Monday, February 25, 2013


A painting is worth a thousand words. In l881, Edouard Manet said, “The latest fashion…is absolutely necessary for painting. It’s what matters most!” Fashion and art capture the spotlight in breathtaking museum exhibitions. Here’s the scoop!!!

Claude Monet, Luncheon on the Grass
IMPRESSIONISM, FASHION, and MODERNITY With the rise of the department store, the advent of ready-made wear, and the proliferation o fashion magazines, those at the forefront of the avant- garde--- Manet, Monet, and Renoir to Baudelaire, Mallarme, and Zola---turned a fresh eye to contemporary dress, embracing la mode as the harbinger of modernity. The novelty, vibrancy, and fleeting allure of the latest trends in fashion proved seductive for a generation of artist and writers who sought to give expression the pulse of modern life in all it nuanced richness. The stunning survey, anchored by the most celebrated works of the Impressionist era illustrates the extent to which artists responded to the dictates of fashion between the 1860s, when admiring critics dubbed Monet’s portrait of his future wife “The Green Dress,” and the mid-1880s, when Degas capped off his famous series of milliners and Seurat pinpointed the vogue for the emphatic bustle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents a revealing look at the role of fashion in the works of the Impressionists and their contemporaries. Some 80 major figure paintings, seen in concert with period costumes, accessories, fashion plates, photographs, and popular prints, highlight the vital relationship between fashion and art when Paris emerged as the style capital of the world. A fashionista’s find on view through May 27, 2013.

FASHION CULTURE SPRING PROGRAMS Organized by The Museum at FIT (MFIT) presents PLUS ONE: AN OUTSIDER’S PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF FASHION with Sharon Socol, an intuitive, spontaneous photographer---and a fashion outsider. She attended hundreds of fashion events as her husband’s “plus one” during the year years that he was CEO of Barneys New York. Her book, Plus One, is Ms. Socol’s photographic record of that unique experience on Thursday, February 28 at 6pm. A book signing will follow her presentation. At 27th Street & Seventh Avenue. To register call 212.217.4385.

NO LIMITS, NEW YORK SKYLINE RE-INVENTED features Cuban-born artist, Alexandre Arrechea’s first large-scale public art exhibition in new York city which opens along Manhattan’s park Avenue malls on Friday. The extraordinary exhibit will feature ten recognizable bur re-imagined new York City buildings , in a series of steel and aluminum sculptures that depict the buildings as you have never seen them before, some amusing and some that will rotate when visitors push them. This unusual display of architecture re-invented will be up through June 9, 2013.

Ta Darlings!!! Impressionism and Fashion reveal more than meets the eye about fashion and how it reflects how artists interpret the spirit of their age. Fan mail welcome at Polly’s Blogs are best accessed at her website Just click on the link in the left-hand column for visonarymen, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry or fashion.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Come out of the cold and warm up your imagination at the circus, watch a cheesy sculptor of Mount Rushmore and go to an auction of Deco history all in one week’s time to engage your senses and titillate your cultural yearnings. Only in New York, the Best of New York my friends. Here’s the scoop!!!

DEGAS, MISS LA LA and the Cirque Fernando: Will wonders never cease? The Morgan Library & Museum’s enchanting new show features Degas and the making of his masterpiece, “Miss La La at Paris’s Cirque Fernando,” which immortalizes a mixed race Prussian, Olga’s breathtaking act—she was hoisted to the circus’s seventy-foot ceiling by a rope clenched between her teeth. The painting was first shown at the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition in Paris in 1879 was immediately championed for its unusual subject matter and boldness of composition. In another image Miss La La holds a 155-pound cannon between her strong teeth, and never did she flinch when it went off. The exhibition brings together a rich array of related material, including preparatory drawings, pastels an oil sketch and a print of the artists, as well as books, photographs and circus programs that provide a more complete picture of Miss La la and her troupe. Madison Ave. at 37th St., through May 12, 2013.

DECO PIANO Sotheby’s is pleased to announce the sale of an exceedingly rare, long-lost grand piano by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann from the Ladies’ Drawing Room and Music Room of one of the greatest ocean liners ever built, the Normandie, on 6 March 2013 at the 20th Century Design sale (est. $400/600,000). It has remained in the collection of the Butler family in Buffalo since it was purchased at one of the New York auctions in the early 1940s that disposed of the contents of the ship. This piano, made of ébène de macassar and American walnut with gilt bronze and ivory accents, is one of only six pianos whose whereabouts are presently accounted for, and one of three which are in his iconic, modern shape. He first displayed a piano in this shape at the 1925 Paris art deco exposition, Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, the significant and defining moment of French art deco. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see the piano, which will be on view in New York beginning on 2 March 2013 in advance of the sale.

LENOX LOUNGE STRIPPED BARE Deco aficionados mourn the loss of the Lenox Lounge the famed social spot in Harlem. Longtime Harlem resident Alvin Reed ran the jazz joint, which hosted guests like Billie Holiday and Miles Davis for 30 years, was forced out in January when he couldn’t pay the rent, which had skyrocketed from $3000 a month in 1996 to $l0,000 in 2012. Under the cloak of darkness men posing as cops allegedly gutted Lenox Lounge of its original artifacts. The lounge has been featured in films from the 2000 remake of Shaft to the 2007’s American Gangster. According to court papers the once proud Lenox Lounge, since its founding in 1939 was stripped bare of its Zebra wallpaper and other Deco items were torn from their fixtures. This episode, right out of a gangster movie, is a sad ending for a treasured New York icon..

THE CHEDDAR PRESIDENTS Can you imagine our presidents sculpted in cheddar cheese? For its President’s day celebration today and tomorrow, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Times Square presents a tasty bit of history. Wisconsin-born sculptor Sarah Kaufmann will carve an awesome replica of Mount Rushmore out of 160 pounds of cheddar. As an added bonus visitors will receive free samples of Cabot cheese she is using. At 234 W 42 St. Admission Charge. 212.398.3133.

Ta Ta Darlings!! Miss La La and the Cirque Fernando is an acrobat of remarkable skill, don’t miss it. Check out the Cheddar Presidents. Fan mail welcome at Polly’s Blogs are best accessed at her website Just click on the link in the left-hand column for visonarymen, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry or fashion.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Fashion culture highlights Fashion Week in New York where the gallery in The Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology is a rich depository of three exhibitions that present fashion and style and an ongoing display of accessories. Only in New York my friends, the best of New York, here is the scoop!!!

BOOTS; THE HEIGHT OF FASHION is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on women’s boots. The show by graduate students in FIT’s Fashion and Textile Studies program highlights holdings from the Museum at FIT’s extensive collection of footwear and features 20 pairs of women’s boots by the most innovative modern designers. The exhibition explores what makes boots the perfect accessory for the fashionable modern woman. With a flair for display boots by Paul Poiret, Martin Margiela, Christian Louboutin and Prada get the Picasso treatment in stylish displays spearheaded by the director and chief curator, Valerie Steele. The exhibition begins with a walking boot by Jack Jacobus, circa 1900. Considered progressive yet sensible, the walking boot became a wardrobe staple for the on-the-go woman at the turn of the century. In a section titled “Sex” a highlight is Christian Louboutin’s high-heeled scarlet satin boot, from his fall 1994-95 collection, which conveys sex appeal and powerful femininity with its signature red sole, gold hardware and passementerie details. A special section provides visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at the conservation of boots. Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, through April 6. Open to the public Tuesday-Friday: noon-8 pm, Saturday: 10am-5pm. Admission FREE and open to the public. Lectures begin March 18 at 6pm, call 212.217. 4285 to register.

TOURS at THE MUSEUM at FIT: Current exhibitions at the Museum at FIT include “Fashion and Technology,” a survey devoted to materials and manufacturing from the past 250 years. The History Gallery exhibition explores fashion’s long engagement with technology, Aniline dyes, the sewing machine, synthetic fibers and the zipper---all technological advances that sent fashion in new directions. Lectures begin Feb. 25, 6pm. The “Shoe Obsession,” exhibition is an in-depth look at more than 150 examples of the extreme, lavish and imaginative styles that have made contemporary footwear central to fashion. Lectures begin Monday, March 11, 6pm. All programs are FREE but registration is required call, 212.217.4585 Scheduled for selected Monday evenings and weekday morning tours of the exhibitions begin in the museum lobby. Reservations are required. 212.217.4550. Mark your calendar: FASHION SYMPOSIUM, Cross0PLollination: Fashion and Technology will feature both scientist and designers, who will discuss new directions in fashion and technology, Tuesday, April 25, 9am-12noon.

THE PLEASURE OF PLEATS Fortuny y Madrazo: An Artistic Legacy continues at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute on Park Avenue between 68 and 69th Streets. Fortuny is not just the name of a company it is also the name of a man. Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871-1949) was Spanish and is forever remembered for the Pelphos gown and his secret formula for pleats. This pleating was born of Fortuny’s admiration for classical Greece. In 1907, inspired by an ancient statue, Fortuny fashioned this gown of fluted folds after this iconic dress. Columnar in shape, falling from shoulders to the ground, sometimes accented with a silk cord at the waist or under the bust, it is made of China silks that has been hand-worked into thousands of vertical pleats. Because those pleated garments skimmed over an uncorseted figure, they were considered shockingly modern at the time, but even today only the thin and firm-figured person can wear such a gown. Through March 10th.

HERMES UNVEILS ‘COMME DES CARRES’ This time the French luxury brand Hermes has a new collaboration with Rei Kawakubo, the Comme des Garcons designer who has created two limited-edition collections of Hermes’ mythical silk carre scarves. The first collection called Noir et Blanc, features five scares with abstract black-and-white designs. The second collection, Couleur, is a line of six colorful scarves also including geometric elements like giant patchwork, gingham and shirt stripes. Both collections hit the stores in February including the Hermes boutique on Madison Avenue in New York City. These scarves are pricey but have collectible status.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Best investment of your time would be to see the three fashion exhibitions at The Museum at FIT. Fan mail welcome at Polly’s Blogs are best accessed at her website Just click on the link in the left-hand column for visonarymen, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry or fashion.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Nothing to do this weekend? The Morgan Library & Museum offers a myriad of reasons to get out and explore the rich cultural heritage that only New York City can offer. Exhibits showcase historical and modern data. Only in New York my friends, the best of New York. Here’s the Scoop!!!

DRAWING SURREALISM: Few artistic movements of the twentieth century are as celebrated and studied as surrealism. For those involved in the movement, drawing was a vital means of expressionism and innovation resulting in a rich array of graphic techniques that radically pushed conventional art historical boundaries. Yet the medium has been largely overlooked, but The Morgan Library and Museum is correcting that assumption. Drawing Surrealism is the first New York exhibition to explore the central role drawing played in surrealistic art. The show features more than 160 works on paper by 70 artists from 15 countries, offering an important new understanding of surrealism’s emergency, evolution the worldwide influence. The Morgan Museum at 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, through April 21, 2013.

SWANN’S WAY CENTENARY-Marcel Proust and Swann’s Way 100th Anniversary celebrates the 1913 publication of the first volume of A La recherché due temps perdu, ‘Remembrance of Things Past’ or, in more recent translations, In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust is indisputably one of the seminal works of the 20th century literature. Through a display of the author’s notebooks, preliminary drafts and other documents from the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the Morgan Library & Museum marks the centennial with an exhibition exploring Proust’s approach to writing and the personal experiences and relationships in his prose. Rounding out the show are several letters between Proust and his mother, and an assortment of period postcards beginning with images of Paris and Lillers, the inspiration of the fictional town of Combray. Opens February 15-April 28, 2013.

TREASURES FROM THE VAULT A new exhibition series at the Morgan,  home to some of world’s greatest collections of medieval manuscripts, printed books, literary manuscripts, private letters and correspondence, showcases highlights from its rare and vast historical collections. Works on view in the J. P. Morgan’s historic 1906 McKim Building include a J.R.R. Tolkien letter discussing The Hobbit, a ninth-century Coptic manuscript, and the earliest surviving complete opera—Jacopo Peri’s Euridice composed for the celebration of the marriage of Maria de’ Medici and King IV of Frances, dates to 1600. When Morgan was alerted to book dealer Leo Oischki’s acquisition of Beethoven’s long-lost tenth, and last, violin and piano sonata manuscript, he seized the opportunity and purchased the score. Through May 5, 2013.

BILL BRANDT: Shadow and Light MoMa, The Museum of Modern Art presents a critical reevaluation of the heralded career of Bill Brandt (British, b. Germany 1904-83), a founding figure in photograph’s modernist traditions. Brandt ranks among the visionaries, who, in the diversity of their approach, established the creative potential of photography based on observation of the world around them. Brandt’s distinctive vision---his ability to present the mundane world as fresh and strange---emerged in London in the 1930s, and drew from his time in the Paris studio of Man Ray. The impressive breadth of Brandt’s career suggests his restless experimental impulse, and the dramatic transformations of his printing style. Through August 12, 2013, at 11 W. 53 Street.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Wishing you good Luck!!!It’s the year of the Snake, Chinese New Year February 10th. Fan mail welcome at Polly’s Blogs are best accessed at her website Just click on the link in the left-hand column for visonarymen, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry or fashion.