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Celebrity stylists

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OSCARS: Red Carpet Is Fashion’s Runway.

If all roads once led to Rome, then most fashion runways now merge into the Red Carpet. For the past decade or so, celebrity stylists have cherry-picked the fashion runways for the very best frocks for their A-list clients on awards nights. In essence, you would first see a gown on Kate Moss and then on Cate Blanchett.
But more recently, the trend is for actresses to show up to the Oscars in ready-to-wear or one-of-a-kind couture gowns that haven’t yet debuted at fashion week or the European shows. In many instances, the Red Carpet is the new runway.
Case in point: The one-shoulder black-and-white column gown that Claire Danes wore to the SAG Awards came from Givenchy’s pre-fall 2013 collection.
“In an effort to trump other celebs, it’s become about wearing something that hReasn’t even been seen on the runway yet”, says Cameron Silver, a fashion expert known for his serrated wit and the author of the new style encyclopedia, Decades: A Century Of Fashion.
“The system is so out of control”. By system, Silver means the big, greasy machine in which actresses and designers make exclusivity deals.
Though no star or stylist will speak on the record about such dalliances, it’s been suggested that anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 can come sewn into the hem of a red-carpet gown worn by a nominated actress. On a less cynical note, however, stylists can’t be blamed for calling first dibs on spectacular gowns that they preview.
“The advantage to using dresses that haven’t been shown yet is that no one else has seen them”, says the powerful Hollywood stylist Elizabeth Stewart, whose clients include fashion risk-takers Blanchett and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain. “There’s a better chance of a good dress not having been snapped up”.

Objection

Ms. Bacelar said she hoped the event would help bridge a communications gap. “I think that everyone in fashion is used to hearing the statement that they need to play catch-up, and they need to innovate,“ she said. “But let me tell you that from the tech side, and I work with the tech guys all the time; they are building products to pitch to the fashion vertical and they are getting it wrong all the time. So we are talking about an education that needs to happen on both fronts.”Ms. Winston Wolkoff said: “People on the tech side think very differently about fashion. It’s not just about brands, it’s about publishing and distribution and manufacturing. And when you say fashion people think clothing, but it’s more than that. It’s the business of clothing.”

On Feb. 14, Decoded Fashion announced SWATCHit, an app connecting designers with fabric creators and other artisans, as the hackathon winner. The team received $10,000 from the CFDA.

“What I loved about SWATCHit was the B to B aspect,” said Steven Kolb, the chief executive of the CFDA. “Sourcing is a difficult aspect for all designers big and small, and more efficiency in sourcing will streamline production processes. And it has the potential to expand into even more than the way they presented it.”

Speaking of presentation, many hackers paid as much attention to their own style as they did to their code. They “looked very dapper after not sleeping for 36 hours,” Mr. Uhovski said.

Typically

Prada Goes With Her Feelings.

A fashion show typically lasts about 10 minutes, and that’s just enough time to either be suicidal from boredom or convinced you haven’t even begun to live, since you never thought of wearing a black party dress over the gray cardigan you leave at the office because you, Ms. Mouse, are always cold.
Miuccia Prada, like Rei Kawakubo and Phoebe Philo, established that there is a world of difference between men and women as designers. One difference is that a woman will readily use her feelings to build a collection instead of an outside source, like the work of an artist.

Karl Lagerfeld might be clever at loading up the pop cultural references at Fendi, and obscuring the evidence in a dizzy pile of fun furs, but you can’t imagine him trying to give a shape and texture to female repression. He’d rather stick a pen in his eye, but that’s just a guess.

More than 20 years after the sex fantasies of Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, studded leather looks like an adolescent rash, it’s so commonplace and down-market.

No wonder Donatella Versace, in her show on Friday, made the spikes in collars and dresses four inches long. There’s no edge left to the fantasy. But male designers have never been good at the kind of fashion known as “ugly chic.” That emotional territory belongs to female designers. Actually, the territory belongs to just one.

“It’s everything I like,” said Ms. Prada before her show, referring to the done-undone quality of the outfits, with tweed or beaded chiffon dresses worn carelessly over drab cardigans, the garments left partly unbuttoned so they fell off shoulders. The midcentury silhouette, with deep fur cuffs on hard leather jackets and gray flannel suits, was another Prada favorite. The gloomy set and the wet “Les Miserables” hair seemed mostly a Prada ploy, and didn’t really add anything.

As the models lined up for the show, Ms. Prada said: “I’m obsessed with this problem — that everything is forbidden. There is so much control that you can’t abandon yourself to anything.” If Ms. Prada, who turns 64 this year, is frustrated, she shouldn’t be too concerned. A generation of women has been peculiarly susceptible to her fashion: they feel exactly what she feels. So, even if this was not the most challenging Prada collection, its naïve, almost do-it-yourself glamour still got under your skin.

London

Who’s the Sugar Daddy? Controversial dating site comes to London…but only the rich or beautiful need apply (the rest of us aren’t so shallow).

An American dating phenomenon that matches wealthy older men with young women who want a taste of the high life has come to the capital.
SeekingArrangement, which bills itself as a place where “the attractive meet the affluent”, was launched in the Gore Hotel in Kensington.
Founder Brandon Wade, 41, said the UK site already has 80,000 members. The US version claims a million, with 10 women to each man.
Among those at the London party were Liya Step, 22, from Tallinn, Estonia, who has been going out with a 45-year-old for six months.
Miss Step, a fashion design student at the University of Creative Arts in Roehampton, said he gave her a £1,500-a-month allowance and took her on weekly £2,500 shopping sprees.
“I’m attractive and get a lot of attention,” Miss Step said. “This is a good way for me to benefit from it. I have my own goals, maybe one day I will be a sugar mummy.
“I am saving most of the money the man gives me. I send it back to my parents in Estonia and to my grandmother.”
She added: “It’s not just about the money. I really enjoy his company. We are going to St Lucia together — there will be our own personal pool in our hotel suite.”
A 21-year-old history student at University College London said: “If I’m not having to study too hard I can go out on a lot of dates. I usually request about £400 to £600 for a date.
“It’s not awkward, I’ve met really nice men. A friend was given a £3,000 Chanel bag by her sugar daddy the other day. That was cool.”
A 42-year-old man who runs a skiing firm in France said: “I have two children but I’m separated. I don’t want anything serious, but I want a relationship. I use this service because it does what it says on the tin.
“I bought the last girl I dated a Merc, and then all the usual stuff — jewellery, shoes, money. I’d give her money if she wanted to buy anything. We’d go to my houses around the world — it worked really well because I was also a sort of mentor for her.”
But journalist Helen Croydon, 34, who used the site for more than two years before stopping, said: “The world of sugar daddies can become corrosive to the idea of real love.”
However, it could work “when two people are not looking for a 24/7 committed relationship”. She has now written a book, Sugar Daddy Diaries.
Mr Wade said: “This is not about an 80-year-old dating an 18-year-old. Our sugar daddies tend to be in their forties and on about £200,000 per year, and the average age of a sugar baby is 27.
“Most women want to be a princess and most men want to date a princess and that is why it is so successful.
“Forty per cent are students who need help with tuition fees.”
Men who use the site include bankers, entrepreneurs and chief executives. They spend an average £2,862 a year on “sugar addiction”.
Mr Wade, who is originally from Singapore and went to university in Boston, recently married a 26-year-old Ukrainian woman he met through his own site two years ago.
He said: “I was the original sugar daddy. The whole thing began because I wanted to meet women and I wasn’t very good at it. A lot of women just want to meet a man who is capable of looking after her.”