Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fashion Week at the Hudson Hotel, New York, NY

"Urban adventure, daredevil design, and true affordability meet in Hudson, the ultimate lifestyle hotel for the 21st century. Located in midtown, just steps from Central Park, Columbus Circle and the theater district, Hudson is a brilliant reflection of the boldness and diversity of the city, while simultaneously representing the next generation of Cheap Chic – stylish, democratic, young at heart and utterly cool."


My mother and I stayed at the Hudson Hotel  in New York City during fashion week in February, thanks to the Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair Camera-Ready Style Contest.  The discreet entrance at 356 West 58th Street understated the escalator illuminated in chartreuse just inside leading to the dramatic lobby.  Ivy climbed its forty-foot brick walls shading the blue glow of the ceiling from which hung a great crystal chandelier with images of colorful light bulbs.  The outdoor private park appeared inviting with oversized greenery and garden furniture but was unfortunately closed for winter.  Around the corner by the elevators was the famed ‘Semi-automatic” vending machine which dispenses sunglasses, bracelets, condoms and other accessories for a good time.

At night the lobby hosted good times enjoyed by small groups who overflowed from the Hudson Bar; library, aka bar at night; and hall, aka dining area/bar.  Essentially, in the evenings the whole floor turned into a swanky, dimly lit hangout for the young, or young at heart, who could endure the $18 glasses of wine.  Mom and I sat down there one night on a leather couch while I typed and enjoyed just one glass of wine and she read and glimpsed at the passersby.  She noted a person who seemed to be a man dressed as a woman, who she recognized the next day at Lincoln Center outside of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week wearing the exact same clothing.  He/she must have had a late night at the Hudson.

The fashionable continued to visit the Hudson throughout fashion week.  One day I saw Kellan Lutz, famous for portraying Emmett Cullen in the Twilight Saga, walk past me into my hotel.  After finagling our friendly doorman we discovered that he was there to attend the Loden Dager fashion show in the basement, called Good Units.  Another time there was a photo shoot going on in Hudson Bar.  Later I learned that the hotspot has been featured on such chic and shoepornographic shows as Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.

For my trip's itinerary the hotel was in the perfect location.  Just a few blocks from the Ailey Studios, where the NOLCHA Fashion Week took stage and four from Lincoln Center and the Met, where I had the photo shoot with Vanity Fair.  It was also two blocks from Central Park and a very short subway ride to the newest Century 21 location, my favorite designer discount haven.

My stay there was pretty perfect too although it really didn't matter where I stayed.  Just being in Manhattan is thrilling enough.  Being in Midtown was the cherry on top.  The Hudson's website describes our double room as "A generous space perfect for double accommodation, this room offers the finest amenities and exotic accents that evoke the romance of transatlantic travel. Every detail reflects the brilliant vision of Philippe Starck, including his reinterpretation of a classic U.S. Navy ship chair, found only at the Hudson. Colorful bedside lamps hand-painted by renowned artist Francesco Clemente lend a mystical air."  I agree.

But if I were being particular I would mention that I could not call out on the room phone, I couldn't open the door the first few times every time I tried and I could not see very well in the rooms, especially at night.  I get that dim lighting works in the bar areas but not so much when you're trying to apply makeup or pair clothing.  I read reviews that the rooms were small but we thought ours was adequate.  We didn't spend much time in the room anyway.  However, I wondered how comfortable my 6'4" boyfriend would be on the European-style mattresses.  I'd also like to note the fantastic mini bath products by Malin + Goetz, the Manhattan-based apothecary.  My mom loved them so much she asked room service (by cell phone) to bring more, then swiped even more off the housekeeping cart.  They smelled so fresh and clean.  I still carry the vitamin B5 body moisturizer in my purse and  I'm looking to reorder online for someone special's birthday.  (No, not you, mom!  Just keep reading...)

Thankfully, the hotel is currently undergoing a major renovation, which would resolve all of my complaints.  New phones, mattresses, a smart card lock system, upgraded room lighting and illuminated mirrors will be available this fall.  I do hope to stay at the chic “cheap” hotel again.   I’d like to visit the bar and mingle with the New York socialites.  But I may refill my wine glass in my room.  Until then, New York…

Photos courtesy of myself and Hudson Hotel

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Present Passion: Peplum

pep·lum/ˈpepləm/ : A short flared, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman's jacket, dress, or blouse.

Also, currently the most adorable detail that gives an emsemble instant class, while accentuating curves.  It's been popping up on the catwalk and red carpet for the past couple of years and now it's easier to find online and in stores.  Scroll down for how you can add some peplum to your wardrobe.


Where it has been seen

[caption id="attachment_837" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Alexander McQueen, Spring 2012, Photos courtey of Marcus Tondo/"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_839" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="alice + olivia, Pre-fall 2012"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_838" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="alice + olivia, Fall 2012"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_840" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Bottega Veneta, Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_841" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012, Christian Dior Spring 2012 and Badgley Mischka Spring 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos and Marcus Tondo of"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_853" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012, Sachika Fall 2011, Elizabeth and James Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/, Sachika, Elizabeth and James"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_844" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Lanvin Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_846" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Rebecca Taylor Fall 2012, Milly Fall 2012, 10 Crosby Derek Lam Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/, 10 Crosby Derek Lam"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_848" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Tory Burch Fall 2012, Zac Posen Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos and Alessandro Viero of"][/caption]


Who is wearing it

[caption id="attachment_845" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Blake Lively, Ashley Greene, Michelle Williams, Dianna Agron"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_849" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Emma Watson, Leelee Sobieski, Liv Tyler, Beyoncé"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_855" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Hudson, Emma Stone"][/caption]


How you can get it

Peplum is adorable on dresses and tops worn with pencil skirts or slim pants.  I just ordered a peplum dress from and I'm impatiently waiting for it to arrive just in time for spring.  Below are a few more options that I found online.  You can also try belting longer, flowy shirts to create a similar flared effect.  When doing so, select a wider belt and tops with a round or sweetheart neckline to convey a vintage vibe.  Update it with a top that is printed, sleeveless or has a deep V-neck and try an embellished belt.

[caption id="attachment_861" align="aligncenter" width="364" caption="My new dress: Zipper Peplum Dress $34 from Go Jane"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_859" align="aligncenter" width="404" caption="Floral Tube Peplum Top $25.30 from Go Jane"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_860" align="aligncenter" width="404" caption="Stripe Peplum Dress $26.50 from Go Jane"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_881" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="L.A. or Bustier $44.99 from Mod Cloth"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_880" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Irresistable Enchantress Peplum Dress $169.99 from Mod Cloth"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_878" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Eternal Flame of Love Peplum Skirt $42.99 from Mod Cloth"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_877" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Bronze and Brains Peplum Skirt $72.99 from Mod Cloth"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_876" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Broken Levels Skirt $138 from Anthropologie"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_866" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Awear Floral Peplum Top $44.76 from Asos"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_883" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Rare Peplum Dress $44.76 from Asos"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_882" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Peplum Tee $16.90 from Alloy"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_879" align="aligncenter" width="393" caption="Francesca Dress $1,495 from J. Crew"][/caption]

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Teresa Rosati Fall 2012: Prim & Party

Teresa Rosati's diverse collection of formal dresses is a little prim and a little party.  The internationally renowned Polish designer showed her latest assembly of cocktail and evening dresses at Nolcha Fashion Week, which I had the pleasure of attending in February.  The opening number was a short champagne-colored dress with a bubble skirt adorned with a single black lace sleeve.  Paired with a glass of champagne, this tasteful dress is just right for a cocktail party.  With the next look, the party style changed dramatically.  The embellished padded shoulders and metallic fabric remind me of a 1980s music video with a synthesized beat and too much fog, but in a fun, throwback way.

The third dress further mixes moods by pairing bronze brocade with purple sequins, while the last dress combines the current trend of photographic prints with old Hollywood.  This show-stopping gown, covered with black and white pictures of Marilyn Monroe, garnered oohs and ahhs from the audience.  While I'm loving the fun print, I can't imagine where I'd wear it to in my midwest home.  However, Molly Sims wore a similar dress by Dolce & Gabbana to the 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards in New York City.  I can also picture it on Katy Perry, Lindsay Lohan or Rihanna.   Another trendy showstopper is the sheer teal gown with pleats and a collar embellished with feathers and shiny appliques.  Sheer fabric, especially skirts, are very popular at the moment.

One of my favorite pieces of Rosati's collection is the dress with a pale rose skirt and intricate black floral single-sleeved bodice.  I'm probably drawn to its full tulle skirt and shimmering lace because of its resemblance to a ballerina.  The flowing red gown with a deep v-neck, embellished waist and high slit is also a darling.  Notice it's decorated zipper along the nude back.  Of all the details I adore these embellishments, the glittering material of the navy and gray dresses and the delicate lace.

Photos courtesy of myself and Teresa Rosati