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Dita Von Teese brings “Strip Strip Hooray” to the Tower this week

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Betty Grable. Sahji Pearl. Jane Russell. Lili St. Cyr. These names elicit visions of what glamour used to look like, from a time when lingerie was more than just seductive nighttime attire. While an assortment of gorgeous dolls (and drag queens) do their best to uphold that classic vibe, no one manages to illustrate or embody the beauty of burlesque like Dita Von Teese.

The former Mrs. Marilyn Manson credits her mother for her infatuation with vintage 1940s glam. That fascination with elegant hosiery and intricate undergarments together with childhood ballet training fueled Von Teese’s ascension as the modern queen of burlesque, famous worldwide for her stunning curves and elaborate shows. But the smoldering starlet stresses that glamour is undefinable, declaring that every size and shape can be glamorous, even on a thrift-store budget. (”I was making minimum wage when I first started doing burlesque,” she notes.) The best way to develop that allure, she says, is to find what makes you comfortable, embellish upon your best features and, most importantly, dare to be different.

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Need a lesson or some quickie inspiration, sexy sisters? For the first time ever, Von Teese has taken her 90-minute spectacle, Burlesque: Strip Strip Hooray!, on the road; in fact, it’s already here. And fellas, be braced: An increasing number of women have been in attendance on the tour, Von Teese says—“embracing their own level of empowerment.”

The performer isn’t only bringing her show to her common-folk fans, but bringing more of it: Her previous gigs usually featured two acts, whereas Strip Strip Hooray! boasts four elaborate sets by Von Teese herself, plus a number of additional performers. Also, it’s important to note that Von Teese does her own hair and make-up and also designs her own costumes—a huge deal in the entertainment styling world. Garments intricately studded with Swavorski crystals are sure to be among the special on-stage features sure to dazzle attendees. The others, it’s safe to say, have precious little to do with stagewear.

Oct. 9. 7:30pm. The Tower Theater, 19 S. 69th St, Upper Darby.



Burberry’s New ‘White Line’ is Ummm…Confusing

Image Courtesy of Burberrys US Store.

Image Courtesy of Burberry's US Store.

On Wednesday, May 2nd, the British clothing house Burberry released a white collection for Spring/Summer 2012, including a video intro to give shoppers more of a feel for the line.

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After watching the models look windswept in slo-mo for 55 seconds with camera panning over them, we’re wondering why?  The line doesn’t make sense.

Now, I’m a huge Burberry fan. But who the hell is wearing a trench coat during the summer???  I don’t care how light or breathable the material is, no one in their right mind would don a trench mid-May. I love my trench more than like it’s my first born child and even I retire it the moment temps start reaching into the 7os.

In addition to focusing on the model’s trench coats, the video highlights each model’s white jeans.  I’m a big fan of white, especially slim fit white jeans, but they’re nothing new. Based on the video, there doesn’t seem to be a difference between Burberry’s white jeans and a pair from H&M.

I only liked the male model’s sweater out of the entire collection.  The subtle, yet oversized Burberry check is iconic, and incorporates the classic look Burberry is known for.

Overall, I think the line would fare better in an area with a cooler, rainier climate than the US.  The line would be perfect for England where the average temperature through the summer doesn’t go past 70; however, in the US, it seems like a lost cause.



Penn Fashion Week Begins

Over the past several years, Philadelphia has fostered its fashion industry with events like Philly Fashion Week and programs like the Fashion Incubator.  Not to be outdone by Drexel for participating in the Incubator, the University of Pennsylvania is hosting fashion panel discussions, runway shows, and lectures over the course of this week.

Tonight (the 26th) from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Joshua Schulman, former CEO of Jimmy Choo, will be speaking along with opening night celebrations from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The opening night is open to students to try on clothing from Rent the Runway, a couture clothing rental website.

John Idol, the current Chairman and CEO of Michael Kors, will speak on Tuesday, March 27th from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Internet shopping gurus Chris Ventry, General Manager of Giltman and Park & Bond, Rupa Parekh, Vice President of Marketing at JOOR, and Denice Ozpinar, Classic Sportswear Planner at Macys.com will be discuss how the internet has impacted the clothing industry on Wednesday, March 28th from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Parsons Dean Simon Collins is scheduled to discuss the “Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fashion” on Thursday, March 29th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.penn_fashionweek

Penn’s Fashion Week is scheduled to end Friday, the 30th, with a publishing panel featuring Valerie Steel, FIT’s Museum Director and Chief Curator, Leah Chernikoff, Executive Editor of Fashionista.com, Eva Chen, Beauty and Health Director/Special Projects Director of Teen Vogue, and John Jannuzzi, Contributing Digital Editor at Lucky Magazine.  This stocked panel is set to have a discussion, followed by a question and answer session from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Finally, the week will close on Friday night from 9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. with a fashion show promoting student designs and clothing from local boutiques worn by student models.

The lectures and panel discussions will make incredible networking opportunities for Philadelphia’s fashion scene to mix and mingle. I’m incredibly excited that Philly’s businesses, organizations, and universities are hosting fashion events, discussions, and runway shows to foster the industry, and be sure to check back throughout the week for the latest and greatest scoop from Penn Fashion Week.



Philadelphia Fashion Incubator Announces Its 2012 Designers

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For newly graduated designers, the fashion industry is harder to break into the State Dinner, but the Center City Macy’s collaborated with the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, a non-profit organization designed to help foster creative talent in the city of brotherly love.

In December, the PFI panel began its search for the four greatest fledgling Philly designers to take part in the year long program.  Philadelphia University, Moore College of Art and Design, and Drexel nominated their top design alumni for consideration.  In addition to the top Philly design schools, the Incubator had a wild card spot open to almost anyone in the Philadelphia area.

The official opening of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator.

The official opening of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator.

On March 1st, at 10:45 a.m., the incubator officially opened with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.  The space is essentially a blank canvass for the designers to do whatever they want.  One designer joked that Macy’s is giving them a job, and Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said, “I’m going to guarantee you an opportunity.”

The Incubator program selected Moore graduate Melissa D’Agostino, Philadelphia University alumna Kaitlyn Doherty, former Drexel University student Autumn Kietponglert, and wild cards Latifat Obajinmi and Moriamo Johnson as the 2012 inaugural class.  In addition to retail and design space for a year, the program will also instruct the designers on how to conduct themselves with buyers, clients and retailers.  Basically, they’re being groomed to be the next Chanel, Christian Louboutin, or Prada.

While the designers just got their space, they hope to have their lines completed by the fall, and have a fashion show to display the latest and greatest Philly talent.

Mayor Michael Nutter hopes to use the incubator program to foster Philly’s fashion industry by grooming our fashion students and, ultimately, give them a retail space on Chestnut Street.  Nutter said, “[With the Incubator,] We’re growing our own fashion industry.”



65 Years Later, Fashion House Thriving

Often, the life of a fashion designer is but a small candle in the blinding fireball that is couture. Once deceased, that candle flickers and goes out. He or she is a mere passing memory, outlived only by shards of silk and cataloged photographs. Few designers’ legacies burn brightly, long after they pass on.

Sixty-five years ago, the world witnessed the launch of what is arguably the most influential and cutting-edge fashion line and designer – Christian Dior. Click more to learn the full story.

More »



The “Humble Cloth Tote”

A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times announced in an article that the cloth tote has taken the place of the luxury bag. According to the paper, the tote “…telegraphs not money, but access, ethics, culture…”

That’s right, no longer is wearing the latest Vuitton, Chanel, or Jacobs the way to go. Now you can save your hard earned money and just rock a “humble cloth tote.”

Personally, I’m not buying this. Having  never been into bags with labels, I think I’m going to pass on this trend.  My tote will continue to be reserved for storing sweaty yoga clothes and books. But if you’re digging the so-called humble cloth tote, here’s a few to consider:

Were you lucky enough to score tickets to McQueen’s Savage Beauty exhibition in NYC this past summer?

Savage Beuty Tote

Want to show the world how environmentally conscious you are?

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All about representing Philly?

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(You can find these Philly-centric totes at Open House in Center City or online at We Heart Philly)

~Zenovia Campbell



Zara’s Online

Zara Faux FurDo all the Zara fans out there know that Zara’s online now?  Finally.  And you can eliminate those pesky shipping costs by having it delivered to the store.  Thank gawd because the brand has more to offer that what you see on Walnut St.  Seriously, the Philly store doesn’t do Zara justice.

This September they opened up online and all they have to offer abounds.  And they make it easy for you.

For example, I bought this faux fur coat to go with an outfit.  Picked it up at the store, and it was wrapped up all pretty.  Unfortunately, it was more of a blue-black than the black-black I wanted (bastards in that regard).

So instead of my usual process of having the jacket sit in its box in my living room for weeks (which I would most likely trip over every day until getting the motivation to drag it to the post office – where I would wait in line forever as the clerks take their sweet ‘ole time – only to find out out weeks later that I got a store credit because I returned it too late), I just dropped it off to the Zara store with no hassle whatsoever. Done.

Now if only H&M would get on board…

~Zenovia Campbell



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