Monthly Archives: September 2012

LA’s red-carpet fashion gets filtered for shoppers


Style looks a little different when it comes through a Hollywood lens, and shoppers often like what they see.

Sunday’s Emmy Awards featured the first big fashion red carpet of the season — and it was a long runway: a parade of rainbow-bright gowns, skyscraper heels, glittering clutches that only hold a lipstick, along with millions of dollars in jewels.

It didn’t exactly change what most women are wearing, but what many do take away as a style cue is attitude. It’s the cool, relaxed glamour that celebrities so often capture that gives the West Coast its fashion credibility.

The Emmys coincide with the seasonal catwalk previews in Milan and Paris, that, in theory, are where designers, retailers, editors and stylists are choosing the must-have items for spring after soaking in the new looks from New York and London. But celebrities and their Los Angeles neighbors don’t particularly like to be told what to wear because it’s in or out of fashion. And they’re good at adding their own spin.
“L.A. women are great at taking current trends and interpreting them to suit their personal style,” says celebrity stylist Jennifer Rade, who counts Angelina Jolie and Jada Pinkett Smith among her clients. “L.A. style is about self-expression.”

Monique Lhuillier, one of the few California-based designers to show at New York Fashion Week, agrees there’s more room to change a look if you’re wearing it in Los Angeles. “You get a sense … that women don’t want (to be) too perfect or buttoned-up,” she says.

A runway gown often is unrecognizable when it turns up on the red carpet at an awards show, mostly because it will seem less severe and more approachable, Lhuillier says. The makeup likely will be more natural, hair will be more casual and the accessories will be more colorful. It’s probably the image that more consumers will relate to, she adds.

(Many expert observers said Lhuillier’s flame-red-and-champagne gown worn by Ginnifer Goodwin was one of this year’s Emmy gowns to leave a lasting impression.)

That’s where a trend starts — and how it keeps going. The maxi dress is one look that suits a starlet, says Louise Roe, Glamour magazine’s editor at large and the new host of NBC’s “Fashion Star.” It’s funky, cool and fancy enough that no one is giving it up.

Roe, a British native, has filled her wardrobe with them, and she’s generally wearing more prints and an overall looser silhouette, just like the stars she’s mingling with. “I’ll see something new and say, ‘I’m going to shop for something like that,'” Roe says, “and it’s not always a multi-thousand-dollar runway look.”

“People want what they see celebrities wearing,” agrees Rade, who serves as a spokeswoman for retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. She has seen shoppers carrying ripped-out pages of magazines as they try to emulate a look.

Celebrities are more likely than models to be seen as three-dimensional people, and they are photographed at home, at work and even the grocery store in all types of clothes, so there is something “livable” about their closet, agrees Joe Zee, creative director of Elle magazine, who has spent several months shuttling between coasts to tape the Sundance Channel show “All on the Line.”

He says he saw lots of women — important women — in L.A. attend business meetings in a T-shirt, jacket, jeans and great gladiator sandals, but they would surely be in a suit in New York. Clothes are a way for a celebrity to further tell her evolving story, Zee says, while that East Coast “fashion girl” might be making more of a single, high-impact statement.

They also seem to have a more varied routine, and the luxury of a car — which translates to a lot less black. Weather is a factor, too: a miniskirt one day, a romper the next, but you might need jeans and a cardigan later in the week.

When Roe moved out West four years ago, she was expecting hot pink tracksuits, but that’s not what she found. There are deep closets and a willingness to experiment, she observes.

When Lhuillier packs for her New York trips, it’s about a morning-to-midnight look that straddles every occasion. “It’ll be smarter and chicer because it’s going to be all day,” she says. “When I’m home I wear a lot more color and have more fun. I start my day in a casual dress and a lower heel, big sunglasses and a big tote. And then I’ll do a complete change later in the day because I can.”


Lady Gaga, Westwood top London fashion shows


London Fashion Week kicked into high gear Sunday, with a hectic day of shows that culminated in Lady Gaga taking a starring turn on celebrity milliner Philip Treacy’s catwalk.

Earlier in the day, punk queen Vivienne Westwood upstaged her own models in a finale that saw her strutting down the runway with a climate change slogan T-shirt.
Fashion doesn’t get more theatrical than this.

Day Three of London’s twice-a-year style extravaganza was packed with runway previews by some of the capital’s most popular designers: Westwood, Paul Smith, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou and Alice Temperley.

But Lady Gaga, in a hot pink, floor-length shroud, stole the show when she opened her friend Treacy’s Michael Jackson-themed comeback show. Treacy, who has designed fanciful hats for Gaga as well as countless royals and celebrities, has not shown at the fashion week for a decade.

Raising her arms and looking up, the pop icon announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest milliner in the world: Philip Treacy.”

She was joined by fellow celebrities Kim Cattrall, Grace Jones, and Nick Cave in the front row at the show, which featured Jackson’s legendary stage costumes paired with Treacy’s headgear.

The outfits, which included the original red “Thriller” jacket — were lent from a collection held by the King of Pop’s costume designers. They are set to be auctioned in California in December.

The spectacle topped a long day of shows that featured onetime punk priestess Westwood, who championed her favorite cause – climate change – as she closed her runway preview.

The orange-haired designer used two models to unfurl a banner proclaiming a climate revolution, then strutted down the catwalk herself in a “Climate Revolution” T-shirt, shorts and makeup that looked as if she had a giant black eye.

“I loved it,” former model Jo Wood said. “There was so much there that I wanted. And I love Vivienne as a person. She’s the one show I won’t miss.”Some of Westwood’s severe outfits looked like they were from just before the “Mad Men” era, when U.S. first lady Mamie Eisenhower helped set conservative fashion trends.
Some outfits looked silly, others – evoking the Jackie Kennedy era that came a few years later – appeared wonderfully retro and chic.Did the ensembles work? Westwood, ever the iconoclast, claimed she simply didn’t care, insisting she was only interested in using fashion as a way to air her views on the environment.
Westwood wasn’t the only person looking to the ’50s and ’60s for sizzle and spice. Sophia Loren was the inspiration behind Alice Temperley’s London catwalk show Sunday, an elegant concoction of ’50s full skirts fit for a royal garden party.
Temperley, a favorite of Kate and Pippa Middleton, said she wanted to update the 1950s couture look and make it accessible.
The designer said the conical hats the models wore exemplified the classic couture feel of the spring collection, which was set in a grand chandeliered hall.
“I wanted to create something modern and sleek, something that gives the feeling of the dream of couture,” she said of the hats, which were similar to the style worn by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Working from a soft palette dominated by powder blue and ivory, Temperley showed off flirty, tea-length circle skirts and dresses that accentuated a tiny waist. A theme was skirts with semi-sheer horizontal organza stripes, which Temperley said was to show a bit of leg and make the retro look more fun.
Textures were luxurious and soft with lace, silk, brocade and tulle with flower appliques.
Temperley is best known for her romantic evening and bridal gowns, and is launching a more affordable line at British department store John Lewis.
On Friday, Kate Middleton, now known as the Duchess of Cambridge, wore a Temperley ice blue dress with white lace sleeves to a tea party in Malaysia.
Loud clashing colors, full-on sequins, holographic stripes – Jonathan Saunders’ catwalk show Sunday had it all. These aren’t clothes for the shy woman.
Saunders, who chose to stage his spring collection in the industrial underbelly of the Tate Modern museum, opened with a series of silver and gold separates with a holographic sheen.
Skirts and dresses made of a plastic-like material with large circle discs came next, the discs glimmering like fish scales in the spotlight.
But the star of the show was stripes, stripes and more stripes. There were bright lime trouser suits and dresses in thick horizontal stripes, a black and white dress in a chevron stripe, and dresses with flowing stripes of a clashing color that cleverly followed the bias cut of the garment.
To end, Saunders upped the ’70s disco fever feel with a series of fully sequined dresses in bright stripes of color: Black with blue and silver, and black with red and green. On another designer it could have looked tacky, but on Saunders, it somehow all worked.
While other designers work summery watercolor hues and bold prints, Marios Schwab’s catwalk show Sunday was a darkly seductive affair of shredded leather, smoldering midnight tones and tribal detailing.
Drawing inspiration from an idea of the Amazon warrior, Schwab opened his show with a series of dresses in sheer layers of black and oxblood, decorated with leather tassels.
These tassels appeared throughout the show – adorning high heels or flat lace-up gladiator sandals, on lapels, in short parallel rows down the bodice, or strategically shielding the body on sheer gowns.
Schwab also created texture with pleating, which was used first on leather dresses in fuchsia and inky blue, then later on chiffon skirts paired with lace tops in the same hue.
Schwab’s designs always play on seduction and have a mysterious femme fatale element to them, and his spring collection was no exception. Models’ bare bodies were just visible under the layers of light material, and at times high slits on the pleated leather skirts revealed flesh-toned mesh layers beneath.
The final evening pieces – nude or sheer black high-collared column gowns embellished with tassels and beading – were dramatic showstoppers.
The Greco-Austrian designer’s show was packed, with front row guests including Japanese Vogue’s editor Anna Dello Russo.

Editors Slapped With Suit After Fashion Week Cat Fight


It all started as a fight for the front row at a Zac Posen Fashion Week runway show, but now the spat between a public relations executive and a French magazine editor is headed to court.

Public relations exec Lynn Tesoro filed a summons with notice Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court against Marie-José Susskind-Jalou, the president of Jalou publishing house, and her daughters, Jalouse magazine editor Jennifer Eymere and L’Officiel magazine editor Vanessa Bellugeon, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Tesoro was allegedly slapped in the face during an altercation with the three women at the Zac Posen fashion show Sept. 9. The PR exec is seeking at least $1 million in damages for “assault, battery, emotional distress, slander and/or libel.”

The reported slap happened just 30 minutes prior to the start of Posen’s show on Sunday. Fire marshals removed 60 seats from the show’s front row, causing Tesoro and her PR team to scramble to find seats for guests, including Susskind-Jalou, Eyemere and Bellugeon, WWD reported. Tesoro is the co-founder of HL Group, the PR team that represents Posen.

When Tesoro was unable to find the women seats, they reportedly started screaming at Tesoro and one of them slapped her. Tesoro confirmed the slap to WWD but didn’t go into further details.

Eyemere admitted Monday to slapping Tesoro. She said she was sorry and knew it was wrong.”I said, ‘Don’t speak to my mom like this. You have to stop to speaking like that.’ I said, ‘Be careful, I am going to slap you,’ and she kept doing it, and it just happened,” she told WWD.

“It was a small slap. It was not strong. I didn’t hurt her, it was just to humiliate her,” Eyemere added. “She humiliated my mom, and I humiliated her in front of her crew. Voilà. I just said at the end, ‘Now you know you don’t f*** with French people.'”Tesoro’s lawyer did not respond to requests for comment. Eyemere and Susskind-Jalou could not be reached for comment.

Fashion darling Burberry plunges as it unveils shock profits warning


It’s the hottest ticket at London Fashion Week, and a brand that has recovered from its “chavvy” connotations to become a global powerhouse in the world of luxury style. So the stock market – and the fashion world – was understandably shocked when Burberry issued a profit warning yesterday, sending its shares plunging 21 per cent.

In a surprise update, the group revealed it had been hit by a slowdown in spending across the world.

The darling of the fashion scene had once enjoyed sales growth in double digits, but yesterday it reported that like-for-like sales ground to a halt in the 10 weeks to 8 September, and its full year profits would be at the bottom end of expectations at about £407m.

Retail sales, including from new stores, were up 6 per cent. The slowdown compares with a strong first quarter, when retail sales grew by 14 per cent.

The chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said: “In the last two weeks there has been a global slowdown. We have seen this across the board in Asia, the US, Europe and the UK.”

Luca Solca, a luxury brands expert at CA Chevreux, blamed Burberry’s reliance on very high-end clothing rather than accessories such as handbags. He said: “Apparel – on which Burberry is more dependent than other mega-brands – is softer. In difficult times consumers prefer leather goods and hard luxury accessories as they are more visible and work better as status symbols.”

Ms Cartwright said: “The level of growth has slowed but for most people 6 per cent growth would be very good.”

Despite its issues, the brand is gearing up for London Fashion Week, where it will present its Burberry Prorsum womenswear spring/summer show on Monday.

Kelly Osbourne gives fashion tips for real women


Kelly Osbourne was a reality star, actress and musician before anyone took notice that she had a knack for style.

But lately the 27-year-old daughter of Ozzy Osbourne, currently with violet hair after stints of pink, lilac and gray, has earned the title of certified fashionista, dishing the designer dirt with Joan Rivers and co-hosts Giuliana Rancic and George Kotsiopoulos after major Hollywood red carpets on E! “Fashion Police.” She also sat front row with Rivers at the Badgley Mischka show during the New York Fashion Week this past February.

“I’m in the process of branding, doing my own line. I will not just attach my name to something,” Osbourne said. “I want to be a part of every aspect of it. I want to do everything on it and even down to like making sure I know where the clothes or items are being manufactured.”

Now she’s being tapped to kick off fashion-fueled events too, like this month’s The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. While there Osbourne shared three things she learned walking the red carpet that she considers top everyday tips for real women:

—Spray tans: “It just gives you that golden glow, a bit of bronze, like you’ve been kissed by the sun,” Osbourne said. “It makes you look slimmer and it makes you feel healthier. I always do that. I hate that I don’t have one now.”

—Flatter that figure: “Even if you’re a skinny girl, Spanx are a must,” Osbourne said, name-checking the shaping undergarments have become a red-carpet staple for women. “Nobody wants to see your belly button through your dress.”

—Pamper your feet: “Always pack a pair of ballet flats in your handbag because by the end of the night your feet are killing you. You want to keep going but you can’t. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to go home early because my feet hurt and I haven’t had a pair of shoes to change into. Don’t let your footwear ruin your good time,” she said.

And for those who must know what Osbourne was wearing in Chicago to meet with reporters last week: A long, flowing short-sleeved black dress with a rainbow leaf print by Issa (a British label that Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, has helped popularize) and a ring with a large purple stone and a jeweled leaf by Chanel.

Eugene Souleiman Tells Us About the Next Big Hair Trends


Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Eugene Souleiman, the global creative director care and styling of Wella Professionals. Eugene has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, but he is also a true visionary when it comes to runway hair in the fashion industry. Eugene is known for pushing the boundaries of runway hair, he takes risks and those risks soon become trends. He interprets the designers’ ideas and we end up seeing something truly unique on the models. Although the session was about Eugene recreating two runway looks (from Missoni and Haider Ackermann), I walked away with a really solid understanding of the new season hair trends. Curious? To find out about the colours and styles we’ll be seeing over the next year, keeping reading.

Colour: Eugene says we will move away from natural colour and into deep, unusual colours. They’ll be intense, rich and expensive looking. Think bottle green. Cool and warm hues will be mixed, and dark hair will get bluer and more plum. The colour will be oversaturated and highly pigmented — almost like “over-dyed denim”.

He says we’ll definitely move away from pearlescent tones because the colour is more serious and has greater depth. We’ll also see colour applied in new places like underneath the hair, so it can only be seen when the hair moves. Which I love.

Style: Hairstyling will be about new dimensions and getting more out of the hair both in reflective qualities and depth. We’ll see a big move into loose hair, pulling it back so it looks sharp, but messy at the same time. It is about minimal hair with a harder edge.

Top 6 Places to Meet Celebrities


Thursday’s Fashion’s Night Out, Anna Wintour’s fourth annual effort to get people to buy clothes by tempting them with discounts and drinks, is poised to be more fabulous than ever. More than 500 cities in 19 countries will participate, with many stores staying open late and doling out freebies to make would-be shoppers linger longer (manicures, massages, cupcakes, karaoke contests — come and get ’em).

But maybe you’re not interested in going into credit card debt for a mink stole that will be marginally less expensive tomorrow than it is today. Maybe you want to meet celebrities and sip free champagne, which, in our book, is a perfectly acceptable way to enjoy FNO.

Below, our picks for the best star-studded FNO events in New York City. (Sorry, rest of the country, blame MTV’s Video Music Awards for cordoning off all the other celebrities in L.A.’s Staples Center.)

Kate Upton. Michael Kors, 667 Madison Avenue. Designer Michael Kors has corralled model-of-the-moment Kate Upton into judging a karaoke contest that’ll go down at his Upper East Side store. If you can’t Dougie, maybe she can teach you. 6 p.m. — 11 p.m.

Kim Kardashian. Lord & Taylor, 424 5th Avenue. The grand dame of reality TV will descend on the third floor of Lord & Taylor to hawk her new fragrance, True Reflection. Too chaotic? Take the escalator up one level to mingle with alums from “Project Runway,” who’ll be toasting the reality series’ 10th year. 6 p.m. — 11 p.m.

Alessandra Ambrosio. Victoria’s Secret, 591 Broadway. The VS Angel will pose with fans, who can also receive “signature Angel mini-makeovers.” 6 p.m. — 11 p.m.

Diane von Furstenberg, Solange Knowles and Allison Williams. DVF Meatpacking, 874 Washington Street. Meet the legendary dress maker, Beyonce’s DJ sister, and the “Girls” co-star at von Furstenberg’s store. If that’s not enough, MAC will be providing complimentary makeovers.

Oscar de la Renta, Darren Kris, Vanessa Carlton and more. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 5th Avenue. As with its selection of jeans, when it comes to quantity of bold-faced names, Saks has pretty much every other store beat. Meet “Glee” star Darren Kris, fete the launch of Oscar de la Renta’s new fragrance with the designer himself, and listen to Vanessa Carlton croon. Even Rihanna’s tattoo artist will be on hand, though no, you can’t get inked at Saks. 6 p.m. — 10 p.m.