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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!!


Sunday, February 28, 2010


IMAGES: Courtesy of Verriers+Sako

WHEN & WHERE: New York Fashion Week, The Chic Suite Trunk Show at the Flatotel February 23-24, 2010

Situated high in a lofty yet welcoming suite on the 41st floor of New York City's Flatotel in Midtown, the Chic Suite Trunk Show offered an eclectic mix of fabrics, classic silhouettes, and modern aspiration from a group of promising independent designers. The designers are represented by several retailers, in common are Legends (Nantucket), Nikki Laura (NYC), and America Rag (Los Angeles) among many other boutiques across the US and internationally.

Verrieres + Sako

Made for the contemporary woman who must seamlessly transition from the daily work world to an evening of adventure at a moment's notice, the new fall 2010 Verrieres - Sako merges classic & modern silhouettes with tailored details and ruching. Stephanie Verrieres and Kimie Sako gained recognition for their rendition of a flattering pencil skirt featured in Instyle magazine a few seasons ago that continues to fly out of stores.

A favorite for fall 2010 was a basic sleeveless shift dress, accented with strategically placed grommets and tie drawstring at the waist, with a slight v-cut back. Worn under a jacket or light sweater during the day, the dress carries very well into cocktail hour. We also adored the lovely Dior inspired houndstooth tailored jacket (with double lapelled collar, fitted waist with peplum and oversized wrist cuffs), and skirt in matching fabric with black and piping art deco details that catch & lead the eye around figure flattering lines.

Verrieres - Sako are also known for their couture hand sewn ruching technique on luxurious gowns that capture silver screen glamour, and were seen at several red carpet events from the Academy Awards (Oscars) to the Obama Inauguration.
One gorgeous silk taffeta number boasts over 5,000 hand tacks and over 25 yards of fabric. THe story behind this stunning purple gown was reported on by The San Francisco Gate in their Jan. 28th edition.
The SF publication reported that " this hand-ruched purple strapless gown was floating on the dance floor at one of the presidential inauguration balls; the next evening, it was worn to the San Francisco's Ballet opening night gala by guest Jenny Georges. The gown was designed and made by Oakland's up-and-coming Verrieres & Sako label. The taffeta creation was first worn by Alejandra Campoverdi, who is dating President Obama's speechwriter, Jon Favreau. Jenny Georges, a good friend of designer Stephanie Verrieres,needed a gown in a hurry, and presto, she had it in hand the next evening for her big night out."

The duo also used this ruching technique on the waistband of a winter white knee length coat, and the collar of a cropped black bolero jacket. Both are highly wearable wool and lycra pieces featured in their RTW fall 2010 collection.

For more information about the collection check out their website

*In our next two reports on The Chic Suite, NYC; Another Important Culture (A.I.C), Katharine Kidd, and Anjali Kumar.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The BOUDOIR D'HUITRES "Queen of the Night" fall 2010 Colllection


The raw space, thrumming music, and red light lent a clublike feeling to the proceedings in the downtown space way out in outer Chelsea's Forbidden Zone.
The show kicked off with an aria of genius Mozart"s Magic Flute by a soprano from the NYCity opera dressed in a black period gown.
What a welcome change that was, but it still doesn't make us want to drag over to the new Lincoln Center venue in Sept.

We loved the staging and the opening looks which featured red and black python inserts in a dress and skinny trousers. From there one of the unfortunate trends we noticed during this fashion week was that many designers felt the need to overuse lace in their collections. The only designer who REALLY gets lace right is Oscar de la Renta, and this collection was no exception to that rule. Chantilly lace is big this season, but they were most decidedly not the stronger pieces in Mimi's collection.

We were however inspired by the opening #, a blk crewneck dress w/ python snakeskin piecing. The red organic cork pants were a fun departure from jeans. A fun and original touch were the brass knuckles decorated w/ red silk roses. While we liked the concept of a Cleopatra style bib necklace, it didn't really work when it was composed of shiny red buttons.
POST-SHOW, BACKSTAGE with designer Mimi Plange -

Said Mimi, "I have a classical music background. I'm incorporating the Queen of the night rolled together w/ Cleopatra + my Victorian take."

Images Credits
Posed Images, Courtesy of Edite, Inc.
Backstage Images, VGK-VZ + MB

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mara Hoffman's Groovy fall 2010 Collection

Images of the fall 2010 collection courtesy of People's Revolution

WHEN + WHERE: New York Fashion Week, at Open
House Gallery (201 Mulberry Street between Kenmare and Spring).

Welcome back to the late sixties and early seventies a la Marianne
Faithfull. We love Mara's fabric selection of washed silks, printed chiffons,
and velvet chiffon burnout. There were interesting silhouettes, abstract prints, and detailed designs with a span of
dark and soft colors, and bold prints in darker tones lightened-up with pops of red, green, blue and purple.

Ms. Hoffman's artsy way of presenting included showing an original film, a collage-like dream setting following witches as they fall into “Hysterical Levitation”, starring Isabelle McNally and styled by Masha Orlov, which reminded us of one of our favorite shows, the sixties' classic, "Dark Shadows".

While enjoying the music and the clothes, we wondered if this was a tribute to the old hippies as they sprayed the very young models' hair white, but only in the root area.

The music by LIVING SACRIFICE also went a long way towards setting the tone-groovy and cool, dudes!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Christian Cota's fall 2010 collection styled by Vogue's Lauren Santo Domingo


We arrived into Mr. Cota's usual presentation space which was MUCH fuller than seasons past. Right off the bat we were distracted by the vision on the platform of a dozen Anna Wintours posing in a variety of sparkly red and black, and black and teal geometric patterned dresses. On closer inspection, the "Anna's were actually models styled in Anna Wintour bob wigs. There were 20 Annas up on stage.
The fact that Vogue's Lauren Santo Domingo styled the show ensured the presence of fashion heavyweights such as Candy Pratts Price, the longtime Accessories Director of US Vogue, and part of Anna's inner circle. Anna herself showed up - a first time for Cota presentation.

As for the clothes, our initial reaction was, "Not so much", but after mulling it over and having a look at the pics we took, we grew to like it more and more. The sparkly dresses were a welcome change from the overly blinged-out pieces weighed down by Swarovski quite a few designers still insist on doing. Perhaps this is due to the collaborations Nadja Swarovski has arranged with an astonishing number of designers, including Peter Som, and Yigal Azrouel.
We're glad Mr. Cota has chosen to move forward and keeps "doing his own thing". The geometric pattern worked well in the cocktail dress when the black accent stripe was less pronounced. The wide black band on the longer version seemed a bit off, or at least, was distracting. Overall, the collection had a sophisticated yet arty tone, and more than one of the pieces on the podium is sure to make it into the pages of Vogue.

Images of Event, VGK-VZ and Mark Behnke
Image of black and blue sheath, courtesy of Christian Cota
Image of L. Santo Domingo and C. Cota - from

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Backstage with AMY SMILOVIC at the TIBI fall 2010 show

Runway Images: courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2010
[Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)
Backstage Images: VGK-VZ & Mark Behnke


A few hours before the show, while waiting to speak with Amy Smilovic, we fell in love with a little pleated burgundy cocktail dress that had a metallic jacquard top. Glitter has replaced ostentatious blinged-out pieces weighed-down by chunky Swarovski crystals, for the most part. This piece was in the same vein as many of the pieces in CHRISTIAN COTA'S COLLECTION.

Backstage, Amy said, "This collection looks like me". She continued, "I'm trying to take it more about what I want. The biggest compliment was when my Production Director whose been with me since 2002 said, "Everyone looks like Amy on this collection's boards."

THE FE: You have a lot of clients from wealthy enclaves such as Greenwich, CT. I'm amazed at some of the outfits the women wear while out - Merrells, sweats, Uggs..."

AMY: Yes! When you go out you should dress. I think A LOT about how I'm getting dressed every morning. I try to lead by example, I don't want my staff coming into work in just a tee shirt and jeans."

THE fall 2010 SHOW

The slender blondes striding down the runway had Amy's insousciant cool woman -[ not girl] style. Being dressed and looking like a woman does NOT mean you have to have frumpy Congressman's wife style. We're not talking about matchy-matchy suits, and panty hose or a throw-back to Babe Paley either.
Instead, Amy accessorized the collection with berry and burgundy tights paired with platform stilettos that will keep you warm sexy looking. There's a long purple grape wool jersey dress for cold days and a silk splatter paint gown that's just right for an art opening. For the big museum or Red Cross gala, wear the ballerina pink gown and little black faux fur short sleeve jacket.
Ladies, take a page from Ms. Smilovic, take some pleasure in getting dressed in the morning, and PLEASE, lose the Merrels, save those for making snowmen w/ your kids.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

EMU's latest for fall 2010, The Wonder Girls, Toni + Guy haircare


WHEN and WHERE: NY Fashion Week, Downtown, West 18th Street, the Style 360 Lounge space

The walk-through presentation style event was spiced up by the presence of The Wonder Girls the glam pop group from South Korea. The girls wore adorable Mondrian color block dresses in bright primary colors.
The other draw, the expansive EMU collection was shown on models staged on a platform wearing vests, coats, some knits, and of course the boots that have put them on the map.
We still maintain that Emus are better than Ucks. For one thing, there's more variety for kids + women + the ARE really made in Australia. We could NOT have gotten through this brutal winter with out our tall KINGS CROSS EMUS in "sable" that are elegant enough to wear while not wading through the snow or coming out of the surf.

Uggs have been produced in China for quite some time, and we take umbrage with them because they continue to represent themselves as "Australian". If a product is made in China, as they are, it's a well-known fact that the manufacturer is paying less to have them made - the point of going to China in the first place. Thus, the savings should be passed-on to the consumer. The opposite is true, and Ugg prices have been consistently high and are very rarely on sale.
Enough about Uggs and back to EMU. In addition to adorable booties for kids, we were surprised to see some great knits.
The bright orange cable vest makes a cute addition to the typically drab black and gray winter wardrobe.
Claudine Gumbel, of THINK PR always organizes some other interesting company booths to check out. This time, the British Hair chain, TONI & GUY had a rep on hand who showed us the 2 runway inspired lines they've just debuted. The 1st Toni + Guy salon will open in Hoboken New Jersey later this year. In the meantime, you can buy the CATWALK collections at the TIGI Academy at 61st and Madison Ave, across the street from Barney's NY.

Friday, February 19, 2010


WHEN & WHERE: NY Fashion Week, Hunter College, NYC

The scent of the world's most expensive fragrances wafted thru the air. It seemed as if every wealthy beautiful blonde woman in New York had congregated outside the doors of the Kaye Playhouse on East 68th Street to see what one of their favorite designers had on tap for them.
Inside we took a seat on a red velvet chair in what we jokingly refer to as "the blogger section".
Dead center, front row was CECE CORD, one of the reigning queens of the 21st Century jetset holding court looking trim in a navy sheath dress.
Many designers were inspired by famous artists. Mr. H's choice was eighties bad boy Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Scanning the program we noticed lots of emerald green, and metallics on the 41-exit collection.
He took the ref all the way w/ panels of graffitti, Blondie singing Rapture"and a smoke machine. There were oversize houndstooth pieces, giant puffy sleeves, and turquoise dyed chubbies.

What we were having trouble wrapping our head around was why such an accomplished "Uptown" designer would choose to go "downtown". This was somewhat clarified after we spoke to fellow blogger, Judith Ecochard of who spoke with Douglas backstage. It seems he'd been inspired to create this eighties' style collection after attending a party downtown, which perhaps reminded him of being very young and participating in the now-legendary eighties' party scene.
The trick with carrying out these inspirations is TIMING - as with pretty much everything in life. Fellow designer, Marc Jacobs, took a trip back to CBGB's etc., but he did it a year ago and the crowd he plays to is more downtown than Mr. Hannant's well-heeled ladies.
Mr. H. hit some notes just right at exits 8, 14, 16 and 26. He did a beautiful job w/ the teal organza blouse and slim trouser - but in our book, that's an "Uptown look" and a bronze coat that looks great for day or evening. We also liked the new super lean stovepipe pants that only the thinnest of the "social Xrays" could wear well.
For evening, we're going w/ the black mink trimmed tux or the violet crepe gown w/ a deep sexy back. We're on the fence about the sparkly Basquiat print column gown. The art's a definite for the walls, but it would take the right woman to pull it off.

IMAGES:of the collection - Courtesy of Douglas Hannant
Images of the crowd - VGK-VZ

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Custo Barcelona "Hairy Metal" fall 2010 Collection


We had a seat for this big-time show but got shut-out anyhow. As we stood in the Bryant Park Lobby watching the show on the monitor, we reflected on WHY this SPANISH brand is such a hot ticket here in the USA.
The Dalmau brothers have successfully captured and held on to the laid-back Californian style they saw on the surfers who lived in Southern California and the psychedelic look that plays in Northern California.
We applaud them for their consistency -you expect + you get: wild cartoony prints, peacock worthy color and umpteen texture combinations. We loved the paillette mini dress with cap sleeves and the rich hues of green. For him, our top pick is the black sequin or leather suit worn with a seventies' style smiley-face tee.
Overall, there were far fewer layers and an abundance of texture mixing shredded fabrics and lots of metallics - hence the title, "hairy metal". True there was a dose of black and grey but they were over the top and all shined up in patent leather treatment that kept our eyes glued on the screen.