And then, the deluge. When Lauren Santo Domingo returned from her honeymoon with her hair chopped to chin length, she appeared to give women the world over permission to lose the locks they’d been growing out since, like, ever. The bob is upon us. Blunt will always rule the day where bobs are concerned, of course, but lately an alternate style has emerged. In the past month or so, Gwyneth, Liv, and Anouck have all shown up for photo ops in slightly unkempt, softer bobs, a look forgiving enough of unruly hair to tempt even the biggest bob-phobe. “Well, fashion’s so interested in the shoulder right now; it makes sense that girls want to show that part of themselves off,” says stylist Ashley Javier, who’s found himself cropping plenty of tresses recently. “And plus, when there’s so much that’s floral and super-feminine, it’s nice to have a cut that’s a little sharper, more polished and serious. But the key is to find the right bob for you. If you have curly hair, you need to watch out for a cut that’s too blunt, on the one hand, or too layered on the other.” And as Javier goes on to note, fans of the last great tress trend need not fear the chop: Bangs will work with a bob, too. “I think bangs got us to the bob,” he muses. “I mean, it’s like one day women woke up, looked at all their floozy-woozy flowing hair, and thought: Enough of this mess.”
More proof that the middle of the market is disappearing: J.Crew has a $3,000 jacket for sale, its priciest item to date. Part of the label’s higher-end J.Crew Collection, the tortoise sequin jacket, as it’s called, is an “opulent creation completely covered with shimmering French sequins—each one a unique shade of tortoiseshell, each sewn by hand to silk chiffon using a classic couture technique. Sound like a stretch for a brand that made its name reinterpreting WASP classics? Khakis and button-downs are clearly no longer the steady sellers they once were: The company is also selling fine jewelry, and come fall, will be opening a New York shop entirely devoted to Collection pieces.
The buyer: Averyl Oates, fashion buying director, Harvey
What did you invest in heavily for Spring?
Christopher Kane is proving to be one of the city’s most promising talents,
and we have been overwhelmed by this season’s performance. Customers have
loved his biker jackets in both cashmere and leather, and the sheer ruffled
dresses have also had a fantastic reaction.
What’s been your biggest seller so far?
One of the season’s highlights has to be shoes. Customers were calling in
early requesting for their names to be wait-listed on key styles as soon as
shows were posted on Style.com. Fortunately, heavy increases were projected
on Lanvin, Balenciaga, Chloé, and McQueen, so we could ensure that our
customers were kept satisfied. The Dries Van Noten Masai beaded sandals made
a new record as the most requested style, and the intriguing upside down
shoe from Marc Jacobs barely hit the shop floor before they all sold out.
Our newcomers Nicholas Kirkwood and Alejandro Ingelmo have been very
well-received, and we have had to increase our Fall buys in order to keep up
What had the longest waiting list?
Generally we have an extremely high demand for Lanvin. Despite significantly
increasing the buy for Spring ’08, we struggled to satisfy all of the
customers on our waiting lists. Again, the items the Harvey Nichols
customers were crying out for were the on-trend brightly colored dresses,
such as looks 21 through to 23. Lanvin jewelery is incredibly popular, and
customers are lining up to get their hands on the show pieces; it’s
challenging to fulfill such a significant waiting list.
What are your customers asking for when they come in?
As well as loving the trend for bright colors, sheer and floral fabrics have
been in high demand. Most of the floral Balenciaga catwalk pieces have been
pre-sold, as well as those from Giles and Dries Van Noten.
I’ll readily admit to having an eBay habit. One of my favorite recent purchases is an accordion-style catalog, probably from the sixties, of the work of Niki de Saint Phalle, who is currently the subject of a retrospective at Tate Liverpool. Born in France and raised in America, Saint Phalle, who modeled for Vogue in her teens, was much influenced by Antonio Gaudí. I’ve always admired the small Saint Phalle sculpture in the office of our executive fashion director, Candy Pratts Price, and now—after a bidding war and an obliging eBay seller—I have a small memento of the artist’s work as well.
Jasmine Serrurier reports from the Milan Furniture Fair.
Thursday, April 17
True to the house’s formula, “When Your Own Initials Are Enough,” Tomas Maier’s home collection for Bottega Veneta is anti-logo and doesn’t follow color-by-numbers head-to-toe-to-home mantra that so many designers adhere to. The uniting thread, no surprise, was Bottega’s famous woven vacchetta leather. Style.com found it hand-painted on porcelain (by KPM), etched into Murano glass and sterling-silver desk sets, and even enveloping the base of a lamp.
Fondazione Prada Expands
Fondazione Prada announced its most ambitious project to date, a new 18 000-square-meter space set in an industrial complex on the outskirts of Milan that will take at least three years to complete. The area is set to be transformed into a site for multimedia events,
installations for exhibitions, and to provide a series of secure vaults to house Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli’s overflowing art collections and archives. Rem Koolhaas was on-site to lay out the blueprint. “Domestic scale is absent in contemporary art,” he said. “My challenge here is not just about a space for objects. I need to create a dialogue between the environment and the pieces within it.”
Moschino released two scoops for the Salone, one cheeky and ironic, and the other surreal. The first were the sexy ghost chairs, two of Philippe Starck/Kartell’s popular Perspex chairs dressed in transparent froufrou tulle slipcovers. Second up was the Sant’Andrea store’s window display, which had borrowed from the surreal, as its objects had been sliced in two, leaving the missing halves as mirror reflections. This was meant to not only fire off a whole load of existential questions—i.e., “Does it not exist simply because we can’t see it?”—but to also give a taste of what is in store for the 69-room hotel Moschino’s set to open next year.
Friday, April 18
Trussardi and Patrick Blanc’s vertical garden
It was easy finding Patrick Blanc, who created a vertical garden for Trussardi’s café near La Scala: His hair was a fluorescent green beacon in a sea of mostly black raincoats. “I am a botanist and my work in jungles and studying growth patterns of low-lying plant life helped me understand to what limits we can put the plants,” he told us. “Once the “structure is set up, all that is left to do is for someone to pass by and give my growing wall a haircut.”
Molteni & Vivienne Westwood partnership
Big Milanese furniture companies aren’t generally known for taking risks, so it was a bit of a surprise to hear that Molteni has paired up with renowned envelope-pusher Vivienne Westwood. “I am a great believer of mixing the avant-garde with tradition,” she said. “I have always been inspired by historical costume—my clothes are tradition brought to the future. Now I am mixing it up with furniture.” Don’t look for a Westwood homeware revolution just yet, though—Molteni’s taking baby steps with this new project. For her first collection for the company, Westwood used her Pirates-era “squiggle” fabric to cover one of its classic models.