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luxury

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June 23, 2014
By Horacio Silva | Fashion, Style

 Adam Lippes
Photo courtesy of Meredith Jenks

When New York designer Adam Lippes shuttered his Adam label in 2012, he actually received hate mail. “People get really attached to their favorite items of clothing,” says the affable Lippes, 41, a former creative director of Oscar de la Renta who, after eight years in business on his own, had won countless hearts, minds and pocketbooks with his luxurious basics. “Once you convert someone to the perfect sheath dress, or even to a T-shirt or underwear they love, they want nothing to do with change.”

Now, after a protracted legal battle to win back his name and an equally long sabbatical in South America, India and Europe, Lippes is back with a new collection of luxe women’s clothing that is a much-needed boost of lean Céline in a showy Cavalli world.

“I wanted to make pieces that were sophisticated and refined and had nothing costumey to them,” explains Lippes of the sumptuous duchess satin and lace pleated skirts, superfine cashmere gowns and capes, and crisp Italian cotton shirts and dresses that comprise his coming fall/winter collection.

“It’s not about taking over the world,” he says. “It’s about making really beautiful products that we can be really proud of.” For store locations, go to adamlippes.com.

May 07, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Fashion

Ferragamo’s New Fiamma Handbag
Courtesy of Ferragamo

Family has always been central to Ferragamo. And for the launch of its new Fiamma handbag collection on May 7, which honors Fiamma Ferragamo—the late daughter of paterfamilias Salvatore, who was the brand’s shoe and leather accessories designer for nearly 40 years and founder of the iconic Vara—the label keeps with tradition.

A corresponding digital film series stars different generations of women from iconic families. The likes of Anika and Sydney Poitier, of Los Angeles; Princess Patricia and Princess Mathilde Melusine Ruspoli, of Rome; and Stella, Lola and Jacqueline Schnabel, of New York, are featured, showcasing the Fiamma styles they adore. São Paulo native Helena Bordon carries the large python version ($6,900, pictured above) in the production.

Offered in a variety of materials (python, crocodile, calfskin, pony hair) and hardware, with silk print linings from the 1970s, the bag has a chic, freewheeling feel; combinations like fringe-embroidered napa leather, tweed punctuated with dégradé Swarovski crystals and lizard-skin handles, and calfskin with stingray details keep things fresh and fun. A true take on modern luxury, it proves that, just like the women featured, anyone can find a look they will love. ferragamo.com/fiamma.

May 05, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Fashion

Cremieux
Courtesy of Cremieux

A slice of St.-Tropez’s famed Passage du Port—that celebrated corner of luxury shopping located steps from the sea—made its way to New York last week with the opening of Cremieux’s new flagship store in SoHo. Started in 1976 by designer Daniel Cremieux, the preppy French menswear label is best known for bringing bright colors, patchwork shirts and club-stripe ties into Europe’s closets when darker tones were in vogue. (Take, for example, the extra-fine wool polka-dot suit [$1,242] and silk striped tie [$160] pictured above.)

One generation later, Stéphane Cremieux, the heir to the family brand, gives the signature Ivy-League-meets-French Riviera sensibility its first true American home just a stone’s throw from the company’s recently relocated design headquarters.

“Our clothing has been sold throughout department stores in America since the year 2000,” explains Stéphane. “However, we wanted to create a store that represents exactly what we have in our mind. We already have returning customers, which is the most important thing, as it means they understood the message.” 65 Mercer St.; 212-343-3838; danielcremieux.com.

February 26, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Fashion

New Shoes by René Caovilla
Courtesy of Rêne Caovilla

If the mark of a good thing is that it gets passed down from one generation to the next—a rule that separates the trendy from the timeless—René Caovilla has done something right. Marking the Italian shoe-and-bag maker’s 80th year, Edoardo Caovilla, third-generation creative director and COO, developed an exclusive, limited-edition capsule collection for Bergdorf Goodman (launched earlier this month) and Neiman Marcus (which officially debuts in March and will be available in Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami).

Each showcases shoes inspired by the brand’s archives but reimagined for the 21st century, such as a 1949 leather mule sandal embellished with pearls ($1,350); a Persian mosaic-patterned suede pump from 1965 (pictured above; $1,350), each piece individually stitched; and the signature Snake shoe, named for its coiling ankle strap, in hot pink with multicolor feathers and crystals ($1,175). “Our aim was to emphasize our history and give value to our craftsmanship and artisans and at the same time express our idea of contemporary femininity,” says Caovilla. “It’s a new beginning, and we are honored to start a new chapter.”

Continuing a tradition of artistry—and Caovilla’s history of working with haute couture houses like Valentino, Christian Dior and Chanel—each pair of the ultra-feminine shoes and sandals is handmade in the family’s factory outside Venice using proprietary innovative techniques. But the evolution doesn’t stop there. Caovilla plans to introduce bijoux, eyewear and fragrances over the next several years. “Luxury is no longer something only for the special occasions,” he says. “Luxury is about being special in every moment of our lives.”

February 11, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Fashion

Trunk Show Debut: Bespoke Suits from Down Under
Courtesy of P Johnson Tailors

One of the top tailors Down Under is bringing his expertise stateside for the first time. Patrick Johnson of Australia-based P.Johnson Tailors (29 Thomas St., Melbourne; 61-4/8820-7240; 46 Liverpool St., Sydney; 61-2/9966-7548) will host trunk shows in New York February 17 to February 19 at The Towers at the New York Palace Hotel (455 Madison Ave.).

Known for impeccable fit and sharp details, Johnson’s suits (from $1,100) pair artisanal techniques (sewing and pressing by hand) with modern technical upgrades (proprietary pattern-making software) that result in garments with both character and precision. (P.Johnson will return for follow-up fittings every seven weeks.) It is an approach that the tailor is eager to share.

“It’ll be great to see our existing clients, but we’re also keen to show U.S. men who we are and what we do,” says Johnson (pictured above), who champions a “reduction and refinement of the wardrobe.” “We want them to see that a simple, clean and fresh approach to dressing makes it easier to have an effective look.”

P.Johnson will move on from New York to a three-day stint in Chicago, February 20 to February 22. To schedule an appointment, e-mail bonnie@pjohnson.com.au; pjohnson.com.au.

January 28, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Fashion

Chic Kids’ Clothes from A.P.C. and Bonton
APC/BONTON

Given the recent wave of designer clothing for children, discerning taste in fashion no longer needs to develop with age. French ready-to-wear brand A.P.C. is the latest label to contribute to the cause, teaming up with kids’ clothier Bonton to create its first children’s capsule collection for spring/summer 2014.

Born out of a conversation on the playground between the brands’ founders—Jean Touitou of A.P.C. and Thomas and Irène Cohen of Bonton (their children are friends and classmates at the same school)—the collection mixes A.P.C.’s functionality with Bonton’s lively spirit. A sweet coffee-bean print marks a raglan sweater (from $105), a scarf ($25), a jean skirt (from $115) and a parka (from $370; pictured above) that has a detachable quilted lining and a camouflage-print option. Raw indigo jeans (from $140) round out the collection.

Two styles of children’s A.P.C. + Nike sneakers ($110 a pair) are also on offer for the first time, and while the clothing is already available in both A.P.C. and Bonton stores, the shoes are set to arrive on February 6. usonline.apc.fr/bonton.

December 18, 2013
By Ingrid Skjong | Fashion

Beretta and Brooks Brothers Team Up
Courtesy of Brooks Brothers

With a combined 695 years of experience between them, Beretta, the oldest industrial company in the world, and Brooks Brothers, one of the country’s most iconic clothing brands, has collaborated on outerwear that is as hardy as it is stylish.

The fall line features two designs: the Cordura ($700) and the Wax Jacket ($400, pictured above), both lined with Brooks Brothers' signature tartan and sporting technical Beretta elements that come in handy whether you’re in the field or in the city.

Look for fleece-lined handwarmer pockets, a hat tucked into an inner pocket and hands-free shoulder straps (so you can slip out of the jacket without it falling on the ground) on the Cordura; brave the conditions in the waterproof, windproof Wax Jacket, complete with rainproof inner cuffs, front-bellow pockets and a specially designed clean-feeling waxed-cotton fabric. Can’t get enough of the looks? The two brands are planning another collection for spring. beretta.com; brooksbrothers.com.

December 06, 2013
By Sasha Levine | Fashion

Edmundo Castillo’s New Shoes
Courtesy of Edmundo Castillo

Winter is almost here, but Edmundo Castillo has warmer weather on his mind. With the launch of his new Spring 2014 collection, the Puerto Rican-born designer brings together an assembly of modern and graphic silhouettes in bright, bold colors. Inspired by 1970s contemporary furniture, the designs incorporate exotic skins and come embellished with organic elements like wood, raffia, resin and oversized metal paillettes for an au natural appeal.

A highlight? The Barby ($1,295; pictured above), a flat sandal made of jade calfskin suede, cracked gold leather and hand-cut metal anaconda embroidery paillettes. “I love the simplicity of its silhouette,” Castillo says. “It’s all about the work on the shoe—the embroidery is like a piece of the tail of a golden mermaid.” Available starting December 15; Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills (9700 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-550-5900) and Bal Harbour (9700 Collins Ave.; 305-865-6161); edmundocastillo.com.

October 02, 2013
By Ingrid Skjong | Fashion

Giambattista Valli Introduces a Handbag
Courtesy of Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli enters new territory this season with the debut of the Valli bag—the first-ever handbag released by the designer. Cutting a sleek, architectural profile, the new addition strikes the tricky balance between tradition and modernity. (Amanda Ross, DEPARTURES fashion director, is particularly smitten with it this season.)

Beautifully sized, the bag has an adjustable handle, a removable strap and a detachable interior case that helps it segue from day to night in a snap. It’s also as easy to maneuver as it is to wear; a touch lock opens effortlessly (no small detail).

Pictured here in black leather (price upon request), the bag comes in an array of skins, fabrics and color combinations, including a chic black-and-white version and gold snakeskin. Consider it the perfect genteel-with-an-edge accessory. giambattistavalli.com.

September 19, 2013
By Ingrid Skjong | Fashion

Shoes by Tommy Hilfiger and George Esquivel
Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

For some, shoes have a magnetic pull that is nearly impossible to resist—a fact that makes collaborations like the first between fashion titan Tommy Hilfiger and footwear designer George Esquivel all the more compelling. “The fact that two American designers came together to create something simply for the love of it is what makes this so special,” says Esquivel.

The four styles ($399 each)—a loafer and a brogue for both men and women (the women's brogue is pictured above)—are handmade in California, where Esquivel has been designing shoes from a studio in Orange County for a decade. Just 900 of the limited-edition pairs will be made, each requiring more than 100 steps and featuring hand-punched perforations, hand-appliquéd logos and individually polished soles and heels.

The designers’ relationship isn’t new. Esquivel, a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award nominee in 2009, joined the CFDA’s Americans in Paris program two years later. Hilfiger, a program mentor for four years, knew instantly that he wanted to work with him. A shoe Esquivel produced for Hilfiger’s Fall 2013 show at New York Fashion Week ultimately turned into the capsule collection. 681 Fifth Ave., New York; 212-223-1824; 157 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles; 310-247-1475; tommy.com.

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