From sneakers to slides, the fashion world has given its stamp of approval to “comfortable” shoes, and their latest recruit is the block high-heel sandal. Easy to walk the cobblestone streets of Paris in and elevated to boot, it’s a fabulous example of form-meets-function footwear. Street-style favorites Miroslava Duma, Caroline Issa and Evangelie Smyrniotaki (pictured above) pair their’s with everything from relaxed denim to tailored separates. BYO pose.
Twice a year, New York Fashion Week turns media attention to runways, bright lights, style heavy-hitters and of course, to-die-for collections.
And twice a year, the underlying story of these events is how those models manage to stay so thin, and whether their size is a reasonable idea of beauty.
My philosophy around taking care of my own body is pretty simple: I believe in eating more vegetables than French fries overall, drinking lots of water and sweating for at least 30 minutes a day, whether it’s from running or scrubbing the bathroom floor. I do not believe in consuming hard drugs or munching on cotton balls to curb hunger, two tactics of many that were described to fashion reporters this week.
And so in May she hired Cristina Ehrlich, power stylist to old pros like Tina Fey, Penélope Cruz and Allison Williams. Ms. Larson, a native of Sacramento, has been praised for her leading role as a captive mother in “Room,” for which she has been nominated for Gotham and Spirit awards (though she lost the Gotham award to Bel Powley).
At this year’s Met Gala, where the theme was “China: Through the Looking Glass,” Ms. Larson wore a dress by Dolce & Gabbana made from an Italian version of chinoiserie.
Ms. Ehrlich said that Ms. Larson is not a hard-core fashion fan, but more “cool girl when it comes to personal style.”
“She’s the one who’s wearing the T-shirt with a leather jacket and a pair of Doc Martens,” Ms. Ehrlich added. Wear that to the Met Ball, of course, and Anna Wintour is likely to whomp you upside the head.
In September, at the Toronto International Film Festival, Ms. Larson and Ms. Ehrlich began to hit their stride, with choices like a Wes Gordon slip dress in autumnal orange. “I’ve gotten really obsessed with finding colors and textures that really match my clients’ skin tones,” Ms. Ehrlich said, noting that the shade here was neither “too melon-y nor too pumpkin.”
An abbreviated Valentino shift dress with intricate embroidery that she wore to a “Room” screening was full of flirty insouciance, punctuated by a pair of cameo earrings from Fred Leighton. “I pulled the earrings with another safer option and let Brie choose,” Ms. Ehrlich said. “She’s an all-in kind of girl.”
The golden-haired Ms. Larson seems to shine brightest in simple cuts like a dazzling Rodarte dress for the “Room” premiere in Los Angeles, although Ms. Ehrlich had her hesitations. “Every actress you ever work with will end up in a black dress at some point,” the stylist said. “But somewhere in the back of my head, I hear the whispers of Anna Wintour: ‘Anna doesn’t like black.’ I was so paranoid that the sequins and details wouldn’t show on Brie, but it really did.” Again, whomping escaped!
A cutout in the back kept a lace Gabriela Hearst design for a 92nd Street Y appearance from feeling too prim, Ms. Ehrlich said.
And for an Academy of Motion Picture photo session, Ms. Larson showed sex appeal in a halter neck creation by Calvin Klein cleanly cut from what the fashion house calls “fire silk crepe.” Sophisticated, but not too, too.
“I see it all the time: What happens with a lot of these young girls is that stylists will dress them too old,” Ms. Ehrlich said. “What you often see on the runway, there’s a sharpened and defined feel to the pieces, whereas I want to capture Brie’s innocence and freshness.”
Nutrition is one of the most frustrating sciences in that it is arguably the most important to our daily lives, but we barely know diddly tits about it. Knowing what foods are good for us and which ones will kill us instantly seems like the type of thing we’d invest more serious energy into decoding, but “healthy” and “unhealthy” foods trade places more often than pro wrestlers in a tag-team match. Take coffee for example: First it was good for you, then it was bad, then it was good again, then it caused cancer, and then it cured cancer.
And coffee is far from the only example, which makes it impossible to take any health news seriously. If you’re wondering why nutrition is such a tough nut for us to crack and why people have no idea what to think about obesity, it’s because …
To know how different foods affect different people, we first have to know exactly what food people eat, and in what quantities, combinations, positions, etc. If this sounds like the sort of thing that is impossible to accurately observe without planting hidden cameras everywhere in the world, that’s because it is. Fortunately, scientists devised something called “memory-based dietary assessment methods” (M-BMs), which is another way of saying “we ask people about their diet and then take them at their word.”
That would explain why in the ’70s obesity was blamed on eating
“like … salads? Yeah, super healthy salads and shit, man.”
Unsurprisingly, when the scientists over at the Mayo Clinic looked into the M-BM, they found that the method was “fundamentally and fatally flawed” when it came to studying nutrition. They tried to be tactful and diplomatic about their findings by attributing the failings of the M-BM to the unreliable nature of human memory, but as anyone who has ever eaten anything in their lives can tell you, it isn’t hard to remember whether you eat steamed vegetables or Taco Bell on a regular basis. No, the reason the M-BM doesn’t work as an accurate representation of people’s diets is because people are filthy fucking liars.
We lie all the freaking time, which is why a review of nutrition surveys found that 67.3 percent of women and 58.7 percent of men report calorie intakes that are “not physiologically plausible.” And this is the data on which we base all of our food policy and dietary guidelines. Shit, maybe the fact that Big Macs are considered unhealthy is because the only ones to ever admit to eating them were depressed people on their way to kill themselves.
Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images
“Two all-beef patties, special sauce, an entire bottle of crushed-up sleeping pills, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun …”
With such shoddy information, you can find studies linking almost any nutrient to almost any affliction you can imagine. So what we’re really saying is: Remember that study that linked eating processed meat to cancer? We wouldn’t let that stop you from eating bacon just yet. Speaking of which …
For over a hundred years, Forster Rohner AG has stood for high-quality embroidery. They produce embroideries for elite fashion houses, and range from ready-to-wear to haute couture. With their new innovation of wearable technology by implementing light into textiles, they are going to conquer new markets, reports Regina Henkel.
When Conrad Forster-Willi founded his embroidery company in 1904 under the name of Forster Willi & Co; embroidery was Switzerland’s most important exports market. Although this segment of the Swiss textiles industry has since undergone major transformations, the fascination for this unusually versatile product still remains, besides the invaluable know-how that has been handed down from one generation of employees to the next. The idea to implement light in fabrics is a result of both.
With the integration of active bright light in textiles, Forster Rohner expanded fashion design to a new dimension, and managed to create the world’s first true hybrid of textile and technology. The special feature: the Forster Rohner fabrics retain their textile properties even after integration of a technical application. In other words: “It was important that the fabric remains a fabric, and also behaves the same way as before, including washability,” explains Jan Zimmermann of Forster Rohner. “Even though it’s a technical product”, he adds, “everyone expects full washability.”
For further development, in 2009 Forster Rohner established a separate department for innovation in the field of technical textiles. It is led by Jan Zimmermann, who is an expert in interdisciplinary sciences, not in textiles. For three years, the company from St Gallen has sought a solution – how to integrate LEDs in textile surfaces, without having to give up the textile characteristics of them.
The idea of embroidering electrical circuits with electrically conductive yarns was feasible. In these circuits, LEDs were incorporated in the form of sequins, which are decorative even when switched off. Also, the machinery had to be converted and new machines developed, for example for the application of the LEDs. From lace to robust wovens or leather, nearly every fabric can be embroidered and illuminated. And everything can be washed several times too…
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Her old company is bankrupt, she’s knee-deep in messy litigation, and she has lost the rights to her own name. But Los Angeles designer Carole Little is preparing a return to the fashion scene.
Little and her longtime business partner and ex-husband, Leonard Rabinowitz, are planning a September launch of a design studio to sell Little’s creative talent to apparel manufacturers. Called Studio CL, the stripped-down venture marks the pair’s first project since their clothing company collapsed last year under a pile of debt after an ill-fated merger.
The implosion of that entity–Chorus Line Corp.–has triggered a spate of lawsuits, with Little and Rabinowitz, investors, financiers and former employees all claiming they were victims. But the most noticeable casualty for consumers is the Carole Little trademark itself. The line of better women’s sportswear and career apparel hasn’t been produced since last fall, and the label now is owned by creditors who have yet to find a buyer to make them whole.
Little concedes that prospects appear slim for working out a financial deal to regain control of her namesake brand. But if the Studio CL concept proves successful, her signature fashions may soon be back on retail racks, even though the labels will not bear her moniker.
It’s frustrating not to control your own name,” Little said. “But I’m looking forward to doing what I love best . . . and putting that other stuff behind me.”
That may not be so easy. Even by the rough-and-tumble standards of the fashion business, the fallout from Chorus Line’s destruction isn’t pretty.
The company was formed by the July 2000 merger of two struggling companies: Chorus Line, a maker of moderately priced sportswear controlled by Beverly Hills investment firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Inc., and Little and Rabinowitz’s California Fashion Industries Inc., which produced the Carole Little and St. Tropez lines. The idea was to revive both firms’ fortunes by combining operations, slashing overhead and offering buyers a wide selection of apparel in several price categories.
The result, according to court records, was “a marriage made in hell.” Just four months after the merger, the firm closed its doors, throwing 300 people out of work. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition followed in December. The company since has taken to producing lawsuits instead of clothing.
Everyone involved now claims to be a fashion victim. The principal lender, GMAC Commercial Credit, filed suit seeking $40 million from Levine Leichtman, alleging the investment firm cooked Chorus Line’s books to trick GMAC into bankrolling the merger. Levine Leichtman denies those allegations and has filed a countersuit claiming that California Fashion Industries was the weakest link. It claims GMAC concealed the company’s “bankrupt” financial condition to dupe Levine Leichtman into consenting to a merger, wiping out the money management firm’s $49-million investment in Chorus Line when the new company tanked.
Rabinowitz and Little have filed their own suit against Levine Leichtman, alleging the firm used California Fashion Industries to prop up Chorus Line in order to hide losses from investors. And former employees have sued the merged company and its principals, claiming they are owed back wages, vacation pay and other compensation when the apparel maker abruptly ceased operations in November.
“There is plenty of blame to go around,” said Mark Brutzkus, an attorney for three vendors that pushed Chorus Line Corp. into Bankruptcy Court by filing an involuntary Chapter 7 liquidation petition. The lenders and principals “were all sophisticated business people. It’s the little guys who got burned.”
It’s now up to the courts to sort out the mess. In the meantime, Carole Little clothing hasn’t been on retailers’ shelves for nearly a year–an eternity in the fashion world. The label in effect belongs to GMAC, which has yet to arrange a sale or licensing deal. Little and Rabinowitz said they’ve had some discussion with GMAC, which did not respond to a request for comment. But the pair say they’re prepared to move on without the brand that defined them for nearly 25 years.
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