Wednesday, December 16, 2015


The Getty Center in Brentwood opened an exhibition on tapestries on loan from the Mobilier National in Paris with a reception on Monday night.  Woven mostly during the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715) these monumental tapestries were meant to express his power and prestige. Gold and silver threads were often woven into these masterpieces. 

The tapestry above and detail below, Winter, Cybele Begs for Sun's Return, is from the Gallery of Apollo at the Chateau of  Saint-Cloud. Woven 1692-93 by the Gobelins Manufactory.

Detail of Autumn,  designed by Charles Le Brun, the most important painter of his time, as Louis himself declared. It is from the series the Seasons. This detail depicts the abundance of the fall harvest . Woven at the Gobelins before 1669.

Detail of  The Triumph of Bacchus from The Triumph of the Gods. The design was overseen by Raphael, this tapestry was woven in Brussels about 1560. Appropriately depicting a fountain flowing with red wine in the garden of  Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and intoxication.

This one is a detail from The Portiere of the Chariot of Triumph, also designed by Charles Le Brun, woven at the Gobelins 1715-1717.

Another Charles Le Brun design, The Queens of Persia at the Feet of Alexander. Woven around 1670 at the Gobelins. 

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Finance Minister under Louis XIV, was also in charge of  the intellectual and artistic life in France. He founded the Academie des Sciences, the Academie Royale d'Architecture and the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. He is also the founder of the Gobelins Manufacture.           

The exhibition is open through May 1, 2016 at the Getty Center.   

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


 Last Saturday night FIDM Museum and Galleries had on Opening Reception for the 23rd Annual Art of the Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition. Costumes from 22 movies made in 2014 are on view, 5 movies have been nominated for an Academy Award for Costume Design, one won in 2014.

Above are costumes designed for Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp in "Into the Woods" by Colleen Atwood. She received a 2015 Academy Award nomination for her work in this movie. Her inspiration for the costumes were the Woods and many include the texture of wood. Meryl Streep's costume was made of pieces of leather stitched to chiffon and combined with leather that looked like cracked bark. Johnny Depp was Atwood's muse for his character, the Wolf.  Depp wanted to play the part in a zoot suit, so Atwood  had an idea of embroidering the pattern of fur onto a piece of very thin wool cloth that was then tailored into a zoot suit.                                     

 The two costumes above are from Selma, designed by Ruth E. Carter. The suit was designed for David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. and the dress with the beaded bodice for Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King.



 Above are costumes from my favorite movie, "The Grand Budapest Hotel". It is wickedly funny!
Milena Canonero also received a 2015 Academy Award nomination for her work on this movie. Photographers  like Man Ray and George Hurrell and painters like Gustav Klimt, Kees van Dongen, Tamara de Lempicka and George Grosz served as her inspiration.

Costumes for the "The Great Gatsby" won the 2014 Academy Award for Catherine Martin.  The Roaring Twenties were an exciting challenge for the designer. She studied extensively the life, the world and context of F. Scott Fitzgerald   and the large library at Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Another 2015 Academy Award nominee is Anna B. Sheppard for her costumes in "Maleficent",
recreating Maleficent's costume from animated film to live action.  She researched the 15th century to the Renaissance period of French and Italian art in painting, sketches and sculpture. The horns were created by special makeup effects designer Rick Baker. He wanted to make them light weight and removable.

The Exhibition is open February 10 - April 25, 2015, Gallery hours 10:00 AM  - 5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. 919 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014



I am thrilled to announce the " new look " for  OCARINE pillows. Still inspired by the iconic fashion designers like James Galanos, whose gowns are featured on this blog, but modernized and simplified. As before, the vintage beaded and embroidered pieces are from the 1940s through the 1960s, hand made in Los Angeles by Mary Ann Embroidery. The company worked for designers such as Galanos, as well as Norman Norrell, Bill Blass and Halston.
The pillows are sustainably designed and made, re purposing the original embroidered and beaded pieces. Also vintage trimming is used as well as overage yardage from  the showrooms and upholsterers.


Two pillows, Grace and Morganne, can be seen behind the post header.  All pillows come with a silk organza dust bag.

The new collection is available to the trade at Bausman & Company at the Pacific Design Center,
8687 Melrose Avenue, Suite B355, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 310.659.9459.

Other OCARINE pillows can be found at Egg & Dart Home, 529 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles,
CA 90048. 310.652.0425.

Please join me for a Trunk Show during Fall Market at the PDC. I will be at the Bausman Showroom from 11 AM to 5 PM on September 18. I will have dozens of the vintage embroidered and beaded pieces to show you to inspire to make your own pillows.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I have always loved pink, it is wonderful to see it back in fashion. When I travel, whether here in the US or around the world, I love to visit museums of all kinds. In art museums of course I focus on the works of art as a whole, but I am also very interested in the details, the way the artist has rendered the textiles, gemstones or interior details. Recently in Bruges, Belgium, I visited the Groeninge Museum with a great collection of medieval Flemish art.

Immediately I focused on the pink color being predominant in the garments and floor  tiles of these late 15th, early 16th century paintings. Practically all the paintings of this period had floors with pink or pink, green and white tiles. Clearly the trend of the period!

 It looks like the tiles are glazed, but sometimes have marble tiles added, as above. By Gerard David, 1498.

The above floor looks intriguing, I cannot tell what the blue and white tiles are, they almost look like playing cards.

This floor was one of my favorites, the texture of the green tile is very interesting. Click to see the detail. I was wondering whether I should show the full images, but some of them were a bit gruesome. The painting above shows the man on the left chopping off the heads of three men sleeping in the bed. Their bags are at the foot of the bed. This is part of the St. Nicholas Altarpiece by the Master of  St. Lucy Legend, 1479-1505!

The tiles above look like stone or marble, I would love to know what the pink ones are.

This painting is by the Master of the St. Ursula Legend, 1482. The floor is quite elegant. Here the pink color has been also used in garments and the altar cloth. It has pleated corners and a contrasting trim on the hem, even the pattern is very 21st century! Everything old is new again.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Two years ago I had a wonderful opportunity to attend a 1st Century Roman dinner at the J. Paul Getty Villa in Malibu. It was outstanding, the food, the presentation, the ambiance were amazing. I blogged about it at the time, it can be seen among my most viewed blogs on the right. This summer the Getty repeated the concept, this time with a 4th Century B.C. Sicilian meal. The fresh sourdough barley and wheat rolls were excellent, with a slight sweat taste. The roasted chickpeas above, seasoned with honey, dill seed, and coriander seed, were surprisingly delicious.

Some of history's most celebrated chefs came from Sicily and performance a la Gordon Ramsey was part of the culinary experience. Yesterday evening's menu was inspired by Archestratus of Gela, active about 350 B.C. The first course consisted of  "Archestratus's Delight" a trio of fresh fish dishes; seared tune batons coated in cumin and sea salt with balmer of mackerel, garlic and vinegar, sea bass fillet coated in paste of goat cheese with Parthean asafoetida and vinegar and finally swordfish marinated in olive oil with fresh oregano and wrapped in a fig leaf. The tuna and sea bass were excellent, the swordfish a bit dry and bland.

The main course was a roast duck in Erasistratus's hyposphagma of cumin, asafoetida, honey, salt, creme fraiche and fresh herbs. Unfortunately the consensus at our table was that it was much too salty. Fresh warm broad beans were served with oinogaron dressing as a side dish, as well as a standard green salad, however with sweet boiled grape juice and fish sauce.

The dessert was Plakous, a honey-coated cheesecake with yogurt garnish. Again, no raves from our table, it was too dry, where was the cheese? The wines served were from Sicily. The red Alcesti Nero D'Avola 2010 was quite pleasant and went well with the evening's dishes. The white Alcesti Ninfea 2010 which I did not taste, seemed less popular.

Chef and Food Historian Sally Grainger had created the evening's menu.

The evening's highlight for me was being able to stroll the Villa's  Peristyle Garden at night during full moon. It was magical.

 The party is over, the tables are empty, the guests are gone. My tired husband patiently waiting for me to return from my moonlight stroll!