Saturday, June 28, 2014

Les Créatives

La Vie Est Belle
à Bushwick
Life is beautiful in Bushwick (Brooklyn that is). Yesterday I paid a visit to my friend, milliner Lola Ehrlich, in her Bushwick studio. I really love going to Brooklyn as it evokes my long-ago days on the urban frontiers of Philadelphia. Industrial buildings, streets empty of traffic, and colonizations of creative types with the vision to grab a good thing when they see it: space at reasonable cost.

Lola is French so I can speak a few mots with her. And while we were at lunch at a charming restaurant called Northeast Kingdom, she taught me some naughty phrases like what you call an overnight bag (baise en ville) and a phrase for an assignation (cinq à sept). You can look up the first one, but the second one means 5 to 7. Don't ask me how we got on this topic!

Bushwick is burgeoning. It's becoming sophisticated and arty. The large warehouse and manufacturing buildings lend themselves perfectly to modern living lofts with white walls and Roche-Bobois velvet sofas.
 Bushwick is also famously home to murals
 which appear on nearly every building in the area.
Styles range from abstract...
 to cartoon.
 I like the absolutism of this all-blue building.
Maybe because of it's "blueness" it 
does not attract mural-making.
This building is home to Lola Millinery.
Lola speaking with a member of her staff
and a person who stiches straw who stopped by.
 Lola's summer collection.
It's called Bonjour Tristesse.
It does not make me triste.
It makes me heureuse.
 I love this super-large straw with navy bands.
 A lovely tableau.
I especially like the hanging ribbons.
 Sophisticated -straws in
an off-beat color combo.
 Lola's workroom with her color-block
fedoras in the foreground.
One of these was featured in Bergdorf Goodman's
window last year.
An intern works on straw boaters.
This is textile designer, Muriel Favaro, who shares space
in Lola's loft. Muriel, who is from Switzerland,
is an old friend of Lola's.
Muriel silkscreens designs of her
own making on canvas to create
bags and pillows.
A selection of wall hangings.
Here are a couple of her tote bags which
have leather straps.
Muriel has done work for Kate  and Andy Spade.
Kenneth Cole, Saks and Le Sports Sac.
I love the bold graphic style of Muriel's designs.
Muriel is also silk screening big dots on
men's shirting fabric.
She loves bold, fully saturated color,
as do I.
Muriel makes lavender sachets from
 the silk-screened shirting fabric. 
She also silk screens on bandannas. 
She is into dots
dots for sure.

It was an inspiring day in Bushwick!

À Bientôt!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fashion Friends

A Party at the
Monica Byrne Atelier
Last night we attended a delightful party on West 28th Street, in a loft amid the wholesale district's old-timey low-rise buildings. We were invited by Rosemary Wettenhall (aka Madame Matovu vintage) to celebrate the opening of designer Monica Byrne's atelier.

 Don't you just love this old elevator
in Monica's building?
Monica loves the films of Wes Anderson,
and this elevator reminded her of his recent film,
Hotel Budapest.
Rosemary Wettenhall and Monica Byrne.
Monica worked for Vera Wang and Jil Sander before setting up her own fashion design company. She favors clean lines and classic shapes and loves good tailoring and interesting textiles. She designs for a sophisticated and modern client.
A shelf in my studio with Monica's invitation and
a lovely Liberty of London note card
I received from Elisabeth who purchased a necklace
at the Hester Street Fair.
 Monica's Look Book for fall 2014.
Her company is called Bon Vivat.
 A coat from the fall collection.
Monica's charming "paper doll" drawings.
Nadia in a vintage lace dress works with
Rosemary at Madame Matovu.
 Bolts of cloth, a vintage lace dress (on chair)
and a painting by the talented and lovely Nadia.
Painting by Nadia and a lace collar by Monica.

 Rosemary and jewelry designer, Camille.
Camille is wearing a stunning necklace of her own design.
 Open the windows of the Hotel Bon Vivat
and discover a world of Monica's designs.
 A "footnote." 
Rosemary's Golden Slippers.
 I purchased Monica's jacket in coral wool crepe. 
Positively yummy.
Just happens to match my necklace perfectly.
 Stepping out on 28th Street, we were greeted
 with this gossamer view of the Empire State Building. 

It's so wonderful to support a network of talented artists
and designers in our vibrant city.
Thank you Rosemary and Monica, for a look
at your work and a fun evening.

You may see more of Monica's work here.

À Bientôt!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Hester Street Fair Day in June

A Beautiful Day
at the Hester Street Fair
Saturday I debuted my beads and hats at the Hester Street Fair on New York City's Lower East Side. The Fair is held in a pocket park that is actually owned by the shareholders of Seward Park, my co-op. For 50 years this little morceau of land at the eastern end of Hester Street was padlocked. Those were the bad old days on the Lower East Side. Then some years ago, an entrepreneurial shareholder had the idea to open up the park and plunk down a fair on weekends from April to October.

I have just set up my wares for the day. 
I am wearing my $5 yard-sale dress, one of my
necklaces with a giant diamond bauble, and
a vintage Parisian straw boater which I have
embellished with giant dots.
Helping me in my endeavor were my husband, Richard,
my sister, Susan (in pink) and my sister, Jeanne.
 Here's the full view. I had 20 necklaces and seven hats.
All the necklaces are named after flowers.
Jeanne supplied some little wooden crates, and
I used Ari Seth Cohen's photo of me, as
it appeared in Marie Claire Italia, for a sign.
 In fact, here is Ari Seth Cohen, blogger, writer and
movie maker of Advanced Style fame. He
stopped by on his way to a weekend in Cape May, New Jersey.
See Advanced Style here.
 Rosemary Wettenhall took time out before opening her
West Village shop, Madame Matovu.
Rosemary tried on the Diamond Bauble and
deemed it a must-have addition to her wardrobe.
Color-block Girl lends her
hueful self to the display.
Coming all the way from Long Beach, Long Island,
were friends Julie and Andy Hornberger and
little Sienna. Julie is wearing my
Forget-Me-Not necklace which she purchased
at my last open studio.
Elke Kuhn, with a smashing flower-adorned
straw boater and tropical fruit bracelet.
Elke took home the Hyacinth necklace.
A wonderful crew (from left to right) Tessa from Australia,
Debra Rapoport, Joyce Carpati and Elke.
This was a wonderful surprise. This lovely lady is Elisabeth with an S.
She is a fan of my blog, and ventured south from the 
Upper West Side of the city to come to the fair.
Elisabeth added color to her accessories with my Pansy necklace.
My friend, the brilliant milliner, Lola Ehrlich, 
wearing the perfect cotton skirt for a summer's day.
I am flanked by jewelry designer, Diana Gabriel (left) and
the Countess of Glamour and owner of 
Off Broadway Boutique, Lynn Dell.
If truth be told, the retinue of fabulous fashionistas
stopping by my table attracted no small amount of attention from
fellow-boothers and fairgoers alike.
Valerie, one-half of the team, the Idiosyncratic Fashionistas,
sporting one of my fedoras.
See their blog here.
Valerie and Lola.
She wears it with such panache.
Yes, this little number found a new home
in Valerie's closet.
What if you were sitting at your table at the Fair,
and you saw two old friends who live in Hawaii, strolling toward you?
Well, that's what happened!
Robin Lung, a filmmaker currently working on a
documentary called Finding Kukan, and Paul Levitt,
a painter and teacher, stopped by with a friend.
(OK, they were in New York anyway, not just for the Fair.)
I pose with Valerie in my Paris hat.
Wish I was there.
It was a great day.
Color, sunshine and friends, old and new.
What more can you ask for?

À Bientôt!