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October 27, 2011 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-10-27

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The Three S's: Sexy, Stella and Saks

New Stella McCartney"Shop-in-Shop"debutes at luxe Troy department store.

By Lynne Konstantin

tella McCartney has more than
music running through her blood.
The daughter of Sir Paul and the
late Linda McCartney also has fashion
in her pedigree — her mother's father,
Max Joseph Lindner, owned a famous
women's clothing shop in Cleveland
(Max's wife was Stella's namesake).
Perhaps it's her lineage. Or, perhaps
it's a life having always been surround-
ed by rock-chic and hippy fashionistas,
including her mother's photography
subjects during her childhood in
London and the English countryside
(although it was intentionally not the
typical rock-star child's life) — mostly,
Stella McCartney has come about her
success as a highly regarded fashion
designer the old-fashioned way since
making her first jacket at age 13.
Before graduating from London's
Central Saint Martins College of Art
& Design in 1995, McCartney had
already apprenticed with Christian
Lacroix on Savile Row. After only two
collections post-grad, she was ap-
pointed the creative director of Chloe
in Paris, where her first collection of
lacy, petticoat skirts teamed with fine
tailoring was critically acclaimed. In
2001, she launched her own signature
line in a joint venture with Gucci Group
(now the PPR Luxury Group).
Since then, the Stella
McCartney brand has
grown into an online
presence, 15 free-
standing stores
and a number of
shop-in-shops. In
November, Saks
Fifth Avenue at
the Somerset
Collection in
Troy will roll


Top: Actress Katie Holmes wore
the contrast-lapel Orchid Jacket to a
premiere in New York City.

Right: A sunny, precision-cut blazer
and high-waisted skinny pants lead
Stella McCartney's Spring 2011
ready-to-wear collection.

Bottom: British actress Andrea
Riseborough promoted her upcom-
ing film, WE., at the Venice Film Fes-
tival in September in a dress from
McCartney's Resort 2012 collection

Left. Lattace Pump with Gold


J11.4 1

out its red carpet with a 500-square-foot
Stella McCartney shop-in-shop, similar to
the one launched last May at Saks'flagship
store in Manhattan along with four other
locations around the country.
Detroit's ladies will have up-close-and-
personal access to McCartney's ready-
to-wear collection and handbags. The
designer's pieces are edgy, sophisticated yet
playful, high-fashion designs in a signature
style that pairs sharp tailoring (often in
masculine, oversized dimensions), with sexy,
confident femininity. Fans include Gwyneth
Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Liv Tyler and Kate
Moss. But don't be fooled by her high-style
friends: What they often love most is that,
though the clothes are strikingly super-chic,
they are also supremely wearable. A
vegetarian like her mother, Mc-
Cartney's lines are also fur- and
In another collaboration
with her Gucci boss, Tom
Ford, McCartney designed
her own wedding gown,
which was an updated
version of her mother's
1969 wedding gown, for
her 2003 marriage to
Alasdhair Willis, former
publisher of Wallpa-
per magazine before
launching a creative
and brand consultancy,
Inspired by their own
children, now number-
ing four, McCartney
first debuted a kids'
line with Gap in 2009
before introducing Stella
McCartney Kids in 2010,
a line of whimsical, fash-
ion-forward miniature
versions of her ready-
to-wear pieces, which
are available online.
Stella McCartney
Shop-in-Shop at Saks
Fifth Avenue at the
Somerset Collection.
(248) 643-9000;
com .


Fashion Maven Takes the Frumpy Out of Frummy

The Room Downstairs is graduated to a Berkley storefront operation.

The Room Downstairs
2675 Coolidge Hwy.,
(248) 547-7900

By Bonnie Caprara


arcy Forta always had a casual and
neckline tops. 1116,
quirky flair for fashion.
Forta started
"I used to start different fashion
her boutique in
trends in school says Forta, 43, looking
the basement
part office-casual, part bohemian in a
of her Oak Park
slim black sweater with a gray ruffled
home in 2003,
faux scarf, paired with a tulip flared den-
opening it up
im skirt."And my mother's parents used
to customers
to own a clothing manufacturer, Madora
in the eve-
Sportswear, that supplied clothes for
nings and by
Winkelman's and Hudson's in the '50s
and '60s!"
which allowed
The racks in Forta's Berkley boutique,
her to work
The Room Downstairs, are filled with
and still stay at
modern and arty looks — lots of denim,
home with her
tunics, embellished tops and
jackets. A small section in
back of the store is devoted
to girls clothing that's as
savvy and sophisticated as
the adult counterparts. It
looks much like the bou-
tiques one would find along
Queen Street West in Toronto,
in New York City's Soho sec-
tion or on Melrose Avenue in
Los Angeles.
There is one thing you
won't find in The Room
Downstairs: Pants.
Forta caters to a relatively
small market of Orthodox
Jewish women — adhering
to guidelines for modest fe-
male dress, known as tznius:
skirts below the knee, sleeves
Owner Marcy Forta believes a
of sweaters and tops that go
modest look need not be muddled.
below the elbow, and high-

12 November 2011 I


seven children.
"It's always a
challenge to find
clothing that fits
our requirements
but is still fashion-
able," Forta says.
"I got the idea of
opening a store
during a trip to
Israel where there
are some great
stores, and I was
buying things
for myself, my
daughter and

In 2008, Forta opened the
storefront on Coolidge that car-
ries 1,600 skirts — from frilly and
flouncy florals to tailored looks for
the office, and casual cargo pocket
twill skirts — as well as extenders,
layering pieces that go underneath
shorter skirts and dresses.
Shells, which she loves to layer
under jackets, vests and sleeveless
tops, jumpers and tunics, are avail-
able in more colors than are in the
rainbow plus tie-dye and metallics.
"The shell industry has revolution-
ized the modest dress closet," Forta
says. "They make it possible to
wear anything you want and make
it modest!'
Most of the looks come from
Forta's personal taste that leans
towards fun and functional with a bit of
edginess and glamour.
"Tunics are very big this year, especial-
ly when they're paired with a belt,"she
says. "Denim is huge, too. Fashion should
be functional. You still have places to go
and errands to run."
While the Coolidge storefront keeps
Forta close to her Orthodox clientele, The
Room Downstairs is also positioned as
a trendy boutique for fashion's avant-
garde fans.
"I see Berkley as an up-and-coming
area for fashion and boutiques," Forta
says. "On this street alone, I have seen
five or six stores that have come in dur-
ing the time I have been here, so there's

There Insurance
ain t ,ownsizing?


It can happen to anyone, eN,
Nit what can you do aborit\i

By Allan Naliajewski



The rumor mill is buzzing. A downsizing is
coming. You've got a sinking feeling in the
pit or your stomach. You feel powerless.
You're losing sleep. What can you do?
Plenty. Here's a checklist:
1. Stop worrying. Worry accomplishes
nothing. And what's worse, it shows on your
face. Your sense of impending doom is a self-
fulfilling prophesy. Your vibe will be picked
up. Removing that vibe from the office will
become one more reason for you to be on the
downsizing list.
2. Resist the urge to be invisible.You may
think about wanting to stay under the radar
during troubled times. If they don't notice
me, maybe they won't eliminate me. Wrong
strategy. Better to provide a good reason to be
3. Be part of the solution. Downsizing can
create anger among survivors. You're already
overworked, and now even more will be piled
on you. Don't think that way. If you want to
keep working there, this is the time to volun-
teer to do more. Or even better, identify oppor-
tunities to eliminate the work that creates the
least value. Downsizing is a response to crisis,
and crises need heroes. Be one.
4. Join crossfunctional teams.This is a time to
broaden your base and your perspective. Who
knows? Your expertise may have value beyond
your own department. And other departments
may not be targeted during the downsizing.
5. Be willing to relocate.This is difficult for
some, impossible for others. But especially in
large companies, a willingness to move to areas
of need could make the difference in staying
6. Develop new skills.There's no better
time to stay in the learning mode. Are there
additional computer skills you can pick up?
How are your presentation skills? Downsizing
is an opportunity for companies to get rid of
employees who just seem to be going along
for the ride. Your commitment to improvement
shows management you're not dead weight.
In the meantime, you're making yourself more
marketable. Plus, it's harder to worry when
you're growing and getting better.
7. Build your network. Belong to profesional
organizations. Attend networking events. Make
it a goal to get to know as many people in your
line of business as you can.This makes more
sense than ever. More often than not, people
hire people they know. It's human nature. So
why not have that work in your favor?
8. Be a team player. The workworld is
competitive, and while survival strategies may
seem to be about protecting your interests
first, the real advantage belongs to team play-
ers.They are the grease in a well-oiled machine.
They make workplaces work well. Managers
know that. The employee who places the team
first is the one that managers want to keep.
9. Make yourself valuable.Talk to your
boss and other company leaders. What is the
company's greatest area of need? Does the
organization need to reinvent itself to survive
in a changed world? Can you be a part of that
reinvention? Can you offer a critical skill that
can help the company generate new revenue?
10. Stay positive.This can be tough when the
buzz about downsizing dominates discussions
in the hallways and lunchroom. Have faith. All
you can do is all you can do. If you have what
it takes to maintain a positive mindset during
trying times, you will be seen as a leader. [27


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