Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Survival of the Chicest"

Terra New York Lower East Side Parka

In the Thursday Style section of The New York Times, Cathy Horyn revealed her list of "The 5 Things You Need for Fall". Off the top of my head, they would be: money, money, money, money, and money. But regardless, I  unapologetically obsessed over fashion stuff, particuarly at this time of the year. As fate would have it, on that very same day, instead of daydreaming about what goodies I would indulge in for fall, I was thrown into 'survival' mode, with news of a very unwelcome visitor, Hurricane Irene, coming our way, and getting up close and personal.

While I don't really mean to imply that I was afraid my life or property was really in jeopardy, I have lived in Manhattan all my life and this was the first time I was told that I had to leave my home because of a weather related event. This was precisely what happened on Friday. I discovered that thanks to my close proximity to the Hudson River, with its enviable views of the Statue of Liberty, I was classified as living in Zone A (the most at risk for flooding), and there was a mandatory order to evaculate my apartment by Saturday at 5 pm. (FYI, I followed orders like many, if not most of my neighbors, and as you know, luckily for us in Manhattan, other than gusty winds and torrential rainfall, we escaped without any major damages).

But that's not the point. In addition to death and taxes, the one thing that is guaranteed is that we will all have to weather snow storms, torrential downpours, and just plain garden variety rain - so why not do it in style? Nowadays, there is truly no excuse to not look good regardless of what Mother Nature has coming your way. Thanks to fabric innovations and the application of new technology, designers and manufacturers have been continually making great looking outerwear that is waterproof and windproof. One relatively new company,, was founded on the specific notion of making smart, innovative, fashion forward, and unapologetically urban rainwear; and their well edited selection of outerwear and accessories, are completely waterproof thanks to heat sealed seams.

Let's face it, it's always about about the footwear - right? When your feet and legs are protected, you basically don't need anything else. I love nothing more than to easily puddle jump while unprepared bystanders are standing there, trying to figure out how to get through the deep water. Luckily, the choices in this category have never been so abundant in terms of style, color, heel height. There is literally something for everyone, from flat wellies (short and tall), classic equestrian styles, and funky lace up high heeled boots, to waterproof loafers and feminine ballet flats. There are waterproof bags, portfolios, hoods, hats, and umbrellas so whimsical and expressive, you might actually wish for rain.

Forgetting the vagaries of fashion's ins and outs, and seasonal trends. In the final analysis, there is nothing better than the always welcome combination of form and function. So, with this in mind, whether you are hunkering down during a hurricane, or simply sloshing through town on a rainy (or snowy) day and still want to look great, regardless of what time of the year.

These are some of my favorite pieces:

Chanel rubber rain boots with signature camelia: There is no boot so outrageously iconic and whimsical, than this one (in black with white camelias, white with black camelias, all red, all navy). About $400, they are available at Chanel, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York and a must have for all Chanel-oephiles (Disclaimer: I own these in black and white and love them so much, I actually love it when it rains or snows and I get to wear them)

Hunter Lapin boots: If you are one of those who cannot bear to go without a heel, even in in a hurricane, these lace ups are for you, $225,

Hunter Turks cap toe ballerinas: Oh how chic! (for those who cannot bear to do without these iconic flats, made of rubber, you can now weather any storm) $95,

Givenchy rubber riding boots: The chicest takes on a classic riding boot I've seen in a long time, there are two styles available, in black and brown, $250 - $295, available at

J. Crew Weatherby wellies: Their classic wellies boast a zipper that completely unzips in the back and is available in a choice of colors, my favorite being the chrome yellow (nothing 'pops' against black quite like this color), $79.50,

J.Crew Rainy day bow ballet flats: $58 (Available in a range of colors, I'm partial to the lacquer red, for the same reason I love the yellow wellies),

Jeffrey's Sausalito black patent high heeled loafer with white top stitching: $89.99,  (menswear inspired loafers could not be more 'of the moment' and these look especially good, plus they are now on sale)

Terra New York's Tribeca cape and Nolita trench: all available in 100% urethane (in nude or smoke) $240 - $295,

Fornasetti's 'Red Lips' umbrella: $260, (this would not only brighten up any drab day, but it would bring a smile to everyone else's faces), and their Hot Air Balloons umbrella, $310, the perfect gift for that special someone who is, well, full of 'hot air' (and don't we all know many of those?) Both are available at

- Marilyn Kirschner

Thursday, August 25, 2011

'New York Fashion Week' a Book by Eila Mell

The Designers, the Models, the Fashions of the Bryant Park Era

Published by Running Press; Hardcover $30

In this definitive pictorial biography of the shows, Mell's book focuses on what's been termed as the "Golden Era" of New York Fashion Week, the Bryant Park years from 1993-2010. Forwarded by Phillip Bloch, the 368 page book tells the story in pictures for each year, season by season with runway, backstage, front row and behind-the-scenes photos shot by two of the best photographers in the business - Randy Brooke and Roxanne Lowit.

Each season is divided into 4 sections: Trends, The Scene, New on the Scene & Fresh Faces. The book is also laced full of mini-interviews with everyone from Stan Herman, Ralph Rucci, James Aguiar, Edward Tricomi, to Barbara Berman, Robert Verdi, Narciso Rodriquez, and Maggie Rizer. The book is well researched and is extensively cross indexed. Everybody who was anybody during this period is included.

Meet author Eila Mell with special guests Narciso Rodriguez and Thakoon Panichgul as she signs copies of her new book, New York Fashion Week during Fashion's Night Out (September 8) at Bergdorf Goodman: 7:00-8:30 pm: Fourth Floor

(Buy the book now on Amazon)

About the Author: Eila Mell is a journalist who has spent many years writing about fashion, theater, and film and interviewing some of the biggest names in world of fashion and entertainment. She has appeared on nearly a hundred TV and radio shows, including The Insider and Hollywood 411. Ella lives in Manhattan.

- Ernest Schmatolla

Editorial: John Galliano Who?

Just about five months after John Galliano's firing from the venerable French house of Christian Dior, the fashion world is abuzz with imminent news of his replacement; and it seems as though Bernard Arnault did not have to go much further than his own stable (Louis Vuitton) to find him. The name Marc Jacobs has been on everyone's lips as of late, and not only is it not one bit surprising: it actually seems like the perfect fit (a match made in fashion heaven).

The award winning talented designer, beloved by fashion editors (it hasn't hurt him one bit that Anna Wintour has been a longtime friend), is one of those 'elite' names of international designers who 'matter' from one season to the next. Marc has a proven track record (look what he's done for Louis Vuitton since taking over as creative director) and an impressive resume that belies his relatively young age (48) and in fact, he was the most recent recipient of the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award (in his case as, he put it, hopefully it will be a 'half' lifetime achievement award).

From that very first 'grunge' collection for Perry Ellis, up until the present, he has managed to create buzz, excitement, and drama. Not one to play it safe, his fully realized, love it or hate it shows (mainly the former), are wildly anticipated, considered to be must sees each and every season, and are extremely influential.

An apt pupil who appears to successfully soak in his surroundings, his dual citizenship has served him well (he lives in both New York and Paris). Marc has been able to tap into the current zeitgeist and has his finger on the pulse of popular culture. He respects the past, has thorough knowledge of fashion history, and is as adept with dressmaker skills and impeccable tailoring. With a wink and a nod, he can be thoroughly classic and subversive at the same time (who else can make a peter pan collar look kinky?)

Finally, it's not lost on me that he shares the same first name and spelling, as the legendary Marc Bohan, who was creative director of Christian Dior from 1960 (when Yves Saint- Laurent left) up until 1989, AND, he is Jewish, which is ironic considering John Galliano was fired because of racist and anti-semitic rantings.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Monday, August 22, 2011

Better Bets: "Back to Campus in Style"' by Rhonda Erb

Missoni For Target

Next month, Target debuts its limited edition collaboration with the celebrated Italian fashion house, Missoni. The collection includes apparel and accessories for men, women, and children, as well as select items for the home. Everything in the line has the colorful patterns that are synonymous with Missoni and prices start as low as $2.99. Each piece in the layered look pictured here is under $100.

Click here to watch the Missoni for Target Video!

Available at: Target Stores and from September 13 through October 22, 2011; Puffer Jacket, $69.99; V-Neck Sweater, $49.99; Blouse, $39.99; Knit Skirt, $39.99; Space-Dye Tights, $16.00.

Click here for more Better Bets "Back to Campus in Style"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Honorable Mentions to My "10" Designer List

1- Norma Kamali: This creative innovator (quite underrated in my opinion) who brought us the sleeping bag coat and glamorized sweatshirts, has 'quietly' been doing her thing for decades and this is the first time I can recall, that she is showing in conjunction with New York FaShion Week (her presentation will be at the David Rubenstein Pavillion)

2- Rag & Bone: Marcus Wainwright and David Neville's consistently and unapologetically hip, cool, boy meets girl, somewhat unisex aesthetic (routinely pairing impeccable British tailoring with elements of preppy, motorcross, iconic Americana, etc.), could not be more 'of the moment' at the moment

3- Shamask: I first met Ron Shamask, the Dutch born painter, fashion illustrator, designer, when I was his editor at Harper's Bazaar; known for his 'intimate architecture', he won the Coty Award as outstanding designer of the year in 1981 and has since relaunched his eponymous line; this is his first formal show in conjunction with fashion week in decades

4- Vera Wang: I 'forgive' this extremely talented designer, known for her artistic, often dreamlike creations, even though she designed the three wedding gowns Kim Kardashian wore during the course of her $20 million nuptials this past Saturday evening. KK made three changes during the ceremony alone and the entire thing, if you care (and I hope you don't) will be aired this fall during a one hour special on E! In my opinion, this has got to be the most tasteless display of wealth, especially given what's going on in the world right now.

5- Yeohlee: Any designer who consistently keeps the smart, intelligent, 'urban nomad' in mind, churning out museum worthy (she's had more than a few museum exhibitions devoted to her craft), creations, like one coat I have which is waterproof, weightless, packable, can be worn as a dress, a coat, or an overskirt), is worth taking a look at.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Saturday, August 20, 2011

If I Could Only See"10" Shows

Designers Who Rate A "10"

I, for one, could not be more excited about the end of summer, the beginning of fall, and of course, the start of New York Fashion Week (and yet another fashion season). I’ve been looking over the jam packed schedule in anticipation, getting myself mentally ready for a busy, productive, and hopefully inspiring week, and found myself asking: if I could only see 10 shows, which would they be and why?

This is what I came up with, in random order, (and please don’t take it personally if you did not make the list but I had to edit it down to just a meager few):

1- Prabal Gurung: A relative 'new kid' on the block (he launched his own line in 2009), he knows how to create drama and excitement and is fashion's new darling (and rightly so, thanks to his impressive dressmaking AND tailoring skills, which landed him the 2011 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear). He reached a wider audience this spring when he partnered with J.Crew (I purchased his fabulous white denim tuxedo pantsuit with white satin bow, which is amazingly striking and ‘forever’).

2- Alexander Wang: Named as the 2011 CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year, he is known for his unapologetically hip, cool, streetwise/utilitarian/active sportswear meets urban vibe; AW is undeniably on a roll what with the opening of his second flagship store in Beijing (I purchased his sleeveless white cotton wrap and tie shirt that easily converts to a cape, from spring 2011- and it's been one of my most favorite, versatile, and dramatic go to pieces this summer).

3- Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein: He is 7th Avenue's reigning minimalist whose consistently pure lines and inventive fabrication are guaranteed to move American sportswear forward into the 21st century.

4- Michael Kors:  Known for his signature American sportswear with a jet set attitude, he has put a luxurious spin on accessories and sportswear for 30 years. In addition, Michael is a true 'Billion Dollar Man' since his brand, (on the verge of filing an IPO in 2012), has been valued at 2.5 billion. It also doesn't hurt that most of us in the audience would kill to look like Michael's models on the runway, and are enviably coveting the clothes and accessories they are wearing. Fyi, Mazel Tov on your recent nuptials!

5- Ralph Lauren: First Ralph dropped the name Lifshitz, and now he just dropped another name- Polo, from his company, as a way to 'tighten' up his image; this true American icon, who almost defines American sportswear, is also one of the lucky few designers whose companies showed substantial growth on Wall Street in recent months. He must be doing something right and indeed he is!

6- Proenza Schouler: Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez are known for their highly visual, hip, cool, youthful couture like designs (thankfully, there is nothing minimal about what they do), and they were just awarded the 2011 CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award. Their accessories are highly coveted and their classic satchels bags (PS1 and PS11), have become collector’s items.

7- Rodarte: The West Coast based Mulleavy sisters are undeniably talented, inventive, creative; they love to push the envelope, experiment, and surprise, and share a singular vision. Their collections are true labors of love, defined by an almost other worldly quality, amazing workmanship, intricate handiwork, meticulous attention to detail, and beautiful fabrication. They received the 2008 CFDA Swarovski Emerging Designer of the Year Award.

8- Narciso Rodriguez: If you look up the word modern in the dictionary, there is a picture of Narciso next to it. Known for his clean lines and sleek silhouettes, Narciso melds the worlds of art, fashion, and architecture each season.

9- Ralph Rucci: One of the highlights of New York Fashion Week is seeing a Chado Ralph Rucci show and witnessing fashion at it's highest point. A winner of the 2008 Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards and a retrospective of his work presented by the Museum at F.I.T.,  Mr. Rucci is a true Renaissance man and an accomplished artist, who sculpts, paints, designs his own prints, and creates his own fabrics.

10 - Marc Jacobs: Let's put it this way, if I have to explain why Marc is on my list, you shouldn’t be in the fashion business (nor should you be reading this report).

- Marilyn Kirschner

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Couture Council Annual Summer Party

Where Oh, ‘Wear’ Did The Summer Go?

Anne Koch
(All photos courtesy of Caroline Torem Craig )

One of the best things about attending fashion related events, is seeing people you haven’t seen for months (if not years), and catching up with old friends (a bi-product of having been in the industry for SO MANY YEARS - LOL). Such was the case at Wednesday evening’s well attended and lively Annual Summer Party, given by The Couture Council of the Museum at FIT in celebration of the upcoming September Awards Luncheon honoring Valentino.
Tziporah Salamon & Louise Doktor

FYI, it really should be called "The Annual End of Summer Party" because it is just a few weeks before Labor Day and the start of New York Fashion Week, signaling the unofficial end of summer and beginning of fall. I was glad I had a chance to chat with Joan Kaner (looking relaxed and fabulous in Ralph Rucci black tunic and pants), Patricia Mears (in an elegant Jean Yu linen dress), Cathy Hardwick (in chic white jacket over black pants), not to mention Peter Dubaux, Sara and Richard Vass, Michael Gross and Lauren Day Roberts, who I went to summer camp with light years ago and the fact that she immediately recognized me was pretty amazing in itself.

Bill Cunningham was there shooting for his columns. Seems Bill is beginning to enter the digital age. In addition to his trusty old film camera, he was using (as backup he said) a new digital style camera! And speaking of photographers, we ran into Roxanne Lowit the famous backstage and celebrity photographer whose latest book "Backstage Dior" has sold out its first printing.

Man in leopard pants

Of course, another element involved in attending any fashion shindig, is seeing the fashion on display. Last night was casual and laid back, there were the usual chic if not a bit boring, little black (and blue) dresses, smatterings of leopard and snakeskin prints, and lace (fashion’s new favorite fabric - looking especially fresh in ivory or white incarnations. But for me, it was those guests who were creative and seemed to factor in the time of the year and the location - The Boathouse in Central Park chosen for its accommodating size, it’s indoor and outdoor space, and of course, the water views which stood out. I mean really, what do you think of when you say summer and boathouse? Straw boaters, graphic nautical inspired stripes, preppy perfect blazers, polos, and shorts of course. And all the above were on display, worn by both men and women alike.

Montgomery Frazier & Kathie Dolgin

Best ‘boater of the evening’ goes to artist Anne Koch, who paired her small one, tilted just ‘so’, with a vintage ivory lace top, ivory Issey Miyake skirt, pale straw clutch and round sunglasses. Alexandra Lebenthal, a Couture Council Host committee member, managed to turn a sprained ankle into a breezy ‘fashion moment’ opting for crisp white shorts, white shirt, a yellow satin J. Crew blazer, and a matching hued satin scarf tied over her brace. The hands down best dressed ‘couple’ (I don’t even know if they came together but they were being photographed together) was Tziporah Salamon (a vision in vintage black and white stripes and graphic patterns, down to her turban and J. Crew espadrilles), and Alan Manson, in a dark navy and white striped blazer and black and white saddle shoes.

Twice the fun!

But my vote as most whimsically dressed has to go to jewelry designer Diana Brussard, who opted for Peter Hidalgo’s little white sleeveless dress, printed with the oversized photo image of a mosquito. The annoying little critters were certainly biting last night, especially if you were one of those enjoying cocktails and hors oeuvres on the outdoor deck (there was an open bar and Grey Goose Vodka was one of the sponsors). And coincidentally, when I left, I shared a complimentary shuttle bus to 5th Avenue with a woman who was complaining that she had just gotten the biggest mosquito bite of her life. Talk about life imitating art.

- Marilyn Kirschner

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

“Reality Bites” Or...

My Love/Hate Relationship with Reality TV

I made a New Year’s resolution this year NOT to watch reality television. As an avid but stealth viewer of “The Kardashians” and their spin off series as well as a steady viewer of Bravo’s “Housewives” shows, I felt I had to sever or at least limit my viewing of reality shows or it could take over my life.

My relationship with reality television had to change. I had to be in control again of the television remote. I needed to change my viewing habits. So how to keep my resolution?

My bargain with myself allowed for a weaning off period. I couldn’t and didn’t want to go “cold turkey”. The deal I made allowed me 5-10 minute spurts at a time of viewing my favorites and resolved not to get started with any new shows.

How am I doing?

Thus far, I have accomplished my goal of not having my life taken over by reality TV, but it’s an uphill battle. And here’s the rub. I live in New York. I’ve worked in fashion my entire life and I am an observer of the relationship among fashion, culture, the economy and the world. The big Kardashian/Humphries wedding is fast approaching and every entertainment show, fashion magazine and tabloid is gearing up for the event. So how can I not be.

First, there was the engagement and the ring, then whispers about the location, now the celebrity guest list, and eventually there will be the great reveal, THE DRESS (Kate Middleton watch out!) and the wedding.

So who’s winning the competition? It’s probably too early to tell. We’re more than halfway through this year and approaching yet another New Year and resolution. Is there a statue of limitations on resolutions? Or does one start afresh and abandon last year’s resolution?

Stay tuned.

-Tricia Kenney

Meet our newest contributor: Tricia Kenney is an independent fashion editor, writer and marketer whose work has appeared in national consumer and trade publications. For ten years she was a creative director at Creative Marketing Plus, where she won two Communicator Awards. She has been a fashion editor at Glamour Magazine and a Fashion Director at Macy’s. A native New Yorker, Kenney is a frequent commentator on fashion, lifestyle and culture.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Celebrities "Street Walking" For Designers

Are These "Sightings" Being Paid For?

"Jennifer Love Hewitt in a _____ out shopping
at Madison in Los Angeles, CA yesterday (August 15)"

Our site has been getting a lot of emails from designers and their pr firms with pictures of celebrities wearing their clothing or accessories on the street. I just received a press release & picture of Jennifer Love Hewitt from an  inhouse publicist  wearing one of their designer dresses. I wonder if these celebs are being paid to wear the outfit on the street so they can be "seen" wearing it and then photographed? Just what is the relationship between the celeb's publicist and the designer's - does one feed off the other?

And if so, I wonder how it all works? Is it part of a marketing agreement with the client and the celeb negotiated by the publicists? Perhaps a fee is paid for the celeb to wear the client's outfit for so many "sightings" on the street or at events?

We sent a note back to the designer's publicist about the picture and her knowing about Jennifer Love Hewitt wearing their dress. She responded:
"What are you talking about? We didn’t know(!) This was yesterday and it was found online on an image site. She has purchased and worn our line several (times) before. We do not pay anyone to wear our clothes."   
So I guess it was a happy accident. As we all know, many of the big stars have name stylists who dress them for events but do not dress them for less public occasions. Renee Zelwegger comes to mind, who wore only Carolina Herrera for big public events such as the Oscars, etc, for a period of time. Most likely RZ was paid a fee.

Then there are the deals which have long existed when a celeb appears in an ad campaign and wears the brands clothing and/or fragrance, such as Nicole Kidman's Channel deal or more recently Gwyneth Paltrow's or Kira Knightly's alliances.

Many smaller apparel companies pitch celebrities to wear their clothing, either directly or via a pr/marketing agency. Occasions do arise when a celeb actually purchases an item of clothing and is photographed in it by the paparazzi and the apparel company and/or the pr agency has no knowledge of it. If the apparel company has the ability to see the image, they may try to contact the celeb and establish a relationship.

So it seems to work in lots of different ways.

-Ernest Schmatolla

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"The Spy in the Conde Nast Elevator"


According to Isabel Wilkenson of The Daily Beast, @CondeElevator, an anonymous Twitter account chronicling comments allegedly overheard in Conde Nast’s elevator, has spawned a viral following and a search for who is behind it.

The Twitter account now has over 50,000 followers in little less than a week. Speculation as to who is behind this account runs from a possible intern from Teen Vogue, GQ, Glamour, Architectural Digest, or Golf Digest, to Erin Kaplan, the senior director of public relations.

Click Here For the Article on The Daily Beast

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Vogue Model Too Young? It Is An Old Story

Ane Loubry Blondeau a 10-year-old model whose photos in Vogue Paris has sparked lots of heated discussions among people worldwide. The spread showed her in bright red lipstick, high heels, mature clothes and facial expressions that many say are too much for a young girl. Some people were appalled at the photos, saying she is overly sexualized and it was completely inappropriate. Others said it was just satire and the girl was showing very little skin.

So how young is too young for a child to be striking a provocative pose?  Fashion editorial is always looking for what is new or extreme - something "edgy" that will catch the viewer's eye. Putting young girls in couture clothes has always played on the edge of what is good taste.

Photo from "Babes in Coutureland" editorial spread that appeared
in August 2002 The New York Times Magazine

One thing for sure, this is an old story. Back in August 2002, the late fashion editor of The New York Times Magazine Amy Spindler ran an editorial in the Sunday Magazine called " Babes in Coutureland" which featured underage girls dressed up in couture clothes. We wrote an editorial condeming these photos and others that she published in prior editorials in the magazine:
New York Times Fashion Editor Amy Spindler Continues to Cross Over the Line Between Cutting Edge Fashion Editorial and Bad Taste:

I am hardly a prude, and believe firmly in creative freedom of the press. But in light of all the recent publicity surrounding the rash of kidnappings, sexual molestations and murders of young girls, I must say I found a few of the pictures in today's New York Times Magazine, ('Babes in Coutureland' ) which illustrated the 'I wanna look like Mom' trend a bit disturbing. Talk about bad timing, Spindler does it again!"
I emailed this editorial to Spindler and in response got a call from a New York Times lawyer telling me that I was harrassing the editor by contacting her via email. And while I did not get a chance to speak to Spindler, my editorial was widely read and commented upon the following week.

But the biggest surprise was yet to come. One of my subscribers was an editor from PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer. The August 20, 2002 show featured a segment by Anne Taylor Fleming reporting on the sexual exploitation of young girls by the media. Ms. Taylor specifically highlighted photos from The New York Time's Magazine feature article 'Babes in Coutureland' citing it as a prime example of the media's exploitation of young girls. When I saw the segment on TV, I almost fell off my chair.

Here is another earlier New York Times Sunday Magazine
spread  by Amy Spindler called "What's Your Sign?"

So we were not the only ones who found this style editor's taste open to question.  Like I have always said about fashion, nothing is ever new, it has all been done before.

-Ernest Schmatolla

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Couture Council Luncheon Honoring Valentino / Summer Party

Luncheon Honoring Valentino

  The Couture Council of the Museum of F.I.T. will honor Valentino with their 2011 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion at a benefit luncheon Wednesday September 7, 2011, at the David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, New York City. As has become the tradition, this luncheon heralds the arrival of Fall Fashion Week., the luxury on-line retailer, is a sponsor of the luncheon and a generous supporter of The Museum and its activities.

Valentino was chosen to receive The Couture Council Fashion Visionary Award by the Couture Council Advisory Committee, an independent group consisting of curators, editors, and retailers. Members include Pamela Golbin, curator of the Musée de la Mode; Akiko Fukai, director and chief curator of the Kyoto Costume Institute; Caroline Milbank, independent curator and author; Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harpers Bazaar; Hamish Bowles, European editor-at-large of Vogue; Ken Downing, fashion director of Neiman Marcus; Linda Fargo, senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman; Nicole Fishcelis, vice president and fashion director at Macy’s; and many distinguished others. Dr. Steele serves as chair.

Past recipients of The Couture Council Awards are Karl Lagerfeld in 2010, Dries Van Noten in 2009, Isabel Toledo in 2008, Alber Elbaz in 2007, and Ralph Rucci in 2006. In 2008, Giorgio Armani also received a special award for Global Fashion Leadership.

To purchase luncheon tickets, please contact Vicki Guranowski, 212 217.4105, fax 212 594.9206, or email

Summer Party

The Couture Council of the Museum of FIT annual Summer Party is Wednesday, August 17, 6:00, at The Boat House in Central Park. Every August members and guests get together before the Fall Fashion Week---it's practically the last party New York fashion designers can go to before finishing their shows (and all the ladies love seeing them).

Guest expected include designers Zac Posen, Zang Toi, Maria Cornejo, Mary Jo Diehl, Cathy Hardwick, Eric M. Javitz, Gemma Khang, Patricia Field, Willa Kim,Tiffany Koury, Gilles Mendel Breitman, Thakoon Panichgul, Hervè Pierre Braillard, Steven Stolman, Patricia Underwood, Devon Scott, Yildiz Yuksek Blackstone and many more….

And fashionistas (uptown and down) including Mario Buatta, Catherine Cahill, Malik So Chic, Alva Chinn, Cece Cord, Geoffrey Bradfield, Jennifer Coleman Creel, Carmen D'Alessio, Louise Doktor, Mai Hallingby, Maria Cooper Janis, Eleanora Kennedy, Marilyn Kirschner, Fern Mallis, Alex McCord, Patrick McDonald, Mr. and Mrs. John J. Pomerantz, Yaz Hernandez, Liz Peek, Sarah Wolfe, Rosemary Ponzo, Alexandra Lind Rose, Helen Schifter, Jacqueline Weld, Lynn Yaeger and many more…

About the Council:

The Couture Council is a membership group of fashion enthusiasts that helps support the exhibitions and programs of The Museum at FIT, a specialized museum of fashion. Your participation in this membership group makes it possible for the Museum to mount world-class exhibitions accompanied by publications and public programming, such as the annual Fashion Symposium. The Couture Council also supports the conservation and documentation of the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as facilitating the acquisition of historically and aesthetically important fashions and accessories.

Members of the Couture Council receive exclusive invitations to at least five events a year, including behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum’s collection, exhibition receptions, and visits to the ateliers of fashion designers in New York. In addition, Couture Council members are the first to receive invitations to the annual Couture Council awards ceremony and benefit luncheon.

Become a Member:

 A Couture Council Annual Membership is $1,000 per individual or couple, or $350 for Young Associates (under the age of 35). Membership is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Please make checks payable to the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries. Mail checks to The Museum at FIT, attention: Couture Council, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, Director's Office, Room E304, New York City 10001-5992.

The Royal Watch

Well-Matched Newlyweds, A New Royal Bio Pic & Kate-Inspired Kiddie Clothes

In this week's Royal Watch lookonline's entertainment editor Diane Clehane notices that 'The Kate Effect' has spread to a surprising segment of the fashion business -- children's clothing. Check out what she found on her latest shopping expedition for yummy mummies who want to dress their offspring like aspiring prince and princesses. And, get an inside look at the new bio pic on William and Kate's romance starring some impressive Oscar and Emmy Award nominated actors.

Click Here for the Entire Article