All photos taken at Berkshire Botanical Garden, West Stockbridge, Mass.
Do you remember those fashion-on-the-street features in the back pages of mags like Cosmopolitan and Marie Clare? The ones in which “good fashion” was represented by smiling, seemingly surprised women and “bad fashion” was lightly disguised with skinny black bars over the eyes of the beholden?
Inspired by those throwbacks but also hoping to put a more positive spin on things, I’ve been spying some blogtober fashion on the sly in my autumnal travels, no censor bars needed:
“Your mum and I were hiding in a house. A wee cottage. There was an old couple that owned it. And they were there, too. Three other people. And we were, uh… just trying to stay alive, I suppose. We were doing okay for a while. And then we were attacked. They came in through the kitchen window. They were really fast, you know? Chased us. Chased your mum. And we were trapped. Trapped in the bedroom. I… I seen them… biting. I couldn’t do anything. I tried to go back. She was already gone. She was already gone.” ~ 28 Weeks Later, 2007
“My asshole brother bought her back in September ’57. That’s when you got your new model year, in September. Brand-new, she was. She had the smell of a brand-new car. That’s just about the finest smell in the world.” ~ Christine, 1983
“In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found.” ~ The Blair Witch Project, 1999
As galleries slowly reopen, my list of hopeful weekend engagements continues to grow. It’s one I was worried would start late due to my ongoing injury recovery, but I was able to begin the return to culture this weekend with a show after my own heart: Flights of Fancy: The Botanical and Bejeweled Universe of Mindy Lam.
On display in The Anna and Frederick Henry Leonhardt Galleries at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in West Stockbridge, Mass., the exhibit is an intersection of several different things I already love: modern art, vintage pieces, fantastic elements, haute-couture jewelry… all hosted in the rooms of a slightly ominous garden house constructed in the 1700s.
Lam works with crystals and semi-precious stones, repurposed, vintage costume jewelry, and metal wire — including weaving metal lace out of gold, copper, and steel. Her art is inspired by and reflective of nature, and has been displayed within the clapboard walls of the Leonhardt on moss beds, willow branches, and squares of unbleached linen.
Separated into three rooms, the exhibit includes a selection from Lam’s Homme Couture brooch collection; a “man-made ornamental garden” of twigs and brambles adorned with pins, necklaces, and earrings; and a curated menagerie of pieces created for once-in-a-lifetime events, featuring Lam’s signature metal lace gown: “a wearable sculpture originating with a single, delicate thread of wire,” as described on the BBG website.
The real piece de resistance for me, however, is a cool-metal crown in a mirrored bell jar that appears to be telling an entire tale in-the-round.
Lam is also a decidedly philanthropic artist, working with charities large and small including the American Heart Association, American Theatre Wing, and St. Jude’s Research Hospital. She has extended sales on her website to support BBG’s education and horticulture programs throughout Flights of Fancy’s run, until June 6, 2021.
All photos (c) jcs 2021 ~ view the full set here