Hong Kong welcomes a New Year and a new generation of proud fashion designers

Myriam in Hong Kong

Myriam in Hong Kong

"My favorite store was Shanghai Tang"

“My favorite store was Shanghai Tang”

My friend Myriam has just returned from Hong Kong full of fashion inspiration – and joy of joys, we get to come along for the ride. Here is Myriam …

As a first-time visitor to Hong Kong, I was amazed at the many similarities between this Chinese metropolis and New York City: The imposing landscape of tall buildings, its cosmopolitan population, its powerful financial center and, most important, its absolutely amazing sense of style. In Hong Kong, East meets West and nothing says it better than its fashion. Chinese women walk the streets of this former British colony showcasing their impeccable taste, from business casual, to urban chic and evening elegant. And like New York, Hong Kong never sleeps; its streets are always vibrant with wine bars, shops, and open air markets. When I arrived, the city was preparing to celebrate the Chinese lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Horse. Continue reading

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DVF: “Fear is not an option”

The glorious Diane von Furstenberg

The glorious Diane von Furstenberg  – Image credit: Wikipedia, at the 2009 Metropolitan Opera premiere

Last night I had an intimate conversation with Diane von Furstenberg. It felt that way as I watched “Shop the Hangout with Diane von Furstenberg,” a new online shopping experience with Google+, in partnership with The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). This was the first of what will be several future ‘Shop the Hangouts‘ with designers. Interviewed by Eva Chen, Editor-in-Chief of Lucky Magazine, the conversation became a global hangout as special guest, beauty expert and entrepreneur Michelle Phan and five women from around the world had questions for Diane. It was 40 minutes of pure magic. That’s because Diane von Furstenberg is wise and witty and wonderful. Here are some DVF thoughts, life advice and uplifting inspirations:

On the wrap dress: “A good thing is good forever … So many people have wrap stories … I decided that to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress we are collecting stories and photographs. Continue reading

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Missoni turns 60

Angela Missoni with daughters Margherita and Teresa Maccapani Missoni for Spring 2010 ad campaign - Photo by Juergen Teller

Angela Missoni with daughters Margherita and Teresa Maccapani Missoni for Spring 2010 Missoni ad campaign – Photo by Juergen Teller

Margherita Maccapani Missoni for 2010 Spring ad campaign - Photo by Juergen Teller

Margherita Maccapani Missoni for Spring 201o Missoni ad campaign – Photo by Juergen Teller

Family operated iconic brand Missoni turns 60 this year. In this month’s Harper’s Bazaar Christine Whitney speaks to Margherita Maccapani Missoni about growing up in the family Missoni. Margherita shares that she has always been close to her family and spent significant time in her younger years with her grandparents, the founders of Missoni, Ottavio and Rosita. Her grandmother would take her into the Italian countryside to pick wild salad and they would make bouquets of wild flowers for her mother, Angela. Margherita continues to spend close time with her mother and her grandmother, shopping and asking each others’ opinions: “We go to flea markets together, and we pass around magazines and talk about photography and designs. It’s not simply working together, it’s sharing a passion. It doesn’t end when you stop working.” ~ Margherita Maccapani Missoni

 

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NY Fashion Week and me

NY Fashion Week - Outside View

NY Fashion Week – My Outside View

NY Fashion Week - Outside View

NY Fashion Week – My Outside View

NY Fashion Week is upon us – now, through September 12th. It has become a scene within a scene, with instant messaging, instant photos, more people, more designers, more bloggers and more chaos. Or so I have heard, because I have never actually been inside the shows. Instead, I have a ritual of taking my photo outside Lincoln Center as my homage to fashion week. But outside is where you will find me; outside is as close as I get. Because I’m not a fashion insider. I do, however, love fashion and the expression fashion allows me. And because I do, NY Fashion Week has special meaning to me.

NY Fashion Week means taking a moment to stop and review what I own. Am I experimenting with my fashion choices? Do I absolutely love the clothes I wear? Are my clothes colorful and playful and stylish while at the same time comfortable and easy to wear? Because the answers to these questions should be a resounding yes! And NY Fashion Week reminds me to honor my relationship with fashion and in doing so, honor myself. We all deserve to do that. Continue reading

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Ingrid Talks Punk

Elizabeth Hurley (with Hugh Grant) in her famous safety-pin dress by Versace - Photo credit: Getty Images

Elizabeth Hurley (with Hugh Grant) in her famous safety-pin dress by Versace –                       Photo credit: Getty Images

“Safety pins and spray paint and vulgar slogans, oh my! The punks of New York and London in the 1970s were out to upset the status quo and shock the bourgeois sensibility of the establishment–and if they horrified their parents, too, I’m sure that was just icing on the cake.

So what does it mean that within a decade or so, the couture fashion houses of Versace and Yves Saint Laurent–and lots more–co-opted the signature elements of punk fashion and made high-end designs out of them?

That’s the theme of “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” the show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which ran from May 9 and just closed this week. As an art historian with a love of fashion, I wanted to be sure to catch the show before it closed. Continue reading

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Myriam in Milan, besos from Bologna

Prada

Prada, Milano

On holiday in Milan with her family, Myriam visited the Prada store. You can feel the history and glory of the birthplace of this luxurious Italian fashion label. It’s the next best thing to being there!

… then, it was on to Bologna!

Prada

Prada, Milano

Myriam: besos from Bologna

Myriam: Besos from Bologna!

 

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Cristobal Balenciaga

Cristobal Balanciaga - copyright Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet/The Image Works

Cristobal Balanciaga’s Paris Portrait – 1927 – copyright Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet/The Image Works

Isn’t that a beautiful name? Doesn’t it just ooze glamour and roll off your tongue? I never knew much about him except that there was a beautiful handbag designed by Balenciaga introduced a few years ago. Mary Blume (a native New Yorker who lives in Paris) has written a book that brings his story to life: The Master of us All, Balenciaga: His Workrooms, His World. After reading the book I am touched to see how someone so intensely private could become so successful and revered; it reminds me of the power of genius. Allow me to share with you some facts about Cristobal Balenciaga:

– he was very private and he avoided photos of himself, he never gave an interview in his years as a designer, he never took a bow at the end of a collection, and he remained a mystery throughout this life Continue reading

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“Comfortable with my curls”

Monica with her three girls

Monica with her three girls

Monica has blue eyes and full curly hair which she has had all her life. Not so unusual to me, but for Monica who has grown up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, it is. Unusual and a big deal. Because most women in Puerto Rico choose to straighten their hair and spend much of their day (a good portion of their beauty regime) making sure they remove their natural curl. But Monica is different and not afraid to be original. She is also the mother of three young girls, ages 10, 9, and 6, and Monica is teaching them to embrace their luxurious curly hair and their differences too. She is fashion-forward and courageous.

Here is Monica

There are many factors why the women of Puerto Rico follow certain beauty rituals. One is that it’s warm here all year-round. Body hair has to be impeccable: that means shaved legs and underarms and bikini waxes. Everyone wears sandals all-year so getting pedicures is a regular ritual as well. I don’t bother with manicures but I keep my nails short and clean – and I almost always have a pedicure …

Another factor is that in Puerto Rico fashion is a status symbol. It tells others that you can afford certain things. People follow fashion but they are not individuals.They are followers. Continue reading

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Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman – courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman website

I love a good story; I especially love the story behind the story. It’s the reason that I started writing this blog. Because I believe that we all have a story and that magic happens when you look behind the curtain. And I love to peak – especially when it’s about fashion! A few months ago I saw a documentary about the legendary editor Diana Vreeland; today I watched an intriguing documentary – more of a love story – about New York institution and luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman. Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s tells the story of Bergdorf Goodman; why designers want to showcase there, why people want to shop there, and why employees love to work there. And oh yes, there is a little history about the two men who started it all …

New York tailors Edwin Goodman and Herbert Bergdorf joined forces and founded a luxury store, Bergdorf Goodman, in the Garment District in 1901. The business moved in 1914 to Rockefeller Center and again in 1928 to its present location, 5th Avenue and 57th Street, the corner of luxury-and-everything-elegant-in-New York. The site was originally the location of the Vanderbilt Mansion, which occupied the entire city block. When Andrew Goodman inherited Bergdorf Goodman from his father, he took the department store to its almost-mythic heights. Too much, you ask? Those interviewed contend that we need stores like Bergdorf Goodman to foster the American Dream.

Top fashion designers both domestic and international, including Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi, and Giorgio Armani, shared their voices and love for Bergdorf Goodman. But it is the stories of the internal Bergdorf family that I found the most inspiring: a family that includes senior vice president and highly influential buyer Linda Fargo, creator of its world-renowned windows David Hoey and spot-on, outspoken personal in-house shopper Betty Halbreich. These intimate glimpses give Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s its true appeal. Amy Fine Collins, special correspondent to Vanity Fair describes the glamour and allure of this one of a kind icon: “Bergdorf Goodman has decades and decades of accumulated history. Every nook and every cranny is a story.”

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The Goodman Family. Courtesy of

The Goodman Family. Courtesy of Entertainment One Films US

 

 

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