Tuesday, May 27, 2014

ODD BITS: Opening soon -- a stylish new terminal at Heathrow airport

A stylish new terminal designed by Spanish architect Luis Vidal will open at London's Heathrow Airport on June 4, 2014. Called "The Queen's Terminal" the $4 billion facility was created with "the needs of the individual passenger at its heart, and with sustainability as a guiding principle." It has lots of natural light, more space, and better flow than we're used to seeing in airports.

              Glow-in-the-dark Queen's Terminal
              Jazzy purple shuttle cars

No, it's not the new luggage carousel, it's “Slipstream,” 
an aluminum sculpture by Richard Wilson, in the new Terminal 2.

Terminal 2 departure lounge

Info from the Heathrow Airport website here.
NY Times article here.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

UPDATE: Glasgow School of Art: Fire crews save most of treasured building

There's been a better outcome than was expected: most of the Glasgow School of Art's structure, and about 70% of its contents, have been saved from yesterday's devastating blaze. Sadly, the stunning Art Nouveau library has been destroyed, but the archives have been saved. Firefighters battled flames throughout the day, with tremendous consciousness of the cultural significance of the building, and are to be highly commended for their heroic efforts. 

Assistant Fire Chief Officer Dave Boyle said: "Crews have been working absolutely flat out throughout this very challenging incident, and it is clear their effort and skill has saved this treasured building and many of the items it housed. While the priority from the outset was to save lives, we have also been working closely with GSA's staff to ensure firefighters conducted an effective salvage operation..."

"We are very conscious that the Mackintosh-designed school is a world renowned building and a key feature of this great city, and that the artworks it stores are not only valuable but also cherished."

Here are links to some articles from UK newspapers, published the day after the fire:

Glasgow School of Art: Fire crews save most of building  (BBC News)Glasgow School of Art fire: Building's structure and majority of contents saved (Telegraph) 

Library feared lost in GSA blaze (The Guardian)

Glasgow School of Art at Heart of British Renaissance in Visual Creativity  (The Guardian)

Plus, a beautiful essay from the Sunday Herald

Friday, May 23, 2014

Heartbreaking news from Scotland ...

A terrible fire broke out today at the iconic Glasgow School of Art, a masterpiece of architecture designed over 100 years ago by modernist  trendsetter Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It sounds as though the library and archives have been destroyed, not to mention many priceless pieces of Mackintosh furniture and years' worth of work by the school's current students. 

Neil Baxter, of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, told Reporting Scotland: "It is a desperately sad day for Glasgow, for architecture, indeed for the whole of Scotland. We have lost one of our greatest architectural and artistic masterpieces."

Glasgow School of Art, front entrance

Above and below: Wrought iron roses
(Maybe they survived)

I've been following the BBC news all day on this. 
Will update tomorrow, when more is known.

EXHIBITION: Katherine Hepburn's rebel chic

"Sassy. Daring. Talented. Beautiful. Determined. Fashionable. Iconic. Hepburn."

Katherine Hepburn: Actor, lifelong timeboy, athlete, and style icon

Showing now through September 13, 2014 at the Connecticut Historical Society, in Hartford: 
Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen. This must-see traveling exhibition features over 40 costumes, worn in 21 films and 6 stage productions. The wonderfully curated collection includes an ensemble of Ms. Hepburn's signature tailored trousers (pioneering ladies' wear at the time) and linen jackets, vintage posters, playbills, photos, and other Hepburn-related artifacts. Stage costumes from The Philadelphia Story and Coco, and screen costumes from Adam's Rib, The Philadelphia Storyand Stage Door are also included.

Gown from "State of the Union", with Spencer Tracy

Tennis dress from "Pat and Mike"

A number of talks and films will run throughout the length of the exhibition, all exploring this great actress' independent spirit and sense of style, and their enduring impact on American culture.

Costume for stage production of "The Lake"

Publicity photo of Katharine Hepburn for the movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", 1967 

“Skirts are hopeless. 
Anytime I hear a man say he prefers a woman in a skirt, I say, 'Try one. Try a skirt.’”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

ODD BITS: A Modernist-inspired summer salad

What a lovely presentation for a great-sounding salad!
Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Garden Salad
(6 servings)
8 ounces French feta cheese, crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 Tablespoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch of radishes, cleaned and halved
1 lemon, halved
Salt and pepper
8 ounces baby arugula
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Several tablespoons of your favorite homemade vinaigrette

Monday, May 12, 2014

EXHIBITION: Closing on May 26: "Think Pink" dazzles at Boston MFA

PINK ... it's not just for girls any more!
** Exhibition closing on May 26 **

Suit by Ralph Lauren; it's similar to his design for
Robert Redford in the 1974 film The Great Gatsby

Baby, blush, bubble gum, cherry, French, Persian, cinnabar, coral, fuschia, flamingo, magenta, orchid, peach, rose, salmon, ultra ... we were happily awash in abundant shades of pink last month at a spectacular costume exhibition at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Integrating clothing, accessories, graphic illustrations, jewelry, and paintings drawn from the MFA's wide-ranging collections, “Think Pink” sheds light on advances in color technology as well as unexpected innovations in costume style. (The evolution of pink for girls and blue for boys is more recent than you might think!) The exhibition includes a selection of dresses and accessories from the collection of the late philanthropist Evelyn Lauder, who was instrumental in creating an awareness of breast cancer by choosing the color pink as a visual reference.

Flapper dress c. 1925                               Flapper dress detail

Sequined and feathered dress by Oscar de la Renta,
for Evelyn Lauder

Kicky retro shoes by Greissimo, in suede and leather
(Designed by Christian Louboutin)

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, alight in pink

Note: Museum admission (usually @$25 per person) is free on 
Wednesdays from 4 - 9:45 PM, and on some holidays.
For more information, visit mfa.org
Link here for an excellent Wall Street Journal article about "Think Pink"

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

JEWEL BOXES: Glamorous Art Deco night spots in NYC

New York has long been known as a world capital of the elegant, super-glamorous Art Deco style. The glorious Chrysler Building and flamboyant Radio City Music Hall are well-known examples. Less heralded but equally swanky are the city's Art Deco night spots, a small sample of which are featured below. Cheers!

Below: Bemelman's Bar at the Carlyle Hotel in Midtown Manhattan

 Named in honor of Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books, Bemelmans Bar demonstrates its Art Deco sensibility with chocolate-brown leather banquettes, nickel-trimmed black glass tabletops, a lustrous black granite bar and  gold leaf-covered ceiling.  
Bemelmans was a beloved artist for The New Yorker and Vogue, and achieved enormous success with the Madeline series. (Rather than being paid for his whimsical wall murals at The Carlylehe exchanged his work for a year and a half of luxurious accommodations for himself and his family.)

"The smallest one was Madeline ..."

A scene from the glam Flatiron Lounge

The Flatiron's pink martini with orchid ornament ... tres chic!

Above: An alcove at the Red Room, a bar and performance space in the East Village 
decorated to evoke the atmosphere of a Prohibition-era speakeasy. 
Art Deco touches include the etched glass motif and a copper gin tub.

Below: Wood-framed booths at Commerce in the West Village. 

Wall sconces came from a 1934 municipal building.

For more notable Art Deco bars in NYC, see NY Times article
"Where the Password is Deco"