Sunday, May 22, 2011

Love is Mighty

Everywhere we looked this week, despite ceaseless rain and water-logged streets, girls with tanned limbs were shod – prematurely, perhaps – in summer sandals with pops of “Bermuda Shorts” pink nail polish.

All we can say is get thee to Debut to replace those gold gladiators: Love is Mighty, an artisanal new collection is the new wave of exotic flats. Light as feathers, the shoes have thin, yet durable vegan soles and have been given the works by crafstmen in India. Imagine Ocean reef-blue beads, vegetable died woven laces and individually sourced talisman-like embellishments.

This is a joyous collection, painstakingly sourced and cared for by Founder Monisha Raja. For that extra twinkle to compliment your new white Provencal dress, Raja believes natural is the most beautiful way to go, hence “LOVE is MIGHTY”. Love transcends all, and is represented via preserved techniques, and respect for the earth’s naturally abundant resources. These are good for the “sole”.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Timo, Why?

He tempts us so. Timo Weiland has executed yet another collection of sure to be seasonal (and seasonless) favorites. We first wrote about this new label for spring 2010, and at the time raved about Weiland’s perfect-fit designs for New Yorkers. The message: the art of dress-making for young at heart sophisticates. 

Little has changed in our thinking since that initial post, yet everything Timo has evolved. Once again there are must-have dresses in identifiably quirky-chic prints, but the cuts and fabrications have greater depth and finish.
A shirt waist forest-printed mini dress comes either with an exposed midriff for tan-bearing, or without for those who wish to pass office codes.  A trim mini skirt is comprised of chiffon over whisper-light silk in contrasting blue and red, with a print bordering on the animal side.  
The hunt for the perfect cardigan concludes with a bang: choose ivory or scarlet backed by forest and wildflower print chiffon. Business in the front, party in the back. A Timo devotee likes to surprise, and should be prepared to humbly accept compliments while coming and going at every event.

Timo Girls -

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Original Thing...

It’s all about that one little thing.

The other day a girl uttered this to a friend while shopping the designers at debut. Her phrase seemed at once a justification, an explanation and a call to arms to keep on looking. “That’s it,” we thought! That’s what makes girls tick. Often there is no reason to buy; nothing is so new that it can be pronounced essential. But if a design has that “one little thing”, it’s a done deal.

Take Akshata for example. The collection was founded in 2010 by Akshata Murty to preserve the ancient crafts and inherited techniques of India’s artisans. Akshata is a collective of sorts, gathering fabrics and accessories prepared in India by local experts, and merging the work with a New York-based design team. Production is split between New York and New Delhi, offering balance and opportunity in the process.

Modernity in this case is a good thing, and introduces unique processes and hand-finishing to simply pretty, wearable clothing. The pieces have at once a far away quality and beautiful finish to them, and will invoke many a “where did you find that?” query. Pale, sweet pink silk, Mediterranean blue beading and gold metallic underskirts conjure long summer days during which you don one dress in the morning, and don’t change until the last drop of rose at night’s end.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gone Shopping

The days are improving, and with that, so grows the list of new accoutrements we might, ahem, “require” for Summer.

Sometimes you just need something...anything. That intrinsic human desire to acquire and self-satisfy comes into play during moments of upheaval and transition – for example the weather – and helps create a base of one’s vision of self.

For instance, Hekki Salonen’s latest delivery offers a simple message: “wear cool socks”. The slouchy runway pieces arrived in shades of rust, ivory snow and black. Pair with flat Marni men’s-style sandals in clean calfskin, a floaty dress plus - if you're really hip - these Tube Sock Skateboards.

 Hekki Salonen Knitted "Flip" Socks in Black, Ivory Snow and Rust - the new Uggs

And for no reason whatsoever we are feeling this seemingly new color, mint-blue. It speaks to us. It should be paired with incongruous warm things like sand, red-and-white checkered lobster bibs and Baja. These new Jack Germain wallets do just the trick.

 There are no bills where we're going. Just credit cards.
Jack Germain "Shoreline" Credit Card Holder


Lost Property of London Rucksack, Hekki "Flip" Socks and Love is Mighty wraparound thongs (more on these puppies later)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Swim like a fish...

Sang A, one of the brightest talents versed in exotic textures and shapes, has indulged us with new pale colors and matt python for summer. Her signature “Pop” and “Mini Pop” handbags sing a certain secret siren song to passers-by and travelers from afar who come here just to seek a longed-for tote or clutch.

We have written about Sang A Im-Propp before, the multi-faceted, Korean-born dancer turned pop star, turned New York-based designer. She blazed a trail on stage in front of millions of fans abroad, and parlayed this turn in the spotlight into a deep investigation of personal style and self-creation – the strengths of a born performer. Her instincts were right, and she quickly found her niche in fashion with kick-y shapes and ultra luxe textures and skins.

This season we have the palest blue fish skin Mini Pop – the new icon – and a bucket-sized matt coal python Pop bag. Slightly rough and discreet, and just what Sang A offers that others do not.

Mini Pop / Mint-Blue / Natural Fish

Pop / Black Matte Python

Monday, April 4, 2011

True Whit

Lightness of being, self-satisfaction, and objects of whimsy: these are a few of our favorite “things” for spring.

Enter designer Whitney Pozgay, a bright young talent (Arizona born) based in Brooklyn. Her vaguely namesake collection, WHIT, perfectly embraces all things pretty, easy, chic and un-self conscious. Take her online “inspiration board” ( titled “Fundamentals”. Keith Harring…Shibori dying techniques…retro cult surf films. The essences of these great elements have been referenced and refined by Whitney – but never derived. Her collection speaks for itself, and comes from a romantic, but none too serious mind.
Let's go...somewhere

A flouncy, but not sweet white linen Urchin dress is clean and what we’ll long for in the long months ahead. Imagine its stark lines, lit by white hot sun against an azure blue vacation sky. Sweet, cheeky olive drab overalls come slightly cropped, and tailored just so. The wearer will feel jaunty, and unexpectedly compelled to don a lean bandeau to peek out from beneath.

 Lisa Marie Fernandez suits go well with cool WHIT looks. Summer packing: done-zo, as they say in the O.C.

Shorts, swing tops and apron dresses pop with tribal black and white. A tank top has a “porthole” opening in the back. For fun’s sake, we’ll call it all very witty

 Urchin Dress, Porthole Tank, Khaki Skirt will take you...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Suddenly This Summer

UK-born and bred, but kissed by the Hollywood sun and the colors of Southern France; these qualities, and so many more were whipped into the iconic, fiery, beautiful and enduring personality of the late Elizabeth Taylor.

Many stories will be written about Ms. Taylor as the weeks pass, and her personal style – the ups, downs, and devil-may-care of it all – will be a certain focus; fittingly so, for her love of jewelry has propelled an industry for generations, and created a new legion of famous gems.

The right piece of jewelry absorbs the essence of its owner’s personality, and bestows it to each new wearer – think the Krupp Diamond. Costume, paste, faux, the real thing – they all have the same effect if beautiful, and Liz herself was an ardent fan of all things that sparkled with singularity.

Mawi is on track, then, with an heirloom collection of house favorites, and a fine costume collection of innovative new pieces each season. Our ruby and emerald rock fantasy pieces from Fall have segued to softer, brilliantly-hued looks for Spring.

Tutti Frutti is the name: slick necklaces with modern “claw” settings, and cushion-y cocktail rings with bursts of color in apple green and violet. And exclusively for début we are armed with a just-for-us group of pieces titled “Deco Rocks”, in shades of glinting coal and steel, sparking a decadent new era for costume wear. Each item is of generous weight, and packs a high-wattage of internal sparkle and light, like La Liz herself. 
 "Tutti Frutti" necklaces, bracelet and cocktail ring
$355 - $595
"Deco Rocks" awesome "Fang" necklace - $595

*Header: "Deco Rocks" stacked tube earrings - $355

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I know this much is true

There is something to be said for the familiar, tried and true,
No less thrilling than something new.
A pick-me-up when you’re feeling blue…
Okay, enough with attempts at faux-haiku. We’ve received our latest Calla collection. The Paris-based talent, introduced first at debut with her launch Spring 2010 collection, has successfully made all-over print cool and accessible for a new generation. In the manner of Emilio Pucci, Calla Haynes has made her unique textiles a hallmark.

Inspired by the creativity of Niki de Sainte Phalle and Maria Felix, the prints are hand-designed and eye-catching while remaining neutral enough so as to not overpower the wearer.

What feels fresh is her stable of evolving silhouettes. As always we have sleek, fitted jersey mini dresses and leggings splashed with a chorus of harmonious colors.

New to the collection are soft and easy sweatshirt dresses, loose jersey tops with swing for summer, and a lean and mean column “gown”. A girl with access to a yacht come July in the South of France will feel quite at home on a breezy ship prow in this number, and equally so for a night out at VIP club. Those remaining in the City will take refuge from the white heat of the sun in Calla’s shattered-glass print mini dress rendered in cool shades of blue.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Look

Heikki Salonen throws it all at us, but in subtle doses: clean lines, 80s and 90s abstract skate culture references and Native American twang. The Finnish designer has been with debut for two seasons, and is in his third as an independent brand (following a stint at British darling brand Erdem, and appointment as Creative Consultant to Diesel). 

Fall/Winter was blade-runner sleek, with sheared chiffon-inset knit trousers worthy of the Bauhaus, a hunter green lambskin sheath dress, and what have become (at least in our eyes) signature raw-edges and layers.

Spring 2011 ushers in a lighter hand, with buoyant linen pieces in shades of smoke and off-season Oceanside.

A chalk white dress features a shredded and layered “ruffle” hem that wouldn’t look out of place on a girl sporting Vans. The same goes for a below-the knee slip on “ruffle” hem skirt with side pockets riding low on the hips. Pair with knuckle duster spike rings, a t-shirt of any make and size and move.

Lacking for sophistication the collection is not, however. A sheath dress with a gently folded neckline and an asymmetric cropped linen blazer are for the girl with a surfboard strapped to her car, and a corner office waiting for her on Mondays.

Heikki’s clothing is meant to be lived in and loved in any state, and our bursting rack at debut will surely dwindle in early days this season.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Whip Lash

One of the best things Fashion can afford is the ability for talent to transcend commerce, trends and fickle consumers to smack us in the face with something that doesn’t say just, “fashion”.

One designer that has achieved this feat, stepping neatly aside of the commercial-creative combustion machine is Christopher Raeburn. He has been quietly, but with buzz, building a collection of eye-catching slickers, raincoats and outerwear that generally stops all passers-by in their tracks.

First: the colors – army green, highlighter orange, chalk white and lemon yellow. Second: the cuts – razor-like, matrix quality contouring, ruching and visible seams lend a neo-futuristic slant. Finally: the basis of found and re-claimed materials taken from the ranks of our soldiers, naval officers and air force. It all harkens to Helmut-era Helmut Lang modernity without being derivative.

In store we have the perfect in absolutely every sense of the word quilted vest for layering or to wear alone. In a mini bag, stow a parachute topper to pull out in the face of unexpected weather. You’ll feel good about it – for those who care, you will feel indisputably cool. For those who don’t know or care to distinguish L.L. Bean from Balenciaga, you’ll feel unencumbered, dry and also, indisputably cool.

Tyvek Parka - white with army dots

Quilted Gilet - army
Parachute Hoodie: triple dot

Monday, February 21, 2011

Answered Prayers

A proliferation of new superhero movies on the horizon (I am Number 4, Spiderman) has us in the mood for color that goes *POP*.

The collection doing it for us this season is Meredith Wendell’s neo-luxury, uptown-quirky range of totes, bags and belts in Candyland suedes and python. Flashes of patent add a bit of brilliance and just the right amount of off-ness to super-charged classic materials.

Meredith, along with husband and business partner Wendell German has an aesthetic that harkens to Auntie Mame, and women who “Summer” in Newport with their twin Deerhound puppies, and take restorative holidays at the Dorothy Draper-designed Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia. The latter serves as seasonal inspiration and backdrop to fantastical company photo shoots, which bring to life the playful, personal accessories of Meredith Wendell, and the great female personas of haute bourgeois society.

In-store now, we love the mini duffle of python and suede, clasping at the top with a box frame closure. Suspended from a delicate patent strap, the mini bag can be tossed about, carefree, as we walk the streets of Palm Beach on a lazy Sunday this spring.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


We’re feeling oddly aquatic lately, most likely because we’ve just received a true spring/summer delivery of…swimsuits. Those skimpiest members of the ready-to-wear category in all of their strappy, bandaged glory.

Being début, these would not be just swimsuits though. These are from one Lisa Marie Fernandez, a designer who surely believes that swimwear is as integral to a woman’s wardrobe as a little black dress. The aesthetic and execution is that meticulous. In fact, Fernandez’s pieces often walk off the beach and in for a drink.

The collection we’ve assumed is a tight edit of the classics, ranging from the playful, to stealth Bond girl-like. A scuba-inspired racerback in color-block black and yellow; a seamed spaghetti strap number in palm frond green; a bi-color triangle top in cool Hockney blue and khaki, and our favorites: the simplest zip front bandeau bikini and bodysuit, both in all black.

You’ll feel like a regular super hero regardless of which style. Don one, and it molds to you, creating an insta-perfect second skin.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

We Are Golden

At début, we like to surprise everyone – even ourselves! And it happens frequently. Fashion is better seen first-hand, like 3-D movies in theaters. But, if you can’t make it to a runway, you can still dream up your seasonal wish lists. When the time comes, you’ll venture forth, expedition-like, and seek to lay your hands on the object of your magazine affections. And it will be shinier, and more perfectly-rendered than imagined.

This makes the new season’s receipts that much more anticipated – they aren’t just new, they are better than our original impressions. This is precisely the case with Esquivel. We knew Esquivel, with its twisted-traditional aesthetic and hand-made integrity would be a jewel of a collection for the store, but we didn’t know we would want to wear it NOW.

Clean-cut, sharply styled, just on the farthest border of androgyny – the shoes are true “kicks”. Only the softest, lightest leathers are employed, and the workmanship is evident and charming. It seems possible the shoes came to existence organically – as opposed to being pieced together in a studio.

Zeus flashes of gold trim oblong cutouts on a pale, caramel leather brogue boot. A lace and zip front toughens the exterior. Slick, jazz-age white patent oxfords are light as air with similar cutouts. Then our favorites: 24 karat gold metallic oxfords, with raw edged will give flight to your transitional wardrobe. Come summer, on Governor’s island, you’ll lie back, cross your ankles and your shoes will glow in the sun. How perfect.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sense and Sensibility

Welcome back readers! We know you’ve just unpacked the old T. Anthony from your travels near and afar, but it’s time to gear up again. With the advent of a New Year, we have a new collection: Lost Property of London.

The collection of totes and carryalls is composed of recycled materials – namely, coffee bean sacks. Stay with us now – it’s not just another eco collection-cum-gimmick. The fabrics are light as air, and laundered to a high degree, rendering them silky to the touch. And there is something about the colors and remaining markings on the bags – “MERCANTA: The Coffee Hunters, May 2009” or “Cafés do Brasil” – that hint at important and exotic beginnings.

Lost Property Founder, Katy Bell, finds a story in each material and tags her designs with notes from the former incarnations, “I started life as a coffee sack, full of beans. Places to go, people to feed. But then I was empty, lost. And now? I am found. Transformed into a beautiful bag.”

This Velveteen Rabbit quality is one that appeals. The need to swoop these neat totes and duffels up is strong. And they are quite useful too. A flat messenger is backed and trimmed in soft, durable leather to lend stability and longevity. Top handles give it dual carriage potential. Cheerful red and white ticking cloth lines the interiors.

A jaunty back pack with leather straps will be a perfect springtime in Central Park compliment – pair with a lightweight Whit dress (coming soon), or bring it on your next voyage South.

The piece de resistance is a surprisingly oversized duffel. We laughed when we unpacked it – where would it go in the store? For the intrepid traveler though, it’s the only thing you need. People will wonder on what distant excursion you are embarking…a sensible and intriguing individual you will seem.