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Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Beginning of Tel Aviv Fashion Week! The Italian Ambassador to Israel Welcomes Roberto Cavalli at His Private Home

Nov 21 1 Comments

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Sunday evenings affair at the private home of the Israeli Ambassador to Italy, H.E. Luigi Mattiolo, was quite the way to kick of Israel’s first ever fashion week held in the vibrant, young city of Tel Aviv. The event at the Ambassador’s house was in honor of Mr. Roberto Cavalli, who will be showing the best pieces from his past collections and a preview of his S/S 2012 collection on the runway in “The Tahana” (New York’s version of the bygone Bryant Park tents) this Monday evening.
Around 150 guests, primarily Italian press, socials, and diplomats, gathered around the beautiful home as an elaborate open veranda overlooked a beautiful fountain and pool in the back garden and guests sipped on champagne and were served a bevy of hors d’oeuvres. 
Inside the home guests were warmly greeted by a swarm of paparazzi (dare I say, even more aggressive than those in the states) and then kindly led to the main room to mingle and listen to President of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Mr. Mario Boselli and Italian Ambassador H.E. Luigi Mattiolo speak.
The behavior of the press at the night’s affair was not out of savage aggression, rather, utter excitement as Israel has never been host to an international fashion crowd of this magnitude and caliber. 
The beautiful Israeli women who so kindly volunteered to escort the guests last night and throughout the week (and by beautiful, I mean STUNNING. Bar Refaeli was certainly not a Tel Aviv anomaly) were incredibly helpful, multi-lingual, and had a very chic style that was uniquely their own. Casual Mediterranean with streamlined conservative silhouettes and most notably, some of the most beautiful vintage, costume, and precious jewelry I have ever seen seemed to sum up the visage of the young Tel Aviv woman.
At around 8pm, ¾ of the way through the party, Mr. Cavalli arrived and the press went wild. Cavalli was surrounded by armed guards from the Italian Embassy, a trifecta of models (naturally), and more flashing lights than even Kanye West could speak of.
 Despite the hoopla, Cavalli, dressed in a beautiful black sport coat with matching all-black silk leopard-printed dress shirt and tie, was quite the gentleman. With seemingly great ease, he kindly obliged to nearly every requested interview.

 Cavalli made a brief yet eloquent speech thanking the country of Israel for allowing him to be their honorary guest at the first official fashion week held in Israel in thirty years. 

Shortly thereafter, the perfectly tanned designer disappeared just as quickly as he came. Other notable guests at the party included Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Israel Silvan Shalom, members of the Knesset, including Hon. Isaac Herzog, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, and many important representatives of the Israeli and international business and fashion system.
Being a New Yorker, I assumed it was only appropriate to wear Roberto Cavalli to an event honoring Cavalli (would you wear Chanel to a Gucci show? Exactly). Wrong. Dressed in what I can only describe as one of the most amazing pieces of art I’ve ever worn (think autumn pink, pleated, low plunging neckline, open black, four foot train), I stuck out like a bit of a sore thumb amongst a slightly more, shall I say, “conservative” crowd. 
Nonetheless, I loved every minute of wearing the dress, courtesy of Mr. Cavalli’s assistant  Cristiano Mancini, and most importantly, Mr. Cavalli expressed his appreciation for my thought in wearing something of his. 
If this evening’s affair was any indication of the excitement, hospitality, organization, and extraordinary events to come, then the two years of planning for this epic event were worth every minute of hard effort the beautiful Israeli’s have put into this.

How to Spot a Fake Louboutin and Save a Child in Just a Click

Nov 18 0 Comments
Oh, Carrie, why-oh-why did you have to do this to us women? The infamous red sole, since it’s first cameo on Ms. Bradshaw in Sex and the City, has since made every woman from New York to Shanghai go to any length just to claim a pair of Christian Louboutins as her own. Granted, Christian Louboutin was around way before Carrie Bradshaw, but who can forget the Pink Ruffle sandals worn by Carrie in the episode where she and Big have their classic New York date, followed by Miranda interrupting the moment when she goes into labor and her water quite literally breaks over poor Carrie’s shoes. 
What Christian Louboutin has done for shoes is akin to what Coco Chanel has done for women’s suits. They revitalized and redefined what for the century past had been homogenous takes on a standard fit and design. Just as when one puts on a Chanel tweed jacket with the perfect gold buttons, that Zara tweed jacket just never feels the same again. Likewise, a woman’s first pair of Louboutins can easily make a her begin to reason whether or not food or laundry is necessary when she can save up and hold out for another pair! 
My very first pair of Louboutin Pigalle 140mm’s. They don’t exactly fit anymore…or ever.  My grandmother always used to say “If the shoe fits, buy it in every color!” I missed the memo about the shoe fitting and instead abide by the philosophy of “If there’s a will, there’s a way!” With a little moisturizer or a handful of tissue paper, my closet is living proof that I can make a size 7 work just as well as a size 11. *NOTE: I am not condoning my idiotic methods!
Even actress Lea Michelle couldn’t resist the Louboutin temptation, despite the ill fit.
Guilty as charged, women will go to extremes to slide their feet into a pair of Louboutins. There is something about the red sole that screams confidence. Even companies such as Yves Saint Laurent have followed in Louboutin’s footsteps with the red sole, and are now being sued by Christian Louboutin himself. If Stefano Pilati had done his research, he would have seen that Mr. Louboutin had trademarked the Chinese red sole…woops.
And dare I ask, is Versace next in the line of Legal LOUBigations?
Companies such as YSL and Versace clearly promote their shoes in ad campaigns making it much easier to tell whether one is wearing a Versace, YSL, or Louboutin shoe. However the trouble lays when you begin to investigate the underground world of Louboutin counter-fitting. Despite remarkably convincing pictures and “guarantee” claims from the thousands of websites you can google for “discounted Louboutins,” if it looks too good to be true, it’s definitely too good to be true. What you are actually purchasing on these websites are mass produced versions of the original shoe made in China, not Italy. Furthermore, research shows that 80 percent of these “counterfeit” factories (factories which strictly prohibit “non-employees” from entering the premises) employ children as workers. Since the factories are hidden, so too are the children. Purchasing a pair of these counterfeit Louboutins not only promotes child labor, but the profit of these shoes is often funneled into prostitution and terrorist activities. 
A look inside one of the factories
In New York city ALONE, counterfeit sellers make over 23 BILLION USD per year. According to a study from BASCAP (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy) “Some investigators have even testified to having seen children in counterfeiting factories in China who have had their legs broken and improperly reset so that they cannot leave or go out to the streets to play – a terrible indictment on the lengths to which some counterfeit operators are prepared to go.” BASCAP goes on to explain that children, with their small hands, make excellent workers as their ability to assemble smaller parts is much easier.


So how do you prevent yourself from purchasing a fake Louboutin? Of course there are good deals on the internet at reliable department stores such as Neimans or Barneys, or any Ebay seller with an extensive high rating is generally a safe bet. Consignment shops are great places to look too as the store has a reputation to uphold and wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) deceive customers with fake products. Any site which is selling strictly NEW “designer” goods at exceptionally low prices and does not have a physical store you can visit is more than likely a farce.

Courtesy of the Luxe Chronicles, below you will find a guide on how to spot a fake.
Bottom line girls? If you’re going to wear a a shoe that looks like a Louboutin but doesn’t claim to be one, that’s fine. But if you’re looking to wear the red sole at the cost of uncivil child labor, put away twenty dollars every week and in less than a year you’ll have yourself the real red sole…and a real red heart.

Get Booted!

Nov 18 0 Comments
A little cold weather got you feeling the shoe blues? SNO’w problem! Ladies, put away the Uggs please and check out these amazing other solutions for day, night, rain, and snow!
DAY
Fiorentini & Baker Egon Eternity Cusna Leather Boots
Rick Owens Suede and Leather Thigh Boots
Strategia 40mm Calfskin Low Boots
BESS Black Studded Motorcycle Boots
Koolaburra Veleta Wedge Heel Fringe Boot
NIGHT

Fendi 150mm Suede and Shearling Low Boots
Versace 160mm Button Up Nappa Low Boots
Camilla Skovaard 140mm Calfskin and Metallic Goat Boots
Alexander McQueen Lace-Up Leather Ankle Boots
Charlotte Olympia 150mm Suede Stripped Laced Wedges

RAIN

Gucci Patent-Rubber Chelsea Boots
Givenchy Rubber Equestrian Boots
Valentino Studded Patent-Rubber Knee Boots
Dolce & Gabbana Rubber Lace Boots
Hunter Original Tall Glitter Wellington Boots


SNOW

Chloe Calf Fur Moon Boots

Jimmy Choo Grove Leopard Print Goat Hair Snow Boots

Emilio Pucci Moon Boot

Valentino Studded Patent Snow Boots

Art for Fashion or Attempt for Attention?

Nov 16 0 Comments
Marketing campaigns in the world of fashion have long raised more than an eyebrow. From Brooke Shield’s “risqué” (and yes, I intentionally put quotes around the word risqué) Calvin Klein Ads in the 1980’s to Abercrombie and Fitch’s evocative campaigns in the 1990’s; trying to find a standard of how far you can push the limit of what is socially acceptable in advertising seems to change just as quickly as the ads themselves.
So I’ve got to ask, where is the distinction between “art for fashion’s sake” and when have we gone too far? Of course being the writer of this blog my opinions are clearly biased, but I’d like to encourage you to challenge or agree with me on what I consider savvy-artistic-boundary pushing and just plain vulgar and tactless advertising.
Below you will find what have been considered by many as some of the most controversial fashion ad campaigns of our decade. And below that, you’ll find my own personal opinion which I have categorized into labels: “Art for Fashion” and “Attempt for Attention.”
*Please note, many of these designers listed in this entry I have the utmost respect for and my opinions on a certain ad campaign of theirs is by no means a reflection of my opinion of them as a person or a failure to neglect all of the genius work that they may have contributed in other campaigns.
Attempt for Attention
Art for Fashion
Art for Fashion
Attempt for Attention
Art for Fashion
Art for Fashion
Attempt for Attention 
Art for Fashion
Art for Fashion
Art for Fashion
Attempt for Attention
Art for Fashion
Attempt for Attention
Attempt for Attention 
Attempt for Attention 
Attempt for Attention
Attempt for Attention
Attempt for Attention
Attempt for Attention
Art for Fashion
Attempt for Attention

Art for Fashion

Attempt for Attention

Models 4 Water Make Quite the Splash!

Nov 16 0 Comments
They may look beautiful IN the water, but supermodels Heide Lindgren and Georgie Badiel are making quite the splash outside the water, too.

Georgie 
Heide
Founded by the bombshell duo, Heide and Georgie created MODELS 4 WATER with the core mission initially being to empower and change the lives of women by building and developing clean, sustainable drinking water and other hygiene products in Burkina Faso, Africa; Georgie’s hometown. 

Co-Founder Georgie and a villager in Bukina Faso
With the recent press attention and the help of the international fashion community and others who support this very basic and fundamental human right, The Water Project is now bringing relief to communities around the world stemming beyond Burkina Faso into other regions of Africa and India as well. 

Click on the link below to see the lovely and eloquent Heide Lindgren and Georgie Badiel in a live interview with none other than Chuck Scarborough himself.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Models4Water-Fundraiser-Planned-for-NYC/133725163

Tomorrow evening, November 16th, Models 4 Water in partnership with Gilt Groupe, Modelinia, and Guess by Marciano, will be hosting a special dinner with 100 percent of all proceeds going directly to bringing clean, sustainable water to those in need. While tickets are selling fast, there are other ways to help support Heide and Georgie on their amazing mission. By visiting www.models4water.org, you can make a donation in the amount of your choice. And for just $20, you can do good and look good by wearing one of their fantastic tee-shirts!

Buy Me!


A Sunrise Interview with the Skateboard Stigmata

Nov 13 0 Comments
What do you get when you put two Pisces in a room, both bloggers, both skateboarders, both art enthusiasts, and both pulling an all-nighter together? You get some rare and incredible insight into the mind of one of Brooklyn’s most genius burgeoning artists, Derek Ercolano.
Even guys can be Winners, too!
To put this interview into context, at about 5am Derek, a friend of my roommate, came over to my apartment to “hang out,” (we’re 23 may I remind you; hanging out at 5am is nothing out of the ordinary). Dark, tall, and fairly reserved, there was something instantly intriguing to me about this shady character sitting on my living room knocking back a Corona and sporadically yet poignantly commenting on the nature of contemporary art and the problems with modern academia. 
Derek’s Most Recent Self-Portrait
Since there isn’t much else to do at 5am other than sleep, do regrettable things, or find yourself in esoteric conversations that seem to feel as if Da Vinci’s code was child’s play compared to the revelations we were cracking, I decided to go with the latter of the three. 
“NAPTIME.” by Derek Ercolano…Something We Both Needed.
After Derek showed me his blog, Skateboard Stigmata, I began by probing him with the usual questions a Sawyer, Walters, Sykes, hell even a Lake would start with, “Where’d you grow up,” “What was your childhood like,” “How many times have you been arrested….” You know, the usual outline of questions needing answers for a short post. 
Derek grew up a self described “sk8 rat” on Long Island. Along with a crew of friends, his skateboarding ways naturally led him to progress into dabbling in the world of graffiti, to which he was also a pro as he had long been an artist on paper, not walls. Derek describes his early work as “anything but neat and clean” but as time went on, his work evolved into a much cleaner aesthetic or as he has termed it “psychedelic minimalism.”
*SIDENOTE: NO, DEREK IS NOT MY LONG LOST BROTHER BUT YES, I FOUND MYSELF REPEATEDLY WONDERING IF HE WAS TOO…*
Derek’s Early Work
Derek spent four somewhat miserable years at Syracuse graduating with a degree in communication design. I say this with sarcastic candor because aren’t all of us artists pretty much miserable in some shape or form at any given time? Anyway, continuing to hone in on his “psychedelic-minimalistic” approach to art, Derek simultaneously applied the same sensibilities to his continued graffiti work. Instead of tagging words with a can or a Sharpie, Derek used methods such as screen printing or hand drawing to paste characters. The imagery Derek created was “reflective of his mental condition at any time,” much like the artist Henry Darger whom he counts as one of his inspirations. 
A Step/Repeat Design that Also Doubles as Wrapping Paper to be Sent Out to Friends For the Holidays. If the Wrapping is this Cool, I’ve got to Wonder, What the Heck is Inside?!
Much to my surprise, others whom inspire Derek’s art include fashion designers Comme Des Garcons, Rei Kawakubo, and Junya Watanabe. As soon as he told me this I immediately knew I had a story on my hands. Since Derek’s preferred method of working was by using techniques that often took time to produce the final results, I decided to challenge this artist-grafitti-non-grafitti-artrist to challenge himself by throwing all the methods he had established out the window and going back to the traditional ways of graffiti by completing a “tag” in less than 60 seconds. Furthermore, instead of using those 60 seconds to easily amuse me with a scribbled word or a stupid outline of a cupcake, I challenged him to replicate exactly the type of characters he normally creates in his art, only in 1/60th of the time. And just for shits and giggles, the last ground rule I laid down for the assignment was that the characters had to be fashion icons. 
Derek laughed a bit but this is, after all, a fashion blog so he obliged (and in turn, I promise to show him my less than Hawk-worthy skateboarding one day).

Rei Kawakubo
Karl Lagerfeld
Kate Moss
Present time of completion? Circa 6:30 am. I must say, a few Corona’s deep and a few hours short of inevitably losing a day, Derek did a pretty damn good job. What impressed me most, however, was that he never ONCE looked over at an image of Karl, Kate, or Rei; the sign of a true artist…even if he does carry a skateboard, wear a dark hoody, and ride off back into the dark side streets of Manhattan just as quickly as he came. 
Derek’s Homage to Rapper CURREN$Y
CURREN$Y Himself…Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta.’
To see more of Derek’s artwork you can visit his blog, SKATEBOARD STIGMATA, at 
And if staring at a computer screen in envy isn’t enough for you, Derek recently rented a space at third ward where he plans to begin printing limited edition tee-shirts.

Brow NY International’s First Commercial!

Nov 11 0 Comments
Introducing the new Brow New York Inc Ad, Styled and Embarassed Made a Fool of Goofed Around a Bit Modeled by me. 
Video and Edits: Danielle Martin
Music Credit: “In the Sun” by “She and Him” Featuring “Tilly and the Wall.”
Shoot Assisted by: Julie Cameosas Erinc, Aylin Erinc, Ayshe Erinc, & Alexis Mpaka
Click Below to Watch
If you haven’t already seen or read about my obsessions with Brow New York and all of their ridiculously amazing new, vintage and custom clothing, check out their newly expanded store at 345 Lafayette Street in Manhattan or visit their webpage at www.brownyintl.com
Don’t forget to tell Julie the owner I sent you! (She may just give you some free Turkish cheese and a fine glass of wine).


Heidi Klum’s Doppelgänger?

Nov 11 0 Comments
Raquel Olivo is a photographic genius, having shot some of the worlds top models, most major campaigns and iconic stars. From Kanye West to Alicia Silverstone and every foxy model in between, Raquel has covered the gamete. Raquel also hails from my hometown of Chicago so I have to give her extra props for that too.
A few weeks ago, I came across a most incredible shoot Ms. Olivo sent me. Not only was I struck by the photography, the style, and the wicked attitude, I couldn’t help but wonder, does Heidi Klum have a doppelgänger??!! Alright, it’s cause for envy enough that Ms. Bundchen has a twin sister, but Heidi too? While my investigatory research denies any such lookalikes doppel gangin’ in Ms. Klum’s spotlight, I still couldn’t auf wiedersehen these gorgeous shots without letting you make you see them first. So tell me, is this chick in, or is she out?

For credits and to see more of Raquel Olivo’s work, visit www.raquelolivo.com

The 50 Fashion Bests of 2011

Nov 10 0 Comments
Working with some of the most brilliant minds in fashion, I am faced with the excruciating challenge day in and day out (cue the violins) to look over the most fabulous new collections, designers, concepts, models, editorials…so on and so forth. Okay, so my job could be worse. However as the year comes to a close, I decided it would only be apropos to list my “50 Best” of 2011. While the concept seemed novel at first, as I began to write I shortly thereafter found myself in a fashion induced panic attack. “How could you possibly list your 50 personal fashion bests? By god, to do this list justice I’d need to list at least the 5,000 Best, and that still would only do just a minutia of justice to the brilliance I’ve witnessed in 2011 alone. 
This year was revolutionary in that there were no holds barred. Minimal, over-the-top, androgynous, uber-feminine, dirty, sleek; 2011 was the year for the designers to go wild. Perhaps it was a reflection of the (dare I say) depressing political environment we live in that lent itself, if nothing else, a moment of pure and honest freedom of thought that reigned prominent on the runways (and chalk it up to irony, but I couldn’t help but notice that royal reds, whites, and blues were carefully ingrained in the best of tweeds and prints). 
After days and days of deeply considered thought, a little nudge from my assistant in the shape of a black and blue mark on my forearm, I pulled myself together and in a Simon Cowell moment (or maybe it was more Paula Abdul) I took a few deep breaths as I hesitantly pressed the delete button (450 Bests simply had to go) and was finally able to narrow the list down to my 50 (erk, that number still kills me) fashion “Bests” of 2011.

In no particular order…

1.     Best Overall Designer: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
2.     Best F/W 11’ RTW Collection: Vivienne Tam
3.     Best S/S 11’ RTW Collection: Balmain

4.     Best F/W 11’ CTR Collection: Alexis Mabille

5.     Best S/S 11’ CTR Collection: Givenchy

6.     Best Runway Hair: Alexander McQueen S/S 11’ RTW

7.     Best Designer Comeback: Gemma Kahng S/S 11’ RTW

 

8.     Best Over-the-Top-Reminds-Me-Why-I-Love-Fashion Designer:
The Blonds

               
9.     Best Celebrity Clothing Line Worthy of it’s Label: Victoria Beckham
10.  Best Iconic/Ironic Person with a Killer Wardrobe (No puns Intended): Muammar Gaddafi
11.  Best Dressed Sister Act: Clarie & Virginie Courtin-Clarins
12.  Best Dressed Brother Act: Ignazio & Maggio Cipriani
13.  Best Dressed Family Act: The Dexter-Jones/Ronsons’
14.  Best Dressed Socialite: Dasha Zhukova
15.  Best Female Model: Iekeliene Stange
16.  Best Effortless Style on a Female Model: Erin Wasson
17.  Best Male Model: Josh Beech
 
18.  Best Effortless Style on a Male Model: Jamie Burke
 

19. Best Recovery from a Runway Fall: Model Ataui Deng at the Z Spoke by Zac Posen S/S 11’ RTW Collection
20.  Best Controversial Model I Fully Support: Thylane Blandeau
21.  Best Dressed Actress: Diane Kruger
22.  Best Dressed Actor: Russell Brand
23. Best Red Carpet Dress: Elie Saab’s Lavender Gown as Worn by Mila Kunis at the Oscars
24.  Best Michelle Obama Moment: The Black Ralph Lauren F/W 2011 Dress Paired with Tom Binns Costume Jewelry as worn at the dinner hosted for Queen Elizabeth at Winfield House
25. Best Dressed Politician: Nicolas Sarkozy
26. Best Fashion Exhibition: Daphne Guinness at the Museum at FIT
27.  Best Wedding Dress: John Galliano for Kate Moss
28.  Best Dressed Musical Duo: Kemp Muhl & Sean Lennon
29.  Best Dressed Male Musician: Pete Doherty
30. Best Dressed DJ: Harley Viera-Newton
31.  Best Kate Middleton Moment: Alexander McQueen’s Pale Lavender Gown Paired with Jimmy Choo’s Ubai Clutch and Vamp Sandals Along with Earring Borrowed from (you guessed it) the Queen.
32. Best Fine Jeweler: Alex Soldier

33.  Best Costume Jeweler: Tom Binns
34.  Best Shoe Designer: Charlotte Olympia
35.  Best Over-the-Top Indulgence: Hermes Neon Green Birkin Bag
36.  Best Garment Revival: The Cumberbund as Designed by Maggie Norris
37. Best Sunglasses: House of Harlow 1960 Sasha Sunglasses

38. Best Unisex Watch: Cartier Santos with Black Rubber Strap
39.  Best Piece of Leather: Daryl K’s Machine-Wash Black Leather Leggings
40. Best Staple Dress Every Woman Should Own: The Transformer Dress by Von Vonni
41.  Best Perfume: Fan di Fendi
42.  Best Cologne: Le Fou #21 by D & G
43.  Best Hair Salon: Platinum Salon on 23rd, New York
44. Best Ad Campaign: Celine S/S 2011 Featuring Daria Werbowy Shot by Juergen Teller

45. Best Fearless Fashion Sense: The Duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart

46.  Best Dressed Fashion Designer: Georgina Chapman

47.  Best Diffusion Line: Missoni for Target

48. Best Style Blog….ASIDE FROM MINE! : ) 

RduJour.com
49.  Best Online Shop: Luisaviaroma.com
50.  Best Word to Describe a Hit Collection: “Winning” (duh).

                  
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© 2015 Alexa Winner. All Rights Reserved.