QC Loves || Bridge & Burn F/W 2012

17/12/2012 § 1 Comment

A gorgeous little love note to New York, Bridge & Burn‘s Fall/Winter 2012 short by Monica Reyes makes me want to bundle up in Erik Prowell’s amazing collection and take an extra long walk around the city.  I’ve long been a fan of this Portland-based brand that effortlessly mixes just the right amounts of ruggedness, prep and menswear detailing, and Fall/Winter 2012 has definitely proven to be no exception to this rule.

Be sure to visit Bridge & Burn.

BBW2012 BBW2012 BBW2012 BBW2012 BBW2012

Girlcrush || Solange in South Africa

13/12/2012 § 1 Comment

solange.

When it comes to the Knowles sisters, it shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve been a fan of big sister Beyoncé from the very start.  You just knew that those other – and oft rotated – Destiny’s Children weren’t long for this world, that B was itching for her Diana Ross moment in the spotlight.  Now, I definitely love me some divas, but you have to admit that there’s something sort of conventional (and maybe even a bit boring) about the establishment: big hair, red carpet beauty, belted ballads, an affinity for sparkles, etc.

Which is why I think Solange, the younger Knowles, is so much more interesting.  A frequent experimenter with her own personal style and something of a slowly burning girlcrush, Solange has officially evolved into the Knowles sister I’d much rather hang with.  She pretty much sealed the deal with her video for “Losing You,” which was brought to my attention by a good friend who noted that Solange appeared to be channeling me.  Shot in Cape Town, featuring some very dandy Sapeurs (an interesting group of men I mentioned awhile back), as well as a wardrobe that you know I fell in love with immediately, the synth-y groove of the song is almost like an added bonus.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Video directed by Melina Matsoukas.
Photo taken by Daniele Tamagni, via Pitchfork.

A Prayer for the Wild at Heart

04/12/2012 § 1 Comment

Maiyet.

Maiyet.

Maiyet.

Maiyet

Maiyet.

Maiyet.

Maiyet.

Maiyet.

Maiyet.

Mixing equal parts Isak Dinesen, Amelia Earhart and Katharine Hepburn, the campaign for Maiyet FW 2012 is exactly the sort of thing that my African safari dreams are made of.  Featuring the Daria Werbowy in Chyulu Hills, Kenya, photographer Cass Bird has gorgeously captured the free-spirited — yet refined — essence personified by the collection’s deft combination of luxe textures and tailored details.  And can we please talk about that wide-brimmed fedora, and how badly I need it in my life?  Such perfection…!

For more, hop over to Maiyet.

Atelier || Lotuff Leather

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.

If you are in New York City this weekend (30 Nov – 2 Dec),
be sure to check out Lotuff in person at this year’s Pop Up Flea.

Pop Up Flea
Friday, Nov 30th 3pm – 9pm
Saturday, Dec. 1st 11am – 7pm
Sunday, Dec. 2nd 11am – 6pm

Drive-In Studios
443 W. 18th Street (nr. 10th Ave.)

Lotuff Leather for the Ladies

16/11/2012 § 2 Comments

Very excited to share with you Lotuff Leather’s premiere offering from their very first women’s collection, released this week!  Just in time for the holidays the Zipper Satchel #9 is a limited edition bag in sumptuous, hunter green vegetable-tanned leather, that comes with a hand-braided leather tassel, a removable leather pouch, and a detachable shoulder strap.  Befitting a truly unique piece of superior craftsmanship, each bag bears its own serial number, and can also be monogrammed.  I definitely hope that Santa is listening.

Lotuff, a New England-based luxury leather goods brand founded by brothers Joe and Rick Lotuff, is a remarkable collective of exceptionally skilled craftsmen and women dedicated to making quality things by hand with the best practices and finest materials available.  A men’s brand at heart, Lotuff has offered some of the very finest American-made all-leather bags, briefcases and accessories for nearly four years now, and the move into the women’s space is best viewed as a continuation of that tradition.

Guided by creative director Lindy McDonough, the Lotuff women’s collection is quietly elegant and timelessly stylish – the diametric opposite of the “it bag.”  Rather, your Lotuff bag is meant to be carried a lifetime and then passed on to younger generations, and this longevity is ensured by the American workmanship that went into its creation.  I especially love the collection’s nuanced menswear influence and the casual sophistication evident in the preview lookbook – these bags intend to seamlessly carry you from the office to the weekend and back.  Perfection.

I recently had the immense pleasure of spending a lovely day at Lotuff’s Norwalk, Connecticut workshop.  It’s not every day that I get to spend time talking to gifted craftspeople about heady topics such as commitment, precision and passion, so when the folks at Lotuff Leather invited me to do just that, of course I leapt at the chance.  Stay tuned — I’ll be sharing my visit with you next week.

For more information, visit Lotuff Leather.

Masqued Class

31/10/2012 § Leave a comment

From my temporary refugee perch on the UES, and on Halloween no less, I felt this elegant masked ball in Paris in 1946 was particularly apropos to share with you today.  Featuring several minor royals and creations by seminal postwar French designer Jacques Fathand a few pictures of Fath himself, even in a mask! — these ensembles take fancy dress to dizzying couture heights.  Doesn’t it just make you itch for a pair of opera-length gloves and a set of crown jewels?

Photos by David E. Scherman for Life Magazine, via the Life Archive.

While these pictures are a sorry excuse for missing out on the usual Halloween festivities, I’m still very hopeful that New York will come together for the kids this evening.  I’m planning a UES constitution of my own, to try to help spread the spirit.  So many New Yorkers are still without power, and the annual Halloween parade in the Village has been postponed, but the city has been working hard to come back online as soon as possible after Sandy — and we’ve made some amazing progress already.

If you would like to help, please make a donation to the American Red Cross.  You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

Be well! Happy Halloween!

NYFW Post-script: Marissa Webb Spring/Summer 2013

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.

I’m still unaware of the stockists at this point, but definitely watch this space.
Marissa Webb is showing all signs of being a longtime favorite.

All images via Marissa Webb.

La Bombe Dior

19/10/2012 § 3 Comments

Tourbillon dress and bolero in black crepe wool,
Haute Couture collection Fall-Winter 1957-1958. Ligne Fuseau
Aventure outfit, jacket with black and white houndstooth, pencil skirt in black wool.
Haute Couture collection Spring-Summer 1948. Ligne Envol
Abandon dress in black wool, Haute Couture Fall-Winter collection 1948-1949. Ligne Ailée
Arizona wool coat in cherry red. Haute couture Fall-Winter collection 1948-1949. Ligne ailée.
Porto Rico dress with black and white polka dot.
Haute Couture Fall-Winter collection 1954-1955. Ligne H

Portugal evening gown in white organdie with cerise embroidery
Haute Couture Spring-Summer collection 1957. Ligne Libre

 I suppose that when one is Marion Cotillard, it is practically all in a day’s work to pose in iconic haute couture pieces from the Dior archive — created by Monsieur Dior himself — and transform oneself into the “The Dior Bombshell” for amazing photographs by Jean-Baptiste Mondino as part of the Lady Dior web documentary.

Le sigh.  She looks so perfect that it almost difficult to be jealous.*

*Please note I said “almost.”

Autumn is Calling || Veronica Beard F/W 2012

02/10/2012 § Leave a comment

When two talented sisters-in-law, both inexplicably named Veronica Beard, launched their eponymous collection in fall of 2010 it was with a single, well-tailored blazer: “The Jacket.” In the seasons since, the line has blossomed into a full ready-to-wear collection — recently debuting their S/S 2013 at New York Fashion Week — with a strong foundation in familiar, iconic pieces.

I’m not sure how this line escaped me for almost two years, but upon first glance, I knew we would be fast friends — and when I read that the designers strive to create a “uniform” for the modern women, I upgraded that to very best friends.  Classic, yet also very contemporary, the Veronica Beard woman is effortlessly chic in clothes that are made to be lived in.  She’s a tailored city girl who highly values style, fit and comfort.

Before we get too lost in what’s to come for S/S 2013, I wanted to take a moment to share the F/W 2012 lookbook with you.  I only have one tiny complaint, and it has nothing to do with the clothes.  I’m not too terribly fond of those grey platform boots, but adore every single other thing.  The jackets and outerwear still stand apart as their very best work — the silk lapels on that blazer below?  The those luxurious fur collars?  The colors and textiles you can sink your teeth into?  Gorgeous, simply gorgeous.  And the best part?
You can get it right now.

All images via Veronica Beard.

NYFW Recap: Samantha Pleet S/S 2013

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.

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