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CONSTANCE WHITE: A CONVERSATION WITH eBay’S STYLE DIRECTOR

eBay SUITE: ROYALTON HOTEL, WEST 44th STREET, NYC

FEBRUARY 18th, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard


Our conversation with eBay’s knowledgeable and au courant Style Director, Constance White was a highlight of this past NY FASHION WEEK's activities.

We met up with this guru of all things sold with flair-on an afternoon where we looked forward to, CRAVED REALLY- an engaging conversation without any ear splitting music rockin' the background.

Ensconced in the spacious bright penthouse of the recently refurbished Royalton Hotel, we found White chatting with pals R.Scott French and Meredith Garcia (The Fashion List) and PR maven Linda Gaunt.

Revived with a quick jolt of java, we joined the conversation to find out White’s take on Spring fashion picks and eBay’s Green initiative.

LYRA MAG:
What do you think will be the hot eBay picks for the upcoming season?

WHITE:
What people are bidding on for Spring are (1) statement necklaces from prestige names like Kenneth Jay Lane and Tom Binns, (2) …

THE HIPPEST ACCESSORY: NINETEEN13

SEATTLE’S TATOO ARTIST LIVEN UP STANLEY BEVERAGE CONTAINERS

Words Judith Ecochard

Oudoor Retailer Market, SLC



We applaud all attempts at recycling plastic water bottles. Even the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week-Bryant Part Tents had recycling bins.

What’s really eco-chic though is carrying a re-usable water bottle filled with whatever…so we were jazzed to see the urban cool display at the iconic brand Stanley exhibitor’s stall…that proudly served up a “Not Your Grandpa’s Stanley.”

The new generation of drinkwear gear, Nineteen13 is “made for the mobile life…from city streets to the outdoors.”

Five cutting edge styles: a recycled and recyclable 16oz mug, a 24 oz BPA Free Water Bottle, a 24oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle, a 16 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Bottle and a 16oz Insulated Travel Mug---- all sport urban edgy graphics (snakes, winged skulls) in shades of, brown, beige, grey and black (of course)…with slashes of bold orange and red.








We think, this is the hippest way to go and felt positively …

1909 VICTORINOX: MEN’S FALL/WINTER 2009

“VERRECHIA L’OFFICIEL HOMME”

February 18th, 2009, Midtown Manhattan

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

We greatly admired/coveted the upscale VICTORINOX’s RTW separates we previewed at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. The designer for this menswear label- Pierre-Henri Mattout, handsomely captured the “fashion meets function” mandate for the clothing line of the iconic Original Swiss Army Knife brand.







The 1909 VICTORINOX show in the Big Apple that we saw during New York’s Fashion Week “is for a very different customer than the other collection,” enthused Mattout---who graciously gave us a few minutes of his time after the runway display.

To our eyes, these garments are for a younger, hipper customer, one with an ‘American’ need for modern sportswear fused with streetwear edge plus dabs of European traditional slim silhouettes.








According to the program notes, Mattout was inspired by some Amish clothing unearthed in a vintage store and a serendipitous encounter with Amish teenagers in …

VASSILISA AUTUMN/WINTER 2009

EMERGING LUXURY FOR INDIVIDUALS

Édité Showroom, Garment Center NYC February 25th, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

London based Vassilisa is a timeless romantic collection of elegant gowns and separates designed by the graceful Nadja Solovieva.





















For Autumn/Winter 2009 Solovieva is inspired by her rich native “Russian Orthodox architecture, and golden icons…and the shapes are like garments that Russian women wear under saraphin jumpers.

“I don’t look at trends…I look at fairy tales, mythologies, art, architecture…and bits and elements I find at flea markets,” Solovieva notes.












We loved the elegant gold fabrics that are used in cocktail length frocks and a Goddess like long gown with a lovely woven bodice.

“I design for two categories…young socialites in their 20’s…and clients in their late 30’s/40’s who want to look like no other.”


It’s clear Solovieva admires YSL because her painstakingly HAND SEWN clothes while luxe, have a definite bohemian edge.




INFO:
VASSILISA

FUN FACTOID: One model that …

DEVI KROELL: FALL/WINTER 2009

REFINED TAILORING/KNOCKOUT CARRYALLS

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Devi Kroell’s sophmore outing is all about dressing the executive New York/DC women that work in corporations, the halls of Congress, or serve on charity boards.


















For versatile day to evening looks there are several appropriate attire options…a silk wool boucle jacket, a boxy black silk suit with origami flourishes, ruffled collars, and slim cigarette style pants paired with a chic shrunken jacket that had us thinking Gucci/Tom Ford. Our initial reaction was wow- this is how grown-up women dress.









For cocktail affairs there are a lot of rich shimmering jewel toned silk frocks with gentle draping/gatherings…both strapless and sleeveless.












The bags are stunning (duh) as in an oversized python shopper and foldover clutches.

The highlight, shoewise is the Joker Bootie “crafted with a hidden platform, a fierce and chic metal encasing detail on the architectural tubular heel…”

Kudos to the airbrush perfection of Temptu makeup artist…

MARC BY MARC JACOBS: FALL/WINTER 2009

New York State Armory, Lexington Ave. NYC
February 17th, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard



Marc Jacobs proper is a highlight of Fashion Weeks anywhere. Period.

His more youthful second line Marc By Marc Jacobs is also watched as it is a coveted label to wear by like every tweener on up---that we know--- who wears clothes and cares about effortless cool style.









For us, it was kinda a trip on the wayback machine in terms of the garb. The vivid colors (teal, wine, red, lava black), prints (plaids, paisleys, bold striped scarves) textures (wool, tweeds, silks, cords, velvets) and general pulled together styling of the layered ensembles for gals/guys was exceptional---no wonder fashionistas drool over this collection. But it definitely took us back to the mid eighties for sure.










Like back to our school days in a lot of the looks---with some of the feminine silhouettes.







Especially the wide belted shaped not shrunken blazers …and knits with gentle ruffled hems, wool trousers, oversized shawls, long…

GRAEY: FALL 2009

ARTFUL INFLUENCES IN SILK


February 13th, 2009

We always make a point of covering emerging designers…and Janet Kim. A Harvard grad certainly is one.

Walking into an apartment development’s PH-we kinda felt like we were at a college reunion as we met alum from our alma mater Columbia, as well as other ivory tower schools.

Which means nothing in fashion.

What we liked best was the bold use of solid colors, clearly influenced by Kim’s knowledge of light and tone…maybe via all those Art History classes.

The capped and sleeveless frocks with color semi-circle shapes are our favorite. We think though, someone else should have sewn the samples…as the circles puckered along the rims and some other hems weren’t properly finished. And even under the GUNN Project Runway contestants know better than that.

A talent to watch….



Words, Images Judith Ecochard

INFO:
GRAEY

LEIFSDOTTIR FALL 2009

Garment Center, NYC February 18th, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard


The girly frilly Leifsdottir gal has gone moody romantic for Fall 2009.

She had help too---in the clever staged tableau vivant settings that featured banquet tables laden with precious lace and rich tapestries, candelabras, exotic sweets, fruits and objets trouvé…lit by overhead glowing torches.























Amidst this setting, the strolling, coy models looked as if they stepped out of the large ancestral canvases, Harry Potter style-----that line the oversized staircases of medieval castles…perfectly coiffed and glowingly made up in keeping with the theme of mysterious splendor.













But the clothes, naturally were for the 21st century.
























We had a lovely chat with Executive Design Director Johanna Uurasjarvi who cited her trip to the ancient monastery of Mont St Michelle, off the coast of Normandy, and the gothic architecture of old castles in general, full of gargoyles and griffins, as the jumping off point for “the magical quality” of …