Tag Archives: Cartier

NYC Ballet x Cartier

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This past week, Cartier reopened its historic mansion at 653 Fifth Avenue after a two and a half years of construction, bringing back to life this iconic piece of real estate the brand took hold of nearly 100 years ago. In 1917 in a deal over a double strand of natural pearls, Pierre Cartier exchanged his necklace for a Fifth Avenue mansion from the Plant family. At the time, the necklace was more valuable than the private home, and a great deal more desirable to Maisie Plant who coveted it.

To celebrate this four year long renovation project and the unveiling of this six story, 40,000 square foot retail mansion with 4 floors of shopping, a 5th floor workshop and 6th floor exhibition/event space, Cartier hosted a star studded “house warming” party where Hollywood rubbed elbows with musical performers who charmed powerful directors. But in the evening before the champagne and sparkling diamonds floated across Cartier’s red carpet, there was a late night dress rehearsal with the New York City Ballet.

It was this moment I chose to photograph. The intimacy of their art in the quiet empty rooms of this historic mansion the ballerinas glided around in graceful steps to a custom soundtrack by Nicolas Godin filling the rooms on dueling pianos and passionate embraces reflected in infinity mirrors and played back in the sparkles of chandeliers….

The Cartier Mansion opens to the public next week!… and let me say this: the second floor Princess Grace Salon currently displaying Grace Kelly’s magnificent engagement ring is what little girl’s dreams are made of (and even some grown ones as well.)

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Afternoon in the Garden

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On photo shoot sets I prefer for the music to reflect the mood, theme, and emotion of the story being played out. Like a stage being set, all the players move in and out, their energy wrapping around the room, building until that last instant when all becomes quiet and focused and the moment is eternalized through the eye of the lens.

Post-shoot, I edit to the same soundtrack. The notes bringing to life the images again in that living, breathing, creative world we spend our lives trying to capture. Take a walk with me hand in hand with our imaginations, into Renoir’s garden, the inspiration behind our recent collaboration with Cartier, through the beauty of sound and power of dreams.

Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, 18k yellow gold, imperial topazes, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds along with an Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, 18k yellow gold, onyx, diamondsand nude silk chiffon gown by vintage Alexander McQueen from Cloak Wardrobe.

Cartier Étourdissant collection shot at Jack Studios in New York City || Modeled by Emma Bartlett || Styled by Krisana Sotelo || Floral Set Design by Putnam & Putnam || Prop Stylist by Zio & Sons || Makeup by Christine Cherbonnier || Hair by Michael Thomas Lollo || Nails by Angel Williams

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Cartier’s Garden

 

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I try to spend my life photographing beauty. It is what brings me the greatest joy and to that which I want cast my gaze upon for eternity. Of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in the world, nothing will ever outshine what nature gives to us. How she makes woman with delicate skin and blushing cheeks, the colors of an exploding flower at the height of its bloom and that exceptional gift of gemstones and diamonds like stars that have fallen from the heavens to earth.

Recently we had lunch with Cartier at The Modern where we were first introduced to to their Étourdissant collection, a beautiful french word for “splendid”. The high jewelry collection is Cartier’s showcase of the most extraordinary, one of a kind pieces that can take the Maison years to create with the finest precious stones in the word. A collection so spectacular it is dizzying, like life itself if we watch with our eyes wide open. As we talked about the collection I was enchanted with the source of inspiration: the south of France, the Côte d’Azur, light and shadows, radiance and hues and the painters from France that created such vibrant works of beauty as a window into a world of natural wonders.

This thought of natural beauty stuck to me and I let images flood my mind and take me into an afternoon reverie. I became engrossed with the idea of creating Renoir’s garden.  A place of dappled color, untamed beauty, a young girl with iridescent paper-like skin dreaming of all to come in life lost in her thoughts as she whiles away the afternoon. She is innate beauty nestled in a bouquet of nature’s glorious shimmering colors. We watch her, with all the luxury of time, her jewels that seem to float off her delicate skin and glitter in the warm, late afternoon light. She lives in a world of splendor changed only be the gentle breeze that sweeps through kissing her cheeks and carrying her thoughts away.

The house of Cartier has reminded me that we must celebrate beauty, treasure color, create contrasts and seek character for it is the explosion of these things that make the world étourdissant.

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Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, platinum, diamonds & pink chiffon gown with flower aplique by Marchesa

Renoir_Garden_Cartier_02 “Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained it is no longer art.”– Pierre-Auguste Renoir Renoir_Garden_Cartier_03

Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, sapphires, diamonds & a light blue chiffon and sheer lace gown by Maria Lucia Hohan.

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“You come to nature with all your theories, and she knocks them all flat.”- Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Étourdissant Cartier Collection ring, 18k yellow gold, opal, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds with vintage Gucci grey silk chiffon gown from Cloak Wardrobe under a rainbow pastel chiffon skirt by Marchesa. Renoir_Garden_Cartier_06

Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, 18k yellow gold, 55.91 carat peridot, onyx, diamonds with emerald green silk chiffon gown by Naeem Khan.

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“The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Étourdissant Cartier Collection ring, 18k white gold, pink diamonds, brown diamonds, white diamonds in a vintage baby pink silk gown by John Galliano from Cloak Wardrobe.

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“I look at a nude. There are myriads of tiny tints. I must find the ones that will make the flesh on my canvas live and quiver.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, 18k yellow gold, imperial topazes, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds along with an Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, 18k yellow gold, onyx, diamonds and nude silk chiffon gown by vintage Alexander McQueen from Cloak Wardrobe.

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“I like a painting which makes me want to stroll in it.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Étourdissant Cartier Collection necklace, platinum, diamonds and pink silk chiffon gown by YSL from Cloak Wardrobe

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“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, sapphires, diamonds & a light blue chiffon and sheer lace gown by Maria Lucia Hohan.

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“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” 
– Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Cartier Étourdissant collection shot at Jack Studios in New York City || Modeled by Emma Bartlett || Styled by Krisana Sotelo || Floral Set Design by Putnam & Putnam || Prop Stylist by Zio & Sons || Makeup by Christine Cherbonnier || Hair by Michael Thomas Lollo || Nails by Angel Williams

Some of the Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings that inspired this story:

Femme avec parasol dans un jardin || Girl with Daises || The Bathers || La Promenade || The Lovers || Dance at Bougival || By the Seashore || Nude 1910 || In the Garden || Young Girl Bathing || Reclining Nude || In the Meadow || Young Woman Seated || The fisherman

&

Renoir the Film

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Cartier Etourdissant dazzles in Miami

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It was a perfect night. The air, so warm and sticky the way summers on the east coast play back like flickering memories of an old movie scene. Cartier had come to Miami to unveil the newest precious pieces of their high jewelry collection “Cartier Etourdissant” along with priceless vintage creations of years past and dazzling standards of this modern era.

Being invited to galas such as these are always personal princess moments. An armed guard, not unlike a fairy godmother, shows up and adorns you in diamonds for the evening leaving you swanning around the room as if you were floating in a glass of champagne. I don’t know what it is about diamonds at night, which sparkle off our warm bodies so alive with breath and wonderment, but I just always feel as if they look like someone caught the twinkling stars and wrapped them around us in a cloak of fairy dust.

This collection is especially sentimental to me. Not only for the history of Cartier, who most notably made the setting for the Hope Diamond and adorned the heads of Royalty for some of their biggest moments in history, but because it was inspired by the French Riviera, one of my favorite places on earth. There is nothing like the light and artistic inspirations of France and in the designs of these pieces they transform light like a quiet afternoon dancing in the sun along the Côte d’Azur. I could stare into the pieces forever remember the best moments in life and dreaming of all the ones I desire for the future.

It was glamorous. Hosted at the new Faena Saxony Hotel in Miami along the turquoise sea it felt like a modern reenactment of a Jay Gatsby party which must have been the inspiration for director Baz Luhrmann when he designed the interior of the hotel.  Faena Miami has been waiting for this moment to be brought to life, to be filled with the sounds of champagne bottles popping, distant laughter, models poised in priceless jewels, jazz music and the salty taste of caviar. Maybe it was the setting that made me feel so nostalgic or the glittering private crowd there mirroring the moonlight off the ocean but I looked around the room wondered how could anything bad ever happen in a world that can create this much beauty out of human vision and love.

In a red Dior dress I watched the room ebb and flow and thought of that line from The Great Gatsby: “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” and smiled, for I can always go back to this memory on a cold winter day and recall that life can really sparkle if we open our eyes.

Below, I invite you to experience some of my favorite moments and unforgettable pieces from the gala by Cartier~

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