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Investing in our children will bring a better return than any bank can offer you .. especially this year!!

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Step back in time inside this charming store nestled in townhouse heaven on New York's Upper East Side.   The place is legendary!  If they don't have the button you need in the 1000's they have .. it might not exist!  A must see..

 



 

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Saturday
Mar202010

DOUBLE TAKE - FERRAGAMO - MURKUDIS

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO - 1938"Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery", or so the saying goes.  Actually, an English cleric and writer - Charles Caleb Colton, known for his eccentricities, coined the phrase in the early 1800's.   While the sentiment of the expression still rings true, you have to ask yourself - when does flattery cross the line to copying?  

Some designers have made their fortune by "borrowing" ideas from others.   Jackie O. made Oleg Cassini world famous after her savvy move to bring her designer tastes state side.   Jackie loved Givenchy in Paris, and Mr. Cassini "interpreted" many a look from the French fashion house.  Ironic because Cassini was French born - but based in U.S. - so they were "American designs".   MURKUDIS & "HIS" FLIP FLOP - MARCH ELLE 2010

American designers have been notorious in the past for tweaking their own collections before fashion week, after seeing what was on the runway in Milan & Paris.  This all changed when New York started showing before the Europeans.   (Thank Helmut Lang for that move).   While the move does ruin many a fashion employees last weekends of summer, it did force designers to take a stand, trends of Europe be damned!

Coco Chanel never minded copycats.  She famously quoted Mr. Colton when asked about her feelings on the matter.   Chanel's key rival - Elsa Schiaparelli  (excellent website!) took Coco's opinion as an opportunity to flatter her own creations.     When the press asked Schiaparelli how she felt about copies compared to Coco Chanel's opinion, Schiaparelli replied - "my designs are inimitable".   Which really was a mouthful - considering how intricate and colorful her designs were.  It was an obvious slap at Chanel. 

The whole matter is on my mind because of a shoe design I saw when thumbing through the latest edition of one of my favorite magazines.   I did a double take when I saw a Berlin based designer who "created" a colorful platform sandal.    Kostas Murkudis says this "flip flop" was inspired by "Chinese Imperial boots" from the 19th century.   Hmmm.   strange because to me they look like they were inspired by Salvatore Ferragamo's mulit-colored platform sandals from 1938.    

Even in Mr. Murkudis was inspired by the Chinese, once someone as famous as Ferragamo has created a shoe before you and has been known globally for it - you just shouldn't go there.   To me, that would be like creating a dance song today about voguing.   Madonna didn't invent voguing, but she damn well did put it on the map globally -so why would you ever go there?

So why would you Mr. Murkudis?  

Monday
Feb222010

NINA WARTHEN - SUPER MODEL & SUPER GIRL!

NINA WARTHEN FOR MICHAEL DAWKINSOne of the hottest commercial and print models in NYC is also one of the nicest!

Nina Warthen is beautiful, but you know that part just from looking at her.  What you can't tell is what a sweet person she is.   We caught up with each other while shooting the 2010 Campaign for Michael Dawkins.   Nina shined wearing Michael's gorgeous jewelry.   The shoot was a blast and Nina made the day so much fun!   I've worked with Nina at some of the biggest fashion houses in the business like Valentino and Missoni - no shock there - she is a knockout!

 

Who's Hotter Than...

NINA WARTHEN

 

To book Nina:

Print - IMAGES MANAGEMENT - 212-228-0300

Commercial -CESD TALENT - 212-477-3838

 

Tuesday
Feb092010

ST. JOHN - 2010 BRAND (R)EVOLUTION

ST. JOHN COLLECTION - FEATURING KAREN ELSONST. JOHN is legendary in the American fashion and textile industry.   As the leading Knitwear company in the world, you'd be hard pressed to find another American brand as involved in the production of their collection as St. John.   Every detail is precise.  Their patented Santana knit, created by spinning the finest wool with rayon,  has a global following of women who appreciate the comfort and elegance of a St. John wardrobe. 

The company was founded in 1962 by the husband and wife team Robert and Marie  Gray.   Inspired by a knitting machine, the SJK story reads like those you hear all the time from Italy or France.   The DNA of fashion's most iconic houses like Chanel or Missoni are not so ST. JOHN - EXCLUSIVE ABSTRACT PRINT JACKET - $1,295.00different from that of St. John's.   Based in Southern California, the story is one that reminds you of good old American know how.   The company incubated at a time when "Made In America" was a symbol of quality around the world.   The Grays took that concept and watched their dream grow.   ( I only wish more fashion companies would have invested in America and kept production state side as well).

It is hard not to think of CHANEL when you see the formula that the Grays followed.   The attention to details, the quality of raw materials, the innovation of new technology.  The concept of staple pieces in a wardrobe is also a common theme to both collections, making them timeless.   The decision to produce their own fabrics to increase quality control and delivery timing also made those fabrics exclusive to the company.

ST. JOHN - ICONIC IN BLACK & WHITEAmazingly,  50 years later  the company is more dynamic than ever.   Reacting to the global downturn, changing the way they do business, continuing the quest for innovation, and basically - evolving the brand.   That might seem like a basic concept, but beleive me - it is no small task to keep a brand relevant and reactive to the changing tide of the fashion industry.   Every major fashion house has ebbs and flows of popularity.   The real challenge is to know how to navigate through the slower periods, and how not to bastardize the brand during the boom times.

The business that St. John carved out in American Sportswear puts them on a very short list.   For several decades, the collection has been a staple and a cash cow for major department stores like Saks 5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus.   The genius of the knitwear items that are timeless and season-less - and most importantly : are of the highest quality, are aspirational, and can fit women well outside the ever shrinking "sample size" of most runway ideals.   ( I can remember being in Saks 5th Avenue stores around the country in the mid 90's and literally seeing rooms full of St. John options).ST. JOHN - LITTLE BLACK -GOWN - $1,595.00

For 2010, the brand continues to evolve.   The latest ad campaign features exotic beauty Karen Elson.  Her Crimson hair and ivory skin are captivating.   Elson looks like she walked out of a Victorian dream.   Several shots from the campaign feature Elson in black evening options that are stunning!  The ads are impossible to miss, as they are sensual and chic.  The art direction feels like a cross between Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" and a red carpet event.   The colors are that rich.   GORGEOUS!

TIM BURTON'S QUEEN OF HEARTSThe use of black could be a nod to the company's recently launched Caviar Collection.   The concept was to dedicate a newly formulated dye to achieve a true black standard as a core reference for the collection.    The items are a must for any international travelers wardrobe.    With St. John now distributed in 45 countries, the brand is about as international as it gets!

Browse the newly re-launched website and read more about the legacy of ST. JOHN - and shop the new ad campaign. 

 

Friday
Feb052010

SOUTHERN CALI - HAITIAN RELIEF BENEFIT

Tuesday
Feb022010

CALVIN KLEIN - BACK IN BLACK

PHOTO: JASON JOBSONBackside in Black is more accurate!  PHOTO: JASON JOBSONCalvin Klein, the man who started the designer underwear sensation more than 25 years ago, is still able to send pulses racing.   His latest campaign, or exhibit shall I say is stopping traffic in front of the designer's Madison Avenue store.   The two story tall nude images of a chiseled model are stunning.   No underwear in sight, but plenty of skin.   What do the briefs look like? Does it really matter?? CALVIN KLEINCalvin himself has been spending more time at the gym than he has in the board room since selling his namesake company.   Could Calvin have been inspired by someone at the gym?   I'm sure.  

As I walked by the store today, I heard one woman complaining that the images were too revealing to Calvin's security guard.   The guard responded that the images "are art, they arent' selling anything" - to which the woman yelled from down the block " Oh they're selling SOMETHING alright!".   

To shop the Calvin Klein underwear collection - click - GET YOUR CALVINS ON

Monday
Dec142009

HOLIDAY GIFTS TO BENEFIT ST. JUDE'S 

Many of you are putting the finishing touches on your holiday shopping.   I bet even more of you are thinking - I better START my holiday shopping!  With the stores open longer for those late night mall trips, you still have plenty of time.   Of course the internet is also a magic point and click to flying down that shopping list!JUICY COUTURE KEY CHAIN

Once you are on-line, surf on over to the website of St. Jude Children's Hospital.   You all know St. Jude for the tireless promotion  that actress Marlo Thomas does on the behalf of the organization.   BROOKS BROTHERS CANDLE Founded by her late father, the legendary entertainer - Danny Thomas, St. Jude has provided treatment, care, and the research to help children with cancer - and even more importantly to help find the cure since it was founded in 1962.  This year celebrities Jennifer Aniston, Antonio Banderas, Reggie Bush, & Robin Williams join Marlo to appear in commercials promoting the "Thanks & Giving"  Campaign.  GUND TEDDY BEARS Donate to give thanks for the healthy child in your life, and help those children that are not so lucky.  

With dozens of companies participating, donating has never been easier.   From fashion to fudge there are options for everyone.  JENNIFER ANISTON IN DKNYFrom DKNY to Brooks Brothers to Juicy Couture, from Nike fitness gear to Gund stuffed animals.  

One great idea is to order a selection of hand made Christmas tree ornaments.   When the ornaments arrive closer to Christmas, make it a tradition for your family to put the St. Jude ornaments on the tree together and take the time to reflect on the blessings you have. HAND MADE ORNAMENTS Every donation will help a child with cancer and hopefully one day, find a cure.

To see the complete selection, visit St. Jude's website - click Cancer Research to visit. HAND MADE ORNAMENTS Also, look for products in your favorite stores that benefit St. Jude!  You can even follow St. Jude's on Facebook, and be a part of the on-line community.


Wednesday
Dec092009

CANCER SCHMANCER HOLIDAY BENEFIT

Fran DrescherWho knew how much Fran Drescher is doing to educate woman about cancer prevention and early detection?  Fran is a uterine cancer survivor who used her voice to speak out about the lack of education available to women about cancer- not just how to survive and recover from Cancer, but how to prevent or detect as early as possible.

Just like Fran Fine (the larger than life Nanny she made famous) would have, Fran took on the cause in a big way.   First by writing a New York Times best seller - Cancer Schmancer in 2002.   Next step was starting the organization to keep the message going.   Now Cancer Schmancer offers a whole host of events and services for low income women. 

One exciting event is the holiday concert planned for this weekend in LA.   For any of my readers on the West Coast, get down to LA for this special concert event!   Join Fran, Olivia Newton John,  Jackson Browne, Rosie O'Donnell and many more for a night of Rock and Comedy.  To find out more about Cancer Schmancer, and buy tickets for the concert - click above.

EVENT DETAILS:


Sunday, December 13, 2009
7:00pm - 11:00pm
Million Dollar Theatre
307 S. Broadway
:
Los Angeles, CA

 

Wednesday
Sep302009

YOU "CAN" DO SOMETHING FOR A GOOD CAUSE

 

I was just at the South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa, California and while I was there I saw the biggest stiletto of the season!    Ok, this one might be the biggest of any season!   SCP is  a destination for luxury shoppers from all over the world.  Their website is available in 6 languages, so you know this is no average mall!  The center has recently added a hospitality suite called "Access".   Available as a courtesy to the luxury boutique customers, Access gives shoppers a quiet place to sit and make a plan of action for the rest of the day.   The suite also has a "man cave" with a huge flat screen so husbands don't have to miss the game as their wives run their own scrimmage around Hermes and Ferragamo

The center was one of the latest locations to participate in CANstruction.   This charitable organization collects food for local food banks and emergency shelters in communities that host the design competition.   Cities from all over the world are now participating in the program which encourages people to bring canned food to the exhibit.  This was just one of 10 giant sculptures made from canned goods, spread out all over the gigantic shopping center.

Since it's inception in 1992, Canstruction has donated over 10 million pounds of food to those shelters!  Click above to visit the site and see how and where you can get involved!   A great way to make a trip to the mall a charitable act.. just don't try to write off those Ferragamo Stilettos with the tax man!