Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Douglas Hannant Fall 2012!

Creating a set with trees and a runway strewn with autumn leaves, Douglas Hannant unveiled his Fall 2012 Collection at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center.  Douglas Hannant always produces a line of sophisticated, elegant and stylish clothes that has gained a following among some of the best dressed ladies of the world.

For Fall 2012, Douglas Hannant took his inspiration from the  English countryside and manor with Wallis Simspon as his muse.  The designs referenced 1940’s glamour girl design elements, while at the same time creating a look that is modern and of the moment.  With hair by Edward Tricomi of Warren Tricomi and make-up by Le Métier de Beauté, the runway look captured the inspiration for a truly beautiful show.

Keeping true to his inspiration, the collection is a marvelous mélange of textures and patterns with plaids, herringbones and houndstooths of all sizes giving the collection a richness and depth that I crave for Fall.  The color palette also stays true to traditional Fall color themes with black, white, browns and greys taking center stage.  But Mr. Hannant gives the collection further dimension with pops of bright jewel tone reds, emeralds, amethysts and sapphires.

The silhouette is a modern day take on 1940’s war time looks, remaining mostly sleek and body conscious, with the occasional large coat or boxy jacket.  One of the knock-out looks is a form fitting strapless dress with a contrasting godet skirt, creating volume and movement with a sexy feminine flair.

While right on target for his Upper East Side type clientèle, the collection has a youthfulness to it that makes it cross generational.  I easily saw a young Blair Waldorf in the entire collection, looking at home and elegant!  Douglas Hannant’s Fall 2012 Collection is quite simply delicious and proves once again why he has such a loyal following!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: 21 Club NYC!

As a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, I generally try to avoid touristy establishments.  However, there are a few instances where the establishment draws a tourist crowd, yet it is still worthy of attention.  An interesting atmosphere, consistently good menu or even a long standing reputation can tip the scales in favor of one of these places.

One week ago, I found myself perusing locales for a celebratory dinner and had a hard time sorting through the high quality restaurants that are in abundance in New York.  Aside from having an interesting menu, my number one criteria was that the restaurant had to be memorable.  I wanted a place that was distinctively New York.  Even more specifically, old school New York, of which very few places still remain.  This line of thought led me to the 21 Club.

In the Hitchcock film Rear Window, Grace Kelly brings Jimmy Stewart take-out from the 21 Club, which watching it as a child burned the name into my consciousness and created an allure that has remained with me to this day.  So it was definitely the 21 Club for that special evening.

It had been at least two decades since the last time I had dined at the 21 Club, so I wasn’t sure if it would hold up to my memories.  We were seated in the downstairs dining room, a room where the ceiling is decorated with hanging sports helmets, model trucks and airplanes, adding a bit of whimsy to what is a rather formal atmosphere.

I began my meal with a chopped salad consisting of savoy cabbage, romaine, bell peppers, snow peas, zucchini, garbanzos with a white balsamic dressing.  My partner began with an appetizer of lump crab served on radicchio, with grape tomatoes, celery and lettuce.  Both appetizers were light and refreshing, setting the palate for the main course to come.

As a first time guest at 21, my partner had to try the 21 Burger, served with melted cheddar cheese, tomato, frisée, haricots verts and carmelized onions.  Skeptical that the burger could live up to its $32 price tag, he dug into his meal and proclaimed that it was most likely the best burger he had ever had and it was cooked to perfection.  He especially liked the bourbon ketchup sauce that they served as part of the condiments.  I would have to agree about the bourbon ketchup as I managed to swipe several fries and dipped them in the sauce.  Super tasty!

For my main course, I had the Vegetable Tasting, consisting of a portobello mushroom tower with a light cream sauce, stuffed red peppers and a vegetable quinoa.  The dish was delicious, scoring extra points for creativity.  I was also impressed with the vegetable quinoa, considering that most restaurants when offering a vegetarian item on the menu completely overlook the fact that some type of protein is needed in the meal.

We ended the meal with a Chocolate Griottine Torte that was divine! Regrettably, I was so taken with the smooth and decadent chocolate torte with brandied cherries and sour cream ice cream, that I completely forgot to take a picture until the plate was cleaned.  Despite having no photo, it is definitely etched into my memory.
The 21 Club lived up to its image and was the perfect place to create memories for our celebratory occasion.  As fewer and fewer of the old New York establishments remain, it is somehow comforting that the 21 Club is still there, still quality and still able to transport you back to a New York rich with history.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Hello La Mode NYC Launch Event!

Keeping pace in the ever changing landscape of fashion means that we are constantly filling our closets with the latest and greatest in style.  Since most of us don’t have closets like Carrie Bradshaw’s, what do you do with the overflow of items you no longer wear or that impulse buy that once you got home wasn’t really compatible with your persona?  Or, you want to expand your own wardrobe and are looking for authentic designer pieces at prices that won’t set your credit card on fire?  Enter Hello La Mode!
For you LUCKY New Yorkers, Hello La Mode is throwing a L'Amour de la Mode launch party on Tuesday June, 26th from 6 PM to 8 PM for fashion media, fashion bloggers and friends of Ladies Who Lunch!  Sip champagne, nibble on Parisian-themed treats, have your style immortalized by fashion illustrator Jennifer Lilya and learn more about the wonderful world of Hello La Mode!
To get an official invite and RSVP, send an email to:
Hello La Mode is the premier online marketplace for luxury resale.  Fashion lovers can sell and buy high end fashion items from their favorite designers at obtainable prices!  But what separates Hello La Mode from other sites?  They carefully curate the items that are accepted, checking them for authenticity, luxury and style.  Every item is manually reviewed to ensure the condition and quality matches the description and is certified by the Hello La Mode experts.
Transactions are between two members and funds are held in escrow until purchases are certified and shipped.  Sellers are guaranteed payment if their item passes certification.  If it does not pass certification, the buyer is automatically refunded!
Learn more about Hello La Mode by visiting their website and start selling and buying today! password: fashion

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Nonoo Fall 2012!

We met up with  designer Misha Nonoo at the Standard Hotel in Greenwich Village and spoke with her about her Nonoo label and what we could expect for Fall 2012!

A recent winner of Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for Women’s Ready to Wear, Designer Misha Nonoo is catching the eye of fashion insiders.
Concentrating on bespoke tailoring techniques, perfect fit, and manufactured all in Manhattan, the Nonoo collection is gaining a reputation for refined elegance and attention to detail.

In the European tradition, the Nonoo Collection is all about building a wardrobe, combining pieces from the last season or future seasons with pieces from the current collection.  So, while the current trends are evident in the collection, they are captured in a way that make the collection timeless.  For Fall 2012, Misha Nonoo took her inspiration from screen legend Anouk Aimée, a perfect fit for this classic yet fashion forward line!

Welcome to the world of Luxury ready-to-wear dressing by Nonoo!

Video Photography by Natalie Kaufler

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Kara Ross Fall 2012!

We met Kara Ross at the Time Warner center in New York to see the upcoming Fall 2012 Collection and to talk with her about her gorgeous designs.

During New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2012, I met Kara Ross and saw her collection for the first time.  To say that I was impressed with her collections of jewelry and handbags is an understatement.  I was not only bowled over by her immense talent, but I was equally impressed with Kara Ross as a person!  One of the most friendly, courteous and unassuming people you will ever meet, Kara Ross is someone you won’t forget!

A certified gemologist, designer Kara Ross is a master in creating jewelry that is elegant and sophisticated.  Her love for gems is reflected in her handbag line as well, using gems as her signature on the closures and other details. Her multi faceted collection has everything you need to be glamorous from day to night no matter what the occasion. With an attention to detail that makes her designs so precious, it is no wonder that her luxurious bags have become a favorite with stylish celebrities.

For Fall 2012, Kara Ross has outdone herself with a collection that is both beautiful and functional.  Each piece in the collection of handbags and jewelry is a work of art, a cherished possession that will make you a stand out in any crowd!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Josie Natori Fall 2012!

The name Josie Natori is synonomous with luxury lingerie, but this talented designer also produces a ready to wear collection that season after season continues to define elegance.
For Fall 2012, Josie Natori presented her collection at the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea, a venue that complimented the stunning collection.  We spoke with the successful designer about her inspiration for the collection and how she channeled that inspiration into the clothes!

Often inspired by her Asian roots, Josie Natori’s Collections are beautiful studies in color and form with an attention to drape that is both body conscious and sculptural.  Ms. Natori's inspiration for the Fall 2012 Collection was Mongolia, which was very evident in the color choices, prints and layering.  There was also a feeling of art deco in the collection with its clean lines and elegant sophistication.

Josie Natori once again showed us what a multi-dimensional designer she is!

Video Photography by Ching Leung