Author: Alex Delotch Davis

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

Polka Dots, Plaids, Pleats and Pearls.

I love my fashion classic.  For one thing, it’s economical.  Classics obviously never go out of style.  Rather than buying at the whim of the latest trend, which will be worthless in a year or two, my practical reasoning is drawn to timeless things that I can wear year after year, season after season.  The other reason I love classics is the inherent class of a classic.  You don’t run the risk of looking “too” this or “too” that or, worst of all, trying “too” hard when you keep it simple.  Classics translate a sense of grace and reserved extravagance – like, “I COULD spend a lot of money on trendy things, but I choose not to.”  Finally classics are what I call modular fashion – they all work together.  You can mix and match classics for days and days and come up with many different variations.  Classics make for an expansive wardrobe without the expanse.

Here are some of my favorite classics.

You have to be careful with polka dots.  They could easily look like a 1960’s costume.  However, mixing polka dots with colors, textures and patterns can be fun and unexpected.

 

This, of course, is my catholic school girl past that just won’t die.  But really, plaids are so stately.  Ralph Lauren has taken them and made them classic Americana which is kind of nostalgic and sweet.  Then McQueen reclaimed it and took it there.


Catholic school again.  Crisp white tees make these pleats look easy and informal enough for any time of day.


Nothing says lady like pearls.  They’re also nostalgic and innocent, like when your Mom bought your first pair.  They’re so sophisticated and always appropriate, but they can also be modern and exciting.


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Design is Human

In 2002, IDEO’s David Kelley presented his idea of human-centered design at the annual TED conference.  Fast forward to 2012 and Bernard McCoy’s Modern Atlanta (MA) takes that philosophy and explodes it across design genres with talks, films, and exhibitions exploring the future of human connectivity through material.  MA’s Design is Human Week begins on June 1 in Atlanta featuring 7 days of corporeal discovery in engineering, architecture, new media, interior design and food (yes, food).

MA brings heavyweights to the Peach State from around the globe, to exchange ideas in motion.  From Paris, Studio Boissard uses the High Museum as backdrop for a conversation on the influence of Pierre Chareau and Jean Prouve in the evolution of architecture.  Boissard was formerly a member of the team behind design powerhouse Philippe Starck before building his own well-know architecture firm.

Other participants throughout the week include Yale School of Architecture, one of the most prestigious institutions for design in the world, New Haven’s Plan B Architecture, John Cantrell, interior designer for international commercial design firm HOK and local phenom Michael Habachy.

Bill Lowe Gallery is pleased to add to the melange with the opening exhibition for Korean artist Cha Jong Rye, whose meticulous manipulation of wood is visually stunning and exemplifies the quality of precision and calculation inherent in great design.

 

 

The week closes with a lecture by Marc Clemenceau Bailly of Gage/Clemenceau Architects who famously collaborated with Lady Gaga on a temporary installation for Fashion Week 2011 that “fused ideas from both fashion and architecture into a new type of physical environment.”

 

Design is Human Week is an unparalleled coalescence of design talent intended to ignite expanded thinking and global consciousness.  MA is not missing a beat, striking all the right notes to cultivate new relationships between design and our experience with it in everyday life.   MA changes the game.

DC Eats

 

It’s wonderful when several of your senses can be excited at once, the more the better. Oya in DC seems to have covered sight, smell, taste and three out of five ain’t bad.

 

Oya restaurant and lounge is at home in the capitol city where politicians, celebrities and global dignitaries slip in and out of unassuming store fronts behind which are amazing menageries of design, culture and cuisine. Sitting quietly on 9th street, Oya is a hot spot that plays host to everyone from Maxwell to Alec Baldwin to secretary of state, Hillary Clinton. The sensual décor is contemporary yet opulent with bright white furnishings and flashes of gold and silver metallics throughout.

 

Oya is known for its decadent sushi menu and its expansive wine list. Sommelier, Andrew Stover is recognized as a leading wine expert and makes wine an integral part of the complete dining experience.

 

If one wasn’t enough, the owners of Oya followed up with Sax, an equally spectacular dining experience although wholly different. You might miss the heavy gilded door if it weren’t for the well-dressed guard standing out front. Once inside, Sax is a feast for the eyes. Soft settees in red and gold embroidery line the walls of the huge open dining room. However, the piece de resistance is the two-story stage enclosed in glass where dancers emerge on the hour performing contemporary burlesque style shows to the guests intrigue and delight.

 

Freud and the Duchess

Kate Middleton chose the National Portrait Gallery’s opening of a special collection of Lucian Freud the occasion for her first solo public appearance. The Duchess of Cambridge majored in art history while attending St. Andrews University so it’s fitting that the Gallery museum is one of her preferred charities.

 

 

As described by the National Portrait Gallery, “Lucian Freud (1922 – 2011) was one of the most important and influential artists of his generation. Insightful paintings of the artist’s lovers, friends and family, referred to by the artist as the ‘people in my life’, demonstrate the psychological drama and unrelenting observational intensity of his work.”

 

Reflection, Lucian Freud, 1985

Portrait of the Queen

Freud was one of the most famous British artists of the 20th century. His piece “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” set an auction record for a living artist when it sold for 33.6 million in 2008.

 

Also in attendance for the opening event was acclaimed photographer Mary McCartney, eldest daughter of Paul McCartney.

Lucian Freud: Portraits runs February 9 – May 27 at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Louis Vuitton Roma Etoile

   

On January 27th, Louis Vuitton inaugurated their first Maison in Italy, Roma Etoile. Cate Blanchett and French actress Catherine Deneuve were just two of the many who celebrated the iconic fashion line’s historic opening. Twitter followers were treated to exclusive photos of red carpet entrances via live updates @LouisVuitton_IT.

 

The store is literally set on a cinematic backdrop replete with a dramatic elliptical staircase and a screening room which aims to support the Italian film industry. The location is an old cinema redesigned by architect Peter Marino, famous for his edgy biker style and no less for his awe-inspiring retail stages.