Essie is one of the most well known nail color products and every season there is a collection for toes and nails which conjure up colors with a theme. Summer 2020, Essie has a group of 6 nail polishes which will visually take you on a trip to Morocco. Think Casablanca, Fez with its hats, the lush gardens of Marrakesh, spice souks and desert dunes with camels. Salons have been closed, for awhile, due to COVID, but you do not have to put your manicure and pedicure routine on hold. There are self care nail tutorials, nail files, toe nail clippers, buffers and emery boards so you can create your own in house nail spa. Essie sells a base coat and top coat too. An exotic location such as, Morocco, can bring to mind a certain color palette. This time, gold tones, reds, earthy shades and magical colors, will give your digits the look of a glowing sunset, exotic fabric weave or a desert underneath a sunset. Souq up the Sun is a color which is a creamy red coral, Mosaic on Down, a gold with ultra fine glitter, Bustling Bazaar, a cyan blue, Spice it Up, a bold and burnt red, Kaf-tan, a warmer earthy red and Worth the Tassel, a bubbly purple hue. An ad features Bustling Bazaar with a splash of blue polish in the center, a lantern, drinking glasses, and a blue beaded necklace, depicting shopping at a bazaar. One can buy this Essie Collection in drugstores or online at Essie.com. It comes in regular nail color as well as the gel.
Scanlon Theodore is a women’s fashion and accessories brand, offering ready to wear dresses, skirts and pants as well as handbags, sunglasses, eye wear, lingerie, shoes and a new bathing suit line. In 1987, Sarah Blank and Melinda Robertson created the brand in their down under homeland of Melbourne, Australia The two women, for the last 30 years, have been designing fashion with an elegant aura and independent spirit. Scanlon Theodore is a well crafted label which uses European materials. In addition to the Australian market, the clothing line is sold in the UK, France, Italy and most of the EU. The first store, in NYC, opened in 2017 with boutiques in the Flatiron, Tribeca and at Hudson Yards. Sarah and Melinda speak of the obstacles they face as women entrepreneurs in the fashion arena. They just opened a store in the Bal Harbour Mall, outside Miami. During the time of COVID, they have already prepared stores with sanitation, healthy protocols in place and the option for curbside pickup. For Spring/Summer 2020, colors range from pale blue to indigo, peach to pink hues and traditional black and white. A garment might be a black dress with white ruffles around the neck, but many pieces focus on neutral and timeless monotone coloring. Their signature piece is the crepe knit which comes in looks such as; the business suit, a slit skirt, dress, fancy jacket and bustier. It is versatile and modern, yet, has a feminine aesthetic. The puzzle summer silk maxi halter dress jumps out at you with its primary colors. The floral pattern dresses will make a statement at an indoor FaceTime porch party. Options for the independent modern woman who dresses to impress herself and arrive in style. The website has a scale for bust, waist and hips, shoes and size listings for Australia, UK, France, Italy and US since there are variations from country to the country. One can click on the website to see patterns for dresses, look at the crepe knits section and view lingerie as under items. Take a peek at their scarves and browse the solid colored and alluring beach wear. Black and white suits and slinky patterned v shaped bikinis are available for lounging poolside in the backyard or socially distancing on Shelter Island. This summer many beaches will try and reopen, even through the long COVID days.
Scanlon Theodore has reached out and designed personal protective clothing for NY hospitals. A feature on their website; Our Real Role Models, reveals females who have been nominated by colleagues and friends for their help during COVID. The company selected 25 outstanding women who work as nurses, doctors, educators and in EMS services and organizations. The winners received a crepe knit jacket which retails for $600.00. The women’s pictures and names are online with a description of their work and what makes them outstanding professionals during this time. Scanlon Theodore has linked their brand image with these women and believe these are the models we should recognize as COVID heroes. Marisa Greechan is a nominee, she works as a nurse practitioner at NY Presbyterian Hospital in Brooklyn. Marisa is a director of the Well Baby Nursery and and has helped to protect newborns and their mothers. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is a NYC ob-gyn and is Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News and Good Morning America. Dr. Ashton reports facts about the virus in layman’s terms while continuing in her private practice. Scanlon Theodore is an upcoming brand for the US market as well as the rest of the world. Actress and former royal, Meghan Markle, and First Lady, Melania Trump, wear Scanlon Theodore too.
Dylan Lauren, daughter of fashion designer, Ralph Lauren, has established a group of upscale candy boutiques which are located around the world. The flagship store is located on 1011 Third Avenue and 60th Street. The tri level confectionary of Willy Wonka goods has made candy a designer label. Upon entering, one takes in the colored candy splattered wallpaper, bins of gummy bears, red hots and licorice, stacks of chocolate bars and holiday themed sweets. There is non edible merchandise such as; key chains, jewelry and cell phone cases. Pajamas, pillows, beach towels and shirts are designed with the likes of; Reeses, M&M and sweet rainbow graphics. There is a wall portrait of Dylan, made with Jelly Belly jelly beans done by celebrity artist, Pete Rocha. He has done limited editions with jelly beans, one of Ronald Reagan, the president’s favorite jelly beans. Background music plays pop songs such as; Def Leppard’s: “Pour Some Sugar on Me”. A huge “chocolate” bunny rabbit, her favorite animal, graces the dotted floor. As a child, she owned two pet bunnies; Chocolate and Vanilla. A sky high multi colored Willy Wonka lollipop tree arises from the floor. The dramatic lucite staircase with candy lodged inside the steps, takes you to the 3rd level. It is almost as if one is immersed in the game of Candy Land. When you arrive at the top, the main section has cup cake shaped seating, circle table tops filled with candy and button candy decor, you are ready for a snack. There is a bar which serves alcoholic candy cocktails. The drink menu has a mixtures of vodka, tequila and rum, swirled with rock candy, peanut butter or a cotton candy flavor. You can grab a pizza, soda, a Dylan labeled bottled water or get a scoop of ice cream. Dylan Lauren focuses on candy and accessories for children and adults. She brings candy for diabetics, offering celebrity favorites from Madonna and Cher, nostalgic candy, adult candy and seasonal/holiday selections. Select chocolate flavored matzah for Passover or a Christmas basket filled with Dylan’s chocolate candy bars and pieces shaped as holiday trees and Santa. If you need a gift for a recent graduate, the store can ship you a dark or light chocolate cap and gown or flavored popcorn tin. Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter (Dylan’s favorite springtime holiday with rabbits and pastel colors) are dates on the calendar.
Dylan Lauren is inspired by color, her favorite hue, turquoise. This chic bubbly brunette wears colorful dresses tied with a striped belt, a black velvet Ralph evening dress or slim jeans with boots. Dylan comments that her father’s colorful t shirts and sweaters seem good enough to eat. She is inspired by Ralph Lauren color palettes and uses similar tones with Dylan’s Candy Bar branding. Color is a key element which Dylan brings to candy, packaging and decor, it creates the store’s image and feel. Lauren graduated from Duke University and then took a turn to candy and design. She attended conventions focusing on visual design, business and gift packaging to prepare for the store opening. Candy has been in her blood since she saw Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory at her 5th birthday party. Previous to opening her 2001 namesake candy, she worked with FAO Schwarz Toys and brought FAO Schweetz Candy to their counter. Ralph Lauren designed her fairy tale wedding dress for the 2011 wedding to financier, Paul Arrouet. They have fraternal twins; Kinglsy Rainbow and Cooper Blue. Fashion and pop culture is incorporated into her candy and store decor. Her logo is a linear series of a color blocked gift box, martini glass, ice-cream cone and lollipop. The logo will catch your eye when you look at a Dylan’s Candy Bar shopping bag, website or product sticker labels. Dylan Lauren wrote a coffee table book titled; Dylan’s Candy Bar:”Unwrap Your Sweet Life”, providing a pictorial look at merchandise, lifestyle and offering recipes. Dylan’s is an experiential store with features such as; a fudge counter, cotton candy spinner, a computer screen photo booth with a brand theme and it is the site for frequent parties, ie. a sweet sixteen. An important cause is her loyalty to dogs, Lauren has a non- profit foundation named: Dylan’s Candy BarN Foundation. The mission, to help animal welfare organizations which reach out to dogs in need. Every store varies slightly, one gets a glimpse of a beachy Hampton’s Candy Bar, a cosmopolitan aura at Hudson Yards in NY, a Chicago branch with the Windy City moniker and images on merchandise and an airport terminal in Charlotte, NC. The stores branch onto a more exotic journey: Dylan’s in Kuwait, The Bahama’s and Honolulu. She currently has a total of 22 stores and plans to open more domestic and international stores in the coming years. Dylan has partnered with movie companies, characters from “Mean Girls and “The Minions”, are emblazoned on merchandise and are dessert themes. Le Sports Sac bags have a signature Dylan’s pattern. Lauren is influenced by artists; such as: Claes Oldenburg and Jeff Koons. Dylan’s Candy reflects art and fashion in museum style.
Candy during COVID. Dylan Lauren has presented a package of a more nutritional candy and the company offers a selection of nuts. Eating healthy during stressful times and a pandemic, calls for a nutritious diet despite the store’s sweeter nature. The Dylan’s Candy Bar website dedicated itself to International Nurse’s day on May 12th. Earlier in the week, DCB had an Instagram promotion with Dana’s Bakery to recognize COVID frontline workers You could go to the Dylan’s Candy Bar and Dana’s Bakery IG pages to nominate the admirable efforts of a familiar frontline worker. The randomly selected winner receives a candy and cookie package from both stores, Dylan’s has a Dana’s Bakery Macaron Bar in her flagship store. The simple rules; like both pages, tag the nominee and explain why you would choose them as a sweet spot in combating COVID 19. The winner receives a large Dylan’s package filled with candy, chocolate, candy tackle box, popcorn and a selection of mookies (cookies with a macaron inside) from Dana’s Bakery. This should reenergize and cheer on the frontline workers during COVID. Dylan’s supported COVID efforts on #GivingTuesday as well. Following Dylan Lauren is a maze of tastefully color coordinated surprises and the company will continue to promote the confectionary brand in these COVID times. Stay home and click on The Dylan’s Candy Bar website to see the next sale or purchase a yummy treat while binging on Netflix movies or preparing a brief from your sofa. There are over 7,000 types of candy from around the world and the slogan: Color Your World with matching color coordinated candies sums up the world’s largest confectionary emporium. A new partnership with Starbucks and Whole Foods will bring a vegan and less colorful candy to the bins, but the recent cheerful flower collection should be a Dylan’s favorite. The garden bloom flower collection is springlike, pastel colored and filled with graphic flower images, made with vanilla, chocolate and hard candy ingredients. The selections; a package of 4 vintage pixel flower pops, groovy 60’s style flowers pops, good on top of ice cream sundaes or yogurt. A single chocolate red rose, a chocolate sunflower, marshmallow flower pop, purple and yellow iris pops, tulip creations, a white chocolate daisy as well as candy flowers in a paintbox container are stunning designs. The garden bloom candy reusable paintbox or wrapped flower candies make romantic/seasonal gifts and are a pick me up in COVID times. The packaging provides a safe way to send your friends, family or socially distanced lover, a cheerful and edible bloom, reminiscent of springtime. Dylan’s, garden bloom line, offers non- edibles such as; a flowery designed file book, reporter notebook, pencil case, rose petal lip gloss and packaged jasmine flower soap. Dylan’s is aware that these are not easy times and can accommodate for shipping and discounts on accessories such as; a candy pacifier baby shower gift or for Father’s Day: sour gummies from Jaws in a paintbox which will be sent to the door.
Welcome to the new or altered world. The time to protect us from deadly virus, COVID 19. The viral pandemic which has swept the world and has had a lethal affect or made too many stay at home with a serious flu like illness. SARS CoV-2 is circulating and permeating the atmosphere. We will not find closure until a vaccine or effective medication comes on the market which might be in 2021. Frontline health care workers, medical organizations, PPE -medical manufacturers, researchers and bio tech scientists are focusing on treating COVID patients and protecting those who remain healthy. Yet, the world is starting to reopen businesses which have been shuttered for a few months or longer. The post COVID19 world is going to be one of facing changes which affect facets of our daily lives and all industries. The fashion world, of course, is no exception. The news broadcasts of bankrupt stores such as; J. Crew, Barney’s NY, Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom’s. The traditional department stores, in the last ten years, have seen declining sales due to one being able to click with online shopping and the appeal of going to boutiques. Many larger stores have tried to hold on and are going to try and refinance, but are hanging by financial threads. 90% of the luxury market for higher end stores are international buyers, primarily, the Asian and Middle Eastern markets. These groups have changed shopping patterns by going less frequently to brick and mortar stores due to online shopping and, now, COVID. This has caused an accumulation of sales revenue losses. Yet, malls in Dubai, pictured in the media, have been refilled with shoppers post quarantine. Before COVID19, retailers thought of new ways of branding merchandise, remodeling, adding high tech, bringing an interactive approach to bring back shoppers to exclusive stores like; Saks Fifth Avenue. The flagship Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC, redesigned their cosmetics and beauty floor, installed a colorful modular paneled escalator by designer, Rem Koolhaus, hired live musicians and brought in food and fashion pop ups. Sak’s organized fashion guru speakers, scheduled facials and makeup artists, as well as inviting the CEO’s of perfume and fashion companies to make appearances. A new outlook and restructuring plan for Sak’s Off Fifth, Neiman Marcus Last Call and Nordstrom’s Rack was in the works, now they have massive online sales. The Dallas based Neiman Marcus opened NYC’s first anchor store, last spring, at The Hudson Yards Shopping Center. NM and the mall’s fate, remains to be seen as to when the glass multi story retail complex reopens. Bloomingdale’s NY, San Fransisco and LA opened, The Carousel Project, in which a section of themed merchandise rotates every three months.
This past week, The Sak’s in Houston, reopened and shoppers began their journey in a new era of retail. According to a New York Times article, the Houston Saks, opened its gilded doors under state guidelines which will protect employees and shoppers. Some of the changes: the marble floor marked with indicators for 6ft social distancing, a hold on bra fitting and in person makeup applications, elevators closed except for those with a disability or for those who are pregnant, hand sanitizers in every corner and escalators with limited capacity. Clothing will be touched less, changes in return policies, curbside pick ups and sales ambassadors/employees undergoing testing and wearing required masks and gloves are in effect. This includes shoppers as well, they will be wearing a mask, whether it be Gucci, an LA Made Clothing tie dye style or an N95. Say goodbye to the causal stroll through the aisle rack, the posh dressing rooms with stylists and to the interactive perfume sprayer. For now, these days are gone. We will be using virtual computer screens for makeup and clothing and stores will have electric thermometers, contactless payments and limited services. Social media site, Pinterest, has launched a device where a camera and search box will let users try on lipsticks from: Estee Lauder, bareMinerals, NYX Pro makeup, YSL Beaute, Sephora, Neutrogena and Urban Decay. In addition, L’Oreal and Amazon have virtual lipstick try ons which use Modiface technology. Garnier and Feria haircare has a select your hair shade tool and camera try on, in order to pick the right color without a trip to the salon. Social media sites such as; Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest add a Wi-Fi approach to cosmetics and fashion with live videos, new apps and pictures of the latest looks which can be seen from the comfort of your home. The upscale NYC nail salon chain, Paintbox, has nail Zoom parties and video tutorials which will keep your nails looking fleek. The salon shows images of summer colors and unique nail art designs. Virtual stylists will replace in person stylists and bring you convenient and safe shopping options. All will persevere and we can find a unique way to refresh ourselves with the latest from Maison Margiela, Missoni and Sisley.
Virtual Try on in Magenta of Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick from Estee Lauder
Helena Christensen is a 90’s supermodel. She has worked in high end international runway, editorial and is a well recognized presence for the apparel industry. Christensen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and won the 1986 Miss World title. A picture does not seem to do her justice with her olive skin, dark hair, bedroom green eyes, chameleon look and perfectly toned body… one might think they are seeing the Danish version of Wonder Woman. Her mother is Peruvian and her father, Danish. Thus, a combination of dark sensuality and lighter Danish features. Christensen rose to popularity in the late 80’s and 90’s as one of the models coined a supermodel. She worked along fashion supermodel colleagues: Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour. Aside from sauntering down the Versace, Chanel and Cavalli catwalks, gracing magazine covers from Vogue to i-D and posing for countless ads, she has been a fixture of pop culture. She dated lead singer of INXS, Micheal Hutchence, and starred in the erotic beach music video for Chris Issak’s pop love song; Wicked Game. The romantic black and white music montage was photographed by fashion photographer, Herb Ritts. The song is played in David Lynch’s noir film; Wild at Heart. She had a long term relationship with actor, Norman Reedus, and they have a son, Mingus.
Flash forward a decade, Helena Christensen models and looks amazing at 50, but she channels her creative side too. A passion for photography, fashion, architecture, design and film enable her to use these skills for alternative business venues. Her lingerie design creations became the initialed brand H.C.. Helena is co founder and creative director for Nylon Magazine. Nylon, an avant garde publication, shows a style and creativity of photographic fashion spreads which rival the larger media outlets. Christensen is creative director for high end perfumery; Strangelove. The new perfume house is modern and focuses on interesting fragrance notes: oud, amber, chocolate and jasmine. The sizes vary from a pocket spray to 50 ml and larger, prices range from $200 to $800. This is an exclusive fragrance brand and has not yet become a household name. The scents are packaged in black lacquer boxes and the four bottles have names; Silence of the Seas, Dead Night, Melt My Heart and Lost in Flowers. Christensen’s latest endeavor, NYC studio, Staerk and Christensen. Camilla Staerk, a fellow Dane, was a textile and fabric major in London and is now a photographer and artist. Staerk’s style and eye for the camera is a perfect match for partner, Helena, the model and photographer. Together, they work on photography, films, architecture and fashion. The studio focuses on collaborations, projects, merchandising and exhibitions. The decor is Scandinavian with a gothic, romantic and noir aura and features mythological images. The website Staerk and Christensen, along with social media, profiles samples and pictures of their work and vision. Photography from the current resort collection is filled with pictures online of Helena and Camilla modeling. Their bathing suit line consists of alluring suits which are styled in a design called the wave. It is a black suit with the middle of the garment open with a wave pattern, another suit is the rope. There are variations of black swim apparel and beach or pool coverups. One can even purchase a turban to go with these ensembles. A golden sandal follows in the shape of a swallow bird which is often used in their designs since the swallow is a native breed in Denmark. Gold earrings with flower filaments and golden wide rimmed sunglasses also echo the swallow’s shadow and shape. The bird has become a signature of the company. Of course, vacation clothing is a major piece of the collection. Currently, 30 % of the store’s sale proceeds are going to City Meals which provide 250,000 prepared meals for those homebound and affected by COVID19. The sizzling summer 2020 resort collection was photographed for a campaign at The Dorado Resort, A Ritz Carlton Reserve. Helena Christensen, Camilla Staerk, Maye Musk and Brooke Shields modeled the bathing suits, outfits and accessories with a background focus on Puerto Rican geography, the beaches and a carefree colorful lifestyle. A percentage of sales profits go to help victims of Hurricane Maria, causes are as relevant as fashion. Christensen travels in order to help refugees and displaced people. To lighten the mood, Helena Christensen recently walked around NYC in a 1991 silver Thierry Muglar bikini which she had saved in her closet. Barring many stares, she summed it up as being typical of the oddities which occur in NYC and her ideology of a body is a body. Much of Camilla Staerk and Helena Christensen’s brainstorming takes place in upstate NY, even though they both live in downtown NYC, Nolita and The West Village, respectively.
A big architecture project is the prefabricated design of a modular chic cabin style home. It resembles the hull of an upside down Viking vessel and has a curved black lacquer roof which angles the shape of a swallow. It is primarily designed in metal and persimmon black and grey woods. There are two master bedrooms and one other bedroom with a plan for a spa and gym, the team has named it the pavilions. The pair has received help with design consultation and mentorship from Robbie Antonio. Antonio is a real estate developer who has worked with 13 Pritzker Prize architects/starchitects such as; Jean Nouvel, I. M. Pei and Zaha Hadid. Robbie Antonio engages and collaborates with fashion designers; Armani for Armani Casa, Missoni Home and Versace, bringing contemporary “dressing” to the buildings. Antonio has done real estate work in his birthplace of Manila. He has worked for the family real estate company, Century, in the Philippines. Robbie’s work highlights modern residences and beachfront architecture. One well known residence; The Trump Manila Towers. Robbie Antonio came to NYC, ten years ago, and started Antonio Development. His new architectural brand is Revolutionary Precast. Some Filipino citizens have been in awe and or criticized his lavish Manila residence, monikered, Stealth. Robbie Antonio is an avid art collector with works from artists such as; Julian Schnabel. In addition to Robbie Antonio’s guidance with prefabrication, Staerk and Christensen have been influenced by Daniel Stile’s architecture which uses a combination of wood and metal. Architect, Christian de Portzemparc, gravitates towards glass structures and open spaces, elements Staerk and Christensen embody in their homes. The success of the prefabricated homes, remains to be seen. Yet, the design work and architectural conception is impressive and unique.
Helena and Camilla have been avid photographers and were involved, in 2014, with Copenhagen Fashion Week, an exhibition and a photography competition in Denmark. The images are stark, sensual, frequently black and white images and they often use their own images in the works. The entrance to film consists of projects the studio has done in collaboration with Waris, Sean Penn, Salman Rushdie, Trentmoller/Fritz and female singer, Chrysta Bell. The National Arts Club has been of assistance to the studio. The film, “In My Dream Last Night”, is an artist collaboration of a universe displaying sight and sound. It illustrates darkness and light as well as themes of love, eroticism, solitude and personal dreams and thoughts. A noir romance genre, it focuses on physical movement and emotional impact. “In My Dream Last Night” is filmed by Christian Larsen and James Demetri with production by Milk and Velem. “Nightsong” is a short film with Sean Penn. Snapshots of the rebel actor are caught on tape, showing a rugged demeanor. “Waris” is a solo performance, featuring, Waris Ahluwalia. Waris is an artist, actor, in Wes Andersen’s movie; The Darleejing Limited. In NYC, he entered fashion as the first Sikh GAP model, collaborated with Illesteva eyewear and was chosen for the best dressed list by Vanity Fair US. Waris made it as a fashion designer and he developed the House of Waris. He was born in Amritsar, a Punjab region of India and immigrated to Brooklyn. He focuses his trend setting designs on ancient kingdoms in Rome and Rasjathan, these locations used to make crests for royal families. His style was picked up by Maxfield’s of LA because they admired Ahluwhalia’s diamond rings. A new enterprise, he started the company, Waris Botanicals. The consumer can make healthy mixed drinks from plant science or adaptogenic blends, no alcohol mixology is required. In the film of black and white images, he rides solo along the beach on horseback while wearing a turban headpiece. It has an artistic fashion theme with highlights from Indian Sikh culture. The film clips move fast, maybe connoting speed or an escape from reality. “Waris” depicts arduous terrain and movement, sending an interpretative message of possible solitude in the desert, strength, self reliance, athletic prowess and fearlessness by a male figure. Helena Christensen has moved in high powered fashion circles and now we can watch her rise as a super artistic and creative talent.