FASHIONABLE CONFESSIONS: Jason Wu, Fashion Designer

Jason-Wu-Haute-Living.jpg

Who would believe it's nearly a decade since we saw Michelle Obama in the stunning one-shoulder Jason Wu dress at the 2009 inaugural ball. It was a career-defining moment that forever changed his life. Wu would go onto dress many other influential women like The Duchess of Sussex, Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Diane Kruger, and Kerry Washington. Along with designing his eponymous label, Wu also served as Artistic Director of German fashion house Hugo Boss for five years, as well as creating limited edition collections with Target and Eloquii. Last year saw him enter the world of beauty with his first fragrance, and plans to launch his second scent in 2019.

While in town to be honored with the Presidents’ Circle Honors Award from Chicago History Museum’s Costume Council, I had the privilege of interviewing Wu for Splash magazine (which you can read here) but I also threw in some Fashion Junkie questions.

LAST FILM YOU WATCHED?
Hereditary

YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy-Rich-Asians book jacket.jpg

FAVORITE VACATION DESTINTATION?
Taiwan, where I’m from

LAST TIME YOU WERE LATE?
Today for this interview

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE ANYONE HAS GIVEN YOU?
From my mom, always be a student

LAST SONG YOU DOWNLOADED?
Shallow from A Star is Born

YOUR STYLE ICON?
Diane Kruger

instyle-november-diane-kruger-3.jpg

LAST CONCERT?
Maroon 5

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Sky diving, it’s both horrifying and exciting

YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?
Dirty vodka martini

Dirty vodka martini.jpg

LAST TIME YOU WERE STAR STUCK?
When I saw Oprah

LAST TIME YOU DANCED?
Last week

YOUR PRIZED POSSESSION?
1930s sewing machine that my dad gave me

ONE THING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITH OUT?
My phone

Read my full interview with Jason Wu for Splash Magazine.

FASHION CONFESSIONS: Brian Atwood, Shoe Designer

Brian Atwood shoe designer interview with fashion junkie

Brian Atwood, made his name designing exquisite heels worn by many stars like Kate Hudson, Taylor Swift, and Lady GaGa to name a few. A former fashion model, he began his design career in the 90's working for the legendary Gianni Versace. As the first American designer hired by the Italian fashion house, he quickly rose to the position of Head Designer of Accessories. In 2001 he launched his namesake shoe label specializing in glamorous sky-high heels, which soon became a fixture on the red carpet. I chatted to Atwood at the Chicago History Museum where he was being honored at their spring fundraiser luncheon in support of the Costume Council, the sold-out event raised over $30,000.

WHAT’S YOUR FASHION ADDICTION?
Shoes, of course! I’ve collected around 1500 shoes from every shoe designer you can image.

WHO ARE YOU STYLE ICONS?
Besides my mom, classics like Lauren Hutton

 Brian Atwood and Dusty Stemer, Brian’s mother and event co-chair

Brian Atwood with his mom Dusty Stemer, event co-chair

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Life of the party

LAST TIME YOU DANCED?
Last week at a karaoke party

FAVORITE VACATION HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
Anywhere in Greece

LAST TIME YOU WERE LATE?
Today

YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH GROWING UP?
T
om Cruise

LAST FILM YOU SAW?
My girl Melissa McCarthy’s new film Life of the Party

LAST BOOK YOU READ?
I’m currently reading The Power of Now

BEST SHOE ADVICE?
If you don’t know what shoe to wear with an outfit my advice is select something simple, stay away from anything too trendy. So often I see a woman in a great outfit but with terrible shoes.

THE LAST TIME YOU WERE STARSTRUCK?
At the Oscars, everyone was there from Nicole Kidman to Madonna.

BIGGEST FASHION FAUX PAS?
A corduroy flared suit

Brian Atwood with this brother Zak Stemer

Brian Atwood with his brother Zak Stemer

LAST TIME SOMEONE MADE YOU LAUGH?
Last night on the phone with my brother Zak (Stemer).

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR ICONIC MANIAC SHOE?
Maniacs were inspired by the movie Flash Dance, I remember I was at Kate Hudson’s Halloween party. Brad Goreski was dressed as Jennifer Beals and said: “You should do a red pump called a Maniac.” And I said, “You know, that’s a good idea!”

maniacs2.jpg

Maniac Shoe

LAST CONCERT YOU WENT TO?
JLo in Dubai

YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?
Tequila on the rocks with a lime

WHAT’S ON THE LIST DO LIST WHILE YOU ARE HERE IN CHICAGO?
The Wieners Circle with my brother.

Brian Atwood In-conversation with Susanna Homan, editor and chief of Chicago magazine

In-conversation with Susanna Homan, editor and chief of Chicago magazine

Event photos by Mila Samokhina

FASHION CONFESSIONS: Angela Missoni, Missoni Creative Director

Angela Missoni's fashion confessions

This year sees the 20th anniversary of Angela Missoni as creative director of the Italian fashion house, Missoni. Started in the 50s by her parents, Missoni's colorful zigzag knits have become as iconic as Chanel's camellia. Angela has grown the family business into an empire with the expansion of 25 sub-lines, (M by Missoni and Missoni Home) plus several successful collaborations (Converse, Havaianas and of course Target). As she celebrates her anniversary at the helm, I caught up with her at Neiman Marcus- a fitting location as Missoni has been sold at the department store since the early 70s, longer than any other brand! Angela reveals to me her fashion confessions.

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
I’m a very lucky person; I have an amazing job. It may be more than what you think because I’m not only a designer I own the company. So my job is 360 degrees. And I’m a natural fixer and a problem solver, right, so I love to solve problems.

But on the creative side, it's the moment when the collection comes together when you have defined the look, and put on the show and see it all come together, that’s the most exciting.

CELEBRITY CRUSH GROWING UP?
Robert Redford

FAVORITE FILM?
I love fantasy, so I have to say the Fellini movies.

LAST TIME YOU DANCED?
Last week I had a party in LA for my 20th Anniversary.

WHAT’S YOUR DRINK OF CHOICE?
Negroni Sbagliato also known as The Wrong Negroni.

FAVORITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
I love the seaside, but I love a place that can surprise me. I’m very curious person, so I to see and I need to discover, so I like to go to discover new places.

LAST BOOK YOU READ?
School of Awake by Kidada Jones

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE ANYONE HAS EVER GIVEN YOU?
In fashion, always wear something you feel comfortable because no matter the dress if you don’t you are always adjusting yourself and that is the most unsexy and unflattering thing to do.

And in life, it’s something no young person would listen, there are so many things which are irrelevant, and it’s not worth the stress. So my advice would be don’t sweat the small stuff.

FASHION CONFESSIONS: Betsey Johnson, Designer

Betsy Johnson at Macy's on State Street

You might know Betsey Johnson for her crazy hair or legendary cartwheels she does after her runway shows. However this 73 has been in the fashion industry for over 50 years and has seen it all and done it all. During her recent visit to Macy’s, State Street store, I sat down with briefly Johnson to talk about her extraordinary life.

WHAT’S YOUR FASHION ADDICTION?
I don’t shop! I’m addicted to going out by myself, sitting, relaxing, looking around. I realized I love to people watch.

AFTER LIVING IN NY FOR OVER 50 YEARS YOUR NOW IN CALIFORNIA, HOW’S THAT BEEN?
Ten months ago I became bicoastal. Oh, my god, I can’t believe it’s been that long, I feel like it’s been two weeks! Malibu is just beautiful. My daughter, her husband and their two kids were out there and asked me to come. However if they ever said move to LA, I would never go. I know LA well, and I just didn’t want another version of NY. And you can create craziness if you want to when you are there.

Isla two-piece platform sandals, $79.99, by Betsey Johnson available at Macy's

WHO’S YOUR STYLE ICON?
I look to music industry I love everyone from Madonna to Pharrell. Gwen Stefani is looking great and a young Keith Richards.

LAST TIME YOU WERE STARSTRUCK?
I won the lifetime achievement award last year from Council of Fashion Design of America and Pharrell won style icon. I and especially my family were excited to me Pharrell. I love watching The Voice.

Betsy Johnson with Pharrell at CFDA

Pharrell and Betsey Johnson

WHO HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO MEET BUT NEVER HAVE?
Daniel Craig. Remember him in Casino Royal when he comes out of the water? I also love his wife, Rachel Weisz.

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Nothing…I’d like to live longer!

WHO’S YOUR CELEB CRUSH GROWING UP?
Elvis

Betsy Johnson at Macy's on State Street with Fashion Junkie Jessica Moazami

FASHION CONFESSIONS: LOUISE ROE TV Host and Fashion Journalist

You might have seen her doing red carpet interviews for ‘Access Hollywood’ or maybe it was hosting NBC’s competition show, ‘Fashion Star’ or it could’ve been on MTVs ‘The City’ or ‘Plain Jane’. This British born LA transport, Louise Roe, has certainly made a name for herself stateside. Along with her numerous TV work she also contributes to style magazines (People StyleWatch and Luxdeco Interiors magazine) and has a style blog, Front Roe, which she’s just turned into her first book by the same name. I caught up with Louise at Westfield Old Orchard’s Fash Bash to discuss London, LA and of course fashion.

TV host and fashion journalist, Louise Roe, dishes LA, London and Fashion at the Westfiield Old Orchasrd Fash Bash

WHAT’S YOUR FASHION ADDICTION?

Shoes, I’m a shoe girl and it’s funny because I was always just into heels, I mean I’m 5’9” I didn’t’ care if they made me 6’4” but now I love flats as well. I’m just addicted to shoes I’ve got a problem!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN LA?

The weather hands down. It gets a bad rap as a city but I’ve met some of the kindest most motivated, interesting people there as well. You know there are great people who live there, as well as not so wonderful.

WHAT’S WAS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN LONDON?

You’ve lived there so you know that it’s so like NY in a very different sense. There is an energy and soul to that city that you can not replace or copy anywhere. It’s like alive and I think that’s to do with the history and culture and also the people.

WHAT DO YOU MISS ABOUT LONDON?

The British sense of humor, it’s so awesome. I miss that sense of humor being in LA.

YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH GROWING UP?

Joey McIntyre from New Kids on The Block

WHO’S THE NICEST STAR ON THE RED CARPET?

That’s a great question. Most people actually. Heidi Klum is a pleasure to speak to. George Clooney is so polite and so clever. Michael Douglas remembered my name after I’d only interviewed him once! I think the bigger the star the more manners, in my experience. They are like the real deal.

THE CELEBRITY YOUR ALWAYS MOST EXCITED TO SEE ON THE RED CARPET?

The ones that take the risks like Diane Kruger. It’s not necessarily like the biggest star, it’s the one who always does something interesting. That being said when you see J Lo in real life. She is jaw droppingly flawless and stunning so she’s always amazing to see in the flesh.

WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO INTERVIEW THAT YOU HAVEN’T YET?

I get really excited about the people behind the scenes like the designers and to be really honest most of them I have interviewed but if I could bring him back, Yves Saint Laurent would be amazing. I’ve been lucky enough to interview Giorgio Armani, Karl Largerfeld and Valentino. Those people actually intrigue me and inspire me even more than the talent in front of the camera.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LONDON AND LA FASHION?

The weather actually changes things because you’re looking for brighter colors and lighter weight maxi dresses or cute little cut off shorts, it’s very casual there [LA]. So I often wonder if London would be like that if it had the weather and it probably would change it but there’s definitely a more grungy vibe in London. You know chipped nail varnish, a biker jacket and flat boots, the girls are a lot more edgy but for me I’m not really that girl, I prefer the LA vibe.

ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?

I got bitten on the foot by a shark in the Maldives.

LAST TIME YOU WERE DRUNK?

Probably with my friend Greg at the weekend, we went to a party with friends visiting from London, it was lots of fun.

TV host and fashion journalist, Louise Roe, interviewed by Jessica Moazami aka Fashion Junkie  at the Westfiield Old Orchasrd Fash Bash for fashion blog

Louise Roe’s book, Front Roe, is now available on Amazon.

Louise Roe's book Front Roe available on Amazon

Photos by Your Trendy magazine to see more from the event click here.

FASHION CONFESSIONS: Christian Siriano, Fashion Designer

Fashion Junkie, Jessica Moazami interviews fashion designer Christian Siriano

One of the most talented winners of Project Runway, Christian Siriano, has been busy growing his empire these last six years. Launching his clothing line in 2008, then in 2012 opening his first store in Manhattan and now debuting his first fragrance, Silhouette. I had the pleasure of chatting to Siriano about this exciting time in his life.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FRAGRANCE AND WHY YOU DECIDED TO LAUNCH IT?
I love the idea of a brand having a signature fragrance. That’s why we named it Silhouette you know it was the idea that we could always celebrate a women’s Silhouette, you know any age, any size, can wear this fragrance. So that was the kind of feeling.

Christian Siriano new fragrance silhouette

WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR FALL/WINTER COLLECTION?
The collection, in stores now was inspired by Lisa Fonssagrives, she was married to Irving Penn and another photographer Fernand Fonssagrives. She was the muse of the season. And I wanted to capture her in the late 1950s, early 60s in Paris. So it’s kind of like the vision of her lifestyle but captured from their photographs, so that was the idea.

Fashion Junkie, Jessica Moazami interviews fashion designer Christian Siriano

WOULD YOU SAY WINNING PROJECT RUNWAY HAS HELPED OR HURT YOUR CAREER?
It’s always the good and the bad. Some things are great, and some things aren’t so great. Eight years ago I was on the show, and it was a lot of work but now to be honest we have a great store in NY, and we sell to retailers around the world. We’re running a pretty big business now, so it’s kind of great. So I think it all worked out but it doesn’t work out like that for everybody. You know it’s a tough, tough business you got to really work at it.

YOU’VE DRESSED SO MANY CELEBRITIES FOR THE RED CARPET INCLUDING SJP, LADY GAGA AND VICTORIA BECKHAM WHO'S STILL ON YOUR WISH LIST?
I’m a big fan of Drew Barrymore, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore…I love older iconic actress that have been in great films and dress amazing on the [red] carpet.

AND LASTLY WHAT’S YOU FASHION ADDICTION?
I like cool bags and shoes that are kind of special.

Silhouette is available at ChristianSirianoFragrances.com

Photographs by Kristyna Archer and photographs of the parfum by Kirsten Miccoli.

FASHION CONFESSIONS: Sophia Bush, Actress

One Tree Hill Sophia Bush at Coach's launch party.

For 9 years she played Brook Davis, a fashion designer on CW’s popular teen show, One Tree Hill. Sophia’s now swapped her designer shoes and handbags for a gun and badge as she joins the cast of NBC's Chicago Fire spin-off, Chicago PD. I met Sophia at the Coach’s launch party for their new holiday collection –which by the way is amazing (more to come in another post) –where we chatted about what else? Fashion!

WHAT’S YOUR FASHION ADDICTION?
Oh god…it’s not any one thing for me. It’s across the board. I have a purse problem. I have a shoe problem; I have a fashion problem! But I also feel like, particularly in my business, it’s by far the best addiction for a young woman to have, so I’ll take it.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
Eclectic! One of the things I love about fashion is if you feel like being incredibly polished one night and then dressing in menswear the next day and putting on a very 50s inspired dress the night after that you can. You are allowed to be whoever you feel like being in a moment. I think fashion does that for women in a way that not many things do.

WHAT’S THE MOST PRIZED POSSESSION IN YOUR CLOSET?
I honestly don’t know.

Large leopard print clutch worn by One Tree Hill's star Sophia Bush

GET THE LOOK Large leopard print clutch, $798, by Coach.

YOU FEEL MOST BEAUTIFUL WHEN?
I feel beautiful when I’m happy. When I have a particularly fulfilling day at work. Or when something incredible has happened with one of the nonprofits I work with. When I’m reminded how small I am on this planet and how big the world is it makes me feel fortunate, and that makes me feel beautiful.

WHO’S YOUR STYLE ICON?
In my peer group I think Kate Bosworth is absolutely flawless. The VP at Rachel Zoe, Mandana (Dayani), is one of the coolest girls I know, and just anytime she shows up anywhere she is jaw droppingly chic and cool. Then there’s women like Cate Blanchett and Charlize Theron who I just think are all stars at the fashion game.

WHICH DESIGNERS DO YOU WORSHIP?
Francis Costa at Calvin Klein just kills it. Then I love more whimsical edgy fashion as well. Helmut Lang…his menswear inspired pieces. Alexander Wang for his crazy sort of athletic glam visionary. And Phillip Lim is always on top of my list, and I find I’m really living in LNA they make the worlds best t-shirts. A.L.C. is hands down one of my favorite lines.

ONE THING YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
My dogs, I couldn’t do it.

Photos by Barry Brecheisen

FASHION CONFESSIONS: Robert Rodriguez, Fashion Designer

FASHION CONFESSIONS with fashion designer ROBERT RODRIGUEZ

I sat down with the talented designer, Robert Rodriguez, on the eve of his 10th year anniversary party at Neiman Marcus to ask the really important questions in life.

WHAT’S YOUR FASHION ADDICTION?
Shoes!!! I love shoes I actually have a love affair with shoes. I will buy shoes before I buy anything else. I have roughly over 50-60 pairs in my closet. I can wear just a simple pair of jeans and a white T-shirt everyday but I have to wear a fabulous pair of shoes. And that’s me.

fashion designer ROBERT RODRIGUEZ's Fall/Winter 13 collection

Autumn/Winter ’13 Collection

WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU MADE TO THE BRAND FOR YOUR 10TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY?
After 10 years we wanted to give it a face-lift. We’ve revamped the collection, taken it into a fresh direction. We’ve also launched a new logo and built a new showroom in NY –it looks like a spaceship very futuristic and very cool. We’re all just so excited about it.

WHO’S THE ROBERT RODRIGUEZ GIRL?
She’s a lot of things. You know she’s a downtown girl and uptown girl, she’s strong, she’s confident and fashion forward. Loves fashion and a hip girl who loves fashion.

YOU HAVE DRESSED SO MANY STYLISH WOMEN INCLUDING AGNELINA JOLIE, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, NICOLE KIDMAN WHO’S BEEN YOUR FAV TO DRESS?
I love all of them but Eva Longoria stands out for me. I did a black dress for her and she was really sexy in it.

Eva Longoria in a ROBERT RODRIGUEZ dress

Eva Longoria

WHAT’S THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS SEASON’S COLLECTION?
Fall/winter collection was inspired by glam punk. I wanted to reference the late 70s and early 80s but show how a girl would wear it today. So I didn’t want it to be literal and I didn’t want it to be obvious. I played around a lot with Debbie Harry’s look. That was my muse.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN LA?
LA is very inspiring for me as a New Yorker. The lovely weather, beautiful nature and architecture are all very inspiring. There is also a very eclectic feel and lots of amazing street fashion, which I love.

fashion designer ROBERT RODRIGUEZ's Fall/Winter 13 collection

Autumn/Winter ’13 Collection

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
I’m very simple, t-shirt, pair of jeans, great shoes and a watch –no other jewelry. It’s understated elegance!

WHAT’S THE MOST PRIZED POSSESSION IN YOUR CLOSET?
A deep red vintage leather motorcycle jacket that I won’t ever give up. I normally don’t wear color so I treasure this piece and I know I won’t ever find something like this again.

HOW ARE YOU PLANNING ON CELEBRATING YOUR 10th YEAR ANNIVERSARY?
We’re party hopping! We had a big launch party in Toronto two weeks ago. Tonight we’re celebrating with Neiman Marcus as part of their new store renovation and launch of the CUSP boutique, which is really cool. Then Off to LA for fashion week and then to South Beach Miami for an event at Art Basel.