Style / Insights

Old Hollywood Alive and Well at Carolina Herrera

Herrera’s fall 2013 collection was cloaked in ’20s and ’30s glamour—literally.

February 13, 2013

Marlene Dietrich, Carole Lombard, Hedy Lamarr—Carolina Herrera worked the best of golden-era Hollywood heroines in her fall 2013 collection on Monday morning. Glamour woven through an intellectual thread is what Herrera does best, and here she succeeded on crafted clothes that felt wholly modern while also making us wish we could star in our own film noir. The slim sleeve with a bit of uptick in the shoulder, the nipped-in waist accented with a thin belt, the bias-cut skirts that flirted and flowed as Karlie Kloss and others walked the runway—such details were key for day in tones of sand, gray, and rose quartz. But for nighttime, Herrera dialed the glam quotient up to 11: A black-sequined blouse was paired with a black silk and crepe wool skirt and topped off with a hoodie-like shawl—a detail Dietrich would have loved. (She likely would have ordered a few of Herrera’s menswear-inspired suits as well.) And audible gasps were heard for the final kook, a bias-cut gown in emerald silk charmeuse, its open back trimmed in emerald fox. These accents in drama were only heightened when you learned that Herrera had partnered with London-based composer Tom Hodge and producer Javier Peral on a score based on a Beethoven violin sonata. It was titled “Capriccio for Carolina,” which is only fitting, because if you're seeking out glamorous heroines, look no further than the cool blonde who came out for a bow at show's end.



The Perks of Being a Plus One

In her new photo book, Sharon Socol goes behind the fashion world's closed doors as her husband's plus one.

February 13, 2013

Sharon Socol, author of Plus One: An Outsider's Journey Into the World of Fashion

While the fashion industry's eyes are fixed on New York Fashion Week, we’re focused on a pair of eyes that have seen it all. As the wife of former Barneys New York CEO Howard Socol, photographer Sharon Socol has had elite, “plus one” access to some of the most exclusive fashion shows, events, and closed-door tête-à-têtes. She began snapping candid images as she hopped from afterparty to runway show to backstage and beyond, and has now bound her photos into a book, Plus One: An Outsider's Journey Into the World of Fashion. Here, she describes her journey from outsider to insider to author.  

Getting into the party is one thing, but feeling like you belong is another. As an outsider, how did you find your place in those high fashion social circles?
SHARON SOCOL: I am smiling with this question. Entering into my husband’s new world of fashion was a challenge. I did not feel at ease for a long time. Even now I still feel stomach jitters. I immediately selected a personal shopper to help me get with the dress code. As far as the people part of [Howard’s] world, getting to know those with whom he worked with was easy. The management at Barneys was most friendly and very open. The ‘players’ in the fashion world—designers, celebrities, etc.—were harder for me because I didn’t speak their language. I started to make the transition a few years in when I learned I could bring who I was to the moment and allow those with whom I interacted to meet me.

Did anyone ever disapprove of your taking photos at private events?
SS: Not really. In fact, many of the attendees at the parties and events had their own cameras.

Which of your photos is most dear to you?
SS: The question reminds me of who is your favorite child! [But] one of my favorites is a photo with Isabella Blow, English magazine editor and [milliner] Philip Treacy's muse. The photo was taken at one of the first Paris shows I attended. I had no idea who Isabella was. I saw a woman in a very remarkable hat alongside many others who were attending. She was sitting a few seats away. I was caught up in her hat and when she glanced my way I clicked the shutter. Later, when I viewed the image, I saw a circular shadow on the floor in tandem with the hat and a ghost-like model on the runway. I felt magic. When I included this photo in my edits, someone said, ‘Oh, that’s Isabella.' Since this photo was taken before she died, its meaning has increased.

Aside from the photos you collected for the book, what are the perks of being a plus one?
SS: I like this question. I liked meeting very nice people, learning about the history and art of fashion, getting very good tips about dressing, having my makeup and hair done for special events, and sometimes having a designer fit a dress, which is the story I tell in the essay of Plus One. I could experience this world one moment and go back to my world the next.

You shot many of these photographs before Instagram blew up. What are your feelings on this new era of mobile photography?
SS: It probably adds to the allure and is changing the effects of fashion. The phone is the most immediate tool to record what’s happening in fashion, or anything. Film needs processing, digital downloading, but phones need nano seconds to enter the world and reach millions, many of whom had never been reached before.

When did you decide that your photographs should be turned into a book?
SS: Plus One evolved from a life goal to publish. If I couldn’t be a novelist, then substitute a photography book. When I was switching to digital from film, I showed my fashion world photographs to my digital teacher. He immediately said, ‘There’s a book project here.’ Also, my husband had been encouraging me to do something with the photographs I have made during the last 35 years.  



Front Row at Nicole Miller Fall 2013

Ashlee Simpson, Tinsley Mortimer, Eve, Leigh Lezark...

February 11, 2013

To see more front row galleries from Fall 2013 New York Fashion Week, visit our events channel.


Carmen Marc Valvo Shows a Dark Side

But one with a welcome share of feminine silhouettes and noir glamour.

February 11, 2013

Darker, tougher influences were at play in Carmen Marc Valvo's fall/winter collection: his show notes were positively moody, name-checking shadows and “pitch-black piano keys,” and the dresses likewise bore out this noir attitude. Black ruled this runway in artful, luxe ways, from the trench coat that opened the show, crafted of paillette-like square “tiles” in ebony patent, to the double-face wool gown that closed it, a sleek column topped with a halter in alligator. In between, the accent seemed to be on texture and hard edges imbued with a dash of femininity. Standout pieces included a laser-cut leather sheath in grape—only close-up did you realize the intricate fabric wasn't lace, used elsewhere in the collection liberally—as well as a variety of leather pieces that effortlessly worked that hard-meets-soft vibe. You always know you'll see ladylike glam from Valvo, but this bit of sexy, tough-girl edge was indeed a surprise that delighted.



Oxblood, Leather, and Rich Details at Kenneth Cole

After seven years, Cole returns to the runway with a social media-charged show.

February 11, 2013

He of the pun-laced activism, Kenneth Cole has had his mind on pursuits other than runway shows in recent seasons. But he's celebrating the 30th anniversary of his label this year, so a full-on catwalk event seemed a fitting way for Cole to kick off 2013. Of course, he couldn't mount such an effort without getting the rest of us involved: for every tweet during the show using the hashtag #KCRunway, Cole pledged $1 to the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). (The night before the show, Cole chaired a star-studded gala at Cipriani Wall Street that raised more than $2.3 million for amfAR.) It was easy to keep the giving going, as Cole's fall/winter collection was worthy of broadcasting across social media. Rife with leathers in black or oxblood, the jackets were the true stars of this show, including some with detail so rich (trapunto stitching, doublet styling) it seemed Shakespearean. This was without a doubt a show of great pieces, with standouts including moto jackets in coated tweed and elbow-length leather gloves, the latter a key detail over a wide variety of luxe knits. Cole clearly was having fun combining activism and style, and why shouldn't he enjoy mixing the two? After all, the play's the thing.



Moncler Grenoble Thinks Green

The French outerwear brand presents forest-inspired looks to weather a storm in style.

February 11, 2013

Varying shades of forest green inspired Moncler Grenoble's autumn/winter 2013/14 collection, which wowed at its New York Fashion Week presentation this past Saturday at Gotham Hall. Style and performance unite to make this collection of high-end skiwear perfect for mountaintops and chic cities alike. Made from ultra-active membranes that are both waterproof and breathable, Moncler's men's and women's ranges of duvet jackets also feature a wind flap, waxed zips, specific pockets for ski-passes, and protective pockets to stash sunglasses, cellphones, and other urban accoutrements.

"The Moncler Grenoble collection takes the duvet jacket back to its activewear roots, discovering new technological solutions to survive in nature’s hardest terrains," says Moncler chairman Remo Ruffini. "The constant dialogue between the mountain peaks and the city lies at the core DNA of Moncler Grenoble. While nature suggests new technological advances to survive in its environment, the city offers the aesthetic charm to create the ultimate duvet jacket, combining style with performance."

Indeed, the strategic combination of fleece and knitted fabrics create refined, ultra-light jackets for ladies and gents. The men's line features graphic symbols like tweed, camouflage, and micro dogtooth check, while the women's collection highlights a 1960s sensual aesthetic with materials like fur, pony skin, sheepskin, and laminated wool keepings things contemporary. For city or slope, you'll stay warm and look hot in Moncler Grenoble outerwear. 

—Simona Rabinovitch


Valentine's Day Gifts for Kids

Gifting guru Amanda Poses picks the top Valentine's Day gifts for kids.

February 11, 2013

Amanda Poses is the owner of Fill-R-Up, a customized gift basket service and retail store located on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Poses and her team can put together gorgeous gifts for baby showers, weddings, graduations, and a host of other special days—and every item has been tried and tested by Poses herself. 197 E. 76th St., 212-452-3026 


A Short Film by Donna Karan and Angelica Huston

The duo premiered Haven’t We Met Before? at Urban Zen in the West Village.

February 07, 2013

New York designer Donna Karan and film goddess Anjelica Huston didn’t have to go out on a limb to celebrate one of the most powerful shapes on a woman’s figure: her legs. Starring Felicity Jones and Jack Davenport, Haven’t We Met Before?—a short film directed by Huston and commissioned by Donna Karan Hoisery—premiered February 3 at Urban Zen in the West Village. Following the screening guests enjoyed a Q&A with Karan, Huston, and Davenport moderated by Vogue’s André Leon Talley. “A woman’s legs are her foundation,” says Karan, the founder of the nonprofit Urban Zen Foundation, which focuses on worldwide culture preservation, well being, and the empowerment of children. “Strong, seductive, sensual, they take her everywhere she needs to go in her journey forward.” The cinematography of the short echoes this sentiment, with the movements and postures of actress Jones’ legs mirroring the reactions of fellow English actor Davenport. You can watch the film on YouTube711 Greenwich St., 212-414-8520



At NYFW, Membership Has Its Privileges

The view from the American Express Skybox is pretty sweet, but the perks don’t end there.

February 07, 2013

The American Express Skybox at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center

Regardless of whether you’re a cardholder, American Express has made the non-stop frenzy of Fashion Week a little easier; but if you are, this season it’s unquestionably a little more fun. The credit card and financial services company hosted a breakfast Tuesday morning at The Lamb’s Club to introduce bloggers and editors to the creature comforts they’ve planned for New York Fashion Week—which officially kicks off today and runs through Feb. 14th—at its two largest venues: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, and MADE at Milk Studios.

A complimentary coat check, refreshment bar, and customer care professionals, acting as concierges to make restaurant or theater reservations, are among the perks American Express will offer attendees. These fall/winter 2013 shows represent Amex’s twelfth season at Lincoln Center and its eighth at Milk Studios. The goal of its presence is threefold, says Deborah Curtis, the company’s vice president of entertainment marketing and sponsorships: “We wanted to offer an experience that’s about service, innovation, and commerce, and we thought, How do we bring those things together?” The lobby conveniences are just a start, she adds, noting that a partnership with Mercedes-Benz also will allow those who partake in the program to reserve car service to off-site shows. “It’s really about making the week just a little bit painless,” Curtis says.

Gold and platinum cardholders, meanwhile, experience another level of access, starting with their ability, once unheard-of for consumers, to purchase ticket packages to attend the shows. Packages also include access to the American Express Skybox at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week or the backstage lounge at MADE at Milk. (At the latter, Ric Pipino’s team will be on hand for blowouts, while celebrated chef Michael White of Marea and Ai Fiori has signed on this year to cater that space.) As the finale to the week, on Thursday, February 14th at 6:30 pm, Amex has partnered with Harper’s Bazaar to host its Cardmember Only Show, a ticketed event at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week that will showcase the CH Carolina Herrera Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Following the show, Harper’s Bazaar editors have selected five runway looks available for purchase on the magazine’s e-commerce site. “We wanted to approach the season with an eye toward runway to retail,” Curtis explains, adding that Herrera, who will appear at the show, was the most-requested designer among cardholders surveyed in the Skybox.

Curtis says some tickets are still available for both fashion show packages and the February 14th CH Carolina Herrera event and can be obtained at  



Better Skin in a Bottle

For a glowing complexion, slather on NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil.

February 04, 2013


What do you get when you combine ten of the world’s richest plant oils and four different omega fatty acids? A game-changing facial moisturizer in the form of NUDE ProGenius Treatment Oil ($78, one ounce). Available at Sephora, the popular must-have has garnered a cult-like following for its ultra-nourishing formula and glowing results. With botanicals like apricot, jojoba, sea buckthorn, and sweet almond oils, two to three drops once daily will increase skin’s luminosity and hydration, while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, since the ingredients are all natural, ProGenius Treatment Oil is vegan and free of allergens, synthetic dyes and fragrances, parabens, gluten, sulfates, petrochemicals, and phthalates, so even sensitive skin users can try it out. Beauty tip: The oil can easily be mixed with any foundation for a light, dewy finish. Either way, remember to always pat (not rub) the oil onto your skin.  

—Emma Trotter

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