February 16, 2010


Since before the Renaissance, art has greatly influenced fashion. From shape, color, texture, period, style and silhouette, fashion designers have looked to art for inspiration. While reviewing the Spring 2010 collection of the talented Japanese fashion designer Tsumori Chisato, I was reminded of the work of French-Ukrainian artist, Sonia Delaunay. I had just been looking at a book of Delaunay's work and could not help but see a visual connection with Chisato's springtime looks.

Sonia Delaunay was a pioneer in the Modernist movement in Paris in the early twentieth century. Her paintings, fashion design, and work in the decorative arts were created with a vibrant dynamic of color and geometric patterns. Delaunay's fashion designs were worn by stars like Gloria Swanson, and her theater costumes were commissioned by Diaghilev, for the Ballet Russes.

Tsumori Chisato is a graduate of Tokyo's renowned Bunka Fashion College and a protégé of Issey Miyake. She is known for her flirty prints and appliqués. It was fun to imagine Chisato's inspiration for this collection. It might have been the farthest thing from the Paris avant-garde movement, but it was exciting for me to see a connection and to explore more about the synergy of fashion and art.

Here are four diptychs showing a piece from the Tsumori Chisato collection on the left juxtaposed with a work by Sonia Delaunay on the right. Do you see the synergy?

Footnote: This is a wonderful book about the art and fashion of Sonia Delaunay

February 13, 2010


Love exists in many ways... even for a time or a place. To celebrate Valentine's Day, here is one of my favorite songs sung by Blossom Dearie about a city she loved.

With love from, My Dog-Eared Pages oxo

February 8, 2010


tom ford
Waking up begins with saying am and now. This is the first line of Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man and also the first line of Tom Ford's film based on the novella. It's a wrenching first-scene as Colin Firth's character George Falconer, learns of the sudden death of his long-time lover [played beautifully by Matthew Goode]. A Single Man is the most poetically captivating film I've seen since Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. And, Tom Ford's directorial debut is brilliant. Each scene, whether filmed as a flashback or not, translates like a memory—the light, the tempo, and depth of the moment. Each shot is precise, with intimate close-ups and ethereal pauses that are artful but never cliche. Colin Firth is hypnotic in his Oscar-worthy portrayal of protagonist George and Julianne Moore is amazing—with her tousled hair and cocktails—as a sixties divorcee and George's best friend, Charley. The George and Charley scenes magnify the core of each character's despair and loneliness and hold a visual aesthetic that I could watch again and again. Amidst the sadness, A Single Man delivers life-affirming moments—the "buttered toast" smell of a dog's head, and the sudden act of an owl taking flight as a metaphor for the clarity that awakens within George. It's a film about living in the moment and appreciating the small things in life—and it's excellent each step of the way.

Tom Ford with Julianne Moore, Paris Vogue, Feb. 2010 via English Muse

Production Company: Fade to Black, Depth of Field
Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult, Jon Kortajarena
Director: Tom Ford
Screenwriters: Tom Ford, David Scearce based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood
Producers: Tom Ford, Chris Weitz, Andrew Miano, Roberto Salerno with Jason Alisharan
Cinematography: Eduard Grau
Production Design: Dan Bishop
Art Direction: Ian Phillips
Set Decoration: Amy Wells
Music: Abel Korzeniowski, Shigeru Umebayashi
Costume Design: Arianne Phillips
Editor: Joan Sobel
Casting: Joseph Middleton

February 5, 2010


It was a December afternoon in 1961 that photographer Len Stickler photographed two American icons, Marilyn Monroe and author/poet Carl Sandburg. Marilyn was apparently three hours late for her visit because she was at her hairdresser trying to match her hair-color to Carl's. Carl Sandburg was 83 and Marilyn Monroe was 35. And, as the afternoon passed... a deep bond was formed between them. Sadly, Monroe would die just eight months later. Today, Len Stickler's photographs of this remarkable afternoon visit go on sale. I found a Sandburg poem that he could have written for Marilyn.


YOUR white shoulders
I remember
And your shrug of laughter.

Low laughter
Shaken slow
From your white shoulders.