Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SiTE: LAB at ArtPrize 2012...and an outfit

Last year I declared the ArtPrize had jumped the shark after a giant mosaic of a crucified Jesus was the a finalist (and then went on to win) the top prize, which is decided by popular vote.  There was some controversy after this--plus a real fear that actual artists would stop coming to ArtPrize when only the biggest, most pandering-to-a-west-Michigan-crowd pieces had a chance of winning.  Happily, this year a juried prize has been added. And anyway, nothing was going to keep me from seeing the latest from SiTE: LAB, the arts group that consistently brings thought-provoking and edgy art to Grand Rapids, always using interesting (and often abandoned) spaces, to do so.  This year, they were providing space for several artists at Grand Rapids' former natural history museum, the old Public Museum (which they had previously transformed in 2010--see my posts about it here and here.)

Large sod islands by Blane De St. Croix hover over the museum's atrium, where once a full scale model of a whale was hung.

Specimen, a glass sculpture by Wes McGee and Catie Newell.

Artists not only used the Public Museum's old exhibit spaces, but often used the actual items from the exhibits and other items from museum storage.

I loved how Scott Hocking incorporated old books into this piece.

This had the best title card ever.

I love the "*shown here without the box" part.

This piece by Design 99 called Displacement was basically an estate sale taken apart and put back together behind glass in a museum.

View of Blane De St. Croix's UnNatural History from above.

Bubbles emerge from the floor in Lisa Walcott's Breathing Room.

Part of the Complex Movements/Tiff Massey multimedia piece.

That's just a taste of what you can see at SiTE: LAB.  If you're in Grand Rapids, or thinking of coming to see ArtPrize, you must visit the SiTE: LAB exhibits.  You are really missing out if you don't!  Tomorrow I'll be checking out the artists at the UICA, and I'm sure--if last year was any indication--that there will be more great stuff to see there!

This is what I wore.  I decided to be all artsy and mix prints: a new-to-my-closet 1960s leopard print dress and a been-in-my-closet-ages 1950s poppy print cardigan.  And yes, it's boots weather!  Sort of.  It's that time of year when I wear boots when I'm not quite ready for the tights.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

shop preview

A little something for everyone in this shop preview:  a nautical dress, some plaid, cozy wool jersey, a novelty print blouse, and a fancy rhinestone-and-velvet bedecked sundress!  All flying into the shop shortly.

1940s nautical chambray dress with star appliques, by Sailing Blues.

1950s black cotton cap sleeve blouse.

Mod 1960s knit Empire State Building dress, by R&K Originals.

1960s flower embroidered Italian mohair sweater.

1940s moss green pintucked wool jersey dress with belt, by Marion McCoy.

1950s red and gray pleated wool plaid skirt, by Madison.

1960s plaid Peter Pan collar shift dress with tie belt.

1950s Pendleton red plaid wool coat.

1950s blue rose print sundress with quilting and rhinestone details, and a blue velvet belt, by Jerry Gilden.

1960s Colonial Market novelty print blouse.


Monday, September 24, 2012

"just dash in recklessly"

Did you know hoop skirts were totally en vogue in fall 1938?  These pages are from the September 5, 1938 issue of Life magazine and outline the full range of fall fashions.  The article starts out with a short illustrated history of fashion silhouettes.

I can't say I'm a particular fan of these ruffle-trimmed, giant-hooped dresses...but I do love the hoop skirt-wearing hints given in the margins!  "In crowded elevators you won't be popular, but keep calm."  "Revolving doors are a menace.  Just dash in recklessly."  "Phone booths never bothered great grandmother, but they will you."

The article also says that "notoriously hippy" American women will "pounce upon the bell-shaped silhouette."  Maybe that should be somone's rap name.  The Notorious H.I.P.

"Sports clothes" and shoes.  Now that's more like it.  Check out the spool heel on the oxfords on the left!  Italian-made platforms and wedges by Palter de Liso are the cutting edge in shoes in fall 1938.  Apparently American women hadn't quite yet come to equate Italy with Salvatore Ferragamo and amazing shoe design, as "In the  minds of most Americans, Italians are associated with shoes either as bootblacks or repair men." !!!

Love the oversize handbag shown on the right.

Coats!  That block plaid on the left is my favorite.  The article says Queen Elizabeth and her Scottish heritage are responsible for the trendiness of plaid.  Fancier fur-trimmed coats on the right (and please notice Life getting all goth--photoshoot in a cemetery!).

Day dresses include the "lumberjacket"--a shirtwaist dress with a "mannish" collar--and trendy accents like embossed quilting and modified dolman sleeves.  The dress on the lower right on the left is called a "modified dirndl" and the model sports a $7 pin, "a surrealist horse on lips."  It doesn't say the name of the pin's designer, but it sounds to me like something made--or certainly inspired by--Elsa Schiaparelli!

On the right is the "new fall dinner suit," made of wool with a long, high waisted skirt, by Monteil.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

early oktoberfest in detroit

Andy and I didn't do much (any, really) traveling this summer.  But we headed out to the D--Detroit--last weekend to have fun with our friend Stephani.

En route.  I love a pretty old movie theater.

Really expensive but neat old swimwear at an antiques mall.

At Sugar House for cocktails.  Andy has this expression on his face a lot when he's with Stephani and me.

Stephani's roommate got this as a white elephant gift, and it's one of the most magnificent things I've ever seen.

The DIY Fair in Ferndale.  Wow, was it ever crowded!  I ran into a couple of my Etsy/Twitter/vintage seller pals by chance, which was very cool.  (Hellooo to Timnah and Bethany!  Hope you guys each had great sales.)  I didn't get to shop much as I was helping Andy to wrangle Ms. Lucy.

There were lots of cute dogs at the fair.  And Lucy got stopped every few feet:  "What kind of dog is that?  How old is she?"  Lucy thought every human--and there were tons of them--had a dog treat to give her.

I want to live in this house.  It even had good music--Tom Waits and the Clash--emanating from it.

It was perfect weather.  Stephani made us mint juleps and we enjoyed them outside.

Aw, yiss!  We had an early celebration of both Oktoberfest and Steph's birthday.

Nothing says Oktoberfest like a beer barrel light fixture.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

shop preview--shoes, bags, and buckles

Lots of shoes, a couple bags, and a small collection of brass belt buckles--coming to the shop soon!

1970s huarache cut-out wooden wedges, by Buskens.

Deadstock 1970s maroon canvas espadrilles with bows, by Wimzees.

1970s raffia flower cork high heel mules, by Hush Puppies.

1960s mod patent leather pilgrim pumps, by Customcraft.

Deadstock 1970s taupe suede oxfords, by Hush Puppies.

1960s patent and suede wide strap mary jane pumps, by Herbert Levine.

1960s autumn suede colorblock pumps, by Hush Puppies.

1980s brown brogue oxfords.

Deadstock 1960s forest green leather and suede handbag, by Air Step.

Large tooled black leather bag with Mexican dancers.

Chunky brass LEE belt buckle.

Brass baseball player belt buckle.

1976 Coca-Cola brass belt buckle.

Chunky Jesus fish brass belt buckle.



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