Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stacy Lomman Fall 2011 Show

Les Femmes de la Résistance

Right: Designer Stacy Lomman
(Photo: Ernest Schmatolla)

Coming off her debut September 2010, Fashion Week collection, which featured a capsule grouping of sexy evening and cocktail dresses, and the like, Stacy Lomman, the former Design Director at Joan Vass, served up her newest, Fall 2011 signature offerings, focusing this time around on a wider array of wearable, sporrtswear items, the majority of which totally hit the mark.


Stacy Lomman Fall 2011 Collection
(Photo: Randy Brooke)

According to the designer's pre-show notes: "Fall 2011 glamorizes and romantcizes the bold and fearless women of the French Resistance, who lead high risk and clandestine lifestyles. Mystery, intrigue and espionage lurk within each piece in the collection. While the early 1940's serve as inspiration, the collection interprets the period into modern and very wearable clothes."

Stacy Lomman Fall 2011 Collection
(Photo: Randy Brooke)

Showcased at Stepping Out Studios, a bright, airy midtown NYC dance studio, where in the big room right next door to where Lomman's show was going on, several professional dancing teams put on their own kind of "Dancing With The Stars show", as they went through their paces and practiced their steps, the mood was pretty much right where the designer wanted it to be. Editors and invited guests were treated to a bevy of beautifully coiffed, well-made-up, and equally, of course, well-dressed women, a la mode de la Francais; each showing off the aura of the clothing with a definitive air of polish and foreign intrigue.

Stacy Lomman Fall 2011 Collection
(Photo: Ernest Schmatolla)

Case In Point: The collection nearly always made its point, mainly because of the designer's deft use of her theory of elegance, balanced with lots of chi chi strength and femininity. All in all, and just about across the board, Lomman achieved what she set out to do, when she first addresed her drawing board this season, with an eye on crafting this type of European-inspired clothing, further enhanced by lots of de rigeuer luxe fabrics, dark, somber colors, clean, deconstructed shapes and silhouettes, attention to detailing, et al.


Stacy Lomman Fall 2011 Collection
(Photo: Randy Brooke)

Although not every piece on this runway was a winner, there were those looks that really were standouts. The grey wool motorcycle jacket with distressed silver foil print, worn with a black wool/mohair skirt with back pocket, which opened the show was super. Moving on, the olive bomber jacket in crocodile patterned jacquard and black leather shorts was groovy. Ditto for the young, French and sensuale feeling of the the unlined trench coat in double face poly/nylon/mohair and heavy rib knit sleeves and mushroom grey cropped jacket in wool cashmere, lined with coated grey nylon, shown with matching pencil skirt with "gunflap" detail.


Stacy Lomman Fall 2011 Collection
(Photo: Ernest Schmatolla)

But, while these pieces were all great-looking, and surely had their place in Lomman's repertoire, for this editor, there were two ensembles that were definitely the icing on the cake, so to speak. The black slim dress in crepe back acetate with fleur-de-lis breast patch and leather trim with gunbelt detail was so "la femme Nikita", while the outfit that closed the show -- the flowing slate grey dress with full skirt in nylon "parachute" fabric -- was tres belle, n'est ce pas?


Stacy Lomman Fall 2011 Collection
(Photo: Ernest Schmatolla)

On a final note, in addition to the designer's obvious expertise in the area of ready-to-wear, her talents also lie in the area of accessories. Her hard-edged and highly covetable gunflaps and gunbelts, seen as clothing adornments, were wonderful, and the use of those little, black berets, all bearing the "Stacy Lomman New York" white logo, shown off by a number of models on the runway here, was quite smart, to say the least.

-- Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg

Stylelikeu - The Book


I profiled Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum, the uber creative, mother and daughter team behind the inspired website (which is a unique and true labor of love), www. stylelikeu.com, back in December 2009. I had just been featured as one of their ‘closet cases’ and could not have been more pleased with my profile, or more impressed with them and their amazing body of work. The avowedly “obsessed” duo, who share a fervent passion for finding and chronicling individuals with “inspiring personal style”, offering a peek into the homes and closets of those who “use their style as an “art form”, are on a mission to prove that style is “soulful”, “has no bounds”, transcends age, social economic status, body type, and ethnicity, and certainly has NOTHING whatsoever to do with labels or how much money one spends on their clothing and accessories.

And they have been busy expanding and adding wonderful ‘layers’ to their seemingly rapidly growing ‘universe’. On Monday, there will be a noticeable site redesign which will include many new features, and just this week, their first hardcover book, ‘Stylelikeu’ hit the shelves of bookstores everywhere, published by PowerHouse Books, it is 224 pages with over 350 four color photos, list price $29.95. Elisa told me they were originally approached by Powerhouse last spring, it took about 6 – 8 months to put it all together, and she deferentially credited Lily, her 21 year old daughter who is also a student at NYU, with doing the entire book (“I did nothing”! she told me proudly).


Marilyn featured in spread
And she should be proud of the finished product (and I’m not just saying this just because I was one of the approximately 280 people featured, ranging from the very young to the very old: 92 years old to be exact!) And true to form, as I flipped through the pages, I didn’t see too many recognizable faces, and just a handful of ‘fashion’ insiders (Elisa and Lily’s aesthetic has nothing whatsoever to do with chronicling front row editors like Anna Wintour, Anna Della Russo, et. al., clad in their spanking ‘new this season’ Pradas and Celines, or those who perpetually show up on www.patrickmcmullan.com for that matter). But that doesn’t mean some of fashion’s most well respected figures (and well known ‘eccentrics’) don’t appear within the pages of the book. Uber stylists Lori Goldstein, and Freddie Leiba, (who I worked with at Harper’s Bazaar), are included, as is the award winning jewelry designer Justin Guinta, and fashion designer Magda Berliner. I was also pleased to see the unsurprisingly inventive Victoria Mackenzie- Childs (I covet many of her company’s whimsical products for the kitchen, dining room, and home).

It will take time to really go through the inspiring book, but from what I have seen thus far, it is the perfect companion to their website, filled with ‘colorful’ (and I mean that literally as there is a lot of strong, brash color throughout), imaginative, creative souls representing different walks of life, all ages, ethnicities, religions, and both sexes (and then some - LOL), who are linked by their individualistic freewheeling approach to fashion, eschewing ‘trends’ in favor of a style that suits and pleases them. Let’s just say this is not a group that waits with baited breath, to see what Cathy Horyn’s ‘favorite pieces’ of the season are, or has to read Harper’s Bazaar to find out what ‘What’s in, What’s out’, what’s the ‘Hottest, Newest, Latest’, or ‘What to buy, keep, wear’ (give me a break!) And their styles run the gamut from true classicists and minimalists (well, sort of) to irreverent eccentrics whose credo is “More is more”. While the website provides in depth interviews and uses a lot of different quotes (in addition to many pictures and a video), the book is truly all about the images which perfectly illustrate the harmonious link between one’s personal fashion style and one’s home environment, and thus, there is very little copy- only the person’s name and a corresponding quote taken from a previous interview which is meant to capture and sum up their style credo.

In my case, it was “I’m sort of a fashion schizophrenic, but it is all me” (how true!), and there were unsurprisingly, many others that I completely identified with (“I can’t leave the door without looking like a complete composition”, Lux Leekley; “Accessories are beyond special to me. Those are the pieces that show my style…they dig deeper than my clothes do.”, Christopher Garbushian & Laurel St. Romain; “When I buy clothes, I am not looking for something. I make a choice when I find love at first sight”, Euphrasie Villalard. Unfortunately, “I spend less money on clothes than you can ever imagine”, Barbara Louis, does not apply).

So, what’s next? In addition to a second book (they have so many more subjects to record), according to Elisa, “We take over the world and bring the soul, love and unity back to fashion.” I’ll drink to that!

-Marilyn Kirschner

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Four Most Powerful Men in Fashion?

A friend of ours asked me the other night who were the four most powerful men in fashion. I posed the question to my mostly fashion industry friends on Facebook last night, and here is some of choices: Jeffrey Felner suggested Francois Pinault,Terry Lundgren, and Ken Downing. Our editor Diane Clehane chose  Pinault, Arnault, Newhouse, and Terry Lundgren; Rosina Rucci was quick to say Arnault of LVMH was the real power behind designers like Marc Jacobs. A number of others suggested Ralph Lauren.

I personally would go for François Pinault the billionaire who owns PPR , Pierre Arnault of LVMH, Si Newhouse of Conde Nast, and Terry Lundgren the CEO of Macy's. Anyone else have any suggestions?

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Better Bets: The Best of New York" - by Rhonda Erb

Chances are you have forgotten your New Year’s resolution to eat right. This gourmet tuna can help get you back on track. Tonnino offers a variety of flavors, packed in olive oil or spring water, that are an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Visit their website www.tonnino.com for delicious recipe ideas.


Available at: www.amazon.com, Whole Foods Markets, $6.99 - $8.99

What is your favorite way to eat tuna? Tells us and you could win a gift box containing 3 flavors of Tonnino Tuna. Click betterbetsonline@gmail.com and tell us how you like to eat your tuna. Register your e-mail address and comments before 11:59 PM, April 8, 2011. Two lucky winners will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail.

Click here for the latest edition of "Better Bets"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Countdown to the Royal Wedding

Meet the Middletons

While the focus on the world's media for the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton remains firmly on the 'fairy tale' romance, Lookonline's entertainment editor and royals expert Diane Clehane writes about why the most fascinating characters in the latest chapter of the British royal family soap opera are its supporting players. The most interesting of the bunch is the Middleton family -- whose members are royally suited for the tabloid stories they are sure to spawn in the coming months and years. Although the Windsors are used to the slings and arrows of the media and somehow managed to defy the odds in the face of the wholesale disgust of the public in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, the Middleton's are newcomers to the limelight -- and it sometimes shows. Kate's parents Carole and Michael's are treading carefully, but will their party loving younger children and Carole's reportedly drug addled brother crack the family's carefully crafted image? Find out in Diane Clehane's latest installment in her 'Countdown to the Royal Wedding'
(Photo credits: Stefan Rousseau WPA Pool/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage.com)

Click here for the full report

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Notes from the CFDA Nominees Cocktail Party

Lookonline editor Marilyn Kirschner dressed for the occasion

As the event was video streamed and widely publicized online and on Facebook and Twitter, there is no point in us reporting on who was nominated for what. That said, Of course Marc Jacobs was again nominated for another award, this time for lifetime achievement. CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg was quick to note that Marc said it was only half a lifetime so far, but DVF reminded the audience that she was much older than him, and that her lifetime award covers a much longer period.

The event was held at the DVF gallery at 450 West 14th Street in a street that was filled with other designer showrooms. Only one small area of the huge gallery was opened to guests who quickly filled the room to way above capacity - it was almost impossible to make one's way to the bar to get a drink.  I would estimate there were at least 300 people at the event, and we left after the announcements were made as it was almost impossible to move around the room with any grace or style!

The most interesting moments: DVF giving Anna Wintour a big hug in the center of the room while photographers and video crews captured this touching and moving scene; host Nadja Swarovski not showing up because of an "emergency board meeting", DVF announcing that designers were going to raise money for the Japanese by selling pieces from their collections online; and Steven Kolb literally jumping to attention any time DVF addressed him on the platform.

It was hard to tell who anyone was in that crowded room. We did see Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang, Patty Cohen, Hal Rubenstein, and Anna Wintour of course. Others were to include but we cannot attest to: Joseph Altuzarra, Yigal Azrouel, John Bartlett, Michael Bastian, Amanda Brooks, Tory Burch, Georgina Chapman, Maria Cornejo, Francisco Costa, Keren Craig, Erin Fetherston, Justin Giunta, Kim Hastreiter, Reed Krakoff, Liz Lange, Jenna Lyons, Gilles Mendel, Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Zac Posen, Narciso Rodriguez, Angel Sanchez, Jill Stuart, Sophie Theallet, Stefano Tonchi, Jason Wu and Italo Zucchelli.

We want to give a special shout out to some of our friends who we did run into: fashion writer Lisa Marsh, FashionGPS founder Ed Mullon and wife Kerri, Steve Eichner our favorite photographer from WWD, former CFDA president Stan Herman, syndicated fashion editor Mary Lou Luther, and of course our own editor - the one-and-only Marilyn Kirschner.

- Ernest Schmatolla

Friday, March 11, 2011

Going to ‘X’-tremes

Extremely kinky Givenchy - Fall 2011 Collection
(All Photos: Firstview.com)

You know the Judy Collins song, “Both sides now”? Well, this has always applied to fashion, and I always start humming it to myself during the collections, because there is never just one theme or trend that emerges from the runways of the international shows. And even when there are overridingly predominant moods and themes, thankfully, there are always, flip sides and choices (multiple choices it seems); sometimes, these exist within the same collection. I always view this dichotomy as representing all the different sides of a woman, and in the best cases, great design should enable her to tap into her multiple personality.


Extremely red, tactile & extravagant Ralph Rucci - Fall 2011 Collection

Without sounding like a shrink, let’s just say that most of us are probably a bit ‘schizophrenic’ and ‘bi- polar’; (okay - so I’ll admit that I am, and I love to have fun with it). But is it just me, or did these extreme ends of the spectrum seem even more pronounced, exaggerated, and well, ‘X’ treme this time around (and I mean that literally!) Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous (or visa versa, depending on your "take").

Extremely monastic Hermes - Fall 2011 Collection

To wit: there were suggestive, kinky clothes that almost left nothing to the imagination, but there were also offerings so demure and monastically covered up from head to toe, the models looked like members of a religious order. There were designs that were ‘textbook’ ‘man repellers’ (check out http://www.manrepeller.com/), but at the same time, there were plenty that could best be described as alluringly provocative and seductive.


Extremely oversized Stella McCartney - Fall 2011 Collection

There were styles so body obscuring, bulky and oversized, it oft times appeared the models had collectively gained weight (of course they were really just wearing what could be described as high fashion ‘fat suits’), but there were also body conscious, second skin numbers; there were flamboyantly ostentatious uber luxurious furs juxtaposed against relatively ‘plain Jane cloth coats (I always think of Richard Nixon describing wife Pat’s cloth coat as a “modest Republican” cloth coat); there was supremely urban, streetwise, utilitarian fashion juxtaposed against moments of completely fantastical flights of fancy.

Extremely plaid Thom Brown - Fall 2011 Collection

There were whimsical, funny, and humorous styles (though truly, who wants to spend into the thousands of dollars just to have a laugh?). And yes, there were just as many, if not more, that looked bookwormishly serious. There many items blatantly borrowed from the boys (not just boy meets girl but boy-oh-boy!), and others that were almost exaggeratedly feminine and all girl.


Extremely delicate Marchesa - Fall 2011 Collection

There was ‘clean and mean’ minimal, and there was completely over the top, and to the max; fuzzy wuzzy, highly textural fabrics, and flat, one dimensional weaves; barely there soft as a whisper nude skin tones and screamingly loud high impact colors and patterns (sometimes used in one outfit to heighten the effect). There was optic white, and (lots of) noir. Flat, mannish, heavy oxfords co existed with highly seductive come hither sky high heels; pants so skinny they resembled leggings, but also, there were pants so long and full, they looked like skirts. I think you got the picture.

Extremely nude Michael Kors- Fall 2011 Collection

But alongside the manic, schizophrenic flip sides of fashion on display, this past season was nothing if not about the element of surprise. Hey, what can you expect from a season in which the Paris ready to wear shows kick off with the news that John Galliano was promptly fired from Dior because of alleged drunken, anti Semitic rantings (I guess you can say, ‘anti-Semitism is the new black?’), and instead of Mr. Galliano walking down the runway in his characteristically plumed and costumed splendor, when the Dior Show ended, out came the white lab coat clad members of the atelier. And later on in the week, Christophe Decarnin was a ‘no show’ at his Balmain show (WWD cited the reasons as an “apparent breakdown”.)


Extremely chic and streamlined Celine - Fall 2011 Collection

Still, who could imagine that the essential basic black turtleneck would ever be replaced by the optic white turtleneck, or that the models would seem to have collectively put on pounds? (of course, they didn’t, they were just ‘hiding’ beneath bulky oversized body obscuring designs). Or that the models on Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel runway would, well, be made to look just like him (minus the silver white hair and ponytail of course). Or that Alber Elbaz, the king of feminine flourishes and embellishments, would go uncharacteristically subdued and minimal this time around? Or that floral prints (the kind that many plugged in fashion insiders would normally ‘poo poo’) would be embraced by such influential, edgy designers such as Nicolas Guesquiere for Balenciaga, Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy, and Raf Simons for Jil Sander?

Extremely mixed to the max Oscar de la Renta - Fall 2011 Collection

Or that the lowly poncho (like the ones we wore at summer camp to ward off the inclement weather) would be given haute couture like status? Or that white shoes and boots could be made to actually look appealing (well, not everywhere but on some runways). Or that the ubiquitous boyfriend jacket of many seasons, would be replaced by the boyfriend coat? Or that Marc Jacobs would once again, not only start his show on time, but 10 minutes early? (Almost guaranteeing that next season, everyone will show up early and will have to wait for two hours for the show to begin). Oh, the joys of fashion.

-Marilyn Kirschner

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Royal Wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton

Kate's New Job: Shilling for the Royals

The unveiling of the "official" website of the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton ushers in a new era of accessibility for the British royal family. Diane Clehane, Lookonline's entertainment editor and author of the best-seller, Diana The Secrets of Her Style, argues that rather than enhance Kate's glamour, the move diminishes her celebrity. Given their well-known disdain for the press, the royals' blatant attempt to create a newly minted fashion and media star seems quite curious -- and, reports Diane, ill-advised. Read Diane's take on what happens now that the royals have gone viral with Diana's playbook.

Back in the day, the royals -- at least the Queen and Prince Charles -- resented the publicity Diana got and many of the "men in grey" found it unseemly. Today, the Queen isn't just taking a page of out the People's Princess' playbook; she's going viral with it!

Read the whole article

Monday, March 07, 2011

Survey: Five Most Creative/Original American Designers

Send Us Your Choices:

The question is: "If you had to pick 5 current American fashion designers whose work you thought was the most consistently creative and original (not necessary the best selling) who would you pick?" My 5 choices in no particular order: Francisco Costa, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Rucci, Isabel Toledo and Yeohlee.

Email us at publisher@lookonline.com your 5 choices (or less if you can only think of fewer) and we will tabulate the findings and report on the results of the survey next week.

-Ernest Schmatolla

Friday, March 04, 2011

NY Fashion Week Editorial

Just Follow the Money...

Mercedes-Benz New York Fall 2011 early registration was $80 per person and up to $120 for late registration. So lookonline.com registered 6 people for a total cost of almost $500. Now, what do we get for our money? An ID badge that give each access to the lobby and, if they don't run out of them, an editorial bag filled with mostly junk (I went three times to get the voucher and they did not have them). The IMG press list gets us into nothing as invites must still come from the designers/pr firms and many work off their own lists. And let us not forget many of the top designers do not even show at Lincoln Center, but instead prefer their own venues.

What is next? Selling tickets to the shows is already a reality. American Express has been selling show packages for years to their members to benefit the Vogue Fashion Fund. What next? IMG could make even more money off of us poor journalists and photographers by offering a limited number of "premium" or tier level 2 press passes for say $1500 each. These special press passes would allow journalists or fashion bloggers (not sure they are one in the same) who don't usually get decent access special reserve seating to every show that IMG does at Lincoln Center. IMG could then split the fee with each designer willing to provide X number of good seats for this "premium" or tiered access. It would be a win-win for both IMG and designers who want to help fund the cost of showing their collections. Just wait, that will be next!

It is true IMG has opened the shows up to more and more people. Why not? It pays IMG to let those hundreds of 20-something year old bloggers who are happy to fork over $80 or more to become part of the "scene". Meanwhile, NY fashion week becomes an ever growing spectacle, a circus of sorts, promoted by IMG in much the same ways as the Oscars, US Open, Emmy Awards and the Superbowl. What was once a trade event for the buyers, retailers and fashion press has more and more been taken over by paying sponsors and national celebrity press as a mass entertainment/marketing vehicle. NY fashion week is now part of the annual circuit of entertainment events that are heralded, promoted, co-sponsored, hawked and branded. Fashion week is bigger than any one fashion designer's show. Is it any wonder that many of the biggest name designers do not relish being upstaged by the purveyors of cars and bottled water and choose not show at the Tents?

The question in our mind is: as several thousand people during fashion week get a seat or stand at one or more of the venues - who are they and what do they all do? OK, I think we all know who are in the front rows - any F.I.T. student can come up with that list. And, for the next two or three rows up at the main "Tent", those seats are surely filled with other "A" and "B" list assistant editors, fashion bloggers, minor celebrities, freelance writers, sponsors' clients, stylists, minor retailers, retired ex-VIPs, important and unimportant out-of-town press, designer's psychiatrists, favored friends and relatives, boy friends of the models, hairdressers, -- but what about the rest?

By the time you get to those beyond the sixth row, who are they? Are we all in the industry connected somehow by only six rows of separation? From one show to the next a never ending stream of people walk in through the main entrance. As a casual observer watching this parade, we are hard pressed to find many clues as to who these fashion groupies are? How many of them have anything to do with the fashion industry at all? Our guess is many of them are brought in by the PR firm or publicist who is handling the front of house for each designer. Each publicist has his or her own group of people -- call them "fashion extras" who can be relied on to fill the house with friendly, attractive and eager faces.

We know many legitimate journalists and stylists who cannot get invites into the major shows. People who contribute and participate in our industry and make a valid contribution to it. It is no secret that much of the traditional out-of-town press no longer come to the New York shows because they cannot get enough invitations to make the trip cost effective. In fact, it has been suggested that some designers do not even want informed editors reviewing the collections. Why subject the collection to the scrutiny of an experienced eye who cares for how the dress was made, and whether the seams were sewn on straight? Better just have the likes of some 20 year old fashion blogger or a Full Frontal Fashion like program running live streaming reports online or 30 second video clips of highlights with some "fashion commentator" wide-eyed gushing over how wonderful the collection is?

So when anyone asks me what is the future of New York fashion week, I just say: "follow the money".

-Ernest Schmatolla
(This editorial incorporates a past article entitled "Six Rows of Separation").

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Firing of John Galliano:

"Poison"

Up until now, the word ‘Poison’, (as it related to the house of Christian Dior), was just the name of one of its fragrances, introduced in 1985. However, at this moment, it’s a word that can be used to describe the venomous thoughts that are apparently harbored in the mind of its star creator, John Galliano. (And boy, talk about not biting the hand that feeds you!).

As a first generation American daughter of Jewish, European born parents whose almost entire families were wiped out in Poland and Czechoslovakia, during Hitler’s reign of terror, I had a knee jerk reaction and felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach upon hearing and seeing John Galliano’s videotaped vitriolic tirade, during which time he said, “I love Hitler," and, "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f**king gassed."

I always wish to give a person the benefit of the doubt, don’t want to rush to judgment, and I always want to know the whole story before coming to a conclusion. What I do know about the events that led to John Galliano’s firing from Dior, is what everyone else knows at this moment. The man is obviously troubled and in need of help. And he showed a shocking lapse of good judgment. Someone as high profile as he, whose name is attached to such an iconic and revered fashion label, has a certain public responsibility and that must be kept in mind at all times.

I venture to say many of us would be SHOCKED if we knew some of the REAL thoughts lurking inside the minds of many of our most revered fashion designers (some of whom I'm convinced, are most oft times, laughing all the way to the bank). And most of us will probably never really get to know the designers whose names are on the labels sewn inside some of our favorite pieces. But when you are spending well into the thousands of dollars (as you would be for anything that is Christian Dior), it would be nice to know- or be made to feel- that the designer at the helm, is on your side, wants to make you look and feel beautiful, and has your best interests at heart (and not making obsene comments about you based upon your religion).

But quite frankly, almost as puzzling and unacceptable as Mr. Galliano’s hate spewing anti Semitic, drunken outbursts, are the reactions and comments of those in the fashion community, who are attempting to make light of, trivialize or wave off his comments and actions, as something to be ‘expected’, something that ‘comes with the territory’ of being a high profile designer, with all the pressures and stresses of having to produce endless collections, keep on top of one’s game, and stay relevant. I’m especially shocked by Patricia Field’s email sent yesterday to 500 friends, blogs, and media, in support of Galliano during which time she described the designer’s controversial video as “farce”, said he was “acting out a character”, and said she was bewildered that people in the fashion community have not recognized it as such.

“People in fashion, all they do is go and see John Galliano theater every season. That’s what he gives them. To me, this was the same, but people in fashion don’t recognize the farce in it. All of a sudden they don’t know him. But it’s OK when it’s Mel Brooks’ ‘The Producers’ singing ‘Springtime for Hitler.’ OMG Pat. This is so NOT an apt comparison.

When people pay to see a Mel Brooks show, they know up front they are going to see something irreverent, mad, and off the wall. Mel Brooks is Jewish and the entire production was a farce. And by the way, nowhere in the play, was there an almost unthinkably insensitive and inhumane line that said “I love Hitler”, or one that made fun of people being gassed or killed in ovens. For me, (during Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Israel, during which time images of death camps kept reappearing, I would have recurring nightmares of being carted away to a gas chamber or crematorium), and for many others I’m sure, this one hit a bit too close to home.

FYI: Now that Galliano is officially ‘out’, the guessing game of who will replace him has begun. In Cathy Horyn’s cover story for The New York Times, “Protecting Its Brand, Dior Fires Star Designer Caught in Scandal”, she mentioned two possible names, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, and Alber Elbaz, who currently designs for Lanvin. It would be especially ironic if it was the latter, because Alber is an Israeli born Jew.

-Marilyn Kirschner