“Look at all the pretty princesses,” I overheard one editor say at Monique Lhuillier’s bridal presentation this weekend, one of first bridal shows of the week. Indeed, Lhuillier had created 29 looks that were the stuff of fairy tales, from column dresses crafted from whisper-thin lace to bejeweled gowns. But as a first-time bride-to-be who was scanning the shows for some less traditional ideas for her own upcoming nuptials, there were other designers that had me saying “I do.” Reem Acra had me thinking about color after she and stylist David Yaski layered her elegant ivory bridal confections with vividly hued clothing and bright costume jewels culled from her own vintage and ready-to-wear collections. “When I was putting together the show, I was reviving my past,” explained Acra of the personal touches. “I was mixing in things that made me famous and brought me good luck.” Carolina Herrera paired separates with floor-length skirts to create some of my favorite looks from her exquisite presentation, like a Victorian-inspired lace blouse and boxy wool-felt jacket that was finished with fur cuffs. It was Oscar de la Renta (above), however, that gave me the most inspiration. He presented several knee-length numbers that would perfectly suit my 5′ 2″ frame, and maybe even allow me to change to flats as the wedding festivities carry on.
The buyer: Jim Wetzel, co-owner/fashion director, Jake, Chicago
What did you invest in heavily for spring? We really went big into color for spring. I felt that the time was good, the clients were yearning for it, and with what is going on in the world, it brings a bit of pleasure to light. Chris Benz was a huge part of this, and his collection of neon and jewel-tone colors is doing amazingly well.
What’s been your biggest seller so far? This season we sold out almost immediately of a Guiseppe Zanotti platform pump in white with a blue and silver cap toe, and to throw it over the edge, there is a huge rhinestone cluster on the toe. Magical! Our clientele is not afraid of the statement and really sign up for the fashion items. They expect this from us and we do not disappoint!
What are your customers asking for when they come in? Color. Flash. They’re coming in and wanting something that makes them feel great, sexy, and gets them noticed. The more over-the-top, with beading, feathers, or fringe, the more emotional they get for the piece. I think with everything that is going on in the world, our clients are using fashion as an escapism tactic. What could be more fun?
The buyer: Tarini Jindal, creative director, Muse, Mumbai, India
What did you invest in heavily for spring? This season, I loved Diane von Furstenberg‘s collection (above). We bought a lot of the maxi dresses, and her signature wraps. Paul & Joe works very well for us, and the spring collection was beautiful; pastel colors and chiffons work very well for the Indian market.
What’s been your biggest seller so far? Our biggest sellers have been the DVF wrap dresses and tops.
What had the longest waiting list? The concept of a waiting list has not started in India yet. The market is too young.
What are your customers asking for when they come in? The Muse customer is asking for colors, cotton, and chiffon fabrics, maxi dresses, and lots of accessories.
The cliche about Brazilian bikinis is that they’re tiny (hence the abbreviated personal topiary of the same name) and louder than Rio during carnival. But the chicest Brazilian girls aren’t wearing hot-pink micro-suits. Instead, the trend is for larger bottoms and subtle colors, like these downright sedate styles from Jo de Mer (a favorite of Gisele Bündchen, a woman who knows her bikinis), Beach Couture (whose collection for Topshop arrives in stores this week), and Adriana Degreas (known for her luxe aesthetic). Basic, it seems, is the new bling.
Clockwise from top: Jo de Mer, $195, available at Barneys New York, (212) 826-8900, www.jodemer.com. Beach Couture, $114, available at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.beachcouture.com.br. Adriana Degreas, see www.adrianadegreas.com.br for more information.
The buyer: Louis Terline, owner, Oak, New York City
What did you invest in heavily for spring? For us, spring/summer is
always about two things: How do you deal with warm weather in the city, and
what do you need for the few times you get out of it? This always means easy
dresses, skinny jeans, and oversize tops. Sturdy sandals with great style.
This season we are enamored with Filippa K. and Nicole Farhi for their
casual elegance, Anntian (these great light, hand-printed tops from Berlin),
and C-Neeon for their colorful airy dresses and tops. Matt Bernson sandals.
What’s been your best seller so far? Our favorite line and best
seller BY FAR this season is Complex Geometries—Clayton [Evans] makes
the most amazing architectural T-shirts and jersey dresses. We ordered tons
of them and are already sold out (a reorder is on the way). The Oak Zebra
oversize silk shirtdress was almost gone before it arrived. Luckily we were
able to throw some more in.
What are your customers asking for when they come in? It’s easy
separates that have some style. People are becoming more comfortable with
playing with proportions. Things are simultaneously getting looser and
tighter. It’s a very exciting time.
Courtesy of Oak.