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September 3 2014

styledotcom 39 New York designers share the inspiration behind their Spring collections: stylem.ag/1sXPTIB pic.twitter.com/1IRwgzBTYi

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4 posts tagged "Barbara Walters"

About Those V. Stiviano Visors…

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V. StivianoIt’s a funny thing, the connection between protection and clothing. On the most basic level, jackets, trousers, glasses, hats, et al. defend us from the elements. But sometimes, it’s the most superfluous accouterment that can make us feel invincible. Such is the case, to some extent, with V. Stiviano, the mistress of disgraced racist Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and her iridescent visors. No doubt you’ve seen photographs of her donning the accessory out and about in L.A. following the scandal in which Sterling forbade her from publicizing her friendships with black people. In a recent interview with Barbara Walters, Stiviano conceded that the full-face visors, which she owns in a myriad of hues, make it “easier to mask the pain.” Fair enough. And it’s not as though she’s the first visible public figure to hide behind headgear—you’d be hard-pressed to find a celebrity, mid-scandal or not, who hasn’t shielded themselves from prying eyes via giant sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, hooded sweatshirts, or the like. But visage-enveloping visors are indeed an extreme—second only, perhaps, to the deeply bizarre black mask Leonardo DiCaprio sported at last year’s Venice Biennale. (Nothing says “under-the-radar” like channeling Darth Vader.)

“In the past, wearing things like visors or veils was more out of modesty, or maybe a sense of propriety,” explained The Museum at FIT’s associate curator of accessories, Colleen Hill. She cites the large-brimmed “poke” bonnets of the 1830s as an example. “In my opinion, they were an item of propriety. Not only did they shield the woman’s face from the sun, but they also provided a sense of security,” she told Style.com. “Today, [something like a visor], for celebrities in particular, acts as a psychological veil. Even if it’s something that’s transparent, it does create that little bit of a barrier. Making eye contact is such a personal thing, I think that is part of [face coverings'] appeal.”

Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen visors

Thanks to her shield, Stiviano has essentially been hiding from swarms of paparazzi in plain sight. But what’s funny is that while she’s sporting these visors as an invisibility cloak of sorts, they only make her more conspicuous. To wit, she’s more infamous now than before she broke out the accessory. And apparently, her Daft Punkian method of pseudo-protection has ignited somewhat of a visor boom. “We sold out this morning, and we’re waiting on a new shipment,” offered Gingie McLeod, the founder of Tribeca’s SaintChic store and label, which produces and carries Stiviano’s new staple, aptly dubbed the Paparazzi Visor. “They’re actually designed for tennis and hiking—for function. But people have been calling nonstop asking if this is the V. Stiviano visor and if it will cover their whole face or if anyone will be able to see them.” Before the craze began, McLeod had sold only four of the accessories.

Kanye west

Surely, Stiviano wasn’t aiming to start a trend with her quasi-disguise (or heck, maybe she was, though I seriously considered shelving my Chanel 2.55 after seeing a photo of her carrying a similar style). And certainly, part of this newfound visor obsession is in jest. (McLeod told us she just got a call from someone throwing a Stiviano-themed party.) But in truth, this perplexing “don’t look at me but do” mode of dressing has deep roots. Investigating visors alone, you might look back to Pierre Cardin or Paco Rabanne’s futuristic plastic shields from the 1960s, featured in numerous fashion shoots. More recently, there was Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga’s giant Spring ’12 visor (inspired by an archival 1967 Balenciaga wedding hat), which completely covered the face and eyes. However, those who wore it, like Anna Dello Russo, attracted hoards of street-style paps. Same goes for Alexander McQueen’s mammoth Fall ’12 shades. Maison Martin Margiela’s couture masks should also be considered here: On the runway, they create a sense of uniform anonymity, yet on the street, they allow one to hide in style. But do MMM mask fans like Lady Gaga or Kanye West really want us to look away from their haute veils? Unlikely, particularly since West often wears his onstage. More than a striking visual, it has been interpreted as his commentary on fame, and it seems apt for someone who is both more open and uncensored than most celebrities and yet also a man of mystery.

Perhaps the trend is a sign of the times—not unlike our social media avatars, these outré shields afford us the opportunity to put ourselves out there without any risk of full-frontal exposure. They’re a superficial cushion—a buffer between the wearer and the outside world. Or maybe they’re just an ever-so-slightly less obvious plea for attention than the selfie. If that’s the case, let’s hope for a total transition—I’d rather look at an off-the-wall mask than an ill-angled iPhone snap any day.

Photos: Getty Images; Indigitalimages.com; Tommy Ton

Linda Evangelista, Warthog Appreciator, And More Breaking Intel From Last Night’s Disney Meets Barneys Bash

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To say Barneys was animated last night would be an understatement. The retailer’s holiday pop-up—in the mold of last year’s Gaga’s Workshop—is an epic collaboration with Disney, which extends from novelty gifts to a DVF-designed Mickey statuette to character confections available at Fred’s, the store’s ninth-floor restaurant. An entire block of Madison Avenue was reserved for the screening of its Electric Holiday promo film, where animated versions of fashion types faced off with Disney favorites: Daphne Guinness admiring Cruella de Vil’s runway walk, Carine Roitfeld and Cathy Horyn sitting front-row for a cartoon fashion show where Minnie Mouse wore Lanvin ruffles and her usually topless beau, Mickey, tried on a Balenciaga sweatshirt. Hostess Sarah Jessica Parker, in L’Wren Scott and Scott and Stephen Jones-designed mouse ears, kicked off the event, which, she noted, was the unusual one she could attend with both her fashion pals and her daughters, Tabitha and Marion. “I’m delighted my children could come to something I’m working on,” she said, “which is a rare opportunity!”

As partiers circulated, we had to wonder—as SJP’s old alter ego might say—who’s your favorite Disney character?

Bryanboy: “Mickey Mouse. I love his voice—he reminds me of David Beckham. So iconic!”

Lazaro Hernandez, Proenza Schouler: “We did Tiana from The Princess and the Frog [for] the movie they’re showing tonight. She’s the newest one—makes sense, I guess. She’s really, really cute. But secretly, Minnie Mouse.”

Jack McCollough, Proenza Schouler: “I like Mickey. Who wouldn’t? He’s the best.”

Linda Evangelista: “I love The Lion King; Pumbaa is my favorite. So charming.”

Mark Lee, CEO, Barneys New York: “Daisy Duck.”

Sarah Jessica Parker: “As Mr. Iger says, I will not pick a favorite. Too many wonderful memories associated with all of them.”

Simon Doonan: “I would have to say Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. She’s so beautiful—she has a Thierry Mugler, kind of Claude Montana look. High glamour. That eighties ‘evil glamour’ look!”

Barbara Walters: “Minnie, because she is an inspiration to all of us. She’s unmarried—she’s been living with Mickey in sin all these years and they never broke up. And her wardrobe is always in style. What an inspiration to every woman!”

Rachael Taylor: “Cruella de Vil. She always looked so amazingly badass. I love that she was a villain in a fabulous coat, heels, and too much makeup. In my world, more is more.”

Bob Iger, CEO, The Walt Disney Company: “I have a lot of favorites, but I’m never public about them because I fear offending those who don’t agree. But tonight there was a character here I’m fond of: Tinker Bell. Impish, cute, fun—and she flies!”

Ann Dexter-Jones: “Is Betty Boop Disney? I guess not. I actually like Dopey. He’s so slow, and we live in New York, where nobody ever slows down for a minute.”

Liya Kebede: “I love the Little Mermaid. I like how she looks out for her friends like Sebastian.”

Her son, Shul, added, “I like all of them—except the princesses.”

Photo: Cami Zapata/BFAnyc.com

Hamptons Liv-ing

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In between a weekend packed with events, not to mention the kick-off of London’s Olympic Games, partygoers in the Hamptons made it out Friday night for the Cinema Society and RentTheRunway.com’s beachside screening of director Jake Schreier’s latest effort, Robot & Frank. After dinner by Gabby Karan and Gianpaolo de Felice’s Tutto il Giorno restaurant, the guests and the film’s stars, Susan Sarandon, Frank Langella, Liv Tyler, and James Marsden cozied up on the white couches and blankets by the pool to watch the film, about an ex-jewel thief (Langella) who gets a robot companion (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), who eventually becomes his heist-mate. “It was very low budget—we were all in that house and there was a 110-degree heat wave and we had no air conditioning and no trailers,” Tyler told Style.com. “That poor robot was baking in the heat,” Sarandon added before the movie got underway. “I found the robot to be easier than some of the people I have worked with.”

While the crowd watched the film outside to the sounds of waves crashing on the beach, Barbara Walters and a few other curious guests snuck inside Jerry and Judy Della Femina’s East Hampton home to get a glimpse of the Opening Ceremony. “I don’t have a television so I have to make an effort to see the Olympics,” Sarandon admitted once the screening ended. “There are always so many beautiful stories though. My son-in-law Kyle Martino is actually calling the soccer for MSNBC, and I don’t know how much Ping-Pong they will show, but I know some of the team that is from the U.S., so I am curious to see that.” (Sarandon is one of the celebrity world’s biggest supporters of table tennis, as a part owner of New York’s Spin Ping-Pong club.)

Saturday would see the annual Super Saturday yard sale and fundraiser for ovarian cancer in Water Mill, but Liv Tyler wasn’t up to face the crowds. “I’m having Super Saturday at my house,” she joked. “I’m renting a farm house here this summer and I like to push wheelbarrows around and ride my pickup truck. That’s my favorite thing—driving all around town in my pickup truck, listening to music from the tape player. With everyone else driving around in their Range Rovers, it’s pretty funny.”


Photos: Billy Farrell / BFAnyc.com

Family Ties

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It’s been a busy decade for Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollan. Since the actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, the two have raised $230 million for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, whose mission is to fund scientific research on the disease. “He knows them all,” Pollan said of the scientific terms Fox has picked up along the way. “I’m smart enough to surround myself with people that are smarter than me,” her husband explained.

To celebrate Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Pollan and Fox hosted a charity shopping fête at Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue men’s store last night. On the fashion connection, Pollan called it “unbelievable timing.” “We were shopping at the Ralph Lauren store in the Hamptons, because our son Sam is a big fan, and we were talking about an idea that Tracy’s had for years,” Fox explained. “It was to do this dog tag necklace for Parkinson’s—they connote service, we have total respect for the military, and in a way it’s honoring them. It just so happened that Jerry Lauren was there and overheard.”

Ralph’s brother eventually brought the fashion company and the foundation together, and the silver dog tags finally made their debut. Priced at $98, all proceeds from each tag went to the foundation. Ralph and Ricky Lauren and Tom Selleck stopped in early before guests such as Barbara Walters, Christine Baranski, and Matt Bomer packed the quarters. Partway through, David Lauren hopped on the mic to say a few words. “I grew up watching your shows,” he said to Fox. “I thought, ‘Oh God, he is the coolest guy.’ ” Nearby, Dylan Lauren told Style.com, “Family Ties was my favorite. I still watch the reruns. The funny thing is that I recently befriended Justine Bateman. It’s like completing the circle.”

Photo: Billy Farrell Agency / Courtesy of Ralph Lauren