Monday, January 23, 2012

Richemont’s Shanghai Tang celebrates the year of the Dragon with Imperial style

The current trend for luxury fashion brands comes down to two words; consolidation and China.

Outside of a handful of exceptions, most major luxury brands seem to have been purchased by either the LVMH group, or PPR. So it comes as no surprise that a few years ago Shanghai Tang was purchased too but not by either of these powerhouses.

Compagnie Financière Richemont or as it’s known: Richemont is the parent company of such names as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Dunhill, and approximately 20 other brands. With an emphasis on European businesses they do not appear in the US press as often as the two, but it they are indeed growing. They have even managed to tap into one of Ralph Lauren’s new brands - fine watches & jewelry found at .

Back to Shanhai Tang. In preparation for the Year of the Dragon they expanded their offering of mythical beasts on everything imaginable. Here are some of my favorites.

The Imperial Table Collection is a dining collection drawing its inspiration from the grandeur of Chinese Emperors' dining traditions and it features the Dragon, emblem of the Emperor and most auspicious symbol of great power, and perfect celebration of the Chinese New Year of the Dragon.

Dragon bowl and spoon set
Dragon chopsticks with rests (set of 2)

Dragon Champagne Bucket
Silver plated handles add an elegant finish to this Dragon Champagne bucket and brings you the taste of luxury. Made of brass with silver plate.

Photos courtesy of the company's website

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

From Studio Andrée Putman - spectacular lighting collection for Lalique


“To not dare is to have already lost. We should seek out ambitious, even unrealistic projects, because things only happen when we dream.”
Andrée Putman

This quote could not be more appropriate for the new ‘Orgue’ lighting collection from Studio Andrée Putman for Lalique. Andrée's daughter Olivia will be assuming control over the company. Olivia Putman says, “I wanted this collection to be very contemporary utilizing a different approach of LALIQUE’s know-how: associated with the new possibilities that LED offers, the crystal of these chandeliers produce the effect of a rain shower of light.”

In October the collection was featured at the showroom of Cerruti Baleri in Milan. Video highlights link below.

If you plan on attending the Maison & Objet the Paris trade show for the gift and home market (starting January 20th), Lalique will be located in Scènes d’Intérieur section

Hall no. 7, Sections F51 - G52

images courtesy of Studio Andrée Putman

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New from Violette Editions – two exhibition catalogs featuring Lucian Freud and Louise Bourgeois

These two late-great artists are both celebrated and highly respected in their unique genres of art and were perhaps equally complex personalities. Each season Violette Editions features a small but quite special selection of new titles. With the exception of limited editions the books are distributed in the US exclusively through D.A.P. Publishing.

Lucian Freud Drawings- Essays by William Feaver and Mark Rosenthal
Published by Blain|Southern and Acquavella Galleries
256 pgs / 100 color
U.S. $55.00

Lucian Freud (1922-2011) was indeed a grandson of the Freud - famous psychiatrist and founder of modern psychology. Lucian began his painting career in the surrealist realm and is widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. His works are noted for their often discomforting examination of the relationship between artist and model.

This publication coincides with a show at Acquavella Galleries / New York that opens in April.

Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed
Psychoanalytic Writings
Edited by Philip Larratt-Smith
500 pgs / 113 color
U.S. $75.00

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) is known for inventing a new kind of language for sculpture. She has written extensively about her life and depicted many significant traumatic moments involving sex, family, and perhaps too many anxieties to count.

This definitive two-volume set comprises Louise Bourgeois’ previously unpublished psychoanalytic writings and a complete overview that includes works made up to the artist’s death in 2010. How appropriate that the Freud Museum in London would host this exhibition opening in April.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pushing the limits with fashion as fine art – 2012 schedule of fashion exhibitions

Back in 2007 The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles ( MOCA ) hosted an unusual show: © MURAKAMI, a retrospective of Takashi Murakami's career. A very significant chapter in his career was the work his studio produced for Louis Vuitton.

The opening party for the MOCA show attracted huge crowds. From a commercial standpoint – this exhibition created a tidal wave of controversy over having a fully functional LV retail boutique right in the middle of the art exhibition. Here crowds of women rushed to pay more than $1,000 for the ltd. edition fashion accessories. Many would wait for an hour as the ‘boutique’ was full to capacity. Later there were reports that some of the printed leather hides framed as art were not so limited after all.

It took other art museums a few years to realize this business model. However the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s McQueen blockbuster exhibition ‘SAVAGE BEAUTY’ reinforced the lure of fashion in art museums and the revenues that followed.

As we look to 2012- will any museum stores dare to be as bold as LV and MOCA? Time will tell.

The pressure will be on the MET Museum’s Costume Institute to comp. McQueen with the PRADA show opening in May. How interesting that Amazon is the corporate sponsor for the exhibition. One can already see the digital frenzy of marketing and mobile commerce opportunities. The exhibition catalog is already available to pre-order on but the current pub. date of May 29th has it arriving a few weeks late.

So, anyone planning to attend the NY Stationery show (starting May 20th) should allow time to shop/see the show - and the related retail merchandise. Meanwhile, please note the calendar below for the 2012 schedule of major fashion exhibitions.

“IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA”
The Museum at FIT, New York
February 10 – April 17, 2012

“Yves Saint Laurent — The Retrospective”
Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
Opens March 25

“Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs,” a retrospective of Jacobs’ work at LV
Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris
March 9 to September 16

“Christian Louboutin,” a retrospective of the designer
Design Museum, London
March 28

Diana Vreeland
Fortuny Museum, Venice, Italy
March 2012

“Fifty Years of James Bond Style” with pieces from Giorgio Armani, Prada, Oscar de la Renta and other designers
The Barbican, London
April 2012

“Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion”
The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
May 10 – August 19

“Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950″
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
May 19, 2012 – January 26, 2013

Also planning to stage retrospective exhibitions next year are Balmain and Chloé , though no further details are known just yet.

Schiaparelli’s trompe l’oeil Tear Dress & Miuccia Prada’s shoe-and-sock boots from the 2011/12 Winter collection.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What to expect from the Museum Store at The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Bentonville, Arkansas

Crystal Bridges has opened to much fanfare on a campus of 120 acres of forests and gardens. Critics have compared the setting brought to life by Alice Walton to the J. Paul Getty Museum complex.

I was curious - What should we expect from the biggest retailers in the world for a museum shop?

The Museum Store—designed by Arkansas architect firm Marlon Blackwell— is located across from the Museum's main lobby. It offers a wide range of items including educational toys, gifts, books, and reproductions of popular works from the Museum collection.

The architects created an organic open space with a series of parallel cherry plywood ribs that organizes the store and forms the ceiling and millwork on the rear wall. Inspired by the ribbed underside of a mushroom known as a lamella, the surface creates an elegantly curved profile. This serves the practical functions of providing shade from the intense western sun while lighting and displaying the merchandise.

There is no link to shop yet from the main museum web pages but when clicking through to reserve tickets – one is taken to another website-
Any web savvy person could see this is the future home of the on-line museum store:

I took a peak.
The shopping website is a work in progress without any navigation. So, a blank search results in seven catalogs and books for sale about the museum. One title features the work of the museum’s architect Moshe Safdie. We know him here in Los Angeles for designing the Skirball Cultural Center. Here one is also invited to purchases a membership.

Images courtesy of Marlon Blackwell

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Astier de Villatte - Transporting Us Through Fragrance

Astier de Villatte ceramics are entirely handmade in Paris, France. Made of black terracotta clay, the pieces are very durable yet surprisingly light to the touch. The namesake tableware collection is inspired by 18th and 19th century designs and is glazed to create a milky white finish.

This season the company added five new scents to the location-inspired collection of perfumed candles.

Hong Kong is described as an “unexpected pairing of potent cinnamon spice and smooth, fresh mandarin. Enchanting effusions emanating from boats loaded with spices and citrus fruit, slowly crossing the bay.”

Monte Carlo is meant to remind us of “the Hôtel de Paris’ revolving doors, rivers of diamonds flowing round casino tables” and where “the air is infused with divine, rich fragrances of cyprus neroli, tuberose, rose, jasmine, iris, artemisia and patchouli essence, with trace of leather.”

These decorative objects do come at a premium price that won’t surprise Astier de Villatte collectors: $120 for the ceramic candles, $75 for the glass with optional lid an additional $72.00

All items available at the company’s flagship on rue Saint-Honoré Paris,
Barneys New York on Madison Avenue and

Images courtesy of

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


In fine restaurants when you order soufflé, gratin dauphinois, or even crème brûlée, chances are it will be prepared and served in Revol porcelain. Now from the most trusted name in French culinary porcelain comes a unique and modern ceramic collection.

Created from a patent-pending ceramic material, ‘Revolution’ cookware has a higher thermal shock resistance than any other non-porous culinary ceramic. These pots can be used on any kind of stove top, in microwave ovens and are dishwasher safe. Yes, that's right - they can even be used on an open gas flame. Just follow instructions for the transition between hot and cold.

Now cooking dinner - and cleaning up will never be the same. Leave it to the French !

Prices range from $50 to $300 for the tangine.
Available in five sizes with a Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, or Orange lid.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time for Marimekko to Shine


Many Americans were first introduced to the classic Finnish design house when Jacqueline Kennedy wore several Marimekko dresses throughout the 1960 US Presidential campaign. The fashion statement was thought to have softened her look and shift public opinion in a favorable way at a key moment in history.

Since then there’s always been a representation of Marimekko in Crate & Barrel and the small shop on Madison Avenue. Now just in time for the company’s 60th anniversary a new 4,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue location has opened in the Flatiron District that offers the complete product assortment.

This is the only US store where the complete collection of fabrics and tableware, clothing, bags, furniture, and accessories will be available under one roof.

Shopping the collections on-line offers a very clever take on web navigation: Nest- for home furnishings, Wear- for fashion, Carry- as in bags & umbrellas, and finally Make- for the DIY folks and interior pros that want fabric by the yard in various finishes including a water proof coating.

So just as the days become shorter and the landscape shows a sign that winter is on its way, many American homes are about to get a bright jolt of color.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Intersection of Art, Fashion, and Commerce


In celebration of the company's 90th birthday GUCCI opened a museum inside the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia located in Florence’s Piazza Signoria. The concept was to honor the company’s leather goods legacy and celebrate the connection with modern art.

Also in the museum is a cafe and a Rizzoli book shop. The museum store's reported best seller is a €95 T-shirt with a print of a figure in a suit of armor carrying two Gucci bags.

These days you cannot visit a major city without seeing a fashion designer features with top billing in art museums. The topic is certain to open a debate in curatorial circles. However the cash strapped non-profits are facing many challenges including lower attendance, so no one will debate the blockbuster appeal of say Alexander McQueen at the Metropoltain Museum. There was a record number of 661,509 vistors that flocked to the museum in just over three months this past summer. This made the MET's top 10 exhibitions of all time and impressed this visitor with the installation, music, lighting, and even special effects.

Perhaps this is the gateway to the new generation that may have never stepped foot into some of these museums. Now if the MET Opera could take some cues from this story they might be able to secure attendance for another generation.

images courtesy of

Friday, April 16, 2010

Two Designers Cross-over Into New Territory

American fashion designers have a long history of taking their brands into the home furnishings arena; Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren are prime examples of success stories. However it is not often we see a home furnishings designer dare to shift gears into the fast and fickle business of ready-to-wear.

Jonathan Adler has done just that. He put his playful stamp on his first fashion collaboration with the premium denim company 7 For All Mankind. The collection will be launched in May. It combines the great 7FAM fit with Adler's signature patterns and motifs and themes inspired by getaway spots such as Long Island and California’s central coast.

Click through photographs to zoom in for details and pricing

Fashion photographs care of In Style magazine


Dima Loginoff who is showing at the Milan furniture fair’s Salone Satellite was recently named Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Décor International Design Awards 2010. His new Dounyasha chair design is a bold leap into the furniture business.

What makes Dima’s story unusual is that his career path included more than a decade of working as a hair stylist and then he trained at the Moscow Int’l Design School. His portfolio consists of more than two dozen designs. The Satellite hall is a place where prototypes are displayed and manufacturers shop the designs in hopes of committing to production contracts.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Morning coffee with Eustace Tilley

Waechtersbach the exclusive distributor of Konitz porcelain mugs has signed a licensing agreement with Condé Nast Publications to market an exclusive line of ceramic and porcelain mugs, dinnerware and gift ware featuring The New Yorker cartoons and magazine covers.

Available at Sur la Table stores this fall and at

The New Yorker magazine known to have a very literate highbrow audience reaches about one million readers and has been in circulation since 1925. Their cartoon library includes over 20,000 original works reflecting an intellectual insider style of humor based on current events.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Modern Japanese Tea Shop at the Mall

- Los Angeles,CA

On a recent visit to Bloomingdale’s at Century City in Los Angeles I spotted LUPICIA near the store’s entrance. This small tea shop was an odd but welcomed sight among all the national clothing chains. The interior is finished in pale colored wood and samples of the tea are all accessible at the counter. A friendly salesperson was very well versed on all the different teas and suggested a new spring selection of Sencha from Ureshinko. Any of the hundreds of tea varieties can be made to order for tasting. To keep the tea as fresh as possible it is packed in nitrogen sealed 50 gram foil pouches the same day that it arrives at the plants. This allows the one year shelf life. The more popular varieties are also available in tea bags.

Since there are over 100 LUPICIA shops in Japan I can understand why they are comfortable opening in busy mall locations. The US has just four retail shops and an extensive website that includes a GWP of its Fresh Tea Monthly magazine. In addition to Southern California shop there is one in Honolulu and two in Northern California;San Francisco & San Jose.

LUPICIA is a Tokyo based company with a U.S. distribution out of Northern California. They offer more than 400 kinds of fresh teas throughout the year, ranging from seasonal teas to blends of flavored tea.

For wholesale inquiries;
Telephone; 866-574-4832 ext. 101
or in Japanese

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Toast to René Lalique

Just in time for the 150th birthday celebration of the renown Art Deco glass designer: A new showroom specializing in the company’s architectural elements in crystal.

How does crystal fit into today’s modern lifestyle? Well, first imagine a toast at a special occasion- a wedding without the chime of two crystal glasses touching which produces that beautiful unique sound. For this feature alone I recently picked up a set of crystal martini glasses and they really do add a cheerful element to any celebration.

The attractive optical properties of crystal are another appealing characteristic. This is often highlighted with a patterned design in the mold or cut into the exterior by hand. Crystal cutting creates a more brilliant, sparkling effect as each cut facet reflects and transmits light through the object.

Lalique’s showroom just opened inside the Chicago Merchandise Mart. The space includes Haviland and Daum brands, the first joint presentation of the three French names under one roof. Unlike the Lalique-Haviland New York boutique, which opened in October to the public, the Chicago showroom is to-the-trade only.

The focus here is on the interior design capabilities and architectural elements such as panels, tables, mirrors and lighting. Installations can be seen within the cars of the famous Oriental Express.

Lalique product highlights in the showroom include a custom-made fountain composed of the iconic ‘Masque de Femme’ (detail shown above) and Coutard Panels, as well as a customized, large-scale rectangular version of the popular Cactus Table and pieces from the new Cristalight lighting collection.

One destination not on wheels that celebrates Lalique interiors is the legendary Mr. Chow’s restaurant in mid-town Manhattan. A visit begins by opening the doors fitted with Lalique crystal handles and other interesting details throughout the space including illuminated crystal reliefs identifying the different washrooms.

Merchandise Mart, Suite 1867
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone 312-867-1787

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cast-stone Planters from Haddonstone

Say the words container gardening and what might come to mind is either a window box or some basic shape of terracotta. An alternate material that is often seen in public gardens or old estates though is cast stone. Cast stone dates back to the 12th century and can look like poured concrete but it's a more refined compound manufactured to simulate natural cut stone by adding sand, stone, and gravel to the concrete in just the right proportions.

There are some considerations with choosing these pots- one is their heavy weight the other is that they can get expensive. By contrast to the warm red-orange tones of terracotta, cast stone offers a cool and soothing neutral foggy hue that allows the plants to be the focus. Particularly striking are plants in the pale greens and blue spectrum such as succulents. Care should be taken in choosing the right plant and the right location as moving these requires a strong back and often a second pair of hands.

Robert A. M. Stern the American architect and Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture is no stranger to designing consumer goods that include a dinnerware collection, jewelry, lighting and door hardware. Now his latest design work can be seen in the form of cast stone.

The Stern Collection of cast-stone planters from Haddonstone was designed in collaboration with Robert A.M. Stern Designs. The first two ranges in the collection are called Athenian and the Olympian. The Athenian range features assorted urns on bases inspired by Art Deco and Art Moderne ornaments. The Olympian range alludes to the shapes of ancient and neoclassical vessels and includes two bowls, two urns, and a tall, slim amphora.

Retail prices for the smaller pieces start at about $300 the larger vessels sell for as much as $1200

(dudleya pulverulenta or 'chalk dudleya' shown her in bloom planted in a lotus bowl is not from Haddonstone although a similar version may be found there)

A ten minute video tour through Haddonstone’s factory in Northamptonshire, England

Thursday, March 25, 2010

John Muir Botanical Collection

Known as a writer, naturalist, and co-founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir is honored in a stationery collection distributed by The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

There is certainly not a shortage of good looking paper products on the market now but these cards offer both beautiful images documenting Muir’s botanical legacy and they support the parks that stretch 70 miles north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The assortment includes five SKUs of note cards, botanical prints, and a birthday reminder calendar.

In a time when many of us are constantly connected by electronic gadgets, how interesting to read that on excursions into the back country Muir traveled alone, carrying only a tin cup, a handful of tea, a loaf of bread, and a copy of Emerson.

So for anyone who has never walked through an ancient redwoods forest, Muir Woods in Mill Valley, California is just a short trip over the Golden Gate Bridge in the valley of Mt. Tamalpais. Visit sooner than later as the current cycle of fog-less days is said to be harming these giant beauties. With your mobile phone shut off you might just start to see and hear what you've been missing. The park's gift shop offers better photographs and postcard images than anyone could ever possibly capture with an I-Phone.

For wholesale inquiries
(415) 561-3033

Monday, March 22, 2010

Four New Garden Books

- Coming Soon to Your Local Bookseller (Hopefully)

Many of the current new garden titles are about maximizing small spaces with big yields of vegetables. The concept seems a bit too obvious to me and even first time gardeners should be able to figure it out from the instructions on the back of a seed packet.

When the warmer months of summer arrive I'll want to read more substance than about method. So after browsing the upcoming releases I am certainly looking forward to spending some quality time with these books.

Tenryuji: Life and Spirit of a Kyoto Garden
Release date: May 1st
Stone Bridge Press
Author: Norris Brock Johnson is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina. He was a Fulbright Lecturer at Waseda University and University of Tokyo, Komaba. Professor Johnson has been researching, teaching, and writing about the temple gardens of Japan for twenty years.

How to Plant a Tree: A Simple Celebration of Trees and Tree-Planting Ceremonies
Release date: April 15th
Author: Daniel Butler is an environmental writer who contributes to many of the United Kingdom's leading newspapers and magazines, including Country Living, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The Daily Telegraph. A former editor of Tree News, the in-house magazine for the UK's Tree Council, he is a devout tree-lover (he recently planted his own thousand-tree wood!).

Asian Gardens: History, Beliefs and Design
Release date: July 15th
Author: Tom Turner teaches on the undergraduate and masters programmes in garden history and landscape architecture at the University of Greenwich in London. Garden design was influenced by Polytheist, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Daoist, Shinto and Modernist beliefs. Asian Gardens: History, beliefs and design explores how these belief systems influenced the design of gardens.

The Ivington Diaries
Release date: July 6th
Bloomsbury USA
Author: Monty Don is one of Britain's best-loved gardeners. He wrote a weekly column for the Observer between 1994 and 2006 and he was the charismatic presenter of BBC Gardener's World from 2003 to 2008. He lives and gardens in Herefordshire with his wife Sarah and their three children. The Ivington Diaries is a personal collection of Monty's jottings from the past fifteen years.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Young Billionaire With a Soul

The ultra rich are not very popular now. Yes, there are exceptions like Bill & Melinda Gates whose foundation is expanding health care around the globe and reduced malaria cases by 50%(a disease that kills about one million people a year). When many people are out of work it's understandable that there is strong resentment from the have-nots toward the haves.

A few years ago when working for a privately held company I attended a weekly meeting that included the founder/owner of the business who herself is in this net worth club. She was frustrated with the meeting and complained to the group, "You all think making money is difficult ?! You should try giving it away." From this sentiment we often see the more sexy projects like high profile museums and expanded cultural institutions. These contributions are indeed significant but when so many people in the world do not have access to clean water or land to grow their own food, the importance diminishes greatly.

Now, in a time when many businesses are trying to quickly 'cash in' with the social media phenomenon how refreshing to read the announcement from Chris Hughes, one of the four founders of Facebook this morning. He spoke about a format for global volunteerism. In his own words: "Jumo brings together everyday individuals and organizations to speed the pace of global change. We connect people to the issues, organizations, and individuals relevant to them to foster lasting relationships and meaningful action."

The site is in its 'soft launch' phase and takes anonymous visitors through a number of philosophical profile questions. Questions come in the form of multiple-choice answers include one's general political position, favorite first names, cars, language preference, leisure activities and priorities of charitable contribution. Information will later be sent to your email address.

This will be an exciting development to watch. I only hope the was for easy name recognition and curious why it was not the traditional not-for-profit

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alternatives to Spring Annual Brights- Go Monochromatic

-Los Angeles, California

Here in southern California we are quite lucky to have a rainbow of plant life blooming all year 'round. Anything can grow here with little or no attention. Lately I noticed many unplanned or ill chosen locations for things like fig trees- either sprouting 10 feet high from the side of a palm tree (most certainly planted by a crow) or struggling in the dark shade under a scrubby old pine.

It's odd that many large nurseries and garden centers treat our Spring like we were in New Jersey or Massachusetts. Pink, Red, and Yellow, oh my. Hundreds and hundreds of little annual flowers in crazy bright colors cascading over every possible surface at the entrance. To me so many of them are all flash and no substance. Where are the leaves that will insure a healthy life for these plants? Often hidden beneath the over fertilized flower heads.

Some of us are looking for interesting perennials or other rare finds. Too often I strike out in this department- perhaps because it seems that so few Angelenos actually chose their own plants or do any gardening. Doing things for oneself is a bit out of fashion here if you can hire someone to do it for you. How odd that I found my latest inspiration not at any nursery but inside the new White Flower Farm catalog. And they are void of color but not attraction.

I am very aware that shipping live plants around in the dark on airplanes is not ideal for many reasons, but here are a few bare-root choices that would zip along the mail stream nicely in a paper sack.

The common reference is appropriately named the White Egret Flower. It is a new offering this year and is part of a terrestrial orchid family with smooth dark green leaves. They bloom mid to late summer. For warmer climates they need to be frozen - not just chilled (35° F or less) for three months to simulate their natural northern Asian climate.
Zones 6-10 S&W
12-15" Tall

Another plant named after a graceful bird, Great White Heron. Enormous flowers that can be up to 11- yes eleven inches across. This Japanese variety with tall stems can grow as high as 4 to 5 ft. and blooms late in June or July.
Zones 4-9S/ 10W

The photo speaks for itself- The almost black flowers of this Siberian iris should bloom in June. Standard height- no more than 18 inches tall.
Zones 3-8S/ 9W

Two other considerations in this black and white theme come in the form of seeds from Renee's Garden based in Fenton, California. Both should be planted right in the ground.

The Black Watchman Hollyhock needs its space. It can grow to 7 feet tall and is on the Monticello heirloom list left by Thos. Jefferson. One needs to be very selective about a sunny location that can handle such a giant that will reseed even under the roughest conditions.

Legend has it that Queen Anne, the wife of King James I, was challenged by her friends to create lace as beautiful as a flower. While making the lace, she pricked her finger, and it’s said that the purple-red flower in the center of Queen Anne’s Lace represents a droplet of her blood. Also called Wild Carrot (since Queen Anne’s Lace is the wild progenitor of today’s carrot), Bishop’s Lace or Bird’s Nest. Grows to 3 ft. tall with 4-5 inch intricate blossoms.

Images listed are shown left to right.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ralph Lauren Home joins forces with Kravet

With 30 to-the-trade showrooms in North America Kravet will be representing Ralph Lauren Home's fabrics, wall coverings, and trimmings. A select number of the showrooms will also have lighting and window hardware. Folia continues as the licensee for the decorative fabrics and was one of the partners in this arrangement.

With this broad reach Ralph Lauren swatches may soon be the hands of many U.S. decorators and designers who may not have seen them before. Here I highlight two handsome patterns; a navy 'Chalk-Stripe' and 'Glenview Paisley' in henna. The chrome desk lamp is a classic called the RL '67 Boom-Arm and available in other finishes.

Kravet Inc. is a privately held, fourth-generation American family business that services the interior design trade exclusively in locations under their own name as well as Lee Jofa and GP & J Baker. They started in New York City as a small decorative trimmings store in 1918. They sell fabrics from a number of other well know designers such as Calvin Klein, Jospeh Abboud, and Laura Ashley.