August 28 2014

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7 posts tagged "Grace Kelly"

Claire Goldsmith Keeps It in the Family


Oliver Goldsmith“A good pair of sunglasses will make you look hot no matter what,” said Claire Goldsmith—and she should know. The London-based designer is the great-granddaughter of Oliver Goldsmith, who became London’s leading creator of high-fashion frames when he launched his label in 1926. The still-family-owned-and-run brand was favored by Audrey Hepburn (remember those black stunners in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Oliver Goldsmith), Michael Caine, Peter Sellers, and Grace Kelly, who had 42 pairs. Dior and Givenchy commissioned Goldsmith to make custom shades for the runway, and Vidal Sassoon enlisted OG to design the iconic pyramid glasses, shaped specifically to complement the hairstylist’s arched bangs, featured in a 1969 campaign. “[My grandfather] broke the mold,” asserted Claire. “And he built himself a reputation of being the best.”

He may have been the best, but Goldsmith’s business, which in its prime turned out eccentric styles like butterfly frames, winking shades, and Union Jack glasses, shuttered in 1985. He was forced to close his doors due to the original logomania movement and the popularity of sunnies embellished with the emblems of big brands (Gucci, Versace, and the like). “When I was little, I actually recall saying to my dad, ‘Can you get me a pair of Gucci sunglasses?’ And I just remember his face—he was horrified,” Claire said.

Oliver Goldsmith

Years later, Claire found herself studying marketing at college, where she specialized in heritage brands. “Finally, I kind of naturally came around to thinking, Well, hang on a minute, my family has a heritage brand. Why don’t we make glasses anymore?” She couldn’t find a single reason why the market should be deprived of OG’s fit, craftsmanship, and utterly unique wares, so in 2005, Claire put Olivier Goldsmith back on the board. Today, OG offers vintage shapes as part of its Icons series, as well as ready-to-wear and custom-fit styles, all of which are handmade in England (just as her grandfather would have insisted). “Someone described us as the ‘best-kept secret in eyewear,’” Claire recalled. “But I’d really like to be less of a secret.”

Claire Goldsmith

After five years of reworking her kin’s eccentric designs, Claire had racked up her fair share of inspiration, and in 2010, she decided it was time to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and bow her own brand. CG Eyewear, a dynamic line of made-in-Italy frames, was born. “CG is a whole lot more personal and emotional,” Claire told me. “I would say with Oliver Goldsmith, I’m a narrator. But with Claire, I’m much more sensitive. I think it’s nice to have a playground of sorts where we can produce glasses at the same level of quality and care, but aesthetically, we’re free to do what we want.” Naturally, she’s influenced by her grandfather’s handwriting, but Claire insists that her own collection is younger, more colorful, and “you can clearly see that it does not look vintage.”

As far as her hopes for her fledgling brand, Claire offered, “It would be so lovely to get people to start buying some really good, well-designed eyewear. It’s such an important accessory. People always say, ‘Oh, my God, your lenses are amazing [compared with big-name designer styles]. Like, noticeably better!’ We just have to catch [clients] first, and then we’ve got them for life.” Seeing as Oliver Goldsmith and Claire’s line are stocked at more than 300 points of sale worldwide, including Barneys New York, it seems more and more sunglass connoisseurs are falling into her well-lensed net.

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Photo: Courtesy Photos 

Turk Delight


Trina Turk has had her hands full lately. The designer, in New York this morning to present her Fall ’12 collection, reports that she’s continuing to expand and focus on her menswear line, Mr. Turk, in addition to rolling out a very sizable, two-part Fall women’s collection and recently completing a line for Banana Republic.

“We pulled some of the classic, Palm Springs-inspired prints from the Trina Turk archives,” she says of the Banana Republic collection of summer wear, which hits stores in June. As for her latest offerings, the influence of artist Sonia Delaunay can be seen in her Fall Modernist Maverick collection of geometric-print silk dresses and color-block separates in bold blue, red, and green tones, with black and white accents recurring throughout. Success shined through in some of the more simple numbers, like the solid-color silk shirts and a mod, black and white long-sleeve dress.

For the second half of her Fall collection, she took a slightly “more subdued” approach, honing in on Hollywood heroines of the Hitchcock genre, like Grace Kelly. “The lookbook for this was actually shot on the Paramount lot,” Turk told as she held up an alpaca wrap coat (appropriately named after Kelly), followed by a series of pieces in eye-catching jigsaw plaid and leopard feather print georgette (pictured). Not to miss out on the peplum wave, Turk also showed conservative version in a black and cream floral. Some of the best efforts came in the outerwear department, which included a wool motorcycle jacket with leather trim and an ostrich shrug coat in a muted mauve shade. Overall, the looks were smart and wearable—both qualities that Turk fans have come to love, and expect, from the designer.

Photo: Courtesy of Trina Turk

An Old New Cross To Bear


It’s been a journey from the stables through the French Riviera to get Mark W. Cross & Co. to the accessory floor of Barneys.

“Originally, Mark Cross was a maker of all things to do with horses—saddles, bridles, and harnesses,” explains Neal Fox, the chief executive officer of the 166-year-old Boston-based leather brand. “As time went on, the company added every conceivable product made of leather for men and women.” The company’s history is richer than most. Onetime owner Patrick Murphy expanded its offerings to include fine china, crystal, evening bags, and cigarette cases, and his son, Gerald, later took over the firm. Gerald and wife Sara Murphy are more famous for their close circle of confidantes than for their accessory design, per se: The Murphys were society legends in the twenties, and entertained the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, and the F. Scott Fitzgeralds; the novelist is said to have modeled the glamorous, feuding Dick and Nicole Diver from Tender Is the Night on the couple.

So for the label’s relaunch after a 1997 closure, the new design team looked to house history to provide the inspiration. Among the bags set to hit Barneys New York exclusively on December 10 are the Scottie (above), inspired by the original Mark Cross top-handle satchel and named for the Fitzgeralds’ daughter; the Grace box bag, a replica of the one Gerald made for Grace Kelly’s character to carry in Hitchcock’s Rear Window; and the Marina clutch, based on a vintage piece. The bags come in vegetable-tanned Italian leather in nude, cuoio, black, and “Mark Cross red.” Exotic skins are in the works for next season.

Photo: Courtesy of Mark Cross

The Doors Of Studio 54 Reopen, Grace Kelly The Barbie, Oprah And Ralph Lauren Join Forces Again, And More…


The wild nights at Studio 54 are long over, but a new show hosted by Marc Benecke, who manned the door, and Myra Scheer, a former assistant to Steve Rubell, will bring the club to life once more. The show, which makes its debut Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Channel 15, will host guests who frequented Studio 54, including Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, Pat Cleveland, and Stephen Burrows. [WWD]

Barbie is paying tribute to Hollywood starlet-turned-princess Grace Kelly with three collectible dolls as part of the Barbie Collector series. The dolls come with some of Kelly’s most iconic looks, including the blue gown she wore in Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, her wedding dress, and a floral black dress she wore at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. [Vogue U.K.]

The fashion world went nuts when Oprah scored an on-camera interview with Ralph Lauren (the designer’s first in decades) during the final days of her show. As it turns out, that was just a warm-up. On October 24, the two will take the stage at Lincoln Center for a benefit gala, which Oprah will host and lead a conversation about Lauren’s life and career. [WWD]

Spin dedicated its September issue to artists and style, featuring St. Vincent front woman Annie Clark on the cover. To preview her new album, Spin will host a soldout August 25 show on the roof of the Met—the first concert to ever be held on the museum’s rooftop. [Spin]

The New-Old, Old-New, And The Old-Old
At Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar


Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is a shopper’s Shangri-la, but (surprise, surprise) all isn’t as it seems. On the hunt for jewelry, you quickly realize that the many black-around-the-edges estate pieces that catch your eye probably aren’t much older than a kindergartner. These new-old pieces hold little allure. Next!

On the advice of a couple of chic acquaintances, I sought out Sevan Bicakci, a jewelry designer whose pieces—mostly spectacularly bejeweled rings (above)—aren’t masquerading as anything but the mini works of art that they are. (Strictly speaking, Bicakci is located on a street radiating out of the bazaar, but he’s in the neighborhood.) Bicakci, 38, began apprenticing at the age of 12 and by now has developed techniques that boggle the mind, like micro-mosaic work—there may be thousands of tiny tiles on the side of a ring. Knowing that, it won’t surprise you that the workshop’s annual output is a minuscule, inhuman-level-of-attention-to-detail 400 pieces.

“We like to push limits and conquer new areas,” said Bicakci’s creative director, Emre Dilaver. (Bicakci, who looks a bit like a Turkish Alber Elbaz, doesn’t speak English.) But the beauty of these innovative pieces is how they plumb the city’s Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman heritage as well as Greek mythology for inspiration. Each piece is an exquisite little history lesson. And while the rings appear purloined from the treasury of Emperor Justinian—the gold-haloed visage of his wife, Empress Theodora, adorns one specimen—they’re quite modern, certainly modern enough to sell at Barneys and Browns. These are happily the Old-New.

And within the Bazaar, there are true Old-Old treasures to be found, too. Try Mavi Kose, which has the added allure of historical significance—Grace Kelly is said to have shopped there. Located in the Old Bazaar section, Mavi Kose’s two stalls are presided over by the Yoda-like Mr. Diran Ozculcu. You can try on one of the antique diamond brooches and pendants, vintage watches, and more by applying to an aide, but to bargain and buy, you sit with the man himself, as I did when getting serious over a pair of rose-cut diamond earrings. I took the occasion to do a little fact-checking. Is it true that Grace Kelly shopped here? I asked. He nodded. One time or many times? The answer: many times. I bought the story and the jewels.