Surprising. Sexy. Fearless. Joyous. Timeless. These are the words director Murray Grigor used to describe the quintessential California architect John Lautner in his documentary, “Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner” (2008). Over the course of his half-century career, Lautner created modernist poetry in concrete. Born in Marquette, Michigan to aesthetically-oriented parents of Irish-Austrian descent, Lautner parlayed his early years working under Frank Lloyd Wright into a visionary portfolio in Southern California. While many of his contemporaries experimented with glass and steel, Lautner considered concrete his muse, and developed progressive engineering methods to make the structures he imagined, spaces at once futuristic and organic. His goal: “architecture that has no beginning and no end.” I imagine such transcendence would translate into a transcendent Sunday spent in the resurrected Hotel Lautner in Desert Hot Springs, California, a site he designed in 1947 as part of master plan for a never-realized desert community. Legendary in his approach to light, Lautner conceived of each room as a concrete cove harboring sunshine. Honoring his intentions, the hotel eschews blinds in favor of face masks, to my benefit: I would spend the day (in this silken Maison du Soir tunic) reading by natural light.
Time to unlock my latent talents. If I still lived in Brooklyn, I would beeline for the Textile Arts Center and take a class with one of the rising star designers on the faculty roster. Oh, the dilemma of what to do: Coil baskets? Dye indigo? Weave with nature? Paint tees with Rachel Rose, maker of this wavy silk top?
Beyond the bevy of adult and youth classes, the Center also houses Sewing Seeds, a program dedicated to disseminating information and inspiration on natural dyes. Did you know carrot tops, onion skins and rhubarb leaves can be used to dye fabric? News to me too.
Another dreamy window seat on a Saturday (perhaps this will become a weekly installment). Plucked from a two-story apartment in Sweden, this light-washed nook is lofted above the living area – the perfect roost for reading. Endearingly disheveled, I wouldn’t change a thing: the rooftop vista, the nest of pillows, the knitted throw, the bowls of coffee, the stacks of mags. But I would add me to this scene, lounging in these cheery silk pjs, made playful with cartoony toadstools and rabbits.