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Tuesday
Mar272012

SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT DELUXE? 

BIANCA BALTI STUNNING IN BLUE - SURROUNDED BY FERRAGAMO CLAD PARTY GIRLS - SCHNABEL, RICHARDS, CHANDLER, & REMINGTON-PLATTFerragamo, the uber-luxe house of Italian fashion is launching their latest fragrance with events unfolding around the world.   From Dubai to Shanghai, and of course NYC, Ferragamo has been the "Must Go To" event for all the hip young girls that hit the party circuit this season.   Signorina, so aptly named has the sweet and spicy smell of pink pepper blended with jasmine, rose, and the slightest hint of patchouli musk - wow - Miss thing in SEXY!   In New York, Italian super model and face of the Signorina campaign Bianca Balti hosted the event.  Where you ask?  JULIAN SCHNABEL'S PALAZZO CHUPIAt the only Italian Palazzo in NYC of course, the Julian Schnabel designed Pink Palace -Palazzo Chupi

Signorina blooms on the heels of Attimo, the Ferragamo fragrance launched last year that has been a massive hit in the fragrance world - for men and women.   With the latest scent, Ferragamo wrote a perfume love note to the chicest young ladies that are becoming Ferragamo fashion clients in droves!  Since the revamp of ready-to-wear under talented designer Massimiliano Giornetti 2 years ago - the house has been in overdrive with events, shows, and press-press-press.   I dare you to try and find a ACTRESS KATE MARA IN FERRAGAMO SPRING 2012fashion magazine from any country that is not loaded with Ferragamo editorials - trust me.. you can't.  ACTRESS PIPER PERABO GIVING GLA-MOUR IN FERRAGAMO That's when a brand is red hot.   Speaking of - there are insanely gorgeous RED accessories for Spring 2012 in the Ferragamo boutiques now.   These are ones to collect, so spritz yourself with Signorina and then buy yourself a pair of ballerinas and a serious bag to spice up your Summer!

CLICK RED HOT SOFIA BAG - SPRING 2012IMAGES to shop and learn more about all things FERRAGAMO and all things FABULOUS!

Monday
Jan232012

STELLA LIGHTS UP THE NIGHT IN SOHO

DAVID BATCHELOR AT STELLA MCCARTNEY - SOHO PH: JASON JOBSONStella McCartney has taken her unique sense of style further STYLE IN THE ROUND AT STELLA PH: JASON JOBSONdowntown in NYC to SOHO!   This British designer is the coolest woman working a runway collection on either side of the pond, and she continues to make news season after season.   Last Fall she bested every American designer right under their noses by dressing more A-List celebs at the Met Costume Institute Gala than even the late honoree - Alexander McQueen!LACE BUT NO LEATHER! - STELLA McCARTNEY - PH: PAMELA BERKOVIC

In fact, Stella and her crack team of fashion professionals seem to be one of the only companies creating any buzz these days.   Not by going public, not by starring in some tacky reality show, but by creating newness - season after season.  There is something you can't put into words about Stella and the way she rolls.   Her fashion shows and boutique events have an authentic vibe to them that shows her credibility with celebrities and the "in" crowd is the real deal. BROCADE IN GOLD -STELLA McCARTNEY PH: PAMELA BERKOVIC  The celebrities in attendance are there because they want to be, not as some sort of pay-for-play deal with agents and fashion campaigns.   Stella is just cool.  

The new boutique is bigger and brighter thanLITTLE BLACK JACKET - STELLA McCARTNEY F2012 PH: PAMELA BERKOVIC McCartney's current 14th Street store.  It covers two floors and several thousand square feet.   Ms. McCartney naturally outgrew the Meatpacking District store over time by creating division after division, and by raising the bar on her own creativity.  McCartney refuses to use leather or fur in any category and has become the only fashion designer in the industry doing so to achieve status and make "wanted" accessories from non leather or exotic skins. 

U.K. based artist David Batchelor designed the sleek light boxes that fill Stella's windows and make her entrance into SOHO's fashion scene.   Located at 112 Green Street, McCartney is in good company right next to Louis Vuitton.   Oddly, LV doesn't make their bags from leather either - but that's no Vegan cause - that's another conversation.

Stella McCartney is hot and you need at least one piece of her collection in your permanent wardrobe.DAVID BATCHELOR LIGHT BOXES

Up next for McCartney? Oh just designing the uniforms for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London!  As if that weren't cool enough - look for Stella's cameo in the return of ABFAB.  That's right, Patsy and Edina are back and this time around they love STELLA! 

Visit the Stella McCartney boutique near you - Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Bal Harbour, or New York.  Don't wait to visit her website now.   Her collection is also available on Net-a-Porter.

Stella McCartney SOHO is located at 112 Greene Street. 


Sunday
Jan152012

KRIZIA RETURNS.. SHE'S BAAAAAACK! 

K is for KRIZIAJust when the name Krizia had slowly escaped the conscious of everyone working in the New York fashion scene the company has opened a new modern boutique on 14th street.  In the epicenter of the Meat Market, and a stones throw from The High Line, The Standard Hotel, and Jeffrey New York, the new boutique replaces the Madison Avenue corner spot that was home to Krizia for at least a decade, MARIUCCA MANDELLI OF KRIZIAand had shuttered its doors a few years ago.  Created by an eccentric Italian woman in 1950, the label has had many incarnations and collections over its 60 year tenure.  Mariucca Mandelli looks and behaves like someone from Central Casting in a Hollywood movie about a Milanese fashion house.   With iconic black bangs and a bob, Mandelli is the classic Italian Fashion Nonna (or Nona!).   She runs the show, she takes the press, and she pays the bills. 

Known for Animal prints in the 80's and color blocking in the 90's, since 00 Mandelli is best known in the fashion world for being the woman who fired Alber Elbaz after only one critically acclaimed collection for Krizia TopCLICK IMAGE TO SHOP KRIZIA FRAGRANCES  Not happy with the global press he brought, Mandelli fired Elbaz over "creative differences" in record time.   I attended that show in Milan, and it was one of the most beautiful collections I ever saw walk a runway.  Yes, Krizia could have seen the rebirth that Lanvin has had under the guidance of Elbaz - but it wasn't meant to be.  This scenario is too often the issue with Italian owned fashion houses and American or French born designers.  (The Lanvin website is a must visit - I promise you will be charmed).

A storied house of fashion that has seen better days and better sales will hire an up and coming designer in order to breathe new life into the brand. KRIZIA - FLAGSHIP BOUTIQUE - NYC  When the press and department stores come calling, suddenly egos are damaged since the new designer is getting "all the attention", even if the owners are getting all the Euros.  Seems silly doesn't it?  It is.  Mandelli is not alone though, there are many who have followed the same route.   Think Donatella Girombelli of Genny.  She will forever be known as the woman who fired a young designer named - Gianni Versace.  But then again, what did he know?    Since three is a charm, let's not forget Guiliana Gerani of the "big in the 80's" house of ICEBERG.   Gerani also had a little known designer by the name of Marc Jacobs designing her signature collection.  Known as Mama Gerani by Iceberg employees in Cattolica, Italy, Guiliana never saw a design or color board she didn't think she could tweak or take for her own collection.   Jacobs didn't last long there.  But he had bigger and better things to do.  I don't think it's a coincidence that both the Genny and Iceberg websites are "under construction" at the moment!

The staying power of Krizia is reason enough to celebrate the house and the ability of Mariucca to keep turning it out season after season.   Big in Japan, the company has a roster of fragrances and licensee's in that part of the world.  There are women's and men's clothing as well as handbags and small leather goods.   If nothing else, Mandelli's choice of retail locations shows she is one smart cookie.    Now you know!  Click KRIZIA to learn more.

 

Sunday
Dec252011

GAGA GUINNESS AT BARNEYS?

BARNEYS NEW YORK 2009 HOLIDAY WINDOWS - A TRIBUTE TO SNLChristmas in New York is a magical time of year.   With the recent report that a record breaking 50 million tourists will have visited the big apple this year, it is no surprise that the holiday season is one of the busiest in recent memory.  New York's holiday windows are as American as apple pie.  Each year, thousands line up to see the classic displays at Macy's, Saks 5th Avenue, Lord & Taylor, & More. BARNEYS NEW YORK 2010 HOLIDAY WINDOWS - CELEBRITY CHEF TRIBUTE  As you would expect, the stores on the Upper East Side have more designer themed displays to help spread the holiday cheer.   

Of all the stores, Barneys New York has had one of the most dedicated followings for their holiday windows over the last decade.  Under the creative direction of Simon Doonan, the windows (like Doonan himself) were over the top and whimsical, with a big dose of kitch.   More important than any one designer item displayed, Doonan's windows made you smile, which is what helped Barneys develop a unique personality that set it apart from the other "department" stores.  

This year DAPHNE GUINNESS DRESSING IN BARNEYS WINDOWunder the new regime led by CEO Mark Lee, Doonan was not involved in transforming the windows into a festive explosion of cheer. GAGA MACHINE - BARNEYS -HOLIDAY 2011 No surprise for those reading the tea leaves from the new directions taken since Lee took over.  Lee named Dennis Freedman Creative Director of the stores, replacing Doonan, and giving him a Creative Consultant title.  Since that time Simon is involved less and less at Barneys.  This means, Freedman is the man responsible for what passed as the 2011 holiday windows at Barneys.  

Partnering with Lady Gaga to create windows and a shop in shop dubbed Gaga's Workshop with custom Gaga products to benefit charitable causes sounds like a win win.  But it was a lose lose.  Sculpted art installations and boudoir scenes in the window came off cold and austere, not exactly what you want from holiday windows.   GAGA'S WORKSHOP AT BARNEYS Not to mention the fact I couldn't help but be reminded of Daphne Guinness' performance in the window of Barneys as she got dressed live (horrific) on her way to the Met Costume Institute Gala earlier this year.   I'm partial here because Guinness drives me nuts.   I still can't understand why the fashion world has gone so Gaga for Guinness?   A middle aged empty nester who has millions of dollars to spend on clothing and just can't get enough attention is not my idea of chic.  That's what you call a Kardashian.  Yes, she is beautiful - but so what?   She is the Paris Hilton of the fashion world, and the more it celebrates her, the more I cringe.   (It's about as nauseating as the departmentMARK LEE, LADY GAGA, & DENNIS FREEDMAN stores reaction to Rachel Zoe and her so called "collection").

Let me be clear:  I love Lady Gaga.  I think she is a talented and smart performer.  full of energy and enthusiasm, she speaks for her generation.   Gaga cares about causes and people less fortunate - and she is a cultural icon around the world.  Daphne Guinness is a millionairess who cares about celebrating her ability to shop without a budget.  She then revels in other people celebrating her ability to shop.  If she were a size 14, no one would know her name.   Stay tuned for her inevitable QVC collection.  

I never thought I would be saying "I miss Simon Doonan", but Barneys has made me do just that.   It's a word of warning for Mark Lee.   Lee should remember that Dennis Freedman is a very talented and well liked man, but he is also the guy who made W magazine nearly irrelevant to fashion shoppers under his tenure.  Before leaving in the last changing of the guard management shuffle, it resembled an issue of ARTFORUM more than it did a fashion glossy.   His passion for the art world is clear, and maybe that is where he belongs.

Oh, don't feel too badly for Simon Doonan.   He is not going anywhere from his perch as a style guru.  In fact, I think his dimished role at Barneys has given him the greater flexibility to expand his iconic handle on snarky style.   His latest book - Gay Men Don't Get Fat is out in January.  (click on the book cover to pre-order).

As for Gaga's Workshop,  the products in Gaga's where more in line with Bloomingdale's than Barneys NY.  (I think the late, great Kal Ruttenstein is looking down with a smile).  Needless to say, so were the throngs of customers who poured in.   If this is the customer Barneys is targeting, then bravo to them this holiday season.   If they still intend to be the arbiters of style for well heeled clients who have their finger on the cultural pulse and aren't logo obsessed, then this year shoppers got a big lump of coal! 

Well, there's always next year!  Happy Holidays!!

 

Sunday
Dec042011

LIZ TAYLOR DIAMOND AUCTION

THE LEGENDARY LIZ TAYLORThe girl with Violet eyes changed the world of Hollywood forever.   Liz Taylor wowed the world with her eyes, her tiny waist, her acting talent, and of course - her love life. LIZ TAYLOR'S WHITE DIAMONDS 

This month, Christie's will auction the late actress's world famous collection of diamond jewelry.   Her acquisitions of legendaryTHE BURTON COGNAC DIAMOND RING - 32 CARATS bracelets, rings, and necklaces made headlines.   Richard Burton was the man that gave her many of the pieces being sold, and his passion for Taylor became as famous as their movies.  

Taylor also put her love of diamonds to good use and created one of the biggest fragrance empires in the world.   White Diamonds is continuously a best seller around the world.   The perfume was a brilliant marketing concept.   Her love of diamonds was famous, which made people buy the fragrance, which made Taylor very rich, which gave her the ability to buy even more diamonds - Amazing!

The auction preview is open to the public, but tickets must be purchased in advance and are selling out FAST - click TICKETS if you can make it to the show in NYC.  The actual auction starts December 14th.  If you can't get tickets have no fear, you can see all the pieces in the comfort of your own home!  Click DIAMONDS to preview the sale now.