June 15, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


As Departures readers already know from our recent swimwear roundup, we have a thing for Orlebar Brown. So we're particularly thrilled that the luxury resort wear brand, known mostly for its tailored men's swimwear, is opening its first stand-alone boutique in London's Notting Hill. At 300 square feet, the shop has a "1960s poolside utopia" vibe inspired by Slim Aarons's photos of the Riviera and Palm Beach, and will carry all the signature styles, including the Bulldog, Dane and Setter swimsuits and the Editions series, a themed capsule collection of trunks often designed in collaboration with a well-known artist. Some of the shorts now come in a ladies' version, too. The new OB Resort collection, with supersoft tees, safari-like shirt jackets and toweling shorts, will also be on the shelves. At 178 Westbourne Gove (entrance on Ledbury Rd.);

Photo Orlebar Brown

June 08, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


It turns out that over the past 50 years, actress Debbie Reynolds has amassed some of the most iconic movie costumes and props of all time, with more than 3,500 items in her cache. On June 18, part of the Debbie Reynolds Collection will be auctioned at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, with public previews from June 10-12 and June 15-17. The items on the block are pure film history treasure: the Ascot number Audrey Hepburn donned at the horse races in My Fair Lady, the dress Maria von Trapp (played by Julie Andrews) made out of green and white drapes in The Sound of Music, Judy Garland's blue cotton dress and ruby-red slippers from The Wizard of Oz and the bejeweled gold velvet sleeveless gown and headpiece Barbra Streisand wore in Hello, Dolly! . Another highlight is the white halter dress worn by Marilyn Monroe atop a subway vent in The Seven Year Itch, which is expected to go for no less than $1 million. The men's collection features Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly's navy sailor uniforms from Anchors Aweigh, the tunic and cape Charlton Heston sported in Ben-Hur's royal procession and Robert Duvall's olive-green "Lt. Col. Kilgore" combat coat from Apocalypse Now. More information at

Photo Profiles in History

June 01, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


June 6 will be a big day for designer (and Michelle Obama favorite) Jason Wu, as he launches a revamped website, where he will present his 2012 Resort collection, and debuts an e-boutique that the fashion set has been waiting for. First in the shop will be a selection of four handbags (a tote, crossbody, shoulder bag and clutch) available in seven hues and three fabrics: python, calf leather and a natural canvas with goatskin trim and only through the site. The color palette ranges from the electric violet and red to a sultry Bordeaux and neutral tones of sand, black, and (a perfect for post-Memorial Day) white. The website will have a page dedicated to documenting Wu's craftsmanship, giving a behind-the-scenes look at how his garments are made, and it will also house all his social media platforms—Facebook, Tumblr, and his new Twitter account under the name "Miss Wu." Above, Miss Wu Mini bag in cotton canvas with goat skin trim, $1,295;

Photo Jayme Thornton

May 25, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Fashion


For some men, skipping the suit is not an option, even in three-digit summer temperatures. Thankfully, Freemans Sporting Club, known for its handmade suits and ruggedly stylish looks, sourced an extra-lightweight Loro Piana fabric (a merino wool and silk hybrid) to craft a wrinkle-resistant, fully canvased suit designed specifically to withstand oppressive heat. The soft-shouldered, peaked-lapel jacket is half-lined with cotton muslin, has piped internal seams and patch pockets and comes in a vibrant Picasso blue. Its open-weave design allows for maximum breathability, and the best part: It weighs only 14 ounces. Suit, $2,300; available online, or guests can be fitted for a custom suit at Freemans Sporting Club's New York or San Francisco boutiques. At 8 Rivington St., New York; 212-673-3209; 696 Valencia St., San Francisco; 415-863-2155;

Photo Courtesy Freemans Sporting Club

May 11, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


Given the brand's exotic locations and unparalleled luxury and uniqueness, a stay at a One&Only resort is no cookie-cutter experience. So it isn't surprising that its boutiques are home to two pieces of fashion found nowhere else in the world. Now exclusively at One&Only shops in the Maldives, Los Cabos and Mauritius is a dusty-pink silk-chiffon dress from Halston. It's the kind of frock that can be worn day or night, on the beach or in the ballroom, and it marks the fashion house's first resort collaboration by creative director Marios Schwab, who took the reins in 2009 and says the dress's blush tone was inspired by the sandy beaches in each locale. To complement the dress, the hotels have partnered with French designer Maloles Antignac (renowned for her ballet flats) to create a limited-edition line of her Isabella sandals. The One&Only incarnation comes in vibrant pink and gold-braided leather. Halston dress, $2,230; Isabella sandals by Maloles Antignac, $330;

Photo Courtesy One&Only Resorts

May 04, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


This spring, L'Ermitage Beverly Hills introduced its Red Carpet package, in which guests are treated to a consultation with a personal stylist from Hollywood fashion favorite Marchesa. The stylist assists women in selecting a three-day wardrobe and handbag from the label, as well as shoes from Christian Louboutin. Next is hair and makeup at the famed Frédéric Fekkai salon for custom color, a cut and styling and beauty tips. Each night, guests try a different collector's-edition Dom Pérignon Champagne, served in Marchesa by Lenox stemware. At $25,000, the price is steep, but when one considers the other complimentary bonuses (in-room breakfasts, daily spa treatments, private fitness or yoga sessions with personal trainer Joshua Love and a chauffeured Range Rover), it's quite a lot of style in one package. At 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills; 310-278-3344;

Photo Courtesy of L'Ermitage Beverly Hills

April 27, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


Fashion exhibits have been rolling into museums as of late: Balenciaga at the de Young in San Francisco and Roberto Capucci at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to name a few standouts. This week, two important shows will join the ranks. April 28 marks the opening of "Inspiration Dior" at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. The venue’s second tribute to a fashion house (the first was to Chanel in 2007), it will comprise more than 120 Dior pieces, including couture, jewelry, watches, accessories and perfumes. Alongside them will be artwork that echoes Dior’s "New Look" aesthetic from masters like Picasso, Renoir, Cézanne and Gaugin. In New York, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will debut its highly anticipated retrospective "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" on May 4. The tribute to the late designer will feature 100 of his provocative masterpieces, among them the famous Bumster trouser, vertiginous Armadillo shoes and flower-adorned Sarabande dress. Don’t miss the June 27 personal tour led by the show’s curator, Andrew Bolton, followed by a private lunch in the gallery ($350). Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, 12 Volkhonka, Moscow; 7-495/609-9520; Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., NYC; 212-535-7710;

Photo Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce

April 19, 2011
By Tasha Green | Fashion, Whims

Lately it seems as though America is experiencing a certain nostalgia for the nineties. And capitalizing on this mood is Giorgio Armani, who this month opened an exhibition of glossy photographs called “Momenti di Emporio,” a selection of advertising campaigns and fashion shots from Emporio Armani Magazine. Published from 1987–1997 under the creative direction of Rosanna Armani, the experimental publication commissioned fashion photography heavyweights—Michel Comte, Roxanne Lowit and Mario Testino, to name a few—to capture the youthful exuberance and sexually charged ease of the brand. In honor of this perfectly preserved moment in fashion history, Armani is releasing Emporio Armani Remix, a capsule collection of both men’s and women’s clothing inspired by these images. The exhibition and collection will be on view and for sale this month at the Fifth Avenue flagship location in New York, as well as the newly renovated San Francisco store. 717 Fifth Ave., New York; 278 Post St.; San Francisco;

April 13, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


At a cocktail party last week in his SoHo boutique, designer Elie Tahari introduced the fashion set to his new Emmy bag, designed in collaboration with actress Emmy Rossum. Available in four different sizes and in materials like natural raffia and soft glove or metallic leather, the bucket-shaped bag is as functional as it is polished, the kind of piece that can be carried everywhere, every day of each season. It has multiple interior and exterior pockets, is lined with soft cotton canvas, and comes in six classic colors: natural, black, white, mushroom, yellow, and washed metallic with yellow contrast stitching. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Safe Horizon, an agency aiding families affected by domestic violence. Tahari has also announced the launch of T Tahari jewelry, a collection of necklaces, bracelets, statement rings, earrings and brooches due out this fall. True to the Tahari way, the pieces will be replete with hues of gold, tassels, black diamond briolette-cut stones and clear crystals. The Emmy bag ranges from $400 to $800 at Tahari, 417 W. Broadway; 212-334-4441;

Photo Courtesy Elie Tahari Collection Boutiques

April 05, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion


The arrival of bathing suit season offers a few chic styles we found particularly exciting. First up is Vilebrequin, celebrating its 40th anniversary with special-edition swim trunks ($550). The patchwork design features many of the company's most memorable pastel prints, including salamanders, starfish, fruits and kangaroos. Tommy Bahama's fast-drying Hybrid of Paradise trunks ($98) double as sporty cargo shorts with a fixed waistband, a proper zipper, a button and belt loops for those beach clubs with strict dress codes. Orlebar Brown continues to roll out its Edition series (a selection of shorts with the same visual theme) such as its the Dog collection ($285), featuring digitally printed close-ups of man's best friend, and the Alan Aldridge collection ($325), displaying colorful illustrations by the artist. For serious surfers, there's the new Blade short ($110) from Oakley. It has a saltwater-durable inner compression short to increase muscle power and therefore the rider's control of the board. The outer short fabric has a nanotech coating that repels waters rather than allowing the fabric to absorb it, and it can stretch up to 120 percent.

For women, there's the debut of Thom.Dolan, a new line from Bill Blass and Ralph Lauren veteran Thomasine Dolan. Her Whitney suit ($165), an all-cotton, madras triangle-top bikini, is lined with a men's striped-shirt pattern that would be right at home on Nantucket. Cult designer Lisa Marie Fernandez has debuted a few new wetsuit-inspired numbers, including the amethyst-hued neoprene Nikki bikini ($345) with self-tie straps, curve paneling details and low-rise briefs.

Photo Courtesy Vilebrequin