​Traditional Dinner Plates!

I believe that a hint of traditional items here and there works very well in a modern minimal home… They add interest and charm to any table!

I think that these traditional plates from Pottery Barn are just perfect for this season …

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…and just look at those Turkey salt and pepper shakers aren’t they just cute? They do so well with the dinner set! Don’t you think?

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When Frasier’s Gang Dressed for Halloween

Who remembers this Halloween episode from Frasier?

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When Frasier hosted a Halloween party where he asked his guests to come dressed as their personal hero. … Roz dressed as Wonder Woman, Frasier as Sigmund Freud, Daphne as Elton John, Niles as his dad Martin Crane and Martin as Joe DiMaggio…. oh how I miss this bunch!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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Apartment 1901 at the Elliott Bay Towers

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Frasier is hands down my favorite TV sitcom of all time! I think I watch it at least once a year back to back! It’s my go-to sitcom when I’m feeling a bit down or there isn’t much to watch on TV! I love the witty sense of humour and I just love Frasier’s apartment! I think that it is one of the many inspirations I had around me growing up to set my taste as well as my style today! The set was designed by the legendary set decorator Roy Christopher.

In the pilot episode, Frasier shows the apartment to his father, Martin.

Frasier: So what do you think of what I’ve done with the place? You know, every item here was carefully selected. The lamp by Corbu, this chair by Eames, and this couch is an exact replica of the one Coco Chanel had in her Paris atelier.

Martin: Nothing matches!

Frasier: Well, it’s a style of decorating – it’s called eclectic. The theory behind it is, if you have really fine pieces of furniture, it doesn’t matter if they match – they will go together.

Martin: It’s your money!

And a lot of money it was. The set cost a half-million dollars to build in 1993! But what a fabulous set. The apartment is filled with built-in shelves and display areas that highlight Frasier’s collections of African and pre-Columbian art without making it feel like a shop or a museum.

In addition to the treasures Frasier mentions in the pilot, the apartment also featured a Steinway medium grand piano, later on, a Chihuly vase, and several abstracts. Nearly twenty years later, it still looks great.

 

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Frasier had to replace his beautiful Wassily chair with his dad’s grubby old Barca longer!…. I must say that the Barca lounger helped make his apartment look even more eclectic! Don’t you think? But Shhhh don’t tell Fraiser I said that LOL!.

I know that the apartment now looks outdated and very 90’s but I think that with very few changes this apartment would easily look up to date! I would love to replace the coffee table and its matching side table with a table by the artist Ingrid Donat! And that TV, of course, has to be replaced with a modern plasma TV…. Think that the dining chairs have to be replaced too?…. Anyways, the great bones are there so even little changes would certainly make the apartment look modern and up to date again!

I came across this beautifully rendered floor plan of apartment 1901 at Elliot Bay Towers (the building is as fictional as the view outside Frasier’s windows–such a view exists only from the cliffs overlooking Seattle) The artist who created this plan has a great portfolio of work that can be seen HERE.

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The Picture above shows how beautifully the art went together in this apartment! Here a Dale Chihuly vase with the Ace, November, Venice USA Print By Artist, Robert Rauschenberg. Published for Robert Rauschenberg’s exhibition at ACE Gallery, Venice, California, November 1977.

 

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The Frasier gang with the beautiful Chihuly vase when it was 1st brought in!

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Organizing: Art

I decided to add this new Category on the blog! ….. Because I love organizing…. and also …. why not?… I love it so much! It is my stress reliever! Nothing distresses me more… not even a warm bath in my favorite Aveda oils!!! I just love finding new ways to organise and store things… Yes, I’m aware of how exciting this all sounds! please hold on to your seats!

Lately, I’ve been trying to find best possible solutions in storing my contemporary art collection that has been growing despite the fact that my place hasn’t haha! Storing art in the right climate and the right way has become my obsession!… And after researching for the best possible solution I decided to put an art rack in my storeroom! Yes, I know very exciting!

Anyways, here are the reasons why I’ve decided to do that:

  1. They will preserve precious floor space while maintaining the framed artwork. This means less space is required for my collection in the storeroom.
  2. What it really means is that it’ll double my art storage capacity in the same area.
  3. The artwork would be protected from scratches etc.
  4. Will be easy to reach as well as aesthetically pleasing to look at.
  5. I can even hang my very small collection of antique mirrors!

 

And here is the picture that inspired me,  it might inspire you too!

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Picture via pattersonpope.com

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Style Icon: Katherine Hepbern

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Katharine Hepburn’s sense of fashion raised more than a few eyebrows in the 1930’s !. In those days, women’s fashion had not yet been liberated by the practicalities of World War II, (when women had to get out and take positions in the workplace in order to provide a living for their families while the men were at war). Women in the 1930s were actually arrested if they were seen in public wearing pants!. In those days clothing was still perceived as a manifestation of one’s gender, and “mannish” trousers were feared to reflect a perversity within women. But Katharine Hepburn stuck to her guns when it came to fashion and insisted on wearing those practical and comfortable pants that looked just perfect on her!

Katharine had her jeans custom made on Savile Row of all places!. I just love how she wore her wide legged, high waisted jeans with the beautiful long coats in the pictures above.

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I truly love her style and always have her wide high waisted pants look in mind when I’m shopping for pants or when I’m putting a looking together ….. And I love finding hints of how much her style and especially her pantsuits still influences luxury brands till today ….. I always find her influences in brands like Céline and Max Mara to name a few!

Vintage Photos Of The Academy Awards From the Golden Age of Hollywood

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 Humphrey Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall arrive at the 27th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theater in 1955.

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 Presenters Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly wait backstage at the RKO Pantages Theatre during the 1956 Academy Awards.

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Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed hold their Oscars as Best Supporting Actor and Actress in From Here to Eternity — a film that won eight statuettes in 1954, including Best Picture.

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Natalie Wood, Best Actress nominee for her role as Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, gets her hair done prior to the 1962 Academy Awards.

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 Grace Kelly and Clark Gable arrive at the 26th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre in 1954

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Marlon Brando (right, with French singer and actress Line Renaud) casually holds his Best Actor Oscar for On The Waterfront at the 1955 Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre.

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Elizabeth Taylor walks through a crowd of admirers at the Oscars in 1961 — the year she won her first Academy Award, for her role in Butterfield 8.

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Last but not least…..The great, inimitable Charlie Chaplin — who had been living in self-imposed exile in Switzerland for two decades — blows a kiss to the crowd while accepting an honorary Oscar in 1972 for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.” When he was introduced to the audience, Chaplin received a twelve-minute standing ovation.

 Pictures Via LIFE Magazine

Maria Callas The Exhibition

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The Exhibition is the first major exhibition dedicated to the greatest soprano of all time Maria Callas. Curated by Massimiliano Capella, the presentation marks the 40th anniversary of the death La Divina. It includes costumes and props jewelry, Private clothes, especially those by Biki, the Milanese stylist who fashioned the ‘Callas look’ during the Milan years, as well as several opera costumes; there are personal treasures and stage jewellery; hats, wigs and glasses; telegrams, letters, newspaper articles and photographs illustrating the successes, the scandals, and her loves.

The exhibition is on display until September 18, 2016, in Verona and will soon begin its international tour, from Athens to New York, from Paris to Mexico City…. I don’t have information about the international tour yet but I’ll add it at the bottom of this post as soon as I find some!

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The Curator Massimiliano Capella has used 2200 mannequins and has divided the exhibition into fourteen sections starting with America and Greece and ends in a small dark room with a video of Callas’s ashes being scattered on the Aegean Sea.

Here’s a quick background of her life for those of you who are interested:

I’m going to start from her “Milan years” because to me that’s where she rose and gave her greatest performances and, of course, it was at La Scala where she recorded many of the EMI recordings. On 17 September 1947 Callas had auditioned for La Scala with Casta Diva and O Patria mia, but the Artistic Director, Mario Labroca, didn’t think she was suitable. However, a substitution for Renata Tebaldi on 12 April 1950 in Aida launched a relationship that would continue for more than a decade. Between 1950 and 1962 she would sing 23 different operas, appearing on the Milanese stage 181 times.

Although critics and public were mostly enthusiastic about her vocal performances between 1947 and 1953, comments about her physical aspect were less favourable. Although she was quite tall at 1.73 meters (5’ 8”) she weighed almost 100 kilos (220 lbs); quite a large girl. In 1952 a tactless critic wrote, “It was impossible to distinguish between the elephants’ feet and those of Aida.”

So between the summer of 1952 and the spring of 1954, she lost 35 kilos, and in doing so – with the help of Biki – transformed herself into a style icon. Many of her outfits are reunited for the Callas exhibition. (The iconic portrait by Jerry Tiffany in New York for EMI in 1958 demonstrates how the transformation was complete).

In 1952 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London as Norma. London would later be the place of her last appearance in a complete opera, in 1965, and one of the dates of her final concert tour with Giuseppe di Stefano in 1973. But London was to also be the setting for a famous… infamous encounter.

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In 1959, when Callas was one of the core members of the international jet set, a party was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was hosted by Aristotle Onassis. the picture above was taken at the event!!!! The next month Callas and her husband were already guests aboard his yacht Christina and the fatal relationship began.

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Her relationship with Onassis ended in 1968 when he left her for Jacqueline Kennedy.

In 1969 she did interpret one of her opera characters again for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film of Medea; though on this occasion she wasn’t required to sing. Piero Tosi’s magnificent costume for the film is part of the exhibition, so is the favourite black leather jacket that Callas wore during this period. Various documents on show illustrate the intimate nature of the friendship between the director and his leading lady.

The final rooms contain some of her hats, bags, shoes, turbans and other accessories which Biki so carefully labelled in the early years to help her young protégé coordinate the right hat with the right gown. Biki continued to dress her when she lived in Paris, as well as Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Hérmes and Alexander for her wigs.

In the early ‘70s she appeared at Juilliard for the legendary workshops, directed I Vespri Siciliani together with Di Stefano in Turin, and Di Stefano convinced her to join him on an around-the-world concert tour which finished in 1974.

27 November 1973: Maria Callas gives a farewell concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

In 1975, Onassis died in a Paris hospital, a few months later Pasolini’s murdered body was found on the beach at Ostia near Rome, and the following year saw the death of another friend and mentor Luchino Visconti, who once said that he’d only started directing opera because of Callas.

She died of a heart attack on 16 September 1977. She was 53.

Art Collectors: Herb and Dorothy Vogel

f53945b695088ec7474dc688431aa6f9Herbert Vogel (August 16, 1922 – July 22, 2012) and Dorothy Vogel (born 1935),

My Husband and I love watching documentaries and one of our favorites is the award-winning Herb and Dorothy by Megumi Sasaki. We love it so much that we have been watching it at least twice a year ever since it came out!!!

This documentary tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary couple with modest means, Herb, a postal clerk, and Dorothy, a librarian, who together managed to build one of the most important collections of Minimalist and Conceptual art.

Spending all of Herb’s salary for art, and living on Dorothy’s paycheck alone, the Vogels amassed over 5,000 works of art. In 1992, the Vogels donated their collection, estimated at several million dollars, to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

At the core of this film is a love story that celebrates not only the couple’s passion for art but also their dedication to each other. It is through their loving partnership that the viewer experiences their remarkable story. I’m sure that most of you out there have seen it already but if you haven’t yet please do…. its a must!!!

I’m planning to watch the “part 2” of this documentary soon … the 2nd one is called HERB & DOROTHY 50X50. This one focuses on the final chapter of the Vogel’s extraordinary life and their gift to their country, raising various questions on art, and what it takes to support art in today’s society.

In 2008, legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel made an announcement that stunned the art world. The Vogels launched a national gift project with the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC that would constitute one of the largest gifts in the history of American art: to give a total of 2,500 artworks to museums in all fifty states.

This came sixteen years after the Vogels had transferred their entire collection to NGA, the majority as a gift, making headlines in 1992. During those years at the NGA, the collection had grown to nearly 5,000 pieces, too large for any one museum to contain. As a solution, a national gift project titled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for the Fifty States was conceived. Though their collection was now worth millions of dollars, the couple did not sell a single piece, instead of giving fifty works to one museum in every state.

On July 22, 2012, Dorothy declared their collection closed after the passing of her husband Herb. Dorothy works to create a living tribute to their partnership, the collection they created together, and the overwhelmingly positive legacy they have left on the American art world for generations to come.

Can you imagine? On two lower middle-income government paychecks? and living in a rent-controlled small one bedroom apartment in Manhattan? They have collected almost 5,000 pieces of art, most by major artists….Oh, and Btw where do you think they stored their valuable collection before it was all donated? All their collection was stored in their tiny little apartment… under their bed! In the bathroom … every nook was stuffed with art…. they barely had a place to sit!! they had 2 chairs that they left for them to sit on and haven’t seen their sofa in years before all that art was sorted out!

They donated about half of it to the National Gallery of Art, and the other half (in 50 piece increments) to museums in all 50 states!!!

How incredible were those two?

Featured artists include Will Barnet, Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close, Sylvia Plimack, Lucio Pozzi, James Siena, Pat Steir, Richard Tuttle, and Lawrence Weiner.