Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Cat's Out of The Bag!

The summer season is over and work begins for the fashionista feline of the Persian persuasion! Mercedes Benz Fashion Week kicked off on September 8th with a resounding ROAR including my debut at Fashion's Night Out! My first stop was to Bergdorf Goodman - the crown jewel of specialty stores, where I met up with renowned couturier and pussycat lover, Vicky Tiel!

Vicky Tiel and Natasha Finkel
Fashion's Night Out - September 8, 2011
Bergdorf Goodman, 5th Floor
"It's All About The Dress" - Book Signing

Vicky Tiel, is a not just a designer, she's a ground breaking innovator and fashion icon! For pussycats in the know, she actually beat Mary Quant to the punch by prototyping the mini skirt with her partner, Mia Fonssagrives, a full season ahead of her in the Fall of 1963!

Mia Fonssagrives Mini Skirt Sketch
Fall 1964

Vicky has always followed her father's advice he gave her at the age of 17, "Don't have sex for shoes." Vicky knew from that time on that she would never depend on a Master to support herself and that she would have to make her own way in life! So after graduating from Parsons School of Design, she moved to Paris with her best friend Mia Fonssagrives, daughter of iconic and legendary fashion model, Lisa Fonssagrives, and took Paris by storm with their sexy lace bustiers, hot pants and something brand new, mini skirts - which had never been done before!

Vicky Tiel tells it like it is to Coco Chanel in Paris
Vicky meets Coco sketch by Vicky Tiel 1970

She is purrhaps the only American couturier and ready to wear designer to operate her own fashion design business in Paris and has done so much longer than her French contemporaries. Vicky owns a piece of prime real estate in the annals of fashion history. She is the longest surviving female designer in Paris!

Shortly after Vicky moved to Paris, she started designing costumes for Woody Allen's new film, "What's New Pussycat".

Mia and Vicky Pussycat jumpsuits on the set of "What's New Pussycat?"
Woody Allen, Capucine and Paula Prentiss

Did you also know that Ursula Andress rocked Vicky Tiel's cashmere alligator catsuit? It was the first of its kind to ever be worn as ready to wear!

Back to Fashion's Night Out and Fashion Week....Vicky Tiel was at Bergdorf Goodman to sign her newly published and highly acclaimed tell all memoir entitled, "It's All About The Dress" about 40 years in the fashion business and what she's learned in 40 years about men, women, sex and fashion!


It was Elizabeth Taylor that backed Vicky and Mia so they could open up their boutique in Paris. Mia left the business when she got married and Vicky opened up her eponymous shop on the Rue Bonaparte not long after.

Her love of Hollywood glamour and fashion clearly shows. She's dressed Hollywood icons including sex kittens Ursula Andress, Elizabeth Taylor, Goldie Hawn, Hallie Berry, Joan Collins, Jane Fonda and even Kim Kardashian!

Goddess Gowns by Vicky Tiel
Photographed by Barbara Bordnick 1986

If you want to look like a Goddess, visit the Vicky Tiel boutique at Bergdorf Goodman at 745 Fifth Avenue or at one of Neiman Marcus' many fabulous locations. If you want her vintage pieces, click here -- they are incredible! And if you want to read about Vicky Tiel's most amazing life, BUY HER BOOK here or don't walk, run to Barnes and Noble for one of the best reads out there!

More about Fashion's Night Out 2011 and Fashion Week later! See you at the shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week pussycats!

Monday, September 5, 2011

As the Fur Flies!

Hurricane Irene let out a resounding roar in the Hamptons devastating beaches, 300 year old trees and left many without electricity for days. Fortunately, my blow dryer was unaffected. I spent most of the weekend under the bed as her howls were pretty frightening to me and found myself over eating as a result.

As we all know, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is upon us and as a budding supermodel, maintaining my lean, mean, pussycat physique is all important for my career. Irene was rather unkind to my waistline as I feasted on carb laden pastas, chocolate, peach crumble pie....this list goes on endlessly! So I'm going on a crash diet of Slim-Fast and Catnip infused Master Cleanses so my body looks absolutely purrfect! I prefer the Rich Chocolate Royale flavor of Slim-Fast because it tastes just like Petromalt - FYI!

Slim-Fast Rich Chocolate Royale flavor

Petromalt - available at

Now that the end of the summer season is upon us, it was most apropos to visit the Banksy opening at the Keszler Gallery in Southampton -- to get me back into my Empire State of Mind.

Jay Z and Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind"

Keszler assembled a tightly edited assortment of Banksy's highly sought after work ranging from iconic prints to sides of buildings that were appropriated from the West Bank city of Hebron.

"Wet Dog" 2007
Keszler Gallery Southampton

"Kate" by Banksy, 2005 - silkscreen edition of 50

Monkey Queen by Banksy 2003

The show was highly entertaining and controversial as two of the pieces have not been authenticated by Bankrobber productions. You see, none of Banksy's works have been authenticated by Bankrobber Productions when they have been taken out of their original context. There is a timeline however....and there is no doubt in my mind that these are the real deal.

The Banksy opening took place in tandem with the London Riots. I posed for the videographer of the event and the man who coordinated the shipment of Banksy's artwork, Justin Sutcliffe, and, asked him why the London Rioters hadn't gone to Banksy's dealer to steal his "appropriation" art. I mean, wouldn't that be the height of irony? I also asked him how Banksy would feel about that. He said that he really didn't know how Banksy would feel about it because no one knows exactly who Banksy is, unless you are Mr. Brainwash from the film, "Exit Through the Gift Shop"!

Well Pussycats,, it's off to the Hampton Classic horse show to take some tips on the finer points of jumping and hopefully pounce on a very wealthy Tomcat in the Leveraged Buy Out, Hedge Fund or Private Equity business so I can finance my fashion empire -- just like Tory Burch!

Here's an inside tidbit on Tory Burch: While she's famous for the preppy 1960's Palm Beach look including Tunics, Ballet flats...did you know that she used to be a buyer at Bergdorf Goodman before she started her eponymous label?

Tory Burch Tunic

Tory Burch is having a Labor Day sale online right now. So shop until you drop and be sure to visit her stores for Fashion's Night Out on Thursday, September 8th from 6PM - 11PM at her flagship boutique at 797 Madison Avenue. A Vogue Editor will style those who make a $250 purchase or more for an opportunity to be featured on the Tory blog. Fashion photographer Beau Grealy will snap a Polariod of the look for you to take as a memento with your purchase. Also a limited edition tote inspired by Fall 2011 collection will be given to every customer who spends $100 or more that night and on

Purrs 'n Kisses -- until Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York as there's so much fun in-store for me and my adoring fans. Be prepared for some major surprises! Natasha Finkel xoxo