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.
21/02/2013 § 2 Comments
A few pictures I shot some time ago (but just re-discovered) of my Nesbit boots from the F/W 2012 Samantha Pleet for Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection. The two-tone tan are a bit hard to find at this point, but if you happen to also like the oxford version, hop over to Need Supply, they’ve got one pair left!
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.
29/01/2013 § 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.
28/01/2013 § 4 Comments
Dear Vogue Spain, please exit my brain.
In an editorial featured earlier this month, Vogue.es drew inspiration from 40’s film noir — namely the Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd classic The Blue Dahlia — to put together a series of looks in the spirit of Ms. Lake, Marlene Dietrich and Gene Tierney. You can probably guess whose look immediately caught my eye. Also doesn’t hurt that Ms. Dietrich happens to be my birthday twin. Imagine that. In any event, these gorgeous photos have inspired an earnest need — like you wouldn’t believe — for a stole. Perhaps this winter shall be known henceforth as the winter of the stole… Thoughts?
28/01/2013 § 5 Comments
Admission: I’ve never been ice skating. I suppose I could blame it on growing up in Los Angeles, and my parents’ extreme aversion to a vacation spent anywhere other than a tropical climate — but since I am (technically?) an adult now, I really can only blame myself. Especially when New York City has so many beautiful places to tie on a pair of skates (see: Bryant Park, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Chelsea Piers, the Standard Hotel). Perhaps I should make it a mini winter resolution of sorts to finally get myself on the ice.
Providing a bit of sartorial inspiration for my skating kit, Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured a 35 year-old Truman Capote skating at Rockefeller Center in 1959 — perhaps giving new dimension to his very famous bon mot, “New York is a diamond iceberg floating in river water.” I couldn’t find the article they correspond to, but I have to believe that Truman in his Fair Isle sweater is reason enough to call your attention to them.
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.
09/01/2013 § 2 Comments
Last weekend like a proper New Yorker, I attended a brunch of the “all you can drink” variety and the service was so efficient that it proved impossible to keep track of how many glasses of champagne we actually had. And as half-full glasses were filled over and over, the conversation slowly and predictably degraded from such high-minded topics such as art, current events and important life decisions to…the most attractive people of all time. I hear this is a common side effect of champagne.
While my initial choices were cast aside as a bit conventional and surprisingly boring (my deepest apologies to Jon Hamm and George Clooney), when I mentioned Steve McQueen there was a murmur of immediate approval — here was someone who everyone agreed upon. The next time when I’m faced with this question, I’ll just go ahead and play my trump card early.
From the February 1965 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, a trifecta of icons:
Steve McQueen, Jean Shrimpton, and Richard Avedon.
20/12/2012 § 2 Comments
I previously mentioned my love of Studio Nicholson, an elegantly tailored womenswear line by British designer Nick Wakeman, but upon viewing her F/W 2012, it confirmed again that Wakeman creates the sort of timelessly chic, menswear-inspired stuff my sartorial dreams are made of — and I had to share it with you. F/W immediately called to my mind a modern Katharine Hepburn-like sensibility — probably helped a bit by the gorgeous turtlenecks — and whenever a designer manages to do that for me, I know I’m home.
High points in this collection include that gorgeous alpaca Bruno topcoat above, the aforementioned Rocco turtleneck sweater, and that perfectly pleated and cropped wool Aida pant. And as I am a bit tardy in bringing you the news of F/W — forgive me! — you’ll be happy to discover that the collection is currently 30% off. So get while the getting is good.
For further detail, be sure to visit Studio Nicholson.
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.