Sunday, October 26, 2014

Manhattan Vintage Show

Fun with Old Clothes
A few times a year The Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show and Sale comes to town and deposits thousands of old things at the Metropolitan Pavilion, a huge exhibit space in Chelsea. Vintage addicts come out of the woodwork in search of a great dress, hat, pair of gloves or spectacular necklace. It's easy to burn out quickly in the face of so much color, cloth and clutter, so it pays to be with seasoned show goers, as I was this week.

Jean and Valerie of The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, see them here, know how to shop. They were joined by our Canadian friend, Shelley, who blogs at Forest City Fashionista, here. She knows how to shop too.
Valerie's sharp eye netted me two bonnets.
 This one, a brown-velour felt with pleated tucks,
should be described with a French word for 
brown, which is marron.
 Interior of felt says "Flechats -- Made in France."
It's a Dajori original from Chandler's in Boston.
 Red-velvet 1940's chapeau with
feather trim. It's handmade with no label.
The young lady from Revival Vintage was a delight as
we all tried on her wares.
Hand-sewn interior,
just like we learned at The Fashion Institute of Technology.
Shelley and Jean.
Valerie models a hat at
Revival Vintage.
Accompanying each Manhattan Vintage Show and Sale is
  an exhibit showcasing a designer.
 This time it was Bonnie Cashin. 
In 2000, The Fashion Institute of Technology museum had an exhibition 
of her clothes and life. Her ideal client was "the woman with something to do." 
Her best designs were casual and practical.
 Bonnie Cashin introduced leather and suede to ready-to-wear.
  She was the first designer for Coach Leatherware.
Bonnie Cashin believed that "invention
and independence were central to the
creative process."
The show brings out the vintage hounds
who often wear rare and wonderful things,
like this charming lady with a fabulous French necklace.
This delightful fille looked
so perfect in this coat that
she had to have it!
It's the karma that connects the
clothes to the woman.
My friends, this is special.
Meet Karen Augusta of Augusta Auction Company,
dealing in vintage fashion and textiles.
Karen frequently appears on Antique Roadshow and recently
appraised outfits brought in by
an American woman who had purchased them from
the Beatles' Apple Boutique in London in 1967.
The pieces, designed by the collective known as The Fool, 
will be auctioned on November 12 in New York.
The Apple Boutique existed for a scant 8 months!
 Marja Samson with her dog, Bibi Chibi.
My sister, Jeanne, with Bibi Chibi.
 I am wearing my Lola Patchwork hat --
I got a million compliments on it,
and my Monica Byrne jacket.
This woman loves Miro!
And so do I.

À Bientôt!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pictures from the Oysterponds Benefit

All dressed up with 
some place to go.
Each summer, on the first weekend of August, The Oysterponds Historical Society holds its Summer Benefit. It's a marvelous soirée held in Poquatuck Park in the village of Orient. The name "Poquatuck" was coined by the Corchaug Indians who lived in the area beginning in 900 AD. Real estate was considerably cheaper back then and the tomatoes weren't called heirloom. They were just tomatoes.

In 1661, some English families heard about Poquatuck from their town crier  -- Oyez, Oyez. We hear Poquatuck is hot -- and left for the New World. Upon seeing all the oysters and clams washed up upon the beaches, they named the place Oysterponds, which sounded a lot better than Clamponds. Everything was hunky-dory until British troops arrived in 1776 to guard the land for King George III. That's when some of the original families decided they'd rather live in Connecticut.

Eventually some creative types named the area Orient because it was the most Eastern point on the North Fork of Long Island. Now the Oysterponds Historical Society keeps all this history in order and puts on exhibitions with a lot of old stuff from 900 AD to the present.
I did the drawing for the 2013 Summer Benefit invitation,
 and my sister, Jeanne, did the graphic design.
 The handwritten copy idea came from this drawing I did
when I was in Nice, France.
Richard and I arrive in style to the 2013 benefit. 
Reprising an earlier leaning photo, siblings:
Dave, Carol, Jeanne and Susan.

Original leaning sib photo
in our parents' yard in Southold.
Our portrait from the 2014 Benefit.

The Benefit photos are by Holly Mastrangelo.
See her website here.

À Bientôt!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Je peux lire en français

Dreamy French Bookstore
Opens in New York
Bonjour, mes amis.
Il y a une nouvelle librairie française à New York.

There's a new French bookstore in New York. 

It's called "Albertine" after a female character in the
 Marcel Proust work, 
In Search of Lost Time.
Last weekend, Richard and I went uptown in search of Albertine and art. Our first stop was the Jewish Museum to see an exhibition of the work of Lee Krasner and Norman Lewis, two painters working in the late forties and early fifties. Lee Krasner was married to Jackson Pollack.

Ms. Krasner's abstract expressionist paintings were wonderful, and after seeing the show, we took a bus down Fifth Avenue to the French Embassy, between 78th and 79th Streets, to explore their beautiful new French and English bookstore, Albertine.
The entrance to the French Embassy
Albertine has 14,000 titles in
French and English.
The French Embassy is
housed in an elegant Stanford White mansion.
The books have been collected from
30 French-speaking countries.
The decor is quite elegant.
Note the green satin ribbon twisted
around the hanging lamp.
The rooms were designed with
the feeling of a grand
private French library.

The pink covered book,
The Little Girl and the Cigarette
by Benoit Duteurtre,
fascinated me.
So stop by when it's open and
experience la vie française
à New York.
It will be our secret, n'est pas?
After la librairie, we saw this
 magnificent display on the
way to our dinner at Cafe Boulud
in the Surrey Hotel.
The chef sent out this scrumptious
chestnut soup.
Such a pretty color.
A souvenir from this summer,
when dining at 18Bay on
Shelter Island.
Photo by Jeanne Markel

To learn more about Albertine,
look here.

À Bientôt!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Color in its Various Forms

Color + Geometry
A Blast from the Past
Today's theme, class, will be strong color and geometric shape as utilized by a French street artist, an unknown painter of walls, a Swedish artist and yours truly.
This is a fresco on a wall at the entrance to the new boutique, which just opened in Soho, New York City, of French jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann. It's by the French street artist and muralist who goes by the name of Remed. On a recent walk through Soho, it immediately caught my eye as an original and dynamic use of color and shape.
While walking on Allen Street, between Delancey and Broome,
 I spied this wonderful painting on the side of a building. 
Diagonals have always attracted me.
This is a painting by Olle Baertling (1911-1981), a Swedish artist.
It was done in 1958.
The size is 76" x 38".

In the 1970s I was looking at Baertling for inspiration for my paintings.  In 1978, Richard and I organized a show in Philadelphia called: The Courthouse Show -- Elemental Painting. It featured 15 abstract painters and was installed at the Federal Courthouse building in Center City.
Me and my paintings at The Courthouse Show, 1978.
Today I am still using diagonals in the design of my hats.
These works were spray painted with an air brush.

À Bientôt!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Advanced Style The Documentary

A Rousing Good Time 
at the City Winery
On Monday night, Richard and I attended an event for Advanced Style The Documentary at The City Winery, a performance space, restaurant and bar. It was a packed house, and anticipation was high to see Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador of Barneys, who would MC the evening, and the gals of Advanced Style.

High glam was in evidence among the Advanced Style ladies and others. 
The Sequin Girls:
Me with Jessica Bonarius,
a lovely lady from England who 
is in New York doing a costume design internship.
Simon kicks off the evening by introducing Ari Seth Cohen,
creator of both the blog and the book, Advanced Style, and
Lina Plioplyte, director of the film.
On the stage with them were the Advanced Style
ladies who star in the film.
Before going to the City Winery, we stopped by our
favorite Soho restaurant, Savore, and encountered these lively
gals who were also going to the Advanced Style event.
They had travelled all the way from New Haven, Connecticut.
Richard with jewelry designer, Diana Gabriel.
Don't you love the green and red?
 Simon lobbed provocative questions at the Advanced Style
stars, who parried them expertly.
From left: Joyce Carpati, Debra Rapoport and Ilona Royce Smithkin.
 From left: Lynn Dell, Tziporah Salamon and Jacquie Tajah Murdock.
Joyce makes a point.
Elke in a necklace of her own design.
 Val looking très soigné.
Richard with Jeri and Rory, who
we met this summer at a restaurant on Shelter Island. 
Jean and Alice
Jacquie and friend.
The evening ended with a cabaret show 
with Ilona and her ubiquitous red boa.
 It was a lovely party.

Hope you will all go and see the film,
Advanced Style, in a theatre near you.

For more information, go here:

À Bientôt!