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.
29/01/2013 § 2 Comments
I’ll admit it, I’d written off Thom Browne. My love for his menswear designs notwithstanding, I tended to find his collections for women severely lacking, year after year. We had knee-length pearl necklaces one year, unwalkable skirts another, and an alarming affinity for shirt dresses that appeared to be stolen from a Dickensian orphanage. Browne’s designs for women appeared to be more costume than clothing, as if he wasn’t quite sure he could pull off a serious collection — so he didn’t bother to try (see: Fall/Winter 2011; Spring/Summer 2013) So I resigned myself to enjoying Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers, which takes the inventive, tailored qualities favored by Browne (and me!) but adds a high dose of wearability — it is a Brooks Brothers line, after all — and forgot about Thom Browne.
That is, until January 21, 2013 — the morning of Barack Obama’s second inauguration. I heard murmurs that the Obama women were sporting a set of beautiful coats, but when Eric Wilson of the NYT mentioned something about bespoke Thom Browne, made especially for the First Lady, I made a beeline for the television to see the gorgeous silk jacquard — inspired by necktie fabrics, natch — for myself. The whole family looked lovely, but Michelle’s coat/dress ensemble was definitely the pièce de résistance.
It was in that moment I began to hope that Thom Browne had finally changed course, and I am happy to say that his 2013 Pre-Fall collection has confirmed it. No longer bogged down with clever tricks and over-the-top conceptualism, Browne’s 2013 Pre-Fall is actually wearable and smartly tailored, but still retains the tongue-in-cheekiness quality that is classic Browne. I’m not sure what inspired this sudden maturity, but I’m loving it — to say that I’m excited would be a massive understatement. My American Express card on the other hand…probably a little less so. But I’m sure we’ll get through it together.
All images via Thom Browne.
19/12/2012 § 1 Comment
A private showing of Ralph Lauren Collection Fall/Winter 2012 at Highclere Castle, the real-life stand in for Downton Abbey? Evidently my invitation was lost in the mail, but at least we have these gorgeous photos taken by Chris Allerton to comfort ourselves with.
Images via Ralph Lauren.
29/10/2012 § Leave a Comment
Just a short post-script on a lovely collection I missed seeing during NYFW. Marissa Webb, the eponymous line by the former head of womenswear design at J.Crew, takes the best of the iconic classics she perfected over 11 years at the helm of the national brand and adds just the right amount of maturity and edge. Her premier collection is tailored without sacrificing femininity, and best of all, features more than a few ties. She has some beautiful prints, but I really find myself drawn to the monochrome suits and the solid contrast looks — the red suit and the black and white dress are definitely the high notes. See the full lookbook here.
All images via Marissa Webb.
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.
07/09/2012 § Leave a Comment
A few New York Fashion Week essentials:
Pour La Victoire Morandi Satchel First and foremost, you’ll need a bag big enough to tote quite a bit of stuff. I really love how this satchel expands, but most of all, I’m drawn by the gorgeous color.
Joie Day Dreaming Smoking Flats You’ll welcome a respite from all the high heel duty. Be sure to keep them in a shoe pouch (as well as your heels, when you change), to keep the inside of your bag clean.
Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses Self explanatory, with two lenses to switch it up as you like.
Ray-Ban Meteor Sunglasses Black meets tortie, with a squared-off, retro feel. Effortless cool.
NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dragon Girl Bold red; the most iconic fashion statement…for your face.
Macally Powerlink8 Battery Charger You will always, always, always be in search of juice. This little gadget can power up an iPhone, iPod or iPad on the go. Genius.
A sneak peek at Monika Chiang S/S 2013!
Yes, I’m back on the east coast and New York Fashion Week is in full swing! I’m currently running around the city and soaking up all there is to see, and I’m really excited to share some very lovely collections with you in the coming days. Can’t wait? The best way to follow me over the next few days will be via Twitter (@mariahkunkel) and Instagram (@quitecontinental). Of course, if there’s anything you think I should I check out, please email me!
Have a lovely weekend!
What will you be getting up to?
21/08/2012 § Leave a Comment
Before we get all wrapped up in NYFW, I have been meaning to mention the lovely resort collection that Akris showed a few weeks back. A Swiss label, Alice Kriemler Schoch founded Akris in the 1920s when she began manufacturing polka-dot aprons. Today her grandsons run the brand, which is favored by some very powerful and very chic women — Dianne Sawyer and Condoleezza Rice are rumored to be among fans of the label, along with Charlene, Princess of Monaco, a good friend of designer Albert Kriemler — who need elegant, tailored clothes that can take them from board meetings to press conferences to the red carpet and back again.
Akris is definitely a label I have evolved toward. After dealing with the somewhat limited offerings available to professional women, it’s become something of a personal mission to find labels that manage to be tailored without being too boring or boxy. Akris hits this sweet spot and has the high-powered fans to prove it. Luckily that same clean, tailored sensibility met understated nautical influences for a resort collection that is sporty, yet adult — personal favorites in this collection include that white suit and the beautiful silk shirt with a print that looks like sunlight on the water. Well done indeed.
Images via Vogue.
20/03/2012 § 1 Comment
Have you ever wanted to love something so much, because you felt it was thisclose to perfection — but you just couldn’t quite get there? This was the exact feeling I had while watching the Louis Vuitton Fall Winter 2012 show. Even before that magnificent train fully pulled into the “station” and the models disembarked one at a time, trailed by immaculate porters bearing the iconic bags the house of Vuitton is known for, I knew that Marc Jacobs was pulling from the same early 20th century inspiration well that Ralph had also dipped into (and that I loved) and I got excited — but I should have seen the kaleidoscopic Jacobs twist coming. Indeed, with all the glittery doo-dads, exaggerated silhouettes and ridiculous hat action, I wouldn’t be very surprised to learn Dr. Suess or Tim Burton had assisted. And while I definitely respect Vuitton for pushing their boundaries, I must admit that I frequently feel disinterested in the brand’s contemporary fashion collections. I suppose I’m just not a Marc Jacobs girl.
The bags and luggage are usually a different story, and while I did find plenty to like among the collection’s accessories, I was still most bowled over the amazing production value of the show — which is destined to be my favorite concept for a very long time. I did want to share a few bright spots from the show though, which were best shown by the detail photos of Yannis Vlamos for Vogue Magazine.
Perfection. Complete and utter perfection.
Of course, if you are more of a Marc Jacobs fan than I,
you can head here to view the full collection (via Vogue).
Also amazing is this short film produced by Louis Vuitton, which is a lovely behind-the-scenes look at the show’s preparations all the way through its execution: