PaperCity Magazine

May 2014 - Houston

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Page 40 of 71

T he sofa-hating British designer John Pawson has designed the interiors of a privately commissioned 60-foot sloop yacht that I will never see. Still, I am inspired. It's not typical nautical architecture, awash in blue and white stripes, but is pure Pawson, wiped clean of "thingness." The state-of-the-art yacht has the simplest and most elegant details possible — a light-filled cabin with various-shades-of-white furnishings, larch flooring and stainless steel finishes. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, winner of this year's Pritzker Architecture Prize, inspires me for the soaring cardboard structure he designed after the 2011 earthquake severely damaged a 1904 neo- Gothic cathedral in Christ Church, New Zealand. Ban, who is famous for his work with recycled cardboard tubes and plastic beer crates, designed the cathedral of fireproof cardboard tubes with seating for 700 worshipers, and he did this gratis. His remarkable structures are often used as temporary housing for disaster-struck nations such as Japan, Turkey, India, China, Rwanda and Haiti. When tragedy strikes, he is there. I am inspired by someone who creates such beautiful buildings from simple materials. G oing to Paris, which we are doing end of May, inspires me — and visiting these two stores in particular: Colette and Merci. Colette focuses on fashion and art and one-of-a-kind procured merchandise. The store itself is a work of art in progress ... the storefront windows and displays change every night. Merci focuses on fashion, home and food. Within the compound are three restaurants and a bookstore. The third-level store is filled with inspirational products and displays to get your creative mind flowing. M y husband and I spent over a week last September in northern Washington State on an Ishayas Ascension meditation retreat at Angelsong Retreat Center in Stanwood, Washington. The home is located in rural Skagit County and overlooks Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. There is beautiful farmland all around, and when we weren't meditating, we took long walks in the country, picking cherries, apples and pears from the trees and eating them. We saw deer and even a brown bear. It was a very special time in my life, and I shifted into a place of deep connection to the Infinite and enjoyed a direct experience of ascendant consciousness. My life has not been the same since the days spent there, and I'm currently in production on a new collection of jewelry called Infinity. I was so inspired by the clean air and simple surroundings … It was a blessing that has stayed with me even now. M y girlfriend, Amanda Knox, and I recently traveled to Blackberry Farm in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee, which was lauded as the best in North America by Travel + Leisure magazine. After poring over the many activities Blackberry has on offer, we were struck by one that we've always wanted to observe: fox hunting. It just so happened to be the weekend of the fox-hunting season finale, when Blackberry Farm wraps up the season with a late- morning hunt, followed by a formal dinner. The romance and traditions of fox hunting is fascinating, especially in a region riddled with history. Typically, fox hunts begin in the morning, but for the finale, Blackberry hosts a brunch to kick things off, followed by a trek to the beautiful hilly hunt site. In a clearing down by the creek, everyone scrambles to make last-minute adjustments and mount their horses in preparation for the opening ceremony, led by the master of foxhounds and professional huntsman. After the huntsman sounds his horn in traditional fashion, everyone partakes in the stirrup cup toast of Niepoort Tawny, and the adventure officially begins. The stirrup cup toast is a parting tradition that people of the British Isles used to bode farewell to travelers with a long journey ahead, by offering them "one for the road." With a resounding call and a sharp whip to the mount, the huntsman bolts up the hill with the hounds, as the staff follows closely behind. At that point, it's a battle of the senses, as the hounds waft the air with their noses to catch a better scent and careen through the hill country in hopes of drawing a fox from the trees or "putting it to ground" (back to its den) — not for the kill as much as the excitement of the chase. As we followed along in 4x4 Land Cruisers, the hoots and hollers of the hunters echoed through the forest, and we realized it's nearly impossible to follow due to the speed and length of the hunt. Instead, we opted to summit the small mountain to take in the view of the long valley in which Blackberry Farm is nestled. That evening, after we convened for dinner in the cellar of the Barn, Carla, the master of foxhounds, informed us that no fox was put to ground, but the huntsman would not be able to make the dinner. He was still searching for a lost hound, well after sundown! A few moments after we sat down for our first course, we received word that he had found the hound, and all was well. We then toasted to the hunt. MAY | PAGE 41 | 2014 TODD FISCUS Event Designer, Todd Events TATIANA MASSEY Owner, Laboratoria CAROL ISAAK BARDEN Sensitive developer, Carol Isaak Barden & Company LEE ELLIS Serial restaurant creator, Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette, BRC Gastropub, Petite Sweets, Belvedere KATY BRISCOE Jewelry designer LANGE NOVAK AND AMANDA KNOX Wayfarers I 'm inspired by anything beautiful that evokes an emotion. Blackberry Farm in Tennessee is where I'm currently working on a project — and, wow, is it beautiful. Nature, the colors of green and yellow, trickling streams and River Muscari growing at the water's edge … Really magical. O n a trip to London this past February, I found myself at the "Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!" exhibition at Somerset House. Isabella Blow has always been a big source of inspiration for me: a British magazine editor with an outrageous personality who lived and breathed fashion. Known for her bold outfits and extravagant hats, she was a huge supporter and muse for young and talented designers like Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, Hussein Chalayan and Philip Treacy. This carefully curated exhibition allowed me to peek into the world of the late Isabella and her iconic wardrobe. Later that night, I strongly felt her presence as I sat at the Central Saint Martins show, which is always a part of London Fashion Week. This is where Isabella Blow discovered many young talents; this is where the brightest stars of fashion were born. JULIE SOEFER Lee Ellis Todd Fiscus Tatiana Massey Katy Briscoe Blackberry Farm "Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore" exhibit, Somerset House, London Angelsong Retreat Center, Stanwood, Washington Angelsong Retreat Center, Stanwood, Washington Central Saint Martins show Blackberry Farm, Tennessee Adhesive wall art of French doors at Merci, Paris John Pawson B60 yacht John Pawson B60 yacht Carol Isaak Barden Amanda Knox and Lange Novak Shigeru Ban Cardboard Cathedral, New Zealand Fox hunt at Blackberry Farm Blackberry Farm JENNY ANTILL John Parwson home, London

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