Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallow's to All

May your holiday be diabolique.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Of Poules de Luxe and Painted Plates

 "They all have a place and a position, and if you miscast them, 
they can be very cross." Konstantin Kakanias

Think the world is going to the chickens, fair Nerophytes? Well it is. But beyond all the cackling, the molting and the squawking exists an entirely more civilized pecking order, and to be honest, one of the cutest, most whimsical configurations Nero has come across in quite some time. 
Greek artist, cartoonist and ceramist Konstantin Kakanias has caricatured a new breed of old aristocratic funny fowl, hand-painted feathers, foibles and all, on beautifully crafted one-off ceramic plates. In this weekend's WSJ magazine, David Netto tosses the corn kernels on how Konstantin's witty work with clay has come to rule the roost. Based in L.A., the artist decamps part of the year to the Greek isle of Paros, in a self-imposed exile, to create his oeuf oeuvre. 
Coveted and collected in dozens of pairs by the likes of Christian Louboutin and designer Peter Dunham, Kakanias claims the pieces won't be available in stores (insert communal sigh here). Leave it to this Greek to simultaneously raise our spirits one minute then let them come crashing down in a loud and magnificent cry of "Opa!" 
But don't let this news quelch your kefi just yet, fair readers. For though Kakanias' dinnerware, while perfect for eating off of, is meant to be art for art's sake, I have a feeling this won't be the last we'll see of this quirky coop. Ready to get thrown and baked? Then adjust your cock's comb coiff and head-bob this way

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On a Hectic Hallows and a Devil-May-Care Look

This year's Halloween trimming has been a relatively low-key affair thus far, fair readers. It all began when UPS unwittingly mis-delivered a variation of the costume below -- Ginkga Hagane, a japanime Beyblader, which entails something akin to that somewhat esoteric art requiring a blend of brain-over-body prowess, street smarts and most excellent powers of voice-over-dubbing -- blade slinging. 

And so a mini-crisis simmered as the original disguise went MIA across town mere days before Friday's kindergarten costume parade. Funnily enough, the getup was dropped at the stoop of strangers on a street Nero lived on many moons ago. Could it be karmic retribution, a reminder of youthful misteps and that first fender-bender at fifteen, an eery foreshadowing of things gone awry? More likely an app glitch on the UPS dude's handheld, but I digress. 

Panic set in when all doppelganger Ginkga outfits in size M appeared sold out all over the web. Nero crossed fingers, had a replacement, straggler suit in a Small overnighted, and well, as evidenced below, happy Halloween accidents happen -- the second skin landed with a thud at our front door and fit like a body glove -- costume crisis averted.

Here our very own disgruntled youth settles into his 'blader gear.

Clearly separated at birth, more than a Halloween homage, this is a case of costume cloning.

Last year, Nero went Halloween gung-ho and created a creepy mantelscape designed to ape Deyrolle. 

Precarious, scary scenarios began to turn up in unexpected spots. In the interest of keeping the fear factor down, Nero's sparing you the outdoor antics. There were some headstones, admittedly, and a green-eyed gargoyle or two. But not this year, folks.

No, this year things have been helter-skelter and so the decorating has pretty much fallen by the wayside mid-way. Here a feathered wreath -- a half-hearted attempt at "Boo!" -- droops in the humidity of what is still Houston's Indian summer. More drag queen boa than devilish prop, it hangs announcing not so much defeat as a sheepish, "I coulda done more but can't really be bothered to at this point."

Our lone, token Jack-o-Lantern crouches up on the balcony. A dark Han Solo, a brooding Quasimodo, he's developed a bad case of black mouth, and several weeks into his watch looks about as rotten and inbred as eighteenth-century French royalty. 

Nero's never been much into Halloween disguises per se. You see, over the years a general existential fatigue has set in and lingers. I like to think it stems from having to espouse the adage "pretending to be a normal person day after day is exhausting." As such, Nero views daily life as a bit of a masked ball in its own right. Take, for example Nero's newly-minted role as kindergarten room mother. Now if that isn't a shape-shift, fair Nerophytes, I don't know what is. That and carpool and cupcakes and sight word flashcards and reading decoded -- all bits 'n baubles belonging to that same strange costume party dubbed normalcy. Give me Peter Pan any day.

And so as yet another busy and eventful weekend approaches, replete with tomorrow's costume parade, Saturday's Fall Fun Festival, followed by trick-or-treating on Monday, Nero sort of wishes she could slip into this perfectly otherworldly Chanel déguisement -- part Black Swan, part sooty Snow Queen, part "Les Mis" guttersnipe, all dark glam -- while manning the Lollipop Stand in this hazy masquerade.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Of the Vampire's Assistant and a Haute Haunting

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Friday, Let's Jam Out Folks

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Of Coming To and a Second Wind

The design world has been all but comatose of late, fair Nerophytes, which has led to a slow blogging week over here at Ground Nero, where things like belated family birthdays, All Hallow's costume scavenging and sloppy pumpkin carving have taken precedent over Louis or luster or lacquer. 
But enter the latest installment of Elle Decor to bring sexy back with a bang akin to a tech-tonic shot in the arm. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Nero's Zinio account -- clearly aware of this blogger's pull towards all things exotic -- insists on sending me the Hong Kong version of its page. And so each month, as I fumble over Chinese script to dig up my password, pictures by default speak louder than the words Nero can't begin to decipher. 
The November issue is collagen boosted with well-oiled, statement-y spaces, coupled with lots of "whoulda thunkit" moments. For example, a newly-single Allegra Hicks unveils her family home yet again, which appears largely un-tweaked since her recent book was published last year. Why is that so often when a woman decides to go out on a limb by embarking on a successful business venture, her personal life soon dusts off its feathers and takes wing too? 
In another section the illustrious French tastemaker, Robert Couturier, goes to town on a New York flat with great fanfare and unbridled élan -- it's all a bit much, but we'll take it. And hold onto your powdered wigs, dear readers, 'cuz you're in for an unexpected twist when a Manhattan dealer-dame in thigh-high boots and well-settled into her seventies unveils her clash pad. On that note, Nero will say no more, if this teaser has reeled my fair readers in even a little bit, you can go leaf through it at the salon yourselves. 

Call it a purple haze if you wish, but violet vamps it up to eye-catching advantage on the cover.

 There's no mistaking gay Paree -- this Couturier creation, though housed in New York, is decidedly French in body and spirit.

In this studly study, La Fiorentina still looks fresh. 

 It's business as usual in this home office-cum-boudoir.

A young NYC-based babe's salon couldn't be anything but all-American, so punctuated is it by dynamic of-the-moment design staples. 

Serving up beauty poolside is the sort of preamble to a moveable feast that Nero approves of year-round (weather-permitting).

 Many a tender family moment was surely spent in this, Allegra's sitting room. 

It would appear not much has changed on the design-front, although Allegra is now a swingin' singleton.

The home maintains the same warm, eclectic tone, which is every bit a reflection of its Italian and British lineage.

 Whoulda thunkit?

That zany room above was designed by this spunky broad.

 This velvet tiger stripe in the green colorway is one of Nero's newer dark objects of desire.

 And get a load of that crystal rock curtain rod.
Nevermind that full closure will evidently never be an option. Here it's all about the eye candy.

A Birkin to match the home's violet-shellac-ed library? It's quite de rigeur you know.


Urban flâneuse, armchair observer, absent-minded scribbler, occasional epicure and carpool line cultural attaché, my nom de plume is Nero. Join me as I catalog a compilation of earthly delights and stuff that I dig. Alcira Molina-Ali



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