The FiFi Report usually keeps away from anything political but we can’t ignore what’s happening in America. (I mean Sarah Palin.. Please.) We can’t ignore Barack Obama. Neither can the heavy hitters in the American fashion industry. The Queen Bee Anna Wintour, together with Sarah Jessica Parker, launched ‘Runway to Change’, a project where designers have joined forces to support Obama. ‘Runway to Change’ has some of the hottest designers and musicians from Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Alexander Wang, DVF, Proenza Schouler, Derek Lam and even Beyonce designing everything from cute bags to T Shirts. At last fashion has become political and politics are fashionable.
What: The sleeveless jacket
Which: Is it a jacket or a waist coat? Who cares we want one!
(and they are every where this season.) Look for longer line, belted and button through. Go for black, stone or check. You could even go for a colour.
Why: Because it’s tailoring without the constraint. Because you get the serious look of jacket with a casual edge. Because you can wear it from winter to summer. Because a sleeveless, belted jacket will show off your waist. Even if you don’t have one. Because we haven’t seen this look in years and we love anything new to wear.
Wear: With a pretty pleated short skirt. Wear with skinny black pants. Wear with a chiffon 50’s skirt or with sexy short shorts.
(and heels. Always heels.) Layer it over a Tee or a sweater or wear it with nothing under it at all. Swap the belt for one of your own in tan or black patent. And breathe in…
Where: It’s everywhere this season so head to Cue, Veronica Maine, Portmans, Scanlan and Theodore, Esprit, SES …(and Philip Lim at Robbie Ingham).
Reasons for ZEN:
- You saw your credit card statement and couldn’t find a paper bag to blow into.
- You had shares on the stock Market.
- You really wanted that Balenciaga shoulder bag.You are now in the shoe department of K Mart. And Lost.
- John McCain could be the next US President.
- You fell off your YSL boots. And broke the heel. There is no insurance.
- You love the smell of the gorgeous fragrance of Shiseido’s Zen Eau de Parfum. It has a “fresh, floral woody scent” with notes of grapefruit, bergamot, peach, pineapple, blue rose, freesia, and gardenia. Divine… Breathe it in…
$79 30ml, $108 50ml, $130 100ml Shiseido Zen Eau de Parfum from David Jones and Myer.
• Anne Hathaway in on the cover of W magazine
• Model Agyness Deyn was in London for Fashion week…
• Model Sarah Stephens was discovered at the age of 16 when she won the Girlfriend Model Search in Australia. Since then, she has been on the cover of Russian Vogue and in shows for Gucci and Lanvin. Check out the video of her prepping for New York Fashion Week USMagazine.com.
• Peter Dundas — formerly designer at Emanuel Ungaro and currently of furrier Revillon — will be taking Matthew Williamson’s place at Emilio Pucci. Wiliamson’s last collection for the house shows in Milan Sept. 25 and Dundas’s first Pucci collection will show next February for Fall 2009…reports WWD.
• Model Coco Rocha lets us in on a few of her backstage survival tips ….CocoRocha on style.com.
• ‘It’s time for Harriet Mays Powell and Amy Larocca to weigh in on the biggest trends from the spring 2009 runways. The color palate was mostly beige or “makeup colors,” as Harriet says. Amy notes, “It wasn’t New York’s most exciting Fashion Week,” but Marc Jacobs delivered a “mind-blowingly good” show. NYmag.com.
• Check out Natalia Vodianova in an ad for Guerlain’s Shalimar fragrance ..I wish my perfume did the same thing for me….NYmag.com.
• Veruschka….Avedon called her “the most beautiful woman in the world.” Hear what the über-model has to say about her favorite photographer and their unforgettable photographs. (check out last week’s FiFi Report for the book) Style.com.
• How did New York’s 200-plus Fashion shows stack up? Optimism was a buzzword, along with architecture, punk, and nudity. Check out the video highlights of the New York shows’ Style.com.
•Elle Macpherson, famously nicknamed “The Body”, was named the greatest model of all time - beating Twiggy and Cindy Crawford - in a poll commissioned by Debenhams to celebrate London Fashion week reports Vogue UK.
• On September 29th, you can go on Net-a-Porter, see the McQueen show, and be able to purchase eight looks from his Pre-Spring collection, which won’t be in stores until almost the end of this year…reports Fashionista.
• ‘You didn’t think Carried died with the movie, did you? Because if you did, you might be so glad to know she’s back - but younger. Candace Bushnell and Harper Collins have teamed up to bring you, The Carrie Diaries, a two-book deal that explores Carrie’s life as a teenager, and the series of horrible, awkward dates she went on and the cute, but slightly stupid boy from her geometry class that she pined endlessly for. The books come out in 2010’. Reports Fashionista.
• “Aussie wunderkind Josh Goot will make his London Fashion Week debut in style he opens the final day of shows. “It’s time for a change,” the Sydney-born designer, who’s also previously shown in New York, tells us of his move across the pond. “The collection has evolved and I think London could be a more relevant place to show. I hope it’s not a one-off; I would like to return in the coming seasons.” Reports Vogue UK.
Fall in love with the new video called Fallen Shadows. Created by visual effects master James Lima, Prada’s new “Fallen Shadows” video brings to life the Autumn/Winter 2008 Prada collection with an animation sequence that references surrealist artists like Dali, Bunuel, Duchamp and Escher, evoking “Film Noir, Surrealism and Futurism in a striking cinematic form” reports Vogue UK.
It’s beauty Heaven…Allure magazine and Sephora have joined forces to bring you the Allure Virtual Store.
•Britney Spears may face a trial next month for her driving-related misdemeanor case. And for fashion misdemeanors.
• Sharon stone is dating a 25 yr old Toy boy.
• Ellen DeGeneres is the new face of CoverGirl. That’s NEW face.
• A week after giving birth Minnie Driver is mini again.
• Hours after completing her first-ever triathlon Jennifer Lopez flew to New York City with husband Marc Anthony to celebrate his 40th birthday. A Marathon (she’ll do anything to escape looking after twins!).
• Cameron Diaz is in love with Jen Aniston’s ex..model Paul Sculfor.
• Is Mischa Barton, newly separated from her most recent boyfriend Taylor Locke, dating Josh Hartnett?.
• Tatum O’Neal is worried about her father and half-brother after they were arrested for drug possession. Worried. She got away with it
• Madonna helped Gwyneth deal with postpartum depression after the birth of her son Moses. With drugs and alcohol.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society…by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet’s name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book’s epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet’s quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers.
Reviews“I can’t remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one, a world so vivid that I kept forgetting this was a work of fiction populated with characters so utterly wonderful that I kept forgetting they weren’t my actual friends and neighbors. Treat yourself to this book please—I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows have written a wondrous, delightful, poignant book— part Jane Austen, part history lesson. The letters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society aren’t addressed to you, but they are meant for you. It’s a book everyone should read. An absolute treasure.”—Sarah Addison Allen, author of Garden Spells
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a sweet, sentimental paean to books and those who love them…. It affirms the power of books to nourish people enduring hard times.”—The Washington Post Book World
$22 Amazon.com Publisher: The Dial Press (July 29, 2008)
Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz
“The first thing I did with my very first camera was climb Mt. Fuji. Climbing Mt. Fuji is a lesson in determination and moderation. It would be fair to ask if I took the moderation part to heart. But it certainly was a lesson in respecting your camera. If I was going to live with this thing, I was going to have to think about what that meant. There were not going to be any pictures without it.” —Annie Leibovitz Annie Leibovitz describes how her pictures were made, starting with Richard Nixon’s resignation, a story she covered with Hunter S. Thompson, and ending with Barack Obama’s campaign. In between are Demi Moore, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Patti Smith, William S. Burroughs, Kate Moss and Queen Elizabeth. The most celebrated photographer of our time discusses portraiture, reportage, fashion photography, lighting, and digital cameras.
$26.40 Amazon.com Publisher: Random House (November 18, 2008)
There is a chic black and white story here and it’s a great place for basics; Check out:
• The fabulous black nylon zip bomber jacket with a black and a high neckline. This is a cool jacket for throwing over chinos and a white Tee or with a chic pencil skirt. You could also wear it when you want to look sporty and when you want to go jogging. $50.
• Buy the classic black or white cotton shirts with no extraneous details, easy dressing. We all need a white shirt. $50.
• Love the slightly hipster chinos in stone or black, very classic with side pockets and a classic leg. Not too low so we see a muffin top or croissant hips. These are indispensable in anyone’s wardrobe. Wear instead of jeans. It’s a causal look but a little dressier than denim. Throw on a chic chiffon blouse and serious heels in patent. Add a chic Bally belt and a divine Hermes watch. Grab your designer bag. Is there anything chicer? This is what the French women do why don’t you.
• The drawstring wide linen/cotton blend pants are perfect slouchy pants for the beach or casual days. Wear with flats. $60. Good for waistlines that like to expand.
• There are also some chic stripe Tee shirts here and simple plain Tees but watch out they may be too scoop neck and make you look OLD. Sorry to swear.
So many cool buys here and so many great pieces to choose from. They have hit the mark this season. You want:
• The cute little denim jumpsuit. Yes that’s right a jumpsuit. In fact it could be called a romper. You should not be shouting and screaming with horror as I told you that the jumpsuit was the item du jour months ago. They were all over the runways at New York Fashion week. Ok not for everyone especially this little one as it is short shorts and it’s in denim. Love the wooden buttons all the way down the front. One problem: Don’t be in a hurry to go to the loo. Nuf said. $149.
• Love the light denim almost faded light blue denim shirt dress with a white ribbon belt tie. So chic. Wear with black heels or white heels. $109.
• Buy the black woven clutch with gold buckle clasp and hardware. It’s the must buy of the season $149.
• The chic trench in a light and silky stone is fabulous with stone fabric covered buttons and belted. It’s double breasted with slightly ¾ sleeves and I know you will wear it with everything. Wear it as jacket even on warm sunny days. $229.
• Adore the one button, boyfriend blazer in black. I want it. It’s all about the new tailoring. I love a longer jacket that can cover your muffin bottom. This is a great trans seasonal piece and one to wear right now when it’s too hot for winter jacket but still a little chilly. It’s good for those people who want to wave to their friends but worry about flapping their arms. You get the picture. Wear this over a white Tee and skinny pants. Or channel Erin Wasson and wear it over short sexy shorts with the lining poking out $189.
• Also on sale for $89 are the other buy of the season: a denim fitted blazer. A fab buy. Wear over all black, wear with shorts, wear to settle down any wild and crazy prints.
• Love the black chiffon belted pants that are 3/4 peg legs, high waisted and Oh so YSL. Yes, that means very 80’s and very cool. The 80’s is another trend that was huge on the runways of New York and it’s here to stay. Wear these crop pants with your heeled gladiators and rock the look. Now on sale for $89. A must buy. (and flattering I promise).
Always good for cheap but chic shoes: best picks are:
• The black gladiator heels with 5 straps up to the ankle each with a little silver buckle are fabulous. These chic shoes have white stitching details and a thin stacked wooden heel. No platform or wedge so they may be a little harder to walk in. But hasn’t stopped you before so why stop now? $128.
• Check out the Tee bar gladiator heels in orange or tan, very chic. Be adventurous with shoes and go for heels in a colour. That way you can update everything from last season for just $129. Remember orange looks great with red and pink. And we love orange with tan and choc brown. It can be scary with blue or black unless you are super stylish and know what you are doing. And if you have been reading The FiFi Report you already are…
• Buy the very Marni style flats with an almost covered foot in black or stone with a sling back and a little peep toe. They are very chic and perfect if you actually need to walk all day. $89. They look expensive if you take them out from under those overpowering bright lights. (Don’t look too closely in the mirror or you will see wrinkles that you never knew existed. ) Wear these with a maxi dress or chinos.
• Love the very Miu Miu cream multi pleat bag oversized bag for $60…it has a long strap and 2 handles and it’s a great buy.
Classic, chic and always fabulous. On a par with Scanlan and Theodore:
• The sequin batwing loose Tee style top (with a white background) is a fab buy $398. You want it in black too. Sequins were a huge trend at the New York Shows too. Wear with a white cotton tank, or with jeans. It’s about dressing them down and wearing for day.
• Buy the Tuxedo jacket….so chic and so YSL. It’s all you need to low key nights. $529.
• The black all over sequin dress is very snazzy $798. Definitely for evening.
• The black trench with silver buttons is cool, double breasted and perfect for days wandering around Paris. Wear with everything you own. And everything you are about to buy this weekend. $549.
• You want the black lace shirt dress with cap sleeves, too chic $798. Toughen this up and wear with a leather jacket and serious platforms.
• Love the black lace pencil skirt $398. Ditto.
• Love all the floral dresses and tops….understated and not too pretty, pretty and frou frou. Florals can be aging (gasp!) and are tricky to wear. (thanks a lot Prada 2 years ago). So keep it minimal and go for a top and then add tough accessories. You don’t want to look like Mrs Doubfire.
• The suit jackets are cut so well. Head here for a wok/office trousers suits. It might even make you like going to work.
Looking great here: Best buys include:
• You will live in the silky navy/purple blouse with a ruffle front and loose ¾ sleeves. It’s a little poets style and very similar to a version I bought last year at Country Road. I wore that one to death. And had to give it a funeral. Bless. Throw it back with jeans, with shorts, with a skirt. It’s a great buy $149.
• Love the navy satin silky dress with a neck and a black trim with a frayed edging: It has a jeweled black jet brooch embellishment at the décolletage and it’s awfully chic. I do declare it’s very Lanvin a couple of seasons ago. It also comes in a cami top which is great too. Love that back with stone chinos or jeans. $139.
• Buy the very chic (item du jour) short sleeve jacket with cap sleeves $149.
• Invest in the black chiffon frill edges top with a lattice satin ribbon trim along the top and a ruffle hem $169.
• Check out the stone blouson jacket $219 with a zip front.
• There are also quite a few great little navy and black print empire cami tops a la Marni..these are still happening for summer.
Best buys include:
• A fabulous black crop leather jacket, with sort zips and black buttons $599. You know how to wear this? Over a pretty floral dress, over a white slogan Tee an skinny jeans, with a pretty 50’s skirt.
• Buy the white lace knit hoodie $149…almost see through it’s perfect for the beach and weekends. It will make you look 10 years younger. Especially if you have botox.
• Love the long silk shoes string strap maxi dress in a wide stripe…big block stripes in orange, grey and pink $259. Gorgeous you want this dress for the yacht.
• The black heavy cotton dress with pockets at the front is a beauty, a little 60’s and very structured it’s simple and easy. $199.
• Lots of great knits here too and great V neck Tees…
I nicked into WBJ to check out the Colette Dinnigan collection there in David Jones: SO many gorgeous clothes. You want:
• The DIVINE short feather jacket with huge sequin paillettes scattered through it. So fabulous and very glamorous. This is definitely for someone who can carry it off. $2490.
• Also buy the divine feather dress in the same fabric as the jacket. Gorgeous and very Academy awards.
• Love the black one shoulder jersey drape dress with a huge black flower in the same fabric set on the side on the shoulder. It’s very understated chic $890.
• Love the grey lace pencils skirt about $700.
• Buy the black lace guipure shift dress with wide bra safe straps (very Prada) $1300.
• Check out the red/ brown lace sleeveless shift dress $1390.
• Love the seriously glamorous cream Grecian dress with lots of dramatic silver sequins and jewel embellishment across the neckline and arms.$1700.
Richard Nicoll Show
Aussie born Richard Nicoll gets great reviews at London Fashion week. Sarah Mower in style.com reports:
‘Minimalist elegance is a concept that’s slipped from view since the late nineties, but in London it’s marching back. The standard bearer is Richard Nicoll, whose show re-energized the monochrome aesthetics of clean, sporty dressing by drenching it in great doses of color-blocked tangerine, cyclamen, nude, and aqua. Nicoll said he’d been influenced by early Helmut Lang and (not so obviously) the late fifties, but if he meant the ease of mid-century American sportswear it makes sense.It was uplifting to watch a young designer find something new to say about the validity of T-shirt-and-pants dressing and think about simple but impactful combination’s of separates. That might mean an oversize T-shirt top in blocks of nude organza and pink silk tucked into a long, slim cyclamen skirt, or a tank with a one-shoulder toga drape over narrow pants. It’s not the easiest thing to make borderline bad-taste colors seem cool, but there was something in this collection that palpably moved the audience. Likely, it has to do with Nicoll’s growing into himself and acquiring the confidence to let his Australian understanding of relaxed, hot-weather lifestyles come through. If so, it’s an epiphany that may well connect him with underserved customers in warm climates all over the world. After all this, Nicoll ended his show with a surprise finale of his Richard Nicoll Shirt second line, which has quietly developed into a cute collection of cotton dresses and shorts. Impressive on all fronts’. RichardNicollSpring2009.com
Christopher Kane Show
…”I’M the king of the swingers,” rang out and tempted us all to boogie as we left the Christopher Kane show today. And despite his famous modesty, Kane has every reason to develop an ego after this show – his fifth, and possibly his best.Last season’s oversized sequins had grown into even bigger circles of chiffon and leather that rippled like scales around the models or created scalloped contours down their bodies to oscillating – and very short – hemlines. Nude, plus orange and pink, saffron and peach, the colours of summer 2009, meant this was steamy as ever – Kane’s women aren’t shy – but body con under-layers meant that the nipples he insisted on showing off this time last year were kept safely under wraps this time around. The jungle theme continued with leopard print cashmere cardigans in orange and yellow, plus roaring gorilla faces making up the upper half of jersey dresses. “Who else would think of that! Who else would dare?” exclaimed Erin O’Connor after the show. “I loved it, I love him!” ChristopherKaneSummer09.com
Chicken ( or Fish) with Spicy Yogurt Marinade…adulterated from Cuisine.com.au
You need for 4 lovely normal friends with healthy appetites or 20 dieting models
1 cup natural yoghurt
1/4 cup chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly ground white pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
3 chicken breasts or fillets of fish
1 cup chicken stock or water
1 cup couscous
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 handful parsley leaves, chopped
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
1/2 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 lemons, quartered
- Pour a huge glass wine and gulp.
- Breath in. Relax. It’s Friday.
- Think about summer. Think about shaving legs, getting a spray tan and losing 20 kilos. Put the last bit off til tomorrow.
- Now open a can of tomatoes
- Start chopping the garlic into the size of your discipline. ( tiny)
- Grate some fresh ginger. Add manicure to the list above
- Then find a bowl and throw in the low fat yoghurt, tomatoes, turmeric, mustard, cumin, chilli, ginger and garlic together in a bowl.
- Season with drizzle with a little designer olive oil.Stir it all up
- Chop up the chicken or fish into small chunk about the size of Victoria Beckham’s diamond.
- Add the yogurt mix to the chicken and let it marinate for an hour
- Drink more wine. Add massage and eyelash extension to the list above
- Cook the couscous.You know how to do that.
- Add the capsicum, parsley, mint and the pretty red onion to the couscous
- Now throw the chicken and marinade onto a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes or just throw in a fry pan and go for it.
- Serve the chicken lying nonchalantly on the couscous and accessorised with lots and lots of coriander..