My obsession du jour is “The Himmeli!” This organic, geometric sculpture is named from the Swedish word ‘himmel’ meaning sky or heaven. Ever since I saw the artistic mobiles hanging in a J.Crew in SoHo, I find myself dreaming of simple and minimalist metals.  Originally built with stalks of straw grown from the prior years harvest, the designs would be prominently displayed in the main room of a cottage. It was thought that “the larger the himmeli crafted, the more prosperous the following season’s crop.”

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Abstract Himmeli no. 1 / Wall Sculpture / Minimalist Home Decor

One purveyor of these unique Scandinavian designs particularly stands out. Meet Melissa from Gran Rapids, Michigan of HRUSKAA (pronounced Her-oo-shh-ka). Her favorite materials include straw, string, linen, leather and wood. Each of Melissa’s original designs are influenced by the pure simplicity of Scandinavian styling and are made for medium to small scaled spaces. 

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Copper Himmeli Wreath / Modern Geometric Wall Sculpture

Above, the perfectly faceted 22″ wreath inspired from the himmeli changes visual perspective from every angle, playing off its clever lines. It casts a beautiful geometric pattern on the wall when the light is just right, truly a sculptural piece of art to admire.

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupBrass Himmeli Wall Prism no. 1 / Modern Geometric Ornament / Air Plant Hanger 

An unconventional air plant vase hangs out casually and seamlessly with frames, antlers, and other forest creatures. It is perfectly sized to hold a Tillandsia, [aka. air plant] for display.  Hand sewn from solid brass straw and nylon cord, the metal is ‘bright’ but will naturally oxidize and darken over time.

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Abstract Himmeli no. 1 / Wall Sculpture / Minimalist Home Decor
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The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The Walkup
Does it get any more white and clean than the Himmeli no. 6?
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There is no better way to celebrate the Winter Solstice and to pay homage to the seasons!

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Frazier + Wing

A mobile is a type of kinetic sculpture that takes advantage of the principle of equilibrium as well as the forces of gravity. The ever-moving artworks are popular among infants for use in a nursery as external stimuli. Not to be relegated to child’s play, modern mobiles are also works of art. The neologism of the word “mobile” was first suggested by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, quite the artsy beginning.

Frazier + Wing Art Mobiles as Featured by The Walkup

Perhaps, the most famous kinetic sculptor of all time is Alexander Calder whose rods, colorful, weighted objects and suspended components moved fluidly and randomly in response to motors and air currents. In contrast, Calder’s stationary sculptures are called stabiles, a term titled by Jean Arp. Other famous mobile creators include Timothy Rose, Mark Leary, Julie Frith and now, Frazier + Wing.

Frazier + Wing Art Mobiles as Featured by The Walkup

With names like Alexander (obvious homage), Hunter, Happy, Kelly, Ochre, Elliot, Grace, Sunshine, Holland, River, and Snow, there’s a mood and style for anyone in your life.

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Frazier + Wing Art Mobiles as Featured by The Walkup

Frazier + Wing is an independent design studio in Portland, Oregon. Designer and maker Heather Frazier creates decorative design objects and products for home and life. The collection was started in 2007 and was born out of a love of color, decoration, and a passion for making and creating.

Frazier + Wing Art Mobiles as Featured by The Walkup

Frazier + Wing mobiles are a poetic and modern interpretation of the classic form. These sophisticated and charming decorative accessories for the home are enjoyed by children and adults alike. Each mobile is carefully hand crafted using fine quality papers in a range of beautiful colors.

Frazier + Wing Art Mobiles as Featured by The Walkup

Now let the wind, a draft, or the movement of the family in the home gently let these moving forms sing!

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Valley of the Dolls

Written by American author Jacqueline Susann, and published in 1966, Valley of the Dolls tells the story of women coping with uber-rich-socialite world, trapped in the Feminine Mystique lifestyle of 1945-1960. The women are dealing with the “problem that has no name”, attempting to find meaning through talent and rejecting the lifestyle of a housewife.  The word  “dolls” within the title refers to a slang term for downers and barbiturates used as sleep aids. Highlighting women’s self destructive tendencies, desperation for money, and sexual exploits, the book captures (via setting and scenes) the oeuvre of midcentury modern design perfectly.

Images via Star Pulse and Valley of the Dressing. (Here. & Here.)

Valley of the Dolls is the tale of three young girls who seek to be self-made, and independent. By men, society, betrayals and money, they weave into womanhood scathed by self-destruction and saved by dependence on what are poshly referred to as “dolls”.  My friend Jennell so aptly examines, “these characters ARE what they wear. Like, in an unprecedented way. Neely = Rags to riches and therefore is a bit gaudy.  Jennifer = The hearthrob showgirl exterior, homebody housewife in a nighty interior. Anne = Jackie O.”

Now let’s see what midcentury design is out there to buy in the year 2012 (for relatively cheap). If you have a million dollars to spend casually, I would highly recommend Design Within Reach. Basically everything they sell is innovative, slightly retro, perfection. Midcentury is an architectural, interior and product design field that generally describes mid-20th century advances in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.  This genre of design was highly influenced by organic architecture, and the patterns represented often amorphous, almost animalistic shapes. Function was an extremely important aspect when designing the items, as the American family did not have extra income for spending. The aesthetic is greatly influenced by post-war materials, and lifestyle changes. Because of the heavy use of industrialization during the war effort, families sought to return to more individually manufactured and unique home state. Midcentury design can best be described as natural, democratic, and simple. An amazing exhibition about the philosophy of midcentury can be found via The Museum of Arts and Design featuring a forward by the curator, here.

Now put it all together and what do you get:

And just for fun, this “stepford wives chic” style is slipping its way into the 2012 runways ala Oscar de la Renta (whose label was launched in 1965). The collection features rich embroidery, kitten tongue pinks, exaggerated hair teasing, heirloom brooches, icy blues, luxurious textures, opulent fabric, and a youthful glow.
Oscar de la Renta Fall/Winter 2012 Collection at New York Fashion Week. PETER STIGTER PHOTO.
“Tomorrow I start the new collection. Really, it started yesterday when I had to decide the colors of next season,” de la Renta said. “And then this is a memory. I won’t remember this collection. You can ask me in a few days about the blue dress and I’ll ask you, ‘What blue dress?'”