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Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney: Fashion Week's Stony Bro Inspo

During Wednesday evening’s Republican debates, some of the hopefuls admitted to America that not only had they “tried weed,” but that theirstances on drug policy was the least offensive of all their platforms. “I think if we left it open, we could see how many people smoked pot in high school,” said Rand Paul, unlikely proponent of drug policy reform. “Forty years ago I smoked marijuana, and I admit it,” declared Jeb Bush, the square of the family. Even the most conservative white men in America are speaking almost fondly of the relaxation herb. So at this cultural moment, it’s so fitting that fashion is feting some of America’s stoniest fellows by alluding to their styles or more directly creating homages to their lives.


Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney: Fashion Week's Stony Bro Inspo


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Mara Hoffman, a stony gal herself, dedicated her Spring 2015 line to Willie Nelson, pot Jesus. With a fantastical backdrop of the blue sky opening up on a rolling golden wheatfield, like Nelson she seemed to advocate the idea that getting lifted is American as apple pie or, more specifically, as American as our national anthem—“spacious skies” and “amber waves of grain.”


The models wore Willie’s signature braids-and-bandanna, an easy as hell beauty note, and very minimal makeup; their easy wheat-patterned maxi-dresses and denim jackets were both a gestural and literal interpretation of Willie Nelson’s salt-of-the earth Texas estilo. And sometimes she swapped out wheat for star-spangled tops, alluding to ‘70s American idealism, a little hippie, a little hopeful, on the road again realness. (No one smoked a J on the runway, though, so I have to shave off half a point for that.)


Over at Tommy Hilfiger, though, the stoniest notions came from Americans decamping to the Caribbean, as he feted the “Island Life” of icons like Jimmy Buffett and (my favorite) Kenny Chesney. Complete with an actual river, canoe, and sand on the set (“Gowanus runway,” Clover called it) Hilfiger envisioned getting away from it all in floral tops, loose crocheted bikinis and sandals—because nothing is wavier than dressing like a hackeysack. He was also getting very serious about allowing us to purchase designer drug rugs.


Kenny Chesney’s fan club is called “No Shoes Nation.” The soundtrack was more specifically reggae-inspired, but definitely the same thing Kenny and Jimmy listen to while they’re chilling in the Virgin Islands (or Montauk). It was maybe going for “Island Life,” as a satin jacket said, but it translated more as the Continental vacationers who go there to escape rather than the actual culture of people who actually live in the Caribbean. In other words: perfect Buffett style.

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How To // Find Your Perfect Dress

Get ready to fall in love. Here’s your complete guide to finding ‘The One’ – dress, that is! You’ve clicked and pinned and done your homework. Now it’s time to see if that dress you can’t stop thinking about really is “The One” for you.


While lots of people may be clamoring to join you in the search, less is more. Why? “You’ll get too many opinions and some will be overpowering,” says Jocelyn Robertshaw, owner of Ready or Knot {Wedding Chic} in Omaha.



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“It’s exhausting to appease everybody. The experience can leave you confused about what you want,” she says.


Shannon Wiece at Blush Bridal Boutique in Lincoln agrees. "It's an exciting time, but it's best to shop with someone who knows your style best."


Mom and-or another important family member may be the ideal choice, suggests Tracy Ponec, owner of Rhylan Lang bridal boutique in Omaha.


The best shopping companions are those who will wait for your reaction before offering their own opinions. "It's always helpful when a bride speaks first," Wiece notes. If you feel compelled to shop with a group, cap it at four.


And take heart. You probably will find that Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse. “What you don’t see is what went into producing that beautiful image you’ve pinned and liked," Robertshaw says. Here are more tips from the pros.




Launch your dress search in earnest only after finalizing the wedding venue and date. After all, what originally was planned as a daytime summer celebration quickly can morph into a winter black-tie affair, which calls for an entirely different look.




Begin booking visits to bridal boutiques six to nine months prior to your wedding. Go into those appointments with a price range for the dresses you'd like to see. A good bridal consultant will respect your budget and steer you accordingly.




Show photos of favorite gowns to your bridal consultant as a starting point. But keep an open mind. Try on a number of styles. Something that looks fabulous on your Pinterest board may not be flattering on your body type, and something that you had not considered might turn out to be the perfect gown.




If you find a dress that you love but it’s out of your price range, ask if the salon carries a similar style at a lower price point. That's often the case.




If you’re interested in a dress in a color that's different from the one you tried on, ask to see a swatch before making your final decision. Hues in photos can be different from the actual fabric sample.




You can, and should, ponder your choices. The last thing you want is buyer’s remorse (sales are final in the world of bridal). Wiece, an assistant manager at Blush boutique, estimates that 75 to 80 percent of her brides buy on their first visit. "But it really depends on your shopping style."




Delivery of a gown can take four to six months, Ponec says. To that timeline you will need to add one to three months for alterations, depending on the season. Plan to pick up the gown at least two weeks prior to the wedding. For peace of mind, inquire about insurance to protect you if the salon goes out of business or if the dress becomes damaged while in the store’s possession.




Wear your wedding shoe – or a shoe with the same heel height – for your fittings. Your dress will be hemmed accordingly. In selecting your shoe, comfort should be a priorty, Robertshaw says. "You’ll be on your feet most of the day. Keep them happy." Four-inch heels would be a mistake. Two-inch heels would be smart. (And don't think you have to stick to white or ivory. "Color would be a fine idea," Robertshaw says.) Proper undergarments are another "must" for your final fittings. Without them, your seamstress is only guessing at the alterations to be done.




In jewelry, choose pieces that draw attention to your face. Bracelets? "Pass if you’re not used to wearing one, or you’ll fiddle with it all day," Robertshaw says. Ditto for a necklace. "If you normally wear a necklace and the neckline on your dress is right for one, you’ll feel complete when you look in the mirror." You can forego a necklace if you’re wearing a statement earring. Keep your nail color understated, Robertshaw suggests. "A trial run is a good idea."

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KCD’s Ed Filipowski’s Definitive Rules for Fashion Week Etiquette

All this Fashion Week, Vanity Fair’s man on the street, Derek Blasberg, is interviewing fashion’s biggest behind-the-scenes movers and shakers.


KCD is a Fashion Week powerhouse. The P.R. and production agency is responsible for some of the most important and anticipated shows of the season. Their clients include Alexander Wang, Balmain, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang, and Tory Burch. Co-president Ed Filipowski has worked with the company for three decades and has seen his fair share of unforgettable fashion-show moments. I caught up with him on what it’s like to put together a show and how pesky a blogger can be outside a venue.



photo: formal dresses 2015 What is the show you’re most looking forward to this season?


Ed Filipowski: That’s a tough question, but probably the most anticipated is Givenchy because it’s the first time that the brand is showing in New York. Riccardo [Tisci, the creative director] is doing something unprecedented and spectacular.


I know you started working at KCD in 1985. What’s been the biggest change in 30 years?


The divas are gone!


What does that mean? Like who?


I won’t name names, but there used to be a lot of dramatic, pushy, power-crazed editors. I think their absence is a very nice change, and you can quote me on that. The industry today realizes that it needs to be more of a smooth-running business, and people have to acknowledge there isn’t room for that kind of behavior.


What’s the most diva-licious thing you heard?


An editor once asked me if I had a lobotomy, and she meant it. I was left speechless.


Run me through the progression of a fashion show.


Models get to the venue about four to six hours before a show, depending on the show and where they are in the lineup. The girls are staggered, and typically the newer girls have to get there earlier and the bigger girls later. The KCD staff gets there three hours before a show. I get there an hour before the show. Half an hour before a show, we open the doors to the guests.


What’s the first thing you do at a show?


Find out where Anna Wintour is sitting. Anna is notoriously timely and she’s normally one of the first people there. Friends of the designers are prompt, too. Ten minutes before the scheduled showtime is when things get hectic.


Who’s notoriously late to fashion shows?


The French editors.


How long is an average show?


Eight minutes.


Who goes backstage?


In the past, going backstage to meet and greet a designer was a ritual. But that’s out of style now. I think it’s passé now because of how busy the schedule is, and people need to get going. It was a natural progression.


Besides, nowadays, you can just send a congratulatory e-mail, right?


Yes. And, sure, friends of the designers still come back to say “hi.” Time is the ultimate luxury during Fashion Week, so people really scram out of there.


If you could change one thing about a show, what would it be?


I wish people would just sit in the seat they’re assigned.


Is that a big problem? I’ve never stolen anyone’s seat because I am still scared you’ll kick me out of a show and that’s literally the definition of humiliating.


Well, I’ve never kicked anyone out, but I will kick them back a few rows. There was famously one season when I asked Paris Hilton to move to her seat in the second row at Marc Jacobs, and she pretended not to hear me and acted like she was texting on her phone. That amused lots of editors.


What else is bad fashion-show etiquette?


If you’re on the front row, watch the show as the models come down the runway. Don’t stare into space. Don’t stare at your phone.


What do you think of the recent phenomenon of bloggers?


I have found them to be a particularly civilized group of people to work with. They’re wonderful. I don’t find them pushy or brash. We treat them well.


When you say bloggers, I take it you mean a different group of people than the street-style photographers.


I welcome the bloggers who are educated and want to discuss the shows—may there be more of them! Also, I appreciate street style and think it’s a fascinating phenomenon in the fashion industry. But the pack of photographers outside of a show who stand like obstacles to get to where you’re going to annoy the hell out of me. Outside a show, I bulldoze them and I push them aside. They can be quite rude and aggressive and a nuisance to the rest of us doing our jobs. I pretend they don’t exist—ha, but maybe that’s because they’re not taking pictures of me!


Social media in general has affected the way we see shows now. Do you remember when backstage was just a few photographers? Now, it’s anyone with an iPhone.


If anything, it’s upped the ante. It’s upped the game. Designers are now, more than ever, concerned about their sets because that’s what you see in the picture. That’s become an important part of social media, and they’re very concerned about the very first look that comes down the runway. They’re concerned about the finale and the choreography because people take videos now too. The designers I work with have risen to the challenge of social media to make their shows more visually perfect.


What tips do you have for someone who wants to go into a show and any future fashion editors out there?


If you’re new to an industry and seeing a show, put your phone down and look at the clothes and the models with your own two eyes. It’s important to have that experience of really understanding a show visually, not through another lens. You don’t have to capture everything for Instagram. You’ll have a long career ahead of you to take pictures of yourself. My second tip would be: observe the front row, observe the influential people, and see what they’re responding to. You can always tell what [Vogue’s] Grace Coddington is reacting to or what looks [W.W.D.’s] Bridget Foley is writing down. That can give you an understanding of what is working in a collection. I still do that during shows.


When you retire, what will be your proudest shows and most memorably moments?


Anything I did with Helmut Lang will be my fondest memory.

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