1-New Orleans: Architecture, its Crown Jewel

I am back after a formidable blogtourNOLA journey with the lovely Veronika Miller and an amazing group of designers/bloggers I had the pleasure of meeting.

I debated on what to share with you in this 1st chapter of my New Orleans adventure. I decided to begin with setting the scene. And what comes to mind is BEAUTY. Beautiful architecture abounds in this gorgeous city.

How can I even start to explain the beauty of New Orleans? There are no words, really.

We begin on a warm, muggy day in April 2013. Destination: The Garden District.

The Garden District was designated a national historical landmark in 1974. It is renowned for its beautiful 19th century mansions, some late Victorian homes and elaborate gardens. Greek revival, Spanish, French, British and Italian influences have come together to create an incredible architecture.

New Orleans Street Car on Charles Street- Photo: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaNew Orleans Street Car on Charles Street- Photo: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

Click on link below for a little film I took of the ride from the streetcar:

Link to Film of BlogTourNola-StreetCar

It will give a sense of the laid back, green and lush vibe of this city.

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza

NOLA Garden District -Photo credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez ElzaPhoto credit: Barbara Elza Hirsch | Chez Elza


At this point, I imagine and hope your are rendered speechless. Good! This is truly a trip I recommend!  Be sure to follow my blog posts on new Orleans over the next few weeks. A bientôt, les amis!

 

 

 

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:

_H1U7264.JPG

Photo by Jayme Thornton for Brizo.

_H1U7287.JPG

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 :

_H1U7660.JPG

_H1U7706.JPG

_H1U7726.JPG

 

_H1U7810.JPG

_H1U7877.JPG

_H1U8002.JPG

 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.

_H1U7992.JPG

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.

_H1U8352.JPG

 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.

_H1U8197.JPG

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:

_H1U8397.JPG

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!

Brizo, Water, Bloggers and Jason Wu

You may be wondering why I would bunch these words in my title together. Where am I getting at??

Definitions:

Brizo: Brizo is “a premium faucet brand that promises distinctive design, inventive faucets and accessories that make a fashion statement in the home”.

Water: We all know what water is. Water is graceful, clean, soothing, in perpetual movement.

Bloggers: A contraction of two words, “web” and “log” is at the origin of the word “blog”. Blogging is a form of online public journal keeping or journalism where the blogger has freedom of press and puts a lot of him/herself in the writing. Hyperlinks allow the readers to be redirected to related articles or.websites.

Jason Wu: Jason Wu  is a talented Taiwanese-Canadian Fashion Designer who lives in New York City. Among other things, he designed Michelle Obama’s Inaugural Ball dresses, two flowy, very long dresses, Ruby red velvet and chiffon for this year’s Presidential Inauguration Ball, white chiffon in January 2009.

About Shot

Jason Wu, photo via JasonWuStudio.com.

Brizo deals with Water and design and Wu deals with movement and design. Water moves. Bloggers move ideas and Design bloggers are designers or writers interested in the design process.

Jason Wu and Brizo have been collaborating on a special fashion forward line of faucets and shower systems for a few years now and Brizo is Wu‘s main sponsor.

I think you’re starting to see the correlations…

jason-wu shower Shower

Jason Wu for Brizo Medium Flow Custom Shower

Today’s post is about how Brizo, Water, Wu, and Bloggers will be reunited for a very special event.

Drum Roll Please:

Brizo has invited me and 18 other bloggers to New York to see its newest products and attend an exclusive expenses-paid, design-focused event during Fashion Week.

The New York City event will include an introduction to the Brizo brand and interactive sessions with the product and design teams as well as the chance to build or strengthen the camaraderie between other elite design professionals through meals, team projects and unique shared experiences.

We’ll take a trip to see esteemed fashion designer Jason Wu show off his Fall 2013 collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and cap off the entire event with a private cocktail party with Jason Wu himself.

It is a formidable opportunity and I am truly truly honored to be part of it. To meet other designers and share ideas about creation and design is very exciting. Traveling to these types of VIP events on occasion is not about glitz for me. I’m just a nerdy gal in love with beauty and design.  I cannot wait to learn about fabrication and technology and exchange with my colleagues.
I applaud brands like Brizo or Kravet (Read my blog about last year’s Blogfest 2012) who understand how we are all in this together. If designers learn about products, then they can collaborate better and sell something they truly know and understand. And simultaneously,  brands benefit from exchanging with designers, who deal with clients’ needs and tastes on a daily basis.
We all gain from interacting with each other and I have learned this firsthand with Interior Designer Chat, a weekly Twitter platform chat (twitter handle: @IntDesignerChat) founded by Barbara Segal, where dedicated designers, vendors, and other professionals share and discuss diverse topics related to design. Frankly, it’s like going off to a weekly fantastic seminar!

And boy, am I looking forward to this Brizo “seminar”!!!

 

When Fashion Intersects with Art…

Happy New Year, friends! May  2013 be THE year for you!

I was recently stunned by a few creations I wanted to share here with you.

First, Marit Fugiwara, a simply brilliant textile artist. Her creations are wearable and incredibly crafted:

Here is a photo showing the detailed work on this elaborate dress:

Marit Fugiwara (detail)

 

Another wonderful creation by Marit Fugiwara, photo courtesy Trendland.com.

Detail of previous dress by artist Marit Fugiwara.

The paper dresses by Annex, pictured below,  would make an extraordinary art statement on your wall, framed in a clear plexiglass or glass shadow boxes.

Annex Paper dresses on hangers. Dresses are 90 centimeters high.

 Hope these inspire you to work and create with passion again this year, whichever your field!

A bientôt!

 

 

Aha Moment ?!!!

While at Blogfest, we were encouraged by House Beautiful editors to write about what inspires us, what might have been the moment in our life that prompted us to choose this profession, or what “AHA moments” we encounter in our daily work.

I have to say Aha Moments abound in my life. Like the time I realized very early on I was happiest creating and working with COLOR.

A little French girl growing up in Washington DC, bound to the rigid system of the French School I attended, I quickly found the freedom and joy of color in illustrations I created inside my French “cahiers” (notebooks) :

Illustration in my “cahier” at the French School.

Later as a brooding teenager, I perfected my craft to include realistic illustrations of other brooding creators (here Baudelaire, as a child):

Illustration of Baudelaire, enfant, by Barbara Elza Hirsch

I fancied myself a talented designer in the making: my goal was to be a fashion designer. From age 10 on, I had developed a mad crush on FABRIC and spent my time making little outfits for my barbies, or inventing little bags and decorative boxes out of Marimekko fabrics.

A vestige of my passion for fabric and creating (note the little ruby stone patiently sewn on to the bustier):

After high school, I moved to Paris and went to Art School, and later, to Studio Berçot, one of the top Fashion Design Programs. I madly scribbled and created designs for diverse collections:

Fashion Illustration by Barbara Elza Hirsch
Sweater line created by Barbara Elza Hirsch back in the 80’s.
Little summer bags created by Barbara Elza Hirsch while a student at Studio Bercot.

Alas, my career as fashion designer was never to be. I HATED the fashion world! If you’ve ever seen The devil Wears Prada, you know what I am referring to.

Little did I know that somewhere deep inside, was an interior designer in the making. Years later, as a wife and mother still enamored by COLOR and passionate about DESIGN, I found my true calling : Interior Design!

Interior designers were a friendlier bunch, and the freedom I encountered in creating designs was thrilling. Aha! I thought! It’s all coming together:

My love of fabric:

Windsor Smith fabric for Kravet on wing chair with contrasting piping. Custom creation by Elza B. Design, Inc.

My love of color:

A color scheme on a current Elza B. Design project. Inspired by a beautiful painting my client owns.

And just the joy of seeing it all come together:

Living Room created by Elza B. Design, Inc

But, wait! Look at what I just found in my childhood notebooks:

“Life is a Big Room” by Barbara Hirsch, done as a child.

Aha! I should have known :-) There was a room in me after all.