Monday, August 29, 2011

Behind the Scene Interview & Video of Missoni for Target Ad Campaign

By Laura Medina

While you are watching your "90210" episodes and the recap of "Gossip Girl," you will see snippets and sneak peeks of the television commercials for the Missoni for Target collection.

Let this scribe whet your appetite for all things Missoni.

In this behind-the-scenes video, third-generation Missoni and current Creative Director, Margherita Maccapani Missoni, gives a rare interview explaining the history, who the company is now, why collaborate with Target, and what the collection is all about.

In this video, Target offers a glimpse of the arriving television ad campaign.

Margherita wanted the commercials to reflect the Mod mid-Sixities Italian films. It was that era when her family's business burst out of Italy then onto the international scene...when they were beginning to be popular in the United Kingdom and America.

The Missoni Family back in the Eighties.

According to Margherita, the company really started when her grandparents, Rosita Jelmini and Ottavio Missoni met in 1948. Three years later, they married and founded the company in a basement.

Grandma was the fashion lady and grandpa was the color man. With this family arrangement, this established the company's image and family tradition. The family tradition of the mother being the creative director has been passed down from grandma Rosita to second-generation, Angela, Margherita's mother to Margherita, today as third-generation Missoni Creative Director.

With the tradition of passing the Creative Director torch down to the latest and newest adult generation, Missoni manages to be revelant for each era while keeping the family tradition alive and strong through the decades.

This one of many reasons why Missoni decided to join up with Target.

To strengthen the bond with America, Missoni felt it is important to reintroduce the brand to a new generation, a new audience, and a new market in America by teaming up with Target.

For their Target collaboration, they reintroduced classic graphics and prints from the family's archives then redid them in a bold and fresh manner that encompasses multi-generations and markets.

This is the largest designer collaboration in Target's history, 400 pieces huge.

This collection ranges from womenswear to menswear to childrenswear to kitchenware to home decor.

If you want to learn more about the upcoming Missoni for Target campaign, click on the link,

"Missoni for Target Tradition Video with Margherita,"

**If you are really anxious for Missoni for Target collection and you're in Manhattan for Fashion's Night Out on September 8th, next door to Bryant Park, Margherita and Target are going to throw open a pop-up party to celebrate their collaboration. A full week before the line hit the stores. Nothing snotty. It's open to the public. Remember, this is Missoni for everyone until October 22nd.**

Monday, August 22, 2011

Perry Ellis Black & a sizzling new face on NY Fashion Runway

By Laura Medina

The Perry Ellis Black Collection.

Perry Ellis has gone leaner, meaner, and sleeker, what they call "the color of urban sophistication, no-nonsense utility and nights on the town..."

Basically, it has gone where Brooks Brothers Black Fleece has gone..."Gone to Black," as in practical, not dull, but more of the roving global urbanite who needs a travel-worthy wardrobe taking him from New York to London to Milan to Paris then over to Los Angeles, doing a photo shoot in the desert with an up-and-coming starlet.

By incorporating the name and color, "black," both brands are signaling a shift towards a classical European flair while keeping their All-American roots.

Paraphasing Perry Ellis' creative director, John Crocco, "Black is a versatile and practical shade to wear. There are few colors men can wear head-to-toe while looking masculine and modern. That insight led us create an edited collection of perfect black pieces that every guy should own."

Knowing that the majority of men need a quick and efficient dressing guide, Perry Ellis will make then release a viral video in September, showing men how the Black Collection is an easy way for men to dress up, displaying the models dressing in the dark in regular clothes and Perry Ellis Black.

Perry Ellis even wants the guy-next-door to "get dressed in the dark." They are running a makeover Facebook contest from September 19th to October 7th where the winner will win a full Perry Ellis Black collection.

Even if you don't win, Perry Ellis Black will be sold nationwide at Dillard's and Macy's starting September 15th and on

If you want to know more about Perry Ellis Black, at

Kennan Echols, Perry Ellis’ Sexiest Guy Next Door!

If you are lucky enough to be invited to Perry Ellis runway show on Monday, September 12th at 7pm, you catch the sexiest guy next door, Kennan Echols. He is the winner of Perry Ellis’ Sexiest Guy Next Door Contest.

25,000 voters on Facebook, during a two-weeks period, picked Echols over twelve contestants.

This ex-New Yorker turned Atlantan won 12, 144 votes to be the Sexiest Guy Next Door.

This all-around male of former collegiate football and basketball player turned full-time web designer will be returning back home to strut the runway for Perry Ellis Spring 2012 fashion show on Monday, September 12th. He will also be treated to a private backstage tour and be featured in a live runway pre-show.

Arthur Kulkov, Thiago Santos and Parker Gregory

Kennan isn't the only star in the Perry Ellis galaxy.

Perry Ellis' Fall Collection signals a shift, from one main star, to a trio of top male models.

They are using Arthur Kulkov, Thiago Santos and Parker Gregory, to expand the range of what the brand is...the contemporary, modern-day All-American male who value the traditional uniquely All-American preppy attire but retailored for today's lifestyle.

“The group is more diverse when it comes to their look and personality, which reflects where we are as a brand,” said John Crocco, Creative Director for Perry Ellis. “We also wanted to highlight this idea of friendship and ‘real’ approachable guys. It’s sort of our nod to ‘bromance.’”

“The resulting imagery,” said Charles DeCaro, Creative Director of Laspata DeCaro, who directed the shoot, “is three-dimensional with exaggerated crops and studied proportions. The group dynamic allows us to show the breadth of the collection as well as communicate a more cohesive narrative.

The beach once again served as the background for the shoot, reprising a long-standing tradition for the brand. This season the Perry Ellis collection was shot on location in Sarasota, Florida.

Perry Ellis also produced two videos to celebrate the campaign’s launch: one gives a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot and documents the creative process and personalities of the models; another image-driven video highlights a new, yet-unannounced curated collection hitting stores in September. Both videos will be featured on as well as Perry Ellis’s YouTube channel and Facebook page this fall. The behind-the-scenes video can be found at

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There's a Missoni for Everyone at Target

By Laura Medina

Half of the entire Womenswear Collection.

Of course, everybody is hot and bothered about the womenswear set from the Missoni for Target Collection for Fall 2011...and that was the first thing that came out of the gate. That is to be expected.

Not that there's anything wrong with doing that. Matter of fact, the womenswear knits are downright adorable. There is a reason why the collection is going to be released in the middle of September-these knits are right for the more mature high school student or the college student who needs cool but dressier duds.

Come to think of it, the Missoni for Target is a great cross-over investment in transiting from high school to college to young adulthood in twenties.

Infused with Missoni's trademark zig-zag striped knits, they are quirky enough for that cuteness factor but stylish enough to cross over into the early adult market. The mix-and-match shorts, rompers, miniskirts, and tunics/minidresses keeps it youthful. Add the longer, maxi skirts, the longer cardigans, and a halter, knit maxi dress, they will lend a more edgier, mature look.

It is not all about the women.

Missoni for Target insert some stalwarts for the men. A very traditional striped cardigan and socks in muted Fall tones of heather, gray, and brown. Silk neckties punched up with teal and signature zig-zag stripes. The caps and scarves add a dot of dash to the wardrobe.

There are some big items here, proving that this collection is meant to encapsulate a whole lifestyle beyond the closet. The most expensive iten is the mesh wire patio set with lounges and a coffee table. The most popular is the bike. The travel set of the carry-on bag and the wheeled suitcast are the most attainable of the big item sub-set.

Target proved that going downmarket never meant losing an eye for quality or design.

The pumps are Prada-sque from a mile away. The zig-zag ballets flats jazz any ole pair of jeans. The rain boots are just plain adorable in a downpour.

Looking closer, Target's Missoni lifestyle collection is just plain dorm-ready or first apartment/home ready.

The orange/brown/blue zig-zag tote is great for textbooks, iPad, and notebook. There is still room to stash a Missoni Target makeup case with coordinating brushes. The black and white weekender briefcase makes a great traditional purse with room-again-for an iPad or a notebook.

This collection is ready for the young lady on-the-go, dashing about.

If the Italian zany psychadelic stripes are not your idea of fashion sense, then you sneak it in subtly in office supplies to punch up a drab homework alcove or office desk.

The office supplies are great for anyone at any age, whether it's for the teenager or the middle-aged office drone. The punchy patterns and color patterns are enough liven up anyone's long work days.

For those who moved onto the first apartment, the condo, or the first house, Missoni for Target provides gifts, an elegant cocktail set, espresso set, and kitchen set for more grown-up desires.

The wine boxes are great gift alternatives to the gift bag. The frosted cocktail glass and etched silver cocktail shaker are so streamlined Art Deco, that it is debonair for a man while chic enough for a a reasonable price.

Jaunty striped appetizer platters make great portion-controlled plates for wontons, sushi, and tapas for you and your friends.

Target's Missoni collection goes beyond the closet and the kitchen. Some of the bigger items are still within a reasonable double-digit price range.

The Murano-sque glass vases and bowls look pricey but not. They're affordable to both dress up your abode and give away as gifts...without busting the bank.

Still little too mature for the clothes? In addition to the kitchen ware, you can jazz up your home with throw pillows, a bathroom set, then toss in some throw rugs for the livingroom and hallway.

Missoni for Target collection shows that Target's limited edition designer collections have grown beyond outfits to encompassing a lifestyle that was only attainable in ELLE Decor to a point where one can live that lifestyle on a reasonable budget for anyone.

It is not just clothes anymore.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Banana Republic's Mad Men Collection with Janie Bryant, Fabulously Fierce

By Laura Medina

Banana Republic's Mad Men Installation, both women & men.

Most fashion journalists are just happy to have the chance to interview a legendary designer once since it is a rare opportunity.

It is much rarer to interview the same designer twice...less than one year.

During last year's Christmas season, this scribe was fortunate to interview the influential and fashion legend in the making, Janie Bryant, "Mad Men" costume designer about her style book, "The Fashion File." A book that is part fashion psychological breakdown of the television drama, "Mad Men," part style guide, part fashion history book, and part costume textbook.

Just chatting with her, at that moment in time, was good enough...until last night.

Janie Bryant in "Mad Men" navy houndstooth dress.

Last night, Thursday, August 11th, was the official debut of Banana Republic's "Mad Men" Collection.

It was a homage to the Mid-Twentieth Century style and a collaboration for the show's costume designer, Janie Bryant.

This launch was the fruition of Ms. Bryant's childhood influence, fashion designer background in New York, and knowledge of costume history.

Throughout this journalist's second interview with Ms. Bryant, the designer stressed this collection for the modern body in today's modern lifestyle.

It is just vintage-inspired.

She made this point, sauntering in the collection's navy houndstooth dress, resembling another modern woman character, "Sex and the City" Charlotte York, symbolizing the collection's goal of being classy yet chic.

A little bit of Joan, Betty, & Peggy. Mad Men's Women Collection.

Using her previous experience as a Manhattan fashion designer, Ms. Bryant stresses this is first and foremost a modern collection for the modern woman and man, using modern cuts, bustline, current body measurements, and fabrics for the modern lifestyle, that yearns for that touch of vintage.

She was very conscious not to make this collection, "costumey," but adaptable and attainable for today's fashionista and fashionisto, who are fans of "Mad Men."

Even though fans and fashionista crave to have that Joan/Betty/Peggy attitude and Don Draper/Roger Sterling/Pete Campbell jauntiness, Ms. Bryant makes sure that these vintage-inspired pieces can be incorporated into today's existing wardrobe.

As a style consultant, she suggests that each piece can broken down and mixed in. The lace shell tops can be paired with wide-legged and skinny jeans to refresh a look.

Bryant used vintage techniques (that are still being used in haute couture) to bring back that mid-Twentieth century "Mad Men" sly sex appeal to the wardrobe standby...the little black dress.

For the black laced tipped dress, she sewn in a weight inside the neckline to subtly drape the neckline over the collarbone and the shoulder joint and keep them in place so the wearer does not have to fuss over it.

Seductive but elegant...that "Mad Men" effect.

In fact, Ms. Bryant stated this was common practice in the garment industry back then, sewn in weights so jackets and dresses can hang properly. Coco Chanel was known for this.

If you think you can switch the swoop, Ms. Bryant quickly added that the Black Lace Tipped Dress is one-shouldered and cannot be switched back and forth.

Another dress with vintage-inspiration but with modern tailoring, the Begonia Dress.

The print may be vintage but the asymetrical, inverted bodice pleating gives it that razor-sharp late Fifties/early Sixties feel for today's body.

Janie's assistant proves you can still be modern and "Mad Men" chic in the cream lace shell under the animal print cardigan and the leopard print pumps. Janie Bryant shows you can be "Mad Men" fierce in the modern world.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cynthia Rowley & a Bunch of NY Designers Pop Up in Hollywood.

By Laura Medina

Arts & Leisure at Space 15Twenty on 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd. and Erin Krause & Chrissie Miller.

Last year it was the Cynthia Rowley "Fashion Truck" making various stops in Southern California.

Now, Cynthia Rowley is resting her feet, along with other notable Manhattan designers such as Proenza Schouler, Rogan, Sophomore, Three as Four, Vena Cava, and Imitation by Tara Subkoff, at alternative shopping center-cum-art space, Space 15Twenty at 1520 North Cahuenga Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood, across the street from ArcLight Cinema.

Cynthia Rowley's Limited Edition Print Dresses for Gagosian Gallery.

Truth be told, Cynthia Rowley and her fellow designers are a part of a month-long collaboration between Sophomore's Chrissie Miller and Donald Baechler Studio's Erin Krause.

From today until August 28th, Miller brings the best of New York fashion while Krause curates an art gallery and magazine shop, all inside a pop-up fashion boutique/art gallery space, tagged "Arts & Leisure" for the entire month of August.

In addition to her limited edition Gagosian Print Dresses, Miller and Krause also stocks California-appropriate ruffle bikinis and sundresses with gold foil overlays.

For the Do-It-Yourselfs, Arts & Leisure also sells Cythnia Rowley sewing kits.

Hollywood's smart set came out in droves to celebrate the shop's opening.

Not your stereotypical Hollywood nightclub set, this crowd brought some innovations and effort.

These fuzzy, high heel pink bunny slippers are the max in style and comfort.

The smart set enjoying the edgy book and magazine section.

If Sophomore's Chrissie Miller and Donald Baechler Studio's Erin Krause brought a little bit of Manhattan into Hollywood, then Hollywood's smart set and style subset returned the respect in their finest.

The skater kid with skateboard strapped to his back. Black lace palazzo trousers replaced jeans. The white fur vest never goes out of style. Sequins turn into a sweater dress.

It is nice to see true Hollywood style inject some intellect while welcoming Arts & Leisure.

If you want to fulfill your Manhattan fashion fix, hurry on over to Space 15Twenty on 1520 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm until 8pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Last until August 28th.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paul Frank is giving away 2 tickets to Lollapalooza

By Laura Medina

How to enter: Go to our Facebook and post your favorite song lyric from a band playing at Lollapalooza this year and tag whoever you would like to bring with you. The post with the most “likes” wins! So tell everyone you know and get them to vote for your post!

The winner will be announced at 6pm PST on August 3, 2011.

Put down the mic and get your lyrics posted!

Official Contest Rules

21 Drops for 21 aches, pains, and aliments in the 21st Century.

By Laura Medina

21 Drops' founders, Cary Caster & Amy Rosenthal.

Cary Caster is a clinical aromatherapist and a medical massage therapist.

In the twenty years as an aroma and massage therapist, horticulturist, and entho-botanist, the creator, Cary Caster, researched and recorded her clients' health concerns and medical wants through surveys and questionnaires then compiled notes and recorded data into a more stragetic, medical 21 vials line targeting the most common health aliments using a more scientific methodology to aromatherapy.

After twelve years of scientific and hands-on practice and copious data, Caster, with Amy Rosenthal, developed 21 Drops for the 21st century's most common 21 aches and aliments.

They are here to demystify aromatherapy and taking out the pouf out of the New Age image.

As a clinical aromatherapist and medical massage therapist, Caster knows that just because something smells good, it never means it is good across the board. Aromatherapy is more than an olfactory decoration.

During her studies, Caster studied the molecular structure of essential oils and the homopathetic/holistic practices in various cultures-what others call traditional home remedies. Then, she continued to study the direct effect between pressure points in the limbic system in medical massage therapy.

She wondered if she combined entho-botany/horiculture and apply homopathetic remedies to the pressure points, will there be a more direct ease of aliments? Amy Rosenthal felt the direct correlation between 21 Drops' pressure point aromatherapy when she experienced a rare headache.

Caster brought up a tried and true essential oil combination of rosewood, peppermint, and lavender oils for headaches. Then, Rosenthal applied this to the pressure points for headaches at the temples, back of the neck, and the jaw line as Caster instructed. By doing so, the stressed out blood vessels relaxed, easing up for enough blood to flow freely, relieving the throbbing headache.

As a woman of traditional medicine, Rosenthal was in wonder. Mind you, she recommend using 21 Drops as a supplement to your existing medications, not as a substitute.

To make 21 essential formulas for 21 Drops available for people's most common 21 aches and aliments in this fast-paced 21st Century lifestyle, Rosenthal replaced the vanity table amber decanter for a pocket-sized rollerball pen, encased in a non-slip silicone rubber glove for an easy and quick grab and roll for running, walking, and driving.

Batch number card and a specific number for aliment with corresponding formula.

Each aliment and formula comes with its each own number, as in #5 for headaches.

To make it fun and lighthearted, Rosenthal embossed each box with unique prints and sayings inside the top lid, along the instructions for proper applications.

Emphasizing that their essential oils are theraputic grade, not food or cosmetic grade, and the integrity of the oils, each box comes with a batch number card.

Just in case a customer has problems with a certain vial, Caster can trace the origins of the oils to a certain batch using this card for quality control and for her records.

The entire 21 Drops Collection.

In celebration of Los Angeles' notorious 405 Freeway shut down and traffic jams, 21 Drops' Caster and Rosenthal specially created and released their only non-numbered essential oil formula for traffic jams-CARma Relief.

The spikenard and roman chamomile calms the nerves while the peppermint opens up the blood vessel. It is still in their signature nifty rollerball vial for easy stashing in the cup holder for easier rolling on the wrists, temples, and under the nose while stuck in traffic.

Fred Segal/Ron Robinson Apothia may have a special hold on this limited edition scent but you can go to for the whole 21 Drops collection for the 21 aliments in your life.