Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 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

“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 …

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 fitte…

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…

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 a…

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 t…

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 want…

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

Timestamp: Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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 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 …

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 summer…

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 …

NILI LOTAN-Contemporary Classics

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,


Minden Chan a West Hol…

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

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 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. 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 …