Wednesday, March 31, 2004

'Dressed to Kilt' Fashion Show:

(Press Release) New York, NY (April 5, 2004) Thirty hot men and 10 gorgeous women are set to take the stage tonight with one thing in common—they’ll all be wearing skirts! Donning their Tartan finest, these 40 “models” have agreed to bare their legs (and maybe more) for DRESSED TO KILT, a kilt fashion show benefiting Friends of Scotland.

Honorary Chairman Sir Sean Connery and a committee of celebrities and New York notables will be marking Tartan Week in style—wearing Scottish fashion that ranges from the most traditional to the wildly contemporary. Each will be judged on their attitude, style and most importantly, legs.

This year’s event will take place at Sotheby’s and is the second Dressed to Kilt in New York. “It is an outrageously entertaining evening,” said Geoffrey Scott Carroll, one of the founding benefactors of Friends of Scotland and the evening’s co-host. “From the strutting models to the Celtic music to the stunning clothes, the entire evening is a bloody great hoot!”

Expected to show some leg on the runway are designer Alexandra Lind Rose, actor Kyle MacLachlan, Daily News columnists George Rush and Joanna Molloy, Gotham editor-in-chief Jason Oliver Nixon, VIP photographer Patrick McMullan, model Marcus Schenkenberg, restaurateur Rocco DiSpirito and hotelier Vikram Chatwal.

Judging those legs will be Andre Leon Talley, Serena Bass, Muffie Potter Aston, Dennis Basso, Gigi Mortimer, Mary Alice Stephenson, Amy Sacco and Helen Schifter.

Members of the Scottish and British government will also be on hand, including Rt. Hon. Jack McConnell, First Minister of Scotland. After the show, there will be a silent auction to include trips to Scottish castles and a number of the models on the runway.

Dressed to Kilt is sponsored by Highland Park a distillery that produces Scotch whisky. Cocktails begin at 7:00PM and the runway show is set for 8:00PM with a party to follow. Tickets are $150 and are available by calling 212.242.9353 or on the internet at

So come watch, as New York hunks become Highland hunks and address the question of what one REALLY wears under a kilt….

Tuesday, March 30, 2004


Including the Collections of the Marquesa de San Damián and Designer Pauline Trigère

Doyle New York will hold an auction of important vintage dresses, suits and ensembles by world's most famed couturiers. Featured in the sale are important designs by Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Pucci, Jean Desses, Dior, Chanel, Poiret, Givenchy and Trigere, among many others. The sale will also include important costume jewelry, handbags and accessories, as well as American, European and Asian textiles. The public is invited to the exhibition on view from Saturday, April 17 through Monday, April 19.

To view the illustrated press release, visit:

There will be a special media preview on Thursday, April 15 from 6pm until 7:30pm.
Louis LeB. Webre, Vice President, Marketing and Media
Tel: (212) 427-4141, ext. 232
Fax: (212) 239-0892

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Chanel Couture to Open 10 floor Boutique in Tokyo:

Chanel Couture announced in Tokyo today plans to open a new 10 floor building in the Ginza quarter of the Japanese capitol. Richard Collasse, President of Chanel Japan, stated that the company had acquired an existing structure for 170 million dollars, which will be replaced by the new building. Three floors will be dedicated to a boutique, but the space will also include a concert hall, an exhibition area, and on the top floor, a restaurant managed by renowned French chef Alain Ducasse. Named "Mademoiselle" in honor of the the House's founder, Ducasse has previously said that it will not be a luxury restaurant along the lines of his other holdings, but instead a more casual eatery where shoppers can drop in without reservations.

Designed by architect Peter Marino, the building will be inspired by the classic Chanel tweed motif and will feature an extremely complicated façade constructed of glass leaves with a bee's nest in aluminum. Behind this design, which itself will be set in an extremely light metallic structure,700,000 to 800,000 diodes will be placed. These LEDs are to be controlled by computers with special software.

Even though Japan is currently pulling out of a decade of economic stagnation, sales of European luxury labels have remained encouraging.

- press release translated from the French by Timothy Hagy
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It’s About Time!

Hurray for Ralph: Great news that Ralph Rucci has finally been given his much overdue ‘due’ as one of this year’s nominees (unbelievably for the first time) for Women’s Wear Designer of the Year (he shares the honor with Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, and Michael Kors). But this is only the first round of votes. The second round will commence on April 14th and the winners will be announced at the annual CFDA Fashion Award Gala to be held on June 7th, at the New York Public Library.

Other nominees and categories? Men’s Wear Designer of the Year: Sean Combs for Sean John, Michael Kors, and Ralph Lauren; Accessories Designer of the Year: Edmundo Castillo, Marc Jacobs, and Reed Krakoff for Coach; Swarovski’s Perry Ellis Award for New Talent: Derek Lam, Zac Posen, and Patrick Robinson (whom as was pointed out by WWD, coincidentally designs for the Perry Ellis label).

In addition, Teri Agins of the Wall Street Journal will receive the Eugenia Sheppard Award for journalism; Irving Penn will receive the Eleanor Lambert Award; and surprise, surprise, Sarah Jessica Parker will be given the Fashion Icon Award. Personally, I don’t get it…I think too many people confuse her off screen aura with her made up Carrie persona. I myself am not a particular fan of her look, and think she looked a lot better before she became such an, ‘icon’. Oh well, I guess that’s what makes horse races.

On another note, I had to chuckle upon reading a column in Page 6 of today’s New York Post. Under the heading, ‘Just Asking’: “Which society couple is on the rocks because the husband can no longer abide his wife’s relentless spending and her absurd compulsion to attend every party? While she paints herself as a full-tome mother, daddy often takes their daughter on playdates and appears at school functions because his wife won’t miss a photo op”. Gee- this applies to so many of them, I wouldn’t know where to begin to guess (though I have my opinion).

- Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Thursday, March 25, 2004

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Ralph, Donna, Zac, Anna, Betsy ….roll your racks west… a new fashion venue is born!

(Press Release) Through the collaboration of Vicki Ross, founder of South of Seventh and various other fashion projects during her 30-year fashion career and Alan Boss, the founder of the 26th Street Annex Antiques Market and Metropolitan Pavilion, a brand new idea has evolved. This is a new guerrilla market concept and is named “fashion on the pavement”.

Last summer Mr. Boss opened the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, closing off each weekend from April through October, 39th Street from 9th to 10th Avenues. Except for July and August the market will sell antiques, fresh produce, flowers and plants, and then it will turn exclusively to the fashion industry. We are inviting young and established designers to come and sell their left over samples and excess production. Every designer needs to turn their goods into cash and sample sales in their individual showrooms do not get the traffic that this market can offer.

Fashion on the pavement will have an extensive advertising initiative. The target is to let New Yorkers, the neighborhood and most important the tourists know about our hot fashionable flea market. We estimate 10,000 people can walk our flea market and especially for fashion that is not available anywhere else. We will target participants from women’s, men’s, accessories, cosmetics, children’s and last but not least the art world. Hell’s Kitchen is becoming very important to the newer artist that is now living and working there.

Situated adjacent to the garment center, it makes it easy for designers to participate. Both Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood and the garment center have become very hot for new retail and artists and theater galleries and lofts.

The Fashion Bid will work very closely with us.

We would like to involve the fashion universities for the help of their students and we will offer them free booths for their own projects that they would like to expose to the public. Fashion associations also will be invited to help make this an industry wide event.

Some sponsors have already expressed desire to do links to our audience by doing fashion shows, exhibitions or parties.

An advisory committee has been formed and has met once to discuss and suggest different ideas. For further information please view our website

Press Release: March 21, 2004
Contact: Anjali Nangia
Phone: 212 889 5426

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

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Editorial: Our Fashion Magazines:

On Tuesday night I sat down to read the latest Bazaar. This is very unusual for me to be able to read a magazine the same day it arrives, but life is slow! The cover attracted me. A beautiful photograph of Drew Barrymore, who I must say has been cleaned up very well these days. There also wasn’t very much lettering on the cover so that made it all the more appealing. The mailing label is still a spoiler! Inside I found a wonderful article about Ralph Rucci and his current muse Deeda Blair. Just recently I spotted this duo at La Grenouille in a corner table enjoying dinner….they really are good friends. Looking at this incredible woman makes you want to let your hair go gray. Well, back to the magazine….I was passing through the pages and about to get to the editorial section, where I expect it to be,and wham 26 pages of quote “promotion”. Why not call a spade a spade, it is advertising. Why not put this special section that manufacturer’s bought into with fewer dollars in the front or the book. And not where we are teased into thinking it is editorial….”The It List” is not my Bazaar.

There was also in my mailbox the April In Style. Is anyone else tired of seeing pictures of the gowns worn at the Academy Award Ceremony. We have seen these pictures on TV the night of, then in every news and magazine format show the morning, day and week after and the again in every newspaper for at least a week and then again in most of all the weekly gossip magazines for the next couple of weeks. I could probably sew those dresses from memory by now. So when In Style shows them again so long after the event, I want to say enough! Those gowns are already at retail probably. I did like the “166 Best Beauty Buys”.

And speaking of repetitive coverage……I am really tired of the Chanel trench with the tweed trim. Can’t someone find another item that is newer than that item that has literally been in every editorial since it hit the runway. I loved it the minute I saw it, but enough.

-a well known fashionistas

‘Shrug’ging off the Cold:

One section of the population--I have to assume-- that has not minded the unseasonably cold weather we’ve been subjected to since the official start of spring, are the furriers. On a recent visit to Anne Dee Goldin’s showroom, located in New York’s fur district (Goldin Feldman, 150 West 30th street), I got a chance to view some of the delectable offerings that will be available this coming fall/winter 2004, and thanks to the unwelcome chill in the air on that day, they seemed especially desirable.

Anne Dee, a 3rd generation furrier whom I have known since I was an editor at Harper’s Bazaar, continues to evolve, expand and expound upon the philosophy which is at the heart of her business. Her collection is a complete one filled not only with fur outerwear and accessories, but non- fur and fur- trimmed items as well. There are sporty, athletic, and casual pieces and those, which would be perfect for little evenings or big time galas.

Trench coats, fitted or cropped jackets, and coordinating skirts are offered in 100 % cashmere herringbone, tweed, boucle trimmed with a subtle tulle ruffle, and metallic boucle (the latter group is especially eye catching since the colors are inviting pastels like heather, wisteria, and rosette). There are groups in lambskin, deerskin, canvas trimmed with leather and fur, microfiber trimmed with fox, and shearling (Merino and Toscana).

The variety of furs is dizzying --in addition to the more traditional and expected pelts like fox, mink, lynx and sable,-- Anne Dee has also used mink, sable, squirrel and fox plates (something she learned to appreciate thanks to Geoffrey Beene) which imparts an unusual, somewhat mosaic, arty, and sporty effect. There are also several groups done in knitted rex rabbit and chinchilla rex rabbit, cross mink, micro sheared mink, and lippicat (the ‘fur of the moment’ which resembles leopard).

Although Ms. Goldin said she will be adding a group of long fur coats (the line is still not 100% complete), she admitted that what is really selling well are fur items- small fur pieces. To that end, she has some wonderful hats, scarves, muffs, ribbon capelet collars, and of course, the shug. It was the one item that seemed to show up on every runway both here in New York as well as Paris, Milan, and London.

For prices and more information, call 212 239 0512.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

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New Feature: "Paris Diary"

We are starting a new monthly column (see article here) covering fashion news and related events from Paris. The column is written by our Paris correspondent Timothy Hagy and he will concentrate on those issues and events that have a direct bearing on New York fashion.

Monday, March 22, 2004

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Special Feature Report: Fashion, Sex & Lesbianism:

"The traditional ideals and images of what is feminine are being usurped and challenged by the broken boundaries of what is sexually acceptable in mainstream media. Soft core porn (and lesbian) imagery has gone mainstream in entertainment and fashion..."

Read this very interesting report on fashion's continuing fascination with lesbianism and pornography written by our contributing editor Sally Melanie Lourenço. Click here for full report.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Triple Pier Show:

For “fashion people watching “The Triple Pier Show was where to be over the weekend! Dawn Mello, Lynn Yaeger, Sylvia Heisel, Jill Stuart with an assistant ( both wearing Ugg-like boots on the first day of Spring…the white shoe rule should work for Ugg), Ben Amun, Joanne Yellin of Anna Sui, always nice, Jose and Maria Barrera with their daughters, Riva, of past handbag fame, Bebe Winkler , the decorator, Pinky Wolman and lots of others. Great fun to see a lot of people and spend some Spring dollars.

-a friend

Friday, March 19, 2004

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Ten Best Looks from the Fall 2004 New York Shows:

Our contibuting editor Bernadine Morris, who for those of you who do not know her was for 30 years the senior fashion writer for The New York Times, chooses her 10 best looks from the fall 2004 New York RTW shows. Interesting to compare Bernadine's choices click here to read article with those of Guy "pencil skirt" Trebay's article in The New York Times read article here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

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Hedi In, Tom Out

In an interview with ABC news on Friday, March 12, Tom Ford remarked that he'd "basically done fashion, and was interested in challenging himself in new ways." Whether you believe that creativity in any art form never dies, but only dies within the individual, or that Mr. Ford was destined for greater glory, is perhaps a matter of personal choice. What is striking is the different path taken by Hedi Slimane, who resigned from Yves Saint Laurent in 1999, rather than spend one more day working for Ford.

In a dichotomy of circumstance, Slimane is now 9 months into his second contract with Dior Homme, and is clearly on a role. Having completely remade the label, he's also got his finger so surely on the pulse of Generations Y and I, the latter having never known a world without Internet. On Wednesday, March 10, a Dior Homme party to celebrate the opening of the New York City boutique drew an awesome list of intelligentsia and young artists. The party began at 9 p.m. in the raw space fashioned as a stage-set designed by Hedi Slimane at 545 West 22nd St. Sonic Youth, fronted by Kim Gordon, took the stage a few hours into the party causing a frenzy among the crowd. The performance was accompanied by hypnotic light sets, also designed by Slimane, flooding the dark, smoky room with systematic bursts of red and white.

Among the guests was Ryan McGinley, a 26 year old photographer noted for his fresh portrayal of gay friends and lovers, a group that forms part of New York¹s Lower East Side youth culture, and FischerSpooner, featuring Casey Spooner, the up and coming musician. Among the other people present: David Blaine, Sophie Dahl, Steven Klein, Vincent Gallo, Hope Atherton, Terry Richardson, Jamie Johnson, Missy Rayder, Bernard Picasso and Almine Rech, David Byrne, Thaddaeus Ropac, David Byrne, Tiffany Dubin, Philip-Lorca di Corcia, Daryl Hannah, Alana Heiss, Cecilia Dean, Jay Jopling, Vito Schnabel, Vikram Chatwal, Sante D¹Orazio, Amanda Hearst, Amanda Lepore, Anderson Cooper, Craig McDean, Matt Damhave, Fabian Basabe, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Daniel Romualdez, David Sims, Danny Baker, Jr., Jeffrey Deitch, Leo Villareal, David Armstrong, Yvonne Force, Matthew Marks, Conrad de Kwiatkowski, Delphine Arnault, Benjamin Cho, Bay Garnett, Moses Berkson, Andres Serrano, Helena Christensen, and Sophia Lamar.

-Timothy Hagy

Timothy is lookonline's new corresponding editor from Paris. He can be reached at

Sunday, March 14, 2004 & Establish Joint Discussion Board:

New York based and Los Angeles based has just installed a fashion discussion board at We want to encourage our many readers on both our sites to register and participate in the discussions. Click the link to enter our board to read and write posts. Our editors will be posting discussion subjects that relate to current fashion news, people and events.

Friday, March 12, 2004

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A French Farce Finds Itself the Center of International Litigation:

Shortly after the Chanel show ended in March of 2003, three photographers busily scurrying to meet a deadline for their publisher were arrested outside an office located on Rue de Fauboug Saint Honoré in Paris. It turned out that Chanel, among others, had instigated their incarceration, having determined that the trio worked for an Internet website that illegally posted photos of each piece of a collection - in violation of French law.

That original suit was making its way through the Gallic judicial system, which at times resembles a very slow snail, when Vogue Homme's Editor-in-Chief, Richard Buckley, took the liberty of inserting a CD ROM in the September 2003 issue. That silvery disk was impregnated with photographs of every piece of the Spring / Summer 2004 men's collections shown the previous July in Paris. According to sources at Jean Paul Gaultier, a second lawsuit was filed against Vogue Hommes, which resulted in the recall of numerous copies of the magazine.

In France, life moves at a leisurely pace, and so it is not surprising that in March of 2004, continues to publish, with impressive speed, a photo of each piece presented on the Paris Prêt-à-Porter runway.

But just behind the scenes, in the pit, a nervous air of anxiety has fallen over the ranks, that myriad of photographers who speak quietly in hushed tones. The word on the street - a class action lawsuit is imminent, launched by the respective legal departments of Chanel, Dior and Gaultier (among others) and citing this time, not only the person behind the camera, but the entity itself.

How can this be? Well, the answer is really such a farce that only the French could have the imagination to invent it.

Sources close to the investigation say, off the record, that French Houses are themselves to blame. The legal advisors of these Houses complain bitterly to the Fédération Française de la Couture, the governing board headed by a farcical character, Didier Grumbach, that they are victims of a scheme that launches their collections into cyberspace, only to be copied by unscrupulous agents. Mr. Grumbach responds in kind by issuing the most stringent guidelines: each Internet site accredited by the Fédération must have their photographer sign a pledge that he or she will abide by the rules set forth by the governing board, notably limiting 7 maximum shots per show. Furthermore, Mr. Grumbach continues to denounce the Internet as a source of evil that allows French fashion to be copied by Asian sweatshops.

The rub: the Fédération does not officially accredit Condé Nast, in all of its various entities, including American Vogue and, and so is at a loss to crack down on the prime offender.

The legal departments of the same fashion houses which are set to launch litigation, do not speak directly with the press officers who routinely send invitations to the photographers in question, namely those that work obliquely for

In a comedy of errors, the situation has continued unencumbered season after season. But if sources prove accurate, that is soon to change, as the long arm of justice is about to reach right across the Atlantic to 4 Times Square.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Four Successors Named to Replace Tom Ford

PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute) and the Gucci Group officially announced today four successors to Tom Ford. Stefano Pilati, formerly No.2 at YSL, will take the top spot, while three unknown designers have been recruited internally for Gucci: Alessandra Fachinetti for womenwear, John Ray for menswear and Alfreda Giannini for accessories.

If the lackluster announcement produced little surprise, that is because the Wall Street Journal (Europe) was the first to leak the information on Thursday March 3rd. That was followed by the French Daily "Le Figaro", The International Herald Tribune, The New York Times , Agence France Presse, the Associated Press and Women's Wear Daily.

Known for his unassuming and soft-spoken manner, Stefano Pilati, 38, says he is honored to continue the Yves Saint Laurent legacy. "When I first fell in love with fashion, it was obvious that Mr. Saint Laurent was the master, because he brought a couturier¹s sensibility to prét-à-porter while making it completely accessible." Pilati adds, "I will always try to maintain a deep respect for this heritage in my work at Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche."

Mark Lee, CEO of YSL, along with Giacomo Santucci, CEO of Gucci and Serge Weinberg, Chairman of the Pinault-Printemps-Redoute Management Board, scheduled a conference call to answer questions from media and financial analysts at 3:30 pm (Continental Europe), 2:30 pm (UK), 9:30 am (EST).

- Timothy Hagy

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Sunset Boulevard - Paris Style:

Backstage after the Lanvin show late Sunday afternoon, when most editors were feeling the strain of two months of endless fashion shows, Suzy Menkes was sipping champagne while reaching for a tray of macaroons. "I haven't even had a day of weeks," she said. "And since the New York Times isn't publishing things, I've got to get something up about Gucci."

The thing about Gucci - well that was the bitter final volley that marked Tom Ford's swan song collection for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, a subsidiary of the Group. The war of words between Mr. Ford and Serge Weinberg, CEO of PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute), which owns 67.3% of Gucci, was bitterly played out in the media.

The most interesting part of the story, however, is told only off the record. PPR's executive staff balked at the enormous salary demand made by Mr. Ford during contract negotiations last fall, while both François-Henri Pinault and Mr. Weinberg were adamant that Ford relinquish artistic control of the company's consortium of labels (including Saint Laurent), in order to concentrate exclusively on Gucci. The reason? The trail always leads to money. The truth is that Gucci accessories earn the profits that have been used to offset losses at YSL, which is still in the red, Balenciaga, where sales are abysmal, and Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, both struggling. Sources have indicated that sales of Saint Laurent are absolutely flat, with days (not hours) passing between purchases at the Place Saint Sulpice boutique.

In the end, PPR decided to cut the losses. The company has chosen four successors to Mr. Ford: Stefano Pilati, formerly No.2 at YSL, will take the top spot, while three unknown designers have been recruited internally for Gucci: Alessandra Fachinetti for women's wear, John Ray for men's wear and Alfreda Giannini for accessories.

But perhaps on a deeper level Tom Ford's departure is reflective of an organic change in the fashion industry. The days of the high flying star designer, touring the world in a private jet, and turning out collections driven by sex and glitz have fallen victim to changing times. The world in 2004 is a completely different place than it was in the early 1990s when Mr. Ford revived Gucci, and to some extent, the pace of change has accelerated in the wake of 9/11. For good or bad, this is a more conservative era, where executives in the fashion world go more carefully, thinking twice before investing in new ideas or fated conquests. Companies with a name are more inclined to safely market the label, rather than the person behind it. Witness Calvin Klein, where Francisco Costa is doing what he can with little support. Or Bill Blass, where Lars Nilsson was fired last year with 24 hours notice - though he's arguably had better success at his new home, Nina Ricci.

Even at Chanel, retailers have the jitters. "He was trying to look young," confided Menkes. "It was certainly not his best work, and from a retail standpoint it's going to be a disaster." That might explain the glum look on the face of many a buyer when the Chanel show ended last Friday. Up until now, Karl Lagerfeld has had free reign, but with his contract set to expire only in 2010, the powers that be will almost certainly be looking more closely. Sydney Toledano, President of Dior Couture, who has been acting as consultant to another troubled LVMH holding, Fendi, sat front row at the Lagerfeld Gallery show the day before, examining every detail that went down the catwalk.

At Hermès, not one American buyer came away with a thing good to say about Jean Paul Gaultier's premier collection for the label, held at the Equestrian riding school of the École Militaire (where young recruits in tight pants providing entertainment). Selling leather corsets and whips, with a strong sadomasochistic streak, is perhaps more difficult than pushing the scarves and sacks that have traditionally ridden to the rescue.

At Dior, clauses have been added to the contracts of both John Galliano and Hedi Slimane, tying their salary and bonuses directly to the earnings their respective collections generate. Is it any wonder that Dior invited all guests to a second showing of the Ready-to-Wear accessory line, and kept the Avenue Montaigne headquarters open on Sunday to do it?

Elsewhere, three straight years of falling sales did Julien McDonald in at Givenchy, though the Welsh designer got the last laugh in the end. Suddenly panicked LVMH officials asked him to stay on until a successor had been named. His answer was, quite simply, 'au revoir'.

But back to the big story, that of Tom Ford's departure from the fashion stage. One could make the argument that he fell victim to the same pitfalls that have long plagued others who practice the business of marketing allusion. As times change, so must the people who orchestrate it all. In the 1950 classic film "Sunset Boulevard", starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, Billy Wilder blends fact and fiction to expose the price of fame, greed, narcissism, and ambition that runs just below the surface of Hollywood, and dare one add, the fashion industry.

So as Tom sits in his Beverly Hills playboy mansion, counting his millions made on stock options and awaiting his facial and botox refresher, perhaps he can pop in a DVD.

Then, as now, Nora Desmond's immortal words ring out:

Joe: You're Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big.
Norma (bristling): I am big. It's the pictures that got small.

- Timothy Hagy

Timothy is a freelance journalist living in Paris. He is our Paris correspondent. He can be reached at

Saturday, March 06, 2004

One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words:

(click on image to enlarge)

This designer bag coming soon to your nearest Kmart. For more info on the bag contact

Friday, March 05, 2004

A New Title Sponsor for Seventh on Sixth

Katie Couric at Olympic Fashion Week

The Fall 2004 fashion shows that took place at Bryant Park last month marked the debut of Olympus as the event’s major sponsor and by all accounts the week was a rousing success for the camera company. “We hit a home run in every way,” said Chris Sluka, Director of Public Relations for Olympus. “We achieved beyond what we expected in media exposure. It was almost scary how everyone welcomed Olympus as a partner in Fashion Week.”

Cameras on the runway at Esteban Cortazar

In September, Sluka says Olympus will try to work with as many sesigners as possible, continuing a sponsorship program they launched this season by working in partnership with designer Esteban Cortazar and supporting Proenza Schouler. Not only were Olympus products incorporated into the Esteban Cortazar runway show, but the designer created two one-of-a-kind camera cases for his accessory line.

Camera Case

Photographers can rest assured that they will continue to receive the same level of attention that they enjoyed this season. According to Sluka, Olympus will continue to recognize the importance of the more than 400 professional photographers who cover this event, providing them with luncheons, massages, free equipment, survival kits, and town cars to transport them to off site shows.

The second edition of Olympus Fashion Week will also feature an expanded role for Olympus’ charitable partner, the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA), which was introduced under the tents this past season by Katie Couric. Also look forward to increased opportunities for celebrities to indulger their interests in photography by shooting pictures of the week with Olympus equipment and having the resulting photos displayed.

Looking ahead to September, Sluka sees “lots of opportunity” for the camera company to continue to build upon the successes of the premiere season of Olympus Fashion Week.

-Rhonda Erb

Monday, March 01, 2004

'Because She Can?'

Not only were last night's Academy Awards pretty much of a snore (too long, too many of the same film clips being shown over and over again, too many rather unimportant awards being given out ) but the fashion was, well, pretty low keyed, dull and predictable as well. (See's red carpet photos of what the stars were wearing.

Not that some of the stars didn't look great - of course, there were the usual stunners who, no matter what they wear, would still look amazing. Of course, I had always put Uma Thurman in this category, well that is, until last night. Her ridiculous, unflattering, and almost comical and costume-y Christian Lacroix frothy ensemble was beyond puzzling. The only explanation is that she chose to wear it because - well, she can! She has already been defied by the fashion elite, and seemingly she could do no wrong - so I suppose she just wanted to test how far she can go. Well, regardless- this is one case where it didn't work.

But in general, I did like the overall quietness of it all. No big, overblown, over the top fashion messages, no major fashion statements. It seems that the most successfully attired attendees were dressed in beautiful dresses that seemed to accent their own individual beauty- rather than overpower them. Nicole Kidman in pale green/blue satin Chanel couture exemplified this, as did Catherine Zeta Jones in red Versace, Renee Zellweger in white satin Herrera with beautiful long train, Liv Tyler in beautiful black Dior couture - very grown-up, chic, and arresting (and proving that black can indeed be a powerful shade), Scarlett Johansson in emerald green satin Ferretti, and Julia Roberts in pale gold satin body hugging Armani.

And I can't leave out the beauteous Angelina Jolie, in plunging white satin Marc Bouwer - cut like a magnificent nightgown - who looked truly amazing. Interestingly, Marc Bouwer's recent fall/winter 2004 collection, shown at the Bryant Park Tents, was an homage to Red Carpet glamour (one of the few designers to really make a glamorous evening statement). In fact, the entire show was filled with what he considered to be Oscar worthy creations, and as if to exaggerate the point, he used a long red carpet to cover the runway.

The star who stole the show however, was Charlize Theron, who accepted her Oscar in a simply beautiful pale beaded body hugging Gucci gown. Am I the only to note that in the last several years, the Academy Award for 'Best Actress' has gone to a tall, beautiful, model perfect goddess? Someone who would be perfect for all those glossy magazine covers, and someone the fashion designers would kill to dress? Just ponder these names: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, and Gwyneth Paltrow. These women have the undeniable and enviable mix of talent and looks- what more could the fashion industry ask for?

By the way, one of the biggest fashion dont's of the evening, was Joan Rivers, who is becoming a cartoon caricature of herself and is beginning to look more and more like a cross between Zsa Zsa Gabor and Jocelyn Wildenstein with all her plastic surgery. And what is she thinking with those terribly aging and old fashioned Auntie Mame-worthy fur trimmed and beaded outfits? Her ensemble last evening seemed to upstage (in a bad way) the stars she was attempting to interview. I mean, let's face it- it's Los Angeles- nobody else was even wearing fur.

Oh, and one more thought- though I truly adore Diane Keaton- and love her individuality and consistence, I'm afraid she is giving gloves a bum rap. I know she has long loved gloves- long before they became such a big fashion statement this season. And I myself happen to love gloves. But at this point I can honestly say, enough is enough.