Sunday, September 30, 2007

MARC BY MARC JACOBS – taking things into context




Timestamp: Tuesday, September 11th
Location: the NY State Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Photographs, www.style.com

“It’s taking things out of context that makes things interesting.”
- Marc Jacobs

Many say that genius is often misunderstood. We’ll admit that we were guilty of this crime when it came to our first take of the Marc by Marc Jacobs spring 2007 collection. A big problem was that we had not seen the Monday night “backwards” Marc Jacobs show which helped put the Tuesday afternoon show into context. It really began to make sense when we became engaged in a conversation later that afternoon about the limited Edition Vuitton patchwork bag. The new must-have limited edition piece appeared in Vogue’s “Last Look” page edited by Virginia Smith. The squares used are from different Vuitton bag leathers and fabrics used over the years. The bag runs into the 5-figures, but to a die-hard Vuitton collector it's a must-have. This bag will take her down a sentimental journey in which she reflects on all of the Vuitton bags she’s acquired over the years.
For his Marc by Marc Jacobs line, the designer seems to have had seventies airline stewardesses and a youthful Mary Tyler Moore on his mind. The stewardesses [flight attendant, today] would have approved of his neat trenches and shirtdresses and appreciated the official looking gold buttons and hardware. While we were initially thrown-off by the seemingly “extra” panel on a woman’s trench coat, we “got it” after having the above-mentioned conversation about the patchwork bag.
The men as usual, were in very casual ensembles that a hip young guy in the arts would want in his closet. You could image him going-off to work in a red and camel color block sweater worn over a white shirt and skinny black tie, charcoal stripe pants and metallic track sneakers.
Key hair artist Guido and the Redken Team provided excitement with their eighties club kid. The hot pink and red side parted hair reminiscent of the Eco Spread featuring Shalom Harlow in American Vogue’s September 2007 issue.

Although the show was studiously retro, taken off the runway and broken-up at retail, the individual pieces will call out to you from the racks. We experienced this phenomenon last week while visiting Neiman’s Westchester store location [White Plains, NY]. Mr. Jacobs’ designs are like Miuccia Prada’s. At first you’re not sure, then slowly but surely, you fall madly in love. We left Neiman’s, wanting everything on the floor.

RAG & BONE: “Made-in-America”




Timestamp, Wednesday, September 5, 4:50pm
The location: Cipriani’s on East 42nd Street

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Backstage photographs, J. Ecochard


The palatial golden interior and gilt chairs spoke of an important show. Add the supermodel presence [Angela Lindval] an audience comparable to that at Marc Jacobs on Monday night, and some great wearable clothes. They all add up to the necessary you components for a great show. Prior to the show, the designer reportedly told the John Frieda hair team led by Serge Normant to take the hair down, which accounted for the delay. In the end, the hair looked great, bouncy, but a little bit mussed-up and very sexy.

This label is unique in that the clothes are made entirely in America, which predisposed us to like it from when it started in 2001.
The spring collection stayed in a mostly navy, cream, and white color palette, with lots of pinstripe looks thrown in. from seersucker to wider asymmetrics By cutting the jackets tight in the armhole and fitted across the chest, the British designers saved the men’s suits from being just another Brooks Bros. Pinstripe suit.
For women, important pieces were short shorts or a looser trouser. Women who don’t really like dressing up will like the elegantly casual white suit accessorized with a narrow saddle colored belt.
Best for the men was a skinny black suit with just a hint of sheen to it but we balked at the black tux with nerd length hemmed pants a la eighties computer geek. Post-show, though we overheard a male-Calvin Klein model/musician enthusing about this same pant to his female companion, that he “couldn’t wait” to wear that cool new pant.”

Friday, September 28, 2007

MARCHESA - C'est magnifique!






Timestamp: Wednesday, September 5, 6:25pm

Location: Chelsea Art Museum, 556 W 22nd Street, the Forbidden Zone
Rating: +++, a highpoint of this NY Fashion Week

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Photographs, J. Ecochard

Background 411:

The label burst onto the scene in 2004 when Renee Zellweger wore a Marchesa dress to the London premiere of Bridget Jones. Since then, designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have been go-to girls for A-list actresses needing to look stunning on the Red Carpet.

Other than the tricky lighting due to the models being poised on Lucite boxes lit with fluorescent tungsten rods, this is an example of how to do a great presentation. The clothes were grouped into 11 small vignettes for easy viewing. It was obvious the designers had carefully edited themselves. This format enabled us to view the entire collection in a record 10 minutes despite the dense crowd of editors, retailers and supporters. The color palette was a pleasing mix between sophisticated nude, ivory and indigo with pieces in vibrant cerise like the stunning cerise silk organza empire dress that burned itself onto our brain for the rest of the week.

Brides to be could consider the white silk-chiffon draped long dress with lace, mirror and hand-embroidered detail on the bodice. This is a gown that would work beautifully even if it were not your first time down the aisle. Even better, it’s a gown you’ could [and would] wear to another big occasion.
But it was Vignette #7 that really grabbed us. In it, the designers skillfully referenced YSL’s iconic “Les Russes” collection from the seventies. The indigo colored silk chiffon with hand-embroidered gold appliqué was a worthy homage.

Hair, makeup and nails – Marchesa combines sophisticated glamour with an exciting undercurrent of edginess running through it which puts these creations in another league. Accordingly, the hair Teddy Charles [for Logics Professional Haircare] was Princess Bride-ish, parted precisely dead center and long. Talia Schobrook and the Stila team created a polished face that complicated the sophistication of the clothes. The surprising twists were the black nails [and toes] by CND [Creative Nail Design].
Nail 411 with CND’s Jan Arnold:
Q: What’s new?
A: The nail as “an elongated high heel” and the Lucite reverse French manicure.

As always, Jan graciously gave us the lowdown on nails going forward, and is truly an example of what you’d look like if you too had perfect nails. Enthuses Jan, “ Longer nails are so exciting, they’re like wearing high heels, and they make you stand taller. Another great thing is that when nails are longer, they get less dirty than when they’re short.”
Jan herself was wearing CND’s new Lucite reverse French Manicure. The new manicure matches the season’s Lucite heels and is a welcome change from the now ubiquitous French Manicure.

Time commitment: Count on 3 hours the first time, 1 hour for each maintenance appointment.

And now, a word about our sponsors








Timestamp: NY Fashion Week, September 5 – 12, 2007

Location: The Bryant Park tent lobby

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Backstage photographs of METLIFE “Snoopy in Fashion” show, J. Ecochard
Runway photographs of MET LIFE show, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Photograph of Judith Ripka Jewelry, courtesy of the Judith Ripka Company



While fashion is certainly about fantasy, we all know that without some commerce fashion cannot exist. Nowadays, “commercial” is no longer the dirty word it used to be in the nineties, where the biggest insult [and kiss of death] you could deliver was that a designer’s collection was.. ..”aah, commercial”.
Fern Mallis and her team at IMG Fashion did a slam-dunk job in securing some of the most interesting sponsors yet this season.
We enjoyed spending time with Mercedes-Benz admiring the vintage roadster, viewing the new design collaborations at Lycra and necklaces at Judith Ripka. Our first stop every day while in the tents was at Nespresso, and we absolutely adored “the Snoopy in Fashion” show. Although we drooled over the gorgeous Italian shoes displayed by the Italian Trade Commission displayed around the fountain, we were happy to go home with a comfy pair of comfy Havaianas.
Nespresso
As coffee qualifies as one of our major food groups, we were overjoyed at this addition to the sponsorship list. Nespresso fit right in with the well-dressed crowd; it is couture coffee, not just a cuppa joe. We love the idea of Nespresso bringing the traditional European element to drinking coffee to the tents [and the US in general]. So far, there’s only one Nespresso Boutique Bar in the States, at 761 Madison Avenue [bet. 65th & 66th Streets], but never fear, they’re in the process of a big roll-out through major cities in the US and Canada.
If you can’t make it to Madison Avenue, you can pick up one of the nifty [and compact] Lattisima espresso/cappuccino/latte makers. This machine’s got the element of ease going for it, there’s only one button to push to make the perfect cappo or latte. Better still, there’s a button that auto-cleans the machine for you. Currently available in 3 colors, look for 4 new colors coming soon.
www.nespresso.com for further information

Some jewelry trend tips, courtesy of Judith Ripka

The irresistible baubles in the shiny glass case lure us to this booth like a pilot light each and every season.
We can always count on PR Director, Jessica Stark, and her team to give us a few of the top jewelry trends.


For spring 2007:

- Necklaces are where the primary interest lies.
Chandelier necklaces continue, but in an elongated shape like the truffle necklace shown here in 18K gold. This 17" beauty goes perfectly with the ladylike suits we’re wearing this fall and will look just as good with the patio dresses we’ll be donning in spring.
Champagne truffle necklace, $13,000
Visit www.judithripka.com for orders and inquiries

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tech's Tenacles


Text by J. Ecochard


Remember the Web 1.0 craze?

As in, toss around zillions of dollars and see if something”sticks” and actually grows into a profitable business.

Well, industries ignoring the hype may have been penny wise, but proved to be pound foolish. Just look at how much music is still OVERWHELMINGLY downloaded for free. Legal or not.

Which is why the retail and gaming businesses are embracing technology and acknowledge the critical need to get users onboard.

We attended two events that highlight this changing world. On Sept. 10th, 2007, the lovely Rockefeller Center Loft and Gardens served as a dramatic backdrop for an introduction to an Internet enabler, the privately held, Silicon Valley company, Emdigo. Founded by graphics and video game industry veterans, this company develops software to drive content on mobile phones…and the press breakfast introduced the blending of Emdigo’s proprietary (but not patented) software with Finola Hughes, a super nice, style expert. According to a press release, “Finola’s 3D digital fashion content Style Kick will be available to over 70 million mobile phones, offering regularly updated fashion tips and trends at your fingertips.”

IMHO: paying for content is a tough sell, especially with all the timely free content out there. With cellphones ads arriving (MySpace for example), even a $3.99/month already seems outdated and a non-viable revenue stream. But- the concept of a PDA/mobile phone ‘Vulcan Mind Melt’ is real. And content on everything- will be accessed that way.













A few nights later, we learned about the fun gaming destination Pogo.com™ .

Intrigued by the notion that women are the biggest Internet gamers, we were pumped to meet the Electronic Arts™ owned Pogo.com team who graciously, and patiently introduced the technologically inept attendees to the addictive world of Internet games. With over 80 free games and an additional adfree bunch available to ClubPogo™ subscribers (1.5 million and counting), we are convinced that the Pogo community- that includes experts to idiot-level players of all ages who have 5 minutes or 5 hours to play-will negatively impact the productivity of in-the-know office drones. It’s amazing.

Logo Image Courtesy of Pogo.com ™

Monday, September 24, 2007

Academy of Art University [AAU] students mount a highly professional runway show at Bryant Park







Some behind the scenes look at the preparations

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Backstage Photographs, J. Ecochard
Runway Photographs, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Timestamp: Friday, September 7, @ 5pm
Location: the Flatotel, 135 West 52nd Street, NYC


We previewed the ten collections the day before at the Flatotel, where Simon Ungless, AAU’s Director of Graduate Fashion and the show’s Executive Producer and the student designers were putting the final touches on their collections.

Saturday, September 8, 6:20pm
Location: Backstage @ The Academy of Art Show

The big tent, Bryant Park


A student show it may be, but the cast of supporting actors are all well-known professionals from the models to the hair makeup artists from the well-known Workgroup agency.

The hair: easily one of the most interesting hair-does of the week.
The look: 1930’s artist meets Janis Joplin
Hair lead, Tokyo [no last name]
has been doing the Academy show for @ ten years. Said Tokyo, “It’s a progression, this time we wanted a bit of a rock and roll edge crossed with a crimped forties style.”
He was spot-on as the highly textured hair was right in synch with the clothes in which texture and design were of paramount importance.


The Academy of Art Show, later that evening, shortly after 7:00pm

Kathryn Scully
The inspiration: family vacations to Cape May.


While described in the program as “a beachwear collection of bikinis” the stars of her show were the scrumptious fine gauge cashmere loungewear pieces to wear AFTER you get out of the pool or ocean. After a long day running around New York attending shows, we longed to go home and relax- in her striped wrap hooded top and blue cashmere shorts.

Kenneth Ning,
The inspiration: the Champion Italian soccer team, Forza Azzurri.

Mr. Ning already showed the collection in April in Academy’s San Francisco show, the New York show was stronger. Mr. Ning already knows a thing or two about producing a commercial collection. He’s already sold several pieces of his collection to a magazine editor from Russia. There was lots of patent leather, which was aptly inspired by the patent leather of a soccer ball. Each look featured beautiful tailoring and an excellent sense of color. Of special note, the navy blue patent leather trench and the flawless grey suit paired with a fuschia knit top underneath. He toughened up his classic silhouettes by accessorizing his guys with white leather Converse high-tops, a good choice as his soccer playing thug has innumerable pairs of trainers in his closet and would very rarely wear any other type of footwear


Yi-Ting 'Maxim' Lee
The inspiration: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, a manga written & illustrated by Hirohiko Araki


What really worked - Ms. Lee’s one of a kind sweater jacket, which was completely wearable and ready for retail. It rivaled or exceeded any of Angela Missoni’s knits. The substantial knits looked great paired with sexy seventies style leggings. While handcrafted items like this don’t come cheap, and take time to produce, like a Hermes Birkin bag, you’ll treasure it and wear it for years to come.


Kyung Min Kim's
The inspiration: Childhood fairy tales


Ms. Kim has taken the frump factor out of the traditionally staid housecoat and she’s right on target for Spring 2008 as housecoats and patio dresses are making a big comeback. Our favorite, the black shirt collar long sleeve dress with a print of horses strolling in front of the castle.


Min Sun Lee
The inspiration: Russian Matryoshka dolls.


Like the Russian models that have dominated the international catwalks lately, Ms. Lee’s terrific knits took the cake. Her polka dot knit sweater dresses with matching motorcycle helmets drew praise from even the toughest editors in the crowd and were just flat-out adorable. We were hard pressed to come up for a favorite, as we loved all eight outfits she showed.



The take-away: It seems that students these days are of course focused on being creative and innovative but are also giving serious thought to the potential salability of the designs they create. And it's a good thing, because if they move on and become designers, someone has to buy and wear what they've designed.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hermes, Madison Avenue - an oasis of calm in the middle of NY Fashion Week





Timestamp: Tuesday, September 11, 2007
5:45pm,
The Location: The Hermes store, 691 Madison Avenue

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Photographs, Travis Brown, Jr.


In the middle of New York Fashion Week, we found ourselves with twenty minutes to burn before the opening of the Lambertson Truex store opening on East 60th street, What to do but indulge in a tour of the uptown Hermes boutique, right across the street?
The economy may be on its way to hell, and the dollar’s officially in the dumpster, but you wouldn’t know that if you were in le Monde of Hermes. The saleswoman on the women’s clothing floor confirmed that certain items, such as a versatile black skirt suit were sold out and on reorder and that business was good, despite the weak dollar. She hadn’t though yet sold the crocodile coat that was upwards of six figures. Jean Paul Gaultier has done a wonderful job in keeping to the classically casual lifestyle the privileged [but never ever vulgar] lifestyle the Hermes woman leads. In addition to the sold-out skirt suit were some beautiful black wool coats, earthy tweeds for windy weekends at the country house and some whimsical print blouses that only JPG could have designed.


Even if that splendid crocodile piece hasn’t sold – yet, [we’re confident some lucky woman will find it under her Christmas tree], there’s always the bags and small leather goods to more than sustain this venerable “maison” through this roller coaster economy.

With that in mind, we have posted images of our February 2007 visit to one of the Hermes Ateliers located above one of the Paris boutiques. We had the privilege to have a look at just how the iconic “Kelly” and “Birkin” are made, thanks to a study tour entitled, “French design, luxury industries, and Intellectual properties” organized and sponsored by Jean-David Levitte, L’Ambassadeur from France and his very able staff, from their D.C. offices. The tour was led by the very personable Olivier Piton., Attaché Public Affairs for the Embassy of France.

The take-away from the Paris and NY Visits: these bags are pricey, no question, but each and every one of them is made by hand and NO mistakes are tolerated. Over 1,500 leather craftsmen toil-away on the always –in-demand bags and job satisfaction is high. Many of these employees have celebrated 35 years working for Herms.
Another way to look at it is as Guillaume de Seynes, Executive Vice President for Hermes does. Quipped Monsieur Seynes, “Our products are not expensive, they are costly.”

Hermes Madison Avenue, tel: 212-751-3181

Saturday, September 22, 2007



The Lisa Thon Collection

Timestamp: Thursday, September 6, 7:00pm

Location: The Bryant Park Grill

Text, Erica Henderson
Photographs, courtesy of Bonnie Bien, La Presse

Despite the fact that Lisa Thon's collection was entitled "Blessed Forest" it was apparent that her real inspiration is the beachside of her native Puerto Rico. Everything from the frothy, feminine ruffles of Lisa's dresses to the sparkling jewel-encrusted bikinis created visions of relaxing on a warm coast with the sound of surf all around. Every shade of tropical water and iridescent fish are represented with Lisa's colorful and exotic collection. Models with messy beach braids, sauntered down the catwalk, followed by billowing chiffon and faille dress glittering with beaded detail. This collection is not just full of visions of girly ruffles in oceanic colors, but also includes more refined feminine touches of Victorian buttons, open keyholes, intricate lace and exquisite attention to movement on the human form.
Lisa Thon has a meticulous eye for detail, which is apparent in her olive green beaded chiffon dress complete with lilac lining and belted at the waist. Lisa's whimsical love of the ocean and the tropical beach is evident in every last splash of color and glittering detail. Ending her collection with a strong note by showcasing a gold shantung one-shoulder long balloon dress with pink lining, Lisa left the audience craving a cold drink and a trip to Puerto Rico.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Designers Beatriz, Meister, Creenstone-Spotlight Ready

















Text and Photos by J. Ecochard
The fashion beacons of light that managed to shine through the zillions of NY Spring 2008 presentations and shows- are buzz magnets of creativity. Ahhhhh…they make us weep with delight.

Lerario Beatriz , a sophisticated collection by Brazilian Ana Lerario, invited the press to an under air-conditioned venue on a steamy late afternoon- that seemed just right, given the sultry sensuality of her beautifully perfected clothes. Similar to Reyes-who is repped out of Lerario's NY based FiftyTwo Showroom, the feminine details of couture-like finishes magically imparted a Great Gatsby, lazy Sunday afternoon tea- aura, as did the softly curled updos snuggled beneath black berets and ingenue makeup. Sexy may be back, but not in this line. Instead, loyal fans will clamor for the refined demeanor of gently rolled hem, pocketed linen shorts, and hand crotchet touches appearing as a thick waist band on a flowing cotton linen skirt, and as sweet layers on a summery tiered sheath- idling under a wisp of a sheer white blouse.

The next week’s quick stroll through the aisles of ENK’s enormous Coterie at the Javits Center, had loads of ‘nice’ basics- but two collections really stood out.

David Meister , a Seventh Avenue veteran, nailed the sleeveless sheath dressing craze that will continue to dominate sales next year. Expertly tailored (and lined!!!!) in flattering, barely there A-lines or tapered with to the knee hems and shaped with coordinating waist belts… the dresses will be available in bold flower prints or Narciso Rodriguez worthy seamed all black or white solids. Plus, the dresses are sure to land on many ladies’backs: the versatile pieces are not only available in many sizes, but will enhance a multitude of body shapes.

Being dedicated Eurotypes, though not enthralled with the strengthening Euro, Creenstone , a Holland outerwear design house, ‘discovered’ by the spot-on sales team at Isabella Company -who also import France’s Gerald Darel and Germany’s Bianca labels- got our hearts pounding. The Creenstone collection shows true innovation, styled with panache rain/outwearwear in parachute silky, nylon/polyester mix and patent leather materials, with practical and artful to the eye, draw-string sleeves and metal hardware buttons and clasps…. that will FINALLY offer a chic alternative to that boring already trench coat that already sits in every closet in America. Enough.


Photo courtesy of Creenstone


This label, celebrating the big 12 ½ year mark, “like a USA 25th reunion” according to salesperson Nancy Lehmann-Murphy, is an unknown entity, though Nordstrom’s is clever enough to sell the line. Creenstone’s will be on that retailer’s website so that Nordstrom-deprived Manhattan dwellers can indulge.

Now if only the US Treasury would ignore the Washington DC lobbyists… and give us Americans some buying power back with a USA dollar rally.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

AURELIO COSTARELLA-Worth Learning How To Pronounce




Aussie Star’s Stellar Style

Text and Photos by J. Ecochard

September 10th 2007

Western Australian Ray Costarella’s couture worthy label, Aurelio Costarella is destined to corral a gaggle of confident celebufans…joining the already smitten, (and smart) Cate Blanchett.

And the reason? To see is to become a believer.

Though not on our radar, one glimpse at the backstage racks widened our semi-jaded Fashion Week eyes…in a good way. The exquisite fabrics, time-consuming hand embellished details, enchanting designs, and sophistication of cuts for his Spring 2008 collection…are simply big “wows.” On our wish list are the supple white leather, delicately layered, scalloped paillette bolero, intricately gathered/tuckpleated “Stellar Goddess Dress” in ivory silk satin with antique silver beads and mesh embellishments, and a dresser needed, seamed, boned corset that would have the French masters green with envy. Costarella, the former guiding light of Aussie favorite “Milk” label, has worldwide distribution. We can only dream of being tipped off to the sample sale’s locale if he doesn’t archive his work.





As always, the MAC Pro team, led by John Stapleton, made the already stunning models look even more amazing lining the eyes in black kohl pencil with sheer white shadows dabbed at the inner corners to make the strong eyes pop, lashes coated in black mascara, balanced by soft pink glossy lips, and a healthy sheen to sweetly blushed skin. And inspired by wind-swept 19th century Romanticism, hair was carefully undone with long, thick, gently curled locks pinned up in top knots, or left loosely dangling in a thick ponytail, down the back.

Bronte sisters by way of the Outback.

In sum, the clothes are costly- but statement pieces that will endure.

NILI LOTAN-Contemporary Classics













WE ALL MADE A DIFFERENCE
Text by J. Ecochard
Photos Courtesy of WireImage

American’s thirst for self-expression –as in Warhol’s quip about 15 minutes of fame-can be quenched with user generated Internet uploads.
And …you’re a star!

Fashion, always on the cusp of what’s new, joined the reality show fray, courtesy of
Mercury Mariner and Hachette Filipacchi –who sponsored a contest where three designers (whittled down from several) competed for a shot of runway fame at Style 360, a cutting edge fashion lounge venue, during NY’s Spring 2008 Fashion Week. The winner was determined by the amount of “text” and “online” votes that they received from Elle magazine readers casting opinions on the respective signature pieces. The three emerging designers:

Marci Zaroff -of beloved eco brand Under The Canopy

Nili Lotan, an Israeli designer of elegant, classic chic in womenswear - who has scored a massive hit with a repeat machine gun print sadly inspired by global conflicts,

and

Minden Chan a West Hollywood lady with an eye for immaculate, couture worthy tailoring and trims mixed with delicate wisps of femininity,

-all have a loyal customer bases.

Winner Nili Lotan however, got the September 10th runway show. Her collection featured a largely clean silhouette (menswear 90's Armani sensibility) of mix and match separates in red, white and black silk satin fabrics-with a nod to how grown-up women want to dress. Even the deep v-neck plunging tops and adorable urban worthy cropped flaired shorts, had a sophisticated feel. No surprise that upscale retailers like Barney’s and Ron Herman (LA), carry Lotan’s designs.

New York Fashion Week: Backstage at Lela Rose & the season's trends with Neiman's Ken Downing






BACKSTAGE AT LELA ROSE:
Timestamp: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 9:05am
Location: the Salon, Bryant Park

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Photograph of Ken Downing, courtesy of Neiman Marcus
Runway photographs, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week


Beauty.com only chooses one or two indie shows in New York to work with each year. Last year, it was VPL, this year; makeup artist Tina Turnbow turned her and her talented team’s attention to making the girls at Lela Rose look beautiful, but frankly not that different than they do off the runway.

Using only NARS Cosmetics, she created two soft watercolor – y looks

#1: Persimmon and #2: Seafoam, the latter being our favorite.

Beauty.com gets our vote for the prettiest and most natural face thus far backstage.
Lest you think this is a no-makeup look, look below for the list of NARS Cosmetic products you’ll need to get “the SEAFOAM” look.

Cheeks: “Deep Throat” blush, “Albatross” as highlighter

Eyes: “Parrot Cay” eyeliner, “Rebecca” eye shadow duo

Lips: *The NEW “Belle de Jour” velvet matte pencil topped with “Striptease” lip gloss.
We’ve been in love with “Belle de Jour lipsticks ever since Mr. Nars debuted it over 10 years ago, but we’ll all have to wait until spring 08 to get it in its new longer lasting pencil formulation.

*NARS Cosmetics available at www.beauty.com and www.narscosmetics.com

9:40am: The Spring ’08 Trend LOWDOWN WITH KEN DOWNING

We were lucky to have a few words with Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing just before the show went off. Ken is one of the most approachable and intuitive members of the fashion flock. He is that rarest of species, a retailer with a highly editorial eye. In another lifetime, he would have made a fantastic Creative Director at Vogue Italia or American Vogue. In this lifetime, he’s Senior Vice President/Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus.
Here’s what’s what for Spring 2008:

1. A lot of painterly inspirations – as at Adam & Eve and Rachel Roy’s sleeveless sheath

2. Bold brights, especially turquoise [Nautica’s jacket worn with crisp white pants]

3. The dress is working its way closer to the body. Fitted in this case = subtle and sexy, NOT slutty. Enthuses Ken, “ It’s very Herve Leger, Ungaro, and celebrates the woman’s body.”

4. The Jacket continues, with a lot of shoulder emphasis, which works to balance out the heavy emphasis on the waist this season. [Fiandaca Couture]

5. And everyone’s favorite: THE LONG PATIO DRESS.
We saw it in LA a year ago, and chic girls about town have been wearing it but its big moment is just around the corner. Ken dashed-off to his front row perch saying, “I love a patio dress!”