January 18, 2018

Prabal Gurung: Rated PG


I had the pleasure of meeting Prabal Gurung when he visited San Francisco in a few years ago. The San Francisco Chronicle quoted me saying, "These are clothes with substance", which still stands. He does not like bimbos and he is not interested in dressing them. He designs for a thinking man's sex symbol. His designs are not exactly PG but they are definitely not X-rated. 

Yaya Decosta was attending a TV festival in Monte Carlo that she wanted to be dressed for. She is a star on the popular NBC drama called  Chicago Med. Yaya's beautiful angelic face is hard to miss as nurse April Sexton. The show is a fast paced medical drama that reminds me of the ER TV series. After I called in a bunch of things, Yaya decided on a Prabal Gurung double faced silk tunic that she wore as a dress with long flowing sleeves. Turns out she was unable to go to Monte Carlo but she had a friend shoot a video of her in the dress that was fantastic. These stills of the video give you a glimpse of the ethereal quality of the dress. Thanks Prabal!

Bracelet by Alexis Bittar and earrings from the collection of
Karen Caldwell.

December 14, 2017

My Two Fav American Brands at the Moment

Both of my favorites are happy brands and of course chic. Roxanne Assoulin is a jewelry designer that is not new but has a brand new look. She dreamt up her latest signature chick-let look a couple of years ago and it took off like lightening with Instagram's help. Most of the bracelets are multi-colored and I also love the gold and silver below. I follow Roxanne on Instagram (@roxanneassoulin) and the copy on her posts is always fun and irreverent. Her tagline is an uncomplicated indulgence.

Oh and if you know Rosie Assoulin, who is a rising star in New York fashion, that is Roxanne's daughter-in-law. All in the family as they say!
Clare V. is a hand bag company that is based in LA. The founder, Clare Vivier is a former journalist who lived and worked in Paris so it is no surprise that her first pop-up is in gay paree for this holiday season. She has successfully infused a French mood into her collection that gives it a certain je ne sais quoi. Go on her site and check it out at www.clarev.com
I'm partial to this little red bag. 

November 9, 2017

Missoni on a Mission

Angela Missoni recently did an American tour to celebrate her 20th anniversary as creative director of her family's legendary design company. She brought some vintage pieces that were amazing and somewhat subdued. They were a nice juxtaposition to the bright colors on the sales floor at Neiman Marcus. I like both because they showcase the breadth and depth of Missoni over the years.
Angela Missoni
A look from the upcoming spring collection.

Missoni has a long history and back in the day Diana Vreeland's assessment was, "Who says a rainbow has only 7 colors? There are many shades." When Angela was a little girl Mrs Vreeland kept writing her mother. She wanted to introduce her to the department stores in America. When the Missoni's finally arrived in New York, they had a small room at The Plaza and Diana Vreeland came with 14 editors. The entire room was filled with flowers all sent by Vogue. The Missoni's thought this was the American way to greet everybody. 

I'm sure Angela has many stories to tell but one she felt proud of the other evening was that ever since they started doing business with Neiman Marcus they have been in the store every season. That is a feat that not many designers can attest to.

September 23, 2017

Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards


Manolo Blahnik's documentary premiered last night in Chicago and I have an even more elevated opinion of the storied shoe designer. I have to say that there were a few years there when his Louis heeled pumps and sling backs seemed a bit old and tired to me. In the movie, Manolo had all kinds of fabulous fantasy shoes that never make it to the floor of Neiman Marcus or anywhere else. I am sure they are on all kinds of movie sets and apparently Kate Moss wore Manolos on her wedding day.

The movie was interwoven with all his fashion cronies like Anna Wintour, Paloma Picasso and André Leon Tally as well as an appearance by Rihanna who looked gorgeous.

The man has been at it a very long time and it shows. The shoes are exquisitely made. With all the over the top and exaggerated styles today, Manolos feel new to me again.

When I met Manolo in 2010 I was so charmed I tried to dress like him.

July 26, 2017

Alexa Chung's Debut at Bergdorf Goodman


Brit It girl, Alexa Chung, is now a full fledged designer with realestate at Bergdorf Goodman. After launching online in May, she kicked off her collection yesterday at Bergdorf. The swag was "Lonely Hearts Club" and I am not 100% sure, but Chung is often tongue and cheek. Her Instagram is downright cryptic. 

AlexaChung differs from other contemporary brands through it's lovely clash of masculine and feminine tailoring, wry humor, and slightly conservative taste. 

From the horse's mouth and her website: "My vision is to create clothes that people want to wear (yay!)... combining a Parisian chic with a New York edge, as well as the very British sense of humour." 

June 18, 2017

Farfetch's Future


Farfetch is an online luxury shopping site that has evolved rather quickly over the past few years. They started connecting customers through a network of world wide boutiques. If someone found a dress in their local boutique but not their size , they could undoubtedly find it somewhere in the world through Farfetch. Today they are developing into more of the Net-a-Porter model but still without inventory.

I wrote about Farfetch two years ago when they had 300 boutiques on board. I was impressed by it then and now with recent developments it's bound to be a global powerhouse. First Natalie Massanet, founder of Net-a-Porter, has joined forces with Farfetch founder José Neves. She brings years of experience to the space.

Just days ago in a huge takeover, Farfetch bought Style.com. With the merger, Style.com will close it's doors. Both of these moves will prove to strengthen Farfetch's visibility and position in the marketplace. They will compete head on with Net-a-Porter so it's nice to have Natalie on board to do so! 
May 13, 2017

Be the Protagonist

I first heard of Protagonist when I visited Vanessa Traina's boutique called The Line. Protagonist is one of the lines that is carried at The Line. Ha! I was intrigued by the name and then found out it is right up my alley. Included are beautifully executed wardrobe staples defined by the subtleties of form, fit and fabrication. As a fashion/wardrobe stylist: form, fit and fabrication are key. 

 Looks like Protagonist feels for a ski pant for Pre Fall. I agree it looks fresh again.
 Here's a nod (maybe more than a nod) to the new larger silhouette.
 More beautifully executed separates to keep in your wardrobe for years to come.
 A spunky little vest gives a punch to the wardrobe.
A cropped flare still looks fresh.

If you want a beautifully made piece that will be a staple and one that you will have for years to come take a look at Protagonist. The name is easy to remember but may not be too easy to find yet. I know you can definitely find it at The Line in New York or LA.