Friday, January 29, 2010

Quite a Fashionable Summer

So it seems that things at Loft are becoming more upmarket and fashiony with each new collection, and if the summer 2010 grouping is any example of all of this, fashion shoppers should be more than just a little bit happy with what the company has in store for the warm summer days ahead, especially when it comes to lots of style at reasonable price points for the masses.

Although Loft may have been, at times, viewed by some in the fashion arena as quite classic and somewhat mundane, much of this obviously has changed over the past few seasons, as evidenced by the "cool quotient" given to many of the clothing and accessories pieces, rendered by a new design team, brought in, probably, to make Loft appear that much more hip and desireable to shoppers.

Obviously, the basic premise for Loft is to continually fulfill the desire of those shoppers for something unique and different from season to season, while, at the same time, also filling the desire to captivate and attract those shoppers in difficult econimic times, while bringing them to Loft and keeping them in the store to buy. With all of the sharp, new, modestly-priced clothing and accessories served up over the past several seasons, it appears that the company is on the right track towards achieving those goals.

Hooking into what is new and what is definitely cool, Loft presented its summer 2010 collection to members of the fashion press and other VIP guests at Industria Superstudios, located in the ever-trendy, downtown NYC Meatpacking district. Along with lots of cocktails and snacks, guests were treated to an up-close-and-personal viewing of the coming season's range of super casual, very pretty, and quite wearable pieces, all shown on simple hangers and glossy, white, faceless mannequins, without any live models in sight. Keeping guests in the moment at the end of the evening, were the parting gifts; deluxe white boxes with a pink Loft logo, all neatly tied up with a ribboned, flower brooch, and filled with the company's look-book, plus an eclectic piece of jewelry.

Overall, just about everything in this new grouping fits well into what Loft's idea of what summertime dressing should look like. This idea, which focuses on untortured and easy-to-wear pieces across the board, translates into plenty of jeans, shorts and cropped and long pants, mostly all layered up with varied choices of blouses, T-shirts, soft cardigans and little coats and jackets. Dresses are equally great in mixed silhouettes and prints, which easily go from short and flirty, all the way through to longest flowing maxi pieces; the latter bringing to mind, the fun and elegance of exclusive resortwear.

Accessories - from the most fun and whimsical, through to the most sophisticated and exclusive - most definitely hit the mark and do make the point for such a chic look here. Of note are the soft leather cluthches; the big, squishy, bucket totes, rendered in a host of nifty prints and patterns; charming bracelets and earrlings; whimsical pom-pom scarves; and leather and corded belts, shown at the waist and hip, or worn empire style. Not to be missed are the multi-length chokers and necklaces; which look good worn either single or layered, in styles such as the long sea glass dangle; black beaded bib; bronze bauble and cord necklace; longest silver necklace with horn rings; and the grey fabric/chain-link/ribboned bib necklace, so decidedly reminiscent for this editor, of the kind of jewelry which Henry VIII or any important Lady at The Court of "The Tudors" might have worn during the period.

-- Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Costume Designers Guild Award Nominees

Nominees and award honorees for the 12th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards has been announced today. The winners will be revealed at the awards gala with SWAROVSKI as presenting sponsor, on Thursday, February 25, 2010 at the Beverly Hilton. Celebrity host will be announced in the upcoming week.

This year, the Swarovski Award is being presented to Emily Blunt. The newly titled award is designed to spotlight exceptional talent and the prospect of a sparkling career ahead. Academy Award & BAFTA Award-winning British costume designer, Sandy Powell will receive the Lacoste Career Achievement in Film Award. Michael Travis, known for his work on many television shows and specials including, “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and “Frank Sinatra's Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley,” will be the recipient of the Career Achievement in Television Award. The Distinguished Collaborator Award will be presented to famed director, Rob Marshall. This year, the

Costume Designers Guild’s Hall of Fame Award will be presented posthumously to Emmy Award winning costume designer and former CDG President, Robert Turturice.

The Costume Designers Guild was founded in 1953 by a group of 30 motion picture costume designers and was created in response to the changing needs of the movie industry. The Costume Designers Guild promotes the artistry, technical expertise and creative vision of their union members in the field of film and television Costume Design. Today, its membership consists of over 700 members and includes motion picture, television, and commercial costume designers, assistant costume designers and illustrators throughout the world.

The Nominees:

Big Love – Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko
Dancing with the Stars – Randall Christensen
Glee – Lou Eyrich
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Jo Katsaras
Ugly Betty – Patricia Field
Mad Men –Janie Bryant

True Blood – Audrey Fisher
The Tudors – Joan Bergin
Georgia O’Keeffe – Michael Dennison

Grey Gardens – Catherine Marie Thomas
Little Dorrit – Barbara Kidd
(500) Days of Summer – Hope Hanafin

Brüno – Jason Alper
Crazy Heart - Doug Hall
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire – Marina Draghici
Up in the Air – Danny Glicker
Coco Before Chanel – Catherine Leterrier

Julie & Julia – Ann Roth
Nine – Colleen Atwood
Sherlock Holmes – Jenny Beavan
The Young Victoria – Sandy Powell
Avatar – Mayes C. Rubeo & Deborah Lynn Scott

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Monique Prudhomme
Star Trek – Michael Kaplan
Milk: “Milkquarious” – Casey Storm

Milk: "Milkquarious" – Casey Storm

For more information: Alexandra Lippin or Michael Samonte of The Lippin Group at 323-965-1990 or For all other inquiries, please contact The jLINE Group at 310-601-3220. To purchase tickets, please contact Blue Room Events, at 310-491-1401. For Tribute Book advertising, please contact Dan Dodd at 310-207-4410 x236 or For all other inquiries, please contact The jLINE Group at 310-601-3220

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday the 13th

This past Friday may have actually read Friday, the 22nd on the calendar, but for one organization, it was indeed Friday the 13th (and in this case, I mean, lucky 13th). Fashion Group International held its 13th annual Rising Star Luncheon this past Friday, and it was one of the chicest, most festive, celebratory, and highly efficient in memory.

Each year it seems this annual event (a reception, luncheon, and awards ceremony which honors eight “outstanding individuals for their innovation, creativity, and accomplishments”), has become more and more prestigious, more high profile, and highly anticipated, and indeed, it’s become so popular, it was sold out this time around.

In addition, there were a few things that were new, and as it turns out, they were also ‘improved’ (from my point of view anyway). It has traditionally been held on a Thursday, but was moved to Friday, and this year, the venue of choice was the beautiful and very grand Cipriani 42nd Street. Let’s face it: it’s hard to find a space with more elegant ambience or such a central, convenient location. And of course, the food is always wonderful, with a menu that boasted sea bass, asparagus, and lemon meringue pie with mixed berries (ah, spring is in the air!)

FGI President Margaret Hayes made her welcoming remarks noting that the importance of this program is to “support Fashion Group’s mission to promote rising star talent”. She added, “I want to acknowledge the talent, skill, commitment, and fortitude that brought you (the nominees) to this amazing journey”.

The keynote speaker was Nina Garcia, fashion editor extraordinaire, and fashion director of Marie Claire, who is perhaps best known as one of the judges on ‘Project Runway’. Though she was fighting a cold, and seemed to be on the verge of losing her voice, she got through her rousing speech brilliantly, as she addressed the nominees, giving them a laundry list of pointers, tips, and good sound advice to keep in mind on their road to success.

Here is some of what she said:“

“I am pleased to be celebrating the incredible talent in the room today”.
“The future of fashion is in this room”.
“Today’s fashion icons were once rule breakers”.
"You have to know at the outset who you are and what you are.”
“Be yourself. Be your boldest, out- of- the- box self”.
“The ones most self assured, most focused, are the ones who make it. This is not a time to play it safe. Play it smart”.
“Challenge us, inspire us, surprise us. Get in our faces.”
“Never underestimate the power of fashion. It is a reflection of our culture and our times. Be daring. Be bold. Make fashion history.”

This is a list of the award presenters, nominees, and the winners in each of the 8 categories:

Katherine Fleming - Katherine Fleming LLC
Robin Frances Stern - It's About Time
Shai Levy - Seventy Eight Percent
Adriana Castro - Adriana Castro
Cornelia Petronis - Mark
Amanda Brotman - Amanda Pearl, LLC

Winner: Amanda Pearl Brotman, Amanda Pearl, LLC.

Beauty/Fragrance Corporate
Award Presenter: JANE LARKWORTHY
Jaclyn Rebecca Davis - MAC Cosmetics
Jerome Roux - Coty Prestige
Irina Burlakova - Givaudan Fragrances Corp.
Juliette Karagueuzoglou – IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances)

Winner: Juliette Karagueuzoglou, IFF

Beauty/Fragrance Entrepreneur:
Award Presenter: FREDERIC FEKKAI
Lisa Hoffman - Lisa Hoffman Beauty
Danny Seo - Wholearth Beauty and Bath
Janet League- Katzin - Sphatika International, LLC
Matthew Malin & Andrew Goetz - MALIN + GOETZ
Frederick Bouchardy - Joya LLC

Winner: Janet League-Katzin-Sphatika International, LLC.

Home/Interior Design:
Award Presenter: CLODAGH
Dror Benshetrit - Dror
Luke Vahle - Fifth Season Design
Joey Roth - Joey Roth
Shawn Henderson - Shawn Henderson

Winner: Dror Benshetrit-Dror

Fine Jewelry:
Monica Rich Kosann - Monica Rich Kosann
Nina Basharova - Nina Basharova Jewelry Design
Visnja Brdar - Visnja Jewels
Kelly Amorim - Carla Amorim Jewelry

Winner: Monica Rich Kosann-Monica Rich Kosann

Men's Apparel:
Award Presenter: ROBERT BRYAN
Anthony Keegan & Richard Christiansen - Commonwealth Utilities
Paul Marlow - Loden Dager
Loris Diran - Loris Diran
Stefan Dahlkvist, Simen Staalnacke & Peder Borresen -
Moods of Norway International

Winner: Anthony Keegan & Richard Christiansen-Commonwealth Utilities

Award Presenter: BETH BUCCINI
John Bartlett - John Bartlett
Edward Chai & Paul Birardi - ODIN New York
Helena Greene - Swing Concept Shop
Barbara Moore - B. Moore Design, Inc.
Alexandra Galgano - Charm and Chain

Winner: Edward Chai & Paul Birardi- Odin, New York

Women's RTW:
Joseph Altuzarra - Altuzarra
Bibhu Mohapatra - Bibhu Mohapatra
Carly Cushnie & Michelle Ochs - Cushnie et Ochs
Matthew Ames - Matthew Ames
Michael Angel - Michael Angel
Nima Taherzadeh - NIMA
Peter Hidalgo - Peter Hidalgo
Prabal Gurung - Prabal Gurung
Brigitte Schwenner - Sievering LLC

Winners (It was a tie): Joseph Altuzarra-Altuzarra; Peter Hidalgo- Peter Hidalgo

-Marilyn Kirschner

Friday, January 22, 2010

Is Retail Recovering?

The Holidays are over and we’ve entered a new decade. Will 2010 prove to be better year for retail? And how did the 2009 holiday season stack up? The Retail Marketing Society hosted a luncheon at the Williams Club on January 20th to discuss these topics. After some nibbles and socializing, Angela Jameson of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) presented an overview of the outlook for retail sales. Ms. Jameson was happy to report that store sales for November/December were up 2.3% from last year (3.6% for December alone). Apparently, consumers shopped much later in the season and although sales began slowly, the totals still came out ahead of 2008’s numbers. Luxury was the highest performer with sales up 7.1% in December 2009. In fact, the luxury market is predicted to remain the leader in sales performance for 2010 (estimated 6% - 8%). To this point, guest speaker Marni Shapiro commented, “Rich people didn’t lose ALL their money; they still have some to spend.”

Ms. Shapiro, Managing Partner for The Retail Tracker, spoke about “The New Retail – The Reset Button: What Went Wrong & What Went Right.” Shapiro is an entertaining speaker and a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the world of retail and the consumer. According to Shapiro, brand DNA is the most significant element when it comes to successful selling. A brand must define itself in a few words. The customer should have a quick and clear picture of what the brand stands for and offers. Some examples are: Ann Taylor - career dressing; Juicy - velour sweat suits; Louis Vuitton - luxury. Also, it is imperative that a brand embrace their DNA rather than fight their identity. “I don’t understand why JC Penney insists on going after that 22 year old customer.” Shapiro said.

The general forecast for retail performance is not completely bleak for 2010, but today, more than ever, people are looking for value. Opportunities to generate sales lie within areas where consumers can spend money to feel good about themselves. Beauty is a category in which people will begin to upgrade their products. “As the client gains confidence in the economy, she will go back to buying the more expensive mascara that she truly loves rather than continue using the drug store brand that she compromised with the past year,” Shapiro said. On an internal rather than external level, the customer will more likely be inclined to make a purchase that donates a portion of the sale to a charity.

The most important thing to offer the client is the ability to buy exactly what he/she wants, where he/she wants and when. Today, retailers must make it as easy as possible for the shopper. Shapiro joked about her desire to live in a “Jetson-like” world in which we all have our own bar codes. “I see a future where everyone will walk around with cell phones programmed with their bar code, credit card information and shipping address so that all we need to do is scan the items we want.” Sounds great, doesn’t it?

To find out more about the Retail Marketing Society including membership and upcoming events, visit them online at

-Stacy Lomman

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The 2010 FSF Geoffrey Beene Awards Dinner

(All photos Randy Brooke)

The 2010 FSF Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards took place last night at Cipriani Forty Second Street. During the evening there was a special red carpet and cocktail hour, dinner and awards ceremony. The Geoffrey Beene company underwrote the event in the amount of over $500,000 as well as helping to provide funding for over 110 fashion scholarship fund students.

It really was a huge event and many in the fashion & beauty industries enthusiatically showed their support for the cause. Tickets were $850 each, and table sponsorships went up to $100,000. The awards were hosted this year by contributing Harper's Bazaar's editor and freelance stylist Mary Alice Stephenson.

This year's eight Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards finalists

The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund and The Geoffrey Beene Foundation have formed a five-year strategic alliance to further the mutual goal of expanding support for students seeking careers in the Fashion Industry. The Geoffrey Beene Foundation has donated approximately $2.25 million, out of in excess of $3 million, in total commitments to the Fund over the next five years.

Since the beginning of 2008, the Fashion Scholarship Fund has been granting four $25,000 "Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards" to enterprising students majoring in fashion and related disciplines (design, merchandising, finance, marketing, retailing and liberal arts). These four $25,000 awards (four runner-ups receive $5000 each) are presented annually at the FSF Geoffrey Beene Scholarship Awards Dinner to the most outstanding students identified among the FSF's 28 partnering colleges and universities across the U.S.

The 2010 $25,000 Geoffrey Beene Scholars:





$5,000 Finalists