- Edited by Vivian Kelly
- 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. http://thefashionexaminer.wordpress.com See you there!!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Text, SOFIA SHERSHUNOVICH, Special Correspondent
Edited by Vivian G. Kelly
Images from www.burberry.com
Burberry Prorsum SS 2010 Show
Just when we thought Christopher Bailey was going to show endless variations of trench and taupe, the show blossomed with frothy pastels and shimmery metalics. Surprisingly, Burberry is yet another fashion house to show short dresses this season, which seems to be this London Fashion Week's most prominent trend. We loved the soft fabrics, roughed-up and layered on the dresses, which were in turn dressed down with short rain jackets.
We felt an air of competition between the audience and the catwalk. With the likes of Emma Watson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Victoria Beckham in the front row, it was hard not to shift our focus from time to time. The models stood their ground in the end though. That may be an overstatement however, since part of the reason why the catwalk was so exciting was the presence of sky high heels that caused a couple of shaky moments here and there. Accessories were equally as mesmerizing, with over-sized bracelets, cute and clutch handbags. The whole show belted up at the waist with classic, leather, silhouette defining creations that served to enhance the mellow hues Mr. Bailey chose for this season.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
Images, courtesy of Paul Wilmot Communications
TIME & PLACE
New York Fashion Week,
Wednesday, September 9, 3:00p.m.
Royalton Hotel, West 44th Street, the Lobby
EVENING WEAR DESIGNER, FARAH ANGSANA, IS RED-CARPET READY
Swiss-based eveningwear designer, Farah Angsana has taken her business to a whole other level by hiring PR King PAUL WILMOT and his team to get the word out. That’s not to say that Ms. Angsana’s designs weren’t beautiful before she retained Paul Wilmot Communications. Unfortunately, making beautiful clothes just isn’t enough, you need to have the right people whispering into the right peoples’ ears that something is “great, the next big thing”.
We first noticed Farah at LA Fashion Week over a year ago – she was one of the few bright spots in a rather bleak week, which Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley cut out of early.
On tap this season, were tableaus staged in the lobby of the refurbished Royalton Hotel – one of this fashion week’s places to be.
What bowled us over were the production facts Ms. Angsana threw out as she took us through the line. The elaborate beading on the gowns is stunning and no wonder. One gown took 161 hours [no, not a typo!] for the beadwork ALONE. Many of her gowns are 95% hand created with the remaining 5% being due to the fact that she uses machines to sew the zippers. These gowns she qualifies as COUTURE and we won’t take umbrage with that.
After viewing the E! Channel’s “Fashion Police Emmy segment, we’re putting our money on the stylists and stars looking around for some fresh new alternatives – like Farah Angsana.
Friday, September 25, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
TIME & PLACE
6:20p.m., Tuesday, September 14, 2009
Christie’s Auction House, Rockefeller Center @ 50th Street, NYC
The show was preceded by a champagne cocktail party that got the guests, including actress CICELY TYSON in the mood to look at some lighthearted clothes – no black this season. Ms. Tyson was memorable in her roles in Sounder and the television specials The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and Roots.
After chatting with best-selling author, VICTORIA ROWELL and photographing her in a b Michael sheath dress we grabbed the designer for a quick pre-show comment.
FE: Can you give us a quickie sound bite about the collection?
B Michael: What I’m excited about is that I decided not to merchandise this collection. There’s not one black dress. We need some color, we need to feel good at this time.
He showed in the true couture fashion, the models held a sign with their exit number on it, serious jewelry by GREGORY GILIN, Paul Georg Champagne, and classical music. By “color” the designer meant soothing sherbet-toned hues, not the acid brights we’ve grown rather sick of. The b. Michael signatures were there, the early sixties silhouettes – full a-line skirts, portrait collars, sheath dresses, Peter Pan collars, and heavy silks.
One of the best dresses was an azalea curved wrap sheath cut from Italian tropical wool jersey. Instead of the perfect little black dress, try one in Lily white cut out of textured silk brocade. Mr. Michael shows that a great dress is a product of hours of labor, piecing each of the many seams together and providing an exacting fit.
If couture is beyond your financial grasp, you CAN become good friends with your local tailor. Well-altered clothes will do wonders for them, even if they’re just a simple pair of J. Crew cords that can be altered to look as if they were made to measure. We have only a few more months to go until b Michael debuts his lower priced line in January. There will be versions of the best-selling black off the shoulder day dress we’re obsessed with, on days where we dream of being Audrey Hepburn.
The crowd ooed and ahed its way through the 18 looks the designer restricted himself to. The finale was a beautiful pear green gown with intricate seam work on the waist that’s bound to be on Hollywood stylists’ Oscar racks this March.
To learn more about b Michael, visit the official website, www.bmichael.com
To learn more about Victoria Rowell’s memoir, “The Women Who Raised Me, visit www.victoriarowell.com
Runway images, courtesy of b Michael
Images of the designer, Cecily Tyson and Victoria Rowell, VGK
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
TIME & PLACE: NY Fashion Week,
Wed. Sept. 9, 2009 – 3:20P.M.
The Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 East 18th Street
Twice a year, rather like the Pilgrims taking a trip to Mecca, we attend New York Fashion Week. Every season, the Holly Go Lightly/Pollyanna in us surfaces and we hope to see some great break out of the box collections.
Firstly, the problem is, we don’t see everything.
Going to the shows is an exercise in handicapping and the belief in your decision-making powers. Invariably, you will miss a great show because you elected to go to the Tents rather than go off site to Milk Studios in the Forbidden Zone, or vice-versa.
Even if we were lucky enough to score tickets from PR Consulting’s Pierre Rougier, we might find ourselves not liking the latest L’Wren Scott or Narcisso collection. As it happens, we love what Ms. Scott is doing. Nicole Kidman looks wonderful in her long sparkly number and will look great wearing the little pink day dress, which has just A TOUCH of the “Mad Men” aesthetic. The problem with references such as these is that it’s easy to get carried away and verge into clothes that are more fitted for TV/Movie sets than for real life, as Mr. Tonner did in this collection.
This season, we decided to take a gamble on Robert Tonner. A good deal of this was due to the fact that he counts the legendary Bill Blass as one of his mentors. While Peter Som did a good job [go Peter!] in his brief time there, the late Mr. Blass’ shoes are too big for mere mortal designers to fill.
With that in mind, we sat at the Rober Tonner show and took it all in.
MR. TONNER'S CLEAN SEAMED TOPS AND EASY TROUSERS BORE OUT HIS TRAINING UNDER MR. BLASS. “American Sportswear” was the first phrase that popped into our minds when the black and white opening group came out. From there, things become more costume-y.
For evening, Tonner’s thinking pink - that is pink sequins. We never though sequins would drape well but they did in his Roseberry matte micro-sequin one shoulder mini dress. The strapless cocktail dresses and bright coat dresses did take us back to the early sixties and the had as the program hinted, “a look influenced by MADMEN”..
FAVORITE EXIT: #16, the cocktail party bound mist one shoulder top and peridot pants with satin ribbon and sequin embroidered lace detailing.
If you’re a fan of the early sixties and enjoy wearing texture and favor one shoulder styles, this is a collection you’ll buy into this spring.
We left the Pavillion feeling that Mr. Tonner could do very well designing costumes for movies and television.
Image of Nicole Kidman at the Academy of Country Music Awards,
AP Photo/Dan Steinberg
Image from the L’Wren Scott spring 2010 collection, by George Chinsee
Images from the Robert Tonner Show, from Robert Tonner's page on www.facebook.com
Monday, September 21, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G KELLY
TIME & PLACE:
New York Fashion Week
Friday, Sept. 11, 2009, 12:00 noon
Bryant Park, The Salon
BACKSTAGE WITH WENLAN CHIA
The oversize baubles hanging on the racks were the first thing that caught our eye and they gave some edge to the primarily black and white palette of soft little dresses that came down the runway this season.
THE INSPIRATION: music! BLONDIE MEETS YOKO ONO
Both it turns out, tie for her favorite musicians.
Says the designer, “Spiritually they are similar. Both are adventurous women."
Yoko = the artistic prints ad cream colors
Blondie = the graphics and acid colors
FE: How does the hair and makeup play into what you’re doing?
WENLAN: It was most important to me that it be pretty, the hair is curled and long and free like Yoko had it at one time]. The orange lips are very eighties, strong.
FE: How are you coping with the recession? Any changes in your price points?
WENLAN: Recession is part of life’s, ups and downs; you cope with it. I think about answering the question, “What can make you happy?” The answer is a good meal and something that you like to wear.
I’m keeping my price points but offering a jersey collection that is more affordable.
FE: Who do you think will pick it up?
WENLAN: It’s being offered to all my regulars, Nordstrom, etc. It would probably hang with sportswear.
What grabbed us at the show were the computer chip hot pink and white print skinny pants and dress. The eighties rock star was referenced via the super skinny pants and the artistic Yoko side was alluded to by the pretty modern prints and flowy chiffon she used for the little dresses.
Runway Photos by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
Image of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, from www.easyart.com
The image is available from the site for €19.95
Saturday, September 19, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
Gloves seem to be making a comeback with the young set, and we can thank LADY GAGA and MILEY CYRUS for that. The power pop stars have is indisputable and we have no argument with Dorothy’s butter soft kid creations getting pushed to the front of the line. Lady Gaga favors the basic driving gloves and black + red, white, and black. Miley’s pic are the fingerless pink pair.
ABOUT GASPAR GLOVES
Dorothy Gaspar, is a third generation master glove maker, has been in the family business of glove making all her life. The Gaspar Glove business was established originally in Budapest, Hungary by her grandfather in 1885. When Dorothy moved to Los Angeles in 1985, Gaspar Gloves experienced a rebirth a hundred years later.
Dorothy, donning a pair of her black lace Madonna in the eighties gloves, answered a few questions during her press presentation.
FE: You said young people are embracing gloves now?
DOROTHY GASPAR: I love seeing them in clubs. I have a lot of younger customers who realize gloves are a way to jazz up an outfit without breaking the bank.
FE: There was a big piece in Harpers’ Bazaar about “the classis”, a good idea in a recession. What’s your interpretation of a classic?
DOROTHY: Yes, you want to start with the basic vintage style that’s simple and clean but has some interesting twenties style stitiching.
FE: How much for a basic pair of Gaspars?
DOROTHY: Around $200 and they’re in kid leather. The long ones which are all one skin and go from $400 – 500 depending on the detail.
FE: Your favorite pair is…
DOROTHY: the red checkered ones with zippers. Perfect with a red suit!
For more information, visit www.gaspargloves.com
Image of Dorothy Gaspar, The Los Angles Times
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
Images at Event, VGK, Richard Spiegel
Images of the spring 2010 Collection, Courtesy of Douglas Hannant
TIME & PLACE: Monday, September 14 @ 6p.m.
59th Street, at Central Park, NYC
“The Girls” turned out as always to support Douglas and his business partner, Frederick Anderson, at the presentation of the spring 2010 collection and celebration of their freestanding store at the Plaza Shops.
What we glimpsed of the collection shown on mannequins looked light and floral – an ode to spring.
We used the time we had for a sit down with one of our favorite business guys, FREDERICK ANDERSON, to get his take on why he and Douglas would choose to open a store “in this economy”.
FE: Congratulations on the shop. Why now though?
FREDERICK: We did a soft open for the shop a week ago. It’s about taking a little more control in our own hands, and that’s what happens when you have your own boutique. It enables us to show our own true vision. This is not always the case when you work with retailers and have to make concessions.
FE: What’s the concept of this collection?
FREDERICK: We started on this idea of Greek mythology. It’s ethereal for us and about “breaking through to the other side”.
[Laughs when we both discover that the DOORS’ megahit is one of our favorite songs].
There’s color and not a single scrap of black.
Take the time to visit the store; it’s our version of luxury to the max. Be sure to have a good look at the dressing room, the walls are hand-tufted.
We dropped into the boutique on the way out and paused to admire the stunning red gown that was made especially for the store.
The dressing room was the piece of resistance though- the walls as Frederick had told us were hand-tufted and the cube shaped ottomans were made of chinchilla.
Douglas Hannant is available at his new store at the Plaza Shops, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and the finest boutiques nationwide.ks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and the finest boutiques nationwide.
To learn more about Douglas Hannant, visit www.douglashannant.com
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
Photos by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz
TIME & PLACE: Thursday, September 9, 2009
Bryant Park, The Salon
You never do know what you’re going to get from the boys which is why everyone loves going to this show.
There was an absence of black and in its place there was gray, taupe and more gray. The color accent this season – turquoise here and there, as a suede shoe or a sheer shirt which looks really great if you’re tan and in shape The taupy tweeds had the look of a refined lumberjack and the Fez hats were a fun touch as were the oversize prom queen bow on the front of a gray walking pant.
The duo experimented with texture in their lightweight tweeds and sheer abstract floral print shirts.
Perhaps what most struck us was the absence of traditional suits. Instead, there were long jackets in paler than pale pastels with walking shorts. This isn't the easiest look to be able to carry-off. Cool guys like SOMA Magazine's NY Style Editor, MICHAEL COHEN, can pull-off the look. Being tall and thin helps!