Friday, October 9, 2009


ST REGIS HOTEL, Fifth Avenue/52nd Street NYC


Words, Judith Ecochard

Images J. Ecochard and courtesy of Richard Spiegel/The Fashion Tribune

It was delightful, really, to start New York’s Fashion Week in the stately St. Regis Hotel.

What was also truly wonderful was the designer Norman Ambrose who more than most designers we have ever seen, period…”harkens back to the Mid-century American and European Masters of made-to-measure.”

The young designer takes a page from Bill Blass in that he knows his customer…a woman who dresses elegantly, always appropriately, but who doesn’t want to look like she stepped out of a time capsule.

Labor intensive flourishes like turned hand stitched hems, hand beading-as in a glam evening gown that takes six weeks to make, silk linings, and detailed inner construction--- are givens.

Interestingly, Ambrose---who has been in business about 2 ½ years, told us that he goes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and studies the Costume Institute’s archives “to learn from them…and to buy vintage and learn from the masters.”

For Spring 2010, modern beautiful clothes like the “to Catch A Thief” gown with a long white scarf, a deep cowl back gown, and a great day suits- are top looks. Versatility is apparent in a ‘simple’ dress that can be belted or not…with a wide hem giving just amount of weight to the jersey fabric.

More casual garments like a basic tee ($475) is stylish in a French Sailor mode…and should please Ambrose’s clientele who live the Palm Beach kind of life.

Made to measure and private custom orders are popular options for many of Ambrose’s customers, especially full sized women…and working female executives.

Neiman Marcus also carries the collection that typically ranges in price from $2500-$5000.

INFO, Lookbook and Designer Contact: NORMAN AMBROSE