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, 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.


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.

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...


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 more at, 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 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 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


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 & 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" 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 & 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.