Saturday, March 29, 2008

Checking in from Charleston

Models make their final pass on the runway during the debut
at Charleston Fashion Week of the Clewis Reid line
from former Charlottean Ashley Reid.

Charleston has a fashion talent pool that is surprisingly deep and definitely unexpected.

The Emerging Local Designers show at Charleston Fashion Week featured six designers who were chosen by a panel that included Laura Bennett from Season three of "Project Runway" and Lacoste CEO Bob Siegel.

Among the designers who showed a spring line in the tents at Marion Square was Ashley Reid, a West Charlotte (and UNC and Savannah College of Art and Design) alum.

Some 900 people packed the tent for the sophisticated event on Friday, including "Project Runway" season four designer Jillian Lewis and boyfriend Lewaa Abdulkhalek (above right) and Lacoste's Siegel.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Disappearing Lotus?

Two of three Lotus boutiques have closed recently, leaving shoppers wondering what was going on.

The closing of the stores at Birkdale Village in Huntersville and on Central Avenue in Charlotte are the result of a few things, co-owner James Funderburk (right) said via e-mail this week.
Funderburk, who recently had a hand in opening nightclub HOM and developing condo complex Celadon, says he's had to deal with some family illnesses and needs to refocus.

As for the mini-chain of clothing stores that included three Lotus locations and Civilian at Phillips Place, he says business partner Effie Loukas is buying out his share.

They chose not to renew the Birkdale lease, and ran into some building issues with the landlord on the Central Avenue space, he says.

"Pairing down the retail business will allow Effie to develop the wholesale business and expand the Lotus product offering," he said in the e-mail. "Civilian is remaining and may undergo a face lift and name change."

Funderburk is also selling his share of ownership in HOM.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Great T-shirt expectations

I'm on a seemingly eternal quest for the perfect T-shirt. I don't think my list of requirements is too long -- do you?

I need a T meet the following criteria:

  • Cotton, as close to 100 percent as possible
  • Full sleeve
  • Neckline that holds its shape
  • Minimal shrinking lengthwise (this is a biggie -- I'm not tall. At all. If I have issues with length, how do people who aren't 5' 3'' deal?). I need to be able to wash and toss in the dryer.

My passionate love for Gap Favorite Ts is faltering. Where do you buy Ts? Why do you love them?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Skinny what?

I just finished reading "Skinny Bitch" by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, and I'm bummed that the best part of the book ****spoiler alert ***** was on the very last page. The potty-mouthed insults slung (at just about everyone, including readers) along the way detracted from the message.

I'll be the first to admit I can hang with the saltiest of sailors when it comes to cussing, but the faux "Girlfriend, you go girl" vibe the authors tried to capture through profanity was highly annoying.

So what's the nugget buried on page 224?

"Comparison is the thief of joy. No matter what we do, most of us will never look like supermodels or celebrities. And accepting that will make our lives a whole lot better. ... Take excellent care of the body you were blessed with, and love, love, love it!"

Did you read the best-selling book? What's your review?

Friday, March 21, 2008

LeBron: Style icon?

Sports and fashion collide!

Who's on the cover of the April 2008 Vogue? NBA star LeBron James with model Gisele Bundchen. LeBron is only the third man in Vogue's 116-year history to grace the cover (Richard Gere in 1992 and George Clooney in 2000).

LeBron makes an appearance in the March 24 issue of ESPN the Magazine, celebrating the mag's 10th anniversary. Sports celebs (including Dale Earnhardt Jr.) are decked out in designer gear, posing with a hat featuring a jewel-encrusted Lorraine Schwartz logo.

I was ready to be indignant at the lack of female representation, then I saw the Williams sisters -- Venus in Emanuel Ungaro, Serena in Donna Karan. Who are your other favorite stylish athletes?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fug Madness? I'm game

Bjork's daring -- or criminally fug -- use of multi-colored pom-pons and headgear
that doubles as a dress is just one example of a "style" that landed her
the namesake of her own bracket in Fug Madness.

College basketball's March madness has just barely begun, and already I am sick of all things bracket-related. Play-ins, seeds, mid-majors -- please. You lost me at Gonzaga.
Thanks be to the girls over at the deliciously wicked and highly entertaining Go Fug Yourself. Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan have set up a tourney that is more my speed, based on 65 fashion-challenged celebs. It's Fug Madness!
The four divisions are named for single-named icons of style transgression: Cher, Bjork, Madonna and Charo. And don't kid yourself -- a first round throw down between Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton and K-Fed has tons more entertainment potential than a game between Clemson and Villanova.
Who will take the Fug championship?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Making it Work, TG-style

Fashion insider Tim Gunn visited Belk at SouthPark mall on Saturday, drawing a standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 people.

The charming "Project Runway" personality and chief creative office at Liz Claiborne was in town for an event called "Your Perfect Style," where he and Leah Caruso, Liz Claiborne director of marketing, demonstrated how to build a versatile wardrobe.

Among the hundreds of fans who lined up after the fashion show to have a photo taken with Gunn (with a $100 Liz Claiborne purchase) was Jenny Motes (above), 16, a student at South Point High in Belmont. She wore her love for Tim Gunn on her "Make it Work" tank, which she customized herself.

Did you attend the event? What did you think? Share your thoughts below.

And don't forget to check out more photos from the event in Thursday's Style section.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Her Madge-sty

Madonna was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday. Unexpectedly, she sounded nervous during her acceptance speech. Take a sec for that to sink in: Madonna. Nervous. On stage. What?

Her fans are legion. Including me: I was "Like a Virgin"-era Madonna for at least four Halloweens in a row back in the day.

I love all her music, but am partial to her hair/clothing styles from the late 1980s, especially the "Express Yourself" video.

What's your favorite Madonna look?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hi-larious hot mess

He's got a fan in Posh Spice. What more do you need to confirm your place in the pop culture lexicon? How about being parodied on late night TV?

Christian Siriano won season four of "Project Runway" last week. His penchant for ruffles was almost as compelling as his uptalk and valley-girl speech patterns.

"I am hopeful that Christian can channel this incredible talent into a successful brand," says Tim Gunn, the "PR" workroom guidance counselor. "He needs a good business partner, and to not be distracted by how people react to him. He shouldn’t go the route of a personality."

That might be hard for young Christian to do, given his flat-ironed fierceness. Let's hope he's got a good sense of humor -- "Saturday Night Live" and Amy Poehler nailed Christian's cadence and style in this hot mess of a fierce skit.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Running of the Brides

Charlottean Rebecca Stamilio (center) was one of thousands of brides-to-be who took part in the "Running of the Brides" at Filene’s Basement Feb. 29 in New York City. Stamilio, 27, a teacher at Edgecomb Community College in Tarboro, bought the dress she’s pictured in, a James Clifford Collection gown, for $250. The retail price was $1,600. She and fellow bride-to-be and best friend Erin Robertson (third from left) tried on at least 100 dresses each, Stamilio said. "We grabbed as many dresses as we could, the pile (of dresses) came up to our chests." Stamilio and fiancĂ© Jeremy Ehret, 25, of Statesville were engaged on Feb. 14, and plan to marry in May or June of 2009.