Do any of these remind you of someone? Perhaps a certain stylish person whose interiors or home goods you admire? Here are ten decorated pumpkins, along a list of well-known designers. Take a look at them all, and see if you can match up the image with the correct name. You ready?
She… taught the executives that a desk could be light and approachable, serving its purpose without looking like a carved mahogany fortress. — New York Times, 1964
Florence Knoll Bassett brought about a revolution in the American office. Heavy, dark woods and closed off spaces were transformed into modern, bright, and open workspaces under her skillful guidance. An architect, designer, and proponent of humanized modernism, she changed the way we work, and produced some of the 20th century's most iconic furniture pieces. Just don't call her a decorator.
"She turned everything from garden flowers to ancient Incan motifs into scarves and dresses, home textiles and posters. Her customers trusted Vera to manage the rainbow for them, and as a result, they were often some of the most confidently colorful ladies around." — Pantone: The 20th Century in Color
Over a career that spanned five decades, Vera Neumann brought art to the everyday. Her paintings of florals and foreign lands graced humble napkins and neck scarves, all signed in cursive, and later, with her signature ladybug. With products created from her thousands of original works, she surrounded Americans with accessible art, putting her a on first-name basis with generations of women.
"Dorothy Draper was to decorating what Chanel was to fashion," former protégé & Dorothy Draper & Co. President Carleton Varney says about the legendary decorator and author. "She took a world that was drab and dreary and made it colorful."
Colorful is an understatement. Big florals, bold stripes, bright hues, and ornate details are Draper's signature style. In a time where decorating was confined to "period rooms," she gave birth to the industry as we know it with her talent, flair, and social status. Through her famous interiors, fabrics, furniture, and books, she reminds us, even today, that decorating is fun.
Before moving to Singapore I'd never heard the word "kopitiam." "Kopi" is a Malay word (adopted from the Portuguese) for "coffee" and "tiam" is a Hokkien word for "shop". In Singapore, and throughout the Malacca region, the kopitiam is a gathering place to socialize and discuss the topics of the day while enjoying hand-poured coffee and sweet kaya toast.
When it comes to the height of style in 1920's America, F. Scott Fitzgerald was the man. His writing, his relationships, his dress, and his lifestyle were all at the forefront of what the Jazz Age had to offer. Both observer and participant in the roaring days of the 1920's, Fitzgerald literally defined the times:
Today, March 15th, is the infamous Ides of March. On this day in 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate by a group of political conspirators. More than 2,000 years later, he remains the most famous Roman ruler. His story has been adapted many times — by people as varied as William Shakespeare, Hollywood screenwriters, and Las Vegas casino moguls. It's what he represents, rather than who he actually was, that we're exploring today.
The story of the Birkin Bag offers a window into its muse's sense of style, which is equal parts elegant, scattered, and — for lack of a better word — goofy. In 1981, the English singer and actress was on an airplane when her plastic bag broke, spilling its contents all over the floor. She reportedly said to the man sitting next to her, "I wish Hèrmes would make a bag that could fit all my things." Turns out that man was Jean-Louis Dumas, head designer of Hèrmes, who took her up on her request.
If you're as big a nerd as I am, you're anxiously awaiting the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows next month. This is the first time I've ever written about a fictional character as a style icon, but in the case of Harry Potter, I think it's a very appropriate title.