Category Archives: Courting Soul Style…Deception, inception, inspiration for the simple sophisticate seeking Soul.

Deception, inception, inspiration for the simple sophisticate seeking Soul.

Little Mishaps to Grand Entrances

Little mishaps can remind us of what is strongest inside.

I was on my way to the Carlyle Hotel where I was to be photographed for an article by Lynn Yaeger for The New York Times about women, like myself, who have their own distinct style and how we came to it.

As I walked up Madison Ave., I felt the tear. The snap of the collar of my cheongsam had come undone; with it, my equilibrium, well-being and serenity.  “What an inconvenient time!” “Now what?” I knew that I had to have the snap repaired – immediately. I knew that if I didn’t the imperfection would tear away at me, and that my time at the Carlyle would be totally ruined. I needed a tailor and I needed one now.  I had a grand total of 20 minutes.

I quickly assessed the situation. The Ralph Lauren store was a few blocks away and I knew they had tailors on the premises. With determination and resolve, I quickly made my way up to the store, found my favorite sales associate, Michael and within minutes one of the tailors was sewing my snap. I relaxed into the ease and familiarity of allowing him to do his work. Ten minutes later, and right on time, I entered the Carlyle, totally restored and bursting with confidence.  I was whole again.

Therein is the key to my strong distinct style. My father, Itzhak Izidore Salamon was a tailor; my mother, Ida Dina Berner was a seamstress. They made all my clothes.  I grew up surrounded by the richness and color of cloth and design and I adored getting dressed.

And from day one I was the best dressed girl in town.  Fast forward to today when I still adore getting dressed. Nothing thrills me more than opening up my closets and feasting my eyes on my huge collection of amazing antique clothes – Victorian, Edwardian, 20’s and ethnic Chinese, Japanese and Persian.  It is this connection to beautiful, one-of-a-kind clothes and tailors and dressmakers that keeps me rooted and reminds me of my origins and roots and the fabric of my being.

Court Artisan: Tziporah Salamon

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NYC Style Pilgrims: Brian and Richard

COMMiti ego Questionnaire for Creative Teams:

Brian Bennett and Richard Ives

Pilgrims. Handy Pioneers make the best go-to visionaries and this week’s Creative Team, Richard Ives and Brian Bennett of New York’s “Pilgrim” answer the blare of a shofar calling in the style hounds and devoted for a cornicopia of style. (It’s Fall Harvest time…Rosh Hoshana and Thanksgiving is coming…we just had to go there!)

The store is called Pilgrim on the historic Lower East Side, Garmento block of Orchard Street in New York City and the style creds are vast. Richard has been a stylist, art director and designer for the likes of Richard Avedon, Steven Klein, Michael Thompson, and Donna Karan and partner, Brian Bennett, a connoisseur and collector of art and music for most of his life.

Love and passion for the arts and style equals Pilgram, located at 70 Orchard Street in Manhattan. Dive into Richard Ives’ custom collection plus vintage designer runway styles and bijoux from Valentino, Christian LaCroix, Dior, Fendi, KJL Studio, Wendy Gell, JMP Paris, YSL, Ugo Correani, Versace, Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Ben Amun, Miriam Haskell, Napier, Ciner, Kramer, Lisner, Guy LaRoche, Claude Montana, Chanel, Dior, Alaia, Krizia and Sonia Rykiel. Here is a link to the lively and active Pilgrim Facebook page and here is what makes them tick as Creative Partners.

1. how do you access your creative?

Brian: I try to meditate daily, I try to do creative thinking during my morning walk with my dogs — which is every morning.

Richard: I don’t even think about it, just a part of my thought mechanism. it’s not like I sit down and say to myself: “be creative now”. lol. It’s like someone who is good at math or basketball, it just happens.

2. how do you transform fear and disdain into brilliance + partnership + productivity?

Brian: I think creative things often come from a place of fear which is kind of a paradox as I try not to live in fear and try to live in the present.  I don’t think that makes much sense, but creative brilliance often comes for tapping into searching for one’s sense of self.

Richard:. The fear is of being”found out,” that you really aren’t talented and you have to stay one step ahead of everyone so they don’t discover this. lol. It keeps me motivated.

3. what have you realized about yourself as a result of creative partnerships?

Brian: I’ve been in creative partnerships my whole adult life.  I can’t imagine doing it alone.  I don’t think great things come from doing it on your own.  Everything that is magnificent is always a collaboration, but it’s never easy–negotiating your ideas vs. their ideas–there is often conflict, and conflict resolution is not easy until you reach the resolution.

Richard: I’m a control freak, but I still need input and ideas and critique in order to grow and produce.

Brian and Richard’s collaborative creative / partnership ritual.

Brian: Richard usually buys the fabrics before anything. Richard then usually asks my opinion about what I think.  Usually he has an idea right off the bat — that is usually great.  I sometimes offer my advice about changing it here or there, or what dress, top or pant it should be done with.  We often talk about what’s going on every day in the world of fashion, design, music, the news, everything is an influence. Even the subway ride over to work.  Sometimes I’ll see something that I’ll share that I loved someone’s look on the subway.  It just evolves from there into long conversations…LOL.

Richard: As Brian stated, fabric selection is a major factor in our collaboration. I pick something and then we discuss the possibilities or the limitations. It has become our design ritual.

Court Artisan: Jade Dressler

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A Tango Bride

A Soul Style Star Is Born – And The Dame Was the Doula!

Dr. Christiane Northrup & her tango partner, Jim Carter."Flirting is the key to my tango success!"

On June 18, 2010, with tears in my eyes, I watched my precious friend, Dr. Christiane Northrup, dance tango with her partner, Jim Carter. It was the graduation weekend of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts Mastery Program, and Christiane had divinely risen to a challenge proposed by Mama herself–the queen of pleasurable offers, Regena Thomashauer.

It had taken nine months to create and deliver this breathtaking experience, and I was inspired throughout the process by my beautiful soul sisters, Kirsten Lewis, aka Kiki La Musette, and Sandra Chiu, both of whom are extraordinary dancers, lovers, and muses. It all began with the finding of the corset, a gorgeous black silk La Cadolle, recommended by my friend, Margaret Shrum, a lingerie expert. This find led to a corset fitting party at La Journelle, the best lingerie store in NYC, with Christiane’s daughter, Kate Northrup, as the model–a perfect fit, of course! So I insisted Christiane purchase this exquisite piece as a “Legacy Investment” to pass on to both of her daughters (Kate, and Ann Moller). Then there was a second fitting, this time with Christiane herself–assisted by Brianna and Mara, expert cinchers–where we discovered that my secondhand black satin skirt from my City Opera Thrift Shop was just right, and another expert recommended that we add a red silk satin ruffle to the bottom of the skirt that would peek out in the motions of the tango. What ecstatic joy it was to capture this stroke of genius and take it to my world-class Dynasty Tailors to execute the embellishment. Right before the ensemble was finished, Christiane said she felt like a Bride Married to Amazement in this ritual of the wardrobe creation in honor of the incredible sensual journey she has been on in her life. So, back to the tailor I went, to conjure a red satin garter belt for the bride and a matching tie for Jim! Let’s not forget the Wolford back-seamed stockings, the red French feathered hair ornament I created, and the professional hair and makeup artist–all serving the Divine Doctor in her penthouse suite at the Royalton Hotel. We even had expert cincher Mara on-hand, who laced Christiane in while her dearest friends and family read poems and praised the bride to be as she prepared to step into her elegant satin tango shoes, into the limo, and onto the stage at the Pennsylvania Hotel, never to be the same again. And neither were we . . .

Thank you, Christiane, for stepping up to the challenge to show the world your newfound lust for tango, your passion for living and owning your beauty, and your hot, throbbing desire to love. The Dame knights you for surrendering to Soul Style a la Tango Fever. I await Tango Challenge 2011, but until then, I am surrendering to your newly revised Bible of blissed out health by my bedside.

Love, The Dame


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Red Dress, Red Dress

When I was l6, living in Brooklyn and attending Erasmus Hall High School, alma mater of both Barbara Stanwyck and Barbra Streisand, my Sweet Sixteen Party was held at a Chinese restaurant in Manhattan – hey, every Jewish girl in the neighborhood had her sweet sixteen at a Chinese restaurant – that was the cool thing to do. At any rate, something interesting happened there: they gave me a Chinese robe to wear for the night.

You can see me in the red kimono in the picture with my parents. Fast forward to today, where I own at least 10 of these Chinese coats, being obsessed with antique Chinese clothes. Of all the many things I own – varied and numerous as they are – the Chinese are my favorite. The embroidery, the quality of the silk, the vivid colors, the vibrancy, the feel, the peonies: these do me in and I swoon.

When I first saw Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film, Flowers of Shanghai I nearly fell out of my seat. I wanted them to stop every frame so I could examine the costumes more closely – both the men and women were gorgeous.

It’s all I want to wear.

Court Artisan: Tziporah Salamon

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The Other Big O

When I mean “big”, I mean profound, earth shattering, mind-boggling; love after initial contact, desperation if you fear you may only encounter it once, willing to spend for it… You get the picture.

The O in mention is Olio Lusso, the beauty elixir extraordinaire created by the fabulous divina, famed stylist, former model, Linda Rodin.  This product is life changing.  I have always fantasized about doing my beauty regime with one bottle that does it all.  The Olio Lusso Face oil is as close as I’ve ever come to realizing this dream.  As a true believer of less-is-more, Olio Lusso is a blend of eleven rare and exotic essential oils into a brew that creates the most supple, glowing, hydrated and loved looking skin ever.  Us lucky followers are thrilled that there’s an Olio Lusso blend for the face and also one for the body (since we were using the face oil for both – oh precious little drops…) with a hair oil – oh joy – coming in September.  A few drops of this heavenly-scented witches brew will make you think twice about what you put on your body.

And if Ms. Rodin is any example of what it can do, I’d like this auto-shipped forever.

Linda Rodin

Court Artisan: Michelle Barge

Image Credit: Keirnan Monaghan


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My Debut!

I  begin with Debut, a precious retail store on 298 Mulberry St,  in NYC, created and owned by a very lovely woman; Lisa Weiss. I met her at my Divas Shop For Opera event and I knew that I had found a fashion comrade. This store defines pure Soul Style essence….devoted to honoring a woman’s desire for individuality and celebrating designers (housed as artists) in this gallery-like space. I love how Lisa clearly celebrates each very talented emerging designer along with high passion and desire to inspire customers how to create great personal style for themselves.

Lisa Weiss, in front of her smashing Soul Styling store, Debut!

When I first stepped into Debut, invited by my ultra-chic friend Erica Roseman, a genius fashion visionary and co-founder of Company Agenda, I could feel the intelligent attention to great new style and within seconds I was transported into a deeper understanding of Debut’s important purpose. I found the best, coolest, greatest one-shouldered summer shift there by a Belgian designer, Cathy Pill, and every time I slip it on, I swear I could hear Lisa’s mission whispering to me with each swish! Today I wore it to one of my favorite SSS (Soul Styling Spots) . . . Maialino at The Gramercy Park Hotel while I sipped my Arnold Palmer!

Dame Lori Loves Cathy Pill!

And to really back that up, Lisa loves to fan future fashion designers……she just finished hosting her 3rd Annual Parson Senior Showcase, where ten new graduating designers showed their collections for a week so they can manifest their CFDA winning awards in years to come.  It was an amazing event and very moving to see these new designers recognized and showcasing their collections in such a gorgeous container. Please read more about these newbie designers.

Thank You Debut for your courage, your conviction and your stand for original great style especially at a time when it is so easy to reach for a soul-less summer throwaway. The Dame Knights you for seducing me with your Soul Style for today’s society!

In adoration through adornment,
The Dame
298 Mulberry Street, New York, NY‎
(212) 343-2717‎


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Homme Hot Pants

As the heat rises, so do the hemlines, or for urban males, the length of their shorts.

Just as hunky street fashionistas warmed to skinny jeans cuffed above the ankle this spring (I donned the look last year), this summer fellas are giving into hot pants. These shorter-shorts, seen on the runway last year, are edging their way onto the urban Avenues just in time for the East Coast heat wave.

The problem is, the only retailers that offer the look are high end (Bergdorf Goodman, Jeffrey New York, you know the drill) and shorts at these spots can ring your credit card into overdraft. So while a Dsquared2 pair are grand, the simple solution—grab a pair of dress slacks and find a tailor.

Make sure the pants you pick are already narrow through the leg, then ask your tailor to hem them 5-7 inches from your billowing crotch. Being Jockey sized, I do 5 inches (the shorts that is) but the key is to keep it proportional to your frame. If you are lanky, you may go for 7. But stay short and show off at least half the length between knee and basket.

You can also pick up a pair of narrow dress shorts at a mid range retailer (try Top Man in Soho, NYC) then have them hemmed just a few inches. Or if you’re a cheap assed Mofo, just wield a scissors and go for a rugged and short chic look. It all works.

Pair the hot pants with a rugged T-shirt ( Scooter LaForce has amazing super-butch imagery featuring soft cotton and growling male faces) and a big chunky Sandal woven sandal. Then get ready to turn heads.

Court Artisan: Scott Alexander Hess Aka Bergdorf Boy

Bergdorf Goodman

754 5th Avenue, New York – (212) 753-7300

Jeffrey New York

449 West 14th Street

New York, NY 10014-1003(212) 206-1272‎

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