Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Vogue Japan Shoot

Hobnobbing with Supermodels
at the New York Transit Museum
I actually almost forgot about this, but last December, I got a call from a casting company asking Richard and me if we would be interested in working on a photo shoot for Vogue Japan April 2013 issue at the New York Transit Museum called The Vanishing Underground. It sounded like fun, so on a chilly morning we took a car service to the museum in Brooklyn.

We were both all dolled up in our most colorful duds. I wore one of my own color-block helmet hats and a great dress made out of silk scarves by Madame Matouvu. Richard had on his red and white check Kiton jacket that if it wasn't cashmere, and had not cost an arm and a leg, would look right at home on your flamboyant, cigar-chomping uncle in Boca.
This is Liya Kebede, the Ethiopian supermodel who starred in the shoot.

When we arrived at the shoot, we were herded into the "Extra" trailer. Mikael Jansson, the photographer, and George Cortina, the Fashion Editor, came by to check us out. There was a beautiful girl named India. They opined that she had a beautiful name. After waiting in the trailer for about an hour, we went down the steps to the transit museum subway platform. As we sat in a car to wait, the editor and photographer chose people to pose with Liya for each photograph.

 India is the red-haired girl on the far right.
Liya Kebede has her own fashion line called 
Lemlem which means "to bloom" in Amharic. Clothing is made
from hand-spun, woven and embroidered fabrics in an
effort to preserve the art of traditional weaving in Ethiopia.
The supermodel has also created a foundation
to enhance maternal health around the world.
Liya poses with David Agbodji, a lovely man from Paris.
We chatted in French when he wasn't posing.

Mr. Richard Cramer made it into a photo. I did not.
I guess my outfit was too extreme. 
Liya wore clothes by Lanvin, Saint Laurent, Balmain, Tom Ford, Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs. Here she is wearing a spectacular jumpsuit and carrying my vintage, velvet clutch (hard to see in the photo.) Like a pig sniffing out truffles, the Fashion Editor came over to me and asked if I had any handbags in my tote. Of course I did.
My bag appeared in Vogue Japan!
But I did not.
This young lady is a milliner. Her chapeau looks like it was caught in a nor'easter. She can be seen sitting next to Liya in the photo above. She was inordinately interested in my hat and took lots of photos of it.
We were not allowed to take any pictures
 but I sneaked this shot of the accessory table.
This shot for Vogue shows Liya, her husband,
Kassy Kebede and their kids. Love it.

Richard and I each received $100 for the day's work.

Photos: Vogue.co.jp

À Bientôt!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Visit to Chelsea with Maryann

Nature, Science and Poetry
I am so fortunate to have a lovely friend called Maryann Van Dongen. I met Maryann through Ari Seth Cohen's blog, Advanced Style. Maryann, Richard and I have been featured on the blog, and we are all in Ari's book, Advanced Style.
Maryann dresses with precision in outfits that reference both classic and punk. She wears her hair closely cropped with a meticulous fringe of black bangs across her forehead. She favors clothes and accessories in black and white, satin ribbons, lace, leather and pearls. Maryann also makes jewelry. Here she is wearing a necklace of her own design with pearl stones embellished with various found charms. A skull, a heart and a cross speak to her punkish undercurrent.

This week Maryann asked me to join her at the James Cohan Gallery in Chelsea to see the work of the artist, Spencer Finch. An out-of-town friend of Maryann's is thinking about purchasing one of the artist's pieces and had asked Maryann to take a look at the work.
Spencer Finch is a 51-year-old-artist from New Haven Connecticut.
 He now lives and works in Brooklyn.
"To fathom is to comprehend the essence of something colossal or ineffable by translating it into terms we can grasp....Finch's practice addresses such a need to capture and frame experience...Finch has combined scientific calibration and calculation with a romantic's engagement with nature and faith in the limitless rewards of observation."James Cohan Gallery Press Release 
This piece, installed on the floor of the gallery, is an actual fathom, a 120-foot rope with a weight on the end which was used to measure the depth of Walden Pond by Finch. Henry David Thoreau once used a similar fathom to measure Walden Pond. Finch repeated the task, and in the process, notated the color of the pond at each of the 700 sounding points along the fathom. He made paper tags and painted the pond color in watercolor on each tag.

 If you like paper and string, and labels written in pencil, 
you will love these pond-color hang tags.
A picture of the real Walden Pond
This painting represents different forecasts for the
 direction of the jet stream.
The lines look like ribbons fluttering in the breeze. 
Is Mr. Finch a fan of notions?
 Finch has written color names next to certain lines in this
painting which looks like plaid fabric.
Some of these color names are: Monticello Green, Majolica, Salvia,
 Gladiolas, Indiana, Jockey, Folly, Sultan, Runnymede and Mephisto.
There is poetry in color names.
Richard and I have this book of color names in our personal library. I don't remember where or when we got it. Richard used it in his Color Class at Tyler School of Art. He divided the class into small groups and gave each group a name. I remember one group was called "Debutante Pink."
A page from the book.
Maryann next to a Noguchi sculpture.
You can see Maryann's fairy-princess headband and
Chanel sunglasses here.
After the visit to the James Cohan Gallery, Richard and I
went to Miagi, our favorite Japanese restaurant on
13th Street. I wore a Sonia Rykiel blouse, hat from
La Cerise sur Le Chapeau in Paris, and a
necklace that looks like suns in orbit
from the Angel Thrift Shop ($5.00)

À Bientôt!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Fashion Exhibition

I Luv Stephen Burrows

This past Sunday Richard and I took ourselves uptown to 103rd Street and 5th Avenue to see a fashion exhibition at The Museum of the City of New York. The museum's costume and textile department, under the direction of Phyllis Magidson, mounts wonderful, little gems of shows from time to time. Until July 28, you can see in their gallery, "Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced."
 I claim this dress as my favorite. Color blocked and feminine!
Stephen Burrows was a kid in Newark, New Jersey, when he sewed his first dress using a zig-zag stitch on his grandmother's sewing machine. He eventually found his way to The Fashion Institute of Technology in 1964.
A fabulously talented designer, Stephen Burrow's career was meteoric, essentially spanning less than two decades. He opened his first boutique in 1968 and closed his boutique at Henri Bendel in 1983.
 The dance scene of the 70s, especially at Studio 54,
 fueled the desire for Burrows' fluid clothes.
Many celebrities wore his clothes including Liza Minnelli,
Cher and Dianna Ross.

The "Lettuce" edge is seen here on the bodice 
and hem of this draped dress.
The color juxtapositions are so fresh.
 His use of metallic fabrics lent itself to flashy dance modes.
 Mannequin faces are so artfully painted.
Color blocking -- with flag-like colors.
 Drama Queen.
 More color blocking for the reed-thin body.
Leather, the hippie influence, color striping and orange suede
meet button-clad black fingers à la Miro.
 The New York Times called Burrows
 "the brightest star of American Fashion."
 The exhibition installation is brilliant.
Burrows sold his clothes at the O Boutique at Park Avenue South and 19th Street in the late sixties. It was across the street from Max's Kansas City, an art hangout popular with the likes of Any Warhol.

 Slinky and a beautiful color to boot.
 Burrows had his own boutique and atelier at Henri Bendel,
 when Bendel's was great
 under the genius directorship of Geraldine Stutz.
 The store was made up of small boutiques dedicated to one designer. 

I would buy this beautifully shaped coat
with the huge shawl lapels
in a New York minute.

 Interesting details.
The eccentrics.
 Play suits for Sesame Street graduates.
 Funny Face. 
 Delicious color combinations like swirled candy.
 Burrows' drawings are marvelous too.
 He pushed the envelope with exaggerated long legs and tiny heads.

This is my friend and neighbor, Rosemarie Stein.
Rosemarie worked for Stephen Burrows in his
heyday, and has a collection of his pieces.
She wore this fabulous Burrows' jacket to the
opening of the exhibition at the Museum.
What I wore to the Stephen Burrows' show.
Amy Downs hat which I trimmed with a red-silk flower purchased at an artificial-flower store on Walnut Street, Philadelphia way back in the'70s.
One of my gum-ball necklaces.
A flower pin from a thrift shop. 
I should be dancing.

À Bientot!
Keep dancing!
Luv you!