Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Theory #2: The Problem of Taste

The Problem of Taste

From the "Problem of Taste" at the Pinocchio Theory blog:

When we are free only as consumers, the market replaces all other forms of contestation and valuation. Conflicts that might have been resolved at other times through violence and coercion, or consensus and negotiation, or voting, or other political processes, are now adjudicated entirely through cost-benefit analysis and the mechanism of prices. This also means that the only form of judgment is aesthetic judgment.

Unsolicited Advice #4: Introduce Yourself if Your Host Fails to Do So.

Joining this blog's editorial staff represents the consummation of a lifelong dream.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Unsolicited Advice #3: Hypothetical Walls

Frame vintage wallpaper samples in repainted thrift store frames.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Consumer Frenzy #1: Mid Century Modern Jewelry

After over a year, the ornate botanical motifs of these art nouveau-inspired earrings have grown a bit tired. Wood Cut-Out Earrings from South Street Designs on etsy, $20

Deco Drop Earrings from le train bleu, $88

Modern mid century jewelry, with its abstract geometric shapes and textural emphasis, is sadly underrepresented on the streets of Portland, a problem which I for one will do my part to correct. Check out the collection at 20th Obsession, which is impressive, though pricey. For more affordable wares, look to Recyklotron.

Chrome Mobile Earrings from Recyklotron, $20

Sterling Oval Modernist Earrings by Polly Stehman, circa 1960 from 20th Obsession, $225

Sterling Abstract Cast Earrings, circa 1960's from 20th Obsession, $150

Coro Necklace from Recyklotron, $30

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Theory #1: Bourdieu

"Taste classifies, and it classifies the classifier. Social subjects, classified by their classifications, distinguish themselves by the distinctions they make, between the beautiful and the ugly, the distinguished and the vulgar, in which their position in the objective classifications is expressed or betrayed." (from 'Distinction' by Pierre Bourdieu)

Unsolicited Advice #2: Wear Vintage Hair Combs

Vogue magazine cover from 1923

Trends #3: Nouveau Decau

Speaking of art deco, this 1920's woven silk furnishing fabric (available through Kathleen Taylor) is lovely:

As is this 1970's art deco inspired upholstery fabric:

Unfortunately, the recent resurgence of deco style fabrics has been less successful, as exemplified by these dumpy maternity shirts from Anthropologie.

Compare with this dress by Natalia Goncharova from 1924.

Trends #2: For The Birds

This feathery friend, which can be found on etsy, is merely the foreflier of a flock as vast as that which menaces the characters in Hitchock's The Birds. Why are birds, particularly those of the quasi-biblical swallow varitety featured in this necklace (from Sabine Cayet Tucci of Pudding), so ubiquitous?

This highly stylized little charm is one of many manifestations of a general return to the aesthetics of art deco.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Unsolicited Advice #1: Wear Adjacent Colors

Disregard the disembodied voices warning you away from wearing more than one shade of a color. These bracelets' adjacent colors (kelly green, pea green, and olive) and contrasting materials (plastic, Bakelite, and wood) make them an appealing, if slightly unnerving, trio.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Trends #1: Hideous hybrids

The above featured abomination, hybrid offspring of ballet slipper and Converse tennis shoe, is characterized by playful canvas prints, toes "dipped" in rubber, and unconventional fastening devices. This cheeky shoe dares you to call it ugly. I accept the dare.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Can insensate life forms really be held accountable for their tastefulness?

The answer is yes. This specimen of Philodendron scadens, also known as "Sweetheart Plant" or "Parlor Ivy" is an especially egregious offender. Seduced by the facility with which Philodendron scadens can be grown from cutting, many an unsuspecting home decorator is victimized by this cliched citizen of the vegetable kingdom. Other unfortunate choices include the Asparagus fern, Dumb cane, Peace lily, Schefflera, Ficus benjamina, Spider plant, and Table fern.