Sunday, September 29, 2013

Runway The Real Way at Yotel Fashion Week Brunch

During Fashion Week, we were invited by Catherine Schuller to participate in her Runway the Real Way at YOTEL HOTEL near Times Square. Catherine wore a necklace and a dress from the designers featured during the show, in YOTEL's signature color of purple. (Click on photos to enlarge or to view slide show.)

Catherine (left), who is Vice President of Marketing for the Association of Image Consultants International and a famous plus-size model and spokesperson, approached us to walk in the show she curated and produced at YOTEL HOTEL for a fashion week brunch on Sunday, September 8th.  Her philosophy is that in order for the runway to be real, there needs to be diversity among the models based on age, race, gender and size. For Catherine's report about the event, click here.

When we arrived, Catherine wasn't quite sure whose styles she'd have us wear, but when we saw Victor-John Villanueva (whom we'd first met a year ago at the Yayoi Kusama opening), we asked if we could wear his work.  Victor's brand is called 3PTPOP.  He also has shirts and leggings with the beaded images screenprinted onto them.  A big Andy Warhol fan, here's Victor in his Velvet Underground tee shirt.  (Banana by Andy.)

Here are a few of Victor's medallions, all intricately made of plastic beads.  The two on the far right are both Victor personae.  No doubt you recognize Grace Jones and Bill Cunningham next to them.

Originally, Valerie was going to wear 3PTPOP's Grace Jones medallion, but puh-leeze! After they put Grace-like make-up on Jordan (at Valerie's suggestion!), there was no contest who could carry it off better.

Here's Susan Grant and our pal Suzanne Golden.  Suzanne has her very own medallion!

Want a closer look?

Here's Cameron before his transformation...

And here's runway-ready Cameron wearing a pair of the previously mentioned 3PTPOP tee shirt and leggings.

Victor wasn't the only vendor.  We can't show you all of them, but OF COURSE, we have to show you Evetta Perry, a milliner whose work we greatly admire.  She had plenty of fabulous, seriously chic hats, but here Evetta shows her sense of humor with a sushi plate hat (which she's wearing), and a petits fours plate hat. For more information about Evetta's Harlem's Heaven Hats, click here:

This black and white dress made of felt was one of our favorites in the show.

This shot gives you an idea of the diversity among the models.

Behind this blonde bombshell is a shot of Evetta and her hats.

How absolutely terrific does this woman look in Evetta's green flowered straw hat?

This model knew exactly how to show off this dress. It looked fabulous before she showed its flare (and its flair!), but when she saw the camera, she really went into action.

Needless to say, there was no shortage of attitude among the models assembled that day. Everyone was "on" and ready to go just like this woman in a white jumpsuit.

We both wanted this hat!

As it got closer to showtime, everyone gathered behind the entryway. Everything was very well choreographed. We had a rehearsal beforehand, and there was a major domo-type at the entrance, making sure there were no unplanned gaps between models, and no one rushing out before her (or his) allotted time.

Since we were wearing our own clothes and just adding accessories, we had lots less to do to get ready. While everyone else was dashing around, it wasn't our turn yet, so we got to sit and take it easy. Sort of.  The odd angle of the photograph reflects the very tight space we were in.  You can see someone's luggage behind Jean.  Everything was everywhere, and in the mad rush there was no time to organize.  (The Andy Warhol fan by Jean is one of many that Victor was giving out - all images from his line.  Further below you'll see Valerie with a Grace Jones fan.)

Behind Valerie, they're giving and taking directions.  We're ready for our close-up.

One of the accessories designers posed for a photo with us.

Davey Mitchell was also at the brunch that day and stopped by backstage to wish us luck.  His graphic shirt looked amazing.

And it's showtime, folks!  Here's a short video that Suzanne took on her iPhone, immortalizing our passage on the catwalk.  (Thanks, Suzanne!)

We sized the video for the blog. If you want to see it in all its glory (same thing, just bigger), click here.

This is a screen-shot of us from Victor-John's Facebook page.

After the dust settled, we headed home.

What we're wearing:
Jean is wearing a vintage Darcel lacquered straw hat; a black and white tiny leopard print jacket from The Vintage Store; Issey Miyake Pleats Please backpack; Eileen Fisher harem pants; Jeffrey Campbell black and white striped platform boots; vintage black and white chandelier earrings and necklace; black and white foam bracelets from Chaos; black and black& white bakelite rings.

Valerie is wearing a two-toned blue vintage velvet hat by Mr. Arnold, vintage blue earrings with adhesive blue dots, wool jacket by Dana Buchman, spider pin from the flea market, painted wooden bracelet that folds into a cube, pants by Issey Miyake, unlabeled two-toned blue cotton shoes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hey, Honey!

We still haven't finished showing you all the goings on from Fashion Week, but now seems like a good time for a bit of an entr'acte. Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed exotic forms of transportation popping up here and there in recent postings.  Eventually we want to be photographed in - among others - a Bentley, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and a Maserati (that's alphabetical order so as not to show favoritism).  But we're not narrow-minded.  There's a whole broad spectrum of wonderful vehicles out there just waiting to be discovered.  How could we resist a pedicab* decorated with polka dots?

This particular escapade started while we were visiting the Fashion Institute of Technology (more on that in the near future), and Jean spotted this fabulous chariot from inside.  The slight reflections on the photo are from the window.  We didn't know how long the gent and his cab would be there, so we took this quick shot.  Then we ran outside like school children, intent on having our own chance to sit in the cab for a photo op.  We would have done ANYthing.  We began to beg and plead, just about ready to promise anything, when the gent and his off-screen buddy were kind enough to accommodate us before we'd done anything that might have disappointed our mothers.

Better still -- as it turned out, they were giving away free spray samples of the new Marc Jacobs fragrance, Honey (in yellow and black polka-dotted packaging) AND the gents further humored us by taking these pictures for us. We each got a marvelously fragrant little sample and then, in the spirit of the moment, we were given an entire package of twelve samples, which we immediately took to work and gave to our besties.  Sweet as Honey!

See you Sunday!

* The same sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that the name Revolution Rickshaws is embossed on the pedicab.  Fun fact to know and share with friends: rickshaw is the anglicized form of rikisha, which is a shortened form of jinrikisha, which in Japanese means human-powered vehicle.  Wow!  Aren't you glad we told you?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

MAO PR 15th Anniversary Party 9/9/13 & Skingraft Runway Show 9/10/13

In the middle of New York Fashion Week, we attended MAO PR's Fifteenth Anniversary Party at Cherry, co-hosted by photographer Patrick McMullan and model and muse Pat Cleveland. MAO co-founders Mauricio and Roger Padilha invited a wonderful roster of guests which included their clients and the movers and shakers in the fashion industry -- as expected, with a huge overlap between the two!

Mss Vee made an appearance and gave us a big hug.

Seated at the power table at the very back center of the room: Paul Von Ravenstein, Patrick McDonald, Pat Cleveland, Corey Grant Tippin and Pat and Paul's daughter -- Anna Cleveland Von Ravenstein. Both of the Cleveland ladies opted for platinum blond wigs for the occasion.

Host Roger Padilha with Maria Ayala and Alexander Thompson.

Gazelle Paulo stopped partying with Perez Hilton and other heavy hitters long enough to say hi and pose for a photo with us. She is hard to lose in a crowd.

Robert Richards and dandy-about-town Patrick McDonald flank one of their friends.

Victor-John Villanueva, whom we first met at the Whitney's Yayoi Kusama show, wearing his alter ego medallion (himself in an Andy Warhol wig), and his friend, in a Karl Lagerfeld printed tee. More about us with Victor and his medallions in a later post.

Notice what two of the models in this contingent are holding? Our card!!! From the left are: Yemi Docemo, Jordan Copeland, Mass Fall, Jeeho Bae and one of their friends.

Kayvon Zand and Keenan Brill.

Sandy Long, in maribou, had the most amazing, long, fluffy white eyelashes, and reminded us of Ilona Royce-Smithkin. (Nonagenarian Ilona makes her own inch-long flaming red eyelashes from her own hair.)

Anna Evans and one of her friends.

Pat Cleveland, Corey Grant Tippin, Anna Cleveland and one of their friends. Anna followed in her mother's footsteps and is also modeling.

Artist Marco Santaniello and artist and model Caty Wooley.

Markus Kelle, whom we always photograph in an amazing outfit at the Easter Parade, rocked braids and zippers like nobody's business.

Valerie and two gents check out the scene.  Note the shorts on the fellow on the right.

Jean met the two gentlemen in silver. Formal shorts (one of the NYFW trends we noticed) make an appearance again on the fellow on the right!

We turned the tables on photographer Dustin Pittman, whom we run into all the time, to show you his fab Edie Sedgewick tee shirt.

Ricardo Felix.

Amanda Lepore sang Happy Anniversary in her parody of Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday, Mr. President". Little did we know this was the prelude to a strip-tease!

Things definitely heated up as the show went on!

Suzanne Bartsch made a grand entrance.

Constance Sherman.

It wouldn't be fashion week without running into Jared (left)! We spotted him and his friend right away in the crowd.

Loved this yin-yang jacket on this redhead talking to designer Phillipe Blonde (left) and Nate Webster.

When we were leaving Cherry, this this dapper gentleman, Baron Perez, noticed Valerie's big boot, and offered to get us a taxi. (This is no small feat during Fashion Week.) Before we scampered off into our cab and headed home, we posed for a photo with him.

SKINGRAFT Runway Show 9/10/13

In the midst of all the fashion week frivolity, reality raised its ugly head. On the morning after the MAO party, when Valerie visited her podiatrist for a checkup on her ankle, she was surprised (shocked - well, peeved, actually) to learn that the "chip" she was diagnosed with is doctorspeak for fracture. She was ordered to keep her ankle raised above her heart. Hard to do at a fashion show (and most other places as well, it turns out). So, that's basically why Jean flew solo on Tuesday evening September 10th for the Skingraft runway show on a pier on the Hudson River.

The People:  Mauricio Padilha, one of our hosts from the evening before, was running the backstage and producing the show. Grace under pressure is best description of his demeanor. He was equally calm at the Katya Leonovich show at Lincoln Center. What is his secret?

Valerie's unused ticket was put to very good use! I ran into JohnTheFame and invited him to sit with me. I was really interested in his perspective on the show.

Seated right next to us was Stuart McConaghy, Editor-in-Chief of Tape Magazine. What an absolute sweetheart.

Before the show, I shamelessly schmoozed with the other guests. Regular readers of this blog will recognize a lot of the usual suspects! Kayvon Zand appeared in full regalia. Check out the eyes. When Kayvon goes, he goes big.

Artist Marco Santaniello was squiring the lovely Brooklyn artist and model Caty Wooley.

Robert Richards sat right across the runway from me at the show. We'd just seen each other at the MAO party.

Although I hadn't met Jillian Mercado until the Skingraft show, I had seen her at the MAO party the night before.

Mss Vee, wearing a formal black ensemble, and Ricardo Felix made the scene.  Check out the footwear.

And this lovely gent goes by the name of Savage.

I absolutely loved the white and black number that these two ladies were working that evening.

In this shot of Marco, you can read his tee-shirt. He introduced me to his friend Karina De Jesus.  Check out her coverage of fashion week at

I met these two handsome gentlemen but can't for the life of me remember their names. (It's a b*tch getting old.)

The Runway Show: Although these photos are out of order from the runway show, I've arranged them into three themes: long, fluid dresses; long shorts; and short shorts. I absolutely adored this white, flowing dress. It was positively dreamy.

This yellow dress was a stunner.

White chiffon with leather is a terrific combination in the hands of the Skingraft team.

Formal shorts showed up on the runway, topped with a black and white leather jacket with wonderful detailing on the sleeves.

Shorts (this time in leather) are definitely a hot item for Spring/Summer 2014. I'd wear the leather short-sleeved hoodie in a heart beat.  OK, I admit I was distracted. I have fashion A-D-D. Check out the gent sitting right in front of me on my right with the long hair, beard and glasses.  AND check out the guy across the runway with the great grey hair and black tee-shirt.  There was fashion in the bleachers and on the runway.

Black and white sweatshirt top and skirt paired with black and white sandals.

Shorts are also going to be big for women in Spring/Summer 2014. These black leather shorts with those sky-high heels and long legs are a winning combination.  Not exactly what "women of a certain age" will be wearing, but fun to look at on the runway!

Loved this outfit which combined a longer chiffon layer over the longer leather shorts.  I know at least one of my girlfriends who could rock this look -- albeit in lower heels!

I posed for a shot with Anna Evans and Kayvon before heading home for the evening. The weather was so nice, I walked all the way home.