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August 9, 2013     Post-Gazette
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POST-GAZETTE, AUGUST 9, 2013 Page 9 by jlngela Cornacchio Italian American fashiondesigner Rose Cherubini (left) with her granddaughter Janiee Rose "JR" Cherubini- Lamartine. Socially Scene Reviewed .... Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to ex- perience an event honoring one of fashion's finest. My editor Pam received a spe- cial invitation to an exhibi- tion of custom bridal dresses and ball gowns by Italian American fashion designer Rose Cherubini and she brought me! Our interest was piqued before we were even on the scene with our drive through the South End, a Boston neighborhood full of preserved history, yet so many things to see and new places to go; all a product of the rebuilding process un- dergone by the city. When we arrived we both spotted Rose as she sat there with a soft presence and pleasant demeanor. It was hard to believe this woman had just celebrated her 100th birthday when she could pass for not a day over 70Y Pare went over and in- troduced herself, her rich family history has crossed with the Cherubinis. Pam and I were both im- pressed with what a great memory Rose had after put- ting the pieces together of her affiliation with the Donnaruma family. As Pare and Rose chatted, awe, won- derment and admiration were all an understatement for how I felt, listening to RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 Privot undion ooms for onq Occasion Christeninq B,i lol Bol 4 Shower I~ip|hclaq [~eeeavemen|, E|c. Donato Frattaroli donato@luciabeston.com, . _. www.luciaristorante.com A timeless dress designed by Rose Cherubini on dis- play at Samson Gallery in the South End. (Photo courtesy of Angela Cornacchio) someone so unique. When Pam asked what do you at- tribute your youth to, Rose's answer was honest and simple, "Work, work, work and just keeping busy." Af- ter being introduced to me Rose held my hand while continuing to chat with Pam and I could just feel years of a well lived life from the aura surrounding her. The room was filled with Rose's family and friends. The event was being held in celebration of her 100th birthday . I couldn't keep my attention focused between just being memorized by a woman I felt so honored to meet or the breathtaking dresses I was surrounded by. I sometimes feel I was meant to live back in an era where I could look fabulous all day every day and each dress in the gallery repre- sented that dream. Pam and I began to sashay from dress to dress when we were intercepted by Joyce Hogan longtime friend of Cherubini. She began to tour us back around and give the most fascinating insight to Rose, her career and accomplishments. There was a history be- hind each gown and one by one we learned of the per- sonality traits that have I DIAMONDS 1 ROLEX ESTATE JEWELRY Bought & Sold Jewelers Exch. Bldg. Jim (617) 263-7766 helped create the art work throughout the years. Joyce explained; Rose was very playful with her designs, she was a spur of the mo- ment woman who was very particular. It was her way or no way; she would spin you around and take a quick look then design something especially for you. It may not have been what you were looking for in the beginning but was always loved and adored in the end. Also, she genuinely enjoyed measur- ing real people with curves and length. Some of her signatures to the styles produced were either a strategically placed rose, her name sewn into the gown or the handpicked jewels that she would travel weekly to New York for. All dresses were authentic, (I saw with my own eyes a le- git long stitch inside the dress) and painted with care and she made lots of cel- ebration dresses including one especially for when John Glenn walked on the moon. She is a woman who is happy as the day is long and spends most of her time these days fantasizing in a room that overlooks the ocean from her house in Wareham. Her hair color is natural and the white tones have been there the full 20 years Joyce has known her. Denise Hajjar, a designer who was also in attendance, shared her memories of Rose as her mentor. She explained that she learned a lot from her, things she wouldn't have learned in school. This fall Hajjar will be celebrating thirty years in the industry. At this event, I was able to receive great insight into a woman who found a way to build a business in a time where it wasn't "proper" for a lady and a family along with it. Although compli- ments of our guide Joyce, here is a beautifully written bio on Rose: Rose Cherubini nee Santeusanio was born in Boston, MA in 1913 and cur- rently lives in Wareham, Italian American Rose Cherubini's dresses were always an original design and some hand-painted by Rose as shown above. (Photo courtesy of Angela Cornacchio) MA. Rose Clerubini Bridals, her first shop, opened in Quincy in 1946. Upon real- izing most of the clientele was coming from Boston, Cherubini moved her shop to Newbury Street in 1951 until 1967. She closed to head the b'idal and gown departmenI~ at Bonwit Teller's Beston outpost, Worth's andHurwitch Bros. Rose Cheru, ini Bridals re- opened an, operated on Clarendon il Boston's Back Bay until tle mid-1980s. In operaton for over 40 years, RoseCherubini's de- signs gained popularity with a unique st~e incorporating hand embDidery, jewels and beads. }er love of paint- ing, color and texture pushed herworks into the realm of ar. Ahead of her time, she reined the use of different m;terials in sync such as fin~ silk and bur- lap. She bnught brocades into the fie] and designed coats for he dresses. Cherubin: Created cus- tom dressesfor many celeb- (Contimed on Page 13) Real Estate Matt, o Gallo App'aisals Sales k Rentals 376 North Street * Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-2100 * Fax (617) 523-3530