For the non-Brazilians reading this, brigadeiro is a Brazilian candy. It has a similar taste to dulce de leche from Argentina, but it’s made with chocolate, so it’s supersweet and superrich. Antonio Barros Biagi, a personal friend, opened a gelateria in Nolita last summer and has been very experimental with this flavor ever since. Now for Easter, Antonio is introducing Brigadeiro. It arrived at the office yesterday and it was a hit. In a matter of minutes, the three pints were gone! This Sunday, my family and I are having Easter lunch at a friend’s house, and instead of the traditional chocolate Easter egg, I’ll be bringing Brigadeiro gelato for dessert. You should do the same.
A.B. Biagi gelato, $4.75 per scoop, $13.90 per pint. Available at A.B. Biagi, 235 Elizabeth Street, New York; (212) 219-8094.
Everything’s coming up Rio this season. At last week’s much-buzzed-about Fashion Rio shows, we couldn’t help but get a little jealous after seeing all the island-ready prints and colors. (How many vacation days do we have left?) We were particularly drawn to Oskar Metsavaht’s latest swimwear offering at Osklen. For the first time, the designer—who also presents ready-to-wear in New York—focused solely on his swim range, which he designed in collaboration with stylish jet-setters Bianca Brandolini and Alexia Niedzielski. A first look at the collection debuts exclusively here. “While our customers know and love our swimwear, I wanted to increase visibility through our runway show,” Metsavaht told Style.com. “[Bianca and Alexia] are half-Brazilian, half-French, so [they] embody our mood, carioca mixing elegance and cosmopolitism.”
Niedzielski cited the French Riviera of the fifties and sixties and photos taken there by Slim Aarons as the main sources of inspiration. Luckily, there were no string bikinis in sight. “We wanted to explore new bikini shapes,” she said. “This is very new for Brazil, as they are used to tiny, mini bikinis! We wanted to revisit retro cuts in a modern, Brazilian way.” Bustier-style tops, high-waisted bottoms, and molded cups had a pinup vibe, but metallic finishes, saturated colors, and tropical prints packed a modern punch. “We wanted to stay faithful to the Osklen DNA by using all of these beautiful patterns of Rio and Brazil’s luxe vegetation,” she added.
Niedzielski and Brandolini also knew exactly what women look for in a swimsuit. “We really tried to design for lots of different women. Our mothers with elegant one-piece suits, our sisters with more cheeky cuts and jumpsuits…We named each piece according to someone we know,” they explained.
Not vacation-bound? Not a problem. Many of the pieces could easily transition from beach to street, blurring the line between swimwear and ready-to-wear. All the more reason to stock up. “I really think we created a collection that is original and new, a balance between the chic European style with the sexy Brazilian beach culture,” Metsavaht said.
One of the most talked about fashion moments of Coachella’s first weekend didn’t belong to Pharrell, Beyoncé, or Jay Z. Kid Cudi had that honor when the rapper stepped on stage in an athletic red crop top with cutoff jean shorts, exposed BAPE briefs, and a gold bolo tie necklace, no less, providing the Internet with days of fodder. Some got angry, others were just confused, and a few went as far as to predict that Cudi’s provocative top is destined to spark a trend.
Those in the latter group aren’t far off. Crop tops for men have been gaining steam on the runway over the past few years. Just as the midriff-baring top went high fashion for women—receiving an update from designers like Proenza Schouler, Prada, and Topshop—younger eccentrics and established brands alike are reimagining it for men. Four years ago in Milan, flamboyant label Frankie Morello showed two versions of the abs-flashing top, one graphic tee reminiscent of Wham!’s namesake crop top and a knitted take that left less to the imagination. That same year, Calvin Klein sent out cutoff outerwear and cropped T-shirts stamped with the brand’s name. Copenhagen maximalist Astrid Andersen followed suit the next year with her own cheeky cropped muscle tee. Since Andersen started experimenting with it more over the past two seasons, other designers like Hood by Air, J.W. Anderson, and Sibling have been chiming in with their own renditions, taking the crop top from the Muscle Beach days to the catwalk.
The male crop top has an even longer history in pop culture, being championed by everyone from Prince to Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But it’s been on hiatus for nearly a decade, until Kid Cudi brought it back this past weekend. Whether the rapper is channeling a throwback look or a runway trend, it’s an indication that mainstream rap is continuing to evolve to become sartorially more inclusive—Kanye West weaving high-fashion references into his verses; A$AP Rocky embracing forward-looking, androgynous looks; and some even embracing womenswear, like Atlanta upstart Young Thug in his leopard peplum dress. Coachella, it seems, has become the premier location for rappers to take big style risks—remember when Ye wore a Céline shirt on the very same stage three years ago? Cudi, who was once signed to West’s label, GOOD Music, is now breaking down hip-hop’s rigidly masculine boundaries in his own way.
“Boyfriend jean” imposters, beware. Where once there were only ill-fitting baggy pants masquerading under that nebulous title, today there’s a variety of more convincing options. At the forefront is industry vet Stella Ishii’s 6397, a brand born of Ishii’s own quest for the correct ratio of slouch to slimness.
Ishii, who started her career as a translator to Rei Kawakubo in the late seventies, quickly made a name for herself, and by the mid-nineties was helming Staff USA, where she brought the likes of Maison Martin Margiela and Vivienne Westwood stateside. Departing just after Renzo Rosso acquired Staff International, Ishii launched The News in 2001. The airy Soho loft-cum-sales and press agency became a quick favorite among the industry and aided in the successes of bold-faced brands like The Row, Alexander Wang, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. In the fall of 2012, spurred by forays into tailoring men’s denim to fit her own frame, Ishii launched 6397 and found acclaim and a burgeoning fan base that includes such categorically cool women as Lauren Hutton, Patti Smith, and Jamie Bochert.
Fast-forward to present day, and what began as a quest for the perfectly slouchy jean has grown rapidly: Today, denim makes up about only 35 percent of 6397′s offerings. The label’s keen eye for detail (its cult favorite Twisted Seam denim was an homage to the way a man’s pant leg naturally rotates inward over the course of the day) translates into collections of impeccably cool, androgynous basics. Mechanics suits, cashmere loungewear, elegant silk camisoles, a buttery camel coat—6397 boasts all the building blocks of the ultimate easy wardrobe. A fruitful long-term partnership with graphic designers Studio 191 spawned a series of emblazoned tees last year, bearing enigmatic slogans such as “High as the hills”; another boasts the reproduced scrawl of a (damned good) Nirvana set list. Per Ishii, “We have known and worked with [Studio 191] for almost fifteen years, so there’s a real sharing of aesthetics and humor that makes it fun.” And while the 6397 woman at first glance would seem to share some sartorial DNA with both 21st-century Parisian gamines and downtown Manhattan girls, Ishii is hesitant to put geographical boundaries on her brand’s ethos. “I think it’s more of a mind-set that’s universal.” It pays to be fluent in the language of cool.
British-born singer Ellie Goulding has some big news.
Sure, her debut album, Lights, went triple platinum when it hit the U.S. in 2010. And yes, the singer-songwriter won the hearts of her bourgeoning international audience when she performed a chilling cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” at the wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011—a rendition that was heard stateside when Goulding appeared on NBC’s SNL. In 2013, she took home an MTV Movie Award for Best Song of the Summer, for the Calvin Harris-produced track “I Need Your Love,” then recorded an exclusive track, “Mirror,” for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
But today Ellie Goulding joins Style.com’s Style Map, a network of contributors from around the blogosphere, and we are honored to have her. To celebrate her new gig, here are our ten favorite Ellie songs.