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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, June 27, 2009


Text, Vivian G.Kelly
The SECOND biggest gift-giving time of the year is upon us.
There are the following events to contend with, all in close proximity of one-another:
FATHER’S DAY[maybe you still haven’t gotten Dad something]
In search of some fresh ideas, we jumped at PR whiz, JONO’s invitation to attend his June Product-n-Press Launch.
After the last go-round, we’re sold on the idea that JONO’s event is THE GO-TO Source to track down some gifts the intended recipients might actually want.

WHERE: The Metropolitan Pavillion
WHEN: June 16th
Last time we attended, the host was STACEY LONDON, the celebrity stylist of TLC’s hit show, “What NOT to Wear”.
This time, “Ugly Betty’s” ANA ORTIZ hosted the event. You probably know her as “Betty’s” older sister, Hilda Suarez. The role earned her the ALMA Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2007.

Jono performed his usual magic and the space was filled with tables of beauty products, fashion accessories, gadgets, and food and beverage merch.

On a tight limit [as usual] we hit what we could.
Here are our suggestions.


THE GOLF from DAVEK Accessories, Inc.– An ultra-large golf-size canopy that spans 60” in diameter. If you were at the U.S. Open, you could have used this. We like the added feature of a reversible aluminum alloy anchor spike, and the unconditional lifetime guarantee.
Our favorite is the black/sport green model, also available in classic black and 3 other color combos.
Price: $99
To buy: tel: 9212)749-8746

Pier I IMPORT’s Key chain bag in a shocking green and blue print.

Sick of forgetting your bag when you hit the grocery store?
It’s hard to forget this handy water resistant tote, and at this price, you can get it in every color and hand them out to your friends.
We’re impressed by the company’s new sales & marketing strategy of making more fun gifts at lower price points. Last year, the gifting tag line was “Great gifts for under $50”. This year, it’s “Great gifts for under $30. At this kind of nice price, we predict increased traffic flow in the store and sales at the till.
After perusing the press kits, a couple of items enticed us enough to leave our office and take a trip out to Pier I Imports to see for ourselves.
1. The Green Monstera Leaf Pillow – 18”w x 6”d x 18”h, $16.95
2. The kitschy Tiki Club Wall Sign, 13”w x 17”H, $16.95
3. The Metallic/Zebra Assorted Coin Purse, $4 & matching Glasses Case, $5.

When we arrived at our local branch, we enjoyed the experience – lots of colorful displays and fun grab& go groupings strategically placed close to the register.
WE BOUGHT: A lime green zebra print zip travel kit with the mini shampoo and conditioner bottles, and a soap and pill holder, all for $10. Face it; it’s rare that you actually enjoy using what the hotel puts in the bathroom, unless it’s Aveda.

And finally, everyone needs to drink enough water. After years of sampling hundreds of different brands, we’ll admit that there’s good water, and there’s not-so-good water.
Our new favorite: O.N.E. Natural Spring Water.
With the summer just having started, anyone you know would be happy to have a case of O.N,E. hit their doorstep courtesy of the UPS guy.
Better still, it’s available I paper recyclable 500ml Tetra Packs, instead of icky environmentally unfriendly water bottles.
Price: Approx. $1.49 - $1.79 per 500ml Tetra Packs
Where to Get It: Fairway, Mrs. Greens, Whole Foods and
Also at
FOR THE WOMEN [wedding]
This one was new to us but we loved the products we got around to trying in the sample pack, as well as the cheery aqua packaging. We’ve only just started testing the GOMMAGE EXFOLIATING CRÈME AND DAILY MOISTURIZER. Although it’s too soon to report on results, we do like the botanical fragrance. Our guess is that it’s the Elixer of Quartz Crystal that gives the lotion its silky feeling.
Look for a full report on SPHATIKA night cream and Sphatika Spa treatments later this summer after we visit their Spa near Columbus Circle [1841 Broadway, Suite 811, NYC]
Tel: 212-265-5885

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Text, Vivian G. Kelly
These entries were NOT at JONO’s Product-n-Press Event, the mecca for new gift ideas. But, as Dwayne/Mike Meyers famously said in “Wayne’s World [1992], these ARE “worthy”!
Here are a few companies that created gifts that will go easy on your wallet but bring a smile to the recipient’s face.

Kiss/Broadway Nails
Under the Canopy organic kimono bathrobe $48
Ed Hardy

NATURAL NUDE FRENCH Deceptions – from Broadway Nails in “short” length
The promise: 7-day wear.
WHY TRY: These are $5.99 as opposed to $50+ for nail salon gels and look just as good. True, glue-ons have a shady rep – something you’d imagine a pole stripper might use. After a fashionable high-schooler and a forty-something interior designer showed us theirs, we were motivated to go track down a set at Walgreens and try for ourselves.
We’ve never had the patience to grow our nails long and wearing these for a week actually did the trick for us. Amazed friends declared them “perfect looking” and demanded to know where we’d gotten these.
Getting them off requires a 10-minute soak in Kiss All Or One Artificial Nail Remover.
* To maintain our newly long nails, we started using Sally Hansen’s “Hard As Nails” base coat in “natural.
Total cost: under $30
To view products/selections:

ED HARDY By Christian Audigier’s Neoprene Can Cooler. We picked this one up at WALGREEN’s for $3.99.
WHO IT'S FOR: High School grads and the College Crowd.
We’re in agreement with our blogging associate, Richard Spiegel of The Fashion Tribune that Ed Hardy is over with fashion insiders. [An exception being ANTHONY of the ANTHONY LEONARD SALON in Midtown Manhattan, who regularly wears Ed Hardy Tee ].
The Hardy brand though, keeps rocking on with the mainstream shopper, most notably the high school and college crowd, who have disposable income at their fingertips, and deemed our can holder, “cool”.
To read Richard’s evaluation of the Hardy Brand, visit, and read, “The Coach Line – A Real Dead One”.

UNDER THE CANOPY’S organic Kimono Robe
This 100% certified organic cotton robe uses low-impact dies, AND is machine washable. It’s become the “it” bathrobe in our house with everyone trying to steal it when they think we’re not looking.
The verdict: It’s eco, but there’s no trace of “crunchy granola” here. We’d love to see this robe in salons and spas around the country.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

IT’S SUMMER IN THE CITY – Edite kicks-off the summer with a pop-shop event in the East Village

Text and Images, Vivian G. Kelly

TIME/PLACE: 166 Elizabeth Street, downtown, NYC

WHAT: The opening reception of the SEWN TOGETHER Pop Shop featuring cutting-edge fashion from Edite, Emily Clare and and Art work by Helena de Kubicka de Braganca.

WHY: to have a sample sale and to have a fashion happening on a muggy New York night – oldskool style

WHERE: The BZOO GALLERY – an underground boutique that sells luxury lifestyle goods including original fragrances, wallets and leather bags by Bzoo. The party and pop-up store took place a few weeks before the Gallery’s official opening next month.
We alternately milled on the packed sidewalk in front of the gallery, sipped on cherry red sugar free energy drinks at the bar inside and perused the racks and tables of designer goodies downstairs.

Meeting designer Haleh Nematzadeh, HALEH NEMATZADEH, whose seventies era-disco HAND SILK SCREENED HOLOGRAPHIC SEQUIN DRESSES knock us out every time we see them. The designer has the kind of East Village Princess look we remember from the eighties ie: Debbie Harry crossed with a disco streak. Maybe it was the white patent and lurex platforms and blue glitter toe polish. We’re right there with her when she describes her love for the seventies and eighties aesthetic - the part about "people really GETTING DRESSED to go out”.
We continued the journey back in time when we stepped in to grab another energy drink and found that DJ CASSIDY was doing the music. He had one of our faves from back in the day on. “ROCK WIT’CHA” by Bobby Brown – pre-crack cocaine, was one of those tracks that put the former Boy Band star into the running to be in Marvin Gaye’s league as a soul star. Cassidy's presence added to the importance of what [in the wrong hands] could have been just another little store event.
Cassidy’s one of the biggest DJ’s I the biz. He’s the guy who does the music for Kimmora Lee Simmons’ BABY PHAT show, spins for the stars [JLO, Sean Combs, Oprah, Obama].

Co-owners RACHEL PALETSKY and JULIA SIMON know how to throw a party and bring some much-needed excitement back into retail.
An hour later, we left with two matching JOUR et NUIT faux gator change purses for the two tween BFFs who were in tow.

The only thing that’s really going to help retail is we get out there and start shopping again, and some money starts changing hands.
Although the party’s over, you can still shop.
Sunday, June 14 through Friday, June 19, 11AM – 7PM

For more info on the Bzoo Gallery, tel: 212 343 2966
To Shop Haleh’s designs, visit

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ROSS’ BREAD – An Artisan Bakery & Cafe that is THE GOURMET’S CHOICE For Bread and Coffee

Text & Image of Ross and Valerie Schneiderman,
Vivian G. Kelly

Food and building images, from the respective websites

Okay, Fashion People don’t eat bread, but IF they did, they would buy it from a baker who bears a resemblance to George Clooney, and also happens to run a fun low-key bakery/café, with his charming wife and two high school sons.

This combination really exists. The lovely New England Town of Ridgefield, CT is where the bakery [called Ross’ bread] is located. The owner/baker’s name is Ross Schneiderman.

We grew up in the seventies’ – no carb diet movement and it’s stayed with us ever since, because it works.
That’s not to say that we don’t occasionally slip and succumb to great bread, like the ficelles and baguettes available in the hundreds of boulangeries in Paris. If you can’t get to Paris, go to CT., save yourself the planefare, and dig into a hunk of Ross’ organic baguette.

There are baguettes for sale at Stop & Shop, and they’re okay, if taste isn’t an issue. We’re of the mind that life’s short, so who’s settling for just “okay” – in anything?

Baguette [definition] - A traditional “pre-ferment” of flour, water and yeast (which develops flavor for 12-16 hours).
This is what gives Ross' hand-shaped baguette its distinctive, delicious flavor. He uses “demi-baguettes” for our pre-made sandwiches in the cafe.
Ingredients: Organic wheat flour, filtered water, yeast, salt.

WHY THIS BREAD IS SO GOOD - A Philosphy of patience
Says Ross, “My introduction to the art of bread baking took place at my sister-in-law’s farmhouse on Via dé Cofferi in the hills of Tuscany, outside of Florence, Italy. It was there I learned the importance of patience. The great bread bakers treat their dough as living organisms, nurturing every step of the way, allowing enough time for proper fermentation and proofing. This patience and nurturing allows bread the chance to develop complexity, rich taste and the signature crust and crumb of a great bread."

In addition to the baguettes, there are delicious hearth-baked artisan breads, muffins [try the blueberry], scones and pastries.
Don’t forget to try a cup of coffee if you’re looking for an upgrade from your trusty cup of Dunkin brew. The coffee is brewed exclusively from Durham, NC-based craft roaster Counter Culture Coffee. The beans are sourced from small hand-cultivated lots of heirloom variety coffee.
For tea-lovers, there’s a generous selection of loose leaf tea from IN PURSUIT OF TEA.
109 Danbury Rd., Ridgefield, CT
Tel: 203-438-4822
There are even some handy tips on the site on how to extend the life of your loaf.

OTHER places to find Ross' bread:
Ridgefield Farmers Market (Fridays)
South Salem Farmers Market at Gossett Brothers Nursery (Saturdays) (1202 Rte 35, South Salem, NY)
The Cutting Board

Is you DO make it to Ridgefield, come in the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of every month, 6:00 – 7:30PM and drop in at SARAH’S WINE BAR – it’s part of Bernard’s, also at 20 West Lane/Route 35.
The wine tasting is $10 a head and all $10 go to benefit a different local charity.
Tel: (203) 438-8282

If you're feeling less than svelte after indulging in all this bread and wine, get yourself over to Val's YOGA SHALA, a few miles away in Wilton. This is the type of yoga some of the world's buffest bodies practice- Madonna, Brad Pitt, and Valerie, who's an ex-Olympic gymnast.
The Yoga Shala is located at 991 Danbury Rd # 3, Wilton, CT
Tel. (203) 544-8811

Sunday, June 7, 2009

GRETCHEN – Comfort bags for you and me and Paris Hilton!

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, Courtesy of Edite

We’ve all heard of “comfort food” – creamed spinach, chicken pot pie, mashed potatoes, Haagen Daas Rocky Road, Pepperidge Farm’s Mint Milanos – a carb and sugar fest.

OUR PROPOSAL– a much more satisfying fix that will have you looking good and feeling good months after the indulgence.
We loved the samples we saw in Edite’s NYC showroom, especially the big ones. Okay, big bags have a bit of a rap – a year ago at LA Fashion Week, one unenlightened party-person at the Fred Seigel party jokingly asked us about our “body bag” – an environmentally Kelly green bag by Shiraleah. Had we been carrying this Gretchen, he would have oohed and aahed instead.

Like it [or Miss H.] or not – if she’s wearing something – it’s “HOT!”
Earlier this week, Paris accessorized her Alexander Wang outfit with a Gretchen “Actress” Clutch – for the third time in the past three weeks. Fashionable women have LOTS of bags, and if you’re a high profile celeb, the sky’s the limit. Paris knows all about photo ops, so for her to allow herself to be photographed wearing THE SAME bag more than once, is a pretty big deal.

OCCASION #: At the T-Mobile Sidekick Kickoff Event in LA @ 3 weeks ago
OCCASION #2: At the Cannes Film Festival.
OCCASION #3: At her taping with David Letterman

ABOUT GRETCHEN: why we’re taking notice -
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS are a penchant for combining geometric shapes and in monochromatic color palettes. The result is an eye-catching bag that’s got an innovative clean cut-shape and minimalist aesthetic.
In case you’re thinking, “minimalism = boring”, think again. Gretchen underlines the individual character of each item with embellishment ranging from contrasting leather and fur to metal detailing.
The company’s based in Germany and made from the finest European leathers by expert craftsmen. In addition to bags, there are gloves, and belts.

The glossies have taken notice. Recent editorials include: Lucky, WWD, the cover of Accessories Magazine, Surface Magazine, and German Vogue.
Sold at at Inago Boutique in LA.

You can find more information about Gretchen at

For Press Inquiries, please contact Veronica Vera at or 212.967.0202