Tuesday, December 13, 2011


No, this isn't a homage to '80s Madonna.  Nor is it quite an outfit post.  I merely wanted to illustrate, by way of clothing, what has been taking a lot of my time lately.

We are still coated in sawdust, but nearing the visible part of construction.  For weeks, I have been the Material Girl, zipping around the Bay Area, in search of the right wood, metal, stone, fabrics.  In a way, nothing matches.  But, as we know with outfits, harmony can surface through a cacophony of beautiful materials.

Mixed Materials -- herringbone tweed, velvet, lace, metal; wool, leather, faux fur
Applying the same philosophy to interiors
Dress: Anna Sui for Target (I loved this collection)
Coat: Walter (this coat design always makes me think "Ostrich")

I was surprised by the last design meeting I had in San Francisco, uncovering a panoply of subtly-colored weaves and jewel-toned velvets to complement -- or contrast with -- other materials.  It was a different direction from our initial ideas, and all because I fell in love with the teal fabric on a chair.  In January, I'm also scheduled to brainstorm with a team of artists to design a side table which I want in mixed materials. I'm thinking hammered metal with some distressed wood, but in modern geometries.  We'll see.

Sheer chiffon, satin ribbons and appliqués dressed down with knits
Dress: Vintage couture

The Italians among you will be pleased to know that my labyrinthine quests have often led me down the path of Italian design. What can't these people do beautifully?!  From wood floor, stones and tiles, to lighting fixtures and fabrics, my favorites mostly turn out to be crafted from the land of the Medicis.  It's such an unfair -- or perhaps fair and duly earned -- head start, with their long history in art and architecture!  (Hmmm, I guess Madonna owes her creativity to her Italian heritage.  Now, that lady knew how to mix materials as well...  whaddya know, this post ended up being about the Material Girl after all.)

So, this is just a brief interlude from my Christmas postings -- though I did wear that ostrich-bottomed coat to a Christmas party last week, and the ribboned dress to a holiday show.  


  1. you've got a really lovely blog
    I would love for you to take a look and my blog and told me what you think.
    keep in touch!

  2. You are having a good time with all sorts of materials by the sounds of it. This is a great outfit/ not outfit post. Xxxx

  3. oh and thank you for the lovely comment about the interview. Xxxx

  4. i agree italians just have a way with artistic interpretations..that coat is fab..and the dress!!

  5. Being italian I am very proud of what you said, the downside is that we are not able to get the rid of our approximation when it comes to our government. Our public debt is now uncontrollable,
    HAving said that i have the compelling urge to telly you how much I love your coat! Gorgeous!!!

  6. Such looovely photos! You look wonderful!

  7. Vintage fabrics are the most exciting finds, and they make the most fabulous clothes.

  8. I love the vintage white dress! the details in the fabric are divine! and the coat is truly amazing because it is so different and unique.x

  9. that dress looks really nice
    hope you're having a wonderful week

  10. I like your ecclectic philosophy. I agree...unlikely combinations are usually the most pleasing :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm glad so many have enjoyed that awkward post.


  11. All of the outfits are beautiful. I love the intricacy of the white one. Great post!

  12. you can be Italian ad honorem ;) by an italian girl!!! your mix is not disturbing at all, it's well done!!

  13. I love your white dress (you look like a christmas angel) and ostrich coat! I have a similiar jacket actually.


Dear Fellow Aesthetes, I love hearing your thoughts. I think the other readers find them valuable too! Much love xxx

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