Archive | Fashion Personalities RSS feed for this section

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


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?

India Hicks’ Stylish Island Life Can Be Yours: Her Exclusive Curated Event

27 Jan

Text, Vivian Kelly

Video Generously Provided by LaForce & Stevens Public Relations

I’ve always admired India Hicks’ elegant easy breezy appearance and manner, probably a result of her diverse life experience ranging from roughing it, backpacking around the world, to the polar extreme – serving as Princess Diana’s bridesmaid. I met her years ago, at a Michael Kors casting and she was just as she appears in public, down to earth and refined – someone you want to get to know better.

 India, at Princess Diana's Wedding. She is second from the left.

Speaking of royalty, India is from a family of design royalty. Her Father was the late David Hicks, whose work The New York Times*  characterized as “relentlessly organized, color-clashing home interiors were the acme of jet-set chic in the 1960’s”.

She’s not just an annoying “the daughter of famous person X; India is down to earth a a working royal. India has some notable projects to her name, such as the hotel in the Bahamas she restored.

These images are from a wonderful site [Life of Style] I found late last night, which I’m now following.

India Hicks' Modernized Version of Babe's Round Hill Retreat

Babe Paley’s Round Hill Retreat – circa 1959

*FUN POLL: Play Interior Designer with me – which version of this glorious Round Hill home do YOU prefer?

A well-known example of her work is the  re-design of Babe and William Paley’s former Jamaican residence. Yes, it WAS beautiful when Babe was in charge of the decor in 1959, but India has updated it and softened the decor.

In the video below, India  talks about her design aesthetic. 

After watching this, are you thinking, “Wow, her home is beautiful, but how am I ever getting some of that for my home?”

Answer:  Until today, it was tough to do unless you

made the trip to the Sugar Mill Trading Company, India’s  cultishly revered boutique on remote Harbour Island in The Bahamas.  in other words, it was a super-insider thing.

Not any more!

As of today  Friday, January 27th at 9:00 AM PT / Noon ET, India shares hand-picked global goods with members through an exclusive curated sale featuring carefully selected styles for him, her and the home at up to 60% off .

Some of the  island-inspired items for sale include: a silver seashell pendant, tie-waste tunic and beaded sandals, as well as luxury linens, throw pillows, trays and more from brands such as Thomas Paul and French Laundry.

A Few of India's Curated Items

* For more on the Jamaican Get-away, visit 

It’s Friday, shop till you drop!

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.


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.

H&M + Versace = The Second Coming of Versace

20 Nov

Text, Vivian Kelly

Gianni must be laughing from his grave in Cernobbio, Italy..

I’d received the advance media press kit, complete with images, way back, from TJ Allers, of Paul Wilmot PR, one of the most on-point PR guys I’ve ever worked with.

Yet, I waited, as day after day, the Internet was deluged with posts about the most anticipated Hi-low collaboration to date – Versace for H&M.

I went through all the images and cherry picked the ones that were most faithful to the Versace brand as it was at its Apex of glory in the early 1990’s.  Gianni’s Versace and the excessive lifestyle and legendary parties at his Miami home, Casa Casaurina, were one of those “right time, right place” moments, I would have killed to have been at.

Gianni and Donatella, at Casa Causarina

Who could ever forget those shows and ad campaigns featuring the impossibly gorgeous Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Stephanie Seymour?

Gianni's Girls: Nadia, Carla, Claudia, Christy and Stephanie

Below, a few of the Versace for H&M items I crave – Donatella, you’ve done your Brother proud on this one!

Wish List: the Faux Fur Vest and Bag

J-Lo Palm Tree Print

As far as scoring some of these one-offs, it’s unlikely, unless you’re willing to pay the price – the one on ebay, that is. I’m participating from my comfy office chair watching a pair of black leggings with the gold Greek Key motif running down the side. I’ve been at it for two days now and the current bid is £41 [$64.78] – eek.

Black Legging on ebay

Scanning the pages and pages of items that hit ebay BEFORE the official Nov. 19 launch, I felt a few sour grapes, thinking of a caustic piece on a blog [can’t recall which] that remarked that celebrities and high level fashion editors who’d attended the pre-launch parties were not above scoring some dosh on ebay. On the other hand, well, it’s hard times for everyone, right?

Below, the video of the November 8th fashion show in New York with Donatella on a loop saying, “My house, my rules, my pleasure”. Repetitious, yes, but Versace, all the way. because pre-Andrew Cunanan, that’s what the House of V. was all about and I’m glad to have a little bit of this brand’s luxuriously decadent brand back.

*Thx to Sachin Bhola of for posting the Video and witty write-up.

Eric Daman for DKNY Hosiery

3 Nov

Text, Vivian Kelly & Laura Wood

Reported by Laura Wood, Contributing Writer

I went to the 4 month old Dream Hotel’s Electric Room to report on Eric Daman’s new hosiery collection for DKNY.  As soon as walked in, I was immediately impressed by this hotel. It had a great vibe, like stepping into a hidden oasis.Out of all the events I’ve been to this fall in New York, the Dream Hotel was spot on with their cool comfort food. I loved picking up the teensy grilled cheese sandwich in tomato soup dipping sauce.

Inside the cozy venue, there were models perched on the edge of the sofas instead of posed stiffly on podiums. They seemed as if they were part of the party, but all of them happened to be  unusually tall and good looking. I was immediately attracted to the hosiery and went over and found Eric to compliment him on his designs. I found out later, that Eric Daman is the stylist for the hit TV Show, Gossip Girls. We talked about how the inspiration for his designs is New York. Some of his most winning designs were inspired by menswear fabrics. The  floral lace was a nod to the flowers at the delis you find on every street in Manhattan’s  residential neighborhoods. The florals were interesting, but the main story is  his use of pattern and texture. After chatting with Eric, the atmosphere was so great that I decided to stick around and met Cathleen Moxham, from the Hanes Brands. We had a drink at the bar and an entertaining conversation about how tights have gone in-and-out of style since the Eighties, when we all wore solid black tights to no tights – ever – in the Nineties. It seems that tights are now back.

Eric Daman for DKNY textured hoseEric Daman for DKNY Over the Knee Hights

And, there’s more…

As the temperature continues to drop, we can transition into DKNY  Super Opaque hose, a thicker, completely opaque black tight. Donna Karan has also launched the Luxe Layers which are completely fleece lined and incredibly comfortable and warm.

Note to Self: Pick up a few pair of the Luxe Layers and Eric’s Over the Knee Highs – ASAP!

The Dream Downtown is located at 355 West 16th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues)