Monday, May 11, 2009




May 5th, 2009

A breezed through the aisles of the MODA Fall /Winter 2009 apparel tradeshow (NYC)--.yielded familiar garb sporting key trends we on the Fall Fashion New York runways…

Lots of black and white…and plaid fabrics, feminine dresses, cozy three season sweaters, and lightweight wools in autumnal shades…with some 80’s going on.

We stopped a full-on stop however--- when we hit the SKEA exhibit…as this outwear/performance wear company, owned by mother/daughter combo Jocelyn and Diane Boyer, makes the kind of technical savvy and sophisticated functioning separates that define the category “chic ski.”

We would wear these pieces everywhere.

The faux fur/leather/shearling coats and jackets (the “Skins”) had us doing double takes…the textiles that are expertly fashioned- look like the real deal…but are unbelievable machine washable (and cruelty free---YEAH).

Priced in the affordable designer category, a reversible vest, and a warm jacket with toggle closures, could be our go to versatile layering pieces for years. A stunning long black coat with a removable faux fur collar atop a broad tapered collar, and detailed braided piping are truly unique.

City fashionistas can wear this apparel with ease for dressy and casual outings…and they’re certainly stylish and more practical replacements for boring long wool coats.

Plus, the coats/vests/jackets are lightweight, stain resistant and extremely packable.

For the “Shimmies” tops–SKEA use Sportek, a moisture wicking, anti- microbial material that keeps bodies warm-and is silky in feel. We liked the rich sea turquoise and sexy animal prints the best ---punched up with imaginative trimmings like Swarovski crystal zippers,

Even urbanites who’ll never set foot on a chairlift could wear these tops available in mock turtle and turtle neck.

Another line –the “Ski/Snow” collection is made of weather tough prime goose down coats, and vests that are all the rage in other lines.

What is exceptional are that the silhouettes are flattering on the super warm…with feminine lines courtesy of chevron quilting patterns that are proprietary.

Yet details like “toasty cuffs,” and high neck closures remind us that these pieces will ward off nasty winter blizzards.

A Ciré laquer ---a shiny patent leather like jacket is a “big mover” and reminds us of the pricier Moncler piece we’ve seen.

Other retail friendly items are the Diana sweater with a custom pattern, and a Brea long coat that has a shapely princess line.

And a collection of snazzy matching hats are also available.

Items named for the women---like employees and fav customers!



A family affair, Velvet Heart serves up the denim and silk separates gals want now…the distressed denim look (“blew out”), boyfriends cut that gals wear “slouchy…low on the hips,” an adorable romper---and our top pick, the skinny black jean with zip ankles-a fresh take on a vintage cut that never goes out of style.

What’s Amazing:

The price points…with every item we saw retailing for under $100----PLUS made with the higher end quality textiles, skilled tailoring and great finishes---- (fabrics-denim and silk, well finished garments ---no cheapy threads hanging or bunched up seams, solid hardware like zippers and buttons that are perfectly sewn in, and the coolest designs).

It figures…the Tsabag men have been in the biz for years and know how to source the best.


Easy, the tunic length silk button up shirt with eye-catching epaulets and belt details…to wear over leggings, ruched up over a skirt, layered over a dress, etc for a sophisticated, casual look.

SIMPLY: “The hottest.” $98 and WASHABLE!!!

Available in a rainbow worthy assortment of colors.

A trendy oversized plaid/lumberjack shirt that’s 100% cotton is also seeing retail interest.

This is a new label to watch----as we think Velvet Denim is set to become a huge denim driven lifestyle brand—with upscale appeal--- that gets what’s hip and executes with prices that are consumer friendly.



This urbane collection of chic, elegant separates and dresses are standouts.

We met the San Francisco based co-designer/owner Brian Scheyer during Fall Fashion Week---

Last week, we lucked out and met the duo---Brian and partner Jill Giordano.

Right off, we admired the textiles.

The two source exceptional begged to be touched fabrics-with an eye out for the “idea of volume,” and how textiles feel against the skin.

“It’s always about flattering,” Giordano says—when it comes to GR. Dano’s unique silhouettes. “It’s really about what it (a garment) looks like in sizes 2-12.”

For Fall 2009, there’s a stylish mix of very tailored pieces (a wear it forever sleeveless dress--- and hip separates like a fitted motorcycle jacket.

We loved the gray sleeveless blouse with an oversized cascading ruffle collar that’s “a great frame for a face.”

A gently gathering at the yoke of a wool turtleneck bumps up a ho-hum classic--- with the lightweight black trouser, we've got staples that will be worn in all seasons, forever.

“It’s all about balance,” --when it comes to a clever kinda horse shoe shaped trousers and a genius draped long skirt that folds towards the hem---we think, totally works with what a women owns. And these separates, though substantial in appearance… are not heavy.

Colors are largely neutral--- black, shades of gray and creamy white.


A cozy fleece fabric has been tailored for comfort, ease and practicality (washable). A draped collar grey jacket with a fluttery origami like design over the zipper has “great texture and structure, is not heavy…and versatile.” Agreed.

Not surprisingly, the upscale Takashimaya store on Fifth Avenue YNC carries the line. There is a subtle Asian aesthetic going on here…simple but luxe.

For other retail outlets:

Words, Images by Judith Ecochard, GR Dano images courtesy of designers.