Chinoiserie

I have had a long-term love affair with Chinoiserie.  For those who are unfamiliar with this design style, it became popular in Europe mid-18th century.  The Asian design influences were incorporated into some other European styles and Chinoiserie was born.  I think of it as the European artist’s dream vision of Asian designs, and the European fascination with the “Oriental.”

Vivid colors paired with golds, asian florals, birds, and “Oriental landscapes,” fill designs on wallpapers, screens, furniture, porcelain, and lacquered items.

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chinoiserie

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paper-work

One of the most exclusive wallpaper companies that specializes in Chinoiserie designs is de Gournay.  Top notch, hand painted panels are this company’s specialty; but be warned, each panel has a considerable cost.  I suppose I’m going to have to start saving up now!

A little Art Nouveau for the New Year

One of my favorite artistic styles is Art Nouveau, popularized between the years of 1890-1910. It had various origins in Europe, and started as a resistance to Revival art (think of highly ornate, Gothic cathedrals). Art Nouveau has simpler features, although many designs feature intricacies of a different sort. A few of my favorite Art Nouveau artists are Alphonse Mucha and Gustave Klimt. If you’re looking for artwork with florals, gold, fantasy-like design, Art Nouveau might be something to look into:

Klimt
klimt.adele-bloch-bauer

Klimt
the-kiss-1908(1)

Mucha
alphonse+mucha

Mucha
alphonse_mucha_dance

Cinema Inspiration

As noted, I’ve taken up writing again.  Not that any hiatuses are planned, it’s just that because of the nature of my work I tend to have very little time to really just sit and reflect.  However, I firmly believe that the lack of healthy outlets causes a person to really start to lose sight of themself; when work becomes the entirety of a person’s existence, things go south pretty quickly.  Anyhow, I am going to try my best to get in a few entries a week (if anything, for my own well-being).

So as I was getting my apartment fall-ready, I was thinking about inspiration in general, considering why I like certain influences and want to reflect them.  That goes for clothing, decor, artwork, writing, life in general, whatever.  In this case, specifically, I was thinking about my favorite movie–Almost Famous.

I will hands down say that Kate Hudson’s eccentric and fanatical muse, Penny Lane, is definitely a major style-influence.

Penny Lane asks the main character, William (based on director Cameron Crowe), if he wants to go with her to Morocco.  The character of Penny Lane is, up until the end, almost completely surreal.  Kate Hudson does a fantastic job of portraying an individual who is always on somewhat of a different level of reality, right down to the   very fact that she doesn’t even use her real name, or let others know what it actually is.

I love this movie for a variety of reasons, another being the music.  As Zooey Deschanel’s character Anita leaves home to become a stewardess, she hands William a note and tells him, “Look under your bed, it’ll set you free.”

William inherits Anita’s record collection and begins to pursue his dream as a rock writer, which is the basis for the entire movie as he travels the country with the fictional band of Stillwater.  Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, and a handful of other classics paint the movie’s soundtrack.  One of my favorite scenes is the morning after the character Russell has a bit of a debacle the night before.  Divided on a few things concerning the path the band is taking, they seem to come together as they all join in to sing “Tiny Dancer” on the tour bus.

As William travels with Stillwater, he is faced with the challenge of writing what the actual truth, despite the pleas of the band members to just, “make them look cool.”  Eventually he does end up writing the article for Rolling Stone as he sees fit, even with a few bumps along the way.  William leaves home young and misses his high school graduation, which hits home for me because I left home during my senior year to study abroad in Japan.  I also missed my high school graduation, along with a handful of other high-school staples.  I think there is something for those of us who feel the need to find whatever it is that we are looking for–we seek it by travel, by writing, by whatever.  But there is something that compels us to leave behind what is the usual and comfortable to seek that which is foreign to us.

Anita tells William before she leaves, “One day, you’ll be be cool.”  Maybe what she actually meant was, “One day, you’ll know who you are.”