Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Madam of the Ball

by Laura Medina

The current craze for ecological and environmental sound “Green” fashion has been running on the LA fashion runway for a good one year-without abating.

Unfortunately, some designers literally take the color green as the main color palette to icky results, as in matte acid green fabrics with matching matte acid green eyeshadow and lipstick!

Thank god, the more skillful designers, such as Randolph Duke, knows you can still honor the environment without over killing the color green to be ecologically conscious.

Incorporating and rightfully honoring nature. He beaded ferns and fronds onto ball gowns. He turned a rose literally into a blooming rosette gown.

Yes, there is something for the Mother of the Ball. She can support the environment without turning into a vegetable.

Belle du Jour of the Ball

By Laura Medina
Bow & Arrow aims for the debutante. Whether she’s in the cotillion, the bat mitvah or the prom, quinceanera, or being groomed as a young socialite joining the ranks of debutante ball, Alan del Rosario is there for her. Alan’s sugary confection of hot pink silk and chiffon is there to supply a whole season of sorority semi-formals and formals. His frocks can clothe a whole Sweet Sixteen party. He could be a courtier to “Gossip Girl.” Posh princesses.
Alan does more than just pretty-in-pink party dresses. He revives Bianca Jagger from the Seventies. With tightly-tailored and sharp editing, Alan offers daytime pant and dress suits in pristine white and mature gray. Perfect daywear from an internship or just something special to wear during the day.
A young lady doesn’t have to go all lot and wear the whole ensemble for the whole season. If resourceful enough, the pant and dress suits can be broken down into separates spicing up jeans and tees for that causal chic.

The black jumper with embroidered hem, paired with heads, can be a kooky but cute tunic.

With Alan’s Fall 08 Collection, a girl can go beyond being the belle of the ball. She can be the Queen of the Chic Clique.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Real Jeans for Real Women with Real Curves

Finally, there is a jean that fashionable Baby Boomers and curvaceous Gen-Xers and Yers can wear without looking or feeling frumpy and dumpy. Ok, a pair of sophisicated denim that the plus-sized teen can wear without feeling left out.

The company behind the Tummy Tuck Jeans may call themselves, "Not Your Daughter's Jeans" or "NYDJ," for short. But ample-sized teenaged daughters are stealing these slimming denim out of their mother's closet-and never returning them back! Now, mothers are buying these specially-constructed jeans for their own daughters, making them truly a "Mother & Daughter" jean that can be pass down and around.

The reason behind Tummy Tuck Jeans was Lisa Rudes-Sandel's frustration in finding a decent pair of jeans. The comtemporary jeans were too low for her-and she's a health-conscious Baby Boomer who exercises-while the high-rise jeans in the market were "Mommy Jeans." They're high rise-yes, but the too-tight waistline, loose front panel, droopy butt, and poor detailing were making Lisa depressed.

She put her family's experience in women's sportwear construction to efficient use. Lisa pulled her veteran garment manufacturer father out of retirement. He leaves it up to her to handling the styling and fit and trends while he focuses on the business and manufacturing.

He understands his daughter's plight in finding fashionable clothing that are actually wearable. Shaking his head, George Rudes, Lisa's dad, feels sorry for the huge but ignored middle-aged Baby Boomer ladies yet he's upset with contemporary fashion dismissing this huge, influential,-and affluent market. He complains the industry is bypassing them for a very slender segment of the tween and teen market under a size 6 by offering nothing but extreme low-risers in skinny sizes that the majority can't wear, at exorbitant prices.

This father-and-daughter team seeks to remedy this while filling in a niche. Give ladies quality jeans that solve figure flaws at a reasonable price under $100. They're determined to get rid of the "muffin top" flab.

Lisa simply eliminate the dreaded "Belly Bulge" by inserting stretch front panels on both sides of the zipper with reinforced criss-cross binding with top-secret construction for the butt/seat. With the combination of tummy-flattening technology and butt-lifting stitiching, Tummy Tuck Jeans makes the wearer look one size smaller. She unexpectedly invented "The Reinforced Jean" and unknowingly rushed in this current trend of high-rise jeans.

The competitors, mostly contemporary, think they beat the Rudes to the punch by flooding the market with ultra-high-and ultra-tight-extreme high risers. But, they lack the patience in understanding the mature woman's needs and the special construction removing bulges and pudges. And, they still focus on skinny teens while forgetting their plus-sized counterparts.

Tummy Tuck Jeans are the only jeans in the market where you have to wear it one size smaller than you normally wear in order to fit. Unheard of in the denim world. For a pair of jeans retailing nationwide in Dillard's and Nordstrom for $98, Not Your Daughter's Jeans put a lot of care and detail in their jeans. They want to make sure it's a wardrobe investment, from the tonal stitching to the butter soft wash. Lisa wants her jeans comfortable enough for running errands during the day but nice enough for evening. "All you have to do is throw on a nice top." These tummy eliminators also come in petites, so ladies can buy directly off the rack without making a stop to the tailor or do a poor hem job themselves.

NYDJ is kind enough to respond to die-hard fans' testimonials and letters. Their fans swoon how these tummy trimming jeans made their husbands fall in love-or lust-with them again. Most are military wives. NYDJ is also sharp enough to spot an emerging but unfulfilled market-military moms shopping at the px/military exchange.

The Army and Air Force exchanges were the first to carry this line. Then, Navy and the Marines followed suit, recognizing it's not just the wives but their daughters and fellow women soldiers who need stylish civilian wear.

Lisa and George Rudes make sure no one is left out in being chic, fashionable, and stylish without breaking the bank or looking stupid.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Spring is Blooming with Fresh Offerings

Patricia Field for Barbie Luxe

Steve Madden

Spring is Blooming with Fresh Offerings

By Laura Medina

May 1, 2008

Two of the most influential lifestyle designers, Steve Madden and Patricia Field, are growing into fertile grounds in women's contemporary sportswear.

The king of reasonably-priced and fashionable shoes for everyone, Steve Madden unveiled his new active/street wear to accompany his "soft fusion" sneakers. A man with the fashion-forward eye, Steve is observant enough to notice that women are wearing gym clothes in daily life, from the gym to street to the shop. As the man of the people-or the everyday woman, he did what anyone with common sense would do-give what the customer wants-stylish hoodies and windbreakers to go along with his shoes. A futuristic collection of activewear in glacial white that is comparable to Adidas by Stella McCartney. Steve has this knack to predict what his customers want before they even know it. If they want fashionable sneakers to carry them through the day, then they might need a sporty outfit to match the shoes, an instant wardrobe for the health-conscious but fashionable woman.

This is Steve's general pick for an emerging trend, "Soft Fusion," where lifestyle and multiple purpose converge. Where the sneaker loses it's atheletic rough edges and where the dress shoe toughens up. Put together, you get a "Soft Fusion"shoe, a hybrid of a sneaker that is dressy enough for most places yet is durable enough for a jog. A shoe version of a Prius where the wearer gains enough mileage out of her shoes.

No less jaunty is Patricia Field's deliciously girly collection for Barbie Luxe. She joined a select group of designers, Anna Sui and Diane von Furstenberg, who collaborated with Mattel in designing a special edition of adult women clothing who are still influenced by Barbie. Basically, it is, "What would Barbie wear if she's a contemporary woman of today?" That's the goal of Barbie Luxe, women who want to dress like their childhood idol. Using early Barbie silhouette and Barbie Pink as parameters, each designer did her own distinctive spin on the ultimate fashion plate. Barbare Millicent Roberts as a carefree hippie by Anna Sui. A charging career woman swathed in von Furstenberg's iconic wrap dress in Barbie Pink wood grain print. Patricia dressed her as if she a SoHo inhabitant, skipping around the city in very wearable high rise jeans with suspenders and a white muscle tee with Barbie silhouette in pink.

As a woman known for putting Sarah Jessica Parker in far-out ensembles, her take on Barbie is surprisingly approachable that any woman would never look out of place wearing the collection. Since Barbie is the model, there are some cute but chic garments, such as the leopard-print trench coat. The collection is reasonably priced as it is reasonably designed. Now, a grown woman can play with her Barbie without being childish.