Greetings from the Big Apple: It. Is. Spring!
Sherry Hayslip Talks Coffee Tables with Park Cities People
2013 ASID Design Ovation Awards: It was Our Night!
Greetings from the Big Apple: The Importance of Culinary Aesthetics
Friday Flowers - Tulipmania
The Spring Fling Continues
Spring Has Sprung...
Greetings from the Big Apple: Or in this Case, Los Angeles
Color Essay: I've Got the Blues
For Your Valentines Pleasure: A Fantasy Dinner for Two…
Dallas… Modern… Luxury…
New York State of Mind
Greetings from the Big Apple: Ghosts of Christmas Past
Peace at Christmas and Throughout the Year
If Life were a Color...
While the Cat’s Away, the Mice will Play
Design Dialog: Dressing Room Reveal
Design Dialog: Watch for the Big Reveal
Hayslip Design Associates and The Crystal Charity Ball
Design Dialog: Peyton’s Closet is Almost Done
Design Dialog: A Sneak Peek in Park Cities People
Design Dialog: Room Envy
Greetings from the Big Apple: Frankenstorm
Greetings from the Big Apple: How I spend My Days in Class
Design Dialog: Color
Greetings from the Big Apple: Coffee Talk and Baby-Doll Heads
Design Dialog: Confessions of a Lapsed Decorating Mother
Greetings from the Big Apple: How a College Kid Eats in the New Millennium
Design Dialog: What About Fabrics
Design Dialog: Words, Words, Words...
The Painted Desert: The Enduring Appeal of Santa Fe
Bienvenue ŕ Dallas: This Style Scout May Have Found Her Calling
Design Dialog: The Duchess is a Diva
Design Dialog: The Chair has Arrived!
Greetings from the Big Apple: NYU Redux
Design Dialog: First, Step Lightly…
Hayslip Design Associates Visits Les Mettaliers Champenois: Why Cross the Pond When You Can Just Cross a Bridge
Design Dialog: Anxiety Over a Chair
Hayslip Design Associates visits Nanz Hardware: Classic and Well Made Always Fit
Design Dialog: It's All in the Planning
Design Dialog: Converting a Room to a Closet
Hayslip Design Associates visits Remains Lighting: or What Beautiful Things Come from Dumpster Diving in Brooklyn, NY
Design Dialog: My mother has a new client... And it’s me!
Hayslip Design Associates visits P.E. Guerin: A Treasure Chest in Greenwich Village
Design Dialog: Taking on a New Client
Coming Soon: A New Blog Series
Let the Games Begin
Summer in the City - Hayslip Design Associates hits New York
Happy Fourth of July
Martha Says "It's a Good Thing"
Ode to Summertime
Million Dollar Furniture
Memories of Morocco: A Day Trip to Fes
Memories of Morocco: Le Jardin Majorelle
Memories of Morocco: The Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Treasures of Marrakech
Obscenely Beautiful Things – A Small Update
Home Again... Dallas in Bloom
The Family who Wanders Together...
Trend Setting: All Aboard the Marrakech Express
Obscenely Beautiful Things
21st Century Homes
The Enduring Appeal of Chinoiserie
The Art of the Room
The Color of Love...
Love is the Answer...
Living Large in Small Spaces
Greetings from the Big Apple (and farewell Big D): Beginning a Collection
La Mode de Gaultier
Casa View Elementary School
Out with the old (soon enough)...
My Christmas Wish to You
Greetings from the Big Apple: Window Shopping in a Winter Wonderland
Greetings from the Big Apple: I confess... I’m a Pack Rat
My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...
Greetings from the Big Apple: The Blank Canvas of a Dorm Room
Bienvenue ŕ Paris: Shakespeare & Company
Spooktacular Skulls: The Trend of Skulls in Fashion and Design
Bienvenue a Paris: Lost in Paris
What a Girl Wants: Or Are Great Closets Better than Sex?
Bienvenue a Dallas: The Latest from Kitty Stuart
Bienvenue a Paris and Life without A/C
Introducing Our Style Scouts
Black is the New Black
How to Turn Your Home into a Piggy Bank... or at Least a Star!
A little love from our friends at D Home...
Born to the Purple
A Glimpse of Things to Come
My Talented Staff II
Happiness on Any Scale
Sherry's Blog featured on DG's Online Editorial
2011 TX ASID Design Ovation Awards
The Meaning of Love...
Blanc des Blancs
The Moon and Other Jewels
New things are blooming on Armstrong Pkwy.
Dwell with Dignity
Another Dip in the Gene Pool
A Little Link-Love
Mudejar en vogue
Spain Part 2 - Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, and Avila
The Artistry of Daniel Ost
Happy Valentine's Day
Jamaica Has Never Been Lovelier
Working in a Winter Wonderland
Imagine my Surprise...
Tested: How Twelve Wrongly Imprisoned Men Held onto Hope
In New York for Antiques Week
D Home - Best Designers 2011
My Christmas Wish to You
My talented staff
New Classical in Dallas
Kudos for the Gene Pool
Our winning kitchen is featured on DesignGuide's blog!
John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center
Trip Wrap Up
A Winning Week
How to Vacation in Architectural Bliss
Ode to Thatch
Smith, Ekblad and Associates: Architects and Engineers
Still More Design Riches (Part IV)
The Design Riches Continue (Part III)
Feminine and Fanciful
So the week ended
A Week of Wonders
Sherry is featured in Dallas Modern Luxury
A Little Touch of the Doge's Palace
More Design Riches (Part II)
A Year of Design Riches
Sherry Hayslip quoted in the Dallas Morning News
Asian Jazz and Friendship
Follow us on Facebook!
It's Coming Together
2010 Legacy of Design Awards
The House as Mirror of Self
A Weekend in Three Acts: Act 3
A Weekend in Three Acts: Act 2
a la Michelangelo...
A Weekend, in Three Acts
The Joy of Mindless Reverie
A Passion for Paper Art
Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera
Rubbing Shoulders with History
It all began with Cole
Un Petit Symposium
Thighs and Other Thoughts
“I think the quality of sexiness comes from within. It is something that is in you or it isn't and it really doesn't have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips. “
- Sophia Loren
One of the great puzzles facing designers is why people like the things they do! Why are people’s ideas of what is beautiful so varied?
And what virus is it that sweeps across the lands establishing a universal sense that a certain shape or style epitomizes the stylistic moment?
You can consider this in the microcosm of something as specific as which colors people currently favor or in the macrocosm of a general preference for either rounded edges…
or sharper edges...
It used to be that styles in interior design were slower to change than fashion. After all, it takes a long time for appliance manufacturers to switch from avocado green to titanium silver finishes what with factories having to tool up. Now, however, fashion and interior decoration are intermingled (every couturier seems to have a line of home furnishings or accessories), seamlessly leading from runways to living rooms.
Ralph Lauren was the first fashion designer to establish a home décor line. In 1978 he established Ralph Lauren Home, which included bedding, bath, and home accessories. Since then it has expanded to include furniture, tableware, even accessories for your beloved pooch.What Armani shows on the runway is reflected in his chairs and coffee cups.
So, all this is preface to saying that understanding aesthetics can be very interesting – the modes of beauty so inter-connected.What is beautiful?
I am always searching for absolutes. Are there any? Is there a standard of beauty that transcends time and the vagaries of fashion?
Since classical proportions are based on the human form, it seems that understanding what is humanly beautiful might be a starting point in solving the puzzle.
While the Greek ideal of the male figure, a finely muscled form, is pretty much the same in popular perception, things seem to have changed for the ideal woman.
mid-5th century Athenian sculpture depicting either Zeus or Posiedon.
21st century Adonis, Daniel Craig.
(and if you don’t care for him, may I offer you a selection from this bevy of beefcake?)But these days the fashionable ideal of a beautiful female form is vastly different from other ages. This difference shows in the overall attenuation and thinning of a woman’s shape. All of this is common knowledge; however, what strikes me as interesting is breaking this down into a study of thighs… yes, thighs.
In men it’s obviously NOT about the thighs!
“The flower is a jumble of thighs, the sun's harem - the most oriental thing imaginable. “
- Malcolm De Chazal
In the current obsession with short shorts, bare skin, or decorative leggings, slender thighs have become hallmarks of our present ideal of beauty.
At the Louvre recently, I took a few minutes to study some sculptures from various angles. These pictures pretty much sum up the classical view of the female form. After all, Aphrodite was the very goddess of beauty.
Here is a pictorial history of some artist’s view of what is beautiful (or sacred) in the human figure:
The ancient Egyptian ideal of beauty.
Crouching Aphrodite (Venus Accroupie), a second century marble sculpture of the Imperial Roman Era, based on an original Greek statue of 3rd Century BC, also at the Museé de Louvre in Paris.
Michelangelo’s Leda and the Swan
Venus at the Mirror by Peter Paul Rubens, 1614-15
Olympia by Edward Manet, 1863
The Edwardian ideal of beauty.
The Ziegfeld Girls epitomized the unfurling beauty of the 1920’s
1940’s pin up Betty Grable… and perhaps the last “classical” beauty, Marilyn Monroe.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” - Marilyn Monroe
Lovely Audrey Hepburn brought us around to a slightly less “voluptuous” ideal of beauty.
First generation Barbie 1959Almost from the moment Barbie arrived, she has received a lot of criticism. While many suggest that Barbie represents an unattainable body ideal that damages girls’ self-esteem, the doll’s defenders have argued that Barbie is, after all, “just a toy” and is unlikely to create any lasting psychological effects. In 1995 researchers Jacqueline Urla and Alan Swedlund published “The anthropometry of Barbie: Unsettling ideals of the feminine body in popular culture.” In 2004 they followed up with “Measuring Up to Barbie: Ideals of the Feminine Body in Popular Culture.” Their determination… that if Barbie’s dimensions were scaled to that of a living woman, her measurements would be 32 -17-28, thus making Barbie clinically anorexic.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that what followed through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and on into the 21st century was the adoration of the “waif”.
60’s fashion icon Twiggy
In the 70’s and 80’s the super slender model as the image of ideal beauty.
90’s fashion model, Kate Moss, was known as “the waif”.
The 21st century ideal???
Is it true what they say, “You can never be too rich or too thin”?
Since our perception of beauty has a lot of connections to sexual appeal and perceived fertility, the last images seem a bit surprising.
"Let me shipwreck in your thighs."
— Dylan Thomas
(Under Milk Wood)
But thighs are still undeniably sexy, being close to the significant area – or they can also just be cute or part of an otherwise innocent fashion statement. Non-supermodels seldom reach the area of high fashion, but the current perception of beauty definitely favors the slimmer legs more than any other era.
The amazing physique of tennis great Venus Williams clearly indicates that despite fashion, a healthy, beautiful body is still appealing.
In the end, silly fashion that emphasizes the starved physique is like an interior that is cold and blah –
My thoughts on the aesthetics of it all?
… it may satisfy our cravings for sophistication and a certain elitism… high fashion indeed…
skinny exterior skinny interior
But in the end, a softened, nurtured ambiance will win the battle – whether in love or decorating.
classically beautiful interior classically beautiful exterior
Vive les classics!
“When she reached for her skirt, a carelessly raised foot revealed a patch of soil on each pad of her sweetly diminished toes. Another mole the size of a farthing on her thigh and something purplish on her calf--a strawberry mark, a scar. Not blemishes. Adornments.”- Ian McEwan (Atonement)