Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fashion Scrapbook: POSHness for Everyone

This Manolo Blahnik gold-sequinned pump and the multicolored handbag (bottom photo) from Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. line are among thousands of items available at the POSH sale through Sunday. As has become customary, the annual benefit sale was preceded by pump and circumstance in the form of "A POSH Affair," a reception and dinner attended by only the poshest, including Lee Radziwill (middle photo). Photos of shoes and handbag courtesy of Lighthouse International. Photo of Mrs. Radziwill by Yours Truly.

HEAD’S UP: Welcome to the debut of “Fashion Scrapbook.” It is to be a several-times monthly digest of goings-on fashion- and beauty-related. While Yours Truly will usually publish Fashion Scrapbook on Thursday – ditto for standalone fashion/beauty stories in general – it may from time to time appear on another day of the week as breaking news dictates.

FASHIONISTAS on a strict money diet can have their Manolos and wear them, too – perhaps to the “Sex in the City 2” premiere later this month. But first, hustle over to Lighthouse International between today and Sunday for your booty.

How’s that? It’s May and it’s time for the POSH sale. Yes, that very fashionable four-day event/benefit through which thousands of designer knick knacks, including new and gently worn clothing, shoes and accessories for women, girls, boys and men are on sale to the hoi polloi for far less then they would cost on a rack, shelf or case in Bergdorf’s.

At 38, POSH is still absolutely fabulous and has loyal friends, including Samantha Jones aka Kim Cattrall, who is certain to attend the “SC 2" premiere. “I have been involved in Lighthouse International’s POSH sale for years. I absolutely love the idea of fashionable philanthropy, shopping for great bargains and helping a truly wonderful organization at the same time.”

Here’s an equal opportunity for all to wear not only authentic Blahnik, but Christian Lacroix, Oscar de la Renta, Rachel Roy, XOXO et al., including Carolina Herrera who was an honoree Tuesday night at the staid kick-off, “A POSH Affair,” in The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel. Among those in attendance was Lee Radziwill aka kid sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. By the by, LR is incredibly thin (but not at all frail) and, incredibly well-preserved. Pray that we will all look as good if we are fortunate enough to live into our 70s!

New this year at POSH is an online marketplace run by Lighthouse and Here, shoppers outside of New York can shop, too, knowing that a portion of what they spend will go toward Lighthouse’s commendable work, fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. How democratic!

Phone (212) 821-9445 or visit to purchase tickets to the Posh sale; learn more about Lighthouse International at and 1stdibs at

Zac Posen Hits the Mark and Blows a Horn
It's his party, and Zac Posen (left) can toot his horn if he wants to. The dress, below, was a shopper's favorite at the designer's VIP party to celebrate his Zac Posen for Target collection. Zac Posen photo courtesy of Diane Bondareff for Target. Dress photo from Zac Posen for Target lookbook.

THE Zac Posen for Target collection has been in stores a little more than two weeks, and anecdotal evidence suggests that Himself is playing well in Peoria and the rest of Middle America. It has worked for Isaac Mizrahi and others, so why not?

Before the big debut nationwide and before New Yorkers were specially selected to shop the line for 24 hours more than a week before it would open nationwide, ZP threw a VIP shopping party in New York.

Here’s the scene at the New Yorker Hotel, which incidentally one can see from the sky when flying into LaGuardia from points south: the red carpet is unfurled for Maggie Gyllenhaal, Alek Wek, Claire Danes, Selma Blair and other Friends of Zac. Inside they are greeted by “cigar girls” offering masks and party horns, one of which ZP accepts. Champagne (or is that sparkling wine?) is flowing. In front of a backdrop featuring two supermodel types, anyone camera-ready can pose for a picture and it will be put into their eager hands in mere minutes. The Like is burning up the mic and injuring my eardrums. The music is LOUD. The joint is jumping, and commerce is pumping.

Seemingly, everybody is enthralled by the prices – from around $15 to $150. These frocks will be appearing in Target after all.

“I love them," Mrs. Furstenberg (no relation to Diane Von) says of the pieces in the collection. “They are just like his regular line, only cheaper so that regular people can afford them.”

Mrs. F is making her way to the cash/credit/debit register instead of the dressing room with a floral dress and other garments. “Oh, I don’t need to try them on. If something doesn’t fit me, it will fit my daughter,” she says confidently. Mrs. F., incidentally, has a six-degrees-of-separation-type relationship with ZP: “I am here because he went to the same school as my daughter and my nephew’s cousin is his best friend,” or some such.

The garments – mostly dresses – do bear Zaconian cuts and flourishes: Sexy, edgy, feminine, florals, ruffles and folds that a mother and daughter would/could wear. An early crowd favorite is a navy military-style dress for $69.99 that will flatter every reasonable figure. Even I almost open my wallet to buy one – then I remember my money diet. Mrs. F has one, so does the fashion reporter I encounter while I am leering at it. And the British comic who won entry into the shopping event through a promotion is cuddling one protectively under her right arm. “I just love it,” she fairly gushes. “It won’t show too much and will make me look slimmer.”

And so it will.

The Zac Posen for Target collection is available nationwide.

From Russia, Some Things That Cinch and Sashay

Something long from Lidia Amirova (left) and a little inspiration from the MTA strike from Nina Vishneva (below). Photos courtesy of Manhattan Automobile Company.

LIKE in Paris and London – and perhaps to a lesser extent Hong Kong – the population of New York is a microcosm of the world. Some members of just about every ethnic group from just about every part of the world calls Gotham home. Aware of this distinction, the city conceived New York Immigrant Heritage Week and has been celebrating the city’s rich diversity for seven years.

Last month, the week that “honors the vibrant immigrant cultures, heritages and communities found in every corner of the City” jumped off with the Russians, and they were not serving vodka – at least not during the program. The centerpiece was
another Russian import – fashion. Lidia Amirova, who
semi-famously appeared as a contestant on “The Fashion Show,” Bravo’s “Project Runway” replacement,” was on a roster with several designers who used the backdrop of the Manhattan Automobile Company to showcase their collections.

Word on the avenue is that the Russians have sartorial swagger.

Learn more about Lidia Amirova at; other Russian designers who showed their collections at, and New York Immigrant Heritage Week at

Underneath It All Is a Story About Shoes
Michael Saab shows off his back after he rises from his bed of nails, which he holds overhead. Eric Ckacoura (below) sits contentedly on his throne. Photos by Yours Truly.

A shirtless young man wearing sunglasses is lying suspended off the floor. A closer inspection reveals that he is resting on a bed of nails. He is deathly still, but alive.

I walk around him, staring at this curiosity. Just as I recover from one strange sight my gaze falls on a head of broccoli-cauliflower or broccoflower on a nearby table. And sitting on an inflated throne-like chair is what appears to be a man dressed in a … what is he wearing? – not quite a drag queen, not quite a circus clown. But there is a clown gadabouting.

This is not a dream. Or nightmare. It is the press preview of Camper’s Fall-Winter 2010 collection of men's, women’s and children’s shoes. To make the point that its shoes are very comfortable. And that its shoes are hybrids and unisex and so on, the brand whose name means peasant in Spain where it is based, doesn’t simply tell us.

It’s much more interesting, for instance to ask singer/dancer/performer Eric Ckacoura to dress in an androgynous colorful get-up to showcase a lace-up unisex boot that is designed - as is the entire collection - using interesting technologies and recycling methods. And which were brought to the world, creating the smallest carbon footprint possible. “I call it my ringmaster outfit,” explains EC, who discloses that he had in mind the circus as he was conceiving his ensemble. Though a strong counterpoint to his outfit, the boot also complements it, so much so that EC would like to walk out with his comfortable booty.

In the Camper high top his feet are comfortable, too, says Michael Saab aka the man lying on the nails. But his back ... When I met him he’d been lying on the nails for about an hour. “I meditate and it doesn’t hurt so much,” explains the performance artist who also eats fire and crawls into large latex balloons. He is using the experiment/experience as an endurance test.

Why not just throw some releases at the press, show us the collection and send us on our way? Why this? “I wanted to do something fun, that would be memorable,” says Kevin Giss, public relations ace and the brains behind the bazaar.

After he rises from his bed of nails nearly two hours later, MS gives me to know that his mind was on things above. “I thought about Jesus and how much worse it must have been nailed to a cross,” says the professed Christian.

Now that it is finished he’s going to have some sushi.

Incidentally, the Camper fall-winter 2010 collection, including the spawn from Camper collaborations with Veronique Branquinho and other artistic types, will begin arriving in stores in August.

Learn more about Camper at; learn more about Michael Saab at

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