Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tina Turner and Janet and THAT Dress ... A Year Later

Just a little story from Tina Turner's biography I, Tina: My Life Story ... about a dress she just had to have and how it happened.

"I went shopping even though I didn't have a dime. I went into Charles Gallay, a shop I had found when I was with Ike. Charles definitely had what I wanted -- quality things that cost a lot of money. Yeah, I got to tell you -- I love it when the clothes are expensive. You know why? They look right and they last. It's not just about price -- there's got to be quality there.

Now I've got to tell you about Janet. I love Janet. She could understand me and relate to me. There was never a time when I walked into that shop she thought, "Oh, no, Tina doesn't have any money." Janet was smarter than that.

Well, there came a time when there was a very expensive dress that I had to have. I loved it and I wanted it. It felt like gold in my hands, but I said to myself, there's no way I can spend that kind of money. So I said to Janet, "Janet, kinda -- don't sell this dress." Now how can you say that to a saleswoman? But Janet wasn't just a saleswoman, she was Charles' ace boon top saleswoman. So she could hold the dress and she knew I was going to find a way to buy it. She had a few buyers that came in, but Janet didn't push it; she didn't tell them you can wear it this way and do this with it.

And finally -- a year later -- I did find a way to get that dress!"

I remember that gold dress, like molten silk woven by angels. It was made by Roberto Cavalli's sister who showed at in Florence next to her brother at the Pitti Palace. I can tell you everything about that dress but I can't remember her name, alas.

Monday, November 15, 2010

@Zandra_Rhodes: Welcome To Twitter and A Few Memories

"The Zandra Rhodes show for Charles Gallay at Mr. Chow was so good that it's hard to describe it."

Well, yes it was. Two shows because it was very very good. Groucho Marx stayed for both. Carrie White did "heaps and mounds of hair." Zandra pressed everything and kept the models away from trouble. When it was over, the ladies flocked across the street with cameras following to try on the clothes.

And a few days after the show,  we went to Disneyland with Zandra and Tim Curry.

Flirty, Naughty, Funny and Wonderful: Mary's


Mary is a fashion student with the most seductive lingerie blog. Naughty and nice, Flirty Skin (Link here) is irresistible. I asked Mary for a list of her favorite things; Chantal Thomass stockings and Paris and sleeping are on mine, too. 

12 things i cannot live without:

My Lover


Numéro Editorials

My cat Elliott, named after suicidal Singer/Songwriter Elliott Smiths & My dog Maurice,the cutest Bernese Mountain Dog ever

Transparent Lace & Mesh


Paris & red vine ( these things belong together forever for me)


Chantal Thomass stockings

sleeping the whole sunday ( god, I miss this since I am working on my diploma haha)

My Iphone, seriously- this stupid thing makes you become an addict

Marie-Antoinette by Sophia Copola.Favorite Film of all times.

"I started blogging because:

It's been some time I wanted to do a  blog and this summer I went to London for a 3 month internship at "Bordelle".
So the timing was good and we had the opportunity to either make a documentation about our internship or to write a blog.
So I took the jump into the cold water. I am lucky to have a very talented  Boyfriend who loves to experiment in Photography and so we started to take pictures whenever I find some cool lingerie-pieces. I always loved writing and since I am working on my own Lingerie-collection the time seamed perfect to start a Blog about the thing I love most.
Right now I am unfortunately more glued to the sewing machine than to my computer, but I try to keep going and share whatever moves me.
 And it's so worth it, I met great people and got opportunities I wouldn't had without flirtyskin, like going to the Triumph Inspiration Award or visiting the Lingerie Collective where I met some very nice people and got a first sneak peak  into the industry-
 my Blog was my little wingman who opened me many doors in such a short time."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jean Muir: Not That Demure, No

We sold a lot of Jean Muir in Beverly Hills. Her things looked prim  on the hanger but the way the bias cut matte jersey fit, clinging ... it was anything but demure.

The sedate beautiful white building at 22 Bruton Street had wide wooden stairs that we climbed to Jean's second floor studio and cheerfully knocked on her white door.  A muffled voice on the other side hushed us with a crisp "so sorry, there's a Royal in here and we can't let you in." We waited not even wondering who the Royal was, just cross at something that couldn't happen in America. There's a lot of waiting in fashion for things: taxis, fashion shows, dinner in Milan at Bice or Rigolo and now Royals.

Harry Leuckert, Jean's husband, swept us in with a laugh and a cough that all British men seem to acquire although his was not as masterful as the doorman at the Connaught who could cough the rowdiest American into a quivering neurotic mess.

We met Harry and Jean at Mr. Chow's that night. Charles ordered a lobster and his waiter whipped out a bib for him, even tying it for him. Jean gasped as she ripped it off without a word while Harry kept talking. Something about their farm in Scotland, completely glossing over a ripped bib that had disappeared as Jean tossed it toward a passing waiter.

I wondered if Mr. Chow reserved bibs for jovial Americans.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yes, I Won The Shopping Spree Last Night At Decades 2

"You have been selected as the winner of the $250 shopping
spree to decadesTwo.1 and VIP Ticket to this Thursday's shopping event
mentioned in this article ... "

The thing is I'd won an absolutely gorgeous Geoffrey Beene book from one of my favorite websites a few days earlier ( and maybe I'd won the $1.00 lottery a few times. Winning feels wonderful. This was a big deal ... and more than a little ironic. Decades has the most beautiful pieces of vintage designer clothing, a boutique littered with pristine pieces from Chanel, Missoni, Chloe, Balenciaga, Marni, Prada, Manolo and Louboutin and more. Many designers I'd carried in my own store.

The Decades 2.1 pop-up was crammed with women carrying armloads of clothes to try on while eyeing tables covered with Loubs and Manolos. Not to fear, more clothes will be brought in and then Sunday is the wake-up-early to get in line for the insane shoe sale - those beauties left will all be marked down to 150.00.

The prices were mild by the way. There was a silk Prada dress ... mine.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Little Fashion Story: Pino Lancetti, Janet and Staying Late One Night

Do you ever ask an old friend "do you remember this ..." and then of course you remember all of it.  

Pino Lancetti made the most ethereal (he was of the Rome Alta Moda group: haute couture in small ateliers) white blouses for evening to be worn with his black bias crepe long skirts but there were a handful of decadent loose, flowing tops and caftan dresses with fringe. I remembered that Barbra Streisand and Sue Mengers had the same caftan dress. We'd worried about that because Sue was Barbra's agent. I'd completely forgotten about the other customer. Janet emailed me this morning and it all came back ...

"Do you remember this. Close of day and all the salespeople wanted to leave. I chose to stay and help the young heavy girl with her "mum." June Scott (a Beverly Hills real estate lady that picked her clients up in her chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce and only wore designer clothes with serious jewelry) had told me to always look at shoes and she was wearing expensive skin shoes. The alteration lady stayed and sewed two Lancetti dresses to fit her!! Natural hemp color with colored embroidered top and kimono sleeves with long fringe. The young girl purchased a lot and came back the next day for more! Huge sale for that time.

She was Sharen Arden. Her father was Don Arden who owned ELO. He'd disowned her because she ran off with Ozzy Osbourne! 

I still help her and the entire family 20+ years later."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dangerous Beauty: Brazilian Blowouts and Formaldehyde

Fact: Brazilian Blowouts actually have the same concentrations ( 8 - 10%) of formaldehyde that embalmers use. A hair product with at least some formaldehyde and a flat iron at 450 degrees (which is also hot enough to create steam, which is breathed in) does gorgeous things to your hair for about three months: hello shine, goodbye frizz. I loved it. Very disconcerting to read the Brazilian Blowout  silly promise to sue OSHA for something I'm not sure they've thought up yet, promising to disburse the award (ahem) to the stylists who used the product (I would not be surprised to discover that there are legions of product liability lawyers gathering to begin a class action suit); the company has refused to acknowledge the formaldehyde with ever-more ridiculous reasoning.

It's banned in Europe but not here. Some salons are doing it after hours so that other stylists and clients aren't affected, a few are offering air filtration systems in special rooms and other stylists are scouring the world of hair care for safer alternatives.

The major candidates are the Coppola System, Keragreen, Kerasure and Global Keratin. My last Brazilian was in July and with the beautiful beach mist my hair has reverted to puffery, frizz and all that sleek shine was gone; brillo hair. All my googling convinced me of the importance of sulfate-free shampoos and the longer you can get away without shampooing, the better (especially to stop the after coloring fade). There was no clear best choice to replace the Brazilian.

I almost went with the Kerasure, which claims to be organic (I think it uses a 3% permanent solution to open the hair shaft; not sure, conflicting information).Kerasure and Keragreen have no formaldehyde but the ironed in product must stay in your hair for up to four days; very unappealing to me.

Global Keratin comes in three formulas - a wee bit of formaldehyde, 2% and then 4% for very course curly hair. I just want to kill the frizz and a wee bit, admitted to, was acceptable (formaldehyde is even used for dry-cleaning, it's everywhere). It lasts up to five months with a two day wait before you can shampoo. The application is very similar to the Brazilian;  clarifying shampoo, brushing the solution on, blowdrying it and then ironing (450 degrees) which leaves your hair shiny and sleek although plastered to your head. No unpleasant odor, no eyes burning; mildly uncomfortable leaning my head back during the ironing.

 I used the Brazilian Blowout Shampoo after the required forty-eight hours to shampoo twice, catching a faint whiff of the chemicals going down the drain. A ton of conditioner which did not leave my hair soft (worry, worry); four squirts of MorrocanOil cream and brushing (Aveeda paddle brush which is excellent for course or curly hair) before blowing it dry. The end result was thick and soft hair with minimal frizz and movie star shine.

There was no odor during the two days and maybe I imagined a chemical smell as I washed my hair. While it's advised to do color before the treatment, color can safely be done after a week without changing the results (you couldn't color after a Brazilian). The charge (Beverly Hills salon) was 150.00 plus a tip.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Shamelessly Romantic, Sometimes Practical ... Again and Then Again

If you're really lucky, you might have a friend like Judith. She has helped me through every crisis and saved trinkets and pages too. She worked on this newsletter and sent me a copy a few weeks ago.

I still love kraft paper and what you can do with it. It was a theme then, kraft boxes drowning in decadent amounts of white tulle bows. Gift boxes wrapped in kraft and then silk (faux, of course) flowers hot glued.

In the last week I won an artisan-crafted Geoffrey Beene book (fold-out photos assembled in storyboard fashion from a collector) from the amazingly wonderful and then last night the email from the LA Times Style Section informing me that I'd won a shopping spree at Cameron Silver's Decades pop-up in Brentwood. Two wins in one week have left me gushing and deliriously happy.

There's a touch of irony in the shopping spree ... Decades carries many of the designers I used to sell in my own shops, much from one or another of Charles' stores.

Happiness redux.

Here's the information on the Decades Pop-Up Shop in Brentwood from the LA Times Style Section:

After seeing the recent success of his Pop-Up shops in New York and Chicago and the debut of his first e-commerce site, Christos Garkinos is now bringing the magic of DecadesTwo.1 closer to home with a four-day shopping event at Post26 at the Brentwood Country Mart.

Shoes and accessories from Chanel, Chloé, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Gucci and more will be sold at up to 80% off retail. Shoppers can also complement their purchase with the latest contemporary wares from Post26.
The four-day shopping event begins on November 11th with an exclusive VIP cocktail shopping reception. The following days on November 12 and 13, the pop-up shop will be open to the public with the retailer’s infamous $150 shoe sale on Sunday November 14. Inventory will be replenished daily, so plan to make multiple visits.

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