Friday, October 30, 2009
By The Sea, In The Garden, and City Chic Separates
International Center of Photography, Sixth Avenue/43th Street, NYC
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
The Adrienne Vittadini Collection, staged a presentation of sensible and stylish attire for women.
Once again, the company managed to offer the kind of sophisticated separates that live up to their namesake…acclaimed for her glamour, gracious manner…and comfy/chic Italian knits.
Held in the spacious exhibition galleries of the International Center of Photography amidst the glorious Richard Avedon, fashion photographer extraordinaire (1944-2000) exhibit, there were four thematic schemes going on.
The first gallery held the grouping coined “Garden Party” that had pretty floral knit tees and a fine gauge knit sweater with scalloped trims…both over skinny pants that would appear a lot more savvy on a live body than the images here. A party option, a glittery sequins candy striped sweater added s night time element to this largely daywear collection.
Next up was a collection of blues coined “Studio: Aqua”---in a paisley tunic, a batik printed linen sundress, and a deep navy tunic.
Timeless “Safari” classics made up the “Salon” with the top pick--- a khaki knit and woven safari dress with an oversized khaki and leopard sun hat.
Our favorite grouping was the “Finale: Black and White." Dramatically lining the last room the neutral tones got all urban jazzed in bold 60’s graphic prints …
And punched up with taxi cab yellow double knit dresses with zipper details.
Oversized embellishments, tasteful too--- added interest to the clothes…like jeweled necklines and a white gem-like fronts.
Well done…and well priced, Adrienne Vittadini delivered.
INFO: ADRIENNE VITTADINI
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
We were draggin’ a half hour prior to the Spring 2010 Robert Geller Menswear show during the packed NYFW.
But an encouraging pr peep told us not to miss this runway outing…and was she ever right.
This lineup of 26 well edited looks by Robert Geller, a German born fashion veteran (prior toils---partner with Alexandre Plokhov- of edgy menswear label Cloak) was a celebration of hip male attire 2010.
Done up in bold rich colors (emerald green, petroleum, dusty plum, cobalt/twilight blue) as well as user friendly neutrals (black, brown)…the layered ensembles debuted the same week as Geller’s capsule collection for denim gurus LEVI STRAUSS--- was launched.
According to the run of show, the designer mused on Germany in the late 50’s “a country working hard to start a new and leave the past behind…”
What that meant to Geller was a renewed sense of optimism for Germany (WIRTSCHAFTSWUNDER) to “remind wearers of the redemptive power of Spring…” and what Deutschland guys would wear on holiday to the North Sea.
Comfort is mandatory===we don’t know any guys that suffer for beauty in a matter of speaking.
So there were plenty of wearable “cozy and inviting” fabrics in the show…like a cashmere blend v-necks sweater and vest, a clay dip-dyed sweatshirt, a premium denim blazer etc.
Tailoring came into play too… a mix of volume and silhouettes---skinny jeans, baggy linen pants, striped fitted trousers (hello Brian Jones Rolling Stones)
---plus handsome “cadet” jackets, hoodies and anoraks, and a “Mudd Brown” zipped leather jacket accessorized with a sheer chiffon like fabric as a pin or scarf …gave the separates= versatile possibilities.
Lots of loose fitting shorts, over compression like black, to the knee pieces---were also shown…we are curious to see how that translate to real life.
We like the overall styling in general, the jaunty hats, sunglasses and rolled up trousers…as if the guys had emerged from a stroll along the North Sea landscape.
Left us thinking…yup, a winner.
INFO: ROBERY GELLER
781 MADISON AVENUE (Between 66/67th Streets), NYC
October 29th 2009
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
The handsome wood paneled boutique for haute horologists BLANCPAIN…was jam packed last night- with a well attired crowd of watch enthusiasts--- who of course ---arrived punctually.
The finest of timepieces played host for another luxury accessories collection -John Lobb ---that included a fascinating demonstration on the construction MO that composes the dapper Limited Edition 2009 shoe--- by Paul Wilson, John Lobb’s bespoke shoemaker.
We had met the talented and steady handed über cobbler at last season’s Fall 2009 editorial preview…so we knew we were going to get an education on just what makes the John Lobb 2009 Limited Edition so special.
“The upper is made from one piece of leather, with one seam!” Wilson pointed out.
He showed us (via a rubber prototype) just how the leather is cut, folded akin to fine art of origami, with the soles and all leather linings laboriously hand attached, and then eye catching contrast hand stitches sewn in… finished with a hand ‘polished to perfection’ glow.
And we are sure we skipped a few crucial steps…in what is really couture for the feet.
Available in three shades of black (with hints of brown, burgundy, navy), this RTW masterpiece is a classic addition to any man’s wardrobe.
INFO: JOHN LOBB
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
LUXURY SHOES AND THE BASICS
WORDS, IMAGES JUDITH ECOCHARD
A striking kimono, detailed with leather forest green pleating was hanging in the stark white gallery at the Spring 2010 preview of : Glory Chen and Joy Chen.
This handcrafted piece by the Creative Director, Joy Chen Kolterman, was a reflection of the study of Okologie (ecology) .and inspiration for her “RE-CREATION” high end Glory Chen collection.
“An edgier, avant garde gallery girl, with a desire for art,” was the way Chen described her clients that appreciate the elegant and striking assortment of heels, open toes and flats.
The exquisitely crafted peds are loaded with symbolism…like the three arrow sign (evolution, growth and re-vitalization).
And the tree embossed on the heel “supports and grounds” the design of each shoe.
The thoughtfulness of Chen translates in other footwear ways too, so-to-speak.
After only a few minutes of conversation, we knew we were with a true artistic spirit,
The constructions of the shoes are luxe…as Chen is hands on from start to finish, including the manufacturing process---that incorporates custom lasts.
We thought the patterns most striking…like Chinese wooden boxes. And yes, there is a ‘harmonious’ undertone to the shoes we saw, an Asian aesthetic that is of course, truly global.
The artistic mix of textures and materials of shoes like our favorites the heeled Foliage. Biome, and Fauna…are stunning.
And they’re cushiony too as “comfort and structure are important ---my shoes have a lot of padding.”
The Joy Chen line is a value oriented “bridge” line (around $250-$400) that for Spring 2010, directly reflects the Creative Director’s graphic design training.
Dubbed the “Art Deco” Collection, the shoes are “understandably clean, neat and contemporary.”
There are subtle flourishes--- like folds that reflect decorative architectural elements found on buildings and objects from that era.
Hand finished materials are evident…as are the quality of materials like print split suede, nubuck and wrinkle patent.
We loved the warm neutral toned palate too as Chen wanted the shoes “to be invisible” which we take to mean seamlessly working with an urban gals wardrobe.
Because there is nothing wall flower about this collection…the sculptural silhouettes may “speak softly” …but also make quite an impact.
INFO: GLORY CHEN GLORIA CHEN
IMAGE OF JOY CHEN COURTESY OF DESIGNER
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
PLUS: A PERFORMANCE BY THE FRENCH GIRL BAND PLASTICINES ROCK THE HOUSE!
Words, Images Judith Ecochard
It was ooh la la at the debut of Alice & Olivia’s Debut Collection for New York Fashion Week.
For those not in the know, Alice & Olivia is a hip urban gals label (and stores) for stylish clothes---launched by Ivy League grad Stacy Bendet in 2002…and beginning its life as the fab fitting brand for pants and denim.
Well---- the Alice & Olivia is a grown up and positively chic now,
...judging by the well accessorized ensembles we saw. Staged in that massive West 13th street space--- the models posed in amusing vignettes---with b/w Parisian street scenery and props like oversized cutout ice cream cones adding to the Gallic vibe.
Added plus, the backdrops look like they were hand drawn by illustrator/author of Madeline fame, Ludwig Bemelmans.
The sultry models (black Brigitte Bardot smoldering eyes) copped an ennui attitude in au courant mini dresses and lacy leggings, cropped pants, tees and cute feminine blazers---mostly in neutral colors…and a flattering pal pink and lavender.
Our fav---the soft drape dress with a deep v, and layered one with a handkerchief hems, and a fun white party dress with a black hem/underside are nights out chic frocks.
And most appropriately, the fabulous Plasticines got the crowd moving with nearly an hour long set.
ALICE AND OLIVIA