From Baguettes to Banquettes
Fendi Casa home collection opens its first New York retail location on Madison Avenue.
April 29, 2013
For New Yorkers wanting to peruse the latest from Fendi interior design, the places in town to see the Italian label’s line of residential furniture and accessories were limited to several suites at the Trump Soho, a penthouse last fall at 400 Fifth Avenue, the luxury condominium atop the Setai Fifth Avenue hotel, and a small display at the OC Concept Store. Come August, however, Manhattanites will finally be able to shop the Fendi Casa collection at the brand’s new 10,000-square-foot retail space on lower Madison Avenue—its third in the US (after Miami and Los Angeles). “Fendi Casa expresses the pleasure of luxury,” says Raffaella Vignatelli, president of Luxury Living—Fendi Casa. “The style of desire is to surround oneself with beautiful things that give pleasure, whether it’s a loft in New York City, a country house in Tuscany, or a Paris apartment.”
When developing its interior line more than 20 years ago, the house of Fendi, pioneers in translating a luxe fashion sensibility for the home, relied on the fundamentals that made its fashion lines so well received—artisanal craftsmanship and extensive research into developing new treatments and materials for furniture, fabrics, and wallcoverings. Fendi Casa, today under the design direction of Alberto Vignatelli, CEO of Luxury Living—Fendi Casa, has attracted a glitterati clientele, including Sofia Vergara and Alex Rodriguez. Embossed leathers, specially treated stone and glass, and hardwoods with exotic finishes and lacquers reference the spirit of the sumptuously nuanced textures of the brand’s fashion line. Sofas, armchairs, and poufs are upholstered in runway-worthy velvets and silks, many woven by hand on centuries-old Italian looms. Details popular in Fendi’s fashion accessories are replicated in pillows and throws, which are embroidered with the iconic double- F logo, while the clasps of the Spy Bag are translated into drawer handles
Inside the new retail space, visitors can browse the Contemporary collection, including the sculptural Columbus coffee table and Agadir sectional sofa (pictured), designed by French-born, Milan-based designer Toan Nguyen, a frequent collaborator. Also on display will be the company’s year-old kitchen line, Ambiente Cucina, which was unveiled at the Salone del Mobile in April 2012 before making its US debut in September. 135 Madison Ave.
BY RAUL BARRENECHE
PHOTO BY FENDI CASA
3 Treatments to Refresh Skin for Spring
From a medispa to a celebrity facialist to an at-home peel, here's how to rejuvenate skin.
April 25, 2013
New Clutch Line: Comes with Baggage
Designer Lori Levine transforms vintage clutches into clever statement pieces.
April 22, 2013
Designer Lori Levine’s Comes With Baggage clutches ($239 each) are more than just an accessory—they’re a bona fide conversation piece. Emblazoned with cheeky taglines like “Protect Me from What I Want” and “What You Curse Today, You Will Worship Tomorrow,” the repurposed vintage bags hail from around the globe. Each one is individually hand screened with a message, adding modern-day whimsy to an otherwise old-school accessory.
Although Levine is best known for founding the entertainment marketing and events firm Flying Television, it’s clear that she has a knack for finding and retooling quality vintage goods. With a palette that includes colors like turquoise, grey, and gold, her wares are fashioned out of everything from patent leather to snakeskin.
Moreover, Hollywood has taken notice: stars like Katy Perry, Kate Upton, and Uma Thurman have all sported Levine’s bags on the red carpet. And the designer has also introduced a limited-edition bridal collection, which features both traditional white leather pieces as well as navy blue (never has your “something blue” been so stylish!). Messages on bridal bags include “Happily Ever After” and, for the social media obsessed, “@Wifey.” We’re in love.
BY JULIET IZON
E-Shop Local with Young Love
The newly launched online shop supports up-and-coming New York designers.
March 20, 2013
Dope ring ($88) by Young Love
Rather than spend hours amid the weekend crowds at Bergdorf’s and Bloomingdale’s, many savvy New Yorkers are embracing the internet’s new wealth of highly curated online boutiques. To that end, local trendsetters (and best friends) Mercedes Mimran, Seymore Fleck, and Claire de Lespinois have created Young Love, a new e-commerce site boasting clothing, jewelry, and accessories by emerging New York City designers. With unique pieces ranging from lip print sweaters and floral A-line skirts to classic tweed shift dresses and beaded top-handle totes, Young Love positions itself as virtual closet for the “ultimate cool girl.” Did we mention they also carry vintage?
BY ALEXANDRIA GEISLER
Lilly Pulitzer’s Untold Story
According to a new biography, the designer’s life hasn’t always been tropical flowers and sunshine.
March 05, 2013
Kathryn Livingston is the former executive editor of Town & Country and a long-time chronicler of the beau monde. In her new book, LILLY: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend (Wiley, $25.95), she writes about the woman whose dresses became the default casual wear for America’s preppy. A sometimes rebellious daughter of wealth and privilege who dropped out of finishing school to become a nurse's aide in Appalachia, Pulitzer was a working mother at a time when mothers, especially fabulously rich ones, didn't work. Interestingly enough, the notoriously private fashion legend began her career by opening an orange juice stand in the heart of one of America's most luxe enclaves. This book chronicles her remarkable story.
What prompted you to write this book?
KATHRYN LIVINGSTON: What I hoped to do next was a biography of an exemplary American woman who embodied what’s at the top of the American Dream, but whose private ups and downs through several eras were also reflective of modern American social history. In the fickle world of fashion, she is one of the very few who has been able to make a smashing comeback. While she is as colorful as her merrily printed styles for men, women, and children, there has never before been a published biography of her.
Where does Lilly live today?
KL: In Palm Beach, Florida. Now in her early eighties, she pretty much shuns the limelight. A family-centered woman, she is often surrounded by her visiting children, their spouses, or even ex-spouses, plus Lilly’s eight grandchildren and sister. Her nine-bedroom house is every bit as unique as she is: A bold turquoise front door leads through a terra-cotta foyer into a bright yellow living room the size of a ballroom, filled with colorfully upholstered, pillow-strewn sofas and easy chairs, eccentric mementos, and elegant antiques.
Have younger women embraced the Lilly Pulitzer line the way that they did Diane von Furstenberg’s classic wrap dress a number of years back?
KL: Absolutely. It has been embraced by a whole new generation of young women, men, and children. The brand, which started out as a Palm Beach snob uniform in the ’60s and became a much-copied fashion craze across the U.S, is now considered an American classic.
How has resort style changed since you were an editor at Town & Country?
KL: Amazingly, not much. It’s still civilized barefoot ease, casual classics. The effortless chic of a hibiscus-bright cable-knit sweater casually tossed over the shoulders of a pastel-hued polo shirt worn with crisp white cotton pants and sandals for women and loafers for men is still a perfect seaside club uniform by day in Southampton or Palm Beach. Lilly’s trademark gold gypsy hoop earrings are as popular today as when she originally wore them when she launched her business. Prints are big in fashion once more. So in a sense, fashion has caught up with Lilly.
Lilly Pulitzer is emblematic of a certain era’s wasp style. How would you describe wasp style today?
KL: Low-key but up-to-date. Never flashy. Never looking like you’re trying too hard. Being aware of trends but knowingly sifting out the latest as to what is appropriate for an occasion, what is practical for a specific task. Clean-cut and fresh-scrubbed. Sporty and seemingly effortless. Uncluttered silhouettes, no superfluous ruffles. Good jewelry but not too much of it. Carefully put together but carried off with an air of nonchalance. This style’s assured stance starts in prep school, with mastered traditions, dress codes, awareness of rules. It’s a style acquired by osmosis [that] relies on the tried-and-true: Oxford cloth shirts, khaki pants, navy blazers, cashmere sweaters and shawls, well-cut suits in fine natural fabrics.
BY CATHERINE SABINO
Goldsign for J. Crew
J.Crew's first-ever collaboration is all about the American Dream à la Marilyn Monroe.
March 04, 2013
A young ingénue named Norma Jeane Baker (a.k.a. Marilyn Monroe) is the muse for the new denim collaboration between J.Crew and Goldsign. Three retro yet contemporary fits of high-waisted, feminine jeans (named Jeane, Jenny, and Holly) are the focus of the collection ($198-$288), available at J.Crew stores, catalog, and online.
“While reading Marilyn by André de Dienes on a flight from New York to Los Angeles, I was mesmerized by an image of Norma Jeane Baker, who instantly became the inspiration and hero for my next project,” says Goldsign founder and creative director Adriano Goldschmied, who runs his premium designer denim operation from Los Angeles. “The girl in the picture was honest, sincere, full of energy, and motivated to succeed. Dressed in red, white, and blue [jeans], she was the American Dream of the 1950s . . . And what could be more American than New York City?”
Taken by the naiveté and drive of 1950s Hollywood beauties, Goldschmied envisioned the collection: “These girls dared to leave their pasts behind to make their dreams a reality . . . They dreamed of a land beyond their hometowns, where they could be anything that they wanted to be. They made denim look feminine, and they made being a woman something new and exciting.”
And so, this “girl” inspired the Goldsign for J. Crew collaboration, which Goldschmied describes as “classic, American, feminine, and sophisticated, while using contemporary fabric technology designed for comfort and authenticity.” Worn by the likes of Katie Holmes, Rihanna, Naomi Watts, Emily Blunt, and January Jones, Goldsign certainly walks the walk of authenticity.
Gucci's Most Precious Gems
Gucci Fine Jewelry pays tribute to craftsmanship with a showcase of the brand's artisans at the Standard Hotel.
February 25, 2013
Since the late ’90s, renowned Italian fashion house Gucci has had immense success with its expansion into fine jewelry design. Integrating the Gucci aesthetic similarly seen in their watchmaking design, the house has released new additions to their classic Horsebit fine jewelry collection—contemporary recreations designed by Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini. Paying homage to the exceedingly skilled Italian goldsmiths, Gucci showcased these new designs this past fall at the Timepieces & Jewelry Artisan Corner, a special New York event bringing its exhibits together for the first time. The most accomplished artisans from the brand’s workshops in Italy and Switzerland demonstrated first hand the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into gemstone setting, finishing, and polishing.
Among the countless updated designs, the unique Parure Horsebit pieces best exemplify the craftsmanship demonstrated at the Artisan Corner. Refined drop-cut pendant necklaces, cocktail rings designed with thicker sides and a spring mechanism for added comfort and support, and matching drop earrings are composed of beryl and morganite gems complete with diamonds and 18k yellow and white gold settings. Only available at select Gucci stores throughout the country, one being the Fifth Avenue flagship, morganite is traditionally a symbol of divine love. Expert gemologists have custom cut and selected rare, precious materials to highlight and amplify the stone’s natural color, creating designs that can be worn together for everyday or separately for a more elegant, classic look. 685 Fifth Ave., 212-826-2600
Rai Kawakubo Teams with Hermès
Only available stateside in New York, these foulards are anything but basic.
February 25, 2013
Pégase d'Hermès scarf and “Couvertures et Tenues” scarf ($550 each)
One of fashion’s finest visionaries, Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo is known for her groundbreaking design and a provocative way of thinking. “I try to make something completely new,” says the designer, who has undertaken myriad design collaborations over the years. “I am always thinking that some interesting possibility, some accidental synergy could occur in a collaboration, and people seem to like it.” To unveil her latest project, the designer teamed up with French luxury brand Hermès for an exclusive collection of scarves. Cleverly named “Comme des Carrés,” the two collections—in black and white and color—of silk foulards feature Hermès’s signature equestrian images and classic prints ornamented with original illustrations and cheeky quips, such as cheval surprise and live free with strong will. “Rather than being guided by the idea of the scarf as it is worn, I became interested instead in the beautiful artworks that the designs on Hermès carrés represent,” says Kawakubo. “I sought to change them by adding elements. I think through the addition of abstract images, we have transformed the scarf and created something new.” Released as a limited edition, these abstract accessories are verified works of art. Comme des Garçons, 520 W. 22nd St., 212-604-9200
L'Objet Spring Whimsies
Designer Elad Yifrach’s artful eye inspires a spring line of haute home décor.
February 25, 2013
Inspired by the carousel in Paris’ Jardin des Tuileries, designer Elad Yifrach captures the elegance and movement in his spring line for his New York-based tableware company, L’Objet. “We work with one of the oldest silversmiths in India,” says Yifrach. “[The pieces are] created where the craft is best.” Made from stainless steel, the Carousel collection required artisans to learn a new technique to produce luxurious looks that are lightweight and dishwasher safe. “I try to create things that are decadent but also have a basic function,” says Yifrach. L’Objet, which celebrates its 10th anniversary next year, also offers an array of giftware items including Limoges porcelain candles as well as unique items for hosting such as whimsical place card holders and salt and pepper shakers, like this new-for-spring hand-painted red enamel snail layered in 24k gold. “I tend to be a little more daring on materials,” says Yifrach. “There are enough people doing the safe stuff, but I don’t want to do it.” Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., 212-753-7300
Glam Rock Girl Power at Diane von Furstenberg
DVF showed looks reminiscent of Studio 54, David Bowie, and Pam Grier for fall 2013.
February 14, 2013
You couldn't help but experience a tingle of anticipation upon receiving the invite for Diane von Furstenberg's Sunday-afternoon show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and learning she had titled it Glam Rock. This is the woman who lived and loved through the era, a high-wattage staple of Studio 54 and the passionate compatriot of Bowie, Halston, and Warhol, those ’70s icons with whom she deservedly shares a place in New York's social history. And her ode to the sexy freedom of that decade did not disappoint, beginning with a graphic-print georgette dress tied at the waist, the kind of easy, polished piece you'd wear to the office and then out for drinks at Bemelmans later. The Bowie influences were there in the "fetish" pink satin blazer and pants, thoughtfully paired with a sheer collared blouse in red, or a fantastic metallic snake-embossed jacket in gold. Editors also undoubtedly will be clamoring for the sleeveless jumpsuit in plum/red/pink, the type of piece Pam Grier or Barbra Streisand would have worn with equal aplomb. Not that this was a throwback collection; rather, it was a celebration of those details that punctuated the birth of freedom and feminism. These were the moments when DVF arrived in New York and took on the world—so who better to show it to us in an updated, modern light, and get a whole new generation of women excited and empowered once again?