Ungendered in 2020: Olivia Kim & Eileen Fisher Collab For Pop-In@Nordstrom

 

 

For their latest installment of Pop-In@Nordstrom—for which past partnerships have included Everlane, Gentle Monster, Goop, and Opening Ceremony—Nordstrom has just debuted ungendered capsule collection that marries the eco ethos of Eileen Fisher with the future-forward vision of Olivia Kim. Traditionally designing for women, Fisher has been creating elegant, timeless styles more than 30 years.

In its commitment to sustainability, EILEEN FISHER Pop-In@Nordstrom focuses on organic and reclaimed materials. This exclusive edition of the Eileen Fisher System is a uniform for the new world—an inclusive world. The 30-piece collection inspires creativity through connection and great design in an array of minimalist colors, and is crafted from a variety of conscious fabrics, including cotton and polyester fleece derived from recycled plastic bottles. The editorial was styled on both men and women.

 

 

“Our vision for this collaboration was not to design a collection for him or her, but for all of us,” enthuses Kim, Nordstrom VP of Creative Projects. “It was such an incredible opportunity to partner with Eileen Fisher on this project. I have always had tremendous respect for her not only as a woman who founded a successful business, but one that has done so with a thoughtful and responsible approach to fashion. We are aligned in our core values around inclusivity and sustainability and we are excited to share these important messages with our Pop-In@Nordstrom customers.”

Fisher continues, “Nordstrom has always been an important partner to us, so we are delighted to work with Olivia Kim and her team. Olivia is a true creative–reimagining our iconic shapes and styles into a unique collection that reaches across generations in new ways.”

From classics such as the collar jumpsuit and crew neck tee to the slouchy cropped pant and open V-neck cardigan, it’s a wardrobe of pieces designed to work together.

EILEEN FISHER Pop-In@Nordstrom is available online at Nordstrom.com/pop through February 9, and at select Nordstrom stores throughout the US and Canada.

 

Harley Weir Hots Up the Winter w/ New Ferragamo S/S 2020 Campaign

 

 

 

Fashion has long been rightly criticized for perpetuating narrow beauty ideals—though in response, encouragingly, we’ve seen an increasingly more inclusive approach being taken both on the runway and in advertising campaigns. And in an ode to the glories of individuality, Ferragamo has tapped beautifully into the diversity zeitgeist with its stunningly shot Spring/Summer 2020 campaign.

Under the watchful eye of newly installed, Berkshire born Creative Director Paul Andrew (his dad, btw, was a royal upholsterer to Windsor Castle), photographer Harley Weir captured the wild freedom of unfettered self-expression against the sun-drenched hues of an unidentified—to us at least—desert landscape.

“We showed this collection outdoors in Milan last September,” Andrew recalls, “as a way to emphasize that these are clothes designed to be worn for pleasure, during the summer, and with friends.”

 

 

And indeed, models Malgosia Bela, Abby Champion, Sora Choi, Alpha Dia and David Kammenos do seem to be genuinely chumming it up, as Weir snaps them strikingly against the dusty landscape.

Andrew continues, “We used the campaign to highlight certain items, including the new Viva pump and some of the gorgeous hand-kit crochet work—as complements to a summer spent roaming free in the company of people you love.”

While your summer may actually involve more time spent in an overly-air conditioned office than throwing shapes against enigmatic rock formations (with a coterie of astonishingly good-looking friends), you may just find the campaign’s evocative images whisking you away to there…even if just for a few blissfully delicious moments.

 

 

BlackBook Interview + NYC ‘Indie’ Style Guide, w/ Overcoats

 

 

When asked why we never actually see them wearing overcoats, Hana Elion of buzzy NYC musical duo Overcoats (which also includes JJ Mitchell) counters, “You’re not looking hard enough!” She may be right, in fact—but it’s probably also because we’re busy listening. Just as we had been when they released their critically acclaimed debut album YOUNG in 2017, via Arts & Crafts. (NPR called it “one of the best albums of the year.”)

But lately we’ve been obsessed with two new singles by them: “Leave if You Wanna,” an ethereal dream pop meditation on romantic confusion (imagine if Le Tigre went indie folk); and especially “The Fool,” which reminds us of so many great ’80s synth pop bands, especially Depeche Mode and OMD. The latter also contains one of our current fave lyrical couplets, “Some days I’m a warrior / Some days I’m out of my mind.” Uh huh.

 

Image by Shervin Lainez

 

The tracks are a preview to their upcoming sophomore album, to be released in early 2020 via Loma Vista Recordings.

The pair also sport a singular sense of style, one apparently cultivated in the thrift/vintage/indie/punk shops that have somehow managed to remain open in the face of skyrocketing New York rents. So when we caught up with them for a chat, we asked if they would also be so kind as to enlighten as to their fave five of said shops – a request with which they enthusiastically complied.

 

 

 

How did you come to meet and form Overcoats?

Hana: We met on our first day of college. Our connection was instant, and we sang together for a long time before we formed the band, in the last few months of our senior year. It happened pretty organically. We couldn’t stop writing together, and we didn’t want desk jobs.

Were you surprised by the amazing critical reception for YOUNG in 2017?

JJ: We were humbled by how much people connected with the music on that record. Those songs were born out of our late night college dorm room hangouts and our own personal experiences of the world around us. So it felt special to have anyone at all listen and like it.

That album had something of a sweet, Swedish pop vibe—but the songs from the new album sound a little darker, almost like you were listening to Depeche Mode or Gary Numan. What were some of your influences when recording the new album?

Hana: We listened to much more rock while we were recording this record. From modern bands like Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon, to classic groups like the Stones and Public Enemy. We wanted to bring an angsty, organic vibe to the new material.

What else can you reveal about the upcoming album?

JJ: We expanded the breadth of sonic and lyrical content on this next project, allowing ourselves to comment on what was and is happening culturally and politically. The album touches on the #MeToo movement and its limits within the music industry, [and also] the gun violence epidemic, depression, Generation Z, the climate crisis, as well as our own interpersonal relationships with partners and family over the past three years. It’s personal but it’s also political, an album that is meant to break you apart and then put you back together again.

You each have a unique sense of style, but also are very complementary to one another. Do you shop together, do you plan out your looks?

Hana: We have a hilarious thing that happens to us, which is that we show up to places accidentally matching, all the time. It’s a blessing and a curse. Fashion and style and visual culture are inextricably linked to music for us—so when we’re making an album [like this one] we’re both interested in leather jackets, pointy boots, animal prints.

Do you have musical style icons that you admire?

JJ: For this album we have definitely been inspired both sonically and stylistically by artists like Iggy Pop, The Violent Femmes, and of course Bowie, mainly in his glam rock phase. More contemporary icons include Harry Styles and Billie Eilish—we can’t get enough of their dope androgynous wardrobes.

Will you be touring for the new album in 2020?

JJ: Definitely. We will be headlining in North America from April onward. (For early 2020 dates w/ Cold War Kids click here.)

 

Overcoats’ Favorite NYC Shops

Search and Destroy

We’ve been really inspired by punk fashion and culture recently. Search and Destroy is a wild place – kind of overwhelming, but a staple for DIY pieces. Expect Vivienne Westwood, as well as Vivienne Westwood dupes.

 

 

Trash & Vaudeville

A classic NYC punk store. Leather, chains, mesh, all the best band t-shirts. We’ve sourced a lot of clothes from here for music videos and such.

 

 

Urban Jungle

Bushwick’s best thrift store. It’s big, it’s fabulous. Levi’s, vintage band t-shirts, and bomber jackets galore. Also lots of funky tie-dye…which luckily for everyone, is back in style – did it ever go out of style though?

 

 

Bird Brooklyn

Slightly higher price range than our go-to vintage spots, but this trendy boutique chain always has amazing designer items for that album-release-celebration purchase. Love their No. 6 clogs, Leigh Miller jewelry, and Ganni clothing.

 

 

Oroboro

For another slightly more upmarket boutique, we love Oroboro. They have beautiful clothes from emerging designers like Black Crane and Jesse Kamm…as well as weird and wonderful pottery objects. The store in Soho is a really cozy and relaxing place, and if everything is out of your price range you can always just buy a soap for your mom.

 

Fashion of the Year of the Rat: Fendi Launches Chinese New Year Capsule Collection

 

 

In the last couple of years, both Shia Labouf and Kristen Stewart tried unsuccessfully to bring back the rat tail haircut (alas, the Thompson Twins just did it so much better). But other than that, we must admit haven’t seen much in the way of rodent referencing style.

But 2020 is indeed the actual Year of the Rat (no coincidence, it’s also a presidential election year). And Fendi is celebrating with a new Chinese New Year capsule collection that makes uniquely stylish reference to the furry little scavengers. The Women’s Collection includes the iconic Peekaboo and Baguette bags in elegant rose gold, and unique materials include nappa leather and dazzling sequins. There are also Pequin jewelry boxes and rose gold wallets.

 

 

For the Men’s Collection, the red/gold color combination symbolizes luck and joy—the latter of which we are very much in need of right now. A cartoonish rat motif, specially designed for this line, lends a cheeky touch to the mini bag, wallet, and card holder.

The entire rat-tastic range will be available as of January, in Fendi boutiques worldwide and on Fendi.com. Oh, and 2021 is the Year of the Ox—already looking forward to fashion’s tribute.

 

First Images: Model Ruth Bell Channels Audrey Hepburn in Dior’s S/S 2020 Campaign

 

 

Although winter’s chill is just beginning to descend upon New York (and Paris), the Dior Spring/Summer 2020 Ready-To-Wear advertising campaign is already in full bloom. Artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri (a creative juggernaut since taking the reins at the French fashion house) once again partnered with acclaimed fashion photographer Brigitte Niedermair—who was honored in 2019 with a solo exhibition at the Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo, as part of the Venice Biennale—to showcase the somewhat “sylvan” collection.

Niedermair’s images vividly highlight the collection’s rich textures, lush floral embroidery, and precious accessories, that pop when against a botanically patterned grey background.

And perfectly cast, gamine model Ruth Bell captivatingly conjures the whimsically sexy spirit of Audrey Hepburn, a la Funny Face, in a raffia bucket hat and oversized sunglasses. Ladylike floral embroidery is contrasted with punk-inspired lug-sole boots (which we predict will easily make our 2020 top ten fashion items), capturing that ever rebellious couture spirit of Dior.

 

Why You Really Need a Scented Fendi Baguette

 

 

We somehow managed to survive yet another two month stretch of pumpkin spice everything (we swear, we even smelled it on a cat sweater), and are now gleefully taking in the pleasures of everything being scented with gingerbread and balsam – a particular sort of happy place for us.

But now comes word that our friends at Fendi will be dazzling us with the introduction of a new…wait for it…scented leather Baguette bag. A playful collaboration with venerable parfumeur Maison Francis Kurkdjian, the FENDIFRENESIA Baguette ensures that even if you forgot to spritz a little behind the ears in the morning, you’ll walk the city streets confident of your considerable olfactory appeal.

 

The FENDIFRENESIA scent itself (a 4ml sample is included with purchase) is characterized by leathery / musky notes which emphasize the textural qualities of the Selleria leather from which the bag is made. But this is certainly not just some fancy scratch and sniff – the scent is applied in a way to last up to four years on each bag. At which time they are guaranteed to still be in fashion.

The bags will debut the evening of December 4 at Fendi’s Miami Design District boutique, as part of Design Miami – though you can be pretty sure a few will also be spotted around Art Basel. As well, Christelle Boulé’s photographs of the fragrance being dropped onto colored film paper will give the opening event a frisson of cultural gravitas.

FENDIFRENESIA Baguette will be available only at the Miami shop as of December 5, while the nano baguette is available now at Fendi.com.

 

 

Artful Intimates – Blair Breitenstein’s Mural for Hanro Celebrates Elegant Underthings

 

 

Hanro has been reinventing luxury intimates and underthings for more than 135 years – and an artistic bent has long been a part of their DNA. In recent years, artists the likes of Izak Zenous, Esther Bayer, Petra Dufkova, Marc-Antoine Coulon, and Miles McMillan have all been enlisted as collaborators.

Fittingly, then, the’ve just transformed their New York City flagship into a veritable work of art, with the installation of a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted mural by Blair Breitenstein – the celebrated fashion illustrator whose work has been previously esteemed by the likes of Prada and MAC. Recognized for her expressionist take on contemporary fashion and beauty, she has garnered a loyal following, and has been has been featured in Vogue, Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar.

 

 

Influenced by fashion photography, Breitenstein exhibits an emphasis on the imperfect line, with layers of crayon, marker and acrylic – making her work instantly recognizable.

BlackBook was treated to an exclusive preview of the mural, now gracing Hanro’s Meatpacking District boutique, and were dazzled by the artist’s trademark use of slender figures, and strikingly angular faces, brought to scale in this larger-than-life piece. While staying true to that aesthetic, Breitenstein has also cleverly tapped into the essence of Hanro, showcasing a deliberate delicateness, with a soft color palette in the mix.

Following the preview, we caught up with Breitenstein to discuss this project and its importance within the context of her overall oeuvre.

 

We see that you use watercolor in much of your work. Is that your preferred medium?

I actually like to use markers and pastel as my preferred medium. I like the combination of textures. Markers are flat and saturated and pastels are gritty. I think the pastel elevates the marker. I also love the accessibility of those tools, you can use them anywhere – they dry fast and are clean.

What was the process of creating the mural for Hanro?

I used acrylic paint – it was different, because I had less control. When I use markers on paper, I can simply start over, and with the mural, this wasn’t the case. I had a sketch I used as a guide…and trusted myself! The key to the success of this project was not psyching myself out.

 

 

Historically, your work has been with couture and accessories, while Hanro is a brand dedicated to intimates and loungewear. How did you change your approach for this project?

I did consider the differences in how I went about it. I usually work with bright, complementary colors and exaggerated features – but the Hanro aesthetic is softer and more natural in my opinion. I discovered that I really like an earthier palette. As I planned the work, I thought about softening my usual girl – no fake eyelashes, no red lipstick: Hanro is loungewear, so the girls should look comfortable.

What inspires your design aesthetic? Over time, how have you evolved as an artist? 

I love fashion photography from the 60s through the 90s – some of my favorites are Sam Haskins, Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin. I have evolved as an artist in that I tend to create artwork based on what I love, versus thinking about what people want. I think this makes my artwork better, more genuine and passionate.

 

We are privileged that below is an illustration that Blair Breitenstein did exclusively for BlackBook.

 

 

 

 

First Images: Missoni Has an Exquisite, Sustainably Designed New NYC Flagship

 

 

It may be getting dark too early, and gloomy days have seemed particularly gloomy – but inside the new Missoni Madison Avenue flagship, it’s perpetually springtime. The new 4,000 square foot boutique artfully showcases the exalted Italian fashion house’s women’s, men’s, beach and home collections in a luminous environment, with lots of serenity-inducing color schemes.

Outfitted in the brand’s iconic Chevron pattern and powdery pastel hues, the eclectic interiors were jointly envisioned by Missoni Creative Director Angela Missoni and Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola.

 

 

The collaboration resulted in a space that both channels the brand’s luxe bohemian DNA and embraces Missoni’s dedication to sustainability. Indeed, crafted from recycled materials, the textured resin walls and eco-friendly Silipol flooring were customized to create a worn vintage effect.

Elsewhere, warm rose-and-bronze tinted mirrors, lacquered metals, and shimmering metallic paints amplify the feeling of space and evoke the glow of a Mediterranean sunset. Perfect then, for a respite from all that stressful, snowy holiday shopping just beyond the front door.

The new Missoni flagship boutique is located at 676 Madison Avenue – just around the corner from The Plaza.

 

Pooch Chic: Your Dog Needs to be in Missoni Poldo Dog Couture This Winter

 

 

No matter our differences – and there are a lot of them – the love we all share for our canine companions has a way of bringing us together in a most heartwarming way. (But okay, yes, we suspect Trump doesn’t like dogs, either).

To help show our appreciation for how much more colorful our pups make our lives, Missoni has again teamed up with Poldo Dog Couture, for a new line that will allow your pooch to definitively show off his/her impeccable fashion sense (and yours). Done up in the exalted Italian fashion house’s signature vivid, vibrant boho chic aesthetic, it notably features the Cortina, a detachable padded coat over a sweater available in two color variants, and the Genova, a hooded raincoat in printed PVC with matching leash and collar. Woof-a-riffic!

 

 

Of course, Fido and Fife need equally stylish accessories; and so there are also très chic leashes and collars in Missoni’s iconic zigzag motifs, in a variety of brightly colored hues.

The capsule collection is available now in all of Missoni’s flagship boutiques, Milan, Rome, London, Paris, and New York; as well as as at Missoni.com.

May your days be furry…