Monday, July 16, 2018

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

The Parrish Gala Goes Posh

Whitney Director Adam Weinberg and honoree Chad Leat
Photos Lieba Nesis - click images or full-size views

The Parrish Art Museum held its annual Midsummer Party in Water Mill, New York, this past Saturday, July 14th with cocktails beginning at 6:30 PM. This is one of the premier Hampton events of the summer that gathers over 500 art collectors, curators, philanthropists and business leaders. The event honored Trustee Chad Leat and Artist Keith Sonnier with honorary Co-Chairs Milly and Arne Glimcher and Fern and Lenard Tessler paying homage to their friends.

Honoree and Artist Keith Sonnier 

Some other philanthropists and industry leaders who joined included: Campion and Jane Platt, Ziel and Helene Feldman, Sana Sabbagh, Larry Milstein, Jean and Martin Shafiroff, Tony Shafrazi, Kim Evans, Debbie Bancroft, Geoffrey Bradfield and dozens of others.

Jean Shafiroff in Oscar de la Renta
Photo: BFA

Campion Platt, a renowned architect who has designed the homes of Meg Ryan, Conan O'Brien, and Anne Hearst, said this was one of the two Hampton events he will be attending (the other is the Watermill Center Benefit.)  Platt was reminiscing about the first time we met at the John Varvatos store opening where he was gifted with a Varvatos studded jacket, shirt, pants, and shoes. He joked that with his expanding girth the only pants that fit are $300 Prada stretch pants which his tailor is unable to replicate.

Airplane from Net Jets at Gala

The evening's sponsors were J.P. Morgan and Net Jets, and a mock airplane was cleverly placed on the Parrish lawn by the Jet company allowing guests to pose with the aircraft throughout the evening. While this evening is usually sold-out months in advance this year's festivities were slightly less well attended, and tickets for $2,500, $1,500 and junior tickets for $500 were readily available.

Larry Milstein, Warren Elgort, Toby Milstein and Michael Xufu Huang 

The crowd ranged in age from twentysomethings to octogenarians with a multifaceted eclecticism that was noteworthy. There was a palpable excitement in the air as legendary photographer Patrick McMullan and numerous other photographers took pictures of enthusiastic guests who were excited to see their friends after a long and arduous winter and spring. The event which is held in the outdoor part of the Museum consistently gets perfect weather as a swift breeze blew right in time for the dinner.

Robert Wilson And Maren Otto 

Terrie Sultan, who has been the Museum's director for the past 10 years, proudly noted the Parrish welcomed 70,000 people last year with more than 700 artists who lived and worked in the Hamptons. She also proudly announced they had raised two million dollars toward the capital campaign which seeks to expand the Museum and its exhibitions. The Parrish was founded in 1897 and has grown into a major art museum with a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works by such contemporary artists and sculptors as Chuck Close, Eric Fischl, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.

One of those artists, Keith Sonnier, whose neon installations were being exhibited at the Parrish, accepted his award by acknowledging that despite having battled numerous illnesses "as artists we don't retire we work until we drop"- to which the crowd responded with boisterous applause. There were neon lights placed on the table in an ode to the work of Sonnier. After Sonnier admonished Trump for not giving the proper import to art that it deserves a fellow Trump naysayer, Don Lemon, headed to the stage to introduce honoree and friend Chad Leat.

Don Lemon and honoree Chad Leat
Lemon asked the audience to give him their rapt attention remarking that he likes attention since he is a news anchor. He also said that Leat, who was the former Vice Chairman of Global Banking at Citigroup, was one of the wealthiest and most successful people he knew. Lemon noted that Leat was most worthy of this honor and he would be happy to accomplish half of what Leat has.

To raise more money Leat auctioned off a three-hour cruise on his new yacht which sold for $15,000 to two different bidders. Moreover, an intimate wine dinner for ten at the Wolffer Estate was auctioned for $10,000. After desserts of min Oreos and donuts were served, guests headed to the after party, hosted by Larry Milstein, where they danced and drank until after 1 AM. For the price of $200, hundreds of attendees were given the opportunity to experience a taste of the Parrish on one of the most spectacular summer nights of the season.

- Lieba Nesis

Sunday, July 08, 2018

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

The Elephant in the Room

Malcolm Starr for Rizkallah elephant and rider wool felt skirt

No, not that one (whichever one you are thinking about, and yes, there are many right now).  I’m actually referring to elephant themed fashion items. And naturally, not those that are garden variety and run of the mill, but elegantly sophisticated and chic. Because regardless of the fact that the CFDA created the 2018 Fashion Influencer Award for Kim Kardashian, a woman who is the epitome of common, vulgar and tasteless, looking at recent images from the couture shows in Paris, we are thankfully at a moment which is celebrating elegance and chic. Well, I guess I got that off my chest lol!

In any event, in Hinduism, elephants are sacred and considered to be the representation of the living incarnation of Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity. In India, they are worshipped, seen as a symbol of strength and good luck and symbolize mental strength, earthiness, and responsibility. It’s no wonder that through the years, this highly recognizable and beloved mammal has been featured in art, folklore, religion, literature, and popular culture, and has also served as inspiration for fashion designers. One of the best pieces I’ve ever come across is the Rizkallah for Malcolm Starr felted wool maxi skirt featuring an umbrella-carrying man astride a large elephant, part of a circus-themed collection from the 1970’s.  It’s a collectors’ item and a true work of art and though it is rare, it is available from time to time. (I actually bought one from a vintage dealer years ago).

Most recently, elephants have struck the fancy of Jonathan Anderson, the creative director for Loewe since 2012. Drawing inspiration from his time spent in Ibiza as a child, he has been instrumental in the brands’ reinvention. His highly coveted, playful collection of elephant-shaped bags, bag charms, and coin purses is illustrative of his style, which is described as “forward and free” and proof of his desire to combine the work of craftsmanship with a fun design. Highlights from the collection:

Click images for full-size views:

Loewe silver leather mini elephant bag, $1290. More info/purchase

Loewe mini elephant bag in rainbow-colored leather, $1314. More info/purchase

Loewe python elephant key ring, $750. More info/purchase

Shoe brand Dorateymur, founded in 2012 by Turkish designer Dora Teymur, flawlessly combines a vintage inspired aesthetic with a smooth and sculptural silhouette that is completely modern. I love the charm and whimsy of a sculpted elephant heel and the way it unexpectedly adds a surprise twist to her classic, timeless footwear. Among my favorites:

Dorateymur silver leather pumps with an elephant shaped heel, $465. More info/purchase

Dorateymur black suede pumps with an elephant shaped heel, $320. More info/purchase

Dorateymur pink leather backless pumps with an elephant shaped heel, $435. More info/purchase

Dorateymur red leather ankle boots with an elephant shaped heel, $580. More info/purchase

In addition to leather accessories, there are also noteworthy pins and earrings which pay homage to the ‘gentle giant’.Yvonne Leon 18-karat gold and diamond elephant shaped earrings, $785. More info/purchase

Philippe Ferrandis Magic Circus Elephant resin brooch with Swarovski crystals and glass pearl, $475. More info/purchase

Vintage Kenneth Jay Lane elephant brooch decorated with multi-colored stones, $210. More info/purchase

Last but not least is Arthur Elgort’s photograph, ‘Keira Knightley with Elephant’. This iconic photograph showing actress Keira Knightley bottle-feeding a baby elephant with a Louis Vuitton-style saddle pad in the green woods, wearing a dress and boots is a wonderful combination of nature, animal, and celebrity photography. Price upon request.

- Marilyn Kirschner

Monday, July 02, 2018

New York Fashion Cool-Aid by Laurel Marcus

Philadelphia Museum of Art Prepares For October's "Fabulous Fashion"

Dress 1994, Designed by Pierre Cardin copyright c Pierre Cardin Archives

"In Boston, they ask, how much does he know? In New York, how much is he worth? In Philadelphia, who were his parents?" Mark Twain must have been talking to me -- born and raised in Philly, educated in Boston, and living my adult life in New York. I've been spending some time in my hometown, and as fate would have it the Philadelphia Museum of Art is preparing for an exhibition of its costume and textile department entitled "Fabulous Fashion: From Dior's New Look to Now", (October 16, 2018 - March 3, 2019), the first major costume exhibition since 2014's "Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love." Last week I got a chance to preview "Fabulous Fashion" with a peek behind-the-scenes. In full disclosure, several of these spectacular garments looked familiar to me since they were worn by my late stepmother Kathleen P. Field (1941-2013) and donated to the museum's collection by my recently deceased father Martin W. Field (1930-2018).

Vicky Tiel Gold Minidress, the Late 1980s

The upcoming exhibition will present over seven decades of the style of both haute couture and ready-to-wear garments and accessories from 1947 -- the year that Christian Dior debuted his revolutionary New Look -- to more recent ensembles from independent niche designer Bernhard Willhelm -- to the more radical Japanese avant-garde. Fabulous Fashion presents many new acquisitions as well as other items rarely if ever exhibited before,  arranged thematically. It will explore the creative use of color and pattern, shape and volume, draping, metallics, bridal traditions and innovations, and exquisite embellishments.

All photos Laurel Marcus
Click images for full-size views

The works will be juxtaposed non-chronologically to demonstrate how an idea, shape, or color has been consistent or evolved through the eras. For example, a gold embroidered net strapless evening dress by Anne Fogarty will appear next to a late 1980's Vicky Tiel gold lame mini dress. Items featured include Adrian's 1947 velvet "winged victory" gown, a 1972 Chanel black and white suit, a 1994 Geoffrey Beene silver lame "Mercury" dress, a 1966 Paco Rabanne plastic disc dress, a 1977-78 Zandra Rhodes punk-inspired ensemble, a 1998 John Galliano for Dior hot pink fur-collared suit, as well as garments from Pierre Cardin, Jean Desses, Roberto Capucci, Oscar de la Renta, Christobal Balenciaga, Patrick Kelly, Emilio Pucci, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons, Issey Miyake, Madame Gres and others.

Also on view are bridal gowns from Pierre Balmain, Vera Wang, and Carolina Herrera. If you are hoping to see Grace Kelly's 1956 wedding gown you will be disappointed (although it is in the museum's permanent collection and was previously on view, it is now too fragile to be displayed), however, her wedding headpiece, shoes, and bridal manual will have to suffice.

The scene

On my walkthrough with The Le Vine Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles, Kristina HauhlsnfI got to see what goes on in preparation for a major museum exhibition. From dressing and accessorizing the myriad of mannequins from the racks of amazing clothing, to the tabletop 3-D mockup representing how the installation will look, to the walls of ever-evolving real life Pinterest-type boards, this was a fascinating eye-opener for someone like me who heretofore has only seen the finished product of a costume exhibition.

Mannequins waiting to be "dressed" 

Much like a casting director for a fashion show must deal with diva models, mannequins can be less than accommodating especially when being fitted with clothing which can't be damaged or altered in any significant way; rather than the clothing, the mannequin needs to be altered. "We can't seem to find any short mannequins," explained Haugland. "The standard height is 5'11." By short she means 5'7" -- both me and my stepmother's height, generally considered fairly statuesque among mere mortals.

I am not condoning the cruel and inhumane treatment of mannequins (maybe they should unionize or something) but several of these inanimate clothing hangers have been mutilated --legs shortened with a cut at the thigh, arms severed and reattached. Haugland even showed me how one of the mannequins thighs were shaved down by removing some of the inner stuffing in order to accommodate a very tight dress. Other challenges include how to station a multicolored Lacroix catsuit without the use of a "butt pole" or contrivance to prop it up as there is no opening in the one-piece garment. The solution? "We had to drill a hole in the mannequin's stomach," Hoagland says, showing me the silver dollar sized surgical "belly button." The whole procedure of dressing the mannequins reminds me of packing for a trip -- after they are fully dressed in the second-floor workspace they must be undressed to travel downstairs and then redressed at the actual installation.

Mock-up of exhibition

PMA Board of Trustees member Annette Y. Friedland has been integrally involved in the Costume and Textile department since the 1950's. Along with her late husband Jack, she was instrumental in helping the museum amass a collection of current clothing. I spoke with her about the upcoming exhibition to which she has donated many of her own treasured garments. "I just wish that Kathy (Field) and Diane Wolf (another major donor of featured clothing) were still here to see it," she said.

Although there is no Met Gala-like benefit to fund the costume and textile department, the museum has managed to acquire some 30,000 objects from diverse eras and from around the globe since its founding following Philadelphia's 1876 Centennial Exhibition. The garments and accessories are particularly strong in late-nineteenth-century French couture, the 20th-century designs of Elsa Schiaparelli, as well as contemporary menswear. The museum is currently expanding their Facilities Master Plan making way for much more gallery space to display their vast holdings in this field.

- Laurel Marcus

Sunday, July 01, 2018

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

You Know The "Drille"!

 Soludos Coco Pompom Mule Espadrille is like having a party on your feet
More info/purchase

There is nothing more synonymous with summer, beach, relaxation, and vacation, than the rope-soled espadrille. When wearing them, I am instantly transported to the Amalfi Coast or the Greek Islands, even if I’m just kicking around town.

They are practically ubiquitous, at all price points and in every imaginable iteration. They come flat, wedged, and heeled. In versions that are chicly classic as well as those that are novel, playful and decorated in some way, and therefore, right in ‘step’ with summer’s lighthearted, freewheeling spirit. While I gravitate to unapologetically classic simple, fuss-free, no-brainer wardrobe staples, particularly in the summertime, I also love a bit of quirk and nothing has the potential to instantly add some humor and pizazz to an otherwise sober ensemble (simple tee, pair of jeans, shorts, button-down shirt, shirtdress, etc.) as fanciful footwear.

With that in mind, these are 10 espadrilles which are natural conversation starters, and perfect for an outdoor barbeque, pool party, a day at the beach or walking the pavement of New York for that matter. Even the most serious diehard minimalists amongst us should find them hard to resist.

Click images for full-size views:

Soludos platform espadrille in natural canvas is embossed with Lucy Mail’s sushi embroidery, $75. More info/purchase

Soludos “The Spritz Smoking Slipper” espadrille is decorated with summer’s favorite cocktail, $74.95. More info/purchase

Soludos “Mimosa” embroidered platform espadrille, $74.95. More info/purchase

Soludos “Wink Embroidery Smoking Slipper” espadrille, $75. More info/purchase

Castaner “Kenda” lobster embroidered denim espadrille, $105. More info/purchase

Castaner “Rocio” off-white cotton and leather espadrille with tassel trim, $90 More info/purchase

Kenzo D’orsay espadrilles in gray leather embroidered with an eye motif,$ 171. More info/purchase

Castaner’s “Black Jean Flat” espadrille with gingham ribbon ties, $112. More info/purchase

Castaner multicolored cotton and leather embellished cherry and bee platform espadrilles, $255. More info/purchase

These are perhaps the most over the top and embellished, and perfect for that gal who simply refuses to give up her high heels, no matter what!

- Marilyn Kirschner