- 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, December 29, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
Contributions by Annabel Kelly
SHOPPING BAG INDEX SCORE: 4 bags = the ultimate
THIS TRIP'S SCORE: 3 out of 4
Unlike NUEVO VALLARTA, where we stayed at the Disney-eque “Paradise Village & Spa, P.V. is still raw; it hasn’t been manicured to death – yet. There are Mexican people here on vacation, music coming out from the stores, and Chihuahuas and Mini Yorkies running into the surf chasing pelicans, & fishermen slapping huge fish out of the waves and down onto the dock. Bugs also thrive in this heat so bring the bug spray.
HOW TO GET THERE: by Water Taxi.
Cost: $20 Round Trip, everyone over age 5.
Discovery Water Taxi & Canal Tour, available at the Yacht Club, Marina A, Paradise Village, Nuevo Vallarta
VALUE & EXPERIENCE: Fabulous!
Instead of the slow chugging ferry we thought we’d be riding, we got a ride in a speedboat. The DISCOVERY II’s Captain loves speeding & revved the powerful outboard motor to the max, getting us to the shopping zone in @ 20 minutes.
ADDED BONUS: A whale and dolphin sighting.
IN TOWN – THE VIBE: friendly & laid back.
THE EATS: We stumbled onto LA PIZZA NOSTRA, just 1 block up from the dock. Their claim to fame is “Best Pizza in Puerto Vallarta since 1989” but it’s not the pizza, that enchanted us, it was the theme and the kitschy décor that made our day. Where ELSE would you see collector-worthy memorabilia like “Pebbles” and “Bam-Bam” statues and signed photos by Marilyn [Monroe] as well as Beatles and “Twilight Zone” vintage ads?
Thanks to the friendly folks next door repping the CASA VELAS Suite Resorts, we got comped some free margaritas, a phone call to the USA and a paperback novel of our choice.
CASA VELAS is also owned by H.S.I, and an affiliate of RCI Gold Crown Resorts. After the way we were treated [w/ absolutely no pressure] we’re thinking of staying at their boutique hotel property next year.
La Pizza Nostra Ristorante
Francisca rodriguez no. 150
GROCERIES: We were sent on a mission to find “fresh fish” – harder than you’d think, considering we’re on the ocean. After inquiring at several bodegas, we were directed to Puerto Vallarta’s #1 fish store – no name – like the best nightclubs – on the door.
We left with 2.2 lbs [1 kilo] of swordfish one hour out of the ocean for an unbelievable 60 pesos = $5 US.
SHOPPING: Even the usual gauntlet of street vendors wasn’t unpleasant. We passed on a TEAM ITALIA soccer jersey but bought the latest “it toy” – a Barbie in an evening dress with a parachute attached to her. If Barbie’s not your thing, you can get the Sumo Wrestler doll.
COST: $5 US.
VALUE: Totally fun – we flew her on the speedboat on the way home.
THE BUY: After inspecting rings at over ½ a dozen jewelry stores, we hit pay dirt at MARINO & MARINO JEWELRY.
We left with a 4-½ carat loose sapphire. Cost - $97US.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
THE BODY SHOP’S CHARITABLE INITIATIVE & KARL LAGERFELD’S DOLL FOR THE CARLA BRUNI-SARKOZY FOUNDATION
A few days ago, we had a discussion with a fellow blogger about the slippery nature of charity. Our conclusion – charity is not “real” if it’s “a force”.
Smack in the middle of the “giving season” we’re inundated with reminders of giving and pleas from every charitable organization we’ve ever contributed to and some we’ve never heard of.
BELOW, 2 CHARITY INITIATIVES WE CAN GET BEHIND
#1: THE BODY SHOP – the SOMALY MAM initiative.
WHEN & WHERE: THE WEEKEND BEFORE XMAS @ The Simon Brothers’ Danbury Mall, Fairfield County, CT
In a rush to get a Starbucks latte, we initially passed it, but then doubled-back to see what was taking place at The Body Shop. Why so packed? We took 30 seconds to listen to the promo the aproned sales associate explained to us – in a very low-key/non-threatening way.
THE CHARITY INITIATIVE FOR THE SOMALY MAM FOUNDATION
Somaly is a sexual slavery survivor who started this foundation that supports rescue, shelter and rehabilitation programs across South East Asia. The Foundation runs global awareness and advocacy campaigns and focuses on getting the public and governments involved in the fight to abolish slavery.
After hearing this and the STAT - # OF WOMEN & CHILDREN SOLD PER YEAR: Over one million - we walked in and spent $20.
WHAT TO BUY: Choose from a collection of limited edition gift bags and gift boxes. You fill them with your own selection of festive products which = a great personalized gift. The range incorporates recyclable materials sourced from Community Trade Get Paper Industries in Nepal.
*For every gift bag or box sold, The Body Shop will make a 5% donation to the Somaly Mam Foundation.
Visit THE BODY SHOP or your local Body Shop store to purchase.
#2: KARL & THE CARLA BRUNI-SARKOZY FOUNDATION
Fashion has a rap for being full of self-centered shallow individuals. None other than the Kaiser and one of the world’s top supermodels who's now France’s first lady, put that lie to rest.
In the Tuesday, December 22, 2009 issue of WWD, the paper reported that Karl Lagerfeld is a recent supporter of the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation.
To help out, he created a princess doll (220 euros, or $315 at current exchange) and a silk, tulle and lace princess dress to be worn by a little girl (830 euros, or $1,190), which will be sold through next year.
The items are available at AU NAIN BLEU, Paris’ exclusive toy store.
ABOUT CARLA’S FOUNDATION
GOALS: To develop education, reading and culture, beginning as early as infant schools.
Part of the proceeds of KARL’S doll and dress will go to the foundation.
RIGHT BEHIND KARL: Beauty Giant, Lancôme. They became patrons last month too.
To read more, visit THE TELEGRAPH UK
Thursday, December 17, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
We recall with a slight shudder, New Year’s Eve, 1999. There we were, poised to toast the new Millennium, sitting on our sister in law’s studded leather couch, in the middle of what could have been Ralph Lauren’s fireplace room in the Rhinelander Mansion. Everyone was talking about the Y2-K virus; we were obsessing about our outfit. True, it’s shallow, which goes with being a fashionista, at times. Rather than standing up to toast the New Year in a LBD and Marc Jacobs sling backs, we were parked on the couch, with our feet elevated, in black leggings and a shapeless black muumuu. Even the oversized Yohji Yamamoto turquoise necklace Miss Mirabella had gifted us years ago didn’t really help us look any less tent-like.
We’re fast coming on to New Year’s Eve 2009 and in the midst of the Holiday Party season. Whether you’re going to see Lady Gaga live, like our fabulous friend, Tony Alcindor of PORTS 1961, or chilling with your BFF’s in front of the fire and staying off the roads, you want to dress up. We clapped in delight when we saw what ISABELLA OLIVER has for those of you who ARE preggers for the Holidays.
Finding the Perfect Party Dress
ISABELLA OLIVER MATERNITY can help you celebrate in style, no matter what your “look” is.
Celeb fans include Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Gwen Stephanie, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez - stylish ladies with their own distinct looks. Designers Vanessa Knox-Brien and Baukjen de Swaan Arons, founded Isabella Oliver in 2003 for pregnant women who love clothes.
*IF you’re “a girlie girl” - complement your curves with a feminine detail in the SATIN BOW DRESS
*IF you’re the sleek and sexy sort, - opt for a sleek silhouette with the RUCHED TANK DRESS – cobalt blue makes a chic alternative to boring black and hits the eighties’ trend that’s still going strong.
*IF you’re “a classic girl” – the WRAP COLUMN DRESS is just your speed. You like to wear dramatic floor length gowns, and why should this year be any different? You can wrap the luxuriously long tie in different ways to create an endless number of different looks.
Another thing we love about this brand is that they've always got great promotions going-on. Check on their official website ISABELLA OLIVER to take advantage of their latest offers.
Images of the collection, courtesy of Isabella Oliver
Friday, December 11, 2009
BY VIVIAN G. KELLY
No, we weren’t on a stage set for ‘GH’; we met “Johnny” for quite a different reason. We attended a dinner at Levant East, the hot Lower East Side eatery organized by our friend, CLAUDINE GUMBEL, of Think P.R., to learn more about MD [muscular dystrophy]. This disease recently struck down a family friend, whom we watched die before our eyes over the course of his five year battle.
After chatting with the very approachable Barash for a while over a delicious spread of comfort foods prepared by Levant’s MATT LEVINE, we came to the conclusion that there’s nothing remotely shallow about actor BRANDON BARASH. The real world “Johnny Z.” is a hot property, true, but he’s also one who cares greatly about his cause – MDA. He provided us with a scary stat – 9 out of 10 people stricken my MD are men, and usually die by the time they reach their 20s.Brandon’s involvement began years ago, when his childhood friend, Chad, died at age 18, after suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The disease begins, he told us, with enlarged calf muscles and eventually leads to deadly congestive heart failure. At this time, Duchenne is relatively rare, several 100,000 cases have been diagnosed thus far.Brandon made the decision to use his fame to help focus the spotlight on MDA. His role is to act as the public face of the MDA. The organization has some impressive goals: to raise $71 million on the Jerry Lewis telethon, which will go to carefully vetted research, and of course to boost public awareness.
PHOTOGRAPHY FOR A CAUSE -
Not only is the actor donating his time at fan events, but he’s selling his photographs to help out too. Brandon shared photographs from his personal travels to international destinations such as Alaska, Prague, Chicago, Big Sur, Amsterdam, San Diego and New York with us as well as his photography book, which is available through General Hospital fan club events. The sale of these photographs, as well as Brandon’s book, will be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association for research and awareness purposes.
The sober tone of the evening notwithstanding, we enjoyed an evening spent chatting with Barash and his significant other, casting agent, Becky Silverman, who is also involved in the cause, and the great food.
THE BEST FOOD ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE -
MATT LEVINE is to be congratulated for his menu of what we’ll call “high-end comfort food” – the hands-down favorite being MAC & Cheese. Be sure to order a Cosmopolitan, they’re one of the best in the City. We also have to give him a thumbs up for the decor. We left, in love with the enormous black chandelier in the back dining room, and resolved to start watching "GH".
To learn more about MDA, visit www.mda.org
Sunday, December 6, 2009
TEXT, VIVIAN G. KELLY
QUESTION: What’s the gift that’s never “wrong” for that special girl or woman in your life?
ANSWER: BAGS, BAGS, and more BAGS!
Back in late October, we attended the SAKS FIFTH AVENUE BLOGGER BREAKFAST, in which Saks’ Fashion Merchandising and Communications team partnered with some of their top resources to showcase some of the best bags for fall, Holiday, and Resort 2009.
Teens are strong candidates for Contemporary Market products. We encourage all teens [and tween girls] to give some SERIOUS thought to an upgrade. Forget Juicy Couture and Coach and TRADE UP – now! You can actually pick up a MARC by MARC JACOBS Mini Cosmetic or Pouch bag for $48 and $58, respectively
An actual handbag [“the Little Tate” will run you $158] and there are many more offerings for under $300 – what a mid-range Coach would cost you.
WHAT WE LIKED -
That Saks was focusing on the CONTEMPORARY market and proved beyond a doubt that you can get a great bag from some of the best designers for under $500.
TOP STARS -
As we arrived at the tail end, we didn’t do the event justice and hit everyone. What we did see and love were: Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff and Jane Marvel.
MARC JACOBS became a player in the accessories market when he went high profile in the fall of 1997. That's when he joined mega-brand, LOUIS VUITTON, and gave the house a radical and much-needed face lift. Some of his biggest hits were in the area of handbags – he just keeps them coming, season after season. Add to this, his win at the 2006 CFDA Awards as “Accessories Designer of the year”, and you’ve got one of the best bag men walking the earth. Why WOULDN’T you buy a bag from this man, especially at these kind of price points? This season, he’s right on trend with colorful pieces including the of the moment purple. The warm gold hardware gives these “entry point” bags a decidedly upscale look.
Visit Marc’s official website, Marc Jacobs to learn more about the man and his brand.
REBECCA MINKOFF started off as a clothing designer but really hit her stride when she designed “the Morning After” bag for her buddy, JENNA ELFMAN. The bag was an immediate smash hit and she continues to make it with different twists every season. Our pick for the Holidays is the "mini Morning After" in purple. The bag's a winner, combining an of-the-moment color with a classic silhouette, earning it a long term spot in your closet. Ms. Elfman’s not the only celebrity fan. The list includes Hollywood and fashion’s hottest “it girls”: Agyness Deyn, Blake Lively, Sarah Jessica Parker.
We made a bee-line for her neon patent leather ones as soon as we spotted them on the tables. Santa Baby – we’d like one in shocking pink and one in sharpie yellow. Thanks!
To view all of Rebecca’s designs, visit Rebecca Minkoff
OTHER RESOURCES [for next time!]
Botkier, Koorba, Stuart Weitzman, Elizabeth & James, Frye, Rag & Bone, Chan Luu, Belle by Siegerson Morrison, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Foley & Corinna
To view all of Saks’ offerings, visit SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
CONTACT AND RESOURCE INFORMATION:
For press inquiries, contact the Krupp Group, tel. 212-462-4014
Thursday, December 3, 2009
SATURDAY, NOV. 28TH
WE DIDN’T HAVE THE DESIRE TO BRAVE THE MALLS ON BLACK FRIDAY. WE FOUND IT MORE CONSTRUCTIVE TO VENTURE OUT ON SATURDAY AND MONDAY, TO GET A SCORE CARD OF HOW THE BIG DAY WENT.
SHOPPING AT THE AVENTURA MALL -
At BLOOMINGDALES’, THE WOMEN’S SHOE SALESMAN SAID, “BLACK FRIDAY? RIDICULOUS! NO ONE COULD FIND PARKING.”
WHAT SOLD: UGGS. “WE CAN’T KEEP THEM IN STOCK. MOST OF THE SALES ARE TO THE EUROPEANS, DUE TO THE EXCHANGE RATE.”
THE STORY WAS DIFFERENT, A FEW YARDS AWAY OVER AT THE MAC COUNTER WHERE WE HAD OUR EYES DONE FOR DRINKS OUT AT THE HOTEL GANSEVOORT. MAC ARTISTS NEVER FAIL YOU WHEN IT COMES TO INTRODUCING COLORS YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE IMAGINED YOU'D USE. WE LEFT WITH "HEPCAT", OUR NOD TO THE CURRENT CRAZE FOR ALL THINGS PURPLE.
THE LILLY PULITZER STORE – LILLY & CO. GET AN “A+” FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. WE ARRIVED WITH A $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR THE ONLINE STORE, BUT THE MANAGER, JEN, HONORED IT AS SHE ACKNOWLEDGED “THE SCHLEP” WE’D MADE FROM SOUTH BEACH TO THE MALL TO SHOP. SHE PROMISED TO CALL AFTER SHE’D VERIFIED THAT SHE COULD OKAY THE PURCHASE WITH HER SUPERVISOR.ASTONISHIGNLY, SHE ACTUALLY DID CALL, AND THREW FREEE SHIPPING INTO THE DEAL. THE PACKAGE HIT OUR DOORSTEP IN CT 2 DAYS AFTER WE ARRIVED HOME.
Aventura Mall Space #57
19501 Biscayne Blvd
Aventura, FL 33180
LINCOLN ROAD – THE MONDAY AFTER BLACK FRIDAY
WE DROPPED INTO THE LOBBY OF THE STANDARD HOTEL, A LATE AFTERNOON MEETING WITH KARELLE LEVY, THE FOUNDER OF KRELWEAR AND LUCY MCINTYRE, THE STANDARD'S VP OF MARKETING, AND THEIR ALL-FEMALE TEAM OF MIAMI MOVERS AND SHAKERS,WHO WERE STRAGEGIZING EVENTS FOR NEXT WEEK'S ART BASEL. AFTER ADMIRING THEIR ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS, WE BOUGHT OUR KRELWEAR KNIT STARTER KIT, AND CABBED IT TO LINCOLN ROAD TO CHECK OUT THE ACTION.
WE STARTED ON ALTON, AT THE BOTTOM OF LINCOLN ROAD AND HOOFED IT TO THE END – TO WASHINGTON.
ON THE JOURNEY WE STOPPED IN TO CHECK IN ON ONE OF OUR FAVORITES,
JONATHAN ADLER TO CHAT WITH THE FORMER MANAGER WHO’S “SEMI-RETIRED” AND LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT. HIS ENTHUSIASM WAS CONTAGIOUS – WE INSPECTED EVERYTHING IN THE SHOP.
WHAT WE WANTED: THE PROZAC, UPPER & DOWNERS COOKIE JARS, WHICH WERE SOLD OUT AND ON BACKORDER.
WHAT WE BOUGHT: THE LIMITED EDITION BARBIE BY JONATHAN ADLER AND HER REAL LIFE MALIBU DREAM HOUSE TO CELEBRATE BARBIE'S 50TH. AS HIS SITE DROLLY STATES, “[JONATHAN] CAN FINALLY MAKE AMENDS FOR DECAPITATING SISTER'S BARBIE IN 1974.” WHATEVER MR. ADLER’S MOTIVATION, FOR $49.95 HOW COULD WE NOT PICK UP BARBIE AND A PIECE OF HER CALI DREAM LIFESTYLE??
AND THAT’S THE POINT HERE – FOR DESIGNERS AND RETAILERS TO COME-UP WITH PRODUCTS THAT ARE SO OUTSTANDING THAT WE JUST CAN’T SAY "NO" TO.