Oysters And Gold Leafing At Billy Reid

Billy Reid brings the cool. His home and stores have been in so many interiors mags (and GQ, here), has been recognized by CFDA twice now, and this Florence, Alabama flagship store started out in a house where his design gallery was located upstairs (now the design gallery is in the back of the downtown shop plus there’s one in NYC). There are now two Billy Reid shops in Atlanta, plus Austin, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, New Orleans, two in NYC, and one in DC.

Before this month, Anne and I last visited the Florence shop in spring, when these strings of oysters were up. Billy made oysters the focus of a spring-summer print.


And by all accounts I know, Billy’s just a super nice guy. He emailed me years ago just checking in and thanking me for mentioning him here on DFK, which was really, really kind.

Various works by Butch Anthony are scattered about:

The aesthetic of the shop is sleek but also worn and well-loved, and his clothes have similar freshness that’s also really familiar and classic.

On our visit last week, the oyster strings were gone and up instead was a wood feature that had some gold leafing. From their Insta:

Store Interiors – Florence đź“· @kaylabrann

A post shared by Billy Reid (@billy_reid) on

The pic below is from one of the dressing rooms, where the wall is papered with prints of old photographs (mmmmm…I tried on the dress below last week, but the arms fit a little tight and everything else fit a little too loose). Love Billy’s looks, though. And he’s forever doing fun collabs, like with Levi’s, J. Crew, K-Swiss, and Coach (yeowch, and an apron with John Besh). Last year: lux mardi gras beads, though they’re no longer available.


Vogue has a feature on ‘Doutzen Kroes and Family Take the Season’s Best Topcoats on a Tour of the Bayou‘ in the Feb 2018 issue with a Billy Reid suit and ooooh those pics.

He Wasn’t The Best, But He Was The Best I Ever Had

This week, Anne and I decided to go back to Florence, Alabama — our first stop was the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Cemetery, where Key buried his dog in 1937. Since that time, other hunters wanted to bury their dogs there, and a rule was put in place to limit the place to only true coondogs. From the cemetery site:

“When I buried Troop, I had no intention of establishing a coon dog cemetery,” says Underwood. “I merely wanted to do something special for a special coon dog.”

When columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson interviewed Underwood in 1985, he told her that a woman from California wrote him wanting to know why he didn’t allow other kinds of dogs to be buried at the coon dog cemetery.

“You must not know much about coon hunters and their dogs, if you think we would contaminate this burial place with poodles and lap dogs,” he responded.

My Flickr set of previous visits here.

I didn’t photograph it this time, but my favorite quote on these is this one, for Track:

“He wasn’t the best, but he was the best I ever had.”

Te-Lah-Nay’s Wall

A few months ago, my sweet friend Anne and I visited the late Tom Hendrix’ monument — the largest un-mortared rock wall in the US and more importantly the largest memorial to a Native American Woman, called the Wichahapi Commemorative Stone Wall and/or Teh-Lah-Nay’s Wall (or Te-Lah-Nay’s Wall), in Limestone County, Alabama.

Teh-Lah-Nay was Tom’s great-great grandmother, and was from the Yuchi (Euchee) tribe. She and her people were forcibly removed from this area of Alabama in the 1830s to be sent to the Indian Nations in Oklahoma. She later walked all the way back from Oklahoma to Alabama, and is the only person known to have successfully returned home.

On one visit, Tom told us the story, and we purchased his book, If the Legends Fade. He said that he sent all money from it to Oklahoma, where Yuchi girls are learning their native language – and these girls will also be sent to college with help from the funds. There are only a handful of people right now that know Yuchi language, so it is vitally important that it be passed down.

On this visit, Anne and I were so happy to meet Tom’s son, and I purchased this primitive stone stack statue. Love looking at this each day and being reminded of Tom and his incredible, heartfelt achievement.


Our first visit to the wall here.

Hearts


Took these pics back in April but I’m thinking of hearts and Valentine’s Day for whatever reason (though, um, don’t take me here for a romantic getaway):  Motel Heart of Dixie in Dadeville, Alabama

Moving Time

I was thinking about earlier this year when the weather was magnificent. First thought: when I was one of the lucky people at a conference (I think there were about a dozen of us) who got to go up the clock tower at Samford Hall at Auburn. It sounds as though they don’t let many people do it, and those who do must be led by a University architect. We were warned about wasps, though they weren’t bad at all, and by exertion, because it’s several stories up and some of it is by shipladder. Easy-easy though.

Loved seeing the bell and setup on our way up, because a couple of years ago, I got to be friends with Patty Allen, the widow of Robert Allen z”l who co-wrote the Auburn fight song with Al Stillman z”l (they’re the same pair who wrote ‘Home for the Holidays’). She is fabulous! I sent her a pic of this after my visit, and she said she wants to come see it in person sometime. It plays ‘War Eagle’ at noon each day.

At the top, we made our way to the clock. If you make it, you’re allowed to sign your name to the backside, and every Aubie mascot has done it, too:

The architect pulled the clockface back:

Here’s me in front of it, for scale:

And that view! Yessss

Jim Love Lib

The weather has been cold and yucky outside, but I was thinking today of our latest visit back in April to Jim Bird’s place in Forkland, Alabama.

I’ve photographed his installations there before and have many of them in my Flickr set here, but this time mostly concentrated on the 32′ Tin Man, with the bathtub feet:

Jim started making his creations when his wife was out of town, and she loved what he made. He kept it going, and there are dozens of hay creatures and metal assemblages now. With Jim’s age, he’s stopped making the art and his son is running things at the farm.

Jim Love Lib:

In Riverside Cemetery in Demopolis, we happened to notice Lib’s monument there. She passed away in 2015, and Jim had made this bird sculpture to go on top:

The Stunning Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper Exhibit at the Dixon

One of *the* most fun and fantastical exhibits closes this weekend at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens in Memphis and it is a must see: Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper

It is just beyond. Every.single.everything is crafted from paper.

Excerpts from the press release:

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper is a mid-career examination of one of the most creative figures working in Europe today. Belgian contemporary artist Isabelle de Borchgrave is a painter by training, and she uses paper to recreate historic fashions to dazzling effect. De Borchgrave’s collections have been shown internationally  for two decades, and now they will be on view in North America with a U.S. début in Memphis, Tennessee.

This exhibition celebrates de Borchgrave’s most iconic bodies of work, including Les Ballets Russes, Papiers à la Mode, The World of Mariano Fortuny, The Kaftans, and Splendor of the Medici, all of which illuminate 500 years of fashion history:

• On view for the first time in the U.S., Les Ballets Russes features de Borchgrave’s interpretations of the costumes designed by Léon Bakst, Giorgio de Chirico, Pablo Picasso, and others.

• With Papiers à la Mode, de Borchgrave re-imagined iconic garments from world history, including dresses worn by Madame de Pompadour, Marie-Antoinette, Elizabeth I, and Empress Eugenie.

• The World of Mariano Fortuny includes interpretations of the great master painter and designer’s iconic Grecian-styled dresses and tunics from the early 20th century, while Kaftans highlights Silk Road textiles.

• The works in de Borchgrave’s Splendor of the Medici series capture the astounding luxuriousness that characterizes this extraordinary era of intellectual, scientific, literary, and artistic accomplishments. 

This special Elvis piece above will remain in the Dixon’s permanent collection after the exhibit closes.

It’s all just simply stunning and the museum has done a magnificent job.

Tiny excerpts from the artist’s biography:

The story begins in a little house in Sablon, which Isabelle turned into a studio. There, she gave drawing classes to her friends’ children and other neighbourhood children…

Following a visit to the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1994, Isabelle dreamed up paper costumes…

The Dixon has its own exhibition catalogue available in its giftshop, and I also found these two books at Amazon that I’d love to see:

and


While at the Dixon, paper art by Justin Bowles is also on display, in another wing of the museum:


…and be sure not to miss the Rodin outside (how could you, it’s massive):

and the Jeff Koons Smooth Egg with Bow off to the side

Besides the current exhibitions, there’s a permanent collection of 18th C. German porcelain:

…and a remarkable, remarkable small collection of paintings by Pissarro, Monet, Cassatt, Gauguin, Matisse, Chagall, and other important artists

Monet’s ‘Village Street’


Additional images from the Isabelle de Borchgrave exhibit here in my Flickr set.