Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Love is Near Sighted

At this point, it's safe to say we're all well-read in the ubiquitous "nerd" glasses trend. That affected brand of eyewear in the form of thick-rimmed spectacles that pretentiously sit perched upon entitled beaks of alternative-swaying style swans from Williamsberg to the Wisconsin (Well, maybe not Wisconsin.). Even I have gone on a bifocal forage from Artsee in the Meatpacking District to Tom Ford's uppity boutique uptown, only to make a new discovery-- aviator eyewear. Sure these Top Gun-esque frames are old news in sunglass territory. But swap out the dark lenses with clear (or daresay no) lenses voila- the look is new, refreshing and chillingly cool, in that perfectly uncool way.

To confirm the aviator-lens retro cred, offbeat heartthrob Emile Hirsch sported a genuine pair in the Oscar buzzed-about 70s biopic Milk. And one adorable French fille pictured above personified chic with her oversized pair (merci,

Final Word: If only I held on to those ridiculous 80s goggles my dad wore to get through his Sunday papers (the gold-rimmed would be divine!). Alas, I did not and I will continue the blind hunt for the perfect pair of eyes.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday Blues

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Baby it’s cold outside and besides hot chocolate and cashmere sweaters, there’s one thing to look forward -- resort collections! Yes the happy in-between season that is meant to shed some sunlight on the dreary winter. Not that anyone actually buys much of resort (well, except for me), but we all like to preview what is to come in the warmer months. And for some designers (Read: Balenciaga and Alexander Wang), it’s the best part of the year.

But my favorite must be the Acne/Lanvin collaboration debuting in stores this Thursday. I was a little late on the take with the Swedish denim label but earlier this fall after trying a pair, I was officially obsessed. The genius jeans transformed my body (and bum) into a streamlined look worthy of a supermodel’s – well, almost.

My subconscious must have been working overtime because after purchasing my beloved blues I realized that this ingenious jean brand had just collaborated with couture master Alber Elbaz of Lanvin for an all denim capsule collection of 28 looks for resort. The line includes the perfect trench, tailored blazers and several frocks in the spirit of Elbaz’s masterful tailoring.

Final Word: We hear there is already a waiting list for the covetable collection, so if you can’t score a piece by Elbaz, the regular collection is just as good. Visit

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coups de Coeur

From Kanye West spilling his soul in his new album to Marc Jacobs bringing bundles of love to Spring runways, hearts are everywhere. An homage to Yves Saint Laurent’s collections passed, Mr. Jacobs was not exactly subtle in his reference but as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery. Even owner of uber-hip boutique Colette Sarah Lerfel was seen wearing hearts on her sleeve at Bruce Weber’s Art Basel party in Miami; and if she’s doing it, you know it’s cool.

Final Word: In a recession not everyone can afford Mr. Jacobs, which is why we love Comme des Garcons’ PLAY collection of knitwear starting at $275. With cartoonish hearts straight out of a Super Mario game, the line is an easy way to show your love for love. (Available at

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

If The Shoe Fits

People in fashion use the word aspirational a lot. But what does it really mean? The dictionary defines it as a desire, longing or aim. So, the style buzzword that designers, editors and their lackeys canonize inherently means, in fashion, one constantly strives for the unattainable – nice.

That being said, I am an aspiration victim. I flip through glossies tearing out icons and idols and tacking them on my bare walls, buy things that don’t fit my lifestyle but fit perfectly in the dream of who I would love to be, and I am left with a closet full of it-items and an over stimulated, confused identity.

Take the two pairs of Margiela cone-heeled boots I acquired over the weekend at my best friend’s store Alchemist in Miami. I desire, long and aim to be a Margiela woman who knows but doesn’t care, reads but doesn’t rant, has style but is never a victim. Although I never wear heels during the day I thought the two pairs I bought (one pebbled suede up-to-the-knee black boot, the other a brick red ankle booty), both of which boasted “comfortable” heels would magically morph my slightly inadequate self into the type of woman I envy who wears makeup to work and blow dries her hair every morning (I do neither).

So on the flight back to New York I wore my black boots like a badge of honor feeling invincible and deathly chic. But even a magician like Margiela cannot defy science and as the Jet Blue bird climbed altitude and my feet swelled, the suede togs that I adored became personal torture devices suffocating two inflated pillows that once were my feet. Of course my precious Margiela’s would not zip again and as I sweat and awkwardly fumbled in my middle seat, it became all too clear I am not that sleek, sophisticated Margiela girl – I’m me, the one who ruins her Lanvin flats in the rain, who loses her Louboutins while crossing the street, whose beloved berets get crushed by a stampede of Parisian motorcyclists only to go right back on my head without (even considering) any dry-cleaning.

Final Word: Women will always purchase things in hopes of becoming someone else, perhaps a “better” version of themselves. Maybe Margiela was making a statement at his Spring show where faceless models shrouded by Cousin It coiffes and nude pantyhose evoked the insanity and meaningless of fashion. A thought worth pondering…in the meantime I’ll stick to wearing my aspirational fashions at sea level.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bottoms Up, We Mean Down

We are currently obsessed with harem pants, gypsy pants, hammer pants, whatever you want to call them.  These drop-crotch trousers have been on our radar ever since Stefano Pilati and Phillip Lim put them on runways last spring, leaving fashionistas and their followers scratching their well-coiffed heads. But finally these baggy bottoms are starting to feel just right.  Maybe it's because the impossibly chic French VOGUE editor Emmanuelle Alt has translated them into something we would (in our dreams) wear; maybe because if I see another liquid legging, I will self-destruct. Whichever the reason, during a recent trip to Paris, my friend and fashion icon Danielle Nachmani found a perfect pair by Isabel Marant (after a Moveable Feast-esque hunt down Rue Jacob in St. Germain to Miss Marant's flagship store). With stylist-powers pumping through her veins, Miss Nachmani paired her prized purchase with a simple gray tee and Balenciaga booties--alas, one cannot foresee when one comes into a perfect pair of pantalons thus she did not have gladiator sandals to complete the dream look.

Final Word:  We don't have a photo of the if-looks-could-kill ensemble (Sorry D); but take our word for it, it was fierce - if only all of us could be so lucky to pull it off.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Death Becomes Her

Art and fashion—like life and death—are inextricably linked. This week, Belgian-born accessories designer Natalia Brill incorporates them all as she uses Art Basel as a vehicle to present “On Tour,” an installation featuring “a rock band from beyond the grave,” as part of her SS09 collection of jewelry, accessories and objects.

Known for her use of luxurious lambskins, “On Tour” includes three skeletons, a drum set, amp, guitar and mic all encased in black leather. The dead rock band will silently perform December 2nd through December 10th at uber-fab Miami boutique Alchemist, located at 438 Lincoln Road.

In its’ exclusive stateside engagement, “On Tour” will also bring to Miami the limited-edition Odyssey bag. To commemorate the collection, this season’s version will feature an adornment of bones (from the dead bandmates).

Eat your heart out concert tee; souvenirs from dead bands are so much cooler than live ones.

Final Word: Goth never looked so glam. Visit The Blackberrie tomorrow afternoon for an exclusive interview with designer Natalia Brill and pictures from the Alchemist installation at its’ debut.

Party Girl

During the holiday season it’s easy to defer to glitter and glitz; but if you want to know what in-the-know girls are wearing, just take a peek at Luella’s fall frock. According to West Village boutique owner Ludivine, “All the French girls are wearing it.” Indeed, over the weekend on my requisite fall pilgramage to the City of Lights, I spotted a pint-sized PYT fete-ing at hot boite Neo in a plaid version accessorized with leather fingerless gloves and over-the-knee boots. Comment dit-on “fierce” en francais?

Final Word: As winner of Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, Luella Bartley is poised to be THE thing for spring. At least I know what I’ll be wearing for New Years, et vous?