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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Adler’

Isabella Rossellini’s Animal Instincts

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There are lunches at Michael’s and then there are lunches at Michael’s. Today I joined Isabella Rossellini at Table One and had a fascinating conversation with her about aging, celebrity, fashion and gay geese. Stay with me … these seemingly disparate topics are all connected.  Ostensibly there to talk about Mammas, her new series for Sundance Channel which looks at the ways different creatures use their maternal instincts in nature, Isabella did get around to the topic eventually. Yet, there was no feeling of the usual PR spin to the lunch which was attended by a handful of journalists who sat enthralled by her stories of her days as an actress and model and her charming tales of growing up in Rome as the daughter of iconic actress Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini.

“The image I have of myself doesn’t correspond to the image people have of me,” she said. “I live on Long Island and I don’t go to fancy parties and premieres. I don’t like that aspect of celebrity. I never said, ‘When I grow up I want to be a celebrity.’” She didn’t have to.  Between her famous parents, ex-husbands (Martin Scorsese and model Jon Wiedemann), her celebrated career as a model and 14-year run as the face of Lancome before the brand dismissed her in 1996 for being ‘too old,’ and her unforgettable turn as tortured nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, she secured a permanent spot in our collective consciousness without employing any of the usual contrivances associated with modern celebrity.

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When she showed up to join the small group of journos gathered to meet her (I was lucky enough to score the best seat in the house right next to the guest of honor!) the conversation first turned to fashion as Frazier Moore asked her who designed her understated ensemble of a wool tweed cocoon coat,  navy mandarin collared silk jacket, foulard blouse and simple slacks. She gamely removed her coat to reveal the impeccably tailored pieces designed for her by Christina Bomba in Italy. “It’s less expensive than Donna Karan or Dolce & Gabbana, and I like that I can pick the fabric and have it made just for me,” she said. Isabella told us she can’t relate to the fashion-celebrity complex which has turned the red carpet into big business. “When Mama got dressed for the Oscars, she wasn’t solicited by designers. She didn’t have a committee of business people telling her what to wear. She was loyal to one or two Italian designers, and, when they could no longer make dresses for her, the costume designers from her films created something unique.”

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ReadyMade Magazine Launches Its First ReadyMade 100 Contest

ReadyMade magazine is launching the first of what it hopes will be an annual “ReadyMade 100,” celebrating the 100 projects that represent the “most functional, beautiful, interesting, sustainable manifestations of creativity.”

Those interested in participating can upload their projects to ReadyMade.com from now until December 15. Projects must fit within one of the following categories: Home & Garden, Food & Entertaining, Design, Craft, Fashion & Style, Culture, Travel & Places, and Technology & Work.

ReadyMade readers can vote on their favorite projects, with a panel of eight expert judges ultimately After the submission deadline, readers, whether submitting a project or not, can vote on the projects. Next, a panel of eight expert judges (including designer Jonathan Adler ; Instructables founder and CEO Eric Wilhelm; Grace Bonney of my favorite design blog, Design*Sponge; and DIY Network’s Amy Devers) will select their favorite submissions.

The winner will receive the title “Main Maker,” as well as a $500 reward. The Main Maker will also enjoy a three-night stay in New York City, including one night at a ReadyMade 100 party in his or her honor. To top it all off, the winning project will be featured on the cover of the magazine’s 2011 April/May issue.

Interested? Enter your project here. Or, view and vote here.

Celeb Guests Take Over NPR’s “Open Mic”

jasd.jpgThis morning, NPR debuted a new segment, Open Mic, on its “Morning Edition” show.

The premiere of the special series featured designer Jonathan Adler and his husband, Simon Doonan, who serves as creative director for high end department store Barneys. The couple took over the microphone for the seven-minute segment and interviewed each other about their fathers, in a kind of celebration of Father’s Day this weekend.

“Simon and I both have lost our fathers and we thought it was a great opportunity to reflect on what they meant to us and especially what they meant to us in terms of creativity and being gay and all that stuff,” said Adler (pictured at left with Doonan).

Later this month, the Open Mic will be taken over by “In the Heights” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Tony-winning Broadway composer and performer will talk about how songs are written with composer John Kander, who won a Tony this year for the musical “Next to Normal.”

And next month, Open Mic will feature author Neil Gaiman, who will discuss audiobooks.

FBLA Exclusive: Top Design–India Hicks Guest Judge for Thrift Shop Challenge

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Top Design’s second season should start with a bang–the first elimination challenge finds the design hopefuls working in teams of 4, armed with $2000 to be spent at a thrift store, a junkyard, a hardware store and the “Top Design Showroom”.

India Hicks is the first guest judge, and Jonathan Adler, Margaret Russell and Kelly Wearstler are back. Their criteria for this first challenge, at least, are “overall style, originality, taste, creativity, arrangement of merch”–and the judges are experts in these areas, allegedly.

Judging by the overflowing dumpster, the 80s never left. There’s wallpaper, flooring, fabric and junk food wrappers. We’re breathless with anticipation–could Cheetos be a real design trend?

Alissa Walker is Worth 1000 Words at Art Center

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Alissa Walker, co-editor of UnBeige, shares her expertise at a panel at ArtCenter College of DesignWorth 1000 Words: Writing About Design, Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30pm.

Watch in amazement as Walker, STEP editor Tom Biederbeck, and MIT Mediawork editorial Director Peter Lunenfeld, answer these and other questions:

What recent trends in design do you think are most relevant to design publications?

If a young graphic designer is interested in becoming a design writer or editor, what are the two most important things they should know?

We think that Jonathan Adler is the answer to that last question.

Top Design Over: Matt Wins, Bravo Still Sucks

Who told Bravo that weird lips and a British accent get viewers? Top Design dragged Trudie Styler into the judges’ panel, and if we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a million times: she has hot tantric middle-aged sex with Sting, among others. She kept harping on Matt’s sterile bedroom.

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But he won, Carisa didn’t and we still hate Bravo.

Project Top Design went to the party. And then they went to LAURA BENNETT’S to watch the show!

The Gilded Moose liveblogged. Best line:

Todd Oldham is so endearing. He’s sort of like a lesbian Don Knotts.

Blogging Top Design asks readers for only positive comments about Carisa. One and holding.

Jonathan Adler thinks bloggers should be glad to see his white, hairy ankles. So prep, don’cha know?

Linda Merrill deconstructs the loft challenge.

FBLA wonders why the LA Times Home section has barely mentioned this show. Shot here with designers from here–or is that too obvious?

Summing up: Top Design was just okay. Casting was decent, challenges were poorly conceived, judges adequate, production values good. B-/C+