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Jeremy Scott’s Pop Culture Excess- the fall2011 Show and Swatch Watches

29 Mar Jeremy Scott's Limited Edition Swatch Watches

“….excuse me?

Yes? I’m on the list.

The list? ??There. Is no0000 guest list tonight!”

Text, Vivian Kelly

I found this opening “statement” from Jeremy Scott’s latest show soundtrack particularly meaningful.

SURE… there was “no guest list”. That’s why the line at MILK Studios snaked around and around the downstairs holding pen, cum. art gallery and into the street. “No tickie no laundry”, for sure on this one. We bumped into The Daily Beast’s Robin Givhan, who decided she just didn’t have the time to wait. Maybe it was Vanessa Hudgens‘ presence at the show that was partially responsible for the delay.

So far, not so good, but a good fashion show is always late.

Jeremy and Kelly Cutrone and the gang at Peoples Revolution always put on a good show. He’s not a designer to slave over the Pantone color chart and I love him for being an indie rebel designer at heart, even though he’s no longer “a young designer” or “emerging”.

He has not happily, “grown-up” and abandoned his fun aesthetic in order to make “saleable” clothes. He’s found another way – which we’ll talk about a little bit later in this post.

Hint: A good collaboration does wonders for one’s bottom line and coffers.

As far as the actual show, can you say fun and logo or maybe brand mania are the words I’m looking for? If you love Coke [“The Real Thing”], Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, this is it for you.

There’s some college girl wear here kicking back to the Eighties wear of my youth- big chunky sweaters t wear on cold days that are vaguely Fair Isle as well as striped sweaters and scarves.

For evening the vibe’s a bit Spanish Matador. My favorite is the finale Wonder Woman blue sparkly dress that was reminiscent of the invitation to the MET superhero exhibit a few years back.

There was also a reference to Gregg Araki’s film, “Nowhere”, [his 1997cult film]which had the LA slacker vibe and Valley Girl plasticity, which makes it perfectly acceptable to wear a red plastic miniskirt and a poofy angora sweater in bubble gum pink. I couldn’t tell if the girls were chewing Double Bubble gum, but it would have been a nice touch.

This time, he’s brought-in a commercial aspect – a collaboration with Swatch Watches. Collaborations don’t always work, but this one did. There are 3 fun watches to choose from – Lighting Flash, Winged Swatch, and Swatch Opulence. For $70 per, you get to participate in a little of pop culture excess –in a more understated way. Since scooping up the last Lightning Flash one at the Swatch store in Grand Central Terminal, I’ve indulged my inner Valley Girl and worn it every day.

>The Toni Francesc Show and Backstage w/ Toni Francesc, Pre-Show

15 Feb

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Text, Carey Zamarriego, Contributing Writer
Edited by Vivian Kelly

Toni Francesc
GARUDÀ AW 11

*Cute anecdote: One of the security guards at the front mentioned that Toni Francesc tried to enter the show through the front entrance, saying “look, that’s me, there is my name” (pointing to ‘Toni Francesc’ written on the wall) and had to be told to go to the backstage area.*
Our general impression of Toni: very warm, friendly, playful and gracious.
The Backstage pre-Show Interview:
The Fashion Examiner: The inspiration for your collection was the mythical Phoenix (a bird which, every 500 years, rises from its ashes anew), where did this source of inspiration come from? A trip to India? A story? A photo
Toni Francesc: It can be said to be Indonesian. It does have its roots in Asia, but this is not an Asian collection. It is inspired by the idea of rebirth, of coming back from ashes, from fire.
TheFE:  Your collection is about renewal, is it also a commentary on the state of the world now after the crisis?
Toni Francesc: Exactly, mainly for me, because it is something I am living and experiencing. I refer to everything that surrounds me in my clothes. Spain is in a tough situation and all of us need to emerge and experience a rebirth, a renewal, from these moments of ash.
TheFE: At the time of creating your collection, do you think about trends and Pantone colors, or do you do whatever you want?
Toni Francesc: I believe that inspiration comes from other places. I don’t search out trends. If anything, I need to create them. Generally, I look at things outside of the world of fashion; that is where I am inspired more. Everything around me is reflected in my clothes. For Artificial Life, two collections ago (AW 2010), I met with a group of friends through Facebook, while we were having dinner, everyone wasn’t interacting with each other, but with others via technology, we didn’t experience the moment. It’s this; playing with simple moments and arriving at their complexity that I like to do.
TheFE: This is your fourth time showing at NYFW, how does it feel compared to the first time?
Toni Francesc: Ah, yes (giggles). I feel the same as the first time; really THIS is the first time. The nerves are always there, usually I appear to be very calm, but the nerves and my stomach are turning on the inside. But everything is under control and I hope it goes well.
TheFE:  You and Custo are two Catalan designers showing at NYFW. Do you find any similarities in your designs? And are you two friends?
Toni Francesc: Friends-friends, no, but we do know each other and I really admire the work Custo does, he has been working hard for a long time. But our styles are very different.
TheFE: Finish these sentences:
What I like most about NY is…(the city and the people).
What I miss most about Barcelona is…(my family, but I brought them to NY, that little boy who just ran up to us is my son).
*Toni also brought along his wife and mother.*
The Collection/Show- Highlights
Started with a striking redhead wearing a trench, skirt and animal print top.
Animal print cocktail dress with a wrap leather belt (my favorite!!)
Elaborate backless silk jumpsuits in gray and orange.
Mixing silk with wool and leather. (ie: silk orange top with gray pants)
Silk pieces that looked like watercolors with splashes of deep reds, maroon, oranges and gray.
Trends:
  1. Wide leg pants (black with backless high neck silk top)
  2. Bright red lipstick on the models (also gave the crowd L.I/P Cream from Mehron in Big Apple red).
  3. Wool jacket, trenches and dresses with bottons to bring in a bit of a military feel.
  4. Gold leaf belts with gray wool dress and also skirts.

>MAD FOR MILITARY – ONE OF FALL’S KEY LOOKS THAT’S STRETCHING INTO SPRING

27 Aug

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY

One of the beauties of being “a fashion veteran” is that I can with all honesty say, “Oh, I’ve seen THAT before” – at least another version of whatever “that” is.
TAKE THE MILITARY LOOK THAT’S ALL OVER THE PAGES OF SEPTEMBER’S HARPER’S BAZAAR. It pops u on pp. 308, 320, 396, 481, and 508. Flip through your issue or visit www.harpersbazaar.com, and it will pop right up at you. . I’M USING THE PREVIEWS I’VE BEEN SEEING AS AN INDICATOR THAT THE FALL MILIARY TREND WILL EXTEND INTO SPRING. MILITARY HISTORICALLY POPS BACK UP ON THE FASHION RADAR SCREEN IN TIMES WHEN THE ECONOMY IS IN A SLUMP. THE LAST WAVE WAS IN THE EARLY NINETIES, when I started out as a part-time PR Assistant to Michael Kors, reporting to the exotically gorgeous LEYLA BASAKINSKI.

My knee-jerk reaction was to run upstairs to my huge attic and pull-out my long black vintage Michael Kors coat. I still have and cherish it. The long sweeping coat was the first important piece I received as part of my clothing allowance while I started there, at the West 24th Street Studio, around the corner from the infamous BILLY’S TOPLESS. After mulling it over, I brought it down to take to the dry cleaner’s and started trying to figure out how I could make it current.
For inspiration, I scanned the PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION preview pics for the upcoming s/s2011 NICHOLAS K Collection. Designer Nicholas Kunz, will be showing a “strong utilitarian inspired collection [which] takes on a rugged but avant-garde military vibe infused with dusty, earth color tones and a modern spin on classic looks.” Ms. Kunz’s latest effort implements a military color palette of rich army greens and browns, creams and navy blues. She updates it by adding striped checks and combinations such as woodland and fog camouflage. Little touches like the smoke colored aviator glasses and the high heeled lace-up booties help make a statement. The olive drab outerwear she’ll be showing at her LINCOLN CENTER SHOW at the MERCEDES BENZ S/S NY SHOWS highlights the MILITARY FEEL of her spring collection. FEEL IS THE KEY HERE. JUST AN ELEMENT OR TWO WILL DO IT. Ms. Kunz’s collection is interesting because it suggests that we’ll be moving into UTILITARIANISM. If there were ever a time to be practical, this is it. Pundits and experts on www.cnbc.com are now predicting two more years of recession.

This is NOT a combat boot moment, which is a little scary, and too literal by far. You do NOT want to look as if you belong in the cast of the 1981 German Art house flick, “Das Boot” from the early nineties. THE SOLUTION TO UPDATING MILIARY LIES IN FOCUSING ON BORROWING THE COLORS ASSOCIATED WITH MILITARY. Michael Kors hits squarely on it with a soft olive sweater and skirt in his fall 2010 collection show accessorized with little cashmere cap and sexy brown leather sandals. Your take on military COULD BE A GREAT SHOE, LIKE THE CUTOUT CESARE PACIOTTIS FEATURED ON p. 508 of Harper’s Bazaar, or OLIVE AND BRONZE NAILCOLORS, IF YOU’RE THE CAUTIOUS SORT.
If you’re stuck for ideas, have a look at www.netaporter.com.
They’ve joined forces with Harper’s to teamed up to bring you some must-haves items, many retailing for under $500.
THE BOTTOM LINE: TRY FOR A FEMINIZED VERSION OF THE LOOK.
Atten-hut!

>Amsterdam-er, Juliette Booker’s Retro-Fabulous Costume Jewelry at Unbeatable Prices

17 Aug

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Images from www.sohohearts.com

Amsterdam native, JULIETTE BOOKER, is a young jewelry designer who’s one to watch. HER COMPANY, SOHO HEARTS, offers a superb selection of eye-catching jewelry designs, many named for fashion icons and fashion notables, such as ‘Audrey’ [Hepburn or Tatou?] and ‘Scarlett’ [could be O’Hara or Johansson].She’s figured out a way to create retro designs that are young and fresh and appeal to everyone from the tween set to “women of a certain age” who want to have fun with jewelry without being afraid to lose something that will get their insurance companies squawking should they lose it.

Juliette’s company, Soho Hearts, presents a dazzling collection of luxurious, stylish and trendy jewelry in an abundance of color, texture with a strong very of-the-moment RETRO VIBE. She’s already squarely on the radar screen in her native Holland. She’s got KELLY CUTRONE’S team at PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION handling her PR from New York, so it’s only a matter of time that with their editing talent, that we’ll be hearing a lot more of her here Stateside.
After I spend the day deliberating, I’ll be putting in an order for my first piece of SOHO HEARTS. Once done, I’ll have joined the ranks of “Soho Famous” who wear Juliette’s pieces, such as Kate Moss, Tyra Banks, Christina Aguilera, Mickey Rourke and yes, Paris Hilton.
I’m torn between two designs, the first being the groovily retro “Audrey Bracelet”. This elastic bracelet is made out of two different sizes of cream Swarovski pearls with a matte gold metal bow in the middle. It’s the perfect piece when you want to reference a tiny bit of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ in a non-obvious way.
[Style # 10072-B, $24.95]
The other option is the Fareeda Ring, a gold plated adjustable ring with a purple colored stone made from glass surrounded by blue enamel. It’s the sophisticated fashion version of the famous EVIL EYE, that’s just too hippie for this stage of my life.
[ Style #50018-A, $39.95]
In future, I’d love to see some designs based on today’s bold fashion icons, such as the fun-loving MOUNA AYOUB’s larger than life jewels.
AT this time, Soho Hearts is only available online, but with great PR and an eventually improving economy, who’s to say there wouldn’t be a cute little free-standing store in the coolest parts of town in New York and LA?
What IS certain is that when I’m in Amsterdam next year for Amsterdam Fashion Week, I’ll be sure to schedule an appointment to meet with this promising young design talent.

>MARA HOFFMAN’s SWIM & RESORT – Upscale Grooviness at the Raleigh

2 Aug

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Images, Courtesy of Edward James, www.fashionwatch.com

The after-show chatter about Mara Hoffman’s show was that it was “like an acid trip, but a good one”. Having never dropped acid, I really can’t weight-in on that. What I can say is that this is a designer who just gets stronger each and every season.
This season, Ms. Hoffman’s muse went on a mystical journey through the jungle. There were a variety of new silhouettes and several new eye-catching and ethnic inspired, bold and colorful prints. There were of course the beautiful batik prints that Mara’s known for. An interesting twist was Hoffman’s partnering with Alternative Apparel, who are known for their vintage soft tees and basics, for a special mini-collaboration for the show.

The soft baseball tee I went home with is the perfect fusion of all-American tee and the funky, arty vibe Mara’s known for. I’ve gotten more than a few compliments on my unicorn baseball tee, from a few of the girls at Miami International TSA, no less.
Going back to the show, aside from the spectacular color combinations, I wish I had the long hair to be able to replicate the messy braid created by the TRESSemme team.

To learn more about Mara Hoffman and to shop, visit www.marahoffman.com
Mara Hoffman is also available at www.revolveclothing.com

>The Mara Hoffman Resort and Swim 2011 Collections – THE PREVIEW

30 Jun

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TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
Images of the Mara Hoffman collection, courtesy of People’s Revolution

As I was starting to get myself together for Miami Swim, People’s Revolution PR sent-over some images of Mara Hoffman’s adorable Resort collection. I love resort because it’s a capsule collection [in most cases] and the designer is less likely to lose their focus and go off on silly tangents. What you get are collections that are sweet and easy to wear to picnics and at the beach – like Cynthia Rowley’s resort collection and this collection by Mara Hoffman.
Money’s tight these days and Mara made a wise decision to show both resort and Swim at Mercedes Benz Miami Swim. This is a step that would make a lot of sense for more designers to take. If they did, I’m quite sure that more editors and buyers would attend the Miami Shows. While it’s good to bring in the local socials who buy the suits, it would drive business to get more press and buyers in the seats. To take it one step further, if the shows were relocated to Palm Beach, it’s likely that the New York socialites who own a home there would make a special trip to attend. Were that to happen, sales would very likely increase.
Maybe that will never happen, but in the meantime, I’m looking forward to viewing Mara’s hand-dyed silhouettes and gorgeous original silk prints, inspired by her travels around the world.

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