Did you know that her "Cooking with Paula Deen" magazine is the number one selling food magazine at Barnes and Noble?? She's the best. And her husband, Michael, is super-cool too.
February 22, 2007
By DANICA LO and RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI
February 22, 2007 -- Puffy, we'll be missing you
WITH all the waist-free puffy dresses and tunics in stores right now, it's hard to imagine a better fashion season to get knocked up.
After all, shouldn't procreation be timed to maximize the seamless integration of maternity clothing into one's existing wardrobe?
For those who cannot resist the lure of comfy girly dresses, but lack the large belly, there's a simple way to avoid the tent look. Take a tip from Tory Burch and wear a belt - or tie something, anything, around your waist.
Avoid empire waist dresses that poof out from just under the bust - they obscure your natural waistline. If you're keen on buying empire, look for a wider band around the midsection.
Cinching a billowing blouse at the hips will create the unflattering illusion of a muffin-top (or brioche-top, if the top is especially voluminous).
The belt doesn't have to be tight and it doesn't have to be fancy - in fact, Burch cinches one of her summer frocks with a simple rope.
No rope? Raid your boyfriend's closet for a tie, grab a length of satin ribbon, or do a double-wrap with a skinny hipster scarf and, voila, you've got the look all tied up.
Beckham, not posh, but a little spicy
Their smell precedes them: Before soccer superstar David Beckham and his posh wife, Victoria, make their permanent transition to La-La Land, brand Beckham lands Stateside with this week's launch of David's signature best-Euro-selling fragrance, Instinct. The spicy citrus eau de toilette will retail for only $32 per ounce (at JC Penney, Sears and Kohl's) and comes complete with a nifty lose-proof, snap-on magnetic cap. And while David (and his image) is steamy, sultry and extraordinarily super-sexy, his fragrance is surprisingly clean and simply masculine - a swell non-intimidating smell for the aspiring baller or superhero inside every average Joe.
Obsessions of the week
* Hello, sailor: This adorable hooded Rojas dress, made out of comfy sweatshirt material and accented with big gold peacoat buttons, is perfect dressed down with Converse or flats. Or, if you need to wear it right now, layer it with a long-sleeve tee, leggings and boots. A second shipment of the $185 dresses - the first sold out in days - hits Intermix (901 Broadway;  533-9720) today.
* Jeepers creepers: The shoes with the sluttiest name ever - brothel creepers - have always been on the cutting under-edge of fashion. First popularized by Teddy boys and rockabillies in the mid-20th century, then revived by '70s punk rockers and fashion icons such as Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, creepers are making a quiet comeback - no surprise, as shoes have been getting clunkier by the season. They're even featured in an eight-page spread in this month's French Vogue. Get your own at creeper megastore drstrange.com or by searching for "creepers" at amazon.com, to find these suede Spike Angels for $49.
* Bag it! With the never-ending quest for a hot spring bag looming over your head, consider J.O.B.'s red satchel, $885, at Henri Bendel. Or snap up the black patent or metallic silver clutch, both perfectly sized for a night out but big enough to carry a cellphone, wallet and multiple tubes of lip gloss. You might want to hurry, though. The bags hit shelves this past weekend and have been blowing out of the store - there's only two clutches left and less than a handful of satchels.
February 20, 2007
Confession: I will watch Hugh Grant do just about anything. I've seen "Four Weddings and a Funeral" about four million times; I own "About a Boy" and watch it at least every other month; I've even sat through "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain," one of the worst movies ever made, I'm sure.
And now, after seeing "Music and Lyrics" on Sunday, I have since downloaded the soundtrack -- really, just an entire album recorded by Hugh Grant -- and can't stop listening to it.
I'm especially fond of "Pop! Goes My Heart," the fake number-one single by fake 80s Brit-pop band Pop. And I can't stop humming "Way Back Into Love," the song that Grant's character and Drew Barrymore's character write together.
Super-embarrassing, no? Especially since the movie and the album aren't really very good at all. In fact, the movie was pretty awful and Hugh Grant's not much of a singer.
But still, I can't help it. He's like crack.
I'll probably buy the "Music & Lyrics" DVD when it comes out. Who am I kidding.
Pop! Goes my heart:
Way back into love:
February 18, 2007
I can't believe it's already been a whole week since New York fashion week wrapped up. Sorry for the silence -- it took me a few days to get over some stress-induced post-fashion week back pain (that's what happens when you wear very fashionable super-high-heel shoes for 12 hours a day for ten days straight!) and then it was back to work.
I'm working on a couple of new projects right now, which is super-exciting -- and I hope you'll like it when it happens. I'll definitely keep you posted when it comes to fruition...
This weekend I headed out to New Jersey to the Garden State Plaza mall, where I spent a good hour-plus in Hot Topic, my favorite mall store of all time. Sometimes I think that in the real world, goth and punk are the closest you can get to real fashion. I love Hot Topic!
February 10, 2007
By DANICA LO and RAAKHEE MIRCHANDANI
February 10, 2007 -- DARFUR: Still in trouble.
Let's hope no one in the war-torn area was depending on the help of New York socialites and designers. Because last night's much-hyped "Designers for Darfur" charity show, "organized" by Lydia Hearst and Malcolm Harris, was a complete disaster.
None of the celebrities the group said were "hosting the event" - from Oprah to Don Cheadle to George Clooney - showed up. Naomi Campbell, who was supposed to walk the runway, failed to materialize. And spectators, who had been told this was the week's biggest show for an important cause, waited nearly an hour and a half for the runway to even begin.
One of the producers of the show was overheard saying, "Look at this s---, it looks empty."
The dresses featured were in the colors of the Sudan flag (although the person who did the yellow outfit didn't get the memo). It was unclear if all the designers the group said were involved actually participated; organizers refused to identify any of the dresses.
Hearst said they plan to put the clothes featured up on eBay, and donate the proceeds to stopping the civil war in Darfur. If the sale is anything like the show, they'll raise about $23.75.
The entire show was a publicity stunt masquerading as a charity. It was insulting to the people of Darfur, and an embarrassment to New York Fashion Week.
In other news from the final day of Fashion Week, it was Isabel Toledo's first outing as creative director of Anne Klein. Toledo wedded her Cuban sensibility with signatures of the storied American label, with standouts including a white blouse with shirred sleeves, a great side-buttoned navy sailor sweater and a few day dresses with ruching, one in Anne Klein red. Her pared-down version of a duffle coat in pale pink will be a new classic.
America Ferrera did not make it the Brian Reyes show, but the up-and-comer who dressed the "Ugly Betty" star for the Golden Globes still had a few other tricks up his sleeve. He showed some of the best dresses of the week - tunics with a cap sleeve and a soft bubble shape in an interesting range of silk fabrics that worked equally well as dresses or tops over leggings.
FETCH, HEEL, ROLLED
By DANICA LO
February 10, 2007 -- Memo to Fashion Week employees: it pays to know who the big boss is. Model Dewi Dregen strutted in one of the opening looks at the Carmen Marc Valvo show yesterday afternoon, but lost her shoe halfway down the catwalk. When she didn't pick it up, Fern Mallis, senior vice president of IMG Fashion, a k a Queen of all Fashion Week, nudged the security guard next to her several times trying to get him to remove the offending footwear from the runway. To the horror of everyone around, he just glared at her and retorted, "That's not my job." Ultimately, Vanessa Williams' stylist ran up and grabbed the shoe . "It was the security guard's first day on the job," snickered one insider. "And his last."
- Poor Carson Kressley - first his show gets canceled, and now he hasn't got a thing to wear. "At the Evisu show, Kressley was loudly complaining that he was only wearing a dumb T-shirt that says 'Sorry girls, I only do models' because he's run out of clothes," says our spy.
- Designer Kai Kuhne corked himself in the face backstage as he tried to pop open at bottle of Palmes d'Or Champagne right before the start of his show - which might be why it ran an hour and 15 minutes late. Grouchy attendees griped about the unprofessional production: "Every model had to be told by the photographers to stop for photos - and they kept colliding at every corner," sniped one onlooker. "Plus, the front row was full of people who had never been to shows before - they held things up for a full 10 minutes because each one had to be told repeatedly to uncross their legs."
- Sitting front row at the Child Magazine fashion show were Kimora Lee Simmons and Russell Simmons. When Russell high-fived one of the munchkin models, Kimora playfully slapped his arm, saying, "Don't touch the models, it's unprofessional!"
ROCKER REVEALS DATING TIPS
By DANICA LO
February 9, 2007 -- Joel Madden's surefire way to impress the ladies? Take her to a Zac Posen fashion show.
Five months ago, the Good Charlotte lead singer squired girlfriend Hilary Duff to the designer's spring collection. Last night, it was new squeeze Nicole Richie at his side, in almost the exact same spot.
They shared a front-row view with stylist Rachel Zoe, who had a falling-out recently with Richie. Not that Richie would notice her - she spent the show chatting and canoodling with Madden, barely looking at the runway.
Looks like Madden has discovered a secret: Nothing gets women hotter than a good fishtail dress.
- Oh, the indignities! While socialites are out in force at this year's shows, they don't always get the celebrity treatment they expect. At Zac Posen, a publicist approached Fabiola Beracasa to ask who she was and if she had a ticket. And after the Y-3 show, Olivia Palermo slummed by taking the subway home. Socialites, they're just like us!
- Last night, luxury knitwear line Lutz & Patmos revealed its newest celebrity designer for fall 2007 - Julianne Moore will follow in the footsteps of Sofia Coppola, Christy Turlington and Liv Tyler, who have all collaborated with design duo Tina Lutz and Marcia Patmos on past collections.
Moore has designed a limited edition "everyday cardigan," which will hit selling floors in late summer. Thirty dollars of each purchase will be donated to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.
- Who's that girl? Yes, Tara Conner (inset), who continues to milk her coke-fueled past for all it's worth by walking in the Monica Moss fashion show to benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We worried when we saw this Cyndi Lauper-esque ensemble that she was back on controlled substances
February 8, 2007
'MEAN GIRLS' GET CAMERA-SHY
By DANICA LO
February 8, 2007 -- Tinsley Mortimer and Fabiola Beracasa looked less than delighted at the Y-3 show last night. In a scene straight out of "Mean Girls," the socialites couldn't hide grimaces when photographers clamored for them to embrace up-and-comer Olivia Palermo. Reluctantly posing, the pair and Palermo exchanged not a glance. The scene only added to the show's sophomoric ambience: the Hunter College gymnasium.
Indeed, Y-3 drew an assortment of cliques: The hip-hop crew was Russell Simmons and his brother the Reverend Run; Leelee Sobieski and beau were the popular kids; Fischerspooner's Casey Spooner stood up for the art punks; French headbutter/footballer Zinedine Zidane was the jock contingent. Oh, and Cuba Gooding Jr.? He's the kid who's always hanging around but no one knows why.
* Spirits were decidedly warmer at Gotham Hall, where Adrien Grenier and Piper Perabo were all smiles for G-Star. Even the Misshapes politely explained that they just didn't do grins.
* But the sweetest? That would be Tommy Hilfiger and family. Rapper Junior's hip-hop cred was apparent by his ginormous medallion of Richie Rich - the comic-book character, not the clothier. Also by the fact that squeeze Dee Ocleppo had to explain to him who the Misshapes were.
* The hottest accessory at fashion week? An assistant. Too bad it's so hard to find a place to put one. The other Michelle Williams - not Heath Ledger's baby Mama - had a devil of a time placing hers at Vivienne Tam last night. Seems the man sitting directly behind her wouldn't cede the seat. Same thing happened at Heatherette Tuesday night when a colleague was asked to accommodate Kimberly Stewart's personal slave. Nothing doing.
* Which small-screen star was so unhappy with her outfit for the Red Dress show that at the last minute, she asked the designer to cut the dress into a more revealing shape so she could show off her best assets?
February 7, 2007
The first few opening outfits:
Amanda Lepore does a turn as Glinda the Good Witch:
Kimora Lee Simmons making her runway comeback:
Richie Rich, Traver Rains, and Kimora Lee SImmons taking their final bow:
Paris Hilton bailed at the last minute, so I didn't get any video footage of her. Sorry kids!
This is really funny. At the New York Fashion Week Bryant Park tents, there are all sorts of marketing pushes going on -- DHL is there hawking their delivery service, Judith Ripka and her jewels, Lycra and their surly lounge (seriously, what's the point of having a lounge season after season if you're just going to snarl at press all day long?). But my favorite bit this year? This wine-dispensing machine.
Pop in a charged-up card and you'll get a glass of German wine, dispensed from a spout in front.
ROYALTY ROW AND A PARIS NO-SHOW
By DANICA LO
February 7, 2007 -- Heatherette's front row was a lineup of downtown royalty: Kenny Kenny and Susanne Bartsch, Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland, Kim Kardashian (who was wielding an "Extra TV" microphone), Alan Cumming, Lady Bunny, the girls of Danity Kane, Vivica Fox, and Russell Simmons, who turned up to cheer on his wife Kimora Lee Simmons as she made her model comeback on the runway. Paris Hilton, who'd been expected to walk, never showed up - "She canceled with an hour's notice," said the show publicist.
* Recent ex-lovers Nick Cannon and sex-tape-hawking Kardashian had a close call at the Pegah Anvarian show last night - "Kim arrived first and was chatting with the Pegah," says our spy. "Nick was supposed to come through backstage but when he found out that Kim was already there, he went around through the main entrance instead. The didn't exchange a word or look at each other the whole time." Right before the show, "He was chatting up some hot Asian girl," says another spy. "It looks like he got her phone number too, because he whipped out his Sidekick."
* Hallelujah! Reverend Run's daughters, Angela and Vanessa, tried their best not to be embarrassed by their dad, who was dressed to the nines in a velvet cape and, along with his mogul brother, Russell Simmons, whistled at the young, sexy models they liked best as they passed by on the Betsey Johnson runway.
* Spotted at the tents: Nick Lachey's main squeeze, MTV host Vanessa Minnillo, in the front row at Monique Lhuillier - checking out wedding dress options, perhaps? ... Chaiken's front row - inexplicably the most celeb-studded daytime show so far: Cynthia Nixon, Mary-Louise Parker, Julianna Margulies, Kelly Rowland, Eric Villency, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr., Vanessa Haydon and Patricia Heaton.
February 6, 2007
PERV HAS GOT A LOT OF NERVE
By DANICA LO
February 6, 2007 -- Fashion folk may be skinny and bitchy, but, at least at shows, they keep it in their pants.
The Post's Raakhee Mirchandani caught up with Jonathan Groff and John Gallagher Jr., stars of Broadway's ''Spring Awakening,'' who modeled in the Jill Stuart fashion show yesterday.
"Some guy was kicked out of the mezzanine at the show [''Spring Awakening''] for masturbating," Groff said.
n Hungry for some Oscar de Polenta, Duckie Brownies or Nanette Pizzettes? Stop by the tents Thursday evening, when model-esque celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis teams up with Peroni beer and will be dishing out the fashionable treats.
Next season, we're hoping for Diane von Furstenbergers, Michael Smores, Fried Chaiken and Marc Ja-kebabs.
n Seen: It boy and "writer" Derek Blasberg's seat at the Ruffian show labeled "Derek Blasberg, Guttermouth" ... Our favorite dandy, Patrick McDonald, touching up his makeup (eye shadow, liner and powder) while chatting with friends in the Lotus Tent Lounge between his front-row turns at the Duckie Brown and Nicole Miller shows ... Newly single starlets Cameron Diaz and "Factory Girl" lead Sienna Miller bonding over Christiania vodka martinis at the Rag & Bone afterparty at Tenjune.
February 5, 2007
TARA'S HEAD TOO BIG FOR HER TIARA
By DANICA LO
February 5, 2007 -- LOOKS as if Miss USA is getting high again - this time on her own sordid fame.
Tara Conner showed up at pageant designer Tadashi Shoji's runway show with two burly bodyguards. The former coke queen ignored everyone, our spy reported, and the muscle kept away autograph seekers.
Since Donald Trump decided to let her keep her crown, Conner has been milking her tale of almost blowing it. She flew in to Fashion Week from Los Angeles, where she appeared on "The Tonight Show," and she was flying out to the West Coast again today to visit the Academy Awards suites.
"She think she's getting a ticket to the Oscars," the spy said. "But no one else thinks so."
n It was an "America's Next Top Model" reunion when "noted fashion photographer" Nigel Barker and "Miss" J. Alexander convened front row at the Sass & Bide show. Barker, fresh off judging the Miss America pageant, griped loudly about his experience. "It was hilarious, f---ing hilarious. Talk about tragedy," he said.
Meanwhile, Alexander weighed in on Tyra Banks' recent fat beef with the media. "Tyra's chest is her success, and her ass is her cash," he quipped.
n Looks like there's no love lost between "Project Runway" Season One winner Jay McCarroll and the show's inimitable Tim Gunn. "They were five seats away from each other at the Perry Ellis show, and they hardly even looked at one another," our spy said. "They avoided each other like the plague. They didn't talk at all."
This is my new favorite food. At least for fashion week, that is.
It all started when I got back from Paris at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday night. No time or energy to shop, but totally famished from traveling for 13 hours. Sadly, the only thing in my pantry after two weeks away was Ryvita crispbread, soy butter, and jars of strawberry jam (I am a huge fan of strawberry jam).
Now I can't get enough (which is convenient since I've been working 12-14 hours days every day since Friday so have not had time to buy food).
The best way to do it? With cold jam from the fridge. The combination here is crunchy and cold and salty and sweet -- the soy butter is saltier than cow butter -- all at once. I can't imagine my days without it.
Hey no wonder I always lose weight during fashion week. I just realized I'm subsisting almost entirely on this bizarre concoction, coffee, instant soup, and salty licorice I had flown in from Finland.
February 4, 2007
FASHIONABLY LATE KIMORA STIRS A PANIC
By DANICA LO
February 4, 2007 -- Overheard: Forty minutes after Kimora Lee Simmons' Baby Phat show's scheduled start time, an aggravated publicist started hyperventilating and screaming into her headset: "Oh, my God! She wants to go back to New Jersey to change? What do I do?"
Meanwhile, at the Lacoste show, celebrity stylist Robert Verdi advised model-turned-R&B-songstress Cassie to proudly display her Fendi handbag in photos. "They'll send you luggage," Verdi said to the stunning singer. (See The Post's Haute List blog for pictures of Verdi and the haute new luggage he's toting.)
At the official Mercedes-Benz launch party at downtown It-boite The Box on Thursday night, Alex von Furstenberg told pals that he'd refuse to attend his mother's after-party if she didn't screen the Super Bowl. Two years ago, Diane von Furstenberg famously set up cushy sofas and flat-screen televisions for fashionable fans. "We're not doing that this year," says Furstenberg's rep.
Gossipmonger novelist Imogen Edwards-Jones lands on our side of the Atlantic this week to celebrate the American launch of her internationally best-selling book, "Fashion Babylon" - a naughty behind-the-scenes look at the industry that details the who (does Tom Ford wish would stop buying his clothes?), what (top designer perfume was created to smell of 'feminine odors'?) and where of fashion. Edwards-Jones will be feted at Michael's and at a cocktail reception later this week. You can bet that Vogue editors will be scarce in attendance.
To combat the scourge of skinny models at Bryant Park, Jack Spade will be handing out cookies shaped like hot dogs and hamburgers. Each cookie will bear a tag with the message: "These cookies have been baked with extra love and care. Please visit jackspade.com to purchase a cookie, a portion of proceeds given to skinny people everywhere."
February 3, 2007
In the spirit of fashion week.
Lauren: I'm not being funny or nothing, but have you seen what you've got on?
Teacher: Are you suggesting I don't know what I'm wearing, Lauren?
Lauren: I don't know Miss, I thought maybe someone had thrown it at you or something.
This is my favorite 'Lauren' clip of all time:
Fantastic show by hometown sweetheart Alice Roi today. One of the most fashion-forward shows I've ever seen at fashion week. though Roi might benefit from an editor (some of the shiny dresses could have been chucked), for the most part her collection was really right-on and, surprisingly, reminded me of Comme des Garcons, what with the baggier trousers, body-flattering fits, and sophisticated construction. Roi is one to watch. (Plus she's one of the nicest people EVER -- once upon a time we were scheduled for a phone interview, but her cell phone died and she wasn't in her studio, so she went out onto the street with a pile of change and called me from a pay phone. Amazing.)
Bill Cunningham, whose 'On The Street' column appears in the New York Times every Sunday, photographed me four times on two different occasions today. This is serious stuff! Now I can die a happy woman.
I've been obsessing over this AFI song/performance for weeks, ever since my friend got me the AFI Santa Monica concert dvd. I don't know how to rip that footage for you, but here's someone else's footage from a different show.
If you get a chance, check out the opening number from the Santa Monica concert on the AFI 'I Heard a Voice' dvd. I can't get enough of the glam.
HILLARY SKIRTS ALONG THE RUNWAY
By DANICA LO
February 3, 2007 -- Bill chases them, now Hillary's on one.
Fashion got political in Rome on Sunday when Italian designer Fernanda Gattinoni sent models down the catwalk in floor-length puffball gowns emblazoned with enormous mugshots of some of the world's most powerful women - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
While Clinton and the queen escaped without commentary, the black sleeveless boat-neck top Gattinoni paired with Rice's skirt read "PEACE" in large letters.
* While past winners of "America's Next Top Model" often fade into oblivion after the show, Suvi Koponen, who won Finland's version, is making international strides her very first year out.
She opened and closed the last Prada show in Milan, and replaced supermodel Natalia Vodianova as the face of CK Calvin Klein this spring, shooting with such photographers as David Sims, Mario Testino and Steven Meisel for magazines like Vogue. She's optioned for top shows this week in New York.
* We hear: That two years after much-heralded Parisian label Martine Sitbon suffered a scandalous closure, she will re-launch under the moniker Rue du Mail with former Sitbon designer Cedric Rivrain at the helm.
February 2, 2007
February 1, 2007
Okay. Well, I don't know how one is meant to negotiate the shops in the mall, sorry, Terminal 4, when one is schlepping a laptop and carry-on luggage sans trolley.
I was lucky enough to score a rogue trolley outside a Montreal departure. But beware your next trip to Heathrow -- travel light and with wheels.
Our house was like one big You Tube party this week -- especially heavy on Stephanie of Monaco and Mylene Farmer videos (courtesy of Aleksi and Robin).
Stephanie of Monaco - Irresistible
Mylene Farmer - Desenchantee