Sunday, May 13, 2007

Laidback at Brooklyn Designs

I had a chance to stop by Brooklyn Designs last Friday, and a wonderful discovery is Laidback. I was able to chat quickly with the line's designer, Tina Shoulders. Using hip-hop culture as her inspiration, her pillows are all silkscreened on 100% cotton denim and, in keeping with the theme, each finished with an exposed metal zipper. I always thought of denim and home design as mutually exclusive, but Tina might be changing my mind.

Unfortunately for the vendors located at 81 Front Street, which housed the design mart debuting at this year's show, the venue had ventilation problems that produced hot and humid conditions, resulting in lethargic shoppers. I'll be posting a few more discoveries from the show in the next few days.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I know they're scary, but...

A conversation from long ago...

D-in-SanFran: "Can you get me one of those Santos dolls when you go back home to the Philippines?"

Republic of Candy: "No, they scare me."

An interesting piece, pictured below, is called the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. On display for a time at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, the accompanying plaque reads, Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, 18th century Hispano-Philippine Ivory, partly polychromed and gilded, with glass eyes and silver halo; H. 10 in. (15.4 cm). Gift of Loretta Hines Howard, 1964 (64.164.243). Chinese ivory carvers in the Philippines and on the mainland as well produced numerous religious figures for export to Spain and the Americas via the Manila Galleon route. Although conforming to the iconography of the Catholic church (such as the pose of this Virgin), their Asian origin is usually unmistakable in their physiognomies as well as the style of their drapery.

From Preserving Saints: Devotional Art of the Santero, by Alex Castro, Center for Kapampangan Studies (my dad's province):

Santeros are artists who carve and paint santos, images of saints, reflecting one of the oldest living traditions of religious devotion practiced by Hispanic Americans. Carving santos is an enduring Latino tradition from Central and South America, the American Southwest, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and Spain.

When Spanish missionaries came to Christianize [the Philippine islands], they brought with them religious pictures and images of saints that became potent instruments of evangelization. These artful images were used to demonstrate the power of the new religion over paganism...soon, carved "santos" were replacing primative anitos in home altars, becoming the new focus of household devotion. Thus began a tradition of santo-making in the country-and from Manila to Pampanga, local santeros practiced their craft by carving thousands of holy images copied from estampitas and styled by their imagination.

In the Philippines, Alex Castro writes, "Santo-collecting came into vogue in the 1930's, although earlier than that Trinidad Pardo de Tavera raised eyebrows when he started using santos as decorative accents for his house rather than for their originally intended purpose.... The antique trade boom in the 1960's-1970's hastened the demolition of hundreds of church altars and generated criminal syndicates, sometimes in cahoots with antique traders. Many a precious santo has been lost in this unscrupulous fashion, like the 1984 disappearance of Cavite's Soledad de Porta Vaga."

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Isabella Blow

I just read the sad news that Isabella Blow has left us. Muse to Phillip Treacy and the ultimate supporter of the millinery arts, she will be missed.

Headwear from Philip Treacy. Photo by Steven Meisel.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The OC

I never called it that when I lived there. No one ever did. Sometimes, I do miss it.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

That wallpaper...

A Tale of Two Sisters, the popular K-Horror film, is a study in happy wallpaper made moody.