VINTAGE FASHION: RETROSPECT 2019

AC6A84CA-C20F-4692-9FF4-D2FF228D5836
I’m so excited to share the following information with you and hope you can attend the first RETROSPECT Vintage Modern Fashion Chicago events.
I have written many posts on Randolph Street Market and have featured it’s brilliant founder, Sally Schwartz, in a nenasnotes Profile. Her home and personal collections are beyond fabulous, go to the archives if you haven’t read it.  Sally and I have been friends for more years than we can remember and when I retired she asked me to join her in various capacities at  RSM .  I now write two monthly posts for the RSM blog , one on fashion and one on collecting…please check it out, they are exclusive to that blog (once in awhile I repeat here but always there first!!!).  nenasnotes is not sponsored by Randolph Street Market…just to be clear. I happen to be a fan and find lots of information to share here and on Instagram and Facebook at the monthly Markets and now I will share my finds at RETROSPECT as well!
As you can see, there are lots of activities during RETROSPECT, including Tom Mantel’s extraordinary 1940 Lincoln, always a show stopper….the Vintage Fashion Show with our fashion influencers wearing their own vintage pieces, an unbelievable line up of  International vintage clothing and accessory dealers many of whom have never shown in Chicago…..enough to make you join us?  I hope so.
Oh wait, there’s more…we begin the celebrations with a stop at the iconic The Music Box with THE fashion film we all adore…FUNNY FACE featuring the beyond gorgeous designs of Hubert de Givenchy worn to perfection by his muse, Audrey Hepburn while Fred Astaire photographs her every move and emotion….”Think Pink”, my friends and bring all your fashion savvy chums, be prepared for amazing fashion a bit of frolicking and spend the weekend with RETROSPECT….I guarantee you won’t regret it!  Here are all the details…..

Retrospect Vintage Modern Fashion Chicago

Retrospect vintage modern fashion chicago

RETROSPECT VINTAGE FASHION MARKET, Friday May 3 from 3pm-10pm and Saturday May 4 from 10am-6pm will be held at 2260 South Grove Street on the Chicago River, just west of Chinatown. Sponsored by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers with their Director of Luxury Accessories and Couture, Timothy Long, Media partners Modern Luxury/CS and Michigan Avenue Magazine and Luxe Bloom.

The evening event will benefit The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum and will feature a fashion show, produced by RETROSPECT’S Ambassador Historian and MC, Nena Ivon, with Chicago’s vintage loving Influencers wearing their own vintage looks augmented with picks from the unique participating vendors…

A quote from Nena, “Our local fashionable set, on the whole, are more intellectual than most any other place and more discerning. Chicago fashion hunters are well heeled and well hatted, creative, unique, and deadly serious about adorning themselves. Chicago is a different realm altogether and RETROSPECT reflects this.”

***HELD AT A NEW VENUE JUST WEST OF CHINATOWN, MUSEUM CAMPUS & LAKE SHORE DRIVE***
2260 S. Grove at the foot of I90/94/290/55
**COMPLIMENTARY ONSITE PARKING**

For further information and to purchase tickets visit us at www.RETROSPECTchicago.com and our Instagram @RETROSPECTchicago And mark your calendars for the Fall RETROSPECT event November 1 and 2.

Retrospect weekend events and ticket information

81619103-F120-4B71-A3F6-E44E8A83FD25

Thurs May 2 – 7pm-10pm

RETROSPECT WEEKEND PRESENTS FUNNY FACE AT THE MUSIC BOX

Come dressed in your vintage best to Chicago’s oldest movie house the MUSIC BOX THEATREfor an exclusive showing of the 1957 Stanley Donnen directed movie “Funny Face”! A night at the movies with your friends from the Randolph Street Market and RETROSPECTvintage modern fashion will be just what the style doctor ordered! The evening will open with a brief panel discussion led by noted and witty Chicago fashion historian Nena Ivon and friends. “Funny Face” features Fred Astaire as fashion photographer Dick Avery, who is sent out by his female boss Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) to find a “new face”. It doesn’t take Dick long to discover Jo (Audrey Hepburn), an owlish Greenwich Village bookstore clerk. Dick whisks the wide-eyed girl off to Paris and with the help of an extensive wardrobe by Hubert de Givenchy transforms Jo from waif to supermodel.  A classic for all lovers of movies and fashion! And following the movie, join us in the cafe for further discussion, drinks and coffee available for purchase. Hope you can join your new and old friends at this raucus and fun evening!!

$12 per person PURCHASED at musicboxtheatre.com


Fri May 3 – 3pm-10pm

RETROSPECT time to paRty shop

Come with your serious shopping party shoes on! The night has just begun and the shopping is the best date you ever had! Meet our superstar dealers, hear their stories and shop the finest, most gorgeous selection of vintage fashion, jewelry and other adornments ever assembled in Chicago! Enjoy bubbles and light snacks, dj, fashion show, photo ops galore and complimentary onsite parking. Ticket good for Fri May 3 + Sat May 4.

$30 per person


Sat May 4 – 10am-6pm

RETROSPECT the gReatest day of vintage shopping eveR

Now the fun can really begin when you shop till you drop and then you plotz with your new wardrobe improvements! Enjoy the view, you’re seeing an ocean of the most exciting vintage fashion, jewelry and adornments ever assembled together in Chicago! Bring friends and make a day of it! Onsite cafe, informal modeling, dj, photo ops galore and complimentary onsite parking and free street parking.

$15 per person or MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL – Mother + 1 Offspring $25


Sun May 5 – 11am-1pm

RETROSPECT: exclusive tour of silveR scReen to mainstReam exhibition / chicago histoRy museum

Exclusive private tour and lunch at the Chicago History Museum with tour of current Costume Collection exhibition Silver Screen to Mainstream! Showcasing fashions from Paris, New York, Chicago, and Hollywood, Silver Screen to Mainstream tracks how Hollywood’s glamourous reach extended to all classes in the 1930’s through the 1940’s. The exhibition tells a tale of making it big, making do, and maintaining appearances during a tumultuous era in American history. Featuring thirty garments by designers such as Chanel, Vionnet, Valentina, Paul du Pont, Howard Greer, and Adrian. You will be introduced to a time when sophisticated design lent a perception of stability as the nation grappled with its reinvention and created the “American Look”.

$35 per person LIMITED TICKETS

Advertisements

FOOD-FOOD-FOOD: FROM NENA’S RECIPE BOX

D5E73D00-EC73-4FC6-BA62-2A30842BC43F

I know, I know I haven’t posted like forever….please forgive me. I will be up and running soon…I promise! To make up for it how about a couple of recipes from my recipe box….one brand new that I recently concocted, the other from Ruthy, my Mom.  I did both today in somewhat of a cooking frenzy and now I am exhausted and writing this with wine in hand….yes, yes, yes!  I know I should be doing Easter or Passover recipes (for some unknown reason I’ve never done a brisket, do send a good recipe along, but I do have a fabulous noodle kugel, that one of mom’s sales associates, a million years ago, gave her, it is amazing….which I’ll find and share later).  I usually do either a ham (I love ham!) or leg of lamb, but I’m going out for Easter supper this year and what would I do with an entire ham….which I insist on doing because you need the bone in for the flavor…at least I think so..and how many ham sandwiches, salads, soups, etc. can one do. I’m not fond of freezing ham. Leg of lamb a different story I did one last year because I wanted to do my lamb curry, which I am mad for…so no big deal and cold lamb sandwiches…yum, yum, yum!!

I didn’t think to take a photo while preparing what I have named Nena’s Concoction…which it truly is….a no recipe, recipe….here you go…

NENA’s CONCOCTION

This takes minutes to prepare and is perfect not only when you want something quick for yourself or your SO or a dinner or perfect for a buffet in a chafing dish.

The basics for one serving….

Throw a good gob of butter into a skillet, add a hand full of diced onions  (I use already chopped onions saves time), a generous teaspoon of garlic paste (thanks Tommy for turning me on to this magic ingredient) cook until slightly brown, add a handful of fresh sliced mushrooms of your choice (I buy them already sliced…my knife skills aren’t the best…need a class), brown them, add a protein of your choice…I’ve used chicken (rotisserie chicken again my choice) dark or white or combination, shrimp (super yummy in this dish) could be all veggie, etc.  Combine, add a hand full of frozen peas, add a generous splash (be generous!!) of Bristal Cream Sherry (again my preference, never use cooking sherry….dreadful stuff…always cook with wine or liquor you would drink don’t skimp) and heat through then add a generous amount of whole fat sour cream. And voila you have a meal  I serve with any kind of rice that  suits my fancy, which is cooking at the same time.  I have become addicted to Uncle Ben’s  Ready Rice, its really good, (this is not a commercial, just a handy suggestion!) a zillion flavors or egg noodles or pasta.  CC4C2F9F-6A95-46F1-B1D6-A1C8F5FCF3DD

RUTHY’S SPAGHETTI SAUCE

Is there anything more nostalgic than using recipes that you have done all your life, I think not.  And when I find Mom’s handwriting I get a warm glow.  All of you would have adored her….everyone did.  Here is her spaghetti sauce, yes, I know everyone has their own but this one is especially tasty.  It is on the stove as I write this, just saying, and is smelling delish!  I haven’t made it forever but had a taste for it. I’ll have at least two nice containers to freeze in addition to my Saturday supper.  It was her go to when we had big informal gatherings…unless Daddy was doing something in his repertoire!

Serves 8 (easy to double or triple depending on # of guests)

2 Tablespoons parsley

4 medium size onions chopped

4 cloves garlic (I used a teaspoon of the minced in a jar)

1/4 cup butter

2  8 ounce cans tomato puree

3  6 ounce cans tomato paste + 3. 6 ounce cans of water water

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2/3 cup red wine (your choice perhaps a Chianti Classico)  that you would serve with dinner

1 finely crushed bay leaf

1 box sliced fresh mushrooms

1 pound ground beef

1 pound long spaghetti

Parmesan cheese

Cook parsley, onions and garlic in hot butter until soft.  Add tomato purée, tomato paste, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, water and wine.  Add browned meat( cooked in additional butter, then cook slowly for three (3) hours.  Cook spaghetti according to directions, drain and place on warm plate, pour sauce over spaghetti, generously sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fun to do at table.  Serve with tossed green salad and Italian bread, a light fruit dessert and, of course, bottles of Italian red wine, Salute!!

61BD7DCD-038B-4D3A-A249-0278A9E5226F

 

 

 

PROFILE: HUTTON WILKINSON: A UNIQUE CREATOR…CARRYING ON AND EXPANDING TRADITION

E7E7A941-D6EF-4C36-B2C2-93E15B6C5860
It is my extreme delight to share the incredible Hutton Wilkinson with you in today’s profile. I first had the pleasure of working with Hutton when he wrote his first book, TONY DUQUETTE, and made a personal appearance, with Wendy Goodman, at the Chicago Saks Fifth Avenue.  He made a second visit with his second book, MORE IS MORE, and his third, TONY DUQUETTE AND HUTTON WILKINSON JEWELRY along with his fine jewelry collections (on several occasions).  Always immaculately garbed and full of fantastic stories…it is my great pleasure to call him a friend. Recently on nenasnotes (December 10, 2018) I posted my review of his newest unbelievably exquisite book, DAWNRIDGE, beyond glorious…and he joined me in conversation for nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club to discuss that and his other books….bonus!!!! 
I must admit having heard Hutton speak on several occasions I knew my group would find him amazing….I was not disappointed nor were they. The hour flew by and I can only say we need a repeat with another book sooner rather than later.  I really didn’t need to prompt him with questions he speaks quite eloquently and with much passion. My TFBC attendees were totally absorbed and had in-depth questions.  It was a stellar evening and we all raised our bubbles to toast this man of MANY interests!!!! Thank you Hutton for sharing yourself with all of us.
Sit down, relax, grab a glass or two of chilled bubbles and get to know this unique creator in his own words (and all in caps!) as he responds to my questionnaire, you will be awestruck….enjoy!
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
I THINK IT WAS A PAPER ROUTE… THEN I WORKED UP TO SELLING L.A. TIMES AND HERALD EXAMINERS AT THE CORNER OF 3RD AND WESTERN IN L.A. AND REALLY MOVED UP WHEN I GOT THE CORNER IN FRONT OF ST. BASILS CATHOLIC CHURCH AT HOBART AND WILSHIRE SELLING THE L.A. TIMES ON SUNDAY MORNING (THAT WAS THE MOST LUCRATIVE JOB AND THE MOST COVETED CORNER IN L.A. AND I WRANGLED IT.)  WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BIT OLDER I GOT TOGETHER WITH TWO OTHER PALS AND MADE COFFEE… PUT IT IN A HUGE THERMOUS, SET UP A CARD TABLE AT 7TH AND GRAND IN L.A. (AGAIN THE BEST POSSIBLE CORNER) AND SOLD COFFEE STARTING AT 6:00 AM DURING THE  SUMMERS ON WEEK DAYS… WE WERE THE DARLINGS OF THE SECRETARY’S AND THE LAWYERS… AND PRE-DATED STAR-BUCKS BY 15 YEARS… WE MADE A FORTUNE THAT SUMMER, GOT OUR PICTURES IN THE L.A. TIMES AS YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS… TOO BAD WE DIDN’T TAKE IT FURTHER AND THINK UP STARBUCKS BUT WE WERE JUST OUT OF 8TH GRADE… SO WHAT THE HELL.
BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR MOST RECENT OCCUPATION? 
F1B1AF56-AE86-41FF-A12D-42895B35D008
                                    TONY DUQUETTE AND HUTTON WILKINSON 
I WANTED TO WORK WITH TONY DUQUETTE SINCE I WAS IN 7TH GRADE.  I READ ABOUT HIM IN THE SUNDAY HOME MAGAZINE OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES.  HE LIVED IN A SILENT FILM STUDIO WITH HIS WIFE ELIZABETH AND THEY WERE PHOTOGRAPHED ALL DRESSED UP AND BEJEWELED, ALL OVER THE HOUSE.  THEIR LIVING ROOM WAS 150 FEET LONG, 28 FEET WIDE AND 28 FEET HIGH WITH A STAGE AT THE END.  I SHOWED THE ARTICLE TO MY FATHER (WHO WAS A SQUARE ARCHITECT) SITTING AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE  AND SAID “THIS IS WHAT I’M INTERESTED IN.”  HE TOLD ME THAT I WAS “100% CRAZY”!  I TORE OUT THE ARTICLE AND SAVED IT, AND ASKED EVERYONE I KNEW (MOSTLY MY PARENTS FRIENDS)  IF THEY KNEW TONY DUQUETTE, AND SOME OF THEM DID… BUT NONE OF THEM WOULD INTRODUCE ME TO HIM.  FINALLY I HAD AN ART TEACHER AND WE USED TO PLAY, “TONY DUQUETTE” … JUST ME AND HER… AND ONE DAY SHE TOLD ME THAT “TONY DUQUETTE IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS”  I QUITE MY JOB (AN AFTER SCHOOL JOB IN THE ‘OLD WORLD WEAVERS’ FABRIC SHOWROOM ON ROBERTSON BLVD IN LOS ANGELES) AND QUIT MY SCHOOL THAT DAY AND WENT TO WORK FOR TONY AS A VOLUNTEER.  I WORKED FOR FREE FOR TWO YEARS… AND THEN HE PAID ME $50.00 EVERY TWO WEEKS FOR THREE YEARS (I WAS NEVER RICHER) AND THEN HE OFFERED ME $5.00 AN HOUR (THAT MAKES ME 21 YEARS OLD AND NOT VERY BRIGHT) AND I TOLD HIM … “I THIINK I CAN DO BETTER ON MY OWN.” SO I OPENED MY OWN BUSINESS AS AN INTERIOR DECORATOR… AND MADE A LOT OF MONEY… WITH WHICH I BECAME INVESTMENT PARTNERS WITH TONY IN A SERIES OF APARTMENT HOUSES, OFFICE BUILDINGS, AND RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS WHICH WE WOULD FIX UP AND FLIP 50 -50.  LATER WHEN TONY GOT OLDER… HE WAS OFFERED GREAT DECORATING JOBS WHICH HE WASN’T INTERESTED IN … I TOLD HIM “TAKE THE JOBS, I’LL DO THE WORK AND WE’LL SPLIT THE PROFITS.” AND SO WE BECAME BUSINESS PARTNERS… FIVE YEARS BEFORE TONY DIED,  BERGDORF GOODMAN ASKED US TO CREATE A COLLECTION OF ONE OF A KIND JEWELRY WHICH WAS INSTANTLY SUCCESSFUL WITH THE CUSTOMERS, COUTURE DESIGNERS, AND THE FASHION PRESS.   IT WAS AT THIS TIME THAT I PURCHASED THE BUSINESS AND THE TRADEMARKS TO THE NAME TONY DUQUETTE… AND THAT IS MY MOST RECENT OCCUPATION… I AM CEO, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND OWNER OF TONY DUQUETTE INC., AN INTERIOR DESIGN AND FINE JEWELRY COMPANY WITH LICENSES FOR CARPETS WITH PATTERSON FLYNN MARTIN, FABRICS FOR JIM THOMPSON THAI SILK, LIGHTING FOR REMAINS LIGHTING, DISHES AND TABLETOP FOR MOTTAHEDEH, MANTLES FOR CHESNEY, CHOCOLATE BOXES FOR LOUIS SHERRY, FURNITURE FOR MAITLAND SMITH… ETC.
99254312-1BDF-4CF3-AFB3-708F9360144D
WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER THE FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR TALENT?
I WENT TO  MY FATHER AND GRANDFATHERS ARCHITECTURAL OFFICES EVERY DAY SINCE I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO WALK AND TALK.  THEY’D SIT ME UP ON A HIGH STOOL AND I WOULD POUR OVER THE ARCHITECTURAL BOOKS AND THE DRAFTSMEN WOULD CALL ME “THE LITTLE ARCHITECT”… STARTING IN KINDERGARTEN, I WOULD BE PICKED UP AFTER SCHOOL AND TAKEN TO THE OFFICE… THAT’S WHERE I HUNG OUT… ALL THE WAY THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL…  THERE WAS ONLY A MOMENT… AFTER I SAW THE FILM CAMELOT… THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD LIKE TO BE A COSTUME DESIGNER… BUT THAT ONLY LASTED A COUPLE OF DAYS.  I WAS 17 WHEN I MADE THE FINAL DECISION THAT I WOULD RATHER BE A DECORATOR… BECAUSE I WASN’T THAT GOOD WITH MATH… AND DON’T HAVE A LOT OF PATIENCE (I LIKE TO GET THINGS DONE FAST AND SEE RESULTS) … AND ALSO… IT WAS THE DECORATORS THAT HAD THE ROLLS ROYCES (IN THOSE DAYS) AND THE DECORATORS WHO GOT ALL THE ATTENTION IN THE PRESS… SO I MADE MY DECISION… AND FORTUNE STEPPED IN … AND I GOT TO APPRENTICE UNDER MY DESIGN IDOL… TONY DUQUETTE… AND THE REST IS HISTORY.
D5C38D48-5CA6-4057-A270-19A5A49BD5E5
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD “MADE IT” EXPLAIN? 
I’VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL… BUT I REALLY DON’T FEEL LIKE I’VE “MADE IT”! THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF HIGHLIGHTS…  MY FAVORITE SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT WAS MY ONLY TIME ON STAGE WITH TONY DUQUETTE… IT WAS AT THE PALACE OF THE LEGION OF HONORE MUSEUM AND THAT WAS MEMORABLE.  DOING THE PALAZZO IN VENICE WAS A BIG DEAL… BEING ASKED TO SIT ON THE BOARD OF DIFFA IN NYC … AND ALSO ON THE NYC BOARD OF SAVE VENICE WAS PERSONALLY REWARDING…  WHEN I GOT A HOUSE WITH A SWIMMING POOL AND A TENNIS COURT WAS A BIG DAY… THE FIRST TIME I WAS MENTIONED IN THE L.A. TIMES, WHEN MY DECOR FOR THE GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND BENEFIT WAS WRITTEN UP AS “NOT ONLY BEAUTIFUL BUT DISTINGUISHED.”  THAT WAS NICE.  BUT I STILL DON’T THINK I’VE “MADE IT”.   MAYBE I’LL THINK I’VE MADE IT WHEN I GET A CAR… YOU KNOW… A GREAT CAR LIKE A 1959 LINCOLN MARC II OR A ROYCE… OR A DELAHAY… OR BETTER YET A 1935 DELAGE…  I’VE SPLURGED FOR A LOT OF REALLY BEAUTIFUL USELESS THINGS IN MY LIFE… BUT I’VE NEVER HAD A CAR… YOU KNOW… A REAL CAR.
1C6E454A-2173-4F95-82CA-9F4B7F6CAECC
                                                             1935 Delage
HOW YOUR ORIGINAL PASSION BROUGHT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW? 
I THINK I MAY HAVE ANSWERED THIS ALREADY… THE BEST PART IS THAT THE ORIGINAL PASSION… IS STILL RED HOT… I LIVE AND BREATH DESIGN… ALWAYS HUNGRY TO LEARN MORE… TO SEE MORE… AND TO CREATE MORE…  WHAT I’M HOPING FOR NOW IS A PATRON OR TWO WHO WANT EXACTLY WHAT I WANT AND WANT ME TO DO FOR THEM WHAT I WANT TO DO FOR ME.
D58252F6-7BCE-4DE8-A7C1-6DA6CDA9B9CC
WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR ALTERNATE CHOICE AS A CAREER….WAS THERE ONE? 
IN HIND SIGHT…  I MIGHT HAVE LIKED TO WORK IN THE MOVIES… NOT AS AN ACTOR BUT MAYBE A SCENEOGRAPHER OR EVEN A PRODUCER… RIGHT THIS MINUTE… I LOVE WRITING BOOKS… I’VE WRITTEN AN ADVENTURE SERIES AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON… IT IS WRITTEN FOR YOUNG ADULTS BUT LIKE HARRY POTTER IT IS BEING READ AND EQUALLY LIKED BY ADULTS TOO.  THE FIRST BOOK IS CALLED “GASPAR BROWN AND THE MYSTERY OF THE GASPARILLA SUCCESSION.”  TO DATE I HAVE COMPLETED SEVEN ADVENTURES… OF WHICH THE FIRST THREE HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED.

YOUR FAVORITE BOOK, MOVIE, LIST THE FOLLOWING,IN ORDER OF PREFERENCE…THEATER (LEGIT, MUSICALS)?

I MOSTLY READ BIOGRAPHIES.  MY FAVORITE SO FAR IS “JOHN ADAMS” BY DAVID  MCCULLOUGH…  MY FAVORITE MOVIES ARE, SUNSET BLVD, AUNTIE MAME, GILDA, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE FOUNTAIN HEAD, ALL THE BROADWAY MELODY’S… AS FOR STAGE SHOWS, THE FIRST LIVE SHOW I EVER SAW AS A KID WAS “THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN” WITH TAMMIE GRIMES, I’VE SEEN THEM ALL… AND I LIKE THEM ALL… IT WOULD BE EASIER TO LIST A SHOW I DIDN’T LIKE… BUT I CAN’T THINK OF ONE RIGHT NOW…  I LOVED THE ROYAL OPERA PRODUCTION OF TURANDOT, AND THE BOLSHOI PRODUCTION OF SLEEPING BEAUTY.  AND I’LL NEVER FORGET SEEING DANGEROUS LIASONS ON STAGE IN LONDON.
BALLET, OPERA, SYMPHONY, TYPE OF MUSIC YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO, LOCAL RESTAURANT? 
I HAVE TO CONFESS THAT I DON’T “LISTEN” TO MUSIC… THE ONLY TIME MUSIC IS ON IN OUR HOUSE IS IF THERE IS A PARTY… (BACKGROUND MUSIC IS THE HEARTBEAT OF A PARTY AND ESSENTIAL… A PARTY WITHOUT MUSIC ISN’T A PARTY)… WE USUALLY HIRE AN ORCHESTRA OR A COMBO TO PLAY AT PARTIES… BUT WE ALSO HAVE OUR FAVORITE COLE PORTER, JEROME KERN INSTRUMENTALS PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND… BUT WE NEVER LISTEN TO IT!!!  I LISTEN TO 50’S ROCK AND ROLL, CLASSICAL (IF IT IS BAROQUE AND SOUNDS LIKE A STORM AT SEA) AND JAZZ BUT ONLY WHEN IN THE CAR…  WE LOVE TO DANCE… SO I LOVE DANCE MUSIC… AGAIN, COLE PORTER, JEROME KERN, HARRY WARREN… 20S, 30S, 40S TUNES.   WE ONLY ENTERTAIN AT HOME… NEVER IN RESTAURANTS… WE ONLY GO TO RESTAURANTS WHEN INVITED  AND THERE ARE ONLY THREE THAT WE LIKE… THE GRILL ON THE ALLEY IN BEVERLY HILLS, FRIDA’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT ON SOUTH BEVERLY DRIVE IN BEVERLY HILLS, AND CHARLIE’S COFFEE SHOP FOR SUNDAY BREAKFAST AT THE OLD FARMERS MARKET IN L.A.  THEY SERVE OLD FASHIONED, THIN WAFFLES AND WE’VE BEEN GOING THERE SINCE HIGH SCHOOL.
AB8936CB-7852-4715-B79F-1D4347F9C14C
HOBBIES…. 
ALTHOUGH I’M SERIOUS ABOUT IT… MY WRITING IS MORE OF A HOBBY… WHICH I DO IN EVERY AIRPORT ON EVERY AIRPLANE AND IN EVERY HOTEL ROOM I GO TO … AND I TRAVEL A LOT…

DESIGNING JEWELRY… AGAIN… IT IS A SERIOUS MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS FOR ME… BUT I TREAT IT MORE AS A HOBBY SINCE IT GIVES ME SO MUCH PLEASURE…

3BF9DCA6-5D67-4B89-827C-B9E729EE60BF
087905DC-EF5E-4D2C-B656-EE3F8F0BAB26
AND I SUPPOSE TRAVELING… I LOVE TO TRAVEL… MY PROBLEM IS I KEEP GOING BACK TO THE SAME PLACES… I HAVE RESOLVED NOT TO DO THAT ANYMORE… SINCE THERE ARE SO MANY PLACES I’VE NEVER SEEN SUCH AS CHINA… RUSSIA, MOROCCO FOR EXAMPLE.
HOME….MODERN, TRADITIONAL, ANTIQUES (WHAT ERA) ECLECTIC?
E940846C-6562-4BC3-B12D-1A345EAD5DB0
ANYTHING CHINESE… ONLY PAINTED FURNITURE… NO BROWN MAHOGANY… ANYTHING 18TH CENTURY VENETIAN… …  I ALSO LOVE REALLY ECCENTRIC VICTORIAN DECORATIONS AND ARCHITECTURE… ANTIQUE CHINESE CARPETS…  VERY HI-LUXURY ART DECO… PREFERABLY FRENCH… NOTHING MID-CENTURY EXCEPT THE ARCHITECTURE… I LOVE MODERN ARCHITECTURE!!!   NOTHING IN SILVER… ANYTHING IN VERMEILLE OR GOLD… AND 18TH CENTURY CHINESE EXPORT PORCELAIN… ALL OF THE ABOVE IS WHAT I LIKE… ALL OF IT IS WHAT I COLLECT… EXCEPT FOR THE ART DECO STUFF… I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO PICK UP MY GAME AND GO HUNTING!!!
WHO WOULD YOU HAVE AT YOUR FANTASY DINNER (LIVING OR DEAD AND BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOURSELF!)
DEDA5D2F-6AA0-445C-8A0D-FC1250CCEF07
                                          HUTTON AND RUTH WILKINSON 
HUTTON AND RUTH WILKINSON, TONY AND ELIZABETH DUQUETTE, ARTURO AND PATRICIA LOPEZ WILSHAW, BARON DE REDE AND NENA IVON, CARLOS DE BESTEGUI AND DODIE ROSEKRANS, SIR CHARLES AND LADY MENDL, DIANA VREELAND AND CECIL BEATON AND LETS NOT FORGET JOSE AND MISIA SERT TOO… THAT WOULD BE A DINNER PARTY OF COLLECTORS, PARTY GIVERS, CONNOISSEURS, ARBITERS OF TASTE, AND THANK GOD… I WON’T HAVE TO URGE ANY OF THEM “TO DRESS UP”.
WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE ?
95CA9D02-8306-4E47-9331-FB5D6213646C
I LIKE RECOGNIZEABLE FOOD… MEAT AND PATATOS… LET’S SEE… WE’LL START WITH BELUGA, AND CHAMPAGNE… LOTS OF IT… SIT DOWN TO DINNER… A SIMPLE SALAD… ENDIVE, AND A GOOD VINAIGRETTE DRESSING… OR MAYBE SEARED SCALLOPS IN BROWN BUTTER… THAT’S ALWAYS TASTY… WE’D MOVE ON TO EITHER  BEEF WELLINGTON OR DOVER SOLE… ALTHOUGH I ALSO LIKE A GOOD PORK ROAST WITH FRUITS AND ROASTED FINGERLING PATATOS.  I’M NOT INTO GREEN VEGETABLES OTHER THAN STRING BEANS… SO WE’LL THROW IN SOME STRING BEANS SAUTEED WITH A LITTLE MINCED ONION AND BACON AND BUTTER…   AND FOR DESERT… CHOCOLATE MOUSSE OR CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH ICECREAM OR A HOT FUDGE SUNDAE… (ANYTHING CHOCOLATE)  AND CHAMPAGNE ALL THE WAY THROUGH… (NO RED OR WHITE WINE… TOO MANY DECISIONS TO MAKE)… JUST CHAMPAGNE ALL THE WAY THROUGH… LOTS OF IT.  BESIDES… ITS ALL ABOUT HOW THE TABLE LOOKS… NO FLOWERS… ONLY OBJECTS… TO CREATE A TABLESCAPE FOR DINING…

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT VISITED AND/OR ON YOUR GO TO LIST ?

I HAVE A BEACH SHACK… ON THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, NEAR PALM BEACH, FLORIDA… I LOVE IT MORE THAN ANYTHING … ESPECIALLY SINCE IT HAS REPLACED MY BELOVED RANCH IN MALIBU WHICH I RECENTLY SOLD ALTHOUGH I’VE RETAINED 60 OF THE ORIGINAL 100 ACRES FOR MYSELF…. SOMEDAY MAYBE I’LL BUILD A THAI WEEKEND HOUSE ON THAT LAND… I LOVE TO TRAVEL… AND I LOVE INDIA… I’VE BEEN 10 TIMES… I COULD LIVE THERE… IT IS EVERYTHING IT PROMISES TO BE… I MUST SAY… I KEEP GOING BACK TO THE SAME PLACES… DELHI, AGRA, JAIPUR, UDAIPUR JODHPUR… I’M CRAZY TO SEE MORE… JAISALMER, AND GOA… BUT I ALSO LOVE VENICE, ITALY… EVERY MINUTE, EVERY INCH OF IT… I LOVE IT IN THE FALL WHEN IT’S HOT IN THE SUN AND COOL IN THE SHADE… I LOVE IT IN THE SUMMER WHEN YOU CAN SPEND TIME  SHOPPING IN THE MORNING… HANG OUT AT THE LIDO ALL AFTERNOON… THEN GO INTO TOWN TO LOOK AROUND SOME MORE WHEN IT COOLS OFF… I LOVE IT WHEN THERE ARE FESTIVALS AND FIREWORKS… AND SPEAKING OF FIREWORKS..  I LOVE IT IN THE WINTER TOO…  FOR INDIA… YOU NEED AT LEAST A MONTH… MINIMUM… FOR VENICE… A DAY, A WEEK A MONTH OR A YEAR… IT’S NEVER ENOUGH.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING MOST IN YOUR FREE TIME? 
I LIKE TO READ AND I LIKE TO WRITE… I RARELY GO OUTDOORS… I’VE GOT THIS WORLD FAMOUS GARDEN AND I BARELY EVER GO OUTSIDE AND LOOK AT IT LET ALONE SIT IN IT… I LOVE WATCHING OLD MOVIES… AND BECAUSE I RARELY SIT STILL… WHEN I DO… I LOVE BEING A COUCH PATATO.
9C4E5309-D5E6-4E14-A61E-870F334D7D34
F0D70ED0-5F1D-4783-A19B-B0DC0673B93A
FAVORITE WORK OF PUBLIC ART?
I LIKE ALMOST ANYTHING BY HENRY MOORE… OR PAUL MANSHIP… I LIKE MONUMENTAL SCULPTURES LIKE THE STATUES OVER THE ENTRANCE TO THE GRANDE PALAISE IN PARIS… AND IF IT WERE STILL AROUND I’D PROBABLY CHOOSE THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES…  I’M CRAZY ABOUT SO MANY THINGS… HOW ABOUT THE MOSAICS ON THE UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS IN MEXICO CITY… OR THE SCULPTURE OF CHAC-MOOL AT CHICHENITZA.
9229920F-24EE-49F6-9046-E4C60D079E7D.jpeg
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?
I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS AN ARBITER OF TASTE… IF THAT DOESN’T WORK OUT THEN… AN ECCENTRIC… AND IF THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN… A NICE GUY, A GOOD FRIEND, AND A GENEROUS HOST… ONE OR ALL OF THE ABOVE WOULD BE A MIRACLE!
419C44C8-6588-4E3E-827A-E03E6629EA07
 A FAVORITE RECIPE…
ANYTHING FROM THE CHEZ MAXIM COOKBOOK, ANYTHING THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH CORNMEAL… ANYTHING WITH MOLE SAUCE… SEE BELOW:
MY FAVORITE RECIPE FROM THE CHEZ MAXIM’S COOK BOOK IS POTAGE BILLY B.  I LIKE THE BACK STORY AS MUCH AS THE SOUP.  IT WAS A CUSTOMER, WILLIAM BRAND WHO WANTED TO SPARE HIS FRIENDS THE DELICATE OPERATION OF EATING MUSSELS WITH THEIR FINGERS SO HE ASKED THAT ONLY THE JUICE BE SERVED WITHOUT THE MUSSELS.  THE EXPERIMENT WAS SUCH A SUCCESS THAT WHEN HIS GUESTS RETURNED TO MAXIM’S THEY ALL ASKED FOR THE “POTAGE BILLY BRAND” AND SO IT WAS PLACED ON THE MENU AS POTAGE BILLY B WHICH HAS BECOME A STAPLE OF FRENCH CULINARY TRADITION. 
F940E655-0793-4ED2-A40D-C4B56EBFB8A3
POTAGE BILLY B
1 1/2 cups Fumet de Poisson
2 qt. mussels
1 large onion
1 stalk celery
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs parsley
1/2 tsp. ground peppercorns

Salt, scrape
 and wash the mussels thoroughly.  Mince the onion and place it in a deep saucepan along with the celery, wine, and pepper. Add the muscles, cover the sauce pan, and boil over a high flame for 6 minutes. Shake the mussels in the pan two or three times during the cooking process so that those on top go to the bottom and vice versa. When the mussels are open remove and drain them. Pour the liquid in the sauce pan through a fine strainer, return to the saucepan, and reduced to about 1 quart of liquid. Add the Fumet de Poisson and cream and reheat over a low flame until liquid comes almost to the boiling point, stirring continually with a wooden spatula. Season to taste.Serve very hot without the mussels. This soup can also be served cold.
CHICKEN MOLE WITHOUT TREE NUTS… (FROM THE FOOD NETWORK)  I’M ALLERGIC TO TREE NUTS SO I HAVE ELIMINATED THE ALMONDS FROM THIS RECIPE… AND BELIEVE ME… IT TASTES JUST AS GOOD WITHOUT THEM!!!
INGREDIENTS:

1 chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 6 pieces

5 black peppercorns

Kosher salt

1/2 cup sesame seeds

5 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon anise seeds

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds

6 dried guajillo chile peppers

4 dried ancho chile peppers

6 tablespoons canola oil

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds

2 6-inch corn tortillas, torn into pieces

1 2.7-ounce disk Mexican chocolate, broken into pieces

Pinch of sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put the chicken and peppercorns in a large pot, cover with water and season with salt. Bring to a gentle simmer over low heat and cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and set the cooking liquid aside.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing, until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish and transfer the rest to a blender. In the same skillet, toast the cloves, cinnamon stick, and anise and coriander seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add to the blender.
  3. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers. Heat 4 tablespoons canola oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles and fry until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with hot water and set aside to soak until pliable, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the raisins, pumpkin seeds and tortilla pieces to the oil in the skillet and cook, stirring, until the seeds and tortillas are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add to the blender along with the oil from the skillet. Add the softened chiles and puree, pouring in 2 to 3 cups of the soaking liquid to make a thick, smooth sauce.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thickened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 4 cups of the reserved chicken cooking liquid and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Add the chocolate and simmer, stirring frequently, until the chocolate melts and the sauce reduces, about 20 more minutes. Add the sugar and season with salt.
  6. Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and warm through over low heat. Garnish with the reserved sesame seeds.

CORNMEAL WAFFLES:

 
INGREDIENTS;
  1. 1 3/4 cups buttermilk.
  2. 2 large eggs.
  3. 5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled.
  4. 1 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.
  5. 1 cup yellow cornmeal.
  6. 2 tablespoons sugar.
  7. 2 teaspoons baking powder.
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda.

MIX IT ALL UP AND THROW IT IN AN OLD FASHIONED WAFFLE IRON, COOK TO GOLDEN BROWN, SLATHER WITH BUTTER AND MAPLE SYRUP AND SERVE WITH CRISP BACON!!!

 
FAVORITE LINKS:
WWW.TONYDUQUETTE.COM  HUTTON WILKINSON ON AMAZON.COM, nenasnotes.com, BIJOUXREVIEW.COM
BLOGS YOU FOLLOW:
NENA’SNOTES, BIJOUX REVIEW
ALL PHOTOS FROM PINTEREST PHOTO CREDITS UNKNOWN. 

COLLECTIONS: PAINT BY NUMBER ART AND COLLECTOR ROBERT GROOS

DFFA3B15-94FA-4D44-B215-23A77F245C84Yes, this is a paint by number painting…I think it is a stunner and not what we think about when thinking of this craft.  I saw it at last months Randolph Street Market (the March RSM is Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31 from 10 to 5 each day) and thought about doing a story….of course I did!!!!  It immediately brought to mind two of my friends who collect the art. Photo taken with my iPhone.

One collects ballet pieces, here are some…the photos below were taken by me with my iPhone.D4441945-67C8-433C-8727-1C088D1E8908C8615D84-5A21-45BE-B0E8-C0E9BC6DA3A23EEF587B-1F4A-46BF-991E-C9BA62ABA24D

The other has over 400 pieces….I first met, worked with and became friends with Robert Groos, when he was one of the multi-talented Visual Merchandising team at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago and then in charge of Visual in the Highland Park store….his charm and extraordinary creativity would make him a friend to all and his passion for Paint by Number Art was unparalleled. Some of his pieces formed the background across the Store’s Michigan Avenue windows.

6146F517-09AA-420C-A852-FAB188D8D5AE

59F7F3A2-128A-46B1-A091-FCDB0D71B271Aren’t they awesome….the art of window display at its finest.

Rob’s first purchase…what a handsome lad….

02CED8FA-B94D-4120-B53F-725FA8A8EF2B

CA743222-CAE6-4554-99AA-196BA7D2025D

Two of his favorites, Roy and Dale…(a Nena’s note…I adored Roy Rogers as a child and dressed as Dale Evans for years at Halloween…all in white with gold studs and fringe, Mom made my outfit, and we got handtooled white leather cowgirl boots when we summered each year in Midland, Texas…yes, you heard that correctly!  Keep following nenasnotes and there won’t be too much you don’t know about me!  Just saying….)

Let me have Rob tell you about his collections in his own words….

AEECD81F-8148-4FE2-A2BD-D919871A0551

“In 1995 I met a couple who owned an antique store in Chicago.  They had a beautiful, well edited assortment of objects in their store.  One evening they hosted a Gallery Openingthat featured a selection of old Paint By Number paintings theyd collected.   I attended and purchased three beautiful dog paintings from them.  I fell in love with the paintings and decided to start collecting more to compliment them.   Before I knew it I ws searching thrift stores and antique stores all over the midwest to locate PBNs.   I soon discovered that you could bid on PBNs through Ebay and I became passionate about purchasing them there.”

C3B223D3-FDA2-4480-ABC0-181C7C397B28

41DFB7DB-C3F4-4274-8239-0E33D76B9BA2

“Over the years I built a sizable collection which now stands at over 400.  The categories Ive focused on are Dogs, Clowns, Ballet/Ballerinas, Religious, Landscape, Flowers and Birds.  Ive several extremely old paintings that were painted on canvas.  Some are proudly signed and dated by the artists that painted them.  Canvas is the material the original paint by numbers were sold back when Craftmaster first launched them to the market.”

6A4F94C3-DE1B-4FBB-B32F-D7F0EF71CA68

“In addition to the painted PBNs I have several metal Toleware Paint By Number items:  Two waste cans, a magazine rack, a desk organizer and a small vase.  These are pretty rare and not seen as much as the flat paintings.”

A22B3913-8ABE-4F1C-8B44-06D30F0F5CA1

“In 1997 my Paint By Number collection was featured in Collectibles Magazine along with an article on my apartment and artwork.”

8DD6FAAD-E5DA-42BE-B1B8-11FC44097A7B

 “In 2000, I used many of the paintings to create a massive salon style backdrop in the Saks Fifth Avenue, Michigan Avenue windows that featured Marc by Marc Jacobs denim pieces.   Ive also had the pleasure of meeting Dan Robbins who created the Paint By Numbers for Palmer Paint Company in 1950.  

01D1C419-7D5D-4F40-B6C5-91C226596EC3

“Ive stopped collecting the paintings now and have all but two stored safely away.  Id like to sell the collection to someone but would want to sell it intact and not item by item.  It would make an impressive presentation in a very large loft home, or in a restaurant or kitschy business somewhere.”

A million thanks to Rob for sharing his story and his photos with nenasnotes.  As you can see it is a superb and unique collection and if interested in purchasing the artwork in its entirety get in touch with Robert Groos at r.m.groos@gmail.com

This art form is being revived, if you are in need of a new craft project and want to try your hand at this art or want further information, I suggest you go to My Paint By Numbers

FASHION NOW: NYFW FALL 2019 PRINTS ARE A THING!!

Oscar de la Renta                          Carolina Herrera                   Oscar de la Renta

In reviewiing New York Fashion Week Fall 2019 Collections I found many print looks to varify my theory that prints are seasonless.  Here are a few from selected collections.

More Wes Gordon’s Carolina Herrera…

And more from Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for Oscar de la Renta…

Oscar de la Renta RTW Fall 2019

Oscar de la Renta RTW Fall 2019

 

And Michael Kors….

From Marc Jacobs…

0BAD92E4-F46E-45B1-8144-EB3F893AB694And from Spring Haute Couture….John Galliano for Maison Margiela Artisian Collection…

2121DEA4-D5C0-4E2F-86B5-17DA6DDB260F

The article below was first published exclusively for The Randolph Market blog, I am reprinting it with permission from RSM Market founder, guru and guiding force, Sally Schwartz.  To update the post I inserted looks from the current NYFW Fall 2019 Collections.

                                           ALWAYS CLASSIC…ALWAYS NEW

 

Flower Prints for Fall…..Absolutely!

Collecting Trend Impressions from Nena Ivon

Gone are the days that floral prints are only worn in the spring or summer they are shown for all seasons (or for that matter, any print, think leopard, but that is another post!!!!). The photos above are just a few looks from the Fall 2019 ready-to-wear collections. So why do I feel this is a trend…for exactly this reason….fashion is no longer seasonal. Wardrobes are refreshed by adding a new piece, and yes, that can be a vintage item that you find at the Randolph Street Market. I find it exciting to pair a floral print skirt or pant with a sweater….looks new, fun, fresh. That, to me, is the key to modernity in styling.

Let’s look back a year at a few more pieces that were featured in the Fall 2018 Fashion Week Collections.

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

And from Oscar de la Renta

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

And more looks from Fall 2018 Fashion Week Collections….

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

I adore all of Carolyne Roehm’s books and this is an exquisite one….and made even more special, one of the extraordinary Randolph Street Market vendors gave it to me as a gift at the last Market…..can you imagine anything nicer!!!!  Look to books, magazines and Pinterest for print inspiration.

Randolph Street Market

Now let’s look at a few vintage pieces….feminine, for sure, whether floaty, sheaths, nipped waists and full skirts, all can be adapted to work today. If it’s a vintage “sundress” to wear in cooler seasons style with a cardigan, a blazer, even a leather jacket to give an edgy twist or perhaps drape a contrasting print shawl around your shoulders…..

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Randolph Street Market

Lily Pulitzer and her iconic print pieces….

Randolph Street Market

As you can see, by the endless variety, you will definitely find a floral print to incorporate into your year round wardrobe….do it, you won’t be sorry on a gloomy cold day to brighten yourself with a print dress, blouse, jacket, scarf, shoe or bag. Don’t be afraid to mix your prints although I suggest working with the same color palette….have fun, that is what fashion is all about!!!!

Randolph Street Market

2018 Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda

All photos from Pinterest credits unknown.

 

FRIDAY MUSINGS: ROSES ARE RED…OR ARE THEY!!

27B61BF9-78AE-47D4-B880-950F868AB1E6Just in time for Valentine’s Day, in my opinion any day, I wanted to share the story, and unique beauty, of my friend, Shelley Rosen’s Luxe Bloom. I took a photo of this glorious bouquet to show you the vast variety of colors….beyond one’s imagination.  Here is the exciting news…..go to www.luxebloom.com  or follow them on Instagram @luxebloomroses. Upon check out you, my readers, can use LOVEKISSES15 for a 15% off coupon. Local Chicago clients can pick up your custom rose arrangements in the Luxe Bloom West Loop Office in time for Valentines Day. Act quickly….you want to take advantage of this special offer.

And Luxe Bloom will be on ABC’s WINDY CITY LIVE February 14 at 1pm for their Valentine’s Day Special, Mark your calendars.  You will want to keep Luxe Bloom in your contacts for special occasions or for no reason st all just as a perk to yourself or others, to me the best gift of all!

My photo of this glorious piece done as a present to Shelley that holds a place of honor in her office….Happy  Valentine’s Day!!!!

510A9A33-551B-4CE0-A578-7BC2B87F623F

 I want you to know this isn’t a sponsored post…by now, I hope you know, I only post about things that appeal to me….books, people, collections, and in some cases businesses, this is one such example.  I love the uniqueness of the product and the dedication of Shelley and her staff.  And, bonus, you, dear readers, get a lovely 15% off coupon as a treat for yourself or a special someone!!  Enjoy! (An aside…..I’m thrilled to accept sponsorships, you can email me, or pass the thought along, at nenasnotes1@gmail.com for a media kit and price list)

Shelley and I first met many years ago when she was on the Columbia College Chicago’s Board of Trustees. We have kept in touch over the years with her interest (and obtaining the rights to and) in ERTE, one of my favorite artists/designers ever!  Her current passion and “life work” is roses….in every color imaginable, and yes, they are real.

2039454E-2D3C-44E3-8ACA-184A040DDF29 I am thrilled to share this woman-owned Chicago based, Internationally recognized company Luxe Bloom that is changing the way people buy flowers and therefore is making a new market for your home and gifts but also for corporations to rethink design and visuals.  Luxe Bloom has over 100 subscription based luxury operators such as Langham, St. Regis, Waldorf Astoria,  Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Loews, Hilton, Hyatt, Red Door Spas nationwide.

BEBCB136-995E-49E5-A60B-41174210666D

711EEAB0-4421-4EEB-94C1-7FA7CC770291

Iconic installations like Saks Fifth Avenue New York city with 100,000 roses May, 2015.

5AF7C03D-D2F6-486F-96C7-8591FF6EF023Official Flower to Walt Disney Company “Beauty and the Beast” Premier, March, 2017. (The four above photos for nenasnotes courtesy of Shelley Rosen.)

I was invited to visit her showroom/workroom/distribution center and I must tell you it was fantasyland….absolutely gorgeous and quite the production! Each hand assembled arrangement must go through several steps each step handled by an expert straight through the packing and shipping process.  The arrangement I chose for myself was a blush rose piece in an antique silvered pedestal vase.  I watched it go through it’s assemblage, fascinating to say the least.  I’ve had it for 8 months and it is as fresh today as the day I got it….talk about “everlasting”!

Some examples of arrangements photos courtesy of Luxe Bloom…

3E097794-6419-49F4-8F2F-60590B5DCE78

C424A24B-7C21-4A9C-84A6-A2FE38F4DD63

536BBA16-D9BF-4BC7-9F4A-13FFE9873438Shelley in front of boxes and boxes full of roses for a QVC appearance….

And now some photos I took on site at the West Loop Luxe Bloom offices to show you some of the process and some finished pieces that appealed to me  I think my next bouquet will be a nosegay of multi-color roses….love them so much.  Looks like another visit is in order!

8111C07F-7249-4C53-A4E4-4B03D65089C1

AA432DE0-4294-4760-B3BC-3BE13F8D00C7

1C679F32-620C-4394-AB7A-276D3333407F

 

Refrigeration….all by color…

4C03BBE7-2B89-496F-AF07-1D1C54DD40C6Prepping the base…413F9650-29E9-4C97-B67D-FC0D92A353E6

Beginning the assembly…

D7698291-4993-47DA-9265-38E1FA82E353Finished bouquet….

Several of my favorites….many one of a kind…possibilities are limitless….04FE5F36-BC5D-4292-9880-72326530F501

A65BCFE9-595C-4A34-AB9D-A03A4950CEB7

869B397C-D682-425C-8E5C-3F3850DF4052

22806AAA-9BF2-425E-8728-F9F88D69B2E2

6328A310-981D-4D94-97E7-18BF3F836B08

And my most favorites…..

DF02FC03-65CD-4B12-B5BD-F65AB5305141

D1B2CAF0-2FA1-446C-A102-945F763A48F6

 

037A06F1-D6D4-4ED2-A569-142F0E11983D

Mad for the framed pieces….

AND NOW INFORMATION FROM LUXE BLOOM…….

“Luxe Bloom Hospitality

Luxe Bloom provides long lasting luxury rose arrangements to luxury businesses (nenasnotes…and, of course, to individuals) on a recurring basis.  Our roses do not require water or refrigeration to keep their natural beauty and can last up to 60 dayS.

  • Subscription contract for every day floral
  • No water, ever
  • Saves Money-up to 30-50%% over fresh-cut contracts
  • Saves Time – with labor associated with floral care
  • Lasts up to 60 days in a hospitality setting and longer in your home
  • BESPOKE design to suit the hotel or other businesses
  • Over 20+colors and rose sizes
  • Allergy free-no aroma
  • Ships direct to business throughout the USA
  • Perfect for Private Suites, in room dining, concierge check in and more
  • Forbes Travel Guide approved as the “Official Flower” of the firm that verifies luxury”         A18D8050-65CD-4920-9FDF-FA8CD81C7760

 

 

 

TUESDAY MUSINGS: LUNAR NEW YEAR

9A1A0D95-6384-41B7-B0B6-B96D9C04BB6A

5F5AD054-F953-4FBE-ADB9-DF8442105894

Happy Chinese New Year…the year of the pig.  I did a post featuring the incredible creativity of GUO PEI and her Haute Couture Collection for Fall 2018. Here are some looks from her Spring 2019 collection. Dramatic, stunningly beautiful, totally innovative and incredibly inspiring. Amazingly creative!!!  Let’s look at a few more pieces from the collection.

2E63BCD9-3A37-447A-8C30-B11314EBEA80

Guo Pei Couture Spring 2019

2BE8616F-9251-46ED-A325-C70905035FB1

55473BE1-FB9D-47DE-BD0F-A7354AE22A80

15105A94-9761-448D-8CE6-E7AD11BD4F8E

I have always been fascinated with Chinese culture.  One of my Father and Mother’s dear friends was a gentleman by the name of Charlie Lum who owned a Chinese restaurant on Rush Street in Chicago, The Cantonese Cafe.  I adored it from birth until it closed.  Daddy severely cut his hand during the Depression (I wasn’t around as yet), that would be an issue for anyone but, as I have told you, he was an artist so it was a double whammy.  Charlie made sure that my parents had food either at the restaurant or he personally brought dinner to their apartment on Astor Street on a daily basis.  In addition, when Mom was pregnant with me she was quite ill for the entire 9 months and basically the only food she could tolerate was Chinese…Charlie to the rescue yet again.

394AFB4D-E0B4-489B-BD6D-4A52FCB97208

As a little girl I was totally fascinated with the color and glamour of the restaurant, the food, of course, and adored being allowed to visit the kitchen and visit my friend the cook…he looked like a Genie, was huge (think Sumo wrestler huge!) toothless, didn’t speak English but every time he saw me he would break into a huge grin and carry me around on his immense shoulders. I adored him, I don’t think I ever knew his name. Once in awhile, on special occasions, we would be invited to Charlie’s apartment, upstairs of the restaurant, for an evening of an extravagant dinner.  And on special Chinese Holidays, such as today’s, we would go to Chinatown with Charlie to celebrate where he was honored as a major celebrity, which he was.  They are very, very fond memories.

5F8927CF-CB6E-4007-B50F-14531158DC1042FDE266-F38E-4F3F-B4A7-F69A80449251

Happy Chinese New Year…perhaps something Chinese for dinner…sounds perfect to me!!!!

All photos found on Pinterest credits unknown

 

FASHION NOW: DENIM ALWAYS CLASSIC ALWAYS NEW

59575246-1121-4155-99F3-D7CA608650DF

Early last year I was asked by Sally Schwartz, Founder/Owner of Randolph Street Market  which is celebrating its sixteenth year in 2019, to do two monthly exclusive posts for the RSM newsletter she has given me permission to share some of them with you in 2019, starting with DENIM.  I have added a few more photos to my original piece.  Enjoy!

nenasnotes Fashion Trends Exclusively for The Randolph Street Market reprinted with Sally Schwartz permission.  All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.

981E3973-4720-4F9D-ABA9-50C1E4AF0600

A quote from FIT’s  DENIM: Fashion’s Frontier, the cover is seen in the photo above.

“Denim is one of the world’s favorite fabrics, and today it accounts for the largest segment of the clothing industry. The market for jeans alone is worth over 55 billion dollars. Accompanying a recent exhibition at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, this handsome book explores the history of denim and examines the continually evolving relationship between it and high fashion.

Prized for its durability and strength, denim began as an ideal fabric for workwear, most famously in the clothing produced by Levi Strauss & Co. for fortune hunters during the 19th-century California gold rush. Over the past 160 years, however, film, television, and advertising have helped transform denim into a symbol of youth, rebellion and sex. The fashion industry has also played a large role in the expansion of denim into casual and couture clothing.”

8F7C9EC7-C957-4075-AF73-C890CF4EF9B9

22B91AD2-1AE8-4C43-BF3E-7B9040014B72

B749B9A1-11A2-49BD-961A-E063F3BB0CB4

FD6F4D67-1CD1-4A37-9403-A9B751F4BD78

Quite a transition from it’s lowly beginnings as overalls worn by the men and woman seeking their fortunes in the Gold Rush of the latter part of the 19th Century. Levi Strauss saw the need for a sturdy fabric…denim…and sturdy closers to hold the fabric in place…thus “jeans” were born, first in the form of overalls.

269591C7-C084-40FE-B830-4D76F52748D5

Seeking their fortunes….then…

3B73684E-5EC0-4D49-A410-A124CE32370D

And now….

D1A31037-DC54-4AAD-8576-EF56A342B71A

In my opinion, in my youth, denim was only worn to garden, maybe go grocery shopping but never seen as a fashion item until the “Hippie Movement” of the 1960’s. Everyone, at the time, thought that it was the beginning of everyone wearing “uniforms” that uniform being traditional jeans. This was not the case, think embellishments, think the “flower child” and individuality came to the forefront and quite frankly has never looked back. It might be “uniform” but only the fabric, not the fashion. People want acceptance but with their own twist. For years I would think….denim is dead instead of long live denim!

1A6433D5-D1AD-4F60-9D1F-FF3F3236E8B9

9F8983F6-4D2C-40BA-9679-82E98153D88F

Obviously the latter is the case and it just gets stronger and more trend worthy. Take for example the entire denim collection Karl Lagerfeld did for Chanel in 1996.
He is quoted as saying Mlle Chanel thought Mini skirts were dreadful as was denim….there you have it…the rest as they say is fashion history (or fashion myth!)

D164975A-07C1-4BBC-90C4-46DB267600E4

0E0CB63B-CCD3-45C8-AE78-AF532FC1F98B

When I worked with Victoria Beckham, in 2008, she was only doing sunglasses and we introduced her jeans which became status symbols so much so that I “paid” our models in the jeans they wore for the personal appearance, I must admit a rather clever marketing ploy on my part…gorgeous young models wearing the product out and about didn’t hurt sales!!!! The jeans all had embroidered stars on the back hip pocket….the item of the season. Her talent has blossomed and I might add, she was a dream to work with, loved her.

A45F282D-1D15-4351-BD1F-2C923C1684A7

8015A753-A7E5-444C-BC06-9EB2615EE1D1Claire McCardell’s popover dress of 1942 featured in the FIT Denim exhibition and book

6B9FF1DB-2B2A-4C5A-A565-63787C589C55“Rosie the Riveter” interpretation 1942-1945 also featured in the FIT Denim exhibition and book.

9E1214EE-8976-46A6-A6A8-5F5563D0B133

Junya Wataniabe dress 2002 (detail is on cover of the FIT exhibition book)

4BDDCF2D-931D-4A72-8A81-7E6002EA7E7A

From the creativity of the Antwerp designers 2005

Vivianne Westwood’s denim interpretations…

9213F0A5-6011-4ACB-A0F2-CD37474F9E1A

John Galliano for Dior 2002…

5EB5AE49-88A1-4CFD-896B-37347FC51728

And wearing denim 2009…

0FB84D00-8392-46CB-B67C-0A9A15D4FAA4Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen 2016.

Celebrities have always wore denim….

Randolph Street Market
Then….Marilyn Monroe in the film The Misfits

Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Now…Rihanna out and about.

The 2018 Collections featured denim in its many guises…..

26294C8C-E0D6-487F-965C-503D40633ED1

Randolph Street Market
9A2EF953-FD85-4D2D-A185-0733C9A38B9F

 

Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street Market
Randolph Street MarketBBBA72AF-3542-4B79-A639-4E9D59C2E535The King of American sportswear, Ralph Lauren, at his beginnings and at the finale of his extraordinary 50th anniversary extravaganza 2018….I’m obsessed with the tuxedo jacket and jeans…what could be more modern….

B7BE79C1-322F-4732-AE8F-988060F8A4CB

876744B1-7EBD-464B-89D7-BA023C9300E1

Or perhaps a patchwork quilt…..the possibilities of working with “blue jeans” is obviously endless…I can hardly wait to see what our designing geniuses will create in future collections with what was considered “workman’s” cloth…..stay tuned….