Archive for ‘tom kolovos’

March 3, 2010

Dresses I’d like to see at the Oscars, part 2

Christian Siriano

Donna Karan


Valentino Couture

All photos from

February 19, 2010

WHO DAT? Women’s Wear Daily, February 11

“It’s a must-have item, so if you’re updating anything, it’s your jeans.”

– Tom Kolovos, stylist,


Denim Storms Into Spring ’10 In Strong Silhouettes

Mashing up two trendy items to create a hot front page is not just about “TomKat,” “Brangelina,” or “Bennifer.”

Take jeggings: though the name might sound like some sort of home improvement tool, they are actually one of the most in-demand looks in denim right now (jeans + leggings = jeggings). Also to be found in spring’s chic denim circle: skinny jeans that puddle at the ankle — stopping just above the foot to show off an exquisite statement shoe, be it a sky-high heel, a funky sneak or fun flat — as well as straight-cut boyfriend jeans that are rolled up at the bottom.

Denim, the go-to item that remained strong right through the recession, is still the cultural favorite. Rather than upset the apple cart, retailers and designers are simply putting the tried-and-true classic through yet another revitalization.

“It’s a must-have item, so if you’re updating anything, it’s your jeans,” says Tom Kolovos, a Chicago-based stylist who contributes to, and pens “On Style/Off Topic.”

On average, women have eight pairs of jeans in their wardrobe, according to the Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ survey. Nearly half of all women (48%) say they have purchased the same number of jeans in the last 12 months as in the previous year, and 20% of Monitor respondents say they have purchased more.

“When the recession hit, people wanted to know, ‘What’s the easiest and cheapest way for me to update my wardrobe,’ and I’ve been saying it’s by getting a new pair of jeans,” Kolovos says. “People live in them. It can be dressed up or down. It’s the most important thing in your wardrobe.”

It is also important to retailers: women’s denim is an $8.4 billion business, according to The NPD Group, Inc./Consumer Tracking Service. Here in the U.S., total denim dollar volume sales for the 12 months ending November 2009 were $16.8 billion, up 3.6% from the same year-ago period.

Denim has remained a strong category because most women pull jeans on four days a week, and those aged 13-24 wear them five times a week, according to the Monitor survey.

At top brand Levi’s, directional silhouettes that women feel good wearing is key, says Erica Archambault, spokesperson.

“I think it will continue to be about the skinny, the jegging and the boyfriend,” Archambault says. “But it’s all about being comfortable, and for that jeggings are just rolling off our shelves. They’re great because they look like a jean, but feel like a legging since there’s so much stretch to them. These also have great recovery so they don’t end up falling around your ankles. And the boyfriend look is looser, but rolled up and paired with a great, sexy heel and going out top is really flattering and trend-right,” Archambault adds.

Most women (75%) buy denim at least once a year, and 41% pick up new jeans every six months or less, according to Monitor data. Among 13-24 year olds, 72% make new denim purchases within six months, as do nearly half (48%) of women ages 25-34.

The category remains so vital that new lines and interesting partnerships continually crop up. Just recently, J Brand was acquired by Star Avenue Capital, which is part of a partnership that includes powerhouse talent agency CAA. In another move, mogul twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen announced they are adding premium denim to their Elizabeth & James label.

Although those two announcements deal with the higher end of the market, women spend about $35 on average for jeans, according to the Monitor survey.

Archambault says Levi’s sweet spot is $58 to $68. “With what’s been going on in the economy, people still want great finishing and fit, and extras like selvage denim, but they don’t want to pay the $250 price tag,” she notes.

Kolovos says the denim trends this spring will be “longer and looser tops with the skinny denim — I’m a huge fan of the Always Skinny jean from Gap — and form-fitting tops and cropped jackets with the boyfriend bottom.”

As for color, Kolovos says spring will bring plenty of gray and white, as well as light pastels, with deeper colors like electric blue reserved for the younger set.

Levi’s is offering destructed styles that have a well-used look about them; modern interpretations of tie-dyes that have a soft, watery appearance; and light indigos with soft, salt-washed color.

Says Archambault, “Spring’s look is loved and worn-to-perfection jeans.”

This story is one in a series of articles based on findings from Cotton Incorporated’s Lifestyle Monitor™ tracking research. Each story will focus on a specific topic as it relates to the American women’s wear consumer and her attitudes and behavior regarding clothing, appearance, fashion, fiber selection and many other timely, relevant subjects.

October 2, 2009

Who’s your daddy?


If you weren’t able to make it to New York Fashion week this year, perhaps you can make it to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on Saturday.

David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the design duo behind the label Rag and Bone, will be making a personal appearance in Chicago, first on the 5th floor of Saks between noon and 2 pm and then at Intermix between 2 and 3:30pm.

This is the second visit by the lads to the Windy City in a year. Since they were last here at Hejfina in Bucktown, they have opened a second store in New York’s Soho neighborhood and both have become fathers for the second time.

It’s a testament to the speed with which this young label has ascended as a retail darling, and to the positive reviews for their  Spring 2010 show, that they  can swoop into town and, in a “who’s-your-daddy” show of force, land at both Saks and Intermix.


While the Fall collection was inspired by a trip to Japan and the movies because, as Wainwright confessed, “I’ve always wanted a samurai sword and I’ve always loved Star Wars,”  Rag and Bone’s strength is in what he describes as “our English, military-school heritage mixed with a utilitarian, made-in-America ethos.”

The focus of their appearances in Chicago will be to promote the women’s line but guys don’t let that intimidate you. The lads make, among other things, some of the most covetable vests and leather jackets you’re likely to see, so you should run accross to the men’s store at Saks and invest in your future (stylish self).

Saks Fifth Avenue is located at 700 North Michigan Avenue and Intermix is located at 40 East Delaware in Chicago. Intermix will be offering  15% off any purchase of Rag and Bone.

August 2, 2009



Let’s say you’re a guy who knows that cargo shorts suffered a timely death at least 2 seasons ago but that you’re also on a budget this summer just when you need a few new pairs of shorts  now.  What should you look for and where?

Look for shorts in bold solids or patterns that end somewhere above your knee and taper from the mid thigh to the hem. If you’re looking for a bargain right now, head to Club Monaco and ask for their “Broderick” short. All patterns are on sale for $29.  The short comes in a  good array of checks, plaids and bold graphics.

A client who took my advice last week wrote in an email: “Just wanted to say thank you for the tip on the shorts at Club Monaco.  I went there on Sunday after the gym and immediately found 3 pair I liked.  One was in my size and the salesperson was able to find the other 2 in other stores.  Very cute, shapely, stylish and perfect for the streets!  All for less than $100, so a great deal overall!”

My personal favorites are the “Dk Blue Mix/Blue Fonce” which is essentially a teal diamond patterned print and the “Black Pattern” which looks like black lattice on a white background. Both of them have a very  crisp retro feel and look great with a white shirt or t shirt. (I would prefer that they ran a bit leaner through the thigh, but let’s not quibble about it for $29 bucks……)

Oh, and instead of wearing your  shorts with flip flops, run over to Aldo, buy yourself the terry cloth shoe inserts, insert them in a pair of dress loafers  and……  long story short, you will look  perfectly hot.

June 2, 2008

You can dress me up but you cant take me (just) anywhere

In the past two and a half years, both my parents were diagnosed with terminal cancer and my brother, who has Down Syndrome, suffered from violent psychosis as our mother was dying. I’ve lost so much weight taking care of everyone but myself that I’m basically a shave, a blonde wig and a Balenciaga bag away from being the third Olsen twin.

Saturday night I may have also lost my mind. (If anyone finds it, could you please return it. I’m offering a full tank of gas as a reward!) If Kathy Griffin thinks it’s difficult to live her “Life On the d List” she should try living “My Life On The (BestDresse)d List. Let me explain.

MK and me

MK and me

Saturday night the place to be was Lake Forest Sportscars in Lake Bluff for the “What Does One Wear to a Grand Prix?” benefit for the Prentice Women’s Hospital. Perhaps, however, it wasn’t the place I should have been.

First of all, despite what Polo Ralph Lauren, Escada, Dennis Basso and the Men’s Store at Saks Fifth Avenue thought one should wear to a Grand Prix in their fashion presentation, the real answer was: a little black dress and about $6 million in Graff white diamonds.

Cameron Holtman from Elite Model Management proved that point the minute you walked in the door. Okay, so you would notice Cameron and the other models sporting Graff under any circumstances, but my goodness, the diamonds sure didn’t hurt.

And as it turns out, the hostess of the event, MK Pritzker, knew the real answer as well. She looked stunning in a gorgeous formfitting deep purple dress and yellow diamonds.


So here’s the part where I need to start explaining. Having never met MK before and only having seen her on the cover of the December 2006 issue of Today’s Chicago Woman, I blurted out to her that the pictures did not do her justice. I told her, in earnest, that she should sue the magazine. And come to think of it this morning, she should sue the photographer as well.

MK was so gracious (and probably horrified by my blunt/obtuse remark) that she explained, in earnest, she was happy with the pictures. So, in a not uncommon phenomenon in my life right now, I had to open my mouth, insert my foot and chew vigorously.

(Who knew I was such a fan of self immolation? I guess Hillary Clinton and I currently share that in common. But in my defense, I managed to avoid any references to RFK.)

Oh, but by night’s end, I thought I was being engagingly witty with the publisher of CS magazine, John Carroll, always one of the most dapper men around town. Turns, out he probably didn’t think so. Right, John?

Take it from me (and Kathy Griffin), the problem with being witty is that sometimes you come across as a nitwit.

Enjoy the slideshow from the event. Click on the images to enlarge. I’m going to finish my coffee and my foot-in-mouth omelette. Cheers.