The Cowgirl Way

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i love anything to do with cowgirls, so it was a treat looking through this recent New York Times feature about cowgirls of today who grow up in the ranch country of the Texas Panhandle. some of these girls appear quite tough (and i bet they are!) but then you spot the inconspicuous braid in their horse’s mane. photographer Ilona Szwarc is known for her series about American Girls, which you can see on her website.

When talking about rodeoing, the girls muse about their spiritual connection to the animals and the grit the sport helps them build — rather than the fact that they’re crossing over into traditionally male territory. “I used to be scared a lot, to even get on a horse,” Riley Sessions, 12, says. “I got tougher as I got on a horse and started riding. You’ve got to be pretty brave to ride a horse.” – Julie Bosman

12 hrs

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i really love the idea behind 12 hrs, a new travel site launched by The Locals photographer Søren Jepsen and writer Anna Peuckert. much like my own city guide to Cape Town, they aim to give you tips “that aren’t about money, but about great discoveries from all around the world.” i wish i could have had their guide to Copenhagen handy when i visited there in 2007, now guess i can add another reason to go again.

We love to travel. We also love design, and music, and fashion. And we were missing a website full of travel tips for people like us. Somewhere between the backpackers and the luxury hotels. To keep it simple, we organized them in itineraries. 12 hours per trip. Sweet and short. With the best to see, do, eat, dance we could fit in one short stay.

all photos by 12 hrs

TEN & Co.

tenco

you’ll remember the beautiful lookbook from shoemakers TEN & Co. that i shared last year. well, they have gone in a completely different direction to showcase their Spring 2013 collection! showing off their beautiful handmade shoes in sumptuous table settings of food & drink, reminiscent of the still life paintings from Dutch golden age artists like Pieter ClaeszWillem van Aelst, Jan Davidsz. de Heem and Willem Claeszoon Heda (to mention a few). be sure to check out the entire lookbook and read about the story behind these rad shoes.

photography by René Cervantes, styling by Alex Brannian and Tory Noll

Desert Warrior

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Yo Vintage is one of my rad sponsors, a vintage shop based in Portland with an excellent online shop that also stocks new jewellery and accessories from independent designers. they just released their latest lookbook Desert Warrior which just ticks all the boxes for me, especially that beautiful cream skirt & blouse combo – classic. be sure to have a gander through their other lookbooks – Rose City is another great one.

ps: if you’re an independent shop / designer / cool person and you’re interested in sponsoring just get in touch.

Nice Things No.16

nice-things-16

here are ten nice things for the home: to buy, to DIY, or just to sigh (at)…

sweet little bowls by Fine Little Day:

porcelain serving boards by honeycomb studio:

unbelievable textiles by Mae Engelgeer, via gimii:

the awesome project is awesome:

Pennyweight Goods presents the Southern Lights Electric x Pennyweight wall lamp:

Bindle is a sweet gifting idea:

a DIY embroidery kit by Lisa Grue:

a faceted wall clock by Raw Dezign:

a DIY kitchen towel rack made from a brass rod, by Bambula:

and, pretty things inside tape:

8 Homes

eight-homes

Simone & Rhys Haag’s home in Melbourne is one of the nicest & most inspiring i’ve seen in a while:

Aerin Lauder’s house in Aspen (profiled by Vogue of course, of course):

a beautiful renovation of an apartment by AR architects, i particularly like the yellow details (and those floors):

a home in London designed by Charles Mellersh, more lovely golden detailing:

artist Pia Dehne’s house & studio in the Catskills:

Swedish apartment for sale (and immaculately styled):

Bri’s inspiring office makeover (not really a home, but homey – yes):

and a weekend beach house that i wouldn’t mind making a full time house house:

The Socialite Family

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consider The Socialite Family a French version of FvF – except focusing on families, of course. founder Constance Gennari started the website to share her true passion: “observing interior design through the eyes of a family, whether in Paris, New York or anywhere else in the world.”

Traditional values, more particularly, family values are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s world. As young parents, we not only have a responsibility to provide a just and honest education to our children, but also to teach them to appreciate the better things in life, as any true epicurean would. Through the lenses of various photographers that irresistibly draw us into the world of these modern families, The Socialite Family mission us to imagine and inspire.

i like the latest feature of stylist Aurélie Lecuyer and her husband Jean-Christophe who lives in Nantes with their two little boys. the beautiful photographs are by Melanie Rodriguez.

Atem

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ATEM caught my eye with their beautiful website and interesting lookbook (and the bags, of course). the brand was formed in 2011 by designer Nelson Abulencia, and is based in Germany. be sure to check out their site for more.

ATEM creates purity, finesse and quality in accessories. We like to call it contemporary timelessness. We enjoy attention to detail in everything we do and therefore only use carefully considered materials that satisfy our high understanding of quality & style. The strongest garments and smoothest leathers are crafted into functional design items with a sense of tactile simplicity. To ensure our vision translates into every item that leaves the studio we only work with contractors that share our idea of creating a highly durable contemporary modern classic.

credits: direction & design: HelloMe, Till Wiedeck / photography: Patrick Desbrosses

niko and…

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thanks to Marize for introducing me to niko and … another cool looking Japanese mail order fashion company that (a) i can’t understand and (b) will probably never actually order from. well, like many things on the internet i shall just sit back and admire. especially their cute 30 days coordinate project (they are on day 17 now, so check back for more.)

Kruger Park

Miss Moss // Kruger Trip

Miss Moss // Kruger Park

i’m so excited to share these photos of our trip to the bush! a lot of what we saw couldn’t be captured on film – the animals are simply too fast for you sometimes, and most of the time they’re too far away to get a great shot – unless you have a telephoto lens (and you’ll see a lot of people with SERIOUS lenses in the park, trying to get that perfect shot). our best moments were experienced through binoculars – which are an essential item to have if you’re ever considering a trip to Kruger (or any game park in Africa).

Good Guys

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Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather is a vegan shoe brand from Parisian designer Marion Hanania. the shoes contain no animal by-products, and the design is influenced by shapes, styles and looks from bygone times. i love those sandals (even though they’re actually for guys) and of course cannot resist a brightly coloured brogue. check out their website & their online shop for more info.

Lorde

Lorde

Lorde

in the past week i’ve received two emails telling me about 16 year old New Zealand singer Lorde (thanks Holly and Sarah). this girl is good. and the more i listened to her music the more i thought, damn what was i doing at 16? i was making mixtapes, not music. i wasn’t causing a mini-music revolution in New Zealand. i’m really looking forward to seeing what Lorde will be doing when she’s 21. she also has big lovely hair which i am quite envious of.

enjoy her EP The Love Club below, or at her website or soundcloud, and buy it on iTunes.

The Dress

Carolyn Kennedy's dress by Narciso Rodriguez

Carolyn Kennedy's dress by Narciso Rodriguez

just like many women i’ve always had an idea of what kind of wedding dress i’d want to wear. if at any point in the last decade you had to ask me on the spot i’d probably reference Carolyn Kennedy on her wedding day (her dress was designed by Narciso Rodriguez). looking at that photo again now that scene seems to encapsulate everything i’d imagine a perfect wedding to be. a rustic venue, an elegant dress, simple shoes & an even simpler bouquet, pulled back hair…

this is a long, wedding-ey post. so if you’re interested, read more below…

Saugatuck Summer Art School

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when i was compiling yesterday’s post about art appreciation i came upon these photos taken by Wallace Kirkland for Life magazine. the photo essay shows scenes from a summer art school in 1948, and after a bit of googling i discovered that the school in question still exists! OxBow is situated in the Saugatuck area of Michigan, and was established over a century ago.

Founded by Frederick Fursman and Walter Marshall Clute, artists from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow was to serve as a respite for artists from the industrializing havoc of Chicago. Today, Ox-Bow’s longevity is due to the strength of this mission and the artists who have held true to it.

it all looks like a dream to me – hanging out, drawing and screenprinting and making ceramics and taking boats across the lake to do plein air painting… a dream! and man were these girls in the 40s awesome. i love their rolled up jeans and casual white shirts. saugatuck summer art school looks pretty damn cool.

this last photo was taken by Loomis Dean in 1949. “Nude Model Doris Fischer smoking cigarette as she takes a 5 minute break fr. posing for a half hour for students at Oxbow, The Art Institute of Chicago’s summer school.”

edit: i received an email from Professor Tony Jones, who is the Chancellor & President-emeritus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago telling me a bit more about the school…

Hello Diana in Capetown, South Africa, this is Tony Jones in Chicago, USA, sending to say a big Thank You for the story you posted about the Oxbow Summer School of Painting in Saugatuck, Michigan, USA.

You are most perceptive (as are those who left comments) – Oxbow is indeed an idyllic place, almost a dream-definition of what a summer art camp of the beach would look like in a fantasy. But fantasy not – it’s real, and if you saw it today, the years between 2013 and year when these photographs were taken, 1948, would melt away. Oxbow is a flourishing haven for artists, and is run by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (which is 150 miles away on the other side of Lake Michigan – Oxbow is on the west coast of Michigan – what is called “The Sunset Coast”). In the photograph showing the model atop a dune, being painted by a group of students, it shows the big lake in the background – but the pictures of students in canoes is the Oxbow Lagoon (now, how romantic is that ? – a private freshwater lagoon, with no powerboats, no jet-skis, and partly covered with flowering water-lilies, just like Monet’s gardens at Giverny. Artists mount easels on the canoes and paddle out into the lily-fields to paint directly from nature).

And speaking of models – yes, we still teach a class called The Figure in the Landscape, and you’d find a model posing (wearing only bug-spray) and students painting her … along with classes in sculpture, printmaking, bronze-casting, wrought-iron, ceramics, textiles, papermaking, and glassblowing … in a wonderful open-air hot-glass studio right on the edge of the lagoon.

Oxbow is now over 100 years old and we still run it as it always was – an escape from busy downtown Chicago to a silent, calm, rustic retreat of about 150 acres, set on the lagoon, surrounded by thick woodlands, several herds of deer, with no cars, no streetlights, just studio and very basic cabins for sleeping, beautiful workshops and The Inn, the gathering place where we provide all meals (the belltower chimes and you come back from wherever you are and eat en famille – then go back to your work. At Oxbow you come just to work, there are no distractions, you are there at your own speed to draw or dream). Oxbow is a very special place, deeply loved by all who attended or taught there, and we keep it that way – and the list of alumni is quite extraordinary : imagine the summer when one of the students, short of cash, but with a culinary talent that matched his art ability, agreed to be the paid cook … and returned the following summer from his Art Institute studies in sculpture to work in the Oxbow studios – he is Claes Oldenburg, founder of the Pop Art movement in New York, and one of America’s leading and most influential artists (and Oxbow alumni !).

This article from LIFE is really a joy – and quite a number of the people in the photographs have been identified, some still alive and recalling the period well. I’m contacting LIFE to see of they still have the originals and the out-takes that never made it to the magazine – I am currently writing about the School of the Art Institute and it’s various off-site art-camps (in Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan and even Mexico), so your link came to me with great delight – thanks thanks and thanks again.