Corinne Grousebeck continued an annual spring tradition at Barney’s New York with a sumptuous breakfast hosted to benefit Perkins School for the Blind. As a special treat this year we were joined by designer Sarah Flint and jewelry designer Nak Armstrong, who recently dressed the earlobes of Michele Obama at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in Washington, D.C. I was able to spend some time chatting with Nak and he told me he chose a ruffle top tear drop signature style, which was chunky, but lightweight for the First Lady–another signature element of his designs.
I fell in love with a moonstone earring, which upon first glance, looked somewhat heavy, but when I tried it on was light as a feather. Another item I fancied were his ear jackets. Sculptural and organic at the same time, the jewelry is light and wearable and runs in the 2,000-15,000.00 price range. (hint-Mother’s Day is right around the corner.) Nak is working on a fall collection at the moment and counts origami as a main inspiration. He does all the sketching and relies on his top notch production team to create the jewels.
The presentation was relaxed and fashion guru Simon Doonan moderated, throwing in a few tips on taking selflies. In his adorable, self deprecating way, Nak explained that because of his “big head” he tends to go towards the back of the pic when a selfie is being taken. Somon then offered up the opposite—he said run to the front of the picture and fill up the empty space. He was also privy to hints from a few of the models he’s worked with over the years—Kate Moss, “put your chin on a ledge”—Irving Penn, “say Thursday” because your mouth will never look bad in any part of the word.” Though Sarah hasn’t had quite the experience of Simon, she too had excellent tips for selflies and recommended holding the camera up high so as to avoid the dreaded double chin.
When asked about trends for spring/summer, Simon shied away from the question, stating that he doesn’t really pay attention to trends because fashion is evolving and trends never stay the same. But when pressed for an answer he did say that St Laurent was doing the glam rock 70’s, which was a trend that he saw as relevant.
Here are some of the fabulous women who came out to support not only Perkins School for the Blind but…twist my arm…Barneys.
After our lovely breakfast, we were set free on the floors of Barneys to shop privately before the store opened. Letting a group of women do this is almost as cool as letting a group of kids spend the night in a library or museum. Linda Henry and I hit the shoe department immediately. We got to chat with Sarah a bit and learned that she is from Lincoln and now runs her operation out of her atelier in New York City and in Italy. Knowing that she always wanted to be a shoe designer, Sarah studied at FIT. She worked as a nanny when she was starting her company, and considers it a real honor to see her first collection at Barneys this season. There are 28 styles in the collection; you can find 10 in Boston and 14 in NYC. Sarah told us the number of styles will grow, but so far she’s been happy and so have her clients, who include Blake Lively, Jessica Alba, and Heidi Klum.
We all got our outfits and jewelry for the Perkins Gala on May 7 and our shoes for our trip to Greece this summer!
Photo Credit: Pretty Instant Photographers/Rosa Caban
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CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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