“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged
to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
~ Nelson Mandela
It’s a simple idea, and I like to think of Telluride as that place. I have returned to those mountains year after year for most of the past 15 years, during Labor Day Weekend for its annual Telluride Film Festival, and upon every arrival I reflect on all that has happened during those weeks in between ~ collections created, salon dinners curated, stories told. From the first year I landed in the mountains on its 25th anniversary in 1998, for the student symposium (with Sarah Sibley, Sorrel Ahlfeld, John Krokidas and Bryant York), and as film critic B. Ruby Rich’s assistant, then working for the festival over the next five summers, a few times arriving by caravan through the Utah landscape, accompanying Peter Sellars and bringing a 5 month old Royal along for the ride, to more recently having the ritual of Friday afternoon’s farmer’s market and the beautiful lunches and dinners we make from the produce, and even foraging for the porcini for last year’s Sunday night dinner. One of the constants however, are the clothes, the style, what one is willing to wear in a different space away from home. Whether hunting through Pip’s Vintage store, getting the finest cashmere or piece of jewelry at one of the other four of my favorite boutiques ~ Scarpe, Two Skirts, CahmereRED, and the super cool Bounty Hunter, or finding the most fabulous coats at yard sales that used to line the streets as we walked to the MAX, for me Telluride is as much about the film, food and friends, as it is about fashion. Although it was film that got me to Telluride, it was fashion that brought me back during the winter every year for the annual Telluride AIDS Benefit ~ where I would do a runway show, which then led to doing a trunkshow each year during film fest with local designers including jeweler Christopher Beaver and designer Sue Hobby, and executive director of TAB Amy Kimberly (now in Carbondale), who have all helped sell my clothes locally over the past decade.
Our life is about ritual and Telluride has become my annual one ~ a moment outside daily life in the Bay area, holding a very significant place in my world. Film has always been a moment of escape when seen alone, collective enjoyment when seen in a packed theater ~ and in Telluride those moments are poignant, beautiful, transformative. A few highlights ~ the first year seeing Todd Solondtz’s Happiness with Philip Seymour Hoffman, blown away by Gaspar Noe’s Seul Contre Tous, being part of the first audience watching in awe Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at the Chuck Jones, an early morning and very emotional viewing of Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, followed by another early morning of Steve McQueen’s Shame, the following year ~Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bones, meeting Rob Epstein in line and talking porn the year before he made Lovelace, laughing hysterically watching The Big Lebowski as we’re walking down the hill towards Elks Park, curled up cringing last year next to my dear friend and filmmaker Josh Marston (who I met my very first year when he screened his short Bus to Queens) whilst watching Blue is the Warmest Color, thinking some films are best viewed alone, or in different company, elsewhere…and finally, last year seeing Robert Redford introduce and then completely entrance us in All is Lost in the new Werner Herzog, during a thundering rainstorm in the mountains, watching Joyce Maynard’s book Labor Day interpreted by Jason Reitman and first screened on Labor Day, and ending the festival with Alfonso Cuaron’s all-encompassing Gravity, in 3-D. These experiences can (and do) only happen in Telluride. Below is a visual diary of a few of my favorite (documented) memories and moments, ending with the collection of clothes that I just sent off for a trunkshow at Wizard Emporium on Main Street (126 East Colorado Ave, Telluride) that is on-going beginning this Thursday evening, August 28th through next week. Hope to see you there ~ whether in line for an early cappuccino at Coffee Cowboy and then 9am movie, late breakfast at Butcher and the Baker, a mid-day cocktail at the old Sheridan Bar, late afternoon coffee in the back of Between the Covers, eating the perfect carnitas taco at the taco truck next to the Mason, riding the gondola in the dark, roaming Main Street (above with Pamela Esterson, Sue Murphy and Peter Sellars), playing pool at the Sheridan, during fried quail and late night cool down at 221 South Oak, or foosball at the Last Dollar Saloon…all of these are just a few of my Labor Day weekend rituals…
Above ~ Royal in Telluride, 2003. Dressed in Baby Royal, in a stretch corduroy sling. Center, Right ~ Telluride AIDS Benefit, March 2002.
~~~ FILM ~~~
Above collage ~ Davia Nelson with Marion Cotillard (in town with the amazing Rust and Bones) and director James Gray, talking about his just released film The Immigrant. Peter Sellars in dialogue with Salman Rushdie, director Deepa Mehta and Satya Bhabha at the premiere of Midnight’s Children. A blurred Peter Sellars and Wim Wenders, on his amazing PINA, one of my favorite film experiences in Telluride. With Guillermo del Toro who was premiering the Devil’s Backbone in 2001, and who my husband Lloyd Bernberg was working with at Tippett Studio on Guillermo’s vampire feature Blade II. Slow Food Story’s Stefano Sardo, Berlin Film Festival’s Dieter Kosslick, Alice Waters and Michael Pollan in a discussion on the importance of food in culture. Foraging porcini with Angelo Garro and Michael Pollan during film fest 2013.
Above collage ~ On the road from Albuquerque to Telluride. Pit stop, A&W. Fried Quail at 221 South Oak. The Friday Farmer’s Market in Telluride. Heirloom tomatoes with basil and Angelo’s Omnivore Salt, 2013. With Angelo Garro, Charlie Hallowell and our 60+ pounds of porcini bounty.
~~~FAMILY & FRIENDS~~~
Above, top ~ our house 2012, with Davia, Alice, Sue and Tom. Late night with Pam and director Marc Cousins. LateLate night with Pam, Satya and Mark. Below ~ With Josh Marston and Dieter Kosslick at the Sheridan Bar. With Pam Esterson and B. Ruby Rich at the Steinbergs. Gregory Nava celebrating TFF director Tom Luddy at the end of Telluride’s MOTH, directed by Joey Xanders and presented by Salman Rushdie.
TRUNKSHOW at WIZARD EMPORIUM (ALL pieces are 25% off prices listed below), Thursday (evening) August 28th, 2014 through next Wednesday September 3rd. 126 East Colorado Ave, Telluride. Store phone ~ 970-728-4924 (or call me for more specific questions, 510-915-1312). There will be about 60 pieces, and below are a few of my favorites.
Above, left ~ black sparkle butterfly dress ($350), silver empire gown ($525), black sparkle Wings of the Dove gown ($550). Center ~ pink/red floral dress ($250) with black hooded cocoon duster ($325), black and white print butterfly ($325), red print knit dress ($275). Right ~ black hooded edwardian coat ($650), black/copper brocade empire hoodie ($525), navy and brown Italian wool raglan jacket ($475).
Above, left ~ grey wool cowl ($250), black cotton lycra knit cowl/upside down ($200), rust wool blend cowl ($250). Right ~ red novelty satin hoodie jacket ($325), pink/green floral brocade empire jacket with collar ($625), red fleece jacket with rosette collar ($325).
Above, from far left ~ creme lace with silver hoodie jacket ($325), creme cotton trumpet skirt ($250), olive with gold knit duster jacket ($325) over black cotton knit top ($85) and black rayon jersey skirt ($275); deep fuchsia poly chiffon dress with back detail ($350), black and purple textured brocade raglan coat ($550); red silk hoodie gown with black lace details (runway sample $725), red satin top ($85) and black scunched italian wool scarf ($125); silver dress (sold) with silver brocade raglan jacket ($650), lavender/grey textured dress ($625) with mid-lnegth black and purple textured brocade raglan coat ($525).
“to quote from Whitman,
“O me! O life!…of the questions of these recurring;
of the endless trains of the faithless…
of cities filled with the foolish;
what good amid these, O me, O life?”
Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity;
that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.
That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse.
What will your verse be?”
~ John Keating, Dead Poets Society.