Friday, January 30, 2009

It's the end of a long week and the beginning of a longer weekend. And sometimes, as a picker-upper, all I need is a good tune.

And what better song when the songstress is a fashion loving diva who has an angelic face reminiscent of Emily Watson framed by an asymmetrical Annie Lennox crop? When the tune makes you want to jump up in your livingroom and dance, well, it couldn't get much better, really.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sometimes you don't need a gimmick when the clothes can speak for themselves. But of course, when you have Ines de la Fressange donning your designs, well, that doesn't hurt either.

Style icon strutting down your catwalk or no, there would have been applause at Gaultier's show in any case. Okay, there might have been some missteps here and there, but at least no catastrophic falls. And by and large, the stand out pieces really did stand out.

Which isn't easy for a designer like JPG, who made hard shoulders and corsets his thing in the 80s. Dont get me wrong, those design details were certainly there. But isn't the challenge making them seem new and relevant so that a couture client, and not just Madonna, will want to wear, or more importantly, buy the designs?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who says we're in an economic downturn when you're a couture customer? Or a fan of Givenchy, for that matter? Apparently Ricardo Tisci is doing something right, he boosted sales at the house by a whopping 80% last year.

So while the veils at his latest couture show fit right in with the dark Goth image he's crafted at the label, it may also be pleasing his best customer. Apparently most of his sales are made in the Middle East. I guess those petroleum princesses can still dish out thousands of euros, or Saudi riyals, for a frock...and even better if there's enough of lace to cover the face.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's a little hard to lament Olivier Theysken's long rumored departure from Nina Ricci when John Galliano is showing. His latest couture collection for Christian Dior could even make you forget about the economy for more than a fashionable second.

With the awards season in full swing, it makes me wonder who, besides Charlize Theron, will be taking one of these frocks straight from runway to red carpet?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yes, I've been a big Dolce & Gabbana fan of late, ever since, a couple of seasons back, these Milanese boys marched out half a dozen girls in paint splattered dresses like a vision of walking canvases. But who knew just how charming they were?

Interview Magazine has, well, you guessed it, an interview of the designing duo, dishing enough delectable details about them, from the decor of their offices, to their now semi-separate living arrangements. Here's some of the best of the skinny:

The three of us are talking in a leopard spot–draped salon in the designers’ Milan headquarters. Lunch awaits in the zebra-patterned room next door. There are big, important-looking pictures all over the walls, plus two prints of a Steven Klein portrait of Madonna, signed to each of them by their favorite collaboratrix. “Of course, one each,” Gabbana says archly. “Dolce & Gabbana is not one.”

SG: We are so different. Eighty percent of Domenico loves to go somewhere new, to develop an idea, and the other 20 percent goes back to the roots. I’m the opposite: 80 percent from the roots, 20 percent from the future. So it’s a fight all the time. But I say, “Okay, I love your trip. I agree with you, it’s very new for Dolce & Gabbana.” But I need to do it so it’s recognizable.

Q: So he’s the dreamer, and you’re the realist?

SG: No, no, it’s not like that. He is more projected into the future, and I am more attached to my roots, and the balance is Dolce & Gabbana.

DD: I want to dance. I want to live.

SG: And I say to him, “No. You come here.” And he says to me, “No. You come with me.”

Q: So you’re the man, and he’s the little boy. Is that the way you were in your relationship as well?

SG: Yes.

SG: We start every season with a piece of paper, two lists—“Yes” and “No.” And always it’s “No brocade, no animal prints . . .” It’s too easy to do the brocade. We do the list because we are not young. We are old chickens in the system. We’ve done this job for 24 years, you know.

DD: And we design too much animal print. So, “No animal print,” and “Yes a white shirt with lace,” “Yes a new shoulder,” “No brocade . . .” But finally, maybe I need some brocade.

SG: Or then maybe I need to do it in a corset, and in the end . . .

Q: The whole collection is brocade!

DD: Yes, it’s very funny.

SG: When we came back from the holiday, we thought a jacket would be really nice in duchesse satin, or in silk Mikado, but because the shape was really new for us, we felt we needed something to make people more comfortable. He said, “Brocade.” I said, “No. Fuck brocade.” But he was right.

Q: Do you ever get bored in Milan?

SG: I don’t have the time to be bored. We do 14 collections, including D&G children. Plus all the accessories, sunglasses, D&G jewels, perfume, and now makeup. And Domenico took care of the underwear this morning. I forgot. We split sometimes when there’s not time. But I can’t imagine it without him around. Oh, my God!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I get distracted now and then, but I eventually get back to my senses. It's all about the clothes, isn't it?

And while McQueen is a master of high volume drama, there's just something about the cut of clothes that's just breath-taking. He's no stranger to staging shows with girls galloping out like horses, impossible corsets crafted of wood or plexi, or theatrics to the nth degree.

But still, under all the lights and pomp, he doesn't sacrifice his craft. If his fall preview is anything to go by for his full fall collection, it'll be yet another stunning performance.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All the festivities and excitement has forced me to forgo some good tv. And unfortunately, that meant missing the highly anticipated new show on cable with Toni Colette in United States of Tara.

Apparently, I may not have missed much. But I've been a big Toni Colette fan since I first saw her in Muriel's Wedding. I became an even bigger fan after seeing her in Velvet Goldmine, The Hours, About A Boy, and who could forget Little Miss Sunshine?

After all these huge turns and successes, my favorite role will always be the Australian love-torn girl who lip-synced to Abba and dressed up in bridal drag. The best scene in the whole film was probably when she walked down the aisle, grinning ear to ear with a smile like a cat's meow. But this scene must be right up there, too, poly pant suit and all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I enjoy a regime change and all the ensuing festivities like any one else. But when all the hooplah means we let some pretty serious news go under the radar, well, that's when I have to turn off the live coverage and get back to my fashion blogs.

A little post,, has had the full Alexander McQueen for Target line for days, but we've all been cooing over Michelle's Isabel Toledo ensemble. (Yes, I too am guilty as charged.)

While the collection won't hit stores until March 1st, it'll give me time to reflect on whether I need to bust out and nab yet another special capsule line. My feeling is, yes. I mean, who can beat a trench coat for all of $80. And a studded leather vest for not much more? I don't think I could even find that at Barney's warehouse sale which, by my calculations, is just a couple of weeks away.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When I'm asked to think about my favorite models, it's always the older girls that come to mind: Linda, Christy, Nadja. And while Gisele is consistently ranked as one of the most successful and certainly wealthiest of models around, in pictures, she just never did it for me.

In person, though, she's another story. I've actually seen her in all 6 feet and some change of flesh, and I have to admit, she's all that and a bag of chips. This new campaign for Dior? Well, it's finally caught the essence of this glamazon. Leave it to John Galliano to give Gisele some mad blunt bangs to bring out the diva we all knew her to be.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have to admit that Barack Obama really won me over when he announced his pick for Secretary of State was none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton. After a tenacious battle, he realized that Hill really was the girl for the job, despite some snark and swipes along the campaign trail.

All I could think at the time, was, suck it Tucker Carlson. Let's see if good ole' Hill ever grants you an interview, or even acknowledges your existence from here on out after your very stupid comments about having to cross your legs whenever you see her on television, which simultaneously revealed your small-mindedness and a scary Oedipal complex (shudder). But I believe in kharma and it came as no surprise that Carlson's show was soon canceled. Misogyny just doesn't make good television, or much sense for that matter.

So while everyone is wondering what Michelle Obama will wear come Tuesday (and admittedly, I can't wait to find out either) Oscar de la Renta has spilled the beans that he'll be dressing Hill. And it sounds like a custom creation to die for, in Oscar's own words, "a very, very beautiful dress…pink and grey with this beautiful embroidery.” I write this, of course, while repeatedly pushing my tongue back into my mouth and hoping that my drool doesn't short-circuit my keyboard.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Solely by the virtue of her talent and discipline, Anna Wintour is an icon of our times. Having achieved this status without a reality tv to catapult her into the spotlight, she is now the subject of a documentary film to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend.

It makes me wonder if the loosely based portrayal of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada gave her a taste of what the big screen has to offer. Of course, there's no question if Anna is going to dip her stiletto clad toe into these waters, she'll do it with style, on the silver screen, as opposed to the small one.

I'm betting this production will rank right up there with Lagerfeld Confidential. And I'm already dying for it to hit the dvd market so I can rewind and replay to my heart's content.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

With the economy having such a huge impact on the face of Fashion Week, companies are getting inventive when it comes to showing. Nicholas K, Sergio Davila and Mara Hoffman are sharing a runway in a bid to defray costs, and in doing so, are sliding into the most coveted of arenas, the Tents at Bryant Park.

It's not the first time that Hoffman will be teaming up with other design talent, having shared space last year with Araks. But now by pooling the resources of 3 designers, well, there's just that much more to go around. It does make me wonder if the designers will be sharing more than just runway space, like models, invites, hair and makeup staff backstage. And that does make this equation a bit tricky since we're talking about variables that can affect creative vision.

But overall, the idea is quite clever really. You cut down exponentially on wait time, which is one of the greatest annoyances of Fashion Week, by seeing 3 shows at once. Of course, I'm sure all the designers will be vying for the last spot in the sequence of shows. And it does also make me wonder if all 6 designers, since 2 of the brands are helmed by duos, will be taking their runway bow together, respective pets in tow?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There's some humor even in the most serious of matters. If you just so happen to be reading this from that little island bordering the North Sea, then you should beware that you may soon have to curb your fashion whims when it comes to your pooch.

Animal activists in England are pushing to make it illegal for pet owners to overdress their dogs. So no more booties for Butch, or hoodies for Spot. And you can forget the pearls and Halloween costumes. According to a recent report in The Daily Mail, the move is intended to prevent owners from acquiring pets as mere accessories, a trend made popular by certain celebrities and their "handbag pooches". Though no one is named explicitly in the article, you can guess which blond celebutante's mug shot is featured prominently alongside the report.

No word yet what that could mean for Harrods, which hosts an annual Pet-a-Porter, where dogs take to the dogwalk in a variety of designer duds.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

With so many designers dropping out of Fashion Week, did we have to whittle down the ways in which we could actually see the few shows that are still scheduled? Alas, Full Frontal Fashion, every fashion addict's video source for countless catwalks, won't be seen come February, so we'll all have to resort back to for motionless stills.

In recent seasons, I've consciously overlooked the fact that Carmen Electra, for some unexplainable reason, appeared as host in the tents. It's not as if she actually gave any real commentary on fashion anyway, and instead just rattled off a bunch of lines from a teleprompter, usually to name off the designer we were about to see. The real charm, of course, was in seeing Simon Doonan make an appearance now and then as guest commentator. Oh the lilt of his lovely English accent and his boyish charms always made watching the shows so much fun.

But now, because of some complicated spat between the show's satellite platform, Voom, and Cablevision, Full Frontal will be no more, unless it's picked up by another channel. With less designers, it seems logical that there would be less press coverage too. Which makes me wonder, who-ohwho will be swiping their platinum card to be able to swill champagne in the Amex Skybox come February?

Monday, January 12, 2009

I know I should be writing about some of the dresses from last night's awards ceremony, like Eva Mendes' gorgeous white Christian Dior or the surprising burst of color from Cameron Diaz in Chanel. But no, the best moment of the entire evening was Mickey Rourke's heartfelt acceptance speech, replete with toned down profanities referring to the male genitalia not once, but twice.

I've always been a bit torn by Mickey Rourke. Though I've been a great admirer of his acting talents since his riveting turn in the controversial 9 1/2 weeks with Kim Basinger, it's always been a bit hard for me to give the guy much of a break. Yeah, it's hard to care much for a guy who's been arrested for beating up on his wife. Remember all those tabloid stories back in the 90s about the tumultuous marriage he had to Carre Otis?

But now, it does seem like the guy has had some tough breaks and is truly repentant about his past bad boy behavior. I've seen him in an interview talk about the time he was eating spaghetti alone in a restaurant when he could hardly pay for his meal, That's when Sylvester Stallone sees him there, and gets him cast in the film Get Carter. Which makes me wonder how shabby the restaurant must have been if Stallone is there too.

Friday, January 9, 2009

So with the casualty count growing ever longer of the number of designers opting out of showing in the tents at New York Fashion Week, I guess it should come as no surprise that Peter Som is canceling his own show. I mean, Betsey's out, Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, and even DKNY are all downsizing, showing off site, or staging intimate (read cheaper) presentations.

But for some reason, Som's latest catastrophic revelation that Creative Design Studios is pulling out of their partnership with him and taking a good deal of income that would have otherwise gone to a runway show has me, well, in a mild state of shock. Maybe because his name has been bandied about so much recently, especially since Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses. But not that he wasn't already on an upward trajectory ever since his student days when he won a scholarship from the CFDA.

While I've never been a huge fan of his aesthetic, I do understand it. And I understand why buyers dig his dresses, and why women, namely a certain soon-to-be first lady, would want to wear them. And I have to say that his work, while shortlived, at Bill Blass was impressive.

Now, I just find myself asking, who's next? Because trust you me, there will be more before the 2nd week of February rolls around.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

These past couple of nights, I finally flicked my way over to F/X. The first night was just by sheer accident, to find something to watch before getting some shuteye and oh so serendipitously, as most good things happen, I caught Nip/Tuck. Ever since Rosie has raved about this show, and apparently guest-appeared on it, I've always wanted to take a look-see for myself, but just never found the time for it. The recent slew of gorgeous adverts had further peaked my curiosity and the show did not disappoint.

So last night, again, I gave F/X a shot, this time by watching the critically acclaimed Damages. Now, I'm hooked, and wonder what the heck I've been doing wasting my time on boring network shows when good, dirty cable has been there the whole time.

I've always loved Glenn Close, and she looks positively sublime. No one could have played a better freakazoid jilted lover in Fatal Attraction, a role for which she may best be known. But after such a seminal performance, I always wondered whether it was inevitable that her career would take a downward turn, and whether good old Hollywood ageism limited her options, or other older leading ladies like Meryl Streep just won out when up against roles for characters of a certain age. I mean, the other role for which I most frequently associate Close was Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmations.

Now, I'll have the pleasure of seeing her every week, doing bad in the name of good, and doing it oh-so-wonderfully. And this season, though it looks like Ted Danson is being phased out of the plot, I'll see her along with William Hurt who has garnered a place on my top ten list ever since I saw him in that most riveting of films, Kiss of a Spider Woman.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I had never been a huge Kate Winslet fan. Sure, she's a stellar actor and all, and it's kind of awesome that she has enough acting chops to defy the size 0 standard that most women are held to in Hollywood. (Remember when she came clean about being airbrushed in GQ a while back?)

But, whoa, what is Mrs. Sam Mendes doing lately? I remember seeing shots of her at the New York premiere of The Reader, dressed in a form-fitting Herve Leger dress. She looked drop dead gorgeous, as if the wintry clouds of December had magically parted and light was shining on her golden locks and face.

And now this cover for UK Elle? She looks kind of amazing and I'm dying to know her secret. Apparently, all my sweating and miles of running at the gym is not the way to go. The very winsome Winslet sticks with at-home DVDs of Pilates, and only 20 minutes a day at that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

With all the running around and family outings during the past couple of holiday weeks, one reservation we had had planned was unexpectedly canceled at the last minute, dinner at the Rainbow Room. Now, it seems the recession has taken its toll on this most venerable of New York institutions and the restaurant has announced it is closing its doors, temporarily at least.

Okay, knowing this now, would we have braved the sub-zero degree weather that evening to shell out a couple of hundred bucks (per person, that is) to be able to dine with a view of the Manhattan skyline? Probably not. The one thing that everyone knows about the Rainbow Room is that it's expensive, and in these trying times, reputation alone won't entice customers through the door like they used to in flush times. Even for a pop culture buff like me, eating mediocre food in a joint that hosted the likes of Marlene Dietrich and Fred Astaire just aint worth the splurge.

One thing that's happening now is a reassessment of the core values and basics. There's still hope that the Ciprianis will revive the restaurant, if they ever come back from exile while their taxes are under investigation here. If not, you can still shell out a smooth $20 for a martini at the bar, which remains open, for now.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oh, the new year is come, and I am finally back to blogging. Thank goodness, really, because my wallet needs a break. I know we're in a recession and all, and it's not like I can really afford anything with the way the retail sector is, my sector, that is. But how can a girl-slash-fashion designer resist all these sales?

And not that I'm a massive shopper, either. Hard to believe, I'm sure. But being surrounded by clothes, making clothes, and being stuck with so much inventory when a store or two, or three, or four, doesn't make good on payment...well, I've got enough clothes to last me until my next profession. But even Jean-Georges is offering recession specials and with so much family in town, I finally had the opportunity to indulge, in both haute cuisine as well as high fashion.

And now that one of my favorite online retailers, is finally opening its outlet site,, come February, I'm wondering if I'll have anything left over by then? More importantly, will those electric blue Louboutins make it on the site by next summer?