Despite of winter storm Nemo threatening to put an end to all the joyous events of New York Fashion Week, fashion and accessories industry’s movers and shakers gathered in celebration of the IVY KIRZHNER Autumn/Winter 2013 Footwear Collection at the AFA Gallery in Soho, New York City on February 8th. Editors, bloggers, buyers and fellow designer pals were able to preview what’s about to come from the designer for Fall 2013. Highlights of the evening includes Ivy’s installation collaboration with sculptor Eduardo Garza, featuring his 18k gold sabertooth and human skulls which perfectly compliment the collection’s luxe yet surprisingly edgy aesthetic for the season.
Ivy Kirzhner Autumn/Winter 2013 Footwear explores the Wild, Wild West! in the 70-piece collection’s decadent, dark yet playful juxtaposition of “Deco Western” theme. Taking the silhouettes inspired by the wild frontier and detailing them with the designer’s iconic signature deco-enameled hardware embellishments, luxurious exotics, laser-engineered textural print effects, and introducing an intricately layered and decadent bejeweled beadwork, the Ivy Kirzhner A/W 2013 collection gives a new modern twist to rock and roll glam, reflecting the smokey, edgier facet in the designer’s global perspective.
Since the launch of her critically acclaimed, Deco-inspired Spring/Summer 2013 footwear collection, New York City-based designer Ivy Kirzhner has been pushing the boundaries of luxury footwear with her refined and “hip” global aesthetic combined with a dynamic, highly technical and artistic prowess, making her one of the most sought-after premiere footwear designers in the industry. With an extensive art and design background, Ivy interprets inspirations from historic eras or art movement into luxuriously chic, highly coveted modern footwear, always filled with intricate, lush detailed handwork, groundbreaking engineering and insurmountable quality.
Event produced by Social Standard and Saint&Libertine, New York
Event Photos courtesy of Annie Kee Gaia and Alex R. Kirzhner
This resort, I’m off the beaches and the sand. I’m hitting the streets. I’m borrowing from my boys. I’ll be letting the dogz out!
I decided to add a little bit of hip hop into my man-tailor.
I’ve always been frightful of rottweilers. But I finally found one that’s cute, huggable and that will never ever bite.
I was very lucky to find killer mens kicks that finally came in my size. (Hong Kong retailers carry smaller sizes for their petite yet seriously stylish dandies).
I’m swapping over-size bags for some sleek portfolios (and foregoing my makeup bag).
Trade contact lenses with nerdy German specs to give my eyes some rest.
All that’s left is to learn how to break-dance.
Ivy Kirzhner. In Hong Kong. January 2013.
We, at Saint&Libertine New York, would like to express our deepest sorrow and condolences to the families of the innocent victims whose very young lives were tragically ended in a senseless act of violence that occurred earlier today in Newtown, CT. Our hearts weep heavily for their irreplaceable loss. Our prayers also go to our country, to our leaders and to the rest of humanity; that we may always protect and allow for peace to prevail and perpetuate wherever we maybe, so may all our children always find themselves in safety and in our loving embrace.
May we all find respite and solace during this holiday season.
Jack From Brooklyn takes us on a journey into his Red Hook distillery. He introduces his exotic liqueur brand “Sorel” and touches on the importance of community and small business. This is a toast to Brooklyn and JFB’s Sorel…
By Nadia Elsayed
You can feel the history as you walk into the Red Hook warehouse of Sorel brand owner, Jack Summers. A neighborhood which formerly thrived on its huge import/export business; Ships from all over the world would dock here in Red Hook. Jack has put so much love into the physical space of his distillery. The inside of the building channels a 1920’s Prohibition Era “gangster spirit”, with over a hundred empty glass bottles grazing the rugged concrete floors, dozens of wooden crates and barrels surrounding the space (half of them filled with authentic spices), and a life-size ivory porcelain sail boat hanging from the ceiling.
“This is Indonesian nutmeg,” Jack reaffirms as he opens up a crate and holds the spice out with both hands so the fresh aroma can fill the air. This is only a preview of ingredients in the delicious Caribbean heritage drink, Sorel. Jack put a pleasant twist on the notable brand’s name. Sorel is a derivative of its origin, taken from the sorrel root.
For centuries, the people of the Caribbean have been taking the hibiscus leaves which bloom on the sorrel plant and ferment them to create an exotic party drink for all festive occasions. ”My grandparents came from Barbados in the 1920’s, so for me this was a drink I knew from my childhood just growing up,” says Jack. ”They usually make Sorel in different ways depending on the Island. In Jamaica they mix hibiscus leaves with orange peel, and in Trinidad & Tobago they mix hibiscus with clove and ginger.”
This native New Yorker’s version is a combination of the best of all the Islands. Jack uses Brazilian clove on top first to brighten his drink and cinnamon underneath the clove for warmth. He then uses Nigerian ginger to mask the heat of the alcohol, which is why you can have about six cups of this baby before it starts to kick in. The body of the flavor, the color and the nose is all hibiscus, and just to round it out Indonesian nutmeg is put on the bottom for a touch of woodiness. Eventually, Jack’s homemade Sorel drink started getting a lot of attention at all parties and occasions he would throw. His best friend Allen tried to coerce him into starting a company and selling the drink, but for eight years Jack was not convinced. Instead Jack decided to play his hand at Corporate America, dividing his time up between Wall Street and publishing. Jack received his wake up call when he was diagnosed with a tumor, forcing him to reevaluate his pursuits.
“You have to do the things you care about with the people you care about. Everything else is just bullshit. I turned my back on twenty five years of Corporate America after working up the ladder for so long. When Allen approached me again about the Company, I jumped at the opportunity and here we are.”
How one serves Sorel depends on the time of day. Sunday morning brunch could call for a Sorel mixed with prosecco as a delightful Autumn/Winter alternative to Mimosa. For simple daytime occasions, one can opt to mix Sorel with red Sangria. And for those of us innovative thinkers, Sorel can be placed in the microwave as a morning coffee. Yet one of Jack’s favorite recipes is a very special concoction called the “Ivy League”, which he created and named after luxury footwear designer Ivy Kirzhner, founder of Saint & Libertine New York. Consisting of Sorel, prosecco, chocolate bitters and cranberry juice, the Ivy League is the official drink of the debut launch of the Ivy Kirzhner New York Spring/Summer 2013 Footwear Collection during September New York Fashion Week, with Jack From Brooklyn and Sorel as the official sponsors.
“My company thought the Ivy League was the perfect combination of sophistication and grit that is Ivy Kirzhner. It’s a little sweet with a touch of bitterness and beautifully presented. Seems to be the essence of Ivy’s aesthetic. I was happy to mix drinks for her guests during Fashion Week. This is the way you should do things.”
When started looking for a place to call home for Sorel, Jack happened to stumble upon Red Hook and instantly fell in love with the neighborhood’s vitality and compassion. “Brooklyn, right now, is the epicenter of artisanal liquor production in America,” says Jack. ”There are five gins, five whiskeys, two vodkas, two tequila importers, two wineries, two breweries and us. It’s amazing and half a dozen of them are located in Red Hook. Really only two people get the credit for that; real estate Mogul Greg O’Connell for keeping the rents low for guys like me and previous owner of Red Hook Winery, Mark Snyder, for thinking he could elevate the level of alcohol production for the entire region to that of a Napa Valley.”
Red Hook is a community. Most of the time everyone knows everyone else. “I love how I can step foot in Fairway Supermarket and even the cheese guy knows my name,” Jack confesses hysterically. Neighbors watch out for each other, and although Hurricane Sandy was a terrible burden on the neighborhood, everyone pulled together. Jack fought back tears of joy when the Red Hook Initiative sent forty volunteers at his distillery’s doorstep.
“What would have taken months of cleanup was done in a day. There’s such a thin line of civility that keeps society all in order, and we can either turn to or against each other and Red Hook came together. It was an old woman’s birthday and she told me all she wanted to do was go to Red Hook and help out. So she poured seawater out of bottles for hours with me. If that doesn’t reaffirm your faith in humanity, I don’t know what will. Red Hook is a true community. Everyone believes all ships rise with the tide, and we support each other. I have to support the community that supports me.”
The sun sets on Pier 41, the most beautiful time of day in Red Hook, to which Jack muses: “All we can do is hope to build on the tradition that Red Hook Winery started by previously being in this warehouse. We hope our presence here means that people feel we are contributing not just to the spirit of the community, but to the economy. We’ve got a great spirits trail going on in the neighborhood– there’s beer, wine and whiskey all within half a mile distance, and on the weekends we get about forty people just coming in for a tasting. I usually tell folks, if they’re interested, to help out my local Wine shop and purchase Sorel from Dry Dock. ”
The distillery begins to rebuild itself and Jack From Brooklyn has big plans for Sorel. They’re expanding distribution out of New York and already have a strong distribution in New Jersey. Jack has sent his first palette of Sorel to Boston in hopes of furthering distribution in the North East. He aims to secure a northeast distribution from Washington DC to Maine at the beginning of 2013. “The theory is pick an area, saturate it, then pick another area. We’d like to reach a saturation point in the North East and then look at South and West in the Spring/Summertime of 2013. If we can do that then we’ll continue to move forward.”
As he takes a deep breath, Jack parts with us with, “Remember making money is fun. Being a part of a community is important.”
To lend a helping hand and support the restoration of Jack’s distillery from the damages made by Hurricane Sandy, please visit : http://www.gofundme.com/jackfrombrooklyn. All generous donations are appreciated, big or small and please continue to happily drink Sorel!
Walk Like An Egyptian
We at Saint & Libertine New York have reason to celebrate as our very own multifarious creative soul and woman of fashion, Ivy Kirzhner, takes contemporary-luxury footwear to the next level and simultaneously relaunches her blog into an online lifestyle magazine.
By Nadia Elsayed
Fashion week was just the beginning for New York City’s luxury footwear visionary, Ivy Kirzhner. Currently serving as Creative Director for BCBGMaxAzria Footwear and Head Designer of Herve Leger footwear under the legendary Vince Camuto at the Camuto Group, Ivy is making further strides, as she starts her own design house called Saint&Libertine New York LLC, under which her Spring/Summer 2013 Footwear line IVY KIRZHNER debuts.
One of the visions for Saint&Libertine New York LLC involves carving a new market niche through an assortment of lifestyle labels under the design house, using a curatorial perspective of worldly sartorial and high-culture in contemporary-luxury branding. In the seasons to come, the design house is slated to release new capsule labels in footwear, accessories, fine leather goods, apparel and home, as the corporate website SaintandLibertine.com continues to blossom as a hip online curatorial lifestyle platform.
During New York Fashion Week last September, Saint&Libertine New York LLC proudly debuted its founder’s eponymous core label, IVY KIRZHNER New York Spring/Summer Footwear 2013 Collection at the grand historic Empire Hotel. Curated in one of the hotel’s luxury suites, the 45-piece collection boasts tasteful interpretations of Art Deco nostalgia with a nod to Greco-Roman Neo-Classicism, Aztec, Eyptian and other ancient global aesthetic that are reflective of Ivy’s perspective on New York opulent high-culture. Memorable pieces from the line includes a turquoise ‘Eye of Horus’ gold-plated slip on sandal with cushioned insole, Ivy’s signature cloissoné metal work detailing on heels that seem to mimic the spires of the Chrysler Building, and unique architectural ornamentation using 18-Karat gold-plated signature hardwares and precious Austrian cabochon crystals on refined gladiator sandals. While staying true to her intention of redefining the bridge between contemporary and luxury footwear, the collection is priced accessibly-well within $325 to $695 at Retail. As a result, the collection provides strong, iconic footwear statements that work magic with masterfully draped, ever-effortlessly chic and perpetually on-trend Grecian dresses, yet particularly designed for the stunning, modern everyday goddess.
Ivy has designed for and successfully launched over 25 domestic and international contemporary footwear brands including Dolce Vita, where she was designer and creative director for 5 years. A multi-faceted aesthete, who has a full understanding and appreciation for inter-culturalism, Ivy dreams of bringing every type of worldly inspiration she comes across into her designs.
“Being raised in New York City’s cultural kaleidoscope as a Philippine-born American and now traveling frequently throughout Europe and Asia for work, I’ve developed an eclectic worldview that is reflected in my aesthetic,” Ivy says. “For my footwear collection, I wanted my designs to fuse elements of timeless luxury with a nod to historic iconography and world antiquities.”
The Ivy Kirzhner New York Spring/Summer 2013 Footwear Collection will premiere on Bonfaire.com, this Friday, October 25th as an online pre-sale. The collection will be available in fine boutique retailers worldwide Spring 2013, including Shopbop.com, Kitson LA, and in cities like New York, LA, Miami, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Riyadh, Kuwait, and Lebanon.
31 Giclet prints by Alex R. Kirzhner for Saint&Libertine New York
I turned 31 last June. And came 31 curious little surprises – each organic and simply beautiful . Each one evokes a particular sentiment for each year. Now where to find 31 perfect little frames for the best little gifts ever…
Limited Edition Giclet prints by Alex R. Kirzhner available on NewShadeofBlack, Fringe Necklace by Under Ciege for Saint&Libertine New York
What happens when I juxtapose the delicate, intricate works of two of my favorite artist-designers? Simply fun global allure and sheer pow-wow.
This season, we’re visiting a new concept of wild, swinging from tree to tree, all inspired by our new favorite trend — jungle prints and disco-style mirror details. Can you possibly think of anything wilder? Well, aside from being friends with a big blue gorilla. I think I might just call him Henry.
“The Aztec” self-portrait by Ivy Kirzhner. March 2012. All Saints bead-encrusted tribal dress.
There’s a new type of elegance. It happens to be primitive.
We hunt and gather. In full spectrum color!
For Christmas this year, Alex and I are in full Russian mode. Mr. Kirzhner presented me with Mary Katrantzou’s Lily Pond Dress, which sparked the inspiration for the Russian Matryoshka Nesting Doll theme. (FYI, Mary Katrantzou is Greek. Not Russian.) After all, marrying into a happy Russian family and lovingly spending half of my life with one already has given me the entitlement to be just like one, or at least dress like it. I thoroughly enjoy learning, practicing and participating in my adopted culture, always borrowing a lot of rich pieces to incorporate into my lifestyle and art. Though it’s a bit of a challenge, I’ve learned some of the language well enough for small cute conversations with my Babulyas and Dedushka. I just learned a new term of endearment for my husband — (phoenetically) “moy mahknati schmil” or my fuzzy bumblebee. ;)
Merry Christmas and have a blessed, jolly New Year everyone!
Holiday this year was inspired by a mystical woodland “Flora & Fauna” theme involving furry and feathery creatures and enchanting delicate flowery delights. One would encounter several curious little characters nestling lovingly within the fragrant 8 1/2-foot tall Douglas Fir, surrounded with peonies, hydrangeas, silk bows, cherry blossoms, dazzling crystal and mirror ornaments, and playful lights. They’re friends with our favorite little woodland critter, Bonkers, and they come in all range from other furry bunny rabbits, sleepy little kittens, curious owls, pheasants, doves, robins, penguins, chicks, squirrels, to a flying white little piglet for a tree topper! As part of our gift-giving this year, beloved guests to our annual Holiday party would receive a handmade miniature butterfly terrarium, containing bunnytails, mistletoes, aromatic eucalpytus, and lavender in small handblow glass globes. La Maison Kirzhner has become a signature home that boasts our love and penchant for meshing antique refineries with touches of humor and whim. Our home comes very much alive especially around this time of year, creating a brand of magic that’s truly our own.
It’s always so wonderful to go through old external hard drives and find .zip files that have never been, well, unzipped. I stumbled upon this awesome zip file my dear friend and old colleague, photographer Brandon Boston, had emailed me a while back. It holds records of one of the most rare and amazing experiences I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t believe that I’m unzipping this just now!
Quite rarely in a lifetime that a person gets to work with a living legend. I’m extremely lucky to say that I’ve worked with at least 5 so far from various creative fields (worrrrd! and I just turned only 30). Last year, through my friend Jeff D, I met one of the greatest living legends who had revolutionized urban and hip hop photography, further promoting the urban culture and lifestyle as we know today: Jonathan Mannion. His lovely office manager, Alexis, found out that I ran a fashion/photography blog. Then one day, I received an invitation from Mannion Studios to do a photoshoot and work with Jonathan himself! That day was such an incredible and memorable experience! I couldn’t believe that I was being shot by Mannion. I remember the amazing lighting equipment and just the pure synchronized and seamless parlay between him and his crew. It was one of the few occurences when I wish I could split myself into two; this way one half is focused on posing, while the other half is watching, taking down notes and learning some photography skills, needless to say… from a legend. At the end of it, all I could think of was WOW, did that really happen? My mind was completely blown away by such sheer professionalism and rapture that it all turned into mush. And that was probably just a stroll in the park for them.
You’re the only one who can make your own environment enchanted…
Make your own magic.
Majestic strength and frailty go hand in hand sometimes.
Born Year of the Rooster.
Which explains why I do not like it when my feathers get ruffled.
In honor of New York Fashion Week and of my most favorite fashion label in the entire universe, I invited one of my dearest friends, designer Ciege Cagalawan, and my wonderful hubby, Alex R. Kirzhner, to help me recreate one of the most exciting ad campaigns in history – the Fall 2011 Lanvin Ad Campaign!
There are times when words need to be spoken, I prefer to sit on them.
It’s my way of controlling this silver tongue of mine that may come with several spikes.
I’m the one who gets impailed by it later on.
If Helen of Troy’s beauty could launch a thousand ships, Elizabeth Taylor could have launched a million.
Thank you, Liz, for being a legend, an inspiration and for showing the world the true meaning of being a woman with no fear
Sometimes, I don’t have any new wisdom or newfound philosophy to share, except today – I love RED. So pucker up and blow me a kiss.
Working on the photoshoot of rock musician and recording artist Jeremy Christopher O’Shea was certainly a sublime and extraordinary experience. The hubby Alex R. Kirzhner and I were provided with a blank canvas to work with, whilst given the most dedicated, eager, and wildly energetic subject we had ever come across. Jeremy is a star and truly a legend in the making, and was an absolute dream to work with. Styling an up-coming rock artist who also happens to be a model and actor, Jeremy already had an inherent personal aesthetic that comes off very natural with deep rooted stems. Alex and I did not have to work too hard finding the proper creative channel for his look.
Jeremy’s style of rock is a very rich ode to the early 90s genre: You can hear bits and pieces of all grunge-alternative legends — Scott, Kurt, Eddie and Layne all brilliantly layered in the texture of his performance. However, the last thing Jeremy would ever be is grunge. Working with a modern day musician really required us to tackle the creative direction and styling to push in multi-faceted levels. My vision for Jeremy was to evoke timelessness, balancing young sophistication with Bowery’s grit, with a bit of old-world Americana combined with the classic Varvatos rocker edge. To me, this is the recipe for the new image of the modern day all-American rocker, who goes way above and beyond any typecast contained within different genres of rock music. Thanks to Schaller Lair for the ultimate backdrop and fantastical old-world setting that complimented the entire spectrum of the shoot. For styling, I started off with a lot of pieces from Jeremy’s personal wardrobe. Then we went to PPD Denim for jeans, All Saints for leather outerwear, and a special custom velveteen coat that I had to hand-distress and set on fire (Yes— ON FIRE!) to create that one amazing antiquarian bandcoat. The result: a photoshoot with quality images that told more than just stories, yet also evoked movement, wonder, awe and thought. It was all Jeremy, and as emotive as the words he puts into his music.
Special thanks to photo assistants Nolan Cabeje and Brandon Boston, Gary German for Makeup and my Styling Assistant and TLC-supplier, Ani.
Warhol had Edie. Avedon had China. Karl first had Ines, then Devon, and then Irina. The classic iconic ones would surely be Audrey, Grace, and Marilyn.
Muse. The legendary faces behind every masterpiece.
I remember being referred to as someone’s chubby little muse when I was a young slightly rotund, bashful maverick, without really knowing what it meant. (I might have inspired some drawings of round colorful objects maybe?) I thought it was some sort of privelege status, like the little gold star stickers I got for doing a good job on my coloring book. Not until much later on when I entered the creative world and realized the profound meaning of having a muse, being someone else’s muse, and being your own muse (especially in today’s world of imitable fashion bloggers). There is always a kinetic attraction between a purveyor and his/her muse, each responsible for filtering what to offer and what to take. There’s energy that is getting passed around. A muse simply shows and remains to be, which the purveyor translates and conveys in a visual, lyrical, audible, or written form.
A muse can be a walking conundrum. In my profession, I had come across all kinds — some truly fun and interesting, doe-eyed pixie-like characters, some iconic beauties and benefactress of elegance and intellect who would leave you speechless, whilst there would be few whom I find to be just the direct antithesis: sloppy, delusional addicts, often wreaking of alcohol and cigarettes, spewing incomprehensible sounds somewhat expressing what could possibly be a vague incohesive thought. (I think she’s trying to communicate.) The latter normally would have the potential to be the most interesting subjects. Yet for the most part time, I often find them just simply irritating, hence I could hardly resist the urge to send them off or perhaps hurl some beer bottle they just drank from in their direction. By that time they’re hardly being a muse, and I am definitely not amused, but more or less left bemused, and completely, utterly and ever-so-sadly bereft of inspiration. Sure, there are lots of so-called “muse” who halfly deserve the title and much less any pedestal. But indeed, there is a true yet very small handful of muse to whom artists are forever indebted to, serving as the instillers and catalysts, bridging the creative visions that had often eluded artists otherwise. They’re called Legends.
Like most designers, I could provide a list of names of strong, positive individuals who have touched and moved me creatively. Sure, there are my favorite go-to chicks — Natalie, Scarlett, Kirsten, Zoe and Chloe. But they’re best left in the silverscreen. Up close and personal, the most current It girl of my life and latest fascination is no other than the colorful Ruby Veridiano. I met Ruby earlier this year at the Van x Hellz Bellz launch party and became immediately addicted. An effective and powerful speaker, writer and media personality, Ruby epitomizes everything I often crave – no, hunger – to see in my contemporaries. Vibrant, statuesque and highly articulate, Ruby’s commanding presence is much less intimidating, but rather disarming, surprisingly warm, buoyant, charming, and indeed – just simply brilliant. But it really is not just about the looks or personality, but rather Ruby’s platform and humble pursuit of positive social change and empowerment through creative expression, written word and redefinition of glamour is what makes her a true muse of legend in my book. Since her first book published entitled “Miss Universe” (2008), Ruby continues on her relentless crusade and advocacy, traveling across the nation and all over Europe and Asia presenting her lectures and writing workshops, helping thousands of young women around the world find their voice, reconnect with their roots, find the ultimate path to their own success and to leadership through celebration of their own individuality, inner strength and their own definition of elegance, beauty and grace.
Ruby encompasses the several facets of what I would call a contemporary Muse: beauty, elegance, achievement, intellect, (com)passion, enlightenment, talent, drive, vision, strength, perseverance, and above all – humility. This is one It girl that will be hard to phase out, just as much as ideals and principles are not just trends that pass us by, but concepts we build our lives around.
What else can I say? Ruby’s a divine gem. And it was an honor, a blessing and an inspiration to work or just simply hang out with her.
“Where to now, Mr. Bonkers?”