Taste, Refinement & Soigne via Norman Ambrose


As a change of pace, today is all about the fall wardrobe that will be arriving in stores, even as we speak. Usually we are chatting about clothes that are shown on the NYFW runways, anywhere from 4 to 6 months before they see a rack or a body in a store. So in essence we are speaking about current events, which in this case are Fall 2012, and the collection is by Norman Ambrose and his eponymous collection.

Luckily, I was fortunate enough to be invited into his atelier for the occasion of photographing the look book for this season. The book goes out to the stores and select clientele for special orders and also to enable the client to see what the store has not purchased. Mr. Ambrose is part of a school of designers that seems to have been forgotten by the majority of his contemporaries; he takes extreme pride in his craft. His collections are what made and created some of the greatest American designers and turned them to legends; exquisite fabrics, clean pure lines, exclusive fabrications, no detail spared, an intimate knowledge of his “gals,”* and an understanding of the lifestyles of said ladies. He follows in the footsteps of Bill Blass, James Galanos, Norman Norell and Geoffrey Beene. Mr. Ambrose builds his clothes as did these greats of American design and it shows in the finished product.

These are not the clothes of soccer Moms and secretaries. These are the clothes that still go to lunch and still attend charity functions and perhaps go from office (board room) to dinner with just the addition of a fabulous fur piece, a throw or a coat. Some would say the lifestyle does not exist, I would argue that the stores have not allowed for the next generation of real ladies when they concentrate only on the shortest, tightest, most famous, unwearable and age inappropriate clothes. Have a look at the weekly photos of New York Social Diary and see there are still loads of ladies, of all ages, who still live a full social life and unfortunately look pretty atrocious.

Norman Ambrose brings taste, refinement, soigne, chic and timeless clothes to a world where there seems to be so little of these qualities. He pushes the envelope and renders extraordinary apparel for those who understand that beauty and fashion are not about conformity but about individual style. | Jeffrey Felner



*”gals” being the expression Mr. Blass used to describe his ladies!




|pictures via Norman Ambrose|