Jessica Della Femina: From Riches To Rags To Rehab?

We just received in the mail a 23 page 4 color press kit from the latest fashion “design prodigy” Jessie Della Femina. Mother Judy Licht of Metro TV’s Full Frontal Fashion and father ad man Jerry Della Femina appear anxious for their 16 year old daughter to keep up with the likes of Richie Rich, Paris and Nicky Hilton. They are pulling out all the stops to buy their daughter fame and fortune as a fashion designer. Her parents are giving new meaning to the old adage that for the rich and their children “more is never enough”.

In the press kit there are press clips from WWD, The New York Times Sunday Style Section. Self Magazine, Cosmo Girl, Gotham, The Daily News among others all singing the praises of this 16 year old “child genius”. Our favorite quote is from an article in Forbes by Melanie Wells who said “pushing aside, in the women’s departments, some well known designers such as Helmut Lang and Versace to make way for up-and-comers like…16 year old Jessie Della Femina (daughter of the ad man).

Sure, we can just bet Lang & Versace are shaking in their boots! After all “Jesse is a full time student at the academically challenged Spence School in Manhattan where she is on the basketball team and acts as features editor of its newspaper. And last summer she had an editorial internship at Gotham Magazine and worked as a camp counselor” (Did she do both at the same time?). What more work experience does a girl need? I bet Jessie can even whistle and chew gum at the same time.

Maybe we are just hopeless idealists. But we think it would be far more impressive if Jessie had planned on joining the Peace Corp for a couple of years or worked part time for Save the Children. What ever happened to the “noble obligation”. Her parents are selling their daughter – however willingly – as so much soap. Making their daughter a metaphor for their own lives. It is so disgusting. At least that is our opinion anyway!

Vintage Collector’s Heaven: Vicki Haberman

I paid a visit to Vicki Haberman, one of my favorite vintage dealers, who I had already mentioned, is hosting a ‘home show’ at her lovely Park Avenue apartment. A well known ‘fixture’ on the New York vintage scene, she has been in business for just a year and a half. Vicki has a terrific eye, and great taste, claiming to specialize in “elegant” 60’s and 70’s clothing, handbags, costume jewelry and accessories, to which I can attest. I always find something I want, and my recent stop was no exception. Among her accessories were many Chanel items, including a charm bracelet…and we all know how ‘in’ charm bracelets are these days. But the charm bracelet I really adored was a chunky Isabel Canovas from Paris…at $625 it is a ‘forever’ collectible.

I also loved her 60’s oversized flower pin ($225), a French green feather, glass bead, and metallic fantasy necklace ($325), as well as two fabulous unsigned French pieces that can literally light up a room all by themselves: a chunky necklace ($400), and a large half moon pin ($275).

Vicki has a large selection of dresses, suits, and coats, many bearing designer labels (Bill Blass, Yves St. Laurent, Pucci, Calvin Klein, etc.) but it is her coats that really stand out (I, like Vicki, am a coat person, a true believer that great coats are one of the most important wardrobe necessities. Among her day and evening coats that are modern, chic, and timeless, are a red wool Calvin Klein fitted coat from the 60’s, an unlabeled tan cotton back belted pea jacket with gold dome buttons that looks like something that could have stepped off a Marc Jacobs runway, and a green/purple/white plaid Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner from the 60’s. The color and great shape are fantastic! But perhaps my favorite piece, is the one of a kind Miss Dior dark green feather jacket (circa 1967). This is truly the kind of item that would always be a welcome addition to your closet, and though the price tag is hefty ($3000), it is one of those great pieces that you would have and enjoy forever (I would throw it over jeans or an evening dress)

The sale runs through Friday, May 24th, though Vicki said she may extend it if need be. You can call her to schedule an appointment at 212-452-0787



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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