New York Fashion Week —Happy 30th! Why We Love Donna Karan

Donna Karan

She is inimitably, peerlessly, fabulously, magnificently….Donna.

Season after season, designing stellar collections for a sophisticated, modern, and yet youthful woman, Donna Karan sets the bar high for other designers to follow, and she keeps “besting-her-best,” creating clothes that are elementally beautiful, sophisticated, easy to wear, impeccable and executed with perfection—and panache.

“Iconic dressing in timeless pieces,” one fashionista calls her creations, “There is no other like her.”

She presciently—and literally, led an entire industry into easy-to-wear, fabulous pieces, and yet she is, right now, at the top of her game.

New York Fashion Week — Why We Love Catherine Malandrino

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Way back in 2002, Catherine Malandrino’s solo boutique in SoHo was featured in an episode of Sex and the City. The morning after it aired, the store had a line out the door that blocked the sidewalk.

Carrie Bradshaw fell for Catherine’s elegant blend of strength and femininity, and soon Lives of Style did too.

“I wanted to show off a woman’s strengths,” Malandrino said of her pre-fall 2014 collection, “and hide her weaknesses.”

And season, after season, in her inimitable fashion with elegance, perfect execution and flair, Malandrino does just that.

New York Fashion Week—Why We Love Hervé Léger & BCBG Max Azria

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Max Azria has been designing for years, and it seems that there is no slowing down for this world-class fashion icon.

Azria was born in Sfax, Tunisia and educated in southeastern France—thus his early encounters with French high fashion. However, his 1981 move to Los Angeles, California truly marks the beginnings of his brilliant career.

In 1989, Azria launched BCBG Max Azria, offering designer fashion at contemporary price points, and in 1999, BCBG Max Azria acquired Hervé Léger from the company’s previous owner, designer Hervé Peugnet.

But Max isn’t the only person who should receive the credit for the creation of such a beautiful line of clothing.

One of the most beautiful and talented women in fashion—Lubov Azria—Max’s wife, is the Chief Creative Officer of BCBG Max Azria Group and together, they create the most fashion-forward and elegant dresses that every modern woman would love to wear.

New York Fashion Week—Why We Love Richard Chai

Richard Chai

As New York is headquarters for fashion–Richard Chai is design-central for New York.

Chai had a passion for design from an early age. At thirteen, he signed up for night classes in graphic design at Parsons School of Design, but a chance peek into a fashion-drawing session rocked his world.

“I was like, ‘What is that class?’” he told Teen Vogue in 2008. “I knew then and there I wanted to be a designer. It was intoxicating.”

New York Fashion Week—Why We Love Carmen Marc Valvo

Carmen Marc Valvo

Carmen Marc Valvo is a top-selling eveningwear designer, and his pieces have been seen on red carpets and at other high-profile events.

With such talent, it is hard to believe that Valvo did not originally want to be a fashion designer.

Valvo grew up in Westchester County, New York, and with both parents having careers in the medical field, it wasn’t long before Carmen became aware of the beauty and elegance of the human anatomy.

After attending the Fine Arts program at Manhattanville College, Valvo explored Europe in hopes of understanding the rich artistic culture. After being injured in a car accident, Valvo was sent back to the states and finally realized his true passion for fashion design. In an effort to set himself on the right path for his career, Valvo enrolled in Parson School of Design and began working with iconic brands including Nina Ricci as well as Christian Dior.

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK – WHY WE LOVE MARC JACOBS

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Marc Jacobs. Vaunted name. Huge visibility. Prodigious talent.

But a man who has his feet rock-solid on the ground.

We love his quote to Vogue: “In the end, it becomes clear all the things that played a part in the collection….And they always do.”

With Marc Jacobs—all the pieces of the mosaic started to be put together early.

New York Fashion Week — Why We Love Ralph Rucci

Ralph Rucci

Ralph Rucci is a maestro, a designer par excellence whose canvas is the imagination, whose palate is a universe of colours, textures and designs, and whose audience is… the world.

We have known Ralph Rucci for six years—through our dear friend, San Francisco socialite and Best Dressed Hall of Famer Denise Hale. And we share another darling friend of ours—New York’s stunning social doyenne, Susan Gutfreund.

We have been privileged to spend hours with Ralph Rucci in his atelier, interviewing him, watching him sketch, discussing art and history, painters and designers, philosophers, society and creativity.

The man—the creative—the innovator, had the DNA of greatness in him from the start—but it burgeoned and exploded into stardom when he began his own label.

Before then, Ralph Rucci—who was born and raised in Philadelphia, was graduated from Temple University with a major in Philosophy, and then the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), then trained under the master, Halston, and a Balenciaga patternmaker—immersed himself in knowledge, of the world, of thoughts, of art and design.

Rucci had his first formal show at New York’s Westbury Hotel in 1981, but it wasn’t until over a decade later, in 1994, that he established his own label: “Chado Ralph Rucci” choosing the name of the ancient Japanese tea ritual which symbolizes respect, tranquility, grace and integrity – the same elements with which he approaches his work.

From the beginning of his career, Rucci was inspired by the style of such fashion icons as Elsa Peretti and Pauline de Rothschild.

Rucci’s influences also include the painters Cy Twombly, Franz Kline, Antoni Tàpies and Francis Bacon, sculptor Louise Nevelson, Japanese symbolism, and the designer James Galanos.

It is rare to find a fashion designer who is also a sculptor and a painter—and one who creates his own fabrics, and fabrications, but Rucci has these skills and more, using ivory satin or black velvet to make jackets that stand away from the body.

Rucci’s art has been exhibited in art galleries throughout the U.S. His paintings–shown at the Serge Sorokko Gallery in San Francisco, in December, 2012, were described by Architectural Digest as “enigmatic works… bearing sweeping brushstrokes that are collaged, here and there, with scraps of silken fabrics.”

In 2002, Rucci became the first American designer in more than 60 years to be invited to show in Paris by the French Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture—the only one who had his own line at the time—and he showed his haute couture collections in Paris for the next five seasons.

In 2007 Rucci was honoured with a retrospective exhibit at the Museum at FIT titled, “Ralph Rucci: The Art of Weightlessness,” and he’s been the subject of two documentaries, including 2012’s “A Quiet American: Ralph Rucci & Paris.”

Today, Rucci—for his eponymous line “Ralph Rucci,” without the “Chado,” works with Europe ’s finest embroidery houses and fabric mills, developing new fabrics and prints that incorporate his own artwork.

“In my workroom, as in my thoughts, there is little difference between couture and ready-to-wear,” says Rucci. “What I find most important is that we strive to create a product that is empowering, and harmonious with the spiritual essence of a woman.”

His work was last seen on the red carpet for the 66th annual Emmy Awards, where he designed a stunning, elegant white gown worn by “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi.

Rucci is a creative force of nature—yet with all his accolades and successes, he is a modest man who is respected and loved for the essence of his persona.

The creativity he takes as a gift—and uses it well.

We are grateful to call him a friend and can’t wait to see what he has in store for Spring-Summer 2015.

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New York Fashion Week—Why We Love Tory Burch

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Tory Burch has helped change the world’s notion of what being a female entrepreneur means.

The fashion mogul has proven that in order to make it big, it is not necessary to hawk cupcakes or launch a Mommy blog.

At just 48 years old, Burch is part of a growing group of women who are newly minted, self-made billionaires.

Burch was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Her parents passed on both artistic flare—her mother was a former actress, and business acumen—her father, a successful investor.

After graduating from college, Tory moved to New York City where she worked for Zoran—followed by a stint at Harper’s Bazaar magazine. She then moved into public relations and advertising positions at Vera Wang, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Loewe.

However, determined to make it on her own, Burch began a fashion label named “TRB by Tory Burch”—later known simply as “Tory Burch”—in February 2004.

The Man’s Point of View: How to Talk to Women

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Dating-Speak” ™ ©2014: Our Lives of Style authority–Laura Pugliese shares must-know dating “Do’s and Don’ts” that will help you find success in your relationships:

Lives of Style: I like to consider myself a very strong masculine man and when I’m dating a woman I’m fine with courting her how do I know if I should open the door or if I should pay for the dinner etc.?

Laura: Opening the doors and paying for the dinners/dates are all part of how a masculine man courts a lady, so I suggest you make a habit of doing those things whenever you take a lady out. When you ask her out you can let her know by saying “I am a gentleman, and I will open your doors and pay for our dates. How do you feel about that?” A feminine energy woman will respect and appreciate you for it.

New York Fashion Week- Why We Love Reem Acra

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Ethereal garments, that truly make a woman unforgettable.

That is the norm for Reem Acra and her designs.

Beginning in 1997—with a bridal line, it is no wonder that her elegant, classically sumptuous ready-to-wear collection follows closely upon with the magic and wonder of wedding gowns.

Acra is known for expressing clients’ personalities through the gown she designs for them, and because of that she has created gowns for multitudes of celebrity weddings as well as red carpet appearances.

Celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Kristen Stewart, Jane Fonda, Kate Hudson, Katherine Heigl, Selena Gomez and Eva Longoria are just a few who wear Reem Acra.

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