Classical Music is Dead*

Reconstruction: Music&Music Inspired Fashion

Posted in events, fashion, music by The Nouveau Classical Project on 10/02/2009

Join us tonight for Barber Souvenirs, Ravel Piano Trio in a minor, and the New York Premiere of Thomas Osborne’s Furioso-Vendetta.  And fashion inspired by these pieces of music, made out of Louis Vuitton samples!

Models: sit back and enjoy the show, you won’t be working tonight.  The clothes will be worn instead by the musicians.

Take a break from an average Friday night.  Get tickets here.



Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover (Okay, Maybe Just This Once!)

Posted in art, fashion, we like by Sugar Vendil on 09/27/2009


Just picked up all 3 Penguin Deluxe Editions with cover art by Rubin Toledo, fashion illustrator and husband of Isabel Toledo (if you don’t know who she is, click that link!).

While these are in fact great novels, I adore these editions in particular because: 1) they are beautiful; 2) as someone who appreciates aesthetics and good design, they make my reading experience more enjoyable; 3) the books show how fashion can be used as a force to rouse and renew interest for something else yet remain respectful and unintrusive. The stories are the same on the inside, but their new outfits simply make them pop, make them more noticable.  As we typically see the outside of a book first (in fact, the outside of many things) before the inside, these Penguin editions are a savvy example of drawing new eyes to classic art by simply merging intellectual with sexy.

coh. N

Posted in Uncategorized by The Nouveau Classical Project on 05/18/2009


“For me, Fashion isn’t fantasy; it is thinking about how people wear clothes.

The garments adapt to the person and only make sense when worn. It is my way of answering the expectations of a modern way of living.

I like to show the beauty of things for what they are by creating a balance between the fabric, the design and the draping.

It is important for me to keep my design simple,to leave room for imagination and appropriation.  A lot of things can be worn different ways by being reversible or being worn upside down. It is a lot about freedom; Freedom of choice, freedom of movement.”

-Rachel Cohen, coh. N

We chose Rachel’s designs for Departures because her idea that garments adapt to the person implied that the wearer interprets the garments, similar to how Departures artist Elsie Hill wanted her paintings to have an open interpretation for the viewer.  Interpretation is expressed in two completely differently forms, not only through medium but visually as well: Cohen’s and Hill’s work do not have literal parallels, but perspective and point of view are what lie at the core of their work.

Parsons’s Fab Finalists

Posted in fashion by The Nouveau Classical Project on 04/22/2009

I went to Parsons today, where I had the privilege of viewing the capsule collections of the finalists for the Designer of the Year award, which will be announced Wednesday evening at the Parsons Fashion Benefit.  The presentations today lasted over 3 hours  and it was worth every minute (plus, it was nice to be sitting  in a fashion show instead of sitting on a piano bench for a change).  I was damn impressed.  These talented fashion students spent months on their creations, and their inspiration and attention to their art clearly shined through both their pieces and their oral presentations.  We are extremely excited to collaborate with Parsons for a top-secret event that will take place this Fall.

I got some decent snaps (as decent as is humanly possible with my old digital), but my camera ran out of battery for Michelle Copelman’s presentation, one of my favorites this afternoon!  But maybe we’ll see her stocked at Barney’s soon!

Some collections had themes in common; for instance, Julia Blum, Robert Fitzsimmons, and Shawn Reddy spoke of having the  independent, confident woman in mind when designing their collections.  Blum drew inspiration for her lingerie line, Ardor, from a novel she had read where women were portrayed as powerful.  Fitzsimmons’ collection referenced the sport of wrestling and he mentioned having read Maureen Dowd’s book “Are Men Necessary?” and found the idea fascinating, while Shawn Reddy mentioned that he grew up with very active women and has always been attracted to young women in suits. 

The idea of being enclosed or covered was shared in Anna Zurick’s and Bessie Afnaim’s collections, but in completely different ways: Zurick took the idea of feeling trapped and based her collection on “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” a memoir by late French Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby while he had  locked-in syndrome (completely written by blinking his eyes), while Afnaim talked about feeling safe and protected.  Both collections looked extremely comfortable, with Zurick’s super padded designs and Afnaim’s soft, washed fabrics, and Rachel Cohen’s line was made to feel comfortable as well, not to mention easy to wear.  Like her peers, Cohen also mentioned her wearer as a confident women (seems no one cares to have vulnerable women wearing their clothes!)

Although there are some similarities in inspiration and themes, these students’s collections were definitely completely different from one another.  Take a look…

Mezze and Metal

Posted in Uncategorized by The Nouveau Classical Project on 03/20/2009

Just got back from an amazing dinner at a Greek restaurant in Queens, where my studio mates (as in, musicians who study with the same teacher), EJ and I indulged ourselves in a set of 20 assorted mezze. By the end, as one of us put it, “My stomach [was] screaming!”

19 more like this on the we go!

19 more like this on the we go!

And of course, like most pianists who tend to be slightly obsessed with practicing (okay, absolutely obsessed…I won’t deny it!) we would, out of habit, place our hands in position on the table to check how firm our bridges are (the bridge is that row of knuckles that connects the fingers to the palms). Totally nerdy. But whatever, people check their Crackberries at the dinner table, we check our bridges. It all evens out in the end.

Who's is the strongest? I think the girl on the right in the purple shirt...okay that's me. I'm a bit biased

Who's is the strongest? I think the girl on the right in the purple shirt...okay that's me. I'm a bit biased

EJ and I had worked up our appetites beforehand at the Gemma Redux jewelry trunk show at debut, where we had consumed champagne on empty stomachs. I had the chance to meet Rachel Dooley briefly, the mind behind the metal. I asked her what Gemma Redux means, and she said that it is Latin for “gems reconstructed.” Apparently she and her father love Latin and he helped her come up with the name.

Gemma Redux, consisting largely of intertwined metal chains and chunky stones, makes a bold statement through excess and contrast. It reminds me of the Baroque era. At that time, music was highly ornamented and had more elaborate harmonies than the music from the era prior, to put it loosely. In GR pieces, a counterpoint exists between the regularity of the chain patterns and the various stones attached to them.

Hmm…maybe we’ll send along some Bach to GR and see if some Bach-inspired jewelry emerges!

Rachel Dooley, right

Rachel Dooley, right


"Baroque" is derived from a Portugese word that means "an irregularly shaped pearl." In this piece, fools gold, with is natural and irregular rough edges are intertwined with smooth gold chains, providing a strking contrast between rawness and refinement.

"Baroque" is derived from a Portugese word that means "an irregularly shaped pearl." In this piece, fools gold, with its natural and irregular rough edges, are intertwined with smooth gold chains, providing a striking contrast between rawness and refinement.

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