Archive for Paris

One Week in Paris

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2018 by James Field

 

 

Holiday

noun  hol·i·day 

“A day on which one is exempt from work; specifically a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event”

Following the Webster definition of the word, the event that is in question was my Thirtieth birthday, which I was blessed to have spent in France. Follow me as I retrace my steps back to that One Week in Paris.

I arrived on the sunny Saturday morning of June 23rd. When I landed, I was hit with an immediate sense of adventure and excitement to experience all the wonders the city was calmly awaiting for me to marvel over.

My trip of course needed a central comfort base, and the quaint Hotel Boronali in the colorful neighborhood of Montmarte, was just the place. The hotel is perched atop a little hill with a cafe just on the corner, and surrounded by picturesque townhouses and restaurants.

The Hotel Bornali – 65 Rue de Clingnancourt, Montmarte neighborhood of the 18th Arrondissement

The Beautiful Sacre Coeur Basilica, at the top of a hill on the Rue de Chevalier de la Barre.

 

My room was located on the 3rd floor and overlooked an inner courtyard, but was very quiet and cozy. I flew into Paris from New York City, with a connecting flight in Toronto, so to say the least my back was in all kinds of knots. I immediately searched for a local spa. After being restored by a wonderful hour-long back and leg rub (fairly priced), I was ready to start planning my week, but not before a quick roam around the neighborhood to get a feel of my surroundings. I walked for about two blocks before I stumbled upon a bustling little market. The side streets were full of charming vendors selling 18th and 19th century furniture, vintage jewelry, and all sorts of objet d’art.

It wasn’t long before I spotted a vintage brown leather drawstring bag, a pair of red cotton and hemp slippers, a set of two watercolor paintings from 1960, and a mixed-metal African pendant necklace, before I calmly made my way to the hotel with the biggest grin on my face. I was absolutely thrilled and knew from that moment on the rest of my time in Paris would be a special one.

Unpacking luggage and organizing took about an hour and after grabbing a bite from a delicious local Turkish stand, the evening was upon me. I wanted to head out for a walk, so I showered and changed into my interpretation of a 1970’s Parisian club kid: A black silk velvet smoking jacket with no shirt under, a set of vintage 1940’s black silk pajama pants with gold thread embroidery, and finally topped with a vintage 1960’s black wool schoolboy cap.

Paris at night is sublime. The street lights collectively glitter like jewels that have been strategically placed about to adorn the great city. I walked and marveled for about two hours before stopping in a small bar for an evening nightcap.

The next morning I wanted to begin with a semi-traditional “French breakfast” so I made my way to the corner cafe on route to the center of the city, which would be my ultimate destination for the day. A warm and flaky almond croissant, black coffee with a little fresh creme, and a tart topped with fresh berries was appropriate, at least I thought.

It takes about a 30 minute walk down from Montmarte to the center of the city, so with music playing in my headphones I began to capture the sights along the way.

The iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral, 6 Parvis Notre-Dame Pl. Jean-Paul II

The Palais Garnier Opera House

The fountains at the Palais de Chaillot

The Place Vendôme

The Place des Victoires and the equestrian statue of King Louis XIV.

The inner courtyard (Cour d’Honneur) of the Palais Royal. I am standing on art, as the black and white columns are part of the famous installation “Les Deux Plateaux” by French artist Daniel Buren.



The Hôtel de Ville

 

Returning to my hotel that afternoon I was tired but began planning out my next adventure….Versailles. The famed suburb of Versailles is located 30 minutes by train outside of Paris. The historic Chateau de Versailles is unlike anything I have ever seen in person. The sheer scale of the building and gardens are breathtaking, but it is nothing compared to what awaits the eye once inside.

 

 

There is a reason my photos of the inside of the Chateau were void of other people (of course I was one of hundreds of tourist that day) and that is because I wanted to try to capture the still beauty of what I consider to be a work of art, in its own right. There are countless exhibitions around the world dedicated to the architecture, furnishings and gardens of Versailles that it made it hard for me to actually believe I was there. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my life. The photos and memories will truly last a lifetime.

The remainder of my time in Paris consisted of visits to the Louvre, Nissim de Comondo, and Arts Decoratifs Museums, and more fantastic views of the city below.

 

The Jardin du Luxembourg, June 25th my 30th birthday

 

 

Throne of Emperor Napoleon I

 

 

 

 

The French Crown Jewels

 

 

 

The Cafe Marly at Musee du Louvre

 

Musee Nissim de Camondo

 

Musee des Arts Decoratifs

A 1920’s Cartier clock at Musee des Arts Decoratifs

 

The Seine River

The Fountaine de Mars

 

 

Pont Alexandre III Bridge

Home

Before I knew it, it was time for my flight back to the States and I just couldn’t believe the week I had just experienced. It was an enchanting, wonderful, and special trip full of great memories that I will certainly cherish forever.

Thank you for reading.

(All photos are my own)

James

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New York Fashion Week Spring 2014 Calender

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2013 by James Field

 

NY-Fashion-Week-Scedule

 

Well it’s finally here!

New York is about witness another blitz of Runway shows, street style super stars ( I use that loosely), presentations, parties, after parties, and after after parties.Yes, its Fashion Week and I have the schedule here for all you crashers, photogs, and aspiring visionaries alike. I think the most exciting thing about Fashion Week for me, is the carelessness of it all, so to speak. Aside from Halloween, it’s one of two times a year that you can dress up like a moody, cross gender bending, space cadet and have your image immortalized by Tommy Ton or The Sartorialist. People tap into the eccentricity that is underlying within them, and present it for the world to see, during the years most fabulous events. I mean you can’t wear a Givenchy leather kilt, and carry a Pashli Satchel to the office everyday (talking to the guys) so it really does become a festival of free will, individuality, and pure creative alchemy.

So go forth New York in all of your splendor and chicness, the French will never take us seriously if we don’t STEP IT UP!

See you at Lincoln Center!

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.

 

untitled

 

Irreverent

Posted in Obsessions with tags , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by James Field

Oct 18th

Current Obsession

Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall 2011

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2011 by James Field

When the news broke a few months ago that French designer Giambattista Valli was inducted as a gust member to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, I was beyond ecstatic! His ready to wear collections are always pure representations of femininity and luxury and I am such a big fan. As guest of the Chambre Syndicale, he produced his first ever Haute Couture collection in Paris recently, he stated “The most beautiful thing about the couture is the devotion” and that philosophy was clearly apparent in the staggering 45 looks that he presented. Composing of endless yards of vibrantly colored chiffon, hand bead work, layers of tulle, and some fantastic animal prints, the collection was a bit on the frothy side but still maintained the timeless Parisian elegance and flair Giambattista is known for. I am so happy for him and I know that after the rave reviews he has received for this first Couture collection, the future will only be more magical. As a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale he must await 5 years before he is eligible to practice the art of Haute Couture officially. Here are some of my favorites from the collection..



POWER!

Posted in Art Nouveau with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by James Field

Givenchy Resort 2012.

Kris Van Assche Interview x Rick Owens

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by James Field

The story of Belgian designer Kris Van Assche, in the most obvious way, is defined by the story of his former boss, Hedi Slimane. Van Assche grew up in the town of Londerzeel, and after graduating from the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1998, he got an internship with Slimane, who was then designing for Yves Saint Laurent. When Slimane decamped to head up meanswear at Dior two years later, Van Assche followed, before leaving Dior in 2004 to start his own label. But after Slimane’s wildly influential run at Dior came to an end in 2007, Van Assche was summoned once again to try to fill the very slim pants of a man whose work at the label helped define a global menswear trend built around teenage-sexy, rock ’n’ roll chic.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Van Assche’s clothes reflect his armored personality: They are focused, almost religiously, on understatement, attention to detail, elegance, and a mostly unwavering devotion to a color palette of black, gray, and chocolate. In taking the reigns at Dior Homme, Van Assche kept Slimane’s thin-lapel blazers and skinny jeans, but added volume to the silhouettes. And while some looks appear similar at first glance, the inspirations for Van Assche’s collections at Dior Homme, as well as his own eponymous line, have varied dramatically, from Indian robes and wide-brimmed Amish hats to dust on working man’s hands and conceptual notions of “lessness.”

The last two years have marked a subtle turning point for the 35-year-old Van Assche, who has weathered the early storms, turned back the critics, and started to carve out his own territory. But as he confesses to Rick Owens, beneath his organized, controlled surface lies a quiet intensity that continues to fuel his work.

RICK OWENS: The last time we saw each other was at my club [Spotlight Club]. How did you like the show? [Owens had invited the drag queen Christeene.]

KRIS VAN ASSCHE: Usually when you get to see people’s private parts, it’s because you asked, right?

OWENS: My concern was that they would tone it down and be less extreme, so from the very first second they got onstage, I was—

VAN ASSCHE: They didn’t tone it down, did they?

OWENS: [laughs] So, now that I have you: Did you always want to be a designer?

VAN ASSCHE: Ever since I realized that clothes just don’t drop out of the closet and that somebody was deciding what I would actually wear. I must have been around 10 or 12 when I started questioning things like, Why should somebody else decide what I’m going to wear? And I’m an only child, and I was born in this small town.

OWENS: Did your parents dress you? Was that something you reacted to?

VAN ASSCHE: Yeah, of course. My parents are really nice, but they’re very conservative. They’re like the most normal people in the world. And they had one big definition for life, which was: “Don’t get noticed. Be normal, that’s weird enough.” And that just didn’t work for me.

OWENS: Your reaction to the conservative element wasn’t very angry. It was kind of quiet and elegant, if that’s a reaction.

VAN ASSCHE: I’ve never had this really violent reaction. I was quite unhappy, so that’s violent, but it was a silent violence.

OWENS: Why were you unhappy?

VAN ASSCHE: Because I really didn’t fit in. But then when I started going to the academy when I was 18, that’s the day I started living, because that’s when I started having a good time.

OWENS: Because you were able to do what you wanted and that was satisfying?

 

“This skinny, rock ’n’ roll look had become such a cliché in the streets that any designer would have had to take this collection in a new direction.”

—Kris Van Assche

VAN ASSCHE: It was good. The only thing was that I was probably too young, looking back on it. I wish I had had more life experience, because when I graduated I was only 22. But apart from that I had a great time.

OWENS: I don’t know if being young is ever a mistake. [laughs] Can I ask how old you are now?

VAN ASSCHE: I’m 35.

OWENS: I’m going to be 50, so to me that seems very young, especially for everything you’ve accomplished.

VAN ASSCHE: It’s been a tough ride, and sometimes I think it wouldn’t have been as tough if I didn’t make all these mistakes because of my lack of experience. It feels like I’m growing up in front of bazookas sometimes.

OWENS: When I think of a job like yours, I sense so much pressure.

VAN ASSCHE: Yeah, well, I first worked here as an assistant for six years before I started doing my own label. And then after three years, they called me to come back to Dior, so I knew what I was getting into.

OWENS: Was that a hard decision to make?

VAN ASSCHE: Of course it was. There were thousands of reasons not to do it. All my friends were just telling me don’t do it because it’s gonna be so tough. Usually when people take over an old house, or a line, it’s because it’s almost dead. But that was not the case at Dior. I was taking over a success story, which is really tough to do, because nobody wants you to do the same thing and nobody wants you to change. But it’s still one of those propositions you can’t really refuse, because it was the possibility to do everything that was impossible at my old label.

OWENS: Do you get a chance to have little vacations outside of Paris?

VAN ASSCHE: I was just in Los Angeles actually. We went to New York for a photo shoot, and I decided to go to Los Angeles because I wanted to get a tattoo.

OWENS: Do you already have some?

VAN ASSCHE: Yeah. I have one that I had done in Paris on my left arm, but then I got one a month and a half ago in L.A.

OWENS: When I got my first tattoo, the best advice I got was, “It can never be too big.”

VAN ASSCHE: At some point you have to do these really intense things to just realize where you are, what is happening, what life’s about, time going by, and all that shit. It’s just writing it in your skin, right?

OWENS: Do you live alone?

VAN ASSCHE: I live with my boyfriend, but he has his own place as well, because we kind of both like our independence.

OWENS: That was just my indiscreet way of asking if you had somebody special in your life, so that’s good.

VAN ASSCHE: It’s important, because otherwise life would only be about work, which would really be a pity.

OWENS: Does he ever criticize you for being too obsessed with things and too into work?

VAN ASSCHE: He doesn’t like my sleepless nights.

OWENS: Do you have those a lot?

VAN ASSCHE: I never really used to, but they seem to have become one of my new habits that I’m trying to get rid of as fast as I can. I’m a total control freak. But I feel like the pressure has become almost more intense now that things are going better at Dior, because in the beginning everybody was just gonna hate it, and so there wasn’t much to lose. But now that things are starting to lighten up and I’m much happier with how the collection is going, there’s more pressure because I want the next one to always be better.

OWENS: You must have gone through an uncomfortable period, because nothing you were going to do was going to work. People were out to get you a little bit. That was a crazy position you put yourself in, Kris.

VAN ASSCHE: I didn’t put myself in that position. It was just part of the shitty job that somebody had to do. I really hang on to this idea that Dior Homme, as a collection, had reached its high point, and this skinny, rock ’n’ roll look had become such a cliché in the streets that any designer would have had to take this collection in a new direction. So I knew that somebody would have had to go through that difficult timing. It would have been really nasty for anyone. It just happened to be me. [laughs]

OWENS: Do you see your parents often now?

VAN ASSCHE: They’re very proud, obviously. They always think it’s too much every time they come to Paris. They’re like, “Are you joking?”

OWENS: I actually bring my parents to the women’s shows twice a year.

VAN ASSCHE: So how do they react when they see your shows?

OWENS: Well, they’re a little puzzled. But they try to be kind. It’s good for them to see the showroom with the people that we work with as a big family.

VAN ASSCHE: And that it’s happening in a good environment—like, not crazy.

OWENS: Yeah, um, right. [laughs]

VAN ASSCHE: And so they go to your store and see your statue? [Owens commissioned a wax sculpture of himself urinating.]

OWENS: Yeah, they don’t look. There are a lot of things that they’ve chosen not to look at in my life. The way that my mom puts it, she goes, “Well, as long as nobody gets hurt.”

Designer Rick Owens was born in California and lives in Paris. He was the 2002 recipient of the CFDA’s Perry Ellis Award for Emerging Talent.

Via