Friday, March 26, 2010

Talent...what is it? Where does it come from? Why? (OK, OK...Who? When?)

Dear Friends:
I am, I admit, a total sucker for talent (and talented people). I have been thinking about talent for many years, never more so than during the past year and 9 months since we opened ArtsEcho Galleria. (That's all?? Doesn't it seem like a lot longer??)

We all know that Mozart's dad was a musician, but does that account for little Wolfgang's incredible abilities? And how many Wolfies with amazing musical talent were born to farming or bricklaying families or even glass blowing families who knew little about music and never discovered the talent in their midst?

There are so many People of Talent who find their way to ArtsEcho Galleria. In honor of our upcoming 'Sustainable Couture' Fashion Show on May 15, I'd like to introduce you to one of our favorite (incredibly talented) people.

Meet Ji Young Song. She is a graduate of Seoul University's famous Fashion Design Department and also graduated with honors from FIT where she won the departmental award of the School of Art and Design. She participated in the Hong Kong Young Fashion Week before moving to NY, and went on to win the Best Design Award for Levi's recent fashion contest. She was one of the national finalists in the highly competitive Mattel Barbie Design Competition.

Ji Young's desire is to create one-of-a-kind couture clothing that she hopes will be seen as artwork. That fits in perfectly with how we choose our collection here for ArtsEcho Galleria. We feel (and tell anyone who will listen) that many of our clothing and jewelry pieces are wearable works of art.

A few months ago, Ji Young trekked to my house in Weehawken (during a snow storm...remember those?) and chose fabrics from my large (30 years in the making) collection of silks, leathers, etc. Ji Young chose three silks; a black matte silk and two beige and black prints, and a soft black leather....and started working. She cut, sewed, and wove the fabrics together.

Here is the astounding result, modeled by (our new Project Manager) Zoe, photographed by Edwin Flores (more about Edwin later) right in that cute little Weehawken pocket park across from our shop:
ji youngs dress on zoezoe on bench in ji young

There are many designers creating "eco"fashion with good new fabrics including bamboo and organic cottons, but because of our dedication to art, craftswomanship, recycling, and the very best existing designer fabric, we hope that our ArtsEcho Sustainable Couture one-of-a-kind pieces will make their own small, but important, statement in the fashion world. Ji Young is almost finished with her second design and I can't wait to see it! Remember...May 15.

Now speaking of talent, one of the most talented people who discovered ArtsEcho Galleria as we were discovering him, is fashion photographer Edwin Flores. Edwin and his partner Tyler just moved to the Watertower District. Edwin uses clothing from our terrific collection for photoshoots with some of NY's top models. Here is a photo that Edwin just sent me from the very same park (the model is wearing one of our Nanette Lepore pieces with a silver belt and purple Betsey Johnson dress). The photo on the right (with a wool Byblos jacket and purple belt) was taken on the steps leading down to Boulevard East from Sterling Place. Bet you never knew we were in such a photogenic neighborhood!

model on steps silver dress shadows
Speaking of honors...I want to publicly thank the County of Hudson and the charming (and funny) Thomas DeGise, our County Executive, who chose me to be among some pretty darned impressive Hudson County women who were honored this past week at Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City for Women's History Month in which the theme was "Writing Women Back into History". It seemed especially appropriate this year which is only the 90th anniversary of the year in which we women in the US got the vote. (Pretty shocking that it's only 90 years, hey?) Mr. DeGise introduced the evening by admitting that he grew up in a house filled with women...his only ally and fellow male was the dog...

Have a wonderful week and come visit us!

Warm regards,
Sandra and the ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Karina, Crystal, Ben, Arianna, Claude and Lina.

PS: We need volunteers! A few hours a week (on a regular basis) will net you "ArtsEcho FunnyMoney" which you can spend here on our glorious's like shopping for free!

PPS: On April 18th I will be performing in the concert "21st Century Music & On" dedicated to the amazing music of composer Ronn Yedidia (whom you may remember from the "DanzaNova" concert here last year.) The concert is at Merkin Concert Hall (one block north of Lincoln Center) on 67th Street in NYC and is at 7:30pm. There is a "Meet The Artists" reception (to which you are all invited) after the concert.

PPPS: Oh yes, 3809 Park Avenue, right across from the Weehawken Pathmark parking lot. 201-617-1110...M-W 11-7; Th-F 11-8; Sat 10-6.

PPPPS: Make sure to check out our new window displays! Very edgy...

Friday, March 19, 2010

ArtsEcho Galleria Reaches Out to the World! Well, to the eBay world...

Dear Friends:

We have enjoyed seeing so many of you here (buying beautiful things of course) during the past week. I can imagine the conversation: "The weather is so gorgeous, let's take a walk! - Where should we go? - Let's go to ArtsEcho! They're having a sale!!" That's a (hopefully) cute (and somewhat sneaky) reminder that something wonderful is always on sale here at ArtsEcho Galleria. Tomorrow (and every Saturday) there is 30% off our wonderful bags and accessories.

And speaking of Saturday and gorgeous weather, last Saturday night when the weather was truly HORRIBLE(!!!!) with umbrellas blowing inside out and trees falling and wind whipping and geese-a-laying (ooops, wrong month) we had more than 75 intrepid souls here for a phenomenal concert and art exhibit! It was such fun. Brazilian artist Duda (the amazing) Penteado read a lovely poem he wrote for the occasion and then was gracious enough to translate for Renan and Bruno. They played spectacularly on cavaquinho and guitar and sang songs of Old Rio that made you long for samba on the beach even if you've never been closer to Rio than Atlantic City. Renan even demonstrated some traditional samba dance steps and then some of the audience joined in the dancing (and we all joined in the partying). What a night!


We keep finding more and more lovely things for our charming little shop and, since we have no storage room to speak of (or not to speak of since there isn't any), we are running out of room and finally putting some lovely vintage clothes on our new online eBay store. Here are some of the great photos that Zoe took this week:

That's a pleated, black, see-through Yves St. Laurent vintage cocktail dress (creme de menthe, anyone?) next to a blue wool mini-dress (probably an ice-skating costume) from the 60s, next to a cute frilly top, next to a Paul & Joe Made in France criss-cross knit top, next to a dusky rose vintage tea-length afternoon dress. They are all "styled" with lovely ArtsEcho accessories (on sale tomorrow!) and jewelry (BUY-ONE-GET-ONE-HALF-OFF every Tuesday). Isn't it great how that bright green necklace brings the brown and beige sweater to life?

It's fun working here at ArtsEcho (did I say working?) Just this afternoon alone, there were four wonderful artists who dropped by to say hello and brainstorm artistic ideas...Margaret Steele, magician extraordinaire; photographer Dexter Lane, of the spectacular panoramas; watercolor painter Ben Roman with two beautiful new portraits; and Teddy Schapiro, whose work is proudly hanging in the front of the Galleria. So many people have commented on the innate humor in Teddy's highly personal pen & ink drawings that we have decided to adorn our new "ArtsEcho Galleria" T-shirts (and eco-friendly bags) with some of Teddy's soon-to-be-iconic images (including one of Einstein taking a bath that Teddy created for our Einstein wall).

Hope you all have a great weekend. Come visit!

Warm regards,
Sandra and the fearless and heroic ArtsEcho Galleria team, Zoe, Crystal, Ben, Karina, Arianna and Lina.

PS: We are, as always, at 3809 Park Ave across from that huge parking lot. Our phone is 201-617-1110.

Friday, March 12, 2010

FASHION * ART * MUSIC (our new "tag" line)...says it all!

Dear Friends:

I can hardly keep up with it all...really (and I love every moment)!

Last Friday night about 100 lucky people (a huge crowd...standing practically all the way to Weehawken (which is, I admit, out the door and 10 feet away)...heard Diego Garcia play guitar. There should a word other than "play" for what Diego does. He masters the guitar. He conquers the guitar. He made those 6 little strings do things I have never heard before. Even with the door open and people listening from the sidewalk, you could have heard the proverbial pin drop. Diego will be returning to us after his concert tour in Latin America, and, for all of you who asked (begged might be the action word here), we now have some of Diego's CDs in our charming little Galleria.

And from Madrid to San Paolo & Rio!!

Tomorrow night we are hosting Brazilian artist Duda Penteado and his spectacular artwork (now making ArtsEcho Galleria proud). Two superb young Brazilian musicians, Renan Farias on cavaquinho and voice (singing in that amazingly cool way that only born Brazilians seem to be able to know what I mean) and Bruno Menezes on guitar.

Here is a sneak preview of Duda's wonderful artwork:

And since we've "covered" ART and MUSIC...we can't ignore FASHION, (at ArtsEcho Galleria, heaven forbid). Here are a few photos of Zoe and Karina wearing "Little Black Dresses"! Why Little Black Dresses? Well, we have so many fabulous new dresses (including a ton of Betsey Johnson dresses...some perfect for the sophisticated prom-goer...) in our shop(pe) that we took all the LBDs out to a separate rack and thought that you might enjoy seeing a few:
karina black dress
zoe in little black dress
duda and zoe

Yes, that's Duda with Zoe...he's not in a Little Black Dress but in the honest, paint-splattered jeans of the hard-working artist.

Warm regards,
Sandra and the dedicated, fun-loving, hard-working people who make ArtsEcho Galleria such a great place to be (I'm prejudiced, but I'm also honest...)... Zoe, Karina, Arianna, Crystal, Ben, Lina, Sommer, Claude...and Tyler (more about Tyler soon).

PS: Yup, here we are...3809 Park Ave right across from the southern end of the parking lot of the Weehawken Pathmark. 201-617-1110; M-W 11-7, Th-F 11-8, Sat 10-6

PPS: Ahhhh!!!! I almost forgot!!!! Our first JEWELRY PARTY was last Sunday (you see what I mean about keeping up with it all?) It was a huge success!! Tremendous fun with a great bunch of delightful women. And now there are gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, "I've-never-seen-anything-so-beautiful" pieces of ArtsEcho jewelry adorning the hands, arms, necks and ears of some very happy ladies in Bergen county. We have two more JEWELRY PARTIES coming up this week in NEW YORK CITY! Call us for details about how to host your own party!

PPPS: See you tomorrow night at 7...we may have a huge crowd again, so come early...(I'm on my way to buy the "Brazilian Cheese Puffs"...yummmmm....)

Friday, March 5, 2010

You Never Know What a Day Will Bring...

Dear Friends:

"What fascinating person will open the door and walk into our little shop today?"

It's a question I ask myself more and more and more fascinating people find their way here. Yesterday we were interviewed by a lovely TV anchorwoman who filmed Zoe and me talking about ArtsEcho Galleria (what else?) and the show was already on TV (on channel 20-WMBS) last night! Then we met a superb artist from Ridgefield Park who paints on glass with tiny beads of colored ink (an exhibition in the making!)

And tonight, at 8pm, Diego Rivera from Madrid, will be playing virtuoso guitar here and lots of wonderful neighbors (including, hopefully, you!) will be here to listen and enjoy, and meet Diego and some really interesting and charming people in our community.
diego rivera

Sunday is our FIRST Arts & Accessories Party (with lots of our lovely jewelry, bags, scarves, and New Milford, NJ) and we already have two more parties set up for the following week in New York City. (This should come under the category of "no rest for the weary"...but "weary"? Me? Not on your life. I'm having much too good a time with it all!)

On Monday, ArtsEcho Design, our new fashion label dedicated to SUSTAINABLE COUTURE, will have its first fashion shoot, photographed by Edwin Flores. Ji Young Song, one of our new designers, has created a dress that is so beautiful, it almost had me in tears. Ji Young is a graduate of both Seoul's famous School of Fashion Design and FIT Couture. She chose leathers and silks from my vast collection of designer fabrics (30 years in the making, collected all over the world) that is the basis of the new ArtsEcho Design collection, and created a dress that interweaves the fabrics and the leather. Wait 'til you see it!

Speaking of fashion, our first fashion show will take place on Saturday eve, May 15th. We will introduce designs from our new label (I get to be Heidi Klum...hey, I can dream, can't I?) and we'll also present some of our special ArtsEcho Galleria pieces on some special ArtsEcho Galleria gals. Our models will also include a few professional ones like our new neighbor, Natalia, (who just moved into the "Watertower District") below, photographed by Edwin Flores at the Galleria in one of our lovely, black velvet, (slightly backless!) gowns. You see? Never a dull moment here!

Next Saturday, March 13th at 7pm is BRAVO BRAZIL!! Join us for the opening of the solo exhibition of amazing artwork by Brazilian painter, Duda Penteado. The musical side of the evening embodies the sounds of two young Brazilians from Rio, singer Renan Farias on cavaquinho (the "sound of the samba" instrument), and guitarist Bruno Menezes. The two are recent arrivals in the US and will perform not only traditional Brazilian music, but the latest songs heard today in the edgy clubs of Rio. Here are Renan and Bruno (smiling on our pink couch) and Duda (who has graciously offered to translate during the concert since Renan and Bruno speak almost no English...

Warm regards,
Sandra and the charming ArtsEcho Galleria team, Karina, Zoe, Crystal, Ben, Arianna, Lina, Claude and Sommer.

PS: We're at 3809 Park Ave in the "Watertower District" right across from the Weehawken Pathmark PARKING LOT! You can reach us at 201-617-1110

PPS: We're up the block from the Park Ave Grill and across from Paula at Rigolettos...just south of Beyti and the new (and totally yummy) Touch of Spice restaurant.