Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Passion for Tiffany Lamps

Tiffany lamps from the early 1900s, part of the Neustadt Collection at the Queens Museum.

While waiting for the evening session of the US Open to start, my son and I went to the Queens Museum, not far from the south gate of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and within sight of the Unisphere. We checked out A Passion for Tiffany Lamps, part of the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany lamps, one of the most beautiful exhibitions I have ever seen—one of the smallest too. A little over 20 lamps are on view, just a fraction of the 200+ Dr. Egon Neustadt and his wife Hildegard collected over the course of fifty years. Though the exhibit is small, there is so much color and craftsmanship contained within it that it dazzles the eyes!

Apple Blossom Library Lamp, circa 1905.

The Neustadts, immigrants from Austria, bought their first Tiffany piece, a Daffodil lamp, in 1935 for $12.50 at a thrift shop in Greenwich Village. Tiffany lamps were out of style at that time—Louis Comfort Tiffany, who created the lamps, had died in 1933 and the Tiffany Studios he founded went bankrupt in 1937. The Neustadts didn’t care that the lamps were out of favor at the time, they just kept right on collecting!

These were some of my favorites at the exhibit.

Wisteria Library Lamp, circa 1901, Clara Driscoll, designer.

Dr. Neustadt did not want to pay the $4,000 asking price for the above Wisteria lamp, in the late 1960s or 70s, since most of them were going for around $2,000 at the time. After unsuccessfully trying to get the vendor to lower the price, Dr. Neustadt eventually did pay $4,000 for the lamp, and the gallery text said this would be considered a steal now, since Wisteria lamps have gone for between $350,000 to $1.5 million at auction!

Pond Lily Library Lamp, circa 1905.

The Pond Lily lamp above is one of only six known examples. The other five can be found as follows: one is in a private collection and the others are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Chrysler Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. I love how low the shade extends.

Dragonfly Library Lamp, circa 1910.

Dr. Neustadt owned eleven of these 22-inch Dragonfly shades! The gallery text said the gold patina on both the shade and base was considered a special order by Tiffany Studios and they would increase the purchase price by 25%.

Such stunning colors and craftsmanship in this Dragonfly lamp!

Dr. Neustadt published this book in 1970.

I love that Dr. Neustadt became such an expert at what he and his wife both loved to collect that he published a book on the subject in 1970! It is dedicated to his wife Hildegard. Let me know in the comments if you own a copy of this work!

Another Dragonfly lamp. I love this one as well!

The above Dragonfly Library Lamp is circa 1910, and the shade design is attributed to Clara Driscoll, an artist at Tiffany Studios. I am so crazy for the blues in this lamp. Exquisite!

Daffodil Library Lamp, circa 1905.

The Daffodil lamp, above, is the one that started the entire Neustadt collection. It is so great that they found it in a secondhand shop in the village!

Pond Lily Globe, circa 1905. One of two known examples.

Peacock Library Lamp, circa 1905.

The Peacock lamp above was originally made as a fuel lamp and was later electrified. The gallery text says Dr. Neustadt placed small lights inside the base so the green glass would glow. This is one of two known surviving examples of this lamp.

Grape Hanging Shade, circa 1905.

This lamp might look ho-hum from this angle...

The Peacock Hanging Shade, circa 1905, in the pictures above and below, is a very rare Tiffany lamp. This is one of only two known examples and it is highly unusual because of its copper exterior. It seems out of place in the exhibit at first glance, until you move in for a closer look at the mirror reflecting the lamp’s interior.

...but the mirror placed under it lets visitors see the beauty underneath.

Favrilefabrique Reading Lamp, circa 1915.

This stunning lamp, a Favrilefabrique Reading Lamp, is from 1915. Louis Comfort Tiffany coined the term “Favrile” (and trademarked it) to set his glass apart from his competition. It was based on the latin word “fabrilis,” or, made by hand. The shade is actually pressed glass, made to look like pleated and ruffled silk lampshades. Wow! The base is gilt bronze, with abalone shell inlay. The color reminds me of Peridot, which happens to be my birthstone. This, the Dragonfly lamps, and the Wisteria lamp were my four favorite lamps in the show.

A Passion for Tiffany Lamps is on view at the Queens Museum until April 30, 2018.

More of the Neustadt Collection is on display around the country! Click here if you’d like to see where else the lamps are on view in the United States or find out more about the Neustadts.

Let me know if you have seen this exhibition or any of the Neustadt Collection in any venue!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How I Wear My: Yellow


Happy September! Can you believe it’s almost fall? Yellow is one color of the rainbow that transitions beautifully as we head from summer into autumn, so Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country and I wanted to highlight all of its wonderful possibilities for September’s “How I Wear My.”

This is one of the most fun posts I’ve ever put together because of the range of yellows in the photos submitted and how filled with happiness everyone looks. I thank you all for brightening my days and hope you enjoy this post as much as I did!

Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country.

Adrienne of The Rich Life in Wine Country, my “How I Wear My” partner, says, “For my yellow look, I am wearing my new Stella Carakasi Attitude Sweater from their Early Fall 2016 Collection with a silk yellow and blue Versace scarf I bought for 25 euros in Treviglio, just outside Milan, in 2012. A friend from college now lives in Treviglio. We stayed with her and her lovely family for a night. She took me to a sewing workshop where contracted seamstresses and seamsters were working on Dolce & Gabbana dresses and men’s button-down shirts. They also had a selection of designer silk scarves. This beauty was available for sale at a steal so I bought two and gave one to a friend as a gift. I love the golden yellow colors of this scarf against the light blue. The baroque pattern is so gorgeous too and the fabric could not feel more luxurious. I wore my yellow scarf and black sweater with girlfriend jeans, black sandals and I painted my toes yellow for an extra pop of my favorite bright color.”

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living.

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living says, “I don’t have a lot of yellow in my closet, but when I saw this beautifully hand-embroidered Johnny Was top, I knew I had to add it to my wardrobe. I wore flared jeans with it for a bohemian vibe and added a cute straw bag I found at our local McPaw’s thrift store.”


@SavvySenior.

@SavvySenior, handsome father-in-law of Dale from Savvy Spice (also featured in this post!) says,
“I’m never afraid to wear bright colors like this Cinque suit with blue suede loafers last summer in Switzerland.”

Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb.

Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb writes, “Yellow is my go-to colour for summer dresses: I’m not sure there’s anything better for hot weather, hence the reason I have about four or five of them! But this is my favourite - the fitted bodice and flared skirt makes me feel very Grace Kelly (and that’s never a bad thing). Accessorising with shades of orange and coral just added to the sunshine-y feel of the outfit.”

Yvonne of FunkyForty.

Yvonne of FunkyForty writes, “This is my favourite yellow top—I love wearing it with these cream trousers in summer and in the office I like to combine it with a dark suit as it instantly lifts the whole outfit. It has been one of those purchases which has kept me inspired for years.”

Trina of Tea Time with Trina.

Trina of Tea Time with Trina says, “This is an oldie-but-goodie yellow dress. It has been in my closet for at least 15 years and just seems to stay ever classy and stylish. This time around I chose to pair it with navy since the summer was winding down and can you possibly go wrong with a navy and yellow combo?”

Claudia of HappyFace313.

Claudia of HappyFace313 writes that after a trip to Hong Kong, “I brought back a blue silk suit and this yellow silk shawl. It’s huge and it’s heavy (because it’s double-lined), but it’s beautiful and it keeps me warm as well, which can be important when driving in a convertible.”

Ana of Mrs. American Made.

Ana of Mrs. American Made writes, “When I examined my wardrobe I found a way that I incorporate yellow - in accessories. Like this timeless classic American-made leather crossbody saddlebag purse by J.W. Hulme. I have added a thin yellow belt and yellow platform sandals so the color is an accent to the navy and gold chain dress by Amanda Uprichard. This is one of my preferred color combinations for yellow - just add to a navy outfit for a pop of color.”

Rosie.

With Manhattan as a backdrop, my good friend Rosie looks very glamorous in a yellow V-neck top from Lafayette, a blazer from Theory, and a beautiful vintage Hermès scarf from the 1970s. For all you H lovers out there, the pattern is “Ferronnerie” by Caty Latham, one of my favorite scarf designers. It is gorgeous!

Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes.

Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes says, “I really like yellow because it’s such a happy color. But I don’t own or wear a lot of yellow as I’m rather pale. I know that some shades of yellow look better on me than others, and I’m always on the lookout for shades that look good on me. I also like pairing yellow with blue, especially near my face.”

Shelbee of Shelbee On the Edge.

Shelbee of Shelbee On the Edge writes, “I styled this outfit when we still had a little chill in the air this past Spring and I can’t wait to style it again as a transition outfit into Fall. I love yellow and navy together.”

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style.

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style says, “I don’t wear yellow often, so it’s only a cardigan, but it’s a bright one!”

Dale of Savvy Spice.

Dale of Savvy Spice writes, “Yellow reminds me of sunshine, which there is a lot of here in Dallas! I found this Calvin Klein tweed dress and instantly knew it belonged in my closet. It’s conservative for meetings, yet still bright and fun for happy hour or date night. My wardrobe has definitely lightened up since moving from Switzerland to Texas.”

Kelley.

A new participant, Kelley, says, “I love yellow! My husband and I were celebrating our 19th anniversary in Scottsdale last month. Easy-breezy date night outfit.”

[Editor’s Note: Welcome, Kelley, and Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!]

Susan of High Heels in the Wilderness.

Susan of High Heels in the Wilderness says, “My yellow sweater is from Brooks Brothers. I bought it in 2014, but still love it. Especially with navy. I love it with these navy Veronica Beard cropped pants, my Paige jean jacket, and my Stan Smith Adidas shoes.”

Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen.

Jacqueline of Petite Silver Vixen writes, “For years I have never worn yellow. I never looked good in it. If yellow did feature in my wardrobe, it was only as part of a print (as in the multi-coloured trousers I’m wearing) and certainly never as a single colour on its own. It was only when I had my colours done a couple of years ago, that I discovered pale lemon is a shade I can wear without looking ill, tired or jaundiced! The secret was simply finding the right shade. The orange cardigan warms up the pale yellow embroidery anglaise top and adds a hint of spicy-ness to the outfit.”

Greetje of No Fear of Fashion.

Greetje of No Fear of Fashion says, “This is my yellow summer jacket, although I wear it more before and after summer. The sandals are a totally different shade of yellow but I have decided not to be bothered with that. Another ‘problem’ solved, ha ha.”

Nora of Jacket Society.

Nora of Jacket Society says, “I am wearing our Lemon Drop jacket with my Rag & Bone jeans, Kenneth Cole gladiator sandals, Louis Vuitton bag and our own Multi-Functional necklace. Both jacket and necklace are available in our shop.”

Crystal of Success in Heels.

Crystal of Success in Heels writes, “I started with this multi-colored, bell-sleeved jacket. I picked out the pink and yellow from the print to pair with it, but it works great with green and brown too! The yellow shell and dusty pink skirt are both muted colors, so they complement the jacket nicely. My nude pumps and a simple strand of pearls complete the look.”

Rena of Fine, Whatever.

Rena of Fine, Whatever says, “This picture is from the beginning of last Spring and I’m embracing sunnier and warmer days with my yellow top.”

Charlotte from Jodie’s Touch of Style.

Jodie of Jodie’s Touch of Style writes of her charming mother Charlotte, “She is definitely a lover of matching, thus wearing yellow shoes with a pair of yellow pants is right up her alley! As a seamstress, she still loves making her own clothes. The shirt she’s wearing is one of her creations from over 10 years ago!”

Judith of Style Crone.

Judith of Style Crone writes, “I discovered this knit dress in a consignment shop in NYC this past April. In this photo, I wore it with royal blue, gold and black. Yellow is an uplifting color, and its vibrant hue does not allow for invisibility. I like to wear it when I’m feeling confident or in a space of celebration.”

Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo.

Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo says, “I adore the design on this mod dress. I like a piece with personality and this one has it. This shade of yellow/gold is perfect for fall.”

Nicole of High Latitude Style.

Nicole of High Latitude Style says, “Yellow is not in my color palette. If at all, a citron or neon yellow works on me. Thus, the only yellow items in my closet are a sunflower yellow bag and citron yellow pumps. I use this bag or the pumps when I want to add a pop of color to an outfit in neutral colors, typically with an all or nearly-all black outfit. Given fall’s ‘yellow plus pink’ trend I also tried this combination. Well, it’s to don the trend, but I prefer the pairing of yellow with neutrals due to the stark contrast.”


I don’t own any clothes that are yellow but I think that color is so great for accessories! One of my favorite scarves is this vintage Yves Saint Laurent I bought for under $30 a few years ago on eBay. I love how the bold yellow looks with both the navy and the purple in the scarf. I always get compliments on this scarf and when I wear it I keep everything else very simple. Since accessories are the star of the show this time out, I paired the scarf with my Hermès Hapi 3mm bracelet, a Marc by Marc Jacobs Globetrotter Mini Rei bag, and L’Wren Scott sunglasses.

A vintage scarf by Yves Saint Laurent.

I hope you are wearing yellow as much as you can this month!

A fun look for fall we’ve noticed in magazines and on runways features one of the smallest scarf sizes made—the neckerchief! It adds a splash of color and pattern to your outfit and it could not be easier to wear—just tie one on to your neck, bag, or wrist. So join us in October for “How I Wear My: Neckerchief.” Send photos to us at howiwearmy@yahoo.com by October 3, 2016 and be sure to tell us a bit about your outfit.

Do swing by Adrienne’s to see even more fabulous looks featuring yellow.

And THANK YOU to all the fine foxes who participated this month!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Night at the US Open 2016

Arthur Ashe Stadium on September 1, 2016.

It was another wonderful time at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens for Round 2 of the US Open 2016. I went to an evening session like I did in 2014 and this time the two matches I saw were Serena Williams (six-time US Open women’s champion) versus Vania King, and Juan Martín del Potro (the 2009 US Open men’s champion) versus Steve Johnson.

A Honey Deuce cocktail.

I like the energy of the evening sessions plus the cooler temperatures and the fact that the sun has gone down so you don’t have to worry about getting a sunburn. Before heading to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the matches I made sure to swing by the Grey Goose bar to try a Honey Deuce, the signature cocktail of the US Open, made with Grey Goose vodka (naturally), lemonade, and Chambord. Each drink is topped with honeydew melons shaped like tennis balls and the reusable cup lists the names of past champions on both the men’s and women’s sides going back to 1968. It’s a refreshing drink and I highly recommend it. I found several recipes online if you want to make one at home yourself! Here is one I found on the Town & Country website, with a backstory of when and how the drink was created.

The new roof at Ashe Stadium. It was closed for the Serena Williams match.

Because it had been raining for most of the day the new roof at Ashe was closed. It feels like quite the party inside when they get the steam machines, disco lights, and music going. One song played during changeover was “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, featuring Jay Z. Serena was seen on the Jumbotron smirking when she heard it and the reason why was revealed seconds later when the camera showed Beyoncé and Jay Z were both in the audience! Cue the crowd cheering and applauding because that’s what happened.

I wanted to see if I could find Beyoncé without having a cameraman do it for me and sure enough, I spotted her. I did it by first finding Serena’s mother, Oracene, who always wears a hat. Once I found her, I saw Beyoncé one row behind her!

Beyoncé in the third row on the right. Serena’s mother Oracene is the lady in the center in a hat!

Beyoncé smiling as she hears her own song being played! Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Serena awaits Vania’s serve.

Serena was dominant from start to finish against Vania. You won’t be surprised to learn that she won in straight sets, in just over an hour. What I was surprised by was how many people left as soon as the match was over, Beyoncé included!

I like Serena’s evening session look! Photo by Mike Hewitt.

Serena being interviewed by Pam Shriver after her win.

I stuck around for the second match between Juan Martín del Potro, from Argentina, affectionately known as Delpo, and the American Steve Johnson. Prior to the match, an announcer said the roof would be opening. There was a countdown clock before it happened and music played and lights flashed as the panels separated. It took about five minutes. The roof makes it very loud in the stadium when it’s closed and the noisiness is only a little better when it’s opened. The chair umpires kept asking the crowd during both games to settle down and be quiet between points! The roof does cut down on the breeze in Ashe, which I was glad about since last time I went it was so windy that I was freezing.

Everyone was taking pictures of the roof as it opened, myself included!

Before the start of the second match the roof was opened with great fanfare.

Steve Johnson vs. Martín Del Potro (in black and yellow).

The match between Delpo and Johnson was longer but Delpo was ultimately victorious and took the match in straight sets. Delpo just won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics and has been trying to make a comeback after multiple wrist surgeries the past few years. I don’t know if he will take it all the way like he did in 2009 but so far he’s made it to the quarterfinals, where he will play Stan Wawrinka. I am happy to see him doing so well—he is talented and humble, 6’6, and very easy on the eyes!

Delpo won in straight sets. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Apparently not that many tennis fans are into Delpo, judging by the number of empty seats by the end of the match. My son and I were literally the only people in our section by the end of the night and had the place to ourselves. I hope if Delpo makes gets to the semi-finals, things will change. Who doesn’t love a good comeback story?!

Delpo after his win. Look at the empty seats!

Let me know if you have either attended the US Open this year or been following along on TV. Who do you think will win for the women or the men?