Friday, November 30, 2012

The Art of Scent

 Last night I went on a tour of the first ever perfume exhibition with no bottles, no ingredients, no videos in the new olfactory arts department at the Museum of Arts and Design at Columbus Circle.

 The new exhibit, The Art of Scent is the creation of perfume critic and author Chandler Burr. I was enthralled with his The Perfect Scent a few years back.

 "The fundamental goal of the department is placing scent as an artistic medium alongside painting, sculpture and music" Burr said. "The greatest scents are not recognized as works of art, and the artists who create them are not recognized as artists.” Presented in 2 galleries, the first is bare walled except for 12 curved indentations emitting 12 perfumes from 1889 through 2012 by top perfumers like Jicky by Aime Guerlain, Chanel N.5 by Enest Beaux, L'Interdit by Francis Fabron...

 Drakkar Noir by Pierre Wargnye, Angel by Olivier Cresp, L'Eau d'Issey by Jacques Cavallier etc.

 These scent diffusion machines usually found at industry shows. When a visitor leans in an electric eye is set off causing a burst of fragrance that lasts 4 seconds. This highly interactive installation was designed by Elizabeth Diller (The Highline) of Diller Scofidio and Renfro.

 In the next room the same 12 perfumes are available in liquid form

 Labeled touches,the paper blotter strips perfumers use to dip into recessed wells of perfume on the glass table

 Are you dying to dip and sniff?

 It's tremendous fun and educational in the most sensuous way

 A pure experience without distracting glam packaging, glitzy stars or romantic videos we usually associate with perfume. Just your nose and your senses are engaged.

 There's a handy free guide on the perfumes and their creators.

 Plus the limited edition catalog out soon including samples of 11 perfumes on display.

 Chandler told us the US has a population of 300,000,000 and sells 50,000,000 bottles of perfume annually. France, with a population of 60,000,000, sells 60,000,000 bottles of perfume annually. C'est comme ca!

Infused with perfume I stepped out the door of The Museum of Art and Design into Columbus Circle. Everything is glowing including me.
The Art of Scent is on till February 24, 2013.
2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dior-Printemps Xmas

 Paris Christmas windows open early November. Printemps did an homage to Dior's 1947 New Look and it's coupola.

 And the color RED!

 This is a rather complicated re-iteriation of the pinched-in-waist look

 And the big full skirt.

 Definitely very ladylike indeed.

 Marionette dollies dance in Printemps windows, their circle skirts twirling.!
 A primal accessory is the lollipop/la sucette a big favorite of the French.

 You'll need a lot of lollie to purchase these special edition Dior bags, shoes and scarves at Printemps.

 Overhead a ceiling of golden lights reflect back into the windows.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grace & The Catwalk Cats

 If you saw 'The September Issue' two years ago I'll bet you fell in love with US Vogue magazine Creative Director, Grace Coddington like I did.
 I went looking for other things she'd done and found her whimsical The Catwalk Cats (which you can find reasonably on Amazon used).
 It's loaded with drawings of Grace's cats, made on hotel writing paper tripping round the world and then faxed off to her partner Didier Malige recounting her adventures in the fashion race.

 Sometimes Grace draws herself sitting by the catwalk (with Puff and 'Anna').

 I was busy drawing cats yesterday so didn't get to post - please forgive.

 Included in Catwalk are Didier's photos of their adorable kits...

 When I heard Grace had a memoir out I was thrilled. Enfin

 Starting from the getgo it tells of Grace's early days growing up on a small island off Wales, Anglesey.
There were sand dunes in the distance and rugged monochrome cliffs strung out along the coast. And Druid circles. And hardly any trees. And bleakness. Although it was bleak, I saw beauty in its bleakness. There was a little sailboat called Argo that I used to drift about in for hours in grand seclusion when it was not tethered to a small rock...I was fifteen then, my head filled with romantic fantasies, some feuled by the mystic spirit of Anglesey.

There are Grace's drawings here too along with many fashion shots...
On Growing UP
In which the winds howl,
the waves crash, 
the rains pours down,
and our lonely heroine dreams of being Audrey Hepburn.
Is it any wonder that Grace Coddington's pages in Vogue are wildly romantic?
 At age eighteen Grace goes off to 60's Swinging London to attend modeling school and win a modeling contest and the rest...

 Well Paris waits, Karl and his cats and the haute couture. Many, many intriguing adventures later, including a couple of husbands etc. Grace has the gift of being in the right place at the right time as well as landing on her feet, like any good cat does when she encounters adversity.

 Is there a single fabulous fashion photographer Grace hasn't worked with? I doubt it. Yet she remains humble throughout the book to both her creative gifts and open to experiencing everything to the fullest that comes her way.
Her family had a crest, a dragon breathing flames, and a motto:
"Nil Desperandum" (Never Despair).
 Grace - A Memoir is an inspiring, adventurous book. You'll be enthralled.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Gerard Mulot Pink + Green

 King of pink + green, patissiere Gerard Mulot.

 Just 3 patisseries in Paris and a favorite with the locals of the 3rd, 6th and 13th.

 Parisian Michele first told me of Gerard Mulot...well she brought me his cacao-dusted almonds and whispered he is the best. Shhhh.
A pink and green dessert to match the ribbons and boxes.

 Why do Paris pastry descriptions sound like poetry?
Fond de macaron a la pistache, creme pistache, marmelade framboise parfumee a la violette.
 Pistachio crust, pistachio cream, raspberry jam perfumed with violet.

 Gerard Mulot's macarons come in endless sized boxes: coffret, reglette, boite Audace, Boite Decouverte, Boite Gourmande, Boite Festive.
 And endless flavors and intense colors.
Mint leaves with red fruits/ feuilles de menthe-fruits rouges.

 An homage to the almighty almond/amande in the window. France has many, many festive desserts like the macaron Parisian, calisson d'Aix, nougat, dragee et pate amande/marzipan.

 The 'pyramid' of macarons has replaced the piece monte as a party dessert. Just on the left, chef Mulot is being interviewed by French TV on his buche de Noel.
In Paris pastry is news.

 A fraise/strawberry decal on Mulots windows

 Reflect his many berry desserts especially the prize-winning tartelette au fraise.

 Parisian customers about to enter Mulot.
How do they stay so thin...

Bear too never gains an ounce at Gerard Mulot.

Magasin Saint Germain
76, rue de seine / 2, rue lobineau 75006
Magasin Glacière
93, rue de la glacière 75013
Magasin du Marais
6, rue du Pas de la Mule 75003