The Wall Street Journal featured yet another stunning still life in the popular OFF DUTY section over the weekend. One artist's work is a favorite here at aLIFEofSTYLE. Click NOOK to find out more about these unique pieces - and where to find them - they are destined to be collectibles. Bravo Meredith Mendelsohn for writing this thoughtful article, F. Martin Ramin for the dreamy photography, and Anne Cardenas for the beautiful styling. #WSJOFFDUTY
Spring is in the air. Finally, after a harsh Winter that had everyone from San Diego to Saratoga experiencing droughts, snowstorms, and a myriad of weather obstacles in-between...the tide is turning. Suddenly, the West coast got rain, the East coast is getting sun, and your favorite fashion stores are unwrapping the newest objects of desire for Spring 2014. Now, more than ever, it is easy to also support causes near and dear to your heart simply by purchasing from companies with a passion for charity. Three collections that champion animal rights and the environment are among the most interesting offerings for Spring.
FIGUE - The self styled collection of designer Stephanie Von Watzdorf is on the short list of those bohemian globe-trotting "it" girls who live between St. Tropez, West Chelsea, and Costa Careyes - depending on the time of year. Figue is cool and stylish, but never pretentious. How could it not be fabulous? Stephanie is the gal that helped create the look of the Tory Burch RTW aesthetic. While Tory prefers the "Bohemian in a Bentley" image, Stephanie is more "Gorgeous in Goa". Most of the pieces are collectible and Figue has a following with a one-of-a-kindish-like passion. Anyone who knows Von Watzdorf knows her passion for animals - big and small. Her Flying Elephant Totes ($65.00) and Flying Elephant iPad Cases ($95.00) helps raise money to save and care for Elephants in Africa. Over 30% of the tote and 20% of the iPad case goes to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The Trust cares for Elephant and Rhinos is Kenya, carrying on the legacy of David Leslie William Sheldrick - founder of the Tsavo National park in Kenya. Help support this beautiful creatures while wearing one of the chicest collections around! Figue has opened it's first BOUTIQUE in NYC -GET THERE!!
JOHN BARTLETT - This NY based fashion designer has a history of supporting animal rights. His Tiny Tim Rescue Fund helps support dogs and cats in need, and ensures they are cared for in no-kill shelters. Bartlett started the fund in memory of his own three legged rescue pit bull - Tiny Tim. For 2014 there is an exciting new fashion piece to raise awareness and funds for the cause. Bartlett has teamed up with jewelry designer to the stars Gregg Wolf to create the Tiny Tim Adopt Necklace in Sterling Silver. At $135.00, it's an affordable way to help safe man's best friend and look cool doing it.
This family owned skin care company has built a loyal following by using all natural ingredients and utilizing combined with the latest scientific breakthroughs in anti-aging and restorative properties. With fans around the world, Chantecaille has helped women choose more natural options in their beauty regimen. Philanthropy is also a constant in this eco-aware company. Each season, the family chooses an animal in danger of extinction to raise funds and awareness. For Spring 2014, the focus in on the Honey Bee. Bees have protected and helped produce all of natures finest creations for millions of years. These tiny creatures protect our ecosystem in a profound way. (Honey found in the tombs or ancient Pharaohs is still edible today!) The recent and dramatic decline of bee populations around the world has scientists on every continent concerned. A portion of the profits from the sale of every Save The Bees Palette goes to the Xerces Society. This non-profit organization protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their environment. The palette has a warm collection of colors that flatter the eyes and cheeks.
To learn more about any of these worthy causes, click the highlighted links or the images. You can "pollinate" any of these causes in your own way by purchasing these items now. Help these beautiful creatures, while you also take home some beautiful pieces for yourself this Spring.
Buzz around like a busy bee now. Happy Spring!
Its remarkable how artists have the ability to convey the mood of society through their work. It just happens. In 2014 - luxury is in. Mega million dollar apartments sell daily in cities from coast to coast while shoppers run to boutiques to purchase anything with the word "Luxury" in its' description.
In the art world? Pop Art is the name of the game, and luxury doesn't even begin to describe the scene. Never before have hyper luxury creations of artists like Jeff Koons been "mainstreamed" by a global pop star like Lady Gaga. Koons created a sculpture of Gaga for the cover of her latest album ArtPop. While he was once dismissed as a sculpture pornographer, Koons work now sells for millions of dollars. Fashion too has never been more directly involved with pop artists, making their work part of the fashion. French fashion house Louis Vuitton commissioned graffiti artist Retna to create a facade for a special pop-up boutique in Miami. Get the picture?
Enter the Argentinian born, American artist Pato Paez. Paez is a modernist who can balance the razor sharp edge between fine and commercial art. His "Narcissistic by Nature" series is a commentary on ego and beauty and has created a loyal following of collectors all over the world since it began in 2008.
His first offering in 2014 is "Ben Franklin, BFF" - a limited edition silkscreen print inspired by the $100 bill. Part of a collection "Our Love Affair With Money", the Benjamins are limited to 100 prints - signed and numbered. Each measures 22" x 15" (image size 14" x 9 1/4"). These prints were just released - and are soon to be - gone! Each print is $75.00 - less than a cool Benjamin.
Click over to IMURI now- you can point and click and order your image directly. Modern art meets modern commerce. It's just a matter of time before Pato's work is available several more zeros dangling off the end. (I'm no Suze Orman - but this is an investment you need to get in on asap). You can also check out more of the work Paez creates - in so many mediums through his studio IMURI. You won't be sorry. I'll bet you $100 bucks!
While the political landscape around the world seems to be focused on ugly rhetoric, the Spring 2014 ad-campaigns in the world of luxury fashion have never been more beautiful. Sure, there are those that focus on off-beat style or awkward beauty, but the strongest ads are luscious. Making a bigger contribution than most is the dynamic photography duo of Mert & Marcus. Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot are two of the most famous fashion photographers in the world. The duo work together, making them a unique powerhouse in the industry. Having made their name shooting for French Vogue and Interview magazines the two have quite a following. Their portfolio of work for Spring 2014 alone would be the "best of" for most photographers entire career. Stunning shots represent Versace, Gucci, Stella McCartney, LOEWE, and Salvatore Ferragamo. The campaigns all bring the respective brand's image front and center. Two feature superstars - Lady Gaga for Versace and Penelope Cruz for Loewe. All feature amazingly beautiful people - and fashion. Of all the looks, I could pass on Gucci... (I still miss the Tom Ford Gucci days. Call me nostalgic).
With all the talented photogs out there, it is nothing short of amazing that this duo have so many fashion brands in their portfolio - and we haven't even discussed fragrance and beauty brands they shoot! The dynamic duo are represented by heavyweight agents - Art Partner, but at the end of the day talent books gigs. Many times it's that one shot that a designer sees in print and says "That's the look I want".. or "Who shot this" - which can lead to a wonderful collaboration. Start flipping through W, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Vogue, V, and Interview Magazines to see many of these beautiful campaigns in print - still the best way in my opinion... click any of the images to see more from these houses of luxury fashion and major fashion publications.
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