Distill My Beating Heart!


Lucky Magazine has decided to don a red hat and play Santa’s little helper by launching their new online shopping portal just in time for the holidays.  What’s truly lucky for us is that the portal distills the best picks from over 40 of our favorite retail sites like YOOX, Nordstrom, Bluefly, and Shopbop.  (I’m just about crossing names off of my gift list as I type!)  As much as I’d like to see the “Fantastic Mr. Fox” themed windows at Bergdorf Goodman, I may just stay home and let my fingers do the walking…and the holiday shopping.

American Beauty


The holiday season is upon us (like it or not) and with that comes a lot of dashing around the city.  In between shopping for holiday gifts, turkeys, and a plan for New Year’s Eve, add to your agenda a stop at American Beauty:  Aesthetics and Innovation in Fashion.  FIT’s stunning new exhibition can be visited (with all of your out- of-town company in tow) from November 06, 2009 – January 09, 2010.  The 75 garments (mostly dresses) being displayed are from 31 designers including the Mulleavy sisters (Rodarte), Halston, Rick Owens, Ralph Rucci, and Isabel Toledo.  “The garments in American Beauty are connected by one overriding criterion:  They have all been created by designers who utilized the craft of dressmaking as the point of departure to create beautiful, wearable objects,” says Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at FIT.  During all of the holiday madness, this is the perfect opportunity to stop and smell see the roses.

Why Buy When You Can Rent?

Rent the Runway

One of the many neuroses common to New Yorkers is obsession with rent.  And the lawlessness with which we seek data on everyone’s monthly payments is ruthless.  Now we have another vehicle to fuel others’ rent obsessions – Rent the Runway.  Instead of apartment envy, pals and new acquaintances alike will envy your rented designer party frocks (think Hervé Léger, Proenza Schouler, Just Cavalli).  Dresses go from $50-$200 which entitles you to 4 days of wear (there’s an 8 day option for an additional cost) after which you pop the garments into an envelope and return – RTR dry cleans for you!  When renting a new designer, they even provide two sizes so you don’t have to worry about the fit (or just in case the holidays sneak up on you and your lower half  faster than you’d like).  Their motto:  love, wear, return.  My motto:  love, leave, love again (and again and again)!


“Chic” in a NY lexicon would be loosely translated as “wearing all black.”  This, undoubtedly, is A good look (“a” being the operative article), but it should be one of many.  There’s so much more to life than achromatic color.  For instance, actual color – you know ROY G BIV.   So when the cold weather arrives and you, like me, are drowning in oceans (seas, lakes, rivulets!) of colorlessness, try injecting some of the stuff directly between your toes (or around them as the case may be).   Men, begin with  your favorite navy suit, crisp white shirt, navy wool tie, and white pocket square.  Add these Barneys over the calf socks and burnished brown shoes and you, unlike Sharon Stone a la Basic Instinct, will be showing just enough when you cross your legs.

Fashion’s Night Out Reprised!

fashion-night-out (1)

On September 10th next year prepare to stagger into the office with blood shot eyes and swollen feet, wearing an outfit from the night before.  If Fashion’s Night Out 2010 even approaches the success of this September’s event then it will be year two for your fashion walk of shame.

Women’s Wear Daily reported today that  Mayor Bloomberg, VOGUE, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and NYC & Co. will reprise the event on September 09, 2010.  This means more models, more designers, and more celebrities at all of our favorite stores (read:  hours of gawking)! You can even sign up now on the official web site to “be the first to know” about all details related to the event.   Last I checked on the site’s ticker, it’s just 314 Days, 9 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds away!

Joie OTK Boots = TKO

joie_OTK boots

Happy Happy Joie Joie!   At long last – the spawn of sexy, practical, and current in boot form.  (A ménage is okay – they’re French!)  The “Caravan’s” gorgeous columnar shape creates the illusion of a never ending leg while a minuscule 1″ stacked heel ensures day to night wear-ability.  Granted OTK boots are a mega-trend this fall but the Caravan’s price tag is justified.  Here’s why – tall boots will be forever in fashion so even if OTK isn’t infinite, these allow you to simply turn them down below the knee.  Voilà – these Joie OTK boots are a TKO!

Will Wool Tie Up Too Bulky? KNOT!


Many of my clients smile, nod their head dutifully (to show they’re listening), and then firmly PASS when I recommend a wool tie for winter. For most, the argument is that the knot will tie up too bulky. Like many other details of dress, sporting a wool tie comes down to proportion. First, the tie should be a thinner width (than that of a conventional silk) like the one pictured here from Alexander Olch. This will ensure the knot doesn’t obscure your entire throat. Second, consider a spread collar for proper display (a frame for the photo if you will). And, third, a sturdy tie is best paired with a sturdy suit (think tweeds, flannels, and winter-weight wools). My recommendation is to purchase at least one wool tie and make it gray which will complement navy, gray, black, and brown suits. It’s simply knot what you’ve been thinking all these years.

Jimmy Choo for H&M


On November 14, 2009 we as a nation can place blame squarely on Mr Choo’s shoulders for putting the “I” in “Cat Fight.”  This is the day he plans to release his limited edition H&M line of shoes, bags, and accessories for both men and women in 200 stores across the world. A preview of the collection has revealed items sure to turn us all into clawing, jostling, manipulating monsters despite the passing of Halloween. In addition to the black fur vest I peeped, perhaps Mr. Choo should have designed a Kevlar version to be dispatched to the eagerly awaiting masses.  May the best (wo)man win.


The Future of Women’s Fashion

Y Panelists

Given the economic volatility of the last 18 months it’s a nebulous topic indeed, but on Wednesday night panelists at the 92nd Street Y attempted to predict the direction of women’s fashion. “Exciting,” “democratic” and “fetishistic” were the respective responses of Ashley Olsen (former actress and current designer of the Row and Elizabeth & James), Robin Givhan (Washington Post fashion columnist) and Isaac Mizrahi (fashion veteran, creative director for Liz Claiborne and co-host of Bravo’s “The Fashion Show”).

Hosted by Glamour editor in chief, Cindi Leive, the night was full of revelations, mostly from Mizrahi, who told about the time he cast a stripper in one of his runway shows and who also divulged that soon he’ll be hawking his wares (from clothes and accessories to cheesecakes!) on QVC.

The group discussed everything from undernourished models (hateful and wrong but ultimately effective)  to “The Michelle Obama Effect” (replete with jokes about glimpsing “First Thighs” and “First Cleavage”) to trends they wish would disappear (some said the 80’s, others wouldn’t deign to comment) .

The biggest crowd pleaser came when Robin Givhan defended fashionable women everywhere by stating that “People condescend to fashion because it’s a women’s industry.  No one would ever say that spending thousands of dollars for football season tickets is a waste of time and shallow and ridiculous, but a woman willing to spend $25,000 or $5,000 on a dress is just being pretty.”  A justification it may be but one that will surely have a life beyond Wednesday night’s event.


Swoon: Mad Men Limited Edition Suits


It’s a classic chicken or the egg question – what came first:  Don Draper or well suited men?  Regardless of your stand, you’d be hard-pressed to deny the gorgeous fashion landscape that is the Emmy-winning series, Mad Men.  From Joan’s sultry and Betty’s sophisticated to Don’s dashing and Roger’s dapper, perfectly tailored clothing is elevated to an art form.  And now mortal males can capture their own slice of fashion heaven by nabbing one of the 250 limited edition Mad Men suits by the show’s costume designer, Janie Bryant in collaboration with classic American retailer, Brooks Brothers.   But be quick about it, suit availability ends with the season finale on November 8th.

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