Oscar de la Renta: A True Lady’s Man

New York Fashion Week wraps up tonight, and with it goes our American Designer series. Last but not least, we present to you Oscar de la Renta. Although from the Dominican Republic, he is considered an American designer, a fact that no stylish woman could deny. 

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Oscar de la Renta may not have invented elegance, but he did help define it. For fifty years the designer has been outfitting the world’s elite, from celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker to stateswomen like Hillary Clinton with his poised and polish pieces, be they silk organza skirts, finely laced boleros or luxuriously rich evening gowns.

What else would you expect from a man who was taught by Cristóbal Balenciaga and has designed for such prestigious fashion houses as Lanvin and Balmain? In fact, he was the first Dominican designer to have designed for a French couture house under Balmain, a task he undertook throughout the 90s while still at the helm of his own namesake house. The scope of de la Renta’s brand has expanded to include ready-to-wear, bridal, children’s, home decor, fragrances, beauty and, of course, couture. Currently his impact on the fashion industry is being celebrated at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, in an exhibit titled Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style. Judging by how timeless his pieces are, we deem he’ll be designing for five decades more.

Tina wears an Oscar de la Renta cropped sweater with a Laura Biagiotti knitted faux pony hair skirt and silver Casadei sandals with a black and white print insole and a white heel.

The Misadventures of Tao & Lola: #NYFW Edition!

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New York Fashion Week is coming to an end and Tao & Lola have had a ball in the Big Apple! Jetting to New York (because fashion should always get you out of school) the pair sat front row at their favorite designers’  shows and, of course, attended lots of A-list after parties. One point that remained with the duo as they flitted from show to show, was the ever evolving eye of the American designer. One of their personal favorites? Ralph Lauren! From his classic, sporty aesthetic to his love of Western regalia, he truly creates special pieces for all walks of life.

Born Ralph Lifshitz to Jewish parents in the Bronx, he decided to change his name at the tender age of 16. He told Oprah, “When I was a kid, the other kids would make a lot of fun of me. It was a tough name. That’s why I decided to change it.” The name he chose will forever be synonymous with American style. In 1967, Lauren began designing men’s neckties, branding them under the name “Polo” and selling them at large department stores, including Bloomingdale’s. Lauren then expanded his designs to a full menswear line. Just three years later, in 1970, Lauren was awarded the Coty Award for his menswear designs. Following this recognition, he released a line of women’s suits tailored in a classic men’s style. In 1972, Lauren released a short-sleeve cotton shirt in 24 colors. This design, emblazoned with the Polo logo, became the brand’s signature look- Source. The rest, as they say, is history.

Stop into C.Mad’s to shop our collection of classic Americana from Native American turquoise to iconic Ralph Lauren pieces!

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Betsey Johnson Made The Princess Meet The Punk

With New York Fashion Week nearly halfway under wraps, our vintage pieces from Betsey Johnson will keep our American designer spotlight cartwheeling for a long, long time. 

betsychairA dress by Betsey Johnson is not for the subtle of style. Everything she puts her cherry-hued fingernails on is a perfect mix of punk and princess, from starkly striped tees to tufted and tulle-filled skirts. Her ability to stay young supersedes her; at 72, the woman can still cartwheel into a split.

She’s come a long way since her youthquake days back in the 60s, when models like Twiggy and Edie Sedgwick ruled magazine covers and Andy Warhol ruled the scene. She’s one of the fashion designers who’s credited with creating the fashion of the movement and to be honest, her style has never really lost its youthful edge either. Her threads are for the types of girls who don’t take life too seriously, and demand attention wherever they go with a wardrobe as wild as their personalities. Then again, it seems the designer doesn’t stray too far from who she’s designing for.

Tina wears a 1980s Betsey Johnson cotton dress with Stella McCartney patent leather, stacked heel boots. Both available in store. Call (305) 945-7770. 

Zac Posen: Strong, Feminine Designs

 

As New York Fashion Week rolls on, one of the younger couture designers, Zac Posen, strikes a chord with the C.Madeleine’s crew.

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Zac Posen designs for the modern, feminine, strong willed woman. His sharp tailoring mixes with immaculate design and a true love for dressing women to the nines combine to create pieces that have been coveted by the fashion world even before he graduated college or had his first show! Barely 20 years old, a dress he made for Naomi Campbell changed hands from the super model to may an A-list actress, quickly building a buzz for the young manhattanite. Posen’s work has gained respect for its increasingly streamlined aesthetic of forties-inflected tailoring, mermaid-esque gowns, and itty-bitty cocktail frocks. -Source.

Posen continues to turn heads with his amazing gowns that seem to be permanently glued to red carpets everywhere. Celebrities flock to him, with his client list ranging from Kate Winslet to Beyoncé. “It’s very strong women [who wear my line],” Posen said of his customers, “extremely confident and self-assured and powered [women].”- Source.

Tina is styled in a deep green Zac posen peplum cropped jacket, Helmut Lang leather skinny pants and classic black Louboutin patent leather pumps. All pieces are available in store. 

 

Donna Karan: The Queen Of Seventh Avenue

New York Fashion Week is upon us- embrace Donna Karan’s unflinching ease with vintage pieces from C.Madeleine’s!

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Donna Karan, known as DK to some, has had her hand in womenswear since the 1970s when she worked for (and quickly moved up the ranks to head designer at) Anne Klein. After over 10 years at the helm, Karan started her own namesake line focusing on easy pieces that flow together in multiple ways. A true New Yorker, she understood completely the value of quick paced yet chic dressing in the city that never sleeps and beyond.

Years later in 1988, Karan created DKNY which which she has called the “pizza to Collection’s caviar.” Focusing on lower price points, the DKNY empire grew into denim and menswear lines that are still synonymous with street-chic today.

Tina is styled in two quintessential Donna Karan looks: The Donna Karan mustard yellow wool coat and pencil skirt set is paired perfectly with a mock-turtleneck Kenzo knit top and brown leather booties. A flowy, ruched midnight blue silk dress is belted by a golden DKNY leather belt and Giuseppe Zanotti bronze heels. All pieces are available in store. 

Vera Wang: Classic American Couture

Continuing our American designer series for #NYFW, our next spotlight is on Vera Wang.

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Few designers have been so widely coveted by TV shows, movies, and A-list celebrities as Vera Wang. The Chinese American New York City native has designed countless wedding gowns for everyone from Chelsea Clinton to Jennifer Lopez and managed to stay on the lips of basically every main character on Sex And The City in between it all. Transitioning from figure skating (she started at the tender age of 8) to creating sparkling skating outfits seemed only natural for this highly intelligent designer.

Continuing to elevate her passion for design, she eventually won the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2005. Vera Wang incorporates pure fantasy into her Bridal collections, as well as her couture and ready to wear, providing each and every woman something truly special. Timeless and classic with a whimsical edge, she has been a pop culture favorite for decades. Her roots firmly planted in fashion (she was the Fashion Editor for Vogue in the 1970s before working with Ralph Lauren), she continues to grow her brand and create pieces for the quintessential American woman. 

Tina wears a black chiffon sleeveless gown adorned with all over beading and a delicate, modest train. This gown is available in store.

Diane Von Furstenberg: A Picture of The American Woman

New York Fashion Week has arrived, and with it a legion of American Designers who are all worth a mention. First on our list is the iconic Diane Von Furstenberg!

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When you talk about American Fashion designers, more so, when you talk about women of this century, you have to mention Diane von Furstenberg. This princess (yes, at one point she donned a crown) turned fashion designer has done as much for the way modern women wear clothing with her liberating jersey wrap dress in 1970 as Coco Chanel did at the turn of the century when she introduced the concept of casual chic to corset-bearing women everywhere.

While her famed dress has a legion of fans around the world (she has stores in 55 countries), the designer often cites her love/hate affair with the hourglass making, toss-it-on style. “She paid for all my bills…” she said to LA Weekly, “but sometimes I ever resented the wrap dress because whenever my name is there, it’s always ‘Diane von Furstenberg, the wrap dress’ and I always say ‘but I do other things too.'” That, she most certainly does. This, the 40th Anniversary of DVF, has been a big one. The designer celebrated with her much buzzed about “Journey of a Dress” exhibit in L.A., continues to lead the CFDA as president and, as of this year, Forbes listed her as the 68th most powerful woman in the world

Tina wears two iconic Americana looks. The 1970s DVF two piece graphic set is paired with nude YSL heels to let the outfit do all the talking. The green DVF horseshoe print dress is styled with black and tan leather cowboy boots. All pieces available in store. 

Happy Bey Day Beyoncé!

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Today we’re wishing the Queen B a very happy 33rd birthday! The ultra talented performer sure knows how to rock vintage style. Check out her video for “Countdown”, inspired by fashion icon Audrey Hepburn, below. Don’t forget to stop by C.Mad’s and shop our fantastic 1960s finds!

The Misadventures of Tao & Lola: Labor Day Weekend Style

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Leave it to these two to squeeze one last pool day into Summer! On the final Sunday before Labor Day Tao and Lola grabbed their college-mate Tina and broke out the kiddie pool (the dogs aren’t much for the beach.) Tina showed up dressed to the nines in a halter top and mini skirt set by Pucci, a sequined Prada carryall, and a wide brimmed purple straw hat. Never the ones to be outdone, the doggies donned chic sun visors and Tao’s signature sunglasses have morphed into very apropos swimming goggles. Lola may be destined to wear white after Labor Day, but some fashion rules seem to bend for this stylish pair.


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The Misadventures of Tao & Lola: Back To School

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Tao and Lola definitely enjoyed their summer. From ritzy dinners to last minute vacations across the globe, these two really took advantage of the long, sunny days and hot, sultry nights. But September is just around the corner and it’s about time these two went back to school- college, to be exact. No stranger to private schools, the duo are especially excited for the style freedom of higher education.While Lola’s got her mind set on showing off all her new clothes, Tao is not so excited for his advanced trigonometry and economics classes. At least they’ve already got the perfect study buddy for Fashion 101 (as if they needed a lesson in style). The trendy trio strolled into orientation class like the coolest of the cool kids while their peers could only take notes.

Tao is wearing a vintage cravat- a decidedly more mature look than he’s been donning these last weeks. Lola looked fab in matching black bows and an extra fluffy coat. Tina is styled in a Clueless-esque bell sleeve white button down shirt, 1980s pleated plaid skirt, white knee socks and vintage Chanel pumps. The ultimate back to school staple, however, is the Jean Paul Gaultier black leather backpack. The over the shoulder style is perfect for days spent in and out of school and is available in our Miami showroom.

 

 

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