posted by admin on Feb 24

From Malibu to Monte Carlo, Giorgio Armani’s roster of famous clients has long reflected his position at the apex of high society fashion. Armani Privé starred on Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts at the Academy Awards on Sunday – so today the designer’s home team outdid its LA outpost by welcoming Princess Charlene of Monaco to his Milan front row.

Charlene had been briefed: her coolly fluid, Armani-tailored jacket was as far away from the movie stars’ hyper-tight gowns as Italy is from Hollywood. And it proved an adroitly pragmatic piece of Princess-wear for what proved to be a startlingly masculine collection.
Entitled ‘Garçonne’, this was Armani’s take on womanly clothes with a gentlemanly edge. Trousers, mostly in black but with the odd diversion into neutral slate grey, came with elongated darts under the pockets and ornamental zippers. Bib-fronted trousers in black velvet had a gamine cuteness to them without ever looking harsh, and the models all wore slouchy black hats which the designer said were based on Rastafarian headgear. Shoes stayed mostly flat at this section, although a pair of fiercely spike-heeled, irregularly spotted black boots worked well under a long hip-hugging gown in blue.

After the restrained daywear, came a section of darkly glamorous eveningwear. One backless dress was decorated at the neckline by two raven black unfurled wings. Starbursts of crystal flashed across handbags and rivulets of silver fringing juddered under the seams of evening gloves.

Speaking backstage after the show, Armani said that 70 per cent of his annual sales are based on clothes, rather than accessories or perfume. Without naming names he was implying that he makes clothes women want to wear and look wonderful in, rather than to simply moon over in the pages of glossy magazines. In truth, his clothes fulfill both of these feminine desires – even in this, most masculine, of Armani collections.

posted by admin on Feb 23

Oscars fashion: The verdict.

Oscar night means two things to me: a very, very late-night to see all of the action live and analysing red carpet fashion.

Awards season has been building up to this moment, and the morning after the Academy Awards holds a special little place in my heart. Yes, I know…it’s a bit sad. But for a celebrity stalker, you get to see Hollywood up the ante more for just one night.

This awards season, it’s a toss-up between Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain as my two favourite rising red carpet stars. Both have been impeccably turned out for each event, but Anne’s homage to Audrey Hepburn in her blush pink Prada dress just made me love her more. She changed into an equally fabulous metallic gown for the Vanity Fair afterparty, proving that her stellar style on the red carpet wasn’t a once-off.

And while Jessica may have missed out on the Best Actress award to Jennifer Lawrence (Dior’s recent golden girl); in my books, she was the queen of Oscars couture and easily the best dressed on the night. Dressed in an Armani Prive gown, she was the picture of old school Hollywood perfection. The fact that she doesn’t look like every other actress out there is intriguing for all of the right reasons.

Then, there’s my controversial choice, but one I stick by: Amy Adams. The only negative point for me is that it was very reminiscent of Penelope Cruz’s turnout in 2007. Amy was a vision in her powder blue gown by Oscar de la Renta of course. Honestly, if I was attending the Oscars, this is what I would wear. It’s the one night of the year where you can actually say: ‘Go big or go home’ and mean it. The bustier cut is quite safe, but with such a beautiful fit, I’d be playing it ‘safe’ too.

Django Unchained’s Kerry Washington rocked a coral Prada number and found the right balance of youth and sophistication. But it’s the gold detail that wins it for me. Reese Witherspoon’s cobalt blue number is a step away from her usual style (she revealed that her daughter Tennessee chose the Marc Jacobs gown for her), however her flawless hair and makeup adds the x factor. She’s very Veronica Lake with her sideswept curls, completing her vintage look.

posted by admin on Feb 22

Then comes the big winner of the night: Jennifer Lawrence. The 22-year-old actress has relied on Dior throughout the current awards season, but she outdid even herself at the Oscars. While her dress looks as if it may weight just five pounds too heavy (and my hunch is right if that stage fall is anything to go by), I’d imagine this is something Grace Kelly would have worn if she were in Lawrence’s shoes today. I would have preferred to see her hair down and fuller for a change, but it’s easy to see why she wanted to let her dress do the talking. Because, what a pretty, pretty dress it is.

Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Jane Seymour all proved that age really is nothing but a number. In fact, Jane Fonda has inspired me to pick up her exercise dvd from the 80s and start tearing into my spandex if it means I’ll look that now, let alone when I’m 75. Sally stunned in a red Valentino gown, while exercise guru Fonda turned heads in her neon dress which showed off her incredible figure. Former Bond girl Jane Seymour was ethereal in her emerald dress at the Elton John viewing party.

Charlize Theron is one actress whom I consistently wait with baited breath to see what options she’ll go for on Oscar night. Her white Dior dress fit like a glove and I love the not-quite-peplum detail on the waist. Of course, Kate Middleton’s designers of choice were also out in force, including Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, who is responsible for Amanda Seyfried’s fairytale gown and Jenny Packham, who dressed Adele in black. Even maternity wear couldn’t stop Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Kim Kardashian who both sexed up their looks in fitted gowns.

Now, it’s not all gushing and fawning, my second controversial comment is to follow. I’m breaking the unofficial moratorium on negative comments about Jennifer Aniston, by simply asking: ‘How did she manage to mess that up?’. That should have been a spectacular gown, but she looks washed out and overwhelmed by its size. As for Zoe Saldana, who is expected to wear something out of the ordinary after last year’s purple feather dress, her Alexis Mabille Couture is another example of what should have worked, but didn’t. It’s far too busy for such a structured dress and her shoes are too fussy for the simplicity of the gown. Les Miserables’ Samantha Barks went for a very, very simply black dress, which again could have been styled to perfection. But her too-casual hair and makeup takes away from her overall look.

In the end, I would have preferred to see more risk-takers at the Oscars this year. I never thought I’d be yearning for the days of Bjork’s swan, but that’s what we have come to.

posted by admin on Feb 21

Fashion show helps dress hundreds of underprivileged N.J. teens for prom.

Prom is a time for high school students to feel special. To get dressed to the hilt and forget their teenage drama for at least one night.

But for many teens, prom season is just another reminder that they are less privileged than their peers and unable to afford the opportunity to have their dream prom experience.

For the last six years, Cinderella’s Closet of Monmouth County has tried to change that – one prom dress and tuxedo at a time.

Cinderella’s Closet of Monmouth County was started by two high school girls – Stephanie Tomasetta and Katie Adams – as a chance to give their less fortunate peers an opportunity to enjoy prom night in spite of their families’ economic challenges.

But over the years, the all-volunteer, 501(c) (3) organization has grown into an organization that raises tens of thousands annually to not only provide dresses and tuxedos to hundreds of underprivileged teens for prom, but also to go the extra mile to make them feel special.

More than 500 teens will be bussed in from schools such as Camden and Newark this weekend to peruse more than 1,200 prom dresses with a personal shopper and a personal shopper’s assistant.

posted by admin on Feb 20

During the two-day boutique event, which will be held at Ocean Place Resort this year, the teens will also receive accessories, like jewelry and handbags, and professional services, such as light hemming and makeup advice.

“We really want them to feel good about themselves and have an opportunity to have a choice of what to wear,” said Mary Pat Serhus, a Cinderella’s Closet board member, adding that Cinderella’s Closet makes sure its inventory of more than 1,200 dresses are in excellent condition and reflect the latest fashions.

On Friday night, Cinderella’s Closet hosted its annual fashion show at Ocean Place Resort – complete with live musical and dance performances, and a “Project Runway”-like competition – which is its main fundraising mechanism. Last year’s fashion show raised about $45,000 for the charity.And those fundraising efforts have never been as important as they will be this year.

“The demand will be even greater this year due to Hurricane Sandy. There are girls in places like Union Beach and Toms River whose families lost their homes. They lost everything; so paying for a nice prom dress might not be possible this year,” said Marcella Tomasetta, Stephanie Tomasetta’s mother and a Cinderella’s Closet board member. “Our goal is to provide as many of these girls as possible with what they need for their prom.”

And while there are adults who serve as board members or personal shoppers, the heart of Cinderella’s Closet’s efforts is still teens helping teens.

“We have volunteers from more than a dozen Monmouth County high schools, who do things like helping with the promotions or acting as personal shoppers,” Serhus said. “It’s great to see so many young people so eager to help their peers, and it is help we know goes a long way.”

posted by admin on Feb 17

Oscars 2013: red carpet fashion.

Vintage movie star glamour and pale tones reign supreme on the biggest night of the year in Hollywood.
Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence chose to wear a white and pale pink strapless Dior gown with a full skirt and ruffled hemline.

Jessica Chastain, meanwhile, opted for old Hollywood glamour with a glistening copper dress by Armani Prive.

“I definitely thought it was a ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President’ kind of dress,” she said.

“I think they did an incredible job making it. Also, Harry Winston jewellery from the 1960s – isn’t it beautiful?”

Amy Adams said her Oscar de la Renta dress was a departure from her previous Oscar gowns: “You know I’ve been here before and I’ve always worn sort of more column-style dresses and I don’t know I’ve never worn a ball gown and I thought, ‘You know? It’s the Oscars.’”

For the men, the trend was beards, with George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones all sporting impressive facial hair.

posted by admin on Feb 17

Oscar-Fashion Report Card.

Why do we do it to our ourselves? Judging from the convention of grouchiness last night on Twitter, the limited patience of my companions (they gave up at 10:30), and the faces in the audience, no one much likes the Oscars.
The four-hour show becomes an excuse for pointing up at the screen and loudly pronouncing subjective verdicts—”Oh, I like her!” (Reese Witherspoon);
“She gets on my nerves!” (Anne Hathaway)—and eating too much pizza. Nonetheless, each and every year a rumored one billion people trudge to the TV and sit through the Oscar telecast, even shedding a few tears.
The whole thing is an oddly satisfying exercise in instant-nostalgia: the year’s moving images become black-and-white stills before our very eyes. The show is a salute to the past, showing us the marks of time on beloved performers’ features, giving us a weird premonition of a future when the movies of our youths will have the dated look of talkies.

To me, the runway show before the telecast is the best part—not only for its opulent clothes, but because it shows the mechanisms of fame at work. The hosts of the pre-Oscar show are breathy and obsequious; and there’s a sense of hysterical, celebratory urgency in the air.
(During ABC’s pre-Oscar special, a timer flashed at the bottom corner of the screen, counting down the seconds ’til showtime.) The stars, meanwhile, must navigate the five-hundred-foot red carpet in their heavy gowns and towering heels, must speak smoothly and graciously about their fellow actors, and must be charming yet aloof. It’s their masklike poise in the face of this loony carnival that makes them so alluring.
I like to watch them mugging for the paparazzi, making minute adjustments, showing their best facial angles, pursing their shiny lips, turning this way and that. Between photographs, there’s a slight beat, and you can see these gods draw sharp little breaths, like the mortals they really are.

posted by admin on Feb 16

This year, armor-like, severe cuts were the vogue among women; hair was sheared off or tucked away on top of the head (no more prom-queen tendrils and few shaggy, long-haired styles).
The simplicity and even austerity in the looks of our female stars was its own rebuke to Seth MacFarlane and his fratty jokes: these women are pros; they’re not here to play.
As Judith Thurman wrote last year, the result is a loss of antic fun or risk in the dresses. This year, there wasn’t even much overt sexiness.
The closest we got was Jennifer Lawrence, whose virginal white dress (tight sleeveless bodice yielding, a quarter of the way down her legs, to cake-like layers of billowing white and pink) cut against her smoky, slightly anarchic sexual presence. But for the rest, classic cuts and colors prevailed: Reese Witherspoon in a Louis Vuitton gown—royal blue with black trim at the sides that created the illusion of a fourteen-inch waist and showed off her energetically curvy figure; Amy Adams in a full-skirted, powdery gray silk Oscar de la Renta (I wish she’d go back to dressing like a mermaid in bright blues and greens);
Charlize Theron with her new pixie-cut hair in a dazzlingly white pillar of a gown with a pointy, modernist neckline and demurely flared peplum at the waist. All three were sleeveless.

My nominees for best dressed were Jennifer Aniston, in a sumptuous red Valentino with a wide, floating skirt under which, she quipped, she could fit several more people (I like the return of the full skirt, which looks so much more comfortable than the dresses that hug the body all the way down); and Naomi Watts, in a sparkling pewter Armani gown with a surprising neckline—one side was a solid boatneck, but it trailed off, yielding skin and a sweetheart neckline on the other side.
Both actresses have been through this ritual many times, and their outfits had the understated humor and casual flamboyance that comes with seasoned maturity. Speaking of maturity, Meryl Streep seems to be allowing herself to go gray, or at least she didn’t take the time to dye her roots before the show. This was reassuring: when you work hard enough, eventually, you can stop dressing the part.

posted by admin on Feb 13

Can London Fashion Week Grow Up Without Selling Out?

The last time I was in London for Fashion Week was in the spring of 2001. I was working for GQ magazine in London and blagged a few tickets off the girls who toiled upstairs on the pages of Vogue. The event struggled so badly to attract financing that shows were held in cheap and drafty tents on the lawn of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington.

Cheer up, vets of the scene scolded me, the tents were better than the car parks where the shows had once been held.

The most exciting show—to which I did not have a ticket—was by a young designer named Alexander McQueen, who exhibited in a desanctified, abandoned church in the East End, the front row dotted with skeletons. After the show McQueen promptly announced that he had sold 51 percent of his label to Gucci and wouldn’t be showing in London again—he was off to Paris.

The depression in London was palpable, but the old hands were unsurprised. McQueen was only the latest to follow a well-trodden path. The story of London fashion designers still tends to follow that same trajectory: young designer goes to Central Saint Martins College (alma mater of McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Zac Posen, to name just a few); young designer thrills crowds with degree show (insert here the possibility of the late Isabella Blow buying entire collection) and receives acres of press coverage (but few sales). Young designer gets it together to have own show in London. Young designer gets investment, starts selling product, and promptly relocates to Paris, New York, or Milan—“proper” fashion capitals where actual money (as opposed to reputations) can be made, either on his or her own or working for one of the big fashion houses—never to darken London’s streets again.

posted by admin on Feb 12

London has always provided the best and freshest talent, but, frustratingly, the talent has always then left, putting London Fashion Week in perpetual fourth place behind Paris, New York, and Milan.

As Luke Leitch, deputy fashion editor of The Daily Telegraph, points out, “Milan sits at the center of high-quality manufacturing, so for prêt-à-porter it will remain a hub. And the two biggest fashion multinationals are French, so until that changes, Paris will stay at the apex.”

Then, of course, there is New York. I moved to New York myself in 2003, and covering the shows for the New York Post, I couldn’t believe the glitz and glamour and money that sloshed around Bryant Park during Fashion Week.

But this year, back in London, reporting on Fashion Week in the lovely, posh, draft-free tents as good as anything Bryant Park has to offer, London didn’t feel like the poor relation anymore. Instead, we found ourselves sitting among the most powerful American fashion editors (including Anna Wintour), watching the likes of Tom Ford, Burberry, and Christopher Kane bring forth staggeringly inventive, starry, and exceedingly well- financed collections.

As Tony Chambers, editor in chief of the magazine Wallpaper*, says, “It was a huge leap from previous years, but there is still room to go. There is a certain amount of slickness missing. But creatively, it’s all there. It is ingrained in London’s DNA, slightly quirkier, a touch of anarchy, that eccentric flair. A few more designers might think about coming back to London.”

Such words will be music to the ears of those who for the past five years—since Harold Tillman was appointed chairman of the British Fashion Council—have striven tirelessly to have London taken more seriously as a commercial as well as creative center of fashion.

posted by admin on Feb 11

Tillman’s big coup was to tempt back Burberry. The iconic British brand returned to London three years ago and continues to be one of the most important fashion shows in the world and a talisman for London Fashion Week. The show took place in a specially constructed transparent tent in Kensington Gardens, which housed over 1,000 guests. The show was called “Trench Kissing,” and every attendee simultaneously received a personalized email from Burberry’s chief designer, Christopher Bailey, minutes before the event kicked off.

As Godfrey Deeny of Le Figaro told me, “Burberry is the biggest show in Britain. It has been and continues to be.”

The minute the show was over, you could order anything seen on the runway from its website. Burberry couldn’t have made it clearer that it was in London to actually sell stuff.

Also here to shift product as opposed to garner industry praise was River Island. Although few designers would go on the record criticizing Rihanna’s show (standard high-street fare given a predictably porny twist), several told me privately that they thought the involvement of River Island was a step too close to selling out the soul of London Fashion Week.

But what is the right balance? The BFC clearly regarded the inclusion of Rihanna as a coup and took the controversial decision to support the highly commercial show. Although it was not part of the official London Fashion Week lineup, it was promoted by the BFC in emails and mailings.

posted by admin on Feb 10

The Saturday-night show undoubtedly raised the profile of London Fashion Week, but it also sucked up all the available media attention for 24 hours, depriving Fashion Week stalwarts like Julien Macdonald and Issa, who had the misfortune to show on the same day, of oxygen in Sunday’s papers.

But if Rihanna was too commercial for some, nobody could quibble with the inclusion of Tom Ford. Getting Ford to stage his first-ever full-scale catwalk show in London was undoubtedly a huge victory for Tillman’s successor at the BFC, Natalie Massenet, the dynamic founder of Net-a-Porter.

Ford’s show, held in a royal palace adjacent to Buckingham Palace that overflowed with champagne, was stunning. And while some had feared that the show was simply a one-off PR stunt to promote the new Tom Ford flagship due to open shortly in London, Ford told me, in an exclusive after-show interview, that he was here to stay. “London is the most international city for me, which is why I choose to spend so much time here and make it my second home. I find it the most exciting, exuberant city in the world. I moved my design studio to London when I was at Gucci in the mid-’90s,” he said. “I’ve had a house here for the past 15 years, and I have a son who I hope will go to school here. My showroom is here.

“England generates great, great designers, and it’s sad that so many of them feel the need to leave. I wish we could get some of the design houses that really are English and really are based here—and some of them are my friends, like Miss McCartney—to come back, and show in London.”The BFC really couldn’t have put it better itself—and Londoners will be hoping that the McCartneys of the world are listening.

posted by admin on Feb 5

Fashion Buys Into Social Tools.

After leaving London for Los Angeles, Francesca Fox, 26, has finally solved the problem of leaving her trusted shopping buddies behind. Ms. Fox, a health and fitness professional, has been connecting with them through Motilo, the British fashion Web site where users can create virtual outfits, discuss them and then buy them or move on to another look.
“I’ll say: ‘I’ve created this outfit. What do you think? Does this go with that?’ Then we’ll ooh and aah about YSL clutches,” Ms. Fox said, adding that she had never shopped like this before but it had stopped her from “spending a fortune on mistakes.”

Shopping for fashion has always been a social activity: We seek others’ approval, we value word of mouth, sometimes we even copy our friends’ style. Apply that to social networking, as have a new crop of Web sites and apps as well as a handful of fashion designers, and the potential for product discovery — and sales — becomes vast, at least among digital natives, the young people who have been born into a world of mainstream digital technology.

The new Love List from Marc Jacobs enables consumers to tell friends via social networking which products they love; those friends then can buy the items directly from the designer’s Web site. “Cross your fingers and hope to get a Marc Jacobs surprise on your next birthday!” reads the Web site.

(While this may not seem like a big advance to those who have been using Amazon’s tools for years to tweet or post on Facebook that they have bought or finished a book, for the fashion industry, not famed for its early adoption of technology, it is quite a departure.)

posted by admin on Feb 4

This month, the London fashion label House of Holland introduced a function on its Twitter and Instagram feeds that allows users to simply reply “Buy.” Of course, it is not only House of Holland that receives this news, but all the customers’ followers too.

“It’s about showing others you have the new thing. You got it first,” said the designer Henry Holland. And from the business side, the idea is to “add another sales channel, and eliminate the opportunity to go away and think about it; it’s instantaneous.”

This is social commerce — layering social networking onto e-commerce — which, in 2010, was predicted by Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to be “the next area to really blow up.”

The sheer volume of online activity today seems to indicate that Mr. Zuckerberg’s prediction is coming true. The latest annual survey of online shoppers by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 49 percent of 11,000 international subjects said they used social media daily, while 50 percent said their preferred way to research fashion was online.

“The opportunity is in introducing product to new communities,” said Maureen Mullen of L2 ThinkTank, a New York-based digital consultancy that advises fashion houses like Burberry, Chanel and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

But F-commerce, or Facebook shopping, has not triumphed. Ms. Mullen said that while 15 percent of luxury brands were experimenting with Facebook shops in 2011, now just 2 percent do so. “The American fashion label Tory Burch has seen some success on Facebook, though the majority are underwhelming,” she said.

posted by admin on Feb 3

Instead, she added, the most effective way to convert browsers into buyers is with user reviews, what she calls “the most basic form of social commerce.” And she believes “more and more” fashion sites will implement such functions.

Sofia Barattieri, co-founder of Motilo(its motto: “Shop together”), agreed. “The referral is the biggest revolution in the fashion industry,” she said.

Ms. Barattieri noted that the phenomenal success of Pinterest, a virtual pin board for organizing and sharing photos found online, had proved that people “want to tell the world who they are and what they like.” The site has more than 25 million unique users each month.

Other companies have applied e-commerce to street style. In its original guise, the New-York based app Go Try It On was a “Do I look good in this?” look-sharing Web site, where users uploaded photos of their outfits. After amassing some 20 million opinions, the logical next step was to monetize that engagement — the thinking being that you, too, could look good in that outfit. A new tool allows current-season garments to be bought by clicking out to retailers’ sites.

Meanwhile, Chirpify, a startup based in Portland, Oregon, that is the social shopping platform for House of Holland, for Sorel footwear and for Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, prides itself on closing the loop between inspiration and transaction.

posted by admin on Feb 2

Once signed up, you can shop from other “Chirpers” on Twitter, Instagram and soon Facebook by replying “buy.” Chirpify’s “frictionless transaction” — there are no virtual shopping carts or baskets, as found on many e-commerce sites — has seen it turn 4 percent of its browsers into shoppers, according to its founder, Chris Teso, double the usual e-commerce rate of 2 percent.

“It would be foolish for brands to ignore this trend,” said Piers Fawkes, editor-in-chief of the New York-based trend-spotting Web site PSFK. “These systems are not reinventing human behavior, but allowing natural behavior to occur.”

In his 2009 book “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, says that once we own something, we come to overvalue it — so, to validate our purchases, we shift from skeptics to advocates. Where better to broadcast that than the Internet?

Another psychological phenomenon known to improve sales is “social proof,” as in, if we know others to be buying something, we assume it must be good.

Yet myth No.1 of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers 2013 report, “Demystifying The Online Shopper: 10 Myths Of Multichannel Retailing” is that “social media will soon become an indispensable retail channel.”

Only 12 percent of its respondents had bought an item through a social media site; 70 percent of online shoppers said they never shopped this way.

“The mental barrier was a challenge for us,” Mr. Teso of Chirpify said. “It’s such a new, different way to transact, that education and awareness is key. We tell brands to prepare their followers weeks before selling something.”

Naysayers object to the commercialization of online communities, the loss of privacy, the bother of signing up and the fear of fraud.

posted by admin on Feb 1

The sector already has incentivizers. Pose, a Los Angeles-based look-sharing app, gives the majority of its affiliate fees to any of its one million users that directly inspire a specific sale. Both Chirpify and Motilo say they, too, are considering incentivization.

But the chief concern for many consumers — particularly older ones — is exactly what many social commerce experts deem most important: “Sucking down social data from a customer’s Facebook profile, to provide brands with a clearer customer profile,” Ms. Mullen of L2 ThinkTank said. (She added that Burberry was already doing a “fantastic” job of this.)

And what’s in it for the customer? “A more tailored e-commerce experience, better prices and better service,” Mr. Fawkes of PSFK said.

One app already has that covered. Pickie, founded by former Amazon staff members in New York, creates a personalized catalog featuring products that users’ friends and influencers are discussing, as well as favorite brands’ most-mentioned products. But getting the most out of Pickie requires unfettered access to your social networks.

“People more than ever are talking about products,” said the app’s co-founder, Sonia Sahney Nagar. “It’s the trusted source that’s at the core of our thesis.”

So will the fashion industry open up to social shopping, and all the conversation — positive and negative — that accompanies it? Or will the apps take the prize?

“One of them will take off,” said Matthew Tod, a digital intelligence expert at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “If I knew which one, I’d quit my day job. Social commerce is an unstoppable force — 15 years from here will be a different world.”

posted by admin on Jan 11

Lady Gaga Slams Kelly Osbourne in Open Letter.

Looks like the open letter trend will continue into 2013.

Lady Gaga, no stranger to the form (while this is technically the first fashion open letter Gaga has written herself, she’s certainly gotten involved in some others), took to her website to openly address Kelly Osbourne and her work on E!’s Fashion Police, which Gaga says “breeds negativity.”

The letter was written in response to an interview with Osbourne in Fabulous Magazine, in which the Fashion Police host opens up about getting cyberbullied by Lady Gaga fans. “I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been and the healthiest I’ve ever been. I get called fat all the time. A big fat whore,” she told the magazine, adding that “Lady Gaga’s fans are the worst. They’ve said I should kill myself, that they hope I get raped. I mean it’s crazy but I’ve had this all my life and I just try and ignore it.”

Gaga, not generally supportive of fashion critics of any kind, makes the argument that her work on FP is “rooted in criticism, judgment, and rating people’s beauty against one another.” She also suggests that Osbourne’s participation on the show is hypocritical: “It used to make me truly sad when I would hear people talk about your weight when you were younger, as I was bullied too. To see you blossoming into a beautiful slender woman who makes fun of others for a living is astounding.”

So who’s right and who’s wrong? If we’ve learned one thing from 2012′s history of open letters, it’s that, well, they cause a lot of media attention. Other than that….

You can read the full letter here.

Update: Kelly Osbourne’s Mom and fellow television personality Sharon Osbourne has responded to Lady Gaga’s open letter with an open letter of her own. She points out that she had in fact reached to Gaga’s manager, asking that Gaga address her “little monsters and stop them from writing libelous, slanderous and vile comments about my family, including death threats to Kelly.” She calls Gaga a “a publicly [sic] seeking hypocrite and an attention seeker” and says “I am calling you a bully because you have 32 million followers hanging on your every word and you are criticizing Kelly in your open letter.”

posted by admin on Jan 10

Maison Kitsuné Puts On Its First Ever Fashion Show at Pitti W

Despite having a cult following of cool kids, being stocked at Colette and Opening Ceremony, and just this year opening a store to much buzz in New York’s NoMad hotel, 10-year-old French/Japanese record label/fashion brand Maison Kitsuné had never put on a fashion show until last night.

As the guest designer of Pitti Uomo’s smaller women’s counterpart, Pitti W, Maison Kitsuné finally made it onto the fashion calendar–something co-founders Masaya Kuroki and Gildas Loaëc have been trying to figure out how to do for a while.

“In Paris it’s very difficult to get into the game,” Loaëc told me before the show. “It’s mostly big houses and the moment you enter that, even though you’re small, you’re compared with houses who like, rent the Chateau de Versailles and invite 6000 people. It’s very scary to do it in Paris… so this is sort of like our back door entry into the fashion calendar.”

We’d say last night’s show was the perfect way for the label to officially arrive on the scene. Because Pitti allows its guest designers to stray as far from the traditional runway show as they can imagine to present their collections (remember that time Band of Outsiders put on West Side Story in an abandoned tobacco factory?). And for a fashion label that’s also a record label, whose founders are a former Daft Punk manager (Loaëc) and an architect (Kuroki), a non-traditional fashion show fit the bill.

The label took over an old palazzo to stage a filming of a kind of updated American Bandstand-esque show to present their collection on three of the artists signed to its record label: Swedish girl group Say Lou Lou, Brit rockers Citizens!, and French artist Yelle backed up by DJs Eli & Fur. Each group performed one song, introduced by bubbly hosts Verbal and Yoon, a couple billed as “Tokyo’s ultimate fashion power couple.” And wouldn’t you know it they all happened to be super attractive.

It was refreshing to see Maison Kitsuné’s preppy, classic, straight-out-of-a-Wes Anderson-movie pieces–like a precious printed romper on Yelle, a Peter Pan collared shirt under a bubble skirted cocktail dress on Say Lou Lou, slim single-breasted light grey wool suits on Citizens!–in action on performers rather than the usual rail thin models stomping down a runway. It really made the clothes come alive.

posted by admin on Jan 8

Kerr comes top in fashion line survey.

Miranda Kerr is the celebrity British women would most like to see launch a fashion line.

The Australian Victoria’s Secret model – who has two-year-old son Flynn with husband Orlando Bloom – reached the top spot in a study conducted my discount website MyVoucherCodes after receiving 67 per cent of the votes cast from 1,962 females.

Chairman of the company Mark Pearson is not surprised the stunning brunette has come up top as he believes she is one of the most popular celebrities in the world right now.

He said: ‘As one of the most well-known female celebrities on the planet at the moment, it comes as no surprise that women voted for Miranda Kerr due to her style.’

The female public chose Miranda, 29, due to her ‘down-to-earth style’ and ‘elegant and classical’ fashion choices on and off the catwalk.

Close behind Miranda is quirky pop star Lady Gaga with 65 per cent, shortly followed by Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis – who became a national treasure after winning big at the 2012 London Games.

Singer and ‘The X Factor’ UK judge Nicole Scherzinger came in at fourth place gaining 55 per cent, with ‘The Other Guys’ actress Eva Mendes in fifth and British royal the Duchess of Cambridge in at number six.

The study also revealed that 35 per cent of the women questioned would prefer to buy all their clothes from celebrity fashion lines alone if given the chance.

Former ‘Coronation Street’ actress Helen Flanagan was voted as the celebrity that women would least like to see bring out a fashion line.

posted by admin on Jan 3

Britney Spears splits with her fiance Jason Trawick, disagreeing over children.

Pop singer Britney Spears and Jason Trawick have split up, according to US reports.
The 31-year-old popstar and her fiance – who got engaged in December 2011 – reportedly mutually decided to end their relationship with sources close to the pair insisting it was a “friendly break-up” and they simply “grew apart”, according to gossip website TMZ.

The site also reported a major reason for their split was a disagreement about having children. Although Trawick, 41, is fond of Spears’ two young sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, he is said to have resisted Spears’ desire to have more children with him. “As this chapter ends for us a new one begins,” Trawick told People magazine. “I love and cherish her and her boys and we will be close forever.”

The couple’s official statement, released to the magazine, said “Jason and I have decided to call off our engagement. I’ll always adore him and we will remain great friends.”

While Britney’s legal and personal affairs have been in the hands of her father Jamie Spears since her breakdown in 2008, Jason took on the role of co-conservator but reportedly asked for news of their break-up to be kept private until his role as conservator ends.
This could happen imminently as Jamie attended court on Friday to discuss Britney’s legal situation.
The break-up comes after a hectic week for Britney, who announced she has quit her role on the ‘X Factor’ in order to focus on her music career.
She said: “I’ve made the very difficult decision not to return for another season. I had an incredible time doing the show and I love the other judges and I am so proud of my teens but it’s time for me to get back in the studio. Watching them all do their thing up on that stage every week made me miss performing so much! I can’t wait to get back out there and do what I love most.”

posted by admin on Jan 1

Miranda Kerr caught in middle of fashion war over a very short dress.

SUPERMODEL Miranda Kerr has been caught in the middle of a bitter department store battle over celebrity favourite Australian fashion label Ellery.

The stunning mum had shot the coming autumn-winter campaign in an Ellery dress for David Jones, but Myer says the label is still contracted exclusively to them.David Jones was set to officially announce that Ellery had defected from Myer today in what was being trumpeted as a coup for the retail giant and a major blow to Myer.Miranda Kerr in one of the Ellery dresses for David Jones that have caused the row.

But a legal war is now brewing, with Myer merchandise general manager Adam Stapleton telling the Sunday Herald Sun that designer Kym Ellery is bound by an exclusive contract, which she signed in 2009.The contract prohibits her from entering another exclusive agreement with rival David Jones until it expires.
“Kym signed a binding department store exclusive contract which still has considerable time to run,” Mr Stapleton said.”We are expecting her to meet her autumn-winter commitments as per our order and in line with the contract she has signed.”

But David Jones womenswear general manager Sophie Clark said Ellery signed an exclusive contract with them weeks ago and has assured them she would fulfil the agreement.”They have spoken to us this week and said they’re moving forward with David Jones,” Ms Clark said.”They have dispatched stock to David Jones already. I don’t think Myer are happy they’re leaving and I think they’re putting pressure on them.”Mr Stapleton said Myer has tried to work collaboratively with Ellery and was disappointed she was defecting to David Jones.

“We’ve helped build that brand and part of signing an exclusive agreement is not to jump ship during that agreement,” he said.
“It’s in the hands of our lawyers.”One of Australia’s fastest-growing labels and coveted by celebrities such as Cate Blanchett and Lady Gaga, Ellery is well known for its strong silhouettes, unique detailing and directional aesthetic.

In an interview to herald the launch in David Jones, Ellery said while she had a good working relationship with Myer, she believed David Jones offered the right fit for her brand.
“I was very happy working with Myer and it was a fantastic relationship,” she said.”I’m very good friends with a lot of the brands in the DJs stable, (so) it seemed natural to move across to be among friends.”

posted by admin on Dec 21

Social media is ramping up the fashion scenario.

Forget the glamorous spotlights and winding runway. Look beyond the couture that adorns the bodies of size-zero models and you’ll see that fashion is simply defining art in its most basic-yet-brilliant form.

The marriage of social media and fashion was inevitable and its effects can be seen rippling through the fashion world as fashion finds a new lease of life online.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogs, YouTube have made it easy for fashion aficionados to get their fashion fix without having to rely solely on magazines and television.Never mind if you did not manage to get the coveted front row seat during Fashion Week. A few clicks and you’re teleported from one show to another. The beauty of social media is in its instantaneous nature. ‘Click, edit, upload, like, share and its viral!’

Social media have made fashion more accessible and presented it in a language that can be easily interpreted by the masses. Designers, online retail websites, fashion houses and the likes have sought to make fashion more personal. They don’t just market merchandise but try to sell you on ‘a story’. Social media enables you to do exactly so and more. Fashion houses now have live updates and video streaming during Fashion Week, thus bringing fashion to the masses.

Today, when bloggers like the Bryanboy, Man Repeller, Style Scrapbook sport a merchandise, sales hit the roof. Online trendsetters lending their stamp of approval to merchandise automatically increases sales.

Technology has brought with it new ways to shop. Forget dealing with crazed shoppers during sale season or being deterred by long queues outside trial rooms. Online shopping has made things easier to enjoy the thrill of shopping. Online retail websites like Asos, Topshop, Piperlime etc have given brands more personality and transparency, thus making shopping a more convenient and enjoyable process.

Whilst there will be criticism from cynics about the adverse affects of social media on the fashion scene, the union between fashion and social media is one that will not be heading for splitsville anytime in the near future.

posted by admin on Dec 20

Knowing the new fashion trends.

WEARING the latest trendy designs has always been a part of Kagay-anon lifestyle.

The fashion scene in the City of Golden Friendship has seen a gush of escalation that has evidently evolved over the last few years after the first Mindanao Fashion Summit was born in 2011.

We can now see that an increasing number of local designers began to come out from their shell and express their abilities to create designs that can compete around the globe as well as fit the conservative style of Kagay-anons.

This year, the three-day 2nd Mindanao Fashion Summit organized by the Oro Fashion Designers Guild (OFDG) and the Designers Assembly (DA) held at Limketkai Center has indeed, proved that local designers has the potential to soar high in the fashion industry that even the City Tourism Board, headed by the glamorous Rhia Rhita Abalos, showed support to the event.

The expectant “fashionista” audience marveled at stylish fashion brands and the creative minds of notable fashion designers all over the country who showcased their global designs and fashion forecast for spring-summer 2013 collection in the three-day event, held from January 5 to 7.

Mark Christopher Yaranon of Iconic Fashion, who is also the president of OFDG, gathered in this year’s most awaited show around 26 local designers from Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, Butuan, General Santos, Davao and Manila — with the likes of Dong Umaga Diaz, Frederick Peralta and Ronaldo Arnaldo who already made a name in the fashion world — to showcase their array of glamorous collections that surely attracted a wide range of fashion aficionados from all over Mindanao.

posted by admin on Dec 20

The fashion brands of Ororama chain of stores were also showcased in the event.

On the first day of the summit, designers highlighted the men’s fashion statement in time for spring and summer through the Men’s Wear collections of designers Benjie Manuel, Boogie Musni Rivera, Celeste Magsalay, Gil Macaibay III, John Mark Magallanes, Joshua Guibone, Juniel Doring, Kiko Domo, Mark Yaranon, Dodjie Batu and Edgar Buyan.

On the second day, fashionistas enjoyed watching the Women’s Wear collections of Peralta, Aztec Barba, Jeffrey Garde, Oscar Flores, Ronaldo Arnaldo, Jinky Petalcorin, Popoy Barba and Diaz.

On the last day, organizers staged two shows — the first part was for the best creations of Angela Soriano, Ann Semblante, Jonie Rivera, Mark Dominuez, Mavy Ladlad, Primo Zayas, Alma Mae Roa, Alquin Cap-atan, Celeste Magsalay, Darwin Buo, Sunshine Casiño, Villa Go and Roel Rosal while the second part showed off another round of collections of Peralta, Musni, Guibone and other guest designers as the event’s finale.

The three-day summit also served as a fellowship for the designers and local models and celebrities who wore experimented cuts, mix and matched colors and innovative designs showing off the playful minds of the artists, which has somehow enlivened the local fashion industry.

Dennis Almazan, the summit’s director, said the event has greatly contributed to the growth of the fashion industry of Northern Mindanao.

He says local designers are now being recognized as they took pride in showcasing their predicted collections for local celebrities, dignitaries and personalities.

“Even local pageants have contributed to the growth of the fashion world as organizers would prefer local designers for their glamorous gowns and casual wears,” Almazan adds.

With the recent summit’s success, designers will again show off their second season collections for the second part of the Mindanao Fashion Summit to be held in time for Cagayan de Oro’s fiesta in August.

“As we are making trends in this side of the country courtesy of our very own local designers, we will make sure to hold two summits in one year as a way of promoting the local fashion industry as well as for the designers to shine and create a name for themselves,” Almazan says.

posted by admin on Dec 16

Gadgets and fashion converge at CES.

The folks who brought you laptop trackpads, voice-activated smartphones and touchscreen tablets are dreaming up new ways for users to interact with technology through wearable, fashionable gadgets.

The high-tech industry used the International Consumer Electronics Show to display things like high-tech fingernails, handbags, clothing and accessories for the iPhone generation.

The “nanonail,” for example, from a startup called Tech Tips, looks like a fingernail extension but is designed to work on smartphones and help avoid “fat finger” mistakes.

“The nail had to look nice, I didn’t want women to have to compromise,” said dermatologist Sri Vellanki, founder of the Montana-based company and inventor of the concept, who said she hopes to sell the product in a few months.

SunnyBag, a firm based in Austria, was showing its handbag equipped with flexible solar panels. The leather bag uses solar energy to charge a battery inside which can be used with a USB cord to recharge a smartphone.

“Our aim was to combine fashion with function,” said product manager Kerstin Kurre. “Every woman and a lot of men carry a bag, and everyone has battery problems.”

The surge in the use of smartphones which can be used as music players has stimulated the creation of headphones which double as fashion accessories. Some on display at CES are integrated into caps or scarves.

Some headphones were being marketed as fashion items including one from iHip promoted by permatanned reality show star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi with splashes of glittery faux-diamond plastic and leopard print.

posted by admin on Dec 15

Italian-based hi-Fun appeared to want to take a page from James Bond with high-tech gloves which can be used to speak on a smartphone.
The user can answer a call by activation a button inside the gloves and placing the thumb in the ear and index finger in front of the mouth to speak.

The “hi-Call” devices look like ordinary knit gloves, but are equipped with wireless connectivity. “Bluetooth is an easy technology, and works with most devices,” said Rick Sadofsky, a US distributor for the product.

CES also saw a spate of new wristwatch products, some powered by Android, which can access apps from a smartphone, some with emergency calling capacity.

The crowdfunded Pebble Technology watch can tell users when their bus is arriving, monitor one’s sleep and send data back through their smartphones to the Internet.Italian-based i’m SpA, which last year debuted what it called the world’s first smart watch, unveiled a new version along with i’m Here, a GPS tracker that help mark out missing children, adventurers or adults with dementia.

Another wearable device came from US-based Vuzix, which offered a rival to Google Glasses with a device fitting around the forehead with a screen which connects to a smartphone.But Vuzix’s David Lock said another device in the works is a real pair of glasses which also allows users to visualize what is on a smartphone or other mobile device.

“We see that as the holy grail,” Lock said.CES also featured its own high-tech fashion show, with LED and illuminated dresses and corsets and accessories.

“We’re about to see an entire new industry take off based on high tech fashion,” said Robin Raskin, organizer of the show featured in the CES Living in Digital Times program.”Fashion is soon to become personalized, elegant and useful and will remain a constant couture.”

posted by admin on Dec 10

Joan Rivers’ Anne Hathaway Impersonation: ‘Fashion Police’ Star Pokes Fun At Actress’ Wardrobe Malfunction.

Now this is just gross.

Joan Rivers took to Twitter yesterday (Jan. 11), to poke fun at Anne Hathaway’s infamous “Les Miserables” wardrobe malfunction — and it’s not necessarily funny at all.

The “Fashion Police” host posted a photo of herself and a huge pair of stuffed lips, writing, “Who am I? Anne Hathaway getting out of a limousine.” Too far Joan, too far. (Not to mention, you’re a little late considering that happened a month ago).

Oddly enough, Rivers has been vocal about the feud between her E! co-star Kelly Osbourne and Lady Gaga, saying the pop star should stop bashing “Fashion Police.”

“‘Fashion Police’ is funny. Gaga, of all people, should know that. She worked the same little clubs I did in the Village. She has gay followers and she doesn’t know funny? For God’s sake, calm down,” Rivers told HuffPost Celebrity. “I think that Gaga, who is making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, with a bad nose, should get on her knees and thank God.”

posted by admin on Dec 8

Lady Gaga’s feud with ‘Fashion Police’ hosts continues.

Joan Rivers has blasted Lady Gaga.

The TV personality has responded to Gaga’s claims that E! show ‘Fashion Police’ – in which she and Kelly Osbourne co-star – “breeds negativity” and says the ‘Born This Way’ singer is merely trying to get attention.She told the New York Post’s Page Six: “Anyone that would wear a pastrami dress or sit in an egg should know about humour.
“She knows exactly what’s she’s doing. She’s not selling. We haven’t been talking about her until now.

“It’s time to start laughing. We’ve been doing this for fifty years. Tell Lady Gaga to worry about the maggots in her brain from the meat dress! But I told Kelly that it’s all good because it means Lady Gaga watches ‘Fashion Police’!”

The drama stems from Osbourne’s comments last October when she said, “Lady Gaga’s fans are the worst” and accused them of encouraging her to commit suicide, she also claimed the pop superstar had a duty to step in and stop their comments.

In response, Gaga penned a lengthy open letter on her fan-based social networking site, LittleMonsters.com, addressed to the ‘Fashion Police’ star, noting that while she felt empathetic towards Osbourne and discourages her fans “from any negativity and violence”, she feels the E! show promotes bullying.

posted by admin on Nov 30

Fashion lover reveals secrets of saving a fortune while keeping your wardrobe up to date.

SAVVY sales expert Kirsty Abel, from Cumbernauld, says patience and research is key to finding the best bargains.
MEET the fashion lover who never pays full price for her clothes.
Kirsty Abel, 24, looks like she has just stepped out of the pages of a style magazine. With her immaculate taste and trendy outfit, you would think that she spends a fortune on her wardrobe.

But full-time mum Kirsty, from Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, is a savvy sales expert who can teach us all a thing or two about shopping. So if your New Year’s resolution is to spend less on clothes, then read on.

Kirsty said: “I never buy anything full price. It pays to be patient and wait for the sales. Now that I’ve got a wee one, I do a lot of my shopping online. I don’t know how I’d cope without the internet.
“I used to be the person who’d be up at 6am, first in the queue when the shops opened on Boxing Day. Now it’s just impossible to be there when I have to look after my son but on Boxing Day I still managed to find bargains online.

“Nowadays I do about 50 per cent of my shopping online. It’s great because you can get free next day delivery and you can try things on in the house.

“The best buy I’ve had recently is this purple, chiffon dress from Kaliko. I saw it for full price at £95 a few months ago and I thought it would be perfect to wear to a wedding this year.

posted by admin on Nov 29

“Instead of buying it there and then, I went home and checked on the internet to see if I could find a better price.

“I kept my eye on it and eventually, last week, it went down to £20. That’s a huge saving, so I’m really thrilled.
“I love to pick up wee bargains for myself but if I look at something and it’s at full price, then I just won’t buy it.
“At Christmas my friends and family always give me vouchers instead of presents. They know I can always find the best bargains. Then my birthday is in January, too, so I get more vouchers.

“I’ve always got lots to spend when the sales start. On Boxing Day, I got some great buys on the Marks & Spencer and Next websites. I found a pair of shoes in Marks & Spencer reduced from £38 to just £4.99.
“There are always different things in the shops than there are online, so I still like to hit the high street to shop around.

“I managed to get a couple of hours to myself this week so I went into the sales for a couple of hours. I came back with about seven or eight items. Because I’ve done the research online first, I know the best sort of things to look for in each shop.

“My friends are always shocked when they admire something I’m wearing and I tell them it cost just a couple of pounds. They always want me to take them shopping but I like to shop alone, especially if it’s for myself. And I’d never take a man shopping. I hate to feel rushed and I like to go through the shops at my own pace.

“My best tip is to do your research. Keep an eye on prices of things you like and look out for adverts for sales so that you know the best day to start shopping.”

posted by admin on Nov 28

Julie’s guide to savvy shopping.

HERE are my tips for finding the best buys as the sales season reaches its peak.

1. Have a plan – Do research before you shop. Look in your wardrobe and figure out what you really need. Check online and make a list of shops to visit.

2. Ditch the heels – You’ll want to cover as much ground as possible and you’ll do it better in comfy flats.

3. Avoid the rush – Take advantage of late-opening shopping centres and do your shopping midweek, or even in your lunch break.

4. Go for quality – Look for fabrics such as wool, cashmere and silk that you normally wouldn’t splash out on. They might not be the cheapest thing left but they’ll be a great investment.

5. Hold tight – If you find an item you’re not sure about, keep hold of it until you make a decision. There’s often only one of each size left and another shopper could snap it up.

6. Check returns policy – Many shops only offer exchanges on sale products, so make sure you’re happy before you hand over the cash.

7. Will it work next season? – Don’t buy things that are likely to go out of fashion quickly. Trendy prints and patterns might work for the next couple of months but come summer, they’ll be relegated to the back of your wardrobe. Classics are the best buys.

8. Alterations – If you find something you love but the fit isn’t quite right or the size is too big, don’t write it off. For a couple of pounds, a good seamstress can make some quick alterations.

posted by admin on Nov 15

Students in the Spotlight: Fashion Philanthropist.

Four determined young girls, each fighting cancer, showed a room full of supporters how strong they could be as they lit up the runway and modeled to music and cheers, Dec. 14. The fashion show, organized by Ladue Horton Watkins High School senior Brooke Hyman to benefit Friends of Kids with Cancer, raised over $13,000 through donations and a silent auction.

“It was the coolest night of my life,” Brooke said. “Standing on the runway and seeing my family, friends, and community come together to make a difference brought tears to my eyes. Although I am sure every event planner runs into ups and downs the day of the event, with the most incredible support team on hand to help, the event turned out amazing.”

Brooke convinced local businesses and business people to participate in the fundraiser, including Ambruster Great Hall in Clayton, which donated its venue; musician Dave Brandt; LeGrand Catering; Randall’s Wine and Spirits; Fitz’s Premium Root Beer; World Press Printing; Robbie Cassell, owner of Paul’z Burgerz & Dogz; Parties and Props, and Crazy Bowls and Wraps, among others. Many local boutiques donated dresses for the models, which incuded teenage girls and boys who walked the runway alongside the four young girls fighting cancer. The Laduettes dance team also spent countless hours helping Brooke setup and run the night.

One of the four girls with cancer, 6½-year-old Arianna Dougan, is also one of Brooke’s closest friends and helped inspire her to set up the show. The two met when their dads started working together. They bonded over fishing trips and other family gatherings, discovering the many common interests they share.

“Over the past three years, Ari and I have been able to spend more time together sharing our special interests such as dancing, shopping, and being girly girls,” Brooke said. “I’m inspired by Arianna and live for her favorite saying, ‘You can do anything you want, you just have to let your sparkle out.’”

posted by admin on Nov 14

Arianna and Brooke also connect in a way that goes deeper than their mutual passions. When the two are together, Brooke’s entire family says their bond is stronger than anyone can imagine, and Brooke says Arianna continues to teach her new things every day.

“What Ari and my other friend, Claire, who recently passed away from her battle with cancer, have taught me is that, ‘God gives us charms that can make a difference, and while he chooses them to be the ones to suffer, they are the ones that change the world,’” Brooke said. “Arianna Dougan, at

6½ years old, has already changed the world, and she has changed me. I now know that I want to find a path in this world that will allow me to give back and help others.”

The Dec. 14 fundraiser was Brooke’s first step toward that future. She says that the support of her family and friends as well as her faith continues to motivate her to be the best person she can be.

“Being Jewish is such an important part of me. It is not about attending temple,” Brooke said. “To me, the underlying meaning of being Jewish is to understand where we came from, know that all Jews are family, and most importantly, to be kind to others. The two months of organizing the show were the busiest, most educational, best days of my life. My favorite part about the show was feeling the accomplishment of starting a new chapter in my life, and watching Arianna, Blair, Katie, and Cora forget about their cancer as they lit up on the runway.”

Brooke, along with all of the models involved that winter night, let their sparkle out. It was a memorable night for all who were involved.

“I had so much fun at the show admiring all of these beautiful girls,” Ladue high senior Karlyn Burton said. “It was so inspiring to see them light up on the runway and be themselves, and it was such a great cause to support.”

For Brooke, the meaning behind the night was much more than supporting a cause. Instead, she found a way to spread Arianna’s message, and to her, that is the greatest accomplishment of all.

“Arianna is one of the few that truly understands what life is all about,” Brooke said. “She was born to know that every second of your life counts, appreciate the little things, and stay positive because that’s all that matters. Yes, her cancer treatment, as powerful as it is, makes her feel poorly, but she doesn’t let that affect her mentality. As tragic as her cancer is to her, and everyone around her, it does have a silver lining: her presence causes people to forget their differences, love more, help more, and pray more, for those in need.”

posted by admin on Nov 6

Do men really care about fashion?

Outlandish men’s outfits at London Fashion Week caused outrage in some sections of the media last week. But will such clothes ever challenge the hegemony of the suit, shirt and tie?
Charlie Higson, actor, comedian and author If this is going to be about whether men are interested in the sort of fashion we’ve been seeing at London Fashion Week, then this is going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. (Actually, “shooting fish in a barrel” has been the theme of the McQueen show, with models dressed in wooden barrels full of carp, while other models dressed as crabs take potshots at them with sniper rifles.)
There has been much outraged coverage in the likes of the Daily Mail of those pictures of an outfit whose main feature appears to be an exploded crate stapled to the model’s face. Of course, it’s not about fashion, it’s about PR.
Nobody would give a toss about Men’s Fashion Week, there would be no articles or outraged Mail pieces, no one would be talking about the designers, if the shows featured what all well-dressed men are wearing – grey suits, with a smart tie and a nice shirt. And this doesn’t just apply to men’s fashion – no one has ever been seen wearing a single catwalk creation after a fashion show in the whole history of the world, ever. If the question is whether men are interested in fashion in general, then I’d have to say – if by fashion you mean “do most men wear grey suits with a smart tie and a nice shirt?” – then perhaps they are.

posted by admin on Nov 5

Alex Bilmes, editor of Esquire You’ll be relieved to learn I’m writing this in a grey suit with a smart tie and a nice shirt. Quite a fashionable suit, I’m not at all ashamed to admit. It’s by Richard James, who is one of the many talented British menswear designers who showed his clothes this week during what we’re calling London Collections: Men (the colon is silent, as it should be).
Richard’s catwalk show, like the overwhelming majority of the catwalk shows, consisted of models in sharply cut, beautifully tailored jackets and trousers and sweaters and shirts. The Mail, as ever, took the reductio ad absurdum approach, focusing only on the most outre and avant-garde collections and ignoring everything else. They chose to deliberately miss the point, but we know why they do this. The Daily Mail and its readers feel threatened by fashion.
They see it as sophisticated, metropolitan, and therefore suspect. But we need not be like them. Fashion, like architecture, or music, or poetry, or comedy, is about trying to make the world a more pleasant, enjoyable and – why not? – better-looking place. I concede that there probably are men who are not interested in fashion, or in any of those things. But what a horrid, drab world they must live in, poor dears.

CH Well that’s just my point, (E)squire: “Jackets and trousers and sweaters and shirts… ” We’re being told that “men are more interested in fashion than ever”, but men haven’t changed the way they dress in about 100 years. The industry gets the attention for Men’s Colon Week by having some wacky outfits, but all the guys just come away wearing suits and ties. I’ve scoured the internet for photos of you wearing anything else, and come up with nothing (expect some shots where you don’t have a tie, you scruff), and you’re the editor of one of our few surviving men’s style mags. Perhaps it’s you, rather than the Daily Mail, who feels threatened by fashion. All designers can really do is tinker with the cut of a suit and change the position of the buttonholes.

posted by admin on Nov 4

AB Busted. I’m a suits and ties guy.
That doesn’t mean I’m not fashionable, or interested in fashion. It’s true that most, but by no means all, well-dressed men favour fairly traditional clothes. But they are still subject to the tastes of those trouser-tinkerers you refer to, sometimes without even knowing it.
The silhouette, cut, fabrics, colours, patterns – in fact the entire appearance of the business suit changes dramatically over time. Look at a fashionable suit from the 60s: single-breasted short jacket, skinny lapels, tapered, flat-front trousers.
Then the 70s: long jacket, wide, flappy lapels, bell-bottom trousers, bold check pattern, probably brown. Then the 80s: boxy double-breasted jacket with shoulder pads, baggy pleated trousers, chalk stripe. Think of your colleague James Bond in his screen incarnations: Connery, Moore, that grumpy bloke in The Living Daylights.
This is men’s fashion: slower-moving and often more conservative than women’s fashion, but still an overwhelmingly powerful influence on the way we dress. I’ve just Googled you, in return. Looks to me like you’re not entirely immune to the allure of the well-cut jacket, even the natty scarf. You’re a bit of a dapper Dan: good for you!

posted by admin on Nov 3

CH It’s interesting how any discussion about men’s fashion inevitably ends up with James Bond. And interesting that you can’t remember Timothy Dalton’s name.
Even Moore’s Bond looks camply stylish now, but Dalton can never escape his ghastly 80s styling. Also telling that Bond’s signature outfit – the tuxedo – hasn’t changed since the early 60s, and is still the default look for men. I’m interested in what I wear, of course I am.
I remember as a teenager, at the height of punk, when I was dyeing my hair, wearing makeup and all sorts of outre outfits, my rather conservative father took me to one side and explained that a man who was interested in his clothes was basically a homosexual (although that wasn’t the word he used).
I don’t want to sound like a grumpy “things were better in my day” git, but I do rather feel that while men’s fashion shows have become more outlandish, the way men actually dress has become more regimented. Where are the extreme youth cults of today? The mods, teddy boys, punks or skinheads? The glam rockers and new romantics?
Where are the businessmen going to work in brown and orange checked suits, kipper ties and Roger Moore-style safari outfits? It’s a shame that what a lot of young men wear is dictated by a jumped-up plimsoll manufacturer like Nike and the rest of us fall back on black tie and wishing we were James Bond.

posted by admin on Nov 2

AB This debate seems to have come full circle. Rather appropriate given the cyclical nature of the topic. Having argued that men’s fashion is not dominated by silly, unwearable costumes designed to shock, I’m now required to deny that it’s boring and staid and conventional. And I’m happy to do that, too!
I know exactly what you mean about how pallid youth culture has become, but that’s not the fault of fashion, it’s a result of the mainstreaming of pop. That said, I think you’re wrong to accuse younger men of a lack of sartorial daring.
Yes, the punk spirit may be dormant and fashion today may be more polite than it was when you were starting out, but plenty of the twentysomethings going about their business in London are incredibly stylish – and not only in ways of which conservative fathers would approve. I see colourful trousers, flamboyant jackets, wacky shoes, trendy haircuts, an increasing willingness to experiment with new styles.
I realise that we may not be entirely representative but the Esquire office is staffed by young men who come to work in a startling and diverse array of looks, from sportswear aficionados to formal dandies.
Believe me, no one here wishes he were James Bond, but we certainly wouldn’t mind one of his suits. They’re by Tom Ford, a fashion designer who this week showed his new collection in London, in the belief that the world’s best menswear should be displayed in Britain, its natural home, where it can be best appreciated. I think he’s right.

posted by admin on Oct 1

Fashion World Keeps Pressure on Missoni Search.

The fashion world is urging authorities to keep searching for the missing CEO of Missoni as Milan Fashion Week gets under way.

The Italian National Fashion Chamber has urged the fashion community to post messages on social networks to keep the search for Vittorio Missoni at the center of authorities’ attention.

And designer Carlo Alberto Corneliani expressed solidarity with the Missoni family before showing his collection, the first of Milan Fashion Week, on Saturday.

Vittorio Missoni went missing with three other Italians and two crew members when their twin-engine aircraft disappeared off Venezuelan resort islands on Jan. 5.

Despite the uncertainty, the Missoni fashion house confirmed its menswear preview show for Sunday. In a message posted on Facebook, designer Angela Missoni expressed gratitude for messages of support.