Tuesday, August 26, 2003

‘In Fine Form’:

In my New York Fashion Industry Report, Friday, August 22, I spoke about the way in which our latest emergency (the blackout) impacted on fashion and vice-versa. The utilitarian, functional, and practical items I mentioned - flat or low heeled shoes, coats with large utilitarian pockets, and structured, padded, armored clothing (all of which would have come in handy for those who had to struggle through the city streets last week) and all of which are readily accessible this season- were subsequently touched on by other fashion journalists.

In Sunday's New York Post, fashion editor Libby Callaway dedicated her 'Street' portfolio to 'Walk this Way'- photographs of women looking chic and comfortable in flat shoes and sandals. As she put it, for many of us fashionistas "the worst thing about last week's blackout wasn't the absence of power" but rather, "having to hoof it home in high heels - so on Friday, those of us who did have to work padded around town in flats. And comfy footwear has been the predominant look in the week since."

And Bill Cunningham's 'On the Street' portfolio paid homage to deep pockets - as seen on the ubiquitous cargo pant (or cargo skirt). But while in his observation, the pockets are not being used, and are ornamental and decorative only, this may soon change.

This has already changed for a certain segment of the population (and no, they are not on the 'best dressed list'): police officers. In today's Metro Section of The New York Times, cargo pants as a police fashion statement, were the subject of Shaila Dewan's article, "Cargo Pants, And They Come with Cuffs." As she noted, especially since 9/11, cargo pants are "a fashion choice that also solves a storage problem". Police officers have really used and needed their multi pockets for carrying and storing all their life saving necessities.

Elsewhere in today's Metro Section, ("Suiting Up with the New Woman Warrior") Ginia Bellafante touched on another one of my subjects last week- the idea of clothing as 'armor' . But what she left out was the implication these heavily padded and structured items have on the reality of modern urban living (such as our blackout) where one could have used the padding and cushioning the get one through the night.
- by Marilyn Kirschner

Publicist from Hell:

New York fashion publicist Pierre Rougier who reps such well known designers as Balenciaga, Viktor & Rolf and Proenza Schouler is back in the news for more of his bad behavior. This time Hintmag.com reports Rougier "had all his clients banned from Details this week after a screaming match with the magazine's editor, Dan Peres". A source for hintmag.com was quoted: "Dan called him an arrogant ass and said, 'I've lived in France but I've never met a bigger prick.'"

We don't like much of what the boys of "Chic Happens" reports but in this case they are right on the money. Pierre Rougier is a nightmare to deal with and is one of the most detested publicists in New York.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Revival of the Fittest:

Since many consider me to be a ‘poster child’ for Pucci, (not to mention the fact that all anyone in fashion seems to be talking about these days are revivals, authenticity, vintage inspiration, etc.), I read with interest, the article in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, “Pucci’s Back: ‘Mod’ Again? LVMH Tries Reviving a Pillar of 1960’s Style”.

Writer Cecilie Rohwedder took us through the iconic 60 year old house’s history, from it’s first editorial in Harper’s Bazaar (that now famous ski jacket), mentioning tid bits of information like Marilyn Monroe having reportedly been buried in one of her prized Puccis, all the way up to the present- under the tutelage of Christian Lacroix. There were accompanying shots of some of the famed house’s colorful signature prints and patterns.

In general, the tone of the article was positive, citing the ‘good fit’ of Lacroix as head of design (after all, he is a designer known for his love of exuberant prints and colors), as well as the good timing: the pulse of fashion is currently attuned to the 60’s. As Neiman Marcus’s fashion director noted, “This is a good time for Pucci because color is so important in the marketplace right now.” What I couldn’t disagree more with was Ms. Rohwedder’s final observation, “What will happen when fashion’s love affair with color subsides?” Silly girl, when is color EVER not a welcome and joyous element in one’s wardrobe? If fashion has proved anything, it’s that it’s never about just one thing, and the pendulum may swing back and forth- but some things always remain appealing. And let us not forget….when fashion’s palette turns all black (gray, or neutral) that is precisely THE TIME to get out your colorful Puccis. Why would anybody simply want to blend in?

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

What Was Glenda Bailey Thinking?

Since magazine covers are supposed to mirror and capture the essence of the season, I cannot help but think that Harper's Bazaar made a big mistake with their September cover. Is that really the best they could have done with the biggest, most important cover of the year?

The picture of Madonna, which looks as if it were simply 'picked' from her ubiquitous Gap 2003 ad shooting, comes off as flat, uninspiring, and, well, pedestrian- and better suited for Seventeen or Teen Vogue. In a season where the entire fashion world is talking about rich, luxurious pieces, a certain youthful return to couture elegance, and a love affair with chic, I must say that I hardly think a newsboy cap, white undershirt, or faded blue cords reflect that.

And they have the nerve to use the coverlines under the picture 'Madonna's New Look'. New? It's hardly new. Young urban women have been wearing this uniform for quite some time. In fact, Bill Cunningham just ran a pictorial last Sunday that was all about the news boy caps, and he even alluded to the Madonna Gap ad and the Harper's Bazaar cover in his column...Many of the women he photographed look just like (or very similar to Madonna). Well, without the expensive diamond jewels and pricey Lana Marks alligator belt of course.

Covers are supposed to inspire, and make you dream a bit....this cover hardly does that at all. Compared to Vogue's knockout shot of gorgeous Nicole Kidman, or W's Kate Moss- a real fashion icon- Bazaar really looks like they are bottom feeding....I have a feeling Stephen Gan is not very happy about this choice, and I'm sure he didn't have very much to do with this one, knowing his taste level and desire for exclusivity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

‘More is More’

I was certainly flattered when I was contacted by More Magazine and asked if I would like to be one of 6 women- each with her own distinctive style- to be photographed for their signature column, ‘She’s Got Style’.

In addition to myself (I’m the ‘Vintage Fan’, wearing my oldest and most favorite Pucci, purchased in the 60’s), there is the interior designer Kitty Hawks (‘Minimalist’), and Lauren Ezersky (see photo above), host of Behind the Velvet Ropes who is ‘Show Girl’. No Kidding! Our publisher Ernest thinks she looks more like "The Happy Hooker"!

Monday, August 18, 2003

Under 'cover':

I suppose one positive thing that can be said about Sunday’s ‘Fashions of the Times’, (other than its healthy size) is that they thankfully didn’t choose Sarah Jessica Parker to grace the cover. The August cover of Vogue featuring the Sex and the City star was one of the worst yet. She may be entertaining, and a fashion plate, but she does not belong on the cover of Vogue, in my opinion.

And though they did use pop tart, Britney Spears (ugh!), at least she was rendered unrecognizable thanks to hair, make-up, styling, and black and white photography courtesy Ellen von Unwerth. That said, do you mean to tell me they couldn’t do any ‘better’ for their '60th anniversary issue'?

Is Anna Anorexic?

And speaking of the Sunday New York Times, in the “Possessed” column of the ‘Style’ section, there was an article about the desk in Anna Wintour’s office. I kept searching for evidence that she actually eats those hamburgers and fatty, sugary confections I’m always reading about. Is it her, or her P.R. person who wants us to believe she is not anorexic? It seems that every time a newspaper records spotting her (with our without Shelby Bryan) they are relating it to what she’s eating, and it’s always a calorie laden snack. Her beautifully bare boned, skinny desk bore no witness to anything remotely resembling that sort of thing. In any event, her office looked like one would expect it to look- neat, slim, elegant, ‘perfect’- just like her fashion persona.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Turner Classic Movies Celebrates Hollywood Style with 16-Film Festival in October:

Festival Features Conversations with Isaac Mizrahi, Kate and Andy Spade, Badgley/Mischka and Michael Kors

Turner Classic Movies will invite six celebrated fashion designers to discuss how classic films have influenced and inspired their careers and their designs on Style in Motion, airing every Monday night in October. Each designer will host an evening of four films that they have enjoyed repeatedly over the years and will discuss various details including fashion, direction, production design and the political and sociological impact on culture. Viewers will get unique insights into the films from the designers’ points of view and will learn how these films have shaped their thoughts and creative decisions.

Kate and Andy Spade kick off the festival with BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) at 8 p.m. on Oct. 6. "We chose Bonnie and Clyde because it’s such a great-looking movie”, said Kate Spade. “The cinematography and the style of it glamorized crime at its best.” The night continues with THE SWIMMER at 10 p.m., followed by GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967) at 12 a.m. and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) at 2 a.m.

On Oct. 13, Isaac Mizrahi hosts his selection of films, beginning with THE WOMEN (1938, 8 p.m.). “It’s an education in style and how to put things together. When something is enough and not too much”, Mizrahi said. “It’s a really great lesson.” Other films selected by Mizrahi include DARLING (1965, 10:15 p.m.), ROBERTA (1935, 12:30 a.m.) and BLOW-UP (1966, 2:30 a.m.)

On Oct. 20, Mark Badgley and James Mischka introduce their evening with HIGH SOCIETY (1956). Other films selected by the pair are FUNNY GIRL (1968, 10 p.m.), THE VIPs (1963, 1 a.m.) and DINNER AT EIGHT (1933, 3 a.m.).

Michael Kors begins his evening on Oct. 27 with THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968). Kors himself designed the costumes for Rene Russo’s character in the 1999 remake. “The Thomas Crown Affair is really one of my all-time favorite movies because it’s glamour personified. Faye Dunaway is remarkably talented and beautiful. Steve McQueen is the quintessential chic American man,” Kors said, and this incredible cat-and-mouse game between them is fantastic and sly and sleek. Everything about the movie is stylish from A to Z.” Other “stylish” films selected by Kors include PILLOW TALK (1959, 10 p.m.), with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES (1961, 12 a.m.) and BUTTERFIELD 8 (1960, 2:30 a.m.), starring Elizabeth Taylor.

For more information, please visit the TCM Web Site at www.turnerclassicmovies.com. or Michelle Rosenblatt, New York 212-714-5651 michelle.rosenblatt@turner.com

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Eleanor Lambert's 100th Birthday:

Today, August 10 is fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert's 100th Birthday. The award winning fashion website zoozoom.com is running two special features celebrating Eleanor's birthday.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Olympus Cameras Becoming Next Major Sponsor of 7thonSixth Shows

We have from a good source that Olympus Cameras is going to be sponsoring 7thon6th, at first they’ ll do it in conjunction with Mercedes this season before going solo next season as 'Olympus Fashion Week'.
Marc in the Park:

In this week's Observer there is a report that Marc Jacobs wanted to have his show in a park in chelsea and the community board would not give him permission. as there was a kids soccer meet during the weekends Parks are for people not fashion. Bravo to the cb. - a little bird

More Troubles for Jill Stuart:

While it was bad enough when she was sued by that assistant for sexual harassment and had to settle the scandal out of court, troubles still continue to plague the New York designer. Now she is back in court because Pepe Jeans has cancelled their license with Jill Stuart because she failed to meet minimum sales figures. In addition, we hear that Barney's just dumped her line. The word going around is that no one can work with that woman.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Mercedes-Benz Pulling Out of 7thonSixth Shows?

We have been hearing the rumor for a while that Mercedes-Benz will after this season no longer sponsor the New York 7thonSixth shows produced by IMG. We have confirmed with two independent sources that a new sponsor may have already agreed to take over the sponsorship. This new - un-named as of yet sponsor - is a well known international company that is not associated with the automobile industry.

We did hear back from one source close to IMG this morning saying only that Mercedes-Benz was "changing their sponsorship level" but was not dropping out altogether.

Thrifting, continued....

Okay, this is the deal. I went to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Thrift Shop this morning, and I was a bit disappointed with the overall selection of clothing (especially the non- label items).

But, having said that, there were standout pieces: several bags were wonderful though not cheap...a large brown leather Chanel handbag was timeless and classic as was a beautiful brown alligator purse from the 50's which was long and slender with beautiful gold hardware...incredible condition (both were about $650- $700)...

There were several interesting designer offerings, including an Yves St. Laurent classic green and burgundy plaid fitted jacket with signature shoulder treatment for less than $200.

But the clothing item that was the best in my book was a 3- piece black and white nubby tweed vintage Adolfo suit that looked as if it inspired many designers for fall/winter 2003...skinny fitting short coat with black and white houndstooth collar, cardigan jacket, and short skirt...which was only $250! The problem is that it was tiny...it barely fit me..So, if you are really skinny, this is your chance...
'Thrift'ing into Fall:

Since I am a big believer in vintage and retail alternatives (because of price, quality, authenticity) I could not be more excited about today's 'Fall Opening' at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Thrift Shop on 3rd Avenue and 82nd street.

Beginning this morning at 10 a.m. (they close at 7 p.m.) the store will be selling fall merchandise...designer and non designer clothing, home furnishings, etc. I can bet that if you stop by, you will find many items that will look as though they had just paraded down the runways for fall/winter 2003 (tweeds, plaids, 3/4 sleeves, impeccibly tailored coats and suits, and gloves galore).

Get their early if you can....as they say, 'If you snooze, you lose!'