Fashion Focus: Sex and the City 2

May 24, 2010 at 2:26 pm (Fashion Focus)

The movie officially opens on Thursday, but already the internet is buzzing with what Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda will be wearing. “The fashion really is another character in the movie,” says Sarah Jessica Parker.

It has been reported the Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Carrie, has over 40 costume changes. “I think I have about 48,” Parker says. “We started off with 60 and I think scenes were cut and scenes didn’t make it. So I think between scenes being cut prior to shooting and us not being able to find a good enough reason to change clothes on camera, which is what I would do if they would let me, I think we end up in high 40s.”

While I am not a die hard Sex and the City fan, I cannot deny the impact the movie will have on style and accessory trends. I anticipate that the jewelry trends that will come out of this movie will be cuff bracelets, big earrings, crystals, and of course, statement necklaces.


Solange Azagury Partridge Necklace

I have spent the better part of my career making statement necklaces, and this statement necklace by Solange Azagury Partridge (worn by Sarah Jessica Parker) does not disappoint. This 18ct blockened white gold piece with diamond, emerald, sapphire, ruby and fire opal jewels costs reportedly $200,000.

“Ms. Azagury-Partridge, according to her publicity material, has had no formal training in jewelry design, but she didn’t need it,” writes Cintra Wilson for The New York Times. “Her work explodes with energy, brilliance, sensuality and courage. It is thrillingly exuberant, scary-smart and intensely personal.” Parker models Azagury-Partridge’s necklace not only in the movie, but also on the movie poster.

Jimmy Choo Cuff Bracelet

Despite the striking colors of the gemstones in Azagury-Partridge’s necklace, white is a dominant color found in the movie’s costumes and accessories. Costume designer Patricia Field has confirmed that white plays a large role in the movie because the action takes place over seven weeks during the summer. “I’m going for a new look and new elements,” says Field, which brings us to another trend, the cuff bracelet. Compared to a $200,000 necklace, this Jimmy Choo white cuff worn by Parker is a bargain at $285.

The movie takes the girls to Abu Dhabi (actually filmed in Morocco), and fashion insiders predict that Moroccan-inspired jewelry, prints, patterns, and fabrics will be a huge trend this summer. Kim Cattrall’s earrings, including the Cleopatra earrings designed by Wendy Brandes, give new meaning to the term “shoulder dusters”.

Wendy Brandes’ Cleopatra Earrings


Of course, Parker and her crew are the queens of cross-promotion, and Swarovski “sparkles throughout the film, adding glamour to Carrie’s closet with the Kiosque Evening Bag, setting the scene with Crystalline glasses, and shining light from Swarovski Crystal Palace chandeliers on the movie’s chic sets.”

Swarovski Evening Bag

Now, if these pricey baubles don’t fit into your budget, here are some more affordable options from Only Lauren.

Sarah Jessica Parker wearing a multi-strand white necklace with vintage focal point.

Only Lauren Five Strand White Arithmetique Necklace with Marcasite Focal Point Clasp

Jimmy Choo White Cuff Bracelet

Only Lauren White Tile Cuff Bracelet

Only Lauren Silver Earrings

And if all else fails, you can Bag, Borrow, and Steal. The Avelle Collection, made popular by Jennifer Hudson’s character in the first movie, rents accessories featured in the movie by the week or by the month. Take Carrie Bradshaw’s Eiffel Tower Bag for example. You could purchase this bag for $2000, but you could rent it for $60 a week.

Timmy Woods Eiffel Tower Bag featured in the first movie

Need a dress to go with that bag?  Try Rent the Runway, where you can rent an array of A-list designer dresses.

No matter what floats your Manolos, there is no doubt that over the next week, we will all be hearing about Sex and the City 2, and more to the point, what or who the girls are wearing.


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Fashion Focus: So Long Bryant Park

February 17, 2010 at 6:02 am (Fashion Focus)

In 2006, Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, pleaded with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to keep New York’s Fashion Week under the tents in Bryant Park.

While Wintour may have won the battle, it seems that due in part to the recession, that Bryant Park Corporation has won the war. After seventeen years in Bryant Park, Fashion Week will relocate to Lincoln Center starting in September 2010, making this week’s runway shows the last in the garment district.

Wintour has been seated front and center at this week’s New York Fashion Week shows, a scene that was well documented in R.J. Cutler’s  The September Issue.

On a rainy afternoon last October, I was one of the last to see The September Issue here in Raleigh. The film closed before I even had the chance to publish my blog post on The September Issue (posted October 18. 2009). It didn’t seem to really matter though that the film had closed here in Raleigh, because my September Issue blog post continues to be one of the most popular posts on this blog. If you missed The September Issue in theaters, fear not fellow fashionistas. The DVD comes out next Tuesday, February 23rd.

As I said last October on this blog, it wasn’t so much the unprecedented access to Wintour that surprised me about the movie, as much as it was the amazing artistry of Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington.  Coddington’s collaboration with Vogue photographers results in visionary photographs, which taken outside the context of the magazine stand alone as works of art. Coddington is also seated front and center at many of this week’s runway shows, along with Vogue’s Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley, who is also featured in Cutler’s documentary.

For me, however, this month has been less about fashion and more about fantasy, diving into creating work for my upcoming Through the Looking Glass group exhibition tentatively scheduled to open at Artspace next fall. Coincidentally, while researching Louis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland online this week, I stumbled upon Grace Coddington’s Wonderland inspired photo shoot for Vogue, first published in December 2003, beautifully photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Below you will find a video containing all of the photographs from this spread.

On a sad note, the start of this week’s Fashion Week was plagued by the sudden death of Designer Alexander McQueen. McQueen’s collection was supposed to be shown at New York Fashion Week. The event was cancelled. I stumbled across McQueen’s work online last year and was dazzled by his collection which pushed the envelope.  “McQueen’s pieces were about the extreme. His runway shows featured fashions that reminded me of royal garb, with high collars, super-cinched waists, and hats.” [Elizabeth Wellington, Fashion Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer] “We are devastated to learn of the death of Alexander McQueen,” said Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue. “He was one of the greatest talents of his generation. . . . In such a short career, Alexander McQueen’s influence was astonishing – from street style to music culture and the world’s museums. His passing marks an insurmountable loss.”

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Fashion Focus: Couture for a Cause

October 25, 2009 at 1:05 am (Fashion Focus)

What do you get when you have sixteen designers, three judges, and a challenge to create an outfit that best captures the essence of a local charity? No, this isn’t Project Runway. This is ME3’s first annual Couture for a Cause fashion show.

Jenny Le with Model Blakeley Pritchard

Jenny Le with Model Blakeley Pritchard

Sixteen designers were paired with sixteen Wake County nonprofits. The designers had to create an outfit  that embodied the missions of each organization. North Carolina State Student Jenny Le was assigned to Artspace. Two weeks ago, Jenny visited Artspace and took photographs for her Artspace inspired design. Not knowing what the dress looked like, I offered to loan Jenny the Artspace talisman I designed last year. The end result worn by model Blakeley Pritchard was inspired creative energy.

Blakely Pritchard wearing the Artspace talisman

Blakely Pritchard wearing the Artspace talisman

The designs were judged by Banana Republic’s Tara Konya, Handbag Designer Holly Aiken, and ME3 President Amber Smith. The winning designer, Tyger Alexis, who was paired with the Interfaith Food Shuttle, won $250.

Model Meredith Morrison wearing Tyger Alexis' winning design

Model Meredith Morrison wearing Tyger Alexis' winning design

But it wasn’t all about the clothes. The purpose of the event was to  showcase local nonprofits, raise awareness about ME3,  and raise funds to support ME3’s ongoing efforts to promote volunteerism in Wake County. “Our goal is to help create a permanent culture of caring and community involvement in North Carolina and beyond.”

Jessica Domino's design for The American Diabetes Association

Jessica Domino's design for The American Diabetes Association

Designer Kat Schamens with her design for Adopt-A-School

Designer Kat Schamens with her design for Adopt-A-School

Lauren Boynton's design for Literacy Council of Wake County

Lauren Boynton's design for Literacy Council of Wake County


Cherihan Lusk's design for Trees Across Raleigh

Cherihan Lusk's design for Trees Across Raleigh Keely Cansler's design for the Neuse River Foundation


Keely Cansler's design for the Neuse River Foundation

Keely Cansler's design for the Neuse River Foundation

Laura Maruzzella's design for Boys & Girls Club

Laura Maruzzella's design for Boys & Girls Club

Jamella Murray's design for the Guatemalan Student Support Group

Jamella Murray's design for the Guatemalan Student Support Group

Karen Huskins design for Strike for Survival

Karen Huskins design for Strike for Survival


Shelley Wei's design for International Free Computer Training & Charitable Center

Shelley Wei's design for International Free Computer Training & Charitable Center


Jenny Le's design for Artspace

Jenny Le's design for Artspace


I have received so much positive feedback from this post, especially from the nonprofit agencies involved, that  I wanted to include links to all of the nonprofits represented during this event.

[ I would like to welcome Funky Finds’ visitors. This Wednesday Funky Finds is featuring my jewelry and giving away a pair of luggage label earrings to a lucky reader. Good luck, and thanks for visiting.]

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Art Unravelled: The September Issue

October 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm (Art Unravelled, Fashion Focus)

“Don’t you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century? Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta. And what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it… You think this is just a magazine, hmm? You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work you only deign to work.” [“The Devil Wears Prada”, 20th Century Fox, 2006]

I am interested in fashion (although you would never know that to look at the way I dress). I admit that when I travel, I usually have a bevy of fashion mags in my carry-on. In the supermarket line, I have been known to sneak a peek at Elle or In Style. And in Barnes and Noble, I have even flipped through the pages of Lucky

septemberissueAnd while I’m confessing, I also loved the movie The Devil Wears Prada, mostly because of Meryl Streep’s portrayal of fashion high priestess Miranda Priestly. So, when I saw that the movie  The September Issue was being billed as “the real ‘Devil Wears Prada'”, I high tailed it over to the Galaxy to get acquainted with Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue.

The September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine weighed nearly five pounds, and was the single largest issue of a magazine ever published. With unprecedented access, filmmaker R.J. Cutler tells the story of legendary Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and her larger-than-life team of editors, including Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington and American Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley.

The biggest surprise of the documentary for me was not the unprecedented access to Wintour, but the artistry of Coddington.

“At the eye of this annual fashion hurricane is the two decade relationship between Wintour and Grace Coddington, incomparable creative director and fashion genius. They are perectly matched for the age-old conflict between creator and curator.” [The September Issue, official movie website]

Coddington’s collaboration with Vogue photographers results in visionary photographs, which taken outside the context of the magazine stand alone as works of art. [Click here to view Coddington’s 1920’s inspired spread featured in the movie] By the end of the film it becomes clear that while Wintour often appears to have no heart, Coddington is the beating heart of the magazine.

While probably better suited for A&E Television or The Biography Channel (the movie ran a little long), The September Issue was the perfect guilty pleasure for a rainy, Monday afternoon.

Readers in Raleigh will have to wait for “The September Issue” to come out on video next February.  To view Grace Coddington’s 1920’s inspired photos (featured in the movie), visit

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Fall 2009 Color Forecast

August 25, 2009 at 8:31 pm (Fashion Focus)


Earlier this year, Pantone, the world’s authority on color, came out with its color forecast for Fall 2009. “The fall 2009 palette is more unique and thoughtful than the typical autumnal hues of years past,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Designers recognize the desire for fundamental basics that speak to current economic conditions, but also understand the need to incorporate vibrant color to grab the consumers’ eyes and entice them to buy.”

The Top 10 Fall ’09 colors for women are: American Beauty, Purple Heart, Honey Yellow, Iron, Burnt Sienna, Nomad, Rapture Rose, Warm Olive, Majolica Blue, and Creme Brulee.

Designers Maria Pinto and Lela Rose like the blues mixed with neutrals like graphite and ebony. The Love Letter necklace with its light gray beads and silver clasp compliment either one of these two fall colors.

“Strong yet understated Iron serves as the “new black,” making traditional basics much more interesting. Neither gray nor brown, Iron is a grounding color that coordinates well with all colors in the palette. Crème Brûlée, a grayed-down beige, and Nomad, which bridges the gap between beige and light gray, also speak to the need for timeless neutrals.Pair Nomad, Creme Brulee, and Iron with white beads and clear crystals.” [Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2009] Pair Nomad, Iron, or Creme Brulee with white beads and clear crystals.

“Like the olive in a martini, Warm Olive, a rich yellow-green, adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to fall. When combined, this tangy, intriguing hue makes all other colors come alive.” [Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2009] Try Warm Olive, Honey Yellow, and Burnt Sienna with ecru beads and amber, smoky quartz, and topaz colored crystals.

I don’t typically design around the Pantone Color Palette, although I have met many jewelers who do. However, I am cognisant of the fact that either consciously or subconsciously my customers take the current color forecast into account when making buying decisions.

“Each season, Pantone surveys the designers of New York Fashion Week to identify the 10 most directional colors. Like a painter’s palette, fall 2009 offers choice and diversity, but the unique integration of colors is what makes it so appealing.” [Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2009]

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