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Tadashi Shoji Fall 2012 Backstage- “Shanghai” Collection”

19 Apr

Text and Videos, Vivian Kelly

SHANGAI

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, http://goo.gl/otPrn

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

Enjoy!

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The Rebeccas: Rebecca Taylor and Rebecca Minkoff and Their Fall 2012 Collections

24 Feb

Text, Vivian Kelly and Laura Wood

Friday, Feb 10

Rebecca Taylor and Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Taylor

The impression we had was based on our knowledge that Rebecca Taylor  is a seasoned pro and knows how to put together a cohesive collection. That was underlined by seeing newer designer Rebecca Minkoff’s collection immediately afterwards. Our strongest impression was that Ms. Minkoff’s collection didn’t hold together as a cohesive collection lacking a central theme.

Ms. Taylor’s clothes this season are layered and asymmetrical. We liked #4, an elegant take on a long tee shirt and leggings. You get the ease of the former but with the festiveness of sequins and chiffon you could wear to a party.

Rebecca Taylor's Look #4 from the fall 2012 Collection Show

Rebecca Taylor's Velvet Burn-Out Dress, Look #18 from the fall 2012 collection show

Number 18, a velvet burn out dress is for anyone who wants just a little bit of asymmetric.

Ziggy Stardust Wallpaper - David Bowie

Rebecca Minkoff’s Opening Look – Touches of Ziggy Stardust

Rebecca Minkoff's Look #18 from her fall 2012 collection show

Look 27, an ivory boucle sweater and quilted leather skirt is cute but only on the skinniest girl. The asymmetric layered look isn’t for everyone but Ms. Taylor works it with a sure hand.

Rebecca Minkoff

Looks 1 and 3 in the “Galaxy Sequin” segment at Rebecca Minkoff had shades of Ziggy Stardust and seemed ideal for the aspiring LA starlet.

From that point on, although it was obvious that the collection had distinct themes, they were dispersed unevenly. First you see eye-popping neon color with gray and then appears again in look 18 and then in 20 and disappears. We liked this grouping and wished it had been presented together and she did a good job toning down summer brights with gray making it suitable for fall. Look 18 had some nice separates you use in both spring and fall.

Costello Tagliapietra’s Flattering Fashion for the Modern Woman: The Fall 2012 Collection

21 Feb

Text, Vivian Kelly and Laura Wood

Reported by Laura Wood – Thursday, Feb. 9, Milk Studios, NYC

This season the guys had a lot of prints [for them] using their eco-friendly airdye technology. The first look came out and I knew that I was at a Costello Tagliapietra and I felt that although the colors were strong, they would suit a lot of colorings. The plunging V-neck and flutter sleeve were easy-sexy and that’s what you go to C.T. for.

Look #5 from the fall 2012 Collection, photo by Alessandro Garofalo/GoRunway.com

Look #5, the Costello Tagliapietra fall'12 Runway Show

Look #5 was an easy transitional reversible coat in chartreuse and orange, perfect for when you can’t just go out in your dress and meet even extend to chillier summer days.

Although some of the prints included editorial eye-popping colors, Laura loved the sophisticated print of look #8. The skillful construction minimizes what you want to hide and maximizes the curves you want to highlight.

Costello Tagliapietra Look # 8 The Perfect Dress

Costello Tagliapietra Look #9 - the Medieval Hooded Theme

In look #9 they address the hooded theme of the season. After looking at this coat, we can’t wait to throw-away our hats. The hoods are reminiscent of the ones people wore in Medieval Times which were a hooded cloak, not to be mistaken with a sweat shirt hoodie.

Although Vivian loved the skinny pants we agreed that #15, the high waist park pleated trouser is a necessary wardrobe staple whether you’re a size 2 or 12.

Costello Tagliapietra Look #15 The Essential Bark Pant

They offered five evening gowns, and our favorite was look #26 – a lavender sheath with beautiful draping and just enough sheen to be glamorous without being overdone.

Costello Gown Look #26, Our Favorite Evening Option From The fall '12 Collection

Bravo Costello Tagliapietra! You did it again.

Maria Maria Maria! [Sharapova] – That Is, Styled by Leonard Zagami For NYFW

17 Feb

STORY, Anthony Palermo

Preface,by Vivian Kelly

I’ve always admired  gorgeous women with long blonde locks since I was 5 years old, starting with Goldilocks and  later, Princess Aurora, Farrah Fawcett Majors, Marilyn Monroe and more recently, Blake Lively and Maria Sharapova. Family friend, William, then a Dutch University Student, and now a KLM pilot, jokingly showed me an image of Maria Sharapova on his iphone, casually calling her “my girlfriend” and then laughing when I believed him – for a second.

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones to think Maria was something really special.

This season, at NYFW, Maria was front row at some of New York’s biggest shows. Below, Anthony Palermo, tells us how his ALS partner, Leonard Zagami, created some fresh looks for the gorgeous tennis star. I’ve featured the one she sported at the Marc Jacobs show.


And, now… here’s Anthony!

“Mercedes Benz Fashion week is always filled with fabulous people. These Fall RTW 2012 collections were more about the who’s who in the front row. One of our all time favorites , Maria Sharapova , knows how to make an entrance and cause a frenzy on the court, but the real commotion starts when she is spotted at all the hottest shows!  Celebrity make up artist  and  friend of the AnthonyLeonard Salon ,  Andie Markoe -Byrne, teamed up with  Leonard Zagami, Creative Director of ALS,  to complete Maria ’s looks for the shows.

Read on as Leonard explains look 1 of the 3 looks he gave the grand slammer for this very fashionable NYC Week!

AT Marc Jacobs:

Maria , seen here with famed photographer  Patrick Demarchelier and his wife Mia , had a slightly pinned back side part . “I used Super Shine Cream by Oribe   to get a sleek look with out it being too overdone” says Zagami. ” I also used a Kent Brush ( for fine hair) to help smooth down fly-aways”. Maria usually  parts her hair in the middle so this was a great change for her!

To read and see all 3, go to anthonyleonardsalonblog. There, you’ll find out how Leonard styled her for her appearances at Vera Wang and Oscar de la Renta. If you’re sitting next to Anna [Wintour], you had BETTER be on your game! Thanks to Leonard, Maria looked every bit the star she is.

Christian Siriano Comes Into His Own

12 Feb

Reported by Laura Wood

Text, Vivian Kelly and Laura Wood

When Christian Siriano burst onto the scene after becoming the winner of Project Runway’s 4th season. Back then, he was known for his foppy hair do, “fierceness”, wild prints and penchant for ruffles.

Laura already loved bats [the real ones, not the ones in “Twilight”], and she was wowed by the bat inspiration at Christian’s latest runway show. We already know that Twilight’s Kristen Stewart is a fan, but so is Gabourey Sibide of “Precious” who while considerably larger than the waify Stewart, looked great in his designs.

Now to the clothes – in a word, breathtaking.

Satin Bat Vein Dress from Style.com Slideshow, the fall 2012 Show

Almost uniformly, the flow of the clothes as they moved down the runway gave Laura chills. It was a great collection, starting with the opening platinum crepe satin bat vein dress, which set the tone for the whole show. Subtle elegance showed a new found sophistication and self confidence in this very talented American fashion designer. As always, Laura is on the lookout for clothes that fit real women, ie: those who have curves and aren’t 5’11”. Like all the top designers, Siriano seems to fully understand that a winning collection is one in which the women wear the clothes not the other way around.

Later, Laura found a tried and true substitution to her vintage Michael Kors  Eighties’ batwing dress, exit #13, a wing sleeve sheath dress, which actually more suited to her now that she’s in her Forties.

Siriano still retains his sense of drama but he’s in charge of the drama this time and that bears out in his masterful designs like look #9, the faux fox infinity scarf which got “oohs” from Laura’s neighbors. Because it was paired with The very simple knit turtleneck and silk tuxedo trouser underneath set it off perfectly.

He made sure to include some Academy Award contenders including a black beaded scalloped gown and a wing sleeve evening gown. The trend for beaded gowns on the Red Carpet at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards has already been set. We’d love love to see this gown on Berenice Bejo, who was really cute in “The Artist”.

Our vote for “most versatile dress” goes to #22, the burgundy silk sheath dress with flight neckline.

Bowery Hotel + Dominic Louis = Modern Medieval Luxe

11 Feb

Text, Vivian Kelly and Laura Wood

This was the last show of the evening and we almost didn’t go but thanks to the ridiculous self-created chaos at Milk Studio we scrapped our plans to stay for Erickson Beamon, M. Patmos, and John Bartlett. Lucky for us, we’d gotten our interview with John early on – [thanks Ross from the Deborah Hughes team!].

Chaos Outside Milk Studio, Thursday Night, 9:20p.m. - No one's getting in at this point!

We heard later from Tracy E. Hopkins of Everythingshewants.net that the only way she and her friends were able to stay inside until the 9:00p.m. doors open time was by convincing the security guys who were manning the Libertine show was to let them stay in the building thus avoiding the Studio54-esque lines that extended way past Jeffrey’s.

A cab ride later we entered one of our favorite venues, the ski lodge like atmosphere of the Bowery Hotel’s private party space complete with roaring fire, medieval tapestries, and moroccan tiled floor. The only fly in the ointment was that it was a cash bar but that was offset by the complimentary bobble water bottles.We even posed for them and the bobble is in our bags now at all times.

This Versus the Line At Milk - Where Would YOU rather be?

As far as the clothes – a pleasant surprise; the more we looked the more we liked.  The first impression is how wonderfully the clothes fit with the atmosphere of the venue ie: a perfect presentation. On the way back to the Club, we reflected how these wonderfully constructed clothes would not have have fared as well on a traditional runway. These clothes needed to be examined close-up in order to fully appreciate the detail.

The "everything dress" at Dominic Louis

My Contributor, Laura Wood, and Ellen Sears, AAU Online Director of the Fashion School all loved and agreed we would wear the black knit sweater dress. This dress takes into account the idea of season-less dressing which is particularly relevant these days as the weather is so unpredictable. Paired with a a long sleeve top and with a coat, its good to go for a cold 30F day like today. It works just as well in 40-60 degree weather worn on its own with little ballet flats or high sandals.

There were several pieces with hoods for men and women that had were reminiscent of the hooded cloaks worn in Medieval times. A cloak seems like a fresh alternative to a coat. The most spectacular piece was two piece ensemble combined hard and soft. The breast plate-like shell top was intricately worked leather. The more you looked the more of the design you noticed, just as you would a finely carved sword handle. It may be highly “editorial” [translation – not for everyday] but we wanted it anyhow.

Last but not least, we stopped on the way out to admire the art house photogpraphs, especially the one of the fierce guy wearing a ball-gown skirt.

Note to Designers for next season – we’ll go to see anyone who shows here!

Christian Siriano and Mena Suvari’s Fashionable Shortie Film

3 Feb

Text, Vivian Kelly

The count-down to New York Fashion Week is on but what I call “the pre-show” is more interesting this time around. Usually, I get previews in my in-box which are helpful but a bit boring. This season, though, publicists and designers are taking a more creative approach to generating interest for their clients’ collections that will be revealed next week in New York. Christian Siriano is one of these designers.

Mena Suvari Works A Christian Siriano Gown to Its Maximum Potential

A few days ago, I got a beautiful video clip from Slate PR of NY Fashion Designer darling, Christian Siriano‘s Spring/Summer 2012 video campaign that was shot exclusively at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York City. It stars Mena Suvari, with music by Brad Walsh. and edited by Brian Hicks and Alicia Solombrino.

I didn’t need the film to be convinced that the spring 2012 collection was Christian’s strongest one to date, but it DID make me appreciate it all the more.  This is certainly not Mena’s first foray into the fashion and beauty worlds, but this film lacks the canned quality of the l’Oreal videos she’s done. The Siriano film is editorial in nature and as thus, much more interesting to watch. I’ve railed in the past about how actors have replaced supermodels on fashion magazine covers, but when it comes to doing a promotional film of this nature, you need an actor rather than a model. Watch it and see whether or not you agree that red and orange are still Mena’s best colors.  Enjoy!

A Quick Refresher About Mena Suvari

You’re probably most familiar with actress Mena Suvari as the lucsious “Angela” in her 1999 break-out film, American Beauty.American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes. In it, Kevin Spacey stars as office worker Lester Burnham, who experiences a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with Angela, his teenage daughter’s best friend. It’s hard to forget the image of Mena laying in a field’s worth of American Beauty Roses with that knowing look on her face.