DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ALL HAIL MICHAEL KORS

New York is where I’d rather stay, I’m allergic to smelling Long Island hay, darling I love you but give me Madison Avenue… Such could be the theme song of the amazing Michael Kors, who began his fashionable career at the tender age of 19 at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He would go on to become the quintessential designer of what now is referred to as classic American Sportswear. His designs are an embodiment of the jet-set culture, both in his use of luxurious materials, precision tailoring and fabulous fits.

Kors’ classic pieces are chic, sexy and comfortable, making them the favorites of many socialites, celebrities, models and the like. Is it any wonder then that his classic handbags, fabulous shoes, and trademark stunning sunglasses are hits here on Couture.Zappos too? Our faves: Michael Kors classic Jackie O. octogonal shades , the Santorini chain flap rattan handbag, and the elegant two-piece chain detail metallic heels.

HOW TO WEAR IT - MEN'S METALLICS

The metallic trend is going strong and shows no sign of abating, but
how does one wear it and pair it? Couture, along with one of our
fashionable fellas, Loren B., accepted the challenge to find a look
that was one part casual, one part fashion and plenty of cool.

The What: Royal Elastics Dalech sneakers

The How To: 1. Akademiks Dominate Stud jean in ‘used’ rinse 2. Affliction’s Dead or Alive tee . 3. Oakley Ducati Hijinx shades

The When: Daytime cool.

The Why: Need you ask?

HOW TO WEAR IT - SWEETHEART

The What: Just Cavalli sweetheart neckline knit dress

The How To: 1. Jean Paul Gaultier tapered leather jacket
2. Alexander McQueen Calf hobo 3. Badgley Mischka
Piera peep toe pumps 4. D&G Dolce & Gabanna crystal
embellished watch

THE NATURALS

Clothing as well as accessories this season are taking a very ‘natural’ turn. For the past two seasons cork and woven straw have been the materials of choice for designers, along with unprocessed wood. Add in the current season’s fascination with glazed cotton, woven straw, brushed cork, burlap and wood in every form imaginable, you have what I call a natural revolution. Whether it is being fueled by the current eco-consciousness of global warming, or the ethical treatment of workers, it is a trend that shows no sign of abating. Perhaps with the luxury sector being such a flippant, toss-it-aside industry, where buy it today and you can’t use it tomorrow, it stands to reason to incorporate biodegradeable options as a design ethos. Choose Donna Karan Collection peep-toe cork and wood ankle strap heels, Ferragamo’s woven and bejeweled dual handle purse, Missoni wood and chain necklaces or Ben Amun’s wooden bangles.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT - ALL HAIL JOHN VARVATOS

What award-winning menswear designer worked for both Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, has an amazing store in Soho, has a very successful eponymous clothing line as well as a collaboration with a popular shoe line and really gets the needs of his clientele? Give up? It is the amazing John Varvatos , one of my all time favorites.

The clothes are the kind that are well-made, and have that broken-in feeling even though they are created in sumptuous fabrics and hues (sound familiar?). His clean, minimalist aesthetic reflect his design pedigree as former VP of menswear for Polo Ralph Lauren and former head of menswear for Calvin Klein. So how giddy was I then, this past holiday season, when I discovered that Zappos.com carried some of the line. We carry the great 100% cotton pullovers, the modern short-sleeved polos and the “steal it from the boyfriend’s closet” soft graphic tees. So ladies, shop for him but snag a few for yourself. I know I will.

THE STRAWS HAVE IT

Straw bags have arrived! If we know one thing, it’s that a straw tote signals the onset of spring. No more bulky coats (well, at least not out here on the West coast), no more boots, it’s almost time for sandals, flirty skirts and straw bags to match.

Need inspiration? Just look to Michael Kors, with his Michael Kors Santorini woven tote or Michael Kors Santorini woven clutch.

Readers, what will you be getting?

THE DAILY TREND - SATIN

Move over metallics, know your place cotton, all hail the queen of year-round fabrics, satin. From its humble beginnings in the black and white movies to today’s red carpet satin dolls, it is an easy fabric that dresses up any outfit. Take a pencil skirt from day to night with a jeweled colored blouse, pair a patterned blousoned sleeve shirt with skinny jeans to dazzle your date or slip a creamy colored blouse under a jumper to shine on at work.

FASHION TIDBIT: GIVENCHY'S FINE TUNING

He sings a falsetto that makes many gasp (wondering if it is painful to do so I’m sure), has a ‘sexy back’, dances, produces, acts — well, if you call it that. Yes, I’m discussing Justin Timberlake and his newest assignment, being the new face for Givenchy Parfums’ men’s fragrance. I suppose since his tour is finished, his clothing line William Rast is sailing along, and his current squeeze is away in London filming, he thought why not (we know he doesn’t need the money). As for Givenchy, this a great coo for them, because Justin has a built-in audience. With that will come thousands of screaming fans — 13 to 40 — rushing the international doors to get the fragrance, and thousands more of amors, significant others, drowning in the scent to keep their partners happy. Cha-ching!