Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dresses, Tunics and Ts for a Common Cause

Jayda A. (right) has immediate plans for the tunic. Below in descending order: H&Mer Steve Lubomski is chill in an African-print T-shirt. The headphones may become a neccesary accessory for someone. Jayda A. ponying up at the register. Sagi Lee is a woman who got a good deal in the white tunic, and she knows it. Photos by Daralyn Jay.

Yes, there she is - over there. Her. Today, stylist Jayda A. is on the set of a photo shoot. She’s wearing a b&w drunken-striped cropped blouse with a white fringe detail on the bodice. With it she’s wearing skinny-jean long shorts and red, strappy stiletto sandals. She looks fabulous.

Last night, JA bought the blouse and an animal-print maxi dress with cinched waist and tulip-shaped sleeves. She and hundreds of others, including demi-stars in the
person of Tristan Wilds (“90210”) and Kelly Bensimon (“The Real Housewives of New York City”) were among the few and the proud selected to shop H&M’s third annual Fashion Against Aids Collection.

Like many others, JA dropped by to show her support for a dear cause, plus she needed to make up for a previous lapse. “I actually was supposed to be involved in the walk,” she explains of last week’s AIDS Walk New York.

And why didn’t she take the walk?

“Honey, I don’t want to talk about –…”

“You sprang your ankle,” Yours Truly offers helpfully.

Her eyes light up because she sees an out. “Yes, yes, I sprang my ankle. Yes. That’s exactly what happened.”

JA has done her penance because she plopped down plastic for “some great, great things.”

Of course the blouse is on the set today. But what will become of the dress? “Me and my girlfriend have to go somewhere fabulous, because this dress brings it,” she declares with extreme conviction.

Today, regular folk in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles get to shop for a dress like JA’s or any piece(s) from the collection of clothes, sleeping bags, headphones, tents, accessories and so forth. One doesn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but couldn't the promotion be worldwide? After all HIV/AIDS is a global concern. Perhaps, next year.

Anywho, shoppers in those three wondrous cities will be shopping to the tune of piped-in music instead of WHITE LIGHTS. Sad, because last night the lucky L.A.-based band that emerged the winner from among thousands in the Fashion Against AIDS Battle of the Bands competition for up-and-comers rocked the joint with riffs/hooks/bangs, helping to turn browsers into shoppers. That goes for Sagi Lee, too, a pretty, young thing straight out of South Korea where she says H&M put down roots only weeks ago. But she has a special jones for the ones in New York.

“H&M in Korea, it’s more expensive,” she explains in charming English. “H&M here, the price is very reasonable, very thrifty, you know.”

SL formed an immediate bond with a white tunic with lace accents ($34 and
change), totally unawares that 25 percent of proceeds from its sale and that of the whole collection will be donated to a plethora of HIV/AIDS awareness projects.
“Yes, yes, I support it,” she smiles. But not until now. Heretofore, HIV/AIDS was not on her radar. “I never met people – you know – who are sick.”

Thanks goes to the friend who invited SL for winning another one over to the Cause.

Visit to learn more about the Fashion Against AIDS collection.

Designer, Entrepreneur, Innovator and now ... Dr.
TEN o’clock Tuesday morning (25 May) at Radio City Music Hall or on the computer parked at Be there.

At the appointed time and the appointed place is the FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) commencement exercises, an important event in and of itself because of all the potential Donna Karans, Malan Bretons and Norma Kamalis.

Because of the latter bold-faced name, the event takes on heightened importance. Reason is Kamali, the incomparable will be receiving an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. It would probably fit nicely along the wall with the degree in fashion illustration that she brought home from the esteemed fashion school in the ‘60s.

Before (or is it after?) they get that piece of paper, NK, other honorees and future grads will sit through the keynote address of Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire. No doubt, NG will be less snippy/prickly/snarkey than she is as a “Project Runway” judge. To her credit, though, NG is always instructive, if not constructive.

Doubtless, NK is to be the recipient of such an honor because of several decades of design in the form of the sleeping-bag coat and her role in convincing America that activewear fabrics can be used to make everyday frocks, which are now omnipresent.

One of the trademarks of NK’s career as a designer and businesswoman has been innovation. There is the flexible all-in-one-dress (shown in the ad campaign image above). Today, she is – among other things – exploiting technology that allows consumers to use their mobile phones to buy product displayed right there in the shop window.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Learn more about Norma Kamali at; FIT at

Awesome 2some: Isn't She Lovely/Isn't He Talented?
SUPER model Ubah Hassan and designer Malan Breton really must take their show on the road. It’s a simple recipe for success: She reaps; he sews.

Women will go ga-ga because they will believe as do the men who buy cars because they convince themselves that the fire-engine red hot rods comes with the super fine chicks posed suggestively on the hood. Women will imagine themselves as the

Ubah Hassan as an ultrachic, beautiful young woman of the world in ensems from the Malan Breton Collection. Photos by Rick Louis.

aspirationally fabulous UH. The women, of course, can simply have MB’s frocks tailored to fit their shorter, wider proportions, producing the desired fabulositiness.

One can do nothing but cheer for MB, for the star of this Tiawanese import has risen to near the stratosphere since he was snipped from the third season of “Project Runway.” Over a hem no less.

But that was then. Now, MB - like fellow "PR" alum Christian Siriano - is a conglomerate: magazine columnist, Web show host, show costumer, judge, author (of a book of photography.)

Oy! the high cost of early failure.

Learn more about the Malan Breton juggernaut at

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