Written By , on September 2, 2008

Sleep Study

“Couldn’t sleep during my last study,” the woman starts. Perhaps in her fifties, and morbidly obese, she has squeezed herself into the seat next to mine. “They claim I slept, but I sure as hell didn’t feel it.”
We’re waiting to undergo a sleep study at Cornell Medical Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and the woman I met just two minutes ago has conveyed my worst fear. I have enough trouble falling asleep in my own bed. How am I possibly going to succumb while plugged into a maze of wires, knowing I’m being scrutinized via surveillance cameras?
“Half way through they put on the mask,” she continues. The mask is a breathing device specifically designed for apnea sufferers. She has one at home, but never uses it.

“My doctor has one, too, and he doesn’t use his, either,” she chuckles.

“Because it’s uncomfortable?”

“That, and it keeps his wife up. Makes a sound,” she adds, rolling her eyes, as though if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

She gives me a quick look over.

“But I doubt you have apnea,” she remarks, nodding at my beanpole body.

For years I have suffered periodic bouts of insomnia, self-treating with that mild, street soporific the antihistamine. Easy and convenient, the tiny, innocuous-looking pink pills demand no major overhaul of my lifestyle. But I know they aren’t good for me: they wreak havoc on my plumbing, I’m groggy and bleary-eyed the next day, and I must continually fight the need to up the dosage. Now they’re failing me entirely, so I’ve resorted to handing myself over to the experts. Why does it take me two, three, even up to five hours to fall asleep some nights? Why do I wake up at five in the morning and toss and turn for another hour before passing out again? Do I have apnea? Do I snore? Am I knocking back one too many double espressos?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that sleep-related problems currently affect up to 70 million Americans. Indeed, judging from the number of sleeping pill prescriptions harvested out each year you would think we were facing a national epidemic. Consumers spent a whopping $1.94 billion on the most popular sleeping pill, Ambien, in 2006, while in 2007 they spent $600 million on its competitor, Lunesta. Since 2000, prescriptions for all sleeping pills have doubled to nearly 50 million a year.

This, of course, ultimately leads one to ask: Have insomniacs been suffering without help all of this time? Or has something triggered the sudden spike?

A technician arrives twenty minutes late to check us in.
“Good luck!” my friend grins, as she’s led away.

Moments later I’m directed to my own sleeping quarters. I’ll be snoozing (or not) in a small room just off the main hallway. I set down my bag and the technician takes two Polaroids of my face—front and profile (they want photographs of my nose and throat).

Then, after I’ve changed, the night technician (who will be observing me) and her assistant roll into the room a large silver tray, upon which are fanned out the various accoutrement for the study. With a comb she begins to part my hair and apply a thick, gritty paste to my scalp, fastening like suction cups small, round electrodes, each trailing a thin wire. She adheres several to my head to test for brain activity and several more directly onto my face to record eye movement and to see if I grind my teeth at night. A small plastic knob under my nose will measure breathing and an additional sensor on my throat will test specifically for apnea.

When all of the sensors are in place, the technician pulls back my hair, as well as the wires, and bundles it all into a ponytail. For some reason I imagine I look like the guy from the movie, Hellraiser, the one with the grid of needles stuck to his head and face.

Suddenly I’m concerned about electrocution.

The technician laughs. No, there is absolutely no risk for getting zapped.

“And it can’t read your dreams, either,” she says, because it’s obvious my imagination is getting the better of me.

“Or your thoughts?” I can’t help adding, half joking, half not.

“Or your thoughts.”

I lie down and they fasten two straps around my torso—one girding my stomach, the other my chest—to monitor breathing. A pair of smaller straps around my ankles will determine if I have restless leg syndrome. And a small plastic thimble fit snugly over my middle finger will measure blood oxygen.

And now a word from

Written By , on August 2, 2008

(short story by Olivia Forgione)

I left everything behind; even the rose colored heels that received a workout in jeans, dresses and sometimes little else in front of a mirror. It was a decision made between myself and a barren room that contained so many invisible items it was hard to find the courage to leave. There were no eclectic furniture pieces, nor accents or normal accouterments that you would find in the life of a random twenty-something year old. There were no bad feelings left really. The invisible items included a laundry list of what made up bad relationships.

Rose Heels

The walls spoke volumes. Contained in these walls were the constant arguments whose anger ricocheted back and forth. The screams, yells and unimportant anguish that became a part of the room never left that chamber. They were common arguments. The arguments ran the gamut from financial issues, which eventually led to questions about infidelity, and finally whether this whole thing was really, actually going anywhere. We both knew that it was not. He would leave in the morning from our place not so much happy with the situation, but content to let it continue. He did this because he knew nothing else. I was in the same state of mind, but for the longing of an eventual escape.

At the time, I knew, the release was far down the line. But at that point, the words between us at lower decibels had ceased-save for a few procedural conversations. “What are you wearing to the party?” I would ask. To which he would reply with an empty shrug or an indifferent glance. He may have reluctantly pulled a random suit from his mess of a closet, only to keep the tortured situation going while appeasing me in the process. I would slip on the rose heels. He didn’t mind. Just so long as the talk was few and far between, and —he could return to whatever he was doing prior to the life in society I was trying to have for the both of us.

In all honesty, I could have worn a clown suit and he would have asked something like, “how long would we have to stay” at the event as opposed to why I may have had on a big red nose or floppy shoes. That was the modus operandi. At first he thought what I did was cool, and all the people I met were so very interesting. That was when the relationship had more time in front of it than behind. Now, to him at least, the wonder and interest of my profession was as boring as our horizontal life.

The existence wasn’t all tortured and there were bright moments, even in the doldrums of random relationship happenings. The first time we met, I was wearing the rose heels. They had brought me luck in the past so I figured why not wear them? He made some sort of joke about how the heels added to my height and how he’d have to prostrate himself to kiss me (assuming he was getting one at all). He loved the heels as well, or at least he said that he did. At one point, he surprised me by purchasing some designer variation of the rose heels, only these were pumps as opposed to sling backs. The rose heels had been with me through every fight, both physical and verbal. When I threw the salad bowl across the room, -with the salad still in it- he grabbed me by my arm and lifted me (not ignoring my “new” weight which had grown since finding the comfort of a relationship). I was wearing the heels.

When he left me on the corner after a wonderful dinner that went awry around the time the check came, I was wearing the heels. Hailing a cab with heels in hand and bare feet on the cold pavement gave me time to think about this situation. Sure we weren’t living together at the time, and I had done some equally mean spirited things, but you never leave a woman in her heels on the street, alone.

Even after that incident, I moved in with this man. We had an up and down relationship but I loved him whether it led to a feeling of ruin, or whether I was in complete rapture. He gave me nothing, yet I felt like I received so much.

I stared at the bare walls as if I half-expected him to come shuffling in; asking me where I was going. The rose heels lay there in the middle of the room. I put the keys on the counter and locked the doorknob from the inside. My friend laid heavily on the horn of her car to the dismay of my neighbors. I was ready to close this chapter of my life, and the door…

But I couldn’t.

Throughout all the pain and all the arguments, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. There was so much I wanted to say and I am certain I said it. But something was left unfinished. I opened the door and ran back inside, still hoping to avoid him. I picked up the rose heels that I left behind as a last vestige of my flawed relationship. Although I turned my back on a major part of my life and sacrificed a lot, the heels were the one thing I wasn’t willing to give up.

Olivia Forgione is a fiction writer living in New York City

And now a word from

Written By , on August 2, 2008

Fall’s arrival worries most fashion designers. The issue is not whether it will come but more a matter of when it will come. The doubt is stemming from recent seasons when change in whether refuse to come on time or it came too late to truly capitalize. In some regions the season came and went with a whimper. The winter season seemed more like fall and all the articles of clothing constructed for the seasons went unsold. Some designers attributed the lack of a defined seasonal weather change to the advent of global warming. Designers in New York were the most vocal in their complaints about sales being affected. The sales were down because of the exceptionally mild September and October months.

Some designers have decided to address the matter by creating collections that mirror the season. Those in search of the next in fashion for the season may be surprised to find that fall collections are only slightly modified versions of Spring/Summer items. The reason for this change is that designers have taken global warming into account and have adjusted their collections with that in mind. Heavier fabrics for fall are being replaced with items that can be worn in warm weather. Lighter colors are also part of the fashion landscape where at one point wearing white after Labor Day was fashion heresy.

Now white after Labor Day is part of the stylish uniform and there seems to be no end in sight. A visit to NYC fall fashion week this past February revealed even more in the way of the lighter colors free flowing fabrics and a silhouette reminiscent more of Spring. What trends can you look forward to this fall?

Equestrian Love: Get the riding boots out. The season calls for them and jodhpurs, beige pants (yes beige for Fall) with some cropped leather jackets. All that is missing is a pair of stirrups.

Velvet Means Soft: Look forward to wearing light velvet looks. Light and velvet tended to be mutually exclusive words but in the age of global warming they go hand in hand. Missoni went in that direction with great success.

Not Mini – Maxi, Skirt that is The Maxi skirt with a pair of slouchy boots held court during Chloe’s fall 2008 presentation and you’ll be hard pressed to miss this one for the season.

Pleats Please Don’t miss the memo, pleats in your skirts are la rage. They are fun, flirty and can take your fashion admirer’s breath away.

The Czars would be proud Russian inspired fashion for fall means that communism is worn away. The styles are filtering through albeit some twenty years later. Joanna Mastroianni hasn’t abandoned it completely and Donna Karan took Russian dolls and made them into life sized creations.

The weather may surprise us all and take a turn for something colder than expected, and fashion designers may be ready for that in future seasons. As of now, the Fall is looking like a cooler version of Spring, dress accordingly!

And now a word from

Written By , on July 1, 2008

This is pure conjecture, but if a study were done on the different types of human male personalities, the results could prove startling. Breaking men down into subgenus and different pheno-types would result in two different types of males. The two different types of males would then split into two sub-categories and then further into sub-groups within said sub-categories. Following yet? Good. The two male personalities could encompass a range of feelings, emotions, motives and perspectives. If the ying for a male would be sports, competition and a masculine urge to win, the yang would be an indifference to victory and or defeat but a masculine urge to find out the motivations of competition.


This dichotomous relationship might exist in all males looking for a primary raison d’etre. The analytical male described initially as the one who cared not about winning or losing but the reasons why the game was played at all would be more focused on learning the nuances of the game. This is not the case so he could win or game the system as it were, but possibly to understand all the players involved in the game. Their motivations are more important than the actual game itself. The need would not be then to dominate the game or come to terms with all the facets of winning, losing or the microcosmic aspects of the game. The need would be a more existential discovery. How long have the combatants, contestants been playing? Does the game have an end? Who is the winner? Who is the loser? What happens if the game suddenly stops?

The other male personality would have no interest in figuring out all the little insignificant “stuff” like navel gazing and trying to understand why the game exists. His sole motivation would be to play and more importantly to win. His obsession with the sport and to a larger degree with the game would have less to do with figuring out all the minutiae behind playing and what it means to his existence and would focus more on finding a way to game, the game. The navel gazing fellow has already lost the game according to the active participant, because he never participated in the first place. He was wondering so much that he missed the point of the game… to play.

Is this some sort of double-speak? Do men really fall into one category or another? Most assuredly not. The stated goal earlier was a hypothetical look at whether males have two distinct personalities. Just as looking at the two covers of this magazine, one would find that of an alpha male very strong, stern and certain of the world around him. The second photo (or first, depending on the point of view) illustrates the analytical man who wants to understand how and why, all while performing his task.

What will really bake the noodles of men and women everywhere is that both Mr. Analytical and Mr. Assertive are one in the same guy. One personality may be dormant or recessive while the other may be dominant and aggressive. Those who have both in equal abundance may find themselves constantly at odds with themselves. Mr. Analytical may approach life wondering whether he will ever find the perfect woman. Mr. Analytical may sleep around, may consider relationships way too much of a drag to dedicate a larger percentage of their time. Mr. Analytical may be a bad boy who has no time to play games, even though he enjoys studying them. He may have plenty of time for work and figuring out that that’s all he wants to do with food, sleeping and sex intertwined somewhere within the lifestyle.

Mr. Assertive on the other hand seeks order in his world. He wants a winner and a loser. Theoretical implications of anything confuse the issue and cause more problems than actually addressing things and facing them head on. Mr. Assertive would rather be a part of the game. He engages in the relationship with the woman than sit on the sidelines. He works for a living but is not controlled by his job, he looks to making good on his promise and is fairly structured if at times disheveled in his appearance. He can clean up well if he has to, but for the most part is not overly concerned with his appearance.

In the end maybe the reality behind both types of personalities is that they actually are one in the same. They may not have to fight it out to see who wins because they co-exist in all men. It is a generalization to be sure, but ask a woman about a man who is angry at one moment and ready to send flowers the next how she explains his behavior and she may reply, “I don’t know, it seems like he has two different personalities.”

And now a word from

Written By , on June 19, 2008

Photography Kieffer
photography KIEFFER (kiefferphotography.com)

A mixture of cool kids, to staunch academia, to your average Joes and Janes graced the audience at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Fashion 2008 runway show. Papierdoll was invited to the Thursday May 1st afternoon show – the first of four shows. Sitting front row SAIC did not disappoint with an eclectic array of talent from the sophomore, junior, and senior showcases.

Highlights were collections that told stories, as well as showed designing talent. The sophomore collections infused pleats into several collections, which spoke volumes, and showed us the merriment of design with crazy structural pieces. Sophomore favorites: Shruti Kirti, Andrea Bell, Jin Hee Heo, Yeju Kang. The junior collections had a few hits and misses, but designers Kelly Kroener, Joanna Gettelfinger, Jessica Mikesell, and Natalie Busby, definitely proved there were more hits! Last, but not least, the senior collections told stories from electronic fanfare to personal interpretations of literary tales. Senior darlings: Julie Adams, Mi Ri Uhm, and Rachel Frank.

Once again, via creative and innovative talent, SAIC does not lack the competency to capture the attention of not only the audience, but the fashion industry.

And now a word from

Written By , on June 2, 2008

She has a cat named Moby (after the musician), hangs out with Betsey Johnson on Christmas and is a cookie-baking fool during the holidays. Meet veteran designer, Pamela Thompson. After years of designing for everyone else, Thompson is turning a new leaf and branching out on her own this summer. Though this is the first collection for her self-titled label, she’s no amateur. While some designers debut with gimmicks and ride on the backs of previous labels they’ve worked for, Thompson doesn’t. Her “previous employers” are noted as afterthoughts to the bigger picture. That bigger picture being: Hey! I have a new label and it’s pretty damn cool.

As a contemporary designer she approaches her craft with a no-holds-barred aesthetic. To put it plainly, she designs confidently. Her inspirations are clear. Her choices of color are brash, yet they somehow manage to work. Whether this can be attributed to her Club Kid history or just current state of mind is anyone’s guess.

“I loved the club scene in the mid 1990’s. I think it will always be something I carry with me. I loved those days because people were not afraid to express themselves… It was such a celebration of creativity,” she says with enthusiasm.

Though, this isn’t to say she takes her work so serious that the fun is stripped entirely. No. No. Quite the contrary. In her debut collection the dress is king (actually it’s sole court as the collection is only dresses.) The timing for this is impeccable, as the dress has returned this season with a vicious vengeance against our forsaken jeans. Her knack for these garments can be traced back to her previous life as a head designer for Betsey Johnson. But it seems Thompson’s intuition is also on par, as the inspiration for her this collection is heavily inspired by marionettes. Those beautifully eerie puppets from era’s past, which inspired many recent collections throughout Europe and Japan (they also have that doe-eyed, lifeless Olsen twins expression.)

“I was given a chalk doll from 1919 (I named Lillie) by my friend Jeffrey and I was so inspired by her. I love vintage dolls and knew that my first line should revolve around her. The collection is called Dolly Kingdom and was also inspired by some 1970’s Sarah Moon photographs as well as by silent movie star Mary Pickford.”

This collection is a vignette of three unique dresses: the Debonair, Menagerie and Wonderland. The Debonair Dress is hand-printed on black chiffon charmeuse. It’s full sweep hemline and large scallop is a creation made for twirling. The Menagerie Dress is a lavender silk chiffon, with a skirt of nearly thirty free-floating panels and a bow tie belt. Lastly the Wonderland Dress is a puff sleeve cotton/silk.

“I fell in love with designing dresses after working for Betsey. I love that dresses are a complete outfit in themselves and make a statement about the woman wearing them,” says Thompson.
But to really appreciate Thompson’s deft hands and wild imagination, review her background. She was responsible for creating best-selling pieces for Betsey Johnson, many of which are still being sold after her departure a short while ago. She was also head designer for label Heatherette and continues a collaborative relationship doing web design and t-shirts for Anna Sui. (for over a decade mind you.) Needless to say, Thompson’s debut as a designer has been a long time coming. And while her past successes might seem to give her an advantage over the countless other wannabe Sui’s, that’s certainly not the case.

Delusions of grandeur are long gone as the reality of waking early and working into the wee hours have become commonplace.

“The money aspect and having enough time in the day are the two hardest parts. It is so important to plan ahead. My husband and I are financing the line ourselves, so our capital is limited,” she says. “That is why we have planned so carefully to make certain we have the money to not only produce the collection but to make sure it fits and is sewn perfectly. We are starting small to manage it properly and building it as our customer base grows.”

Whatever the future holds for Thompson one thing is certain, her knack for transforming the styles of yesteryear (or yesterdecade…) into deliciously modern gems is intrinsic. From tapping international influences, to knowing exactly what types of garments will be in high-demand, it’s clear her ear is to the pavement. When asked about the possible directions the next collection might venture, she said:

“I will always have a modern/vintage approach to my [work.] For my next collection for spring 2009 I have been very influenced by the mystery of twins; of which evoke symmetry, mirror images and kaleidoscopes.”

Wherever she takes us, we’ll look forward to the ride.

Photo credits:
photographer: Michael David Adams (www.michaeldavidadams.com) Makeup: Viktorija Bowers (www.viktorijabowers.com) Hair: Oliver Chomienne, Model : Kara Searle – Elite)

Online: Pamelathompson.com

And now a word from

Written By , on June 2, 2008

I’m a tried-and-true sort of gal. If something works (and we’re talking everything, not just beauty products here), I’m most likely going to continue to buy it. In the world of fashion and beauty, we know that every company out there from the giants to the college kids working out of their parents’ basements claim to have the next great thing. Whether it’s jeans that promise to make your ass you lifted, or a mascara promising to last through a viscous tear fest, we know that these are all just marketing ploys aiming to get us to spend our hard earned dollars on said great invention. With the price of accessories climbing, and beauty products performing less than par more than half of the time, it was only a matter of minutes before we turned out next great obsession into the timeless art of scent.

Perfume. Eau de Toilette. Parfum. Where what your wallet can afford, and what flatters you. The thing is, once you get into the science of scents, you start to realize that, like a great fall collection or a wonder beauty product, there are some staples that are just “you.” It makes it hard to branch out when you know what works. I often peruse new scents at the store, studying the marketing. What model the brand chose, the colors in the promos, and the look they want the [enter perfume’s name here] woman to have. If you do this a few times, it’s amazing what you’ll come up with. You start to realize, hmmm…maybe I’m not this woman, but I do love this scent, so maybe I’m apart of her? A trip to Sephora and $60 later, you are that woman. At least until the scent wears off anyway. Here’s a look at a few new fragrances that are launching for spring and summer, all promising to turn us into that woman we long to be.

Marc Jacobs Daisy- This fragrance has had a ton of promotion in the past few months. The first thing that caught my eye was the whimsical flower motif at the top of the bottle, followed by Marc Jacobs’ signature font on the front. Next came the real test of actually smelling the fragrance. I have to admit that I’m not a huge MJ fan when it comes to the label’s scents. I never find them appropriately capturing the Marc Jacobs brand. Daisy is no different, but if you’re into smelling like an actual flower, you may have met your soul mate. Incorporating red ruby grapefruit, strawberry and vanilla, the notes sound more like ingredients in a smoothie than a high end fragrance, but don’t be fooled. The scents combine to create something nearly as whimsical and light as the Daisy bottle itself.

Lacoste Dream of Pink- Lacoste was once slated for the preppy set only. Now it has more of an international appeal and the arrival of Dream of Pink is sure to capture those with a strong girlie side. Notes of lotus flower and rose hit your nose like a soft shock (if you can imagine such a thing) of whiff of Blair Waldorf and the like. It’s still plenty preppy, but now it’s done in a more democratic way, leaving room for us all to embrace our inner snobbish 16 year old self with a bit more poise than the first time around.

Burberry The Beat- This one is supposed to be the scent of the spring and summer. Created by Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey and model-of-the-moment Aygness Deyn, the scent is supposed to smell like youth. I think it smells a little like death. “Mature” would be the nice way of describing this scent, and while I can appreciate the intention, the execution just doesn’t deliver. For me, at least. Mandarin, white musk and cedarwood round out the hefty notes used in this fragrance. With all of this you’d think the result would be practically unisex, but instead it falls somewhere between spinster and crazy cat lady. Pass on this one.

Verace- Yep, that’s all it’s called. It’s the new signature scent from the house of Versace, and since the house is a few decades old, it’s surprising this doesn’t already exist. Evoking all of the sultry sexpot mania that the stripper-esque high heels and flowing bright dresses push, the scent is strong and feminine. White jasmine, amberwoods, and orchid keep the scent light and floral, but the base notes of musks and icy black currant prevent it from becoming frou frou. The luxurious bottle has the Versace logo and a heavy gold top, adding a bit of noveau riche to your vanity table.

YSL Elle- My favorite thing about this fragrance? The bottle is completely girlie, while the fragrance itself is definitely not. YSL’s Elle has mad hints of peony, making it a winner in my book (another favorite that has peony is Stella). Balanced by lychee and patchouli, the aroma is a bit spicy without making you wonder why you sprayed on such a scent. This reminds me of a chic French woman waltzing around in a YSL le smoking jacket pondering the meaning of life as she takes another drag.

And now a word from

Written By , on May 1, 2008

At the age of fourteen, Lacy Barry was given a religious premonition of her future with fashion. The word “ephoe,” a plural form of the eight ritual garments worn by Jewish high priests, appeared in her dream. Barry, age 24, is the founder of Ephoe Inc., a label whose influences come from lush tropical colors, Audrey Hepburn and Victorian couture. Started in May 2004, Ephoe has been one of the top labels in Calgary, where she was listed as the only female designer in the Calgary Herald’s “20 Compelling Calgarians to Watch in 2006.” However, Barry’s future as a Canadian designer was shaped by her parents’ professions in the arts.

Lacy Barry, who grew up outside of Calgary in Braggs Creek, was raised by Liz and Dale Barry, a seamstress and an artist. “My father would take me out to help on different mural jobs or when he was working as an art director in films,” she says. “My mother encouraged me to draw outfits that I could wear to school. As outrageous and unrealistic as they were at times, she worked with me to make them wearable and functional.” At age seven, Barry won her first art award in a local department store contest, then further dived into her mother’s profession as a teenager. “She started me off with some of the most repetitious hand sewing and not letting me leave the house in an unfitted vintage coat or dress, until I was able to take it apart properly and work with her on the fit. It really built the foundation for what makes every piece I create now delicate couture, much like a work of art.” After honing her skills, it was time for Barry’s ambition to be tested on the catwalk.

At age 20, Lacy Barry was invited to participate in L’hiver, a winter-themed fashion show in her native Canada. “All my friends knew that I had sewn most of my clothes, so they recommended me to the group setting up the showcase,” she says. “I entitled the collection ‘Inverno Mode,’ meaning ‘winter fashion’ in Swiss-German.” Her popular vintage-inspired threads got a surprising demand from the public. “I don’t think Canadian fashion is taken as seriously,” she says. “I suppose if we, as Canadians, learn to take ourselves in the arts more seriously, it may flourish as a profitable industry.” In 2004, in a city far from Milan, Paris, and New York City, a clothing line was born.

With the intention of making Canadian fashion more notable, she debuted Ephoe and Associates, which offered budding artists and designers the opportunity to help her create themed showcases. On June 2, 2005, “The Mind Exotic,” the company’s second fashion show, was held at the Virginia Christopher Gallery in Calgary. The event, which attracted 250 attendees, had a flora theme with real and faux trees, as well as periwinkle suits and 1940’s tuxes. Canadian fashion would finally begin to gain its well-deserved recognition.

Ephoe Inc., unlike other European and American designs, unites vibrant colors, retro chic, and classic femininity, which Barry describes as “wearable garments that complement the body.” For her first New York show during 2007 Fashion Week in Bryant Park, high collars were used to emphasize long, slender necks with soft lace and frill stitching. Grey and ivory dresses with antique floral prints were introduced with heirloom buttons that had delicate inscriptions. Other more formal gowns enhanced a small waist and wide hips, similar to the look of a hidden corset. For added color, the gowns had Persian-inspired prints underneath. More contemporary looks included a sexy black jacket with an exposed chest and a matching vest that went with baggy, low-rise grey slacks. Other outfits featured a ruffled shirt with an orange, red, and crème floral pattern. The most elegant piece of the collection was a lacy, plum jacket with burgundy tones and a slightly puffed, satin black skirt. Each piece was an homage to feminine fabrics and nights out in London. Ephoe’s Autumn/Winter 2007 nine-piece collection was darker than Spring/Summer 2006, which contained look-at-me-but-don’t sunglasses, psychedelic prints, along with neon-green low riders and white, sleeveless day dresses.

Since its debut, Ephoe hasn’t failed to create a spark worldwide. In spring 2006, Barry pursued her passion for fashion in London, but due to high cost of living, she quickly moved to Los Angeles where she currently lives. After settling in the city of angels, Barry is now working on costumes for Olga Kurylenko’s upcoming film Tyranny. Aside from dressing the new James Bond girl, Berry looks forward to her upcoming collection. “I’m completely in the pursuit of the future. It’s a new century and it takes the first decade for the style and indication of an era to settle in,” she explains. “I’m aiming to provide garments for our new world and a compelling new time.”

And now a word from

Written By , on May 1, 2008

Photography Grant Yoshino
click photo for full gallery

Dekaibrands, an international fashion marketing firm, showcased the work of three burgeoning Brazilian designers April 9th. They were presented in the chic, sleek space of the EM & Co. boutique in Los Angeles. Although they share a home country, sensibilities and silhouettes varied greatly between the lines.

Adriana Fernandez provided the most expected looks of the evening—barely-there swimwear with eye-catching details. The basic black bikinis broke little ground with their silhouettes and trimmings (although the bottoms had refreshingly high rises, to keep a bit of modesty). However, the outlandish white two-piece, with its plunging neckline, latex-like sheen, and bold hardware was a chic, 60s-inspired piece. Upon its showing, EM & Co.
owner Eveline Morel declared, “Isn’t that rock and roll?!”

Keeping with the mod theme was the brand Zigfreda. A palette of cartoon colors played in stark contrast to floating silk fabrications. A kimono-inspired tunic threw tradition aside with the help of scattered polka-dots and a citrine obi belt. A mini with a Lichtenstein dot print enhanced a sheer chartreuse silk tank. The line was chic and on-trend, but fell far from the designer’s intent—the expressed desire to create a brand-new design sensibility for the first decades of the 21st century.

The stand-out line of the evening, the clothing of Kylza Ribas, may have accomplished the goals her counterparts were trying to. Decidedly feminine, with youthful flair and cultural nuances, Ribas’ line was cohesive and strong. Floating layers were key, utilizing the weight of added fabric panels or bold metallic additions to keep the items from appearing overly whimsical. Ribas’ printed dresses, with toy soldiers and cartoon airplanes, were playful, and looked as though they were taken from a little boy’s bedroom. When the prints appeared on flounced dresses and tiered ruffles, they only enhanced the clothing’s flirtatious spirit.

Ribas also has the ability to infuse her line with more adult clothing. An unremarkable grey jersey slip dress became stunning when on
model. Panels of natural latex provided intriguing texture, and the asymmetrical, curved back cutout was nothing but sex appeal.

In the end, the goals of the designers may have been lost on their audience. Although Los Angeles is considered a trend-friendly city, the audience of the show was exclusively casual-chic. Skinny jeans and stiletto heels abounded, most often paired with a jersey knit or floral print chiffon top.
Head-to-toe black was de rigueur, but several women were seen purchasing Adriana Fernandez swimsuits before leaving. Perhaps the first hurdle for
Brazilian designers was just a line in the sand.

And now a word from

Written By , on April 2, 2008

Landing a designer bag is now the mainstay of nearly every woman’s fashion desires. It began with a few boldface names and constant reminders of what we should be wearing by every budding starlet that now put ‘fashionista’ on their resume as well. After a decade of spending hundreds, and now thousands, of dollars on designer handbags, the fever has spread like wildfire. Everyone from the soccer mom to the urban high school teacher to the young professional wants a piece of the pie when it comes to toting a “good bag.”

Papierdoll.net brings you THE ultimate guide to shopping for a designer bag and scoring a deal at the same time. Understanding how to stakeout your prey and strike at the right time is similar to something out of Planet Earth, so keep this handy as heavy sale season approaches. As with any other sale purchases, understand that a vast majority of the time, sale handbags are final sale, especially when shopping online or from a high end boutique store, so shop accordingly. Of course if you’re a true steals-and-deals gal, you’ll have all season to scope what you may land come first markdowns.

On the web

Landing a bag online is probably the easiest, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come with tons of panic or several phone calls. A lot of this depends on what bag you’re looking for, whether it was an It bag or not, and how many are available once the sale hits. Often online stores do not replenish stock the way a major department store or boutique might, but because so many hardcore bag hags have gotten away from buying their bags online, there are many deals to be had. You could go the eBay route for a steal, but that comes with the whole is-it-real? song and dance, along with the notion of a good chunk of change going through the Paypal system. If you’re comfortable with this, go for it, but be sure to have the bag authenticated at a forum known for their handbag experts like thefashionspot.com or thepurseforum.com. Both sites have authentication sections where experts decipher a bag’s lining, hardware and leather to come to the conclusion of whether a bag is genuine. It isn’t always the easiest the process, but for every Marc Jacobs Stam fake that prowls ebay (and there’s a lot of them), there’s a vintage Chanel bag that’s authentic and whose owner has no clue of the starting value.

If you’re wary of eBay, I don’t blame you. Horror stories of real pictures and fake product paint the eBay forums, so opting for an actual online store is a far safer bet. Thepursepage.com is a designer handbag site devoted to designer handbag reviews and purses donned by celebrities. This site makes it easy to navigate upcoming designer handbag sales as well as sample sales, which usually take place in the LA or NYC areas, depending on the designer. Bookmarking the premier and designer handbag pages of major department stores like Saks.com and Barneys.com, also allows you to check back regularly to see if that beloved Givenchy Nightingale has been marked down yet. Most websites like these have newsletters you can sign up for, which will notify you of specific sales or promotional events. This makes it a bit easier, but know that, like you, a trillion other handbags lovers are signed up for this same email list, so pounce quickly if you see your bag available. Online boutique stores like shopbop.com, allow you to buy both contemporary and premier designers on their site, so you have a clear idea of what’s available. Other sites like aloharag.com (the only online site to purchase Balenciaga handbags) allow you to peruse the merchandise online, make an informed decision, and then call the store to make a purchase. This same policy goes for buying AR’s sale bags.

And now a word from

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