Saturday, April 29, 2017

James Moore retrospective.. a book review

"James Moore, the book, is a dazzling and yes, astonishingly and sensationally assembled chronicle of one of the greatest fashion photographers of the last half of the 20th century. The book is the quintessential photographic catalog of a single artist whose work is far more visually ubiquitous than the recognition of his name. This was a man who had passion, talent, vision, and a spirit that was practically unmatched in the world of fashion."

FOR FULL REVIEW... click the link...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Joan Severance: the next chapter

My last conversation with Joan was about a year ago at which point we were far more focused on her past career as one of the great runway and print models of the 80s. Today we are all about the entrepreneurial and creative Joan Severance who is all at once author of a brand new book and founder of her brand new eponymous hair care collection.

I think it is safe to say that Joan has been one busy gal who is still working as a model but has authored a book which releases this month, Manifest Your Mate: A Journey for Attraction, and is launching her hair care collection both within the last 24 hours. Who says I don’t keep up with the latest and greatest? Joan, no doubt, proves that there is life after the business of fashion and she surely embodies a woman of many more talents than just “hold it” and “click.” She is every bit outspoken, inventive, tuned in and yes she is modern and informed and would surely qualify for being a cultural icon. To say that I am honored and humbled to call her a friend is an understatement.

Rather than me blather on about all that is Joan, here SHE is in her own words “speaking” about Joan Severance 2017!

NOW & Then.. left image by Bill Curry image to enlarge
Jeffrey Felner: Can you tell the why you decided on hair care and what you hope to accomplish with your products?
Joan Severance: I decided to do a hair care line after a conversation with my longtime hairdresser (Mauro Spina) since he had seen my hair at every length and in every color. In 2012 I made the daring decision to stop coloring my hair and it was at this time that the idea of a hair care line was hatched.

Mauro (Mauro Hair Studio in Beverly Hills) is a magician when it comes to creating organic plant based remedies for hair. He whipped up some great concoctions for me during our relationship and with his “first aid” my hair survived those rigorous episodes. I kept asking him to make more of the “special stuff” and finally he urged me to make it my own. Having taken his advice, it was up to me to test it out with my own personal focus group whose feedback resulted in me jumping literally head first into the hair care arena with products that contain organic oils, fruit extracts and essential oils derived fragrances.

-take 1 / clean hair wash is the product I personally use the most. My hair is natural now and I find that this is all I need to give me super shiny soft incredible hair.

-take 2 / smooth nourishing conditioner is for those who have extremely processed or damaged hair; it polishes the hair shaft leaving it smooth and lustrous.

-take 3 / why knot no tangle therapy is a leave-in treatment. This is what all my girlfriends are addicted to; it’s a universal product but especially for those who have extremely fine hair that tends to tangle.
My favorite combination is  take 1  and  take 3 which is what my hair loves and needs. We are all different, with all different wants and desires when it comes to our look and our hair. I think my hair care regimen solves so many of the “ills” that hair endures.
My wish is that women using these products will find that they require less “hair” time and still have it look and feel irresistible; bottom line … my products  will free up “getting ready” time and allow for more family, friends, husband, careers or shopping  times.
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JF: Would you give us a brief synopsis of the how and why of your new book Manifest Your Mate: A Journey for Attraction?
JS: I started writing this book while shooting Love Boat: The Next Wave. I could say that the stories on the show inspired me to want to have a man in my life again after so many years of being single. With time on my hands due to the ensemble cast, I began creating a “wish list” of I what wanted in a mate; this became my “blueprint.”
After constructing a more than compelling list, I met a guy that on the outside met all my requirements.  After hanging out with him for a while I came to see that the inside qualities matched the “outside” qualities. I stopped jotting notes down and started a life with him that eventually led to a marriage but unfortunately ended in divorce. When there are deep seated issues within someone that they opt to conceal and not resolve, it becomes impossible to have a "real" relationship. 
A couple of years after than episode, I returned to that list but this time I assembled my “data” to take the form of a book. My life was a bit hectic and all over the place during that time so it wasn't until 2016 that I finally found the time to make this book a reality. 
My aim was to get the book into the hands of women seeking men. I have so many fabulous, single, smart and available women that have are all seeking their soul-mate. When speaking to most of them, they tend to speak about all the things they "don't want" in their next mate. Well, I have practiced the Laws of Attraction for quite some time and know that what one focuses on comes your way. So, the book is an exercise aimed at those who are serious about attracting the man that they "want" in their life. I say it is for those who are serious because the process of focusing on what you want will have an immediate life result. 
I feel it is just a shift in thinking and verbalizing that allows the opportunity of anything to become reality.
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JF: Let’s talk about brand extensions and sequels; what’s planned on the personal care front and on the literary front?
JS: I have already been approached by a few men to write the Man seeking Woman version of the book and so there’s a likelihood of a sequel. 
I am currently writing my second book about my life, loves and lessons with a condition named Vitiligo which  is a long term skin condition characterized by patches of the skin losing their pigment. The book is filled with tons of research including, treatments, interviews and personal stories from all over the world as well as my own stories of my life  living with the condition.

Next on the literary front after that is my cookbook and a children's book based on the stories of my dog and I, but written from my dog’s point of view … plus I am helping two other authors get their books into print.
As for the personal care products, who knows?  I will weigh the response to this line first, but I do know an incredible woman that makes organic skin care products so there is surely a possibility on the horizon. 
I think I am content with this much on my plate for now, although I am being urged to do a show of sorts that focuses on politics, laws and other things about the governing of the people.
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JF: In general, what can we expect from Joan Severance… personally and professionally?
JS: Professionally there are a few acting roles that I have been looking at. It seems these days I am picky about what parts I wish to portray. I am still modeling and currently being featured in the CELINE campaign, Double Magazine in France and on April 25th,  is releasing a Beauty Secrets video and story on me. So that part of my life is still active. 
Personally, now that I have finished Manifest Your Mate: a journey for attraction, I am going to do the process and manifest my mate! I am again ready to have an incredible man in my life and share my life.
Currently traveling and visiting friends and just enjoying being creative in any way that I can. I think creativity spawns inspiration, so I feel I must express and motivate others. It's exhilarating to have an idea and then turn those ideas into reality.  The world needs more exhilaration in everyone’s heart.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

NAN KEMPNER .. a style icon for the ages

the Looks Love interview 
 or read an excerpt here ...

Here is a meet and greet with one of the world’s greatest and most recognizable style icons of a generation. At a time when there is such a thing as “fake” news and literally “fake” celebrities there seems to be a huge shortage of “verifiable and honest to goodness” fashion icons. So with that in mind, it seems timely to remind those of us who recall and still appreciate that once upon a time there was a clothes horse, fashion hoarder and style monger like no other; it is here that the younger generation should take note!

Through my exhaustive and unbelievably potent powers for summoning up those who have left us behind, this Impossible Conversation focuses on one of the world’s greatest clotheshorses who amassed a king’s ransom in clothes as well as a museum quality collection of haute couture. (375 pieces of YSL hate couture alone)

I of course, speak of Nan Kempner who died 12 years ago but spent a lifetime indulging her greatest passion/addiction ... clothes. She was the real deal... a style icon ...  an original! Reed thin, she was as ubiquitous in the rarefied worlds of genuine international society as KK is in the world of tabloid schlock news. She did all the right things, vacationed in all the right places, attended the right events and was famous for saying “she wouldn’t miss the opening of a door” and she spent her life living it. Her conspiratorial laugh, her hacking cough and the aroma and clouds of smoke from her Parliaments are missed in so many ways.

She lived in 16 rooms on Park Avenue, entertained with spaghetti dinners as well as place card dinners serving royalty; literally had rooms filled with clothes and made it her mission to have one helluva good time. She was irascible, charming, charitable, wicked, loving and she is most of … all greatly missed.

“There are no chic women in America. The one exception is Nan Kempner." Diana Vreeland

La plus chic du monde” Yves St Laurent

Here she is ... giving us one last tasteful tease of Nan!!

Nan Kempner: Honestly, I couldn’t be happier here. I can smoke all I want, I don’t have to drag those tanks around and I get to see so many of my nearest and dearest friends. I am sorry I had to leave my wardrobe behind but then again there would be no room for anyone else’s clothes here if I brought all of mine and I always believed that “there's a store where I'm going”
JF: What do you think about the state of fashion as it is today?
NK: Darling there is no fashion anymore,   I mean look around you...what do you see? Trash, these days all these broads looking for free clothes. Even editors today are looking for freebies and they haven’t a clue, there is no one to equal Diana and then again look at the clothes... trash silly stuff for the tasteless



Thursday, April 13, 2017

WATCH OUT !! the MANDRAWN interview
read it here:
Ricky Wolbrom

This is an instance that combines a skill and a craft that dates back centuries and infuses precision workmanship into what some will call fashion or collectible accessories. Enter Ricky Wolbrom who had an epiphany and turned it into a thriving business. Though the name (watch-cufflinks) is seemingly self-explanatory, it is so much more than just cufflinks built from watch parts and mechanisms. By the way check out the website and see that they are much more than just cufflinks and not just for men.
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Some of you will be familiar with the brands that are repurposed or reimagined in their current state and for those who are unfamiliar; these names are the ultimate in horology and timekeeping.  Watches from many of these brands range in the thousands of dollars and some might even surpass tens of thousands, so if you are an aspiring collector or even a seasoned collector of timepieces Watch-Cufflinks (don’t forget the hyphen) might just be what will appeal to you. Having always been fascinated by watches, this was a company that piqued my interest especially in the fact that many pieces are constructed and built in the same manner as the timepieces they echo and in some respects the same way as the original Miriam Haskell jewelry. The owner (Ricky Wolbrom) and creative director, Daniel Baker, speak to an audience of collectors and fashion fold folk who appreciate the art and craft of fashion, as well as those who might collect pieces that echo the very brands they own or aspire to; names such as Rolex, Omega. IWC, Breguet, Girard Perregaux, Bulova, Elgin and more. 

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Jeffrey Felner: Can you give us some brief history as to how this business came about and some of your background?

Ricky Wolbrom: With my family originating from Belgium, Switzerland, Israel and Central Europe, I'd been exposed to the gold and diamond business from an early age, maybe it’s genetic! I originally began in the jewelry business back in the 80's as a goldsmith apprentice here in New York City, and then I went on to get my GIA Certification in Gemology. Prior to actually making jewelry, I found myself working at a prominent newspaper in New York where I rose to the VP of Advertising and Marketing and was successful at both expanding the newspaper and substantially increasing the paper's revenue. After this rather corporate endeavor, I wanted an outlet for my creative tendencies; I always had a passion for textiles and fiber arts, so I spent time learning different ways to create jewelry from various high end novelty yarns. Eventually I began to experiment with assembling metal jewelry. I found that vintage watch parts lend themselves extremely well to the look I was trying to achieve, a hybrid of something new created from something old. Being strongly attracted to the ideas of recycling and up-cycling, giving new life to watch movements that would normally be cast aside, thrown away and forgotten intrigued me. It is an honor to pay homage to the brilliant and skilled craftsmanship of vintage watch movements. The master artisans of yesteryear hand created these intricate and fascinating little worlds of synchronicity and artistic beauty. Re-purposing them and utilizing these mini landscapes of art to create a new life in captivating and relevant jewelry gives me tremendous pleasure. 
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JF: Do you see any brand extensions in the future or expanding your retail network? What would be the ideal situation for both?

RW: There is a definite desire to expand both the line and distribution. For one, there is room to incorporate more precious metals as well as semi-precious and precious gemstones to create genuine luxury pieces. There already exists a high end clientele to support this, and I believe this adds another layer of legitimacy to our hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces. I also envisage collaging vintage jewelry, either wholly or in part, to create unique signature statement pieces. We have already dabbled in this area with excellent results, and can imagine an entire line that makes use of genuine vintage jewelry from the deco era through the 60's. As for avenues of distribution, we have not considered designing for other brands, but instead we have looked to place ourselves in the types of shops and boutiques that cater to our niche market, such as jewelry stores, especially those that focus on luxury watches.  Elite and luxury tourist destinations throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East seem to be a natural attraction for us
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JF:  If you could select any collaboration at all, what it would be and why?

RW: Well, to be clear, I already have a collaborator/ partner who is a highly skilled designer and jeweler. We have a highly motivational dynamic that pushes the limits of our skills and I owe much to this partnership. As for another collaboration, to be honest, this could be you, Jeffrey. Knowing your history in the fashion and jewelry making industry, your expertise and skilled eye could be priceless, from your business acumen right down to design. Who knows, perhaps there would be room to grow into an expanded line of accessories, home decor, textiles, etc.  In the end, any collaboration would have to ultimately be about advancing the art. Success and profits are not to be derided, but the most satisfying thing about the work is creating something that genuinely brings pride. I could not have the former at the expense of the latter. 
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JF:  Can you profile your clients and tell us “who” they are and what you perceive as the attraction to your product?

RW: Our clients are vast and diverse. We have shipped to almost every conceivable destination in the world. We sell to everyday people as well as a deep roster of exclusive buyers, executive VIP's, celebrities, musicians and even royalty. We have even been commissioned to produce bespoke pieces for clients as well as for movie houses, prop and wardrobe managers, photographers… even a record label and luxury liquor company. We also do well with corporate gifting companies and "in-flight" magazines...
I believe there are many reasons people are attracted to our product. First, there are the devoted horological aficionados whose kryptonite is anything and everything that has to do with timekeeping. Our audience also includes those who love our jewelry just because of its esthetics; being different from virtually any other style of jewelry they might know since many may have never seen the inner workings of a watch before. This, I believe, enables our jewelry to transcend a singular categorization. 
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JF: Can you sort of run us through the process in terms of manufacture, etc., so that we have an idea of what goes into the making of your pieces?

RW: It seems that everyone has their own process. For me, I scan through supplies and as I internalize each piece, I can visualize combinations with other components. I then might gather together many different supplies from various ideas I have in my head and begin to lay them out together, trying two or three elements together and seeing if things "click". My partner is a highly visual person and can often picture a finished piece without picking up a single component. Regardless of the method, once the design is finalized, each piece is stripped of parts that may be excess or unnecessary, sharp edges are filed down and buffed, and metal surfaces to be joined are cleaned and abraded. Then all metal pieces are torch soldered - walking the fine line between reaching the temperature required for solder flow, while taking extreme caution not to burn the delicate surfaces and parts present on various watch movements. Depending on whether a grungy or gleaming finish is desired, the pieces will be lightly or thoroughly washed and then non-soldered elements may be added, such as crystals, gemstones, etc. Assuming that all the planets are in alignment, a finished product has been born and if we are lucky … a work of art has been created.