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September 2 2014

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Mary Katrantzou Liberates the Letter Sweater

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Mary Katrantzou

Ahh, the letter sweater. A nostalgia-inducing garment associated with a simpler time when kiddos went steady, shared milkshakes at soda fountains, and did the Mashed Potato at sock hops. However, leave it to print master Mary Katrantzou to reinvent the concept via a range of psychedelic monogramed sweatshirts and T-shirts. In conjunction with the London-based designer’s Resort ’15 collection—which, worn by Taylor Swift at last weekend’s VMAs, conveyed its candy-colored fairy through typography as well as print—Katrantzou has stamped splashy pullovers with every letter of the alphabet. Each initial is, of course, rendered in vivid hues. Katrantzou devotees can preorder a jumper embellished with the letter of their choosing come Monday on marykatrantzou.com, and the wares will arrive at their doorsteps just in time for the winter holidays. “The ‘Initial’ series of sweaters and T-shirts, the Mary Katrantzou A to Z, has been created to reflect the innate sense of spirit and confidence of the Mary Katrantzou woman,” Katrantzou told Style.com. “The pieces are fun and whimsical. Taking vibrant color and a plethora of graphic imagery, a story for each letter has been built to create a new visual language, indicative of an expressive personality.” If the goal was “expressive personality,” we’d say Katrantzou nailed it. And the best part about these New Age letter looks? You can get one without having a jock boyfriend.

Mary Katrantzou’s initialed sweatshirts and T-shirts will be available for preorder beginning Monday, September 1. For more information, visit marykatrantzou.com.

Photos: Courtesy of Mary Katrantzou

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Kendall on Yesterday’s Last-Name Buzz: “I Can’t Believe It’s Actually Becoming a Story”

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DuJour Magazine's Jason Binn Celebrates Kendall And Kylie Jenner's Bruce Weber Shoot  Presented By Juice Press at Lavo RestaurantWhen Kendall Jenner finally arrived at New York’s Lavo nightclub last night to celebrate her DuJour magazine spread, she had plenty to say regarding yesterday’s media buzz about dropping her famous last name.

“I can’t believe it’s actually becoming a story,” said Kendall, who turned out with her sister Kylie, who is also in the Bruce Weber-lensed DuJour editorial. (It’s worth noting that their sister Kim Kardashian was shot by Weber for the magazine’s Spring ’13 cover.) “I did it last season as well. I’m not sure why it’s just becoming a thing. It’s not as big of a deal as people are making it out to be.”

(Side note: While she was clearing the air, she also wanted to clarify another rumor. Kendall and Kylie are both single ladies. “We are really not dating anyone, but supposedly I’m dating, like, 15 other people, according to the press,” she said. “It’s really crazy!”)

After making her debut for Fall 2014 and then walking at Couture, Kendall’s busy prepping for what is sure to be a busy next few weeks, with New York fashion week getting under way on Tuesday. What’s her beauty secret? “Ugh, sleep,” she reported. “You’ve got to get your sleep. I’m just keeping it cool,” she said with the confidence of a seasoned catwalker. Now that she’s no longer the rookie on the runway, we asked her for advice for models making their debut this season. How does one go from a freshman to a star model so quickly? “Believe in yourself,” she told Style.com. “I took risks and steps that most people wouldn’t have expected from me. Be unexpected and just do your thing.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo

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Summer Fridays: Shelter Island With ACRIA’s Benjamin Bashein

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dog-sizedLike the George Gershwin song goes, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” Especially if your workweek is cut short thanks to “Summer Fridays.” The extra hours go a long way in making every weekend seem like a holiday. If you’re short on inspiration for your own Summer Fridays, just look to our new season-long series in which we ask industry people with cool jobs to share how they’ll be spending their free afternoons.

ACRIA's Cocktails at Sunset Presented by DAVID YURMANACRIA, the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, is one of the New York social scene’s favorite causes—its calendar of fundraisers and events throughout the year consistently turns out the creative set’s coolest do-gooders. (Case in point: ACRIA’s Cocktails at Sunset in Water Mill, New York, last month drew in the likes of Bob Colacello, Francisco Costa, and Suno’s Erin Beatty.) But it’s not just about a good party. ACRIA is committed to funding critical therapies and increasing HIV/AIDS literacy in disadvantaged communities around the world. At the helm of it all is executive director Benjamin Bashein, and when he isn’t busy throwing a great fete or charting the course for the organization’s critical work, here’s how he spends his Summer Fridays:

“There’s nothing better than waking up at the beach, so the best Summer Fridays really start on Thursday night. That’s when I drive out to Shelter Island with my husband and our dog, Harry.

“We’re typically up early on Friday morning to catch up on the NYT and drink coffee on the porch of our beautiful (albeit rented—and shared, no less) farmhouse. We’ll walk over to the Sylvester Manor farm stand and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies for the weekend, and then head into town for a stretch at Shelter Island Pilates. There’s nothing better than Pilates for a bad back.
On our way home, we’ll stop at Reddings for lunch and take it to go with us as we head to Shell Beach for the afternoon. It’s a quiet, sandy
 peninsula in Peconic Bay, perfect for a long afternoon in the sun. I get a lot of reading done there. 
At dusk, we’ll head home and grab Harry for a walk down to Hay Beach on Gardiners Bay. Once we make it home, the grill goes on or we head in to town for a bite at the bar of our favorite Shelter Island spot, Sweet Tomato’s. And then we’re in bed by 10…always.”

sand-photo

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Editor Obsessions: Suno Pleated Jacquard Top

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suno-topEvery day, Style.com’s editors reveal their current obsessions—and where to buy them. Check out today’s pick, below.

I swiped this Suno top off the fashion department racks for “school picture day” at Style.com. Sadly, I had to return it after my photo was snapped, but I plan to make it permanently mine for fall. The jacquard navy feels more refreshing than black but just as basic and easy to wear. Even better: The swingy silhouette and forgiving pleats mean I can eat whatever I want.

Suno Pleated-Tier Metallic Jacquard Top, $695, Buy it now

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EXCLUSIVE: Ruffian Moves Its Spring ’15 Show to Hollywood

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The RUFFIAN BOYS & DAILY FRONT ROW Present La Vie En Ruffian: LA Cool School

This season, it’s become abundantly clear that designers are trying to break out of the New York fashion week mold. Whether it’s rethinking the standard runway format or forgoing a show altogether, brands are embracing change more so than any time in recent memory—and that’s a good thing. The latest label to buck the system is Ruffian, which will be presenting its Spring ’15 collection in Hollywood on October 27 after years of holding down the Saturday 9 a.m. slot at Lincoln Center.

For designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, the spontaneous decision to relocate their show followed a cross-country road trip peppered with trunk shows and press events that ended in Los Angeles, where they accepted a creative residency three months ago. With the help of the L.A. Tourism & Convention Board, the Ruffian boys set up a second studio in the historic Hancock Park neighborhood, and have been working on a lineup—all sourced and produced locally in L.A.—inspired by their new home-away-from-home. And while many forward-thinking talents (with Hedi Slimane being the poster boy, of course) have treated the City of Angels as a laboratory for ideas, few established brands have actually dared to show there until now, so perhaps Ruffian will spark a West Coast movement.

On the eve of NYFW, Style.com spoke with Wolk and Morais about leaving NYFW to show Spring ’15 in California, L.A.’s cultural renaissance, their plans for the future, and more.

Why was showing in L.A. this season the right move for you?

We have always been inspired by our community of artists. Over the last couple of years, many of our most talented fine arts collaborators and collector friends have moved to Los Angeles to show and to live. The West has always been associated with creative freedom and a wide-open landscape. During our three months’ residency here, we have had boundless inspiration, experienced extraordinary enthusiasm for our work, and have had the opportunity to form a fresh expression of our aesthetic within a new cultural context.

Did you know you would end up staying in L.A. after your #ruffianroadtrip?

We decided to cross-country by car after our Fall show, with L.A. being the final destination. At the time, we didn’t know L.A. would become the source of inspiration for our next collection, but sometimes you have to be able to listen to l’air du temps and react. We quickly discovered through our travels that the fashion diaspora was not limited to the geographical boundaries of any one city. The world has changed, and the availability of fashion online has blurred the boundaries of previously established fashion capitals. Now the global experience is informing the future of fashion more than ever. We as designers need to stay on our toes, and keep moving along with our clients. Being stagnant doesn’t seem to be the mode of the time.

Would you agree that L.A. is having a fashion moment?

Absolutely. The mood is palpable. It’s kind of a perfect storm of irreverence, street style, cinematic allure, and unapologetic glamour. Whether it’s a demure late-night dinner at the Sunset Tower, Giorgio’s Disco Saturday nights at The Standard, or a “cool” iced coffee at Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney, the diversity of the L.A. fashion repertoire and its focus on lifestyle is truly its strength.

Has the city changed your aesthetic in any way?

I think it’s always exciting to be in a new environment when you design. In terms of our aesthetic, we’ve always liked to say we dress the “impeccable rebel,” and that hasn’t changed so much. What has changed is the new environment that we’re in, in terms of different clients and different collaborators who help form the collection.

What can you tell me about your plans for the show and the Spring ’15 collection itself?

We’re going to be showing at Sarah Gavlak’s recently opened gallery in Hollywood on the corner of North Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Sarah is someone we’ve known for quite a while from New York, who also has a gallery in Palm Beach. Her new space is incredible, and she works with a group of artists who we have strong relationships with. We’re still figuring out the actual logistics of the show, but really want to reflect Los Angeles in terms of the way we present it. The collection itself is inspired by the graphics of the city, and you’ll learn more about that as we get closer to the show.

Do you anticipate that showing in L.A. in October will affect your sales in any way?

All of our retailers are totally on board, and we’re going to be doing our market in New York as per usual. Obviously, we had extensive conversations with everyone before making the decision to go ahead with the plan. For buyers, it’s a rolling calendar anyways these days, and they are open to looking at Spring and Fall with different timing. It’s going to be an interesting experiment for us, but at the end of the day, the business element is just as important to us as the art.

Do you plan on staying there, or will you return to NYFW?

Well, New York is where our books and our lives and our apartment and our permanent studio are, but we would like to keep a studio here in Los Angeles. The bicoastal life has been good to us, so you’ll have to stay tuned.

Photo: BFAnyc.com

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