Monday, May 27, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #65: School's Out!

Field Day Monday: Hence the ugly but functional footwear. The kids had an awesome time running off their final-days-of-school steam. Meanwhile the teachers, armed with squirt bottles, managed to soak anyone within their squirting range. Being unarmed, I got drenched. dress: vintage, altered by me in this Vintage 911 post; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Crocs

Important Correction: I mistakenly labeled a couple of photos on this post as Lucienne Day. They are in fact photos of the lovely Hannah Asprey! Doesn't she look just like Lucienne? You can see more of Hannah's photos from 2011 of the Robin and Lucienne Day Exhibition here. Thank you, Hannah, for your kind correction!

What you're lookin' at here is someone who doesn't have to go to work for the next two months. Das right, it's my summer vacation! I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it as it seems this break just sneaked up on me. One minute I'm frantically preparing things for the art show and the next, BAM!, it's all over. Not that I'm complaining. I'm ready for some breakage.

 I dunno if you've noticed but I've not shared a real What I Wore post for the last couple of weeks. In the midst of all the end-of-the-school-year craziness, I've not had the time to snap photos or even research artists. When I discovered the fabric designer Lucienne Day I just knew I had to share her work with you. I am in love.

Until next time, I hope you have a fantastic Memorial Day (all of my US friends) and a lovely week. I'll be back soon with another neglected blog series: my DIY! Later.

Textile designer Désirée Lucienne Day with her furniture designer husband Robin Ray. So, am I the last person on the planet to discover the work of this amazing fabric designer? Lucienne Day, who lived a long life from 1917 to 2010, brought bright and optimistic abstract patterns to a sad and broken post-war England. Her fabric was used mostly for the home, particularly her husbands furniture creations. Image from here.
 Lucienne Day was inspired by such artists as...can you guess? Miro, definitely. Maybe some Kandinsky? A pinch of Picasso? When asked why she didn't become a painter, she said she was "very interested in modern painting although I didn’t want to be a painter. I put my inspiration from painting into my textiles, partly, because I suppose I was very practical. I still am. I wanted the work I was doing to be seen by people and be used by people. They had been starved of interesting things for their homes in the war years, either textiles or furniture." Images from here and here.

Final Countdown Tuesday: It's so weird at the end of the school year. The kids are beyond ready to be out for the summer. Because my art room was still cleared out for the art show, I just set up art centers around the room for the kids to dabble in. Origami and free draw with my collection of How to Draw books is always a hit. dress and necklaces: thrifted; jacket: Modcloth, old; shoes: Frye, TJMaxx, old
Lucienne Day's stunt double Hannah Asprey of Asprey Vintage Design. Image found here.

 When I grow up and buy a vintage airstream trailer, I shall have the furnishings upholstered in this here fab fabric.
See Ya in the Fall! Wednesday: Saying goodbye to the kids this school year seemed especially hard. I'm gonna miss 'em!  sweater: Betsy Johnson, Buffalo Exchange; dress: Bernie Dexter, ebay; shoes: Target, last summer

Lucienne's fabric, her husband's furniture. These two were like the British answer to Charles and Ray Eames. Love the chair, I'll take two.
Hannah at the 2011 Robin and Lucienne Day exhibition. After doing a little digging, I found that getting your hands on this fabric is pretty tough. There's a website out of the UK that has reproductions of her fabric...for 75 euro a meter. A quick search of etsy found similarly high prices and slim selection. I wish some innovative fabric design team would reproduce an affordable cotton of her work.

Favorite Dress Thursday: If I'm gonna be in a powerpoint-induced too-many-meetings coma, I might as well do it in my new favorite summer dress. That's right, the kids got out on Wednesday but we had to finish off the week with professional development. Which was more like arrested development with our fried brains. sweater: Anthro; dress: vintage, Buffalo Exchange (where I snagged it for a mere 11 smacks!); brooch: vintage, St. Louis; shoes: BC Footwear 

 So Lucienne and her husband Robin were like this magical design couple. In the 1950's their home was considered the height of sophistication. And look, after a day of working together, they're still smiling! If this were a picture of my husband and I after a day's work, the captions would say something like, "I'm going to use this fabric to smother you in your sleep." "Oh, yeah? Well, I've already spiked your coffee with rat poison. Love ya!" Image here.

School's Out for the Summer! Friday: Which makes me feel like dancin'. Even though my dancin' skillz are embarrassing. dress: vintage, Wasteland; shoes: Frye

When not on the road, my airstream trailer will be parked outside of my atomic ranch which you can see a sneak peak of in the above photo. Image here.
 Oh, Lucienne. I'm off in search of your textile terrificness. Image here.


  1. Happy summer! Love all of your end of the year outfits, and the information about Lucienne Day. I did some substituting at a middle school last week--whoa, the kids were so done with school!!!

    I also adored reading about your art show. Very, very inspirational on several levels.

    1. Middle school substituting on the last week of school?! I know they didn't pay you nearly enough ;) Thank you for your kind words on the art show, the kids worked so hard :)

  2. Anonymous5/27/2013

    Enjoy your summer - it's well-earned!

  3. Happy Summer! We will still have 4 more weeks here in NJ. One week is make up days from snow..... at least they are all 1/2 days! Love the fabric patterns! I'm a fabric freak! :)

    1. Well we got out 2 days early here for lack of snow! Next year, send some our way, we only got one little ole snow day! Good luck getting through those last 4 weeks. Just think, when you are in the middle of your lovely summer break, I'll be heading back August 1st!

  4. Lovely pictures, but the lady you call Lucienne Day is not her, it's a lovely vintage aficionado from the UK! I'm sure she would be flattered though, for being mistaken for the designer!

    1. Oh no! Do you know which photo is not her? Guess I've got more digging to do! Thank you :)

  5. Hi Cassie, the two colour images are of my friend - a big Lucienne fan also as you can tell :) She actually specialises in vintage style design, you can see her website here:

    1. Thank you for putting me in contact with your friend. So sorry about the mix up! I loved seeing her website, thank you for sharing!

  6. Hello Cassie - I am the lady you've mistaken for Lucienne Day! The photos were taken at a Lucienne Day exhibition in London in 2011. I am a huge fan of hers but didn't realise there was quite such a resemblance until I went to the exhibition and saw photos of her - we even have a grey streak in the same place!

    You can see the full set of photos that me and my (now ex) partner took at the exhibition here:

    Anyway, I am flattered beyond belief, so many thanks for making my day!

    1. Thank you so much for correcting me...and not being offended by my ignorance! I've made some corrections...let's hope I got it right this time ;) Thank you for contacting me, Hannah. Your photos of the exhibit are amazing!

    2. No problem at all!

      Your best bet for finding original pieces of her fabric is Her stuff was widely produced in the UK and you can get lucky. I got some curtains in the Sequoia design on British ebay last year for £70 - not in perfect condition or anything but it's my favourite design of hers so it was a bit of dream come true. They hang in my kitchen now and fill me with pride every day!

      You probably already know that Heals have been reprinting the Calyx fabric for the last few years - not cheap at about £65 a metre (!) and having seen the original fabrics in the flesh at the exhibition I can tell you that the reproduction is not nearly as nice. The originals are usually a textured barkcloth or linen, much finer and less shiny than modern upholstery fabrics, and the texture beautifully mirrors the natural subject matters she was so inspired by. It's definitely worth hanging on for the real thing!

    3. You are so awesome, thank you for the info! Yeah, repro stuff is never quite the same as the real deal, is it? I will most definitely check out UK ebay (never thought of that!). I'm guessing your kitchen curtains are dreamy :)


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