Hailing from the South of France and now based in Soho, shoe designer Jean-Michel Cazabat celebrated the opening of his first freestanding boutique on Bleecker Street last night. The shop, which opens to the public on Saturday, is modeled after the designer's Soho loft in his signature palette of Napolean blue, red and gold. "Because I want the customer to feel as [if] they [are coming] into my house, my home," the engaging Cazabat explained to us in a charming French lilt while he excitedly worked the room, full of his friends and supporters, including sometime spokesmodel Becka Diamond, Nicole Miller, Garage Magazine's Shala Monroque, Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo, Naeem and Ranjana Khan, and singer Maxwell.Cazabat's covetable heels, boots and flats--sporting eye-catching details like perforated leather, delicate ruching and lush textures--lined the display shelves along the walls. Cazabat's men's line, which launched in 2003, was ensconced in a corner spot, with lots of exotic skin ankle boots and dapper brogues to peruse. A DJ was spinning clubby tunes for atmosphere while the chic guests quaffed champers and noshed on Asian fusion canapés passed by models moonlighting as waitstaff. We caught a moment with Cazabat — or Jean-Mi as his friends call him — before he happily disappeared into his crowd of party people.
Joe Zee is a busy, busy man these days. Along with performing his day job as creative director at Elle, he's hosting the second season of his reality show All on the Line, jetsetting to Fashion Week shows around the globe, helping aspiring fashion students, and popping into the Soho Elie Tahari boutique — along with Mr. Elie Tahari himself — to help a bunch of fashion bloggers style outfits from the label's fall 2011 collection. This wasn't just a random visit. Zee has been consulting with Elie Tahari for multiple seasons and just recently styled the brand's spring 2012 runway show.While we waited for Zee to make his way through snarling rush hour traffic, we had a chance to peruse the Elie Tahari fall offerings. Amongst the tweedy details, lush leathers, macro-lace, and ruching embellishments, the favorites of the editors seemed to be the black lace-trimmed leather shorts (totally practical, we swear), a grey-hued leopard print ruffle neck Clarissa trench, and a soft cranberry ruffle-layered Victoria coat. Once Zee arrived, we ambushed him with some questions as he was in the midst of pulling a white nipped-waist and flared pantsuit for a guest.
While looking ridiculously hot in her $29 Sofia by Sofia Vergara skinny jeans, the actress/Cover Girl model/designer introduced her new Kmart collaboration in the penthouse of the swanky Cooper Square Hotel on Thursday. While we should have realized that the Emmy nominated Modern Family star would be modeling her own designs, the whole room full of fashion writers still seemed pretty blown away when she pointed out that she was wearing — no, totally rocking — inexpensive denim of her own design. And, damn, if a pair of those can make someone look like that, then put us on the waiting list. Collaborations are the new black these days — from Jennifer Lopez and Kohls to Alexa Chung for Madewell — so how did Vergara decide on her retail partner?
Yesterday, we dropped by Barneys New York for a bit of breakfast and a make-up/skincare primer (couldn't help it) with in-house beauty guru Jason Ascher. This job isn’t just about giving beauty tips to his clients; the role encompasses responsibilities as a resident make-up artist, beauty/haircare/fragrance/skincare expert, and personal shopper (plus, he’s happy to upsell clients — literally — upstairs to the shoe department or the Lanvin boutique for ensembles to match their new glow). Oh and his services are free-of-charge, although we can’t be held responsible for any impulsive purchases made following a consultation. Ascher was on hand to convince us to trade in nude lips for bold ones, remind us to, please, please clean our makeup brushes, and introduce some new exclusive beauty lines launching at Barneys, including: Arquiste Perfumeur (“not your grandmother’s Shalimar”), Kre-at Beauty False Eyelashes (complete with a handy applicator tool), Radical Skincare (moisturize your necks, ladies!), Serge Normant haircare, Rodin Olio Lusso skin products, Claudio Riaz brushes and makeup, Hourglass brushes and cosmetics, and Astier de Villotte fancy candles. Here’s what we learned: