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As a nearly 20 year Fashion Industry Vet, I've made TheFE my place to cover and discuss everything fashionable from books, to designer ready-to-wear to couture. All aspects of a fashionable lifestyle are included. BIG NEWS: I'VE MOVED TheFE TO WORDPRESS to take advantage of their superior publishing platform. See you there!!


Saturday, February 28, 2009


Runway Images courtesy of Douglas Hannant
Text & Images of front row, Vivian G. Kelly

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Plaza Hotel’s Edwardian Room, One West 58th Street

Mr. Hannant opened with a soundtrack of Audrey Hepburn speaking to Gregory Peck from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which immediately set the tone for this elegantly luxurious collection.

Unlike many other New York designers, Douglas didn’t eschew color and started off with some pistachio and raspberry pieces in double face knit that will definitely keep “his girls” cozy when they’re navigating chilly Madison Avenue in the dead of winter 2009. Speaking of “the girls”, as usual, they came out in full force to support one of their favorites. Amongst the editors and retailers sat socials Jamie Gregory, Tinsley Mortimer, Jennifer Creel, and Melanie Seymour to name just a few. They continue to support him season after season because Douglas knows his customer and her busy schedule very well – a quality that seems to unfortunately be lacking in some less seasoned designers. Consequently, while some of Hannant's collections are stronger than others, there are always pieces in each collection that will fulfill his customers’ needs, whether for work, charity meetings or for the numerous swank soirees on their calendars.
This time, there were neutrals and black as well, ranging from a black cocktail dress with some sheer paneling and marabou feather details to a Josephine Baker number fashioned out of peacock feathers. This daring number screams, “editorial!” and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a young starlet or two wearing it on the red carpet. For evening, the palette stayed in muted jewel tones: deep amethyst, smoky quartz, dark sapphire blue, and absinthe green.
BEST: The Absinthe crepe satin bias cut gown and the peacock fringe dress.

For more on the Collection, please visit

Friday, February 27, 2009


TIME & PLACE: Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 8:25PM

The last show of the day at the tents had buzz, thanks to an appearance by actor MICKEY ROURKE, who was swarmed by photographers and journalists. Rourke looked miles removed from his peroxide blonde self in his comeback hit, The Wrestler. Decked out in a navy Domenico Vacca jacket and burgundy striped shirt, and gold rimmed sunglasses, he could have passed for a well dressed Milanese gentleman.

Mr. Vacca went with an autumnal palette of burgundy, pumpkin, indigo blue, and showed well-tailored pieces that were nonetheless feminine. A fuchsia silk blouse softened a wide legged navy pinstripe pantsuit, as did a paillette top when paired with a pair of bronze nylon pants.
Instead of cutouts, Vacca used leather accents to add interest to easy black wool dresses, and we were relieved that he did, as cutouts often look more tawdry than flattering.

The men’s stayed in the gray family, and had a tailored but casual tone as the jacket and pants were coordinated but not matched. He did offer a black velvet tux suit as a black tie option, and we could imagine more sartorially adventuresome actors wearing it on the Red Carpet. Perhaps Mr. Rourke?
Many designers have tried to incorporate an artistic element to their pieces, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The large brown floral appliqu├ęs looked best when restricted to a minimum. Similarly, sequins and jeweler accents were best when used sparingly as it was in the hem of a draped burgundy top worn with slim evening trousers. Another look that worked were the eggplant chiffon gowns with mini capes and jewel accented brown caftan. This is just not the season to indulge in too much embellishment or lame fabric. As always, there's room for an exception, if it's a good one. In this case, it was the mermaid lame column gown.

To read more about this fashion house, visit the official website,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

E.Y WADA’S Autumn/Winter 2009 Collection

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Dan Lecca, Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

TIME & PLACE: Sunday, February 15, 2009, 9:30PM – the last show of the evening
The Salon, Bryant Park

This Japanese designer provided one of the few shots of color we’ve seen yet this season. Chartreuse worked in the eighties, and it works now, as a silk tank or feminine blouse with small fifties style bows atop the buttonholes.
Juxtaposed to the fifties style jackets was a multicolor microchip silk print. The eighties soundtrack brought us back to the glory days of the downtown scene that has inspired so many designers since then. The soundtrack, Promise You a Miracle by the Scottish new wave band, Simple Minds, had members in the audience bouncing in their seats to the beat.
TREND: Lame, this time. The designer brought out a boxy silver jacket, a switch from the gold most designers have been showing.
This designer has a romantic soul, which came through in the last empire evening dress and some shorter versions in pewter and rose petal pink, which could work for a bride and her bridesmaids.

For further information, visit the official website,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The VENEXIANA Fall 2009 Show

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Dan Lecca, Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The Salon Tent at Bryant Park
9:45PM –
Venexiana by Kati Stern was the last show of the day, and what lay at the end of an 8 mile hike around the City. Thus far, we'd logged a few round trips to 11th Avenue’s Forbidden Zone to Bryant Park and then back again and were hoping for a 35 look collection .
Although she showed an almost unheard of 66 looks, Stern kept things moving and had obviously instructed her models to step on it. Stern is an eveningwear designer who favors glamour, textured fabrics and bling. The black paillette evening pants looked restrained, when compared to a gold lame ball skirt and a cheetah print fur jacket. Our biggest question was, “Who is the Venexiana woman”? Our best guess is the wife or girlfriend of a filthy rich Russian businessman – pre the collapse of the Russian oil market.
BEST: The lavender Fortuny inspired dresses with Swarvoski crystals and satin bows as embellishments. In the interests of editing a collection, we would have preferred fewer options and more of focus on the strong Fortuny –inspired pieces.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images at the Plaza, VGK
Images of Samantha Thavasa bags from the official website,

WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Plaza Hotel’s Edwardian Room, One West 58th Street

We arrived early and jumped on the chance to speak with TINSLEY MORTIMER, the designer of handbag line, SAMANTHA THAVASA. The Japanese brand chose well in selecting Ms. Mortimer as their spokesperson and designer, as she’s without doubt the most media-genic young socialite on the scene, and has been for the past 4 or 5 years. The Japanese company had been long-time admirers of Tinsley’s and in 2006, they approached her about designing a handbag with her own name on it.

THE FASHION EXAMINER: Congratulations, we just walked by your new store on Madison.
How’s your business doing?

TINSLEY: We just had a trunk show in Saks at Palm Beach, which was very successful and were very happy about the new Madison Avenue store – it’s the only one so far in the US.

TFE: What’s new on the line?

TINSLEY: The ruffles and perforated leather are new, it’s the one I’m carrying today. In general, it’s girly and feminine – what I love. It’s about creating bags that reflect my style, something I would truly wear.

TFE: Your nail polish is so Steven Sprouse!

TINSLEY: It was for a Japanese magazine’s photo shoot. I’ve been obsessed with it since!

ENDNOTE: We became obsessed with it too, and found satisfaction a few days later when we picked-up a tiny 0.5 bottle of SALLY GIRL polish in #812-158 aka “RAVE” at Sally’s Beauty Supply. It came cheap too, under $2.50, after tax.

SAMANTHA THAVASA'S US Flagship is located at 965 Madison Avenue, NYC
Tel: 800- 717-7132 OR 212-535-3920
PRICING: From $195 - $600, prices approximate.

To get a bottle of “RAVE”, visit

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The WILLIAM RAST Fall 2009 Collection Show

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Runway Images, Dan Lecca, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Images of Justin Timberlake, from

TIME & PLACE: Monday, February 16, 7:15PM
The big Tent, Bryant Park
This show was almost on time [not quite 15 minutes late] probably because most of the front row was due downtown at the Armory at 8PM for the Marc Jacobs show.

THE INSPIRATION: Thelma and Louise.
The program notes spoke of “optimism in America”, it’s about time someone in fashion echoed this sentiment and it’s a change from the long faces most in fashion have a t the momement.
Optimism means, In this case, those “all – American” pieces of clothing: faded jeans, miniskirts, jeans jackets, black leather jackets with studs and fringe, great if you're riding a Harley. There were buffalo plaid shirts and even a sweater with the American flag on it. It’s the Wild West, where men wear loosely fitting jackets with a tee shirt hanging past the jackets’ hems together with a pair of faded jeans. For hanging out at the saloon on a Saturday night, there’s a full shouldered white blouse with black sequin detailing. Needless to say, the sound track was catchy, as Justin Timberlake was in charge of the music. The men’s version of dress is a black double-breasted tux jacket and skinny black leather pants.

For further information, visit the official website,

The TEREXOV Fall 2009 Collection Show

The TEREXOV Fall 2009 Collection Show
Monday, February 16, 2009, 6:30PM
The Promenade Tent, Bryant Park

Alexander Terexov is another designer who combines art with fashion, but in a softer way than the other Alexander - Alexandre Herchovitch. Terexov opened and closed his show with a pale cityscape silk print that could have originally been a watercolor painting for day. For evening, there was the midnight blue version. There were some artistic treatments such as the black sequin detail on a latte georgette dress.
Fluidity reigned supreme throughout,
The collaboration with SAGA furs resulted in some a chocolate patchwork coat and roomy cashmere coats with mink collars that resembled the wealthy bourgeois styles favored by Catherine Denveuve in Belle de Jour.
Also harkening back to that time period was the black wool crepe dress with an asymmetric mink collar. In his finale pieces, Terexov demonstrated that it’s possible to make a sequin gown that looks both modern and refined and unlike VENEXIANA, not the least bit “Vegas”.

For more information, visit

FARAH ANGSANA’S COUTURE Fall 2009 Collection

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Runway Images, Dan Lecca, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Image of Kelli Pickler,

TIME & PLACE: Monday, Feb. 16th, @ 9:00AM
The Salon Tent at Bryant Park

PRE-SHOW: KELLI PICKLER, runner up of American Idol created quite a stir in a strapless navy dress [she didn’t know the label, as it had been clipped out]. She was cute during the competition back then, but now, thanks to her stylists, she would look right at home on the Upper East Side, shopping along side Tinsley and the rest of the gang.


Ms. Angsana’s a couture designer, and typically that means a lot of extra trimmings and details, This designer was wise to limit herself to one [if any ] embellishment per gown.
The strongest gowns were the satin and chiffon gowns with absolutely no embellishment, one in a bronze-gold, the other in an aquamarine chiffon.
She’s got the LBD covered too, rendered as a black close fitting sheath and round necked bolero with black paillettes at the neck and ostrich feather cuffs.
What really looked couture came midway through the show – an ivory silk wool beaded cape over a strapless matching dress and then later worn over a slinky black jersey cocktail dress.
She made judicious use of fur – she’s clearly not a costume designer who overdoes the fur. Black fox fur and chinchilla served as accents at the shoulder or collar and wrists.
The French twists, smoky eyes, nude lips and black stiletto MICHAEL ANTONIOs helped turn the models from skinny teens into worldly sophisticates.
Angsana broke out the color towards the end and produced an entrance making imperial purple zibeline strapless gown with diamond pleating at the bust.
BEST: The refined day looks, particularly the coatdresses in purple woven marbled silk, red and black silk embroidery. –For evening, there’s the finale gown with embroidered and beaded black and gold dragon sacales that a woman whether she’s living in 1939 or 2009 would be proud to wear.
To view more from Farah Angsana, visit

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Dan Lecca, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Sunday, February 15, 2009
The Promenade Tent at Bryant Park: 3 shows in 1

ACT1: NICHOLAS K was a Men’s and Women’s collection of tough and rustic gray tweed suiting that’s sure to keep you warm. For work there were some bohemian leather and shearling jackets. When it’s time to kick back and play some pool or shoot some darts at the bar, there are earth toned jean jackets lined with shearling and cozy looking plaid shirts and jackets. Lest this sound unfeminine, there was a little bit of LA thrown in to sex things up, such as over the knee boots worn with opaque tights and shorts and rocker girl darkly shadowed eyes.

BEST: the long knit black vest with fringe for day and the denim blue silk caftan with black leggings.
MOST UNUSUAL ACCESSORY THIS WEEK: the peacock feather thirties style hats in green/aqua or orange/gold.

For more on the Nicholas K line, visit

Mr. Davila proposed tow very different silhouettes, one very fitted and buttoned up – brown side vented suit jackets and trousers worn with shirts buttoned all the way up, for the men. On the more relaxed side, there was a black quilted coat with a black collar. The black glitter lame dinner jacket would be fine while in Vegas on a lost weekend hitting the tables on the Strip. For the women, there were big comfy cowl neck sweaters and big rapper style military jean pants and thick crimped pony tails Barbie would envy to go with it.

For information on the Sergio Davila line, visit


Ms. Hoffman opened with some strong silk print pieces. There was a strong multi-cultural influence [zebra, Greek key, peacock, Indian Ottavalo music] throughout.
Ms. Hoffman kept things soft with her beautiful flowing wool coats and ponchos. The Rachel Zoe style Boticelli curls contributed to the pretty, feminine vibe.

The threaded bodice detailing, fringing, liberal use of grommets, and ruffles spoke of a free spirited bohemian who isn’t afraid to express her individuality.

BEST: the black double-breasted A-line coat dress with brass buttons.