Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Anthropologically Speaking

When I'm around Union Square, I try to stop into Anthropologie for inspiration. It's like stepping into a perfectly orchestrated world of magical craft-superstar displays, carefully chosen collections of feminine clothing with a European retro feel, homey homewares, sexy-sweet lingerie and a great collection of well-chosen books. I'm impressed by the way this company has developed, over the years, a successful original aesthetic, elevating the cliché of shabby chic and flea market excitement into a delicate, almost precious experience for a sophisticated urban market spanning age-lines. It's an aesthetic experience that appeals to my sense of fantastical nostalgia across price brackets. And it's great for one-stop shopping.

I was there on Saturday afternoon after the Ruffian Show at the National Arts Club and I loved some of the new pieces for Spring. My two favorites was the one (above), the centerpiece I thought, looming large and long facing the entrance. Too long for 5'1" me but this one could work for a late Spring day in Southern Italy with my basket of bread, daisies and Euros:
It is very Sophia Loren running along after her lover's car up a warm sunny white-washed hill circa 1962, yelling, "Ma mi Amore!!!!" She bounces back though--how can you not in a dress that pretty?





Shoes at the stores usually sell out pretty quickly but respect to the buyer for the wonderfully original choices. The website is the best bet to actually purchase shoes. These two are my favorites. I've always wanted a pair of blush suede slingbacks and here's a really purty pair.

I purchased two things on Saturday: A cool and original apron for Sandy with fluttering red petals on thick white woven cotton and this book for my five year old niece Sophie, who loves princesses, pink and stories,
The Princess and the Pea by Lauren Child. I loved this story when I was a kid and haven't thought about it in a long time. This is a cheeky and wonderful version of the story and part of me wants to just keep it myself but it's a pretty perfect valentine for Sophie. Can't resist good illustration and these have been cut out and then photographed in incredible little diorama settings, reminding me of the Terry Gilliam school of animation/illustration (one of my greatest childhood influences--the animations in Monty Python's Flying Circus-I still get excited about them). The back pages actually illustrate how it was done, using painted cornflake boxes, setting up the backdrops for the characters up using tweezers to move things around for photographer Polly Borland to photograph.

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