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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.

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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.

True Fashion – The Legend of Lady White Snake, Starring Daphne Guinness

15 Feb

Text, Vivian Kelly

Reported by Vivian Kelly and Laura Wood

Photograph of Daphne Guinness by Markus Klinko & Indrani

WHAT: a Grade-A platinum fashion moment at 172 Norfolk Street, NYC

It’s taken me two days to fully digest the events of Sunday night. It’s not often I get a dose of pure undiluted high octane fashion.

Laura and I arrived at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art at 10:00p.m. on the dot. THIS was NOT something either of us wanted to miss a second of. We had high hopes for this event, in part due to two days worth of experiencing the polished sterility of the Lincoln Center Venues and the accompanying jitters of sucking down one too many cans of  free Diet Pepsi. We were actually look forward to visiting Alphabet City as the Lower East Side is the only remaining vestige of “NYC Eighties cool” that still survives. Going down there is fun and makes me feel 25 again.

The Angel Orensanz venue is the artist’s creation and is a cross between a Russian Orthodox Church and a nightclub, in other words, Limelight, when it just started and was THE place to go and dance until 2:00a.m. before going off to Florent in MeatPacking to have something to eat before trying to score a taxi willing to take us back to Laura’s apartment in the Village.

It was obvious from the moment we entered that this was “a happening”. First, there were the photographs – giant sized ones of Daphne Guinness posing in her astounding McQueen Couture, which she wore in the film. Catwoman has nothing on Daphne who was dressed up as a high fashion villainess in a red catsuit and insanely high heels. I’ll need to win Powerball to scratch this itch as I mentally “bought” four of the photographs that would look amazing in  The Fashion Examiner office and  fireplace room. Total cost for four of Markus Klinko & Indrani’s fabulous photos of Daphne = $160,000. These photos really DO “combine story-telling with cutting-edge fashion”.

Next, we ambled over to the well-stocked bar – no yukky plastic glasses here – and sat down in a padded bamboo gilt chair just as Daphne made her entrance in an incredible chainmail gown and a head ornament loaded with what I’m assuming were probably actually diamonds rather than Swarovski Crystals.

The film itself was genius – a cross between a poetry reading and a couture fashion show. It may sound odd, but it was spectacular. On our way out, Laura stopped to chat with a young female editor to get her take. Like us, she was blown away and was going to Google the film and read Neil Gaiman’s poem. The point of the film though, was the EXPERIENCE and it got a 10/10 on that score. After this visual feast, we got an auditory one – a performance by the very talented Viva Girls, who were perched like a row of angels in blue ball gowns to the right of the massive screen.

The grand finale to the event was a capsule collection of gowns from the new Genghis Khan collection designed by GK Reid. We loved the hooded one and his concept of transformative styling and dressing – something we can totally get behind.

SO, which of Markus Klinko & Idrani’s photographs of Daphne Guinness would YOU like to take home with you?

Daphne in her Chain mail Couture

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!

A Night Out – Holiday Cheer W/ Shiseido at Town & Country’s Visionnaire 5th Avenue Apartment

20 Dec

Text, Vivian Kelly

Last week, I was the “plus one” for a swank event co-sponsored by Town & Country and Shiseido. Contributor Laura Wood and I were there for a veritable laundry list of reasons:

– to chat with her friend, Connor Raus, a digital strategist ad the Creative Director of Digitature and to watch him in action, filming host and stylist, Luciene Salomone

– to check out the decorated apartment

– to watch the Shiseido presentation of the Future Solution LX line, of which I was already a fan. [ Kaplow PR had gifted me Bio- Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream which feels insanely rich and luxurious, even at 6:30 in the morning when I’ve only got one eye lid open. A few colleagues have told me how “rested” I looked recently.]

The event invite promised ” a lip touch-up” which sealed the deal as I can’t ever pass up an opportunity to find a new shade of lipstick, never mind the 30+ tubes of lipsticks and glosses piled behind me on the FE home office shelf.

An added bonus to the affair was to wander about the lovely apartment and to peruse the gorgeous Rizzoli coffee table books. I’ve got MM Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe on its way to me for some much anticipated holiday reading.

Below, a video of host, Luciene Salome discussing the events of the evening.

Theadora Brack’s Postcard From Reno

10 Nov

Headed out west for your holiday? Take heed! The desert air is dry, so to help you cope, here are a few beauty tips from Brian Jensen, a.k.a. “The Best Hair Stylist in Reno” (I’m not making that up; he won the award!).

From Theadora Brack in Reno

Faster than a card shark’s hand in Reno, it took just one hour for the dry desert air to wreck havoc on my tresses and skin, too. A sight making for sore eyes, my red haired locks suddenly went wickedly limp, dry and straighter than a full poker flush. While the parched skin was easy to fix with gobs of moisturizer, I still needed SOS for my newly-acquired “poor little scarecrow” look. Truth be old, I was in dire need of a Southwest hair specialist. And lickety-split.

So what to do? 

A miracle

Donning my Nancy Drew thinking cap, I quickly roamed the Internet and, thanks to a last-minute cancelation, I soon scored a rendezvous with the “Best Hair Stylist in Reno” at the “Best Hair Shop in Reno.” Ring-a-ding-ding! Haircuts are always a gamble, but I hit the jackpot with stylist Brian Jensen at the hip Salon 7, located just ten blocks from the main strip of in Reno. (As you make your way to the shop, get an eyeful of the vintage neon casino and hotel signs!)

The Fabulous Dean Martin of the Legendary Brat Pack

From floor to ceiling, the funky shop is decked out in eclectic art and retro industrial equipment, left over from its former life as a warehouse. It also boasts a gift shop. More to the point, Brian is an artist, and the cuts are affordable, starting at $35. Now, ain’t that a kick in the head?

Inside Salon 7

Giddy-up

Rocking a 1950s vibe, Brian resembles the young Brian Setzer of Stray Cats fame. Charming and charismatic, he’s got swagger and a witty gift of gab. Brian minced no words when I quizzed him about the rumored return of the bobbed hair do. “It’s out. Of course the Sassoon cut won’t go out of style, but now it’s softer. Natural-looking, low maintenance hairstyles are hot. Just accepting and working with whatever God dealt you is where it’s at. That and a little Sea Spray!” he added with a wink. And that’s when he introduced me to my new BFF: Redken’s Radiant Sea Spray. There’s an old running joke that Nevada is like “ten thousand miles of beach with no ocean” but here was the solution!

Brian’s Tips

Brian, the Hair Wizard at Salon 7

“Close your eyes,” Brian said, as he pumped up my volume. I was an avid listener. “Each time you move or touch your hair, this will take you to the sea. It’s got soy, sea algae and aloe vera. It’s smells like the beach whenever you touch your hair, and it’s silicone free. Desert air dries out your hair, but if you use too much moisturizer your hair can fall flat. It’s okay to use oil-free shine and anti-frizzy spritzers, but you have to apply them after the styling. Timing is everything!” Brian also recommended getting trims every four to six weeks.

Leaving Reno

As I strolled back to my hotel after getting the cut I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a storefront window and discovered a newly confident, courageous pioneer stride in my step. My whole outlook had changed, along with my hair. The cut was flawless, and the Sea Spray had brought back the shine, moisture and volume. “Baby, you’re going to break some hearts,” a man shouted from a passing eighteen-wheeler truck. Cost of the new hairdo, along with a take-home bottle of Redken’s little miracle? $50. And—unlike the merciless slot machines—worth every lost penny.

Getting there

Welcome to Salon 7!

7 Salon

495 Morrill Avenue

Reno, Nevada

775.786.7770

About Theadora Brack –

Theadora Brack is the Paris Correspondent with the travel website, Eurocheapo.com. Trekking to Paris in the near future? Check out the site for tips. Theadora’s bi-weekly column on Paris covers art, architecture, fashion, cuisine and shopping, always served up with a side of history.