The 12th Outstanding art of Television costume

I had hardly gotten over jetlag and it was off to FIDM with friends to see this exhibit. There is a reason why it’s in the dog days of summer. There was plenty of outstanding workmanship, but it doesn’t have the grand feeling of the winter exhibit that shares costumes from movies.This is from The Crown, probably season two, since everything was more subdued. Yes, it’s lovely, but nothing here screamed best costumes from the show.I very much enjoy the hand embroidery here. A lot of sparkle so this shows up well on screen. High Definition means the costume department has to work harder. And yet, they need to hit that mark, of having garments really pop on screen.Here is a dress from The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. I LOVE this and am seriously thinking of knocking it off, probably without the bow. The costumes on this show are so exuberant! They used a lot of color to really catch your eye. This is one of the quieter pieces. I’m itching to go get some wool crepe and some heavy satin. I know I have a pattern I can hack. I’m no good at drafting my own. The centerpiece show was Glow, not a show I’ve seen. It’s about women wrestlers in the 1980s, and Irene tells me her daughter, who was a child then loves this show. I simply love this dress. Actually, it isn’t a dress, she is wearing the leotard she will wrestle in and instead of a robe, this wonderful high-low skirt. I do appreciate how much fun the designers can have.This outfit is from the Alienist, I watched a few episodes. I’m squeamish, going into details about the murder and mutilation of young boys in late 19th c. NY.  It was too much for me, even though it was very well done.

So here we have a classic looking outfit, but let’s take a close look.Look at how the lines match!! Not just on the skirt, but the lines on the cuff perfectly match the lines on the sleeve! I want to shake the hands of both the designer and the person who sewed this!!!  This is why I come to these exhibits, to see incredible workmanship and design. I don’t care how good your TV is, you simply aren’t going to see these details. To be honest, if I were standing talking to a model wearing this outfit, I’m not sure I’d see it. There is something about a still manikin that really draws my eyes to the details.From Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, fun, fun, fun!! Later we went to Michael Levines, where they have a great selection of boiled wool. I’m thinking this jacket might have been made from that. Unlike boiled wool from years ago, today it is much thinner and more pliable. I’m seriously trying to figure out what jacket to make for myself since I fell in love with a gorgeous purple. No, I didn’t buy it, and it could be that by the time I figure out a pattern, that fabric may be gone. There was a large selection of colors, I’ll be alright.From Schitts Creek, who doesn’t love a very well made crochet dress?? It is so hard to make a good crochet dress, the fabric is much stiffer than a knit dress. And yes, I’d have a full slip, but I am not an actress on a very quirky show. I get what they are doing here with the black underwear. I also see the placement of the band of circles, but because it’s a whole band not just two circles, it is classically suggestive, instead of being in your face suggestive. There were shows I had never heard of, these days, with broadcast TV as well as streaming services, it makes sense. I don’t watch TV all the time. So, I don’t know what these are from, they are just cool boots. The red pair is a costume, I really want the brown pair. Even though I don’t wear heels much, I think I could wear these.

So if you have a chance, this exhibit runs through Oct. 6th. It is free, the Scholarship store at FIDM is always fun and a few blocks further into the the garment district is a must!

Leah

The Bradbury, inside! Up the elevator into an office!!

The lobby of the Bradbury building is open during business hours and people are welcome to enter. These days they pay attention, if it looks like you are taking more than the normal amount of pictures, or if you have massive camera equipment – they will stop you. Otherwise, visitors are welcome. But that is it, you can go to the first landing of the stairs, no more.

I took the elevator in the Bradbury to the top floor
I took the elevator in the Bradbury to the top floor
Standing right under the amazing atrium in the Bradbury building, Los Angeles
Standing right under the amazing atrium in the Bradbury building, Los Angeles
Details of tiles only seen from the top floor of The Bradbury building.
Details of tiles only seen from the top floor of The Bradbury building.
A rare treat, being on the top floor of The Bradbury building
A rare treat, being on the top floor of The Bradbury building
Two fireplaces, inside and office in The Bradbury Building.
Two fireplaces, inside and office in The Bradbury Building.
View through massive doors out to the atrium of The Bradbury
View through massive doors out to the atrium of The Bradbury
Old fire hose in The Bradbury Building
Old fire hose in The Bradbury Building

On Friday I was lucky to lead a tour of Seismic Engineers who were in town for a conference. The last stop was the Bradbury.We had a special treat, the opportunity to go up in the open cage elevators and then slowly walk down the stairs.  When I give tours, I don’t normally take pictures, this time I had to, it’s not often one gets to go in the elevator and get a closer look at the amazing glass atrium ceiling.I only had my phone, although it does take good pictures, the distortion is much greater than a good solid camera.  In the middle of this photograph is the mechanism to open up the clerestory windows to get air circulation.The details!!! The glass is so well reinforced that in 120 years they have never replaced a pane. The decorative terra-cotta has an interesting design up here as well.What an engineering as well as design marvel this building is! As we walked around, Rachel approached us, she is director of Public relations for Berggruen Institute, a Think Tank that now occupies the whole south side of upper floor. She graciously invited us in.The office is still very sparse, they only recently moved in. I had heard of fireplaces in the offices. Here is one.How cool is this, with a wall between, these two are simply a two sided fireplace. Not functional anymore, but oh so beautiful.Another room had this beautiful exposed brick one. There were a few employees, as well as a lovely Golden retriever, sorry I didn’t get his picture.One of the office doors, looking back out to the landing. These are strong massive wood and literally, go from floor to ceiling.Another tall window, it may be a little hard to see how wavey the top pane of glass is. Glass isn’t a solid, it’s somewhere between solid and liquid and this 120 year old pane is getting the wave look old glass gets. This is because gravity is slowly dragging it down.Out on the landing, more wonderful details. Look at this firehose reel. Although it is no longer functional, they have kept these on display – once again, design and function working so well together. In the 1950’s one of the elevator operators was in the building late at night and fire did break out, she called the fire department and saved so much of this building.

Modern amenities have been added and are hidden in plain sight in these ducts, for the building to be used today, it needed modernization.

Beautiful woodwork, newel post, staircase, The Bradbury building
Beautiful woodwork, newel post, staircase, The Bradbury building
Looking down on the Lobby of the Bradbury Building
Looking down on the Lobby of the Bradbury Building
View from midlevel, The Bradbury Building
Vew from midlevel, The Bradbury Building

Ahh, the details! This staircase goes up to the roof and is off limits. More wonderful terra-cotta.Another newel post, this time cast iron.The floor, another beautiful element.
An angle only workers and visitors to the offices get to see.From one of the midlevel landings. This really is one of Los Angeles’ treasures.  One of the big payoffs for these years of volunteering was the ability to see more details of the wonderful landmark.

Leah

Brewery Artwalk revisited

I wasn’t sure I was going to go this spring, but I’m glad I did.I explored parts of the compound I hadn’t seen before. Always a fun thing to do.The ghost sign from Edison, this building was built in 1902 as the first Edison power plant west of the Mississippi.Tucked off in the corner is a workshop of innovators and builders of amazing things. I have to confess that I didn’t go see their installation, next time.This is the backside of the building, so maybe the building was built in 1894, or maybe most of the powerplant was added on later.

And now what is really cool, what is inside this large structure today. The Stronghold Climbing Gym, it is enormous, I am just sharing two images, it is probably the biggest indoor climbing facility around.You know me, I will take any chance I can get of taking pictures of the downtown skyline. From this angle the new Broad tower is invisible.

And then it was on to visiting friends and seeing their work.Teresa and Hawke in front of their Ascension quilt. Me too! I got into the fun. As did many of the visitors to this studio.  They are planning a series of quilts with the theme of wings.  I’ve watched this one being created on Instagram, was so much fun to see it in person.

And finally, the neighborhood, The southern tip of Lincoln Heights.Among the industrial and the freeway, old homes survive. Some like this one are well cared for.Or how about dressing up a small cottage with some Victorian flair?Then there is the old rundown Victorian, broken up into apartments. So this is how one uses the vestibule to create two private entrances. It is a large building, so it could be there more entrances were created on the sides or the back.

All in all, a good time, and yes, come fall, I’ll probably go back again.9

Leah

Bach at Union Station

Since 2010 Bach in Subways happens every March around Bach’s birthday. For the last few year Union Station in Downtown LA hosts a day-long event.

So it was time to grab Joel, hop on the subway all the way to the end of the line and enjoy free classical music in the beautiful 77-year-old Union Station building in downtown LA.The station was packed with people, some traveling and many others, like us, there to enjoy the music.333 years is a long time, the balloons were decorating the station, both inside and out.Oh look! There is a paper mache Bach!Someone with a Bach bag.

How about some actual music.

And some dance.

No, I cannot explain this Vaccaro with his stuffed pheasant, all I can say is, they both enjoyed the concert.No explanation for this tiger head either. It’s LA.This gorgeous half dome is atop the Patsaouras Plaza in Union Station, a newer addition to the complex.Kids from all over Los Angeles are learning music through the Harmony project and what great musicians they are.After some music, we went for a walk, a huge limousine pulled up in front, not sure if they were there for Bach or not.

We walked up through the Old Plaza where Mexican music was playing, took a look at the old Church and then down through Overa St. Joel remarked that he wonders when we are getting back on the cruise ship. These excursions can feel like a vacation.Past Chinatown to the new park at the old cornfield. Today it is Los Angeles State historic park. It needs to grow into itself, but it is lovely to have this park in a dense part of north Chinatown. People were enjoying the park and I had to get a picture of City Hall.

Then we walked through a very tight busy Chinese market, the counterpart to Olvera st. On t0 Phillipe, 110 years old and still serving the best French dip sandwiches.This time I even treated myself to banana cream pie, with real bananas. Then back through Union Station, where the finale concert was taking place in the old Ticket concourse. Down to the subway and home.

Have I mentioned that I love Los Angeles?

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Leah

The Freehand hotel

Another old commercial building that was turned into a hipster hotel.Looking at the website, I see there is a pool on the roof, but I didn’t go up there. Of course, I love all these cool details. The tile floor, the tile around the windows, the wonderful archway. The lobby is small, yet mighty.  Where Nomad used exuberant colors, things here are quiet and subdued, yet no less beautiful.The Bar! I have no doubt that all the tile work here is new since this used to be the lobby of an office building. How wonderful that the designer makes the new loos so old. Not just the tile, all that woodwork!From inside looking out at 8th st.This chair! I don’t know how comfortable it is. But the workmanship. There were at least two of these. Once again, I don’t know if the tile on the floor is original or not. I am in love with all the textures here.It feels like a British colonial club in India. Pay attention to the sign across the street, that intrigued me.If I just posted this image, you’d say, San Francisco. I do not know if the upstairs are still a hotel. The Golden Gopher is a modern take on the dive bar. Created in 2004, although the website does say that Teddy Roosevelt bought this building and had a bar here in 1905. Who knows?Right next door to the Golden Gopher is another old building. Hotel Bristol, which is no longer a hotel but low-income housing. What that means in LA, is newly arrived wanna be actors live here. This is what happens in LA, cheap, low-income housing doesn’t go to the low-income non descript workers in this city. It goes to the hipsters. I guess that is just how the market works in this city.  It’s not like we don’t have options, it’s just a question of who gets those living spaces.

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Leah

Nomad Hotel

I gave a tour downtown. Here’s some advice nobody wants. If you have trouble walking and rely heavily on a cane, please do not come to a walking tour that is over a mile long, includes hills and many stairs.  I had an organized group from Orange CA, three people could hardly walk. I felt very sorry for the other tour-goers, I couldn’t abandon the slow walkers, so the tour was very truncated. At the end, I left them at the Bradbury Bldg, they were to walk another 3 blocks to Cliftons, I noticed that the three stragglers were left behind, no-one cared to walk slowly anymore.

I rewarded myself by checking out some new hotels downtown.The Giannini building was built for the headquarters of the Bank of Italy back in the 1920s. It stood vacant for years. then it was purchased and turned into a luxury hotel. A few months ago, I was watching an episode of NCIS Los Angeles, and a murder occurred in the LA Athletic Club, which is right across the street, since this building was still under construction, they got permission to film in one of the rooms, abandoned and empty. I love it when I figure these things out.The building is an example of Beaux Arts, a beautiful example.I am so grateful that none of the exterior details were destroyed during the years of abandonment.I’m sure all the terra-cotta is from Gladding McBean. I don’t know who made the metal work, but I see it all over downtown.The side entrance is small, it’s easier for cars to stop on Olive St. rather than 7th. So the Valet is here.The lobby, in all it’s glory!  So many details are original. The furnishings are new and gorgeous. I want all those lush textiles!There is a bar and restaurant in the lobby, the place was full. Always look up!I so want this chair! The guys’ hat just adds to the colorfulness of it all.Right next door is the Whiskey Bar, Seven Grand, I bet their business has improved as well. Across the Street in Bottega Louie, 7th st is one of the liveliest streets downtown.

Even the Broad Tower, the tallest building downtown shines over 7th st. To be honest, It shines over everything.

In another post, another hotel.

Leah

Sky Space

This image isn’t mine. I found it online, although I see this building all the time, I haven’t photographed it.

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to the top, seeing all those incredible views. I figure. I better let you see what the building itself looks like. The US Bank building, The Library Tower or today as it is known, OUE.  This picture was taken before OUE bought the building and added the observation deck and slide. They are on the 69th floor, where the two outcroppings end, a few floors before the crown.Two elevator rides up and we are on the 70th floor. Looking down on the slide. My fear of heights prevented me from going down this.  Others in my group did it and enjoyed it. Well, maybe they didn’t enjoy it as much as they claimed……I was happy to have my picture taken with the angel wings. So why did this not scare me? Because it feels stable and solid. Because that thick glass is high and I don’t feel like I will fall. That slide is 100% glass, sitting, even for a moment on the glass would have freaked me out.

Inside the building, on the 54th floor, there is a shaft with mirrors and lights going down to the ground. It is covered with thick glass, I got dizzy peering over the edge. I know my limits. The views!  The day was so clear and bright, we had strong winds the day before. So the views were spectacular.  You know me, I have a whole collection of images of the Hollywood sign from all kinds of angles. How about this one! Or the Broad Tower, with views of Santa Monica bay beyond. This is now the tallest building west of the Mississippi. The US Bank tower is on higher ground. But if they stood side to side, the Broad would be taller, and not only because of the spire. But they don’t have an observation deck.Just looking south at the massive landscape of Los Angeles.Staples Center, the Convention center and the old Hotel Figueroa. Also the cross of the 10 and the 110 freeways.Looking down on buildings I only see from the ground. This is the gas flame of the Gas Company Tower. Built at same time as the US Bank building. Both bought air rights from the library, that money was used to renovate and expand the library. Next to it, well really across the street, is the Biltmore Hotel and in front of that, Pershing Square.On the other side, The Bonaventure Hotel. A law that was rescinded recently said that all buildings over a certain height in Los Angeles, have to have a helicopter pad. The number indicates the weight that can land.  The Broad was built after the law was changed, maybe now we’ll start to see more interesting rooflines on buildings.Look at a map of Los Angeles, the streets in downtown are slightly torqued, they don’t follow the north-south grid.  When the first design of Los Angeles was proposed by Lieutenant Ord, back in 1852, he followed the Spanish tradition of having the north facing streets be more to the Northwest, so that all angles would get more sunlight. I’m not sure that the Bank of America building is perfectly on the correct axis, but it is more so than all of its neighbors which makes it stand out like a sore thumb.  As the city grew, the streets returned to a north-south, east-west axis.City Hall looks so small from above. Beyond it, Union Station with the railroad tracks.The yellow brick building is the Bradbury Building. I have often looked up at the glass atrium. It’s large. Looking down at it, I realize how very large it really is.

For those of you who come on one of our conservancy tours, you will get a coupon to visit the Sky Space. Locals get a discount as well. Otherwise, it’s $25, another $8 for the pleasure of two seconds on the slide.

Leah

Brewery Artwalk

I really love LA, there is so much going on here and I only take advantage of a smidgen of it. Last year I missed this event, I’m very happy to have gone this year. Most of the artists do not want people taking pictures of their art, so I got my impressions of the Brewery complex. This sign is seen best from the freeway, I took this picture from the bridge that connects two buildings, so the angle isn’t great. visited here a year and a half ago and wrote up a post, I saw different things this time. I love the Art Deco facade of some of these buildings.Look at the view this artist has! The whole complex was full of people enjoying a lovely Southern CA fall day. Funny story, as I was leaving a gentleman asked me what is going on here, I told him it’s a free art show. He asked where the beer was. I had to laugh and explain that the complex was originally a powerplant, then the Pabst Beer company used it as a brewery and 30 years ago it became an artist colony. But, Barbara’s Brewery would be more than happy to sell him some beer if that was all he wanted.I should have taken the time to go up those stairs, each building is unique. Well, all this means is that I need to go back in spring for the spring artwalk.Quite a few of the artists have their homes/studios in lower industrial buildings, which gives them small patios as well. The interior courtyard of the Art Deco building, I love what they have done here, literally planted trees inside.Those who have access to the outdoors use it well. How could you not with the lovely weather we have here.Cats are popular here.

I had the pleasure of meeting Teresa Coates. Small world story, I listened to Abby Glasenburgs Podcast: While She Naps, this episode is an interview with Arvin Pairavi, owner of Shannon Fabrics. He mentions Teresa as education coordinater, we spoke for close to an hour. Having worked in that industry and her being a quilter – we had a lot to talk about. I’m sure our paths will cross again.  She will be at Quiltmarket next week and I am looking forward to seeing what she posts on Instagram.The interior hallways are fun as well, these are artists, after all, they are going to decorate their environments. Love the bright colors and the sign is cute.More hallway decoration.Here is an artist who encouraged photography. Patrick Guerre Arts, he is painting 10,000 of these hearts to raise awareness and to raise funds for his wife’s’ autoimmune disease. This project is called hearts for Gina. I love that he is using his art in a happy way to help his wife. Then I had the pleasure of meeting Andre Miripolsky. Mural by Miripolsky Elevator, Allied Crafts building Lobby Allied Crafts buildingI first saw his work 3 years ago in a lobby in DTLA. I reminded him of this building, took him a moment. He has been very busy painting much larger installations. What is really exciting is that he will be creating and LA Historama for the convention center. This will be fabricated by Judson Studios. I am so excited about this and I hope this comes to fruition. Here’s an article about his work and the plans for this mural.

This all happened on Saturday, Sunday will be a whole new post. Have I mentioned that I love LA?

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Leah

Japanese cultural village

Have I mentioned how much I love LA? Always something new to discover, often with the help of the Atlas Obscura.

On a gloomy Sunday in June, I went off the the Arts District downtown for an adventure.Waiting for everyone to arrive, I started taking pictures of the surrounding buildings. The Arts District is famous for it’s murals and street art. Little did I know that we were headed inside this building... to be greeted by 5000 square feet of this.Since this was an industrial building with high ceilings, Peter built an interior roof.Now we get to why I love cultural appropriation – as it is called today. (in my youth we just called it the melting pot and celebrated the fact that we were all welcome to share in one another’s culture). Peter Lai is a Chinese man from Hong Kong. For many years he was quite the flamboyant designer, once here in America, he left his family tradition of designing for Chinese theater and TV and designed high-end couture for a clientele in San Marino. He also developed a love for everything Japanese, especially the Kabuki theater.  So he built a miniature Japanese village in his loft. He is an avid collector, here showing us an old store register, listing the inventory and what has sold.Everywhere one looks there is stuff! I realized quickly that his inspiration is Japanese theater – not the sparse simple design we associate with Japan. In the fall he is going to take a practical exam to become an official Kabuki dancer. He has been dancing for 17 years, his Mentor is 95 years old, if he is going to pass his exam, he has to do it soon.A Temari ball caught my eye. He tends to collect many items, this was the only such ball that I saw.He did have a basket full of Darumas.  A few words about Kabuki, traditionally it was performed only by men, in the early 20th century it opened to women as well. Guess what happened? The men left, today there are hardly any male Kabuki dancers, so when Peter becomes official, he will be the first male Kabuki dancer in his studio in a very long time.

A few words about Kabuki, traditionally it was performed only by men, in the early 20th century it opened to women as well. Guess what happened? The men left, today there are hardly any male Kabuki dancers, so when Peter becomes official, he will be the first male Kabuki dancer in his studio in a very long time.In this space there is of course, a theater for performances, I think it can hold 45 people. In front of some of the seating cushions, were bento boxes wrapped in the Furoshiki technique, a delight for the textile crafter in me.Peter isn’t a purist, he is theatrical! Behind him is a Chinese opium bed. He is holding the original high heel shoe – for a man! Next to him is a Chinese garment, turns out he found the skirt but couldn’t find a matching top, so he removed the bands off the back of the skirt and incorporated them into a matching jacket. A purist would cringe, but for Peter, unless he is taking the Kabuki exam, anything goes. He has performed his dances for local audiences here, and as long as he doesn’t call it pure Kabuki, he feels he combine what he wants. I like his attitude!There is a dressing and makeup room, full of wigs, hair ornaments and face makeup. I zoomed in on the many combs used for the wigs. He even modeled a young man’s wig as well as an older mans’ wig. This one was gray and had a large bald spot on the top!I think Betty Boop loves her new costume!  Most of the kimonos he owns are for the theater, not street wear or even wedding kimonos. I could tell because of the garish colors and the heavy use of gold and silver thread. All this is very necessary on stage, but would be considered gauche in everyday life.From early teens until late 20s’ Peter worked in the family theatrical costume workshop. It was then sold and went out of business, so Peter has had to buy back costumes the family made. He should be a consultant on any production of Chinese movie made here in America, he knows the difference between all the dynasties and what they wore. While he still had his clothing store in San Marino, he would often remove such a dragon and put in on a lovely evening jacket.What a workroom! For him this is small, he no longer is making clothes but is still updating items and making a new costume here and there. He is selling off fabric, buttons, and trims.It was so nice to see a solid industrial Juki still at work.Anyone who visits the studio is welcome to buy one of his creations for a very steep discount.Just to show you how eclectic he is, this steampunk mask would sell for a very nice price!  I don’t think this was for sale.

 

 

 

Leah

Downtown at night

I’m usually downtown in the daytime, giving tours and seeing people using the share bikes.

But sometimes, one needs to go at night and how vibrant things can be when darkness falls.With the long days of spring and summer, six pm isn’t exactly dark. Grand  Park runs three blocks from the Music center up on Grand Ave, across Hill and Broadway down to City Hall on Spring st. These days many fun activities take place here. A food fair, both booths, and trucks, bars and entertainment took place this weekend. So we hopped on the subway and went to explore. There was a Mariachi band.Chinese dragon dancers. I really didn’t take any pictures of the food, we had some great middle eastern food. It was just fun walking around and people watching. LA is a real melting pot, no cultural appropriation – rather cultural sharing, everybody bringing their traditions and making them all American. This scene made my heart melt. Although it was pretty cool, the kids had no problem running through the fountain. A mom in her wheelchair got her daughter to push her and have her join the fun. I heard her say: this is the best Mother’s Day ever, I haven’t had so much fun!So what is George Washington doing in this park? He didn’t originate here since the park is only a few years old.I love the fact that once upon a time, this is what school children in Los Angeles did. Along with the women of the chamber of commerce.  This must have been in storage for a while, so nice that he is now part of a very busy park.I love the ‘new’ tradition of taking prom pictures at iconic sites in the city.  In front of Disney Hall.One girl took her date’s jacket, this other guy was much smarter. Along with his bright red suit, he wore a polar bear fur coat. Well, probably not made from a polar bear, but he was the only one who wasn’t freezing.But young women will put up with the cold to be beautiful. Can’t blame them, it’s all part of youth.Here is a cute couple, and yes, I am coveting her dress.Golden sunset lighting the Broad. My favorite part of this museum is the building itself. And there you have some California gold.

We continued down Hope street and down the Bunker Hill steps. I tried to capture some more pictures, but with the fading light, they didn’t come out well. We craned our necks up and Joel even saw someone going down the glass slide! The pyramid atop the library is beautiful when viewed from above.What I did capture was the lights in the fountain that runs along side the stairs. Light can make water so much more interesting.

As we walked along, some young men wished me a Happy Mother’s day. Earlier in the week a man in an elevator complimented my outfit and overall look. What can I say, I love this city!!

 

 

Leah