Archive | August 2009

Fashion Week Sneak Peek #2: Ports 1961


Ports 1961, which creates simply marvelous fashion, sent a few sketches of their Spring 2010 Fashion Week presentation to your faithful correspondent this week. It has me simply craving to see them in person!

Ports Creative Director Tia Cibani has stated, that despite the economy: “Give
women beautiful clothes that represent value and quality and they will still find a way to buy them.” ‘Tis true, ’tis true.

Cibani is moving from boutique and online marketing to the Bryant Park tents, bringing the customers along with her. Spring 2010 will explore the concept of “craft meets innovation”.

See you under the tents!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Fashion Week Sneak Peek #1: Gottex!


Gottex has been in business nearly since the turn of the century, and yet they always stay current. (Get it? Current–swimsuits–oh, never mind.) Molly Grad, fresh from a stint as senior designer at Gianfranco Ferre, has taken over as the new Gottex head of design.

She wants to bring the brand into the future while honoring its past. Their show is September 14, and your faithful correspondent will be there, noting down the highlights for your reading pleasure!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Project Runway Pregnancy Chic: Malvin Lays An Egg


Finally, Project Runway has one of their few real-life challenges! And as always, when confronted with real life and a real woman’s body, most of the designers are utterly flummoxed.

Actress/model Rebecca Romjin (Ugly Betty), heavily pregnant, is the inspiration for the challenge: Pregnancy Chic. Rebecca and Heidi pretend to like each other. But one can feel the evil model vibes shooting between them despite their faux camaraderie. The designers are specifically told to design a form-fitting outfit for Ms. Romjin. Who knew her last name was pronounced like the lettuce? Not moi.

When they go into the workroom, each designer is given a pregnancy pillow to tie to their mannequins. Gordana, who has actually been pregnant, has to give the others instructions on where the pillows go. Straight, personality-challenged Logan remarks, “Pregnant woman—that’s really not my deal.” Good thing he has not reproduced.

Basically, the challenge turns most of the designers into complete drooling idiots, which is why this episode is a lot of fun to watch. I only wish the show spent more time in the workroom! Perhaps it is because there are so many designers still designing they simply don’t have the camera time. But I want to get to know Qristyl and Nicolas better. Nicolas seems quite droll. Someone it would be fun to have a cocktail with.

Malvin, who feels his designs are “ineffable,” whatever that means, decides to go with a highly-conceptual garment symbolizing a mother hen and her egg. And yes, it is truly as ghastly as that sounds. Tim managed to keep from vomiting on camera when he first saw it in the workroom. There was that rough linen fabric, the egg-sling-thing, feathers here and there: thank GOD Malvin was talked out of jodphurs!

It’s Fetus-In-A-Bag! With A Side Flap For Your Laptop!

I’m certain Michael Kors also said, “Pregnant woman—that’s really not my deal.”

He was replaced by designer Monique Lhuillier. Along with Nina, Heidi and Rebecca, the the panel was pure estrogen. Heidi warned the designers that the entire panel had been pregnant. Whether she meant that they had particular expertise or that their hormones were raging that day, one doesn’t really know.

Evidently most of the designers had never seen a pregnant woman. For instance, it did not occur to them to pad the anorexic models’ breasts to match the enormous stomachs sailing before them, like prows on a badly made ship. However, some did markedly better than others.

Gordana drew on her experience for this sexy navy top and pants.

Shirin went for the gold by creating an amazing draped and tucked burgundy dress, with a stunningly lined coat. She was the clear winner. This photo does not do her outfit justice.

Althea’s dress was very pretty and flattering, but struck your faithful correspondent as somewhat bland. We’ve seen it before. And a pregnant woman’s breasts–almost any woman’s breasts–would never stay in those cups without several rolls of body tape.

On the losing side, R’amon created what another designer called “a bowling-ball bag.” It was meant to be slimming, but instead it proclaimed for several city blocks, “I’m wearing a HUGE pregnancy pillow!” And the construction…er, one could call it construction…

Mitchell created an atrocious, too-tight, badly made shorts and sweater set, and yet he was not auf’ed. This is something your faithful correspondent does not understand. Ordinarily, poor dressmaking is on the bottom rung of the Project Runway critique, and Mitchell has now sent two hideous, poorly constructed messes down the runway. We were praying that he would get Heidi’s stiletto boot.

However, he got let off with a stern warning from Heidi: “Up your game or I will rip out your jugular with my perfect white teeth, scum.”

Malvin got auf’ed. Not to say that his outfit had any redeeming qualities; in fact, it looked like an alien baby was growing in that fetus sling. But I had thought his hair, misspelled name and general bizarreness would keep him on the program.

However, as one of my viewing companions pointed out, “Clinically depressed white boy trumps no-affect Asian.” And yes, Malvin was preternaturally calm. Even during his exit interview, he seemed to be gently tranquilized. He muttered that his designs were “too conceptual for America.”

I must get the name of his doctor.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Andi Charkow Presents: A Vintage Clothing Auction!

Dahlings –

I won’t be attending this auction because of Fashion Week, but if you love beautiful things at beautiful prices in beautiful surrounds, I urge you to consider attending! Bucky and I traveled to Pennsylvania for her last auction, and came away with a number of absolutely one-of-a-kind finds!

Have a wonderful time! There are also hats, accessories, handbags, and jewelry!


Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Project Runway Season Six Premiere!


I spent much of the past day trying to think of a title incorporating a pun on “meth.” Such as “Television’s Best Meth-ed” or “Making A Meth Of Things.” But one has one’s standards, and hence the title.

This refers to Johnny S., who spends much of the program (pardon the pun) proclaiming that he’s a recovering addict, having a meltdown because he’s a recovering addict, manning up to face the challenge because he’s a recovering addict, etc. It makes for some decent drama. In fact, he has a sweet scene with the ever-loveable Tim Gunn, who helps Johnny face his fears and man up. Who knew Tim was an abuse counselor as well as a fabulous man about town? What hat does this man not wear?

The new, shiny, postponed Season Six of Project Runway has everything the old Bravo Project Runway had going for it. And more sophisticated cinematography; obviously the Los Angeles influence. Sixteen designers are competing for the usual, you know the drill, mes chers amis.

The other Los Angeles influence seems to be a disproportionate amount of young, attractive designers. For instance, Carol Hannah Whitfield, a 24-year-old Southern blonde, who says “I’m not expected to have qualities like, uh, intelligence, or…lost my train of thought.” There is another vacuous blonde, Althea, and the obligatory young man with weird hair (and a deliberately misspelled name: Malvin). At first, Christopher Straub annoys with his stylistic quirk: large baseball hats worn at an angle, which give him the look of one of those “cute” little boys in 1950s sitcoms.

However, this is definitely the most multicultural mix since the series began. The tall gentleman with the dreads goes by the single name of Epperson.

From left: Malvin, Shirin, some guy, Carol Hannah, some other guy, Epperson, Mitchell with his mouth (thankfully) closed.

Ariel is the obligatory free spirit, who doesn’t sketch. This is how she creates (which is appropriate, because her dress looked like it had been pulled from her butt, pardon my non-french).

The designer who got on my nerves the most was Mitchell, who has huge yellow teeth. For some reason, whenever he was on camera all I could see were those dirty-butter colored Chiclets. Of course I immediately warmed to Qristyl, who described her style as not plus-size, but “plus sexy.” A woman after my own heart.

The challenge was to create a red-carpet look. As on the All-Star challenge, the same judges were in attendance: Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Heidi Klum. The guest judge was…Lindsay Lohan.

Lindsay Lohan, who is even more D-List than most of the runway audience of The Fashion Show.

The real surprise was that she had intelligent comments about the designs. Who would have thought she was capable of forming complete sentences?

Johnny’s design was terrible, and the comments it elicited all ran along the lines of: “If I imagine this as a completely different dress, it would be beautiful.” Oh, well, at least he didn’t get auf’d. He would have been on the street scoring in no time. The members of my viewing party thought that Malvin would get the boot, because he sent the model down the runway basically naked with a thin blanket of flesh-colored chiffon over her. But no; his hairdo evidently saved him.
The other surprise was that Ariel, who seemed goofy enough to keep around for a while, got auf’d for her truly horrendous design. Usually, goofiness trumps ability on Project Runway.
Christopher won for a fairly ordinary dress.

But I noticed that R’amon Lawrence’s dress is the one they copied for sale. Somehow, that switcharound is also tres Los Angeles.

And the beat goes on.

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

Project Runway’s All-Star Challenge, Part Two


Forgive the unpardonable lapse, but the preparation for Fashion Week Spring 2010 is simply too intense!



Back to Project Runway’s All Star Challenge: as I mentioned, at every conceivable moment, Chris March was to be found asleep (including the model casting!). However, his collection was easily my favorite. Strong silhouettes, a marvelous plaid, I was even willing to forgive the spray of feathers on the red-carpet gown. In the workroom, Tim Gunn loved what Chris was creating, as well.

The most bizarre moment was when the designers were unwillingly dragged out for a pre-runway show “celebratory dinner.” After the meal, Tim Gunn proclaimed that they had to create a fourth look, made from materials in the restaurant around them.

A scene erupted that was straight out of a Marx Brothers movie—or, for those who don’t know who the Marx Brothers are (I pity you)—most comedies starring Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, or Dane Cook. The designers literally tore the restaurant apart. One hopes the place was already scheduled for demolition.

However, as one of my guests remarked at that time, “This is what I love about this show. It gives weird constraints to talented people.” I could not have put it better.

The magnificent Diane von Fursternberg was the guest judge, and the usual suspects were back: Michael Kors and his pancake makeup, Nina Garcia, replete with hair extensions, and Heidi Klum, of course.

Santino, for all of his bragging, (“Project Runway didn’t make me, I made Project Runway”—pride goeth before a Fall Collection) could not get his four looks together in time, and it showed. Almost everything in Santino’s collection was made of metallic lycra, making all of the models come across as low-priced escorts.

“Pretty Woman, walking down the street, pretty woman…”

Mychael Knight’s restaurant dress looked like the model would scrub a kitchen with her torso. Neckthing simply sent ugly clothes down the runway, and they were all “auf’d.” As was Uli, despite her death-ray stares at Sweet P.

Mychael’s restaurant dress

Neckthing’s harem-pant jumpsuit…why, oh, why have harem pants come back??

Darling Chris March’s collection knocked it out of the park, to use one of my male guest’s expressions. Beautifully made, strong, dramatic…I want him to design a collection for moi! Are you reading this, Chris dear? He should have been given the win!

Chris’s wonderfully chic restaurant dress!

Sweet P’s restaurant dress was the most interesting part of her collection: it looked like a giant walking cupcake.

Korto’s clothes were lovely, if perhaps much of a muchness. Very beautiful, very drapey and wearable, but somehow they lacked the spark I saw in her runway show in February. However, her restaurant dress was absolutely superb:

You cannot tell from this photo, but the construction was masterful and the textures extremely creative and wearable.

Daniel, of all people, got the win! His restaurant dress looked like something a mad bomber would wear; perhaps a model crazed with hunger? “Give me a cheeseburger or I’ll blow Heidi to bits!” And his clothes—ugly and uglier. And the models—I thought heroin chic went out years ago. Ugh.

So, I disagree with the judges. Ce qui est nouveau?

I shall try to post about the premiere episode of Season Six before the second episode airs, I promise!

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog

A Fabulous Fashion Dude Thinks I’m Fabulous!


We interrupt our coverage of Project Runway to toot our own horn! Wilbur Pack Jr., an incredibly talented fashion designer, wrote a blog entry about moi in his blog, “I Am Fabulous: A Black FashionDude’s Odyssey”!

Here is the link:

We met last February, at a benefit for the McClellan Cooper Foundation (which featured Korto Momolu’s runway show, chronicled in this blog). I first spotted his sister in an astounding denim evening dress. When I gasped, “Where did you get that dress,” she indicated the tall, handsome man next to her and replied, “My brother designed it.”

A model, Wilbur Pack, and his sister (both dresses SKWilbur designs)

I am overcome, simply overcome. So you can look out for moi in the coming months in one of Wilbur Pack’s creations! (And do go to his website, see his latest line of colorful sportswear!)

Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog