STELLA KNOWS WHAT LIES BENEATH

Stella McCartney is in a lingerie state of mind. One would think after
having newly given birth to her third child with husband Alistair, that
sexy underthings would be the last thing on her mind. Lucky for us
then, that chiffon slips, cotton and satin bras, silk-crepe camisoles
and silky knickers in modern incarnations are exactly what is on her
mind. The only question is, what took so long. McCartney, long ahead of
the proverbial curve, has always had flourishes of underpinnings
peeking out of clothing. If you think back to when she was dressing
Kate, Jaime and the rest in masculine Savile Row suiting, there were
hints of reverse silk-crepe camis peeking out then, they carried over
into her designs at Chloe and have been a recurring theme in her
eponymous line since. Some looks have even become standouts enough to
become wearable garments on their own. The burgeoning collection is a
versatile masterpiece akin to an Eres or La Perla with its satin
binding, french seaming and soft linings, but chock full of technical
aspects that an A cup to the D and DD girls will love (think forgiving
elastic, aka no digging in). And if that were not enough, she and her
team threw in other conveniences like being able to handle machine
washes and dryers, stretch tension for comfortable fitting thongs, and
reversed silk linings to feel good against your skin. Well, I don’t know about you, but anytime I can have lingerie that looks good, feels good
and is technologically ahead, I’m on it!

ROYAL DENIM

There’s a saying that goes, “Even on your worst day, you should look fit for
royalty.” This takes on a whole new meaning for your ‘regal assets’ with the new luxury jean brand Aristocrat Jeans. This 100 percent green jean
line with style names like Antoinette, Windsor, Stratford, Kent and
Essex (what, no Knights Templar and Mary, Queen of Scotts?), was
created by Bob Bak, who set out to create a line that would have the
shape and fit that jean fanatics crave, but not harm the environment
through its production. He researched and developed different
techniques and washes with premier mills while traveling in Italy. Come
Spring, Bak is expanding the line to include dresses and shorts. So
quick run out and get your noble on!

BABY IT'S RAINING

Ms. Rihanna will hit New York during the upcoming fashion week and will
be celebrating her second collaboration with totes umbrellas (ella,
ella). Rihanna’s umbrellas will be sold exclusively at Macys in the
spring and retail for $20 for a slender style to $50 for a dual colored
canopy style. No word yet about whether Ms. Rihanna and the umbrellas
(ehh, ehh, ehh) will be making a front row appearance though. But
knowing how she loves fashion and her appearances in Dsquared last
season, my bet is yes.

THE NEW BELVEDERE ADS ARE HERE - AND HOT

The new Belvedere ads have premiered in all of the top-tier magazines and I must say they are not as racy as they were talked up to be. After all, they are shot by Terry Richardson, known for his provocative ads — you know the Victoria and David Beckham shots in all states of repose (well…if you could call it that), Tom Ford perfume ads (can you say graphic?), he’s a photographer who conjures up a modern day Bruce Weber aestethic from Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch ads of yore.

The first ad to debut is the one with a beautiful woman putting on red lipstick, using her partner’s belt buckle and looking stunned that a photo was snapped. Now it all sounds innocent, except that this is Richardson, and to apply the make-up the model has to use the belt buckle, well you can figure that out. So far I haven’t been able to uncover any more of the upcoming ads, so if you see any that are more provocative then this one, drop me a line and let me know.

2007 - A FASHIONABLE YEAR IN REVIEW

As the Couture team looks back over the year of 2007, we were struck by how many amazing stories there were, all of the ‘I can’t believe that!’ moments, the fashionable T.V. standouts, the continual stork visits to Hollywood and company, not to mention way-too-much news of Britney ‘Brit Brit’ Spears, Lindsay ‘LiLo’ Lohan and Paris ‘panties optional’ Hilton, to go around.

Global Warming finally came to the forefront thanks to Al Gore’s film and culminated in his well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless efforts in getting the world to sit up and take notice of this cause before it is truly apocalyse now. The Sex and the City crew returned to work finally, ­ four years was truly enough, with ­ the filming of the long awaited SATC movie. Not to mention that Patricia Fields is hard at work not only on the SATC movie but also as wardrobe stylist for the new show Cashmere Mafia, a show akin to the SATC of yore. Mr. Valentino stepped down and the house surely can never be the same, but he had an amazing 45-year run which was celebrated with a retrospective in the Summer of 2007. He will be missed. New talent burst onto the ecological scene in the form of Rogan Gregory, which won the Vogue/CFDA award for designer of the year. Runners up Philip Lim and Philip Crangi may not have won, but the lines and talent is as formidable as Gregory and we should all keep an eye out for their designs. Other designers such as Doo Ri, Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, Milly, and Temperly of London were standouts as well. The year of 2007 saw countless secondary lines from established designers emerge, as if they did not have enough to do. Vera Wang’s Simply Vera debuted at Kohl’s, Target continues to lead the fray with its expanding designer collaborations (Luella Bartley, Loeffler Randall, Erin Fetherston, Proenza Schouler and more). Even celebrities joined the clothing line bandwagon, designing discounted lines, with Steve and Barry’s picking up on most. They struck a deal with ­Sarah Jessica Parker to design Bitten, Venus Williams has eleVen and Amanda Byne’s created Dear. The best part of those deals, almost all of the merchandise is under $25.00.

The ‘skinny model’ debate was back under the microscope with backlash and weight gain (bless Gemma Ward and her seven pounds), and models in England were unionized to protect their runway rights. To ours and countless others chagrin, the copyrighting of fashion made its way all the way to the Supreme Court.

Magazines provided quite a lot of entertainment this past year as well. There was the ongoing Brangelina news, the aforementioned train wreck better known as Britney, Lindsay, Tara and more. However the most shocking and ‘we can’t believe it’ moment, came in the form of K-Fed gracing the cover of Details magazine with the headline Father of the Year. Would you have ever thought four years ago, he of all people would be in the running for that title? Sad but true! Baby booming took on a whole other meaning with all of the pregnancies and births in Hollywood in 2007. The lovely Halle Berry is finally realizing her dream of becoming a mother with her dreamy boyfriend Gabriel Aubry, JLo ‘I’m pregnant, I’m not, no really, I am,’ is said said to be expecting twins. Ms. Blanchett will be having her third child, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber had a delightful baby boy, Nicole Richie – the healthiest she has probably been in years – is due to give birth any minute now with her live in boyfriend, Joel Madden of Good Charlotte. Ms. ‘Va Va Voom’ Salma Hayek gave birth to the beautiful little Valentina and Christina Aguilera looked as thought she were about to pop by year’s end, but shockingly, did not.

Trendspotting, brought us flat boots, belt buckles and red lipstick, among others. Leggings came around again and metallics held onto their solid lead in the fashion industry, showing up on all sorts of accessories and clothing. Huge structured handbags were still holding on from earlier in the year, notably the large vertical totes and doctor bags. Vinyl bags, not our thing, returned and fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look through it, will be around for all of 08 as well. Television gave us a needed fashion fix in between fashion shows. We sat perched on our couture seats to see Gossip Girl, The Hills, Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy. And we’re waiting with anticipation for the premieres of Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle. Hopefully one of these can satisfy our craving for the next Sex and the City!

THE DAILY TREND - CROC-EMBOSSED

Ladies, It’s no croc — embossed that is — that the current obsession of embossed crocodile pieces are ruling the reptilian fashion jungle. Choose a large envelope or long trapezoid shape clutch, or a round-toe stiletto to add a little pop to any style. I suggest a gold croc-embossed pump to add a little ooh-la-la to a LBD or take a cue from Sarah Jessica Parker and wear a lived-in stolen-from-your-boyfriend’s-closet-sweater with jeans look and a wine croc-embossed clutch that says casual but totally fabulous.