Thursday, January 27, 2011

HAUTE COUTURE...Jean Paul Gaultier

Even though this event has been whittled down to a scant 3 days, there are still stellar moments that remind us why the Haute Couture still exists. Yes it is to keep the ateliers that do the embroidery, beading and special effects that can only be found in the Couture, but it is also a moment when designers can truly raise the bar for themselves as well as their colleagues. Consistently, there are 3 major forces of the couture…Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and Dior all of which set the standard for the art of fashion and not the commerce of fashion.

Mr. Gaultier, who normally will let the theatrics and theme of his shows take precedence over the clothes themselves, showed an exquisite collection that was strictly rendered within the DNA and vocabulary of the house. The tailoring was superb, the ease and sheer beauty of the garments were shown with little fanfare, but the beauty was only to be found on the models.
Shown as it was once done, with placards and narrator announcing each style ( the voice of Catherine Deneuve ), one was allowed to see what the couture is about ……….it is in the details, fabrics, embellishments, craftsmanship and the fantasy of having superbly made clothes perfectly molded to your body at an expense few will ever be able to afford.

The upside of it all, is that we, the general public, can bear witness to fashion history ….at least twice a year

HAUTE COUTURE...Valentino/Maria Grazia Chiuri, Paolo Piccioli

For the first time, since this duo took over the reins, I have never been unable to forgive them their trespasses when it came to this iconic brand….that are until now. This collection distills their take on the famous name and in doing so keeps them on track with their vision for the house.
There is a much more na├»ve, jeune fille, innocence and delicate feel to the clothes which has rendered them younger and not so over the top glamorous jet set society matron. The new look could use a bit of color, but I can allow one giant step at a time considering that Haute Couture is only judged by its sales appeal and not by its “trend” appeal or editorial coverage.

It will be interesting to see the path that this team will follow for ready to wear as well as for Couture….this is as good of a starting point as any.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I cannot claim to understand the inspiration nor the rendering of this collection by Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy. He has taken the brand to a direction, especially in couture, which I fail to comprehend beyond the labor intensive designs. These are not clothes; they seem to be “balls out” excruciatingly expensive costumes which bear no relation to a real life situation other than a costume party. According to the powers that be at Givenchy, their haute couture business is ‘way ahead” which I cannot explain under pain of death. My only question can be “where did it start from?”


Along the many pieces shown at the couture collection was, of course, the “bon mots’ of none other than Karl Lagerfeld. He espoused that “life is not a cocktail party” as his modus operandi for his collection meaning that the couture is steeped in day clothes and the collection thus reflected that notion. Secondly, and most importantly, Mr. Lagerfeld has probably sounded the death knell for platforms and stiletto height defying heels. The entire collection was show with a simple flat which was designed as “the naked shoe.” If you are unfamiliar with the term, please see “The Naked Shoe” by Jane Julianelli.
Back to the collection, which was a series of barely there colors which was also barely if not at all accessorized. There is no question that the shapes were very controlled and very understandable for the Chanel clientele. Monsieur Lagerfeld concentrated on simplicity with many dropped waists, empire waists and a-lines for his silhouettes. Without question, the star of the show was the “ateliers Chanel.” The spidery embroidery and the all over bead work are exquisite beyond words as usual. The grouping is, of course, modern and thoroughly aimed at the Chanel ladies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


In a stroke of genius, as I see it, Mr. Mabille created a small amount of styles and multiplied that times 2. Each piece was shown in white and the companion, its twin, was either shown in color or in print. What makes this most impressive is that with limited styles he has managed to make ‘the twins” fraternal and not identical. He shows a deft had here and has a great comprehension for the couture. There is no question that Mr. Mabille has made a name for himself in a very short span of time and he will definitely be one of the greats for the 21st century. The clothes tend to be clean and with little ornamentation but yet very very beautiful and appealing.


Another season, another reason for doing the spectacular…and once again, Mr. Galliano has dipped into the archive of Dior and this time pulled out the “New Look” as seen through the eyes of Rene Gruau, Dior’s illustrator of the 40’s and 50’s. These are the times when the likes of Barbara Hutton, Millicent Rogers and Mona Bismarck populated the house of Dior and were at the vanguard of style. This Spring, Mr. Galliano has once more tested the limits of the Dior ateliers and once again accomplished what few will ever even hop to dream of. The pale palette and the arresting shapes are really beyond verbiage…they are confections of glamour, technique and design that very few will ever come close to during their careers.


The man does what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. Mr. Armani bows to very few if any trends and for the most part has nothing to prove to anyone but himself. That said the Spring couture collection is a trip either into the future or back down memory lane…depending on how you see things. One can say there are references to Cardin and maybe even Balenciaga, but then again maybe Mugler or conversely was it “La Gaga” who made him choose this path.
With couture, the premiere concern is selling one on one and the Armani client will be ecstatic with his new take on his signature colors and shapes but also with the extra added features of leggings and some brave new shapes, cuts and silhouettes. The collection is gem toned, geometric, graphic, structured without being rigid and most of all “high on sheen.” Think of it as the Armani metal moment!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


The retail landscape is such that it is filled to capacity with a sameness of product. No matter what the item or its price, there is some watered down version to appeal to almost any customer. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the handbag category, whether it is diluting the latest Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs, or Valentino “it” bag, one can find some version somewhere and at a price that you can afford and still get the look that you want

. Today is about two resources who are not about being “me too’s,” they stand on their own knowing that they produce a magnificent handmade items, made of the finest materials that only a few can afford.

Steven Harkin ( is first up with a stunning collection of handbags and accessories for both men and women. Mr. Harkin presents a more structured product that comes in varying degrees of appeal for those interested in either utility or cutting edge design. The bags take shape from backpacks to shoulder bags to belts to clutches all made in Italian cowhide to your specifications. This to me is the epitome of fashion, when one can own a handbag that does not look every other handbag you see on the street. This is a collection for the discerning and well educated fashion client.

Fossati ( is similar in its methodology of doing business except here there is a deliberate intention of offering only luxury exotic skins in limited numbers and in limited styles. From “ring lizard” to karung, to painted python, you will find exquisite “jewels” which will last a life time because of their classic styling and their “uber” hand craftsmanship. There is an extra added aspect of these “gems” as they are produced in the USA but in an artisan “old world” atelier rather than some sterile mass producing factory. Each piece is numbered and includes the “edition.”

Call it art, call it jewelry, call it bespoke, but never mistake either one of these designers for mass produced leather goods.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tee Time

Well it is going to be Tee time before we know it, at least once all this winter weather disappears. The one good thing is that it is always Tee time almost everywhere. The tee shirt has become an all year item whether it is layered or worn on its own. This week is about 2 companies which offer tees and some complimentary items which might be of interest.

Rizumu ( ) is the brain child of a former movie marketing executive who started this lifestyle brand of tees and accessories after being drawn back to his first love….fashion. The company focuses on the DJ culture with special attention paid to comic book art complete with featured graphic artists. There are even pieces of jewelry which are included and now Pauly D from The Jersey Shore (MTV) has been caught wearing it. It’s a must have for yourself or the totally connected music lover in your life. My favorite piece is the multi zip sweat jacket ….and the best part is that it is totally unisex so everyone can have it.

Manaomakani ( ) is the brainchild of an industry veteran who has spent his life creating clothes for the Gap, Express, and Esprit to name a few. Now he wants to give back to the environment and has created this collection of TOTALLY ecologically and environmentally friendly tees and hoodies. It is amazing that the entire manufacture is “green” as well as all the part and materials….which is really rare as most companies boast eco-friendly materials and then are made in the hell hole factories of China, but these products are 100% green and made in san Francisco. The company even gives back financially after each purchase. The bottom line is, you get to do your part for the environment as well as own a truly spiritual article of clothing. Read the history on their site and be motivated to help beautify the world in the literal and figurative sense. ALOHA for this week ………….

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

Monday, January 10, 2011

Americans in Paris...VOUELLE

Just as a wedding begins a union of 2 people, a wedding was also the reason that these 2 expats met and began a shoe business known as VOUELLE. Melissa Regan (de Vogele) and Michelle Boor teamed up in Paris after the former had a miserable experience with the selection and ultimate decision of wedding shoes. Besides the dress, well maybe and the groom, shoes remain an essential and integral part of one’s wedding day.

Well, that was 2008, and within the 2 short years of being in business, these 2 have created the burgeoning brand (VOUELLE) which is already available at 66 in Paris, Galleries Lafayette, The Wynn in Las Vegas and Harvey Nich’s as Edina from Absolutely Fabulous would say. The look of the shoes might echo better known brands such as Roger Vivier, Walter Steiger and even Jimmy Choo, but these are not “me too” styles, these are exclusively designed for and by VOUELLE. One can only draw the references when they are all shown together in a shoe salon. VOUELLE is in good company with these prestige brands and the handmade VOUELLE shoes are a welcomed addition to the couture shoe market as these existing brands shoes tend to be far more costly and seem to be on every foot as if they were from H & M.

Quality will always reign supreme, no matter what business one owns, when you cater to the top tier of international retailers. To assure the high standard, these ladies were fortunate enough to enlist the help of Alain Mancini, who is heir to shoe royalty, Rene Mancini. In shoe terms, he is “an old shoe dog” if there ever was one and I am not referring to age.

Please make sure that you visit the website as well as on Facebook and have a tease of the beauty and COMFORT that is available…..without giving up one ounce of fashion glamour.

Don’t forget to look for me on Facebook as well as The Examiner

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Aghayan, Ray
Albini Walter
Alaia Azzedine
Andre Adeline
Andrevie France
Androver Miguel
Ann, Lucie
Anthony John
Ashpool, John
Aspeci Alberto
Assatly Richard
Atkinson Bill
Audibet Marc
Aurientis Dominique
Azzaro, Loris
Ballestra Renato
Balmain Pierre
Banks Jeffrey
Banton Travis
Barocco Rocco
Barretta Anne Marie
Barrie Scott
Barthelemy, Claude
Barthet Jean
Beamon Eric
Beene Geoffrey
Beaudry, Diane
Bennet Russell
Beretta, Anne Marie
Bergere Eric
Biagiotti Laura
Bis Dianne
Body Map
Bohan Marc
Bolan Barbara
Bonavitacola Kenneth
Brevard Lee
Bricjel Vesna
Brooks Donald
Burrows Stephen
Cameron David
Canovas Isabel
Capraro Albert
Cashin Bonnie
Castlebajac John Claude
Chapman Ceil
Chloe Eva Chun

Cipullo Aldo
Clark Ossie
Cleaver, Alan
Cole, Anne
Colonna Jean
Composto, Frank
Coreggiari Giorgio
Coringer Cara
Costa Victor
Courreges Andre
Crahay,Jules Francois
Dache Lilly
D’Alby, Pierre
Daumas,Jean Remy
Deal, Donald
De Mourra, Giovanni
Dell’Olio, Louis
de Premonville Myrene
de Senneville Elisabeth
Dennis, Pamela
DeRibes Jacqueline
Desses Jean
Dessio Mark
d'Estanville Kim
Di Camerino,Roberta
Dianos Katherine
Dominic D.D.
Donovan, Carrie
Dorsey Hebe
Duka John
Eisen Mark
Esterel Jacques
Estrada Angel
Evins David
Feraud Louis
Ferrandis, Phillipe
Feith Tracy
Ferre Gianfranco
Fielden David
Fogarty Ann
Fowler Timney
Fries Diane
Frizon Maude
Galanos James
Gallitzine Irene
George Jennifer
Gernrich Rudi
Ghost/ Sarne Tanya
Gigli Romeo
Go Silk
Guidicelli Tan
Haire Bill & Hazel
Halpern, Joan & David
Hansen Betty
Hardwick Cathy
Harp Holly
Hawes Elizabeth
Hayes David
Head Edith
Hechter Daniel
Heller Nancy
Henderson Gordon
Herman Stan
Hitchcock Jonathan
Horn Carol
Hornby Judy
Howard Chuck
Hyatt Lester
Inaba Yoshi
James Charles
Jean Louis
Jin abe
Jitrois Jean Claude
Joris, Victor
Julianelli, Mabel
Kelly Patrick
Kelly Orry
Kerr Patt
Khan Emanuelle
Kirk Alexis
Kline Don
Kloss John
Knot Jean Paul
Kobayashi Yukio
Kolodzie Ronald
La Marca Arlene
La Viola, Claudio
Lapidus Ted
Laug Andre
LeGaspi Larry
Lempica, Lolita
Leser Tina
Levine Beth
Logan Joshua
Loper Don
Madame Gres
Magid Marion
Masandrea Frank
McFadden, Mary
McCardle Claire
Miller Nolan
Mills Tracy
Miyake Issey
Moises Debra
Montana Claude
Mori Hanae
Morris Bernadine
Mortenson Eric
Mugler Thierry
Muir Jean
Mulqueen Jack
Myles Morton
Neuville Charlotte
Nippon Pearl&Albert
Nivelais Roland
Norell Norman
Nye ,Matt
Oldfield, Bruce
Oldham Todd
Olive, Frank
Oliver Andre
Ozbek Rifat
Parnis Mollie
Pasquali Guido
Paulin Guy
Pernet Diane
Perris Bernard
Pfister Andrea
Platos Stanley
Pomodoro Carmelo
Porter Thea
Price Anthony
Pucci Emilio
Quant Mary
Rankin Isaia
Rech Georges
Restivo, Mary Ann
Rhodes Zandra
Ricci Nina
Rochas Helene
Rogers Jackie
Rose Helen
Roth, Christian Frances
Ruffin Clovis
Rykiel Sonia
Samen, George
Sanchez Fernando
Sanchez Rafael
Santos Edwin
Scassi Arnold
Scherrer Jean Louis
Schon Mila
Scott Ken
Shamask Ronaldus
Shariff Irene
Simpson Adele
Smith Willi
Soprani Luciano
Sprouse Stephen
St. Angelo Giorgio
Starr Malcolm
Stein, Frances Patiky
Sung, Alfred
Suppon, Charles
Takahashi, Masako
Tarlazzi ,Angelo
Tassell, Gus
Tatterachi, Marie Pierre
Thomas, Chantal
Tice, Bill
Tiel Vicky
Tiffeau Jacques
Tilley, Monica
Tivioli, Carlo
Traina Teal
Trell Rosabianco
Trigere, Pauline
Tyler, Richard
Ungaro Emanuel
Valentino, Mario
Van den Akker Koos
Van Wrunkle,Theodora
Venet, Phillipe
Veneziani, Jole
von Pier,Andre
Weitz John
Yamomoto Kansai
Yorke & Cole

HIDDEN TREASURE; Trixie + Peanut

Once again we find another treasure, this time hiding in plain sight at 23 East 20th Street….Trixie + Peanut. Today it is about fashion but for your fashion conscious 4 legged child or relative.

Once upon a time in 1999, Susan Bing wanted to sell upscale fashionable apparel, accessories and pet related items via mail order. The concentration being on the domesticated cats and dogs that we love so much and include in our families and treat as if they were true blood relations, well maybe even better than that. About 4 years after its beginnings as a catalog/mail order business, Ms. Bing, with the help of her husband, opened the Trixie + Peanut boutique.

Tucked away on the side street in the Flatiron district of NYC, you enter into a shop which, for a moment, seems like so many other upscale boutiques in the neighborhood. It takes a second or two to register that this is NOT like any other shop in the neighborhood as this one appeals to your ‘animal instincts.” From tank tops to sweat suits to sneakers to hats to carriers, there is no stone left unturned when it comes to your beloved ”Spot” or “Tom.” If you want a tease of the inventory, all you need to do is log onto where you will immediately fall in love with items that you never knew you needed or wanted.

Trixie + Peanut counts Halle Berry, Sean Diddy Combs, Julia Roberts, Oprah, Ciara and Bill Clinton amongst their regular clientele who pamper their pets with purchases from this shop. The list can go on and on as does the selection of every type and classification of items for your dogs and cats. Trixie +Peanut apparel and accessories have been on more talk shows and in more magazines than the Khardashians……….and the Trixie clientele is better dressed.

So, if you are in search of the perfect gift for your treasured “child,” have a look at the slide show and then either shop on their website and hustle on down to 23 East 20th where smiles abound.