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September 27, 2012
By Francesca Giacco | Fashion

Duohtavuohta coat
Photo courtesy of Duohtavuohta

Sometimes looking good is a girl’s best defense against the deep chill of winter. And the new winter collection from Duohtavuohta can help achieve just that, thanks to a healthy dose of luxury and eco-consciousness. Situated in Finnish Lapland, the brand uses sustainable materials exclusively, creating sumptuous outerwear from reindeer leather, wool and natural furs. (Picture an environmentally friendly version of Julie Christie’s Russian winter wear in Doctor Zhivago.)

“The Aksovaara coat, made of silky-soft reindeer leather with eye-catching Finn raccoon fur trimmings, is my all-time favorite piece,” says Wille Rajala, Duohtavuohta’s founder and CEO. “It has a feminine and luxurious flair, and is a masterpiece of craftsmanship that is made by hand in three days. It is our most popular style and a true classic from our collection.” Aksovaara coat, $6,000; Available at Brass Ranch, 1 Sun Valley Rd., Sun Valley, Idaho; 208-622-2021; duohtavuohta.com.

September 24, 2012
By Amanda Ross | Fashion

Runway Report from a Range Rover
Photo courtesy of Amanda Ross

It was Range Rover’s brilliant idea to hire a fireman to drive me from show to show during New York fashion week. Joe knew the city like nobody’s business, maneuvering everywhere from the top of the Upper East Side to streets that I had never even heard of near Chinatown. Having owned a Ranger Rover at one point in my life, I was excited to ride around town in the new Range Rover Sport. The seats were comfortable, and I had enough space to create my own office—all a girl needs to get through fashion week. When I wasn’t in the car, I saw some stellar spring shows. Here are my three favorites:

  • Inspired by a trip to India, Vera Wang took on the modern-bohemian look in the most elegant of ways. I would like to single one look as my favorite, but, frankly, I’m obsessed with everything that went down the runway. And let’s talk about those shoes….
  • Nobody does modernity like Narciso Rodriguez, and this was such a beautiful collection. I love the use of color against the black-and-whites, along with the introduction of embellishment to the line.
  • Joseph Altuzarra is one of fashion’s most beloved designers to watch. I loved the nods to American OshKosh and Carhartt mixed with his super-sleek and sexy French sensibility.
September 17, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Fashion

Dorchester  scarf
Photo courtesy of Dorchester Collection

In conjunction with London Fashion Week, which ends September 18, women’s wear designers Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, of the label Teatum Jones, have created a printed crepe de chine silk scarf ($380) in homage to London’s 81-year-old Dorchester hotel. The scarf will be available for purchase on September 18 at the department store Liberty (210–220 Regent St.; 44-20/7734-1234; liberty.co.uk).

For inspiration, the designers spent hours looking through photographs from the hotel archives, finally choosing to juxtapose black-and-white images of staff from The Dorchester’s early years with graphic depictions of the hotel’s metal-worked balconies. “Storytelling has always been key to our designs,” says Jones. “What perhaps is one of the most inspiring aspects of The Dorchester is its ability to remain true to the glamour of the past while having such a constant and contemporary allure.” Scarves will also be available at shop.thedorchester.com.

August 29, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Fashion

Salvatore Ferragamo purse
Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo

From the velvet ankle boots made for Brigitte Bardot in 1966 to the shoes Madonna wore for her starring role in the 1996 film Evita, accessories by Salvatore Ferragamo are things of beauty. The offerings in the 2012 pre-fall collection are no different, drawing from a rich autumn palette of burgundies, deep purples and loden greens and reflecting a soft, sophisticated style. Our favorite piece? This python handbag ($1,900) with a gold padlock-style fastener. It’s chic yet understated—with a touch of old-world boarding-school charm—and the perfect addition to any fall wardrobe. Available in Salvatore Ferragamo stores nationwide; ferragamo.com.

July 02, 2012
By Tasha Green | Fashion

Men's Fashion Week in Milan: Gucci
Photo by Tasha Green

Last week the men’s shows in Milan showcased the collections for spring 2013. The sweltering July temperatures ensured that buyers and editors were in the mood for refreshing summer fashion. Some houses played it safe, presenting designs that exemplified the company in the most familiar of ways, while others pushed the envelope, imposing a level of futurism that menswear may never fully accept. Then there were those—like the five selected below—that hit it just right, balancing essential brand elements with forward-thinking innovation.

Etro: The most inspired collection thematically, referencing India and the Middle East—complete with turbans, mandarin collars and harem pants.

Bottega Veneta: Beautiful styles conjuring up images of the Southwest, with moccasins and ’60s-style suede tunics. Big, beautiful bags—what Bottega does best—also made their way down the runway.

Gucci (pictured): We know that Gucci’s Frida Giannini loves a ’70s reference, but this collection seemed a more refined riff on that theme, including elegant silk prints and perfectly proportioned jackets.

Missoni: The house of Missoni offered more Eastern-inspired looks: Moroccan feeling pieces played more with tonal hues than a mishmash of colors. The result was both fresh and soothing.

Burberry: The general rule of thumb is that three times makes a trend, so with metallics dominating the runway at Versace, Roberto Cavalli and Burberry, we knew they were on to something. Though quite a bit of shine came down Christopher Bailey’s runway, he was also clever enough to hide the glitter behind the lapel of a classic trench for a more wearable version of the trend.

June 27, 2012
By Andrew Sessa | Fashion

Orlebar Brown’s Olympic Style
Courtesy Orlebar Brown

There are many ways to get into the Olympic spirit: crossing the pond to see the London games live (they start July 27); setting the DVR to catch every second of synchronized swimming, equestrian dressage and rhythmic gymnastics; or cheering on an adopted soccer team at a local watering hole (“Goooaaal!”).

But new to the list is donning the super-stylish Athlete Collection swim trunks by Orlebar Brown. Digitally printed in the UK and made of a high-tech, quick-drying Belgian fabric called polyamide, the new trim-fit swimsuits ($275 each) celebrate sport with crisp graphic illustrations of five different Olympic events: diving, volleyball, gymnastics, running and javelin. French-born, London-based illustrator Malika Favre created the imagery especially for the brand’s founder, Adam Brown, who says he “looked to the strong, heroic quality of the graphics and photography used by the Russian Constructivists of the 1920s” when working with the artist. “Lots of sportsmen have been photographed wearing OB shorts, and Matthew Pinsent, the four-time Olympic gold medal rower for the UK, is a regular customer,” Brown continues. “But really, I’m always thrilled when anyone wears OBs—Olympian or otherwise.”

This year’s Olympiad coincides with Orlebar Brown’s fifth anniversary, and the Athlete Collection is just one of the ways the brand has commemorated the occasion. There are also design collaborations with style gurus Simon Doonan and Nick Wooster and trunks printed with beachy vintage photos from the Getty Images Collection, including soigne scenes shot by Slim Aarons. orlebarbrown.com.

June 14, 2012
By Amanda Ross | Fashion

Ferragamo fashion show
Photo by Amanda Ross

Luxury is a Ferragamo fashion show under an arcade outside the Louvre. I came to Paris to see Ferragamo’s Resort 2013 show, which was inspired by the limestone of the Louvre; the sand and wind of Big Sur; Native Americans; and the family archives. The brand’s ever-dashing, ever-talented creative director Massimiliano Giornetti captured the modern woman and every aspect of how she wants to rock ’n’ roll through life. There was a lot of ’70s chic: leather, suede and just plain great accessories, like hobo bags, chain bags and stretch-suede boots in every shade of pale. (Butterfly pendants and chain-link bracelets also made appearances.) It was elegant, sexy and absolutely beautiful. The resort collection will stay in the store from November until June—plenty of time to not miss a thing.

My favorite spots in Paris:

  • Ritz Paris 15 Pl. Vendôme; 33-01/43-16-30-30; ritzparis.com.
  • Cafe Ferdi 32 Rue de Mont Thabor; 33-01/42-60-82-52.
  • Caviar Kaspia 17 Pl. Madeleine; 33-01/42-65-33-32; caviarkaspia.com.
  • Deyrolle 46 Rue du Bac; 33-01/42-22-30-07.
  • Colette 213 Rue Saint-Honoré; 33-01/55-35-33-90; colette.fr.
  • Alaïa 7 Rue de Moussy; 33-01/40-27-85-58.
  • Papier Plus 9 Rue Pont Louis Philippe; 33-01/42-77-70-49.
  • Centre Pompidou: To see works by Gerhard Richter (through September 24) and Matisse (through June 18). Pl. George Pompidou; 33-01/44-78-12-33; centrepompidou.fr.
  • Pinacothèque de Paris: A little museum that always focuses on a different civilization. 28 Pl. de la Madeleine; pinacotheque.com.
  • Louvre: To see Da Vinci’s Virgin and Child with Saint Anne. Musée du Louvre; louvre.fr.
June 05, 2012
By Maud Doyle | Art, Fashion

Barneys collaborates with DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art
Photo by Tom Sibley

Barneys’ famous windows will bring the high-flying debate of art versus fashion to the people with the opening of five dynamic, site-specific installations on June 6. Conceived by Dakis Joannou, art collector, patron and founder of DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art, and Dennis Freedman, Barneys creative director, the collaboration features five contemporary artists: photographer Juergen Teller, art-design partnership M/M (Paris), fashion designer Helmut Lang, poet Patrizia Cavalli and filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari (a still from the film she contributed this year is pictured above). Each created a work inspired by his or her past projects, and the result is a continuation of Destefashioncollection, an initiative by DESTE Foundation that explores the relationship between fashion, art and culture. We chatted with Freedman about this year’s approach.

Q: This project follows an established tradition of creative window treatments at Barneys. How do you strike a balance between the company—a high-fashion, ready-to-wear giant—and inspired one-of-a-kind artwork?

A: This window, unlike 90 percent of the others, doesn’t feature merchandise but is still a highly commercial window. I don’t think that’s in any way an obstacle to creativity. I worked at W for 15 years. Every collaboration with an artist dealt with fashion in one way or another; nothing is pure art here. But in the end it doesn’t matter, because I think the work is valid either way. The idea is to bring in many different voices.

Q: This year’s curator for Destefashioncollections, the young Greek filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari, is presenting one of the installations. What is she up to?

A: She did a film, shot in Idra. The extraordinary thing is how it’s being installed in the window. We have architects, engineers and designers creating a complex system of grids, drawings, mirrors and 3-D filters against a prototype three-dimensional television screen. As you walk past the window, the imagery will appear three-dimensional.

Q: Film and photography have a long-standing relationship with the fashion industry, but how does a poet like Patrizia Cavalli contribute?

A: I was intrigued by the idea of words and of poetry. Why do we have to look at a photograph? She wrote a poem about a Viktor & Rolf dress. Next to the dress, a printer, mounted on a stand, will print the poem—one word at a time—and the pages will fall to the floor. The window will fill with words.

June 6–July 4; 660 Madison Ave.; deste.gr.

May 10, 2012
By Maud Doyle | Arts + Culture, Fashion, Museums

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations
© Left: Portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli, 1932 / Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hoyningen-Huené/Vogue; Condé Nast. Right: Portrait of Miuccia Prada, 1999 / Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guido Harari/Contrasto/Redux

“Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations,” which opens today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, explores the parallels between groundbreaking Italian designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, whose work bookends a century.

By contrasting garments, ideas and quotes, curators Andrew Bolton and Harold Koda created an imaginary conversation between the two women, framing it all with a stunning video directed by Baz Luhrmann, in which Schiaparelli (played by Judy Davis) and Prada chat over dinner. In each of the exhibit’s four rooms, the women discuss their careers and inspirations, occasionally differing in opinion (Schiaparelli proclaims, “Celebrate the bust!” while Prada insists that more happens from the waist down).

The exhibition is all screens and mirrors, and the dark profundity of last year’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” is nowhere to be found. But the reflections and visual effects in “Impossible Conversations” demonstrate its point: Like the femme fatales of film noir, the women who wear Prada’s mirrored skirts or Schiaparelli’s gold-embroidered jackets shine a little too brightly to be seen clearly.

Prada’s ensembles, which comprise the majority of the exhibit, are almost exclusively taken from the last ten years, and Schiaparelli’s nearly all hail from the 1930s. But the similarities are clear. In the first room, called Waist Up, Waist Down, Schiaparelli hats match Prada shoes precisely, and her jackets pair so perfectly with skirts from the early aughts that the temporal discrepancy doesn’t register—at least until a jacket embroidered with golden palms is paired with palm-printed silk short-shorts.

In the final installment, a shadowy hall of mirrors reflects ensembles (bug necklaces, feathered capes) floating in plexiglass boxes and black-and-white digital images of Schiaparelli blinking eerily. It’s a display of intellectual femininity, complete with tricks, puns and allusions. Consider a floor-length black Schiaparelli gown from the 1930s, spotted with pink velvet flowers and lovely in its simplicity. Two of the flowers have extra petals, and their placement highlights breasts beneath. It’s a cheeky nod and shows how these clothes embody the most fascinating aspect of a woman’s allure: Nothing is what it seems. On view May 10–August 19; 1000 Fifth Ave.; 212-535-7710; metmuseum.org.

April 11, 2012
By Sarah Gold | Fashion

Angelo Galasso Opens in New York’s Plaza Hotel
Courtesy Angelo Galasso

When the Plaza’s grand, ornate Edwardian Room opens its doors this week for the first time since the 1990s, the space will be—in a sense—coming full circle. Originally opened in 1907 as a gentlemen’s café, the 3,800-square-foot room, with its paneled oak wainscoting, elaborately trussed ceiling and expansive corner views over Central Park and Fifth Avenue, has reinvented itself several times. Only now, though, is the space returning to its roots as a particular lure for men. Its new incarnation: the debut U.S. flagship of luxury menswear designer Angelo Galasso.

Galasso’s bold ready-to-wear collections—which employ exotic skins, vivid colors and prints and signature details like hexagonal shirt buttons—might not at first seem the most obvious choice for the formal Spanish Renaissance Revival space (a top hat and cutaway coat might seem more at home). But as celebrity fans like Al Pacino, David Beckham and Jay-Z know, Galasso’s dramatic style is matched with a bespoke designer’s attention to craftsmanship and detail. Every item in the new boutique—including ready-to-wear jackets, shirts, suits, belts, watches and even underwear—can be customized to order by Galasso’s cadre of on-site tailors. Of course, made-to-measure designs can take a few weeks to complete, since all of Galasso’s fabrics, materials and assemblage—like the retail shop’s couches, tables, rugs and even racks—are “Fatto in Italia” (made in Italy).
angelogalasso.com

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