Aristotle famously declared that “man without a city is either beast or god,” by which he meant that communal participation is the defining characteristic of being human. So when Anthony Luciano, the New York based accessories designer whose newest collection of lux handbags is flying off the shelves at Neiman Marcus, responds aphoristically in an email that “I’m not participating in the recession,” you have to wonder if he is some glib beast whose head is stuck in the economic sand or, quite possibly, the incarnate deity that every retailer could use at the moment.
Posts Tagged ‘tom kolovos’
Posted in Celebrities, Chicago Events, chicago fashion scene, events, fashion, tagged Chicago, david neville, fashion, Intermix, marcus wainwright, rag and bone, saks fifth avenue, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos on October 2, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
If you weren’t able to make it tothis year, perhaps you can make it to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile .
David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, the design duo behind the label Rag and Bone, will be making a personal appearance in Chicago, first on the 5th floor of Saks between noon and and then at between 2 and .
This is the second visit by the lads to the Windy City in a year. Since they were last here at Hejfina in Bucktown, they have opened a second store in New York’s Soho neighborhood and both have become fathers for the second time.
It’s a testament to the speed with which this young label has ascended as a retail darling, and to the positive reviews for their Spring 2010 show, that they can swoop into town and, in a “who’s-your-daddy” show of force, land at both Saks and Intermix.
While the Fall collection was inspired by a trip to Japan and the movies because, as Wainwright confessed, “I’ve always wanted a samurai sword and I’ve always loved Star Wars,” Rag and Bone’s strength is in what he describes as “our English, military-school heritage mixed with a utilitarian, made-in-America ethos.”
The focus of their appearances in Chicago will be to promote the women’s line but guys don’t let that intimidate you. The lads make, among other things, some of the most covetable vests and leather jackets you’re likely to see, so you should run accross to the men’s store at Saks and invest in your future (stylish self).
is located at 700 North Michigan Avenue and Intermix is located at . Intermix will be offering 15% off any purchase of Rag and Bone.
Posted in Celebrities, fashion, Fitness, Gay, TV, tagged billy bush, chris rock, Donald Trump, flo rida, miss venezuela, sex tafficking, television, the miss universe pageant, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos on August 24, 2009 | 1 Comment »
Chris Rock once joked that as a father you have only two responsibilities: to keep your son from winding up on the (crack) pipe and your daughter from winding up on the (stripper) pole.
After last night , I would add a third: keep your daughter from winding up on Donald Trump‘s “ .”
Slideshow: Miss Universe Competition
Billy Bush was the host of the festivities and his main function was to repeatedly remind us that contestants would be sporting some of the hottest bathing suits. Ever. OMG!
All buttoned up in an ill fitting tux, he kept promising us that “lots of skin” would be on display.
He wasn’t kidding. As the top 15 contestants changed into their suits, we were treated to a photo shoot of contestants in (perhaps the tackiest of) string bikinis. When Flo Rida came out to perform, bikini clad contestants who were not lucky enough to make it into the top 15 were lucky enough to be able to sashay behind him, in the manner of what used to be disparagingly called “a video ho” on MTV.
After the contestants were winnowed down to the top 10, we were finally treated to a synopsis of their inner life, whilst they stood there in….. string bikinis.
Billy’s pithy revelations were limited to their ages and their hobbies, which were almost exclusively limited to exercising, shopping and watching reality television. Really? At least in the pre-feminist ‘ 70s, pageant organizers wanted us to know so much more about the contestants, including their measurements and favorite color (peach used to be the most common, as I recall).
It is difficult to walk away from the telecast last night without thinking that the “pageant” should be properly retitled “Donald Trump Presents: I’d Like to Hit That (When Melania Isn’t Watching).” The top 15 we were told were chosen by an (unnamed) panel of judges and by representatives from the “Donald Trump organization.”
When we were introduced to the judges who were actually going to pick the winner, I couldn’t help but wonder what qualification any of them had to pick the winner of, well, anything.
Some of the judges (both male and female) were downright creepy in that sex trafficking sort of way. And because, unlike the can traffic in.
Oh, it turns outwon the title, even though Miss Dominican Republic was by far the most stunning and beautifully dressed of all the contestants this year. She had to settle for runner up.
I, simply, better settle down.
Posted in chicago fashion scene, fashion, lollapalooza, Shopping, tagged american apparel, dresses, express, givenchy, j crew, lanvin, narciso rodriguez, riccardo tisci, Shopping, summer fashion, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos on August 8, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
OK ladies, if you normally have the requisite fashionista aversion to a dress which retails for $38, you may want to reconsider said aversion. Perhaps the economy has transformed you into a recessionista, or you needed something to wear in the 98 degree heat to Lollapalooza.
But the best reason to justify a $38 dress is because it’s actually a great summer buy and transforms into several dresses in one.
The dress is called Le Sac, and you’ll find this versatile piece at American Apparel. It comes in solid colors and a black strap that runs through essentially a halter top shape, but with enough imagination (and the pictured instruction postcard that comes with it), you can create at least five different dresses you would not be embarrassed to wear — the Braided halter, the Architectural mini, the Grecian, the Gathered mini or any of several variations that might look completely at home on a Narciso Rodriguez runway. Really.
Posted in Chicago, chicago fashion scene, fashion, Shopping, tagged bottega veneta, etro, men's fashion, rag and bone, saks fifth avenue, Shopping, summer sales, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos on August 5, 2009 | 1 Comment »
What separates the men from the boys this time of year? The men know it’s not how much you spend but how much you save.
If it is true that along with age comes wisdom, then some of us have been around long enough to know that one of the great joys of shopping the summer sales is getting a deal on designer clothes that you normally can’t afford and that are going to perfect your Fall wardrobe. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and, yes, real men get great deals on their Fall clothes in August!
One of the perennials you should be seeking out are coats. Spring coats that failed to impress your fellow shoppers can be had for 75% off if you remind yourself that for a city like Chicago, the difference between the weight of a Fall or Spring coat is indistinguishable.
Best buys this time of year would include a new trench or a leather jacket. For the latter, try the sleek olive green military inspired one from Rag and Bone or the grey Ellie Tahari, both at Saks Fifth Avenue right now.
Those with an eagle eye for fashion this Fall will tell you that donning a henley instead of a t shirt or button front shirt is one of the surest ways to update your casual wardrobe. So if you’re a desperado for the perfect henley, pick up the perfect cotton and cashmere version from Rag and Bone that is still available, again at Saks. Roberto Agnes can help you locate all of the items mentioned here.
Finally, lightweight knits that can be easily layered like the v neck sweater — and especially the cardigan — will be ubiquitous right through next Spring. Pick up the grey Etro cardigan with tie dye detail, for instance, again at Saks (most likely still available through the Beverly Hills store. Ask for Christopher).
Let the best Spring 2010 men’s collection at Bottega Veneta inspire you. And remember, the early bird gets the worm and the kickass fall wardrobe.
Posted in Chicago, chicago fashion scene, fashion, Shopping, tagged custom fit polo by ralph lauren, ralph lauren, saks fifth avenue, saks fifth avenue beverly hills warehouse sale, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos on August 4, 2009 | 2 Comments »
Ok, guys I’ll let you in on one of my best pieces of advice for free, so listen up.
Ralph Lauren makes his classic polo shirt in a cut called “Custom Fit.” It is cut much closer to the body than the sloppy polo shirts of yore, which way too many of you are still wearing, and which make you look oh so “2000 and late” while all the other guys look oh “so 3008.”
The “custom fit” has a higher armhole, natural shoulder and runs trimmer and shorter throught the body. This means it makes you look leaner, trimmer and completely in the know about how a shirt–any shirt, including a polo–should fit right now.
I don’t care if you’re 5 or 95, everyone looks completely appropriately dressed in a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, whether you pair it with a nice pair of jeans and loafers or shorts and flipflops. Pick a flattering color and you’re an instant style icon.
Just make sure you never tuck it your pants and wear a belt with it, grandpa.
If you run into any Ralph Lauren Polo store right now, every color of the custom fit polo is on sale for $37.49, marked down from $75. It comes in 12-15 colors so you are bound to find several you love. If you happen to go into the Michigan Avenue store, ask for Jennifer on the first floor.
Finally, Saks will be having a consolidation sale in the Chicago Michigan Avenue store this Thursday August 6th, which means an additional 25% off the last markdown price in both the men’s and women’s departments for a total of 75% off. Most of the merchandise is pretty well picked over but you never know……..(There’s still a great selection of men’s shoes, though!!!!!)
If you happen to live in Los Angeles or are visiting there on Thursday, run, don’t walk to the Beverly Hills store’s Warehouse Sale which will have the best selection of all the Saks stores.
Let’s say you’re a guy who knows that cargo shorts suffered a timely death at least 2 seasons ago but that you’re also on a budget this summer just when you need a few new pairs of shorts now. What should you look for and where?
Look for shorts in bold solids or patterns that end somewhere above your knee and taper from the mid thigh to the hem. If you’re looking for a bargain right now, head to Club Monaco and ask for their “Broderick” short. All patterns are on sale for $29. The short comes in a good array of checks, plaids and bold graphics.
A client who took my advice last week wrote in an email: “Just wanted to say thank you for the tip on the shorts at. I went there after the gym and immediately found 3 pair I liked. One was in my size and the salesperson was able to find the other 2 in other stores. Very cute, shapely, stylish and perfect for the streets! All for less than $100, so a great deal overall!”
My personal favorites are the “Dk Blue Mix/Blue Fonce” which is essentially a teal diamond patterned print and the “Black Pattern” which looks like black lattice on a white background. Both of them have a very crisp retro feel and look great with a white shirt or t shirt. (I would prefer that they ran a bit leaner through the thigh, but let’s not quibble about it for $29 bucks……)
Oh, and instead of wearing your shorts with flip flops, run over to Aldo, buy yourself the terry cloth shoe inserts, insert them in a pair of dress loafers and…… long story short, you will look perfectly hot.
Posted in fashion, parties, politics, Shopping, tagged anna wintour, barak obama, cathy horyn, fashion, Guy Trebay, inauguration 2009, isabel toledo, jason wu, michelle obama, narciso rodriguez, politics, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos, vogue on January 21, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
As of yesterday, there is a very good case to be made that, amid the rumors about whether Anna Wintour, the uber poweful editrix of Vogue magazine is about to be replaced, America’s new First Lady is now the de facto most important and powerful champion of American fashion.
Posted in Celebrities, fashion, tagged brooke burke, drew barrymore, evan rachel wood, golden globes 2009, january jones, jennifer lopez, kate winslet, laura liney, marissa tomei, mary louise parker, miley cyrus, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos, zac pozen on January 12, 2009 | 1 Comment »
Drew Barrymore, Marissa Tomei, Kate Winslet, January Jones, Laura Linney, Brooke Burke, Mary Louise Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Evan Rachel Wood and, dare I say it, Miley Cyrus.
That’s my list of the best dressed women at last nite’s Golden Globe’s presentation and I must confess it was a very easy list to make.
Let my list be a cautionary tale to designers who have the task of presenting their Fall 09 collections next month, Conventional wisdom has it that they will err on the side of caution and produce collections of all black clothes. But who needs any more black? As Zac Pozen proved with his brilliant pre-Fall collection, what we need now more than ever is quality of design, imagination and an uplift that only color can provide.
I bring this up because last night the black dress seemed a nearly outdated choice. As a matter of fact, four of the worst dressed women wore black: Tina Fey, Susan Sarandon and Sally Hawkins, Renee Zellweger. With the exception of the stunning tiered gown worn by Evan Rachel Wood and the drop dead gorgeous simplicity of Kate Winslet’s off-black strapless dress, everything else seemed like….. resale.
It wasn’t too many season’s ago when white was the refreshing color of choice on the red carpet, but the danger of a white gown–or even an off white gown– is that it can easily be mistaken for a wedding dress–Beyonce, Sandra Bullock, Kate Beckinsdale, Demi Moore--or even worse, as in Eva Mendez‘ case, a clamshell and in Angelina Jolie’s case, a dingy nightgown. Brooke Burke was a stunning exception to this line of thinking with a knockout pale cream goddess gown.
The only white dress that looked perfect to me was the one worn by Miley Cyrus. She looked appropriately grown up, evoking an elegant insouciance, unlike Blake Lively or America Ferrera who looked dowdy and completely age inappropriate.
There’s nothing like a jolt of color to lift the spirits and rid one of the blues— and through sheer irony 3 different and deepening shades of blue on Drew Barrymore, January Jones and Mary Louise Parker did the trick most impressively. (Whatever shade of blue was Maggie Gyllenhaal wearing in that print dress, you ask? Please, don’t remind me about the worst dress of the night when I’ve just told you about 3 of the best.)
And to round out the list, Laura Linney and Marissa Tomei glowed with the stunning elegance and confidence that comes from dressing for your age. But then, again, JLo looked stunning despite it.
Posted in Better Sex, fashion, Shopping, street style, tagged fall fashion, Marc by Marc Jacobs, spring 09 milan collections, spring 09 paris collections, tom kolovos on October 5, 2008 | 7 Comments »
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a blog about the “fall must haves” or the “top trends” or anything about those essential new purchases. I’ve not proposed any segment to the producers of the weekend news either, which would explain why you have not seen me on air at NBC5. (That may also explain why this morning some woman from the Northbrook Court mall did a marketing segment on boots for fall– a trend I told NBC viewers about last fall.)
It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for anyone (involved in any capacity in fashion) to keep a level head. It’s been trying for retailers who can’t budge merchandise off their shelves. It’s been trying for consumers who wish they had kept the receipts and the tags from their last few purchases.
And it’s been an epiphany for fashion critics who had to sit though the ill timed orgy that was Spring 09 fashion week in Milan and Paris. I cannot remember the last time I read fashion review after fashion review that was fraught with the meaning of life. Fashion reviews suddenly turned into tracts on sociology and freakonomics.
It turns out the state of the global economy is actually forcing most of us to take the meaning of everything, including fashion, seriously. That, at least, is seriously good news.
Thursday morning I flew to New York to meet with a client. Within minutes of landing at LaGuardia, a woman remarked “great pants!” For the rest of the day, hardly a half hour went by that someone, from people with whom I was doing business to strangers on the street, did not say the same thing. There was an audible stir, I kid you not, when I walked into Harry Cipriani on 5th Avenue for dinner. A very good looking twentysomething tried to pick me up later in the evening with the tried and true pickup line “love your pants.”
Okay, I thought the plaid wool pants were really great too which is the reason I plopped down $245 at Marc by Marc Jacobs in Bucktown several weeks ago. I have been secretly pining for the weather to get cold enough to wear them.
At the very moment I feared that fashion (and style) had suddenly become frivolous to everyone (especially to someone like myself who takes it seriously), those damn pants reminded me that fashion/style, or a keen eye for it, has the power to attract, command attention–respect even–and garner favors from corners near and far.
I’ve been making some version of that case to my clients for years. It’s nice to confirm for myself, in spite of the times we now live in, that I haven’t been blowing smoke up anyone’s skirt.
Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team
I have not blogged for almost 3 months and over the next few moths maybe I can find the time to tell you why.
Let’s start with why I’m back to begin with. Since I started blogging for nbc5.com, I’ve been posting my picks for the best and worst dressed celebs at the major awards shows. Hey, it’s frivolous fun and at the end of the day not a dumb thing to do when your website is called TheBestDressedList.com.
Since the Emmy Awards will be handed out tonite, I will post the obligatory list tomorrow.
But in a week in which the headlines have been about the surprise(?) enormous mismanagement of the U.S. economy and the reality that we face an international global economic collapse that would make the Great Depression look like a trip to Disneyland, I’ll be honest with you, the list of who is wearing what will be frivolous.
As an image consultant, I’m sometimes asked a really important question: “Can a client who has very little substance, make up for it by finessing great style?” Quite frankly I’m surprised I’m not asked this question more often. My answer is always: “No. Not in the long run.”
The reason I believe this to be true is because if great style, or any style at all, could be a substitute for substance, it would have to be based on smoke and mirrors, misrepresentations and, a word we are uncomfortable using publicly, lies. Eventually, the truth will come out and the charade is over.
Or maybe not. Maybe not if we all really want to collectively continue to believe the charade because it’s more comforting than the truth.
As I write this, I defy anyone to suggest to me that ordinary Americans have the slightest clue about the global economic implications of the last week. While I’m at it, I defy anyone in the Bush administration to have explained it to me sometime before this week.
It’s going to take a long time and, OMFG, a lot of my money and yours before the charade is exposed and we can go back to hitting our collective “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” snooze button.
Funny enough–well, funny only in a black comedy ( and I don’t mean The Jeffersons)– the political landscape in the country is facing an equally crucial wake up call. I had no idea how utterly naive it would seem in 2008, when it seemed perfectly logical in 2007, for me to tell USA Today that:
“This is an election, maybe the first one since Kennedy-Nixon, where appearance really does matter, because we have credible female, black, Hispanic candidates, style and substance may actually be competitive, or even equally important to the public.”
Suddenly, it doesn’t really matter how many sources have picked up that quote or in how many foreign languages. As of the day Sarah Palin joined the the Republican presidential ticket, substance has taken a seat at the very back of the political tour bus. How Ms. Palin, and therefore John McCain, has been packaged to the public in this election will make it possible for those of us who grapple with image, either for a living or academically, to think, rethink, publish, blog and (maybe even blush) for years to come.
After a lot of thought and head scratching, I have lots to say on the subject of image and politics in this election. I will share them with you in blog size bites in the next few week/months. (Yes, Marcus, I know this blog is too long….)
Enjoy the Emmys tonite.
Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, fashion, movies, music, parties, politics, TV, tagged Amy Spindler, barneys, Leona Lewis, michelle obama, narciso rodriguez, Sex and the City, The New York Times, The View, tom kolovos, USA Today, White House Black Market on June 19, 2008 | 5 Comments »
Oh my, how times (and The Times) have changed. Or maybe they haven’t. I wish Amy Spindler were still alive to sort through all of this for me.
It’s been 46 years since 1962 when Carole King wrote “He hit me and it felt like a kiss,” and 2008 when Leona Lewis sang the megahit “You cut me and I keep bleeding love.” Somewhere during that time there was a women’s movement(?).
It’s been been 46 years between Jacqueline Kennedy’s 1962 televised tour of the White House and Michelle Obama’s tour de force guest host appearance yesterday in a White House Black Market dress (retail value $150) on ABC’s “The View.”
Yesterday, Michelle Obama definitively made it clear to her critics– with humor, warmth and (dare I say it) that dress– that they better move on to an easier target.
If you listen to the conventional view, Ms. Obama has an image problem. Yesterday’s New York Times ran the front page story “After Attacks, Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction.”
She more than found that introduction on “The View,” where she was able to make good on her remark at the end of the article: “You know, if someone sat in a room with me for five minutes after hearing these rumors, they’d go ‘huh?’ They’d realize it doesn’t make sense.”
I won’t rehash the unfounded criticisms leveled against her–read for yourself, from any source you’d like–but I will put them in context for you.
I told USA Today last fall that “this is an election, maybe the first one since Kennedy-Nixon, where appearance really does matter. Because we have credible female, black, Hispanic candidates, style and substance may actually be competitive, or even equally important to the public.”
Comparisons to Jack and Jackie abound for Barak and Michelle. He gets compared to JFK for his political style and she to Jackie for her sense of style.
Last week, The Times ran the article “She dresses to Win” by Guy Trebay in its Style section. Mr. Trebay points out correctly that on the night her husband clinched the Democratic nomination “what grabbed the eye was the sleeveless purple silk crepe sheath made for Mrs. Obama by Maria Pinto.” She did indeed look stunning in that dress.
“But it was particularly the color Michelle Obama chose Tuesday night that seemed symbolically rich, even if its message may have been so subtle as to be subliminal.” The article makes the arguably misguided attempt to point out that that, despite the dress’ $900 price tag, purple might have been the color of choice because it is the color achieved by mixing blue and red (states, get it?).
I say arguably misguided because even I instantly thought that the populist, budget conscious, black and white sleeveless number she wore on “The View” was worn with such drop-dead-gorgeous-sans-culottes insouciance and was, therefore, so deliciously subversively ironic that it couldn’t have been accidental. Could it?
What I do know is that, while a woman of such accomplishment as Michelle Obama can be lauded for understanding the power of dressing, she cannot simplistically be reduced to the choices of her outfits. Yes, we all want to be considered people of substance and style. But, take it from someone who gets paid to make this call, it is a dangerous mistake to think that style is ever a lasting substitute for substance. Yes, it’s an advantage if you know how to use it to your benefit but that advantage has its limits.
I do wish the dimwits who were responsible for the film version of “Sex and the City” understood this. As Manohlia Dargis put it in her deservedly scathing review of the movie, “It isn’t that Carrie has grown older or overly familiar. It’s that awash in materialism and narcissism, a cloth flower pinned to her dress where cool chicks wear their Obama buttons, this It Girl has become totally Ick.”
And speaking of it, I’ve never been able to resist the opportunity to tell the following story because it is, well, irresistable. And suddenly pithy.
Three years ago, at a party given by Barney’s to benefit the Comer Children’s Hospital, Michelle Obama and the designer Narciso Rodriguez were the guests of honor. At that party I introduced her to Mr. Rodriguez as “the wife of Senator Obama.” She graciously corrected me by addressing Mr. Rodriguez: “Hello. I’m Michelle. I also work for the Children’s Hospital. Actually, I wear many hats.”
Thinking he’d get the joke I was about to make, I turned to Mr. Rodriquez and said “Do you make hats?” Perplexed, he looked at me and then at Michelle and said “No, but I can make you some really beautiful suits.” (I still wonder if he ever got the joke.)
The problem her critics have with Michelle Obama is that she is a woman of both style and substance. She is the coolest chick in the country wearing an Obama button.
In 2008, why is that such a bee in our collective bonnet when it should be a feather in her cap?
Posted in music, politics, things to do, TV, tagged Maria Tomasula, Meet the Press, NBC, Phyllis Hyman, The Daily Show, Tim Russert, tom kolovos, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery on June 15, 2008 | 1 Comment »
Life is strange. At 44 years of age, I’ve lived long enough to have buried a lover, a mother and a few hatchets.
Death is ever stranger. Especially the death of strangers.
I never met Phyllis Hyman but in 1995, when she committed suicide at the age of 45, I felt a very real sense of loss. That exact same sense of loss came over me again on Friday when I heard that Tim Russert had died from a heart attack.
I’ve never met Tim but he has been in my home on most Sunday mornings for something like 15 years. NBC’s “Meet the Press” has always been mandatory viewing for me even as I have found the amount of television that I care to watch has changed in inverse proportion to the number of channels on the cable box. (“Deal or no Deal?” Are you kidding me? No, seriously, are you kidding me?)
I don’t know about you but I live in a world where all the network weekday morning news programs have morphed into infotainment; a world in which the real news on the evening news is that America is still not ready for a female anchor let alone a female president; a world in which the cable news channels offer programming and personalities mostly reminiscent of the WWF; and a world where, Monday through Thursday, the only real news analysis can be found on “The Daily Show.”
Phyllis Hyman was one of the best vocalists ever to make music. Her “Greatest Hits” and her penultimate record, the masterful 1991 “Prime of My Life,” are primers on how to sing any songbook (or phonebook). “Gonna Make Changes” on the former and the title track on the latter were, it turns out, as cruel a choice of words as can be found in life’s playbook.
Tim Russert was quite possibly the last practitioner of intelligent broadcast journalism. Presidents, Princes (of Darkness known as Cheney) and Kings will still have occasion to meet the press, but it’s difficult to imagine (today) that, without Tim presiding, it will evermore be done with such diligence or accountability.
I began by saying that life is strange. How strange, you ask? Well, walk this way.
Just last week I walked into Zolla/Lieberman Gallery and saw the most ravishing painting by Chicago native Maria Tomasula. I’ve known and admired her work since 1995, but her newest painting “Royalty,” is something to behold. (You must see it in person because the reproduction here does it, and her talent, no justice.)
I intended to devote a whole blog next week to the exhibit of her work, but I found myself thinking today that her own description of this exceptional piece is a more fitting tribute to the legacy of Tim Russert (or any of our dearly departed) than I could have come up with myself. She writes:
This painting began as a meditation on the relationship between being and not being and how that relationship is imagined by different people. For some people, death is the end of life on earth but the beginning of something else. [T]his painting advocates the idea that death is final, and that while death (represented by the skull) is crowned with an image of life (the halo of fruits emphasizing succulence, sensation, fecundity, pleasure), the skull is at the center, irrevocable and final. But, for me, this isn’t a cause for lamentation. Instead, it is to say that our paradise is in this life that we live right now. And far from being simply an advocacy of hedonism, for me, there is a call for responsible action imbedded in this view. If this life is it, as far as we know, then we have a responsibility to do everything we can to bring into existence the most just society we can, because if we want to enjoy our lives, we want to do so in a society that makes the pleasures of life accessible not only to us but to the greatest number of people possible.
The exhibition of Ms. Tomasula’s work runs through August 23rd at 325 West Huron in Chicago.
Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team
Hands down, J Crew has the best mass market women’s collection of the spring season with beautiful colors and refined vintage shapes that are as easy on the eye as they are on the pocketbook. I defy any woman (unless it’s Morticia Adams) to walk out of there empty handed.
(By the way, the worst collection is at the Gap. Prairie skirts? Are you kidding me?)
Here are my my favorite/must have items at J Crew. Check out their website but be aware the stores and the (beautifully styled) catalog offer a greater variety of items.
1. The City Fit cafe capri.It comes in solids, in a killer black and white check print and this Lilly Pulitzer inspired print, $88. The new capri ends 3 or 4 inches above the ankle bone. No matter what anybody else tells you, anything shorter looks positively ghastly and outdated.
2. The Polkadot Lana top. A beautifully cut vintage inspired sleeveless silk top that can be worn equally well under a suit or with jeans. It comes in 3 color combinations, $88.
3. The Brushsroke bateau top. Another vintage inspired shape. Very Laura Petrie. It comes in rose or sky blue, $74.
4. The Brushstroke print Sydney dress. It comes in lavender and navy in both regular and petites. One of the most gorgeous dresses anywhere at any price, $168.
5. The LaJolla print cardigan. Woven so it’s as lightweight as a t shirt but it’s a cardigan! Layer it or wear it alone, it comes in several delicious colors, $88.
I’d love to hear what are your favorite finds of the season. Don’t be shy…..
Just so the guys don’t feel left out, I thought I’d share with you what I have been buying for myself and for my male clients so we can look oh so cool as the weather (finally) warms up.
1. The off white blazer. It’s the transformational piece of the summer. It has the formality of a dinner jacket, but it’s made of cotton and, ideally, it’s a bit cropped and tight to the body. Dress it down with jeans and wear it everywhere you want to look “oh so cool.” Think Ashton Kutcher on the cover of Details.
Buy the Gucci one he’s wearing if your budget allows. I bought the version from Philip Lim 3.1 (shown here) for $695 at Jake on Oak Street. It feels amazing on! Banana Republic makes a shawl collared version from their Heritage Collection for $375.
2. The skinny tie. If you must wear a tie, it should be a skinny one or at the very least much skinnier than the one you are most probably currently wearing. Unless you shop in the big and tall department, your tie should be no more than 2 inches in width, and this summer, preferably in a bold rep pattern. Try Jil Sander, Z Zegna, Theory, Band of Outsiders or Dries Van Noten.
I can’t live without my Band of Outsiders ties, which you can find at Barneys, Apartment Number 9 and Jake. For summer I bought a silk cream and yellow rep stripe by Dries van Noten at Barneys, $155. I also bought a red and white horizontal stripe knit tie from Alexandre Savile Row, $95, at Macy’s State Street. Both of them look amazing with a white shirt! (See #5 below.)
3. The trainer shoe. This summer I can’t live without Puma’s AMQ canvas street low top designed by Alexander McQueen, $200. Only 100 pairs were made and they are available at Saks (while supplies last, as they say.)
4. The terry cloth shoe insert. Unless you are at work, you don’t have to/shouldn’t wear socks in the warm weather months–even with dress shoes. Buy yourself several pairs of the “Cool Off” terry cloth shoe inserts from Aldo, $6.99. They will absorb the sweat and smell from your bare feet, and you can throw them in the wash like socks. Pure genius. Consider this must have a gift from me to you!
5. The narrow collar trim fit white dress shirt. Enough said. It’s the only shirt that looks right now. Just go buy one that fits that exact description.
6. The trim fit polo. Hugo Boss Orange Label at the flagship store on Michigan Avenue carries the best one of the season in 3 colors, black with blue sleeve detail, brown with yellow and cream with gray. Peer polo, $75.
7. The pinstripe white cotton pant. Wear it casually with a polo or throw a black sportcoat over it with a white shirt. Either way, you look completely appropriate when you need to navigate the vast wasteland between jeans and dress pants. You can find the “Producer” pant at Express for $39.50. But the best one can be found at Club Monaco. I bought myself and my clients the Ethan model with black stripe, $129. It comes already cuffed, which makes it look sleek and ultra cool.
8. The ribbon belt. If you don’t want to wear a tie, you can still look polished if you wear a ribbon belt instead of a leather one. Club Monaco makes 7 different colors, $39.
9. The skinny black jean. You don’t have to pay a lot for a great one. Express has the best pair around for $99. Just steam out the creative wrinkling. I’ve bought them for all my clients and they love them. The find of the summer, for me, is the midnight blue mineral wash stretch denim at American Apparel for $68. I’m going to live in that pair all summer.
10. Anything in Yves Klein blue. Try the J Lindeberg golf shirt at Stockholm Objects in Hinsdale, $96, or my pick, the Oliver Striped ribbon belt at Club Monaco for $39.
And guys, let me know what you can’t live without this season……
Walk into any women’s fashion retailer this spring and summer, and you’ll be struck by the candy colors and bold prints. This will not be the summer of the little black dress.
If you’re overwhelmed by the choices out there and want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely in this rocky economy, here are some practical tips on how to wear color and pattern.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WEAR, YOU DONT KNOW TOM!
Posted in fashion, Gay, history, music, politics, Shopping, street style, Stupid, tagged fashion, hipster, rant, style, the fashion vampiress, TheBestDressedList.com, tom kolovos on April 22, 2008 | 6 Comments »
Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team
I owe John Galliano an apology.
I’ve never really been one that cared much for the theatrics of fashion. I’m far more impressed by the actual garments and their construction, fit and wearability. Many of the fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris are not presentations of visionary design but bi-annual excercizes in egotistical masturbation for coked up designers, models, fashion editors and assorted courtesans.
Gosh Tom, you say, doesn’t that sound fun?
Apparently, not anymore to Donatella Versace who, having recently kicked her decade/s long habit with blow, produced the most extraordinary spring couture show in recent memory.
One of my absolute favorite designers, the late Franco Moschino, used to call the whole idea of runway presentations “the fashion vampiress” because it really does suck the blood out of real creativity when you have to present a collection regardless of whether you have anything worthwhile to present.
Today, a client sent me an AP article on the polygamist wives and it brought to mind two of my least favorite designers, John Galliano and Marc Jacobs. (Yes, I am a fashion heretic.)
I’ve never really cared for Galliano’s vision of how women should dress and all the theatrics he engages in on his runway for Dior have never been able to distract me from that point . (As Leann Womak once sang, “I just hate her, I’ll think of a reason later.”)
I can be much more direct about my dislike for Marc Jacobs. Copying other people’s work (sure, you can call it paying homage, if you want to look the other way) and putting your label on it year after year, collection after collection is not my idea of genius. Oh, that reminds me to CC Tory Burch on this.
So, enter the polygamist wives, who are apparently taking their fashion cues from Ann B. Davis’ character Alice on “The Brady Bunch.” Some of us fashion buzzards are wondering how influential their look might become, given that “inspiration” in fashion is serendipitous.
Alluding to Mr. Jacobs’ penchant for “homage,” Susan Cernek, the fashion editor of glam.com wrote that the womens’ look “sounds like a good Holloween costume…or Marc Jacobs Spring ’09.”
Well, I’ve got news for Ms. Cernek. John Galliano beat him to the punch(line) in his Dior Spring ’07 collection. It was a collection so dreary, one wonders whether he was way ahead of the rest of us by researching fundamentalist Mormon sects. Maybe, just maybe, I’m wrong about him and the man is a visionary and a psychic!
Read the AP story on cnn.com which does a good job of explaining some of the sociopolitical aspects of these womens’ appearance and a review I wrote of the Dior exhibit when it appeared at The Chicago History Museum.