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World Chess Hall of Fame

Michael Drummond’s “Being Played” at World Chess Hall of Fame

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

Last evening at the opening of Being Played at World Chess Hall of Fame, designer Michael Drummond, below, commented that his year-long effort to create a narrative about the effects of the fast fashion industry on the environment “almost killed him.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

In this exhibition Drummond, a veteran of Project Runway Season 8, has connected the issues surrounding climate change with the stresses the fashion industry places on the environment, and arranged them as a chess game. To illustrate the challenges climate change poses, Drummond looked for a famous chess game as inspiration. He found it in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey when Dr. Frank Poole plays against the supercomputer Hal 9000.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

I have to admit that I was so engrossed in how beautiful Drummond’s creations are that I was not thinking about a chess game at all.

In the handsome exhibition catalog published by WCHOF, Drummond says that “It’s a tricky predicament to simultaneously give yourself over to the glamor and fantasy of fashion and yet be repelled by the industry’s excess and its hold on the public psyche.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

Drummond used a “variety of fabrics in his creations both natural and man-made including laser-cut synthetics, clothing spun from steel, hand-crafted shoes (see Drummond’s own which I assume are handmade, below), and digitally-printed accessories.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Handmade  World Chess Hall of Fame Michael Drummond Being Played

Being Played remains on view at World Chess Hall of Fame until March 22, 2020. I suspect you’ll want to return often (as I do) to study Drummond’s craft, it’s quite amazing. Perhaps on one of my visits I’ll figure out the game Being Played as well.

WCHOF, 4652 Maryland Ave., (314) 367-9243, Mon&Tues. 10 to 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 to 9, Sat. 10 to 5, Sun. 12-5.

A holiday gift guide for procrastinators Part II

Not surprisingly, Todd Lannom and Ginny Stewart, co-owners of Centro, 4727 McPherson Ave., have taken the minimalist approach to making gift shopping easy. There are simply three plywood tables at the front of the shop filled with beautifully designed, unusual gifts. Two tables hold items made in America, the third, selections from Italy.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Almost everything on the American table, above, was designed by artisans located in Brooklyn. Front: AreaWear by Bower designs clever geometric trivets that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The larger herringbone shapes, front, are $35 each. The smaller tiles far left (made of wood) and right, can be mixed and matched and used as individual coasters too, $18.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Top left: American designer David Weeks’ beechwood gorilla, $100, and bear, $90, have movable parts. The Balancing Block dog at the top of the photo is a Snake Block®, a classic toy composed of 24 wooden triangles with an elastic band throughout, $48.  Top right: Balancing Blocks wooden shapes from Fort Standard are also $48.

Bottom photos: The latest in art lamps: “Filo” from Foscarini with glass ornaments comes in 8 different color palates, $550. Right: Decorative American-made outlets with 3 different cord lengths are handsome enough to leave in full view. Some have USB ports as well, $59 to $179.

Check Centro’s website for more information.

Don’t pout if you still need holiday cards, gift bags, or gift wrap. You’ll find them at Cassie’s, 316 N. Euclid.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

From top: Boxes of Papyrus holiday cards are $14.95 to $24.95, Right: a large selection of holiday gift wrapping paper ranges from $8.95 to $9.95: Bottom: Gift bags are $4.50 and up. Cassies also has a perfume bar where you can create your own scents, see bottles above.

Head to Cassie’s website for hours and more information.

The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Ave., below,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Top left: At The Candle Fusion you can purchase ready-made holiday candles in scents such as Cozy Fireside, $22, Holiday Ale, Balsam Fir, Cranberry, Gingerbread, and Candy Cane, $18 each. Top right: Or you can blend your own scents to create your own candle.

Bottom: You can choose from a variety of glass jars and scented oils to create the perfect gift.

The shop does a brisk business hosting candle-making parties. For more information, visit The Candle Fusion website.

At Enchanting Embellishments, 4732 McPherson Ave.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Left: A show-stopping faux-fur vest from Furious Fur in shades of beige to brown is $129.95; colorfully patterned socks from Sock Smith for men & women range from $9.95 to $19.95.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

At Enchanting Embellishments, you’ll find zany Betsy Johnson Holiday Purses, $89.95.

Visit the website for more information.

At Shelton Davis, 4724 McPherson Ave.,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

you’ll find a selection of English tea caddies as old as King George I or George II, spanning the 18th to 19th century, $800 to $1200. Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Clockwise from top: Antique Venetian Glass bedside water carafe with glass lid, $145; a pair of French Art Deco jeweled perfume bottles, $375; English cut glass round perfume bottle with sterling silver top, $150; cut crystal perfume bottles with sterling silver tops, $275.

Visit Shelton Davis website for more information.

World Chess Hall of Fame carries a wide variety of gift items, and this Saturday everything is 20% off:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Left: Jaunty bow ties by Cyberoptix, $50. Right: Chess sets include top left: a 14″ folding magnetic set with travel pouch $119, WCHOF member price: $95.20, top right, 7 1/2″ square magnetic chess set, $59, member price, $47.20, and front, 10 x 5″ magnetic chess set, $79, member price $63.20.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Left: Ball point pens disguised as quill pens with stand, $12. Right: There is a large selection of children’s toys at WCHOF including top left: Ogobolli Rattles, $11 each; 6-piece Pound & Tap Bench for age 12 months, $33; and a magnetic puzzle for age 24 months, $28.

Check out World Chess Hall of Fame’s website for more information.

At Mike’s Bikes, 324 N. Euclid,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

Top: Striders for ages 2 to 5 years are $120, and bottom photo: Pop some batteries into Kazam “blinkies,” $100, and the trail will blaze as they push ahead.

Visit Mikes Bikes website for more information.

Wolfgang’s Pet Stop, 330 N. Euclid,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Wolfgang's Pet Stop Shelton Davis Mike's Bikes Enchanting Embellishments Centro Cassie's Scents Candle Fusion Studio

An assortment of freshly-baked holiday-themed dog cookies will be a welcomed treat for your four-legged friend this Christmas. Mix & match organic peanut butter, honey, and oatmeal, or choose one with liver, 4 for $5.

Wolfgang’s is also offering a small group (4-5 dogs) 1-hour dog training class on Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. starting January 19, $150 (five sessions). For more information click here.

Don’t miss the last of this year’s Window Walk festivities taking place this Saturday, December 22.

Shop local and have a wonderful Holiday everyone!

A visit to PINNED! A Designer Chess Challenge

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

If you are into fashion and haven’t as yet visited Pinned! A Designer Chess Challenge at the World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., you’re in for a big treat.  The exhibition opened on October 6 (when these photographs were taken) and closes March 25.

The $10,000 design challenge was created in partnership with the Saint Louis Fashion Fund, located at 1533 Washington Ave.  The challenge for each member of Saint Louis Fashion Incubator’s inaugural class—Agnes Hamerlik, Emily Brady Koplar, Allison Mitchell, Audra Noyes, Charles Smith II, and Reuben Reuel—who was paired with a Grandmaster from World Chess Hall of Fame, was to create an ensemble for today’s chess player. It had never occurred to me that dress codes for professional chess players were a topic of conversation, until I read Macauley Peterson’s article in Chess News.

Each class member’s work is shown on the 2nd floor of the World Chess Hall of Fame. The winner of a $10,000 prize was Audra Noyes, who was paired with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, for the gorgeous dress shown in the photo above. More of Noyes’ designs are shown in the photo below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

For the challenge, each designer was asked to complete 2 designs, one for a chess player and the other more avant-garde.

Audra Noyes exceedingly charming illustrations and poetry are shown above.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Seeing what St. Louisan Emily Brady Koplar created, above, it’s not surprising that she won the People’s Choice Award. She was paired with Women’s Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade. Learn more about the designer on a blog post here, and about her successful career on the Fashion Incubator’s website.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Brooklyn native Reuben Reuel designed the imaginative fashions shown above. Read more about Reuel on the Incubator’s website here. (A couple of neighborhood friends have been spotted looking absolutely smashing while wearing Reuel’s custom-made dresses made of his signature African cloth, example far right).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Allison Mitchell, a Dallas native, was working in digital marketing when she made her first handbag that everyone wanted. Her success led her to St. Louis to further her career while participating in the Fashion Incubator. You’ll enjoy her story here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  World Chess Hall of Fame Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade Saint Louis Fashion Incubator Reuben Reuel Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Emily Brady Koplar Audra Noyes Allison Mitchell Agnes Hamerlik

Chicago-native Agnes Hamerlik, whose dramatic creation is shown above, was paired with Grandmaster Alejandro Ramerez. Hamerlik followed a more traditional couture path, which you can read about on the website.

The video takes you behind-the-scenes as the designers describe their creations for the PINNED! challenge, followed by the moment when the judges’ winner was announced.

World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Ave., suggested donation $3 per person, $5 per family.  Mon.-Tues. 10 to 5, Weds.-Fri. 10 to 9, Sat. 10 to 5, Sun. 12 to 5.

Saint Louis Fashion Incubator, 1533 Washington Ave., is open to the public Saturday, February 7, from 10 to 4 for a day of shopping the designers’ collections.