In anticipation of the Worcester Art Museum’s Auction Gala, A Renaissance Celebration, local luxury retailers collaborated on a fashion photo shoot to present ten “looks” for the creative black tie fundraiser that will be held on June 14, 2014. This festive Renaissance-themed evening will be celebrating the Higgins Armory Integration and supporting the Museum and its exciting path forward.
Local businesses in the fashion industry participated to provide attendees with ideas on attire. Couturier James Hogan assembled ten formal outfits that were accessorized by jewelry from Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths and fashion eyewear from Perfect Focus Eyecare. Additional accessories were provided by the Worcester Art Museum Gift Shop. Karon Shea Model Management provided the models who were expertly styled by hair stylist Angel Ortiz and make-up artist Jackie Betancur, both from Tu Moda Spa. Fashion photographers Erb Photography and Dana Lane Photography created a series of chic images highlighting fashion forward thinking – and the bonus is that all clothing and accessories are available locally.
When considering what to wear to the A Renaissance Celebration on Saturday, June 14th 2014, consider “The Look.”
This Theia evening gown, of a soft-colored, gently draped lace, is available at James Hogan. The ethereal quality of the dress brings to mind damsels in flowing costumes awarding their favors (or not) to wooing knights on Midsummer Nights... During the Renaissance, women’s hair and headdresses were an integral part of fashionable attire. In keeping with this period style, a sterling silver floral link necklace is worn on the head. Silver pendant earrings in a complementary organic form and a smooth forged sterling silver cuff bracelet by Dobbs finish the look. All jewelry is available at Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths.
This James Hogan-designed evening dress is the epitome of elegance with soft, lavender lace over matching silk. Hand-worked lace made its debut on women’s dresses for the first time during the Renaissance. This dress is surprisingly versatile – it could be worn to bestow tournament prizes on jousting champions or to a chic museum fundraiser. The sleeves are beautifully detailed and the scalloped v-neckline and front opening slit are subtly sexy and stylish even for the more modest fashionista. Sterling silver forged teardrop hoop earrings by Deborah Richardson, a sterling silver and freshwater pearl wave necklace by Designs by Naomi both from Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths and a long strand of grey and white pearls (Private Collection) completes the look.
Heads will turn with this form-fitting black evening gown with shimmering gold accents by Carmen Marc Valvo available at James Hogan. The gold embroidered design around the neck and torso frames the face and body beautifully and evokes the heraldic design motifs common to the Renaissance period. Slip into this “suit of armor” and expect to engage in feints and frivolity with ardent swains... Sterling silver and 18k yellow gold vermeil onyx chandelier earrings by Anna Beck from Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths add a dramatic touch, and the vibrant ruby colored lipstick from Tu Moda Spa make this look worthy of the red carpet. You will BE SEEN in this elegant dress.
Bateau with Shawl
Make a statement with this stunning gown designed by James Hogan. Its gorgeous coral color is perfect for a summer gala and will compliment any skin tone. Made of whisper-soft silk chiffon, the two-piece dress moves beautifully on any form. A long sheer jacket provides seemingly modest coverage but adds drama to the long shift. The jacket has enough fabric to cover the head, creating a soft headdress, a notable Renaissance costume element. Not only decorative, headdresses were practical for hiding one’s face when sneaking out of the castle for a rendezvous with an errant knight... Silver hoop earrings are paired with an eye-catching collar made of multiple sterling silver wires, and a bracelet, all from Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths.
Grecian Inspired Halter
This Grecian Ted Baker statement dress available at James Hogan, screams summer! Like a Monet painting, this dramatic accordion-pleated gown commands attention with a kaleidoscope of pastel colors. By cinching the waist with braided gilt cord, the heavy gold chains, a popular Renaissance adornment for both men and women, are evoked. The flowing lines allow ease of movement – perfect for an evening of dancing, mead and merriment. Sterling silver and 18k yellow gold vermeil earrings and pendant by Anna Beck available at Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths add a dash of élan. A Miriam Haskell bracelet from the 1940s (Private Collection) completes the look. Tu Moda Spa make-up artist Jackie Betancur uses a soft foundation with a punch of color on the lips.
Elegant Lace Armor
There is nothing subtle about this long-sleeved evening gown from James Hogan. The shimmering platinum lace makes this dress a magnificent, eye-catching masterpiece. Lace, like chain mail, was produced by master craftsmen by twisting, looping and braiding together threads or metal strands. This dress evokes chain mail – with a modern twist. Like the art you will be dancing near, this form-fitting look demands attention. Classic silver, dangle earrings available from the Worcester Art Museum Gift Shop enhance without competing with the artistry of the dress. Tu Moda Spa's Angel Ortiz, hair stylist, fashions a sleek chignon for a highly polished look.
Textured Black Sweetheart Dress
Take your little black dress out of the closet, add dramatic jewelry and accessories and turn it into a bewitching ensemble worthy of Arthurian sorceress Morgan Le Fay. James Hogan has created the ultimate twist on this concept. His knee-length architectural dress features capped sleeves and a sweetheart neckline. Rich fabrics, such as the luxurious textured silk of this dress, were introduced into fashion for the first time during the Renaissance. The length and fabric are perfect for a festive June evening – and since this dress is all about legs, a little magic-making as well. The drop earrings from the Worcester Art Museum Gift Shop and the stunning bracelet made of multiple strands of red quartz beads from Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths add a punch of color. Tu Moda Spa make-up artist Jackie Betancur adds vivid scarlet lip color to finish the look.
Gun Metal Sequined V-Neck
After a long, cold, New England winter, you may be ready to show off a little skin! This sassy moss green dress with gunmetal beading by Theia is available at James Hogan. Intricate metallic beading evokes the fine embroidery on Renaissance period clothing, and also suggests a (very feminine) suit of armor. The low v-neckline, short length, and close fit are perfect for women who want to flaunt their sexy side. Sterling silver satin hoop earrings by Phillipa Roberts and a sterling silver oval pendant with bead inlay by Debra Abrams are worn with a sterling silver multicolored sapphire hinged bangle by Michael Couch. Jewelry is available at Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths. Dramatic designer sunglasses, available at Perfect Focus Eyecare in Auburn, finish this glamorous look.
Evening Suit with Elizabethan Collar
James Hogan's three-piece formal evening suit is elegant, sophisticated and evocative of Renaissance style with the dramatic ruffle collar on the coat. A mother-of-pearl beaded top is worn with a straight skirt and long coat in pearl grey silk faille. Long, dangly earrings in silver from the Worcester Art Museum Gift Shop stand out against the sweeping up-do created by Angel Ortiz, hair stylist, and the soft, dewy make-up applied by Jackie Betancur, make-up artist, both from Tu Moda Spa.
Beaded Chainmail Top and Silk Skirt
This versatile two-piece ensemble from James Hogan brings to mind the intricately designed and beautifully wrought armor of the Renaissance era. The bronze-beaded top is closely fitted and is worn with a long, full silk skirt in complementary colors - a perfect look for a formal evening. A choker of oxidized sterling silver with 18k yellow gold accents on a slide pendant and an oxidized sterling silver cuff with pearl and 18k yellow gold accents are also suggestive of armorial design and materials and perfectly accessorize the outfit. Both pieces of jewelry are by McGurrin Designs and are available at Neal Rosenblum Goldsmiths. Angel Ortiz, hair stylist at Tu Moda Spa, creates an elaborate hair-do to complete this sophisticated look.