Tag Archive | Eye on Design

Eye On Design: Beaded Culottes Dress By Norman Norell

Beaded Culottes Dress
Photos By Gail 

In 1960, Norman Norrell  created one of his most daring and sensational innovations, the first culotte-skirted, wool flannel day suit. Soon thereafter, he debuted the culotted evening dress. Although it took years to gain widespread popularity, Norell responded to the fact that modern women were more mobile than ever and needed clothing to match their lifestyles.

Beaded Culottes Dress
Pale Pink Beaded Culottes Dress (1961), Chiffon with Glass Beads

Because he was convinced of the culotte’s value and insisted that it be made perfectly, Norell offered to give away his pattern to other Seventh Avenue clothing companies free of charge.

Photographed as part of the Exhibit, Norell: Dean of American Fashion, on View Through April 14th, 2018 at the Musuem at FIT in Manhattan.


Eye On Design: Twiggy London Girl Dress Circa 1966

Twiggy London Girl Dress
Photos By Gail

This Twiggy London Girl Dress (1966) was part of a product line by British teenage model Twiggy, so nicknamed due to her skinny, twig-like frame. The short, A-line construction plays on the silhouette that many designers were working with during the 1960s to free wearers from the heavily structured styles of the previous decade.

Twiggy Fashions

Twiggy came to embody the increasingly thin, youthful ideal of the ’60s and remains a key reference in debates about body image.

Photographed in the Museum at FIT in Manhattan as part of the Exhibit, The Body: Fashion and Physique, on View Through May 5th, 2018.

Eye On Design: Menorah #7 By Peter Shire

Menorah #7 By Peter Shire
All Photos By Gail

In the 1980s, Judaica artists began to reexamine the form of the Hanukkah lamp, which according to rabbinical prescription should have eight lights in a straight row and on the same level, with a ninth set off from them.  Peter Shire (b. 1947) typically takes familiar objects and reimagines their shapes, colors and materials so that we barely recognize them.

Menorah #7 By Peter Shire

In his Menorah #7  (1986), a mixture of pastel and hot colors, industrial metals and a cantilevered, swirling arrangement of parts  challenge the modernist aesthetic of simplicity that had dominated design for a century. This post-modernism was a key design principe of the Memphis Design Group to which Shire belonged.

Menorah #7 By Peter Shire

Photographed in The Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Wolf Kahan Tuxedo Owned By Adolf De Meyer

Adolph De Meyer Tuxedo
Photos By Gail

A member of the “international set” in fin-de-siècle Europe, Baron Adolf de Meyer (1868–1946) was also a pioneering photographer, known for creating works that transformed reality into a beautiful fantasy. De Meyer likely acquired this tuxedo from the venerable tailor Wolf Kahan during a visit to Vienna. Kahan’s shop, designed by the modernist architect Adolf Loos, catered to the city’s leading artists. The tailor’s son Louis worked from 1925 to 1927 as a designer for the Paris couturier Paul Poiret, whose collections De Meyer photographed.

De Meyer was considered an arbiter of style; he wrote columns for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar that instructed American women on the latest European trends in fashion and interior decoration. His columns  also offered tips on hostess etiquette and entertaining. For a time, De Meyer produced his own couture line, Gayne House, sold through his New York shop, Zarah.

Adolph De Meyer Tuxedo
Wolf Kahan Tuxedo Circa 1930. Jacket and Trousers: Black Wool Broadcloth and Silk Satin
Vest: Black Wool Twill, Rayon Grosgrain, and Silk Plain Weave

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Quicksilver Brilliance: Adolf De Meyer Photographs, on View Through April 8th, 2018 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Vista Picture Frames Made From Recycled Styrofoam!

Table Display of Frames
All Photos By Gail

If you are anything like me, framed favorite artwork and photos are not only a huge part of your home decor, they’re also an important part of how you rock your personal style.  I love a nice frame so much, I often pick up one that catches my eye even before I have something in mind to go inside it. Maybe you never considered that a  picture frame manufacturer could be a force in the campaign to sustain our planet, but at a recent IHA Press Event, I was introduced to a collection of gorgeous and innovative modern framing solutions from Vista Frame Company which are all created from one of our most notoriously non-biodegradable, manmade materials: Polystyrene (aka Styrofoam). Unbelievable, but true!

Table Display With Foam Example

Did you know that consumers discard about 5 billion pounds of  styrofoam annually? That’s crazy! The story is that even before Vista became a frame company, they were trying to do anything they could to protect our enviroment. Because of this, Vista created a styrofoam recycling machine, and they have placed these machines all over the world, taking away a portion of the 5 billion pounds of styrofoam that would otherwise end up in a landfill every year. Once styrofoam is broken down in these machines, they ship it to their factory and create Vista Frames from the recycled, pelletized styrofoam.

Frame Recycling Step 1

Pink Accent Frame

Vista Frames are super stylish, and of such high quality you would never guess they were not made of wood, plastic, metal or other traditional materials. I love that this company is making a beautiful, functional products and taking care of the Earth in the process. Vista makes the perfect frame for every photo or piece  of frame-able artwork in your home.

Pineapple Art Print

Each piece even comes with a fun print that you just might want to leave in the frame! Find out more about Vista Frames, and shop the collection, at This Link!

Vista Frame Company Signage

Eye On Design: Lucy Jones Shirt for Wheelchair Users

Lucy Jones Shirt
All Photos By Gail

Lucy Jones creates fashionable garments for wheelchair users and people with diverse abilities who sit for extended hours at a time. Both groups of people are often unable to consume mainstream fashion. Jones designed this Shirt (2017) for a seated body. It has a cropped silhouette to prevent bunching and discomfort, and features easy-to-use magnetic fasteners.

Lucy Jones Shirt Sleeve Detail

The sleeves, including the example above, are also designed for ease of dressing.

Lucy Jones Shirt Installation View
Installation View

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit The Body: Fashion and Physique, On View a the Museum at FIT Through May 5th, 2018.

Eye On Design: Kyoto Table By Shiro Kuramata

Kyoto Table
Photos By Gail

Born in Tokyo in 1934, Shiro Kuramata studied at the city’s polytechnic high school and Kuwsawa Design School. He revolutionized design in postwar Japan by considering the relationship between form and function, adhering to minimalist ideas but embracing surrealism as well. During the 1970s and 1980s, Kuramata began to use new technologies and industrial materials. He was inspired by Ettore Sottsass and joined the Memphis Group at its founding in 1981.

Kyoto Table Detail
Kyoto Table, Detail

The Kyoto Table (1983) is an example Kuramata’s innovative use of concrete and glass to create minimalist form with surface interest. Kuramata’s furniture and interiors have been influential both is his native country and abroad.

Photographed in the Met Breuer in NYC.