Denim, the Latest Fad

15/09/2015 § Leave a comment

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“Wellesley freshmen students gathered outside the Hathaway House Bookshop (note girls wearing denim, the latest fad).”

Photo by Lisa Larsen, for Life Magazine, 1953.

Dude, serious girlcrush on the girl in front.
I want those mom jeans and her hat, like right. now.

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NYFW Recap: Marissa Webb Fall/Winter 2013

25/02/2013 § Leave a comment

Marissa Webb FW 2013

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.

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NYFW Recap: Veronica Beard Fall 2013

18/02/2013 § 1 Comment

Veronica Beard FW 2013 - 07

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.

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All images by Mariah Kunkel.

Field Notes: Rag & Bone F/W 2012

11/02/2012 § 2 Comments

Was very excited to attend the rag & bone F/W 2012 show last night!  In the hustle and bustle of the arrivals my eagle eye was pleased to spy Garance Dore, Susie Bubble, Hanneli, Grace Coddington, Amanda Brooks and (!!!) personal spirit animal Caroline Issa at Pier 57 before the show kicked off.  And kick off it did…

Jewel-toned, layered, richly textured and patterned with a gentlewoman cavalry aesthetic from London by way of India, I found this latest rag & bone collection much more to my own personal preference than the preceding F/W.  The footwear, outerwear and gloves inspired my material desires like you wouldn’t believe. Like this coat above.  So amazing.  Of special note were the leather accessories (a nod to body armor) and the gorgeous textiles.  Have you ever heard of — let alone seen! — a gradient herringbone?  Genius.  On the runway, set to music by Thom Yorke and House of Pain (the show finale was set to this), the models completely embodied the battle-ready feel of the collection, with their grimly set faces, determined marching, mussed hair and severe eyeliner.  Whatever kind of winter we might have in 2012, designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville have prepared the rag & bone woman to take it all in stride.

Sidenote: This post is about to be quite long, so I will place most of it after the jump — you’re going to have to humor me because there is way too much goodness to share.  I suppose if you don’t like frock coats, leather, fur or booties, you may want to skip along to the next post.

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