Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cynthia Rowley models her Spring 2011 & Fall 2010 Collections on "Gossip Girl"

By Laura Medina

Heads up, Gossip Girls!

The girly but hip Cynthia Rowley is making a guest appearance on next Monday's "Gossip Girl."

On Monday, November First at 9pm on the CW, Ms. Rowley, Elle Magazine's Joe Zee, and Rachel Zoe are dropping by on episode 4.07, "War at the Roses."

In this episode, you can watch Ms. Rowley model her own black-grey ombre ostrich feather skirt, now available in her current Fall/Winter 2010 collection you can pick up at http://www.cynthiarowley.com/; and you catch her also wearing her Glass Cabochon top from her upcoming Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.

Folks just have to love "Gossip Girl" for giving people sneak peeks at incoming collections.

But, you have to watch this Monday's "Gossip Girl" to see it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

FLuXuS is of the Moment.

By Laura Medina

FLUXUS' founder & CEO, Martin Paquette, in the knit cap.

The word, fluxus, is Latin for "to flow."

The clothing brand, FLuXuS, is also a zeitgeist, German for a spirit, a thought or a feeling reflecting the time it exists in that moment or era.

This could not come from a more unassuming guy, such as Martin Paquette.

An offspring of the garment industry and art fan, he was searching for that right name for his new company three years ago that it has to be so right for the moment of the times that will remains timeless, Mr. Paquette rummage through his old art history books looking for the right name.

That's how he fell upon FLuXus, Latin "To Flow," as in to flow with the times.

"When I studied art history, I read a lot of books on Fluxus ten, fifteen years ago. Then, came back to me. Alright, FLuXus, this is it!"

As a garment veteran who sees brands come and go with trends like the tides, "We adopt the trend. We are not married to the trend because when you put your name to a trend, when the trend is over, you're over."

This is it-FluXuS, recognize a trend then go with the times.

FLuXuS is also a name of an art movement in the Sixities (Beck's grandfather was one of the artists), where they use it as an attitude.

The emergence of FLuXuS, the clothing brand, coincides with the arrival of "Mature Goth."

Stylesight's trend tracker, Nina Stotler, reports on the new, evolved gothic style where depth in intelligence and romance with a subtle textures and a simpler silhouettes replaces the ostentatious bling and aggressive sexuality of the previous decade.

Martin's grounded philosophy in providing sophisicated, avant-garde clothes in quality fabrics and tailoring for all ages in affordable price points in locally available stores goes against what Ms. Stotler says, "fluffy consumerism" and frivolous disposal.

Martin describes his brand more as a collective of artists based on mutual respect than a company..."The name, FLuXuS, forces us to collaborate."

When he and "Project Runway Season Three" winner, Jeffrey Sebelia bumped into each other two years ago, they talked and shared a same vision.

Paquette, "He came. We crossed path. We talk. Wow, I'm looking for someone to design the line and take it to the next level. Bring it to where I like it to. He saw it. He brought it. We did a collaboration. We jump into it. Jeffrey is so natural, so talented. Really, make it happen. Boom! You have a designer, let's do it!"

To paraphase Nike, "Let's F*ckin' Do It!

Last year, they did a collaboration. Now, Mr. Sebelia is on board for one year, this year, as head designer.

"Especially Jeffrey and I, we pretty much got the natural side of things...The collaboration, the exchange between Jeffrey and I...we're strong because he brings in the cut, the choice of fabrics, the design side of it. I find a way to create a formula to find a balance to keep it within the range of price point."

Paquette likes the idea that they are bringing haute, avant-garde contemporary wear with Sebelia's haute streetwear-meets-Goth sensibilities to the masses in fine gauge knits at agreeable double-digit prices in mainstream locations, bringing quality streetwear to the people.

Paquette is all about making fashion a leveled playing field. To him, couture is dead. "Couture is over back in the nineteen-forties. YSL said couture is over. I am Pret-a-Porter. The low-end is exploding right now. At the end of the day, we are figthing to bring back the middle class."

He, Sebelia, and the collective make sure they do not skimp on quality.

"Quality is no excuse to raise prices. When capital is in, there's a break in point. If you go too cheap, you gotta cut corners or export manufacturing to China." They keep their manufacturing in Los Angeles.

Supplying cutting-edge fashion at cutting-edge prices is a good exercise, "Staying at $100, you stay creative. You use your brain. Find the right balance. Not spend too much money within a classic looking, stylish in quality...You don't need to spend a thousand bucks."

FLuXuS' current collection reflects the Mature Goth in the comfort of fine gauge knits, leggings, draped cowl necks, extended hoodies, draped tops, cowl neck tunics and cardigans and asymmetrical tanks in sheer knits for layering then topped with a stretch trouser or a fleece motorcycle, crop jacket.

Put them together and the new Goth silhouette comes out, the billowy and the flowing paired with the long and the lean in serious black and gray with calming neutrals of beige and cream.

Paquette calls this versatile for day and night, comfortable enough to move and stylish to be confident. Ms. Stotler calls this, "Flowing Minimalism."

The minimal, matte textures in draping knits are what he calls timeless.

"The material can be worn all day, everyday. Classic Look. Go out at evening. Go out to the beach. You can add that Rock n' Roll look."

"This is always our mission, keep it versatile and polish as possible."

The FLuXuS style in the middle, between the couture artistry of FLuXus conceptual sculptors.

As for just happening to reflect on a current trend,..

"I've seen a lot of companies do that; and my mission is to guide us to adopt trends and make it our own...Yes, we look at trends then take a snapshot of it then follow it with our own instincts. Fifty-Fifty, Fifty percent instinct. Fifty percent trend..."

"I'll tell you one thing about trends...We also can feel social trends in the apparel business. One thing I notice in these dark times, with the recession, we can see that, I am surprised people want to became spicier. They may not want to spend as much but they want something spicy. That spice. It's great for the fashion business,"-what Ms. Stotler call a demand for something edgy and different.

As for how and where people wear FLuXuS, "Medium satisfaction means going out to a party and buying a piece of clothes, less on big house, big things, big items."

As for launching a brand or a new style in uncertain times, Paquette sees opportunities..."People are retreating and retracting now...you gotta embrace it, adopt to it, find a way to make it in dark times."

As for bringing product to market, FLuXuS' product development and delivery as is minimalist as its aesthetics,

"Vertical set-up...We have all our machines. From top to garment in-house. All our warehouse and retail are in the city as well, so freakin' exciting for us."

They use their retail shops scattered in mainstream neighborhoods-they bring the fashion to the people-as experimental labs where I can test and see if a design will fly or not.

"We can wake up in the morning, let's make a pattern, let's cut sample, let's approve at the end of the day, let's ship it to our retail stores, let's test it...Sales, let's bring in a line."

Sarah Sanchez, Head of Visual Communications.

FLuXuS is more than just a clothing brand for Paquette. It goes beyond being a garment company. For him, it is an organic collective that grows and evolves, like the namesake.

"In the end, I like art, sculpture, music. I like mix like a big salad...like to mix it up all and get crazy. I love art."

He not only uses their retail stores as laboratories to test new designs, but also a place to exhibit and display talent, "Blending commerce with creativity."

"I've been pushing my guys to find painters for our retail stores to exhibit. Brand is now trying to affliate with deejays. Build a network of artists which FLuXuS is trying to build, international network of artists."

For his expansion plans, "Start it on a block then take international."

Reinforcing the collective, Sarah Sanchez, Head of Visual Communications, says the clothes are very artsy, very comfortable. "Pretty much anyone can wear it." They're affordable,fun, and comfortable, "Fits into everyone's wardrobe, regardless of your style. Transition from night to day."

She was one of those artists whom Paquette selected, "Worked with Jeffrey and Martin for a year and a half. Worked on their first retail store in Larchmont. From there moved to Visuals. Now, Head of V.C. department."

Sanchez not only styled the two mannequins's ruffled couture newspaper dresses, she does every single window and the grand opening of their Santa Monica Place shop.

FLuXuS is a collective where everyone participates.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Family Night for the Heather Locklear/Richie Sambora Family at White Trash Beautiful

By Laura Medina
With the exception of Getty Photographs and WireImages, all photos by Felix Salzman of Lookbook LA.
Left, Daughter and White Trash Beautiful model, Ava, & mom, Heather Locklear.
People may joke about the extended nature of Los Angeles Fashion Week. Too long to be a week and too short to be a month, the lucky few who managed to survive to the hump day of LA Fashion Week were treated to the biggest bang of the period-Los Angeles Fashion Weekend by Mikey Koffman of The Gallery LA.

Proud dad, Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora, his daughter, Ava, and his fashion design partner, Nikki Lund, in White Trash Beautiful.

Midway between Geoffrey Mac Presentation at SkyBAR last and the unfortunate dismiss of LA Fashion Week Official, Los Angeles Fashion Weekend was the closest thing this city has to a fully functional fashion week, despite it was only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

However remember, it is the quality that counts and LA Fashion Weekend sure packed it in-with intensity.

Singer, Christina Milan.

Regardless of the three-ring circus chaos and the constant bustle and hassle among fashion runway photographers versus the paparazzi, LA Fashion Weekend delivered what it promised-the glitz, the glam, and the celebrities sprinkled over only-in-Hollywood Rocker Chic, thanks to Richie Sambora's and Nikki Lund's collaboration, White Trash Beautiful.

On Opening Night, Friday, Christian Milan set off the weekend with a performance after the swimwear runway show.

"The Girls Next Door" Bridget Marquardt on the red carpet and in the audience.
But LA Fashion Weekend saved the best for the last night, Sunday night.

Sunday's finale was Richie Sambora & Nikki Lund's White Trash Beautiful, reflecting the hottest trend in fashion, celebrating the uniqueness that runs against convention. Their line is the rock n'roll version of wabi-sabi.

A lucky girl sandwiched between "Species" Natasha Henstridge and Fashion News Live, Rocco G.

A-List fim and television stars showed up in support for fellow tv actress, Heather Locklear and her daughter, Ava, who happens to be modeling in her dad's, Richie Sambora, fashion show.

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Tatyana Ali and "Small House" Jodie Sweetin showed up for the fashion show.

While the celebrities located their seats and grinned for the cameras, Ava Sambora was backstage, getting ready for her turn on the catwalk.

Of course, mom, Heather Locklear, and dad, Richie Sambora, with business partner and White Trash Beautiful designer, Nikki Lund, sat in the prime middle rown to watch their daughter strut her stuff in Spring/Summer's breezy but tough collection.

The best way to describe White Trash Beautiful's Spring/Summer 2011 Collection is this...when California Bohemian Girl moves out of the calm confines of Malibu over the hills to the Sunset Strip in Hollywood then toughens up her caftans then glitterize her tunics.

The easy construction and the soft fabrication still exists but the colors have brighten or darken or she coated it in sequins.

Left, rainbow striped one-shoulder maxi dress. Right, lilac sequin sari over black leather leggings.

There is one item that anyone can adapt into their current Fall wardrobe now then extend into Spring...the black leather crop jacket.

Nikki Lund intrepret it in a shawl or a shrug with braided detailing but always in black leather.

Left, you top it over a ruby red satin halter top or dress. Middle, over trapeze silk camisole and shorts. Right, over a triangle bikini top and leather shorts.

Another trend is the use of dusky and desert colors or inner-city, street colors of smoky plums, brown, smeared gray, and taupe in fine fabrics then roughed up for that worn-in patina.

Think of the rocker classic of smoky eyeshadow and liner in beige, brown, and black.

Left, reaching in the Beatles' closet for the Military Band jacket is the "It" jacket of the year.

Right, flowing wrap blouse with bell sleeves in ombre of smoky brown and taupe.

Shorts and black leather leggings grounded this collection.

Ava Sambora recovering from a near spill on the catwalk.

The audience drew grasps when Ava Sambora nearly fell while taking a twist at the end of the catwalk in tottering mules.

Agile and quick, she soon regained her balance and forget the twist then walked off triumphantly.

A daughter of two celebrities is a kid like any other kid or tween. They have their awkward moments too. It is all how you react and carry it off that matters.

After the models parade down the runway, Nikki Lund and Richie Sambora came out for the finale of LA Fashion Weekend, in blowing confetti.

Sure, with each success and growth, there are growing pains. As in when local Los Angeles television station, KTLA (Channel 5 in Los Angeles) have to duke it out for space on the media riser with the New York Post, the LA Times, E!, and Entertainment Tonight's "The Insider" for that precious center shot. The outside outlets were really excited about catching Hollywood, the rock stars, the film and tv stars, and the sexy, Hollywood hipster clothes.

Hopefully, with each new growth spurt, there is a sense of maturity in managing the national and the local news outlet for a more graceful but no less glamorous fashion weekend.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Celebrate Halloween early dressed up as your favorite Desperate Housewive.

It 's that time again-your favorite Desperate Housewives on Wistera Lane are getting vamped up for their Halloween special.

Want a jump-start on your competitors? Do you know your "Desperate Housewives" character/personality?

Bree is manically perky as a varsity cheerleader. Lynette finally has some fun as a flapper in red. Susan is Ragged Anne. The newest housewife, Renee shows up as Marilyn Monroe.

You can order these costumes or something similar from FlirtCatalog.com. If you want to go naughty and cute, say Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz," FlirtCatalog.com has it for you.

If you want a great deal and fantastic time all at once, beat your frenemies by checking FlirtCatalog.com's Pre-Halloween Fashion Show and Party at La Vida this Friday. Come mingle with celebrity hosts and guests. Five lucky guests will win Seven 'til Midnight costume. For the other guests, they can go to FlirtCatalog.com, enter "LAVIDA25" as the checkout code and get 25% discount off your order.

Now, you can make your frenemies green with envy by beating them to a Hollywood Pre-Halloween party in a fabulous costume that's 25% off. How very "Desperate Housewives."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Geoffrey Mac's Aquatic Spring/Summer 2011 Collection, the Andromeda Syndrome is Breaking Him Out of Bondage

By Laura Medina
Sting Ray Gown

What innocently started out as a way to helped out a friend who worked at a latex company, Geoffrey Mac quickly cemented his career as a master latex crafter and pattern-maker. Good enough for Marshall Fields, in Chicago, to present him with an award and give him a quarter of their sales floor to his latex creations.

He was so good at it that Geoffrey soon dug himself into a hole of bondage fetish fanatics and S&M devotees. Latex's kinky connotations stuck to him like glue for a decade. Plus, he is wise to add, in a phone interview, that you don't sew latex. You glue it together by hand and the toxicity was getting into his skin.

After nearly a decade of being the master of latex/fetish couture, Geoffrey knew it was time to shift gears.

When presented with an opportunity to present a collection again, Mr. Mac saw this is a way to renew himself and prove to the world, he is more than a latex crafter. He even swore never to use black in this collection.

He taught and teaches advace pattern-making at the Art Institute for two years. He wants people to focus on his skill and knowledge, not his kinky latex clientele.

His aquatic Spring/Summer 2011 Presentation at SkyBAR, in West Hollywood. After eight years of being the Latex Master, Geoffrey's new collection is him breaking out of bondage.

Andromeda Gown with the concentric bustle.

For a fresh start and inspiration, Geoffrey Mac went as far away as he can get from the latex's dark lair-the Great Australian Barrier Reef, the Sydney Opera, and the cute sea creatures there.

The current rage for sequins have been matted here for the illusion of shimmering scales. Ruffles morphed into fins.

Showing his fashion history knowledge, Mac turns the concept of the Edwardian bustle inside and out.

The futuristic Edwardian, "Andromeda" Wedding Gown is the first time he did a wedding gown. Using shell creatures, such as sea anemones and the nautilus, their shells influence the idea of "a bustle within a bustle within a bustle."

The West Hollywood crowd was taken by "conservative on the front, intriguing in the back" of the "Andromeda" Wedding Gown.

Another gown influenced by sea shells, actually the concentric domes of the Sydney Opera House, is the Sting Ray Gown. In fact, the Sydney Opera was the one that started this all which led him to explore the surrounding sea life. This also give him another excuse-and the restrain-not to use black as a crutch for elegance.

Geoffrey calls the "Sting Ray" Gown, his red carpet gown. For a New York designer who was selling couture latex to the fetish crowd in Chicago, debuting his collection is also pointing to a new direction to a new crowd in a new city that is approriate for where he wants to go in life. Showcasing his technicial craftsmanship was him saying, "Geoffrey Mac can do glamorous red carpet for Hollywood."

In a cross-country phone interview, Geoffrey said sea animals provided the style line for a more natural but sexy look that was more refined, conjuring up Old Hollywood. The tailoring architectural.

The Sea & the Seacape elements were natural but softening the base for a more organic effect but no less elegant.

Crushed gems to soften the dazzle, also to emulate coral, scales, and shagreen. These were hand-beaded. Geoffrey sew the entire collection himself. This is his first attempt at an earthy color story but it doesn't look or feel like it.

He calls the "Sting Ray" Gown, a basic gown with a kick.

The deceptive Latex Gown with the heart-shaped bustle.

Geoffrey still has not entirely given up on latex as a material. Over the years crafting latex outfits, he learned the positive, little nuances of it. One reason latex fanatics love latex is how it feels on one's skin. The women who did try it on, can't help but rave how it smoothes and flattens out every bump as it pulls the person's body in all the right spots. The models rave how everything, even the Latex Gown, is wearable.

The Latex Gown is a clear pink, with a heart-shaped bustle, influenced by a jellyfish. He didn't shine the rubber. He is trying to make latex classy, couture as possible.

The Mini Jay and V
For this aquatic showcase, Geoffrey made sure each and every piece is wearable and timeless.
The element of being timeless is the key, "Shame to waste labor and material." For him, it means pulling from the past to give it longevity. To keep it classy, he keep symmetry through out the line. Geoffrey wants something to be liked in five years or ten years from now. With this collection, he also infused it with fun details and comfortable construction, like the jewel-encrusted Mini Jay and the ivory V tunics above.

Fin Dress for all coasts.

This West Hollywood debut installation was special, in that, Geoffrey Mac made sure it was presented here in Hollywood. Manhattan has yet to see this.

When this scribe mention to him that New York Fashion Week also showed the jewel trend, Geoffrey wearily saying that New York Fashion is so commerical that it eats itself, knock-offs doing knock-offs. Launching his Spring/Summer 2011 collection in West Hollywood, the land of red carpets premieres was the grasp of fresh air he needed.

He is not concerned with commerciality. Geoffrey is more concerned about stellar beauty, enhancing individual beauty and keeping it wearable, "There is not worse than a piece wearing you, not you wearing the piece." He is not interested in doing Lady Gaga clothes.

He is happy not to use black for a change.

Geoffrey is really satisfied by how everything turned out in his first foray into Hollywood. The crowd was very receptive to his aquatic collection. Stylists have asked him to outfit their music videos and the red carpet for their clients.

The most inspiring moment is when he realized his least favorites were the most favorite among Hollywood fashionistas. This is the moment when it hits him that there is everything for everyone.

This is a good step in the right direction. Geoffrey Mac is finally busting out of latex.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

John Malkovich & his Technobohemian Line, an Actor who is a Designer at Heart.

By Laura Medina

"You can get incredible things done to leather," John Malkovich describing this tanned, brown leather, belted jacket, etched in paisley from his newest and latest fashion line, Technobohemian.

"I love to go to Paris and look at the leathers."

Yes, he knows launching his second fashion line coincides with the releases of "Red" and "Secretariat."

But, his heart lays in being a fashion and interior designer.

When he's not waxing poetically about remodeling and redesigning a house, he decamps to Europe and reinvents himself as a high-end fashion designer and fashionista.

Detailing his fashionista life, "I worked around it a lot. Designed costumes. I wrote and directed three fashion films for my friend, Bella Freud...So, I always had an interest."

Most folks think they are "fashionistas" by going to an one-off fashion-themed party in most cities or think they are professional industry players, the lucky fews who trek to New York or Milan or Paris Fashion Week each and every time.

However, Mr. Malkovich puts this scriber and fellow compatriots to shame. He goes to Premiere Vision, the cutting-edge textile show where fashion designers get inspired then pick their ideas for the next collections and the eventual collections two years ahead of the mass public-and the average fashionista.

Mr. Malkovich calls himself, "a fabric fanatic." A fabric fanatic who drives outside of Paris and goes to Premiere Vision twice a year, "where you go pick your fabric."

"I have some nice objects picked out for the next Fall/Winter."

Despite the set back of dismantling his first fashion foray, Uncle Kimono, his fashion industry friends still believe enough in him to badger Malkovich into starting another line from scratch.

Why Technobohemian for his new line?

"There was an Italian novelist who had used that phase. The novel wasn't published. But, I actually read it in the novel then asked him if he minded if I used it for the line. I actually liked the name."

After stopping Uncle Kimono five to three years ago, "Had Uncle Kimono for ten collections. Stopped it five years ago," Mr. Malkovich the designer remerge with Technobohemian's current Fall/Winter 2010 Collections and a sample of Spring/Summer Collection for both men and women.

Nehru-collared button-shirts, knits, pullovers, and cardigans in futuristic but Moroccan-inspired patterns and weaves for men.

Women Moroccan-influenced tunics in cutting-edge mosaic patterns.

For this intrepid fashion scribe, Technobohemian is reminiscent of his earlier film, "The Sheltering Sky" where a bored New England couple hope to rekindle their relationship by trekking it through the North African desert then got lost.

Technobohemian reflects on what that couple, Kit and Port Moresby, could be wearing at the end, New England preppy soaking in Moroccan/North African tailoring and textile with their fundamental base of the classic button-down shirt, Nehru-collared and lapel gone. Port's elbow-patched blazer, the heavy herringbone wool replaced by the lighter North African weave.

This preppy-gone-Merrakesh is also reflected in Tory Burch and Irving & Fine's Middle-Eastern tunics and blouses, in "True Prep."

Mr. Malkovich reaction to this, "People say they have a slightly retro look...It depends...because for me I don't think in a term of strategy. I just do things I like. A lot of those do have a basis in older things."

Again back to Premiere Vision, "Ten days of looking. Now, ordering the fabric for Fall/Winter (Fall/Winter 2011)." Speaking for the uniqueness of pattern design and quality of the weave and knit, "All made in Tuscany. The shirts in Lake Como."

Church Boutique in Hollywood, along with Phoebe Cates' Blue Tree in New York, and Miami's The Webster, are the only three American stores selling his line.

They are the first to distribute Technobohemian. Church in Hollywood carries some of the current Fall/Winter 2010 Collection and a generous sampling of the Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.

During the debut party at Church, Mr. Malkovich's "Secretariat" co-star, Diane Lane came with her husband, Josh Brolin (and who co-starred with Mr. Malkovich in "Johan Hex"). On both movie sets, while filming "Secretariat" and "Johan Hex," they had the privilege of taking a sneak peek of Malkovich sketching and designing his Technobohemian Line in-between takes. Now, they're both curious and glad to celebrate his second reincarnation as a fashion designer.

In fact, Josh Brolin was the first American male to purchase two items from John Malkovich's line.

John is just happy being known back in America as a fashion designer. The second act of John Malkovich.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Black and Blue

By Laura Medina
It is apparent that fashion is currently plummy for Fall but there is another side of the deeper color range.

MAC's Senior Artist, Jennifer Karsten, actually stated that the pairing of black and blue is very hot right now for Autumn.

Cynthia Rowley shows the numerous black and blue combinations in geometric color blocking and ombre dipping in her grosgrain satin ribbons and feathers and fringes against a black backdrop.

Again, Ms. Karsten translates Fall's dramatic eyes through the current and hottest palettes according to eye color.

The hypnotic My Dark Magic purple duo make brown eyes magical while black and blue eyeshadows make blue eyes deeper.

Whether it's reigning purple or fierce in black and blue, Fall calls for a tougher and more womanly attitude.

Purple Reign

By Laura Medina

Cythnia Rowley's current Fall/Winter 2010 Line
From the New York runway to Los Angeles' garment district to MAC's limited edition Venomous Villain Line, it is raining purple.
The spectrum runs the gamut from the inkiest violet to the fragile lilac which helps stretch the purple reign from this current Fall through next year's Spring and Summer, perfect for Easter.

Why the current craze for the combination of blue and red?

According to MAC's Senior Artist, Jennifer Karsten, Fall is traditionally the start for something deeper and richer for colder seasons. As the season progresses into Winter, women desire tailoring, fabrications, and colors that are more serious and strong.

In other words, the darker and colder Fall and Winter are more mature while Spring and Summer is more girlish and light-hearted due to the sun and the heat.

Stash the baby pinks and the blushing princess look away in the back for next Summer, it is time to bring out the amber, burgundy, and the wine for a more fortified look, reflecting people's palette for richer, heavier cuisine.

Ms. Karsten says Fall is the time when women want to look like and feel like women, not girls.

Purple is traditionally a color reserved for royalty since getting it in nature is so difficult and rare. Since then, the royal hue signifies power, respect, and being regal which translates into elegance and refinement while being strong.

This is why MAC uses Disney's strong-willed and wise villains to represent royal purple, just in time for Halloween, the start of longer nights and shorter days and more reasons to dress up for cocktail parties and holiday galas.

Kristine Miller's Divine casual, contemporary wear for Fall 2010.

For today's divas on the go, Malibu Canyon-raised and Manhattan-fashion educated, Kristine Miller of Divine is here to provide comfortable yet stylish activewear for the sleeker and faster diva.

After cutting her teeth designing for the likes of Betsey Johnson then Henry Duarte, Ms. Miller returned to her laid-back Malibu roots then injected with fashion-forward draping and ruching into yoga-inspired contemporary line.

She is her customer and her customer is her.

In other words, Ms. Miller and her women want clothes that are comfortable enough to ease from yoga to the market to the boutique to lunch then dinner and cocktails without the hassle of driving and changing three times in one day.

However, she wants to prove being comfortable never means being sloppy.

Ms. Miller's purple Fall line showcases her trip to Paris in trapeze, striped tee-shirts, the wrap cardigan and the high-waisted jersey pants with ruching. Still yoga/activewear inspired but with an extra zap of style.

Divine is not just for the girl on the go but for women on the run.

If you prefer to be subtle and mysterious in the dosage of the royal shade, you might find smearing a shimmering spectrum of raisin, plum, and indigo on your eyelids easier to take.

MAC's hypnotic My Dark Magic Mineralize Eye Shadow in two glittering shades of purple, the redder purple and the darker plum, with a hint of black, can make any onlooker spellbound.

Due to the formula, use it dry for softer wash or wet it for a stronger, more diva look.

Now, you have choices in how to be fierce and fabulous in a regal color.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Setting Sail, Nautica Spring/Summer 2011

By Laura Medina

We are all relieved that Summer's heat wave and the last burst of Indian Summer are now behind us but there are some items we can look forward from Nautica's Spring/Summer 2011 Collection.

We can daydream about their insulated windbreakers and boardshorts on deck...but with crewneck sweaters.

Truth to be told, Nautica's upcoming Spring/Summer 2011 Collection is downright flexible. Mixing the cold with the warm, safari jackets paired with bermuda shorts. Autumn layering of button-down shirts, ties, flannel/plaid overcoats/cable knit cardigans...over bermuda shorts.

The focus is more on the transitional seasons of Fall and Spring, than the extreme seasons of Winter and Summer.

Nautica really wants their customers to maximize their closets year-around, making the bermuda shorts the new foundation clothing.

It is paired with everything, with the preppy sailor in mind, hence Nautica.

The collection suggests a yacht club member who is a permanently docked at the pier.

But, he is no beach bum. He still needs a patchwork madra blazer for the yacht parties and a plush knit, military jacket and a classic striped Breton Sailor top redone in a shawl-collared pullover.

They're accessories to his closet mainstays of top-siders, deck shoes, and espadrilles...and bermuda shorts or board shorts in subtle shades of mauve-gray, gray, navy, and khaki.
The only thing missing are socks but he has an array of neckties and bow ties to pick from.
This presentation arrived just in time for "True Prep," the revamped and updated version of the "Preppy Handbook."
One thing that is good about the change from traditional runway shows with their strict seating hierarchy to the more egalitarian, free-for-all standing room-only presentations or installations where models pose as art work while attendees snap away, gawk in awe, or schmooze, is the glorious lunch buffet.
Fashionistas enjoy the collection while munching on tea sandwiches, scones, gooey brownies, delicious tarts, and sip an array of wine and bubbly mineral water or load up on Coke to regain vivre for the on-coming shows later that day.
Fashion celebrity dandy and Bravo reality star, Patrick McDonald, made an appearance.
It was a pleasant presentation ending with a pleasant lunch.
Not a bad change at all.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not just for Halloween, MAC's Venomous Villains let you vamp it up for the rest of the year.

By Laura Medina

The Cruella de Vil Set
In the Jewel Court of South Coast Plaza, this recent Friday morning, in Coast Mesa, California, MAC Cosmetics unveiled their deviously decadent limited edition "Venomous Villains" Collection.
This was a special occasion and a collaboration with Disney. The "Mouse" was kind enough to allow MAC creative directors and artists to delve into historical archives, sketches, notes, and the actual color palettes to determine the texture, the formula, and colors for this distinct makeup collection.
Like Disney's limited DVD release of its movies, MAC can only allot so much classic brick rouge and lipstick and mosaic purple eyeshadow before they disappear...or as they say, "Go back into the Disney vault."
Despite the dramatic, larger-than-life characters or divas, MAC wants to make sure their customers can wear the palette year-around.
Actually, the Cruella de Vil set is a very classic, late Fifties color range. Once MAC fans found out how classic this set is, the brick lipstick is sold 0ut and the flesh-toned red rouge is now a collector's item. The red is from the lining of Cruella's fur coat. The conservative cream eyeshadow came from her fur coat. These colors and items, the classic red lipstick and rouge and cream face powder and eyes might be the same makeup ladies from "Mad Men" might had used during that era.

Evil Queen Set

Disney never describe their antagonists as "evil." But since the majority of them were created in the late Thirties to the Early Sixties, they described as "mysterious." In Allure's August issue, they were used in terms of seductive, strong, wise, serious, glamorous, decadent, stylish, and powerful. They were also the mature woman counterpart to the Princesses' peak of adolescent "Rose Bud" blooming of womanhood. Each villain is the extreme epitome of that era's glamour.

Cruella was the tres chic version of Dior gone mad. The Evil Queen has Jean Harlow's eyebrows and Joan Crawford's face. Maleficent of "Sleeping Beauty" has Katherine Hepburn's features. Dr. Facilier is a dandy in velvet tuxedo jacket with coattails and a top hat. All four has accentuated cheekbones and high, sharp eyebrows, indicting tough and commanding.

"Sleeping Beauty's" Maleficent Set

MAC knows that people would not want to wear green foundation. Even though the Venomous Villain Line is launched just in time for Halloween, they selected colors that can be worn through-out the year.

Plus, they want to keep up their tradition for being "on spot." The rich indigo and deep violets in glamorous glitter were well-represented on runway for today's Fall 2010 Collections.

Since Fall Fashion is richer and deeper in color, texture, and tailoring, it was fitting that Venomous Villains' purple, black, and navy represents the divas' elegance, worldliness, wisedom, sultriness, and strength-an grown-up alternative to Spring's Princesses' pastels and gauziness. Purple is also the color of royality since it is the most difficult color to get in nature, representing the diva's regal deportment. The MAC artists cannot get over how the color purple is not only a sexy shade but a great neutral for everyone from lilac to mauve to plum. Forget beige and bronze, it's a purple reign.

Dr. Facilier and Magically Cool Liquid Powder.

Maleficent's Mineralize Eye Shadow Duo, a mosaic of glittering purple and black, represents her powers and allure-and the flair for drama. It is the most intense purple MAC has released.

The Evil Queen's lilac, burgundy, and purple came from her robe and dress.

The most lowkey of them all was the innovative of them all, Magically Cool Liquid Powder from Dr. Facilier's set.

Unlike most moisturizing powder, this one has no oil or lotion embedded in the particles. Instead, water molecules are implanted into the grains of powder. When applied, it's a puff off water. Seventy percent water, it refreshes and keep the skin dewy without oil. Great for oily complexions melting away in the heat.

To keep the flush to the Princesses, the divas have very little or a neutral blush. The eyes are enriched and the lips engroged, empowering sensuality.

Just in time for Halloween, these keepsakes can be moisten with water for a more intense effect for the holiday or with a light-hand for the rest of the year.

Halloween is the time to release your inner diva. Express her with MAC's Venomous Villains Line. Get it before it flies away.