Don Lemon: Are Blacks Doing A Diservice To Themselves / Are We Being Honest With Ourselves?



Don Lemon came under fire on Saturday when he said that he agreed with Bill O’Reilly’s comments about black people.

O’Reilly recently went on a rant about problems in the black community, which he blamed on “the disintegration of the African-American family,” “the drug situation” and the entertainment industry for promoting “gangsta culture.” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes later slammed the comments as “super racist.”

Lemon, however, seemed to be of a different mind on the matter. After re-playing a clip of O’Reilly’s remarks on Saturday, he agreed with the Fox News host, saying, “He’s got a point. In fact, he’s got more than a point…In my estimation, he doesn’t go far enough.”

“Black people, if you really want to fix the problem, here’s just five things that you should think about doing,” Lemon continued. Those five things, he said, were hiking up their pants, finishing school, not using the n-word, taking care of their communities and not having children out of wedlock.

Lemon received a barrage of responses from viewers calling him out on Twitter. MSNBC’s Goldie Taylor did not mince words, and referred to the host as a “turn coat mofo.” She tweeted:

Just saw Fruitvale Station. Heard Lemon remarks. There is nothing I can say. Yet. I just have to wonder. Exactly which America does he live in? But if I had a dollar for every turn coat mofo who made it up and out, then cut the rope ladder behind him… they get to thinking that good money, good suits and good manners will make them see you differently… I’ll tell you what though. If you step to the plate, your behind better be ready to take a pitch.

Meanwhile, Lemon stood by his remarks, responding:

Thanks for all your comments.. Needed to be said. Appreciate the feedback. #CNN #NoTalkingPoints

— Don Lemon (@DonLemonCNN) July 27, 2013

Famous black liberals continued their attacks on CNN’s Don Lemon Tuesday.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons weighed in on Twitter a few hours ago calling Lemon a “slave,” “dangerous talking head,” and a “disservice to the black community”:

As NewsBusters reported, Lemon’s been savaged by African-American MSNBC employees such as Al Sharpton, Goldie Taylor, and Michael Eric Dyson.

On Monday, a black activist and author called Lemon a professional assassin of African-Americans.

All this for telling his fellow blacks that they should pull up their pants, learn how to speak proper English, get a good education, not litter their neighborhoods, and stop having out of wedlock births.

I have heard more about this issue in the last two days than I care to remember. As a  black man living in the Bronx, Huntspoint to be exact, I UNDERSTAND exactly where Mr. Lemon is coming from. Young black and latino men and woman with incredible promise just seem to be floating through life as if nothing matters but getting high and screwing the next pretty girl that walks your way. My hood is filthy, and when I say filthy, I mean filthy. Even though Bloomberg is making efforts to make this area more livable , by adding vegetation, garden medians, cleaning up a lot of the trash more frequently, I still watch these people, MY people, young and old, that live along with me continue to destroy our home with abandon and no care.

I also understand the view of Russell Simmons as well, and yes in a world colored with pink tones and millions in the bank, the young woman and men  of today WOULD look like the new REVOLUTIONARIES, The NEW Black Panther Party, The NEW Angela Davis’s of the modern 21st century, but that IS NOT the case. I was a child of the late 60’s, and as REVOLUTIONARIES the last thing we did was kill each  other over trivial matters. In the age of the Black Panther party, the recent murders in Chicago, much of which is black on black crime, WOULD NOT have existed. I know the mind of a black  REVOLUTIONARY. This mind is brilliant, understands his/her history, and most of all this mind has an undying respect and dignity for his/her fellow person of color, so Uncle “Russ, have a stadium full of seats, because you have NO IDEA what you are talking about! These young men and woman are killing each other out of nothing but ignorance and self hate, and if it is a REVOLUTION, it is one being fought against us, by us as a people!

1.Do I wish that Don Lemon would NOT have agreed with a white man that has been known in the passed for his racist vitriol bordering on    psychotic?


2. Do I wish that Don Lemon would have sponsored a more appropriate forum for this topic, with other black leaders?


3. Did Don Lemon over simplify the problem of race i this country with his “5 Ways To Make White Folks Happy”


But,… he right?


To say that Don Lemon over simplified the race problem was akin to taking a pellet gun to hunt a herd of elephants, its simply not going to work. When I witnessed President Obama win the election, I cried, my ancestors cried, we as black people cried as we all saw a brighter future for ourselves and the coming generation. But after the senseless murder of Trayvon Martin, We as a people have fed into the media’s hype and began to unravel all the progress that we have made as a people, one race-soaked story at a time. We as black people are going to have to face the truth, much of this younger generation is ignorant and have no sense of their own history.

Sure, there are millions of young black men and woman that are uplifting their lives, they are brilliant shining examples of the incredible progress that we have made as a people in this country. But in a nation where their hard work, dedication and accomplishments are CONSTANTLY overshadowed by idiotic public media that does NOTHING but show black people as the MOST wretched race on this earth, we as black people are going to have to stand back and take a deep long look into what we have become and what we are allowing the world to say about us as a whole.

Don Lemon and Russell Simmon’s hearts are in the right place, but they are NOT on the “battleground”, like millions of hardworking  black men and woman that live in low income areas like  myself. What we see everyday is a travesty, what we understand everyday can break your soul, but we press on because that is  what we have to do.  I look all around Twitter and see the attacks of Mr Lemon’s character, sexuality, even loyalty as a fellow black man, but did we REALLY listen to what he had to say?

Are we all watching the same news media that shows one to two black shooting deaths per night in some part of this country?

Or are we ALL just angry at Mr. Lemon because he dared say what we have all known, but did NOT want to admit to the world. The fact we have grown into our own worst enemies. Whites racism is NOT going anywhere people. In England and Scotland, white men have hated each other for centuries because of religions. In fact for thousands of year men that look very much like each other, have shed each other’s blood for the MOST trivial of pursuits.

Its a fact, people are going to NOT like you if you are different than they are, IN ANY WAY its never going to change, so as black people lets except that FACT and move  THE HELL ON . In this day and age, even the type of racism be portrayed has changed. Back in my day, or the day of my forefathers the hate was based on pure race, blind ignorance, we were animals, at least that how many felt about us.  In the modern world of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, race and its politics have changed drastically. The racism of today is strategic, more insidious, hidden in many cases, but MOST of it  is  based on economic and societal -based  opportunities:

Translation :  I know you ARE a HUMAN like I am, in fact we are friends. Your work is excellent, and I respect you, but since I know you are sensitive about your skin color and hair, I will use it to undermine you so I can get that promotion, that corner office, while you simmer and blame the skin your in for not moving ahead.

Now this is NOT always the case, BUT the jews continue to be hated around the world,yet they have incredible economic power in this country and abroad.  Chinese have been trivialized and made into the “model minority” world wide because of their willingness to assimilate , yet their power is growing as well.

What do these race(s) of people have in common with us? – Racism , what do they NOT have in common with us – The need to destroy  each other, to NOT help each other move to the top, to NOT form our resources together , creating a stronger worldwide community.

THAT seems to be the MEAT of the issue.

Its a global chess game based on mobility, pure and simple, an elaborate MIND FUCK and we are feeding in beautifully.

Be angry with me if you want to, but like nana use to say “Tell the truth and shame the devil, make him run away!” But I am tired of being sick an tired of living in a community that I have helped build, afraid that one day I will be chased down Huntspoint by a group of young black men yelling “WorldStar”, because I am different than they are.

It seems Black people have not gotten this memo, well, here you go, pass it along!

Moroccan Afternoon / A Study Of Casual Urban Elegance


Summer – 1985 – Perry Ellis, One of my first fashion jobs, and I was on my way to my first overseas business destination, Morocco. To say I was excited is like saying the sun can cause a heat rash, its just a fact, and I was geared for fun! The trip was 3 days, and then on to China, but that was three days I will always remember fondly. The food, wonderful cheerful people, and the culture that left me wanting more. I have never been make, alas, but at least in this fashion expedition, I can return in my heart. In this expedition, I designed casual sophisticated men’s wear looks that are comfortable and very stylish.

View more of this presentation at my digital portfolio:



Chanel Iman Talks Racism In The Fashion Industry, When ‘Black Entitlement’ Goes Wrong



2009 Victoria?s Secret Fashion Show After Party

New York – The topic of racism in the fashion industry has reared its ugly head one too many times over the past several months. There was that ELLE France gaffeDolce & Gabbana’s mammy-esque designs and the recent blackface scandal with Numéro magazine. These instances and more remind us that the post-racial society that some like to think we live in is simply a hope and not reality.

One of fashion’s top models, Chanel Iman, is supporting that notion with a candid admission about her experience dealing with racism within the fashion industry.

Our friends over at Clutch spotted an interview with the 22-year-old beauty that was conducted last month for the Sunday Times Magazine. In the article Chanel is asked whether race is truly an issue in the industry. Her response comes as no surprise (at least not to us):

“Yeah, most definitely. A few times I got excused by designers who told me ‘we already found one black girl. We don’t need you anymore.’ I felt very discouraged. When someone tells you, ‘we don’t want you because we already have one of your kind, it’s really sad.”

Black Voices of the Huffington Post continues,

When is this kind of tokenism going to be replaced with employing the right person for the right job? Chanel also talked about those who have spoken out about diversity and acknowledged the beauty of women of color.

“I appreciate designers making a strong statement that black women are beautiful. Black women like fashion. And when there’s more diversity on the runway, it makes our world more inclusive.”

However, sadly the percentage of black models at New York Fashion Week is on the decline–dropping from a dismal 8% to a pathetic 6%, in just one year.

Even fashion heavyweights like Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani and photographer Steven Meisel, who support and encourage diversity are met with roadblocks.

“I’ve asked my advertising clients so many times, ‘Can we use a black girl?’ They say No. Advertisers say black models don’t sell,” Meisel told The Times Sunday Magazine.

Tell that to legendary models like Naomi Campbell and Iman who are still landing major campaigns and running empires after over half a century of success in the industry between them.

Dang it!!! I forgot to cue the violin music, sorry!,……………Please, SPARE ME with the entitlement, and have several seats Chanel. Now before my black fashion brethren get there ‘feathers ruffled’, hear my view point first, because what this young woman said is VERY TRUE.

First, lets ask ourselves a view questions to get a better understanding of the racial dynamics that concern the creative aspects of the industry.

1. Does the industry contain myopic, single-minded idiots that have that are ONLY concerned with their “vision” and feel they need NOT offer any contributions concerning the diversity they display concerning their brand and or product. – Yes,…( That was an “Emphatic, my mama in sunday service, catching the Holy Ghost” YES, let us  NOT get that twisted).

2. Are they wrong when they say that black models “don’t sell”? – Lets put this way, I HAVE NEVER seen a product that runway /print goddesses, Naomi Campbell , Iman, Tyra Banks,  and Alex Wek would display  that I did not want to buy copious amounts of, spending all I had to feel as fabulous as they looked in that campaign or on that runway. Being honest, it was Madame Naomi that have turned me on to so many new designers, and new aspects of my own style,….can we say Louis Vuitton Kalahari Bag,.allow me to explain. The Kalahari bag by LV was a masterpiece in eclectic, delicious construction and design, BUT ALAS, there was NO male ‘counterpart’ or a male version of that bag that men could ‘rock’.

Even though the fabulous music maven herself, Madge, (thats Madonna for those of that have been under a rock for the last 30 years), was chosen to be the visual spokesperson for this sweet product line, It was Ms. Campbell that ‘moved earth and the universe’, and had me to buy this bag, alterate the shoulder straps, making them longer, transforming a wonderful shoulder bag into a simply gorgeous messenger bag fit for a fashion style master such as myself. Lets put it this way, when I watch runway shows, I ALWAYS compare them to Naomi,…..always, its unconscious, i’m sorry.

Lets get into that “walk” for a minute. Naomi has the type of walk, when she walks down the runway, you LITERALLY forget where you are, you are in the presence of a goddess, and you are deliciously  happy to be there. What she is wearing during this divine, spiritual moment is ingrained into your  soul, into your spirit, thats the ‘power of presence’ she has !

IS not Naomi a black woman?,…..last time I looked, she WAS NOT purple with green spots, but I digress.

In the day and age when a carmel skinned black man is the most powerful man in the free  world, many young blacks NOW feel entitled to be more excepted into arenas that we are normally not accepted into.

News flash at 6:00 pm- It does not work that way black people!

If we want to still be intimately involved in the fashion movement, and continue to make our presence known, we must NOT rest on our laurels, sitting back and feel that the world will take notice of what we have to offer. Yes, the world is very much a different place from when I was a fledgling associate designer some 20 years ago, but MUCH is STILL the same. If we want designers to take our talents and beauty seriously, then we have to become a “super negroes”.

Allow me to elaborate on this age old philosophy that has driven many of our forbearers into the world of equal treatment.

Its simple, you want to be noticed. here is what you have to do: ( take out your notebooks and pencils young fashion brethren):

Shine brighter, be faster, be more beautiful, be more talented than the ‘competition’.

That’s it, its not rocket science, just be damn better than what you see around you!

When a young designer of color walks into a showroom with talents that clearly are ‘leaps and bounds’ over other applicants, YOU WILL get that job, the employer would be an idiot not to hire you, ( and if that’s the case, you DO NOT want to work for them anyways!). He or she sees your talent and smells the elegant, pungent aroma of money, and LOTS of it. So you are a black designer, make sure that every aspect of your design skills are at their premium. A designer that is not just technically literate, but can  use that computer mouse and create INTENSE beauty, transitioning onto a sketch pad, creating ‘fashion miracles’ with your colored pencils is going to get hired. A black designer that can forecast trends, like taking their next breath, interpreting these trends into beautiful, commercially viable product will get hired, there is no ‘if and or buts’ about this fact.

Yes, the fashion industry is notoriously myopic, but she loves one thing more than all, only one thing can move her and that is money. The fashion business is about money, more than discrimination, more than their idiotic ‘tunnel vision’ of  their OWN demographics, money is what moves the industry.

Our younger generation has forgotten, in most part, that nothing is promised and they will never treated equal anywhere on this earth, that is just a sad, but true fact. But instead of making this reality a disastrous detriment, stagnating your growth as a creative and as a human being, have this fact become a dazzling, beautiful attribute. Your skin color, when armed with incredible talent, dazzling beauty and style, becomes the asset that separates you from the herd.  When Naomi first started as a model, her blazing shot to super model-dome was not immediate, in fact many designers did not want to use her at all.

BUT when she did get in front of these collective nay-sayers, ‘the walk’ was invented, this was her moment to prove to them that she was and is the MOST beautiful woman in the world. With each stylized sway of her hips, she portrayed a dynamic aspect of femininity that was new, sexy, all woman, but amazing powerful and full of presence.

Unfortunately, our younger generation has forgotten that we still must prove ourselves to those that feel that we are less than or simply do not matter. What they need to learn is this should be a challenge, the opportunity to conjure a ‘perfect storm’ destroying their stagnant, ignorant expectations of what our skin color portrays to them, ushering in new attitudes, as we take that opportunity to shine brighter than any star, brighter and more dazzling than anything the heavens can display.

These attitudes are not going to change, we are working with ‘creative presidence” and under these creative freedom(s), many single-minded attitudes are  allowed to  thrive, all so that the creative process maintains a form of  democracy. It is the way it should be, but what should change is how we see ourselves. Once we truly understand our intrinsic,divine beauty and talent, the world will have no choice but to bow down in honor,….just ask  Naomi Campbell , Alek Wek , or Tracy Reese, they thrive in a industry known for its ignorance, not in spite of their skin color, but because they learned to combine this natural aspect of their person with amazing talent, presence,drive and determination. So next time you are confronted with a blatant example of ignorance, be not discouraged, they have thrown the ‘gauntlet of expectation’ upon the ground and this is a supreme challenge. Its now up to you to decide if you will accept this wonderfully fabulous dual, utterly destroying their expectations of what they never knew to begin with.

Givenchy Dresses Rihanna, ‘Face of Her Generation,’ for Diamonds World Tour



The HBIC-slash-designer took the stage at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York, on Friday night wearing not a skirt with sleevesfrom her River Island line , but custom Givenchy couture — specifically, “a floor-sweeping ruffled silk crepe cape in black with a embroidered collar and a pair of black-and-white leather thigh-high boots with lacing details,” WWD writes. Creative director Riccardo Tisci also made the layers underneath her cloak, “a pair of couture goggles,” and a shark tooth necklace. He said the entire ensemble represented “female empowerment and urban haute couture elegance,” and called Rihanna “punk and talented … she is the face of her generation.”

Kanye West must be licking his wounds. Last week, he bemoaned his inability to pass off Tisci’s skirts as concertwear, telling Hot97:

What happens with these type of judges and people who are viewers, when you come in, I had the pink polo and the backpack, then I’m checking all the boxes for that Tribe Called Quest–era and J Dilla and all that, so they champion it. They don’t like Givenchy-Kanye. They don’t like Kanye in a kilt. They don’t like Kanye in a relationship.

Well, they don’t like Rihanna in a relationship, but they probably do like Rihanna in a kilt, and they certainly do like Givenchy-Rihanna.


Now lets discuss Rihanna’s apparel debut,

Rihanna’s collection for River Island debuted at London Fashion Week a mere two weeks ago. At the time, the clothes were described by The Daily Beast’s own Tom Sykes as “unsurprisingly slutty and yet tiresomely predictable.” But they remained unseen by a majority of the population until officially launching in-stores on Tuesday. Retailing exclusively at Opening Ceremony in the United States and Japan, the collection was privately feted in the store’s SoHo location on Monday night, also marking the debut of a “RIHtrospective”—a small exhibit of some of the singer’s most famous outfits to-date.


There, you’ll find downtown Manhattan’s cardinal emporium of hip filled with mannequins exhibiting seven of the pop star’s most famous looks. It’s a display of disjointed snippets from the Barbadian’s evolutionary comet that’s run the gamut from Caribbean sweetheart, to BDSM, to Tumblr princess, and then back again–as witnessed at last month’s Grammy awards when Ri sweetened up in an elegant Alaïa gown. The exhibit’s seven looks are numerically symbolic–representing a seven year career that’s beheld seven studio albums and a 777 tour which travelled seven countries in seven days aboard a Boeing 777.

It all feels a bit premature. David Bowie will soon be celebrated with a fashion retrospective too (this one at an actual museum—the Victoria & Albert in London), but his 46-year career has served as a cultural barometer of wackiness, it holds substance; it’s original. By contrast, Opening Ceremony’s exhibit celebrates a figure that’s still striving to find her long-term footprint.

But more importantly, the RIHtrospective is an alarming reflection of today’s celebrity culture.  Like most celebrity ventures, Rihanna for River Island is a celebration of an artist’s achievements and personal taste—without them why would someone buy in? This exhibit illustrates how releasing a perfume or clothing line with a 15-minute photo op on the fragrance floor at Macy’s will no longer suffice. Now fans are subjected to a miniature museum of a star’s likeliness while scooping up the mass-produced fare. Even Rihanna’s mannequins were fashioned to include her signature closely-cropped haircut—which she’s already traded for long, flowing, honeyed extensions in real life.

Beside the mannequins were racks of Rihanna’s vison of street clothes, which despite their ‘porny’ reviews, made perfect sense given the store they’re stocked in: they’re for underground vixens with relatively deep pockets, especially when you consider the income of youths inclined to wear denim dungaree tops. Take away LFW’s ultraviolet lights, aggressive soundtrack, and go-go platforms, and the pieces, which aren’t remarkably new (a $50 crop top could easily be swooped up on the cheap at American Apparel, constructed of higher-quality cotton fabric at that), suddenly aren’t as offensive as one might envision.

For what it’s worth, the collection’s co-designer Adam Selman explained to The Daily Beast that Rihanna for River Island “wasn’t ever meant to be a runway show.” The designs, which retail between $45 and $350, are simply a commercial extension of Rihanna’s brand as an artist–one which relies on constantly-changing fashion a way to communicate with the masses. Her stylist, Mel Ottenberg, explained that the signer’s signature style “is not afraid to take risks, it really breaths, it moves, it’s not too constricted or too contained or too caught up in the past; it’s just sort of unafraid and moving forward.”


But already, the peddaling of Rihanna Inc. seems to be working: Opening CeremonyInstagrammed a picture of the line outside their store on Tuesday morning, and a salesperson told us that they had already sold out of multiple pieces.

I respect the branding machine behind Rihanna’s brand, but people, PLEASE stop calling this fashion. It IS NOT fashion, its simply an artist brand converted into diversified WEARABLE product to better establish her brand with the core demo that enjoys her music.


To: Yves Saint Laurent, With All My Love – Rethinking Fall 2013


Yves Saint Laurent

New York – A Designer , working in the American market, wears many hats. In order to be successful you must be able to forecast trends, execute technical designs, send and answer emails from overseas manufactures, and the list goes on and on. Designing is a 24/7 days a week ‘process’ that envelopes you, transforming you,creating a new vision for the world to see.

Last week, a few hours after the sun has set on the vast glass roof of the historic Grand Palais in Paris, all eyes will be on the man described as “the Prince of Darkness”.

Will the hollow-eyed fashion genius Hedi Slimane, the man appointed creative director at Yves Saint Laurent last year, rise from the catwalk to triumph over the critical forces of evil? Or will he be thrown to the impeccably groomed wolverines sitting in the front rows, much as the iconoclastic artists, including Matisse, were in this same place a century ago?

The last time Slimane was here in October to show off his first womenswear collection for the fashion house, the jury was out on whether it was a success. The influential New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn thought not, saying it “lacked a new fashion spirit” and that she “expected more from his debut”, earning herself a petulant rebuke from the designer and a ban – possibly lifelong – from his runway shows.

Others moaned that Slimane, 44, had usurped the French fashion demigod Yves Saint Laurent by removing his first name from the brand title. This prompted the appearance of T-shirts from an unknown New York fashion group, with the logo: “It ain’t Laurent without Yves”.

Personally, I hated the collection with a passion, felt that it lacked imagination and reeked of mediocrity and complacency.  It takes ‘stones’ to fight against the conformity of the fashion culture that permeates throughout the higher echelons of european fashion. Bravery is needed every time a designer releases a collection to the critics, when a collection finally leaves his atelier into the imagination of the world, bravery is needed, NOT arrogance.

I am a blogger, a fashion critic, but I am also a designer that reveres the design process. I love the collaboration, the constant searching for something new and wonderful. This is further complicated when the designer is creating work in a noted  established design house that is known around the world. The collection that ‘stomped’ down runway in the name of Yves Saint Laurent last week had very little to do with the reputation of the YSL brand, and everything to do with a designer conducting a very expensive temper tantrum, holding his middle finger up to the fashion establishment, simply stating, “Lump it or Leave it”.

Leaving the fashion press behind, blocking the ‘mess of sick’ that was displayed last week, I decided to create one look of my own, to show MY vision for all of those that would care to look. I created one look, I felt that was ll that was needed, coupled with a photograph that I hold dear to my heart, portraying Yves when he was young and beautiful, at the height of his fame.

The look also will portray how a designer SHOULD collaborate with established looks are ‘visual reputations’ that have gained popularity, long before the designer was hired. The above model is wearing a sexy Fall look consisting of layered, draped knits, delicious leathers, and warm, luxurious cashmere wools. The jacket is made of a lovely cashmere wool blend, black in hue, and cropped with a single button center front. The silhouette is slender, in honor of the popular ‘slenderizing’ aesthetic that has been created by Slimane. The first knit top is a draped cashmere sweater, with a asymmetrical hem, self belt. Layered under this are feminine draped tunics made of the finest cotton/silk blends (heavy gram weight). Side tied knits are then added to  create a very feminine, luxurious layered visual that is rebellious, daring, but so sexy and dynamic. In this collection, I would have utilized a lot of textured, raw edged knits, emblazoned with types of hardware and trims to ‘brighten’ them up. This aesthetic is further made dramatic with a 5 pocket dark, crimson colored  leather  stretch jean. All is further accentuated with stretch leather ‘leggings’ draped over delicious, a simple suede stacked stiletto. This style is taking Slimane’s grundge look further into the realm of sophistication, ultra femininity. I decided to utilize styles and silhouettes that were made famous my Yves AND Slimane, hopefully combining the aesthetic of these two amazing talents, creating one new look. The above style can be made into several other looks because of the layering, making it very easy to merchandise in any retail environment. The face of the model would be a “fresh face” maybe with a subtle, smokey eye with subtle highlights on the cheekbones, the overall makeup would accentuate the ‘natural’ beauty of the model. The hair would be long on all models, slightly tousled, but over all sleek and modern.  Nothing was compromised, all was taken under consideration because that is what true fashion is, a celebration of unity and collaboration hopefully taking us places that we have never been.

Saint Laurent Fall 2013- The Deconstruction Of A Legendary Fashion House, into Mediocrity



New York“Well everyone has expressed my shock and horreur at seeing YSL mangled in this way. I thought the previous collection was a bit of a commercial rehash but this one seems like a very expensive exercise in navel gazing.I can’t imagine someone having been hired to do this job get it so wrong – but then M. Slimane would not be the first designer who confuses his client’s brand identity with his own – wishful thinking perhaps. In the meantime Hermes is going to be laughing all the way to the bank – their collection was elegant ( suddenly it seems so modern to be elegant) timeless and about quality.”

“I believe Ms.Horyn did not attend the show…Mr.Wilson covered it.I think it is quite chic of her not to even utter one word on this dreadful collection…sometimes silence is so much stronger than words!”

” Heidi Slimane is a fashion snob who thinks of himself as a fashion God. Looks like he just bought these pieces from the LA thrift stores and salvation army and cut them with similar fabrics from some expensive Italian mills.”

“I always thought Stefano Pilati did a great job at YSL, as he did a lot of work under TF. This collection is a bloody disaster. Time for him to leave LA for Paris!”

“That’s what people are forgetting… YSL had IDEAS behind all his ‘rebellion’. Great ones at that. He wasn’t just posing as a rockstar. Where’s Mr. Slimane’s ideas? All I see is re-worked Anna Sui. And it was a different time. High fashion needed to come down to the street back then…but, mission accomplished! Several decades ago, in fact. The only way fashion could ever get MORE ‘street’ is if it went six feet under.”

“The real show is tomorrow at 10:30,” another editor said.

“I feel like he’s playing a huge joke on the entire fashion industry,” one more said.

“Don’t underestimate her,” sassed the editor of an indie European fashion magazine, the her being a him.

“It’s haute couture made grunge,” Kirsten Dunst said. “It’s very L.A.”

These are just a few of the comments that I have heard coming from fashion insiders about the current Saint Laurent Collection.

Suffice it to say, the collection shown Monday night by Hedi Slimane, his second women’s ready-to-wear since taking over the house of Yves Saint Laurent label (which he renamed Saint Laurent after establishing his design studio in Los Angeles, rather than Paris), will be as divisive as his first. The scene was roughly the same, perhaps a bit friendlier and inclusive of more editors, but not all of them. Guests took their seats in a darkened gallery, straining to see the famous people. Pierre Bergé came with Betty Catroux, Ms. Dunst with Garrett Hedlund, Jamie Hince with Alison Mosshart and Sky Ferreira. Jessica Chastain, who appears in YSL fragrance ads, arrived in a bright red dress.

Mr. Slimane’s first collection was a tribute to California boho chic, with long flowing dresses, caftans and floppy hats. His second was also rooted in California, this time looking at the aesthetic of grunge, namely Courtney Love baby doll dresses under Kurt Cobain flannel shirts, set to a loud “Tidal Wave 13” by Thee Oh Sees. The dresses were universally short, often black leather minis, worn with fishnet body stockings studded with crystals and Mr. Slimane’s version of a black combat boot, covered with small metal spikes. A whole army of black leather dresses closed the show.

 Many editors present did not appear to be in love with the concept, but there were many pieces that looked commercially lucrative at the same time, like fuzzy tartan cardigans, a black tuxedo jacket, an oversize sparkly black cable-knit sweater, a gray duffel coat and another take on the gold sparkly cardigan jacket. The connection of grunge to Mr. Saint Laurent was less clear, though he did once produce a fragrance called Baby Doll, and a pink fur coat in Mr. Slimane’s show seemed a nod to a famous fox coat design of the early 1970s called the “chubby.”

Well, now that we have that out of the way, lets all  get constructive and try to save YSL from its current Design Dictator,… Director.  But before we do this, let us bow our heads in remembrance of what YSL once was.



Now that we have finished wiping our tears after weeping about the complete and utter destruction of a fabulous fashion legacy, let us began to understand why.

Money, Greed,Ignorance, and Arrogance.

It all started one day when I had heard through the fashion grape vine that Mr. Slimane was rebranding Yves Saint Laurent into simply Saint Laurent. When I heard this I distinctly remembered a silent anger boiling in my ‘fashion soul’. How dare he try to ‘scrape clean’ a legacy that is synonymous across this world for elegance,beauty, and fashion refinement, as if he was scraping the barnacles off of the hull of one his well heeled friend’s yacht.

…curiously no one said anything, and I expected as much.

Fast forward to this “visual colostomy bag” of a show and now I am glad , in a strange way, that our dear Yves was not attached to this ‘collection’.  To say that I HATE the Fall 2013 Looks from Saint Laurent is an exercise in cordial restraint. Let me say this, if I where to sit down with Mr. Slimane, It would NOT be to congratulate him, but instead, in silence, I would lead him to the design studio, and we would began to sketch in silence. A silence that is so deafening, so profound that he would began to understand what damage he has done to this valuable fashion institution. I would then hand over my sketches to him, many of them would be a modern stylings,designs based on layered chiffons , intensely tailored suits, beautiful Boucle’ beaded jackets, ethereal gowns and party dresses that seemed as if the came from another world. Structured pants,beautifully cut leathers used only as accent fabrications, all under the RESPECTFUL homage of Yves and the house he created with his brilliant talent so many years ago. This is what a designer does when he is hired to design for an established design house, he goes back to the vaults, studies the master, collaborating in spirit with what has come before he was born, then create something new and beautiful BASED on this collaboration. This process is spiritual, its beautiful, but one is to NEVER deviate from it because its a sacred form of respect and reverence for what has come before you.

Mr. Slimane, where is your respect, why were you allowed to do this?

You may have noticed, I don’t have any stills from the recent show. My answer to that is that they don’t belong here, just as what walked down the runway does NOT belong under the label of YVES Saint Laurent.

Dear Suzy Menkes,………Have A Seat (And Not In The Front Row)



Seaki Ashe‘, noted international freelance fashion designer, joins the debate concerning the blog that was made by Suzy Menkes on the ‘circus’ outside the shows, personal branding and the politics of preening for the cameras.

Now before I began my diatribe of of angst’Suzy Menkes, you are a crown jewel of the international fashion industry. Unlike the delicate relationship often shared between fashion houses and designers, with the fashion media and journalists. Menkes has a reputation within the fashion industry for being much loved by all for both her personality and her reviews of fashion shows, considered to be fair and balanced. A designer once refused to invite her to his show due to taking offense at some negative comments she had made in a previous collection review (though she did give positive comments as well). Many people in the industry rallied behind her and boycotted the designer’s show as a result until the situation was resolved. She is responsible for launching several careers in fashion, including successful handbag designer Pauric Sweeney. As a designer I have followed for career with a almost zealous interest, as you are one of the MOST sought after opinions that ACTUALLY matter in our ever versatile, beautiful industry, basically, WE as designer HEART you Suzy, we simply adore you. THAT being said,….have a seat in the dunce chair, as you are now on a 30 minute time out for being ‘self inflated’ and forgetting your ‘roots’ in this industry.

Writing in The International Herald Tribune last week, in a piece entitled “The Circus of Fashion,” respected fashion critic Suzy Menkes laments “the celebrity circus of people who are famous for being famous. They are known mainly by their Facebook pages, their blogs and the fact that the street photographer Scott Schuman has immortalised them on his Sartorialist web site.”

Menkes goes on to criticise bloggers, many of whom, she charged, accept “trophy gifts and paid-for trips” from brands, ignoring established journalistic ethics, and court the spotlight of Internet celebrity, while styling themselves as fashion critics. “There is something ridiculous about the self-aggrandisement of some online arbiters who go against the mantra that I was taught in my earliest days as a fashion journalist: “It isn’t good because you like it; you like it because it’s good.”

I have been in this industry for over 20+ years, working hard, ‘burning the midnight oil’ while maintaining my career in corporate fashion america. I am a ‘worker bee’ and I am very proud to hold that title, as I was called many years ago at a parisian fashion show gathering, ( I think the young man  was trying to insult me, he clearly did not understand americans, and the pride that we have for our work ethic). I UNDERSTAND Suzy’s frustration, as she is watching young  fashion ‘movers and shakers’ gather authority and power in an industry that is infamous for making one pay their dues. I stopped going to New York Fashion Week some years ago, not because the invites were not abundant, or the drinks were watered down, or the fashions marching down the runway did not sometimes move me to  standing ovations,…….I stopped going because it became TOO MUCH to deal with! The media circus outside the tents, the preening celebs and their ever growing entourages, the fickle, shallow attitudes that had NOTHING to do with the product being presented, it just became very wrong, and I silently excused myself from this important aspect of fashion networking. I instead would gather at after-parties or small,intimate cocktail parties held by designers to show my support and love for their hard work. That was my attitude for some time, and I carried this ‘fashion is shallow’ chip on my shoulder for a while, daring ANYONE to knock it off, as I would issue my opinions courtesy of a blistering tongue-lashing that would make a drunken sailor blush. Until last year, I was under the impression that fashion was ‘drowning in its own self delusions’ and I became a bitter creative in the industry. I was invited to a london show, everything was paid for, my sponsor was a design client and I was obliged, as I felt this was an aspect of trend forecasting. I walked up to the studio, where the show was to take place, and who stood before me, preening ‘un-knowns’ and annoying photogs that seem to accelerate an all ready  disfunctional show of improvised styles, looks, accessories,etc. Then suddenly, I tucked in my Louis man bag, sat down near a fountain, and began to watch this ‘dance of intentional,hopeful notoriety’.

Slowly, gently, I smile crept to my lips, as I eyed these impromptu style mavens. And then magic happened, one tear fell from my eye. I did not know it, but my heart, my spirit, the reason why I love and adore fashion,..was right there in front of me. Images of a young scared teen in  New York City, struggling through Parsons and holding a full time job. Midnights up sewing and preparing for my senior show, pounding the pavement for my first job, it all came flowing back to me, like a dam that had been blocked because of bitterness, self indulgence and self importance. Right before me, these young kids were reminding me WHY the love affair that I have with fashion will be a lifelong courtship, fashion is my ONLY TRUE love, and will be for the rest of my days.

Those moments, siting there, by that fountain, witnessing the emergence of new ‘style stars’,  I was born anew from that moment forward. In a generation where Youtube can make instant celebs that garner millions of views a day, we all live in a day and age where one can be a true overnight success just by uploading a video, why would fashion not follow this trend concerning instant stardom? I understand the frustration, as I too once felt the same way, but these kids are making our industry more inclusive. These days you are likely to see top bloggers, hob-nobbing with celebs of screen and publication on the front row of these shows, and in my opinion, thats the way it should be. These bloggers, with their infectious bylines and angled trend directions based on their personal likes and dislikes, have made fashion what it should have been a long time ago.

Fashion does not just belong to the wealthy hedge-fund babies, or the uber rich,cosmopolitan divorcees with huge amounts of disposable income, nor the snotty, fickle fashion periodical maven with her pursed lips, and ice cold demeanor,… belongs to ALL of us. These kids, posing in front of photographers, hoping to become the next big ‘style maestro’, with their imaginative, wonderfully inspired looks are what this industry is all about. I, for one, are now glad to see them as they remind me how precious this career choice is to me. So instead of glaring at our future fashion stars, offer support, sweep one up and let them sit with you on the front row or attend a RSVP private cocktail party. Watch the amazement in their eyes as they ‘soak it all in’, and as fashion veterans, let us find our youthful enthusiasm once again through them. We were once who they are, young, beautiful and very hopeful, and they will one day be who we are, wise and seasoned, but let neither cynicism nor self entitlement find any of us, its just not a good look.         

Carine Roitfeld Celebrates CR Fashion Book’s Second Issue



In the midst of Paris Fashion Week, Carine Roitfeld threw a cocktail fête at Hotel Shangri-La to celebrate CR Fashion Book’s second, ballet-themed issue. When the New York party went down, we hadn’t yet learned that the magazine would be stuffed with models that had hair dancing in the wind and even a monkey suited up in Armani, but it seems the party attendees in Paris took note.Jessica Chastain, Jessica Alba, Karlie Kloss, and Amanda Seyfried were all in town for the party, and we tagged along with photographers to catch a pantsless Kate Moss, Karl Lagerfeld wearing sunglasses, and, of course, Kanye West.

“Dance” is the theme for Carine Roitfeld’s second CR Fashion Book, and at the party to celebrate its launch, hip-hop artist Ciara does Carine proud. She arrives at Casa Lever with her friend Riccardo Tisci — “Pappa Ricky,” as she calls Givenchy’s creative director — and the two barely pause for a storm of flashbulbs before they beeline to the dance floor. Ciara sheds her shaggy fur to reveal a white, oversize Givenchy tee with a baroque printed panel in the front. It’s one part street, one part Parisian, and the sum is far greater when Ciara starts shimmying and the shirt barely covers her leather-panted butt. Beyoncé’s documentary has just premiered a few blocks away, and one might be forgiven for mistaking Ciara for a more tousled, touchable Queen Bey.

Riccardo met his muse several years ago in Brazil, when she was his guest performer for a charity event, and the two became fast friends. “But also,” says Ciara, “I am very blessed that I get to dig in his closet and pull out things I like, and he sends me amazing things for events like the Grammys.” For instance, the black Givenchy tee she pulls on in her recent Mad Max–ish “Got Me Good” video takes her outfit to another level. (Proceed with caution: The chorus will stay stuck in your head, as CR staffers proved by singing it back to Ciara.)

Before Ciara’s arrival, the party is spread into several pockets. At the crowded bar, Joseph Altuzarra talks to IMG’s Ivan Bart about Sunday night’s Girls. The Courtin-Clarins crew gathers near the door, discussing whether they’ll be dining at Bobo or Babbo. Sophie Theallet and Constance Jablonski make their way inside, and couples cuddle in the banquettes along the wall. Then, Ciara kisses Carine Roitfeld hello and a crowd including Stephen Gan, Jessica Hart, Giancarlo Giametti, Irina Shayk, and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld moves toward the dance floor.


The Rolling Stones give way to live congas, and a sultry rendition of the Cuban song “Chan Chan.” Armani’s Fabio Mancone twirls Carine. The dancer Lil Buck, who silenced the crowd with a ballet-meets-breakdance (see: jookin) just hours earlier at Vladimir’s party, takes a turn with Ciara. Beginning in his wrist, a wave ripples through his body, and his feet flicker and float across the floor. For a moment, Lil Buck and Ciara mirror one another. Dirk Standen, of, looks impressed.


Marina Abramovic, another good friend of Riccardo’s, appears, and the long braid down her back shakes as she dances and laughs. Carlos Souza shows Ciara how to move her fingers flamenco-style, and soon she is dancing like a Sevillana. Three hired young men in tuxedos, who have been carrying around thick copies of CR Fashion Book for the crowd, stand watching the dance floor, and now one of them them can’t help drumming his hand on the cover along with “Guatanamera.” Ciara snags a cocktail napkin from Derek Blasberg — who has appeared with Lily Donaldson and a plum-lipped Karlie Kloss — and blots her face. Riccardo peels off his jacket and sweatshirt. Carine and Ciara pose with their lips kissing either of his cheeks. Derek delays with the photo, and Carine opens a heavily lined lid and peers over. Flash.


After the band finishes, the stereo plays more Stones, Nirvana, and Fleetwood Mac. Soon, Ciara’s fur is back on, and she and Riccardo walk out arm-in-arm, through a corridor of tuxedoed attendants. Their car took Marina Abramovic home, and should be back for them any minute. The plan is to get a midnight snack and head to the Top of the Standard. They have just one night to eat, laugh, dance, and take pictures until next time, when Ciara travels to Paris for Givenchy’s fall 2013 show in March. For now, they huddle on the sidewalk, flipping through the new CR together, waiting for their driver.

“It was good music, ah?” says Riccardo.

“It makes me want to go take salsa classes,” Ciara replies. “I know a few steps.”

Check out the below black and whites, lets see if you can spot the fashion insiders in attendance.

Image                    Photo: Elizabeth Lippman


Numéro Magazine Apologizes For Using Blackface On Model/ ‘Creative License’ To Discriminate or Plain Artistic Freedom?



Numéro Magazine has found itself in the middle of a racially-charged firestorm after using a highly bronzed white model in one of its fashion editorials entitled “African Queen.”

In the spread, Ondria Hardin, a 16-year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed model is seen with darkened skin, striking a pose for the glossy.

The Huffington Post reached out to the magazine for comment and received the following statement Wednesday morning via email:

Some people have declared that they have been offended by the publication in Numéro magazine n°141 of March 2013, of an editorial realized by the photographer Sebastian Kim called “African Queen”, featuring the American model Ondria Hardin posing as an “African queen”, her skin painted in black.

The artistic statement of the photographer Sebastian Kim, author of this editorial, is in line with his previous photographic creations, which insist on the melting pot and the mix of cultures, the exact opposite of any skin color based discrimination. Numéro has always supported the artistic freedom of the talented photographers who work with the magazine to illustrate its pages, and has not took part in the creation process of this editorial.

For its part, Numéro Magazine, which has the utmost respect for this photographer’s creative work, firmly excludes that the latest may have had, at any moment, the intention to hurt readers’ sensitivity, whatever their origin.

Numéro Magazine considers that it has regularly demonstrated its deep attachment to the promotion of different skin-colored models. For instance, the next issue of Numéro for Man on sale on 15th march has the black model Fernando Cabral on the cover page, and the current Russian edition’s cover of our magazine features the black model Naomi Campbell on its cover. This demonstrates the completely inappropriate nature of the accusations made against our magazine, deeply committed to the respect for differences, tolerance and more generally to non-discrimination.

Considering the turmoil caused by this publication, the Management of Numéro Magazine would like to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this editorial.”

While Numéro does apologize it doesn’t seem to regret the offense.

Although the magazine says it took no part in conceptualizing the story, it did not have to publish the images. Clearly the racially insensitive nature of blackface is lost on Numéro, which is hard to believe since this isn’t the first time the glossy has been ensnared in a controversy like this.

In 2010, the magazine published a fashion spread with model Constance Jablonski, who donned overly bronzed skin and an afro, causing many to shake their heads.

Lesson learned? Apparently not.

With that said, our hopes aren’t completely lifted that anything will change concerning the glaring diversity issues within the fashion industry since the apology only intends to quell hurt feelings, rather than denouncing the practice of such racial exploitation.

Furthermore, pointing out a few covers featuring people of color does not save you from ridicule and definitely doesn’t make the accusations/backlash surrounding the current situation “inappropriate.” What’s inappropriate is not hiring a black model in the first place.

Come on fashion, we can definitely do better.

UPDATE: At 11:03am The Huffington Post received the following statement from photographer Sebastian Kim via email:

“I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding around my recent photos for Numero France. It was never my intention (nor Numero’s) to portray a black woman in this story. Our idea and concept for this fashion shoot was based on 60’s characters of Talitha Getty, Verushka and Marissa Berenson with middle eastern and Moroccan fashion inspiration. We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her skin black. We wanted a tanned and golden skin to be showcased as part of the beauty aesthetic of this shoot.

It saddens me that people would interpret this as a mockery of race. I believe that the very unfortunate title “African Queen” (which I was not aware of prior to publication) did a lot to further people’s misconceptions about these images. It was certainly never my intention to mock or offend anyone and I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone who was offended.

Sincerely,Sebastian Kim”

Reading these responses, I do have a few questions,

1. As a fashion designer in the American Fashion Industry that happens to be of african origins, why could they not have used a famous african model, or even an american black model?

2. Is the publication and artist THAT desensitized to race and culture as to simply not care, all under the ‘umbrella of creative license’?

3. When does art and creativity cross the line, from sheer visual inspirations, meant to inspire the masses or viewer of the creative process,  to selfish personal visions that are created in vacuums, being intellectually responsible only to those within that inner,creative circle?

Understanding race and valuing world culture as a whole, as an artist and fashion creative, I am sure I WOULD NOT have made the same mistake. I would NOT want the above scandal tarnishing MY creative career!

That being said, common sense is a virtue that many people simply DO NOT have nor aspire to,…

In the age when black models, internationally, are under represented in so many well known agencies across  this globe, why do so many pretend that this is not an issue?  Many Designers, Creative directors, and Stylist usually sit upon the laurels of “creative freedom” and explain earnestly that no harm is being done, as many african derived models look on in disappointment, and ARE expected to “take it on the chin”, as their fairer brethren seem to dominate much of the industry. Speaking from personal experience as a FASHION DESIGNER in the NYC apparel market for over 20 years, I have seen these well hidden discriminatory practices up front and close. Working hard, juggling multiple task, excelling at one’s craft is a agenda that all fashion designer aspire to. Those that have worked hard, proving themselves to their design brethren, are eventually rewarded with bigger salaries, opportunities to create their own product lines, and prestige as the glass ceiling comes tumbling down.

This is not usually the case for black apparel designers working in corporate. Let me put it this way, if you are a fashion insider in the american corporate fashion industry, and you happen upon a black head  of an apparel company that is not their own, please check for halos and occasional water walking antics, as she or he may be the second coming. This is how rare these opportunities present themselves to blacks in corporate america. Myself, personally, got tired of the ever extending ‘glass ceiling’, growing more and more out of my reach, as I worked harder and harder to establish myself in my career, therefore I left my trusty corporate ‘mini-office’ that I had interiored so beautifully,( My mini pear bonsai flourished in my mini “home away from home”. My space was decored so wonderfully, many of my co-workers loved my space, as they would often come to relax during lunch).  I grew wings and headed to the unpredictable world of freelance design,leaving behind a handsome salary,the umbrella of a 401k, paid medical benefits and vacay, to midnight stays in free clinics and raman noodle casseroles. But it was the MOST beautiful decision I could have made for myself, as a creative HUMAN BEING, and my career. I have traveled as far as Tachikawa,Japan peddling my wares as a freelance fashion designer, and I regret NOTHING. That being said, there are times I am confronted with the ugliness of the american apparel corporate industry, and it sometimes send me plummeting into reality. You see, MANY of my clients are overseas ‘creative partners’, rarely do american companies utilize my services. One ironic situation comes to mind, It was last summer and a very well known company had heard of my creative skills through their european counterpart. A meeting was scheduled and I could not have been happier. I donned a fabulously tailored Christian Doir white two piece. My long dreadlocks, well kept and  wrapped in white silk, smelling of Silver Mountain by Creed, I walked into the corporate office of said company, looking and feeling like a million dollars. After one hour,I was still in the waiting area, when the receptionist sheepishly walked before me and said that my interview had to be rescheduled. I learned later through my european contacts that the design director that I was to meet with, of the american branch of that company, had spotted me in the waiting room and mysteriously wanted to reschedule our preliminary design meeting. EVEN though I had been working with his company for a year, and my european contacts were ECSTATIC  with my work thus far, he denied me a simple 5 minute meeting.

Was this racism,…..or did I use too much cologne? You be the judge.

I often like to humorously think that my cologne offended him horribly, as he ran to his office and spraying Fabreze like a mad banshee. I would hate to think that the latter was the reason, he did not want to meet with me, as he had expected to meet someone more ‘appealing to his sensitivities’. That scenario is crushing, and I won’t allow such thinking.

Sad to say, I lost the account soon afterwards.

This type of behavior runs rampant in the fashion industry, and even more so in the modeling industry. If I had a nickel for every black model friend that has told me in confidence about situations in which they were mad to feel that their skin color was not the  right ‘vision’ for that product line,or that their ‘look’ was too ‘urban’ for the potential client,…well, I would have no need for freelancing and could move to a fabulous thai island. Each designer and or creative is entitled to their ‘vision’ concerning their product, thats their right. But why can’t we as creatives , arbiters of all that is beautiful in this world, seem to free our minds from social,racial constructs? We, as creatives,have been given the distinct and powerful gift of beauty. This gift is meant to be shared with ALL mankind, separating us from mere beast, elevating our souls to something higher within ourselves.

Why the stipulations ?….

Concerning the above scandal, would it not have been more beautiful and striking to have hired a TRUE ‘African Queen’, a model of african lineage, like Alek Wek. Posing her in these beautiful fashions, having her gaze at the camera, taking us back in time,igniting our imaginations.Visualizing this long,sinewy beauty in all her dark black glory, we would be swept back to the mystical serengetis of Africa, juxtaposing european high fashion with the magical beauty of Africa, all in one picture. Instead, one paints a european model a darker hue and have her ‘mimic’ what Alek Wek was born with naturally. One can not be in the mind of the creator of these images, nor the minds that decided to christen the images “African Queen”. We will never know if their motives were based on racism, as it is difficult to know what is in the heart of such individuals. What is evident is the scandal that such images have created,individuals of color and their supporters around the world crying foul.

What is TRUE for all to witness, is that common sense was not used, as the creators of these now infamous images decided to ‘throw caution to the wind’ of race and culture, instead concentrating on creative providence.

Fashion travels at a supreme high speed, like a cherry red ferrari on the autobahn of style called trends. These trends are usually out dated even before they reach the masses, this is the business of fashion and how it works internationally. I would never think of throwing a cup of water out of the passenger window said ferrari, traveling at 200 mph, I hope I don’t need to explain why. Maybe Numero’ Magazine needs to keep this cliche’ in mind.

Its just good ole’ common sense.


Oscars 2013: Red carpet swings from old Hollywood to sleek modernity


It was like an Oscar flashback with all the Giorgio Armani gowns, Harry Winston bling and Veronica Lake waves on the red carpet Sunday.

Then there was a Sharon Stone Gap turtleneck moment, when Helen Hunt revealed that her navy blue gown was from none other than cheap chic retailer H&M. (Apparently it was a custom job; Hunt worked closely with H&M designers exchanging sketches, fabrics and samples, according to the retailer.)

Back to Armani, though. He should get his due. After all, he practically invented the Oscar red carpet designer derby when he started dressing Jodie Foster and others in the 1990s. He dressed three out of the five lead actress nominees Sunday night, each of them in a distinctive way, which is no small feat. They didn’t look like they were necessarily wearing Armani; they just looked great.

Naomi Watts’ Armani gown was futuristic, with all-over gun-metal gray sequins and galactic-inspired cap sleeves, while Jessica Chastain’s strapless, coppery-nude sequin mesh Armani gown was old Hollywood glam at its best

The two looks said it all about this year’s Oscar red carpet at the Dolby Theatre: It was about extremes.

One of the biggest trends of the night? Icy, pale shades. Many of the dresses were of the frothy, fairy-tale variety, namelyAmy Adams‘ pale blue, frayed organza Oscar de la Renta princess gown; Octavia Spencer‘s blush tulle, one-shoulder Tadashi Shoji cream puff creation; and Jennifer Lawrence‘s strapless pale pink-and-white Dior bustier ball gown.

Charlize Theron’s sculptural white silk Dior peplum gown was more ice queen, especially with her sleek new hairstyle. But my favorite was Zoe Saldana‘s belted, silvery gray dress by the little-known French designer Alexis Mabille. It was classically beautiful but with lots of surprises, including petal-like details on top and asymmetrical tiers on the bottom. It was nice to see a new designer name in the mix too.

In a red carpet season in which everyone has been laser-focused on wardrobe malfunctions, Anne Hathaway came close to having one. Her icy pink duchesse satin Prada column gown made her look like a modern-day Audrey Hepburn (and wow, those Tiffany diamonds!). But Hepburn probably would have worn another layer underneath to keep things from popping up.

At the other end of the Oscar style spectrum were stars who turned on the diva sparkle (the 76-year-old Shirley Bassey in a “Goldfinger” gold gown, among them.) These divas provided the naughty to the cream puffs’ nice.

There was Halle Berry looking fierce in a Bond-girl-meets-glam-rock way, wearing a black-and-silver striped, long-sleeveVersace creation. Nicole Kidman‘s all-over black-and-gold beaded L’Wren Scott gown was more a modern art piece, with unique curlicue motifs on the skirt.

Jane Fonda, a diva in a class of her own, wore a canary-yellow corseted Versace gown with strong shoulders and sequin details that were a deliciously retro throwback to the “Dynasty” era. But let’s be honest: What made this look really rock is Fonda’s perennially-toned physique. Truly old Hollywood at its best.