Based in Palm Springs, California, ‘Modernism Week’ has rapidly become one of the most recognised events celebrating mid century modern design. Having grown up in the Palm Springs area, and previously working at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Lisa Vossler Smith is the event’s Executive Director. In this interview, Lisa discusses the new features and highlights for this year’s event and the influence of mid century design for today’s interiors, fashion and architecture industries.
How would you describe Modernism Week to someone who has never attended the event?
Modernism Week’s signature festival in February is a celebration of midcentury modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture in the Palm Springs area of Southern California. The annual eleven day event features a rich array of events including the Modernism Show & Sale, tours of iconic homes, architectural walking, biking and double-decker bus tours, a world-class lecture & film series, tours of the historic Annenberg Estate at Sunnylands, vintage fashion, classic cars, garden tours, a vintage travel trailer exhibition, the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, and much more.
In addition to the strong architectural focus, the 2016 event will also incorporate fashion with a new series of events presented by Susan Stein. Can you tell us some more about this?
A series of fashion events will be presented by Susan Stein, Fashion Editor of Palm Springs Life Magazine and Creative Director / Producer of Fashion Week El Paseo. Susan, who is also an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, will feature designs from Trina Turk and other designers at the ‘Then and Now’ fashion show. Susan will also present two interactive lectures. ‘Inside, Outside, and Side-by-Side’ is an insightful talk that draws comparisons between the inspirations behind fashion and architecture. Celebrity makeup artist William Squire will join Stein later in the week to present ‘Your Signature Modernism Style’, offering tips to help fashion conscious ’modernistas’ look their best for any occasion.
In addition, we are thrilled to announce that fashion designer Lisa Perry will present a look at her modern and fine art-inspired women’s fashion during her talk, ‘Off the Runway with Lisa Perry’. Perry will present the evolution of her brand through a series of vignettes that include the vintage pieces she was inspired by, to her famous artist collections where she collaborated with both iconic and living artists.
What will be some of the other highlights to look out for at 2016’s event?
There is an impressive array of architecturally significant homes and commercial buildings designed by Desert Modernist architects included in the tours and events in 2016. A few notable properties to mention are the James Logan Abernathy Residence, designed by William Cody in 1962; Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate, designed by E. Stewart Williams in 1947; and the Dinah Shore Estate, designed by Donald Wexler in 1963. A special street naming dedication for architect William Krisel will be accompanied by multiple home tours, lectures and a film. Architect Richard Harrison will be honoured by Modernism Week with a Palm Springs Walk of Stars ceremony, placing a permanent star in his name in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion.