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.)
Continue reading “NYC Ballet x Cartier”
For the School of American Ballet’s winter ball, Kevin and I followed three of the students into their experience, thoughts and dreams as they bring to life the dedication and hard work that makes the movement of ballerinas look so elegant and effortless….
Movement. When I was interviewing designer Tia Cibani at her studio, one of the references of inspiration for her fall collection was just that, movement. The full dancer skirts, gathered backs, swinging dresses, and loose silhouettes all flow in graceful motions. Even in the fabric design, the blurred lines of the rose print look as if the fabric has flown by you, leaving behind only the scent of roses. The clothes hanging there in the showroom were screaming at me to be whirled around, caught in the wind, and flicked off a finger.
I asked Amy, a recent New Orleans transplant and a trained dancer (in ballet, jazz, AND tap) to come in and be our movement, our graceful, elegant motions. We started talking about dance, about her motivation to dance, and she said, “I love when you find that vulnerability of not caring and letting your body completely take over. It’s very invigorating.” And it was indeed, an exhilarating live performance piece in the middle of our studio; garments singing in ripples of red satin, billows of draped tweed, twirls of shining pleats!
After the shoot I asked Amy what it felt like to dance in these clothes, and she replied, “I felt like a goddess, like a queen. It was so beautiful, it moved with me like an extension of my body.” Now that sounds like an outfit I could dance my way through Manhattan in, too…
Continue reading “Tia Cibani’s Designs Dance”