Friday, May 29, 2009

Penciled In: JCDC Nautical Pencil Skirt

While winter dressing is our favorite game to play, we at Vnyc do agree that's it's always much easier to dress for summer weather. Less clothing that's for sure, but warmer weather is also when you tend to simplify everything and head to the tried-&-true classics. Gauzy maxi dresses, wedges, Bermuda shorts, floral prints and nautical themes are always summer closet constants. Yet what's often difficult during the summer season is finding pieces that aren't so day friendly, and too casual.

Besides coming from a storied, highly collectible & influential label like JEAN CHARLES De CASTELABAJAC, the original wit-master himself, this pencil skirt is a great starting point for chic summer dressing. Its a seductively fitted elegant yet cheeky ode to 80's nautical preppiness with crisp metallic gold pinstripes set against a demure oatmeal background that's counterbalanced by substantial gold decorative buttons. A pencil skirt with such polish & symbolic flair is a genius proposition for summer suiting and is a very chic alternative to the relentless parade of boho basics and cut-off denim shorts that those around you will be tirelessly parading around in. Best of all, it's linen composition ensures that this time around you won't have to sacrifice comfort to look put together.

JCDC Metallic Striped Nautical Pencil Skirt

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fashion's Fairy Godmother: Carine Roitfeld

Two weeks ago Vogue's Anna Wintour gave 60 Minutes an exclusive interview that was good t.v for fashion junkies like ourselves, yet it didn't hit on anything new as it was filled with the exact same content that every previous interview with the editor has supplied. And while everyone loves throwing stones at Wintour, making her out to be a relentless villain, we at Vnyc find Wintour to be very smart & likable, albeit the most important person in fashion. Even after reading her unauthorized biography, View from the Front Row, we were left feeling that the author just wanted the audience to come out despising the woman, which was not quite the case for us, it made us like her even more.

And while we love French Vogue and what not, it wasn't until CNN's recent profile of editor Carine Roitfeld that got us thinking, if Wintour is stereo-typed as fashion's villain, it's Roitfeld who could be considered fashion's sweet, fairy godmother. The profile left us with a feeling that Wintour does not, where Wintour is guarded and calculated, Roitfeld is lighthearted, breezy and down-to-earth, like a goofy girlfriend who isn't afraid to let loose. In the end, while these women are very different, we can't think of a world without them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer Essential:Wolford Ombre MultiTube

With warm, sunny summer days finally headed our way, and with beach season just around the corner, we at Vnyc are always on the look out for cover-ups with their own unique audaciousness. This genius WOLFORD cover-up comes from the luxe house's line of MultiTubes, a versatile collection of convertible wonders. The tube is cut on the bias to hug the body while covering it and has a warm ombre effect that moves from red to sunset orange, you can wear it as a maxi skirt, tube-dress, tube-top etc.

WOLFORD Ombre MultiTube Stretch One-Piece-$88

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Smart Buy: 80's Fitted Leather Jacket

Forget about Alexander Wang for a moment and take a look at our latest must-have smart-buy of the moment, this ultra-urban, fitted, curved leather 80's era blazer from North Beach Leather. It's got that sleek yet sophisticated, luxe feel, is reminiscent of something from ALAIA and channels Robert Palmer's infamous back-up girls in his "Addicted to Love" video. Think about going the easy way and pairing it with a billowing chiffon maxi-dress or take it in a stronger direction and pair it with cuffed short shorts and slick hair. Back in the 80's, NORTH BEACH LEATHER was a highly coveted, almost addictive purveyor of brash, over-the-top sexy leather goods, yet something about this piece's easy composition and beautiful shape gives it a grounded, timeless feel.

80's NORTH BEACH LEATHER Fitted Blazer: $182

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Trickiness of Hats...

I like hats. At best they are form and function in one neat little package - parts of a greater whole. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Inez and Vinoodh, Cookies and Milk. I am a major proponent of the humble knit ski cap - preferably picked up at Duane Reade for $3 on a freezing night when the cashmere Marc Jacobs beret thing I'm wearing seems over-affected for the circumstances. Also, the cheapest ones are the most malleable - length and width wise - and always come in my favorite colors - black, gray, charcoal, army-green, bandaid . I don't feel bad if I lose them and they allow me more time between $300 highlights. It's also freezing in NYC in winter.

I don't like hats that are worn without thought or purpose or a sense of wit. (Isabella Blow -how dearly we miss her - wore hats like a pro, with cheek and fuck-all elan.) When I style stuff I use hats to mess with proportion and to offset and draw they eye wherever I want it to go. I often love them on the runway. The tri-corn George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte numbers in KL's most recent and excellent resort 2010 show in Venice come to mind'. As do the pastel feathers of Marc's aw 2008 subtle tour de force. And of course there's the rich explorer woman in Ralph's retro romances.

So that's what's great?

I hate hats on Sienna Miller and Ashlee Simpson and all other media types of dubious talent. A big black bowler hat in L.A. in July? As yucky as Crocs and Uggs. Disney Hunk A in a ski hat same month. Anyone in a straw cowboy hat thing (as below). What's to say? Why? Those hippie hair things worn by Nicole and her ilk are equally useless. Fuschia Kangols and drape-like extensions. If I sense d they were worn with a bit of irony, I might cut them some slack. But I doubt...

I don't mean to hate on the above people bec. that's paying attention. I just feel bad that my 10 year old nieces have no choice when they turn on the telly but to observe and absorb crap tweeny girl pop-culture. (At least I had Madonna when she was cool and Michael Jackson when he was Off the Wall versus Never Land guy.)

Okay, all this to say that we here at VagaBondNyc are very discerning with our hat edit and when I came across this 70's modified pith helmet I was all over it. It has a chin strap, it's corduroy and it's Lanvin:
70's Modified LANIVIN Pith Helmet-$148

It recalls YSL's safari collection of the same era with a splash of my current sartorial inspiration, Out of Africa. The movie. Sweeping outback, washed out liberty florals, sweeping prairie skirts, Meryl Streep's porcelain skin shaded by wide-brimmed sunnies.
Case in point:

So there you have it, my take on hats. And, I promise, we will NEVER EVER post pictures of Heidi Montag EVER EVER again. Doing so is rough in and of itself.... I feel a bit tainted.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Still Not There:Michael Jackson in Givenchy

We have to admit that we got a little excited when we recently learned Michael Jackson was in Balmain, especially since one of us is a guy who's too small for men's clothes(which isn't a problem if you edit properly, it actually makes it more interesting), however understanding Jackson's aesthetic & personal histories, a recent spotting of him in our beloved Givenchy was not only appalling, but devastating even. The Jackson family has never been known for good taste, for putting together a forward thinking look, or for even looking just decent. Criminal is how you could describe Jackson's own costumey repertoire over the past three decades, so why, now that he's 50+ years old and the king of flop, why is he trying to keep up with Rhianna? She herself has been looking like a tawdry, cholo-fied version of Dione Warwick herself lately, so what's the deal here? Why does Ricardo Tisci seem hell-bent on whoring out his beautiful, aww-inspiring collections to people like Madonna? Man needs to use some discretion! Who hasn't been left longing for anything from Tisci's nautical grommet collection from season's ago? In the end, Michael may have ruined that collection for us at the moment, but when you think about it, it doesn’t matter if it’s Givenchy, Balmain or what have you, what’s most obvious is that he doesn’t know how to wear it.

June 25th 2009...Even So, May He Rest In Peace.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Accessory of the week: Prada Gray Leather Speedy

Our latest favorite accessory is this chic, timeless soft pebble leather PRADA speedy bag that's been tricked out with a signature key & lock. After the rise & fall of the "It" bag, this bag seems to be a smart option. We like its low-key sensibility, it has no exterior branding or logo, which helps give the bag a timeless quality.

PRADA Gray Pebble Leather Speedy Purse-$374

Smarty Pants: Junya Wantanbe Tweed Trousers

While their propositions can be puzzling at times and quite challenging, you really can't pinpoint any of the Comme Des Garcons clan's goods as being what you could call tongue-in-cheek, or humorous even. They seem to be caught in this relentless air of over wrought intellectualism, and of the three, you could say JUNYA WANTANABE'S creations are quite serious in their revisions of the classics. And if you really break down Wantanabe's desirability, it's that he does do the best interpretations of the classics, who doesn't need a riff on the Chanel jacket that's been cautiously reconsidered, if not immensely amped up? And it's his fascination with Chanel-isms that fueled the realization of these exaggerated, abbreviated plaid trousers. Here the tension between the abstracted nubby tweed, energetic marigold colorway and graphic wide-leg results in a felicitous, optimistic effect. We also picked them up because it's not often that you get a yellow pant that's this chic, created with such restraint, not to mention the fact that we love it's crisp silhouette and men's trouser inspired cut. Above all, they have a painterly effect that just makes them a fantastic, must-have pant, full of endless, year-round layering potential.
JUNYA WANTANABE Tweed Cropped Trousers-$232

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Prada Fall 2009: Mens/Womens Shows

As you can imagine, we at Vnyc wait with baited breath every season to see what new tricks the always forward thinking Miuccia Prada has up her sleeve, and the recent Fall 2009 showings did not disappoint. The men's & women's shows effortlessly incorporated all of our favorite Prada-isms, from savage furs to urban warrior hardware, all with the expected dose of vintage subversiveness. And besides filling our shopping lists with a relentless sense of desire, we love the fact that Prada is one of the only houses to go a step further in the execution of their presentations by releasing fashion show videos with an artful, fully realized treatment. We have been looking high and low for these full videos and besides the videos themselves, we also couldn't wait to get our hands on the amazing soundtracks. Season after season Prada show soundtracks(much like Chloe)often give us amazing unearthed musical finds, Fall 2006 had us addicted to German band Blacken the Black(now one of our favorite bands)and Fall 2009's music from Zomby has unleashed an entirely new obsession.

Jump Up to Get Down: A Jumpsuit Moment

With fashion finally paying much due attention to the beloved jumpsuit over the past few season's we wanted to take a moment and share some of our own favorite one-piece-wonders. Take this ultra-oversized wide-legged 80's era KIKIT jumpsuit that's just begging to be cinched at the waist to highlight it, or this fluid YOUNG EDWARDIAN one-piece with it's naive tone-on-tone floral pattern and romantic draped neckline, and then there's this totally futurist BASILE number with it's seductively sculpted boddice. What's great about these pieces is that you can think of them as strong layering foundations for the winter months while their unadorned, overall minimal sensibilities give you a crisp starting point for summer accessorizing, and most importantly, these three black scores give you a cleaner, leaner, taller look, and who wouldn't jump up after hearing that?

Pictured above: 80's Ultra-Wide KIKIT Jumpsuit-$96

70's YOUNG EDWARDIAN Draped Front Jumpsuit-$180
80's BASILE Black Sculpted Futurist Jumpsuit-$244

Raise Your Hands Up: 80's Gianni Versace Knits

By now you may already know that we love GIANNI VERSACE and we are big, big fans of his early knits, and as we have stated before, its his forward-thinking, revolutionary early 80's knits that really spark our interest. Take this too-cool recent find of ours, its an asymmetrical contrast knit sweater with one voluminous bat-wing sleeve that has an unexpected bold yellow panel, this piece rather stylishly points out Versace's groundbreaking contributions to the world of knitwear. Versace almost single-handedly changed the limits of knitwear with his audacious shapes and hyper color-ways and we couldn't think of a piece that's more desirable than this sweet number.

Early 80's GIANNI VERSACE Graphic Sweater

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: The Costume Institute's "Model As Muse" Gala

Sasha Pivavora striking in Giambattista Valli with the designer himself.

We at VagaBondnyc aren't usually ones to point fingers at red-carpet events because they are usually so controlled these days that they are beyond boring, however with this year's latest Met gala, devoted to the "Model as Muse," we felt like we were finally given some material to go hog-wild with! First off, the crew in charge of photographing the event should be dismissed, everyone looks like they just exited Popeye's(fried chicken face), nobody's legs look good from the angles they shot from(look at Anne Hathaway's) and in general, these people look all too much like common folk(look at Topshop's Sir Phillip Green & family looking as if they were diverted on their way to Atlantic City). Overall, thanks to this crew and their detrimental coverage and quite a few detrimental fashion choices, we wanted to take a moment and celebrate not only the good, but the really ugly as well! We find it especially enthralling since over this past decade we have seen fashion watered down by celebrity and their so-called know-it-all stylist's, and finally for once, we get to see that many of these people actually don't know whats good.

The Good:

Lou Doillon in Nina Ricci with the house's last designer, Olivier Thyskens, proves just how important and forward thinking of a designer this still "young" talent really is.

Anna Jagodzinska, in Altuzarra, perfectly reflecting fashion's current moods in one of our favorite new labels.

Vanessa Traina in Phi, the hair, the dress, the ease...this look maybe more bar ready, but yet it also hits fashions current mood dead-on.

Kristen McMenamy in Givenchy Haute Couture with Julien D'Ys, two very enigmatic, rarely seen icons looking great.

The Bad:
Leighton Meester in Louis Vuitton has appropriately been referred to as "court jester" & "jack-in-the-box" and we agree! This Vuitton collection was so Lacroix, and we did actually like it, yet on Meester and many of the others that night, it needs to be worn in pieces, because this is just way too much Baroque-ness for today. And besides having that smug look, that "I look so darn cute look," what's up with her awful skin-toned hair???

Madonna in Louis Vuitton, in heavy thigh-high witch boots topped off by a big mangled scrunchy on her head. At her age, it would have been smarter for her to go Sasha Pivavora's polished route, rather than the sloppy back-up dancer she showed up as.

Anna Hathaway in Marc Jacobs sporting one of the fakest updo's ever, and by fake we mean that Hathaway has probably never worn her hair like this, and has never even thought of it, she looks like she's channeling Wonder Woman more than Bridgette Bardot. We just imagine a team of stylists telling her how "old Hollywood" she looked before the event when in reality she looks like she is ready for a Tresseme ad shoot. And note how the bad photography just kills her body, those thighs & knees.

Michael Jackson is that you? No it's Lisa Airan in Balmain... Does she ever look good? Everything on this "society darling" is almost always soooo wrong, and is always lacking sincerity! And besides picking on her, who is NOT tired of Balmain now?

Victoria Beckham in Marc Jacobs, enough is enough! Something about Beckham, whether she is in Couture or jeans, just looks so cheap. She to us, is NOT fashion, instead she is just another new-money footballer's wife with a big mouth and a grotesque ego to match. And those shoes? Whatever Marc Jacobs has been doing at his own namesake label and at Vuitton, this event seems to be proof that this designer is fresh out of Good ideas.