The Thonet Legacy

An undeniable classic, the Thonet bentwood cafe chair has been around for well over a hundred years and still holds the same charm and elegance today as it did in 1855 when the #14 chair was first produced. Michael Thonet and his sons were known for their innovative method of steaming and bending wood into beautifully shaped furniture through an inexpensive manufacturing process and at an achievable price point for most. In many ways, the Thonet men laid the ground work for the Eames duo in the mid-twentieth century (another pair of designers who were tremendously influential in the history of furniture manufacturing). Lately, I’ve been running into these pieces all over the place! First at the local thrift store (gorgeous set of four cafe chairs in wonderful condition…if they stay put for a few more days, you may just see them here on this blog), then at the Starbucks corner of our near-by Kroger, and now in this lively painting by Toulouse-Lautrec.

Image Credit: Toulouse Lautrec

You’ve probably passed these pieces many times before and never thought twice about it. But now you are savvy to the wonderful history and heritage of Thonet’s work! Doesn’t that bring a greater understanding of the spaces and designs they are used in?

Photo Credit: Tom Scheerer

Photo Credit: via Carrier & Company

Photo Credit: Tom Scheerer

Photo Credit: Suzy Hoodless

Photo Credit: Tom Scheerer

I told you…they were a standard then and they’re a standard now! Where have you seen this style of furniture?

Advertisements

4 Years and Counting!

Today is a very special day and although I will do my best, I know as I write this humble post that it won’t give proper justice to the significance of this occasion. Four years ago (I can hardly believe it) on this splendid day, David and I committed our lives to one another. Since that day of ceremony and celebration, we have grown both as driven individuals and a devoted couple. I thought this might be a perfect opportunity to share a few of my favorite experiences that we shared together and captured on camera. My goodness how time has flown!

~

I know, not the greatest picture but it was a really important moment…two college graduates and we did it together!

And here we are, in a new place with a new life.

Since I know my ever supportive husband will probably read this post sometime today (he always does), I want to say that I love you, babe, more than ever and I can’t wait for our future ahead of us!

* I also want to wish a happy anniversary to my grandmother, Ada, who would have celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary with her late husband, Madison, today as well.

Dancin’ in the Summertime…

…one of my favorite activities as the weather shifts from warm to cool. Back home (in Nashville), I would always look forward to the months of July and August for the annual summer Big Band music and dance in Centennial Park’s event shelter. (Find this year’s schedule here). When I found these photos below from Magar Hatworks and The Sartorialist, I pined a bit for those steamy summer evenings of riotous dance and jivin’ music…old style and handsome garments.

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Photo Credit: Magar Hatworks

Photo Credits: Magar Hatworks

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Photo Credit: Magar Hatworks

Photo Credit: Magar Hatworks

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

Couldn’t we embrace this lifestyle a little more often? It’s so appealing!

Artfully Crafted Design

Happened upon the most gorgeous mid-century marketing prints by the talented graphic designer, Lora Lamm. I immediately fell in love with her mod and playful representation of 1960s Italian style. Real paint brushstrokes and hand crafted designs…you don’t see much of that anymore.

Image Credit: Lora Lamm via Designlovefest.com

Image Credit: Lora Lamm via Designlovefest.com

Image Credit: Lora Lamm via Designlovefest.com

And a bit info about the designer and her era:

“In the written history of mid-century Italian and Swiss Graphic Design, Lora Lamm’s name is often overlooked. Although born in Arosa, Switzerland in 1928, Lamm was a major contributor to the Milanese design style of Italy during the 1950s and 1960s. This post-war period in Milan, distinguished by its intellectual and progressive attitudes, booming economy and companies open to new ways of communication, attracted many design figures from Switzerland. Xanti Schawinsky, Max Huber, Carlo Vivarelli, Walter Ballmer, Aldo Calabresi and Bruno Monguzzi (to name a few) all moved to Milan (1933, 1940, 1946, 1946, 1954 and 1961, respectively) and were employed by the influential Studio Boggeri, founded in 1933 by Antonio Boggeri.”

via This Is Display

Image Credit: Lora Lamm via Designlovefest.com

Image Credit: Lora Lamm via Designlovefest.com

Image Credit: Lora Lamm via Designlovefest.com

This is a style that I would love to see more of!

The Golden Age of Couture

There is no denying the newest and strongest trend of the fall season: 1950s glamour, initiated by both the Prada & Louis Vuitton F/W 2010 collections (shared below).

Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton Campaign, Fall 2010

Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton Campaign, Fall 2010

 

Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton Campaign, Fall 2010

Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton Campaign, Fall 2010

Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton Campaign, Fall 2010

Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton Campaign, Fall 2010

Perpetuating this trend are magazine editorials such as the July edition of American Vogue with Natalia Vodianova  and July’s Harper’s Bazaar featuring Katherine Heigl. Both were beautiful and such a refreshing return to polished dressing and ultimate feminity!

Image Credit: Victoria & Albert Museum

In the same theme, I recently visited an exhibit showing at the Nashville, TN Frist Center for the Visual Arts which featured gorgeous creations from the “Golden Age of Couture” (Paris and London, 1947-1957). Imagine feather embellished evening gowns by Pierre Balmain, sharp afternoon ensembles by Christian Dior, and stunning photographic compositions by Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn. It was spectacular and made me ask the question, does the average woman care less or more about their daily ware than our daintily clad mothers and grandmothers? Or is there simply a different perspective? There was something special about the way they approached dressing and everyday appearance. How has that changed and evolved over the years?

Photo Credit: via Artguide.com

All questions I don’t know the answers to but would love to have your perspective on.

Photo Credit: Richard Avedon via Organmyth.blogspot.com

The sketches and photos were perhaps my favorite part of the entire evening…just stunning works! If you get the chance, I would highly recommend making a visit. You can find the touring schedule here.

More from the past…

…And continuing into today. I love looking at old pictures from the past century and following certain items through their fashion lineage to the present. Sometimes it’s even fun to do the reverse…find a trend today and see how far back you can trace it. I’d love to know about some of the surprises you find! Here are some more then/now comparisons as a follow-up from last week’s post.

The head scarf:

Then…

Photo Credit: Fanpix.com

Now…

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

*Notice the Saarinen chair in the background. 🙂

Photo Credit: Garance Dore

“O” Sunglasses:

Then…

Photo Credit: Harper's Bazaar

Now…

Photo Credit: The Glamourai

Photo Credit: Street Peeper.com

Photo Credit: Street Peeper.com

I could go on and on, but I’ll have to save more for later. Hope you have a great day!