Hold on to your hats

Well the last day of 2009. It has been CRAZY. I turned 40, engaged in Facebook. Joined Twitter & started blogging. Lost my day job due to economy woes. Experienced my first LIVE Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, met all kinds of cool people. On the flight home from MBFW-NY; serious brainstorm, you will see the fruits of this new year. Had some amazing photo shoots & forged some amazing camaraderie & friendships. Plus, have continued working with Apparel Designer Joy Li, who I adore and can't wait for her to launch a men's line... maybe this year?

All I know is that I am grateful for the people (that's you) & events that have supported & ushered me to today. So hold on to your hats, 2010 is going to be a wild ride... full of surprises!!!

Here is to your LifeStyle in 2010... CHEERS!

Tonal Layering=Effortless Elegance

WWD is calling out "Layering" as a Pre-Fall trend for 2010; but this is something you can be doing RIGHT NOW.

Layering can be a little tricky if you are using multiple colors and may require bold leaps on your part. However layering with tonal or like colors can be a breeze. Make it more interesting by mixing subtle patterns &/or textures. The above images look so easy, because they are. I am not saying buy every "twin-set" you see, but keep in mind what is already in your closet & then when you see that wrap or bolero in the same shade with an interesting weave or shimmer you have a brand new outfit at the cost of single piece. As you practice this your friends will notice a sophistication & you will know how effortless, elegance can be.

Images & Links Harvested by Thanh Hoang

A Letter to a Makeup Artist


Typically this would be an "Ask Robert" entry, but the following questions are about Makeup Artistry, so I thought we should refer an expert & friend Heather Wilson.

Andi L. of Manhattan, Kansas asks "... I suddenly look 40. In spite of being 40, I don't want to look it. Crows feet, tired looking skin. Need inexpensive non surgical fix for busy non girly girl mommy! PLUS, my hair dresser cropped my bangs WAY too short. I look like I have a bowl cut. HELP!!"

Heather writes:

Andi,
Congratulations on joining the 40 is the new 20 club!! We may be 40, but that doesn't mean we have to look it or feel it! I am a firm believer in taking care of yourself, and not using surgical fixes either.

First question... do you have a good skincare routine? I love Sampar Skincare. Their Eye Rule & Nocturnal Mask are amazing; I have experienced huge results on my own little crows feet!

Second question... are you drinking enough water and getting enough sleep? I know we all think we are drinking enough water, but we really should be drinking 1/2 of our body weight in ounces of water daily. It ends up being a lot more water than the 8 glasses we were always told to be drinking growing up! Sleep is not always easy being a mom, but on those nights when we do not get enough.... don't forget to have a spoon in the freezer so that we can place it under our eyes to help with any puffiness & darkness. (That and a great concealer works wonders!! )

Speaking of makeup, make sure that you are using a "skincare primer" (Smashbox Cosmetics or Makeup Forever both have a great ones available at Sephora.) I am a big fan of the Makeup Forever HD Foundation, or the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. You want to put it where you need coverage, not necessarily all over the face, and please make sure the color matches your skin-tone! If eyes are your concern, use a concealer over an eye cream. Your concealer should be one shade lighter than your skin-tone to brighten the eyes.

Since you said that your hairdresser cut your bangs way too short, be sure to define your eye brows with a soft brown or light gray eyeshadow. This is a great easy way to open the eyes without having to get Botox!
I hope this helps,

Heather

Personal thank you to Heather Wilson, Make Up Artist, for her personal recommendations; I hope this helps with YOUR LifeStyle.

Give the gift of...oxygen, flash of metal & mineral carbon?



Are you looking for something truly unique to give to the man in your life? There are so many ways we could go; but I will take the simplest route. How about a men’s fragrance? I DON'T mean CK One, Eternity or Drakkar Noir, I wore that to my Senior Prom… oh no, wait… I didn’t go to prom… oops, let’s repress that memory, yet again.

Let me suggest Commes des Garcon, “Anti-Fragrances.” Yes I said Anti-Fragrances. We are talking about unconventional notes to create strikingly modern scents. These everyday notes include oxygen, flash of metal, wash drying in the wind, mineral carbon, sand dunes, nail polish, cellulose, pure air of the high mountains, burnt rubber and flaming rock to name a few. These notes tell a real life story and should trigger memories of interest too.

These Basenotes reviewers wrote: “The scent of a walk through a musty old library. Feel the smoke in a Victorian home. You are taken on a journey and a story of the past is told. As the past fades the plot thickens, and you are surprised at the direction this scent takes you. Very interesting. At times beautiful. A sublime scent.”

“Love the opening! Smokey incense that takes me back to burning leaves as a child. A very light smoke mixed with pantry spices and vetiver.”

“The first time I tried this I can't emphasize enough how disappointed I was. A pleasant, bland, safe, dull "male" fragrance. I wrote it off completely. However, I recently decided to give it another try and I'm happy to report a completely different experience. What was bland before became lovely, smoky sweet, warm and spicy…”

These fragrances can be purchased at Barneys New York, Bloomingdale's & online (none of which provided samples or asked me to write this); I think the receiver or yourself, will be uniquely & surprisingly drawn to it.

Chanel Pre-Fall 2010


Chanel Métiers d'Art Pre-Fall 2010

This Paris-Shanghai RTW collection as a whole seems very exotic. Models strutted on a 280-foot-long barge in matte ebony and projecting an imagined voyage of Coco Chanel’s trip to China, titled “Paris Shanghai, A Fantasy." “It is about the idea of China, not the reality,” Lagerfeld told WWD.
There are pieces I find so inspiring. I enjoy seeing how Chanel’s signature "tweed ground" metamorphoses in each collection. Again military influences are quite evident, including the Terracotta Army & opulent Imperial Court. I love the neck & waistline embellishments. The shoulder cap adornment only seems appropriate to me at... Buckingham Place for instance. I am wondering if the knee/thigh high boots are in a satin material or patent leather? I hope satin.

So, you will see these silhouettes re-animate throughout the upcoming fall season, don’t be afraid, explore your creative ideas… incorporate "like" styles into your existing wardrobe reality.

Images & Links Harvested by Thanh Hoang

Finding your fit... an adventure; Strutting in confidence... priceless.


Denim shorts for SS'10... NOT so ground breaking, but fits & lengths are in abundance. Take the time to find the right fit for YOU!

#1... your size fit is the most important, finding it can be an adventure. Do this when you have time & are not rushed. There are so many brands & each brand has loads of silhouettes or fits; you will find yours… be patient. If you are limited in time, you will get agitated & create an overall disappointing experience. I speak from experience, LOL.

BRAND: each brand fits different, all denim is hand assembled from 119 to 127 pieces (less for shorts). Once you find a fit you like you can try different brands, each brand of High Rise, Low Rise, Mid Rise, Skinny or Loose fit WILL vary. The denim should feel snug at first, but then relax as it conforms to your body.

RISE: referring to the length from the bottom of your crotch seam to the top of the waistband. Depending on your body shape, the rise that you select can work for or against you. Try a Low Rise on, if your pelvic area falls over the top “muffin top” then select a rise that is a little higher Sometimes just an inch can make a world of difference in keeping you all together.

SHORT LENGTH: There are, what feels like, an infinite amount of short lengths. Determine your comfort; this may included, how tone you legs are, blemishes or if they have seen the sun. Be realistic with yourself; the sales person won’t, they are not as invested in you. Bring your true friend or someone who will be brutally honest with you. Don’t be offended; this walk through the fire is a building experience.


POCKET: This is sometimes forgotten… until it is too late. Pocket placement, if it is placed to low, it could make you bottom look askew. The pocket should cover the lower ¾ of your rump. If you have a flatter be-hind, then a pocket with a flap may give the illusion of a fuller look. Try it. If you have a rounder “asset” already then avoid the pocket flap, it will only add bulk to your nice shape.

WASHES: Denim colors are abundant, select a variety... have fun.

DETAIL: Be cautious when purchasing trendy crystallized, riveted, sashed or painted denim; longevity from season to season will be shortened. So be selective, if they are not terribly expensive & you are ok with only getting 2 seasons out of them then OK. But you & your pocket book will need to determine this.


If you have taken the time to find the proper configuration then you will be able to strut in confidence. NEXT… sandals, heels or tennies?

Holiday shopping... for yourself?

It is that time of year, we are all out holiday shopping for family & close friends. Sometimes this becomes more labor intensive than we remember from the year before. So as a reward we like to treat ourselves to a little holiday magic too. But we are still being mindful of our pennies.

"Even when they're buying for themselves they are still looking out for value, and so they're still not spending as much as they used to," said Eric Beder, a retail analyst... read more.

Oh there are lots & LOTS of sales out there; even more so... we need to be careful. In this mad rush for saving a buck, we need to guard ourselves from buying "crap" that is poorly made or just does not look good on us. Be particular as you are fishing through that bargain bin.

Selecting "core value" pieces can feel good, bring a fresh look to your closet and be a wise investment.

In doubt? Call or text your shopping buddy and ask "do I really need this?" I do it for my friends & family all the time.

Happy Holidays!!

Are you proactive?



Many of you know I am a Wardrobe Stylist for Photographers & Magazines. I also offer Fashion & Style advise. On occasion, a young model &/or parent new to the industry ask for a little focus on this strange world. I find it fascinating how mysterious the modeling industry is. Here is what I offered to "Dad" about his 18 year old Son today. Remember this is just a excerpt of possible conversations that happen all over the world... not limited to modeling by any means.

After speaking with you today, I understand the frustration. As a Stylist on set, location or runway, I see the lack of education with the new models; which in my day used to come from the agencies you were signed with. That was their part of the investment in the client, the model. This statement is definitely generalized.

In looking at the website you have created for "Justin," I agree you have a super start; more than most. My professional opinion, is that "Justin" has a fantastic look, appears comfortable in front of the camera & we should see him in a Hugo Boss &/or Ralph Lauren ad campaign, print or otherwise when he gains experience... no question. So if these labels interest him, if not pick one that does, then study what the images & what the guys are doing. Tear them out of the magazines; tape them up by the mirror & practice. If you want it you need to study it, live it & breathe it. Read the LA Times, NY Times & WWD. Keep an eye on trends, follow the blogs. I use Bloglovin to select the blogs I want to read daily… it funnels them to one page for you to see.

If it is runway, then you should know about every event in the world. New York, Miami & Berlin are by Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Paris & London are uploaded by the venue. There is literally a Fashion Week every week of the year some where. Watch the videos, study how they walk... then video yourself doing the walk.

So should he beef up? NO, lean & defined. Definitely improve the abs. The current pictures with his shirt open, leaves me wondering “…why is his shirt open?” With more ab definition, then I would get it. So when his definition improves replace those images with the new ones.

Image #3, the first head-shot, that is tilted a little, is really good. You can see into him, I think that is important. He can connect with the camera, therefore the viewer. I love the athletic shots; they say he is more than a face! Now concentrate on are variations of subject. He is selling, apparel, sunglasses, athletics, masculine beauty, a little seduction & (very important) vulnerability.

Heather Wilson & I discovered this Michael Maddox on Facebook. I am in no way endorsing him, however, he has 20 years of experience in the industry & may offer some very insightful direction. Also, I receive emails & texts for castings all day long. There are all sorts of casting agencies online.I have even received some great jobs on CraigsList.com. Be proactive, don't wait around for opportunities to appear. As always use CAUTION!!!

This is probably plenty for now. Please absorb and let me know when you are ready for the next round, we have only dusted the lens. Put yourself out there, stay in front of the agency. Show your growth & that you are reaching for the stars.

Best,

Robert

Be Astounded... Often

There is no angel sublime, He whispered,
Who can be granted for one moment
What is granted you forever.
And I hung my head, astounded."

Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

So, take just a moment, look around you, be thankful for what & where you are... even if you think you should be farther along in you path. Be gracious & astounded for this moment...often.

Best to your LifeStyle.

Roller Coaster line....


Yep you guessed it... I went to Bikram Yoga class. It was an amazing session. I went for me, not to balance on one foot or prove anything... even to myself; but to celebrate the first day of my new adventure.

Besides burning over 900 calories, I believe Bikram Yoga mirrors your life at that moment. As I have said before, there have been days that I have been agitated & then my Bikram was distracted and restless, leaving class feeling exhausted from the struggle.

This was not the case for this class, I felt light & reverent to the moment. The instructor stopped me on my way out... " Your form and muscle control have greatly improved in the year that you been coming. More importantly, I can see you manage & manipulate the energy to what & where you need it to be." If she only knew. Ha.

I am in line for a roller coaster ride called new Life Adventure (Orient Express, if you are from KC, circa 1980 Worlds of Fun). I am so excited & nervous in anticipation of this ride. Let alone the exhilaration of the actual ride.

With humility of my granted moments, I offer this question... if you don't feel those butterflies in the pit of your stomach... are you in line for a big enough ride?

Personally I love the Incredible Hulk Islands of Adventure ride... LOL

Ask Robert...



Danial B. from Orlando, FL asks Robert "Here's my question of the day. Thanks for your help today and in advance. I'll be heading to New York city in early December. And I'll be attending some dinners that requires me to wear a jacket. What is the best color and style for NYC and for two dinners. Thanks."

OK, so here is the deal~ Jackets or sport coats are the most sensible investment when buying for a special event or classy dinner out in New York Or Orlando. The most modern classic colors are black & charcoal. Navy & camel brown are more conservative casual & less imaginative. In the charcoal I like a tonal stripe or plaid pattern. The black I like solid & clean. The 2 button jacket is still classic in styling, 3 & 4 button come & go.

While your looking at jackets, check out trousers... flat-front. I know pleated pants are perceived more comfortable, but less tailored looking & when you sit down you have a wad of fabric in your lap. Again, black, charcoal & midnight are my favorite; a lite weight wool material is wearable 9 months out of the year in most climates.

Pick up a tie here & there. Consider a paisley, or stripe by Etro, in deep rich tones like maroon, dusty grape or a festive gold for your winter evening.

Here is your shopping list: 1 jacket, 2 ties & 1 or 2 trousers; 1 white & 1 black button down shirt will do too. The above pictured items are suggestions, you can shop for these similar silhouettes anywhere from Men's Warehouse, Macy's, Nordstrom or Barneys NY.
You don't have to buy everything all at once or from the same place. Wherever you go, make sure they will tailor your trouser or jacket for you. It is worth the additional fees, because the whole point is for you to look put together, polished & confident.

Ask Robert...


Erin D. from Kansas asks Robert "I have to go to a fancy auction/fund raiser dinner thing tonight and am wearing a black strapless dress (falls just under the knee). The event starts at 7:00, do I have to wear panty hose-tights??? I'm still tan from the vegas trip but don't want to be too casual or dressed inappropriately :) black or nude...I just have no idea what's expected! and you are the only fashion guru !!"

OK, here is the deal, if you were on the West Coast I would say bare tan legs are perfectly acceptable. Your in the Midwest so tights or hosiery is more proper. SO.... if your bare tan legs are flawless, no bruises or unsightly blemishes, not a second thought. But if you feel it would be more appropriate I would recommend a sheer black, smokey translucent color hose. Avoid designed or crystallized ones for this weekend... could appear to "costumee"... save that for the upcoming winter holiday events.

Bonus tips:

Wear a wrap or "Pashmina", not a coat if possible. It appears more elegant to hand off a wrap than a quilted snow coat. LOL

Accessories should be statement or vintage pieces. Nothing dainty. Don't over do it. Before you head out the door, look in the mirror & remove one piece (as practiced by Coco Chanel & myself) This shows you have discerning classic elegance, no matter what your frock is.

Have a fantastic time to night, your going to WOW them.

Thank you to Saks 5th Ave, Barneys NY & Nordstrom for the images above.

Hey Guys... a little skin talk with me

Interview About MENS' SKIN with Robert Ballew, Phoenix-based Wardrobe Stylist

Instant Gift Certificate (click on link)

Ever since I was a young girl (don't laugh), I have always had an interest in chatting with people about beauty, fashion and grooming habits. A few days ago I asked my fellow "Twits" on Twitter for a male volunteer to interview for my blog about men and skin care.

Robert Ballew, a Phoenix-based Wardrobe Stylist, who I have been Tweeting with for some time now graciously granted me a telephone interview. We talked about his personal thoughts and experiences with skin care and facial treatments as well as grooming tricks for men!


To learn more about Mr. Ballew, check out his bio.

Here's my interview with http://twitter.com/robertballew

{ME} Hi, Robert! So nice to finally talk to you on the telephone! It's a real pleasure, considering we have been "Tweeting" together for months now!

[RB] Thank you, Lori. I am so excited about doing this interview with you! I enjoy reading your tweets, as well as other people's tweets!

{ME} Can you tell me a little bit more about yourself, your skin care regimen and facial treatment (if any) experiences?

[RB] Sure. I'm forty years old, grew up in Manhattan, and I have been living in Arizona for the past six plus years. I've been getting facials for the past ten years, thanks to my best friend who owns a day spa. For the past three years I've been more focused on treatment facials and get skin treatments every two weeks.

{ME} What kind of treatments have you been getting for the past three years?

[RB] I go to an Esthetician at a skin clinic for microdermabrasion and dermaplaning (exfoliation using a razor) as well as peels. Sometimes she does a calming facial, but there is no facial massage or extractions. My skin goal is softening of fine lines and smooth skin. Occasionally I will go to a day spa for a relaxing facial that includes massage of face and neck.

{ME} Robert, have you ever considered or have you ever had botox or any other cosmetic procedure?

[RB] I did have Botox. I was resistant to it at first, but my partner talked me into it because he had such good results with it. It worked really well to soften my upper forehead lines and the lines around my eyes. I only get a little, just to soften. I don't want to look frozen, just relaxed. I like a little movement. Ha ha! I did try the new generic Botox and it did not work for me, but I understand the generic works for most people.

{ME} What's your daily home skin care regime?

[RB] I've been using the Obagi system for three years. I also use La Roche-Posay scrub, SkinCeuticals B-5, skinCeuticals C & E Ferulic, Retin-A and SPF 35 every morning. Sometimes I use Retin-A on my entire face, and other times I just use it around my eye area.

{ME} (I'm thinking, "How do I tell him this gently")... So, Robert...Are you saying that you use all of the steps in the Obagi line? (He says yes!). Are you aware that all Obagi steps contain a very dangerous ingredient called Hydroquinone? The FDA is considering putting a ban on Hydroquinone

[RB] Oh, I did not know that. Thank you for sharing that with me. Are there other products that you would recommend for lightening dark spots?

{ME} Yes! Some of them you are already using. For instance, the Retin-A and Vitamin C is helping to lighten your skin. There are also natural lightening products like Epicuren's Skin Lightener, Balancing Cream and Rhonda Allison's Brightening Cream Enhanced as well as Rhonda Allison's Naturale Mega Brightening Serum.

[RB] I guess I have some research to do!

{ME} Okay. What about shaving, waxing, and thoughts on your skin?

[RB] I don't have any problems with shaving. My skin is oily, dry and sensitive. I change up my skin care routine based upon the time of year. Normally, I use fewer products in the summer and more moisturizing products in the winter. I use SPF every day. I get my brows waxed every two weeks and I did a series of laser hair removal for my chest hairs.

{ME} What are your personal tips on skin care and male grooming?

Ask Robert...

Heather S. in Overland Park, KS asked "So, are my boots with heels a thing of the past?"

Here is the deal~ Absolutely not! These Fall|Winter collections are all over the board in material, construction, embellishment & heel height. The above image just scratches the surface of what is available to everyone, for every occasion & price range. Notice the heel shapes, widths & heights are in abundance to add to your own collection. All these options are available so you may create your own personal style & enhance your mood. Some are more casual... some are definitely more fierce.

Shop! Shop now!

Be on the hunt...

Ridding Boots are made to be used for horse ridding, not everyday wear. The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider, has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground, and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup. The sole is smooth or lightly textured to avoid being caught on the tread of the stirrup in the event of a fall.

Equestrian STYLED boots tend to fluctuate in and out of the fashion spotlight... depending on the region you live in, but remain consistent in there practicality.

Some of my favorites are Etienne Aigner, Cole Haan, Cordani Calzature, 7 for all mankind & The Fry Company. Check out these styles for the Fall/Winter 2009 season. The ability to pair these boots with denim, leggings & skirts, for day, night and every occasion in between, makes owning a single pair a bargain... and no horse or saddle required.

Selvage Denim

Selvage denim, is made on old-style shuttle looms (less than 1% of all denim in the world) rather than modern, projectile looms. This means during the fabric weaving process, the cross-thread goes back and forth as one continuous thread, rather than as individual threads for each cross weave. As a result, selvage denim has a nice clean edge.

Japanese selvage denim is the finest and most rare on the market. Some of the hottest brands out there are A.P.C. Denim, Somet Denim; Nudie Denim, woven in Japan, constructed in Italy and Naked & Famous, constructed in Canada. The Stronghold is woven and constructed in Los Angeles, CA.

Recommend care? I was told by my Personal Shopper at Barneys NY, to wait about a year before washing or dry cleaning, so they have time to conform & wear to your bodies unique attributes. So we could call these "Green." (LOL) I love having the comfort of denim and how clean & sophisticated selvage denim looks with jackets & blazers. So find some and check them out.

Sequins & Embelishments










"Fall leggings should be more glamorous & inspiring..." says Lizzie at shiningtrends.com. I must agree, but leggings are just the beginning. Accent the holidays with a sequins jacket, tunic dress or skirt. Tonal sequins, black on black or charcoal on charcoal, creates a sleek, elegant silhouette that can become core value "After Five" pieces in your closet.

If you want to step outside the box, seek out a rich bronze or pewter color. There are flashier, more colorful tops, just be alert, they are "trenditional", one season only pieces. If you are minding your monies & expected to attend (and enjoy) winter parties... be smart, be inspiring & be glamorous.

Ask Robert...

Ask Robert...
Amy B. in Phoenix, AZ asked "...are cute, cheap accessories OK to buy?"

Here is the deal~
If you are 6... of course. Cute? Cheap? Why not spend a little more & purchase 1 or 2 pieces you can wear all the time... like a signature?







Why throw your money away on a cheap bracelet or necklace that will turn green or break, no matter how cute? (ok, ok...rhetorical) To collect in your drawer or a box; only to rattle around and disintegrate more.

Save up two or three additional paychecks, and procure a piece that makes a statement about you. Something you could wear with most everything; to work or play. By being selective of what you purchase & wear, you display a discerning elegance, no matter how much you did or did not spend.

Always be on the look out for extra special pieces that you can wear for those cocktail events or moments with that special someone. Don't forget to check out estate sales or vintage boutiques. Let me reiterate, ...it is not how much you spend, it is how you spend it.

Again if you are the exceptional 6 year old reading this... tell your Mommy to enroll you in gifted classes immediately and to start saving for Yale or Harvard.

TOMMY HILFIGER Spring|Summer 2010


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tommy Hilfiger Spring|Summer 2010

NEW YORK — New York Fashion Week ended on a high note Thursday night, with Tommy Hilfiger sending out a strong spring collection... Hilfiger's theme was the "relaxed glamour" of a Southern California boardwalk, which meant a surprisingly cohesive mix of crisp nautical looks and disco-era slinky styles... read more

I have to agree, Hilfiger presented classic styles, both crisp and relaxed for both men & women. Classic looks equals excellent pocket-book values. When shopping for core pieces, keep in mind the approaching season and the existing items in your closet that you can rejuvenate. This way you are not over spending & maintaining stride with the latest fashion.

The Green Report


With the big corporations publishing reports that show their companies in the RED, I wanted to issue a trend report that is in the GREEN. (Insert courtesy laugh here.)
Back in February I attended "The Train", one of New York's markets showing European samples, in this case for Fall|Winter, delivering now. The trend pop color was green, strong confident green... emerald, jade & chartreuse. Not a wimpy green... like moss or celedon.

In the October issue of Vogue Magazine, page 168... The Green Movement "... Jade is one of fall's most enviable stones (and shades) and among the best in baubles that we've seen this season, reports Robert Sullivan

So I wanted to let you in on the secret; if you already have it in your closet, bring it on out. If you are out shopping & see it... GET IT! You can even make your nails "Go Green" with Chanel Nail Polish #407 Jade. You will make your friends "green with envy." (Insert courtesy laugh here.) Here is something else... when everyone else is in full swing for those green shades... put the green away and "holla" at me for the next must have pop color.

BROOKS BROTHERS & BLACK FLEECE Spring|Summer 2010

Thom Browne brings out of the box fashion to America.











Thom Browne answers the critics who have been complaining about how boring American men's fashion has become. He offers a clear artistic vision.

Thom Browne is the first guest designer invited by Brooks Brothers to create a new collection under the auspices of the new design laboratory. The company plans to introduce other guest designers in coming seasons...

Black Fleece fabrics include cashmere Madras plaid found in the archives that were reproduced exclusively for this collection. Others are thornproof wool, flannels, wool herringbone, worsted wool with silk organza overlay, cashmere argyle knit and camel hair, made in familiar colors of grey, charcoal grey, navy, camel and blue... read more

I was generously offered the opportunity to preview the Spring|Summer 2010 collection. I graciously accepted. Now I am not really a Brooks Brothers fan... but I think I would wear several of the jackets &/or pants. If you are in need of a tailored suite; or you are in a financial or cooperate setting, I highly recommend checking the Black Fleece Collection. It is not your Fathers suite at all. Sleek, modern & respectable. You will have made a sensible investment in yourself & the perception of others... use that first impressions to your benefit.

Images & Links Harvested by Thanh Hoang

TRIAS Spring|Summer 2010














Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Trias Spring|Summer 2010

"Based on an architectural perspective, a "Lineal Study" has at it's core the aesthetic of innovative linear construction."

That was an under statement. I appreciate the "structure adapted into patterns" & "wrapping in conical shape"... but the heels were of the DEVIL. The obviously poor shoe fit was so apparent, we the viewers, were wincing with pain. The models held their own... but you could tell they were crying inside. One model actually took one shoe off & continued walking in the other shoe & tippy toes. How bad is it when the spectacle that is the apparel is over shadowed by the ill fitting shoes.

Anyway...
Trias "structures" were engineered from silk georgette, waxed silk, silk mesh & silk organza. The color palette consisted of stone grey, Mirta grey, grass green, sulphur yellow & graphite black. I loved the colors, especially for spring & summer.

You will notice that the leg openings are smaller than the top opening... there is your "conical shape." Even the MBFW website left off the more "architectural" looks.

Take a peak...

LEIFSDOTTIR Spring 2010

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Leifsdottir for Anthropologie Spring 2010

While I am not really into the Anthropologie venue, I appreciate the market they are targeting and think they have hit it dead on. Bright spring colors, floral patterns, "world bazaar" prints & Leifsdottir signature vintage styling. The draping on the hip also emerged... just be careful... try it on.

MAX AZRIA Spring 2010



Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Max Azria Spring 2010
Inspired by organic elements, weightless volume and individualistic style, Max Azria embodies the true visionary. The line’s luxurious fabrics and signature design aesthetic have made the collection a favorite among style-setters such as Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale and Eva Mendes, among others. read more at Max Azria click "About Max"

"For Spring 2010, Max Azria slashes away layers to reveal the understated beauty of clean lines and sleek sophistication."

I think the above copy states perfectly what we saw on the runway. The palate was soft, muted & neutral. The simple draping of crepe, chiffon & silk georgette induced sensuality. I LOVED LOVED the suede Ankle Strap & T-Strap sandals. Soft, understated & maybe even comfortable.

I also was delighted to see the reinvention of the "cage metal" mesh dress, skirt & top. Max & Lubov show their edgier side, but still pay homage to the sexy... feminine form.
See for yourself...

Images & Links Harvested by Thanh Hoang

TIBI Spring|Summer 2010



Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tibi Spring|Summer 2010

Tibi designer and founder, Amy Smilovic, began her career in the fashion industry shortly after moving to Hong Kong in 1997. Following a successful marketing position at American Express in New York City, Amy relocated to Asia with her husband and began designing a small collection of contemporary dresses... Tibi is now one of the largest contemporary lines found in over 500 specialty stores and upscale department stores worldwide including Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel...read more at tibi.com, click "ABOUT TIBI"

The Spring|Summer 2010 collection is light, colorful & youthful. Vibrant jewel tone colors of the hummingbird, mixed with nature's surrounding palette of sky, sun, cherry tree blossom & night. Take a closer peak.

BRIAN REYES Spring 2010



Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Brian Reyes Spring 2010

Below press release does not necessarily reflect the views of the readers or writer... just thought it was interesting.

New York, NY (September 15th, 2009)- PROPER ATTIRE and Brian Reyes collaborate to create this fashion season's most alluring partnership. Reyes is know for his refreshingly innovative and ultra-feminine designs that make every woman feel elegant and sexy. Brian Reyes has teamed up with Panned Parenthood to bring women a limited-edition condom that makes it elegant and stylish to use protection, Brian Reyes for PROPER ATTIRE...read more



So on to the collection...

Color palette, stone, indigo, sepia, Wasabi, aqua, red, black & white. I love the prints; especially the shagreen... stingray bone. The Spring fabrics consisted of comfortable Japanese cotton, denim, seersucker & silk crepe.

An interesting note: I have previously called out draping on the hips and suggested to be very careful when entertaining this notion. Brian Reyes has also incorporated draping on the hip... however sculpted the fabric in such a way that it hold it's own silhouette, gracefully masking your own. This gives you more forgiveness for that extra Gelato you had the other day.

BADGLEY MISCHKA Spring|Summer 2010



Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Badgley Mischka Spring 2010

Hailed by Vogue as among the "Top 10 American Designers" and the darlings of the young Hollywood set, Mark Badgley and James Mischka have made their mark with the most glamorous and stylish evening wear...read more


I just happened to be allowed into standing, then was seated. I felt so fortunate.

The glamorous fabrics included Shantung silk, silk-cotton tweed, Organza, lace, taffeta, chiffon and even matte jersey. In shades of pimento, lilac, shocking pink, black & white with details of sequins graced the runway. Check out the textural detail below...inspired.

The jewelry collection was like none I had ever seen, look for them on any "red carpet" type event. Please visit Badgley Mischka to view previous collections & lifestyle pieces.

THUY Spring|Summer 2010



Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Thuy Spring|Summer 2010

Thuy (pronounced "twee") Diep was born into a Vietnamese family of tailors. She began developing her skills at an early age. After coming to the United States, she attended Brown University & consulted at Pricewaterhouse. Returned back to school, Parsons School of Design, for her love of fashion... her experience eventually evolved into her label "Thuy"... "mixing casual chic with understated romantic sophistication"

She continues the romance in Thuy Spring|Summer 2010. I love the cut out details of the jackets, & the playfulness of the "Inside-Out" skirt & dress. The "Side Draped Dress" with zipper detail is chic elegance. Her "Biker Jacket" & "Cut-Out Pencil Skirt" would would be valued core pieces in every closet.

CARLOS MIELE Spring|Summer 2010


Brazilian-born Carlos Miele made his debut at London Fashion Week during the Spring 2002 season. Here we are at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring|Summer 2010.

Proudly celebrating the female form in chiffon, charmeuse silk, tropical wool (sturdy but lightweight for spring & summer), cotton tulle and of course leather & lace. Using colors of guava, pink, nude, white, black & gold. Abstract prints of beach, snake & "onça pintada."

His "pleated bolero" jacket is a fun twist and will be wearable to a number of functions. Made in silk, tropical wool & dark denim. One would be able to throw this over a camisole for a fun night out or silk blouse for a refined "polished" look.

Another detail I loved was his "silk dread locks" shown as a belt and or dimensional detail on a vest or silk bolero.

Very dimensional with the use of fringe & crystal encrusted embroidery. These elements add to the celebration of the female form. Carlos Miele's collection is sophisticated comfort. Enjoy the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week footage

ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY Spring|Summer 2010



Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Academy of Art University Spring|Summer 2010

The AAU was founded in San Francisco 1929 by Artists for Artists. Since 2005 the School of Fashion has premiered the collections of recent graduates.

CONGRATULATIONS to the designers shown this season:
Marina Nikolaeva Popska
Kara Sennett
Amanda Cleary
Richelle Valenzuela
Brittney Major
Jie Pan
Sawanya Jomthepmala

It was exciting to see what fresh, uninhibited minds are creating. The pieces were conceptually innovative, taking knits, wool, vinyl, silk lurex, organza, natural linen & horsehair, pushing them outside the box.

MONARCHY Spring|Summer 2010 offerings for Men & Women

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week MONARCHY Spring|Summer 2010 offerings for men & women, a nice change of pace for me.

For the Gents, conservative hues of blue, grey, teal, light caramel & chocolate. I was so excited about the use of cashmere blends in the men’s slim cut suites. Also loved the glen plaid sport coat, washed lambskin jackets, black gingham cotton military shirt & “decade distressed” denim. The cardigans were collegiate… not a fan. The skinny linen & silk scarves… enough of those already.









For you Ladies, Shades of white, teal, floral blue, navy & khaki. The description of metallic linens, jersey draped tops & asymmetrical draped leather jacket were of the more interesting. But the slashed white denim & “paper bag” shorts & long pants were a big disappointment.

For those of us who grew up in the 80’s, we called it "trash bagging” or “cinching.” The excess was bunched up around the top above the belt. Now the bottoms are made with the excess already puckered up. It looks like one is being squeezed out of the bottoms. I am "pursing my lips" right now. Don’t even get me started on the slashed white denim…ugh.

I was very excited to see this collection, but very concerned with the outcome. And at the perceived price point, REAL core value pieces, for women, are needed to balance out the trendy pieces. Just my thoughts... see for yourself, click on the images.

TWINKLE by Wenlan Spring|Summer 2010

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week TWINKLE by Wenlan Spring|Summer 2010 presentation was filled with white, black, turquoise, orange & pink. Charmeuse silk, pencil slim pants, and shorts & skirts with full pockets.

My favorite was a long sleeved silk tunic dress of “dove grey”, with a contrasting linear floral print around the hem. The back was draped. One could wear it bare legged, of course, with leggings, or even denim. Sandals or heals will make it Grammy Award ready or casual night out on the town. You may see Taylor Swift in one of these soon... click the image to see it first.

ROSA CHA’s Spring|Summer 2010


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week ROSA CHA’s Spring|Summer 2010 was a swimwear presentation. Whites with black "Swarovski like" polka dots, one & two pieces. Then mixed in with butter yellow, steele blue & tangerine orange. Playful black & white stripes brought in a 40’s era. Ending with woven strips of color brought interest to tops & or mid section of the swimwear.

Honestly, a couple of striking pieces, but a perfect body is required for all. Click the image and see it with me again.

PORT 1961 Spring|Summer 2010


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week PORT 1961 Spring|Summer 2010 presentation was absolute pageantry. The soft “blossom” colors (thank you Miko) gently floated down the catwalk like the Geisha. Asymmetric soft origami like structure inner mingled with flowing seductive silks. Organic elements such as reeds were used to secure the neckline and a "bamboo steamer" like corset was used too. Click on the image & view for yourself. These would treasured pieces to own.

BCBGMAXAZRIA Spring|Summer 2010


This was my very first live Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week runway presentation.

The lights dim, the beat thumps, the DJ spins “Dime Store Diamond” Spotlights up and the first model hits the runway. It was ELECTRIC.


BCBGMAXAZRIA Spring|Summer 2010 was of course very BCBG, body conscious, draped, rouched & sheer. I found the use of the brightly colored digitized print extremely playful, especially when mixed with a coordinating “jewel tone” colors.

My largest dislike were the “cut outs” & pattern quilting. They were jarring. The other design issue is the draping on the hips. If one doesn’t have hips then it is great because it gives one the curve. But if one has curves, either the hips will fill in the drapes or the drapes will ride up and bunch at the hip.

However the final gowns I thought to be more subdued and elegant. While in black or white with sequence peaking out from under the draping layer or “splattered” over top.

These will be a big splash for the 17 to 26 year old crowd like it or not.

"The Girl has a Tougher Edge... Experimenting & Abstracting"


Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week-NY Nicole Miller Spring|Summer 2010

Her statement reads "The Girl has a tougher edge. Pushing forward body consciousness, reinventing fabric manipulation; a modern take on prints. Experimenting with new technology & abstracting traditional craft."

Color palate: "digital riptide", "ocean current", gunmetal, ivory, gray, opalescent & moss. As always...black & white.

So this is how I go in to a show... I am looking at the pageantry of course, but more importantly the practicality. I felt that Nicole Miller was pushing the limits... as she stated ...she delivered. However if it is going to make you feel more conscientious or create more work for me in a photo shoot then I guess I would have to say "Thank you..no." It is so important for one as a woman to feel exceptional when all dressed up, not feel like you have to have "Crisco & fishing line" to keep you in it.

The Color & "digital riptide" or "ocean current" blocking, I am not a fan of. I did not like it in the BCBGMAXAZRIA line either as noted.

However, I loved individual pieces such as the "Tidal Pleat" biker jacket, "Sequin Scuba" stretch pant or skirt" & off white distressed leather jacket. The preceding could be mixed in with your previous spring fashions. I loved the moss gray cotton-metal stretch biker jumpsuit, but it would be for limited events.

Over all, she delivered "edge." I was honored to experience the Nicole Miller "experimentation."

GEORGES CHAKRA Spring|Summer 2010



Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week ~ Georges Chakra Spring|Summer 2010

So, sitting front row makes a huge difference from standing room only or even 4th or 3rd row.

The over all palate is pistachio, rose-pink, chiffon lime, pastel-yellow, lime apple, powdered blue, deep pink and the of course white, black & bronze.

Everything was pleated, embellished, asymmetrical & draped. One could not go wrong acquiring anyone of these pieces.

To make a "forget me not" statement, the Chiffon deep pink gown with deep pink pearl embellishments with the silver leather belt is it.

If your are looking for practicality, you will only get it in the color...black & white. White organza top with ruffled sheer front & long black mermaid cut silk skirt. OR black sequined short jumpsuit/one piece with deep satin collar & long black multi-layered tulle skirt...HOT... definitely unforgettable.

See footage here

This was such an incredible experience & I look forward to Fall|Winter 2010.

What "Hipsters" wear

The night before MBFW 2009 begins, I attended a super trendy opening at the SOHO Grande for Kenzo Minami.

The "hipsters"
included super chic to super trendy. Cocktail dresses to charmeuse silk blouse pants. The commonality was deep muted colors & fun. Its not the "Inaugural Ball" by any means. This type of event you can show your signature style. Really simple & sophisticated with a flashy bangle, super special heal (suede is the "it" fabric of choice) or shoe & belt for you gents. Even in this setting you can pull of the "rocker" look...jeans & t-shirt; but you better top it with confidence otherwise you could look like a sloth. So pull out the charcoal, black or eggplant garb and finish it with a zest of color, grab a cocktail, view the art & party on.

Making My Voice Heard

I volunteered for Fashion’s Night Out event, “Street Team” is what it is called. So I along with other volunteers went to designated locations in the city to hand out maps of all 800 participating retailers & boutiques.

As I start, my fear of being in front of people rushes me. My heart starts pounding, my mouth dries up. I can barely talk. I yell... more like whisper "…map for Fashion’s Night Out…hehehh.?!?!” Nobody looks or even acknowledges I am there. Then I took a deep breath, say it again. "Join us for Fashion's Night Out tomorrow night." NOTHING... NOBODY... OH THE REJECTION!

I actually wanted to quit. No one was looking, I could dump the maps and "high tail it" back to the apartment. Yes I actually thought it.

But I did not. I summoned my courage, dug way down deep where it was hiding, and yelled again "GET YOUR MAPS FOR FASHION'S NIGHT OUT... 800 PLACE TO BE & BE SEEN!!!" Flocks of people came at me clambering for one of those precious maps till I had none left. Well not that fast. But I kept at it, making my voice heard, wanting the people of New York to not miss out on the opportunity that they may need. What if they meet someone and find a better job, or the love of there life. It wasn't about clothes & stuff, it was about making a change, stepping out of their routine.

I think they could tell I believed it too. I was doing it.

Fashion's Night Out... more than shopping


Today, September 9th. Preparations are underway for tomorrows big night out. (side-bar: me sitting in a coffee shop writing on my laptop... I feel so Carrie Bradshaw... a shorter haired, non-smoking, male version of course)

Anyway... I am quite excited for the Fashion's Night Out event. Fashion retailers across the city, approximately 800 stores, boutiques, big & small, will be keeping their doors open late to encourage New Yorkers & visitors to re-experience the fun of fashion.

The city is unified to not only stimulate the economy, but boost funds for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum & awareness for the NYC Aids Fund.

Retailers selling the official FNO-NY t-shits will donate 40% of all sales to the Memorial & Museum.

Also donations of new or gently used clothing, through a city wide Clothing Drive will be given to the NYC Aids Fund and distributed to approximately 17 aids related charities throughout the city.

So the next 10 days for me are not only about the future of fashion but what is happening now, not only in this city, but every city across America. We need to pull together, be mindful, respectful and do what we can for our communities.

Click on the above image to see more around the town images.

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