Monday, March 30, 2009

Accessory of the Week: Open-Toe Pirate Booties

With open-toe and pirate inspired booties hitting every must-have list for the past few seasons, we think this black canvas pair from KRISTEN LEE seductively hit the nail on the mark. They may be quite simple at first glance but they happen to boast sexy Cuban heels and ruching that runs up the leg and have contrasting gold zippers running up the back. They are perfect for year-round wear and are a smart option for those looking for animal-free options.

KRISTEN LEE Black Canvas Open-Toe Booties-size 9

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Romantic Warrior: 1990 Krizia Bullet Bead Jacket

With fierce warrior woman get-ups de rigeur on every major runway and on every urban-minded shopper's must-have lists, we couldn't be more enthused by one of our favorite finds, this slick, commanding 1990 KRIZIA plush velveteen jacket with bold shoulders that are covered with major titanium hued bullet beads. As you can see from this original ad we found, the beading seems to have been intended for that era's maximalist, opulent times, however we feel its context today reads more Mad Max than James Galanos. Its iridescent sheen and rich purple tie-die effect lend the other-worldly beading a sumptuously feminine romantic/rough divide that sobers its overall hardcore sci-fi aesthetic.

90's KRIZIA Tie-Die Bullet Bead Warrior Jacket

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Look East, it's Hammer Time...

Since one could easily call this the most heavily revival filled decade to date, it's rather intriguing that the early 80's Japanese infused work of avant-garde pioneers like YOHJI YAMAMOTO, Rei Kawakubo of COMME DES GARCONS, KANSAI YAMAMOTO and ISSEY MIYAKE are finally getting some due attention in the mainstream.

From Japan they optimistically brought an arty, intellectual and quite challenging aesthetic to the world of fashion like never seen before, a reaction to the ultra-femme norms of society and a pre-cursor to the maximalist glamor of the Reagen era. Together they introduced the concepts of anti-fashion through austere deconstruction, materials were often draped around the body and featured frayed, unfinished edges along with holes and a general asymmetrical shape. And to us, most importantly, everything was black, something many ran away from at one time.

And with dropped crotch pants, deconstruction, and asymmetry seeming to feel like a runway norm these days, we wanted to take a moment and highlight some of our own finds inspired by this groundbreaking era in fashion. Take these fantastic early 80's YOHJI YAMAMOTO fluid black pants that have a dropped crotch and one leg that's more voluminous than the other, ultimately creating a soft, draped, poetic imbalance. And from a man known for his own take on Eastern-influenced ease, GIORGIO ARMANI, come these early 90's black drop-crotch pants that have a pleated dhoti drawstring waist and contrasting velvet cuffs. Both of these pieces beautifully highlight the considerable contributions of the Japanese invasion of the early 80's while at the same time having a very contemporary sensibilty to them.

Above- Early 80's YOHJI YAMAMOTO Dropped Crotch Draped Leg Pants-$454 Sorry this item has been SOLD

Below- 90's GIORGIO ARMANI Dropped Crotch Dhoti Pleated Pants-$276 Sorry this item has been SOLD

V love Rye Rye!

It's been almost two years since we first fell for Baltimore teen Rye Rye & her infectious single "Shake it to the Ground" and her latest video, "Hardcore Girls" well, we just can't stop listening to it. In today's dark & dismal world of crossover hip-hop, we love that Rye Rye sounds & feels so optimistic, bubbly, and fresh. We wish the music industry would push more talents like Rye Rye instead of all that mindless tween nonsense.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Going Green: Nature vs. Future

With the Green agenda finally hitting fashion over the past few season's, we can't think of a more humorously chic way to support the effort than with this sassy(we can use that word for once!) mid 90's irredescent green MOSCHINO Cheap & Chic skirt suit. It is composed of what looks to be like photo prints of the earth & moon, boasts chunky plastic bobble-like buttons complete with pictures of the moon in them and it's jacket is paneled with contrasting stripes of text spelling out "Nature" on the front & "Future" on the back. It also has that era's fabulous cut with it's fitted, short jacket and sexy abbreviated skirt. Even almost 15 years later, it still makes quite a strong statement about the current friction between modernity & the mess it can make vs. nature. Talk about making a delightful in-your-face social remark.
90's MOSCHINO Nature vs. Future Printed Skirt Suit-$388

Accessory of the Week: 80's Tiger Wrestler Belt

There was a time a few years back where we were all about maxing out our wardrobes with sometimes ironic, often humorous yet totally cool outrageous pieces from the 80's, yet maybe it's something about getting older, or the current focus of fashion, that we now think there was a time & a place for that. We have always found that while vintage is of course always an option with endless limits, it's better to incorporate pieces, rather than pull out a head-to-toe look, which ends up looking costumey and too retro. And with proportion defining wide belts de rigeur today, we find this quirky, if not outrageous bold yellow wrestler inspired belt to be a chic way to hit-up the 80's, one piece at a time. It boasts red & black tiger striped side panels complete with studs and a large silver plaque with a 3-D carved Egyptian Pharoah's head. We'd like to think of it as Givenchy by Ricardo Tisci meets She-Ra: Princess of Power.

Shop-Talk Nyc: Dear: 55

While New York City undeniably has the best shopping this side of the Atlantic, one could argue that there may be too many choices, and that shopping here can be a bit overwhelming because there are is so much from high to low. And out of the thousands of options, we wanted to take a moment and start highlighting our own favorites throughout the city. Lower East Side boutique Dear: 55 may be owned by two of New York's most stylish inhabitants, and may be smartly bathed in Margiela-esque chalky white paint, but it also boasts an incredibly well-priced array of some of the cities most covetable, well designed one-offs. You can call these pieces one-offs simply because you can't find anything like what they have on offer anywhere else stateside. Owners Moon Ree & Hey Ja Do seem to have a knack for picking out pieces that feel uncompromisingly unusual, with an arty, intellectual avant-garde bent that at the same time feel effortless, breezy and still completely cool & forward.
Visit Dear: 55 located at 55 Clinton st. btwn Rivington & Stanton

Dear: 55 has moved to a bigger, bolder space on the Lower East Side's Rivington st. on the corner of Ludlow & now houses a floor devoted to collectible house-wares.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pajama Dressing goes for Baroque

With pajama dressing hitting every must-have list for this Spring/Summer, we couldn't think of a more elegant way to hit the trend dead-on than with this classic PRADA pajama inspired gold metallic brocade pajama blouse with dashing navy blue piping and three front patch pockets. It happens to be from one of our favorite Prada collections, Spring 2002 to be exact. What also makes it so precious is the techno foam feel the fabric has, it never gets wrinkled! Leave it to Miuccia to combine disparate references like '50s notions of jet-set elegance with couture-like fabrics and exquisite ethnic references, such as the Turkish motif that decorates this blouse.

PRADA 2002 Gold Metallic Brocade Pajama Blouse-$228

Pictured from top to bottom: PRADA Spring 2002/DOLCE & GABBANA Spring 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Perfect Summer Dress Gets All Sproused Up

With so much recent attention being paid to the iconic pop-inspired designs of legendary American designer STEPHEN SPROUSE, we couldn't think of a sweeter dress that highlights his career better than this highly collectible & rare silk tube dress that is printed with an ode to another pop master, the great Andy Warhol. It happens to be a seductively fitted matte silk satin tube dress that has a detachable printed silk chiffon train done up in explosive pop colors. This train can be attached to either the front or the back of the dress with signature Sprouse velcro straps that lie on each side of the bust. It was produced in 1997 for Sprouse's fifth & final comeback show with exclusive permission from the Warhol Foundation and boast's Warhol's infamous "Admit One" ticket print. What's even more remarkable is the fact that this piece proves how far ahead of his time Sprouse was when you think of how Warhol prints have been used for everything in fashion by now from the disparate likes of everyone from Levi's to Barbie 10 years after the production of this dress. It also happens to have a hidden side zip and hidden boning on the each side of the bust.

1997 STEPHEN SPROUSE Warhol "Admit One" Printed Silk Dress w Chiffon Cape Back-$1800

Paris Fall '09 Fashion Week Highlights

Every season, no matter what the economy is like, you can always trust Paris to offer the best, most forward thinking collections over any other city. This season there were so many good shows, it was hard to not add about 15 other collections to this list, but these four will really take our future buys to another dimension.

Nina Ricci(also pictured above)-It's sad to see that even ten years after he was first heralded as a gifted designer, Olivier Theysken's supreme talent has always been on unfortunately shaky ground. And what's even more unfortunate is the fact that nobody seems to realize that since Theysken's designs stand on their own hypnotically poetic ground and are so precious, they should and never will be for everyone. His complex ideas should not be burdened by the pressure to run a huge house, and his ideas should not fall plague to banality. This designer needs expansive freedom yes, but we think it's become a huge disadvantage for him to be caught up with the pressure of being so commercially viable. After all of these years, someone so precise, so divinely talented, really deserves the opportunity to just be. And if the house of Nina Ricci really thinks it has any room in an economy like today's, it ought to stop hiring such ambitious and highly coveted talents and wasting them away because what they did to Lars Nilsson was no better. This was by far Theyskens best show ever, one of the best shows of the season in fact. We loved that it was a very Parisian strain of sci-fi power chic with a magical Ziggy Stardust feel, that the girls proportions seemed to miraculously look seven feet tall and about 18 inches wide, yet it wasn't clownish, it was darkly romantic, sexy and hypnotic and everything had an appeal that was beyond cool.

Dries Van Noten-After weeks of boring so called "economy proof" basics and a drowning sea of black, Dries Van Noten triumphantly brought a fresh approach to classic, beautiful sportswear with a much needed optimistic injection of energetic, if not off-key, explosive colors, all beautifully coordinated. He proved once and for all that he is hands-down the very best at making sportswear feel contemporary while at the same time giving it a thoroughly fresh, intellectual feel and artful bent.

Givenchy-No matter what they say, we love what Ricardo Tisci has done at Givenchy, and this was another fantastic, hopefully less polarizing effort. It's remarkable that after only a few year's at the house, Tisci has ultimately created such a strong platform for himself that he showed what we think are his greatest hits. Hitting the mark once again with strong, moody-chic notes, pyramid studs, asymmetrical pleating, tribal influenced hair embroideries, a polished military edge, leather, body-con. It was all here executed with the best taste and a cool Parisian hand.

Chloe(also shown above below)- Like many of the older more established houses to make a comeback in the 90's, Chloe too has been struggling with the recent loss of powerful designer and has had a hard time retaining it's louche, youthful, Left Bank whimsy. Less than a month ago new comer Hannah MacGibbon had us puzzled with her pre-fall presentation that might have had some great updates to the classic sportswear of Bonnie Cashin, yet it was too spare, a bit bland, traditional and easy. And the Chloe we have grown up lusting after, would have never fallen victim to looking like another Adidas collaboration nor like an A.P.C catalog like it has under MacGibbon's watch. Yet her end result for Fall 2009 was in our book, one of the best, purest takes on the 80's trend that was everywhere this season. It was a fresh observation of that era's sportswear with a preppy hand that somehow radiated that sexy, if not quirky, classic Parisian cool. There was not one single look, one single item, that we are not coveting, from the oversize parkas to the leather shorts to the pants, everything was dead-on-the-mark.

Smart Buy: Heidi Weisel Tiered Faille Gown

A new addition to our Smart Buys feature comes to you from one of New York's most luxurious yet low-key designers, HEIDI WEISEL, with this divine black tiered maxi dress that is composed of a fitted, ballet inspired cashmere cap-sleeve bodice juxtaposed with a brilliant tiered silk faille a-line/bell skirt. Known for the understated glamor and simple elegance of her designs, Weisel places an emphasis on silhouette and luxurious fabric. Creating evening wear with the ease and comfort of sportswear, Weisel combines the versatility of cashmere with the luxury of silk satin creating modern evening gowns with an unexpected mix of fabrics. This dress for instance is so remarkably chic in such an easy, throw-it-on manner, that it's no wonder Weisel remains such a top secret! It's clean, unfussy appeal ensures that you will not only get a lot of use out of it over the years, but that it is also destined to become an heirloom piece for generations to come!HEIDI WEISEL Black Tiered Silk Faille Gown-$672

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

VagaBondnyc Featured in April'09 Lucky Mag!

We just wanted to take a moment and thank Lucky Magazine for featuring our vintage site in it's April issue's Web Pages feature!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kids do the Dandiest Things!

We couldn't help but feel but feel a little more than envious looking at how intuitively stylish eight-year old Arlo Weiner(son of  Mad Men producer Matt Weiner, today's most stylish show) is while describing his own personal Frank Sinatra inspired, angelically dandy looks on If this is this what growing up in a decade of edited revivals and globalism can look like, maybe some things in the world aren't going so bad after all!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gareth Pugh Fall 2009

After just a few short season's English designer Gareth Pugh has quite ferociously created a strong and powerful aesthetic that's all his own. Taking cues from London's dark, gothic inspired club kids and the work of Rick Owens, Pugh has ultimately created a name for himself with a daring aesthetic that also channels the legendary work of Leigh Bowery. His collections are blatantly hardcore, tough and reminiscent of Mad-Max with their sci-fi undertones combined with serious punk elements and hardware. For Fall 2009 he changed his presentation from runway to video format, a move that we think highlighted the beauty of his silouhettes and gave the clothing a less severe somewhat organic feel. While these looks were definitely not for the jeans & tee-shirt crowd, Pugh does remind us of an old-school designer in the sense that he is creating an entirely new controlled lifestyle. These clothes are beautiful of course, but the true challenge is in the fact that they aren't everyday clothes for running errands lets say, and that they require a totally precise and pure sense of aesthetic direction for the wearer. If anything, one could say that Pugh is the one & only one making clothing that's this extraordinarily dark, menacing yet substantial and somehow totally relevant for today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Accessory of the Week: 80's Maud Frizon Heels

If you could say anything about 80's era accessories being right for today, footwear especially, you could say they are highly unpredictable. And frankly that's not always such a good thing since shoes tend to look so dated shortly after they come into vogue. These 80's MAUD FRIZON heels happen to be a fantastic exception with their dainty banana heels, graphic cut-outs and pointed toes that possess that crucial slight bit of roundness. Cut-outs are an eternal plus in our book and they happen to lend a particular architectural quality to these sexy, timeless heels that gives them a sleek sophistication.

Milan Fall '09 Fashion Week Highlights

With New York and London living up to their respective reputations for Fall '09 amidst all of the burgeoning dilemma's brought on by the chaotic financial & political climates of the world, it was foreseeable that Milan would either go the sensible pragmatic sportswear route, or be trapped by it's over-sexualized, over-stylized extravagant musings of the past. In the end many designers seemed to have been lost somewhere in the middle of high-brow minimalism and downright tacky festiveness. What was exhilarating was that there was something for every kind of girl from the one's who party like it's 1989 in full Baroque regalia to the uppity society women of the old world to the slick, street-smart girls championing today's urban sophistication. And as you could have guessed, it was that urban muse that felt right on the money to us.

Prada(also shown above)-After several past hit-or-miss collections teetering on the border of tastelessness rather than provocation, Miucca Prada smartly channeled her 90's hey-day for fall and hit upon all of our favorite Prada-isms. The core of the collection may have been based on fur, smart suits and beautifully cut coats yet the end result was positively hardcore, aggressive and astoundingly minimal with dark equestrian undertones and a slightly mannish coldness. And speaking of Prada-isms, they were all here in full force from the vaguely romantic old-world Italian pretense, to the slight vintage feel as well as the embellishments that overall resulted in a romantic Mad-Max feel. We especially loved the use of fur on paneled dresses and the heavily decorated fringed leather finale looks.

Marni-Two season's ago many journalists had a lot to say about the fact that Marni is always resolutely Marni, and that it never seems to change direction, however we feel the need to pull out that particular cliche "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Marni once again had us feeling giddy with it's super-charged sportswear that was as optimistic as it was far-out cool. This collection was heavy on navy-blue and offered some great takes on the fur front as well as sport-inspired garb and some impossibly chic accessories that riffed on the house's love affair with the space-age Mods of the 60's. After all, fashion shouldn't be completely all about re-inventing the wheel, sometimes it's also about celebrating today, and tomorrow.

Etro-Over the past few season's Etro has become to us, one of Italy's go to houses for fresh, uncomplicated sportswear that is always impeccably on mark. It may be heralded for it's rich paisley prints and explosive color-ways, but what really excites us about the label is it's penchant for heady ethnic prints and dynamic, southwestern inspired accessories & embellishments.

Objets Trouves by Kate Linstrom

Objets Trouves is a wonderfully lighthearted, fantastic little gem of a label designed and produced in New York by our dear friend and old neighbor, Kate Linstrom. Linstrom channels inspiration from her vagabonding days throughout Europe, her stint managing contemporary art at Sotheby's and from unusual finds at flea markets and vintage emporiums. What makes Objets Trouves stand-out among other young talent is it's sheer wearability. While many other young designers tend to seem over zealous in their aesthetic, Linstrom's line happens to retain a delicate freshness and unexpected reserve while at the same time offering a new twist to tried-&-true classics. Her line is cohesive, ultimately femme and playful, yet there is also a smart, sporty undertone that unexpectedly gives the line an uplifting sense of strength, saving it from the frivolity of being overtly precious. This carefully conceived foundation, subversive yet controlled tension gives Linstrom the freedom to incorporate today's trends in a tone that's completely her own. Silk-screened within each garment is a "lost object"--a secret hidden from view and to be discovered, ensuring that each piece is as unique as the wearer, and with budget friendly price-points, we can't think of a line that gets any sweeter than this!

Monday, March 2, 2009

London Fall '09 Fashion Week Highlights

New York Fashion Week may kick off the annual shows every season, but it's not normally until the London shows that we truly get excited for what's in store next season. After all, London is famous for creating & nurturing young, often avant-garde designers who normally set the pace for fashion's ever changing moods. A hot-bed of talent, London's young designers can be credited with initially bringing trends such as sci-fi, cowboy, neu rave, digital prints, body-con and the early 90's to the forefront of fashion. If New York is all business and Paris is all frou, one could call London a dynamic message-board of energized trends bubbling from copious amounts of creativity. Like New York, London also happened to take on Fall's strong use of fur, yet as you could expect, it was giddier, younger and much more youthful. This time around fur was juxtaposed by modern abstracted digital prints, boudoir inspired body-con and vibrant amounts of 80's punk streetwear. A strong sense of individuality met with an astounding quality in execution are what continue to make London so mesmerizing. Here are our top four favorites that are destined to inspire our future buys!
Jaeger London(also pictured above)-'s Tim Blanks may have been correct when he called Jeager's Fall 2009 show "a little too contrived" for his tastes, yet after many New York designers tried to create what we consider pragmatic boardroom chic, Jaeger's on-trend showing was to us, sportswear at it's best. It was a bit mod, a bit military in it's restraint, incredibly polished, wearable and perfect for everyday life, especially considering the line's attainable price-points. What was probably most memorable were the girlie fur stripes and bows which reminded us of the Parisian merriness of Sonia Rykiel.

Armand Basi One- Markus Lupfer of Armand Basi has been on our radar for quite a few season's now because frankly, he makes some darn cool clothes! This collection brilliantly referenced what seems to be an untapped era of the early 80's, specifically the dark, moody and almost punky poetic designs of Paris's early 80's Japanese invasion, yet it was never too literal. Channeling that aggressive mood with an even colder hand of austerity happened to result in a cooly calculated sophistication that was ultimately a minimal, spare, easy-to-wear take on the decade, this, as a gaggle of other designers are referencing the tired neon Culture Club moment of the 80's.

Christopher Kane- Christopher Kane has managed to quickly become a big-league player and one of London's most important designer today. What we like about him, and what this collection so brilliantly points out is that Kane, unlike many of his peers, is capable of creating gorgeous, rich, modern and even luxe clothing that's undeniably fresh, that can be as minimal as this collection was, yet still be so powerful, downright cool and stimulating. He may have started his line with a strong infatuation for the early 90's, but it was refreshing to see him move on to the quieter part of the decade where minimalism was de riguer.

Erdem-In a few short years Erderm Moralioglu has garnered a cult following among the international dress-set for his beautifully crafted confections that stand on their own. Unlike many others in the dress game who tend to over-do it with too much saccharine sweetness and Vegas showgirl preoccupations, Erdem is strong yet optimistically youthful, vibrant and somehow never pretentious . Erdem's fall showing was brilliantly moody, dark, reserved and completely void of frilly romance, something that takes a visionary eye since it was a collection primarily focused on florals, whether classic, digitalized or watercolor, and dreamy babydoll dressing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sweatshirt Dressing: Pretty in Preen

Watching PREEN rise to the level of respect it now garners after making it's mark on London's street chic scene over a decade ago, two aesthetic themes stand out: graphic prints and undeniably unique patterns. This witty update to the classic sweatshirt happens to capture both of those strengths with it's diagonal winged sleeves and abstract fishnet print while also channeling the body-con era. And who said sweatshirt dressing couldn't be sexy?