Fashion Star: Episode 4

Terron gives his takes on episode four of Fashion Star

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the fourth episode of Fashion Star, this may ruin the surprise. It’s re-airing with alarming frequency on E! if you’re interested. No New Tuxes? Both Kara and Luciana incorporated formalwear elements into their winning designs. Kara showed not one but two tuxedo coats, and I was struck by her sleek tailcoat with satin lapels and a Chinese red bow in the back. Luciana’s dress referenced the tuxedo shirt with a beaded lace bib. We’ll be seeing more of this casual formalwear look as we get closer to fall (especially in menswear). You can get the looks here and be ahead of the curve for next season. Tweet of the Week I’ll be live-tweeting @Saks during the show every Tuesday at…

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SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the fourth episode of Fashion Star, this may ruin the surprise. It’s re-airing with alarming frequency on E! if you’re interested.

No New Tuxes?

Both Kara and Luciana incorporated formalwear elements into their winning designs. Kara showed not one but two tuxedo coats, and I was struck by her sleek tailcoat with satin lapels and a Chinese red bow in the back. Luciana’s dress referenced the tuxedo shirt with a beaded lace bib. We’ll be seeing more of this casual formalwear look as we get closer to fall (especially in menswear). You can get the looks here and be ahead of the curve for next season.

Tweet of the Week

I’ll be live-tweeting @Saks during the show every Tuesday at 10pm EST. I’ll also be on the lookout for the best tweets from Fashion Star fans. This one made me chuckle (perhaps menacingly)…

@VuittonPrince: The Saks buyer’s voice will haunt you in your sleep #fashionstar

High End vs. Mass Market

The theme of Episode 4 was creating both a high end and a mass market look. For many of the designers, the mass-market look turned out better—maybe the freedom from high-end expectations gave them a creative boost. This was true of Luciana’s beaded dress, which outshone her longer high-end piece and convinced me to buy.

It was an interesting challenge because it’s so relevant to a conundrum facing many designers today. It’s hard enough to define a unique sensibility for your own line. Designing a second line that is distinct from the first, that stands out in the marketplace, that comes in at a lower price point and that doesn’t cannibalize sales of your original line…that takes a boatload of talent.

The successes tend to follow a few basic rules:

1. Don’t rush into a mass-market line.

Marc by Marc Jacobs line (see below) had come into its own. The same can be said of Yigal Azrouël and his Cut 25 line, among many others.

2. Add plenty of youthful energy

Don’t try to recreate the successes of your original line. Find something fresh and new to be your signature. Half the fun is escaping the expectations of the high end line (see looks from Cut25 below). It’s an opportunity to let your hair down and your id out.

Fashion Star Secrets

We’re all open kimono here, so I might as well let you in on a little secret. Sometimes, we got a sneak peak at the clothes the night before the taping.

We didn’t get to see them on models—and yes, I complained about it. As every frequent shopper knows, it’s impossible to get a good sense for how clothes will fit from the hanger alone.

What Do You Think?

Were the mass-market pieces better than the high-end ones?

Did Lisa deserve to go home?

Let me know in the comments…

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.

Fashion Star on Josie Girl: Fashion Star’s Kara and Luciana are featured on Josie Girl.


Fashion Star: Episode 3

Terron gives his takes on episode three of Fashion Star

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the third episode of Fashion Star, this may ruin the surprise. It’s re-airing with alarming frequency on E! if you’re interested. Kara’s Little Secret This week, I bought another whimsical, architectural look from Kara Laricks for Saks. What’s stunning is that Fashion Star was the very first time that Kara worked on full-sized bust forms. In the past, she had only ever designed on miniature mannequin figures. I’m not sure how she has come to possess such a remarkable understanding of shaping and draping from pint-sized prototypes. Fashion Loves Sport  Of all the looks I saw this week, Orly’s was the most on-trend. Her dress had a body-conscious shape, clean lines, color blocking and bright stripes, adding a sporting…

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SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the third episode of Fashion Star, this may ruin the surprise. It’s re-airing with alarming frequency on E! if you’re interested.

Kara’s Little Secret

This week, I bought another whimsical, architectural look from Kara Laricks for Saks. What’s stunning is that Fashion Star was the very first time that Kara worked on full-sized bust forms. In the past, she had only ever designed on miniature mannequin figures. I’m not sure how she has come to possess such a remarkable understanding of shaping and draping from pint-sized prototypes.

Fashion Loves Sport 

Of all the looks I saw this week, Orly’s was the most on-trend. Her dress had a body-conscious shape, clean lines, color blocking and bright stripes, adding a sporting touch to everyday clothing. You’re seeing that urban sport look everywhere this spring. Of course, the upcoming Olympics have a lot to do with that. Last week I was in London, where Stella McCartney unveiled her Olympic uniforms for Great Britain. She raised many an English eyebrow by adding a touch of baby blue to the Union Jack. But the real story was the convergence of the worlds of high-end athletics and aesthetics. Lebron James sat in the front row at a Michael Bastian fashion show (pity the view of the person behind him). To challenge for sailing’s America’s Cup, a Prada yacht will have to win the Louis Vuitton Cup. Yohji Yamamoto teams up with Adidas, H&M with David Beckham, and Ralph Lauren with every sport from polo to tennis to auto racing. The runway isn’t that far from the stadium after all.

What did you think?

What’s your favorite sport-fashion collaboration?

And did we send the right person home this week on Fashion Star?

Let me know in the comments…

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.


Fashion Star: Episode 2

Terron Schaefer dished on episode two of Fashion Star

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the second episode of Fashion Star, this may ruin the surprise. It’s re-airing with alarming frequency on E! and available on NBC.com if you’re interested. Behind the Bidding War What really goes on when the buyers are bidding against each other? Well, we enter our bids on iPads (the new iPad was still months away from being announced when we filmed, so our poor eyes had to make do with the resolution on the iPad 2). There were no Final Jeopardy-style barriers popping up to separate us, but I never saw either of my fellow buyers’ bids. Even still, being in the middle was quite an advantage. As any good card player knows, a poker face doesn’t do you…

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SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen the second episode of Fashion Star, this may ruin the surprise. It’s re-airing with alarming frequency on E! and available on NBC.com if you’re interested.

Behind the Bidding War

What really goes on when the buyers are bidding against each other? Well, we enter our bids on iPads (the new iPad was still months away from being announced when we filmed, so our poor eyes had to make do with the resolution on the iPad 2). There were no Final Jeopardy-style barriers popping up to separate us, but I never saw either of my fellow buyers’ bids.

Even still, being in the middle was quite an advantage. As any good card player knows, a poker face doesn’t do you any good unless you’ve got a poker body to match. Every once in a while, I had a sense that I had the upper hand in the bidding. That helped me win my fair share of auctions, including the one for Kara’s deceptively simple dress on Tuesday’s episode 2. And if you’re curious what I’m thinking in real-time, I live-tweet during every episode @Saks.

Comeback Kara

When I first met Kara, we talked about some of the Japanese designers she admired: Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto. You could see just a bit of Yohji in her winning dress. It had an asymmetrical hem, with more length in the back. I bought it for Saks because the shape is easy to wear and flattering on a wide range of body types. You can buy it now at Saks.com.

Oscar Night

Sadly, this was Oscar’s last night on the show. In the end, I just didn’t think he took the opportunity seriously. It’s great to be an entertainer, but I’m not sure I saw the dedication to the craft that it will take to become our Fashion Star.

Mr. Congeniality

While I didn’t buy anything from Nzimiro this episode, I liked the styling on his menswear pieces. It’s incredibly difficult to come up with a signature detail that differentiates your look. For every Paul Smith stripe and Burberry check, there are hundreds of garish gimmicks that beg for attention before disappearing from the market altogether. I thought his diagonal pockets were a sharp, clever element—something that could have some longevity if he develops the idea…

What Did You Think?

Did you get Kara’s dress pictured above? Tweet me a picture @Saks.

Did we make the right call on Oscar? Let me know in the comments…

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.


Fashion Star: Episode 1

Terron gives his takes on episode one of Fashion Star

The first show is in the books and the first look is on the racks. If you want a quick intro toNBC’s Fashion Star, click here. My takes on episode one: Orly won because she brought the fun… I really liked Orly — a bartender/designer whose name summons thoughts of jetting off to Paris. Her zip skirts were among the first looks to walk the runway, and I was hooked! I imagined someone toiling away at work in the black skirt shell, scampering off to the ladies’ room at 5:52pm, grabbing the outer piece from her tote bag and zipping it on before zipping out the door for an eventful evening. You can hunt for versatile clothes or edgy clothes, but it’s rare to find them…

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The first show is in the books and the first look is on the racks. If you want a quick intro toNBC’s Fashion Star, click here. My takes on episode one:

Orly won because she brought the fun…
I really liked Orly — a bartender/designer whose name summons thoughts of jetting off to Paris. Her zip skirts were among the first looks to walk the runway, and I was hooked! I imagined someone toiling away at work in the black skirt shell, scampering off to the ladies’ room at 5:52pm, grabbing the outer piece from her tote bag and zipping it on before zipping out the door for an eventful evening. You can hunt for versatile clothes or edgy clothes, but it’s rare to find them both in the same piece. Buy the skirt here and in Saks stores around the country this morning.

The set is pure insanity…
I used to work for Warner Bros., so I’m no stranger to spectacle. But before we started filming, I thought there would be a runway, perhaps some directors’ chairs for the store buyers, and maybe an austere backdrop — helpful for spotting unfinished hemlines. I walked in the door on day one and…boom! Dancers. Explosions. Motorcycles (which started falling over during filming). The sport trend is everywhere this spring, but here was an arena full of fans treating designers like all-stars and cheering all the way through the post-game interview. March madness indeed.

What did you think?
Did you get the skirt? Tweet me a picture @Saks. I’m very curious to see how people will wear it in the real world.

 

MORE:

Watch Online: Missed the show? Watch it online!

Terron’s Takes: Terron gives his takes for each episode of Fashion Star.

Visit us on Facebook: Meet mentors Nicole Richie, Jessica Simpson and John Varvatos — and sign up for updates.

Shop the Looks: Shop the winning styles from every episode of Fashion Star.


Terron’s Takes

Saks Fifth Avenue’s Terron Schaefer tells all about the making NBC’s Fashion Star

Fashion Show IAQ (Infrequently Asked Questions) Q: What is Fashion Star? Terron’s Take: It’s a show on NBC premiering Tuesday, March 13 at 9:30/8:30c. A group of promising young designers have been given a truly unique opportunity: to be mentored by Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie as they create their collections. Representatives from Saks (yours truly) as well as Macy’s and H&M bid on the best designs, which go on sale right after the show. Q: You can buy the clothes immediately? T.T.: Immediately. You can find the designs here. They will also be in Saks stores the next morning. Q:What do you do at Saks? T.T.: My best. Q: Ok. What do you actually do at Saks? T.T.: I’m the Executive Vice…

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Fashion Show IAQ
(Infrequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is Fashion Star?
Terron’s Take: It’s a show on NBC premiering Tuesday, March 13 at 9:30/8:30c. A group of promising young designers have been given a truly unique opportunity: to be mentored by Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos and Nicole Richie as they create their collections. Representatives from Saks (yours truly) as well as Macy’s and H&M bid on the best designs, which go on sale right after the show.

Q: You can buy the clothes immediately?
T.T.: Immediately. You can find the designs here. They will also be in Saks stores the next morning.

Q:What do you do at Saks?
T.T.: My best.

Q: Ok. What do you actually do at Saks?
T.T.: I’m the Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer. I develop the ads, catalogs and branding campaigns.

Q: Why do you look familiar?
T.T.: You may have seen me on the radio.

Q:Why am I seeing Fashion Star everywhere?
T.T.: Now that the debut is approaching, the publicity machine is going full tilt. Nicole Richie’s on the cover of Ocean Drive. Jay Leno snuck an Elle Macpherson joke into his opening monologue (“If Elle Macpherson married Tim Tebow, she’d be ElBow”). And Jessica Simpson is baby-bump-baring on Elle Magazine—a cover that proved to be scandalous enough to make the front page of the NY Post. If only Elle would put that NY Post page on their own cover, we can create an infinite loop of Jessica Simpson.

Q: What do you think of the show?
T.T.: I’ll be live-tweeting my thoughts during every show @Saks. I’ll also write a column about Fashion Star (with revelations galore) the Wednesday morning after every show, right here on SaksPOV.com.

Q: When is it on again?
T.T.:The debut is this Tuesday, March 13 at 9:30/8:30c on NBC. Thereafter, it’s on at 10/9c every week.

 

MORE:
• STAY IN-THE-KNOW ABOUT THE SHOW! Learn all about NBC’s new fashion reality show where aspiring designers compete to get their looks sold at Saks. Find out more in SPRINGEDIT
• Fashion Star on Saks’ Facebook Page


Packing for Milano

If you don’t like travel, I’m not sure I can recommend the fashion industry. You’re constantly chasing shows, trends and designers. On the road, what might normally be a luxury becomes a necessity—if only for temporarily preserving your sanity. As Milan Fashion Week comes to an end, here’s a quick review of what I brought along for the ride… The Uniform Isaia suit. Charvet ties in blue, black and grey with an occasional flash of color. Crocodile belts from Prada (or custom-made). I could get dressed in the dark—as one often does when recovering from the red-eye. Turnbull and Asser Shirt Once you find your shirt, you stick with it. Mine are from Turnbull and Asser, each with my initials woven into the midsection. Every…

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If you don’t like travel, I’m not sure I can recommend the fashion industry. You’re constantly chasing shows, trends and designers. On the road, what might normally be a luxury becomes a necessity—if only for temporarily preserving your sanity. As Milan Fashion Week comes to an end, here’s a quick review of what I brought along for the ride…

The Uniform

Isaia suit. Charvet ties in blue, black and grey with an occasional flash of color. Crocodile belts from Prada (or custom-made). I could get dressed in the dark—as one often does when recovering from the red-eye.

Turnbull and Asser Shirt

Once you find your shirt, you stick with it. Mine are from Turnbull and Asser, each with my initials woven into the midsection. Every shirt has two buttons at the collar to keep it high throughout the day, plus barrel cuffs with the diagonal corner cut.

Wolford Socks

Wolford’s over-the-calf cotton velvet socks are the only ones I own—and they never fall down. Could they cut off your circulation? Well, who am I to judge? The socks come in grey, black, blue and occasionally beige. They stopped producing brown, which is really a trauma.

Piaget Watch

The Altiplano Double Jeu is two watches in one, with a flip-top revealing a hidden second face. I set the top one for where I am and the bottom one for NYC, which really comes in handy for places like India where there are half-hour time differences. And Piaget makes remarkably thin watches to begin with, so even the two-in-one Double Jeu avoids feeling like wrist dumbbells.

Edward Green and John Lobb Shoes

Edward Green crafts a masterful dress shoe. John Lobb makes a more casual suede shoe—my preference for travel days. If it’s a longer trip, I may throw in a pair from Loro Piana for good measure.

iPad and Blackberry

Each has its own finger-pleasing covering—the iPad in its Salvatore Ferragamo sleeve and the BlackBerry with its Valextra crocodile back.


Style / Spectacle

Some thoughts on New York Fashion Week

This is the fourth season for New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, whose larger and more numerous venues afford more room for spectacle than Bryant Park. Even so, many brands show elsewhere around the city to build an even more immersive brand experience. Moncler took over Central Park’s Wollman Rink. It was Fashion Week on Ice with 180+ skaters buzzing around in colorful coats. The distance and the eye-numbing cold made it difficult to focus on the clothes—but that was hardly the point. Marc Jacobs continued his tradition of shows at the Armory on 25th Street. The models traipsed out of a Tim Burton-esque paper palace, each wearing gargantuan accessories: fuzzy hats, shawls, and even oversize clothespins. Mr. Jacobs’s theatrical vision recalled nothing so…

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This is the fourth season for New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, whose larger and more numerous venues afford more room for spectacle than Bryant Park. Even so, many brands show elsewhere around the city to build an even more immersive brand experience. Moncler took over Central Park’s Wollman Rink. It was Fashion Week on Ice with 180+ skaters buzzing around in colorful coats. The distance and the eye-numbing cold made it difficult to focus on the clothes—but that was hardly the point.

Marc Jacobs continued his tradition of shows at the Armory on 25th Street. The models traipsed out of a Tim Burton-esque paper palace, each wearing gargantuan accessories: fuzzy hats, shawls, and even oversize clothespins. Mr. Jacobs’s theatrical vision recalled nothing so much as Cecil Beaton, the art director that brought Eliza Doolittle to life on stage and screen.

Marc Jacobs has long since proven that he can conjure up some remarkable fashion, but he has entered the pantheon largely due to his ability to master all of the tools of image-building. The most celebrated designers have become art directors and storytellers who can disseminate a unique brand vision through every imaginable medium: not just ready-to-wear, accessories and fragrance but stagecraft, magazine ads, online videos and tweets.

That brings me to my favorite show of New York Fashion Week. Joseph Altuzarra’s presentation wasn’t flashy, but his Fall 2012 Collection was plenty playful. The stars were little discs of color—psychedelic ones in V-formation on sweaters, metallic ones dangling and jangling from belts and hems, printed ones in an electric orange pattern that recalled both Indian saris and Moroccan textiles. Joseph Altuzarra managed to harmonize seemingly incompatible design elements, deftly mixing military details with ladylike charm, demure skirts with audacious side slits, accessible shapes with majestic detailing. There were plenty of bells and whistles to be sure, but they were on the clothes—not the stage.


Buying a Quality Suit in 8 Easy Steps

Much of the painstaking work that goes into crafting a fine suit isn’t as apparent on the rack as it is over time.

High-quality suits conform to your body rather than the other way around, but it’s difficult to get that sense in the store. Here are eight shopping imperatives for finding a truly exemplary suit. 1. Wring the pants leg. Great suits are made with fabric that seems to remember its original shape. You can quite literally stand on a crumpled-up suit of high quality, and it will recover its original shape. Stores won’t be happy with that particular experiment, but you can do a mini-version by wringing the pants leg like a towel. If the wringing leaves creases, then the quality isn’t as high. 2. Lift it. Take the whole suit off the hanger and lift it. Better suits often use a very lightweight fabric. You…

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High-quality suits conform to your body rather than the other way around, but it’s difficult to get that sense in the store. Here are eight shopping imperatives for finding a truly exemplary suit.

1. Wring the pants leg.

Great suits are made with fabric that seems to remember its original shape. You can quite literally stand on a crumpled-up suit of high quality, and it will recover its original shape. Stores won’t be happy with that particular experiment, but you can do a mini-version by wringing the pants leg like a towel. If the wringing leaves creases, then the quality isn’t as high.

2. Lift it.

Take the whole suit off the hanger and lift it. Better suits often use a very lightweight fabric. You should note the weight when you’re trying on the suit as well. A great one will feel natural, almost like you’re wearing nothing at all.

3. Look for chest points.


The body is not symmetrical front to back, and we don’t usually stand like soldiers anyway. Good suits take this into account — they’re cut with less fabric in the front so they lay flat across the chest. They’re also made from thin, soft canvas, which creates a smoother line down the front of the body. If the jacket lapels stray from the body, forming mini-points at your chest, find another suit.

4. Make like an umpire

Do the “safe” test. With the suit jacket on, hold your arms chest-high and parallel to the ground. Then move them back and forth, from crossed in front of your chest to pointing out left and right, just like a baseball umpire calling a runner safe at second base. How far can your arms move? Higher armholes and better fabrics enable high-quality suits to provide a greater range of motion.

5. Check for prepared sleeves


Look for a basting stitch on the sleeve, which lets you specify the kind of buttons you want. Similar stitches should be found on the shoulders, vents and lapel buttonholes.

6. Check the pattern at the pocket

Fine tailors go to great lengths to ensure that checks and pinstripes flow smoothly across pockets.

7. Study the shoulder

Shoulders are the most difficult part of a suit to get right. A good one should look and feel soft—not overly structured or padded. You’re looking for what the Italians call sprezzatura or effortless style.

8. Consider a second pair of pants

If the suit is made to measure or sold as separates, a second pair of pants may double its longevity in a price-conscious way (plus it gives you an incentive to keep your waistline in check).


Throw off the Bowlines

My father was a sailor. He taught me to man a ship, and he had a bit of Captain Bligh in him. Growing up in South America, I learned to sail on a starboat—a two-man racing boat and the progenitor of the Etchells 22. It was on the decks of that starboat that my father instilled in me a now-permanent love of the water that I indulge whenever the opportunity arises. Recently, I escaped down to Bermuda. There’s quite a sailing culture there, anchored by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, which has been around since 1844 (and capital-R Royal since 1846). Every other year, there’s a big race from Newport to Bermuda, and a race from Bermuda to Plymouth, England once every four years. I…

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My father was a sailor. He taught me to man a ship, and he had a bit of Captain Bligh in him. Growing up in South America, I learned to sail on a starboat—a two-man racing boat and the progenitor of the Etchells 22. It was on the decks of that starboat that my father instilled in me a now-permanent love of the water that I indulge whenever the opportunity arises.

Recently, I escaped down to Bermuda. There’s quite a sailing culture there, anchored by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, which has been around since 1844 (and capital-R Royal since 1846). Every other year, there’s a big race from Newport to Bermuda, and a race from Bermuda to Plymouth, England once every four years. I actually took part in the Plymouth race once—longer ago than I’d care to admit.

We have a Bermuda home, which was built in the 1920s by the Australian people who introduced Easter Lilies to the island (those lilies are now omnipresent come Easter). And as inviting as the house is, I try to spend as much time sailing as possible. The weather wasn’t ideal this time around, but I got out there enough. The ocean is always good for remembering and forgetting and generally restoring your mind to a slightly saner version.

Below: Photos from my most recent trip to Bermuda.


Terron’s Takes: Street Shooter

If you get a chance, I highly recommend visiting the Vivian Maier street photography exhibit at the Steven Kasher Gallery on 23rd Street. Vivian was a nanny in Chicago who started taking snapshots of life as she found it in the 1950s. Her sharp, evocative and often haunting images captured street life from Chicago to France to Yemen. Over the course of 40 years, she took 100,000 photographs, but never publicly displayed her work. After Vivian passed away two years ago, a Chicago historian named John Maloof purchased a trunk of hers at auction. The trunk turned out to contain thousands of never-before-seen images taken by Maier, which are the basis of the exhibition and a new book, Vivian Maier: Street Photographer. Her use of…

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If you get a chance, I highly recommend visiting the Vivian Maier street photography exhibit at the Steven Kasher Gallery on 23rd Street.

Vivian was a nanny in Chicago who started taking snapshots of life as she found it in the 1950s. Her sharp, evocative and often haunting images captured street life from Chicago to France to Yemen. Over the course of 40 years, she took 100,000 photographs, but never publicly displayed her work.

After Vivian passed away two years ago, a Chicago historian named John Maloof purchased a trunk of hers at auction. The trunk turned out to contain thousands of never-before-seen images taken by Maier, which are the basis of the exhibition and a new book, Vivian Maier: Street Photographer.

Her use of light and shadow is incredible, and it’s not a stretch to say that her images at times recall Avedon and Arbus. There is a concurrent exhibition running through January 28 at the Howard Greenberg Gallery. Trust me, Vivian’s work is well worth your time.

T