Monday, October 12, 2009

Recession Spending: The Collections That Will Count Come Spring

Making clothes has always been one part fortune-telling—what will women want to wear in six months' time? With the economy in shambles, designers' prognostications are more divergent than ever. Our top ten shows run the gamut from elegant pragmatism to giddy opulence. In other words, there was something for all tastes and styles.
Photo Credit: Marcio Madeira

1. Ann Demeulemeester
Ann Demeulemeester left her comfort zone to create what rates among her strongest collections to date, one that had bold shots of color, glittery crystal embroideries, and bunched and wrapped toga dresses, as well as cool, drapey jackets and waistcoats for her rock 'n' roll fans.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fashion Week Etiquette 101: 8 Tricks to Looking Like a Front-Row Regular

Forget what your mother told you: When it comes to the Fashion Week scene, not all the normal p’s and q’s apply. Whether you’re a Fashion Week newbie or just wondering what it’s like at one of the runway shows, these tips will help you look like a fashion VIP.

by Susan Cernek and Tracey Lomrantz

In one corner, our Single-ish blogger Ryan Dodge gives the guys' perspective on spring's top trends, while's Susan Cernek voices her take on a few of-the-moment looks. Read on to find out which outfits girls love but guys loathe, plus the surprising style that earned the guys' stamp of approval. (Admit it—you want to know!)

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Fashion Week Paparazzi on the Last Day

What will the paparazzi do now that Fashion Week is over? Here's the scene at Bryant Park last night before Tommy Hilfiger's show. A crowd of photographers and tourists started forming outside the designer's backstage entrance, waiting for a glimpse of a famous model or celebrity. They were busily shooting photos of the gal wearing the hat—and no one was even sure who she was.

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He Says, She Says: The Sexes Size Up the Latest Trends

In one corner, our Single-ish blogger Ryan Dodge gives the guys' perspective on spring's top trends, while's Susan Cernek voices her take on a few of-the-moment looks. Read on to find out which outfits girls love but guys loathe, plus the surprising style that earned the guys' stamp of approval. (Admit it—you want to know!)

/ Photo: Mark Leibowitz

Trend #1: Boho dresses

He says: No one told me Miss Cleo started a clothing line. A little whimsy is cute, but this looks like something my color-blind grandma would wear, complete with the orthopedic sandals. (I love you, Grammy!)

She says: Make all the Woodstock and psychic jokes you want. As long as you skip the full-on hippie treatment (love beads, peace-sign charms, Yoko-worthy floppy hats), a breezy boho dress is a classic rite of spring—kind of like Opening Day.

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Hot off the Runway: September 16th

Highlights from Anna Sui, Michael Kors and more

Photo by Marcio Madeira

Nanette Lepore

By Alison Baenen

Nanette Lepore was thinking about color for Spring, and she ended up with a palette of highlighter hues. Acid yellow, neon orange, and hot pink lent the season's long and fluid silhouette a bit of heft (not to mention some of the energy that was missing last season). "I wanted the colors to give the clothes a more powerful look," Lepore explained backstage before her show. The result was a playful mix of airy, printed dresses and striped knits that would work on a summer day in South Beach or Southampton. Lepore's chunky wedges—hybrid booties and strappy sandals—in prints and patterns as eye-grabbing as the clothes offered a grounding element to the lightness on top.

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Hot off the Runway: September 16th

Photo by Marcio Madeira

Michael Kors

By Nicole Phelps

Madonna and Lady Gaga may have been on the soundtrack, but Michael Kors' show was decidedly not meant for the pants-less set. Explaining that he was thinking about architectural shapes, he sent out a sleek collection that, save for a few missteps, played like an ode to the city in springtime, along with its high-powered inhabitants. The strong yet rounded shoulders of his jackets and vests put the power in power suit. Overall, though, he was more interested in sleeveless shift dresses, a favorite of his most high-profile client of all, Michelle Obama. They came in silver crinkle lamé, crushed techno taffeta, draped jersey, and glove leather, but the most interesting was a radzimir number in sky blue with origamilike folds. Kors created surface interest elsewhere with zipper accents that zigzagged around the torso of a mint green asymmetric-neckline sheath, or with bold cutouts that exposed a flash of rib on a cocktail dress.

Occasionally, Kors' enthusiasm got the better of him. Dresses with graphic plastic insets might pinch, were some gal to wear them longer than it takes to make a circuit of the runway. And a further detour into deconstruction and high concept—via cashmere knits with slashes at necklines and hems, along with a trio of sweaters with extra sleeves—was off-key. But the show ended on a high note, with a pair of trompe-l'oeil sequined dresses, their graphic shapes evoking a nighttime skyline.

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Hot off the Runway: September 16th

Photo by Marcio Madeira


By Nicole Phelps

Doo-Ri Chung, edgy? This is the designer who built her brand on slinky jersey dresses. But edgy is how she described her focused Spring collection, which was inspired in general by metals and specifically by an installation created by artist Annette Messager, My Wish Is Under Netting. What that meant is that many of the show's abbreviated cocktail dresses, sweet little blouses and shorts, tanks, and bubble skirts were swagged in thin chains or overlaid with tulle netting. It also meant that the majority of the 30 looks were gray or silver. The quilted silk opal dress that opened the show was a simple, streamlined knockout. Another look, with ruched gray tulle front and back, and silver sequins on the sides, was its sexy, curvy counterpoint. But what got the audience scribbling approvingly was the arrival of a royal blue frock, its bodice tucked and folded like a fan, and a blush jersey cocktail number dripping in chains. No surprise there. Even the edgiest girls need a hit of sweetness once in a while.

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Hot off the Runway: September 16th

Photo by Marcio Madeira

Anna Sui

By Laird Borrelli-Persson

Fresh off her CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award and a collaboration with Target, Anna Sui is steadfastly in center ring—and it was clear from her stellar circus-themed Spring fling that she's comfortable there. "I'm always about optimism and exuberance. It's what I feel about fashion," said the designer a few days before taking her show on the road.

The clothes were pure big-tent Anna Sui, with lots of references to the Pop sixties—the designer's Valhalla. Models wore Mary Quant's Sassoon cut, or were transformed into latter-day Jean Shrimptons with flowered head scarves and shifts printed with circus animals, paisley, or apples. There were also ringmaster's jackets, Liberty patterns recolored "à la Anna Sui," and lots more tomboyish looks than usual. Blame that on Rex Harrison: Sui had been watching the 1967 version of Dr. Doolittle, and it must have really struck a chord, because the tailored pieces—a flowered pantsuit on Ranya Mordanova, a voodoo-beaded denim shorts suit worn with a paillette-embroidered mesh dress—had a cool sixties-take-on-Victorian-menswear feel. (Vests never looked so good.)

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Hot off the Runway: September 16th

Photo by Marcio Madeira

3.1 Phillip Lim

By Meenal Mistry

"Everyone says to back off aesthetically," said Phillip Lim, days before his show. "But that's not what's selling." Clearly, that counseling script should be flipped, and "everyone" should instead be heeding Lim, he of the stellar sell-throughs. The designer said he had been thinking about recasting basics, and working on a kind of primitive collage concept inspired by a visit to the Picasso: Mosqueteros show at the Gagosian. But unlike Fall's collection, with its bohemian rock-chick vibe, Spring wasn't about an overarching theme or look: It was about giving them a reason to shop, and, as such, there were many arguments here for a girl to unfreeze her AmEx.

Lim set the stage with a jaggedly geometric red runway and opened with a lipstick-red suit. You might have mistaken it for a jumpsuit, but that's because the jacket was unlined and light enough to be tucked in. Lim called it "the new suit." It's machine-washable. The new dress, meanwhile, is a swingy, heart- and purse-string-pulling collage with panels of knife pleats, leather, and sequins, arranged in various compositions—perhaps a few too many. An iridescent sequined top and shorts will also send the Lim-ings off a shopping cliff. There was yet more specialness in a basic navy knit spiffed up with a croc jacquard, or the miss-it-from-the-second-row subtle lizard pattern on a blush trench—the result of the designer's recent reptile obsession. In short, this was a collection to sell, sell, sell, no matter what the prevailing wisdom.

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4th Year Opening Party!

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Paris Hilton To Quit Partying!

Paris Hilton, THE socialite of the century has only announced that she’s "too busy" to go partying anymore and that the LA club scene is no longer any fun!

Personally, we wonder whether or not this has something to do with he lack of a BFF to go partying with, as she’s always on ITV2 searching for someone to hang out with?

Either way, Paris is claiming that she is working so much recently that her late nights and early mornings are just getting too much, but we thought Paris was the queen of burning the midnight oil?

So, with this strange turn of events, the next thing we know, Katie Price could start wearing tweed… or heaven forbid, more clothes?! No, surely not?!

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The Lifestyle, Fashion, Shopping hub!

For Models, Artists, Actors, Designers, Stylists, Make up artists, Singers, DJ's, Photographers, Videographers, Dancers, Yoga Enthusiasts, & all of you who love fashion, lifestyle & entertainment.
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Anton Du Beke shouldn't be fired by Strictly Come Dancing

And so the controversy about Anton Du Beke howls on. Now Bruce Forsyth has apologised – or been made to apologise – for saying people shouldn’t get so worked up about “nicknames”.

I don’t agree with him that “Paki” is no worse than “limey”. “Paki”, after all, is a word of abuse used by racist thugs. “Limey” is not. I don’t suppose there are many English people who live in fear of being attacked by hordes of American skinheads bellowing “Limeys go home”.

None the less, I don’t think Anton Du Beke should be sacked by Strictly Come Dancing.

I know what he said was horrible. Telling anyone, let alone a woman of Indian heritage like Laila Rouass, that they “look like a Paki” is not a harmless joke. If this is Du Beke’s idea of witty repartee, thank goodness he’s only a dancer and not the presenter.

But this is the point. He’s a dancer. If Du Beke were in a job that actually mattered, certainly he should be fired. Say he were a policeman or a judge or a politician or a teacher. No one in those professions should get away with using such language. If you think it’s all right to call people with dark skin “Pakis”, you’re not fit to do any of those jobs, or indeed any other important or influential job.

As Du Beke is a mere dancer, though (a man paid to do nothing more significant than fling his feet about), I don’t think it’s a matter of national urgency that he be sacked for a single offence. Reprimanded by the BBC, yes. And of course he should say sorry (which he has, however clumsily – “I do not use racist language”, indeed). But for an unimportant man doing a trivial job to lose his livelihood after one misdemeanour would be a bit much. If he does it again, of course, fire him by all means.

This is not like the Ron Atkinson case. Working as a television football commentator, Atkinson called the Chelsea player Marcel Desailly a “lazy, thick nigger”. He was rightly sacked. Atkinson’s job was to give analysis. If he thought “lazy” and “thick” were appropriate words to characterise a whole race, and that “nigger” was an appropriate word at any time, he wasn’t much of an analyst.

Similarly, Carol Thatcher was sacked from The One Show for saying a tennis player looked like a “golliwog”. She was meant to be a reporter. If she thought it acceptable to use that word even off-air, she’s not someone you’d go to for even-handed reporting.

You may argue that, as Du Beke appears on a show routinely watched by an audience of millions, including children, he should be a spotless role model. Well, possibly. But the outcry over this business will have made it pretty clear to young and impressionable minds that what Du Beke said was wrong. We all know Du Beke was an idiot. We all know he said something vile. Now let’s see if he can behave himself.

Incidentally: until now, Strictly Come Dancing has been trounced every week by The X Factor in the ratings.
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Body art at international contest

A model displays a body art creation during the international contest of hairdressers, nail and body art designers in St. Petersburg, September 12, 2009. [Agencies]

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Models compete in New Silk Road contest in Sanya

Contestants in the 17th New Silk Road Model Contest pose during an outdoor photo shoot in Sanya, a coastal city in South China's Hainan province, September 14, 2009. The final round of the contest, which includes the winners of previous rounds held in 14 different cities, will take place between September 11 and September 30 in Sanya. [Xinhua]

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NY Fashion Week designers bet on bold accessories

A model presents a creation from the Isaac Mizrahi Spring 2010 collection during New York Fashion Week, September 17, 2009.[Agencies]

NEW YORK - Designers at New York Fashion Week are betting on accessories such as belts, boots, jewelry and even a pearl-studded scrunchy to tempt shoppers during the recession.

It is not just that accessories are a more affordable way for consumers to make a fashion statement, some buyers can also be enticed by one-off investment pieces -- as long as they are unique, experts at New York Fashion Week said.

Accessories sales have held up better than clothing in the worst recession in some 70 years and according to market research company NPD Group they are poised to be one of the earliest fashion areas to recover.

Designers are taking note.

Bold belts, necklaces and bracelets featured prominently on New York Fashion Week runways as designers show collections for spring and summer 2010 and one of the most talked about pieces in Marc Jacob's collection was a pearl-studded hair scrunchy.

"Many stores that focused on clothing are opening up to having bigger displays or bigger buys for accessories and shrinking their buys for clothing. You're just seeing a different kind of market right now and I think designers are recognizing that," said Jodie Snyder, whose DANNIJO jewelry partners with designers such as Carlos Campos and Bensoni.

Luxury brand Henri Bendel has stopped selling clothes at its flagship Fifth Avenue boutique to focus on accessories, gifts and beauty products.


Australian designer Anna Coroneo scaled back her collection of dresses this year but is rapidly expanding her accessories offerings. Her key accessory -- silk beads -- has been popular with consumers worldwide and she is now working on a scarf collection based on her own artwork.

"Accessories are really important right now," designer Jill Stuart told Reuters backstage after her runway show, which featured fishnet boots and sparkly belts.

Belts played a key role in a number of collections, coming in a variety of widths and textures including on evening gowns and high-waist swimsuits.

In the first half of 2009 belt sales performed significantly better than other accessories, rising 32 percent compared to a year earlier, according to NPD Group data.

The economy has forced designers to become more attuned to what the consumer is looking for and give them a compelling reason to buy, experts said.

In the past decade "consumers were afraid of missing out on the next big thing. Now that the paradigm has shifted, consumers are king again and they are pushing back. They are much more discerning in their purchases," Ann Watson, a fashion retail consultant, told Reuters as she sat in the audience of Brazilian designer Carlos Miele's show.

Maria Bogomolova, executive director of couture jewelry designer Alex Soldier said the well-heeled were prepared to open their wallets for unique pieces that were seen to be timeless. Alex Soldier's jewelry retails from $995.

"Across the board, it is not the time for basics. Consumers are looking for bold, conversation pieces," said Karen Giberson, head of the not-for-profit Accessories Council. "The good thing is, it's not always the least expensive thing."

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Rachana Mode Vol 10

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©2009 Pictures | by TNB