July 2014

Barbara & Monica Abbatemaggio, Sorelle Firenze

sorelle-firenze-bioTwo Italian Sisters & Their Italian Chic Boutique
Sisters Barbara and Monica Abbatemaggio reflect European panache in every aspect of their lives. Natives of Florence, Italy, the designers/stylists have used their world travels as inspiration for fashion and styling clients such as Bette Midler, Paz de la Huerta (of Boardwalk Empire) and Phoebe Cates, among others. It is their old-world charm layered with modern sensibilities that put the duo’s Tribeca shop, Sorelle Firenze, on the map in 1997. The popular boutique provided scores of women with chic, eclectic fashions designed by the sisters and access to emerging brands like Florence favorites Quelle Tre, Patafisic, and Gorilla. Running Sorelle Firenze also afforded Barbara and Monica the opportunity to work 1-on-1 with patrons, offering fashion tips, and styling select clients for special events.

Sorelle Firenze’s Styling Success Means Goodbye NY Boutique
As word got out about Sorelle Firenze’s expertise in wardrobe consulting and closet organization, the business expanded to meet the new demand. In 2005 Barbara and Monica introduced home styling and event staging to their list of services. Encouraged by the new direction the business was taking, the Abbatemaggio sisters made a bold decision to close the boutique the same year. The strategic move enabled them to focus solely on their styling business and raising their infant children.

The Sorelle Firenze Method of Personal Styling
Reborn in 2011, Sorelle Firenze is now a fashion/home styling consultancy helping busy women (and men) sort through their wardrobe to create looks that are unique, elegant, fashion-forward, and appropriate. Barbara and Monica incorporate an international flair for European fashion into their work that stimulates the senses and appears effortless. They customize looks based on a client’s lifestyle, taste, and needs. Whether someone is dressing to fit her post-pregnancy body, is looking for the perfect date outfit, is starting a new career, or has a flurry of social engagements, Sorelle Firenze will create the perfect look.
Sorelle Firenze, which means “Sisters of Florence,” has earned its reputation styling discerning Park Avenue women, socialites, and celebrities. The sisters’ relationships with boutiques and high-end department stores allow them to deliver the right fashion mix in order to create a client’s total personal fashion statement.

Fashion Philosophy, Italian Style
The Abbatemaggio sisters operate from the premise that women should exude femininity in all aspects of their life. “Women are so busy these days that they forget to dress in a way that will make them appear and feel beautiful, sexy, and powerful,” says Monica Abbatemaggio. “We see closets filled with designer labels but clients who are clueless about how to put things together.” Adds Barbara: “We empower women to be stylish whether they’re going to the grocery store, the gym, or a black-tie gala. It’s about finding the proper silhouette to flatter the figure, incorporating trends, and mixing and matching textures and the right accessories.”

Fashion Winners on Reality TV
Barbara and Monica’s comprehensive approach to style was recently captured on the Italian lifestyle reality television show, Cortesie Per Gli Ospiti, where the Florentine sisters’ fashion and style aesthetic made them one of the 2010 winners.

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: The Jay Godfrey Live Report Day 5

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The Highs & Lows of Fashion Week
So Wednesday was a great day for fashion AND a not-so-great day for fashion. First off—why do some people show collections that are meant for fall? OR better yet, why do they show clothes that are ridiculous, utterly unsellable, and completely unbearable? Who knows?? But thankfully, there was A LOT on Wednesday to keep a fashion lover’s spirits high. Rather that talk about the people who won’t be around in a season or 2, I am picking my 3 favorite shows of the day. Phillip Lim, Reed Krakoff, and Michael Kors all stand for something and have points of view that are uniquely theirs.

Phillip Lim & Reed Krakoff on the Runway
Phillip Lim showed a gorgeous lineup for fall. I particularly loved his coats and how he used the raglan sleeve as a basis for many different shapes throughout the collection.

Reed Krakoff also scored big. His girl is chic, modern, and fashion-forward. But she’s also a bit of minimalist who loves color. His biggest hits were his asymmetrical snake geometric skirt, cowhide coat, and his take on a sleeveless toggle coat in cocoa.

Michael Kors Scores at Fashion Week
Michael Kors deserves much praise for his successful 30 years in business. Big MAZEL! If he can teach any younger designers anything, it really is to understand who your customer is. And for 3 decades, Kors has never waivered from this. He’s an incredibly consistent designer who designs clean, American sportswear and chic, draped evening dresses for the uptown girl. It’s obvious that he’s a big fan of the original Halston, as shown in how he works with silk jersey and how he pares down his sportswear. (But so am I—how could you not be?) These are real clothes for really wealthy women with great taste, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Jay Godfrey

Related Links
Jay Godfrey on Hating Polka Dots but Loving the Marc Jacobs Polka Dot Fest
Jay Godfrey’s Take on Victoria Beckham’s Pregnancy & Fall 2011 Collection
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A Photo Shoot, 3 Espressos & Zac Posen: Jay Godfrey on NY Fashion Week

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: The Jay Godfrey Live Report Day 4

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Marc Jacobs’ Polka Dots at Fashion Week
OK, so I hate polka dots. I mean really, really dislike. SO, you can imagine how surprised I was that I loved Marc Jacobs’ polka-dot extravaganza last evening. Marc, always one to surprise and make you think, made polka dots sexy AND sophisticated. Who woulda thunk? But it wasn’t JUST about polka dots. There were also beautiful lace pieces, fully embroidered dresses,
skirts of rubber disc-like paillettes, and a gorgeous color palette that included standouts like inky blue, scarlet, and a stunning peacock-ish teal.

Fashion Designer to Watch: Kevork Kiledjian on the Runway
Another thing I really love about fashion is that there are always new names to watch for. Kevork Kiledjian—the first thing I thought was, who the hell is that? But now, after seeing his show, I am truly impressed. His collection was extremely sexy, and his use of fringe, leather, lace, and lamé only helped him create a steaming hot collection.

Donna Karan’s New Collection: No Cliché
Donna Karan showed another breathtaking collection of real clothes for real women. It’s almost cliché at this point to discuss the beauty of her draping, but honestly, there is no other way of describing it. While the collection was refined and covered, the silhouettes were extremely sexy in their own way.

Jay Godfrey

Related Links
Jay Godfrey’s Take on Victoria Beckham’s Pregnancy & Fall 2011 Collection
What Does Jay Godfrey Think About Christian Siriano?
• A Photo Shoot, 3 Espressos & Zac Posen: Jay Godfrey on NY Fashion Week

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: The Jay Godfrey Live Report Day 3

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Oh, don’t I love Mondays. But this Monday is different. First, it was lovely to see so many of my contemporaries put on stellar shows. When the economy is struggling, the best thing any designer can do is ramp up the creativity and push the boundaries.

On Saturday morning, my wife, Dara, and 7-month-old baby, Allegra, all ventured uptown to check out Jill Stuart’s fall 2011 collection at Lincoln Center. This was Allegra’s first fashion show and there were lots of photogs clamoring to get our little fashionista’s photo. Jill Stuart didn’t disappoint. I particularly liked her use of colorblocking, pleating, and longer lengths. I’m sharing a few of my favorite looks.

After taking Allegra for lunch at the Mark Hotel on the Upper East, it was time to relax before a big market week. I did, however, find a few minutes to catch a few other shows online.

Alexander Wang did a really terrific job, showing off what he does best—appeal to that tough, edgy, downtown girl. He hit the nail on the head this season with some great capes, fur treatments, and lots of leather.

Diane von Furstenberg’s show on Sunday was also very strong, although it was much more sophisticated than we are used to, thanks to her new design director, Yvan Mispelaere. I loved how she sliced and diced pieces of metallic lame and combined them with both solids and prints. There were also some terrific furs, and 3 sequined numbers that were show-stoppers.

Victoria Beckham’s pregnancy no doubt affected the way she developed her silhouettes for fall. While Madame Beckham has primarily been known for body-con, structured pieces, this season there were much easier, looser bodies in extremely vivid colors like canary, fuchsia, and a stunning peacock blue that closed the presentation. I will say this much—Victoria Beckham has a great sense of color and truly understands who her customer is.

Looking forward to when the big boys like Marc, Oscar, Donna, and Ralph show this week! Will keep you posted.

Jay Godfrey

Related Links
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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: The Jay Godfrey Live Report Day 2

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It was a whirlwind for the first official day of NY Fashion Week. My team and I assembled at Noho Productions, an amazing photo studio, to shoot fall 2011. I was so excited to see it all come together. This season, the inspiration was the sultry style of Carine Roitfeld. Our model Madlena completely captured the essence of Carine and sizzled the entire day. Love when beautiful models with the right amount of attitude can elevate your work to a new level! But enough about me. :)

After 10 hours of standing on my feet, I was ready to sit or have a drink very, very soon! But I had committed myself to attending a fundraiser and decided I would fight the fatigue. After 2 vodkas and some hors d’oeuvres, I had my second wind.

After the third and fourth pops, I decided that I should probably go home and check out all that I missed online from day 1 of NYFW.

What I Love So Far From Fashion Week
BCBGMaxAzria continued their take on languid, light dressing with the effective use of colorblocking. They pushed their boundaries a bit by dropping the waists and in turn lengthening the skirts, creating an elongated, fresh silhouette.

The leathers at Wayne looked pretty sick. Great to have the legendary Norma Kamali back in the mix. She did a stellar job, especially when she mixed fur with grey heather sweatshirt fabrics. Very fresh and new. Also loved her studded swimsuits! Very sexy indeed. Willow from Australia was a beautiful lineup, especially the perforated or laser-cut leather tops and shift dresses. They used what is quickly developing as the color of fall—deep teal, according to me (. . . and, err, Pantone). While I am gravitating toward a more fluid, fuller pant, Willow’s printed, hatched black-and-white cigarette pant looked really cool when paired with a crisp, crisp, white, white and a moto-inspired riding jacket.

Finally, Christian Siriano. He’s a talented boy, no doubt. The pieces were indeed beautiful, BUT some of the opening looks were a little bit like Givenchy of the last few seasons. Where he really shone—his mossy green cocktail dresses and gowns, toward the end.

Jay Godfrey

Related Links
He’s Finished His Collection, Now Off to the Runways: Jay Godfrey on Fashion Week, Day 1
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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: The Jay Godfrey Live Report

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It’s the crazy official first day of Fashion Week, where it’s always a mix: tons of work (finishing my own collection), lots of shows to see (be it online or in person), and dinners and parties galore!

Last night my team and I put the final touches on my fall collection and prepped for our look-book shoot. After a solid night of sleep and a trio of strong espressos, I’m ready for the day.

Usually it starts with catching up on what I missed yesterday on the ’net. Checked out Z Spoke (Zac’s midrange collection) where he showed a much more sophisticated group than his first. Loved seeing Posen regulars like Crystal Renn, Anna Cleveland, and Coco Rocha in the images. Also, saw M.Patmos–super-cozy layered knits in putties, sands, and other neutrals. Well-done and welcome back.

More tomorrow when Fashion Week gets into full swing. Off to my photo shoot!

Jay Godfrey

Related Links
Hot Young Hollywood’s Favorite Designer, Jay Godfrey: Why I Love Women
Visit the Studio of PageDaily’s Fashion Week Guest Blogger, Designer Jay Godfrey