I arrived in Milan Sunday, and if you know the city, it’s a dreary day to touch down but great for a chill out. With no rest for the weary, I immediately threw myself into the fray of attending shows. I haven’t been to Milan in a couple seasons and I was immediately jolted back into the Italian way where fashion is a religion. Having packed to fit the personality of each city, I left the edgy avant-garde selection in my suitcase and brought out the high luxuries. I popped into the Vogue Russia 10th year anniversary celebration where everyone was made an appearance. In the twenty minutes I stayed there, Christopher Bailey, Antonio Barardi, Tim Blanks among others were streaming up. I caught up with graphic designer Linda Ma and Susanna Cucco. I had to dash to a dinner I had planned with Aja Bradley, MAC’s Australian brand manager and we met up for at Ristorante da Giacomo, one of the fashion hubs where we ran into Robin Givhan who was dining with Booth Moore of The Los Angeles Times and a few others. Aja and I caught up since our meeting in Sydney earlier this year and planned to take a quick sojourn the next day to Switzerland, just over the border from Lake Como for a little outlet shopping research at Fox Town. Australian Harper’s Bazaar fashion features editor Katrina Israel was in tow and we had a raucous quickie excursion. I love that about Europe, in just an hour you can be in another country. To mix up the bingeing on Italian food, last night dinner was at Nobu that’s annexed to the Armani store where we dugged in to the miso cod.
- ALL Jason’s Dispatches /
To bring you up to speed on my adventures that paralleled attending the shows…I slipped out of New York on the last day of the shows there, arriving in London a day early for an inspiration-seeking walk around Portobello Rd. and to hit up ofthe Westbourne Park stores. I love the different buys at the boutiques, the consignment stores (which sells tons on unusual cast offs) though I behaved myself and didn’t go crazy with the shopping (I was already tipping the scales even for Lufthansa’s generous business class weight allowance, never mind the spectreof the doom and gloom economy). London Fashion Week tries to make your stay aseasy as possible by putting you up in a quality hotel (The Metropolitan this time) and providing a car that I shared with a lovely bunch including Mark Holgate of American Vogue, stylist extraordinaire Patti Wilson, Tokion Magazine’s fashion director and old friend Jason Farrar. It was great to talk candidly between shows with this opinionated bunch that only enhanced the showgoing experience. Everyone had different dinner plans and so we scattered at days end. My new obsession is Buddakan,a Asian fusion chain restaurant from the owners of Hakkasan. I’d been to Buddakan several times over the last couple year mainly to the one on Wardour Street andI understand that writing about it isn’t quite breaking news. This time however it just click thatthis is a genius restaurant concept: handsome environments, finger licking good food at affordable prices. No wonder there’s always a queue to get into thesehot spots. I had my usual dinner with Julia Muggenburg and she introduced me toSt. John’s, one of the best restaurants, she tells me, in London with a menu that would have existed in Dicksenian times. Think all parts of an animal, from tongue to cheeks to foot, deliciously prepared in a new tasting old kind ofway. The rabbit soup is divine.
It wasn’t all restaurants though, I made it to several events including Stephen Jones’ perfume launch in collaboration with Comme des Garcons at Dover Street Market, tea with Tamara Salman to celebrate the launch of Liberty’s conceptstore on Sloane Street, the London Fashion Week International party at The Mayfair hotel. And to cap off the week I went out to Bungalow 8 at St. Martin’s Lane for a decadent night ofcarefree dancing and wanton shenanigans, and for someone who doesn’t hit thetown like that anymore, I haven’t lost the touch and can still rock out like someone half my age.
One of my wardrobe therapy clients just moved to London and it was a great time totouch base with her, assess what she brought across the pond and determine where to fill in. I’ve been dressing this client for the last three years or soand was impressed with how I built the foundation of her wardrobe. It requireda few injections but on the whole she was looking solid. For a spot of shopping I went to Selfridges where it was recommended that I meet up with Martina Wagener, the go-to there for VIP clients. I found a few things at Selfridges but let’s just say the service is not as tight as it is at American stores, where clerks are eager to please and tomake a sale. I then took my client to the headquarters of our media partner CoutureLab. Couturelab sells the most exquisite one-of-a-kind and hard to find pieces and she was in heaven picking up pieces from Hamish Morrow, Revillon,Bea Valdes and sundry other in-the-know brands. Couturelab yet again affirms how special the shopping is in London.
I have been making the rounds of events this week squarely on my terms. I went slightly off the fashion course on Wednesday to attend the 23andMe event at the IAC building. 23andMe is from Sergei Brin of Google’s wife Anne Wojnicki. Anne had told me about her genome mapping company last summer when we went shopping together and I’ve been super intrigue by the service and have been waiting since to spit in a test tube to have a deeper dig into my genealogy. Wendi and Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenburg and Harvey Weinstein hosted the event that I thought would be a smaller gathering but in fact it was a huge to-do on the ground floor of the Frank Gehry-designed IAC building. I ran into Lisa Oz (Dr. Oz’s wife), Ivanka Trump, T Style’s Horacio Silva and Franca Sozzani.
It was a super chatty gathering and I can’t wait to get my mapping results. Afterwards I darted down to Soho to pop into Kisan Concept store on Greene Street. Kisan is from Icelandic entrepeneurial couple Thorunn Anspach and Olivier Brémond. Their concept calls for selling girl-friendly lines such as Vanessa Bruno, Sonia Rykiel, Isabel Marant, and Jerome Dreyfus and throwing in kids clothes and other nick nacks from stationery to travel gear for good measure. The party was pretty tame when I was there but I think the store will find an audience especially when it comes holiday time; I saw tons of goodies that would make great gifts. I swung by the Y3 store opening down the street and took a miss of the Prada party to have a late intimate dinner at Emilio Balattos.
Nicola Vassel is an executive at Deitch Projects and she’s one of my favorite people. So when she sent me a text from Jamaica where she was spending a few days and implored me to attend Bland’s installation at the gallery, I made a point of it. Teddy Willoughby who named his collection cum installation “Darth Vader’s prom date” designs Bland. I loved the masked mannequins and the all black structural clothes made for some great pictures. Take a look. I then swung by Tatiana Boncampagni’s book party at Elie Tahari store in Soho. Tatiana is always a beacon of light; the crowd however was a little staid for my taste, so I fled. Everyone I knew was planning on going to Dsquared fragrance launch so I knew it would be good place to touch base with my peeps who all had different schedules all week. The soiree was on the rooftop of Dsquared new compounds on far west 28th street and the boys were out in full force. Dean and Dan, of course were darting around all night and I had a minute to catch up with them (see our mini-interview). In attendance was what felt like a planeload of attractive Italian boys mingling with singers Cassie and Skin. Marc Jacobs, Ellen Carey, Tyson Beckford, and stylist Tracy Cox also turned out.
Miguel Adrover’s Hess Natur eco-exhibition at the Matthew Marks Gallery is one of the breathtaking treats thus far this week. Take a look at our photo editorial.
Fashion week gets consuming very quickly. After attending a few shows on Friday, I went down to Omen, the tasty Japanese restaurant on Thompson Street for Livio Facchini’s birthday dinner. Livio is in from Paris for the Lutz and Patmos presentation and to celebrate his bday he rounded up all the kids (Beat Bolliger, John Hullum, Andre Walker, Edward Buchanan, Anastasia Babieri,etc) for an intimate sushi dinner. (Note to self, get Omen on your regular restaurant rotation). We then headed over to sub-Mercer where Liad Krispin of Y-3 deejayed. I forgot how dark it is in that place and couldn’t tell you who was there. Saturday, everything was rained out by the hurricane spillover and I found myself tucked in until Iguatemi’s fete at Pastis. Iguatemi is a puzzling name for some and it had many guessing about the nature of the party. The name is no mystery to me though. Having travelled to Brazil heaps of time, Iguatemi is one of those must-stops malls in Sao Paolo. I prefer the restaurants on the first floor than the shopping but if you’re a shopper of the Burberry and Max Mara variety, Iguatemi is right up your alley. I was told that Bebel Gilberto played but I had already cut out early before the 200 people sit down dinner. On Sunday, the chatter was all about Club Sandwich. Club Sandwich is one of the parties I always go to in Paris during the shows and for the first time they brought the party to NYC at Norwood. Catherine Baba was flown in to host and many from the Calvin Klein mega-fiesta descended on the party afterwards. Hamish Bowles, Joy Bryant, Jamie Burke, Emil Wilbekin, Godfrey Deeney and Anne Slowey were all in attendance.
I’ve been getting ready for New York Fashion Week (which starts tomorrow) and this season has been more a frenzied process of scheduling than ever. I used to wait to see what invitations turn up in my mailbox, but now with fashion fully embracing New Media, PRs are coming at you from all fronts. Invitations have been filling up my inbox, mailbox and poking me from Facebook requesting my attendance to what appear to be more shows (with several new names) and more parties than I recall in recent seasons. Coupled with the friends that are in town who need one on one time and the planning for fashion week in London, Milan and Paris, the season is officially on.
All this craziness calls for an editor’s eye to cut through the fat and bring you the highlights. I’ll be working with Stylesight this week to bring you our daily picks from the street and the runway and reporting on the emerging talents breaking through this season. Keep checking in.
Having just gotten back from the West Coast, I had no intentions of going to the Hamptons for the closing summer weekend. Then Wendi Murdoch returned to the city from her holiday and asked me to accompany her to visit a mutual friend and so I obliged. Wendi is always good fun and plus we planned to leave Sunday morning and head back to the city early Monday to beat the traffic. I was told that Katie and Billy Joel was having a grand fete to signal the demolition of home and that it would be a low-key, keg type party. It was indeed a super fun fraternity themed event and everyone got really into it. By night end, I was playing beer pong with Ivanka Trump, Jason Binn, Jared Kushner and Howard Stern.
Another reason for the hiatus from writing this column is because I’ve been working on transforming Jason’s Dispatches into this newly named Blogs|Fashionwire area which will be an open forum for our network of favorite sites, blogs, and personalities to contribute daily content. We will also run our very popular Fashionwire news section in this area to serve up a daily must-read on the 360-degree world of global fashion. I will continue to chronicle my travels and observations and our contributors will weigh in areas such as chatter, travel notes, obsession, street sightings, and socializing. Welcome to our ever-evolving world here at JC Report.
It’s been a few days since my last dispatch. I’ve been on styling duty on the West Coast and also researching a hotel feature to run later this fall. One of those gigs took me to San Francisco, a city that I’ve never been to in spite of my many years circumnavigating the globe and it was love at first sight. The city is drop dead gorgeous, everyone I met was ultra nice and while I didn’t have much time to check out the arts, I’m told it’s a very cultured city. Elizabeth Charles, the Australian retailer who has built her branding on selling Aussie and Kiwi designers in her New York store (and has carried that concept to San Fran) was my gracious guide during my few days there. I did some shopping at her store zeroing in on Martin Grant, Anna Thomas (a former Max Mara designer), and I went absolutely mad for her Nearly Nudes, a Spanks like undergarment to preserve modesty and hold everything in. Elizabeth then shuttled me to Cielo, Susan’s, Carrots, Metier, Barneys, the new Prada boutique and a host of other stores. I ate a Foreign Cinema (with hairstylist extraordinaire Ron Pernell), Orsons and afternoon at The Four Seasons. It was a short trip but now I understand the high ratings San Fran has consistently gotten from friends.