Tag Archives: fashion

Monica Rich Kosann

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This past January on a Connecticut estate, I shot my first print ad campaign with my creative collaborator Kelly Framel for a luxury jewelry brand I have been a fan of for many years now: Monica Rich Kosann. As you know,  I have been collaborating with Kelly for close to five years now. She knows what I like, what I gravitate towards, and what will make a good photograph. I feel lucky I get to go to work with one of my best friends and have clients I personally love such as Monica. This time, however, was a bit different. When Monica approached us last year about creating their campaign images for 2015 it wasn’t just digital as we’ve done so many times before. This would be mine and Kelly’s first print ad campaign.

So it was a little different…

They wanted Kelly and I create the entire thing from concept to final selection. Kelly spent a ton of time researching photography books and british magazines and would come to meetings dragging a suitcase full of them. A lot of visual inspiration came from Bruce Weber’s Blood, Sweat and Tears and Peter Lindbergh’s Untitled 116. For me, the story was all about heritage and balancing the timelessness of Monica’s jewelry. The way each piece is something you collect (or dream of collecting) and becomes a part of your life until ultimately being passed it down to a loved one. Monica is also a photographer so there was an element of her photographic spirit I wished to capture in the images, the way she finds these quiet and intimate moments so beautifully. I wanted to shoot in natural light, as Monica chooses to do in her own body of work, and I wanted to give elements of a place or home but never be literal. To feel like a life being lived shown with a delicate simplicity.

We casted two women for the shoot to make it multigenerational, something that is integral to the Monica Rich Kosann brand which we also felt represented the storytelling quality of her jewelry. Though I worked closely with the ad agency, I handled all post production in-house from color grading to retouching. I was very adamant that these would not be overly beauty retouched and aside from a very small few blemishes the women were left as beautifully natural as they are in real life.

When I was growing up it was a pre-digital world everything lived and died by what was physically printed. I dreamed of seeing my work in magazines, on billboards in Times Square (back when they were still billboards), window displays and in mailers. I’m very happy about my career and how things have changed through technology but there is a small piece of me that feels really proud to be able to check off an old fashioned goal of making it in print. When the first ad came out it was so thrilling to see it on the shelf and comb through the pages looking for the shot. If you follow me on snapchat you’ll remember the tears of joy I had sitting there, holding it. I hope I am lucky enough, talented enough, smart enough, to make this the first of many more.

So here are the series of photographs we made on this winter day. Though these are the final four you’ll start to see in Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Town & Country among others, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite moments, and fill you in on what exactly they are wearing these chic creatures and a few behind the scenes stories to some of the shots below…

To Monica & Rod, thank you for believing in Kelly and me.

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The above shot of Deborah was the first in the series of ads to come out in this month’s Town and Country. The call time in Manhattan for the crew was 4:30am in order to get everyone up to the house in Connecticut by early morning light. As the models were in hair and makeup, the styling team were steaming the clothes preparing for the fist shot. I was standing in silence watching the light come up minute by minute. I knew I wanted to shoot in that soft delicate time before the sun comes up just over the horizon so I told Kelly she had ten minutes to have them ready by the dock. After we finished the shot just in time, the sun arose and that quiet moment had passed.

Above~ Marissa Webb navy button up dress | Primary funktional stockholm sweater coat | Monica Rich Kosann carpe diem necklace, gold locket, link chain with diamond pave bracelet, planet cocktail ring, cat’s eye stud earrings

Below~ Jill Stuart peach top | A Piece Apart white pants | Monica Rich Kosann earth charm necklace, suppose you love me posey ring, octopus charm necklace, short poesy rings necklace 

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The above shot of Ira was taken toward the end of the day. This is the 2nd ad to come out in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar. This photo is really special to me for a variety of reasons. First, I personally own this charm. It was an anniversary gift, a nod to all the world traveling and memories I’ve collected around the world. At this particular moment in the day I was feeling a little worn down from having so many people talking at me while I was trying to shoot. I felt like I couldn’t hear myself think! I told everyone we got the shot and they all started heading back inside. But I pulled Ira back and asked her to hang on for a moment. It was just her, my assistant and this quiet moment on the edge of the ocean and I asked her hold up the earth in front of her eye, like she has the whole world on a string.

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Above~ Tibi blue trench | Monica Rich Kosann sugar loaf bracelet, posey bracelets, gate collection hoop earrings, stacked collection of posey rings necklaces

Below~ Karen Millen white tshirt | Zimmerman pinstripe suit | Monica Rich Kosann hoop earrings with scroll detail, collection of poesy ring necklaces,  poesy ring bracelets, & stacked poesy rings

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The sports car… that was a surprise. When Kelly and I arrived at the estate the day before the shoot to location scout the grounds keeper took us into the garage were we gasped at the sight of four amazing sports cars. It made for quite the hysterical Snapchat show. On the day of the shoot we had Ira in the previous photo on a yellow couch with a blue jacket on and it just wasn’t sexy or cool enough. The jewelry stayed the same but Kelly put her in a power suit and white tee shirt, we pulled out this little red sports car and that was the right moment. That’s the girl I want to be. This image will also make it to print.

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Above~ Tibi sweater | Monica Rich Kosann “I just adore you” poesy ring, “Secret” message box charm, & mosaic bracelet

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Above & Below~ Demylee sweater | Gerard Darel skirt | Monica Rich Kosann minature pocketwatch key necklaceCarpe-Diem necklacepocketwatch key neckacerose cut sapphire braceletmoonstone poesy ring, & “my sister, my friend” square poesy ring

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Below~ Gerard Darel grey sweater | Monica Rich Kosann Passion cocktail ring, Marilyn pave link chain bracelet with diamond pave link, Elizabeth link bracelet with Vine half locket charm, “Dream” moon charm, hammered half locket charm, & “wish” genie bottle charm

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Above~

On left, Deborah wears Jill Stuart dress | Monica Rich Kosann hoop earrings with sapphires, “style” charm necklace with diamonds, four photo locket with diamond border, & carved prasiolite cocktail ring

On right, Ira wears Jill Stuart peach top | A Piece Apart white pants | Monica Rich Kosann earth charm necklacesuppose you love me posey ringoctopus charm necklaceshort poesy rings necklace 

The image below was the first shot of the day. I love how glow-y, dewy and soft the light is over the ocean wrapping around her this time of day.

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Above~ Gerard Darel coat | Monica Rich Kosann miniature oval pocketwatch key necklace, miniature travel compass key charm necklace, & rectangular locket with blue sapphires

Below~ Josie Natori top & pants | Monica Rich Kosann petite snowflake locket, petite mother of pearl locket, “dream” moon charm necklace, double stacked rosalind link bracelet, starburst rock crystle drop earrings, & vintage watch

The following image will be one of the other printed ads. Stalled by the high harsh sun of afternoon light we couldn’t make it work with the locations we previously had planned. Kelly and I walked around the house taking a moment to regroup together when I looked in this guest bathroom and loved the angular shadows the window panes were casting. Ira is actually sitting on the edge of the bathtub here, leaning back on to a shower curtain. What I love most about this image is that the starburst off the diamond in the “dream” moon necklace was real.

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Above~ Tibi button up shirt | Pamela Rolland white pants | Monica Rich Kosann mosaic triple row bracelet, stacked Marilyn link bracelets with small baby feet charm, cat’s eye engraved prasiolite stud earrings, cat’s eye engraved prasiolite cocktail ring, oval sunburst locket, & pocketwatch key necklace 

Below~ Gerard Darel grey sweater | Monica Rich Kosann cusion bezel-set earrings

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Above~ Josie Natori top & pants | Monica Rich Kosann petite snowflake locketpetite mother of pearl locket“dream” moon charm necklace, double stacked rosalind link braceletstarburst rock crystle drop earrings, & vintage watch

Below~ Jill Stuart peach top | A Piece Apart white pants | Monica Rich Kosann earth charm necklacesuppose you love me posey ringoctopus charm necklaceshort poesy rings necklace 

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Above~ Gerard Darel coat | Monica Rich Kosann miniature oval pocketwatch key necklaceminiature travel compass key charm necklace, & rectangular locket with blue sapphires

Below~ L’Agence dress | Lookast sweater | Monica Rich Kosann curiosity telescope charm necklace, travel compass charm necklace, & 4 image starburst locket with white sapphires

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Below and on the cover~ Tibi sweater | Monica Rich Kosann oval initial locket with rose cut diamonds, “suppose you love me” beaded poesy ring“I just adore you” poesy ring, & mosaic bracelet

The next image in black and white and again in the cover in color were the last shots of the day. Just as the sun had slipped back down under the horizon we had those remaining few minutes of beautiful, soft, glowing light. Ira and I crouched down on the ocean’s edge together and found this place of effortlessness. To me, these two moments represent a dream of a woman I want to someday get to be.

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Monica Rich Kosann collections 2015 modeled by Ira Sumbaeva & Deborah Greer | Styled by Kelly Framel | Makeup By Christine Cherbonnier | Hair by Andrew Fitzsimons

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Spring Showers!

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Friday marks the official first day of spring and I couldn’t be more beside myself with joy. It’s a funny thing living in New York. By the time end of February rolls around people have had it with winter. I personally will have had it before the ball will have even dropped on New Year’s Eve!

I look forward to the charming cherry blossoms in Central Park, stopping by the Van Leeuwen truck in Soho, and wearing classic trench coats which immediately has me channeling Audrey Hepburn.

GAP asked us to bring to life our idea of spring into a Cinemagraph for styld.by for which of course, the first thing that comes to mind is that inevitable spring moment of getting caught in the rain…

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Chantecaille

 

I love Roses.

I love to grow them, receive them, smell like them, and photograph them it’s no wonder the rose is considered the “queen” of essential oils.  You can imagine my excitement when I discovered Chantecaille’s Rose de Mai line of beauty products made extraordinarily with a very special rose gown in Provence, France which blooms only once a year called Rose de Mai and harvested by hand. I love every morning waking up and applying the Rose de Mai cream which feels as if you are rubbing thousands of rose petals on your skin. What is even more special is that the scent is all natural from the actual roses that make up these products and take care of your face with the power of this floral ingredient.

There is something very calming about the smell of roses. When I’m feeling very stressed from a long day of editing and deadlines or after an intense photoshoot, it’s nice to spray Chantecaille’s Pure Rosewater on my skin not only to re-hydrate it but lift my spirits. Rosewater has an interesting history dating back the the Ancient Romans who not only drank Rosewater but bathed in it… obviously I wish I had more Rosewater baths in my life, right?! Aside from just being incredibly luxurious, Rosewater fights depression, insect bites, inflammation, sunburn, and signs of aging. I guess this is as close as we can get to the “fountain of youth”.

Sometimes we are incredibly fortunate enough to get clients we are personally fans of. Last December we were brought into the Chantecaille offices in Soho and briefed on their top secret newest member to their rose collection, Rose de Mai Face Oil, which was just released a few weeks ago. They asked us to come up with an idea, some visuals, on what the Rose de Mai line means to us and how we would visualize Chantecaille into a body of work. You can imagine, I was beside myself- a total dream job! We got to work right away concepting everything from stills, to videos, to cinemagraphs. Later this spring the work we created will be rolled out around the world in Chantecaille’s in-store displays, websitesocial media channels and in press such as WWD.

After the creative was signed off on by every member of the Chantecaille family (this is a family run business) we got to work. First step. Find the perfect roses in the middle of winter which we did through Rose Story Farm and had as many as possible shipped overnight. The studio has never smelled so beautiful! There were roses everywhere, in the windowsill, refrigerator, work table, kitchen counters! Over the course of a three day shoot we made beds of roses, flower crowns, flower hats, flower petal showers, you name it. It was a pure delight.

Of course Chantecaille does more that skincare, they also have an amazing line of makeup made most famously by Angelina Jolie when she reapplied their lipgloss not knowingly on camera at the Golden Globes. So I was VERY interested in hanging out at the makeup station for our shoot to pick up any tips / tricks from Chantecaille’s in house makeup artist Eddie Hernandez. My favorite things: their mascara smells like roses (DONE) and this is my FAVORITE makeup tool now.

Here are some of our favorite moments from this very personal collaboration with Chantecaille~

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Above~ Red Audra Dress

Below~ Chantecaille’s new Rose de Mai Face Oil Chantecaille__02

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Above & Cover~ White Audra Top

Below~ Red Audra Dress

Below~ Delphine Manivet Dress

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Above~ Marchesa Top

Below~ Chantecaille Rose de Mai Cream

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Above~ Katie Ermilio Bandeau

Below~ Elie Saab Dress

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Above & Cover~ White Audra Top

Below~ Delphine Manivet Dress

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Above~ Misha Nonoo Jumpsuit

Below~ Chantecaille Pure Rosewater

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Above~ Marchesa Top

Below~ Delphine Manivet Dress

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Below~ Misha Nonoo Jumpsuit

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Chantecaille Rose de Mai ||Modeled by Teresa Dilger of Silent Models || Makeup by Eddie Hernandez of Chantecaille || Hair by Fred Van de Bunt from Art Department || Styling by Kelly Framel & Erin Framel of the Glamourai || Manicurist Angel Williams || Flower Artist Tammy Becker

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Play it for CHANEL

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The fashion world is always colliding and collaborating with artists, like two exotic fish constantly swimming around each other in a never-ending dance of inspiration, a black and white yin & yang. When the Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2015 collection came to New York for 48 hours they sent a selection over to our studio for another midnight sitting (after the delicate, one-of-a-kind pieces spent the day in back-to-back appointments with clients, collectors, buyers and press).

Of course, shooting couture on a model would be terribly fun but sometimes I want more of a story… not to mention, the Chanel shoots happen in the middle of New York Fashion Week where every model is busy being sent down the runways multiple times a day.

So we find our own muses.

Last September it was our Botticelli-esque raven, artist India Salvor Menuez on a concrete set piece we created for her, to live like a flower sprouting up between the cracks of distressed urban time. For this sitting, my creative collaborator Kelly Framel, found violinist Margot Moe, already a fixture in the fashion world for her legendary violin riffs over musical partner Mia Moretti’s DJ sets. They’ve brought music from the Lower East Side up to the runways of Fashion Week and into the temple of art by opening for Janet Jackson at the Louvre.

Which brings me back to my point of fashion and art and its never ending dance of inspiration.

So here Margot is, an artist, and there is CHANEL, the most legendary fashion house in the world, a moment of black and white yin and yang tugging and pulling and swirling and and jumping around each other on set like a tangled pair of lovers caught up in the fires of inspiration one never quite able to let the other go.

We sat in the studio in silence and listened to Margot play, the snow falling in a white blanket outside our old industrial windows contrasting with the inky black looks billowing through the set and I thought back to that moment when I was sitting in Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment  last fall, listening to the stories of her intimate dinner parties. She liked interesting people, people who had a story, people who created something and played to their own tune much like Coco herself.

I can’t help but think in another world, she would have been quite pleased to have Margot filling her home and her heart with a soulful tune that would fade out onto the black and white streets of Paris…

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Tell me about some of the current projects you are working on?

I’m in the studio right now recording my solo record, creating a classical music mixtape, and writing an orchestral piece. 

You’re an incredible violinist, how did you get started?

I picked it up when I was four and haven’t put it down since. 

What drew you to the violin? 

It’s a conversation without words.

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