Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Dress

Every girl dreams of the perfect dress.  We dream of our Easter dress, we dress up in our princess costumes and we even have a whole television show dedicated to finding just the perfect one for our wedding day.  Dresses mean a lot to women.

For those of you who are crazy-in-the-head for Veranda magazine like I am, you have probably already devoured this month’s issue along with me.  In this particular issue, there was “the” dress that I have been dreaming of for years...It has absolutely nothing to do with clothing and everything to do with design.  “The” dress is a Todd Murphy creation. 
September 2010 issue of Veranda, page 106. Notice the dress in the painting over the mantle. 

Todd Murphy makes the perfect dress - in artwork form! I remember when this infatuation with the dress began...Christmas 2006, and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since.

The movie “The Holiday” had just hit the theaters and I was (unabashedly) one of the first in line for it.  Nancy Meyer (the set decorator for the movie) is one of my favorite inspirations.  She was the creator of the sets in “Somethings Gotta Give” and I wasn’t about to miss out on this one.
Nancy Meyer’s living room in Something’s Gotta Give. 

The house in “Father of the Bride” - also another Nancy Meyer creation.

More recently in “It’s Complicated”

 Back to the movie, “The Holiday”....I easily identified with the character Amanda Woods played by Cameron Diaz.  Being a bit of a workaholic, Cameron’s role hit close to home for me.  Despite the fact that I enjoy a challenge as much as the other person, I am really quite fun!  The scene where her character is singing at the top of her lungs has happened to me a time or two but I digress.  The movie was something that I truly enjoyed but the one thing that I couldn’t take my mind off of was “the dress”. 

The artwork in the entry way of the LA home in the movies was spectacular and so simple.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.  While others were watching the movie unfold in front of them, I was gawking at the artwork.  Nerdy, I know.  When I finally purchased the DVD, I would stop it when the scene below came up with the dress in it.  It’s breath-taking.  
Surely, I couldn’t be the only one who noticed this?  And this can’t be the only photo of the artwork..I have no idea if this piece in the movie is a Todd Murphy or not but it did further solidify my longing for a collectable such as this.

Then slowly I began to see more of those dress pictures.  Isn’t that the way it always works - an artist gets a big break in the movie and goes on to fame and fortune. 
This is another one of Todd’s pieces in Metropolitan Home Magazine (also featured in an entry way).

This is one of three of the dresses at the Jackson Fine Art Museum in Atlanta form Murphy.

This one, gracing an Atlanta Home, is a prize possession of the owner named Best. The following is a quote from the article: “Best purchased this Todd Murphy painting after a fortuitous meeting with the artist at the restaurant Two Urban Licks. Among Best's considerable artwork, this piece, to which he was instantly drawn, is his favorite. ‘The way it jumps off the screen is so real,’ he says. ‘If I stand here for a while, I could almost envision a face above the dress.’”

I think that sums up the beauty and draw of Todd Murphy’s dresses.  They are designed to insert the perfect woman (whatever your vision may be) into the artwork.  So simple, so stunning.

Although only a few paintings of the perfect dress exist, this Chicago native Todd Murphy is truly outstanding.  But I had to move on..with 2 young boys and a large school bill, there was no way that a Todd Murphy was ever going to come live at my house.  Until 
Enter Restoration Hardware.  Recently, in the their catalog, I spotted the Todd Murphy dress!  Being a print of an original, it’s a tad more affordable at $1795.  Not exactly small change but totally doable if all the forces in the universe align just so (are you listening loved ones-- think birthday, Christmas, V-Day and all other major gift-giving events combined.)  With a little creative thinking, I am sure that 100 or so gift cards to Restoration Hardware could ease our sticker shock.  Wouldn’t that make for an interesting blog....
The perfect piece on the Restoration Hardware catalog pages.  It would look so yummy in my house!

No need to even think about where this should go.  I have a huge  niche in my entry way that I have been saving for just the right thing for several years now.  Coordinating with the black upright piano, a Todd Murphy would perfectly enhance the space.

All of the current decorating faux pas aside, the space that currently holds the fake flowers and the trunk would be the new home for “the dress”.  Hunting Coat Red also disappears next month...patience is a decorator’s virtue.

The perfect dress.  I think its time to take the plunge.  Quit dreaming of it and start living it.  Long gone are the days of princesses and brides - replaced by grown up realities.  Perhaps I should stop dreaming and start studying with the hopes of earning some new clients and thus being able to finally get the dress of my grown up dreams.

TTFN (ta-ta-for-now),


  1. I am so glad I stumbled upon your post. I too had seen the painting in the Restoration Hardware Catalog and wanted to know all about it. I guess Google can lead you to all the answers! Great blog!

    I linked your post to my post:)

  2. Ironic how you posted on the same day I received an email from Todd Murphy. He is building a new website, so be sure to watch for it. I too loved that painting from Restoration Hardware! When I finally went to order it, they called me a few days later and said it was their last shipment and it didn't meet their quality requirements...and now THE INVENTORY WAS ZERO! I COULDN'T GET IT! I was devestated. I called store after store, but it definitely had sold out. I guess there are many who had loved it too... it's time to save up for the real thing. :)

  3. Thomas Fougeirol "Robe" is the dress painting that appears in the movie "The Holiday". Todd Murphy is phenomenal and also is a friend.