2011 April 18

A Moment With... Susan Woo

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Susan Woo Susan Woo
Patrick McMullan
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Now, toss out every crunchy, granola notion of lumpy layers crafted from hemp, best accessorized with Birkenstocks. Susan Woo is the antithesis of what eco-fashion brings to mind. After studying fashion design and business at Cornell, Woo had a string of plum stints at Louis Vuitton, Derek Lam and Chanel. Her latest collection is rife with minimalist tunics, luxe skirts in perfect pencil silhouettes, and standout outerwear that's sharply nipped, zipped and belted. Check out the Gallery for a peek. How exactly is Woo stepping up the sustainable style game? Read on.

What prompted you to start your eponymous line?
It was actually inspired by a client at Chanel. She was obviously a wealthy woman who was able to afford Chanel, and she was asking me lots of questions about a particular sweater. "How were the sheep treated?" I joked, We're assuming they were fed caviar, because this is Chanel! She was really interested in how her clothes were made. She loved leather and could afford it, but wouldn't buy it because of ethical reasons. She wanted a happy medium.

So who is the Susan Woo woman?
There's a type of customer that wants to go eco-friendly, but without compromising her taste. Someone with a higher aesthetic than the green designs already out there, which are mostly knits and jeans. It's for a woman who has meetings and cocktail parties. 

What distinguishes you from the non-green competition?
I think of the sustainable aspect as a gift with purchase; green is good when you don't have to sacrifice anything. So much mass-retailer clothing can only be worn once or twice before it falls it apart. Truly sustainable fashion lasts, and it's worth the investment. I'd rather have a smaller closet of things I love, rather than a massive closet of what's in right this moment. 

How's it performed at retail?
I've done three collections, so it's a pretty young line. I hang on the floor with regular designers. Customers buy it because the fit and color are great, and people often don't even know the line is eco-friendly. 

How do you source your materials?
There aren't many great eco-friendly fabrics out there that will work with my collections, so when I find one I love, I get obsessed. I'd say that sourcing is 80 percent of what I do. I manufacture in New York, so I can walk 10 blocks and make sure everyone is working in good lighting, wages are fair, stuff like that. My first season, they made a dress and the straps were two different lengths, so I just walked over to fix it. There are no flights or translators involved in the production process, which makes a huge difference.

2011 April 18

Look of The Daily: Reese Witherspoon in Jason Wu

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Reese Witherspoon in Jason Wu Reese Witherspoon in Jason Wu
Getty Images
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Aww alert! Back from her honeymoon already? On Sunday night, Reese Witherspoon hit the New York premiere of Water for Elephants sporting a silk radzmire sculpted dress with falling leaf lace embroidery from Jason Wu's Fall 2011 collection. And yes, those are Christian Louboutin heels. Are you liking the leaves?

2011 April 18

Market Work: New York & Co. Fall 2011

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NY & Co. Fall 2011 NY & Co. Fall 2011
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Last Friday, New York & Company showed its Fall 2011 collection with a lively presentation at Milk Studios. Don't expect what you've seen in years past--NY&C has had a major facelift, cheris. Chic gabbed with CEO Greg Scott and director of PR Marielle Gelber to get to the bottom of all the buzz. "We’re trying to give women in their thirties, who haven’t really had a home, a destination for great fashion," shared Scott. "I want her to have fashion she thought she could never afford." Like a $69 camel cape/trench that converts to a poncho? "Exactly! We’re starting to offer more novel fashion, and the customer will pay for that, but we’re still lower than our competition by $10, $20, or $30." For Fall, that means shift dresses, jewel tone blouses, and black trousers for every day of the week—along with seventies garb like faux fur vests and chubbies, paisley frocks, and floppy-brimmed hats. "The sidewalk is your runway!" Gelber chimed in. "We want New York women to feel good and look great. We also want women who don’t live here to have a taste of New York style. Attitude is a New York woman's best accessory, and paired with a NY&C item, you're sure to make a stunning Fall statement."

2011 April 18

Correspondence We Actually Received: Alluring the Public Edition

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This is a design by Pierre Garroudi. Discuss! This is a design by Pierre Garroudi. Discuss!
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So much brilliance arrives in the editor@dailyfrontrow.com inbox. Today's kudos go to designer Pierre Garroudi. Without further ado (or any editing):

press release: 17/04/12

Orgasmic Flashmob Fashion show to invade the streets of London!

Pierre Garroudi is enticing a surreal burst of exuberance across London through his Haute Couture in an exceptional "Flashmob Fashion Show", a must see for the 21st of April!

Models adorned in the Red Stopping collection will depart from the Pierre Garroudi gallery, ready to strut across the streets of London, creating an immense buzz as they parade and ambush the tube lines on a mission to allure their public as the streets becoming their catwalk. The climax  of the event erupting in the heart of Trafalgar Square.

Through the Encouragement of participation from models in live photo and video shoots will emerge the rare indulgence of an alarmingly high fashion glamour. Dancers will also surround the scene performing to current chart-topping songs, accentuating the intoxicating atmosphere.

Inspirational for the upcoming generation of fashionistas, seeking to embrace their alter-ego and of course exhibit the exhilarating spirit that can only be found in the Pierre Garroudi brand. 

2011 April 15

Sergio Says! Weekly Musings from Marie Claire (and Beyond...)

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Shooting a few fierce frames with Taylor Momsen Shooting a few fierce frames with Taylor Momsen
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This week, Sergio Kletnoy nibbles crumpets on Crosby, spots Bill Cunningham in action and has a laundry list of colorful starlet run-ins, both on and off the job—as per usual for the fiercest assistant to ever set foot in Hearst Tower. The Daily's "The Assistant Files" kicked off with Kletnoy, and each week we're following his escapades as Marie Claire EIC Joanna Coles' gatekeeper. And don't forget to peruse the gallery of Sergio's fantastic photographic evidence!

Sunday, 1:45 p.m.
In my gray Diesel jeans, “Who The F#$K is Mark Ronson” t-shirt, Pierre Hardy kicks and an army and neon-yellow coat by Raf Simons, I am rushing downtown to meet my favorite “natural blond,” Amanda Hearst. Amanda invited a few of her friends for an afternoon of tea and crumpets (how posh) at the Crosby Street Hotel in Soho. I overslept from being out until 3 a.m. the night before, and arrived 45 minutes late. After two hours of endless trays of food and six cups of English Breakfast tea, we headed out for an afternoon of shopping. While in Soho, I spotted Joanna's BFF Narciso Rodriguez and his posse of peeps. I waved hello and rushed off for something a little more important: Y-3, Bathing Ape, Diesel, Buckler and Opening Ceremony, where I dropped a small fortune on a couple of t-shirts. 

Monday, 9:05 a.m.
On my way to work, I spot Bill Cunningham on the corner of 57th and 5th—his favorite place to photograph fashionistas—I yell out “Bill, LOVED the movie." He smiled, said thank you, and went back to snapping pix of those who are not fashion roadkill. Later that day at the Dream hotel, I caught up with my favorite new British import, Jessie J, for another round of tea.  (Bye bye, Ellie Goulding.) She was tricked out in a black mesh catsuit, gold bamboo earrings, gold creepers and a matching pleather jacket. Jessie is a world famous singer/songwriter. Never heard of her? Well, you’ve definitely heard of Miley’s biggest hit, “Party In The U.S.A.,” which Jessie co-wrote. Her debut album Who You Are is out this week and be sure to check out the brand spanking new psychedelic video for “Nobody’s Perfect",which happens to be my fave off the album. Best part of our interview? The Angel Jackson feather bag.

Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.
While THE BOSS was out to lunch, I met up with Gossip Girl’s resident wild child turned rockstar, Taylor Momsenfor an interview. Taylor was dolled up in a white dress, Ramones sweatshirt, leather biker jacket and her signature black eyeliner. (Surprisingly, she told me that make-up only takes 10 minutes to apply.) I was wearing my favorite vintage Zeppelin t-shirt, and she asked me what my favorite Zeppelin song was. “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.” Turns out, it’s her favorite, too. Adore! We made fun of Avril, discussed my tattoos and shared our love for Chris Cornell. Taylor is obsessed with Teen Mom, doesn’t care for Bieber and wants to be known as a singer who acts, not the other way around.  We talked about our favorite classic movies. Mine: Some Like It Hot. Hers: The Wizard of Oz. (I’ve never seen it, so kill me.) The debut album by The Pretty Reckless, the rock band that Taylor fronts, “Light Me Up” is in stores this week. Be sure to check out "Just Tonight," the killer single and video from one of the best rock albums of the year.

Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
I am fixated with “Wonderland” by Natalia Kills. Natalia (real name: Natalia Cappuccini) is a stunning British singer-songwriter. P.S., If you haven’t noticed, I am real Anglophile. Natalia is what Gaga wishes she could be. Next up is “Rose Colored Glasses” by Kelly Rowland. Kelly came to the office today and over another round of tea—Joanna’s obsession with tea has finally rubbed off on me—we reminisced about the first time we met, our love for Marvin Gaye, the possibility of a Destiny’s Child reunion and my Salvador Dali tattoo. More about our interview next week. Back to the song: Kelly looks flawless in the video, which was directed by a world-renowned photographer Rankin. Drop whatever you are doing and download it now!  And finally, “Out Of My Mind” by the London-based Tyson.  If Prince and Scissor Sisters had a baby, Tyson would be it.  As one blogger put it, “It will have you moaning for all the right reasons.”

Thursday, 1:12 p.m.
I heart N.Y.!  While coming out of Hale & Hearty on 55th Street and Eighth Avenue with my lunch, I ran into Goldie Hawn. Casually dressed in a black tank top, sweats and the obligatory shades, she definitely did not look like a grandmother—more like a hot cougar. I said hi, she smiled, waved and went about her business. Of course, now I’m obsessed. I think I need to stay in this weekend and have a full-fledged movie day. (Goldie’s Death Becomes Her and HouseSitter are going straight to the top of my movie pile.) Oh how I wish those rumors from years back about Goldie and Madonna starring in Chicago turned out to be true. What I wouldn’t give to hear Madge and Goldie belt out “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag.” A boy can dream…

2011 April 15

Getting To Know You...Simon Spurr

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Simon Spurr Simon Spurr
Billy Farrell Agency
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He's had his own line since 2006, but Simon Spurr trained under the best—Hedi Slimane, Ralph Lauren, and la maison Calvin Klein. Simply put? He's a star. But what's his cleaning lady's name? 

Name: Simon Spurr 

Age: 36

Birthday: July 8th

Current abode: New York City

Birthplace: Farnborugh, U.K.


Hours you sleep: Six.

Wake-up call: 6:15 a.m..

Street of choice: "No street, exactly, but my area of choice would be Belsize Park in London."

What phrase are you over? "Cropped pants."

Favorite room? "The bedroom"

Favorite vegetable? "Potato."

A divine recent read: "An article on the Duke of Windsor by Suzy Menkes in Another Man."

iPad app: "Chase bank." 

Do you have the iPad 2? "No, and I won't. I don't believe in excessive keeping-up-with-the-Jones'. "

Favorite showtune: "I'm not a showtunes guy." 

What do you pay your cleaning lady? $100.

What's her name? "Anya. The first time she cleaned my house, she color-coordinated my wardrobe."  

Gym: Equinox.

Exercise: Pilates.

Favorite bread: "Whatever's fresh."

First fashion show: "Tom Ford's very last Gucci show." 

Greatest expenditure: "My apartment."

Escape plan: "I'll retire from fashion and build a modern home on the beach in Mexico."

Illicit crush: Olivia Wilde.

What makes you jealous? "I don't get jealous."

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