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Showing posts from March, 2009


Words, Judith Ecochard
Images, Courtesy of Sue Devitt

We think that small cosmetic/beauty companies headed up by entrepreneurs are generally higher performers when it comes to products aim at healing and living up to their mantras.

After all, their names are on the line, front and center.

Case in point, Sue Devitt.

Hailing for Australia, Sue Devitt is a cosmetics artist with an about five-years old line of treatment goodies that offer coverage in rich exotic colors.

New for 2009 are the innovative, time-released hydrating marine mineral products in her SpaCollection™ line.

Packed with Vitamins, Sea Fennel and Water Extracts, and soothing Chamomile, plus lactic and malic acids ----techy enriching Oxygen Infusion Masque and anti-aging Lactic Renewal Facial Peel purportedly delivers deep hydration, improves skin’s elasticity and perk up one’s visage in a “relaxing” manner.

We are jazzed about the makeup end of this launch ourselves. The SpaComplexion™ Hydrating Marine Minerals pressed ($32-4 sh…


Words, Judith Ecochard

We greatly admire individuals that go it alone in the fashion business. Especially women who seem to get second-hand treatment in the press versus the guys sometimes---odd since the customers are mostly gals.



We became aware of this urbane Vietnamese native, Parsons/Brown University educated and NYC based designer two collections ago.

With an eye for elegance, tailoring par excellence and really upscale fabrics that beg to be touched, Diep’s Spring line has a vintage feel that’s just right…and resurrects the masculine/feminine feel of the coatdress that is going to be HUGE for Fall.

For Diep, that translates into cinched waist trenches/frocks in light tones (cream, tan) and dark print---made special with exaggerated front pockets trimmed with ombre ribbon and hand embroidered touches.

This talent also has a feminine, flirty and FLATTERING line of peplum and petal like side seamed pencil skirts that just hit the showroom last week. Available in p…


41 West 58th Street, Midtown Manhattan

March 27th, 2009

Words, Images
Judith Ecochard and from FIKA’s website

In a convenient stretch of midtown right of the holy retail Mecca (57th Street and Fifth Avenue)…a revelatory haven for java that passes the coffee snobs’ test (us), hand crafted mouth watering chocolates, and old school/real deal, home made sandwiches and pastries—beckon the weary.

And that’s how we felt last Thursday on a cold and dreary night in Manhattan---with weather that managed to render the normally packed streets of the Big Apple-all ghost town empty.

We were revived in a New York minute however, even before we had a sip of an aromatic caffeine beverage- like the medium bodied, roasted in Sweden by Löfbergs Lila- Fika House Blend coffee.

For when we stepped inside the softly lit Swedish art filled boutique enclave of clean black and white palette, standup bar and cafe stools -a jovial crowd was already gathered around Håkan Mårtensson, the Executive Pastry Chef and Choco…


625 Madison Avenue at 58th Street, NYC


Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Located in an exclusive section of Manhattan’s Madison Avenue that is an upscale destination for international jewelry shoppers, Dalyah- a chic bauble filled emporium -attracted a well dressed crowd to its lively opening.

This boutique, a calm oasis of clean architectural lines- proffers a range of jewelry items that should appeal to many tastes…including ready made stunners for everyday (starting at $2000) to incredibly detailed and sophisticated pavé diamond BLING that require many, many hours of experienced hand labor to magically create.

What sets Dalyah apart from other upscale jewelry establishments- is the talented and charming owner, Dalyah Duek-Flaks who hails from a South African family steeped in the diamond business.

The lovely lady herself is a fairly recent transplant to the Big Apple…but learned the ins and outs of American tastes and retail rule…


Saks Fifth Avenue, Intimates on Ten (10th Floor) NYC
5:00PM, March 26th, 2009

New SHAPEWEAR Separates – “Sexy Enough To Flash On The Red Carpet”

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

In development for two years, SPANX –Hollywood’s favorite “comfortable, slimming garments that minimize figure flaws” has come out with a seven pieces collection of elegant innerwear as outwear apparel.

Lucky us, we were able to attend the fun filled launch, bubbly included- with the super knowledgeable team from SPANX—up from their hometown base of Atlanta for the occasion.


Fully living up to their slogan “The Dessert of Shapewear™…Now You Can Have Your Shape And Sexy Too!™------SPANX’s neutral palette Haute Couture line, works with all skin tones, is versatile year round wear that poshly covers problem areas without the hideous gaps and discomfort of other brands. This special collection by SPANX uses more upscale, but still durable fabrics---that we consider to qualify for the detailed lingerie catego…

VELASHAPE™ by Syneron Medical Ltd.™

The YAN Center SM for Corrective & Cosmetic Surgery
East 67th Street, NYC

Images from the Syneron™ website
The reasons, woes and cures of cellulite have been warm weather headline stories for years now-in like every female aimed magazine that populates a newstand.

We don’t need to rehash the causes (horomones, genetics) but can jump on the bandwagon when it comes to a method that at least temporarily does the job of improving one’s appearance.

VelaShape™ a laser and deep massage type roller machine-is an FDA cleared non-surgical treatment that “contours, shapes and slims the body by improving cellulite and reducing circumference,” according to the promotional pamphlet.

At the The YAN Center for Corrective & Cosmetic Surgery on Manhattan’s eastside, we eagerly said yes to a demonstration. Afterall, our quad muscles were tight from a long run that morning, so if nothing else, we were ready for a nap and a kinda massage.
Apparently, the combo of light emitted energies/radio frequ…

TOKYO FIVE Premium Denim & ALEXIS HUDSON Luxury Handbags

Industry Publicity Showroom, NYC

March 25th, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard and courtesy of Industry Publicity

On a certain mental level, it seems INSANE to us that denim can be so costly…

In this economy, it is even more nuts to assume customers will fork over $150 plus for premium jeans.

An email blast got us very keen to see up close and in person, a new brand- Tokyo Five, that channels “Bravery, Respect, Honor, Loyalty, Wisdom…the code of the Warrior” as a type of mission statement.

Having lived in Japan, we were curious as to the whole thought process and product execution mesh. Plus the brand’s alignment/endorsement deal with Mixed Martial Arts professionals Gabriel Gonzaga and Pete Sell is a deliberate choice that adds instant cred.

It’s all kinda an apparel fusion of an American edgy energetic sport, European detailing (distressed rugged touches on some…and hot, hot, hot back pocket designs-especially on the sexy fitted women samples), and primo Japanese denim--- with the want i…


The Plaza Retail Collection- One West 58th Street, Lower Level, NYC

WORDS, IMAGES Judith Ecochard

The glamorous Plaza Hotel was a favorite haunt of ours growing up in NYC. Beginning with visits to the Eloise Room (the domicile of the beloved fictional girl who grew up on the premises), tea with our impeccably elegant Aunt at the Palm Court, flamboyant umbrella cocktails at the original Trader Vic’s in high school with our cooler than us preppy pals, and then drinks at the Oak Room when we were actually of legal age….this was a spot of our lives. And we dressed up for the occasion!

Now one mega gazillion dollars worth of renovations later, we were now invited to check out the new Lower Level where the retail establishments, including “The Plaza Beauty by Warren-Tricomi®” (the famed luscious locks duo that have a posh full-service salon on the premises) are ensconced.

Immediately upon leaving midtown’s bustling Fifth Avenue-we were calmed as we descended down the escalators, …

PORTS 1961: FALL 2009


West Chelsea, New York City

March 24th, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Runway shows are a great way to see how a collection moves on female forms…but we always try to follow up an intriguing RTW outing with an intimate visit to a designer’s atelier.

With Tia Cibani’s ---and her upscale Ports 1961---the Bryant Park show was barely able to display the number of separates, dresses, coats and accessories that comprise Fall 2009 offerings.

And there is a lot to admire, including an amazing color palette--- so refreshing versus all the neutral tone basics clogging so many Fall 2009 collections (and a reason to shop), glorious textiles, a wide range of internationally appropriate/accessible silhouettes, and polished tailoring.

As usual, Cibani is inspired by some locale and a time period. In this collection, India under the Mughal Dynasty serve as the wellspring for bright colors-curry yellow, orange, shades of creamy beige, sky blues…and sumptuous lightweight textiles like gol…