Mandarin Oriental Dreams

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High atop Manhattan’s skyline, overlooking Central Park and the Hudson River sits the proud Mandarin Oriental, glittering in the golden setting sun of an early autumn day. I love New York this time of year, I love the fantasy of glamour, a world where fashion, culture, business and design all collide into spectacular moments. When I was young and I dreamed of New York it was always like this – overlooking that powerful skyline that still mesmerizes me, in diamonds and designer gowns. Here, model and artist Jasmine Poulton brings my dreams to life in the Mandarin Oriental’s Oriental Suite in Donna Karan‘s very special 30th anniversary fall 2014 collection (remember when I took you backstage) and Chopard diamonds from the high jewelry collection

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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.”

Continue reading…

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Paris Mornings

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I know what it feels like to be up early in the morning, the way the buildings are colder and stronger, the way the steam dances out of the street and off the chimneys of roofs so pure and innocent, untouched by the pollution of the day’s bullshit and congestion. I love that peaceful handoff, the glowing clock of night dimmed and sleepy passing on time to the sunrise of day. The bar flies finishing the last swig of beer, drunkenly caught between yesterday and today, already smelling of tomorrow’s disasters, hazily lost in this seamless transition that has been happening for an eternity. How small we are. How worried we get around the details of our seconds and the price of the ground we stand on. Just look at the sunrise and you will feel like one lucky soul in a moment that is already gone, floating on a place we call earth, that little blue dot among a whole universe of wonder…

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Les Costans Hotel

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I am expanding my reach in France beyond my beloved Paris these days, first with Cannes then to Normandy. When we signed up for the Origins project that sent us around the world, I was thrilled to learn we would be going to the Côtes d’Armor region of France to a charming little town called Perros-Guirec, where we would find the natural origin of the Origins ingredient Crithmum. In between shooting on the Brittany coast and culture about town, we laid our heads down in this perfect little luxury boutique hotel with its rich history of being a school, a hospital, occupied by the Germans in WWII and back to being a hotel again, where the most important thing to do is sip your wine as  you watch the sunset over the bay. Les Costans will forever remain as beautiful a memory as the roses in the garden…

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