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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DISTORTED ARCHITECTURE by artist Nicholas Kennedy Sitton

Artist Nicholas Kennedy Sitton exposes how disoriented and excited he felt once he moved to San Franscisco. His whole world changed and thru photo manipulation took images of typical urban structures in San Franscisco and deformed and twisted them into surreal landscapes. He wanted to capture a "moment of demolition and a sense of falling into itself." You certainly feel its energy! Talk about architectural deconstruction!! See these innovative images below:

(all images via Flavorwire)

Amazing manipulation! Incredible!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Today’s designers are taking cues from psychology and exploring an emerging sensibility: transparency. Whether it be clear, translucent or the combination, the potential of glass for voyeuristic play is very intriguing. I have always been drawn to objects, interior spaces or architecture that exposes something, draws your eye thru space or defines our relations to others. Transparency can shape the experience: to observe or be observed is a provacative notion and design like this provokes emotion. That is what makes design successful. Let’s explore transparency within fashion, architecture and interior design and showcase the extraordinary range of rich materials and surfaces.


Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2012 runway show for Louis Vuitton was breathtaking! The construction of the dresses were layered with delicate transparence, using a whitework needlework technique that arose in the 19th century called broderie anglaise. The daisy wheel pattern added lumninous texture! See images below:


(image source: Getty)

How special are these Charlotte Olympia pouches below?

Love these interchangeable patterned pouches within a lucite pouch! You can see your pretty bag but you cannot touch it! There are several colored pouches to choose from; for example, a leaf, an ecru striped or a leopard print. All these so perfectly give you options to pair with any ensemble. To top it all off, the spider and pineapple clasp are to die for! These special clasps magnetically fasten.


Diller and Scofidio are one of my favorite architects of this time. They are provocative designers who celebrate the potential of architecture by exploring how technology informs and affects our lives.

Their visual and performing arts Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco introduces voyeuristic distance as a design motif. A large video screen with fixed video cameras pointing towards the building and away, travels along the surface of the exterior facade. It broadcasts live and pre-recorded video imagery of fictional office building occupants on the screen as it moves. Your really not sure if you are being watched or are you watching people inside the building. Is it fictional or real? Are you observing or are you being observed? Would love to visit and experience it myself!

In 2001, a Hungarian architect named Aron Losonczi invented a light transmitting concrete. Yes, I said a concrete block that you can see thru!! Future homes can have foundations built above ground with the ability to transmit light into your basement. Brilliant! It is manufactured by a Hungarian company named LiTracon where optical glass fibers are blended within concrete. The fibers become a component of the concrete since they act like small pieces of aggregate. These blocks are suitable for floors, pavements and load bearing walls. Learn more. See images below:

Lightness, transparency and brightness describes architect Renzo Piano's Maison Hermes building in Ginza, the shopping district in Tokyo. See image below:

The building's facade is entirely made out of an innovative fabricated glass block. Renzo Paino collaborated with Seves glassbock company to create a building that replicates a Japenese lantern. In the daytime the translucent facade gives a hint of what is beyond, but blurred by the thickness of the glass block. At night the entire building is glowing from within.

At eye level, the glass block facade is punctuated with clear glass block which displays Hermes products beyond.

What makes this glass block unique are the painted metallic edges of the block. This innovative detail accentuates the luminous reflection of the Hermes building.

(images from Source)

The Elizabeth Arden’s Office space in Stamford, Connecticut by Highland Associates is brilliant. It successfully incorporates the essence of their brand  thru an unique architectural element that inspires. It’s the acrylic curved feature wall that has 8,400 holes punched with makeup brushes. I love the texture it creates on one side while allowing light to transmit thru from space to space. Office workers can sit in the lounge area and observe thru the wall but also be observed. See images from Interior Design below:

(all images: photo credit: Photo by Eric Laignel, Interior Design)

Would you invite a friendly ghost in your home? Here are some beautiful examples of modern ghostly furniture:

I love how Artist John Houshmand aims to expose wood as it really is. The transparency of the glass reveals the beauty of wood and he celebrates salvaged hardwood's wormholes, cracks, splits, etc and calls attention to it in a functionally beautiful way. See image below:

I saw the coolest see-thru table lamp at the Lignet Roset booth at the 2012 Architectural Digest Home. It is an illuminated transparent plexi-glass box that houses aluminum mesh and small lights. The plexiglass box can be clear or a smoked color. Besides arranging these boxes in groups, I imagine stacking these plexi-glass boxes and creating a partition of light! The small lights hanging from the wires looks like fine pieces of sparking jewelry! See images below:

Monday, May 21, 2012

CHARLES POLLACK, Industrial Design Icon at the ICFF 2012 for BERNHARDT DESIGN

At the ICFF yesterday, amidst new designs for Bernhardt Design, sat Industrial design icon, Charles Pollack.  I stood in pure amazement!! Before me is a mid-century legend who designed the Pollack-chair, the quintessential executive office chair known for its versatility and comfort! Its timeless and contemporary elegance from 1963 still stands the test of time; as it is still available at Knoll in variety of luxurious fabrics, leather and finishes.

POLLACK CHAIR  (image via Knoll)

Standing there I thought,'why is Mr. Pollack in the Bernhardt Designs booth?' Well, Jerry Helling, President of US-headquartered Bernhardt Designs turns out to be a huge fan of Mr. Pollack and he tracked him down. Even though Mr. Pollack has not designed chairs in at-least 30 years, the result of their Bernhardt-Pollack collaboration resulted in the magnificent CP lounge chair. What a great looking chair! It features loop-stitching with hand–quilted panels of leather, suede or felt, supported by a modern polished stainless steel frame. I loved the black stitching on the edges of the lime green felt! Like its predecessor, it is pure sculpture!

I even got some one-on-one time with him! I told him I really love his loose chair doodles; so I got one of his doodles on a Bernhardt pamphlet! See below:


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spotlight: Anthony Laciura of HBO's Boardwalk Empire


The AIAE (Association of Italian American Educators) hosted the Fourteenth Annual Educators Awards and Scholarship Celebration on Sunday, April 29th to recognize and present awards to outstanding Italian American educators. There I met, Anthony Laciura whose fun-loving and good humored spirit struck me. I thought to myself, who is this charismatic guy who is honored with a Special Award in Fine Arts? I marvelled to learn that he is an actor on HBO’s period drama “Boardwalk Empire" playing the role of Eddie Kessler, the right-hand-man to Atlantic City boss Nucky Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi.


For those of you that do not have HBO, 'Boardwalk Empire,' directed by Martin Scorsese, is an HBO television series set in Atlantic City, New Jersey during the Prohibition era and is inspired by the non-fiction book "Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City" by Nelson Johnson. The series was nominated for 18 Emmys, winning eight. Based on the exploits of mobsters  in the 1920s, the design producers constructed a 300 foot boardwalk replica in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In a period show like this, the design producers had to study and research every aspect of the twenties to pull off all the costume, interior, and architectural details of the time. Intrigued? I am, especially after meeting Anthony Laciura!

(photo credit: HBO)

What is so interesting about Anthony Laciura is that he not a television actor. (it's an amazing story...) On the contrary, he is a professional opera tenor who spent 27 years with New York City’s famed Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center. I asked Mr. Laciura if I could interview him for my Spotlight series.  He graciously agreed, so read on and learn more about his inspired transition from Opera singer to teacher to Actor on the amazing HBO drama "Boardwalk Empire!!"

Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln center
(image via Metropolitan Opera House)

I asked Anthony what it was like to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera house? He said, “The first thought that comes to mind is the first rehearsal I had on the stage and looking out into the theatre.  In the pit stood James Levine on the podium and the entire orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera as we rehearsed "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss.The range of emotions were overwhelming and I knew I was home.”

Anthony Laciura as Pang
in a 1988 MET production of Turandot
(photo credit: Jim Scovotti)
(image via Oberon's Grove)

After retiring as an opera singer, Laciura figured he would help budding operatic stars hone their craft so he turned to teaching as an adjunct professor in the music department at New Jersey City University in Jersey City. I asked him what he finds most rewarding about teaching?  Anthony explains, “to be part of the future of the young artist.  To share the knowledge given to me, as part of my gift.  To introduce to the student the idea of a solid Bel Canto technique and to see on the face of the student the moment of recognition when the student understands and realizes how joyful the art form can be.
I have been to a few Opera’s and I know that besides an amazing voice, expression is everything!  My interest is to understand the transition from Opera singer to Actor and how did Mr. Laciura prepare for the role of Eddie Kessler?
To me this is pure talent, pure innovation…

(photo credit: Abbot Genser/HBO)

Anthony explains, “ I know you are familiar with the expression, less is more, well that is what I did in front of the camera and relied on the line delivery and subtle facial expressions. My entire career has been as a supporting actor/singer and "Eddie" just joined the club of 80 other characters."

(photo credit: Abbot Genser/HBO)

He further describes how he was casted for the part of Eddie. “My former manager, Jim Scovotti, called and said to get in touch with Ellen Lewis, casting director for "Boardwalk Empire," and set an audition time to read for the role of Eddie Kessler. I went to her office and introduced myself using a German accent. She asked where in Germany I was from and I told her the South Bronx. We all laughed and two weeks later I read for Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter. Our meeting was very favorable and we talked and I told stories for about 30 min. I read, they laughed and two days later I became Eddie Kessler; yet another miracle in my life.

(photo credit: Abbot Genser/HBO)
(photo credit: HBO)

The design of the set and the costumes of “Boardwalk Empire” are amazing! I now understand-all the Buzz-as the show has received widespread critical acclaim for its visual style, costumes and set design based on historical figures. See the VIDEO below on how the 300 foot boardwalk was constructed for the set:

(video via youtube)

I wanted to know the magic and to be taken behind the scenes of Boardwalk Empire. Anthony adds, "If I would take you behind the magic that is 'Boardwalk Empire' the mystery would suffer.  The set designers made an exact replica of the 1920 Atlantic City Boardwalk down to the rust on the awnings outside of each building.  The costumes are vintage and copied exactly. The entire production is cared for like a new born baby and you see the magic unfold each Sunday night at 9 on HBO."  Well said, Mr. Laciura, tune in, but first see some costumes and set design images:

(photo credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO)

(photo credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO)

(photo credit: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO)
Thank you Anthony for a wonderful interview!

I look forward to watching you on "Boardwalk Empire"
when it returns for Season 3 in the Fall of 2012!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


QUENCH BRACEET #13063 (image via LIA SOPHIA)

Every Fashionista this Spring should be rockin' a bright color,
so why not the Lia Sophia Quench bracelet for only $58!!
This textured lime cutie is the right pop of color to any outfit!
Pair it with a cute bag or lime shoes, go for it!

If you are looking to do some Spring cleaning or need a MoD look for your home,
check out some fresh, bright and happy rooms with a pop of lime green below.
(Y'all must know by now that lime is my Fave color!)

Lime against white allows rooms to feel polished yet playful!
(image via Elle Decor)

From the living room image above, see your Sherwin Williams equivalent:


(image via Elle Decor)

From the white kitchen image above with interior lime accents,
see your Sherwin Williams equivalent:


Monday, May 14, 2012


Celeb/ TV Personality turns designer, REALLY?

 (image via HGTV)

HGTV'S Mom Caves surprises hardworking Moms with lavish makeovers where she can call one room in her house, a room that is totally her own, aka the "Mom Cave." I caught a clip for the premier of Mom Caves this past Saturday night and was totally confused!!! First, albeit amazing, how is a renovated family room and outdoor space considered a room only for Mom? And what does the beautiful and talented TV personality/model Beth O. Stern know about design? Okay, I get the collaboration with build designer Jared Walker Dostie for the HGTV show but it was uncomfortable watching Beth in the home furnishing store guiding the shopping and design process. What a great concept HGTV but I was very disappointed!

Sunday, May 13, 2012