March 20, 2012
By Jordan Kisner | Fashion

IKKON Launches Luxury E-Commerce for Men
Courtesy IKKON

Today marks the launch of IKKON, a new e-commerce site focused solely on luxury menswear. The site’s founders, sisters Kristen Pazik-Schevchenko, Kara Pazik, and Marisa Pazik, opted to fill the site with selections from hard-to-find designers, like Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens—though they will also carry classics like Valentino. “It’s a tightly curated list,” Marisa Pazik said, “We brought on each brand because we liked their story and we picked only a few items to fill each category. Instead of overloading men with choices, we’ve found the softest tee shirt, the best-fitting jeans, the perfect blazer.” For men who need more guidance, IKKON has a stylist on call to answer questions and recommend looks for any trip or event, as well as an Italian tailor available to advise on the proper cut or the trendiest lapel.

IKKON launches March 22;

March 14, 2012
By Sarah Gold | Fashion

Cesare Attolini’s New NYC Flagship
Alek Belakov / Courtesy Cesare Attolini

Most fashionable men are well-versed in the details of the Neapolitan-style suit. Unstructured, with a soft shoulder, high-cut armhole and an easier drape than its English counterparts, it’s been a staple of many style emissaries (including Clark Gable and Sean Connery) since the mid-20th century. For today’s best-dressed guys, however, actually procuring one of these suits has been something of an ordeal: The top Neapolitan tailors (there are only a handful, and all are family-owned) are bespoke operations and have few outposts outside their native city.

That all changes this week, when the vaunted Neapolitan design house of Cesare Attolini opens its first location in the U.S. The Attolini family (specifically, paterfamilias Vincenzo) has long been credited with creating the original design for the Neapolitan-style suit; now, the family’s creations will be available for the first time to New York customers. The 2,500-square-foot space includes a private second-floor atelier that offers signature Attolini made-to-order pieces (starting at $5,500). A good bit of shelf space, though, is devoted to the brand’s ready-to-wear garments and accessories—such as cashmere sweaters, silk ties and pocket squares.

January 26, 2012
By Jordan Kisner | Fashion

Courtesy Mark Cross.

As we recently noted, the revival of storied handbag company Mark Cross is something to celebrate—a new chapter for a luxury brand whose owners rubbed elbows with Hemmingway, Picasso, and Cole Porter, and whose devoted customers included Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor. Now the brand is launching a collection exclusively at Barneys New York, set to hit stores January 30. The line features eight pieces inspired by vintage designs. Those looking for an extra dose of old world glamour will head straight for the Grace Box, a calf leather valise inspired by the iconic overnight case that Grace Kelly carried in Albert Hitchcock’s 1954 film Rear Window. Over 50 years have passed since its debut, but no matter: this piece is timeless. From $1495. Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue, 212-826-8900;

January 12, 2012
By Amanda Ross | Fashion, Jewelry

Fred Leighton Egyptian jewelry
Courtesy Fred Leighton

Ancient Egypt’s mysterious religious and architectural symbols have always fascinated me, and they often influence my style. One of my favorite trips was to Luxor, Dendera and Cairo, where I visited the Khan al Khalili market, the best place to unearth rare treasures. I found lapis and turquoise scarabs, scooping them up by the handfuls. In ancient Egypt this beetle, which was often entombed with mummies, was a sacred symbol, its life cycle seen as a metaphor for rebirth and resurrection—hence, its association with immortality. Scarabs were inscribed with hieroglyphics and carried as amulets, or worn as jewelry for good luck. Today they continue to inspire jewelers everywhere. Santa Monica, California–based designer Darlene de Sedle, who carves them from gold and rainbow moonstone, helped me create a flower-shaped turquoise and purple iolite cocktail ring. I also brought scarab beads to New York–based Aurora Lopez Mejia, who used them to craft a one-of-a-kind necklace. I love the idea that these little bugs hold so much power and significance.

A 19th-century scarab and jeweled pendant necklace from Fred Leighton. $145,000; 212-288-1872.

January 05, 2012
By Tasha Green | Fashion

Courtesy Norma Kamali.

Something strange happened during New York Fashion Week—at the presentation of Norma Kamali’s spring 2012 collection this past September, the industry’s most frozen-faced elite looked on, and (crack) smiled. Having been given 3-D glasses at the door—in Kamali’s iconic cat-eye shape, of course—editors marveled at the giant projection of a 3-D fashion show, featuring her “dancehall girls” shimmying and twirling right off the screen to the sultry singing of Imelda May. The result was pure delight, the energy in the room almost ebullient. People were having (gasp) fun at a fashion show.

Kamali, who says she has “always felt like an outsider” and therefore feels “comfortable on that edge,” gave up traditional runway shows long ago: “I really felt that there are so many new ways to tell a story,” she explains. “Not this sour girl walking down the runway looking very unlike anybody that you would ever want to be—whether they’re beautiful or not—it’s just uncomfortable how unnecessary it seems when you look at it.” Instead, she opts for mini fashion films, which the very democratic designer makes available online. The 3-D campaign is no exception, Kamali fans can receive free glasses here, as well as shop in 3-D on her website. Before buying a dress, you can see the way it moves right before your nose, without leaving the comfort of your chair.

Related: Read about Norma Kamali in Departures' January/February 2012 issue.

December 14, 2011
By Rachel Wolff | Fashion

Courtesy Selfridges Images

English artist Marc Quinn may be best known for his sculptural renderings of Kate Moss in which the waifish onetime supermodel is wearing a leotard, cast in precious metals and twisted into highly improbable, hurts-from-just-looking-at-’em yoga-esque positions (a bronze version sold for $1.2 million at Christie’s in May). But for Quinn, orchids—those fussy, delicate, sensual blossoms—have recently held a similar appeal. They started popping up in his work, so to speak, a few years back via kaleidoscopic photorealist paintings, paired with strawberries, chili peppers and other brightly colored blooms. Now, thanks to luxe London retailer Selfridges, Quinn has found a whole new medium for this body of work. T-shirts and silk scarves bedecked with Quinn’s flowery creations went on sale at Selfridges’ Oxford Street flagship, in London, this month, as did an exclusive selection of one-of-a-kind white gold jewelry and small, limited-edition bronze sculptures. Swing by before December 24 to see more of Quinn’s work installed in Selfridges’ windows. £130 for T-shirts, £180–£270 for scarves and £300 for limited edition prints. Jewelry starts at £7,000; sculptures at £1,500. 400 Oxford Street;

December 06, 2011
By Shannon Adducci | Fashion

Courtesy Ralph Lauren.

It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last, but the perennial obsession with all things Jazz Age is in full force. Blame it on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, maybe, but last summer, there was also Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and last winter marked the release of Paula McLain’s novel The Paris Wife, about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming remake of The Great Gatsby is going to be out next Christmas. And let’s not forget the runway trends for this spring: Gucci’s shimmery frocks with Chrysler Building geometry; Marc Jacobs’s drop-waists; and Ralph Lauren’s return to his Gatsby roots.

Lauren continued his love affair with the Jazz Age with his new fine jewelry collection: nine pieces in white and rose gold, onyx, emerald and diamond done in geometric and asymmetric shapes. We love this cuff, inspired by the architecture of the Art Deco era ($141,500). It pairs perfectly with matching earrings, done in a paved diamond square motif with agate and onyx ($36,000). Available at the Ralph Lauren women’s flagship store, 888 Madison Avenue;

November 30, 2011
By Amanda Ross | Arts + Culture, Fashion, Films

Michelangelo Antonioni-inspired fashion
Courtesy Giambattista Valli

With the 50th anniversary of the classic film L’Avventura, by Michelangelo
Antonioni, I’m reminded of the Italian director’s aesthetic vision. Besides
his innovative cinematography, there’s such a nuanced way to how he portrays
women, highlighted by their wardrobes. The polka-dot skirt suit, checked pencil
skirt and tailored trench that the stunning Monica Vitti wears in L’Avventura are both modern and classic. You almost forget it’s 1960. Antonioni approached
filmmaking like a painter, using clothes to define the characters in their land­scape.
When I watch Lucia Bosé in Cronaca di un Amore, I find a contemporary
relevance to her style: simplicity in dress meets gobs of jewelry. All these
years later, his vision remains the gold standard of elegance.

November 16, 2011
By Marnie Hanel | Fashion

Haute couture fall/winter 2010–2011. Couretsy © Patrice Stable/Jean Paul Gaultier.

Chief among the many treasures in “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Sidewalk to Catwalk” is the Parisian courtier’s long-loved teddy bear. Its fur has worn off. Its nose was rubbed out. It wears… a cone bra. The designer made it when he was seven. It’s up to the viewer to decide whether it’s the definitive answer to the imponderable “Is creativity born or bred?” or the definitive defense of all boys with sewing kits.

Following a banner run at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the first exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier’s work just landed at the Dallas Museum of Art before making its way to San Francisco in February, then on to Madrid. This fall, Gaultier characterized his obsessions in Susan Orlean’s profile in The New Yorker as “Flesh, ethnicity, different kinds of global beauty, cinema, my interest with Madonna, tattoos, the Parisienne, the male as object, all that kind of thing.” This and more is on display in the exhibition, which is arranged in sections as disparate as “Punk Cancan” and “The Boudoir.”

To capture the dynamism of Gaultier’s designs, the museum, in collaboration with the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, curated video excerpts of runway shows and interviews, original sketches and more than 130 ensembles, many of which have never been seen before. The most stunning aspect of the multimedia mishmash is UBU/Compagnie de Création designers Denis Marleu and Stéphanie Jasmin’s 30 mannequins, enabled to “speak” through prerecorded facial projections. The effect is magical. A mannequin of Gaultier in a signature sailor-striped shirt pipes up with design aphorisms, to create the impact of viewing the exhibition with the courtier himself.

For one whose designs have spurred high street trends, the show wouldn’t be complete without a nod to his famous admirers. A 424-page exhibition catalogue features interviews with Pedro Almodóvar, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Madonna and Dita Von Teese, among others. To my mind, Gaultier’s bold aesthetic and unapologetic sex appeal recall Mae West, who died just a few years after the designer released his first collection. “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” she once said. And that’s still true today. Through February 12;

Traveler tip: Book a Jean Paul Gaultier Getaway at The Joule for a one-stop shop that includes: accommodations, museum tickets and 10 percent off the museum gift shop and café, Charlie Palmer cocktails and a Neiman Marcus mani/pedi and personal shopper. From $389.

November 10, 2011
By Shannon Adducci | Fashion

Courtesy Jemma Wynne.

It’s now common accessories knowledge that you can never have too many bangles, but sometimes you want more than just a glorified friendship bracelet to add to an arm party (yes, that’s code for bracelets piled on a wrist). Enter Jemma Wynne, a contemporary jewelry brand whose gold bangles with brightly colored sliced stones are the perfect addition to that carefully planned stack of cuffs, bangles and watches.

The collection, which also includes sliced watermelon tourmaline necklaces and mammoth ivory earrings, is designed by Stephanie Wynne and Jenny Klatt, who first met in 2005 while working at Judith Ripka. Their background there can be seen in the delicateness of their pieces, but it’s their colorful sliced stones and asymmetrical shapes that make their collection unique.

When the duo teamed up in 2008 to launch the brand, their first piece was a bangle; now they have more than 20 options available. We especially love this stack with a mix of pavé diamonds and prehnite, labradorite and serpentine. Bangles from $1,700; 626-799-3109.