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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!!


Monday, October 26, 2009


Images, courtesy of Douglas Hannant

After a technical hiccup and a last-minute change of run of show, the first model emerged from behind the crinkled white silk curtain.
As the Advertising Exec from Brides Mag [one of the magazine survivors] next to us explained, “At this time, there are 3 kinds of brides, but ALL are interested in style.
1. The Girl who’s on a budget and needs to keep it in the hundreds. She probably looks to David’s Bridal for her selection.
2. The Bride who’s in the middle. She’ll make sacrifices in order to land her dream dress. She’s likely to look to a Romona Keveza Legends priced collection.
3. The designer customer who will buy the gown she wants, no matter what it costs.
Undoubtedly, Douglas Hannant had the 3rd bride in mind when he designed this 12-piece collection. The title of the show, “NUANCES” fit the tone of the collection, at least, as far as five of the twelve exits were concerned.
We nodded happily at the celery tinted satin and organza gown that opened the show. The next two gowns in ivory were good examples of what Douglas does so well – interesting details such as horsehair trimmed tiers on an ivory gazar and satin gown.
The show then went in a very unexpected direction. It started with look # 4, with an accordion pleated flounce detail and some ruffles and then escalated to the overtly fanciful cream duchesse satin gown with a huge accordion [crumb catcher] neckline that took us straight back to the late eighties when a gown couldn’t be big ENOUGH.
Our guess is that the brides in the Middle East – just about the only region in the world that’s NOT suffering, may demand what we’ll term “important dresses”. We doubt that the ivory tulle satin gown with appliqu├ęd rosettes that bears a more than passing resemblance to a silver gilded bombe glacee pastry was intended for the elegantly chic Douglas Hannant collection customer. She need not despair however as those first few looks are what she’ll gravitate towards. Who WOULDN’T love the lack of obvious embellishment and appreciate the artistically draped bodice treatments? Regardless of which dress you choose from this collection, note to self – start lifting those arm weights every other day – just about everything is strapless.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CVS Beauty – a Few of our Favorite Things for Fall

Images of Robert Verdi’s Luxe Lab, courtesy of Kaplow Public Relations
Images of product from sallyhansen

We’ve always relied on CVS as a handy pitt-stop for the basics – milk in a pinch, soda, RX’s.
It wasn’t until we attended ROBERT VERDI’S LUXE LAB/CVS/Pharmacy Beauty Lounge during NY Fashion Week did we see that there is MORE – A LOT MORE to love at CVS.
CVS beauty is not to be confused with their store in store – BEAUTY 360, which we love and occasionally splurge on an item like a lipstick from the VINCENT LONGO makeup line. [Our new favorite – “Chika Mokita” – a perfect neutral red stain].
HAIR MASTER, CHRISTOPPHE was on hand at Robert’s Lounge, doing his magic with a brush and blow-dryer as were some nail techs at the SALLY HANSEN NAIL BAR.
It was while having our nails prettified that we discovered a cache of new favorite AND INEXPENSIVE beauty must-haves – all by SALLY HANSEN.
In case you didn’t know, Sally does a special range of colors, which are backstage every season at TRACEY REESE. This season, you can have the same highly editorial colors the models wore on the runways.

SALLY HANSEN – HD - High Definition Nail Color.
We scooped up a bottle of “Pixel Pretty” at our local CVS but are anxiously awaiting the gray-green shade we demoed from the Tracey Reese show; it’s in the same vein as the best-selling “Stromboli” shade in the Dolce & Gabbana line.

S.H. INSTANT CUTICLE REMOVER – it really DOES get rid of your cuticles in @ 30 seconds. *Don’t leave it on too long, because it can sting a bit if you do.

S.H. HARD AS NAILS – still the definitive RX for peeling and splitting nails. If you’re not a color girl, to this with S.H. INSTA –BRITE NAIL WHITENER, and you’ll have a beautiful natural nail.

And Finally, our 2 favorites:
This quick dry is for you if watching paint dry is not your idea of entertainment. Because it dries so instantly, we noted that our nails chipped faster than usual, but we get bored of color in 2-3 days, so that’s fine.

We’re happy to report that the company’s been adding more & more colors to the INSTA-DRY range so there’s a much better selection now.

Everything mentioned available at Cvs

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Menswear Day Highlights, London Fashion Week SS 2010

Text: Sofia Shershunovich
Edited by: Vivian G. Kelly

Time: Day 6: 23rd September 2009

Place: Somerset House, London

James Long

S/S Trend Watch, James Long: Colored metallics, skin tight leathers, derelict knits, tie dye, shiny camo, and men clutches.

You know the phrase “you would look good even in a garbage bag”? It may have been the inspiration behind James Long’s London Fashion Week S/S 2010 show. But jokes aside, it was possibly the most exciting runway of the day. Maybe a little too much of everything from my perspective, but nevertheless thrilling and definitely a step (or six) up from the ordinary. It would be great to see men take some risks and incorporate Mr. Long’s vision into their wardrobe this spring.

Lou Dalton

S/S Trend Watch, Lou Dalton: Sailor stripes, navy/red/gold, khaki, Carrie flowers, a short man’s attitude.

A long long time ago men’s fashion was just as intricate as women’s. Men wore make-up, wigs, fake moles, fabulous jewels, frills, heels, and feathers. Lou Dalton’s show at the Summerset House’s beautiful Portico Rooms showed us that perhaps it’s time to bring some of that excitement back. With his Napoleonic inspired hats, jackets and flower accessories he brings Sex and the City flair to a daring and stylish men’s closet. Although, he might want to step out of the closet first to make some space.

Topman (by Topshop)

S/S Trend Watch, Topman: Electric blue, powder blue, white, raven black, sporty, geometric patterns, civil war, anatomical print tees, jet black.

The most anticipated show of the day was Topman (by Topshop). The show featured an ultra light then a dramatically dark palette, and a make up artist with a sense of humor, who gave the models a peculiar fake bake. Parachute bags made an appearance again, we noticed them earlier at a Carolyn Massey show earlier in the day. Then suddenly the theme changed to high fashion, anatomical and civil war with studs, furs, and gold accessories. Smart, dark, and sexy suits brought the show to a climax leaving us with a sense of disbelief in our scepticism when it comes to this particular high-street brand.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The COSTELLO TAGLIAPIETRA spring/summer 2010 Collection

TIME & PLACE: NY Fashion Week
7:30p.m., Milk Studios, 2nd floor, 450 West 15th Street, The Forbidden Zone, NYC

You can rely on this duo to deliver sensuous soft designs. The surprise is which fabric they elected to use. This season, the fabrics were dyed in an environmentally friendly way using the AIR-DYE process. Long are the days that eco-friendly colors meant blah beiges and green tinged blacks. Thanks to air-dye, there were sunset oranges and all of the colors in a tequila sunrise cocktail as well as a pretty gray starry night pattern and a becoming gray-pink satin that looked great strapless and long-sleeved. The interest lay with the swaging in the front and bracelet length sleeves. When you’re wearing dresses that are this clean lined, you can have fun with your jewelry and take out the biggest and brightest baubles in your jewelry box OR you can wear the bling on your dress. It works for LANVIN and VERA WANG, so why not for Costello Tagliapietra?
One of our favorites – the smoke jersey top with Crystallized Swarovski element detailing.
While not their strongest collection to date, in part due to the lack of Red Carpet options, we applaud the duo for their environmental correctness.

Air dyeing makes dyeing with water seem very archaic. They seem to be the first and only to use the air dyeing technique this fall, which could mean that a) it's not getting enough exposure, or b) it's super expensive however environmentally responsible it may be. Colorep, the company that pioneered it, states that, “Air dye technology can be used only on synthetics”. That’s the could be 3rd potential reason why other designers haven't adopted it yet. In any case, we’re excited about this!
To read about this process, visit

Friday, October 16, 2009

VERA WANG’s spring/summer 2010 – “Partying with Poiret”

SPOTLIGHT - BRANDING: VERA’s continued brand building push

Showroom images, VGK

TIME & PLACE: Post Fashion Week, at the Vera Wang Showroom, the Garment Center, NYC
WE’re going on the record. We LOVE presentations, all presentations: pre-fashion week, during fashion week, and post fashion week.
There’s no drama, no mess at the door and you can SEE EVERYTHING and you get to ask questions.
We’ve had a long- standing love affair with Vera’s SIMPLY VERA line since she debuted it @ 2 years ago and have steadily been buying up pieces. While we love a bargain, there’s nothing like the real deal – ie: the COLLECTION. Vera’s plush white and cream39th Street showroom was miles removed from the sterile racks at Kohl’s. The difference though, was bridged by the VERA WANG
ESTHETIC that runs in both the RTW line and the SIMPLY VERA line. The ability to to accomplish such a feat is the mark of successful branding. In our eyes, Vera Wang is a successful brand.
We spent longer than we’d budgeted admiring and touching the sumptuous fabrics in her spring 2010 collection.
What ties it all together is the concept of LAYERING, DRAPING, and RUFFLE DETAILING found in both collections, high and “low”. You’ll also find the fun jewelry, stitched onto tunics as well as a muted color palette in separates. On the Collection line, there’s a “candied jeweled bolero” that’s a special piece, only to be found on the high end. You can however get the FEELING on the Simply level by picking up one of the smocks with jeweled or sequined collars or straps.
We rather liked the “melancholy flower” print, in a deep forest green, making it one of those few florals that’s fit for fall/winter. The dark romantic tulips and purple poppies hit the right note for the winter months to come.

To read more about the Vera Wang brand, visit

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


ROB HALFORD teaches a lesson in HOW -TO successfully Expand Your Brand


TIME & PLACE: Sept. 30, 2009
The 2nd floor suite of the Cooper Square Hotel

Even if you're clueless when it comes to heavy metal, as we were, you've heard of rock legend, ROB HALFORD. We were curious to see what the metal god had in mind for a clothing line, especially what he'd come up with for us ladies.
Lots of leather and studs [timely, after seeing the sp/sum '10 collections, deafening "head-banger" music and scary makeup.

A bunch of casually, but well-dressed guys quietly talking by the coffee bar and a rack of eye-catching t-shirts.
Whoever said that rockers don't have a head for business has obviously not met Rob or his longtime Manager/alter-ego, JOHN BAXTER.
Although Mr. Baxter, a soft-spoken guy with a mop of curly hair prefers "to stay in the background", he graciously gave us a crash course in the politics of rock and roll and how it's all changed - forever. He also shared his thoughts on branding and how he and Rob continue to build on and expand their brand, despite the challenges of today's market.

THE FASHION EXAMINER: We know that Rob was the lead singer for JUDAS PRIEST. When did he go solo?

JOHN BAXTER: He went solo in 1992 and reunited with the band in 1999.

FE: How does Heavy Metal fit into what's going on today?

J. BAXTER: Actually, it's great. We're now in a heavy metal craze, so the timing is very good. We're taking that window to get a number of projects going. Rob's been re-releasing works and he's playing in Tokyo at Makahari Messe on October 17th.
WE've got BRUTAL LEGEND [the video game] he's done with Jack Black coming out for the Holidays. There will also be a film, BRUTAL LEGEND, also with Jack Black coming out as a follow-up.

FE: How long have you been with Rob?

J. BAXTER: Since 1978, it's been an amazing ride. We're focused on expanding the brand.

FE: Where does the t-shirt line fit into the strategy?

J. BAXTER: We've been selling millions of dollars of t-shirts, and those are just plain black concert tees.
The Rob Halford line we're showing today is a give-back. There's more attention to the actual garment, the tees are soft, well made.

FE: How do Rob's tees compare to the other lines in this genre like say, Ed Hardy?

J. BAXTER: I'm told by the people who do Ed Hardy, that our shirts are off the charts.

FE: You're just getting started. Who else is involved and what will they be selling for? What's your target price?

J. BAXTER: MARC SASSO gave us two designs to start-off with. As you can see [points to the rack], we've got more than that now and also some women's tees.
We'll be selling them for $35-45 a piece at the concerts, like in Madison Square Garden. The Garden is all union so we'll reduce our profit margin - we want the fans to have them.
If you buy them from us on line, they're $60-90 a shirt.

FE: What's the strongest style so far? [They're currently available on]
J. BAXTER: Cerebus, and I've already seen someone wearing it in LA, on the street.

FE: You've got Rob involved in a lot of projects! It couldn't have just happened. When did you start setting this all up?

J. BAXTER: In 2002, I read the tea leaves and it was good timing, absolutely, because by 2004, all the bands went away and we were one of the few left. I'd gotten him into film, the website, games and now the apparel.

FE: When was "the beginning of the end" for the bands?

J. BAXTER: When the burnable CD player came. These days, I don't know who's stealing my stuff, and neither do other managers and musicians. We can't control the distribution of creative works - noone can. It's not just limited to music though. Look at the author Dan Brown, he's gotten ripped-off too!

FE: What's the solution?

J. BAXER: There will have to be Government intervention. We need an Internet system that protects us.


FE: Rob, what do you make of this new generation of kids who are embracing metal?

ROB HALFORD: It's a global phenomenon, but one that's taken longer to break down due to the negative image Metals' had, but it's happened, nonetheless. I believe that EVERYONE, regardless of who they are and what they do, has got that rock and roll spirit.


We tried on the baby blue waffle shirt we'd receive on exiting and were impressed by how soft it felt. The reaction was overwhelmingly favorable when we showed it to a seventeen year old girl and a former Metal groupie who's moved on to banking but still maintains her rock and roll spirit.

Images of the Collection, Richard Spiegel and courtesy of Rob Halford
Image of Rob Halford & Vivian G. Kelly taken by John Baxter

Sunday, October 11, 2009

THE IODICE Spring/Summer 2010 Collection

Images of the collection & Valdemir Iodice, Richard Spiegel

Day 1 – Wed. Sept. 9th, 1:00
The penthouse roof garden of Morgan’s Hotel, Madison Avenue

The name was the first thing we asked designer VALDEMIR IODICE about when we sat down with him in the charming rooftop garden where the models were posing for photographers.

The name is a family name and VALDEMAR IODICE is ½ Brazilian and ½ Portuguese. He opened the business when he was 16 years old, 40 years ago. These days, he's a big star at Sao Paolo Fashion Week who’d coming to make his way to New York.

Said Valdemir, who alternated between sitting at the table and springing up to point out a detail on one of his garments, “I have a design aesthetic that is feminine, like the jet set, who lives in a Metropolis like Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Paris. What changes [from season to season] are the textiles, borders, the details and the colors. There is always a theme, an inspiration. This year it is PEARLS and the serpents that live in the sea. The fabrics are leather, chamois leather, silk, satin, and georgette. The accessories are pearl with flowers and metals. The colors are also of the sea, navy blue, and coral.”
Valdemar also designs the shoes, which are suede with an alligator back.
For evening there’s a killer silk matte jersey draped long gown that Halston himself could have designed. The piece de resistance is a pearl encrusted cocktail sheath dress with abalone shell sequins for $5,000 that took 8 days to bead.
If Valdemar continues to show in New York, Iodice is a line that we predict will be getting a lot more play in the USA.

Iodice is available at

Thursday, October 8, 2009

ISABELLA OLIVER – A Pregnancy Line You’ll Love – Pregnant or Not

TEXT, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of apparel, from the official website,

The words, “pregnancy dressing” need no longer conjure up visions of ugly oversize floral maternity dresses and boring black leggings with kangaroo pouch waistlines.
These days, there are A-LIST worthy options out there that will have you looking as good as your friends who are their normal size 2 or 4.
Celebrities are notorious for wanting the best of everything [and usually for free]. THEY have embraced the chic ISABELLA OLIVER line, and the good news is that you can too.
Designers, VANESSA and BAUKJEN, will have you looking great at work, at holiday parties and on your time –off.
For example, PROJECT’s HEIDI KLUM rocked an ISABELLA OLIVER tank dress at the Santa Monica Pier when running around with her kids, proving that LBD’s aren’t just for “special “occasions.
Wear this LBD with flat black sandals like Heidi did and some classic Ray Ban aviators for day. At $175, it’s a good investment piece that will pay you back in spades as it will probably become one of your “5 easy pieces”.
Ramp it up at night with a pair of RAPHAEL YOUNG’s futuristic black and cobalt heels and an architectural evening bag by GRETCHEN from her “Alva” or “Daria” aut/win 2009 collections.
To learn more about the Raphael Young and Gretchen collections, visit the EDITE SHOWROOM on the web,

Trolling through the website we concur with the designers’ favorites because these are pieces ANY woman would want to have in her wardrobe.

1. The cable cosy $249. If thoughts of “the Snuggie” cause your blood pressure to spike in horror, here’s a MUCH chicer alternative.
2. The Kimono Wrap, in black. Channel your inner Audrey Hepburn any old day of the week. $189.

3. The Cape – in camel, $389. Timeless chic, enough said.

4. The “Venus” – a sexy evening dress that hides anything you might want to hide in the midriff region, $359.

5. The Bustier Dress – in black. This one reminds us of something Victoria [Posh} Beckham walks around in. If she decides to go for 1 more with David, we highly recommend this one! For $229, you get a healthy dose of Herve Leger/Victoria Beckham.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Edited by Vivian G. Kelly

London Fashion Week,
Monday, September 21, 10:00a.m.
WC1, London

There’s something child-like about Luella shows year after year. Either it’s a catwalk full of kiddy Halloween costume inspired wear, or it’s Minnie Mouse head-bows like this season. The models are clutching their luscious leather handbags as if beloved teddy bears and their make up looks like it was done by an eight year old.

Although we may sound critical, we actually think there’s something sexy about grown women dressing like little girls. We wonder if Anna Wintour, sitting front row, is thinking the same thing. The innocence and playfulness of Luella’s designs bursts in like a ray of sunshine onto a dark runway. Another repetitive trend for her S/S collections has been flower patterns, but the way Luella does flowers leaves no doubt they will be the ones picked off the racks. Her charming dresses, fit for an English Rose with a hidden thorn, boast a full skirt and a cut out heart detail over the chest. As if stolen from some poor unsuspecting doll’s closet, the rest of the collection included high-waist polka dot shorts, downy dresses, and cute Marilyn-like coats…a sex symbol who knew ALL about acting like a little girl.
Incidentally we also visited London Fashion Weekend, a shopping event organized by ELLE Magazine, and noticed that Luella’s booth was swarming with customers picking through last seasons items.

S/S TREND WATCH - Luella: polka dots, short dresses with a full skirt, full shoulders, flowers, bright colors, and raiding your kid sister's closet.

Photo Credits
Images from The Telegraph
To view more images from the collection, visit