Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Lookonline's Contributing Editor Joins Nylon Magazine

Sally Melanie Lourenço one of our main contributing editors ( see her article of Fashion Sex & Lesbianism at http://www.lookonline.com/sex1.html ) is the new Managing Editor of Nylon Magazine. Sally will still be posting some blog commentaries on our DFR Daily Fashion Report in the coming weeks. At least we did not lose her completely.

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Artful Line Fashion Illustration

A lecture by Michele Bryant, author of WWD Illustrated 1960's-1990's on June 29th, 2004 at 6:45-7:30PM at FIT D Building, Room 207, Seventh Avenue and 27th Street. Tickets are $15 payable at the door.

An exhibition walk-through of "The Artful Line: Drawings & Prints from FIT's Special Collections is at 6-6:30PM E Building.

Michele Bryant is a fashion illustrator and instructor in the fashion design department of FIT. Her editorial illustrations have appeared in Vogue, Seventeen, YM and Good Housekeeping. She was also featured in "Best of American Fashion Illustrations" an exhibition at the Society of Illustrators.

For more information contact The Center for Professional Studies 212-217-8707 or email: prof_studies@fitnyc.edu

Monday, June 21, 2004

Mad for ‘Mod’igliani



“Beyond the Myth - Modigliani”, showing at the Jewish Museum through September 19 (located at 92nd street and 5th avenue, (www.jewishmuseum.org), is the first major Manhattan show to highlight the works of Amedeo Modigliani, and as a result, has garnered much attention. It has also been the subject of many recent articles in newspapers and magazines. The handsome, enigmatic, Northern Italian born Sephardic Jew, who lead a short, tragic and highly romanticized life, is known for his drawings, sculpture, and especially, his paintings of women, that are moody, expressive, iconic, AND instantly recognizable - befitting a legend. As one Times on line reporter said, “Mention Modigliani and you evoke before the viewer an immediate parade of slope-shouldered, long-necked, neomedieval madonnettes, flickering weakly like the final moments of a candle”.

And in an article written by Mel Gussow for the Arts section of The New York Times on June 2, he recounted the reaction of passersby upon spotting the Modigliani catalogue tucked under his arm - he was immediately besieged by strangers wanting to know where the exhibit was. He also mentioned that due to the overwhelming reaction and demand, the museum decided to extend the hours to “accommodate unexpected crowds.” By the way, like all interesting, romantic and tragic ‘legends’ Amedeo will soon be honored with a movie about his life, with the leading character played by Andy Garcia.

As someone who studied art history in college, I was always taken with the evocative images of Modigliani, and look forward to seeing the show for myself. While few of us can afford an original Modigliani, we CAN afford one of the many souvenirs emblazoned with images of some of his most identifiable works that are currently being sold in conjunction with the exhibit at both Jewish Museum Gift Shops – the one located at the Jewish Museum, and at the Jewish Community Center (334 Amsterdam Avenue, located between 75th and 76th streets, 646- 5055730).

The well-priced and appealing items are not only wonderful keepsakes but make for the perfect gift - and we ALL need gifts for graduations, weddings, birthdays, bar and bat mitzvahs, etc. Some of them also make a thoughtful gift when you are visiting someone’s home this summer, and lest we forget, Christmas and Chanukah are not that far away.

Included among the offerings are a beautiful picture book ($50), calendar ($13.95), mini magnets ($12.95), leather luggage tag ($18), leather bookmark ($7.95), credit card holder ($30), boxed note cards ($14.95), and several reproductions ($30 - $40). There is a handbag and a cosmetic case, and some jewelry - including a flexible bracelet and a pendant. But, my favorite group is the bold and graphic pins (and we all know how ‘of the moment’ pins are). Set in metal and done in square and rectangular shapes, they are so reasonable ($45) that my suggestion would be to buy at least three- and wear them in a cluster if you really want to make a statement.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner
OLYMPUS FASHION WEEK
SPRING 2005 COLLECTIONS


Press Registration
SHOWS: SEPTEMBER 8-15, 2004
BRYANT PARK, NEW YORK CITY


Yes, it is that time again. Log onto Olympusfashionweek.com and click on the link to press registration home page to register for the upcoming shows. DEADLINE: July 23, 2004.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

If you've got it- flaunt it (?)

In my current New York Fashion Industry Report, I discussed the latest in a series of articles profiling the legendary spending habits of the poster child for conspicuous consumption- Kimora Lee Simmons. In the New York Magazine article, "Happiness is....", Phoebe Eaton chronicles some of her more recent over the top moments, and there is a quote from her husband, Russell, inquiring: "Why is everyone worrying about what she spends? They should be worried about what Roberto Cavalli spends, too. What Ralph Lauren spends, too. How many cars does Tommy Hilfiger have, by the way?"

But to many, the answer is obvious - Kimora Lee flaunts it in a manner that many find objectionable. The group of fellow designers Russell alludes too certainly has enormous wealth, and extraordinary possessions, and most of them have been photographed with some of their trophies. But few do it in such an 'in your face' manner.

The New York Magazine article also referred to a recent advertising campaign in which Kimora was "photographed in her mansion as a you-can't-touch-this chatelaine attended by an array of servants" which got people's attention. One of them was The Washington Post's Robin Givhan who felt, "The message is: I'm rich and you're not. I found the ads extraordinarily offensive. It's a very calculated 'look at all the stuff I have' with the domestics, and the kids are just another possession."

- Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

I'd love to hear your comments.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

'Expect More-Pay Less'



It seems Target's watchworks really DO mean something! I reported that the fabulous, graphic, oversized canvas bags given to everyone leaving Isaac's show at Cipriani, were NOT from Target. Lined in hot pink silk, with a zippered compartment, they are so well made, seem to be far more costly, and since it didn't say 'Target' anyplace, I assumed they were crafted by Isaac's own atelier just for the occasion.

Wrong! As it turns out, they WERE made by Target, and the good news is that for $34.99, you too can have one. Just go to the target website ( www.target.com), and click on to the Red Hot Shop.

I have a feeling we will be seeing this bag all over the city- and in the Hamptons. Enjoy!

-Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Isaac's Highs and Lows



While psychiatric disorders are nothing to joke about, being schizophrenic or bi-polar in terms of fashion seems to be the modern way to go these days and something that has long defined the work of entertaining designer (or is it, designing entertainer?) Isaac Mizrahi, who staged his first show in years, at Cipriani 42nd street in conjunction with Target (Click here to see show at Target's website).



The 48 crowd pleasing pieces were a mix of High/Low- exemplified by his first number out - a denim redingote from Target mixed with an indigo lace petticoat from his couture line. Throughout, he mixed his very inexpensive Target basics like cotton t-shirt and tailored crisp white long sleeved shirts with something far more precious from his couture line - available at Bergdorf Goodman - even using his adorable inexpensive pointy toed flat loafers from Target to accessorize the pricier items.





His mainly flat and low heeled boots and shoes were given interest through the use of multi colored stones, oversized colored stone rings were used in multiples on the models' fingers. Elbow length gloves, and fur hats and a small collection of furs he is now doing for Alixandre finished things off. Styled by Vogue Magazine's Camilla Nickerson, it was signature Isaac and had many veterans like Wendy Goodman, smiling with glee and recalling fond memories of the highly entertaining shows of the 80's that market Isaac's early career.

In the audience were the likes of Anna Wintour, Patrick McCarthy, Linda Wells, Teri Agins, Robin Givhan, Kim Hastreiter, Judy Licht, Iman, Candace Bergen, Kitty Hawks, a host of the usual socialites, and more. In addition to being treated to a wonderful lineup of clothes, as we walked out the door, everone was handed an enormous white waxed canvas 'boating' tote, emblazoned with the initials of Isaac's name in graphic black, and banded with handsome dark brown suede. Lined in hot pink silk, it is light and roomy and the perfect bag for the summer (or anytime) as you can literally fit an entire weekend's worth of clothing in it.

The bag, is from Target and can be purchased on Red Hot Shop at Target.com, was filled with some Target goodies: red plastic flip flops lined with the red and white Target circular logo, a red and white circular beaded 'change purse', three of Sonia Kashuk's make-up brushes, and a pair of Isaac's wire framed pale sunglasses, guaranteed to offer 100% protection from the rays of the sun, which still had the $19.99 price tag on them. Well - I am now ready for summer.

As I headed outside, Diane Sawyer and husband Mike Nichols were right beside me, and as they made their way into their limo, I overheard Mike exult: "I'm glad we went. That was FUN!" To which Diane replied, "That WAS fun!" Fun it was! Too bad more shows are not as enjoyable as this.

-Posted by Marilyn Kirschner with photos by Randy Brooke

Monday, June 14, 2004

'Mucho Miuccia'

In the 'Style' section of The New York Times on Sunday, June 13th, Bill Cunningham's 'On the Street' column was devoted to Miuccia Prada, arguably the most influential designer today, who was in New York last Monday to pick up her CFDA International Designer of the Year award.

He described her "low-key designs" as "among the most popular on the streets of New York and at evening parties" (he should know), and filled his pages with pictures of well dressed women enviably turned out in some of her freshest ideas.

Included was Anna Wintour, looking wonderful in a knee length "star embroidered chiffon dress" worn alone and with a "gold gossamer-thin sari trench coat". In my opinion, while Anna wears the designs of many different people, she looks the best in Miuccia's ever so modern, youthful, perfectly proportioned creations that are completely attuned to the times. Always incredibly fabricated and tailored, they flatter her frame and suit her to a 't'.

Given that Anna is perfect for Miuccia's clothes, happens to be a bona fide fan and friend, and the designer was being honored by the CFDA last Monday, I think this would have been a far better choice than the slightly boring and a bit predictable Chanel two piece gown she settled on. Also, Anna has such great gams - all the better to show them off.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I must point out that in the text that accompanied the images, Bill observed that "Prada customers buy their clothes, rather than borrowing them, for gala events." Funny- I talked about the subject of borrowing in a column I wrote for the Daily Fashion Report ("On Borrowed Time") immediately following the CFDA Awards, which seemed to be awash in borrowed gowns (how boring). I guess I'm not the only one who is struck by how rampant this practice is. Doesn't anybody wear their OWN clothes to big time events anymore? Oh, how silly of me- the designers, of course.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Friday, June 11, 2004

Tribeca Artist Victor Matthews

Butterflies Are Free


Click on image to enlarge

If you want a real visual treat, head downtown to Battery Park where - until next Sunday, June 20th - you will be able to view an arresting sight: nearly 3,000 umbrellas, each hand -painted to resemble the wings of a monarch butterly laid out on the sprawling lawn just south of the Bowling Green subway station.

It is the work of Tribeca artist- 41 year old Victor Matthews- who is no stranger to high profile public art. The High School of Art and Design graduate made a name for himself in the 80's with his large murals that decorated buildings in Soho and Noho. Since then, he has privately sold his work and has been honored by having his art featured in the 48th Venice Biennale. Mr. Mattews, who is apparently obsessed, and has done nothing but eat, sleep, and breath butterflies for more than 24 months, claims to having first been taken by the beauty of these colorful creatures when he found one dying on the banks of the Delaware River several years ago. He immediatly began hand painting them on sturdy canvas and wood umbrellas at this historic park where he routinely goes.

The installation, called 'Beyond Metamorphosis' was partially funded out of his own bank account, though the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council certainly helped. Since I love unusual and artistic things, and feel that one can never have too many umbrellas, I asked if he would consider selling me one. Though he has gone on record as stating he will never break up the 'family', he seemed open to suggestions and has not necessarily ruled out putting them up for sale.

Let me know if you are interested, and I will be happy to contact him for more information.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Thursday, June 10, 2004

'On Borrowed Time'

The CFDA Awards were covered by every major newspaper and website, and all of them (including ours) seemed to feature images of pretty much the same attendees - well known fashion names, celebrity editors, stars of stage and screen, and pop singers. And of course, given that the evening was all about clothing, we all focused on the pressing issue at hand: who wore what.

Fashionweekdaily's 'Daily Scene Investigation' even had an entire section devoted to just that - called "Who Wore What" - something they have previously done following high profile fashion events - where they give a detailed list of bold faced names and whose designs they were donning. Maybe next time, they should break it down according to who was wearing their own threads and who was borrowing for the night and call it, "Who Borrowed What".

Quite frankly, in view of how much borrowing goes on (and this IS rampant), I assume that the number of quests who were wearing something from their closet - or something actually PURCHASED- has got to be miniscule. Ironically, the ones that borrow are usually the ones who least need to.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

CFDA 2004 Fashion Awards



Our coverage of this year's CFDA fashion awards is reported by Marilyn Kirschner with photos by Randy Brooke: Click her for full report. We concentrated this year on reviewing what some of the top fashion editors decided to wear to the event.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

She Makes Us Proud!


Click on image to enlarge.

There is no doubt our editor Marilyn Kirschner is one of New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham's favorite muses. He devoted an entire column to her several years back during fashion week view column here. Once again, she is being featured in his 'On The Street column' titled this week "In the Swirl" in the Style Section of today's Sunday New York Times with two photos - one of which being the central photo of the spread. She makes us proud!


Marilyn's photos that appear today.

We are looking forward to seeing what she will wear Monday night to the CFDA Awards cocktail party. We will have her picture and a report on what those other top editors will be wearing online Tuesday.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Get Shorty!:


Important Givenchy Backless Bubble Dress
French, Fall/Winter 1958 sold at Doyle New York for $3,883


The upcoming CFDA Award ceremony, the Oscar’s of the fashion world, so to speak, to be held next Monday, June 7th, will be an interesting evening from many points of view. In addition to who will win what, there is the other pressing question: who will wear what? The night is by definition, a fashion spectacle and another good excuse to make a fashion statement (or two or three). And since it is an insider’s fashion event, those who attend (who are supposedly the style makers, style setters, icons, and fashion visionaries) are not necessarily a group that is prone to the predictable, the expected, the obvious, nor do they necessarily conform to the usual dictum about how to dress for ‘black tie’ (what IS black tie these days, anyway?)

In www.fashionweekdaily.com’s “CFDA Nominee Profile” of Wall Street Journal’s Teri Agins, who will receive the Eugenia Sheppard Award for Journalism, she vented about a number of things that bugged her, and one was this: “ I don't know why designers design gowns when people don’t dress up. If you go around the country, especially here, you have a couple of galas here and the occasional red carpet occasion in Los Angeles, and every town has their wing-ding every year. But for the most part, if you were from California or Texas or somewhere else, people do not dress up. I don't know why the hell people keep making these dressy clothes when there's nowhere for them to go to.” How true - I couldn’t agree more.

Add to the equation the fact that there are no rules anymore (aren’t rules meant to be broken anyway?); quirky, unexpected, off beat, and ‘twisted’ mixes have become the norm; AND we are heading into summer with many of us thinking about taking vacation, heading out of town, and generally letting our hair down and relaxing - that is a prescription for ‘anything goes’.

While long gowns (worn with the ubiquitous fur stoles) have practically been de rigueur for the fall, holiday, and winter months, shorter lengths suddenly seem fresher and more appealing. And why not? There are so many interesting choices - quite a lot of variety in terms of shape and silhouette - so my best guess is that we will see many ‘best dressed’ attendees in knee length dresses (or skirts that hover around the knee) on Monday night including honorees Miuccia Prada and perhaps Sarah Jessica Parker. Miuccia Prada, who is the recipient of this year’s International Award is always offbeat and eclectic in her own fashion choices and manages to look like nobody else. And her vintage inspired full circle skirts and balloon hemmed dresses for spring/summer and fall/winter were some of the most alluring and prettiest around.

Speaking of the balloon skirt, this was a signature of Cristobal Balenciaga, and after Nicolas Guesquiere visited the house’s archives, he was admittedly inspired to re-create his own 21st century versions (paired with shrunken military jackets or rugged shearlings, they look completely new and of the moment). By the way, you can find original vintage bubble skirt or balloon hemmed dresses in vintage shops and through dealers, as well as online. Some good places to look might be www.chelsea-girl.com, www.catspajamas.com, www.ballyhoovintage.com. And of course, there are always auctions- at Doyle New York’s latest go round, they sold a highly collectible black silk faille backless Givenchy cocktail dress with a bubble hemmed skirt from 1958, which was worn in pink by Jacqueline Kennedy during her White House years. It looks as modern and wonderful now as it did almost 50 years ago! And don’t forget about Ebay.

And while I am not always a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker’s fashion statements (regardless of the fact that she will be on hand Monday to receive the Fashion Icon award), she really got it right when she chose Oscar de la Renta’s poison green satin knee length torso fitting evening dress with double tiered full skirt to wear to the opening of the New York City Ballet last month. The tutu effect was perfect for the event - and the interesting color and shape was modern and clean, and stood out in a sea of long predictable gowns. Wisely accessorized with nothing more than a brooch in her hair, which was piled high in a chic chignon, open toed high- heeled pumps, and a sleek clutch, she stood out over the other social fixtures, in their predictable and boring long evening dresses.

The age old debate about whether to go long or short was even broached by Sally Singer in the May issue of Vogue (“Short v. long”). As she sees it, “formal is back, big time. But does black tie still mean floor length? Or is knee high the new long?” I must say I am enamored of the later - there are very few places and situations these days, where one feels obliged to wear a floor sweeping gown. Yes, long is dramatic, entrance making, and makes a big statement. But short is thoroughly modern, less cumbersome, easier to maneuver around in, easier to get in and out of car doors, better to show off well toned legs, and more youthful than their longer sisters. And with so many wonderful short options, if you do decide to go this route, one thing is certain: there is no need to feel as though you are on the ‘short’ end of the stick.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Teri Agins Party:

The New York fashion industry turned out in force Wednesday night for an informal roof top party hosted by Luca Luca and handled by LaForce & Stevens Public Relations to celebrate Teri Agins, the fashion reporter of The Wall Street Journal, winning the 2004 CFDA Eugenia Sheppard Award for excellence in fashion journalism. Among those who we ran into personally at the party included Linda Wells the editor-in-chief of Allure, Paul Covaco also of Allure, Joan Kaner fashion director of Neiman Marcus, Fern Mallis of 7thonSixth, Ruth Finley publisher of Fashion Calender, Patrick Robinson the designer for Perry Ellis, Lisa Marsh the gossip columnist, Desiree Gruber of Full Picture, Audrey Smaltz of the Ground Crew, Vicki Ross the fashion show producer, Peter Arnold the director of the CFDA, Paolo Zampolli the model mogul, and Robin Givhans fashion editor of The Washington Post.

-reported by Ernest Schmatolla

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Class Act:

--Trends may come and go, and styles and looks may be subjected to fashion's ever swaying highly schizophrenic pendulum, but there is no question that some things are forever enduring and will NEVER lose their appeal.

Case in point, the ever chic and always modern vocabulary that was originally at the heart of Yves St. Laurent's street wise philosophy. There is a reason classic 'staples' like the trench coat, pea jacket, safari suit, tuxedo, and the perfectly tailored pant suit are still viewed as the most important foundations of a smart woman's wardrobe and are the items that are constantly being 'reinvented' by designers - both young and old. Taking over where Tom Ford left off is Stefano Pilati, the relatively unknown Milanese who worked with Tom at the Gucci Group and according to WWD, "together, they carved a new direction and image for Saint Laurent."

Pilati's new vision just happens to be WWD's cover story today, and based on several pictures shown, along with an accompaning profile and interview, it looks as if he should have nothing short of a hit on his hands. I don't know about you, but after seeing months and months of overtly 'feminine' cloyingly saccharin sweet flirty designs, pastels, florals, piles and piles of jewelry and accessories, nothing looks better than the somewhat utilitarian, straight forward, refreshingly masculine
and polished clothes, rendered in chic neutrals. The large canvas bags with rope handles, high heeled rope soled espadrilles, and sturdy yet sexy round toes high heeled pumps are signature St. Laurent, and the resulting effect is one where the customer always looks smart, chic, refined, modern, intelligent, serious, and ready to face the world. These are not 'objectifyingly' or overtly sexy, overly self conscious, in your face, over the top designs. To me, this is the most modern look of all.

- Posted by Marilyn Kirschner