japonisme: 11/11/07 - 11/18/07

16 November 2007

liberty, in more ways than one

(did arthur lazenby liberty start the arts and crafts movement, or just give it a home, as did bing in paris to art nouveau. again we see the newly-arisen middle class supporting an entrepreneurial class who was able to create, support, make a living from, and otherwise bring or exploit new tastes and standards to the buying publics. both men did importing as well as encouraging new, local, design. we look at dresses.)

General dress reform movement was sup- ported by a conglom- eration of many different ideological groups, including

health advocates and feminists. In the early nineteenth century, concern arose about the distortion of internal organs and the circulatory problems caused by the tight lacing of corsets. Also of concern was the general inability of women and girls to get decent exercise because of petticoats, long trains, and the heavy structural paraphernalia worn under clothing. The excessive weight of the fabric carried by fashionably dressed women was a problem as well. In response to these concerns, the Rational Dress Society was founded in 1881. Its vision was encapsulated in an article in the Society’s Gazette:

The Rational Dress Society protests against the introduction of any fashion in dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movements of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health. It protests against the wearing of tightly-fitting corsets; of high-heeled shoes; of heavily-weighted skirts, as rendering healthy exercise almost impossible; and of all tie down cloaks or other garments impeding on the movements of the arms. It protests against crinolines or crinolettes of any kind as ugly and deforming….

[It] requires all to be dressed healthily, comfortably, and beautifully, to seek what conduces to health, comfort and beauty in our dress as a duty to ourselves and each other.

Ultimately, women’s issues of comfort, health, and freedom of movement were more forceful and lasting influences on dress reform than were aesthetic issues, although dress reform, as a wider cultural phenomenon, did reject Victorian frippery, harsh aniline dye colors and stiff fabrics. Artistic dress in particular adopted soft, flowing fabrics in muted colors, called “Art Colors” by Liberty of London, called “strange, old-fashioned, and indescribable” by critics. Unlike styles derived from French fashions, artistic dress had very little embellishment, limited mostly to smocking and simple, free-style embroidery. Liberty of London provided beautiful silks and woolens for artistic clothing, and eventually carried artistic gowns in their in-store boutique, The Liberty & Co. Artistic and Historic Costume Studio, opened in 1884. Several years later Liberty & Co. challenged the supremacy of French fashion by presenting aesthetic gowns at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universalle. 1

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15 November 2007

wonders in small pieces

(somehow i find myself strongly drawn to mosaics just now. i think this post will be part of a series.)

The Palau de la Música Catalana (”Palace of Catalan Music”) in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, is a concert hall built between 1905 and 1908, designed by the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It was inaugurated in 1908, and its style is known as modernisme, the local term to design the Art Nouveau, whose most noteworthy practitioner was Antoni Gaudí.

The Palau de la Música Catalana was built to be the concert hall of the Orfeó Català (”Catalan Choir”), the most important choir in Catalonia in the beginning of the XXth century. The project was financed by this institution, principally, but also by the donations of the well-living bourgeoisie in the city.

Due to the wealthy circumstances and the increasing sympathy of industrialists and bourgeoisie to Catalan nationalism, Montaner was asked for a national, symbolist architecture and building. So he added the traditional ceramics and “maons”, and asked other well-known Catalan artists to work with him. As a consequence, the Palau shows a wide variety of techniques and materials, both inside and outside.

In 1997, it was added as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 1

Palau de la Música Catalana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mosaic Art Source - Spain Mosaic Image Archive

(the peacock is from india!)


13 November 2007

and yes, still


Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev'ry fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way

But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing
when you go
And if you care,
don't let them know
Don't give yourself away

I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really don't know love at all

Tears and fears and feel- ing proud
To say "I love you" right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads,
they say I've changed
Well something's lost,
but something's gained
In living every day

I've looked at life
from both sides now
From win and lose and
still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all
I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

Joni Mitchell

Copyright © 1969; Siquomb Publishing Company

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11 November 2007

sunday funnies

some thought this might be sufficient.

when it clearly was not, an entire patrol was gathered, just for this piano!

speaking of pianos, why are these women so bored??!

fortunately, not everyone feels that way!:

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