Saturday, February 28, 2009

New York Fall '09 Fashion Week Highlights

While we may be vintage peddlers in essence, we would like to think of our aesthetic as far from retro, because after all, there is nothing intriguing about looking tarty, costumey or too precious and controlled. Nothing seems to excite us more than fashion week since it inspires our buys and gives us a feel of contemporary fashion's new direction. With the gut-wrenching status of the economy and the volatile political climate of the world, we honestly didn't know what to expect from the New York collections. Looking back, what we seem to have gotten is pretty much what's been floating around the past few seasons, with designers focusing on luxe knits and hardcore furs, it seems as though the urban warrior is here to stay at least one more season. Yes there may have been the usual unfocused, stand-out bores, but we wanted to take a moment and highlight our top four favorites, the lines that we thought beautifully represent the times we live in.TSE(also pictured above)-Maybe it's shows styling takes top honors, but fabled cashmere house TSE had us longing for it's monastic, minimal and almost sci-fi double-faced leggings, scoods and blanket coats, all with the perfect touch of androgyny and tricked out with wild fur throws. These are the kind of straight-forward pieces that will help you get back to basics in the best sense possible.

ALTUZARRA-Our favorite New York new comer of the season was hands-down Altuzarra, by Joseph Altuzarra. With his sober fusion of 40's & 80's decadence, his show updated all of our favorite trends from sci-fi to body-con with a certain restrained austerity that was harmonious enough to ultimately keep those trends grounded, because sometimes sci-fi and minimal happen to border precariously on being pretentious and too controlled. We loved the draped dresses, the rabbit's foot fringe and the beautifully raised seams. It's no wonder that he can count on ultra-stylish twenty-somethings like the Traina sisters as his biggest supporters.

DONNA KARAN-If anything, one could vouch that Karan is far from a one-note designer even though she is credited as the genius of "uniform dressing." This season she brought that novel idea back but tricked it out in such a refreshingly easy, no-nonsense manner that was as elegant as it was strong, without being severe. The exaggerated proportions of the shoulders and waist, the dark color-way, and the strong accessories were positively on mark, sure they had a somewhat Lanvin feel, minus the frou that is. It was great to see Karan returning to the hard edges of life in the city after a few lackluster seasons spent obsessing over draping.

PHI-The house that the Dell Computer Co. launched may be only four years old now, yet it has quietly built a solid reputation as an American powerhouse that's not intent on regurgitating sportswear classics. Designed by Andreas Melbostad, it's focus seems adamant on catering to our favorite kind of girl, the urban warrior. With sharp body-con silouehettes counterbalanced by peeks of lingerie, his collections hit every trend dead-on with unstoppable force. From motor-cross jackets, to printed georgette dresses, jodhpurs, harem pants, yetti furs and biker leggings, this collection was packed with ideas, all while retaining a strong cohesiveness. That's what's great about Phi, it riffs on current trends thus it never seems out to be a definitive directorial rant of how must one look from head to toe, instead just great pieces you must own. Everything seemed to have been ingeniously read off of every urban girl's shopping list without seeming overwrought with the intellectual baggage many stylized collections of this sort tend to overwhelm with.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rudi Gernreich...Intergalactic Knitwear

With the economy the way it is today it seems natural for designers to look towards the 30's & 40's for inspiration since that too was an incredibly difficult time, however we feel that dour times don't always call for the drab aesthetics designers seem to be channeling today. Yes our financial climate may be worrisome, and designers are obviously scrambling to fill that void, however this past New York Fashion Week was a sea of emotionless creations, clothing that doesn't necessarily speak to the heart. And while it's a fact that clothing is a necessity, and we all need those fundamental basics, we think that in today's world something with a light-hearted optimistic feel also sounds incredibly viable. And with that sense of fantasy on hiatus from fashion at the moment, and with the world changing at the speed it is, turning to the 60's seems more advantageous to us. After all, the 60's itself was a time of significant societal change in a mangled hap-hazard world, much like today.

Take the prolific, adventurous designs of German born American designer and 60's icon RUDI GERNREICH for instance, while his clothing may have caused quite a controversial stir at one time with their brash forwardness, today they seem to resonate exuberance and a much needed optimistic, youthful joie de vivre. It may well be thirty-plus years after it's creation, yet will can't think of anything more felicitous than this red knit dotted & striped contrast Gernreich dress with matching trouser socks. While back then the mixing of bold patterns was perceived of as highly-avant garde, today they seem almost naive, even bordering on dolly-girl. And the color-way lends a preppy nautical flavor, yet the set still retains that wonderful tongue-in-cheek humor.

RUDI GERNREICH Contrast Dress w Matching Stockings-$1,248

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar's Best Dressed: Tilda Swinton

Anytime Tilda Swinton appears on the red-carpet her aesthetic always seems to make a very powerful impact in the quietest, most elegant way possible while still retaining that must-have provocativeness. Whether it's a one-shouldered Lanvin masterpiece or a silver Haider Ackerman robot inspired suit, her clean, effortlessly cool and thoroughly modern looks are always tops on our list. She tends to gravitate towards things that are strong in statement yet she accomplishes to make them her own with such integrity. And last night at the 81st Annual Academy Awards she once again stunned us with her sober yet screen-icon-worthy Lanvin ensemble with it's distinctive nod to true old-Hollywood glamour, a saying that is normally widely over-used in our books. What's also remarkable is that unlike many other actresses she barely showed any skin, yet she didn't have to sacrifice her cool allure nor did she end up looking matronly. Her choice was clean with a bit of austerity, and amidst all of the cream strapless princess gowns and Grecian numbers, her pairing most definitely gave her a look that was all her own amongst the safe-frock set that is Hollywood today.

Tilda Swinton above in Lanvin at the 81st Annual Academy Awards

Friday, February 20, 2009

90's Callaghan: Nicolas Ghesquière's Early Days

Like many of you out there, we are die-hard fans of Balenciaga, anything Nicholas Ghesquiere designs speaks volumes about the future of fashion, and looks drop dead cool! We wait with baited breathe for the debut of the next collection and try to get our hands on as many pieces as we can! Even though he took the house on at the tender age of 25, Ghesquiere was already proving his knack for creating truly original, fascinating clothing during the mid 90's at Callaghan. And needless to say, every time we come across anything Callaghan from his moment, we are head-over-heels obsessed. Take this beautiful richly embroidered CALLAGHAN flying shirt, so ahead of it's time since today, more than a decade after it's production, this shape is finally getting some much due attention.

These cropped flying shirts, no matter who designed them, are fantastic since they make a great companion to all of your high-waisted bottoms while making you appear taller, even leaner. While the dark, moody colorway lends some versatility to the piece so it can be worn year-round.

90's CALLAGHAN Wide Embroidered Cropped Shirt

Smart Buy: Gianfranco Ferre Trench Jacket

The latest addition to our Smart Buys feature comes to you from the architectural mind of the late GIANFRANCO FERRE. If fashion in this past decade of revivals has taught us anything, it is to stick to the classics and build around them, and during trying times like these, nothing screams instant chic louder than the return of the trench. This one comes cropped, beautifully constructed and in the softest, crisp stone khaki. It also boasts a substantial collar as a stylistic bonus. It's one of those great day-to-day stand-buys which you can just throw on in a rush and instantly look well put together.

Smart Buy: GIANFRANCO FERRE Khaki Belted Cropped Jacket-$172
Sorry this item has been SOLD

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Telepathe: So Fine=So Good

We love Brooklyn based Telepathe's single "So Fine" so much we just had to share it with you. We love the video with it's sentimental John Hughes feel, it's just great new music.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Accessory of the Week: 80's Dior Wide Belt

From the 80's comes this classic CHRISTIAN DIOR bottle green wide leather belt that hits all of today's trends dead-on with its somber colorway and waist-cinching construction. After all, everyone needs a wide belt in their wardrobe to play with proportions and ultimately highlight the waist. And it's rather refreshing that this one is not black.

80's CHRISTIAN DIOR Wide Leather Belt-$78

Style Watch: Lake Bell

We have to admit that while we honestly may not know too much about actress Lake Bell's work, we do admire her style and look. She's a New york City girl through & through and it always shows on the red carpet with her slick, strict, clean confident style that's always a bit body-con with a stylized flourish. We also love her strong brows, something we are always attracted to! Weather she's clad in our favorites from Balmain, Balenciaga, Valli, or Dior, she's always a shining example of a VagaBond Nyc kind of girl.

Actress Lake Bell above in Christian Dior

Label Moment: Paule Ka

One label we truly admire but just can't ever seem to get our hands on is French label Paule Ka, by Serge Cajfinger. Elusiveness withstanding, the label offers chic sportswear that stands on it's own urban warrior territory firmly. We admire the fact that it's trying to create goods that are innovative in design, with an avant-garde bent, somewhat like Prada, clothing you can't find anywhere, yet it's grounded, it's not kooky, or loud or gimmicky. Simply elegant, beautifully made and perfect for a sophisticated, restrained urbanite, this collection astounds us with slick ladylike pieces that don't sacrifice the cool factor over old-school luxury norms. And it's always tricked out with unique accessories from lucite bowlers to peaked shoulders and seven inch bubble platforms,  all with the perfect dash of  hardcore provocativeness. After all, not every city girl needs to be clad in body-con and layered in ripped tights to look cool, now she has the chance to look sophisticated in a fresh, modern way.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Liberty Prints the Westwood Way

As you would expect from the pineal eye of VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, comes this fantastic update to the classic, ultra-femme floral blouse. First of all, it's naive country floral print in rich khaki isn't what you'd expect from Liberty, the purveyor's of ultra-prim fabrics in ultra-girlie pastels. Then there's the deep, soothing maroon, strong, perfect for fall and far from powdery. It also boasts a beautifully cut, abbreviated, squared collar.

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD Floral Liberty Oxford-$118

Friday, February 6, 2009

Go Dolly Girl this Valentine's Day with Vnyc

We couldn't think of a sweeter dress for this Valentine's day to soften your look with better than this whimsical 60's era GEOFFREY BEENE dolly dress with its classic fitted yet flirtatious shape, vibrant neon green & lilac windowpane print and demure gorgeously constructed ruffle trim.

For starters its clean, unadorned structure and gray palette keep it classic while its ruffled trim and delicate pleating along the waist amplify its saccharine femininity. And then there's the fact that its completely versatile for day into night, from weddings to luncheons, complete with hidden pockets, its easily one of those great base dresses that you can accessorize and layer with a million different ways. After the big day, throw a chunky cardigan over it with some heavy boots and you are back in the real world.
60's GEOFFREY BEENE Gray Windowpane Dolly Dress-$510

New Looks Up at

Head to to check out three fresh additions to our "Looks" feature section! As you know, the "Looks" section is our own platform devoted to energizing the force of vintage through collaborative efforts with an exceptionally talented team to show you new ways of wearing vintage clothing. First up is look #5, "Lacer Cut": a fresh look at lace juxtaposed with a ferocious sports bent. Then there is look #4, "Fake-French": a romp through 70's Paris with it's military meets sci-fi meets uptown feel. And finally there is look #3, "Ghostface": our own take on classic American sportswear. We are also pleased to note that starting this March, we will have a new editorial online every month.

Pictured above is Veronica from look #3, "Ghostface"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bright Lights, Pink City!

Vnyc has always had a strong appreciation for the amazing neon stylings of artist Dan Flavin and are pretty darn jealous of London's giant Flavin inspired hot-pink neon ferris wheel that was specially lit up for the city's Valentine's Day celebrations. In all honesty we don't necessarily care about riding it, it's more that it makes the skyline look so cool, we wish it were part of a traveling show! Being in New York City, there aren't many times when we get envious of events in other cities like this, so if you are in the U.K, you must take a ride for us!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Smart Buy:Michael Kors DeLuxe Black Skirt

With the financial state of the world as it is today, we thought it was time to make a weekly addition to our blog that will highlight our vintage finds that are classic, stand-by investment pieces with enough character to get you through the times! First up is this beautifully made black stretch MICHAEL KORS pencil skirt that elegantly falls to the knee and boasts urbane thick silver zippers running up the sides. Those zippers not only intensify the skirt's versatility but they also hint at punk utility and give the piece some weight and the eye something luxe to focus on. These polished details make it one of those great foundation numbers that you can wear with anything, anywhere, year-round! These are the kind of stimulating pieces you should be focusing on if you are trying to get a lot of mileage out of your purchases without sacrificing your sartorial wit!

Congrats Lee!

Wonderful Lee Dawson, the hyper-energetic girl that should be a familiar face since she has been one of our model's/muse's since VagaBondnyc began, has signed on to Rocket Garage model management and we are so happy for her. It's a sweet compliment to us that her model comp card has images of her in our Grecian McQueen tank, one of our favorite pictures! Again, Andrea's keen eye at styling and photographing delivered as usual.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bring Back House of Style!

There has been plenty of recent talk about MTV bringing back it's infamous fashion program, "House of Style," and we think it's about time! For a show about fashion, it was youthful, sincere, even a bit naive, and just so much fun to watch. Maybe it's nostalgia on our part, but we miss weekly fashion programs like "House of Style, Fashion Television and Style with Elsa Klensch." They gave us good reason to get up early every Saturday morning, and we have missed them ever since! However, this time around we hope MTV does not dare reduce the show as a vehicle for those horrible, totally vapid "Hills" girls...we've all had more than enough now!

Check out the early 90's clip above with Cindy, Linda & Jean Paul Gaultier!