Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Designer Spotlight- Catherine Malandrino

Fiesty Malandrino was born in Grenoble, France, and got her start working in Paris for such talents as Emanuel Ungaro, Louis Feraud Haute Couture, and Et Vous.

She arrived in the U.S. with a bang in 1988, taking on the role as head designer of Diane von Furstenberg, before launching her eponymous label in 1998. Her rock-inspired looks procured a strong following of celebs and stylists who appreciate her sexy signature.

Never shy about the importance of seduction in her designs, she coos, "I want to design irresistible clothes that make a woman desirable, clothes that a man just wants to discreetly take off."

Malandrino designs both collections while her husband Bernard Aidan serves as CEO of the brand.

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Celebrities in Vintage- Who is wearing what?

Vintage is everywhere this spring. From high couture formal events, to casual daytime dressing, celebrities are sporting vintage on both ends of the spectrum.

Penelope Cruz in a dress from Lily et Cie, the ab vintage boutique in Beverly Hills
Amy Smart in a vintage Herve Leger at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Jada Pinkett Smith in a vintage Helena Barbieri at the Reigh Over Me premier
Carolyn Murphy in a vintage lace dress at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Chloy Sevigny in a vintage Thirrry Mugler from at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Mandy Moore in a vintage Ossie Clark at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Jada Pinkett Smith in a vintage Bob Mackie at the Oscars
Pink in a vintage Herve Leger at the Grammy's

Join the ranks of the celebrities and wear am amazing vintage gown to your next special event.

Yellow- this season's IN color

You have been seeing it everywhere.
A large yellow handbag is the purse to carry.
Yellow, navy and white is the it combination for spring.
Yellow dresses have been seen in just about every celebrity and almost every event.

Now it is your turn to sport the sunshine color. Bright and cheery, you can't help but be in a good mood when you are wearing it, so why not give it a try...

items photographed left include Juicy Couture, Thierry Mugler, Betsey Johnson, Ella Moss, Loris Azzaro, as well as some cute vintage pieces.

Designer Spotlight- Diane Von Furstenberg

"She was born Diane Michelle Halfin in Brussels, Belgium in 1946. She is Belgian by birth, with Russian Jewish blood. Her mother Lily Nahmias, was a courageous survivor of Auschwitz German Concentration camp. Diane majored in Economics at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In 1969, she became an apprentice to Angelo Ferretti, an Italian textile manufacturer.

Using silk jersey prints she produced a line of clothes, mostly tunic dresses in varying length and bias-cut shirtwaisters. In the same year, she moved with her husband Austrian Prince Egon von Und Zu Furstenberg, to New York. She showed some dresses she had made to Diana Vreeland, then editor of Vogue, who put one of her dresses in the magazine. It was a hit. In 1972, she had enough orders toopen her own business in New York.

In the 70's, she created a wraparound dress, which became a best seller. It had long sleeves, a fitted top and a skirt which wrapped around the body to tie at the waist. By 1975, 5 million of these wraparound dresses had been sold.

Von Furstenberg favours jersey and often uses geometric prints in the dresses she designs.

In 1975, Diane Von Furstenberg made the cover of Newsweek magazine. She was called New York's fashion queen.

In 1984 she sold portions of her company for $24 million and moved to Paris.

In 1990, she moved back to New York.

In 1997, her daughter-in-law because creative director of Diane Von Furstenberg

In 1999 Diane von Furstenberg became a Director on the Board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) the ruling body of the American fashion industry.

In September of 2002 at New York Fashion Week, one of the Diane von Furstenberg's most glamourous dresses was modeled by Indian model Meghana Reddy, which is the first time that an Indian girl has been seen on the New York fashion scene. "

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DvF the brand still flourishes today, and
Diane is still influencing its designs. The items you see pictured here are all by this fashion icon.

Spring trend alert: Strapless Cocktail Dresses

In comes Spring and Out go the straps. Strapless cocktail dresses are the hot item this spring, and although they aren't original, they do have a new, decidedly 80's style.
For one thing, the sweetheart neckline is back... We certainly haven't seen that since the 80's. It is an easy neckline line to wear as it flatters any chest size, large or small. If you have large shoulders, strapless is the way to go. It minimizes your broadness.
Not comfortable repeating your prom days? A straight across neckline is timeless but only works on small to medium busted women. If you are any larger, stick with a sweetheart neckline.

Excessive fabric is another trendy element to the new strapless dress. Ruching, gathering, draping, pleating, what ever it may be, there should be some element of opulence and excess. Again, very 80's influenced.
Don't want to add bulk? Make sure the extra fabric is in a flattering area, like in the bust, and not the waist. Knife pleats are another good option because they lie flat at the waist but turn into a fuller shape.

The extra fabric is also important because it adds interest, and style to what seems to be a relatively solid color palate. Since you don't have any busy patterns, this attention to detail is essential, and the detail really stands out.
Want to cover up a problem area? Ruching, gathering, pleating of what ever you choose, all hide imperfections underneath but be careful, they can add bulk and draw attention exactly where you don't want it. for example, if you have big hips, make sure the bodice of your dress has the details. This will draw your eye upwards, away from your hips, and the details will make your bust look bigger, and more proportionate, thus making your hips look smaller.

So now you know to go with a solid color, but what color do you choose? Anything but black. Gem colors are popular, emerald, sapphire, etc. Bright or primary, anything in those categories is very in. And of course yellow is the must have color this spring.

The skirt shape seems to be quite fitted as well. Gone are the full 1950's style skirts. Instead, they have been replaced with a straight or pencil shaped skirt that, although is more intriguingly sexy, can be more challenging to wear. Stay away from the pencil if you have big hips or are pear shaped. It is a great style for boyish figures, or people who are very hourglass and proportionate. If you are pear shaped instead choose a straight skirt.

All in all, the strapless dress this spring is less girly and feminine and more 80's sexy. Close fitting, no frills, and confident.