Disclosing Beauty

21st October, 2014

My very first job upon moving to New York was at a couture embroidery house that outsourced hand beading expertise, design, and consulting to the world’s top fashion houses. On any given season, our team would be working on concepts for Lanvin, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Marni or Balenciaga ~ but the first account I was personally assigned to upon hire was Oscar de la Renta. The grand duke of American fashion. It was an intimidating initiation for an awkward fashion upstart from Austin, Texas, and I hardly felt up to the challenge.

I’ll never forget the first day I had to go to Mr. de la Renta’s studio to present ideas to him. I was terrified, and not even close to being chic enough to deserve his audience. As a designer, I was far from finding my voice, and as a woman I was even further. My hair was dyed some terribly unnatural color and my clothes were thrifted and unflatteringly mismatched. But Mr. de la Renta was a true gentleman. Sensing my nervousness in his presence, he sweetly asked where I was from (how obviously a fish out of water!). When I told him, he clapped his hands and laughed, delighted. “Of course, Texas!” he said. “All the most beautiful girls in the world are from Texas!”

He wanted to put me at ease, and it was a graciousness I’ll never forget ~ a kindness I’ve been able to see in every Oscar de la Renta collection since. He genuinely saw the beauty in women, and devoted his life to letting them see it in themselves. He was a good, and kind, and talented person. His passing yesterday made me incredibly sad.

Seeing the world as beautiful is a choice. It’s an exercise, a muscle that must be toned and strengthened. But beauty is all around us, if only we can look up from our phones long enough to enjoy it.

Few American houses today occupy the same echelon of elegance as Oscar ~ but Tiffany & Co. is certainly one of them. It’s the place where Holly Golightly famously felt nothing very bad could happen to you, the epitome of New York City sophistication. I’ve been honored to get to know them well over the years, to collaborate with their team in a dozen different ways ~ to style the launch of Rubedo for their 175th anniversary (a project for which I dressed most of our models in Oscar de la Renta, naturally), dance with them at the Blue Book Ball (one of the most magical nights of my life) and share a holiday ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’ tradition that’s going on 5 years strong.

This fall, we’ve teamed up once again to film this special little video, in celebration of their Atlas eyewear collection. It’s our love letter to New York, and a reminder to always look for the beauty in life. You will forever see what you seek.

  • miaandpup

    Wow! I love how this is an ad hidden in an absolutely beautiful highlight of New York City. Fantastic work!

  • What a fantastic blog, the design makes you feel you are stepping into a different world!


  • He was such a nice man!


  • Paulina Villalpando

    I love the first photo! unbelievable shot. http://www.thepaarblog.com/

  • Rebecca


  • notoriousmcb

    i love that last sentence! you will forever see what you seek!

  • Arline Jernigan

    Thank you again. Once more, you are in sync with where my focus is. I am full of appreciation, and have been actively noticing where my focus is. Beauty in all its depth is absolutely part of my focus. It is essential, for me anyway, to really pause and see what is there, because sometimes beauty is not that evident at first glance, and needs a moment to glimmer.

    What you share, is a beautiful and creative perspective, that I am resonating and appreciating. I have no idea what your full and real time life is like, and I would imagine that it has challenges that don”t always look as idealistic as what you share with us. Otherwise what you offer, could not be as rich as it is.

    You offer a perspective bright, rich in beauty, creativity, love, connection and fun. It has been a helpful inspiration to me, one that reminds me of what is possible through my focus and determination.

  • I love the *feel* of your post 🙂 and I agree that seeing the world as beautiful is a choice. Well writen!

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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