Saturday, January 8, 2011

What’s With the UK’s Fascination With Olivia Palermo?

Yesterday the UK’s Daily Mail posted one of their standard non-stories about a celebrity, built up around some photos. It secured the top spot on the paper’s website, so you’d assume the celeb story was about an A-lister. Not so. Olivia Palermo of all people, in her bikini with her boyfriend, had garnered the lead story spot. “Far away from The City: Reality TV star Olivia Palermo puckers up with model boyfriend as she shows off bikini in St Barts,” the headline blared.
Across the pond, Palermo seems to have become more of a celebrity than she is back here. She’s been a fixture for several seasons now at London Fashion Week, sitting front row at Topshop Unique and Richard Nicoll, she snagged the cover of Tatler which ran with the headline “Girl of the Year,” she was one of Vogue UK’s “Today I’m Wearing” style diary girls, and was the face of Freda for Matches, the upscale UK boutique chain.
So why all the fuss? “Most press over here first met her when she was the face of Freda for Matches at LFW in February 2010,” says Sasha Wilkins, a British fashion editor who pens the blog Liberty London Girl. “She was utterly charming, pretty and had great manners…and we all love Jo Sykes, Freda, and Matches so she was launched over here in good company.”
To be fair, even when Olivia was being all underminder-y on the City, her manners were always in check. She was never loud or brassy or outright rude.
In fact, well-mannered is exactly how Matches’ site describes her (with just a smidge more adoration), “The uptown girl became a style icon when she stole the show in MTV’s The City, a glossy depiction of the lives and loves of a set of well-dressed twenty-something-year-olds in New York. She’s sweetly charming with impeccable manners – not to mention heartmeltingly beautiful – with style to match.” Not a peep about how Palermo came off pretty bitchy and villainous on the reality show.
Wilkins explains, “Of course no one in the UK knows about that whole socialite letter controversy from a few years back that first had her hitting Manhattan headlines, so she has no bad history over here at all. Also relatively few people have actually seen The City so they only know her from event photos, where she only ever looks pretty, demure, smiley, and neatly dressed.”
In short, she’s endeared herself to the Brits. “Basically, the English press adore Americans who give London the time of day. They think it adds a frisson of glamour,” explains Wilkins. “I think a lot of British people love to loathe Americans–thinking them brash, bold and fake but Olivia comes across as a pretty and well dressed almost English girl when she is over here, and that gives her novelty value too.”

Click here to see Olivia's spread in Tatler magazine
Click here to see Olivia in Vogue UK’s “Today I’m Wearing” Series
Click here and here to see Olivia in the Freda for Matches campaign
credit -
~Kelli at Hills Freak

Whitney Port Dishes On Her Personal Aesthetic And Her Three Fave Stores

Spotted: Whitney Port out in Beverly Hills on January 7, 2011.
Here is an excerpt from an interview Whitney recently did with The NYLA Report.
What design influences have contributed to this personal aesthetic and your ideas for designing?
Well, influences…I really grew up in the fashion industry. My dad had been working in the apparel industry for forever, and my mom is an artist and art teacher, so I think the mix of those two definitely had a major influence on me becoming a fashion designer.
So what exactly did your dad do in the fashion industry?
He was always in manufacturing. He bought licenses, like Strawberry Shortcake and Carebears, and then printed them on simple t-shirts and lounge wear.
You’ve shown your WhitneyEve Collection at New York Fashion Week before – can we possibly look forward to seeing you in February for Fall/Winter 2011?
As of right now, I’m not scheduled to show my line in February. But I am looking at presenting at some other shows coming, like Coterie and Projects in Las Vegas.
When you have time to shop, what are you favorite stores to hit up?
I love Opening Ceremony, I love Scout. I love….hmmm, that’s a good question [laughs]…I love this store called The Reformation here in Los Angeles. I think those would by my three favorites.
What is your favorite item you have in your closet at home?
Right now my favorite items are these Camilla Skovgaard ankle boots that I just wear with everything. I’m like over-wearing them right now [laughs].
Can you offer any little bit of advice for people looking to enter the fashion industry?
Yeah! The key is to start early, and to intern at as many different places as possible to see what you like best. And obviously realize it is not as glamorous as it looks, and it is A LOT of hard work, and you really have to love it. But, remember, there is so much opportunity in fashion and you just have to start small and be patient.
Click here to read the full interview
credit - photos: tlfan, Interview:
~Kelli at Hills Freak

Lauren Conrad At The Young Hollywood Studios

Looking fab with with her new locks, Lauren Conrad paid a visit to the Young Hollywood Studio in Los Angeles, California on Friday (January 7).
Lauren joined fellow guest Oliver Trevena as the pair ended the week by tending to promotional efforts for
credit - gossip center, wire image
~Kelli at Hills Freak