Category Archives: Fashion Reportage

Remembering Oscar de la Renta

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On the day an American icon passed away I found myself in the throws of living in one of his visions. It was quite a surreal experience to be dining with Mr. Oscar de la Renta’s friends at the luxury resort he co-owned and designed when news of his passing came to me through a social media alert on my phone. I read the comment out loud in disbelief and shock after spending a day speaking of him so often. Our dinner companions that evening had known and looked at us with great sadness when we discovered it at that moment. In a true act of elegance, they told us it wasn’t their place to make the announcement until his wife and family made an official statement. Such respect, a trait so few people excersie but was so elegantly found in Mr. de la Renta’s character.

We all shared Oscar stories from our experiences with him, I loved seeing how his warmth had affected their lives. For me, I took a moment to remember the first time I met him and getting a glimpse behind the scenes at the design house that makes every girl’s dream dresses. I feel so fortunate to have photographed him, created Cinemagraphs with his collections, photographed his ladylike pieces in fashion shoots, made memories with friends in Oscar, to having the insane honor of wearing his gowns on very special occasions.

We raised our glasses to a great man who did nothing but make women feel beautiful and teach us a thing or two about life.

{above- Coco Rocha has a quiet moment in Oscar, below more of my favorite Oscar moments}

  Photographer Jamie Beck remembers fashion designer Oscar de la Renta Photographer Jamie Beck remembers fashion designer Oscar de la Renta Photographer Jamie Beck remembers fashion designer Oscar de la Renta Photographer Jamie Beck remembers fashion designer Oscar de la Renta Photographer Jamie Beck remembers fashion designer Oscar de la Renta    Remembering_OscardelaRenta_07 Photographer Jamie Beck remembers fashion designer Oscar de la Renta    Remembering_OscardelaRenta_10 Photographer Jamie Beck remembers fashion designer Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta SS2015 | A Day with Oscar de la Renta | My Favorite Collection | Inside the Design Studio | Oscar’s Cinemagraph | Oscar in Paris | Coco & Oscar | Oscar’s Botique | Oscar’s Resort

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ESME VIE

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The elevator doors opened onto the fifth floor of the historic Rafael Hotel in Paris, most notably the place where Grace Kelly & Jacqueline Kennedy called home, and there sat this beautiful woman in a blush colored dress with an explosion of satin roses cascading over her shoulder like a vision of what women looked like so many decades ago. The woman was designer Julia Voitenko and like what all modern women battle with, she was searching for a wifi signal. Not knowing who she was at that moment of meeting did not stop me from showering her with compliments and inquiring about every detail before me. When she realized I was there to see her collection, was the moment I realized the collection I was about to see was hers and into the suite we went.

She walked me through the idea of the “new wardrobe” for the modern day woman where she needs only own a few pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of classic looks, one in which Julia describes as “beauty made to wear”. Pulling inspiration from the 50s and 60s the silhouettes remain timeless and flattering to all body types while being hand constructed in Italy from the most prestigious Italian silk {something we know a thing or two about}.

In suite fit for a Princess, overlooking that dreamy view of Paris, I fell in love with ESME VIE and her idea of dressing for ladies.

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Metiers d’Art Ateliers LESAGE & LEMARIÉ

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Recently I had the greatest pleasure of photographing one of the most beautiful, rare, masterpieces made by man- haute couture fashion. I knew it would be special, and it was, but in person it was breathtaking so much more than my preconceived notions had allowed my imagination to believe.

Now here we are in Paris and Chanel has invited me on a tour of where couture begins at their ateliers Lesage & Lemarié in Pantin, a suburb of Paris. These two famed workshops have been recused by Chanel to preserve their specialized  embroidery, feather, millinery, flower & couture skills.  From floor to ceiling archived boxes starting in the 1800s of pattern samples for precious embroidery for houses like Chanel, Valentino, and Dior, it goes without saying they are the best in the world. Thumbing through the archives I felt the free inhibitions of the designers, the almost child-like magic in design possibility as seen through color, texture, and pattern. This is not about what is popular for the masses, it is about an idea, it is about art, emotion, beauty and technical skill.

In a moment of humor, they had me try my hand at making a simple embroidery flower which then gave me an even greater appreciation for the skills and volume these artists work at. We looked through the archive of Chanel camellias, and then visited the room where every single flower is created by hand where at least 16 petals and one hour of work goes into creating one. Here  at Lemarié they hand make all the CHANEL camellias, around 40,000 a year.

I was so moved by the attention to detail and just shear human energy put into one single piece making the value greater than anything created any other way. I see now why couture is so special which is far beyond material quality, but artisan skill and above all… time.

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Behind the Scenes

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This past spring we finished a project two years in the making, a Cinemagraph series with the luxury jeweler Chopard. We shot at Old Westbury Gardens on Long Island about 45mins outside Manhattan on a late spring day with an amazing team of people: Kelly Framel styling, Ashlee Glazer for makeup, Justin Woods for hair, and Anthony D’Argenzio with props. Here is a glimpse behind the scenes with some snapshots of the day our assistant captured as we put together my favorite series of Cinemagraphs yet, a concept of six characters’ lives all playing out in that calm moment before the storm…

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From the in-depth interview about the making of House of Secrets Cinemagraphs:

Cinemagraphs: what do they mean to you personally?

Jamie: Cinemagraphs to me are living photographs, a moment in time that can actually breathe, allowing your senses to experience and delight in the small instances that make up our lives.

Kevin: A Cinemagraph is a challenge to create something that is visually striking with the added depth of time. It’s seeing life in a way you can’t see through other mediums.

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From our Chopard Collaboration interview:

The House of Secrets is such a singular endeavor that one can hardly keep from wondering how it was born, what came in its inceptors’ heads and sparked this delightful fantasy.

Jamie remembers: “Kevin had this moment of inspiration where he thought: what if we made a mini-movie based on these six characters, all coming together at an estate for an event, but it’s the moment before the party, the seconds before all their worlds become entangled into a ‘House of Secrets.’ House of Secrets to me is a vignette of this singular moment in time, shared between these six characters whose lives are complex, intertwined and destined for each other. It is about the complexities of our lives and relationships. It is also about how defined we are visually by what we choose to wear: this alone tells the story of where we are at this particular time in the character’s lives, what their emotions are.”

“I was immediately influenced by Chopard’s involvement with and love of the film industry,” Kevin relates. “I remember sitting in their suite in Cannes, looking around at stills from movies framed on the wall, and thinking how perfect it would be to tell a very cinematic story. To get to that point I developed a story, characters and even an opening scene for the unfinished movie that is Chopard Secrets. Each character carries their own secrets, and some of these are shared secrets. The love between two characters might be completely hidden from another, and that secret will have a tremendous impact on their lives. The scenes in House of Secrets show only that moment when individuals are carrying their own secrets, before their storylines intersect and drama unfolds.”

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