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Tadashi Shoji Fall 2012 Backstage- “Shanghai” Collection”

19 Apr

Text and Videos, Vivian Kelly


This City served as a source of inspiration last season for society designer, Douglas Hannant. This season, designer Tadashi Shoji drew inspiration from past and present Shanghai to deliver a beautiful collection that stars such as Olivia Spencer, will continue to love and wear.

For more Tadashi Shoji,

To read more and to view my backstage video interview, click here for the full story on my new URL.


Fashion + Film + Fashion Icon Daphne Guinness = Genghis Khan Collection / Premiere Screening of “The Legend of Lady White Snake”

10 Feb

Text, Vivian Kelly

Topic- Daphne Daphne Daphne!

Daphne Strikes  A Pose For MAC Cosmetics

Genghis Khan Collection / Premiere Screening of “The Legend of Lady White Snake”

I’m obsessed. Daphne Guinness is the subject of this latest fashion obsession.  I “went there” and asked friend, Anthony Palermo, of the Anthony Leonard Salon to dye my hair as blonde as it would go. After two bleaching blasts in the past 12 weeks, I’m there, with the exception of the black skunk stripes Daphne sports. I’m not ready for that as such a couture look requires wearing 5 inch heels and vintage McQueen couture, which would be fun but just not within my reach just yet.

In the meantime, I’m buying up pieces of Daphne’s capsule collection created for MAC Cosmetics. Thus far, I carry the following around in my Volvo [while in the Country] or in my leather Birkin-esque satchel [while in NYC]: “Fling” Eye Brow Pencil – THE perfect shade for you platinum blondes out there who don’t want to mess about with powders and brushes

Cremesheen LipGlass in “Richly Reserved”

Next to buy between shows are:

Pro Longwear LipCreme in “Approaching Storm”– I struck out at the Grand Central station location – they sold the 6 tube they’d been allotted.

“Red Dwarf” [a maybe]

Blush Ombre in “Azalea Blossom”.

Thankfully, in NYC there are ample opportunities to snatch up some MAC Cosmetics – almost as many as getting my frozen mocha frappe fix at MACDonalds.

Once I’ve scooped up the remaining Daphne pieces, I’ll be ready to attend one of my top 3 events of this NYFW – The screening of THE LEGEND OF LADY WHITE SNAKE, starring Daphne, co-written by the white hot Neil Gaiman and Bernard Henri Levy and directed by Indrani.

The premiere is Sunday night at 10p.m. with a write-up and more images to follow post-event.

Last Thoughts: FIT did what I heard was a wonderful exhibit of Daphne’s clothes. I’ve posted a few images here. Which one is YOUR favorite?

The 69th Golden Globes – Spotlight on Jodie Foster’s Elegantly Polished Hair and Makeup

18 Jan

Text, Vivian Kelly

The morning after the 69th Annual Golden Globes, our winners for “best-dressed/most beautiful”  were: Charlize Theron, Madonna, and of course, Angelina Jolie, who managed to look even more beautiful than ever in her cream Atelier Versace gown. The woman is unnaturally gorgeous, almost cartoon like in perfection and always a reliable glamour fix even if we get our dose from afar.

The Always Gorgeous Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace at the 69th Annual Golden Globes

The above women are so stunning that they may not be as relatable as another actor, Jodie Foster. She’s Hollywood Royalty and has been since her big screen debut as “Nina”  a teenage prostitute in  Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver in 1976. This star has “class” and gamely smiled [and actually appeared relaxed] when Globes’ host, Ricky Gervais, took a few verbal cracks at her. Maybe having a perfectly made-up face, thanks to Carol Shaw, helped her keep her cool.

  Carol Shaw is a Celebrity Makeup Artist and Founder of LORAC Cosmetics, an excellent brand that keeps a relatively low profile, like Jodie.
Jodie’s overall look was fresh, modern and glamorous. It’s that off-hand elegant look that takes work, but for a big night like this, it’s worth it!
The Look in a Nutshell: shimmering champagne and smoky brown eyes, bronze cheeks and light peach glossy lips
Below, the HOW TO, courtesy of LORAC
  • Apply AquaPRIME Oil Free Makeup Primer to prepare skin for smooth, long-lasting makeup application
  • Smooth Breakthrough Performance Foundation in SMS 3 all over skin for flawless coverage and a youthful radiance
  • Give skin a silky-smooth picture perfect finish with POREfection Baked Perfecting Powder in PF2
  • Prime the eyelid with Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
  • To give eyes a hint of sparkle, use the shimmering champagne and nude shadows in the NEW UNZIPPED Eye Shadow Palette (available at Sephora this spring)
  • Define eyes by tracing the lash line with Front of the Line Pro Eyeliner in Black
  • Create dramatic, voluminous lashes with Multiplex 3D Lashes Mascara
  • Brows:
  • Fill in brows with Creamy Brow Pencil in Blonde
  • Brighten skin while giving a natural radiant glow with Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Luminous
  • Apply Baked Matte Satin Blush in Exposed to give cheeks a peachy pink pop of color
  • Finish by lightly dusting TANtalizer Baked Bronzer all over for a subtle glow
  • Line lips with Nude Pencil #18 to define and keep lip gloss in place
  • Apply NEW Lips With Benefits in Mark (available this spring) for a long-lasting glossy finish
  • Mix TANtalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer with Breakthrough Performance Foundation in SMS 3 and apply to exposed arms and neck for a natural Red Carpet tan that is about as removed from Snookie’s orange glow as you can get. Can you really see Jodie Foster running to a Mystic Tan spray booth or laying in a tanning coffin covered in coconut grease?
  • Website for Purchase:

Hal Rubenstein and his 100 Unforgettable Dresses- Spotlight on Elizabeth Hurley in Gianni Versace’s Safety Pin Dress

15 Dec


Text and Video, Vivian Kelly

I’m still reading 100 Unforgettable Dresses and using it as a “time out treat” from grading and teaching. The section that kicks-off the book is one of the best written and informative pieces of fashion history I’ve read in a really long time.

In the video below, author Hal Rubenstein talks to The Fashion Examiner about Elizabeth Hurley, Gianni Versace and the magic they created together with the infamous “safety pin dress”. In the book, Hal dissects the WHY part of the magic these dresses imparted on the women who wore them. The closest most women get to that “magic feeling” is when they step into their wedding dress and are transformed.

Rambo’s Picks: Diamonds For the Holidays!

6 Dec

Text, Rambo Kelly

Transcribed by Vivian Kelly

I’m under pressure – I have to come up with a big theme for the Holidays.  Okay  here goes – DIAMONDS.

I found my theme after knocking over one of the books in the FE Library. It’s title was Elizabeth Taylor – my Love Affair With Jewelry. I really REALLY LIKE “LA LIZ” because she wore her diamonds for everyday. Why have something pretty if you don’t wear it? Dumb, huh?

We read in the LA Times that  Thomas W. Burstein of Christie’s said the only time the famous ring left Taylor’s hand was when she offered it up to friends to try on. “She really had this notion that the jewelry should be shared and loved by everybody.” Nice lady, I bet she liked cats too.

My 5 Reasons to Give Diamonds

1. You don’t HAVE to give the real ice. There’s great stuff that looks like it – Carolee has a pretty version of Liz’s Prince of Wales pin they’re calling the “Triple Feather Plume Pin” for $95 that squeaks under that $100 or less budget range.

2. Another of my faves, Marilyn Monroe said that Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend. I look really good sitting next to the giant poster we have of MM in a red dress – shows off my platinum colored fur.

3. Our jeweler friend, Renato of New England Jewelers pointed out that “diamonds go with everything, unlike rubies, sapphires or emeralds”.

4. A little sparkle perks up a blah rainy day like today.

5. That  33.19-carat, emerald cut diamond ring would look great in my Xmas Stocking and Ollie and me could have hours of fun playing soccer with it…

Last Thoughts:

HURRY to Christie’s! Go and see this exhibit, before it shuts-down Dec. 12th. The auction starts Dec. 13th. If I can get through security, I’ll be there. Too bad I can’t hold a bidding paddle!

Fun Fact: The estimated worth of the Taylor- Burton diamond ring he gave ET in 1968 is $2.5 million to $3.5 million.
Ta ta, R-A-M-B-O

Burberry – Cool and Relevant, Again

18 Nov

Let the Print Parade Begin!

Text, Vivian Kelly

My Burberry obsession started the day I met Christopher Bailey at the MET Museum’s press preview for “AngloMania”, which focused on British fashion from 1976-2006. It was one of the strongest showings the Costume Institute’s Andrew Bolton has ever put together.  The waiflike Bailey was on-hand and I immediately sensed the presence of a star as I pushed my way into the crowded press preview.

Bailey had an irresistible combination going – he was modest, cool, media-genic yet approachable. He was also passionate about fashion and the Burberry brand. That, combined with the campaigns he’d started to conceive, the obvious admiration he had from Industry heavy weights such as Anna Wintour and Hamsich Bowles, added to my favorable impression.

Bailey himself looks “Burberry”, or at least the image I’ve come to associate with the brand since he’s been at the helm. The first few campaigns featured Kate Moss in the starring role,  followed by it model, Agyness Deyn and Harry Potter Star, Emma Watson. Regardless of the model, the concept is always the same – a grouping of young guys and girls ranging from British Public School students to bright young things out and about having a good time.  A key component of “British Cool” is that they never ever look like they’re trying to BE cool.  Trying too hard is off-limits.

Don’t think for a minute though, that Christopher Bailey has just coasted by all of these seasons on this one iconic plaid and a couple of great ad campaigns. Bailey has turned Burberry Prorsum into a brand that used to be “Porsum, or is it Prosum what? Into the highlight of London Fashion Week. Part of the Burberry mystique is the use of Prints and Patterns and mismatched prints that look eccentrically cool rather than dorky.

The last time I remember such excitement over prints was when Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared did this in their spring 2010 show and before that, the late Franco Moschino’s wild catwalk shows for his Moschino Cheap and Chic brand of the late Eighties and early Nineties.The Caten boys’ and Moschino prints are for the fashion obsessed.

By contrast, Burberry prints are more understandable and relatable, and as such, reach a much broader audience. They allow you to participate in one of the season’s biggest trends [Let’s call it “the Print Parade”], in a way that doesn’t have you look like a clownish Moschino party-goer.

I’ve never been a fan of “baby” designer brands, until I stopped in front of the Burberry Baby store window at the Westchester Mall, enthralled by a short sleeve Burberry plaid dress. On a roll, I strolled into the Burberry proper shop, where I promptly fell in love with two handbags.

That evening, I took inventory of the Burberry pieces in my closet and wondered if I could wear it head to toe. Yes, I could, but I a toned down way. How about the navy wool Burberry boyfriend jacket,  short blue Hunter boots, the plaid shirt and kilt? I haven’t worn more than one of my Burberry pieces at one time, but I will this winter and am pretty confident the Fashion Police won’t stop me.

While my Burberry collection is limited to the classics, I’m fully on board with some of Bailey’s more adventuresome designs, such as the gorgeous blue Prorsum dress Kate Bosworth wore to the Burberry Body event on October 26 at the Beverly Hills Boutique.

Prorsum is the next step in my prints meet the classics voyage and at the time of this post, am coveting the long sleeve blue graphic print dress model, Samantha Gradoville, [IMG of her on spring Runway] wore in the spring 2012 show. Maybe I’d wear it with my short blue Hunter boots, or maybe with a pair of black platforms….

Mad Men Costume Designer Janie Bryant Reveals How To Use Carolee Jewelry to Get the Look

25 Oct

Text, Vivian Kelly

Are you a “Betty-Jackie” or a “Joan-Marilyn”? Mad Men Costume Designer, Janie Bryant shares a few key accessory styling tips to enhance your look.

Janie Bryant, recently had a public appearance, hosted by Carolee jewelry,  at Bloomingdale’s Century City in Los Angeles.  Style expert Janie met with customers and provided jewelry and fashion advice on “How to become your own leading lady!”

Not being on the West Coast at the time, I couldn’t go, but I got to correspond with her via email and I’m going to pick up a copy of her new book, which she recently released.  THE FASHION FILE Advice, Tips and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of MADMEN, provides tips based on Janie’s “Mad Men” style trends. In it, she teaches her readers how to create different moods and reveal a bit about their personality through accessories… “It’s the surest cure-all for wardrobe ennui.”

I’ve been a fan of Mad Men, since last summer, when checked into a motel at Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, just to score some much needed down time. A mild case of insomnia turned out to be a big plus when I stumbled onto the show, which I’d been intending to watch for months. I never left the room until check-out at 11a.m. the next day as I lay on the bed gobbling up episode after episode of Mad Men and a pot of hotel room coffee. After 4 episodes, I came to a few conclusions:

-“Joan” looks hottest in her most covered up dresses- no hiding those amazing curves

– “Betty” is my favorite in character and looks fresh and tailored and classically beautiful.

I started studying Betty’s look on hulu [no AMC at home], and fell back in love with camel cashmere and pearls.

My Mad Men “moment” came when Joan’s secretary pool were talking about whether they were “ a Jackie” or “ a Marilyn”. Although that was over 40 years ago, these 2 categories are still alive and very relevant today. In case you missed the episode, Betty is a Jackie, and Joan is a Marilyn.

I’ve always been “a Jackie”, even when I bleached my hair Marilyn white years ago, wanting to see if I could bust out of my “type”.

Not possible – it takes more than a hair color change.

The sort of jewelry, fragrance, and dress all contribute to your J or M category. I started studying the characters’ outfits and decided that they were too retro for my every day look, but maybe copying details such as hairstyle and jewelry would give me the effect I was after. When Gina DiDomenico’s of Paul Wilmot Communications emailed me about Janie explaining how to get the character’s style with a few accessories, it was the answer to this fashion prayer.

Follow this LINK to watch a video of Janie Bryant offering her unique fashion and styling tips

Thanks to Gina, I got my most pressing questions for Janie about “Mad Men Style” answered.

Below, the Q&A 1.     Which character did you first want to work on? Why?

JANIE BRYANT: From the moment I read the script, I loved all of the characters. They each have their own story and costume nuances—I’m lucky to be able to design for them all!

2.  **We’re fascinated with the past now, particularly the Sixties: Mad Men, The Real Stewardesses of Pan Am.  What do you think it is about this period that fascinates us so much?

J.B. People feel nostalgia for a time when they could dress for occasions.  They want to feel the everyday glamour that is so characteristic of the 1960s and incorporate this into their everyday lives.

3.     How can we incorporate aspects of “Mad Men” dressing into our wardrobes?  For women?

J.B. A classic shirtwaist dress or sheath dress are great silhouettes to incorporate into your wardrobe.  Match your shoes to your handbag and don’t forget to layer those pearls, ladies!  You could even add white leather wrist gloves for a fun little touch—any length will do!

4. P/s suggest a Carolee piece for the principle characters: Joan, and Betty, in particular. 

J.B. It is simply the best for Betty, so strands of ladylike pearls would be my choice for her.  For a little drama in Joan’s life, a broach makes such a statement!

Endnote: Today, I went to Lord & Taylor and purchased my first “Betty-Jackie” Carolee piece; a 16″ pearl necklace, which I’ll be wearing daily.As for my Joan-Mrailyn friends, this Art Deco crystal broach would be stunning on you!