COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Bulgari, Serpent Tuboga, 1975. Courtesy of Bulgari.

The problem with good art is that it makes bad art look worse. Good design makes bad design implode by lack of ideas. Great execution brings out the clumsiness in everything else. Contemporary Bulgari designs pale by comparison to their early slithering predecessors. The latter are part of a small-scale curated exhibit at Bulgari’s flagship […]

Golden necklaces, 2012. Courtesy of Zolotas.

The story of the oldest luxury firm in Greece, Zolotas, resonates with me because the founding family came from my hometown in Central Greece, which the family’s two sons, Lambros and Efthimios, left for Athens. By the end of the 19th century, the Greek capital had made considerable strides in refinement and cosmopolitanism. While destined […]

Konstantinos Maleas. Attika, 1923. Collection of the Greek Parliament, Athens.

Empty storefronts and bankrupt businesses indicate the depths of the financial crisis in Greece.  Art sales that take place on Athenian sidewalks make the crisis even more palpable at least to those with a knowledge and sense of history. Parting with a beloved work of art, especially one from the promising period of the 1920s […]

Sissi Farassat's sequined work, courtesy of the artist.

  The magnificent setting of the Grand Palais did not make my stroll through Paris Photo, an institution in its 15th year already, any easier.  There were just too many distractions in the about 135 exhibitor booths, too many first encounters, too many old familiars, and too many provoking juxtapositions. The leading photography fair had […]

Salvador Dali's brooch. Courtesy of the Museum of Art & Design.

The pantheon of 20th century artists is currently housed at the second floor of the Museum of Art and Design, where guest curator Diane Venet organized an exhibit that features over 180 pieces of jewelry. Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Max Ernst, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois are just a few […]

Stephanie Seymour by Patrick Demarchelier, Courtesy of ICP

While it is to Harper’s Bazaar Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey’s credit that she did, in fact, come to New York City to take her post at the famed magazine the day after September 11, her work during the following decade is not anchored in that event. It is rather a continuation of a long tradition at […]

"Mimosa" high boot. Design by Vivier. Emroidery by Lesage.

French auction house Aguttes, in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine has announced the auction sale of about 400 rare lots from the private collection of shoe designer Roger Vivier. The lots include the designer’s sketches and prototypes for unique creations made for celebrities, including Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, John Lennon, and Cary Grant.  The bidding […]

Hill-Stead (book cover, courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press)

  My memory of my fist visit to Hill-Stead in Farmington, CT some ten years ago is a blur between patches of bright yellow passing me at great speed outside the car window and timid bluish, whitish, and purple dots sprinkled all over. It was spring. My journey from Northwestern CT to Farmington, further east, […]

Bjork in Pom Pom Hat (Hat on display at the BGC)

Ever wondered what it takes to make a hat? Stephen Jones, the world’s foremost hat designer, in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London organized the exhibit Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones, currently on view at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC) in New York (September 15, 2011 to April 15, 2012). While […]