Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fighting Formidable Foe w/Fierce Frocks

Designs from Byron Lars, above and Whistle Flute below will be on sale tonight in a sample sale benefitting cancer research. Photos from

ONE does not hear much from him these days, but Byron Lars is still sewing and reaping.

Tonight, the legend-in-the-making and outfitter of first ladies and first dolls is putting some looks on a runway at the Audi Forum for no less a cause than Fashion Fights Cancer. It’s raison d'ĂȘtre is to raise funds/awareness about cancer research.

BL is on a bill with Tadashi Shoji, a newish fixture at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and a few others who are throwing pins and needles, tucks and folds at the Big C. The beauty of the fashion extravaganza, hosted by actress/songstress Suzy Malick, is that it morphs into a sample sale. Every look on the runway will be available for purchase. Here’s an opportunity to also own some names that may be smallish today but will be huge tomorrow: Thuy Diep+Whistle Flute+Lotusgrace+Kahri by Kahrianne+Kerr Karen Millen.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit two cancer-warrior orgs: I’m Too Young for This Cancer Foundation and The Cancer Research Institute.

Fashion Fights Cancer will jump off from 6:30p to 11:30p today at New York’s Audi Forum. Learn more about Fashion Fights Cancer and purchase tickets at; about I’m Too Young for This Cancer Foundation at; The Cancer Research Institute at

A Little Pick-Me-Up on a Slow Night in the Big City
William Gaines and Richie Rich, above, backstage before RR's show at EPOCA restaurant. Below, the designer on the red carpet post-show. Top photo by Yours Truly; bottom photo by William Gaines.

OUT of the gate first is a white sheer tunic/T-shirt. Underneath, a black bra and thong are clearly visible. It’s followed by dresses with hemlines that end at mid-thigh. They have sequins, flow and sashay appeal. Strictly for those with precious little junk and loads of attitude.

It’s Monday night. In August. In New York. It’s a little sleepy until Richie Rich injects this bit of life into it, plus a white/cream pantsuit that channels Cher during her “Sonny and Cher” days. And the hot pants set in a hot print. And so on.

Half the brains behind Heatherette and half of the team that introduced the Muse Collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February. Himself is giving the party people at EPOCA restaurant a little fashion spectacle that unfolds on a red carpet littered with colorful confetti. The night also marks the launch of social shopping club, eZipit (, that promises to save members some moan-naye, even on Richie Rich,

“I’m here to help my friend, and it’s August so why not come out and have a few drinks and have some fun,” the ice skater/party animal/businessman gives Yours Truly to know before the show backstage, which doubles as upstairs at EPOCA.

And, “no,” none of the flashy/sassy/fun/frolicky frocks that are visible on the confetti carpet will be on the runway when RR shows at Lincoln Center on opening night of M-BFW (9 September).

Don’t Be So Quick to Judge a Fashion Plate
Patrick McDonald and Ralph Rucci, above, got dressed for August's big summer fashion party, as did Simon and Alex McCord, below. Photos from Patrick McMullan Company.

PATRICK McDonald, he of the ubiquitous hat and heavily-crayoned eyebrows.

When Yours Truly first clapped eyes on the fashion writer/consultant/plate, my first thought was “What a Snob!” In my playbook, this creature was looking down his patrician nose at the world at-large. I had no proof except for his general carriage/bearing. These are the sorts of observations that I usually keep to myself for good reason. I know better, but I don’t always do better.

This impression held I until I saw PM on Bravo’s “Launch My Line.” He is one of the nicest, most gentle, most civil, most well-mannered souls one will meet on God’s green earth. Each week on the show he remained as chill and unflappable as ever.

Fast forward several months later to the other night at the annual summer party of The Couture Council of The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). In a nutshell, the Couture Council raises funds for/awareness about the museum. At any rate, it was at last year’s party at designer Charlotte Moss’ (and Council member) smashing Upper East Side townhouse that I had that fateful sighting of PM.

On Tuesday evening, he is as affable and engaging as ever as he moves about the upstairs rooms at the Cultural Services Building of the French Embassy. There he is in a rather animated conversation with Ralph Rucci, a former Couture Council award recipient. He warmly greets a parade paying its respects, including Alex McCord and her main squeeze, Simon (“The Real Housewives of New York City.”)

After about an hour of observing him, I approach because it is imperative that I atone for my stinking thinking. Blankly, he stares as I recount my first impression of him and how that all changed when I watched “Launch My Line.”

“Thank you,” he says with some amusement.

“Are you going to do anything with the line?”

“No. I did it just for the fun of it.”

“Really,” ask I.

“Yes, it was just for fun,” he reiterates.

PM thanks me profusely and begs off attending my (re)celebration of my 28th birthday later (beauty sleep) but he will show himself at the Couture Council’s annual benefit luncheon on 10 September at Avery Fisher Hall. This year, the luncheon will honor Karl Lagerfeld with the special Fashion Visionary Award.

Learn more about the Couture Council and The Museum at FIT at

A Brand of Love to Be Envied and Imitated
Perry Ellis International created a special polo for Project Beach, the company's initiative to help with the recovery of the Gulf Coast. Photos from Perry Ellis International.

LAST week, Perry Ellis International asked to be liked.

The global brand with a mad jones for coastal environs requests this week that all who have one, wear their hearts on their sleeves or more specifically, PE’s sleeve.

The garment in question is a polo shirt, fabricated from white cotton and embroidered with a pelican logo. The shirt is the latest prong in Project Beach, so christened by PE to put its money, mouth and manpower behind efforts to help in the recovery of the Gulf Coast after BP’s massive oil spill into the waters of South Louisiana and neighboring/nearby coastal states. Fittingly, the pelican is the state bird of Louisiana, my home state.

The limited edition (1,304 in all) polo is being hawked solely on PE will funnel up to $15K from polo sales into Project Beach.
Keep up with Perry Ellis Inernational’s Project Beach rollouts at:

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