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Missoni Family attends AAU Graduation Fashion Show!

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The Academy of Art University students wowed the invitation only audience at the packed graduation fashion show last Thursday night, May 8th!  The venue was a massive warehouse in a south San Francisco industrial/chic neighborhood.  Attendees were treated to wine and nibbles before the show, in order to peruse the portfolios of select BFA and MFA graduating fashion students including Fashion Design, Textile Design, Knitwear Design, Merchandising, Jewelry/Metal arts and Illustration majors.  It was an impressive group of graduates!

Even more impressive were guests of honor Rosita, Angela and Margherita Missoni…THREE generations of amazing Missoni women.  The Missoni label was started by Rosita and her husband Ottavio  in the 1950’s and continues to be one of the most iconic knitwear brands in the world.  Rosita and Ottavio (Tai) were awarded Honorary Doctorates while they were guests of AAU in 1999.  I was working at AAU at that time as Merchandising Coordinator and instructor.  I had the great pleasure of spending some time with the Missonis and they were beyond gracious and charming!

The picture below is a wonderful reminder of that time.  Pictured (L to R) Maureen French, Bridget Kelly, Louise (top), GPP (bottom), Tai Missoni (top), Rosita Missoni (bottom), Rhona MacKenzie, Sharon and AAU President, Elisa Stephens.

The Missonis along with fashion school faculty in 1999

The Missonis along with fashion school faculty in 1999

Rosita was thrilled to see the 1999 picture, as was AAU President, Elisa Stephens and AAU Fashion School Executive Director, Gladys Perint Palmer.  Sadly, Tai Missoni passed away in May of last year at the family’s home in Sumirago, Italy.

Rosita Missone, Maureen French & Gladys Perint Palmer

Rosita Missone, Maureen French & Gladys Perint Palmer

It was lovely to see both Angela and Margherita Missoni receive their Honorary Doctorates during Thursday’s show.   They were both so grateful to be awarded these honors along with their parents and grandparents 15 years prior.  AAU President, Elisa Stephens said “The Missonis have created an iconic, globally recognized and celebrated style.  We are thrilled to have the Missonis as our esteemed guests, and it is an honor to have three generations of lady doctors join us for our Graduation Fashion Show.”

simon_unglessAs in years past, the show was as close as SF gets to a fashion week show!  AAU graduate students show at New York Fashion Week in the Spring and Fall.  Every year the show gets better and having missed only one or two over the last 16 years, I feel very qualified to say that!  Simon Ungless, Director of the School of Fashion and Director/Producer of the fashion show, is brilliant in his role and NEVER disappoints!  He has his hand in every detail of the show and it always pays off with a stunning parade of sartorial splendor.  He really is the heart and soul of the show and makes sure every student whose collection is included, really works hard for that honor.  Many tears have been shed by students who did not complete their collections on time or were lacking in quality and construction… talk about a project runway moment!  BTW, several AAU alumni have been on the popular show including fan favorite, Melissa Fleiss.

Overall, the collections were imaginative, original and impeccably tailored.  The variety of men’s, women’s and children’s collections kept the audience totally interested in whatever came down the runway.  Here are a few highlights…

AAU photo1 correct AAU photo5 correct

AAU photo4 correct

AAU photo2 correct

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And here is the full video from the AAU website.  Watch it, you WON’T be disappointed!

Pantone 2014 Color of the Year is Here!

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2014 in the usual flush of excitement and fanfare.  Pantone is THE authority on all things related to color.  So, drumroll please…the color for 2014 is RADIANT ORCHID!!! 

Pantone's 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid

Pantone’s 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid

While I think this is a lovely color, will this be a color that most women and men can relate to???  I combed my closet to see if I already owned any Radiant Orchid.  I came up with a work out top, that someone gave to me.  While I don’t have anything against Radiant Orchid, it is not the first (or second, or third, etc) color that I would reach for.  I then started to think about my clients and whether this would speak to any of their sartorial leanings.  The answer is not really, except for maybe one client.  She tends towards softer colors and never wears black!  So, that begs the question of whether just because a color has the designation of ‘color of the year’, do we try to incorporate it into our wardrobes?

My Orchid workout top

My Orchid workout top

There are a lot of other ways to wear Radiant Orchid besides a dress, top or jeans. Why not a Orchid colored handbag or clutch?  What about an purple hued pair of ballet flats or other kind of shoe?  Don’t forget that the beauty industry is also influenced by Pantones color forecasts.  Radiant Orchid is a great color for makeup.  What about a beautiful blush or eye shadow in this years’ color?

Pantone color board

The color board above gives some other ways to wear this sometimes difficult hue.  Take a look at the other colors in the 2014 fashion forecast this year.  I can really relate to Celosia Orange, Cayenne and Hemlock below.  So will anyone really care if I opt for a blush in the color of the year instead of a statement piece?  Probably not!  What do you think of Radiant Orchid, 2014 color of the year?  C’mon, don’t be shy…

Pantone fashion color forecast

Pantone fashion color forecast

CA89, a Must-shop Stop in Truckee!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

If you have any plans to be up in Tahoe this summer (or anytime) you have to stop in at CA89, in old town Truckee.  CA89 is the brain child of Lisa Gotts, an Oakland resident and long time Truckee homeowner and fan.  Lisa has been skiing here for many years and was a ski instructor at Squaw Valley.  She worked for Sunset magazine most recently in advertising sales and other notable magazines like Outside, Vogue and Elle.  CA89 is the next step in her professional ascent.  Jason Spruit is the uber- capable Store Manager and just relocated to Truckee from Detroit.

Out front of CA89

Out front of CA89

CA89 is an iconic stretch of road in eastern California that is well known and well loved.  Lisa developed a logoed brand of merchandise based on that scenic highway.   According to Lisa Gotts, not many stores locally focus on apparel and lifestyle goods that highlight the Sierra life. Her store’s apparel ranges from t-shirts and hoodies to dry-fit shirts and outerwear. Along with clothing they also have a wide selection of accessories such as pint glasses, notebooks, key chains, and hats/beanies.  The store opened earlier this year to much anticipation and fanfare.  CA89 is located at  10156 Donner Pass Road in the Brickeltown part of old Truckee.  It’s across from the train depot, still operating, in a historic, charming old building.  The modern fixtures and black and white color scheme meld perfectly with the old exposed brick inside the space.  Lisa’s keen design aesthetic is clearly on view in the store.

Inside CA89

Inside CA89

In addition to the great retail space, CA89 has a great mobile retail store in the form of their panel truck.  It was great to see it roll down the street as part of the annual Truckee 4th of July parade!  The CA89 crew can take their truck to all the different events around the Tahoe basin, like concerts, triathalons, art & wine festivals and much more.   It really shows how may different ways you can promote and market your brand.

The CA89 truck!

The CA89 truck!

In addition to the regular store hours, CA89 invites the community to summer movie nights on the lawn in the back of the store.  They show outdoor movies (bring a low back chair and $2) every Thursday and Saturday night at dusk.  No worries, there will be plenty of popcorn to go around!  There is also a yoga class every Thursday from 4:30- 5:45pm and it’s $10 for the class.  This is offered in conjunction with Yoga Studio Tahoe.

CA89 #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA89 #5

 

 

 

 

 

So if your summer or winter plans include Tahoe, make sure you stop in to CA 89 and tell Lisa and her crew I sent you!  Summer hours are 10-6pm daily.  Don’t forget to “like” CA89 on Facebook…  Happy summer everyone!

CA89 #6

 

 

 

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.

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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

It’s CAMPER season

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Ok, I admit I used the word camper to get your attention.  Most people either LOVE or HATE anything to do with camping.  Having spent the better part of my childhhood in campgrounds up and down the eastern seaboard, our family loved camping.  Well, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with camping, but with a Spanish shoe brand called CAMPER!  Fooled ya…

As a stylist, almost every client I encounter has a “foot issue”.  It’s usually shared in hushed tones, with head down and a slightly embarassed demeanor.  Hammer toes, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and on and on.  I have news for you…EVERYONE (over the age of 35) has a “foot issue”.  Camper shoes are so fun, cool, european inspired, that even with “issues”, they are great shoes.  Here’s the one I just bought ( and bought for 2 different clients):

Camper "Beetle" sandal

Camper “Beetle” sandal

 

I loved the color, the hieght and the dual closures.  This is an incredibly comfortable shoe.  I can walk miles in it and it’s perfect for your European trip this summer (or anywhere you’ll be walking a lot).  They are incredibly light if you’re taking a carry on.  You can loosen one or both sides, as your feet swell or expand.  Here’s another one I like:

"Twins" Camper sandal

“Twins” Camper sandal

I love the use of the three colors, but each shoe is slightly different.  The pair below is a collaboration between designer Veronique Branquinho and the Camper brand.  Notice that this is a full fledged wedge with almost no rise at all…they are almost flat!

"Veronique" Camper sandal

“Veronique” Camper sandal

I didn’t forget the guys, Camper has great men’s styles as well.  Camper originated in Mallorca, Spain in 1975 and opened their first store in Barcelona in 1981.  Today the brand has over 300 stores worldwide and 10+ in the bay area.  VOILA, no more “foot issues”.

For more information and store locations www.camper.com.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men’s clothing and car maintenance

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

After much pushing and prodding, I am finally giving in to the pressure and writing a column about men’s clothing. It’s not that I don’t like men or their clothing. It’s not that I don’t have some great male clients. It’s just that men generally don’t want to read about clothing and fashion.

From my experience, men approach dressing and fashion much in the same way they approach car maintenance. Every 2500 miles, the oil in the car gets changed. Every year or two, men shop for clothing. When the tires have been on the car a certain amount of time, they get rotated. Men do the same with their wardrobes. I am not saying that every man hates to shop, but a large majority do.

My husband’s technique is to write his name in my appointment book so that I have him on my schedule, just like a client. I know that I have about 2 hours to shop with him, and it better be productive! Men expect results, no excuses.

Shopping with men is in some ways the same as women. Men have areas that they like to show off, and some they’d rather camouflage, just like women. The difference I find with male clients is that if I tell them how good they look in something…they believe me! They do not second guess or need convincing. We buy that piece or pieces and move on.

Much like women, men look good in certain colors and not as good in others. My job is to point out the ones they look good in and stay away from the ones that don’t. I remember my sister’s 40th birthday party at a beautiful private room in a restaurant overlooking the S.F. bay. My brother in law had picked a really high quality button down shirt to wear that was the most beautiful shade of cantelope. It was the perfect hue, and everyone commented on how great that shirt looked on him. I think that was a lesson, on how the right color can really make a statement, man or woman.

Another major difference between shopping for men and women is fit. Men’s clothing tends to be very consistent. A 34” waist and 32” length is pretty standard no matter what vendor or designer you try on. This makes is very easy to pull clothing for a man. Keep in mind though, that certain cuts are better on some men than others. Some look good in a pleated pant and others in a flat front. Men have their “problem areas” just like us women! The good news is that shopping with men is a much quicker experience. Most of what I choose for men will fit them, it’s more a matter of choosing what looks best.

Another difference is that men generally understand that better quality is going to translate into more miles before they need new tires (shoes). A pair of Cole Haan shoes at $300 is going to last a lot longer and be more comfortable than and pair of $59 leather look a likes from Payless. More miles on the shoes, translates to more time between shopping trips. Comfort is usually higher on the priority list than looks, so I have to be careful here to choose something that satisfies both requirements.

Sometimes, it’s important to tell a man that the car is a lemon, or that it is no longer running well enough to drive, and junk it! Men are just as guilty of holding on to clothing longer than they should. Men’s bodies change with age also and clothing should evolve to fit that shape. Khakis that are threadbare from all of the washings should be tossed, as should any clothing that has lost its shape, shrunk or faded in color.

Clothing should not be thought of as a uniform. Just because something looks good, does not mean you need to buy it in every color. Again, using the automobile metaphor, you would probably not want two of the same cars. You might want to drive an SUV on the weekends and a BMW for the work week. Keep your clothing fresh and rotate shirts and bottoms so that you are not always pairing the same shirt with the same bottom. The ratio of 2-3 tops for every bottom applies to men’s clothing as well as women’s. Variety, good taste and high quality are the hallmark of a well dressed man, and the same can be said about cars!