Thursday, June 29, 2017

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

Hi-Ho Silver!

Paco Rabanne Fall Winter 2017
Click images for full size views
Runway photos 

It may be all about the red, white, and blue as we head into the 4th of July, but from my perspective, it’s all about silver. How do I love thee, let me count the ways!

 Loeffler Randall silver Jasper oxford 

Silver is modern, edgy, timeless. It adds just the right amount of shine, is the perfect neutral, and goes with everything. It pairs as well with denim as chino, and nothing looks as good with black or white, (or both). While its sister metal gold is warm, silver is the height of ‘cool’ both literally and figuratively. The best and easiest way to look chic and effortlessly pulled together regardless of how high the temperature goes? Add a silver accessory (such as these gleaming Loeffler Randall Jasper oxfords) to a crisp white shirt and black skirt or pant, and you are all set.  More info/purchase

Travel in style with Tumi's large suitcase in silver aluminum 

With everyone heading out of town and going on holiday these days, you are guaranteed to be the chicest traveler with Tumi’s silver aluminum ‘Short Trip’ bag. In addition, it will be easy to spot on a conveyer belt at the airport at baggage claim and I can guarantee that nobody will try to steal it from under your eyes. More info/purchase

Paco Rabanne silver disc dress

If you’re really bold, you can go whole hog in this iconic and timeless 60’s Paco Rabanne silver disc dress. More info/purchase

Paco Rabanne Fall Winter 2017

If ever there is a label that is synonymous with silver, it is Paco Rabanne and the creative director, Julien Dossena, has single handedly revived chain mail, showing many of his asymmetrical, draped chain mail pieces for fall winter 2017 with silver metallic platform oxfords.

Chanel Fall Winter 2017 

Karl Lagerfeld is another designer taken with silver. He transformed his fall winter 2017 Chanel runway at the Grand Palais into a giant space rocket and showed insulated glittery silver leather suits, padded space stoles, and lunar boots, imparting it all with a futuristic, space age, mod vibe.

'New York Silver Then and Now', exhibition
Photo: Cesarin Mateo

By the way, the upcoming fashion exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York (in November) will be devoted to Mod fashions (60’s and 70’s), but the timing of their current exhibition, 'New York Silver, Then And Now' could not be better (it opened on June 28th and runs through July 2018). Presented in the museum’s Tiffany & Company Foundation Gallery, it is a dialogue between the past and present and a historical narrative on the use of silver as a reflection of time and culture. It is not your grandmother’s silver. Or rather, it’s not JUST your grandmother’s silver (

Jeannine Falino, Curator, New York Silver, Then and Now
Photo: Cesarin Mateo

The exhibition is organized by Guest Curator Jeannine Falino, an independent curator and museum consultant who has curated exhibitions, lectured, presented workshops and written extensively on American decorative arts, craft and design from the colonial era to the present. Her specific expertise is in metalwork, jewelry, and ceramics and she engaged 25 contemporary artists, silversmiths, and designers (all from the greater metropolitan area), to create pieces inspired by their historic counterpart, culled from the museum’s formidable silver collection and effectively displayed side by side.

Whitney W. Donhauser, Director of the Museum of the City of New York
Photo: Cesarin Mateo 

I attended the press preview on Tuesday morning at which time Ms. Falino was on hand, along with many of the designers, and the museum’s director, Whitney W. Donhauser. She called the exhibition a “great experiment” and explained that the since the role of silver has changed over the years, it was conceived as a way of “activating their incomparable and historical silver collection”, modernizing it, and making it relevant for today. Indeed it was hard not to notice the social discourse which ran through it, tackling pressing issues such as women’s role in society and slave labor (most silver in the colonial era most came from mines in South America excavated using forced and slave labor).

Sheila Bridges' sketch for her spoon
Photo: Cesarin Mateo  

This was exemplified by a hand-wrought spoon conceived by interior and product designer Sheila Bridges (wearing a silver necklace and cuff of her own design at the preview). It was chosen for its symbolism and based upon designs for ships used in the transatlantic slave trade. It is paired with a late 17th century silver spoon made by Cornelius Vander Burch.

Amy Roper Lyons , 'Women's Work #1'
Courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

Amy Roper Lyons was inspired by the Tiffany & Co. Golet Prize for the Sloops, 1889, for her trophy, ‘Women’s Work #1'. It was literally completed last week which is perfectly symbolic given the fact that a woman’s work is never really done anyway, right? FYI, the oldest piece on display is a memorial spoon that dates back to 1678.

 Brian Weissman’s ‘Pasta-Loving Cup’
Photo: Jacob Tugendrajch

But New York Silver, Then and Now  not only touches upon social issues and abstract musings on the meaning of life and death; there are items that are purely decorative, such as Kiki Smith’s ‘Bee-Guile’ honeycomb bracelet in 3d printed cast in silver, the only piece of jewelry in the exhibition, which was inspired by a Tiffany & Co. bonbonniere made of platinum, gold, pearls, diamonds, and sapphires. There is also a whimsical side, and a palpable sense of humor. Brian Weissman’s ‘Pasta-Loving Cup’ is made of bronze cast and silver plate in assorted pasta shapes and sizes, with handmade lasagna handles, displayed next to a Tiffany & Company Loving Cup from 1888.

Surveillance Tray
Photo: Cesarin Mateo 

Alongside a Tiffany & Co. Presentation Tray from the early 1900’s is Michael Gayk’s Epner Technology ‘Surveillance’ Tray, 2017.

Constantine Boym's 'Pillinger'
Courtesy the Museum of the City of New York

Constantine Boym created his silver ‘Pillinger’, inspired by John Hastier’s porringer ca 1750. What a perfect ode to the times we live in if ever there was one.

Robert Lobe's 'Forest Moonlight' on back wall
Photo: Cesarin Mateo 

For pure drama, it was hard to beat Robert Lobe’s massive ‘Forest Moonlight’, from 2017, made of aluminum, stainless steel, fine silver, hammered, and exhibited on a wall at the far end of the exhibition hall.

Wendy Yothers' Gotham tete-a-tete beverage service, 2017
Courtes the Museum of the City of New York

As I surveyed the positively gleaming salt cellars from the 17th and 18th centuries, and the silver pieces that make up Wendy Yothers’ ‘Gotham tete-a tete’ beverage service, 2017, I was reminded of my own rarely used silverware and could not help but think what an undertaking it must be for the museum to keep their collection in such pristine condition. When I asked Ms. Falino what the secret was, she told me that the cases are designed with seals of rubber gaskets to ensure that no air enters. She also pointed out that you should never put your silverware in the dishwasher as it changes the color, and emphasized that using your silverware and enjoying it, is the best way to keep it from tarnishing. Okay Jeannine, you convinced me.

- Marilyn Kirschner

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

New York Fashion Cool-Aid by Laurel Marcus

Brett Heyman of Edie Parker: The Box Clutch that Roared

Photo: Laurel Marcus

Attending FGI's latest NextGen event at FGI headquarters in Bryant Park -- a talk by Brett Heyman, founder and director of Edie Parker -- furthered my belief in my long held theory for success in the fashion biz (or any biz, really). If you have the right product at the right time with the right industry contacts, the sky's the limit! Heyman, an FGI Rising Stars Award recipient in 2016, is one of those "momtrepreneurs" -- the company is named for her eldest child and only daughter who shares it with other cool Edies such as Bouvier Beale and Sedgewick.

Brett Heyman
Photo courtesy FGI

Heyman paid her dues rising through the ranks of accessories PR at Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci, to start her own company of luxe acrylic, often personalized, box clutches found on red carpets everywhere. In person she represents a perfect synthesis of East and West Coast (born in New York, raised in Cali, moved back to New York), her aesthetic is both sophisticate and Bohemian wearing an olive green t-shirt with a "no bra bra," black slouchy leather sarong skirt, and black ankle strap ballet flats.

Edie Parker boutique on Madison Avenue
Photo: Courtesy of  Edie Parker

A collector of the 1950's and 60's versions of these bags for years, Heyman noted that with the advent of eBay, "they became increasingly hard to find." She thought she'd try making her own. "Plastics were very important in this time period," (giving me flashbacks to the infamous line about plastics being the future in "The Graduate"). Heyman thought she'd pay homage by manufacturing in the U.S. but it was "impossible to find a factory that would make the plastic" although she finally did find one in New Jersey. "The plastic is poured from flat sheets, cut out and put together like puzzles," she explained.

Jean Fruit Cocktail bag
Photo: Courtesy of Edie Parker

The Bespoke (or personalization) line came about in 2011 when "a friend who's a bit of a narcissist" celebrated her 40th birthday, and was appropriately gifted  with a bag emblazoned with her name on it in confetti glitter. The bags made the rounds of influencers where they were met with varying responses. "At Bergdorf's, the buyer thought it was so weird!" recalls Heyman. Barneys was the first to pick up the line -- bags can now be found at Saks, Net-A-Porter, at the new Edie Parker Flagship on Madison Avenue, and yes, at Bergdorf's. The online website is the home of the personalized where you can play with (and see in advance) what your name (or initials) will look like in different colors and fonts. These bags do not come cheap however -- hovering close to $1,800. Interestingly, bags that read Kale or Weed are also popular so no worries if you don't want to advertise your moniker. On the other hand, no one will steal your bag unless you should happen to share a name. LOL

Kate Hudson at Met Gala 2011 with Edie Parker Bag
Photo: Getty Images

Other types of bags include those with inlaid designs (for instance fruit). The company is branching out to include other styles besides the box clutch which incorporate plastic disc accents in suede, leather and fur. The company has also spread its wings "organically" to acrylic decorative boxes, trays and other home wares, as seen in their "jewel box store." As far as how these bags became so ubiquitous, Heyman spoke about having "a lot of great relationships with stylists and editors," which helped her place a bag with Kate Hudson on the red carpet at the 2011 Met Gala, thus giving "legitimacy and stores respond to it." Speaking of editorial relationships -- "When I got a piece in Vogue, I thought I could retire but the phone never rang. We were in US Weekly and that did it." By the way, "Influencers are more demanding than celebrities".

Edie Parker Personalized Clutches
Photo: Courtesy Edie Parker

During the Q&A on comparisons to Judith Leiber:  "We are selling to Judith Leiber's granddaughters." "We adjust our size to each new iPhone," "Our bags can be worn with a fabulous evening gown or with jeans."

On justifying the expenditure of the Madison Avenue store -- "We have been profitable since our inception. We have no private equity money to turn" (she used her savings and funds from friends and relatives to start her company). "We signed a short term lease for much under market value." "You can't deny the power of Madison Avenue and of Brick and Mortar. We have a windows budget like the movie "Mannequin. I love the sense of discovery -- people want to know why there's a huge clam opening and closing with a bag in the middle."

On product expansion -- "We're planning to do jewelry, small leather goods, and see what works. Stick to what you're good at -- don't begin with a lifestyle brand. We'll probably do eyewear in a few years." On how she knew her idea was a good one -- "It was a well thought out assumption. Luxury brands didn't do a fun clutch."

On success and the "It" bag phenomenon -- "It's great to have momentum but you don't want to be the shiniest bag on the hill because what goes up..." "Mansur Gavriel is a good example of holding back and not flooding the market." On her website where 20% of bags are purchased with personalization -- "You can make a sample bag -- you can play in it all day. It's a real time suck."

Was there a definitive moment when she decided to make the leap?  Her psychic Jeffrey said she'd have her own business. Lastly her quip on the idea that having a favorite bag is like having a favorite child -- "I totally have a favorite child but not a favorite bag."

- Laurel Marcus

Monday, June 26, 2017

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

'Cheap Thrill'

While I always look for quality, I am not a label snob and have always described myself as an equal opportunity shopper; I subscribe to both ends of the totem pole, and am not above a 'cheap thrill'. There are those expensive purchases that demand some thought and consideration, and then there are the ones that by virtue of their unbelievably low price tags (and classic timeless nature), are "no brainers".

While high fashion undeniably comes with astronomically high prices, that doesn’t mean there aren’t bargains to be found, and who amongst us doesn’t love a bargain? To best illustrate, I selected a number of items in the market and showed their high priced versions along with their (far) less expensive doppelgangers (in every case, they are a fraction of the cost of the originals).

In several instances, I actually preferred the less expensive version and not just because of the price (it was by virtue of its design, size, etc.). FYI, if it appears that most of the inexpensive pieces are from Zara, that was unintentional but given how in sync they are with the pulse of fashion, and how successful they are with creating affordable fashion, it shouldn’t be that surprising. Be

Be sure to click images for full size views:

Left: Rianna + Nina floral print kimono, $1,927 Info/buy Right: Zara long contrasting kimono dress, $119.00 Info/buy

Left: The Row black patent ‘Mendoza’ coat, $4,390 Info/buy; Right: Mango black vinyl hooded coat, $99.99  Info/buy

Left: Tom Ford satin trimmed cady tuxedo jacket, $2,750 Info/buy Right: Zara satin trimmed tuxedo jacket $79.90 Info/buy

Left: Gucci Princetown velvet slipper, $850 Info/buy Right: Steve Madden ‘Jill’ slide, $89.95 Info/buy

Left: Proenza Schouler black wool blend twill culottes, $950 Info/purchase Right: Mango black culottes, $39.99 Info/buy

Left: The Row black leather backpack, $3,990 Info/buy Right: Zara sturdy backpack, $39.90 Info/buy

Left: Burberry Sandringham mid cotton gabardine trench, $1,795 Info/buy Right: Mango double breasted trench $89.99  Info/buy

Left: Monse striped cotton poplin off the shoulder blouse, $1,090 Info/buy Right: Zara striped cotton poplin ‘multi- position’ shirt $49.90 Info/buy FYI, they don’t call this shirt ‘multi-position’ for nothing; you can wear this at least 4 different ways which gives you a lot of look for the buck.

In addition to wearing it off the shoulder and letting the inside straps show, you can also take the sleeves and tie them in front.

You can wear it slightly off the shoulder and tucked in.

You can wear it ‘borrowed from the boys’, long sleeved and tucked (or half tucked) into the waistband of a pant or skirt.

(Disclaimer: No commercial involvement of any kind has been solicited or accepted in the development of the content for this article. The choice of content is purely up to the author of the article and he/she receives no compensation from any of the companies or advertising agencies that own, represent or promote said products or samples selected.)

- Marilyn Kirschner

Thursday, June 22, 2017

New York Summer Evenings by Jill Golden

An Inspiring New Nonprofit: Global Strays

Photo Jill Golden

It was a heartening sight to see. New York animal lovers, young and old, clad in every genre from sleek chignons and sparkling Oscar de La Renta, to summer seersucker and red stripes, to a chic take on a rapper tee and braids filled the downtown Rumpus Room until it overflowed onto the street. They all came together on the evening of June 21st to support a wonderful new organization founded to help animals throughout the world – Global Strays.

Elizabeth Shafiroff & Lindsey Spielfogel
Photo: Patrick McMullan

The idea for Global Strays all began when Elizabeth “Liz” Shafiroff, daughter of luminary philanthropist Jean Shafiroff and Liz’ friend Lindsey Spielfogel went on vacation together in Nicaragua. Together, they were horrified by the suffering of animals they saw. Ticks, fleas and open sores were rampant. Lindsey told the story of a pup Handel who they rescued from the streets of Nicaragua. He was not only starving, but he had been hit by a motor bike and had a hurt leg with a little tarp on it. Liz scooped him up and they took him to a vet. He healed nicely and on their next trip they were able to bring him back to a loving family in the US where he is now flourishing as virtually unrecognizable, vibrant dog. He is one of 28 dogs these women have brought back with them from their travels, who all have found homes through Global Strays partner organization in the US: Social Tees Animal Rescue Foundation.

It was a crowded scene
Photo: Jill Golden

Liz explained that Global Strays, now an official 501(c)3 nonprofit is currently concentrating its work in Nicaragua, and that the goal is to ultimately provide grants to animal welfare organizations throughout the developing world. The most immediate next targets include the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Saint Lucia. Liz and Lindsey have made several self-funded trips to Nicaragua, to see the work funded by Global Strays first hand. They strongly believe it is important for them to be able to personally vouch for the organizations that are awarded grants for food, medications and spay and neutering efforts. An upcoming project is Nicaragua’s first Dog Ambulance.

Ultimately, they hope to influence cultures throughout the world and establish spaying, neutering, knowledgeable veterinary care and “pet parenting” as universal norms. One lovely part of the evening was all of the shared memories of pets past and present and the extraordinary joy they bring to our lives…

Michele Herbert’s cocker spaniel thought she was a person and loved walking down the street with Michele as a fellow “blonde”.

Coco is President’s twelve-year-old Shih Tzu, who reminds him everyday to stop and enjoy the simple things, as that is what makes life worth living!

Kennedy Hines recently moved to NYC and loves her rescue Nugget who was left behind a dumpster as a puppy. Nugget has ears as big as her head that pick right up when she’s alert.

Social Tees brought David Rein together with Brewster, a corgi/golden retriever mix who was worth waiting for since David has always wanted a dog since he was a little kid.

After much warm and friendly mingling, the attendees of of the Kick-off Global Strays Fundraising Event got an introduction to the organization from Liz and Lindsey, watched a film and then wrapped up the party with dancing.

Jean Shafiroff
Photo: Patrick McMullan

Jean Shafiroff summed up the super-successful evening by talking about how proud she is of both Liz and Lindsey for turning their heartfelt passion into effective action.  Many abused and abandoned dogs are already living happy, healthy lives due to their efforts. Individual donations for the evening ranged from $35 to at least one $5,000 pledge.

For more information, please visit:

- Jill Golden

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New York Fashion Cool-Aid by Laurel Marcus

Women Seeing Women: An Exhibition Celebrating Women Photographers

Deborah Turbeville, Bath House, New York, VOGUE, 1975
(Click images for full size views)

How do women photographers see their women subjects? That is the concept of a new exhibition through August 31 at Staley-Wise Gallery (100 Crosby Street) in conjunction with Magnum Photos, an exclusive artist's cooperative owned by its photographer members (of which 12 of these photographers belong), now celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Newsha Tavakolian  -- Portrait of Somayyeh, Tehran, Iran, 2014

I attended the show's opening last night which features varied works from international photographers ranging from the 1930's to present day in both editorial and advertising photography. Highlighted subjects as diverse as war, childhood, religion, sexuality and of course, fashion/style/celebrity illustrate the "complexity of the female experience."

Toni Frissell, Woman with Two Dachshunds, circa 1940

Photographers included are Eve Arnold, Olivia Arthur, Lillian Bassman, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Bieke Depoorter, Carolyn Drake, Martine Franck, Toni Frissell, Sheva Fruitman, Isabella Ginanneschi, Pamela Hanson, Ruth Harriet Louise, Diana Markosian, Susan Meiselas, Sheila Metzner, Inge Morath, Genevieve Naylor, Priscilla Rattazzi, Christina Garcia Rodero, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Marilyn Silverstone, Newsha Tavakolian, Deborah Turbeville, and Ellen von Unwerth.


Naturally, I was most interested in the more fashion oriented shots -- several of which are well known. Former model Deborah Turbeville's Bath House series was quite shocking when it was first seen. Composed and photographed in a condemned NYC public bath house "it scandalized readers and critics alike when it was published in Vogue in 1975, due to what they regarded as its indecency and its dark, sexual overtones." It was also variously interpreted as a paean to "Auschwitz and lesbians and drugs," as Turbeville recalled. On a less provocative note, From the Valentino Collection, 1977, in Turbeville's signature fuzzy, unfocused style is here as well. She published books on varied subjects such as Versailles and Guatemala and photographed a Valentino ad campaign one year before her death in 2013.

Rihanna, Berlin 2009 by Ellen von Unwerth

Also of note are several photos from Ellen von Unwerth such as Rihanna, Berlin, 2009 which was used for the cover of her Russian Roulette album; Fallen Party Angel, 2012, Bathing Beauties II, Paris 1992 and Mask: Nadja Audermann, VOGUE UK, Paris, 1991, all of which represent her recognizable photographic style. Von Unwerth got her professional start as the assistant of the knife thrower and the clown in the circus, later becoming a model and finally a photographer. Now known for the sort of sexy pictures of women that you can see here including several celebrities such as Sophia Loren and Penelope Cruz.

(L) Eve Arnold, Marilyn Monroe, Los Angeles, California, 1960, (R) Ellen von Unwerth, Penelope Cruz, Paris, 2003

Eve Arnold studied with Alexey Brodovitch in 1948, pursuing photojournalism around the world and becoming the first woman to join Magnum Photos in 1951. Her photos of iconic personalities of the 20th century include Marilyn Monroe who she photographed for more than 10 years. There are three photos of Monroe here from 1960, two of which feature her in the Nevada desert during the filming of "The Misfits."

 Lillian Bassman, Black - With One White Glove: Barbara Mullen, Dress by Christian Dior, New York, Harper's Bazaar, 1950

Lillian Bassman was also a protege of Brodovitch who was known for her career as art director for Junior Bazaar in the 1940's. She experimented with printing processes, throwing out her negatives and then "re-interpreting" and manipulating them in the 1990's to resemble charcoal drawings, recalling her early work as a fashion illustrator, as seen here in Black - With One White Glove: Barbara Mullen, Dress by Christian Dior, New York, Harper's Bazaar, 1950.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Liz Gibbons as Photographer, 1938

Louise Dahl-Wolfe published her first photo in Vanity Fair in 1933. Early on in her career she documented rural America, opened her own photo studio and became a staff fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar. She was at the forefront in color photography in the '40s and '50s and was credited by Richard Avedon as one of his most lasting influences. Her works featured here are Liz Gibbons as Photographer, 1938 and Betty McLaughlin, circa 1940.

Toni Frissell, Two Models Drinking Coke, 1940's

Toni Frissell was encouraged by Carmel Snow to pursue photography and she worked for both VOGUE and Harper's Bazaar. She volunteered her services to the American Red Cross and became the official photographer of the Women's Army Reserve and later the first female staff photographer for Sports Illustrated magazine in 1953. Her distinct and effortless photographic style in crisp black and white as well as her love for the sunlit outdoors, can be seen here in Woman with Two Dachshunds, circa 1940 and Two Models Drinking Coke, 1940's.

Ellen von Unwerth, Carmin, Paris 2003

A theme that I detected while perusing several of the photographs was the focus on a woman's mouth. From the Von Unwerth portrait of Penelope Cruz with a cigar, her Carmin, Paris, 2003 which shows a woman applying lipstick, to the Eve Arnold Marilyn Monroe in which she's pursing her lips as if about to form a kiss, the aforementioned Toni Frissell Two Models Drinking a Coke, Sheila Metzner's The Passion of Rome: Fendi, 1986 featuring a model nuzzling a David-like stone statue; Pamela Hanson photo of Bridget Hall raising a strand of spaghetti to her lips, and the Sheva Fruitman Nice Smile, New York, 2016 which features a woman's teeth and lips; these are a few examples of what I perceive as a spotlight on the mouth.

Sheva Fruitman, Nice Smile, New York 2016

Perhaps, since these are photos by women of women, it can be construed as a reference to females finding their voices, rather than just the display of sensuality that might be conveyed if a man had photographed them. An amuse bouche or a mouth that roared? It's all in the mind of the beholder but it originates with the female photographer and her female model.

- Laurel Marcus