Andy Warhol | Shoe Illustrations.

March 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

New York Times, April 17th, 1955

When most people think of Andy Warhol they think of his Campbell Soup cans or his Marilyn Monroe portrait, but when I think of Andy Warhol I think of his shoe illustrations and that he was the chief illustrator for I. Miller shoes when my grandfather was General Manager in the 1950’s. I like to think they may have worked together, but lately I look at this shoe ad of one of my grandfather’s designs and I have to wonder did he illustrate this? The photos below were taken at The Whitney Museum of Art and The Warhol exhibit ends at the end of March. I was struck by how prolific he was as an artist and how at the time he was creating his pop art many didn’t think it was art and I assume there are some now that still don’t, but regardless of what you think about his art he captured the 20th century creating a better time capsule for future generations than I could ever have imagined through his portraits, illustrations and films.

New York Times, March 4th, 1956

The Historialist Of Shoes And Shoemakers: Ben Benjamin I. Miller

Ben Benjamin, General Manager I. Miller

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CAMP at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

May 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

“Camp tends to come during times of cultural instability.” Andrew Bolton, curator of The Costume Exhibit

Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna

I really love this exhibit at The Met right now. It beautifully encompasses for me everything that’s wonderful about fashion. Is it perfect? Probably not, but that doesn’t make it any less special. The exhibit was inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 Notes On “Camp” She wrote Many things in the world have not been named; and many things, even if they have been named, have never been described. One of these is the sensibility — unmistakably modern, a variant of sophistication but hardly identical with it — that goes by the cult name of “Camp.”

A Very This-Season Guide to Susan Sontag’s Essay “Notes on Camp”

a beacon in the night | manolo blahnik

May 5, 2019 § Leave a comment

Retracing our father’s footsteps, my sister and I had dinner the other night at one of his favorite haunts, Il Gattopardo. Not the same location, but same street and same incredible food. I took these photos on my iPhone a few doors down from the restaurant.

Freed Pointe Shoes

August 12, 2018 § 1 Comment

There’s a video circulating on facebook on how Freed pointe shoes are made that my former dancer sister shared with me recently. She reminded me that our grandfather always wanted to inspect her point shoes, especially when she switched from Capezio to Freed. She said he was fascinated by the workmanship. Watch the short video above and you’ll see why!

Pain, satin and paper towels: What it takes for ballerinas to dance on their toes Washington Post May 26, 2017

Heavenly Bodies At The Met Cloisters.

July 30, 2018 § Leave a comment

I finally made it to see the rest of the Met Fashion exhibit Heavenly Bodies at The Met Cloisters today and wanted to make sure I posted some of the pictures right away before I get too busy again and forget. It doesn’t disappoint. Again this is one of the most beautiful fashion exhibits I’ve ever seen at The Met. The scope and sheer magnitude of it is incredible. The exhibit like the one at the 5th Avenue Met is infused throughout with music creating a cinematic mood.  Here is just a small sampling of what’s there. IMG_8002IMG_8052

Heavenly Bodies Part 1.

May 20, 2018 § 1 Comment

HEAVENLY BODIES, FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION | The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is by far one of the most beautiful exhibits I’ve experienced at The Met. It’s at 2 sites. The Fifth Avenue Museum and The Cloisters. I haven’t had a chance to visit the Cloisters yet, hence the Part 1. I’ll post back with photos from The Cloisters at a later date. I love how the fashion is blended with the artwork. The music is pretty fantastic too. If I had to choose a favorite piece it would have to be the black silk taffeta dress by Alexander Mcqueen. This is just a very small sampling.  Be sure to click on the videos to get more of a feel for the exhibit.

Alexander Mcqueen

IMG_1364

Versace

Thinking Of Spring.

April 27, 2018 § Leave a comment

Prada

Source: Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations

 

 

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge | Awakening.

April 15, 2018 § 1 Comment

Morning Light.

Ben Benjamin, 1934 & Salvatore Ferragamo, 2015.

April 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

After a while I stopped patenting styles. It didn’t pay.   – Ben Benjamin


Salvatore Ferragamo

Lynn, Massachusetts | photos circa 1895.

March 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

 

A couple years before I got out, before we moved into New York City. We talked it over, Ben Schwartz & I, about starting a factory out of town instead of NY. See? It was getting impossible to lead the business there because of the unions and their demands.  Prices kept on going up higher, and new machinery was coming into place. So people out of town who made cheap shoes could make better shoes than what they were making with the new equipment. So we went. We went to Lynn, and Boston and St. Louis, Cincinnati. We went all around. When I came back we sat down and talked it over. I says Ben, after seeing all the towns, I think Lynn is the best place of the lot. A lot of the shoe factories have went out of business there. Not good shoemakers like we’ve got in New York, but they could be trained–taught to make better shoes. After I got out, Ben Schwartz did finally go to Lynn.  – Ben Benjamin

All photos courtesy of The Library of Congress