Fashion and Photography with a glass of Rosé

Today is the second day of four for the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography.  Held in the South of France, this is a chance for new comers to showcase their work. This year the 10 contestants (so many applicants to narrow down!) are of 9 different nationalities.

Getting your work showcased is hard in today’s fast-paced, cutting edge creative world.  This festival is unique in giving unknown designers a chance to show their finished work as well as the thoughts and ideas that came first (behind-the-scenes if you will).  This article from last year explains more.

Check out this video from French Vogue to get insights from the three creative directors. Hyères 2012: Behind the scenes #1 | Vogue English.

For live coverage of the festival, check out Vogue.fr‘s Tumblr or follow direct on Twitter (@HYERESFESTIVAL).

This time of year just screams FESTIVAL abroad and at home.  In California we just had Coachella and coming up in France is Cannes Film festival.  What other festivals are going on?  I need to get myself to one!!

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Fashion Talks at French School

For five years the French Institute in NYC has invited its members (that’s me!) and those of the public to participate in soirées featuring fashion industry headliners.  This year Reed Krakoff, creative director at Coach for the last twenty years, kicked off FIAF’s annual event.

The night began with an introduction from Robbie Myers, Editor in Chief of ELLE magazine.  As I sat two rows back I had one of those, “only in NY moments.”  A moment where I realize how cool it was that I got to do something like this.  I miss France a lot, but for right now I think NYC has a lot to offer me.  And being able to go to an event where I am one among people I admire (Editor in Chief of a major magazine…right up my alley) is formidable!

So after Robbie’s introduction, Reed Krakoff and Pamela Golbin, Chief Curator of Fashion and Textiles at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris, sat and had a casual chat in front of a sold-out crowd in the Florence Gould Hall on the Upper East Side.  Reed spoke of his beginnings at Coach and his newest venture, his self-titled brand which launched its first collection in 2010.

I loved having my eyes opened into this designer’s thoughts, inspirations and goals.  Reed didn’t grow up living and breathing fashion like some designers (Isaac Mizrahi for example).  He went through what he referred to as a “formal education” of fashion at Parsons School of Design.   Prior to Parsons, he had graduated from Tuffs with a dual degree in art and finance.  The later was his parents’ prerequisite before allowing him to pursue fashion at Parsons.  Before landing at Coach, Reed held positions at various American fashion houses including Ralph Lauren and Anne Klein.

Reed is a down to earth person.  One can understand that just by listening to him talk about his success (which abounds) and his goals for this budding brand, Reed Krakoff.  He is a family man (his 8-year old daughter in attendance last night was the only one to stump him with a question) and an extremely hard worker (with the millions of items developed at Coach every single day, he says that he still looks at each and every one).

I found it really interesting that Reed doesn’t think of FASHION when designing his collections.  He thinks more about shape and form, like an architect might (I haven’t met many designers, so this could be run-of-the-mill as that goes).  His creations are influenced by the culture which feeds him, but the fashion culture and trends are not what move him in certain directions.  His ideas are raw and pure.  He learned to be confident in his work saying that it is important to be sure as hell that “this is it” one day and then that it’s not the next.  But there also comes a point when you go with it and knowing when this is takes time.

Time is one thing that Reed has been blessed with in the industry that seems to constantly be in a rush.  “Today designers aren’t given time.  They get two collections and then must redefine a brand,” which is more or less impossible he said.  Shows like Project Runway where time is the game show factor attest to this.

Reed was also blessed with opportunity.  He realizes how lucky he was when Lew Frankfort, chairman and chief executive officer of the brand, took a chance hiring him back in 1996.  SInce then he has risen to the challenges before him while also creating new endeavors along the way, which is where RK comes into play.  A new goal and new adventure.

The two fashion houses are separate but related being that the same man operates both.  The operation however is different for the two, one being a powerhouse already and the other being a baby that still needs time to grow.   True to his driven personality he has big goals for the brand, wanting it to be a brand that people know intuitively.  A brand that similar to a bookstore poster he saw while in Paris which listed 20th century artists with one word, could be whittled down to a simple, all telling description.  For the man who took a 500 million dollar company to a 4 billion dollar powerhouse, I think this is possible!

It was all-in-all a unique night for me.  One that I hope I will have the opportunity to do again sometime.

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Old Hollywood with a largely French influence…j’adore

I am a sucker for an awards ceremony.  Fancy dresses, the red carpet, a packed venue, awards and the surprises.  It transports me to “Old Hollywood” where things feel glamorous and special.

The Oscars epitomize this feeling.

For me, last night’s 84th Academy Awards ceremony had a more prominent “Old Hollywood” style feeling.  Popcorn was served, the performance portrayed “a night at the movies” and a silent black-and-white film won best picture.

I began the night early with the preshows.  I spent my night watching everything leading up to the big event allowing me to get a real inside look.

It began with the fashion on the Red Carpet.  If you follow my tweets you are already aware that I literally sat with laptop on my bed, E! on the TV and disclosed my every thought about everything I saw.  That’s what Twitter is for, so no apologies 🙂

Then I flipped over to ABC where they featured some nice behind-the-scenes interviews about what goes into making global production a reality.

Sidenote: Did anyone else notice the amount of French during this year’s program? I’m not only talking about Jean Dujardin or his movie “The Artist”* or even the Paris based films “Hugo” and “Midnight in Paris,” but the commercials as well. I felt like for a while every other ad featured a French song or had French words or used a picture from France.  No complaints by me but interesting all the same.

Top 5 moments for me:

1. Cirque du Soleil (I’m already proving my above point!) performance. How do they do it?  This gave an extra magical feeling to the evening.

2. Seeing Christopher Plummer (stud from Sound of Music) win an Oscar at 82, making him the oldest person to do so.

3. The winner in the documentary category about women victim to acid burns in Pakistan.  I am interested to see the film because it is an issue I am not familiar with but intrigued by.

4. The French in me was more than ecstatic about “The Artist” winning best picture and Jean Dujardin** overtaking Hollywood big timers Clooney and Pitt.

5. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis presented.  Loved the skit they did, especially dropping the cymbals on the floor at the end.

Now here I am at work, exhausted from staying up late after an already busy weekend.  But I just can’t deny my love for movies and of course my love affair with the fantasy of an award show.

*I have yet to see this movie but it has been on my “list” since I left France in October.  It premiered in France first and I remember being excited to see it before my fellow Americans.  I never did make it happen before jet setting back home and now I am itching more than ever to go.  A friend told me about an old theater in NYC with a chandelier in the middle of the room and everything. I feel this is the perfect place to see a black and white silent film!  Talk about time traveling to an “old Hollywood” era.

**Last year in France my favorite movie that I saw was “Les Petits Mouchoirs” (“Little White LIes”).  This was my first time seeing Dujardin and c’etait le coup de foudre 🙂

NYFW

My dream: go to a fashion show.

My reality: take pictures outside of a fashion show of people going into a fashion show.

Even though the reality was less glamorous than my dream (it was snowing and windy today in the city and I was snapping photos with no gloves on–enough said) , I had such a great time today trying my hand at being a street fashion photographer! I took some pointers from the more experienced ones out there and made sure to be aggressive and outgoing.

Some of the pay offs to freezing my buns off in front of the Lincoln Center:

1. The extravagant fashion samples I came across.  At one point I felt that my pictures could have been put together for a visual shopping wish list.

2. The people I got to see.  Before I tell you who I spotted you must know that I am a daily follower of many bloggers (my blog roll is to the right).  Some write about food, others fashion or beauty and most revolve around my love affaire with all things French.

One of my all time favorite blogs is that of Garance Doré.  I love the way she writes and the stories she tells (and it doesn’t hurt that she is French).  I also love her relationship with Scott, the photographer behind The Sartorialist (also holds a place on the blog roll).  Another blogger I adore is Elin Kling‘s.   Her simple black and white style and stellar jet setting life style interest me enough that I follow her on twitter as well.  Being a writer, and more specifically a blogger, I was definitely more excited to see these well known bloggers and photographers than I was to see celebrities.  Even so, you also should be aware that I am addicted to Rachel Zoe and her outlandish reality show.  She and Roger are just to die for.

Now that it is all out on the table I’m sure you can take a stab at my spottings of the day.  There is of course a story for everything so here I go:

I got to Lincoln Center in the early afternoon (right before the DVF show).  I didn’t really have many expectations and actually thought I would’ve been happy to just take a picture of the building to say “I was there.”

I sarted just taking pictures of people I didn’t recognize in clothes that I loved.  I was drawn to a nice shoe, a vibrant bag and actually lots of the men ensembles.

(stop by my tumblr account to see many more inspirational fashion shots from today!)

love the mix matching of prints and the lips: to die for!

Then I stumbled across some familiar faces as well…

Joe Zee: ELLE's creative director

Solange Knowles

Louise Roe, fashion journalist

And I got hooked!

I was freezing cold but just kept standing there looking around for–honestly I don’t know who I was searching for.  I think in the back of my head somewhere I wanted to see some of the above names but wasn’t sure it was even a possibility.

Then Rachel came walking down with Roger.  Bananas!

I was late on the photo op

And after that I saw Scott from the Sartorialist.

At that moment I realized that I might have the chance to see Garance!  I just had to search.  Finally I spotted her as she came walking through in her green army coat and high bun (read her blog and you will find she always talks about throwing her hair up like that).  I even had the chance to go up and talk to her as she was alone (seemed not too many people recognized her) and I was on a little fashion blogger high.  But as I mustered up the courage to go and say my opening line (in French of course) I was stopped by a few religious outreachers.  Nothing against religion but please do not come up to me and lecture me in the streets, especially when I am about to talk to my favorite person whom I’d never met!

Garance in lovely shoes

Garance and her peeps

Needless to say, Garance had slipped away by the time I got out of my Bible reading.

Darn.

At this point I was freezing and decided to stop while I was ahead.  As I was walking down the steps I noticed a tall woman in black and white.  At second glance I realized who it was and ran back up the stairs to get a better angle.  Elin Kling had arrived and I had full access to a photo shoot without the masses of other people.  She laughed, tucked her shirt in and posed for my photo!  Perfection.

As Elin passed me and entered into the ring of photographers I hurried back down the steps and ducked into a warm Starbucks.  I spent an hour defrosting (it literally took that much time) and I even got to chat with a French couple.  Love speaking French, even it is with strangers in a coffee shop 🙂

All in all I enjoyed this little Sunday in the Big City.  I will be dreaming of beautiful clothes as I start this work week.

“A Beautiful Fantasy”

HOW FUN WAS THAT?!

Colors were bright, wings were big, musical performances were loud and it was so sparkly!!! Loved it 🙂

My favorite parts/things/outfits:

1. Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom–need I say more?  How cute was he whenever she came down the runway?!  And how amazing did she look in her first show since having her baby! YGG (you go girl).

2. The “Superhero” look during the Kanye West “stronger” performance was my favorite.  Can I put those capes on my list??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Jay-Z. Enough said.

I really enjoyed watching the show.  I think the way they go into behind the scenes moments and creative development is a good idea. It is not all about being beautiful and skinny (although there were some girls who need to eat a burger!).  There is a HUGE creative /artistic side to fashion (and this show) that I enjoy hearing about.  Especially for the “Spell on You” segment of the show.

Did you watch? Are you anti or pro VS fashion show?  I think I can understand both arguments but if you think of the creativity that went into those costumes–the costumes each year–it really is a cool endeavor! Who thought bra and underwear could be so intricate and fun?

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

Admit it.

You woke up this morning to make sure it was TiVoed.

You have been counting down the days since last year.

And now the waiting is up.  You’re at work just itching to get out, eat dinner and get in front of the TV because tonight is the night.

VICTORIA SECRET FASHION SHOW!!!!

I’m so excited for the amazingness that is this fashion show!  We never know exactly who will wear what or how large the Angel wings will be, but we do know that it will be creative and fun.

It’s also a given that:

1. I will go on a diet after watching the show. Just kidding but it will be major inspiration for a workout!

2. Maroon 5 will perform but more importantly Jay-Z will also be there and I love him!

3. Miranda Kerr will wear a $2,500,000 bra!!!!!!!!

4. My Christmas list will be a lot longer 😉

So don’t hide your excitement boys and girls.  Ill post some favorites after the show tonight 🙂

Glitter Glitter

I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post but I’ve been working like a horse between Thanksgiving and HS reunions.  SO I leave you with my tumblr post from a few days back.  I am very into a glittery statement outfit for the holidays and found some pictures to express that.  Then today before running out the door to work I got my daily dose of Rachel Zoe and was happy she is on the same page with me for my Christmas/New Years outfit.

Off to see some long-lost friends at my 5 year High School reunion tonight. Talk tomorrow 🙂

ps- Hi Chelsea Webb

Midnight at Target…not as bad as I had thought

So after a few beers and a lot of turkey I headed out with a few friends to Target (we had a DD no worries).  I was nervous for the mobs that awaited me but in all honesty we were in and out in an hour with great deals in hand and no fights seen or had 🙂

Live on Black Friday, live on!

Success!!!

Royal Wedding Wishes

So does everyone really dream of being a princess? I mean its a tale we are told as little girls that there are princesses and princes and white horses and such… We are also told never to believe this hoopla (remember Sex and the City Movie?) but should we keep the faith for our prince? Should we all wish for a fairy tale wedding?

I am obviously contemplating all these fantastical ideas because of the recent English Royal Wedding between William and Kate.  I got the privilege to watch it Live with a bunch of Brits and Kiwis which was quite fun.  We wore traditional hats, drank Pimm’s and took bets on the color of the Queen’s dress (for which I totally guessed yellow BUT being a late arrival had to write a different one being it was already taken–dommage).

Anywho, as I sat and watched I couldn’t help being a bit jealous of Kate Middleton.  I must say I have never been one to plan my wedding. I dont know what my “colors” are or what time of year I want to get married.  Not even the style of my dress.  The only thing which might have once fallen into this category is that I have said in the past that I want a giant old church and bagpipes (this may or may not have changed).

I have however always dreamed of living in a castle (kind of runs in the same thought process as the grand old church).  So much so that for my birthday my friends here in France bought me a coffee table book of all the castles in France.  I will be choosing from one of these for sure 🙂

So now I am putting all these pieces together and realizing that if I just wait it out for a prince I could have it all!  A grand cathedral, a palace and the whole royal title wouldn’t hurt either.  For someone who doesn’t think of getting married much this day has been spent with my head in the clouds.

Did you all watch the wedding?  What was your favorite part?  I loved when Harry turned around and took a look at Kate for his brother.  Just wish I could find out what he said to William afterwards…