Wednesday, April 25, 2018


The question is .. If we have a game show host as a president then we must have a Vanna White turning letters. Yes, this is WHEEL OF FORTUNE!!!! Can we have a spin please?……….

F is for fake and fillers

B is for Barbie or belts

P is for photo op or prop

D is for playing dress up

L is for Louboutin

S is for silicone

I is for implants

M is for mute

D is for paper doll

R is for robotic

I is for ill advised

N is for native; you can take the girl out of Slovenia but you can’t take the Slovenia out of the girl

D is for distraction

M is for multi lingual …. my ass

G is for genius visa as in oh Donnie that’s the biggest one I ever had

N is for no free lunch

H is for how to marry a millionaire … any millionaire

H is for high waisted

W is for wind up doll

M is for matchy matchy

K is for class

Without going any further our Vanna White has done nothing but make guest appearances on the “show” where she is a co-star so to speak. Her impact is that of a show pony that is trotted out for photo ops where most times she shows the emotion of her Mattel namesake. 
You cannot buy class, you cannot buy style but it might have been wise to hire people who know something about impressions and how to make a statement via your wardrobe choices. She is an icon of style and good taste to those who believe that she is a natural beauty or that shopping at Walmart is a destination for special occasion clothes. Price is not a guarantee of good taste and she is the poster girl for those sage words. Even Jackie Kennedy had Mrs. Vreeland as well as Mrs. Charles Wrightsman to guide her when it came to image and impressions. 

Our so called fashion  media has disintegrated to the point that they write pandering praise for clothes that bear  no match to the position of the woman that holds the title .. they are simply clothes for a third trophy wife.  

Alas, rather than go on and on, the bottom line is simply that she may be not have she signed up for this but she sure as hell has had the opportunity to create a niche for herself that would have cast her in a much different light despite her past and other obvious shortcomings. 
Our Vanna has opted for being the just a letter turner, a prop, who wears clothes to attract attention and offer her canned smile to her fans.

Friday, April 13, 2018

From NUMERO magazine ... Karl being Karl

photo by Robin Broadbent (click image to enlarge)


“All the other designers hate me...” Karl Lagerfeld gets ready to tell all

 A truly free spirit, Karl has no taboos and doesn’t stonewall. The immense couturier has lost none of the verve that’s made him a cult figure in the fashion world and a veritable pop icon. In a meandering interview, he delivers his reflections on a variety of subjects from First Ladies and Johnny Hallyday’s inheritance issues to the so-called overworking of fashion designers.

Interview by Philip Utz, Portrait Stéphane Feugère

Numéro: So, in good shape?
Karl Lagerfeld: Yes, as long as it’s not in the plural. That said I don’t get fat anymore. I was on a diet for 15 years, but now I can eat all I want without ever gaining a gram. It’s very strange.

Age has no hold over you!
It all depends on the conditions in which you age. If you do it by avoiding excess, and in great luxury, it is effectively quite bearable.

Doesn’t getting old have its fair share of inconveniences?
For the time being, I’m not suffering terribly. I’ve had every test under the sun and they can’t find anything wrong. Call me back in ten years and we’ll talk about it again.

At your age though, isn’t it exhausting juggling three brands – Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld – and not forgetting all your other extra-curricular activities?
No, au contraire, it’s stimulating. All these designers who design exclusively for brands end up finding themselves completely sterilised. By dint of revisiting their own classics, they end up going around in circles, biting their own tails. As far as I’m concerned, I am obliged to constantly reinvent myself by going from one house to the next, which is what also allows me to see what’s happening next door. I’m constantly moving, which stops me from navel-gazing all day and becoming fossilised. Which suits me just fine, because otherwise I get bored. At Chanel I have a contract to do four collections a year – two ready-to-wear and two haute couture – but in fact I do ten, between the ready-to-wear and the couture, the pre-collections, the cruise collection and the Métiers d’Art, not to mention Coco Snow– which isn’t, I assure you, a capsule collection for cokeheads, but a winter sports line – and Coco Beach, for beachwear…

When Raf Simons left Dior, lots was said about how designers are overworked. What do you think about that?
Personally, I’ve never complained. And that is exactly why all the other designers hate me. They are only interested in their damn “inspirations”, they can spend an hour deciding where a button should go, or choosing sketches done by their assistants, which riles me to distraction. I am a machine. The worst thing about all of this, is that they try and blame me for their problems with working overtime. Azzedine [Alaïa], for example, before falling down the stairs, claimed that the supposedly unsustainable rhythms in fashion today were entirely my fault, which is absurd. When you are running a billion-dollar business, you must keep up. And if is doesn’t suit you, then you may as well mess around in your bedroom. I’m sorry but last year I lost my two best enemies Pierre Bergé and the other one. Azzedine loathed me, go figure. And for Pierre’s funeral, my florist asked me, “Do you want us to send a cactus?” 

Men’s fashion means little to me. I buy it, of course, but drawing a men’s collection and put up with all those stupid models, no thanks.”

And you and your funeral, do you see it more in Sidi Bou Said like Azzedine, or at the Madeleine?
How awful! There will be no burial. I’d rather die. Since those miserable Hallyday family stories, a funeral at the Madeleine looks like a joke. I’ve asked to be cremated and for my ashes to dispersed with those of my mother… and those of Choupette [Karl Lagerfeld’s cat], if she dies before me.

I don’t know what you’ve got against Azzedine. Personally, I loved him and you can’t say he lacked talent…
I didn’t say that. I never said anything, I don’t criticise him, even if at the end of his career all he did was make ballet slippers for menopausal fashion victims.

How is it you’re not blasé after sixty years of career?
Thank-you for reminding me of my seniority. Blasé? Oh no, never. In German Blase means “bladder”. On the contrary I think I’m quite lazy, that I could do better. I am never happy with myself. I have to give myself a kick up the behind to go forward, and the day of the show, backstage, I always say to myself, “Well my poor girls, with this we’ll not be doing the next one.” I get no satisfaction from the job I do. And that is what pushes me to continue, this permanent dissatisfaction and discontentment.

If you don’t want to have your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even!


Anyway, moving on, today is International Women’s Day…
For me Women’s Day is every day of the year. Men’s fashion does little for me. I buy it of course, and I’m delighted that Hedi [Slimane] is going to Céline but drawing a men’s collection and having to put up with all those stupid models, no thanks. Not to mention the fact with all their accusations of harassment they have become quite toxic. No, no, no, don’t leave me alone with one of those sordid creatures.

At what age did you start to prefer men over women?
Whoever told you I preferred men to women? Where did you get that certainty from?

If you could slip into the skin of a first lady, would you be Brigitte, Carla or Bernadette?
I am friends with them both, so I won’t answer that question.

I cited three ladies…
Bernadette is a woman from another planet, a French woman of another era. Carla, I have worked with a lot, so I consider her a friend. As for Madame Macron, I’d already met her before her husband entered politics, and I like her a lot. Anyway, these three women are so utterly different that I think your question makes no sense, in fact its completely stupid. Personally, I adore Mrs Obama. I fell for her when an American journalist asked her if her leather skirts weren’t a little tight for a first lady, and Michelle Obama answered, “Why, don’t you like my big black ass?”

Come to mention it, we didn’t see you at the grand fashion dinner held by Bribri and Manu at the Élysée during the shows… did you have a headache?
I never go out the night before a show, it’s bad luck.

And yet I clearly remember having seen you at an Apple Watch launch at Colette on the very morning of a show once…
It was the actual morning of the show, which is different: the dice have been thrown and you can do nothing about it.

What do you think about #MeToo?
I’m fed up with it. I don’t even eat pig [in France the movement’s known as #BalanceTonPorc] What shocks me most in all of this are the starlets who have taken 20 years to remember what happened. Not to mention the fact there are no prosecution witnesses. That said I cannot stand Mr Weinstein. I had a problem with him at amfAR [the amfAR Gala is organised during the Cannes Film Festival in the fight against AIDS] …

Did he try and drag you into his hotel room too?
No, it wasn’t of a sexual nature, but a professional one. I’ll spare you the details, but he isn’t exactly what you might call a man of his word.

Have movements like #MeToo and #Time’sUp affected the way you approach your work?
Absolutely not. I read somewhere that now you must ask a model if she is comfortable with posing. Its simply too much, from now on, as a designer, you can’t do anything. As for the accusations against the poor Karl Templar [creative director at Interview magazine], I don’t believe a single word of it. A girl complained he tried to pull her pants down and he is instantly excommunicated from a profession that up until then had venerated him. Its unbelievable. If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even!

During an interview in 2010, you told me you were thinking about Haider Ackermann as your replacement at Chanel…
Yes, but that was a long time ago.

And today who do you seeing doing that?
I don’t propose anything or anyone, because the house of Chanel doesn’t belong to me. Marc Jacobs, who I adore, also dreamed of replacing me… When I first knew him, he was 17 years old working as an assistant for my friend Perry Ellis. Alas when he was made artistic director there, he got fired because of his grunge collection which didn’t work at all.

Between Virgil Abloh, Jacquemus and Jonathan Anderson, who would you willingly take to a dessert island to end your days with?
“I’d kill myself first.”

Can you rank these three designers in descending order of talent? Simon Porte Jacquemus, Virgil Abloh and Jonathan Anderson?
The designers I prefer, in disorder, Marine Serre – 1m50 but a will of steel – Jacquemus, who makes me laugh… and who is rather pretty too. He is funny, yes. And to conclude J. W. Anderson, even if his approach is occasionally over intellectualised – undoubtedly, I haven’t done the required studies.  
Between Virgil Abloh, Jacquemus and Jonathan Anderson, who would you willingly take to a dessert island to end your days with?
“I’d kill myself first.”

How did you get the idea of growing a goatee?
I had one in the famous portrait of me taken by Helmut Newton 40 years ago, and I wanted to rediscover the feeling of having one again, to see if after all these years, it was still just as bothersome. What is funny is that with all these whiskers I look a lot like Choupette… we’re really like an old couple. In fact, she maintains it for me, we sleep on the same pillow and she spends her life licking it.
I don’t think of you as very hairy… How long did it take to grow?
I’ve been growing it since Christmas. But you are right, the strange thing is, so to speak, I don’t a hair on my body.  
Just the beard.
Well and the hair on my head too.
You have no underarm hair?
No, not much, not a bush.
You’re completely hair free?
Well let’s just say I have it where it should be. But I don’t have a hairy chest for example, or a hairy back – thank God! – or hairy thighs…
Talking about hair, I read somewhere that you’ve named Choupette as the heir to your vast fortune…
Among others, yes. Don’t worry, there is enough for everyone.
And how much is this vast fortune of yours?
I’m certainly not Bernard Arnault, I’ll tell you right away. It’s not like I have 72 billion euros in my current account.
But I thought it was forbidden in France to leave anything in your will to your hamster or guinea pig?
Well it’s lucky I’m not French then.
You recently launched a capsule collection for your own brand with Sébastien Jondeau, your personal assistant for the last 20 years… What are his main qualities, apart from being built like a Greek god and gap-toothed like Vanessa Paradis?
Sébastien corresponds with a certain kind of man aged 35 – 40 who cannot find anything to wear. He embodies a male canon that is the complete opposite of those skinny things with wonky teeth we generally see on runways… They certainly don’t run the risk of getting harassed. To be honest what they really need is a good dentist.
When one’s a genius like you, what do you arm yourself with on a daily basis, an infinite patience and great indulgence for dealing with others, often less spirited?
A genius? It’s you who said it. When I was young, my mother always said to me that I was stupid, she called me “Mule”. I’ve probably just been overcompensating ever since. And I’m not surrounded by idiots, I have fantastic teams. So, when it comes to the retarded and other ignoramuses, I don’t see them, I don’t know them…
Apart from me…
You give yourself too much importance.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Nicolas Caito & Hervé Pierre of Atelier Caito for Hervé Pierre

Having spent the earliest days of my fashion career on 7th avenue, I have always been fascinated and intrigued by what happened “behind” the environment of the showroom or as we used to say … “in the back.” By that I mean the pattern makers, the cutters and the entire sample making process from sketch to reality...the transformative process of creating a garment.  This ongoing fascination led me to Nicolas Caito several years ago when he had his pattern making/sample making workspace on Chambers Street and my fascination was reignited with the magic and skillsets that his work requires and produces.
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Needless to say that when the announcement was made that he joined forces with Hervé Pierre, I was quick to send congratulations as well as offer this interview. Being able to put friendship ahead of my personal feelings did not take long to overlook an affiliation that, to say the least repelled me, but friends are harder to come by and loyalty has its place and value especially in business. So with all that said, here we have Nicolas speaking for he and his partner about their new and exciting venture … Atelier Caito for Hervé Pierre  
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I am of the opinion that it may just be time that women will again begin to wear clothes ...  not just gym clothes, jeans and sweats, but clothes… as in dinner dresses, cocktail dresses, luncheon dresses and formals that exude an elegance that has been lost along with the passage of time in some demented way of staying "relevant." These  two men combine old world skills with  modern design to create for a 21st century woman who wishes to stand out from the flock by looking slick, refined, chic, if that exists anymore, and above all wearing clothes utilizing the expertise and craft used by the greats of fashion.
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Jeffrey Felner: Can you give us a little history as to how you both met and how this venture came to be?

Nicolas Caito: We met here in New York City when Lars Nilson and Hervé Pierre were design directors at Bill Blass. They were looking for someone to manage the eveningwear sample room, that's when Francois Bouchet (the Premier d'Atelier at the time at Oscar De La Renta but also a dear friend of ours and mainly my mentor who trained me during 8 years at Lanvin ) put us in contact .

After 2 years at Bill Blass, Hervé went to Carolina Herrera to become the creative director of the brand, a position that he held for 15 years;  I went back to Paris to become the manager of the sample room at Rochas for 2 years while Olivier Theskeyns was the creative director. Two years later, I was back to New York City and the creation/birth of Atelier Nicolas Caito .

It is only recently that Hervé and I started working again together on special projects and private clients, until one morning in August, I woke up with this “calling” that we had to create a line together! We have the same education, the same kind of background and Hervé has such a respect, passion and love for craftsmanship that he is the only person in New York I could consider starting a new venture with!
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JF: Can you explain this collection in terms of target audience, the message of the collection and how clients can see it?

NC: I would say that this collection is really meant for an extremely elegant and very feminine woman, but also a woman that has an education on fit, craftsmanship and luxury! “The elegance of a woman that would rather be remembered than seen” Giorgio Armani
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JF: Why did you select NOW as the right time to inaugurate this collection? 

NC: We selected now as a time to launch because we think, believe and hope that all our planets are aligned ,but also because we can't conceive of  people waiting for it any longer for this union or marriage of talents.
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JF: Can you speak to how you see fashion at the moment and where you wish to fit in and why?

NC: I am only going to be speaking about fashion in New York City as this is the one arena that I know the most.  I think that fashion is moving away from its purpose which is to create nice garments in a creative way. The lack of education, of fashion history/knowledge, fabric and garment construction is impoverishing the fashion industry! The more followers you have today on Instagram, the more talented it makes you …. In theory! The image/visual has taken over the garment itself, the clothes themselves have become less important than the label/brand!

We wish to bring back the seriousness of making dresses, not in an austere way, but more about the commitment to design and craft! We also believe that the collaboration of creative talent and craftsmanship will translate our designs to real life. The actual creation of making a garment has lost its soul! Nowadays you email a sketch to China or Italy and you wait to get a sample back; the interaction between the designer and the pattern-maker, which a key interaction for us, is lost again when there is a void between sketch to sample! Both the designer and the pattern-maker need to challenge each other, they need to question themselves on what they do and why and how … this is how our craft stays alive and evolves!
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JF: Do you have any style mentors or icons that you have in mind when you design? And why have you chosen them?

NC: What is fascinating when I am looking back at fashion history is that every period in time always has a fashion icon , a woman or a man who shaped and influenced fashion in that very precise era … paintings , or movies can also play a big part in the search and creative process … so it all depends on my mood and my current state of mind; I can easily look at La Comtesse Greyffuhle, Carolina Herrera, a Visconti movie !!! or a Matisse painting for a color combination!
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