Posted Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2012
THE HORNS OF (AN ART) DILEMMA
Difficult to describe and layered with a whisper of painted pattern-on-pattern detail almost too delicate for photographs to capture, the embellished cow skull art by Bonehead artist LaJean Bailey begs categorization. At first glance they seem brashly over the top -- they are at once folk art, fine art and modern art -- but spend time with them and these artworks become across-the-board beguiling. Some feature a lanky stretch of pearly polished longhorns; the crumpled horns of others have a sculptural bend. Whether bedazzled with turquoise, crystals, colored stones or painted with trompe l'oeil flowers, the results bring a new glamour to the traditional wall trophy. $495 and up. Speak with Aisle Ten owner Glenda King about commissioning customized horns. Aisle Ten, 108 S. Ranch House Road, Suite 800, Willow Park, 817-922-8422.
TITANIC COMES TO LIFE
It looks like only Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet will be missing from the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History's sprawling new show, "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," opening Oct. 13. The Titanic-sized exhibit, timed to the 100-year anniversary of the tragedy, puts on display 250 rare objects from the ship. Among them: china bearing the distinct White Star Line logo, a luminous 26-gem bracelet and perfume. Upon entering the show, each museum patron will receive an exact replica of a boarding pass held by every Titanic traveler. A chronological voyage then begins, starting with how the ship was built, through the lush life on board, its sinking and a display of how these startling artifacts were recovered. The exhibit not only re-creates the splendor of first-class cabins, but museum goers also will be able to feel just how frigid an iceberg is, as they contemplate how quickly a triumphant maiden voyage turned tragic. The exhibit runs through March; tickets are $18 children, $19 seniors and $29 adults ($6 for museum members). 1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth. For tickets and more information, call 817-255-9540 or visit www.fortworthmuseum.org.
A PLATEFUL OF TALENT
We don't hate Eva Mendes because she's beautiful. We hate her because not only is she a movie star, but she also gets high marks for her dinnerware designs. Her earthenware line, Vida by España, now includes the Rose Print Collection, hand-painted dishes and serving pieces inspired by sunny childhood memories filled with family and friends and, yes, food. (We do hate her a little for loving to eat while being so skinny.) We already loved the Catalina dishes for the flared-square and palm-friendly shapes, painted with botanical flourishes in soft yellow, tangerine, sky blue and pale greens. Rose Print has a chintz-meets-Talavera country house vibe that meshes easily with Italian and Portuguese pottery to bring a bright, global fusion to your fest. And we love a handled cereal bowl as much as we love a scalloped salad plate. $50 per place setting. Macy's; www.macys.com.
SUCKED IN BY DYSON
It's hard to love a vacuum cleaner. Like the lawn mower, it's not really something to which we give much thought. But if we ever needed to make a quick run at the front lawn, the way we sometimes need to take a fast sweep at the carpet seconds before company arrives, we'd be as quick to salute a nimble grass trimmer as we are to say we adore the recently unveiled Dyson Digital Slim. We thought the lightweight, cordless vacuum cleaner might be just another example of engineers overworking the tried and true when we first heard this vacuum being touted for its "high performance." That is, until we picked up the 5-pound, long-necked, cobalt blue beauty. It's not only lovely, it's useful; the light (detachable) aluminum wand easily reaches crumbs or cobwebs. We even get giggly over the poetry of the pitch that explains Archimedes' brilliant lever principle that gives the machine perfect "poise in the hand." An agile machine that performs better (did we mention the cobalt blue?) -- what's not to love? $399. Available at Lowe's; www.dyson.com.
THE REEL VREELAND
When Diana Vreeland died in 1989, she was already a fashion legend. As a fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and later the editor of Vogue, she revolutionized the genre by publishing culturally relevant articles about art and music, commissioning photo shoots featuring lavish locations and nontraditional models, and creating a high-low aesthetic that continues to inform modern style today. Vreeland advised Jackie Kennedy on her first lady fashion choices, launched the bikini and later brought the Met's Costume Institute worldwide acclaim as its director. But the Paris-born Vreeland was also a real person -- an insecure student with a stutter, a wife who adored her husband and the mother of two boys -- and a fascinating documentary released this month, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, tells the story of her life. Filmmaker and director Lisa Immordino Vreeland (who is married to her subject's grandson) draws on a rich trove of interviews and archival film and video footage. Through the medium of film, the viewer gets the ultimate entree into Diana Vreeland's private life, coming away with a more complete appreciation of the passion, energy and dedication required to create not only a fabulous life, but also an incredible legacy. Showing at The Magnolia (3699 McKinney Ave., Suite 100, Dallas, 214-764-9106) and at the Angelika Film Center Plano (7205 Bishop Road, Suite E6, Plano, 972-943-1300) starting Oct. 19.
HERMÈS GOES SILVER
On Oct. 3, the Hermès boutique in Dallas will open an archival showcase of Parisian silversmith Puiforcat's rarest prestige pieces in a jaw-dropping, monthlong exhibition of remarkable form and function.
Established in the Marais district of Paris in 1820 by Emile Puiforcat, the house became known around the world for its balance of proportion and exquisite detail. Fledged as a family-owned cutlery workshop, the company soared to renown with reproductions of 18th-century silver masterpieces by Louis-Victor Puiforcat in the 1890s, followed by Jean Puiforcat's innovative marriage of silver with art deco motifs in the 1920s. You can't buy the archival pieces; however, Puiforcat (purchased by Hermès in 1993) continues to produce each design with the same craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations. And as the incredible vintage pieces are rarely on public display, we can think of no better excuse for a road trip east. Hermès of Paris, 21 Highland Park Village, Dallas, 214-528-0197.
The sophisticated way to answer that age-old "trick or treat" query? With some candy of course -- arm candy. And spooky doesn't get any chicer than Jennifer Fisher's marvelously macabre jewelry. Inspired by spikes, insects, skulls and chains, this New York City-based bauble designer's brass, gold and silver pieces brilliantly blend spooky with sweet, the perfect gift for any mummy. Fisher's website -- the only place to find the entire collection other than Fisher's SoHo showroom -- boasts screen after screen of statement pieces, ranging from customizable charms shaped like keys, skulls and spikes to giant vertebrae cuffs ($1,375), a large brass skull bracelet plated in rose gold ($1,100) and an impressive gold skull ring with glittering diamonds for eyes ($5,800). 888-255-0640; www.jenniferfisherjewelry.com.
It's like something out of a movie: a grand art deco theater on Fort Worth's west side, on the verge of being sold, demolished and turned into a bank branch, is saved at the eleventh hour and restored to its former glory. In this case, fact is stranger than any fiction, but the result is an unqualified happy ending. The Ridglea Theater, rescued from oblivion by a Dallas businessman, will reopen to the public Oct. 20, when Historic Fort Worth (which assisted in getting the building an official, federal historic designation) will host its inaugural Retro Ball there. The event, designed to evoke the Ridglea's Dec. 1, 1950, grand opening (right down to the red carpet), will give visitors an opportunity to see the theater's meticulously renovated interior, including the custom terrazzo floor restored to its original specifications, along with the lobby's hand-painted mural, which took nine months to salvage. Tickets for the Retro Ball start at $225 per person. If you'd rather relive the Ridglea's cinematic heyday, a "sing-along" edition of The Sound of Music will screen Oct. 21. Individual tickets are $20-$25, and a table of 10 can be reserved for $500. To learn more, call Historic Fort Worth at 817-336-2344.
Designers have given the nod to the textural and tactile this season as they strive to deliver more evidence of the maker's hand in home decor. And while all things truly custom remain covetable, the new Sculptured Surfaces line from York Wallcoverings successfully combines tradition and innovation to re-create the look of turn-of-the century artisanship. Newly formulated raised-ink designs borne of handwork by craftsmen using rare 19th-century surface presses have a bespoke appeal. But we are equally besotted with the versatile color palettes (from pearl-pewter-metallic to raspberry-orange-plum) and design motifs that make the wallcoverings easy companions to classic, contemporary and transitional themes. From designers Ronald Redding and Candice Olson, subtle metallic stripes and satin-finished tone-on-tone florals, modern geometrics and amped-up arabesques redeliver artisan-style papers rolled out for a new era. $180 per double-roll bolts. Studio 2435, 2435 S. University Drive, Fort Worth, 817-738-0097; Leland's Interiors, 2021 S. Cooper St., Arlington, 817-226-7890.
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