Monday, August 31, 2009

"Cali" Elegance—Jason Schwartzman

Mr. Peacock has been a huge fan of actor, musician, and gentleman peacock Jason Schwartzman, since seeing him portray Max Fischer in the film 1998 film Rushmore (below).

Jason Schwartzman has had roles in many of my favorite films including: Darjeeling Limited (below), Spun, and Shopgirl. I have to admit, I even enjoyed Marie Antoinette.

On and off camera, Jason Schwartzman exudes a casual, American elegance. At 5’6’ tall, he understands the importance of well-fitted, tailored clothing.

Mr. Peacock likes the quirky little pins Jason Schwartzman likes to wear on his blazers.

Long hair, short hair, scruffy, clean-shaven or bearded—Jason looks well-groomed.

And he always looks effortlessly stylish—whether he is wearing a rumpled oxford shirt and jeans, a suit with a tie, or just a t-shirt and jeans.

This native Californian was destined to be an actor (and have style)—he’s part of the Coppola clan.

Above: Maybe Jason likes owls?

His Mom is actress Talia Shire (Coppola), his uncle is Francis Ford Coppola, and his cousins include Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola.

His HBO series, Bored to Death, premieres September 20th (above). Jason plays an amateur detective in this upcoming “noir-otic” comedy. He reminds Mr. Peacock of a modern-day Peter Sellers. I hope the script of Bored to Death is as good as the cast, and costumes.

Above: You can order a Coconut Records tote bag or t-shirt here.

In addition to his acting talent, this peacock is a musician too. His current solo music project is called Coconut Records. The debut album by Coconut Records, Nighttiming, was released on Schwartzman’s Young Baby Records in 2007.

His sophomore album, Davy, was released this past January (Microphone, above video, from Davy CD). He also performs the musical score in his new film, Funny People.

This peacock is also a newlywed. He married clothing designer, Brady Cunningham, earlier this year.

They have an adorable French bulldog—Arrow (named after Harry Nilsson’s song “Me and My Arrow”). Arrow has a cameo in the Microphone video above.

Jason Schwartzman also posed for the Band of Outsiders Fall Collection look book, which was photographed with a Polaroid camera by Band of Outsider’s designer Scott Sternberg.
Many of the shots were taken on Chung King Road in L.A.’s Chinatown, a nod and homage to Sternberg’s inspiration for this collection—the 1967 Jean-Luc Godard film La Chinoise.

Both Jason and the Band of Outsider’s Fall Collection shine in all of the shots!

Mr. Peacock loves this image with parasols. Jason is wearing a wool patchwork suit, Sea Island cotton shirt, oxford cloth bow tie, and flannel boat shoes.

This wool patchwork windbreaker is brilliant...and of course Jason makes it look casually elegant.

Mr. Peacock salutes this Californian peacock for his talent and effortless style. Thanks Jason Schwartzman!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Shoot that poison arrow

(click image above to enlarge)
Let Cupid give your home a touch of decoration with some arrows...and just a touch of Neoclassicism. Here’s Mr. Peacock’s wish list of arrow goodies that even Psyche could love.

1) This vintage French gilt metal sconce with an arrow piercing the sun (one of a set of four) could add a touch drama in your home.

2) In the early 1990’s, Mr. Peacock resided at 72nd & Lexington in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. On nice days I would walk to my office near Bloomingdales. I would always pass by Gino’s Italian restaurant at 61st & Lexington and admire their iconic custom wallpaper—zebras leaping to avoid arrows (poor zebras). This zebra wallpaper was re-issued a few tears ago and comes in a few different color ways. Kate Spade has the green background wallpaper in her bathroom.

3) You don’t have to shoot zebras to appreciate the craftsmanship of these handmade arrows. A pair of arrows hung on the wall would make a graphic piece of art, or a vase full of arrows would make a chic decorative quiver.

4) If I had a yard, I would love some type of armillary sphere to hold court in my garden.

5) Mr. Peacock is swooning over this 1940’s metal chair (one of a pair) oozing with swags of decoration...and arrows.

6) Tripod arrow tables aren’t something new, however, this Golden Arrow Table has a fresh and modernist feel with the glass top.

7) X marks the spot with this 1940’s opaline topped wrought iron console adorned with Neoclassical arrows.

8) The arrows are pointing downward on this sleek 1960's polished brass tripod table (one of a pair), with a black marble top. It has a different vibe than the glass topped tripod table, but just as appealing.

9) You don’t have to limit your arrows to home décor. This graphic silver ring by Martin Margiela is pointing in the right direction.

10) A super soft t-shirt from Built by Wendy, with her iconic arrow logo.

11) When Mr. Peacock was about 12 years old, I was at a bus stop downtown with my sister and a group of shirtless 20-something guys were playing Frisbee nearby. Their Frisbee landed near us, and one fellow came over to retrieve the Frisbee. He said hello to us, and I immediately noticed his nipple was pierced with a tiny gold arrow. Mind you this was decades before piercing went mainstream, I’d never seen a pierced nipple until that moment and it fascinated me at 12 years old.

Watch out for Cupid! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Drawn to Cities…part 2

Mr. Peacock is looking forward to the release of the book, The City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York (thanks Abbie for the heads up!). The release date is November, but you can order a copy here.

Above: The view from Mikhail Baryshnikov's New York window.

The book is a collection of drawings by architect, illustrator, and author Matteo Pericoli (below) of window views of various New York inhabitants.

Each enchanting drawing is accompanied by a comment from the “owner” about their window view.

This is Nora Ephron's view of New York City from her window. I can imagine Ms. Ephron in front of her window thinking about the script for Julie & Julia.

The view from Graydon Carter's window.

Mr. Percoli has other amazing books including Manhattan Unfurled (above).

A detail from The East Side of Manhattan Unfurled.

Each time Mr. Peacock makes a pilgrimage to Ikea, I’m always in awe of the designs by Sissi Edholm & Lisa Ullenius (above). These talented graphic designers have a design studio, Edholm Ullenius, based in Stockholm, Sweden. There clients include Ikea, Absolut Vodka and Paul Smith.

Of course Mr. Peacock likes their illustration of city buildings (for Bookbinders Design).

You can’t walk through Ikea without seeing their charming work—including the 100% Cecilia fabric above—which only $5.99 a yard.

And I love their drawings of birds, including the pair above (also for a Bookbinders Design).

Another talented illustrator is Maija Louekari (above). Her clever work is featured in the upcoming book, Illusive-Contemporary Illustration Part 3.

Her iconic Hetkiä/Moments pattern (2003) for Marimekko, captures a "moment" in a city. The pattern is available on fabric and house-ware items (including the latte cups above, and tea towels).

Maija's Kippis drawing is available as a tray (above)—which would be perfect for serving cocktails on in any city! This "cheers" design is also on tea towels!

Mr. Peacock is drawn to these line drawings for their humanist qualities. They look like they were thoughtfully created by hand with pencils, pens, and paper (like my vintage cityscape contact paper )—and not created on a computer (although they could have been, and that's okay too). My point is, the heart and soul of these line drawings come from their creators, and that is what makes them so special in this age of high-speed technology. Mr. Peacock salutes these talented illustrators and artists!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Drawn to Cities…part 1

Mr. Peacock found 2 rolls of contact paper (see below) in my grandmother LaViolette's basement, after she moved to a nursing home. She was “green” before green even became a term. She saved and recycled everything—never wasting anything.

I was immediately attracted to the quaintly stylized buildings all crammed together. It reminds me of a cross between a street in Brooklyn and lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan—which I find somewhat comforting. I’m not sure where she got this charming 1960’s cityscape contact paper, or why she never used it. The paper has “CB” drawn into the design, but I don't think it's a reference to Crate & Barrel—for all I know it could have come from Woolworth’s.

I first used it to line my medicine cabinet in my bathroom. Then I decided to make oversized Xeroxes of the leftover contact paper, and I used it to line all of my kitchen cabinets doors (above).

When I first spotted the contact paper it reminded me of Mr. Fornasetti's work—like this wood screen...

...or this Mediterranea wallpaper from the Cole and Sons Fornasetti Collection.

These charming cotton Piazza sheets have a similar vibe too.

Mr. Peacock likes the contrast of yellow added to the black lines of this cotton canvas cityscape shower curtain with soaring skyscrapers.

These tea towels, with line drawings of London landmarks, are striking with a modern punch of color.

Mr. Peacock is quite fond of line drawings. It doesn’t matter what the subject is, although, cities and buildings are quite appealing. I’ll share more of my line drawing favorites tomorrow. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Peacock in London...

Barima is a dapper peacock who resides in London. He chronicles his personal wardrobe building and sartorial sensibilities on his blog, Style Time.

Mr. Peacock: How would you describe your own style?

Barima: “Offbeat formality”—an idiosyncratic interpretation of traditional Western gentleman's dress.

Mr. P: What's your favorite item in your wardrobe? 

Barima: A double-breasted dark blue Lanvin suit with white pinstripes handed down from my father.

Above: Barima proudly wearing his Junya Wantanabe jacket with panache.

Mr. P: Do you have a particular item of clothing you're obsessed with? 

Barima: I'd say odd jackets and sport coats—a variety in those particular pieces allows me to cycle my looks rather effectively.

Above: Summer elegance ala Barima style.

Mr. P: Do you wear vintage clothes or only "new" clothes?

Why not both? I follow certain contemporary fashion collections and purchase their offerings through discounts. I'm also committed to second hand and vintage shopping, I inherit some very well kept garments from my father dating back to the early 1980s, and I also throw in the odd attractive piece from high street stores, which I believe are referred to as "mall brands" in America.

Above: Barima customized his Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcon Spring/Summer 2008 (at left) bright pastel safari jacket (made of recut Lacoste polo shirts) and dyed it a more versatile purple (at right).

Mr. P: Do you make any of your clothes?

Barima: I don't, but I've begun customizing various pieces with my friends, as occasionally detailed at Style Time. I'm also learning to sew in order to replace buttons and make minor repairs. I may just undertake a clothes-constructing course, since various people keep intimating that I should.

Above: Style time—Barima channeling Fred Astaire while clubbing.

Mr. P: Who or what has influenced your style?

Barima: My father, the "Gilded Age" of the early 20th century, the 1970s, the 1980s, Doctor Who and any particularly egregious errors made by hipsters, celebrities and pop stars using traditional clothes—I love a cautionary tale.

Above: Junya Watanbe's Spring/Summer 2008 collection particulary struck a chord with Barima—it's his ideal summertime aesthetic.

Mr. P: Do you have a favorite menswear designer or brand?

Barima: Junya Watanabe. He focuses on a different male archetype each and every season, but the subtle adjustment in his collections of late in presenting similar-but-different visions of gentlemen has indicated an emphasis on wardrobe building that is always key to developing a style.

Mr. P: Tote bag or satchel?

Barima: A Billingham camera bag.

Mr. P: What would be your dream purchase right now? 

Barima: Anything from Stefano Pilati's Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Autumn/Winter 2008 collection—a celebration and reinvigoration of the playboys and mods of the 1960s and '70s is always going to appeal to me (see above).

Mr. P: Any sartorial disasters you can share?

Barima: Plenty, I'm certain. My grunge phase as a teen in the 90s morphed into a geek phase and then into a hip hop phase, although the last one was at least more accurate to the source material than the others. And shoot me if I ever wear open shirts exposing t-shirts underneath them with bright coloured cords again.

Mr. P: Any menswear trends you adore or abhor?

Barima: As a man of an allegedly athletic build, the skinny trend is deeply irritating and its ubiquity is pretty dull. When the stars align in the correct manner, I'll have trousers custom made so that I can give certain older pairs a rest and continue to walk in comfort.

I'm pleased that smart garments are still produced, but they're worn so haphazardly by the masses. Terrible jeans and sport coat ensembles; fellows trying to make scarves out of neckties; the prevalence of square-toed shoes, even by people you'd expect to know better. It all makes for amusing people watching.

Mr. P: Has any film or song influenced your style?

Barima: A great many! Iconically speaking, Michael Jackson's promo video and Motown 25 performances of Billie Jean; Fred Astaire in Shall We Dance and Easter Parade in particular (see video below); James Brown's live shows; When We Were Kings; the original The Thomas Crown Affair; The Bitch, which stars Joan Collins; videos of 1960s bands such as the Kinks (see montage video above); The Great Gatsby, and too many to mention from the future-kitsch, hyper produced and heavily eclectic music genre of Japanese picopop.

Above: A fella with an umbrella!
Mr. Peacock is inspired by Barima's flair to pull together his stylish wardrobe with his own panache (and look fantastic in a fuller cut pant too). Be sure to stop by Style Time to see more of Barima's flair and musings. Thanks Barima!