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Ultrasuede: A Flashback to the 70s with Halston

If disco fever, Studio 54, and pillbox hats are more than a distant memory, put on your Halston dress and go see the film, Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston.

Whitney Sudler-Smith and Julie Spira

This week, the Costume Council of LACMA along with support from?Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth and David Netto, Katherine Ross, Cameron Silver, Angelique Soave, and Alexandra Von Furstenberg, presented the west coast premiere of the documentary film by?Whitney Sudler-Smith. Following the film, guests were treated to a reception in the Los Angeles Times Center Court at the museum.

We had the opportunity to remember Halston, America’s first celebrity designer, and hum a few songs, including “Big Shot” by Billy Joel and “Le Freak (Freak Out)” by Chic. Joel included a line in his song, “You were all impressed with your Halston dress” in his 52nd Street album and Chic’s song was inspired by a night the disco band couldn’t make it past the roped off line at Studio 54 for their own appearance.

It was Halston, they said, who gave birth to ultrasuede in the U.S. It was Halston, himself who said, “You are as good as the people you dress.” I arrived wearing the only ultrasuede dress I could find in my closet.

Authors, Judith Krantz and Julie Spira

The film starts with Liza Minnelli, wearing her velvet Halston pants, talking about her personal relationship with the designer. Minnelli wore a yellow Halston dress when she accepted the Academy Award for Cabaret. We are reminded that Halston created the first pillbox hat for Jackie Kennedy for the Presidential Inauguration.

From his start at the Halston department at Bergdorf Goodman, where women were required to wear hats, through the decadent days at Studio 54, the film covered it all. Clearly, the 70s belonged to Halston.

Among the others interviewed in the film, were?Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field, who shared her story on how she dressed Sarah Jessica Parker in Halston in an episode where Carrie was dating a politician. Fields said, “It was a play on Jackie O.” Angelica Huston shared some of her runway moments and we

Other attendees included designers James Galanos and Kevan Hall, author Judith Krantz, and Alexandra von Furstenberg, whose mother Diane appeared in the film.

Hip Sunglasses for Spring

Ray-Ban SunglassesIn my excitement of the arrival of spring, I found a neglected drawer filled with Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses that had been retired many years ago.

My enthusiasm resulted in a glow, as the famous brand is now back in style in a big way. Ray-Ban sunglasses have been seen on celebrities including Katie Holmes, David Beckham, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Jessica Alba. If you aren’t as lucky as I am to have a collection of your own, visit??Zappos where you can pick up a pair for the spring season.

Ray-Ban – 2132 New Wayfarer (Red/Tortoise/B-15XLT Lens) – Eyewear

Price: From $109.00. Shelf-life: Never-ending

FIDM Debut 2010 Runway Show

It’s on the calendar every year. Those with a passion for fashion on the west coast anxiously await for the Fashion Week every March.

One of the treats leading up to Fashion Week is the FIDM Debut Runway show. It’s an exciting time for the students at FIDM, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. ?Over?10,000 people view the invitation-only runway show over a period of 3 days.

I attended the dress rehearsal along with other members of the Costume Council of LACMA as one our annual events.

The theme this year included FIDM’s Theatre Costume Design presentation: “FIDM goes to the movies – A Tribute to Judy and Liza,” complete with 2 Judy and Liza impersonators, a chorus line, ?and film clips from their famous movies including, Easter Parade and The Wizard of Oz.

The event is supported by Industry Leaders and the business community. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the FIDM Scholarship Foundation. The event showcases exciting and unique collections from FIDM’s graduating students in Fashion Design, Theatre Costume Design, Interior Design, Textile Design, and Graphic Design Advanced Study Program.

Along with the excitement and festivities for Fall Fashion Week scheduled for March 17-24, 2010, I think I’ll do a bit of spring cleaning in my closet.

Fringe Frenzy

The fringe look is back in the fashion world, although I am wondering if it ever left. ?Accessorizing with fringe can be fun, flirty, and even sophisticated. It’s a fashion statement that you can dress up or down. Here are a few of my favorites to indulge in from head to toe this season.?Try wearing one of these styles on your next online date.

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Calvin Klein – Tiered Fringe Dress

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Minnetonka – 5-Layer Fringe Boot

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Rachel Leigh – Set of Three Suede Fringe Bangles

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Betsey Johnson – Ski Bunny Fringe Snowflakes Cascading Earrings

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Lucky Brand – Foxy Lady Fringe Crossbody (Dusty Lavender)

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Ed Hardy – Peace, Love Tattoos Fringe Scarf (Pink) – Accessories

The Perfect Red Dress

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They say a man always remembers what you looked like on your very first date. There is something sexy and memorable about wearing a red dress to make that lasting impression.

I came across this Susana Mercedes original piece, which is handcrafted from start to finish.

According to the designer, the fabric, which takes close to a month to produce, is hand-painted and impossible to replicate: each dress has a unique, non-repeating print.?In classic Susana Mercedes form, each dress is also finished with a unique set of vintage buttons. There are so many incredible buttons, textiles, trims, and more out there waiting to be rescued ? hiding in boxes within boxes in attics and warehouses, clinging to discarded past-their-prime garments ? it?s never ending.

A big part of constructing the piece is the hunt ? following the scent of inspiration through warehouses, into boxes, out of the design room, and onto you. We know that men love the hunt. Chances are they’d love seeing you in this dress as well.

For more information go to SusanaMercedes.com

If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Special Order It!

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Starting today, April 13th through May 21st, stop by one of the thirty Stuart Weitzman shoe boutiques for their semi-annual trunk show. This is a fabulous opportunity to view the fall 2009 collection and select your favorite styles in your unique size before they are sold to the public. The first event takes place in Atlanta, Chicago, and Honolulu on April 13th and concludes on May 21st in Nasvhille and Natick.

The best part is if you have a particularly narrow or wide show shoe size, you can special order these designs in sizes ranging from AAAA to C. Believe me, if you fall into that category, your size will not be sold in the local Weitzman boutiques or at the department stores. ?For a complete selection of styles and a calendar of events, check out their site at StuartWeitzman.com or call your local boutique.

Wrapping Up Fashion Week

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Yotam Solomon Runway Show

Yotam Solomon Runway Show

Fashion shoppers who had disappeared recently due to the economy, reappeared with the excitement of Fall Fashion Week in Los Angeles to view the new looks from Los Angeles based designers. ? The week started out on Sunday, March 15th with a wonderful Fall-Winter 2009 Runway show at the Los Angeles Theater, Grand Ballroom by Yotam Solomon who?was recently named LA?s Top Young Designer by AOL?s StyleList.?

Celebrating his fourth season, Solomon presented his ?Ocean Collection? of Ready to Wear and Footwear. Capturing the underwater world Yotam has created form-fitting silhouettes that are surrounded by flowing panels.??The LA city life has been given an emphasis with the different silhouettes and garments that symbolizes the California lifestyle. ?It?s really about mixing and matching that great conceptual cocktail dresses with amazing shoes,? said Solomon.??

The Yotam Solomon Fall – Winter ?09 collection thrilled its audience with a sexy approach to the upcoming season that made the viewers ask for more.

Giorgio Armani Retrospective

Armani Retrospective

On Tuesday, I joined other members of the Costume Council of LACMA at a private evening of cocktails?and shopping at Giorgio Armani on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. We were treated to a special red carpet retrospective of eleven beautiful pieces worn by A-list celebrities at various awards ceremonies. The retrospective, partnership with Vanity Fair, will be available for viewing at the Giorgio Armani boutique until the end of March.

Philanthropy through Fashion

Philanthropy through Fashion

On Thursday, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, The Colleagues Annual Spring Luncheon honored Gelila and Wolfgang Puck and featured fashion designer Kevan Hall’s Fall “SPY” collection to a sold out crowd. Hall was formerly the Creative Director at Halton. He first launched his private line in 2002. The beautiful Angie Harmon was the Mistress of Ceremonies of the Philanthropy through Fashion theme which benefited Children’s Institute, Inc. The crowd of mostly women were dressed impeccably and the stunning Joan Collins was among those in attendance, although First Lady Nancy Reagan unfortunately was unable to attend. Wolfang Puck created “The Classic Spago Lunch” for our dining pleasure, ?and later donated a private dinner to be cooked by the famous chef himself, ?which was sold in an impromptu live auction for ?over $20,000 for Children’s Institute.?

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Punch TV's Joy Parris & Cyber-Dating Expert Julie Spira

On Saturday night, I ended the Fashion Week festivities at the wrap party and fashion show for designer Andrew Christian at the trendy Boulevard-3 on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Christian’s designs included casual wear, swim wear, and sexy lingerie modeled by both men and women to a large crowd. On site, I met Joy Parris and Joseph Collins from the new TV network, Punch Television Network, “The Life Changing Television Channel” scheduled to launch in the next few months. It was a week filled with swag bags, beautiful designs, and ?perhaps a few ideas of what you can wear on your cyber-dates this fall. It was like window shopping with a smile.

Jamah and You


How would you like to have a beautiful Jamah bag named after yourself? Jamah bags are stunning, stylish, and are designed with their committment to building self-esteem in American kids and bringing attention to fashionable products manufactured in the U.S.A. ?These bags are so special, that Brad Pitt was recently spotted with “The Nanny,” a truly Unisex Diaper Bag.

From now until December 31, 2008, you can enter their contest to be the winner of a Jamah bag named after you. ?Just join the Jamah Group on Facebook, and let them know why you think you are the one to have their next gorgeous purse named after. ?If you are the winner, fashionable purse collectors everywhere will be seen with a Jamah bag with your name on it. ?Now isn’t that something you can brag about while at the same time helping their cause? ?Visit them at www.jamah.com to view their collections.

An Evening of Fashion at Bally in Beverly Hills Hosted by Vogue Magazine

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Julie Spira and Angie Harmon at the Bally Boutique in Beverly Hills

Julie Spira and Angie Harmon at the Bally Boutique in Beverly Hills

Last week was a busy one in the city of Angels.? I attended a fabulous party at Bally on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. We celebrated fall fashion hosted by Vogue Magazine benefitting?one of my favorite charities -Step Up Women’s Network.

Our hosts for the evening were Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon, Angie Harmon, Alexandra von Furstenberg, and Shiva Rose.

Each guest received a beautiful leather note pad with a shiny silver pen that I now keep in my purse as I write notes for my second book.? While waiting for the valet, I met a wonderful woman, who shared her cyber-dating experiences with me.? She will soon be found in the post for the peril of the week.

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