The A-to-Z Style Guide
A is for Art-Inspired
Fashion designers citing painterly inspiration is hardly new, but this season the references were particularly eclectic. Marc Jacobs named his Louis Vuitton collection "Girl with a Monogram Handbag," in tribute to Jan Vermeer's 17th-century canvases; Miuccia Prada pointed to forties pinups, Giambattista Valli to Le Corbusier. Etro fell for the graphic lines of Art Deco, and Proenza Schouler's free-flowing dresses recalled the shapes of Paul Poiret, in time for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition of the designer's work. Then, after The New Yorker ran an eight-page profile of Banksy, the mysterious British street artist, and Kate Moss graffitied shirts for Al Gore's Climate Project with fellow fashion icons such as Diane von Furstenberg and French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, Christian Louboutin introduced some 15 "tagged" pieces, including ballet flats, stilettos, ankle boots, handbags, and clutches. Each item is "bombed"—street art slang for "marked with ink"—by a 25-year-old Parisian graffiti artist named Nicolas Michel. christianlouboutin.fr
Kara Ross's name con- jures up images of coral Maltese crosses, tiger's-eye cuffs, and mammoth rock-crystal cocktail rings. The designer's five-year-old jewelry line moves briskly at Bergdorf Goodman. Luckily for those who have not yet had a chance to get their hands on one of her ebony link necklaces, Ross recently decided to launch a line of exotic-skin handbags. "I have been collecting vintage clutches for years," Ross says. "And the more I learned about exotic skins, the more I saw them like gemstones—organic and unique. Each piece of anaconda I come across has an entirely different set of markings." In keeping with the designer's background, all the pieces in the new collection are tastefully adorned with jewels: The clasp on the anaconda Kiss clutch (pictured above) is cut from smoky to-paz, while a lavender crocodile clutch fastens with rock crystal. The bags can currently be found at Brown's in London and Joyce Ma in Asia, as well as at Bergdorf's and Neiman Marcus. Soon enough, however, Ross will have a place to call her own, with plans for a New York by-appointment-only showroom. kararossny.com
It's Italian for "abundance" and theme of the latest art show at the Salvatore Ferragamo Gallery, curated by Blair Voltz Clarke and opening September in New York. At 655 Fifth Ave., 212-759-3822.
"Plant bamboo, save the world," says jeweler John Hardy. The Bali-based designer has made it his mission to show the world the wonders of the sustainable material, starting a bamboo-planting project on the island of Nusa Penida. Thankfully, he also recognizes the desire to wear sustainability on your sleeve, creating a limited-edition silver collection: For each large sterling bangle bought, 26 trees are planted. For the one-of-a-kind bamboo, coral, and citrine cuff pictured below, the number goes up to 130. 866-454-2739; johnhardy.com