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Dispatches from Savannah: Speaking at SCAD Style

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Earlier this week I traveled to Savannah to speak at SCAD Style, the month-long chock-full festival put on by the Savannah College of Art and Design that culminates in a student fashion show and lifetime achievement award. This year’s recipient: Isabel Toledo.

I was delighted to be in the company of an impressive roster of speakers, such as Pulitzer Prize winning Washingnton Post fashion critic Robin Givhan, hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons, interior designer Jonathan Adler, Barneys creative director Simon Doonan, designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, architect Clive Wilkinson, MoMA curator Barry Bergdoll, New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman and many others. I would have loved to stay the month attending each talk – and I recommend it to all, since all lectures are free – but alas, my stay was just a few days.

I spoke as part of a panel of design bloggers. We had a packed house and a wonderful audience of students, faculty and staff who seemed as excited about the blogging as we are. My co-panelists were artist-blogger Katie Runnels, who has wonderful site, The Constant Gatherer, where she features her own work and the work of artists she finds, and Grace Bonney, who began Design*Sponge in 2004, to concentrate on home and product design, and is one of the first design bloggers.

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Where we spoke, the Pei Ling Chan Gallery, a former bank now part of the campus, as it was filling up with students.

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Here we are after our talk (from left): Me, Katie Runnels and Grace Bonney.

SCAD graciously put us up in the wonderful Magnolia Hall, it’s 1878 mansion-guesthouse adjacent to Forsyth Park.
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I love the way the ivy grew under each step leading to the front porch.

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savannah-837I took an early-morning walk through Forsyth Park and just couldn’t get enough of the Spanish moss. At right is the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows in my room.

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One thing I love about the SCAD aesthetic is the way they mix styles, nothing is taken too seriously. In my room, a lucite chair, antique screen, Moroccan poof and funky silk lampshade (with chandelier printed on it) enjoy each others company. And at right, what a clever way to do mirrors in a bathroom, the arrangement also worked in lieu of a full-length.
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The dining room where we ate breakfast each morning. The draperies paired silk with burlap bottoms for a not-too-dressed up look.


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Modern art punched up antiques and traditional accessories like the gold candleabra lights.

At right, I loved the bright arrangement on the dining room table and later found the slim vases at a local shop owned by a SCAD alum called Arcanum (they don’t have a web site but can be found at 422 Whitaker St., 912.236.6000).

That’s all for now, but more Savannah inspiration to come!

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