I was recently given a dinner in my honor at the St. Regis in New York. The dinner was also to celebrate their 21st hotel and their 100th anniversary. The mood was reminiscent of the dinners that Caroline Astor had in the 1920's and was a "Midnight Supper". It literally went to midnight. Fortunately, I was able to invite some good friends to celebrate.
(In order of photos posted)
1) Iris' friend, Iris Apfel, Brooke Shields and me.
2) Mary Alice Stevenson looking gorgeous. Giving a toast.
3) Patti Wilson, whom I adore. She is one of the hardest working stylists for Italian Vogue (with Brooke Shields).
4) George Cortina is the head editor of Japanese Vogue and we go back 20 years as friends. He just landed the cover of 10 Magazine nude. Pretty ballsy!
5) Brad and I.
6) Mary Alice and Iris.
We have arrived in L.A. and Venice, CA!!!! `
I hope L.A. is ready for us. In Venice we restored a Beach Bungaloo on 1612 Abbot Kinney Blvd. As usual the taxidermy doesn't disappoint either- we have a gorgeous hybrid zebra/wildebeest in the front. And don't forget to check out 8383 West 3rd St.
Here are some photos from our opening party...
(In order of photos posted)
1) Victoria's Secret model- Alessandra Ambrosio.
2) A dear friend, Arianne Phillips and Rose Apodaca.
3) Some chic neighbors.
4) Actress Camryn Manheim.
5) Lauren Hutton- our spokes-model for 2011.
6) Kissing the Wildebeest.
Here is a great shot of Michelle Obama wearing my bee pin on Halloween. I love her for her style and strength.
With the launch of Fall ad campaign featuring the iconic Joan Collins, we asked our Alexis Bittar fans to take a picture of themselves in front of Joan for a chance to win a copy of the original Joan Collins poster signed by Alexis Bittar. We've received our first couple of photographs of people in front our Joan Collins posters in NYC.
Karine's is the best as she doesn't live in NYC so she photoshopped herself into a photo which I think is awesome.
Keep sending in photographs and make sure to include your mailing address so you can get a copy of the poster (8" x 10"- perfect for framing!) signed by me!
Jason has had an astonishing leap in the last few years. He is a very talented young designer.
His show is today at 2:00. I'm hoping to get some pictures and will post them on Monday.
In case you don't remember- he designed Michelle Obama's inaugural gown.
Anna Wintour has been a big supporter for Jason. We decided to collaborate this year for his Spring 2011 Collection. We combined a sense of fluidity with metal and a strong lean towards the future.
So here are a bunch of photos, back stage and during the show, from Jason's show. His designs were great! We had an excellent time there.
The CFDA Awards gala is often called the "Oscars of the Fashion World". This year I was nominated for "Accessory Designer of the Year" along with Marc Jacobs and Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler. Of course, it was a huge honor just to be nominated alongside such great designers, but it became an unbelievable honor when I won.
The category encompasses ALL accessories- shoes, bags, etc. Few jewelry designers, who only do jewelry, have won in this category in the past. I'm incredibly humbled and honored to be among them- Tom Binns, Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., Chrome Hearts, Paloma Picasso and Robert Lee Morris.
Here are some photos from Monday night.
(In order of photos posted)
1) My date- The amazing Iris Apfel.
2) My proud Dad.
3) My Dad, Tom, Iris and her darling husband.
4) Dakota Fanning presenting the award.
5) Holding the trophy!
6) The President of the CFDA, Diane von Furstenberg.
Lady GaGa wearing a mask I designed for her at the MoMA yesterday... looking at art.
These are some shots for the CFDA ceremony. I had to pick a muse and Iris Apfel instantly came to mind. Over the years Iris and I have become close. She truly is an inspiration. At 88 years old she has fun with life and fashion. It exudes out of her. Everyone at the photo shoot that day was thrilled to meet her-including Sarah Jessica Parker who happened to be there as well.
Iris is reserved with her wisdom and has a sense of levity when you're around her that rubs off on you. She independently is recognized for her sense of artistic flare of fashion. The Met did an exhibit about 5 years ago on her and The New York Times said that it was the most incredible show. There's also a book about her style which you can find here called "Rare Bird of Fashion The irreverent Iris Apfel". In regards to her style, she's known for mixing and matching. A Givenchy dress with bracelets made of eyeballs for instance. Couture and flea market finds mix together so seamlessly you may never know which is which. She dresses how she wants to dress with no apologies or explanations and I admire that so much, I couldn't have picked a better muse.
Just wanted to post a few quick pictures of Jennifer Hudson on the red carpet at the Grammys. Not only does she look amazing, she's wearing two clear lucite bangles designed by me.
Because of the buzz about the Joan Collins ads I thought I should talk a little more about her and why she was the perfect choice.
Almost three decades ago, Collins arguably became the most celebrated television star of the 1980s through her legendary portrayal of her character Alexis Carrington on the hit show Dynasty. In 1981, it is rumored that Collins swaggered onto the set of Dynasty eating spoonfuls of beluga caviar and wearing improbably large shoulder pads, driving a pink Thunderbird. She roared around Hollywood in chinchilla stoles and emerald bracelets and was rarely seen without a lover. The 80s were an exciting time for women. And it was in this decade that Joan became a symbol of the modern woman. She blended power, position and authority without losing her femininity.
At a time when “power suits" were taking over, Joan (Alexis) let it be known that style and glamour were tools of a clever strong woman. (And to prove the point, she could, when challenged, wrestle her opponent to the ground in a sequined ball gown and still be fabulous!)
Joan Collins continues to mentor a cult following among those who remember the vivid style she demonstrated as the strong beautiful Alexis Carrington. Joan is an icon of the 80's excesses. And it was Collins' style that drew several links to the recent couture shows such as Balmain. Joan consequently served as key inspiration when designing this latest collection. Not only does Joan embody the bold sensuality of the brand, but more than any other style icon, she represents the flamboyant glamour of the 1980's and exudes an unparalleled confidence that makes women of all ages feel empowered.
The idea of using Joan was incredibly exciting. When I look at advertising in the marketplace, the majority of models are 18-24. And these same ads are designed to appeal to older women. It was enticing to reject the current advertising formula and embrace a new reality - a 76 year old woman can exude confidence, strength and represent a modern generation and style. An exciting phenomenon surrounding Joan is that at 76, she has broad inter-generational appeal. That appeal is based on both her legendary cult status and her iconic image which continues to inform the modern American woman.
In hindsight, after witnessing the explosion of excitement around the ad, I can't help think that a large part of this energy has to do with the fact that people are amazed to see a mature woman of 76 be the glamorous face of a trendy modern jewelry company.
In regards to the photos, there's been quite a lot of talk on the internet about how Joan's photos were photo-shopped and worked on during post-production. I'd just like to say that while yes, some photo-shopping was done, (as it is after most photo shoots) it was very limited, particularly on the black and white photos. It is very important to me that we set the record straight. Joan Collins is a beautiful woman. Her photos are terrific and she looks just like that in person. As I mentioned before, her age and maturity are part of what drew me to her. And for those of you who love a tan, Joan said that she attributes her fair skin and youthful appearance to her lifelong avoidance of sun. She also has a motto that's served her well, “Base. Not Botox."
This was a project that came full circle working with Joan Collins. Here's the story...
As a boy, when my parents named me "Alexis", it was a boy's name. It was fairly unused in the US but in Russia and Greece it was common. When Joan Collins played "Alexis Carrington" on Dynasty she changed everything. I've been defending the masculinity of my name ever since. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1980's was particularly difficult. I still get mail addressed to "Ms. Alexis Bittar".
In regards to the ad campaign, the concept was created through a six degree level of separation. Our PR Manager Pascale was having lunch with Joan and Joan mentioned (not knowing that Pascale worked for me) that she had recently lost an earring of one of her favorite designers... turns out, she was talking about me. She has been collecting my work for 10 years.
Pascale called me after her lunch to tell me this story and I was with my friend Edwin (who incidentally is one of the legendary members of the House of Extravaganza) who said, "You should have Joan be the face of Alexis Bittar- 'Alexis for Alexis Bittar'!" And that's how it happened.
I'm thrilled to have her represent the line because she deserves credit (and hasn't received it) for much of the 80's fashion that is mimicked today. When I think "Opulence", I think "Joan Collins and Dynasty". Having used younger models in the past I liked that she was older and more mature. She's the perfect person to represent the brand, company and me.
Stylist- Marie Chaix
Hair- Jimmy Paul
Photographer- Anthony Maule