Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photo Shoot With A Bonus!

I assisted a stylist friend on a photo shoot this weekend and a wonderful thing happened - one of my necklaces was chosen for the one of the looks! I brought a few of my pieces along *just in case* this might happen, and happily, it met the high standard of approval of all involved - stylist, art director and photographer Christopher Micaud.

The clothes that stylist Michelle McDonald pulled together were gorgeous, by Diane Von Furstenberg, Roberto Cavalli, Jean-Paul Gaultier and others for Spring 2009. It's such a pleasure to look at bright colors in the middle of winter, isn't it? I was fascinated by the process and the speed in which the sets
were painted and assembled. The colors were brilliant!

I can't show all of the pictures of the shoot here, but I did take pictures of the work-in-process that give an idea of the work involved without giving away the photographer's trade secrets. Naturally I have plenty of pictures of my necklace, modeled by the beautiful Alexandra; my first item ever on a model. Maybe I'll set up a shoot one day of my own for my jewelry. I think I know a stylist...ME!

Alexandra modeling my necklace

The view outside our dressing room..actually near sunset on the first day

Before it all began, at 8 AM

Our cozy area, together with Hair & Makeup

Painting the second set

Calligraphic detail on Roberto Cavalli Suede Coat

More ovely flowers printed/painted on suede - Cavalli

Silk chiffon dress, matching suede coat and shoes are all by Roberto Cavalli

The Amazing Amazon Damaris on Day 2

Gorgeous bracelets by Ben Amun

Christopher Micaud, between takes

Beautiful chunky baubles to choose from. Mine are on far left. I just love the flowery petal necklaces and earrings by Ben Amun in the foreground.

Getting Alexandra ready - Anthony Nader, Viktorija Bowers, Michelle McDonald

Fitting with Alexandra, wearing my necklace and preparing for the day spent on very high heels. Art Director and Conceptualist Beth Taubner is also in the picture.

Our clothes look like bright jewels, don't they?

Set designers painting the first setup's flats. I would be so happy to have these in my home!

More painting, later in the day

Monday, January 26, 2009

And Yet More Snow Pictures

I had taken pictures earlier to take advantage of the soft light. The window sill is my photo studio, believe it or not. Note the old-fashioned radiator. I can't have plants that have leaves that grow in any direction other than UP on this sill as they are killed by the heat that I get.

We had a snowstorm on January 19 and I took these moody pictures while all cozy inside my apartment. I love how fluffy the snow on the air conditioner appears. My view is eastern and it consists of mainly rooftops but tons of sky, which I love. Across the way is a small apartment building with a wonderfully whimsical gable-design - the building in tan with the brown detailing. It's a little bit of evocative architecture that I enjoy looking at.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Overnight Success Story

Photo: Ron Edmonds/AP

I LOVED the hat that Aretha Franklin wore at the Inaugural. It's a real Church Lady Hat and hit just the right note (sorry) between somber (for Aretha!) and festive. I'm so glad that I'm not alone in my love for the bowed chapeau...apparently, the designer of this hat, 36-year-old Luke Song , proprietor of Mr. Song Millinery in Detroit, Michigan, where the Queen of Soul lives, has been inundated with requests for the hat. According to what I just heard on MSNBC, he's sold 1000 hats since Tuesday. They retail for $179, so that is one very nice chunk of change.

Luke went to the Parsons School of Design in NYC, so he has had a good grounding in fashion that clearly has come in very handy!

You can read about the story here. It's a fun article with video.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's Done!

Wonderful Etsy Front Page in honor of our new President.

Monday, January 19, 2009

On The Eve of History - Martin Luther King Day

Tomorrow at this time, Barack Obama will be President of the United States. I have been looking forward to this for so long, and am so proud to be an American. As Mr. Bush quietly leaves the White House, the world is full of hope again. My wish is that Mr. Obama will be a spectacular President, one for the ages, and that we will all look back and say that we were there.

These are some of my favorite pieces that celebrate this momentous event; wonderful design work here, great and small.

from The Gilded Lily

from PrintmakerJenn

from Dean Russo Art

from bluembrownlee

from YeeHaw

from OneLifeJewelry

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Scarab!

As the scarab bead that I feature in my logo is part of my branding, and the associated necklace is my best-selling item, I am thrilled to announce the arrival of a second scarab to the family. Here it is in a new color - blue/pink/purple iris! I hand-wrapped an assortment of Czech glass beads to serve as the chain to make a glittery and I hope magical-looking bauble. Newly available at my shop!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On The Loisaida

Talk about contrasts!

I love the Hebrew-styled choice of lettering for this quiet little apartment building.

For people not familiar with the term, "Loisaidia" is a local nickname for the "Lower East Side", spoken with a Spanish accent.

I happened to be on the Lower East Side on Saturday morning (only an interview could get me out and down there that early on a weekend) before the snow hit and managed a few photos before the camera battery gave out from the cold. It's been a couple of years since I actively shopped there; a few stores endure from days of old, and although the street looks the same, it really has changed drastically. The many fabric places are mostly gone, replaced by chic boutiques and bars, though the luggage and mens-wear sellers are still there.

I used to shop at Beckenstein's Fabrics. There were two shops on either side of Orchard Street. The painted facade still looks as fresh as ever even though the store is long gone, and the men's store opposite, stocking woolen suit and coat fabrics, still sports its sign even though it too has closed. (The store has moved to West 39th street in the garment district) These shops were kind of drab and depressing to trawl through, and the location was a long way from the costume shops I worked for as a shopper, but I miss them for their variety now. The resources for fabrics have sharply diminished over the years; I have a swatchbox of fabrics that I collected many years ago and who knows when I'll ever see materials like those again. In those days it was no trouble to find novelty brocades from France, interesting sheer fabrics and velvets, metallics and intricate trimmings, and raw silks in so many varieties that one was dizzy.

I did a movie a few years ago, and we filmed at a few locations in the city that have since shuttered, like Lismore Hosiery, which had been there for about 70 years. Here's a great blog post about the closing of Lismore Hosiery from one of my favorite places on the web, The Sartorialist (see sidebar for places to visit). The area will never lose its tenement character (I hope) and I hope that developers leave it alone to evolve as it may. Thank God Ben Freedman's is still here - I love the old-fashioned clothing that one can buy for a reasonable price. I gave a Member's Only-style jacket from the film to the assistant cameraman after the shoot that I'd bought there for $20 - he was delirious with glee. That's the kind of stuff you'll find there alongside more fashionable styles - inexpensive dress shirts and belts, vests, and all kinds of haberdashery that you thought didn't exist anymore.

Naturally, I had to stop into my favorite Jewish food station, Russ and Daughters, where I purchased a couple of fun splurges. I've never been a fan of some of the delicacies that I grew up looking at - corned beef, gefilte fish, chopped liver, among others....but I do have an unhealthy love of smoked salmon for all of its salty goodness. That will explain these pictures - the orange color to me glows with the translucency of the finest jewels. I am always amused by the idea of "leftover" smoked salmon. Where? At the bris of a nephew, a huge platter of smoked salmon tortured me all morning long. Which was more delectable - the lox or the pink-cheeked, adorable 8 day-old baby? :O

The caviar cream cheese is pretty fabulous - if you have a salt tooth and enjoy caviar. :)

And what's life without a little dessert?