Tag Archives: gold

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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Natural Beauty

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Natural beauty comes in all forms, in the bareness of a woman’s face, the sweeping landscape of our earth’s vistas, the colors of a sunset and in a precious metal that came crashing down to earth 4 billion years ago: GOLD. We talk about gold jewelry here a lot from what it means to us to where we wear it. I’m always inspired by what designers do with these natural elements, how they create magic with something that traveled across the universe and existed here before mankind.

Modeled by my own natural beauty muse Alli Lanier here are 5 new jewelry designers I’m finding inspiring these days to watch~

Temple St. Clair

Temple St. Clair began, like many great works of art, in Florence, Italy in 1986. A city where the namesake designer still draws inspiration from stating, “Each object that I create carries the soul of the history of the artisans of Florence.” With her signature cocktail rings, rock crystal amulets and elegant gold work, this very chic woman has created a line of jewelry that is collected by in-the-know women that appreciate the balance of art, history and craftsmanship.

Above cover~ 18K Gold Classic Horizontal Oval Ring with Blue Sapphire & Diamond Granulation

Below~ Royal Blue Moonstone & Diamond 18K Gold Bella Bangle

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Below~ 18K Gold Owl Face Post Earring with Diamonds

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The Golden Plumes of 1932

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Gabrielle Chanel believed jewelry had the power to transform oneself and to escape. When looking at these delicate 18K gold feathered pieces by CHANEL remade from her 1932 collection, I thought about those two words: Transform & Escape.

I thought about transforming oneself with our masks into good or evil, into the lightness or darkness, or escaping who we are in our day to day lives with jewelry being the stage we write our script to. Dancers have to be one of the most accomplished groups of people in the art of transforming and taking on roles. While in Paris I met one such dancer, Claire Camille, and wanted to bring this delicate collection of golden plumes, as imagined by Coco, to life and transform into characters so delicate you could imagine they’d simply float away together

Float away together I thought… I love the idea of escaping through jewelry. I have this beautiful gold globe designed by Monica Rich Kosann which I adore. When I wear this piece I escape on a million adventures around the world, discovering beauty beyond imagination and expanding on what limited time my eyes have left to see.

You can easily see how we define ourselves, where jewelry can take our imagination, something LoveGold showcases better than anyone. What does the jewelry you wear transform about you? When you truly want to escape, what pieces do you put on? Do you, too, play characters in the theater of life? On this early autumn day in Paris, here is where we drifted off to like a feather endlessly floating in golden light….

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CHANEL 1932 PLUME~

Earrings // Necklace // Bracelets // Ring

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Worth its Weight in Gold

a look at the special pieces of gold jewelry I wear and why

I like for the jewelry I wear to mean something, to have a story when people ask me about it. Yesterday was the start of New York Fashion Week which means lots of photographs, lots of beautiful clothing and lots of chatting with fashion friends I’ve missed over the summer. A woman on the street complimented me on my gold jewelry which meant so much because each piece has a memory sewn into its life with me. The most important being Kevin’s wedding band {above} which was my Grandfather’s and we all know how amazing he was. They could not afford to buy wedding rings when they were married today, September 5th, 1950, so for their one year anniversary my grandmother had saved for months to buy this simple gold band.

When I’m shooting or traveling to more rural parts of the world I also prefer to wear a more simplistic set of jewelry than the beautiful vintage ring that usually lives on my finger (and I still get caught starring in awe at it). Instead I wear another simpler ring that is very special to me. Yesterday we learned about John Hardy’s Greener Every Day initiative with their bamboo collection: when you wear bamboo, you plant bamboo. My bamboo ring is inscribed on the inside “This Planted 7 Bamboos” and reminds me not only to take care of the earth around us but also recalls a life changing journey to Bali with John Hardy and Cuyana.

a look at the special pieces of gold jewelry I wear and why

Around my neck is a long gold chain with two charms dangling off it: the moon & stars with the earth. The Moon & Stars was a gift from a woman photographer & creator of very exclusive heirloom pieces I greatly admire after I photographed her daughters at our studio. The earth was an anniversary gift from my husband to remind me of all the places we’ve been and all the dreams I have to look forward to.

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