Posts tagged ‘fashion’

April 7, 2011

Clutch Cargo: Knock them out with the Alexander McQueen Lace Four-Finger Knuckle Duster

My clients constantly request clutches that are actually practical  in size and, increasingly, with some sort of shoulder strap.

Yes, the Bottega  “Knot” is the go to red carpet clutch, but ever try putting in anything more that your lipstick and credit card and a breath mint?

Enter the newly enlarged Alexander McQueen four finger knuckle clutch. Not only will it hold your phone, your makeup and reading glasses, it will add four rings to your jewelry collection every time you slip it on.

Carry it this way and you can carry your drink and a sparkling conversation at the same time. Just don’t get carried away by  all the compliments you’ll receive.

I’ve just bought a client a different version of the one pictured above and it is an absolute husband proof TKO.

This version is made of buff kidskin with ivory floral-lace overlay with skull and jewel accents adorning the four-finger top. Available everywhere the Black American Express card is welcome (see Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Helen Yi Chicago).

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April 6, 2011

The Fashion Vampiress claims yet another victim: Christophe Decarnin at Balmain

Franco Moschino had a term for the havoc the  business of fashion can wreak on the  creative soul.

He called the entire industry the fashion vampiress. “Not only did his clothes question what became known as the fashion system – the ludicrous cost, ubiquitous ‘styling’, and 15-minute relevance – but his very advertising underscored his anarchic scepticism. Flicking through glossy magazines your eye would suddenly be arrested by Moschino’s black humour. A full-page advertisement depicted a vampire admonishing you, ‘Stop The Fashion System,” read in part his obituary in 1994 in The Independent.

The 15 minute relevance was Moschino’s way of describing the pressure that designers feel to produce something new and relevant every 6 months in a new collection. It is   this intense pressure, which has surely heightened since the 80’s when giant conglomerates had not yet begun to dabble in the fashion business,  that is the now  at the center of the recent infamous dismissal of John Galliano from Dior and perhaps also yesterday of Christophe Decarnin  at Balmain. Writing in The International Herald Tribune, Suzy Menkes, its chief fashion critic, noted recently

“While the vile statements seen coming from Mr. Galliano’s drunken lips on the Internet video deserved the nearly-universal condemnation they were receiving, there is pathos in the vision of one of the world’s most famous — and best paid — designers alone, clutching a glass in a bar. The pressure from fast fashion and from the instant Internet age to create new things constantly has worn down other famous names. Marc Jacobs, design director of Louis Vuitton, ended a wild streak in rehab. Calvin Klein famously rambled across a sports pitch and admitted to substance abuse. And the late Yves Saint Laurent spent a lifetime fighting his demons.”

Mr. Decarnin, who in a very short time established the once irrelevant Balmain into one of the world’s most coveted labels, seems to be the vampiress’ latest high profile victim. Cathy Horyn writes today in The New York Times that:

“Despite, or perhaps because of, a phenomenal run at Balmain, where he made ripped jeans and $5,000 motorcycle jackets seem the coolest thing since, well, Bardot and Brando, Mr. Decarnin hit some kind of personal impasse and lost control of the label.”

Surely, the entire story for Mr. Galliano and Mr. Decarnin (or Mr. McQueen for that matter) has yet to emerge. But it sure does look as if the fashion vampiress is on a feeding frenzy. Stay tuned.

Related Post: “J’adore Dior?”

April 5, 2011

How to Don a Henley: Chase Crawford in John Varvatos

Chase Crawford in John Varvatos at the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Who says you need to wear a shirt and tie under a suit to look great at your next semi-formal event? Not I.

I’ve been doing this look myself and always to great acclaim.

Chase is doing it with a  single button notch lapel navy suit with satin trim paired with a short sleeve Henley and a pair of distressed black oxford shoes.

Related Post: Don a Henley

April 4, 2011

Barbara Bui Fall 2011

“Clean, classic and timeless, Bui’s effortlessly cool pieces can be worn season after season—lucky, since with four-figure price tags for a linen jacket or a silk dress, Bui’s fashions are as much investment as pleasure. Minimalist, ultrachic, and borderline-intimidating….” New York magazine

April 1, 2011

Bright Ideas

Mary Katrantzou Scarf available at Barneys New York

Alexis Bittar Woven Cuff at AlexisBittar.com





Fendi Super Platform Mary Jane available at Neiman Marcus

March 31, 2011

Rubin Singer Fall 2011

“My customer demands both seriousness and whimsy; characteristics that are not bound by age, size or geography but more by an innate sense of self. My goal is to empower women.”

He’s fast becoming a favorite of celebrity stylists, editors and socialites alike.

His work features angular cuts, strong proportions and bold, original prints. His collections are produced with couture precision.

Singer’s designs are worn by, among others, Beyoncé, Lucy Liu, Heidi Klum, Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah, Shakira, Kelly Rowland, Lea Michele, Iman and Glenn Close.

March 24, 2011

How to double the life of your blue or grey suit? Brown shoes.

Before black shoes became appropriate to wear with everything, the traditional choice for a men’s shoe with a blue  or grey suit was brown.

Look closely at this 1961 portrait of Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia. All three are wearing a grey suit with brown shoes.

On any given day, if you tune into “The Today Show,” you can see how the conservatively but always impeccably dressed Matt Lauer follows this rule.

I always recommend to clients who buy a grey suit that they buy both black and brown shoes (usually from Ferragamo) so they can get two different looks from the suit.

The same applies to a blue suit. GQ magazine recently advised:

Always, Always Brown with Blue
1. Learn what every well-dressed European man knows: The best way to bring out the richness of your blue suit is with equally rich brown accessories.
2. A brown leather bag only gets better with age.
3. Brown dress shoes should be dark, like the color of coffee with just a touch of cream.

Cotton poplin suit, $1,845, shirt, $420, belt, $300, and shoes, $760, by Prada. Duffel bag, $3,420, by Louis Vuitton.

March 7, 2011

House of McQueen to design Kate Middleton’s wedding dress? Be more cynical.

Photo from Hello Magazine

From the London Evening Standard:

To make Kate Middleton’s wedding gown ‘would be amazing’ says designer’s husband

Sarah Burton, 36, a protégée of Alexander McQueen, was reportedly chosen by Miss Middleton after designing a gown for the 2005 wedding of journalist Sara Buys to Prince William‘s stepbrother, Tom Parker Bowles.

Mrs Burton, from Manchester, last year designed a dress worn by Michelle Obama to a state dinner and has also worked on edgy creations for Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Mrs Burton became creative director of the Alexander McQueen label after the designer committed suicide at the age of 40 last year.

Chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd reportedly told a colleague last week that the label had secured the commission to design the royal dress.

Mr Akeroyd has since denied his alleged comments and Mrs Burton has stated she is not involved with the royal wedding. Miss Middleton is said to have demanded that no details about her dress are released until the big day on April 29, and it is thought the chosen designer has been sworn to secrecy.

Mrs Burton’s husband, photographer David Burton, today denied that his wife – in France for Paris Fashion Week – is designing the dress. He said: “It would be amazing if she is doing it but I would think I would know about it and I don’t.”

A spokesman for the McQueen label said: “We are not doing the dress.” Clarence House said it was “not responding in any way at all” to the speculation.

From Tom Kolovos:

I’m not saying that the story isn’t true or that Sarah Burton wouldn’t make for an inspired choice to design the gown or that selecting this route wouldn’t make for a fitting tribute to the superstar English designer but don’t you think it’s just a little suspicious that the rumor was started by the McQueen CEO and then internationally distributed the day before the showing of the McQueen Fall 2011 presentation?

I’m just saying. Be more cynical.

Alexander McQueen Spring 2011. Image from Style.com

March 5, 2011

Lady Gaga wears Haider Ackermann on the cover of Vogue (Rachel Zoe wears out her welcome at the Academy Awards)


Yes, the backroom deals in the world of high fashion make trading derivatives on Wall Street look like a silly game for the eTrade baby. Let me explain.

Haider Ackermann is the best designer you’ve probably never heard of. He’s the Colombian born, Belgian trained designer that Karl Lagerfeld favors to take over at  the helm of Chanel. Tilda Swinton has already made a splash on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in his clothes. He is most certainly  on the very short list of designers to replace John Galliano at Dior.   Speculation will surely be running rampant today at the  showing of his Fall 2011 collection in Paris.

One of the most astounding missteps made by Rachel Zoe at the Academy Awards –apart from arranging the  gluttonous onstage costume changes–  was excluding Haider from her repetoire of gowns for Anne Hathaway. Ackermann is where fashion is headed and it would have said a lot for Ms. Zoe to be ahead of the curve. And ahead of the curve is where she sorely needs to be as it was recently documented that Ms. Zoe copied a dress she styled for Teen Vogue a few years back and passed it off as her own in her  laughably derivative debut runway collection. (All hail the next Tory Burch!)

So who needed to see the tiresome Oscar de la Renta (Raf Simons rip off) dress? The retro Vivienne Westwood ? The mothballed “archival” Valentino? The obligatory Tom Ford?

Not I.

Given that  Cartier paid Ms. Hathaway $750,000 dollars to wear its jewelry at the Academy Awards this year, you’d think she could afford to pay Ms. Zoe to do her homework.

At this point you have to feel a bit sorry for James Franco. Did he at least get a free “I’m with shady” t shirt for his hosting duties? Now at least we have a plausible explanation as to why Ms. Hathaway was over the moon onstage while Mr. Franco was under a rock.

Then again, perhaps it is Gwyneth Paltrow who should be complaining the loudest, not I. Louis Vuitton only paid her  $500,000 to wear its earrings and broach  on the red carpet. (Unfortunately, it occurred to no one to pay her not to sing.)  So the next time Tim Gunn interviews Valentino with Ms. Hathaway on the red carpet he can stop pretending he doesn’t know what “archival” means (DUDE, who are you kidding? Were you on the faculty at Parsons or at Carson’s?) and start asking “who are you wearing and how much were you paid?”

Kind of makes  one want to gag, right?

At any rate, it is thrilling to finally see (the all too often exurb oriented cover of American) Vogue make me go gaga.


Click here to see the entire  Spring  2011 Haider Ackermann on Style.com

February 28, 2011

The Best (and Worst) Dressed List: The 2011 Academy Awards

Gowns with  sleeves made their mark at the Golden Globes this year. High necklines made their mark at the Academy Awards.

Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein Collection

Minimalism at its best. Notice how the slice in the high neckline creates an almost sculptural effect and eliminates the need for a necklace. Also notice how the horizontal seam at the hem creates another level of complexity that balances the vertical cut at the neckline. This is the same designer–Fransisco Costa– responsible for the best dress at The Golden Globes worn by Emma Stone.

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy Haute Couture

Couture at its best. Again notice how the embellishment at the neckline, done with a sprinkle of color , brings the eye up toward the face, without the need for jewelry.  The dress is quite gorgeous from the back, which is open and has the same sprinkle of color as the neckline.

This is the same designer–Riccardo Tisci– who created Zoe Saldana’s  exquisite dress last year.

Mila Kunis in Elie Saab Haute Couture

Gorgeous color, gorgeous dress, great hair and makeup–but she looked sullen all nite long. Why?

HONORABLE MENTION:  Anne Hathaway (onstage in  Atelier Versace and Armani Prive), Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, Hale Berry, Hilary Swank andSusan Bridges.

THE WORST DRESSED

Penelope Cruz in LWren Scott

Looks like a tacky second rate copy of a Bob Mackie gown. Perhaps one of the worst Oscar gowns ever!

Scarlet Johansen in Dolce and Gabbana

Was she steamrolled over by a lace machine?

Jennifer Hudson in Atelier Versace

Yes, it’s a gorgeous color but she looks like a drag queen. She lost weight, yes, but she also lost her mind–though she seems to have found her breasts.

I know this sounds particularly harsh, but  I put it this way because she is either a victim of spectacularly bad advice or she’s using her weight loss as an excuse to wear something that she might have wanted to wear when she was unable to. She should be looking forward and not backward. (The two gentlemen behind her were in charge of hauling around the dress’ train.)

Imagine for a moment how smoking hot–yet classy–she would have looked wearing the Gucci gown worn by Hillary Swank!

She’s a class act and she should dress the part.

Yahoo picture gallery