Friday, March 13, 2009

Have a Seat

Speaking of art that embodies its time, I visited Joey Veltkamp's excellent blog, Best Of recently and saw this piece by Northwest-based artist Drew Daly (created by sanding down a wooden chair to the point just short of disintegration/collapse). Though I gather that this wasn't necessarily the artist's intention, it struck me as a perfect articulation of the uneasiness about present and future that's in the air right now:

Drew Daly, Subject: Chair (photo via Best Of)

Read Joey Veltkamp's terrific interview with Daly, and see more photos of Daly's work, here. The interview was originally published in the new issue of La Especial Norte, also highly recommended reading. Seattleites – or anyone passing through – can pick up their free copy at various art venues around the city, including Howard House, James Harris Gallery, SOIL, and Lawrimore Project.

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

Such a poseur.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Put Up or Shut Up

I mean, it's no "f*ck mountain" or anything, but this is funny enough to make me look forward to the new show Sit Down and Shut Up

…and even more forward to the Arrested Development movie.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together.

Yesterday marked the launch of The Second Pass, a website I've been working on for a few months. Founder and editor John Williams (a good friend of mine who you may know from his blog, A Special Way of Being Afraid) has enlisted an impressive group of contributors to discuss books, both new and old – the idea being that while the web may have had a hand in this slow death of print we keep hearing about, it has also made it easier than ever to dig up out-of-print editions and obscure authors that deserve another look. There are many worthwhile book review websites out there, but I think this unique point of view makes The Second Pass an interesting addition to the mix. I've really enjoyed designing the site and I don't mind saying that I'm proud of the way it turned out. Go have a look right now, and tell all your friends.

Pas de Deux

A more comprehensive Paris Fashion Week round-up is forthcoming, but in the meantime here are some highlights from two shows, both of which I thought came across as fully realized collections with strong and consistent points of view: Dries Van Noten and Emanuel Ungaro. Dries sent out classic and modest pieces in beautiful prints and hues. They somehow look perfectly suited to the here and now.

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten

Esteban Cortazar, a relatively new designer for the Ungaro line, also delivered with lots of interest and a sense of fun that still managed to look in step with the more sober times.

Emanuel Ungaro

Emanuel Ungaro

More at

Dark Matter

Whatever you think of Gareth Pugh (to me he's a little severe, but I'm always interested to see what he'll do next) this video presentation of his FW09 collection, in collaboration with filmmaker Ruth Hogben, is impressive. Check it out at SHOWstudio.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Girl Stella

Anyone who has ever had a conversation with me about fashion is also likely to know that I am a huge fan of Stella McCartney, and I've been anxiously awaiting her show since Paris Fashion Week began last week. Although there were some elements that I wasn't crazy about (too much lace for my taste, for one), I thought it was a strong collection, and the good parts (coats, pants, jackets, and some great dresses) appear to be Stella through and through – simple lines that are simultaneously strong and relaxed, and an uncomplicated use of fabrics that telegraphs the stylish life pared down to its essentials. Stella doesn't consistently try to push her way into uncharted waters the way some designers do – notwithstanding that I'd pin the current jumpsuit craze squarely on her shoulders – but to me even the established trends often look better on her runway. She manages to inject an indefinable freshness that makes her clothes look just a little ahead of the curve. Maybe it's in the genes. Some highlights below (click to enlarge and see the whole show at

Publish My Love

Check it: my man Jeff just designed this 60-page zine for photographer Noah Kalina.

Looks dope, can't wait to get my copy.

Get more info and order it at

Rogue Wave Publish My Love mp3 (via Sub Pop)
When you start blogging they don't tell you (you know, they...They don't tell you) that the hardest part is coming up with clever titles.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Wild Style

There are advantages to being so sick that you can barely move. If I had been able to get off the couch Friday night, we would have missed an encore showing of Alone In the Wilderness on KCTS (the local PBS station) – Dick Proenneke's self-made documentary of his experiences building a log cabin by hand and exploring the natural environment of Twin Lakes, Alaska.

Using a hand-cranked 16mm Bolex camera, Proenneke carefully recorded the process of building the cabin and all the details that go along with it (including a stone fireplace, a thatched roof, wooden door hinges and a clever lock mechanism to keep bears out, an outhouse, a functional refrigerator in the ground, and much more). He demonstrates a truly amazing frontier craftsmanship that you don't see much of today; just as rewarding are Proenneke's beautiful shots of the flora, fauna, and spectacular scenery around him and his reverent but matter-of-fact take on it all.

I don't think it really does the movie full justice, but here's a clip if you're curious:

My brother first introduced me to Alone In the Wilderness, and Proenneke's skills, earned through his experience as a carpenter in the Navy during WWII, make me think of our own grandpa's experiences as a Navy Sea Bee and homesteader in Alaska.

Order the DVD and get more info at

Party On (Milan Wrap-Up Pt. 2)

Paris Fashion Week has been in full swing since last week, and I'm way behind, so here are just a few quick looks from the rest of the Milan shows. There was a lot of what I always expect from the Italian collections – overt glamour, shine, and plenty of sex appeal. Click to enlarge:

Pucci; architectural details at Gianfranco Ferre.

Lots of volume at Iceberg and Moschino.

The spirit of Tom Ford stalked the runway at Gucci.

Old-school Italian elegance at Ferragamo.


Etro keeps things easy.

Relaxed basics at Burberry Prorsum.

Unmistakable luxe at Bottega Veneta.

Little details add up at Alessandro Dell'Aqua.


Looking for the dance floor at Versace.

More at