Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row

Sunday, November 16, 2014

EDIT(ORS) CHOICE


I was really looking forward to the second edition of the Edit trade show at the Javits Center. While there were a great many designers represented I zeroed in on a few that caught my eye (translation: I wanted to order everything). You realize that we’re talking Spring 2015 here, so start thinking ahead and saving your pennies.

MABRUN has been making fabulous jackets since 1936 and this season is no different. The mood is military chic with a sporty yet sexy attitude. A cropped pale bone zip front leather jacket could be your seasonless workhorse and if quilting is your thing, go for the cute snap front version of the barn jacket with contrast color collar and cuffs. Find out more from this Italian brand at www.mabrun.com

Want the look of a “fly” girl? Then check out CIVILIAN PILOT TRAINING for an updated version of the flight jacket. I hunger for “Norma Jean” a short sleeved, perforated lamb moto jacket with asymmetrical zip front. Have it in mocha, olive or white. Another winner is “Liberty Belle” a 3/4 sleeve soft lamb bomber silhouette. Rib trim, two zip pockets and one on the sleeve adds to the appeal. Get this in sand dune or blue pepper. Go to www.cockpitusa.com/women

I adore the Canadian designers, especially the chicsters working out of Montreal. That said, one of the foremost designers is MARIE SAINT PIERRE. Her look is sophisticated, chic and infinitely wearable.

For spring I flipped over her graphic color blocked tops, understated dress silhouettes and the gorgeous black silk crepe coats. Find more at www.mariesaintpierre.com

By now you know I always check out the accessories wherever I go. At Edit I lusted after EIGHT FIFTEEN¹s luxury shoe collection. Comfort meets style in the range of leather sandals. I love the ankle tied “Backyard” with criss-cross laser cut straps and “Tag” a supremely comfortable flat, slip on style sandal. The “Tilt” wedge sandal is will command envious looks in the teal multi version but more subdued color combos are available. Go to www.eightfifteenshoes.com.

I want every pair of ladylike pumps and flats from newcomer, SARAH FLINT. Gorgeous is the word I use to describe the “Ava” flat in sand color calf suede with snake upper trim and, "Lamar" a point toe flat in teal suede, patent and snake combination. The perfect black patent pumps give off a graceful Jackie Kennedy circa 1960s vibe. For more go to info@sarahflint.com.

HAMMITT is a bag line out of LA. Personally I think that most of these casual cross body styles can be considered unisex. Perforations, fringe and zipper details add up to a wearable, sporty, and let us not forget, an affordable collection. Perfect for the savvy boutiques that will carry the line. To see more go to www.hammitt.com.

That’s it for now. Until next time, C&C.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

MAN TO MAN


You guessed it, I’m blogging about some of the interesting lines I checked out at two of the men’s trade shows at the Javits Center.  I’m skipping over the basic (and for the most part, boring) classic suits and sportswear collections.

However, there were exceptions such as the STEVE MCQUEEN collection  by BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL. In case you’re unfamiliar with the actor, McQueen was one of the most famous wearers of Barbour’s motorcycle jacket. For spring/summer 2015 look for rugged waxed jackets, collectible tees with iconic images of the actor/racer, sweatshirts, and knitwear. For more info go to www.barbour.com.

I like to see a man in a stylish hat. I think it makes a “look”. At the show there were two vendors that caught my eye. Leave it to the Brits to come up with a great collection. OLNEY HEADWEAR LTD. is completely designed, sourced and made in the UK. For summer I love the classic fedora, updated in bright red straw with striped band or the retro inspired straw boater (very Oxford/Cambridge/Brideshead Revisited) with red/navy grosgrain band. Trilbys, center dents, caps and more are available as well. Find out more at
www.olney-headwear.co.uk


While I’m not normally a big fan of caps per se, QILO’s line caught my eye. The styles range from digital printed polyester with corduroy brims, to 100% cotton with leather buckle straps, contrast suede brims and embroidered logos. My personal fave was the”Pineapple” collection made with cotton crowns printed with peach pineapples and gold suede brims. The caps are available are blue, green, red or black. Go to Quilonyc.com for more info.
 

Another Brit is SIMON CARTER with a London-based collection of small leather goods, gloves, scarves and cuff links, the latter come in tongue-in-cheek designs. My pick – the silver saxophones for the music lover or the crystal spitfire planes and motorcycles for the inner daredevil. For the city gent there’s a domed union jack cufflink set. Check the line out at www.simoncarter.net

God, I’m into the Brits big time. THE BRITISH BELT COMPANY offers sturdy waxed canvas satchels, water resistant weekender bags and a (newly fashionable) rucksack ideal for travel essentials. Naturally as the name implies, they do a wide range of leather belts. Go wild (relatively speaking) with the embossed stingray effect textured leather belt in brown or black. Go to www.THEBRITISHBELTCOMPANY.CO.UK.

WILL LEATHER GOODS is made right here in the good old USA. I adore the colorful backpacks, leather huaraches (women’s sizes also offered), and laptop cases. Best of all, Give WILL is an initiative with the mission of donating 5000,000 backpacks to elementary school kids in low income public schools across America over the next five years. Get involved at Social#willleathergoods.com.

I’m not a huge fan of men’s jewelry but ESPACIO HANDMADE just might change my mind. Sustainable leather that’s vegetable tanned and hand dyed is fashioned into single and double wrapped unisex bracelets with unique patterns. This is truly statement jewelry with an edge. See more at www.espaciohandmade.com.

Let’s talk about grooming. Walking around the show I was surprised at how many companies are into face, scalp and body pampering. I took special note of three firms in particular. MAN CAVE positions itself as catering to the urban huntsman! The all natural grooming products are paraben,etc free and not tested on animals. Included in the line is a facial scrub, moisturizer, wash, shave gel, post shave balm and hair stuff. Lot’s more products than I personally have on my bathroom shelves. My better half has offered to be my guinea pig and try all the products. For more on the brand go to www.MANCAVEINC.COM


Moore streamlined is the Everything Wash from DAS BOOM INDUSTRIES. In three fragrances, the product washes all of you, from head to toe. Easy, breezy, (I almost said beautiful). Das Boom also offers an Everywhere Lotion which I would assume is a moisturizer for manly men. This also comes in three butch scents in a pump bottle. They’re at dasboomind.com. 

GAME DAY purports to be a skincare line for active men but I suppose couch potatoes can also use it. Included in this comprehensive collection: a shower gel, aftershave balm, pre-shave scrub, moisturizer, shave cream, lip balm, eye serum and oatmeal exfoliating bar. Again, my significant other will be testing the stuff. Meantime, order products online at www.gamedaymens.com.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's BS


Get your mind out of the gutter. BS stands for baubles and shoes! As you’re probably aware by now, I adore accessories and footwear and every chance I get I pass on what’s new and interesting.

The following brands are sold primarily in boutiques across the country. Therefore I’ll list websites that you can log onto to view their lookbooks.  

Believe it or not I hardly ever make a return trip to a trade show but when I saw HOTCAKES DESIGN JEWELRY I fell in love and decided I must make a return trip on the final day of the show to purchase a couple of samples. This San Francisco-based company has been in business for about 12 years and I never even heard of it! Quel Horreur! I adore vintage jewelry and especially bakelite pieces and Hotcakes resin pieces satisfy my craving for that retro look. I’ve actually purchased a couple of their designs at the NY Historical Museum’s gift shop. In fact, they’re jewelry is sold at many museums as well as boutiques. To see the collection go to www.hotcakesdesign.com

Reentering the North American market after successfully developing its brand in Europe is nOa ecco (yes that’s the correct spelling). Quirky and whimsical items are available in resin, shell, wood and decoupage. I loved the colorful pins and the chunky necklaces best but the whole line is adorable. Find out more about this Spanish brand at www.noa-ecco.com  

Closer to home are two brands based in Connecticut. VERA WOLF has been in business since 1986 so they must be doing something right. The specialty here is handmade jewelry in sterling silver, accented with semi-precious stones. I have to be honest with you, I’m not a fan of silver but Vera Wolf just might change my mind. The designs are elegant, timeless and beautifully crafted. Go to www.verawolf.com


My other Yankee brand is INITIAL REACTION, a brand new line of wallets and bags and totes. Stylish, very affordable and made right here in Connecticut. I especially liked the leather handled totes with double outside zippers and initial accented circular plaque. Find out more at www.initialreaction.net


C&C'S Initial Reaction was:  Yummy!

Image Credit:  Initial Reaction

Believe it or not, I happen to be a fan of the preppy look (in moderate doses), a la C Wonder and Tory Burch etc. So when I came across Austin Texas-based jewelry line,WEMBERLY I was smitten. I loved the colorful chain linked bracelets with tropical themed charms, the faux tortoise cuff with gold bee accent, and basically every bangle in the collection. Wemberly also offers pretty croc patterned clutch bags in vivid shades. See more at www.wimberlyinc.com 

Tired of spending money on overpriced plastic footwear? Then OKA’s the brand you’ve been waiting for. Handcrafted in America, these “jellies” are fashion forward and eco-chic (up to 25% recycled content), colorfast and non-slip. The line also offers men’s styles as well but let’s stick to the cute ladies ballet flats and slides. I absolutely must have the “Jackie” a pilgrim buckled ballerina in olive with silver buckle or the sling back “Carrie” in twilight with a grey bow. So who needs Melissa, a Brazilian line when Oka (made here in Georgia) has it all – fashion, fit, and affordability? To find out more go to www.oka-b.com 

Coming up, Spring 2015 fashion news. Until then, C&C.

Monday, September 8, 2014

THE BIG SUMMER JEWELRY SHOWS



Hiding In Plain Sight … Younger, Cooler, Sexier; True Luxe Design Slant Pops Everywhere At New York City’s Hot Summer Shows

Everything was all about a totally alluring design story; embracing an unabashed sense of hipness, richness and sexiness, all mixed together with a magnificent array of multi-fantastical jewels with all of the bells, whistles, trimmings, et al, amid all of the shine and sparkle, going on throughout July 2014 editions of the New York City JA Show at The Jacob Javits Center and, of course, Luxury Prive, held for the first time at the posh, Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

JA SCOOP: Here, contrary to the regular premise of “all that glitters is gold”, when thinking about what defines fine jewelry, (not to mention the changing customer profile of the target woman or man who wants the “now”, “new”; latest and greatest in these high-end pieces) the show’s New Designer Gallery; featuring Young Designers and Inner Circle galleria sections, absolutely focused on a youthful, uniquely different story, with lots more than the de rigueur mainstream gold , silver, platinum and the like, in the mix, across many of the new collections. Glittering here were lots of nouveau, forward, innovative mixes of fanciful, different trend stories (see below), in terms of opulent and colorful diamonds, most notably and more often than not, seen in an array of unusual cuts and faceted detailing; multi-colored stones, pearls (small and huge in size; many worked solo; and, or all mixed up with a dizzying array of precious stones, etc. Trend Stories by and large, threaded from classical and haute modern, through to Brooklyn hipster, to Antique and Vintage Collectible, all the way through to Ethnic and Royal.

Rina Limor's Use of Color and a Simple Shape Makes a Beautiful Pair of Earrings and 
Defines the "Trend!"



Here, absolutely on point and on target: The very specific and brand new Design, Style and Color Trends, as seen at The JA Show and Luxury Prive; all of the totally delightful, scintillating, youthful, sharp; must-have looks of the moment and of the season: 

DAZZLE OF DIAMONDS
: No matter if small and dainty or huge and brazen, every shape, size and color is around and fabulous. Think about lots of old-school cuts, brilliants, interesting faceting, etc. Coming Up Rosy story is important here, with rose gold fast becoming the new darling of choice to pair up with all types of diamonds, real or faux and everything in between.

Hekate... Greeks Loving Coronet Diamonds!




THE NATURALS: Nature is it and nature is all around us. Most beautiful butterflies, flowers, birds, snakes, fish, jungle animals, every kind of flying, walking, swimming critter make a very special appearance in every kind of design motif imaginable.

Tasha R.'s Flower - Sculpted to be Light as Petal




Bluemoonstone Earrings - So Natural the Tides Change with Them

Bees - Oprah's *Favorite* Giveaway, Now for Your Ears from Blackbird



GOLD, GOLD, GOLD: Color, color, color. Single hues or multi-mixtures across nearly every design palette; multitude of contrasting and, or complimentary, in-between hues. Multiplicity of super-soft pastels, sweet and tart candy shadings; all the way through to neutrals and zany ultra-brights; everything and anything rendered in varied gems, enamels, metals, pearls, et al.


Vianna Brasil's Colors and Gold Grabbed ADWB'S Eye and Heart!

 



TRES BIZARRE: Odd and underground (think contemporary and vintage looks here) mixtures of dark and sensual (black on black on navy blue, for example) across more than just a mere few of bracelets, rings, brooches, earrings, and the like. Unexpected varieties, embracing intricate renderings of rubber, diamonds, pearls, silver, platinum, and more; lots of cool, mixed metals; worked alone, or wrapped, twisted, meshed together, stacked, layered, etc.

Shawn Ames - This Piece Causes Two Questions:
1) What is it?
2) Where can I get it? 

WITCHES AND WARLOCKS: Directional ear-wear is rising up and over the top. While hoops are still all around, the biggest news comes into play, in terms of the more directional ear-cuff story, rendered by many designers, in every metal, material, etc. imaginable; then accented and encrusted with all kinds of diamonds, gemstones, spikes, accents, etc.


Dilamani's Gemstone Linked Bracelet - Even Hermoine and Ginny Want this Bracelet






ETHNIC AND ROYAL MYSTERY: Here, many designers are opting for more and more huge, eye-popping, seductively colored, over-the-top, mixed metal, jewel-encrusted, etc., short and longest necklaces, multi-size cuffs, bangles, bracelets, toe and finer rings, etc., mostly slathered all over with just about every kind of everything, taken from the luxury gem world. Think of putting many of these elaborate pieces together, a la feelings of grandeur, taken from, far-off, romantic lands; Tibet, India, Morocco, Africa, et al; inner-and-outer tropical, paradise islands, and so on; also important are The Courts and Nobility of Royal France, England, Rome, and the like, where all of the dandified ladies and gentleman (today and throughout centuries past) have always coveted and adorned themselves in the best; most glorious, rich, multi-layered jewels of the world.

Ankit's Aura Bracelet, a Piece of Royalty




PEARLS, PEARLS, PEARLS: Cherished for excellence, rarity, beauty, and sensual image since ancient times through to modern day, pearls are favored by many designers, in terms of a heavy love affair with this precious gem; every size, shape, color; young, fresh and cool. Homage to the sophisticated fashion girl with an eye on owning and wearing the richness and opulence of natural and overtly dyed colors; anything goes; long or shorter strands; chokers, bracelets, earrings, rings et al; adornments and mixes of everything; notably gold and silver overlays; embellishments of diamonds and super-duper gemstones.

"All the Lovely Pearls (Ah, Look at all the Lovely Pearls), Where do they all belong?
Yoko London's Pearls Belong on ADWB!



Emiko Pearls' Better Take on the Hummingbird and Flower


YOUNG TURKS
: Masculine, decidedly bold and sexy, jewelry for the menswear story is everywhere, stylized and delicious in a myriad of gold, silver, platinum, diamonds; mixed metals, multi gems, et al, are stylized, smooth, rough; across the board in lots of big, bold, characteristically sexy bracelets, cuffs, rings, neckpieces, cuffs, and the like. Encrusted and jeweled silver and gold pens, pencils, bowls, desk and bedroom accessories complete the story in this category.


Bali Designs by Robert Manse: Style, Fashion, and Masculinity. Fist Pumps Need Not Apply!


SO LUSCIOUS AT LUXURY PRIVE: This boutique-style show, which made a move for the first time over to The Waldorf Astoria, definitely set the tone for sophistication, glamour, dazzle, sparkle, and chi-chi style, right across the board. With a well-edited and tightly-knit group of cool, young, new designers, right along with the de rigueur, well-known companies in the mix, editors and buyers were able to get up-close-and-personal with all of the dazzling gemstones, throughout the run of the show, as well as during the exclusive, press and blogger preview, held on the grand ballroom’s second tier balcony level. Key Trends from the show embraced a generous sampling of all kinds of contemporary and vintage-inspired jewels, accessories, home d├ęcor, et al – from the most simple to the fun and whimsical; straight through to the over-the-top, celebrity, Red Carpet designs; all geared to the discerning woman and man, with an eye on the best hip, luxe designs. For this editor, the story was all about the big, buxom cuff, charm and bangle bracelets, single and multi-stone cocktail, wedding and engagement rings (the bigger the better); earrings (especially those that wrapped around the ear, or sensually swooped around the face); necklaces, pendants, sexy cufflinks, chains, tie bars, and the like, were absolutely fabulous. Naturally, the desirable precious metals were here; 14k, 18, 22k, white, rose and yellow gold; palladium and platinum; sterling silver, of course; rendered solo or married with sparkly mixes of eclectic stones, the ilk of fine white, and, or fancy colored diamonds, rubies, multi-colored sapphires, pearls galore (Keshi and Baroque, for example), pink tourmaline, morganite, topaz, tanzanite, rhodolite garnet, black spinel, etc. Playing off on the old adage, “the Devil is in the details”, more than just a few designers focused on strong textural applications; braiding, weaving, etc., as well as a myriad of intricate faceting and filigree techniques. While the lovely and gracious nature, floral and fanciful themes were everywhere, there were lots of mystifying captivating designs, with names, such as “Meteorite”, “Star Wars”, “Hekate”, “Shooting Star”, “Elliptical Elegance”, “Firework”, etc.

The Mazza Company - Chunky, Not Clunky



Nothing Says "I Love You" Like Engraved Precious Metal.
Heather Moore's Piece Makes the Literal Statement



A Wreath Bracelet by Thereyos Vassiliki - Something Far Better for Every Olympian!





--ADWB for C&C