Posts Tagged ‘harper’s bazaar’

Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

“Are you sure you’re just a fashion writer?” reads one of the comments on my  recent blog about Michelle Obama’s appearance on “The View.” I’ll take the compliment, thank you very much, but I’ll feign outrage: Just a fashion writer? Just a fashion writer? Just?

Just as Harper’s Bazaar produced it’s worst issue ever, just as Christie Brinkley can’t resist another ugly public divorce, just as I’m waiting for Steven Meisel’s 100 page photoshoot in Italian Vogue which exclusively features black models to arrive on these shores, my copy of the July issue of W has arrived at my door.

This issue is a must read for anyone concerned about the intersection of image, politics and the corporate world, (even if only a handfull of Bruce Weber’s photos in the otherwise cliche 36 page photo shoot are worth your time. Check out the real treat of David Slijper’s photographs instead.)

First up is “Party Time,” pp. 46-50, an exceptionally thoughtful piece on how international political leaders use and understand the power of dressing.  The deputy mayor of Paris, Christophe Girard, makes the point I make all the time. (Smart guy, he. And not just a fashion writer.) “Political life is no longer separated from real life, and political women and men know their image matters like [those of] a model or an actor to attract the public. But it’s a real danger when politicians are more concerned about their image than their ideas.”

Next, there’s “Money Honeys,” starting on page 64, about the hedge fund industry’s use of pretty young women and even models as “marketing executives”  which “has  become all but synonymous with a blonde in Theory trousers.” It’s a fascinating read into what amounts to the semi-prostitutional nature of “corporate work” for women in the financial sector.

And finally, the always fabulous and priceless pseudonym protected Louise J. Esterhazy, p.116, will confess that she “can never be president. Of course, the main stumbling block is that I’m Austrian. But it turns out there’s an even greater impediment: I’m an elitist. And what’s wrong with that?”

I suggest you spend your weekend catching up on your reading, especially since the gay Pride parade this year won’t be worth attending  just because Dick Devine retired (from his position as Cook County State’s Attorney and thus will not be atop anyone’s float. Alas, hope floats–away. Dick, you will be sorely missed!).


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Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

If you ask me, and people ask me everyday, what I think is the best independent boutique in Chicago, I will tell you, without any hesitation, that it’s Helen Yi. As a matter of fact, I refer to her store as Bergdorf’s in Bucktown.

I know that any day I have to go to shop for a client at Helen Yi it’s going to be a great day.

rubin, helen, michael and models
In my line of work, I’m forced to weed through junk on a daily basis. Overpriced, unflattering, poorly edited, unwearable and just plain ugly clothes are everywhere. I leave most stores on most days wondering (aloud) whether the owner/buyer lacks any sense or opposable thumbs.

Often I find myself wondering whether or not Stevie Wonder picks and merchandises the clothes. My best guess on most days is, yes, he does. (Oh, and since Japanese is not one of the three languages I speak fluently, can someone confirm for me that “akira” means junk?)

I met Helen three years ago when I styled Michelle Obama for the cover for Today’s Chicago Woman. Helen had the only merchandise in town worthy of that project. ( I put Michelle in Paul Smith for Women.)

If you don’t know Helen, what you need to know about her is that she has an unfaltering eye for design and the best personal style of any woman in Chicago. I could go on and on about her but let me tell you why the trunk show she hosted on Thursday nite for the New York designer Rubin Singer speaks volumes about her.

michael, alli, rubin and models
Remember that name. Rubin Singer. In August you will see Alicia Keys wearing his design on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. In the fall, you will be able to buy his exquisite clothes exclusively at Helen Yi. (The day after you walk out of the store you will be sending me a love letter for this blog.)

If you’re jaded by most “fashion,” if you love fashion (and, if like Sammy Davis Junior, you have a really good eye) you need to know about Rubin. He is a supremely talented designer on the cusp of major stardom in a country that has precious few designers who deserve it. Each of his pieces for Fall 08 is a wearable love poem to the female form.  

(The design world should be collectively quoting Pheobe Snow to Rubin. “Talk to me some more/you don’t have to go/you’re the Poetry Man/You make things all right.”) Click on the images here to enlarge.

Rubin is a third generation master tailor. His father’s and grandfather’s ouvre is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Pushkin Museum in Russia. At 29 years old, he designs one of a kind prints which put most major design houses to shame and he cuts and drapes fabric in ways that, in a few years, could put the designers he most admires, Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler, Gianfranco Ferre, to shame as well.

So leave it to Helen Yi to bring Rubin Singer to Chicago. Enough said.


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