Archive | September, 2011

Ts & As at NYFW — Betsy Johnson

Not much was left to the imagination at Betsey Johnson’s spring 2012 show since she got her inspiration from burlesque. The invitation featured an illustration of Ts and As; and the collection itself was presented with her typical oomph.

Yet it was the nonexistent concealment that made the show fascinating. Johnson advanced a kind of strong-slut look, but the provocation was far from self-victimization.

The clothes themselves were fairly simple: body hugging pieces, lingerie-inspired looks (many quite sheer), corset lacing, and hot pants. Betsy’s traditional tulle-girded tutu dress was revised with sculptured bubble skirts, and a series of dazzling stud-encrusted pieces. The entire show was quite titillating and quite silly, which was clearly the aim.

Who’s that?

Nicki Minaj

Micheal Musto and Patrick Mcdonald

Patricia Field

Lisalla Montenegro (left), Ann Shoket, editor of 17 magazine (middle)

Rpbert Verdi and Rumi Neely

Tinsley Mortamer, Jonathan Cheban, and Nigel Barker


Hottest Fall Trends Go Green

1.  Go for the Faux…Without the Paws

You don’t need to have a cow in order to get a taste of one of the hottest trends of the season — the leather skirt. Free People’s pleated skirt seems like genuine leather, but it is 100% vegan! Unlike MorningStar burgers, this stuff tastes like the real thing.

Vegan leather pleated skirt $148
Vegan Leather Pleated Skirt

2. Lovely Lace

H&M continues to please with its second Conscience Collection, an expanded range of sustainable dresses, jackets, separates, and shoes that includes this lady-like, knee-length fitted piece in 100% organic-cotton lace.

Conscience Collection dress $79.95

 3. Crayola Pants

Brighten up the dark skies this fall with this major trend. Among my favorites is this slim, tapered jean from the IOU Project, a burgeoning social enterprise that harnesses smartphone technology to connect you to the workers in the supply chain.

Slim color pant $69

4.  Bootie Call

Answer the call in this luxe, cruelty free, artisan made Italian piece from Kailia.

Felicità $275

 5. Color-Blocking

Satisfy two trends at once! Color-blocking is the word on everyone’s lips these days. Indulge in this GUNAS vegan statement bag, which everyone will still love even after the trend has past.

NEON 3 $275

Girl Up on the Hills of San Francisco

San Francisco prides herself on many things: her crooked streets, Golden Gate Bridge, authentic Chinatown, rich galleries, organic food, colorful people, and now an outstanding Unite for Girls Tour.

This weekend teen advisors from across the country and youth of the Bay area came together at the Levi Strauss headquarters to support girls in the developing world.

With passports in hand, more than 200 attendees visited stations on Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia, learning about the lives of the nations’ girls. Actress and Girl Up advocate Alexandra Daddario was also present, lifting heavy jugs of water at the Malawi kiosk and balancing a basket of fruit on her head.

I particularly enjoyed running the Guatemala booth, educating attendees on issues facing Guatemalan young women, and writing inspiring letters to them.

When the “traveling” was over, the phenomenal Project Girl Performance Collective wowed us all with a performance on the power of girls, as well as a stirring song by fellow teen Olivia Somerlyn.

Panelists Emily Pryor of the United Nations Foundation, Tamsin Smith of SlipStreamStrategy, Denise Dunning of AGALI, and teen advisor Rocio Ortega discussed problems facing girls and shared first-hand inspirational success stories of Girl Up at work around the globe.

Helga Ying of Levi

I have come out of this weekend more knowledgeable about girls’ issues and solutions; empowered to create change; and, most importantly, with 15 new fabulous and similarly inspired friends. Without a doubt, my favorite part of the entire weekend was sharing the experience with accomplished teen advisors and building relationships that will last a lifetime. These new friendships will enable us to help girls just like us, halfway around the world.

Fashion Takes Flight on Luke’s Wings

A volunteer looked around the packed room and said, “The most beautiful people in D.C. are here.”

Well, you would say that about your own event, but the simple truth was that founder Fletcher Gill had drawn a particularly gorgeous crowd to Adams Morgan to mark the third annual Fashion Takes Flight.

The party proceeds went to Luke’s Wings, a nonprofit sending wounded soldiers the greatest gift of all — their families.

The venue was hard to spot, hidden between a Kinko’s, a sketchy alley, and a sign that said it was a yoga studio. It was only recognizable by the two big bouncers at the door. By day, the space is a yoga studio, but by night it’s a fabulous contemporary-meets-antique party space. The area is deceiving — at first, it looks small, but then it opens up and just goes on and on. The rough-hewn quality highlights the preciousness of the contents — not just the smiles of many generous guests, but a luxury silent auction, and upbeat runway show (the runway looked like the type for plane’s, not fashion) with models and service men strutting in looks by D.C.’s best designers and boutiques, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Aram Boutique, Ella Rue, and Don Patron. The DJ did an amazing job leaving not one guest standing still.

Cancer? Shmancer!

One of the only people I have loved almost as long as Coco is Fran Drescher. Growing up on The Nanny, I was ecstatic at the chance to see fashion help her organization Cancer Shmancer.

MODUS Union 2011, presented by Labels for Love, held the event benefiting Cancer Shmancer. Labels for Love is an organization founded by Mary Amons, my friend and Real Housewives of D.C. star, in order “to produce fashionable events to raise funds and awareness for the foundation’s chosen local and national women’s and children’s causes.”

Fran is truly an inspirational woman. She has this profound ability to transform her many hardships in to positives. The main goal of her movement is to focus and vocalize cancers that affect women and how early detection can be the cure. As I am affected by the evils of cancer, this event touched me personally.

After enjoying the open bar, hors d’oeuvres, and live band, guests checked out the main attraction — a 3D film and runway show by Mark Bouwer.

It was a truly a fantastic night full of fun, fashion, and a nanny named Fran!

My dear readers, please check out Cancer Shmancer!

Mary Amons

Real Housewives of D.C.

Real Housewives of D.C.

Irresistible Ethical Shoe Brands

 Based in the U.K. and crafted in Spain, Beyond Skin produces its faux-suede footwear using a micro-fiber called dinamica that is made in Italy from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.

Intended to offer endless interchangeable possibilities, Mohop’s American-made sandals feature sustainable cherry wood from Pennsylvania, padded foot beds made from faux leather, and black soles from natural rubber and rice husks

Charmoné vegan shoes are made sweatshop-free in Italy and Brazil. In addition to minimizing the impact of manufacturing, Charmoné takes it a step further by donating 5% of its profit to charities that support people, animals, and the environment. The first charity slated for donation is Women for Women International, one of my favorites!

Besides non-toxic, environmentally preferable synthetics, including a micro-fiber derived from recycled televisions, Olsenhaus plies its wares with sustainable materials such as organic cotton, linen, and cork. All its shoes are fairly handmade in Central America where production is kept as local as possible to minimize its footprint.

Parsons graduates Gina Ferraraccio and Julie Dicterow founded Cri de Coeur with its cruelty-free materials, such as low-VOC polyurethane, 100% recycled ultra-suede (derived from post-industrial polyester), and reclaimed wooden soles.

Designed in Italy and fairly handmade in small, family owned factories across Europe, Kailia’s vegan boots, pumps, and flats abide by strict environmental and fashion standards.

By the Runway…Kippah Couture

Out of all the crazy trends, I never expected to see this while I was at New York Fashion Week.

Looks like Orthodox Jewish men aren’t the only ones wearing yarmulkes this season.

Perry Ellis — NYFW Spring 2012

Perry Ellis creative director John Crocco confessed to having “an American safari moment” when it came to his spring menswear collection. That moment, inspired by the Painted Desert in Arizona, resulted in a neutral palette with defused color and earth tones. The outcome is a serene collection of lightweight linens and cottons, plus roomy uncomplicated cuts that added to the airy feel of the collection. Key items include safari-ready cropped pants, a goat suede shirt, and sweaters inspired by desert landscapes. Overall, a likable collection the public will not be able to resist.

Kelly Bensimon and Nigel Barker applaud Ellis

Joe Manganiello                                         Mathew Settle from Gossip Girl


Ellis showing that you’re never too old to hug your mom

Brandon Beemer

Keep an eye out for me on Brandon’s show Dirty Soap on E!

Fashions at Fashion Week

Patrick Mcdoland

Robert Verdi

                                                                No, it’s not Lady Gaga

Only in Milan

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II — and they call this a “mall”

Men in yellow pants

Tantilizing gelato

Fearless pigeons

The perfect espresso

Old Women shopping at Armani

A park sponsered by Armani

Zebra printed hijabs

Police women in heels
Real pizza

A Vespa with dozens of petals

Good luck bull “privates”
Business man in green shoes

Naviglio GrandeGucci cafe

Great shoes

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