Month: December 2011

Geek Chic: The Men of Warby Parker

Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa of Warby Parker have truly made their mark as an alternative, inexpensive and edgy eyewear company. By creating their own designs and selling direct to the consumer, Warby Parker is able to make their trendy frames affordable at less than one hundred dollars per pair.


Their new collection of sunglasses features a collaboration with womenswear label SUNO.


Not only are Warby Parker frames easy on the wallet, but every time you purchase a pair of these specs you are doing good by providing a pair of glasses for someone in need. I’m not sure about you, but I am sold on these!




Existential Drama

In 2011, there have been three movies that plagued my mind well after I saw them in theaters. Another Earth, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Like Crazy. Their commonalities are undeniable; beautiful young girls with morose and empty eyes trying to figure out the life laid out before them. Sounds like we’ve heard this story before.

{Spoiler alert: if you haven’t seen any of these movies and intend to see them, you should not read on.}


The girl.

Each movie presents us with a protagonist who undergoes severe emotional shifts that change the course of their easy-going lives. They are now faced with weighty decisions, looming danger, and the acceptance of their fate (and their choices).


The situation.

An extraordinary situation can make us face extraordinary decisions. From escaping an abusive cult to falling madly in love (yes, that’s extraordinary), there are moments where each character has to force self-actualization in order to find relief, reprieve, and resolution.


The choice.

To move forward, we make choices. These choices are defined by our personality. I’ve heard that one should never make decisions based on your past, but rather, your future. Is it possible to extract the history that makes up your present self from the decisions that determine your future?



Here’s the spoiler. Each of these movies ends with a scene that presents further conflict and forces you to imagine what possible ending could and should happen. In a world where we are always seeking solutions and faster ways to get to them, this sort of ending is very frustrating. I’ve realized now that my desire for entertainment is connected to a need for satisfaction. The orgasm. The solution! The kiss at the end of the romcom. Life continues conflict and I want fantasy to solve it so we can all live happily ever after.

But these movies have stayed with me. Their irritating endings have made me want to see them all over again. I keep wondering what ending would have made me happy and why. Do things get better or do they continue to fall apart?

This feels like a new genre of movies. At least, for me it is. I’ll call it Existential Drama. A category of movies that make you examine your own impulses and desires to see what happens next. Using unknown actresses who reek of vulnerability, we find instant connection to their painful humanness. The tension in their lives is almost unbearable. And they’ll let you craft their (un)happy ending.


All Hail Hadid

Zaha Hadid was named one of Time magazine’s Top 100, Forbes magazines 100 Most Powerful Women and New Statesman’s 50 Most Influential Figures in the World.  Born in Baghdad, educated in Beirut and London, Hadid is an architectural giant.  In 2004, she became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in its 26 year history.  This past year her London based firm won the Stirling prize for the Evelyn Grace Academy school in Brixton, London, opened the Guangzhou, China, opera house and completed the Riverside Museum in Glasgow on the banks of the Clyde.

Here is video of the opening of Hadid’s spectacular opera house in China.

David LaChapelle

Scorn the Vultures

David LaChapelle
The term “culture vulture” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a person who avidly attends cultural events.” In colloquial use the term has a negative connotation; implying that culture vultures have less interest in arts and culture as much as feeding off the social cache of attending high brow art events.

Miami’s Art Basel, which just recently ended, was described by NY Mag’s Alexandra Peers as “tropical Woodstock for the wealthy.” A celebrity invasion of more partying than art. She goes on to question if the vultures might be devouring the true intent of the fairs.

Peers is not the only purist left wondering what it all means. Charles Saatchi wrote a scathing article in The Guardian relating the decline of art buying to “sport of the Eurotrashy, Hedge-fundy, Hamptonites; of trendy oligarchs and oiligarchs; and of art dealers with masturbatory levels of self-regard.”  Ouch!!

Is it possible that art is seeing the dawn of a populist run like we’ve seen with wine and other luxuries over the last 10 years? It could trend for several years and then fade away, left to the old guard who stood watch in the meantime. Or, could this be a changing of the guard? Saatchi, Peers and others like them may be the grandparents shaking a finger at the jeans-wearing, long-haired kids…and things may never be the same.

Saatchi says himself, “Not so long ago, I believed that anything that helped broaden interest in current art was to be welcomed; that only an elitist snob would want art to be confined to a worthy group of aficionados.  But…”

Well, Mr. Saatchi, no but’s.  As hard as it may be to accept, the art world may have to swallow this jagged little pill.  Wealth is transferred differently in a consumer world and plutocracy, with all of its brash informality, has replaced aristocracy.  Worst case scenario – everyone will start collecting and buying fine art.  Is that so bad?

Rococo On The Runway

Stemming from the Baroque movement, the Rococo style of architecture developed with a heavy use of ornate embellishments, curvilinear lines and references to the natural world. The epitome of these structural details is in the Weis Church in Bavaria.  There is a fanciful nature to the surface of the building that calls up this grand period in architectural history.

Rococo and Baroque patterns are often referenced in other art forms including visual art and fashion. This year Amy Smilovik, of the ever evolving clothing line TIBI, truly did a remarkable job of referring to these periods with a modern twist. She refreshes the feel of the textiles through the juxtaposition of white and red.  By enlarging the patterns on the skirt, Amy gives the garment a feel of modern elegance.  We love this fusion of art forms and can’t wait what team Tibi will innovate for NYFW in February.