Style / Insights

One Look: BCBG Max Azria S/S 2013

Who says bondage can’t be romantic?

September 06, 2012

Springtime ushers in a naive, romantic spirit that’s reflected on the runways via feminine silhouettes and muted color palettes. But there was a modified perspective on the lightness of spring at BCBG Max Azria’s spring/summer 2013 show—clean lines and ethereal materials were juxtaposed with fierce leather bondage accents.

Particularly striking was a sheer ivory gown decorated with intricate black lace and a structured leather harness. The synergy of leather and lace evoked visions of a modern female warrior and evinced the traits of the woman who will ultimately wear it: delicate, strong, provocative, and sophisticated.

Watch the BCBG Max Azria spring/summer 2013 runway show here



Shoe Decoder: 5 Styles to Try

Personal recommendations from the top buyers at Saks Fifth Avenue’s massive shoe department.

September 04, 2012

FROM LEFT: Dayna Ziegler, Amy Tufts, Tracy Margolies, Stefanie Granatir, and Lisa Sokolov

When unveiling the zip code 10022-SHOE in 2007, Saks Fifth Avenue became the first single floor of a building to be granted its own zip code by the United States Post Office, but the retail monarch still isn’t satisfied. As 2012 marks the five-year anniversary of the ultimate shoe lovers’ paradise, the sartorial destination prepares for expansion number two. Newly renovated, the floor has grown exponentially by moving all contemporary shoes (currently located on the fifth floor) up to the eighth, allowing customers to conveniently shop the store’s entire stock of footwear in one location.

“We’ve created one-stop shopping for all your lifestyle needs, from casual boots to evening shoes, to smoking slippers, to work pumps, and especially for that ‘can’t live without it,’ must-have shoe,” says Tracy Margolies, Saks Fifth Avenue’s vice president and divisional merchandising manager of women’s footwear.

The colossal 32,150-square-foot space offers a balanced blend of formal and casual styles, with more emphasis on smaller, contemporary fashion labels and inventive technological updates. Live “shoe-cams” stream your selections onto large screens for optimal decision-making assistance. iPads installed throughout the salon allow customers to browse, while shoe runners swiftly scoop up shoppers’ selections, leaving associates available to focus on customers. Additionally, 19 new designers are joining the salon, including Brunello Cucinelli, Joseph Altuzarra, Jason Wu, Phillip Lim, and Proenza Schouler. “The expanded 10022-SHOE will encompass an exciting collection of new and emerging designers, as well as an increased assortment of current brands,” says Ron Frasch, Saks president and chief merchandising officer.

In a store filled with infinite options, we can look to Margolies and her buying team, who curate its contents to navigate the space and the season. 611 Fifth Ave., 212-753-4000

—sarah liebowitz


Fall Boots with Attitude

Nothing summons your inner femme fatale like a kick-ass pair of boots.

August 24, 2012

Every gal knows the first step to fall is finding a great pair of boots. For New Yorkers, said boots must be chic and durable. Here are a few selections that will get you excited about the cooler weather.

—Jessica Ferri


Tried & Tested: Amorepacific’s Time Response Facial and Products

Time Response Facial complemented by new skincare products.

August 22, 2012

On otherwise-bustling Spring Street, Amorepacific’s unassuming door leads those who seek it into an alternate beauty universe. In this futuristic beauty Atlantis, seaweed-like structures embrace the walls, and Amorepacific’s skincare line and the space’s silver and gold accents shimmer against stark white walls and polished dark furnishings.

Even the treatments themselves enchant. Although the New York City spa outpost of the luxe Korean-based skincare brand offers an array of services from waxing to exfoliation, the facials remain its signature. Stepping into a treatment room for your 60-minute Time Response Skin Renewal Facial feels like entering your own enclosed oyster, accessed only by high, glowing glass doors. Once set up on the treatment bed, skin will be blessed by layers of Asian botanicals and soothing steam in a “shock treatment” for rehabilitating skin to its best condition.

Thanks to three new products added to Amorepacific's Time Response Collection, your skin indulgence doesn't end the second you step back onto Spring Street. Whether it’s tinted moisturizer with SPF 15, body lotion, or gel crème, the new products utilize ingredients like green tea stem cells and the powerful green tea ECGC, alongside 23 Asian botanicals. Using advanced gene science, the Time Response collection boosts collagen production, increases moisture retention and elasticity in the skin, and regulates melatonin. The best part? Each product goes on silky-smooth and exudes a heavenly, fresh scent, so every day feels as special and exclusive as spa day. 114 Spring St, SoHo, 212-966-0400

—Cait Rohan


Diana Vreeland's Fashion Footprint

Diana Vreeland created an enduring legacy at one of New York’s most beloved landmarks.

August 20, 2012

“Diana Vreeland: A Velvet Hand in an Iron Glove,” by
Ingeborg Day for Ms., 1975

For Diana Vreeland—who capped off an illustrious career as a magazine editor with an even more influential tenure at The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art—fashion wasn’t simply a matter of what to wear, but an “intoxicating release from the banality of the world.” To some degree she was forced to this view by nature. While her socialite mother and sister were both famously and conventionally beautiful, Vreeland had a sharply angled face that has been compared to a cigar-store Indian. She adopted a dramatic personal style, believing that fashion did not merely adorn its wearer; it transformed her, elevating her to whatever height she could imagine. After she ended her magazine career at Vogue in the early 1970s, Vreeland was hired as a special consultant at The Costume Institute, where she masterminded exhibitions—including The World of Balenciaga, and Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design—that celebrated fashion at its most aspirational and attracted droves of visitors to the museum. Her genius for fashion as transformation helped transform The Costume Institute itself—from a scholarly, ill-attended afterthought in the basement of the museum, to the star attraction we know and love today. A new book from Rizzoli, Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland, out this month, presents a captivating look into her world, where originality and imagination reigned supreme.

—jennifer demeritt


Build-a-Bag at Louis Vuitton

Through a new haute program at the Fifth Avenue flagship, patrons become protegés.

August 20, 2012

The private salon offers comfort and customization

Ever since Empress Eugenie commissioned Louis Vuitton as official packer for the royal court in the 19th century, the French fashion house has been synonymous with luxury, elegance, and unwavering style. The legendary brand now offers devoted customers the opportunity to create, build, and design their very own custom handbag through its Haute Maroquinerie program, offered at select Maison stores, including the Fifth Avenue flagship. Classic designs available for customization include the padlocked Lockit, the 1930s Triangle workbag, and the drawstring Noe bag, as well as two newly introduced styles: the Milaris and the Neo Steamer. After a silhouette is selected, customers can choose from eight varieties of luxurious leathers and 26 unique colors. Owners can also choose to add a discreet engraving on the bag’s interior, providing a personalized touch. The Haute Maroquinerie continues the availability of custom designs with this new, exclusive shopping experience. 1 E. 57th St., 212-758-8877


Houbigant Paris’ New Eau

This fall, France’s oldest luxury perfumer will pay tribute to the Orange Blossom.

August 14, 2012

Orangers en Fleurs  

Rumor has it that when Marie Antoinette went to the guillotine, she took three vials of Houbigant's Quelque Fleurs perfume with her for strength. Established in 1775, Houbigant’s colorful history brims with legends such as this one. When Antoinette’s beloved Quelques Fleurs blend was officially introduced in 1912, it was the first-ever bouquet perfume and went on to inspire nearly every women’s fragrance thereafter. To learn what Houbigant has brewing this century—more specifically, the September launch of Orangers en Fleurs—we spoke with the brand’s creative director, Elisabetta Perris.

With such a long and exquisite history as a maker of perfumes, how do you go about deciding what kind of fragrance to release next?
ELISABETTA PERRIS: We first consult the archives, and make sure to review what fragrances we've released over the last three years because we don't want to duplicate a fragrance or release anything too similar. The best direction for us, however, is the raw material: what's in season, what's natural and innovative. Our company is based solidly in French tradition, so it's all about the raw material—we don't stray too far from that tradition.

Houbigant is most famous for Quelques Fleurs. Is it still your best-selling fragrance? Has the blend changed over the years?
EP: Yes, internationally it is certainly the most popular. Some of the raw materials since its first iteration are obviously extinct, so there have been small changes in the blend, but we try to avoid using synthetic materials whenever we can. We try to stay loyal to the original blend.

Can you tell me a bit about the creative process and the steps involved in creating a fragrance?
EP: We work from the archives at our headquarters in Monaco. So we have a path to follow with formulas and directions. But if we fall in love with an ingredient, as with the new fragrance, it was Orange Blossom, we may have to make adjustments.

Tell us about Orangers en Fleurs. Is it meant to be a summery fragrance? What kind of woman would wear it and for what occasion?
EP: Not necessarily—we don't really do seasonal. We hope our fragrances will last for 200 years. We work on a fragrance until it is perfect. We aren't constrained by deadlines or trends or seasons. As for the type of woman, the beautiful thing about a high concentration perfume is that it will smell different on each woman who wears it; it will change with the chemicals of your skin.

Orangers en Fleurs is a sensual fragrance. The main ingredient is the Orange Blossom, followed by tuberose and jasmine. The bottle design was a collaboration with Bacarrat.

How often does Houbigant launch a new fragrance?
EP: About every two years—our last one was in 2010, it was a men's fragrance. Since we are a family business we don't have the pressure to release one every season. It's really our passion and it's more important that we achieve the perfect product.

What makes Houbigant a luxury perfumer?
EP: The company started in 1775, so it's quite the historical landmark in the perfume business. It is the oldest French perfumer in the industry—Houbigant has been the perfumer to nearly all the royal families of Europe: to Marie Antoinette, to Queen Victoria. But really it is the quality of the natural ingredients and the commitment to creating the best fragrance possible that makes it a luxury perfumer.

Orangers en Fleurs will be available in September at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus in New York.

—Jessica Ferri


Drybar Remembers Marilyn Monroe's Passing with Special Hairstyle

Hairstyle homage to late screen siren comes to blowout-only salon.

August 07, 2012

In an homage to the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s passing on August 5, 1962, Drybar and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment are offering a limited-time Old Fashioned hairstyle through the month of August. The retro-inspired blowout-only salon features super-feminine finishes, such as oversized antique mirrors, yellow blow-dryer chandeliers, and black-and-whites of screen sirens (Monroe included), making it the perfect spot to pay tribute to the late legend.

Monroe’s signature swirls are replicated on locks of every length—from those sporting similarly short ‘dos to lengthier tresses, each customer will leave the salon with large, luxurious curls. Monroe movies from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s FOREVER MARILYN: THE BLU-RAY COLLECTION (Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Seven Year Itch to name a few) will be in heavy rotation on Drybar’s looping chick flick playlist, too. The Old Fashioned is available at all Drybar locations, including New York Midtown (Le Parker Meridien Hotel, 119 W. 56th St., 212-561-5392) and New York Flatiron (4 W. 16th St., 212-561-5392). With three more New York locations in the works (Murray Hill, Tribeca, Upper East Side), we’re excited to see what the innovative salon offers up next.

—Cait Rohan


The Ultimate Weekend Bag

In partnership with UNICEF, Gucci crafts the perfect duffel for chic weekend travelers.

July 31, 2012

Gucci’s exclusive GG Flag collection, designed by creative director Frida Giannini, celebrates the launch of UNICEF’s Schools for Asia and Schools for Africa programs. Launched in 2012, the programs help provide disadvantaged children in Asia and Africa access to quality education. In addition to the $350,000 donation Gucci has made, 25 percent of any item sold from the flag collection (bags, tees, and wallets) will benefit school initiatives in both Asia and Africa. Items in the collection feature an interlocking GG logo and varying flags representing nations across the globe. This patriotic duffle ($1090, ABOVE) is the perfect weekender bag—and in buying it, you’re supporting two very worthy causes.

—Jessica Ferri


A Day in the Life of a Makeup Mogul

BOOM! Cosmetics founder (and model) Cindy Joseph shares her day.

July 25, 2012

Cindy Joseph is the CEO and founder of BOOM! by Cindy Joseph, an organic makeup line that is 100 percent paraben- and phthalate-free. After working as a celebrity makeup artist for 25 years, Joseph was discovered as a model at the age of 49 and has appeared in major campaigns for designers like Dolce & Gabbana. Here’s a taste of her busy schedule and healthy lifestyle.

7:00 AM
I get up and do two sunrise salutations (yoga) in the bedroom. It wakes my body up and gets me limber and ready for the day. Then I head down to kitchen for a fruit smoothie or watermelon.

8:00 AM
I throw on my cargos and a T-shirt and go into my home office to work, starting with my customer service emails. I try to respond to every one of them. Next, I plan a phone call to the bee-keepers in Hawaii that supply my ingredients for many of the products in my line, followed by a Skype meeting with my web marketing team about our next “Saturday with Cindy” video.

11:00 AM
Check in with my bookers at Ford Models to get the details for my Target go-see this afternoon and find out if a booking we have been working on with a major magazine has confirmed, and if a clothing catalog job is shooting in NYC or out of town.

11:15 AM
I am ready to move my body! I jump rope 100 times and do a few push-ups just to get my blood circulating. Then I sit on my front porch and take in the nature around me before heading back to the kitchen to make a salad of celery, fresh corn, and garbanzo beans. I take that to the porch to eat, drink some water, and relax. It is so important to make my meals pleasurable and relaxing. 

12:45 PM
Get dressed up a bit and do my hair and makeup for a Target a go-see. One of the best parts of having a makeup line is that I know exactly what I'm going to use. 

2:00 PM
At my Target go-see, I meet other models I know and have a fun visit with them while waiting for my turn. Go-sees are often where I get turned on to what women are seeing, doing, and thinking about their age and beauty. I want to keep talking, but must head back out of town to avoid the traffic.

3:30 PM
I start my intense workout with my trainer Vadim at his private studio in Scarsdale. He takes me to an old basement to lift a heavy tire and slam a ball on a rope into the wall. Then I put on boxing gloves and get really winded. By the time I’m done, I'm covered in sweat and feel exhausted and spent and hungry!

5:30 PM
At home, I can now have a nice mellow visit with my fiancé and share how each of our days went. And since we live with three others (we love group living!), we chat with other housemates while preparing a dinner of vegetable casserole and salad. We eat on the porch and watch the sun set over the Hudson River. It is stunningly gorgeous. We have watermelon for dessert and a tiny bit of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt, which is a rare treat I succumb to from time to time. 

8:00 PM
We race into the living room to watch one of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance!

9:30 PM
I finally take my shower and climb into bed for cuddling with my fiancé.

10:30 PM
I am sound asleep!

—Jessica Ferri

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