"I love these gorgeous new shots of Kendall and Kylie modeling for Sherri Hill prom dresses," blogged their proud sister Kim Kardashian. "Simply stunning!" Kendall also worked the Sheri Hill runway along with Miss China 2011 Luo Zilin, Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella and Carmen Dell’Orefice when Hill debuted her glam gowns at New York Fashion Week. She first strutted onto the scene after Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants all won titles in her gowns; other celebs the designer works with include Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, Carmen Electra, Bella Thorne and Miranda Lambert who like to grace the red carpet and other big appearances in gowns that say G-L-A-M-O-U-R.
If you're more a denim 'n diamonds kinda gal, the strapless cocktail numbers with fun poufy tulle skirts look adorbs with cowboy boots or cute ballet flats. Wanna show off all your hard work at the gym? A lacey bodcon number has your name on it. And should you be black-tying one on for New Year's Eve, she has a good selection of floor-length fabulousness to choose from. For the upcoming 2014 prom season, she's mixed ladylike lace and beautiful beading to create frocks worthy your own red carpet events, whether you need a beautiful dress for a beauty pageant, to hobnob with A-listers, or reign regally at prom.
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in partnership with DressFierce.com. The words are mine.]
Madonna. Catherine Zeta Jones. Jennifer Lopez. Sharon Stone. Jennifer Garner. Julia Roberts. Kate Winslet. Taylor Swift. Sarah Jessica Parker. Carrie Underwood. Mindy Kaling. J. Lo. Christina Hendricks. Taylor Swift. Katy Perry. Helen Mirren. Halle Berry. Brooke Shields. Jane Krakowski. Kate Winslet. Kelly Osbourne. Queen Latifah... Besides being gorgeous, what do these lovelies all have in common? A love of a glamorous Badgley Mischka evening dress that's a fab fit, whether you're a Hollywood award-winner, society bride, presidential daughter or one of the fabulous femme fatales that inspired Mark Badgley and James Mischka for their Fall/Winter runway collection.
"A paradox of the cool surface and the inner fire," notes Badgley. “Our style harks back to the glamorous Hollywood of the Forties," adds Mischka. As do their fine fabrics and excellent craftsmanship...which tend to be a footnote in fashion history all-too-often these days. While their designs typically include luxe touches and details, the overall silhouette is simple, streamlined and elegant - very retro glam but with fash-forward flair.
And yes, black is always a failsafe choice for evening, but it's fun to step out after dark in color, if nothing else to stand out in a sea of black-black-black. White is a surprisingly stylish choice as is bright lipstick red. I love the retro elegance and curve-flattering draping of the sapphire gown (below, far right) with its beaded overlay. And if you're ready to pull out all the style stops, shimmy into the shimmery emerald number oozing with enough va-va-voom to pretty much guarantee you'll be the belle of the holiday ball.
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in partnership with Badgley Mischka. The words and choice of dresses are mine.]
Along with rich, famous & fabulous, Nicklas Bendtner can now add designer to his resume. While footballing for Arsenal is the official day job, when he's off the clock, he dabbles in making cool jewels for fashionistos. "It has always been my dream to create a jewellery collection for men," explains the handsome Dane about his stingray, silver and black-diamond pieces. "And it must - of course - be jewellery that does not look like anything else on the market."
The "Classic" collection of rings and bracelets are available in seasonal hues and are striking enough to wear out, but sufficiently sturdy to play sports in. The "Wildlife" collection (my fave), also contains necklaces and includes:
- an eagle, considered a ruler of the sky which symbolizes courage and perspective;
- a bear (power & strength);
- a cobra (craftiness & mystery);
- a whale - above (it rests in itself);
- & a lion (being a born leader).
"The jewelry has edge and attitude," continues Bendtner. "It is exclusive and unique." And is cool enough for ladies who like to borrow from the boys. "To my surprise, lots of women have shown a huge interest in our Collections." Enough so that he designed special pieces just for his feminine fans.
NOBLE by Bendtner is available in Denmark and internationally in Pacific Palisades, California.
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in collaboration with NOBLE by Bendtner. The words are mine.]
For women fighting cancer, feeling good about the way they look goes beyond just vanity. The American Cancer Society found that almost 9 of every 10 women cancer patients reported feeling more confident about coping with their disease - when they felt they looked good. Of which hair plays a huge part. "It was very hard when my hair started falling out," observes one breast cancer survivor. "It really takes away who you are when you look in the mirror."
So Pantene teamed up with the American Cancer Society - the largest non-profit health organization committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease - on Pantene Beautiful Lengths to help women (and men) grow strong, long beautiful locks. Once they're ready to "pony" up, the next step is to cut and donate their tresses to be made into real-hair wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
Be sure to check out the videos above - there are two of them, just refresh your browser to watch the second one - to see Queen Latifah and other celeb royalty who proudly support this initiative.
To date, Pantene has donated 24,000 free real-hair wigs to the American
Cancer Society’s wig banks, which then distribute wigs to cancer
patients across the country. "We created Beautiful Lengths because healthy hair means a lot to us, and the appearance of healthy hair means so much to women battling cancer," explains Pantene. "We want to be there for women when looking and feeling healthy is so important to them."
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in partnership with Pantene Beautiful Lengths. The words are mine.]
"People don't know what they want until you show them," Steve Jobs once famously observed, unknowingly (I think) repeating the same sentiment from an unlikely source: Fashionland. "I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give 'em what they never knew they wanted." That was Diana Vreeland, a one-time fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, curator at the Met Museum's Costume Institute and uber-famous editor in chief at Vogue during the 60s. During which time she penned an impressive collection of memos which have been collected and edited by her grandson Alexander in “Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years” (Rizzoli New York).
Documenting Grandma Diana actually seems to have turned into a family business. Alexander's wife, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, made the well-received “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel" (2012).
Interestingly, Vreeland wasn't brought up to be career-minded and never thought she would work. Rather, her "work" originally consisted of turning herself into a sought-after debutante who married one of the handsomest batchelors of the day, banker T. Reed Vreeland. "I never felt comfortable about my looks until I married Reed Vreeland," she once said. "I believe in love at first sight because that's what it was. I knew the moment our eyes met that we would marry."
And become an impeccably-dressed couple who lived for a time in Albany, New York and then in Europe. After returning to the US, she met the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar. After no doubt charming Carmel Snow with observations such as "Vulgarity is a very important ingredient in life. I'm a great believer in vulgarity - if it's got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste- it's hearty, it's healthy, it's physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I'm against." - Vreeland began penning a column: "Why don't you..."Style and fashion suggestions included “Why Don’t You start a topiary garden of box or yew and clip the bushes into peacocks and poodles?” or “Why Don’t You give a new note to your sitting room by introducing a Victorian chair upholstered by Jensen in bright emerald green cotton, buttoned in white with little white chenille earrings on either side?” Of course this column for fellow rich people was silly, satirized in The New Yorker, even, but it revealed Vreeland's talent for knowing that people wanted personality. "I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere," she said later. "It was me - projecting to the public. That was my job."
Because she worked not for economic reasons but obviously for sheer enjoyment, it provides an interesting perspective on one of the early Supremium tribe members - which at first can seem superficial & uninteresting, like this memo, for example, dated February
1967: “Brigitte Bardot travelled halfway across the world to get married
barefoot.…Mrs. George Harrison, wife of the Beatle, arrived on her
honeymoon from Nassau to London Airport in a miniskirt — published by us
last winter.…The tote bag is the thing.…The great trip into unknown
rough country is the thing..."
However, beneath the easy/breezy society-girl armor beat the heart of a passionate woman who once noted that the only good life was the one you imagined & then fashioned for yourself. Fashioned, literally, in Vreeland's case. "I was always fascinated by the absurdities and the luxuries and the snobbism of the world that fashion magazines showed. Of course, it’s not for everyone. Very few people had ever breathed the pantry air of a woman who wore the kind of dress Vogue used to show when I was young. But I lived for that world, not only during my years in the magazine business but for years before, because I was always of that world — at least in my imagination."
The Design Library recently made fashionista hearts beat faster when they announced that their acquisition from the Abraham silk archives was now ready for viewing. Abraham was a Swiss silk company founded in 1878 by Jakob Abraham but later pushed into the fashion history books by the company's one-time apprenctice, Gustav Zumsteg. After spending part of the war in Paris, where his 1930s mingling included Georges Braque, Marc Chagall and Alberto Giacometti and night school meant art history classes at the Louvre, Zumsteg returned to Zurich and was made a partner in Abraham. Between 1943 and 1980, Zumsteg grew the company from $1.7 million to $26 million. How? "There are things in the air," he once explained about his secret, "and we try to capture them...I feel instinctively what is happening in fashion; it's a process that almost never stops."
Meaning: his knack for knowing when the time was right for lush florals, beautiful butterflies, bold graphics and artistic abstract patterns made Abraham part of every Parisian A-list collection. Balenciaga and Chanel were friends, Christian Dior a steady customer, Givenchy a really steady customer and the "great joy" of his career - collaborating and becoming lifelong friends with Dior's one-time assistant Yves Saint Laurent. "Gustav Zumsteg was my ally, my friend and my collaborator for some 45 years, I used his fabric in my most beautiful dresses," noted YSL when Zumsteg passed away. "His talent was a never-ending source of inspiration. I owe him many unforgettable moments."
The celeb factor never hurts, either, given how much Abraham Audrey Hepburn was photographed in when she wore Givenchy (which was, like, all the time) and Catherine Deneuve in YSL (top). As to why Zumsteg and/or Abraham was Soie Pirate, as the exhibition devoted to the brand in 2007 at the Swiss National Museum was titled, who knows. But when someone not only calls you a pirate but devotes an entire museum show to you as a result, you say thankyou and go with it.
The Design Museum is a prime example of the FOLKSPUN Fashion Tribe at work, preserving the best in the history of fashion, textiles and all things artisanal in order for future generations to enjoy. Here's the podcast I recorded about this:
For many members of the Supremium tribe - the fashion tribe that is part of the elite ultra-wealthy class and understands that while money can't buy you taste and style...it certainly helps - when you have money for anything you could desire to do, be or experience in life, what's on the holiday agenda? Probably a jaunt to London to stay for a spell in Mayfair at Claridge's, taking traditional afternoon tea in the foyer, quaffing vintage champagnes
and rare spirits at the bar and enjoying after-dinner drinks in the Fumoir (below).
Claridge's is an atmospheric, art deco of a hotel jewel in London and their grand Christmas tree has long added some additional sparkle to the city's holiday shine, attracting locals, visitors and guests alike. And special guests have, for the fourth year now, been invited to create and decorate the tree in a manner that celebrates the generous spirit of the season both glamorously and with signature style. This year, the lucky tree decorators are long-time fans of the hotel, fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana who are drawing on their southern Italian heritage with a bespoke frame made of multi-colored "luminarie" housing hand-painted glass baubles and hand-crafted Sicilian puppets known as "pupi". "Our Christmas tree isn’t only a celebration of Christmas as we celebrate
it in Italy, but it’s at the same time a tribute to the artisanal
Italian tradition, the same that we love to export worldwide with
everything we do," note signors Dolce & Gabbana. “When we think of London we always think of Claridge’s and of its
typically English atmosphere that fascinates us and makes us fall in
love with the city every time as if it were the first." (pupi image)
The new tree will be unveiled in Claridge’s on November 26th 2013.
There's more to Halloween costume'ness than seXXXY undead chicks, naughty nurses and kurvacious kittens. Instead, here are some fun, creative (and dare I say it...wholesome) ideas for costumes inspired by Halloween-happy celebs including Elle Fanning, Kelly Osbourne, Scott Disick, Sandra Bullock and of course the undisputed Queen of Halloween: Heidi Klum!
After gliding onto the the highly-anticipated, parazzi-lined red carpet and ascending the steps of the venerable Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York en route to the Costume Institute Ball to celebrate the opening of the latest fashion exhibition, for 2014 it will be Charles James: Beyond Fashion - you pause. Before air-kissing everyone-who's-anyone in Fashionland, why not take a moment to survey the masses of Little People behind the cameras who have to work this event in order to bring glamorous pix of you to the even Littler People. Yes, the masses in line like cattle at the grocery store...during which time they grab a celeb rag and escape - thanks to you, Ms. Supremium! - into a world where everyone is gorgeously-attired, fabulous, rarified. (image)
"Do you want me to be honest? It sucked," Gwyneth Paltrow confessed on Australian radio after last year's after last year's "Punk: Chaos to Couture" shindig which paid homage to a very non 1% faction in society. "It seems like the best thing in the world," she continued. "You think, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to be so glamorous and amazing, and you’re going to see all these famous people.’ And then you get there, and it’s so hot, and so crowded, and everyone’s pushing you. This year it was really intense. It wasn’t fun! And . . . I feel that we’re all a bit old to be dressed punk."
Age-appropriate attire issues aside, the event's organizers which include Vogue editrix Anna Wintour are certainly undertaking heroic measures to rectify the riff-raff problem by eliminating the two price tiers. Last year, there were tickets available for both $15,000 and $25,000, while for 2014, all tickets will go for a single price: $25K. “Increasing the ticket price will make the Met Gala even more high-fashion," opines one source, and "even more exclusive and even more aspirational.”
By "aspirational" I'm assuming this source means exclusive. Making the event more exclusive should eliminate some of the crowding and pushing that Gwyneth found so annoying, paving the way for a much more genteel experience. Experience, after all, is what the people who can afford $25,000 a ticket are after these days. The Supremium fashion tribe, aka the super-rich, - now I'm not talking merely "rich" here, I'm talkin' *wealthy* (Chris Rock, "Never Scared") - are spending far more on memory-making vacations, for instance, than on possessions such as cars, jewelry or fashion. Pricewise, for whatever reason, they seem to gravitate toward the magic $25K pricetag as that's the minimum amount the majority are spending on vacationing and leisure pursuits.
Home renovations are the other big category the rich love to throw money at - what IS it about people with money & constant home makeovers?? I guess without shady contactors, spendy delays and other home-reno horror-stories, what would you have to commiserate about with the other members of Richistan?
(gorgeous fashion illustration of the rarified & monied atmosphere of Haute Couture by David Downton)
Be sure to check out the Podcast I recorded about this Supremium-priced event which includes clips from that Gwyneth interview & one from Chris Rock!
The End Times have been grandly predicted hundreds of times in the past, beginning - on record, at least - with the ancient Romans of 634BC who feared the end was nigh when Rome turned 120. Sextus Julius Africanus revised his Doomsday date to the year 800, while in 1186, John of Toledo confirmed that the planetary alignment was primed for our destruction in 1186. Martin Luther placed his bets on "no later than 1600 and Cotton Mather was forced to revise his prediction of 1697 to 1716 when the former failed to materialize. Harriet Livermore (1847), Seventh Day Adventist Margaret Rowen (1925), astrologer Jeane Dixon (1962), Pat Robertson (2007) and fundamentalist Mormon Warren Jeffs (2012) have all been famously wrong. Going forward, Dixon decided to have another crack at it and gives us until 2020, while Sir Isaac Newton's read of the Bible places the date in 2060.
Suffice it to say, Armageddon Prediction is probably not the most rewarding of career choices.
The fact that these various (false) prophets of doom & gloom accurately hone in on people's fears and yet are so consistently W-R-O-N-G makes it unsurprising to me that the Apocalytic fashion tribe - which is prepping for the Apocalypse, but with an eye on style - has two distinct flavors. The first is the most obvious: the very head-to-toe tough leather, Mad Max-channeling fashion badass which takes the predictions (somewhat) seriously. They rock Matrix-style kung-fu leather made for badassery - meaning that when you wear it, you can actually engage in activities like moving, eating & breathing.
The second group, while concerned about the looming threat of total annihilation, is also of the mind that all the predictions have turned out to be bunk. So while the predictions worry them...a bit...they only take them half seriously. And the other half? It's out partying like there's no tomorrow since there probably won't be one. Any blow-out party worth its festive salt requires one hell of a getup. Besides, the monied classes have a long history of dressing up and pretending the good times will never end...right up until the end.
That's why I'm not surprised to see the party-mad Apocalytics attempting to follow in the fashionista-extraordinaire footsteps of Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games) and dressing in a kind of hyper-whimsical way that reminds me of those awesome 80s glam Hair Bands. Just like the 80s hair dudes, Apocalytical tresses are ever higher (and closer to god) while their shared love of makeup would make a clown convention look demure. There is similarly much wearing of leopard by both groups, the silhouettes are sexy and body-con (but not in any way particularly pragmatic) and while the accessories reference "tough", the context makes them silly - fingerless leather driving gloves, anyone?
This *thumb your nose at the forces that be* sartorial vibe is strong in the upcoming "Capital Couture" collection by movie costumer Trish Summerville - cue the laser-cut leathers, over-the-top evening finery and streamlined silhouette, all conveniently timed to drop on Net-a-Porter along with the November release of her work in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. “This is also brilliant fashion in its own right," adds Holli Rogers, the Fashion Director of Net-a-Porter, "and we’re delighted to provide our customers with the chance to purchase limited-edition pieces designed by one of the most original costume designers in the industry today.”