Nancy Riegelman studied at Berkley, UCLA and Art Center.  She has taught at USC, Parsons, Paris Fashion Institute, Beijing University, Tokyo University and currently teaches at Art Center and FIDM. She has lectured at many institutions in Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm, Bangkok and Philadelphia among others both internationally and domestically.  She is a Fullbright Scholar and the recipient of awards from Art Center and The Olympic Committee.  She has three publications, 9 Heads, Colors For Modern Fashion, Face Fashion.  She has exhibited at MOCA and LACMA and is in many collections including the Armand Hammer.  Nancy is currently represented by Western Project (LINK).

What does your inspiration board look like?  Since school I have been keeping a visual diary of what inspires me every year.  It includes notes from friends and paper ephemera from events and things I find important throughout the year.  I am always surprised looking back and it has helped me to understand my taste.  I have found that I am attracted to ideas that are a combination of two aesthetic elements that are far apart – often times ugliness and beauty.  My fascination comes when they meet in the middle.  Too much glamour is dull but add a bit of a rough edge and I like it.  I also love the idea of things disappearing – the ephemeral quality in all aspects of life.  Currently my inspiration book shows a range of items from people on the beach in Qingdao, China (LINK)  juxtaposed with pianist Lola Astanova’s Carnegie hall debut (LINK).


I often search for objects that seem impossible to make or imagine, like flower arrangements made from dust (LINK) or a 35,000 year old figure (LINK).


Another point of interest is true luxury like an open studio, really hot showers, exquisite bubble baths, eating a piece of chocolate while  listening to Tom Waits, a perfect gesture on paper, the perfumed weight of importance- is that too pretentious?  Beauty is very important and there is always something beautiful in my book like an embroidered sleeve from Valentino (LINK) or glassware from Baccarat (LINK) – beautiful objects that can stand alone. Beautiful objects that can also be juxtaposed for intrigue and new connections.


Tell us a story from your childhood: When I was a little girl I grew up in San Francisco at a time when life was very formal.  My parents took me with my grandparents to a very dressy coffeehouse.  I was spoiled with a lollipop in one hand and an ice-cream cone in the other.  When the adults sat down to eat their fancy coffee cake my hands were filled so I dropped my face down into the cake.  This experience has defined my life.

What is something you are really looking forward to?  Putting together a show of 100 glass tongues.  I very much look forward to the glass tongues being made as they are 2 feet long and will be hung from the ceiling in a very white room.