Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So it’s finally getting steamy in Manhattan, with the reflected light spilling down from blazing metal rooftops and whitewashed buildings along Lafayette. New Yorkers have started their expressive summer stylings, which frequently include limited coverage clothing. Where do they find these things? I asked myself the other day, passing a girl – very tan – wearing an entirely backless, entirely sideless, draped-front dress. I had to admit she looked sort of great and relaxed, particularly for a Tuesday. I diverted eyes to my own dark jeans and barn jacket and realized: it’s time for a change.
Suffice to say New Yorkers must pack away their bodies, secretly toning and tanning them year-round in some airtight Equinox or Crunch. And this is why D├ębut jumped up and down for Kkini’s flashy-minimal bikinis, knowing all well that we wouldn’t be lacking for customers clambering. Metallic, slick and linear, they call to mind a non-preppy turn in a Hamptons Meier house – all blinding white surfaces and Hockney blue pools. They’d be just as at home in Los Angeles or Miami, and this suits New Yorkers perfectly: we’re malleable to the turf and terrain of all major fashion cities.
Kkini’s styles are named and grouped by destination: St. Tropez, Kauai, Monaco Deck Suite – themey, but apropos. The New York-based brand designs around fit, adjustability and versatility, while offering a slim edit of colors and textures aimed at mixing and matching. Many of the straps can be easily readjusted with one or two swift maneuvers to minimize tan lines, and all tops and bottoms are sold separately. Kkini will also throw us for a loop with a full stop, recession-averted, lounging-only sun suit – in our case, a pale pink and sequined Grecian draped number. And of course, all Kkini suits come in black.

Bikinis are intended to be mixed and matched as sets - all $210.00

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cool Coon.

Mandy Coon, a Texan by birth, and citizen of the fashion world via an earlier modeling career, is quite simply a cool girl.

She embarked on the requisite modeling jaunt, and ultimately landed in the far reaches of Japan where her interest in wearing other people’s clothes waned, and permitted for a creative surge of her own. She began to revise her relationship with fashion, creating special pieces upon request of friends, and in collaboration with others.

A subsequent return to New York was perhaps non-negotiable – feeling the prospective pull of a solid foundation she enrolled at FIT, and ultimately earned an internship with fellow New York designer and tastemaker, Camilla Staerk of the label, Staerk. This led to a full-time position with the company, during which Coon was dedicated to the pure aesthetic of Staerk’s – relatively austere without taking its own value too seriously.

And this is a sensibility Coon puts forth with her own collection; clearly well-versed in the school of minimalism with a bit of kink at the edges – but with Coon’s heightened sense of ease. There’s an element of bad behavior in a “dress” that zips apart into two pieces, and yet a simplicity in the doubleknit jersey. A romper with a cascading leather ruffle has a silk-linen upper with a loose, hanging fit, and a distressed leather bottom. Animal print is taken in a camouflaged direction, a refreshing point of view on the omnipresent leopard spots of the season, with silk chiffon watercolor-like prints. We can’t keep the short black dress and romper in our store, and for good reason: they’re perfect new pieces.

Sheer Tiger T-Shirt and Leather Bloomer Shorts

Silk and Leather Romper w/ Ruffle

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


A heady wink, a slight lean forward, a smooth chignon and the perfect hat recall this iconic 50s film. And entirely coincidentally the modern owner of this name, Gigi Burris, is a young designer who has mastered the art of millinery. Her work recalls an era when women dressed to thrill – both themselves and their admirers – in perfectly planned looks head to toe. And yet it is far from retro.

Burris attended Parsons where she studied millinery, and during this time traveled to Paris to integrate herself further with the storied mercerie shops. As Jeanne Lanvin and Gabrielle Chanel had done, why not recapture this somewhat languishing craft, and inject the glamour and atmospheric principles of luxury headwear into the modern girl’s wardrobe?

She graduated in 2009 with a BFA and nomination for Designer of the Year, and promptly founded her namesake label to begin producing bespoke pieces. The collection preceded the influx of audacity emanating from the music world (in the case of Rihanna, Lady Gaga et. al.), and compliments this sense of newness, while fitting perfectly with an Ascot (or Derby) crowd.

The work is deeply varied, ranging from dramatic, black swan swooping feathered numbers to petite, sharp pieces in pale shades and slight nods to punk. Fantastical, yet relevant and timeless – truly hats for the ages.