Retail therapy: Fashion's red carpet

Largely considered to be fashion's equivalent of the Oscars, the CFDA Fashion Awards were held last week in New York, with a New Zealand connection - New Zealand-born fashion writer Hilary Alexander was given the Media Award, on the eve of her retirement as fashion editor of the Telegraph.

The designers behind Proenza Schouler were named as best womenswear designers, Alexander Wang as accessory designer of the year, and Marc Jacobs was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Who were the winners on the red carpet? Our favourites included Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in gold and blue, teamed with fantastic boxy bags from their label, The Row; director Sofia Coppola eschewing her usual black Marc Jacobs dress with a white strapless one instead; actress Leelee Sobieski in a white tuxedo suit by Adam Kimmel; Celine designer Phoebe Philo who also embraced man style in a suit; and US Vogue's Grace Coddington in new season Miu Miu. Lady Gaga must get a mention though, for her Fashion Icon award and custom Thierry Mugler creation worn with a short turquoise wig - although we thought her fashion student sister Natali looked even cooler, in a fierce black tuxedo suit and matching black lipstick.

Jean therapy

Levi's has extended its custom fit jeans concept to include higher cut jeans, making it easier for women of all shapes, sizes - and ages - to find a style they're comfortable with. The move to offer a classic rise as well as a modern (low) rise follows a global survey that showed most women were unhappy with the fit and look of their jeans.

The pioneering denim company's Curve ID system introduced last year is all about proportions, meaning three size 8 models, each with the same waist measurement, may vary from fitting a Slight Curve, a Demi Curve or a Bold Curve design.

You can try the fit system in Levi's stockists now. Jeans are priced from $99 and trained fitters will be able to help you work out your correct Curve and most flattering rise. To get a heads up on your best shape, take the quiz online.

Designs on you

Trelise Cooper has launched a second fragrance, this an eau de toilette. Like her earlier eau de parfum, it bears the designer's name. She has again worked with a French perfumer to come up with a fruity-floral scent with woody undertones. It is available in Cooper's boutiques and at selected department and gift stores, with the eau de toilette costing $125 for an 85ml bottle.

Hey, good lookin'

Congratulations to Pilot magazine, which was recently shortlisted in the Magazine & Newspaper Design section of London's D&AD Awards. Inhouse Design's work with the magazine earned it a spot on the short-list, alongside such international titles as Wallpaper*, Monocle and Wired.

Vogue to Topshop

Changes are afoot at British Vogue - two senior and long-standing figures at the magazine resigned last week, including fashion director Kate Phelan who will head to Topshop as creative director. The move isn't too far a stretch for Phelan, who has styled the iconic chain store's campaigns for several years. Vogue's creative director Robin Derrick is also moving on.

Model line-up

Clyne Model Management and Nova Models, Actors & Talent have new owners: Clyne booker Marama Nicholas and his brother Ryan Nicholas. The agencies have been home to some of New Zealand's key modelling successes of late, including Jessica Clarke and Emily Baker. Previously owned by Kim Larking for nearly 20 years, Clyne and Nova are two of the oldest agencies in the country.

Shop, shop, shop

Concession is a new online store where you can buy and sell vintage and new designer pieces, with a focus on luxury and emerging labels. The store is relatively new, and still growing, but when we looked there was a nicely curated selection that included a second-hand Karen Walker wool cardigan from her Society of Bright Young Things collection, a simple cashmere T-shirt from Marni and a quirky printed sweater from Tsumori Chisato, among other things. They are also offering to sell on your behalf, where suitable pieces are costed, photographed and resold - full details are on the site. Visit the website for more details and contacts.

Newmarket gets Misty-fied

Independent designer Misty Lang has opened a pop-up boutique in Newmarket, in the former Lara Parker boutique space on Remuera Rd. Lang's winter collection, "Faded Love", will be available from the store, as well as her jewellery (as worn by Susan Sarandon). It is open for three months until August. 7 Remuera Rd, Newmarket, ph (09) 522 2226.

Face it

One of Auckland's top boutiques, Made, is stocking select pieces from one of Melbourne's best labels, Alpha60. They are the exclusive NZ stockists, with three charming pieces - including this quirky "Roya" shift dress, $329. Ph (09) 366 1693.

Visit the arcade

Auckland's Cross Street is one of the most interesting small streets in the city, with the We'ar boutique, vintage store Tiny Shop, small cafe Little B and the Millers Coffee roastery and cafe. Now there's a new store on the street: Arcade. The menswear shop is being described as "part-skate shop, part-club house, part-sneaker store and part-streetwear boutique", and aims to foster culture and community spirit as well as selling brands including Dave's Quality Meats, aNYthing, FUCT, Adidas, Vans, Converse and more. There will also be in-house T-shirts, local zines and art. Find it at 22C Cross St, just behind K Rd.

Dark beauty

M.A.C Cosmetics has announced a collaboration with London based designer Gareth Pugh, famous for his dark take on fashion. The collection of makeup will launch in November, and will include beauty product and accessories in special packaging. We're betting that it will involve the colour black, and maybe some leather.

Put the boot in

It's officially winter, so time to start to invest in boots. These are new in at Ruby Boutiques, from a Sydney-based label called Provensen, and called the "LJ" boot ($429).

Bare all

Australian label Arnsdorf has gone au natural for its spring/summer 2012 lookbook and campaign, featuring top Australian models with no makeup, undone hair and without retouching. The campaign was styled by top Australian stylist Stevie Dance, formerly the editor of Russh, working with Arnsdorf designer Jade Sarita Arnott. She explains that the collection "was inspired by female artists, both contemporary and pioneer, whose works embrace ritualistic female crafts. By choosing our models to be without makeup, hairstyles or retouching, the images more honestly conveyed the sense of realism and veracity that I was exploring."

- NZ Herald

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