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MFA exhibit Hippie Chic blooms with gay designers

Posted by Jim Lopata August 28, 2013 08:48 PM

Scaasi_10. Womans Evening Dress_Arnold Scaasi.jpg
Woman's Evening Dress by Arnold Scaasi
(photo: courtesy, MFA, Boston)

by Scott Kearnan

If you still have a pair of favorite bell-bottoms tucked away in the “sentimental memories” department of your wardrobe, you may have joked once or twice that such bygone fashions would end up in a museum someday. Well, “someday” has arrived at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, which is gearing up for the new exhibit Hippie Chic.

Running July 16 through November 11, the exhibit curates about 50 ensembles from the late 1960s and early 1970s, when pop art, psychedelia, and the Summer of Love-era counterculture converged to impact fashion: in the streets, and on the runways. And several important designers with connections to the gay community are featured in the show. If you’re a fashion expert, you’ll know of their influence; if you’re not, well, try these names on for size.

The acclaimed gay designer was famous for creating custom clothing for icons like Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, Mitzi Gaynor and Mary Tyler Moore. Hippie Chic highlights a flowing evening dress from 1969 that was worn by Barbra Streisand; it’s among the hundred-plus Scaasi designs that the MFA acquired in 2009, alongside an extensive archive that included sketchbooks spanning several decades. Scaasi, 83, is one of the few gay designers represented who is still alive – and still going strong. In 2011, after the advent of equal marriage in New York, he married his partner of 50 years.


Circle Furniture welcomes Thayer Coggin's Design Classics Roadshow

Posted by David Zimmerman May 21, 2013 08:47 AM

This year marks the 60th anniversary of two companies with a passion for modern furniture. To celebrate their long-standing businesses, Circle Furniture will host Thayer Coggin’s Design Classics Roadshow. As part of their celebration, Thayer Coggin is sharing a collection of internationally acclaimed designer Milo Baughman’s furniture from the mid-century modern era.

“In celebration of our 60th anniversary, we are taking these design classics to furniture showrooms across the country,” said Mrs. Royale Coggin Wiggin, president of the company. “Milo Baughman and Thayer Coggin worked together to define a classical era of modern furniture in America. This road show will highlight the history of our company and spotlight our commitment to excellence and craftsmanship in making American contemporary furniture.”

“The Thayer Coggin event could not have come at a better time, since we ourselves are celebrating our 60th anniversary,” said Peggy Burns, co-owner of Circle Furniture. “60 years in business is an incredible accomplishment, and we are excited to share this milestone with Thayer Coggin and our beloved customers.”

The opening reception for this contemporary furniture trunk show will be on Thursday, May 30th at Circle Furniture’s downtown Boston showroom, 31 St. James Avenue. The display will be available May 25th through June 5th.

To benefit The One Fund Boston, Circle Furniture will auction off two Milo Baughman chairs that were generously donated by Thayer Coggin. For more information about the auction please visit

Meme alert! Red equal signs storm Facebook …

Posted by Jim Lopata March 27, 2013 09:50 AM

Red HRC logos imagined on the ramparts of Les Miserables. (image from Facebook)


What is it with all the red equal symbols flooding Facebook and other social media?

The Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) popular logo, which features a yellow equals sign in a blue box, was redesigned in red. HRC Director of Marketing Anastasia Khoo explained the significance of the color choice in a press release. “By harnessing the passion that equality supporters feel for the freedom of loving and committed couples to marry, the internet is awash in a sea of red – the color of love,” said Khoo.

The symbol caught on quickly and has been spottedon many notables' Facebook pages. According to HRC, "U.S. Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., announced his support of marriage equality for the first time by changing his Facebook profile image to HRC’s red equal sign and many other public officials have followed suit."

Others featuring the symbol in their social media communications include U.S. Senators Chris Coons, Al Franken, Mazie Hirono, Frank Lautenberg, Bob Menendez, Chris Murphy, Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders, Brian Schatz, Jean Shaheen, Jon Tester, Mark Warner and Elizabeth Warren, as well as celebrities like Sophia Bush, George Takei, Tegan & Sara and Lance Bass, according to HRC.

HRC released a statement about the symbol that included information about its provenance and its rapid distribution:

As part of HRC’s robust social media efforts around the two cases before the Supreme Court, the red logo launched on the HRC Facebook page at 1:00pm ET Monday and the original image has been shared more than 100,000 times and created upwards of 10 million impressions in all 50 states – not including countless user-created versions. ...

Many variants have popped up as a meme all over the web, such as images of the symbol with the Statue of Liberty kissing Justice, Lantern, Ernie and Bert, the first landing on the moon, Mark Rothko, Fenway Health, Yoda, Peanuts, Les Miserables, and a thank you.

Below are a few.

About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!

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