Thursday, December 23, 2010

Last Minute What You Really Want, Easy Pleasy Stuffers, & Sneak Peeks

By Laura Medina

For the panicking masses and the thoughtless tardies, let's starting wishing for what we actually need now and quickly after Christmas and soon after New Year's Eve and Day.

Pounding the pavement grabbing gifts, party platters, and decorations while wishing for something comfortable and stylish-and warm?

Lacoste just unleashed their sneakers line, Legends. Padded high-tops and sneakers masquerading as dress shoes in leather, decked with the Alligator.

Stuff these in your man's stockings, he'll like you better.

This scribe knows fashionistas are all a flutter about feathers thanks to "Black Swan."
Want something more practical and immediate directly from the movie itself?
Tilo's tree print cashmere scarf, worn by Mila Kunis in the movie, can be worm now and after the holidays then onto next year, like a real ballerina on her way to training.

Are you the tired and lazy who needs the injection of the last minute thrill to jump your shopping energy?
Give the gifts of Cynthia Rowley necklaces that are seasonless and timeless.
Shoot, if you are the opposite-shop a year ahead for the next holidays-snap up these babies for next holidays and be ahead of the maddening mob.

Are the you take charge who dreams ahead?
These Assouline Books will not be available until mid-January but a person can dream of traveling as a Conde Nast Traveler or dressing like stylish and smart jet-setter while flipping the pages of "American Fashion Travel."
Great for the hard-charging Capricorn in your life.

If you want to warm a Capricorn's heart in your life or buttering up to one, here are some exquisite stocking stuffers that are viewed as practical, high quality travel kit care that she or he can use right now.
These decadent minis are open to buy right now at Ron Robinson at Melrose or
Great emergency gifts.
See y'all next year and here's to another year of more glam and fabulous stuff and happenings.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Glitzy Gifts for the Glam Girl

By Laura Medina

2010 Vespa LX 150, left & 2009 Vespa GTV 250, right.
What to give for the girl, you assume has everything?
Glamorous gals may have a closet full of designer denim, drawers full of day tops, and a medicine cabinet crammed with makeup but they still need stuff that are both fashionable and functional.
Gilt. com is selling these pair of Vespas at a reasonable discount for the Glam Girl on the Go.
These stylish and zippy but gas mileage sensible motor scooters are easy to handle yet gets you in and out of traffic. is selling the 2010 Vespa LX 150 is selling for $3,740, instead of the normal $4,736 and the 2009 Vespa GTV 250 at $5,520, not the average retail of $7,236.
Your Glam Gal would squeal if she sees one of these under the Christmas tree.

To complete her riding gear, you can give her a complete set of sequinned tank tops and shorts from Cynthia Rowley.
To really get her gear up, she can dress up her skinny jeans and knee-high boots by topping them with one of these glittering tanks underneath a sleek, black motorcross leather jacket.
For good luck in avoiding mishaps, you can toss the Koi Necklace for good luck.

A Glam Girl on the Go is not complete unless she has an emergency tool box. You can supply her with tools from Cynthia Rowley, dressy but not damsel-in-distress.
Now, she's really to roll.

Friday, December 17, 2010

"Mad Men" Costume Designer, Janie Bryant, "Enjoy the Glamour"

By Laura Medina

"Mad Men" & "Deadwood" costume designer, Janie Bryant autographing this scribe's book.
After much demand for her advice in how to inject glamour with personal style, "Mad Men" costume designer, Janie Bryant felt it was time to compile her education and experience into a style guide, "The Fashion File, Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men."
This Southern girl parlayed her love of dressing up and clothing her Barbie Dolls, her degree from the American College of Applied College, her ten years working as a Seventh Avenue fashion designer into an Emmy-winning career as an highly esteemed costume designer for "Deadwood" and the influential "Mad Men."

January Jones, aka "Betty Draper," wrote in the foreword how this soft-spoken but modern lady, Ms. Bryant revolutionized the current state of the fashion industry.

Once she revived the long-forgotten but realistic hour-glass figure, current designers such as Michael Kors readjust their tailoring when keeping their collections contemporary. Dress form manufacturers changed and altered the bust lines and hips of their mannequins.

Thanks to Ms. Bryant's deft styling and tailoring of reintroducing the Fifties' hourglass silhouette for all of the women leads, she unwittingly gave full-figured women a voice after being neglected for so long.

Even though in her "The Fashion Files" Book signifies the epitome of each era, ranging from the Twenties Flapper to the Eighties' Glamazon, her favorite era is the Fifties.

Sketches from her "The Fashion Files" Book, describing the main style of each era.

Unlike the majority of fashion or style guidebooks, dictating how a person should dress and what is hip and trendy at that moment, Ms. Bryant's book is more how one becomes and thinks like a costume designer.

Knowing the madness of "Mad Men," she delve into the research process of dressing a period television drama, using modern day techniques, as on page nine, "How Color Makes a Character."

Not only does one has to love the film business with it's demands on accuracy and limited budget, but one has to read the script and uses clothes, hair, and makeup to tell the story visually. The duty of a costume designer is to say who these characters, without uttering a word, through their clothes, hair, and makeup to the audience.

Differing from the runways, a costume designer for a television show has to keep and redress the actors in the same piece that signifies their character. On page seventy-seven, in "Again and Again," Ms. Bryant reuses a certain look or item to build continuity and familiarity for the audience so they will feel closer to the characters. The repeated item becomes that character's statement piece whether it is Betty Draper's yellow cardigan as her comfort clothing or Peggy Olsen's blue and black checkered suit as her empowerment outfit or Joan Holloway swinging her gold fountain pen as her subtle but strong sign of Queen Bee authority.

A costume designer also uses clothes to signify the closeness or the tension in a relationship or a character's changing status in society, such as the mousy secretary Jane Siegal into socialite Jane Sterling wearing the trendiest Mod shift dress in Op Pop prints.

This is where the fun appeals to Janie Bryant, using dressing up as story-telling.

She can't say what the characters are going to wear for the upcoming season of "Mad Men," but she can say this...through her friend, Cooper Ray, Janie Bryant is going to be a guest judge for Charleston Fashion Week in Charleston, SC.

This series of holiday articles started with Dita Von Teese gracing these write-ups with glamour then Ms. Janie Bryant is bookending this with her advice on how to be glamorous for any shape and sizes.

Very fitting indeed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

H&M's largest and newest shop in Las Vegas at Caesar's Forum

By Laura Medina

Traditional Vegas Showgirls in H&M's red and white colors.
Considering is this a part of a holiday series, H&M wants to wish everyone "Happy Holidays" by throwing an opening party to their tallest and largest boutique-in Las Vegas at Caesar's Forum.
H&M hired old and new Vegas traditions to host the fete, the classic showgirls bedazzled in red and white to the new tradition of Cirque du Soliel performers and Lady Gaga and Cher impersonators greeting shoppers.

Bottom Center, H&M pure ice bar chisled out of a block of ice. Instant chill for rose champagne.

There was a big wait for this opening. The merchandising manager worked around the clock getting the manniquins dressed, posed, and strung up in mid-air. Prepping the DJ ledge overlooking the ground floor. Checking the elevators for the three-stories-yes, you heard it right-the three stories tall boutique up and running safe.

The overall layout is the women's collections on the ground floor. Men's in the middle then the children up on the three tier. Setting up like a mini-department store, there are escalators and glass elevators for those afraid of heights.

H&M spared no expense in bringing the holiday cheer with Vegas glitz.

Cher and Lady Gaga trotted among the shoppers. Local television crews held their spots.

Cirque du Soliel's "Mystere" performers mingled with the awestruck attendees.

A magican plucked a red orb out of this scribe's camera-and never failed to amaze.

It's not a solid floorplan. Each floor is cut away to a ledge overlooking the ground floor.
At the third floor, a shopper can look at the strung-up manniquins mid-air or those dressed up on the ledges.
If you want to check out H&M's jewel box of a boutique, it is located across from Max Brenner's Chocolate Restaurant and Shoppe at the revamped Caesar's Forum, Caesar's Palace's mall. They sandwich the new gelato bars.
Yummy clothes, performers, and food for the holidays.

Have a very risque Betsey Johnson Holiday

By Laura Medina

If evergreens and Rudolf's red nose makes a glaring color combination, believe it or not, you can get some naughty but smoking outfits from Betsey Johnson to jingle the holidays.

With the movie "Burlesque" and Dita Von Teese's three-night engagement, the smoky atmosphere and the peek-a-boo cut outs are reflected in Ms. Johnson's Parisian segment of her Spring/Summer 2011 "Le Tour" Collection.

A little grown-up for the jolly and springy Johnson but seems so soothing among the holiday cheer right now.

Plus, they will be put to better use come Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Celebrate the Holidays with Justin Timberlake's William Rast for Target

By Laura Medina

For all you die-hard fans, especially for those in the South, your dream to getting your hands on a William Rast by Justin Timberlake and Trace Ayala-within a reasonable price at accessible locations-is materializing soon and fast.

Come this Sunday, December 19th, William Rast for Target is landing into stores.

This limited edition collection offers a sneak peek of William Rast's Spring/Summer 2011 regular line. Imagine a pair of Tennessee good ole buddies (girls can be buddies, too) hitting the road, and driving through the Southwest then being struck by cowboy couture of ranch shirts and Native American fringes.

To celebrate the incoming collection to Target, Justin and Trace hosted a fete fitting for the holidays. JT held court in the VIP Lounge.

Anna Faris was equally awestruck of Mr. Timberlake as were the lucky attendees, such as this scribe.

Now, see which celebrity actually shopped and bought which and what from the holiday collection.

Trace Ayala showed the women's black fringed leather jacket.

"Glee's" Darren Criss is admired the collection very much. Here's him picking out the men's black leather jacket.

Here's Trace Ayala proudly showing the women's ruched center front khaki twill jacket.

Anna Faris was wowed by the Flag Tunic, can be worn by itself or over leggings and jeggings.

Darren Criss is also taken by the men's nylon flight jacket.

Malin Ackerman and Rachel Bilson standing next to the pink washed, silk western blouse.

Rachel Bilson admiring the chambray western blouse while Mr. Ayala gives his thumbs up for the faux leather shorts. A great option to the mini skirt.
What the women's tan leather motorcycle jacket look like in the catalog and what it looks like on a real life female.

An array for Los Angeles fashionistas, Justin's inner circle, Hollywood celebrities, LA insiders and hipsters made merry-making this past Saturday night at top secret location in a remote downtown Los Angeles spot.
Justin's and Trace's limited edition line for Target made a splash among Young Hollywood who cannot get enough of it.
"Glee's" Chord Overstreet and fellow cast mate, Darren Criss, were love the menswear of rugged but hip classic sportswear of nylon flight and real black leather jackets and plaid shirts.
Malin Ackerman was running her fingers through the racks.
Anna Faris was bowed over by the casual but edgy tank tops and tunics.
What a way to hit the holidays...Justin Timberlake, "Glee" cast, and a galaxy of starlets.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Graceful Corinthian Muses for the Holidays

By Laura Medina

Tadashi's Winter Wonderland.
If the traditional, frumpy-dumpy, dorky Christmas sweater in cringe-inducing acrylic knit makes you want to itch, here are more elegant options that are multi-purpose for Chanukah/Christmas/Kwanzaa, and Chrismukkah.
For eveningwear, Tadashi Shoji of Tadashi and Binetti are draping women as Grecian Goddesses as Corinthian columns, the more frilly of the three Classical Orders: the stoic Doric, the minimal Ionic, and the ornate Corinthian column.
Binetti flutes of gowns.

The pleats resemble flutes. The long and lean silhouettes speak columns. The ruching and poufs sprout frills, leaves, and scrolls, characteristics of a Corinthian column.

The color palette was chisled in ivory or glided in silver. Sometimes, like in Tadashi, refer to nature as in the blossoming rose pink.

Draping women as Grecian Columns also dress them as the Three Muses in the Classical Arts: Melete for Practice; Mneme for Memory; and Aoide for Song.

These pretty much sums up being a haute couture designer. You need years of practice to learn your art. You need to memorize how fabrics flow, swing, hang, and drape. Hopefully, you will be so skilled that you have clients singing for your creations.

It is not all about the Classics.

It was the reintrepretion of the cuff. No longer restricted to a man's wrist. The cuff is used a meshed overlay for high heel sandals, such the ones by Giuseppe Zanotti. A cuff ring for the entire finger with hinges at the knuckles to bend. Of course, the long, drapey cuff necklace.

Now, these are family heirlooms your future daughters and nieces will be happy to have.

Dita Von Teese wants to share her "My Private Cointreau Coffret" with you for the Holidays

By Laura Medina

Dita Von Teese toasting the launch of her "My Private Cointreau Coffret" & Book Signing.

Last Thursday, December Ninth, burlesque queen, Dita Von Teese celebrated the debut of her exquisite liqour chest especially designed for the bombshell in mind, "My Private Cointreau Coffret" with help from French orange liqour cordial, Cointreau, at Ron Robinson/Fred Segal.

In synchronicity with the holidays, Ms. Von Teese also was there to autograph her first book, "Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese from three years ago. It was reissued just for her treasure box.

To complete the set, she was also signing her latest book, "Dita: Stripteese."

Only Ron Robinson in Los Angeles and New York are the only two locations selling this set.

Why Ron Robinson? A few miles down the road on Sunset Boulevard, Dita is hosting a three-nights engagement at The Roxy, a burlesque show that celebrities, not just the light-hearted festive spirit, but women of all shapes and sizes, the diversity of beauty.

For her, burlesque is not just titilation but empowerment for very feminine women who love to be glamorous-and revel in it.

In these days of being "casually sloppy for a relax feel," Ms. Von Teese says she was and still is being made fun of because she loves to dress up everyday."

Mostly ignorant folks cut her with comments of , "What?! You just walked off a movie set?" or "Why you so dressed up?"

Being chic and glamorous is her source of strength for her. She sees herself as a Champion of Glamour, everyday and everytime.

For her, it is, "Just keeping the faith...being sexy and you carry yourself. It's your attitude."

It is her integrity of being true to herself is what got her in the first place. She was a vanguard of burlesque when it was underground among a select group of fetish fans who grew then became high-end fashionistas frequenting Paris Fashion Week. As she follows them or they follow her, Ms. Von Teese develope and evolve to better fit their progress.

Her shtick or act is the now well-established of her sauntering, swimming, and striping in the bowl of a giant martini glass full of bubbles and golden sparkles.

The Parisan fashion set went crazy. Soon a bunch of spirit companies descend upon her to their pitch woman but none seems to be the right fit. Until, French cordial company, Cointreau expressed interest in her, her act, her image, and her mission. She, in turn, agree with their outlook and philosophy. They appreciate the same tastes and qualities in life. This is when she agreed to be their brand ambassador.

The Jewelry/Liqour Chest fit for a full-sized Cointreau Bottle and 2 cocktail glasses.

This is where the coffret comes in.

Cointreau approach her with the idea and the general, overall design.

Ms. Von Teese made it even more "special" with a glamorous bombshell in mind...and her needs when she is relaxing or entertaining in the privacy of her own home.

She transformed the plain, ordinary liquor chest into an upscale and ultra-womanly that is an unique combination of a cosmetic case, jewelry box, and liqour chest all-in-one. The top tier compartment nestles to protect a full-sized Cointreau Bottle and a pair of cocktail glasses. The middle and bottom drawers can hold everything a lady needs: makeup and jewelry. The lid opens up with a mirror.

In this deceptively frivilous chest box, Ms. Von Teese modernized it with functionality of making the liquor drawer do double duty for other uses while making the exterior streamlined.

Equating classiness with seductiveness, she not only keep the exterior lean and clean, she refused to make it "too trendy." No hot pinks.

With her having a say in the fabric, the trimmings, and the details, this elegant chest comes covered in pearlescent pink tones, soft silken fabrics, concealed side door, and a small golden key to store one's most intimate treasures and keepsakes.

As a vintage hunter, "Antiques used to be made with beauty in mind...It's tougher and more difficult to find something fabulous. Don't want it to be too typical. I want it to be sweet and luscious at the same time."

As for the modernity, "But didn't want it to be too retro. The modernity is to keep it streamlined. Don't load the exterior with too much details."

She is also promoting her treasure box and her books as a way to inform people who she is...

"I want people who don't know me or like me to know who I am and what I am...I just don't sign off on anything and brand it."

Which returns to knowing who you are, keeping your integrity, and keeping the faith...and never comform to somebody else's standards. Like Dita Von Teese and the mission of burlesque, you embrace your unique beauty that is of your own.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Serena Van der Woodsen aka Blake Lively, one tall class of blonde chicness

By Laura Medina

As this scribe is getting ready to settle down and get the weekly "Gossip Girl" fix, some fashion industry insiders were kind enough to give some secret style pointers directly from the television series.

This scribe does admit...Ms. Van der Woodsen's Preppy-meets the Horse Set-chilling in the City look got this scribe hooked and fully intent on revamping her Cali/Charleston wardrobe.

Here are the guide to Serena/Blake Lively's ensemble on a cheaper price point.

Now, onto next Monday's episode.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bedazzling Holiday Cocktails

By Laura Medina

Launching just in time for the holidays and debuting during a jewelry boutique opening party, two vivid cocktails make it in time to merry-making cheers.

Inspired by baubles, these bubbles by Alize are influenced by Alexis Bittar's nubby rings in gold and rose rings.

For the hurried fashionista or fashionisto, these lush drinks are super-easy to pour and guzzle in a punch bowl, a pitcher, or rows of flutes and martini glasses.

Venice Gem
3 oz. Alize Gold Passion
3 oz. Bouvet Sparkling Wine
Served Chilled in a Champagne

Bittar Bubbly

3 oz. Alize Red Passion

3 oz. Bouvet Sparkling Wine

Serve Chilled in a Champagne Glass

These may appear fancy-and costly but they are not!

Accessible and affordable but never tacky.

Now, these are cheers anyone afford with abandonment.

Sienna Miller's Twenty8Twelve

By Laura Medina

There are numerous women fans of the "Brit Chic" Sienna Miller but a few on this side of the pond are awareness of her clothing line, Twenty8Twelve.

Named after her birthday-yes, she is a Capricorn just like Kate Moss, Ms. Miller is aware that there are aplenty of women who wants to know how to emulate her urban/bohemian hipster style.

Instead of nabbing pieces from here and there, Ms. Miller and her sister designs and picks the patterns, the silhouettes, and the styles then bring them all under one label so others can dress just like her.

You can dump grandma's reindeer sweater for Sienna's more stylish malachite dress shift for the holidays...

Or, go all out in the Boston Dress in Bronze like LeAnn Rimes.

Her draped black shift is a year-around staple.

You can easily achieve Brit Boho meets Sloan Ranger in Twenty8Twelve's black jacket with pink leopard print chemise shift dress.

It is time to try out a new style icon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Classics, Black & White

By Laura Medina

With the Kardashian Girls unfurling their wings, they're taking flight to the East Coast-Manhattan.

With a shark of a husband and a baby in tow, Kourtney effortlessly took upon Manhattan chic in an elegant ensemble of a demure Victorian blouse with puff shoulders and a black pussy bow tie then paired with a Rebecca Minkoff zippered black, pleated miniskirt...

Whereas, the Brit Chic Sienna Miller sports a summery but prim white lace shirt dress from her own clothing line, Twenty8Twelve.

Either way, black and white never goes out of style.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fly right into the Holidays with Feathers, thanks to the "Black Swan."

By Laura Medina

"Black Swan" director, Darren Aronofsky must be a fashionista subconsciously.

Or else, he would not build a wardrobe around Fall's hottest trend which only gets stronger for the holidays...

Thanks to him, feathers, specifically ostrich feathers are dovetailing into a fashionista's quick and easy go to luxurious texture and material.

If you are all sequinned out or blitzed with bling, feathers are the softer but no less sexy alternative.

The dark and moody take on the ballet world's severe standard of beauty and perfection reflects the current surge of sophisicated goth. Less riff on Rock n' Roll. More of a sonnet to elegance gone mad-but with quality.

At this time, Cynthia Rowley's feather tutus in inky ombre of blue and black or just plain black are easily within reach...and may be on sale soon after the holidays.

Juicy Couture offers their take on the ostrich feather mini in solid black and gray.

Both have elastic waistbands that can be easily adapted as tube tops. Therefore, you have two looks in one.

Now, fly right into the moment-without the stress.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Galaxy of Stars stormed Divine Design Gala's red carpet for Project Angel Food

By Laura Medina

That night's Honoree, Kelly Osbourne speaking with Rocco G. of Fashion News Live and David Arquette chatting with CNN.

After nineteen years running, Project Angel Food's Divine Design Gala is now a well-established holiday tradition in the City of Angels. Their glamorous Gala initiates their fabulous Divine Design Sale that commences the holiday season in Los Angeles.

In this current economic climate, warm-hearted celebrities from entertainment and fashion showed up to provide tremendous support for people who needs Project Angel Food more than ever.

As this year's "Women of Style" Honoree, Kelly Osbourne was truly touched by the honor-and what the charity consistently does every year, every month, and every week.

"It's a real honor for me. I've been excited for this event for a very long time...Not just because of the award but for what this charity does."

"The awareness it brings, the support, it give for people suffering with terminal illness, not just AIDS, but from cancer as well, which is very, very fabulous."

"They make 13,000 meals a week. I was in the kitchen this morning. I was up really early morning out there."

"I knew what they did but I never realized the quality of the food and how much they put into it and the nutritional value of every meal and how they design it for each person. It's just fantastic."

Debi Mazar discusses the importance of Project Angel Food in this day and age.

"Project Angel Food is so relevant in this day and age. We have forty-five million people who are dealing with domestic hunger in our own country....People are cutting between WIC and food stamps,...there's isn't enough for their babies' formulas, force to cut it in half."

"Hence, you know, babies are not being well-nourish. The sick are left not to be well-nourish because they cannot afford their food. Organizations, like these are very important."

"I'm a cook myself. I feed the homeless. I'm very happy to be here in honor of what their mission is, tonight and to respect friends of mine who I lost to AIDS...A lot of people can't afford health care and they can't afford food. When you're sick, you don't want to cook. In order to get better, you need your nutrients so, it's very important."

In regards to Project Angel Food and attending events such as the annual holiday Gala, "It's a loving organization. It's non-profit. All the proceeds go directly to the people. It's about getting the word out there and educating people."

Peter Gurski, Project Angel Food Board Member and Divine Design Co-Chair.

The person who can really bring it home and reinstate the charity's importance during this current economy is Peter Gurski, Project Angel Food Board member and Divine Design Co-Chair.

"More relevant than ever in this climate. Even though there are more modern medicines for who are sick, people develope an immunity to all sorts of drugs. Especially in this economy, when they get sick, they rely more on us because we don't charge for meals. We cook and deliver them. Frozen food program...we give clients a whole week's worth of meals all at once or daily. We offer breakfast options. We feed the kids if they're sick. We cover the whole spectrum now. We take care of people who are sick from AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening diseases."

David Meister, fashion designer, being interviewed by CNN.

To wrap this up, long-time supporter and loyal contributer to Divine Design Sale and Project Angel Food supporter, fashion designer, David Meister reminds folks how important the charity is today and how great the charity sale is in supporting the organization.

Pondering on how Divine Design Sale and Project Angel Food changed over the nearly twenty years,..."Especially with any AIDS-related charities, it kinda dwindled away. It's still here. It hasn't gone away."

As for doing your holiday shopping at Divine Design Sale's 50% to 90% off discounts..."It's still important we remember that. It's important to give back. It's a great cause. Everyone gets great deals, great shopping. All the money goes to such a great cause. All the proceeds go back to the cause. Amazing."

"They do such great work, Project Angel Food. It means a lot to these people having their food delivered."

"Been giving to Divine Design for five to six years...I really changed."

"I think it's just as important, always been such a pleasure."

If you want to jump into the joy without the guilt, shop this Saturday's 70% off sale, Sunday's 80% off sale, and the finale's 90% off sale on Monday, from fur to furniture to Kiehl's skincare.

Remember, every $5 dollars spent goes into cooking a meal to feed a sick person back to bouncing health.

Think of Divine Design as glitz without the guilt.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook by James Danziger

By Laura Medina

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was noted for a lot of things and innovations spanning decades but this celebratory tome profile for a slight but significant contribution he made to the fashion world-the mood board.

Specifically, he turned the humble scrapbook into a fashion industry standard, the mood board. A visual rough draft to keep art directors and designers in-line and on track of their visionary goal and as an aid to keep their concepts and collection concise, Mr. Beaton took intimate snapshots, inspiring photographs, and significant keepsakes, organize them into a cohensive idea, making him the iconic fashion photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue.

His hobby of scrapbooking or "mood boarding," proved to be invauable aid when he later moved on as a stage and film designer for the classically-styled but glamorously durable "Gigi" and "My Fair Lady."

The craft of scrapbooking or the art of "mood boarding" taught him the skill of composition, juxaposition, assemblage, and color and style coordination in unifying themes and ideas.

Great for art direction for fashion magazines and set design for movies.

As a holiday present and a homage to Sir Cecil, Assouline and author, James Danziger (Picture Editor of "The London Sunday Times Magazine" and Vanity Fair's Features Editor who championed Annie Leibovitz) compiled these insightful and rare compositions from Sir Beaton's private collection then makes them available to the public for the first time.

One more reason to throw in the glitter.

Little Girls and Big Girls love vegan The Painted Nail by Nubar

By Laura Medina

When Katie Cazorla wanted to open her own nail salon, obviously she was searching for the right nail polish.

From a flyer and a good-word-of-mouth, Ms. Cazorla was led to Nubar, a guy who manufactures nail polish for all sorts of companies.

Those two came at the right time and the right place.

Nubar's cousin was diagnosed with lymph node cancer. The chemotherapy ravaged her self-esteem as well as her immune system. What is even more heart-breaking due to the weaken immune system, the typical chemicals in mainstream cosmetics are too harsh and too toxic for a cancer patient.

He could not stand watching his cousin suffering from depression. He knew if he can manufacture a nail polish that is gentle and safe enough for cancer patients; he can perk them up with a little something to make him and patients, like his cousin, happier.

However, he met resistance from the mainstream retailers and companies in supplying the public with carcinogenic-free, Toulene-free, and phthalate (DBP)-free nail polish; who were not convince that something safe and healthy can be glamorous and glitzy. Nubar was dishearted they were interested in the buck than people's health.

It was all the matter of meeting the person at the right time at the right place.

This is where Cazorla came in. When she found out that Nubar can and does make nail polish safe enough to nibble on. She convince him why supply only to nail salons when you can take it retail? When she learned how much it costs to make then sell at a reasonable price point for under ten dollars, Cazorla envision a viable market where both little girls starting to wear cosmetics can play safely with nail polish and big, health-conscious girls can still be glamorous without worrying about the toxicity of their makeup.

This new endeavor is now named, "The Painted Nail by Nubar," honoring the man who diligently concocted a new and safer nail polish formula that is vegetarian-based.

They threw a big send-off at Ron Robinson Apothia on Melrose almost a month ago where little girls and big girls partake organic, vegan The Painted Nail manicures, juicy cocktails, and a candy land of Jelly Bellies, lollipops, and cupcakes.

Katie and Nubar do prove that yes, you can be good to your health and the environment while having fun with your nails.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lanvin for H&M for both Women & Men

By Laura Medina

It's coming...Lanvin for H&M is going hit stores this Saturday.

Here is a sneak peek of the ensemble, the pieces, and the prices.

This above ensemble combined is the same price as one of the dresses. With the red pumps, the t-shirt dress, shades, the black tulle crop jacket, and chain belt, it costs $248.80.

Joining a short but select line of designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Lanvin's Artistic Director, Alber Elbaz was excited about designing a capsule collection for the mass retailer in reaching a new and bigger audience.

Like most haute couture designers today, they are now wondering how to translate their skills, knowledge, and expertise to a wider audience that demands top-notch quality at more grounded prices,..."What does luxury mean today? Can luxury be exclusive and democratic at the same time?"

Expressing the challenge of transferring haute couture craftsmanship to a wider market without sacrificing taste, "How can we translate the essence of luxury to the a wider audience? The world around us is changing rapidly and I find myself asking these questions more and more."

He explains the process as..."Designer's work is usually tailored to a very small group of people, but the collection of H&M was about trying to translate the dream of luxury to the masses. It was almost like going back to school for me."

Both women-and men can have that taste of luxury, just in time for the holidays when anyone needs something special and extra.

For New Year's Eve, there is a tad touch of Lanvin's Alber Elbaz from the quirky but cute blue loafers and floppy indigo bow tie but the tuxedo suit should be a wardrobe foundation for any man.

Due to construction delays, this Friday's official opening of its largest store in Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, has been pushed back to December 10th, from 7pm to 11pm. Hopefully, there will still be some enough Lanvin left for this mega-store opening. It's open to the public but you can rsvp through the hotline, (877) 303-4396.

A total of 200 H&M stores worldwide will premiere this exclusive line this Saturday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The World of Assouline

By Laura Medina

One of Assouline's founders, husband, Prosper Assouline & American Dior Book.

When Ms. Martine Assouline was pregnant with her child, it was not the only thing gestating.

Her pregnancy gave her the time to ponder and ask her husband, Prosper-who was one of the best art director she knows-what he thought of starting up a publishing company that makes books they can never find or books that reflect their passion for the arts, fashion, travel, and culture in the best way possible which were difficult to locate at that time.

This is how they gave birth to Assouline, the erudite publishing house that publishes volumes dedicated to the developments of Chanel and lifestyle folios such as "The Gypset," (a picture book on the Jet Set who live in remote, exotic places) and decor, "American Designers at Home." They even put a recipe book by American designers, "American Fashion Cookbook."
Prosper Assouline working the crowd at the South Coast Plaza boutique.
It was never an idea of business, but it was an idea of creativity.
"Too, to touch new themes, new ways to make them. Little by little, we started by that."
Assouline Publishing is all about pleasure-what make Martine and Prosper happy-as in they focus on publishing books on subjects that brings a smile on their faces, whether it be home decor or gastronomy or fashion. They want to take their favorite subjects and do it well.
They went from a little distributor to one of the world's best distributor came to them and said they were interested in Assouline. At this stage, the Assoulines can take risks on bigger projects with service. They also became international very quickly.
Soon, the big American publishers were buying their books and coming in.
This was the signal for the Assoulines to come over to America and take it in bites-gourmet bites.
The Assoulines partnered with Chef Ludo Lefebvre of West Hollywood's Bastide French Bistro and turned it into an intimate bistro-cum-bookstore on the hidden strip of Melrose Place.
Martine, " We met the chef, he's a lover of good wine and good books...We decided to get together over a shared pleasure of good books, food, and wine. A good combination."
What happened was their first West Coast outpost, a treasure trove of a bookstore nestled inside a French bistro.
"The is the first time we have it this way. It wasn't our idea but an of Lefebvre. But, I love it."
"This place is gorgeous. This place is spectacular because it has souls and charm. It is all about what we like. It is all about library. It is all about installation. It is all about pleasure. It was the right place."

The "American Dior" Book Launch party

As Assouline becomes more well-known, Martine and Prosper feel it is time for them to come to America to make their own creation with their own name.

It was also when the people behind South Coast Plaza, bereft of a bookstore, met the Assoulines at a dinner party and were pleasantly startled they carry the brands that the couple profiled in their books. It was a match made in heaven.

The opening party for the new incarnation of Assouline was hotly anticipated. Assouline Bookstore has grown into an art gallery and luxury goods boutique centered around books.

They felt very welcomed here since they are surrounded by the fashion houses they did books on, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Dior, and they press every book there was on Chanel.

They are a perfect addition to South Coast Plaza.

The accouterments, they sell, are there to support a personal library and they are limited edition replicas of artifacts from the Musee de Louvre, such as the sculptured bookends. Even the carpet and couches are for sale.

In the back, they have an art gallery of rare map prints.

This particular Assouline boutique is the only one that offers building a personal library for the home, whether it be a bookshelf or a whole one in a home. It is the literary version of interior design, centered around books.

It is the only Assouline store to sell gifts and rare sets of books nestled in their own book trunks, such as the American Dior line.

A rare limited set of books focusing on the relationship between America and Dior. Martine and Prosper only printed out ten of these books. Each book is a linen-covered gift box. The behind the front cover houses a gift wrapped in red with a white bow. The very first page holds a hand-printed silk scarf of the American Flag by Dior.

On the tonight of the "American Dior" party, three people already bought three of these books.

Assouline, whether it's a hidden library in a French bistro in West Hollywood or a full-service gift/book boutique to serve a bibliophile's dream library (it is obvious Martine and Prosper are book lovers), is a place where books are treasures.