Archive | Lincoln Center RSS feed for this section

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.


Makeup Madness! Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing and his Metier de Beaute Lip and Nail Duos

7 Oct

Text, Vivian Kelly

One way to follow fashion before making any major wardrobe decisions is to pick up some new makeup. This may sound ridiculously simplistic, but there’s nothing like a new nail and lip color to punch-up your look in record time.

While chatting with Neiman’s charismatic fashion director, Ken Downing, during the recent Mercedes-Benz NYFW Shows, he told us that he is dabbling in cosmetics – as if he doesn’t already have enough on his plate! “SO, I asked, WHAT is the hot color? I usually only buy lipstick and nail polish.”

“Bordeaux – it’s all about that, although I did a gorgeous flame orange for summer.”

As he says, on the NM site, “It’s MINE! It’s WINE! And it’s FABULOUS! My latest color collaboration with Le Metier Beaute creates the new Twin Set. Lips matching nails, never fails, in a season of Lady Chic glamour. ” 

Click on the video to hear what else Ken has to say about fall and spring fashions, who he loves at NYFW and about his makeup collaboration with Metier de Beaute, exclusively for Neiman Marcus.

I investigated online at Neiman’s website and at the counter. Of course, I had to try all three lipsticks on and walked away, unable to decide which of the three sets in the Bordeaux Collection I would take home with me. Would it be “Red My lips”, or “I’m Worn This Way” or “It’s Mine! It’s Wine!”

The website decided it for me. I’m going with his latest – a new creme lipgloss called “In the Know Bordeaux” and “Im Worn This Way” because I have to have the nail polish!

A Changing of the Guard – the New Ports1961, Still in Formation

6 Apr

Text, Vivian Kelly

I miss the old Ports1961. The Ports I’m referring to is the free wheeling upscale boho aesthetic former Ports designer, Tia Cibanni, channeled in her women’s collection and the engaging V.P of PR and Marketing, Tony Alcindor, got us editors to know and to love. The vibe was “gypset” ie: a well-travelled woman who needed beautiful clothes cut from interesting fabrics that she could wear in Milan, Paris, Miami, New York, or Tokyo. The Ports woman was a free spirited globe trotter and I identified with her and cherish my pointy silver and black silk lame jacket to this day.

Glenda Bailey, Harper’s Bazaar Editor in Chief liked it too. As a result, Ports consistently got a lot of play in one of fashion’s most important glossies.

Recently, there’s been a changing of the guard. Perhaps it’s due to the harsh economy, or just Management’s desire for change. In any case, there’s now a new head designer, Fiona Cibanni, Tia’s sister, a men’s collection, co-designed by Ian Hylton and Fiona, and a very different philosophy. The men’s, which showed in Milan, was  stream-lined, neutral, and expensive-looking in that wealthy Milanese gentleman-type way. Even if you’re a jeans and tee kind of guy, you’d enjoy looking pulled together like this when the occasion arose for “serious” dressing.

I learned a little more when I dropped into the Ports showroom downtown feeling energized and inspired after a tour of the Assouline offices and lunch in the cafeteria with Assouline‘s Mimi Crume, just a few yards away from the Ports showroom.

I dropped in and  Ports PR Manager, Samantha Frappied, filled me in and showed me some of the new designs.

Samantha described the new Ports as sleeker, more refined, and with more attention to fabrics. There was a stunning red day dress shot-through with silver threads. It was a shift – I breathed a sigh of relief. Ports would REALLY not be Ports without their shift dresses.

Change extended to the accessories. No more shoe and bag collaborations – Ports will be taking that in house going forward. No more big Tent shows, no more Lincoln Center. Indeed, the last show was moved from the previously scheduled big Tent to a much smaller  show with only 200 people on the list. Shades of the Tom Ford Women’s show…??

In the meantime, I take back my words to my friend, Mark Behnke of Fashion Tribes – this version of Ports IS different, but different can be as good or better. I’m looking forward to the cruise/resort collection to form a cohesive picture in my mind.

>The Tibi s/s2011 Collection Show

18 Sep

>var addthis_config = {“data_track_clickback”:true};Bookmark and Share

Pre-show, backstage, designer Amy Smilovic spoke about how she wants to get away from prints a bit and show fashion that looks like how she herself dresses. For fall in NYC, Amy’s in a pair of black silk dupioni trousers w/ self coverered buttons and an easy long sleeve orange silk shirt and heels.

She is most decidedly NOT one of those designers who’s backstage running around in gray sweats and pins in her mouth. This extends to workdays at her studio. Everyone needs to come in looking dressed, or you get sent home to change.
Amy put her models in loafers but they weren’t generic school girl penny loafers. These loafers boasted a fashionably trendy wedge heel. Even shorts looked “dressed” as in a crean pointelle knit long sleeve sweater worn with well-tailored khaki silk shorts and a super short black tunic dress with matching shorts.

The little zebra print coat was fun but a strong shoulder + black pipinhg trim detail gave it an uptown girl vibe – something ‘Serena’ might throw on in Gossip Girl.

Instead of pattern, there was an abundance of texture, that included smooth washed silks, basketweaves, crochet, and beaded chiffon. You can pull pieces from this collection, and wear them with others already in your closet or splurge and buy a whole new headto toe outfit for the newer more toned down Tibi look. Designer Amy Smilovic has met her criteria: “to render fashion in an accessible way”.