April 18 2014

styledotcom Parsons releases its first book:

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Required Reading: Parsons The New School for Design Releases Its First Book


Mazdack Rassi, Simon CollinsNostalgic Parsons designers rubbed elbows among alumni old and new at Milk Studios last night in celebration of the design school’s first book. One would think that all those featured in The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers were star pupils, but Anna Sui wasn’t one of them. Inside the crowded room, the designer confessed to her less-than-scholarly ways. “Being 18 and living in New York City with no parental guidance, I wasn’t a good student,” confessed Sui. But it was a fun time, she admitted.

Working her way around the room, Behnaz Sarafpour correctly named all of the designers whose sketches hung along the walls—including her own, drawn on a cocktail napkin. Sarafpour later reunited with fellow alum Reed Krakoff who, like her, once interned with Narciso Rodriguez. The two stood in front of a wall of black-and-white portraits opposite Proust questionnaires that asked designers Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, and Jason Wu the following: “What fictional character do you most identify with?” and “Who are your heroes in real life?” For Chris Benz, who was in attendance, the answers included Tom Sawyer and Martha Stewart, respectively.

“When I realized there hadn’t been a book written, I figured it’d be crazy not to,” said Simon Collins, the school’s dean of fashion, who hosted the event along with Milk’s Mazdack Rassi. The new tome includes thirty designer-dedicated chapters with a host of vibrant illustrations, photographs, and introspective quotes taken from exclusive interviews conducted over the past year. Part of the proceeds from sales will benefit scholarships for Parsons students.

While upping the school’s fashion cred ranks high on Collins’ to-do list, the dean was quick to boast that crafting the book was good for all involved. “I mean, the designers loved it,” offered Collins. “They can show their mums.”

The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers is published by Assouline. Available at select bookstores or online at

Photo: Lola Haze/ 

Kate Middleton: Fashion Maven or Bright Banana?


kate middleton and prince williamContinuing her ongoing royal tour, Kate Middleton donned a vivid yellow Spring ’14 Roksanda Ilincic dress during an appearance at Sydney’s Royal Opera House today. While addressing a crowd, Middleton revealed that Prince William told her the dress makes her look like “a banana.” Poor form, Wills. A few days ago, he also reportedly criticized the Duchess’s emerald Erdem coat for being “too bright.” Considering that Prince William has basically worn a variation of the same tired navy-suit-and-red-tie ensemble every day throughout the tour, he should probably lay off. And seeing as Kate was recently dubbed “normcore,” I also think that, if only for the purpose of being cheeky (or even better, stylistically exciting), Kate should test the waters with a few wild getups. How about some Fall ’14 Moschino? Or, if she wanted to embrace the Brits, Meadham Kirchhoff’s latest looks would be a bold choice. Do it to it, Kate, and show the Prince who’s boss—sartorially speaking.

Photo: Getty Images 

Kate Middleton’s One-Woman Fashion Week in New Zealand


It may have just been fashion week in Australia, but the real style-spotting event Down Under didn’t require a catwalk. How could it, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the tiny future king were a hop, skip, and a private Air Force flight away in New Zealand?

It was 8-month-old Prince George’s first overseas visit on royal duty as he joined his mum and dad on a three-week tour of Australasia. With only a week in the public eye and already sporting head-to-toe white (a Spring 2014 trend we spotted at 3.1 Phillip Lim, Thakoon, and Derek Lam) and nautical dungarees (eat your heart out, Man Repeller), he has already claimed his title as one trendy tot, but the real star of this spectacle was, of course, Kate.

She channeled the inimitable Diana by wearing Catherine Walker, a favorite designer of her late mother-in-law; caused a worldwide sellout of a Tory Burch resort dress; and even wore one of her favorite high-street brands, Zara—twice! Stars, they are just like us! Above all, she turned heads at every appearance. Here is just a week in the sartorial life of Kate Middleton from her adventure.

Day 1: Monday, April 7

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 1

The Duchess of Cambridge traveled at least twenty-two hours from London to Wellington via Sydney and still looked as though she were stepping off a movie set—including a Marilyn Monroe moment with an unlucky gust of wind. We, however, were all too busy staring at Georgie’s perfectly pinchable cheeks to really notice the wardrobe malfunction.

Kate wore a scarlet knee-length coat by Catherine Walker, one of Princess Diana’s favorite designers, which echoed the red coat Diana wore when she and Charles embarked on a similar tour thirty-one years ago. Kate also wore a matching red “Seaford” pillbox hat by Gina Foster; Kiki McDonough diamond stud earrings; and a diamond brooch in the shape of New Zealand’s national symbol, the silver fern. The brooch is a loan from Queen E. herself: It was given to her majesty when she toured New Zealand in 1953.

Day 3: Wednesday, April 9

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 3

The royals had no public appearances on Tuesday, as they were perhaps resting up for Prince George’s epic playdate Wednesday. Kate and William met with ten local families who each had babies born within a week of George. Best playdate ever? And made only better by George’s chic nautical dungarees and T-strap flats worn with socks, because if anyone can pull off a tricky runway trend, it’s obviously an 8-month-old baby.

Right, back to Kate.

Kate wore the “Paulina” dress by Tory Burch, which is from the Resort 2014 Collection, and subsequently is now sold out worldwide. (A few retailers have promised to have it back in stock ASAP, so keep your eyes peeled.) She paired the printed dress with a Cartier watch, Annoushka pearl drop earrings, and black Jimmy Choo pumps.

Day 4: Thursday, April 10


While George stayed home to rest as he was likely exhausted by looking better than everyone else the day before, the Duke and Duchess attended a wreath-laying ceremony in Blenheim, where they spent time with war veterans. The Duchess wore a cornflower blue customized version of Alexander McQueen’s utility peplum coat from the Spring 2014 collection, navy McQueen pumps, a poppy brooch, and a blue suede clutch (the “Muse” from Russell & Bromley). She also wore sapphire drop earrings that royal watchers speculate are from Princess Diana’s collection and were reset for Kate as a gift from William. (Insert romantic sigh here.)

Thursday Evening

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 4Thursday night, Kate wore a calf-length gown by one of her go-to designers, Jenny Packham. She continued to graciously incorporate the national emblem of New Zealand into her touring wardrobe: The dress was customized for her with hand-stitched beading in the shape of silver ferns.
She donned the dress to a state reception hosted by the Governor General of New Zealand, where Prince William unveiled a portrait of the queen wearing the same fern brooch Kate wore when she landed in Wellington—super meta. William also gave a short speech—clearly not his first rodeo, he commenced it in Maori. Sadly, he did not unveil a butt tattoo.

Day 5: Friday, April 11

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 5

Kate dropped it like it’s yacht in a nautical outfit for a day on the water on Friday. The Duke and Duchess visited Auckland Harbour and raced New Zealand America’s Cup yachts. Kate must be yachty by nature, because she and her team won both times. (Yes, that’s two yacht puns. Sorry, yacht, sorry.)

The Duchess perfectly mixed high and low in a double-breasted navy blazer from Zara, a blue-and-white-striped tee from British online retailer ME+EM, indigo skinnies from Zara, and Stuart Weitzman cork wedges. At sea, she swapped her heels for more appropriate Sebago boat shoes.

Day 6: Saturday, April 12

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 6Kate stunned in a Pre-Fall 2013 Kelly green Erdem coat on Saturday, and the Middleton style hounds online have impressively deduced that she wore a dress by British label Suzannah underneath. She took a solo trip to a children’s hospice and attended an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party.

According to the Mirror, she was overheard saying that William isn’t a fan of the Erdem coat. “It’s too bright,” said the prince perpetually in navy suits.

Day 7: Sunday, April 13

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 7At a Palm Sunday service, Kate paid homage to a local designer for the first time this trip. She wore a teal dress by Emilia Wickstead, a London-based designer who was born in New Zealand. She once again reminded us that no one wears a pillbox hat quite like a princess, by wearing one to match her dress, made by Jane Taylor.

Sunday Afternoon

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 7
From church to a rugby arena and later to a vineyard, the Duchess changed costumes on Sunday almost as many times as Anne Hathaway during a botched Oscars hosting gig. After the Palm Sunday service, the Royals headed to the rugby area where the renowned New Zealand All Blacks play. Kate wore a Jonathan Saunders waffle-knit sweater, dark blue skinny jeans (possibly the same ones from Zara she wore yachting), and sea-foam sneakers from Mint Velvet.

Sunday Afternoon Part 2

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 7
After a week packed with shaking hands and kissing babies, the royal couple finally got what they deserved: a drink! They were given a tour of the local winery and indulged in what looks like a lovely wine tasting.

Kate wore the same navy and gold Zara blazer she wore to the yacht races, with dark skinny jeans and Stuart Weitzman cork wedges. She wore the fitted boyfriend shirt from the Gap—which she may have picked up when she stopped for a few Gap goodies for George in March. (This roundup is becoming woefully low on George, by the way.)

Day 8: Monday, April 14

Royal Visit To Latimer Square In Countdown To Cricket World Cup
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Christchurch on Monday and Kate wore a red and black Luisa Spagnoli suit in honor of that region of New Zealand. On a day in 2011, New Zealanders wore red and black to show their support of Christchurch after the city was devastated by an earthquake and 185 people lost their lives. Kate continued to wow us with her diplomacy, and also how well researched her tour wardrobe was.

She also blew our minds when she killed it on a cricket pitch later that day in back pumps, pearls, and a pencil skirt! Isn’t walking hard enough in that attire?!

Wills and Kate were on the pitch to play cricket with local schoolchildren as part of the countdown to the city’s hosting of the 2015 World Cup. (So who got to hold her Mulberry clutch while she showed off her throwing arm?)

The Duke and Duchess are Down Under for another two weeks—that’s fourteen more days of princess-style porn. Can you handle it? We can’t wait to see what Kate—and infant-style phenom George—wears next.

Runway to Red Carpet: Country Music’s Saucy Sirens and a Glamorous Gala


taylor_swift_blogFrom award shows to film premieres to galas and fetes, the red carpet saw plenty of well-dressed action this week. The weekend’s spotlight went to Nashville’s finest for Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, where flashes of skin were on trend. Faith Hill, one of many stars who went for a plunging neckline, donned a powder blue Saint Laurent gown, while Taylor Swift opted for a custom J. Mendel cutout crop top and maxi skirt with a thigh-high slit.

The party circuit was out in full swing this week, with plenty of notables stepping out in their red-carpet finest for a bevy of galas, benefits, and glamorous parties. On Friday night, São Paulo’s fashion week ended with the amfAR Inspiration Gala, where supermodels and celebs alike pulled out the sartorial stops. Naomi Campbell stepped out in a white Givenchy Haute Couture gown with an embroidered bodice and a fringe skirt, while Kate Moss went for a red silk chiffon Spring ’13 Saint Laurent gown with a tasseled drawstring on the neckline.

On the premiere circuit, Diane Kruger chose a body-hugging black Zuhair Murad Fall ’14 jumpsuit with a laced-up bodice at the premiere of Fargo in New York on Wednesday. The following night in London, Emma Stone dazzled in a yellow pleated custom Atelier Versace gown detailed with crystal embroidery at the world premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Here, more of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

Photo: Rick Diamond / ACMA2014 / Getty Images

RIP Peaches Geldof


ETAM : Outside Arrivals - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015Word came this morning that Peaches Geldof has died in Wrotham, England, at age 25. Daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates, her mother died of a drug overdose when Geldof was 11 years old. Known for her modeling work and as a television presenter, at just 16 Geldof was dubbed one of Tatler‘s top 10 fashion icons of 2006. She is survived by her father, sisters Pixie and Fifi Trixibelle, half-sister Tiger Lily, and sons Astala and Phaedra. As of now, the cause of death is still undetermined.