For Christmas my friend Louise gave me this little green deer. I think it was probably in her house and knowing me as she does, she thought it would be perfect for me, and of course she was correct. It's a sad fact that I squee with glee when I come across small ceramic cutesy animals. At my store, the jewelry cabinet has a scattering of them, along with a growing collection of head vases and ceramic hands.
I never intended to be a collector of anything. But as you probably know, if you have one of something, then someone will think of you when they see another, and then give that to you, and so will someone else, and pretty soon you have a collection whether you like it or not.
(Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, they were quick and through the glass display case.)
My grandmother's house was full of things like this, so for me it's definitely a nostalgia thing. She collected ceramic baskets, and kewpie dolls, and painted plates, and colored glass minitaure pitchers, and her house was a comfort to me. It was also filled with things she'd made - crochet afghans, doilies, embroidery, and the oddly wonderful dresses made out of at least four different quilting calicoes that she wore every day paired with men's plaid flannel shirts. Loud, incongruous, ugly, but wonderful and definitely original. Before the fire I had a vintage suitcase filled with about ten of her dresses, which I was saving for some future art project. I don't have them anymore, or anything of hers. Miss you, grandma.
My new BFF Mr. Ferguson (who commented in person on my earlier post!) kindly alerted me to the fact that there are a few more of his delectable metal mesh dresses on ebay. It's such an honor to be contacted by the designer!
These dresses are all one of a kind. Here's what I know about Mr. Ferguson, courtesy of the ebay seller:
Mr. Ferguson has designed costumes for The Joffrey Ballet; other designs are in collections worldwide as well as the permanent collection of The Museum of the City of New York, other selected exhibitions include "Goddess: The Classical Mode" at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, 2003, and "Goddess" MoMu, Belgium, 2004.
"Reviving a technique used in the 1920's for metal mesh bags, Douglas Ferguson's late-twentieth century silhouettes overlay classical references on a medieval chain-mail-like material. Like other conflations of recognizable period styles, his designs have the paradoxical effect of being outside time. It is a strategy used by costume designers in theater and the cinema,by illustrators in comic books, and more recently, by creators of computer games, to suggest utopias and dystopias, the future and imaginary parallel realities…Ferguson has devised his own techniques for patterning their surface, exploiting the durability of enamel paints used for cars to create his coruscating designs. Although the mesh is kept in relatively unaltered rectilinear panels, individual components of the material, quatrefoil links, may be removed to modify the shape of each pattern piece. The minimum intervention required by the material, which flows over the body's contours, results in a structural simplicity similar to that of the uncut draped garments of the Greeks." (Goddess: The Classical Mode, by Harold Koda, Director of The Costume Institute, published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York).
There has to be more to the story - I have so many questions. Were the dresses commissioned for each photo shoot? How many mesh dresses were made? Was the mesh itself made or commissioned by the designer? I'd also love to see more designs, perhaps for the stage, or in other materials.
If you're reading this Mr. F, and wouldn't mind an email interview, please contact me!
Came across this lovely outfit on ebay. The color is difficult to see in the photo, but the seller assures us that it's pink. It's separates, top and skirt, plus a matching belt and handbag.
Having worn a Whiting Davis dress before I can tell you that it's an interesting experience. It's cold to the touch, so going on it's a bit goose-bumpy. But it immediately warms to your body. Seriously, there's nothing like the feel of metal mesh against your skin. Heavy, with movement like a snake, undeniable shimmer. When I had a Whiting Davis dress on I felt like a goddess, a living statue. It was definitely an attention grabber. Good times.
Via Zuburbia, we found this metal mesh dress by Douglas Ferguson. It's been on a supermodel and a magazine cover, but what I love about it is the bold, graphic floral.
The enamel surface design reminds me of teens-era Whiting Davis handbag designs.
Is there a word for completely over-the-top, wink-and-giggle-inducing, extreme vintage cuteness? Well, it's not a word exactly, but my friend Eve and I have a thing by which all other things in this category are measured. It's The Wiener Tablecloth.
It's the size that would fit perfectly over the picnic table at a barbecue. And you can tell what's on the menu. It's wieners. Dancing cowboy wieners.
Wiener cowboys riding wiener ponies around the wiener paddock.
When I want to make Eve smile, I just remind her that she owns the wiener tablecloth. If we've been out picking and come across something particularly adorable, it may be described as wiener-tablecloth-good.
So next time you're feeling like you need something to lift your mood, join us in turning your thoughts to the cutest thing in table linens. It helps if you say it out loud. "Wiener Tablecloth."
I'm still trying to plan a trip southward to visit the LAMCA exhibit Fashioning Fashion. In the mean time, the LAMCA website offers in interactive web game, using a party invitation to show different modes of dress, complete with lusciously detailed closeups. Play along here.