Jason Wu’s Glorious Creations and a Brizo Fiesta to Remember

The last day always come. And so it came.

Day 3 we had one last breakfast meeting with Brizo. We worked hard and all sat still as white envelopes were distributed throughout the room. THE Jason Wu invitations. Braided in sexy black leather straps, they whispered the promise of something extraordinary:

Brizo FW-2013 301We were whisked away in black SUVs as slushy and frigid raindrops (Nemo had arrived) riddled the cityscape with streaks ans spots:

Brizo FW-2013 309Photo: Elza B. Design.

The bleak weather forecast did not dampen our spirits as this shot of  Yvonne Blacker and Jordan Bahler of Brizo can attest:

Brizo FW-2013 306Photo: Elza B. Design.

Thankfully VIP treatment was highly welcome as kind umbrella men opened our doors and helped us out upon arrival:

Brizo FW-2013 311Photo: Elza B. Design.

Excitement is in the air as we wait in line:

Brizo FW-2013 315Designers and bloggers Laura Bielecki, Katrina Stumbos with Kristen Baum and Laura Brooks of Brizo.

Meanwhile, behind the scene preparation of models for the Jayson Wu Fashion Show:

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Photo by Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

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Photo by Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

The show’s venue is dressed up with one glimmering, extravagant and astronomical chandelier which reflects on the glistening black and white cutout of the floor…that will later be touched up by hand a few moments before the show actually starts:

Brizo FW-2013 325Photo Elza B. Design

And the show begins as models belted in snakeskin, lace, fur, leather, silk and wool crepe ensembles sashay across the room at lightning speed :

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 A rapid succession of black and white silhouettes punctuated by a shot of red here and there and one glorious violet gown brings the crowd to applause as we all stand up stunned by the rapidity of the show.

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All Fashion Show Photos by Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

While a Fashion design student in Paris in the late eighties, I had the privilege of attending quite a number of fashion shows, such as Jean-Paul Gauthier and Thierry Mugler. The Jason Wu show is just as professional and clearly the work of a highly gifted fashion architect, capable of teasing fabric and materials into elaborate and perfectly wearable confections.

Brizo FW-2013 346A photo of part of our fabulous group gathered after the show under the spectacular chandelier.

The rest of the evening is spent rushing back to the hotel and donning an evening outfit in preparation of the Jason Wu private cocktail party. We brave the enormous, silent and hurried white snowflakes and gather up in the New York Penthouse for the event.

Brizo FW-2013 362Previous Jason Wu creations keep us company as we enjoy drinks and each other’s company. Elza B. Design photo.

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 Our group posing with the talented celebrity stylist Brandon Cannon, who was the first to introduce Jason Wu to Brizo and is a good friend of the designer. Photo Jayme Thornton.

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Marilyn Russell and I pose for the camera. Jayme Thornton photo.

Jason Wu braves the snow storm and traffic, and arrives quite tired after his show and the numerous interviews he gave immediately after. He is gentle, charming, humble and very very smart. He graciously answers a few questions from Cannon which my old computer refuses to transfer into a video that can be saved without crashing the whole unit…and  I’ve just given up. You’ll have to settle with Jayme Thornton‘s great snapshot:

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Thank you, Brizo, it was a trip to remember! Below, the Brizo group with Jason Wu photgraphed by Jayme Thornton:_H1U8427.JPG

“Ce n’est qu’un au-revoir”, as we say in my mother tongue. Until next time, dear friends. Thank you for the memories!

Exclusive Interview with Julie Rogowski, VP of the Boston Design Center

I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Julie Rogowski, Vice-President and General Manager of the Boston Design Center.

I thought it would be interesting to have a chat with Julie as everyone I encounter is always so intrigued by the Boston Design Center. What is it exactly? Where is it? I wanted to speak with Julie so to get a perspective from the inside. What is it like to work for this gigantic Eight Story Design Hub?

ImageThe Boston Design Center located in south Boston on the Waterfront

A few facts before I proceed with the interview:

-The Boston Design Center is part of the MMPI the world’s leading owner and operator of showroom buildings and trade show facilities.

-The Boston Design Center has been in activity for over 25 years.

-There are 87 wholesale design showrooms in the building including 13 contract and 15 kitchen, bath and building product showrooms..

-The Center is THE design destination for interior designers and architects and their clients. Major industry brands offering fabric, furniture, flooring, tile, accessories, lighting, rugs are represented.

-The Center publishes “Cybele” an official publication mailed out to 7000 design trade professionals 4 times a year.

-The Center offers “Tuesday Seminar Series” 8 times a year.

-The Boston Design Center has a wonderful website and its own blog. The center is also actively present on social media.

342, the BDC Designer’s Club, is a private, dedicated space for designers to use for quiet work, client meetings, conferences and even small events.

-the Boston Design center offers Designer on call services as well as the Plush membership for non-designers.

-The Boston Design Center will soon have a FARM (yes, a produce farm) on its rooftop. More on this fascinating news in the interview below.

THE INTERVIEW WITH JULIE ROGOWSKI:

Chez Elza: Tell me a little about you, Julie. How long have you been doing this job and what is your background?

Julie Rogowski:

I have been at the BDC for about 7 and 1/2 years now. I initially came as a consultant, then proceeded to Director of leasing and am now Vice President and General Manager.

I have no background in Design, I have a business degree and my background is in Business and Sales. I grew up in Colorado.

Chez Elza: What do your daily activities consist of? What is your favorite aspect of the job?

Julie Rogowski:

I have a different job every day! I am in charge of overseeing the Center’s marketing, leasing, facilities, windows, relationship with the tenants. My favorite part of the job is that it is never the same, each day brings on diverse and various responsibilities.

Julie Rogowski, photo via The Boston Home Show.

 Chez Elza: Tell me a little about the history of the BDC and design centers in general?

Julie Rogowski:

The Boston Design Center has 26 years of a long and rich history of design, offering exclusive and custom products to designers and their clients. The breadth and depth of these products is unique. There are design centers in New York, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, to name just a few. The BDC services Boston’s core design community. 25 of the 50 largest Boston based architectural firms are located within a 2.5 miles distance from the Center. We just opened in October the 342 Designer Club on the 3rd floor which is a great space for professionals, as it allows for cooperative design work.

Chez Elza: Are there design centers abroad? Do they operate in similar ways?

Julie Rogowski:

There are design centers abroad, absolutely. An example is the Chelsea Design Center in London. They operate on slightly different models. Some are open to the public for instance.

Chez Elza: How has the Boston design Center changed and evolved over the course of 10 years?

Julie Rogowski:

Design Centers are a constantly evolving industry. From a marketing standpoint, the Boston Design Center has evolved a lot over the past years. We have become active participants in Social Media, we have our own blog, we are present on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook. 70 % of our showrooms are locally owned. We are working on showing green initiative, such as the implementation of the Roof Top Farm.

Chez Elza: the Roof Top Farm is such exciting news. I read about it on your Facebook page and love the initiative. Can you tell me a bit more about that?

Julie Rogowski:

Higher Ground Farm did a survey of Boston and found we had one of the largest roof tops in the city. We have a 55,000 square foot space, and this will be the  second largest open-air roof farm in the world.The roof top farm is a great opportunity for us, we love that it is a way to give back to the community. Higher Ground Farm will be growing organic fruit and vegetable for the local restaurant community. Construction starts in February 2013.

Chez Elza: Will we be able to access the farm?

Julie Rogowski:

No, for liability reasons we cannot let people on the roof other than the Farm staff! We are hoping to have a Farm Stand in the Boston Design Center.

Founding Farmer, Courtney Hennessey admires the view from the Boston Design Center future farm. Photo via Higher Ground Farm.

Chez Elza: Do you think design centers will disappear? I hope not!

Julie Rogowski:

Some people say design centers are dinosaur models but I disagree. Design Centers offer designers and their clients with quality brands and products as well as custom solutions and personalized design. Interior designers and architects have a a core client base that appreciates investing in quality.

Thank You, Julie, for taking the time to interview with me!

As a designer, I find the Boston Design Center is a vital hub for my work and could not imagine working without. There is nothing like touching, seeing and appreciating fabrics, furniture and materials on site! Being able to bring samples to my clients when it comes time to select unique elements for the design of their space is vital.

Clearly, our local Boston Design Center is in the NOW and I am thrilled with the cutting edge marketing approach our center is embracing under the initiative of Julie Rogowski!

A bientôt, my friends!