Worth Paris Haute Couture: Couture Lingerie

by David Pedroza, Editor in Chief

The Old French House of Worth has been revived! The father of Haute Couture, Charles Frederick Worth, established his house in 1858, making it the first true establishment of Haute Couture. The house of Worth has quietly been making couture lingerie for the past eight years, but showed a small collection of 8 during this past couture season. The collection designed by Italian designer Giovanni Bedin, features lingerie that is worthy to be worn in the chambers of Versailles. Just eight pieces, of true decadent luxury, reflecting the House’s history. Corseted bodices, tiny waists, large sleeves, antique lace and delicate embroideries, each piece requiring 50 to 300 hours of hand work. These pieces are works of art, meant to be worn out of the bedroom.

Photos Courtesy of Worth Paris, 2010

An Afternoon With Rodarte

Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte, Photograph by Autumn de Wilde

by Christine Suppes, Editor at Large

April 15, 2010

In the light-filled studio on Olympic Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles, stillness prevails. Ethereal gowns of floral print chiffon or white tulle pastiche hang ever so gently on racks. Delicate sweaters and skirts are neatly displayed on a long table. Laura and Kate Mulleavy, the brilliant Rodarte team, are quietly controlling the atmosphere, where assistants steadily and silently see to their work, whether answering phones or sewing. Kate and Laura and never without their cell phones, which ring constantly. They speak in calm and confident voices, always softly, always swiftly. I have known the girls for many years and I can see that this collection is special—more so than most because Kate and Laura have really opened up and shown us their inner world, both tribal and couture.

They have just completed the costumes for Natalie Portman’s latest picture ‘The Black Swan” to be released this December. It was hard work, the girls relate, but Natalie wanted Rodarte and no one else. Who can blame her? A picture about a ballerina---what ballerina would not want to wear Rodarte? The girls designed the “pancake” tutus as well as the ballet gowns. And Natalie asked them to design the evening gown she wears in a pivotal scene.

Designing for Hollywood and their New York collection have taken every moment Kate and Laura have. Yet we step out for lunch at their favorite local spot, Bottega Louie, undeniably chic, and undeniably a Rodarte kind of place. Over homemade pizza, fried porcini mushrooms, and fresh raspberries, Kate and Laura can relax for a moment, cell phones still very much in hand. “What will we do for our next collection?” Both shrug as if to say too soon to ask. Who knows, I think as I wave good-bye to my two favorite American designers. They have their CFDA for best women’s wear 2009. Now, how about an Academy Award for best costume design next year? I put nothing past Kate and Laura Mulleavy. They have forgotten more than most designers have ever remembered. Now that is genius.

Runway Images by Marcio Madeira

Getting to Know Ken Downing

At an intimate dinner, Editor at Large, Christine Suppes, asks influential Fashion Director of Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing, five questions, revealing things we never new about this style maker.

What would you be doing if you weren't in fashion?

KD: I'd be an actor. I am in a way, anyway.

What do you tell your colleagues when you don't like a collection?

KD: I tell them I've seen it with my own eyes.

Do you lie?

KD: In fashion , we never lie. We only exaggerate.

What's your favorite swear word?

KD: Malarkey. It's so retro and not too offensive, but says what I'm trying to convey.

What do you plan to do after you retire from fashion?

KD: Go to some fabulous place and never see another fashion show.

Spring essentials: Our Must Haves for Spring 2010

Spring has finally arrived and it’s time to store away those J. Mendel Furs and the Chanel satin, black puffers with white ruffled collars. We at Master the Art of Style have edited our spring shopping list, to a few essential items that we can’t live without this spring…..

David Pedroza’s Picks…..

Haute Couture always chose the best that fashion has to offer! One of my favorite looks from Givenchy Spring 2010 Haute Couture, a chiffon, pin-tucked jacket, but in Black of course. The attention to detail and workmanship makes this a piece of art!

Chiffon pin-tucked jacket, Givenchy Haute Couture, price upon request. By special order, Tel# 33-1-44-31-50-00. Photo by Style.com

Kiehl’s Drawing Paste- I have used it for the past year and can’t go without it. This paste is full of zinc and other vitamins, maintaining the integrity of our skin. Best when used at night

Kiehl's Drawing Paste $17.00, at Bergdorf Goodman NYC

Alexis Mabille Satin, bi-color, bow tie. Fun and cheerful for evening.

Navy and Black satin bow tie, $245, at Couturelab.com, photo by Couture Lab

Christine Suppes’s Picks…..

This black and white graphic suit from Chanel Spring/Summer 2010 was the standout for me of the daytime collection. It reminds me a bit of Geoffrey Beene, but with all the wonderful Lesage touches.

Chanel tweed suit, price upon request, at Chanel NYC, photo by Style.com

iPAD-The latest fashion accessory for the web obsessed. Like all great fashion, it will transform the way we work with computers

iPAD by Apple,$499 Photo by RUTUERS

A must read- Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of ways to live to 100 by Dr. Maoshing Ni, this will change your life!


April Hall’s Picks……

Jumpsuits - They're finally in this season, and they come in just about any color, fabric, and length. I love them for day and night, casual and elegant. This season's safari and utilitarian versions in neutrals and khaki will make great comfortable day looks, but the truly fashion-forward crowd might want to try something daring...like prints.

DVF Jersey Jumpsuit, $500 at netaporter.com

Diane von Furstenberg hand-woven bracelets - Handmade by Zulu artisans in South Africa from re-used telephone wire, these bangles encompass both style and function. They add color to a breezy summer look while supporting women in developing countries. I hope to see a lot more of this in coming seasons.

Bangles, Diane von Furstenberg, $40 each, call 646-486-4800, photo by Style.com