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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.

The Tibi Spring/Summer 2012 Collection Show at Lincoln Center

16 Sep

Text, Carey Reed Zamarriego

Images of Front Row and two Runway Looks, CRZ

Individual Runway Looks, from Vogue UK

“I think women should dress in a way that’s effortless but never lazy,” Amy Smilovic, the American designer behind the Tibi label has said. Naming the ladies of Charlie’s Angels as the epitome of chic style, Tibi strives to provide pieces that take the effort out of creating laidback, modern looks. A feat that’s easier said, than done. I know I toiled away in front of the mirror the morning of the show agonizing over my outfit and trying to piece together an effortless, yet contemporary. In the end, I settled on a billowy red and white striped tank, navy boyfriend cardigan, gray skinny jeans and black booties. However, when placed under the bright lights of the runway show, my cool, collected appearance quickly began to melt.

Diagonally across from me though, were three ladies who seemed to beam in the heat of the show lights and represented the crisp, effortless modern style of Tibi to a T.

Socialite and part-time reality TV star, Olivia Palermo sat flanked by a male companion on one side and TV actress Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill). On the other side of Bush was Emma Roberts, tween actress (Nancy Drew) Julia Roberts’ niece. Olivia looked fresh and classic in an oversized gauzy cream blouse, a skirt so short it disappeared when she was seated, and animal-print pumps. Sofia opted for a strapless rouge leather dress, paired with a python clutch and Emma was decked out in a deep shade of plum.

The show began with a series of shorts, pants and tops in cream and pale hues of pink, green and blue, exuding Tibi’s effortless chicness. Next, there were pops of color with mustard and outfits pairing royal blue and black. Different textiles played off one another, some more successful than others. I didn’t really care for the short-sleeved leather tops, which awkwardly flared out at the models’ waists. There were several textured pieces: an eyelet black ‘nude-illusions’ dress and shorts, and several dresses that looked like they had been pressed with prints. Well-constructed, wide legged trousers and long cargo skirts were paired with sleek, feminine tops and represented Smilovic’s desire that “a woman should dress in contradictions – youthful and sophisticated, masculine and feminine, bold and muted colors.”

The show closed with a series of tops, shorts; and my personal favorite, a strapless, pocketed genie jumpsuit, which all had the same delicate white Asian flower print atop an emerald green and black background. The look was possibly inspired by Smilovic’s time spent living in Hong Kong. My other favorites included a strapless dress in mustard and Tibi’s gauzy halter neck dresses in baby blue and cream, all of which would easily roll up and travel nicely in a bag to the island for a day on the beach and transition, with heels, for an evening out.

Trends for spring/summer:

Return to long, cargo-style skirts

Wide-legged trousers

Royal blue and black; mustard and cream; slate blue and blush

Trends for fall (as seen in the crowd):

60’s styles a-la Mad Men

70’s boho chic: large, floppy velvety hats, oversized clutches, bellbottoms and hair left long, wavy and parted in the center.

80’s preppie style a-la any John Hughes film from the time

To view the collection and for more information on the Tibi brand, visit

If you’re in NYC, drop into their  SoHo Location, at  120 Wooster Street, to browse.

Carey is the Editorial Director for (W)anderlust Writing. To see more of her work and current project, visit:



Banged! Get some Bangs to Celebrate the spring 2011 Season

13 Apr

Text, Vivian Kelly

About a month ago, I hit the Javitz Convention Center to visit the VIP booth at the Vision Expo Show with the intention of discovering what was new in the sunglass world.

Beth Dempsey and her lovely team from Images and Details PR made sure I left with the 411 [pink and red frames], but I left with more than that.

I walked in slightly bored with my almost-bob and walked out excited about pinky-red lipstick and bangs. NO, not those [yawn] perfect long side swept ones all the TV hostesses wear on shows such as “Entertainment Tonight” etc. The bangs that makeup artist Jenni Shaw showed me were short, punky, and blunt. They were EDITORIAL, ie: exciting. SHE looked amazing in them as she did with her strong pink-red lip, but would I?

Being the fearless sort, Jenni cuts her own bangs – really – with a man’s electric trimmer. “Just swoop from left to right in one straight line, and that’s it, you’re done.”

It sounded so easy and I would have done it right then and there had she had the styling tool on hand. Instead, Jenni showed me how to create YOUR perfect red lipstick by custom mixing them yourself on a little dish. Use 2-3 colors until you’ve got the shade you’re looking for. Chances are, you’ve already got everything you need in your makeup bag. I did, in the big makeup artist case I store under my bathroom sink.

Red is one of those colors you’ll be wearing for spring and if you don’t want to commit to a shirt or dress, start small, with a pair of sunglasses and red lip. Drew Barrymore looks great in this look as does Kanye West’s front row friend at the fall2011 Jeremy Scott Show. The latter has bangs to complete the look.

Erin Simmons of the Shine-Aveda Salon cut mine that weekend. At least 4 people told me that “I looked French” in them – which I am.

After looking at a the images Sheila Arway of Kaplow PR sent me of this trend yesterday, in which star stylist, Kevin Mancuso, explains the trend, I’m ready for MORE. ”


“To duplicate this look, go for brow-grazing bangs that are slightly tapered at the corners.  This way you can wear them down or sweep them to the side to quickly change up the style.
Celebrity hairstylist and Nexxus Creative Director Kevin Mancuso, who has worked with A-listers like Anne Hathaway, Abbie Cornish and Kristen Bell, offers his tips on how to style your bang look:

Says Mancuso, “Bangs are a great way to update your look without sacrificing length off your ends,” The addition of thick, blunt fringe immediately draws focus to your eyes and emphasizes your bone structure.”

Here’s Kevin’s short cut to making sure your bangs look perfect, each and every day.


  • Pin bangs to the side and create a middle part.  Then use a large round brush to blow dry the rest of your hair.
  • Make sure bangs are still damp before styling.  If they have dried a bit, mist them with water prior to blow drying.  This will ensure there are no unwanted kinks in the bangs and also help set the style.
  • Curl bangs over the round brush and blow dry on low, bending ends slightly under for a flattering, face-framing shape.
  • Release the rest of hair from the hair tie.


Nexxus Thermal Volume Volumizing Heat Protection Mousse

Nexxus Comb Thru Natural Design and Finishing Mist

A Round Brush – I like Kent’s, available at MinNY

Here’s my GALLERY of fashion icons who showed us how to sport a bang.

I’m off to Walgreens to buy a pair of electric clippers and go just a little shorter….

>The Duckie Brown fall 2011 Show: Ruminating Backstage With the Duckies

23 Feb


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Text, Vivian Kelly

“Is this a ‘men’s collection” or a “women’s collection?”
Like Steven Cox, 1/2 of the Duckie Brown label, I find the question rather, well… dated. Perhaps a better word would be, “anachronistic””.
Back in the early Eighties, we had Grace Jones and Brigitte Nielsen. They looked FAN-TAS-TIC. They made the point that you could be masculine AND feminine – all at once. Both sported looks such as white “wife beaters” and “men’s” black tuxes in now-iconic photographs. They helped spout the notion of “androgyny” which photographic legend, Helmut Newton, helped to make fashionable.
Another famous example is Bianca Jagger, back in her Studio 54 Days. Her most famous outfit was a white PANTsuit. In the Seventies though, it was considered “daring” to wear pants to work.

Then-Vogue Editor, Grace Mirabella, was considered to be “daring” to propose this as “a work option”. As I later learned, as one of her Assistants, in the early Nineties, Miss Mirabella meant what she said. I cannot recall a SINGLe day she did not walk into the office in slacks. Her favorites were: Geoffrey Beene, Calvin, and Bill Blass, not necessarily in that order.

Even in the mid-Eighties, when I was going on my first job interviews, I wore SKIRTS – no question. Pants, were not really an option.
The whole topic seems ridiculous in retrospect. Just a year earlier, I’d gone on a road-trip to UVA [The University of Virginia] for a weekend of party hopping. The scene I lived out that weekend was straight out of Tommy Hilfigger’s tailgate glossy ads. What’s interesting is that when you inspect it closely, “preppy style” can ALSO, like “East Village Punk”, look quite uni-sexual. We college co-eds were from a dozen or so different colleges and universities but we all looked like the frat boys whose parties we attended.
The uniform: Lacoste shirt [untucked], Levi jeans [unwashed and stiff] and Sperry Top or Docksiders. Sounds limiting? Not really, when you consider how many different colors the Gator shirt was available in.
Okay, I made-up that word, “unisexual”. At the end of the day though, most of us are looking for clothes that we, as people, can just wear.
-The “wife beater tank
-Converse “Chuck Taylors”
-A really WELL CUT pair of trousers – Duckie Brown! Oftentimes, they will be black.
– Levi’s original 501’s. You need to break them in, it just takes time. Be patient.
-A Woolrich red and black buffalo plaid jacket
-Docksiders, the originals.

So, why can’t a man wear women’s clothes and vice-versa? Duckie designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver ponder the question in our pre-show interview, here.