Thursday, June 30, 2011

Better Bets: 'Fireworks & Fun' - by Rhonda Erb

Post-it Brand Products

School is out and summer is finally here, and that means a whole new schedule of activities for busy families. Post-it can help you get organized in no time, with calendars, notes, and pockets to help you keep track of your active lifestyle. There are even chic Pop-up note dispensers that are both practical and fun.

Available at: www.post-it.com
Enter to win a gift bag filled with an assortment of Post-it Brand Products! Click betterbetsonline@gmail.com  and register your e-mail address before 11:59 PM EDT, July 8, 2011 (be sure to put ‘Post’it’ in the subject line). One lucky winner will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail.

Click here For More 4th of July Gift Suggestions

Monday, June 27, 2011

Better Bets: "Suddenly Summer" by Rhonda Erb

EnvyDerm Eyelash Serum:

Lush, luxurious lashes can be yours. This conditioning lash stimulator promises thicker, fuller lashes in as little as two weeks. Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids nourish and moisturize lashes and it also works on brows. Available at: www.envyderm.com, $99.95

 Enter to win EnvyDerm Lash Serum (a retail value of $99.95)! Click betterbetsonline@gmail.com  and register your e-mail address before 11:59 PM EDT, JULY 4, 2011, (be sure to put “envyderm” in the subject line). One lucky winner will be chosen at random and notified by e-mail.

Click here for more Summer gift suggestions




Saturday, June 25, 2011

DFR Editorial: Azzedine Observations on Karl & Anna

Like a "Virgine"

Azzedine Alaia is arguably, one of the most revered and well respected fashion designers in the world. But most of us, especially on this side of the Atlantic, know very little about what the 71 year old, Tunisian born French couturier, (who may be ‘small’ in stature, but towering in terms of talent and influence), REALLY thinks. Until just recently, that is. An article in Friday’s New York Post, opposite Page Six, ‘Designer rips Karl, Anna’, reported that AA opened up to the new online magazine, Virgine, http://virginemag.com/, and minced no words regarding his thoughts on Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
I don’t like his fashion, his spirit, his attitude. It’s too much caricature. Karl Lagerfeld never touched a pair of scissors in his life”.
Ouch! While I don’t necessarily agree with the design legend about Karl, I myself am a fan of Karl’s - well, most of the time. I think he has done a fabulous job bringing Chanel into the 21st century. I do agree that, at times, there is something rather ‘caricature’ about his designs, and I can’t help but think he is literally laughing all the way to the bank. He knows there will always be a customer who will buy into whatever it is he throws out there.

But it was his observations about Anna that I could not have agreed with him more:
"She runs the business very well, but not the fashion part. When I see how she is dressed. I don’t believe in her tastes one second. Anyway, who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one."
Arguably the most powerful woman in fashion, Anna has the means and the wherewithal to get her hands on anything she wants, in terms of clothing and accessories. Every designer would love to dress her and provide her with whatever her little heart desires. It's wise (if not mandatory) for someone in Anna’s position to eschew trends and ‘effect’ a uniform of sorts; something her counterpart at Harper’s Bazaar, Glenda Bailey should learn to do (with all due respect, Glenda tends to change her style constantly, wearing whatever is ‘of the moment’ even if it does not suit her). That being said, in my opinion (and this is highly subjective of course), I have noticed increasingly that Anna has become stuck in an unflattering fashion rut of her own making, and has become a caricature of herself (down to the sunglasses).

She’s begun to favor a mode of dress that is not particularly modern, is fairly aging, and downright boring. What’s up with those ditsy little printed dresses, little dainty necklaces, and those nude Manolo Blahnik sandals which she never veers from? (I’ve seen her dressed the exact same way, even when she attends the tennis matches, as she follows her dear friend Roger Federer).

And what about those furs? It’s no wonder she’s been likened to Cruella de Ville and has become PETA’s public enemy number one. It’s one thing to wear furs in the frigid winter months, but Anna seems to want to ‘tease’ PETA with her year round fur habit. I saw a picture of her at a soiree last month (it was a warm day in May), and she was wearing a fluffy ivory fur ‘stole’ or jacket, over her printed dress.

In my opinion, she would have looked far more modern and chic, had she chosen a tuxedo jacket, a man tailored blazer, a cardigan, a trenchcoat, a parka, or anything else for that matter. Years ago, on a rainy day during New York Fashion Week, I spotted her wearing skinny dark jeans, high heeled boots, and an off white Burberry trench, and I thought she had never looked better.

Maybe she should think of changing it up now and again? Just a suggestion Anna.

- Marilyn Kirschner

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Royal Watch Column: The "Kate Effect" On Fashion


In this week's Royal Watch read the latest dish from lookonline's entertainment editor Diane Clehane on the newest fashion beneficiary of "The Kate Effect," get the lowdown on Pippa Middleton's love life and find out why she has nominated Michael Middleton for the best 'Father of the Bride' ever. Get the full story here:

Click here for the entire article

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Better Bets for Father's Day by Rhonda Erb

  Last Minute Gifts

T.J. Maxx and Marshals Stores:


Every one of these stores receives 10,000 new pieces of merchandise each week, so you are sure to find a great gift for dad at an affordable price. If your father is the master of the barbecue grill, why not get him a new set of grilling tools?
Visit T.J. Maxx and Marshalls Stores nationwide

Click here for more last minute Father's Day Gifts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Better Bets Column by Rhonda Erb

Father's Day Gifts

A true classic. This watch is styled after the elegant pocket watches of the nineteenth century. It has a steel case and a calfskin band with deluxe features including a tachymeter, chronograph and telemeter.
Available at: Tourneau, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue; $4,350
Click Here More Better Bets Gift Suggestions For Father's Day

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Douglas Hannant 2012 Resort Collection

All Hands on Deck:

All Photos: Isabelle Erb
(Click on image for full size version)

The sun was shining brightly on the Flight Deck of the Intrepid on Tuesday evening. The World War II Essex Class aircraft carrier houses the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and is one of New York City’s most popular tourist attractions. The Flight Deck holds an extensive collection of military aircraft from the US and around the world, including the Lockheed A-12, a reconnaissance aircraft built for the CIA that flew at speeds greater than Mach 3.


On this particular evening, the Intrepid’s Flight Deck served as the venue for designer Douglas Hannant’s Resort 2012 Collection Runway Show. Just after 6PM, guests began to arrive and rather than making their way to their seats in the two rows of white chairs lined up along the deck, most chose to peruse the exhibits while sipping champagne.


Considering the unpredictable weather that New York has been experiencing this spring, staging an outdoor fashion show was a brave undertaking to say the least. Jill Carles, Public Relations Manager for Douglas Hannant, seemed un-phased by the challenge. “I don’t know if anyone has done a show like this before,” she said, visibly relieved that there was not so much as a cloud in the sky.



With the guests finally in their seats, it was time for the show to begin. The familiar guitar strains of Jimi Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner filled the air, the first of a varied group of musical selections that included songs by The Verve, Fat Boy Slim, The Who, Coldplay, and Phoenix.


It was certainly no surprise to see that Hannant’s resort wear was inspired by a nautical theme, what was unexpected was the way in which he transformed traditional elements into a collection that was utterly charming. There were the requisite sailor hats and flare legged trousers, and no shortage of red, white, and navy stripes, but each piece reflected the designer’s signature style, which never fails to make a woman look refined and elegant.


A figure hugging, knit navy and white maxi dress with bold horizontal stripes opened the show. The model wore a sailor hat that looked more like a chic pillbox. Various styles of sailor hats accessorized many of the looks including a navy and white tweed dress with a flattering peplum at the waist. This dress was worn with a pair of coordinating silver platform heels. The chunky soled footwear was featured throughout the show, occasionally in the form of knee-high boots or slip on clogs. A group of boldly colored “flag dresses” punctuated the middle of the show, providing a unique twist on the maritime theme. A sunburst pleated dress in bright orange with a halter top was an unconventional addition as well.


Hannant’s version of the bomber jacket was done in silver tweed and paired with white taffeta cargo pants. A red and ecru polka dot blouse with high-waisted navy wide legged trousers made a striking silhouette and a pleated sequin tennis skirt looked sea worthy, topped with a white cropped trench.

For evening, Hannant’s looks spanned the gamut, from a short navy taffeta pouf dress to a red and black plaid gown, slit high on the leg. A navy and white embroidered ostrich gown, with a voluminous skirt, closed the show, floating down the deck of the Intrepid as the sun began to set over the Hudson River.

-Rhonda Erb

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Diane von Fursternberg 2012 Resort Show

DVF’s ‘Wrap’ Session

All photos: Vogue.com

Aha! Eureka! I finally figured out why that ‘in between’ season (the one that’s shown a few months after fall, and a few months before pre spring and ‘real’ spring), is given the label, ‘Resort’. It’s just another ‘excuse’ for designers to tempt their customers with what they hope will be ‘gotta-have-it’, ‘can’t-live- without-it’ pieces, which will fill the racks and shelves of stores and boutiques, and ultimately put money into their pockets, enabling them to take their enviable jaunts to secluded beaches and exotic locations! (It’s a great tax write off because they incorporate their luxury trips into their businesses- if you read the ‘inspirations’ behind many of the collections, you’ll see what I mean).



Sure, ‘resort’ sounds enticingly relaxing and appealing; but let’s be honest: it’s a throwback; a decidedly old fashioned, almost awkward, if not downright passe title, n’est pas? (Well, at least the word, ‘Cruise’, has been done away with…as if). In the first place, the pieces that make up the ‘resort’ collections oft times look far more urban, more streetwise, or more career perfect, than laid back and ‘beachy’ keen. And more importantly, thanks to harsh economic realities of life, fewer and fewer people can actually indulge themselves with fabulous jaunts to mind numbingly glorious beaches and exotic getaways. But of course, fashion is nothing, if not transformative. And ‘resort’ can be seen as ‘a state of mind’. Sometimes, just wearing a specific item (color, style, etc.), can instantly transport one to another time or place. I know that whenever I wear my French Breton striped tops, I feel as though I’m in the South of France, and my vintage Pucci’s automatically take me to Capri and Positano - (well, kind of).



Be that as it may, resort, like ‘pre’ fall and ‘pre’ spring, is a bonafide ‘season’ (even if it’s not really a ‘season’), and a growing number of designers continue to make a statement, via informal presentations in their showrooms, small intimate shows for a select few in chic galleries, as well as larger shows in a variety of venues. CFDA President, fashion designer, and world traveler extraordinaire Diane von Furstenberg is one of this group, and she has traditionally staged her formal runway resort show at her impressive headquarters located in the very happening Meatpacking District.



This season, as a departure (and I assume, to allow for a larger, more ambitious museum worthy set, as well as to accommodate a larger crowd), the ‘Queen of the Wrap’, and self professed ‘first rate’ packer, moved one block north, to the Highline Stages at 440 West 15th street, to present ‘Wrapsody Rap’, (in fact, the first outfit out was in fact a printed obi crepe wrap jumpsuit with bralette swim top). It was one of her most concise, satisfying resort shows (and maybe one of her best, most appealingly modern, to the point, and well edited collections in memory). And while it looked like ‘resort’ (by that I mean, it had enough of those laid back, lighthearted, special, desirable pieces you might fantasize about taking with you if you were going someplace wonderful), it was at the same time slick, tailored, and citified enough to work for many different locales, seasons, and occasions.


The program notes actually cited “urban surfer, beach networker, and snowboarding dreamer”, which would explain the use of scuba-inspired neon colors (they literally glowed in the dark at the show’s end when the lights went off), athletic and sportswear inspired shapes, in addition to graphic color blocks, modern art inspired abstract patterns, trompe l’oeil details (such as the ‘bralette’ swim tops on dresses), interesting surface textures (shots of silver were seen throughout), inventive fabric combinations (techno taffeta and poplin were played off cotton, crepe, georgette, jersey), and inventive layering. It was a believable, cool mix of boy meets girl (for example, a ‘boyfriend blazer’ in lacquered black and white tweed was shown over a white tech taffeta blouse, black bralette swim top, and sunshine raffia miniskirt); day and night (silver embellished tops, silver lurex sweaters, and simple sequin blouses were layered over neon hued silk crepe tops and skirts, and a gray city slicker anorak was thrown over a mauve/neon orange/black crepe dress).

And though the collection was mainly ‘leggy’ (by way of Bermuda shorts, miniskirts, above the knee crepe dresses), there were also well turned out canvas and twill pants. Shoes were great: I loved the use of an ultra feminine, pointy toed, ankle tied pump on a kitten heel, or the delicate mid heel sling back pump (such a nice departure from all those clunky, heavy shoes we’ve been seeing), as were the bags: from chic, hardly there minaudieres, to graphic, oversized canvas carryalls.

Best of all, the models came out quickly, at seemingly breakneck speed, and before you knew it, the show was over. Not surprising since, as President of the CFDA, DVF had a few other things to do on Monday, other than staging her show (like getting ready for the evening festivities at Lincoln Center).

-Marilyn Kirschner

CFDA 2011 Awards

Here are a few photos from last night's CFDA Awards. We thank Randy Brooke for providing them for us. Click on images for larger photos. All Photos copyright 2011 Randy Brooke...

 

Lady Gaga


The Red Carpet

Press Check-in


Interior View

Linda Fargo Fashion Director of Bergdorf Goodman

Fern Mallis & Stan Herman

Monday, June 06, 2011

The CFDA Awards & Lookonline.com

Sour Grapes or the Grapes of Wrath?

For the first time in 12 years, we are not invited to the CFDA Awards - no photographer or reporter on the red carpet; no Marilyn at the cocktail party. I am not surprised given some of the critical comments I have made these past couple of years about the CFDA under the imperial leadership of Diane von Furstenburg - but I am a little sad how petty they really are. Steven Kolb emailed me saying they did not know who our audience was - this after 12 years of us covering the event - thus they could not justify giving us an invite.  We sent them all the information they needed, and we did not even get back a reply. And, as we reported last week, KCD said since we did not have a reporter last year on the red carpet, we did not need one this year. The reason we did not have a reporter last year was because KCD would not give us a credential for one. It is Catch-22 all over again.

There is a price for being independent and we are willing to pay it. What others will say only off the record, we say on the record. But fashion is not only an incestuous business, it has become more and more exclusionary under the leadership of DVF. Marilyn is obviously upset about not being invited to the cocktail party - she does vote for the awards and certainly deserves an invitation after all of the years she has worked in our industry? Simply a matter of respect. Of course, deserving is never the reason anyone gets invited to these events, and respect is another word for "what can you do for us?".

So we will continue to speak out more and more - and on the record. After all, what do we have to lose?

-Ernest Schmatolla

The Royal Watch Column: Returning From the Honeymoon

In this week's Royal Watch lookonline's entertainment editor Diane Clehane goes behind the scenes at the newlywed's first UK appearance since returning from their honeymoon to track Kate's progress as fashion's rising star (Don't miss the gorgeous pictures of the glam couple!) and gets the dish on their attendance at next weekend's big event. Also: details & dates of William and Kate's upcoming Canada-US trip and the scoop on the rumors about Pippa's television deal. Cheerio!

BREAKING NEWS! Kate's Wedding Dress to be Displayed at Buckingham Palace
CLICK HERE FOR BOTH ARTICLES

Saturday, June 04, 2011

French Connection

Review of Parisian Chic - A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange

Ines de la Fressange

Over this past Memorial Day Weekend, I was sitting on my terrace, clad in my nautical and very French inspired summer uniform of striped Breton bateau, white jeans, and ankle tied espadrilles (which could not be more timely since it was also Fleet Week and I had a good view of the boats). While enjoying my French Roast coffee (after finishing off a plate of French Fries), I was alternately keeping my eye on the action at the French Open and reading ‘Parisian Chic’, A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange in collaboration with French Elle fashion journalist Sophie Gachet.

Ines de la Fressange on the red carpet

I guess you can say I’m a true Francophile. And I guess you can say I have always been a huge fan of Ines de la Fressange, the fabulously iconic French mannequin who was the first model to sign an exclusive modeling contract with an haute couture fashion house, Chanel, by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, and subsequently became his muse.  In 1989, Lagerfeld and De la Fressange had an argument and parted company, which has been attributed to her decision to lend her likeness to a bust of Marianne, the ubiquitous symbol of the French Republic. Lagerfeld reputedly condemned her decision, saying that Marianne was the embodiment of "everything that is boring, bourgeois, and provincial" and that he would not dress up historic monuments.

Ines de la Fressange is blessed with great natural beauty, a huge wallop of true innate taste, and more than her share of individual style. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her looking anything but fantastic (regardless of the occasion), and in the same way as the late Babe Paley, she has truly never had “one un-chic moment in her entire life” (albeit a comparatively short one thus far).

I completely relate to and totally appreciate her particular unfussy aesthetic which could not be more relevant and to my eyes is thoroughly modern, intelligent, and predicated on timeworn basics (with a touch of preppy and more than a wink and nod to the inherent chic which defines the ‘uniforms’ long favored by men). She is the furthest thing from a fashion victim, is always age appropriate while infusing a youthful verve, manages to look sexy AND elegant (no, that is not a contradiction in terms), and you would never find this fab gal looking uncomfortable or wearing any sort of footwear that borders on tacky (such as those ubiquitous and atrocious ‘street walker’, over the top designs that nonetheless still seem to be all the ‘rage’).

In fact, her shoe collection could best be described as the chicest of the chic, which is not at all surprising when you consider that she is the official ‘ambassador’ for Roger Vivier, one of the most iconic and chicest shoe labels on the planet. (If I could only buy one shoe brand, it would be Vivier). Speaking of which, it also doesn’t hurt, that nobody but nobody looks better in Roger Vivier (high heels, mid heels, sandals, flats) than Ines and quite frankly, at an enviable 6 feet tall, nobody looks better in flats. This was exemplified by her recent red carpet appearance at Cannes, clad in a custom made asymmetrical black draped jersey Carven gown, accessorized with flat black Vivier sandals with signature square buckle and matching Vivier clutch.

When I heard months ago, that she had penned a book about style, offering her own personal insights into the “secrets of the chic Parisian”, I knew I’d want to pick up a copy. Everything about it: the chic deep red leather cover printed with gold, her captivating illustrations, her insightful and informative lists, tips, observations, ‘rules’, favorite sources (for everything), and especially, the fashion photographs of her 16 year old doppelganger daughter, Nine d’Urso, is a delight (even for this ‘jaded’ editor). Plus, it has authenticity, soul, and a sense of humor (in talking about one beloved jewelry store, she notes “Send your husband there - even if he has terrible taste, he won’t find anything ugly!”)

Among her startlingly simple, seemingly obvious, yet constantly overlooked pronouncements that I kept nodding my head in agreement with:

Fashion should be fun.

If it feels good- wear it!

Teaming a vintage It bag with a basic cashmere sweater takes more flair than slavishly copying the latest runway styles.

The perfect wardrobe is a clever mix of cheap and affordable buys, holiday purchases, and a handful of luxury pieces.

Beware of good taste..Who knew that black and navy were made for each other?

Wear a little wool sweater with your ball gown. Stoles are so kitsch- really avoid them at all costs..The same goes for bolero jackets.

Wear a parka over a little chiffon dress.

Wear two scarves one on top of the other (the same can be said of t shirts, blazers, even two belts)...turn the spotlight onto the most basic elements of your wardrobe.

When you're bored with your clothes, dye them navy blue for a new lease on life.

Wear velvet riding jackets a couple of sizes too small.
Cinch everything with a big well worn man's belt- tie the excess length in a loose knot.

Brilliant basics are key to a great look.

Many women think they look better in heels but this is quite wrong. Just ask any man. No man would ever say "I'd love you more if you were four inches taller!" Nothing looks worse than a girl tottering about on unmanageable heels! The key to sex appeal is a feline walk, not a precarious wobble!

(Fashion faux pas at 50+):

1- An ill advised print dress can age a woman ten years! Always go for rejuvenating looks, which are just as effective as an anti-wrinkle injection - and so much more fun.

2- Ethnic print tunics and dresses in African batik prints. Past a certain age they look like costumes.

3- Furs. Instant Cruella (the wrinkled trophy wife" look can be very aging) (Anna Wintour, are you listening?)

4- Neon colors. too readily associated with teen fashion

5- Change your style. Never allow yourself to get stuck a style adopted at a particular age: it will age you instantly!

6- Never follow convention. Never be bland. Never neglect yourself.

7- Anything from a surplus store worn with vintage costume jewelry is good.

8- Wear your teenage son’s shirt with a push-up bra underneath (and don’t try to hide it!)

9- Don't go bankrupt buying expensive face creams - the best beauty parlor is your local dentist. An attractive smile and great teeth are the best way to forgive and forget the rest!

But Ines will be the first to admit that rules are ‘made to be broken’, including the ‘rules’ in her book (Iris Apfel seems to break all the rules all the time, and she is still the coolest cat in any room, regardless!). So with this in mind, I have a few more observations about some of her suggestions.

Regarding her list of "The Magnificent 7": a man's blazer, a trench coat, a navy sweater, a tank top, and a little black dress, jeans, and a leather jacket. I would have to add three more: a perfectly fitted black turtleneck, a crisp white cotton shirt, a black or navy pea jacket.

As for her ‘perfect shoe collection’: ballet flats, open toes sandals, black heels, penny loafers, and riding boots. D’accord! But what about a pair of flat Wellies (maybe in a fun color like red), a pair of urban chic rain boots that don’t look like rain boots (perhaps with a heel), and since it’s almost summer, a pair of espadrilles (a must have in the summer and on holiday).

The 4000 year old and yet completely timeless espadrille is 100% natural, molds itself to the shape of the foot, and allows the skin to breathe, and the simplicity of the design (for both young and old, men and women alike) makes it extremely versatile and easy to wear. While its roots are undeniably Spanish, it is nothing if not completely international, and the one can just as easily associate it with the French seaside (‘think’ St. Tropez and Cannes). Once again, you can credit the French with putting their own stamp on it. In the 60’s, Yves Saint Laurent, put in a special order for the normally flat rope soled shoe, requesting a heel which had never been done before. While I love a flat espadrille, and I also love the look of a high heeled espadrille, it bothers me that there are so few companies that make a great looking espadrille on a very low wedge.


Ralph Lauren "Uma" espadrille

Two years ago, Ralph Lauren came out with THE PERFECT version (called ‘Uma’), which was available in black, white, navy, red, or orange. It had a closed toe and sling back, and featured a great looking but easy to walk on three inch rope sole. It originally sold for about $300 but it eventually got marked down to $99 (luckily for moi…I found the black and red in my size!) They are my "go to" shoes all summer and I can honestly say that whenever I wear them (particularly the red pair), women compliment me and ask where I got them. In fact, the other day, a woman literally followed me down the street and asked where I got them because she said they were so perfect, and I could see the disappointment on her face when I told her they were several years old! So, Ralph, if you’re reading this, please revive this style! Merci beaucoup!

And as for her pronouncement that “outfits are out, coordination is a crime- mix it up”. While I completely agree with the idea, and use that as my ‘mantra’, I also think there are exceptions to the rule and there are times when you may want to buy the entire outfit (if you can). Two good examples: a Chanel suit - especially if it’s vintage tweed; a pantsuit (tuxedo or white pantsuit). You can always mix up the pieces as you desire, but you also have the option of wearing it as an ‘ensemble’ which is highly distinctive and tres chic!


Prabal Gurung for J. Crew

In my opinion, nothing is chicer than a crisp white pantsuit in the summer, and my new favorite is the white denim version designed by 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up and 2011 CFDA nominee Prabal Gurung for J. Crew, http://www.jcrew.com/.

Fashion ‘darling’ Prabal, who is up for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, (to be given out Monday evening) has designed a tightly edited, well priced, limited edition capsule collection for J. Crew (the moderate priced powerhouse has wisely continued on with these brilliant design ‘collaborations’ where the Gap left off - up next are Eddie Borgo and Billy Reid). The collection is replete with striking details and as such, may not be for everyone, especially if you are a minimalist. That said, this particular pantsuit (the ‘Bow-dacious’ tuxedo jacket is $400 and the ‘strong seamed’ pants are $295), is a unique take on the traditional tuxedo, complete with satin label; each piece is distinctive enough to be worn separately and paired with other items; and is a great find - if you can find it that is (it was sold out online weeks ago and is in only available at select stores).


Marais USA Collection

In the meantime, while I’m on the topic of Parisian Chic and the notion of ‘chic’, comfortable shoes one can actually walk in (gee...what a novel idea! especially in the summertime!) I could not agree more with IDF that one cannot look one’s best if she is uncomfortable and I can never understand the appeal of wearing shoes with heels so towering and unwieldy, that a woman actually has to lean on her companion in order to navigate the streets. And what could be chicer and more French of course, than a distinctive flat? Well, not everyone can afford Chanel or Roger Vivier, but everyone can afford Marais USA (www.maraisusa.com).

Co-founded by Catherine Chen and Haley Boyd, the two women, who wanted to bridge a gap in the ‘modern’ market, with modern basics, took their inspiration from a summer spent in “Le Marais,” naming their company after Paris’ most eclectic district. “From flamboyant transvestites to traditional rabbis, there is just about something for everyone” and that is precisely the philosophy at Marais USA. While there’s lots to love, my personal favorite style has to be the unabashedly ‘Chanel inspired’ double ankle strap cap toe flat (white or nude with black cap toe) which features a ¾ inch black platform. If you can’t decide between the two equally terrific options, at $99 a pair, why not get both?

-Marilyn Kirschner

Friday, June 03, 2011

Arthur Elgort Wins CFDA Award

Fashion Photographer Arthur Elgort is being honored on June 6th by the Council of Fashion Designers with the prestigious Board of Directors Award. Arthur is known for photographing the world's most beautiful women for fashion magazines around the world.  His work has been exhibited internationally. He is represented in the permanent collection of the International Center of Photography in New York and in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. as well as, in numerous private collections.

We have a fascinating video interview with him conducted by his good friend and former editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine Grace Mirabella as part of our past "Masters of Fashion" series of interviews with the greatest names in American fashion.

CLICK HERE TO START VIDEO INTERVIEW (PART 1)