Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Positively Dotty for Dots!

Well, as we have been mentioning recently, it is COLD.  We went out and did our duty for Fashion Week, but with the wind whipping around, temperatures down in the single digits, and patches of black ice on the streets, staying at home over the weekend began to look really appealing.  So we gave ourselves a homework assignment that we could do at our respective homes.  We're revisiting one of our favorite themes: polka dots.  Bound to cheer you up when the weather makes you SAD (that's seasonal affective disorder).  Or just COLD (chilly, ornery, listless, but diligent).

What better way to banish those cold winter blahs than a post on polka dots?! We're both positively dotty for polka dots and decided to cheer ourselves -- and hopefully you too! A number of people have asked if we coordinate our outfits, but in fact we seldom do, so it is sometimes a happy accident when we both show up wearing dots at the same time, as above, when we went to FIT's Designers and Books Fair a while ago.

In this shot, taken in Grand Central Terminal, Valerie had dots on her blouse and on the veil on her hat.  Jean's cream-colored tote bag featured large black dots.

Below, in a shoot we did for Artful Home, with Jean wearing the Tokyo Dot jacket and Valerie wearing Heydari's Sunset Dress, you'll note that Valerie worked in some polka dots on the color-coordinated ribbon she added to her hat.  Just remember, people, the devil is in the details!

It often seems to happen by accident that when one of us shows up in dots, the other wears stripes.  Here's another example of that.

When we do put our heads together to come up with coordinating outfits, as we did for the Yayoi Kusama opening reception at the Whitney Museum, we sometimes improvise. We had done a post about spray painting antique coolie-style hats bright red. Valerie came up with the bright idea of wearing the hats and using adhesive dots from the stationery store on them as an homage to Yayoi.  But why stop there?!  Valerie wore contrasting red socks with white polka dots under clear shoes, and Jean put additional adhesive dots on her shoes.

We were both firing on all twelve cylinders here, and both wearing adhesive polka dots: Valerie used small colored dots to transform plain black and white clip-ons, and Jean decorated her Dansko clogs so you can hardly tell where the pants leave off and the shoes begin.  (More good advice from the IFs: every woman needs a few adhesive dots in the desk drawer.  If you have crayons, you only ever need to buy white ones.)

Now, don't we all feel a little perkier after a dose of dots? Chin up, kiddies.  And keep reminding yourself: spring is just around the corner.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Georgine at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week A/W 2015

Last Tuesday morning, we both took time off work to go to Lincoln Center for the Georgine runway show. Since we are big fans of her gorgeous gowns and refined aesthetic, we were very excited to see her Autumn/Winter collection for 2015.

Given the weather, and given that we were dressed up like polar bears (no, not in white fur, you wags!), we decided to have a little fun with our fashion, wearing knit Diesel caps with faux fur embellishments. We gave you a little background on them in this post a few weeks ago.  Getting these hats in hand was no small feat. Valerie hounded a number of hapless but endlessly patient sales assistants about them on a number of occasions. Who, she thought (not incorrectly), could wear these hats to better effect than we?

Alas, they were not for sale, beg, plead, wheedle and cajole though she did.  In September, she was told they'd be available after Fashion Week.  After Fashion Week, she was told they'd be available after Thanksgiving, free with a purchase over $250.  By January, they had disappeared, and the new story was that there had not been enough to go around. But we have our ways! And so, at long last, our determination was rewarded. (Not telling how.   In every woman's life there needs to remain a bit of mystery.)  As in interesting aside, when we first saw them, they were ski masks, and by the time we scored them, the eye and mouth holes had been sewn up and the excess material rolled up as you see here.

But we digress!  Back to the reason we were out despite the dreadful weather.  The most memorable images from Georgine's runway show were the glamorous silhouettes: shiny, long, slim outfits with tall metallic platform sandals topped by curly brown pyramid-shaped wigs. It was magical. Jean had that exact hair do in 1977-79, so to see 33 models with the exact same look was deliriously wonderful. (Wigs by Janet Connection and hair by the legendary Ric Pipino for Melville Pipino Salon.)  All the wigs were custom styled. Valerie wants this wig. What would it look like in gray?!

Juana wore a green lame top with green cigarette pants, gold patterned platforms and a red fox handbag by Max Steiner for Georgine, reminiscent of Jean's red faux Ivan Grundahl muff.  (Remember it in our Chromat posting?)

Valentyna rocked a mustard t-shirt and green lame pants with lots of movement. Jewelry is by Kenneth Jay Lane.

Georgine does gorgeous day wear. Case in point: In Moscat sunglasses with her gold foil shearling bomber over a swiss embroidered turtleneck and orange wrap skirt, Carola owned the runway.

Mari walked the runway in a blue jacquard coat over a luci embroidered sweater with a deconstructed mustard wrap skirt.

We confess, we love Georgine's evening wear. Daniela wore a gold silk dress that looked just as great coming ...

... as it did going!  The mustard pocket added a touch of matte color. (Apologies for the blurry first photo, but it does impart the sense of motion inherent in the collection.)

Here's a video of the final line-up.  Click on the link to see the full sized version, or see this in the mini-version that fits on our Blogspot screen:

Production, press and casting were handled seamlessly by MAO Public Relations.  We ran into Mauricio Padhila (in his fab frames) and Brynne Formato out front, managing the mayhem the way Leonard Bernstein conducted an orchestra, and meeting and greeting, while Roger stayed backstage, making sure the trains ran on time and the models hit the runway on cue.

Roger Padhila (left) and Evan Lenhoff, relaxing backstage at the conclusion of the show.

And here was Georgine herself, being interviewed after the show.

As we have so often noted, not all of the show is on the runway.  The Georgine show was no exception.  Luann de Lessaps (aka "Countess Luann"), being interviewed before the show, was among a lineup of Real Housewives inhabiting the first row at the show.

Valerie photographed this woman because she loved her outfit. Foolishly, she asked if if was vintage, and the woman responded it was Georgine.  This photo doesn't show the colors nearly well enough.  It was gorgeous.  Later, Jean told Valerie (and perhaps some of our readers could have told her as well) that this woman is none other than Kristen Taekman, one of The Real Housewives of New York City.  (Valerie would like to point out that in March she will celebrate her third anniversary without a television set, and is not always up on current events.)

Photographer and Instagrammer Gazelle Paulo cut quite a dapper figure in his hat, glasses and coat, taking dressing for the weather to a whole new level.

These two fabulous women were tall to begin with, their high heeled shoes made them taller, and the blow-dry mohawk on the woman at the right was the proverbial whipped cream on top.

A gorgeous lady asked if she could photograph us with her gorgeous daughter.  (They were dressed nearly alike.  Soo cool!)

Outside on the Plaza after the show, we saw:

A woman showing off her backless blouse (and remember, this is at a time when a good portion of Niagara Falls is frozen, and we're wondering if there is a heating system beneath the Lincoln Center fountain),

a photographer who looked like he'd been on the runway in front of a hundred cameras just minutes before we took this shot,

a man dressed from head to toe in the same color (how did he do that, and how long did it take him?),

and Anderson Cooper. The hand in front of the face is no accident. He walked the length of the Plaza that way, looking neither right nor left. Oh well.

And just like Cinderella, when the clock struck midnight and her coach turned into a pumpkin and she beat a hasty retreat, we reverted to our work-a-day selves and went back to our respective offices -- wearing our Diesel hats, of course!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jay Godfrey at Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week

On Saturday morning, we headed to Lincoln Center to see Jay Godfrey's show. After we got our tickets, we were wondering why they did not include any seat numbers (accustomed as we are to front row seats!), but it became immediately obvious when we entered the space. Instead of a runway show, the models appeared on separate stages in a tableau vivant to be viewed and photographed at leisure by the fashion press and prospective buyers.

Production and press were by MAO Public Relations.

The designer used a particularly vibrant shade of pink that really popped in person and in photos that he dubbed "passion orchid". (The next 5 high resolution pictures are courtesy of Dan Lecca Photography.)

Charles Price and the Beauty Underground Artistic Team did the hair for the show. Alejandra's sleek hair worked beautifully with this high necked suede, sequin/sheer mesh paneled sheath. On the right behind her is Jessica in a plaid double breasted jacket and on the left is Francesca in a plaid founce hem mini dress.

Makeup was by Anne Kohlhagen for Cozzette and Beauty Blender. Blonde Martyna modeled the passion orchid flare leg trouser and tie-neck blouse.  Behind her on the right is Oda in a plaid, suede marsala high neck sheath.

Gia modeled this beautiful passion orchid/silver 4-ply two-tone gown.

Axelle wore a charcoal 4-ply floral print high cut out gown.

We snapped this photo to show how fabulous the gown looked from the back.

Finally, when some of the hoopla had subsided a bit, we got to meet the designer himself, who had incorporated a touch of "passion orchid" into his outfit.  He has his own boutique on Washington Street in the trendy Meatpacking District and a website (above) for those who can't get to New York.  He also sells at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Roger Padhila from MAO Public Relations was working behind the scenes to make sure everything came off as planned. (It did!)

We ran into a familiar face, Jason Brickhill, at the show.

In the crowd we also spotted our friend Victor John Villanueva of 3PTPOP, wearing one of his unique creations.

Since we last saw photographer Stuart McConaghy at the Skingraft show a year ago, he and his wife Sherri founded a new company, The Decadent Empire, which covers fashion, editorials, art and design.

After the show, we retired to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week space and stopped to get refreshments and to people watch. Our efforts were immediately rewarded when Vogue's international editor Suzy Menkes showed up to get a cup of java.

All too soon, it was over and we headed back outside.  Before the show, Lincoln Center Plaza was nearly devoid of people, perhaps because of the early hour, perhaps because of the bone-chilling, record-breaking cold.  By the time we got back outside, things had picked up.  We spotted this woman in a vibrant pants suit, and the floppy felt hat that has been revived from its heyday in the '70s.

At the other end of the spectrum was this man, whose outfit is awash in large and small printed robots.

We really like the new trend of men wearing hats and made it a point to snap this gent.

A new trend we spotted (or new to us at least) was people vamping on the Plaza advertising what they were wearing.  This woman looked great, but her dress, in addition to being sleeveless, is also backless.  How did she manage in the chilly weather?!

This man, also carrying an identifying sign, wore a suit we can imagine a Beatles' fan wearing in 1964.  Mod styles were great (though very unforgiving of love handles, as we recall).

And any trip to the Plaza always ends better when one runs into Bill Cunningham.  Yes, we were photographed.  No, we don't seem to have shown up in the Times.  Always the bridesmaids.  Seldom the brides.

Stay tuned for more fashion week coverage!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

NY Fashion Week: Chromat AW15

On Friday the 13th (of all days), we went to Milk Studios to attend Chromat's Autumn-Winter 2015 Runway Show. The added treat (to put it mildly) was being admitted to a pre-party in the Lexus Lounge by #designdisrupted. In homage to designer Becca McCharen's big night, we both wore Chromat: Jean a conservative black cage collar (with a reddish-black faux fur Ivan Grunvahl muff) and Valerie a not-so-conservative red and black brassiere, black mini-crinoline and black hat atop her red hat.

Food as art was the operative phrase: vanilla chocolate truffle pearls in gilded oyster shells tasted as wonderful as they looked. And flutes filled with bubbly Veuve Cliquot made for a lovely way to start Fashion Week!

Taking a page out of Elsa Schiaparelli's book, Valerie added red nails to her black gloves. All the better to admire the hand-painted macaroons. (Inside was absolutely heavenly sesame-flavored whipped cream.)  More food as art!

Numerous other attendees also wore Chromat. We reconnected with Lolita Bandita who was wearing her golden accented outfit with just the right attitude.

This trio of backstage babes were also enjoying the pre-show festivities.

The party was like old home week! We loved running into stylist Chloe Badawy.  (Looooooong and funny story about how we met Chloe, under far less fashionable circumstances.  But not for this posting.)

Queen of New York Night Life Susanne Bartsch, with hair piled high, and feathery false eyelashes literally down to her nose, accentuated her Chromat peplum bustier with feathered neckpiece, garter belt, black stockings and black wrap.

We received the rare treat of being allowed backstage to watch the models get finishing touches to their hair, makeup and nails.  Swoon!  An added bonus: We got to watch our pal Christine Hahn photograph the models against an interstellar backdrop.  Here, Chromat founder Becca McCharen puts finishing touches on a model's costume, while the make up artist puts finishing touches on the model's manicure.  The model is wearing a playing card pinned over each ear.

Needless to say, we were very taken with this model's headdress and white latex crop top.  Becca trained as an architect.  The model's skirt looks as though it could have been influenced by bridge construction.

The sign of a true professional is to get it all right, down to the smallest detail.  These Chromat rings (made on a 3-D printer!)  are completely in keeping with the brand Becca is building.

OK, probably all models have extraordinary bodies, but Chromat models seem more extraordinary than most, probably because they show so much more.  Note also the big eyebrows.  Big eyebrows are everywhere these days, but Becca has done her own interpretation of the trend.

We met Tayler Smith back stage, wearing a wonderful Chromat headpiece and skirt.  Check out Tayler's posting on us.

We have to give a shout out to Riza Rodriguez.  She worked miracles to get us in to see the show.  We first met her more than a year ago at Screaming Mimi's, when we blogged about our coverage by a Swedish newspaper.  Riza wore one of Becca's cages under an Alexander Wang jumpsuit.

The impossibly tall and thin models looked even more so with slicked back pony tails set high on the head and steeply wedged platform shoes. We loved the AW 15 collection's matte latex shirts and jackets like this grey funnel neck sleeveless top.

Small world!  Model May Hong looked so familiar to us.  No wonder! Turns out she is also a friend of illustrator Joana Avillez. Loved her feathered fascinator and cages around her shoes.

No detail was overlooked. Nails were both minimalist and futuristic. The transparent section mimicked the translucent latex tops and the black lines echoed the black cages on the clothes and the shoes.

This model looked amazing in a white outfit covered with what looked like eider down. The white latex tights and boots elongated her already sky-high legs. (Jean was lusting after her ripple-soled boots!) On the runway, she wore a white cage across her face.

Johnny, the handsome gent in the headset, is the other person we have to thank, thank, thank for our seats at the show.  A man of a dozen or more hats, he made sure all the trains ran on time.  He was grace under pressure. He not only had to track the models but also had to keep tabs on unruly guests such as ourselves.

When we were ushered into the event space to take our seats, who should we run into but Jillian Mercado, who appeared in several of our posts from previous fashion weeks AND our post on her appearance in a Diesel advertising campaign.

When Johnny escorted us to our (ahem, front row) seats, we were thrilled to be sitting next to Arabelle Sicardi, whom we'd run into at previous events and who has the most fabulous hair. The blond lady in the red suit joined us from across the aisle for a photo which was truly a study in red and black! Shortly thereafter, we were joined by Chloe Badawy (whose voice you hear in the background of some of our videos, cheering on the models).

To add to the already outrageous energy level in the city, the NBA All-Star Game and slam-dunk contest and other related events were also taking place in the city this week. Basketball player and ex-Knick J. R. Smith, who was sitting directly across from us, hosted an event with Maybelline upstairs at Milk Studios later that evening.

We can't possibly show you everything, but here are some of the highlights of the show.  We liked this headpiece with matching pants.

Needless to say, latex leggings and bikini bottoms looked amazing on the runway.

Check out this video of the sexiest model in the show! To view it full size, click on the picture frame on the lower right.

A stunning matching bra and skirt in panels of differing materials.

Fierce is a word that gets bandied about rather casually these days, but what better word could you find to describe this gladiator-like body suit?  (We know about the focus issues - we just couldn't get the models to stand still!)  Jean loves these boots!!!

We were wondering if Becca might have taken some inspiration from the late Helmut Newton.

In a rare nod to color, Becca brought out this wonderful piece.

The lights were brought way down for two numbers that lit up in the dark.  One had green lights down the back, along the spinal column.  The other was this extraordinary body suit, which looks like it came from Fritz Lang's Metropolis, updated for the 21st century.  There are green lights on her headdress, one on her neck, one on each nipple and two by her navel.

You can get a peek at the full line-up here:

And we just thought we'd remind you that you may have seen Chromat at the Superbowl without even realizing it.

Stay tuned for more fashion week hijinks!