Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Happy Birthday Marilyn!

It is  hard to believe that this past June 1st marked what would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 85th Birthday!  Almost 50 years since her passing, her image is still is as powerful and vibrant as ever.  With fans around the world who are still in love with the screen legend, her legacy continues.

In honor of Marilyn’s 85th Birthday, the Andrew Weiss Gallery in Beverly Hills, California is presenting a new exhibit titled quite simply “Happy Birthday Marilyn”.  The exhibit consists of photos of Marilyn Monroe taken by some of the most important photographer’s of her time, including George Barris, Milton Greene, Bert Stern and William Carroll.

Not only did we get the chance to interview gallery owner Andrew Weiss about the exhibit, but we had a special treat.  We got the opportunity to sit down and speak with renowned photographer George Barris and his daughter Caroline Barris!
The exhibit is opened on June 1st, Marilyn’s Birthday and will run until August 13th.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: THEIA Celebrates the Summer Solstice!

I was introduced for the first time to THEIA at the Fall 2011 shows last February.  I was extremely impressed with designer Don O’Neill’s line of elegant well crafted cocktail dresses and evening gowns.  Apparently I am not the only one impressed, as the line has become a favorite with stars like Taylor Swift and Emmy Rossum.  That Fall line put THEIA on my radar and I have been anticipating what would come next.  Could the line continue it’s momentum?
The answer is apparently “Yes”.  Inspired by the Summer Solstice, Don O’Neill’s Resort 2012 Collection for THEIA was presented on June 21st in New York.

The Summer Solstice is created by the Goddess THEIA’s son Helios.  According to legend, Helios takes his chariot on the longest ride of the year, riding to the highest point in the sky and blessing us with the longest day of the year.

Drawing on this inspiration, the THEIA Resort collection captures the golds of Helios’s palace and the blues of the sea that it lies beneath.  Mr. O’Neill shows that he is not afraid of color and that he knows how to use it, evoking ocean blues on sandy white beaches and the hibiscus reds and shades of orchid of tropical island flowers. And because an evening collection would not be complete with black, Mr. O’Neill was inspired by the dark black shadows cast by driftwood on white sand.

As in previous collections, Mr. O’Neill presents some stunning silk prints.  I was especially impressed with an abstract print that somehow captures the aquas of the ocean, the white of the sandy beaches, the lush green of tropical islands and the orchids of the flowers.  The THEIA collection also shows a masterful hand in its use of sequins and crystal beading, bringing the shimmer of the oceans and the sparkling brilliance of Helios’s light to life.

THEIA’s Resort 2012 Collection is beautiful and with Spring Collections showing in just a few months, it has most certainly whetted my appetite to see more!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai!

As part of my recent trip to India, a visit to Mumbai was most definitely on the agenda.  How could I not visit the home of Bollywood?
We had just come from Delhi, a city more akin to Washington DC with its government and diplomatic enclaves and most of the city life hidden behind walls or in hidden pockets.  Being a city boy from New York, I felt immediately at home in Mumbai with its tall buildings and streets bustling with activity.
Of course we had debated on where we should stay in Mumbai, trying to pick the best location for taking in the flavor of the city.  We  found several gorgeous contenders including The Four Seasons Mumbai and another Taj hotel, the Vivanta by Taj - President .  But in the end, we decided to go with the hotel that had the most history as well as being in an ideal location.  That hotel was the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the South Mumbai neighborhood of Colaba.
A truly memorable experience, we had a wonderful stay at the Taj Palace!  Watch my video about our stay and find out what all of the fuss is about!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: A Lady Never Admits Her Feet Hurt!

I have a lot of friends who are girls.  Okay, let’s face it, the majority of my friends are girls!  That being said, over the years I have had my share of hearing the complaints about feet hurting from wearing heels: the price one pays for donning those gorgeous Choos, Manolos & Louboutins!  After all, as Vivienne Westwood once said, “If it’s comfortable, it isn’t fashion!”.
While I tend to agree with Ms. Westwood, my experience with my dear friends has taught me that only a few stalwart fashionistas will make it to the finish line without taking their heels off at some point.  Which leaves them with the choice of dancing at a party in bare feet or in some instances, walking on the street with bare feet.  I personally don’t find either option terribly appealing, but what’s a girl to do?

Now there IS a stylish alternative: Tash Folds!

Tash Folds is a line of foldable vintage-style ballet flats that you can easily fold up and carry in your purse.  So, when your feet have given out, you can pop them out of your purse, slip them on and problem solved!  The foldable flats come in a wide variety of styles and colors to fit any occasion!  Priced from $20-$40 per pair, you can easily afford several pairs to take you almost anywhere.

With Tash Folds, you never have to worry about looking dowdy going to or from an event.  Yes, there are those times where you would rather save those arches for the actual event, rather than wasting them on getting there!

For the Full Line, go to Tash Folds! Check them out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Fashion Fights Cancer with Byron Lars!

An intimate event took place May 25th at Midtown Manhattan’s Audi Forum.  Fashion Fights Cancer president, Ty Canty and superstar designer Byron Lars presented a special group of ladies and their creations to the world.

The non-profit organization brings together the fashion community to raise awareness and funds to battle cancer. The project brought together Byron Lars and cancer patients Frances Ricks, Muriel Asnis, Barbara Moskowitz, Peggy Leigel and Carmen Diaz to create hand painted scarves under the mentorship of the designer. 

Some women were seasoned artists; some found a surprising new outlet for creative expression.  Muriel Asnis, was already a jewelry designer and donated some of her work to a fundraising auction for the organization.

The ladies modeled their silk scarves on top of Byron Lars’ blouses.  As gorgeous as the designer’s pieces were, nothing looked as beautiful on these women as their own smiles of accomplishment.
Cupcakes and champagne were served.  Guests also went home with gift bags of Godiva chocolates and Mizani hair products. 

Future events include designers Tracy Reese and Jason Wu.  To donate or get involved, please visit Fashion Fights Cancer on the web

photos by Mariana Leung

Reported by Mariana Leung of

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: National Arts Club 2011 Fashion Innovator - William Calvert!

Designer William Calvert was celebrated as the man of honor at the beautiful National Arts Club last week. The historic organization of the arts chose the fashion innovator based on his varied career, but leaders of the club praised his integrity.
Fashion committee chair Chrishaunda Lee reminisced about her wedding gown that was created by Calvert and then rounded up the Fashionistas in the room who were sporting his dresses.

Mr. Calvert’s work includes working in Couture at Balenciaga and Pierre Balmain in Europe. In the United States, he worked for Diane Von Furstenburg and Brooks Brothers brands before starting his own label in 1998. In 2001, he founded the label Callula Lillibelle with partner Melanie Fraser-Hart.


Reported by Mariana Leung of