Duckie Brown’s Big Screen Debut

Duckie Brown

Duckie Brown duo Steven Cox and Daniel Silver are two of the most inventive menswear designers around. I’ve interviewed them countless times over the years and have reviewed many of their Fashion Week shows (which are always held in the tents and attended by heavy-hitters from GQ, Details, The New York Times, etc.). And every season, I’m always blown away by their creativity and craftsmanship – Daniel and Steven (who are partners in love and work) turn out some of the most innovative and beautifully tailored menswear you’ll ever see.

So I was excited when they told me that our mutual friend, videographer Lina Plioplyte, had directed a short film on the making of their Fall 2011 collection. They unveiled the film last week at a private party at Norwood, the members-only social club in the Meatpacking District. After grabbing drinks at the plush bar on the second floor, about sixty of us went up to the screening room to see the film.
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July 18, 2011

Ferragamo Takes Fifth Avenue

Lauren David Peden

It was fashion, Italian-style, in Manhattan last week thanks to Salvatore Ferragamo’s Resort show, which injected a little Old World glamour into Uptown New York. Held in the James B. Duke Mansion overlooking Central Park, the event drew fashion’s finest, along with celebs and notables such as Eva Mendes, Freida Pinto, Ashley Greene, Emma Roberts, Rachel Roy, Olivia Chantecaille, Brad Goreski, Scott Speedman, and… need I go on?

They (and I) braved the heat (and it was seriously h-o-t) to visit the mansion, replete with a soaring marble staircase, imposing carved fireplaces, and countless urns overflowing with ivory and lilac flowers.

Fittingly, the collection (designed by Massimiliano Giornetti) was inspired by the late heiress Doris Duke (aka, “the richest girl in the world”), who grew up in the mansion. Heavy on nautical-themed looks and fringed everything (from skirts and gowns to scarves and handbags), there was a definite Thirties feel to the clothing, yet the collection never felt dated.

I especially loved a slinky white halter dress worn by Karlie Kloss and a white, double-breasted pantsuit Mariacarla Boscono wore to open the show. But what made this so special was seeing some of fashion’s finest models (Karolina Kurkova, Jac, Vanessa Traina, and Constance Jablonski also walked the runway) wearing such beautiful clothes in such a grand and intimate setting. Belissima!

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.


July 12, 2011

Toasting Cynthia Rowley for Birchbox

Toasting Cynthia Rowley for Birchbox

Although parties in the Hamptons usually kick off July 4th weekend, Cynthia Rowley got a head start on things the last Saturday in June with a little soiree at her Montauk store to celebrate the “Tips to Toe Treats” she curated for the subscription beauty site, Birchbox.

Held in the “Shack in the Back,” a separate shop-within-a-shop behind the designer’s Main Street boutique (located next to the infamous Memory Motel), guests enjoyed cocktails and a free application of Rowley-designed Incoco Nail Strips — which are applied to your nails and then snapped off around the edges (look ma, no filing!) — with every Cynthia Rowley for Birchbox purchase.
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July 8, 2011

Resort Roundup, Part Deux

BLauren David Peden

So it’s time for the second half of my Resort roundup, focusing on the shows – and showroom appointments — that took place in the later half of June.

Chris Benz presented a colorful Bermuda-inspired collection, full of the whimsical prints and piled-on textures that have become his signature. Multi-hued dresses were nipped at the waist or hung loose from the shoulders, bold patterned maillots had sheer matching cover-ups, and quirky short-sleeved sweaters were designed to ward off the chill during midwinter Caribbean getaways. All were worn with Alejandro Ingelmo platforms or metallic sneakers and Patricia Underwood wide-brimmed hats.

Things were short and sweet over at Erin Fetherston. The designer offered a range of separates (trousers, coats, skirt suits, even knits) in the first Resort collection for her lower-priced line, Erin, but dresses were the star of the show. The newly-cropped designer walked editors through the collection personally while two models showed off her latest looks, which are meant to take you from New Year’s Eve to mid-winter vacation and right on into spring (think: one-shoulder, zebra-striped dresses, elaborately pleated strapless frocks, and enough LBDs to make modern-day Holly Golightlys swoon with delight).
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July 6, 2011

At Work with Olivia Chantecaille

Olivia Chantecaille

Olivia Chantecaille and I go way back, having first met six or seven years ago when I interviewed the striking beauty guru for a shopping column I used to write for Fashion Wire Daily.

So I was delighted when she recently invited me to Chantecaille’s newly revamped Soho office for a sneak peek at their new collections and the skinny on her not-so-average workday. (Chantecaille was founded by Olivia’s mother, Sylvie, in 1997 – her father, Olivier, and sister Alex now work for the company, as well.)

“Every day is so different, which is the fun part of my job,” Olivia told me as we sat in a corner of the loft-like whitewashed space in front of a display of Chantecaille cosmetics, all of which I was dying to play with. “I wear so many hats. For example, tomorrow I’m going to one of our labs to work on our new spring colors for 2012, which is very exciting. They’re actually a lab based in Italy, outside of Milan, but they have a satellite lab here [in upstate New York] where we can go and mix colors that they’ll produce in Italy. It’s a great, fun place to work with the technicians and be very creative and come up with all the new shades that were inspired by the current fashion trends.”
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July 1, 2011

Cocktails with Reem Acra

Reem Acra

I’ve been invited to several parties hosted by designer Reem Acra over the years, but was never able to attend until last week. And holy crow, had I been missing out! Reem, who was raised in Lebanon and studied fashion design at FIT in New York and the ESMOD Ecole de Mode in Paris, is the consummate hostess with the mostest.

This became immediately apparent as my husband and I entered her Chelsea apartment – which was lit with twinkling votives and glowing purple trees for the occasion – and were offered glasses of champagne and red wine by handsome young waiters. The glass-topped tables were lit from below and adorned with small vases of roses and tall silver bowls overflowing with tasty snacks, while other waiters passed tuna tartare and foie gras hors d’oeuvres.

“Eclectic,” Reem said when asked to describe her décor. “I think it has my whole personality. I love coming home at night and enjoying the atmosphere I’ve created. It has a little bit of all my trips; wherever I travel I’ve collected things since I was a little girl. Things I love and adore – from the dishes to the candles. Everything I have, I have to love!”
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June 29, 2011

Stella McCartney’s Beer Garden Party

Stella McCartney

Most designers take a low-key approach to the Resort season by presenting their collection in a showroom setting to an intimate, by-appointment-only group of editors and buyers. Not so for Stella McCartney, who always hosts a big party to debut her Resort offerings. And this year was no different.

Stella & co. took over St. Luke’s in the Field in New York’s West Village last week to host a seriously fun beer garden party. Guests entered the garden – which adjoins a school – through a brick archway festooned with balloons. Inside, leggy young models wearing Stella McCartney Resort looks mingled with a crowd that included Bono, Estelle, Liv Tyler, and Naomi Watts, along with editors from every major fashion mag and department store in town.
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June 24, 2011

Resort 2012 Swings Into Spring

BY LAUREN DAVID PEDEN/THE FASHION INFORMER

Resort 2012

It may be the start of summer 2011 in the rest of the world, but in the fashion industry, the month of June is all about Resort 2012, with full-on shows and presentations – along with lower-key showroom market appointments – taking place all across the city. Here’s a sampling of what I saw over the past two weeks:

Donna Karan personally walked editors through her Resort collection at an intimate presentation in her showroom, located in the furthest reaches of Manhattan’s West Side. A display of white orchids, crystal-heeled shoes, and cashmere-clad mannequins greeted visitors in the front room, while a mini-runway show, narrated by Karan herself, took place in the back room, with additional Resort looks hanging off the rails that lined the space. The story here was all about full skirts, fitted sweaters, and slimming “body pants” topped by long jackets – all in shades of white, black, crimson, and silvery grey offset by bursts of red. I especially loved the sexy-cozy grey cashmere sweaters and the dresses and gowns with gorgeous origami-like hems.

At Jill Stuart, there were no models or mannequins, but two racks of sweetly sophisticated, ’40s-inspired, graphic print looks (think fit-and-flare cap sleeve dresses, playful rompers, jumpsuits, dressy denim shorts, and jackets) designed to be worn at work or on vacay. The prints were incredible and I wanted to wear everything right that minute.
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June 18, 2011

Celebrating Fashion at the 2011 CFDA Awards

BY LAUREN DAVID PEDEN/THE FASHION INFORMER

CFDA Awards

Mother Nature was in a great mood Monday night – great news for the fashion flock, who turned out en masse for the 2011 CFDA Awards at Lincoln Center, hosted by Anderson Cooper. They were dressed to the nines, of course, with Lady Gaga (this year’s Fashion Icon Award honoree) making the photogs gaga in her custom Nicola Formichetti for Mugler spiked bodystocking/corset/ball skirt ensemble, which revealed as much as it concealed (worn with a bobbed green wig and 24-inch black leather platforms, natch).

Other red carpet stunners included Miranda Kerr in Michael Kors, Karlie Kloss in Jason Wu, Phoebe Philo (the International Award honoree) in her own design for Celine, Alessandra Ambrosio in Prabal Gurung, Chloë Sevigny in a leather-and-lace look from her 2012 Resort collection for Opening Ceremony (what, you didn’t know she’s a designer now, too?), Guinevere van Seenus in vintage James Galanos with Eddie Borgo jewelry, Leelee Sobieski in a stunning white suit by her hubby Adam Kimmel, Liya Kebede in Derek Lam, Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo in a neon orange Jil Sander pantsuit, and Sofia Coppola in a white strapless Marc Jacobs dress (she was presenting her designer pal with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, or “half-lifetime achievement award,” as she jokingly called it when introducing the 48-year-old Jacobs onstage).
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June 9, 2011

Discovering New Talent at Parsons’ Senior Show

BY LAUREN DAVID PEDEN/THE FASHION INFORMER

Discovering New Talent at Parsons’ Senior Show

Marc Jacobs. Anna Sui. Donna Karan. Narciso Rodriguez. Proenza Schouler. Prabal Gurung. Doo.Ri. Tracy Reese. Vena Cava. Isaac Mizrahi. Chris Benz.

All of these designers — and hundreds more, both famous and not — are graduates of Parsons The New School for Design. So it’s always exciting when the Parsons senior show rolls around each spring, as it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to discover at least a few new fashion stars of tomorrow. The school was first established in 1896, and for the past few years I’ve been on Parsons’ senior thesis panel, which takes place a few weeks before the show and involves the graduating fashion students presenting their collections to a group of industry insiders (this time, my fellow panelists included designer Maria Cornejo and Teen Vogue Fashion Director Gloria Baume). A separate panel then votes to name a Designer of the Year in the womenswear, menswear, and children’s wear categories, which are announced at the gala event.
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May 12, 2011