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July 25 2014

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4 posts tagged "Curve"

Curve and Donald Robertson Bring You Shoppable Fashion Illustrations

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Donald Robertson, Nevena Borissova

“I think people respond to the fact that they’re not just drawings, but sort of hidden cultural moments,” revealed Donald Robertson (a.k.a. Donald Drawbertson) at luxury retailer Curve‘s new gallery on Bond Street. The suburban dad-cum-Warholian artist (and head of creative development at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics by day) is talking about the Pop appeal of his loose-sketched, candy-colored fashion illustrations, a selection of which were placed on view with the help of host Carine Roitfeld at Nevena Borissova’s subterranean gallery last night.

The images, painted in sweeping, affection-laden lines on a single piece of paper that spans the entire length of the gallery space, are meant to lead the viewer from one fashion moment to another. “I’ll do Dita [Von Teese] and Zac Posen, whom I really love, in bright magenta, then to leave this color palette altogether and get into black and yellow. Then I’ll go into just black lines. And I usually do skinny chicks, then I’ll do full booty,” explained Robertson as we walked down the line.

Zac and Dita

Figures represent specific looks (a yellow streak on a willowy woman may reference Acne Studios’ boxy sunset Fall outerwear, for instance), as well as friends (Lisa Perry and Roitfeld are regulars) and the more-than-occasional style world moment. “I’ll see that Kanye West got married, and I’ll do a Kanye West post right away,” said Robertson, explaining that Instagram is both a major source of inspiration and a forum for his work. (He was nominated for the CFDA’s Instagrammer of the Year Award.) “It allows me to react to things as they happen.” The illustrations at Curve are an extension of this desire for instantaneous dialogue. Viewers at the shop and gallery can interact immediately: All of the sketches at Curve are shoppable—just scan the image and scan through a selection of corresponding looks.

“I’m constantly being bombarded by concepts and ideas,” said Robertson as the likes of Leandra Medine, Brian Atwood, and Ryan Korban milled in the background. “It’s not a political statement but a style statement through illustration.”

Photos: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Walking the Road to Awe

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RtA's Debut Collection

Naming your label Road to Awe sets the bar pretty high. And Eli Azran and David Rimokh—the founders of the new L.A.-based denim and leathers brand launched under that moniker—vow to live up to those lofty expectations. “Road to Awe is a constant journey to perfection,” said the French-born Azran who, at 27, already has experience running three successful denim-centric lines. And while they’re both young (Rimokh, an L.A. native whose expertise lies in accessories and denim, is 26), the duo has demonstrated some serious business savvy. RtA’s first collection, which comprises an expansive range of highly developed washes and leather styles, focuses only on bottoms. For Spring '14, they’ll shine the spotlight on leather jackets and tops, and by Fall '14, the pair will have developed a complete collection. “In today’s market, it’s much easier to launch half a brand first,” explained Azran. “Then, by next fall, both categories will have launched properly, and we’ll be able to go full force.”

With the help of West Coast retail fixture Evelyn Ungvari—whose role, explains Azran, is to bring a feminine touch to the range—the business partners have turned out second-skin denim with unique pigments, coatings, and finishes (see the lacquered, bleached pair above), as well as a series of appealingly priced leather trousers (they start at $595). Fabrics are sourced from Japan, Turkey, and France, and all the wares are produced in L.A. (in fact, when we spoke to the duo, they were walking through one of their local factories). The concept behind the new line—which, quite impressively, has already been picked up by Bergdorf Goodman, Curve, and Ron Herman—is to create pieces with an authentic, vintage feel that cater to women’s everyday desires. “Some brands are so focused on their direction and vision that they ultimately forget what girls want,” offered Azran. And what do women want, exactly? “Simplicity,” he said. Rimokh chimed in. “The more we try to find out what women want, the less we know. That’s why we stick with simplicity.” Smart. And while we’re not sure that all women crave the simple life—it depends on who you ask, really—we have a feeling that lots of ladies will want to buy what these boys are selling.

RtA’s debut collection ranges from $165 to $1100 and is available at Bergdorf Goodman from today.

Photos: Courtesy of RtA

Fifteen Years of Curve

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It’s been fifteen years since Nevena Borissova’s indie-boutique-turned-cult-retail-sensation Curve opened its doors on L.A.’s Robertson Boulevard. “I was only 23 years old when it started, and I had no idea what I was doing,” recalls Borissova, who notes that her international clientele are the sort to buy “style over fashion. Robertson wasn’t cool at all…we were the first, and we’re kind of the last, because now I call all the stores pop-ups—opening and closing within a year.”

To celebrate the anniversary, Curve teamed with six designers—each of which has a very different aesthetic—to create a limited-edition capsule collection. “I wanted [the collection] to sit well on an editor’s page,” said Borissova. Available now, the lineup—which features everything from a sapphire-studded Pamela Love cage ring to silver Jenni Kayne D’Orsay flats—blends high-fashion pieces with relatively attainable ones. Yes, the Viktor & Rolf jumpsuit is $4,000 (Rihanna already bought one), but the Mary Katrantzou scarf lands at a more accessible $595—a decision spurred by the aforementioned pop star. “One of Mary’s leather tops from Spring ’13 was, like, $5,000. Rihanna also bought it, so I was like, how can the normal person have something from Katrantzou?”

Curve has another milestone in the works: Borissova, who already has posts in Miami, New York, San Francisco, and, of course, L.A., will open a new location on New York’s Bond Street this summer.

Photo: Courtesy of Curve

One To Watch: Raquel Allegra

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“I think it’s a very California brand and I would describe myself as a California girl,” says L.A.-based designer Raquel Allegra. Her fans think so, too. “Raquel’s stuff really defines the L.A. Look,” says Nevena Borissova, owner of the local boutique Curve. “She’s from here, she’s that girl, she gets it.”

That look, by Allegra’s definition, is a deconstructed line rich with shredding, webbing, and authentic hand-dyeing techniques that have been tried, tested, and perfected since she launched in 2007 after buying oversized T-shirts from the L.A. County Jail. “I think there is a California aesthetic of luxe hippie in the line even though there is a mass appeal,” she says. “I’m not a trained designer, so I don’t need to overcomplicate things. I design from instinct.” Each season the series of Basics (tees and jersey) and Collection delve deeper into the self-engineered dyeing and print patterns that have become Allegra’s signature. “The shapes have evolved but it shouldn’t be dramatic from one season to the next; it’s the tie-dyes that should be dramatically different.”

For pre-spring ’13 (comprising near equal parts Basics and Collection), Allegra has introduced a batik technique that strategically blocks the saturation of dye to create a more organic texture. The result is a collection that’s full of firsts: tie-dye chiffon that translates to a near skeletal print and the use of a stopper to create deliberately uneven dye patterns and graphic brushstrokes that are hand-painted atop each color. Though she’s encountered challenges replicating her hand-hewn processes on a grand, now global, production scale, the line’s slow and steady pace has meant that consumers have had time to become accustomed to the designer’s somewhat unconventional shapes and take on layering.

Photo: Courtesy of Raquel Allegra