Monday, July 30, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Katya Leonovich Fall 2012!

A native of Moscow, designer Katya Leonovich began her fashion career in Rome and Paris before making New York her home.  The winner of numerous competitions, Katya Leonovich takes the couture techniques she developed in Europe and uses them to create her signature Beautiful Garbage style, the embedding of her fabrics with an assortment of materials including torn paper, pieces of aluminum, strands of cotton, feathers and fringe.

Also a painter, Katya Leonovich meshes art and fashion together and nowhere it that more evident than in her Fall 2012 Collection.  Leonovich painted architectural details from the Flatiron District of New York and those paintings became the guidepost for the collection.

Creating a print based on her paintings, the vibrant colors Katya Leonovich is so well know for all pulled directly from the paintings to create tops, cocktail dresses and gowns.  Complimenting the bold prints, the rest of the collection focuses on black, white, a shiny khaki, metallics and even a snake print.  Leonovich plays with proportions mixing formfitting garments with boxier jackets.

For Fall 2012, Katya Leonovich presented a collection that once again showed the artistry that has made her a winner in so many competitions!
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Duckie Brown Fall 2012!

Since founding Duckie Brown in 2001, designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver have developed it into one of the major trendsetters of mens fashion and has garnered it nominations for the CFDA Menswear Designer of the year award.

The Duckie Brown menswear line has developed a reputation for fine hand tailoring, its use of unique fabrics, bold colors and most importantly its sense of humor.

For Fall 2012, all of these elements were once again in place for a collection that incorporated rich textiles with innovative cuts.  Traditional tweeds and plaids were cut into trim tailored jackets and juxtaposed with voluminous pants.  Admittedly, when I first saw the billowing pants on the catwalk, I was a little taken aback.  But after reviewing the looks and video footage, there is something that clicked for me and it just looks right for the times.

In a show that played with proportions in a very dramatic way and blended modern cuts with classic fabrics, Duckie Brown proved once again why they are a leader of the fashion pack.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Nicholas K Fall 2012!

Marrying traditional quality and design with a modern downtown edge, Nicholas K’s distinctive layered look, has become a well known line of women’s and men’s clothing.   Designed by the brother/sister team of Nicholas and Christopher Kunz, Nicholas K is one of the shows that fashionistas flock to during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

For Fall 2012, the team drew on their Southwestern roots to present a collection that evokes the old west in a completely chic and modern way, accentuated on the runway by Stetson wearing models.  Inspired by the 1920‘s Taos modernist artists like Georgia O’Keefe and Ansel Adams, the collection was full of Western references.  Fringe was a key element in the collection, appearing on sheet knit dresses, geometric leather jackets and in metallic on glitzy tops and dresses.

The team loves outerwear and that was evident in a gorgeous showing that included a fresh take on parka jackets and long and short coats inspired by duster jackets.  In keeping with their theme, the Nicholas K Fall 2012 colors relied on earth tones drawn from the Taos desert including sand, greys, reddish earth tones and sage greens.

Nicholas K Fall 2012 is chock full of wearable pieces that have a modern edge to them, making them classic and contemporary at the same time.  And as usual, the Nicholas K layered look feels especially right with this theme and for this coming season.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Prete & Bruno Fall 2012!

Presenting their FIRST EVER collection after forming the company a mere 10 months ago, Prete & Bruno took New York by storm at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  As a designer, eveningwear has always been one of my passions.  So the debut of this new collection was of particular interest to me. 

For Fall 2012, Prete & Bruno presented a collection that emphasized femininity and a return to dressing that is both chic and elegant.  Speaking with the designers, they said that they were inspired with the great female icons of glamour such as Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich and the inspiration was evident in their work.
The Italian design duo worked with a minimal color palette of black, gold and their signature color for the collection, an intense jewel tone green.  The collection silhouettes included tweed and bouclé sophisticated suits, sexy form fitting pieces, and flowy feminine dresses and gowns.

While the collection certainly concentrated on eveningwear, a lot of the dresses and suits can easily be worn for day and late afternoon by the woman with that certain “je ne sais quoi”!  Prete & Bruno created the collection utilizing only the finest fabrics, giving their collection that true luxe feel.

Prete & Bruno know who their customer is and have created a line that will definitely take care of her lifestyle needs!  An impressive first collection, I will be keeping an eye on them to see how they evolve!

Video Photography by Anna Marie Nguyen

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: 46664 Fashion Honoring Nelson Mandela!

How did you honor International Nelson Mandela Day yesterday?  The 46664 fashion collection is the first global South African fashion label designed in the spirit of the culture and pride of the people.  A partnership with South African textile and apparel manufacturer Seardel, 7-9% of the proceeds are donated to benefit the Mandela Day Library Project.  

The number 466 was Nelson Mandela's prisoner number and 1964 was the year he was incarcerated.  To grow something negative into something positive, the 46664 humanitarian organization initially started as a global HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaign.  Soon it grew to be much more, challenging people to put their own passion and efforts to improve the world.

The presentation was hosted by the South African Consulate near the United Nations.  The Consul General, George Monyemangeneintroduced the presentation. Celebrity stylist Philip Bloch was present to support, (also flashing his Africa tattoo on his abs).  Male supermodel Sam Sarpong modeled some clothes down the mini runway.  The clothes themselves were contemporary and the color palette was bold.  On some of the shirts, the embroidered motif of a hand, placed over the heart symbolized the passion of Nelson Mandela.

Multi-platinum singer Lira looked beautiful as modeled one of the dresses.  However Miss Lira truly moved the crowd when she spoke about her experience as someone who grew up at the tail end of apartheid.  She described the experience of watching a country and community experiencing freedom for the first time and struggling with what exactly that meant.  She described how proud she was to have the freedom to decide what she wanted to do and what to be and the privilege of having that choice.  Wearing a fantastic dress that also grew from designs of her heritage, and being someone who had the freedom to wear it was something she did not take for granted.

Three libraries that have benefited from 46664 fashion are planned to open this year.  

Mr. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for humanitarian rights.  Nelson Mandela International Day challenges you to give only 67 minutes of your time, to support your chosen charity or serve your local community.  For more information, visit here.

Reported by Mariana Leung of

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Mara Hoffman Fall 2012!

Hailing from Buffalo, NY, designer Mara Hoffman graduated from Parsons School of Design and studied at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London.  She launched her first collection in 2000 and her swimwear line in 2008.

Known for her bold prints and her penchant for the exotic, Mara Hoffman’s collections take the bohemian look to a whole new level of sophistication.  For Fall 2012, the theme of the collection was South American Shaman Cowboy, influencing the prints and an eclectic layering of different textures and fabrics.

As in previous collections, Ms. Hoffman adds elements of the mystical in her collections and this season they appeared in the form of ‘third eye” symbols in her silk screened print dresses, intarsia knits and South American tapestry references.  The jewelry in the presentation echoed this reference as well, appearing in the form of necklaces based on the Mayan calendar.

Blending her bohemian chic look with references to the South American Gaucho,
the Mara Hoffman Fall 2012 collection has a relaxed but sophisticated look chock full of pieces that will appeal to her discerning but laid back customer.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Helios & Luna Fall 2012!

I first became aware of Helios & Luna when they presented their Spring 2012 Collection.  I was impressed with the collection for several reasons: quality fabrics, an abundance of detail, bold colors and above all wearability!  Having become a fan after that collection, I was curious to see what Helios & Luna designer Patricia Clyne would come up with next.

For the Helios & Luna Fall 2012 collection, Patricia Clyne took her inspiration from the work of British conceptual artist Martin Creed, resulting in a collection filled with bold color and texture.  As with her Spring 2012 collection, this collection was chock full of design details from piecing together different fabrics to color blocking giving the seemingly simple separates a depth and sophistication.

The presentation was an interesting mélange of past meets present with the models sporting a modern version of the beehive hairdo, emphasizing the timelessness of the designs.  The outfits were enhanced with bold jewelry from our fave designer Kara Ross and shoes by the always chic Fratelli Rosetti!

Inspired to fill the needs of the modern woman, designer Particia Clyne has produced for Helios & Luna yet another lifestyle collection, giving her customer the perfect options she needs to take her from day into evening.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Douglas Hannant Pink Fall 2012!

Douglas Hannant is known for the elegance, luxury and sophistication of his signature collection which is a staple of New York’s society women.  Take those same elements, translate them into a more youthful and fun collection, et voilà, you have Douglas Hannant’s newest venture, Douglas Hannant Pink.

Douglas Hannant Pink is a diffusion line that will bring the designer’s style to an even wider audience.  While Douglas Hannant’s signature collection retails from between $600 to $30,000, the Pink collection is priced between $150 to $1,550.
Douglas Hannant launched the Pink collection to appeal to a new client while at the same time giving his tried and true customers a more casual option to his couture line.  Mr. Hannant’s customers would often say to him while in the Hamptons, “I’m sorry I didn’t wear you, but everything I have of yours is too dressy to wear here.” With Douglas Hannant Pink, that will no longer be a problem!

For Fall 2012, Douglas Hannant Pink took its inspiration from the Rich College Girl, showing a youthful collection of dresses and separates that will appeal to customers of any age!  While still maintaining Douglas Hannant’s inimitable style, this Pink collection adds an element of playfulness with influences from the Mod/60’s era.  The colors are classic Fall, with browns, rusts, oranges with just some blues, blacks and whites for contrast.

A beautiful collection, Douglas Hannant Pink Fall 2012 will most certainly appeal to a whole new segment of the fashionista population and give the Douglas Hannant client even more reasons to wear this talented designer!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: John Bartlett Fall 2012!

It is no secret that I love fashion and shopping.  I am always on the hunt for the latest and greatest in both menswear and womenswear!  But sometimes the latest and greatest comes in the guise of an established designer that constantly evolves and continues to provide us with designs that are not only relevant, but are on the cutting edge of fashion.  John Bartlett is one of those designers.

With degrees from Harvard and FIT, John Bartlett jumped into the fashion world designing for Willi Smith and Ronaldus Shamask before launching his own collection in 1991.  John Bartlett’s menswear line introduced lace-up closures and leather trims into a period that was most known for minimalist design.  The fashion world sat up and took notice, awarding the designer two CFDA awards and numerous other awards.

John Bartlett is also an animal rights and welfare activist, using his designs to fund The Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, a non-profit created to support independent rescue groups across the country.  In addition, Mr. Bartlett has worked with the Humane Society of the United States, the North Shore Animal League and other animal rights organizations to champion for the welfare of all animals.

Utilizing a grant he earned from Lexus and tapping that same activist spirit, John Bartlett  presented the first Eco-Luxe, 100% cruelty-free menswear collection for Fall 2012.  The collection shows once again that Bartlett is above the curve and in step with what the modern man wants and needs in his wardrobe.  Not only am I excited about the eco-friendly and animal rights aspect of the collection, I found myself mentally adding pieces of the collection into my own wardrobe.  And since I am an extremely picky shopper and designer, that is no mean feat!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Byron Lars Beauty Mark Sample Sale!

It is that time of year again! Stores are having their blow-out sales to clear the floors for the arrival of the Fall Collections.   As excited as I am by all of the amazing Fall fashions that will be coming, this is the time to stock up on favorites at bargain prices.
If you are lucky enough to live in New York or will be visiting New York, it is also the time to score at Designer Sample Sales!  As all of you know, Byron Lars is one of my all time favorite designers.  A master of innovative drapes and construction, Byron’s collections are always prize possessions to have in your closet!

Mark your calendars for the Byron Lars Beauty Mark Sample Sale and get in on his exquisite style at prices too good to pass up!  ALL SIZES are available with something for everyone!!!

TIME: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Byron Lars Beauty Mark Showroom
                250 West 39th Street (Between 7th an 8th Avenue)
                Suite 1602 on the 16th Floor

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch: Joy Ciosi Fall 2012!

For Fall 2012, designer Joy Ciosi presented a collection full of intricate details and bold prints, giving it a richness and depth that made it a stand out among the Fall Collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

With a theme of Seductive Survival, Joy Ciosi explored all aspects of the theme in both subtle and dramatic ways.  Some of the drama was conveyed through prints which were inspired by shedded snake skin, the wing of an owl and leopards in a vibrant palette of reds, oranges, purples and blues.  For the more subtle explorations of her theme Ms. Ciosi manipulated her fabrics by washing, pleating, deconstructing them and playing with the drape in ways that gave the collection a couture feel.

Each piece in the collection was well thought out and finished with sumptuous trims, piping, flowers and ruffles.  The embellishments added a femininity to a collection that also emphasized a woman’s strength.  Presenting looks that  can take the modern woman through all aspects of her day from office through evening, Joy Ciosi showed us a strong focused collection that truly marries practicality with fantasy and luxury.