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Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis and Simon Doonan

Simon Doonan, now soixante, (after 60 he went French), sat with industry leader Fern Mallis at 92Y to dish about his new book entitled, The Asylum:  A collage of Couture Reminiscences…And Hysteria (Blue Rider Press).  Doonan revealed to audience his humble upbringing, some not so j’adoring jobs held in the early stages of his career, and his encounter with Gene Pressman, which led him to Barneys window displays and now his role as Ambassador- at -Large. “Gene wanted people to talk about Barneys windows”, enlightened Doonan when discussing some of Barneys famous holiday window magic displays including Nancy Regan, Margaret Thatcher, and Madonna.

Photo Credit: Albert Sanchez

Photo Credit: Albert Sanchez

the asylum bookNow, with his latest tome readers will enjoy Simon Doonan’s consistent wit and humor that appeared in­­­­­­ Confessions of a Window Dresser and Gay Men Don’t Get Fat. The Asylum is his love letter to the fashion industry, Doonan explained. “The Asylum is a welcome place for eccentric, creative people who wouldn’t have a job anywhere else”.  In the first chapter, he comments on his close friend “Lizzie”, who worked at a psychiatric facility where they often found similarities between to the two worlds.  Who would have thought?! As the book notes, no one is more suited to the asylum than the truly die-hard fashionista—after all, eccentricity and extremism are the foundations of great style.  Mallis and Doonan also discussed New York fashion week, which had just ended.  “Fashion week is a mad, mardi gras Coney island side show”, stated Doonan. He mentioned designer Thom Browne that has a chapter in his book, as having over the top avant-garde shows.  For Spring 2014, Thom Browne’s showing was an asylum, models with smudged lipstick, and intensely complex outfits, slashed with latex and ruffles and nurses approaching attendees with white M&M’s to pass for pills. Proenza Schouler, additionally a highlight for Simon Doonan, brought back memories of Barneys purchasing the duo’s 1st collection that was their senior thesis. Later, a book signing was held, giving audience members an opportunity to meet Doonan before he travels to Seattle, Chicago and Boston for his book tour. Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis continues with André Leon Talley (10/8), Bruce Weber (11/13) and Kenneth Cole (12/11).

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Picnic By Design

Picnic By Design

Picnic By Design is just a few days away, marking summer’s soiree benefitting DIFFA, (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS) at the Scholastic Building Rooftop Atrium located in SoHo.

Guest will enjoy an urban picnic and movie night, fully prepared basket for two designed by renowned New York Talents such as Robert Allen, who is a sponsor and key participant, Geoffrey Zakarian in collaboration with Marchesa, Eric Ripert in collaboration with Marie Aiello Design Studio, and Paul Liebrandt with Whoopi Goldberg. This year, guests will view an exclusive screening of “Making the Boys”, a documentary about the making of “The Boys in the Band”.

To purchase cocktail tickets or to learn more about Picnic By Design please visit

http://www.picnicbydesign.org

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A Small World Relaunches

A SMALL WORLD WEBSITE

A Small World, the invitation-only social network that began 9 years ago is trimming down its membership to making it a smaller world to ensure the integrity of the community.  Sabine Heller, CEO of ASW, and a few of its culturally influenced members fêted its relaunch with an intimate dinner at Haven’s Kitchen before traveling jet-setter style to Marrakech’s Taj Palace hotel to party this weekend. Diane von Furstenberg and Kittitian Hill resort sponsored the festivity.  Invitees included Olivia Wilde, Poppy Delevingne, Mamie Gummer, Wais Ahluwalia, Harley Viera-Newton, and Derek Blasberg. The redesigned site scheduled to go live today will focus on luxury travel, chic city guides, hotel discounts and monthly events from trendy partners such as Derek Lam, Mandarin Oriental, David Barton Gym and Rent the Runway. 

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Fashion for Haiti: One Million Hearts

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Donna Karan along with the CFDA, Urban Zen and eBay have collaborated to create One Million Hearts, a crafted papier-mâché  from 150 designers including Ralph Lauren , Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan.  Beginning on Monday, April 22nd – May 2nd, each designer personalized heart will be auctioned of at eBay.  The starting bid is $50, and 100% of the net proceeds will benefit fashion for Haiti, the urban zen’s foundation’s efforts with Haitian artisans.

The designer herself made three hearts for Donna Karan, DKNY and Urban Zen. We received a first look during an exhibition tour at urban zen to view the designer papier marche hearts before it goes live along with artistries and decorations all created by Haitian artisans.

For the period during the earthquake Donna Karan joined the Clinton Global Initiative to help promote economic development for Haiti through job creation. Her vision is to help raise awareness by highlighting the ingenuity of the artisans of Haiti.  Here are a few of the designer papier-mâché  hearts that will go live on eBay April 22nd and a look of artifacts for sale at urban zen.

 

Urban Zen

Recycled Steel DrumUrban Zen

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Roger Vivier Celebrates Book At French Embassy

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Leonard Lauder Donates Art to Met