Reading, Observing, Listening
It’s the dog days of summer, and here in LA it feels like we’ll still be sweltering hot for a couple more months. During August I try to take a little time off and immerse myself in the things that inspire me, like catching up on magazines and books; visiting galleries; and reading all the newsletters I subscribe to. I like to digest everything and filter out the very best of what’s piquing my interest. It helps me to sort out what I’m feeling creatively, if that makes sense. I put together a list of some of the images, words, and designers that have made an impact on me recently.
Archivos Castizos Instagram: My most favorite Instagram accounts are those with a catalog of imagery from the past. I stumbled upon ArchivosCastizos a few weeks back and can’t stop myself from ‘liking’ nearly every single photo. This IG account is filled with a beautifully edited selection of photographs dedicated to Spain’s past, from village women in traditional dress to musicians and bullfighters and dancers.
The Red Hand Files: The musician and performer Nick Cave is not only one of my all-time favorite artists and style icons, but he is also one of my favorite writers. His songs and stage presence are always perfectly in sync, and his words are so rooted in deep emotion that they pierce your heart. For the past year I’ve been subscribed to his newsletter, The Red Hand Files, in which he responds to any and all questions about life from his fans and readers. It is empathetic, soul crushing, and hopeful all at the same time. I encourage you to not only subscribe, but to spend some time going through the archives of questions.
Bottega Veneta: As much as I love wearing vintage and small independent designers, I also love and appreciate a classic brand. Bottega Veneta (and Ferragamo) are the two classic brands I gravitate towards for their simplicity and timeless style. It’s what I envision as ‘graceful aging.’ Bottega’s new Creative Director, Daniel Lee, is creating clothing and accessories that are everything I want to wear right now. His take on the classic woven Bottega bag has reached heights in the form of oversized totes in the most sensational color combinations. Lee was previously at Celine, so it’s no wonder that he’s put his own chic touch on a luxury heritage brand.
Double Vision: Growing up in Houston, I was always in awe of the Menil Collection. Founded by John and Dominique de Menil as a way to showcase their vast and eclectic collection of art from around the world, the Menil has always served as a tranquil space to ponder and reflect on the art world and the history of both art and civilization. There is no other place in the world I can think of where one can go and sit in a gallery full of Cy Twombly masterpieces and have the space entirely to themselves. Nor is there another place where one can sit in silence surrounded by a circle of meditative Mark Rothko paintings. But aside from the art, what the couple brought to Houston was Culture (with a capital C) and a point of view that extended beyond aesthetics and into the civil rights movement, believing in equality and justice for all. What I’ve currently been devouring is a biography on the couple published in 2018 (and the only biography on the de Menil’s), written by William Middleton. Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil, is both an in depth look at the fascinating couple and a history lesson on how a wealthy Parisian family came to Texas and created a culture of diversity and art appreciation.
Claude Fontaine Album: Few things give me more nostalgia than a good summer soundtrack. On the record player at my house and while driving in the car, I’ve been listening to the new (and first) self-titled album by the American artist with a French name, Claude Fontaine. A mix of sultry love songs influenced by reggae and Brazilian music – this album is one that transcends both trends and expectations, making it my favorite of the year so far. It’s one to put on repeat and let her dreamy voice put you in a spell and transport you to another place. And, don’t forget to check out her first video.