Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sue Wong's "My Fair Lady" Fall 2011 in the heart of historical Hollywood

By Laura Medina

On a beautiful sunny, warm day in the heart of historical Hollywood, the town's former glory rises up again, like clockwork, on Sue Wong's elegant fashion installation and champagne brunch as the highlight of Fashion Week LA.

Doing it on her own terms, the cultured and scholarly cocktail and eveningwear designer mined Olde Hollywood and the history books for her Fall 2011 Collection. Inspired by the Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison gem, "My Fair Lady," Ms. Wong, not only adapted it as the name for her Fall collection, she dived right into it.

Using her precise research and the Edwardian Era/late 19th century setting of the movie, "My Fair Lady," Ms. Wong reached out and brought back a different type of sensuality that have not seen daylight in a long time, the womanly full-figure molded into "S-Bend" and dipping emphasis on the plunging mono-bosom, not the pushed-up cleavage of mid-century twentieth-century or today's Victoria's Secrets' bras.

Mind you, Ms. Wong knows she is dressing for the twentieth-first century woman who yearns of classic glamour without the caged trappings.

She replaced the ribbed corset with accurate seams and tailoring then incorporated spaghetti straps and tie-back halter necks for more ease and breathing room.

Bridget Marquardt, formerly of E!'s "Girls Next Door."

Long-held by established Hollywood actresses then now, embraced by Young Hollywood, such as Kelly Osbourne, several generations of celebrities showed their love for Ms. Wong.

Fans, both mature and young, pose in their Sue Wong outfits in Ms. Wong's mirrors.

Ms. Wong has a legion of fans who come from all walks of life.

To return the love, Ms. Wong graciously opened the doors to her top-secret, historical mansion in the heart of Hollywood to them. This wasn't a plain red carpet but a fashion installation and a champagne brunch to reward their loyalty.

Halter Dress with plunging V-Neck and embroided skirt from "Black/Nude" segment.
Using her historical mansion and a lunch and dessert buffet (with a bar, of course) as backdrops for her massive and diverse cocktail and eveningwear collection was very convenient to showcase her Edwardian collection. Fitting (pun intended), since her mansion was built around the late Edwardian or early Twenties, furthering highlighting the Edwardian details. Ms. Wong was gracious to allow guests and press to have full-range and full fun of her home. People had fun darting from nooks and crooks, posing in her bedrooms and bathrooms, pretending to be models themselves, posing in her mirrors.

Champagne Gowns and Coats at the Champagne Brunch.

The mansion was expansive enough to fully display the six-segmented collection: Black/Red, Black/Nude, Brown-Gold, Champagne-Ivory, Platinum, and Cobalt.

Models either posed on pedestals in the living rooms as living statues...

Or, they gathered with Sue Wong for a group photo shoot in the sun room...
To keep the action going, models saunter among the dining guests, socialites, and press without accidentially dipping into the pool...
Eventually, both guests and models...and photographers made their way to Sue's sculptured backyard and pation where the crystal-beaded collection came to life under the sun.

Watching the glided Edwardian ladies in bedazzled and plated lace brought the mansion and garden to life.

But, it is still hard work. Ms. Wong sheparded her models. They posed and walked in the hot sun while celebrities and guests finally retired and sun themselves in her back patio deck and backyard with manicured hedges and trails and the fountain, sipping...what else...white wine and champagne.

Viviana Vigil, formerly of Look, now REELZ Channel host.

Viviana and the other guest-and press (such as this intrepid reporter/photographer) made themselves right at home after working the red carpet and trailing (ok, nibbling and sipping) models, soaking up the rays in plush velvet chaises and lounges among the marble.

This is what everyone around the world thinks, assumes, or dreams what Hollywood should be, a gracious host, a plush luncheon, and beautiful people from all walks of life, the producers, the starlets, the celebrities, established socialites, models, and don't forget the press...schmoozing and lounging all together under the warm California sun.

Thank you, Ms. Wong for making the dream real for one sunny afternoon in March.

If you really want the whole affair in action, click on the Youtube link above.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Junior League of New York honors Ms. Mary J. Blige

By Laura Medina

Lisa Hathaway Stella (NYJL President), left. Honoree Mary J. Blige, middle. Mistress of ceremonies Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), right.

As winter loosens its grip on the Big Apple, New York Junior League awarded Ms. Mary J. Blige with Award for Leadership and Excellence at the organization’s 59th Annual Winter Ball, to be held at the historic Plaza Hotel on Saturday, March 5, 2011.

They recognized Ms. Blige's work for her The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), which she founded with music and branding impresario Steve Stoute in 2007. FFAWN ( is an organization dedicated to helping women overcome their personal difficulties and reach their full potential in life. FFAWN assists women through a range of programs that encourage women to realize their dreams and pursue their individual goals.

Five hundred guests showed to witness the nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, record producer and actress being presented with her award. The Winter-themed ball, "Elegance Throughout Time," at the Plaza, celebrated the last hurrah of what was a bone-chilling season.

The sponsors included Van Cleef & Arpels and Moet Hennessy. Auction items include a Prada bag from the Spring 2011 Collection, a diamond pendant designed by Patricia Daughn, an exclusive golf outing for four at one of Trump Golf’s world-renowned courses, a seven-night stay at the Leading Hotels of the World’s Royal Myconian or Myconia Imperial Hotel in Greece, and a two-night stay for two at the Montage Deer Valley Hotel and Resort.

Life is a Cabaret for Valerjie Pobea

By Laura Medina

For Fall 2011 at Los Angele's Concept Fashion Week at the esteem ACE Gallery, life is a cabaret.

Ms. Pobea mined another little-known Seventie's fad, the movie "Cabaret." The movie that launched Liza Minnelli's singing and acting career.

It was also the precusor to punk and goth, the pale foundation and the black, smudged eyeshadow and lipstick which ironically was considered trendy makeup to the emerging influence of early, silent movies where contrasting cosmetics is needed to express facial emotions on the screen.

Late Thirties Germany was also the decadent and liberating louche Weimar Republic where formerly repressed Germans let loose in the nightclub, and hence, the cabaret scene.

A model doing the Charleston.
Ms. Pobea evoke the sinster and naughty vibe in a theaterical clown ruff collar and severly black, wool Germanic military maxi dress and coat.
She made good use of the closest-sized installation room where most of the designers held their live art performance/presentations. Her third model was the livliest. Her third model channel Liza Minnelli, dancing the Charleston, and slithering with a chair in the Kit Kat Klub.
For a fashion event that aimed to showcase the hip and the cool of predominately Downtown Los Angeles, the alternative to West Hollywood facade, Ms. Pobea stood out among the hipsters with her energetic installation.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Before it hits the catwalk, YSL Spring/Summer 2011

By Laura Medina

Before the supermodels set foot on tomorrow's catwalk at YSL, here are the hottest picks from the Spring/Summer 2011, titled, "Manifesto."
What is the "Manifesto" for the hot weather?
It's Stefano Pilati's reaction against twentieth-century extreme masculinity by embracing female empowerment and feminism.
For this collection, he used the Twenties and the Thirties with a sultry color palette. Mr. Pilati said that during that time, women came into their own in arts and philosophy.
With the sporty and elegant jumpers, halters, and rainforest hues, Mr. Pilati has also mined the original Yves Saint Laurent's archive during his Seventies hey days.
Mr. Pilati is very aware how macho our world has become. He wants this collection to admire and celebrate feminine strength and power.
These are the sneak peeks of what might set foot on the runway tomorrow in Paris but the Beverly Hills store will have these outfits tomorrow.