Thursday, July 29, 2010


I think that necklaces should be the center of attention for any fashion savvy woman. When I was Vice president of Miriam Haskell, during the 1990’s, it was always a pleasure to start a new collection or grouping, as inevitably, that always started with a necklace. This accessory can be the one stop finishing touch to so many outfits and now that a new season is finally arriving, I thought this is the right time o focus on necklaces.

With my usual researching, I was able to find so many alternatives, but I just wanted to highlight the most special pieces. The torsade, which is a multi strand twist necklace, seems to be one of the most popular styles as it says the most, without a lot of effort. Even in the Fall 2010 collections, this closer to the neck design, remains an important accessory. Always keep in mind that when you stick to the metallics, such as gold. Silver, gunmetal or pearls they are seasonless and always in style.

One word of caution, do not gild the lily. You must decide where the focus should be ………..meaning do NOT think you can wear big earrings, big necklace and big bracelets and that this will be fine ----nuh uh ………….it is one of them and not all 3.

In the category of accessories, it is easy to find a lot of bang for your buck and no better place than here in this selection. It doesn’t matter if you are a department store shopper, or a habitué of QVC or even a regular at a discounter, there is ample selection everywhere and a more than ample amount of price points. Spend some time finding what suits you best because there is no better finishing touch than a piece of jewelry whether it be fashion or fine.

Please let me know if you agree, I am always available on Facebook (FASHION BY THE RULES or Oligoville) or on my blog ……………
And when searching online do not forget to visit Shopbop, Shopstyle, Netaporter, Topshop, QVC, as I did for the photos from this article

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Art of The Glove ......Daniel Storto

One can find art in many areas of fashion, but it is rare than one can find a master of his art in any industry. I have been lucky enough to find such a master and he is in the unlikely business of GLOVES!! Gloves have long been regarded as either utilitarian, theatrical and even possibly a prop which when added to achieve a more compelling image of glamour or aristocracy.

I can think of very few in the fashion business who were considered to be masters of their art. Charles James for the elaborately constructed gowns, Geoffrey Beene for his deceptively simple designs, and possibly Christian Lacroix who elevated the art of the Haute Couture to dizzying heights of perfection. What is curious about these men is their single-minded vision to take their creations to new standards of perfection. Each of the designers lacked a desire to bend to the dictates of any commercial enterprise – each product was conceived from passion and not commercial marketability.

Enter Daniel Storto who took the knowledge bestowed upon him by his Grandfather and turned it into an art form and a passion, the vehicle he uses to convey his art is THE GLOVE. What one can find truly ironic is that the master glove maker resides in Gloversville New York, once the epicenter for glove making in the country.

Mr. Storto has been called in to confer on exhibitions for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, create for the late Alexander McQueen, use his craft to enhance the already theatrical creations of Bob Mackie but he saves his love of his art for his private treasure, the “Hand Bag.” The is an ode to his art…..a one of a kind,totally handmade, hand stitched creation which is constructed from the finest Italian leather and will be sold with one leather glove to match. There is no greater luxe than an item such as this; it is an ultimate expression from an artist who has perfected his craft beyond any expectation.

As further proof of his devotion to his craft, he is working on restoring a space in Gloversville that he will turn into the only museum in the world that will be devoted to the art of the glove.

You need to expand your knowledge by visiting his web site . Feel free to click on any of the images in this posting for an enlarged view…… The photos are courtesy of Stephen Piersanti and Mr. Storto.

Don’t forget to look for me at or on Facebook

Monday, July 26, 2010

REVIEW:Emilio Pucci by Armando Chitolina, Vanessa Friedman, and Alessandra Arezzi Boza

Emilio Pucci by Armando Chitolina, Vanessa Friedman, and Alessandra Arezzi Boza

Emilio Pucci is not only a limited edition book, but also a comprehensive study of one of the world’s greatest, yet under-appreciated, international designers of the 20th century.

This exquisite volume traces the history, both personal and professional, of this iconoclastic Italian designer who broke the barriers of fashion as well as those of his regal lineage. In a 400-page paean to Emilio Pucci, even the most seasoned fashionista will learn that Marquis Pucci was ahead of his time when it comes to many of the unimaginable trends that would materialize during the last part of the 20th century and into the 21st.

The genius of this designer is described via quotes of his clients, family, fellow designers, and some of the most influential fashion editors of our times. One cannot overlook comparisons to the well-known greats such as St. Laurent, nor can one ignore the brilliance that might have influenced a young Philip Treacy or possibly even Giorgio Sant’Angelo.

The Marquis was prolific and saw the future of sportswear long before we did in the USA. His sense of color was unparalleled, and yet there is no red in the kaleidoscopic vocabulary of Pucci. He saw silhouettes, fabrications, accessories, and manipulations that would not gain popularity for many years to come. There were “coolie hats,” capri pants, wrap waists, spandex, caftans, harem pants, technologies, body suits, scarf print shirts, embroideries—and most of all his prints. It would be difficult to pinpoint any one designer who might have been “the originator” of so many trends that would come and go during the 60 years that followed the start of the Emilio Pucci design philosophy.

Polly Mellon said, “Because of the focus on the sun and the sea and your skin, it had this incredible magnetism. Men went crazy over those clothes on a woman. The way those clothes draped on the body and clung to you!”

Peter Dundas (the current designer for the brand) states: “There is no question travel and foreign countries are key components in Pucci’s DNA, past and present. The brand has always been about easy, travel friendly products both visually and technically; I think people who wear monochromatic clothes for everyday free their spirit when travelling. I think the brand should symbolize a freedom, which is expressed in its international appeal.”

Keep in mind that Emilio Pucci explored every aspect of fashion and was a pioneer in the brand-extension empires that came later during the second half of the 20th century. He had handbags and jewelry and hats, ski wear, intimate apparel, home fashions and fabrics, and even uniforms. And keep in mind that his notoriety has lasted for over 60 years with no sign of abatement—a legacy that few can boast of in the annals of fashion history.

Rarely can one recommend ownership of such an exquisite volume, but in this instance there is beauty here for anyone who might have the slightest interest in fashion as well as for the most devoted fashionista or fashion historian.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Monday, July 19, 2010

FASHION BY THE RULES: Louis Marione/ Dominic Louis

The designer is Louis Marione. The company is Dominic Louis. You will need to remember them both. During these times, I must be unconsciously preoccupied with the darker, more occult, and more vampirish aspects of fashion. This week there is this androgynous and dark collection which is equal parts Rick Owens, Tom of Finland, Herb Ritts and homoeroticism. Mr. Marione has his own take on the way the newest generation of hipsters will clothe themselves for their every day lives.

Of course, there is black. Whether it is in stretch leather or fringed gauntlets or knit tops, there is no mistaking that the color plays an integral part of what this collection is all about and all it conjures visually. The clothes are for the confident and the passionate and not for the faint of heart or for wall flowers. There is modern technology, exotic materials and bravado of design which all give the wearer a strength and power that is not found ………let’s just say Ralph Lauren.

There is a great emotional component involved when purchasing an item from this collection. The future owner will want this to be a part of their being and not just their wardrobe……….in some way, the possessor will be identified with the item for years to come. Mr. Marione will engender great loyalty amongst his clients, who like him, are young, creative, hip and part of the night life scene of New York City.

Please explore the collection further on and as usual I can be found on Facebook and at
Photos are courtesy of the designer.

Monday, July 12, 2010


That would be Chris Habana and his eponymous collection of jewelry and accessories. Mr. Habana cannot be more au courant in this day and age of vampires and Eclipse and Robert Pattinson. The “CHRISHABANA” collection encompasses the designer’s fascination with the occult as well as pop icons. His collections are “products of the constant battle in my head between doing what I want to do and doing what I think I should do. It is always an interesting battle, and I’m always surprised by what wins.”

For 2010, there is all the familiar iconography of his collections and then there are some new silhouettes like the choker or the fact that the usual iconography has been enhanced and magnified.. All the pieces take on a weathered or almost distressed appearance whether they are plated in gunmetal or aged rose gold. Do not be fooled as Chris has been designing, in his own business, for almost 10 years and he is fluent utilizing the vocabulary of his craft.

His works has been featured all over the world and is coveted by those who count among the most style savvy worldwide. So start thinking as they do….punk, spikes, crosses, nails, cages and dark.

If you need to see more and you do, and as for me………..find me on facebook or at

Photos courtesy of MAO PR and Chris Habana

Thursday, July 8, 2010

FASHION BY THE RULES: The Finale, Haute Couture

The final collections have been shown…the season hobbled to a close on a more promising note but certainly not equal to its opening performance.

Jean Paul Gaultier showed, what I consider to be a less than fabulous collection, but still managed to be true to his DNA. The collection was short on his usual sense of humor and his normal theatrics, yet there were beautiful wearable clothes for the ladies, both young and old, to own, wear and adore. Actually there were even a few one might lust for which, this season, seems to be a less likely occurrence than in past seasons.

Elie Saab, while a relative newcomer to the haute couture, has certainly shown his ability to rival the best of them. Mr. Saab was true to the brand DNA and thusly showed an extravagant collection for red carpet events as well as any formal event and even some wonderful short affairs with all the bells and whistles that have made him famous. This was one of the strongest collections of the season and I am sure that the faithful as well as the angst ridden newcomers will be lined up for these show stopping confections.

One can only hope the coming ready to wear collections will not follow the less than stellar showings of the couture.


As a rule, by this time, I am in some rapturous state while taking in the Couture Collections. Unfortunately, there is no rapture here but more disbelief as to how can these revered brands produce collections that are searching for new clientele rather than catering to their stalwart devotees. Oh and, by the way, the collections left me slack jawed and wondering why and how did this happen.

CHANEL/ KARL LAGERFELD produced the spectacle that one has come to expect but the collection did not exactly live up to the amazing stage set. Mr. Lagerfeld can produce the most wildly exciting, awe inspiring collections for CHANEL but this season he produced a highly difficult, cumbersome and much more matronly collection which I do not believe will resonate with his fans. The silhouettes, the lengths, the palette, the oddity of it all seemed to contradict what Lagerfeld has been building for years. Season after season, whether it be Couture or RTW, one was always amazed by the clothes, the inventiveness, the accessories(bags, shoes, jewelry) and none of that happened except for the fabulous bracelets. I will admit to one exception………….the pearl dress. How can one not marvel at that???

VALENTINO the brand, has been retooling since the departure of its beloved namesake, has once again provided us with a collection that begs the question…….”WHY?”
I get the impression that the new designers believe that if they use red fabric and toss a few bows around the garments that they have achieved a Valentino look ……….not!!!!! These clothes are for some unknown client with some unknown occasion to attend and with an untold amount of money to spend on these truly unattractive clothes. It seems that the house of Valentino is devolving while searching for the new couture client and they have flagrantly discarded the loyal ladies who made the house a staple of the Haute Couture.

It is always difficult for me to not rave about these collections which is why I urge you to review them at and keep up with me at


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

FASHION BY THE RULES: Over The Top & Beyond

Chapter 2 in Paris couture includes one more unlikely pair of designers, one the new sweetheart and one a hall of famer. The 2 are Giorgio Armani/ Prive and the other Ricardo Tisci/ Givenchy.

While the lady days of Le Grand Hubert are lost forever, the latest incarnation of the label is a polar opposite to its founding father’s genetic make up. In 2010 the Givenchy woman, if I can call her that as she cannot be much older than 30, must possess the rock star gene or at best the movie star gene because if she does not wish to be the center of attention, these clothes are not for her. The small collection is short on the number of styles but miles long on embellishment, materials, and overall silhouette. Mr. Tisci is hardly shy about promoting the extremes of what his ateliers are capable of and the limitless bounds of his imagination. The absolute end result is a collection of boundless expense and extremely limited audience.

Now, the polar opposite of this is GIORGIO ARMANI/PRIVE, which is long on the amount of styles and short on a color palette that forces the viewer to experience a déjà vu within a span of 20 minutes. The repetitive nature of the colors and of his design signatures will no doubt please his ladies but doesn’t make for a press worthy moment. The clothes will always be exquisitely crafted but as in his ready to wear, they can simply be a yawn on the runway which can work to his advantage here as this is all about one customer at a time. The Armani red carpet segment is so discreet that I might compare it to the bride and the bridesmaids……no star material here except for in the most discreet possible way. Bottom line is……..there was no noise here.

Please have a look for yourself at and follow me at

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

FASHION BY THE RULES: Destination…….Over The Top

It is that twice a year ritual that can only be described as “the wet dream of the fashion world.” It is HAUTE COUTURE time in Paris where one can bring to life the dreams that only the real “createurs of this art” can dream…………….no expense need be spared and the ateliers show why they have bragging rights in the fantasy cum reality time we know as HAUTE COUTURE.

In what can only be described as an exhibit, rather than show, with a cacophony of colors, John Galliano for Dior has once again opened the season with his own brand of brilliance. Even though one is able to discern the references from Monsieur Dior and from Charles James, one is so distracted by the laser vision of Mr. Galliano and his ability to bring that vision to the runway…….and that the references are obliterated by the spectacle of the clothes themselves. None of this acts to the detriment of what can only be described as over the top fashion, if one can even call it that. The point here is that Dior Couture is beyond just another garment, it is one of the quintessential Couture collections year after year. My biggest hope is that one client has been collecting these masterpieces so that generations to come can appreciate the workmanship and vision that enabled the creations to grace a runway.

ALEXIS MABILLE offers a concise collection that is driven only by one idea……….chic. Whether it is the full skirted lace or the divine slim column of a black gown with colorful “bow top,” there is a young but old world quality and esthetic to these clothes making them ageless

BOUCHRA JARRAR is another young designer who offered up what I consider to be the antithesis of the usual couture fare. What sets it apart is its apparent clean lines and extreme simplicity. It conjures thoughts of Geoffrey Beene whose name you rarely hear anymore but whose talent for razor sharp appearingly simple garments were anything but…………..

I urge everyone to see, for themselves, the wonders of HAUTE COUTURE at STYLE.COM