Weekend guide: Earth Day at Descanso and a show-stopping Showcase House


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SATURDAY, April 17
  • Earth Day at Descanso
Spring is in full bloom at Descanso, from the lilacs to the roses, so there’s no better place to celebrate Earth Day. From 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., a butterfly appreciation corner will spotlight one of nature’s most colorful creatures, including demonstrations and hands-on activities for the whole family. “Green” displays on the main lawn will range from compost tea making to organic gardening and more. Live, family-friendly entertainment scheduled throughout the day, and Patina Catering offers eco-friendly barbecue with local, organic foods from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring a blanket and settle down for a picnic among the trees.
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Earth Day events are free with admission. Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Dr., La Caada Flintridge. descansogardens.org

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Photos: L.A. Heritage Day at the Heritage Square Museum


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The third annual L.A. Heritage Day was held Sunday at the Heritage Square Museum, nestled along the Pasadena Freeway near the Arroyo Seco.
The day was an opportunity to step inside some of the historic structures now located at the museum. Each has been relocated to Heritage Square to be saved from demolition and to be preserved as a record of Southern California’s early development and architecture.

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Focusing on fashion illustration at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra


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Sunday’s Star-News carried a story on the Gallery Nucleus fashion illustration exhibition we recommended recently in our weekend guide.
Caroline An reports:
Twenty-five artists from Europe, South America, Asia and Pasadena are represented in the exhibit … Just as varied as the artists’ backgrounds and experiences are the different media hung on the walls — from paint to watercolor to ink to textiles.
The artists have worked with top fashion designers, including Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. Their works have been published in high-end publications such as Vogue, Elle and Nylon.
“We wanted to get a basic consensus of where contemporary fashion illustration is currently at,” (Nucleus’ director Wade) Buchanan said.
More photos and exhibit details, after the jump.

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Photos: New $66 million arts complex at East Los Angeles College nearing completion


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At a sneak preview yesterday, officials at East Los Angeles College unveiled the very-nearly-complete, $66 million Performing and Fine Arts Center in Monterey Park. [Full story, Star-News]
The new center, slated to open in July, includes three multi-level buildings to house the Vincent Price Art Gallery, recital hall and drama theater. (The college’s current Vincent Price galleryendowed by the actor and art collector, is the first institutional museum to serve East Los Angeles, and it contains more than 2,000 pieces of art.)


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Quick! Groupon discount on Gamble House tours


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If your friends haven’t yet turned you on to Groupon, maybe they’re not such great friends.

Groupon is a collective of sorts offering daily deals in various communities, including around Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Today’s deal features the historic Gamble House in Pasadena. Through Groupon, you can now purchase two tickets to a one-hour tour of the Gamble House at Westmoreland Place in Pasadena for only $10, a $25 value. Once you purchase your Groupon, you have until July 7 to redeem. This deal is only good toward the 2 p.m. docent-guided tours, which take place Thursday-Sunday and require a reservation at least one week in advance.

For more details on this deal, log on to the Groupon site and join, if you haven’t already done so.

There’s less than six hours to take advantage of this deal, so get to it and sign up. And don’t forget to spread the word to your true friends.

(Staff file photos)

Model home: Green abode in Pasadena is designer’s playground


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The Star-News carried a feature by Juliette Funes this weekend on the home of Kristina Urbana Spencer, who is an interior designer and the owner of Pasadena-based Setting the Stage Interior Design.

The modern home is a model of sustainability, being both eco-friendly and allergen-free:

“For a long time, green was not necessarily beautiful,” Spencer said. “Your choice was hemp, hemp and hemp. With the explosion of truly green products, you have much more variety.”


Let’s take a peek around the house.

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Rose Magazine wins Award of Excellence from Society for News Design

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Exciting news! Rose Magazine has won an Award of Excellence in the Society for News Design’s 31st Edition Best of News Design Competition.
The award is in the category of magazines, inside features page design, for our page made entirely out of flowers and organic material in December’s Rose Parade edition.
Back in December, we chronicled on this blog the making of our Rose Magazine mini-float. To call the process laborious would be an understatement, but our design team managed to have a blast with the project. We worked late, late, late into the night, supporting each other through moments of delirium and exhaustion and outbursts of laughter.
There couldn’t be any greater validation of our efforts than recognition from the SND.
Even more exciting is the caliber of work by fellow winners in this category and the competition at large. We feel a little star-struck to be in such good company.
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Letters from New York: Rodarte at the Cooper-Hewitt


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If you’re planning a trip to New York between now and mid-March, there’s a new exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum that focuses on Pasadena residents Kate and Laura Mulleavy — they of the acclaimed U.S. fashion label Rodarte.
The exhibit delves into the Mulleavys’ unique process of creation; The sisters execute complex manipulation of materials and meticulous techniques, first deconstructing and then rebuilding the elements into high fashion.
As an example, from January’s lengthy New Yorker profile by Amanda Fortini:
“They often speak of ‘building’ a dress. To create their garments, which tend to include a multitude of textiles (and finicky ones, like tulle, organza, leather, and lace), adornments (crystals, feathers, rosettes), and techniques (draping, pleating, dyeing), the Mulleavys work with a team of three seamstresses, a pattern-maker, a dyer, a leather worker, and three knitters. One mid-length yellow chiffon dress from the 2006 fall collection took a hundred and fifty hours to complete.”

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Shoes light up Rodarte runway, plus more behind-the-scenes images

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Let’s talk about those shoes.
They lit up the Rodarte runway like fireflies in an unearthly darkness, and managed somehow to be ever-so-much cooler than the effect of white confetti under black lights.
SHOWstudio, which earlier today carried the impressive live stream of Rodarte’s fall/winter 2010 collection, had this to say, of the shoes, on its blog:
“These strapped and sliced Nicholas Kirkwood shoes — with their cut-out sportswear-inspired fronts contradicted by illuminated fairytale melting wax heels — were just the cherry on the cake of a captivating collection that is undoubtedly one of the finest of the week so far. You can keep the heels, girls — we’re walking on air!”


You can, and should, catch the whole runway show, on-demand, at SHOWstudio.

Some close-ups, with variety:

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Photo gallery: Rodarte Fall 2010 collection


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Pasadena’s own denizens Laura and Kate Mulleavy came out strong at New York Fashion Week this morning in Rodarte‘s fall 2010 collection, worthy of an ethereal ghost bride with a penchant for neutrals, lace and a touch of pearls.
Still present were their bold textures and patchwork layering, but the muted color palette put a dreamlike haze over the affair. Where before their designs were almost tribal, that quality was overtaken by a spectral, romantic glow.
The Mulleavys have said they were inspired, among other things, by the notion of sleepwalking.

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