Eddie Bauer Giveaway! {Only 24 hours to enter! Get on that!}

Monday, December 19, 2011

The adorable team at Eddie Bauer — they of the covetable quilted sweatshirts, the most complimented boots EVER and lots of ski-chic winter wear — are offering up an early Christmas gift: a $100 gift card to one lucky reader.

Here's the scoop: There are just 24 hours to enter. We'll be picking a winner just before midnight EST tomorrow (Tuesday) night, so we can get the gift card out to you on Wednesday. (Just in time for last minute Christmas gifts… for yourself! Or, you know, for someone else, if that's more your thing.)

To enter, just leave your name and city in the comments. U.S. only, please. Happy holidays!

And our winner: Sarah from Capitol Hill! Sarah, there's no e-mail address in your entry, so please send me a note with "WINNER!" in the subject line asap! Thanks, everyone!

PS) We have another awesome giveaway right on the horizon... stay tuned!

Signs of the (Retro) Times: Houston, TX

Monday, November 28, 2011

I am a huge font nerd — seriously, things like "just! look! at that typography!" come out of my mouth at regular intervals. Of course, my favorite fonts are retro-style; imagine my surprise and delight to discover a trove of them during a recent stay in downtown Houston.

I can't say I recommend Houston otherwise (though I hear there's a very nice art scene), but if you have to be there, keep your eyes open.

In Which Tyson's Corner Vaguely Resembles a Ski Lodge for One Night*

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Eddie Bauer invited something like 50 bloggers from around D.C. to check out their holiday collection and style up a couple of guinea-pig models in some of the new pieces. Seeing as I hadn't stepped into an Eddie Bauer store since my prep-tastic high school years, I was pretty curious to see what they were up to. (Also appealing: A visit out to Tyson's Corner. Delicious, unhealthy mall food!)

The collection was perfectly cozy and casual: Lots of thick sweaters, earflappy hats and flannel pieces, very New England ski lodge chic. I maaaaay have gone home with the snuggly sweater leggings on my girl model, above right, which I plan on trying to get away with at work on chilly days. (Also, um, this awesome flask.) And, OK, I ordered my model's Sperry Avon boots on my iPad while I was still in the store and have been wearing them relentlessly. And I probably would've grabbed this quilted sweatshirt if someone (cough, cough) hadn't snagged the last small size. All in all, a very fun trip.

*Oh, yeah! That's me, above left, in my Valentino for Gap parka and a slightly goofy smile.

Worst Online Shopping: Lessons to Learn (and our Winner!)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

I loved (loved in a I-feel-so-very-bad-for-you-kind-of-way) everyone's Worst Online Shopping submissions to our AmEx-sponsored giveaway so much, it was hard to choose just 10 to spotlight. However! Knowledge is power, and shopping knowledge is money saved so you can spend it on something better. Let us learn from these terrible mistakes, kids.

1. My sister bid early on a tiffany item for me on ebay for xmas. A few days later she won ... of course she won, she hadn't realized she had moved the decimal point over. whoops. -SDWrenn

Says Ms. Spinach: Um. Whoops is right. All, just don't do that.

2. I bought several final sale sweaters at because the prices were so good. When they arrived, none of them fit! So much for the great deal. I gave all of them to my daughter. She was happy, but I learned my lesson. No more final sale purchases without trying them on first! -Ruth

Says Ms. Spinach: Many of you were felled by lure of the Final Sale. If it's not returnable, proceed with extreme caution when hitting "submit my order."

3. I once ordered eight pairs of shoes at the same time and they were all terrible. Luckily it was Zappos and they were cool even though I felt like a total jerk returning all of them. -Carrie

Says Ms. Spinach: When buying shoes online, a good return policy -- ideally, one with free shipping and returns -- is a MUST.

4. once, after a bad break up, i brought a beautiful, too-expensive marc jacobs dress on gilt group to help make myself feel beautiful again. turns out, i ordered it one size too small and then totally missed the return deadline - so not only did i have a dress that made me feel bigger rather than beautiful, i was stuck with it! totally my fault, and i ended up donating it - so i at least hope someone else enjoyed it... lesson learned: never online shop while broken hearted. -Allison

Says Ms. Spinach: This breaks my heart! Shopping under the influence of a bad breakup is never recommendable, although possibly better than sitting around stewing over the stupid boy.

5. Yeah, I once bought a dress online on "final sale," so non-returnable, which of course didn't fit. But the kicker was that I had very stupidly and mistakenly put two in my online shopping cart, so then I had two identical dresses that didn't fit and I couldn't return, because I am apparently a moron. -CaitieBird

Says Ms. Spinach: Eeep.

6. I am a fashion girl, not a sports girl. I wanted to buy my husband a gift, great tickets to see Carmello Anthony against the Wizards, really expensive tickets. Yeah I bought them for a game in Denver...not DC. Oops! -DWJ

Says Ms. Spinach: When buying something otherwise foreign to you, whether sports tickets or faux fur, best to consult an expert.

7. I couldn't decide between three different bags. I ordered one, but it was backordered. When it finally arrived, it looked ridiculously huge on my short self. Despite being wide, it wasn't very deep & didn't zip when my stuff was inside. While on an airplane, my wallet & cellphone fell out of it and I didn't realize this until I walked past those darn security doors. As you might imagine, it is very difficult to go back through those doors without a photo ID or boarding pass. The cursed bag has been sitting in my closet ever since. -Krista

Says Ms. Spinach: Sometimes, items with bad karma should just be put into instant retirement.

8. One holiday season I found this crazy red sequined dress on eBay. I figured with the right accessories I could make it work, but when it arrived I realized it was simply doomed for the Goodwill pile. Imagine my surprise when the next year one of my best friends shows up to my holiday party wearing THE EXACT SAME DRESS. She was so excited to have found it at the Goodwill, and she managed to pull it off. -Kiki

Says Ms. Spinach: This warms my Goodwill-shopping heart! And a good idea that if you have some "bad purchases", you may be better off organizing a swap instead of just outright donating it. At least you'll get something in return. Plus, one woman's trash…

9. I have six (yes, SIX) too-small final sale dresses hanging in my closet still with tags! If they weren't such gorgeous pieces I'd happily sell them but instead they are my motivation to trim down a bit AND to be sure it will fit BEFORE hitting the submit order button!! (I look at the size guides on EVERY website I shop now - we all know not all sizes are equal!) -Virginia

Says Ms. Spinach: Clothes that are in the When-I-Lose-5-Pounds Pile are the WORST. And yes, brand-specific size guides are our friend! (So are customer reviews.)

10. I bought a really cool marching band jacket from 1922 a few years ago but I'm scared to wear it (I don't want to wreck it!) So it sits in the closet, an unworn work of art... maybe I should hang it in the hallway so at least it gets seen by someone other than me... -FutureLint

Says Ms. Spinach: I say, bite the bullet, find a safe event (ie, where people won't spill on you) and rock it already. Clothes are meant to be seen and worn!

And now… Our big winner (by random drawing, with full-on witness): Lisa from Quarter Life! Congrats, Lisa (and thanks everyone). Send us an e-mail and we'll get your $250 prize, courtesy of AmEx, to you pronto! We hope you get something as cute as a puppy in a box.

It's almost heeeeeeere! (Refinery29 DC edition launches tomorrow!!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

How excited are we for the new Refinery29 D.C. edition? So, so excited, and not just because our Butler & Claypool cohort Holly is running the show.

D.C. has needed a comprehensive, dedicated fashion website for a long, long time. It launches tomorrow, Oct. 31, so be sure to check it out (and sign up for the daily newsletter to get invited to the launch party on Thursday at Madewell). Will be cuteness galore, to be sure. Hooray.

(In related news, how do I find this amazing striped blanket skirt spotted in one of Refinery29's street style archives? WANT.)

Good Online Shopping (aka Things I've Bought Lately and Loved)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

As part of my AmEx-sponsored $250 shopping giveaway (Have you entered yet? The random drawing is this Tuesday!), AmEx offered me the chance to remedy my past-online-shopping wrongs and purchase five pieces that were actually good buys.

Seeing as how I'd just come off of an unfortunate Etsy purchase (a too large, and very unattractive vintage dress), I readily agreed. Here's what I bought — and what I found makes for a good online purchase.

1. Zara black satchel bag. I'd been craving one since gushing over satchels weeks and weeks ago. Rather than shell out for an uber-expensive, ultra-trendy option, I opted for this mid-range, classic version. It looks luxe, is well-made, and the price was much more reasonable than some of my $400+ lusted pieces. Sites like Shopstyle let me do some good comparison shopping before I landed on the best one.

2. Wolford Matte 80 Opaque tights. These really are amazing — and a classic winter staple. (Last year, I wore them almost every day.) It's worth paying more for high quality items that will last — and saved me a trek to a store.

3. Zara tuxedo blazer. I tried this on in the store and instantly loved it's classic retro-ness — but the store version was already smudged and dirty. (Which doesn't bode well for my klutzy ways. But.) By ordering online, I was able to get a fresh option that hadn't bore hundreds of dirty hands fingering it.

4. RVCA circle scarf. When shopping — whether online or off — you've got to know your own wardrobe and what you need. This cowl scarf instantly jazzes up basic sweaters, adding new life to old standards. Done and done.

5. Fossil heeled menswear booties. The pitfalls of shopping for shoes online require a generous return policy, just in case. It's also easy to get sucked in to cute trends (leopard booties! 5-inch platforms!). I'd been lusting after a menswear-ish heel and found this affordable option from an unexpected source (thanks again, Shopstyle!). I made sure to check the heel height and customer reviews so I knew exactly what I was getting. And voila! They're perfect.

There's still a few more days to share your worst online shopping moment and get entered to win the $250 AmEx giveaway!

And tell me: What (good, smart) purchase will you make if you win the giveaway?

Artists We Love: Patrick Hruby

Friday, October 21, 2011

I've become a little obsessed with Patrick Hruby's graphic, colorful designs. Some lucky children I know just might get his books or memory game come Christmas.

PS) Have you entered our big giveaway yet? No? Get on that!

Advice! And a huge giveaway! And pretty things!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

As someone who's perennially on the road (and constantly connected to a computer/iPad/smartphone), I shop online a lot. A LOT, a lot. Usually, it's hassle-free and easy to do. Usually. Then there was the time I bought the pricey Dries Van Noten electric blue heels in a fit of shopping excitement on final sale, only to realize upon arrival that they were a) too small and b) too tall and c) absolutely unreturnable. Those shoes are sitting in the closet. I'm thinking of turning them into an art display.

So when AmEx Membership Rewards (client and sponsor) asked me to blog about my worst online shopping mistakes — and also prove how savvy I could be, now that I've suffered these unfortunate mishaps — I jumped at the chance.

Oh, but that's not all. Those Dries shoes are among my biggest shopping pitfalls. But what I really what to know is: What's your biggest online shopping mistake? Leave it in the comments, and I'll be picking one lucky commenter to win $250 in gift cards (to Saks, or Neiman Marcus) or some cool fashion finds.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is leave a comment here with your worst online fashion shopping disaster. We'll randomly select a winner to get the $250 prize. It's open to everyone. So spill: What (too small, too tight) skeleton tees do you have in your closet?

*The above Alexander McQueen shoes have nothing to do with this, other than they strike me as something you might buy and regret later due to impracticality. And the fact that you could have gotten, like, a car instead.

Don't Tell Me Not to Live, Just Sit and Putter...

If you've never seen Barbra belt out "Don't Rain on My Parade" in "Funny Girl," well, you're in for a colorful vintagey treat. With a fur muff and hat as the cherry on top!

And if you've never seen the Glee version, well, that's a musical treat too, although admittedly with less retro goodness:

Lust List: Bags and Jewels and Peter Pan Collars, oh my!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I've missed you, dear readers! Please know that it has been a crazy month, complete with travel — to Houston, Austin, L.A., Nebraska and NYC, for starters — and tons o' work and so much shopping (especially with stocking up for our next Butler & Claypool vintage sale). Plus, I met Alexa Chung at Madewell D.C., and that made me giddy enough to completely forget about blogging for awhile. Whoops.

But I'm back! And I have some fun things coming this week, starting with: my recent obsessions. Much of my shopping lately has been of the vintage variety, but that doesn't mean I'm not lusting after some very cool pieces. That I can't afford. (Except the collar.) Because I spent my money on vintage instead. Still, if I will the lottery (heck, if I get a winning scratch-off ticket), here's what I'm getting:

(Clockwise from top left)
1. Kristin leather round satchel, Coach, $698.

2. Emerson Made white tux, $238.

3. Asos leather peter pan collar, $26.19.

4. Kate Spade aquamarine studs, $195.

Dear lottery fairy godmother, please and thank you. xoxo

I know we've all seen this, but just in case.

Alexa Chung for Madewell, in video form. I die.

Friday, September 02, 2011

More fodder for why Alexa's on my Top 5 style icons list. Enjoy!

Impending Hurricanes: A Great Reason to Go Shopping*

Saturday, August 27, 2011

*As if I really needed one

So, Irene's a-coming. Which means: cute rainwear! Here's my shopping list:

1. Lipstick red patent rain hat. When hoods alone won't cut it.

2. Patagonia Torrentshell jacket. I love me a classic trench, but torrential downpours call for a a serious waterproof jacket. Picked mine up on sale at CitySports here in D.C.

3. Colorwheel umbrella. Finally! Some justification to buy this umbrella, which I've loved for years. The perfect antidote to a gloomy day.

Maine hunting boots, LLBean. Yes, wellies are great. But these rugged, lace-up LLBean boots give instant storm-survivor cred, plus will be perfect should Snowmaggedon II descend later this winter.

Oh, and a flashlight, PB&J and a stockpile of movies. We're ready!

Satchel Obsessions, and Other Stories…

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ever since spotting the image above on A Cup of Jo, I've been dreaming of the bag on the far right: the perfect little satchel.

I've all but decided that it's going to be my go-to bag for fall (sorry, oversized totes). The question is, which satchel? These are my favorite candidates, thus far:

Clockwise from top left:
1. Rebecca Minkoff Covet bag in gray ostrich, $425. (Lately, I'm ostrich finish-obsessed as well.)

2. Alexander Wang strappy Kirsten suede satchel, $825. A fashion blogger can dream.

3. Coach Chelsea flagship small bag, $278. Oh, that curry color…

4. J.Crew Darlington satchel, $278. Possibly even big enough to hold my essentials. While I'm at it, I'll take the Rigby hobo too.

Votes? Thoughts? Fairy godmother-like offers?

Things I Can't Live Without: Beauty Essentials

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I don't write much about beauty -- truthfully, I can change my shoes three times per day, but I've changed my beauty routine about three times total. (When it works, it works!) That said, I swear by these six products. But tell me: What beauty buy do you swear by? (Because you never know. I might be ready for a change.)

Clockwise from top left:
1. Bare Escentuals BareMinerals powder foundation: I can't deal with heavy, sticky foundation, but I'm old enough to need decent coverage for splotches and blemishes. This powder foundation is as good as they say: Plus, top it off with a layer of their MineralVeil top powder for that dewy, flawless finish.

2. Nars Orgasm Blush. Another standby, but there's a reason for that: Nothing else gives me that freshly flushed look.

3. Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in Black Plum Ink. Eyeliner is one of my more recent beauty discoveries -- I never realized before how a careful top smudge could really make eyes pop. I love the black plum ink color — somewhere between brown and black, and very pretty. Plus: No raccoon eyes!

4. Benefit Erase Paste. Boy, have I tried a lot -- a lot, a lot -- of concealers. Nothing works quite so well as this one for undereye circles.

5. Kai Fragrance Oil. I'm not a heavy perfume wearer, so a dab of this clean, pretty fragrance oil is just enough.

6. Soap & Glory eye cream. Just a touch of this creamy, slightly shimmery cream helps tired undereye skin suddenly glow. I'm tempted to smear it all over.

Now it's your turn...

Portland, Maine: Shopping Update

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My week in Maine was fantastic. Rocky beaches, loads o' lobster, lots of friends, and a couple of rainy days to explore Portland's vintage spots and other great shops. Here's my list of my favorite Portland shopping sites, for those of you who are going to be in the neighborhood.

Encore, 521 Congress St., 207-775-4275. The scoop: Plan to spend some serious time hunting through the racks of this amazing vintage emporium -- it has everything from retro frame bags, gorgeous gowns, fantastic furs and more. It's not cheap (but definitely ask if the price can be reduced before you buy -- if an item's been there for some time, they'll drop the price a good amount), but the selection is outstanding. What I bought: Phenomenal made-from-an-Oscar de la Renta pattern ivory silk ruffled top and skirt ($40); vintage fur caplet ($100); silk knot belt in fuchsia ($14).

Pinecone + Chickadee, 6 Free St. The scoop: This quirky new emporium carries a mix of new handcrafted (Ferdinand's squirrel drummer tees; great kids items; cool jewelry) and vintage items, especially housewares. What I bought: Lipstick-red plastic serving dish/tray ($20), though I easily could've scooped up much more.

Find, 16 Free St., 207-699-4285. The scoop: This great little consignment shop has a mix of retro and gently worn new items. It's definitely worth a scour — and the sales staff is incredibly nice and helpful. What I found: Bright red vintage American Tourister round suitcase ($22, currently going for $100+ on eBay, likely due to the fact that it's also in the September Lucky mag).

Material Objects, 500 Congress St., 207-774-1241. The scoop: A large mix of gently worn new items and a sizable vintage selection make this one of the more popular shops downtown. What I found: Cropped lambswool vintage jacket ($45 — they go for so much more in bigger cities); newish alpaca vest ($15).

Blanche & Mimi, 184 Middle St., 207-774-3900. The scoop: Orla Kiely bags, stripy ribbon, vintage toys and more all come together in a perfect, eclectic mix. What I bought: Well, nothing, but I was pretty shopped out by the time I got there. There were many, many things I easily could've snagged.

Folly 101, 101 Exchange St., 207-773-5227. The scoop: Love, love, love everything about this carefully curated home store: The whitewashed furniture, the mix of colorful housewares, even the little polka-dot matchboxes they sell. What I bought: Oversized striped Baggu tote ($14), to hold all my other loot.

Happy Portland-y shopping!

{Photo from Flickr}

Fall Into the Gap … Again

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Part of my quietness these past few months? I've been working hard on the fall campaign for Gap, one of my clients. Maybe I'm a weensy bit biased, but I absolutely adore this print campaign on the (see the whole set on Gap Facebook page) and the series of behind-the-scenes videos of the 1969 L.A. denim studio featuring on Youtube (the overview one is below).

Of course, working with a fashion brand has serious repercussions for my wallet. After seeing how they were crafted, I couldn't resist either the super-soft back-zip legging jeans or the wide-leg pintuck trouser jeans. Or the fleece moto jacket. Or the boucle tuxedo jacket. All in the name of "research," of course. Sigh. See what I mean?

WANT.* (*Karl Lagerfeld edition)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I admit to being kind of meh over cheap-chic designer collaborations these days -- the waiting in line to be the first to get it, the so-so quality with the higher price tags, the fact that *everyone* has it/wants it/recognizes it. Give me a totally unique vintage dress instead any day.

Except! I had paid almost no attention to the upcoming Karl Lagerfeld for Macy's collaboration until I spotted the above ad in the September Vogue. Um, LOVE. He's done some classic, pretty dresses in black and white (below) and I'm tempted to camp out to get my hands on them when they go on sale August 31. (See the whole collection here.)

If anyone needs me, I'll be investing in a sleeping bag. (Hmmm… Karl Lagerfeld for North Face?)

Things We Want: Maine Edition!

Monday, August 15, 2011

We are currently on a little island off the coast of Portland, Maine, where we spent a lovely, sunny weekend with many of our favorite people in the world, and are now hunkered down for a few rainy days. Which means: Blogging! And, hopefully tomorrow, a shopping trip into designy, delicious Portland.

Of course, our first stop for shopping tips is the Design*Sponge Portland, Maine Guide, which we've used to narrow down our must-stops. Do you have any Portland suggestions? (Especially of the vintage/crafty/fashiony variety?) Please leave them in the comments. Very much appreciated!

In the meantime, we would now immediately like to own (clockwise from top left):

1. Angela Adams Seagull tray

2. Crayon rings from Eli Phant (Love!)

3. A realllllly expensive but totally awesome Barbour field jacket

4. A classic Portland Sea Bags Surf tote.

Please and thank you.

We Interrupt this Lull for Some Beautiful Things

Friday, August 05, 2011

I continue to be absolutely in love with (that's "Beholden", fyi) — the amazing online wedding emporium from the creative minds behind Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. I'm not anywhere close to getting married, and yet I find it so beautiful (and plenty of stuff for the unwed or already-wed… though, unfortunately, the prices are more for the about-to-be-and-spare-no-expense wed).

My latest obsession is the Continuum Jacket. I mean, I'd totally wear it TO a wedding. Some other goodies below. Their amazingly curated Explore section is all kinds of inspiration goodness.

Black and Tan

Friday, July 08, 2011

I know it's early July, but the fashion person in me has one eye on fall. (It doesn't help that I'm in chilly London, where it's 60 degrees, raining and full of people still wearing tall boots, tights, sweaters and jackets.) As part of early autumn style prep, I've been watching for ruby red pieces -- move over, pink; red's the color for fall -- but also nice neutrals.

Two pieces that caught my eye (er, wallet): Topshop's faux leather and khaki trench coat (scored here in London at the enormous Topshop mothership) and Nixon's fab tortoiseshell watch.

Also on my transitioning-to-fall list? Emerald green pieces, Peter Pan collars (everywhere in London) and serious statement jewelry with a nature-y twist.

"Swapping is the New Shopping": The Swapaholics are Coming to DC!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Amy of the very adorable PunkyStyle — aka, my personal hero, because she runs an amazing vintage store out of an airstream trailer (that's it above; isn't it awesome?) — is also part of The Swapaholics, a neat traveling swap meet where you bring a bag of nice but unwanted clothes and get to shop for new stuff from other swappers.

Which, in itself, is pretty terrific. But that's not the best part! They're making their first swap stop in D.C. at the Clarendon Ballroom in DC on July 14 (we are so excited, we will invariably be first in line). Tickets are available here, and you can take 25% off the $20 ticket price with the code SPINACH.

(If you're not in DC, check out other upcoming swap events here.) Swap on!

When I had a slight freak-out in Loehmann's, and other stories...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I spent most of Memorial Day running around Manhattan with one of my favorite fashiony cohorts, doing things like the McQueen exhibition at the Met (goose-bumpingly great), the YSL-Pierre Berge documentary L'amour Fou (eh) and a long, lingering visit to Barneys (fantabulous, as always). It was pretty much perfect. But then it was even MORE perfect, because -- while killing time scouring for Helmut Lang at Loehmann's -- another shopper caught my eye. Was that? Could it be? Really? Yes, it my personal fashion icon Iris Apfel in her signature round glasses, poking around the racks of discounted Dolce like the rest of us.

I introduced myself, shyly, as a fan. (Which seemed more appropriate than gawping from behind a rack of clothing.) Her response: "Thank you," and then: "I'm sorry I look like crap." (She didn't. She was colorful and adorable. I, on the other hand, was wearing a sweaty tee and shorts. Gah.) We chatted for a few minutes, and then I practically skipped out of there.

Weekend = made.

Also: I am SO breaking out the 80s charm necklace this week in celebration. If it wasn't so hot, I'd break out the oversized muff as well. Love.

Spring Finds, with a Side of Guilt

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dear loyal, patient, lovely readers (eg, at this point, Mom):

As always, my apologies for the vast space between blog posts. Who'd have thought that having a busy blog and a busy full-time job would be so tough at times? My love for fashion hasn't waned; just my amount of free time. But some exciting things are in the works, and I've been gearing up the spring wardrobe in anticipation.

Above, my recent favorite finds. What have you found lately that you LOVE? I'd love to hear.

Ms Spinach

Photo, from top left, clockwise:
-Magnolia Frame Headband,;
-Jeremy Scott fuchsia winged ballerina slippers,;
-Zara Terez oversized Mediano lizard-embossed oversized clutch, Bluefly;
Timex classic men's watch,;
-scalloped bloomers (for under those slightly-too-short floaty dresses), H&M's fab Conscious Collection.

Vintage! Preppy! Croquet! Whee.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You know how I love my Vogue Korea shoots. This one's been making its way around the internet, but it's so pretty, it's worth sharing again.

Also loving the blossom-pink lips and cheeks.

The Mad Potter of Biloxi Finds a Home

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Those of you who follow my Twitter handle know that I spend a lot of time in the South for work. It's not an area I knew very well before this job, but I'm always amazed about the little-known corners that I come across and find so lovely and inspiring.

Case in point: The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum in Biloxi, Mississippi, a brand-new art museum on the Mississippi coast that just happens to be the only Frank Gehry-designed structure in the area. It won't be fully completed until 2012, but much of the museum is already open and it's truly fantastic.

The museum is named after (and houses the work of, among other artists) ceramicist George E. Ohr, above, aka "the mad potter of Biloxi," (isn't his style fantastic?) whose inventive, contemporary pieces were only somewhat appreciated in his time but have come to be recognized as pioneering after his 1917 death. Gehry's swirling mix of metals and old-fashioned Southern brick mix with the aging elm trees on the property to create an unexpected visual retreat. I spent a few hours poking around the place recently, and left feeling excited and inspired. Here are some snaps I took — but they hardly do it justice. I'd say it's a must-stop if you're in the area, especially after it's fully finished next year.

The admission stickers (mustache!):

An installation by artist Jun Kaneko:

The "pods", still under construction, which will eventually be mini-galleries within a glass atrium: