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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!!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Mara Hoffman Resort and Swim 2011 Collections – THE PREVIEW

Images of the Mara Hoffman collection, courtesy of People’s Revolution

As I was starting to get myself together for Miami Swim, People’s Revolution PR sent-over some images of Mara Hoffman’s adorable Resort collection. I love resort because it’s a capsule collection [in most cases] and the designer is less likely to lose their focus and go off on silly tangents. What you get are collections that are sweet and easy to wear to picnics and at the beach – like Cynthia Rowley’s resort collection and this collection by Mara Hoffman.
Money’s tight these days and Mara made a wise decision to show both resort and Swim at Mercedes Benz Miami Swim. This is a step that would make a lot of sense for more designers to take. If they did, I’m quite sure that more editors and buyers would attend the Miami Shows. While it’s good to bring in the local socials who buy the suits, it would drive business to get more press and buyers in the seats. To take it one step further, if the shows were relocated to Palm Beach, it’s likely that the New York socialites who own a home there would make a special trip to attend. Were that to happen, sales would very likely increase.
Maybe that will never happen, but in the meantime, I’m looking forward to viewing Mara’s hand-dyed silhouettes and gorgeous original silk prints, inspired by her travels around the world.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Frederic Fekkai’s Adir Abergel Transforms Kristen Stewart’s Tresses for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Premiere


Well, the countdown is almost at an end. What countdown? The one we're on at my place for the midnight showing of ECLIPSE, the 3rd of the 4 TWILIGHT films that made KRISTEN STEWART and Rob Pattinson the stars of the moment.
If you're a teenager or have a teenage daughter in your life, you're well aware that Kristen's style is one that many teens aspire to. So far, that's meant, low-key indie style - concert tees, Keds, Converse and skinny jeans.
Although a reluctant star, Kristen has finally embraced her celebrity status and looks beautiful and grown up on the Red Carpet.
She teamed-up with the king of sophisticated dos - Frederic Fekkai, to attend the premiere of ECLIPSE.
One of Frederic's team of stylists, ADIR ABERGEL, did a a soft take on the 1950’s pompadour. You girls who are going to prom or who are bridesmaids, take note. This is a great grown-up party look that doesn't look overly done - perfect for a young girl.

HOW TO GET THE LOOK: Here's the step by step info on how to get this look at home or you can simply give the directions to your favorite stylist so they get it just right.

STEP 1: Apply Fekkai Full Blown Volume™ Styling Whip at the roots throughout the hair.

STEP 2: Using a round brush, blow-dry the hair away from the face, and place it in pin curls.

STEP 3: Allow the hair to cool before removing the pin curls.

STEP 4: Style the hair by hand raking the hair into a side pompadour and secure it with pins.

To shape the face, pull a few pieces in front, and secure the look with Fekkai Coiff™ Sheer Hold Hairspray.

The sophisticated result beats Kristen's day look, hands down. Nice job, Frederic and Adir!

WHAT YOU NEED/PRODUCT LIST - all available at,
Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Best of The Art Institute of NY City’s Spring Graduate Fashion Show, "Xposed"

images of the Collection, Elvia Gobbo, Courtesy of R.Scott French,
Sometimes, being late works in your favor as it did the night of The Art Institute of NY’s Senior Collection Fashion Show. I’ve been teaching online for Academy of Art University for a long time and was curious to see what is coming out of other art schools in the country. I wasn’t able to make it to it to serve as a judge, but I did gather together friends and family to make the trek to the show, a few blocks away from Lucky Strike. We missed the train from Katonah, and as a result, were turned-away by the security guard at the door because the show was already in progress.
Things took a positive turn post show, when we pushed our way in, found friend and Art Institute Instructor, R. Scott French, who introduced us to Galan Mitas. She’s the student designer the judges concurred had the strongest showing in the class.. While it’s great to see the show and to feel the energy that’s there [or not], that doesn’t hold a candle to meeting the designer and having a one-on-one conversation. I got to spend a few minutes with Galan and to touch the pieces. Galan drew her inspiration for this micro collection from a medieval coats of armor she admired on a recent trip to the MET's medieval armor room. The result was a leather-shopping trip in which she splurged on the softest, most pliable leather she could find. The fawn colored leather pieces - bustier and sharp shouldered jacket that reminded me of Thierry Mugler at his best. Scott, Robert DiMauro and I agreed that Galan has a lot of promise. While she’s not giving up her day job, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of her designs hanging on the racks of specialty stores in a few years.

*Elvia is a remarkable person, and we were fascinated by her account of the trek she made up the legendary Macchu Piccu with a group of fellow photo journalists. To read more about Elvia, who is also a trend forecaster and designer, visit,

Academy of Art University will be showing the best of the graduate student collections at Lincoln Center during Mercedes Benz NY Fashion Week in September. To view past collections, visit

Skagen Denmark Watches and Sunglasses, Just in Time for Summer

Co-founders Charlotte Jorst and Henrik Jorst stick to the distinctly Danish philosophy: "Keep it simple. Seek out what you love and doggedly pursue your passions."
Danish fashion, we’re told, is finally having its moment, and that, is a relief. I’m tired of “bling-bling” and simple designs like these sunnies and watches are a joy to behold, and so are the prices. The latest accessories range from $75 – 165, a bargain for classic pieces that have a thoroughly modern feel to them. There are of the moment styles on the line, such as the cat eye shape but minus the overly retro look that’s frankly too costume-y for real life. At the top of my list: the sporty mesh silver and stainless steel watch with a white face and some Swarovski crystals tastefully placed around the dial for $100.
I’m also partial to the medium sized square style with white textured leather inlayed in the temples. Since I’m going to Mercedes Benz Miami Swim, I put an order in this morning for a pair [$65 – no I didn’t forget the 1 or 2 in front of the $65]. In mid-July, I’ll need the 100% UV sunray protection the brown gradient CR39 lenses provide. Somehow, I don’t think the $5 pair I bought from the sunglass table in front of MOMA really provides the UV protection stamped on the stem, next to the “made in China” stamp.

There’s something to the claim that the pared back Danish style is having its moment. In spite of the recession and the crashed Euro, there are new Skagen stores in Denmark, and Hong Kong. Sales are especially strong in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
For more information on Skagen, visit
*A nice little bennie – Skagen ships you your items for free.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kim Kardashian + Cristiano Ronaldo & the Lure of Celebrity Couples

I marveled at Kim K’s fantastic timing as I watched a vid clip of Kim Karadashian’s latest hook-up with CRISTIANO RONALDO. He’s probably the best looking soccer star on the World Cup pitch and this is HIS moment, at least until the games end in July.
I’ve always been leery of celebrity couple-dom as it often seems so opportunistic. Maybe that’s why I have a soft spot for Liz Taylor and Richard Buton. Yes, when they initially hooked-up, they were respectively married to someone else, but they were no doubt about it, madly in love. It was the real deal and maybe that’s why Liz made the cover of VANITY FAIR so many years later and Graydon Carter decided to run a feature of Dick’s love letters to her.
Somehow, I kind of doubt Kim and Cristiano share this kind of passion. The photo ops are just too perfect. In the video, she presents all her best angles and there’s nothing furtive here, just a pretty good publicity stunt. What IS working for me is how great she looks. In fact, Kim has never looked better and she gets a 10 out of 10 for her newly svelte yet sexy bod, the pink-nude outfit and deep side part in her hair. As far as Cristiano, he looks best with just a pair of soccer shorts on or his EMPORIO ARMANI undies on.

SO, does all of this hype translate to increased sales and $ in the Kardashian coffers?
I’m off to Sephora to see if sales are up in Kim’s Eau de Parfum. I'm also wondering if she actually wears it and if Cristiano thinks it makes her "sultrier".

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Enter promo code KARDASHIAN at checkout or click here for details. While supplies last; offer not valid on Canadian orders.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome To Miami – Kicking Things Off With TRINA TURK’s Swimwear Line


It’s here, my favorite time of the year, sweet, sweet summertime! My absolute part of the summer is the month of July. Firstly, it’s my Birthday month [Yes, I continue to celebrate, age, my damned]. Secondly, it’s Mercedes Benz Miami Swim Wear at the Raleigh. Even on years that the shows aren’t so great, the Raleigh is a joy to behold and to hang out at.
This year, things are looking decidedly up. One of my favorite designers, TRINA TURK, will be kicking things when she debuts her Spring 2011 swimwear collection on Thursday, July 15, 2010 – the day we fly in, and my birthday. Seeing a great collection is one birthday gift I’m ALWAYS happy to receive.
According to her PR’s press release, we can look forward to lots of yummy gold hardware on the suits. Face it, swimsuits are kind of boring without some quality hardware to add a touch of glam. There will be black and white, which is always chic, as well as some vintage inspired prints. Trina was inspired by the city of Acapulco in the 1960’s & 1970’s. It’s hard to get more glamorous than that. Back the, Acapulco was one of the international jetset’s go-to getaways. Makes me think of The Taylor-Burton VILLA SCALA - I couldn't resist putting up an image of their famous lovenest.
Trina Turk is one of those designers you should know about, so here’s a thumbnail sketch. She started designing in 1995, when she introduced a collection of contemporary clothing for women which she’s carefully grown into a successful lifestyle brand which includes: women’s apparel, swimwear, accessories and home furnishings.
We were toying with the idea of making a trip over to the Bal Harbor Shops to check out the retail scene. Now that we’ve found out that Trina will make a personal appearance in her store there, on Saturday July 17th, 2010 from 4-6p.m., we’re there, no ifs ands or buts. There’s also an extra reason to attend – spend $300, and you’ll go home with a raffia clutch purse as your special gift. See you there!
To view Trina Turk’s brand, visit

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Cynthia Rowley Resort 2011 Collection

Images of Resort 2011 RTW & Accessories, Richard Spiegel
Backstage Image - Bobbi Brown [L], Cynthia Rowley, [R]

Thanks to Cynthia’s on-the-ball PR Director, Michelle Finocchi, this talented designer is on my radar screen again. It’s not that there’s any lack of talent here, it’s simply that the amount of information and designers is overwhelming, and it takes clever marketing to get your work noticed.
Cynthia and Michelle understand this and get an A+ for their latest marketing coup. “The new busy is not the old busy” is the tagline someone who regularly emails me says. Truer words have not been spoken. With that in mind, they invited editors to:

“Join us tomorrow at one of our "on location" street-side presentations

Tuesday, June 15

1:00 - 2:00 PM, Condé Nast - W. 43rd St. between Sixth Ave. and Broadway
3:00 - 4:00 PM, Hearst - W. 57th St. between Eighth and Ninth Aves.
5:00 - 6:00 PM, Time, Inc. - W. 50th St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves.”

The option was to schedule a private showroom appointment, which we did, the following day, at the 376 Bleecker Street store. The C.R. store is full of affordable goodies, which have that quality that makes you want to pick them up and play with them. That sense of playfulness and a low [for designer] price point has always been a part of the Rowley DNA and key to why she’s still around and thriving.

The concept of “Resort” as in – “I’m going to Jamaica for 1 week in the dead of winter” is not really what Resort is about anymore. Resort has turned into a collection that is often a little more experimental [and thus more special] and keeps the offerings on the retail floor fresh while we all wait for fall 1 deliveries to arrive.

Cynthia designed her Resort dresses to be worn year-round, provided you’re in a 60-degree plus climate. Most of the prints are on the accessories, as seen on the wedges we loved. Like the Resort of old, there’s some swimwear on the line too. If you haven’t already, have a look at the suits Cynthia designed for Roxy. [The black cut out and striped scuba suit shown are on the line].
What really caught my interest though, were the surfboards that Cynthia and designer/innovator THOMAS MEYERHOFFER collaborated on. The project started when Thomas created a few experimental boards in his Bay Area studio. He took it to the next level and put them on the market for surfers to try. They were a hit with the surfing set, who praised them for their "truly unique performance characteristics". The boards meet Meyerfhoffer's criteria of creating products that alter user perception. Design critics took notice too, and prototypes of the boards were put on display in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum.
The Rowley-Meyerhoffer boards are for sale at Collette and the new C.R. store in Montauk. To better understand his work, dop over to

Going back to Resort, maybe you'll just choose a pair of the sunglasses [$125-250], or go the whole 9 yards and
pick up a dress, a pair of wedges, some sunnies, and a surfboard, and dive-in head first into the laid-back Cali surfer vibe. No matter which way you go, you're buying into a winning brand that makes it all feel like F-U-N again.

To view Cynthia's empire, visit,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summertime is Dress Time - Taylor Swift Shines in Contrarian’s

Country music is my least favorite form of music. That said, I DO care about what the female crooners are wearing and have some suggestions. Top of the list are TAYLOR SWIFT and MILEY CYRUS. It all started with an image Deanna of Industry Publicity sent me regarding the CONTRARIAN label, of TAYLOR SWIFT in one of their dresses. Here stylist, SANDI SPIKA is doing a wonderful job of shifting the perception that country music stars only dress in cheesy fringe outfits accessorized by cowboy boots. We’ve come a long way baby, since the days of Dolly Parton.
I wondered why other young starlets, namely Miley, still look down market. I’m not talking about the Red Carpet; I’m talking about everyday dressing. A dress’ best quality is that it’s EASY. There’s NOTHING to ponder. As DIANE VON [FURSTENBERG] famously said, “You just put it on and go.” It turns out, [watch the video] that Taylor loves dresses and fesses up to owning, “probably over 100 sundresses”.

Every woman can use a good dress though, especially one that’s well under $500.

Contrarian offers two versatile summer dresses from the Spring/Summer 2010 Collection. The first, a white adjustable one, can be worn several ways, as the adjustable drawstrings can create a dramatic bushel skirt, or when loosened, fall elegantly at your side. The second, a purple bibb dress has a sexy backless look with a plunging neckline. Dress it up as Taylor Swift did when she wore it to the Brooks and Dunn Concert on April 19th.
I’d love to see Miley in some Contrarian dresses, soon.

*White dress - $378
Purple dress - $450
To view more designs, visit

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Douglas Hannnant Resort Show, Inspired by Slim Aarons’ Kaufman House

Images of the Resort Collection, Courtesy of Douglas Hannant
As I settled into my seat in the blogger section [3rd row, section B] I read Douglas’ inspiration message and I too, was inspired.
“Think Palm Springs California in its heyday and its sleek mid-century modern linear architecture…the paintings of the abstract expressionist…a pool party right out of the Slim Aarons photograph of Neutra’s famed Kaufman House. Cocktails anyone?”

Once the show kicked-off I kept an eye out for the above referenced ABSTRACT IMPRESSIONISM. There it was, in a white paillette beach bag with a black paillette Greek key motif splashed across it. – brilliant. Also relevant to the theme were the white/black splattered cocktail dresses. I loved the flow and ease of these draped pieces, black and white is forever elegant.
If you prefer structure, you can wear the black and white, but as a sequin column gown with the same Greek Key motif as the beach bag.
Next, came the midcentury part, covered by sharp little pink, turquoise and mint jackets and dresses. “That Girl” came to mind, well, if she blew her month’s salary as a secretary and splurged on that one special dress.

My favorite moment came when Sonia walked out in a white organza ruffle top worn over a white pique flared trouser. It is with items such as these that Douglas really shines. There was woman sitting front row who wore another of Dogulas’ looks from a previous collection, accessorized with a wide brimmed hat. That woman, in her white pleated pantsuit stole the show. While the arty dresses are interesting, and I love the color orange, it’s pieces such as these deceptively simple ones that make Douglas a Class A fashion designer.
Soniia’s top and pant would have looked perfect on icon LIZ TAYLOR, when she was at the height of her berauty, as she appeared on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair., on set while shooting ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ in 1959. THIS outfit is what Liz would have worn to a cocktail party at the Kaufman House.

See you poolside, five or sixish – cheers!