Saturday, February 17, 2018

Valentine's Day, 2018

Cut, Collage and Paste
Your Valentine Awaits
My friend, Elke Kuhn, had a Valentine-making party. It's a charming idea, because Valentine's Day is all about frills, and lacy accents, ribbons and hearts. But the really fun thing about the party was seeing Elke's apartment in Brooklyn for the first time and also being with lovely women for great conversation.

Elke is a textile artist who has done lots of artistic things in her career, including interior design. When you walk in to her apartment, with it brick walls and high ceilings, the sights take your breath away. You actually do not know where to look first.
Ms. Markel, moi,
sitting primly on the settee.
The mantle to the working fireplace. 
Christmas balls in a milk-glass bowl.
 Elke both collects and makes hats.
Hatboxes with chic labels in her studio.
 Fate with a T Square "T."
 Elke does masterful knitwear and
crochet work. One of her tunic
pieces hangs on a door.
 One of Elke's headbands in amongst
a wheat shaft lamp and a wooden handbag.
 Glass balls in purple and turquoise hues 
on a glass coffee table. 
 Elke's sofa.
 A Biedermeier armoire with silver ornaments.
 There are artful tableaux in every corner.
Elke replaced the original drawer pulls with
the blue-glass ones.
 Show and tell in Elke's apartment is
fascinating and could go on for hours.
Elke is wearing a hand-crocheted sweater of
her own design adorned with her own
polymer clay heart pins. She is showing us
a sock she made from German yarn.
 Elke's charming tea table features vintage
mercerized cotton crocheted hearts.
 A fanciful grouping of Scottie dogs and
headless ladies.
A Rosewood vase in a kitchen nook.
 In Elke's bath, it's Christmas all year.
 A Danish Christmas corner with a painting
from Cuba. Elke's son lives in Denmark
and she visits regularly.
 Even a tower of bowls in capped by
a vase of tulips in the kitchen.
 Gathering of Father Christmases acts as a
screen between the kitchen and dining areas.
 The tea table with raspberry mousse cakes
from Ceci Cela Patisserie, a chocolate torte
and vintage champagne coupes.
 Elke holds one of the many items
she put out for us to make our Valentine cards.
 My card for my husband,Richard.
 Cupid is featured in this display.
 After card-making we enjoyed this
scrumptious repast. Elke's friend, Cathy, looking
sweet as she politely waits for all to join her.
 Suzy savors her raspberry mousse.
 Thank you, Elke,
 for a wonderful afternoon.

A Bientot!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

My Pre-Valentine Trunk Show

It's All Hearts and Flowers
at East Village Hats
What a shocker. It's February, and I have not posted on Femme et Fleur since December. Perhaps this can be attributed to my being extremely busy preparing mes chapeaux for my Pre-Valentine Trunk Show of hats and necklaces at East Village Hats.

Of course it's Pre-Valentine because the day of amour is still two weeks away as of this writing. Last night we partied and unveiled the hats and necklaces, although there was no veiling on my hats, just plenty of color, fripperies, feathers and flowers.

My host for this show is Julia Emily Knox, milliner and proprietor of East Village Hats, located at 80 East 7th Street in Manhattan. Julia's "Hatworks and Millinery," features both off-the-rack and custom hats handcrafted using traditional methods with felts, straws and lovely trims.

A heart-felt (double pun intended) thank you must be extended to my sister, Jeanne Markel. Not only did she help me get my hats to the shop, but she also took these wonderful photos of the event.

 We had a bit of time before the event, so we snuggled into
a corner banquette at Cafe Mocha.
I am wearing one of my trademark patchwork cloches, 
a wine-cork necklace of my own invention, a bracelet
gifted to me by my step-daughter, Dianna, and
my Zuri-Kenya dress.
 Joining me at the Cafe, are Jeanne and her son, Jack Wedge.
Jack has just returned from London, where an animated film
that he co-created with Gabrielle Ledet, was shown at
the Barbican Centre's Video Jam x Basquiat.
 I am with one of my bonnets adorned with vintage
flowers perched on my hand-painted mannequin
and surrounded by a string of my lacquered beads.
 Two of my hats on Julia's lovely lace-
covered mannequins with the
Corker Girl necklace.
The figures, hand-colored by me, are
cut outs from a 1930 Galleries Lafayette catalog.
The yellow and blue straw is hand-painted,
and is called "Bathing Cap".
 The white hat is trimmed with little water lilies.
The necklace, although it sports a huge diamond,
will not set you back as much as a similar gem
would if purchased at Tiffany.
Jeanne and I with the sidewalk
 Posing with two gorgeous girls.
The feathers are vintage from the 1940s.
 She wears the hats and beads so well.
 My good friends, The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, Valerie and Jean.
 Martina, looking enchanting in  the blue cloche.
The orange pouf on the back is actually part
of her own ensemble.
 Martina has such flair and wears this
so well. The pouf has now migrated to the decolletage.
 She is modeling a straw from
the East Village Hats collection,
and my beads.
 My girls in a convivial mood.
I try on a fascinator by Julia.

A Bientot!