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Scatter my ashes…at Bergdorf’s???

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s is the new documentary film about the venerable retailer at New York City’s 58th St. and Fifth Avenue.  This film gives you an inside glimpse of the inner workings at one of the most valuable designer addresses in the world!  I went to see this movie at the Opera Plaza cinema in San Francisco yesterday and love, love, LOVED it!

Bergdorf Goodman

 

Bergdorf Goodman

Scatter my ashes at Bergfdorf’s was directed by Matthew Miele and introduces you to the real players in the make -or- break world of high fashion.   We meet Linda Fargo, fashion director at Bergdorf’s and fashion week front row dweller, meeting with up and coming designers vying for a spot on the coveted BG selling floor.  We meet Betty Halbreich, long time personal shopper, who when asked what she’d be doing if she wasn’t at BG looks into the camera  and says ”DRINKING”!  The film also interviews every major fashion designer like Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar De la Renta, Jason Wu, Dolce & Gabanna, Vera Wang and many others, on what it means to be sold at BG.

Bergdorf-Goodman shopping bag

The movie also goes through the history of both the building and company founders Edwin Goodman and Herman Bergdorf.  The store opened in 1901 (not at it’s present location though) and has been memorialized in movies, songs and T.V. shows.  The movie also gives appropriate screen time to David Hoey and his team,  responsible for the incredible and outrageous BG windows.  This is an inside look at the pure artistry involved in the holiday windows, and all the windows through the year.  It feels to the viewer like getting ready for opening night on Broadway, a mix between theater and art installation!

BG window

BG window

I really loved this movie, no surprises there, and would definitely recommend it to fashionistas and history buffs alike.  Here is the trailer for Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s …enjoy!

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s Trailer

 

Milly teams up with Banana Republic

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I love the trend of high end designers teaming up with lower end retailers…Target and Missoni and Roberto Cavalli (and many more), Karl Lagerfeld and Doo Ri for Macy’s and H&M with Marni and Lanvin.  Isaac Mizrahi kicked it off in 2002 with his historic and long running collabortion with Target.   These match-ups seem to serve both ends of the partnership well.  The designer has access to a customer base that cannot afford their higher priced line, and the retailer gets exposure to a higher end customer,  who is introduced to their stores or websites.  It’s a win-win for all.

0510trina-turk-banana-republic1_fa 2012

Trina Turk for BR, Summer 2012

Banana Republic teamed up with designer Trina Turk last summer for a colorful collection of summer pieces.  I thought they did a great job of interpreting her asthetic for BR!  It seems the trend continues as BR gets ready to introduce their latest collaboration with Milly by Michelle Smith.  Milly is one of my favorite lines and I’ve been lucky enough to see their shows at New York fashion week several seasons.   The regular Milly line is carried at Neiman Marcus and Saks in their San Francisco stores.

milly-banana-republic

The collection is inspired by the Hamptons and uses fresh colors and prints and really nails that laid back summer vibe.  Here are a few of the women’s collection pieces…

PicMonkey-Collage-424x358 BR Milly

Milly for Banana Republic, Summer 2013

This capsule collection hits Banana Republic stores on May 30, 2013, and there’s a great men’s collection as well.  I am sure people will be lined up for this, so don’t miss your chance to travel to the posh Hamptons without leaving your own zip code!

PS-  The next collaboration BR has up their sleeve is with Brit designer Daniella Helayer of ISSA London, a favorite line of both Cate & Pippa Middleton, set for an August 6th launch.

For more information, special launch and store hours click here

Fundraising around the Square.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

As October’s Breast Cancer awareness month winds down, there’s still more ways to give and GET .  Many merchants in and around Union Square are joining together to support the cause.  With a $65 donation to Susaon G. Komen for the cure, you receive a Komen Card, good for 20% off from the wonderful list of participating stores!  This is a great event and with the holidays around the corner, you can get a jump on gift shopping.  Cards can be purchased online at www.komencard.org and are good from 10/25 until 11/4.  Get your give on and start shopping!!!

Fight breast cancer and save 20%! Shop with the 2012 Komen Card at the Bay Area’s finest merchants and Save 20% from October 25 – November 4, 2012! Purchase your Komen Card online through Friday, October 26th, or visit any participating retailer to buy your card in-store now through November 4th!

Merchants Offering 20% Savings

Agent Provocateur | 54 Geary Street some exclusions apply; please see store for details

Azadeh | 110 Geary St.

Bottega Veneta | 124 Geary St. Some exclusions apply; please see store for details

The Container Store | 26 Fourth St. Sale items are excluded

Diptyque Paris | 171 Maiden Lane

Downtown | 55 Maiden Lane Special Orders are excluded

Faconnable | 253 Post St.

Glory Chen | 134 Maiden Lane

Gump’s | 135 Post St. Some jewelrey is excluded: Aaron Henry, Buccellati, Estate & Antique Jewelry, Kothari, Petra Class, Russell Trusso and Todd Reed.

Harputs | 80 Geary St.

John Varvatos | 152 Geary St. Watches, AUdio and Photography are Excluded

Juicy Couture| 105 Grant Ave. Some exclusions apply; please see store for details

Paul Smith | 50 Geary St.

Porsche Design | 100 Grant Ave.

Serge Sorroko Gallery | 55 Geary St.

Ted Baker| 80 Grant Ave . Theory | 120 Maiden Lane Non-Theory labels are not included

Tse Cashmere | 60 Maiden Lane Some exclusions apply; please see store for details

Vince | 36 Geary St.

Williams Sonoma | 340 Post St

 

 

Party at VINCE boutique…Thursday

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Please come join me at the VINCE boutique this Thursday, Oct. 11th from 6-8 pm.  The nice folks at Vince are hosting me along with my clients, friends and fans (all of you reading) for an fun evening at the boutique… OH, and did I mention that you get 25% off all of those great Vince pieces!!!  YES, 25%!  I’d love to see you, so please do stop by!

 

Oldies, but Goodies!

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Most people come down pretty strongly on one side or the other…they either LOVE vintage or HATE it.  For those with a love for “older” rather than new and disposable, this is a BIG weekend.  The Vintage Fashion Expo is coming to SF!  There will be 85 dealers of vintage clothing for both men and women, along with jewelry, textiles and accessories.  In college, I regularly scoured the one vintage store in the small upstate N.Y. town where I went to school, searching for great buys on my meager budget.  I felt like a kid in a candy store when I was there.  I branched out when I moved to Manhattan post- college, and found some of the best vintage stores around.  Once I entered the professional world, my love of vintage faded as I tried to emulate Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (the “after” not the “before”).

Over the past 10 years my love of vintage has been rekindled in the form of handbags!  I adore vintage handbags.  I especially like when it still contains the little lipstick mirror that so many of the bags of the 30′s- 50′s came with.  You won’t be surprised to know that I am a huge fan of the TV show, Mad Men.  I think for me, it’s all about the thrill of the “find”.  I’ve found treasures in the most unlikely places.

I imagine what the original owner of each bag was like.  Did she work or was she a typical 50′s housewife?  Where did she go and with who?  Was she happy, did she go to fun cocktail parties?  Did she live in a city, the suburbs or the country?  I love imagining what her life was like.  It’s one of the things that draws me to these pieces, they’re a part of history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of my favorite bags were steals and that adds to their appeal.  The cinnamon colored vintage Christian Dior bag was in a clearance bin at Labels Consignment Store in Walnut Creek.  I think I paid $20 or $30 dollars.  My all time favorite, an alligator one- handled bag with a tortoise shell clasp was at a garage sale.  I questioned the owner about the price not wanting to give away my excitement.  He looked at me shyly, careful not to offend and said ”how’s $5?”.  I was elated, handed him the five bucks and grabbed it before he could change his mind…SCORE!!!

Vintage Christian Dior handbag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vintage alligator bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to hear about any vintage finds that had you jumping for joy (at least on the inside).  Please share them with me and include photos if you can.  The Vintage Fashion Expo happens this weekend, March 17 & 18 at the Concourse Exhibition Center at 635 Eighth St. (at Brannan) in San Francisco.  You can check their website at http://www.vinategexpo.com .  I’ll be the one looking for the perfect vintage bag…

 

 

Neiman Marcus Opening- part deux, the GALA…

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Many in the east bay turned out last night for the pre-opening Gala at the new Neiman Marcus in Walnut Creek.  This is a big deal for the area as there has not been a big “retail event” this significant since Tiffany opened 10 years ago!  The mood was festive as we walked the “pink carpet” with the trademark NM butterflies projected around us.   We were greeted by young, great looking  gentlemen ready to open the doors to the kingdom.  Waiters were ready with trays of drinks; wine (WHITE, of course), champagne, lemon drops and a lovely light pink concoction.  Barbara Llewellyn did the catering so you know all the food tasted great.  Stations were set up all over the store with basics like 3 different kinds of mac-n-cheese, a raw oyster bar, grilled veggies, chicken satay, and  sliced steak and pork.  Desserts included cake pops, mini s’mores and fudge filled brownies.  Definitely something for everyone!

Phat Strad at MN Gala

There were 2 different bands playing, one on each of the store’s 2 floors and they were terrific.  I especially liked the group Phat Strad that played as you ascended the escalator.  They are an all girl electronic string quartet that plays rock n roll.  They had a crowd around them all night that was well deserved!  These ladies rock…

Models walked the store in the latest and greatest designer clothing, shoes and accessories:

NM model in Brunello Cucinelli

 

NM model in Michael Kors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NM model in Missoni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NM model in Etro and Ralph Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a sold out event and proceeds from the $200 ticket benefited 4 bay area non-profits:

- Diablo Regional Arts Association

- Monument Crisis Center

- The Taylor Family Foundation

- The Junior League of Oakland – East Bay

As we were leaving, we received the requisite “swag bag”.  What I LOVED, is that one of the items in it was a brown handled bag that you could fill with much needed items for a particular non-profit beneficiary of the night.  In exchange, you drop it off at NM over this weekend and get a $50 Neiman’s gift certificate.  Fashion and philanthropy…a winning combination!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Neiman Marcus in Walnut Creek, a work of ART!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

I just attended the press preview for the new Walnut Creek Neiman Marcus store, set to open to the public on Friday.  The space is AMAZING in many different ways.  The space is bathed in natural light from the windows to the far reaches of the store.  The store was designed to bring the outdoors in and to use many organic and natural elements while showcasing the height of luxury products.  We were given a very in depth tour of the store by some of the execs from the headquarters in Dallas, as well as the Walnut Creek executives and associates.  There are 143 pieces of original art in the store, including pieces from some 30 local artists.  Stanley Marcus,  son of one of the founders of NM had a penchant for art and had one of the most impressive art collections around.  His first acquisition was a large scale mobile, Mariposa, by the artist Alexander Calder in 1951.  Today NM has a full time curator and over 2500 pieces in their collection.   The tradition continues in Walnut Creek…

Jamie Broadhurst, General Manager, moved up to this area from the Newport Beach, Fashion Island NM store and couldn’t be happier to be here.  He loves how “active” our demographic is and has felt a real connection to the community.  Jamie says “the openness of the store and the art really set it apart”.  Meghan Mino Murray, Public Relations Manager, is a local girl returning “home”,  as she is originally from Danville.  She was previously at the Beverly Hills NM store.  Other than a handful of executives, most of the 200 employees, culled from 800 applicants,  are from the surrounding area.

The Walnut Creek Neiman‘s has several “shops” within the store including Chanel, Gucci and Balenciaga handbags.  For men there is Ermenegildo Zegna and Armani Collezioni.  In women’s there is Chanel, Jil Saunder, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney and Brunello Cucinelli.  These in addition to the many other designers the store carries.  The women’s shoe department is my idea of what heaven is like…beautiful shoes laid out as far as the eye can see!  It feels like there is more square footage in the Walnut Creek women’s shoe department than is in the San Francisco women’s shoes.  Of course they carry the obvious designers like Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin along with Valentino, Prada, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Vera Wang, Michael Kors and MANY more!  That space in particular is stunning, as it is right along the exterior windows with plenty of cushy places to sit including several pairs of mid-century modern chartreuse chairs.  These looked nap-worthy to me,  I promise husbands and partners will LOVE them.  Speaking of husbands, there is a wonderful men’s lounge incorporated into the men’s fitting room area.  Comfortable chairs, TV, Wifi and the gentlemen are good to go!

There is also a well appointed personal shopping area that will be used by many a stylist, including MOI.  There are spa/treatment rooms adjacent to the cosmetics department on the first floor along with a small, but cozy Neiman‘s cafe on the 2nd floor.  This store will be the 42nd full line store for Neiman Marcus and that brings it to 7 stores in California, tied with Texas and Florida.  It seems as though the excitement has been building as the opening date gets closer and I can’t think of a better addition to the Broadway Plaza retail scene than Neiman‘s.  Welcome to the East Bay Neiman Marcus, we’ve been waiting for you!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaultier is coming to town!

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

For those fashionistas wanting to be ”in the know”, Jean Paul Gaultier is coming to town!  Starting on March 23rd, there will be a rash of special events, a gala and an exhibition sure to inspire and excite.  The name of the exhibit is “The fashion world of Jean Paul Gaultier: from the sidewalk to the catwalk”.  I spent the better part of this morning on the phone and online trying to score tickets to the Saturday (3/24) event “A conversation with Jean Paul Gaultier and Suzy Menkes, Fashion Editor of International Herald Tribune”.  Much to my dismay, the website couldn’t handle the traffic and the call center never had access to the tickets from the start.  So after a VERY frustrating 1.5 hours, I gave up and settled for an angry call to the deYoung Museum members line.  Well, the squeaky wheel got the grease and a very nice member relations person called me back with an apology and 2 tickets to the event!  I’m SO excited for this event and exhibition!

Jean Paul Gaultier with Madonna

 

The de Young’s website had this to say,  ”Dubbed fashion’s enfant terrible, Jean Paul Gaultier launched his first prêt-à-porter collection in 1976 and founded his own couture house in 1997. Emerging as a designer in the 1970s, he developed his own dress codes that reflected the changing world around him. The openly gay Gaultier uses his designs to tackle gender and transgender issues through androgynous, gender-bending styles, meanwhile delving even further into some of the darker areas of the sexual revolution.”  Gaultier may be best known for the costumes he conceived for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour of 1990, punctuated by cone shaped bra tops and lots of garter belts.   Also included in the exhibit are 140 couture designs, sketches, documents, photographs and film clips.

 

 

I feel so lucky to live in a place where we get to see these amazing programs and collections.   The exhibit opens to the public on March 24th and there is a members preview on March 23rd.  Tickets are still available for some of the other special events including the big gala on Friday night ($250).  Check the de Young website for the whole scoop, and I hope to see you there!

Trina Turk at Design Center in S.F.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

One of my FAVORITE designers, Trina Turk, will be in town today speaking at the SF Design Center with the editor of California Home + Design magazine.  I have long admired the graphic fabrics used in the Trina Turk line.   Trina Turk launched her business in 1995, having learned to sew and design from an early age.  Within the first year she had Barney”s New York, Fred Segal and Saks selling her clothing.

Inspired by the multicultural mix, architecture, and landscape of Los Angeles and California, The Trina Turk Collection is full of the Season’s most casually sophisticated – and “must have” silhouettes. Trina’s philosophy is to create wearable, optimistic fashion that incorporates the best aspects of classic American sportswear.”

 Trina Turk opened her flagship store in Palm Springs in 2002, to much excitement and fanfare, as the desert was a constant inspiration to her.  A store in LA soon followed, and her NYC store opened in 2006 in the meatpacking district.  Trina Turk residential opened right next door to the original clothing boutique in Palm Springs in 2008.  In 2009 she introduced an indoor-outdoor fabric line with home furnishings manufacturer F. Schumacher

 

“Turk will sit down with California Home+Design Executive Editor Erin Feher for a frank, funny and insightful conversation about finding your style, building your brand and why California is still the land of risk-takers and tastemakers. Audience questions and participation are highly encouraged. “

Design SF 2012 Keynote, SFDC Galleria, 101 Henry Adams Street SF, Ca 94103 February 1, 2012 10:00 – 11:00 AM

New Jon Tiffany book about Eleanor Lambert…a great gift

Friday, November 25th, 2011

As shoppers flood the stores today, Black Friday, for the official start of the holiday shopping season, I thought I would offer a few gift ideas of my own.  Over the next few weeks, I have some great present suggestions for those of us who have run out of original ideas.  Some of them are local companies that offer great products, some are super original, and others just a lot of fun!

Last Friday night, I attended a book signing for a new book by Jon Tiffany called Eleanor Lambert: Still Here.  The book signing was held at Luna, a trendy boutique on Sacramento St. in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of  San Francisco.  Ian Mackintosh, the Director of Public Relations for the Academy of Art University’s school of Fashion, invited me and worked alongside Tiffany, for the iconic Eleanor Lambert.  Miss Lambert, as Tiffany always refers to her, was a public relations extraordinaire, before most people knew what a PR person was.  Tiffany is animated and fun to talk to and has an easy going way about him.  He speaks enthusiastically about both Miss Lambert and the book.  It’s easy to see that this book was a labor of love that started with an idea, was originally going to be a documentary, and ended with this beautiful “coffee table” book.

Maureen French & Jon Tiffany, author of Eleanor Lambert: Still Here

Amazon.com describes the book: Eleanor Lambert: Still Here is a look into the life, career, and accomplishments of world-renowned American press agent Eleanor Lambert, as told through the experience of her assistant and fashion historian, John Tiffany.

 John Tiffany has over 20 years of experience in public relations, event production, branding, marketing, and sponsorship projects around the world, founding his own consulting business in New York. Early on, Tiffany was mentored by the legendary Eleanor Lambert.

Jon Tiffany's book, Eleanor Lambert: Still Here

Mackintosh also worked for Miss Lambert in New York for 6 years.  Mackintosh worked for other well known fashion PR firms before making the move to San Francisco to head up public relations for the school of fashion at AAU in Downtown San Francisco.

The book has received great coverage from Harper’s Bazaar, Women’s Wear Daily, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and others.

Some Eleanor Lambert trivia:
-She organized the semi-annual Fashion Press Week in New York as a coordinated schedule of  designer collections for the international press. She initiated a similar schedule for the European fashion capitals establishing the coordinated centralized showings now followed around the world.
-She founded the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and initiated the idea of the Costume Institute Gala, the preeminent social event for decades in New York.
-She founded the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
-She founded and coordinator of the International Best Dressed List (now coordinated by Vanity Fair magazine)

The book is available at amazon.com and makes a GREAT holiday gift for the fashionista in your life.