Here are a few things I've added to my space, or wishlist for the gifting season.
Remix: Decorating with Culture, Objects, and Soul - This is a great book to add to your design library. I love the tips and sneak peeks into designers homes. As I'm getting my space in order, it comes with great inspiration for incorporating pattern and color.
iPad Cases from Della - I want all of these cases!!! The cases are made from in Ghana from locally sourced materials. You can find them here and a capsule collection on the TOMs website. Della is a socially responsible fashion line based out of Ghana.
Funky picture frames - I'm trying to be better about printing photos and having them up and around me in my space. Because I love color and pattern, I've been looking for some frames that really reflect my style. I've already collected a few but here are two that I'm eyeing: left, Spectrum Picture Frame, and right, Chevron Frame.
Mercado Global Clutches - This brand was showcased at a pop-up shop I recently attended, and I instantly fell in love with their handwoven handbags and clutches.
Neon Glass Clock - I need this for my office. The pop of color is perfect!
Patterned Erasers from Kate Spade - Who said erasing couldn't look fun? These would make a fun gift, and a lovely addition to my office supplies.
Is there a particular object or item you've been eying for your home?
Currently, the imagery I've been collecting to inspire my new work has all been connected to hip hop in some way. I have been totally intrigued by the stylings of Trinidad James and the gold chains A$AP Ferg rocks in his video for "Shabba Ranks." The over-the-top layering and costume-like feel of this style of adornment has me thinking about the thread between identity, history, culture, and style.
But you can't look at these distinctive looks without taking it back to some of the originals in hip hop culture. So I've been pulling images of Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and of course Slick Rick (to name a few). As the researching and collecting continues I'm curious to learn more about the origins. Does it go back even further? Is there a connection to the ornamentation that we see throughout countries in Africa? I've heard this theory before but the monologue by Pimp C at the beginning of Jay-Z's "F*ckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt" has me thinking about it a little more in the context of these personal projects:
"A little over a year ago I was in bondage, and now I'm back out here reaping the blessings and getting the benefits that go along with it, everything that's out here for kings like us. The reason why we like this, this jewelry and this diamonds and stuff, they don't understand is, because we really from Africa, and that's where all this stuff come from. And we originated from kings, you know what I'm saying? So don't look down on the youngsters because they wanna have shiny things. It's in our genes, know what I'm saying? We just don't all know our history, so—"
My friend, Jessica, and I often discuss the concept of ancestral memory and how unexplained habits and attractions span across generations without necessarily being exposed to those things in your lifetime. I'm sure there are many arguments, tons of research to explore and conversations to be had but this all inspires me. These ideas all inform the concept of "identity" which has been the underlying current in all of my work, so I look forward to see how it all comes together.
P.S. I threw Mr. T in the above collage because I've been wondering if he was the first person in our pop culture history to rock the layer gold chains look.
Collecting trinkets, accessories and things from around the world is something I'd love to do. I don't travel internationally as much as I'd like to but love online shops like Secret Ships that allow me to add to my collections without leaving home.
1. Roxy Marj Harvest Print Envelope Clutch 2. Tamsin Classic Pump 3. John Robshaw Block Print Drawing 66 4. Madewell Geometry Tee 5. Lavender Sachets 6. Southwestern Spring Canvas Sneakers 7. Bungalow Derby Pillow 8. Embroidered Chinos
In honor of Black History Month I will be sharing a few posts about African Americans who's stories and talents have inspired me. Like, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who's work continues to inform and enlighten us; especially in the realms of fashion, design, and other visual arts.
I always enjoy having a few items around me to commemorate the legacy of people who have played an important role in history. Whether it's something to wear, watch, read or hang, it's good to be reminded of their wonderful contributions to our story and culture.
clockwise, Basquiat by Mark Mayer; Reebok Basquiat I Am Tee; Jean Michel Basquiat: Radiant Child; Basquiat giclee print by Alison Black; Jean-Michel Basquiat x Reebok NPC Clean; BASS-QUIAT Bowtie; Basquiat Dragon Candle.
The idea of a space completely covered in layered pattern mixes makes me smile. Here are few things I'm looking to use to make it happen in my home.
clockwise, The Odalisque by Henri Matisse, a print with textile inspirations (Did you know Matisse worked at a textile mill close to his home in his early years?); Handcrafted ottomans from The Tailored Nest; fab book for a coffee table John Robshaw Prints; West Elm Bazaar Dhurrie; Embroidered Mizbah Pillow; Peasant Kantha Quilt; Pink Velvet Tropical Bird Print Pouf, I have one of these and I love it; and another perfect coffee table book for a patterned space Yayoi Kusama.
I am completely obsessed with metallic, especially gold and pewter. I've been looking at different foiling processes to see how I might incorporate the technique in my own projects; I love how the foiling adds a little something special to anything, like the items you see above.
clockwise: Gold Kiss Print, Handprinted Lumbar Pillow (I need), Matthew Williamson Chevron Gold-tone Clutch, Gold Foil Pocket Notebooks, Metallic Stag Wallpaper, Kate Spade Lollipop Too Shoe, Half United Bullet Earrings (I love these!!), Be Brave Print, and Rebecca Minkoff Marsha Sandals (I really want these for summer).
1. Seagrass Tote - perfect for storing magazines or handbags (it comes in a lovely red color-way as well).
2. Scandinavian Tree Oven Mitt - keeping you hands safe and cute while you cook.
3. Lemon Scented J.R. Watkins Hand Soap - loving this natural earth-friendly hand soap. The nicely designed vintage label makes it nice enough to display as is in your bathroom.
4. Patch Pouf Ottoman - made of old saris and gently used textiles (I so want this!!).
5. Sara Lee Parker Textiles - this collection of printed fabric works well for projects like putting together your own lavender sachets or tea towels.
6. Clementine Zest Hand Lotion - this is perfect to keep in the kitchen.
7. The Harvest Printed Cotton Dhurrie - I absolutely love this little rug. Works perfectly in a guest bath.
8. Succulent Garden - you can create your own garden using little succulents purchased at your local garden store or you can purchase one already made like above. I think these little plants add character and whimsy to any window sill or cozy corner.
2. Mara Mi Memo Pad. A cute way to keep your to-do lists and notes in order.
3. Kid Made Modern Tape Set. These solid and printed tape sets are too fun! Perfect for crafting, wrapping gifts, or sending packages. Seeing these makes me want to design tape.
4. By Way of Brooklyn. This BEAUTIFUL new blog features fab Brooklynites as they share their personal stories.
7. Yuna. I posted about this singer/songwriter a few weeks back, but lately I can't stop playing her beautiful self-titled album. Have you checked it out yet?
What about you? What are you liking right now?
1. Kid Made Modern Colored Pencils. This is a concept I sooooo wish I came up with. As parents and the tastes of their children become more sophisticated they are looking for products that appeal to their new sensibilities. So designer Todd Oldham brilliantly created a collection of modern-styled art supplies and creative kits for kids called Kid Made Modern (based off the a book he wrote of the same name). Everything I've seen in the collection looks fun, vibrant, and cool. Because I am a sucker for color and wonderfully designed things I had to buy the canister of 36 colored pencils. I definitely don't need another set of colored pencils but when I saw these at Target I had to have them.
2. Kate Spade Gold Coast Ginnie. I want this crossbody bag!
4. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. During a convo about creativity with my homegirl Jamala, she suggested I read this guide to creating a creative routine that will help one become more productive and inspired. I just started but love what I'm learning so far.
5. Softstripe Scarf. Along with bangles I am obsessed with scarves. This one with neon orange stripes looks great with a contrasting striped tee and jeans.
6. Navala Necklace. Tried this on at Anthropologie and fell in love with all the colors and details.