Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Exterior of Opening Ceremony NYC/Howard Street

While in New York the number one store on my must-visit agenda was Opening Ceremony.  I've long been an admirer of the stores philosophy to promote emerging American talent, the collaborations it does with American brands such as Pendletons as well as Robert Clergerie for shoes and even Hakaan for one dress. I especially like the way it offers a creative retail platform to designer/retailers from key global fashion cities. Chloe Sevigny's collection is gorgeous too.  Humberto Leon the owner/co-founder plays an active part in the NYC fashion scene and is someone I have a lot of time and respect for. 

Here's the BUT, though. (You knew that was coming, didn't you?) For all my enjoyment of its website - window shopping, reading the blog, the great Fashion's Night Out video interview with Anna Wintour - when I actually got to the shop itself, the experience was a huge disappointment.

Without meaning to sound like a princess, I expected a lot more from the stock and store environment. It just does not match the reputation. There was also a certain arrogance to the prices. The first price tag I saw upon walking in was a pair of cream silk crochet ankle socks that were more thin air than sock. Imagine large scale fishnet tights to get the picture. They were by Rodarte - American!! so no duty extras - and costs over $400.

ARE THEY JOKING??? I've interviewed the Rodarte girls and know why their work is special  (though who would pay $400 + bucks for socks from them?). But most people - like those I was with in New York - took one look at the socks draped over a bar, saw the price tag, laughed and promptly left the shop to sit outside, leaving me agitated.

When you make grand claims about your fashion philosophy online, and have a stellar media reputation it really matters that your bricks and mortar shop rewards those who have made the effort to get there.
Hakaan collaboration with Opening Ceremony

1. The connoisseur knowledge the business claims to have is not evident in the shop in the way it is online. The space is not curated, the rails are as packed as a thrift store that does not know how to merchandise. How am I supposed to know where things are, and why they are special if they are crammed on a rail?

2. If you are going to charge those premium prices, give me the background to the pieces. Give me the story. Give me the staff who are not just standing there posing.

3. Think Dover Street Market, not flea market.

I still love you though. And these.

Pendleton's meets Opening Ceremony.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Keira 4 Valentino

Keira Knightley always looks alright. I often feel her fashion choices are a bit odd, though, and that some of the designers she wears don't suit her as much as they could. But that's just splitting hairs.

The initial impulse for this post is that Keira looks outrageously stunning in this Valentino dress from the Spring 2011 collection. The best she has ever looked. Regular readers of this blog will know I have a penchant for the way Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli the creative directors of Valentino are refreshing the codes of the house.

You ought to know, too, that the Valentino showing for Spring/Summer 2011 was the highlight of the season for just about every woman in the fashion media and more besides. So expect profiles of the designers, and lots of Valentino love and red carpet action next season.

Luckily for me, I got to spend time with the designers during Couture week in July, and wrote up my interview for POP's current issue. MC and PP as they are known are funny and fabulous, and doing such a great job. Here's ten reasons why I'm still a Valentino Vampire.

Read more about my Valentino obsession here.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

She was obscure in her career for so long. Not any more. Anna Dello Russo's moment has arrived. And long may she enjoy the fame, fortune - (she is currently inking a perfume deal) - and admiration of both her peers and the world at large.

There is an excellent interview with Anna in this weeks Grazia written by Paula Reed, with a line in it that made me wish for a moment I could give up all other work and just focus solely on my blog.

"I reinvented myself through my blog. Its been slow progress. Through my blog I find I can express myself better than I was ever able to on a magazine. The Internet has freed me."

I like that. Though magazine work is as essential to me as it is to Anna, having a personal blog is, as Anna says below to (via The Cut) about "my own expression."

She goes onto say, "Of course I love Japanese Vogue, but in any case, I was thinking to express myself. I thought, I should really jump in this world and have a voice to really express myself. With magazines, you don’t really express yourself; you express a corporate vision, you express the vision of Condé Nast. It’s not really your point of view. You can’t say in the magazine what you really like, it’s all a very political vision. So I thought, maybe I should spend some time and energy to finally have my little voice, and now it’s happening."

Viva ADR! Buy the new edition of TEN Magazine, with Anna on the cover. It came out yesterday. They're having a party tonight, and ADR is to be the guest of honour.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

The other day I style stalked girl in the new upstairs section of Opening Ceremony. She was wearing a pair of black ankle high lace up clog boots with perfect dimensions that looked like just the thing I didn't know I wanted.  Upon enquiring of her their provenance, she said "Number 6," like I was supposed to know what that was. "It's behind Centre" she added somewhat cryptically. 

An angle on No6

Seeing as I was thoroughly disappointed by Opening Ceremony, (will tell more tomorrow) I was delighted there was a shop I had not heard of that already had something I wanted to buy from it. New York stores have had nothing much to offer the fussy Fashion Editor at Large.  I looked up "No6" as it turned out to be called, and visited yesterday, and then brought all my friends back there today. It was the best shopping experience I've had for a long time.

Regular readers of my blog will know I'm not one to stick myself in it all the time, but last night I went to a perfect Mexican restaurant Suenos in an outfit that made me feel so good and fashion fresh I wanted to share it with you. Three of the components are part of my haul from No6.

Shearling lined clog ankle boots, elephant and flower print blouse, Dior sash in my hair, all from No6.

Thats all for now. Now to pack. My flight leaves in 3.5 hours. However, will wax lyrical on my full NYC fashion experience tomorrow. Including my new favourite American fashion chain.

In the meantime, visit No6.

Photos: Fashion Editor at Large


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

The corner of Howard and Broadway in Soho

I'm in New York for a break to visit friends and catch up on fashion and retail developments at my leisure, rather than in the rush of a here-on-business schedule. In all the years I have been coming here (since 1998) I have never done proper touristy things, just hung out and had fun with my many friends who live and work here. 

We're staying with my ex-girlfriend Sonja Nuttall who is the creative director of the Urban Zen Foundation. Sonja works closely with Donna Karan, and has just returned from Haiti with DK where she oversaw delivery of 70,000 tents and equipment to help rehouse the many homeless on Haiti. In the last year she and Donna have raised $1.3 million to help Haiti. Hearing her stories are humbling. I love the way she took her successful career as a fashion designer into an area of social responsibility.

Sonja & Donna

First impressions of New York is that the fire is not in the belly of this city like it used to be. It feels like the buzz has moved off the island to Brooklyn. All the major stores on Manhattan are just as you would expect: glossy, grand and, ultimately full of very safe stock. It is very conservative here. It is also verrry expensive. I paid £150 for a brunch for four people and nearly fell off my chair with shock when the bill came. In previous years the same price in $$ would have been £90; still expensive for what we bought.
Stores like Scoop sell designer versions of casual, everyday clothes I would pick up in COS, or TopShop. The service is in another league, as one would expect in NYC. Unlike at home in UK where most shop staff feel like they are employed as glorified shelf fillers, and act as such, here shop staff seem genuinely happy to serve and help.  

We've been here a since Sunday, so far we have...
1. Had an amazing but pricy brunch at Pastis
2. Eaten a Japanese feast at Omen
3. Had the best slap-up lunch ever at ABC Kitchen.
3. Walked and walked and walked....and looked and looked around at this sort of stuff

NYC street art

The corridor window outside the store Kiosk that we stumbled on in Spring Street, Soho

The doorway and sidewalk sign pointing the way to Kiosk

4. Visited Opening Ceremony - the only store I have visited so far (and I've done all of Soho, and Fifth Avenue departments stores Bergdof, Saks, Bendels) that had truly original product on offer. Will be doing a more detailed post in couple of days on my store experience there.
5. Discovered Kiosk (see shots above), what feels like a guerilla store, but one that is somewhat established. Every item is displayed museum style with a card describing it's origin and the story of the curators introduction to it. Extremely creative & unique concept, and going there is a thrilling experience ticking all the unexpected discovery boxes you hope for if you're me.
6. Went to the top of the Rockerfeller Centre. Brilliant views of Central Park, Empire State Building and all Manhattan

Today was windless, warm and sunny. We saw a wasp up there! Incredible view of Empire State Building looking south

Fucking around

Looking north to Central Park from the top of 30 Rock

7. Taken a round trip on the Staten Island Ferry to appreciate the views of the Statue of Liberty and Battery Park and the downtown skyline from the water.

Back view of the Staten Island Ferry terminal at Battery Park
Later: High Line, Boom Boom Room, Brooklyn

Photos: Fashion Editor at Large


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

So next week, while the Fash Ed goes to New York, we thought we would draft in some replacements to do our work for us.

(Plus, we are both flipping well obsessed with Mad Men. Our love for Betty, Joan, Peggy and of course Don Draper shows no sign of abating, and is beginning to take over all our spare time)

Let us present our Mad Men selves...

Fashion Editor at Large takes her rightful place, in charge at Sterling Cooper Draper Price:

(Then Fashion Editor at Large decided that was not quite did this one which feels much more me than the first....can you tell I'm procrastinating?)

While Fashion Junior hangs out in the secretary pool and desperately attempts to steal Joan Holloway's gold pen necklace...

If only we could really transport ourselves back to 1960s New York! This will have to do for now.

Try it for yourself here. Be warned, you may be about to lose an hour of your working day.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

blowing at screen as I attempt to blast away the cobwebs from my sorely negleted blog after the collections. Apologies for my absence. Problem is, I'm paid to work for other people and the collections are when the blog has to go on the back burner or else I don't sleep. So, now you have them. My excuses for not being here.

Now back to a sort of business. Its always weird what gets left inprinted on the mind post shows. This time is no exception; apart from exhaustion and lying slumped watching season three of Mad Men while eating Padron Peppers and copious amounts of tea, there is one thing I KNOW I will want in my life for spring 2011.

A PAIR OF PINK TROUSERS.   Preferably those up there from the Jil Sander collection.

Thats all.



Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Posted by Fashion Editor and Junior at Large

I'm in Paris. I love my little hotel on Rue St Honore, and how its just a block from Colette. In the cafe downstairs the manager even remembers my favourite red wine. The first 24 hours have been hectic. I interviewed Heidi Klum at the Ritz for Grazia, not before practically walking into Mario Testino in the lobby, and then being caught up in the flurry of Naomi Campbell leaving the building. Then there was Cavalli's amaaaazing party (read about in Grazia next week). After delivering the copy my first show was Balmain. Read the review over on Grazia Daily.

In the meantime, we have been thinking about the most important looks from London, and have realised that there is a new style icon in town.

Meet the muse for SS11: the one and only Malibu Barbie.

 The original Malibu Barbie, circa 1971

Having been released in 1971, Malibu Barbie is an icon from the era that nearly every designer referenced in their SS11 collections. Originally, she was sold wearing a fetching aqua swimsuit, with an eveningwear ensemble called 'Lemon Kick' - a yellow confection of pleated chiffon, with on-trend angel sleeves and flared trousers. 

As bizarre as it may sound, it does seem that Malibu Barbie's pastel-perfect colour scheme, love of a pleat and a way with floaty chiffon has indeed influenced what we will all be wearing next summer. The catwalks were awash with a palette of aqua, vibrant pinks, and flashes of yellow. Sleeves, capes, trousers and dresses were billowing silk-chiffon affairs in very Seventies styles, and denim was always in the palest of Charlie Girl washes. There were large helpings of crystal glitter (a Barbie essential), A-line shapes were enhanced with pleating and the abundance of fringing added to the Malibu beach feel. 

Still don't believe us? Let the pictures speak for themselves...

 House of Holland SS11

  House of Holland SS11

Richard Nicholl SS11

Giles SS11

 Unique SS11

 Matthew Williamson SS11

Mark Fast SS11

 Richard Nicholl SS11

It's not just the clothes, either. California golden blonde flicky hair, rainbow eye makeup, neon pink highlights and glittery lipgloss were the key runway beauty looks. Remind you of anybody?

Julian J Smith SS11

So there you have it: Malibu Barbie, inspiring girls since 1971, and the style icon for the new season. 

Images: Mattel,