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Art, Vintage

Saugatuck Summer Art School

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.

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Art

Art Appreciation

i have been wanting to do this post for years (not an exaggeration!). every time i came across one of these pictures of people appreciating art, as it were, i would bookmark it and put the idea into my memory bank – but eventually i had close to 10,000 favourites on flickr and i never actually mucked up the courage to look through them to compile it.

then Mallory actually did it over at Gems (*shakes fist* damn you Mallory for being so clever!) and so i was reminded that (a) Mallory is awesome and (b) i need to get off my ass.

one of my favourite things about travelling is visiting museums of any kind, but mostly art museums of course. i will never forget walking through the national portrait gallery in London for the first time, alone, with just my iPod to keep me company. i spent hours looking through everything and it was just the best. and that’s yet another reason why i’m so excited about going to NYC in October. think of all the museums that will be at our proverbial fingertips!

i’ll kick it off with a photo i took in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris almost three years ago now (!) please click on the photos to go to their originals – the photographers are listed below each one. i will make an effort to keep adding to this post as i discover more.

– by me

– by hannah & landon metz

– by Nicholas Van Orton

– by Chuck Burgess

– by Sam Coldy

– by Valeria Lazareva

– by fannyelizabeth

– by Hendrik van Leeuwen

– by Nick DeWolf Photo Archive

– by LollyKnit

– by Joshua Foster

Life archives

– Elliott Erwitt, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995.

– Alécio de Andrade

– by me

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Film

Green Renaissance

Green Renaissance is a film production company based in Cape Town that specialises in green content creation – helping environmentally conscious organisations to develop creative content that promotes green and conservation initiatives. they have released some really sweet little films that encourage people to be green at home.

i especially loved the story about Gary ‘The Mushroom Guy‘ who started picking & eating wild mushrooms on his walks in the forest after suffering a heart attack. eventually he started growing his own shiitake mushrooms at home – and he shows you how you can also do it using a log and some mushroom spores. they also collaborated with Marisa from Opus, who all Capetonians will know for her gorgeous plant creations – she shows you how you can make your own hanging plant at home.

also check out how to make your own home made cleaner using lemons, using recycled tyres to grow artichokes, making real vitamin water, and picking & roasting wild chestnuts. explore all their clips on vimeo.

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Fashion

OWL

OWL started when three friends from Berlin and Hamburg decided to “put their heart and soul into the intricate details of a new era of glasses.” similarly to Warby Parker, these guys make beautiful glasses at a great price point. and if you’re not German you can also have fun counting in probably the only Deutsch you know – as the glasses are named eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf

Our story begins with the question: Why do we have a hallway full of shoes, but only one pair of glasses? That’s because good-looking glasses are expensive. The right lenses even more so. And cheap glasses look, well cheap. That’s why we asked ourselves the next question: Why does it have to be like that? Our answer: It doesn’t. Welcome OWL.

their website is also beautifully designed thanks to We Are Fellows

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Stuff

These Things No.45

hello!! i’m back from my holiday in the bush which was just THE BEST. will tell you more about that later, but first i have to edit down the hundreds of photos we took. in the meantime i’ve been catching up on the internet today – it’s actually pretty rad going away for a week and  coming back to a completely refreshed feed. here are snippets of stuff that caught my eye, in these things no.45.

i’ve featured talented local illustrator Katrin Coetzer before – so it’s no wonder she & her husband Matthew had a beautiful wedding, (not to mention her dress) – photographed by Modern Hearts:

i don’t fly very often, but when i do i load up on magazines (something i never actually buy – that’s why the internet exists in my opinion) and the new Céline campaign really caught my eye:

while i was away the Forts exhibition happened, check out the lookbook Mariah & Amy did for it:

new stuff from Steven Alan that i could see myself wearing (links: dress & sandals):

love the styling at Polder (via Mariah):

mountain blossom scarf by Leah Duncan:

enjoyed this interview with (and painting by) Oliver Jeffers:

Nicole Warne in striking stripes + green photographed by Vanessa Jackman:

Anja shot the beautiful lookbook for Acanthus Jewelry:

stone bangles by Chen Chen & Kai Williams:

Sight Unseen has been sharing some wonderful studio visit recently, featuring ceramicists Julianne Ahn (Object + Totem), Ben Fiess & Jessica Hans:

gorgeous lookbook for Alison Brislin’s braid styling, photographed by Laure Joliet:

my Rib & Hull heirloom tote is one of the best things i own, and now they’re bringing out a larger zipped version!

like the look of this large screenprinted notebook:

illustrator Julia Marco’s series of her favourite cities:

Project Bly explores the world’s bazaars, starting with Mumbai:

it’s almost winter here!! good night day’s knits are looking pretty good right now:

the home of Mercedes Hernáez & Alejandro Sticotti:

beautiful photography by momomi:

imagine Bill Murray was your neighbour and he asked you to take his portrait – Olivia Rae James is that lucky person:

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Stuff

Bushed Holiday

guys, i’m bushed.  i don’t know what it is about the easter holiday – but every time it swings around i am always just so ready for it. i guess it’s also the fact that come next month we’ll be a third a way through the year. what! it also marks the official changing of the seasons around here, it’s been hot hot hot since… forever. i can’t remember the last time it was cold. and easter weekend almost always brings in a cold front that finally breaks summer.

but Anton and i will actually be heading for a hotter clime, as we’ll be taking a trip up to the Kruger Park for a week long bush break! as kids we used to go to the bush as a family almost every year – but as we got older and our family grew and grew with the additions of partners and little ones it became quite an expensive trip to take. so i haven’t been in years, and i’m literally reverting back to a 5-year-old level of excitement to get on a plane and go see some animals.

i do feel guilty about leaving the blog in the lurch for a week, but it’s only 5 days… and i need a holiday. i think we will both survive. you can follow me on twitter and instagram because i will be probably instagramming the shit out of this trip. i’d like to think the animals are as excited about seeing me as i am them…

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have a wonderful Easter break, and see you in a week!

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss
Fashion

Supernatural

if you’re a regular you’ll be familiar with the wonderful styling & photography work of Capetonians Kate Desmarais and Alix-Rose Cowie, as i featured their lookbooks Fancypants and Off-Kilter in the past couple of years. well, i have someone new to add to the ever-growing list of wonderfully talented local ladies – Supernatural, a floral design studio made up of friends Emma Frost and Jessica Ellis.

i actually came home after a loooong day yesterday, and this gorgeous arrangement of flowers was waiting for me courtesy of Emma & Jessica. what a treat. it was inspired by their supernatural (as it were) lookbook, which shows off their beautiful floral design skills, and was styled by Kate and photographed by Alix. dream team. the lining of the jackets and the hydrangeas peeking out of that (amazing) skirt are a stroke of genius.

be sure to have a scout around on their website for news about their floral stylings (i particularly liked this post about by-gone wedding bouquets) and if you live in the Cape Town area, or need some flowers delivered to a special person around here, they’re your gals.

Floral design: Supernatural / Photographer: Alix-Rose Cowie / Styling: Kate Desmarais / Model: Shelly Chen

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

Supernatural Floral Design / Miss Moss

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Stuff

Gather

my friends Mariah & Amy are two of the most stylish and talented people i know. they started their business Gather a few years back, styling events and putting together new spaces like the geniuses they are. i’m so excited to finally share more of their work with you as i just finished their new website!

you might remember the gorgeous Flower Safari group exhibition that i shared with you last year – yep, Gather was behind that. they are also preparing to launch a new group exhibition in April called Forts (check out the poster i did for that) – so if you’re in Cape Town be sure to go check it out.

i’m very very lucky to have these two gals around, as they’re going to help me with my own wedding. (yesssssssss!!!!)

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Gather

Victoria & Christof’s wedding, Jess & Caleb’s wedding + Central Arms & Cycles lookbook photographed by Julia Merrett

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Living

Caroline Gomez

there’s not much that i like more than tiny plates of food. if i could have tapas for the rest of my life i’d be totally okay with that. you see, i’m a terrible orderer at restaurants. i almost always have food envy when the plates finally arrive at the table. you will often hear me say, “damn, i should have ordered that.” or, “just give me a little taste of yours.” (which is usually directed at Anton, poor guy). so you see, tapas just makes everyone’s lives better as far as i’m concerned.

how does any of that relate to Caroline Gomez? i’m getting there… just let me think about tapas for another second. okay. what’s better than plates of food are tiny beautiful wooden boards of food. another thing i love is eating off a lovely piece of beautiful wood – big or small, and Caroline makes both. i’m particularly taken by this charming fruit platter… no more rolling around for you, silly fruit!

she’s a bit of a jack of all trades, check out her beautiful wares at her website and online shop.

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Stuff

Thoughts on a Wedding

even a budget wedding can add up… and up… and up. generally i know what i want for the wedding – and how to keep costs down – but sometimes i have moments like, “i want ALL the fairy lights in the world! all of them.” so it’s a fine line to balance, and scouring wedding websites or pinterest boards either helps a lot or doesn’t help at all. so i thought i’d share some of the cost-cutting ideas i’ve found online with you, in case you’re in the same boat.

you can see more wedding ideas as i collect them over at my pinterest.

1. Get a vintage dress. I have been swoooooning over the dresses over at Dear Golden’s bridal shop. she had one gorgeous number from the 30s which is now unfortunately sold (of course, boo). but the shop gets updated all the time, so just keep checking in. note this cute bride wearing Dear Golden vintage.

2. Jazz up your hair. there are lots of people on Etsy who sell nice lookin’ veils and cool things for your hair – at reasonable prices. check out this veil (left) and this Grecian headpiece (right). see more of my posts about doing your hair here and here.

3. Wear sandals! if you’re wearing a long dress why not just wear some comfortable, beautiful sandals – no one’s going to see your feet anyway. hell, wear sandals even if you’re wearing a short dress. that way you can wear them again, and again, and again… left: Veronique Branquinho sandals and right: Ancient Greek sandals.

4. Simple Invites. there are some great resources online to design your own simple invites – A Subtle Revelry has an entire series dedicated to rad fonts you can use. i like the look of these simple invites by Seaborn Press.

5. Use Technology. we’re not actually having invitations printed at all – but going for a wedding website instead. it’s the tech side of me coming out, plus it can work out cheaper if you do it yourself. there are some wedding websites that offer this service, but i find most of them pretty naff. i’d suggest going with Squarespace and using a beautiful theme like Beatrice (this couple actually used it for their wedding website!)

also, if you can’t afford a wedding photographer (or if you just want all the photos of your wedding in existence) – get the Wedding Party App and invite your friends to take & share photos on the day.

6. DIY wreaths & garlands. you can save a ton by not involving a florist – so if you’re inclined to do some floral styling, get some local & seasonal flowers and greenery and make your own wreaths or floral garlands.

7. While you’re at it make some floral name tags. left: by Dietland Wolf and right: mini wreaths by {frolic!} (obviously write people’s names on there… unless you want to wish them a happy holiday. in which case, go forth!)

8. Keep your tables simple. forget themes and colour palettes and wedding favours and all that jazz – just make your tables simple and beautiful. maybe do a DIY table runner or just tie some herbs to your paper menus.

9. Two birds, one stone. print your menus on paper bags and throw a snack (or fries) in there. if you’re going to have wine on the tables, double the bottles up as table numbers.

10. Serve pizza! i LOVE this idea. seen at Andrew & Savanah’s wedding photographed by Lad and Lass.

do you have any DIY / cost-cutting tips to share from your own wedding?

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Fashion

Sézane

you might remember my post last year about Les Composantes, the fashion label by French designer Morgane Sézalory that debuted a hand picked vintage collection every month. well, Morgane has just launched her new venture Sézane which features her own creations, “pieces that have been designed for real life and to be a genuinely fashionable, desirable and affordable alternative.”

i particularly love the La Superbe jumper, the Perfecto jacket in black (sold out! aaaargh!), the Hope purse and the Midnight boots. they ship worldwide, so if you want some chic French staples in your life get on it.

if you want to make sure you get to shop before her editions sell out, sign up for their newsletter.

 

Miss Moss Music Mix: This Is My Jam
Music

This Is My Jam

okay okay, i give in. here’s a new music mix for you! yesterday was a public holiday in south africa, which means a lot of people round here are taking a bit of a long weekend… so i made use of the down time to catch up on new music and compile a smattering of good songs for you to enjoy. it’s a biggie too, topping in at 20 tracks.

Falling by HAIM is totally my new jam. and you simply have to get your hands on the full albums of Rhye (which i’ve had on repeat) & Laura Mvula. i’m also excited by the news tracks from Kisses, Vampire Weekend and Iron & Wine. but there’s a ton of other rad shit in here though, so just give it a listen will ya?

what have you been listening to? i’m been abusing Songza a lot lately, mostly to revel in classic 90s jamz.

This Is My Jam.

  1. Rhye – 3 Days
  2. Vampire Weekend – Step
  3. Irons and Wine – Grace for Saints and Ramblers
  4. Generationals – Put a Light On
  5. Born Ruffians – Needle
  6. HAIM – Falling
  7. Gypsy & The Cat – Bloom
  8. Phoenix – Entertainment
  9. Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love (RAC Mix)
  10. Laura Mvula – Green Garden
  11. Young Galaxy – Pretty Boy
  12. Foals – My Number
  13. Kisses – Huddle
  14. Youth Lagoon – Dropla
  15. Stornoway – Knock Me In The Head
  16. Local Natives – Breakers
  17. Phosphorescent – Song for Zula
  18. Young Man – In A Sense
  19. Sunny Levine feat. Young Dad – No Other Plans
  20. Fainting by Numbers – A Stone In The Ground

all music is for sampling purposes only – please go out and buy the artists’ records & support them at their shows!

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Fashion

Barena Venezia

i haven’t been able to get the spring lookbook for Barena Venezia out of my mind since spotting it at Honey Kennedy yesterday. Jen and i were actually swooning over it on twitter too, and we might have gone off on a tangent about bearded men and Roman gods… and bearded men as Roman gods (or in this case, Venetian gods). but please, don’t get side tracked. i need you to focus here.

the name ‘Berena’ comes from the Venetian term ‘baro’ which describes the territory of the Venetian lagoon between the land and water. in ancient times people in the baro traditionally wore versatile and functional clothing since they were farmers, hunters and fisherman – creating a distinctive style unique to the area.

The Barena collection is in fact inspired by the peculiar dress code created and used by the people who lived in these areas. Many of the garments in the collection are the reinterpretation of unique pieces found in museums, antique markets or books that portray old images. In fact, many of the wools specifically reproduced for the Barena collection, come from the archives of the most prestigious mills in Veneto, no longer in activity. Specific focus is given to construction details which make the garments unique in their simplicity.

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Photography

Trevor Triano

every now and then you come across a photographer that has an unmistakable eye for detail, soft touches and perfect scenes. browsing through their portfolio is a dream, nothing seems out of place or forced. and above all you don’t walk away thinking, “i wonder what photoshop action they’re using?” no, just simple, beautiful photography. that’s what Trevor Triano is all about. also he took amazing pictures of Paris that i love.

find him at his website, flickr and tumblr.