Monday, February 28, 2011

Fashion designer John Galliano suspended from Christian Dior

Fashion designer John Galliano has been suspended from Christian Dior fashion house for allegedly harassing a couple at a restaurant in Paris, using anti-Semitic and racist slurs.  
The incident took place at a restaurant in Paris' Marais district last week Thursday between a drunken John Galliano and an interracial couple. Galliano allegedly called the woman a “dirty Jewish face, and the man an “F**king Asian bastard.”
Galliano was briefly detained but quickly released (no charges where filed against the designer at that time) for verbally accosting the couple.

His lawyer, Stephane Zerbib, told the AFP that the designer "formally denies the accusations of anti-Semitism made against him ... [he] is not at all in this state of mind [and] will explain later." Zerbib added, "legal action will be taken against those making such accusations."

Sidney Toldedano, Chairman and Executive Officer of Christian Dior released this statement today:
"Christian Dior has an unequivocal zero-tolerance policy regarding anti-Semitism and racism. Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his position, pending the conclusion of the investigation being conducted by authorities."
To make matters even worst for the designer, a video was released today showing another altercation with Galliano yelling at a different couple at the same cafe, saying, "I love Hitler." He also tells the couple "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f**king gassed."

No word on how this will affect this week’s Paris Fashion Week where Galliano is expected to show fall-winter collections for Dior as well as his own label.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Emerging Talent: Deivie

Across the globe, fashion week is about designers showcasing their new collection. World-renowned artists like Narciso Rodriguez and Vera Wang receive assiduous coverage from multiple sources for their shows. There’s nonstop buzz about what that “it designer” says the new color, shapes and fabric will be for next season. Emerging unknown artists also take advantage of fashion’s eminent season to showcase their work. Some of the luck few designers will become the next big thing like Alexander Wang.
This week at Lower East Side’s Delancey, Christina Mannino debuted her playful collection Deivie. Ms Mannino describes the collection as comprising of  “bold stand-out items that add spark to the basics every girl has in her closet.” The line incorporated the use of different fabrics, such as lace and leather, creating a unique texture while still being light bodied. Highlight pieces of the night included a gown worn by the designer: a backless lavender silk bottom with black and white cotton blend top. The same black & white patterned fabric was used on another two floor length gowns. Also notable, was the lace skirt dress where Christina creatively layered colorful lace flowers to form the skirt portion of the dress. I suspect we'll be seeing more from Ms Christina Mannino. 
For more information on Dievie, refer to their website.

Barneys Warehouse Sale

Barneys Warehouse sale started today at their Chelsea Coop location on West 17th and 8th avenue. It’s one of the most anticipated sales for any New York shopaholic and fashionista. They offer 50-75% off retail prices on all of their selections of designer clothing, shoes & accessories for men, women and children. In addition, they also have clearance home items.
I’ve personally been to both the New York and Los Angeles Barney’s Warehouse sale. In my opinion, New York City’s warehouse sale far outshines its Los Angeles counterpart, which takes place at the Los Angeles Convention center. Please don’t mistake the grandiose location to mean that the warehouse bargain is massive in size. It actually occupies a small section of the convention center. 
Anyway, on to our spectacular NYC sale: I headed over to the warehouse afterwork where there was a long line down the stairs to the entrance. Patrons with bags must check their carry-ons, including purses at the door. Once you enter the room, there are racks, shelves and boxes of merchandises everywhere. The women's clothing sections has been moved down to the basement where the men's department is located as well. I’m sure there is a technically reason for this change; unfortunately, I didn’t see why. Even more awkward is the fact that female shoppers have to try-on clothes on the sales floor. 
Ineptness aside, there are many wonderfully priced designer finds including 3.1 Philip Lim, Alexander Wang, Derek Lam and Helmut Lang. I have an incurable case of shoe fetish so I headed straight to the shoe selection (at its normal home on the 1st floor) where I found an amazing pair of patent leather Miu Miu heels and a funky pair of two-toned lace-up oxford flats by Jil Sanders.
Because I know the secret of Barneys warehouse sale (and now I’m sharing it with you), I won’t be purchasing anything until the last week of the sale when everything is reduced again another 20-50%.
Be sure to check out Barneys New York Warehouse Sale going on from Thursday, February 17, 2011 until Sunday, March 6th at 255 W17th Street.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NYC Fashion Week 2011: Blanc de Chine

First luxury Chinese brand Blanc de Chine, presented their 2011 collection during NYC Fashion Week. The collection was inspired by the ancient Chinese concept of The Five Elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The Women’s wear incorporated those elements through layering and highlighting silhouettes of Chinese architectures. There were bell sleeves and curved collars. The line also featured wide-brimmed cuffs, collars and hems. Women’s embellished bell sleeves shirt could easily dress up a pair of fitted jeans.

The Women’s Evening collection was clearly imbued by the element of fire. One dress in particular gave the essence of a Chinese phoenix. The elegant crystal beading, intricate sequins and pleated detail imitated the reflection of burning fire. Another stand out piece was the maroon sequins and silk satin gown with cadet collar.

Blanc de Chine’s menswear featured a lot of traditionally Chinese shapes and cuts like the Mein O men’s jackets, which were updated with thicker padding on the collar, sleeves, and chest. The style was modernized by layering different fabrics like wool with leather. The stand out piece of the men’s collection was the versatile leather and wool mandarin collar shirt.

Fashion Week: Ivy Higa & Absolute Wild Tea

Fashion Week is about artists showcasing their collections for the masses specifically the fashion insiders, the movers and the shakers who determine what’s in and what’s out. Ivy Higa knows a lot of about that game as a contestant on the very popular Project Runway; she had to come up with creative designers all on the fly. Lucky for fans, Ivy H took her time designing her Fall 2011 ready-to wear collection. This is Ivy’s fourth time showing at New York Fashion week since her debut in Spring 2010.

Her 2011 collection was inspired by Kailua-Kona, Hawaii her native state. Most of the pieces featured ruffles mixed with leather or silk. Some of my favorite pieces included a backless leather jacket over a silk chiffon dress, the strapless halter dresses with leather ruffles that had a hint of ocean blue silk peaking out and the ruffle silk and leather vast with silk crepe blouson.

When asked about her life after Project Runway, Ivy explained that there hasn’t been any real change besides the notoriety; it’s “still a hustle every day.” She has the New York mentality; striving to make it to the top while still working full time and making patterns for Saks. Fellow Project Runway alumni Casanova was at the event to support Ivy. He also has a new line, which is featured, on his site.  

It wouldn’t really be Fashion Week in New York without a boundless selection of parties to attend. Absolute Vodka introduced its new flavored Wild Tea vodka at Maritime Hotel’s Hiro Ballroom. The new flavored vodka is official my favorite Absolute line. It’s a perfect blend of elderflower, red apple and citrus. As described by the company the taste is “fruity and naturally sweet with a smooth finish” and I couldn’t agree more.

Because it is Fashion Week I expected to see loads of the city’s elite stylish ambassadors. However, to my dismay, the party was filled of fashion don’ts.  Fury winter boots was the fashion choice of the night. I absolutely loathe those boots on anyone and designed by anyone. Latex tights with a collared oxford white shirt made my quiver in disgust and than there was the lion queen, need I say more.

My two fashion do’s for the night included the midnight blue velvet blazer coupled with a lavender bowtie and very fit mademoiselle in the army green tube top, fitted harem pants and tattooed sleeves.   

Monday, February 7, 2011

Paradox of Facebook picture sharing

The possibilities are endless; connecting lost friends, old lovers and far-away family members. A massive social network able to start and continue revolutions, promote grassroots fundraising, setting the stage and location of protest across the globe. Yet today I have a simple and very trivial complaint, the ever useful and super social, instant picture sharing. Oh the wondrous ability to share your experiences with distant friends and family instantaneous.

As I prepared to attend my friend’s birthday celebration, I had a major dilemma styling myself for the night because of Facebook photo sharing. I have friends who are, like most people, Facebook enthusiasts, always updating their status and posting pictures of events and insignificant outings all the same. I now have the added pressure to look voguishly swanky while not repeating an outfit already posted on Facebook. I feel like a celebrity minus the stylist and money.

My resolution to this pickle: limit what events are shared on Facebook and creatively alternating past ensembles. The former is almost impossible. I’ve tried on numerous occasions to manage what pictures loved ones post, to no success. Unless you are the designative photographer for the night, there’s no controlling what is and is not shared on Facebook. The latter on that list requires minimum drama and only a little creativity is needed.

For that favorite LBD (little black dress), try adding a colorful blazer and a pair of variegated heels. Everyone’s eyes will be drawn to your striking accessories, they won’t even notice the dress.

For that favorite silk chiffon top that you love pairing with jeans, add an embellished belt and mini skirt. Again, the attention will be on your accessories and sexy long legs. Always remember the perfect pair of high heels; they’ll elongate your legs in a flash. The higher the heel, the better when coupled with a classy mini.

Finally, if all else fails and you have a little time to prep, hit up fan favorite Forever 21. As all true fashion goddess know, the store has so many selections of trendy cheap finds where you’re sure to scoop a modish outfit for the night under $40. At that price, you can afford to buy an “of the moment” piece that won’t be a repeat offender since chances are it might end up in the charity bin next season.

Stevie Wonder Inducted into Hall of Fame

Announced today, the multi-talented American singer/songwriter, Stevie Wonder will be inducted into New York City Institution's Hall of Fame. Well known for such hit singles as "Isn't She Lovely" and "Superstition," Mr Wonder will be enlisted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame this June.

Blind since birth, Steveland was signed to Motown Records by the age of eleven. By 1962, at the age of 12, Stevie performed at the famous Apollo Theatre. Steveland Judkins received his show name because of his ability to play multiple instruments including the piano, drums, bass guitar and harmonica. At the beginning of his career, he was known as the "wonder child" or "little Stevie Wonder." Stevie has had ten #1 hits on the pop charts; as well as twenty #1 hits on the R&B charts. He's won an astonishing 22 Grammy awards over the length of his career.

Other honorees of the Apollo Hall of Fame award include James Brown and Patti LaBelle. The June celebration will include a concert and award ceremony.

Walmart new “GeoGirl” Beauty line

Walmart is launching a new all natural anti-aging cosmetic line and much to the dismay of many it is aimed at the “tween” market of 8-12 year olds. The new “GeoGirl beauty produce line includes blushers, mascara, face shimmer, eye shadows, lipsticks and even an exfoliator. The line will not be the first cosmetic product marketed for adolescents and has been developed to replace Mary Kat and Ashley’s Cosmetic line which was removed from Walmart shelves after being discontinued. 

GeoGirls is slated to hit Walmart stores countrywide by February 21st. The prices will range from $3.99 to $5.99 and will include a “how to” instructional video. The products are all titled using acronyms like SWAK (sealed with a kiss) a lip treatment or T2G (time to go) a cleanser.

There has been outrage about the launch of the new line, which is interested considering this is not the first cosmetic line aimed at tiny-boppers. Currently, Walmart offers make-up for kids from brands like Disney Princesses, Lotta Luv, FAB Beauty and Lip Smackers amongst others. 

"We are raising another generation of girls who kind of measure their self-worth based on what's on the outside," Dr. Logan Levkoff, author of 'Third Base Ain't What it Used to Be' explained on ‘Good Morning America’. Are we encouraging our children to be vain and placing too much importance on outer appearances? Should we be spending that money on a book and towards violin lessons? Yes, I am making reference to the infamous Amy “Tiger Mom” Chua who said that she is “shocked and horrified by…how much time Westerners allow their kids to waste…and in some ways, how poorly they prepare them for the future.”

Again, what values are we instilling in our children by teaching them consumerism and vanity before puberty? Walmart is heavy marketing to this group of consumers, which is estimated to be worth 2 billion dollars of buying power. I guess the almighty dollar is more important than the values we are inculcating our future. In addition, does wearing make-up at the tender age of eight advocate premature sexuality in young adults? I think its time we take look at our morals under a microscope and be more cognitive of what we validate to the impressionable.

Please share your thoughts.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paris Fashion Week: Junya Watanabe Fall 2011/2012 Menswear

Japenese fashion designer Junya Watanabe presented his Fall 2011/2012 collection during this years Paris fashion week. Junya is known for designing innovative and distinctive clothing. He's also well-known for incorporating synthetic and technologically advanced fabrics and textiles like using waterproof fabric and glow-in the dark fiber in his well-tailored blazers and suits. In April 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama wore a blue-patterned cardigan designed by Watanabe on a visit to the Royal Opera House during her and President Barack Obama's trip to London.

Junya Watanabe’s collection Fall/Winter 2011/2012 menswear collection featured tailored blazers, tweed pants and lumberjack themed winter jackets. I can see the Williamsburg’s hipsters already styled head to toe in his warm separates. Junya has slightly refined American rugged style; this is 2011 Hipster at his best. 

Stand out pieces included tailored fair isle sweater blazers with fitted rolled up jeans or tweed pants; hooded patched wool jackets, a black leather buttoned down jacket with suede patches, duffle leather jackets and cotton sailor jacket with fair isle prints. For the urbane man who likes a touch of edge in his closet, I highly suggest checking out Junya Watanabe’s Fall 2011 collection.