Ricardo Seco SS13

Mexican-born Ricardo Seco has become into one of my favorite new menswear designers. His rock ‘n roll take on clothes for guys showed at the end of Fashion Week last Thursday, opening with a band whose lead singer rocked red jeans, with leather and linen clad models that rocked the runway and accessories that rocked colorful Mexican embroideryhand-stitched onto natural leather.
Backstage, after the show, Seco spoke of

how he used the natural cut of a pelt to give leather jackets and shorts an unusually-textured bottom edge, played with linen and cotton for suits and tops that looked crisp, clean and contemporary and added accessories that built upon the black Converse tennis shoes he partnered with last year.

This season, Seco rubbed black, silver and then gold paint on the toes and heels of sneakers before distressing it. His bags — and even one pair of shorts — incorporated the Mexican embroidery that he procured from a small town specializing in that craft.
Additionally, Seco promised us he has a US department store exclusive to announce soon. Watch for it here.

Fern Mallis show on SiriusXM Wraps up New York Fashion Week

Fern Mallis rocks Fashion Week. 
She always has, since its inception, as she basically founded the week that moves New York fashion — and New York City — forward twice a year.
Fern Mallis surrounded by her panel of experts, Amanda Miller of Saks Fifth Avenue, fashion editor Ann Caruso, Dirk Standen of Style.com, Refinery29.com’s Christene Barberich, Tom Julian Group’s Tom Julian and The Daily’s Eddie Roche.
I was lucky enough to be part of

the audience in the “fishbowl” at her wrap up of NYFW on Sirius XM taped live this past Friday afternoon:

“Fashion Insiders with Fern Mallis”
Sirius XM STARS Channel 107
Airing 7-8pm ET tonight Friday, September 14th  
Follow the link below for a free trial to listen in to the hot topics of designer runway reviews, gossip (that slap! that open letter ad in WWD!), and the future of the Spring 2013 trends at retail and beyond:

 Weighing in on the hot topics
 Saks’ Amanda Miller, foreground, with Refinery29.com’s Christene Barberich
Fern with colleague and friend Tom Julian
Ann Caruso with Fern

The Daily’s Eddie Roche and Fern, with Dirk Standen, right, near TJ 
Designer and author Jeffrey Banks with Lisa Silhanek, audience members today

Lisa and yours truly (of course, wearing my favorite Loup Charmant!)

Duckie Brown Designers Daniel Silver and Steven Cox, FW’s Friday:5ive

Meet menswear designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, the madcap, irreverent design (Steven) and business (Daniel) minds, hearts and souls behind Duckie Brown.
The award-winning designers just

wrapped up a particularly impressive New York Fashion Week, premiering their Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown Tuesday after a wildly successful turn down the runway the week before with Duckie Brown, the line they founded in 2001.
Perry Ellis by Duckie Brown photos (above and next two below) by John Aquino, courtesy of WWD
Within Duckie Brown, every season embraces innovation, wit and exacting tailoring, and, per their press bio, “each collection starts with the shoulder of a man’s jacket and then builds layer upon layer … .”
Just the way menswear should! At least, that’s the way menswear used to begin. Tailored clothing was always discussed in terms of point-to-point, the measurement from shoulder to shoulder, and in the past, the changes within menswear garments were nominal, maybe an eighth, a sixteenth of an inch at a time.
Today, those rules have mostly been thrown out the window. At Duckie Brown, changes can be voluminous, case in point, the pants silhouette from last season, that featured dropped crotches, below, and oversized legs, even in grey tweed.
Duckie Brown Fall 2012, photo by Thomas Iannoccone, courtesy of WWD
The award-winning duo — Duckie Brown received a nomination for the CFDA Perry Ellis New Menswear Award in 2006, followed in 2007 with a nomination for the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year — also are featured in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum show, New York Fashion Now, a retrospective of up and coming American designers, with one of their outfits now part of the museum’s permanent collection.
FashionWhirled got the chance to Q&A them for this week’s Friday:5ive.
FashionWhirled: What role does fashion, or style, play in your lives personally and as designers? How does each of your personal styles inspire or affect your designs for Duckie Brown?
Daniel backstage and….

FW: What made you first realize you wanted to design clothes? Were you always into fashion and how? Tell me about your favorite fashion or designer pieces over the years?

and Steven backstage after their Duckie Brown show at the beginning of Fashion Week


Actor Alan Rickman front row at the Duckie Brown SS13 show. A possible muse?!


FW: Who is the muse of your collection, or of each one of you individually, and how does s/he affect the choices you make for your own personal wardrobe or any style decision you make for the collection’s designs?
FW: If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — wear Duckie Brown, who would that be and why? What would you dress them in and why? How and why would you try to change their style?
FW:What words of wisdom do each of you live by, or strive to live by? What legacy, fashion or otherwise, as fashion designers and as human beings, do you hope to leave to the future?!
Daniel and Steven at their runway walk last week at Duckie Brown

Duckie Brown NYFW SS13

Actor Alan Rickman sat quietly front row, checking out the impressive Duckie Brown offerings earlier this afternoon at Industria Superstudio, his pensive demeanor never revealing his favorites within the collection.

Alan Rickman contemplating his favorites

“Fresh. Clean. Modern.” That’s how Daniel Silver, who along with Steven Cox is one half of the design duo behind Duckie Brown, described the Spring/Summer 2013 collection, called Duckie
Pleasures, later backstage. And while the clothes were definitely toned down a bit this season — very wearable with a more tucked-in approach to the tailoring — they still retained elements of the team’s signature wide silhouette detailing and unusual trouser cuts.

Wide sleeve of double faced T-shirt over deeply cuffed Passport short

Wide, deep sleeves adorned double-faced T-shirts while super, oversized cuffs finished trousers as well as shorts. Bleached denim crafted work jackets as well as 2-button sport jackets, while washed leather created the perfect bomber. And tartans and plaids were used for great effect on straight-bottom shirts, jackets, overalls, backless tux jackets and ruffle back trousers. Harness-like neck or arm belts trailed on top of many of the long jackets, for what use, who knows?!

Perhaps, one could imagine the models as fine race horses, awaiting a jockey to grab that lead before racing off to their next collection. After all, the designers are gearing up for their design debut with the Perry Ellis collection showing next Tuesday. It’s a race to the finish. For now, let’s call it a win, place and show for Duckie Pleasures!

 Bleached denim 2-button over dark denim overalls

Dark denim with one arm belt loop

Straight bottom tartan shirt

 Square bottom plaid shirt with plaid overalls
 Stone floral tux jacket with herringbone wide cuffed trousers and one arm belt loop

Cotton long tux jacket with Ettrick tartan Passport cuff trouser and one arm belt loop

Rickman, so gentlemanly and subdued, like his gorgeous voice

Designers Daniel Silver and Steven Cox, one show down, now on to Perry Ellis

Fashion Farmboy Bjorn Nasett on FW’s Friday:5ive

If you’ve been reading up on your FashionWhirleds, you know that I was recently featured in a post on Bjorn Nasett’s website, Fashion Farmboy (you can click here to read, if you haven’t already). And if you do know that, you already may know that Bjorn and I met during New York Fashion Week a couple of years ago, during an IFB seminar. We hit it off swimmingly, as fashion compatriots, as fellow bloggers delving into new journalistic fashion waters and as lovers of thrift and style. He touched my heart and soul forever when he sent me a little book called “The Lady who was Beautiful Inside” (Edward Monkton).
Bjorn in cool shades during NYFW last season, when we met for coffee at a local Starbucks near Lincoln Center
Bjorn has a fabulous outlook on life and style, all smiles, niceness and clever creativity that truly

comes from the heart, and I greatly value and appreciate our new-found friendship. His background amazes me. Model, photo fashion stylist, vintage clothing buyer (he has an Etsy store here), hair stylist, makeup artist, fashion writer and now fashion photographer (he’s coming to NYC to shoot the runway shows during NYFW next month). Not only does he really actually come from a farm — he was raised in Rockdale, Wisconsin, sort of near where my sister was born (Oshkosh, b’gosh!) — but he bravely left those environs for Madison at the tender age of sixteen, where he immersed himself in the art and performance world. As a model, then an entertainer at various infamous clubs (including one of which was frequented, scarily enough, by Jeffrey Dahmer at the time), he landed in Milwaukee where he worked as a sought-after club performer for thirteen years from age 17 to 35. Covering the days of disco, punk, and rock ‘n roll of the ’80s, Bjorn was named one of the city’s top performers by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 1991, during what he refers to as the “mini-Warhol scene” that was transpiring in that town.

We ARE spreading the news! Bjorn, as beautiful inside as he is outside, photographed by John Grant Photography.
Bjorn went on to work as a self-taught makeup artist and hair stylist (named top hairdresser in the city by Milwaukee Magazine in 2007), as well as a fashion stylist on commercial and editorial photo shoots with layouts featured in publications like MKE, a hip Milwaukee weekly, before he ended up as a fashion writer at Milwaukee Magazine and then style expert with a weekly column for Amazing Goodwill. His clever upcycle ideas and repurposing tips never cease to – well – amaze me!
I’m counting down the days until I can spend some quality catch-up time with him this upcoming Fashion Week.
Until then, here is Bjorn, our latest Friday:5ive feature, where FashionWhirled asks 5 pertinent questions to a prominent fashion star. Read on to be illuminated!
Photo by John Grant Photography

FashionWhirled:  How and why has thrift become a passion for you? With your role as Goodwill’s fashion expert and a background as varied as growing up on a farm to being a model, hair stylist, writer (what aren’t you able to do?!), what part does vintage or thrift play for you in every aspects of your life, professionally and personally?

 Tom Miller, owner of Beauty Hair Salon where Bjorn works, with Bjorn during NYFW

Bjorn Nasett, the Fashion Farmboy:  Growing up on a farm, re-using and recycling wasn’t a virtue, it was a necessity!  My mother, Audrey, was someone who could always find beauty in everything.  A coat of paint, or a remodeling of one of her old jackets into a suit of clothes for one of her children, wasn’t only thrifty, but truly brought her joy.  In a small way, I try to let people know that style and fashion exist in your thought process, and that can be manifested in many ways, including items found thrifting or elsewhere.  Really, though, enjoyment of what you wear, and fully owning that experience is what sincerely means great style to me.  Whether it is the latest from Marc Jacobs, or a hand-me-down from a friend.  Making anything you wear into YOUR personal style is what fashion has and always will be about, no matter what anyone says.

Carlos Miele runway show fashion snap by Bjorn

FW:  When and where do you shop for the special pieces you find? How do your finds change you emotionally, psychologically? What criteria do you use in making the decision to recycle, reuse, renovate or reinvigorate a thrift find to sell on your Etsy shop?

FFB:  When I shop for items to re-sell, or wear myself, I only shop at charity thrift stores that have some benefit to the community they are located in.  Many people do not realize that stores like these often provide vital, even life-saving programs to people in need of assistance.  Too often we judge others by the clothing on their backs and not the content of their character, so I’m very proud to support these organizations.  The criteria I use is pretty simple, quality, design, and wearability.  What good is something vintage if it is unwearable?  Then it becomes a costume, and that’s fine for Halloween, but not for everyday wear.  I search for classic silhouettes on my thrice or more weekly shopping trips!  When shopping thrift, you must have a plan of attack.  I always do dresses first, quickly skimming the rack without looking at every piece, next is jackets, blouses, etc.  I don’t spend more than an hour in any one store.  If I do then there must be tons of great stuff, which I pile in my cart, and carefully inspect last, before I check out! [Ed. note: We must go thrifting together!]

Our feature hero with one of his Greyhound pups

FW: Who is your muse, why is he/she your muse and how does he or she affect the style decisions you make?

FFB:  As a kid, I grew up watching the black and white movies on the late, late show.  I was mesmerized by the stylization of the women’s clothing in vintage films.  Even though this may sound predictable, I particularly loved the Hepburn’s, Audrey, and Katharine! They were always chic and sophisticated throughout their lives.  I often think of them when shopping.  Would this be suitable on either of them?  Since they both epitomize great personal style, it is no wonder they’ve become iconic.  Plus, thinking of them helps me restrain my crazy inner Mrs. Roper, who loves wild prints and over the top accessories!!  Not that that’s a bad thing!  I also loved Cary Grant, always stylish, rakish, dapper, all those adjectives!  He’s at his most stylish in “To Catch a Thief”  his casual look with the neck scarf just slays me!  In a good way of course.  He was handsome and fashionable all the way into his waning years.  LOVED his big black glasses later in life!

Audrey Hepburn starred with Cary Grant in the 1963 movie “Charade”

FW:  If you could have any notable individual — dead or alive — visit your “pop-up shop” on Etsy, who would that be and what items would you want to dress them in or want them to purchase as their own?! Which piece(s) are your favorite(s) and why?

FFB:  I would love to have Chloe Sevigny visit.

The iconic Chloe Sevigny

Why?  Because she’s fearless when it comes to fashion.  She wears what she likes whether she’s criticized by the “Fashion Police” or not.  I would want her to wear this beautiful vintage 60’s coatdress made of ivory silk.

 Photo by Bjorn Nasett

I just think it would give her a wonderful sense of refinement, very Jackie O.  My favorite piece however, is a full circle skirt from the 50’s that is made of black wool felt and imprinted with a gold floral filigree design and rhinestone embellishment.  It is a crazy beautiful piece!  I found it on the Christmas Tree Skirt rack at a thrift store.  They had no idea it was a vintage Dior inspired skirt!

 Photo by Bjorn Nasett

FW:  What words of wisdom do you live by, or strive to live by, and why? What advise would you give to others?

FFB:  Wearing a great big smile is the best fashion accessory of all!  Being as inclusive as you can, rather than exclusive with fashion advice to others, and to seek what is meaningful to you in your life, and the rest will fall stylishly into place.

Styled by Bjorn Nasett

Friday : 5ive with Doll Perfumier Rocker Dana Varon

Dana Varon photo by Georgia Kuhn
Dress with faux fur by Octopi
Dana Varon is, in her own words, a rocker, an actress, a fashion writer and an animal lover (that’s Jelly, her blind rescue dog, in the second pic, below). I’ve seen her perform, singing achingly sweet melodies with her signature

raspy voice as she accompanies herself on her cool white-racer-striped black electric guitar at nearby EV bars. “Momma’s Man,” the 2008 movie she plays Laura in, is out on DVD. Her blog Living DollDV serves as her sounding board for all things creative and she’s covered NYFW for Dossier Journal and modaCycle.com. She’s also the creator of Doll perfume oil, which is sold through her website and at retail venues like Grey Era Vintage, (psst! we told you about that a couple weeks ago!). And as you can see, she’s a living doll herself, which I can testify to also, since she’s my neighbor and friend in the building and is as sweet and adorable a doll-like individual as you will ever want to meet.

Jelly  with Dana; photo by Georgia Kuhn
Her first oil creation, Doll in Suntanned, has been on the market for just a couple of years. It’s one of my favorite scents, combining orange blossom with a grassy note that somehow smells sweet and beachy. Starry Eyed is her lighter scent, and as of last night, she just launched Grav-i-tate by Project Soulmate — her current collaboration with Love Broker/Project Soulmate‘s Lori Zaslow & Jennifer Zucher (matchmakers on the current Bravo TV show), at a party at the Union Square W.  Grav-i-tate has more of a vanilla-based top note scent with the subtle headiness of underlying musk.
We love Dana, love Doll and decided that, with the launch of her latest perfume, she had to be FashionWhirled’s subject for this week’s Friday : 5ive!

  What role does scent and fashion, play in your everyday life and when was that first moment that you knew you had become deeply involved in fashion (i.e., as a child or teen)?

Dana Varon:  Scent and fashion def play a role in my everyday life because to me they are both forms of expression, feeling and who you are. Everyone has a certain style (though I change mine often) and scent that makes them uniquely them; being a musician I always loved that fashion can help to get across an artistic view along with smell, think of all the great artists, they all had a look and you can imagine what they smelled like – ha. Smell is nostalgic to me and always was – as a kid I used to have those Strawberry Shortcake dolls with the colored hair (there was a blue berry one. too) and they smelled so good, loved those (apparently still love the pink/blue hair thing).

I also remember stowing away my mom’s Halston perfume and grandma’s Ambrose by Dana, ironically, in my bathroom cabinet – then as a teen I would come home and wash my hair again if it smelled like smoke or food, my old friends can vouch for this one! Also in my teens, I still wore those decadent perfumes, but started mixing wearing oils and balms and continued that until, well, now. I think that started from going to my friend’s country house near Woodstock to the little shops that had them and Grateful Dead shows, plus also having an affinity for the luxurious perfumes I was exposed to as a kid. Notice how I answered this fashion question with a scent answer, still obsessed with scent. Fashion for me first came from my mom who was authentically stylish & magazines that I used to read front to back as a teen, still do, just finished Harper’s Bazaar last night and LOVE mag is on my ottoman. My parents used to take my sister and me shopping in the city, old SoHo before it was so commercialized to Anna Sui, that flea market, etc., my mom loved Bloomingdale’s so I was there from when I was in a stroller. That all shaped me too.

FW:   Who is your fashion muse(s) and what importance do he/she/they play in your career as a perfume designer in particular and as a person in general?

Marianne Faithfull

DV:   Wow, this is a hard one for me because I have a bunch. You know I love the rock dolls – Marianne Faithfull, just adored her look with the bangs and sideburns and tailored pieces that worked so well with it all on her, Stevie Nicks with all of her lace and capes, platforms, rings and Courtney Love’s older dark bowed and baby doll look, plus her current glamourous clothing and line she is making – she is underrated with fashion. I also love Grace Coddington’s (Vogue) eye and her images have definitely shaped me. They are just gorgeous. Oh and Robert Plant.

Stevie Nicks

I just get inspired by so many every day – that’s partially why I started my blog. I am newly inspired all the time and document it there. All the music I listen to, all the images I see, experiences, places I have been/go indoors and out – they all help shape what I create. Scent is so nostalgic to me so usually it will start from me wanting to create something I remember, capturing the smell of a favorite place, time or thing, or to evoke a certain type of feeling. It’s all tied into one for me in my life.

FW:    If you could have any notable person – dead or alive – wear your Doll essential oil, who would it be and which scent do you think they would choose?

DV:  My mom. I think she would choose Grav-i-tate because she loved vanilla and a more powdery type of note or maybe Starry Eyed because she also liked clean and light. Though when she was younger she would have added Suntanned in there as well for it’s stronger sexier side.

FW:   What is, to you, your most impressive piece of clothing that you own now or have owned ever going back to the first fashion thing you can remember?

DV:  Right now,  I have these two vintage bustiers that are so beautiful, one is white covered in white lace flowers all over it and the other is a sort of halter strapped black Lolita Lempicka one. I also have this long purple velvet cape.

Lolita Lempicka bustier, possibly similar to the one Dana adores

FW:   What are your words to live by, for example, if there was an affirmation or quote  or sentiment for you as Doll the essential oil designer and/or as Dana the individual, what would that be?!

DV:   To be free, be real, follow your heart/gut & be kind. Try to do what you love, make & surround yourself with beauty and send it back out. I just want to make people feel good.

Ricardo Seco AW2012

Ricardo Seco’s first menswear foray, “Fly In New York,” appeared almost as an afterthought of New York Fashion Week — his runway show transpired Thursday night at Exit Art with little fanfare and a dearth of attending menswear editors and bloggers.
But Seco’s slim suit silhouettes vibrated with sheen and shine. His skinny rocker pants paraded in pops of red or leather mixes. Furry vests cozied up to  lofty sweaters. And combo fabric and pony or  leather outerwear pieces were as cool and sophisticated as they were new and refreshing. 
Huge totes and lace-up-the-leg black Converse — Seco’s already known for his collaboration with the downtown footwear giant — were icing on top of the rock-band cool confections from this Mexican designer. The tents should find themselves pro-Seco next season. No doubt.

Duckie Brown at Work

Work it!
Duckie Brown designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver gave us Super Duckie this season and it was all about their DB man at work, with plenty of options for autumn/winter 2012: go subtle and slim or loud, exploded and voluminous. And, of course, always wear a pant silhouette that makes a statement.
Tweedy black and white or dark charcoal suits were pulled in and slender with peg legged trousers sewn with “messed up” twisted inseams or rounded, dropped crotches accentuating dressy lace up Florsheims. Three-button jackets were worn over super-sized “circular” pants with side pleats that floated over the tops of the models’ shoes. Exploded plaid overcoats copped a colorful attitude, while work shirts and Fair Isle sweaters were equally bold and graphic. 
There was lots of hair and hat-titude, with many looks topped with a Robert Smith-style wig, knit cap or a Mongolian shearling hat, as well as sweater gloves that came up to the elbows of suit sleeves. Well played, that work thing.

Fern Mallis and More Happiness is a Bright Summer Dress

Just reading in WWD.com about Fern Mallis and her Calvin Klein interview last night, part of her Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis series at the 92nd Street Y.
Which none of us should miss, although I did and I haven’t got a clue who else she has or is going to put in the “haute seat,” as 92Y termed it (love it!), but at least I got to see her during NYFW last month, working her Sirius Radio gig. AND she was wearing one of my personal fav trends, Happiness is a Bright Summer Dress, or in this case, a tunic with capri pants!
Thought on this rainy, dreary Octoberian day, we could use a little bright happiness.
The lovely Fern Mallis, below, at Lincoln Center.
Pop art dress — a Roy Lichtenstein perhaps? — at the Lia Sophia press room at the Empire Hotel.
 Dandy-about-town Patrick McDonald striking a colorful pose in his extraordinary Joe Corre bowler at the Duckie Brown show downtown at Industria Studios.
Hot in line at Lincoln Center.
The Editor Happiness Dress.
Even taxicabs got into the happiness spirit during NYFW! Snagged this shot just outside of Lincoln Center.

The Snoozy Winehouse Poof at SS ’12 NYFW

Couldn’t help but notice this adorable fashionista’s pouf as she stood next to us in line at Lincoln Center waiting for one of the show’s during this past month’s New York Fashion Week.
Her do’s a little bit Suzy Menkes, from the International Herald Tribune…
meets Snooki, aka Nicole Polizzi, from the Jersey Shore….

meets Amy Winehouse, in the less extreme days.
Cute, though, very cute.