12/03/2013 § Leave a Comment
Very happy to share with you one of my favorite designers from NYFW! Designer Misha Nonoo presented a simply gorgeous Fall 2013 collection that artfully joined her own British heritage with touches of Imperial Russia, that urgently needs to get in my closet. With luxurious textures, military detailing and some very gorgeous fur hats by the designer herself, Nonoo spins a genteel, sporting dream for Fall in somber shades of navy, grey, and black, punctuated by a rich, regal crimson. The show, a wintry, Anna Karenina-flavored affair was complete with uniformed guard and a massive backdrop that brought the onion domes of Moscow all the way to The Standard Hotel.
As with previous Nonoo collections, the designer’s knack for tailoring was the defining element. Her amazing riding jackets and greatcoats, layered over everything from ballgowns to trousers, demonstrated a keen ability to refine classic shapes with modern elements — a slash here, an exposed zipper there — with great success. Also notable was the appearance of knitwear, in the form of deliciously chunky cable knit cardigans and pullovers.
As someone who frequently joins elements of the masculine and feminine in my own wardrobe, what I like about Nonoo is her ability to take traditional menswear fabrics or shapes and infuse them with a femininity that is elegant and whimsical, but never gimmicky. Herringbone and Prince of Wales seamlessly join lace and silk, smoking slippers are paired with a ballgown — the best of both worlds, really.
25/02/2013 § Leave a Comment
With her debut Spring/Summer 2013 collection I became an instant fan of Marissa Webb. The former VP of womenswear design at J. Crew immediately caught my attention with her unexpected color pairings and smartly mixed textures, but it was her obvious talent for menswear-inspired tailoring that sealed the deal. A self-described tomboy, Webb’s premiere offering held the exciting promise of lessons learned at the helm of a major national brand paired with a nuanced, yet ambitious, expression of the designer’s personal aesthetic. The Marissa Webb woman is a city girl who was raised on — and still loves — classic, prep-infused styles, but she isn’t afraid of a little edge. Or a lot of luxe.
Needless to say, I was very excited to see the Fall/Winter collection at Lincoln Center and it definitely did not disappoint. The collection was very wearable and smartly tailored, and you can already sense a refining of Webb’s instincts as a solo designer — her keen ability to juxtapose unexpected elements has gotten even better. High points included her outerwear and her blazers, both of which masterfully combined traditional textures with modern styles without any preciousness. Webb also presented a high-waisted trouser and vest pairing that was remarkable, sort of like a three piece suit minus its jacket, in both windowpane wool and an ivory satin that made my inner Bianca Jagger jump for joy. I was also happy to note that Webb decided to move into the realm of accessories, with Fall/Winter marking the debut appearance of an amazing footwear collection. The banded pumps are calling my name rather loudly, can you hear them?
With her refreshing take on menswear-inspired style and the freedom to experiment as an independent designer, I am so excited to see how Marissa Webb continues to evolve. I can’t imagine it will be too much longer before she’s everywhere. I’ve also been keeping an eye on stockists since her her debut, and S/S just arrived at Barneys and her own e-commerce should be following soon.
For more information, visit Marissa Webb.
18/02/2013 § 1 Comment
You may recall we’ve discussed in the past my love for Veronica Beard, the womenswear collection helmed by two sisters-in-law with backgrounds in finance and fashion, both named Veronica Beard. Stopping by their New York Fashion Week presentation, I was happy to confirm that the qualities that I noticed (and fell in love with) in earlier collections have become even more refined and nuanced, culminating in a luxuriously complex F/W 2013 that was heavily inspired by the pioneering spirit of the American West.
As far as presentations go (e.g., jostling for position in cramped quarters with harsh lighting and bored models) Veronica Beard was almost like a society event, a much-needed and cherished breath of fresh air during a very fast-paced week. Upon entry at Bill’s Food & Drink — after waiting to check in behind Aerin Lauder, natch — we were greeted with flutes of champagne and small bites before heading upstairs to view the collection. It was also my first time in the space since Bill’s Gay Nineties closed and Food & Drink opened in its place. The update honors the spirit of the old watering hole while smoothing out some of the rougher edges with a bit of manufactured nostalgia. While sticklers for authenticity who enjoyed Bill’s Gay Nineties probably won’t be satisfied with the changes, I believe it a very respectful refurb, indeed.
Staged among the gallery walls of the second floor, the models blended seamlessly among portraits of stately gentlemen and antique maps. While the room was a bit full, I could tell from my very first glance that the Veronicas had put together something amazing. Effortlessly blending masculine detail with feminine sensibility, the sumptuous textures of fur, silk and lace called to mind a woman with a maverick spirit and a taste for refined adventure, and with the collection’s saturated palette of reds, golds and greens, you could almost see her blazing her own trail through the untamed and wide open spaces of the west.
My personal favorites in the collection included the brick bi-color herringbone long and lean jacket with waxed canvas patches (shown above), the charcoal brushed tweed double breasted jacket with leather sleeves (on the model wearing the fedora below), and that gorgeous gold velvet lamé gown with its open back (shown last). As Veronica Beard is a collection that grew up around a single blazer launched in 2010, I continue to believe that the tailoring is what the Veronicas do best, but with each collection they show all signs of the ability to truly do it all.
For more information, visit Veronica Beard.
All images by Mariah Kunkel.
27/01/2013 § 2 Comments
Some of my favorite moments spent over Men’s Market Week in New York. Highlights included an extended visit from my lovely friend Veronika from Lark, a really awesome Vancouver-based men’s and women’s boutique you should get familiar with (not least of all because they are currently having a pretty great sale). I was happy to made the rounds at (capsule) and also dropped by The MRket Show with Marisa to see the amazing speakeasy-inspired menswear installation created by the gents at Brooklyn Dry Goods. I also managed to fit in an evening stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, a bit of avocado toast at Cafe Gitane at the Jane Hotel and a wander through the Chelsea Antiques Garage. A rather full weekend, indeed!
14/01/2013 § 8 Comments
A few scenes from the weekend, spent kicking around
the city in rather unseasonably warm weather…
Happened upon the Bloomingdale branch (c.1898)
of the New York Free Circulating Library.
As I mentioned, I made it to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts for an excellent exhibit on Katharine Hepburn’s costumes for stage and screen. Incidentally, I discovered I had unwittingly purchased the accompanying book some months back: Katharine Hepburn: Rebel Chic. Do give it a look, it’s quite good — especially if you didn’t make it to the exhibit!
While there was plenty to love about the exhibit, my absolute favorite part was when I overheard an older couple discussing the trousers that Katharine tended to wear. The wife, who you can see above, wore a fedora and what looked like a man’s overcoat. When she said she wanted a pair of pants just like Katharine, her husband immediately said that he thought she would look amazing in them. Sort of completely made my day.
On my way to catch Amour at Film Forum (which I highly recommend!), I nipped into the newly opened Houston Hall to sample some of their house drafts. Not only is it a formerly abandoned FBI garage complete with exposed trusses and industrial touches, it’s also the largest — and prettiest! — beer garden I can think of downtown. The Standard had better watch their back.
Flat whites at Laughing Man Marketplace in Tribeca.
Hope you had a lovely weekend!
Photos of me taken by the inestimably talented Tara Cole.
30/11/2012 § 3 Comments
As I previously mentioned, a few weeks ago I was pleased to accept an invite from Lotuff Leather to visit their workshop in Norwalk, Connecticut. I was very excited to seize the opportunity to meet the fine folks behind the brand and witness firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into every single piece of leather that bears the Lotuff name. Fair warning: this is about to be a bit of a photo-palooza, but there was just so much to see and love – I hope you will indulge me!
Lotuff, a New England-based luxury leather goods brand founded by brothers Joe and Rick Lotuff nearly four years ago, is a brand you need to firmly place on your radar. The Lotuffs, along with creative director Lindy McDonough and a whole host of highly skilled craftsmen and women, take great pride in producing some of the very finest leather items made in America, using techniques honed over decades – and in some cases, generations – of combined experience. A men’s brand at heart, the all-leather bags, briefcases and accessories that Lotuff creates epitomize the elegant meeting of timeless style, functionality and quiet craftsmanship.
Not only was I inspired by the passion I heard from Joe and Lindy as they discussed their values and goals for Lotuff, but they also deeply affected my personal concept of “luxury” – calling into question some of my own assumptions about the true worth of some of the high-end bags I have lusted for in the past. My day in Norwalk reinforced the notion that luxury is not achieved by the mere application of a name or a high price point to an item. But rather, an item is properly considered luxurious in relation to the process, materials and skills that go into its creation — and seeing up close the massive amount of pride that each of the Lotuff craftsmen and women pour into their work brought this into sharp focus.
While this fuller concept of luxury appears to have taken hold in some #menswear circles, it is interesting to note that the majority of women continue to be fine with paying top dollar for cheaply manufactured status accessories. Indeed, it is difficult to decouple this tendency for status from womenswear’s obsession with fast fashion. For those of us who find ourselves frequently left wanting by the “it bag” of the moment, the premiere women’s collection by Lotuff is a godsend. And my leather-scented day spent trying out all the gorgeous prototypes? Heaven indeed.
For more information, visit Lotuff Leather.
Please say hello to my new best friend… In. Love.
Pop Up Flea
Friday, Nov 30th 3pm – 9pm
Saturday, Dec. 1st 11am – 7pm
Sunday, Dec. 2nd 11am – 6pm
443 W. 18th Street (nr. 10th Ave.)
13/11/2012 § 5 Comments
I’ve said it before, but as a California transplant, I’ve really come to love what fall has to offer on the East Coast. I’ve since found myself trying to explain the wonders of leaf peeping and apple picking to my West Coasters and I have to admit, it is something you have to experience yourself at least once to fully appreciate.
A few pictures from a perfect fall day spent with some of my best girls at the Warwick Applefest and picking apples at Soons Orchard in New Hampton. (Editor’s note: I will admit that while my industrious ladybirds went on to make delicious confections with our spoils, I instead focused on procuring some apple cider to mull…and add bourbon to. One must have one’s priorities in order.)
26/09/2012 § Leave a Comment
Loving the S/S 2013 Samantha Pleet collection! Called the “Sands of Time” and drawing inspiration from the ancient civilizations of the Fertile Crescent and the 19th century adventurers who discovered them, Pleet’s collection is whimsically detailed and utilizes some very gorgeous prints. And I quite obviously lost my mind at the sight of the shorts suit above — amazing! The presentation was held at the gorgeous Wolverine Company Store that has been popped up in Nolita, against a backdrop that echoed the stratified landscape of ancient Mesopotamia.
I was also excited to get a sneak peek at the new S/S Samantha Pleet for Wolverine 1000 Mile collaboration that includes sandals, boots and oxfords. I can already tell those turquoise lovelies are poised to be quite a hit — mark my words!
View the entire Samantha Pleet S/S 2013 lookbook here.
24/09/2012 § 1 Comment
The spirit of designer Monika Chiang‘s eponymous collection is best viewed as an expression of her personal style and her distinctly global background. A magpie of the best sort, Chiang draws inspiration from around the world and deftly combines seemingly disparate elements to create apparel, jewelry and accessories that are obviously fashion-forward, but effortlessly so. These delicious tensions were immediately apparent when I attended her S/S 2013 presentation at Lincoln Center during NYFW, where she debuted a collection that was inspired by a recent trip to South Africa.
Full of jewel tones, rich textures, exotic skins, beautifully executed prints, a heaping serving of “moto” and a touch of androgyny, the Monika Chiang S/S 2013 woman is opulence and toughness, personified. I was especially drawn to the complexity of her accessories, and her knack for juxtaposition is second to none. I’m personally still reeling from the genius of black leather with cream silk and oxidized metal…
The gorgeous Monika Chiang.
14/09/2012 § 1 Comment
To kick off my coverage of New York Fashion Week,
one of my very favorite collections: Nonoo.
As I stepped into the Nonoo presentation at Milk, I was pleasantly surprised to hear tropical music. Peeking around a throng of fans that included Olivia Palermo, Linda Fargo of Bergdorf Goodman, Jamie Beck and Leandra Medine, I discovered designer Misha Nonoo’s amazing Spring Summer 2013 collection — and promptly fell in love. Drawing inspiration from the faded beauty of Cuba, the collection deftly balances elegance with whimsy amidst a richly saturated palette and some very gorgeous prints. The lace! The flamingos! The Supergas!
Smartly tailored, vintage inspired, and more than a bit Wallis Simpson in the Bahamas, Nonoo Spring/Summer 2013 is glamorous and casually refined. Perfect for a weekend jaunt to the Caribbean…or just kicking around the West Village.
I’ll take it all, thanks.
Be sure to pop by Nonoo.