Thursday, April 9, 2009

Coming Attractions

It’s never too early to think about your fall wardrobe, especially, if like me you’re on a budget and need to plan ahead carefully. This column is all about three collections, two of which are making their debut.

Blanc de Chine
First up, Blanc de Chine’s luxury rtw collection which I recently checked out at the brand’s fall fashion show. Held in its flagship Fifth Avenue store complete with a runway presentation, we were treated to a lineup of some of the cleanest, understated and timeless clothes albeit with a modern luxury Chinese twist. While I did like some of the women’s fashions, it was the menswear that blew me away.

To quote the press release, “the collection uses an unconventional approach of modifying classic pieces and making them into unexpected unique designs.” The menswear favored fine supple wool in black tones and cashmere and crepe in royal blue. One ensemble I loved and could picture on the actor Armand Assante (who was in the audience) and anyone with an ounce of style, was the box quilted “Zhong Shan” jacket with removable sleeves over “hand pocket” casual pants. It’s not often that I talk about menswear, since most of the time, the clothes are boring, but not in this case. The prices are steep, but the stuff will last a lifetime and never look dated.

C&C Gets Blown...
oh never mind, just look at Blanc de Chine's fantastic jacket!

Lisa F. Pliner
You’re all aware of shoe designer, Donald J. Pliner. Not only do his styles stay on trend, they’re actually comfortable to walk in. While, the brand’s celebrating 20 successful years in business, it was inevitable that his gorgeous (and really very sweet) wife, Lisa would launch her own line. So for fall ’09, her capsule collection consists of fashion forward platforms, sculpted wedges and rugged boots. I particularly coveted the “Basia” chunky heeled suede boot. If I had to sum up the Lisa F. Pliner collection I’d say that her footwear combines comfort with sex appeal – and isn’t that what we all want now? P.S. Both collections feature some stunning handbags. Donald has a gigantic hobo that’s roomy enough to use as carryon luggage yet weighs next to nothing! Look for both lines in most major retailers or email the showroom for more info at

Kate Spade
Last but definitely not least, is Kate Spade. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the launch of Spade’s debut fall ’09 rtw collection. The brand has grown like topsy, starting with just a simple fabric tote (that was copied to death and sold by every street peddler), and has now morphed into shoes, eyewear, stationary, accessories and at last, apparel. While some designers are reviving the – horrors - ‘80s, Kate Spade is taking another direction. The adorable ladylike yet hip collection definitely referenced the 1960s London looks favored by top models of that era Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy. While most of the clothes are aimed at the under 35 crowd, there were some striking pieces that anyone could wear, from the horizontally striped navy/gold cropped jacket and skirt to a drop dead gorgeous black/ivory coat in a stylized animal pattern. Even the shoes were terrific, particularly the pretty black suede sling back, open toed stilettos trimmed across the vamp with a shocking pink (or white) triple looped satin bow. If you’re gonna wear platforms this is the one to buy. It’s graceful, not terribly high so you can actually walk in them, and won’t look dated after one season.

In upcoming blogs, look for the following:

Neighborhood Watch: My picks for the most interesting retail stores in the ‘hood.

Steals and Deals: Check out some of the best values around town, from sale items to store promotions.

Stay tuned, C & C

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