Ports 1961 Spring 2011 Collection Sneak Peek

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Designer, Fiona Cibani evokes the stillness, quiet and ever-changing beauty of the desert as her inspiration for her Ports 1961 Spring 2011 Collection. If you’ve ever been to the desert such as the the Sahara or Mojave, you noticed the mixed geography – smooth sands, mountainous dunes, rocky plateaus, refreshing streams and robust plantlife make up the wonderous landmass. I look forward to her translation.

“Fiona Cibani, draws inspiration from the magic allure of the desert. With delicate mirage abstractions and a landscape in constant evolution as her muse, Fiona crafts a collection within a realm of harmonic contrasts”

Cynthia Rowley for Roxy

Amazing designer and Author, Cynthia Rowley, teamed up with junior line Roxy to create a very sporty beach chic collection for the ultimate Betty (surfer girl in non-California speak), Cynthia Rowley for Roxy, which was showcased at CO-OP Barneys.
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The collection consisted of  colorful apparel, shoes and accessories with many apparel items made out of wet suit fabric aka Neoprene. I got a chance to speak to some of the models wearing the apparel made out of Neoprene and they all said that it was quite comfortable and breathable; and the did feel quite soft to the touch

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I tried to get a quick interview with Cynthia Rowley but I’d have a better chance of talking to the Pope, she was completely surrounded from the time I stepped into the event until I left – I’m surprised I got a photo of her but I took a chance and snuck in while someone else was interviewing her (she’s in the first photo for those who are not familiar).
Will you be grabbing some pieces from the Cynthia Rowley for Roxy collection?

ShāToBu™ – The Workout You Wear

You may remember that I first mentioned (and discovered) ShāToBu in my post on the Robert Verdi Suite from this past season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Click HERE for a refresher. Anyway, while attending the CurveNY Show, which is a trade show held at the Jacobs Javits Center for lingerie, shapewear, etc. I decided to begin trying out my pair of ShāToBu™ (you’ve heard me discuss my thighs over and over again, and walking the trade show is a great workout). I was happily surprised to run into their booth at CurveNY.

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But it turns out I surprised them when I was asked by the creator, Dr. Denise Perron, if I was familiar with ShāToBu™, I told them not only did I find out all about it at the Robert Verdi Suite but I was actually wearing a pair right now (yes I showed them) and how much I loved them (I really do). Many people who wear shapewear and the few complaints you hear the most are “they’re not comfortable, can’t breathe, bulging, visible lines through your clothes, too hot, etc” – well, I haven’t experienced any of that. In fact, I tend to forget that I am wearing the Waist to Knee Shape. Directly below is the High Waist to Knee Shaper which gives you a more enhanced hourglass look

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ShāToBu – The Workout You Wear™ – is the revolutionary shaper that helps women shape, tone and burn more calories during everyday activities. It burns up to 12% more daily calories while helping you maintain a sleek, smooth silhouette in today’s fashions.
The benefits go beyond ordinary shapewear – ShaToBu instantly gives a sleeker silhouette, but women can also see and feel a difference in their bodies with regular use over time. By incorporating resistance bands right into the garment, muscles work a little harder and more calories are burned during daily activities.
ShaToBu helps women fit a workout into their normal day while looking and feeling great.

It was a wonderful experience visiting the ShāToBu booth and I enjoyed meeting Dr. Denise Perron

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Find out all the technical details of the magic of ShāToBu in their video below

 

video courtesy of  ShāToBu™

Vassilios Kostetsos Fall 2010 Show

Lately, all I’ve been listening to on my i-pod are songs thats I listened to when I was growing up. Hearing songs from when I was in college and high school, even grade school, take me back to what I like to call ‘My Life Eras’. I have a whole host of songs that apply to my ‘Could a guy have any more friends’ grade school days to ‘When did everyone grow up but me’ junior high days to my ‘Hey, have you seen my identity’ high school days and then onward to my ‘I’m driving too slow, let the alter ego take the wheel’ college fantasy ride.

Somewhere between the safety of grade school and the shell shock of junior high a friend had introduced me to a cartoon called Jem and the Holograms (Can you already guess where this is going?). While the cartoon totally capitalized on the music video craze , it also highlighted to outrageous colors and proportions that made the eighties were it was.
In flies Vassilios Kostetsos. Now while I understand that fashion is cyclical, there rests a certain side of me that wants designers to push forward even if they reference a little. I guess my problem with this collection was the percentage to which they pushed and referenced. Kostetsos showed a collection that was chock full of 80’s and even early 90’s references with his shocking bright color palette, leg-o-mutton sleeves and mini dresses. Male models sauntered onto the runway in slick cropped leather jackets and leather pants complete with bold hardware and what seemed like punk rock face painting. Trench coats and trousers in fabrications that if leather, came off like PVC seamed intricately were a bit of a tongue in cheek misstep.

Mr. Kostetsos’ strength is womenswear, but again, it needed more forward and less reference. There were sexy little dresses with interesting draping but they were then made a bit over the top by over the knee boots and over-accessorizing. His trenches were chic and ladylike but needed tweaking in their proportions and detailing. My favorite number of the show is pictured below; it’s a one shouldered silk aqua blue blouse and beautifully draped skirt shown with a simple clean clutch.

My thinking is that buyers with heavily “influence” Mr. Kostetsos to ‘tailor’ this collection come market. It may be a collection that looks better in the showroom where one can see the work of each piece but also interject some friendly and necessary retail editing. As for now, Mr. Kostetsos’ talent is there but his vision needs cultivating. As for me I’ll stick to the music of the eighties with an appreciation for, but wary eye of its references. Enjoy the show’s finale below. DW

Mik Cire Fall 2010 Show

I’ll start off this guest commentary by stating that there were times. There were times growing up when the approaching weekend filled me with a breath of fresh air. There were times in my youth when hearing the ice cream truck filled me with a euphoric glee. There were times when that ‘aha’ moment of going from a cheap suit to an expensive suit hit me like a ton of wool gabardine. There were also times that NY Fashion Week would wind up thrilling me to no end, which it occasionally does (key word occasionally). Last season’s Monarchy show, of which Eric Kim was head designer, left me feeling lukewarm and wondering that there were times when I left a fashion show and didn’t mutter to myself “that’s it?”

So with the collar popped on my trench (to mask the almost instinctual screw face to questionable fashion) I entered the Mik Cire by Eric Kim Fall Winter 2010 show during fashion week hoping to be thrilled but secretly terrified for more of the uneventful. As the show began with its part military part nomad inspired, dark assortment of washed greens, browns and blacks reminiscent of moss, calamata olives, cocoa and asphalt, I noticed my neck had started slowly rising from my trench.

What peaked my interest was a well-edited and most notable grown-up collection. There was a skilled and hard-edged handling of skins in suede jackets with double sided zips and wearable bondage-esque bombers with leather sleeves and buckled straps. Button down shirts were given the military meets minimalist air with toned down epaulets and flattering pocket placements. Pea coats, car coats and overcoats in those washed greens, browns and blacks worked very well when paired with zippered wool fingerless gloves, soft knit skullcaps and non-fussy scarves swaddling the neck. Shorter jodhpur style pants (a trend next season) came off more plausibly wearable than costume-like with the aesthetic of the collection especially when paired with long johns and slung on the low waist. Kim’s attention to small details such as clever seaming, fraying and piping placement will attract his modern cosmopolitan soldier to strong familiar silhouettes with refined elements.

Further, while I could do with a more unstructured (and smaller) bag, I see his continuation of the refined and familiar in his use of textured leather and pony on shapes that could easily stow away a weeks worth of clothing for a getaway. I think that was part of the point though; to rework the strong recognizable elements and approach ideas that work for men in a forward, wearer- friendly way (the pea coat, the short overcoat, the gloves, the long johns, the suspenders, the ruff sack, etc.)

Good first start for Mr. Kim under his namesake. The buyers will like it, those with more refined and darker tastes than Monarchy will like it and he’s bound to attain a crop of new soldiers eager to grow with his vision. And for those of you who were wondering, the show ended with Mr. Kim and his toddler son taking a wave, my collar down and my expression all smiles…..yes all smiles. DW.

Robert Verdi’s The Future of Fashion Retreat

Celebrity Stylist Extraordinaire, Red Carpet Aficionado and now host of his own show, The Robert Verdi Show Starring Robert Verdi hosted his third The Future of Fashion Retreat for the fashion elite to relax and unwind in between the mad dashes to shows. We, lucky few, were treated to “Blowouts from PHYTO’s professional hair stylist, Manicures from Ginger+Liz, Make-up touch ups from Jouer Cosmetics (all were too busy so I never got a chance to enjoy), New ABSOLUT Berri Acai cocktails, Healthy lunches & recovery kits from Blue Print Cleanse, SmartWater & the new VitaminWater Zero, Aluminum bottles from Coca-Cola, Rock & Republic Jeans (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE), ShatoBu Shapewear Bar (heaven), Vans custom shoe station (I never got a chance to try it out), Shades from Carrera (I never got to check these out either) and one-on-one fittings to find your perfect bra size from Maidenform” and a few more treats.

Before I go into detail on my gifting experience, let’s find out a bit more on this amazing retreat (and a few other tidbits) from the man who created it – Robert Verdi. Although I didn’t get to experience every aspect, Robert Verdi does go into great detail the brands featured in his retreat.

Now, my first stop was to Popcorn, Indiana. I must say that Kettle Corn is my favorite and as you can see below, there was plenty of it to enjoy.

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I then ventured to the private boudoir to get fitted for my perfect bra size by Maidenform thanks to Nicole. I found out some very interesting things including the fact that I have to get rid of most of the bras I own as they are the wrong size.

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I was introduced to a new bra guaranteed to give you two cup sizes instantly – as many of you may know that is something I don’t need so Nicole introduced me to the custom fit bra. I asked her the one question that all women should know the answer but don’t – because I didn’t

My next stop was to sample the fantastic and healthy food and drinks from BPC (Blue Print Cleanse). I loved the Spicy Lemonade and Cashew Milk from BPC and the amazing cocktail made with Absolut Berri Acai (a delicious combination of Acai, Blueberry, and Pomegranate)

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Then it was off to the Rock & Republic Denim bar to find a new pair of favorite jeans. Rock & Republic is a luxurious denim brand who makes “must have” jeans and has recently branched out into the Cosmetics market to join their handbag and accessories lines.

 

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My favorite were these embellished skinny jeans (UPDATE: the jeans are called F#@k Me B#@!H)

 

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Then I was introduced to what could possibly be my new best friend – The ShāToBu™ Shaper, the workout you wear. ShāToBu™ burns up to 12% more daily calorie- that is my type of workout. “Designed to be worn all day, every day, ShāToBu™ offers enough resistance in the bands to provide a significant toning and burning effect”. I welcome the challenge to these thighs of mine.

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And although I didn’t get to personally try out the Carrera Sunglasses which has been around since 1956 and has made quite a comeback thanks in part to Lady Gaga and other celebs, in my interview with Robert Verdi, he does talk about them and I do have a photo (thanks to a friend).

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What do you think of the items we saw at the Robert Verdi’s The Future of Fashion Retreat? Any favorites you’ll be keeping an eye out for?

Ports 1961 Spring 2010 Show

Tia Cibani’s nature-inspired “Fluere” for her Ports 1961 Spring 2010 collection reminded me very much of a Japanese Garden, not because of the few floral prints but because of the structure of the garments. There is a distinct look and feel to an Asian garment, you can always see influences of that inspiration in any design. These two looks directly below remind me of a koi pond, of course it may be because of the color and the movement of the garments (I must say that no where in the show’s run-through does it mention an Asian influence but that is just what it reminds me of).

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However if you do notice in these other two garments below, you’ll notice that Japanese Obi Belts have definitely inspired the waistline on these gorgeous garments. I love Tia Cibani’s vision, it’s always so modern but with a very distinct twist. Her stuff is never boring but oh so beautiful and charming

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Needless to say the collection was one of many that took my breath away. I do love Ports and I think I’ve stated this before – I do own a few Ports accessories and of course I’d love to own more especially the shoes. There is one style for the Spring 2010 season that I may just do something illegal for. I couldn’t get a good shot of the shoes (those models can be quite speedy) but thanks to the internet, I got a photo (excuse me while I drool)

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If you can pull yourself away, take a look at the finally video (with me trying to dodge a few heads getting in the way)

Handbag Butler at NYIGF

As I mentioned in my post on the NYIGF, there were companies from around the world showcasing their products. I had the pleasure of getting to know a few like Handbag Butler of Australia. Handbag Butler is a chic, foldable hanger that can be attached to a tabletop to keep you handbag out of harm’s way. (like a dirty floor) Launched in Australia in October 2008, the Handbag Butler has given women the freedom to dine in style without putting their purse in peril.

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Handbag Butler comes in 25 unique styles in three very elegant collections – Printed Collection, Sparkle Collection and Crystal Collection (click on each Handbag Butler to see a more detailed view). I love the elegant beauty of the Printed Collection, the Swirl, the Butterfly and Tinker being my favs in this collection. They are so feminine and ornate. My other favorite is from the dazzling Sparkle Collection, which is so opulent; in fact it is from this collection that I found my own Handbag Butler – The Rose Petal

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Now I know there are a few people in the market with this must have accessory but Handbag Butler stood out to me, not just because of their designs and beauty but their packaging as well. I ask, what do you do with your Handbag Butler when it’s not in use? Just put it in it’s little holder which is so adorable. And that holder comes in an intricately decorated – utterly adorable

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Unfortunately, Handbag Butler isn’t available in US Stores as yet (I’m sure that will change soon after showing at the NYIGF) but you are able to order via their website. The Printed and Crystal Collections retail for $24.95 USD each and the Sparkle Collection retails for $29.95 USD. Funny thing, I’ve seen less beautiful pieces for much more. Trust me, go with the Handbag Butler.

As before, I got a chance to speak with the owner – Ana Slavka

****UPDATE – In approx 5 weeks, Handbag Butler will be available in about 20 shops in the US. For now it is available at “Lee’s Art Shop”, located at 220 West 57th Street . Happy Shopping.