Archive for Sunday, March 16, 2003

Fashion briefs

March 16, 2003

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Everyone's a victim

Within a few days of the Academy Awards presentation, top gowns from the red carpet will be reproduced and available at affordable prices.

A Chanel show barely ends in Paris before knock-off artists are checking design sketches on the Internet. An American consumer sees the show on cable television and wants a jacket right now.

Credit the rocket pace of manufacturing in a global economy. Blame instant media. The life cycle of a fashion trend is accelerated so that it can be over in months or weeks. "Speed Chic," Michelle Lee calls it in her comprehensive new book, "Fashion Victim: Our Love-Hate Relationship with Dressing, Shopping, and the Cost of Style" (Broadway Books, $24.95).

Lee casts a broad bright light into apparel industry corners, skimming everything from sweat shops and thin-women obsession to the garment district mob and trend-setting celebrities. Everyone is influenced by trends, she notes, whether it's the width of a tie, fit of a T-shirt or a sock color.

Her 10 Commandments for the fashion victim:

  • Thou Shalt Own Minutely Differing Variations of the Same Thing.
  • Thou Shalt Require Validation of Thine Own Stylishness.
  • Thou Shalt Dress Vicariously Through Thy Children and Pets.

Scent from the heart

When it comes to fragrance packaging, red ranks high. So do heart motifs. The latest arrival from the edgy designer Alexander McQueen is not only a red heart, it's an open red heart encased in a cube-shaped stainless steel flower bud. One transparent side reveals the red interior.

McQueen is quoted as saying, "We must be willing to live and love deeply, to open our hearts and explore our feelings, even if to do so is painful."

Named after McQueen, the perfume comes with the first line of a poem by American Jorie Graham that reads "Pierce my heart again." As the plan goes, more of the poem is revealed with future product introductions.

The advertising campaign features nude female bodies intertwined in a circle. As for the scent, it is said to be a feminine exotic smell, composed around sandalwood with such ingredients as cumin, ginger, rose and Indian jasmine petals as the top notes.

The fragce launches next week at Saks Fifth Avenue priced from $50 for eau de parfum spray to $195 for the perfume spray.

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