Monday, June 30, 2003

Mercedes Benz 2003 Fashion Week

Registration Begins for Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week-September 12-19th, 2003

Applications for accreditation to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2004 Collections are now being accepted. Forms must be filled out no later than August 1, 2003. Online registration is available at 7thonsixth website. For more information Contact: Jacquie Kelleher 7th on Sixth 212-774-4307

For the Spring 2004 season, 7th on Sixth designed three new venues - Gertrude, Josephine and Bryant. To pay homage to the Tents Tenth Anniversary, 7th on Sixth renamed two of the venues - Gertrude (named after the Gertrude Stein statue in the Park that used to sit prominently backstage) and Josephine (named after the Josephine Lowell Fountain in the tent lobby) - which were the original names of the venues at the first 7th on Sixth event in 1993.

Gertrude, the largest space, is an all black venue with a central runway that seats over 700 people and costs $36,500. Josephine, a white venue with a U shaped runway, seats over 500 people with over 200 front row seats and costs $26,500. Bryant, the smallest venue has a white interior with black carpet, a raised runway, seats 234 people with a maximum capacity of 428 and costs $16,500.

All Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week venues include a fully equipped backstage area with racks, mirrors, make-up lights, radios and headsets, European style lighting, designed to evenly illuminate the runway and capable of providing several unique looks, a sound system balanced to provide fully equalized coverage for music playback, an expert design team for lighting, sound, stage and production and many marketing and promotional benefits, including signage throughout the tents and beyond, inclusion in advertisements in the New York Times, Vogue and other special marketing benefits currently being developed.

THE DAILY, the fashion crowd's new stylish obsession, will publish seven editions during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, with a commemorative issue dedicated to the celebration of the "Tents Tenth". With over 105 pages of advertising from luxury companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Lancôme, Donna Karan, Crest, Avon, Redken, Condé Nast, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Perry Ellis and more, THE DAILY became an instant success spawning a Los Angeles edition in April during Mercedes-Benz Shows LA and future editions in Milan.

A wide variety of activities and events are being planned to celebrate the anniversary. Details will be released at a later date.

For information on Volunteering for the Spring 2004 Collections contact:
Patty Hughes Volunteer Coordinator T: 212-253-2692

Chic, Cont’d:

As I previously mentioned, the distinctive and original vintage Louis Vuitton luggage, steamers, hatboxes, and bags are much chicer than Marc’s newest items (that usually become ‘the must haves’ of the season), and are always collector’s items. I recently came across a beautiful set - some with original monograms- priced from about $1500 to $5000, at LoCo, a wonderful little shop in Easthampton, right on Main Street.

A relatively ‘new kid on the block’ (they opened in April 2002), this jewel is the brainchild of Edmund Lo, who stocks the space with a mix of approximately 70% vintage, 30% new merchandise. Among the items that caught my eye were the racks of impeccable vintage Puccis (no stains, no discolorations), Hermes silk scarf blouses, and the white patent Courreges cropped jacket that would have had Marc Jacobs doing summersaults. There are shelves holding new Hermes terry cloth beach towels and tables filled with pieces of vintage Murano glass from Venice. The store also sells coffee table books and some men’s items.

LoCo is worth checking out when you are on the East End this summer, or when in Palm Beach for the winter. But the good news is that they are also right here in Manhattan, located at 244 east 60th street, (212 980 1168).

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

You Gotta Love Him:

I had to chuckle when I read Cathy Horyn's piece on Isaac Mizrahi in Tuesday's 'Fashion' section of The New York Times ("A Mizrahi Comeback One More Time"). His comment that he would "never buy something that costs $1800, but I would buy something that cost $8,000- or $8. I like very cheap clothes and very expensive clothes, what can I tell you?" proves that he is living in his own world. I would say that for the majority of people out there, $1800 would be deemed "very expensive".

Monday, June 23, 2003

You Gotta Love Her:

No wonder the fashion world is so in love with Sarah Jessica Parker (aka Carrie Bradshaw). If you watched last night's 'Sex and the City' season opener, she was already wearing one of the coming season's biggest trends (the scarf tied around the handle of a bag) when ringing the bell on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange.

And then there was her pronouncement that," I prefer to keep my money where I can see it: right here in my closets!" Retailers only wish they had more like her!

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Up Coming Biography on Anna Wintour:

Background research is now being done for a biography (unauthorized?) on Anna Wintour by the best selling author Jerry Oppenheimer (other recent books of his include an unauthorized biography of Martha Stewart) for St Martin's Press. We hear over a hundred interviews have already been completed with those who know or have worked with the Vogue editrix. Our editor Marilyn Kirschner was contacted the other day by the researcher and ex-wife Judy Oppenheimer. Marilyn worked with Anna during their days at Harper's Bazaar back in mid 1970's. It was then Anna's first job at an American magazine.

If anyone would like to contribute any reminiscences, insights, or anecdotes about the Vogue editor you may try e-mailing Judy at

Friday, June 20, 2003

Prints of the City:

‘The Big, The Bold, and The Beautiful’ may sound like the name of a soap opera, but it is the title of the Museum at FIT’s new eye popping exhibit which explores the impact the invention of hand- screen printing had on the worlds of fashion and interiors during the 20th century. As the brochure aptly put it, this process “united the fields of fine art and commercial textile production” and made “individual expression” possible.

The way the display was set up illustrated how each decade was defined by a particular ‘theme’ (the 20s and 30’s were marked by the marriage of form and function; the 40’s through the 60’s were defined by Art Moderne and Art Nouveau; the post war period was all about camouflage, tropical florals, an interest in jazz and modernism). And it also captured the influence of “major artistic movements of the time”: Expressionism, Pop, Op-Art.

As an art major, a lover of bold optic prints, and a collector of Pucci, I found a lot of visual stimulus walking around the informative exhibit, and was especially drawn to the vintage Puccis (one of which was a gift from Lauren Bacall), the group of paper dresses (including the famous Warhol Campbell Soup Dress), the graphic Marimekkos, and the Claire McCardell cotton dress from the mid 50’s that was fashioned from a fabric designed by Chagall. It is definitely worth checking out and runs through August 2nd.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Designing Women

On Monday night New York Women in Film & Television held their Fourth Annual Designing Hollywood Gala at Sotheby's and rather than go down that now too familiar road of lavishing praise on stylists who dress (or more accurately shop for) the stars for the red carpet, the organization made an infinitely wiser and more interesting choice of tapping three vastly talented women who are responsible for actors' looks on screen.

This year's honorees were Oscar-winning costumer Colleen Atwood who snagged a golden boy for her work on "Chicago," Jennifer Von Mayrhauser whose work for 11 seasons of the NBC hit "Law & Order" has been widely recognized as some of the best on television and make-up artist Judy Chin whose eclectic resume boasts work on the films "Frida" and "Requiem for a Dream" as well as the most style-conscious show ever filmed, "Sex and the City."

PEOPLE's managing editor Martha Nelson moderated an all too brief Q&A and traded quips with actress/model Karen Duffy, who when introducing Nelson, chided her for naming Duffy to her magazine's worst dressed list. "You transcend fashion and style," Nelson responded. "You're all about substance." And so, for a change, was a fashion event.

- reported by our contributing entertainment editor Diane Clehane

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Obituary Magazine: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

(Via Jim Romenesko) Russ Smith suggests in an article in today's Wall Street Journal 'Grim Reader: Let's Have Obituary Magazine' that Conde Nast, Hearst and others stop obsessing about celebs and stock tips and consider his idea: Obituary magazine. "In 2003 alone, Obituary's editors would have had so many stories that space alone would dictate the contents of a given week's issue," he says. "But the genius of this magazine would be a combination of sensationalism; thoughtful pieces on diseases like breast cancer, SARS and Alzheimer's; 25th or 50th anniversaries of the deaths of famous people; and longer outtakes on famine in Third World countries."

‘Prep Rally’

I don’t know why Ruth La Ferla (or Cynthia Rowley, for that matter) seem to be surprised that John Bartlett, the Harvard educated fashion designer, has now gone preppy. In the ‘Front Row’ column for Tuesday’s The New York Times (‘John Bartlett Goes Preppy’) Ms. La Ferla noted that the award winning designer who “made his mark on the runways by embracing marginal cultures and espousing styles like police-blue harness- strapped shirts and leather wife beater tops”, is now embracing the decidedly much more mainstream, straight laced, and conservative preppy look.

She recounted how, when Cynthia Rowley, a good friend of Bartlett's, spotted him clad in jeans and “what passed for a Brooks Brothers shirt” at the recent CFDA Awards, it prompted her to inquire, “What on earth are you wearing?” Who says preppy and hip style (or chic) cannot live in peace and harmony? If you think about some of the world’s best dressed- and most chic- through the ages, many have relied on a certain classic, preppy-ness in both dress and grooming (Jacqueline Kennedy, Slim Keith, Babe Paley) for their all American look. And just recently, Ralph Rucci admitted that what gets his attention are not tricks and gimmicks, but the effortlessness of the white shirt and pearls (which can certainly be described as ‘preppy’).

Maybe it’s time to toss aside ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and dust off your copy of ‘The Official Preppy Handbook’ edited by Lisa Birnbach in 1980. Speaking of which, Lauren Weisberger, the lanky Cornell grad who was once Anna Wintour’s assistant, and penned the best selling book, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, was on hand at the newly reopened Borders in Lower Manhattan, for a book signing and reading. And no, she was not wearing Prada, but rather, a decidedly preppy Kelly green cotton golf shirt, faded jeans, and chic green thong sandals.

Though Lauren refuses to admit that her book is directly molded from her experiences at Vogue Magazine, the funny thing is that as she read out loud for the audience, the fictional “boss from hell” Miranda certainly sounded like Anna, complete with British accent.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Reminder: Fashion Career Expo in New York:

New York City’s First Professional Hiring Event for the Fashion/Home/Beauty Industries.

Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2:00pm-7:00pm by Job Expo International at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 110 West 19th Street. Attendees must have a college degree and 2 years of industry work experience. Admission: Pre-registration for the job fair encouraged via

More than 50 well-known brands gather June 18 in New York City to recruit textile specialists, apparel designers, graphic artists, retailers, merchandisers, supply planners, marketers, home furnishings designers, & more. Among the employers eager to meet & interview industry professionals are PVH, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani Exchange, Aldo Group, Zara Inc., Saks Fifth Avenue, Mothers Work, Ecko, Chico's Kids, Headquarters, Talbots, Jones Apparel Group, Limited Brands, Liz Claiborne, Polo Ralph Lauren, Target, Corporation (bag sponsor), QVC, Wal-Mart Stores, Kellwood Company, Lands End, L.L. Bean, French Connection, Enyce, Movado Group, Nautica, & Guess.

Press contact: Rachel Schneider (212) 655-4505x255

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Report on "Fleur On Flair" Exhibition:

Susan Sommers reports on the significance of this important exhibition. (Clck here for full report) "Fleur on Flair is a landmark exhibition. Flair was one of the most talked about, coveted and influential magazine ever created. Half a century after its twelfth and final issue was printed, Flair continues to be an icon as does its founder, the indomitable Feur Cowles, in the worlds of fashion, journalism, graphic design, and publishing." - Marc Rosen, designer, trustee, Pratt Insititute

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Cocktail Party by Joanni Mastroianni

Last night couture designer Joanni Mastroianni (above photo center right) celebrated the opening of her new couture salon at 230 West 38th Street with an elegant cocktail party for her clients, friends and press. Models circulated throughout the evening informally modeling the designer's latest creations while upwards of a hundred people sipped wine and ate hors d'oeuvres. In the crowd were familiar faces including Jeanette Chang of Hearst and Joan Kaner, Fashion Director of Neiman Marcus.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

American Master of Fashion Video Series Interview: Ralph Rucci

I had the pleasure of interviewing the extremely talented Ralph Rucci for our ‘American Masters of Fashion’ series. Click here to access video. He is exceedingly expressive and articulate, intellectual, spiritual, and is obviously comfortable in his own skin. Oh, and he comes across as completely un-egotistical. This is someone who is smart enough to ‘get it’. Though he designs very expensive clothing that is certainly out of reach for the ‘average’ woman, he is wise enough to know the things that really matter when it comes to style, chic, and beauty (as well as inner peace). I know you will enjoy listening to what he had to say on a wide range of subjects.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Party of the Year?

Stan Herman may feel that the CFDA Awards (because of their recent ‘exclusivity’) have transcended the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball as THE place to be and the ‘Party of the Year’, but you certainly couldn’t tell it from the ensuing press coverage.

Not only were hordes of paparazzi and video crews lined up on the steps of the Met’s red carpet, primed to capture the star arrivals for major news stations and network television, but pictures and features of the event were subsequently EVERYWHERE. But you can’t say the same about last Monday’s festivities at The New York Public Library, where there wasn't even a 'real' red carpet.

Apres party reviews may have been recorded in WWD, and The New York Post, where it was even given a double page color spread, but hardly any mention was made on local news or entertainment shows.

And The New York Times certainly didn’t go overboard with print or images. Cathy Horyn penned a column that ran without any pictures in the ‘Metro’ section two days later. And in today’s ‘Style’ section, it was given less coverage than some of the week's other fesitivities within Bill Cunningham's 'Evening Hours' section where it was represented by only four black and white pictures (including one of Anna Wintour and her 'fashion editor in training' daughter Bee). I guess the folks at the embattled newspaper are a bit more concerned with other pressing matters these days… In any event, it hardly helped bolster the organization’s attempt to position the CFDA’s as Seventh Avenue’s ‘answer’ to the Oscars.

Friday, June 06, 2003

'Behind the Seams':

I forgot to mention that at the CFDA Awards on Monday evening, a group of scantily clad men were outside the Library in an effort to publicize the opening of the movie 'Garmento' by Michele Maher that was shot right here on 7th avenue. (Actually, at first sight, I thought it was a group from PETA). They gave out postcards promoting the film that is slated to open at the Village East Cinemas ad 2nd Avenue and 12th Street (, saying : "Fashion is a glamourous industry of beautiful people, right? Garmento tells the other side of the story through a dark and comical look beneath the seams of NYC's rag business."

(Press Release):Elie Saab has been invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture to show during the Fall/Winter 2003 haute couture collections. Though Saab has been showing a couture collection in Paris for several seasons, this summer will mark his premiere as an invited member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture. Saab, whose design house is based in Paris and Beirut, joins the ranks of international designers such as Valentino and Versace who have been invited to show officially as part of the French couture tradition. Elie Saab is the first Lebanese designer to receive this honor.

Saab’s couture creations have been the red-carpet attire of celebrities, royalty, and international VIPs such as Halle Berry and the elegant Queen Rania of Jordan, as well as Elizabeth Hurley, Whitney Houston, Maria Shriver and Ashley Judd at such prestigious events such as the Oscars, the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globes.

Press Contact: Donna Cristina/Claire Erickson, Dente & Cristina
212.941.0430 phone; 212.941.7140 fax;

Thursday, June 05, 2003

It's a 'Very Good Thing'!:

Speaking about just how mainstream and celebrity obsessed fashion has become… I was asked to comment on the choice of Martha Stewart’s court appearance outfit by Newsday. I echoed what the others who were quoted said: that with her tone on tone, neutral colored decidedly menswear inspired pantsuit and chic tan balmacan, (not to mention her natural pigskin Hermes Birkin bag) she looked conservative, appropriate, as always, and she looked like well, Martha Stewart.

Quite frankly, I had to chuckle when I was asked to comment on the matter, since I don’t think anybody has ever thought of this woman as a style icon, nor has anybody looked to see what she was wearing to an event, up until now. But then again, she is a woman, and women are always subjected to wardrobe scrutiny. And off course, high profile celebrity trials always cause such speculation. When Sean Puffy Combs went to trial, this flamboyant style setter was constantly being scrutinized for his wardrobe choices (he wisely went very conservative, steering away from furs, glitz, gold, diamonds, and over the top statements). When Winona Ryder showed up in court in California, all the newspapers, including WWD focused on her chic Marc Jacobs outfits. At this moment, the next speculation is how she will decorate her jail cell so that it, like everything else around her, is “a very good thing.”

Wednesday, June 04, 2003


(Press Release: June 2003) - New York, NY - Surface magazine and Tanqueray No. TEN announce an open call for the best new fashion photographers in the U.S. The Avant Guardian issue and traveling showcase is one of Surface magazine’s two hallmark projects created to support emerging talent. The Avant Guardian project invites photographers working or studying in the U.S., who have not published a fashion editorial before 2002, to submit work for consideration by June 16, 2003.

Each year, Avant Guardian project curators receive hundreds of submissions from talented hopefuls. A handful of finalists are selected to shoot what is most-often their first professional fashion editorial. Surface provides them with an all-access pass to exclusive studios,modeling agencies, stylists, make-up artists and the latest designer collections. The resulting imagery is edited and featured within the highly anticipated 60-page in-book portfolio.The most striking images from the portfolio are then mounted as 8-ft murals and go on tour as a dramatic installation. The exhibition launches in New York, then travels to Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Each showcase is received as a ‘must attend’ event by photography agents, editors, and the cities' most influential fashion and media personalities.

"The goal of the Avant Guardian is to provide a forum and launching pad for America’s upcoming creative community," says Surface Editorial Director Riley Johndonnell. Now in its 6th year, the Project counts some of the most celebrated names in fashion photography among its alumni. Past Avant Guardians frequently appear in the pages of Surface and have gone on to shoot campaigns and promotions for Giorgio Armani, Hermés, Banana Republic, Nike, IBM and Levi's--as well as magazines Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Jane andThe New York Times Magazine.

Simply stated, the Project launches careers. Download official guidelines and entry form at: or contact For press inquiries contact: Jennifer Keller 718.488.0650 or

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Council of Fashion Designers of America 2003 Awards

Photographers waiting at the "red carpet" entrance.

Our editor Marilyn Kirschner reports on last night's CFDA awards Click here to read full report or just view our red carpet photos shot by Randy Brooke: click here to start slide show.

An the winners are: Narciso Rodriguez won for Women’s Wear Designer of the Year (15 or so young hostesses were outfitted with identical pale yellow dresses designed by Narciso decorated with Swarovski crystals just for the evening); Michael Kors for Men’s, and Marc Jacobs for Accessories. Brian Atwood won Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Award for Accessories and Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were awarded Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Ready-to-Wear prize. The International Award went to Alexander McQueen; Lifetime Achievement to Anna Wintour; the Eleanor Lambert Award to Rose Marie Bravo, and the Eugenia Sheppard Award to André Leon Talley. 90 year old Oleg Cassini received a special tribute, and Nicole Kidman was honored with a Fashion Icon Award.

Monday, June 02, 2003

‘The Times They Are a Changing’:

In the speech she gave to this year’s graduates from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour said, “You are heading out into a different industry than the one I entered. The fashion world is more inclusive than ever and more in demand than ever.”

Well, nothing is more proof positive of this than the column that ran in the Metro section of the Sunday New York Times (“Reflections on War, Peace, and How to Live Vitally and Act Globally”), which highlighted recent commencement speeches around the country. She was part of an illustrious group that included heads of state (Vice President Dick Cheney), a Nobel Prize winner (Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu), the U.N. secretary general (Kofi Annan), and a former President (Bill Clinton). Even Ms. Wintour would agree that this would have been a rather unlikely scenario when she was just entering the fashion world some 30 years ago.