Category Archives: SUSTAINABLE LIFE + DESIGN

SETTING THE TABLE

Partners & Spade, Manhattan

“Setting the Table,” from Maria @ Bureau of Friends:

Have you ever noticed that most of the real action at conferences takes place in the lounges and walkways outside of the Main Halls and presentation rooms? There is absolutely a place and time for sit-and-listen audiences and there’s nothing like a compelling speaker to move and enlighten us, but what might we do better to nourish real connections between people who gather around shared goals or values?

In our first few weeks together as the Bureau, we talked much about how difficult it can be to decide in which efforts we should involve ourselves, as speakers or partcipants. There are so many worthy conferences and community programs out there. We decided, that in addition to getting more strategic about how we respond to invitations, we’d proactively develop our own opportunities to engage talented and conscientious people.

Our first attempt was a collaborative event at HEATH and our next, is an up-coming conversation-in-the-round with Partners & Spade—the storefront and think tank for Andy Spade (co-founder/previous owner of Kate Spade and Jack Spade) and Anthony Sperduti (Andy’s creative partner).The evening at Partners & Spade, will build on the success of the Bureau’s experience at HEATH by continuing a forward-thinking conversation in the form of a traditional sewing circle. We are already at capacity for the Partners & Spade event, but I promise we’ll post about it later.

While these initial events revolve around a collaborative project inspired by charter members of the Bureau, Natalie Chanin (Alabama Chanin) and Cathy Bailey (HEATH Ceramics), our work at the Bureau will evolve to reflect other ideas and efforts of those who wish to deploy the hearts, minds and muscle of the Bureau.

In our media drenched, social networking maxed, Twitter-pated lives how else might we hear from and engage with others in a way that might lead to action—or at the very least, connect us to each other in more satisfying ways?

BLUE MONDAY

Back in the studio after what seems months & happy to get back to the business of making beautiful things…

Here is my favorite shot from Spring/Summer 2010. I feel like I can breathe this blue.   We will be working on the web catalog and hope to have something to share by next week.

Read: Blue: The History of a Color

Watch one of my favorite films: Blue from Three Colors Trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski

 

LES BLANK

It is an amazing thing in life when your heroes become your friends. And so it is with friend Les Blank.

I rented Gap-Toothed Women in the 1990’s when I was living in Vienna. And then came Burden of Dreams. A clear addiction to documentary films ensued.

Don’t miss this great interview with Les @ Vice Magazine.

THE COLOR OF DESIRE

Red can be a naughty color — red-light districts and bordellos. It is both the color of Satan and the color of the Roman Catholic Church. Stevens notes that red was a color often associated with divinity; medieval and renaissance paintings show Jesus and the Virgin Mary in red robes.

Red is for happiness — Indian brides get married in red saris. Red for good luck — the one-month birthday of a Chinese baby is celebrated with red eggs.

Red is rarely an accident.

“A textile is not dyed red by chance,” Stevens says. “No you use red for a specific reason whether it’s for love, for fertility, for happiness — you made it red on purpose.”

From: The Color Red: A History in Textiles

Read:  A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire


BARNEYS NEW YORK

A Time to Sell Green, Not Greed

By SUZY MENKES From the New York Times:

September 13, 2009  
NEW YORK —

“Fashion’s Night Out” — an evening of open-house shopping last week in New York and other major cities around the world — was designed to brace up nervous customers and convince them that consumption is joyous.

But it also proved that there is more to e-commerce than buying online.

The key “e” words were “emotion” and “energy” during this Vogue-sponsored fight against retail gloom. After a long period of credit-happy consumers and easy sales, stores and designers are having to work much harder to engage customers and make them feel that their purchase is worthwhile.

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SPRING/SUMMER 2010


Thanks to Laird Borrelli-Persson for this lovely review on Style.com:

http://www.style.com/fashionshows/review/S2010RTW-ACHANIN

About Spring/Summer 2010:

The Alabama Chanin Spring/Summer 2010 collection is a nod towards the new American luxury with simple, clean lines.  Doeskin, silver blue, nude and coffee are combined with white in simple stripes and elaborate floral embroideries.

The stripes and harmonious colors of the collection were inspired by Agnes Martin: The Nineties and Beyond, the colors and richness of HEATH Ceramics, the photographs of Slim Aarons and the worn red of an empty paint bucket found on the side of a road.

Agnes Martin’s paintings from The Nineties and Beyond include titles such as “Beautiful Life;” “Love & Happiness” and “A Little Girls Response to Love” – the mood of the collection echoes these titles and whispers to a clear, crisp spring day.

More pictures and look book coming soon…


THE BASIC FOUR

While I love a good apron and The Gentle Art of Domesticity, cleaning has never been a particularly sexy task around our house. However, I loved the article below that ran in our local paper on Tuesday of this week.

It makes me happy that living clean is going mainstream.

Some great recipes are available here.

Maggie loved mixing the ingredients with me in the kitchen last night.

BUT, I still swear by Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena for washing our clothes…

*Make your own apron like the one above with the Bloomers Pattern available as a pull-out from our Alabama Stitch Book.

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REVIVAL OF CLASSICISM

I stumble across more and more about Classicism these days.

Stylesight writes about it this month:   “Words such as Heritage and Craftsmanship – ones that we have heard much of recently – are more than just the buzz labels du jour. Rather they form a bridge to a past many consumers look back at longingly.”

Revival of Classicism – Overview by Renee Labbe