Look of the day: Karen Tamblyn

Look of the day: Karen Tamblyn

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Edition by Banana Republic: Stylish New Line To Be Launched

Banana Republic will open an exclusive store in San Francisco next month as part of the launch of its new brand concept, Edition by Banana Republic. The limited edition line features luxury jewelry, handbags and accessories. The intent of this new concept is to provide fashionable shoppers with both style and value in a deliberate response to this shaky economy.

"For our customers today, affordability is paramount and being fashionable is always in style. We are proud to offer San Francisco's modern women a one-stop destination of our best accessories," said Jack Calhoun, President of Banana Republic. "Especially in today's economy, Edition is the perfect place for women to update their wardrobe with exquisite, limited edition and affordable accessories."

I'll admit that I was a little hesitant when I first heard about the concept. It's been a long time since Gap, Inc., Banana Republic's parent company, has led in mainstream fashion. With that said, I must admit I was convinced. Edition will be offering a line that is exquisitely divine, bold, fun and overall within a price point reasonable to the wallet. As a fashion stylist, I embrace mixing affordable pieces with haute couture. You don't need to break your checking account in order to look fabulously fashionable. Edition delivers a lot of potential to create new, bold, stylish looks.

I had the privilege of a personal viewing of the collection and was stunned. It is to die for. For the price you will be paying the new limited edition is offering semi precious gemstones and handcrafted metalwork in gold and silver: absolutely divine!!! San Francisco's fashionistas are going to have a leg up on the fashion world. The creative minds from Banana Republic have delivered a compelling and innovative response to the current economic turmoil by designing an alternative that is beautiful, limited and accessible to the shopper seeking style and value.

I have placed an order for the most exquisite necklace; it could easily be called "off the runway...silver and gold handcrafted with Grecian-inspired design and a price tag a little over $100. The image doesn't do it justice. It's a true work of art.

The idea behind this new concept is to maintain an exclusive and limited production of pieces, no more than 50-100 available worldwide, with the majority priced under $100 and none more than $400. The collection will be sold exclusively at the Edition Boutique and not online or at any Banana Republic stores.

Fashionistas save the date!!!! Edition by Banana Republic is slated to open in the prestigiousWestfield San Francisco Centre on Market Street on May 15, 2009.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Elie Saab: Collection Pre-A-Porter Automne-Hiver 2009/2010

Back Stage with Elie Saab

Bahya Murad and Elie Saab

March 11, 2009.  Our last fashion show in Paris before returning to San Francisco.  We looked forward to another incredible day.  We had front row seats to attend the magestic Elie Saab Pre-A-Porter Fall-Winter  2009/2010 at Carrousel du Louvre-Salle Delorme.

Front Row: Carolyn Lee, Gayle Evans, Bahya Oumlil-Murad, KT and Mark Calvano

The atmosphere was divine and different from other shows.  The setting was minimalist and the attendance limited, especially when compared to the rest of fashion week. 

Elie Saab consistently highlights the red carpet.  The Lebanese designer show stopper was recently worn by A-lister Angelina Jolie at the 2009 Academy Awards.  In addition Emmanuelle Beart, Teri Hatcher, Elizabeth Hurley and Beyonce Knowles are among the list of celebrities wearing his collection.
In this show, Saab presented a remarkably clean collection which focused more on day wear and less on the  flashbulb magnets he normally creates, in a deliberate response to the current economic climate. 

The design elements included edgy numbers with form-fitting asymmetrical sheath dresses, high waisted skinny black trousers,  micro bolero with fur insert, single sleeve and sharp shoulders.  The collection was accessorized with strong geometric necklaces, cuffs and gloves.

Once again, Elie Saab presented an impeccable collection that was redirected to daily wear  and a versatile touch with less embroidery, but yet chic and glamorous a reminiscent of old Hollywood style.

Elie Saab

Among the attendees were Neiman Marcus Fashion Director Ken Downing, Vietnamese born actress Linh Dan Pham, actresses Elsa Zylberstein, Laurence Ashley, fashion writer Susan Tabak and international luxury consultant and correspondent for Focus magazine Anne De Champigneul, just to mention a few. 

Actresses: Elsa Zylberstein, Laurence Ashley, Natacha Regnier
Lihn Dan Pham

Joel Goodrich, Carolyn Lee, Gayle Evans, Ken Downing
Bahya Oumlil-Murad, Karen Tamblyn and Mark Calvano

Back Stage: Bahya Oumlil-Murad, Gayle Evans, Mark Calvano
Carolyn Lee

Joel Goodrich (left)

Bahya Oumlil-Murad, Elie Saab Jr., Mark Calvano

At the end of the show, we had backstage VIP access where we were able to see all the chaos that comes along with a very exquisite show: models changing into more comfortable clothes, (models including Angela Lindvall, Coco Rocha and Carmen Kass) the frantic press trying to catch a word with Elie Saab as well as photographers and celebrities including French actress Laurence Ashley  and Natacha Regnier interacting with the fashion elite.  It was another successful show and another over the top collection from Elie Saab, chic and elegant.  

Thursday, April 2, 2009

At Home With Coco Chanel: 31 Rue Cambon, Paris-France

Part II

Mark Calvano, Bahya Oumlil-Murad, karen Tamblyn and Joel Goodrich

As we know, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel revolutionized the world of fashion in the early 20th century.  She liberated women from corsets,  long dresses and plumed hats by replacing them with modern looks like slacks, her unforgettable two-pieces suits, short hair and modern make-up.  

Chanel Couture Piece 2009 Collection

Although she lived in a suite at the Ritz in Paris, she used her three room apartment at 31 Rue Cambon  as a place to work and entertain.  The four story building houses the Chanel store at the street level.  The next floor is home to the stunning, modern, elegant and spacious haute couture dressing room where we were able to admire a few of the new couture pieces to be presented at the upcoming couture show. 

Mirrored Spiral Staircase

Joel Goodrich

18th Century Chinese Screen Featuring Camellias

17th Century Italian Mirror 
(Shape of Chanel No 5  Bottle and Place Vendome)

Next, we went to the third floor using the famous spiral staircase.  The mirrored staircase was designed specifically to provide Chanel a subtle means of monitoring everything on the floors below, including editors' reactions at fashion shows and the activities of her designers and staff. As we entered the apartment, we were surrounded by exquisite 18th century Chinese wooden screens featuring camellias, a Coco Chanel favorite. There is a famous Italian mirror  that has exactly the same shape as the top of her famous Number 5 perfume bottle and Place Vendome, the location of the Ritz and Chanel's jewelry boutique.

Sitting Room (Same spot used by Coco Chanel)

Chandelier With Interlocking CC's and 5's

Olivia Decker, Karen Tamblyn and Bahya Oumlil-Murad

The apartment  is elegant and luxurious, decorated with books and beautiful objects.  She collected lions both because of her birth sign and that they are a traditional French sign of prosperity.  She was born on August 19, 1883.   The sitting room is beautifully enhanced by the chandelier that features interlocking CCs  and 5s, as well as the famous couch where Coco Chanel would sit and talk to her friends.  Only the most privileged guests were allowed to sit!

Opulent Dining Room

Mark Calvano

Mark Calvano, Gail Sanders, Bahya Oumlil-Murad and Joel Goodrich

Coco Chanel invented and revolutionized modern fashion for women at a time when conventional fashion was stuffy and uptight.  She created a legend that will live on in history. Everyone who hears her story can't help but fall in love with the legend of Coco Chanel, the essence of "Chanel Couture".  The clothes are not the story.  It's perfect that the clothes wrap around the story and the legend, tying future generations to this towering fashion icon.  The House of Chanel is much more than a collection of designers and garments but part of the history of fashion and elegance.  Our entire group fell back in love with Chanel.  There is some essence of Coco Chanel still lingering around the fabulous apartment, giving us further insight into a truly unique individual and renewed affection for Chanel.

At Place Vendome Chanel Jewelry Store

A Fabulous Chanel Diamond Necklace

Angela Dotson (wearing the diamond necklace)

We had an amazing day, courtesy of the House of Chanel.  At the end of the journey, we had the privilege to attend the cocktail reception hosted at the Place Vendome Chanel Jewelry Boutique to celebrate once again the successful show that Karl Lagerfeld presented at the Grand Palais. The VIP list enjoyed a close-up review of the fabulous Chanel collection, with Champagne and caviar (of course!).  San Francisco guests were greeted by top Chanel Executive Violaine Bouy,  Angela Dotson, and others.