I sometimes joke that my love of art began while playing Masterpiece, the art auction board game. But, that was purely superficial. My lifelong deep appreciation for art came from my art teacher. I actually had two art teachers, a husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. S. She taught 7th and 8th grade art and he taught 9th-12th. Since our entire class took art in 7th & 8th grade, her classes were larger and much more basic. She was a good teacher and I liked her, but her husband was a great teacher, a master teacher and I loved him. Not only did I learn a lot about art from him, but I also learned about teaching and humanity.
He was a preternaturally calm teacher, steering his way through life on such an even keel that even a hurricane could not twist him about. He may have grown up on a farm and taught in a small farming town and lived on a farm himself, but he brought an urbane sophistication to life – sharing with us his appreciation of modern culture, music, books, movies and artists that were often unheard of. He was active in the community, persuading the town council to fund a city-owned art gallery that brought art into our town. Imagine a town of 1400 people with an arts center with revolving exhibitions, musical theatre, art classes, writing workshops, music lessons and even a recording studio all funded by the city and the grants that he helped pursue. During these years of retrenchment and austerity, that such a small town continues to support the arts – well, if only there were more teachers like him in towns across America.
Intrigue Co has a fun little watercolor pose prop for the budding watercolorists of Second Life – a fitting contribution to the watercolor theme for April’s Collabor88. It even comes with framed and ready to hang copies of the finished work. I didn’t actually use the poses because they are made for painting on the floor or in the grass, not on an artist’s work table, but since I just moved and put in a place to paint in a corner of my kitchen, I decided to use it there.
The thing about Mr. S was that he encouraged us to draw outside the lines, but not just on paper. As he saw it, the rules were there as a guide – to make sure we rubbed along comfortably in life, but that they were not a limit. That when it made sense and it was worth it, it was okay to break the rules and that sometimes the rules needed to be broken. Civil disobedience was, in his eyes, was drawing outside the lines to realize a better world just as drawing outside the lines often realizes a better painting.
What makes someone a style icon? It’s not simply beauty or looking chic. There are hundreds of beautiful, well-dressed personalities who will never become a style icon. On the other hand, there is the somewhat louche Vali Myers, the bohemian artist and dancer. Not a conventional beauty, her artful dishabille and raw elegance inspired no less than four collections in Fall 2013, from MiuMiu and Prada to Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.
Monica Outlander was also inspired by Vali Myers. The connection makes sense. I can see Myers influence in Outlander’s own artwork. You can see an example of Momo’s art in the background of this vendor here. You can see some of Myers work here. This top and pants are called Vali in Myers honor and convey the elegantly undone bohemian aesthetic that is Myers iconic contribution to style.
If there is anything you learn growing up in the land of the ice and snow, it’s that you need to stay dry and keep the wet cold off of you. Layers, and the right ones are the key. You’ll get cold, but you won’t be TOO miserable by the time you get home to peel off your frozen outerwear and warm back up.
Being warm is a bugaboo for me. As a child, we had a house with out insulation. After the blizzard hit, we spent many nights sleeping in every item of clothing we owned, on the floor in front of the fireplace.
So, I won’t be cold. Not ever, if I can help it. Continue reading
I thought it might be fun to test the direct to Flickr® photography in Second Life®. Since I wanted to shoot this fabulously minimalist dress from NYU which is on sale for Fifty Linden Friday, I thought this was the perfect time to try it out, cutting out the intermediate steps of cropping my photos in Photoshop and uploading them to Flickr. It seemed to work fine, though the text limit cut off my credits and I had to rewrite them. I just specified 3000 by 3000 for size to get a square picture and lined it up in SL. Since you can see the preview, it’s just a matter of refreshing until you get it framed the way you want it before uploading.
There’s a fabulous mesh jacket from Compulsion at FaMESHed that is designed to work well over your mesh tops and dresses. It works perfectly and comes in several colors.
There are less than 12 hours left to explore, shop and spread joy to shoeless people around the world because Shoetopia closes at midnight. Remember, you are not only buying gorgeous shoes, but you are also helping raise money for Soles4Souls – an international effort to shod the shoeless. When you and I want a new pair of shoes, we want it for reasons of style, fashion or sport, but there are children who want shoes so they can go to school, so they can avoid hookworm parasites and deadly infections and injuries. Shoes for them are not a fashion statement, but a lifeline. So before time runs short, go to Shoetopia and shop, shop, shop.
Shoes like these from BSD Design Studio are not for the faint of heart, but for the daring. They are works of art – as surely as anything in a gallery space. In fact, they deserve galley space. These are from BSD Design Studio where you can always find bold, innovative haute fashion designs. Since the advent of Gos auto-tinting and Slink appliers, I have become spoiled and resist having to tint feet, but it was worth the bother to put these lovely shoes on.
Shoe addicts have a new drug thanks to Siddean Munro of Slink. Her flat and medium bare feet have conquered the grid, enabling shoe-makers to focus on making shoes while skin-makers bring their expertise to create appliers matching feet to their specific skins. It was a great innovation that has enhanced everyone’s style, but now Siddean takes it to new heights with her high bare feet. Shoe-makers whose focus has been on high stilettos can now join the party of folks doing what they do best – making shoes.
Fittingly, she is releasing these new higher bare feet at Shoetopia, the fabulous celebration of everything footly. Shoetopia is fundraising expo of shoes, socks and feet hoping to raise funds to support Soles4Souls, a charity that gives shoes to the shoeless around the world and also supports micro-enterprises in developing countries by allowing people to sell used shoes and earn a living.
SLink is also releasing three pairs of shoes for the high feet at Shoetopia. This is Hera, a sinuous stiletto with beautiful curving lines that enwrap the foot. I love how the natural flow of leather seems simply to be about curves as though securing the shoe is incidental – a lovely trick of engineering.
My dress is from Mea Culpa. I love the gorgeous print and the extravagant stargazer lilies on the shoulder and hips. The rich gold and deep burgundy are gorgeous colors for fall. In particular, I love how the sweep of the gold lines in the dress remind me of the sweeping curves of the shoes.
The glorious colors of the dress inspired me to go out leaf-peeping at Seni Seviyorum. It’s gorgeous and so many lovely spots for taking pictures.
I heard a radio show shortly before the Royal Wedding, talking about beige patent pumps. Beige patent pumps are apparently everything. Kate Middleton had been seeing wearing them at appearances, suddenly you had to have them. The morning shopping guide on the radio show (because this is now a thing apparently) went through and told us what brand Kate was wearing and since we obviously can’t afford those (commoners) told us where to get them priced in our (commoner) price range.
Luckily for us pixel girls, LVLE has come out with a gorgeous pair of beige pumps that fit the bill with gorgeous texturing that subtly shines. We might not get to marry a prince, but we’ve got cute shoes so really, that’s probably good enough.
Pixel princes are a dime a dozen anyway, girls. Continue reading
Halloween is such a fun holiday. We get to play dress-up and be a kid again. Of course we all have our favorite way of dressing up for the holiday – and for me, it’s glam, of course. The perfect Glam-O-Ween dress is from VoguE – where Halloween has resulted in three special outfits and 2 Halloween hats, one with a skeletal hand and this spider web hat.
Growing up in state where mosquitoes can gather so thickly they look like a smudge cloud on the horizon, I am fond of spiders and their hard and constant mosquito-eating efforts. There’s nothing quite so beautiful as a spider web damp with morning dew when struck by sunlight. So yes, a spider-web dress is going to be gorgeous and this one from VoguE is a stunner.
Another designer from AVENUE Fall/Winter Fashion Week who was new to me is Ngozi Faith of OZI. She presented a small mini-collection that featured black and white pieces of deceptive simplicity. Her aesthetic is distinctly minimalist, but with a passion for deconstructing. Take this Origami crop top in black. It’s a simple tee with segmented sleeves that make it so much more interesting, but in a simple, clean way – without embellishment. In fact, she achieves by taking away, what most achieve by adding. A neat trick. I have already styled this top in three different outfits – over a lace bodysuit, with a leather pencil skirt and with the eye-catching Curve skirt that she presented it with at Fashion Week.