Death's Head

It's that time of year again...

...the week of Halloween.

I invite you to join me for a walk through a New England grave site and I'll tell you a little story...

These grave markers were used by the New England Puritans who were adamantly against using religious symbols, such as angels and cherubs or crosses, on their headstones or graves, nor did they use religious symbols in their meetinghouses. They did not want any human form attributed to the spiritual beings such as God or angels.

This decorative motif on Seventeenth Century grave markers was the “death’s head.

A death’s head was a stylized skull, often with wings and/or crossed bones.

Some have speculated that winged skulls were intended to symbolize a combination of physical death and spiritual regeneration.

The death’s head, a non~religious symbol, was the first imagery employed in gravestone carving.  There were many variations of the death’s head motif.  The images depended on the preferred style of the carver. 

Like other craftsmen of that era, gravestone carvers had special techniques and skill.  Their style was almost their “calling card” and over time, historians have been able to identify many of these carvers.

What is your calling card? 
Can you be identified?

Happy Halloween Friends!

Ciao amici,

Our New Friend

I'd like to introduce you the newest addition to my studio.

This is Guss

He's a one year old Cavapoo we adopted and brought home in August.  His  "birth" name was Guss and although I wanted to change it {to "Freeway"}, it was unanimous that we keep him as Guss.  It fits him.

Now Italian Girl in Georgia has a second mascot in the studio, the first of course being Gucci.

Guss and Gucci are friends and keep each other company when we are not around.

Happy Monday.

Ciao amici,

Autumn Light

Beautiful Autumn days have arrived...

...and got me in the mood play around a bit with my photography and some wonderful textures that Kim Klassen offers. 

I will be reopening My Front Porch in the next few days to show off its new banner and blog button {for a sneak peek you can see the button here, but to see my new Porch banner ~ it's over there hanging out on the Porch}.

 For the grand reopening of My Front Porch I will be offering my new collection of photography for sale for a while before I list the collection in my Etsy shop.

In the meantime, enjoy your day.

Ciao amici,

Sidewalks and Catwalks ~ Haute French Couture

Since this is the first of October, and the season for exotic costumes, I thought I would share my photographs from a fabulous exhibit I saw at the De Young Museum in San Francisco earlier this year.

From The Sidewalk to The Catwalk ~ a stunning exhibition of works of fashion art by Jean Paul Gaultier.

Whether a fan of his design style or not, one has to have a deep appreciation of the amount of detail that he puts into each unique piece and the superb quality of materials he uses throughout his collections.

The exhibit began with a street scene of his iconic nautical stripes.

The mannequins were styled in such a way that they were almost life like.  Technology at its best created animated faces and a dialogue from Jean Paul himself, who while introducing the show to us kept staring at certain people in the gallery.

Throughout the show, the models were making eye contact with us, winking at us, watching us was supernatural.

The ethereal angels were chanting as they gazed from the surreal heavens.

One spirit was beautifully adorned with the "Apparitions" gown and an "Angels in Heaven" veil.

From the "Virgins" collection, haute couture Spring & Summer 2007, this gown, print lace veil, embroidered bustier, silk bows, and silk tulle overskirt needed 200 hours to be created.

Over the top detail and gorgeous lace.

This mermaid was struggling a bit as she emerged from the deep sea...

in her "La Mariee" Wedding Gown.

This  latex body suit has gold scales, a cone bra with shells, a sequin embroidered latex skirt, and rubber crutches with a coral motif. 

The beaded, pearl, and shell encrusted hand bag is just what every glamorous girl needs as her "go to" accessory.

This "Sirene-reine" Gown is from the Mermaids collection, haute couture Spring & Summer 2008.

One hundred eighty hours were needed to create this piece, which is made from woven silk and metallic thread, with pierced scales overlapping at the bust and hips.

His "throne"

...and portrait.

Throughout the show I was in awe of the exquisite tailoring.

One of my favorite pieces {below} is this soft silk tulle, organza body suit, and velvet sash.  This is part of his "Boudoir Collection."

Below is a silk corset with train...perhaps to wear under a wedding gown...or not.

Bondage inspired creations with pearls, crystals, chains, and gems...

velvet, feathers, satin, silk...

leather, and lace.

We were notified at the entrance of the exhibit that...

...and were not disappointed.  {Although I think some of the older San Francisco ladies may have been a bit shocked to actually see some of this.}

The Catwalks and the Sidewalks were fantastic and if this exhibit is shown anywhere near your hometown, treat yourself to some avant~garde French haute couture and spend an afternoon seeing this show.

Hope you enjoyed your free admission to this haute exhibit!

Ciao amici,