Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Sherri Hill Spring 2012!

Since there really weren’t any design options during my short stint in Atlanta, I had to get creative about work options.  This led to teaching design at a college and working at the Apparel Mart in a multi-line showroom.  It was at this showroom that I met Sherri Hill and worked with her line.  Ms. Hill’s designs immediately garnered my respect and I was even more smitten when I met this down-to-earth, charming and super talented lady.

With my Haute Couture background, I was immediately intrigued with Ms. Hill’s designs.  The quality of craftsmanship on the inside and outside of her gowns was undeniable.  And yes, I alway do examine the construction of garments, almost an obsession of mine.  However, beyond the construction I was impressed with the meticulous attention to detail, the intricate perfectly placed beading, and the sexy flattering silhouettes.  It was no mystery to me why Sherri Hill's gowns were highly sought after in the Beauty Pageant circuit and by celebrities.  Simply put, a Sherri Hill gown brings out a woman’s best assets to the fullest and lets their beauty shine.
Known for her special occasion dressing and a  line of prom dresses that is unrivaled, Sherri Hill has expanded to creating a ready-to wear line of gowns and cocktail dresses that will make her luscious designs available to a wider audience.  Sherri Hill presented her ready-to-wear line at New York Fashion Week in September and it was every bit as impressive as her couture line.
We met up with Ms. Hill to talk about the evening wear line in her New York showroom, where she was shooting the ad campaign for the Spring 2012 Collection.  The ad campaign is featuring none other than Miss China, Luo Zilin, and we got to see her in action in front of the camera.  We were also fortunate to be there at the same time as Chinese Television Icon Yue-Sai Kan and Ms. Kan graciously spoke to us about the Sherri Hill line.
So, get ready to be dazzled and tempted by the spectacular designs of Sherri Hill!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Launch of ShoeMint by Rachel Bilson & Nicole Chavez!

Black Friday!  The day after Thanksgiving that signals the beginning of the holiday shopping spree.  Shoppers will get up at ridiculous hours of the morning, just to cash in on giant sales and specials at retailers across the country.
No one loves shopping more than me, but getting up in the middle of the night, battling crowds, fighting over merchandise?  That is NOT my idea of shopping!  It is more like bloodsport and it kind of ruins all of the aspects of shopping that I love.  Call me a snob (and I’ll freely admit that I am), but you won’t find me anywhere near the Black Friday mob scenes.

So, where can you get the kind of shopping experience on Black Friday that I do love?  On-line of course!  With more and more on-line options becoming available, getting your shopping fix is easier and easier.

This coming Black Friday, November 25, a new on-line shopping site is launching called ShoeMint!  The always stylish and on-trend Rachel Bilson and her awesome stylist Nicole Chavez have teamed up with shoe guru Steve Madden to create ShoeMint, an e-commerce site that is all about FABulous shoes!  Designed by Bilson and Chavez, this fabulous collection of fashionable and well crafted, heels, pumps, ankle boots and more are all available exclusively on the site and at an incredibly affordable price!  At just $79.98 a pair, ShoeMint makes buying stylish shoes easier than ever!

Accessing the ShoeMint world, is as simple as signing up for a free account on the members-only site, taking a brief style quiz that will enable ShoeMint to make personalized style selections just for you, and then start shopping.  A new shoe collection will launch in the on-line showroom every month and when you find that must-have pair of shoes, they are ALL only $79.98 a pair!  Offered in a wide rage of sizes (5-11) and free shipping, how can you go wrong with these gorgeous shoes in the finest materials?
As part of the launch, ShoeMint has created special incentives for getting your friends to sign up.  Getting friends to sign up means discounts for you!
  • Refer 2+ Friends - $25 off your first pair
  • Refer 10+ Friends - $40 off your first pair
  • Refer 40+ Friends - Pay only $1 for your first pair (limited to the first 100 people)
Beautiful well-made shoes designed by style icon Rachel Bilson and stylist Nicole Chavez (whose clients include Scarlett Johansson, Kristen Bell and Jessica Simpson) with the industry know-how of Steve Madden?  How can you resist? So, even if you do trek out into the madness of Black Friday, you most certainly deserve to reward yourself with a pair of these amazing shoes at incredible prices at ShoeMint!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Harmony by Amyn!

Like most of my generation in the 80’s, we piled on the chunky jewelry.  Think of Madonna with numerous black rubber bracelets layered with chunky silver bracelets.  I continued to wear at least one bracelet for years, then my favorite one broke and I kind of fell out of the habit of wearing them.  But, whether it is something in the air or I don’t know what, I’m feeling in the mood to start wearing a bracelet again and am in search of some good ones!

Which brings me to Amyn and Jewelry on 7th in Santa Monica, CA.  Last March, while covering the Go Red for Women Celebrity Fashion Show benefitting the American Heart Association, I met Amyn who was supplying all of the jewelry for the runway.  The jewelry was artistic, sparkling with diamonds and lent each outfit the glamour and sophistication that it needed.

Fast forward to October, where I was covering LA Fashion Week.  Amyn called me to inquire about using the Go Red Show video on his website and I told him it would be my pleasure.  While passing off discs to an associate of Amyn’s, Gotham of Cloud 21, I learned of the new silver line of jewelry that was going to be launched in November.  Amyn and Gotham invited me to the photoshoot for the ad campaign to get a first hand look at what it was all about. I then followed up by meeting with Amyn in his boutique, to learn more about him, his regular collection and Harmony by Amyn.

Photographer Kevin Break captured the mood of the jewelry for the ad campaign with models Jennifer Akerman, Paulina Bray and Jonathan Torres.

The new silver line, Harmony by Amyn, is bold, artistic, edgy and very sexy.  The collection is also very unisex, making it interchangeably perfect for both women and men.  Needless to say, I think I have discovered my new silver bracelet.  That is if I can manage to restrict myself to buying only one! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Tse Fall 2011 Showcased in Film "Without Paul"!

With Fall here and Winter on the way, it’s time to start layering those knits to keep warm.  I usually spend most of my Fall/Winter seasons in warmer climates, but even in California it can get quite chilly at night!  And this year, I will be spending a great deal more time in Winter weather from Paris to New York.
As I take stock of my cold weather wardrobe, I realize that I really don’t have a lot of appropriate clothes.  I mean, they have to be warm, but stylish too!  When I think of warm soft comfortable knits, I naturally think of the luxury brand Tse.  With their Fall/Winter 2011 collection in the stores, it is time to go shopping!

Spotlighting it’s Women’s Classics and the Fall 2011 collection this season, Tse commissioned a short film from iconic director Douglas Keeve, who’s credits include the ground-breaking fashion documentarie “Unzipped” and “Seamless”.  Keeve wrote and directed the short film for Tse entitled “Without Paul”, which is a captivating, bittersweet story about the relationship of independence and love.
Starring the intriguing young actress Katherine Waterston, the short film captures the essence of the Tse line, luxury and modernity.  “Without Paul” shows the line in its many uses from business and social to those comfy stay at home times, conveying that Tse truly is a lifestyle brand.
“To me, Tse projects an extremely modern, even architectural sensibility but because the medium is primarily cashmere-based knits, there is a serenity, an emotional quality to the clothes. To tell that story I wanted to create a woman who felt multi-dimensional and always very real.” Keeve goes on to say of his casting choice that “Katherine was perfect because she is both ageless and an ingénue, with a strength and nobility that manages to come through in a tender way. It was important that Aimee, the character she plays be somewhat idealized but still believable, still real. I think she accomplished the task beautifully, and embodied everything the Tse collection is meant to be.”

Tse CEO Christina Peng-Gershultz says, “Collaborations with different design talents are an important part of Tse’s history, as is using visual language -- especially the filmic image -- to illustrate the essence of the Tse lifestyle. So for Fall/Winter 2011, we decided to try something new by marrying the two. Once we made that commitment, Doug was the obvious choice because of his keen eye and intuitive understanding of fashion down to its smallest nuance. We wanted someone who could really convey the mood and mindset of the Tse woman, which he did masterfully.”
You will find me shopping this season at Tse and you can shop them too at its retail stores in New York/San Francisco/Lake Forest, Illinois and at fine department stores and specialty stores worldwide!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Fashion's Night out with Marisa Berenson & Donna Karan!

In my teens, a friend insisted that I had to see the movie Cabaret.  As we were both dancers, she believed the Bob Fosse choreography was crucial to our dance educationI was already a film buff, so it was kind of a no brainer.  I also was a big Judy Garland fan and was curious to see her daughter perform.  We rented the video and I watched Cabaret for the first time, transforming me into a fan of the film, Liza Minelli, Michael York and of course Bob Fosse.

But the biggest revelation for me in the film was Marisa Berenson.  I was quite taken with her beauty and her acting, thus sparking in me an interest to find out more about her.  I did my research, discovered her fascinating career as a model and became a life long fan.  Not only was I captivated by her beauty, but a radiance that came across in her photos and films, leaving me wanting more.
Years later as I was at Parsons studying Fashion Design, I finally made the connection that Marisa Berenson was the granddaughter of famed Couturière Elsa Schiaparelli.  I had been in awe of Schiaparelli for years, but somehow I had never made the connection between the two of them.  This of course added another dimension to Marisa Berenson that would keep me enthralled.
When Fashion’s Night Out came upon us this last September and I was flipping through numerous invites, trying to decide where to go, I received an email that set my course.  A PR person I highly respect, Deborah Hughes, invited me to Donna Karan’s Boutique for the launch of Marisa Berenson’s new book, A Life in PicturesNeedless to say I was ecstatic!  The chance to meet someone I had been so long a fan of was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

I am happy to report that Ms. Berenson is as beautiful, radiant and charming in person as one might imagine that she would be.  Meeting her was the high point of Fashion Week for me and getting a signed copy of her book was a thrill.  The book, A Life in Pictures, sits on the side table next to the big comfy chair in my CA bedroom and I have spent many an evening perusing the gorgeous photos within.
As for Donna Karan, the hostess of the event, she was vibrant full of energy and engaging as always.  I did manage to get a few moments of her precious time, but I am saving it for a video I am working on about her Los Angeles Urban Zen Foundation store.  Stay tuned for when that video will air shortly.

Video Photography by Nicholas Waickman

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Byron Lars Beauty Mark Sample Sale Nov. 15 - 17!

Byron Lars is known for his perfect cut and figure flattering styles, but this designer’s talents go well beyond those qualities.  With an eye for beautiful fabrics, impeccable tailoring, a style that is timeless and a keen sense of humor, Byron Lars creates a new gorgeous collection each season for his Byron Lars Beauty Mark line!

Check out his Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 Collections to see what all of the Buzz is about:
For those lucky enough to make it, Byron Lars Beauty Mark is having a sample sale November 15th - 17th!  So, if you would like to get some great pieces for your wardrobe and sport some of Byron’s stylish looks, head on over to the sale!  I know a certain MsFABulous who never misses these sales! :)

Byron Lars Beauty Mark
Sample Sale
261 West 36th Street
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10019
Tuesday November 15 -      11:00am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday November 16 - 11:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday November 17 -     11:00am - 6:00pm

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Callula Lillibelle Spring 2012!

Callula Lillibelle is a line that aims to embrace all types of the female figure and be able to dress them from desk to dinner!  The Fall 2011 Collection was a beautiful example of how this could be achieved, so I was looking forward to what Callula Lillibelle would present for Spring 2012.

Designer William Calvert and his partner Melanie Fraser Hart proved that they could do it again.  Inspired by sexy, playful and glamorous Sophia Loren, Callula Lillibelle presented her as a modern woman with modern day needs.  The biggest statement that was made in this collection was color!
Neon pink, aqua, ivory, fuchsia lemony yellow and red ruled the day in separates, dressings and suitings that as the designers explained were meant to make you smile!  The collection is also full of gorgeous prints, large polka dots, small polka dots, and metallic jacquards.  For the color shy, there are enough whites, blacks and greys to mix in with the sea of color!
This last June, William Calvert received the Fashion Innovator Award from the National Arts Council and as this collection proved, that award was well placed!
Find out more about William Calvert and the Callula Lillibelle line in the video interview we did about the Fall 2011 Collection!

Video Photography by Nicholas Waickman

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch: Libertine Spring 2012!

Since it’s debut in 2001, Libertine has garnered attention from some of the biggest names in the fashion industry.  Founder and designer Johnson Hartig continues to impress each season with collections that merge art and fashion in a unique way!

For the Libertine collection, Johnson Hartig goes in search of vintage clothing that interests him, deconstructs, reconstructs and then treats each piece almost as if it were a canvas.  Through screen printing, dying and different forms of embellishment, each piece is transformed into a completely new and novel piece of clothing.
For Spring 2012, Johnson Hartig explored bold graphics, screen printing jagged stripes, Xs, Os and graphic flower patterns on a wide variety of vintage silhouettes.  Even though the actual garments ranged in era from 1920’s through to 1970’s, the decorative elements gave them a modernity that bound them all together into a cohesive collection.  To emphasize the graphics, Hartig’s color palette relied heavily on black and white, navy and white, cream and gold paillette.
Once again, Johnson Hartig presented a Libertine collection that is as artistically appealing as it wearable and fun to wear.  Looking forward to Spring 2012 hitting the stores!