Friday, June 28, 2013

Damien Hirst's Large Spot Clock

If you are a contemporary art collector, no doubt you have heard of Damien Hirst before.  If you don't venture much into contemporary art scene, here's a quick 411: he is one of the biggest cheese among his contemporaries; like Andy Warhol who dominated 1970s and 1980s, Damien Hirst dominates 2000s and 2010s.  Hirst is known for a few things: formaldehyde animals in vitrines, spot paintings, medicine cabinets, and a human skull recreated in platinum and adorned with 8,601 diamonds weighing a total of 1,106.18 carats. 

The Large Spot Clock is, of course, after his own spot paintings.  Hirst explains that, “mathematically, with the spot paintings, I probably discovered the most fundamentally important thing in any kind of art. Which is the harmony of where colour can exist on its own, interacting with other colours in a perfect format."  Hirst once said he imagined these works as depicting a kind of alternate reality covered entirely in dots.  Like all contemporary art, how you interpret his spot paintings is your own business.  Of course Damien Hirst, being as commercial as he can, came up with spot clock which you can buy on his website.  And why not?  He's just taking Andy Warholism a little bit further.  Surely Andy would have done the same if he was still around.  Don't you think?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cavallo Point Lodge

Cavallo Point Lodge is where San Franciscans do their staycation.  It's a hotel right across Golden Gate Bridge north of San Francisco.   There are two lodging style choices:  One is traditional and the other is modern.  The traditional ones are perfect for families with kids.  There are multiple rooms in these lodges where everyone can have their own room.  In front of traditional lodges is a huge grass lawn where kids can run wild (and they do).  The contemporary lodges are up in the hills with great views of the Golden Gate bridge.  I had the pleasure to stay at a contemporary lodge and it was definitely memorable.  If green building is your thing, then Cavallo Point will not disappoint you.

Murray Circle restaurant on site is also quite good.  Prices are very reasonable.  Sure, you are not getting a Michelin Star food and presentation, but you are not paying Michelin Star prices either.  Their four course lunch menu for $23 is a steal!  You can't go wrong with the price and quality.

CP also has a very nice spa.  If you have a chance, definitely go check it out.  I had a pleasant facial there.  Staff were friendly and the facility was calming and tranquil. 

I had a very pleasant stay here and would definitely be back.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Early summer sales round up! 2013 edition

No doubt you have seen lots of department stores slashing prices left and right so that the savvy shoppers can snatch up a thing or two at lower price points.  Currently Saks is running 55% off, while both Bergdorf and Barney's New York is running a hefty 60% off.  Although frankly speaking most of the stuff at Bergdorf Goodman is still less than 50% off while Barney's did their slashing a week and a half ago which drastically diminished their inventory.  I think whatever is left on Barney' now is basically none moveable until they do another round of price cutting as it's pretty much picked over and then some.

Online retailers such as Mr Porter and Ssense are also furiously cutting their prices.  Ssense slashed some of their Lanvin leather handbags to 70% off a week ago.  Needless to say, most of those are gone.  This morning, some of their stuff besides Lanvin leather bags also join the 70% off club.  However, quite a few more desirable pieces are still hung onto that pesky 50% off.  Mr Porter also claimed up to 70% off but the more desirable brands are still at 40-50% off.  I don't think they can move those until they get to a truly 70% off in a few weeks.

For those of you obsessed with Missoni, just go to their main website and you can find the spring/summer stuff are already at 50% off (while websites like Mr Porter with less selection are still at stubborn 40% off).  Many places still have Saint Laurent Paris at 30% off.  But just go to Saint Laurent Paris' website.  It's already 50% off.  More selection and better mark downs.

The best sale of this season has got to be at Barney's New York.  They decideded to mark down most of their men's Fendi Selleria bag line to 60% off couple weeks ago.  I was in bag heaven!  I mean you really can't go wrong with buying a well made classic bag that you can use many many years to come.

The surprise sale of this season is men's Christian Louboutin.  They never ever held a men's sale before so it was a huge surprise to see finally men can buy on sale CL shoes (in their men's boutique as well as Barney's New York only)!  While most of the on sale shoes are basically the styles that you wouldn't want to be caught dead in (I kid), but it's an improvement of absolutely no sale to one sale every three years??  I hope to see it every season!

If I have all the money in the world, I would get this Lanvin watersnake leather jacket.  I have never seen anything like it.  It's got to be one of those classic cool jacket you can wear year after year.  It's nicely marked down at 50% off...... sadly still way outside of my budget.  One can only dream!    

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lighthouse Lamp by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

This lamp created by Ronan & Erwan for Established & Sons and Venini is just brilliant.  I love the shape of the glass.  It feels very fragile yet substantial.  This lamp is actually quite large in person.  I was told the glass is rather difficult to blow because of the size.  I just love the clean line of the form.  The juxtaposition of the hardness of the marble base and fragile nature of the glass top is very interesting and give the piece just right amount of tension.  Apparently it can be purchased either through your Venini dealer or Established & Sons.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BVRB, maître ébéniste

BVRB, aka BERNARD II VAN RISAMBURGH.  He is probably regarded as the best cabinet maker during the reign of Louis XV.  His gilt bronze mount (ormolu) is always more delicate looking when compares to his contemporaries and typically his cabinet would be inlaid with Japanese lacquer panels.   He is also known for inlaying his pieces with Sevres porcelain plaques.  In fact, he was the first cabinet maker to incorporate them into furniture.  His work is actually very easy to spot once you see enough of them.  The biggest giveaway is his ormolu... they always look so delicate and spindly.

To see his work, one just have to stroll through the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum in NYC or V&A Museum in London.   His work do come up at Christie's or Sotheby's from time to time.  They are highly sought after and often cost upwards of seven figures.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sale time at men's Christian Louboutin shop!

When was the last time you say men's Christian Louboutin shoes go on sale? Well, the answer has to be never because for three years, men's Christian Louboutin has never ever gone on sale.... until now. Started this past Friday, Christian Louboutin's men boutiques (NYC, Miami, LA) went on sale. It actually started on Thursday night for VIPs. You can also check out the Barney's New York stores that carries CL; selected styles went on sale. The shoes are 30% off. Not a lot but since it never goes on sale, I guess it's better than no sale at all! Unfortunately if you are looking for pikpik, spikes, or sneakers, you are out of luck as those usually sell out before they even hit the floor. However, for those who are more adventure some, you may be able to pick up boots like Aoussam, David at a discount.

Winner of the presummer giveaway!

Michele Smolin you are the winner for my presummer giveaway (Jonathan Adler Photo Album)!!! Please email me your address. Thank you all for entering.  Happy Summer! 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lanvin Sneakers!

Every fashionable man should have at least a pair of Lanvin captoe sneakers in my opinion.  They are as classic as your typical black wingtip shoes.  I love it that every season they come out with new colors and/or new leather treatment and somehow these new colors/ leather treatment are terribly enticing even though you have the exact same style of shoes with different color/ leather treatment in your shoe collection!  How does Lucas Ossendrijver do it???  This style of shoes works with just about any personal preference be it hipster or Wall Street.  Celebrities who own various Lanvin captoe sneakers range from Leonardo DiCaprio to David Beckham.  I'm already dreaming of the fall/winter 2013 dark blue captoe sneakers......

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta, the name translates to Venetian atelier, was founded by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro in 1966.  The company is known for its leather-weaving technique, called intrecciato.

BV made it very big in late 70s and 80s.  However, it declined in the 90s and the brand started to move away from its artisanal roots.  In 2001, Bottega Veneta hired Tomas Maier as its Creative Director.  He guided Bottega back to its understated elegance and once again BV is coveted by bag connoisseur all over the world.

Bottega Veneta bags are really some of the best well made bags in the world.  The leather is always very supple and the way they incorporate intrecciato design into most of their bags is unique and interesting.  The best way to see the quality of the bag is to touch it.  But be warn that once you are hooked on BV bags, it's hard to look at other machine made bags.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Jonathan Adler Photo Album Giveaway!

It's been awhile since I last had a giveaway. This time is a Jonathan Adler photo album! It's a cute mod photo album that can hold up to 100 pictures for your viewing pleasure. Please note: apologies to my international friends - I wish I could extend these giveaways to you but legal restrictions prevent it. Thanks for understanding.

Raffle ends on next Monday at Midnight.  Good luck everyone!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fendi Selleria Workshop

I'm not a big fan of Fendi logo bags.  It just feels very pedestrian... like hey, look at me, I'm carrying a bag with a bunch of Fs.  Fendi Selleria bags, on the other hand, is totally different.  They are all hand made and have a discrete silver plaque either inside or outside of the bag.  That's it.  You will definitely not know it's a Fendi bag if the plaque is inside.... although I think any bag connoisseur will be able to tell that the bag is of high quality because the leather and workmanship exudes that.  While one can find those fake Fendi logo bags allover midtown Manhattan, selleria bags are not copied because one, it's too expensive to copy it, and two, people who buys fake bags are attracted to instant recognizable bags (ie logo bags, or birkin bag shaped bags).  So thank god for that.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Globe Chandelier at Hollywood at Home

Peter Dunham's shop, Hollywood at Home, is truly fabulous.  It has a lot of really nice fabric and furniture.  My favorite piece in his store at the moment is the globe chandeliers he has in one of his rooms.  I just think they are unique looking as most of the chandeliers out there are of different shape.  You don't see circular ones too often.  At least not in that size.  He has two of them so they are perfect for a long rectangular dining room or singularly, it is great for a square room like entry area or a powder room with very high ceiling for a maximum impact!