Sunday, October 18, 2015

Flower House Detroit: Beauty for Ashes

"Common Ground" Installation, by Toronto Flower Market Team
Installation/Design by Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio
Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio
Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio
Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio

All Photos by Alvita Lozano

Detroit is being transformed, that's not a new story.  How it's being transformed is.  Who knew that Blight, Flowers, Fashion, hard Work and a whole lot of Faith would converge like this?  To witness it come together as a volunteer for Lisa Waud's Detroit based Flower House project is a full circle kind of thing.  You can't make this stuff up. 

What the Pot and Box owner has envisioned and launched is indeed a "Beauty for Ashes" transformation.  In part because it is so inclusive, Beautiful, and like most things in life, temporary (Flower House Exhibit).

The blighted and abandoned homes and lots Lisa procured (4 total) will be replaced by a flower farm.

Admittedly inspired by the 2012 documentary "Dior and I", where Creative Director Raf Simmons honored Christian Dior's legacy with a flower filled mansion as the backdrop for his premier fashion collection debut, I was thrilled to attend a public viewing of the documentary last week at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Everyone who attended the viewing (Lisa, her staff, partners, volunteers and the public) wore their best floral ensemble and enjoyed another element of inspiration. 

Upon viewing the documentary, I picked up the "Dior" book by Francoise Giroud and Sacha Van Dorssen and found the following fascinating quotes about Christian Dior's life: 

"The problem of where to live continued to obsess them...; Dior, a high-class tramp, found refuge in a building that was being demolished, but the roof leaked and he came home one day to find neither water nor electricity in his garret." 

"Helped by his sister Dior pulled up the flowers, dug up the soil, and planted vegetables."  "....Dior had become a farmer, living according to the rhythm of the sun using candles to light his home, and feeling a certain sense of well-being, however harsh the days may have been."

Perhaps this is all coincidence, but I prefer to see a beautiful circle of points that connect, The Flower House Project, Christian Dior, the "Dior and I" documentary and Lisa Waud's vision as something more profound and timeless, dare I say magical.

The following scripture at least for me, tie so many things together and say it best: 

 Isaiah 61:3-4 "To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of the spirit of fainting.  So that they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.  Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastation's; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolation of many generations." 

 Let it be, Shalom, Amen and thank you Lisa Waud for the bold vision that is Flower House Detroit!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Detroit Fashion, an Exhibit

Detroit Historical Museum Exhibit Graphic

Detroit Historical Museum Fashion D.Fined  Exhibit
Jennifer Vermeersch
Local Designer Pieces:"Streets of Detroit Dress" by Christina Letdke and Alex Fredrico 
John Varvatos Exhibit Display, all photos by A. Lozano
Coming soon to the Detroit Historical Museum, "Fashion D.Fined", a Detroit based fashion and retail history exhibit.  It will include national designers: John Varvatos, Vicki Sarge, Tracy Reese, Anna Sui, Mr.Song Millinery, and a host of local designers, initiatives, and retailers.

Opening Event: Friday, September 11th, 6:00 - 10:00 PM at the DHM in Detroit.  See the website for tickets and more information.

Celebrating Detroit's glorious retail and fashion history this exhibit also showcases the work of local contemporary designers. 

While there are many wonderful pieces on display, I was drawn to a colorful and bold necklace by London based, Detroit native Vicki Sarge.

Have a look at this design course Vicki led with students in Head Geneva to see how her work inspires innovative design ideas abroad. 

I want to congratulate DHS Exhibit Director and Curator, Tracy Irwin for her vision, and commitment to building bridges between Detroit's history and today's emerging fashion industry, initiatives and designers with this unique museum exhibit. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pack your bags...Cuba here we come!

Model Katie Hearn, Wardrobe Styling/Art Direction: A. Lozano, Photographer: Ashlee Harris, MUA: ROUGE - Cheryl Salinas Tucker
Automation Alley is planning a trip to Cuba in the fall of 2016, to explore export and investment opportunities for small and medium sized Michigan based companies.  Next month you have the opportunity to attend a meeting featuring "experts from the U.S. Department of State, The Cuban-American Chamber of Commerce and The Christman Company who will share their firsthand insights and case studies about Cuba's economic, political and social outlook."

Here is a neat article on lodging from the BBC News.  Book early folks!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Havana Motor Club

We love classic cars here in the Motor City and I love good documentaries. 

Change Is Racing Down The Streets Of Havana, Where Cuba's Top Underground Drag Racers Struggle To Prepare Their Classic American Hot Rods For The First Official Car Race Since The Revolution.

Official Trailer for HAVANA MOTOR CLUB - Premiered in April, 2015 at The Tribeca Film Festival. 
Directed by: Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt

For more information visit Havana Motor Club

Ahhh..the good old days, racing cars with no seat belts!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A little bit of Cuba in Detroit

ROUGE in Ferndale, MI,Model Katie Hearn and Cheryl Salinas Tucker MUA

Photographer: Ashlee Harris
Model Katie Hearn

Model Katie Hearn, All photos, wardrobe styling and creative direction is A. Lozano

A sneak peek photo diary of a Cuban inspired photo shoot we shot today.  Our model/muse is Katie Hearn, MUA is Cheryl Salinas Tucker: ROUGE, professional photos by Ashlee Harris (will follow).

Check out this real estate development and diplomatic relations story on Cuba from the Washington Post.  I've been fascinated with the history of Cuba for many years and this photo shoot is my way of honoring it's distinctive cultures and glory.  This is the first of a series I've organized on the subject.

It also happens that there are interesting urban planning, land asset decay and development parallels between Detroit and Cuba, "Meanwhile, elderly Cubans whose children left the island remained in large homes they couldn't afford to maintain.  There were thousands of homes sitting vacant or half-empty, Coyula said" - Nick Miroff.

As Detroit is on the urban development upswing so is Cuba and I can't help but believe there will be some interesting behind the scene alliances made, in fact I know there will be.  Stay tuned!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Selfie Nation, Deconstructing Our Obsession with Ourselves

Photo Series/Styling/Cropping - A. Lozano, Photo by Merlin Elsner

Pretty self explanatory don't you think?

I find it hard to ignore the endless selfies posted on my social media time lines.  A strange visual diary, if we have eyes to see.  What to make of it?

Here it is, a mockery, a visual deconstruction exploring motivation. Beyond commerce (the farm bot #s) and our quasi celebrity/model culture, what are we doing?

One day it dawned on me, I had become an inatimate object, a mirror to be specific for my friends, family members and associates.

It's quite human to want to be seen, understood and remembered. Today we have the tools, and means to accommodate that need.  Or is it a want?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

JIMI, all is by my side, the film

"When the Power of Love takes over the Love of Power, that's when things will change" - Jimi Hendrix

I really can't believe this film was released last year and I had not heard about it until I came across the DVD in my local library.  It's really well written, with a wonderful cast and the 60s early modern fashion and set design is fantastic!  I was thrilled to learn a little about the musical legend I fell in love with when I was a young girl.  Check it out fashion, history and music aficionados.