Names To Know
MB Couture for Doriani, by Maria Buccellati

MB Couture for Doriani, by Maria Buccellati - Maria Buccellati at home

It’s a beautiful spring day in Milan, and Maria Buccellati welcomes me into her magnificent apartment. Benvenuto, she says, in the warm, unmistakably Latin accent she gets from her Cuban mother and Spanish father. Maria was born in New York, grew up in Miami and, after studying fashion design, she modeled in Europe (as Maria Cabrera) at the very start of the supermodel era. Then love and marriage (to husband Andrea Buccellati, with whom she has two children), turned Milan into her adopted home. Now, love is providing more impetus for change–expressed, this time, in Maria’s passion for elegant design and luxurious products. It’s what first compelled her to start her own business ten years ago (the haute swimwear line, MB Beach Couture)–and, just recently, to enter into a special new arrangement with Doriani Cashmere.

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CHIC SERVICES
PAVLOS SHOE REPAIR

PAVLOS SHOE REPAIR -

Grandmothers often have the very best tips. For example, my grandma used to say, Don’t sit in the sun after 25, and she was right–the sun is terrible for your skin. (Thank goodness I followed her advice.) She also told me about the most extraordinary shoe repair service in New York City, called Pavlos. Simply put, the experts at this little shop make old shoes look like new–and that means brand new. I have a closet full of shoes, but I also have favorite pairs that I reach for again and again. Case in point: my beloved suede mules by Manolo Blahnik (two pairs, purple and orange), which are comfortable and chic. They’re also more than twenty years old. Every time I take them back to Pavlos, the very kind owner just shakes his head and says, Hmm, I don’t know –but then he saves them. Recently, during New York Fashion Week, a friend from Paris was in town with a pair of his favorite boots, which were falling apart. (Apparently, no one in Paris would touch them.) We took them to Pavlos, where they worked their miracle–and my friend’s boots came back looking as though he’d just bought them. If you’re a shoe fanatic, Pavlos will help you maintain your collection. Thank you, Grandma!

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PRÊT-À-PORTER FALL 2012
LONDON show ROOMS: David Koma & Piers Atkinson

LONDON show ROOMS: David Koma & Piers Atkinson - Piers Atkinson starts with classic hat shapes, then tweaks them as much, or as little, as he likes

During Paris Fashion Week, I always make a point of visiting the LONDON show ROOMS in Le Loft near St. Paul. Doing this in Paris allows me to see work by new British designers, without making an extra trip to London. And this season, yet again, David Koma was tops for me. He’s simply one of the most creative and talented new designers out there, and I’m always excited to see his collections. I can lose myself in David’s world, because his approach to design feels chic, cutting-edge and innovative, without going over the top.

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PRÊT-À-PORTER FALL 2012
Allude

Allude -

Allude is a German company specializing in elegant (and quite luxurious) cashmere garments–but as its founder and creative director, Andrea Karg, explained to me, her brand isn’t really about fashion. In fact, Allude has been around for almost 20 years (it was established in 1993, in Munich), but this was the first time the brand presented a défilé during the Paris Prêt-à-Porter.

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Chic Women's Style

PRÊT-À-PORTER FALL 2012
Elie Saab & Analeena Video Diary

Elie Saab & Analeena Video Diary -

Join Susan on the last day of Paris Fashion Week for a striking défilé by Elie Saab, who always makes it a point to help women look beautiful. Then, stop by an intimate showroom presentation of gorgeous handbags by Analeena, plus a selection of one-of-a-kind, raw-diamond jewelry by her sister, Amalie.

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PRÊT-À-PORTER FALL 2012
PACO RABANNE & ALLUDE VIDEO DIARY

PACO RABANNE & ALLUDE VIDEO DIARY -

Join Susan (along with Daphne Guinness, Jane Birkin and Bryanboy) at the Grand Palais to see Manish Arora unveil his Fall collection for Paco Rabanne. It’s a fun show, complete with chain mail dresses that strike just the right balance between runway and retail. Then, a little later, head back to the same venue to see the Allude défilé, featuring “cashmere for any mood.”

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PRÊT-À-PORTER FALL 2012
Léonard & Andrew Gn Video Diary

Léonard & Andrew Gn Video Diary -

First stop, the Léonard show, with Maxime Simoens at the creative helm (for what turned out to be his first and last collection for the house). Then, Paris Fashion Weeks continues into the weekend, with a défilé mounted Sunday morning by Andrew Gn. The lineup includes some truly beautiful pieces, especially a few of those gorgeous evening gowns. Bravo, Andrew!

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PRÊT-À-PORTER FALL 2012
Catherine Baba for Gripoix, LONDON show ROOMS and Aurélie Demel Video Diary

Catherine Baba for Gripoix, LONDON show ROOMS and Aurélie Demel Video Diary -

Join Susan amidst the Deyrolle taxidermy at the restaurant Lapérouse to see Catherine Baba‘s collection of pâte de verre jewelry for Gripoix. Continue to the LONDON show ROOMS for an intimate preview of Fall 2012 lines from designer David Koma and milliner Piers Atkinson–and, finally, attend a party chez L’Éclaireur, for the unveiling of a collaboration between rock & roll-oriented Simon Azoulay and a very talented newcomer, Aurélie Demel.

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WHAT I’M LOVING RIGHT NOW
MONCLER GAMME ROUGE JACKET

MONCLER GAMME ROUGE JACKET -

I’m a big fan of Giambattista Valli’s designs for Moncler: I have two of his Gamme Rouge jackets (one for Winter, one for Spring), and I’m always on the lookout for at least one more. I love the brand’s overall aesthetic, and the coats, in particular, are chic and very easy to wear. Back in March, while in Paris for the Prêt-à-Porter, I stopped into the newly-renovated Printemps department store (which is now quite nice–cleaner, brighter and much more inviting). I went quickly from floor to floor, but couldn’t miss this gorgeous Gamme Rouge jacket–I love its shape, fabric (mesh over organza), and quirky details, like the small collar and industrial zippers. It’s very me, and I can see it becoming a staple in my wardrobe. It’s what I’m loving right now!

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PRÊT-À-PORTER FALL 2012
Elie Saab

Elie Saab -

There are essentially two kinds of fashion designers: those who push the limits, and those who stay the course. Elie Saab is one of the latter–he’s really tried-and-true. He’s also one of those rare, “go-to” talents who can always be relied upon to make women look and feel absolutely beautiful.

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