Get ready for the Palm Springs Mod Squad
About this time in the winter season, everyone in the world starts thinking about the desert oasis that is Palm Springs. Now's the time to plan your trip to the annual Palm Springs Modernism Week,Feb. 12-21, which is actually a 10-day celebration of all things midcentury modern.
Naturally, the ultrachic Ace Hotel & Swim Club will be the hub of activity for the festival, which includes lectures, symposiums, architecture tours, films and martini parties, as well as the actual Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale, Feb. 13-14 at the Convention Center.
This year, there will be a special tribute to architect Albert Frey (he's getting a Walk of Fame star in downtown Palm Springs), a slide presentation of vintage Americana by pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix, double decker bus home tours, a vintage fashion show, and a book signing with the artist Shag.
In addition, on Feb. 20, "Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner" opens at the Palm Springs Art Museum. (First organized by the Hammer Museum in L.A., the exhibition runs through May 23.)
Things wind up on Feb. 21 with a self-driven celebrity home tour that includes stops at the swank pads of Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore and Elizabeth Taylor.
If that's not excuse enough for a road trip, the Ace will also host an Airstream trailer show with T-shirts from Vintage Roadside for sale. (The apparel company specializes in amazing vintage graphics from mom-and-pop businesses from the 1930s to the 1960s.)
If you're still in a spending mood, the long-awaited Community Shop is now open at the Ace. Design collective Commune collaborated with Alma Allen and Nancy Pearce on the store design and merchandise selection. Everything is made by American artisans and craftsmen, including Heath Ceramics, Kathryn Bentley, Tanya Aguiniga, Free City, Greybull Nation, Robert Lewis, April Napier, Steve Halterman, Claire Vivier, Atwater Pottery, Nomadic Trading Co., Beatrice Valenzuela, Alma Allen and Commune.
And, of course, there's always Trina Turk's desert outpost to check out, and the designer's favorite vintage jewelry resources Bon Vivant, Route 66 and Estate Sale Co. And don't forget drinks and dancing on the postage stamp-sized dance floor at the deliciously retro Casablanca piano bar at Melvyn's.
Log on to the Modernism Week website for details and ticket sales for individual events. And start polishing those go-go boots.
-- Booth Moore
Top photo courtesy of Steve Jones; bottom photo courtesy of Mike Tauber.