Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Next Stop: #HMBalmaiNation

I have been a Balmain fan for awhile.  Balmain women's collection had always been more of a party clothes vibe whereas Balmain men's collection had always been more of a clothes that you can wear daily.  Balmain for H&M is exactly that: women's clothes is very sexy and more night time than day while men's is more of a day time affair.

This men's collection is essentially best of Balmain from the past decade.  It had few pieces that were from the Decarnin era but most of them are designed by Olivier Rousteing.  For those who don't know the recent history of Balmain... essentially Christophe Decarnin revived Balmain in 2006 from a sleepy brand to the IT brand in 2006.  Decarnin's biker look was the rage all over Paris.  His biker jeans were insanely expensive (and the new ones still are very expensive); most started at $1,000 and some were as high as $2,500 for cotton jeans.  Depend who you talk to /read, Decarnin couldn't handle the pressure and resigned in 2011.  Olivier was his assistant and took over as Design Director when Decarnin left.  Initially I thought he was just way too young/ inexperienced to be in charge for such a venerable house but some of his pieces have definitely captured my heart.

Here are my favorite pieces from the H&M x Balmain collaboration.  The embroidery jacket looks amazing.  While I'm not sure if it is wearable especially during daytime, I would be open to snatching it if the price is right as regular Balmain embroidery jackets are well into 5 figures.   

The biker jacket is absolutely the IT piece for me.  It's a classic Balmain staple and when you unzip the front flaps, the jacket becomes a more traditional biker jacket shape.  The leather jogger is also another must for me.  I can't get enough leather joggers! 
Hoodies are all the rage in SF Bay Area and this shape takes it up another notch.  I like the leather padding at the shoulder to give it an unexpected twist.  Can't wait to see it in person.
Lastly, this olive military jacket was designed by Decarnin.  I believe it was his last season.  I love the clean line of the silhouette.  This coat is a must in my book!
What is your favorite Balmain for H&M piece?  Or more importantly, how many hours will you wait in line to ensure you get the pieces you want on November 5th?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Soccer Mom's revenge!

Michelle Grabner is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and one of the curators for 2014 Whitney Biennial.  End of last year, she had an exhibition at James Cohan Gallery. 

This is what Michelle said about her art: "These works were based on particular materials such as washcloths, blankets and window screens. As in Scarry's quote, the work evolved away from the particular toward the universal. Although the process of employing found material as a template continued, the material--a simple cotton weave blanket--now provided only a roving grid pattern that did not reveal itself as a specific item. Local color evidenced in the previous bodies of work gave way to full spectrum bands of radiating pastel color, again making a shift toward Scarry's "distributional." This relationship to beauty is also underscored in Plato's requirement that we move from eros to caritas, from the interest in the beauty of one person toward the beauty of all. "Being good, bearing knowledge and acting fairly" are classical virtues I would like to reinvestigate via abstraction within the contemporary discourse of painting. I am most concerned with metaphorically conveying beauty as compassionate and good-hearted, that which is very distinct from the sublime." 

Ken Johnson's, art critic at NY Times, reviewed Michelle Grabner exhibition and this is what he had to say about her art: "Nothing in all this is more interesting than the unexamined sociological background of the whole. If the show were a satire of the artist as a comfortably middle-class tenured professor and soccer mom, it would be funny and possibly illuminating, but it’s not."

In 2015, this is Michelle Grabner's rebuttal.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ansel Adam on the cheap!

Since 2007, 20x200 has been selling gorgeous prints online.  Their motto is "It's Art for Everyone".  And they do mean every one.... whether you make 20k a year or 2M a year.  Every print they make, they make them in several different sizes.  In this case, The Tetons, Snake River by Ansel Adams, they have 8"x10", 11"x14", 16"x20", 20"x24", and 30"x40".  Each size has different editions.  For example, 11"x14" has 500 editions available whereas 30"x40" only has 10 editions available.  The starting price range from $24 to $1800.  So for price of a cheap dinner out ($24), you can buy an original limited edition print by Ansel Adams!  How awesome is that?! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

New Jeff Koon Balloon Dog!

If you have been following Jeff Koon's limited edition artwork, then surely you know of balloon dog plates that were published by MOCA back in 2002.  I remember seeing the dog plates in red and blue and didn't think much of them.  I believe they were asking $595 each.  Well, unfortunately for me, I did not stock up on those plates (more like I didn't get any).  Today, those balloon dog plates regularly sells for $16,000-$20,000.  Pretty good investment if you ask me!  MOCA together with Jeff Koons had decided to publish a different color balloon dog plate recently (all net proceeds will be dedicated to MOCA's endowment).  This time in yellow.  Unfortunately the price is no longer $595....Now it's a princely sum of $8,000.  I guess that's still a bargain considering red or blue dog plates routinely sells for $16,000 and up.  So for those readers with deep pockets, you may want to buy up these "cheap" plates since I'm sure once they are sold out, you will start to see them popping up at Christie's or Sotheby's for $16,000 and up.  One per customer per MOCA website.  Start to get your aunt Betty and nephew John calling MOCA.  LOL.   

Friday, July 10, 2015

Raffle Winner!

And we have a winner for the Ermenegildo Zegna toiletry bag giveaway!  The winner is Shakeia R.!  Please send me your US address within a week so I can send the prize to you.  Please note, I will repick another winner if I don't hear from you by next Friday (7/17/15).  Thank you everyone else for entering and have a great summer!  Until next time.  :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Limited Edition Herzog & de Meuron architecture model

If you have someone who loves starchitects or who collects architecture model (I know, what's the difference?  LOL), this may be the most economical gift yet.  This limited edition PAMM model by Herzog & de Meuron is priced at $295 and there are only 50 of them exist in the world.  Compare this to Herzog & de Meuron's Tate Modern limited edition model of the new addition which is cost about $2200 and there is 250 of them.

PAMM, which stands for Perez Art Museum Miami, overlooks Biscayne Bay in Miami.  Founded in 1984, the museum was called Center for the Fine Arts.  Then in 1996, it was renamed as Miami Art Museum.  In 2013, the museum moved to Museum Park (formerly Bicentennial Park) and renamed again as Perez Art Museum in honor of the $40 million gift by Jorge M. Perez.  The museum focuses on 20th century and contemporary art.  PAMM had anticipated 200,000 visitors in its first year but it got over 150,000 visitors in its first four months!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy July 4th Giveaway!

Happy 4th of July everyone!  To celebrate this holiday, I'm giving away an Ermenegildo Zegna toiletry bag!  This sleek black toiletry bag is perfect for traveling or for gathering all nicknacks in one single place.  Great as a gift as well!

Please note: apologies to my international friends - I wish I could extend these giveaways to you but legal restrictions prevent it. Thanks for understanding.