Dinner with Nima

I’ve known designer Nima Taherzadeh since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, as they like to say. OK, slight exaggeration. But the first time we met was back in 2006, when Nima was a senior at Parsons and I was on the senior thesis panel (an annual event during which industry experts come in to review and critique the work of Parsons’ graduating class).

I was instantly struck by the maturity of his designs – Nima specializes in feminine, elegant cuts with a decidedly modern twist – and by the fact that he produced a full range of shoes and bags (really, really good shoes and bags) to accessorize his thesis collection. And I wasn’t the only one impressed. Within months of graduating, Nima’s collection was hanging on the racks at Saks Fifth Avenue. Not bad for a fashion world newbie.
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August 8, 2011

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

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

BY LAUREN DAVID PEDEN/THE FASHION INFORMER

Parisian Chic

On Wednesday night, the Roger Vivier boutique hosted a party for the book Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. I received a review copy a week earlier, and had been savoring it like a delicious box of chocolates, reading a chapter or two each night before bed, trying to make the experience last as long as possible (what can I say, I’m a sucker for an illustrated fashion guide, and this one is especially insightful, informative, and irreverent).

Ines, as you probably know, is a legendary French style icon/model, designer, muse to Karl Lagerfeld and Jean Paul Gaultier, International Best-Dressed List Hall of Famer, brand identity consultant for Roger Vivier, and the newly-appointed face of L’Oreal, a gig she nabbed at the ripe young age of 53 (she turns 54 in August and has been modeling since the 80s).
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May 4, 2011

BY LAUREN DAVID PEDEN/THE FASHION INFORMER

Dressed to Kilt

I’ve been covering fashion for a while now, but last Wednesday night was my first time checking out the annual “Dressed to Kilt” reception, which took place at a two-floor showroom on Madison Avenue, adjacent to the Whitney. Presented by the Scottish Textiles Industry — with a wee bit o’ help from honorary co-chairs, Sir Sean and Lady Connery — the event introduces Scottish designers to New York buyers and press.

On Tuesday night, Hammerstein Ballroom had played host to a “Dressed to Kilt” fashion show, the theme of which was “Country Chic (Where Scottish Couture Meets Country Cool),” with celebs like Rosanne Cash, Katrina Bowden, Billy Connolly, Amy Grant, Matthew Settle, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Marcus Schenkenberg walking the runway in creations by Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, and House of Holland, among others. I opted to skip that OTT tartan fest in favor of the more intimate cocktail reception the following evening, which gave me a chance to see the designs up close and talk to some of the younger talent who’d come Stateside for the occasion.
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April 11, 2011