Thursday, January 31, 2008

Watch Fashion Week--Live!

Ok, I'm pretty excited about this: American Express is launching an "innovative online fashion network bringing unprecedented access to Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in NY - both on the runway and throughout the tents."

Huh? What does that mean? It means that you'll be able to see live streaming video of designer shows and backstage, hosted by everyone's favorite stylist, Robert Verdi. Where is this going to happen? Why at! Here's a preview shot of what the site will look like when it debuts tomorrow, February 1st:

"The American Express Fashion Network will be the only place to watch shows live with views from around the tent along with insights from designers and other industry insiders before and after the shows through live in-depth interviews.

But wait...there's more! In addition to their own site, American Express is launching Fashion 360 Presented by American Express, the first dedicated fashion channel on YouTube that will have highlights from the American Express Fashion Network: live runway shows, insider interviews, and content from fashion partners and publishers that will include daily party and trend fashion reports.

And just to make you jealous: American Express Card members get special on-site perks for Fashion Week, including a fancy Skybox overlooking both the Main Tent and Promenade in Bryant Park, providing "premium access to Gold Card members, Platinum Card® members and Centurion® Card members to experience the shows in a truly unique way. The skybox, a lounge-style viewing room, is undetectable from the runway, however, inside, Card members will enjoy appetizers, cocktails and an up-close view of the runway shows."

Looks nice. Membership has its privileges™, you know.

Jewelry, Jeans, & Heidi

Valentine's Day is coming up - don't know what to get for the woman who has everything? Why not buy her a pair of limited-edition Van Cleef and Arpels/Earnest Sewn jeans? The Zazo style features a high-rise super-slim straight leg and is customized with a VC&A Alhambra-style chain and button. There's a dark indigo version at $9,700 and a grey version for $11,300. What a bargain!

Speaking of Alhambra: Van Cleef and Arpels has noticed that Project Runway host Heidi Klum's line of jewelry features a motif very much like that of their Alhambra collection. So...they are suing her, for the outrageous sum of $25,000. That's right - Heidi can buy two pairs of gray VCA/ES jeans and have change left over with that amount.

The clover is a pretty common stylistic motif. One can even find it in cereal. And Heidi's not stupid - she didn't deliberately rip off VC&A's motif and think they were too dumb to notice. That's probably why the jeweler is asking for such a modest amount in damages.

To the left, a necklace from Heidi Klum's collection. On the right, a VC&A Alhambra piece. Click images to enlarge

Yes, there are obvious similarities!

They're probably just jealous that Heidi sells her wares on QVC, and that you and I can actually afford them....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

50 Years of Italian Style

Vogue Italia, the bible of international style and Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the premium Italian beer have joined forced to create a retrospective photographic exhibition--50 Years of Italian Style--an event that will feature fifty iconic images of Italian style, spanning five decades. This public exhibition features images that have appeared in Vogue Italia, Casa Vogue and L'Uomo Vogue and captures the enduring Italian essence as viewed by some of the world's top photographers.

Peroni & Vogue presents: 50 years of Italian Style
Exhibition Viewing
Date: Saturday, February 2 – Monday, February 4, 2008
Time: 10a.m.-6p.m. (except Monday which will be 10a.m.-3p.m.)
Location: Twelve 21 (West 21st Street between 5th and 6th)
Free Admittance

Some images from the show
Click to enlarge

L'Uomo Vogue February 1996 by Walter Chin

Vogue Italia September 1982 by Barry Lategan, fashion by Capucci

Vogue Italia April 1999 by Steve Heitt, fashion by Prada

Casa Vogue 2001 Fiat 500 by Lee Jenkins

I unfortunately will not be in New York to see the exhibit, but if any of you are, please comment and give your report!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who Am I?

Who is this lovely young lady? Please leave a comment with your guesses.

Monday, January 28, 2008

14th Annual SAG Awards

The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were held on a soggy afternoon this past weekend but the weather wasn't going to prevent guild members from getting all gussied up for the evening. There were more big winners indoors than on the red carpet, but I saw lots of near-hits and near-misses and no complete disasters. Well, few disasters anyway.

Let's start with the best looks:

Vanessa Williams looks gorgeous in this graphic yellow Escada dress.

Kyra Sedgwick looks stunning from the front in this L'Wren Scott gown, but the lace stuff on the back is not up to snuff. And funny how turning sideways can almost ruin the line of the dress - the skirt is noticeably dragging and it makes Kyra seem a little dumpy.

Honestly, I don't know what all the fuss is about Eva Longoria. And I like the back view of her plunging Naeem Kahn gown better than the front, but all-in-all, a good look for this munchkin-sized actress.

I'm not sure about this color on Allison Janney, but doesn't she look terrific otherwise? Strike that - the color is great on her. It's a bold lavender that we haven't seen since the 70s and should see more often.

I do like this Elie Saab gown very much, but maybe not on Christina Applegate. Nothing personal, Christina, I just think someone else could wear it better.

Tina Fey in a simple Alberta Ferretti one-shouldered number. Simple and classy, just like Ms. Fey.

Not bad, but not good either:

Terri Hatcher rolled around in some bedsheets and ran out the door. Huh? You mean that's a Badgley Mischka? The style of the dress is actually quite nice, if seen a thousand times before, but the pale print is a little housewares department.

I'm torn about America Ferrera's Monique Lhuillier gown. I do like the way it emphasizes her curves, but the gray color is a bit matronly, as is all of the cobwebby lace.

Chandra Wilson looks like she should be in a 60s Motown girl group. Or in Dreamgirls. Part of me likes this look, but part of me is inspired to suggest a "Recycled Christmas Wrapping Paper" challenge for season five of Project Runway.

Brenda Strong wears an interesting gown that looks like it may have been made by the costume designers for the Batman movies.

Nikki Blonsky! I love her, think she is adorable. Not sure about the IGIGI gown's a bit much, but I do appreciate that big girls can be sexy too.

Michelle Pfeiffer showed up in quite the plain Jane dress; nonetheless, she looks gorgeous with her darkened hair. She could use some Minx jewelry around her neck too.

Ellen Page in Zac Posen. Someone teach this girl how to pose!

Amanda Bynes is another one who needs posing lessons. Her dress is by Marchesa, and it's beautiful, but perhaps a bit much for such a young gal.

Ellen Pompeo looked like a giant baked potato in this Nina Ricci gown.

Sandra Oh wore a gown with a very Korean traditional feel, by Korean designer Kim Me Hee. Unfortunately, the asymmetrical bow makes her look as if one boob has deflated.

And the real stinkers:

Usually a stunning presence on the red carpet, Cate Blanchett opted to shroud her pregnant body in this oversized tablecloth by Nicholas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga.

Lorraine Bracco looked like a sausage ready to burst from its casing.

WTF is Kate Hudson wearing? The skirt of this Balmain number looks like a very Kate flowy hippy dress, or maybe a repurposed bed sheet, but does she have a dead bird smashed on her chest as well?

Jenna Fischer is just so damn cute. But this dress is not quite right for her. I can't decide if it's matronly, or if it just doesn't fit well. I think the bodice was once a throw pillow.

Why would Carrot Top be invited to the SAG Awards? Oh, wait, that's Debra Messing in an Oscar de la Renta that makes her look even more flat-chested than she already is.

Angelina Jolie continued to fuel pregnancy rumors with this caftan by designer Juliana Caironet. Wonder how many times Brad stepped on it during the course of the evening?

Kate Beckinsale's ruffled Luisa Beccaria gown looks like something my Skipper doll wore in the 70s. It just looks cheap to me.

Valentino Spring 2008 Couture

Just when I thought the classic and elegant style of Valentino was no more--what with the retirement of the great designer himself--comes his Spring 2008 Couture collection. I will admit I liked his Spring '08 Ready-to-Wear collection more, but this one is as exquisite and feminine as ever.

(I am now assuming THIS one is his final final collection.)

While I don't like the hemline of the top because it might make all but the skinniest woman look wide, I love the subtle color palette, and the bow/hat is adorable! And I find boat necks to always be flattering, which just might make up for the lower portion of the top.

One can't get more classic, and classy, than this suit.

This reminds me of Audrey Hepburn, even with the lampshade.

A snazzy look for a very deluxe night out on the town.

The bold floral design combined with the shimmery golden bodice makes this dress really special.

I love this one, especially the belt.

What a magnificent coat in such a glorious shade of pink! The look cries out for a simple hat though.

Not for the shrinking violet, this one!

I want this coat. And I wish I could see the dress underneath (almost looks like it has fabric replicas of old vinyl records appliqued to it).

I think this evening dress is just breathtaking. The dress itself is so delicate, like a whisper, but the bold satin bow is a perfect accent.

Ruffles galore! Reminds me of something I've seen on Project Runway recently....

I really love the collar on this dress. The whole thing is very Ice Queen.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2008 Couture

Fashion's enfant terrible Jean Paul Gaultier has put out a very wearable couture collection that mixed flowy pants suits and more ethereal dresses that bring to mind nymphs, faeries, and mermaids. Here are some of my favorites:

Chic and ladylike, this is a long way from cone bras.

The masculine pinstripe suit made feminine with cropped sleeves and stripes that emphasize a woman's curves.

This looks like feathers. I think it's a perfect red-carpet dress.
For Big Bird.

A dress suitable for Titania.

Part Egyptian goddess, part mermaid

This almost looks like a second skin. I would love to see this walk down the runway to see how it flows.

I love the subtle sparkliness of this fairy creature

Part fairy, part mermaid, part Solid Gold Dancer

A pretty literal interpretation of the mermaid theme and probably the least wearable design of the bunch, unless you're Bjork or Li'l Kim.


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