April 27, 2008

You've come a long way baby..........The Transformation Age

I was talking with my friend, jeweler Biba Schutz, today about a PBS special, by Robert X. Cringely, we had seen this weekend, on technology transforming our lives, and trying to wrap our minds around what WE could do with it. Both having used technology for years, but as recent as this past September on an evening walk home from an event, we were trying to understand this very format of BLOGGING. (And here I am now!) We were going to a talk about it the following night, at the American Craft Council Library. Serendipitously, a young woman approached us to ask for subway directions, and we chat with her for almost an hour. Her name was ANINA, and she was on her way home from shooting a segment for this special, which would air in the spring. She described herself as a global nomad, a model, who was very into technology, living in "real time", communicating via cell phone in so many more formats than just talking...........She runs a company called 360Fashion from her phone, to keep fashionistas of all sorts connected and informed. I have been following her blog and story as an inspiration, and she has been a great mentor to me. You can catch the PBS segment on her, here.

Below is a video clip from my first smartphone, a Treo, shot at Matsuri Restaurant in NYC on New Year's Eve, 2005. It was very dark in there, and the quality is quite poor, and I don't know quite what I am doing, and notice Biba is commenting that my phone has a "movie camera" in it! This is a fond memory both for the great food, good time with friends, and a document that we have learned something in these 2.5 years!

April 23, 2008

Fashion, Shearlings New Flair

Wow, I just found this article online in the NY Times Archives. Yes it is time to think about your next coat, as our shearlings are made one by one. And looking at these 1989 prices, I would say a 2008 Toshiki and Maryszka shearling is a bargain in 2008.............

FASHION; Shearling's New Flair
Published: August 27, 1989
LEAD: A new coat can bring a wardrobe into focus. Though the weather is still warm, many women are already eyeing the new, chic shearlings.

A new coat can bring a wardrobe into focus. Though the weather is still warm, many women are already eyeing the new, chic shearlings.

Designers like Valentino and Karl Lagerfeld have turned the skin and wool of young sheep, once used mainly for rugged jackets, into swing coats, capes that flare and coats that drape as softly as cloth. The coats have lavish detail - quilting, trapunto, cutouts - and are in rich shades of ruby, amethyst, slate blue, olive, forest green, aubergine and black.

A full-length coat is $1,000 to $3,500, depending on the quality of the skins. The best shearling, the most supple and lightest in weight, is entrefino from Spain. The softness of this shearling allows designers to make clothes that have the fluidity of wool or mink.

''For the past 40 years, there have always been shearling coats,'' said Stanley Schulman, president of Alixandre Furs of Manhattan. ''But there hasn't always been the awareness of the different qualities available in shearling, as there are in furs. Entrefino was always used by Hermes, but it was used for a much more limited market and not for the mass market as it is now.'' Lighter but Costlier

An entrefino jacket or coat is $2,000 to $3,500. ''There's at least a $500 difference between a domestic shearling coat and an entrefino coat,'' said Bruce Morrison, a group manager at Bloomingdale's. An entrefino coat can weigh three pounds less than one made of shearling from the United States, France or Turkey.

For many women, a shearling coat has become the everyday fur of choice. It is warm without being ostentatious.

''It is as durable as a good fur coat,'' Mr. Schulman said. If taken care of, a shearling coat should last 10 years, said Michael Robinson, vice president of Revillon, a Paris furrier. When the shearling gets wet, shake it out, hang it up and let it dry naturally. At the end of the winter, have the coat cleaned by experts. ''If you send it to an ordinary dry cleaner, the coat can change color, change finish, and come back stiff,'' Mr. Schulman said. Alixandre, Revillon at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman guarantee their cleaning services. Bloomingdale's will clean a shearling coat, but does not guarantee the color if it has been dyed. Exuberant Styles

There are nearly as many styles in shearling as in cloth. Jacques Jekel's dark-blue motorcycle jacket fastens diagonally and is $1,000 at Bloomingdale's. An oversize bomber jacket that ends around mid-thigh comes in natural shearling; it is $825 at Barneys New York.

Some of the most exuberant styles are in three-quarter or seven-eighths lengths. Designers have more room to be flamboyant, but the coat is not so long as to be cumbersome. For Revillon, Karl Lagerfeld designed a swing coat that is cut in a full circle. It comes in rust, red, purple, black and blue and is $1,950 at Revillon at Saks Fifth Avenue.

A less voluminous swing coat is sold under Bergdorf Goodman's label. In brown, with dark bottle-green turnback cuffs, it sells for $1,995. Mario Valentino's fuschia swing coat has balloon sleeves, and is $2,550 at Bergdorf Goodman. Carmelo Pomodoro's cape, also cut in a full circle, comes in ruby, jade, amethyst and black and is $2,800 at Macy's.

For total warmth, there is a coat by Valentino with beautifully shaped shoulders and a long, pointed collar. Made for Alixandre, it is black, brown or forest green, and is $3,250 at Revillon at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Some designers and shoppers suggest that shearling, which is worn with the wool inside, is less likely to be opposed by animal-protection groups than are glossy pelts.

''Shearling seems more like a luxurious leather than a fur, but the same problems are intrinsic to leathers as they are to furs: you still have to get skin from the animal,'' said Mr. Pomodoro, the designer. ''But since people think of shearling more as a leather than a fur, buying a shearling is more like buying shoes.''

The Guggenheim, friday evening

I saw this show at The Guggenheim this past weekend, and it was a nice surprise.
It wasn't just about simulating car bombings, see film clip below, but other ideas. I thought the gunpowder drawings were very dynamic, huge variations of traditional sumi painting
The landscape of Central Park was 
beautiful on my way.
I do have to mention the irony of getting out of the subway to see this 
show, the Pope's motorcade went by.

  rotunda of the Guggenheim.

April 19, 2008

Baerbel visits New York

We had lunch with Baerbel, from the
Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, where Toshiki and Maryszka have had about four shows, the last one being on Valentines Day 2007, remembered in a post from feb '08.
 We went to one of our neighborhood favorites, the BBar.
Here Judith, Baerbel's friend from Germany, Baerbel and Toshiki.

Maryszka sipping homemade gingerale.

There goes the neighbor hood.
On our way to BBar, one of the many new buildings
changing my neighborhood of 30 years, on the Bowery.

April 14, 2008

Tara Lynn

When she was fresh out of design school at FIT, Tara Lynn came to work at the Toshiki and Maryszka studio. She now has her own line of eco-friendly clothing, and was at the Morristown
show this past weekend.

One of her pieces, which was my favorite.

Listen up, she explains her philosophy. (a bit hard to hear, so turn up the volume)

A New Customer

I met this stunning woman at the Morristown Show, who looked fabulous in everything she tried on and walked away with this
Toshiki and Maryszka leather jacket as well as a shearling.
Thanks again Sheila and enjoy your new coats!                                                                                                

April 10, 2008

Spring Crafts Morristown

I will be having a SPRING SALE of Toshiki and Maryszka shearling, wool and leathers coats at this show in Morristown, NJ this weekend. Click here for info, and stop by to see new work or treat yourself to a bargain!

April 5, 2008

Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project

I will tell you that I live and breath to take a walk in New York City, you always come across something that makes your heart beat with excitement. Walking up Broadway on friday night, I came across this, at Broadway Windows at NYU, first for its beauty, then the idea. (“the global warming equivalent of the AIDS Quilt,” as it has been called) I recommend seeing it at night.

Craft Boston

Craft Boston was a beautiful and cheerful show on a very cold weekend. The Toshiki and Maryszka shearling coats were perfect for the weather and sold well.

Award winning jewelry designer Biba Schutz took this picture of me by her booth as I passed down the aisle to mine.

April 2, 2008

Blog of a fan!

It was nice today to get some encouraging email from potter Alex Solla, of Cold Spring Studio, whose wonderfully colored and beautifully functional bowl I eat my "Optimum Power" with yogurt from every day.

I also linked to his wife Nancy's blog from his site, and was happy to read an adoring review of our work! (And Nancy, we don't post many photos on our site for a reason----design thieves!)

Thanks Alex and Nancy!

April 1, 2008

tax time and the creative mind

they just do not mix.................art, craft, and the process of making craft, and the paperwork of running a business.
at least not to me. I have been doing the best that I can for years, hating every single minute of touching every single receipt and keeping records. but to save money I tried to do it all myself, and think I have been pretty damn tidy and organized, because even thou I hate it, I do recognize that it needs to be done, and have probably done better than most in our world and have run an honest business. 
but now there is a young dude conducting an audit: it has taken months and months, much more time and $ than makes any sense at all......................he is relentless and I believe is making his career on ruining me..............at least stomping out some of my creative juices.................
happy spring.