Friday, May 29, 2009

Functional Porcelain Look-a-likes

Mr. Peacock loves porcelain pieces that replicate or mimic everyday objects. They can be strictly decorative, but if they’re functional—that’s even better!

I acquired this little teapot/coffee pot, that mimics a moka pot, last year. It's perfect for two cups of tea.

I love these porcelain faux boots (5.75"w x 15"h x 10.5"d) created by the talented Czech artist and designer, Maxim Velcovsky of Qubus studio! They’re pictured as a left and right boot; however, you can only purchase a left boot. A big bunch of peonies would look fantastic in a boot vase.

They remind me of a pair of Wellies or old Frye boots.

Of course, I like the white porcelain boot vase the best, but this glossy black porcelain boot vase is very cool too. The porcelain boot with the blue pattern reminds me of Dutch Delftware.

These mugs, Bird in the Bush cups, don't mimic everyday objects, but they're very clever. When they’re stacked, they look like a "tree branches" with a bird. The bird also comes in pink, although, I wish it was available in white.

These porcelain "Happy Dishes" dishes make me smile—especially the lidded dish that looks like croissant!
For these breakfast dishes, Tina Roeder, the designer, was inspired by children and her friends. These days, anything that puts a smile on my face is all right with me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hooray for Epaulettes

Mind you, Mr. Peacock is not keen on war, however I appreciate the design of military and police uniforms...

...particularly anything with epaulettes.

When I was in college, my mother found me an amazing vintage policeman’s shirt with epaulettes. It quickly became my favorite shirt. I had that shirt for over a decade, and whenever I wore it—people often mistook it as a designer piece.

My vintage cop shirt was cotton (similar to the shirt style-above right), but most of the new uniform shirts are a poly blend. I love the police uniforms in Italy! I tried to acquire one, but had no luck (FYI—I'm 42 regular, size medium, 32" waist).

Above, from left to right: Phillip Lim, Conference of Birds, and Michael Kors.

Many fashion designers borrow military uniform elements and incorporate them into their garments. I think epaulettes, or "little shoulders," flatter most men’s body types, by giving the appearance of broader shoulders.

Mr. Peacock loves the Spring 2009 collection of Apolis Activism—aptly called, Defend Tomorrow. It’s sort of a preppy vibe, with military touches. I really like the blue and mustard colors together.

This blue and red plaid shirt, with epaulettes, would be perfect for this spring.

In addition to the military inspired epaulettes, this grey shirt by Public School, has an interesting buttoned collar.

This denim military inspired shirt is very handsome too.

Dolce & Gabbana featured decorative shoulder epaulettes on gingham and striped shirts.

You can also find many great vintage inspired pieces with epaulettes and military styling, like this gingham shirt, and corduroy jacket.

Here’s a shot of my dad (second from the right), from the Korean War, sporting a jacket with epaulettes.

I focused on shirts, but there are many great outerwear pieces with epaulettes too.

What do you have in your wardrobe with epaulettes?


...but optimistic.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Land & Sea goodies...

(click image above to enlarge)

In junior high school, my favorite store was called Land & Sea, it carried all sorts of seashells, nautical stuff, preserved bugs, driftwood, rocks and odd ephemera. I’d spend hours there picking out the perfect seashell or rock to buy. Paxton Gate, a favorite shop near where I currently live, has a similar vibe to Land & Sea—but with plants and taxidermy.

Here’s my wish list of goodies that pay homage to the land and the sea:

1) Mr. Peacock loves this Witches Kitchen Spurk (spoon/fork/point) designed by Tord Bootje. It looks like something from a fairy tale or Hobbit’s kitchen. They’re produced by skilled artisans in undeveloped countries—using environmentally friendly materials. Order one here.

2) This elegant, Rexford Mirror, looks like it’s right out of an enchanted forest. It’s also made by artisans, using Pine scales collected from Californian forests. The mirror portion has a black speckled antique finish—it would be dramatic in an entryway. Order one here.

3) Hand tumbled abalone shells create the base of this chic Del Mar Table Lamp, inspired by Tony Duquette. More information here.

4) Mr. Peacock loves stools, ottomans and poufs of any sort! These nautical looking poufs are at the top of my current wish list. The Large Urchin Pouf is hand knitted in the Netherlands, using 100% wool from New Zealand. It also comes in some nice colors too—more information here. The Flax Ottoman, looks like a ball of string for a giant. Order one here.

5) I'm also enchanted with these porcelain, Coral inspired Vases. I have two similar white ones, that hold around 50 stems, in my living room. I put tiny colored tree ornaments on them at Christmas time (see right). The large vase hold 50 flowers stems, while the small vase holds 10. I’m not sure which I like better—the white or silver vases?

6) Opening beer at summer barbecues would be fun with this Pescado Bottle Opener. Buy one here.

7) This beautiful and functional Acacia Wood Twist Stool would also make a handsome occasional table. The color and grain of each stool is completely unique. Order one here.

8) These curvy and bulbous Teak Candlesticks really highlight the beautiful variegated grain of the wood. A grouping of them would add some graphic punch to any room. Order a few here.

9) Protect your furniture surfaces from wet-bottomed drinks with beautiful cut Brazilian Agate Coasters. They come in a set of four different stones. In ancient times, agate was thought to possess incredible virtues, protecting its guardians and bringing pleasant dreams to its owners. Buy a set here.

Whether you were at the beach, the park, or just lounged in your own backyard—Mr. Peacock hopes everyone had a relaxing Memorial Weekend, and took a moment to reflect on our veterans. Have a great week.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Indian Style Lemonade

Mr. Peacock is very fortunate to have a wonderful produce store, called Golden Produce, in my neighborhood. They always stock reasonably priced organic produce, and much of it is grown locally. Right now they have oodles of small, Meyer lemons.

Growing up in the Midwest, I never tasted a Meyer lemon until I lived in California. Meyer lemons are always described as a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange. I actually think they taste sweeter than a regular lemon, and a bit herbal.

The organic Meyer lemons at Golden Produce have very tender skins and sweet juice. I substitute Meyer lemons, whenever a recipe calls for lemons, and it always makes even the simplest recipe extraordinary!

Last weekend, we had another abnormal heat wave (it's becoming a regular thing) with the temperatures in the 90’s in San Francisco. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky either. Unfortunately when it’s that hot, our apartment gets just as hot inside. As the saying goes….when life gives you lemons—make lemonade. So to quench our thirst from the heat, I made a batch of lemonade, and not just any lemonade either, but Indian Style lemonade—Nimbu Ka Sharbat.

Mr. Peacock loves Indian food, both eating and cooking it. There’s so many variations of recipes for every dish, so it’s an endless journey learning how to cook Indian cuisine. I picked up a little book called, Indian in Minutes by Monisha Bharadwaj, that has simplified, but not Americanized, Indian recipes. I particularly like these recipes from the book: Squash with five spices, cauliflower korma, and the Indian lemonade. The lemonade is so simple, yet very flavorful and thirst quenching...and, I used my vintage milk glass citrus reamer to juice the citrus fruits.

Indian Style Lemonade
Makes 2 servings
This recipe is so simple, but the flavor is very sublime!

1/2 cup of lemon juice (I used a combination of Meyer lemons, limes, and oranges)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons of salt (yes salt!)
1/2 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups cold water

Combine all of the ingredients, making sure the sugar dissolves. Add the cold water. Serve in glasses, filled with ice. Enjoy!

Mr. Peacock wonders if Indian lemonade was the inspiration for Gatorade. I’ve never been a fan of Gatorade though—too sweet, too salty, and too artificially colored. Indian lemonade is much more about the flavors. The addition of salt and pepper may seem strange, however, they subtly accentuate the flavor of the citrus juice. If you’re fortunate to have access to Meyer lemons, use those, but regular lemons are also good. Treat yourself this weekend and make some homemade lemonade!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Bespectacled Peacock in Manhattan

Kwannam Chu is a gentleman peacock, originally from Hong Kong, that resides on the island of Manhattan. He's a creative director, photographer, and writes for magazines. His personality and style absolutely glow on his charming and beautiful blog—We Could Grow Up Together. Kwannam also makes the color green look so chic and modern—whether he's wearing green shoes, green shorts, or green shirts!

Mr. Peacock: How would you describe your own style?
Kwannam Chu: I’d say Prepster meets East Village.

MP: How old were you when you realized you were a peacock?
KC: The first time I went into a Japanese department story, when I was like 4 or 5—I knew I loved fancy.

MP: What's your favorite item in your wardrobe?
KC: My Glasses.

MP: Are you obsessed with a particular item of clothing?
KC: Glasses. Glasses. And Glasses. Just bought a new pair (above) before answering these questions. They are from Selima Optique.

MP: Do you wear vintage clothes or only "new" clothes?
KC: Both. I love the adventures I have at flea markets. Ebay too. Also, new stuff—simply from everywhere.

MP: Do you make any of your clothes?
KC: Nope. Never did.

MP: Who is your style icon?
KC: Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisited. Gene Kelly. Ashely Olsen (above left), Stephen Tennant, Antony Baekeland (above right) in the movie Savage Grace.

Above: A paperweight weight from Michele Varian—rests on Kwannam's journal.

MP: Who or what has influenced your style?
KC: Real people on the streets. Characters from fiction or fairy tales. The cinema. Magazines. Old photographs and paintings...

MP: Has any song or movie influenced your style?
KC: Movies! My Own Private Idaho. Savage Grace. Brideshead Revisited (both the TV series and the movie), Son of Rambow. Is anybody there? Le Balloon Rouge.

MP: Do you have a favorite menswear designer or brand?
KC: Band of Outsiders. Engineered Garments. Freemans Sporting Club (above).

Above: Mr. Peacock loves Kwannam's shoe collection!

MP: Do you wear any jewelry?
KC: Lapel pins on my blazers.

MP: Tote bag, satchel or briefcase?
KC: Totes and MURSES! I am known for my murses.

MP: What would be your dream purchase right now?
KC: I wanna buy the whole Manhattan!

Above: Mr. Chu dashing in Mr. Peacock's old neighborhood—Soho, NY.

MP: Any sartorial disasters you can share?
KC: I do not think there would never be any sartorial mistakes or disasters, as long as you are confident with your decision and yourself, nothing is ever wrong.

Above: A stunning image from Esquire-Hong Kong, by Kwannam Chu.

MP: Any menswear trends you adore? or abhor?
KC: I am so over trends these days. But I really wanna to see every man out there to have more respect or spent more efforts and hearts on dressing decently. I always believe, if I couldn’t make this world a better place, I can at least make it a prettier by looking a bit nicer.

Above: A new pair of green driving shoes from Massimo Dutti.

MP: What city has the best-dressed men?
KC: It not a geographic location, more like a time issue, I think gentlemen in the past dressed way nicer.

MP: What are your favorite fashion magazines or blogs?
KC: I like the old INTERVIEW back in the Warhol days. Man About Town, Teen Vogue, and 10 Men...are my religious reads.

Above: Vintage Interview Magazine, and Le Balloon Rouge.

MP: Do you plan what you're wearing the evening before or spontaneously select something in the morning?
KC: A little bit of both.

MP: What do you do for a living?
KC: I strive to be better, at everything!

Mr. Peacock is completely enchanted with Kwannam Chu's panache and talent. Stop by his blog, and also take a look at his eloquent photography—you're in for a treat. Thanks Kwannam!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blog Tagged

Mr. Peacock was blog "tagged" by The Vintager, so now I'm it:

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.
2. Tag eight other un-tagged people.

What is your current obsession?
The striped Elisabet and Berit fabric collections at IKEA, lemon/ginger donuts, and Elderflower liqueur.

What do you see outside your window?

If you could have any super power what would it be?
To heal all illnesses.

What is your favorite color?
I like the whole wheel!

Who was the last person you hugged?
My boyfriend Jason.

Which animal would you be?
A pegasus.

What’s for dinner?
I made Indian food, but I bought the Naan bread.

What’s the last thing you bought?

What are you listening to right now?

The Horrors—Primary Colours

What are your current favorite films?

Don and Chris—A love story,

Let the Right One In.

What’s on your beside table?
A dusty alarm clock.

If you could have a house totally paid for, and fully furnished, anywhere in the world, where would it be?
In San Francisco, where I live right now—a home similar to the style of Shangri La, with an interior courtyard, multiple gardens, a few goats and chickens...and completely furnished with new and vintage Italian furniture and housewares (mixed with my current stuff).

What would you like to have in your hands right now?
The keys and deed to the totally paid home (see above).

What is your favorite children's book?
A Cricket in Times Square and The Twenty-One Balloons.

What is your favorite tea flavor?
Black Lychee. It’s a strong black tea—it's very aromatic and of course smells like lychees. I also like very strong brewed Earl Grey tea—iced, with a bit of cream and sugar.

What is your favorite article of clothing?
My vintage faux suspenders shirt—it's appliqué and embroidery on chambray, and my C.P. Company tweed jacket.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Any five star hotel—order room service, draw a bath, and pop in my Horrors cd.

What did you want to become as a child?
An artist, travel agent, or radio dj.

What posters/pictures do you have on your bedroom wall?
We have a very small bedroom without any artwork or photos hung on the walls. I have a fear of things falling on top of us, while we’re asleep, during an earthquake.

What is your plan for tomorrow?
Well, my “metaphorical” plan for tomorrow is to “spring clean” the apartment.

What was your first job?
Working for my dad, during the summers and weekends, at his golf pro shop. I think I started when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I would take tee-time reservations, light bookkeeping, get my dad coffee in the restaurant kitchen in the club, and pick-up golf balls on the driving range.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you:
Hi J.B.—oh my gosh, I could have just put "ditto" after many of your answers (Kate Bush, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and on and on...)! I'd love to spend a Saturday afternoon together hanging out and vintage shopping. The Bob Mackey photo is amazing! By the way, your place and garden look lovely!

Post a favorite childhood photo:
My mom and me...and I just learned how to wink.

Mr. Peacock Tagged:
The Adventures of Tartan Scott
The Bedlam of Beefy
Lenore Never More
Mean Dirty Pirate
Night is Half Gone
Nomads and Housewives
Planet Fabulon

"Tag" someone in your life; ask them some questions, and find out something you didn't know about them!