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August 21 2014

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7 posts tagged "Veronica Webb"

Michelle Obama: The Model Years

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Yesterday, over plates of halibut and pomegranate salad at Bergdorf Goodman’s BG, some of fashion’s most powerful women gathered in honor of perhaps the industry’s most hotly debated topic of late: Michelle Obama. Tod’s and Tina Brown hosted the icon-studded group, which included Iman, Veronica Webb, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Tory Burch, and Michelle Obama favorites Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Sophie Théallet. The catalyst for the serene occasion (an ideal respite from the chaos taking place at NYFW outposts around the city) was the launch of Kate Betts’ book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.

While many might contend that the subject of the First Lady’s wardrobe has become its own “dead horse,” yesterday’s luncheon revealed that a few Michelle Obama style stones had been left unturned. For one, her effect on “big girls,” as The Daily Beast’s Tina Brown (left, with Betts) put it. “She’s made big girls comfortable. I love her unabashed big girl-ness. I like that about her: Her imperfections are what make her so appealing.” As for whether or not the First Lady should stick to American designers? “I think she should wear whatever the hell she likes.”

“I don’t think anyone has really looked at her style in the context of First Lady style,” Betts added. “We always compare her to Jackie, but I wanted to go all the way back to the beginning and see why style matters for first ladies. I also wanted to look at her style in a broader cultural context. And to look at why her style mattered to her in her trajectory from the South Side of Chicago, to Princeton, to Harvard, to a Chicago law firm, to the White House, and why her style became a sort of talisman for her—something that she held onto for herself in places that were places that were not necessarily the most friendly places for somebody like her.” And that includes moonlighting as a model. Betts discovered that the First Lady worked as a mannequin for three friends (also aspiring fashion designers) during her days at Princeton. And, how does Michelle feel about her former modeling days and style history being brought to light? “The response was very positive,” Betts said, smiling.

Photo: Courtesy of Tod’s

Hands-On Learning

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For one night, at least, fashion did not compute. “The students, they’re on their computers now if they’re designing. But for this, they used their hands!” dean Simon Collins remarked happily at the LVMH/Parsons “The Art of Craftsmanship Revisited” presentation at Milk Studios last night. The two organizations tapped 23 student teams to design a unique look each, using techniques more often left for the old hands in Paris ateliers. The results, while sometimes uneven, were decidedly unconventional. A zany, clear “bubble” shrug made LVMH chairman Renaud Dutreil ask, “What is that made of?” And a gorgeous hand-knit, oversize sweater would have done the Mulleavy sisters proud.

“If the students are taught the skills, they can see fashion in a whole new way. We could have a whole new generation of designers who know craft,” Dutreil remarked. The Frenchman may be on to something. The handiwork drew quite the crowd—along with Parsons alum Veronica Webb and Fabiola Beracasa, Estelle (pictured) stopped by, but she was quick to deny any ambitions for a line of her own. “Oh, I’m not crafty. I like to see a thing here or there and I know what I like, but I’ll leave the work to the designers,” the singer said with laugh. “But hey, I am up for wearing something crafted!” Hear that, students?

Photo: Clint Spaulding / Patrick McMullan

Spring Rolls With Warhol, And More From Indochine

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The first time Jean-Marc Houmard waited on Andy Warhol at Indochine, he accidentally brushed his hand while serving a pot of tea. This anecdote, one of many included in the new book Indochine: Stories, Shaken and Stirred (Rizzoli), edited by Houmard and Maer Roshan, sums up the place’s enduring appeal: glamorous enough that the famous go there to rub shoulders, mellow enough that they do so over tea. (And spring rolls, usually.)

Houmard co-owns the restaurant now, and has kept it as congenial to boldfaced names and bohemians as it’s always been. There’s certainly a healthy mix of them among the book’s contributors, from Salman Rushdie and Susanne Bartsch, who contributed reminiscences to the oral history, to artists Kenny Scharf, Ruben Toledo, and Ross Bleckner, who chipped in new work inspired by the restaurant. Indochine comes out next month; tonight, it will be fêted at Bergdorf Goodman at an event co-hosted by Linda Fargo, Richard Johnson, Narciso Rodriguez, and Veronica Webb. Here, Houmard talks to Style.com about Indochine’s quarter-century as a hot joint in town.

Continue Reading “Spring Rolls With Warhol, And More From Indochine” »

The Next Jamie Dornan, Rowley’s Babies, And More…

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Attention, beefcakes: Calvin Klein is looking for a man who “embodies the attributes of a Calvin Klein Underwear model.” In other words, must be well read, cosmopolitan, multilingual, and good with kids. Did we forget anything? [WWD]

Cynthia Rowley goes baby crazy, calls it Hooray. [WWD]

Take a peek into Veronica Webb‘s super-organized closet, T-shirt labels and all. [WSJ]

The ladies at The Cut test-walked Rodarte’s hip-high Nicholas Kirkwoods, Nina Ricci’s claw bootie, and Manolo Blahnik’s stilettos for Brian Reyes, among others. The verdict? Mostly ouch. [The Cut]

Jason Wu hasn’t had a cup of coffee in six days. Stay strong. [HuffPo]

Karlie Kloss turned 17 this weekend at Disney World, mouse ears included. Is this an audition for next season’s Stella McCartney campaign? [Vogue U.K.]

Photo: Courtesy of Calvin Klein

Lingerie Miami Brings the Sizzle

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While New Yorkers mostly stuck to indoor activities this weekend, guests at Lingerie Miami Saturday night were happy to be al fresco. The flesh-friendly host city flaunted some of its best assets at the outdoor fashion show in front of the majestic Vizcaya palazzo in Coral Gables, and while a retreating cold front tried to spoil the fun, the models seemed oblivious to their goose bumps. Host Eva Longoria Parker had a personal space heater brought in, and after enough getups from Agent Provocateur, Fifi Chachnil, and Carine Gilson, the air felt downright sultry.

Agent Provocateur made the most of it, presenting 35 creatively accessorized looks (a whip here, a shopping cart there) and, naturellement, a few takes on the French maid. “A girl that comes out in lingerie and is able to walk the walk will make a man do anything. It’s like a superhero costume for women,” brand creator Joe Corre mused afterward. Expect to see more sexy crime fighters on a runway near you: Organizer Renata M. Black is planning to hold a similar event in New York next February. “Victoria’s Secret can only be a monopoly for so long,” she pointed out.

Proceeds from the evening went toward loans for underprivileged women, a gesture that guest speaker Deepak Chopra (who rubbed elbows with the likes of Elsa Benitez, Ines Rivero, and co-host Veronica Webb) linked to the larger imperative to “harness the female elements and forces of the universe” in the hope of ultimately achieving world peace. Who knew lace corsets could do all that?

Photo: Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images