Before the Oscars, a look at how big red became the thoroughfare of modern royalty

A French Deco Rug

“I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path.” -King Agamemnon, from the Greek tragedian-playwright Aeschylus in the fifth century, BC.

Those were the words the good (fictitious) king said upon returning home to his plotting wife after leading his troops to victory in the Trojan War. The story goes, wife Clytemnestra laid out a crimson carpet to highlight her husband’s arrogance by having him trample on the color of the gods. He walks on the carpet, but only under protest. Later, depending on which version you read, Clytemnestra or her lover kills him. Because, you know – tragedy.

A Swedish Rug

Evidence suggests that, while there’s a nice mythical quality to tracing red carpet back to ancient Greece, the practice more likely originated at railroad stations. According to Live Science, President James Monroe received the red carpet treatment in South Carolina, his hosts laid red carpet along the river in his honor in 1821. But it was not until the 1900s, when the luxurious 20th Century Limited train from Chicago to New York had passengers board and disembark on a plush carpet that the idea fancy people deserved fancy rugs, i.e. “red carpet treatment,” took hold.

According to the director of the Academy of Motion Pictures’ Margaret Herrick Library Linda Mehr, the red carpet was added to the Oscars in 1961.

Doris Day (1)

Doris Day at the Oscars, 1961
Via: DorisDay.net (http://www.dorisday.net)

 The television broadcasts of the awards show switched to color in 1966, and ever since watching our favorite movie stars traipse down that sanguine, hallowed walkway has become our chief vicarious indulgence.  It would be hard to name a more popular, or more American, fantasy than getting to be part of the Hollywood glitz.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence, 2013 Oscars
Via: The Gloss

So who is responsible for the actual red carpet at the Oscars? Today, it’s a man by the name of Joe Lewis. For seven years Lewis has been responsible for seeing that the carpet is ready and in place to carry the stars from their limos to the doors of the Dolby Theater. The carpet itself is 600 feet long and will be laid out today and vacuumed Sunday just in time for the wave of press to arrive.

Red is the color of blood and power. Cheerful, robust, vibrant, strong – a bold, red textile can imbue a bit of glamour and stateliness into any space, even if there’s no chance of Brad or Angie crossing the threshold. Check out DLB’s crimson textile tide here.

Contemporary Rugs: Post Minimalism

What comes next might still start in Silicon Valley…

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Industrial designer Yves Béhar got the star treatment in this month’s Vanity Fair. Usually VF reserves its splashy photo spreads for celebrities and British royalty, but this month they chose to highlight one of the Bay Area’s most interesting and disruptive makers.

Yves Behar

He certainly deserves it. Béhar’s work is unique in an industry where the Apple aesthetic (and poor mimicry of it) dominates: In Device Land where pure minimalism, or worse, plodding functionality, are typical for technology, Béhar was the architect behind the ornamental Jawbone earpiece, the sinewy Up fitness band and the stunning and eco-friendly Sayl chair for Herman Miller. Continue reading

Rug Equivalents to Grammy’s 2014 Best Dressed

This year’s Grammys was a bit of a whirlwind when it came to style. There were more misses than hits, but the best dressed attendees really wowed for the occasion. On music’s biggest night, these stars took the cake.

Beyoncé in Michael Costello
Fashion
Superstar Beyoncé showed off her slim ‘n trim bod in a Michael Costello sheer ivory gown sprinkled floral embellishments. The designer (whom you may remember from Project Runway) was inspired by NYC covered in snow. Michael says he was in shock when Ty Hunter, Beyoncé’s longtime stylist, came into his showroom to pull Grammy looks! And I’m sure glad he did. I love the strategically placed cutouts on this gown. Its fresh, sexy and fun. Exactly what the Grammys should be. I especially love that Beyoncé rocked her blond wavy bob that was a hit from her ‘Beyoncé: The Visual Album’ release last month. Paired with wine hued lips and a subtle smoky eye, this look gets 10s across the board.
Taylor Swift in Gucci
Fashion
Taylor Swift glittered in this silvery Gucci number. The chain mail gown fit her body like a glove and I love the sheer detail at the neckline. The whole look is classy and incredibly beautiful. Taylor’s laid back ponytail and light pink lip were the perfect compliment.
Amber Rose in Naeem Khan
Fashion

Inspired by Eclecticism

Eclecticism derives from the Greek “eklektikos” which loosely translates to knowing to choose what’s best for the soul. The concept originally related to ancient philosophers, selective in picking out doctrines that fit their reasoning, today embraces art, architecture, religion, music and medicine among others.

The capital of Hungary, Budapest, is a good example for eclecticism in architecture. The city blends in different historical styles and is well known for its eclectic-style buildings and interiors that are a good source of inspiration and fresh ideas for interior design and home decoration.

The capital of Hungary, Budapest, is a good example for eclecticism in architecture

The House of Parliament in Budapest is one of the most remarkable combinations of neo-Gothic and neo-Renaissance style.

The House of Parliament in Budapest

An eclectic mix of styles is often reflected in fine and decorative arts. Eclecticism is a preferable approach for everyone who is not afraid of changes, likes to experiment with aesthetics and combine different styles. Mixing antique pieces with modern elements adorns each room and produces harmonious and inspiring interiors.

This is an image of the room that incorporates techniques from a diverse range of styles. Irregular black and white stripes reminiscent of a barcode create impression of the lack of precision. Adornments and touches of gold along with 1930’s chair, modern-style mirror, white fireplace and plastic rocking chair designed by Henrik Pedersen make it a truly unique interior.

Room designed by Henrik Pedersen

Eclecticism likes to experiment with colors and shades juxtaposed in original and fresh combinations.

A Moroccan rug BB3689

Eclecticism does not hold rigidly to a single style. It represents a combination of a variety of influences and its only peculiarity lies in the ability to draw on different techniques that can yield aesthetic and unique arrangements.

Eclecticism

Its attractiveness resides in its very personal style that can be spiritual, sensual, dramatic, eccentric or colorful.

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Essential Architecture

Rectangles and Squares: Corners, Lines and Design

At an art fair last week, I saw a portrait of Dorothy from Wizard of Oz. I didn’t notice at first, but a second look revealed that Dorothy’s hair and features were entirely composed of squares and rectangles – she was a girl made of cubes, but an unmistakable one nonetheless. I didn’t buy it, but it struck me as an interesting statement on the post-modern, pop culture-focused, digitized reality we live in.  On a related note, tattoos inked in pixilated-style  are increasingly cropping up on my Pinterest feed.

As citizens of the industrialized, computerized world, the rectangle is the basic structure of our lives – it’s the shape of the homes and offices we inhabit, and it’s the shape of the smallest components (pixels) of the images that travel across the screens we stare into.

Pixels

Our saturated exposure to this four-sided shape affects our perception in ways we aren’t even aware of. Take for instance this optical illusion:

which line

Which line is longer? Researchers discovered that typically Americans perceive the line with the ends pointed out as longer than the one with two arrowheads. This is because we live in spaces with linear construction, and that influences the way we perceive angles, i.e. this is how we usually perceive those lines:

house lines

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Fashion and Interiors: Easy Elegance

For those who enjoy a sophisticated, minimal style, you will surely fall in love with Valentina Kova. Valentina started off as a jewelry designer in 2011 and for the Fall 2013/2014 season, she expanded her brand to include a womenswear collection, made entirely of Italian leather and silk. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valentina studied classical art before moving to the states to attend Parsons. She then went on to study at La Cambre in Brussels before moving to Paris, where she worked closely with jewelry designer Natalia Brilli. After a three year stint teaching at Parsons in New York, Valentina decided to put her innovative ideas to work and start her own line. Her designs are for the woman who is confident and classy, with a bit of spunk. Valentina’s clean aesthetic is a breath of fresh air: classic silhouettes mixed with new-age flair. I had the chance to both view and try on the new Spring 2014 collection, housed at premier pr agency, The Collective (founded by Alex Dickerson and Erin Kelly). I was immediately struck by the line’s craftsmanship and luxurious feel.  Pieces on my must-have list include a long silk trench in cobalt blue, a sleek black leather skirt with sheer cutouts and the Spring/Summer staple: an fiery cutout silk maxi dress. The collection is pure luxury and the world has taken notice. Valentina’s work has been featured in Nylon, Harper’s Bazar Russia and Glamour Mexico, among others. Lady Gaga was spotted in a silk lipstick red jumpsuit, looking more sophisticated than I’ve ever seen her.

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Minimal Meets Adorned: 2 Handbag Designers Changing The Game

Sometimes we just need a bag that will make our outfits soar. The sartorial icing on the cake. Enter Khirma Eliazov and Lili Radu, handbag designers who are changing the game with every clutch. These two women have totally different styles: Lili is sleek and minimal, while Khirma is known for her standout details. But both share a passion for creating gorgeous bags that are instant conversation starters. I consider myself a lucky gal since I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both women and subsequently falling in love with their bags. Here’s my takeaway.

The Statement Maker: Khirma Eliazov

I first met Khirma (a former freelance accessories editor for Vogue) in 2010 at Henri Bendel, about a year after her launch. We spoke that day and I was immediately intrigued with her unique aesthetic and clever detailing, many of which were inspired by her family. Plus, I loved that she named her bags after close friends! Khirma’s trademark lies in her head-turning statement clutches and bags, each made of exotic skins and beautiful stingray. It wasn’t long before I became hooked, steadily featuring her clutches and bags on my blog, JoyLovesFashion. Here are my favorites:

joyday5shades joyday5outfit

The Herzog Maxi

goldaccessories

joyadaezeturban

The Lindsay Clutch

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Rugs that Roar

tamara{via Pinterest}

The use of leopard and cheetah print area rugs in high end interior design is nothing new. But this always en vogue pattern is seeing a popularity surge on such a massive scale even we can hardly believe it. We might assume that a bon vivant like Tamara Mellon would relish adorning her home with exotic flair. Her Manhattan penthouse, after all,  is a trove of modern treasures and one-of-a-kindobjets d’art. So the use of a sexy area rug in the living room comes as no surprise.

leopard7 {source}

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Art and Soul

Art and soul pic 1

Although maximalism can be indulgently fun, it’s hard to deny the allure of exquisitely simple spaces like this New York residence. D’Apostrophe Design worked with stylish homeowners Amy Gold and Brett Gorvy to create an environment that allows their robust art collection to take center stage. Streamlined pieces, sculptural furnishings and a muted color palette allow the natural light and the collected works of art themselves to be the star.

A cluster of cylindrical polished chrome tables offer a “barely there” appearance and are the perfect anchor for the intimate grouping created by the soft beige left and right arm sofas. Plush pillows and a matching Andrée Putman loveseat introduce a deep taupe to the otherwise light space. A massive area rug offers a sophisticated monochromatic floral motif – the only moment of pattern in the room. But the most notable characteristic of the design is the seeming lack of hard edges anywhere other than the walls themselves. Soft, rounded curves are everywhere you look until your eyes fix upon the framed artwork and the modern fireplace. This is a stroke of design genius.

In this case, less really is more. Even the untrained eye is naturally drawn to the Cy Twombly, Eva Hesse, and Bruce Conner masterpieces the stylish homeowners have collected. See the rest of this gorgeous home at ArchDigest.com.

Art sould pic 2

Amy Gold and Brett Gorvy (pictured with their daughter, Tamsin, and a Studio Job cat sculpture) in their Manhattan apartment, which was renovated by Francis D’Haene of D’Apostrophe Design.

By: Franki Durbin of Life in a Venti Cup

Greek Key in Rugs – Accentuating What is Common to us All

The most common design used in ancient rug making is the Greek Key (Fret). This design is basically characterized by a meandering pattern, taken from the twisting and winding Meander River in Turkey. Why was Greece connected with this design when this river is located in Turkey? The reason is that: in ancient times, when this particular carpet style was formed, Turkey was under the occupation of Greece. Since the ancient Greeks were basically eclectic in their approach, the cultures of other countries they occupied were used and applied in their own native land.

ImageModern Greek Key rugs and carpets have taken up this particular motif from the design of the mosaic floors in ancient Greek and Roman structures. This motif can be considered as one of the oldest art forms in human history. In fact, it can’t really be ascertained if this design form started with the Greeks. Some historians have indicated that it may have originated as far back as the Minoan Civilization, from the first inhabitants of Crete.

The interesting thing about the Greek Key is that it can also be found in numerous ancient civilizations including that of the ancient Aztecs and even in Chinese culture. Some historians attributed this to the elemental ideas prevailing in humans whatever the time period is, causing this design pattern to arise independently in varied cultural settings. It is then safe to consider that since this motif has appeared in almost all of the countries in the world, it must appeal to something that all peoples have in common.

tnw520-bb3033This early 20th century Chinese rug has a variation of the Greek Key on its borders.

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An early 20th century Samarkand rug has a similar version of the Greek key to the Chinese rug.

And because of its common appeal, we now have Greek Key (Fret) designs in modern day carpets and rugs. Our collections of these types of rugs will surely find resonance in the hearts of many people.

ImageA modern version of the Greek Key.