Thursday, September 30, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Mackage

As written for
Walking into the Mackage presentation in The Box at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was like walking into a surreal display of smoke and mirrors. Literally. The models posed in groups of four on small platforms swathed in electric black light and dry ice as the rest of us gawked at the raw, ethereal scene as if peering at a hungry caged animal. The gaunt, wet appearance of the models, the up-close-and-personal aspect of the entire arrangement and the sultry new-wave sounds of Kate Bush wafting through the speakers all added to the hypnotic high-fashion experience.

Despite wanting to break a cheeseburger out of my bag for the seemingly thinner-than-your-average models (and growing increasingly self-conscious over the size of my hips), I was enchanted. By all of it. Typically known for their outerwear and leather goods (often worn by Britney Spears, Blake Lively and Hilary Duff), the Montreal-based line raised the bar for Spring 2011 with tailored jackets, high-waist skirts, shift dresses and slim-fit pants, all with edge-defining details like studs, grommets, zippers and skinny wrap belts. The diverse palette ranged from your classic black and white to soft neutrals (camel, taupe and olive) to candy-colored spring hues (melon, peach and canary yellow). Due to the slow-moving nature of the presentation, I was able to visualize the intricate details and see how each piece was constructed and layered to form a most beautiful outfit. I almost liked it better than a runway show. Almost.

Photos by Tina Smithers

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Toni Francesc

As written for
After the spectacular Alice + Olivia party, I headed over to Toni Francesc's "Urban Forest" Spring/Summer 2011 runway show. As I waited for the show to begin from my perch in the second row behind recording artist Jeannie Ortega and actor Eric West, I spotted Kelly Cutrone (Francesc is a People's Revolution client) directing her minions, hard at work. Then the lights dimmed, and out glided model after model, sporting vivid hues of chartreuse, mango and steel blue in an array of free-flowing fabrics. Inspired by natural landscapes and elements, Francesc brought eco-friendly materials and embellishments into his enchanting collection with chunky wooden heels and accessories, as well as beautifully sculptured pieces that made the line a true stand-out during Fashion Week.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images; Video by Tina Smithers

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chic Shoes You Don't Have To "Spring" For

As written for
Shortly before Fashion Week, I represented I Heart Heels at a store opening for Manhattan's first Spring Shoes boutique, a slightly less expensive division of Aldo Shoes. While the prices range anywhere from $39 to $99, the quality and craftsmanship is definitely there. As an advocate of spending a bit more for classic items and less for trendier pieces, I found Spring Shoes to be extremely on trend, with a wide range of footwear — patent pumps, lace-up oxfords, studded ankle boots and yes, even some ruby slippers! (Some of my favorites above; I am so getting the oxfords for fall.) The brand also boasts an offering of accessories including handbags, clutches, jewelry and legwear.

Friday, September 17, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Alice + Olivia

As written for
Always a Fashion Week favorite, Alice + Olivia's Spring 2011 presentation was by far the most stunning spectacle of the week-long event, in my little opinion. Decor was sparse in the spacious warehouse-like venue of NYC's Cedar Lake, but the energy knew no bounds. Only the essentials were present — row upon row of brightly colored mixed drinks, a glittering platform filled with paparazzi near the red carpet (assembled for only the most influential of arrivals — Nicky Hilton, Denise Richards, Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss, among others) and a DJ booth where one of my personal favorites was spinning tunes, Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship.

Oh. And one minor detail. Toward the back of the venue was a stage that  resembled some sort of retro-style burlesque parlor. I fell in love  with what I saw. Model after model wearing quirky-glam confections of sparkles, lace, ruffles and feathers, mixed with the brightest of colors and boldest of prints. Picture last year's bohemian-hippie obsession on crack with a sprinkle of ultra-feminine details. Carrie Bradshaw but way cooler. Handkerchief hems, high waists and big, oversized accessories. Oh. My.

Monday, September 13, 2010

NY Fashion Week 2010: Perry Ellis

As written for fashion blog 
Despite a sudden torrential downpour (which caused me to add yet another shitty $5 street umbrella to my growing collection) and a new Upper West Side location, the fifth day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was abuzz with excitement, free drinks, outrageous outfits and long lines. I was thrilled when Julie asked me to cover a few of the Spring 2011 shows for, as I had a blast at the tents last February. The energy (and people-watching!) that you experience at Fashion Week is indescribable... not to mention the clothes.

Menswear line Perry Ellis did not disappoint earlier tonight with a series of classic, preppy pieces predominantly consisting of some combination of tailored trousers, linen shorts, v-neck sweaters, polo shirts and the occasional cardigan or blazer. Under the design direction of John Crocco, the new S/S 2011 collection exudes a sort of timeless appeal as one might expect, but the styles remain refreshingly on trend with bright pops of coral, rose, lime and teal, along with a sprinkling of aptly placed prints — think plaid, argyle, gingham and stripes.

The male models were easy on the eyes, as well, not to mention a few of the front-row guests. A-list attendees included actor Chris Riggi (you might know him as Rufus and Lily's love child from Season 3 of Gossip Girl) and Detroit Pistons player Ben Gordon.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images; Video by Tina Smithers
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