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.
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?
16/02/2012 § 8 Comments
So. He opened the show with the Downton Abbey theme song.
Mr. Lauren, can you please exit my brain?
Just kidding! Stay as long as you like. Forever, even.
Please prepare yourself for a mammoth montage of photos from the Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 2012 show. The full looks are amazing — two movements here really: first, classic English countryside, tailored, outrageously layered patterns and a stroke of ocelot genius; and second, a glamorous art deco, jewel-toned luxury that echoes his recent home collection — but you can scoot off to plenty of other places on the internets for that. Here, I’d like to draw your attention to some detail shots by Mr. Marcio Madeira, my favorite runway photographer. The inspiration abounds.
Long story short, I love the collection. But I’m sure you knew that already.
Someone fetch my walking stick.
All photos by Marcio Madeira for First Look/Vogue. For all the looks, head here.
15/02/2012 § 7 Comments
In the midst of the hustle and bustle that is New York Fashion Week, I was fortunate to spend a few hours over tea and scones at Alice’s Tea Cup on the Upper East Side with the lovely folks behind the ubiquitous Cambridge Satchel to learn a little more about the story behind the brand and their plans for the coming season.
Probably like you, I initially noticed the Cambridge Satchel as it started appearing on the arms of celebrities and making the rounds on style blogs. As a girl who has a thing for businesslike bags, I was immediately intrigued, but when I realized the amazing range of colors that were available, I fell in love. When I had the chance to chat with Julie Deane, co-founder of the company, that love was sealed.
With just £600 of Deane’s money, and headquartered in the kitchen of the Deane family home, the Cambridge Satchel Company was founded so that the family could have supplemental income to send the children, Emily and Max, to a pricey private school because Emily was being bullied at school and was unhappy. With no background in how to run a leather goods company, what started out as 3 bags a week in 2008 has since grown to an outfit of almost 50 people in 2012, but has managed to retain the feeling of family at the foundation. Case in point: at tea I was very pleased to meet the entire family!
Domestic production is also very important to Deane. She initially started with a local British manufacturer, but after production difficulties surfaced, Deane decided that she could do it better. So she opened up her own factory. Done! Similarly, when her embosser got backed up with embossing orders for last Christmas, she found an identical antique machine and pitched in herself.
I’m reasonably convinced that there isn’t anything Deane can’t do. She is simply a wonderful lady: ambitious, gracious, optimistic and charming. As we spoke, the word “unsinkable” kept leaping to mind, as she talked about obstacles she had encountered and how she had worked hard to overcome them. She is truly an inspiration for entrepreneurs and businesswomen everywhere.
It was especially lovely to meet Max, Deane’s son, who sported his own personalized satchel, which carried his mother’s business cards and some sort of portable video game system…which he used to show pictures of all of the different bags. He even had his grandmother’s favorite satchel memorized. It was like the second coming of Alex P. Keaton, but way better.
Max’s bag. Which I need desperately (with my own initials, natch).
But aside from the color discussions and cups of tea, the best part of the evening was simply spending a few hours with a completely lovely bunch of people who were excited to share their story and be in New York for Fashion Week. It almost felt like we had all been magically transported back to Deane’s own kitchen.
Be sure to visit the Cambridge Satchel Company.
I’ve got my eye on the music bags to use as a briefcase.
What color should I get?