Text, Vivian Kelly
Kate Middleton’s little sis, Pippa, stole the show on Kate’s big day – her much anticipated wedding to Prince William. I woke up at 1:00a.m. EST, and started watching the arrivals, with half an eye open as ladies in pastel suits and over the top hats arrived at Westminster Abbey. My eyes flew shut when Pippa Middleton made her entrance in a shockingly form fitting white Satin Alexander McQueen dress by Sarah Burton.
I know – almost everyone [particularly straight "red-blooded" males] looooved the dress, but I did not. It was white [hmm, doesn't only the bride and maybe the flower girl get to wear white?], puckered up in the front and completely molded to her now infamous behind. I thought of the dress Marilyn Monroe had made for her, the one where she suggestively sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to JFK. Legend has it that it split open later that evening.
I stopped thinking about Pippa’s dress after a long conversation with close friend, Theadora Brack in July, in which we’d [I thought] put the dress to rest at last – until November 14th.
Last week, the dress, turned up again, like that proverbial “bad penny”. Scallywag and Vagabond’s November 14th post was titled, “Sales of new padded pants have sky rocketed as women flock to achieve bottoms that resemble Pippa Middleton’s.”
The padded panty is available at the Debenham’s Department Store for 19 Pounds and is as retailers love to say, “blowing-out”.
I can see why it’s a hot item. Pop starlets Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez have the Pippa bum, but high, lifted buttocks take work. Without a steady regimen of squats and butt-squeezes, or daily hip hop dancing, the gluteus maximus cedes to gravity and hence the dreaded “pancake look”.
If you don’t happen to live in England, Yummie Tummie by Heather Thomson, has you covered with not only panties, but with dress and leggings that also deliver that royal rump. Slip one of these on and you can get that perfect behind AND stop worrying about the post-Thanksgiving bloat this year, thanks to the contour waistband.
Added perk – Yummie Tummie is having a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale , 30% off of everything on YummieLife.com* , but only from November 25th to November 28th.
Just please promise you won’t wear your Yummies with an overly tight white satin dress! It’s a McQueen, yes, but nonetheless, a “fashion don’t”. Do, however feel free to flaunt your assets in a pair of Y.T. black leggings while channeling your inner Pippa.
Text, Vivian Kelly
Gianni must be laughing from his grave in Cernobbio, Italy..
I’d received the advance media press kit, complete with images, way back, from TJ Allers, of Paul Wilmot PR, one of the most on-point PR guys I’ve ever worked with.
Yet, I waited, as day after day, the Internet was deluged with posts about the most anticipated Hi-low collaboration to date – Versace for H&M.
I went through all the images and cherry picked the ones that were most faithful to the Versace brand as it was at its Apex of glory in the early 1990′s. Gianni’s Versace and the excessive lifestyle and legendary parties at his Miami home, Casa Casaurina, were one of those “right time, right place” moments, I would have killed to have been at.
Who could ever forget those shows and ad campaigns featuring the impossibly gorgeous Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Stephanie Seymour?
Below, a few of the Versace for H&M items I crave – Donatella, you’ve done your Brother proud on this one!
As far as scoring some of these one-offs, it’s unlikely, unless you’re willing to pay the price – the one on ebay, that is. I’m participating from my comfy office chair watching a pair of black leggings with the gold Greek Key motif running down the side. I’ve been at it for two days now and the current bid is £41 [$64.78] – eek.
Scanning the pages and pages of items that hit ebay BEFORE the official Nov. 19 launch, I felt a few sour grapes, thinking of a caustic piece on a blog [can't recall which] that remarked that celebrities and high level fashion editors who’d attended the pre-launch parties were not above scoring some dosh on ebay. On the other hand, well, it’s hard times for everyone, right?
Below, the video of the November 8th fashion show in New York with Donatella on a loop saying, “My house, my rules, my pleasure”. Repetitious, yes, but Versace, all the way. because pre-Andrew Cunanan, that’s what the House of V. was all about and I’m glad to have a little bit of this brand’s luxuriously decadent brand back.
*Thx to Sachin Bhola of AskMen.com for posting the Video and witty write-up.
Let the Print Parade Begin!
Text, Vivian Kelly
My Burberry obsession started the day I met Christopher Bailey at the MET Museum’s press preview for “AngloMania”, which focused on British fashion from 1976-2006. It was one of the strongest showings the Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton has ever put together. The waiflike Bailey was on-hand and I immediately sensed the presence of a star as I pushed my way into the crowded press preview.
Bailey had an irresistible combination going – he was modest, cool, media-genic yet approachable. He was also passionate about fashion and the Burberry brand. That, combined with the campaigns he’d started to conceive, the obvious admiration he had from Industry heavy weights such as Anna Wintour and Hamsich Bowles, added to my favorable impression.
Bailey himself looks “Burberry”, or at least the image I’ve come to associate with the brand since he’s been at the helm. The first few campaigns featured Kate Moss in the starring role, followed by it model, Agyness Deyn and Harry Potter Star, Emma Watson. Regardless of the model, the concept is always the same – a grouping of young guys and girls ranging from British Public School students to bright young things out and about having a good time. A key component of “British Cool” is that they never ever look like they’re trying to BE cool. Trying too hard is off-limits.
Don’t think for a minute though, that Christopher Bailey has just coasted by all of these seasons on this one iconic plaid and a couple of great ad campaigns. Bailey has turned Burberry Prorsum into a brand that used to be “Porsum, or is it Prosum what? Into the highlight of London Fashion Week. Part of the Burberry mystique is the use of Prints and Patterns and mismatched prints that look eccentrically cool rather than dorky.
The last time I remember such excitement over prints was when Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared did this in their spring 2010 show and before that, the late Franco Moschino’s wild catwalk shows for his Moschino Cheap and Chic brand of the late Eighties and early Nineties.The Caten boys’ and Moschino prints are for the fashion obsessed.
By contrast, Burberry prints are more understandable and relatable, and as such, reach a much broader audience. They allow you to participate in one of the season’s biggest trends [Let’s call it “the Print Parade”], in a way that doesn’t have you look like a clownish Moschino party-goer.
I’ve never been a fan of “baby” designer brands, until I stopped in front of the Burberry Baby store window at the Westchester Mall, enthralled by a short sleeve Burberry plaid dress. On a roll, I strolled into the Burberry proper shop, where I promptly fell in love with two handbags.
That evening, I took inventory of the Burberry pieces in my closet and wondered if I could wear it head to toe. Yes, I could, but I a toned down way. How about the navy wool Burberry boyfriend jacket, short blue Hunter boots, the plaid shirt and kilt? I haven’t worn more than one of my Burberry pieces at one time, but I will this winter and am pretty confident the Fashion Police won’t stop me.
While my Burberry collection is limited to the classics, I’m fully on board with some of Bailey’s more adventuresome designs, such as the gorgeous blue Prorsum dress Kate Bosworth wore to the Burberry Body event on October 26 at the Beverly Hills Boutique.
Prorsum is the next step in my prints meet the classics voyage and at the time of this post, am coveting the long sleeve blue graphic print dress model, Samantha Gradoville, [IMG of her on spring Runway] wore in the spring 2012 show. Maybe I’d wear it with my short blue Hunter boots, or maybe with a pair of black platforms….
Text, Vivian Kelly
My friend, art historian, John Tiffany, sends out invitations to his Eleanor Lambert themed events with the closing, “It will be a wonderful evening”. It’s the “wonderful evening” part that gets my attention. The word “wonderful” connotes a certain decorum, swankness and a hint of exclusivity. Having a perfect martini at the Oak Bar in the Plaza Hotel and then stepping a few yards away to peruse the coffee table books at the Plaza’s Assouline Shop qualifies as “wonderful”.
CT gal-pal, Cynthia Vehslage Meyers’ book signing party at the Aldrich Contemporary Museum last Saturday night, promised to be “a wonderful night”. Earlier this year, over coffee at Ross’ Bread, Cynthia told me about the all-nighters she was pulling to get the illustrations for Haiku For the Single Girl done by deadline. It was of course, completely worth it and the fete to launch the little red and white book was one of the best attended events I’ve been at in months.
The buffet was impressive as was the bar set up and after accepting a martini, I made up two horrible haikus for the contest, in hopes of winning one of the posters – blow-ups of writer Beth Griffenhagen’s hilarious haikus.
A few of my favorites -
I hear no catcalls.”
Loneliness, yes, but also
Fits of ecstasy”
I’d only planned on dropping in, giving Cynthia a hug and buying a copy to support her. After reading the posters, I bought three books, hugged C. , got her to sign it, and left reflecting fondly on my single girl days and mentally composing a list of friends I would gift this little treasure to this Christmas Season.
Where to Buy:
Haiku for the Single Girl is a collaboration between Cynthia, a brilliant illustrator whose work has appeared in The New York Times, and Beth Griffenhagen, the author, who has a master’s in psychology, works for Murray’s Cheese shop and lives in New York City.
Headed out west for your holiday? Take heed! The desert air is dry, so to help you cope, here are a few beauty tips from Brian Jensen, a.k.a. “The Best Hair Stylist in Reno” (I’m not making that up; he won the award!).
From Theadora Brack in Reno
Faster than a card shark’s hand in Reno, it took just one hour for the dry desert air to wreck havoc on my tresses and skin, too. A sight making for sore eyes, my red haired locks suddenly went wickedly limp, dry and straighter than a full poker flush. While the parched skin was easy to fix with gobs of moisturizer, I still needed SOS for my newly-acquired “poor little scarecrow” look. Truth be old, I was in dire need of a Southwest hair specialist. And lickety-split.
So what to do?
Donning my Nancy Drew thinking cap, I quickly roamed the Internet and, thanks to a last-minute cancelation, I soon scored a rendezvous with the “Best Hair Stylist in Reno” at the “Best Hair Shop in Reno.” Ring-a-ding-ding! Haircuts are always a gamble, but I hit the jackpot with stylist Brian Jensen at the hip Salon 7, located just ten blocks from the main strip of in Reno. (As you make your way to the shop, get an eyeful of the vintage neon casino and hotel signs!)
From floor to ceiling, the funky shop is decked out in eclectic art and retro industrial equipment, left over from its former life as a warehouse. It also boasts a gift shop. More to the point, Brian is an artist, and the cuts are affordable, starting at $35. Now, ain’t that a kick in the head?
Rocking a 1950s vibe, Brian resembles the young Brian Setzer of Stray Cats fame. Charming and charismatic, he’s got swagger and a witty gift of gab. Brian minced no words when I quizzed him about the rumored return of the bobbed hair do. “It’s out. Of course the Sassoon cut won’t go out of style, but now it’s softer. Natural-looking, low maintenance hairstyles are hot. Just accepting and working with whatever God dealt you is where it’s at. That and a little Sea Spray!” he added with a wink. And that’s when he introduced me to my new BFF: Redken’s Radiant Sea Spray. There’s an old running joke that Nevada is like “ten thousand miles of beach with no ocean” but here was the solution!
“Close your eyes,” Brian said, as he pumped up my volume. I was an avid listener. “Each time you move or touch your hair, this will take you to the sea. It’s got soy, sea algae and aloe vera. It’s smells like the beach whenever you touch your hair, and it’s silicone free. Desert air dries out your hair, but if you use too much moisturizer your hair can fall flat. It’s okay to use oil-free shine and anti-frizzy spritzers, but you have to apply them after the styling. Timing is everything!” Brian also recommended getting trims every four to six weeks.
As I strolled back to my hotel after getting the cut I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a storefront window and discovered a newly confident, courageous pioneer stride in my step. My whole outlook had changed, along with my hair. The cut was flawless, and the Sea Spray had brought back the shine, moisture and volume. “Baby, you’re going to break some hearts,” a man shouted from a passing eighteen-wheeler truck. Cost of the new hairdo, along with a take-home bottle of Redken’s little miracle? $50. And—unlike the merciless slot machines—worth every lost penny.
495 Morrill Avenue
About Theadora Brack -
Theadora Brack is the Paris Correspondent with the travel website, Eurocheapo.com. Trekking to Paris in the near future? Check out the site for tips. Theadora’s bi-weekly column on Paris covers art, architecture, fashion, cuisine and shopping, always served up with a side of history.
Text, Vivian Kelly
In 2007, I was honored and privileged to have met one of the few remaining living fashion icons, Loulou de la Falaise. The place was San Francisco, where as one of their online Fashion Journalism instructors, I’d been invited to attend Academy of Art University’s April Fashion Show. We were at the pre-show cocktail party. Granted, it was only for a minute and with a few other people circling around her, but we did actually speak. I managed not to spill my glass of chardonnay, as I soaked-in every detail I could of her outfit, all the while attempting to not be overtly staring and banking the details in my brain. She was reed thin, had crazy curls, a huge smile, and wore fuchsia lipstick. Here was a woman who was “older” and as the French love to say, “comfortable in her own skin” – no BoDoc for her thank you.
She had necklaces and bracelets piled on and it all worked together and gave her blouse and trouser ensemble a festive air and a bit of a fairy-like quality, which YSL referred to in Alicia Drake’s The Beautiful Fall, which I’d read when it came out the year before. For those of you have haven’t read it, make some time to and I promise you it will keep you up for hours, as you learn about the rivalry between Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld and the member of their “camps”. Loulou was one of YSL’s most famous muses. She was in one of my ultimate “right time/right places” – the louche Paris fashion scene in the Seventies.
Click here, to read the lovely tribute to Loulou on AAU’s School of Fashion blog to learn more about this extraordinary fashion personality.
Text, Laura Wood and Vivian Kelly
Viv and I agreed that although we have very different body types [I'm petite and curvy, she's lean and fine-boned],we have the same personal taste when it comes to clothing construction; simple shapes cut in beautiful fabrics. It makes sense that she pulls inspiration from icons such as: Audrey Hepburn, Claire McCardell and Geoffrey Beene.
Lyn Devon is the kind of designer who has what I’m looking for. My favorite dress from her spring 2012 collection was a modern take on a Forties’s dress – a gray tweed sleeveless with a plunging V-neck trimmed in yellow -an unexpected twist. It’s fresh, but not overdone. There are polka dresses too, that are fun and have a nostalgic twist that make them more than just a grouping of cute picnic dresses.
I spoke with Lyn at the presentation, and was immediately floored by the beautiful fabrics which the house has specially designed for them. The fabrics are beautiful and substantial feeling. Below, some of our favorites, but you need to get to a retailer that carries Lyn Devon and try a few on to see for yourself!
For a complete listing, visit Lyn Devon.com
Text, Vivian Kelly & Laura Wood
Reported by Laura Wood, Contributing Writer
I went to the 4 month old Dream Hotel’s Electric Room to report on Eric Daman’s new hosiery collection for DKNY. As soon as walked in, I was immediately impressed by this hotel. It had a great vibe, like stepping into a hidden oasis.Out of all the events I’ve been to this fall in New York, the Dream Hotel was spot on with their cool comfort food. I loved picking up the teensy grilled cheese sandwich in tomato soup dipping sauce.
Inside the cozy venue, there were models perched on the edge of the sofas instead of posed stiffly on podiums. They seemed as if they were part of the party, but all of them happened to be unusually tall and good looking. I was immediately attracted to the hosiery and went over and found Eric to compliment him on his designs. I found out later, that Eric Daman is the stylist for the hit TV Show, Gossip Girls. We talked about how the inspiration for his designs is New York. Some of his most winning designs were inspired by menswear fabrics. The floral lace was a nod to the flowers at the delis you find on every street in Manhattan’s residential neighborhoods. The florals were interesting, but the main story is his use of pattern and texture. After chatting with Eric, the atmosphere was so great that I decided to stick around and met Cathleen Moxham, from the Hanes Brands. We had a drink at the bar and an entertaining conversation about how tights have gone in-and-out of style since the Eighties, when we all wore solid black tights to no tights – ever – in the Nineties. It seems that tights are now back.
And, there’s more…
As the temperature continues to drop, we can transition into DKNY Super Opaque hose, a thicker, completely opaque black tight. Donna Karan has also launched the Luxe Layers which are completely fleece lined and incredibly comfortable and warm.
Note to Self: Pick up a few pair of the Luxe Layers and Eric’s Over the Knee Highs – ASAP!
The Dream Downtown is located at 355 West 16th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues)