Lifestyles With Lauren

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Jewelry

The Fabulous Alan Anderson

Late last year I had a great time interviewing for Lifestyles With Lauren the tremendously talented jewelry designer, Alan Anderson from his studio in Toronto, Canada.

Alan is one of my most favorite jewelry designers ever – like ever.  His artistry is poetry to me.  His jewelry inspires me, and I feel elevated when I wear his creations.  What I appreciate most about Alan’s designs is the fearlessness and audacity he has to create such elegant, one-of-a-kind treasures. 

Forget “less is more”, because with Alan, “more is more” – and sometimes more is just, well, better! Alan, the artist, paints himself with words when he says, “I’m a self-professed “maximalist living in a minimal world”! See now, I totally get that, and perhaps why his handmade statement pieces speak to me as they do.

Think back to a time when movie stars were as glamorous as royalty.  Now refashion that to today’s woman.  She’s an exciting, confident woman who wants to stand out and, God forbid, not blend in.

But how, you ask, do we wear this kind of jewelry?  Should we save it for the ball?  Hardly, my darlings!  I like to team my Alan Anderson jewelry with torn jeans and heels!  Because there are no rules!

Hands down my most favorite piece is Alan’s “cab hailer”.  It’s so…fabulous, what can I say?  I just love how the name came to be.  Check it out…

Alan discovered that Elizabeth Taylor was a collector of his jewelry line when a bracelet of his was slated to be included in Christie’s 4th of 7 catalogs of Miss Taylor’s items up for auction.  In addition, Katy Perry, wore his broach on the cover of Italian Vogue, and one of his necklaces in her fragrance video when she was dressed as Marie Antoinette.  Other celebs include Drew Barrymore, Viola Davis, Rose Byrne, and Blake Lively.

For more information on Alan Anderson visit his website here.

Categories
Art

The Wonderful World of Hunt Slonem

Photo Credit: Brandon Schulman

It was a privilege and quite an honor to interview on Lifestyles With Lauren one of my most-favorite-in the-world painters, Hunt Slonem, from his Brooklyn art studio.  Back in the day when I was publicist for Vanier Galleries in Scottsdale, Hunt was one of our most celebrated artists, so that’s how we met.

Hunt is known mostly for his fantastical, gestural, repetitious, and highly colorful paintings of butterflies, bunnies, and tropical birds – as well as varied Abe Lincoln portraits. What makes his work especially appealing for me is that the repetition of these characters are, in a sense, meditative. And as it turns out, the repetition is intentional for Hunt as it’s “a form of worship, a mantra, a meditation.” 

Former Vanier Galleries gallery director, Jerre Lynn Vanier (now president of Art Salon Society) told me, “The exotic and magical world of Hunt Slonem, with his unique subjects, entice and mesmerize his audience. Through meditation, repetition, and his luscious use of paint, Hunt achieves a mantra-like sense of oneness with the universe as he creates each canvas.”for

Here, Hunt discusses his distinctive method of painting “fresco style”.

It’s a beautiful thing for an artist who can paint for themselves.  As a painter myself, I can tell you that to paint for yourself is a freeing experience, to say the least.  I love how Hunt responded to my question if he paints for himself, or if he paints to please someone.

What I may love most about Hunt’s paintings is that they elicit a childlike response in me.  As a matter of fact, both adults and children respond to his work this same way.  Check out his vast studio space!  Don’t miss his birds on the settee from his new fabric line!  Can you see that upholstery fabric used in a nursery?  I certainly can!

Hunt likes to surround himself with “stuff and living things” around him, such as birds, fish, turtles, as well as growing orchids.  Here’s a view into his bird sanctuary.

Hunt has a strong spiritual connection. Here he discusses how repetition for him aligns with taking the opportunity to repeat the name of God, and therefore becoming “one with it”.

For more information on Hunt Slonem visit his website here.

Categories
Shopping

Big Girls Playing Dress-Up

There’s no denying it.  It’s a fact.  I love to shop.  P.S.  I’m a girl.  Hello?

And, it’s also a fact.  I don’t always need to buy.  Sometimes I just like to…look.  That’s crazy, right?  You see, for me, the whole shopping experience isn’t always about buying (aka spending money).  Sometimes for me the shopping experience is simply about the “stroll”, the “discovery”, and about just being in the same room with all the beautiful clothes, or fine furniture, or jewelry, or kitchen gadgets, or whatever store I’m strolling through.  I just happen to love the whole shopping experience.   

Be that as it may, don’t get me wrong!  I truly L-O-V-E to shop for great clothes, most especially.  Let’s call it “playing dress-up”.  But, aren’t all girls playing dress-up?  Clothes shopping is just, after all, one big dress-up.

Something that makes me giggle is that when I’m shopping for clothes I always make it a point to stop and look around the store to check out the expressions on all the other shoppers.  It just cracks me up how every woman there looks so serious.  Why?  Because they’re taking their shopping very seriously.  But, they’re not actually feeling serious.  They’re actually having the time of their lives.  They’re in the zone!!  They’re just big girls playing…what?  That’s right, dress-up!  

And, when you realize this then it makes so much more sense why women love to shop.  Because grown women are just big little girls playing dress-up.  

There you have it, and you heard it (well, read it, actually) here first.

Categories
Interior Design

Vintage Crystal Chandeliers

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If you’re anything like I am, the look, the feel, the entire ambiance of a room, as it’s designed, has an effect on me. I find that I’m sensitive to the way rooms are laid out and designed, as well as the selections made by the owners of homes (or even commercial spaces).

That said, every time – every single time – no matter the look of the room, if there’s a vintage crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling then that will be the first thing I’ll see and focus on.  That one item will have a remarkable effect on me.  

For some reason I find fine vintage crystal chandeliers spellbinding and mesmerizing. Perhaps it’s the romance, the charm of it all, that at one time this enchanting period piece could have hung in a dining room in an estate far away in another land.  My thoughts always carry me away to another time and another place…

Historically, crystal chandeliers were to be hung only in the dining room or a great hall of affluent homeowners, and their captivating presence alluded to a style of life.  Today, a vintage crystal chandelier can be found in just about any household, and also in just about any room.  Homeowners are freely hanging them in their entryways, in their master bathrooms, in their master closets, in their powder rooms, in their home offices, and my personal favorite – in their kitchens!  Seriously, if you have an opportunity to hang a vintage crystal chandelier over your center island, I would like to encourage you to do so.  Trust me, you won’t regret it!  Especially if you’re wanting to create some drama.  A vintage crystal chandelier will absolutely create the dramatic effect you’re going for!

No matter if your home is sleek and modern, minimal, traditional, transitional, or even country-cozy, a vintage crystal chandelier will add historical significance and allure to your home, therefore completing the look of any room you hang it in.  Even in your dining room!

Categories
Wings & Wheels

Classic Luxury Electric Cars

Classic Luxury Electric Cars?

I’m a “car girl”.  But, not just any car, you see.  I’m a girl who loves and appreciates the beauty and elegance of some of the most beautiful cars in the world, both past and present.  An automobile for me isn’t just a means to an end – to get us from Point A to Point B.  Rather, for me, it’s an aesthetic and lifestyle.  That said, how about this spin on fine automobiles: classic luxury electric cars!

I recently came across a 2019 article written by Brett Berk for Architectural Digest magazine about Lunaz, a British private enterprise that is singlehandedly (as far as I can tell) transforming the motor car industry by restoring and modifying existing historic cars from gasoline dependent to electric power!  Sure, it’s common to see electric or hybrid modern cars on the road.  But, how often have you driven alongside (or in, for that matter) a vintage Jaguar or Bentley or Rolls-Royce that’s been restored and converted for not only modern-day but also to be sustainable?  My guess is you probably have not.

The Lunaz website further explains that they “integrate latest technologies with no compromise to classic design aesthetics”, and how their gas-to-electric conversions “benefits from power-steering, uprated brakes and suspension, air conditioning and latest infotainment technology including Apple Car Play.”  

I can see myself driving around town in my highly-polished, beautifully restored and relevant-to-the-world-we-live-in-today vintage motorcar.  Most especially if it’s my main mode of transportation.  That would be for me the ultimate living-the-dream scenario – and such a desire for this girl. 

Can you even imagine?  I absolutely can imagine!