Tag Archives: studio tour

Tia Cibani

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Recently I was delighted to meet designer Tia Cibani at her work studio in the Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, a lovely little corner studio that overlooks the beautiful cobblestone intersection of Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets. It was one of those beautiful spring days, the kind where, if you live in a walking city like I do, you opt to take the long walk home because it’s so beautiful out, and I was wearing (finally) my new spring dress designed by Tia. It reminded me of Audrey Hepburn dancing around Paris in Funny Face…but updated with its asymmetry and MoMA-esque quirk.

I was excited to meet the designer – having been born in North Africa then raised in Canada before living in China for a decade, I knew she had a true worldly palette to pull from. So here is a lovely afternoon spent in the design studio of Tia Cibani and her thoughts on fashion, designing, traveling and where her inspiration comes from…

PS- from her spring collection my favorite pieces are this for a cocktail party / this for a lunch date / or this for everyday forever and ever (so my new mantra).

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What is your background? Do you think it influences your design?

Well, I was born in Libya, but my family moved to Canada when I was 6 years old. I haven’t been back to Libya since…I’ve been to different parts of North Africa – Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco – but not to Libya. I do have some childhood memories, but they are very, very faint.

I think subliminally, it definitely finds its way into my designs. I’m drawn to that part of the world. I love the food, I love the music, I love the color, I love the history. It’s a part of me, and I’m drawn to it.

Continue reading…

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In the Studio With…

I have always loved Prabal Gurung’s understanding of the modern woman in his designs (and so have some incredible modern women!), and his spring/summer 2014 collection was no different.

Prabal stated that his main muse for this collection was Marilyn Monroe – the perfect choice for a designer so focused on femininity. To bring her into the modern era, however, was a challenge…and one Prabal took on fun, bright, edgy way.

Marilyn was represented in the elegance, glamour, and curvy silhouettes of the collection, but the punchy colors, abstract florals, and plastic harnesses made sure she felt at home and in vogue in the fast-paced 21st century.

“It was a celebration of women,” Prabal explained. “I was thinking about preserving elegance, but making it modern and right for now with the right amount of danger…I like the idea of femininity with bite.”

I’m sure Marilyn would have approved.

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Emily Noelle Lambert

You can’t think about New York City and not think about the incredible history of artists that have defined and redefined art through the ages. This year Kevin and I are cohosting the Brooklyn Artists Ball after-party, so the rest of this week we will be doing studio tours here of a few of the artists, all based in Brooklyn, who are creating special pieces to be on exhibition at each of the guests’ tables for the museum’s annual fundraising event.

When you walk into Emily Noelle Lambert‘s studio in Greenpoint you instantly feel happier from the colors, the freedom of paint, and the joy of the artist. The walls explode with pieces ranging from paintings to found wooden structures to metal works, the result of collaborations with her brother, who is a blacksmith. The center of the room is filled with one long descending table with a beautiful range of height, texture, and saturations of color, where all the sculptures seem to dance with each other. She talks to us about her creation for the Brooklyn Artist Ball and her life as an artist…

Emily on her sculptures being ”small gestures that turn into little moments that could live in a larger painting. I like to look at the texture and the history of each object and what each of the forms do and try to begin to have another conversation with what I pair them with. Once I started painting them them it really starts to feel like they are brush strokes themselves.”

On her centerpieces she is creating for the ball: “I really want the table to have more of a landscape feel. That is where I’m at now…I have all the pieces but I need to figure out the space between them, how they are going to speak to each other. ”

Continue reading…

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Robert’s Muse

Collection by Robert Lee Morris / Modeled by Taylor Livingston / Styling by Kelly Framel / Shot in Mid-Town Manhattan September 2012

One thing Robert Lee Morris is is a true artist. He has not only received two CFDA awards for accessory design but was also awarded the CFDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.  After digging around his studio, we had to bring some of the history to life. Modeled by our beautiful friend Taylor Livingston and styled by Kelly Framel, Robert took us through the stories and inspiration of his collection of art we call accessories.

Above image: “The long earring was a handmade, one-of-a-kind construction meant to evoke the feel of a water spout, or gingko leaf.”

Below image: Headpiece designed for a Kansai Yamamoto show, made of natural blonde horsehair; this piece was worn by every model on his Spring 1983 runway at once.

Above & below, on the breastplate: “I made it to form fit the body of Sayoko, which she wore as the bride, the finale look, under a massive embroidered coat while also wearing a very high crown I made of golden wings, formed from the reconfigured struts of a Japanese umbrella, set on a metal headband and sprayed with gold dust. This piece is incredibly special as it was the one item that I showed at the FIT museum show called IMPACT, which commemorated the 50 year anniversary of the CFDA.”

 Below image: “That belt is a brass disc with a square center ~ inspired by Chinese coins ~ and I made it as part of my belt license in the early 90′s. I believed in a form of body language, where a big disc at the waist was protection for the belly, the third chakra, the power of action and doing.”

 Above image: “The inspiration was futuristic armor, and it turned out to be one of the most beloved of my major headpieces for Kansai, very well-photographed for years after. This bubble collar was a version of the one that graced my very first cover of Vogue…this was one of the iconic pieces that helped build my early brand image.”

Robert created 12 of these headdresses, one for each model in the Kansai Yamamoto Fall 1982 shows in Paris, New York, and Tokyo.

Above image: “This green patina jumbo disc belt was made for the Calvin Klein Fall 1981 show; the inspiration was moss-colored river stones, Ireland, and the emeralds of Africa. I have kept this piece very safe and in mint condition since that show.”

Above image: “The mask was made from a mannequin of Sayoko Yamaguchi, the supermodel of the early 80′s and the muse of Kansai Yamamoto. I love this one because of the unique green patina and how the area of the eyes is left as brass. This was part of a limited production of masks that I sold at Artwear.”

From 1977-1995, Robert Lee Morris founded and ran Artwear Gallery, dedicated to showcasing wearable sculptures in the same sort of context as contemporary art.

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