It’s said that there’s a magnetic connection between chicks and chocolate. French jeweler Boucheron agrees, and has come up with a new line of ready-to-wear jewelry, “L’eau a la Bouche,” to entice those chocaholics out there while simultaneously paying homage to that most cherished confectionary. “L’eau a la Bouche” includes a selection as diverse as the contents of a Godiva praline box, and the choosing process will require just as much concentration and contemplation — unless you’re planning to grab the entire assortment all at once.
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The return to graphic Mary Quant/Gernreich styles isn’t the only ’60s trend back in vogue: the slogan t-shirt extolling political and environmental stance is also making a comeback. Doug and Johnny debut their line of debate-starting “USA” titled t-shirts “inspired by a year of turmoil in US and global politics and renewed public interest in social issues [and] triggered in part by films such as Bowling for Columbine,” which targets “a new generation of socially savvy consumers.” Their “USA No.1 Shooter” t-shirt tackles the fact that non-war gun related deaths are higher in America than anywhere else in the world. “Freedom” tackles corporations’ role in determining the setting of public policy.
If you’re unfamiliar with New York-based stylist Richard Singh, one thing to know about him is that he has fabulous personal style. Never afraid to turn the idea of men’s dressing completely on its head, Singh has been a fashion jetsetter and trendsetter for years. He’s been spotted Seine-side in Paris shooting couture for Allure with Polly Mellen and has worked for top shelf brands like Revlon and with photographers Richard Avedon and Annie Liebovitz. So when a stylist of his taste and acclaim tells you that he’s started a men’s line and wants to send you a look book, it’s eagerly anticipated. Singh doesn’t disappoint. His signature mix and match style is all over a cheekily tight collection of graphic black and white tuxedo-like ensembles and monochromatic ’80s infused militaristic outfits.
We’ve nearly suffocated here at JC Report on meritless designs in the old-meets-new DIY genre. Used t-shirts with a slash there, silly skirts with random ruching here, and thoughtless, poorly distressed denims with limp appliqués produce nothing short of a yawn. Retailers, however, continue to rely on these mad confections, albeit more seasoned examples, to keep shop floors tooting bells and whistles. Barney’s New York prominently displays Imitation of Christ (like it or not it’s one of the more polished offerings in the genre). Paris based E2 continue to titillate with refined couture-like recreations. Los Angeleno Magda Berliner features only intelligent and well-tailored reconstructions.
London nurtures young designer talent. It’s the only fashion capitol where lesser known designers can score a high profile commercial gig that prominently plasters their name across the city while still preserving hip young-designer status. Take the case of Kim Jones. Jones is known in trendy fashion circles but isn’t quite an internationally recognized name yet. Clever marketing on the part of Topman, Topshop men’s department, where, as we mentioned in our London CityTrend issue, is one of the only official High Street destinations for cool boys to pick up trendy basics) is putting turbo to the designer’s profile.
The newest trend in footwear? Pampering your peds. Upstart shoe designers are insisting on comfort technology in their stilettos, mules, and spiky sandals. Kristin Lee goes for micro soles and memory foam; Hollywould inserts a double silicon pad in each of their whimsical creations; and Ashley Dearborn insisted on special foam between the arch and heel of the insoles for her designs, for maximum cushiness without sacrificing an inch of style. “It just seems strange that some lines skip it,” says Ashley. Manolo and Jimmy did you hear that?
- Meghan Cleary
Photo : Hollywould
The trucker chic trend has stepped off the treatment of Pharrell video and has taken hold to the point where Marc Jacobs’ decorated his West Village store with those ubiquitous caps this summer. Rock ‘n roll t-shirts extolling Judas Priest and Motley Crue have bafflingly showed staying power for seasons now. And dirty denims and distressed boots have become the urban hipster uniform. It does not astonish then that at the Milan and Paris menswear shows designers continue to work in this mustache machismo spirit. It’s about cowboy gear plucked directly from a dude ranch for Spring 2004. Not just a smattering of looks, cowboy most notably defined the Gucci collection where Tom Ford decked his men out in Stetson type hats and western-style leather jackets paired with snugged denim.
For those of you itching to witness the revival of the house of Vionnet under Maurizio Pecoraro’s creative direction, be patient. It has been announced that Pecoraro’s premiere couture collection for the revered couture house will be shown in January 2004, following the withdrawal of the presentation in July 2003. What makes this case particularly intoxicating is that Madeleine Vionnet was one of the most influential designers of the last century.
Fashion-forward men in New York City are counting on the re-merchandising of two downtown stores for the best in eclectic designer brands.
- Meghan Cleary
Photo : Stella McCartney fall 2003
The past few seasons lingerie designers provided frills and sexy pieces in candy-colored pastels. Damaris Evans tied up panties with a back bow detail; FrenchFrost‘s multicolor panties with ribbons were as inventive as the wild fashion shows staged by the duo; and, Agent Provocateur‘s retro-inspired collections indulged the fantasies of any sexy vixen.
(As the denim wave rolls on, JC Report will keep you in the loop about the latest hot jeans)The denim juggernaut shows no sign of abating – even eye shadow has now gotten in on the action with Jeans de Chanel‘s denim color palette, complete with stitching. So throw into the mix a line hand-sewn by Kentucky craftswomen and men and constructed of Japanese denim, called Rag and Bone. Two Londoners, Nathan Bogle and Marcus Wainwright, who dropped anchor in New York, were perplexed at the lack of selection of clothing to live and work in, and wanted to create a line of denim that had the feeling of hand-tailored trousers, rather than “jeans,” for discerning gentlemen like themselves.
As black cultures continue to engage the world, (Jamaica, hip hop, et al) and ignite the senses, Zafer Design searches the motherland for the next wave of trends. Trolling Africa with a bird’s eye view of all that is fashion-forward, Zafer is bringing the world another Africa-one who’s face is not genocide or starvation but rather a lifestyle aesthetic represented by objects and experiences. Artisanal craft pieces for the home and body, exquisite safari dinners or Jeremy Healy spinning tunes beachside, Zafer Design is planning to bring all that is chic and African to the forefront of fashion while contributing back to the indigenous people who make it all possible. Diesel recently put a modern face on the culture in a campaign depicting frolicking young Africans but not since Mohammed Ali set foot on the continent has Africa looked so inviting.
- Meghan Cleary
Rome might be the most beautiful city in the world, but as far as fashion flair and shopping goes, it’s lacking. TAD concept store is one exception. This three-year-old shopping/lifestyle haven on two floors breaks away from Rome’s generally dull and predictable one brand luxury retail terrain.
These days New York City is smoldering with a rebellious sexual spirit. The temperature is boiling. Taut bodies, stripped down to the bare essentials (Versace mini dresses, Jimmy Choo mules, you know the rest), are strutting through the streets, and the already-hot Meatpacking district just got a little hotter with the opening of the Soho House New York.
There’s a handful of envelope-pushing brands that regularly augment fashion’s vocabulary and reduce us here at JC Report to obsequious student types with their every showing. Viktor&Rolf’s layered lessons, Alexander McQueen‘s fearless females, all things Fendi, and Boudicca‘s bounded boldness are some examples of the labels that make up our avant guardian anthology.
Retailers are scratching their heads and scrambling to retool their offerings as a new dandyism gains popularity faster than any of them expected. Men are following the iconic David Beckham in droves as he embraces all things feminine to enhance his appearance. His willingness to don nail polish, change his hairstyle at whim, and his unabashed comments about reveling in these rituals, and the public’s full acceptance are giving retailers’ heads a spin. The low-slung Deisel jeans, beauty products obsession, indeed the full monty of male accoutrements has retailers scrambling to cash in on this phenomenon. More counter space for men’s grooming products? Extra pedicure chairs at the spa?
Planning a shopping trip? Head to Stockholm. Due to increasing demand from Scandinavian and international jetsetters, the Swedish capital has seen the arrival of a number of peerless shopping destinations that offer designs from around the globe as well as native Nordic novelties. Mrs H, a luxurious “mini department store,” dishes a spot-on selection of Gibo, Eley Kishimoto, Orla Kiely, Sonia Rykiel, Cacharel, and Curious Colour; shoes from Sigerson Morrison and supercool Brit designer Olivia Morris ; as well as beauty products from Becca. (Drottning gatan 110, 113 60 Stockholm). Want to kit out your home to match your impeccable wardrobe?
After over a decade of encouraging the precarious hanging of baggy trousers from butt cheeks, urban streetwear is experiencing a significant size change that have patterns cutting slimmer and denim downsizing to actually fit the wearer. Remember the early days of rap when Run DMC waxed an ode to “My Adidas,” and LL Cool J opined “I Need Love”? When street cred came in the form of wearing monochromatic ensembles of buttoned up Le Tigre polo shirts, fitted Lee jeans, and shell toe Adidas?
Boudicca, that intense British fashion label from Zowie Broach and Brian Kirby, has been somewhat of a guarded secret in loyalist fashion circles since its inception in 1997. Precision tailoring and innovative constructions levelled through esoteric catwalk presentations has marked the brand’s identity from early on.
Barring some pricy restaurants up the Kings Road, Chelsea’s hip neighborhood identity relies on Marko Matysik’s appointment only atelier (0207 9999 222) for customized ultra luxe chinchilla headrests, bungie chord bags, and leather corsets. Sloany girls pick up Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo at Mimi boutique up the street. But en route to the heart of Chelsea is the site of the a luxury explosion, extending the Sloane Street promenade nearly to Sloane Square with an inviting new Bottega Veneta (with a fab selection of less expensive small leather goods) and Chloe boutiques. And shedding the North Beach Leather image, Jitrois now have chic Knightsbrige women clad in nappa leather suits for spring.