Friday, January 27, 2012


Take a peek at model-turned-stylist-turned-editor-turned-designer Tabitha Simmons' gorgeous Manhattan townhouse from the February issue of US Vogue. Another glamorous mother to admire!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


"What we're selling is a dream, not a garment."

- Stefano Tonchi

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Inspired by Refinery29's "Daily Diversion" featuring this vintage Banana Republic ad
here are 13 more archived advertisements from some of today's most recognized brands!

Burberry, 1924

L'Oreal, 1920's

Louis Vuitton, 1920's

DeBeer's, 1940's

DeBeer's 1950's

 Chanel, starring Suzy Parker with Cary Grant and Fred Astaire, 1952

Christian Dior, 1960's

Chanel, starring Faye Dunaway, 1972

Judith Leiber, 1989

Neiman Marcus, 1990

Chanel, starring Claudia Schiffer, 1990
Gucci, 1991

 Gucci, 2003

Images via PZR ServicesWe Heart VintageAd Classix

Monday, January 9, 2012


One of the most horrific experiences of my career came in the form of an email from Sarah Mower, one of the most respected voices in fashion. It all happened after Kate Moss' 8-year-old daughter was snapped by paparazzi wearing one of my designer client's children's sweater. The client requested that I send a press release, and I complied, alerting per usual each of the world's top style writers. Ms. Sarah Mower then unexpectedly popped into my inbox, replying to the release by letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that it this was gross exploitation of a child, and rhetorically demanded whether I had sought permission from the child's mother to use the minor's image. As a strong advocate of children's rights, not to mention a lifelong devotee of both Sarah Mower and Kate Moss, I was beyond mortified. Of course, I continue to be an avid fan Sarah's, so I was delighted to read the below interview with her from even though my stomach can't help but knot itself at the sight of her name!

Her recent citation with an MBE for “services to the Fashion Industry” only confirmed to the wider public what the British fashion industry has known for years: few have done as much to ensure the rude health of London’s fashion designers than Sarah Mower. With 20 years of experience in the field, Mower brings a wealth of forthrightness and authority to her work as contributing editor for US Vogue (and and columnist for the Daily Telegraph. And it was her decade-long tenure as fashion critic for the pioneering website, where her reviews attained a must-read status among fashion fanatics and designers alike. In her dual roles as chair of the NEWGEN committee and Ambassador for Emerging Talent for the British Fashion Council, Mower (aided by a crack support network of London’s finest) has been instrumental to the stratospheric rise of emerging designers such as Meadham Kirchhoff, Mary Katrantzou, Michael Van Der Ham among many others.
Growing up, what status did fashion have in your family? What was your start in the business?I was brought up in Bath, and my parents were teachers – my mother art; my father engineering. Fashion had no overt status except that my mother and grandmother made clothes. Around the age of 10, I  started doing fashion drawings of my own, with swatches of fabric snipped off my mother's remnants – I still have them! For my 13th birthday, I got a subscription to Vogue – an unbelievable luxury which changed my life. There was still no thought of a career in fashion, but when I went to Leeds University to study English and History of Art, I entered the Vogue Talent Contest, and was a winner that year. I always tell young journalists to go in for that – it gave me the confidence to think I could actually do something.
What was it in your character that drew you to fashion and does it still hold the same interest for you?I think I see fashion in multiple dimensions – as a medium reflecting the ways we live and think. I love researching the history of it and watching new patterns emerge. I also really enjoy talking to designers and trying to get them to talk about how they design and why. I love the instinctive, mysterious aspects of fashion creativity and trying to analyse them. Now I'm old enough to know practically everyone in fashion, I really get a kick out of being able to connect young talent with people who can help build their careers and businesses. Also: I love clothes! You can't do much about how old you are – I am not a botoxer or filler – but I hold onto the idea that dressing well is the best revenge against ageing!
Are you comfortable with your power to make or break a collection?Make or break? I don't know if I can do that personally. As the chair of the New Gen committee, I've asked an amazing panel of buyers and editors and high-level consultants to select designers for London shows and presentations – so decisions are collective. After that, designers get amazing support, both financial, and in every dimension of business from these experts and the British Fashion Council. So I think I participate in more making than breaking!
"You can't do much about how old you are – I am not a botoxer or filler – but I hold onto the idea that dressing well is the best revenge against ageing!"
A lot of critics have talked about how September 2011 was the best LFW in many years – when did you first notice the shift in people paying close attention to London designers?The latest wave of attention came to London when Christopher Kane showed his first collection at Holland Park on an amazing late summer day in September 2006. Marios Schwab and Gareth Pugh were coming up at the same time. Then followed by Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic, Richard Nicoll and more recently Peter Pilotto, Louise Gray, Michael Van der Ham, Mark Fast, Mary Katrantzou.
What factors have been important in British designers being able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their European or American counterparts?It took most of a decade to get London to the level it's at today – with young designers exporting British-made clothes to the luxury stores of the world. First, you have to creditProfessor Louise Wilson, who spends two years drilling the brains of each cohort of MA graduates to make them distinguish what it is they are supposed to be saying, and prohibiting any hint of the derivative. Then the economy has played its part – in a downturn there have been fewer jobs so young people have been inspired to go it alone – and then the BFC has reorganized to be designer-facing and offer all the help which is needed. There's the unique Topshop sponsorship of international grade runway shows – and the New Gen support which I’ve already described. There's also Fashion East and the Centre for Fashion Enterprise. And a breakthrough has been the London Showrooms, which we take to Paris so buyers and editors have a one-stop shop, and designers are fast-tracked to an opportunity to learn how to sell and deliver to the standards Barneys, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Joyce and Lane Crawford demand. Another part of the picture is that all the designers I mentioned are working with British factories close to home – that way, they can teach them how to make things beautifully and oversee production in a perfectionist way. Nowadays an Erdem dress, made in Battersea, stands up to any comparison on any department store designer floor, for example.
How did your position as Ambassador for Emerging Talent at the BFC come about and how has it evolved since you started?The "ambassador" title was created for me after I'd been agitating for change at the BFC for such a long time, and mentoring unofficially. Then I volunteered to bring all the editors and buyers to the London Showroom by having a brunch. Since then, the BFC has been incredible, with an amazing team working in all areas full speed ahead. The reward is seeing how the designers all respond so quickly, grow amazingly as business people, work so incredibly hard - and importantly, get on so well. If there was still a vibe-y, stand-offy attitude amongst London designers, I would not be doing this. They are a friendship group too, and that is an advantage I see foreigners looking at in awe. It's one thing which can't be replicated.
How do you think the current stand-off between Milan Fashion Week’s Mario Boselli moving the dates of MFW to overlap with NYFW and LFW will end?Aah the date debacle: for the first time, I felt a sense of incredulity but no anxiety about the date problem. London is so strong now that it can't be trodden on - I found it almost funny that Italy hadn't yet realised that. London has great support coming from the United States and Conde Nast, and it will be sorted out.
Kin Woo writes for Dazed & ConfusedPonystep and Androgyny magazine and is a contributing editor for Dazed Digital. He has produced films for international artists Pheonix, Patrick Wolf and Lissie Trullie.


Here's to a rocking and stylish 2012!

Brought to you by the fabulous tees of StyleMint


My favorite section of Vogue has always been the "Nostalgia" column. As described in one of my very first posts, the column features poignant memoirs from writers sharing coming-of-age stories revolving around any host of intriguing characters, including elegant mentors, mysterious fathers, and devastating lovers. Ultimately, the main character becomes the author herself, as she grapples with her own dreams, insecurities, and spiritual growth. It is the vulnerable side of a magazine otherwise featuring impeccable ladies who have already achieved an intimidating volume of professional success, cultural intelligence, and ethereal beauty. (And of course, a killer  eff-ing wardrobe). 

Now, Vogue Features Director Eve MacSweeney has edited a beautiful new coffee table book featuring sixty-three "Nostalgia" essays from the past decade, accompanied by the original archival photographs that inspired the stories (including breathtaking images by Horst P. Horst, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, and more). I received the book, Nostalgia in Vogue, for Christmas and couldn't be more thrilled. Tamara Warren writes for, "this book is a gentle reminder of why we save our stacks of magazines". Here are a few of my favorite photographs from the collection:

Woman underwater by Toni Firssell from the essay SWEPT AWAY
"Young and in love, Patricia Morrisroe moved into her boyfriend's Sutton Place apartment 
only to have her visions of a romantic summer subsumed by a family drama."

Adele Astaire by Rosamond Pinchot from the essay THE AIR IN ASTAIRE
"A grassed over swimming pool in Ireland inspired artist T.J. Wilcox to explore 
the forgotten life of 1920s It Girl Adele Astaire."

Jerry Hall by Stan Malinowski from the essay PAINT IT RED 
"Jerry Hall's cool attitude and sexy pout turned young Australian Poppy King 
into an international lipstick whiz."

And here are three more pieces of "Nostalgia":

1. FACES OF THE EIGHTIES by Padma Lakshmi

2. NOW, VOYAGER by John Gallianon

3. SOOTHES MY SOUL by... me

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Inspired by FabSugar's look back at the birthday girl's cool girl style, we toast actress and fashion darling Kate Bosworth's 28th birthday with her Top 10 Looks of 2011.

10. In Mulberry at a dinner for the house at the Chateau Marmont

9. In Chloé at the Sundance Film Festival

8. In Isabel Marant at the Little Next Door café in West Hollywood

7. In Dolce & Gabbana at her Lucky magazine cover party at Hemingway's in Hollywood

6. In Erdem at the LACMA Art + Film Gala

5. In Isabel Marmont at The King's Speech party at the Chateau Marmont

4. In Carven on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"

3. In Chanel at the Deauville Film Festival

2. In Burberry Prorsum at the Burberry Body launch in Beverly Hills

1. In Chanel to host a dinner at the house's West Hollywood outpost

Oh, to have Kate's closet... and designer showroom access!
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