlyn Duboss and Jeanne Lurvey we created much of a set that unfortunately did not make it into the crop of the layout but is there in essence. As mentioned before, A fashion shoot of this kind is often about the subject and the clothes, What we create is an environment in which all this can live visually, thus it can take a backseat to a degree. I always love fashion editorial that weaves in still life and environment like the work of Tim Walker, who does an amazing job of fusing both environment and fashion but alas this is quite a different genre. 

We used a lot of hand dyed fabrics as I wanted the fabrics to feel soft and washed, some we had dyed professionally for the shoot but some also came from our friends at Elephant Props, Thanks Michele & Co! We decided to use more European style furniture in neutral colors, Much of this was sourced from other various Prop Houses. I through in a few of my personal Indian trinkets, mainly picked up from the Indian district Murray Hill in Manhattan, NYC. I wanted to include rugs from Madeline Weinrib, who is a favorite rug source for me but the final image unfortunately did not contain her designs. You can see from the "mood board" of props that the final product was very much derivative of this collective.  

This story was shot by David A Land, who I very much enjoyed working with once again, You can see a cute video of the behind the scenes, which BTW I had no idea was being filmed!! 

I also got to work with the very lovely Jessica Thomas, A very talented Iowa based Art Director, you can check her out on