Wednesday, December 31, 2014

SPRING'S BEST BETS


1- LAYANA AGUILAR: Adorable range of dresses in creamy white and pale pastels.....I love the white neoprene fit and flared dress.....for info go to www.LayanaAguilar.com.

 Layana Aguilar's Pastels Have C&C Dreaming of Spring
 Photo Credit:  M. McKenzie



2- JAC VANEK: L.A. based firm has fun T-shirts, funky separates and casual maxi dresses all with a 70's vibe...for info go to www. jacvanek.com

3- MAISON DE PAPILLON: Silk charmeuse loungewear with a vintage 30's vibe in powder puff colors......absolutely gorgeous collection not to be missed.....for info go to maisondepapillon.com

The Benefits and Style of Lounge Life Cannot Be Overstated by Maison De Papillon
 
Photo Credit M. McKenzie

4- GYPSY 05: 70's inspired silk maxi dresses .....also hot....tunic/shorts combo. Laid back California line.

 
 Gypsy 05 - The Look is Here, You're on Your Own for Finding the Microbus


Photo Credit M. McKenzie


5- DARLING: London based collection of dresses and separates....noteworthy "the Chanel" inspired jacket and dress in black/white tweed. Also fab are the floral print dresses. 

Darling - Inspired and Fab!

Photo Credit M. McKenzie

6- SATYA JEWELRY: Feminine line of bracelets, necklaces and rings. The gold and silver toned bangles are simply lovely. for info go to WWW.SATYAJEWELRY.COM

Satya - Hammered the Feminine Touch into Gold and Silver


Photo Credit M. McKenzie


7- YLIN: Look no further for the ultimate in cashmere sweaters and separates. 

YLIN:  Leave Behind the Ugly Christmas Sweater and Look Good for Spring!



Photo Credit M. McKenzie

That it for now.......until next time C&C

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.

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row