|Designer Neil Bieff (Photo courtesy of WAG Magazine)|
I have loved Neil Bieff's exquisite, ethereal, hand beaded dresses for many years. Now, I have had the pleasure of spending time with him at our store Mary Jane Denzer, as he spends time working with our clients one on one, to create their dream dress.
It's not a surprise, that Neil initially studied painting. He is a master colorist, who artfully layers chiffon in away that surprises the eye. His clothes are deceptively simple, and show at their best, when slipped on. He loves fluidity and is willing to wait for the, "ahhhh moment" women have when they look in the mirror.
Neil says, "I know my clothes don't have a lot of hanger appeal, but I'm not dressing a hanger, I'm dressing a woman. It's my job to highlight their best assets, and if I have figured out how to camouflage flaws, so much the better."
One of the nice things to see is how many devoted clients Neil has developed over the years. Women have told me they have never worn anything so elegant that was more comfortable and nicely, it invites repeat collaborations.
We somewhat jokingly call Neil our, "in-house Designer" at Mary Jane Denzer because he spends so much time with us. When he is in between trunk shows, he often lets us keep his samples, giving us another fabulous resource to show our special occasion clientele.
Neil also enjoyed a long friendship with our stores name sake, Mary Jane Denzer. I asked Neil to reminisce about a memorable encounter. He laughed heartily and insisted, "there are far too many to single one out".
"O.K. I countered, than tell me about the very first one." He laughed again and then relented...
"I had just spent over an hour selecting the silhouette and colors of the dress a client was to wear to her daughter's wedding and we were both excited. Mary Jane was always interested in seeing what was going on in the fitting room, she swept in, looked at our selection and declared it, "a disaster"!!!
"Naturally, it was back to the drawing board, but I was a quick study...After that, we often collaborated together. Mary Jane did have impeccable taste and an unerring eye. I would like to think we learned from each other and it always ended up benefiting the client."
I asked Neil, "what is your absolute favorite thing to create?" I was surprised at his answer. "As much as I love color, I'm always enamored with the pure, elegant, simplicity of a little black dress. Often, I will first create a new design in black, before interpreting it in color. That way I can really see the 'bones' of the dress."
Neil Bieff truly is, an American original. In a time when things are mass produced and hastily copied, it's an honor to know and work with someone so devoted to his craft. No wonder his clients often come back for more...