As we were in the planning stages of MakeShift, Andrew Wagner told me that he didn’t want to call our talk at The Standard, East Village a “Panel Discussion,” but rather a Circus, or Carnival, or Party, or Making, Doing, Conversing—anything but a “Panel Discussion.”  This idea made a real impact on the how the event (and all of the events around MakeShift) unfolded. We didn’t quite reach the level of Ringling Brothers, but I think that we started a beautiful conversation that is continuing to GROW.

Today, I take inspiration in a book (and my Mother’s Day present this year from Butch and Maggie) which has quickly become one of my favorites.


Historical, humorous, and the most beautifully fascinating images and illustrations.


During my days as a costume designer, I hand-picked beads and sequins, positioned them just so, and saw the costume come to life in the details. As I’ve said many times before, “Life is in the details.”


And as Ernest Hemingway said, “The circus is the only spectacle I know that, while you watch it, gives the quality of a happy dream.”


Embellish your life and pick up a copy of The Circus Book: 1870-1950.

“Controlled Mayhem to dazzle and delight.” Indeed.


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