Tag Archives: michael andrews bespoke

My Engagement!

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On October 20, 2012 Michael secretly planned to propose to Keren (me) in an art gallery in Chelsea, NYC.  He wanted to celebrate my love of art and our many memories walking through museums and exhibitions together. Mike and I first moved into an apartment together almost two years ago, and our apartment felt like a home once we began collecting art. I also have vivid memories of our many vacations and the museums in cities we visited – learning about Surrealism at the Vancouver Art Gallery! Learning about the Medici’s at the Musée Maillol in Paris! Watching performance art at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid! We live and explore each other through cultural experience.

Yolanda Sanchez, Wherever you are is Called Here, 2012

Yolanda Sanchez, Wherever you are is Called Here, 2012. Oil on canvas, 48 x 96 in.

Yolanda Sanchez, The Absent Mirror, 2012

Yolanda Sanchez, The Absent Mirror, 2012. Oil on canvas, 52 x 42 in.

None of the galleries would allow Michael to rent their space. Some would not allow food near the canvases and others did not have the date available. Feeling dismayed, Mike vented to his local tailor and stylist Casey Bickley, from Michael Andrews Bespoke, during a pants hemming.

What kismet! Casey knew of a fellow whose mom owned a gallery and pulled some strings. Kathryn Markel Fine Arts agreed to the surprise. With the help of Alex, one of my fiance’s best friends from undergrad, Michael bought easels and interspersed pictures of Keren and Michael’s travels between the original paintings by Yolanda Sanchez, whose work was showing at the time.

Keren thought she was going to a work event until Michael started getting irrationally nervous. Michael sweated through his shirt and had to change before the event. He also could not even answer the most basic questions relating to the work event, “where is the event?”; “who is hosting the evening?” She knew something was up only moments before the big reveal when Michael started shaking (erratically) in the elevator. It was endearing.

Walking into the pristine, white space, Keren noticed that the entire room was empty and filled with photos of the couple. It took me a few moments to make sense of the scene – for a split second she thought that the artist had created an exhibition about her! Michael got down on one knee (uttered a beautifully prepared speech) and proposed surrounded by paintings by Sanchez for her work Meditations on the Between (press release can be found here). Thank goodness I was wearing something vaguely fancy and had recently been convinced to get a manicure! Had I known about the surprise, I probably would have dressed a wee bit differently, knowing how many photos I was about to be thrust into!

Mike and Keren Wedding Watercolor

Here’s a watercolor of Michael and me created by Danny Brito!

Keren and Mike at the Engagement Party

Yes, my sister did make us wear these ridiculous t-shirts! At least black is slimmimg!

Keren & Mike are Engaged!

The newly engaged couple!

Keren, Shari and Mom (Amy)

Keren, Moshe (Dad), Jesse, Maryanne and Roger

Keren, Shari and Mike

Michael had one more trick up his sleeve. Family and friends from Boston,Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. came in for the event. Surrounded by loved ones, a small gathering followed. Knowing my love of cheese platters and grape leaves, he also had catering from Zabar’s. Very New York!

Sanchez  writes of her work and mission statement, “My work is a gathering of my awareness of being and my experiences of moving with and living among other beings, places and things.   It is my desire to become a more ‘finely tuned observer’ and to live more in the moment.  Making art for me is a way of being present in the world; it is an act of attention.  And through this attention, I give back and offer praise to the world.  As such, my work is celebratory, expanding, opening, and about offering pleasure.”  Her art will forever hold a special place in my heart, I got engaged in front of her ethereal, bright and colorful paintings. Her canvases are dripping (literally) with emotions and sensations. As Wesley Grissom from Arbus Magazine writes, “Yolanda Sánchez is a figurative gardener. She doesn’t grow fruits, vegetables or flowers outside her Miami Beach home. Instead, the artist imbues vitality into allegorical gardens on canvas inside her studio.Brilliant blooms of pigment burst from her abstract paintings like clumps of crape myrtle blossoms tangled with verdurous sweet potato vines.”

Yolanda Sanchez, What was said to the Rose (That Made it Open), 2012

Yolanda Sanchez, What was said to the Rose (That Made it Open), 2012. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in.

Sanchez was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1960. She obtained a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 1979. Later she acquired her BFA and subsequently, an MFA from Yale University, where she studied with the British painter, John Walker. Yolanda is a Fulbright scholar.

The artist explains, “There is no story to be told, just simply a desire to awaken. My work, in general, is a search for re-enchantment, for a way to reach below the surface of things, to find that point of connection with life. ” How apropos because, on October 20, 2012, the day I became engaged to my soul-mate, an entire world awakened to celebrate my personal point of connection, my fiance.  Her subjective and explosive canvases are filled with pregnant thoughts, what-ifs, dreams, and promises. Each stroke a possibility.

Yolanda Sanchez, Midsummer Magic, 2012 Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 in. (121.9 x 121.9 cm)

Yolanda Sanchez, Wanderings #1, 2012. Oil on canvas, 41 x 29 in.

Yolanda Sanchez, Wanderings #1, 2012 Oil on canvas, 41 x 29 in. (104.1 x 73.7 cm)

Yolanda Sanchez, Wanderings #2, 2012. Oil on canvas, 41 x 29 in.

Michael worked with a jewelry designer in Boston, MA to reset the diamond that is a family heirloom from Morocco in the 1880’s. The diamond has been worn by four women prior to me, including Michael’s mother. This history and character is incredibly important to me. At one point the diamond was a pair of earrings, then later a solitaire ring.  The stone is a brilliant, round cut. My wonderful engagement ring has a rounded, square halo of smaller diamonds surrounding the center stone. It is art deco inspired. Not all halo rings are created equal. In order to achieve the halo look, most designs use inner metal prongs to hold the diamonds. Another option is to cut, groove, or notch the diamonds to fit together.

Rounded, Square Halo Engagement Ring. Rounded, Square Halo Engagement Ring.

Halos and cluster rings have been around since before the Victorian age. Famously, Princess Diana had one decades ago! 

My proposal was quite literally a “work of art!” Now off to plan my wedding…

(The Walkup)

Michael Andrews Bespoke

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Michael Andrews Bespoke is a custom tailor. The space is incredibly intimate, trendy, and modern. The storefront, hidden in an alleyway on Great Jones Street in Soho, NY, is an appointment-only boutique offering bespoke suits, shirts, tuxedoes, sport coats, pants, overcoats, pocket squares, cufflinks, neckwear and other formalwear. A self proclaimed “recovering corporate attorney,” Michael Andrews donned a suit and tie to a law firm every day for nearly eight years. When he could not find off-the-rack suits cut to his liking, he began having his clothes custom made. After trying over a dozen tailors without finding exactly what he wanted, he decided to open his own tailor shop. All of the fabrics in shop are courtesy of Savile Row ( A shopping street in central London, renown for its high quality men’s tailoring. The term “bespoke” is thought to have originated in Savile Row when cloth for a suit was said to “be spoken for” by individual customers).

In 2006, Michael Andrews Bespoke was launched with the vision of crafting high-end yet approachable menswear with a modern flare.  Since its inception, the storefront has been named “Best of New York” by Time Out New York, New York Magazine, Bloomberg Markets, AM New York and JW Marriott Magazine. My boyfriend has had the distinct pleasure of being fitted for one of Michael’s perfect suits (this takes several visits), and during his visit was hosted at the bar (complete with vintage typewriter) and given hundreds of textile options. My boyfriend and the owner have also stayed late discussing stocks, sports, and every other subject under the sun – the kind of attention that makes shops like this rare in this day and age. This exceptional, design oriented, unique and yet causal space is absolutely outstanding.

The hidden, back-of-the-alley space during christmastime. Courtesy of Robb Report, HERE.

A side street in Soho, achievable only by a hidden gate and doorbell. The sort of forgotten alley that makes a NYC resident feel as if they have finally discovered the secrets of an ancient city. Workers in the space have won Esquire Magazine’s “Best Dressed Real Man in America” (Dan Trepanier, Senior Advisor) and one is a fifth generation master tailors hailing from Monaghan, Ireland (Rory Duffy, Master Tailor). To find out more about the spot’s motley crew, click HERE. Visiting the space feels like taking a time machine to the turn of the century (and sometimes prior) to a space that appreciate patience, craft, and fit. To a time before electricity, when calling cards, gloves, and canes were a la mode.

 Image found HERE. 

The inner sanctum of the holy custom tailor’s floor. The black and white podium tables are offset by the velvet, velour, and corduroy knit suits adorning the ceiling shelves.

Could you ever say no to a man dressed in this suit? Bond, James Bond. The tuxedo first appeared in 1889 while dinner jacket is dated only to 1891. These two options are predated by the tailcoat and smoking jacket. Thanks to the evolution of tailoring, the menswear is now appropriate for both formal and informal locales.

Aside from the french cuffs, the lapels, the hemming, the lining, and all other custom aspects of a piece of clothing – the store itself is a beautiful exploration of masculinity, modernism, and restraint. The details all complement one another perfectly so that the end product feels contemporary yet vintage. New; yet old. This juxtaposition of companies based in old world techniques, married with the styles of new, helps Michael Andrews Bespoke to succeed.  In the end, would you trust a tailor to make you an aesthetically pleasing suit if he did not work in an aesthetically pleasing shop?

“It’s Ok To Be A Square”

The choices, the choices. Which fabric swatch calls to you?

The MAB Studio

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