Donna Karan Hearts Haiti


fashion for haiti urban zen donna karan auction
I admit, the title is so cheesy it practically hurts my eyes and mind, but I needed to put quite a bit of information in the shortest line possible, so this is the one I managed to come up with. Sorry for being predictable and resulting a sentence to suit the jargon of a 16-year old. I am Russian, my English vocabulary is limited at times.

Today was supposed to be the day for my Donna Karan: Part I story. I knew some of you were looking forward to that one. And then I’ve discovered something I wasn’t aware of and since the time is running out, I needed to reschedule the rest of the week and put this post up asap. To give everyone a chance to make a difference.

I was reading the news on Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation website when I heard of the Fashion For Haiti: One Million Hearts collaboration launched a week ago to support the Haitian artisans and help them rebuild their lives.

fashion for haiti urban zen donna karan auction
Donna Karan, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, Carolina Herrera, Elie Tahari and Narciso Rodriguez were among nearly 150 designers who put their personal touch on locally-crafted Haitian papier mâché hearts donated by DKNY.

The heart are currently available on eBay with the auction ending on 2 May, so you still have a chance to bid and win one of them. Somewhere inside my mind I feel that Donna herself would be much happier with my writing about this auction than trying to be her biographer, so here I am, prioritising and sharing the news that really matters.

Photo source:

Donna Karan Spring 2000


Esther Canadas, Mini Arden & Stella Tennant in Donna Karan New York Spring/Summer 2000 campaign photographed by Peter Lindbergh
When I was a teen I declared that Donna Karan will be one of the designers I would wear. Even then her aesthetics appealed to me and, perhaps, influenced my style as it developed.

My love for her creations is obvious and I have a good reason for it – just like Diane von Furstenberg, the Donna Karan's clothes are timeless and designed for women to be worn and truly enjoyed, in comfort and confidence. And they are so beautifully made!

Esther Canadas, Mini Arden & Stella Tennant in Donna Karan New York Spring/Summer 2000 campaign photographed by Peter Lindbergh
Esther Canadas, Mini Arden & Stella Tennant in Donna Karan New York Spring/Summer 2000 campaign photographed by Peter Lindbergh
As the next “fashion week” was approaching I found myself torn between two names, in a position of a parent trying to choose which child she loved the most… Donna Karan was, indeed, one of them. I hesitated, I lost sleep for a couple of days, as insane it may sound to some. And then I walked to my wardrobe, pulled out the Donna Karan dress and knew exactly what would happen next.

Esther Canadas, Mini Arden & Stella Tennant in Donna Karan New York Spring/Summer 2000 campaign photographed by Peter Lindbergh
Photo source: Esther Canadas, Mini Arden & Stella Tennant in Donna Karan New York Spring/Summer 2000 campaign photographed by Peter Lindbergh

5 dresses every woman should own: the white dress


Natalia Vodianova by Craig McDean for Vogue US February 2008
The white dress. An epitome of summer elegance.
You just cannot be without it whether you find yourself in a city, planning a holiday or dancing till dawn under the starlit sky. Whatever the situation, the little white dress is definitely one of the wardrobe must-haves.

This little darling isn’t just the light reflector on a hot summer day, but a statement of femininity, romance, purity, freshness and luxury.

Choosing the one may be a challenge, but fortunately for us, designers got it all covered. Sporty and athletic, prim and proper, bohemian and lady-like. Mini and maxi. Lace and jacquard. Silks, organza, cottons and linens.

You pick the dress that tells your story. And then start your summer journey in style. Best accessory to compliment your LWD? A touch of tan, of course.

Where to buy: 1. Cotton peplum dress by Karen Millen (£175 – use promo code SS13DRESSES50 at checkout to get £50 off selected styles), 2. Sleeveless cotton dress by Stella McCartney (£465), 3. Cotton blend twill dress by Zac Posen (£440), 4. Dalia jacquard dress by Whistles (£225), 5. Crocheted cotton dress by See by Chloe (£243), 6. Wool-flannel dress by Issa (£208), 7. Belted dress by Chloe (£1415), 8. Fitted lace & frill dress by Reiss (£169)

Where to buy: 9. Crochet cotton dress by Mango (£55), 10. Cotton & lace dress by Nina Ricci (£1154), 11. Lace trimmed cotton dress by Vanessa Bruno (£172), 12. Cotton embroidered dress by Mango (£43), 13. Relais dress by Sportmax (£668), 14. Voile & silk dress by See by Chloe (£230), 15. Silk patchwork dress by Dosa (£895), 16. Tank dress by Jean Paul Knott (£580)

Where to buy: 17. Tailored bubble dress by Karen Millen (£140), 18. Cotton bonded dress by Oasis (£50), 19. Daisy dress by Warehouse (£40), 20. Speed flare dress by Chalayan (£710), 21. Niade dress by Azzedine Alaia (£2468), 22. Pleat skirt dress by Paul&Joe Sister (£228), 23. Floral embroidered dress by Reiss (£225), 24. A-line dress by Vicedomini (£772)

Photo source: Natalia Vodianova by Craig McDean for Vogue US February 2008

My dream accessory | Aigner Spring 2013


Aigner Spring/Summer 2013
From the moment I saw this stunning bracelet, a part of the Aigner Spring/Summer 2013 Ready-to-Wear collection, I knew I was in love. It’s such a stunning piece of jewellery – all about nature, beauty and the way it gently wraps around the wrist. I would wear it just like the model on this photo – with a simple silk dress… And it would become one of my most treasured possessions. The only problem is that I have absolutely no idea how and where I could get one.

Photo source: Aigner Spring/Summer 2013 via

Stylish quote



“Fashion is born by small facts, trends, or even politics, never by trying to make little pleats and furbelows, by trinkets, by clothes easy to copy, or by the shortening or lengthening of a skirt.”

Elsa Schiaparelli


Photo source: Vogue Germany September 2010


P.S. There’s still time to vote for Fashioned by Love in the Company’s Style Blogger Awards competition. For more details visit my Monday post.

Bag of the Month: April is for Angel Jackson


Angel Jackson

When I came up with an idea of the Bag of the Month feature back in March, it was warmly welcomed by pretty much every girl who read the post. The true love of beautiful accessories was certainly taking a form of a worldwide affair.

The process of choosing the first candidate wasn’t easy, but I definitely wanted to avoid anything that may have an “It” attached to it. Although I understand the appeal of Alexander Wang, Chloe, Proenza, Valentino or Celine, I am a little tired of seeing them everywhere. They are, of course, beautiful, but the “It” factor makes them very, how should I put it, predictable…

What interests me is discovering something new, being surprised and sharing these finds and surprises with you – high end, high street – it’s not going to be about the location or trying to be “on trend”. It will always be about the bag.

I saw Samaya a while ago and thought of her as a gorgeous, exotic, vibrant and classic beauty that I would be proud to take with me anywhere. Designed by two young Brits, Katie and Millie, charming and talented siblings and founders of the Angel Jackson brand, the bag is a part of an extensive collection featured on Monnier Frères, one of my most favourite on-line destinations for designer accessories (and yes, they do stock Chloe, Wang as well as Nina Ricci, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Escada, Jitrois, Vanessa Bruno, Kenzo, Sonia Rykiel etc. etc. etc. – every fabulous bag is there, trust me)

According to the website description, Samaya, designed for “the effortlessly stylish and intelligent woman”, has “everything to seduce us” (including a price tag of £178) and I guess, I was an easy target.

What about you? Is your heart beating faster yet?

Stylish quote


Carolyn Murphy photographed by Nathaniel Goldberg for DKNY Fall/Winter 1996 campaign
"Simplicity survives the changes of fashion. Fit the century, forget the year."


Photo source: Carolyn Murphy photographed by Nathaniel Goldberg for DKNY Fall/Winter 1996 campaign

Artificial fashion


Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2010 campaign photographed by Steven Meisel
Take a cup of coffee made of freshly grounded organic beans, inhale the velvet aroma, taste the smooth rich flavour, please your senses and let your mind drift away for a moment. Beautiful, isn’t it?

Would you still go to your favourite coffee shop if they served you Nescafe original? I doubt that you would come back for a top up. Actually I doubt you would even finish your first cup. In fact I think you will make an official complain about the quality of coffee you’ve just been served and had to paid for. Because there’s no instant variety that could make you feel the same way the real thing does.

And yet so many would happily wear clothes made, just like that cup of instant coffee, from something artificial without thinking twice.

Polyester. The word that can change my mind about making a purchase just like any E-number of a food label can, since I don’t do those either.

A few days ago I read an article that praised techno fabrics and highlighted their brilliance for the industry. Perhaps, polyester, nylon, neoprene and polyamide have their place in fashion as they allow designers to express their vision and shape the garments in every possible way. After all, some clothes are made for the show and the rest, preferably polyester-free – to be worn.

Although a good plan in theory, the reality of it is not quite as promising as the artificial materials now seem to be overtaking the natural materials, bolt after bolt after bolt.

Now finding a cotton summer dress, silk skirt or wool sweater can be practically a mission impossible, especially when shopping on high street.

What depresses me even more is that, despite the relatively inexpensive production process, the prices of clothes can be as high as if they were made from the natural fabrics – the latter especially noticeable when browsing designer labels.

Seeing a Lanvin dress made from 100% polyester kills me. Yes, the fabric may now be advanced and actually allow the wearer to live in the dress for a whole day without perspiring as if having a hot flash or producing odours that don’t just follow her as she enters the room but rather make everyone aware of her upcoming visit.

Everything is possible. And still, to me synthetics in fashion is a cheat.

I know that polyester is easier to shape into a dress than silk. I know that the acrylic sweater will last much longer than its wool cousin. And this is why I agree that those fabrics do have their place in fashion.

On the other hand, I know that it’s not just about the fabric, but the skill that shapes the dress. And perhaps, what designers need to think about isn’t constantly looking for the new materials, but preserving and honing the skills of the artisans who knew how to make a puffy skirt from silks and cottons and how to create the folds that will remain in place once finished.

I am not a cave woman and I understand the importance of progress, but I also know that there is no amount of polyester, acrylic or polyamide that will ever feel as scrumptious as cashmere, silk, cotton and wool do against my skin. It’s not just about luxury for anyone can find a cashmere jumper or silk shirt without paying a fortune. It’s more about love. The love of fashion, style, craftsmanship, beauty and, lets not forget, yourself.

There’s the only one exception I am prepared to make and it is for Azzedine Alaia and his viscose-based designs – he can’t do wrong, as far as I am concerned, he knows the magic.

What are your thoughts on techno fabrics? Do you wear them? Do you look at the care label to see what the garment is made of? Would you buy a designer dress made of polyester?

Photo source: Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2010 campaign photographed by Steven Meisel