Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Darrel Dean

Georgetown, Washington DC, has a deep and fervent past predating the Capitol city. This humble village within the District plays host to a number of big box retailers and some intimately splendid private operations. Darrell Dean Antiques, located at 1524 Wisconsin Avenue NW, offers a veritable melange of product assortment sure to satisfy even the most staunch of furniture collectors. Not only do they entertain a location in Washington DC, but also in New York at Center 44, 222 East 44th Street NY, NY, and on 1st Dibs. So, in the vein of Maria of The Sound of Music please indulge me in perusing a few of my favorite things c/o Darrell Dean Antiques.

Pair of leather & brass armchairs by Maurice Bailey for Monte Verdi Young California c.1956

Pair of scoop back chairs with faux bamboo legs c.1950's

Sputnik chandelier c. 1960's

Vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk paris c. early 20th century

Tapestry sofa mid - late 19th century upholstered in tapestry from 17th - 18th century

Peach mirrored folding screen c. 1940's

Large lacquered goatskin covered bar cabinet by Aldo Tura Italy c. 1970's
*includes matching goatskin covered ice bucket and tongs

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chest Envy

It was difficult to get out of bed this morning, but we managed to get to the sofa...

After building up enough energy, we journeyed to the temporary kitchen to make a little coffee...

Then, it was back to the sofa computer in one hand coffee in the other. Realizing that my mind wasn't quite awake I decided to wade through the deep abyss that is Ebay. Not particularly focusing on anything I came across my newest obsession... a chest so stunning in its form and finish that it would bring even the most pompous of furniture aficionados to his knees.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Streetcar Named Desire

Last week I attended a Sydney Theatre Company production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Kennedy Center. Now, I'd like to say that I went because I'm a patron of dramatic arts, or because I'm an aficionado of classic literature, but my decision to go was based mostly on the fact that Cate Blanchett was playing the role of Blanche DuBois. Suffice it to say I have no merit to pen a declaration of my judgement regarding the quality of the play. I do, however, feel inclined to comment on certain aspects of the show, i.e. Blanche Dubois' fantastic wardrobe.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find many photos of said wardrobe, so please forgive me as I attempt to stumble through an amateur description.

Costume Designer Tess Schofield, S.T.C.'s resident designer, has designed for numerous Operas, Musicals, and Movies. Unfortunately, none of which I've had the privilege of seeing. I base my intrigue of Tess Schofield solely on costumes conspicuously displayed in this particular show.

Unable to take my eyes off of Cate Blanchett, perhaps the intention of director Liv Ullmann, I was immediately taken with the cold sophistication of a modern southern belle moments before succumbing to a twist of life changing circumstance. In the beginning of the play Blanche DuBois was dressed in a smartly tailored suit. She was cool and aloof. Everything about Cate Blanchett, or Blanche DuBois (I don't know which), worked immaculately together. I mean to say that her suit, shoes, luggage, hair, lips, skin, superior cheek bones, voice... everything melded seamlessly and elegantly together. The tone of her character was cool, think CZ Guest. Think of a WASP in a cold Gustavian interior. In my uneducated opinion Cate didn't wear her wardrobe so much as it and she became one joint character. As the play progressed her costumes began to portray her fraying character. The wardrobe once seen as chic and collected began to loose shape and seem cheap, albeit still beautiful.

Tess Schofield showed Blanche DuBois as a great contradiction. She was both traditional and modern, soft and hard. Her character exuded a generally feminine aura with a punctuation of masculinity.
Just as stained glass windows were created not just to serve as pleasant ornamentation, but also as a means to illuminate an otherwise unattainable story to those poor wretched illiterates who were unable to read; perhaps costume designer Tess Schofield was able to capture the essence of the character so that people like me would be able to understand her story.