Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wednesdays with Carol: Jean & Vogue Italia

A day in which I discover that my
picture is in Vogue Italia, and I lunch
with Jean, Idiosyncratic Fashionista
Have you ever risen in the morning and found out that your picture is in a premier, international fashion magazine? I have, and it happened last week. I first saw the notice on Instagram in a post by Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style. It was his photo, taken in 2015, that was used by Vogue Italia in The Timeless Issue dated October 17. Jumping on Ari's bandwagon, Vogue Italia features older women with style and verve, led by a multi-page spread featuring Lauren Hutton.

She's bold, brash and captivating.
Carry on ladies!
The full-page picture in Vogue Italia
by Ari Seth Cohen.
Left to Right: Carol Markel, Lana Turner, Joyce Carpati
and Debra Rapoport.
I am wearing a dress I designed and painted with
an air brush, and a hat and beads of my own design.
The dress was sewn for me by clothing designer, Julio Cesar.
The yellow circle bag is by Lisa Perry.
That same day I was lunching with my friend, Jean, of the 
Idiosyncratic Fashionistas at Cherche Midi, a lovely
restaurant at The Bowery and Houston.
My hat is by Susanna Wood, a British milliner.
The dress is by Tsumori Chisato and the beads
are my own design.
The Vogue Italia photograph was taken at 
The Museum of Modern Art
in the Sculpture Garden. The four of us were modeling
for a Prime Time sketching workshop.
A drawing by one of the workshop's participants.
Toasting Vogue Italia with the lovely Jean.
Jean is wearing the fan-tastic "fan" turban
by Norma Kamali.
The light-filled Cherche Midi.
 Post-lunch, Jean took me to Little Moony, a
children's clothing shop at The Market NYC on the
corner of Mulberry and Houston streets.
Jean holds an outfit designed by Thuy Diep, on the right.
Little Moony's windows with hand-made
papier mache animal heads.

A Bientot!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Artist Magdalena Suarez Frimkess

Chelsea Morning
We have had a string of incredibly beautiful days. Sunny and crisp, golden trees, blue skies. On one of these mornings I traveled to the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The weather put me in an euphoric state as I strolled slowly down West 22nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. The street is lined with trees and stately brownstones. Residents have lined their steps and small front gardens with Autumn touches. There are Chrysanthemums, pumpkins and the odd skeleton and tombstone, as Halloween is near. 
I was walking on air, it seemed.
I thought to myself, "Something great is
going to happen today."
What I love about these elegant neighborhoods
is that they are so artful compared to my
scrappy Lower East Side.
A creative arrangement of gourds and
the big cabbage thing.
Shadows play on a Chelsea facade.
 I would hire Dutchman Contracting
based on their sign alone.
 My destination this day was the Kaufmann Repetto
Gallery where there was a solo exhibition of the work of
Magdalena Suarez Frimkess.
 Suarez Frimkess works in small-scale ceramics
which are hand-painted and glazed.
Her work is fanciful; the tentative
quality heightens a sense of poetry.
This stern little tiger cat exemplifies
her imaginative approach.
 88-year-old Magdalena Suarez Frimkess was born in
Caracas, Venezuela and lives in Venice, California.
She is inspirational to me as I
hope to be creating art at her age. 
She often uses pop, cartoon characters in her work.
I love the broken-down quality of this cup.
These heads remind me of Paul Klee's puppets.
 A drawing by Suarez Frimkess.
She selects her subjects from her day's encounters,
which she says is like selecting a dish from a menu.
A teapot with a funny drawing.
A scary cup.
A drawing on clay with a rogue's gallery
of cartoon characters.
Teacup with one of my favorites flowers: the pansy.
A mouse or a dog? in a dress.

Something great did happen. A couple asked
me how to get up on the Highline, the railroad line
running above Chelsea that has been made
in to a wondrous park.
She was from Paris, and dressed in pretty things and
colors. We spoke French.

A Bientot!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Exploring Fashion at
The Museum at FIT
My friend, Debra Rapoport, let me know about a free fashion symposium at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology). Yesterday I met Debra and some other friends to attend this fascinating event and see the two accompanying exhibitions: Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme and Force of Nature.

The symposium began with a presentation by Patricia Mears, deputy director of the museum. She is a fabulous presenter, beginning her talk with the opening music from 2001: A Space Odyssey. She gave an overview of the exhibition which essentially draws relationships between exploration of extreme environments and its influence on fashion.
Exploration of the North and South Poles
led to designers like Joseph Altuzarra
designing parkas.
Here is Jenna Lyons, formerly of J. Crew,
looking lovely in the snow in the
Altuzarra parka.
 The scaling of Mount Everest was a factor in
designs for down-filled garments and puffer jackets.
Here is a color-block ensemble
by Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garcons
from the 2004 collection.
 A beautiful paisley, fur-trimmed coat
by Yohji Yamamoto echos the Arctic theme...
 as does this Isaac Mizrahi ensemble of
a flowing taffeta skirt paired with a parka.
 The moon landing is another of the extreme
explorations covered in the exhbition.
Here are two geometric dresses
displayed in a structure meant to bring to
mind a space capsule.
 Intermission found us having lunch at
Kobeyaki. Judy ordered a spicy roll.
 This was my lunch, a chicken Teriyaki burger.
It was delicious and I loved the packaging.
The afternoon program featured 
Patricia Mears interviewing the
iconic Norma Kamali.
 Norma relayed many anecdotes. She exercises
every day, and loves to swim hence the importance of her swimsuit line.
Paramount to her philosophy is her
desire to live a creative life.
The famous Farrah Fawcett poster. 
She is wearing a Kamali suit.
Norma Kamali's "sleeping bag" coat
appeared in the late 1970s. 
She was camping and had to pee. She picked up
her sleeping bag and went out into the woods with
the sleeping bag around her shoulders. This
gave her the idea for a coat. She went home and cut the
sleeping bag up and used every part of it for the coat.
She is still using the same pattern today. 

À Bientôt!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Stroll in the East Village

Shops We Know on
Ninth Street
Last week I took a stroll on Ninth Street in the East Village, having as my destination the vintage shop, Spark Pretty. I know the Spark Pretty ladies as fans of Advanced Style, and from seeing them at the Manhattan Vintage Show.

Their exuberant new shop is next to the eyeglass purveyor Fabulous Fanny. As if you were going to view the eclipse, you could buy some outrageous sunglasses in which to view Spark Pretty. They have decked out their shop in psychedelic decor befitting the electrifying style of 1990's fashion.

 Proprietors, Megan and Amanda, with Barbie jacket.
 Hand-painted corset dresses.
 The produce department on a
voluminous jacket.
 Bejeweled denim for the
lover of New York.
 Eye-popping color and patterns at
Spark Pretty.
Further down the block, it was dèja-vu for this
shop, D.L. Cerney. Years ago, the owner, Linda St.
John, had a shop on 7th Street.  Then she moved to
Tribeca, and when that shop closed she
disappeared from sight. So I was surprised to see
this sign over a shop door.
 Far from the crazy -color world of Spark Pretty,
is the more quiet world of D.L. Cerney. Vintage-inspired 
pieces are carefully constructed with beautiful fabrics.
 A lovely summer dress for the
woman with a perfect figure.
A real treat at D.L.Cerney are Linda's tiny dolls.
She has been making these girls for years.
They are not for sale, explained her daughter, Suzi.
In 2001 a show of Linda's dolls,"50 Girls in Feed Sack
Dresses," was shown at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
Ballgowns in gingham and tulle.
 Every walker deserves a sweet. 
 There should be a bakery on every block.
 And every block should have a florist.
Here a cornucopia of blossoms at
Libby Myer's Beetle Bug.
I first met Libby in the shop she owned
in Soho called The Smiths. Oh did I buy some
wonderful clothes there.
The beautiful lady in white minding the
shop at Beetle Bug.

À Bientôt!