An Interview with THE ENCHANTED WORLD’s Amy Zerner and Monte Farber

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Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, longtime East Hampton residents, are the masters and creatives behind The Enchanted World, which includes works of art, fashion, accessories, books, card decks, and more. Together they have authored close to 50 different published works in well over a dozen languages. Zerner and Farber will also be at the Hamptons Interactive Brunch on Saturday, July 20th from 11am-3pm at The Maidstone. Amy Zerner’s Custom Couture Collection is sold at Bergdorf Goodman and she has created custom jewelry for many notable names in the entertainment industry. Amy’s jewelry collection encompasses so many dreamy pieces that are as alluring are as they are spectacular, true stand-out works of art that will electrify your summer style.

Farber, who has been studying the stars for decades, read and explained by birth chart last week. The experience was out of this world, how not only accurate it was but how detailed, which helped me to tap into my own destiny and manifestations for the future including why we see things a certain way and bringing to light certain dilemmas and how to best conquer them. Farber, who is the author of many popular astrology books including Karma Cards and Sun Sign Secrets, explained in great detail my unique personality chart that I was born with. It was a fascinating morning that I hope all of my readers will one day have the opportunity to experience. Learn more at MonteFarber.com.

After my birth chart was explained, the creators of The Enchanted World and I discussed books, summer style, and what is in store for the 2019 Hamptons summer season.


amy zerner monte farber east end taste

As a full time resident, how has living in the Hamptons evolved for you? What are three tips that you would recommend to enjoy summer in the Hamptons? 

I moved to East Hampton when I was 16, in 1967. These major events happened the year we graduated from East Hampton High School in 1969: Man walked on the Moon, Woodstock, Vietnam War Protests, Stonewall Riot, Chappaquiddick affair, Charles Manson, Rising Inflation, Nixon became president and so much more….the music, art, fashion and films were amazing! This was a very exciting time and very tumultuous. We lived through it and changed with it. When I met my husband Monte Farber in New York in 1974, we came back out here and never left. For an artist and a writer, it is the perfect place to be creative.

The time we live in now is also exciting, challenging and full of change. We still stand for peace and love amidst the craziness. East Hampton is so special, so beautiful, so cultural, so unique – I am proud to call it home. My tips for enjoying summer:

1) Pace yourself and don’t feel that you have to go to every event, party, opening and concert. There is so much to do here in the summertime that it can be overwhelming! Take time to be quiet and relax amidst the busy-ness. It always heals my heart to see the magnificent swans in our town pond. So lovely and graceful. Find a little oasis of calm and beauty that feeds your soul: a garden, a beach, a porch, a bird-feeder. Shopping is therapeutic, too! And important to support local small business. 

Visiting other artists studios is also a treat, and there are many galleries and museums here with innovative art to view when you need an inspirational pick-me-up. We like to support fellow artists and creatives. And we love to stop in at Keyes Art in Sag Harbor, and M&M Fine Arts in Southampton, where I will be having a retrospective show in September.

2) Savor the abundance of plants and fresh produce and herbs that are offered in our many local farm stands and markets. The colors, tastes and fragrances are restorative. Drink in the sunshine, smell the flowers, appreciate nature. Think happy thoughts!

3) Make it convenient for yourself and your friends and do some potluck gatherings as we do several times each summer. Divine sunsets, picnics by the water, good food and fun conversations. What’s better than that?

amy zerner monte farber east end taste

Tell us about your custom couture (jewelry & clothing) design process and your design inspiration?

My creations reflect my passion for beautiful, exotic, interesting and unusual textiles. In my wall tapestries, I treat my two-story studio’s collection of fabrics, trims, beads and other materials like a palette, painting with bits and scraps, adding texture through piecing, top-stitching and embellished beading. I choose elements and colors that I manipulate, mix and blend to achieve my unique style. They are each one-of-a-kind and handmade with love and healing energy.

It gives me a lot of pleasure to make each piece unique in some way, and I design my couture clothing to be elegant and flattering to a woman’s body. I usually create the kind of clothes that I want to wear. This keeps me personally invested in every piece, keeping my aesthetic standards high. Each garment’s creation is an adventure and leads me to have ideas about the next, I can’t stop, as I’m always bursting with new concepts and visions.  

I am an NEA award-winning collage artist and one of the reasons I was so honored is that I often collage cultures together—for instance, the back of the jacket may have a panel of Japanese fabric mixed with a little gold thread embroidery from England, France or India. As an artist, I am convinced that my unique wearable art is one of the most accessible mediums because many people can see my designs and creations whenever my collectors wear them. Each garment becomes a moving sculpture and the person wearing it becomes an integral part of the art.

I believe in jewelry and fashion that can protect and affirm, so I incorporate traditional symbols to convey those qualities. Combining line, texture and form, metaphysics, plus my gift for intuitive readings of people, I work to create empowering pieces. The thing that is most important to me when designing, is personalizing the artistry of the garments and adornments we place upon our bodies. 

While I started off designing for myself and my friends – dynamic, free-spirited, soulful goddesses who are individualistic and who want to show it off, I now try and connect on an intuitive level with the special woman who will come into Bergdorf Goodman and connect and collect my work.  When I first started making jewelry, it became an exploration of themes, translating concepts from my spiritual belief system into wearable forms. I want my pieces to be practical as well as beautiful, easy to wear and affordable, so that they can be everyday pieces or worn for special occasions.

Jewelry holds the treasure of memories. Each piece has passion and character of it’s own – especially when it becomes part of you and your collection. With every piece I design there is a story, a history and mystery.

amy zerner monte farber east end taste

What are three to four style staples you recommend for summer from your collections?

I have a caftan obsession. They are perfect in the summer; all floaty, graceful, comfortable and cool. I like to create glamorous, one-of-a-kind embellished goddess gowns in silk with bejeweled accents for my collection at Bergdorf’s. It pleases me to think how my collectors will shimmer and shine in a beautiful caftan at their next cocktail party or night out.

Inspired by the hippie fashion movement, my jeans jackets are embroidered, appliquéd, sequined, studded, and hand-painted. I collage a mix of ideas into a cross-cultural patchwork that embraces patterned motifs and embroideries inspired by magical dreamscapes. The result is pure fashion alchemy, as I re-purpose the denim and vintage trims and fabrics.

My lightweight cocoon wraps are suitable for the hot summer season, allowing fresh breezes from the sea without leaving the body hot. I have spent a lot of time developing the process so the cocoons can show print designs based on my tapestry art, purpose-printed for each piece of clothing and manipulated to fit my wraps and shawls. They are limited edition pieces. Wear them with leggings or with jeans, as well as with a short dress. It is an easy yet dramatic accessory.

If you like my styles you are probably a bohemian spirit who likes a ‘modern global vibe’ style, infused with a sense of romance, ease and freedom. Boho dressing has no rules because the styles are eclectic, unique, arty and experimental.

Do you have any new books out this summer? If so, tell us about them!

I have also studied metaphysics for several decades and have written several best-selling books and oracles with Monte.

ASTROLOGY FOR WELLNESS: Star Sign Guides for Body, Mind & Spirit Vitality (Sterling, 2019) is one of our newest books. In it we share our mindful tips about wellness from our studies of astrology and investigating mind-body-spirit connections and healing modalities.

Wellness is about understanding yourself, developing daily healing habits, being kind, appreciating beauty, art and nature, nurturing supportive, loving relationships, and making your daily routine one that enables you to stay strong, centered, peaceful, balanced and protected.

We love to give our readers a renewed faith in achieving their goals, as well as giving actual suggestions for practical steps to succeed. 

And our ENCHANTED LOVE TAROT (Red Feather, 2019) tarot deck and book set just came out.  It is designed to give advice on finding love and on your relationships, devoted to self-respect and self-development. You can also use the cards as a meditation tool or to build your intuition. In addition to my artwork on the 78 tarot cards and Monte’s text explaining each card’s meanings, the companion book provides rituals and enchantments to help you connect with Spirit, reinforce desires, and strengthen intention. We grow by getting to know ourselves better and learning how to make better decisions. That is what The Enchanted Love Tarot is for. 

We will be signing both of these new titles at Author’s Night, joining 99 other well known authors under the tent in Amagansett for the benefit of the East Hampton Library on August 10th. If you only go to one benefit this summer, that’s the one to attend. 

As astrologers and psychics, what is in store for summer 2019 in the Hamptons energetically? 

Thanks to social media, most people have at least heard the term “Mercury is retrograde,” but few people, including many astrologers, don’t really understand what that means. Background: Astronomers use the same term to describe these planetary retrograde periods, times when a planet appears to be going backwards in terms of how it appears to us here on Earth when viewed against the backdrop of the zodiac. Bottom Line: It’s like when a fast train overtakes a slower one on an adjacent track. 

Mercury went retrograde on July 7th and won’t be seen to be going direct again until July 31st and won’t be back to the degree of the zodiac where it first stopped and went backwards until August 15th, a time known as “the shadow period.” 

What that means is if you are in the Hamptons to vacation, congratulations! You couldn’t have picked a better time. Why? In the psychological language that we consider astrology to be, Mercury is the planet that symbolizes Communication, our Logical Mind, our Skill Set, how we Navigate the World. When Mercury is direct, also known as Most of the Time, we do our thing and don’t really second guess our thought process.

When Mercury is REtrograde, we are SUPPOSED to second guess our thought process! That’s REview, REveal, REthink, and a bunch of other RE’s. The most powerful thing a person can do during a Mercury REtrograde, in terms of making their life better, is to REalize how much time they “spend,” or “waste” thinking and doing things that don’t really benefit them; only slowing down and RElaxing can enable us to find that out and that’s the point! 

The astrology for Summer 2019 in the Hamptons could be summed up by bestowing upon it the title “The Summer to Be Aware of Overthinking.” People who have grown up with social media and information overload may not be aware that their minds are set to “overthink” almost all of the time. They need this Mercury Retrograde time to RE-connect with what we like to call our Higher Self, though you can call it your intuition or your spiritual nature or whatever you like.

Working during a Mercury retrograde also requires that you take some time to look at your busy-ness but, in that case, best practice is to see it as if you were your own consultant and are looking to identify areas where your client is putting too much thought and attention. We only have so much mind power, no matter how much we want to think that we’re invincible and can handle the overload.

amy zerner monte farber east end taste

Images courtesy of The Enchanted World

Where do you love to dine in the Hamptons? What do you love to make at home?

We have been going to Nick & Toni’s year round since the week it opened, it is always good and the staff is great. In the summer The Beacon in Sag Harbor is wonderful with a spectacular view. And both Babette’s and Fresno in East Hampton offer delicious, healthy menus. It is always fun to go to Provisions in Sag Harbor for a nourishing lunch and run into friends there. I love to cook and we even wrote an astrology-themed cookbook for HarperCollins called SIGNS AND SEASONS, with our friend, Chef John Okas. Some of my summer favorites are Arugula Pesto with Baby Peas, Watermelon Gazpacho, Lobster and Roasted Corn Orecchiette, Turmeric Chicken Skewers, Avocado-Lime Pie and Coconut Fruit Crisp.

You can find these yummy recipes on our website www.TheEnchantedWorld.com.

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