shine and shimmer

...and to round off our Emmys red carpet coverage, it's the ever ubiquitous nude metallic gown! No star-studded event would be complete without the beaded, sparkling, swirling tulle frenzy we've come to know and love. 
Christina Hendricks: gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! When you're a woman of a certain shape, you can't get away with wearing a lot of crazy trends and silhouettes on the red carpet. And this woman is absolutely brilliant at figuring out what works for her-- classic, structured, and feminine. The beading on this Johana Johnson gown is exquisite and the slit up the leg is a sassy touch. I could probably do with a little less cleavage, but what's she gonna do? With that hair and makeup, she's a red-haired modern Marilyn.
I'm liking the geometric applique on Cat Deeley's gown; it keeps the dress from going bore-town on us. The clutch, however, is hideous. Her hair looks more beach-worthy than bombshell and I'm detecting some bronzer overload. So lose the bag, tie back the hair, add a red lip and you are golden. Literally.

dusky lady

Black is a perennial favorite on the red carpet and off the red carpet. No other color (non-color?) is as timeless, classic, or elegant. So it was no surprise that this year's Emmy awards boasted a variety of black gowns, with a few midnights and deep plums thrown in for good measure.
First up, we have the controversial Pucci number worn by Gwyneth Paltrow. Sheer, midriff-baring, and beaded, this dress isn't like anything I've seen in recent memory. Some say it evoked Cher, you know, that dress. Despite its detractors, I personally thought Gwynnie looked fantastic. Kudos to her for trying a new silhouette instead of boring us senseless with a strapless mermaid gown picked out by a mass-market stylist. Plus, it looked very Indian chic, which is a cool twist for a shiksa goddess, no? 
Since her stint on True Blood, I'm a huge fan of Evan Rachel Wood and the dress looks fab on her, though I'd have loved to see it in a deep emerald green to set off her coloring.


blue girl group

Where there's red, there's also blue. And the Emmys were no exception. Amongst this group of cool-hued ladies, you'll find my best dressed of the night. Any guesses?

scarlet women

As if you needed any other reminder that red is the color of the season... 
The stars shone brightly on the Emmys red carpet. Well okay, it's more like they blended into the red carpet. Check out these stunners in their red(dish) ensembles.


the row

My Divanee.com article this week highlights Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's luxury fashion line The Row. You might be surprised at what inspired them for spring, and how I plan on incorporating it into my wardrobe...
photos from elle.com


the new wave

Yesterday I wrote about how a lack of model diversity in runway shows troubles me. Today I want to appreciate how increasingly diverse America’s new designers are becoming! We have old designers, young designers, men, women, gay, straight, black, white, Asian, Indian, Jewish, Buddhist, and beyond (still no Muslims though, right?).
Peter Som
Derek Lam
This ethnic diversity wasn’t always the case. Think back to even just ten or twenty years ago. We had the bigwigs: Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors. All great designers, all white and Jewish.

Fast forward to today and it seems we have a huge influx of amazing young Asian talent: Thakoon, Derek Lam, Peter Som, Philip Lim, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Joseph Altuzzara, Richard Chai, Prabal Gurung. I don’t know about you, but these are the guys I watch! They’re literally the new (and not-so-new) wonder boys of fashion. I’m no social anthropologist so I can’t speak to the causes of this trend, but I certainly can appreciate it.

Joseph Altuzzara
Prabal Gurung



I was watching a fashion show recently of a very famous American designer. Three dozen lovely looks floated down the runway, modeled by three dozen different models— who each managed to look identical. Teenaged, leggy, wiry, long dirty blonde hair. And white. I guess I should be used to this, having worked in fashion for several years now and having followed it for over half my life. But somehow, it still bothered me.
photo from an old fashion show, not the one I reference in this article. pic courtesy of foodfashion.com

Out of 40 girls, two were non-white. One Asian girl and one black girl.

And the thing is, this is an American designer, behind a contemporary American brand. This is Americana. So how does that runway show even define America? And I’m not trying to pick on this one design house, it happens at so many different places. (Somehow, it doesn’t bother me as much with European designers, A., because I’m not European, and B., because Europe doesn’t have our history, nor is it particularly known for being an all-embracing melting-pot.)

faking it

My latest article for Divanee.com on how to put your best face forward.

Read the entire article, along with the 3 biggest skin issues I encounter, here.


from studio to salesfloor

By now you probably know that New York Fashion Week is in full swing. You and I are eagerly anticipating fall so we can finally wear our tall boots and faux fur vests, but fashion designers are already showing their collections for next spring, 2012. Yep, that's how fashion works. And it's not because the industry always wants to be a step ahead of you. It's so spring clothes can get actually into your closet by, well, spring!

Having worked for a few different design houses, I can give you an abbreviated (but by no means complete) overview of how it goes. After a fashion show is over, the designer's sales team holds appointments with buyers of major department stores around the country. Buyers come into the studio, examine the clothes up close, and eventually place their orders based on what their store's demographic is likely to purchase. (Not all the crazy stuff you see on runways is actually purchased, nor is it always meant for purchase.)
Designers would love to see their clothing at Barney's ~from arizonafoothillsmagazine.com

By this time, the design team is already working on their next collection. Most designers create four collections in a year: fall/winter, resort, spring/summer, and pre-fall. The main designer (with his/her name on the label) will have an idea of what he wants to explore for next season. He may have a sketch or two in tow. He relays his concepts to the design staff with whom he's collaborating, who then create a moodboard, research the archives, and make illustrations. 
from coroflot.com

Once the entire line is illustrated, it's time to create the patterns. Each drawing is given to a pattern-maker who conceives how to bring the illustration to life. (This is obviously one of the most crucial aspects of design, and pattern-makers regularly make six figure salaries.) The patterns are made with paper and placed on the chosen fabric and cut. Some design studios hire employees whose sole responsibility is cutting fabric—it’s not an easy job!


hips don't lie

Fashion Q&A: you asked about style options for curvy girls.
Sky high heels, a hip-length drapey blazer, black pants, and a long
scarf all add the illusion of slimness to Kim Kardashian's curvy frame.

Dear street number eight,

Loved your post on printed pants last week! What do you think about maxi skirts or that style of harem pants on gals who have hips, real hips? Yay or nay?


Dear Curves,

This girl here has hips, real hips, and I think both maxi skirts and harem pants can be extremely flattering if worn correctly. Choosing the proper fabric is key. With maxi skirts, stick with flowy chiffons or stiffer polyester, silk, or wool blends. I’d avoid jersey, because it’s rarely lined and clings (rather obscenely, in my opinion) to the body.


hot lips

Add va-va-voom to your pucker with a bold red lipstick this fall. I've polled red lipstick aficionados and beauty bloggers alike for a shortlist of their favorites. Check out their picks on Divanee.com.

PS. Once you’ve got your scarlet selected, how about a rundown on the proper way to apply it? After all, I don’t want you to eat it off by lunchtime or end up looking like a clown. The key lies in the 4-step “Prep, Apply, Blot, and Finish” procedure. Check out my article on the best way to apply red lipstick so it lasts and lasts.