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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.


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:



>The Christian Siriano s/s2011 Collection

20 Sep


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The best part of NYFW is that I get to actually TALK to people I write about throughout the course of the year. While in line for Lela Rose, Christian Siriano was flattered when I told him his that one of his finale gowns reminded me of a Bob Mackie.

Said Christian before being hustled off to his front row seat, “Ooh, I’ve always admired him and would love to meet him!”

A few days earlier, Christian had a pretty impressive front row going in section F: actor Alan Cummings and Leigh Lezark of the MisShapes – a modern day version of Snow White.

Siriano continues to build his brand – there are sunglasses now + wild vertiginous cage shoes for Payless and some matching taupe bags. I’ll pass on the bags but the shoes – oh my!
These towering models had women buzzing excitedly about them post-show.
The clean lined slim trousers and blouses and white dresses served as perfect foils to the sky-high retro hair and futuristic shoes. The details lay with the shoulder. There was an aqua and bronze party dress and a stab at the red carpet – a flounced gown with a crumb catcher bodice.

My favorites though were the simplest, the liquid silver short dress
and the silk charmeuse snakeskin blouse, gold snake leather skirt and matching clutch. He hit a dramatic note at the end w/ a ruffled red snake chiffon top worn w/ high-waisted black trousers.

My vote for “most dramatic evening gown” goes to the white finale tulle strapless gown where Christian unleashed his famous dramatic streak. I was reminded of old- time couturiers such as Bob Mackie, who like Siriano, weren’t afraid to “go there”.

I’ve been to over 1,000 fashion shows, but the Mackie show I attended nearly 10 years ago, at a cabaret at a long ago NYFW, is one I distinctly remember. Like Christian Siriano, Bob Mackie is a showman. In his hey day, fans included over-the-top personalities such as CHER, DIANA ROSS, WHITNEY HOUSTON, and TINA TURNER.

None of these gals was ever a retiring wallflower. He was also the costume designer for The Carol Burnett Show during its entire 11 year run, which as a child, I broke the rules for and watched in secret, when my parents were relaxing over Manhattans in the study, positive I was sound asleep in my bed. Back then, I loved Carol’s screamingly funny skits but I loved to watch her fantastic outfits too. It was a thrill years later, when I got to shake his hand after the cabaret show.

Going back to Christian Siriano, sure, it would take a daring woman to wear what one stylist referred to as “the toilet brush dress”, but the right woman can carry it and she’ll make a statement wearing it.
When you step-out as Mr. Mackie and Siriano do, and try to create dramatic couture level garments, not everyone’s going to love it. Couturier Paco Rabanne was criticized for his “space age designs” early in his career. We need some fashion and fantasy in fashion. Without talents such as Siriano, Mackie, McQueen, and Rabanne who dared to push the envelope, fashion would be a very dull proposition, indeed.