Sunday, October 31, 2010

That Touch of...

We remember as children reading our first magazines, perhaps even a few young adult-style novels with variations on a phrase that stuck with us: “Furrier to the Stars…” Surely, if a woman had a go-to fur specialist, she had made it in life. The effect of a silver screen beauty clutching a pelt over her figure epitomized a certain cozy glamour that is absent from the slink of an evening gown or cling of a cashmere cardigan.

Chubby fox and silken minks had – and have – an immediately catalyzing effect, and lasting allure for those who are comfortable with the concept. Like a good fragrance, a good fur is rare, personal and lasting; passed down between generations of women, who alternately step out in the finery, or choose to safe-keep the piece. Little girls grow up catching at the hems of coats, and falling asleep beneath them. The history and craft of furs is at once storied and ever-present.

When a young man working in Paris by the name of Quentin Veron came to our attention, we were curious: here was a person creating and building a business around the controversial but enduring fur trade, and in a very modern way, staging carefully styled and highly inspired runway shows. The theatrics at once amplify and belie the truly beautiful work.

Shaggy white Fin Raccoon and moody Curly Lamb with Ink-purple Fox trim offer an entry for those not in pursuit of their mother’s fur. Classic auburn and black fox are formed into circular vests that rest on the body with a sense of buoyancy. The shrunken jacket is present, to top the evening gowns of future sirens and passed down to stylish women for generations to come…the past marches forward, energized by the future as envision by Veron.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The quest for IT. The ineffable qualities of must-haveness. The existence of perfect proportions, materials and minute details that, while imperceptible from afar, constitute THE bag every woman must own. Rare indeed. If anyone knows how to seek out and render these characteristics, it would be designer Sang A Im-Prop. 

Hailing from South Korea, Sang A embarked on a very early, enduring and highly successful career as a dancer and true pop star. Through the creative channels so oft-associated with performance, Sang A cultivated an identifiable and influential sense of style, and was drawn increasingly to fashion as a profession. On her own volition she took a right turn – no pun intended – and traveled to New York City, enrolling at the Parsons School of Design upon arrival.

For Spring 2006 she launched her namesake collection of exotic skin handbags with catchy names, a carryover from her record deal days. Inspired by downtown New York street attitude, and the exotic skins and construction she researched in the workshops of European luxury houses, SANG A hits a mark that straddles high concept design and visual gratification.

SANG A's colors, materials and shapes have near-addictive, instant appeal. From moody, multidimensional metallic pythons to fantastic, trippy seasnake, croc and mink. The POP is an elongated bucket style with shoulder and handheld straps. MINI POP is an abbreviated, but still roomy version of POP. And this holiday season will undoubtedly see a lot of the FLASH, a signature angled clutch, in crimson metallic fish and stardusted leopard suede.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Recessionistas

“After everything that’s happened…”
This line has become a common kickoff to discussions evolving around Manhattan’s financial profile as of late. Now, more than ever, spending, speculation and savings are intrinsically and necessarily linked; we try our best to remember the fallible nature of our system, while keeping in mind that life is to be lived and enjoyed.
Oddly, in the aftermath of meltdowns it is the consumers who have become beacons of hope. The old Lipstick Index and Hemline Diversity concepts have been recalled, and our Mayor champions the fashion industry with Fashion’s Night Out – a global event. Spending tendencies are tracked, and acknowledged as indicative of a healthy market, specifically with regards to the fashion industry.
People have reemerged with an invigorated, if slightly altered approach to shopping: mulling over purchases before splurging when the moment and object in question are right. At début we celebrate this educated consumer.
We will also celebrate this Wednesday, October 20, the appropriately titled novelThe Recessionistas, by Alexandra Lebenthal. The author, impeccable and as fashion and business-savvy as they come, will hold court at the boutique, and autograph copies of her glossy hardcover. Of course we voraciously read the book, and insist that The Recessionistas must be read by any and everyone – it documents the “Too Big to Fail” implosion, while taking record of the style, moral fiber and humanity against the sparking backdrop of a Judith Lieber-bedecked NYC skyline.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Bangles

A good bangle is like a good song – once you catch wind of one, you commit it to memory and pull it out time and time again to feel good. We’ve found this with Nicholas King’s collection of translucent, sculpted chunky bracelets: smooth, clear and optical with studding and crystals inlaid deep within. Each piece will become a go-to favorite, and looks the part of a venerable costume collection.

King possesses as richly varied a background as one could possibly have. A career in ready-to-wear led him to John Galliano in Paris, and Donna Karan in New York. Here, he moved on to work with Alexis Bittar, of cult pop jewelry renown. Following these rich layers of experience, King returned to the UK and founded his namesake collection to immediate accolades amongst industry insiders home and abroad.

The range consists of substantial cuffs, lightweight bangles and bold earrings. Vintage-inspired and modern in approach (as well as handmade), Nicolas King is marked by a simple linear crown motif hidden on each piece. It is fitting that he has crowned this collection, since it will surely reign in the near future, and prove an enduring investment for modern Babe Paileys everywhere seeking the next collectibles.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Blueprint for Dressing

UK-based Clare Lopeman has created a collection of look-again separates for her international debut, and the Fall 2010 season.

In a pure vision of the palest of shell pinks, the base of each silky jersey sheath dress début carries serves as canvas for Lopeman’s inspired transcriptions of vintage patterns found in ‘100 Dresses’ – a classic Soviet dressmaking book reflecting key shapes and silhouettes established in 50's French couture. Evident is the meta concept of infusing, and revising these patterns into body-conscious, classic shapes for the modern wearer.

Ranging from complex and literal with Russian notations, to the abstract distillation of these, the dresses garner energy from the blueprints of their predecessors. The graphic blockings and lines of the pattern – or concept of pattern – add a contoured effect to each garment.

Lopeman further defines her silhouettes with softly sculpted shoulders. The work is eye-catching, deserving of further inspection, and will stand alone or serve as a layer beneath a cool leather jacket and piles of chains this season.  

 Clare Lopeman Jersey Dresses - $726