After a long hiatus in the blogging world, due to an overwhelmingly busy season, I am finally back! It's long overdue but here are the latest updates and the new collection, now available in Portland at Icon Tattoo, Flutter, Narcisse and Idom, and in Phoenix at Bunky Boutique. Also, I'm so excited to announce an expansion to include Brehan Todd jewelry in South Africa! The lovely owner of Lady Jane Vintage in Durban South Africa has invited us to have quite a presence in her new shop, which opens in late August. I can't wait to see and post the photos of the opening.
This season, with all of the downer news about the environmental disasters, political disasters and seemingly any other disaster that will gain some press, I thought it might be time to cheer up a little? I was thinking of one of my favorite places that I consider a Happy Place, where I go in my head on a vacation from time to time. Coney Island New York is one of my favorite places in the world. While been somewhat revived today, it's nothing like the fabulous fantasy Iv'e been dreaming of. I dream of being there in a different time when the city and the world was just beginning to become overpopulated and problems other than the environment were of concern. The park was created to provide a place for local residence and tourists to visit for amusement and the beach. The area began to peak as a resort full of carnivals and rides in the early 20th century. After World War II the popularity of the island declined and Coney Island amusement park endured years of neglect. The history of this national treasure is very interesting. Like all things wonderful, usually an Megalomaniac politician ends up ruining it. In this case, it's the man responsible for carving New York into a hideous structure of highways intertwined. Today there is a further movement to revive the park and the housing in the area. Here is a small bit for your reading pleasure. (There a lot of great resources on the subject if you would like to read further).
"Luna Park closed in 1946 after a series of fires and the street gang problems of the 1950s spilled into Coney Island.In 1944, Robert Moses actively opposed the "tawdry" entertainment at Coney and discouraged the building of new amusements. By 1949, Moses moved the boardwalk back from the beach several yards, demolishing many structures, including the city's municipal bath house. He would later demolish several blocks of amusements to clear land for both the New York Aquarium, where Dreamland once stood, and the Abe Stark ice skating rink. In 1953, Moses had the entire island rezoned for residential use only and announced plans to demolish the amusements to make room for low income housing. After public complaints, the Estimate Board reinstated some areas as protected for amusement use only, leading to many public land battles."[wikepdia.com)
I found inspiration in the films and photos from the 1930's and 40's, here are some favorites,
The Coney Island Elephant Hotel and Brothel was the first site for immigrants arriving in New York
Here is one of my favorite modern interpretations,
Artist: Mina Georgescu+ minagraphy.com
This is a tambourine hand painted by my boyfriend, David Paglia's Uncle Vic in the 1940's
Now, here is a selection of some of my favorite designs for Spring Summer 2010
Available at Idom, Portland Oregon
Spring Fuschia Dangles, avialable at Narcisse, Idom, Flutter and at www.brehanclaire.etsy.com
Available at Idom
Up, Up and Away Pendant
Brehan Todd enjoying the summer sun!
Following this post I will include some amazing short films from Coney Island!