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New Yorkers are turning their cell phones into Easter Baskets while collecting massive Easter Eggs during the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt this month.  The event brings artists, charitable foundations, and other sponsors together for a virtual Easter Egg Hunt around the City.  The Big Egg Hunt first started in London in 2012 and has since been held in Dublin and New Zealand.

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Curtis Kulig, Photo Credit: jtenag, Instagram

Here’s how it works:  you download the Big Egg Hunt App, check out the map and go!  Winners finding the most Eggs get Instagram bragging rights and some lucky folks will come away with some swag. The swaggiest (yes, I know) being a Fabergé Egg necklace.

The Artists and Designers donating their creative talents include Curtis Kulig, Retna, Marchesa, William Wegman, D*Face, Cynthia Rowley and many others.  You can view all the Eggs and Artists on Paddle 8′s site where the one of a kind works will be auctioned off for charity.  If you aren’t in NY check out snap happy Instagrammers using #TheBigEggHunt. You’ve gotta love eager egg hunters!

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Shantell Martin, Photo Credit: Shantell Martin, Instagram

 

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Faig Ahmed, Photo Credit: enti_tea, Instagram

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Benjamin Shine, Photo Credit: The Big Egg Hunt, NY

For more info check out their playful website here:

The Big Egg Hunt

Paddle 8

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Zac Posen, Fall 2014. Photo Credit: Vogue

Zac Posen, Fall 2014. Photo Credit: Vogue

So I’m kind of having a Cinderella moment.  The MOCA Gala is this evening and I’m not going.  To be honest the MOCA Gala hasn’t been on my radar since 2011, but I do love fashion, art and any opportunity where culture vultures can be viewed in their unnatural environment.  This year’s event is lacking the hype machine’s fervor this year, and there’s a pronounced lack of controversy (no rotating heads on tables, or live cadavers a la Marina Abramovic).  However in classic MOCA fashion, the 2014 Gala is sponsored by Louis Vuitton and will undoubtedly showcase the creme de la creme in Hollywood and the arts.  Absent are my favorite arts writers which I find curious, but I digress…

If these two weren't so fierce I would cast them as my step sisters in CultureShock Art's rendition of Cinderella.  Liz Goldwyn and Dita Von Teese.   Photo Credit: Liz Goldwyn, Instagram

If these two weren’t so fierce I’d cast them as step sisters in CultureShock Art’s rendition of Cinderella. Liz Goldwyn and Dita Von Teese.
Photo Credit: Goldilocksg, Instagram

In an attempt to assuage my feelings of ennui over not being Hollywood enough to attend a gala, I am watching Andre Leon Talley and Zac Posen talk fashion.  If I had a Cinderella moment, these two would show up with a glam squad and 3 gowns from Posen’s INCREDIBLE Fall/Winter 2014 collection and send me happily on my way. I adore how the simple, restrained tweed dresses and the impeccably constructed evening wear evoke Hitchcock’s femme fatale of the 50′s. Let’s not even mention the Opera Coat, it’s beyond words.

My obsession with this collection was immediate once I laid eyes on Posen’s Instagram video of Anna Cleveland in this show-stopping stunner of a gown last month.

I loved that Andre Leon Talley got a “behind the scenes” look at this amazing dress moment and also had an opportunity to chat with Zac Posen about his influences with this particular collection.

The entire collection is fantastic down to the fabulous shades, and of course anytime I see a cape, I’m delighted. Here’s the collection. I couldn’t agree with Posen more, “Elegance is timeless.”

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This 14 year old Designer, Animator, Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur is my inspiration. Not only did she give a flawless TED Talk but she showcased her diverse talents in a very personable way.  Loved seeing this video and had to share. Maya Penn started her first company at the age of 8 and she has been pushing the proverbial envelope ever since. She can tell her story far better than I, have a listen!

This mini dynamo is a force to be reckoned with. To find your passion at such a young age and to nurture it is an incredible thing. For more on Maya Penn and “Maya’s Ideas”, check out her site, her CV is impressive.

http://mayasideasshop.blogspot.com/

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“I created the wrap dress but then the wrap dress had a life of its own.”~DVF

Forty years ago, designer Diane Von Furstenberg introduced the wrap dress whose timeless style has become a staple in many women’s wardrobes.  The simplicity of the dress’ construction coupled with Diane’s powerful graphic prints unite in a style that is as captivating and beguiling as the designer herself.  Los Angeles is celebrating the 40th anniversary of DVF’s eponymous wrap dress at an exhibit held in the old May Company building next to LACMA (note LACMA is not technically sponsoring the show according to their website).

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In addition to the army of mannequins featuring many iterations of the wrap dress spanning 40 years, the exhibit features Diane as a muse to artists who have created works inspired by the designer (photography, sculpture, screen-printing, paintings, etc.)

DVF Portrait by Chuck Close

DVF Portrait by Chuck Close

DVF Portrait by Andy Warhol

DVF Portrait by Andy Warhol

"A Ghost May Come", Dustin Yellin

“A Ghost May Come”, Dustin Yellin

The wrap dress’ design was originally inspired by wrap sweaters worn by ballerinas, and the hallmark of the dress is its ease of wear.  It can be dressed up or down, packs easily and is flattering on most body types.

I’ve always loved DVF as a designer who has nurtured and inspired many designers and artists alike.  She is someone who is resolute in her mission to empower women and she found a way to achieve this goal through fashion.  During her journey she did not always know what she wanted to do, but she was clear in her conviction about knowing what kind of woman she wanted to be.

This interview with Amanda de Cadenet provides a nice glimpse into her career and the insights she gained about herself and the women she designs for.

After I came home from LACMA today, NYFW came to me care of a live feed of DVF’s Fall 2014 Ready to Wear show.  It was a fun look behind the scenes of the show where Diane, living her mission created the most relaxed, fun and empowered environment for her models and guests. Before the show she provided some words of encouragement to her models (who were beautifully diverse):

“Be Strong”

“Feel Sexy”

“Be You”

“Smile”

“If you love life, life will love you.”

It was a fun “virtual” show that included a live performance by St. Vincent.  In November DVF will release her autobiography called “The Woman I Wanted to Be”. Can’t wait to hear more stores from this fashion icon.

DVF Fall '14 TTW.  Photo Credit: The Cut

DVF Fall ’14 RTW. Photo Credit: The Cut

 

“Journey of a Dress” will remain at the Wilshire May Company Building (aka LACMA West) until April 1, 2014.

6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

 

 

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The power of a Hashtag.

As I was looking through my Instagram feed this morning, stylist Elisa Nalin (who prolifically captures Fashion Week on Instagram), posts a rather blurry picture obscured by a fence with a hashtag that reads #NOTORACISM.

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I honestly ignore 99% of hashtags (while totally being guilty of overusing them myself), but couldn’t with this one.  As I perused the amazing pics of stylishly dressed black men at the Umit Benan show, I learned that he dedicated his Paris Men’s Fashion Week show to Jackie Robinson. According to the New York Times, at the beginning of the show he played Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream Speech”, while models were standing obscured in shadows and a chain link fence (the set was designed as a long forgotten baseball field).  In dramatic convention that is de rigueur in Paris Fashion Week shows, the long intro ends with the catwalk being flooded in light paving the way for the models to walk the runway.

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In another historic twist, all of his male were black.  While previous Paris Fashion Week shows have come under fire for underrepresenting black models, with some designers choosing unconventional tactics that didn’t feature working models, I loved that Benan chose to go a more respectful route vs resorting to shock.

The Turkish designer, who uses “identity” as a central theme in his work, came out at the end of the Paris show with a banner reading “No To Racism, For the Love of the Game”.

And a hashtag is born.

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For more on Benin’s historic show, please see this New York Times Fashion Blog entry, and be sure to search the hashtag on Instagram.

 

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IMG_5165Whew!  Before I look forward to 2014 (and I must say, it cannot come soon enough), I thought I’d take a quick look back on my digital footprints and share my favorite CultureShockArt moments of 2013.  So I picked 5 posts from Twitter, Instagram, WordPress and Pinterest that were either popular, or made me squeal, “Eep eep! Such and so acknowledged my existence!”  Yes, I find that these situations render me as a 12 year old girl wearing 3 Swatch watches and L.A. Gears but hey, such is the magic that is the internet.

#5- HuffPo and my MOCA musings

For the most part on Twitter I feel like that one crazy aunt or uncle who sits in the corner at family gatherings shouting bizarre non-sequiturs to nobody in particular.  Once in a while a random post will illicit a response from someone, and I go completely starstruck when it is a celebrity, museum or a blogger I admire (yes, I get starstruck over museums and bloggers too).  So back in March when I wrote this post about some Los Angeles MOCA drama (and we had our fair share of it this year), little did I know HuffPo Arts would post it in their “Twitter reactions” gallery at the end of one of their articles.  The Art Girl geek in me came out when I saw my snark displayed amongst some of my favorite arts writers.

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#4  Orange Crush

I was extremely late to the Instagram party, but once I dove in I took to it like a fish to water.  Strange enough, IG has taught me to keep my eyes open, not for photo ops, but to be more observant of my surroundings.  I now find my head in the clouds…appreciating them more than daydreaming.  At one point I had color phases when I would be obsessed with certain hues that would dominate my wardrobe, nail polish, handbag selection, you name it.  First orange, then lilac, then red… On this particular day in April I was laughing at the budding collection of all things “Orange” on my desk and snapped a pic of it.  Well, when Caroline Issa, editor of Tank magazine (and one of my style ICONS), emoji’ed her reactions to some of my pics, I was thrilled beyond belief!  I still really love this photo, but not as much as the oodles of shots I take of my napping dogs who deserve their own Instagram account.

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#3  My 15 Minutes Seconds of Fame

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The Warhol Museum is responsible for driving the most traffic on a single day to my humble little blog.  In August when I posted a reaction to an op ed piece about how a writer hates museums, the Warhol Museum noticed and linked my article to their website and Tweeted it to their followers.  I was forever grateful for pub and encouragement.  There are so many museums out there that are using social media to engage with their audiences in smart ways and the Warhol is near the top of the list.  THANK YOU Warhol Museum for taking the time to notice and show some blogger love.

 

#2 “What’s Your Bag?”
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If I had a nickel for every time I got this question this year, I’d be able to afford 3 more of her bags!  This by far was the most talked about handbag in my collection this year.  It started many a random conversation in stores, restaurants, airport security screening lines, meetings, and an awkardly funny encounter with actor, writer and producer Issa Rae (we have the same bag).  So I wrote a post about bag obsession–not necessarily the bag itself, but what’s inside it.

When the designer pinned this picture on their Pinterest site, it drove crazy amounts of traffic to my blog.  Nice!  It’s also one of the most pinned photos on their site. (Really nice). Everybody wins, right?!

 

#1 The Sphinx and the Cronut

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Of all my posts this year, this one cracks me up the most!  The Banksy mania that overtook NYC in August was slightly outdone by the city’s obsession with the Cronut.  I had to find a way to mash these two phenomena together.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who got the connection.

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Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold sent me a message on Twitter saying he loved my Banksy post!  I have to say it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Despite all this name dropping and validation seeking, what I find most rewarding are the new experiences this blog has shown me.  I saw some wonderful exhibits and met some amazing artists, writers, designers and bloggers this year who took me on an inspirational journey beyond the keyboard.  For that I am truly grateful, and I am especially thankful for all of my readers who have shown their support and encouragement to me in 2013.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I wish you all the best in the New Year.

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You know you’re a procrastinator when you procrastinate on your “Last Minute Gifts” post… I cleaned my house, washed my dogs, cooked, worked out and generally engaged in nonsense instead of writing today.  I’ll tell you what though, these gifts are so good, I wouldn’t mind getting them after Christmas (and right about now I am hoping my husband isn’t reading this). Just in case…

Disclaimer: CultureShockArt cannot be held responsible for looks of confusion, side eye, sighs, “withholding”, frying pans upside the head or other symptoms of disappointment induced behavior resulting from sending any of these gifts LATE… but trust me, these are really good. If you haven’t shopped for the music lover, art enthusiast, fashionista or foodie in your life, find a way to score one of these little gems.

FRENDS HEADPHONES

For the music lover who also loves style, I adore “Frends With Benefits,” a new line of interchangeable caps. The Rebecca Minkoff designs are my particular favorite.

HEDLEY & BENNETT

I’m not sure what I love more, Hedley & Bennett’s amazing line of chef’s aprons, or their energetic and adorable blog/ Instagram page. Either way, these aprons are coveted by Los Angeles’ culinary set and they are stylish, ultra functional, and fun.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK

Speaking of Instagram, you need to follow Humans of New York (HONY). Brandon Stanton’s captivating pictures are almost eclipsed by the poignant vignettes offered by his subjects. He has an amazing gift of drawing out some amazing stories.  I am giving this book as a gift this year and I had to pick one up for myself.

OUTSIDE THE LINES

A coloring book for the budding artist or child (or adult) who just can’t be bothered with pop culture/mainstream characters, Outside the Lines is a collection of street artists, animators and graphic artists who all contribute something to inspire creativity in all of us.

RICHARD AVEDON, “WOMEN”-CATALOGUE

I went completely nuts over the amazing  Avedon show at the Gagosian in Beverly Hills. The catalog from “Women” is an incredible collection of Avedon’s portraits. They are simply stunning and the catalog is presented beautifully.

JAWBONE UP 24

If you are like me, currently lamenting the cookies, brownies, cheese trays, spiked egg nog and hot chocolate consumed during the holiday season, you may want to jump-start your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions with the Jawbone Up (24). The wristband syncs up wirelessly to your iPhone and will monitor your activity and sleep. It will even buzz you if you have been sitting still too long.

And with that I hope that the Holiday Season is filled with good cheer, new memories and best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year! Thanks to all of my readers who have made this blog an utter joy! Cheers!

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DCon2013

I am forever on the lookout for new graphic artists and animators to follow, so we headed to DesigerCon at the Pasadena Convention Center on Sunday. DCON has been around for 8 years, and is a convention that fuses urban, underground, pop art with animation, vinyl collectible toys, and clothing. The result was a mass gathering of manufacturers, retailers, artists, fan boys and fan girls alike who all share a passion for collectibles.  What I loved about this convention was its energy and accessibility. With over 150 vendors there’s bound to be something that resonates with you whether it’s pop surrealism, anime, plush toys, sculpture, or street art.

Since it was my first time at DesigerCon, I have to admit I was overwhelmed, especially since I didn’t know what to expect.  Luckily one of our first stops was the booth one of my favorite bloggers, Supahcute. She partnered with graphic artist and designer Vanessa Ramirez to present a collection of resin collectibles alongside artwork by Jared Andrew Schorr and Jerrod Maruyama.

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Supahcute’s resin Millypus figures by Vanessa Ramirez. The prototypes were a hit! Adorable!

This collage was a collaboration between Schorr and Maruyama featuring characters from Hayo Miyazaki films.  Supahcute gave us some DesignerCon newbie tips and suggestions on booths to visit.

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First up was Martin Hsu’s booth.  My husband is a big Miyazaki fan and Hsu’s work is heavily influenced by the film director.  Hsu has some amazing character animation work and his Dragon Boy character was prominently on display along with some custom painted pieces by Mark Nagata.

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Martin Hsu’s Dragon Boy

There were some fantastic clothing designers, and one of my favorites were the t-shirts designed and screenprinted by Rogue Angel’s Angel Mendoza.

Angel Mendoza of Rogue Angel Design

Angel Mendoza of Rogue Angel Design

I really, really wanted this bottle of Rooster Sauce designed by an artist and fabricated by the folks from Mana Studios.

Mana Studios

Mana Studios

Next up was a unique collaboration between Montreal street artists 123 Klan, OG Slick and his clothing company Dissizit. Slick’s LA Hands are everywhere and it was great to see their clothing and the LA Hands vinyls. We were lucky to meet them on Sunday and talk about collaborating and participating in this event.  Fans of street art gathered to get signatures from the artists and it was nice that they were all so accessible and eager to talk about their work.

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There’s one theme that resonated with me at this conference.  Collaboration.  Everyone participating in this event was supportive of each other and it was so great to see artists inspired by each others’ work.

I am not a ComiCon person, but if I had to guess, 2013′s DesignerCon is what Comic-Con was 8-9 years ago before the massive crowds and studios got hold of it. There was a positive energy among hobbyists joined by their shared affection for each other’s work, it was palpable.

We didn’t leave the Convention center with a collection of vinyls (we did get some t-shirts), but I left with a better appreciation for Low Brow as a uniquely Los Angeles movement while being encouraged by the positive collaborative environment.

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Here’s some “new to me” music.  Bonus:  his album art is pretty amazing too.  The Bay Area has an endless supply of musical talent.  Loving this right now.

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Thankfully L.A. does not suffer from a lack of unique design fairs; I tend to flock to the ones that combine good food, great design and a great story.  Parachute Market is a relatively new kid on the block, and they promote seasonal fairs that revolve around a cohesive theme.  Just in time for the Fall Equinox, “Elemental” curates clothing and furniture designers, artisans, and chefs who are selected to showcase their wares and provide a glimpse into how basic elements influence their creative process.

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I took a quick stroll through the fair and saw some amazing work.  The jewelry in particular was stunning.

The event is the brainchild of Coryander Friend (who has great taste in handbags), a set decorator who assembled a great group of both established and budding designers.  Visually it was amazing, there were performance artists, great music and a vibe that I can only describe as Post-Burning Man “Afterglow”.  My only critique is that it would have been great to see a list of vendors or signage as I was looking for specific booths but the layout made it a little difficult to see everything.

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What I liked most about this show was that proceeds from ticket sales went to “Inner-City Arts”  a non-profit arts program that provides after school and weekend art curriculums to underprivileged children who would otherwise not be exposed to arts programs due to budget cuts (the LA Unified School District cut it’s arts budget by 76% in the last 5 years).  In fact, according to a 2012 KCET article, “53% of more than 272,000 students in kindergarten through fifth grade will not receive any arts instruction in elementary school”.

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For more on Inner-City Arts:

http://www.inner-cityarts.org/index.php

Parachute Market:

VENUE: 405 Mateo St., Los Angeles 90013 (Arts District).
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 21,  12:00 pm – 7:00 pm & Sunday, Sept, 22,  12:00 pm-6:00 pm.

P.S. Heading out of the market I picked up a bottle of Golden Milk from Moon Juice for my drive to Hollywood.  Instant obsession!  Loved it.  I wish my hood would open a juicery.

P.P.S. A couple of my favorite vendors:

A Question of Eagles

Rachel Duvall Textiles

 

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