Friday, May 25, 2012

All Advanced Style, All the Time

Advanced Style: the book. 
At your bookstore now!

Last Tuesday evening we attended the launch party for Ari Seth Cohen's book, Advanced Style.
Photo by Robin Lung
The party was sponsored by, a website dedicated to the arts, lifestyle and fashion. It was held in the Skyroom on the top floor of the New Museum. What a stunning setting, with an open-air balcony overlooking all of lower Manhattan. I choose an Alice + Olivia skirt and blouse with my Fabrice necklace as my costume du jour.

I first met Ari three years ago at the New Museum. Richard and I had just seen an exhibit and were leaving when we met Ari outside of the museum. He asked if he could take my picture for his blog, Advanced Style. I was wearing an Alpana Bawa striped coat and a blue fedora with a vintage handbag, so naturally I was thrilled that someone noticed. Isn't that the whole point of dressing up?

This is the coat that I was wearing the day I met Ari.
Photo by Richard Cramer

Over the past couple of years, Ari has photographed Richard and me for his blog -- and now some of those photographs appear in his new book, Advanced Style. It's a fascinating look at stylish older people, both the conservatively well-dressed and the more eccentric among us. At last, street style meets senior style in Ari's fabulous book.
 The cover of Advanced Style.
Ari signed our copy of Advanced Style.
A spread from our section of the book.

Ari signing copies of his book.
 His pink suit was perfect for the celebratory evening. 
Our friends, Paul Levitt and Robin Lung, were visiting from Hawaii and attended the party with us. Here are Paul, sporting a vintage shirt with a map of Japan, and Richard looking at Richard's work before the party. Paul is a great artist and also teaches in Hawaii.
Filmmaker, Robin Lung, in front of my Inspiration Wall. Robin is working on a documentary called Finding Kukan. It's about a Chinese woman from Hawaii and her 1941 Oscar-winning epic color film called Kukan. The film, about war-torn China, had been "lost" for over 50 years. You can read more about Robin's film here.
The inimitable, 90-plus year old Ilona Royce Smithkin, arriving in the Skyroom.
Debra Rapoport, visual artist. Love the yellows.
Daniel Schiffman, Nancy Ozelli and Lynn Dell Cohen.
Lynn is the proprietor of Off Broadway Boutique in New York.
Carola Vecchio. I love the sweet iridescent coat and black topper.
Richard Cramer in a splendid Kiton jacket, Coton Doux shirt and
 Brooks Brothers pants.
Ilona and I.
Photo by Robin Lung
Ilona meeting Richard.

Do you believe this guy?

They say that we're such a loving, inseparable couple.
Above photos of Richard and me by Robin Lung.
The pink peonies were incroyable.
Robin Lung, wearing one of my necklaces, and Lady Francesca Todd,
 a friend of Li-Ling-Ai, the subject of Robin's
 documentary film, Finding Kukan.
Mary Efron. During the course of the evening, I discovered that I had shopped in Mary's vintage shop in Soho many years ago, and had bought a beautiful 1930's silk dress there.
Jean, of the Daring Duo, The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.
Legendary Apollo Theatre dancer, Jacquie Tajah Murdock.
 She always wears a lily in her hair, like Billie Holiday.
Valerie, the other half of the Daring Duo, The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.
Many of the Advanced Style ladies are artists and make beautiful things.
Christina Viera made the pin that she is wearing.
Pristine and lovely, as always in vintage, Linda Zagaria.
Style-to-Go fashionista, Tziporah Salamon, who bikes around
New York City dressed to the nines, and Mary Efron.
Alice Carey and Geoffrey Knox.
Alice is wearing a real gardenia that complimented
 her white tuxedo jacket beautifully.
 Lina Plioplyte and Tziporah.
Rita Hammer
On the left, Bobbie Thomas, Today Show style editor, with Joyce Carpati (in pearls) and Joyce's granddaughter, Arianna Carpati. The Advanced Style Ladies have been featured on Bobbie's show, Style Buzz.
Gorgeous Brianna Hurley, who works at Lynn Dell's shop, Off Broadway Boutique.
Lynn Dell Cohen signs a book for a fan.
First there was the book and now there will be a movie.
Lina Plioplyte, filmmaker, and Ari Seth Cohen
 introduce their movie trailer, Advanced Style.
Artist and writer, Beatrix Ost, looks terribly chic against the acid-green New Museum elevator.
Après party ... and it's on to dbgb for a spot of supper.

To purchase the book, Advanced Style,
to see the Advanced Style documentary trailer,
 and become a backer of Ari's and Lina's film, please visit Ari's blog

À Bientôt & Let's Keep Advancing.... 

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Collectors

Thank you, Idiosyncratic Fashionistas
Two of the most stylish and energetic fashionistas on the planet, Valerie and Jean took time out of their fashiony schedules to attend my Open Studio. And they bought two of my Helmet Hats! I must say, they looked terribly daring in them. Their blog this week features the visit, and you can see it here.

Jean and Valerie, The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas

A Luminous Painting
Two of our dear friends collect art. He is an artist and she is an executive with a major hospital in New York City. This past year they purchased at auction, a painting by Jerome B. Thompson who lived between 1814 and 1886.

The painting was put up for auction by a well-known Pennsylvania family who had it in their possession for many years. The name of the painting is unknown but it is dated 1864 and is similar in several ways to a 1858 Thompson painting in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The painting by Jerome Thompson purchased by our friends. 

Jerome Thompson combined majestic landscape vistas, as seen in paintings of the Hudson River School, with rustic scenes of everyday life, or "genre" scenes. As seen in the painting above, the mountains, perhaps the Berkshires, present a luminous vision, while the little party of summer sojourners enjoy the pleasures of the shoreline in their small boat.
In this detail one might imagine that the figures in the center, so charmingly portrayed, are a married couple, and the other two figures, perhaps a brother and sister. Everyone looks very happy, and who would not be happy in that magical, beautiful place. I particularly love the woman's red dress, simple bonnet adorned with poesies and the shawl draped over the gentleman's arm. And is it not the sweetest look on the face of the woman on the right? 
This is the painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Jerome Thompson.
 It's called, "The Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain".
In this detail of the Met's painting, the man in the lower right-hand corner is looking at his watch. It is getting late, and the party must descend the mountain. But enthralled by the scenery and the company, no one seems inclined to leave. I think the title, "The Belated Party," refers to the late afternoon hour.
A detail of the picnic basket. Thompson was known to spell it Pic Nic.
Our friends' painting by Jerome Thompson installed in their house in the country.

The Flower Girl
"The Flower Girl" by Charles Cromwell Ingham, 1846.

Who can resist a flower girl? Not me. While strolling the Met's American Wing, I came across this painting by the Irish-born painter, Charles Ingham. He portrays a young girl hawking flowers in the streets of London. She offers a potted Fuchsia, a gesture emblematic of the Roman goddess Flora. 
A rose in the Jefferson Market Garden in Greenwich Village.

A sepal, petal, and a thorn,
Upon a common summer's morn,
A flash of dew, a bee or two,
A breeze
A caper in the trees --
and I'm a rose!
Emily Dickinson

My father, Sam, stands behind my sister, Susan (on left)
 and me at my Aunt Peggy's wedding in Tonawanda, New York.
 My grandmother, Kate Keleher, hand tinted the photo.
The dresses were taffeta.

My grandmother, Kate Keleher, a wild Irish rose.

Richard with Nathalie, another flower girl and a hostess at The Standard Grill. 

Paolo Alavian, owner of Savore, corner of Spring and Sullivan, Soho, NYC.
Paolo is always dressed impeccably. Note the violet jeans.
 This is where we had lunch for Mother's Day, at an outdoor table. Heavenly.

I am Archerie
A walk in Soho finds us at a new store, Archerie at 98 Thompson Street.
"I am...inspired by a time when wearing jeans was not an option. When being a woman meant wearing dresses, dresses that were easy to live in and work in. My line is dedicated to my daughter, archer. I am Jillian Grano." 
 Some very sweet dresses redolent of a simpler time.

 And because too much sweetness is cloying...

In the time-honored tradition of rearranging the wet paint signs in the subway, I submit this original example that I am sure no one ever thought of before.

An Open Letter to Mr. Joe Lhota, Chairman and Chief Executive of 
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City, New York

Dear Mr. Lhota,
Do you give one iota Mr. Lhota? Since you are committed to providing quality service to New York City customers, why do you waste time repainting the columns on the subway platforms when the rest of our East Broadway subway station looks like THIS?!?

Hey, a bientôt mes amis,
and if you catch un rat dans le métro, 
dites bonjour, monsieur le rat
parce qu'il est rat de ville!