I (finally) have a new print up at Society 6! I’m particularly entranced with the onesies (every baby should have a punk rock girl onesie!) and tote bags.
via Society 6

I (finally) have a new print up at Society 6! I’m particularly entranced with the onesies (every baby should have a punk rock girl onesie!) and tote bags.

via Society 6

What better says July 4th than two lovely Octomaids?
via Society 6

What better says July 4th than two lovely Octomaids?

via Society 6

Happy Pride Day, everyone!
The proceeds of this print are being donated to the Ali Forney Center in NYC.

Happy Pride Day, everyone!

The proceeds of this print are being donated to the Ali Forney Center in NYC.

I’ve been adding tons of small originals to my Etsy store - this Red Riding Hood with her docile (but not tame) wolf is the newest.

I’ve been adding tons of small originals to my Etsy store - this Red Riding Hood with her docile (but not tame) wolf is the newest.

Just added to my Etsy store - this graceful, extra-legged ballerina.

Just added to my Etsy store - this graceful, extra-legged ballerina.

Two more entries in my Charles James: Beyond Beyond Fashion series.

Inspired by the chorus girls who performed in the legendary musical review, Shuffle Along which premiered on Broadway in 1921 with songs by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake. The show made instant stars of Florence Mills and a teenage Josephine Baker.
via Etsy

Inspired by the chorus girls who performed in the legendary musical review, Shuffle Along which premiered on Broadway in 1921 with songs by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake. The show made instant stars of Florence Mills and a teenage Josephine Baker.

via Etsy

I really love my little winged schoolgirls, but they’ve never really gotten much love. That notwithstanding, I think it would be fun to do a larger sized piece with more girls, more wings, etc. But I probably won’t get to it for a while due to commissions, other projects, etc.

They’re both available on Etsy (here and here - if you’d like both, drop me a line and we can work something out).

I’m kind of assuming this is something that happened off stage in The Road To Oz.
via Etsy.

I’m kind of assuming this is something that happened off stage in The Road To Oz.

via Etsy.

I just added these two lovely little sea creatures to my etsy shop. Available together or separately. 

Free shipping at Society 6! Click on the graphic above.
I have TONS of mermaid-y summery items.

Free shipping at Society 6! Click on the graphic above.

I have TONS of mermaid-y summery items.

For the first time in 90 years audiences were lucky enough to take a look at the first Marx Brothers Broadway show, I’ll Say She Is (and I’ll have a hand in the design of the upcoming full production at FringeNYC!). I was there, in the front row of The Players Theater in NYC, drawing.

Another entree in my Charles James: Beyond Beyond Fashion series.
This one might be my favorite.

Another entree in my Charles James: Beyond Beyond Fashion series.

This one might be my favorite.

Last week I saw Charles James: Beyond Fashion at The Met, though I sort of knew going in that it wouldn’t be 100% my bag. I’ve never been super in love with the elegant, tasteful aesthetic that was prevalent at the middle of the 20th century. To me, the tyranny of “good taste” is as much about class and race as it is about aesthetics (I wrote a bit about this here) and for me, it quickly gets boring.

All that said, the dresses are exquisite. They are masterpieces of design, deceptively simple until you look at the seams and the construction and the geometry. These are indeed the princess gowns for a sleek mid-century princess. The garments themselves are perfect things. But (and there’s always a but), after an hour or so of looking and sketching, something about the cool WASPy splendour started getting to me. 

I sketched a dozen or so dresses and decided the answer for me would be to recontextualize them. I decided to remove them from Newport and Belgravia and to place them on the carnival midway, in the ocean and in other places they never before ventured, being worn by the sort of beings who, though purely fictional, are rarely seen dressed in such opulence.

Enjoy. There will be more to follow.

 Maryland’s favorite son (okay, not really) Dashiell Hammett was born today in 1894. He’s one of the crime authors whose work I blasted through years ago, having read every word available, my favorite of the classic, hard boiled crime writers.
So deeply influential, you’ve no doubt watched movies his work has influenced even if you avoid the world of noir entirely. Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Fist Full of Dollars are both loose adaptations of Red Harvest. The Thin Man was his love letter to Lillian Hellman, spawning the famous, long running comedy franchise starring the perfectly cast William Powell and Myrna Loy. 
I’ve watched every film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon (the best obviously being the third - John Houston’s 1941 classic), and one of the things they all have in common is that they all omit what is usually referred to as The Flitcraft Story. Some time after September 11th, I thought the Flitcraft Story summed up what I felt about things more accurately than anything else. In the scene where Sam Spade sits up with Brigid O’Shaughnessey, he tells her a story about a man he had been hired to find a few years back. Flitcraft was married, worked in a successful real estate office in Tacoma, played golf, had no secrets. One day he left his office to attend a luncheon and he vanished. “He went like that,” Spade said, “like a fist when you open your hand.” Spade eventually ran across Flitcraft in Spokane. This is what had happened to him:
"Going to lunch he passed an office-building that was being put up- just the skeleton. A beam or something fell eight or ten stories down and smacked the sidewalk along side him…He was scared stiff, of course, he said, but he was more shocked than really frightened. He felt like someone had taken the lid off life and shown him the works."
Flitcraft was shocked to discover that chaos exists, and he decided over lunch that his quiet, orderly life as a good citizen was out of step with the way the world operated, so he left. Flitcraft wandered around for a few years, then settled in Spokane and got married.
"His second wife didn’t look like the first, but they were more alike then they were different. You know, the kind of women that play fair games of golf and bridge and like new salad-recipes…I don’t think he even knew he had settled back naturally into the same groove he had jumped out of in Tacoma. But that’s the part of it I always liked. He adjusted himself to beams falling, and then no more of them fell, and he adjusted himself to them not falling."
New York City and 9-11 always seemed just like Flitcraft to me. Shocked as hell when everyone realized that nothing one does is protection from falling beams, and then everything is different, and then back to being the same, but not really. We all know beams fall.
Hammett was a supremely odd duck. He was a drunk, a communist and a patriot, enlisting in the army after the attack on Pearl Harbour even though he was old, drunk and suffering from TB. A veteran of two wars, you can visit his grave in Arlington Cemetery.

 Maryland’s favorite son (okay, not really) Dashiell Hammett was born today in 1894. He’s one of the crime authors whose work I blasted through years ago, having read every word available, my favorite of the classic, hard boiled crime writers.

So deeply influential, you’ve no doubt watched movies his work has influenced even if you avoid the world of noir entirely. Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Fist Full of Dollars are both loose adaptations of Red Harvest. The Thin Man was his love letter to Lillian Hellman, spawning the famous, long running comedy franchise starring the perfectly cast William Powell and Myrna Loy. 

I’ve watched every film adaptation of The Maltese Falcon (the best obviously being the third - John Houston’s 1941 classic), and one of the things they all have in common is that they all omit what is usually referred to as The Flitcraft Story. Some time after September 11th, I thought the Flitcraft Story summed up what I felt about things more accurately than anything else. In the scene where Sam Spade sits up with Brigid O’Shaughnessey, he tells her a story about a man he had been hired to find a few years back. Flitcraft was married, worked in a successful real estate office in Tacoma, played golf, had no secrets. One day he left his office to attend a luncheon and he vanished. “He went like that,” Spade said, “like a fist when you open your hand.” Spade eventually ran across Flitcraft in Spokane. This is what had happened to him:

"Going to lunch he passed an office-building that was being put up- just the skeleton. A beam or something fell eight or ten stories down and smacked the sidewalk along side him…He was scared stiff, of course, he said, but he was more shocked than really frightened. He felt like someone had taken the lid off life and shown him the works."

Flitcraft was shocked to discover that chaos exists, and he decided over lunch that his quiet, orderly life as a good citizen was out of step with the way the world operated, so he left. Flitcraft wandered around for a few years, then settled in Spokane and got married.

"His second wife didn’t look like the first, but they were more alike then they were different. You know, the kind of women that play fair games of golf and bridge and like new salad-recipes…I don’t think he even knew he had settled back naturally into the same groove he had jumped out of in Tacoma. But that’s the part of it I always liked. He adjusted himself to beams falling, and then no more of them fell, and he adjusted himself to them not falling."

New York City and 9-11 always seemed just like Flitcraft to me. Shocked as hell when everyone realized that nothing one does is protection from falling beams, and then everything is different, and then back to being the same, but not really. We all know beams fall.

Hammett was a supremely odd duck. He was a drunk, a communist and a patriot, enlisting in the army after the attack on Pearl Harbour even though he was old, drunk and suffering from TB. A veteran of two wars, you can visit his grave in Arlington Cemetery.