luxury

Fashion

Valentino’s Camouflage Capsule Collection

Valentino
Photo courtesy of Valentino

It is safe to say that the pieces in Valentino’s new Camouflage capsule collection will do anything but blend into their surroundings. The Valentino Garavani Lock bag ($1,995) pictured here, as well as totes, sneakers and sweet espadrilles, all go under cover, thanks to the label’s creative approach to the trend. To get the 3-D textural effect that the pieces display, materials were heat bonded and overprinted with various elements, resulting in a look that morphs in the light. For those wanting an even more glamorous edge, a small stash of studded shoes (two flats, two heels) and bags (two sizes of the VaVa Voom handbag) come bedecked with Swarovski crystals in an abstract camouflage pattern. Try hiding that. Available at Valentino boutiques worldwide and select retailers; valentino.com.

Longchamp’s 20th Anniversary Handbag

Longchamp’s 20th Anniversary Handbag
Courtesy of Longchamp

Longchamp’s iconic Roseau bag turns 20 this year, and to celebrate the occasion, Sophie Delafontaine, the label’s creative director and granddaughter of its founder, set out to update the classic. “Our brand’s key words are leather, family, fun, quality and creativity,” she says. “I wanted to design an upgraded version of this emblematic bag, which would be at the same time modern, contemporary and more luxurious.”

The resulting Roseau Héritage bag (from $1,170) is crafted in calfskin leather and includes upgraded versions of the original Roseau’s detailing, such as a heftier bamboo toggle and a larger embossed-leather racehorse trademark insignia. The family-owned brand prides itself on leather craftsmanship, and the Roseau Héritage exemplifies just that—each handcrafted bag requires about 300 operations, from cutting to stitching to mounting gussets on the underside. The bag, which comes in two styles and four shades (brown, terracotta, taupe, sandy), is available at Longchamp stores worldwide. 713 Madison Ave.; 212-223-1500; longchamp.com.

A Vintage Clothing Auction in Chicago

201303-b-ebony-fashion-fair-collection.jpg
Photo courtesy of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Any vintage vixen worth her bugle beads knows that scoring top-tier pieces is anything but easy. We’re talking about the sartorial standouts that radiate the panache (but not the eau de camphor) of a bygone era. Many fly to London or scour the arrondissements of Paris. But this month the vintage action is stateside. On March 19, Chicago-based Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will offer property from the Ebony Fashion Fair Collection—almost 800 lots of jaw-dropping gowns, daywear ensembles, furs and cocktail frocks curated by Eunice Johnson, fashion empress, Johnson Publishing Company co-founder and super-chic philanthropist.

Johnson expanded the Johnson Publishing umbrella in 1958 with the Ebony Fashion Fair, a touring exhibition designed to bring the high-fashion experience to small American towns like Selma, Alabama. The collection (view it here)—amassed over 50 years—is stunningly diverse, showcasing pieces by runway heavy hitters (like the jacquard dress by Christian Dior pictured here), European micro-houses and influential African American designers.

What do all the items have in common? Drama. Johnson was a fan of wow factor and it shows in sleek gowns (Lanvin, Zang Toi, Ralph Rucci, Givenchy), avant-garde silhouettes (Stephen Burrows, Issey Miyake, Christian Lacroix, Vivienne Westwood) and lots of Lurex, sequins, leather and painted silk (Halston, Mugler, Zandra Rhodes). March 19, 10 a.m.; 312-280-1212; lesliehindman.com/auctions.

A Dolce & Gabbana Art Party

image description
Photo courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

On Monday night, Sotheby’s and Dolce & Gabbana co-hosted a night devoted to contemporary art of every stripe on the tenth floor of the famed auction house. The exhibition “Passion + Transmission: International Contemporary Art from the CAP Collection”—open to the public through March 6 at noon, with pieces auctioned off on March 7—showcased big-name artists like Christopher Wool, Francis Alÿs, Tracey Emin, Sue Williams and Enoc Perez. But it also drew bold-faced New York names like Harry Brant, Julie Macklowe, Kelly Rutherford, Stella Schnabel, Will Cotton and Lauren Remington Platt (pictured here).

The evening, which honored the New York Academy of Art, dedicated a portion of its sales proceeds to the CAP Foundation, an organization that promotes education, the arts, medical research and environmental studies. Fueled by DJ duo AndrewAndrew and free-flowing Champagne, the atmosphere was lively as guests got up close and personal with neon signs, graffiti art and a lacquered bronze balloon. Auction, March 7 (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.); catalogue available at sothebys.com.

Irving & Fine for Lucky Brand’s Spring Collection

Lucky Brand bag
Photo courtesy of Lucky Brand

Southern California style meets international luxury in Lucky Brand’s new collaboration with globetrotting textile designers Carolina Irving and Lisa Fine, who started their clothing label, Irving & Fine, after a fabric-sourcing trip to India. Irving & Fine for Lucky Brand’s 11-piece Spring 2013 collection blends Lucky Brand’s vintage Americana look with the exquisite textiles and intricate embroidery that Irving & Fine is known for. Vibrant Moroccan-inspired jackets ($199), detailed peasant tops ($169) and bohemian totes with woven leather straps ($129, pictured here) mix and match easily with Lucky Brand’s handmade, SoCal-inspired denim, jackets and sweaters for a healthy dose of East-meets-West couture. luckybrand.com.

A Caroline Issa Capsule Collection

L.K. Bennett shoe
Photo courtesy of L.K. Bennett By London

After a long winter of covering up in layers of black, brown and navy, nothing says spring like a pop of color. In that spirit, the decidedly British brand L.K. Bennett has recruited stylish Londoner Caroline Issa to design her own capsule collection for spring/summer 2013. The result is an array of vibrant shoes and handbags sure to help dispel any lingering winter blues.

As Tank Magazine’s executive fashion director and a regular on street style blogs, Issa is a natural choice for a guest designer. “I went to Yao Noi, Thailand, last March, where I picked up an amazing embroidered bag in the market that inspired the collection,” she says. “I worked with L.K. Bennett’s brilliant design team to dream up shoes I’d have fun wearing this coming spring. I thought their quintessentially British take on an exotic inspiration would be a fabulous combination.” We are especially smitten with the Parrot court shoe (shown here, $445), a classic pump with a playful pom-pom detail on the heel. Available February 19; L.K. Bennett New York, Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle; 212-309-7559; lkbennett.com.

A Fashionable Impact

The CFDA

NORMA KAMALI, Photograph by Mark Seliger

According to fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg, American designers have always had an impact on how people dress, which is the notion at the center of a new exhibit at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. “Impact: 50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America” highlights the work of the CFDA, a fashion trade organization whose illustrious members include the likes of Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Norma Kamali and, of course, von Furstenberg, who also serves as the council’s president.

“Impact” features the work of nearly 600 designers, each of whom was asked to select a single object or ensemble that best represents his or her influence on the fashion world. Then curators, historians and industry insiders worked together to select representations for the historical designers. Highlights include a gathered skirt and halter top made of parachute cloth by Kamali (shown here) and a golden-hued floor-length dress by de la Renta.

The collaborative nature of the exhibition is highly unusual—it is much more common for a museum exhibit to be curated by an individual, says council CEO Steven Kolb. “The result is a rather eclectic representation of innovation and style.” Through April 21; 501 Plaza Real; 561-392-2500; bocamuseum.org.

Gift of the Day: Jacques Levine Slippers

Gift of the Day: Jacques Levine slippers
Photo courtesy of Jacques Levine

Crafted in Spain and lined with shearling, these elegant Pour Votre Domaine slippers ($98) by Jacques Levine, a 75-year-old footwear brand, are a welcome addition to any casual wardrobe. Pictured here in Bordeaux, they are also available in navy. jacqueslevine.com; neimanmarcus.com.

A Sportmax Capsule Collection

201212-b-sportsmax-capsule-collection.jpg

© Courtesy of MaxMara USA

Sportmax, the MaxMara brand known for its luxurious and eclectic Italian sportswear, also has an eye for creative collaborations, evidenced by its latest Carte Blanche capsule collection. Curated by Italian designer Ambra Medda, the collection features the work of up-and-coming Chinese artist Ying Wu. Her quirky prints, which appear on scarves—like the one pictured here ($190)—dresses and handbags, incorporate a mélange of animal, urban and technological graphics.

“Wu’s work primarily deals with the fact that the world we live in is constantly changing,” says Medda. “The work is somewhat deceiving given that it is highly decorative, yet if you look closer, you start to realize that there is a whole other dimension that brings you back to a starker reality.”

The limited-edition 1,000-piece collection will premiere at the brand’s flagship store in Milan next month, offering Sportmax devotees the opportunity to inject a bit of artistry and awareness into their wardrobes. 20 Via della Spiga; 39-2/7601-1944; sportmax.com.

Gift of the Day: The Book Gruau: Portraits of Men

Gift of the Day: The Book Gruau: Portraits of Men
Photo courtesy of SARL Rene Gruau

Italian fashion illustrator René Gruau is lauded for the now-iconic imagery he used to promote women’s fashion in the 1940s, but his revolutionary work in men’s fashion is equally stunning. Gruau: Portraits of Men (Assouline, $75) is a 260-page work of art showcasing his depictions of the modern man—from the 1960s to the 1980s—with portraiture that is at once casual, confident, humorous and sexy. assouline.com.

Most Recent Features