Thursday, July 29, 2010

Get Set with Sosume & Delicate Raymond for Summer then Fall

By Michelle Zimmerman, NY Correspondent

Sosume White One Shoulder Dress
Now, that you’re donw retooling your diet and exercise routine, it’s time to finally reap the rewards.

Slip into Sosume’s soft and light one shoulder white dress for the arriving White Parties at Inventory NYC on 237 Lafayette Street.

Sosume's Gray One Shoulder Dress

You don’t have to save that gorgeous dress for special occasions. The same dress comes in gray that you can wear alone for this summer or done hip with skinny denim or leggings and boots for early fall.

Paulina Petkoski and Rachel Kozub, Sosume's Designers

The design half of Sosume, Paulina Petkoski and Rachel Kozub, are environmentally-aware as they are style-conscious.

Sosume’s Spring/Summer collection 09/10 predominately makes use of micro-modal, a natural fibre from the European Beech tree sourced from Milan, not only because it is one of the softest, sheerest fabrics available, but also because the fabric production is sustainable. The process of the modal procedure has won an European Union environmental award because it only uses a tenth of the amount of water used in cotton production, and yields ten times the quantity of fabric.

Similarly, their Fall/Winter 2010 collection includes unique blends of natural fibres mixed with cashmere and silk sourced from one of Tokyo’s award-winning sustainable mills, and 100% organic wool from mill in Uruguay that is certified by the Organic Trade Association.
This come from their desire for the most organic yet the most luxurious fabrics they can find, a mere two years ago.
They enfused the drapey fabric with cutting-edge tailoring and construction with Rachel's training in pattern development and assistant styling for Olga Kapustina, Albright Fashion Library,, and various New York fashion shows and Paulina's background in interning with Pamella Rolland and Fashion Snoops for an avant-garde but wearable line that can be adopted by a Los Angeleno hipster or SoHo/Brooklyn Bohemian. This trans-travel mindset probably came from the fact that Sosume is an Australian foursome who work, live, and travel back and forth between Brooklyn and Sydney.
Not bad for two designers who are still completing their education at Fashion Institute of Design as we speak.

Delicate Raymond's Monogram Line
If you want to spice up Sosume's new basics with some precious but accessible, Delicate Raymond Jewelry Sample Sale by Michelle Zimmerman is happening tomorrow. Just in time for the Last of Summer festivities.
Named after her grandfather, Raymond, one of Delicate Raymond's most popular line is the Vintage Monogram Line, hand engraved necklaces and bracelets that are customized with your choice of loved ones names or initials.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Need to be Fit to be Summer Fabulous

Top, Bethenny Frankel in Alo. Middle, Oscar Mimosa Activewear. Bottom, stylist Dani Stahl snacking on Pop Chips.

In the second segment of Summer Health and Fitness, here are some top tips from nutritionist to the supermodels prepping for Miami Fashion Week, swimsuit central, stylish activewear created for the fitness-conscious fashionista, and a guilt-free snack that you can tuck into your tote.
Before you can look smashing at the White Parties, much less the beach, or if you dare, a white bikini on a yacht, your figure and confidence have to be in tip top shape.
An accomplished yoga fan, Bethenny Frankel of “Bethenny Getting Married?” and “The Real Housewives of New York,” melted the baby fat away in no time in Alo Sport’s $38 V-Neck Sports Bra and $59 yoga pants. They either at or Nordstrom closest to you.
Oscar Mimosa, an activewear line by Australian, Sarah Harte, infuses dance-inspired and avant-garde construction to the basic activewear in unitards and off-shoulder camisoles with criss-cross straps in high tech, lightweight fibers that evaporates sweat and shields against UV rays while snapping back into shape. They’re Italian fabric specifically manufactured for the rigors of swimming and hard-core yoga. They are a hit among pilate fans and yogis.
You can’t drive on an empty tank. Worse yet, you’ll kill your metabolism into a slow simmer if there is no fuel to burn.
With contribution from “The Daily,” Front Row, Paul Lehr, founder and CEO of Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa with low-fat, high-flavor, and well-rounded “Bikini Cuisine” by Chef Susan Irby, put together, will make you, as “The Daily” says it, “Bikini Babe for Life.”
This is how Mr. Lehr advice for those models baring it on the catwalk during Miami Fashion Week, itsy-bitsy swimwear central…
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRITIKIN:1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 2. Learn how to read labels, and never believe the front of a package. The bottle of olive oil spray claims, “Zero Fat, Zero Calories.” But if the serving size is under ½ a gram, the manufacturer can round down, so the serving size is reduced and the calorie and fat content becomes “zero.” 3. Don’t drink your calories. You will fill up much more quickly by eating apples than having a glass of apple juice. A Coke won’t curb your appetite, and you’re likely to eat a cookie afterwards to fill you up. 4. What do you want? A diet full of fiber and nutrients. Your grandmother used to say, 'Eat oatmeal, it’ll stick to you'—and she was right. Egg white omelets are another great option. It may not make you feel quite as full as oatmeal, but you can add mushrooms and other vegetables and make yourself a feast. 5. A better choice some of the time is much better than none of the time. You will have a milkshake or a cheeseburger on occasion, but as long as you’re making better choices some of the time—ideally more of the time—then you will be better off. Do me the service of starting with a giant salad filled with vegetables and a light dressing, followed by a bowl of vegetable chili.You will feel so full that even if you do have the pate-wrapped bacon, you will have far less.6. Salt is a serial killer that has escaped prosecution for years. Finally, everyone else is realizing that the guidelines should be, like we say, 1,500 milligrams or less per day. Hypertension and diabetes happen to many, many people. 7. Olive oil is another food that isn’t as healthy as it seems. On a salad, it’s as bad as Ben & Jerry’s. Yes, it’s healthier than butter, but in terms of your waistline, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Olive oil is not helping you lose weight. 9. Get the real information and make better choices. Which has the most sodium: cornflakes, a loaf of bread, or a bag of chips? Many people would pick the chips, but in reality, the cornflakes have the highest sodium content, followed by the bread, and then the chips. 9. While people may lose weight on these crazy fad diets, they certainly won’t be healthier. The goal isn’t to be thinner in your casket. 10. Eating more doesn’t necessarily mean you will gain weight. Pritikin guests often say they are eating more than ever before—and losing weight. It’s all about calorie density. If you’re filling up on foods that aren’t packed with calories, then you will be satisfied and not ravenously hungry. We find a lifestyle that will keep you feeling full, because a very hungry person will lose will power and indulge immediately.
You’ll reward yourself more than slipping into that sexy white number, you can keep on partying by constantly fueling on crunchy but not fried Pop Chips. Every fashion industry professional, whether they be models, editors, or even he-man male photographers rely on Pop Chips to keep their adrenaline and insulin up and ready and steady to carry them from event to another. Besides, they’re fun to munch!
Now, you’re ready to face the Season in your fabulous self.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Bikini Chef, Quick, Light, Easy Meals for Summer

By Laura Medina

Chef Susan Irby
It’s Bikini Season. It’s a season of dread for those too busy to diet and exercise ahead of time months ago, plus, you’re running around in the sweat and the humidity and squeezing into that swimsuit, much less a bikini or a swimming trunks and briefs, only packs on more stress. Oh, what a girl or boy to do?

Chef Susan Irby, aka “The Bikini Chef,” knows you can still enjoy summer without starvation and still have fun with flavor, none of the fat. Her cookbook, "Substitute Yourself Skinny," proves this.
Left, Susan in real life. Right, Chef Susan Irby in special cut-out chef jacket.
She wants to bring back the carefree summers she enjoyed growing up at her family’s lake house in Alabama, swimming and water skiing all day then cooking and grilling on the lake side, all in their bikinis and swimsuits.

Years later, as an accomplished cookbook author and teacher, her students can’t get over how slender and fit Chef Irby is. Once she told them she only eats her traditionally rich Southern fare for the holidays when you ought to eat them and eats healthy and light within reasonable portions, on top of an active lifestyle, her students requested more healthy versions of her satisfying but light versions of her Southern favorites, such as the Slidin' Home BBQ Pork Sliders.
This is how "Substitute Yourself Skinny" Cookbook by Chef Susan Irby, "The Bikini Chef," came about.
During one of her demostrations/book signings, her sliders were so rich in flavor and tender, they sure fooled this writer but they're half the calories of normal pork sliders.
Left, Chef Irby autographing her cookbook. Right, the chef in action.
For Chef Irby, it is all about hitting all four senses (flavor, texture, smell, visual) in order to feel fulfilled, satisfied, and joyful-without guilt while being healthy and relieved without being deprived or going insane with hungry.
The key to being healthy and fed is through texture and flavor substitutions and enhancements. She also wants to dispel the notion that nonfat mayonnaise and yogurt are tasteless. When used with fresh herbs and spices, such as lemon zest and black pepper, these make great all-natural fat substitutes. So, does replacing egg yolks with egg whites or using won ton wrappers in place for puff pastry for that crunch. If you want even more crunch in your mouth, she suggests baking, instead of frying. For her Chicken Pot Pie recipe, you still have that authentic crisp of the puff pastry as the lid only and the creamy filling, in an individual-sized pot, without the extra pastry or calories. No food wasted.
Fibers stand in for starchy carbohydrates, responsible for fat and diabetes. The chef noted that fibers help break down proteins and carbohydrates.
She wrote this book for the average American on the go, like herself, Chef Irby wrote this cookbook with ingredients that the everyday person can find and afford at the neighborhood supermarket. Both her and "French Women Don't Get Fat" author, Mireille Guiliano, agreed on using fresh herbs and produce and portion control but Chef Susan stocks her cookbook with American favorites, new and old then uses nonfat ingredients and spices that anyone in surburbia can find at their local super store, all within budget. Think of "Substitute Yourself Skinny" as the American version of "French Women Don't Get Fat."
Knowing this is the dog days of summer, Chef Susan was kind enough to provide two recipes. The minimal cooking one is already in her "Substitute Yourself Skinny," cookbook, the "Lots o' Flavor Chicken Salad on Papaya Boat," and for dessert, this super duper exclusive scoop she forgot to include in the book, her Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookies, just for this publication.
Lots o' Flavor Chicken Salad on Papaya Boat
Nonstick cooking spray
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 2-inch cubes
1/4 cup water, or as needed
1/2 cup nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup green seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 papayas, halved and seeded
Spray a medium skillet with nonstick spray and heat on medium. Add the chicken and 2 tablespoons water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, adding water as needed to prevent burning. Cook the chicken until done, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, salt, pepper, and lemon zest, and whisk until well combined. Toss with the grapes, celery, and chicken until well coated. Spoon equally into the papaya halves.
This dish examplifies the sweet and savory from the black pepper and honey and the decadent textures of creamy and crunchy from the yogurt, grapes, and celery. The halved papaya itself is four ounces coupled with four ounces of the salad. Together, they are eight ounces of a well-balanced meal, making healthy fun.
Now, here is the super duper exclusive dessert just for us "The Arriviste" readers-only here!
Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
2 cups (12-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecan halves (optional)
Preheat oven to 375*. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, stir together. Separately, in a large mixing bowl or mixer, beat butter, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and amaretto. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans (if using). Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cookies will be flat and should be crunchy yet chewy. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes approximately 24 to 30 cookies.
According to Chef Irby, there are no "evil" or "good" foods. There are foods you prefer to eat daily and there are foods you reserve for the holidays. Both her and Ms. Guiliano agree food is meant to be enjoyed and savoured, all within in reasonable amounts and quality.
Like her lake house summers, her "Bikini Cuisine" is good, clean fun.
To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you have to change your mindset, you can have a little bit of everything; healthy cooking and eating aren't boring, and don't be too hard on yourself.
Sometimes, a mistake is an invention of something new. She accidentially forgot to toss in eggs for her old chocolate chip cookie recipe. Relaxing with wine, she tossed in some amaretto instead and this is how her egg less but chewy and crispy Amaretto Chocolate Chip Cookies were baked up. Great for all our food sensitive readers who don't want to feel left out.
If you can't get enough of Chef Irby's fit and fulfilling meals and want or need something to whip up for the holidays, her next book, "Boost Your Metabolism" Cookbook is set to be released in September, just in time for Fall recipes and fancy but fit meals like the rich but not fat stuffed filet mignon-yummy.
The Bikini Chef now provides recipes for the cocktail dress season. You can be "bikini fit" year around.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Breather

By Laura Medina
Charles Alonzo, T. Christopher's business partner in Sagaponack Plaid Trunk
For all my New York readers, looking for a slightly cooler, sunnier, but way more glam gateway from the skycrapers. For my LA fans, want something for your surf-to-sidewalk lifestyle without a wink or doing extra loads of laundry. Perhaps, you're the jet-setter/global trekker who just wants to get the most mileage out of his clothes, all in a carry-on.
Los Angeles Sports Club on Santa Monica Avenue in West Hollywood has what you all are searching for a gateway or an escape or the luxuriously louche. They are the first, in the West Coast, to carry T. Christopher, a line of swimsuits that do double-duty. Speedos, they are not.
Designer, Thomas Christopher Alderink, and his business partner, Charles Alonzo, met many a man who can't find appropriate beachwear to socialize in and they're tired of packing extra clothes that fail to translate well from the sand to the restaurant. This is how T.Christopher was born.
The Fowler Broadshort
They offer the same consideration and respect to swimwear as they do to contemporary wear in fine but high tech fabrics that dry fast. The multi-way stretch moves with the body. The center back seams contour the seat for a better fit. For security, they replace the ties and the velcro with a brass snap button. T. Christopher mentality is this, their man lives in metropolitian areas but is a global trekker who lives in NY or LA but travels to Mykonos and who wants to be comfortable regardless wherever he goes.
The Coney Trunk
They want the fabric, the patterns, and the trims to coordinate with button-down shirts (like Charles did with his Sagaponack Trunk), tees, and polo shirts, easing the cross-over from sand to street. When the weather is steamy, they are offering a refreshing option to jeans and trousers.
Charles' ensemble was perfect for hanging at the Chateau Marmont.

He and Thomas are the living embodiment of the T.Christopher Men, busy business men or global trekker who are looking for beachwear that can do double-duty, functional in the water yet socially apt. for the occasion. In spite of where he lives, staying, or traveling, the T. Christopher man can always rely on the brand’s classic styling and tailored construction. The seams are lined to stop chafing.
There are 4 styles: Brief Cut, Square Cut, Trunk (Mid-Thigh Shorts), and the longest, Broadshorts. Different cuts for different situations. They got the more conservative cuts, such as the Broadshorts and the Trunks but they also offer the more “European” cuts like the briefs and the square cuts. Not racy. Not illict. Not sloppy. Not slobbery. T.Christopher aims for fun but elegant construction with traditional concealment with fun styling.
Watermill Square Cut
Their broadshorts and trunks do double-duty as streetwear, everyday Berumds or shorts in plaid or solid colors, you can pair with a button-down shirt, a plain tee, or a polo. The male version of resortwear.
Their broadshorts give more coverage with deeper inseam and side seams, capped above the knee, showing more of the leg. A tapered look. Really big in the surfing community. The tapered tailoring makes it more polish off the beach.
Trunks have shorter inseam and side seams. Brief has no inseam. A deeper side seam than a bikini. More exposure. Still has a center back seam. It's more form-fitting for a better fit.

The Square Cut has an inseam to give it a square shape to it. A retro-feel. A little more coverage than the brief, giving it more substance to it. Also has a center back seam to contour the seat for better shaping. Slightly more coverage than the brief.

Bedford Brief.

Their fabrics are high-quality, sourced from France and Italy. European mills. But, everything is pieced, constructed, then sewn together in New York’s Garment District. They’re very passionate about overseeing the construction process because they proud themselves on maintaining a very strict quality control. It’s up to par and what their customers expect when they pay at a premium price point.

The patterns are quasi-Roxy or quasi-Pucci or Missioni. The Missioni-zigzag pattern for the Watermill Square Cut is a knit.

Now, that you settled on a couple of shorts, where to crash? How about the Mondrian Hotel on Sunset Boulevard?

Karen Meena, on the right, celebrating the opening of Ron Robinson Pop Up Shop at Mondrian.

If you checked in, you'll find a really cool gift shop that is uniquely LA, Ron Robinson Pop Up Shop.

Better yet, the pop up shop saves you the trip from trying to locate Ron Robinson at Melrose. The shop comes to you.

Unlike most hotel gift shops crammed with tacky knickknacks, they actually have stuff that you and your friends can actually use with a distinctive LA style.

Ron's own Apothia brand of bath and hand washes in scents evoking amora of Malibu or the Hollywood Hills. Cool yet protecting Coola Sun Protection that feels matte and light on the skin for times when you want to go shopping. Curated coffee table books on LA culture to read by the poolside. Eco-friendly water pitchers and mobile clocks are souvenirs that your friends really want. Better yet, these souvenirs you want to keep for yourself.

Remember, this is West Hollywood. Can't return home without this rhinestone bra.

Ron Robinson at Mondrian wouldn't certainly offer you snowglobes.

Now, you have shorts and a place to hideaway with a shop that offers you a comfort of home.

Better take that break soon, the pop-up store will disappear by the end of December.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Judith Lieber debuting "Don't Forget" Pendant for Haiti's Women

By Michelle Zimmerman, NY Correspondent
Judith Lieber's "Don't Forget" Pendant
Seven months has passed since that horrible earthquake in Haiti; and conditions have not improved that greatly.
Sadly, the citizens are still living in squalor since the world last focused on them back in January.
Defeated but not forgotten, Judith Lieber and actress/activist, Maria Bello, teamed up to create a sweet and simple pendant that packs a lot of meaning, the "Don't Forget" Pendant.
The president of Judith Leiber, Mary Gleason with "The Arriviste" NY Correspondent, Michelle Zimmerman.
Judith Leiber officially debut the pendant this past Tuesday at their flagship store on 680 Madison Avenue at 61St Street then throw a little welcoming party, dishing up Haitian treats such as crabcake balls and spicy little beef skewers with drinks. Yum. Spoonbread Too provided the delish hors d' oeurve.

Maria Bello with Mary Gleason.

For over twenty years, Bello has championed international women's rights. For the past three years, she has been actively engaged in the challenges facing Haitian women. Since the recent earthquake, Bello has returned over eight times to work in a 50,000-person IDP camp and started a womenʼs clinic to support self-sustainment efforts. Similarly, Judith Leiber is a success story that exemplifies womenʼs empowerment.

"Gossip Girl's" Kelly Rutherford in the middle, surrounded by Mary's daughters.

The limited edition Judith Leiber Donʼt Forget pendant features a clear crystal ring, faceted pewter and the Donʼt Forget medallion, which hangs from an adjustable leather cord and will retail for $95. The initial designs were produced in the United States with plans for the subsequent necklaces to be assembled by Haitian women overseen by Bello. Gleason explains, “As an entrepreneur, I have always been a proponent of womenʼs empowerment. We designed the Donʼt Forget pendant with the goal of putting these strong women back on their feet.” She adds, “Mariaʼs passion for Haiti is contagious and it is an honor to work with her.”

Mary goofing around with Wyclef Jean's brother, DJ Sedeck Jean.

Today Gleason, a self-made business leader, is at the companyʼs helm. Bello explains, “The partnership with Judith Leiberwas a natural one. Mary immediately understood my mission to improve the lives of women. The company is helping put these gallant leaders back on their feet so that they can be an integral part of the rebuilding Haiti.”

Only 1,000 pendants were intially made for this campaign and all the of profits will go to Femmes En Democratie, a chapter of Vital Voices Global Partnership based in Haiti.

The pendant is available for purchase at all Judith Leiber stores and at

Vital Voices is a leading organization that gives women the tools to fulfill their potential in the
areas of economic and entrepreneurial opportunity, political participation, and legal/human rights. Its Haitian chapter, Femmes En Democratie, supports thousands of women who continue to be devastated by the earthquake of January 2010.

At the party, Ms. Zimmerman, the intrepid reporter had picked up some insider scoops.

On Fashion's Night Out in September, Judith Leiber will be selling 100 bags for $100 each with the retail value of $2, 500 each.

Keep your eyes out sooner, there might be a Los Angeles version arriving soon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The New Urban Republic Spreads Out

By Laura Medina

Urban Republic's Peter Rhima hanging with "The Real L-Word" star, Mikey Koffman in their
URCLS04-Ivory Wovens Shirt.
Packing up for Asia, battling with a cold, and still basking in the glow of Los Angeles Fashion Weekend, Urban Republic’s Creative Director, Peter Rhima is in one heck of a good mood.
The response to the latest Fall 2010 collection has been so positive, the cold doesn’t hold him back from showing in Toyko and Hong Kong.

Marching in step with Autumn, Mr. Rhima said Urban Republic’s backbone is the military-influenced urbanwear that is distilled in a clean and lean aesthetic that will never change for its loyal fans.

Urban Republic's Military Shirt Jacket at LA Fashion Weekend Fall 2010.

But for Fall’s colder and shorter days, he’s offering a more somber color palette in burgundy for the shirts, darker shade of khaki, and the timeless black. For the colder season, he provides protection from the elements in wool jackets woven out of high gauge wool blends. For ease, fit, and movement, the woven shirts are one hundred percent cotton with spandex, warm enough to trap the body’s heat yet flexible enough to globe trek from one urban environment to another, as in Peter’s case.

For rainy days, they have windbreakers in rip-stop nylon.

To make this current crop of collection a little special, Urban Republic adds subtle custom trims in buttons and zippers. This is where Mr. Rhima stops. He absolutely prides on Urban Republic focus on longevity, quality, and authenticity-no prints.

Mr. Rhima’s pride and joy is the Nylon Quilted Flight/Bomber Jacket, diamond quilted for Fall, “Very nice jacket, goes well with the denim.”

Denim and Military wear always go hand-in-hand, according to Stylesight's menswear editor, Michael Fisher. He noted that the Flight Jacket has always been there. What is overlooked is chinos crossing over from World War II to casual mainstream since the Fifties. “Trend trackers always use it (Military wear) as fashion that “trickle up” from the streets to the runway.”

Speaking of denim and twill, Mr. Rhima, for trousers, is doing them in gray, brown, black, and drab olive green. This also connects him to his Asian trip.

While in Japan, he’s checking on the denim mills there. Like a good bottle of liquor, Mr. Rhima insists on only using premium Japanese denim. The fabric speaks for itself, again no need for screaming prints to distract folks.

Mr. Fisher verifies Urban Republic’s mission statement, “People are seeking lasting quality and longevity.” What industry professionals call, “Quiet Chic.”

Urban Republic’s style manifesto echoes the emergence of “Quiet Chic,” concentration on a cleaner construction, the quest for well-fitted clothes, what Mr. Fisher says, “The way it is supposed to look, originally meant to be” He reflects what the Urban Republic aficionada are searching for, embracing a slimmer silhouette. However, neither man would call the cut “skinny.” According to Mr. Fisher, “skinny” is a bad word in retail. Men tend to prefer the word, “fitted” or “tailored.”

“The statement we are making is “Less Is More,” Peter Rhima.

LeAnn Nealz, American Eagle Outfitters’ chief design officer, echoes that sentiment,”…military styling “feels destined to survive in your wardrobe for more than one season. It’s absolutely going to sell.” (“Fashion’s Military Invasion Rolls On.” Ruth La Ferla. The New York Times. Sunday, February 21, 2010).

With its sleeker but classic design, Urban Republic’s enthusiasts are well-traveled and culturally-attuned people who go up to age thirty-five with a fine-tuned eye for quality and details. With their unquenchable thirst for knowledge and information, much like Mr. Rhima himself, they seek stylish but timeless clothes that are functional and fashionable, with a subversive edge but durable enough dashing from one locale to another.

Speaking of subversive, Rick Klotz of Warriors of Radness, mentioned when he and his buddies were punk rockers, they used to wear military wear as a way to thumb their noses at the establishment and the Vietnam War in the Seventies. (“Fashion’s Military Invasion Rolls On.” Ruth La Ferla. The New York Times. Sunday, February 21, 2010).

Well, those same punks in the Seventies have grown into Baby Boomer hipsters with the appreciation of the finer things in life but with the same anti-establishment attitude, equipped including a shaper eye for details.

“Even fifty-five wears my stuff,” Mr. Rhima proudly muses because his customers want classically hip outfits that lets the fabrication, tailoring, and stitching scream out, not the extraneous logos or brands or unnecessary spangles and dangles that used to dominate street and urbanwear, which supports Mr. Fisher’s streetwear observations.

If you want to really want to nail Urban Republic’s aesthetic, it is “Military Contemporary,” refining it for the twenty-first century for global stylistas.

The jaunty “Tomboy Mix” is evident for Urban Republic’s women fans, he still keeps the core military pants in the same serious colors and jackets with epaulettes. But for them, Mr. Rhima makes it specially tailored for them. The quilted nylon bomber jacket is cropped then tosses in hoodies and plaid, woven shirts with stretch for an easier fit.

Mr. Rhima really hits the nail on the head by pinpointing “Tomboy Chic” among women.

During LA Fashion Week, one of his contemporaries, Raw 7, sent out slightly boxy military jackets that are nipped at the waist or under the bust line for a better fit with a wider range of movement; or a more tailored field jacket in khaki, also nipped at the waist but with a pendulum swing in the back for a more feminine feel that adjusts and wear well with existing babydoll tops and empire waist shirts.

According to J. Brand’s Jeff Rudes, the hottest item this Summer is J. Brand’s “Houlihan,” a pair of very sleek, very sex take on cargo pants in drab, regulation Army olive green, stylized with smooth cargo pockets and a tapering fit that ends with zippers on the outside of the legs. They go well with tall, boots-in black or dark brown as well with sandals and sneakers as stilettos. Fitting that they were named after “M.A.S.H.”’s sole women character, “Hot Lips Houlihan.” (“Houlihan, Reporting for Duty.” Cathy Horyn. The New York Times. May 12, 2010).

The consensus among Mr. Fisher and his associates tracking military wear among both genders is that today’s women want the same benefits as the men, well-tailored classic clothes that are durable but edgily stylish for their fast-paced lives. Also with the goal of being taken much more seriously, they’ve been mixing rugged pieces in with their more feminine outfits to balance out the overall look.

In addition, women want to enjoy the latest in fabric technology that the military has to offer for their fashionable but frantic lives, lightweight yet rugged Japanese cotton twill containing two percent Lycra.

This juxtaposition also is a witty play on strict separation on gender-based dress while toning-down an overly-sweet, girly appearance. According to Armani Exchange’s Maria Chen, chief of product development, fashion’s It Girls look incredibly hip and automatically chic by pairing a rough and tough macho field jacket or functional parka with a floaty top or a ruffled dress in dainty prints. (“Fashion’s Military Invasion Rolls On.” Ruth La Ferla. The New York Times. Sunday, February 21, 2010).

Mr. Rudes added that women wanted alternative to another pair of jeans.” (“Houlihan, Reporting for Duty.” Cathy Horyn. The New York Times. May 12, 2010).

America’s War on Terrorism with on-going battles in Afghanistan and Iraq for a decade only increases the awareness and the appreciation of battle gear and clothing, according to Commonwealth Utilities’ Andrew Keegan in Ruth La Ferla’s “Fashion’s Military Invasion Rolls On,” (Sunday, Febuary 21, 2010. The New York Times).

Peter Rhima is one of many hip fashionistas, such as Gwen Stefani of LAMB, Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright jumping on the bandwagon.

Someone who is not afraid to go all out “Military Contemporary,” is Urban Republic’s biggest booster and a star of Showtime’s Summer hit, “The Real L-Word,” Mikey Koffman of The Gallery LA, one of the City of Angels’ premiere fashion promoter. She can’t get enough of the company’s military chic button-down woven shirts, jackets, and denim. Not much for fake insincerity, she calls Mr. Rhima all the time to bring her more stuff.

Urban Republic has already established itself in London and Australia. It’s stretching out into the Asian market but Mr. Rhima is wise enough to quickly point out the different categories there.

Although he’s looking forward to catering to Japan’s market because of its desire for more high-end urbanwear and premium products, Mr. Rhima is really excited about making a splash in Hong Kong. It is a bigger, more cosmopolitan market.

“The shows are huge!”

The Hong Kong fashion district is more diverse with a bigger traffic. It is also a place where he can expand into lightweight jeans, lighter ounce with more stretch. But, he is still sticking with the fitted shirts.

Clean, lean, and distilled, Urban Republic refines it then fills the global fashionistas’ thirst for the sleek and stylish.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Keds Teams Up with Whitney Museum for Customized Sneakers Window at Bloomingdale's

By Michelle Zimmerman, New York Correspondent

Special Limited Edition Keds by Jenny Holzer for the Whitney Museum at Bloomingdale's.

As a special series for our readers, The Arriviste welcomes on board our new New York correspondent, Michelle Zimmerman of the jewelry line, Delicate Raymond, for the summer.

This is her take on a special but fun Keds exhibit at Bloomingdale's 59th Street & Lexington Avenue store, for the Whitney Museum during the summer.

To celebrate Keds' sponsorship of the Whitney's Live presented by Keds Concert Series starting with Christian Marclay: Festival, Keds is launching two limited edition projects: KedsWhitney Collection with conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, and painters Laura Owens and Sarah Crowner -- all artists who have exhibited their work during the famed Whitney Biennial and an interactive design window at Bloomingdale's to customize your sneakers.

The interactive customized design window to decorate your blank Keds to your taste.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Keds this summer,” said Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney Museum’s Alice Pratt Brown Director. “Keds’ commitment to today’s brightest contemporary artists and musicians is extraordinary, and we are extremely pleased that Keds has taken such a prominent role in supporting innovative projects like Christian Marclay: Festival.”

The KedsWhitney Collection by Jenny Holzer, who uses words in a range of media such as LED signs, stone benches, and T-shirts, will launch exclusively at select Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide, as well as on and starting in July 2010 along with the Keds Premium Line.

All Keds’ profits from Jenny Holzer’s line will benefit the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The collections by Laura Owens and Sarah Crowner will follow in September. A portion of the Keds profits from the sales of these shoes will benefit the Whitney Museum of American Art.

"It's great that Keds and the Whitney are friends,” states Jenny Holzer. “I have a renewed respect for shoe designers."

Jenny Holzer’s limited-edition styles will feature a phrase from one of her signature text series, Survival: PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT applied to the Champion®, expected to retail in the range of $70 - $75 per pair.

The window screen in how to personally design your own Keds.
"Bloomingdale's is thrilled with the opportunity to bring this partnership to life through creativity, technology and merchandise," said Jack Hruska, EVP creative services at Bloomingdale's. "Three iconic brands coming together to support the arts is a powerful statement that we are proud to champion."

“We are honored to be partnering with the Whitney Museum of American Art on their summer season, as well as launching the exciting KedsWhitney Collection,” said Kristin Kohler Burrows, President of Keds. “Working with an institution such as the Whitney and artists like Jenny Holzer, Laura Owens and Sarah Crowner is the personification of our new brand proposition and the wide range of creative possibilities Keds offers.”
To mark this triumvirate collaboration between Keds, the Whitney Museum, and Bloomingdale's, -and you want your own artwork on your own sneakers-the storied department store was kind enough to install an interactive design window in a display case holding banks of blank Keds for any passer-by to punch in a couple of patterns to customize their very own sneakers.
Keds is proud call themselves "blank canvas" to express your individuality.
Ked our NY correspondent, Michelle Zimmerman, custom designed.
Michelle Zimmerman had a blast trying out the interactive design window and getting her own personalized pair of Keds.
At this interactive touchscreen-based customization center, where consumers will have the opportunity to design their own Keds sneakers at the window and save their custom designs to finish from their homes.
The interactive Keds design window to customize your "sneaks" will be up and running for, from July 8th to July 21st.
Our NY correspondent loves this pair.
To commemorate both the pairing of Keds' Whitney Summer Sponsorhip and the interactive window, this recent past Thursday, July 8th, a trio of Masters of Fine Arts students did performance art for the press and passer-bys.

Erica Greenwald
MFA artists Jee Young Choi, Natalia Yovane and Erica Greenwald painted artworks and paintings as a "happening" to generate excitement over the launches and collaborations...

Jee painting.
also to reinforce the purpose of the sponsorship and the tradition of the Whitney supporting the arts, past, current, and the future.

Natalia painting as performance art in the display window.
What's more, this is a cute and clever way to introduce emerging artists such as Ms. Yovane, Ms. Greenwald, and Ms. Choi, to the general public. Young ladies to watch out for in the near future.
What a fun way to have our soggy brains soak up some art and culture while getting our own customized Keds.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wear Your Pop Art on Your Heart

By Laura Medina
Lisa Perry's Limited Edition Photo Op Dresses.

July 8, 2010

Even though your body is dying to melt during the heat wave, you better not let your brain evaporate. How well will it turn out when fall comes around with all those cultural events happening around those fashion weeks?

Need a cheat sheet to keep your art history in shape? Here are a couple of really hip cheat sheets to help.

In a collaboration with Sixties’ photographers, Nat Finkelstein and Carl Fischer, Lisa Perry transfers that era’s most iconic silk screenings and portraits of Andy Warhol and his muse, Edie Sedgewick on these cool, cotton-twill A-Line tank dresses and cotton jersey tees to keep you stylish and in the know.

Despite being an heiress, the indie Edie made do with vintage finds, rock-bottom but cute children clothes and family heirlooms, sometimes tossing in current purchases to freshen up her look.

She’ll probably max these dresses and tees by wearing them alone this Summer as a rocking sundress with heels. Then go slinky in skin-tight leggings or skinny jeans with ballet flats or with the same heels. Edie was the inventor of Preppy Punk.

Building upon the same ensemble of tank dress and leggings with flats/heels, she’ll hunt down a vintage Eighties’ padded shoulder blazer with the pointing lapels and some early Tom Cruise Ray-Bans with the tanks. Those two simple pieces ready for Fall.

They’re in stores now for summer at Lisa Perry Madison Avenue, the Sag Harbor stores, and online.

Keith Haring

If nostalgia is hitting you in the heart as a Gen-Xer or pining your for fading childhood as a Gen-Yer, there is a retrospective wave of the Eighties, most importantly the Pop Art King of Eighties's graphics, Keith Haring.

Mighty Fine tee-shirts is honoring the graffiti-turned-artist by reissuing his most iconic designs that took on the issues of AIDS and Anti-Apartheid and works influenced by the growing prominence of Absolut Vodka and Coca Cola.

Mighty Fine's Keith Haring T-Shirt Line.

Keith’s artistic legacy has continued to remain protected long after his death and has emerged as a strong trend in the fashion world. They are waiting to be rediscovered by a new group of in-the-know tweens and teens or young adults yearning for yester year.

Rihanna’s music video "Rude Boy"

Cutting-edge stars who were babies or weren't even born during Mr. Haring's day are digging him back up, struck by his simple but bold and socially-charged scribbles and doodle figurines.

Keith’s influences still live on and his artwork has been seen as an up and coming trend- seen in superstar Rihanna’s latest music video, "Rude Boy."

The "real" "90210," starlet Shenae Grimes

Unlike her "90210" character, Shenae Grimes is a real Los Angeles Hipster.

She's so "un-Hollywood," that's she's knowledgible enough to don a classic Keith Haring Tee with a sweater and glasses, the new LA hipster uniform, the real thing.

Whether you're with "Team Andy" or "Team Keith," you can easily impress folks with your intellectualism in easy, cool style for Summer, obviously that cross over into Fall.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Sultry Women of Summer

By Laura Medina

Cynthia Rowley for Roxy

This scribe is lucky enough to collect numerous swimwear collections that run the gamut from functional feminine to seductively sultry to naughty but nice. There are lines and swimwear to suit everyone's preferences to hit the beach.

Avid surfer and Manhattan chic womens designer, Cynthia Rowley, was thrilled to hook up with Roxy Surfwear after bumping into the vice president on Montauk Beach.

She is one of many women designers, from Joie Rucker and the Juicy Couture girls, Pam and Gela, who hit the waves to relax. When she gained access to Roxy's technical expertise in hard-core surf wear, Cynthia felt the time was right to launch a surfwear collection specifically tailored to the feminine but serious girl and women surfers.

As a woman surfer, she noticed that womens' wetsuits are nothing more than femininized version of the male's wetsuit without considering women's needs and wants out of their surf gear.

Knowing many women surfers are just like her, busy designer during the week who shreds the waves on weekends, Cynthia makes sure her collection fits in a weekend, drawstring bag for one big but easy haul.

Her rift on the wetsuit-turned-dress expanded from vintage Body Glove's version into something that actually works in the waves. Her is a color-block tunic/wetsuit you can pair with a matching boyshort. She even joked her wetsuit/sheath dress tones in at all the right places, like a giant spandex dress. Her coverups can be belted for dressier nights-out-on-the-town.

Cynthia Rowley's Collaboration for Roxy is where fashion splashes with function.

It's out in stores right now, select Barneys, Colette in Paris, Quiksilver in Tokyo, David
Jones in Sydney and 10 Corso Como in Milan. The collection will also be carried at Cynthia Rowley stores,, and

La Perla Swimwear Collection Runway Show at South Coast Plaza's Anqui.

If your weary bones prefer lounging by the pool than trashing the waves, you can slink by in La Perla's sexy new swimwear line.

Sexy studs and suggestive coverups are great for that rooftop pool party at a chic city club or a swank hotel.

The Bad Girls of Summer, Cavortress Swimwear for Summer.

If hitting the strip on a Harley is more your thing but you want a little more coverage and spiced up, Cavortress' Forties and Fifties-inspired swimsuits and figure-friendly bikinis might rev up your engines.

It's vintage Eighties's color, fabric, and patterns meshing with hip-hugging boyshorts and sweetheart necklines and halters that can be paired with tees, tanks, and jeans or Daisy Dukes for a casual with an edge style that can easily stroll from sand to street without missing a beat. The prices don't hurt either. Great for Spring Break.

The Arriviste thinks of everyone and anybody, from the serious surfer who demands serious fashion and function, to the resort socialite, and the easy-going but stressed student on Spring Break, there is a swimsuit for every lifestyle.