FRANCA SOZZANI was telling a story over dinner at Donatella Versace’s palazzo on the Via Gesù. It was a parable, really, based on an anecdote about a party that the actress Silvana Mangano once planned for her daughter when she turned 18.
Before the party a friend pulled aside Mangano, a famous beauty, and gave her some maternal advice. It would be the daughter’s big day, she told the actress. Don’t spoil it. Wear something simple. Stay in the background. Permit her to shine.
Mangano apparently took this in and then, on the evening of the party, appeared at the head of the stairs radiant in a full-length dress, with a deep décolletage, diamonds and even evening gloves. Suddenly the mother become glamorous monster was the only woman in the room. The daughter never really had a chance.
As Ms. Sozzani, the editor of Italian Vogue, related the tale, Mangano’s friend furiously grabbed the actress and demanded an explanation for the stunt.
Mangano looked at her coolly. “It’s for her own good,” she told her. “She has to learn how to fight.”
Ms. Sozzani’s point was that these are fighting times. The business of fashion is not only among the most important to the economy of this city and country, but is also deeply enmeshed in Italians’ cultural DNA. Can anybody predict when the global recession will end, she asked. Will it be the third quarter of this year, or 2010 or ever? Will things go back to the way they were, as everyone seems to be asking lately?
“No one knows,” Ms. Sozzani said. “But this is not the time to be weak.”
Flicking her jeweled lighter, and putting the flame to a Marlboro Light, Ms. Versace nodded her assent. As someone whose life script reads like the work of a fevered Greek dramatist, she is no stranger to tough times. “People say it will never go back to the way it was,” she said, meaning to the days of unbridled consumption — the 1980s, the 1990s, the early years of the 21st century.
“I don’t believe it,” added Ms. Versace, whose own unabashedly high standard of living was reputedly an element in the recent corporate dust-up that resulted in the ouster and replacement of her company’s chief executive. “They’re going to forget. They are going to want to enjoy their lives and spend again.”
Questionable and hopeful this assertion may be. And yet it has been commonly heard throughout the week in Milan. Even though the ranks of the international press and buyers in town for the twice-yearly men’s wear shows have thinned dramatically; even though American retailers are frankly skeptical of the effects the United States president’s economic stimulus package are likely to have on consumer habits; and even though stores in this city are generally so empty that the salesclerks are running out of ways to kill time, people remain optimistic.
Maybe it is an Italian thing, an inherited sense of the long view. Maybe it is delusional. Maybe it is both.
“Italians especially will always want fashion,” Riccardo Tisci, the Givenchy designer, said over a dinner of poached fish and cold white wine. It was served in a room where candlelight flickered on the faces of Ms. Versace’s assorted friends and colleagues and the busts of Roman ancients scattered atop gilded consoles.
“Even in the small cities,” Mr. Tisci added, “people will save their money to have, maybe not a big piece, but a small wallet from a designer. They will really think a lot and care a lot about the way they look.”
A week before his own presentation in Paris, Mr. Tisci had flown into Milan for the day to catch his first Versace show and to demonstrate his support for a designer he compared to “the flag of Italy.”
The clichéd Italian fondness for public show of one sort or another — for una bella figura — may get a little overplayed. Still, like most clichés, this one is rooted in something immutable and true. Ms. Sozzani’s fighting spirit and Ms. Versace’s optimism and Mr. Tisci’s confidence that human nature can trump transient inconvenient annoyances like a global credit crisis can in some ways be embodied by the national tendency to put a good face on things and encapsulated by a popular Alcoholics Anonymous slogan: fake it until you make it.
It is no secret that Donatella Versace has had problems with substance abuse, yet she has been drug-free for some time now, and drinks only ice water with dinner and does not — as so many people in this town do — dart for the bathroom every five minutes to “freshen up.”
So, when she suggests that fashion is certain to pull out of the slump it is in, and that the puritanical shame being shoveled out by the analyst Cassandras opposes something basic and pleasure-loving in human nature, a listener is inclined to respect her perspective on the business and the sobriety of her view.
Reference : http://www.nytimes.com/
Lauren Conrad, famous for being on reality television, recently told Access Hollywood that she is more interested in fashion than she is in having a voluptuous figure. Conrad, 23, told Access Hollywood, “I prefer a flatter-chested look. That’s just kind of me. I think it’s more of a fashion look. If you look at a lot of high-fashion models and things like that, they’re always you know, a little flatter. I like the way clothes fit better.”
She doesn’t, however, rule out the possibility of some minimally invasive facial editing as she gets older. At a recent release party for her novel L.A. Candy, she said, referring to Botox, “I’m 23, I think I’m good for a little bit. I don’t know, maybe later on.”
When it comes to her novel, Conrad says the plot is anything but reality, telling MTV News “I didn’t take anything specifically that happened to me. The only thing that I did was … it was a way to show not necessarily me, but just the other side of being on a show like ours.”
The novel’s main character is a girl, Jane Roberts, who moves to Hollywood and gets her own reality show called L.A. Candy. Eventually she works at an “events” company and chronicles the drama of her personal and professional lives.
Reference : http://www.theinsider.com/
While the men’s catwalks in Milan opened with some flashes of colour at Gucci and Bottega Veneta, yesterday’s shows saw the Italian capital return in earnest to grey, the shade that looks set to continue to define men’s tailoring for at least another season.
Italo Zuccheli’s Calvin Klein collection led the way with its trademark tonalities. He book-ended the show with deep black, but took a journey through grey and stark white en route.
While Zuccheli did find time for a quick flare of sunbright orange and azure blu, Miuccia Prada’s mainline Prada show never wavered from the grey palette.
Every Prada outfit was paraded in tones of grey set against a monochrome backdrop – the floor tiles, the canapés and the drinks were all black and white. Yet this colourless world was never harsh. Rather the look was somewhat softened but low V-neck T-shirts in silky fabrications, which were used in place of traditional shirts.
For all the pictures of the catwalks from Milan Men’s Fashion Week click here.
There are only eight contestants left on The Fashion Show and after this week’s challenges, we are one step closer to having a winner. Last week, the designers had to channel their inner clique. This week it was all about team work when they were broken into teams of two for their Harper’s Bazaar mini challenge.
The teams were Reco and Daniella; James Paul and Lidia; Haven and Anna; and Johnny and Merlin. The mini-challenge was just the tip of the iceberg and seemed to foretell what was to come in the elimination challenge because they would be working in the same teams throughout both challenges. Of the top, Reco and Daniella were having conflict. Meanwhile, Johnny and Merlin worked well together and won the mini-challenge. Their prize was a five minute consultation with Isaac Mizrahi during the elimination challenge.
In this week’s elimination challenge the teams had to design a complete look for Isaac’s upcoming collection. For inspiration, Isaac showed them his mood board and then let them run with it. Daniella and Reco were still not working well together. Reco wanted to design a ball gown and Daniella wanted pants. Ultimately, Reco gave in and their design included pants. Johnny and Merlin continued to work well together. They created a simple skirt and tank design with a jacket but the colors and fabrics were edgy and remained true to both Isaac and themselves. Anna and Haven also worked well together and came up with a cute short set. Lidia and James-Paul worked well together, but their ideas were not melding. Lidia is always having issues with being slow and her designs are often a little strange. This week was no exception. Her fish scaly dress was awful.
At the fashion show, Lidia and James-Paul’s outfit was the only one I wasn’t feeling. Daniella and Reco’s outfit wouldn’t look good on me, so Johnny and Merlin’s was my favorite. At elimination, the top two designs were Johnny and Merlin’s and Haven and Anna’s. Guest judge Veronica Webb said she’d be proud to walk Johnny and Merlin’s look down the runway, but it was Haven and Anna’s design that sold the judges.
James-Paul and Lidia’s design was one of the bottom two. James-Paul explained his vision, but Lidia wasn’t able to tell the judges what body type she was designing for. Reco and Daniella’s outfit was also in the bottom two. Daniella’s pants were referred to as granny pants and there wasn’t enough “Wow” in the outfit to be a part of a Mizrahi collection. The saving grace was Reco’s top. Isaac said it was “the best part of the outfit”. When asked who was more responsible for the outfit Daniella stepped up and said she was more responsible. James-Paul and Reco were given safety first leaving Daniella and Lidia out on a limb. Daniella lucked out being up against Lidia. That design was so awful the judges didn’t have any choice other than to send her home. Daniella was winning challenges, but she may be a little too comfortable now. Step up your game Daniella! With Lidia, gone there are only seven designers left.
Reference : http://www.examiner.com
The fashion show “Redefined,” set for at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, is more than it appears.
It is a grand report — a senior thesis by Liza Nay, a Western Michigan University Lee Honors College student concentrating in fashion design in WMU’s Textile and Apparel Studies program. The show, sponsored by Alano Salon, is an accumulation of all the design work that the perky Nay, 22, has done in her four years at WMU — about 100 garments including a new line never seen before.
The show also is part farewell. Nay is adding one more year to her program to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, a great affirmation of her work at Western. Fashion Designer Liza Marie Nay wears on of her one of her dresses that will be featured at her fashion show “redefined” at the Epic Bistro in Kalamazoo.
The show also is a fundraiser. Nay plans to give half of the proceeds to WMU’s Textile and Apparel Studies program, which needs equipment. She plans to use the other half of the proceeds to set up an endowment at the college to help fashion-design students purchase of fabrics, sketchbooks, parking passes and other necessities. Nay plans to raise a minimum of $4,000 in ticket sales and raise more money through drawings for donated gift packages from businesses and the sale of some of her fashions.
Some young people may be wrapped up in instant gratification, but Nay is an example of another side of her generation, those who are concerned about helping the world around them. “This generation, that is very much something on their minds, and she epitomizes that,” said Linda Winquist, an instructor in WMU’s Textile and Apparel Studies program. “And she does it rather than just talk about it.”
Nay first began to reach out to others as a WMU student in 2007 when she spearheaded a program through the student organization Merchandising Opportunities Design Association, or MODA. The program involved mentoring high school students from Kalamazoo, Richland and Paw Paw who were interested in fashion design. The university got a $1,000 grant for the program, named Project MODA, from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.
The high school students learned to create fashions and helped MODA stage several fashion shows. Nay was the coordinator of the project for the last two years. “We really wanted to expose the students to college life so they could see it can be fun, it can be enjoyable,” said Nay, who was named a Presidential Scholar this past spring.
Despite Mary Kate’s personal struggles, this girl can dress! As much as I want to hate her, I can’t, because every time I see her, I wish I had her wardrobe.
She’s known for staggering around New York and Los Angeles in oversized sunglasses, oversized bags, red lipstick and very high-fashion bohemian clothing. She always looks put together. She usually wears baggy, oversized shirts and sweaters, a scarf and shoegasm-inducing boots.
When she does need to dress it up, she can be found walking the red carpet in beautiful Lily et Cie, Prada, Missoni, and Dior gowns. Because of the high interest in her and her sister’s fashion choices, she also became a fashion designer back in 2004. They had a series of lines, for everyone from pre-teen girls to a beauty line.
They also have a high fashion line, called “Elizabeth and James” which Mary Kate was supposed to have all the creative say in but due to personal issues she couldn’t. The high fashion line is sold in stores such as Barneys, Maxfield, Harvey Nichols and Brown’s all over the world.
The high fashion stuff is usually hundreds of dollars, but when you are Mary Kate or Ashley Olsen it doesn’t matter. That’s what happens when you become the richest celebrities at age 10. The good news is her look CAN be replicated for cheap. Check vintage stores and other cheap places, and never forget the red lipstick and sunglasses.
New York may be abuzz with Fashion Week highlights come fall, but the spotlight turns to Miami in mid-July when the runways sizzle with the latest styles in swimwear.
L*Space, the sexy and chic bathing suit line by Monica Wise, has been given the title of “Mercedes Benz Presents” brand for this years show. L*Space follows a long list of infamous brands that were once awarded this title at other Mercedes Benz Fashion Week events, including: Monique Lhuillier, Badgley Mischka, Yigal Azrouël, Red Carter and CHADO Ralph Rucci.
L*Space is a dominant brand in swimwear, mainly because of Wise’s ability to craft sexy style out of luxurious fabrics. She often pairs her pieces with gold hardware, gems, and subtle accents, however it’s the impeccable fit that leave ladies looking and feeling confident.
Aside from gearing up for the shows, Wise is busy working on a capsule collection with OmniPeace, a humanitarian fashion brand who donates 25 percent of its earnings to various charities. The percentage goes to fund education programs, promotes peace and human rights, and contributes to the goal of ending extreme poverty in Africa by 2025.
Reference : http://www.examiner.com/
She loves working it on her home turf and yesterday (June 17th) Gisele Bundchen was spotted owning the runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week.
The Brazilian beauty looked cool and confident as she modeled various styles from the Spring/Summer collection by Colcci.
Bundchen’s return to Brazil is a welcome change for her, as she’s been spending most of her time in New York City as of late.
This past weekend, she was spotted indulging her inner-fast-food-junkie with a trip to a Five Guys hamburger joint
reference : http://www.celebrity-gossip.net/