Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Women who get things done

Bethesda Terrace. 9:00 AM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Very fair weather in New York three weeks before the Winter Solstice, with temperatures touching the 70s.

Early last evening, coming from a reception in midtown, I took a walk up Fifth Avenue to get some shots of the merchants laying out the Christmas/Holiday carpet. I noticed that Donald Trump’s private woodland high above the avenue on the southeast corner of 56th Street, having now lost all its foliage, was glittering with lights.
Then I crossed 57th Street to get a look at Bergdorf’s sensational windows  which run all the way around the block from 57th and Fifth to 58th just across from the Pulitzer Fountain in front of the Plaza. There was a crowd in front of every window, and many had the same idea as I – getting pictures with their digitals.
It was about 7 o’clock and the avenue was still very busy, including many coming from their offices, heading home; but also lots of shoppers and tourists taking in the creativity and imagination set before them. Having got most of the Bergdorf  windows, I continued up the avenue and over to Madison between 60th and 61st for the much publicized Lady Gaga windows at Barney’s.

From Barney’s, I decided to continue up Madison Avenue to see what else I could show you Holiday shoppers and dreamers. More on that tomorrow.
The women who get things done in New York. Last Thursday night in Paris, my friend Judy Price was decorated as a Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur for her contributions to French culture in a ceremony at the Musée Carnavalet. The museum on the rue de Sevigne is dedicated to the history of the city of Paris.

Judy was welcomed to the museum by its director Jean-Marc Léri. Mme. Price, who loves France – and especially Paris – was beside herself with excitement. She later told me was as exciting as when she got married (to same husband she has today).

She was presented with her award by the famous French antiquaire Jacques Perrin who also announced that Judy’s next exhibition, based on her new book Lest We Forget; Masterpieces of Patriotic Jewelry and Military Decorations, will be staged in Paris.
Salon reception honoring Judy Price, hosted by Jean-Marc Léri.
Judy presented with award by antiquaire Jacques Perrin.
Judy (who once upon a time was my boss when I was editor of Avenue magazine and she was the publisher and founder) and her husband Peter are committed francophiles to the point where they, like several other New Yorkers I know, keep an apartment in Paris and visit frequently.

After the ceremony, about 100 guests -- mainly French -- were invited to a dinner in her honor hosted by AXA Art at its magnificent world headquarters in the Hotel de La Vaupaliere, an 16th century hotel particulier.
Retired Lancome president Gilles Weill, Van Cleef CEO Stanislas de Quercize, Pernod Ricard partner Daniele Ricard, and Judy Price.
Antiquaire Olivier Kraemer and Elbrun Kimmelman. New York Times's Steve Erlanger with wife Betsy and Musée Carnavalet president Olivier Roussel.
Contessa Nicoletta Romano di Rotundo, Princess Chantal de France, and Baron Francois de Sambucy.
Dr. Ulrich Guntram, Global CEO of Axa Art Insurance, with Carolle Thibault-Pomerantz and Peter Price.
Musée de l'Armée president Christian Baptiste and wife. Guy Robinson and Elizabeth Stribling.
Judy Price and Dior CEO Sidney Toledano.
Peter and Judy Price with Jean-Marc Léri, Director of the Musée Carnavalet.
More women who get things done in New York. Two weeks ago on a Monday, the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) on Columbus Circle hosted its Visionaries! 2011 Gala at Pier Sixty celebrating the lifetime achievements and contributions to fashion and design of four exceptional individuals: the late Jean-Louis Dumas, the man behind the dramatic expansion of the family business, Hermes, which now has 368 stores worldwide. M. Dumas sketched the first outlines of the Birkin bag on a flight from Paris to London after a conversation with the actress Jane Birkin (hence the name). Also honored: Vladimir Kagan, innovative designer, furniture maker and retailer; Denis Abrams, CEO of Benjamin Moore, a company renowned as an industry innovator; and Robert King, the entrepreneur.

More than 500 attended the dinner and awards presentations at Pier Sixty for the museum’s annual fundraiser which supports their highly intriguing and innovative exhibitions and educational programs.
Visionaries! awards designed by Humanscale.
Among those who have grown the Museum of Arts and Design from a tiny concept to its exciting home on Columbus Circle, are Holly Hotchner, its director, and Barbara Tober, a force of nature who had a long successful career as editor of Brides Magazine for three decades. After retiring from the magazine world, Barbara has devoted considerable time to a vision she had (and has shared with many other supporters) for this great museum.

The Museum of Arts and Design is unique in New York, in my opinion, because its exhibitions engage people of all ages, from the littlest of the little ones to the eldest of the older ones with its astonishing and imaginative exhibitions.
Back row: Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Bob King, Lewis Kruger, Denis Abrams, Jerome Chazen, and Barbara Tober. Front row: Holly Hotchner, Vladimir Kagan, and Erica Wilson.
Lewis Kruger. Denis Abrams and Barbara Tober.
Bob King and Barbara Tober. Vladimir Kagan.
Vladimir Kagan, Katharina Plath, and Renee Landegger.
Holly Hotchner and Barbara Tober.
And more women who get things done. I’ve known Rose Hartman for a number of years, but like ships passing in the night – and night has usually been the time of day as we’ve run into each other while covering many – multitudes – of events around New York.

We’ve had few conversations during those hours since we’re (mainly) working and moving on to complete our nightly assignments. Three weeks ago, however, there was a main event for Rose at FIT in its Gladys Marcus Library with an exhibition of a “Selection” of Rose’s Photography Archives which she has generously donated to FIT.

Incomparable Women of Style: Selections from the Rose Hartman Photography Archives, 1977 – 2011 includes more than 60 photographs taken by her over the past 34 years in New York. This includes some rare vintage silver prints which she developed in her home studio, as well as some of her best known works reproduced here on a large scale echoing the sensation of their memory.
Bianca Jagger rides the white horse at Studio 54 on her birthday in 1977.
China Machado and friend at a Madison Avenue Gallery opening.
The exhibit which is the FIT Archives’ first large scale installation in the library, will be on view through January 20, 2012, and it’s a thriller. The selection encompasses the women who set the style of the times, in their New York milieu. Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Bethann Hardison, Margaux Hemingway, and Nan Kempner were shot at Studio 54 in the late 1970s. Diana Vreeland, Isabella Blow, Anna Wintour, Grace Jones, Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Campbell, Betsey Johnson, Donna Karan, Iris Apfel, Isabella Rossellini, Lauren Hutton, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Courtney Love, Madonna, and Diane von Furstenberg, among many others, were captured at fashion shows, design studios, the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, art galleries, backstage at fashion shows, and on the street.

The end result, in her work, Rose Hartman has chronicled the last  quarter of  20th century New York social and nightlife, including a group of never-before-seen images of New York’s underground style icons, the Fashionistas, as Rose calls them, style which drove high fashion from the city’s club scene in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s, into the mainstream.
Daphne Guinness at a private dinner after the opening of David La Chapelle's show, 2011. Nan Kempner and Kenneth Jay Lane.
Georgina Brandolini and Lynn Wyatt.
Incomparable Women of Style: Selections from the Rose Hartman Photography Archives, 1977-2011 was curated by Anna Yanofsky, a Master of Arts candidate in FIT’s Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice program, in conjunction with Rose Hartman, and under the guidance of Karen Trivette Cannell, MLS, assistant professor and head of Special Collections and FIT Archives.

Research and technological assistance was provided by Hartman interns Danielle McGhee, John Utsey, Jr., and Eva Shuman. Additional assistance has been provided by department personnel Juliet Jacobson, Clara Berg, and Chris Arena and department intern Gilit Cooper.
A lively and model-thin Anna Wintour. Linda Evangelista at the post-Versace fashion-show party at the Park Avenue Armory, 1992.
Rose and I got to know each other a little more than the “ships passing” stage only just last week at lunch at Michael’s. She was born in the city, on East 9th Street then known as the Village. As a child she went to a school nearby where she first saw young girls of privileged backgrounds, and was always taken by the luxury of their fashions. As a young woman, she started life as a school teacher, although she confided that everyday she could hardly wait for the classes to end so that she could leave.

One day she made that decision which compels all artists: she decided to pursue photography as a profession. With the natural street smarts of New York kid, and the stick-to-it-iveness of a dedicated artist, she found her “niche” and has pursued it single-mindedly and devotedly ever since. The kid who was once fascinated by the fashion and lifestyle of her schoolmates’ families let that interest take her into the great big world of New York with its polymorphous social and nightlife. Exciting? Ever-changing? Compelling? What do you think ...?

There’s a lot more to see beyond the FIT exhibition and you’ll be able to find it in a companion book, Incomparable: Women of Style, to be published by ACC Publishing Group (London, New York) in the fall of 2012.
At Incomparable Women of Style Exhibition Opening Reception: Gemma Kahng, Colette, Sandy Long, Rose Hartman, Jean, and Valerie.
Ivy Brown and Rosemary Ponzo. Jean Shafiroff, Edmundo Huerta, and Liliana Cavendish.
Georgianna Robertson and Tia Walker. Slava Radanovic and Gregory Speck.
Jean. Georgianna Robertson and Joakim von Ditmar. Julia Kolovarsky.
Tim Hunt and Susan Kappa. Nin Brudermann and Anthony Haden-Guest.
On a very sad note, New Yorkers were shocked and distressed over the weekend to learn of the tragic and untimely death of a lovely friend, Amy Mazzola Flynn this past Thanksgiving eve in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Amy had gone for a walk with her eleven-year-old daughter Christina after the Thanksgiving meal with her family, when she and her daughter were struck by a car. Little Christina was injured but her mother, Amy, was killed instantly. The Mazzola-Flynn family is very close, and very connected to New York social and media life where they are all very popular. Amy also leaves an older child, a son James, her husband Terrence “Ted” Flynn; her sister Alison, and her mother and father Sylvia and John Mazzola.

A funeral service will be held today at 2 pm at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue. No amount of sorrow can measure the loss to her many friends and loved ones.
James Flynn, Amy Mazzola Flynn, Christina Flynn, and Tad Flynn.

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