Tuesday, August 10, 2021


NEW OLD SCHOOL POETRY: "GILDED SUMMER" BY GREGORY JOSEPH FIRLOTTE -- It's OG and Maine-born poet Gregory Joseph Firlotte is proud of it. With this -- his second tome of poetry -- the 74 poems in Gilded Summer depict another place, another world, another time. With subjects ranging from the natural settings of meadows, fields, woodlands, the coast, flowers and being at a lakeside camp to inner worlds where love, hope and dreams reside, these poems create a landscape of emotions and visions that often venture into surreal and metaphysical realms in depicting summertime from a bygone era -- alluding to a time known as the Gilded Age leading into America's twentieth century. The effects of the Gilded Age on society, the arts, fashion, entertainment and lavish lifestyles spilled over into the start of this new century like a lingering dream that was too fragile, too ethereal to last for long. It is this "in-between" time period that has always fascinated the author -- a result of hearing the many stories of his maternal grandmother when he was a young boy -- inspiring him to create these poems in a flowing stream of consciousness blend of the dreamlike and timeless. Throughout are vintage black and white photographs from the author's collection that complement many of the poems, capturing the feeling, places and geography of New England environs which are integral components of Firlotte's romantic style. And along this poetic journey, the New England landscape eventually transforms into one from ancient Greece in the book's final poem "At the Table of the Muses." Firlotte is hoping that the poems and images in Gilded Summer might convince the reader that time travel really does exist – and if not forever, then perhaps it just might exist for at least a few hazy, sun-filled hours or a candlelit night somewhere between here and one's dreams. It's cool to be Old School. Available in paperback or ebook.

Get this book: https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Summer-Poetry-Gregory-Firlotte/dp/B0948JWX4V

#summer #love #poetry #believe #Maine #poems #books

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


EMPOWERMENT OF HANDMADE SOAPS FROM MAINE: CASCO BAY SOAP CO. -- Shannon Grauer has spunk and grit -- two qualities one needs when being an entrepreneur in the State of Maine. Her vision of making the best soap possible never wavered since she began her journey back in 2005. At first (and like most businesses), it began as a hobby using the terms handmade, old-fashioned, small batch and artisan as her guides. After leaving the corporate world behind and trying her hand at other things (she loves to bake, sew, knit, make paper, jewelry and stained glass art), it was making soap that really became her calling card. She made the rounds at farmers markets, fairs and craft shows and now creates a world of fragranced soaps from her headquarters in picturesque Harpswell on a "neck" of land that juts out into Casco Bay in the Gulf of Maine. As Studio of Style can testify, these soaps are truly the essence of Maine with scents that evoke the land and sea. Grauer says her products are "reminiscent of time well spent, days enjoyed by the Maine seashore, by the lake and in our woods." Ayuh, as the locals would say!

Get these soaps: https://www.cascobaysoap.com/

#cascobaysoap #soapfrommaine #mainesoap #mainemade207 #newenglandmade #soap #handmadesoap #mainelife #maine #coastalliving #my207 #craftbusiness #livelovelocal #smallbusiness #handcraftedsoap #buyhandmade #artisansoap #artisan #coldprocess #makersofinstagram #bathandbody #shopmaine #creativelife #mainemade #supportsmallbusiness #buyhomemade #womenowned #soapart #keepitlocal

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


HIGH STYLE -- JUST IN TIME FOR 420! GLAM WALLCOVERING THAT CELEBRATES CANNABIS! -- Oh my...how decorating for home has changed. And thanks to the two high-energy founders of Londubh Studio in Los Angeles (Lisa Donohoe and Brynn Gelbard), the wallcovering stakes just got higher! With its base of shimmering gold mylar, "High Style" with its cannabis symbology (shown here in two colorways) will certainly light up any room -- be it in a residence or a commercial installation. Can you imagine the possibilities? This introduction represents Londubh's first collaboration with Circa Wallcovering -- and their first foray into this extremely popular category. In addition to "High Style," one will also find "Enlightenment" (we can all use that, for sure) which is a '70s psychedelia tribute to magic mushrooms -- fab! Soon, four more designs will be released as well. Says Donohoe and Gelbard collectively, "We're not aiming for the perpetual minimalist. We dedicate this collection to those emerging from this monumental time with a renewed fervor for seizing the moment and making a statement." Yes! As for inspiration? Says Gelbard, "We regularly disappear into nature to get quiet, connect with our hearts and call in designs. Our best visions never come when we sit down with a cup of coffee and a pencil at nine in the morning. They're birthed from a spirit we share of wanting to celebrate life, our mutual abandonment of societal expectations if they don't help us manifest our dreams, and our shared conviction that more is indeed more when it comes to the decorative canvas and its ability to fuel us to live our best lives." So there you have it! Why not celebrate as well and let loose with style -- high style, that is!

Photos: Dusti Cunningham / courtesy Londubh Studio
#420 #wallcoverings #weed #cannabis #wallpaper #londubhstudio #glam #design #interiordesign

Monday, April 19, 2021

Want Mediterranean? Assouline has got it covered!

WANT MEDITERRANEAN? ASSOULINE HAS GOT IT COVERED! -- If you're like us at Studio of Style, then you can't get enough of anything Mediterranean -- be it food, music, style and that oh-so-wonderful sun-drenched vibe unlike anywhere else on the globe. Luckily, you can go there anytime of the day or night or season because a collection of oversized (and hefty) books from Assouline will take care of your fix. They weigh in from five to six pounds each (yes!) and the deluxe paper, cloth-bound embossed covers and the glorious photos and smart text will send you into book heaven. And you must -- and this is a real must -- order the gift wrapping, wax seal and note card, okay? Even if it's for yourself, do splurge on this extra treat -- and write a fun note to yourself! The collection is (from west to east): Marrakech; Ibiza; St. Tropez; Provence; Capri; Amalfi Coast; Mykonos and Athens Riviera. As books go, these are a true value and something that you'll treasure always -- trust us on this one! Order them all and take a trip across the Mediterranean -- you'll want to pour a glass (or two) of vino or ouzo and whip up a plate of olives, cheese, antipasto or pita bread to take you further into your sea-born journey that is truly timeless. All there is left to say is Bon Voyage!

Get these books: www.assouline.com
All images courtesy Assouline
#assouline #books #mediterranean #style #travel #fun #glamour #capri #sttropez #mykonos #amalfi #france #italy #greece #provence 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Magic of Malachite and Gold: Kimberly McDonald for Circa Wallcovering!

THE MAGIC OF MALACHITE AND GOLD: KIMBERLY McDONALD FOR CIRCA WALLCOVERING! -- We just love, love, love malachite everything! And when acclaimed jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald teamed up with West Hollywood-based Circa Wallcovering, a sort of magic happened in that the magnificent natural stones so beloved and celebrated by McDonald in her amazing jewelry were transformed into wallcoverings. But not just any wallcoverings, mind you. We're talking about true luxe wallcoverings printed on heavyweight shiny Mylar...and they are made in Los Angeles using a zero-VOC UV process with non-toxic inks. And the most important thing to keep in mind is that McDonald's "Glam Rock Malachite" design shown here is the only luxe malachite and gold wallcovering in the entire marketplace. How cool is that? So, why not surround yourself in the beauty of this most fascinating gemstone? And you get the eternal beauty of gold along with it, too! Oh...did you know that this wallcovering is printed at a generous 49 inches wide -- which means that you get almost twice the amount per yard than standard width wallcoverings? And while you're at the Circa Wallcovering site, be sure to check out McDonald's other gemstone-inspired designs. There's truly something for every gem lover.

Top photo: courtesy Kimberly McDonald 
Bottom photos: Gregory Firlotte
#kimberlymcdonald #wallcoverings #wallpaper #gemstones #jewelry #malachite

Friday, November 18, 2016

Oh What A Night! Jennifer Garner Honored at Fifth Annual Baby2Baby Gala

OH WHAT A NIGHT! JENNIFER GARNER HONORED AT FIFTH ANNUAL BABY2BABY GALA -- Yes, indeed! This was an absolutely star-studded event held November 12, 2016 in Culver City, California where just about everyone turned out for the fifth annual Baby2Baby Gala which honored superstar actress Jennifer Garner with "The Giving Tree Award" for her commitment to low-income children. And not only that, but the amazing Boyz II Men performed as well! In a powerful acceptance speech (which resulted in a standing ovation!) Jennifer Garner explained, “But truly, imagine not having the option of making your child comfortable – imagine living in a life of poverty that seems to have no way out. You don’t have to imagine it – follow Baby2baby’s case workers back to where they are making donations, to any of the number of shelters, to Save the Children’s programs in Central Valley, California. Once you see the way our neighbors are living, you can’t unsee it, I can promise you that.” Wow! Thank you, Jennifer! Boyz II Men performed -- bringing down the house, of course! But it was really all about the Baby2Baby cause of supporting low-income children with distribution of millions of diapers, clothing, cribs and so many more necessities that brought everyone together that night. Among those, from top: the legend himself Stevie Wonder with Garner; and actresses Jenna Dewan Tatum and Jessica Alba having fun with roses distributed by Boyz II Men.

Photos by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby
More about Baby2Baby: http://baby2baby.org/

In Her Own Words: Amazing Hollywood Memories with Tippi Hedren's New Book

IN HER OWN WORDS: AMAZING HOLLYWOOD MEMORIES WITH TIPPI HEDREN'S NEW BOOK -- Now you can read all about it! And it's directly from the beautiful source: legendary actress Tipi Hedren. At the November 13, 2016 exclusive gathering at the famed Hollywood Museum (in the equally-famed Max Factor building in Hollywood), Ms. Hedren greeted an array of friends and celebrities who came to share in the celebration of the book "TIPPI". And what a celebration it was! Just some of the well-wishers included, from top: Donelle Dadigan, President and Founder of the Hollywood Museum; the always-beautiful Barbara Eden; and in bottom photo from left to right, daytime TV divas Patrika Darbo (The Bay), Kate Linder (The Young and The Restless), Hedren, Carolyn Hennesy (General Hospital), and Jacee Jule (Days of Our Lives). Did you know that Ms. Hedren has more than 85 silver screen credits? Or that she once dreamed of becoming a figure skater? Or that she became the Godmother of the modern Vietnamese nail industry? And, of course, that she created the ROAR Foundation and the Shambala Preserve which is now her passion? As far as the Hollywood Museum, did you know that you can see 10,000 authentic (!) show business treasures spanning more than 100 years of Hollywood history? Yes -- it's all wonderful and fabulous in Hollywood -- which is why Studio of Style has always said "Hooray for Hollywood!". And so should you, our stylish and savvy reader!!

Photos by Bill Dow
More about Hollywood Museumhttp://thehollywoodmuseum.com/
More about Tippi Hedren and Shambalahttp://www.shambala.org/
Photo collage by Greg Firlotte

Monday, August 11, 2014

Is She or Isn't She? Diane de Poitiers Drank Too Much Gold!

IS SHE OR ISN'T SHE? DIANE DE POITIERS DRANK TOO MUCH GOLD!  We have a mystery on our hands, kids.  For centuries, this 1571 painting Dame au Bain (Lady in the Bath) by François Clouet was believed to be a portrait of the famed beauty Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henry II of France.  However, since Poitiers died in 1566 by drinking too much gold (yes! more on that later), it has been speculated that this portrait may be of two other powerful ladies of the time: Mary, Queen of Scots or Marie Touchet, mistress to King Charles IX (Henry's son).  But when you view other portraits of Poitiers, you see an uncanny resemblance, leading one to believe that Dame au Bain could very well be a post-mortem tribute to Poitiers, such was her power and influence during the reign of Henry II.  (Of interest is the fact that only two signed paintings by Clouet are known to exist, including this one -- and Dame au Bain is generally regarded as a great masterpiece of the French Renaissance.  Hey, we would have sign them all so that someone would know how much talent we had!) Back to Diane, though.  So powerful, educated, influential and beloved was she, that she often signed Henry's offical letters for him: "HenriDiane" as one name -- much to the disapproval of Henry's wife Catherine de Medici (now there's a lady not to have fooled around with).  Drinking liquid gold was a beauty treatment among the wealthy women of the day (you'd have to be wealthy to drink the stuff) -- and unfortunately for Poitiers, she consumed way too much of it.  In fact, a present-day autopsy revealed extremely high levels of gold in her hair and throughout her body.  So, if you want to see this lady (whoever she is) up close and personal, you can view the painting (which was inspired and influenced by Da Vinci, Titian and Bronzino) at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Crazy for Cabana! Those Sexy Men in Those Sexy Swim Ensembles!

CRAZY FOR CABANA! THOSE SEXY MEN IN THOSE SEXY SWIM ENSEMBLES!  Tall glasses of cool, highly alcoholic drinks in hand were de rigueur for those incredibly handsome men and women who whiled away the hours having fun under the sun on sporty yachts, or by kidney-bean-shaped pools -- back in the fabulous 1950s when men actually vied to look as fashionable as their female counterparts in those smart and sexy cabana sets! Matching boxer shorts (trunks) and tops (shirts) were absolutely cool gear for guys during those hot days when next-to-nothing was all that men and women wanted to wear.  The king of cabana sets was American swimwear manufacturer Jantzen, as witnessed in the photo (top) and advertisement (bottom right) with outfits rendered in Hawaiian prints and manly plaids. Even Simplicity sewing patterns (bottom left) offered home sewers a way to create their own terrycloth-lined cabana sets for the men in their lives.  And we absolutely love the matching his and her swimsuits shown above -- alerting everyone on board just who belongs to who when wearing these sexy, snappy suits!! Rival swimsuit manufacturer Catalina called their version of cabana outfits "sports sets"; and men's clothing manufacturer McGregor dubbed theirs as "sun sets."  Call them what you will, but do call us the next time you see a handsome hunk wearing a set of these, okay?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Never Compromise Yourself: Janis Joplin Still Rocks our World

NEVER COMPROMISE YOURSELF: JANIS JOPLIN STILL ROCKS OUR WORLD -- "Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got," singer Janis Joplin once said. And if anything can be said about this most original of style originals, this would be it.  We're gonna skip all the cliches, the stuff about the drugs, the booze, the ups and downs -- it's all been said and you pretty much know the drill anyway, kids.  Joplin always referred to herself as a "beatnik from Texas" -- you have to know your history, okay, so keep in mind that she came from the beatnik era of the 1950s and early 1960s that was actually the era of the Beat Generation (a phrase introduced by writer Jack Kerouac in 1948 that symbolized the anti-conformist youth movement centered in New York -- and Joplin was a beatnik poet and folk singer in the early 1960s). From the get-go, while in college at the University of Texas in Austin, the campus newspaper in 1962 wrote an article on her "She Dares to be Different" in which they say: "She goes barefooted when she feels like it, wears Levi's to class because they're more comfortable, and carries her autoharp with her everywhere she goes so that in case she gets the urge to break into song it will be handy. Her name is Janis Joplin." And that was before she hit the streets of San Francisco in 1963 just as another youth movement was gathering steam that would later be termed "hippies" (this word was first used in print in 1965 by writer Michael Fallon who described "a new generation of beatniks" who had moved into the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco -- i.e. hipsters (a 1940s word) who were now "hippies"). The hippies never called themselves that, nor did they call themselves "flower children" or any such stuff -- it was all from the media at first. So you see, Joplin was already a free spirit when she landed in San Francisco -- there was no such thing as the "Janis Joplin look" before she arrived -- she was it already. All one needs do is to study the photos of Joplin and just marvel and scrutinize all the layers upon layers of colors, textures, materials, shapes, ornaments, jewelry, various hair adornments and hats, feathers, beads, frills of all kinds, ethnic everything in excess -- and that was just the exterior! Inside her, there was something even more freer that we can ever imagine -- especially for the time in which she lived. And she lived the motto of the hippie movement -- in that love was free and meant to be shared with everyone; that everyone was equal and free to express themselves however they wanted as long as no one was put down, suppressed or belittled for wanting to be different (as the popular culture would put it, for the hippies saw themselves as normal in their beliefs and the rest of the American culture to them was abnormal for not wanting to embrace the higher ideal of love and fellowship with all peoples and beliefs -- especially Eastern religions and philosophies).  For Joplin, she was the way she wore: colorful, all encompassing, all inclusive.  Yes, her voice was the medium by which she reached the masses, but it was ultimately the way she presented her visual self that informed those masses that it was okay to dress in clothes other than what came from a Sears mail-order catalog (at the time, Sears was probably the most-ordered-from source of clothing in America -- and later on, even they would adopt hippie-inspired clothing as the youth movement garnered a greater acceptance nationwide and everyone from clothing manufacturers to Hollywood studios was anxious to cash in).  So there you have it, kids! Style is what you make it -- and Janis Joplin was a true style maker -- never equaled, nor duplicated since.
Rock onhttp://www.janisjoplin.com/ 
Photos from various sources from the internet.
Fashion designer Diane Gilman is also acknowledged for dressing the great '60s stars including Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors and Jefferson Airplane.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Going Daft for Delft: Blue & White Textiles for Your Home

GOING DAFT FOR DELFT: BLUE & WHITE TEXTILES FOR YOUR HOME -- Got the blues?  Good!  Now add some white and you've got the makings for the classic Delft look that is inspired by the wonderful tiles and porcelain so widely associated with the Dutch city.  But you know, kids, that we might not had have such a love and craving for this distinctive color combo if it hadn't been for a high-seas hijacking! Yes, it's true (as so much of history is!) -- in the good ol' days of 1602 and 1604, the Dutch Navy captured two Portuguese carracks (ships in which late Ming Dynasty blue and white porcelain was being transported from China to Europe) -- and all that blue and white porcelain booty (the treasure kind, kids!) went to auction -- sending Europe into a sort of buying and selling frenzy for the stuff (collectors included both English and French kings) and led to the establishment of trade between the Far East and the Dutch East India Company.  The death of the Chinese Wanli Emperor in 1620 caused an interruption of trade and thus (you were wondering when we were getting to this point, huh?) factories in Delft and other parts of The Netherlands began to pick up the slack to create "Delftware" -- that all-encompassing term for tiles, pottery, decorative panels, bowls, and much more.  The ironic part of this story is that Delftware became so popular that it was exported back to China and Japan where it was copied and shipped back to Europe!  Don't you just love history?  Nowadays, kids, you can transform your rooms into blue and white visions of Delft with the fabulous fabrics from Spoonflower shown here!  "Blue and White Picnic" (background) and "My Delft Tile" (top left) are by Poetryqn.  "Delft Doily" (top right) is by Nalo Hopkinson.  "Indonesian Blue" (bottom left) is by Eva the Hun (love it, girl!!). And "Delft Rose White" (bottom right) is by Kristopher K.  Go blue and white!

All designs copyright by their respective artists.  Images courtesy Spoonflower.

The Power of Imagination, Part I: Will There Ever Be Another Erté?

THE POWER OF IMAGINATION: WILL THERE EVER BE ANOTHER ERTE?  Fashion, jewelry, paintings, drawings, theatrical costumes, sculpture, set designs for theater, film and opera. There was nothing that Roman Petrovich Tyrtof couldn't do -- once he left his city of birth Saint Petersburg, Russia and found his artistic calling in Paris in the year 1907. Of course, it was much easier for the French folks to pronounce his initials R.T. and, thus, Erté was born -- and the creative world was never the same since (Tyrtof assumed this pseudonym on his own, not wanting to disgrace his upright, military family back in Russia -- heavens forbid!). Erté's look practically defined the era in which he lived -- but considering that he passed away in 1990, that gave him lots of time in which to put out a staggering ouevre once all was said and done.  Prolific he was, indeed, but it was the amazing imagination that he possessed that was really his ticket to fame. Flowing, sensuous lines. Pedantic detailing. Luscious color. Long, lithe figures in utterly romantic and almost impossible poses. Suggestive, blatant, ambiguous erotica. Dreamlike landscapes. Classic physiques. Prior to Erté, the art world had Aubrey Beardsley and his erotically-charged drawings that called up lost times tinged with the exotic.  Erté, however, used his own day and time as a springboard for his many luxurious ideas -- starting with his work for the era's most famed couturier Paul Poiret from 1913 to 1914, followed by a contract with Harper's Bazaar magazine which really opened the floodgates to his career (between 1915 and 1937, he designed more than 200 covers for Harper's -- and later Cosmopolitan, Ladie's Home Journal and Vogue to name a few).  It was the Ziegfeld Follies of 1923 that introduced his programme, costume (see above) and set designs to the multitudes -- and then Hollywood came calling (doesn't it always at some point, kids??). None other than Louis B. Mayer brought Erté to Tinseltown in 1925, which resulted in set designs for silent film classic Ben-Hur among the many productions. Keep reading below....

The Power of Imagination, Part II: Will There Ever Be Another Erté?

THE POWER OF IMAGINATION: WILL THERE EVER BE ANOTHER ERTE?  Erté  was a man in love with his work, his cats (sounds nice to us!) and solitude. And his work was very modern -- considering that the first part of the 20th century in Europe was still hanging on to bits and pieces of leftovers from the Victorian era that had a longtime stranglehold on society, mores and the arts. Erté and others in the creative realm were anxious to liberate morality and the arts from all of this stuffy nonsense that had no place in a changing world that was on the brink of chaos and immense change (i.e. World War I). Theater, fashion and art were the great escapes for everyone -- and it was in these escapes that color, sensuality and the feeling that "anything goes" flourished. Because of his aristocratic upbringing, Erté's charming politeness and effete mannerisms made him extremely lovable among actors, fashion designers, opera singers and all of society throughout Europe. He captured the flamboyant Art Deco period to a T -- and the booming music halls, cinemas, new dance crazes such as the Charleston and the Black Bottom, and the rise of performer Josephine Baker all added to the excitement of the era and to Erté's vivid imagination. Add to all of this, the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb which fueled the explosion of all things Egyptian and exotic, playing into Erté's work all the more. Surprisingly, it wasn't all the new-found delights in the arts that inspired Erté -- he was actually born inspired! In his own words  he tells us, "When I was five years old, I designed an evening dress for my mother...and around her décolletage was a garland of real roses. I was absolutely enchanted." Wow! We guess that we too would be enchanted if we designed a dress for our mother (and Erté's mother had the dress sewn up, by the way). His work can be found in such museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum -- and though his bronze sculptures and prints have been copied and reproduced by the masses, they are nonetheless a beauty to behold in their pure unadulterated state, so rich are they in detail and color. His influence in costume and set design is immeasurable and his imagination unparalleled. So, that begs the question "Will there ever be another Erté?"  We'll ruminate on this one and get back to you in the morning, okay?

Books on Amazon about Erté: