Tag Archives: NYFW

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.


NYFW – Uptown and Downtown Girls: the Eleanor Lambert cocktail party and the Astonish Magazine Launch

9 Sep

Text, Vivian Kelly + Laura Wood

“Women with Access” – that’s the phrase long-time gal pal and fellow blogger, Judi Ecochard, posed to me in an early a.m. phone conversation as we discussed where we’d been the first night of the s/s/2012 NYFW.

My contributor, Laura Wood and I split the evening in two. I took uptown and she took downtown.

With so many shows and events [and that’s not even taking into account, FNO] – fashion’s night out – NYFW has truly become the survival of the fittest and a divide and conquer proposition.

We arrived into town and had barely had the time to drop our bags at the CC[Cornell Club] before we split-up and started our bi-annual marathon coverage race.

Uptown took me to a swank cocktail party down the street from the Lincoln Center Tents, on the 10th floor of the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse . The event – a cocktail party and book signing to celebrate friend John Tiffany’s new book, Eleanor Lambert: Still Here and was underwritten by Swarovski.

I’m a fan of fashion history but John is a true fashion historian and had the privilege of working for the grande dame.

In the book, he explores the legendary PR maven’s career and her accomplishments, which include launching Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Halston, creating “the best dressed list” to holding a fashion show for American designers at Versailles. That one production finally gave American fashion designers some respect with their French counterparts.

As I waited for my date of the evening, the stylish Ellen Sears, AAU’s Director of online Fashion to arrive, I amused myself by observing the NY socials wafting in and out of the elevators, including the CFDA’s CEO, Steven Kolb, and Warris, a fashion designer/socialite. Outside, the weather was frankly horrendous, but the rain didn’t stop anyone from donning their stilettos and newest fall outfits and the room was packed to capacity.

AT about the same time, DOWNTOWN, Laura was fighting her way through the crowd at the Astonish Magazine launch party at the Gansevoort Park Avenue on 28th and Park. They tried to combine the magazine launch with a fashion show of Phuong My’s designs. Theoretically, it was a good idea – how could you complain about hanging out at the Gansevoort Park Avenue?

It was well attended, but chaotic and even those with assigned seats got bumped. Laura can’t comment on the clothes as the space was packed like a can of sardines. That’s par for the course. What was NOT acceptable was the general mass confusion and the fact that the girl handing out the magazines “didn’t know what the people responsible for creating the magazine looked like” so she couldn’t even get a post show interview.

The sponsor side fared better they really came through and we enjoyed a delicious cocktail featuring Sakiri vodka [with ginger ale and lemon] and the Luxx Chocolat dark chocolate squares. Laura, a chocolate aficionado, on a scale of 1-10, at least a 9+.

In the end, it was a little too much like The Great Gatsby in which you had a fine time but felt dissatisfied as you left, never having met the host.

Grooving on Graffiti: Crash Matos at Tumi

11 Apr

Text, Vivian Kelly

Some things in life grow on you. One of those things, for me, is graffiti. As a child growing up in the secluded enclave of Old Greenwich, CT, it was SCARY and EXCITING to ride into the City and to see the subway cars our Metro North train passed on 125th Street. They were completely covered in graffiti. The scary part was 125th Street, which equaled the wanton corruption I saw on films such as “The French Connection” and the Bond classic, “Live and Let Die”. Some of the best actors to hit the silver screen made appearances in these two period blockbusters: Gene Hackman, and Roger Moore and Jane Seymour.

James Bond, Starring Jane Seymour and Roger Moore

Graffiti was glamorous too and appealed to the rich trust funders who hung out with Andy Warhol and patronized Jean- Michel Basquiat. Uptown fashion designer, Douglas Hannant, even created an evening gown, years later. His fall 2010 collection could be called “the Basquiat Collection”. It was influenced by the artists’ work and was the designer’s  hommage to the early Eighties downtown scene and a long-ago unforgettable party he attended, according to a source. I don’t doubt it, having attended just such a party back then, with every other person in attendance boasting credentials such as “assistant to Patrick Demarchelier, a model who walked for Steven Sprouse”, etc. etc.

These days, graffiti is ubiquitous and can border on pretension. I ran into a reclusive graffiti artist, manning his booth on Union Square. He had some riveting designs, of an eye, hand-painted on “boy-beater” tees. He was uninterested in conversation until I handed over twenty-odd dollars for one of his designs. Even then, “no photographs”. My friend, uber-twitter-er, Lisa Johnson, drolly commented, “With that attitude, we’ll probably be seeing him at the next NYFW”.

Upon receiving her facebook message, I chuckled, half-soaked, while waiting for the X-Town bus on 14th Street and shot her a response back.

“YES, chances are good that we will be seeing this guy in September.”

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.

ESSIE [Weingarten] on Natural Nails – Why They’re The Best

15 Mar

Text, Vivian Kelly

I love the AAU [Academy or Art University] show as it gives me a chance to see some of the talented students’ designs at the school I’m proud to be an online instructor for.

The show’s always one of the highlights [a full-on post on the latest AAU show coming – later this week].

This time though, I got two shows in one because I finally got my interview with nail Deity, Essie Weingarten, across the runway, front row, with her adorable young friend, Claire, who of course is an Essie fan.

Essie’s “a natural nail girl” – always has been, always will be. Although she sold her company to L’Oreal, she maintains an active role and her enthusiasm for natural nails hasn’t waned the tiniest bit since I met her years ago, backstage at a Ralph Rucci show I was covering as Lucire’s Beauty Editor.

Essie talks about why a mani and pedi can be a girl’s best friend and way cheaper than the other one [diamonds] and advised me on which colors to wear for a warm weather getaway.

On tomorrow’s agenda – a stop by my local nail salon to pick up the 2 shades for my Mexican get-away in April. Ole!

Libertine’s Johnson Hartig, Talks about his Creative Process Backstage pre the fall 2011 Show

8 Mar

Text, Vivian Kelly

Model backstage at the Libertine fall2011 Show

My earlier post served as an intro to this line that’s been a Vogue favorite for quite some time. Since he launched Libertine with former partner, Cindy Greene in 2001,  designer Johnson Hartig has collaborated with Damien Hirst and Goyard and at the opposite end of the spectrum, with Target.

And why not go high-low if it’s “right”? After spending some one-on-one time with Johnson, it’s clear to me that he’s a free spirit who works from his gut.


Rules? Shmools. When I asked about the Pantone Color Chart and if he paid attention to the “top 10 colors” of the season, he laughed. He’s right though, because since the late Nineties, it’s increasingly hard to dictate trends to women. With the advent of the Internet, women have far more information at their disposal and are far less reliant on fashion bibles to tell them that they should be wearing shoulder pads or green this season and should chuck anything with a print on it, etc. etc.

Tomorrow, the video which gives a peek at Johnson’s creative process, one that created one of the best collections at this latest NYFW.

Loving Libertine – the fall 2011 Collection Show & Designer Interview

5 Mar

Text, Vivian Kelly

Art gallery girls out there- rejoice! If you fancy a paint spattered smock, like me, you can wear a really gorgeous one in delicious popping tones such as fuschia,  marigold, red or a black and white graphic print if you’re the more reserved sort. Black and white was reserved mostly for the men.

Women will also be staying warm in cozy fuzzy tweed overcoats that I’m betting will be landing on the pages of Vogue sometime soon. There. Were 2 Vogue editors in attendance, and possibly a third, someone said. Meredith Melling Burke and her co-Voguettes

Libertine designer, Johnson Hartig, in his Libertine Show, Backstage at the fall2011 show

posed gamely for the cameras, and why wouldn’t they? Even on a frigid Saturday morning at 10a.m. they looked “Vogue” ie: impeccable.

If you’re wondering, “was it worth it to drag oneself downtown off the beaten path to see a collection?” the answer is a resounding “yes!”. PR friend, Deborah Hughes told me yesterday that each item that went down the runway [and that will eventually be sold to the public] is unique. Why? Because each item is vintage and designer, Johnson Hartig, repurposes the vintage items he uses – nothing assembly line here in his design process.

Meet the free-spirited Johnson tomorrow, when I post our pre-show interview backstage, as well as some fun getting-ready-for the show stills.