Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Three Who Died: Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon

Yesterday began the deaths of three major figures, each of whom played a part in the advertising world throughout their careers. The latest and maybe most relevant is Michael Jackson, who reportedly died earlier today after suffering a heart attack; he was 50. Before him was Farrah Fawcett, who battled cancer for three years before succumbing to it; she was 62. And yesterday we learned of the passing of Ed McMahon who was 86.

Each of these loved personalities lived his or her life in the limelight and as part of their celebrity status were offered advertising opportunities. The ads they took part in stick out in many of our minds (though we're not airing the Pepsi ad where Jackson's hair is lit on fire, for obvious reasons). Jackson and Pepsi, McMahon and Publisher's Clearing House, Fawcett and Noxzema.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Missoni Spring 2010

If the Missoni man summoned up by the show notes sounded like a grandiose, nomadic romantic (fashion-appropriate, in other words), the actual outfits on the catwalk suggested someone much humbler: rambling man as hobo. The giveaway was the shoes—dusty, elongated canvas kicks with turned-up toes. The clothes themselves, seemingly collaged and patched together from faded old bits and pieces, extended the illusion of someone not too dogged by material concerns. Topical maybe, but also a little ironic given the eventual price tag on these garments.

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Burberry Prorsum Spring 2010

Elizabeth II just made Christopher Bailey a Member of the British Empire, an award that usually arrives for services rendered to queen and country. Bailey is the most tirelessly Anglophiliac of designers, exalting even the aspect of life in England that makes most outsiders bananas: the weather! It's a misconception anyway—the French and the Germans have it just as bad—but in Bailey's case, the day that begins with a thunderstorm and ends in a rain-rinsed, wistfully pastel sunset offered the perfect beginning, middle, and end to his latest collection for Burberry.

Backstage, he was insistent about a utilitarian aspect to what we'd seen, and form following function actually gave the clothes real spine, particularly with a yellow parka that looked like a lifeboat man's sou'wester. A long coat in waxed-cotton canvas had enough pockets to make the most irredeemable poacher blissfully happy. And Thomas Burberry himself would have appreciated the way his gutsy gabardine showed up in a waterproof coat or cape.

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2010

Domenico and Stefano recently mentioned that the Sicilian pinstripes-and-black suit signature can become a little oppressive for them. So they sensibly honored their heritage with a handful of sober classics, then cut loose with extravagant flights of gilded fancy, strewing crystals with fierce abandon all over jackets, jeans, and accessories. Anyone seeking some kind of fashion statement from the duo might take note of the chunky yet summer-weight knitwear, or the artful perforation of skins, or maybe even the resuscitation of the borsellino, known vernacularly—and mockingly—as the "murse." Otherwise, Dolce & Gabbana went hell-bent for glam, mixing day and night into a seamless 24 hours—and sending out a finale that was a nonpareil hymn to the beader's craft. They later described the show as "Sparkling"

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Gianfranco Ferre Spring 2010

There will surely be no kookier inspiration this season than the one Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi found on television one rainy Saturday afternoon. Their menswear collection for Ferré was guided by The Day of the Jackal, the 1973 movie featuring Edward Fox as Charles de Gaulle's intended assassin. Scarcely sartoria incarnate, but something about Fox's amoral stylishness caught the boys' attention. The small lapels on the assassin's jacket showed up at Ferré. So did the sailor top he disguised himself in at one point in the film. He also pretended to be a priest—maybe that's where Aquilano and Rimondi's clerical collar came from.

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Gucci Spring 2010

Hard to believe there was a time when Frida Giannini's tenure at Gucci was controversial. Each season she has honed her point of view, broadened her repertoire, and the company now thrives in her image. For Spring 2010, Giannini introduced an energetic sportiness, with references to scuba and kitesurfing in leggings and parkas that collaged nylon, cotton, Aertex, and leather. The same active spirit inspired croc and python jackets with a rubberized effect. Such items imply an irreverence toward traditional notions of luxury, and that is exactly how Giannini has goosed Gucci

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Giorgio Armani Spring 2010

Classicismo del 2010," the name Giorgio Armani gave his latest collection, could be interpreted in a couple of ways. One might be the commercial security of classic pieces at a time when self-indulgence is scarcely at a premium. A three-piece gray suit paired with a striped shirt and sober tie certainly meant business. And there were plenty of other tailored options for the Armani-loving exec: jackets with three buttons or two, single- or double-breasted, in a full range of classic menswear fabrications—houndstooth, Prince of Wales, pied de poule, windowpane check.

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Jil Sander Spring 2010

One of the biggest surprises at Milan Fashion Week so far -- besides the sunshine and blue sky that appeared without warning over the perennially overcast city (I've now seen the sun shine precisely once in five visits) -- is the dearth of color. Spring/summer collections are traditionally the place to give the color wheel a spin, but this time around the vibrant hues seem to have been all but wrung out of the collections.

What wasn't basic black and white tended to be shades of mineral -- slate browns, chalk grays, sandy taupes. Even the blues and greens were the muted shades reminiscent of weathered clapboard houses on the cape. But for some collections, when color took a backseat, texture and shape took center stage

Jil Sander was one of those collections. In his show notes, designer Raf Simons said he was inspired by the paintings "Combat" and "Grande Composition" by Japanese artist Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, which were projected on the walls flanking the runway.

The cotton poplins, ultra-light taffetas and linens were so light that unlined trenchcoats (which popped up everywhere today) partially lined blazers and transparent vests seemed to enshroud the models like cloud vapor, an effect heightened by subtle, curved jacket cuffs and hems.

Even the eyewear collection underscored the feeling of weightlessness, with lenses suspended from metallic frames.

Metal also appeared in very subtle edging on necklines and collars, giving some pieces the feeling of Roman tunics.

In the hands of a lesser talent, the collection could have come across as a huge bore, but Simons managed to make the clothes feel freeing and effortless.

And that's no mean feat when those clothes included a short-sleeve shirt buttoned all the way up to the Adam's apple.

Milan Menswear Runway Review-Versace Spring 2010

Versace's menswear has been disappointingly inanimate since Cloak's Alexandre Plokhov was brought in from New York to juice it up, but this season Plokhov shook it awake with a spectacular reminder of why he was originally considered worthy of the Versace gig. You can't beat a good story, and Plokhov had one: French Foreign Legionnaire lost in sand dunes falls in with local tribesmen and adjusts wardrobe accordingly. The mix of the uniform and the exotic created hybrid styles as airily appealing as a striped navy jacket over a djellaba; or an officer's shirt, sans sleeves, in a gauzy silk cheesecloth; or a parka in a translucent glazed cotton.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

At the Resorts: Douglas Hannant

The Douglas Hannant presentation was a carefully planned presentation, it consisted of elegant evening wear presented whimsical romantic setting that reminds you of a great voyage on a Cruise ship.
Trully a master in the resort wear faboulous gowns carefully beading and accessories accentuated the collection in a trully remarkable presentation.
Photos by Ed Kavishe/
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At the Resorts: Ports 1961

The Ports 1961 was a clean and subtle collection presented at the Ports 1961 Flagship store in Soho on the rooftop.
The collection consist of elegant coats and seamless dresses that make you go oh lala moi...le tres bella
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At the Resorts: Jason Wu

The Jason Wu Resort 2010 Collection was presented at the Greenwich Hotel, colorful hues and very clean shapes were on the runway, nothing less you would expect from this upcoming designer.
Jason Wu got his big break when American First Lady chose one of his designs as her dress for the innaugural ball gown this past January.
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lily Donaldson in Rag and Bone

Supermodel Lily Donaldson in Rag and Bone Fall 2009 Collection, photo by Ed Kavishe/
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