Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Bergdorf Goodman Cocktail Party for ArtwalkNY

Last night a cocktail party and exhibition previewing art to be auctioned at Artwork NY 2003 on October 25 to benefit the Coalition for the Homeless was held at the Giorgio Armani boutique at Bergdorf Goodman. Several hundred invited guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a DJ all in a good cause to help raise money and awareness for the record 39,000 homeless people now living in our city.

A number of good friends of lookonline.com were at the party including the ever dandy Patrick McDonald (see photo above). Host for the evening and the Event Chair for the upcoming ArtwalkNY main event newsman Peter Jennings made a brief presentation about the increasing need for more support to help our city's homeless people.

The October 25th event will be an all day affair made up of four main events. First a 12noon-1:30PM there will be an interview with Peter Jennings and the artist honoree Yoko Ono. From 2PM-5PM walking tours of 4 well known artists' studios; then at 6:30PM dinner & live auction; and finally from 8PM a party and silent auction.

All proceeds from these events go directly to support the Coalition's many programs. For ticket information on all of the day's events please contact 212-608-5999. See you there!

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Maybe we should add a few question marks to the headline but for now, just draw your own conclusions. Meanwhile, we’re letting you know about some fun gossip and a few of our own thoughts on the week that was at The Tents. Oh and let’s not forget about the goody bags and give-aways. We’re giving you our views on the best of the best.

Queer Eye For The Straight Fashion Editor:

Seen (and certainly heard) at Luca Luca … Stylemeister Robert Verdi and an overly blonde Carson Kressley (Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) seated cheek to jowl in the front row. While these two TV boys seem to be more than just the best of friends in public, we wonder how much jealousy (is that the right word) really goes on behind the scenes.

And speaking of the Queer Eye, there was Philip Bloch flying around (front row/backstage) at the shows. When we missed seeing him at Bill Blass, a spy told us he’d jetted back to the West Coast for the Emmys.

Last (but certainly not least), there was a definite void within the glam flamboyant pack with the no show of Steven Cujocaro. Usually a front row fixture and rockin’ partyer one could always count on Cujo and his multi-colorful ensembles and quirky personality to give a boost to the ambience in and around the tents. This time, though he probably decided there was more excitement on the big time network TV show he’s working on as compared to what he’d see/report on in NYC.

Supes Redux:

Heavy duty blasts from the past on the runway & in the front row … Cindy Crawford walking for Esteban Cortezar; Pat Cleveland, Diane Dewitt, Karen Bjornson doing turns at Blass and drawing lots of applause in the bargain.

Aside from the usual celebs and social types who seem to think going to the shows will elevate them to higher levels of name recognition, it was refreshing to see Helena Christensen and Mischa Barton (the newest TV “it”girl; Barton’s got a lead role in the hit show, “The OC”) enjoying what came down the catwalk at Matthew Williamson. It was especially neat for this editor to see Mischa again (lots of hugs/kisses before the show); I worked with her many years ago when she was an up and coming young model/actress. Now she’s a rising star but unlike many others, she’s still the down to earth, genuine girl she was when she was just starting out.

Jelly’s Last Jam:

Some call it the “Jelly Kelly”; others refer to it as the “Workin’ Birkin” but no matter what you call it, it’s definitely the must-have bag of the moment. Fashion afficienados want it in any color of the rainbow (the new black and combo tones are to die for) but where to get it—other than in Italy—has been a big mystery. Well, we took some time off from the shows and prowled around the city to see what we could uncover. Here’s what we turned up. The real, quality “Jelly” (not the poor copies that are sold on the internet) can be yours in a variety of sizes and colors at Cashmere New York, 1100 Madison Avenue, 212-744-3500 (their sister shop in Southampton actually had the white, pink, blue and orange bags during the summer but when we checked here, they’d sold out). To date, the Madison Avenue Jelly’s are on show in the window and there are still some available inside the store. If you jet on over, you may still be able to pick up one (or more) to take you through the winter months.

We Never Met A Goody Bag We Didn’t Love:

Well, that’s not altogether true since this time around, some of the best give-aways weren’t goody bags at all; merely free stuff that was handed out right in front of the tents. If you were lucky enough to be coming in/going out right at the time the GAP kids were handing out those bags, sweaters and scarves, then you know what I mean. More stuffers we had to have … tons of Avon products, gin (we loved the trio of beribboned French Poodles who posed with their handler as the bottles were handed out). Copies of every single magazine you could think of and some you’d never think of (and that was in addition to The Daily and US) that were handed out everywhere you turned.

With all of that being said, there were a few ultra generous generous designers who didn’t let us down. Lacoste’s colorful pillows—pink, turquoise, yellow and requisite black-- made out of shirting fabric with the signature alligator placed discreetly at one corner, disappeared like hotcakes. We saw one well-known, Manolo-loving editrixe gingerly stuffing more than just a few into her bags. Lacoste (or love) for sale, we can’t say for sure.

At Lulu Guinness’s early morning breakfast presentation at her charming showroom to intro the new branded line of sunglasses/handbags, everyone just adored the gifts of lush, mod, carpety bags and glasses. Even better, everyone got to pick their fave bag and then schlep it away in a colorful, purple tote. Too bad, though, that most editors had to wait until January 2004 for the glasses and their cute, little Lulu cases; the collection at the event were simply prototypes. Oh well, we’ll all be winter glamour girls.

Lily Pulitzer also scored points with the fashion pack with an overstuffed green, pink, white tote that contained among other things a fab silk scarf, dedicated to breast Cancer Awareness. Both Lilly’s whimsical “Tiki” fashion event at the Bryant Park Café and the scarf benefited the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Glamour magazine made us happy and pretty at the same time at their breakfast event at The Bryant Park Hotel. In addition to the complimentary beauty services weary editors got to take advantage of, everyone left with a cute LeSportsak tote crammed with enough make-up to last through the week and beyond and a recent copy of the mag.

But the best of the bunch by far AND the recipient of this site’s Fashion Week’s award for the most memorable bag goes to Kate Spade. Imagine being surprised by a nifty green/white bag containing a totally creative press kit along with a gift-box containing a free airline ticket—round-trip coach to anywhere Song Airlines flies in the U.S. Pretty groovy for a petite (or longer) sojourn away from the city anytime of the year, yes??? But really, a nice smart tie-in between Spade and Song since the designer’s just readied her premiere collection of uniforms and accessories for the fashion airline’s flight attendants.

–Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

'Bag It':

I must comment on an item I read in yesterday's New York Post ("Blond babes and the bag brigade") that made me chuckle...According to the article, in an attempt to promote their latest bag, "The Latest Blond", the folks at Christian Dior sent out "dozens of blonde wigs" to a-list type party revelers during Fashion Week. And free bags were sent to the likes of Beyonce Knowles, Gisele Bundchen, Aerin Lauder, and Helen Lee Schifter. As if this group can't afford to buy one themselves.

Particularly in the case of Ms. Schifter, the socialite who turns up front row center at every major fashion show, attends every major party and gala, and is constantly photographed- never repeating the same outfit- or bag- twice. And her hubby happens to head up his own bag company- Tim is CEO of LeSportsac....This gal needs one more bag like I need a hole in the head. Why don't these companies ever give freebies to the 'needy'? It would be so much more 'politically correct'.

Marilyn Kirschner

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Hello Ebay!

Constance White’s deluxe style pedigree—WWD, Elle, The New York Times, Full Frontal Fashion, The Chicago Tribune, et al—has just landed her a plumb post as the first Style Director/Fashion Spokesperson (effective August 2003) for none other than the San Jose, Calif.-based Ebay. She was hand-picked for the job and is working (natch) out of NYC. White gave us all the dish on the big job when we ran into her at The Tents.

How She Landed It: Ebay was looking for a top fashion expert with print experience, strong industry contacts and a compatible take on fashion. Plus, White says, her 9-months at Cablevision as news anchor/correspondent for the now defunct fashion-all-the-time show enhanced her allure.

What She’s Doing: 1. Creating a new, first-time, on-line style magazine which will not only power up the site’s explosive growth in their fashion area but will keep that growth going strong. 2.Speaking to print/broadcast media on the site’s behalf 3.Advising Ebay managers/execs on shoes, clothing and accessories categories, as well as filling those at the top in on all matters of style. To quote White, “I’ll be working with the Ebay group on recommending new designers, as well as forging relationships with other, more well-known createurs and industry personnel.”

What She’s Working On Right This Minute: Luxe for the masses and a real fashion blast. White tells us that she was an integral part of bringing Narciso Rodriguez and Ebay together for the very first time for a one-week special event auction (fun starts on Sept.25th). The story here centers around 40 pieces that will give on-line viewers a private first look at the designer’s exclusive “world” in the comfort of their own homes (or anywhere else they may be when logged on). And what they’ll see will be a pair of hot off the runway spring 2004 items right along with 20 must-have pieces from the Fall 2003 line. Add on the shoes and handbags to go with it all, plus the de rigeur, must-have fragrance, presented in the designer’s limited edition bottles, and you get the idea.

-by Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg

Fashion Walk of Fame Exhibition Opens

The Museum of F.I.T. held a press party last night for their first exhibition to pay tribute to the great American designers who made New York city a world fashion capital. The exhibition will be on view from September 23-January 3. 2004. It celebrates excellence in American fashion through approximately 100 exceptional ensembles, including iconic styles by 24 of America's greatest designers, from Geoffrey Beene to Pauline Trigere.

The exhibition is co-curated by Valerie Steele,director of The Museum of F.I.T. and Ellen Shanley, curator of costume.

The designers represented in the exhibition were recently elected, by a jury of their peers, to the Fashion Walk of Fame. Organized by the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, the Fashion Walk of Fame consists of commemorative plaques situated along Seventh Avenue honoring the greatest American designers of our time.

Like the Fashion Walk of Fame. the exhibition includes both important designers from the past as well as comtemporary ones. Most of the garments on display come from a permanent collection of the Museum of F.I.T.. For more information contact Mary-Anne Smith, Assistant Director of College Relations at 212-217-7642.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

To sum it up:

In a nutshell, this is my quick impression of the spring/summer 2004 collections shown during New York Fashion Week: Beige has replaced black….the pleated skirt has replaced the pencil…the 60’s mod influence that practically defined fall has gone back in time about 40 years and it’s now very much a 20’s thing…Coco Chanel lives and breathes in New York (and everywhere else for that matter)…the mini has been thankfully replaced by the at the knee length…aggressive, hard edged chic is gone and in it’s place there is an elegant, and pretty aesthetic….7th avenue can be dubbed ‘Easy Street’ for spring and summer because of all the relaxed, easy clothing….fashion may or not be ‘cool’ but looking kind of preppy and classic certainly is. And if you want to instantly get a new wardrobe, go to your local notion shop and invest in a variety of ribbons to tie in a bow at the waist or higher (or anywhere at all for that matter).

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Editorial: Ellin Saltzman & Daughter

Lookin’ Good:

Ellin Saltzman looked unbelievably young and fab at the shows this past week, In fact, she and daughter Elizabeth could pass for sisters, easily! When I bumped into Ellin leaving the Tents the other night, she was clad (simply) in that staple: a great white shirt and perfectly fitted jeans. She is in amazing shape and she looks beautiful, well rested, and very healthy. I don’t know what she’s doing, but whatever it is, we should all do the same. Of course, Elizabeth is no slouch either…wearing a white shirt with sleeves pushed up above the elbow, cropped black pants, high heeled Manolo Blahnik sandals (what else?) in ruby croc with a matching hued Hermes Kelly bag, her simply chic, pared down outfit put most others (who tried too hard) to shame. As for the shows, and the week in general - I don’t know where to start…..Stay tuned!

Friday, September 19, 2003

Coverage of NY Spring 2004 Shows

Our coverage of this week's shows js comprehensive - but only if you are a lookonline.com subscriber. Our major review of the shows for members is written by our editor-in-chief Marilyn Kirschner and it goes up in about 10 days. In addition, Bernadine Morris will chose her ten best looks of the season based on the shows she went to. All the runway photos are, as always, provided to us by our photographer Randy Brooke who shot close to seventy shows this week. And finally Adriene Weinfeld-Berg will let us in on some gossip surrounding show week and may have an interview with a major fashion headliner.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Celebrity Gossip and Sightings:

Beverly D'Angelo lunching yesterday at Lafayette Grill near the downtown courthouses with her two female lawyers. She is in a current legal battle for custody of her children. The bad guy ….Al Pacino.

Rumors around the tents…Tom Ford has been dumped on …by his longtime boyfriend Richard Buckley. He like normal people is really broken up about it and has been not going to work for the last couple of months. Is love worth it?

Susan Saint James sits in Connecticut while her husband Dick Ebersole lives in Los Angeles….with the girlfriend. On the way to divorce! Where Is McMillan when you need him?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Forget the tents,the Gotham or anywhere else that the fashion crowd was required to be today. Would you believe the center of fashion focus was at 1:00 P.M. today on 34th street. Hundreds of fans and camera crews lined up and waited the obligatory 45 minutes for Thalia to introduce her collection of clothing at K Mart. Lippe Taylor P.R. handled the crowds and fans as best as they could. But when their idol showed the fans overtook even the security. I don't know if any sales resulted but if all those fans bought one piece each k mart had a good day. Martha eat your heart out!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Gee, thanks a lot Fern!

I met up with a jet lagged Suzy Menkes (who had flown in from London on Saturday evening) at the Bryant Park tents at about 1 p.m. yesterday. We were both expecting to find the Luella Bartley show there (as it had been listed that way on a previous Fashion Calendar). Neither one of us had tickets, so we did not know that the show’s location had been changed to an inconvenient west 26th street. Because we were both heading to the 2 o’clock Alice Roi show at Maurice Villency on 57th and 3rd , we decided to skip Bartley and have a bite to eat instead. The 7th on Sixth magazine showed that a bus was going to bring show goers uptown so we thought we would catch the free ride. When we ran into Fern Mallis and asked her about the location of Bartley and the bus, she did not seem to have much information, only saying, “if the bus is listed on the schedule, it will be there.”

So, Suzy and I had lunch (a horrible waste at $5.95- a completely inedible chicken sandwich) and then looked for the bus only to be told by another uninformed tent employee that we had in fact, just missed the bus. If Fern had just bothered to check the time and schedule, we would have been able to make use of the transportation which was set up for these occasions. So, we had to scramble for a taxi cab (which seemed like an impossible feat even on a dry Sunday afternoon) running into parade traffic as we headed to our destination. Whew! The trials and tribulations of being a fashion editor.

Oh by the way, the Alice Roi show was almost one hour late, but since it was held at a furniture store, those with standing tickets (like myself) at least had chairs and couches to sit on until we were allowed upstairs. Nice stuff by the way, and because everything had price tags, while you were waiting, you could also redecorate your abode.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Sunday, September 14, 2003

$5000 a Bottle Cognac!

Highlight of the day for me yesterday came last night at the Ruffian show. The event for the accessory designer was held at the Carlyle Hotel and pr was handled personally by Kelly Cutrone of People's Revolution. It was a great party. There was a piano player and singer, but what was really special was a bottle of Courvoisier Napoleon Cognac being served that was almost 200 years old and valued at $5000 a bottle.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

First Day of the Shows:

The best things about the first day of the New York shows is renewing friendships and the 4PM cocktail party held in the main tent area that is open to everyone. This daily party is really the only time in our industry that everyone - from the high and mighty editors to the lowly volunteers - mingle together in an informal and friendly atmosphere.

Friday, September 12, 2003

‘Ab Fab’:

I recently had to replace a pair of eye glasses and dreaded the prospect of searching for frames to take the place of the vintage ones I loved and lost (after all, I have shows to go to and clothes to see)…until I remembered that Fabulous Fanny’s, (the source of my original frames, which was no longer at the 26th street Flea Market) had recently set up shop in the East Village (335 East 9th street- between 1st and 2nd avenues, 212 533 0637, www.fabulousfannys.com). Within 10 minutes, I found not one, but several pairs of the most purrrfect cats eye frames (which at $40 and $60 were half if not one third or one fourth the price of vintage frames at other high end shops in Soho, Tribeca, and the Upper East Side).

Not only is this tiny jewel of a shop filled with fantastic choices for both men and women (the owners- Stanton Blackmer and Ken Finneran- claim they have the “largest selection of eyewear on the East Coast- a vast inventory of over 40,000 frames”), but they also offer many highly specialized services, sell a small assortment of vintage clothing and accessories, and are most proud of their recently added vintage and antique costume jewelry handmade by their friend- Chinwa Kenjyatta. Specializing in the 60’s and the 70’s, Chinwa counts Twiggy as a customer, and like everything else in the shop, the pieces are affordable (earrings sell for about $30 and necklaces go for about $75 to under $100).

Best of all, Stanton and Ken are two of the most knowledgeable, helpful, engaging, eager to please, and pleasant retailers you can hope to meet. Their slogan reflects this: “If you have to wear them- make it fun….” I can certainly relate to that.

Happy Hunting!

-Marilyn Kirschner

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Check It Out:

Oh, by the way, talk about seeing clearly…I happened to see the Barneys New York windows on Madison Avenue, and the one item that caught my eye was a black and white houndstooth jacket ($810) and skirt ($495) by Isabel Toledo, a true artist and talent. What sets it apart is the fabulous cut, and the fact that it is deconstructed (but done in a very chic and wearable way). A tiny capsule collection of Isabel’s fall line is currently being sold on the 4th floor, and consists of mainly black items priced from about $800 to $1200 for an elongated black silk taffeta jacket.

-Marilyn Kirschner
Harlem's In Vogue: On 7th & Lenox Avenues

Exclusive Show Highlighting Harlem's Evolving Style!

The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce presents HARLEM'S IN VOGUE on 7th & Lenox Avenues. This red-carpeted inaugural affair, hosted by CBS 2 News This Morning anchorwoman Shon Gables, is scheduled to take place Wednesday, September 17th, 6:30 p.m. at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 135th Street at Lenox Avenue (Malcolm X Boulevard). The show will feature the Spring 2004 collections from Deborah Williams Her Game 2, Leslie V. Day Virginia Joy Couture, Edwin D'Angelo and others. Fashion style continues to run deep in Harlem and to help kick off its resurgence, some of Seventh Avenue's top fashionistas, along with a host of celebrities and dignitaries, will travel uptown for an exclusive pre-reception at the famed research center's Three Rivers Hall.

Contact: Robin Verges
Senior Vice President
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
1345 Avenue of the Americas- 30th Floor
New York, NY 10105


Tuesday, September 09, 2003

‘Legends of the Fall’:

For me, the most interesting part of each new season is not the new clothing being peddled and proposed, but rather the little tricks I take away from designers’ runways: tricks that enable me to turn my existing pieces into new items and garner a whole new wardrobe at no extra cost.

This fall is an exceptionally ‘fertile’ season for that sort of thing, thanks in large part to designers like Miuccia Prada (ah, I can always count on her) and Junya Watanabe. Case in point: with just the width of leather (it doesn’t even have to be a belt) or a piece of grosgrain ribbon, you can fashion a Prada or Miu Miu ‘like’ jacket or coat. This is perfect if you have an ill fitting (too small to button or too large and unseemly) item that you were going to either throw away or take to the tailor for an expensive overhaul. Just use the ‘belt’ to tie at the hip, the waistline, or higher (empire style) and you can create your own ‘made to order’ garment.

And thanks to designers like Miuccia this season, there won’t be any such thing as sleeves that could be deemed ‘too short’. Whereas this may have posed a problem in the past, sleeves that are a tad too short are the PERFECT excuse to show off your wardrobe of gloves. (You do have gloves, don’t you???)

Now, what about those ‘sad’ looking threadbare, worn out, tattered coats or jackets that have been sitting in your closets? After you realize that one of the most editorialized and sought after collections for fall/winter 2003 was Junya Watanabe’s in Paris- which featured deconstructed Chanel inspired pieces boasting hanging threads and jagged unfinished edges- on purpose! (like the one that was photographed in Ruth La Ferla’s article in the Fashion section of today’s New York Times) perhaps you’ll rethink that bag you had set aside for donation to Goodwill. Just take them out, dust them off, and wear with confidence. I promise you’ll be the envy of all your fashion forward friends.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Who are some of NY's top designers turning to for their music inspiration?

The world of fashion and specially "music styling" for fashion designers is a tough one to break into.....so how did the French/Iranian duo behind Labtonic manage to rack up such an impressive list of clients in NY and Europe in less than a year? Clients that include Louis Vuitton, DKNY, Vivienne Tam, Daryl K, Issey Miyake, Peter Som, Dolce & Gabanna etc. One of their more high profile projects was creating the "soundscape" that Louis Vuitton used to launch the Spring 03 collection designed by Takashi Murakami in over 40 countries. They also DJed at the NY launch party at the Marianne Boesky Gallery. This NY Fashion Week you will hear Labtonic on the runway shows of Daryl K, Vivienne Tam and Peter Som to name a few.

The team behind Labtonic has a diverse background. Laurent Vacher is a Parisien who started DJing on French radio in the 80's at the age of 15 and took much of his inspiration from listening to Bernard Lenoir's radio shows. Nima Abbasi is an "enlightened ex-corporate" type who grew up in London but has also lived and worked in 4 other countries over the past 7 years.

The Labtonic team are working on a number of projects for the coming year. The most interesting for them is a potential collaboration with a world famous interior designer who approached Labtonic to work with him to design the "soundscape" that complements his creations...ranging from 3 hotels in Europe to a restaurant here in NYC.

For now you can contact Labtonic by sending an email to info@labtonic.com.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Where was Tom?

The new YSL boutique, at 3 east 57th street, opened formally last night as a benefit for New Yorkers for Children. The two story luxury boutique, had up until fairly recently been a Levi store. Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous or vice versa.

The signature black edifice was aglow in candles once inside (actually, it was so dark in the staircase, there was a young man holding a tiny flashlight so guests wouldn’t trip and fall - which prompted me to think perhaps there had been another blackout). Fashion types such as Neiman Marcus’s Joan Kaner and Sandra Wilson, Bergdorf Goodman’s Robert Burke, Hearst’s Jeanette Chang, and the ever present dandy Patrick McDonald, as well as social types (Nina Griscom with a much younger companion in tow) milled around the chic space admiring the new fall merchandise sipping martinis and champagne and sampling tiny delicacies such as tuna tartare.

Oh by the way, the least expensive thing I could find was a YSL logo t shirt in white cotton with handsome black velvet lettering which sold for just under $200. About the only thing missing was Tom Ford.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Emerging Designers to Show Again at Times Square:

ASHA, the fashion production company, is once again producing an alternative fashion show venue for New York's Spring 2004 Fashion Week entitled ashastyle at Times Square. Now in it's third season, this event at the popular Times Square Studios, is the place to be on September 13th to catch the shows of incredible emerging fashion designers Geova, Ron-n-Ron and brand new designer DRES.

Ashastyle at Times Square takes place in the Street Level Studio within Times Square Studios (where they shoot Good Morning America). This unique space wraps around the corner of 44th Street and Broadway, enclosed only by 10ft high glass windows. With the show music pumping outside on the jam-packed sidewalks, space enables pedestrians to become a part of an otherwise exclusive fashion event. It's also just blocks away from the Bryant Park tents!

ASHA offers complete fashion show production services for our designers, including a state-of-the-art sound system, professional lighting and staging, an L-shaped runway design (the models walk almost up to the sidewalk to give the public a great view), seating.

For more information, contact Hope McGrath at ASHA, 917.351.1395 or hope@ashastyle.com. Check out our website at ashastyle.com.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Regarding the Mizrahi Collection at Target:

I was in a Target store yesterday in Queens and they have already marked down a tunic of his. About a 100 pcs of a bright striped knit tunic The corduroy blazer that they talk about in the press is so badly made that my maid wouldn't wear it. And the reason they did not show you the clothes last night is because they looked so bad. The real question is why would Target hire two designers - Isaac Mizrahi and Todd Oldham - whose collections never made a dime of profit for anyone who invested in them?

-name withheld

Mizrahi ‘On’ Target:

Guests were led through the new spanking clean and very optic white Isaac Mizrahi for Target store in Rockefeller Center, so quickly- on their way up to the Rainbow Room- that one didn’t really have time to see very much of the merchandise. Sigh! Although the offerings seemed to be predicated on a tightly edited color palette of black, white and red- with graphic stripes used as accents.

Once upstairs (of course, thanks to our ‘wonderful’ weather, it was so foggy, the fabulous view was entirely wasted), I felt like I was at a wedding (or bar mitzvah), with all the elaborate floral arrangements, waiters, hors d’oeuvres, and fancy drinks. The bar mitzvah boy- in this case the always entertaining and animated Isaac Mizrahi- greeted guests which included Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, In Style’s Cindy Weber Cleary, Fashion Group’s Margaret Hayes and Mary Lou Luther, ex Barneys head- Gene Pressman, and Fashion Calendar’s Ruth Finley, clad in his trademark impeccably tailored dark suit and crisp white shirt that no doubt were NOT from Target. Though, when I glanced down at his feet, he was wearing bright red Target flip flops with the signature white design.

Oh, that Isaac! He is known for his whimsical approach to fashion and his sense of irony. When I asked the still svelte fashion celebrity if he was planning to be at the store when it formally opens to the public on Thursday, he said yes, he was planning to take his mother (with whom he is very close, and whose love of fashion and clothing helped inspire him as a designer).

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

‘Red Alert’:

The noticeable absence of the Williams sisters at the U.S. Open (a winning team who can always be counted on for their thoroughly colorful, eclectic, and individual approach to dressing for the tennis court) has not meant there haven’t been any fashion statements this year.

Sure, there have been sightings of the traditional though boring all white garb, and the predictable -and not so edgy anymore- all black tennis outfits (as well as combinations of both ) on the guys and gals, but the ones who have really shined have been wearing red, proving that if you really want to stand out in a crowd, this is still the color of choice.

All red, or red in combination with white was seen on winners like third seeded Lindsay Davenport and 6th seeded Jennifer Capriati. And even though James Blake may have been defeated by 2nd seeded Roger Federer, he still looked every inch a winner, thanks to his red statement.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner
Biggest New York Fashion Week Ever:

According to Fashion Calendar, the Spring 2004 New York fashion week is shaping up as the busiest season ever. With over 150 formal fashion shows, cocktail parties, charity events, exhibitions and informal presentations going on over 8 days from September 12-19th.

And the above number does not include other related events going before show week begins. In fact, just on September 10th there are 9 major events scheduled so far. They include: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Kick-Off Party; "New York After Dark in Black & White" by Museum of the City of New York & Celine; Launch of MAO Magazine by MAO Public Relations; Relaunch of Jeans & Sportwear Lines by Sassoon Group; "Positive Negatives Photo Auction Benefitting ACRIA by Vanity Fair & Hugo Boss celebration Vanity Fair's 20th Anniversary; "Dreams of Elegance" Coture Fashion Shows by USA International Fashion Shows; Dazed & Confused Photo Exhibition & Cocktail Reception for silent Auction to benefit the Central Park Conservancy; Manolo Blahnik Reception by Bergdorf Goodman; and Best of Beauty Awards by Allure.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

The ‘Next Big Thing’: (From Urban Chic to Urban Cowboy):

Summer has unofficially come to an end, fall merchandise has hit the stores, and Spring/ Summer 2004 New York Fashion Week is upon us. Take note before you start going crazy over all the ladylike tweeds, hourglass retro suits, and structured handbags that define this season. In the same way one can remark, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute- it will change”, the same can be said of fashion. ‘Urban Chic’ may well be the call of the day, but “Urban Cowboy" may be a more appropriate way to sum up the upcoming round of shows. Hardly surprising- since Western and cowboy themed clothing and accessories were seen on many of the runways of the most influential menswear designers when they unveiled their Spring and Summer 2004 collections in Paris and Milan this past July (not the least of which were Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Dolce & Gabbana).

Someone I know, a true fashion insider who has been a design force for more than 30 years, recently traveled to the American Southwest and observed a group from Ralph Lauren busily buying Native American (Navajo) Concha belts and lots of silver jewelry which will apparently be used for their upcoming runway show. And if you look at the Ralph Lauren Blue Label ads that ran in August Vogue, you will see hints of this Western flavor. Of course, this look has long been a signature of Ralph Lauren, and something that has come to identify his aesthetic. It is also something he does better than anyone. Could this be a real Ralph Moment in the making?

If you want to be ahead of the pack, you can always dig up authentic vintage clothing and accessories that mirror this American Southwestern theme right now. Ebay, flea markets, vintage stores and websites are great places to search, and coincidentally, one of my favorite vintage dealers, Pinky Wolman, is currently setting up shop at Brimfield, Massachusetts through Saturday, September 6th. You can find her in Booth 172/173 at The Meadows.

Included in her eclectic collection, will be Retro 50’s Fiesta skirts and dresses with metallic rickrack and ribbons; 50’s Western and American Indian copper jewelry with a bold artsy crafty look; vintage tooled leather bags in natural leather; velvet Navajo shirts with authentic handmade silver Navajo buttons; 50’s Western shirts in gabardine or plaid with metallic woven into the pattern.

After Brimfield, you will be able to find this wonderful assortment on her website: Midcentury Chic, located at www.fashiondig.com.

-Posted by Marilyn Kirschner