DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: NORMAN AMBROSE – The Art of Dressing A Woman In Today’s Society

20121119-173504.jpgIn my opinion, the best characteristic a designer can possess, is the devotion to his craft. Designer Norman Ambrose, not only designs the most exquisite womenswear but is involved in every step of the way; hand creating all of his garments. From an inspired idea to the red carpet, every detail is overseen and crafted by him. This technique that has been somewhat lost over the years while mass production of fashion holds precedence over custom fit, tailored to the customer’s body, clothing. or in other fancier words, COUTURE!

I had the great privilege of sitting down with Norman (who just happens to be one of my favorite designers) in his NYC studio to talk shop, and pick his brain about what makes him tick!

His upbringing greatly impacted his views on the fashion industry and influenced him to later start a career in fashion! After attending the Academy of art University in San Francisco, California for photography, Ambrose moved to NYC to start a career as a designer.
What inspires him most is the memory of his grandmother who had a very large influence on his life regarding the way he views how a women should dress.

In her time, women “dressed” for every occasion! From grocery shopping to an evening out on the town, women made it a point to DRESS! Women would never leave the house looking as though she just rolled out of bed or think about being unpresentable! Before World War Two, when growing up in Europe my grandmother would travel all over the continent, but especially to Paris to have many of her clothing custom made by couturiers. Most women at the time did this! When she escaped to Los Angeles, California during the war she passed down the morals and values of presentability to my mother, which was then passed down to me by both women, and it just stuck!

Norman’s attention to detail is impeccable and something of another era but still modern enough to be beloved by American royalty and European Royals, alike! It is easy to see how his grandmother’s lessons of dressing are definitely a mainstay throughout his brand. But, his eye for detail was established when working as a photo assistant. He saw how different angles and lighting effects could execute practically any shape and look to an image. Norman uses that same eye when designing for a women’s body! Very smart, indeed!

The detailing of beading, appliqué, and fabrication is something to be commended! All of the beading and appliqué was done by hand by Norman himself! A true craftsman of fashion! I am thoroughly tickled by this collection, each garment, with it’s pop of color and color combinations is done so tastefully. No matter what Norman designs; every last inch is truly timeless and statement worthy!













What happened to the art of dressing in today’s society, is a question I ask myself everyday! Not just for the fashion enthusiasts who want to make a statement and wear the latest trends, but for the everyday male and female. How did we loose our sense of presentability, where the world has become so casual that in many societies it is has become acceptable to wear one’s pajamas when, going to the mall or even school! I’ll never understand this!
Have we become so accustomed to the mass production hot beds of H&M and Forever21 (guilty of loving them too) or bridged department stores that we forget the efforts that go into making just one fully designed garment and how special it is to purchase/ invest in something that has been developed over time, not just by shipping the specs and patterns of too a factory in the unknown and waiting for the delivery to show up!? Yes, the economical state of the US-of-A leaves little room for investing on “what sounds like a fairy tale” aspiration such as couture-like or high quality designer clothing, but I believe that when we get out of this recession the habits of the current generation of shoppers will still heavily rely on ” FAST FASHION” and will have already forgotten what it means and how it feels to make that special purchase, time and time again! I think we need a change! All in Favor say, I!



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