Saturday, March 29, 2003

AUDREY HEPBURN: THE BEAUTY OF COMPASSION’

A Reception, Exhibition, Auction & Dinner
Benefiting ‘All Children in School,” An Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund initiative supporting the U.S. Fund for UNICEF educational programs


Date: Monday, April 21, 2003
6:30pm - 8:15pm: Reception/Exhibit
8:15pm - 9:00pm: Auction
9:00pm: Dinner

Location:
Sotheby’s
1334 York Avenue at 72nd Street
New York City

Exhibition and Cocktail Reception – 6th Floor
Live Auction – 7th Floor.
Dinner to be held at Bid Brasserie

Event:
Cocktail Reception, Exhibition & Auction for 500 guests Dinner for 100
An exhibition of Audrey Hepburn’s personal belongings reflecting Audrey Hepburn’s life and passions. A live auction featuring select original Audrey Hepburn personal belongings benefiting “All Children in School.”

Sponsors:
Parfums Givenchy
Sotheby’s
Town & Country/ Hearst Magazines

Auction:
Conducted by Jamie Niven
Items to include personal belongings of AH’s (approx. 12 pieces) plus contributions from other companies This is the first time a selection of Audrey Hepburn’s personal belongings are being auctioned.

Ticket prices:
(Benefactor) $1000: one ticket to reception, exhibit, premiere seating at auction, dinner and Benefactor listing in journal
(Patron) $500: one ticket to reception, exhibit, priority seating at auction and listing in journal
(Ticket) $250: one ticket to reception, exhibit and auction

For more information and to purchase tickets: Contact the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund: www.audreyhepburn.com or call 310-393-5331.


Thursday, March 27, 2003

New Meaning to the Phrase, 'Fashion Victim':

The article in the Pulse Section of today's New York Post, "Hooked on Fashion - Confessions of Women who turn Tricks to stay in Style" had me howling out loud with laughter (of course, I don't know that this was their aim necessarily). But it did provide much needed levity in a world filled with 24 hour news surrounding the war. It also gave new meaning to the phrase 'Fashion Victim."

The article was accompanied by photos of women dressed in designer clothing and accessories, and illustrated how many 'tricks' would be needed to fund the expensive purchases. It got me wondering if in this crazy world filled with shopaholics who can't make ends meet, this will start a trend. As for me, I'm holding on to my 'day job'.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Fashion's Future:

Last night's "The Future of Fashion: A Panel Discussion on the Challenges Facing Young Designers Today" sponsored by the CFDA & GenArt may not have answered all the questions posed by those fledgling creators out there who were in attendance, but as moderator Bridget Foley put it, at least we "opened the dialogue". The executive editor of WWD and W also acknowledged that "this is a very difficult time to be in the fashion business- but it was even before the war", and there is a strong "likelihood of failure for young designers".

Panelists included Sally Singer, fashion news/features director for Vogue, Julie Gilhart, vice president/fashion director for Barneys New York (and someone who is known for her strong support of young talent), Elizabeth Q. Pearce, an attorney specializing in fashion and related industries in Europe and America, and two fashion designers- Rebecca Taylor and Narciso Rodriguez, who provided one of the more interesting quotes of the evening. When discussing the importance of having a nurturing environment and mentor, he compared Donna Karan with Calvin Klein (two places he honed his skill early on). While the Donna Karan Company was an "organic, nurturing environment, and she a "great teacher", Calvin was "so different" (he described it as a Nazi environment, so "businesslike" and rigid"). When Bridget asked when he felt "secure" as a designer, he admitted, "never" even though "good things are happening."

Other subjects included the relationship of celebrity and the press on fashion design, the obsessive focus on trends (a question I brought up), and advice for those starting out.
2003 TARTAN WEEK IN NEW YORK OPENS WITH
DRESSED TO KILT RECEPTION AND FASHION SHOW


New York, NY (March 25, 2003 Press Release): On Tuesday, April 1st, 2003, Friends of Scotland will celebrate the opening of Tartan Week with a fashion show and a cocktails and dancing party at the Harold Pratt House in New York. This unique show will feature the most exciting Scottish fashion, from the traditional to the cutting edge. It will include the works of the most talented kilt, Tartan, and cashmere designers in the world..

Sir Sean Connery, the Honorary Chairman of the Friends of Scotland charity, will be co-chairing the event along with Kip Forbes, Kyle MacLachlan, Alan Cumming and Kirsty Hume. Men expected to show their legs are Antony Todd, Kyle MacLachlan, Jason Oliver Nixon, Tom Gold ( NYC Ballet), Gerard Butler (Tomb Raider 2, Reign of Fire), Alan Campbell ( Broadway, Sunset Boulevard,Contact, ) Jeffrey Banks (designer), Ronan Tynan (The Irish Tenors), Daniel Benedict, Lord Jamie Sempill and Henry Alsopp. This extraordinary show of traditional and contemporary Scottish fashion will be judged by such notables as Cindy Adams, Marisa Brown, Jennifer Creel, Ann Jones, Diandra Douglas, Ghislaine Maxwell, Felicia Taylor, Lynne White, Kenneth J Lane, Amy Sacco as well as Rena Sindi as well as many others.

The proceeds of Dressed To Kilt will benefit The Friends of Scotland, a new non-profit corporation created to advance contemporary Scottish interests and meeting contemporary Scottish needs in the United States.

Dressed to Kilt is sponsored by Dewars, Geoffrey Taylor Kilts, 21st Century Kilts, Frederick Fekkai, The University of Glasgow, Lochcarron, John Laing, Hillary Rohde Cashmere, Get Shirty, Betsey Johnson, MAC Cosmetics, Pringle of Scotland, Next Model Management, MBNA Charlotte Ronson and Scottish Development International.

For further information on Dressed to Kilt visit www.dressedtokilt.org or
Teresa Calice (212) 741.0141 teresa@bismarckmedia.com


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

The New York Times should check their facts:

Even The New York Times makes mistakes - how very sobering. In today's 'Fashion' section, which dealt with the Academy Awards fashion statements and parties, they ran a picture of the popular Richard Gere with Carey Lowell, whom they identified as "his companion". Yikes - what a faux pas. The couple, who have been together for ages, and even have a child (or two), actually made it legal about one year ago, and got married in a fairly high profile setting.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

"Dear_raed" Web Blog by Resident of Bagdad Gives Rare Inside Look

http://www.dear_raed.blogspot.com

Dear_raed is a must-read blog by a current Baghdad resident. Check out his fascinating March 16 ramble about how he reluctantly supports the U.S. march to war and doubts the influence of fundamentalist Islamism in Iraq. It's not clear how the author manages to evade Saddamite censorship and scrutiny.
Look for Our Coverage of the 2003 Oscars

We are going ahead with our coverage of the Oscars with a special report from our contributing entertainment editor Diane Clehane. Diane writes regularly for TV Guide and People Magazine. Although there will be no "red carpet" parade of stars and Graydon Carter has banned press from attending the Vanity Fair Party (for fear that it would appear unseemly to the public for celebs to be seen enjoying themselves during a time of war) Diane's Op-Ed piece still promises to go behind the scenes and review what really happened to this year's awards. Read the past Op-Ed piece she wrote for us on the 2002 Oscars.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

What Is Up With the French?

Firstview.com is not the only site to have run afoul of the French trademark and copyright laws. Louis Vuitton parent company, LVMH, forced French journalist Francois Dor to shut down his website www.oedipe.net after he posted an article about Louis Vuitton's signature brown and gold bag, "applying some sociological significance to its 'feces and urine colors' and the fact that 'it swings close to the buttocks.'" LVMH didn't like what he said, so it's "infringing" on their trademark.

Francois Dor e-mailed us this update: "The French court of Nanterre charged me a fine of 45.000 euros for that Louis Vuitton story of feces and urine. A huge an unjust fine. Bernadette Chirac, the wife of the French President Chirac, carries sometimes one of this famous Louis Vuitton's bag, of feces and urine colors. Which is probably the world's most famous luxury good article. Bernard Arnault, the owner of Louis Vuitton, and richest man of France, is close to the French politicians at a point to be a witness at the Nicolas Sarkozy's marriage -the minister of interior (police) and number 2 of the government."

Thursday, March 20, 2003

More Fallout From Firstview/Style.com Controversy

According to a well placed American source - whose name they do not want used for obvious reasons - is the latest fallout surrounding the Firstview.com/style.com controversy over rights to sell runway photos from the French shows. Again, this is hearsay and not confirmed:

1. The Federation de Couture wants to get style.com off the internet any way they can
2. The Federation de Couture wants to begin reducing and or taking away American press accreditations

And our source who attends the French shows states: "Style.com, the French and Firstview are making it very hard for people like me to work in Paris... And what do you think about their habit of putting up in excess of seven photos from the French shows, a direct violation of Federation de Couture policy? (you sign an agreement promising you will not as an editor put up more than seven images per designer per show.)"

Lookonline has sent a number of e-mails to Didier Grumbach and Francoise Benhamou regarding the controversy - but they never bother to respond. We also sent e-mails to Firstview but they also do not respond to our requests for information.

Who's Minding The Store?

Style.com looks as if they are in need of someone in charge to keep an eye on their website. For the last several days, in anticipation of the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony (which Vogue's March issue was dedicated to), Style.com's homepage has promoted their 'Oscar Preview- Red Carpet glamour then and now' accompanied by a picture of the beautiful Ava Gardner, and a larger one, featuring the gorgeous Halle Berry clad in fur and satin gown. Well, in case they don't realize it, we are now at War, and every newspaper and publication has had articles referring to the way in which this awards ceremony will now be more sober and toned down. Some even feared this event would be canceled, but alas, it is going on as scheduled.

In fact, today's WWD featured a front page which deals with the way in which the War will effect the fashion world, saying "the situation has shaken one of the fashion industry's biggest events: the Oscars- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has canceled the traditional Red Carpet Parade of Stars- the world's most watched fashion show- in favor of a more low keyed event focused on the awards rather than the dresses and diamonds." Wake up and smell the coffee, Style.com!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Letter to the Editor:
About Guy Trebay's column in The New York Times: "Strutting Down the Runway With a Severe Case of the Blahs


I was wondering if anyone of importance was paying attention to the message Guy Trebay was sending in his piece regarding the recent fall shows in this Sunday's Style Section. In my opinion, he couldn't have been more clear on how he feels about the seasonal search for the Next Great (White) Model Search that happens during the season.I repeat his own words: "With no obvious new national or ethnic vein being mined by talent scouts (and certainly not one that benefits black, latina or Asian models), the current preference in the business.....is for young people of no particular beauty....and a range of expression that can sometimes put an observer in mind of an aquarium."

He's absolutely right. Most of these girls are so devoid of personality and sex appeal, you have to wonder what the designers and the agencies (by default) are afraid of. By choosing Madeleine Blomberg, Adina Fohlin and Elise Crombez as the standout girls of the moment, they fail to recognize beautiful girls such as Ai, Kimanee Wilson of Elite, the Asian model Ling (who should be farther along than she is right now) and so many other girls that truly deserve the attention. These girls are not only beautiful, they know how to walk, they have beautiful smiles (when they are allowed to show them) and they have the potential to be the next supermodels in the industry. Why are these girls shoved aside and relegated to ethnic fashion zines like Vibe, Honey, Latina and the others where they are left to die on the vine? When are they going to be given a chance to really show their stuff? When will it become less of a national holiday when a black model appears on the cover of Anna Wintour's Vogue?

Mr. Trebay is only echoing the quiet mutterings that goes on under the radar. He has given voice to something that can still be turned around and made into a positive. Is anyone in the industry listening? I am not for affirmative action but this story in the Times really pissed me off. And they (the industry) wonder about the disconnect between them and the rest of the American population.

Thank you,

Phillip Johnson
(Philip is a freelance New York fashion journalist)

Sunday, March 16, 2003

‘NABRU’ FALL 2003
1 Day - 4 Fashion Shows - 17 Collections
Saturday, March 29th
Show times: 2 PM, 4 PM, 6 PM and 8 PM
At the Crowne Plaza Hotel (Broadway and 48th Street in Times Square) Press & Buyers Inquirers or to RSVP:
Ahysha Donaldson at 212.404.3423 or ahysha@nhirschgroup.com

NABRU (formally “Urban Fashion in New York”) will feature the Fall 2003 collections of some of today’s hottest brands in fashion: Iceberg History, Rocawear Ladies, Avirex, Azzure, Indigo Red, Stall & Dean, PNB Nation, Davoucci, Pelle Pelle, Giii & Carl Banks, Black Rivet, dada supreme, Madsoul, K.A. Kitties, Schott Bros., and Croskey Furs. Also featuring sexy looks by BONSHU by Thomas Woodard and Mona V Intimates. Special guest appearances by ROCKWILDER; BET.COM’s host, Tiffany; WBLS queen of the airwaves, Egypt; Power 105.1’s Déjà Vu; comedian Capone and much, much more!

Sponsored by Today’s Black Woman and Black Men’s Magazine

Friday, March 14, 2003

The New York Fashion Industry Broadband Video Report

We have just put up our latest (March 14th) edition of our fashion industry broadband video report. This video is the only regularly scheduled video report covering New York fashion on the internet. To run this video you need to have the "Real Player" installed on your computer and a high speed internet connection. click here for the BROADBAND report or if you have only a dial-up connection click here for the 56K version.


Vogue.co.uk Suddenly Stops Selling Runway Photos

After sending an e-mail yesterday to Abigail Chisman the on-line editor of British Vogue's website Vogue.co.uk asking her if they had rights to resale runway photos from the European and American collections (at £75 per image) on their website, we notice today that all of the links to purchase said images have been removed.

It is interesting to note that the credited photographer for the runway photos is again Marcio Madeira of Firstview. One wonders what the deal was between Firstview and Vogue.co.uk regarding reselling the pictures. This whole affair is getting more and more complicated.

We are still waiting to hear back from Francoise Benhamou. Stay tuned as we stay on top of this developing story!

Thursday, March 13, 2003

More on the Arrest of the Style.com / Firstview.com Photographers in Paris

What strikes us a bit strange in this whole uproar over who is selling pictures is if you go on the British Vogue's site at vogue.co.uk they are also selling runway photos from the runway collections ( credited to Marcio Madeira ) for £75 each! We wonder if Francoise Benhamou is aware of that practice and did the French designers sign over rights to Conde Nast so they could resale the images? Perhaps there is something of a double standard when it comes to Conde Nast? We sent an e-mail asking him about it and will post the reply if we get one.

And here is a new update reported by SaltyT.com:

...The police claims acting upon a complaint by Chanel, Dior, Hermès, Jean-Paul Gaultier and all the LVMH houses, i.e. almost all the big participants in the Paris shows.

According to the complaint filled apparently before the shows, firstview has no authorization from designers and models to sell photographs from the shows. According to French laws, the rights of such pictures belong to the designers and to the models, and not exclusively to the photographers as in the US laws.

Francoise Benhamou, head of judicial affairs and intellectual property at the French Fashion Federation, described an "illicit traffic" of photographs for profit that upset the federation and some of its largest members". Didier Grumbach, head of the federation, explained this morning in an interview to French radio "Europe 1" that the problem was the selling of the pictures, not the journalistic process itself. "They claim to be working for the Vogue site, and then they sell the pictures on their own pirate site", he said.

This humble weblog has learned that a similar complaint was filled two years ago against the site, but after the judicial process, the US authorities refused to arrest the owners. French authorities therefore waited for their presence on the French soil.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Style.com Photographers Arrested at Chanel Show

It was reported in WWD today that Don Ashby and Marcio Madeira (among others) the owners of fashion runway photo website Firstview.com were arrested by French authorities at the Chanel show on Monday for allegedly violating intellectual property laws in France. WWD reported "Françoise Benhamou, head of judicial affairs and intellectual property at the French Fashion Federation, described an "illicit traffic" of photographs for profit that upset the federation and some of its largest members."

Firstview shoots the American and European shows for Style.com and are very aggressive in going after other photographers' business by severely underbidding the competition. For example, they are the "official photographers" for IMG's Mercedes-Benz 7thonsixth shows. Our photographer Randy Brooke lost the 7thonsixth account to Don Ashby & Marcio Madeira several seasons back after Firstview offered to shoot the shows for free (they did get some free ads and mentions in 7thonsixth advertising). It was an offer 7thonsixth could not refuse.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

The 'Skinny' On Mid-life Eating Disorders:

This past Sunday, in the 'Style' section of The New York Times, Ginia Bellafante penned an article about the rising incidence of eating disorders amongst middle aged women,("When Midlife Seems Just An Empty Plate"). As they say, 'you ain't seen nothing yet'. Just wait until all the skinny, molded, cropped, tight, short, shrunken clothing (oh, did I forget to mention leggings and pants so tight they resemble leggings) for fall/winter 2003 starts hitting the stores in a few months!

Monday, March 10, 2003

New 'Masters of Fashion' Video Interview with Ralph Rucci

Coming in the beginning of April is our next "Masters of Fashion' Video Series featuring an interview with the American designer Ralph Rucci. Mr. Rucci is currently the only American designer invited by the French to show during their couture week . He is truly an American Master who, like Geoffrey Beene, because of his independent spirit has been given less than his due by the 'Condy Nasty's".

In fact, nowhere in Style.com's coverage of the New York 2003 shows will you see or read anything about Ralph's show. And that goes the same for Elle.com as well. But we have photographs from his show to give you an idea of his work this season - with more photos to come at the time we interview him. In case you missed his show here are some highlights - click here for 10 photos from the collection


Sunday, March 09, 2003

FASHION WEEK OF THE AMERICAS EVENT & SHOW SCHEDULE
All events take place at the Roney Palace Beach Resort, 2399 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

Saturday, March 15, 2003
6:00 PM Final models casting - Poolside at the Roney
9:00 PM FWA Kick-Off Party at Rumi - 330 Lincoln Road

Monday, March 17, 2003
5:00 PM Cotton, Inc. from NYC presents "Fashion Trend Forecast for Spring 2004" followed by a cocktail reception for the FWA designers and Fashion Group International members - Miami Beach Convention Center, Room C221.
11:00 PM Welcoming Party at Mynt Lounge - 1921 Collins Avenue

Tuesday, March 18, 2003
10:00 AM Peclers Paris "Trend & Color Forecast Spring 2004"
4:00 PM Buyers & Designers Panel Discussion
6:30 PM Cocktail reception for FWA designers at Novecento Restaurant - 1080 Alton Road
9:00 PM Official Opening Party at Level Nightclub - 1253 Washington Avenue

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
6:00 PM Press Conference - poolside at the Roney Palace
7:30 PM Lingerie/Swim Showcase
9:30 PM Peruvian Showcase featuring Sitka Semsch "New Star in Fashion"
10:30 PM Performance by NYC DJs Todd Hanna, Phil Jakob and DJ Hoska - Poolside at the Roney Palace
12:00 AM Party at Skybar - 21st Street entrance at Collins Avenue

Thursday, March 20, 2003
1:00 PM A.I. Miami International University of Art & Design Award Winning Students Show
6:00 PM Prêt-A-Porter Showcase
7:30 PM Caribbean Showcase
9:30 PM Armando Mafud - Mexico
10:30 PM Performance by recording artist Manolin - Poolside at the Roney Palace
12:00 AM Party & Live Radio Broadcast at Ménage - 1532 Washington Avenue

Friday, March 21, 2003
6:00 PM Evening Showcase
7:30 PM Rosita Hurtado - Bolivia
9:30 PM Lina Cantillo - Colombia
10:30 PM Performance by DJ Llorca from Paris - Poolside at the Roney Palace
12:00 AM Party at Tantra - 1445 Pennsylvania Avenue

Saturday, March 22, 2003
6:00 PM Charlie Lapson - Hollywood/USA
7:30 PM Osmany Lafitta - Cuba/Czech Republic
9:30 PM David Dalrymple for the House of Field
"Lifetime Achievement in Fashion" Award presented to Patricia Field
10:00 PM FWA Moda & Music Awards Show
Featuring performances by Jon Secada and Santiago Douglas
12:00 AM Wrap Party at Level Nightclub - 1253 Washington Avenue

Tickets for the opening night Lingerie/Swim Showcase are $40.00, all other shows are $20, with discounted day passes available. Tickets for the FWA Moda & Music Awards - including the House of Field closing show on Saturday, March 22 - are $75. All take place at the Roney Palace Beach Resort, 2399 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. Valet parking available at the 24th Street entrance. For ticket sales, schedules and further information, please visit www.FashionWeekAmericas.com . If available, tickets will also be sold at the door, cash only.

Media Contact: Sharon Kersten (305) 867-0933.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Launch Party for Bell' Italia Magazine



Friday night was the launch party for the premier Issue of Bell'Italia Magazine. It was held at the Museum of FIT where the exhibition on Italian fashion currently on display at the museum was also opened for the magazine's guests to visit. Bell'Italia publisher Amedeo Angiolillo, played host to several hundred guests who ate, drank, and had a wonderful time. Sponsors of the event included San Dominco Restaurant, Opici wines, Pernigotti Chocolates, Illy Espresso Liquors, Fernet Branca Liquors, and Monini Olive Oil. And as an added attraction parked just outside the venue was one of the new magazine's key advertisers - Maserati - displaying some of their latest models.

It was a very mixed and attractive crowd, with lots of industry people - trades, magazines, tv producers - some of whom we have not seen in years. Friends of lookonline included "Lisa No 1" from CFDA and "Lisa No 2" of IMG/7thonSixth, Ruth Finley publisher of Fashion Calendar, Ken Panton of Ecityofstyle.com, and old friend the model "Mariana" who looked just great. Mariana, in her heyday, was a top American model and the muse of the late fashion designer Carmelo Pomodoro.

We left with a generous "goody bag" filled with fine Italian foods, chocolates, liquors, olive oil, bottles of wine and of course copies of the new magazine. It was a fun evening and we wish Amedeo and his staff great success. A special "thumbs up" goes to Ian MacKintosh and his people for such a great job in handling pr for the event.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Paris Still Reigns Supreme!

Forgetting the city's politics and rude citizens, it is still the fashion capital of the world, and the place where great fashion moments seem to happen, as illustrated by the recent showing by Olivier Theyskens for the house of Rochas. Just when you thought 'the look' for the coming season is 'all about' an overtly hard edged, sexy woman, dressed very literally and predictably in her zippered black leather, slightly fetish over the knee boots, and skintight leggings - or a very literal and youthful translation of the mod 60's in her minis and white opaque tights, out comes a collection that as Style.com's Sara Mower put it, "wrought a small revolution - a decisive shift in taste away from the worn out provocations of edgy and sexual. In 20 minutes, he'd (Theyskens) blown the dust off the words charming and dainty and ushered in a whole new concept of feminine elegance and sophistication."

My suggestion: click on to Style.com to see Olivier Theyskens entire collection, and you'll see why. It's too bad these 'moments' never seem to be in New York!

Thursday, March 06, 2003

New York Fall 2003 Market Report for Members

Our market report covering the recent New York Fall 2003 collections for our subscribers only is now up in our at premium features area. The report is written by our editor-in-chief Marilyn Kirschner and it is 11 pages long with 100 original photos shot at the shows for us by our photographer Randy Brooke.

Not a member yet? Click here for information about our premium feature areas and joining lookonline.com as a member.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Bernadine Morris on the Appointment of Michael Vollbracht:

I think of Vollbracht in terms of casual clothes, cartoons and other lightweight ideas. I do not think of him in terms of couture or what is called "better ready to wear." I certainly don't think of him in terms of Blass or other makers of expensive clothes. It is possible that he has learned to cope with this new branch of fashion.. He has the charm that was part of the Blass mystique, but I still think of him as an illustrator. Well, Mainbocher started his design career as an illustrator, and Blass was very good at fashion illustration -- probably could have made a career of it, if he hadn't gone into design. So I wish Vollbracht well and am looking forward to his first collection.
More on the Appointment of Michael Vollbracht: Michael (WITHOUT an e)

I remember Michael Vollbracht's graphic, artistic runway shows that delighted the press and the socialites alike (way back when he spelled his name, Michaele) though I cannot claim to be an expert on his tailoring or dressmaking skills. I will say that the house of Blass certainly seems to be reveling in rather surprising choices considering it's name and history (first with Slowik, then Nilsson).

I know that right before Bill's death, Michael collaborated with him on pulling together his archives, so there is obviously a strong connection and symbolic thread. But I am not sure how Michael's particular sense of fashion and style connect with that of Bill Blass'. I assume there is more to this than meets the eye.

As far as I'm concerned, the two people who would have seemed like the most obvious choices to continue the tradition of the house, would have been Bill's closest associates and collaborators through the years- Laura Montalban, who was also his muse and looked amazing in everything Bill created...and Greg Natiello who had a brief stint at Halston and then went out on his own. The two together seemed to make a good team, spoke the same language as Bill, knew his customers, clients, and friends intimately, and obviously, they were key ingredients behind the label. But ah, this is the weird world of fashion, where stranger things have happened! So stay tuned...

-by Marilyn Kirschner


Letter to the Editor: Regarding the Appointment of Michael Vollbracht

...Who is making these decisions at Blass? So far as I am concerned they are three for three. Maybe I am the only one old enough to remember Michaels foray into the couture dress biz but I was there. I ordered for - -- and not one piece fit or was cut like any dress we ever saw. He has no idea how to make clothes and never did. Unless he enrolled in F.I.T. in the meanwhile I doubt this one will be successful. Too bad for the name of Blass.

- from a well known fashion publicist

Michael Vollbracht is appointed Designer of Bill Blass

New York, New York, March 3, 2003 – Bill Blass Limited announces today the appointment of Michael Vollbracht as Designer of the iconic American fashion house, Bill Blass. The appointment is effective immediately. His first collection for Bill Blass will be Resort 2004.

Vollbracht will assume direct design responsibilities for the Bill Blass Women’s Ready-to-Wear collection. In his new role he will also define the overall image and positioning of the Bill Blass brand including all product categories, working with all the creative teams.

Michael Vollbracht, whose experience and success are internationally renowned, said he was, "very honored to join the House of Blass and motivated at the prospect of nurturing the continuation of the signature Blass elements: luxurious fabrics, glamorous evening clothes, men’s tailoring, great American sportswear. I want to create elegant, sexy and pretty clothes.”

Michael Groveman, President and CEO of Bill Blass Ltd., added that, "the appointment of Michael Vollbracht brings the needed knowledge of the essence of the house with the right talent level and tremendous experience. We know Vollbracht respects the values, heritage and identity of Bill Blass and that he possesses the talent to drive the house forward.”

Haresh T. Tharani, Chairman of Bill Blass Ltd., said, "the arrival of a great, renowned designer and artist brings the catalyst to the dynamic development of this prestigious house and we are excited about a long and productive association with Vollbracht.”

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Our Editor's Picture Runs Again in Today's Sunday Styles Section of The New York Times



Marilyn is no doubt one of The New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham's favorite fashion muses when it comes to running her picture in his Sunday Styles "On the Street" column. Marilyn has appeared in his column so many times we have lost count. But perhaps our editor's greatest moment came two years ago when Bill featured her exclusively in a column (click here to see editorial) that ran on the Sunday marking the beginning of New York Fall 2000 fashion week with 18 photos of her in different outfits. Marilyn joined a rare group of fashionista that Bill has devoted an entire column to. The last two people being Carine Roitfeld and Anna Wintour. Not shabby company!

Saturday, March 01, 2003

'The Lady Vanishes' (NOT!)

Forget Mod! It looks as if dowdy chic is about to be a big hit again- never underestimate the power of a lady! Based on what Miuccia Prada sent out for Prada's fall/winter 2003 lineup, it looks as though the fine art of chic tailoring, classic tweeds, sober colors, refined and beautiful leather goods (from colored gloves to important handbags), and short lengths (for day AND evening) are sure to be the watchword for next season. Whatever Miuccia does, she endorses and puts a stamp of approval on what others have already done. Interestingly, Miuccia is among the many designers (like Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein) who completely ignored 'Red Carpet' creations, in favor of styles that are more in keeping with today's mood and the global world situation.