Duckie Brown brings color to menswear 2011 collection

This season I made a concerted effort to see as many men’s fashion shows as I could. Personally I found the men that catered to men made equal an effort to show fashions that were wearable, yet grown-up casual chic.  I know that’s a big mouth full, but one designer that I loved was Duckie Brown.  It was a combination of surfer dude goes to Wall Street casual.

This was the best of both worlds: runway and then presentation.  You could actually see the clothing and not just blurs racing down the runway.  The looks were pretty minimalist given the fabric and style but it worked.  The surprise for men in men’s wear is they also used sheer fabrics and some draping techniques in their cardigans.  Color, pattern, and the clash of them all worked in this collection. “Like the boys had dressed in the dark,” said Silver. “Or like a rave, building to a frenzy in the end,” added Cox. There was a smooth sharing from Eastern to Western and it left us in the audience with an optimistic feeling that men could and would embrace color in the spring.  That once we get through this cold grey winter, there would be warmth in the arms and on the backs of the men in our lives.

So gentlemen, take it from me, wearing all black, faded blue jeans or those t-shirts from your high school days are SO over.  Duckie Brown has created a new kind of grown up cool for you to wear.

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Color Trends: Grey, Dune, Dirty White, Dark Grey, Olive, Black, White, Raspberry, Grey Melange, Pink Silver, Turquoise, Chrome, Chili, Cerise And Camouflage

Fabric Trends: Canvas, Nylon, Distressed, Washed Leather, Wonky Cardigan, Knit, Gingham, Silk, Chiffon,

Style Trends: Bulky Sweaters, Tartan, Wrap Shirt and Two-Button Jacket.

NYFW: Cynthia Rowley plays peek-a-boo with fashion

Cynthia Rowley’s spring 2011 collection was all about clean shapes and colors. What was a wonderful surprise the bold giant hole punched look, that graced both dresses and skirts. Yes, some might say it looked like Swiss cheese, but I thought it was a way to show a bit of skin, be bold yet tasteful, as the holes were toward the bottom of the skirts showing just, a peak of skin. I, along with others found her choice of candy-dot buttons an interesting choice. They were all over the dresses and skirts and while they didn’t look particularly comfortable if you were to sit, but I was assured by the models that they were.

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What I think Cynthia is saying is “Ladies, it’s time to grow up, but don’t worry, we can still have fun. “ The look of her collection is sexy, but not in-your-face sexy. There is a true grown up appeal. The colors were fresh, clean and yet some of the sheer tops will bring a new level of intimate underpinning to the market. After all, it’s barely there that is key, not in your face.

Color Trends: Pollen, Iris, Thistle, Blush, Ivory, Strawberry, Laki, Graphite, Milk Glass, Black, Smokescreen, And Honeycomb

Fabric Trends: Perforated, Silk, Mille-Feuille, Leather, Plaid

Style Trends: Invisible Striped Sweater, Perforated Hem, Rose Colored Glasses, Cuffed Sweater, Halter Dress/Shirt

Video: Coco Rohan marries James Conran

“I, Coco, take you, James, to be my husband, to be my best friend, and to be my equal. I promise to cherish this union, to cherish you, to love you with my whole heart, my whole soul, and my whole mind. I promise to honor you, cherish you, care for you, encourage you through the greatest of times and the hardest of times. I promise to bring you joy and to bring you peace. Whenever you’re in need of me, I promise to be there. Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you stay, I will stay. I promise that only death should make a separation between you and I.” Coco Rocha to James Conran

I love the wedding business.  It is both cause for celebration and sometimes frustration.  There is so much beauty and joy around the day. Any possible frustrations suddenly and mysteriously fades away.  I hear it’s like giving birth…you know, you forget the pain once you hold your baby in your arms.

I’ve been so lucky to meet some great people as a publicist and as a writer. Today I want to share the wedding of Coco Rocha to James Conran.  Coco is a model and a show stopper during Fashion Night Out and during Fashion Week here in NYC.  She is of course tall and willowy. She is beautiful, genuine of heart, funny and did I mention tall.

So I happened to find this movie (18 min long) that shows the beauty and intimacy of her wedding day to James Conran.  It is truly one of the best I’ve seen ever.  I’m not suggesting that you run out and do the same, but look at some of the details.  The use of flowers, candles, and simple touches.  You don’t have to have the über platinum wedding (I mean if you want to, go for it), but you can and should have one that is meaningful.  Yes she happened to have it in a Chateau in France, but you can have the same fireworks at your favorite destination.

As always, I wish each and every couple long life, happiness and all your wedding wishes to come true.

Monique Lhuillier 2011 Garden of Eden collection

“The collection came to me in a dream… A beautiful girl running through a lush garden.  Her very own Garden of Eden. Beautiful flowering trees in watercolor hues.  Red Apple dresses and the temptation of the snake, Seen in a subtle reptile pattern in flowering chiffons.  Lots of shimmer from the glistening sun on dewy surfaces.  Ombres in blues and greens, pale pinks dominate.  I don’t want to wake up, I am in a state of Euphoria!”  Monique Lhuillier

What is there to be said about Monique Lhuillier that you’ve not heard before?  She’s brilliant.  She is loved by her fans. She is an amazing designer. Her evening gowns (and bridal wear) are flawless.  Her designs are what dreams are made of.  In this case, all of this is true in her very own garden of Monique.

I wish I had dreams like this.  Beautiful gowns floating by in my own flower field. There can be no denying the talent and craftsmanship of this collection. Murmurs the moment of the first step on the runway.  Deep sighs and perhaps wistfulness as women dared to dream new places – or in some case, any place to wear one. We know it’s only a matter of time when we’ll see one of these on the red carpet.

The only thing I look more forward to is her bridal collection.  It will surely create new visions of gardens and beautiful blooms.  I’m sure we will see one or more of these in a few weeks in bridal white or ‘something blue’.  I don’t know how she does it, but I’m so grateful she does.

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Color Trends: Blush, Red Apple, Antique Gold, Ivory, Cream, Reptile Print, Bronze, Green Ombre, Pink Floral, Toffee, Stardust, Ocean Blue

Fabric Trends: Gazar, Organza, Light Weight Wool, Raw Silk, Tweed, Brocade, Draped Jersey, Chiffon, Silk, Organza, Taffeta, Sequins, Raffia, Tulle

Style Trends: Pleated Bodice, Embroidered Blouse, High Waisted, Side Slit Lace Insert, Pencil Skirt, Draped Jersey, Bateau A-Line, One Shoulder, Cap Sleeve, Pleated Blouse, Strapless, Corseted Cocktail Dress, Asymmetrically Draped, Dropped Waist, Illusion Neckline, Trumpet, Peacock Hem, Column Gown and Sheath

NYFW: Kill Bill or at least wear themed creations from Vera Wang

Bold, Kill Bill, Bad to the bone are the three words that describe the Vera Wang collection for 2011.  What was so ‘shocking’ is this RTW collection is in direct contrast to the ethereal wedding dresses that we just saw from Chelsea Clinton, Alicia Keys and so many other famous brides recently.  This was dark and while not anti-feminine, there was truly a ‘kick-butt’/take no prisoners attitude.  With only a few pieces that were of color, she made a strong statement.  The fusion of East meets West with a mixture of boyish urban sophistication and romantic otherworldly sensuality.

This east-meets-west look was strong yet exotic. The collection had lots of sculptural accents with origami, double obi folds, high-waisted pants, quilted vests and kimono blouse feel.

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Color Trends: Black, Charcoal, Red, Ivory, Pink Japanese Floral Print, Magnolia Japanese Print Citrine, Grey, Poppy, Chartreuse, Navy, Stone And Blush

Fabric Trends: Silk Faile Origami, Melange Jersey, Wool, Silk, Textured Canvas, Horsehair Inlay, Sumo Rope Belt, Silk Wool and Tulle

Style Trends: High Collar Cropped Top, V-Neck Double Obi, Hand-Ruched Draped Gown With Train Over Stretch Bustier Underpinning, Wrapped Peasant Trouser Tied With Sumo Belt, Bolero, Asymmetrical Quilted Harness, Gymnasium Short With Welted Cuff (Think Rolled Pants Cuff On Shorts), Boy Short, Kimono Blouse

In bloom during NY Fashion Week: Carolina Herrera

This is the one show that I was both honored and floored to attend. To be in a room of well-heeled women and celebrities, most were wearing the designer and wearing it well.  I sat next to a woman whose husband, a senior level V.P. at IMG gave her strict orders to look, but not buy one single new piece from the collection.

Carolina Herrera’s collection was in full bloom.  Inspired by 18th century botanicals, prints and appliqués along with Korean sashes were a perfect blend of ooooh!  The very broad hats and hand painted and silk screened flowers brightened up the most classic pant and dress.  Frankly, there is no reason not to be happy and walk with a bounce in your step with this collection.  Then again, it is Carolina Herrera.

Of course there was the collection of signature ball-gown skirts and this year with a paper-bag waist line/simple shirt was one my favorites.  This was absolutely her year. Carolina Herrera was honored as the “Mercedes-Benz Presents” designer. This is presented to the one designer who is recognized for their use of quality materials, unique style and innovative design. “To be recognized in such an important year in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week history, is without question, a wonderful honor,” says Herrera.

At the end of the show, I asked my seat companion if she would keep her promise.  She simply laughed and said “I promised I wouldn’t by one thing….I see at least four I must have”.  Lucky lady!

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Color Trends: Jasmine, White, Hibiscus, Beige, Metallic, Sesame Black, Olive Tansy, Lotus, Aster, Blossom, Mellon, Oriental Blue Floral, Lime, Porcelain And Black

Fabric Trends: Oxford Twill, Double Pleat, Jacquard Book Folds, Leather, Canvas, Printed Jacquard, Wool Twill, Silk, Sequin, Sesame Canvas, Organza Cord

Style Trends: Wrap Jacket/Skirt/Shirt, Single Fold Pleats, Aikido Pant, Double Korean Bow, Pencil Skirt, Sequin Embroidered Belt, Multi-Fold Dress W/Sash, Korean Cocoon Dress, Empire Waist

Nautica Men 2011 collection brings back casual elegance

With this collection by Nautica, you are immediately transported back to the 1960’s. President Kennedy, sailing and yes the beach-boys in the Florida Keys.  It’s about the spirit of casual elegance that is part of the tradition and charm of New Orleans.  It’s everything that is charming and yet vibrant of the South.

From the beaches to the bon-fires; the country club to hanging around town, the look is clean, easy and for the man that wanted to blend seamlessly into the landscape.  He is one who loves adventure, is truly debonair, and exudes southern charm.

The actual presentation was very well done.  The models were ‘on display’ (not doing an actual runway), and of course, their clothes matched their setting perfectly.  In this type of setting, one can truly see the clothes (not have them be a blur as they race down the runway), imagine someone in them and yes, have a bit of fun chatting up the male models.

Very easy to wear and today’s modern man would feel comfortable in this (hopefully!!) trend of men dressing up, yet being casually elegant.

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Fabric trends: Natural Cotton, Silk Wool, Patchwork, Blue Seersucker, Cotton, chambray and Tan Silk Wool

Color trends: Sail White, Navy, Madras, Blue, Khaki, Yellow, White, Orange, Cream and Navy Regatta

Style trends: Zip Cardigan, Rugby Stripe, Chambray Tie, Button-down shirts in multiplaid, Gingham Shirts, Sports Coat, Reversible Vest and Bomber jacket