FROM Simon Doonan
The Spectacle of Politics The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia differs in substance from the GOP Convention in Cleveland, but it creates a similar spectacle. Simon Doonan is the Creative Ambassador for Barneys New York who once designed the Christmas decorations for the White House. He brings his inside knowledge of politicians to bear on the clothing and staging of the 2016 conventions and the candidates.
Inside the Fashion Asylum This is the month for fashion weeks – in New York, now Paris and – somewhat under the radar -- LA. So what better time to consider the world of style with Simon Doonan -- “creative ambassador” for Barneys New York and author of many autobiographical books, starting with “Confessions of a Window Dresser.” Simon has just published his latest book, which takes a hilarious look back at some of the high and low points of his four decades in clothing, and, in doing so, tracks a revolution in fashion. It is called The Asylum, which of course begs the first question: why that title?
Design Gifts Filled with Significance What ascribes meaning to an object? We asked several people are in the business of making and selling “meaningful objects.” Jeremy Levine, Joel Chen, Lorca Cohen, Jonathan Adler, Simon Doonan and Oliver Furth all give their takes on what makes an object meaningful. And if you're still looking for that special something to give someone, especially someone who loves good design, we also have some specific recommendations. First off, in the realm of books, who better to ask than Lee Kaplan? He is the co-owner of Arcana Books on the Arts , a beautiful store designed by Johnston Marklee in Culver City where you can find amazing and sometimes obscure books about fashion, architecture, music and photography. We asked Lee to single out one meaningful book currently in the store. His pick might surprise you: Human Zoos , a riveting look at Western man's exploitation of non-Western men, from freak shows to circuses. The trailer for "The Unfinished Swan" video game One of the huge sellers this year will of course be video games, many of them very violent, if brilliantly created. But some game designers are trying to create another kind of alternative universe, explains Brent Gordon, video game enthusiast who once served as fanboy host for Sony’s Playstation network. He recommends two video games: "The Unfinished Swan" by Giant Sparrow , and "Journey" by That Game Company . The Rolex 1977 GMT And where would Hannukah or Christmas be these days without a cartload of pods and pads arriving in the house? But this year men in particular might be yearning for gadget with deeper meaning, as we learned from the debonair Cory Lashever, who recommends a vintage Rolex 1977 GMT. Or, if you're in LA, perhaps you'll discover something old or new at Lashever's pop-up Storefront Bazaar , in downtown’s Arts District. Vintage chairs at Storefront Bazaar Linens for sale at Storefront Bazaar Vintage furniture dealer Lorca Cohen (holding glass) at the opening of Storefront Bazaar Lashever is co-presenter of Storefront Bazaar, which is selling vintage and handmade goods, including chairs collected by Lorca Cohen (above) through January 15 at 821 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles. Kids woodworking on the Side Street bus, which brings art programs to students And finally, we return to Jeremy Levine, architect and chair of Side Street Projects , which represents another kind of meaningful gift that won’t add to the clutter at home: a donation to a nonprofit. Side Street is one of many non-profits looking for financial or in-kind donations that are committed to bringing the arts and design into children’s lives. Top image: Opening night at Storefront Bazaar
Celebrating What Matters This Season This holiday season comes at the end of a year of tumult; just the time when it’s helpful to hear from people with conviction about what really matters. Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan are two design talents—Jonathan with his accessories and home decor company and Simon as the longtime window dresser and creative director at Barneys—who also happen to be a classy couple. And they both write books full of perky advice. Jonathan’s include Happy Chic Accessorizing and My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living . Simon’s include Wacky Chicks and Gay Men Don't Get Fat . When many Americans are feeling the pinch, what's their advice for this holiday season? Keep it simple. For some ideas, visit Jonathan Adler's LA store at 8125 Melrose Avenue. Simon Doonan argues that when it comes to style, gays are the chosen ones Jonathan Adler's book includes tips for living happy, many of which can be found in his Manifesto for Living Top image: Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, photo by Jennifer Altman
LA County social workers on trial, and reforms to juvenile justice Four former LA County social workers will go to trial on child abuse and other charges in the death of an 8-year-old boy. Also, two California state senators introduced new legislation that would end incarceration for kids under 12 and ban life sentences without parole for those under 18.
Building homes near freeways, 'Rick Owens: Furniture' The White House wants to roll back fuel economy standards. Could that mean more air pollutants coming out of car tailpipes -- just as LA is seeing a surge of home construction along freeways? And a fashion world provocateur, Rick Owens, talks about designing furniture inspired by land art and brutalist architecture, and raising existential questions on the runway.
California congressmen clash over Russian meddling Two California congressmen are at the center of the investigation into possible ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. Republican Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is a Central Valley dairy farmer. His Democratic counterpart is Adam Schiff, a Los Angeles former prosecutor.