Saturday, February 18, 2012


Well, we're now three-quarters through with February....the month of "Amour", Black History, The Grammys, and NYC Fashion Week (oh yes, and the Superbowl....YEAH GIANTS!)! 
With all this 'melodious fashionable Black love' infusing the air this month, I wanted to hit you up with a Haute Hunter summary of the happenings before all the fun dissipates.

While  I've been a bit under the weather and too uninspired to get my full NYFW hustle 'on', I did attend a couple shows that I felt were pretty impressive/fun. 

 As far as enjoyment is concerned, Rebecca Minkoff's show last week featured musical artist Theophilus London.  London not only kicked the show off with his set but he  continued his performance down the runway while the models did their thing. How cool is that!?!   And even more cool is the fact that I ran into ANTM's Miss J. Alexander after the show. Here are some pix:

I also really enjoyed the colors/prints/details in Nanette Lepore's new collection.  Her show  was a breath of fresh air and very well-received by her audience. Here are a couple of pix:

Speaking of my sparse attendance at the 'tents' this season, my goal is to always try to sneak a peek at the infamous Anna Wintour.  Mz. Anna, who has obviously been very busy keeping her front-row seat warm during NYFW, is also keeping busy politically.   Vogue's EIC was recently recognized as one of President Obama's biggest fundraisers!   Wintour has raised over $500,000 on behalf of the President's re-election campaign and is one of only 61 fundraising "bundlers" who fund-raise at that level.    Looks like Vogue's love affair with the Obama family is still going strong!   I wouldn't mind Mz AW converting that 'love' into another FLOTUS Vogue cover!

On the subject Vogue covergirls,  singer Rihanna has announced her entree into the reality television world!   The unscripted program, slated to air on the UK's Sky Living network, is a competition show featuring up-and-coming British fashion designers vying for the opportunity to dress Mz Rih Rih  for a performance in London's Hyde Park this summer. The ever-so-fashionable pop icon will serve as the shows Executive Producer.

Apparently, the U.K. is very serious about their fashion! The British government recently appointed Victoria Beckham as the U.K.'s 'Fashion Ambassador' to the world! Mz Posh will be responsible for supporting "Visit Britain's 'Great'" campaign and will lead the enterprise's "Fashion Is Great" initiative.

In more fashion news, shoe designer Brian Atwood is debuting a line of clutches on this Spring.  According to the Rachel Zoe Report, the Gilt offerings will include two styles of clutches: the Carla and the Theodora.  Looking forward to seeing what Mr. Atwood has to offer. 

Also branching out is fashion designer Norma Kamali who recently launched her KamaliKulture collection.  This collection of jersey dresses and separates (all pieces retailing for under $100) is being presented on the heels of Kamali's now defunct collaboration with Walmart. I guess Mz Norma recognizes the value in catering to a less affluent consumer.   Check out the pieces to see just how similar they are to her Walmart offerings (I thank heaven above that I was able to snag that plaid three-piece is DIVINE!) :

Another new collection from the creators of Juicy Couture, Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy, is making a buzz within fashion circles.  "Skaist-Taylor" is the name of the line the designers call  "California eclectic".  The line will range in price from $220 to $6,300.  Mz MLH/Mz FA/Mz SI, can you please tell me what "California eclectic" entails???? ;-)

Continuing their efforts of being more 'inclusive', H&M, who is now carrying a plus sized collection called H&M+,  is  now entering into the world of 'haute couture'.  Apparently, actress Michelle Williams sported a H&M Bespoke gown to the BAFTA Awards held in London this past weekend.   Let me find out H&M is going 'couture'!?!  I love it! Here's a photo of the dress:

Another Hollywood favorite sporting the fashion of a mass-marketed retailer  is Oscar nominee Rooney Mara.  "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" star was spotted at the 84th Academy Awards Nominations Luncheon in Beverly Hills wearing an ASOS jumpsuit paired with a Thierry Mugler jacket.  This is what I'm talking about ladies: do not be ashamed of the 'hi/lo'! It is the haute look right now! Here's Rooney in her ASOS:

On to 'hi/lo' collaboration news!
J Crew announced this week that Manolo Blahnik will be collaborating with J. Crew with a line of shoes to be released this fall.  Although I was previously under the impression that Mr. Blahnik thumbed his nose at such 'hi/lo' collaborations (see: ),  J Crew designer Jenna Lyons is so well-regarded in fashion circles that Blahnik probably doesn't consider J. Crew to be one of the "mass retailers" he previously shunned.    Either that or Blahnik finally realized that he was 'cutting his nose off to spite his face' throwing away all the money to be made in these 'hi/lo' joint ventures! Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing with this duo has in store!

Also, Diane von Furstenberg loves the kids!  Mz DVF has teamed up with GapKids to create a collection of DVF frocks for little girls.  This collection launches in Gap stores and online March 15.  Can't wait!!!!  Check out a sneak-peek here: 

On the collabo rumor mill is a possible partnership between rapper Kanye West and Topshop! Kanye, who will be highlighting his sophomore fashion design efforts during this year's Paris Fashion Week,  has been having 'talks' with Topshop CEO Sir Phillip Green.    Green, on the other hand, says the two were just "having lunch"!   What do you think?  From what I saw of Kanye's aesthetic in his initial collection, I  am not holding my breath ... ;-)

The Topshop collaboration I did hold my breath for, however, is  here! Mary Katrantzou's 10 piece capsule, ranging from $80 to $700, was made available at Topshop stores in the UK and online today and is already sold out (but not before I snagged the silk tunic)!  Take note, however, that the NY and Chicago stores are still waiting for their stock to clear customs so keep checking in to see what you can grab on this side of the pond.  

Katrantzou's involvement with Topshop also extends to their NEWGEN T-shirt collection , launching during London's Fashion Week, featuring designs by
Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll, Erdem, Peter Pilotto, Ashish, Meadham Kirchhoff, Jonathan Saunders, Gareth Pugh, Mary Katrantzou, House of Jazz, Roksanda Ilincic, Marios Schwab, Louise Gray, Nasir Mazhar, JW Anderson, Emma Cook, Peter Jensen, Holly Fulton, Craig Lawrence and Michael van der Ham.  All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be donated to charity with the focus on eradicating homelessness.

Macy's isn't to be left out on the collaboration front! With  Doo.Ri quietly launching this week, Macy's has already announced their next featured Impulse designer:  Alberta Ferretti.    Ferretti's 30-piece capsule will only be carried in select Macy's stores beginning April 17th and will be priced from $49-$119. 

Ferretti's fellow Italian designer Marni's capsule collection for H&M is all set to launch on March 8th but be sure to note that only these H&M outposts will carry the long-awaited collection in the U.S.:

Atlanta: Atlantic Station
Boston: Newbury Street
Chicago: 840 North Michigan Ave.
Costa Mesa: South Coast Plaza
Dallas: NorthPark Center
Denver, CO: Denver Pavilions
Glendale: Americana at Brand
Las Vegas: Forum Shops at Caesars
Los Angeles: Beverly Center
Murry, Utah: Fashion Place Mall
New York City: 111 5th Ave at 18th Street; 34th Street - Herald Square; 5th Ave at 51st St; 7th Ave at 34th Street; Lexington Ave at 86th St; Soho
Palm Beach Gardens: The Gardens Mall
Paramus: Garden State Plaza
Philadelphia: Walnut Street
San Diego: Fashion Valley Mall
San Francisco: 150 Powell Street
San Jose: Santana Row
Scottsdale: Scottsdale Fashion Square
Seattle: 520 Pike Street
Washington D.C.: F Street
West Hollywood: 8580 Sunset Blvd.

Leaving the clothing collaborations behind momentarily, however is former H&M collaborator, Roberto Cavalli.  Cavalli's new focus is on watches! He has joined forces with Swiss watchmaker  Franck Muller to create a Fall 2012 line of fashionable watches. 

Although Uniqlo has been a bit quiet ever since the +J venture concluded, they recently announced that they will be releasing a 105 piece collection with Japanese  designer Jun Takahashi ("UU") retailing between $10,50 and $105.  Mz TT and Mz NC, let me know what you think since you both love Uniqlo!

Lord & Taylor is reportedly also trying to get into the 'collaboration' game with their new joint venture with designer Yoana Baraschi.  "Yoana by Yoana Baraschi" is the 12 piece collection that will soon be available in limited Lord & Taylor outposts. 

Designer Rachel Roy is well known for her collaboration efforts and has now teamed up with Deepak Chopra on a line of inspirational T-shirts.
Roy is also busy creating a shoe line pricing between $200 and $600  inspired by Manolo Blahnik himself!   Mz RR certainly knows how to 'keep it moving'!

Joining Roy in the 'shoe game' is talk show host Wendy Williams.  Wendy's 'Adorn' shoe line launched this month. The line caters to women with shoe measurements up to size 12 and the footwear will feature all the 'bling' that we're accustomed to from a diva like Wendy! Good luck Mz WW!

On more diva developments, according to news sources, celeb stylist June Ambrose and  model Selita Ebanks are also launching out into the deep with their own fashion lines.  Mz June seems to be looking to add the title of 'fashion designer' to her resume with her clothing line and Mz. Selita recently announced that she will be soon uncovering her own swimwear line.    I can't wait to see what these ladies have in store!

In the world of make-up, Black Eye Peas singer Fergie has inked a deal with drugstore makeup line 'Wet 'N Wild' to be their first celebrity spokesperson!

Also new and noteworthy in the world of beauty is the fact that MAC has now entered into the world of nail polish.  The highly-pigmented colors, which were launched for several NYFW shows will be available in stores later this year. 

Lastly in the business of fashion, NYFW must have inspired NY Mayor Bloomberg because he recently announced an initiative called Fashion NYC 2020, where he has teamed up with FIT  to create 'Design Entrepreneurs NYC'.  According to WWD, this 'mini-MBA program for 35 designers will teach these creators how to run the the business side of their labels.  The deadline to apply for this free initiative is March 31st so hurry to this website for more information:

Now that we've got the 'news' covered, let's look at some fashion!!!

Check out these randomly-ordered 'steals' I've found during my most recent 'haute hunting' expeditions.  Hope  you like!

Sandals by Ancient Greeks 175.85@ Colette Paris

Big City Sneakers by Be&D $126 @ Colette Paris

Rose Gold Pleated Skirt $130 @ Topshop

Zara Asymmetric Dress$159 @ Zara

Draped Tunic $79.99 @ Zara

Fringed Clutch $59.90 @ Zara

Sleeveless Jumpsuit $168 @ Zara

Lace Top $49.90 @Zara

Lucite-Heeled Wedges $110 @Rachel By Rachel Roy

Contrast Pump $160 @ Topshop

Dress $289.99 @ Rachel by Rachel Roy

Printed Skirt $89 @ Rachel by Rachel Roy

Sheer-Panel Pant Suit $TBD @ Zara

Split Dress $TBD @ Zara

Extreme Platforms $190 @ Topshop

Color-blocked Pump $160 @ Topshop

Beaded Clutch $26.80 @ Forever 21

Boutique 9 Mirror Heels $120 @ Shopbop

Leather Fringe Skirt $89.99 @ Zara

Pump with Lucite Heel $129 @ Zara

Mint Green Leather Sandal $156 @ Topshop

Printed Sequin Skirt $129 @ Zara

Mermaid Metallic Dress $225 @ Topshop

Metallic Shorts $150 @ Topshop

Christian Siriano for Payless "Gold Edition"/Runway Fall 2012 $TBD

Christian Siriano for Payless "Gold Edition"/Runway Fall 2012 $TBD

Zara Fringe Dress $TBD

Viktor&Rolf Bow Sandal $860 @Shopbop

Fendi Bootie $1320 @Moda Operandi

Giuseppe Zanotti Sandal $1055 @Shopbop

Herve Leger Split Maxi Bandage Dress $3800 @ Herve Leger

Nicholas Kirkwood Glitter Sandal $1050 @ Moda Operandi

Nicholas Kirkwood Velvet Platform Pump $995 @ Moda Operandi

Versace Metal Toe Mary Jane Pump $810 @ Moda Operandi

Christian Louboutin Velvet and Patent Leather Studded Loafers $925 @ Saks

Christian Louboutin Asteroid Spiked Pumps $1695 @ Barneys NY

Giuseppe Zanotti Suede Peep-Toe Platform Pumps $795 @ Shopbop

Gucci Leather Dress $3200 @ Netaporter

BCBG/Max Azria Dress $328 @  Shopbop

Mason By Michelle Mason Leather Vested Maxi Dress  $850 @ Netaporter

Balmain Silk Printed Dress $8790 @ Netaporter

Alexander Wang Bikini $325 @ Shopbop

Alexander Wang Leather Draped Tank Dress $1225 @ Moda Operandi

Hakaan 'Efua' Dress $1507.20 @ Shopbop

OK folks, that's all for now- I have to go finish watching Mz. Bevy Smith host BET's Whitney Houston retrospective.... So touching..... R.I.P Mz. Nippy!!!
PLEASE rremember to live each day as if it's your last!
Have a happy and safe President's Day!
p.s. - As the majority of this post was drafted well in advance of Whitney Houston's death, I was not able to cover her life and iconic style in a manner that was befitting.  As such, I hereby dedicate this post in its entirety to Ms. Houston.  May her spirit soar now that she has indeed found "The Greatest Love Of All" as she rests in peace alongside her Lord and Savior....

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