We started Beyond Style 8 years ago to serve our Palm Beach/ Manhattan clientele, some of the most fashionable, classy, and elegant women you will ever meet, and often their husbands who have equally high standards for clothing, art, and gifts. Between Jaime and my connections and 20 year histories in high fashion, I started at the original Cindy Crawford years of House of Style and she started at Tiffany, we became well-known for finding items our clients liked in a Vogue shoot or an Hermes bag backorder for 7 months, unique pieces of art they saw in a magazines like Architectural Digest et al…and together we can acquire most anything in a few days. But like the finest retailers in the world along with moda operandi, online art galleries, and whatever you want you can now in 2018 ALWAYS find these once coveted pieces somewhere on-line. Well, my true fashion sophisticates, at a certain age and place in life, where money is not an issue now say, all of them, if you can find it ANYWHERE on the internet-the dot coms of high fashion, but also the designers who swore they would never sell online like Chanel, Gucci, Armani have websites that do selling, they’re not interested! So at gifting season, our best season always, when we have gifting lists from our ladies for every person on their list and price imaginable, we probe for the essence, personality, and other voir dire like questions, and we go out and buy their entire Christmas gift list and wrap them ourselves, and they look like the most thoughtful and best gift givers ever. Now it’s a little more difficult to say the least!
So, we have changed our mission, which has proven far more successful over the last few years, we now consider ourselves treasure and beauty hunters rather than Personal Shoppers. This is tricky, you must find stores and bespoke designers, back room expert tailors, art that is from an up and coming artist no one really knows about yet, and troll 7th Avenue and have a great Rolodex of people who know people who know people.
That said we had a true Christmas miracle. As we looked at our ideas on paper, we now must google it to see if it was or could be bought online anywhere, and a lot of pieces were knocked out unfortunately because of their ability to be purchased online. So inevitable panic sets in as we get closer to Christmas Day. Then by coincidence, which I don’t believe in, an incredibly gifted and very cool Artist, Joseph Conrad, had a painting a client wanted as a gift for her husband. Amazingly his art dealer is in palm beach! When he called I realized it was gallery owner Paul Fisher, the man who has an eye for genius art of all arenas, and pin points up and coming superstars in the art world, often 10 years before they are considered greats by the masses and in museums and million dollar art collection, because he is a genius and trusted beyond measure.
He has a hidden but substantial and breath-taking, artist dream of a Gallery around the corner from the Norton, as well as a gallery in Brazilian court, and choses the art for the elegant walls at Café Bolud. If you have not visited, and love investing in art and artists I suggest you all check them out. Then as I rounded a corner a single rack of the most exquisite, vibrant silks with incredible hand painted art painted to perfection on them. These were masterpieces, and gifts our clients would die for. I asked Paul who created these, they’re gorgeous, I’d love to meet the artist! To my delight he said it’s my wife Irina G. the woman you just met. What a find! He called her over, and the rest is history. This is art, in galleries, not clothing you get anywhere, but they are classic forever pieces to be handed down for years and years. They are Hermes silk quality but painted one of a kind in Russian batik style by her gifted hand. Amazing!
Irina told me she grew up in St Petersburg Russia, and her parents put her, seeing her undeniable talent, in rigorous art classes at 5 years old. 17 years later, and eager to be an artist full-time, she still was expected to go to college, of course the desire to learn raised by a famous Professor is in her DNA, earned a very impressive Master’s Degree from University in industrial design. An attempt at working in that field creating sleek coffee makers and designing complicated modern tech products, she inevitably returned to art, as she was already gaining fame in Russia at warp speed for a young artist! empowered by her early days selling her water colors on the streets of St. Petersburg and ending up in gallerys, she was determined to become a full-time artist. Realizing the ancient art of Batik, meticulously and tediously painted silks, a sensation and coveted since a revival in Russia, Asia, Africa, and Indonesia, was not known or popular yet in America, Why not go to the most tropical, lush ocean state in the US, Florida, and start to evolve her Batik Silk creations into a thriving business?
Her ambition and need for side income,to help create a functioning Batik art studio from scratch, lead her to be a top sales generator at Giorgio Armani on Worth avenue, an in-between job that lasted 13 years in the luxury tailored perfection world of Armani surrounded by the finest hand loomed fabrics by incredible artisans. Finally, after putting off her dream she returned to focusing on her rare batik technique painted silk line of master crafted scarves, kaftans , shawls, and even sarongs expertly painted by her own hand. Batik goes back 2000 years, one of the hardest art forms to find in America yet, because it nearly impossible to master the technique she uses, especially by someone so young, as it takes sometimes decades to be expert, but Irina has a gift.
First, I must explain the difference in art and regular clothing, even custom, Irina studied for years to achieve master level in the complicated process of creations on fine silk. Bear with me on some technical artist talk, but it’s worth hearing about. First, knowing you bought a true forever masterpiece, as her clothing some of the best art galleries, rather than retail stores, and custom ordered to a client’s desire and design by some of the richest of the rich fashion savvy women on the Island and beyond. People order customs on silk of their beloved pets or horses, exotic bird, or flowers they love, even your husband’s prized vintage Bugatti, you give her any picture she can draw it, paint it, and you get back a true piece of classic art to wear. Batik Art Technique simple as I can explain, though it’s unbelievably complicated and a tremendous amount of work goes into creating this art form. (see the video below-it’s mind-blowing). Batik Silk Painting process is designed by a master Batik craftsman employing a process of repeatedly waxing and tub dyeing to achieve their final result. This method requires mastery of color mixing and over dyeing; as each layer of dye is applied over the last a new color is produced. They often Stretch the fabric on a Frame or Hoop, that will keep the fabric flat and horizontal or you can work on some newsprint paper or a piece of cardboard if you don’t have a frame. They use a single-spouted tjanting tool, which Irina can only find in Russia, to draw thin lines and designs. It is a standard tool that is very versatile and comes in a variety of spout sizes. She then sketches the sizing to serious perfection, then after the wax settles, she paints the area of the wax which acts a resistant to not damage the fine silks in any way. I watched her, see the video below. It is an artistic gift that you need equal parts talent and expertise, as well as major patience to possibly create these beautiful pieces of magic. Absolute perfection!
I promise I am not affiliated, involved, invested or bias in any way! These are so magnificent you consider framing them rather than risk wearing them lest they be soiled. Please trust me, for the discerning friend or family member who has everything and then some, these will be among their favorites ever and will be coveted heirlooms to pass down for decades.
You can contact Irina G through her website or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Must see videos and gallery below!!!