Tag Archives: jamie beck

Chanel Haute Couture

I had never photographed couture before, but I had dreamed about it for years, ever since my first meeting with CHANEL. To see, to touch, to photograph something so special, so one of a kind, would become one of my greatest honors. I think every great photographer has their first “couture story”…the pieces are so rare that couture comes with quite a bit of fuss.

Coming straight from the runway in Paris, the fall 2014 Chanel Haute Couture collection visited New York for two days. I could have the pieces from 7pm to midnight at our studio which took three guys and two guards to carry up. The garments lived up to all my ideas of what haute couture is: immaculate quality, so intricate you could get lost in the details…fascinating aspects to the construction, just layers upon layers of depth and design. It is, quite simply, wearing art. Photographs will never capture the way the beauty feels in person, it’s like seeing a photo of a Botticelli painting online and standing in front of one in Florence. It brought tears to my eyes.

So what is haute couture?…

Haute couture, meaning “high fashion”, can be traced back as early as the 1700s at the court of Marie Antoinette, but the father of haute couture was Charles Frederick Worth, the man who changed the public perception of dressmakers from laborers to artists. At his atelier, he would create a living portfolio, a display of his work on models from which clients could choose a piece for themselves.

From this foundation, many couture fashion houses were born – so many that the term “haute couture” is actually defined and protected by a committee in the French government who have certain criteria in order for a fashion house to meet the haute couture standard. At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were well over a hundred houses considered haute couture, now there are only around a dozen.

Chanel is one of those legendary haute couture houses. Beginning in the 1920s, Coco Chanel revolutionized the fashion scene by ignoring typical fashion standards – creating a false bust and hips, using corsets to narrow the waist – in favor of fashion that allowed for women’s comfort while creating a new kind of polished style. As Coco continued to design until her death in 1971, Chanel became well known for creating fluid, effortless pieces that oozed glamour and sophistication. Today, under the vision of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel continues to set the bar for the haute couture side of the fashion industry… to say the least.

So here we are, on an early autumn night at our studio, the windows are open with the distant sounds of New York city flowing in as stylist Kelly Framel is dressing our model, actress & artist India Salvor Menuez and I am standing on set ready to go to another world- one in which only Chanel can take me.

Clothing & High Jewelry by Chanel Couture // Modeled by India Salvor Menuez // Styled by Kelly Framel //  Makeup by Christine Cherbonnier // Hair by Joseph DiMaggio // Manicure by Angel Williams //  Concrete Mural by Mr Perswall for Wallpaperdirect

All things CHANEL here

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Meet Jasmine Poulton

JasminePoulton__02 Yesterday we played out one of my personal fantasies of glamour and fashion high atop the city skyline in a Mandarin Oriental suite with our British Wilhelmina model Jasmine Poulton. We were talking about dreams, the way so  many come to New York to find them or fulfill them. I asked Jasmine about her own life, what brought her to our city, a place where it seems everyone is from somewhere, and how she ended up on this beautiful fall day in front of my lens…

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New York is a city of dreams…my New York dream is….

Leaving every other weekend.

When I model I….

 Act.

The reason I moved to New York is…

To be free.

I am most inspired by…

 Nature, music, love, a mind’s endless ideas.

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Fashion is…

More than what’s current.

Women are…

One of nature’s greatest beauties & powers.

Continue reading…

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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

  Mandarin_Oriental_03 Mandarin_Oriental_04 Mandarin_Oriental_05 Mandarin_Oriental_06 Mandarin_Oriental_07 Continue reading…

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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.

Continue reading…

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