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This Month...
- Check out the latest jewelry from Jewels By Christine

Do you know what the best thing about living in California is? In my opinion it is flying to New York City for Fashion Week; watching beautiful models trot down the catwalk clad in cascades of silk, cashmere and lace; attending social events, where stylish individuals with one thing on their minds, namely fashion, mingle with one another. For the duration of one week, New York becomes the center of the fashion world where people live and breathe the shows during the day and paint the town red dressed in the latest gowns by Oscar de la Renta or Gaultier throughout the night. It was absolutely delightful for me to be there to enjoy the essence of that magical environment, and to witness what the Fashion World and the Big Apple have to offer to self-proclaimed moda-addicts.

The first event I attended in NY was Lalique’s press breakfast. I arrived at 712 Madison Avenue at 11:30 and was greeted by an early 20th Century vintage convertible parked outside the store. At the same time, a photo shoot of three beautiful models wearing Shalini’s creations and Lalique’s crystal jewelry was in session. I was already aware that Paul Belmondo, a race car driver in the GT category, was going to be there to promote
Lalique’s new watch collection, Horlogerie, but to be completely honest I did not know what the connection between launching new timepieces and racing motor cars could possibly be. I later found out that Lalique had earned a name for itself by creating 27 exquisite hood ornaments to adorn the radiator grilles of vintage cars in the 1930’s. Therefore, the new Horologerie was intended as a tribute to “the motor cars of the 1920’s, when no self respecting automobile would ever be seen without its radiator badge.” The two striking pieces that constitute this collection, the Mascot and the Starter, “feature a quartz or automatic movement, which will prove irresistible to all lovers of the fine machines.” Having seen the watches up close and spoken to Mr. Belmondo, who proclaims that he “wears the Starter every day,” I must advise those addicted to speed and the racetracks to consider acquiring one of these stainless steel beauties.

However, watches are not all that Lalique has to offer. Ladies, while your husband or boyfriend buys himself a timepiece you can indulge yourself with a candy-like crystal red Papillion pendant or a Lagoon Oceania ring. I am sure you will have no trouble finding the perfect Lalique jewel to steal your heart. After all who does not want to own something that seems "like a dewdrop, a marvel of purity and beauty?"

Click here to see addition Lalique photos

Later that same day I rushed across town to attend the showing of the Gap’s Holiday Collection. Believe me the journey was long and arduous. I ended up sitting in 5th Avenue traffic for nearly an hour. However, I forgot all about the heat and the thousands of cars clogging the roads when I walked into a spacious, white showroom with high ceilings, filled with colorful clothes in different styles. You may wonder why Fashionlines, a magazine focusing primarily on Couture, is interested in the Gap, which is renowned for its expertise in creating comfortable clothes for everyday wear. One reason for this is that even the most staunch designer-wear fan wants to be simple, care-free and comfortable every once in a while, and the Gap is just the company to offer a wide array of ready-to-to wear clothes to address exactly this need. Another reason for our interest in the Gap: lately many elegant and well-dressed people have been matching their Balenciaga silk skirts and Christian Louboutin shoes with a simple white t-shirt. In fact, while leafing through the October issue of Vogue, I came across a picture of Maggie Riser in a Gap tank, urban outfitters shorts and a Miu Miu clutch, which was a reconfirmation on the eve of this writing that one’s personal style should be determined by what is flattering, not necessarily expensive. Therefore, if you feel like complementing your Gucci slacks with a cable knit sweater and a shearling coat from the Gap, please go right ahead. And while you’re at it throw in a crazy stripe scarf. Trust me: the Gap has products to fit all kinds of tastes.
The Geoffrey Beene show, “Modernism’s Creative Functionalism,” was the next major event on my social schedule. As the name suggests, Beene’s new creations are modern and functional yet sophisticated. Almost all of the pieces on display were great examples of a tasteful fusion of contemporary styles and timeless fashion. Beene has really done it by going on an elaborate tangent in terms of cut and construction. Every piece on the floor that day, from country-club themed dresses to evening gowns, was tailored to flatter feminine curves. His use of red, white and black—the classic colors of femme fatale sex appeal and beauty—for eveningwear was clearly balanced out by the pastels of his sundresses and canvas jacket-skirt combinations. Keeping in mind that an outfit is not complete without accessories, Beene apparently put his genius to work to come up with innovative jewelry designs, reminiscent of African Tribal art. The results are phenomenal: his work is cut out to honor his life-long tradition of paying tribute to fashion as an art form.

Click here to see additional Geoffrey Beene photos

My final stop was the opening of the Aaron Basha store. I believe most people are familiar with Basha’s Baby Shoes studded with diamonds or Love Bug accessories. To my delight Basha’s new creations are palpable proof that the jeweler has something to offer to people with more sophisticated tastes. Basha has used his skill and artistic vision to design breathtaking new pieces, which reminded me of Tom Ford’s recent exploration of the sinful delights of Victorian extravagance and vanity, all within the confines of refined taste, of course. To me, his work has undergone a welcome transition from sweet to sexy. His use of diamonds in creating chokers and avant-garde bracelets is particularly appealing. One piece, which features copious teardrop shaped diamonds suspended between two white gold diamond-studded chokers, dazzles the eyes while complementing the elegance of the female neck and décolleté. This one is definitely on my Christmas wish list.

Unfortunately, like all good things, Fashion Week 2002 had to come to an end. So, until the rich and powerful congregate in NY once again to celebrate fashion and style…ciao bellas!