Look of the day: Karen Tamblyn

Look of the day: Karen Tamblyn

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oscar De La Renta 2011 Pre-Fall Haute Couture Trunk Show at Neiman Marcus San Francisco

By Samantha Spiegel

On May 19, 2011, Neiman Marcus’ third floor salon was filled with incredible Oscar de la Renta haute couture. De la Renta, being no stranger to detail and precision, made sure there was no lack thereof in his new collection. As I began to walk through the clothes, heavily beaded and embroidered strapless and one-shouldered gowns, usually bejeweled around the neckline or waistline, flowed out from the clothing racks. Gowns struck a romantic, sophisticated, glamourous, yet sexy note with black tulle and silk organza, beaded lace, and gilded colors.

The gowns beautifully shaped and flattered the female figure, much of the time resembling the silhouette and style of a woman from a René Gruau world and the first noticeable motifs were the fine florals and twisting lines. But the gowns suddenly turned into stiff, cheap prom dresses made out of parkas. From Palm Beach. Successfully, however, it dove back into sophistication with a slinky, black velvet dress and a Poiret-inspired, cocooning silhouette of a twisted ruffle empire skirt and black silk organza.

Two pinnacles of the trunk show were the voluminous and feathered Gruau-inspired evening gowns and the 19th-century-inspired dresses: pastels, bows, slight Oriental embroidery, and high-necked boleros.

The rest of the collection was not very inspiring to me, personally. Modern pieces, profoundly influenced by tribal designs and dense colors, seemed foreign and inharmonious next to couture gowns that could have easily been worn by an Irving Penn or Richard Avedon model.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Academy of Art 2011 Grad Fashion Show

It is been a week of pure FASHION in San Francisco, all in anticipation of the Academy of Art 2011 Graduate Fashion Show. The week had an agenda full of activities including symposiums, luncheons and judging, the exquisite list of Fashion personalities including: Fashion Critic of the New York Times, Cathy Horyn, President and Artistic Director of Sonia Rykiel, Nathalie Rykiel, Fashion Designer, Executive Producer of IMG Fashion, Christina Neault (the power behind NY fashion Week), Proprietor of Coeur d'enterprise, Laura du Pavillon, and Fashion Designer Yigal Azrouel among others joined Dr. Elisa Stephans, President of the University, Gladys Perin Palmer and local personalities to honor Horyn and Rykiel with a VIP luncheon-reception.

New York Times Fashion Critic
Cathy Horyn

A cake to honor Cathy Horyn

Carolyne Zinko, Cathy Horyn, Edith Barker and Karen Tamblyn

Dr. Elisa Stephans and Fashion Designer Yigal Azrouel

And, on May 5, 2011 the tent at 601 Brannan Street opened its door to welcome guests of honor who arrived to review and celebrate the senior fashion students' portfolios.
Th surprise cameo of the night came with the last minute appearance of International Herald Tribune Fashion Editor Suzy Menkes who sat in the front row to watch 15 student designers as their models strutted on the runway.

Front Row From Right to Left
Cathy Horyn, Nathalie Rykiel,
Yigal Azrouel

The Fifth Issue of One Eighty Magazine
(Created by fashion journalist students)

It was a fascinating show of cutting edge designs, mixed textiles and well elaborated structures. Among my favorites were Peter Loc Tan Nguyen from Vietnam, a collection inspired by men's wear and tailoring. I also loved the fashion and textile design collaboration of Lauren Haut and Darrin George inspired by loss of innocence, 1950 and 1960 wallpaper and tailoring. The collaboration of Brittany Burggraff and Wendy Tam collection inspired by dark children's stories, vintage lingeries was one of my favorite over the top collections. And, finally, the designs of Drew Williams from San Francisco, a collection inspired by agarose gel electrophoresis....Fantastic creations!!

By Peter Loc Tan Nguyen

By Lauren Haut and Darrin George

By Drew Williams

By Brittany Burggraff and Wendy Tam

By Cynthia Tran and Kassie Moody

By Donna Dong Zhong

Front row (second from the left)
International Herald Tribune Fashion Editor Suzy Menkes

It was a true fabulous fashion presentation that welcomed and opened new doors in the fascinating, but extremely HARD fashion industry. Congratulation and good luck 2011 Class Senior Fashion Students of Academy of Art University!!