Date Archives March 2012

Advanced Copies of The Advanced Style Book Are In

Will and I holding the first advanced copies of my book

Advanced copies of the Advanced Style book are in! I just got back from Rome and my amazing editor, Will Luckman dropped off a few copies for me to look at. It’s strange, overwhelming, and super exciting to see the final product in person. I am very happy with the results and can’t wait for everyone to see it on  May 22. If you would like to preorder a copy of my book it is available on amazon HERE.

A Parisian Grandmother in Peacock Feathers

(Photos by Marine Pierrot)

Many people send me wonderful pictures of their grandparents, friends and other relatives. I always love receiving these great pictures of older people who have touched their lives. Since Advanced Style is really about my personal interactions with people that I meet walking around, I rarely post other people’s photos. When Marine Pierrot sent me these pictures she had taken of her 84 year old grandmother in Paris, I couldn’t help but include them here. They were just too marvelous not to share with everyone. I asked Marine if she would ask her grandmother a few questions and share some of her style secrets. Check out a short description of her grandmother and the questions that follow below.

My grandma is a child of the 30’s and always lived in Paris. She spent her holidays in Deauville.Very early on she appreciated art and painting. She became a painter and met her fourth lover (Francois) and a few years later met my grandfather (Alain Detry). Her favorite artists are Mucha, Chagall, Rodin, Klimt, Tamara de Lempicka, and Dali. She loves: High fetish heels, Kimonos, Aubrey Beardsley,Oscar Wilde, Art Deco, Flapper Dresses, Jazz, Classique Music, Beatles and 70s Rock.

My grandmother is called Jeanine Detry and she is 84 years old.

How has your grandmother influenced your style? What are her influences?
Very early on my grandmother taught me to love silent movies (Louise Brooks, Charlie Chaplin, Murnau, Fritz Lang). She also taught me to love old movies starring Michel Carne, Fred Astaire, Gerard Philippe, and the music of the 20th Century and art of course. Like her, I have liked to draw since I was child. She always urged me to develop my imagination. Her favorite model is Louise Brooks, and the roaring 20s are her favorite period. It’s also my aesthetic period. I’m a flapper girl. I wear and collect flapper dresses, cloche hats, flapper shoes, fur coats, kimonos… I always listen to jazz and classical music. Like my grandmother I’m a music lover, and its my job now.

She is a free and modern woman who is open to the world. The way she paints is singular and particular. She possesses her own style.Recently she gave me a beautiful present. She gave me an antique 1920s silk kimono with embroidered roses (in silver thread) which belonged to her mother.

Do you remember any advice she had given to you?
She approves of my aesthetic and professional choices. She often says to me that if she was not my grandmother she would like to be my friend. When I was younger she often advised me to wear my hairstyle to show my neck and nape of my neck (I have very long hair). In regards to make-up, she likes the very made up eyes and powder that illuminates the face. Indeed perfume is very important to her. She wears “Bel-Ami” by Hermes(that she also offered to me) and sometimes opium by YSL. I love Guerlain and I wear “L’Heure Bleue” (created in 1912).

She always advised me not to follow rules imposed by fashion. I think my grandmother and my mother taught me the art of being a woman and acting like a woman.

Tell me a little about her style?
Daily my grandmother likes wearing long black or burgundy skirts with soft cashmere vests. She also wears Asian jackets with mandarin collars. She makes herself up everyday very diligently and wears fine gold jewels. She loves peacock feathers and decorates her apartment with them. She puts them in big vases. Her haircut has been the same since she was 20 years old: The flapper haircut of Louise Brooks. (She like very high fetish heels, but can’t wear them anymore, thus she wears moccasins.

Wanny Di Filippo

(Photos by Fadi Choker and Elisabetta Passaretti)

Last week I sent my students out on the streets of Rome to photograph and interview people with Advanced Style. We all went to different sections of the city and then returned to class to share what we had found. One group found a man named Wanny Di Filippo, owner of Il Bisonte leather goods . I have seen Wanny on many street style blogs and have always wanted to meet him. He is a true original who always looks marvelous in his creative and sophisticated mix of colors and patterns. I can only hope to have as much style and poise as Wanny some day.

Nonna Maria:The Most Important Thing is to Hope

(Photos and Video by Eleonora Carrano) (Street Shots by Ari Seth Cohen)
This week one of my students, Eleonora Carrano, invited her amazing grandmother Maria Teresa Antonelli to class. Maria is a costume designer and tailor for theater and opera. We were honored to have her speak to us about her career and love of design.
Here is some information about Maria written by her granddaughter:
Maria Teresa Antonelli was born April 20th, 1939 in Rome.She is the third of twelve children and the first girl of her family, so actually she grew up as mom since she was 4 years old.She is one of the last tailors in Italy that works as she does . Maria started her career when she was 14 years old making dresses for all of her family.She came from a very poor family so she had to stop making dresses and go to work in a factory. She wanted to be a tailor with all of her heart and kept the passion alive. At 18 she married Achille and they are still together. After her marriage she started to work again as a tailor. She made clothing for the rich people who lived in the town where she was from.She started to sew the dresses for rich wives of her husband’s work colleagues. She slowly became a famous dressmaker in her area.She is in love with her work .All she has is in her room where she sews .
When you ask what she likes to do she answers to CREATE , MAKE STUFF with everything she find. She is deeply convinced that you have to do in your life whatever you feel is important and you must do it with passion and with all of your heart .
Life can’t always be easy,but if you have your personal passion,it can bring you away, anywhere you want ,everywhere you need.
Maria thinks that hope is one of the most important things in your life,she never stops to hope and day by day,now she is doing what she really wants to for all of her life. She sews for her daughter’s work, which is a opera director. Maria says, “Study, give all yourself in everything you do, be curious because beauty is in everything, whether large or small one. The important thing is to hope.

Lucia Mirisola in Vintage Missoni

Today was the most amazing day. My students in the Advanced Style seminar for IED Roma had the honor of meeting and interviewing legendary costume and set designer Lucia Mirisola, at the gorgeous Rome Cavalieri Hotel. Lucia began her career as the assistant set and costumer designer for Fellini’s, La Dolce Vita and later oversaw the set designs for most Luigi Magni’s classic films. It was an honor to speak with this accomplished 83 year old and hear her philosophy on style and design. Lucia told the class that when making a film you can’t separate one thing from another. Everyone must work together to paint a beautiful picture. Here are some photos of Lucia dressed in the most amazing vintage Missoni. I can’t thank the Rome Cavalieri Hotel enough for hosting us in their beautiful suite!

IED Roma will be putting together a video of our workshop and interviews so I can share more of Lucia’s story with you soon.