Simon Spurr Interprets ‘Country Elegance’ at Milk Studios

Yesterday, Simon Spurr showed his outsider, yet still outstanding collection on Milk Studio’s chilly second floor. Spurr’s mantra for the collection–a “new interpretation of country elegance”–was apparent in his choice of olive, black, navy, and gold color schemes, all cut and tailored to perfection, as is now expected of Spurr. Yes, we’ve seen a cotton trench with leather moto-sleeves before–ahem, Burberry Prorsum–but Spurr’s was more wearable, a less bulky, ultra-sharp look for cool kids on a farm field trip.

(Incidentally, I’m moving to London soon, where I hope to befriend someone who has an ancestral country estate, to which I hope to be invited for a rainy weekend of horses, shooting, and gin. I will most certainly be wearing the trench shown above the entire time.)

Luis Morais, the Miami-based brand, provided the jewelry for the show (part of an ongoing collaboration with Spurr). Woven leather bands with yellow-gold hardware bracelets donned the wrists of many of the models; a gold tassle necklace (shown below) induced an audible gasp from the hipster sitting next to me.

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Finally, one interesting inspiration was Spurr’s reference to “Dazzle” camouflage, seen in his errant stripes and sparkly fabrics – a diversionary tactic used in World War I. With a gorgeous roster of models and guests including Ed Westwick, Tinsley Mortimer, and Carmelo Anthony, Simon Spurr’s runway presentation was one to remember. I’ll be curious to see where his company goes in the coming years. Check out these pictures for more (photos courtesy of Thomas Kletecka):

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Industry Insiders: Frederick Lesort, Plein & Simple

Frederick Lesort has been in the restaurant business for 27 years, having risen through New York City’s cutthroat culinary ranks. He now owns three venues, including uptown outposts Opia and Matisse. “I like the creation of it, taking a raw space and building it,” he says. Nothing could be a better platform for creativity than his latest restaurant, Plein Sud, which recently opened in the Thompson Group’s Smyth Hotel.

To be sure, the project was a daunting one – “When I came in, the building hadn’t even been built,” he says – but the romantic Tribeca eatery’s upscale French farmhouse cuisine has proven popular with diners. With no other projects currently in the pipeline, Lesort plans to focus on Plein Sud’s development and success. “I think there’s a path for guys like me,” he says, referring to the eminence of Ian Schrager and Andre Balazs. “I feel very fortunate.”

[image via Emmanuel Faure]

Video: Dance-Pop Pistol Natalia Kills Gets Her Motor Running

Under the roaring traffic of the Manhattan Bridge, Natalia Kills, dressed in bikini bottoms and a fur bomber jacket, straddles a matte-black Harley Davidson SuperLow. The sun is moments from setting and Dumbo is freezing, but the petite 24-year-old musician looks right at home commandeering a whole lot of horsepower. “I’ve been fascinated by motorbikes for a long time,” she says in her hybridized British-American accent.

Kills, who has been compared to Lady Gaga, makes electro-dance anthems laced with cool English lyricism. But despite her mainstream appeal, she says her music comes from a personal place. “When I write, I don’t think about how a song will sound on the radio,” she says. “I just love making songs—I’ve made hundreds of them.” A sampling of these tracks will be heard when Kills (who also co-directs her music videos, styles her backup dancers, and shoots her own dramatic web series, Love, Kills xx) releases her debut album, Perfectionist, in March.

En route to Terminal 5, where she will soon slay the crowd before headliner Robyn takes the stage, Kills’ thoughts shift back to fast vehicles. “Consider the culture here,” she says, pointing to a passing Range Rover. “Look at that thing! You guys are obsessed with four-by-four, people-carrying cars! I love New York.

Photo by Brooke Nipar. Styling by Shibon Kennedy.

On the Street at Art Basel Miami: Leopard Louboutins & Pink Murses

Art Basel Miami has come and gone. Fast, furious, profoundly fun—from downtown to the beach, it seemed never-ending, a crazy Veuve Clicquot, Belvedere, and Marlboro-fueled fantasyland. Open bars, beautiful people, fantastic music, and miles and miles of art. You get it. As expected, the normally less-than-remarkable Miami style scene was significantly amped up this past week, and here are some of my favorite shots. Starting with these Christian Louboutin leopard booties under a Valentino dress at the Alchemist’s garage party. I love leopards. I love Valentino. I love designer garages.

image This young man wears a camel blazer from The Row. I am jealous of this blazer. Shot at kitschy beach bar Kill Your Idol.

image I think this guy’s name was Sam. Ferragamo flats, Chloé sunglasses, and a blindingly pink Hermès Birkin bag.

image Fashionable elephant tattoos look pretty with blonde hair and sunlight. Found at Scope Art Fair. image Amanda at the MoMA PS1/Interview Party, poolside at the Delano. Scarlet lips and a handcuff necklace.

image Daniela & Miami Beach. Wears Chanel blazer, Sam Edelman heels.

image Delfina Delettrez Fendi Collar, shot at Tomas Maier. Delfina’s jewelry is in a league of its own. Highly conceptual little works of art, I’d buy her work just to look at.

image Christian Louboutin studded kicks. More envy. Sigh.

One-Stop Shopping Over Art Basel Miami

Black Friday and Cyber Monday got you down? Me too. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are actually the most annoying things ever. But a light shines at the end of the proverbial retail tunnel. This week Art Basel Miami rolls back around, and what better or more fabulous of a locale in which to do your holiday shopping? If you are like me and would prefer to get all of your spending done quickly and efficiently, look no further than Tomas Maier in Miami’s budding Design District. The store is stocked with Maier’s eponymous label (think: the most luxurious cashmere and classically sexy swimwear), handpicked selections from Bottega Veneta (of which Maier is creative director), and a bevy of other rare offerings. Yet for Art Basel Miami, a limited installment of even more unique goodness will be available in-store.

First up, Delfina Delettrez (pictured above). This gifted Fendi-clan offspring, based in Rome, designs conceptual and surrealistic jewelry (jaws, bony hands, a Michael Jackson-esque figurine brooch). Delettrez will show select pieces from her newest collections starting December 1. Perfect, actually, for the girl who has everything (because she probably doesn’t have anything like this just yet).

Next, maybe for grandma and grandpa or mom, pick up a porcelain figurine or two from Nymphenburg. This 260-year old German brand has become renowned for their startlingly lifelike animal sculptures. Very expensive, but so worth it.

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Finally, scope out Lisa Eisner in the upstairs gallery. Eisner is a California-based photographer whose work focuses on “explorations of the American West.” Graphic, intense, and memorable—these would look great at the beach house.

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Tomas Maier is located at 170 N.E. 40th Street, Miami, FL; 305-576-8383.

Jewelry Designer Luis Morais Talks Gold Skulls & Snake Vertebrae

Luis Morais has a sensibility that only a select few in modern design possess: he knows exactly how to make effortless but on-trend jewelry, and he knows how to sell it. Morais’ designs run the gamut from solid gold skulls to African snake-vertebrae bracelets to simple Bonfim tie-ons (those Brazilian ribbons that you wish upon, and when the ribbon falls off, said wish should come true). While infused with an air of bohemia and mysticism, Morais’ jewelry is utterly wearable and, really, just plain cool. After the jump, Morais answers some burning questions.

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Tell us about the current collection. What is the vibe, the inspiration? The newest collection explores the concepts of natural evolution and protection; life whittled down to its most basic state of survival. It also talks life and death, and the illusion of it all.

What is the classic Luis Morais piece? Any favorites? The large Gold Skull and Ebony Bracelet is a classic, really anything with skulls. One of my favorite pieces is the Snake Bone Bracelet—it was inspired from the Kundalini awakening.

What are your plans for the future? Any expansion? I am not a planner—I live in the moment. However, I do dream a lot.

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What about collaborations? Please don’t tell me Luis Morais for H&M… I have a few exciting collaborations on the horizon. Most recently I’ve had great fun collaborating with Simon Spurr creating works for his last two runway shows.

What is on your agenda for Art Basel Miami this year? Are you having an event? I am in the midst of setting up a pop-up project with Alchemist, where I’ll be launching exclusive fun pieces as well as featuring the current collection alongside the classics. I am also hosting a party, and taking in as much art and “scene” that Art Basel has to offer.

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The Perfect Murse

I’ve been looking basically my entire sartorial life for the perfect man-bag. The “unisex” options are never really in any way masculine (guys who carry Louis Vuitton anything are ridiculous). I thought about the options. Proenza Schouler’s PS1 comes in a manlier XL version that could work, but it’s crazy trendy, and I’m already kind of sick of it without even owning one. Bottega Veneta makes incredible bags, but subtle as their woven leather may be, it’s still kind of showy. So why not go for the most understated of them all: Valextra.

Valextra is a Milanese accessories line that believes wholeheartedly in the artisan craft. Their products are simple, retro, and fashionable, with signatures like lacquered piping and ultra-high-grade leather treatments. But have I found it? My timeless murse? Well, not really, but this royal blue briefcase looks good, especially considering all I really want to carry around is one of those new mini MacBook Air laptops (Christmas list item numero uno).

Check out an array of Valextra options at Barneys.

Green Step

Editors worldwide are going kind of nuts over the return of boldness and color on the runways (did color ever really leave?). Either way, I decided to do a little skimming for my favorite Spring/Summer 2011 shoes, but with a myopic focus: said shoes had to contain some element of the color green. Why? ‘Cause it’s my favorite color. While none are available quite yet, at least this mini-guide will give you a sense of what to wish/save for should vert also be your tone of choice—seafoam is totally the new black. In a niche world once briefly dominated by a man whose last name starts with L and ends in –ouboutin (yet has now sadly gone the way of t acky), a couple of players stand at the ready to fill the role of trendy “it” shoe designer. My prediction? Brit Nicholas Kirkwood. Already well on his way to attaining cult/obsession/freak-out status, Kirkwood makes wild and pretty shoes for wild and pretty people. Look at this blue-green platform. Appreciate its teetering height and its aerodynamic lines. While Kirkwood may not have as obvious a signature as a bright red sole, those who know his designs can spot them from miles and miles away. Kirkwood is sold at Jeffrey New York.

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Italian provocation via Miu Miu is forever appreciated in my book, and I will respect you immensely if you can pull these heels off. In a collection rife with pop elements and all kinds of Miuccia Prada headiness, it will take a certain amount of eccentricity to wear these effectively. If you can’t muster it, these stripey heels are just awesome to gaze at. Contact Miu Miu in Soho.

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Where would American fashion design be in 2010 without Alexander Wang? Though his S/S 2011 collection was arguably not his best, the shoes are sure to be sell-outs as usual. For example, this army-drab cutout chunky boot has all the essential Wang elements that skinny androgynous city girls craze over. With an eponymous store in the works, you’ll soon be able to get your Alex fill in one stop. For now, contact Barneys or Opening Ceremony.

Rick Owens’ Blistered Leather Jackets

If yesterday’s jacket was too much Chamonix and not enough Shoreditch, why not look to Rick Owens for your more urban alternative? Check out these two pieces, with Owens’ signature semi-destroyed and blistered leather treatment. The high-necked and hooded Scuba jacket fits like a gem and is surprisingly warm (I tried it on last week, but with a price tag skyward of $3,000, this may have to wait until…well forever).

The Bomber is an equally cool albeit slightly more traditional option. Either way, you can’t really go wrong with a Rick Owens jacket—they are impeccably well made and permanently stylish. But considering they can cost the equivalent of a down payment on a car, just make sure you really want it. Available at Rick Owens.