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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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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!

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?

Think Pink! H&M’s

25 Jan

Text, Vivian Kelly

After having completed my request emails thanks to The Fashion List put together my panel for the AAU “Fashion and the Social Media”, and registered for the IFB Conference on February 8, I started to think about what to wear to NYFW.

My usual in-the-country outfit consists of dark jeans, black leather Superga sneaks, Jack Wills socks, a cotton tee or LaCoste polo and a couple of cashmere sweater layers.

I’ll have to do a little more for NYFW but wasn’t terribly inspired until happening on p. 72. of Harper’s Bazaar February 2012 issue. The page is part of the “Smart Shopping” section and is titled, “Rose Parade”

The text goes like this:

Rose Parade

Pretty? Always. But 

These PERFECT PINKS

also have a little bite.

While I could never envision myself wearing and not toppling in a pair of Yves Saint Laurent shoes [$1,095], they DID make me consider wearing my blush pink ballet slippers out – weather permitting.

The Phillip Lim jumpsuit [$795] reminded me that oh yeah, I DO have a pair of pale pink Banana Republic chinos I scooped up last summer at a consignment shop in Newport, RI.