The World of Fashion – Beauty with an Ugly Side

Last night I watched a 6ft something glamazon almost plow over my five foot nothing friend! Did she not see my companion from all the way up there, or did she feel so entitled, as a big beautiful model, that she felt she had the right to practically knock my girlfriend off balance with out so much as acknowledging her with an “excuse me” or “I’m sorry”?

Fashion Week is filled with egos. During a week that is supposed to celebrate beauty, I saw people yell, push, throw tantrums and pretty much put their worst foot forward.

I was with a friend of mine, a life style journalist covering an event. The junior PR assistant, still learning to walk in the heels she was standing in, had the nerve to tell her she was “Not on the list”, even though we were confirmed. Her superior, still with his back to us, without the decency to at least turn around, said “We’re at capacity, you can’t come in” – –  the “event” was practically empty!  So, instead of writing product reviews or taking my private clients to purchase their wares, I am writing about how poor manners were running rampant, defacing the glamour of the fashion fest.

There is nothing like Fashion Week to make women feel invisible. Surrounded by men who do not like women and their anorexic models they use to play dress up with, one gets the feeling that unless you are beautiful, rich or famous you don’t count. By Tuesday night my friend and I needed a drink and a room full of the carnivorous stares of straight men just to get a reality check and reset the self esteem meter.

Fashion week left me feeling exhausted but more from exasperation than the rigorous schedule. I realize that Fashion Week is a pop culture, egomaniacal microcosm, but it has lost all sense of reality.  Fashion Week’s reflection from the three way full length mirror with bright lights, may not be wrinkled or cellulite ridden, but even swathed in couture. When not posing for the cameras to get her good side, she can be ugly.

I enjoy the frills and frivolity of the fashion world but a little civility poured over the ice in the cocktail would make the party that much more appealing.


Written by Samantha von Sperling for T2C.

Fashion’s Night Out

Fashion’s Night Out  By Samantha von Sperling


The commencement of Fashion Week  in NYC. We participate collectively by coming out and supporting one of the things that New York  does best – fashion.


As I weave up Madison Avenue, throngs of styled out fashionistas strut their stuff in stilettos or teeter depending on level experience, turning the thoroughfare into one gigantic runway show. One of the greatest nights of the year for not only fashion forecasting but people watching.


Maneuvering in an out of stores It was interesting to see who was doing what and how they had organized it. It ranged from doing absolutely nothing except staying open late, to lovely events with music, champaign and hors d’oeuvres to velvet ropes with gate keepers with lists, to over crowded over hyped, garish events I did not understand or see the appeal in.


As an image consultant, I get invited to a lot of things during fashion week but for me the coveted invitation is to Giorgio Armani. Of all the events all over town, it is the chicest, most opulent and I feel the most intelligent as far as integrating lifestyle and the arts. Last night a Q and A discussion with Samuel L Jackson and Angela Bassett led by Vogue’s contributing editor Adam Green about their new stage performance that explores an intimate look at Martin Luther King as a man apart from being a cultural and political icon.


I can only describe the feeling in that room as magical. It had everything, all the trappings of the most elegant soirées,  amazing clothes (as always), limitless style between the collection and the guests, huge stars in an intimate setting and a discussion that had me so engaged my pulse was racing. I was not alone, there was a collective energy in that room potent enough to rebuild the world if only the whole world could have shared it.


Although Fashion’s Night out was meant to be an international evening of festivities meant to bolster the economy through patronage to the fashion industry, I saw very few shopping bags to offset the seemingly endless flow of Champaign. Has Fashion’s Night Out become more hoopla than help to the fashion industry, just part of the annual advertising budgets?


Perhaps. But it also makes Fashion Week accessible to everyone at a time when magazine sales are down and not everyone can get into the shows. It’s a very clever way of engaging the consumer public. Without consumers there is no fashion industry. The fashion houses may make the styles and the media may do their best to manipulate our thoughts about what’s hot and what’s not but at the end of the day what we wear and how we wear it is still our decision.


Featured on both DivaGals Daily and Time Square Chronicles.

Cosmetic Review: Living In My Skin

Living In My Skin  By Samantha von Sperling


I’ve been in the fashion and beauty biz for a long time, well over a decade. In that time I’ve tried, tested, sold and purchased more product than I care to admit. Additionally, my skin is temperamental to say the least. My quest for products that work has been lifelong.


Through a twist of fate I had the great pleasure of meeting and interviewing Vera Moore of Vera Moore Cosmetics. Mrs. Moore is a lovely woman – a true lady. Her story is impressive. Her products are amazing!


During our interview we spoke of her past profession as one of the first african american soap opera stars, and her quest to find make up suitable for her complexion at a time when there was virtually nothing out there and what did exist was truly sub par.


By chance, or perhaps by destiny Mrs. Moore is married to a chemist. Years of research and hard work have resulted in a superb product line



As part of my interview I committed to living in the product line for a few weeks. Vera Moore Cosmetics generously bestowed upon me a wide variety of products to test out and play with.  To say I was skeptical would be a grand understatement. Wow! What an experience. I don’t think my skin has ever been so calm for so long. My daily and nightly routine have become a pleasure rather than a seemingly hopeless waste of time. Hope in a jar has finally morphed into a solution and my skin is transformed!


From the first use my skin felt clean and fresh, already a good start. I had no adverse reactions – even better. The next morning, no new breakouts – great! By the end of the first week my skin was calmer and clearer. By the the end of the second week I was really starting to get excited. Three weeks later, there is definitely a noticeable difference. My skin is not only calmer and clearer, but brighter, smoother, with an evener tone. I have now been using the Vera Moore line for a month and I can see my skin getting better as the days go by.


For me the magic combination was:

Purifying Gel Wash

Glycolic Scrub with AHA and Aloe

Camphor Masque with Titanium Dioxide and Sulphur (Skin is so smooth after!)

Herbal Balancer

Oil Controlling Skin Conditioner

Spot Fix with camphor and salicylic Acid (This is one of my favorites!)

Glycolic Serum Renewal System for PM (I could actually feel this one go to work)

Vitamin C Serum for AM and PM (Helps with brightening and hyper pigmentation)

Healing Calendula Oil Free Moisturizer

Microsome Eye Gel


But not only is Vera Moore Cosmetics a highly sophisticated and effective skin care line but it also includes a beautiful range of color cosmetics. Iʼm in love with a bronze lipgloss called Topaz. An eye shadow called Nutmeg and a blush called Honey.




Thank you Vera, my skin and I are grateful! Living in my skin has become a little easier.


Soon to be featured by both DivaGals Daily and Time Square Chronicles.

Elevators – Why Does Going Up Have To Be Such A Downer?

Elevators – Why Does Going Up 

Have To Be Such A Downer?  By Samantha von Sperling


Elevators are a fact of life in most urban environments.  New York City climbs vertically into the sky.  We live and work literally on top of one another so elevators are a part of our daily lives.


It’s really a shame  that an everyday detail has to be so unpleasant.


If I stepped into an elevator and greeted my fellow passengers with a salutation and a smile they would probably think I was insane.  How sad.  The friendliest elevators seem to be when a fellow fashionista compliments my shoes, or when there is a puppy in the elevator that wants to say hello.  There seams to be two modalities in communication, either an awkward silence or asinine chatter by flocks of young women screeching at the top of their lungs as if they were the only ones in the box.  It makes me want to say, “Excuse me but can you dial it down a bit?  Your conversation is not really that fascinating.”


Another of my etiquette gripes with lifts is that people are so inconsiderate regarding  the captive humanity stuck with them.  This includes people’s poor handle on basic hygiene.  Brushed teeth, mouth wash, deodorant, soap, water….. amazing!  sometimes I see people using a mirrored lift as if it was their own private bathroom.  Please don’t pick your teeth or pop zits in public!


Last weekend I got into an elevator that had me gasping for air as my throat closed up  due to the overpowering perfume a woman had dowsed herself in.  “Eau de Escort” I think it was.  If perfume does not asphyxiate you, beware of the silent but deadly farts.


Speaking of breathing room, why is it that when we are already packed in like sardines the same person who takes up two seats on the train ignores the weight limit posted above and wants to just “squeeze in”?


It’s a jungle of unruly pets, screaming babies, small children that press ALL the floor buttons when they get in and their parents think it’s cute.  The elevator can be a wild ride.  We run to get on, as people let the door close in our face, we fight to get out since  gentlemen who let ladies out first are an endangered species. Finally when we get out, we are judged by where we get off.


“PH, hmmm I wonder what their apartment looks like?”  “Oh, 7th floor, that’s either the OBGYN or The Shrink, is she crazy or suffering from PMS?”


Maybe the visionaries at NASA or Apple will finally find a way to just “Beam me up!”


Hmmm, the “iLift”… wouldn’t that be nice!


Now that I’m through bitching I realize that we have a more frightening problem than the lost art of basic protocol.  The mirrored elevators reflect our isolated society:


We have lost our ability – or elect not to – communicate with our direct neighbors.


An edited & abridged version was featured at Diva Gals Daily on August 30th, 2011 ― Link

Soon to appear both online and in the printed edition of Time Square Chronicles ― Link