Mary Katrantzou Steals the Show at London Fashion Week

While we previously reserved the long weekend for some much-needed R&R, we ended up spending the majority of it glued to our computer screens as we watched the amazingness going on at London Fashion Week. From collective "ohs" and "ahs" at Christopher Kane to makeshift snowstorms at Burberry Prorsum to Alexa Chung levitations and supermodel table dances at Stella McCartney’s surreal dinner party, there’s no better place to be right now than across the pond, digitally or otherwise. Keeping up with LFW’s exciting season is designer Mary Katrantzou, who showed earlier today and has already received tons of praise for her out-of-this-world collection.

If Katrantzou didn’t demonstrate that she’s the queen of technicolor prints before, then this is the range that does it. Prints were bold, offbeat, and imaginative. Showstudio said it best by explaining that the designer used a block color technique that comprised of "massing millions of images of objects of similar colors – pencils, spoons, chess-pieces, hedges, typewriters, that kind of thing – and somehow manipulating those to fit the human form, to flattering effect." The result? 32 pieces of wondrous perfection. See the complete collection here.

Stella McCartney Explains Why Leather is Bad in Disturbing PETA Video

Today, eco-friendly designer Stella McCartney released a new video with PETA wherein she discusses the harsh reality that, although leather is a style staple for many, there are a series of unethical practices involved in obtaining animal skin. The three-minute video features the designer directly addressing the audience, accompanied by scary clips of factory workers skinning animals. In a word, ew. 

Although McCartney is a serious stickler for preventing these practices (she even has an ecologically-inclined tab on her website called "Green Me"), the video doesn’t come off as preachy. It’s more of an informative piece that is sure to make shoppers think twice about purchasing new leathers, especially now that their are tons of vegan fashion options on the market.

If you can stomach it, watch the video here

All Day I Dream About… Rita Ora

Adidas’ star has been on the rise. Since the resurgence and proliferation of ‘90s style, the tri-stripe, the logo, and the collaborations have been blipping consistently on fashion’s radar. I’ve even hopped back on the same bandwagon I was on circa fifth grade, and it’s been difficult to get me to wear anything other than a Jeremy Scott collab men’s pixelated logo sweater on gloomy days. I hope no one is sick of it yet, because I’m not!

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Aside from Jeremy Scott, we have Stella McCartney workout gear thanks to Adidas (and a new reason to wake up for Exhale classes), and as always, the good old Adidas classics that will never go anywhere (and the more worn in, the better). Now, another collaboration: Rita Ora is set to design a line with Adidas, presumably for our track-pant-lounging pleasure. Also a high possibility: crop tops… yet another reason to get thee to core fusion. Lately the singer has been all over Instagram wearing Adidas, showing off her Adidas goodies (platform creeper/sneakers. Must we do this again?) and with her pals Jeremy and Stella. As they say, the world awaits with breath that is baited.

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Garance Doré Fangirls Out On Stella McCartney

French street style blogger Garance Doré is just the cutest and her interview with fashion designer Stella McCartney is no exception.

Doré interviewed the British designer about her spring collection for the Pardon My French video series on her eponymous blog. (Past interviews have included Jenna Lyons, creative director of J.Crew, among others.)  

It’s delightfuly goofy — Doré is obviously a big fan and Stella McCartney manages to be gracious without getting freaked out. She gamely answered questions about designing without fur or leather, eating meat-free, and balancing life as a working mom.

The only part that made me laugh is when she described her clothes as affordable …

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Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.

Dancing Flash Mob & Magic at Stella McCartney for London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week is in full swing.  Always a swank affair, vegan-friendly designer and daughter of Sir Paul, Stella McCartney, raised the bar with a formal dinner for a ton of celebs at Mayfair hall.  Clothes, expensive things, Kanye, a magic act involving Alexa Chung, as well as professional dancers took part. This is going to be tough for anyone to beat.   

Rihanna, Kanye West, Kate Moss, Anna Wintour, and more took their seats among models dressed in the new line for a six-course vegetarian dinner that included some very British sounding foods like Hyde Park sweet chestnut and Wigmore cheese on toast.

Magician Hans Klok performed, hypnotizing fashion’s latest darling Alexa Chung and lifting her from the ground on three swords.

Alexa Chung Stella McCartney Magic

 

Professional dancers performed a routine to Led Zeppelin, lifting models in their chairs and taking them from one side of the room to another.  It’s like an old-school GAP ad, but way more nice.

7 Stunning Looks from Stella McCartney’s Runway

Although we’ve seen more than a few standout collections this Paris Fashion Week (Chanel, Balenciaga, and Givenchy are near the top of the heap), there’s no designer we’d rather invade our closets than Stella McCartney. Fresh 3D prints, clever cutouts, and fluid silhouettes tugged at our heartstrings, while silk wide-leg trousers, sharp suits, and nude footwear reflected McCartney’s timeless sophistication. Let’s look upon the wonder, shall we?

image We want to live in these sizzling swirl-embroidered print dresses.

image Clean colorblocking blended with sporty mesh add to this collection’s to-die-for features. See more looks here.

FashionFeed: Stella McCartney Dresses Ballerinas, Franca Sozzani Hates Fashionistas

● Stella McCartney designed the costumes for her famous father’s first ballet, Ocean’s Kingdom. [Telegraph] ● Italian Vogue’s ballsy editor Franca Sozzani is on the attack again, and this time she’s hating on fashionistas. Who does she think reads her magazine? [NYT] ● This lady is literally selling her Missoni for Target rainboots for $31k. [eBay]

● Here’s a sneak peek at the new 124-page book on Daphne Guinness. [Racked] ● Behold the complete collection of Miu Miu FW11 accessories. We’re officially obsessed with those glitter pumps. [Fashionologie] ● These Lita Cat Tapetry platforms seem oddly alluring. [Racked]

Things I Like: Stella, DVF, Nuela & Gansevoort Park

Fashion Week is upon us, and I just don’t know what to wear. Last night, fur and leather were certainly not an option as I attended the PETA Fashion Week Bash. It was hosted by a man who always knows what to wear, Tim Gunn, along with the beautiful actress and Daily Show correspondent, Olivia Munn. Special guests included long time PETA proponent Russell Simmons, and actress Taraji P. Henson. Henson, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her part in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, poses without anything to wear in the latest PETA “Fur? I’d Rather Go Naked” campaign. She spoke about growing up unable to afford fur, but refused to buy it after becoming aware of the cruelty behind it. Ironically, the gala was held at the Stella McCartney boutique in the “Meatpacking” District.

Stella is a long time supporter of animal rights. PETA hero Dan Mathews remarked how wonderful it was to be having this event at a highly successful boutique where the designer has opted not to use fur or leather in their designs. I have known Dan since the Tunnel/Spa days when the clubs I was associated with would not allow people wearing fur inside. Dan talked about how far the awareness of the cruelty behind fur has come, and of course, how much more there is to do.

Tim Gunn is obsessed with personally getting designers to opt out of using fur. I had a great chat with PR goddess Kelly Cutrone, who helped put the event together. Kelly was my PR back when I needed someone to shout my name from rooftops, so you can blame her. Also on hand was the fabulous Jenny Dembrow. I guess it’s not PC to mention one charity with another, but I’m sure PETA won’t mind. Jenny is a honcho over at the Lower East Side Girl’s Club. They need people to go to their site, Girlsclub.org, and vote for Lynn Pentecost, their fearless leader. A $50,000 grant from the Diane Von Furstenberg is at stake. Here’s the scoop:

“The DVF Awards was created in 2010 by Diane von Furstenberg and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to recognize and support women who are using their resources, commitment and visibility to transform the lives of other women. These are women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive and the leadership to inspire.

Honorees receive $50,000 in support of the organization (U.S. 501c3) with whom they are affiliated from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to further their work. Each year, four awards are given to women who have demonstrated leadership, strength and courage in their commitment to women’s causes.”

Every vote counts, and it only takes a few moments to help the Lower East Side Girls Club get this loot. They help young girls, when often there is no one else around to guide them. Jenny, a former club kid, dedicates her life to helping these young ladies. She and Lynn and their small band are often the difference between helping a bright mind have the opportunities to reach their potential, or having them fall by the wayside. As I left Stella McCartney’s event, I eyed the Diane Von Furstenberg complex across 14th Street and was thankful that these 2 great designers where doing so much to help others with the power their success has afforded them.

After the soiree, we hoofed over to Nuela to have dinner with old friend and restaurant PR extraordinaire Kelly Blevins. That very afternoon I had lunch with Hotel Ganesvoort operator Michael Aschenbaum, and he was raving about the place. There is much to rave about. Michael demanded I try the ceviche, and I accommodated him gladly. It’s the best I’ve ever had. Nuela is located where the dearly departed Sapa used to be. I used to visit Sapa frequently when I was building Select and finishing Gypsy Tea. Located on 24th Street, just east of 6th Avenue, Nuela is charming. The block has changed since those days. There are no longer hordes of clubbers in various stages of intoxication annoying diners, which was probably the reason Sapa suffered. Gypsy, at the old Eugene’s nightclub space, has gone through a multimillion dollar renovation and is now an Indian restaurant, Junoon, which I have been told rocks on the weekends. Nuela executive chef Adam Schop’s offerings were as colorful and exciting as the interiors done by Angel Sanchez and Christopher Coleman. Cocktails were done by Alex Ott, who describes himself (with good reason) as “ alchemist/master mixologist.” The drinks were delicious, and, of course, non-alcoholic for this old warrior. The mission statement of Nuela is “Exuding unique flavors, hospitality, and the unbridled passion of South America, with refinement and style.” I would say “mission accomplished,” but that line has been used.

After dinner Amanda and I needed a stroll, so we popped over to the Ganesvoort Park to see what Provocateur’s Michael Satsky and Brian Geftner were doing with the private room Michael Aschenbaum had showed me in the afternoon. The amazing lighting Derek Vasquez was installing while Michael toured me was paying dividends at night. The crowd was enjoying the property in general, which now features an area for special guests and their special friends. I like the Ganesvoort: The intelligence and effort put into both its food, beverage, and nightlife options and how they interact comfortably with their main business of running a hotel. I like it, and I’m going to continue to say so.

Parties: The Fashion Week Effect on Nightlife

Fashion Week has descended upon New York City, anointing new and yet-to-be-opened venues with its holy presence. Fashion houses and fashionable rags have shouldered their way into seen-and-be-seen restaurants and night spots, and have sold off their first born in order to offer their party guests a first look at some unopened places, like The Mondrian and the Darby’s buzzy basement. The perennial question: Whether to elect tried-and-true spots (or, in the case of Alexander Wang, gas stations and bounce houses) over what could be just a flash-in-the-pan hotspot. Herewith, a rumor-mongering and totally useless look at where all the week’s parties shall take place.

No Need for Dropping Bar Names Tonight, Stella McCartney will be watching out for our furry friends along with PETA, Tim Gunn, and Olivia Munn (last name rhyme-a-thon!) at her store for PETA’s Fashion Week fete. Also tonight is Waris Ahluwalia’s party at The Wooly to celebrate the buzzy launch of his line “Waris Loves You,” with Yoox.com and Karen Elson is rumored to perform with The Citizen’s Band. Not to be outdone, Fendi will be at Saks Fifth Avenue along with The New York Botanical Garden and a slew of fashion fixtures like Genevieve Bahrenburg, Byrdie Bell, and Lauren Remington Platt. We know this game all too well: we’ll have to leave our Frye boots at home. One place we can wear our beloved booties is the RETNA graffiti party at 560 Washington Street with fashion royalty, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, with an after-party at good ‘ol Indochine. Itinerary: Stella McCartney The Wooly Saks Fifth Avenue Indochine

Hotel Playgrounds The James has proven to be a great new nightlife addition, frequented by a slew of designers and celebrities, which means the hotel’s newbie restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, will be a big draw for the fashion crowd, and the rooftop bar Jimmy, will be packed—per the usual. But really, the buzz is all about the VMAN party rumored to be held at the not-yet-opened Mondrian—more specifically, Imperial No. Nine, chef/cool-guy Sam Talbot’s new restaurant therein. Reason for the buzz: VMAN’s cover featuring Kanye West with money in his mouth, shot by Karl Lagerfeld. We’d love to see the confirmed guestlist, pretty please? And of course, don’t discount The Standard Hotel. Although it’s not spanking-new, Boom Boom room will continue to dazzle, and blogger workshops for the Independent Fashion Blogger’s Evolving Influence conference (featuring Proenza’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez) will be held at Le Bain. Itinerary: The James David Burke Kitchen Jimmy The Mondrian Imperial No. Nine The Standard Hotel Boom Boom Room Le Bain

On the Verge Speaking of Le Bain, the French connection will see to it that the delayed Le Baron New York will have a proper place to party. Aside from Alexander Wang (who may just be hosting a chill party at his Soho store opening on February 15th) another person everyone is trying to befriend in time is Andre Saraiva. His Paris club, Le Baron, has always been the spot for Paris fashion week, and conveniently, the New York outpost is rumored to be opening in March. Though it’s been reported that it isn’t officially ready in time for NYFW, that doesn’t mean it can’t host private events and quiet gatherings for Saraiva’s closest friends. But instead of temp fate (or the Community Boards) the splashy Le Bain will host Le Baron and family on two separate occasions: on Friday with Kitsuné celebrating “Kitsuné Parisien” with hosts/music done by Gildas, André Saraiva, Annabelle & Alexander Dexter-Jones, and Grand Marnier from 11-4AM. On Sunday, the Nouveau York weekly will also host “Late Night with Le Baron, with music by Alex from Tokyo, Manu (Supreme Records) and Lee (Hamsa). The Darby has been open for a while, but rumors point to a private basement opening party this Friday, with a subsequent party open to the public (whatever ‘public’ means to the Darby folks) next Wednesday. Also on everyone’s mind: Westway, a former strip club resurrected, has bloodlines from The Smile and The Jane. Charlotte Ronson’s after-party is one rumored party slot in Westway’s schedule. Itinerary: Le Baron Basement of The Darby Westway