Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Travels: Visits with Jennifer Meyer, Gregory Parkinson, Irene Neuwirth, Liseanne Frank (LFrank) and Jamie & Jeremy Joseph

I'm on the business edge of a creative fashion world, and it frustrates the hell out of me. While running our flagship website and store, my heart is really in creation. My life of cut and paste, ideas, art, photography and writing -- with a dash of design thrown in-- colors everything I see and touch. I dream in living color of writing a book, having an exhibit, designing something beautiful, and much more. But all of that will have to wait, I have a website and store to run.

My consolation prize is being in the inner circles of our amazing designers, and being privileged to visit them. Our Spring Break trip to California still has my toes curling.

Coincidentally, my good friend Lynne happened to be in LA on a birthday trip, and so we spent alot of great time together, with a dash of great designers included.

Designer Jennifer Meyer met us for a birthday breakfast (candle #1). Leading a charmed life (which I'm sure is inspiration for all of her wishbones, four leaf clovers and other good luck charms), Jen manages to balance designing with being a mom to her two young children. Needless to say, when the plates were cleared and guests departed, Charles and I stayed behind with her assistant Meegan to buy the new designs which I cannot wait to receive. Please Jen and Meegan, do not make us wait!!

I wish I had a clothing store. I wish I had a clothing store. I wish I had a clothing store.

Because the core of it would be a big 'ole rack of Gregory Parkinson. We have been Facebook friends forever and it was time to meet in his sunny new downtown studio. The fabrics were to die over, exceeded only by the clothing and Gregory himself, because he's such a nice guy and I love the English accent! We saw how the fabrics were washed, treated, & cut, and even though I understand very little of the process (textiles are not in my genes), I might be his biggest fan. I love Greg's little summer dresses and am happily hanging out in one today as I write this blog. Greg was a CFDA Fashion Fund Finalist last year, and his sense of color, pattern and comfortable luxury are the secrets to his continued success.

We met up with Greg later for dinner at Irene Neuwirth's new place on the Venice Canal, steps from the beach. I think Irene needs to live next to the water which is inspiration for all the beachy color mixes in her designs. But wait! There's more! She cooks! Most of all, Irene is Mom to Teddy, who was adopted in Dallas during a trunk show. Uuh, Irene! I don't recall the breeder telling us Teddy would get so BIG!!!!!!!!!!!


There is a world beyond my world and we loved visiting with Irene's designer and editorial friends over wine and the best home made pasta with grilled lamb chops we have ever inhaled. The night clearly belonged to the dogs as everyone was jockeying for position to hold either over sized Teddy or tiny Pippa, both aptly named. Our Eddie and Tuey would have loved being there, but but I can't say that their manners measure up, especially  around food.

We spent a second day in Venice, this time to see Liseanne Frank, the talent behind LFrank jewelry. Her creations are so special with rose cut diamonds and many one-of-a-kinds which Ylang 23 specializes in, and we scooped up as many new pieces as we could. Liseanne is lovely and has a sense of style which belongs on the pages of Vogue. I couldn't help but notice her Gregory Parkinson skirt and tops, and found out that's all she wears -- Greg even designed her wedding dress. It's a wonderfully tight design community and I love them all. 

Late in the week we flew to Seattle for the day for a college visit. It was a long day, to say the least. After a bit of shopping and lunch with a friend, we toured the campus in the ever present Seattle drizzle. On the way to the airport, we decided to surprise (actually SHOCK!!!) Jamie & Jeremy Joseph at their private studio hideaway.  Wish I had my camera out when Jamie answered the door....

It was a real treat to see Jamie and Jeremy in their space which reflects the taste and clean design of their work. I had a hard time focusing on conversation, with new stones and designs scattered here and there. What amazed Charles the most was that, at the end of the day, everything was cleaned to spotless and you could have run a white glove over the work tables. This was NOT a buying trip, just a drop in, but as usual, I couldn't help myself. 9 new one-of-a-kind rings were grabbed and I was out the door to the airport and our flight back to LA.

Spring Break was really an opportunity to visit colleges for our 17 year old, and we did. I am hopeful that he might land on the West Coast which would give me more excuses to spend time with our California talent.