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Friday, March 20, 2015


Photo Credit: Hilary Knight, 1969. Used by permission of Simon and Schuster, Inc./Courtesy of HBO

Paul Mayer's luxuriously, comfortable designs keep women coming back for multiple -- even dozens -- of pairs. Classic, yet contemporary and always comfortable, his shoes are an addiction that we highly recommend. A staple of the Paul Mayer collection is the simple ballet-flat, with true ballerina construction for a perfect fit that comes in a variety of colors and materials. A cult favorite is the cozy, a flat with lavender-scent infused soles adding style and fragrance to collector's closets as Paul's designs emerge in sophisticated design incarnations season after season in the most incredible hues, textures and modern innovations in luxury footwear because we know firsthand how incredibly brilliant he is. Mayer founded the brand in 2004 with partner, Jeff Levy. All shoes in the line are manufactured in Spain’s Valencia region, along the Mediterranean coast by a skilled staff of 12 artisans. They craft each pair of shoes with an old-world attention to detail that includes in-house embroidery, quilting and stitching as well as custom tanned leather. This allows the brand to cater to each retailer’s specific demands in with timely and consistent alacrity, with orders completed in an unheard-of 3 to 5 weeks. When not in New York, Paul can be found traveling to his myriad of stores across the country meeting his loyal clientele or vacationing in his favorite spot, the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach. 

Paul Mayer is a Mover and Shaker: 

Featured in: Hilary Knight and Lena Dunham
Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO

If you recall a few years back, we reviewed every Eloise book in print and then befriended Hilary Knight on Twitter.  (Thank you to Paul Crichton and Siena at Simon and Schuster.) We LOVE LOVE LOVE Eloise and we aspire to be six and live at The Plaza Hotel.  We also love love love HBO so we are absolutely delighted that they worked together on the latest and greatest stellar documentary that follows one quite opposite, The Jinx, (we reviewed Episodes 1-5 here) which has been on everyone's radar.  The diversity of coverage by HBO is incredible, and of all of the documentaries we've seen, this is one of the best to us because we have always loved Eloise and Hilary.
Featured in: Hilary Knight and Kay Thompson
Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO

"Extremely funny, inventive woman," says Hilary Knight about Kay Thompson.  They worked on four books together, and did you know the second was on Paris after Kay did Funny Face.  However, their relationship was not all sunshine and rainbows, and understanding the complexity of it is incredibly interesting for the audience.
Eloise of course is the brainchild of the late Kay Thompson, the author, but was brought to life on paper by Hilary Knight.  It was a pleasure to get "to know" him through this piece, and he says "Fantasy is probably the most important drive in my life."  His parents were exceptional artists though in contrasting fields: his father pursued aviation artistically while his mother indulged in complete fantasy drawing, which impacted him tremendously.

Eloise is loved by every young girl that is fortunate enough to meet her through her stories, and Hilary will be loved by everyone that takes the time to watch this show as his life opens up to you.  He never had any thought of doing anything but imagining, and his imagination is a national treasure.
Featured in: Hilary Knight 
Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO

We loved seeing his hall of books, his Broadway posters, and we liked Lena Dunham's observation of how he likes to live in a curated world he's created.  Don't we all?

Hilary also makes his own movies, and you'll be fascinated by the frog and the pond nymph.

Eloise does what she wants when she wants to, and you ought to want to prioritized It's Me Hilary on your March 23rd schedule!
Lena's tattoo:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO

It's me, Hilary is Highly Recommended by it's me, Peachy!
See it starting Monday!
Photo Credit: Hilary Knight, 1969. Used by permission of Simon and Schuster, Inc./Courtesy of HBO

Featured in: Lena Dunham
Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO
Featured in: Matt Wolf, Director
Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO

A little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel, free of parents, school and any notion of boundaries, the illustrated imp Eloise has been an obsession for little girls, a delight for adults and a sly feminist icon for more than 50 years. One of these little girls was Lena Dunham (creator of the hit HBO series “Girls”), who was such a fan that she had an image of Eloise tattooed on her back at age 17.

Directed by Matt Wolf and executive produced by Dunham and Jenni Konner, IT’S ME, HILARY: THE MAN WHO DREW ELOISE tells the story of Hilary Knight, the man whose pen helped create Eloise, and recounts the painful events that led to the dissolution of his working relationship with Kay Thompson, the books’ author and his closest collaborator. The documentary debuts MONDAY, MARCH 23 (9:00-9:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: March 23 (4:25 a.m.), 26 (10:30 a.m., 4:45 p.m.), 28 (12:45 p.m.), 30 (12:45 p.m.) and 31 (11:55 p.m.), and April 12 (11:00 a.m.)

HBO2 playdates: March 25 (12:30 p.m., 9:00 p.m.) and 29 (4:10 a.m.), and April 7 (midnight), 11 (6:45 a.m.) and 14 (1:30 p.m.)

IT’S ME, HILARY: THE MAN WHO DREW ELOISE includes interviews with friends, family and key cultural influencers, including Mindy Kaling and Fran Lebowitz, as well as a unique blend of archival footage, Knight’s extensive library of home movies and whimsical animations.

In 2012, Lena Dunham befriended Hilary Knight, who created the iconic look of the “Eloise” books. While author Kay Thompson was also an actor, singer, socialite and performance coach to stars such as Judy Garland, Knight remained far below the radar. Now 88, he splits his time between an eccentric home in East Hampton and a modest apartment on 52nd Street in Manhattan, where he has lived for the last 60 years.

Although Knight continued to write and illustrate books after “Eloise,” nothing had the same far-reaching success. Conflicts with the complex and prickly Thompson, and eventually her estate, have prevented him from having any significant involvement with the “Eloise” franchise. 

Like Eloise, Knight is a remarkable character: odd, temperamental, flamboyant; on one hand, fiercely private, on the other, desperate to make his legacy known; disgusted by pretense, but obsessed with Hollywood, Bollywood and high glamor. By all accounts an overgrown child, Knight is as likely to stage a “frog opera” with unwitting friends in his swimming pool, or throw a birthday party for his cat, as he is to spend hours hard at work at the drawing board. Inhabiting an environment as eccentric as his detailed images, Knight has always used whimsy to escape the challenges of human interaction.

At 88, Knight has the desire to work, but enjoys only limited access to the subject with whom he would most like to work: Eloise. IT’S ME, HILARY: THE MAN WHO DREW ELOISE is a portrait of an artist stunted by early success and haunted by personal failures, yet still deeply devoted to his most famous creation.

HBO Documentary Films presents A Casual Romance production; directed by Matt Wolf; producer, Stacey Reiss; executive producers, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner; co-producer, Ericka Naegle; director of photography, Nick Bentgen; editor, Joe Beshenkovsky; original score, Andrew Dost; animated sequences by Grand Jeté.

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