Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cool Britannia

Humor me on a brief diversion from the subject of fashion: The title of this entry, “Cool Britannia”, is the name of a favorite, discontinued flavor of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. It was a creamy blend of strawberry ice cream with milk chocolate-covered shortbread tumbled throughout - odd, yet perfect. The fact that this flavor’s name contains the adjective, “cool” is apropos in reference to a British-inspired creation, because what is British is cool.

London Fashion Week celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary this past week in true to form paradoxically low-key and raucous ways – from the avant-garde of Jeremy Scott, to the glam pastels of Christopher Bailey’s continuation of that bastion of innovation in the classic tradition, Burberry. That one country effortlessly plays host to so many tastes while producing significant contributions to the international design scene is a testament to its authenticity, fortitude, and perhaps reason for the undeniable cool factor evident in so many collections born there. The atmosphere is diverse, open and fosters a certain competitive individuality.

We at Debut like what’s cool, amongst other characteristics of course. Consequently our space is consistently home to a rotation of London-bred labels, which we’ll be writing about in the coming weeks. Each brand retains a certain indefatigable British-ness. One of our favorites this season is Aminaka Wilmont. Helmed by duo Marcus Wilmont and Maki Aminaka Lofvander the range is marked by sharp silhouettes that fuse feminine form with androgynous tendencies. A deceptively glitzy nod to punk is evident in shiny jet bead-like zippers looped and coiled for a chandelier effect on sheath dresses and contoured miniskirts. Highly attuned to and fascinated by shape, the designers created the perfect addition to outerwear this season: an ever so lightly padded sleeveless leather vest with a perfectly molded torso; a blend of present tense luxe with an imagined future, and perfect for crisp weather in any country.

Above: Debut New York's choice for the season's Little Black Dress: made in England (of course), 100% fine wool with jet black zipper loop detailing - $2,110.00. Please call 212.343.2717 or email: for inquiries.
Below: The Zipper Cuff; a bit of London glam to coil around the wrist - $360.00.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Michael, Be Mine

Fashion is celebrating itself this week. We recently ruminated on the singular essence captured by Fashion’s Night Out, and now we are at the culmination of a wave of shows and presentations held to usher in the Spring 2010 season. The spirit is one of natural renewal; nothing is forced, rather designers are listening to consumers while staying true to their aesthetic values. The results are the foundation for a perfect balance between innovation and relevance in our evolving consumer society.

Debut New York celebrates fashion in this sense: we seek out, respond to and showcase original, desirable and fearless designs that embody the natural flow and exuberance of fashion, while adding new depth. Michael Angel is a designer who we immediately recognized these qualities in, and we were thrilled to have his second-ever collection in Debut New York for the Fall 2008 season. The fluid hand of the fabrics, strength and spontaneity of colors, and deceptively simple cuts felt new and intrinsically valuable. The collection evoked a strong emotional response from shoppers seeking out or meeting his work for the first time, and it is only apropos that Michael was chosen to officially kick off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on September 10th. His Spring 2010 collection is a harmonized composition of textiles, structures and colors embodying his particular vision, and signifying an overall evolution.

We look forward to more from Michael in the seasons to come; in the interim we’ll continue to live in and layer his watercolor leggings and silky boy-cut tanks as the cold winds of fall wash through Bryant Park.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fashion Halloween

It is inevitable that we’ll inaugurate the Debut New York blog with a remembrance of Fashion’s Night Out, or the Oscars of Fashion Week if you will, which took place world-wide on Thursday, September 10th. For one night the collective body of the consumer public was distilled into a well-trained operation with a mission to go forth, leave behind daily minutiae and dinner plans, and be okay with shopping. One of the benefits of our world at large is that it contains an astounding array of innovation and beauty in the form of consumables. Why not be amongst these items, partake in the offerings and support a once highly functioning retail scene?

In the months leading up to FNO there was a crescendo of buzz helped in large parts by Anna Wintour’s appearance on David Letterman, the coinciding and anticipated opening of The September Issue, and the involvement of the inimitable Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Diane von Furstenberg. New York became a stage set for possibility. On Thursday at last, as the sun went down and a hint of rain stirred the air, our city streets had a tensely alive glow emanating from typically darkened store windows. Women and men of all ages and from all boroughs milled about perhaps to shop or otherwise simply marvel at the spectacle and at the very least feel a part of a process. It was a bit spooky in a sense for so many people to be running loose in the context of fashion, and it was undeniably exciting. Like the change in the air that seems to occur fleetingly on Halloween, one wants the sensation to last. 

Debut New York was happy to host the evening with Omelle, a Los Angeles-based collection of luxury footwear helmed by Founders Cherise Angelle and Nicole LaFave. Omelle’s designs are born of a pure love for design, innovation and an authentic point of view on luxury – Cherise and Nicole fittingly bonded over their mutual interest while pursuing advanced degrees in design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Their synergy and diverse, yet complimentary talents and inclinations (Cherise has worked in luxury product placement, while Nicole has a background in graphic and knitwear design) allow for Omelle to be at once a new and strong presence in the footwear arena. We love their well-balanced, striking designs that can perfectly enhance or ground an overall look, and their clearly evolving design language that references luxe textiles and architectural elements. We look forward to wearing these three styles this fall, and long for spring to see what will come next. This, I think, summarizes Fashion’s Night Out simply: our appreciation and anticipation for great fashion has been stimulated, and we’re ready to move forward - for now taking each step clad in an Omelle cut-out bootie.