21.05.2013 § Leave a Comment
We will be meeting many, many people at NeoCon this year. I’ve been going in and out of the Merchandize Mart nearly a third of my life; this NeoCon I will probably meet more people than the sum of all the past years combined. At least I hope so.
NeoCon feels like a big party for our industry. I once heard a young party-loving girl say, “to go to a party is to see and be seen.” That “to be seen” part was new to me since I have never thought that way. In this case, to open a new showroom on the 10th floor of the Merchandise Mart is for sure an action “to be seen.”
There is a sense of confidence in taking this stride. It is important enough to benchmark Brentano’s history. We are excited about the opportunity to exhibit our style—yet nervous about the amount of work we have to put in to reach our goals. I am sure there is hard work ahead of us from here on out, but this leap will strengthen our capacity to design. I shall open my arms to greet the challenge, or I shall wither with the comfort of an easy career.
02.05.2013 § Leave a Comment
I don’t know when people stopped learning how to sew. I guess when ready-to-wear became a common thing, maybe after World War II? I wonder how many young people nowadays know how to do the simplest sewing?
During my childhood, when I visited my grandparents with my siblings and cousins, we would run around their house playing like wild kids. One time my grandmother held me down to show me how to sew up a split pair of pants. She showed me the step-back stitch, a stitch technique that would make a strong seam. I was fascinated and learned it with great interest. That was my only official sewing lesson, but I still use the technique whenever I need something firmly sewn.
The other day I was mumbling that I needed to buy another pair of winter trousers, the kind made of wool with a lining to keep me warm in the coldest winter. My husband went to my other closet and pulled out a whole bunch of trousers and asked me what I was planning to do with those. « Read the rest of this entry »
09.04.2013 § Leave a Comment
Only recently did I learn that at one time Isamu Noguchi was married to Li Xianglan, a woman with a fascinating life. This knowledge came as a shock to me, or almost like regret, because Li Xianglan was such a legend and such a prominent figure during my childhood. She was a very famous singer and movie star during my mother’s youth. My mother was her diehard fan and would sing her songs and talk about her all the time. There were no pictures of her in those years because of her mysterious status and I always wondered, how beautiful could she be? What happened to her after she left China? I did not know that she had a long career after she left China using two different names, Yoshiko Yamaguchi and Yoshiko Ōtaka.
03.04.2013 § Leave a Comment
1) Unlike some of the faux leathers on the market that use polyurethane resin made for the fashion industry, our polyurethane products are designed for the furniture industry. The resin formula is designed to last and stay in good condition for a long time compared to products that are made for fashion purposes which will deteriorate in a few years.
2) Our polyurethane faux leather is uniquely designed and colored by the Brentano Design Studio and marketed only by the Brentano brand. The soft hand, color, pattern and luster are outstanding, and the function of our faux leather goes beyond what real leather can do. « Read the rest of this entry »
18.03.2013 § Leave a Comment
A color combination I am working on these days. After more than 10 years in vogue for interiors, it is not a new color, but it seems to persist, showing up with different twists from era to era. I am still fond of this morning blue with cream.
05.03.2013 § Leave a Comment
During the New Year’s holiday, I visited the Smart Museum at Chicago University. There was a small sculpture by Isamu Noguchi entitled Iron Wash, a classic Noguchi piece which made me feel as if I were meeting up with an old friend.
Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and critically acclaimed sculptors. He is my role model for artistry. His work, at once subtle and bold, traditional and modern, has lyrical and emotional expressiveness with an aura of mystery.
I have visited his museum in Long Island City, bought books about him and read about his life. The knowledge that such a great artist once existed is an ecstasy that brings tears to my eyes. « Read the rest of this entry »
15.02.2013 § 2 Comments
I bought this antique lacquer in a small antique store for china and lacquer ware in Kyoto. The store was so small, the aisles so narrow that I felt like I was knocking things off the shelf with every turn or movement. Especially with bulky coats, etc. Anyway, this lacquer ware caught my eye. The color has such elegance and depth that a plastic imitation cannot reproduce.
I used to call this orangish red color “Ming red,” meaning the red color of the Ming Dynasty red lacquer. Some of the rare Song Dynasty lacquer ware I have seen in museums may not look that different to an untrained eye, but their colors are even more elegant and have more depth. The Song Dynasty was about 1000 years ago while the Ming Dynasty existed during the 1500′s. Is it because the older an object becomes, the more patina it develops? Or that the ancient artists had better taste? It is neither. It is because … please guess.