Tag Archives: Design

Barrique – Where Beautiful, Sustainable Design Meets A Good Cause

By Lakshmi:  

This past weekend, we were invited to a traveling exhibit of the Barrique Project in New York City.  Barrique – a term that means “third life” is a beautiful marriage of three meaningful elements – exquisitely designed furniture created from recycled wood by youth who are recovering from substance addiction.

Thirty eight leading designers from Italy have conceived dining tables, chairs, swings and more from recycled wine barrels.  Each piece takes advantage of the natural curves and grains in the wood, giving the wood its “third life” – first as wood, second as barrels that impart taste to wine and third as furniture.  The furniture is so sensual and natural that each piece almost speaks its history and story to you.  And the most poignant part of this meaningful design initiative?  The furniture is all handmade by the youth of San Patrignano, a community in Italy that over the last 30 years has become one of the most effective drug rehabilitation centers in Europe.

Sustainable design, reusable materials, design with societal impact and meaningful design are all terms used today by designers to advocate their emerging thinking. The Barrique Project demonstrates that these terms are not just mere pipe dreams but achievable reality.

Here are my top five pieces from the traveling exhibit.

Miss Dondola Swing  Courtesy : http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Miss Dondola Swing by Angela Missoni
Courtesy : http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Stave Table by Giuliano Cappelletti Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Stave Table by Giuliano Cappelletti
Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Draghessa by Chiara Ferragamo Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Draghessa by Chiara Ferragamo
Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Doga (Stave) by Michele De Lucchi Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Doga (Stave) by Michele De Lucchi
Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Bottea by Mario Botta Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/
Bottea by Mario Botta
Courtesy: http://barrique.sanpatrignano.org/

To catch this traveling exhibit in the US, click here:


To admire the beauty of the entire collection, click here:


To learn more about the amazing drug rehabilitation efforts of the San Patrignano community, click here:


3-Fifteen: Good Clothes, Good Coffee, Good Hearts

By Rohan: 

3-Fifteen is a quirky little store on Marshall Street, adjacent to Syracuse University’s main campus. It is a thrift shop-coffeehouse combination proposed and run by students at the Martin J. Whitman School of Business and Management. While these passionate students own the place, they welcome others to join in on their cause to give back to those in need while providing quality goods for Syracuse locals.

When you step into 3-Fifteen, you immediately are reminded of a boutique in Northern California. Everything is handmade, stylistically unique, and the quality is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Fashion and design students are actually making the clothes on the spot! They are putting the latest technologies to the test and trying to go green while still producing some awesome apparel. Everything from shirts and pants to the quirkiest of accessories can be found in this small, boutique-style thrift shop. Home goods are a new addition to the mix, with items influenced by different parts of the world.

Head downstairs and you’ve hit Cafe Kubal, a coffee shop that only uses the finest ingredients and imports its syrups. Sounds fancy, but the reality is thanks to university support and funding, the coffee costs no morethan your typical Starbucks. Three dollars can buy you a small latte, adorned with Kubal’s signature “latte art” and sweetened with fresh vanilla or soothing caramel. Your options are endless here, and if you want to see students in action making clothes for a good cause while getting in your afternoon coffee break, there is really no better place to be.

One of the neatest concepts of 3-Fifteen is that you get to choose where your money goes to. You make a difference every time you purchase something because the store allows you to decide the organization you want your purchase to go towards. It’s a really interesting concept and since university funding backs the project, it is sure to stick around for years to come.

Check out Syracuse University’s 3-Fifteen and Cafe Kubal, located on Marshall Street across from the Sheraton hotel:



My Top Five Designs/Looks At The 2013 Oscars

By Lakshmi:  

Any time there is an awards function on TV, one of the major attractions for me (and now my younger daughter) is the red carpet.  Watching beautiful people gracefully walk the red carpet in amazing designs is truly a feast for the eyes and soul!  Last night was no different; from Helen Hunt’s bold choice of an H&M over the rack gown (it fit her beautifully) to the exquisite Gucci design worn by Jennifer Garner, the clothes and the accompanying jewelry lent the perfect look to these screen goddesses.

Here are my top five looks, that blended the beautifully created designs with the wearer’s persona.

#5  I’ve been following Michelle Obama’s sartorial displays since she stepped into her role as first lady and she definitely has a knack for picking clothes that flatter her statuesque frame.  Her beautifully beaded black and silver Naeem Khan gown was cut perfectly and completed her fringed, sassy look.

michelle obama

#4 Is there ever a time that Halle Berry does not look drop dead gorgeous?  Be it lounging on the beach in casual shorts or walking the red carpet, the woman is blessed with the most beautiful features, skin and more.  Her Marchessa gown embroidered and accentuated with what appear to be shoulder pads made her seem to appear from an outer world galaxy.

Hally Berry

#3 Jennifer Lawrence’s  youthful exuberance and nervousness was framed beautifully in a blush Dior gown which was reminiscent of the allure of Dior print ads.  Her pulled back hair coupled with classic jewelry added a mature sophistication well beyond her years.

Jennifer Lawrence

#2 Dubbed by the New York Times as fashion’s favorite clothes hanger, Jessica Chastain exuded old world glamor (think Rita Hayworth).  Her copper beaded Armani gown, her bright lips and the softly cascading curls created a vision to behold.

Jessica Chastain

#1  I’m not a huge Jennifer Garner fan, but her look was one of the most ethereal beautiful ones that graced the red carpet last night.  Her violet Gucci gown with a simple strapless front paired with an exquisite ruffled back was simply perfect.  As Jennifer herself mentioned, “Once I saw the sketch, I did not want anything else.”  Her hair pulled back with wispy tendrils accentuated the spectacular diamond necklace around her neck.  She was simply the vision of perfection.

Jennifer Garner

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the clothes that you fancied as well as did not like. Do drop us a line.