story by Jeffrey Felner
photos by Charles Beckwith
My first and last impressions of the Norman Ambrose Spring 2012 show remain that the spirit of the artist and stage designer Tony Duquette must have taken up residence in the creative mind of Mr. Ambrose. There is a prominent level of perfectionism in how the seams are pressed, the hems are pressed, the clothes fit the models, and the tailoring is razor sharp. This collection is soigne, slick, luxe, metallic, and displays beading on top of beading.
Mr. Ambrose is an old school designer who understands “the ladies” who might be the gals of Texas or the chicks of California, but no matter where they are, they know how they want to look and that would be… tastefully glamorous, chic, and not cookie-cutter fashion of the moment. Ambrose’s work reminds of the Mediterranean jet set glamour of now gone American retailers like Martha, Lou Lattimore, Amen Wardy, or Grace Jones. Those were stores which catered to the richest and only carried the finest from all over the world, and they no longer exist. The collections of Mr. Ambrose can presently be found in Neiman Marcus, which means that Bergdorf Goodman can’t be far behind. These are clothes for remarkable women, those who are and those who wish to be regarded as such.