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March 30, 2010

Easy Living

Fashions and furniture that are as stylish as a club chair, as comfortable as a cardigan

The late 1990s are marked by a quest for furnishings and fashions that won't look passé next year—or next decade. That aesthetic is seen in the Ulrich Bench, as contemporary today as it was when it was designed in 1934 by Guglielmo Ulrich. The form couldn't be simpler: a U-shape frame, veneered in wenge wood, and a seat of interlaced leather strips. Likewise, Ralph Lauren takes one of the most elementary forms of dress, a poncho and trousers, and through fine tailoring and the use of luxurious materials—the natural flat-front trousers are made of silk, the poncho of cashmere—invests it with an enduring elegance. Ulrich Bench at M2L, Inc. Cashmere poncho ($950) and natural flat-front silk trousers ($595) from the Ralph Lauren Collection. Python slides ($215) by Salvatore Ferragamo.

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Where to Buy:
Ulrich Bench: At M2L, INC. nationwide; 800-319-8222; 212-832-8222 (from overseas).
Cashmere poncho: At POLO RALPH LAUREN New York; 800-756-7656.
Silk trousers: At POLO RALPH LAUREN New York • BERGDORF GOODMAN New York; 800-218-4918; 212-753-7300 • BARNEYS NEW YORK New York; 212-826-8900.
Python slides: At SALVATORE FERRAGAMO nationwide; 800-628-8916.

White, of course, never goes out of style. Here a Ralph Lauren off-white ensemble: suede, three-button jacket, cashmere shirt, flat-front silk/cotton trousers, with crocodile belt and Oxford lace-ups. The look of Odegard's Solstice carpet may be boldly modern, but the production techniques—including Himalayan hand-knotting—are age-old. Ralph Lauren Purple Label suede jacket ($1,795), cashmere shirt ($650), flat-front silk/cotton trousers ($395). Ralph Lauren Leathergoods crocodile belt ($500). Oxford lace-ups ($425), from the Ralph Lauren Footwear collection. Odegard, Inc. Solstice carpet from the Nima Collection.

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Where to Buy:
Suede jacket: At POLO RALPH LAUREN New York • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE select stores; 212-753-4000.
Cashmere shirt: At POLO RALPH LAUREN select stores • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE select stores.
Silk/cotton trousers: At POLO RALPH LAUREN select stores.
Crocodile belt: At POLO RALPH LAUREN select stores.
Oxford lace-ups: At POLO RALPH LAUREN select stores • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE select stores.
Solstice carpet: By ODEGARD, INC; 800-670-8836.

This Malo long-sleeve cashmere/silk belted cardigan and cashmere/silk drawstring trousers, coupled with Donghia Furniture/Textiles Ltd.'s Grand Eaton (left) and Eaton Fauteuil (both covered in silk shantung), make the perfect lounge act. Belted charcoal cardigan ($512) and drawstring trousers ($408) by Malo. Grand Eaton and Eaton Fauteuil, with antique pewter nailheads and black-cherry finish, by Donghia Furniture/Textiles Ltd.

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Where to Buy:
Long-sleeve cashmere/silk belted cardigan and drawstring trousers: At MALO nationwide; 877-733-6256.
Grand Eaton and Eaton Fauteuil, both in silk shantung: At DONGHIA FURNITURE/TEXTILES LTD. nationwide; 800-366-4442.

It's a simple equation: Luxurious material plus classic form equals easy elegance. The Twist Leg Sofa, an updated version of a 19th-century English model, is covered in Terra Firma linen velvet. Linen is also the mainstay of his outfit, a Brioni front-button shirt and trousers; silk shantung, of her long dress from Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti. Twist Leg Sofa from the Holly Hunt Collection. Terra Firma linen velvet fabric from Great Plains. Mustard linen shirt (about $235), brown linen trousers (about $400), ostrich belt (about $475) from Brioni. Suede moccasins ($250) from A. Testoni. Cream silk shantung long dress ($715) from Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti.

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Where to Buy:
Twist Leg Sofa covered in Terra Firma linen velvet: At HOLLY HUNT COLLECTION nationwide; 312-661-1900.
Mustard front-button linen shirt, brown linen trousers, and ostrich belt: At BRIONI New York (special order); 888-778-8775.
Suede moccasins: At A. TESTONI and other fine stores; 877-837-8664.
Cream silk shantung long dress from Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti: At BERGDORF GOODMAN • BERNINI Beverly Hills; 310-246-1121 • SARAH'S Pensacola; 850-434-9844.

What is more synonymous with sophisticated ease than the club chair? This one is by Rose Tarlow/Melrose House, which upscaled the traditional English version to fit California-size rooms. The sartorial accent, however, is French—cashmere pullover sweater and drawstring linen trousers, both by Hermès. Hermès stone cashmere pullover sweater ($1,710) and beige drawstring linen trousers ($585).

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Where to Buy:
Club chair: ROSE TARLOW/MELROSE HOUSE; 323-651-2202.
Cashmere pullover sweater and drawstring linen trousers: At HERMES nationwide; 800-441-4488.

The desire for comfort is universal, judging from the diverse places that inspired the furniture on these pages. The Topkapi armchair from Cassina USA Inc. is part of a line of flexible seating—the backrest swivels 180 degrees—designed by Francesco Binfaré. The inspiration for it is Istanbul's Topkapi Palace, where, one surmises, lounging developed into a high art. There's no sense overdoing the historical allusions however: He wears an Aida Barni cashmere/silk polo shirt, Incotex's cuffed cotton trousers (not harem pants), Torino alligator belt, and Franck Muller Conquistador stainless-steel watch. Topkapi armchair ($3,675). Heather-gray and ivory striped Aida Barni cashmere/silk polo shirt ($300). Stone-colored Incotex cuffed cotton trousers ($225). Torino alligator belt ($595). Franck Muller watch ($6,000).

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Where to Buy:
Topkapi armchair: At CASSINA USA INC. nationwide; 800-770-3568.
Aida Barni's cashmere/silk polo shirt: At BERGDORF GOODMAN MEN New York; 800-218-4918; 212-753-7300 • WILKES BASHFORD San Francisco; 415-986-4380 • TYRONE Roslyn, New York; 516-484-3330.
Incotex's cuffed cotton trousers: At SCOTT HILL Los Angeles; 310-777-1190 • WILKES BASHFORD • TYRONE.
Torino alligator belt: At SAKS FIFTH AVENUE select stores • NEIMAN MARCUS nationwide; 800-944-9888 • NORDSTROM select stores; 800-695-8000.
Franck Muller Conquistador stainless-steel watch: At CELLINI New York; 212-888-0505 • HOCHFIELD JEWELERS Aspen; 970-925-5363 • WESTIME Los Angeles; 310-470-1388.

What better symbol of relaxed luxury than a pair of fetching slipper chairs like these, designed by Barbara Barry for Baker Furniture? The covering is Cowtan & Tout Rococo silk, the rolled back a nice 1940s touch. And what better feeling than looking at your partner and seeing a sensibility that complements your own? His Ermenegildo Zegna cotton/linen/rayon tee shirt, linen shirt jacket, and linen/rayon drawstring trousers are the casual foil to her MaxMara bias-cut, linen mid-calf-length dress. Ermenegildo Zegna tee shirt ($230), shirt jacket ($300), drawstring trousers ($230). Calf suede men's shoes ($695) from Warren Edwards. MaxMara linen dress ($660). Ralph Lauren alligator ballet flats ($1,550). Men's Omega De Ville Prestige Tonneau Jumping Hour watch ($3,400) with brown leather strap and copper dial; women's Omega De Ville stainless-steel and 18-karat gold watch ($1,995).

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Where to Buy:
Barbara Barry's slipper chairs covered in Cowtan & Tout Rococo silk. By BAKER FURNITURE; 616-361-7321.
Cotton/linen/rayon tee shirt, linen shirt jacket, and linen/rayon drawstring trousers: At ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA select stores; 888-880-3462.
Calf suede shoes: At WARREN EDWARDS New York; 212-752-4883.
Bias-cut, linen mid-calf-length dress: At MAXMARA Houston; 800-206-6872 • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE select stores.
Alligator ballet flats: At POLO RALPH LAUREN select stores.
Men's De Ville Prestige Tonneau Jumping Hour watch with copper dial and women's De Ville stainless-steel and 18-karat gold watch: For information contact OMEGA, 800-766-6342.

This 82-inch-diameter dining table by Michael Vanderbyl for Baker Furniture's Archetype Collection, with oval top, tapered legs, and high-gloss finish, is suited to formal and contemporary settings. Likewise, the Giorgio Armani wool jacket ($2,200), silk trousers ($1,105), and silk tulle overlay skirt ($450). Sergio Rossi leather mules ($375).

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Where to Buy:
Michael Vanderbyl's oval-top dining table: By BAKER FURNITURE.
Wool jacket, silk trousers, and silk tulle overlay skirt: At GIORGIO ARMANI nationwide; 212-988-9191 • BARNEYS NEW YORK select stores • BERGDORF GOODMAN.
Leather mules: At SERGIO ROSSI New York; 212-396-4814.

Poles apart—but each at home in the style they've chosen. Her Genny silk/linen spaghetti strap dress (left) shares the bold simplicity of Marcel Wanders' white cotton floor lamp (80 inches high), part of his Shadow Collection for Cappellini. Red Genny spaghetti strap dress ($1,380). Sigerson Morrison leather crisscross flats ($180). Shadow Collection floor lamp for Cappellini ($2,095).

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Where to Buy:
Silk/linen spaghetti strap dress: For information contact GENNY, 212-245-4860.
Leather flats: At SIGERSON MORRISON New York; 212-219-3893 • SAKS FIFTH AVENUE nationwide • CAPRETTO SHOES Miami; 305-661-7767.
Marcel Wanders' white cotton floor lamp: At CAPPELLINI MODERN AGE New York; 212-966-0669.

The Low Scroll Arm Wing Chair in 100 percent cotton velvet is the perfect backdrop for his wool jacket, linen shirt, linen lapel vest, and flat-front herringbone linen trousers, all from Kiton. Low Scroll Arm Wing Chair at George Smith, Inc. ($5,585). Kiton Super 150 wool jacket ($2,300), linen shirt ($495), linen lapel vest ($395), and flat-front herringbone linen trousers ($495). Petrolo black calfskin clogs ($155) from Bally.

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Where to Buy:
Low Scroll Arm Wing Chair: At GEORGE SMITH, INC. New York and Los Angeles; 877-226-4005.
Wool jacket, linen shirt, linen vest, linen trousers: At BERGDORF GOODMAN MEN • LOUIS BOSTON Boston; 800-225-5135 • SCOTT HILL • ULTIMO Chicago; 312-787-1171.
Clogs: At BALLY nationwide; 800-332-2559.