Very quietly, Isabella Tonchi debuted a fourth collection in her boutique not far from Corso Como on the final day of Milan Fashion Week. The laser-cut short eyelet skirts, grommeted and empire-waist dresses in Tonchi’s spring line hanging in one corner of the store caught the attention of Barneys New York who bought the discreetly chic collection last season. For a/w ’06-’07, Tonchi is back with just as concise a selection of wool-knit high waist dresses, a fisherman-inspired cashmere cardigan with laser cutouts, and sailor pants — mostly in a navy blue and gray palette. The designer, who has a long history with some of the best Italian brands including Prada and Versace, and is the sister of New York Times Style Magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, is straightforward in her business formula and keen to what low-key, smartly dressed women want.
Trosman, the Argentinean "it" line that’s been featured on these pages more than once, gave us the skinny on their just-launched men’s and denim lines soon to hit stores. The men’s line is not a huge departure from their success story with women’s wear. For men, it’s t-shirts with plastic disks (fast becoming the label’s calling card), sweatshirts, leather pants, and shoes. For fall, the color palette for both men and woman are sober blacks and grays, pepped up by gold and silver patina on the disk appliqués. Assuming a more gothic look this season, they designed flattened and distorted disks to circle the neck of t-shirts and travel down the front of cozy knits. The denim story is a selection of faded skinny and distressed light blue jeans.
What’s not to love about Marko Matysik? He’s consistently one of the few male fashion swans who color London and Paris fashion weeks wearing outfits that mix Boudicca, every luxury designer under the sun, and a fair share of high-caliber vintage. He’s forever backstage sketching and taking photos for his popular pages in the Japanese and Chinese editions of Vogue. He also produces a radiant collection of one-off accessories. A signet (queeny puff) that sits atop a chute of talcum powder in the "UK Jack, Ok!" exhibit on display at Colette was just snapped up for her Majesty. In 2004 we told you about his mink headrests scooped up by Madonna and Donatella. This season, in addition to to-die-for chinchilla scarves and sable capes, Matysik tracked down chatelaines, mainly from the 15th-18th centuries, and hooked them onto belts made of vintage fabrics. Karl Lagerfeld already has two of them. And if the chatelaines are too over-the-top for the less confident, there’s a selection of major, romantic, rock ‘n roll belts with vintage buckles to choose from. Our eye is on a green leather version that resembles a minivest, and another featuring a whip snake with green tourmaline buckle. As we left Matysik for our next appointment, we saw Julie Gilhart, Judy Collinson, and Howard Socol descending on his area at Colette, where the creative maverick always holds court during the collections.
Belmacz is one of our favorite jewelry lines. Designer/owner Julia Muggenberg is talented and informed and has made it her mission to seek out of the rarest gems and unexpected materials. She combines them into exceptional new treasures, complete with one or two gripping tales as backstory. Ethiopian Christian scrolls sewn into leather cartouches, various colored tourmalines, antique Middle Eastern rock crystal, wooly mammoth tusk from the permafrost in Siberia, and black pearl-and-coral drop earrings are all in the a/w ’06-’07 collection. Pieces such as the rare golden South Sea pearl necklace run in the tens of thousands of pounds, but a more reasonable selection is found among her gold rings and wooden bracelets. Belmacz sells at Barneys.
We caught up with Monica Mendes Bueno de Campos and the Daslu crew (of the São Paulo luxury megastore) at the Plaza Athénée to view their private label line. In Brazil, Daslu keeps sales in-house, but outside of the country, the collection does incredibly well selling an approachable line of major basics to over 80 retailers worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Villa Moda, Browns, and Lane Crawford. Amazingly, at home the store conducts two fashion shows a day for a week each season in order to satisfy demand for the line: the merchandise sells out after each showing. On our radar from the private label is their crochet-trimmed gypsy dress, a sleeveless white shirt with ruffles, chunkie knits, and a navy blue peacoat for fall. If you’re going to São Paulo, get in line, it’s already on sale there.
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