"Figuring out what will be captivating, opulent and unforgettable is never an easy task if you are an emerging designer… who’s unwilling to follow the commercial herd!" ~ Roderick A Gunsell
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013 House of Roderick presented "Fall of Artemis," an avant-garde production of art, dance and couture jewelry during New York Fashion Week at the Carlton Hotel, Salon Millesime on swanky Madison Avenue. The red carpet event showcased the exquisite couture jewelry of designer Roderick A. Gunsell while at the same time raising money for "Baldwin 4 Children," a charity put together by the community of Baldwin, Long Island to raise money for children's programs affected by the 2013-2014 budget cuts.
A VIP press hour began at 7pm and was followed by the main event, "Fall of Artemis," a tale of repentance, spiritual awakening and hope, which unveiled House of Roderick’s Spring/Summer 2014 couture jewelry collection in a theatrical runway show. Not your average catwalk, this runway show had a "70’s-80’s Paris high-fashion appeal" reminding us that couture is a heartfelt passion and art form. "True couture is art and moves you to think!," says Roderick A. Gunsell, owner and creative director of House of Roderick.
As the music began to indicate the start of the show, the audience was taken back to the third century A.D. pagan-ridden city of Ephesus, Turkey during a time when it was a playground for paganism and spirituality. The opening act, choreographed by Jerica Hogan, showed models/dancers worshiping "Artemis," the goddess of fertility, who looked stunning painted all gold with mammoth all-braided hair on a stage covered in rose petals. It is told that during this period in time, local artisans would conjure up powerful, visionary imagery in her likeness, from hand-held statuettes to colossal icons towering in temples. Artemis promised a better quality of life to all who believed in her. However, as Christianity slowly enters the scene, Ephesus dramatically changes. In this act, beautiful angelic models in white flowing material descended from the winding staircase in fashion-forward couture jewelry creations transporting guests into the World of Roderick. Roderick's stunning jewelry collection consists of various materials, from 23-karat gold Venetian to semi-precious to Austrian crystal, and seeks to epitomize the lavishness and opulence of the New York City’s various cultures.
Roderick’s amazingly talented creative team was hand-picked of only the best professionals from the U.S. and Paris and did a superb job with costumes, music, body painting, hair and makeup making the show alluring, adventurous and unforgettable. His team included Show Coordinator, Siobhan Fenton; Creative Directors, Eric E-stylz Santiago and Romeo Schneider; Director of Photography, David Berman; Costume Director, Ceres Henry of Diaja Inc.; Director of Hair, Shenell Monique of Touch of Class Phase III Salon; Make-up Director, Shorada Lyez of Painting Faces and the makeup team of Liz Dugan, Marissa Rybicki and Ashley Soper.
After the show, Grammy Jazz Nominee Lynette Washington showed her singing talents as she did a rendition of Nina Simon’s “Images” followed by Peggy Lee’s, “You Give Me Fever.” VH1 Mob Wives reality star, Karen Gravano, was there to support Roderick and the “Baldwin 4 Children” cause as were other notable VIPs such as Michael Gargiulo, co-anchor of WNBC's Today in New York; Meagan Robar and Debra Toscano, stars from of Tainted Dreams and the Broadway show My Big Fat Italian Wedding, as well as other noted members of the media including Huffington Post, Millennium Magazine and Fusion Magazine, to name a few.
About Roderick A. Gunsell: Officially founded in 1989, Roderick Studios & Co. Inc., was the brainchild of creative director, Roderick A. Gunsell, who emerged with a unique and highly creative couture style that has caught the attention of the fashion world. Jewelry has always been in Roderick’s blood as two generations of his family before him had worked successfully both in fine and costume jewelry. His creative journey started at the age of 12 on a wintry Minnesota afternoon when an impressionable ray of amber sunlight beamed onto his mother's work table filled with mounds of crystal. That moment marked the beginning for this young fantasy-inspired jeweler.
Roderick went on to study art and also spent a period of time in Paris. By the age of 17, the young and inspired Roderick began to experiment with his artistic talents and embarked on making the first pieces of jewelry. His playful, colorful and bold fashion statements were quickly noticed and as he gathered a following, he unleashed more thought-provoking designs based on various time periods in history and far-away cultures. Roderick's classic-oriented jewelry, pieces are custom blown 24 Karat Gold Venetian glass and exotic, hard-to-find vintage materials from his family's warehouses. Notable clients have included Rosalyn Carter, Barbara Walters, Destiny's Child, Hillary Clinton, Cher, Wendy Williams, Martha Wash and numerous others in the music, stage and screen industries, who find his work stunning, individualistic and extremely stylish. He has been published in over 100 publications including Vogue Italia, Glamour, Modern Bride, Vibe and Essence. Prepare yourself to see even more of him....everywhere! For more information, visit www.houseofroderick.com
About Baldwin 4 Children: Baldwin 4 Children consists of parents, grandparents, alumni, students, children, senior citizens, local businesses and school educators, administrators and staff from the community of Baldwin, Long Island, New York. They all came together as a community to fundraise for children's programs affected by the 2013-2014 Budget vote. For more information on how you can help/donate, www.baldwin4children.org