Monday, March 31, 2008


Cutting Edge Technology FOR MINIMALISTS
Text, J. Ecochard

Last Friday, we attended a briefing hosted by the medical technology company Radiancy™ Ltd. Hailing from Israel- where seemingly all of these derma lasers come from (as befits a populace with the highest concentration of science PhD’s/capita anywhere) this firm is on the forefront of both at home and in office skin treatments.


Skin tones used to matter when it came to suitable skin re-surfacing laser treatments. Not anymore- according to the radiant dermatologist, Dr. Dina Strachan, MD-who’s Union Square NYC practice attracts patients of all ethnic backgrounds.

One of Strachan's weapons of choice is the Whisper Erbium YAG Laser-that dramatically smoothes acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles (even in sensitive areas), and improves skin texture with minimal downtime.

Naturally… Dr. Strachan’s before and after shots after only one treatment of the Whisper Laser- said it all. Even fair skins may see such dramatic results-that'll costs $500 and up per session.


In the past year Radiancy went all gangbusters for the consumer market with its no!no!™ hair removal system that utilizes a “revolutionary Thermicon™- light based technology". Flying off Sephora’s shelves and out of HSN warehouses, this painless device that resembles an electric razor albeit ones sold in nifty colors “is the most exciting new beauty product to hit the home consumer market this year” says New York based dermatologist and researcher Dr.Neil Sadick, MD one of the brains behind the easy to use instrument.

Workable on every skin type and hair color, no!no! permanently tackles one of the biggest grooming complaints ever... excess body hair.


What really got our earlobes perky is the no!no! skin product for acne clearance- set to launch later this year. Made from the same (Radiancy) company, using similar light and heat energy technology, this at home, palm sized device emits a gentle wave of heat that amazingly, safely reduces 70% of active acne lesions and shrinks sebaceous (oil) glands after only two treatments (a week's worth) according to Dr. Sadick, MD.

That’s right-imagine a world where multi-month usage of antibiotics, Accutane (with required blood tests and doctor visits- ugh!), and/or other topicals that are a pain to apply and can be irritating-are sitting snug with the dinosaurs that roamed the earth.

And all those pricey laser sessions to smooth left over acne scars won’t be needed either. The no! no! skin debut cannot happen soon enough for the 80% of the world's population that will suffer from acne at some point in their lives!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Punk Prepster Ties, Scarves, Accessories and Sleek European Menswear Basics –Fall 2008.

March 25th, 2008 Garment District, NYC
Text, Images-J. Ecochard and courtesy of HE by MNG

Previewing two hip fashion lines in showroom settings…gave us real time to take in some daring inspirations that’ll shake up staid menswear' basics.


Who else but a ‘must be a Monty Python fan’ English bloke, Robert Godley would dream up this subversive logo (bunny and cross bones) to slap on well made twists on the classics.

HISTORY: Brought across the pond by Ralph Lauren to design the über fashion label’s ties (FYI-ties launched Lauren’s eponymous label)- Savile Row trained Godley nails it when it comes to rebellious yet tailored items any conservative with a sense of humor- or edgy urbanist with a polished side- would feel comfortable wearing.

FALL 2008

COTTON POLO SHIRTS: In a rainbow palette of saturated hues-this old school staple ($90) gets a welcome twist with the deranged Psycho Bunny logo in the usual spot, a tasteful “P.B.” resting between the back shoulder blades, and a sleek cut that hits higher under the arm.

WE WANT: The limited edition rump sacks-or backpacks to us former colony dwellers- made of vintagey coated cotton canvas, antique hardware, old leather straps… and sporting embroidered patches with unique Psycho Bunny poses (like that gnome) –similar to souvenir/club membership ones that are sewn on travel gear.

ACCESSORIES: In vogue again cufflinks, belt buckles handcrafted from precious metals, soft cashmere scarves with woven bunny/crossbones imprint, and naturally- would be boring regimental silk ties made interesting with subversive rabbits in assorted eye-catching solids and striped patterns ($110), including a rock and roll skinny one exclusive to Barney’s CO-OP.

Look for PSYCHO BUNNY at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barney’s Coop.

Homini Emerito By MANGO (HE BY MNG)

Spanish label Mango’s casual threads for ladies have been available for over 15 years, designed by an assortment of creative types- including this year’s glam celebrity duo Penelope Cruz and her sister, Monica.

We think the men’s line is now ready to command a chunk of the American market as its Fall 2008 offerings have a few standouts.

THE WINNER: A black bomber-like, thick knit sweater hoodie, embroidered with bold red outsized, MALE unicorn logo.

OTHER EASY PIECES: European, slim silhouetted sportswear in jeans, cozy nautical striped sweaters, short/long sleeve button downs in relaxed faded tones and subtle, sexy pin stripes with Mao collars.

FACTOIDS: Homini Emerito is Latin for “a man who enjoys his rewards in keeping with his merits.”

A glitzy- ready for a Times Square billboard- black and white ad campaign features hottie hunk, Spanish model Jon Kortajarena that remind us of Bruce Weber’s work for Calvin Klein underwear.

Available at Mango stores worldwide and online at

Friday, March 28, 2008


Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images, courtesy of Prescriptives

Our search for a perfect cover stick such as ANYWEAR started way back in 7th grade, when the 2 most popular girls in school, Amy Thomas and her sidekick, Cindy, started the trend of using cover stick – all over their faces. A run of deep tan Cover Girl cover stick in the Old Greenwich and Riverside drugstores followed.
While we did manage to snag one of the precious sticks, it went on more like stage makeup and looked artificial on our pale skin.
Fortunately, that was countless generations of cover sticks ago, and lots of nifty technologies have been added to what was in principal, a great idea.
The result years later, is Prescriptives’ new ANYWEAR multi purpose make up
stick. It's earned itself a permanent place in our makeup bag, and here’s why.

- It’s small and easy to squeeze in anywhere. We love mini sized product, you’ll use it before the expiration date – no waste!
You get TWO portable mini sticks in the tube… one for your handbag, one for your office, gym bag, or car.

- It’s ultra creamy and glides on your skin

- Works well for medium to full coverage.
It effectively covered up the mild rosacea [nose and chin] that surfaces when we’re tired or have been exposed to smoke or pollution.

- The UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum SPF 15 protection takes care of the requisite sunscreen. If you’re not a fan of taking the time to apply foundation and sunscreen before leaving the house, here’s a quick alternative. As Dr. Fredric Brandt says, “No one should ever walk out of the house without wearing SPF15 on their face – minimum!

- It’s longwearing – stays put for up to eight hours and won’t come off until you wash it off.

- With 24 shades to choose from, there’s a perfect match for everyone out there.

- It’s Dermatologist tested and Non-acnegenic, so you won’t break out.

ANYWEAR adjusts to your skin type - Silica Powder helps absorb excess oil on oily complexions. On the flip side, it didn’t feel the least bit drying on our unquenchably dry skin.


• Spherical Polymers allow product to glide on, it blends in nicely.
• Contains antioxidants Gamma Oryzanol and Vitamin E
• The Aloe Extract in it soothed our dry skin

Our only regret? That ANYWEAR was not around back in the 7th Grade!

• Beginning March 2008 at all Prescriptives counters nationwide, and Holt Renfrew in Canada.

• Suggested retail price for two mini sticks - $35.00 U.S. / $48.00 Canada

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Fall 2008-Fifth Avenue, New York City

Text, Images by J. Ecochard

The nasty lion that roared on March 25th for our press preview of Canali’s menswear and accessories- had us muttering about where the heck was global warming. But once we had our coats off and hands cupping hot cocoa in less than a New York minute, we were eager for the Grande tour.

So how great is this winter collection?

Well judging by the hordes of editors poring off the elevators, salivating over the elite goods staged in elegant showrooms -and THEN channeling Cinderella stepsisters-in ridiculous attempts (IMHO) to squeeze into sample sized samples (while the staff collectively held their breath that seams wouldn’t bust)…


And once again, women were weeping over the limited production capabilities of the exclusive company owned factories that conjure up the Canali line…and can barely keep up with world –wide demands.



LODEN GREEN-“THE NEW NEUTRAL” or basic natural hue to spice up wardrobes of largely beige, black, and browns.

and FOG GRAYS: Spring’s “it” tone makes a handsome autumnal debut in masculine accessories, in a structured cashmere cardigan jacket, and in a sporty quilted vest.

COGNAC: A durable calf leather briefcase, dress shoes, and wallet are eye-catching in this new virile color “a cross between brown and Cordova.”


Micro-Climate fabrics with water and wind proof attributes and a Memory Technology fabric that can be bunched up-and then whipped out of suitcases-and retains its original shape. Used extensively throughout the appropriately annointed “NEW BRIT” collection that should make traipsing across the Moors downright comfy.

Plush limited edition overcoats in luxurious cashmere/sable and cashmere/chinchilla weaves to retail for about $10,000- and already generating waiting lists. (See, boys have that too).

Midnight blue and black- cotton and silk patterned velvets with labor-intensive, hand-stitched abstract overlays, needle thin silver threads woven into a barely there deep black glen plaid for a fresh twist in evening tuxes, and handsome mocha brown floral or swirling paisleys floating amidst traditional menswear patterns in the dapper “BLACK DIAMOND” collections.

Hunter tweeds and gentlemanly Glen Plaids in muted beiges and grays with enough pizazz to pair with solids tones, subtle enough to mix and match with similarly palette patterns.


Updated eighties swagger blesses 2008 with sleek double-breasted, strong Rope shouldered, wide-stripped/pin stripped suits… and the return of the gently pleated waistband. A bit of Italian flash for less than corpulent types.


Hidden zipped pockets
- like those found on all the technical gear we have for off-piste snowboarding. Pockets galore enabling easy access to stashes of stuff- making welcome appearances in stylish quilted bomber jackets and lightweight car coats- gussied up with warm removable linings and fur collars.


: Navy pinstriped wool
superbly mix with dark leather trimmed accessories for an edgy modern vibe to traditional briefcases. An expensive croc trimmed leather satchel and don’t even think of checking in overnighters in soft supple leathers latched with solid buckled hardware.

And black and brown leathers memorably uplift conservative two tone wingtips.


Hand applied touches that distinguish this upscale brand, like dark leather edging used as jacket trims, hand-stitched

contrasting overlays on leather goods and jackets, fabric covered buttons, to die for six ply cashmere pullovers (in

Mediterranean Blood Red orange and marigold yellows, costly one piece skins for dapper, hand perforated wingtips, casually correct loafers with hand applied vegetable dye patinas, and dressy Derbys…with matching belts.

PURPLE: The color of royalty is a signature Canali accent color…that perks up ties in a sexy diagnol slash, debonair dress shirts, and most effectively in a powerful pin-stipped ensemble for tycoons everywhere.

Available in July 2008 in top haberdasheries like Bergdorf’s, Neiman’s, Saks and eponymous shops all over the planet.

(For details, click on images)

GUESS BY MARCIANO Fashion Brand Partners with EMA [Environmental Media Association] to Reduce Consumer’s Carbon Footprint

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of GUESS GREEN collection, courtesy of GUESS Inc.
Images of 2003 GUESS ad campaigns by Ellen Von Enwerth, from

Never mind “Earth DAY”, April is now considered Earth MONTH, and GUESS is right in step with their own green initiative - the GUESS GREEN program. In April, GUESS by Marciano will be offering organic cotton jeans and tops for men and women.
Says Paul Marciano, GUESS by Marciano’s CEO and Co-Chairman of the Board, "Not only is GUESS GREEN fashionable and environmentally friendly, but it also meets the needs of the ever-growing population of people who are making an effort to live a 'greener' lifestyle."

Since 1981, GUESS by Marciano has been famous for its fashion denim-wear and unforgettable ad campaigns. We still fondly remember our skinny GUESS jeans with the zippers at the ankles that blew our meager Grad School budget, but were worth every penny. Since then, there have been innumerable “designer Jean” lines, but GUESS by Marciano is still a player and always will be, thanks to great design and initiatives such as these.

In collaboration with the EMA, the green garments will be labeled, "GUESS GREEN”, and organic cotton is used in select men's and women's styles.

The jeans will be available in both a women’s and men’s boot-cut fit and can be identified by several special details unique to GUESS GREEN denim.
Details include:

- An organic cotton custom back patch

- Organic cotton pocketing and inside waistband facing.

- Green stitching that indicates the jeans [and t-shirts] are made from organic cotton.

- Simplified wash/finishing on each denim piece that minimizes the chemical usage in processing and impact on the environment. It consists of a simple rinse and softener.

- All hangtags [also on the tees and tanks] are made from 100% recycled paper with verbiage printed in a soy based ink.

10%of the proceeds from the sale of GUESS GREEN denim will go towards the EMA, which was created in 1989, as a non-profit 501(c)3. Their concept: that through music, television and film, the entire entertainment community could influence the environmental awareness of millions of people through the use of weaving environmental messages within entertainment programming and utilizing "celebrity" for positive role modeling.

States EMA President, Debbie Levin, “GUESS GREEN will offer the opportunity for their already loyal fan base to understand that green and fashion are not mutually exclusive and give the already environmentally conscious a fashionable alternative.”

For more information on the EMA, visit


Jeans: $178 USD ($178 CAD
The men’s tee: $39 USD ($49 CAD)
Women’s tank: $29 USD ($34 CAD).
All prices, retail.

Exclusively at select GUESS North American retail locations and at

GUESS by Marciano will also be offering a reusable tote bag gifted to customers that make $100.00+ purchases. If you bring in your GUESS GREEN tote you’ll receive a 5% discount on future purchases at GUESS.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Text, J. Ecochard
Images Courtesy of Elizabeth Charles and Youth World

It sometimes seems like sunny LA has cornered the US market on relaxed shopping with small hands-on owner boutiques gracefully stocked with under-the-radar labels and friendly trained staff.

New Yorkers are finally getting their due with (T.G!) the trend away from cold industrial space shells with shelves- to warm, welcoming retail environs.

One of our hometown favorites is the newish Elizabeth Charles boutique on Hudson Street in downtown Manhattan. Curated by Wall Street refugee, the eponymous titled, intimate store sells previously unheard of designers ...and a few known favorite types… from New Zealand and Australia.

We enjoyed a complimentary caffeine jolt on the first day of Spring 2008- as we browsed the well stocked but not over stacked racks carrying hot weather finery.

HOT LOOKS: Functional fashion zippers on garb from young talent Kim Ellery, casual white summer tops from Kirrily Johnson, the cool modern classics of Therese Rawsthorne’s Youth World, and Thurley’s sultry feminine frocks.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

TIA CIBANI’S PORTS 1961 AND KICO KIDS – something to smile about on a rainy March afternoon in New York City

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of Ports 1961 and Kico Kids, Richard Spiegel
Image of Tia Cibani, Dan Lecca, Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

THE PORTS VIBE: Elegance with a tongue in cheek sense of humor
We first met with the Ports’ congenial internal PR Director, Tony Alcindor, who took us through the 300 piece Fall 08 collection. Yes, that’s 300 pieces in the showroom as opposed to only 40 looks shown on the runway, which gives you an idea of how much designer, Tia Cibani, edited herself for the runway show.
This Inspiration for Fall 2008: SCOTLAND, which translated to luxurious tweeds, plaids and plush cable knit dresses.

ECO – FRIENDLY – We were delighted that Ms. Cibani is very animal friendly, no real fur here. Instead, there were some terrific faux fur capes in “silver fox” and “raccoon”. Our favorite was a large raccoon cape that reverses to herringbone tweed one. It’s a stylish fill-in for a light winter coat. Even better, there’s a matching clutch timed with oversize pompoms.
While Ports looks as if it would be prohibitively expensive, it’s actually a bit under the usual range of other high-end designer collections. The reversible cape retails for $675 and the clutch, for $375. If you’re feeling edgy, there’s a whimsical silver fox cape that’s trimmed in a rubber fringe, which vaguely reminded us of Karl Lagerfeld’s famous carwash skirt.
Being that this is a complete collection, there’s also some great eveningwear to choose from. Our favorite, a column dress with a metallic treatment and a pretty neckline, which is one of Ms. Cibani’s signature details.
Throughout the collection was evidence of Ms. Cibani’s hand – the frayed hems and interesting cutouts on the back of a mocha tweed dress.
We were pleasantly surprised when the globetrotting designer appeared from the workrooms to chat for a few minutes about her latest endeavors.
LYRA MAG: 300 pieces! You’ve got it all – daywear, eveningwear, those adorable Mary Janes, handbags. What’s your favorite part of designing a collection?

TIA CIBANI: The knits! Designing knits can be technical, but it can also be cozy and charming.

LYRA MAG: Your staff has been telling us that you have a children’s line.

TIA CIBANI: Yes, it’s called KICO KIDS. It’s for girls and boys, ages 2-12. We use very high-end fabrications as we do with Ports.
Kico’s PR Director, Jacqueline LONG appears with a rack of adorable kids clothes that have a similar vibe to Ports 1961 as Tia talks about the line.
As with the big girls’ line, KICO KIDS is priced lower than we anticipated. Pieces are in the $125 range. While it hasn’t been publicized as Ports 1961 is, we think Tia’s got another hit on her hands with this cute but sophisticated kids collection. A good thing gets found out sooner than later; urban and suburban moms will be snapping these chic pieces us in no time flat. The line is available at Barney’s NY and LA and on the website
To view more Ports 1961 designs, go to