Category Archives: Fashion Reportage

Tia Cibani

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Recently I was delighted to meet designer Tia Cibani at her work studio in the Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, a lovely little corner studio that overlooks the beautiful cobblestone intersection of Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets. It was one of those beautiful spring days, the kind where, if you live in a walking city like I do, you opt to take the long walk home because it’s so beautiful out, and I was wearing (finally) my new spring dress designed by Tia. It reminded me of Audrey Hepburn dancing around Paris in Funny Face…but updated with its asymmetry and MoMA-esque quirk.

I was excited to meet the designer – having been born in North Africa then raised in Canada before living in China for a decade, I knew she had a true worldly palette to pull from. So here is a lovely afternoon spent in the design studio of Tia Cibani and her thoughts on fashion, designing, traveling and where her inspiration comes from…

PS- from her spring collection my favorite pieces are this for a cocktail party / this for a lunch date / or this for everyday forever and ever (so my new mantra).

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What is your background? Do you think it influences your design?

Well, I was born in Libya, but my family moved to Canada when I was 6 years old. I haven’t been back to Libya since…I’ve been to different parts of North Africa – Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco – but not to Libya. I do have some childhood memories, but they are very, very faint.

I think subliminally, it definitely finds its way into my designs. I’m drawn to that part of the world. I love the food, I love the music, I love the color, I love the history. It’s a part of me, and I’m drawn to it.

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Maria Brito

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I met Maria Brito last year when she began working with and advising Kevin and I on our personal work and where to take it. We started doing artist studio tours together around Brooklyn – Maria has an amazing knowledge of the art world, not only in New York but around the world. Her blog and Instagram do a great job of taking you along for the ride! And in case that doesn’t sound chic enough, she covers art fairs like Basel for publications such as Elle; she was featured in Vogue Brazil; she buys art for P. Diddy’s (Sean Combs’) homes; she’s written a book about living with art; she’s a wife and a mother of two; and now, because she has soooooo much free time ;) she is marrying her two passions, fashion and art, by launching a very limited edition capsule collection of clutches. These pieces feature three different artists -  Kenny ScharfErik Parker and Carlos Rolón/Dzine - in editions of 20 exclusively at Kirna Zabete in SoHo and online. They are truly “wearable art”, pieces that will increase their value through time, and that are themselves timeless.

Below are a few questions I had for Maria about what she wants to do now, what other A-listers are on her client roster, and her thoughts on how to buy art…

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So these clutches are amazing! Where did you get the idea for them?

“I had been looking at the idea of doing product. I wrote a book, I do design services, I post things on my blog, so I thought it was about time to do something else. I had been looking at art collaborations, and while I thought some of them were very cool, I realized I wouldn’t necessarily wear what’s available right now. I wanted to create something that my friends or my clients or that I would actually wear, so I came to the idea of doing these clutches. I emailed a few artist friends about the idea to validate that the prototypes were going to work, and they all said, Yes. And the beautiful thing is that in the end, it worked out. So really it came as a natural progression of what I do.”

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 So tell me about each of the three pieces of art…

“The zebra print one is by Dzine, his name is Carlos Rolón, he’s an artist who’s based in Chicago. He’s from a Puerto Rican background, so we connect really well because we’re both Latin. This was a piece made for a show that was at Paul Kasmin at the beginning of the year. I took a detail, because it’s a big square, so I had to crop it so it would work for this shape…I feel it works really well for this type of thing.

The white clutch is from Erik Parker. The original is a diptych – it is actually hanging in the house of one of my clients. It’s huge – 6 feet in height by probably 9 feet in length. It’s separate because it’s a diptych, so I decided to play with it and put it together. It worked out really well! This one came full circle because it’s in the house of my client and now…well, you know what I mean.

And the Kenny Scharf one came from a piece that he did in the 90s. It’s also a detail. He’s very known for doing those creatures and little animals, so of course he told me, “Choose one in my archive of 600,” and it was kind of hard. I mean, it’s not that it was hard, having 600 pieces to choose from, but I wanted in particular to have the little creatures! I loved how this turned out to be. It’s very playful.”

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Top 20 Met Gala Moments

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Oh what a night! Here are my favorite red carpet arrivals from my Instagram takeover for  the Met Museum. It was gowns galore, celebrities, designers and muses, musicians at their best and anything / everything I could capture all from an iPhone 5s… isn’t technology wonderful? Here is what I saw, some of my favorite outtakes and intimate moments…life is glittery and magical when you are attending the one and only Met Gala…

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Monique Lhuillier Bridal

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Before the tintype shoot, I had to see what I was getting myself into…I knew I wouldn’t be able to look at flat photographs of these amazingly intricate gowns and visualize the dreamlike story I was trying to build in my mind. Having photographed many past Monique Lhuillier ready-to-wear shows, they were wonderful enough to give me all access to their recent bridal collection show just a few weeks ago. Before this, I had never experienced “Bridal Week”. But as we all know, I do love a gown moment…and these gowns represent the most personal, intimate gown moment we might each have. It was honestly a little torturous – I kept wanting to get married all over again, in this dress, or that dress! But the satisfaction of getting to create images with these beautiful pieces was thrilling in itself.

So what are the differences between shooting NYFW and shooting a bridal show? Well, the girls do tend to smile more – they feel beautiful – and if  you’re watching you’ll see a handful of them spinning around just like we used to do when we were children dreaming of walking down the aisle in something as magical as one of these dresses

Read below to see what the designer Monique Lhuillier had to say about the collection ~

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Who is the Monique Lhuillier bride?

“I think the Monique Lhuillier customer is confident, she loves fashion, she wants to feel special in her clothes, and she appreciates the beautiful fabrics and the craftsmanship that I put in my work, and she also wants to feel sexy on that day. Even if it’s a traditional event, I think she still wants that personality to shine through.”

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