Following on from Kate Middleton's wedding dress, the fashion industry continued the celebration of Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala last week, marking the opening of the McQueen exhibition at the museum. Largely considered to be one of the more interesting red carpets - unlike the safe gowns worn on the red carpet - the Met Ball as it's known saw celebrities and fashion stars in Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Pucci, Stella McCartney, Givenchy and more. One question though: if the exhibition is a salute to McQueen, why weren't more stars wearing it? Many of the archival pieces are, of course, in the exhibition, and those that weren't aren't allowed to be altered in any way - but surely there should have been more McQueen on the red carpet. Thank goodness for Daphne Guinness, in a feathered McQueen dress she changed into in the window of Barneys, Vogue's Hamish Bowles' tartan McQueen tuxedo, and model/singer Karen Elson in a vintage gold dress from the They Shoot Horses Don't They-inspired collection of spring 2004. Other non-McQueen highlights? Emma Stone in floral Lanvin, Sofia Coppola in signature black Louis Vuitton, Diane Kruger in Jason Wu, Michelle Williams in Miu Miu and model Natasha Poly looking incredibly hot in a nude Alexander Wang gown.
A white out
Witchery is working with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation for the special White Shirt Campaign 2011. In store now is a specially crafted collection of white shirts - seven for women, three for men, plus a tote bag - with 100 per cent of the gross proceeds going to the OCRF.
Starfish has opened its second Auckland store on Ponsonby Rd. The eco-conscious label of Wellington designer Laurie Foon moved into the former Wallace Rose store near the Franklin Rd junction last week and is holding its official opening tonight . Foon said that with her Christchurch store intact, but locked down in the red zone, she had been looking for an outlet elsewhere. Her Christchurch manager would move north to run the shop. "This really is a silver lining in what was a dark cloud for us - as we can retain a fantastic member of staff and now sell the stock we produced for the Christchurch store - so much so that we have named our forthcoming Summer 11/12 collection "Good Fortune"!
Bucking the trend
Annah Stretton is defying the tough retail environment by opening new stores in Australia after recently adding Devonport and Orewa to her roster here. The Gold Coast and Brisbane are first on her list this month and she hopes to open 10 stores in both markets this year, adding to the 30 she already has. The Morrinsville-based designer has been exporting to Australia for some years.
Last week's Retail Therapy featured news of the Lonely by Lonely Hearts collection arriving in store at Ruby Boutiques - the collection is actually available today.
Last week's coloured lace Shopfront page featured a grey "lacey" dress credited as a Sylvester dress - but it was actually the Celine Rita "Edie" dress. The collared Sylvester "lacey" dress is $365, ph (09) 307 3282, and the Celine Rita "Edie" dress is $259, ph (09) 336 1191.