Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fashion Week Goes Eco-Chic

Bamboo dress by Lara Miller
Lara Miller Spring 2010 collection
Several years ago, it was hard to find eco-fashion in stores, aside from a pair of bamboo socks. Now, Miller sells her designs in more than 40 stores across the country, and stores like Target, H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York have embraced eco-friendly fashion lines.

Although manufacturing eco-friendly fashion is a cause Miller feels strongly about, it isn't exactly economically friendly. Miller says materials like organic cotton and bamboo can be expensive because they are hard to find. "Silk is actually the least expensive fiber I work with because it's already so popular," she says. As eco-fashion gains popularity, Miller says she expects prices to get better—for both designers and shoppers.

If you can't find eco-fashion in stores near you, Miller says there are other ways to be green. "I really think there is something to be said about investing in pieces you feel really strongly about versus buying 20 throwaway garments from Target—and then literally throwing them away into a landfill."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trends Anyone Can Wear


Tone up! Two or more shades, inventively combined, make for a brighter outlook.

The color wheel turns again as designers go in for daring juxtapositions of rich, sophisticated hues like violet and saffron (blouse, Club Monaco, $119; skirt, J.Crew, $78). To make a mix like this work, use tones that are the same level of intensity; it also helps to separate them (grosgrain ribbon worn as belt, Mokuba). The one-bare-shoulder look highlights a part of the anatomy that's slow to age (hooray!). Kara DioGuardi, who needs interesting tops as a judge for Fox's iconic music show American Idol—she's mostly seen from the waist up—says this style makes her feel "sexy but still strong." Edgy quartz, onyx, and sapphire jewelry (Iradj Moini) and glittery-strapped nude shoes (Lanvin) give this Grammy-nominated composer (for everyone from Gwen Stefani to Celine Dion) a touch of rocker chic.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tim Gunn Gets Real

Tim Gunn
Photo: Virginia Sherwood

The fashion, the models, the celebrities, the tents—it can only be New York fashion week. Gunn, a fashion authority and beloved mentor on Project Runway, will be surrounded by it all this September.

But for women everywhere, there is a bigger question than what the "it" color for spring will be or what trend will become the new must-have look. The real question is: Will any of it fit me?

Charming, witty and impeccably well-mannered, Gunn recognizes this. He isn't the typical fashion figure—he's not afraid to declare that fashion should be for everyfigure.

"We are on the cusp of fashion week, and on the one hand I love it and the whole exhilaration of it," Gunn says. "On the other hand, those women walking the runway are not from this planet. Many of them haven't even left puberty. So how can someone in the audience look at these women and think, 'Oh, I'd look great in that?'"

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shopping in Paris @ the Art Museum

“Common creatures, in other cities, dress to live; but in Paris people live to dress.” –

Charles Dickens (1867).

We all know how Paris has been inspiring fashion addicts for centuries, but it is fascinating to discover the evolution of the shopping process.

The Shopping in Paris exhibition, showing at the Spain Gallery of the Philadelphia Art Museum until October 25th, pairs, among its nearly 35 garment and accessories, the luxurious designs of leading couturiers such as Charles Worth, Emile Pingat and Paul Poiret with American fashion items inspired by these Parisian designers.

The exhibit also underlines the radical changes in ladies fashion at the corner of the century, evolving from stiff, heavy gowns to light, leg-showing dresses as women were experiencing a newly found independence.

Shopping in Paris French Fashion 1850-1925 Now through October 25, 2009

Philadelphia Museum of Art 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA (215) 235-3200