The MessyNessy Paris Spring Social Calendar

It begins with the first sightings of cherry blossoms, those warm evenings  that take you by surprise and before you know it, Spring is in full swing. To kick off the season right, I’ve been busy compiling my social calendar for Springtime in Paris...Now until Dec 31st: Inside Va … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

If You Like Animals, You’ll Love Amber the Taxidermist

Ah, Death. The last taboo – or one of them, and especially in America. "I think a lot of people assume I'm out here hunting animals, which just isn't the case," Amber Maykut tells us in her New York City taxidermy studio, "I study them. I love them." Her workspace is tucked away … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Credit is Due for America’s Black Couturiers

Joyce Bryant in one of Zelda's designs. Image: Carl Van VechtenNot a month seems to go by without a new blackface controversy or cultural insensitivity courtesy of the biggest names in the fashion industry. The good news is, we're finally entering an era that just doesn't let it … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

Amelia Earhart’s Forgotten Fashion Line

The idea of the celebrity fashion line dates as far back as 1850, when a wildly popular Swedish opera singer named Jenny Lind decided to top up her high-grossing ticket sales with a range of Jenny Lind-branded merchandise, including gloves, bonnets and shawls. Then came silent fi … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

Collectors Item du Jour Vol. II

Processed with VSCO with 4 presetI'm no art collector but I do confess I like to hang a lot of things on my walls. I prefer not to worry about what's gaining value on the market or where I can find an original so-and-so. In fact, I take pleasure in finding art on the internet – t … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

Greetings, from the Desert of Ghost Ships

Ghost ships of the Aral Sea © young shanahanOnly 30 years ago, this was home to our planet's 4th largest inland water mass; an ancient sea so vast, even Alexander the Great wrote of his struggles to cross it; where fishing commerce boomed and holidaymakers once flocked to its sea … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

When Seashells Were Money

Some of us can recall that day in school when the teacher dumped a bag of cowrie shells on their desk, and decreed, "See this? This used to be money!" Seashells were used as money across the world well into the 1800s. Up to 150 years ago the cowrie shell was the preferred currenc … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLIV)

1. A Bedouin woman from Muscat, Oman, ca. 1905She is wearing a ‘batula’, a traditional face covering. If you go out into the rural regions of Oman today you will still see elderly women wearing something similar, but generally with a veil in addition. However, they usually call i … | Continue reading | 6 days ago

Paris or Egypt? 100 Years Ago, it was Hard to tell the Difference

We could play a game here to start off. I could show you a series of ten vintage photographs and you guess which ones were taken in Paris and which ones were taken in Egypt. And to make it interesting, let's say you get 2 seconds per photo to decide. Ready? Okay go – from the top … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

Drawing Boards for the Ballet Russes

A design for "Queen of the Night"[/caption]Nineteenth century Russia was restless, and so was Léon Bakst. The young man belonged to a new generation of creatives, one ready to turn Realism on its head with one flick of a bejewelled, utterly fabulous wrist. Today, his name is "a b … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

These are the Real-Life Gardens of Earthly Delights

© Ilkka Jukarainen/ Flickr.These are also the places that will confuse the heck out of aliens if they ever do land on this planet. From the forests of Finland to the subtropical mountains of Mexico, we've come across some many magical gardens over the years and thought it was abo … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Weekend Like a Local in London

Most people know me for my Paris secrets, but London is the city that raised me for 25 years and you don’t forget an old friend that easily.I still remember my hidden Sunday pubs, my mother’s little go-to markets and all the urban secrets first discovered on field trips with my f … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Collectors Item du Jour (Vol. I)

Welcome to the first instalment of a brand new Messy Nessy series for collectors, vintage lovers, flea market fanatics and really anyone who just likes to learn about oddities that you may one day stumble across in a thrift store and have that "ah-hah!" moment. Today's item? Vint … | Continue reading | 10 days ago

Behind the Curtain of New York’s Thriving Subculture of Fortune Tellers

Search “psychic” in New York City on Google Maps, and you’ll be flooded with addresses of not only psychics, but astrologers, tarot card readers, palm readers, and others invested in the business of the esoteric. This is a city where the supernatural thrives, where even in the mi … | Continue reading | 10 days ago

Snow White Is Real (and She’s a Chinese Vlogger)

“This is China? It looks like a fairyland,” was Nessy’s first reaction to Li Ziqi’s (李子柒) vlogs. Our team watched, entranced, as Ziqi scurried through the misty morning air of her village, dutifully followed by not one but three baby animals (two puppies and lamb); we observed he … | Continue reading | 12 days ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLIV)

1. This Art Nouveau Sleeping Beauty in Cairo, EgyptThis is an old castle was owned by Abdel Salam Khalil Pasha. It was designed by the famous Italian architect Antonio Lasciac, who designed a lot of castles in Egypt in different architectural style ranging from neo-Baroque to Art | Continue reading | 13 days ago

Famous Authors are Writing Books for a Time Capsule Library None of Us Will Ever See

Concept artwork © TryingtoflyIn the frosty forest of Nordmarka, Norway, the seeds have been quietly planted to save the future of the written word. Every year for the next 100 years, 100 famous authors have pledged to each write a novel that will remain unpublished until the 22nd … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

Built in the Clouds, they’re the Highest Villages Frozen in Time

Ushguli, Goergia © RichardWhen you're looking to escape the tedium of modern and mainstream tourism, sometimes the only way is up. Today, our armchair travels will take us to some of the most remote (and highest) villages in the world, from middle America to roof of Egypt. But of … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

A Shortlist of the Most Obscure Design Oddities

Baroque pulpit ca.1750. Parish church in Dobroszów, a village in Poland.Life is simply too short not to explore the strangest depths of design, which, in all honesty, are usually the most innovative. Case in point: exploring the world of antique fish pulpits in Eastern Europe, re … | Continue reading | 17 days ago

Her Legs Should’ve been Registered as Deadly Weapons

Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire in "Band Wagon" © MGM ArchivesThe first time I saw this Cyd Charisse dancing was on a VHS copy of Singing in the Rain that I'd been gleefully gifted by my parents. With a total of just seven minutes airtime and not a single line of dialogue spoken, s … | Continue reading | 17 days ago

What the Movies Don’t Tell Us We’re Hearing

Sometimes, you hear what you wanna hear. Especially in Hollywood, where a coconut steps in for the hooves of a horse, and squishing canned dog food is meant to mimic the sounds of aliens and monsters. It’s all a part of “Foley” making, a term coined after Jack Foley, who pioneere … | Continue reading | 18 days ago

Greetings, from New York’s Living Ghost Town

Main Street, AmsterdamThere's something a little off about the storefronts on Main Street in the town of Amsterdam in Upstate New York. There are mannequins dressed in the windows, but at a second glance, the store spaces behind them look eerily empty and dark. Another sign taped … | Continue reading | 22 days ago

The Revolutionary ’70s Girl Group That Swept Bowie off His Feet

“They were one of the finest fucking rock bands of their time,” David Bowie told Rolling Stone magazine in 1999. They were called “Fanny,” and they were a breath of fresh air in an industry where few women, let alone all-girl groups, were given the space to rock out. Fanny saw th … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Taking Cash Out (and Proud) at the World’s Gayest Bank

There’s a certain anatomy to a makeover scene, but it always promises a drab to glam transformation – which is why the initiative of one Australian bank is going down as one of the most fabulous in history. “The things that matter to [us] are the same things that matter to our cu … | Continue reading | 24 days ago

She was a Bag Lady to most, until she became the City’s Most Collected Artist

©-Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Collection“I’m much better than Cezanne,” she would say if you had the opportunity to cross paths with Lee Godie selling her canvases on the steps of the Chicago Art Institute. She was a homeless self-taught artist who floated about town for many … | Continue reading | 25 days ago

The Women Who Walked on Wings

Gladys Roy and Ivan Unger play tennis on the wing of a biplane in flight, 1925.Gladys Roy, pictured above on the far wing, is probably the only woman in the world who could say she's played tennis on an airplane– at least in our circle of friends. As it turns out, a lot of women … | Continue reading | 26 days ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLII)

1. Potemkin Villages: Fake towns and villages designed for police or military trainingThe concept of the "Potemkin Village" can be traced back to Prince Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin, a Russian field marshal and favorite of Empress Catherine the Great. Anxious to spare the grim … | Continue reading | 27 days ago

It’s about Time We Reinvented the Autochrome

Show me an Instagram filter that can do this and I'll personally take you out to dinner so that we can become lifelong friends. Autochrome is a dead art – a secret recipe – if you will, that has been long lost to the modern world, left uncharted by 21st century technology and yet … | Continue reading | 29 days ago

Why China Keeps its Pyramids a Secret

It’s 1945, and US Airforce pilot James Gaussman is just trying to focus. He’s flying a leg of his journey between India and China, when suddenly, a glimmer catches his eye. Emerging from the plains of China’s heartland he spots it: a tremendous pyramid that would put Giza’s to sh … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Social Media killed the Radio Calling Card

Somewhere in between a business card and a message in a bottle, here's a concept to boggle the millennial's mind. Long before we were friend requesting on Facebook, following influencers on Instagram and instantly communicating with strangers around the world by simply typing in … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Remembering Lee, Jackie O’s Royally Naughty Kid Sister

A few words of advice: at a dinner party, always sit next to a snob instead of a bore if given the choice. Chances are, you’ll at least have a laugh. When decorating a room, always start with a rug; never over-dress, and, most of all, if you’ve got to get outta a dodge, hit the r … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLI)

1. Vintage Roller Skate BoxesFound on Anonymous Works. Lots for sale on Etsy too (with original skates).2. A 19th Century Tintype of an Orthopedic ShoeFound on Pinterest.3. Couture dresses made with Vintage MapsBy Elizabeth Lecourt. | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Movie Pitches for Women the World Forgot

This might not be my profession– pitching movies, that is– but if it were, I'd file the result of today's internet finds under "women to make movies about". Their stories have been buried in the past, eclipsed by others who perhaps achieved more or possessed qualities the world d … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Who’s Afraid of Adolf Wölfli?

Some artists leave us tangled legacies– reputations tied up in creative theft, family feuds and unresolved estates. Others, like Adolf Wölfli, leave us a veritable Pandora’s Box for consideration. At a glance, Wölfli's work oozes the sentiments of Psychedelic art; its kaleidoscop … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXL)

1. Discovery of a 3000-2000 BC ‘high priest’ in a vessel during the Uruk excavation of 1929/30 Found on Reddit's Museum of Artefacts.2. Ancient Mosaics just sitting unprotected by the shoreline"Yes, they are wonderful and in an ideal world they would be preserved"...F | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Saving a Slice of America’s Mansions

Your eyes do not deceive you. These homes have indeed been cut down the middle like a knife through a buttercream cake, but in lieu of confetti sprinkles, the insides spill out water damage, rot, and everything that's wrong with our throw-away society. It's the greatest triumph, … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

A Feast with the Gypsies of 1960s Paris

One of the most common misconceptions about Roma Gypsies today is that they come from the Eastern European country Romania, but historically, they originate from the Punjab region of Northern India. When they were displaced from their homeland thousands of years ago, they were ca … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Oh, Just a New York Hippie Castle with Elephants

We thought we'd seen it all when it comes to unusual and unique hotels. Then, we found Wing's Castle of New York. This storybook cottage had us rubbing our eyes– are those elephants? The castle began, as so many magical things did, as a 1969 reverie...We did a bit of digging on W … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Tokyo is Having Way more fun than us at Fashion

In Tokyo, there are no rules when it comes to street fashion. Current trends have little or no influence and you certainly don't have to work in the fashion industry to throw down some serious looks. I stumbled upon the Tokyo Fashion Tumblr today, which has been faithfully docume … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Here are the 1960s Fashion Trends we’d like to Nominate for a Comeback

At MessyNessyChic, we spend a lot of time in the 1960s, revisiting rock & roll communes, getting to know forgotten muses and venturing out on hippie trail, but we thought it was about time we did a retrospective of style from our favourite decade. The good, the bad and the intere … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Our Glorious, Gaudy Dinner Date at America’s Kitschiest Restaurant

Free for a dinner date tonight? We'll cosy up under the palm trees, beneath the eyes of Grecian statues and the bubbling of waterfalls; we'll stroll amongst Medici-inspired gardens and socialise with 200-and-something other guests who've ordered a Delmonico steak, or triple-decke … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Can We Talk About Dali’s Amazing Sell-Out Era?

"Then the Alka Seltzer shoots into the stomach!" are words you might not expect to hear from Salvador Dali from the comfort of your own living room. Yet, for anyone with a television in the 1960s and '70s, the Surrealist legend also became a staple of the small screen, sharing hi … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Dream Catching at the Ends of the Earth in the name of Art

Some minds are cornucopias; sources of creative ephemera. Such is the case for artists and photographers Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick, a dream team bringing fairytales to life for the new millennium. They agreed to open up the Pandora’s Box of their creative process to sha … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

A Bewitching Compendium of Victorians Letting their Hair Down

There was one fairytale character in particular that seemed to leave an impression on the ladies of the Victorian era. Rapunzel was originally written in 1790 by Friedrich Schulz and retold by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. The story was told during the Georgian era where long, loos … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

New York’s Secret Caribbean Kingdom (and its Queen)

Peer inside and your senses inevitably tumble inside a place that's more time capsule than bar. In the warm glow of a colour we'll just call, "Yellow, 1979", exists a world apart from the modern and fast-paced New York City we know. You'll hear the salsa rhythm of a lively San Ju … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

5 of NYC’s Cosiest Corners to Curl up in this Winter

Baby, it’s cold outside!  We're so nearly finished with the Don't be a Tourist in New York book, and while its contents must remain top secret, with temperatures plummeting so low, I felt we owed this little teaser to out New Yawkers. So come on in and warm up at New York’s cozie … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Vintage Muse du Jour: Rediscovering Chelo Alonso, Cuba’s Answer to Marilyn

She was billed as  the human,"Cuban H-Bomb" by American media in the 1950s, 'cause Chelo Alonso was Cuba's answer to Marilyn Monroe. Simply a force to be reckoned with, she exploded onto the international movie scene in the 1950s as both a dancer, instantly drawing comparisons to … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

A Bohemian’s Guide to Greenwich Village, New York, a Century Ago

I've been digging through my fair share of New York's archives while researching Don't be a Tourist in New York and fell upon the photographs of a woman who, almost 100 years ago exactly, was doing the very same thing as I: seeking out the city's local and off-beat gems.Oh ho, le … | Continue reading | 2 months ago