Thursday, June 26, 2008

JESSIE BAYLIN: HIP SOULFUL SOUNDS


WORDS- J.ECOCHARD
IMAGES FROM JESSIE BAYLIN'S WEBSITE



New Jersey born, LA livin' and now Nashville based-singer/songwriter Jesse Baylin belts out tunes with a big heart and a raw feel that sounds as if she's spent loads of time in a bar...somewhat like pop-rock star Sheryl Crow. Baylin's voice is more refined than Crow's IMHO. With a bit of western swing, quick sips of sensuously jazzy swagger- and a hefty dose of the bluesy rocker edge...this gal's voice and vocal range could probably have her belting out some standards as easy as any rock and roll staples.

We first caught Jessie Baylin and her kicker band at the industry heavy Tribeca Fim Festival’s/ASCAP Lounge (April 2008) –packing them in at the hip Cutting Room on West Broadway.

Since she flew in and out for the 30 minute gig, Baylin’s been putting the final polishing touches on a new cd (her second)-Firesight-now available for purchase courtesy of record label Verve Forecast.

We love it.

We clicked on her site and our aural sensations started toe tapping toute de suite for “Leave Your Mark” a rootsy love lost ballad with just enough backbeat. We bopped away to the sounds-and did not think- oh yech, another weepy whiny tune.

And no wonder…Baylin’s co-writers include many critically acclaimed artists like Jesse Harris, Whiskeytown’s Mike Daly, the Rembrandts’ Danny Wilde, and LA musician Zack Hexum. And the production, helmed by Roger Moutenot- is flush but doesn’t overpower the emotionally charged lyrics and tunes.

For more info and samples: myspace.com/jessiebaylin

THE VITAMIN A SWIM LINE BY AMALIA STEVENS – SEXY CALIFORNIA JET SET STYLE THAT’S CATCHING ON FAST








Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images in Cece Feinberg showroom, Vivian G. Kelly
Image campaign photography and celebrity photographs, courtesy of Cece Feinberg PR
Image of Vitamin A press clippings from www.boutiquetoyou.com
A SHOW ROOM VISIT
After viewing a few Jpegs PR pro, Cece Feinberg sent us; we hit her NY Office on West 37th Street, in the Heart of New York’s Garment District. She’s just recently taken on Vitamin A as a client, but the editorial credits are already rolling in. This line looks great on and off the rack and should definitely be showcased in a runway show at Mercedes Benz Miami Swim. For now, though, Vitamin A has taken a booth at the Miami Convention Center, and they’re on our go-to list for our annual trawl through the aisles at the swim expo.


WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT VITAMIN A SWIM SUITS
As many of the luxe swim lines we love [Gideon Oberson, Missoni Swim] this swim brand is based upon a jet setting lifestyle. The difference is that designer Amalia Stevens had “Laid Back Luxury” in mind, which translates to, YOU CAN GET WET AND MOVE AROUND IN THESE SUITS. They’re equally suiting to posing on a friend’s yacht while wearing a pair of Jimmy Choo’s as they are for diving into the pool at Delano.
SPECIAL DETAILS:
-Innovative silhouettes
-Lots of custom Italian hardware,
- Rich, luxurious fabrics,
- A vibrant color palette
- All the shapes, colors, prints and stripes can be mixed, matched, and layered
Most importantly – ingenious engineering for a flawless fit


BREAKING IT DOWN - THE 3 LINES & PRICE POINTS

Admittedly, swim can get confusing. While you have 1 brand, we’ve often found that under that brand there are several different collections.
Below, the highlights of Amalia’s 3 lines
ORIGINAL– reversible, lurex metallic linings. Retail : @ $170
SIGNATURE– The highest end with jewelry inspired hardware. Retail, @ $300
SILVER– the more junior oriented line. Retail, @$110

Perhaps best of all is that you don’t have to commit to any one line 100% as all the lines mix and match and ALL deliver sexy California jet set style thanks to the sleek minimalist shapes.


WHO’S WEARING VITAMIN A: Jessica Alba, Ashlee Simpson, Rihanna, Vanessa Menillo


BUZZ ALERT- ON THE RADAR SCREEN: A well known fashion editor specifically requested a bandeau top bikini with metallic detailing for her poolside bachelorette party !

For more information on Vitamin A, visit the official website
www.vitaminAswim.com

THE ALDRICH CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM: Exhibition Reception for Artists SERGE SPITZER and ELIZABETH PEYTON







Place: THE ALDRICH CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM, Ridgefield, CT

Time: Sunday afternoon, June 22nd, 3-5pm

Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Images of the event, courtesy of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Image of Stephanie Seymour, from the GAP Ad Campaign
Images of Takashi Murakami and his work from www.cache.elo.com


A HIGH-POWERED CROWD IN ATTENDANCE
Until a trip to Art Basel, Miami, we’ve shied away from Contemporary Art – we just didn’t “get it”. Our trip to Art Basel though, motivated us to join the Aldrich Museum and walk through whenever they had a new exhibition. It helped that one of our daughters underwent docent training at school and was eager to talk about the exhibits she’s studied.
Until this point though, we hadn’t had the opportunity to meet any of the artists whose work was on exhibit. Despite the rain, the event was packed and we knew this was “an important” event when we glimpsed supermodel and art collector, Stephanie Seymour, and her husband, Peter Brandt, newsprint manufacturing exec, in the check in line behind us. Stephanie is one of our favorite fashion models of all times These days, she’s combined her modeling talents with her interest in art in some gorgeous photographs wearing one of the GAP’s Limited Edition T-shirts featuring a Jeff Koons design. The collection was presented by the GAP and the Whitney Museum of American Art earlier this year. Stephanie does more than pose in artists’ tee shirts though. In an article that ran in The Wall Street Journal in 2007, Troy McMullen reported that the Brandts commissioned architect Richard Gluckman [who designed the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin] to create a 9,800-square-foot structure that would serve as a new home for works by Julian Schnabel, Jeff Koons and Jean-Michel Basquiat in the couple’s 20th-century backyard barn located in the backyard of their 10-acre Greenwich, CT. property.
Once inside, the Aldrich’s PR Manager, Pamela Ruggio, was incredibly helpful and introduced us to the reclusive Elizabeth Peyton as well as to Lisa Williams from the Gavin Brown Enterprise Gallery, and to artist Serge Spitzer. Meeting Mr. Spitzer was without question the highlight of our visit.


ABOUT THE ALDRICH MUSEUM

Fashion Designer and contemporary art collector Larry Aldrich originally founded The Larry Aldrich Museum to house his growing art collection in 1964. Three years later, the Museum was renamed The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art.
Early on it had as its mission, “to be a national leader in the exhibition of significant and challenging contemporary art with an emphasis on emerging and mid-career artists, a world-class innovator of museum education programs, and a vital cultural resource for the community.”
Since 1996, Harry Philbrick has been at the helm as the Director and also curates many of the exhibitions. Among his many accomplishment are the attendance numbers to The Aldrich, which has tripled since 1996!

For more information about The Aldrich and membership visit
www.aldrichart.org

SERGE SPITZER & his STLL LIFE installation
We were impressed by Serge Spitzer’s obvious intelligence and relieved that he actually enjoys talking to art newbies such as ourselves who openly admit to knowing nothing about Contemporary Art, but are interested in starting the learning process. We were a bit hesitant to converse with such a renowned artist on a topic we know so little about, but resolved to give it a go. The Romanian-born artist has been living and working in New York since the early eighties. His work has been shown in: The Museum of Modern Art [NY], the Henry Moore Institute [London], and the Kunstmuseum [Bern] to name just a few.
Mr. Spitzer’s project for the Aldrich comprised of 75,000 custom made individually pixilated tennis balls he placed on the Aldrich’s 2-acre Cornish Family Sculpture Garden. The Chinese manufacturer Mr. Spitzer commissioned produced the ball with a military inspired pixilated camouflage pattern, which was based on an enlarged photo of the Museum’s expansive lawn.

Luckily for us, a couple was engaged in earnest conversation with the artist, and we got to relax, listen, and reflect on Mr. Spitzer’s responses to questions that we would have liked to ask and to ask him whether he feels art and fashion can mix.

QUESTION: What is this installation about?

SERGE SPITZER: This [pointing to the garden] is a piece of reality, whatever that means.

QUESTION: Were you upset when the grass started to grow?

SS: Slowly, nature took over. The reality is the same but the perception is different.

Q: Why did you use tennis balls?

S. SPITZER: I’m a former tennis player and I used to play tennis with Larry Aldrich. The idea for this project started 14 years ago and was almost realized in Hamburg.
The tennis ball is an object we all have a relationship with. By removing a layer, we make it unique.

Q: When [or is it] Okay for Art & Fashion to mix?

S. SERGE SPITZER: In the case of LVMH’s collaboration with Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami. LVMH’s Chairman, Bernard Arnaud’s idea was to collaborate with Takashi to create the Murakami bag for Vuitton, Mr. Arnaud is a renowned collector and has an excellent understanding and knowledge of art, and the project was born from his love and appreciation of art.
To view more of Serge Spitzer’s work visit,
www.artfacts.net

ELIZABETH PEYTON
Ms. Peyton was the recipient of the Larry Aldrich Award in 2006. Her collection entitled, “Portrait of an Artist” spans 13 years and is comprised of 50 photographs she’s taken of artists [some friends, some acquaintances] that have played a meaningful role in her life. She has an intuitive approach to photography, and considers herself “an artist who takes photographs as a natural part of being alive in the modern world”. The photos possess a documentary like quality and have been produced using either 35mm or Polaroid, or more recently, with a digital camera. Our favorite is a self-portrait of Ms. Peyton looking at herself in the mirror wearing sunglasses while taking a photo.

To see more or for inquiries, contact Gavin Brown’s enterprise, 620 Greenwich Street, NY, tel: 212-627-5261
www.gavinbrown.biz

ENDNOTE
We DID go outside afterwards and picked up 2 balls from Serge Spitzer’s installation to take home. We were slightly in awe to be holding a piece of art so casually in our hands. Our grateful Golden Receiver, who was the final recipient of the gift, was grateful too, and brought home the point that art can indeed be part of your everyday environment, and is something to be enjoyed. Just because it’s art, it doesn’t have to be “precious”. Our visit and chat with Mr. Spitzer made us more comfortable with the Art World, and was a tiny step in the learning process on this vast topic.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THE ANNUAL HAMPTONS GOLF CLASSIC IV














THE ANNUAL HAMPTON GOLF CLASSIC IV BENEFITS SUFFOLK COUNTY’S MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION®

HAMPTON HILLS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, June 23rd

WORDS, IMAGES
Judith Ecochard

Known for its chi-chi celeb packed social scene, wide open beaches, and upscale residences and shops- the posh East End of Long Island (aka the Hamptons) is also populated by caring individuals who donate big bucks for worthy causes. This past week, we attended a fun fun fun benefit that raised substantial funds for one of our favorite 501(c)3-ers.


THE CHARITY: The Suffolk County, NY chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation®- grants wishes for children afflicted with “life threatening illness” according to Karine Hollander, President and CEO. In her seven-year stint in the top spot, Hollander is proud (and grateful too) that her chapter is able to enable 125 wishes a year. “We never turn down a wish…every medically eligible child has been granted one,” she notes. And there are no financial eligibility requirements either.



THE HOST: A gracious David Tyree-aka the Super Bowl Hero who made THE CATCH for the winning NY Giants –tirelessly posed, smiled, signed autographs and we assume, played a winning round of golf.







HONOREE: Neal Sroka, of Douglas Elliman Worldwide Consulting, LLC opened his heart and corralled his pals to open their checkbooks- resulting in an amazing “three wishes” granted to deserving kids. (Pic of N.Sroka (right) and fellow golfers)





WHO PLAYED: A sell-out gaggle of golf ready foursomes played a shot-gun format that started with a buffet breakfast …and finished with a “19th hole” open bar/buffet, awards ceremony-including free golf lessons for the worst score,

…and a silent auction- inside the spacious clubhouse and on the outdoor deck-now blessed with the sun’s rays- overlooking the course.



LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS: No one dropped out because of the on again, off again rain. And a few ladies played too.

THE VENUE: The absolutely flawless HAMPTON HILLS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (County Road 51, Riverhead, NY 631 727-6862)… with an 18-hole beauty designed by Francis J. Duane ASGCA. The former Teamsters’ haunt (maybe literally, there’s even an impenetrable cement block story unearthed during the renovation process LOL), is now even more private-with a very limited membership and tip-top management team led by Stanley Pine.


Practice, Practice, Practice













And a round of applause goes to Zev Norotsky-the leading light of the Hamptons Golf Classic-who was ON IT the entire day.













ADDED PLUSES: Super friendly hostesses from the Hawaiian Tropic Zone Restaurant in midtown Manhattan ‘earned’ their breakfast (yes they eat!!!!!!) by selling raffle tickets on the 9th hole.













A moving speech by Katie, a charming teen and a Make-A-Wish receiver in 2003-on her dream jaunt to Paris that included front row seats to primo RTW Fashion extravaganza choreographed by John Galliano for Christian Dior!






SUMMARY: When asked how he shot, one jovial cigar-chomping participant wisely observed:
“It was a great day…no-one got hurt.”








PRINCIPAL SPONSORS: Hamptons Magazine, (The Soprano’s Lorraine) Bracco Wines, Mogaschoni, Zino Platinum Cigars, Douglas Elliman Worldwide Consulting LLC, Nike Golf, Steiner Sports, Champion Motor Group, Celebrity Service, Stella Artois, jewelers A. Harris, and Smartwater.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A VISIT to THE GALLERY LA: Smart Glass Jewelry, Protect the Element, Pambeh, Jungle Gurl








THE GALLERY LA’S MISSION STATEMENT:
"Our desire is to raise global awareness of sustainable living and transform the world of fashion. We achieve this by promoting socially responsible designers who are agents of change.
This is our Green Initiative and our reason for being."

THE VIBE: cool and groovy and oh so green! After a whirlwind 48 hours in LA, we were delighted to plop down with an Adina organic Ethiopian iced espresso. Being that we were in the Gallery, the coffee served is of course USDA organic. Adina gathers their 100% organic ingredients from co-ops, collectives and small producers around the world, and insist that they are paid a fair wage that’s typically well-above market price.
Served on ice, this organic treat is just sweet enough.

www.adinaworld.com


ABOUT MIKEY KOFFMAN
Mikey is a guru on all things eco. Although she calls herself a “humanitarian” she is more than that – she’s one h—l of a PR and salesperson. We were very impressed by the show she put together in March at Mercedes Benz LA Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios, and look forward to her next one [and a great after-party as before!] in October.
Mikey reps 11 lines, for her, animal rights and human rights go hand in hand with sustainability.
She sat down with us and answered some of our questions about what it takes to qualify for a green standard.

LYRA MAG: What does it mean when a farm says, “We’re certified organic”?

MIKEY: To be a certified organic farm: you have to be pesticide and chemical free for 7 years. Needless to say, very few qualify.


LYRA: Why do so many people make an issue about factory farming?

MIKEY: It’s the easiest target, it’s much easier to attack factory farming instead of insisting everyone be vegan.

LYRA: A lot of the green lines we like don’t use organic dyes. What do you think about organic dyes?

MIKEY: Organic dyes are really tough because they haven’t been tested enough. You’re in a catch 22 because you want the customer to be happy, not for
You have to be able to produce a garment that is fashion forward, is sustainable and will sell, that’s the challenge we’re facing with now.

THE 4 LINES THAT CAUGHT OUR ATTENTION:


SMART GLASS JEWELRY
MISSION STATEMENT/MOTTO: “Drink it. Wear it. The beautiful jewelry inside this box was handcrafted by Atlanta Artist Kathleen Plate from a recycled bottle. Really!”

Kathleen gets her bottles to make her jewelry from Coca Cola and the Aveda Corporation. She also uses some special blue sake bottles as well as the wine and beer bottles she donates to affiliated events – she donates the liquor inside, and keeps the bottles to make jewelry.
Kathleen is growing her profile, she’ll be debuting on the Home Shopping Network in a 1 hour spot in July and 1 in August as their “organic guru”, when she’ll be talking about Smart Glass and other eco products.
.
PRICING: $30 – 250 per item

BRANCHING OUT
Kathleen is also available for special projects such as chandeliers. She’s been commissioned by Magic to create the installations, which will include some of her stunning chandeliers.

We were thrilled with the ultra light emerald green glass gypsy hoop earrings we received in our gift bag. We’ve never liked beer, so finally, something about beer we like!
For more information on Smart Glass and to view the collection, visit
www.smartglassjewelry.com

PROTECT THE ELEMENT
THE DESIGNER: ROSHI SALIM
Roshi’s line looked elegant yet laid back, and luckily for us, she happened to be in the showroom, preparing for the show later that week at Fred Segal.
Roshi describes her line as, “A mix of yoga and couture dresses." She prides herself on doing everything in its natural state, but she did add in some black pieces due to requests from buyers. The black pieces appeal to celebrities such as AMY SMART, who wore one of Roshi’s black dresses to the Gallery's Show in March at Mercedes Benz Smashbox Fashion Week.

RETAIL PRICING: $80 - $350/400


PANBEH YOGA BAGS – in Persian, Panbeh means cotton.
Designer, FARIMAH, came up with a nifty idea when she created these eco-friendly organic canvas cotton yoga bags. Panbeh bags are multifunctional and can be used not only for yoga, but also for the gym, the beach, or anytime you need to tote your stuff around..
What we loved best: Panbeh puts an end to dropping your yoga mat as you attempt to carry it in your tote bag, which is always off-balance.
We wish we’d had a Panbeh bag on our trip back to New York.
For more information on Panbeh bags, visit
www.panbeh.net

JUNGLE GURL - This retro inspired swim line put us in the mood for Mercedes Benz Miami Swim Week coming up in July, and it was favorite line in the Gallery LA's Showroom.

THE DESIGNER: NATALIE GONLONKA is a former model-cum-actress-cum-designer. Says Natalie, “Norma women don’t associate bikini shopping with a love-fest. “But they should! Because buying a bikini symbolizes a certain freedom. It means you’re breaking the restraints and getting to the most beautiful you!”
THE CONCEPT: Taking the vintage fabrics in explosively bright prints that she’s amassed over years of global travel and reworking them into one-of-a-kind bikinis that happen to be eco-friendly.

THE VIBE: retro Miami, Malibu, Hawaii, and Marbella, with the glamour of the seventies disco era when everyone wore great bikinis like these and had a San Tropez Tan to go with it.
WHERE TO GET THEM:
Fred Segal, Planet Blue, Lulu’s [South Beach, Miami]
For more information, visit the official website,
www.junglegurl.com

END NOTE – KEEPING TABS ON M THE MOVEMENT:
We’re keeping an eye on M – the Movement. M showed his urban hip hop line at the Gallery LA's show at the last Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios. Both he and his clothes were a big hit with the crowd. Says Mikey, “He’s just merged with a much larger company. He’s like a Monk, an incredible person. He uses a lot of sustainable fabrics in his line, 50% + of his fabrics are sustainable.”

ELISABETTA ROGIANI-SEXY ACTIVE WEAR FOR GYM-STERS & YOGA ENTHUSIASTS THAT’S HIP STREETWEAR TOO.





FALL/WINTER 2008 PREVIEW OF THE METROPOLIS COLLECTION AT THE BUZZY EQUINOX MANHATTAN CLUB.

JUNE 19TH, EAST 63RD STREET NYC

Words, Images Judith Ecochard and from Elisabetta Rogiani’s. website.

THE EVENT: Runway ‘models’ that included ‘real world’ gals (OK, they’re fitness instructors in fab shape) strutted the catwalk in the appealing and smart-wear performance ensembles by Los Angeles resident Elisabetta Rogiani. The show featured the Fall/Winter 2008 Collection, coined “Metropolis” that will be sold at the well-stocked Equinox Health Club retail shops from coast to coast.

TIP SHEET: Elisabetta Rogiani herself is in fab shape-and no doubt is inspired by her own work outs to design a stylish collection that focuses on “quality, durability and femininity-believing that ‘Simplicity is the Essence of Elegance.’ ”



BACKGROUND: Rogiani’s training is in Italian couture. A native of Terni (Umbria), she schooled at the acclaimed KOEFIA ROMA ACADEMY, and toiled for top names Claude Montana, Fiorucci (the groundbreaking label/emporium that employed style guru Patricia Fields back in the days), and BCBG. After hitting the sunny Left Coast- she also worked as Fashion Director for print reads, television, commercials, and music videos…while her line “Nobody By Elisabetta Rogiani” and the “Elisabetta Rogiani Collection” made her name familiar to celebs and industry heavy weights.



OUR PICKS: As country jocks and urban Pilates enthusiasts we see ourselves wearing the comfy and sleek graffiti-ish “Women Warrior” crop top graphic prints and sexy lace edged cropped pants, a lacey hoodie, and a front silver zipped short sleeve cover-up... ANYWHERE.

A never seen before blue plaid performance fabric is also striking and on our want list too. For now- Rogiani’s summery yellow, turquoise offerings currently on sale had editors from Self Magazine trying on and selecting pieces. Needless to say, the cotton-y soft Supplex/Lycra blend in every garb is stretchy but still retains it shapes—and breathes!!!!







FOR GUYS: Look for solid white and black mesh mix separates for guys…set to launch for Spring 2009.






WHO WEARS IT: The list is loooooong and includes Gabriella Reece, Cameron Diaz, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes, Lucy Liu, Pamela Anderson etc.





THE VENUE: The East 63rd Street Equinox sports spacious workout areas, numerous classes and luxurious spa facilities. Happily, we got to indulge in an upscale beauty purveyor Peter Thomas Roth Lip treatment (Lemon Sugar Scrub, Hydrating Mask “Lip Putty,” plus “Pink Bombshell” Lip Gloss) and a hand massage with top of the line June Jacob Spa products.

ECO COMMITMENT: According to Equinox’s store manager, the super friendly Tyme Ferris, Equinox is “going green” –with all the new clubs and a push to adopt and retrofit older spaces using “natural and eco-friendly” products and materials.

SPECIAL THANKS: Newish Hypublicity coordinated well-and us wine snobs swished and sipped the the yummy Arnaldo-Caprai Umbrian Wines with a hearty SALUT. Noshes by nearby Brio Tuscany Grille and a goody bag stocked with marine based Phytomer serums, Peter Thomas Roth cleansers… and the did not make it past the first subway stop home Xoçai Chocolate made the event special and HEALTHY.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

DÉBUT –RETAIL GALLERY FOR EMERGING DESIGNERS







TRENDY AND UNIQUE ACCESSORIES, CLOTHES, JEWELRY FOR INDIVIDUALS

June 19th 298 Mulberry Street, NOHO

Words, Images by Judith Ecochard and from the Début website

When the latest issue of that fashion bible Vogue-references the tough economy and a return to minimalist basics…we think that’s when retailers should do the opposite.

After all, it’s only the fresh and unusual that’s going to generate the buzz-and get buyers motivated to shop. The basics-we can get anywhere.

This past week, we stopped in to the new museum-like retail outlet for under-the-radar designers, Début. The place was packed with friends, hipsters, fashion industry types and the supportive family of LISA WEISS - the well attired (what else?) owner of the barely month old establishment.

What we liked besides Weiss’ enthusiasm was her passionate and very personal- point of view-to “not be like every retail store…to make a statement.”

Case in point- are the bold, handmade one-off necklaces, earrings, and bracelets by the talented jewelry designer Esha Soni-for Experiment 101. Besides her amazing hand crafted in Bombay mixed metal thick copper chains with silver soldered elements, we think the ornate, industrial inspired pieces (often with stones) have a feminine edge that’s not overwhelming –and will punch up flirty tops as well as more ‘clean’ cut attire.


Priced at under $600 for the most elaborate selections, we think the value is phenomenal.

Other chic women’s separates and dresses that are “displayed” on uncluttered oversized wall hooks are a glam ruffled red silk sleeveless top by Salvador Trinidad, a graceful summery white dress by the label Caroline Hedeya-with ruffled neck flourishes, and a stunning black silk frock with wide black bows –by the Peruvian designer, Ani Alvarez Calderon who toiled for Michael Kors before branching out on her own.

Like our other favorite store-Really Great Things- on Columbus Avenue- we know we can count on Début as our source for fabulous fashion found no where else- and a calm interactive-like shopping experience.

DETAILS: www.debutnewyork.com

Saturday, June 21, 2008

THINK ™PRODUCT BARS - FASHIONABLE NUTRITION FOR THE FASHIONISTA ON THE RUN



Text, Vivian G. Kelly
Image of Lizanne Falsetto, courtesy of Think PR
Product image, from www.think™products.com


WHILE in LA last month, we dropped into THINK PR’s stylish and unique new LA digs, 2 floors of space on a quiet street in Beverly Hills, complete with
exposed brick wall and a patio to give press previews and hold launch parties.

THINK PR [no, they don’t actually make the bars, but they do the publicity] introduced us to THINK THIN™ bars as “ a healthy and delicious alternative for the woman on the go”. The timing was perfect, and as we were already contemplating what to eat on the plane that wasn’t either:
1. Messy or
2. Unhealthy

ABOUT THINK™ PRODUCTS
THINK™ Products are an operating unit of Prime Health Dietary Supplements, Inc. and was founded by LIZANNE FALSETTO, a former international fashion model. There’s money to be made in bars, lots of it. So far, Ms. Falsetto has grown think THIN™ into a $20 million-dollar-a-year independent natural foods company, starting with her 1st protein bar, which really hit big. The company is on a fast growth track, as new products such as THINK THIN™ FRUIT, the 1st all fruit bar to come out debuts in August.

LIZETTE’S MISSION STATEMENT, “to make food for those who “think about what they eat”.


WHO IS LIZANNE FALSETTO?
Before starting her THINK™ Empire, Lizanne strutted the catwalks for Donna Karen, Giorgio Armani and a host of other internationally known fashionistas, and graced the pages of W, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle as well as a number of international publications. These days, we like to think of her as the Mrs. Fields of this decade. After all, she’s the founder, entrepreneur and CEO of this brand.

OUR TASTE TEST:

We’re not newcomers to the nutrition bar scene. Years ago, in the late nineties, we got on board with Met-R-X when a fabulous friend from Harper’s & Queen generously shared her personal trainer with us for a few sessions while we were in London.
Simon, the trainer, recommended Met-R-X bars as a good alternative to our coffee swilling/no time for breakfast and lunch habit. Since then, we’ve gone through: Pure Protein – delicious but sat in our stomach like a lead golf ball, Atkins – suspiciously like MARS and SNICKERS bars and finally, most recently, THINK™ Product bars.
There were quite a few bars to try:
-The think THIN™bar: high protein
-The think ORGANIC ™ bar: raw fruit and nut
-The thinkTHIN PINK™ bar: high protein & benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure
-The think5™bar: 5 cups of fruits and vegetables.

We tried a variety pack of the bars, that THINK PR generously provided, starting with the THINK THIN™ blueberry bar that got us through the 6 hour LA - NYC flight.

WHY WE LOVE THINK THIN BARS:

1. PERFORMANCE: Out of a possible 10, the bars score get a combined score of 9 or 10.
Normally, our day jump-starts with a cup of café au lait chased by a DIET ROCK STAR [super size] or nearly a quart of diet green tea before we finally eat a lunch salad, [if there’s time].
THE RESULTS of subbing in any of the THINK bars for breakfast and lunch results in a much-needed energy surge.
The definitive proof was at the gym -rather than pooping-out on the treadmill after 30 minutes, we powered-on to 49 minutes, because we weren’t flattened from hunger and the inevitable caffeine crash.

Think THIN™ got us over our prejudice against nutrition bars being nothing more than a glamorized SNICKERS bar more suitable for competition body builders than slight, frazzled fashion journalists.


2. The bars are more nutritionally sound
ie: the think GREEN ™ BAR is a super food if there ever was one.

3. The bars are cheaper than many of the bars out there. Pure Protein bars are too large and retail for over $3 per bar. While these super large bars are probably just right for body building types, they’re just way too much for the rest of us who are not in training for the Tour de France.
- TIP: Eat 1/2 of the think THIN™ bar at a time. As with most bars that don’t taste like sawdust, they’re higher in fat than eating a plate of steamed veggies. Our fave, the Peanut Butter Caramel comes in at 8.0 grams of fat.

4. THERE’s a CHARITY ANGLE – 10cents from the sale of every think Thin™ Pink protein bar on store shelves goes to the Susan B. Komen Foundation. As of May 2008, these bars have single-handedly raised $87,000 for the Susan B. Komen Foundation.
Happily for us, these bars are available year-round online at www.thinkproducts.com. So, if you get hooked, no worries!
For more information about the Susan G. Komen Foundation, please visit their official website, www.komen.org


OUR TASTE TEST:

OUR FAVORITE BAR – a 2-way tie
1. think THIN™ PINK Peanut Butter caramel
They’re delicious AND good for you, [20g protein, og sugar, and gluten free]

2. think THIN™ cherry nut raw fruit and nut snack bar. At 5 g. of fat and 150 calories per 40 g. bar, you can eat the whole thing, This nutty bar is satisfying.

AWARD FOR BEST FOR YOU BAR: THINK 5 ™– made with 5 cups of fruits and vegetables
This bar scored in at 250 calories, and a low 3.5 g. of fat.
If the thought of downing a cup of alfalfa sprout juice at the Farmer’s Market doesn’t thrill you, this is a great alternative.
This bar contains alfalfa juice powder, spinach leaf powder carrot powder and parsley leaf powder to name just a few of the ingredients.

HOW IT TASTES: While it’s chocolate-y, there’s a definite “green” taste to it, which is fine, as it assured us that this bar REALLY DID contain all of these nutritive ingredients it claims to.

Thanks to Lizanne and think™ Products, we will never again be drained on our days on the run. In fact, we replenished our supply at our local WHOLE FOODS in Westport, CT. We’re hooked.

Friday, June 20, 2008

THINK PR NEW YORK: ECO-LINES, THE BASICS PLUS EUROPEAN SAVVY-









BOBI*EROTOKRITOS*EBERJEY*SOUTHPOLE*GOLA*RADLEY*BENISOM
*BORN UNIQORN


Words, Images Judith Ecochard

June 18th
East Village






The Think Pr team in NY-are often manning the tables at worthy charitable events…

In fact, we first met the busy bees years ago at a Humane Society fundraiser –for “Club Sandwiches Not Seals” protest (the annual sanctioned, slaughter of Canadian Baby Seals)- at graphics superstar Peter Max’s Lincoln Center lofty studio.

We admire Think’s dedication to worthy causes… and always look forward to our bi-annual review of this multi-brand showroom. Our touchy feely moments with many Fall 2008 and Cruise 2009 designer merchandise----got a nice ramp-up with a new client that we LOVE: Radley leather goods from the UK.

Plus, we are impressed with Think’s breadth of BIG NAME international lines in addition to the (eco) basics, and smaller niche brands.






BOBI
Luxe silky smooth jersey (100% cotton) at very, very affordable prices (under $100 each)… takes on a whole new meaning for the LA based BOBI. We knew we’d rock the label as soon as we logged onto the cool website featuring the late great Mama Cass singing… Dream A Little Dream.



Bodies will be as happy as ears…with the relaxed but decidedly sophisticated Fall 2008 and hot off the press Cruise 2009 lineup by designer Kara Lusardi-a New Yorker turned Angelino. With a growing bi-coastal celeb fan base craving the state-of-the-art engineering textiles, Bobi’s semi-matte and skin soft finishes are akin to wearing your comfy PJs- except way less frumpy.


WHAT’S NEW:
Well-cut scoop and V-neck tees continues to morph into a full blown core collection for the modern gal. Our favs include a gently pleated funnel neck fitted dress (for Fall a long sleeve “Darkstar” blue…for Cruise a Dove grey), fun striped scarves and solid silk pieces like an adorable pocketed mini black silk number. The color palette is as huge as the 80-90 items that are conjured up each season. For Fall 2008- jewel tones, gunmetal gray, a pale emeraldish green, and deep browns work it - interspersed with a few hot pink numbers.



Smartly, a lot of autumnal garb (drawstring dresses in thick jersey) are great transition clothes-for hot day/cool night …or for San Francisco all the time weather.

Bobi also has easy to grab and go separates like sweet little cardigans for Cruise and more signature tanks in sorbet smooth shades-that hit six inches lower than typical tops.

TOUCHES: A few trim flourishes like brass button details in a wear with everything Bordeaux shirt and lace-like thermal knit with contrasting solid ribbed cotton turtleneck and wrists.

WHO WEARS IT: Nicole Ritchie, Cyrus Milos, Sophie Monk

BUY IT: Fred Segal, RevolveClothing.com, Kitson. Big Drop

FACTOID: Launched in March 2006

EROTOKRITOS







Cyprus born, Parisian dwelling designer Erotokritos is well-known for his French chic clothing label …which he launched in 1994.



Trust us on this, his radar is going wide BIG TIME as the retail giant Bergdorf Goodman has picked up part of his accessories collection- the fabulous leather satchels.



We know why-the shape. Inventively constructed, the carryalls are easy to haul around with thick, sturdy straps…but fold out into a roomy box shape-with a cool diagonal zipper opening.

No More Archeological Digs For Keys, iPods, Anything-Problem Solved!!!!!

CLOTHING: We zeroed in on the Women’s Fall 2008 and admired the architectural elements (zig zag scallop textiles) and pleating…ie. Erotokritos’masterful skill at cutting and draping- in the sexy tops and dresses.



Editorial picks include any garment with colorful beaded shoulder embellishments and clingy but not bare above the knee dresses-like a dark purple, dropped waist frock with lace details subtly revealed under puffed capped sleeves and the neckline. Different color blocks in geometric shapes remind us of the canvases by modernist painter Colorist Kenneth Noland.

SHOES: Cut out scalloped leather flats and sturdy heel thick-strapped suede sandals in contrasting tones are interesting without screaming ‘Look At Me.” Meaning… they freshen up a look of idiot-proof solid black ensembles but can work with outfits of printed fabrics and denim.





WHO WEARS IT: Kate Moss, Kirsten Dunst



BUY IT: 99, Rue de Vieille, 75003 Paris, Net À Porter, Browns, London











EBERJEY

We’re thrilled that many of the flirty transition and Fall 2008 lingerie/swimwear separates by the popular lifestyle brand Eberjey are made from organic fabrics…building on the success of their “O Girl” collection.


THE DETAILS: Feminine lace trims in sensuous camisole tops (a soft pink “Natural Woman”…a capped sleeve pale gray “Kaya” nightie) and loungewear that expands on their best-selling striped swimsuits.

BUY IT: retail giants like Saks, Nordstrom’s and lot’s of boutiques coast to coast, Paul & Joe, Paris and London, Le Bon Marche, Paris, Lane Crawford, Hong Kong and online.





FUN FACTOID: Eberjey means “JOY” in a Nigerian dialect.

Founders Alejandrina Meija and Mariela Rovito quit corporate jobs, launching EBERJEY in 1996.



SOUTHPOLE

It’s a good thing when a clothing company (Wicked Fashions) known for one thing (streetwear)-re-invents and re-invigorates with a natural expansion. Southpole, the company’s best known brand… has a humongous following in the 18-25 crowd. It’s hip denim and bold bling laden graphics are hits for the urban, hip-hop crowd- for 17 years.

WHAT’S NEW: Maybe mom will take a swipe at the SOUTHPOLE COLLECTION’s tops with striking, but graphically interesting prints that are grownup but still edgy.

Plus, other fashion forward inspired by the latest runway selections- now include cute day-to-night dress up tunics and dresses in red/pink/white/yellow op-Art and solid tone (black) silky fabrics.




We liked a horizontally draped sleeveless top in a sexy silver metallic textile that emphasizes all the right curves and can be office appropriate under a cute cropped black and white plaid blazer.

A Southpole strength-flattering jeans- in cuts for every bod (skinny, boot-legged, flared)-and lots of different rinses/washes- are distinguished by the can’t miss it trims-like sparkling rhinestone grommets.

WHO WEARS IT: The lovely up-and-coming actress KD Aubert is the new Face of the line.


BUY IT: Widely Available – Macy’s, JC Penney and loads of stores in every state. Go online for more details.





GOLA

Across the pond in merry England, GOLA dominates the toesies of hip peds. As befits a brand that’s been around since 1905 and was known for shodding the feet of popular footballers (that’s soccer for USAers) the company’s has adopted to changing tastes with both its Sport and Classics offerings.


WHAT’S NEW: A collaboration with Jonathan Saunders has turned out multi-textured flats (leather and canvas) with contrasting piping, and ankle high trendy lace-ups for gals. Retro trainers for urban casual guys are also set for Fall 2008-in suede and canvas textiles.

WE WANT: Those poppin’ Centenary shoulder bags (for the 100th anniversary) that hark back to airline carry-ons.

WHO WEARS IT: Beginning with the Beatles, musicians like the Gallagher bros of Oasis, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson…actor Jude Law.

BUY IT: Widespread international retailers and online: Yoox and Zappos





RADLEY

Considered the “Coach” of the UK, Radley (as in “Truly, Madly Radley) is a full out leather goods company comprised of durable leather wallets, handbags, satchels, and need it laptop briefcases. They’re set to make a play in the western hemisphere with their sturdy classics for autumn- in a basic palette of brown, black and red (a burnt sienna-like)--- that have all the inner pockets and compartments that you’ll ever need.


What we especially love is the colorful floral lining in all the handbags… and the distinguished over-stitching and knotted leather toggles- as trim.

ECO PICK: Recycled from plastic water bottles, Radley travel umbrellas come in fun prints.

OUR OTHER PICK: The dark brown leather handbag with an embroidered African floral motif band.

HOT ALERT: Those adorable signature leather Scottish Terrier chain embellishments and inner pocket metal doggie in the high-end carry-alls… are a hot commodity-probably coming soon to a bootlegger near you. (Joke).





BUY IT: Radley Stores In The UK and online for now.







BENSIMON

The flip-flip/Keds King of France, Bensimon is a beloved 50 years old stylized preppy French lifestyle brand-famous for its solid rubber soles, cotton canvas uppers “tennis” flats with elasticized or tie-up openings. Converse-like low-rise lace-up sneakers for men in dark forest green, brown, and blacks are also for sale this Fall.


WHAT’S DIFFERENT: Reasonably priced from $50-$100, the kickers have Gallic savoir faire- with piping details and our fav, the army green flat with orange bow and trim. Ah, so chic.

KIDS GALORE: Tiny feet are well adorned with Bensimon in dark and baby blue shades.

BUY IT: Inexpensive website La Redoute-our source for cheapy style. YOOX.com













BORN UNIQORN

Best buddies since middle school- Taryn Manning and Tara Jane are sealing their friendship with their comfy line of cover-ups, Born Uniqorn.

WHAT’S NEW: Naturally, the entire collection is new. Magical prints of Unicorns in soft pale colors (heather gray) and for Fall 2008, a whimsical space graphics are on thick hoodies that are ideal for pulling on after a day at the beach.


Dresses and jackets – priced at $50-$175 round out the brand and are layerable. Particularly fun is a scoop neck and a draped cowl neck tunic mini dress with a wide band of a hem to make slimmer bubble-ish shape… and a flirty zip cover-up with a wide ruffle hem.

BUY IT: Fred Segal, Ron Herman, Brunette-LA, Stackhouse-NYC, The Paperdoll-Bellingham, WA, Density, True-SF, Studio Couture-Detroit.