Nordstrom + Olivia Kim Launch ‘The Lab’

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Though the official line was that Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump simply because the clothes weren’t selling – the retailer has been elevated to the role of “hero” by those forming the opposition to our new President’s early core policy decisions. So there is a particular satisfaction in helping them to support young, up-and-coming talent.

And indeed, this week Nordstrom launched ‘The Lab,’ which will showcase the next generation of designers, featuring selected items from carefully chosen fashion unknowns. A project of SPACE, a boutique-within-a-store overseen by VP of Creative Projects Olivia Kim, the program’s inaugural five are NYC’s Eckhaus Latta (pictured above), young Canadian Vejas (Kruszewski), Turkish-but-London-based Dilara Findikoglu (we love her provocative rocker chic), Natalia Alaverdian’s A.W.A.K.E., and punky Eric Schlösberg.

“We wanted to find a way to show the truly new brands just starting out,” enthuses Kim, “and to recognize the great, raw talent out there. The Lab is for the designers who have just launched their collections, did their first show, maybe used their friends as models and showed in a basketball court in the Lower East Side. It’s true, authentic and they’re creating beautiful collections that we want to share with our customers.”

‘The Lab’ will be available at select Nordstrom locations: LA, Chicago, Vancouver, Toronto, flagship Seattle and Nordstrom.com/SPACELab. It will be refreshed with each new season.

 

  • Vejas
  • Dilara Findikoglu
  • A.W.A.K.E.
  • Eric Schlösberg

NYFW Wrap: Fashion Got Political

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New York Fashion Week is a wrap – and, motivated by divisive Trump policies, political statements were a major trend. From newcomers to the well-established designers, the shows provided a platform for designers to express their opinions on hot-button topics such as women’s rights and the immigration ban.

Slogans on shirts were all the rage! Christian Siriano strutted his models in T-shirts reading People are People, while Jade Lai of Creatures of Comfort’s message was We are all Human Beings. But it was Prabal Gurung who made the most noise,  declaring The Future is Female, I am an Immigrant, Revolution has no Borders, and Stronger than Fear.

Other designers, such as Michael Kors and The Row, opted for more subliminal messages; the former sent out models in oversized sweaters with the word Love across the chest, while one of the latter’s looks was a white shirt with the word Hope sewn at the cuff.

 

 

Statement-making accessories also proved quite popular. Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport opened his show with a speech about the plight of refugees living on the streets. Soon after, models came out sporting hats that read Make America New York, We Need Leaders and This Land is Your Land. Meanwhile, things at LRS Studio got cheeky, literally. Models walked out wearing undies that read Fuck Your Wall and No Ban No Wall.

Amongst all this antagonistic spirit, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein reminded us to unite as one. Hilfiger started the ‘white bandana’ movement at his LA show by having models tie them on their wrists, a message in support of humankind. Calvin Klein extended the uniting spirit by handing them out to his attendees before his NYFW show.

 

New York fashion week #LRSstudio#fuckyourwall

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NYFW Trend Roundup: From Americana to Old-School Glam

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Fashion matured this season. Designers revolted against a market that seemed over-saturated with teen nostalgia and opulent embellishments. Gone were the brand logos, street-wear craze, and rockstar accessories. In lieu, sophisticated glamour, sleek suits, and Americana spirit took center stage.

Here we round up what the biggest trends were from this season. Considering many designers jumped in on the ‘see it now, buy it now’ phenomenon, many collection pieces are already sold out. Best to start getting that wardrobe ready now!

Americana

Stuart Vevers catapulted Coach to new levels with the revival of the Americana spirit – and that tribute to heritage proved to be contagious for many designers this season. A modern rendition of the cowboy look included leather vests, embroidered denim, and boiler suits. The barren land of the plains also made a significant impact with the incorporation of paisley prints, earthy color tones, and shearling fur.

Thank you to our RTW workshop ⚡️🙌⚡️🙌⚡️#CoachFall2017 #NYFW

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Old-School Glamour (velvet as formal wear, renaissance brocades, fur)

Decadence is here to stay. Velvet, fur, and rich fabrics continued to be staples. Lurex knits and ornate brocades were also thrown into the mix. The modern Renaissance woman continues to charm!

#silkvelvet #ullajohnson #bts #aw17 ✨🍁🥀

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Suit Up

The suit was galore this season, from oversized to tailored. Thom Browne even opted to base his entire collection around the traditional button-up suit. A sleek color palette along with classical fabrics made for a mature and dark vibe.

Maude: Sex Accessories For Modern People

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Sex sells. Maude wants to sell it better – and the brand’s three female founders, Eva Goicochea, Dina Epstein and Maya Bodinger, are intent on disrupting the sex industry. Together they’ve combined their experience in retail, strategy and product development (Epstein was head of “toy” design at kinky lux label Kiki de Montparnasse), to create a line of products that puts the sexy back in sex (to)y. The goodies? Sleekly designed condoms, lubes and vibrators, simplified, sustainable and of particularly high quality – but still very much about getting it on.

They also put a feminist spin on an often gender-biased industry – which they inform us dates back to avery unsexy bit of history-as-inspiration. Little did we know that condoms were readily available and distributed (to male soldiers) in the mid-1800s – and then along came Anthony Comstock, a fervently religious military man, who lobbied for the making the sale of anything deemed “obscene” illegal, including condoms. Thus was born the Comstock Act of 1873.

Condoms

It wasn’t until the 1930s that the issue caught the attention of the FDA, which went on to create universal standards. Until this time condoms were sold in unmarked packaging so as not to attract attention. A popular supplier, Three Merry Widows, named their ‘rubbers’ Mabel, Agnes and Beckie. ‘Maude’ in name and design is a nod to the widows, the subversively beautiful packaging of that time, while “fighting the stigma of sex—much like they did almost 150 years ago,” says Goicochea. “While Maude is a female name, the spirit of Maude stands for all.”

As the big brands rushed in, companies like Trojan did loads of advertising to not only gain legitimacy, as Goicochea notes, but to get doctors on their side. She sneers, “And so began the era of Trojan: Overtly sexual condoms that defined sex through a hypermasculine lens.” Outdated…and terribly boring.

Maude is just the opposite, representing “interesting, diverse and real voices.” It’s pro-sex and progressive – or as Goicochea puts it: “Sex is great. Do it. We support the quickie. But wear a condom please.”

Maudern sex debuted February 14.

 

Ghurka Launches Striking Blue Roi Collection

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After more than four decades of making some of the finest and most coveted leather travel bags and accessories, Ghurka undertook a notable stylistic reinvention in 2016. And indeed, under Creative Director Kathy Formby, they introduced bold new colors and handsome new shapes.

The latest is the striking new Blue Roi Collection, which plays to the brand’s heritage by tapping the great expeditions of the advent of the modern era (think: your favorite Paul Bowles book). Yet it exhibits a boldness that is distinctly contemporary. We love the Explorer No. 239, with its hint of adventure (and stylishly placed pockets), as well as the Express No. 2, the perfect weekender bag for those with impeccable taste and flair.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the Slim Credit Case No. 204 or the Classic Wallet No. 101 both make fabulously luxurious  gifts – especially in the striking Blue Roi color.

After all, what could be more romantic than traveling in style?

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Stay Swathed in Denim with H&M’s Conscious Collection

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Sandra Rieder and Chloe Wheatcroft (Muse) wear H&M Conscious Collection. Photos by Jaesung Lee.

We live in our denim — there’s simply nothing else that makes more sense for our lives. H&M has given us new reason to stay swathed in the stuff with the launch of the new Conscious Collection, available to shop now in stores and online. The materials that make up the collection are more sustainable than ever, and the processes used to create each wash are scrutinized for minimal environmental impact. To top it off, the collection is gorgeous. Smart and pretty? Sounds like the perfect package.

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Sandra wears an H&M Conscious Collection cardigan, H&M zipper turtleneck, and refurbished jeans by Rialto Jean Project. Chloe’s overcoat by H&M Conscious Collection.
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Chloe wears H&M Conscious Collection bra top, embroidered button down (worn over the shoulder) and skinny jeans, Sandra wears H&M Conscious Collection jumpsuit and sweatshirt, and Cosabella bra.
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Photographer: Jaesung Lee
Models: Sandra Rieder and Chloe Wheatcroft (Muse)
Stylist: Alyssa Shapiro

Hair: Jason Murillo
Makeup: Dana Rae Ashburn
Stylist Assistant: Emily Ovaert

Shot on location at 13 Eight Avenue, a West Village townhouse available for sale now. For more information, click here. Special thanks to the Eklund Gomes Team and Clayton Orrigo.

7 Tips On Valentine’s Day Etiquette

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Love is a perfect democracy of cruelty – it makes fools of kings and trash collectors in equal measure. So, in hopes of getting some insight on the “politics” of Valentine’s Day, we consulted Heidi Bauer, founder and designer (along with her sister and partner Susie) at LA’s Rock Scissor Paper – perhaps the hippest greeting card purveyors in the know universe – to edify us on the ever complicated ways of VDay etiquette. 

Should one even attempt a first date on Valentine’s Day?

Why not?  You’ve got to start somewhere. If you both survive the pressure of a first date and Valentine’s day all wrapped into a night overloaded with expectation, you’re likely going to go the distance as a couple.

If your significant other says, “I don’t care about Valentine’s Day”, should you believe them? Or play it safe?

It’s quite possible that she really doesn’t care. It’s also possible that her inner fifteen year old feels very differently. If you show up empty handed, you’re in for a hell of a lousy night. Play it safe and keep it simple. You might want to skip giving her the 4-foot-tall, heart adorned teddy bear you saw at the drug store and go for something simple like a cool, clever Valentine card, one that is both funny and sweet comes off as sincere and not over-the-top. It will score you points whether she was lying or telling the truth.

 

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Would it be too forcefully iconoclastic to surprise your special someone on the 13th instead of the 14th? Or would it be a cool move?

Totally cool move. Even cooler? Surprise them on the 13th and keep the date going all the way to the 15th. Why relegate romance to one night?

Flowers and jewelry are totally overplayed. What would actually make an unforgettable VDay gift?

Adventures, rather than things, are the best gifts you can give. Whether it’s tickets to Paris or a picnic in a secret woodland park, an adventure together is always a hit and something she won’t stop talking to her friends about.

Is it bad form to propose on VDay?

Yes, unless you want to spend the next 30 years celebrating the anniversary of your engagement by being forced to order from special, over-priced menus at restaurants. Plus, so many people do propose on Valentine’s Day that you risk having the guy next to you get down on one knee and pop the question to his lady (or gent) moments before you, totally stealing your thunder.

You can save a bundle by finally breaking off a bad relationship on February 13th. If you do, what’s the best way to spend the money?

Expensive booze.

If you decide to break it off after VDay, what’s the grace period for having to return the gift?

Keep the gift! I mean, really, what’s he going to do with a 4-foot-tall teddy bear in March if you give it back to him?

 

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Inside ‘Rick Owens: Furniture’ at MOCA Pacific Design Center

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You know him as the overlord of modern gothic fashion. But the much anticipated exhibition Rick Owens: Furniture at West Hollywood’s MOCA Pacific Design Center looks at his creations not meant for the body. The work presented include recent furniture, a new group of large scale sculptures, video and installations – alongside a selection of works by the late artist and musician Steven Parrino, whom the Paris-based American designer admired.

Owens launched his eponymous clothing label in Los Angeles in 1994, and has consistently drawn influence for both his fashion collections and his sculptural furniture from a vast array of art historical sources, which span modernist design, brutalist architecture, monochrome painting, minimal art, and avant-garde dance. His radical and spectacular runway shows function as a form of performance art, and often call into question preconceived and culturally constructed notions of beauty promoted by the very fashion industry in which he works.

But since 2007 Owens has applied a punk and anarchist sensibility to furniture design as well, creating stark and elegant forms out of marble, alabaster, bronze, ox bone, leather and plywood. And in addition to displaying works in Owens’ signature materials, the exhibition showcases the artist’s first foray into foam, rock crystal and concrete.

The show is produced by Michèle Lamy, Owens’ wife, muse “fairy witch” inspiration.

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Sneak Peek: Lady Gaga’s New Tiffany Campaign

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It seems in one way a bit surprising; in another, it seems really rather genius. Bringing Lady Gaga and Tiffany together may seem like a collision of storied tradition and fierce iconoclasm – but it’s just as much the meeting of one great New York icon and another.

The campaign, for the bold new fashion jewelry line Tiffany HardWear, is appropriately titled Legendary Style – and a short film (created by Tiffany and style icon Grace Coddington) will debut during this Sunday’s Super Bowl LI. Why Gaga? Simply, the campaign honors “women of confidence, beauty and substance” …chosen for their authenticity and intelligence. Or as Chief Brand Officer Caroline Naggiar says, “It celebrates Tiffany’s rich legacy and the modernity of Tiffany style. Lady Gaga, and her originality, creativity and courage, reflects the spirit of this collection.”

Gaga, as it turns out, has also held a lifelong passion for the brand, as expressed in the film. She enthuses,“In New York, you’re born knowing that Tiffany is the best, and that it is where the magic happens. To me, [it is] timeless American jewelry, definitive and iconic, yet continues to push and evolve with the times.”

The Tiffany HardWear collection includes earrings, rings, necklaces and pendants. And one Gaga.