Fashionable People at New York Fashion Week…the Last One (A/W ’10)


So it was February, #$#$@’in freezing, snowing, and still the most fabulously fashionable people turned up in droves.  Since I’m not there this time around to document, maybe you’d like to see those people from last time (in February, for the Autumn/Winter 2010 shows) who were just so awesome-looking, I had to snap photos of them.

Shail Upadhya


 Suit: Self-designed

A familiar face in the tents season after season for the last 10 years, the former U.N. representative (!) now works as a stylist to politicians and Wall Street players.  He turned out at the Ecco Domani show to support fellow Nepali Prabal Gurung (fashion’s new IT-boy, according to The Daily).  Last season spotted wearing a Sharpie-decorated suit at the shows, Upadhya came up with the painted suit as his central concept for this most recent Fashion Week.  “I always think if Matisse was a designer instead of a painter, what would his clothes look like?” he said, in reference to the white suit with the patches of lime green paired with the yellow shirt and pop art tie.  He hopes to launch a line soon that reflects his fashion philosophy, and says that he can’t choose a favorite from anything in his closet because “they’re all my babies!”

Dahlia Al Ghunaim

{Creative Director,}

Coat: Rick Owens.  Leggings: Zara. Shoes: Aldo. Bag: Balenciaga. Ring: Vivienne Westwood. Minx manicure.

Where do you get your fashion inspiration?

Since I’m the Creative Director of, I’m constantly scouring the web for ideas, so it’s no surprise that my fashion inspiration comes from there as well…I’d also have to commend my mother for walking me and my sisters through the basics of style at a young age, her teachings beat any book out there!

Favorite designers?

They differ from season to season, but mostly Preen,  Phillip Lim, Stella McCartney, and Sass & Bide.  Undiscovered gems that I’m digging are: Unique (a sub-brand by Topshop) and Brigid Catiis.

Any advice for other people on how to be fabulously stylish like yourself?

My only advice would be to follow your instinct.  Fashion is about self-expression!

Rosemary Ponzo

{Designer, Actress, Writer, Creative Muse Rosemary Ponzo Designs}


Hat: from Henri Bendel. Necklace: House of Lavande. Velvet Coat with Dyed Sable: Self-designed; a costume piece from an off-Broadway production of “Auntie Mame.” Over-the-Knee Boots: Prada

My fashion philosophy: Having a passion for fashion!

Can you tell us what inspires your fabulous style?

Having an imagination and [marching to the beat of] my own drum.  I like to wear what I like to wear.  I do get my inspirations from many fashions but then I put my own spin on it.

Favorite Designers:

TonyCohen was amazing, and I was very, very impressed with Vera Wang this year.

Any advice for other people how to be stylish?

Take a chance, switch things around a bit, and use your imagination!  Give it some thought instead of just throwing things on.

Lynn Yaeger

{Fashion Journalist, Writer}


Coat: Comme de Garcons coat with a J. Mendel collar. Reindeer Sweater: Vintage. Lace Blouse: Anthropologie. Bag: Lanvin. Outer Skirt: Comme de Garcons. Tulle Skirt: “bought in Paris in some cheap store.” Tights: Wolford. Slippers: Discount Dance (“that you buy online for $22 but they look like Yohji!”)

What’s your style philosophy?

Ignore all trends, just have fun and do what you want and don’t worry what anybody thinks about you.  And don’t spend a lot!

Favorite Designers this Week:

I was fascinated by Rodarte…Marchesa was such a beautiful show…but I’m gonna go to London; I’m gonna go to Paris, so I’m going to see a lot!

Any advice for the rest of us on how to be fabulously stylish like yourself?

Just be brave…reeeeeeeallly brave.  Brave is the secret!

Gary Alexander


Brown Velvet Jacket: Zara. Jodhpurs: Ralph Lauren. Spats: Miller

What’s your style philosophy?

Keep it simple, keep it basic, and keep it conservative.

Favorite designers:

Ralph Lauren: my absolute, FAVORITE.

Any advice for the rest of us on how to be fabulously stylish like yourself?
Just don’t get too caught up in trends or things that won’t last.

Douglas Keisler

{Editor, Essential Homme Magazine}


Hat: Custom-made at San Francisco Fashion Week. Vest: Vintage. Coat: Paul Smith. Belt: Playboy. Boots: DIY (cowboy boots spray-painted gold)

How do you define personal style?

Style should be what suits the individual, what someone feels comfortable with, and always make a statement!

Favorite designers?

Isaac [Mizrahi], of course…and Alexander McQueen, without a doubt.

Any fashion advice for the rest of us?

Always accessorize!

Cognac Wellerlane

{TV Host, Entertainment Journalist, Fashion Editor,}

Mink Coat: SAGA. Dress: Designed for her by Vladi Couture. Leggings: H&M. Bag: Baby Phat

What is your Style Philosophy?

I get inspiration from the people in New York, from the designers…[my style is] the collaboration of many designers and looks thrown together.

Favorite designers?

Ralph Lauren, Betsey Johnson, and Vladi Couture – he’s up-and-coming.

Any styling advice for us?

Keep to simple, straight colors that blend together like charcoals and blacks…that’s the big trend for Fall 2010: a little silver, maybe a little copper mixed in….silvers and grays go very well together.

P.S. I wrote this article for…and it never posted!  Such a bummer.  So I’m sharing it here, majorly after the fact…but I hope you will forgive:-)  I wonder if these fashionistas will be at Lincoln Center this time around??


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Tommy Hilfiger on Success, Romance & Donuts (Our Fab Backstage Interview!)

Tommy hilfiger backstage interview

We recently interviewed Tommy Hilfiger backstage at his Fall 2010 show in New York…and found out that he is a true romantic, digs donuts, and can spell!

Listen to the interview below:

Or read the transcript:

Fashiontribes: What’s your philosophy to being successful in life?
Tommy Hilfiger: Never give up. Think positive.

FT: Favorite travel destination?
TH: The Caribbean.

FT: You have 2 minutes to pack – what do you bring?
TH: Jeans, button-down shirt, sneakers.

FT: If you were a type of junk food, what would you be?
TH: A Dunkin’ Donut.

FT: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?
TH: Flew my wife from Monaco over here, before we were married – and asked her to marry me!

FT:  Are you a typical Aries?
TH: Yes.

FT: Adventurous and energetic; selfish and quick-tempered; pioneering and courageous?
TH: I’m not quick-tempered; I’m not that selfish because I share with my family and my children…but all the rest of it, yes.

FT: How do you spell happiness?
TH: H-a-p-p-i-n-e-s-s.

– Carly J. Cais, Contributing Editor

As written for

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Don’t Buy – DIY! A Fabulously Faux Fur Wrap. I Die.

done   Blame it on Rachel Zoe and that fabulous vintage fox fur hip-length vest. The F/W 2010 runways followed suit, and fur – both real & faux – abounded. Designers such as Barbara Bui, Antonio Berardi, and Christian Dior made faux fur a must-have, while the release of Spike Jonze’s “Where the Wild Things Are” in October 2009 put all things furry front & center. But why buy when you can easily DIY?  This stole is a quick and easy project – very Marilyn Monroe-fabulous, and totally guilt-free. Here’s how:

You Need:
*a piece of faux fur, at least 45″ wide by 12″ tall (this Tissavel faux fur is high quality, has a plush feel and super-luxurious hand)
*piece of satin or poly acetate for the lining, same size
*matching thread
*large sew-on snap set
*brooch (optional)
*24″ of satin ribbon cut into two 12″ pieces for a ribbon-tie (optional)
*box cutter or razor blade
*sewing machine
*needle for wovens
*skewer or knitting needle
*hand-sewing needle

CUT OUT THE FABRIC PIECES:step11.Cut the faux fur. First, though, a tip about cutting any kind of fur, both real & fake: never ever use scissors, or cut from the front (fur) side. Why not? Because you’ll chop right through the fur itself, giving it a weird-looking “haircut” that will make your finished piece look anything but. (Nobody, not even a fur stole, wants to wear a fur mullet. 😉 To cut like a pro, turn the fur over so the underside is facing upward; this is also the time to make sure the nap is laying down (ie. all the fur hairs are pointing down toward the bottom of your stole).  Then use the box cutter or razor blade to delicately cut out a rectangle that is at least 12″ wide and 45″ long. By making it 10-15″ longer, you can wrap your stole scrunchie-style around your neck, belt it, or even rock it halter-style vest, cinched together with a fabulous statement belt.

2. Use the box cutter or razor to round off the corners.

3. Cut the lining: The cut-fur piece will act as your template when you cut out the satin lining. First place the cut-fur piece onto the satin, fur side down against the back side of the satin. Then carefully cut out the satin lining, taking care to not accidentally trim off any of the fur.


4. Place fur and lining right-sides together (ie. fur side next to the shiny side of the satin), and match up the corners. Pin together.  Tip: Satin is slippery when you sew it, so be sure to pin in more places than you think you will need…you can’t overpin!

Optional: Add a ribbon-tie using a 12″ piece of ribbon attached to each side of the faux fur, the end of each ribbon piece sandwiched between the lining and the fur.  (The long end of the ribbon needs to sit inside the pinned stole pieces.)  Pin the ends of the ribbon down to the edges.

5. Sew the fur to the lining, Starting about 3/8″ to 1/2″ in from the edge (your seam allowance), sew the fur to the lining – but not all the way around. Along the bottom, leave about 6″ unsewn.

6. Around the sewn edge, trim away the excess fur.

7. To turn the piece right side out, pull it through the 6″ gap you left unsewn (in Step 5). Optional: If you added a ribbon tie (Step 4), the ribbons will now be on the outside of your stole and serve as closure ties.

8. Finish the remaining 6″ unsewn edge by gently tucking the excess 3/8″-1/2″ faux fur and the lining fabric into the hole.  Close the hole by topstitching as close to the finished edge as you can.


9. Use a skewer, pencil, or knitting needle to pick the fur hairs out of the edge seams.

10. Try on the stole and decide where you want to place the closure. Mark it with a pin.

11. Hand-sew a large snap onto your piece.  (If you made a ribbon-tie, this won’t be necessary.)

Optional: Decorate the front with a large, eye-catching brooch.

You’re done!

For a “I’m headed to the opera” look, wear your stole draped glamorously around your shoulders; to look more Russian-Anastasia, scrunch up closer to your neck. Mix it up with other faux furs in gray, leopard, or even multicolored – sells high quality faux fur yardage, while Cornelia James and Charly Calder both sell chic finished items – and enjoy a fashionable walk on the wild side.

And yes, you look bananas in it!

Happy DIY’ing!
-Carly J. Cais, Contributing Editor

(as contributed to

A note about this piece: I actually started out doing a DIY for a faux-fur vest, and then discovered a tute at P.S. I Made This – which I thought was so fantastic I lost the will to do mine.  So if you want to do a vest – try those instructions out – can’t go wrong with just cutting and wearing!:-)

Have fun any way you try your flirt with the faux!

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Cutting Edge Eco Chic Innovation in Clothing Production & Design

Eco-aware fashionistas already know that cotton is a singularly un-green & spectacularly wasteful crop, requiring more pesticides than almost any other crop and over 400 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce but a single t-shirt. Similarly, they embrace dying methods that use no water (like the Air Dry Dye method popularized by alottosay tees), non-chemical plant-based dyes, and silkscreening that relies on soy inks which produce no toxic byproducts.

However, here are a few new innovations in clothing production that you might not yet be familiar with:


Zero Waste Clothing Although garment factories place pattern pieces as closely together as possible, an average of 15% of the fabric used in the production of clothing is still discarded as scraps. The Zero Waste movement is attempting to reduce this percentage to nothing by constructing garments with pattern pieces that interlock, like a giant jigsaw – using any fabric that does end up on the cutting room floor as trim and for embellishments. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, clothing made this way is not ill-fitting nor strangely shaped; it is, however, cheaper to manufacture and to cut.  Practiced by current Parsons instructor Timo Rissanen, the Zero Waste movement in the fashion industry is spearheaded by former Rissanen student Mark Liu, the winner of the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Innovation Award. By creating garments via the Zero Waste principle, these innovators are proving that fashion and eco-sustainability are no longer mutually exclusive concepts.

“Production” on Demand Lengthy wait-lists for the overpriced “it” item of the moment tend to get the most press, but the truth is that the fashion world is actually plagued by over-production. Design houses order countless garments from factories and typically, they don’t sell out completely; because there’s just not enough demand, remaining items move to discount stores, off-price stores, and eventually overseas. To counteract this excess of merch flooding the marketplace, New York-based clothing line SANSdownloadable patterns from their line for $6 to $20 apiece – to make yourself or take to a tailor – giving consumers the option of making an item on demand. By producing it yourself locally, the carbon footprint is smaller, the cost cheaper, and the item less likely to be tossed out. “When you have a piece that you made yourself, you relate to it differently. You value it differently,” notes Lika Volkova, designer of SANS. For a good selection of downloadable patterns, try, one of the largest online sources of free and affordable patterns (their most expensive is $7.50). Even the most “overpriced” patterns (hello Vogue patterns at $18 each!) are still a relative steal: add a yard or three of fabric, (designer tip: buy fabric in odd numbers – 1, 3 or 5 yards for items like a top, skirt/pants, or suit respectively), plus your time – and you’ll end up with a finished price for around $30-$50. And should you decide to splurge on really opulent & pricey designer fabric – you’ll still enjoy a much higher quality, better fitting garment or outfit for much, much less. has begun offering

Eco-Friendly Fastenings Most of us give little thought to the snaps, grommets, hooks, zippers and plastic or metal buttons that fasten our clothing…and eventually find their way into landfills. One solution is to purchase clothing made with no metal fastenings, such as wrap shirts, kimono-style jackets, tops with frog closures, ribbons, or stretchy jersey. For woven sheath dresses or more structured items, look for either the Natulon zipper from YKK, made from recycled PET polyester, or their biodegradable ReEarth zipper made from corn and other plant materials. Both are considered eco-friendly and low-impact, as are buttons and fastenings made from natural materials such as wood, bamboo, and nuts. Find them at eco-friendly retailers like and The Green Loop.

Designed by You to Last The trouble with “fast” fashion is that it’s cheap and disposable; when we consider how little we paid for something along with the fact we no longer wear it – we simply get rid of it. However, if your closet was filled with pieces that you helped design – choosing everything from fabrics, to silhouette, to trim – it would be a lot less likely to get tossed. At StyleShake, for as little as $78, you can design and customize your own dress, and receive your made-to-order piece in about 2 weeks. For younger fashionistas, FashionPlaytes lets girls design everything from hoodies to leggings to bags using their own graphics or elements from the site. Alternatively, est.Today, Zazzle & CafePress are all great resources for customizing tees, tracksuits, aprons, and even housewares (clocks, mugs, tiles, cards, ornaments).

UpCyling What Already Exists One of the easiest ways to be fashionably eco is by not buying anything new. New products require raw materials which, no matter how sustainable or green, require some mix of energy, water, and human labor to produce. Refashioning what already exists is as eco chic as can be…starting with your own closet. To get some great ideas and tutorials on how to revamp what you already have, check out,, and The best part of DIY? It puts your stamp where it belongs: on your things instead the environment.

The More You Know Info is power, especially with respect to eco-friendly issues. Some of our fave go-to sources include Green Grechen, EcoStiletto, the GirlieGirl Army, Eco Fashion World, White Apricot, and Ecouterre – all of which will keep your look – and outlook – fashionably sustainable.


Carly J. Cais, Contributing Editor

(image at top)

As written for

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Don’t Buy – D.I.Y.! A Fantastic ShinkyDink Plastic Necklace

80s huge plastic necklaces

While the economic news of the past couple of seasons has been somber & depressing, accessories have been anything but! Bold, funky, colored, and exuberant pieces crafted from unusual, low-end materials like plastic, acrylic have a larger-than-life 80’s feel but with modern, penny-pinching sensibilities – the perfect counterpoint to a sleek dress or structured, tweedy suit. Inspired by the likes of Marni and Alex + Chloe, we’ve put together this little D.I.Y. so you can outfit yourself with bold shapes cut out of shrink plastic and layered with mirror for the ultimate Eighties Revival Necklace.

This is what you’ll need:

*shrink plastic (found at the craft store or online at; we chose the pack of Ultra Thick Misty White shrink plastic for about $7)
*sheet of cuttable mirrored plastic (craft store or online at
*glue (like GOOP)
*jump rings
*chain necklace
*sheet of cardboard (if using an oven to bake the shrink plastic), or a heat gun
*awl, thick needle, or other sharp instrument



1. Cut the shrink plastic into your desired shapes (such as randomly-sized triangles) to make pendant backings. Remember: Your plastic will shrink to about 45% of its original size – so cut almost twice as large as you want the finished piece to be!

2. Bake pieces in oven (or using heat gun) according to package directions.

3. Allow to cool. When cool, trace pendant shapes onto wrong side of a sheet of mirrored plastic.

4. Cut out mirrored plastic and glue onto shrunk plastic pendant backings.

80s necklace how to


5. Using an awl, thick needle, or other sharp tool (it works best when heated), poke a hole at the top of each of your pendant pieces.

6. Add jumprings and attach to chain necklace.

VOILA! A girl can never have too many shiny, mirrored things in her life! Pair over a white tee and some dark skinny jeans for a rocker, glam-girl vibe; layer under tangled chains and rhinestones for a Renaissance revival; or let it stand on its own as a statement necklace with a gorge printed wrap dress.

Rather not do all the cutting and baking yourself? Order your pendant pieces ready-made at, where you can get your own sheets of mirrored plastic, acrylic, vinyl, or balsa wood lasercut to your specifications. String onto a necklace or earrings and enjoy your creation – or even sell your finished products through their marketplace.

TIP: Don’t be afraid to experiment further with shrink plastic! Besides making pendants, you can also form bracelets and rings, make tags and charms, craft buttons, curl it over while warm to create 3D shapes…the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. You can stamp it, paint it, airbrush it, lacquer it, decoupage it, marble it, or add crystals or heat-fix studs. It’s a really interesting medium that lends itself superbly to a variety of different designs – and allows you to mimic the look of designer accessories for very little investment.

Happy DIY’ing!

-Carly J. Cais, Contributing Editor

(as posted on FashionTribes)


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