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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?


Versace Lovin’ in Vogue Japan and Madonna Makes the Superbowl

4 Feb

Text, Vivian Kelly


I was sitting in Anthony’s black patent leather nailhead chair with Madison Avenue to my right and my laptop in front of me. To my right on the marble ledge were stacks of Rizzoli and Assouline coffee table books as well as the latest European editions of Vogue. As Anthony magically erased my skunk roots with the potion in the squeeze bottle, we talked blogs and the Superbowl.

He’d just posted  on the killer images shot by Carlyn Cerf de Dudzeele for Vogue Japan, which he’d also collaborated on. Anthony’s role was to work his colorist magic to give the models cotton candy colored hair which played off the Versace outfits. I’d  previewed them on his ipad over the Holidays but seeing them in the post and in the actual magazine blew me away. The other contributors were Oribe who styled the hair and Lena Koro who did the makeup.

This shoot  is unmistakably reminiscent of those incredible Avedon ones back when Gianni was still alive. The clothes, many of them from the Versace for H&M Collaboration were so close to Gianni’s early nineties designs that I almost wept with joy. Enjoy these cotton candy images, you can peruse on your iphone as you pretend to be paying attention to the SuperBowl game.

Fashionistasdon’t forget to look up at half-time though, to watch the one and only Material Girl strut her stuff in front of 111 million viewers [last Bowl’s figures]. The SuperBowl is said to rank #2 in “holidays with most food consumption”, but maybe thoughts of fitting into Versace and watching Madonna’s insanely toned body will spur us to put that 10th chicken wing down!

Madonna - Toned and Jacked to the Maxx

Versace – You Want to Fit Into This!

To read Anthony’s post on this fantastic editorial, go to Anthony Leonard Salon’s blog. Note his clever use of cotton candy colored text!

100 Unforgettable Dresses by Hal Rubenstein + Joe’s Jeans = Newfound Holiday Spirit

11 Dec

Text, Vivian Kelly

Yesterday, I finally edged my way into “the Holiday Spirit”.

The event that got me into the spirit was  InStyle Fashion Director Hal Rubenstein’s Book Signing  at Joe’s 77 Mercer Street, orchestrated by Paul Wilmot Communications.

Hal Rubenstein, Author of 100 Dresses, fashion guru-personality

I’ve blogged about Joe’s Jeans before because I was entranced by Paz de la Huerta in the recent campaign that was more art than commerce [love that].  The most recent campaign – colored jeans – grabbed me too, but in a different way. The last time I wore colored jeans was in the Eighties. It was Christmas Break at Duke, and I had some money to spend and found myself at Macy’s, in the Ralph Lauren Department. I was inextricably drawn to a pair of Tiffany blue jeans. What would I wear with them? I didn’t know, or care. I wanted them, they were on sale and they were “something else”.

Years later, [last night] when I had a look at what Hal wrote in my copy of 100 Unforgettable Dresses, I was reminded of those jeans.

His signature in my copy reads, “ To Vivian, Wear Something Unforgettable, Be Someone Unforgettable”. H.R.

Every time I wore those jeans, I got compliments from fraternity guy friends, and was thrilled that “stepping out of the box” could reap ego boosting benefits.

Every since then, I’ve gone with my gut – something Hal recommends. If you love it, GET it, you WILL wear it. Last night, I luxuriated in a pedicure and gobbled up as many entries in the book as I got the opportunity to read some of the entries. A few favorites:

Slip for Butterfield 8 [Elizabeth Taylor in Helen Rose

Green Evening GownFor Atonement [Keira Knightlley in Jacquelyn Durran]

Revenge Dress [Diana Princess of Wales in Christina Stambolian]

Elizabeth Hurley launches her career thanks to Gianni Versace's "safety pin dress"


Many of these dresses are about one of my favorite themes, “The right time and the right place”. Take Elizabeth Hurley’s career making Versace safety pin dress. Prior to her 1994 appearance to then boyfriend Hugh Grant’s Three Weddings and a Funeral, she was “the girlfriend” aka arm candy. After that  came a those lucrative Estee Lauder contracts.

There’s so much more than this, consider this as an aperitif on a book that’s the perfect gift for anyone on your Holiday list who’s interested in any or all of the following: fashion, fashion icons, fashion history.

As far as the jeans, there are 55 colors to consider, but for now, the parakeet colored ones are in first place. Hey Santa, are you listening?

#1 on the list - Parakeet colored Joe's Jeans

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.

Homage to Fashion Icon, Loulou de la Falaise

7 Nov

Text, Vivian Kelly

In 2007, I was honored and privileged to have met one of the few remaining living fashion icons, Loulou de la Falaise. The place was San Francisco, where as one of their online Fashion Journalism instructors, I’d been invited to attend Academy of Art University’s April Fashion Show. We were at the pre-show cocktail party. Granted, it was only for a minute and with a few other people circling around her, but we did actually speak.  I managed not to spill my glass of chardonnay, as I soaked-in every detail I could of her outfit, all the while attempting to not be overtly staring and banking the details in my brain. She was reed thin, had crazy curls, a huge smile, and wore fuchsia lipstick.  Here was a woman who was “older” and as the French love to say, “comfortable in her own skin” – no BoDoc for her thank you.

She had necklaces and bracelets piled on and it all worked together and gave her blouse and trouser ensemble a festive air and a bit of a fairy-like quality, which YSL referred to in Alicia Drake’s The Beautiful Fall, which I’d read when it came out the year before. For those of you have haven’t read it, make some time to and I promise you it will keep you up for hours, as you learn about the rivalry between Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld and the member of their “camps”. Loulou was one of YSL’s most famous muses. She was in one of my ultimate “right time/right places” – the louche Paris fashion scene in the Seventies.

Click here, to read the lovely tribute to Loulou on AAU’s School of Fashion blog to learn more about this extraordinary fashion personality.

Click below

Farah Angsana- When Less Really IS More

10 Oct

Text, Vivian Kelly

A few weeks ago, while in Town [NYC] to check-out Douglas Hannant’s new PINK collection, I had a number of interesting conversations. One of these was with an industry insider, M, whom I’ve known for 20 years, and whose opinions I respect. We had been rehashing a few of the recent NYFW Shows. Farah Angsana, an eveningwear designer came up.

I remarked that I’d been following her for 4 or so years ago, starting back when I attended the now defunct Mercedes Benz LA Fashion Weeks at Culver City, CA. She and Kevin Hall were consistently among the best shows there. Ms. Angsana knew how to shape a beautiful bodice – which reminded me of Nineties designer, Donald Deal – who may have missed his calling. HE should have been working with movie costume designer Edith Head. Together, they would have designed some utterly unforgettable gowns for Grace Kelly, similar to the stunning aqua one she wore in To Catch a Thief (1955).

Prior to seeing the butterscotch ruffled ball gown in this collection, I had associated the words, “beading” and “bling” with Ms. Angasana’s evening gown designs. This gown showed her ability to deliver design that is understated and elegant and that whispers rather than shouts. Designs such as these play better in the Box’s Art Gallery setting rather than on a runway with blaring music in the big tent’s stadium-like venue.

“Sometimes less is more, said my friend, M. It really worked better for her  showing in the Box than having a big runway show.”

She’s right. I admittedly only saw a few of the looks before rushing off to the next show, but was impressed by the elegant looks I did catch. In our short interview, Ms. Angsana said that she was inspired by a recent trip to Asia and numerous visits to art galleries and museums in which she was sparked by the gorgeous fabrics and embroidery treatment she admired there.

Watch the video below, to hear the details.

Lisa Perry’s Modern Take on the Iconic Pan Am Stewie

22 Sep

Text, Vivian Kelly

The Right Time and the Right Place: “The Pan Am Era”, circa 1963

My NYFW mates, Mark Behnke, Men’s Editor for Fashion Tribes and “Video Vixen” Lisa Johnson, Editor in Chief of Lisa Johnson Fitness, couldn’t wait to meet the crew of “The Real Stewardesses of Pan Am”. Unfortunately, by the time we raced over from the Donna Karan store and the Marissa Berenson Book signing, our targets had flown the coop. We still got our Pan Am Stewie fix though, as there were models dressed in the blue retro uniform handing out airplane snacks and beverages. Once we fueled-up, we settled in and started exploring the all white store. I was transported back to the early Sixties, a period in time I’m utterly enamored with. I actually DID fly Pan Am in 1963, but as an 11 month old infant, sadly I don’t remember much. Ten years later, I caught the end of the “Pan Am Era” jetstream, when I flew Pan Am , New York to Paris, and had one of the best meals of my young life -on a plane! What I remember even more than the food was how utterly beautiful the stewardesses were, with their little hats, perfect figures and immaculate hair and makeup. Barbie couldn’t hold a candle to them. Years later, when the airlines changed their title to “flight attendant”, the glamour left the building. They may as well have called them “air waitresses”.

The Lisa Perry store is a like a very cool apartment you want to spend the day in so you can look at all the coffee table books, [such as Airline], study the Roy Lichtenstein prints on the wall and try on each and every one of the colorful Sixties’ style dresses hanging on the fixtures. For a fashionista who’s enamored of this era, it’s like being deposited into a wonderful penny candy store where you want to try everything on but don’t know where to start.

A Japanese businessman was holding the last Pan Am logoed bag Lisa had designed. He couldn’t decide if he should buy it. It wasn’t leather, but it was “a great design and a wonderful piece of retro. My wife will kill me if I buy this, but…”

I encouraged him, “If you don’t buy it tonight, you’re going to kick yourself later. There won’t be any more, and you know that once you see the show, you’ll want it even more. You can tell your wife you’ll share it with her.”

He bought it.

On our way out, my initial disappointed on missing the cast evaporated when we got to chat with Lisa Perry herself about the Limited Edition bags she’d designed for FNO and to commune about our shared love for this legendary time in history.

Ms. Perry told us her collaboration with the highly anticipated TV show, The Real Stewardesses of Pan Am was suggested to her by Vogue magazine. When I asked if she would design a Pan Am suit she laughed and said she could design a whole collection based on that but only after researching the original suits. Stay tuned for the upcoming show episodes and for Ms. Perry’s Pan Am inspired suits. If the limited edition bags she put out are any indication [most were snapped up on FNO] of the success of this future collection, then she’ll have a gang-busters hit on her hands, as will ABC.