Thursday, December 31, 2009

Are you eating Pink Slime?

 Photo from the NY Times

I read this article from the NY Times too early this morning,  and it has left me feeling  nauseous ever since.  

I suspect this feeling will continue for quite some time, and it will guarantee I will never, ever again eat a hamburger that  I have not made myself, from meat the butcher has ground from one cut, right in front of me, where I can see it.  

(I may relax this rule should I ever move to Argentina, where food is treated with a great deal more respect. but here...)

I know this is not a New Years subject, but well.... how about drinking pickle juice as a hangover cure?  No?  I didn't think so...

Thankfully  we don't eat anywhere remotely like what I suspect is considered the average American diet, so this will not be a change so much as an even more conscious avoidance...

I am worried for my cats, who we affectionately call  "can"-ivores since they basically refuse to eat anything that does not come out of a can- seriously,  you know they ingest far, far  more "meat" than we ever would.

What is bizarre, and what Danny comment on immediately is the nowhere in the article does it even mention or consider  the toxicity of Ammonia, yet the FDA has approved the injection of  ammonia as a treatment of the "PINK SLIME"  that is added to the so called "meat" that is used in schools for hamburgers and the like to feed CHILDREN?

Approved it to the point that they considered the "beef product" exempt from INSPECTIONS? Ammonia at such High levels that it could be smelt in FROZEN chunks of the stuff? AND YET NOT LISTED AS AN INGREDIENT?

WTF?  Why don't we get the CPSIA on their ass?  While they are on their way to regulating small domestic manufactures of children's products out of business because of phalate and lead dangers, (dangers overwhelmingly found found in products made oh, in China?  As if  they stand a chance in Hell of actually regulating anything that comes from China?)  CPSIA should instead take on AMMONIA LEVELS in FOOD that kids (and adults) are being FED.  

The chances of ingesting an ammonia-tainted  hamburger, (or many) is obviously far more likely,  than eating say, a metal button from any country,  at any age.  Pink Slime just won't choke you.

Happy New Year & Enjoy your Fish and Tofu....uhhhh....wait a minute....


Thursday, December 17, 2009

New One-of-a-Kind Leather Jackets and Coats

Some new pieces are up in the shop (on Sale!)  and more will follow shortly. None of these pieces were ever produced in the skins shown so they are truly one-of-a-kind.

While these specific pieces are only available in the shop as shown and in sample size 2,  these styles can be made up in other leathers and sizes up to an 8 on a made-to-order basis,  or variations may be completely custom-made to fit you.

These jackets feature just some of the unique, limited-edition & exotic leathers we have found in the past.  The selection of these type of skins changes continually, so there is always something new and wonderful.

If you are interested in made-to-order or custom-made in any of these styles, or have any questions, please feel free to contact us.  Please note that the original (pre-mark down) prices on these styles are based on the specific leathers shown (that are no longer available) and will vary on made-to-order or custom-made pieces.

Also for the rest of the year all orders shipped in the US will be shipped free,  via US insured priority mail.   Just enter FreeShip09 at checkout.


Coming up for Air

I sort of fell of the charts since Thanksgiving and I apologize.   This always becomes a crazy time of year, almost without fail! Beyond all the family and business commitments & deadlines there are always unexpected things popping out of the woodwork!

One thing I am very excited about is this wonderful write up I got in The Wearable Art Blog. This blog features artisans & designers of textile, jewelry & other creations for the body (or not!).  If you are at all interested in hand-crafts, jewelry textiles and art, you should put aside some time to peruse The Wearable Art Blog.

Sandi has showcased great selection of unique, beautiful and lovingly created pieces and has searched out and featured artists from all over the world. She is truly dedicated to raising awareness and building up appreciation of amazing handmade design.  I am honored to be included here.

…I was really fascinated with this feature on a designer who works strictly in the realm of Second Life!  Very, very  appealing to the former Trekkie / Costume Con aficionado in me, but I could not in a million years imagine working without handling and feeling the actual materials in my hands. That would be torturous for me!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Events

Relax, chill & digest your food, nothing is going anywhere.  Enjoy your life and what's really important. 
Don't believe the hype.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Work in Progress

If you are noticeing quirks & changes or any temporary oddness in the shop, site & blog it is because we are having work done!

(That covers the hallucination part of the tag - we will ignore the aberration part here!)

Thanks all for your patience while we are getting things tied together for an improved and enhanced experience here at Behrle NYC.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Very Special & Best Wishes

I am always thrilled when my customers wear my pieces to special events.  But nothing makes me happier than when a customer chooses to commission and wear a piece for their wedding.

Congratulations and  Very Best wishes go out to D and his fiance.  Best of everything to you both,
now and for the future.  And have the MOST  beautiful day (with many more to come) on Saturday!

alternative wedding wear

alternative wedding wear
alternative wedding wear
 alternative wedding wear


Sunday, November 8, 2009

BehrleNYC Leather in Hollywood

I will  be in the Los Angeles area from November 25th through the afternoon of December 1st.  Except for the day of Thanksgiving proper. (as far as I know at this point)

I am taking this opportunity to set up appointments for Custom-Made Leather as well as made to order leather pieces.  I will be staying in Hollywood, nearby the Walk of Fame and Grauman's.

I will meet with you to discuss your project & take measurements.  Once design is finalized, most projects can be completed through the mail via muslin fittings and photos that I go over step by step with you to so the finished garment  is absolutely the perfect piece, with the perfect fit.

I am looking forward to meeting both new and prospective customers, stylists, etc. during this time and will be setting aside as much time as possible to do so.  From unique jeans and jackets, to luxuriously detailed outerwear to extravagant Evening and Stage wear.  Unique and couture treatments, from finely detailed and beautifully finished traditional leather handwork  to exclusive and unique fabrics created with leathers and textiles. These are my specialties.

custom made leather jacket for Anastacia

custom made men's leather jean

custom made leather coat

custom made men's leather jean

custom made patent leather catsuit

custom made pieced leather gown

custom made leather pants for Sarah Michelle Gellar

custom made pieced leather pants and Freeform Top

custom made silk and leather dress

custom made silk and leather dress

custom made leather vest

custom made leather and python shirt

custom made leather coat

Please contact me at behrlenyc (at) gmail (dot) com.  Before November 23rd,  If you would like to arrange a meeting. 


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from Behrle NYC!!!

from my 1920's Ghostly self...

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Save the Garment Center Rally

I just got back from the Save the Garment Center Rally and I was quite heartened by the turnout.

save the garment center rally

save the garment center rally
Nanette Lepore Speaking

save the garment center rally

save the garment center rally
Crowd breaking up & media presence

I was a little nervous, since over the last year and a half or so I had contacted them several times about volunteering, but got nowhere and kinda gave up on that route.  This afternoon I met Anthony Lilore, of Restore clothing who told me that Save the Garment Center is now being managed by a whole new set of people, so I am hoping to find out soon what I can do directly to help.

Attendance ran across the board, design, sales, backroom staff, sewers, cutters etc, etc and Speakers included Joe Raico,  from the Documentary "Schmatta",  he is the very insightful guy whose history in the Garment Center, working as a cutter, makes up a good part of the narrative of the film.  Which I saw last night and I really recommend it. (review here)  It really is a microcosm of what is going on all over the country and it makes you angry and sad and really, really pissed off.  What happened to us?  

The speakers included Nanette Lepore and Robert Savage, Christine Quinn,  Yeolee Teng,  & Micky Boardman among others as well as a very powerful letter  by costume designer Martin Pakledinaz that was read, which really emphasized beautifully how very far beyond NYC and fashion business the importance of having and saving the Garment Center goes.

Then on my way home I passed this:

(I have dubbed it "Hotel UGH".  This is at what was considered the outskirts of the Garment Center. )

hotel ugh four points
ok- not so bad...

hotel parking
valet parking perhaps?

view of wall
You like the view?

view from 9th Ave

From the corner of 9th Avenue looking East, hotel entrance is on right (South) side past scaffolding & park here signs. The building on the left is Port Authority. 
The view is not going to change. neither will the traffic, (this is the Bus Entrance of Port Authority) 
Welcome to New Yawk City! (circa 1974)

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Schmatta, when things were Made in the USA, in NYC.

A friend of mine in San Diego Just sent me this link to this HBO Special and I completely missed it! (Doh!)  So I will be going home tonight to watch it before tomorrow's Rally at the Big Button & Needle Statue.  Thank You Jean for bringing this to may attention.  (I love TV On-Demand)

I started spending a lot of time in the garment center when I was doing costumes as a kid. I'd come in from NJ to get supplies and at one point I was assisting one of my teachers from my costume design classes.  He was working on "The Devil and Miss Jones 2" (Funny Story, but for another day). 

He was on 18th street, so it was between the Garment Center and 14th Street to get supplies.  He always wanted me to go to 14th street, which I HATED with a passion.  Yes, 14th Street was closer but it took 10 times longer to find anything,  scrounging through the filthy & dinky discount shops that made up 14th street at the time.

Meanwhile, up in the Garment center you could get Everything and Anything you ever needed, for any kind of sewn project, no matter how unusual, specialized or bizarre.  You only had to duck the guys pushing their carts as opposed to dealing with the skeevy souk-like atmosphere that ruled 14th street at the time.  It was amazing, crowded, vibrant and inspiring all at the same time.  We need it back.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Rules - Consultation Fee for New Clientele

Starting October 15th, there will a $150.00 fee for New Clients for any in-person appointment for custom made leather.  (Post Updated December 9th 2009)

At the time of the initial appointment a $150.00 minimum deposit is required.  This is payable by Visa, MasterCard or cash. 

This will be applied 100% to your order of the garment under consideration, within 1 month of initial appointment only.  If you do not follow through with an order in that time frame it cannot be refunded or applied to any future orders.  This covers up to a 1 hour, in-person consultation, measurements and includes any and all additional time spent swatching leather samples, researching styles,  & all  correspondence, etc. 

All jobs started at the time of appointment require a 50% deposit.  On occasion an estimate may not be finalized at time of first appointment (due to exact fabrication or design details not being completely finalized, additional info needed from client, etc. etc.) In this case the deposit required is 50% of low end of initial estimate.  Please note I do not give "estimates" over the phone.  All I can do over the phone is give you an idea of an average price range  based only on the items that people have ordered recently. 

At this time we do not accept Amex in the studio, but we do accept it online.  So,  if you wish to pay with American Express we will send you an invoice via PayPal that is payable online (you do not need a PayPal account), at least 48 hours before the scheduled appointment.  This payment must be processed at least 24 hrs before appointment to secure your chosen time slot.

As much as I would like to continue providing free initial consultations to New and Prospective customers,  with my schedule and in consideration of ongoing projects with my current clientele it is simply no longer possible. 

This consultation fee does not apply to any current or repeat clientele. 

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Correction!!!- Save the Garment Center October 21st

Reposting  because  I am sooo freeking DYSLEXIC.... It's not the 12th it's the 21st of October!!!!
Be there,  Please.  (I did enter it in my calender correctly at least!)


Just got notice of this Rally this in my mailbox and I hope to see tons of people at Noon on October 21th at 39th Street and 7th Avenue, under the Big Button Statue.  For more info go here.

An addendum:

This is from my dear friend Carolyn Kostopolous, owner of Carelli Costumes (and NO do not call them about Halloween, they ONLY do Broadway and are understandably sick of the phone calls this time of year. ) She says it much better than I do.

“I have to say, I'm not sure what the point is.  Obviously, I believe the country and, more specifically, the city should have a viable manufacturing  / crafts base- clothes, furniture, food, anything tangible.  as a nation, we don't make anything anymore- just a bunchof overpaid suits who sit in front of computer screens and trade information.  if they could do anything with their hands, they mightbe happy fulfilled people and not need to make unconscionable sums of money for nothing.

However, at some point you have to realize that the garment district is gone in all but name.  Even if you lowered rents or stopped residential development, which might be all but stopped now due to the recession, but the people, the workers who had the skill to sewall that stuff are all retired, moved or dead.

Angelo said much the same thing to me when Obama was elected.  He said "Ok, what difference is that going to make?  You don't produce anything in this country and you haven't for years.  It's not like all the capable people are sitting around waiting for jobs to open up.  Those people have moved on."

But I do think it's worth a fight.  We have to get people making things again.  Who will replace me?  Or you?  You can't learn what we know on the internet or in a two year course.

And once the economy becomes based more on real things rather than mere information, and I think it has to, the only people who will survive are those who can actually make something.”

We have to keep manufacturing and all the support businesses in Manhattan.  This city,  this country cannot afford to just toss out and ghetto- ize buisnesses that are providing REAL  JOBS  that support REAL & SKILLED workers.  We cannot afford to put all our eggs into the unrealistic and now proven delusory fantasy that is Wall Street  & the so called "market".  Whose market?  Unlike Shakespeare, in this case, "thinking" be it on paper or via some quant's computer model,  doesn't make it so.
We need to keep these skilled and specialty jobs in Manhattan. We need to keep these skilled jobs in this country, period.

Because, no matter what many people may think, to be able to sew and make clothing is a skill not to be taken lightly.  Think about it,  it is one of the skills,  that given an apocalyptic situation would be needed right up there with food and building shelter.


The Rolex Jacket has Finally Landed...

Wow, I had almost forgotten about this jacket... I wonder if the stylist even knows, it's been so long.

custom made jacket for rolex

But it looks fantastic and I am so glad the photos finally came out!  All around a gorgeous shoot.
Thank You's go out to to a new customer for bring this to my attention,  I really appreciate it.
And Tommaso, wherever you are,  it looks amazing!  When are we gonna work together again!!!?


Save the Garment Center Rally October 12th

Correction, the date is OCTOBER 21st !!! see NEW POST


Just got notice of this Rally this in my mailbox and I hope to see tons of people at Noon on October 12th  Correction October 21st at 39th Street and 7th Avenue, under the Big Button Statue.  For more info go here.

We have to keep manufacturing and all the support businesses in Manhattan.  This city,  this country cannot afford to just toss out and ghetto- ize buisnesses that are providing REAL  JOBS  that support REAL & SKILLED workers.  We cannot afford to put all our eggs into the unrealistic and now proven delusory fantasy that is Wall Street  & the so called "market".  Whose market?  Unlike Shakespeare, in this case, "thinking" be it on paper or via some quant's computer model,  doesn't make it so.
We need to keep these skilled and specialty jobs in Manhattan. We need to keep these skilled jobs in this country, period.

Because, no matter what many people may think, to be able to sew and make clothing is a skill not to be taken lightly.  Think about it,  it is one of the skills,  that given an apocalyptic situation would be needed right up there with food and building shelter.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Channeling H.R. Giger

 Wow, was I blown away when I finally got the chance to look at Alexander McQueen's show.  The prints are brilliant, the use of the prints is so out of this world.  They blew me away.





So I am perfectly perplexed as to why all the review on could talk about was Lady Gaga and the accompanying hordes on twitter.  

It mentions the concept as being sort of an apocolyptic "Waterworld".  But,  it completely ignores the VERY  OBVIOUS and (I think) incredibly beautifully executed homage to the works of H.R. Giger.

H.R Giger,  I think is one of the most influential of our contemporary artists.   His work transformed  and completely re-invented & redefined what is "Alien",  threatening and unfathomable, both in us,  and in the futuristic universes that make up his realm.

 His painting are just that - paintings, not computer generated, but generated out of his imagination and made real in all of the various film and decor projects he has done over the years.

Case in point... check out the full splash page on the official HR Giger site -  it could be the breast plate of one of the dresses....


Not to mention the shoes and the hair, both of which are incredible -  as both unbelievable edifices and pure works of art.  I am astounded that the girls could walk in these! (and I wonder how much they weigh - they are so purely dangerous! I like this. A lot!)

giger-helmet-hair giger-hoof-boot


I am such a sucker for prints,  having worked in leather for so long,  so I think this is my favorite McQueen collection of all time! 


Sunday, October 4, 2009

What drugs were they on?

When they came up with the idea that Lindsay Lohan could/should be the Creative Director at Ungaro?

Who, really, actually believed this would work?

...with a whole line of leggings under her belt? (I don't like to be catty, but really...sad)

& I have noticed they have recently updated the leggings website, with slightly better teeny-tiny leggings pictures, but still crappy looking "enlargements" of details.

But... what's with the Marilyn Monroe fixation??? A gigantic insult to Marilyn, who did exhibit both talent and taste in her public life. Yes, I get the drug-addled comparisons they allude to, but please...

I seriously do not get the reference to Marilyn on leggings with quilted leather knee patches. But I would really like to know who set up this deal for her. Imagine what they could do if they actually had some talent to work with!

The whole thing is fascinating but really, really depressing for the Fashion Industry everywhere...

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ready-to-Wear vs Custom-Made

Fashion Week is over here in NYC, and everywhere, the press has been full of stories on the state of the industry, the price of the clothes and how to give the industry, especially at the high end, a jolt.

Debate over price point, $800.00 for a dress is considered by some to be to “low end” for “high end” according to an interview in the NYT with Vera Wang, while Thakoon shows off $100.00 a yard fabric that he plans to use for a dress that will wind up at about 2000.00 in the stores.

Me, I think this is pretty impressive, considering he has to make that dress, pay for all the materials (There is a lot of draping this season=more fabric) & notions (trims, buttons, zippers etc) plus the highly skilled sewers needed to make something that will merit that price and then, add his markup, covering fixed and variable costs, and allowing for some profit (this should also include an allowance for buy backs & charge backs) plus carrying costs, since he will probably have to wait between 90 - 120 days to get paid. All this, for about 1/3rd of that estimated retail price.

On the other hand, in Thursdays’ style section was a feature “The Bodysuit Electric” featuring a $2300.00 ready-to-wear YSL strapless leather 1980’s style bodysuit, and all the different ways you can wear it. (Unfortunately all too 1980's derived) It is a hot, sexy garment, but why would you buy this as RTW? Even in the editorial you can see that the model will fall out of it the second she spontaneously raises an arm. A great piece, but a piece of this sort screams out to be custom-made. And when you consider the investment, it should to be custom-made.

What do you think, RTW vs Custom-Made?
Why and for what would you make the choice, or not, to go Custom-Made?

Or even Made-to-Order? (Usually an existing style, but adjusted to suit, usually within a specified size range.)

Other reads:
Wall Street Journal - various articles on Luxury

There is a ton more out there, but my brain is a bit fried from the last week. I need a break!

Runway (!) Image Credit
There are some really fabulous photos here, Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ephemeral and Eternal

The view this evening:






It is beyond my ability to describe the feelings that fill my heart when I see these lights. They are simply, to me, the most beautiful and fitting memorial to all who died on 9/11/01 and to all who have fought for us and all who have died since.

The Skyline is like a hazy glimmer of what could be the best in us. A once and future dream if you will. I hope we will reach it.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Rick Owens' Real Aesthetics

I had to post this, the first part a great interview with Rick Owens that I found here, On The Business of Fashion. Part two is on youtube.

I have known about Rick Owens since the late 80's. A roommate of mine was good friend of Michelle Lamy, who he lived with at the time, in LA. I was always hearing about the clothes he was designing. (We've probably been designing for the same amount of time.) So over the years I've always followed his work and have always held a great deal of admiration for it, especially as a fellow designer who works in leather. In this interview, I realize that we share a lot as far as our feelings about fashion, the industry and working in it. His POV, is both practical and realistic and he doesn't buy into all the BS that we are bombarded with constantly.

I love that he jettisoned his press office, and the reason why. I love, love, love his kind of aggravated comment on the cv's & "collages" he sees all the time.

"Everyone wants to be a designer, what I need is older people who know how to make the stuff"

I could not have said it better myself. Bravo!

(Case in point is a dear friend who gave up teaching her Senior's course in American Couture at FIT. Because FIT does not teach them enough construction to either make or differentiate between 4 types of buttonholes. How shameful of FIT.)

I love that Rick Owens has stayed so true to himself over the years and of course I love what he does with leather (& knits). We share an aesthetic about wearability and quality & I am thrilled that he is finally getting his due.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Glorious Leather Jacket

Ok, after getting all worked up about the leather jackets in "Inglourious Basterds" let's get back to the modern world. (Though I live to see those statement lapels come back!)

Here are some photos of a jacket I just finished, in an incredible espresso brown leather called "Roadrunner". The leather was milled a bit before cutting to bring out the grain. I am loving this leather. It's got a beautiful hand and very good weight and it works up beautifully.

This jacket was based on a old and much loved & worn, jacket belonging to the customer.

But the original jacket was quite beat up & much too over-sized for his taste & style today so really it was just a jumping off point.

It is lined in a heavy weight cotton sateen in a contrasting khaki and has these wonderful variegated horn buttons as well as two large outside pockets and 3 interior pockets, 2 at chest level and a special semi- hidden card pocket.

Custom Leather Jacket-Front

Custom Leather Jacket-Back

Custom Leather Jacket-Detail

Custom Leather Jacket-Detail

Custom Leather Jacket-Detail

Custom Leather Jacket-Detail

Custom Made Mens Leather Jacket I am thrilled with the way it came out. It looks great on him, suits him perfectly & and should last him forever! ... Drat, did I just lose another customer!?


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