Sunday, January 31, 2010

If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she's late? Nobody.

In these fast times when everything’s been done and redone, it’s an odd thing to look at a simple – yet beautifully made – piece of silk and think: “my, they’ve really cornered the market on scarves.” And still, with Loquita’s designs this is the case.

Founder Sara Rotman collected a lifetime of experiences and passion to form her debut range: Polo, a sport she learned from Argentine friends growing up; the thrill of the outdoor elements, and the spirited whimsy she was inherently drawn to in fashion. These are not altogether “basic” founding principles, and we imagine this is what makes Loquita special, and a true contribution.

The core designs include an oversized, loosely woven fine silk mesh scarf, its materialization cozy and lavish. These are punched up a bit with the distinctive prints: a circle of guns in graphic black and white or iconoclastic turquoise and raspberry. A take on the horse-bit theme is rendered as a heavy chain link and shackle. Also included are silk cravats, free of pretension and in reference to a modern dandy, the aesthetic of the most confident of sartorialists.

Of course there are classic silk pocket squares and traditional silk scarves that can be tied neatly around a ponytail, or cheekily around a wrist or the neck. The designs are pre-destined classics, and we are confident that her collection will become a designation of individuality and status in the hushed inner circles of style arbiters everywhere.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sweet Karolina

In a city of been there, done that, has-beens and hopefuls, Karolina Zmarlak is a New York designer capable of conjuring high-concept, utterly original work from the crowded air. In other words: she’s a gem. Her second collection (Debut carried her first this past Autumn/Winter 2009 season) continues to capture a sort of insouciant, luxe effervescence that defines the new “downtown” aesthetic, which fashion people expound so frequently on. And yes, her polished fabrications, cuts and draping will take you from the Bowery to Bemelman’s if so inclined.

What we love is the quiet transformative powers her rich color-blocked and monochrome creations possess. The best-selling “Power Pant” is the sleekest of trousers with a flattering kick hem, imagined as a layer that can move from beneath the frailest of frocks, to the main element of a look when paired with a loose tank, slouchy silk vest or contoured plum leather blazer.  These pants are a necessity for those looking to move beyond ubiquitous leggings. A cousin skirt has a similar adaptable quality, and can be effortlessly flipped inside, out and back again – from deep black to soft, pale netting.

Karolina intends for her garments to be worn as chosen by their owners, and titled the range “Fluid Foundations” – to be stylized and personalized. The notion is underscored with each item presenting itself as one you didn’t know you needed.  All classic, fluid silks, soft leathers and flattering construction inspired by performance-wear. Truly empowering.

* Plum silk zip back dress with corset belt

* Plum leather blazer, dove silk drape tank, Power pant in nude

* Reversible black/nude pencil skirt

* The "kick" hem, Power Pant

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You Seek for Knowledge and Wisdom...

British designer Gemma Slack references some rather heady arenas in her second collection, citing contemporary armor, and religious and scientific iconography. These conjure a Mary Shelley gothic Frankenstein aesthetic, particularly in that Gemma's work remains thoughtful and sensitive, while working with material that can be construed as...difficult (human hair and untreated leather figure in her work).

In our synopsis it may seem that we're diminishing the depth and significance of Gemma's concepts, which delve into the artistic distinctions of ancient religious crusades, pre-industrial Japanese culture and Sci-Fi film. In fact, we are not; it's that she so seamlessly fuses inherently interesting and versatile materials to render very wearable shapes. We are apt to look beyond the intellectual framework of the collection's creation, and simply savor the end results.

A fluttering silk jacket is married to soft, leather sleeves in the vein of armor, and a slinky shell and mini skirt in slashed leather mirror the linear qualities of a skeleton. The pieces capture the essence of a land far, far away, of mythical novels languishing on a top shelf someplace waiting to be re-discovered. And yet - they are all new.

*Layer the above any which way (over a white or black tank, slick tights, floaty slips) and play with varrying degrees of bare.

*This jacket is a lone soldier: let it stand out, drape as it wants, and be your new second skin.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Seeing Colors

In the editorial world it’s been said that September is the January of fashion: the new beginning, the ushering in of a promised future of beautiful colors and textures. At Debut and throughout the retail universe, however, January truly marks an abrupt shift towards a set change. For a brief minute over the holidays a weighty curtain drops, yet once lifted the new characters trickle in, there’s a palpable shift in tone and the audience is reinvigorated…

We’re being a bit heavy in our metaphor usage, but it isn’t without purpose: Debut continues to be a gallery space for new or as of yet untold designers, and this arrangement has a theatric quality as the new players move into place.

We feel a fondness for our Autumn/Winter collections, but they’ve found wonderful homes, and we will continue to offer these pieces as the new collections rotate in. And what collections they will be! Please look to our main website and to the new sidebar of our blog for links to preview the Spring 2010 lineup.

Fortunately we’ll be seeing an early spring thaw, if you will, as new pieces arrive shortly in the form of Palm Beach-apropos baubles by designer Marsha Chun-Matsubara of ABAKUS. She named her collection after the mathematical tool (abacus), inspired by the beads of the machine she once scattered as a child. What we love is that there is absolutely nothing mathematical in her latest collection, “Cerco Verdeazzura”. The jewel-toned hues, bright elements and medusa tangles of beads are purely evocative of Chun-Matsubara’s emotional connection to collectible, wearable treasures.