>> Incorporate a little edge into your wardrobe — and get into the end-of-Fall spirit — with these prettified skull jewels. Whether in high-shine silver, soft rose gold, or studded with diamonds, these moody pieces look a little elegant, a little dangerous — and just right for the season. Here are our picks from the best pieces around — from Bing Bang's barely there studs to Pamela Love's candy-hued statement necklace (left). All here in the slideshow.
Posts for October 2011
>> Drawing on the success of last season's Mad Men collection, Banana Republic continues to ride the retro-elegant vibe: on offer for Spring 2012 were a healthy dose of prim '60s silhouettes and neat mid-century separates. There were white shell tops with frothy peplums, slim pencil skirts, jumbo floral print wiggle dresses, and skinny cap-sleeved tops — smart little pieces just right for the modern-day Betty Draper. Safari-inspired pieces — khaki shirtdresses, epaulet-adorned blouses, and trim military blazers — provided counterpoints of tailored ease. As for accessories, there were square-heeled colorblock pumps, wedge espadrilles with colored ankle straps, and sweet sequin clutches. Click through to peep all these pieces and more, as snapped at the Spring 2012 press preview.
>> In the newest video that follows the ten 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists through competition, studio tours are given to the judges, cameos are made during Fashion's Night Out, and tense moments are shown backstage during the recent Spring 2012 shows. [Vogue.com]
>> Designers are clocking an increased demand for the high-end side of ready-to-wear — demi-couture, as it's called. Mary Katrantzou's Jewel Tree dress, left, which required four studios putting in more than 150 hours to make, caused one seamstress to cry, and retails at $14,200, sold 18 units this Fall. Matthew Williamson president Joseph Velosa reports: "Pieces over $5,000 now account for six percent of our business. To put that into context, two years ago we sold nothing at that price." And Azzedine Alaia joined the couture schedule in July, showing what he called "semi-couture" — pieces which could be purchased as-is — to much acclaim.
Although these clothes have price tags that run mid-four to five figures, they are sold off the rack through the typical retail channels, rather than involving the time commitment of multiple atelier fittings like a couture piece does. Katrantzou's Jewel Tree dress, for instance, is currently available on Net-a-Porter and can be delivered next day.
Jason Wu, who has a houndstooth tweed overcoat with gold bullion embroidery for $15,000 and started using Paris ateliers like Lesage and Lemarie a few seasons ago, says: "Between all the designer collaborations and everything that's going on, we need to give people a reason to buy. There are some things that just can't be done for cheaper."
And Prabal Gurung, who is selling a hand-painted organza and braided chiffon gown for $15,000, adds: "There's a customer who wants this stuff, but it's like one in each city. You hope to sell a lot, but five total is great."
>> H&M hasn't yet released the TV commercial for its upcoming Versace collaboration, but a behind-the-scenes look at the set — complete with a few quick clips from the commercial — was released today. Lindsey Wixson runs on a hamster wheel, and Daphne Groeneveld is floated off a staircase by a wire — both while dressed like teenage Donatella Versace. As for the set itself, H&M's creative director describes it best: "I think we actually used all the gold paint in London that was available for this job." [Refinery29]
>> Prada is set to launch a jewelry capsule collection in November, consisting of crocodile cuffs and sparkly statement earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that are embellished with colored gems and resin roses. The collection, which hits Prada boutiques just in time for holiday shopping, is priced starting from 350 euros ($488). Fashionista has a look. [WWD, Fashionista]
>> Lizzie Fortunato, like Derek Lam and Proenza Schouler, was inspired by midcentury American architecture for Spring 2012. Her favorite pieces from the collection are the result of a collaboration with Arthur Kemelman, a woodworker from Israel who hand-carved a necklace and bracelet and then painted them with gold leaf. She says, "Each piece of wood is unique. . . . and the result is exquisite."
The label's handbag offering, too, continues to grow: "We have been working with craftworkers in India, who do the most exquisite embroidery and beadwork for our jewelry, and we figured we need another way to showcase this beautiful handiwork — bags were the obvious outlet for that."
>> After chatting with Ralph Lauren during the last season of her talk show earlier this year — "It took me 25 years to score an interview with [him]," Oprah Winfrey said of the designer — the two reunited for a sequel interview last night. The black-tie event, which raised more than $7 million for the Ralph Lauren Center For Cancer Care and Prevention in Harlem and Lincoln Center For the Performing Arts, brought a crowd ranging from Anna Wintour to Naomi Watts to the entire Lauren clan.
Pre-interview, Lauren admitted: "I don't know what she's going to ask, but if I can't answer, I'm going to run." Prabal Gurung, in attendance, hoped that she would ask Lauren about his secrets to success: “I just want a few formulas that I can take back to the office.”
Without further ado, Winfrey introduced Lauren, saying “He designed the fabric of America as we really all know it today, but we’re here tonight because Ralph Lauren is more than just a tastemaker — he’s a lifesaver," before asking him about how he's maintained and reinvented his brand over so many years: "You copy — that's why I am still here, Oprah," he quipped, drawing laughter. More seriously, he added: “I never went to fashion school, I never had the training. It came from inside. I know what it’s like to yearn for something and not have the money to buy it." He also admitted: "After doing this all this time, my hands still get sweaty before a show."
>> Jenna Lyons, J.Crew president and creative director, 43, and her artist husband, Vincent Mazeau, 45, split this Summer and are in the midst of a divorce, the New York Post reports.
The couple, who have been married since 2002, are said to have reached a custody agreement over their 5-year-old son, Beckett, and are reportedly ironing out an agreement in which Mazeau may keep their Park Slope brownstone, which has been featured in numerous magazines.
In addition to the house, Mazeau is said to be asking for a sizable settlement, Page Six reports: "arguing that he gave up aggressively pursuing his career as an artist to stay at home and allow her to develop her successful career. But a friend of Lyons said she supported [Mazeau] as an artist, bought him a studio, and gave him a life where he didn’t have to work every day."
Lyons is rumored to have fallen in love with another woman who also works in the fashion business after the split, according to Page Six, although a J.Crew spokesperson told the paper: "We do not comment on our associates' private lives."
>> Vera Wang, who debuted 15 wedding gowns during her bridal show last week, nine of which were black — causing quite a stir — suggested that after a year of major white weddings, she was ready for something new.
“I found black to be fresh and tongue in cheek,” Wang said. “With all the big weddings that happened this year, it was fun to step out of the box.”
Wang has experimented with purple, pale green, and neutrals in past bridal collections, but wanted to explore ways for black to read "wedding day": “I did take it to a witchy kind of place. For me, it helped build a sense of mystery that I was hungry for. And it added this sensuality and sexuality, and a little bit of severity, too.”