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  • Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark

    Oh, the irony — initially criticized as Marxist propaganda when Mexican muralist Diego Rivera painted them for the Detroit Institute of Arts in the early 1930s, Detroit Industry has now been designated as a a national landmark. The announcement was made Wednesday, according to the Detroit News by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis as part of National Park Week. The designation does not change the ownership status of the murals or grant any new protections or rights, leaving its place among the rest of the DIA’s art in possible bankruptcy negotiations in question. The work is considered the best of Rivera’s work in the United States (another mural Rivera had done in New York was destroyed by orders of Nelson Rockefeller). Rivera himself regarded Detroit Industries paintings as his finest work. In the midst of the McCarthy era, the DIA posted this sign outside the court: Rivera’s politics and his publicity seeking are detestable. But let’s get the record straight on what he did here. He came from Mexico to Detroit, thought our mass production industries and our technology wonderful and very exciting, painted them as one of the great achievements of the twentieth century. This came […]

    The post Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Culture Feature

The Detroit Fashion Scene

Two Detroit women leave their creative mark on the city’s fashion landscape.

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Julie Lindsay’s Rolston bag.

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Dress designed by Cynthia LaMaide.

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Cynthia LaMaide

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Julie Lindsay

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Cynthia LaMaide and Julie Lindsay have taken two very different journeys as designers. LaMaide creates one-of-a-kind, handmade dresses, the latest stop on a creative path that included 20 years as a stylist in Miami and touring with Lenny Kravitz. And one of Lindsay’s bags had a supporting role as Kristin Chenoweth’s power purse in Family Weekend. Both designers say that their love of sewing and crafting by hand is the legacy of their grandmothers.

Cynthia LaMaide

Cynthia LaMaide still vibes like the Wisconsin kid that didn’t (for real) see a copy of Vogue magazine until she was in college. She grew up sewing with her grandmother in a rural area outside Green Bay. The moment her fire lit was the day she went to someone’s house and watched her grandmother construct an entire dress right there, on the spot.

“That’s what I want to do,” she says about the watershed moment.

She put her mad sewing skills to work and did just that, sewing a dress each day, all through high school — dresses for herself, her friends and family; including her grandmother. Next stop was Arizona State for clothing design, marriage, a daughter, a divorce and a long stint in Miami.

She was doing mostly custom work in 1985 when her boyfriend, a photographer, asked her to do some styling.

At that time, Miami was the hot place for magazine and catalogue shoots, and music videos.

“Everybody came,” said LaMaide. “You made a fortune.” It turned into a great way to support herself and her daughter for the next 20 years. Because of her intense self-training, she could sew, fix and pin quickly on models at a shoot, and she became known for her ability as well as her mild and meticulous Midwest work ethic.

The shoots were also a great place for her to market her own designs and she had Miami factories making the styles ordered by buyers.

After moving to Michigan with husband Bill Mallin, LaMaide wanted to pursue more artistic endeavors.

“I think people are kind of tired of that mass produced stuff,” she says.

LaMaide says she wants people to feel good in her designs and that handmade clothes give off a feel-good vibration. “I try to put that vibration into my work.”

LaMaide has been doing the art show circuit with her handmade creations, “the good ones,” she said, meaning the really good ones, such as the Smithsonian Craft Fair, The American Craft Council’s Palm Beach show and One of a Kind in Chicago.

Once you’ve designed for motion pictures, toured with Lenny Kravitz and dressed Jennifer Aniston (in Wanderlust), it seems like you might get jaded, but LaMaide, despite being an absolute master at her art, is like a kid with her first bike — showing off the bag she got from participating in last summer’s extremely prestigious Prête-à-Porter in Paris.

In a studio that would make Project Runway contestants salivate, LaMaide experiments with fabrics, processes and fabric treatments, hand painting silk, felting fabrics together, and marbling fabrics, by setting paint on top of liquid cellulose in a repurposed photographic tray.

“I kind of love the techniques.” The next technique she’s working into her pieces is weaving. “Oh that’s really fun,” said LaMaide, who still tries to make a dress every day.

Click here for more information on Cynthia LaMaide.

Julie Lindsay

Julie Lindsay’s grandmother designed custom menswear for the who’s who of Detroit elite as well as doing alterations for the venerated but now-defunct J.L. Hudson’s department store, downtown. Lindsay’s mother used to have the sharpest clothes in school; and Lindsay started young following in her grandmother’s footsteps.

“My whole life growing up, I always would sew,” she says. “In high school, I made my prom dress.”

In 2003, Lindsay started making fabric handbags to give as gifts and sell at art shows.

She always put a business card in every bag and one day she was thrilled to get a call from InStyle magazine, wanting to feature her leopard print and suede “cat tote” in a “What’s Hot Now” feature.

“I knew I needed to get a manufacturer, that there was no possible way for me to keep up,” recalls Lindsay.

She found a military manufacturer in Traverse City to do the work and immediately sold out the first run of 175 bags. The orders came in so fast that they crashed her website.

“It was exciting,” she remembers. “That was the press that really moved things forward.”

At her first trade show in California, in 2005, she had a line wrapped that snaked around her booth waiting to place orders. Her sister and her best friend both flew in from Florida and Washington state, respectively, to help.

“That California gift show, I have to say was awesome,” she says.

Lindsay says she’s driven by hard-hitting inspirations, which she finds in colors, in a pair of shoes, in the skins she works with. “Colors and different leathers inspire me,” she says. “Or, just a plain big piece of leather.”

Lindsay’s husband Scott, a former machinist, machined her signature nameplate on his lunch hour. “People like that chunky, square, heavy,” she says of her hardware, which is now manufactured in Italy.

Lindsay was drawn to creating bags because she likes to carry a bag that makes a statement. The Julie Lindsay girl, she says, “likes to carry a really sharp functional bag that people notice. Yeah, she likes to be noticed. If they’re trying to remain anonymous, they’re not going to carry one.”

Lindsay carries a black version of the fringed Rolston hobo — pictured above.

“It’s such a personal piece. It says a lot,” she explains. “I’ve just always liked to carry something that was really hip and cool. I’m not a very fancy girl — my wedding ring cost like $10. Everybody has [his or her] thing. For me, it’s handbags.”

Lindsay’s next challenge: Shoes. She has created one pair that recently appeared in StyleLine magazine.

“One day I’d like to get into shoes and handbags and do those two things together. That would be my ultimate dream,” she says. “I’ve still got goals. I’m certainly not finished at all.” Upcoming stops on Lindsay’s journey include a Nov. 21 trunk show at Pilling Gallery in Detroit, a sale date on NBC’s Today show and a Kickstarter campaign to raise money, which will allow her to expand her line by six new purses.

“The whole thing is a journey,” she offers, adding, “if you’re doing something you love, then it’s a good journey.”

Click here for more information on Julie Lindsay.

Beth Robinson is a contributor to the Metro Times. Send comments to

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We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

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Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
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