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Designers: Auld Lang Syne


Fashion is an industry that eats its young. This is generally to the goodfor the most part, the hacks and dilettantes fade away, while the visionaries become stars and the reliable churn out sportswear. And every season, the stylish place their bets on the Next Big Thing.

Rather than join in the anointing of untested talents, this season it seems appropriate to celebrate a few New York designers who’ve stuck around and come into their own.

Beauty: Stress Case


There are those who would argue that each bi-annual fashion season begins with the couture, in Paris, and end with the prêt-a-porter, in Paris, and that everything in between Paris and Paris is just a lot of noise about clothes. But anyone who attends the shows knows that, as a habit of mind, fashion begins in New York. It’s with the New York City collections that the fashion week tempo is establishedthe rush from here to there and back again; the horror, overtaking you all of a sudden, that your outfit was only up to the last minute; the sensory overload that descends after a couple days navigating the scene on too little sleep and fashionably little food. It starts with the New York, and these days, the fashion season doesn’t end in Paristhe incorrigible go on to Sydney and Sao Paulo, Moscow and L.A., Miami and Toronto, and maybe even Stockholm, Mumbai, Jamaica, Beijing.

Icon: Hillary Rodham Clinton


The only presidential candidate with 100% name recognition is in many ways a mystery in plain sight. Is Hillary Rodham Clinton the unreconstructed liberal of the right wing’s nightmares, the Wellesley College feminist who tried to shove universal health care down the throat of a recalcitrant nation? Is she the scheming politico who used the public’s sympathy, post-Monica, to propel herself to the Senate? Is she a centrist like her husband, forging pragmatic compromises across the aisle? Or is she a calculating perma-candidate who will say, do, endure and vote for anything that might help her become President? Is Hillary a harridan, a lesbian, a long-suffering wife? Did she kill Vincent Foster? Is she smarter than Bill?

The Apple of My Eye


My iPod died the other day. I was heading up Sixth Avenue, fresh off the subway, on the coldest morning in New York in years. And as usual, when I venture into midtown from my Lower East Side digs, I was up there for a reason I’ve been a New Yorker long enough now, and a downtowner at that, that I no longer ascend past 23rd Street without some concrete motivation, like a business meeting or a sale on towels at Macy’s. About a minute before my iPod died, however, I had paused, freezing, to marvel at the tents going up in Bryant Park.

Saturday Trend

This week, BurdaStyle celebrates Parisian perversity. TREND SHIFT KEY

This week, BurdaStyle celebrates Parisian perversity.

Trend: The Right to Boat


If ever an accessory screamed un-hip, it was the boat shoe. Too functional to be campy, like a monocle, too staid for rappers and too provincially American to get swept up in fashion’s perpetual obsession with anoraks and sailor stripes, the humble boat shoe just couldn’t catch a break. They scream clam bakes, Kennebunkport and Yankee Republicanism; the icon of the boat shoe is, yikes, former President George Herbert Walker Bush. But the tide for the boat shoe has turned, as fashion tides inevitably must: Marc by Marc Jacobs recently gave the classic a satin update (dubious), L.A.’s Keep Company cross-bred it with Vans and manufactured the hybrid cruelty-free in Brazil, and now France’s taste-making boutique A.P.C. is doing a traditional men’s version for summer. Take the bait, but take it straight: Sperry’s is the old-money original, and dockside or not, it’s pair you want to be wearing all spring long.

Playlist: Etiquette



In her instantly seminal book The Year of Magical Thinking, author Joan Didion relates her attempts, after the death of her husband, to “go to the literature” on grief. She found nothing much that was helpful, except from an unlikely source: Etiquette, by Emily Post. Though Etiquette has been updated over the years, it was Post’s 1922 original that Didion hailed as a masterpiece of matter-of-factness, and that manual has now been re-issued. Read Post not for her advice on debutantes, engaging though it is, but for her surprisingly modern dispensations on nothing less than the meaning of life: “If your community is to give you admiration and honor, it is merely necessary to be admirable and honorable,” reads one sample entry. “The more you put in, the more will be paid out to you. It is too trite to put on paper! But it is astonishing, isn’t it, how many people who are depositing nothing whatever, expect to be paid in admiration and respect?” Isn’t it, though?

Designer - Old School Made New: LYELL


WASP style usually brings up a raft of Preppy Handbook connotations: Seersucker jackets and madras plaid shorts, striped ties and polo shirts with turned-up collars. Lyell designer Emma Fletcher, however, harks back to an earlier era of Seven Sisters and the Ivy League. Headquartered out of her eponymous shop in New York’s Nolita district, Australian native Fletcher makes clothes that wouldn’t look out of place in a movie adaptation of Catcher in the Rye. Tweed jackets, velvet shrugs, bias-cut dresses, tie-neck blouses and other bookish basics are modernized here and given an old-fashioned flourish therea nip to the pattern to update the silhouette, smocking and covered buttons for genuine vintage finish.

Beauty: Superpowder


Once upon a time, powdering one’s nose meant putting powder on your nose, not into it. But don’t blame cocaine for the decline of an idiom. Long before Steve Rubell opened the doors to Studio 54, suntans and skincare had joined forces to render the noble face powder all but obsolete. The tan changed the paradigm of chic: Back when a sun-kissed face bespoke a day toiling in the fields, alabaster skin was the ideal. Not so much anymore, now that plebes work in cubicles while the rich jetset to St. Barts. We all aspire to that “healthy glow,” and to wit, improvements in skincare have made powder inessential. Once women are armed with cleansers, toners, exfoliaters, moisturizers, masks, peels, dermabrasions, and so on, there’s no blemish left for them to cover over. (In theory, at least.) What good is powder? Well, a fine translucent powder sets makeup to perfection, mattes a shiny complexion, and does not a thing else. It’s no multi-tasking, scientifically substantiated miracle worker, no lipstick that whitens your teeth, no hair-glossing serum that donates 10% of profits to indigenous rain forest tribes and aromatherapeutically boosts your pheremones. Powder is perfectly frivolous and Paul & Joe’s is most perfectly frivolous powder of all. With its pale pink, recherché case and cotton candy powder pouf, the Paul & Joe powder less makeup than objét, especially given that you probably have no need for it. It is, in other words, a luxury.

Icon: Queen Elizabeth II


In a sure-to-be-unique accomplishment, actress Helen Mirren took home two Golden Globes this year, both of them for playing Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth I, Mirren’s role on TV, has long been red meat for actresses. The other Elizabeth that Mirren played last year, the currently-reigning Elizabeth II of the film The Queen, has been somewhat less celebrated. Yet Mirren, making her acceptance speech for win number two, offered that Globe voters had thrown their support behind Elizabeth herself, dowdy, fusty and cantankerous, rather than the glamorous actress privileged, briefly, to walk a mile in her sensible shoes. And Mirren is correct, to the degree that her performance in The Queen allowed viewers to re-examine the villains and victims of Buckingham. Diana was the presumptive martyr, hounded by tabloids unto death. But was it possible, perhaps, that dry old Elizabeth was the one really doing battle with the flashbulbs, not by driving faster to get away from them, but by asserting the need for decorum and restraint? Especially in the wake of Diana’s death, Queen Elizabeth was the last one trying nobly, if a little ham-fistedly to keep her finger in the dike. Spontaneous shrines carried the day, but now, nearly a decade on, her stiff upper lip is looking better than ever.

The Paris Review


I am sorry to report that I am thinking about Paris Hilton. It’s hard to avoid thinking about Paris and as usual, when I think about Paris, when I submit to thinking about Paris, even though I really don’t want to think about Paris, I am thinking: Why?

Trend: Wayfaring Again


All-black for Sienna. Mary-Kate’s been working a vintage white-framed pair. Sofia’s been wearing Marc Jacobs’ homage pair. Unofficially, the Wayfarer is back ⎯ and in the nearly 50 years since Audrey Hepburn made them glamorous in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the sunglasses have not lost their j’en sais quoi. As of this month, you can make the return of the Ray-Ban Wayfarer official. The brand toasted the re-launch of the original rock ‘n roll sunglasses with an appropriately rock ‘n roll fete at New York City’s Irving Plaza. Partiers such as Mischa Barton, Jimmy Fallon and Molly Sims took in a concert set by Eagles of Death Metal, perused a wall of photographs by legendary lensman Mick Rock, all featuring famous faces in the famous frames, and walked out with pairs of Wayfarers to call their own. Get ready to see them everywhere.

Playlist: Cold War Kids


Gated neighborhoods. Prefab houses. Minivans and manicured lawns. Think you know all about the suburbs? Think again. Indie rockers Cold War Kids hail from that ur-suburbia, the SoCal Valley, but the jolting barroom dirges on debut LP Robbers & Cowards make a persuasive case that the suburbs are the new bohemia. Songs such as “Hang Me Up To Dry” are gritty like the city, mean and pretty, and the perfect soundtrack to an alcoholiday with the fam. You can go home again. You know why? Because you never left.

Designer Jump for Joy: Samantha Pleet


Even as a child, I had a strong sense of personal style. There was the Wonder Woman year, for example, and the year of purple, and – triumph de la mode – the year I wore matching plaid skirt and vest sets. Do not ask. I have no idea.

Beauty: Nailed


Once upon a time in my life, a manicure was a half-hour procedure that involved about ten minutes of coloring my fingernails with waterproof marker, and another twenty sitting a time out for getting red streaks all over the kitchen table. I always went for red, and I generally still do, even now that my DIY days are long gone. But what I have longed for all these years is a nail polish color that goes on the way that marker used to: Sheer and not-quite-red. Rescue Beauty finally delivered the goods, with its Chinoise polish. One coats ‘nostalgia-inducing; two coats’ sexy gleam will remind you that you are all grown up now. Be as bad as you want: No time outs.


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