Gianni and Gianfranco

Milan Fashion Week is going to be wrapping up in a few days – time flies when you’re having fun! Two of my favorite designers growing up were Gianfranco Ferre and Gianni Versace. I can still picture Linda and Christie looking amazing in both of these men’s sexy dresses and leather… lots of leather.

Versace: My personal archives.  I wasn't smart enough years ago to save the date and name of the publication, so my best guess would be this is from 1988/89 -- but this looks so current!!

Maybe I’m a little dramatic, but I can remember exactly where I was when Gianni Versace was shot in 1997 and then 10 years later when I heard the news of Gianfranco’s passing. I suppose they were my “JFK’s.” Both times I was at work (different companies!) and both times I cried at my desk. What can I say? I’m a softie!

Ferre: From my personal archives.  Vogue magazine, August 1990.  Timeless, classic.  I would wear this now!

I was lucky enough to see Versace speak at FIT when I was a student. He was completely endearing, genuine, passionate and encouraging. I left Katie Murphy Amphitheatre that day feeling inspired… the world was my oyster! When Gianni was killed several years later, I was crushed. Versace was very print driven back in the day and the label has certainly gone through some transitions during the last decade or so, but it’s still going strong. Sister Donatella had the extremely challenging role of stepping up to the plate and taking over the collection. She has done a very good job continuing the legacy and the Fall 2010 Collection was no exception. Actually, it was exceptional!

Gianni Versace - Fall 2010
Photo Credits: Firstview

Gianni Versace - Fall 2010
Photo Credits: Firstview
While I didn’t have the same personal attachment to Ferre, I definitely felt a connection with him on a design level. I really understood and was influenced by his aesthetic. Ferre earned his degree in architecture, but started designing accessories immediately upon graduating. Soon, he began designing raincoats and apparel. He served as Stylistic Director for Dior from 1989-1996. While his signature piece is the white shirt, Ferre used the wide belt constantly (even when it wasn’t a huge trend!) and worked a lot with leather and leather treatments such as perforation. The Ferre label has only been without its father for a few years now, but it certainly seems to be enduring.

Gianfranco Ferre - Fall 2010
Photo Credits: Firstview

Gianfranco Ferre - Fall 2010
Photo Credits: Firstview

Prada or Nada?

Ah, Miuccia. Life is certainly good for her. Fashionistas, editors, celebrities and just about anybody with a pulse wait with baited breath for her collection to grace the runway every spring and fall.

As a designer working for several different companies in my past, I (and my peers) always looked to certain labels for inspiration. For the last several years, it’s been Balenciaga, Lanvin, Marni, and of course, Marc and Dries. But, it's Miuccia Prada who has always been sitting in the pole position when it comes to setting the trends and the overall direction for a given season. That’s power! Prada power.

 I admit that I’m a fan. As I wrote in a recent post, I scoured Europe for my coveted Prada flats that I’ve practically worn to death. But, sometimes I think she pushes the envelope a little too much for my taste. Don’t get me wrong, somebody needs to push it, otherwise fashion would never evolve and we would all end up looking like clones and wearing the same thing season after season.

Above are some details from Ms. Prada’s Fall 2010 collection that showed in Milan the other day. Chime in… let me know what you think of these looks/items. Yay or nay?

Rule, Britannia!

Bloody hell...London Fashion Week is officially over, so before I turn my attention to Milan, I wanted to bid farewell to London.  I'm closing with a "Top Twenty" list of things I love about Britian...Cheers!

1. Music -- Bryan Ferry, Duran Duran, Adam Ant, Sex Pistols, Beatles, Stones...

2. Fashion -- McQueen (RIP), Vivienne Westwood, Jonathan Saunders, John Richmond...

3. Absolutely Fabulous

"Sweetie, darling.  Sweetie... darling."

4. Harvey Nichols

A shopper's paradise

5. The Tate Modern

6. Monty Python

The Holy Grail of comedy!

7. Jeremy Irons and Ralph Feinnes

I don’t really need to explain, do I?

8. Rowan Atkinson
Who doesn’t love Mr. Bean?

 9. The original "Office" and Ricky Gervais

10. Agent Provocateur


11. The Young Ones

When MTV had good shows!

12. Eddie Izzard

13. Tea and Scones

14. Hyde Park

15. 007

“Shaken, not stirred.”

16. Aston Martin

The original Bond car

17. Portobello Market

18. Savile row

19. Fish and Chips

20. John Inman

The hilarious Mr. Humphries!

UK is OK

Jonathan Saunders Fall 2010 Collection - London Fashion Week

He is the King of Color Block and the Prince of Print. Scottish born designer, Jonathan Saunders, studied textile printing in Glasgow and went on to earn his MA at London’s Central Saint Martin's. He was honored with the Lancome Colour Award in 2002 (upon graduating), the Fashion Enterprise Award in ’06 and was named the Designer of the Year 2007 by Elle Style Awards.

Jonathan Saunders Fall 2009

Jonathan Saunders - Spring 2009 (left), Fall 2007 (right)
When Topshop opened in SoHo last April, I heard that Saunders had collaborated with them and I battled the crowds to snag an item or two. Sadly, I didn’t purchase anything. The product for Topshop was a far cry from the real deal that I saw in Harrods. It certainly wasn’t Saunders' fault -- the price points and quality of Topshop were to blame. I have yet to see any of his merchandise for Target because I don’t want to be disappointed again. Hey, at least I don’t repeat the same mistakes twice!

Jonathan Saunders - Spring 2008 (left), Fall 2008 (right)
I’ve been following the talented designer since his Spring 2005 collection caught my eye. Suanders has showed mainly in London, but crossed the Atlantic to show in New York for Spring and Fall 2009. I was excited to see him this season, but when I couldn’t find him anywhere on the calendar I got in touch with his “people” and they let me know that Saunders would be back in London for Fall 2010. Oh well. The good news is that the collection will be heading over to the U.S. in April along with some other British labels. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person at that time.
Jonathan Saunders - Spring 2005
Saunders is also the Creative Director for the Italian label Pollini – taking over in 2008 for Rifat Ozbek (I loved him in the Eighties!). Pollini’s Fall 2010 line will be shown in Milan during Fashion Week which just got underway today.

Photo Credits: Firstivew (


Aquascutum - Fall 2010 (London)
Photos: Firstview (

Aquascutum, which is Latin for ‘watershield,’ is a UK based clothing company established in 1851 by a men’s tailor named John Emary. The luxury manufacturer produced the first waterproof wool and started making trench coats for soldiers in both world wars. By the late 1800’s, Aquascutum had established a royal clientele and they opened their first womenswear department in 1900.
Aquascutum - Fall 2010 (London)
Photos: Firstview (

I’ve always considered this label to be traditional, stuffy and uptight, but in recent years, it’s been growing on me. After reviewing the Fall 2010 Collection that showed at London Fashion Week on Sunday, I’m starting to love it. Designer Michael Herz featured long columnar dresses with cool belted jackets, vests and capes that sometimes revealed crisp white shirts underneath. There were a few pieces that still looked dowdy and frumpy, but overall I would definitely be happy to wear these clothes!

Aquascutum - Fall 2010 (London)
Photos: Firstview (