Monday, April 7, 2014

"How to Be a Great Beauty" by Legendary Julie Newmar -- Live in L.A. on May 3rd

"HOW TO BE A GREAT BEAUTY" BY LEGENDARY JULIE NEWAR -- LIVE IN L.A. ON MAY 3rd -- There are very few women in Hollywood nowadays who are true living legends....and luckily for those of us here in Los Angeles, we'll be able to see one of the legendary beauties of stage, screen and television who'll be making a live appearance on Saturday, May 3rd at Goo Salon on North Fairfax Avenue. Julie Newmar has captivated us with her stunning looks, her lithe and leggy figure and her distinctive style of acting since she burst onto the scene at age 19 on Broadway. And all along the way, she has garnered a huge and devoted following (Studio of Style among them!) who just can't seem to get enough about her via her website or her blog Julie Newmar Writes. So it's practically a requirement for all us Julie fans to be on hand at Goo to hear her speak on -- what else? -- but "How to Be a Great Beauty." It's her first-ever appearance for this, so you'll get tips and advice first-hand from the legend herself! How fabulous is that, we ask? Says Ms. Newmar, "What is it to be a great beauty? And when is someone most beautiful? Let's discover answers together on how to be a great beauty -- even though you think you're not one." Now that is an invitation that one cannot refuse! Topics covered will include: Image ("By seeing the inherent beauty, intelligence and mastery in others, they will see it in you," says Ms. Newmar.); Voices ("You can't be beautiful if you don't sound beautiful."); Body ("Lift it -- give your head something to balance on...then breathe and smile."); Makeup (lots of tips and tricks!); Light ("All the great stars know where their light is coming from, no matter where they are."); Fashion ("The clothes don't enter the room...you do."); and much more ("If you don't have a three-way mirror, you shouldn't go out in public -- under any circumstances."). Wow! We LOVE this advice already! And on hand on at the May 3rd event will be Molly Scargall, a Vidal Sassoon-trained visionary and owner and founder of Goo who started the salon 15 years ago which has become a colorful fixture on the L.A. beauty scene. So, we'll see you there!!

A must read: www.julienewmar.com 
Goo Salon, 459 1/2 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles (323) 653-1299
Story written by Greg Firlotte / photo of Ms. Newmar seated by Harry Langdon

Monday, July 8, 2013

Peace & Love with Ringo Starr: Rock's Greatest Drummer Rocks On!

PEACE & LOVE WITH RINGO STARR: ROCK'S GREATEST DRUMMER ROCKS ON! -- The rock music world owes so much to Richard Starkey -- better known and beloved to millions for more than five decades as Ringo Starr.  This native of Liverpool, England came into our lives in 1962 as the drummer of the best band ever -- The Beatles -- but Mr. Starr went on to become a star in his own right, releasing solo albums (beginning in 1970) which unleashed a series of hit songs that remain popular to this day -- did you know that Ringo was the first solo Beatle to score seven consecutive Top 10 singles? And in the 1990s, he assembled the first of his All Starr bands, an act consisting of some of rock 'n roll's top musicians (Joe Walsh, Billy Preston, Jack Bruce, Peter Frampton, Greg Lake, Todd Rundgren -- and so many more over the years). With "Peace & Love" as his official mantra, Ringo continues to spread the word with his music and lovable presence.  But those in the know (which includes you -- our ever-stylish reader!) are well aware of Ringo's role in history of rock ' n roll music as the greatest drummer in the genre! Yes, it's so very true -- especially in a field which includes such amazing drummers as Ginger Baker (The Cream); Keith Moon (The Who); John Bonham (Led Zeppelin); and good ol' Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones!  Now that's quite a field of drummers -- but still, it was Ringo who actually changed the way rock music was played and heard on the drum set (or kit as it commonly known) -- yes indeed, kids! At the time that Ringo joined the Beatles in 1962, most drummers were playing in a style left over from the swing and jazz eras --and when rock 'n roll came along in the 1950s via Little Richard (the true King!) and Bill Haley, drummers had to take those previous styles and pump up the volume. And drummers back then dressed in suits, always stayed in the background and, most often than not, held their sticks in the traditional jazz/swing way: the left stick was held like a chopstick (think of military drummers beating an angled snare drum, and you'll see where this hand position originated).  Ringo, instead, held his sticks like flyswatters (technically called a "matched grip") which allowed him to really beat the rhythm out with full attack (not to mention giving his open high hat a thorough thrashing -- another distinctive Ringo technique!). As with all things Beatles, other drummers began to imitate Ringo and his style, which has become the standard for rock drumming since! Another Ringo first was elevating the drum kit on a riser -- so common in rock music acts today. But back in the day, drummers were supposed to be heard -- but not seen in those early days of rock 'n roll.  Can you imagine Elvis being outshone by his drummer being seen overhead? Never! But the Beatles were stars individually -- and Ringo's status in the band was equally elevated with his riser platform so that all those screaming girls could see his mop top swinging in time to the music. And then (this is the part where there is a big drum roll, please) came Ringo's groundbreaking drum work that actually made history in rock music. You see, as John Lennon and Paul McCartney began writing more and more songs leading up to the revolutionary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP released in 1967, the type of songs they were writing had no musical precedence -- and thus, Ringo was free to find a new way of playing drums to fit this new musical vocabulary.  In fact, if you listen to Beatles albums starting with 1966's Revolver and going forward, you'll hear how Ringo's drums become more and more prominent and integral with the music -- no longer just relegated to keeping a beat behind the guitars and keyboards. At long last, the drums are as musically important as the other instruments in many of the Beatles' tunes from that point on -- and Ringo led the way for other drummers to follow.  Ringo's reverse drum tracking (think Strawberry Fields Forever); lower drum tuning; muted bass/kick drum sound; interesting microphoning techniques; his prominent use of tom toms (think With A Little Help from My Friends and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, and George Harrison's Something, for example); Ringo's impeccable sense of tempo which can be matched with any metronome; his interesting time signatures and drum fills; and his commitment to Ludwig brand drums as his "official" sound makes Ringo Starr the top drummer of all time!  Ringo has superstyle that has endured the decades -- and we at Studio of Style give him a 21-drum salute!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Color Me Fabulous: The Magic of Cathy Provenzano in Beverly Hills

COLOR ME FABULOUS: THE MAGIC OF CATHY PROVENZANO IN BEVERLY HILLS -- She's been one of those best-kept secrets in Hollywood for many years -- and her work has turned heads around the world. And now you -- our ever-stylish readers -- are in on the secret....and her name is Cathy Provenzano (pictured above applying hair color). She wields her tint brush like a magic wand: applying just the right amount of color, dabbing here and there in only the perfect places, moving her hands and fingers as if weaving an elegant tapestry. And, indeed, she is! And throughout the process, Provenzano is making her celebrated clients feel completely at ease -- for they know that they'll always get exactly what they want from a lady who is always in demand. Though she originally hails from Michigan, Provenzano always knew that she'd be a part of Hollywood. "As a young girl, I'd beg my mother to get a subscription to the now-defunct Photoplay magazine," she tells Studio of Style in an exclusive interview, "and I lived for each and every issue to arrive in the mail so I could look at all the clothes, hair and jewelry of the stars." Finding her way from Michigan to Los Angeles, Provenzano attended the renowned Vidal Sassoon Academy and upon graduation landed a coveted assistant position at Sassoon's salon on Rodeo Drive smack dab in the middle of Beverly Hills -- and she was on her way! At the salon, she pursued being the best hair colorist possible and would provide color for Beverly Sassoon (Vidal's second wife, pictured upper right) and a host of celebrity clients including Yoko Ono (lower right) and Princess Margaret (center right) to name but a few. Nowadays, Provenzano is found creating her colorful magic as a senior colorist at Rossano Ferretti Hairspa in Beverly Hills where her clients include film industry writers, set decorators, studio executives, fashion editors and some of her longtime clients including actress Kelly Rowan (a client for 20 years, pictured at top left) and Beverly Hills power attorney Elyse R. Margolin (center) who is shown here working her iPad while Provenzano applies the color that Margolin absolutely loves (and has for 15 years!). Did you know that one of her clients drives in from Las Vegas...and another from Palm Springs -- they must have her special services! "Every head is different," says Provenzano, "and that means I never do the same thing everyday. What I learned from Sassoon was that to succeed, you have to practice your talent daily with dedication and hard work -- and that is a motto that I have lived by ever since I began working as a professional hair colorist." Hollywood dreams do come true...and Cathy Provenzano is living proof!
Book an appointment with Provenzano: (310) 598-6780
Photo of Provenzano by Greg Firlotte

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Living in Color: The Prismatic Perfection of Artist Jane Gottlieb

LIVING IN COLOR: THE PRISMATIC PERFECTION OF ARTIST JANE GOTTLIEB -- You can blame it on the Yucatan....gladly! For Santa Barbara, California artist Jane Gottlieb, a visit to the exotic Yucatan peninsula in eastern Mexico many years ago provided a colorful life-changing experience that would take her art in a direction from which she would never veer thereafter. "I was color-liberated during that trip!," says Gottlieb to Studio of Style. "Up to that Yucatan visit, I had always been in love with color, especially the palette used by the Fauvism artists of the early twentieth century. But when I saw the intense purples and magenta and other colors of the houses in Mexico, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my art and my life." In the years leading up to the Yucatan experience, Gottlieb had many years of art training and skills tucked neatly under her belt: she studied in Florence, Italy and went on to obtain her degree in painting and art history at UCLA where the faculty at the time included such art world notables as Richard Diebenkorn and William Brice. Later in New York City, she worked in the world of commercial photography alongside photo legends Francesco Scavullo and Sid Avery. Gottlieb's list of accomplishments continue to include a stint as art director at Warner Brothers -- and all along this journey she relentlessly honed her painting style which would lead to numerous solo and group exhibits worldwide. "When I returned from the Yucatan," Gottlieb tells Studio of Style, "the first thing I did was to paint my little house, then in West Los Angeles, bright purple, magenta, pink and turquoise -- inside and out. I was bold and undaunted regardless of what people thought. And over the years after painting four homes in this style, I've truly learned a lot about color, about living with color, about how a complete wall or a just a detail of color applied to an interior space can truly impact your life, attitude and spirit." And to further all of this, Gottlieb bought an Amazon parrot in vibrant yellow, chartreuse, blue and red -- and he loved being on her shoulder in her studio for many years which also inspired her to continue adding more and brighter colors to her palette. Her current home in Santa Barbara (shown above) is a 5,000-square-foot wonderland of color both inside and out. "I see them as three-dimensional art pieces," she says of her collection of homes over the years. "And I've always changed colors here and there to make them continually interesting." On Wednesday May 15, the works of Gottlieb are celebrated at the UCLA Anderson School of Management with a special reception in her honor. This exhibit entitled "Dreamscapes" features pieces from the artist's Monuments series, Joy Rides series and Lawnbowlers series -- all in vibrant colors, of course! "This exhibit will be up for ten years," says Gottlieb, "which means that I'll be able to touch and inspire visitors for a long, long time." So, yes, do blame it on Yucatan....and the Fauvists....and the Amazon parrot....and that sits just fine with Gottlieb whose pursuit of prismatic perfection is a joyous journey.
http://www.janegottlieb.com/
Images courtesy the artist

Rain, Rain, Come to Stay! Dornbracht debuts the Revolutionary Horizontal Shower

RAIN, RAIN, COME TO STAY! DORNBRACHT DEBUTS THE REVOLUTIONARY HORIZONTAL SHOWER -- We at Studio of Style just love the rain -- and we never seem to get enough of our share living here in Southern California. But thanks to the folks at Santa Monica-based Snyder Diamond who have been serving the L.A. area for 65 years, we can have lots of beautiful, glorious rain whenever we want! And all it takes is a revolution -- of the nicest kind! It's called the Horizontal Shower and it's from Dornbracht of Germany who continually bring the finest in fittings and accessories for the bath and kitchen -- and the Horizontal Shower is absolutely amazing! Not only is this system stunning to look at because of its six water "bars" recessed into the overhead shower field, or that it incorporates an eTool as the main operating element which allows for custom temperature, intensity and quantity settings and a range of pre-programmed "choreographies" (yes!) -- but it allows for the ultimate experience in showering possible: to recline and simply allow the healing properties of hydrotherapy to balance, energize and de-stress every single part of you that needs serenity, peace and wellness that comes with every rain shower -- love it! So if you are in need of one of those wonderful Vichy showers found in the finest European spas, the Horizontal Shower is the answer for delivering the most precious pampering experience possible. To which all we can say is aaaahhhhhh............
Available through Snyder Diamond: http://snyderdiamond.com 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Carry On and be Fabulous! A+D Museum Celebrates the Future of Carry-on Luggage


CARRY ON AND BE FABULOUS! A+D MUSEUM CELEBRATES THE FUTURE OF CARRY-ON LUGGAGE -- So, imagine yourself propelled into the future of intergalactic travel...and you don't have a thing to pack your space clothes into! Well, if you were among the hundreds of savvy L.A. insiders who attended the A+D Architecture and Design Museum gala "Celebrate: The Journey" this past Saturday night May 11 on Wilshire Boulevard, then you would have an amazing selection of "luggage" to choose from. The museum (which happens to be the only such national institution dedicated to architecture + design) brought together some of L.A.'s visionary design, architecture, artistic and clever thinkers to create carry-on items -- from suitcases to jetpacks, satchels, strap-ons and very unusual works to represent what future travelers might take with them when jaunting about the universe. And it was an eyeful, for sure! Participants included such luminaries as Kathyrn M. Ireland; Kelly Wearstler; Steven Ehrlich; Craig Hodgetts + Hsinming Fung; David Hertz (747 House); Eric Stultz; Trip Haenisch, Fitzsu; Dan Meis -- and attendees included AIA|LA President Scott Johnson; Deborah Sussman and Paul Prejza; Eames Demetrios; ICM’s Craig Bernstein; HBO’s Cynthia Kanner; industrial designers Carl Magnusson and Emanuela Frattini Magnusson; Catherine and Richard Frinier; Grant Seltzer; designer-developer Billy Lehman; gallerist Timothy Yarger and many, many more. The event was the A+D Museum's annual fundraiser and needless to say, a fabulous time was had by all! So many fun things to see and people to meet at the event: the origami-like tote "The Fold" by Karten : Design (above left) was a crowd-pleaser for sure; a two-piece set "Flight Patterns" (upper right) by Selbert Perkins Design clearly was a colorful ode to travel; a "flight attendant" and a guest in themed outfit (middle right) add all the more fun to the evening; hobo-like bags "Three Bindles" (middle right) by Paola Tassara for Studio Brasa; and the most unusual organic-shaped backpack "Piknik" in flesh pink by Karim Rashid drew its share of oohs and ahhs.
Photos by Greg Firlotte

Carry On and be Fabulous! A+D Museum Celebrates the Future of Carry-on Luggage


CARRY ON AND BE FABULOUS! A+D MUSEUM CELEBRATES THE FUTURE OF CARRY-ON LUGGAGE -- So, imagine yourself propelled into the future of intergalactic travel...and you don't have a thing to pack your space clothes into! Well, if you were among the hundreds of savvy L.A. insiders who attended the A+D Architecture and Design Museum gala "Celebrate: The Journey" this past Saturday night May 11 on Wilshire Boulevard, then you would have an amazing selection of "luggage" to choose from. The museum (which happens to be the only such national institution dedicated to architecture + design) brought together some of L.A.'s visionary design, architecture, artistic and clever thinkers to create carry-on items -- from suitcases to jetpacks, satchels, strap-ons and very unusual works to represent what future travelers might take with them when jaunting about the universe. And it was an eyeful, for sure! Participants included such luminaries as Kathyrn M. Ireland; Kelly Wearstler; Steven Ehrlich; Craig Hodgetts + Hsinming Fung; David Hertz (747 House); Eric Stultz; Trip Haenisch, Fitzsu; Dan Meis -- and attendees included AIA|LA President Scott Johnson; Deborah Sussman and Paul Prejza; Eames Demetrios; ICM’s Craig Bernstein; HBO’s Cynthia Kanner; industrial designers Carl Magnusson and Emanuela Frattini Magnusson; Catherine and Richard Frinier; Grant Seltzer; designer-developer Billy Lehman; gallerist Timothy Yarger and many, many more. The event was the A+D Museum's annual fundraiser and needless to say, a fabulous time was had by all! So many fun things to see and people to meet at the event: the amazing "Glamb" bag by FORM (above left) is a strap-on with many movable and interactive parts; Minarc Architects provided the most inventive and puzzling item, the conceptual "Aphorism: The Journey is the Reward" in ethereal materials (top left); and the glow-in-the dark mesh bag "Traveler's Cocoon" (center left) by Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design is sensational; and we love the colorful big stripe tote (bottom left) "Voyager Bag" by Kao Pao Shu; and then there is the transparent Lucite suitcase (bottom right) by Erica Islas that is clearly a fusion of vintage and futuristic -- and you gotta love that!
Photos by Greg Firlotte


Monday, April 22, 2013

Dinner is Served....in Coastal Eco-Friendly Style from Wabisabi Green!


DINNER IS SERVED...IN COASTAL ECO-FRIENDLY STYLE FROM WABISABI GREEN! -- We'd like to say that "she sells shells by the seashore," but that wouldn't be quite true -- however Jolee Pink does sell some fabulous eco-friendly home decor items from the seaside town of Encinitas, California through her company Wabisabi Green that she founded because of her love for the Pacific Ocean, its abundant sea life and the casual California coastal lifestyle that she enjoys to the max. Pink started her career as a graphic designer and eventually turned to working in clay as a way of expressing the natural environment in ceramic objects infused with a fun, organic appeal.  Around 2008 she began producing textiles for throw pillows which were designed especially for her modern ocean-themed living room which was featured in a prominent San Diego magazine.  It was only a natural next step for Pink to create more items for the home and garden -- including place mats, napkins, throw pillows, table runners and ceramic tile art, sculptures and outdoor art furniture. Pink uses GOTS soft organic cotton, soft and fluffy eco fiber that is 100% hypoallergenic and made from recycled plastic bottles rescued from landfills (brava Jolee!) and environmentally-safe water-based inks -- plus she purchases from U.S. based suppliers with a sustainable approach to manufacturing and all her products are handcrafted in Southern California. But what we like best are the bright colors, bold graphics and playful charm that conjures up the sea in a modern, yet timeless way! The napkins, place mats and runners shown here are among our favorites -- making us want to throw a seafood dinner party for no reason at all other than to just enjoy the vibrant designs that Pink has created.  Plus, the company sells reusable "paper" towels made from organic Fair Trade cotton in a fabulous seahorse design.  On top of all this, Pink is debuting her Living Coastal coffee table book this fall that features a blend of food from Southern California chefs with artists who collaborate on maritime-themed entertaining for both indoors and out -- including seafood recipes. Amazing for a lady who was simply in love with the sea and wanted to share this love with others.  Such is the power of a vision and a passion!
http://www.wabisabigreen.com
All images courtesy Wabisabi Green

Blue Lagoon: The Watery Hues of Glass from Murano, Italy

BLUE LAGOON: THE WATERY HUES OF GLASS FROM MURANO, ITALY -- People from around the world descend upon the island of Murano in the blue Venetian Lagoon for basically one thing: to acquire the sumptuously beautiful glass objects which have been crafted here for centuries -- and now, like then, each and every piece of glass is made completely by hand in the glorious tradition which has gone unchanged, much to the delight of everyone who owns these glass treasures from Murano. And thanks to YourMurano company, owners of Murano glass can be assured that their purchases are guaranteed the "Vetro Artistico Murano" mark of origin that is protected by Italian law.  The company's online store offers vases, centerpieces, goblets, sculptures, lighting, mirrors, jewelry, glassware and gifts -- in fact, something for everyone! If you love the ever-changing blue colors of the Adriatic Sea which surrounds Murano and Venice, then the wide array of water-hued glass from YourMurano provides many choices from the palest of aqua to rich cobalt to the multi-layered colors that reflect the ancient sea. Here are just some of the beautiful blue objects we found at YourMurano: A) Heart-shaped Campanellino pendant by Ercole Moretti with millefiori murrine; B) Mantegna aqua goblet with dolphin-shaped stem with gold leaf by Seguso Gianni -- bella!; C) a beautiful blue mirrored glass Ciottolino-T table lamp with tone-on-tone shade by Simone Cenedese; D) a lovely Goto Desio "goto di fornaso" glass by DIPI embellished with silver leaf and white and violet filaments with each one signed by the master glassmaker; and E) the Tarantula Nebula mother of pearl glass plate by Yalos Murano from the Nebulose Collection by Guido Ferro.
http://www.yourmurano.com/en/
Product images courtesy YourMurano

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Seeing is Believing: Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland in "End of the Rainbow"

SEEING IS BELIEVING: TRACIE BENNETT AS JUDY GARLAND IN "END OF THE RAINBOW" -- Yes, kids, the old addage is still true: seeing is believing -- and it's never been truer than in the hit London, Broadway and now Los Angeles production of "End of the Rainbow" starring the effervescent and irresistably lovable Tracie Bennett in a role that many would envy, but few could ever pull off with such conviction and aplomb. Currently playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown L.A. through April 21st, 2013 and presented by the Center Theatre Group, this musical play is a must-see! And when we at Studio of Style say that, we mean it!! Peppered with both adult language and sexual situations throughout, this play will jolt you into another realm regarding the tragic end of Garland's roller coaster career and relationships. The play is set in the Ritz Hotel in London in 1968 -- the year before she passed away from drug overdose in a rented house in Chelsea -- and the excellent supporting cast of Erik Heger (as Garland's last fiance/husband Mickey Deans), Michael Cumpsty (as Anthony, Garland's gay pianist and the only one with a level head on him) and Miles Anderson (playing multiple roles) all intertwine in a nonstop whirl of love, compassion, sympathy, sadness and the sense of the inevitable that hangs in the air throughout. Bennett's musical delivery and stance is without comparison, going between breathtaking and stunning -- in fact, one could close their eyes during the play's many numbers and swear that Garland was alive and well and performing right there and then! The spine-tingling delivery of "The Man That Got Away" (by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin) is so haunting and sung so powerfully by Bennett at the end of Act I that it, alone, is worth the entire price of admission! On top of that are so many more Garland chestnuts that you'll be toe-tapping all night as the play takes you from hotel suite to the Talk of the Town nightclub set in the blink of an eye in a wonderfully seamless production directed by the award-winning Terry Johnson -- and we can't forget that it is all the product of acclaimed playwright Peter Quilter. So, now all you need do is to catch this gem of a show before it ends its run in L.A. and prepare yourself for a magical night of theater, song and Garland, Garland, Garland! It will make a believer out of you!
http://endoftherainbowbroadway.com

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cities within a City: Discovering Palos Verdes, California with ICAA on April 6th

CITIES WITHIN A CITY: DISCOVERING PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA WITH ICAA ON APRIL 6th -- It's spectacularly beautiful on a verdant peninsula, quietly rich and mysterious even to residents of Los Angeles situated just miles to the north -- and now you have an opportunity to get a delightful insider's view of that "hill town" Palos Verdes thanks to the Southern California Chapter of Institute of Classical Architecture & Art on Saturday, April 6th 2013. Many people are somewhat surprised to hear that Palos Verdes Estates (as it is properly called) was one of the earliest master-planned communities in the U.S. -- and that it is the 81st richest town in America, not to mention that it is the 47th most expensive housing area in the U.S. as well! Which makes the tour, luncheon and presentation this coming Saturday by the ICAA a very special treat indeed for those who have always wondered just how this once-exclusive enclave (owned entirely by Frank A. Vanderlip and a consortium of his associates) was transformed acre by acre into the tony town that it is today. "Palos Verdes is a superb example of 20th century urban planning in the Beaux Arts tradition," notes ICAA Southern California Chapter board member Andrew Tullis. "The strength of the original plan by the Olmsted brothers -- Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and John C. Olmsted -- can still be seen today in much of the development of Palos Verdes and this tour will be seeing the best of it." This tour is the first in a series by ICAA titled "Cities within a City" which will focus on important historical towns, landmarks and architecture in and around the Los Angeles area -- an area that is absolutely rich with such, but all that will change as ICAA rolls out these tours over the coming year. "To have access to some of the grand homes in Palos Verdes by such noted architects as Olmsted, Myron Hunt, Frank Vanderlip and Gordon Kaufmann is a rarity," says Michael Grosswendt of All Coast Construction which is sponsoring the tour. "For anyone who has been inspired by this beautiful coastal city and its historic treasures, this tour will surpass expectations." The tour's starting place is, naturally, at one of the town's landmarks -- the public library (designed in 1930 by Myron Hunt) -- and then the tour continues onto the Neptune fountain (erected in 1930 in the town center) which is a replica of the famed La Fontana del Nettuno found in Bologna, Italy. From there, there are self-guided tours of gardens, interiors and studios which round out the day. This kind of opportunity to learn about a town's history is rare and getting inside the homes and gardens found in the beautiful, mysterious Palos Verdes is even rarer. Portuguese explorer Juan Cabrillo first caught glimpse of this breathtaking peninsula in 1542 while sailing the California coast -- and now you can discover Palos Verdes for yourself on April 6th -- sound like a plan?
Tour Info: http://www.classicist-socal.org./

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Other L.A.: The Historic Homes of Gerard Colcord

THE OTHER L.A.: THE HISTORIC HOMES OF GERARD COLCORD -- When one thinks of L.A. architecture, of course the mind automatically conjures up visions of Mid-Century Modern, Googie architecture, the Brady Bunch house and so many other 1950s and '60s-inspired structures -- and rightfully so, as the media has consistently brought such imagery repeatedly to the world. But before all of that came about, there were a handful of architects practicing in Los Angeles who created the built residential landscape in the 1920s through through the 1940s leading up the Mid-Century era -- architects such as Paul Williams (see home in the Gary Drake story shown below), Wallace Neff, Richard Neutra and many others with their grand designs of massive Georgian, Mediterranean and modern homes that were definitely designed to impress. Among this mix of early-to-mid 20th century architects was Gerard R. Colcord who -- from 1924 to 1984 -- created a staggering 300+ residential estates all throughout Southern California in styles ranging from Tudor to Country French, Hollywood Regency, Spanish Hacienda and his signature style: the Country Colonial farmhouse. Keep in mind that Mid-Century Modern was still to be realized and that the most popular reigning style of home at that time was based on the English Georgian aesthetic, both inside and out. And in L.A., the wealth created by folks in and around the film industry which was at its peak during those decades meant that a lot of big homes needed to be built for entertaining the Hollywood crowd in a grand manner. What author Bret Parsons did in the form of his book Colcord Home was to bring together the best of Colcord's projects (17 in all for this book) spanning the 1930s to the 1970s, using period architectural plans, photos (both old and new) and insightful quotes from those who've lived in these very homes -- check out the brick-festooned baronial English Tudor (center right photo) that was most recently owned by actor Nicolas Cage. For those interested in period interiors (albeit filtered through a Hollywood eye), this book is a mini-treasure trove of visuals showing furniture, wallcoverings, fabrics, architectural details and more. For those wondering what grand homes of pre-Mid-Century Modern L.A. looked like, then this cozy book (and we mean that in the best possible way) which debuted in 2008 will be a perfect companion to books on other L.A. architects practicing in the same time period. The majority of photos in the Colcord book are in black and white due to the fact that these are images taken at the time the homes were finished, but this lovely fact only adds to the Hollywood cinematic effect (oh, you can see one of the Colcord homes featured in this book in color in the 1998 film Gods and Monsters if you want a sense of its front and back exteriors and pool). We at Studio of Style anxiously await Parsons' next book!
Get the book: http://www.amazon.com/Colcord-Home-Bret-Parsons/dp/1883318882

Monday, March 18, 2013

Getting the Job Done in L.A.: Gary Drake is in the House -- Part I

GETTING THE JOB DONE IN L.A.: GARY DRAKE IS IN THE HOUSE -- The sound of jackhammer drills blasting away, Skil saws cutting wood, hammers pounding nails incessantly and large trucks coming and going all day long can drive some people to the breaking point -- but for Los Angeles general contractor Gary Drake of Gary Drake Construction, it's music to his ears. In fact, it's more like a symphony that tells him that things are getting done. And that is why Drake has been in demand as a GC for high-profile projects in and around Los Angeles for decades -- racking up a list of celebrity clientele and a host of powerful people who need construction work done for both new and renovated homes and commercial residential projects. But just ask the person on the street to name a general contractor and they might be stumped to come up with even one name -- but a person could easily name a well-known architect or interior designer on the other hand. What the lay person doesn't see is the process that happens in-between the architect designing a project and the interior designer decorating it's rooms -- and that is the realm of Drake who is most content to be in the midst of it all. "I basically do what the architects and interior designers ask," says Drake in a simple, straightforward manner, "but what happens on most every job are situations -- especially in renovations -- where new technology is being installed into older construction which would involve having to figure out where and when to remove or replace soffits, doors, walls and drop ceilings for example without sacrificing the aesthetics of the new space and integrity of the existing structure. This is where I can make suggestions and find solutions for both the architect and interior designer when such situations arise." For the 5,000-square-foot Brentwood, Los Angeles Colonial-style home shown here (designed by famed architect Paul Revere Williams in 1925),  Drake was part of a team that completely renovated the interiors to include a new kitchen and dining room, a second floor master suite, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and an amazing glass-covered atrium that was previously left open to the elements over the decades. "Among the challenges of working on such prestigious historical properties as this one," notes Drake, "is to make them look as though we didn't touch them, but instead improve upon what made them great in the first place and make them enjoyable for future generations."  (Story continues below)
Images courtesy Gary Drake Construction
Architecture: Perry Hill / Photography: Michael McCreary, Todd Young

Getting the Job Done in L.A.: Gary Drake is in the House (Part II)

GETTING THE JOB DONE IN L.A.: GARY DRAKE IS IN THE HOUSE -- One thing you can count on in Los Angeles: that something old will always be reinvented into something shiny and new. And that was exactly the fate of a modest ranch house (shown above) built in the 1950s in a picturesque section of town -- Runyon Canyon in the famed Hollywood Hills with its 160 acres of hiking trails complete with hills abundant in sage, scrub oaks, hawks, coyotes and snakes. The house had rather dark interiors, a burdensome steep roof line and mere uninspired glimpses of the dramatic scenery -- which was completely opposite of what the architect had in mind for the owner. The renovation team which included general contractor Gary Drake of Gary Drake Construction set about to give the owner and his guests stunning views at every turn. "We're bringing more of the outdoors in with our projects," says Drake. "The climate here is conducive to the indoor/outdoor lifestyle and entertainment areas are integrated extensions of the living and dining rooms. Complete walls of window doors retract and disappear into soffits -- and now this fifties-era house is modern once again." Everything about this house is streamline, including the furnishings, sitelines and pool area. "Los Angeles has a great architectural legacy, but most people aren't aware of it," notes Drake. "On many restoration and renovation projects, I've been asked to match vintage tiles, or wood moldings or other period design features, rather than remove them altogether because that is what gives a home its character. Sometimes I don't give myself enough credit for the role my firm plays in restoring L.A.'s historic properties -- like the 1926 Holmby Hills mansion originally designed by architect George Washington Smith that I worked on with architect Marc Appleton that was the setting for a fundraiser for President Obama." But that is why Drake truly enjoys his job -- because it provides the perfect opportunity to take an active role in the building and preservation of the L.A. landscape, albeit a role that most people will never know about except, that is, for his children. "I love to drive by a construction site and say to my children 'Daddy did that' which gives me a lot of satisfaction," says Drake. And don't forget the symphony of saws, hammers and drills to accompany all of it!
http://garydrakeconstruction.com
Images courtesy Gary Drake Construction
Architecture: M. Scott Carty / Photography: Michael McCreary

Pink Peonies & Benjamin Moore Paints: Blooming with Spring Color!

PINK PEONIES & BENJAMIN MOORE PAINTS: BLOOMING WITH SPRING COLOR!  Although the blooming season for peonies is but a short one, we at Studio of Style anticipate their arrival with such excitement! These magnificent showy flowers with their very delicate (and to us, intoxicating!) fragrance make for the most luscious floral arrangement that is sure to impress anyone (and why not keep a picturesque bouquet on your nightstand??) -- and we love the amazing range of colors as well, from pure whites to the absolute palest of pinks to crimson, ruby and even chocolate (yes, it's true!). And you probably know that peonies are very symbolic in both Chinese and Japanese cultures -- in fact, peonies were known as far back as 1000 BC in China and were put under imperial protection, commanding such huge prices that they were often part of a dowry settlement. And when these flowers reached Japan around the 8th century AD, horticulturists there began experimenting with both the look of the petal arrangement and grafting techniques for tree peonies (they grow on bushes and trees). Interestingly the word peony is neither Chinese nor Japanese in origin, but derived from Paeon (or Paean) -- Paeon was a student of the Ancient Greek god of medicine and healing Asclepius. You see, Asclepius became jealous of Paeon -- but master god Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into a peony! Oh, and did you know that there are more than 260 chemical compounds found in this species -- which explains why it has been used for medicinal and healing purposes by both Eastern and Western cultures.  But even though we are sad when peony blooming season goes, there is something we all can do to enjoy the idea of peonies surrounding us all year long: color your world with beautiful shades of peonies and other flowers using Benjamin Moore paint -- how simple and fabulous is that? Studio of Style began delving into all the wonderful variations of pinks that Benjamin Moore currently offers and we wanted to bring you just some of them. The company has been bringing us color upon color since 1883 when Mr. Benjamin Moore (yes, he was an actual person) and his brother Robert opened their first shop in Brooklyn, New York. The two men began with $2,000 and a product called "Moore's Prepared Calsom Finish" and a vision of excellence and quality in manufacturing. Fast-forward to the 20th century when Benjamin Moore was the first company to introduce a computer color matching system in 1982 which was actually a milestone in the paint world that until that time relied on paint chips for matching color! Ok -- so here are the peony-inspired colors (among so many) that we picked from the current palette at Benjamin Moore: (A) Pink Peony; (B) Pink Begonia; (C) Twilight Magenta; (D) Lilac Pink; (E) Bunny Nose Pink; (F) Exotic Fuchsia; (G) Rhododendron; (H) Raspberry Mousse; and (I) Easter Pink. Great, huh? You can get a 16-ounce can of paint for sampling which is enough to cover approximately two 4-foot x 4-foot areas -- or eight 2-foot x 2-foot areas with two coats of paint -- which means that you can try out Bunny Nose Pink in one room and, of course, Pink Peony in another...and Twilight Magenta in another. With so many floral shades to choose from at Benjamin Moore, it will always be Spring in every room of your house!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fabulous Style at a Fabulous Price: Meet Lulu & Georgia!

FABULOUS STYLE AT A FABULOUS PRICE: MEET LULU & GEORGIA!  Okay...so here's the story: Lulu is a globe-trotting romantic who feels most at home when she's jet-setting to exotic hideaways (sounds great to us!) and she appreciates vibrant hues and never leaves home without her five-inch heels. And then there's Georgia who's an extravagant hostess who loves browsing home decor shops and always has a vase of pink peonies on her bedside table (that sounds great too!!). Together, Lulu & Georgia offer a wonderful and colorful array of rugs, accessories, lighting, furniture, wall decor and one-of-a-kind items that are guaranteed to transform whatever area in your home or office that need a touch of style. And the online shopping experience is made easier by finding items sorted into categories of Bohemian, Coastal, Color Crush, Glamour Girl, Organic, Regency, Romantic, Vintage Eclectic and Girl on a Budget. So that means there's something for everyone! Lulu & Georgia is the chic brainchild of Los Angeles native Sara Sugarman who named the site after her grandfather Lou and her father George who have been a part of the L.A. design scene for decades and who have always served as inspirational role models to her. Ms. Sugarman's design saavy and her own globe-trotting adventures always turn up lots of great finds in interior furnishings, so it was a natural to share these finds with everyone else who loves all things fun and fabulous. So let's start shopping, okay? Here are just some of the many, many things at Lulu & Georgia that caught our eye: (1) Oversized Paisley Rug in aquamarine; (2) Copenhagen Tray in tangerine; (3) Quinlyn Rug in espresso bean; (4) Starlight Vases (5) Bangkok Pillow; (6) Ethel Armchair; (7) Capri Round Vase; (8) Sunkist Reversible Rug in papaya; (9) Cool Baishali Pillows; (10) Zigzag Pouf; (11) Cerulean Circle Lamp; and (12) Un Fuego Rug. Now that felt good, didn't it? We love shopping therapy!!
www.luluandgeorgia.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice: Modern Bite Takes the Cake (and more!) in L.A.

SUGAR, SPICE & EVERYTHING NICE: MODERN BITE TAKES THE CAKE (AND MORE!) IN L.A. -- Cakes, cookies, bars, cupcakes and bites -- oh my! How can you resist these modern gems shown here created by the dynamic duo of Daniel Shapiro and Greg Roth of Modern Bite in Los Angeles? You shouldn't! And we must say that we at Studio of Style have seen and tasted lots of confections here in the City of Angels...and nothing quite compares to the artful offerings this pair of fun-loving guys conjure up. They don't have a storefront, but they do have a nifty mail order service and they do lots of special events and holiday-themed items and gift packages (you gotta check out their blog to see the wide range of things they can create). Shapiro has been in love with baking since the age of 14 and Roth draws upon his fine art and architectural background -- and together they come up with interesting shapes, designs and colorways that are just a bit more interesting than what you'd find at your corner bakery. For cookies, the finished design is printed via a computer using edible inks on edible paper that then is applied via icing. The fondant cake designs are made using the company's specially-designed cutters and the finished product is certainly a labor of love, both visually and taste-wise: standard cake flavors include chocolate, vanilla, carrot, red velvet and salted caramel; and the frostings include chocolate, chocolate buttercream, cream cheese and vanilla buttercream. The cookies shown above are shortbread (yum!) and gourmet classics are offered as well: chocolate truffle, toffee peanut pretzel, pecan shortbread and much more! Numerous "bites" (lemon, cheesecake, mint brownies, etc) are available, plus cupcakes and bars such as blondies, raspberry struesel, Martha's Magic Bars (!!) and others round out the company's selections. As the saying goes, you eat with your eyes first -- which makes Modern Bite confections a visual feast! Did you know that the company was asked by the American Film Institute to create 3,300 cookies topped with edible posters of the most memorable films of Shirley MacLaine (we love her!) when she was bestowed AFI's Lifetime Achievement Award last June in Hollywood? Now, you gotta love that! Of course, custom creations are available and their gift box packaging is just as colorful as its delectable contents -- so satisfy that sweet tooth and your design sensibilities at the same time with treats from Modern Bite, okay?
Images courtesy Modern Bite / montage by Greg Firlotte

Monday, March 4, 2013

Your Invitation to the Dance: The Red Shoes with Moira Shearer

YOUR INVITATION TO THE DANCE: THE RED SHOES WITH MOIRA SHEARER -- Yes, it's all so Old School -- and it drips with luscious Technicolor from start to finish! But if there was one movie that we at Studio of Style could sit down with you and watch together, it would be this one from 1948: The Red Shoes. Arguably the best dance movie (ballet, that is) ever made, it has never had an equal, try as some have done recently to bring classical dance to the big screen (and, of course, we always applaud and encourage that).  Though based on Danish author Hans Christian Anderson's popular story, the film is really more of a thinly-disguised story of the real-life relationship between Russian ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev (founder of the Ballets Russes) and British ballerina Diana Gould (who would later become the wife of violinist Yehudi Menuhin). It's rather quite easy to connect all the dots to see just how The Red Shoes and Diaghilev's worlds intersect. All this aside, one cannot -- and we repeat, cannot -- take their eyes off the enchanting Moira Shearer (i.e. Diana Gould) in the lead role as the determined Victoria Page who comes under the spell (or clutches) of Russian impresario Boris Lermontov (i.e. Diaghilev) -- played by the truly underrated Austrian Anton Walbrook who delivers the pitch-perfect performance of a cruel taskmaster with every deliberate spoken syllable and hand gesture (just watch him!).  Sumptuous color, scenery and costumes throughout, glimpes of vintange London, Paris and particularly Monte Carlo (that scene of Shearer in the blue gown ascending the staircase of the mansion high above the Mediterranean will send cinematic shivers up your spine).  The centerpiece of the film is the fantasy title dance sequence that transcends mere dance to become another art form altogether. It will spellbind you with Shearer's dancing as well as that of supporting cast members Leonide Massine and Robert Helpmann (who were both big stars in ballet at the time) and so many more talents -- all under the immaculate direction and production of the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A restored version of The Red Shoes (seven years in the making) made its debut at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival -- and it has been cited by many a filmmaker -- such as Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma -- as an all-time favorite. Oh, and it was ranked #9 on the British Film Institute's Top 100 British films of the 20th century. So, go on, just lose yourself some night in the colorful world of ballet from yesteryear -- accompanied by lots of ice cold champagne -- and let your spirits dance!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Destination Tokyo: Christian Dada Delivers Modern Classic Style

DESTINATION TOKYO: CHRISTIAN DADA DELIVERS MODERN CLASSIC STYLE -- Japan is hot -- especially in the winter!! That's because Mercedes Benz Fashion Week takes place in February (in fact, it's going on right now!) and there is so much fabulous fashion to see that we hardly know where to begin to tell you (but do check out the link below for yourself and get in on the excitement, okay?). Among the 40+ design houses being shown this week in Tokyo is the brand Christian Dada which is the brainchild of Masanori Morikawa (top center photo) who is among the rising stars in the Land of the Rising Sun -- and we wanted to share this with you -- our stylish reader who is always in the know about everything that is worth knowing about! When you go to the Christian Dada site, you'll notice that almost everything in this collection is sold out!!! And we can understand why -- because Morikawa has that unmistakable sense of knowing how to put together ensembles in the most classic of combinations of color palettes and materials to put his own spin on clothing that spans numerous decades of fashion influences that are strong and very wearable! Morikawa (after being a personal assistant at Charles Anastase in Paris) launched his own menswear collection in Japan for the 2010 Autumn/Winter season and has gone on to create two outfits for Lady Gaga, as well as launching a women's collection. We at Studio of Style just love everything he puts his hand to -- such as the embossed leathers, diamond quilting and the biker jacket look -- and we certainly wish him much success at Fashion Week in Tokyo (and we wish we were there right now to cheer him on). And, of course, we wish we were wearing that embossed leather hat of his -- how fabulous is that?
See More: http://www.christiandada.jp/
MBFashionWeek: http://tokyo-mbfashionweek.com/en/
Images courtesy Christian Dada

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Classic Cool: The Iron X Chair by William Haines

CLASSIC COOL: THE IRON X CHAIR BY WILLIAM HAINES -- We at Studio of Style just love to wax poetic about anything and everything that evokes the cool and sophisticated vibe of living in California -- and the X Chair takes the cake (and you can put a cherry on top of that too!).  Originally designed by Hollywood actor-turned-interior-and-furniture designer William Haines for award-winning movie mogul Mervyn Leroy (who discovered Clark Gable, Loretta Young and Lana Turner!) and his wife Kitty for their Bel Air, California sunroom lanai, this chair is fashioned from iron and shown here in a powder-coated white finish for outdoor use year-round in the glorious California climate. But it works just as fabulously indoors as well. And we love the raspberry Sarong texile from F. Schumacher shown here that gives this chair an exotic flair -- don't you agree? We suggest you visit the William Haines site and get to know all about this dramatically talented man who was so well-loved by the Hollywood crowd and the Nancy Reagan White House set too -- and everyone one in-between, because you never know when you'll be at some swell soiree in Hollywood and find yourself sitting on a Haines original piece and you can become the hit of the party with your insider info about Haines and his place in the California design spectrum. How cool would that be?
William Haines furniture:  http://www.williamhaines.com/

Kim Novak in Hitchcock's Vertigo: Still Fabulous After All These Years!

KIM NOVAK IN HITCHCOCK'S VERTIGO: STILL FABULOUS AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!  Wow! Just when we thought we'd seen (and got to know) all the classic Alfred Hitchcock films, Studio of Style was thoroughly excited about the one Hitch film that has so much still going for it: Vertigo.  Filmed in 1957 San Francisco, Vertigo captures The City by the Bay in a moment of time that will never come again: a gleaming white city that is sunlit and blue by day -- and glowing so beautifully in the afternoon sun (such as the scene beneath the Golden Gate Bridge) -- and then twinkling under the cover of darkness and looking so silent and grand during twilight (but then, Hitchcock always had a way with portraying cities, towns and landmarks that forever etches their essences in one's mind!). But the one object that the viewer cannot take their eyes away from is the sensational award-winning actress Kim Novak in her at-turns mysterious/sexy/sad/fragile dual character Madeleine Elster and Judy Barton who drives co-star and romantic interest James Stewart (shown in middle right photo) madly in love with the platinum blonde Novak (and what red-blooded male wouldn't be??). Keep in mind that Novak's character is actually a small-town girl portraying a sophisticated city lady who tries to convince Stewart that she is his best friend's slowly-going-mad wife -- whew! Keeping all this in check by using body language, gestures and carefully-cultivated words would be a feat for any actress -- but Novak pulls it off with amazing grace and composure and believability -- and we, the audience are taken along for a ride that has a lot of twists and turns, for sure. Vertigo was released in 1958 to a wide range of mixed reviews, surprising by today's opinion of the film as a classic -- many a critic thought it too long, too complex, too slow -- but the (now defunct) Los Angeles Examiner and The New York Times both wrote rave reviews and subsequently the film has been reevaluated and recognized for its place in cinema history -- and Novak would eventually receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6332 Hollywood Boulevard) and then leave her handprints and footprints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater, also on Hollywood Boulevard. (Oh, and did we mention the fabulous wardrobe designed by Edith Head -- that famous gray tweed suit worn by Novak!) As for the locations shown in the film, you can actually still see or go to the site of many of them in San Francisco and parts around the Bay Area in Pebble Beach, Route 101 through the eucalpytus grove (one of our favorite drives!!), Mission San Jaun Bautista, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Muir Woods and other locales. And yes, we know that Hitchcock had a host of fair-haired ladies in his films -- Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Doris Day, Tippi Hedren, Joan Fontaine, Eva Marie Saint, Marlene Dietrich and Janet Leigh -- but Kim Novak completely steals our heart with her sensuous and timeless performance found in Vertigo.  What a lovely film to visit -- the next time you want to go to San Francisco!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spring is Here....and It's Sexy and Stylish with Crumpet Cashmere!

SPRING IS HERE...AND IT'S SEXY AND STYLISH WITH CRUMPET CASHMERE!  Winter be gone!!! As far as we're concerned at Studio of Style, Spring is already here thanks to Crumpet of England and their incredibly soft and light and airy collection of cashmere tops that are absolutely fabulous! Whether it's layered over other items or stand-alone with simply a pair of jeans, you can't go wrong with sexy cashmere. You'll look hot (and be as cool as a cucumber) in the Blazing Yellow Flared Sweater (bottom right) or the midriff-baring Pastel Mixed Leopard Cropped Cardi (top right) that will have heads turning wherever you go.  And we just can't say enough about the Tie Dye Sweatshirt (top left) in teal and white that is hottest thing in modern retro! And the Mesh Knit Crew (bottom left) will make every girl pretty in pink, for sure! In addition to these items, the Spring/Summer 2013 collection from Crumpet also has playful prints that are hand-printed onto cashmere, as well as luxury silks, cottons and fine merino wool staples that can be mixed up a number of ways to create your own signature style -- we love that!! And, they've got a white lace-back blouse that is something else -- and a sunset-colored dip-dye scarf in cashmere and silk, plus a two-tone skater skirt. So if you're tired of ol' man Winter, then say hello to Spring right now and get in on the fabulous cashmere fashion from Crumpet!
Check it out:  http://www.crumpetengland.com/
Images courtesy Crumpet Cashmere

Monday, February 11, 2013

A World of Stylish New Table Lamps from Lladró -- Brilliant!

A WORLD OF STYLISH NEW TABLE LAMPS FROM LLADRO -- BRILLIANT!  At Studio of Style, we like to think of table lamps as a good friend -- a friend that has character and a unique sense of individual style (not to mention a joy to look at and always have around!).  Well, we can certainly say that we consider the new collection of table lamps from Spanish porcelain manufacturer Lladró as having all these characteristics -- and more! Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Lladró is one of the most famous porcelain houses of the 20th century -- and many people love the company for its wonderful, highly-detailed sculptures.  And now, the newest collection of table lamps can add even more warmth and style to a room (along with the company's collection of chandeliers, wall lamps and hanging lamps) with the comfort of light. Imagine -- if you will -- as the sun goes down, you draw the drapes, turn on your lamp, nestle into a comfortable chair with a cocktail or glass of wine -- and your favorite book, of course! We love the beautifully-executed Attentive Greyhound (by artist José Luis Santes) and the resplendent Siamese Elephant (by artist Antonio Ballester) as well as the graceful Bali Dancer with her expressive hands and the pensive Scientia sculpted man (by artist Ernest Massuet) atop a base of mathematical equations. So why have just an ordinary lamp, when you can have a work of art that brightens your room and your life? (Check out our June 25, 2012 post on Lladró pieces also!)
See the collection:  http://www.lladro.com/
Images courtesy Lladró

Saturday, February 9, 2013

California Dreamin' (Part I) -- The Lure of Sunshine & Vintage Travel Posters

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' (PART I) -- THE LURE OF SUNSHINE & VINTAGE TRAVEL POSTERS: There was a time when people flocked to the offices of travel agencies (seeing as how there weren't personal computers or the internet back in the 1950s and '60s) and all about them were large and gloriously bold travel posters covering the travel agency walls -- each one enticing prospective travelers with their colorful promises of adventure, exotic delights and most of all: lots and lots of sunshine and beautiful people. A handful of poster artists created this tempting world that just couldn't be resisted -- artists such as Bob Smith and his many posters for the now-defunct TWA airlines (shown above) and Stan Galli who designed sun-soaked gems for United Airlines (shown at lower right).  Smith and Galli, along with other artists David Klein and a gentleman simply known as Boyle, actually created perceptions of what travel destinations would be like by the way in which they portrayed the locales -- using bright Impressionistic and Fauve-inspired colors, iconic imagery such as historic sites, smiling people and idyllic landscapes, plus simple but dramatic illustrative renderings that capture the essence of the destinations with the most basic shapes and compositions -- after all, these posters were meant to be appreciated from afar in their travel agency settings or airport terminals -- thus details are not of as much importance as the overall scheme.  But therein lies the inherent beauty of vintage travel posters -- they evoke a time and place....and a feeling that there are indeed places so beautiful and transformative that they must be had.  And so, back in the day, travelers flocked to such sunny climes as Southern California in search of fun under the lemon-yellow skies of L.A., Hollywood and all parts surrounding them: the beaches, the Spanish missions, the groves of oranges and of course anyplace filled with that most important of element for travel destinations and travel posters: palm trees (as witnessed in the two posters shown above). Though posters no longer hold a special place in promoting the travel industry as they once did, they certainly hold a special place in the visual history of illustrative art for sure. So, if you're yearning for a sun-filled vacation while still staying at home, there's nothing like fabulous vintage travel poster to take you to another time and place....

Sunday, January 27, 2013

LA Art Show 2013: Celebrating 18 Years of Presenting Amazing Art

LA ART SHOW 2013: CELEBRATING 18 YEARS OF PRESENTING AMAZING ART -- Pop! Crackle! Sizzle! It was truly an eyeful of imagery! The 18th Annual Los Angeles Art Show, presented by The Palm Beach Show Group at the Los Angeles Convention Center January 24 - 27, 2013 has always been one of those must-see events when it comes to town -- and for good reason. Whatever your art inclinations, there was something for everyone, so that means there was aisle after aisle of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, art installations and so much more (see two related stories posted below). Not only were there premium galleries represented from the U.S. and Europe, but a gathering of Asian galleries from China, Korea and Japan added to the truly international array of works to see and appreciate. And, of course, there was style -- and lots of it! Some of the many things that caught our eye: the super-sexy "Kate Moss" (above center) a 2012 original silkscreen with hand-painting by Mr. Brainwash (né Thierry Guetta) shown by Denis Bloch Fine Art; a detail (top left) of a vibrant Davyd Whaley painting shown by Galerie Michael; one of our favorite pieces of art from Japan -- an electric fruit bowl print (bottom left) by the  highly original artist and writer Yayoi Kusama shown by Watanabe Fine Art of Osaka, Japan; the colorfully striking "Untitled (Gold Face Elvis)" at lower left -- a 2012 silkscreen on canvas by Ron English shown by Rosenbaum Contemporary; and one of twelve lithograph posters (middle right) titled "A Spectacle and Nothing Strange" by L.A.-based artist Eve Fowler using text from Gertrude Stein's 1914 book Tender Buttons -- curated by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts of Los Angeles as part of the special exhibition "Letters from Los Angeles".

LA Art Show:  http://www.laartshow.com/
Denis Bloch Fine Art:  http://denisbloch.com/
Watanabe Fine Art:  
http://www.watanabe-fineart.com/
Galerie Michael:  http://galeriemichael.com/
Rosenbaum Contemporary:  http://www.rosenbaumcontemporary.com/
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts:  http://www.jackrutbergfinearts.com/ 

Show photos by Greg Firlotte

LA Art Show 2013: Celebrating 18 Years of Presenting Amazing Art

LA ART SHOW 2013: CELEBRATING 18 YEARS OF PRESENTING AMAZING ART -- The 18th Annual Los Angeles Art Show, presented by The Palm Beach Show Group at the Los Angeles Convention Center, has brought the world of the arts to the doorsteps of Angelino citizens -- there is so much to see and do, learn about and explore in the realms of historic, modern and contemporary art that one's head is turning at every aisle intersection to take in the colors, mediums and range of pieces being displayed. One of the best aspects of the show is the participation of galleries from China, Korea and Japan which alerts us here in L.A. about what is going on across the great Pacific and finally see up close and personal what the booming Asian art market is all about. At every turn, there is so much to see -- and just some of the highlights for us here at Studio of Style: A -- the gargantuan photo display by artist Alex Guofeng Cao at Guy Hepner Gallery in West Hollywood, California; B -- a new series of Diamond Dust Prints by Shepard Fairey unveiled at the Paul Stolper Gallery booth; C -- a pair of blue chip paintings by Joan Miró as featured at Galerie Michael of Beverly Hills; D -- a large sculpture by artist Tilt represented by Fabien Castanier Gallery; E -- a pair of Andy Warhol works and a Damien Hirst skull; and F -- a graffiti-like 1992 lithograph by late actor/artist Dennis Hopper shown as part of an exhibit "Letters from Los Angeles" which was organized by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts of Los Angeles.

LA Art Show:  http://www.laartshow.com/
Guy Hepner:  http://www.guyhepner.com/
Paul Stolper:  http://www.paulstolper.com/
Galerie Michael:  http://galeriemichael.com/
Fabien Castanier:  http://castaniergallery.com/
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts:  http://www.jackrutbergfinearts.com/ 
Show photos by Greg Firlotte