Keg Party

“Are you into black guys?” she leans in. I’m not surprised by the question, but still. Just how did my love life become a topic of conversation this early on? I met Lisa three sentences ago! “Because Marlon could introduce you to some of his friends,” she nudges. I look over at Lisa’s boyfriend, a gorgeous African American dancer standing next to her and watch how he smiles and fiercely nods. “Sure!” I say. “But I think you guys might be a bit younger than I am, no?” Lisa is thirty and Marlon about the same. They don’t care. Sometimes love is about being in the wrong place at the right time. “We met at my studio,” Lisa beams. “I threw a large keg part with a reggae band. He crashed it and saw me dancing and we fell in love.” We are nowhere near any beer tonight – we are at a fashion party – nor reggae music – we are at a fashion party – so I’m afraid my love affair will have to wait for a more favorable stellar alliance.

Luckily our conversation doesn’t end there. Because I just found my next Muse. Turns out Lisa Salzer is the founder and head designer at Lulu Frost, a jewelry company she started nine years ago straight out of college, “in lieu of getting a job!”. The philosophy behind the brand is simple: “Lisa’s work blends antique, vintage and modern elements to reinvent timeless classics.” You may have seen those beautiful pendant earrings made out of 1940s dress clips or the numbered 18k gold rings or the wildly popular pieces she’s been designing for J.Crew – “We’re now in our fifth season and it’s a joy!”. Or maybe you remember the Braced-lets she started two years ago with her orthodontist sister! Though variably different in their purpose, two unmistakable themes prevail: family ties and the past. “As an art history major, I find great value in the lessons of the past and consider that when I design,” explains Lisa. “Lulu is my childhood nickname and my grandmother was called Elizabeth Frost. She was in the antique jewelry business and is my inspiration. My mom Linda Salzer is my partner in crime – she buys most of the vintage pieces I use in my work. She has a great eye.”

I’ve never done a jewelry shoot before so I’m a bit nervous when we meet a few weeks later in Bridgehampton at Lisa’s favorite antiques store. “We get our best pieces from Barbara Trujillo. She’s brilliant. The best dealer!” cheers Lisa when we walk to the back of the store. The merchandise is overwhelming. I don’t know where to look first, and to try and see everything is ludicrous. I let Lisa do the digging while I find respite in the tiny rack of vintage clothes they’ve set up and, oh, my friend Patti Wilson who just walked in. “Isn’t this place amazing?” she gushes. “You should get that necklace…” I’m trying my best not to let all the shiny, sparkly things distract me. Instead I concentrate on the emerging styling theme. It’s undeniably 90s: oversized, denim jackets, cowboy boots, turquoise navajo necklaces, bold, gold charm bracelets… Is Lisa ready for this? “I often think my personal style is ‘eclectic and ladylike’ but I vary a lot from day to day” she tries.”Marlon encouraged me to get this new hair cut, which is pretty 90s I guess! He loves the 90s.”

I leave the store with my gold necklace – damn you people – and a pair of gold elephant earrings Lisa props inside my bag as a surprise. We meet three more times after this. Just half an hour later, on the beach with an entourage of friends and family; last Tuesday for the shoot at her Manhattan apartment; and the following day at my party with Diane Von Furstenberg. But that’s not all. We have plans to take cooking classes together and perhaps some flower arranging. And who knows, those might just be the wrong, domestic places I’ve never looked. I certainly thank the person who put me in the same room as Lisa when we first met. She’s one of the most generous, warm, genuine women I know. And you should all buy her jewelry. ; – ))




July 29, 2013

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18 Responses to “Keg Party”

  1. avatar

    so true Natalie! Lisa is awesome and very lovely in her Magda Berliner vintage lace frock…haha!

  2. avatar
    Dree Harper - Reply

    This tale is so packed with vintage eye candy and pure beauty! Lisa’s space, collection, clothing, beauty…amazing! You captured her perfectly, Joos and I love that I feel I know her more because of this tale. I’ve always LOVED her designs but now feel more of a connection. GREAT JOB! ps: the lips secretary blouse! the squash blossom necklace! SO GOOD.

  3. avatar

    Do you know where she got her grey couch? I have been looking for a couch exactly like that! It’s amazing!

  4. avatar

    I stopped short after the first line…the proclivity of white women to fetishize black men in this city is mind boggling…

  5. avatar
    Sarafina - Reply

    “The proclivity of white women to fetishize black men in this city is mind boggling….” Joos is writing about muses and vintage, is she not? We all fetish something….Personally, I fetish handmade over the black and white thing while living in East Africa.

    Joos, may I congratulate you on your beautiful pairings of old with new, East with West and North with South?
    Your writing is fun and intriguing. I wish you were my own stylist these days with all the functions I must attend in Hungary.

    • avatar

      Thank you for your comment Sarafina! People are so desperate to fault others. If Lisa had asked me if I were into “tall, blonde, Swedish guys”, or “younger guys”, or “women” for that matter, no one would have cried wolf.
      As far as styling is concerned, call me any time! I will go to Hungary and back ; – ))
      Thank you for reading my Tales, Natalie

      • avatar

        That is because a fetishistic taste for black men dehumanizes and continues to oppress a body of people and you are fooling yourself if you really believe ‘younger’ or ‘euro’ or ‘women’ can hold up as comparisons. And Sarafina, fetishizing a race is equitable to a brand of shoes, really??
        But anyway — the motive isn’t to ‘find fault’ in you and it isn’t ‘crying wolf’ to read something and raise an eyebrow. I think you’re a great photographer and an excellent stylist. I have been reading your blog for years and think your wardrobe tours are unparalleled. Do you really think I would write because I am crazy, because I care enough to find fault in you as a person? You’ve worked hard to become a culture producer and influencer and it is just disheartening to read about such a careless attitude in your carefree manner. Maybe this chick and her dude are really chill and you’re cool in real life but we (your readers) just aren’t on that intimate level with you – we just see your spunky outfits and swaths of glamorous friends wearing vintage. We read how you like being the only white person on the M train and we see Native American headdresses in the homes of white European women without comment. We can’t just assume you are down, or whatever.
        The victim here is not you with your hurt feelings because someone called you out, it’s the people who are routinely objectified, sexualized, and forgotten. By no means are you the only person in fashion, in blogs, in culture or in general who does it. But if you learn a little you may think before doing it next time. And maybe one day we can live in a world as beautiful and fair inside as out. All the best, IEJ

        • avatar

          Thank you for your comment Ingrid. I appreciate your being honest and not being rude or angry. I try to keep my life as uncomplicated as possible. If I ever thought there would be an issue I would not have written it. I hope you keep reading. Natalie xo

        • avatar

          Thanks for putting into words, so beautifully, what I was feeling and thinking about these comments too. Really, just thanks…..

  6. avatar
    Sarafina - Reply

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, we have our own shortcomings or faults (laugh away)…but usually shortcomings are star performances many are too unwilling to endure! Learning and loving is life in process. Loving others and loving the creations others were brave enough to make is just pure bliss. I adore your writing and will keep you posted on my next event which may have me hiding a little more than just the few pounds of Mozart kugeln I have delightfully consumed this past year.

    All the Best,


  7. avatar
    sois islam - Reply

    I do work with the rural underprivileged women to facilitate the process of improvement in their life, so that then can combat the hunger and provide support to the families especially the children for food, nutrition health and education. The theme what i follow is fashion for human development as strongly believe there is huge opportunity to make involved the rural women in fashion industries through developing their indigenous knowledge and life skill. Interested persons are welcome to visit my profile and join in this combat against hunger to protect our children from being deprived.

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