Rachel Zoe Returns to TV

Photo credit: WENN

Photo credit: WENN

I first heard the name Rachel Zoe in 2008 when I watched a reality show on Bravo TV called The Rachel Zoe Project. I had never been inside the world of fashion and celebrity styling and I was hooked. Ms. Zoe was exquisitely talented and in her own words, I went ‘bananas’ for her. Today, Rachel Zoe, still a fashion guru, has expanded her business world as a distinguished stylist, editor and designer, and is the mother of two young sons. Now, after a two year hiatus it seems fitting that Rachel Zoe will be returning to television this fall. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Ms. Zoe will host a half-hour talk show on Lifetime called “Fashionably Late With Rachel Zoe.” The show, scheduled to air on September 24 will be set in Ms. Zoe’s Melrose Avenue headquarters. I am thrilled to see her on television again! You’re so maj, Rachel Zoe! xx.

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Renessta Olds: Life of a Celebrity Stylist

Renessta Olds

Renessta Olds

Renessta Olds, fashion editor and celebrity stylist, has a remarkable story. The fact that she has been a personal shopper for 18 years and a stylist for seven of those years, is only part of it. Because this woman is also in the process of obtaining her Master’s Degree and has visions for herself and her future. Renessta grew up in Brooklyn with strong southern ties. In fact, that is where her love of fashion and her story began …

Renessta: I always loved fashion. I grew up in the 80s, in the South, and in church; my grandfather was a minister and my uncles were preachers. At that time, southern women who went to church were very lady-like. They always came to church wearing a dress, with a hat and pearls, and a quality handbag. These were the first women who made an impression on me, and I loved it. In addition, my mother would sew; she would make my sister and me matching outfits from McCall’s patterns and fabrics that she purchased at Woolworth’s. Continue reading

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Visiting Daniel’s studio

Daniel, me and Chris

Daniel, me and Chris

Last week NBC’s Fashion Star was an emotional turning point for designer, Daniel. He struggled with the notion of compromising his artistic vision to meet the needs of the buyers. But he managed to stay true to himself and win the hearts of the buyers and his mentor Nicole Richie, not to mention winning a new Fiat! Well done, Daniel. You are an inspiration to designers everywhere!

When I met Daniel and Chris at 100%NY studio, I was impressed with their warmth and openness. Daniel is the co-founder, designer and creative director, and Chris is the brand manager and an important member of Daniel’s team. Daniel explained to me that he has two managers; one manages Daniel Silverstein, and Chris is responsible for managing the branding strategy for 100%NY. And what is the essence of 100%NY? According to Daniel: “to create beautiful things that don’t have a negative impact on our environment … Our brand is futuristic, but not in the space-movie sense; more in terms of where design is going. The look of our designs are body conscious and tend to use mesh and surface embellishments. But equally important, is that we are making everything in our own studio here in New York City. The goal is to slow fashion down while creating a no-waste environment.” It is also important to Daniel to make a difference for future designers: “I have always loved working with my hands. I want to educate people in the noble work of construction and give them pride and the skills to make their own designs. I would like to bring back to the notion of made in America.”

Chris added that there are several groups in New York City who are helping to facilitate designers. Manufacture NY and Maker’s Row, two such groups located in the heart of the Garment District, are doing just that.

I am looking forward to seeing how far Daniel will go on Fashion Star. But he has already won my heart!

Daniel and Chris with 100%NY Spring 2013 Collection

Daniel and Chris with 100%NY Spring 2013 Collection

Daniel's 'no-waste' creation - constructing a skirt

Daniel’s ‘no-waste’ creation – constructing a skirt

 

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The Rachel Zoe Project: “It’s Everything!”

Rachel Zoe with her husband Rodger

Rachel Zoe with her husband Rodger – The Rachel Zoe Project, Season Five

Season Five of The Rachel Zoe Project premiers tonight on The Bravo TV Network at 9:00pm and Rachel is adding to her collection of “Zoe-isms”with her latest phrase, “It’s Everything!” It’s time to see how Rachel Zoe’s life and career have transformed since we saw her last year. So Maje! comes to mind!

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Stacy’s Truth …

QVC Presents "FFANY Shoes on Sale"

Stacy London
QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale” – fall 2012

Many of you know Stacy London as the co-host of the hit television show on TLC’s What Not to Wear. Did you also know that she has written a book called, The Truth About Style?

I picked it up today and by all accounts it looks to be honest and forthcoming, and in the spirit of helping nine women transform their lives, focuses on the person inside rather than simply ‘what to wear.’ I can’t wait to read Stacy’s book, because I agree that your style choices affect your self-esteem. You know I love that!

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Heavens to Betsey!

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Designer Betsey Johnson, Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images for IMG

Betsey Johnson is a fashion icon. A designer who never ages. Perhaps it’s because her designs are youth-inspired with a rocker-girl whimsy. Or perhaps it’s because she ends every one of her shows with a cartwheel (something I haven’t been able to do since 7th grade!). But this Peter Pan of fashion is starting over at age 70 and it appears, doing it with vim and vigor. I was surprised to discover that Betsey Johnson’s company had filed for bankruptcy last April, 2012, when I read Tim Murphy’s story on Betsey, entitled Betsey Johnson, Back In the Pink (The Collection – The New York Times).

What is next for Betsey? A new line of more moderately-priced clothing to be introduced to department stores, including Macy’s and Nordstrom (designer Steve Madden is her new parent company), production of a reality TV show with her daughter, Lulu, premiering this spring on the Style Network, and her third fragrance, Betseyfield, to be released this summer.

I have loved Betsey Johnson’s clothes since my mother introduced me to her line in the 1970s. I wish her much success in her second act. Keep on cartwheeling, Betsey!!

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Sue: Life ain’t Project Runway

Sue, looking for immunity from life’s hardships, but realizing that television can never be real life; even though it is referred to as reality tv. Here is Sue …

“As a reader of Speaking of Fashion, you’ve probably watched Project Runway. Every episode, there’s drama around a new design challenge, the selection of a winner, and a loser who is dismissed with Heidi Klum’s “Auf Wiedersehen”. On Project Runway, as on many reality-television competitions, winning a challenge means staying in the running for the final prize and being granted immunity so you can’t be eliminated in the next challenge. That seems fair, right? After hard work and a job well done the winner is rewarded with peace of mind and a chance to try something new, with no fear of failure.

Back in the real world our lives may have none of that fairness. There’s no immunity: from a small series of events – like breaking a nail, then ripping your tights with the broken nail, and then (after you file the nail and change the tights) just missing the train and being late for an important meeting – to major challenges like illness, job problems and family issues, which may come all at once. Getting through a challenge doesn’t mean you won’t be slammed with a new one right away. I considered this after a recent run of personal problems and realized that my expectations were influenced by this magical idea of “immunity” and had to remind myself – hey, Life Ain’t Project Runway.

I’m not the only one thinking this way. Here’s a recent tweet from Joe Zee, Creative Director of Elle Magazine:  ‘Flight delayed 1 hr & gate moved to opposite end of JFK. The more my life is like The Amazing Race, the more I want the $2M prize at the end.’

What about you? Do you sometimes find yourself expecting life to follow reality tv’s rules and rewards? If you do, remember: Life Ain’t Project Runway.”

~ Sue

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