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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Young Designers Hit LA

Last week I was invited to attend a Nouveau PR and Trent PR press day in Los Angeles featuring the Fall/Winter collections from 11 young and fascinating designers.  Corinna Springer of New York and Jessica Trent of LA hosted the event in a lovely house in the hills of LA above the infamous Chateau Marmont.  The view was stunning, but the clothes were able to distract the attention away.
The always captivating Jessica Trent
The always meditative Corrina Springer
The Edith Palm collection was beautiful.  An LA based designer, Sarah Aaronson creates all items in the line custom to ensure proper fit and showcasing the clients' best assets.

The new collection, titled Le Peignoir Egypt, was inspired (obviously) by Egypt, and so I have read,  'sleep walking through Egypt during the discovery of King Tut's tomb'.  Gauzy and translucent, each piece tells a bit of the story.  The story is intriguing and captivating, and I am more than impressed that she is bringing fashion back to the idea of choosing pieces for the individual and enjoying the process of buying custom made clothes.

silk velvet jacket is divine
this chiffon dress with under-pinning is a must have

worn with or without the belt or choker, the draping on this is spectacular
In stark contrast, I was also able to see the fall/winter collection of Odilon, by Stacey Clark.

Named one of the '12 new designers to watch around the globe' by Women's Wear Daily, Ms. Clark has a fun and quirky collection.  I loved all of her colors and prints, very unexpected for fall.  The striped shirtdress that Jessica is wearing from above comes in black and white, lavender and white, and blue and black.  I ordered two.  They are good.  And flattering on everyone - made from silk, they hang on the body in a way that simply works on any figure.  Call and order yours now!  You will not be sorry. Plus the price point is easy on the wallet (around $150).

friend, Amber Hackett and model of the day, modeling lavender dress

A.F. Vanderhorst is a Belgian line that is striking and memorable.  Designed by team An Vanderhorst and   Filip Arickx, this lingerie-like collection is somehow very appropriate for LA.  And if you like Ann Demeulemeester, you will love this collection.

I am obsessed (yes, with something else) with the emerald green satin dress.  Shown on the runway with pants, scarf around the neck and a black fedora over the face, I think I'll wear mine Screen Siren style, aka no pants or accoutrement, for a fall red carpet event.  And, again, the price point is so good, there is no explaining to husbands or significant others about a receipt.  I look forward to seeing more from this label; the line is most unexpected and fresh while all the while remaining avant garde and cool.

The finale was the Mandy Coon collection.  Ms. Coon was present, and meeting the designer always makes seeing the line all the sweeter.  She reminds me of Tilda Swinton, tall and thin and ethereal.  And very talented.

Thinking back to the Armani Prive couture collection seen in Paris January 2012, which was all about transformation and metamorphosis, she actually succeeded in moving cocoon-like clothes into butterflies, or at least moths.  She mentioned that her prints were Alexander McQueen inspired, along with her obvious love of nature, and I thought they were a nice nod to the designer.  As the survivor of parental suicide, I think I may always be drawn to that macabre transition between death into life.  I liked what she did.  Smart designer, and I can't wait to see Spring/Summer 2013.

beautiful shift
a separate peplum belt changes this shift into a more dramatic piece
the sleeves on this are amazing, sold
from Spring/Summer 20012, gorgeous

Monday, April 23, 2012

Trashy but Classy

Christian Louboutin must have a very wicked sense of humor.  Something I always find appealing about people, a sense of humor can sometimes be so witty and smart that you could miss it.  Take Mr. Louboutin's Trash Shoes.

I'm a little obsessed.  The shoe is designed with objects from the trash bins of the Louboutin world: thread, old fabrics, buttons, anything and everything.  The Louboutin label has a reputation of being a very serious, expensive shoe with a slight stripper edge to it.  The label is talked about so frequently, it seems as if there is a Fitzgerald quality to production.  Churning out shoe after shoe after shoe.  

But to turn around and use trash for inspiration, it's not only green and foot-print savvy, but has a comical and light-hearted element to it.  And I would imagine that the designer could also be sending a message out to the critics (if there are any?):  my trash is so good that it can make a stunning shoe.  

Cameron Silver in his Trash shoes with Kimberly Brooks

I wore my Makeup Trash shoes Saturday night.  Mine have a fake fingernail dangling on one shoe, false eyelashes and powder puffs.  I paired with Chanel in order to tone down some of the trash with class.  I will say the shoes should come with a warning:  do not intend to wear these all night, especially late ones that end up at Jack in the Box for an early morning food fest...

Friday, April 20, 2012

No Sleep Til MOCA

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is presenting Transmission LA: AV Club currently in Los Angeles, free to the public.  This visual fantasy land is like nothing you have ever seen, but that should be expected considering the curator is Mike D from The Beastie Boys.

The space of the Geffen is the perfect place to house the large installation of works by 17 multi media artists.  Once a police car warehouse, architect Frank Ghery renovated the building to create the perfect contemporary spot for avant garde and unusual exhibitions.

One of the first stunning works to see is Jim Drain's and Ara Pettersan's pinwheels: a psychedelic mobile.

With friend Amber Hackett
From the candy land of pinwheels we walked through the hallway designed by Ben Jones.  Something out of Tron, this spectacular laser path takes you into the world of a video game.  

Sanford Biggers has the sun setting and the moon rising from the point of view of the driver's seat in a fast paced car race.  

Feeling as if I had just spent hours in a carnival, I had to get outside for some fresh air and calm visuals.  However, I walked out the door to see Santigold performing on a stage - a stage that reflected the art from inside.   

Her music was good, and her performance was better.  Her back up dancers were like whimsical wind up dolls that were spinning colorful umbrellas behind her.  Her song Creator was a favorite of the crowd, and it seemed to be of Santigold as well.

Art truly manifests itself in many different ways.  It's exciting to see a compilation of painters, sculptors, experimental artist and other disciplines brought together under one roof.  It's not surprising that this show is the brain child of Mike D - the same artist who brought us The New Style.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Day in Charleston

Charleston, 1865

My mother is from Charleston.  For Southerners, we know the importance of this statement.  Charleston has always been and will always remain the Grande Dame of the South - though it's known as The Holy City to South Carolinians.  It embodies the elegance of the South while continuing to grow and stay modern - this is something that most cities, no matter how great, struggle with.  That alone is a reason to put a trip to Charleston on your list.  That and two other reasons: Ben Silver and RTW.

Since before the 1960s Ben Silver was making men's overcoats - that is, until John F. Kennedy dared to walk coatless into the White House.  Mr. Kennedy was apparently not the only trend setter in the family, for the sales of men's overcoats took a nose dive.  Mr. Silver rallied by creating a line of stylish blazers with personal buttons of family crests, University insignia, etc.

These buttons and blazers began a prestigious reputation for the brand, and like Charleston, that reputation continued to grow and modernize.

Though Mr. Silver died in 1978, his son-in-law, Bob Prenner, has created an even bigger business that includes the most beautiful silk neckwear from English silk mills and bespoke suits and tuxedoes that rival those in Savile Row.

Walking into the store is like walking into a gentleman's library.  Located on historical King Street, the store's antiques and dark furnishings are adorned with merchandise, begging you to open drawers, look through bookshelves and wander around in exploration.  Of course, the eyewear could be my favorite component.  Though I am a sucker for a man in tortoise.

Diagonally across the street is a gem of a boutique.  RTW was opened in 1978, and the owner Janyce McMenamin is a dynamo at buying and building a boutique.

Gaultier RTW Spring 2012
You had me at Gaultier.  I have a new love for Jean Paul Gaultier, most likely due to witnessing the Spring Couture show in January.  I find his clothes not only beautiful and sexy but odd and thought-provoking.  And here, in the middle of downtown Historic Charleston was Gaultier staring me in the face.

RTW carries more than Gaultier.  There was also Lanvin - I have been coveting the snake dress for months now.  And I'm always curious to see what prints Dries Van Noten has come up with.  They also carry Jason Wu, Peter Cohen and more - all lines that are hard to find and special to carry.

And I just missed one of their great trunk shows, and one of my fave wardrobe building lines, The Row.
With standard poodles watching over the racks, and turtles from the back garden making a rare appearance, this is a store not to miss.  If you go in, ask for the charming and knowledgeable Jeffery to assist you.

Spending a day in Charleston is full of surprises and scenes of beauty.  A dinner out that night is a necessity for all.  And the culinary arts of Charleston rival that of any city I've personally ever visited.

This night friends and family dined at Hall's Chophouse on the infamous King Street.

The atmosphere reminds me of a sleek New York restaurant served with Southern charm on the side.  A sweet-playing piano welcomes you at the door, and the modern decor inside the old building is a juxtaposition that I always enjoy.

The menu is modern as well.  Creating dishes that are truly Southern yet thrust into 2012 is what to expect. And the bar makes a mean cocktail.

There is no other way to get home from a night on the town other than a black cab - wearing my new Gaultier as a dress, with friend Adrienne in Michael Kors.  Just like Charleston herself: traditional to the roots, beautiful and a transport to another place.