30 April 2014

Полегнала е Тодора - Check This Out - Мистерията на българските гласове

I love this music, but I'm not sure how my Grandmother Sophie wound up looking like everyone in The Bulgarian State Female Vocal Choir...

    29 April 2014

    London's Private Clubs

    City University Club (from their website)

    The Watchman's chair at The Art's Club (from The Gentlemen's Clubs of London)

    Royal Automobile Club Newsletter (from Vodka Ronnies loo)

    Lovely British Documentary on London Clubs in the '60s

    My exposure to club life in '80s and '90s London was limited, but I'm grateful for what I was able to see. Unlike clubs in the US, club dues in London were reasonable and so a gentleman might belong to a number of clubs. I was lucky enough to see The City University Club, RAC, The St James Club  and a smattering of less formal drinking clubs... of which one could purchase membership the very same evening one showed up.

    One such club was a densely furnished Victorian room of bushy red velvet drapes, worn red and gold carpet and tiny gold tables with circular marble tops. At about eight of the 20 or so tables table sat two women in formal evening dress sipping champagne from tulip flutes.  I took in the room and for a few seconds and was completely stumped… until a red and gold light went on. I turned to the four or five Lloyd's brokers who brought me and said, "Hey, I know what this is…" They all shushed me and the one who paid the dues whispered, "Now Tinseth, it cost a lot to get in here -- I don't fancy being thrown out. "Fine," I said. "But I'm a still a newlywed…you can stay… best I be leaving."

    Later that night, at another private club, an underwriter explained the brokers were trying to "get something on me" for bargaining purposes - be it necessary. I remember thinking we all worked in insurance and not MI6. Today, I look back on that night with some regret and wish I had stayed.  Not so much for the female companionship, but I would have liked a menu, a matchbook... some sort of whore house ephemera to bring home as a memento…and then again... I could have brought home something else.

    28 April 2014

    John Simon Documentary by Jason Jules - Brilliant!

     John Simons Shop  on 46 Chiltern Street - Home of American Trad in London

    "I think they were invisible to everybody else.  I think they looked incredibly conservative…incredibly conservative.  That's what was radical about it.  In fact, that's what was subversive about it." 
    Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners

    Jason Jules (Garmsville) was over for the Ivy exhibit at FIT and I invited him to drinks and dinner.  He's something of a low talker and I'm going deaf but he is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  You get the impression he'll give you the shirt off his back.  Actually, I gave him a pair of Jack Spade canvas trousers, a BB tie and I might have even given him the shirt off my back. I'm not sure…

    You want to give Jules the shirt off your back.  He's that decent and humble.  He's also brilliant. The trailer is a documentary on the history of John Simon and his Ivy shop in London.  It's due this Spring and it looks…brilliant!

    25 April 2014

    "36 Hours 'til Monday"

    Last year I spoke with Lee regarding these ads. "36 Hours ‘til Monday" ran in a 1986 issue of "'M' The Civilized Man" and I wanted to know who the ad agency was. They got back to me after a couple weeks and told me they knew nothing about the ad, photographer, models... zip.

    This happens a lot more than you’d expect. When it comes to ads, retailers are notorious for lousy record keeping much less having an actual archives — I’m guessing Lee wouldn’t have any trouble telling me what their EBITA was in 1986.  The ads are from the little known Tom McElligott of the long gone agency,  Fallon McElligott Rice.

    I found out about about Tom  by way of this wonderful piece by Dave Dye of, "Stuff from the Loft" blog.  The ads ran in two page spreads so the impact wasn't lost then and, after almost 30 years, they're even more powerful.  While McElligott gave up the ad business and retired at age 50,  a college kid scored an interview and Tom gave him some very wise advice which  follows and which I wish someone gave me when I was starting out...

    “Don’t be distracted by anything. The work is what counts. There are a lot of things that can get in your way, that take up your time and your emotional and intellectual energy; none of them account for anything. They mean nothing. The only thing, in the final analysis, at this stage of the game, that really counts, is the work. The work is everything.

    The years that I spent in advertising I saw an awful lot of people who had the potential to be good lose a lot of their ability to distraction, to politics, to fear and to who has the bigger office. You’ll get the bigger office; you’ll make the money. Anything you want will happen, but sometimes it’s hard for people to see that when they’re in the middle of it.

    It looks like it’s incredibly complicated. Well, it’s not complicated at all. In fact, it’s so uncomplicated it’s amazing. All it is about is the work. Finally, if you do the work people will notice and you will get what you want. That’s it. It’s as simple as that.” Tom McElligott

    23 April 2014

    Is Fashion Art?

    Designed to appeal to as many as possible -- Vineyard Vines,  J Crew,  Ralph & Tommy -- All reflect fashion at its most mundane.  Which is why some styles of the past are so interesting.  In a way, we're endorsing past generation's aesthetic and taste... sometimes over hundreds of years.  That's not so much what fashion does as it is what art does.

    11 April 2014

    Happy Birthday

    Duluth, 1937

    Duluth, 1945

    Puerto Rico, 1951

    South Korea, 1959

    South Korea, 1971

    Yuma, 1987