Archive for Interviews

T.B.N Interviews: Wallace Chan

Posted in Nouveau Spotlight, T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by James Field

 

“My greatest enjoyment is to express emotions, wisdom of our ancestors and the greatness of Mother Nature through jewelry creation.” –Wallace Chan

 

I am honored and overjoyed to feature a fascinating and extremely inspiring interview that I conducted with Master Sculpture & Jeweler, Mr. Wallace Chan. We discuss his exceptional skill in jewelry design, his inspirations from nature and his outlook on life and creativity.

Enjoy….

 

To begin I would like to formally welcome Master Sculpture & Jeweler Mr. Wallace Chan to The Black Nouveau, I am so honored to speak with you.

TBN: Since your debut as the first Asian designer at the 2012 Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris with the collection “Path to Enlightenment: Art & Zen” your work has been featured in countless publications and has been critically acclaimed as works of sculptural art.

Your style is a whimsical blend of naturalistic themes, fantastical motifs and exceptional craftsmanship, where do you draw inspiration from?

W.C: To create is to live fully, to absorb knowledge in all ways, and to practice repeatedly. The creating process can be described with two words, “life” and “understanding”.

Life is the key to creation, a vital element. Creation changes, and is full of vitality, it reflects the pulse of the heart and the spirit of the age, and motivates the development of history. Creation and life are interactive, for there to be creation, there must be life, and for life to have meanings, creativity is a must.

“Understanding” involves communication and channels. The creator must understand the skies, the earth and in between the two, human beings. It may sound a bit vague, but to put it in simple words, it means the creator should learn about the past, the present and the future, and he should dig into different kinds of knowledge e.g. astrology, geography, technology, history, psychology and philosophy etc.

As for inspiration, when you understand life and the universe, you will naturally understand that, there is humanity in everything, from a piece of wood to an elephant. When you treat them with emotions, they respond to you in the same way. Inspiration comes from the accumulation of our everyday experience. Like the herbal cabinet of the Chinese doctors, each little piece of our memories is stored in one little drawer, and when I see a gemstone, these pieces of memories come out from different drawers, they entwine, merge and transform with one another, and this interaction generates creativity.

I hope to re-interpret and enliven the elements of Mother Nature and culture through jewelry creation, and pass the wisdom of the skies, the earth and human beings on to the next generation. But to make it happen, solid and cultivated craftsmanship is crucial, from techniques to materials and tools, it is important to invent new ways in order to have our imagination actualized.

T.B.N: You have been credited as the creator of the “Wallace Cut” may I ask what this means, how did you come about designing it?

W.C: Why did I invent “Wallace Cut”?  One time I went to a photography exhibition, in one of the photographs I saw the images of a man overlapped.  They said it was a dark room technique called “multiple exposures”.  I wondered if I could achieve the same effect with carving.  I kept this piece of memory and the curiosity on my mind. When I finally started learning about gemstone cutting, I saw how the light entered the gemstone’s body through its surface, and how the light interacts intensively inside it.  This experience recalled my impression on “multiple exposure”, and since I had acquired the knowledge to carve and design with gemstones, I could try to realize my idea this time.

The Wallace Cut is a carving technique which creates an illusion in transparent materials by combining medieval 360-degree intaglio into 3-dimension engraving.  The resulting quintuple reflection unifies these features with precise calculation and angle casting and forms a 3-dimension and multi-line reflection.

The "Now and Always" necklace featuring a signature 35.4ct Wallace Cut aquamarine with the image of Horae the Greek Goddess of nature, with amethysts, diamonds, blue topaz, sapphires and opals.

The “Now and Always” necklace featuring a signature 35.4ct Wallace Cut aquamarine with the image of Horae the Greek Goddess of nature, with amethysts, diamonds, blue topaz, sapphires and opals.

The concept sounds simple, but the execution was near impossible.  Let’s take my “Horae” design as an example.  To get a full-bodied, 3-dimensional face for this work, I had to empty out precisely just such a face at the back.  First, I bored a tiny hole right in the center.  That’s the starting point, which is the nose.  Then I slowly widened the space from inside out.  As it was done in reverse, every drill was an act of reverse thinking: left is right, deep is shallow, and front is back.  Since the space inside is the face of the Goddess itself, there was no space to move around. But that’s how the image acquired multiple reflections, creating different angles of the face.  I carved the front view of the Goddess, and she would be looking at me sideways

Moreover, the tools that were available on the market were not sophisticated enough.  I had to make some of the tools specifically for this work.  I went to a factory and became an apprentice in order to learn about the mechanics it took to invent the tools. After six months in the factory, I found out that I could use the dentist’s tool for it.  But the drill rotated for 36,000 times per minute, which was too fast, and the heat it generated while carving would damage the stone.  At last I realized that I had to do the carving under water.  So here it went: I carved, I dried the stone, checked to see if it was alright, (because one tiny mistake would be reflected into four more mistakes, and the whole piece of work would be ruined,) and then I put it into water to carve again. It was a stroke by stroke process, I forgot how many hours I worked on each piece, but at the end I felt that my mind, my hand, and the tool were all working as one, it was my consciousness doing the carving. It was 1987, and it was one of the craziest carving periods in my life. I surrendered myself to the magic of light and shadow, and found great happiness in it.

I had to do a lot of calculations to determine where the center was – where exactly would the face be situated.  The next step was the amount of space for each half of the face; both sides have to be symmetrical.  Then there were the angles of the faceting on the periphery of the face in order to achieve the number of reflections that I wanted.   And even if the calculations were all correct, I still needed to put them through some trials before I committed them to the stone.  All in all, this piece took me two years to finish, not counting the years I spent in perfecting the 3-dimensional technique. Life was not easy during those two years, I had to earn a living, and at the same time keep inventing.

T.B.N: With your vast knowledge of Gemology, metallurgy and sculpture, what sort of obstacles do you encounter when designing a piece? You have been known to completely destroy pieces if they are not up to your standards, would you call yourself a perfectionist when it comes to your art?

W.C: Since I began my creative journey in 1973, I have gotten used to absorbing knowledge and techniques from all directions. The wisdom left to us by our ancestors benefits us throughout life, but no matter what we do, we must not depend it all on existing knowledge. We have to explore and pave new paths. We have to turn our world upside down. Upon the old foundation, we have to build something new for the development of our future.

Difficulty has an intimate relationship with creation. It nurtures creativity and through challenges we grow. Difficulty comes from everywhere, from tools to techniques, materials and our mentality. But as long as we can overcome our own desires, we know how to deal with difficulty without backing down, as well as without fear, anxiety and disgust. The path of creation is often lonely, but this lonesome feeling makes us strong and helps us persist. Creativity grows as a result. I feel that I have entered a fairyland every time I meet obstacles, and once I solve my problems, I go back on earth with a sense of satisfaction and joy that is beyond words.

I pursue perfection, but there is no perfection in this world, there is nothing you can call the highest, or the best. But this is the reason why there are limitless possibilities. As there is no limitation, I can pursue perfection without fear, I can try, I can fail, and there is no need to compromise. I am used to absorbing new knowledge with open arms and an open heart. I am always under pressure, and upon the existing pressure I pressure myself even more, to explore the depth and width of knowledge and work my mind out.

T.B.N: My absolute favorite pieces are your exquisite butterflies. They represent your work very well and are a reoccurring theme in your collections. Do you have a favorite piece that you consider your greatest achievement?

 

W.C: Underneath the sugar-coated idea – “greatest achievement”, you can only find stumbling blocks. I do not have anything that I can call my “greatest achievement”, but I am happy to share with you a creation that I have recently completed. This creation has been on my mind for more than a decade, until about 4 or 5 years ago, I started to have it realized. In the process of creation, I went through tons of struggles and was often close to giving it up, but I couldn’t help continuing. Finally, it was completed right before the 27th Biennale des Antiquaires.

The Wallace Chan "Secret Abyss" necklace has a yellow diamond of 10.05 cts set in a rutilated quartz shell of 211.74ct and complemented with emeralds, fancy colored diamonds, amethysts and rutilated quartz.

The Wallace Chan “Secret Abyss” necklace has a yellow diamond of 10.05 cts set in a rutilated quartz shell of 211.74ct and complemented with emeralds, fancy colored diamonds, amethysts and rutilated quartz.

This creation is titled “Secret Abyss”; it expresses my exploration on the meaning of existence.

More than 10 years ago, I saw a magician trying to escape from a glass tank of water whilst chained and handcuffed; logic said that it wasn’t possible, yet he escaped. I was moved by the performance; I was, in fact, extremely impressed. And after some years the idea of “Secret Abyss” came alive on my mind.

When you try to make an idea reality, it is often the case that a series of difficulties, sacrifices and failures tag along. I was looking for the materials for this creation, at first I thought crystal would do, but it was too clear, so it could not create the dream-like feeling I wanted. I gave up the idea of using crystal and turned to rutilated quartz instead. The texture of rutilated quartz gives the feel of a fairyland. But it is not easy to find rutilated quartz that meets the standard required for my creation, so it took a long time and great efforts.

After acquiring the suitable materials, I created a 6.5MM opening on the rutilated quartz, through this small opening my tools got in and empty the stone out. Where could I find the right tools to do this? As the creation has never been done before, naturally no one had invented the tools I needed. So it was another long process of consideration, calculation, design and experiment to have the right tools invented. I’d better not go into details here.

After a series of failures and tons of broken materials, I finally found a way to empty the stone out in a satisfying state. The 43MM wide space inside the stone became my creative space. My tools entered the space through the 6.5MM opening, and gemstone clouds were set. I would say that the 6.5MM opening was the entrance and exit of my soul, it extended my existence. Inside the rutilated quartz there was this metaphysical world, in which there were materials. What is empty is no longer empty, the clouds float in light and colors… – that denotes a state of mind, as well as a state of life.

T.B.N: What do you enjoy most about your career? What advice would you give to aspiring designers and business owners?

 

W.C: Accessories have existed in human history for a long, long time. It appeared way earlier than other forms of art. It is an ancient culture, and this culture has then become evidence of civilization, and an embodiment of knowledge aesthetics, wisdom and emotions. And my greatest enjoyment is to express emotions, wisdom of our ancestors and the greatness of Mother Nature through jewelry creation. Jewelry stands for eternity, and through this eternal media I can share the stories and meanings of life with others.

Designer and creator are different, and they are different from merchant or dealer. Very often, designers come up with ideas and sketches, and then they hand over their ideas and sketches to craftsmen to work on. However, I encourage designers who are interested in the jewelry field to learn with patience, and to train up their ability to reach out to all directions – on the top there is culture, philosophy and art, beneath these there is knowledge of a craftsman that includes optics, physics, ergonomics, metallurgy etc., on the left you find technology, and on the right there are trends and markets… The mastery of all allows greater creative freedom.

I am not very good at commercial activities, certainly not an expert in business. But I believe that as a merchant, dealer or investor of this field, it is important to acquire thorough knowledge of the field in order to recognize the talents of a creator. Designers and creators live in their own worlds, their pursuits tend to be more spiritual, but merchants live in a collective world, and economic growth is their fundamental consideration. But the former and the latter join hands to create the many legends we have seen in this industry.

T.B.N: Your pieces are considered to be works of art in their own right, and I would certainly agree that they are extraordinarily beautiful yet delicate and complex. Was that always the goal when you were designing your first pieces?

 

Wallace Chan “Fleur de la Dynastie Tang” brooch with rubies, yellow diamonds, pink sapphires, tsavorites, garnets, emeralds and diamonds.

 

Featuring the world’s largest flawless purple sapphire weighing 164.39ct this is the “Gabriella Rose” necklace symbolizing femininity, harmony and tranquility.

 

W.C: If I must define the goal of my creation, it is the true, the good and the beautiful. When I feel that my creations are far from meeting the standard, that is when I have to destroy them and start over, or I may put them aside for a period of time, and try to enhance and enliven the knowledge on my mind. My creations come alive when I enter a new world of thinking.

I have this very strong belief in my life: only when I have my work done to perfection today can my dreams be realized tomorrow. I maintain the same attitude towards any goals, dreams, obstacles and challenges in my life. It is fair to say that, in life, we may not always be rewarded for our hard work, but it is always true that no pain, no gain.

The aesthetics and craftsmanship of each piece of creation is nothing but the result of hard work.

T.B.N: Lastly, what is the ultimate vision for yourself and your brand? How would you like to be remembered as a designer?

W.C: I enjoy living for the moment, spending every second and every minute on creation. History is vast, and deep, the universe is wide, and limitless, and our existence is so small. I look at the world with the curious eyes of a child. I have to seize the moment, practice on and do my homework. Once I have completed a piece of work, I must move on to something new right away, as I cannot linger in the satisfaction that belongs only to the past. I hope that with my creations I can fulfill my responsibility for history, and I leave it to history to grade my performance.

It was great honor to be given the chance to interview Mr Chan. His passion, seemingly endless creativity and respect for his art only fuels my own career goals. He is, in my eyes the true definition of the word “Craftsman” using his various skills and experience to create one of kind, sublimely beautiful and timeless works of art.

Special thanks to the Atelier of Mr Wallace Chan.

J.F

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T.B.N Interviews: Tunji Alade III

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by James Field

 

 

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Today I am please to welcome singer/songwriter Tunji Alade III to The Black Nouveau. We discuss his love of music, fashion, song writing and his plan to become the next great musical artist.

 

T.B.N– Welcome Tunji and thank you for taking the time to talk with me!Lets begin with your background, where are you from?

T.A– I am from Houston, Texas. My family is from Lagos, Nigeria, London and Guanajuato, Mexico. I also have family in Virginia and New York City.

T.B.N– Your music is a wonderful mix of sounds and you have a very captivating voice. Was music something that always aroused interest in you? How would you describe your music style?

T.A– Music has always been my first love. I’ve always been attracted to it and it has always been part of my desire, music makes me feel and inspires me. I won my first contest at age seven in a classical music competition. I was a runner-up and won a contest to visit this amusement park called Fame City.

I would describe my musical style as smooth, vibrant, fresh, bold and even raw. I’d say my music ranges from Hip Hop to smooth Rhythm and Blues, Soul, EDM, Acid Jazz and Jungle and House mixes. My music emanates from experiences, breakups to relationships, love and vice versa. I describe my music as a style that is…married to fashion, art and the club lounge experience.

T.B.N– How long have you been singing? Also you write your own music, what sort of challenges do you face when creating a new song?

T.A– I’ve been singing since I was thirteen and writing since I was seventeen. Thinking of a new song is like an idea, I can come up with hundreds of ideas just from the instrumental. People don’t want me to think of a new song, they want to see my live performance; they want to be able to connect with me and get to know me.

T.B.N– Share with us a little about your new album. What was the inspiration behind it?

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T.A– My album so far has eight songs. My EP with six songs was just leased through INgrooves Music, the back office of Universal Music Group.

My name is Tunji Alade, and my full name is Tunji Jemi-Alade III. Tungsten Light is sort of an anagram of my name, Tunji Alade. Essentially the tungsten light hue is only visible naturally at magic hour. The inspiration behind my album is to find hints and clues. Fate, paths, and destiny interconnected with people through the human experience and through music.

T.B.N– How do you see yourself and your music evolving within the next few years? What are your long term goals?

 T.A- I see myself evolving greatly. They say it is not where you’ve been but where you’re going. Right now, I’m affiliated with a company called Hotbox. Ironically, I see myself with a team that will tell me who that is. I’m not even being sarcastic. Seriously, I hired a manager not long ago and we almost signed a major deal and it sort of fell flat because attorneys from Warner Brothers called my managers office back and said that I am/was with attorney/client privileges. This was not too long ago and when I contacted Warner Brothers Music, no one knew who I was. It was kind of strange submitting my demo and getting calls back from Interscope, Sony then getting word from a manager that I hired saying that Warner Brothers contacted him and told his management office that I am with attorney/client. Having no documents signed, no official contract, no statements that told me it was official, nothing in writing to let me know what was going on was strange.

Even in retrospect for me to think of where I want to be its very clear because I was affiliated with a major studio in 2000. In 2002, my junior year in college, my university pulled me aside and told me that they had officially gotten word that my undergraduate work was created into a music video and was  broadcast on national television. Then all of a sudden in 2002, I had a million dollar offer for a property and a random phone call from a broker that told me she handled all my paperwork. Right when I was going to buy a 1.1 million dollar mansion, coincidentally, my off campus apartment flooded as a sick building with a sanitation problem of a flooding toilet; it became difficult and my university would not tell me what company contacted them to verify what company I was working for.

Being an underground artist or ghost writer, I see myself evolving with the right team. I want to formalize my contracts with the right team. I know about business, about knock-offs and the intricacies of trends, being a hot artist or an artist that has the new hairstyle, new digs, new style. And how to strive to for a level above that into a longevity hallmark level. Signing with the right major and formalizing the right deal in the right way so that there is no confusion if it is realistic and that it is literally legitimate. For me, my expectation is to move forward with a team that will give me full creative control and options to work with artists that I respect.

I am not trying to be any artist except me. My music is my voice. My music is married to fashion. I see my shows as being part high energy choreography and part runway show. My followers are affluent heads, people who love fashion, art and commerce. In the next few years, I see my album already published and licensed while working on a second and third follow-up album, acting in feature films and doing business with the most advanced marketing endorsers. I see myself immersed in the business and doing what I love.

Tuji 2

 

T.B.N– Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring singer/songwriters? Was there anyone that you admired growing up that inspired your interest in music, and how?

T.A– I was scouted by a major agency and won a modeling competition at age seventeen in High School and was not allowed to follow my path. I also was not allowed to play a musical instrument growing up. It can be very brutal, move masterfully, don’t let others who don’t care about your goals determine your rate of success. Make it happen.

When I was growing up I admired all kinds of music. I especially loved music in different languages from foreign countries. Then around 2006, music really started speaking to me in a special way, I started to really command on the Piano with a handful of songs I composed. Then, Tunechi came out and my friends started asking me if I could sing. I love music from Coltrane to Davis to Portishead to Massive Attack to Green Day, Niyaz, Maxwell, Timberlake, Timbaland, Alicia Keys, Jay Z and Beyonce. Any Grammy award winning artist or any artist under Berry Gordy or his understudy, Etcetera.

 

I would like to sincerely thank my good friend Tunji for this interview. Please visit Tunji below and take a listen of his truly unique and original sound.

www.Tunji-Alade.com

Thank you all for reading!

J.F

 

T.B.N Interviews: Marcus Stewart

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2013 by James Field

 

 

So its been quite some time since I have had the opportunity to interview any talent for the T.B.N Interviews segment of The Black Nouveau, but today I have the pleasure of welcoming our latest guest, Mr Marcus Stewart. I have known Marcus for a little over a year now from his extensive modeling and acting work, as well as fashion styling. Today we welcome him with a warm and chic greeting, as we talk about fashion, life goals, Bravo TV and staying focused in the whirl-wind industry of modeling and acting.

 

T.B.N– Please introduce yourself. How old are you, where are you from and where do you currently reside?

 

M.S– I’m so honored to be your first interview in almost a year! My name is Marcus Stewart, I’m 24 years old. I was born in New Orleans, LA and relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. I just enjoyed my 4 year anniversary in NYC, I reside in SoHo.

 

T.B.N– I am very familiar with your modeling work. Tell us a little bit about how you got started? Was it a difficult process? What tips would you give to other aspiring African-American models looking to break into the industry?

 

M.S–  Well, modeling has always been a part of my life. My mother was actually a local model in the 70’s in New Orleans so I guess one can say that it has always been in my DNA. As a child I was never good at sports, even though I’ve always been tall and quick on my feet I was never an athlete. One day I was driving in the car with my mother around the age of 11 or so and I heard a commercial for “Model Search America” it caught my attention and since my mother had given up her potential modeling career to be a housewife, she was very supportive of me going on a “Go See” which in the modeling world is basically an audition.

 

She took me and my older brother who was super athletic and better than me at everything to the office and I was picked to come back and meet with agents one on one. My brother who I always thought was way better looking than me did not get picked SO, I knew right then and there entertainment was where I wanted to be. I was better than my brother at something so I went with it. From Model Search America I received interest from a huge agency in NYC but I never was allowed to move to NYC at such a young age so my mother took me to local agencies in New Orleans which is where I got my start and became a model then to LA and NYC where I was signed with BMG models.

 

Modeling is very difficult and competitive for anyone but it’s intensified a 100% for a black male. It is no secret that our fairer skin brothers and sisters work WAY more than us brown people. It’s also a very morally corrupt world that can eat you alive if you aren’t a strong-minded mature individual. I was in school or working a serious fashion industry job while pursuing modeling so I never dedicated enough time and effort towards modeling; I never reached my full potential. My advice is to be solid and comfortable in who you are and not to get caught up in comparing yourself to everyone else, you NEVER know what he/she had to sacrifice to get to the point you see. Work hard and stay focused. I’m not done with modeling yet. Stay tuned!

 

T.B.N– So lets not beat around the bush any longer, you were recently a cast member on the Bravo reality documentary series, “Dukes of Melrose” working with the owners of the ultra chic Decades boutique. How was that experience for you?

 

M.S– Yes, let’s just get to it. HAHA. Well, the first season of “Dukes of Melrose” is over so now re runs are playing. Being a part of “The Dukes of Melrose” was an amazing time in my life. I was actually heading back to NYC after a month-long vacation in Europe when I received the call from the owners about being on the show. I was the last person to be cast. I personally never wanted to be a part of a reality show, I have had some opportunities in the past and I just never thought it was my thing. When the producers and owners approached me I was open because I had been working for the company for maybe two years prior so I was familiar with the brand and I’m friends with the owners so I knew a certain level of class would have to be showcased, which made me comfortable and open to being a part of their project.

 

Because I was familiar with the camera and being on sets I was very comfortable while filming. I knew I was going to be myself the entire time and enjoy the process. I’m very happy to have had the chance to work with Bravo TV. It’s something my kids will be able to see although, my famous line “Your vintage team sucks ass” may have to be edited out for the youngsters…haha

 

CameronMarcus_2013_4

 

I have worked for Decades for 3 years. I started off as a part-time assistant buyer and worked my way up to The East Coast Editor and then to Trunk Show Coordinator. I was responsible for finding amazing and rare couture pieces on the east coast while also being responsible for our travelling “pop up shops” I started to get promoted very fast and mind you I had no prior buying or event planning experience. The last 2 years have been spent in and out of hotels and airports all over the USA. Being the Trunk Show Coordinator was great. Every city was new and fresh and I was the person responsible for creating memorable shopping experiences for the clients. It was a fun job but, in order to be GREAT you must grow so I’m no longer with Decades but wishing the brand continued success!

 

T.B.N– Has the show changed anything for you?

 

M.S–  Has the show changed anything for me? I get asked this question all the time. You have to understand I have been fortunate and blessed to work consistently in this industry for 8 years from being the youngest Dolce & Gabbana employee ever, to my time as The International Sales Rep for Sacred Blue Denim at age 18 to working for Vogue and GQ not to mention styling PJ Morton and other private clients. So, for me I’m still working every day. Building my brand and challenging myself creatively. I do get recognized a bit, but this is NYC so no one really cares. I’m still living the same life I was living prior to Bravo TV. Being on TV does not change things; YOU have to change things for yourself and that is what I’m doing. It’s a step by step process, I want to grow not explode. TV has given me a platform but now it’s up to me to create what I want.

 

T.B.N– What is your ultimate career goal, your biggest dream?

 

M.S–  My ultimate career goal? I would have to say that my ultimate goal is to have an empire. I love what Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum have done post modeling life. They are brands, businesswomen. From TV shows, style corresponding, writing books, and producing. Their hands are in lots of things. I would want to do something very similar. I have always looked at myself as a work horse and a show pony. I love creating and making things happen but I’m just as comfortable being the BRAND. My goal is to create a life and a legacy that last beyond me. We are blessed to be a blessing. I want to get back into modeling and acting while still focusing on women and their fashion needs. I want to build a holistic fashion empire. Fashion is such a materialistic and vain world, if I’m going to be a part of that I need to find a way to address the real issues which steam from the inside and show women how connected inner beauty and inner love is with how one looks and presents themselves to the world.

 

T.B.N– Lastly, where do you envision yourself long-term? What are you doing?

 

M.S– I see myself working for myself. I love the idea of being a contributor editor or brand ambassador for products that I believe in. I do think it’s important to still be connected to the world outside of your own existence but, more than anything I want to work on the Marcus Stewart Brand. I want to bring positivity back to the media and help empower women. This is all inspired by my mother. She is my best friend and has given me the key to the locked door called THE WOMAN. I know what the woman wants. She wants to feel beautiful and refreshed. The woman wants to feel comfortable and enlightened. The woman wants to feel sexy without being vulgar. I’m “The Fashion Doctor” I can diagnose your fashion emergency and give you the exact dosage to cure your fashion illness!

 

Right now I’m doing personal image consulting and working on an amazing aesthetic based non-profit organization for women who have experienced hardships. TV is also in my near future so don’t worry! I will be back. I believe that there are no coincidences, things happen for a reason, always remember that. If I had not done the Dukes of Melrose show I would have ignored my secret desire to be back in front of the camera. I would have ignored the need to help women feel powerful and beautiful. Destiny is a funny thing, what is meant to be will always be.

 

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T.B.N Interviews: Tracee Owo Feature x Live Astro New York

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , on June 17, 2012 by James Field

Tracee in the “Oh Mickey!” tank by Live Astro

Hey guys, I recently conducted an interview and styled a feature with one of my good pals and up and coming musical artist, Tracee Owo. She is a true creative talent who has impressed me with her intellect, love of music and art and of course her personal style. Check out the full interview below.

T.B.N: Thank you Tracee for being our very first featured artist for Live Astro New York! Please introduce yourself for everyone – where are you from and where do you currently live?

Tracee: Thank you guys for the feature! To put it simply I’m a creative mind. My creativity includes being a vocalist, songwriter, musician, and more. I feel like creativity has no boundaries. I’m also the daughter of hard-working Nigerian parents who are my biggest inspiration. I’m originally from Prince George’s County outside of D.C. but now reside in Brooklyn, NY.

T.B.N: I’ve had the pleasure of knowing you for some time now and I know that you are a very goal-oriented person, what is the most important goal you wish to reach this year?

Tracee: The most important goal for me this year is to reach and make an impact on more people through my music, one person at a time. Only good can come from that!

T.B.N: You’re working on your first EP. Tell us a little more about it and what your process is for creating your music.

I’m working of my first full EP project titled “Upon a Time”! It’s a compilation of songs that each tell us a different story. Stories of determination, love, pain, and redemption. Not all of the stories are a reflection of me or my personal life but they are reflections of people and images we all see in our lives.

When I create it never feels like a process. For me, its more like a “happening.” Waiting for and allowing the right moment to happen and in turn creating something beautiful..

Dress by Polychromatico!. Necklace by Anu Jewelry.

T.B.N: What do you find to be the most difficult and the most simple in the way that you work?

Tracee: It’s funny because I don’t find this to be difficult but a lot of the people I work with, whether it be producers, engineers, graphic designers, etc. have all said the same thing: “You’re very particular, direct, and want things to be perfect… but I like that” Although they say they like it, I know it gets on their nerves sometimes. That’s why I appreciate all of them so much. It can be difficult to be that way at times because it may take a bit longer to get things done..but when it’s right, it’s right. Oddly enough, the most simple part in the way I work is actually recording. I like to over-prepare but it works.

 T.B.N: What are some of your favorite artists, and who’s on your ipod currently?

Tracee: The infamous question that I can never fully answer! I love a range of artists for different reasons, from Blossom Dearie (jazz singer) to MJ to Chaka Khan to Queen to Kanye. Just like my taste buds love different kinds of food, I love different types of music and artists. I think every music enthusiast struggles with this question – Let’s abolish it!

 T.B.N: Your latest single is “Footsteps”. What was the most exciting part about creating it? How may people discover more of your work?

That song is deep on so many levels for me. It actually took the longest to create because I wanted it to be right and evoke the right emotion. The most exciting part about creating it was shooting the music video visuals with Julian Antetomaso (Videographer) and LaShaia Artis (Fashion Designer/Photographer).

We shot all in one day, guerrilla style, at three locations, one being a beach in early September and it was a bit chilly outside that day. But our energy and commitment  was amazing and it shows in our final product.

I’m working on the release another music video for a single off of my EP scheduled to be released this summer which I am UBER excited for! You can watch the current video for “FootSteps” and download the single now via www.TraceeOwo.com. Thank you guys for the feature and thanks to everyone who supports the vision!

Thank you so much to Matt and Tracee for the time and please check out more of Tracee and her craft.

Please visit www.Liveastrony.com to shop all of the looks shown here.

All beaded bracelets by http://www.SergioJames.com

Thanks for reading!

Sergio + James Series 1

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by James Field

Hello world! I want to show you something that is very special to me and will hopefully be special to you as well. This is the introduction video to my youtube series with Sergio Wonder of RunwayWonderland. It is our 1st series of many and I hope you all will be down for the ride! Without further ado, The Black Nouveau is proud to present….Sergio + James Series 1.

New School Dandy Profile: James Field

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by James Field

This is a profile done about me by Matt Fox over at Fineanddandyshop.com I was so honored to have this done…I’m normally on the other end doing the interviews on other people. So here it is…enjoy! Thanks so much Matt for doing a post on me!

 

 Thursday, October 1, 2009

New School Dandy Profile: James Field


Over the past several months we have been introduced to many amazing people in the virtual word of blogs and social networking. With this post we continue a regular series of profiles of New School Dandies. This week we feature James Field of The Black Nouveau.

Where did you grow up? Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, the area known to many as the Poconos, but it’s truly my favorite place to be. I miss it a lot.

Where do you live now? Jersey City, New Jersey, only here for school, it’s closer to New York without actually living in New York.

Where do you go to school? Berkeley College on 43rd & 5th Avenue, Marketing major with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. In my junior year. (Almost done!!)

What’s your occupation? I am a full-time student, but I work part-time at Henri Bendel 5th Avenue. I also created and run my own fashion blog…(which seems to take up more time that work and school) called The Black Nouveau.

When did you establish your personal style? Was there a pivotal moment? How has it changed? I established my style the moment I realized I would be going to college in New York City. Living in P.A it was mostly jeans, button shirts and sneakers, but when I began to watch fashion shows and read GQ religiously before school ended…I became a new person in a way. But the pivotal moment that sealed my new personal style was when I worked as the Assistant to Derrick & Kirk Miller, the creative design team of Barker Black shoes. They introduced me to suits, wearing wingtips, pocket squares and bow ties. Kirk actually helped launch the Thom Browne line so he wore a lot of Thom Browne suits to work and they were always well tailored and fitted, and after working there for almost a year their style rubbed off on me. I began buying cheap thrift store suits and tailoring them and wearing wingtips with no sock in the summer and getting all my dress pants hemmed above the ankle. Working with those guys really showed me a new style of dressing that I was always interested in, but was to afraid to try.

How would you describe your style? Classic meets youthful and fresh, since I have dark skin bold color shirts pop off well on me, and I’m tall so slender pants and blazers are like my best friends.

What are your sources of inspiration? Thom Browne, Michael Bastian, Robert Geller and this may sounds funny but …Steve Urkel. I just sooo wanted one of those Collegiate cardigans he would wear with the stripe on the arm!

Who is your style icon? Derrick Miller of Barker Black.

What are your preferred dandy reading materials? GQ Magazine.

What is your favorite personal item (non-clothing/accessories)? My Burts Bee’s lip balm.

What is your favorite clothing article or accessory? A double breasted, camel trench coat that I found at a vintage shop for $30. It fits like a charm and I didn’t have to tailor it or anything!

Where is your favorite or dream vacation spot? I’ve been to Alexandria, Egypt. That was my favorite vacation spot. I would love to move there one day.

Tell us the best kept secret in your city. “Yoga To The People” on Saint Marks Place is free yoga, it may not be a best kept secret but I sure think so! I love it.

At which establishments would you consider yourself a regular? Housing Works Thrift Shop in Gramercy Park.

What is your current obsession? Argyle socks!

Currently inspired by? All things British-Made.

What would you be doing ten years from now? I will have evolved my blog into an online magazine with a vintage clothing section featuring pieces that I ship in from all around the world. I will also have an art gallery / café style, type space somewhere in the West Village.

 
Thanks again Matt!!

T.B.N Interviews: David Jon Acosta

Posted in T.B.N Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by James Field

The passion, drive and tenacity of young talent is truly inspirational. I love to meet young musicians, designer and artist who have a true identity and are working hard to accomplish their dreams. The Black Nouveau interviews David Jon Acosta of GoldSaturn.com on his cool designs, being a Miami native and the goals of this new young talent.

David Jon Acosta / Designer of Gold Saturn

David Jon Acosta / Designer of Gold Saturn

 T.B.N: So David, what inspired you to create Gold Saturn?

 David: Well it was an accident. I was working at a 9-5 and found myself bored all the time. I began doodling on Photoshop and created a few graphics I thought would be sick on a T-shirt. That’s how it all started…

T.B.N: Your Tee designs are so whimsical and fun, what was your favorite creation and why?

David: My favorite creation is… it’s so hard! It’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. The “Prescription for Peace” is definitely my claim to fame.

T.B.N: You’re based out of Miami, America’s sexiest city, what is the Gold Saturn customer like?

David: The Gold Saturn customer is the kind of girl or guy that you see across the room and you want to get to know. My T-shirts are definitely conversation starters, and they are not for the wall flower.

T.B.N: What do you love about fashion?

David: I love the art of it. I love graphic designs and I love fashion even more, so I think that Gold Saturn is the perfect mesh of the two worlds that I adore.

T.B.N: Are you originally from Miami?

David: I was born in New Jersey and moved here when I was very young. I love Jersey but its like R&B music, I like it but I don’t want to be around it.

T.B.N: At only 24 years old, you have such a head start on becoming a successful designer, what are some of your goals in the near future?

David: I am not easily satisfied. I want my T-shirt’s on the cover a magazine. I want Gold Saturn to be available at Barneys. And I want an Olsen twin in one of my T-shirts. Until then I’m completely unsatisfied.

T.B.N: Do you see more items such as pants, jackets, dresses etc, evolving from your Gold Saturn label?

David: Yes definitely. I just started doing dresses. I’ve always done headpieces. I would love to branch out and do tote bags, beach towels, rompers, jumpsuits, hoodies, and little pouches to store your marijuana. I know what kids my age need.

T.B.N: Finally, what do you hope to accomplish with your Gold Star brand?

David: Everything.

The Black Nouveau sincerely thanks David Jon Acosta for his time.

By: James Field / The Black Nouveau

Check out David’s latest Collections at www.GoldSaturn.com