Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dutch Treat

As if appearing in the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times weren't enough, we also made an appearance in StyleVision, a Dutch magazine! Way back in November of last year Monique Lindeboom invited us to be part of her article, and in January we made our appearance.

As with the Chicago Tribune, it's not about US, but we're featured in the photos and in the article. On the left (above) is the stunning Beatrix Ost - we strive to look half as good as she does on one of our good days. The photo on the right is us at the Guggenheim's Kandinsky show, and on the next page (below) Jean gets a second bite at the apple, vamping it up in her Norma Kamali leopard print jacket and Ignatius leopard print hat (photo by Ari Seth Cohen).

These are the best we could do for photos of the magazine. You'll have to double click to really see anything.

"But what does the article SAY?", you might well ask.

Well, we don't read Dutch, so we popped the text into Google Translate. For the fun of it, here's what it says about us. We haven't changed a word of the translation.

Oh, wait. First the title:
Long Live the Vivienne Westwoods of Our Time.

Great start!

Now here's what it says about us:

Take the American duo the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. Two women of unknown,
older age an insanely crazy, own fashion style, all parties and happenings expire easily assimilate with young people and all their adventures on their blog with that name difficult to pronounce places.

And that name, there is not really a pure Dutch translation for it, but it has to do with individualism and individuality. These women, with their funny hats, sunglasses and crazy costumes are currently the most inspiring example that if you 'of certain' age, especially behind the geraniums must dive.

They absolutely hate to cry, "Growing Old Gracefully", they speak of "growing old with verve". Remember him. They have since become a style bible written for women who are still looking for their personal style. They are the Vivienne Westwoods of our time.

Hey, how cool is that? We have fans in the Netherlands!

But what did she mean, "funny hats"?

Full disclosure: the part about us starts in the third column.

Here's the text (again, exactly as it came out of Google Translate) that appears in the first two columns:

I embrace all currently trend developments but show that you like fifties are not quite ready to calcium-containing crempjes' because you're worth it ', incontinence solutions and nutritional supplements "because you on your fiftieth' also so very busy with your great job and then looks like a hopelessly old-fashioned picture from the German Otto from the late 80s.

No, I get adrenaline shots when I see that women have the guts to get their hair 'just' gray to be and to separate colors into play, such as pastels or dark highlights, as they have the guts dark make-uptinten to wear as fashion designers adult women the platform to send as a model, and when I blog see of women in their sixties or even on their hundredth alive and insane flirting with their personal dress style, and also receives city and country afsjouwen and all photographs and commenting. What a delight!

There's more, but we typed in all the Dutch by hand to get this far. If you want the rest of the article, we're leaving that part up to you!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Arts of Pacific Asia Show - Opening Night

.We Make the New York Times Style Section Again!

Fine Feathers! We couldn't agree more! We're in today's New York Times. (The Style Section, of course, dollinks.)

It's Asia Week in New York, so on Tuesday evening, we attended the Arts of Pacific Asia opening (as members of the press), shamelessly schmoozed with our friends, saw some spectacular art, indulged in heavy duty people-watching AND were photographed by Bill Cunningham! It just doesn't get better than that. We appear in his Evening Hours in today's New York Times' Style Section on the lower left quadrant. Appearing on the same page (but at different events) are Cardinal Timothy Dolan and designers Anna Sui, Yeohlee Tang, and Jean Paul Gautier. Couldn't ask for better company than that!

Can't see? Even when you double click? We know, we know. Here is the slightly larger excerpt about our party. Jean is #13 (upper right) and Valerie is #17 (lower right). We're listed as Jean and Valerie. We gave Bill our card, and he gave it to the powers that be, but they weren't having any Idiosyncratic Fashionistas. Their fact checker accepted us as being Madonna-like or Cher-like in our onenamedness, but they wouldn't go for the IF part. Isn't that kinda like insisting on saying John, Paul, George and Ringo, instead of saying The Beatles?

Although we both wore straw hats, that's where all similarity ends. Fans will recognize Valerie's vintage modified coolie hat from our outing to Helen Uffner's Vintage Clothing warehouse in Long island City in January. Jean's pagoda hat - with porcupine quills - is by Ignatius, from the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show in November. (This was its maiden voyage.)

Jean caught Valerie and Bill Cunningham in the act, so to speak. The man obviously loves what he does. He has a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye. He smiles and laughs and seems to be having the time of his life photographing people.

Joining us in this picture - and in today's Times - are Tim John, Linda Pastorino and Tziporah Salamon. As you can see, dressing for this event is a competitive sport nearing Olympic proportions.

We were delighted to see Dodi Fromson who traveled from Los Angeles for Asia Week. Shown here in her signature Issey Miyake with her friend Tony, Dodi also appears In today's Times - in a shot with Tim John. Once upon a time, Valerie introduced Jean and Dodi at a Miyake sample sale, and we've been meeting there ever since. The last time Jean and Dodi ended up purchasing matching pants. Dodi was again wearing Miyake when they ran into each other at last Saturday's Pier Show and Jean blurted out: "Dodi, I didn't recognize you with your clothes on". (Luckily, Dodi is a good sport.)

We first met Zondra at the Metropolitan Pavilion Vintage Show and regularly run into her there and at flea markets and the Pier Show's Fashion Alley. She wears a lot of vintage and was channeling an 80's vibe last Tuesday.

Linda Pastorino, herself a dealer in stunning Asian jewelry and art, posed with her daughter Coral.

Valerie chats with Vichai Chinalai on opening night.

Here are Vichai and Lee Chinalai on Sunday afternoon. Every time we stopped by their booth during the opening reception, Lee was occupied with customers, so Valerie stopped in on Sunday and snapped this shot of both of them. Lee and Vichai are invariably the most interestingly dressed couple at the show. They deal in the arts of Thailand, Burma, the Hill Tribes of China, and other hard to reach areas. Like many dealers, they research their art, and can turn something you think is merely a thing of great beauty into a thing of great beauty and deep meaning.

Valerie models (and later only reluctantly took off) a Chinalai Modern necklace. Several vendors are balancing their antiques with wonderful modern pieces coming out of Asia.

Here's Valerie with Japanese textile scholar Terry Milhaupt outside the Chinalais' booth at the show.

We met this lady in Noriko Miyamoto's booth, and complimented her on her geometric necklace, which we instantly recognized was at Chinalai Modern's booth last year.

Here is Noriko. Since she was so busy on opening night and since we didn't want to disturb her, Valerie went back to the show on Sunday to take her photograph. Noriko is standing in front of a privacy curtain. The crest seems to indicate the highly esteemed Date clan. The curtain is very long and tall, and would have allowed open air entertainment away from prying eyes. Noriko is also now selling gorgeous and simultaneously austere large artworks made of Japanese paper by modern masters. We don't have a photo for you, so you'll have to visit her in Sag Harbor.

Jean and Nan Lower got to catch up on events since Nan's recent Mardi Gras party (complete with masks, beads and feather boas). Like so many, Nan was making the rounds - this show, the auctions, Japan Society's Art Deco Show and other events.

Marvin and Dennis (not shown), who own the Apsara Gallery in Long Island City, deal in southeast Asian art. Marvin is standing next to two textiles made in Sumatra, Indonesia, in the 19th century. We have a soft spot for textiles, so we gravitated toward those booths, but there was everything imaginable for every taste.

Sandy Long was a vision in pink topped by an amazing hat. (Jean coveted her skull necklace and Valerie her hat.)

John Ruddy and Kumi Masumoto always have mouthwatering things that Valerie covets. Too many to mention, but to their right you can see a macrame indigo dyed horse cover.

Valerie asked Galen which of his countless wonderful things he'd like to be photographed in front of, but he made Valerie choose. The screen depicting traditional textiles was lovely, but the sea bream carved from dense heavy wood was irresistible. The squiggle next to him is the character for water, so the carver had a sense of humor, as well as style. This would hang over a traditional hearth, and was used to adjust the distance of the cooking pot from the fire.

Even the food was a cause for oohing and aahing. Waiters passed among the crowd carrying platters with beautiful hors d'oeuvres like these. Inside the little boats are brie and chopped apple. Yummy.

At this show, even the vendors dress to the nines. This lady would fit right in at Japan Society's Art Deco show. We loved the strong lines of her outfit.

Iwana at Xanadu Gallery.

... and Iwana's fab-u-lous Alexander McQueen shoes, which she said she custom ordered!

This lady, at Thomas Murray's gallery, looked fabulous. Thomas Murray was showing a large collection of Ainu art from northern Japan this time.

We enjoyed looking at this woman's coat, made by Lee Anderson. We think he needs a higher profile!

Here we are with Beatrice Chang, owner of Dai Ichi Arts Gallery, specializing in modern ceramics. We fell in love with Beatrice's blouse, made of banana fiber from the Philippines.

Check out the back of the blouse!

Here's Beatrice with her equally sharply dressed friend, Noelle Xie.

And we HAD to photograph her from the back, as well.

We met collector Peter Bershad late in the event, and compared notes on our favorite items.

Andrea Aranow was wearing very springlike colors. By chance, we ran into her again later in the week at Taka Taka on West Broadway. In a city of eight million people!

Here's a closeup of Jean's Ignatius hat.

What we're wearing:

Jean is wearing: Ignatius hat, vintage Issey Miyake skirt, Morrocan linen & rayon split top (from Scout at a Metropolitan Pavilion show last season), Pleats Please Miyake drawstring backpack, Trippen boots, Kirsten Hawthorne earrings, vintage bakelite necklace and rings.

Valerie is wearing: an unlabeled vintage black straw hat purchased at Helen Uffner's; a vintage kimono (1940s??) [NOT worn like a proper kimono - ferget THAT!], barely visible Joan Vass dress, '80s pink tussah silk trapunto belt by Magdak, plastic shoes by Melissa (designed by Gareth Pugh).

One last shot for the road, so to speak:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We Make the News in Chicago

Yes, as you can see for yourselves, those are our smiling faces peering out at you from The Chicago Tribune tear sheet above. If you can't read the fine print at the top (we can't!), it's dated March 5, 2012.

Chicago journalist Barbara Brotman, like so many people now, caught the Advanced Style video and, she writes, "A few moments into the video, I was rabidly on board."

The photo below might give you a clearer idea what we were wearing. It was just after we'd had brunch with Ari Seth Cohen on the day he and Lina Pliopyte, his videographer, shot the first footage of us for the video (December, 2010). Jean thrust her camera into the hands of a passerby (a fellow Woman of a Certain Age) and prevailed on her to take a picture of us, with this result.

In the video, Jean makes a lot of pithy remarks, and Ms. Brotman quotes her extensively. The reporter contacted Ari asking for a picture of Jean, and Ari kindly sent her the photo of both of us that appears in the paper. So the article really isn't about US, it's about the video. But we're delighted to have been selected to represent the video to the people of Chicago.

Here's another photo from that fateful day.

We should mention that it was Ms. Brotman's daughter who brought the video to her mother's attention. We never cease to be surprised and ever so tickled by the number of younger people who agree that older people can be way cool. (Remember Kim Kardashian liked the video, too. Still waiting to hear from Justin Bieber.)

Those of you who don't want to have to read the article with a magifying glass, for a link to the original article, Fashionable Older Women Offer Advice on Staying Stylish, please click here.

The reason we uploaded the photo of the actual newspaper is that the link does not include our smiling faces. We figured you'd never believe us if we just asked you to take our word for it. So way above is the view of the article, a little above is the link to the easy-to-read text of the article for all you empiricists.

And here's one more photo of us in living color.

When we first copied the article, we did it as a pdf, and it came out a little fuzzy. So we played around with all the bells and whistles that come with the pdf program. We found one bell entitled "optimize pdf". That sounded like exactly what we needed for a fuzzy picture, so we hit that button, and what we got was so interesting that we had to share it with you:

Go figger.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Get your fiber! 8th International Fiber Biennial

In honor of the 8th International Fiber Biennial, we've staged our own little fiber performance art extravaganza, courtesy of a fabulous platinum acrylic Afro wig from Little Ricky's! (And they come in all the colors of the rainbow!) We're channeling our own personal Chaka Khan thing! (OK, with a little less panache...) (Images of Ms. Khan: &

Well, kiddies, now that we've gotten that little bit of frivolity out of our system, onto our more scholarly coverage of the real story:

On March 3, we traveled to Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, to attend the 8th International Fiber Biennial, with events spread out across eight different neighborhoods. Rather than cram all of the events into a single, seemingly endless posting, we have chosen to split them into two. Today's posting covers the latter part of that Saturday - two fabulous opening events at the last two venues: Snyderman-Works Galleries and Crane Arts Center.


As a rule, galleries ask that photographs not be taken of the art works, so, much as we are always itching to record what we've seen, we are good guests and behave ourselves. Just before it was time to leave, we learned that in fact for the Snyderman-Works Galleries opening of the 8th International Fiber Biennial, photos were permitted. So we hurriedly took a few photographs, but these don't give you as full an idea as we'd like of the treats we got to see.

Nancy Koenigsburg's 2011 "2 Red" is prominently displayed in the window of Snyderman Gallery. It is constructed of coated copper wire. Unfortunately, due to the reflections on the window, our photo does not do it justice.

Artists Katherine Krone, Virginia Davis and Hillary Steel pose at the opening reception at Snyderman. Both Virginia and Hillary have pieces on display at the gallery.

Sonya Clark's "Black Cross Worn Thin II" consisted of multiple combs with various teeth missing.

Here's a close-up.

Lanny Bergner's "Canister for Round Objects" was decorated with wonderful animal-like spots.

We couldn't find the name of the artist for this piece, but we loved the interesting contrast in it. Since we were in the process of planning our Gloves posting, it clearly resonated with us.

This piece by Ann Coddington Rast is called "Sisters". Somehow we thought it represented us.

These two works by Amanda Salm (amusingly titled "So I Dye My Hair" and "I Want More and Thicker Hair") are constructed from horsehair and dyed with natural dyes.


We have to show you at least one photo from Snyderman's restroom. Freud said 'Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar', and sometimes a restroom is just a restroom. But Snyderman's restroom is so in keeping with their art - unexpected and delightful - that we had to include one shot. Should have taken a video to get you a seamless view of the entire room.


The last stop on the Fiber Philadelphia tour was an evening reception across town at the Crane Arts Center, which houses several galleries, all of which were hosting events. We were particularly interested in "Outside/Inside the Box" which was very large and extremely varied juried show.

It felt like old friends' reunion week -- with so many fellow New Yorkers making the trek south to either participate in the show or to view it and support friends and fellow artists. Jean and Katherine Knauer came to see works by Robin Schwalb and Nancy Koenigsburg. Robin's quilt is in "Outside/Inside the Box" and Nancy's woven copper wire construction is at Snyderman.

We were so pleased to meet Eileen Tognini who is associated with Collab, the Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), so we could tell her how much we loved Collab's current chair exhibit. Stay tuned for our future posting for more on the PMA.

Theresa Ellerbrock's "Moon", made of horsehair, won the Jack Lenor Larsen Design Award. This picture does not do justice to the subtleties of the weave and the shading.

Here is Theresa's other work in the show, "Fire Walk". Mounted on plexiglass, it is constructed of Belgium linen and silver thread, and painted with sumi ink.

Tamryn McDermott stands in front of her work entitled "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow".

Tamryn made the skirt she's wearing. If you look carefully, you can see TOMMORROW is deliberately misspelled using two M's, with one M then edited out with red thread.

This piece is by Rowland Ricketts, who studied traditional indigo dyeing in Japan.

Valerie loved this untitled chaotic embroidery of faces by Tod Hensley.

"Defense Mechanism" by Damia Smith was Valerie's favorite (hmmm - yet another on the glove theme...)

Here's a beauty that Valerie managed not to take the name down for. Anyone who can fill in the missing info is asked to write to us.

Here's a close-up.

This is a gorgeous and creative work in felt by Andrea Noeske-Porada. It's three dimensional, and the blacks, whites and grays you see are not shading, but different colored felts.

Hot Tip: Jean says: Because I have the attention span of a gnat and am notoriously bad at matching my notes to photos taken, I now photograph the label right after I shoot the artwork. Then I have the correct spelling of the artist's name, the year and title of the work and a description of the media. This is especially helpful when the work includes multiple components. (See the long list of ingredients involved in the making of "Lady Bug" further in this posting to see what I mean.) Here's the label for Anne Wessmann's work which took first place honors.

Here is the photo of the piece which took Best in Show honors -- Anne Wessmann's "Words Unspoken Series: 37,499 days - June 9, 1932 - Dec. 31, 1941". Constructed of text on vellum on foam board in 2009, the piece won the Patricia Malarcher Award.

This closeup of a section of the work gives a hint of the enormity and complexity of the project.

Robin Schwalb's wonderfully graphic quilt titled "Your Name Here" is made from cotton fabric and fabric paint. We actually know that the square part is called a QR code QR for quick response - how many of you knew THAT?! Now raise your hand if you know what it's FOR. (If you don't, write in, and we'll respond in Wednesday's post. Actually, since you're reading this on internet, you can google QR code, and find out faster.)

Here are just two of April Dauscha's 5-piece exhibit called "Exposed: An Armory of Physical Longings" made of muslin, boning, grommets, ribbon and dress forms. Jean says: Because of the opening night crowds, I could never get a clear shot of all five. This was on both of our top five lists. The giant-headed form reminds Valerie of Leigh Bowery.

Diana Savona's 2011 "Formal Argument" is constructed from a salvaged dress mannequin, tuxedo and dyed tuxedo shirt, vintage napkins and handkerchiefs, hand beaded ornaments. Here's the front view, heralding the ongoing debate about the difference between art and craft.

This piece speaks as loudly from the rear as it does head-on.

Brenna K. Murphy's 2011 "Untitled (Quilt)" was one of the more subversive, disconcerting works in the show, consisting of human hair, tissue paper and adhesive. This is a closeup of one portion.

Jan Hopkins' 2011 "Lady Bug" incorporates philodendron and eucalyptus leaves, grapefruit peels, yellow cedar bark, hydrangea petals, California poppy petals, California poppy petals, ostrich shell beads and waxed linen thread. (Jean says: See? I never would have remembered or correctly recorded all of these details on my own.)

June Lee's 2011 "Bystander" consists of 100 mixed media figures, all milling about a central black figure seated with head bowed. (They're all under a foot tall.) The work won the Judith Altman Second Place Award. Each of the figures is priced to sell individually.

Joetta Mae's 2010 "Waking with You", which dominates the center of the gallery floor, is made of hand embroidered, appliqued and painted re-appropriated linen and queen size bed.

Liz Collins' hilarious 2009 "Sock Monkey Suit" is strategically placed near the entrance to the large, open rear gallery space. The outfit is constructed of wool, angora, cashmere and silk.

West Coast artist Myrna Tatar's "A Language of Her Own" is constructed of hemp, plastic and various fabrics. It is placed on the wall across from the "Sock Monkey Suit", adjacent to "Bystander". Only a small portion from a central section of the large piece is displayed, with the rest rolled like a scroll on either side. The artist herself is quite lovely and although she engaged Jean in lively conversation and introduced her to her husband and fellow artist Marie Bergstedt, she declined to be photographed.

Marie Bergstedt appeared next to her wall sculpture "Dressing for a Delicate Condition", which consists of antique cotton crocheted tablecloth, molding stiffener and cotton crocheted thread.

In the first gallery space of "Outside/Inside the Box", just at the entry to the rear gallery is Gerhardt Knodel's elaborate 2011 "Woosh". Constructed of canvas duck, Tyvek, shell beads, cotton, horse-hair, wood, metal, acrylic, sisal, paper and electronic components, the piece is accompanied by a video documenting the piece and its meaning.

Designed as a carnival game, the work encourages the viewer to toss one of the balls which contains text from "Art In America" at the targets. Our take-away was that one purpose of the piece is to demonstrate how the role of art critic has come to limit rather than describe an artist's work, by comparing it to other artist's works, thereby forever cementing the link in the viewer's/reader's eye, rather than allowing the viewer/reader to reach his or her own conclusion.

As one of the hinged wooden and horse-hair targets is struck, the top half tilts backward, triggering a recording of a critic's comment about a work of art. It is both entertaining and thought provoking.

That room contained a number of really interesting works that we didn't get to fully appreciate, as it was very darkly lit.

What we're wearing:

Jean: Vintage Stetson bowler with black and white felt pin from Danielle Gori-Montanelli (from 11/11 Philadelphia Museum Craft Show), vintage bakelite jewelry, Comme des Garcons wool baseball jacket, Rick Owens turtleneck, Zara drop-crotch pants, black patent Doc Martens, and earrings by Japanese designer (still searching for the name), and High Use coat.

Valerie: In honor of the rainy weather we started out with, Valerie is dressed like a drowned rat. "What was I thinking?!", she gasped in retrospect.