John Wind plus Joan Shepp equals a Philadelphia Mother’s Day extravaganza.
When it comes to celebrating Mother’s Day in Philadelphia, tony clothier Joan Shepp and opulence-conscious artist John Wind are always tied together as one. This year, then, together with local portraitist Denise Fike in the mix, Wind and Shepp go about the business of their annual Mother’s Day event this weekend, May 1, from 11 am to 5 pm, at Joan Shepp’s 1811 Chestnut Street salon.
Loving his mother, the late great Philadelphia artist Dina Wind as he does (to say nothing of his fine appreciation of the female form and spirit), John Wind has, this year, created a new collection, “At the Waldorf,” which uses the famed hotel’s original crystals in its design, as well as showing off his mother’s personal collection of work. All whose proceeds will go directly to the benefit of the Dina Wind Art Foundation.
“I’ll be highlighting two collections this Saturday, in addition to our always-popular Charm Bar,” said Wind. “The first is directly related to moms and women. It is a selection of my mother’s own jewelry collection; semi-precious, sterling and artisan pieces collected around the world during her lifetime. All proceeds will benefit the Dina Wind Art Foundation and its mission to Empower Differences and Transform Lives. The second collection is inspired by travel, memories and celebrations. I recently purchased several chandeliers that used to hang at New York’s legendary Waldorf Astoria Hotel, then taken them apart and used the crystals to create brand new jewelry designs.”
Wind went on to muse that his two new collections showing on Saturday have something in common, Both are anchored in stories of the past, his past.
“’At the Waldorf’ takes crystals from chandeliers that hung for decades in the legendary New York hotel, and reinvents them as limited edition jewelry,” he said. “In these transitions, the pieces take on new identities and personalities. But the past is still there, adding soul and meaning. I went to the Waldorf only once, as a kid, with my parents and brother. We were visiting my mom’s own mother, Savta Lisa, and her second husband. They lived in Israel, and were in NYC for his business. Because of the distance, my mother got to see Savta Lisa rarely. I remember her excitement, getting dressing up and accessorized that morning in Philadelphia, then sharing childhood memories with us on the drive up. The day was full of hugs, stories, treats for the grandkids, the jingle of my grandmother’s gold bangles, and the heady scent of perfumes… Forever linking this glamorous hotel with my matriarchal heritage.”
“Funny that I have found a way to bring it all together again. Through both my own designs and my mother’s legacy. And to share it with others. Objects have history, and new owners become their stewards, adding their own imprint, timeline, and aura. My mission has always been to facilitate this process by reclaiming and reawakening vintage materials, bringing them anew to a modern audience.”