Thursday, March 31, 2011



Part I: GORE-TEX® Fall 2011

Outdoor Retailer, SLC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

A few months back-the swank Milk Studios on West 15th Street, NYC--- hosted a panel discussion of distinguished fashion industry types, on the theme of (re) establishing a garment/design center in the Big Apple.

Held just prior to Fashion Week F/W 2011---the lively talk included an observation, opined by an innovative third generation garmento/successful investor and all around visionary giant in the biz----who suggested that, among other things, what the fashion industry needed NOW, were new, technically advanced fabrics.


Outdoor Retailer does take place right before the Big Apple’s catwalk/presentation fest---so we figured he didn’t descend on the Rockies at that moment in time …

Because, there aren’t enough clock notches allowing for remotely--- enough seconds to learn about all the beyond cool, functional fabric innovations that debuted at this trade show…and that includes excellent next to skin comfortable----drape worthy textiles, and versatile treatments that, if deployed- woulda made this past winter a lot less miserable, in the chicest way possible.

A puzzling aspect of the fashion, fashion business----where style is, rightfully priority--- (to quote Stanley Tucci/Nigel in the The Devil Wears Prada--- Yes, because that's really what this whole multi billion-dollar industry is all about, isn't it? Inner beauty.”

But could also benefit from hang tag worthy textiles-that if nothing else, are easier to care for and more eco friendly made.


One of our first appointments at OR was at the W. L. Gore & Associates exhibit---where as usual, we were bowled over by the ginormous assortment of outerwear and footwear climbing the walls, literally…

---all items using the latest breakthrough GORE-TEX® ACTIVE SHELL LAMINATE… from this huge, multi-faceted company.

Considered the premium in all weather, year round worthy, waterproof/windproof/ breathable laminates--- with excellent next to skin feel, this application by Gore has wonderfully added to the company’s arsenal of of techy offerings via a “lighter, thinner GORE-TEX® membrane with fine denier performance textiles to deliver the ultimate 3-layer solution for the active consumer.”


Basically---- thanks to new lamination technology, the backer textile on the liner side….is fused directly into the inner layer of the membrane----allowing for sweat to be transported away from the skin as water vapor, at the same time as moisture from the elements like rain/snow have “no chance of penetrating.”


The big deal for us is how the durable benefits of rugged hard shell jackets are being met by lighter, more user friendly, extremely lightweight minimalist soft shells, thanks to this latest----that further builds on the immense possibility matrix of the abrasion resistant full stretch 3 layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell.

The do it faster mantra of outdoor enthusiasts ---and there performance wear needs are also motivators for footwear companies---and we saw several brands including Merrell and Ecco using Gore-Tex® products for the most dry and comfortable jaunts up a mountain, down a trail…and around a town.

We figure it’s all a matter of time before some of the very high-end shoe brands we cover, integrate some of Gore-Tex®’s technology in their pricey leather liners…similar to Italian luxury cashmere brand Loro Piana –with it’s new storm proof wool.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


5 East 57th Street, NYC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

Just steps (and two floors up) from the glam, bustling intersection of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and 57th Street---is the light filled and calm,  Roy Teeluck Salon.

Unlike some busy spaces, run by celeb stylists-- devoted to one's luscious lucks in this high profile neighborhood---

Teelock's clean space is just the right size, IMHO...with the right balance of personalized attention, discretion (this is a destination for the high profile types-though mums the word), range of services offered (a plush nook for nails, hair cuts and treatments, color, Bridal...),

And well trained staff ----key for any business in the beauty biz.

The gracious London born, Roy Teeluck himself was all smiles when we chatted a bit at an editor's preview. 

Schooled in his home town, Teeluck quickly crossed the channel and earned his stripes in Paris working for the 'names' of the day like Jacques Dessage, and meeting future comrade-in-arms,  Frederic Fekkai...who in turned, lured the "architect of scissors" to sunny Beverly Hills to launch ventures there.

NYC then beckoned ---and for many years Teeluck's salon was just down the block. 

Now, the airy locale, a premium L'Oreal Professionnel salon-featuring the ammonia-free INOA® color system, 

----also offers the popular Keratin Protein Treatment- "that doesn't kill their hair but wipes out unwanted frizz...." (and naturally fades out in about three months).

Naturally we asked about Spring/Summer 2011 hair styles...

Think: "Edgy. An arty look...with 'odd' pieces cuts in the front----framing with bangs or a bang effect with a side movement."

Sure beats stuffing our flattened up hair under chunky winter hats.

Prices: Cuts $100+ with Stylists, $350 with Roy Teeluck, Color: $120+ and up...

5 East 57th Street, NYC

212 888-2221

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


680 Madison Avenue, NYC

A graciously hosted preview of JOHN LOBB SPIRITS OF CAPITALS BESPOKE COLLECTION at the elegant Madison Avenue Hermes men's store---had us wanting a bit more information---

So we took some time, going south a block for a better look at the exquisite handwork---and editorially distinct custom footwear line...on display at the John Lobb Boutique.

Personalized handmade shoes- representing eleven global capitals-of commerce, actually--- as cities with John Lobb establishments served as inspiration--- yielding collaboratively designed samples, two per locale,  that are all just stunningly handsome, made of the finest materials, and---it’s obvious--- requiring labor intensive, skilled cobblers for the ultimate fit and finish.

Truthfully, the only example we guessed correctly were the “routed in reality” Dubai anointed, double buckle (instep adjustable) sandals, inspired by the famous William monk shoe---but here made luxurious with a supple insole sheathed in lambskin.

Tokyo’s tobacco brown suede low boot, with an exclusive pink gold plated buckle--- and a classic six-hole wingtip oxford with natural calfskin lining and decorative brogue decorations--- ooze understated elegance.

London calling, as it is, evoke favoritism amongst employees…the two low derby boots with hooks and eyelets in rich Barenia calfskin and, characteristic of England (in our minds), a rugged water tough,  cotton canvas ---that we were told, is optional to satisfy any client’s preference-say, for an all leather upper…

Hardware of solid brass via an ankle buckle strap ----and the finest construction---in the gold Barenia calfskin/khaki canvas boot-sewn directly to the sole with a genuine, welt-less Norwegian stitch---using a proprietary “wax linen thread”---for a weather-proof kicker.


The Moscow Balmoral style boot and the two-tone oxford shoes in the same pattern…are inspired by a custom ordered model from the John Lobb archives---for a famous Russian opera singer. 

The Cyrillic letters on the heels of the ankle boots, were a means to identify the footwear of Moscow's  opera going gentlemen, who would remove boots for polishing (by butlers, of course)---and switch into evening shoes for the performance –and assuming, festivities post.

A bit more rarified than fashionistas switching out of their flip-flps into sky high heels for editorial meets and runway shows.

The Hong Kong two arched oxfords with luxe croc---are made with two pieces of leather sewn at the front---emblematic of the exclusive and incredible high quality of the select materials sourced for this luxury label---

We thought, these would be the ultimate glam golf shoes---and of course, John Lobb already makes soft cleat items---but the Hong Kong samples can also be delivered game ready, if so desired.

The elongated profile of the Beijing arched oxfords…with eye catching lateral elastic strap – sheathed in leather---assure the ultimate fit. A clever design element---IMHO.

Added plus-a rubber insert in the leather sole for added traction in rainy weather---a global condition that makes this shoe appropriate worldwide.

Tapei was described to us a a “simple shoe” ---in the sense that the hand stitched platform moccasins of rich calfskin give them a sporty chic…of course here bumped up with genuine bamboo croc or tan buffalo--- upper clasps/ tassels.

Geneva inspired a low and ankle boot ---both in classic Balmoral styles…

Lined in fur for the low sample, also with the thick snow proof sole sewn directly with a welt-less Norwegian stitch…

While the shiny, pearl finish ankle boot features a sleek round Colbert arch that makes the kicker as wonderful to wear with denim as a suit.

Figures, the fast slip-on lace-less classic double vamp oxfords, made from full grained box calf---belong to those living life in a perpetual New York minute.

Our favorite is the posh Paris Balmoral style oxfords ---in black box calf and specially canvas lined---

We loved how the part fabric uppers reflect the lining of tuxedo vests…a very sophisticated design element. And, of course, we assume, have it your way, matchy matchy possibilities with a man’s evening wardrobe, are available too.

Seoul's toe capped oxfords have thin leather laces that highlight the punching on the uppers. Subtle, hand made-exacting...

As with all John Lobb bespoke orders, custom made original wooden lasts for each client, based on foot measurements taken by the Master Lastmaker (service available at John Lobb boutiques)-- are then-on file, so to speak, at the elegant Parisian establishment---on 32 rue de Magador--- where John Lobb footwear is crafted.


 Words/John Lobb Boutique Images of Spirits of Capitals Bespoke Collection-Judith Ecochard 

Monday, March 28, 2011


Outdoor Retailer Fall 2011

Words/Tradeshow Images Judith Ecochard

Hybridge on Adult Mannequins

A highly regarded outerwear brand--- Canada Goose has gained respect (and high-end retail outlets) in southern climes too---here in the lower 48.

We really noticed authentic C.G jackets this winter---- the circular insignias on fantastically constructed outer wear pieces…

Not attiring swaths of Big Apple humans like North Face...but on a visible few-that makes sense for a premium label.

AND a highly technically performing one too. Canada Goose apparel can protect against the elements atop Mt. Everest--- as easy as stylishly maneuvering through rush hour in urban locales.
Original Expedition

 We had a flashback about the terrific Canada Goose assortment of new apparel when we went to a Fall 2011 editorial presentation last week ---of a major, major globally distributed lifestyle brand---where the designer who we admire on so many levels ---was there---and answered our queries about his collection.

No way ---spoke our inner dialogue-in another bone chilling winter --will anyone--- besides maybe the chauffeured around town few, buy outerwear made from 100% untreated natural fibers like wool---beyond a few weeks in September unless they live in Miami. No matter how fashionable.

Fabrics this designer (his team) used extensively for these outerwear items.

Especially when there are beyond fashionable and rugged, hardcore handsome options, (all made in Canada)---like every piece we saw (WANT, WANT) at Canada Goose’s OR clean, exhibit space---

Made from cutting edge, gee whiz fabrics fused with the acclaimed proprietary blend of insulating Hutterite down, plus.


NICE-Buttonhole inside flap ensures weather proof

Fresh colors for the new season…on the core collection-like an attractive shade ---Maize…a mustard-y wheat shade that can work as a neutral (meaning it won’t date in a year like some of the other bold tones we saw at other labels this season…IMHO).

And a bright tea green---here in the Expedition…

Side arm pocket-id /ski pass 


Split hood 

A new collaboration with Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to scale Mt. Everest (1982).

Field-tested for extreme conditions, the new jackets are available in “Summit Pink” (yup, that was by HIS request, btw).

We thought the shape and lines of the jackets, both the hard core Skreslet parka ($895) and the stylish Mountaineer $695)---terrific…but what more than justifies the price tag are the textiles and composition details…antiderm Nylon ripstop shell for abrasion resistance par excellence, 750 fill power Hutterite duck down insulation,  additional ventilation in the forearms, a longer back (helpful for pack positioning in case one is hauling a 52 lb backpack as well as one’s iPad)---fully seamed seals for 100% waterproof, a four-way adjustable hood with a bracing wire for high wind conditions (we so wish we had this feature this winter----),

---A double outer storm flap over the center zip secured with a single Velcro® inner storm flap with a fleece lined chin guard (a must), wide sleeve cuffs with Velcro® closures (handy-can roll them up)…. 

...3M reflective tape strips and two Napoleon chest pockets, zipped up with the best-YKK® zipper closures that make these compartments 100% waterproof.

No stinting.

And there are now women’s versions of the claim to fame Expedition jacket- that lucky for Canada Goose, were on display---and not in our size. HA HA. But the same bells and whistles as the men's---

We really appreciated the two heat warming pack slots on either side, plenty of inner compartments---including space for gloves/hats, and the snow skirt…a must have to keep the fluffy stuff out--- for snowy mountain sliders during rigorous winter hikes/snowboarding/back country skiing etc. 

The debut of the new Hybridge Lite assortment---very chic take on Canada Goose’s smart MO of strategically placing down insulation (gender specific, proprietary THERMAL MAPPING TECHNOLOGY)----where one needs it for the ultimate warmth without the bulk.

Soversatile---could run in this

With soft shell like flexibility, the new jackets and vests can be worn on their own or as mid layers--- and features serious 800 fill power Hutterite white duck down and Polartec Powerstretch.
Slightly long back-benefit for pack haulers/bikers

The regular Hybridge bunch gets a reboot with the cutting edge PolarTec ® Power Shield® Pro with wicking properties (a hard core buzzed about fabric)--- and all pieces are treated with a DWR finish. (meaning highly water-resistant).

AND---a new travel collection…for the ladies (YES)…with a Thompson Jacket with high fleece collar and very handy internal shoulder straps so one can wear this breathable waterproof laminated piece draped on the shoulders when indoors…

And the car length, 650 fill Palliser coat with flattering princess seams shaping the waterproof shell.

The Artic Down Program---

---we admired (coveted) the Montebello (and for women, the Montebello CG 55)--- in pearl white, a 650-fill outerwear item with handsome military styling (buttons, fleece lined flap pockets). 

Loro Piana ---the uber high-end Italian cashmere /wool purveyor has an amazing waterproof Storm System® finish that it applies on 100% percent virgin wool---think about that---and Canada Goose is the first company in North America to use this fabric…on outerwear with the 675 fill power white goose down and strategically placed seams.

Metal ring-Livigno Parka-in black too

The men’s Como Parker (with a two way adjustable hood-$1295)---with serious rib knit cuffs and the new Canada Goose metal logo…
 And the Aosta Bomber ($995)…are part of this new premium sub-collection.


Mini-me kid’s versions---including reversible vests with matching pants…

AND accessories… a super thick soft merino wool scarf, shearling bomber...

A cozy weather resistant PBI Aviator Hat (Artic –Tech fabric)===with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for Polar Bear International.

FYI: Canada Goose has strict policies on a host of corporate practices that they post online…including a strict policy against purchasing down obtained from live plucking. 

AND: For those desperately dumb enough to even think about buying always inferior counterfeits---health as well as ethical/legal reasons not to---- are provided also.

A versatile option---by itself or over base layers...

Thumb holes ensure a fit

Multi-Velcro® tabs secures hoods