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Iris Apfel: My Muse

Iris Apfel4Oh man, I am utterly smitten and inspired by Iris Apfel. Her snappy sense of humor, daring fashion sense, and dedication to being her authentic self make her a role model for fashionistas and makers alike.

I recently watched the documentary, IRIS, that delves into her life – it was a spectacular visual cacophony… She pairs bright patterns, sparkly gemstones, and tribal prints in her daily wardrobe. Iris is a prime example of how people can be walking pedestals for artwork; that we are all living artworks. Considering that what I’m currently working on uses low budget materials, I especially appreciate that she primarily collects costume jewelry.

Since watching the documentary, I’ve found myself wondering ‘What Would Iris Do?‘ when I’m stumped in my studio. If you’d like to learn more about Iris Apfel, you can watch her documentary here.

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Studio Monster

I have this giant Orchid Cactus in my studio that’s currently in full bloom. It’s overwhelmingly large and beautifully ominous,  I’m actually a little afraid to turn my back on it. What if it’s not a plant and all and is really an angry carnivorous octopus? At fourteen feet in length, that speculation isn’t too far off. I’ve appropriately named it the Audrey II, and plan on offering a sacrifice in order to satiate its hunger for eating lowly jewelers.islay taylor studio cactus MID

Baroque Inspirations

As I was looking into the fashion photography of Emma Summerton, I came across a story from Vogue China that’s heavily inspired by baroque styles. The waifish models used in the campaign are dressed in dark garb and heavily adorned, both aspects indicative of the baroque period…

But, there’s a decidedly modern take. Also, the adornment that the model has been styled with feature ornately fashioned gold and pearl elements that just overwhelm the image with opulence. I’ve paired three images from the photo shoot below with original design drawings of baroque jewelry. Enjoy!

Minimal Baroque (Vogue China, 2012) paired with baroque chain designs from L Egare.

Minimal Baroque (Vogue China, 2012) paired with baroque chain designs from L Egare.Minimal Baroque (Vogue China, 2012) paired with a brooch design from 1723 featuring a miniature portrait amidst floral elements.Minimal Baroque (Vogue China, 2012) paired with a brooch design from 1723 featuring a miniature portrait amidst floral elements.Minimal Baroque (Vogue China, 2012) paired with a pendant design by Daniel Mignot. Minimal Baroque (Vogue China, 2012) paired with a pendant design by Daniel Mignot. Also, if someone wants to buy me this necklace, I’d be okay with that!

Modern Matryoshka

I’m completely in love with this winter campaign from the December issue of Vogue Japan. The ornate prints paired with opulent furs and luxe styling makes the models look like a modern, living, matryoshka doll or Faberge egg. I’m particularly taken by the juxtaposition of colors and textures; the layering of clashing elements is sublime. All photos are by Emma Summerton, garments from D&G and Louis Vuitton.778x1000xlindsey-wixson-model7.jpg.pagespeed.ic.y0Gw-k4AZp

EMMA SUMMERTON IMAGES

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EMMA SUMMERTON IMAGES

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PVD 2.0

Islay Taylor PVD Haircomb in progress

I’m working on a new Providence skyline hair comb, inspired by a vintage Victorian piece that I recently picked il_570xN.298032189up. The Victorian original is from the late 19th century and is a type known as a Spanish mantilla comb because it resembles the traditional high topped tortoiseshell ornaments worn by Spanish ladies with their native dress. The production of the opera Carmen led to a fashion for high Spanish style combs in the 1870s. I really like the piercing and asymmetry of this comb, and how it really has a sense of movement about it.

I’m thinking that I’ll end up doing a series of these combs, because there’s just too much bizzarro skyline in Providence to include in one comb. Obviously, I have to include the Turks head building, and the upright bridge, and the big blue bug… I’ll include newer design pictures once I get that far.