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12 posts tagged "Kirna Zabete"

Caterina Gatta, Rome’s Vintage Print Princess


Mary Katrantzou might be Europe’s reigning print queen, but up-and-coming Rome-based designer Caterina Gatta is carving out a niche of her own with her limited-edition contemporary collection of LVPDs, a.k.a. little vintage print dresses. Last night, Gatta was one of seven young Italian designers fêted at London’s Italian Cultural Institute for the first edition of the city’s International Fashion Showcase 2012, an initiative to promote emerging talents from all over the world. While various presentations took place at 19 embassies and cultural institutions around London, we watched Gatta unveil her 13-piece collection of vintage print dresses. And these aren’t just any old fabrics—Gatta hunts for the last few meters of fabric from the likes of Gianni Versace, Valentino Garavani, and the iconic Rome Couture brand Lancetti. (The fabrics are either traceable back to the original designers’ collections or signed by the original designers themselves on the selvage.) Along with the dresses, Gatta showcased a selection of hats, also in vintage prints, which she designed in tandem with her latest discovery, Milan-based milliner Francesco Ballestrazzi.

Gatta’s pieces will be in stores this spring at New York’s Kirna Zabête and Julie Skinner’s vintage haven P.S. Postscript Couture in the Meatpacking District, but her six-dress collection (sketches, below) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lancetti is already available (and selling well, she reports) on For the birthday tribute, Gatta scoured the back rooms of Italy’s fabric shops for original Lancetti prints and reinterpreted them in her own contemporary style. In the pipeline for Gatta is next spring’s collaboration with primo Italian silk printer Mantero in Como, whose extensive print catalog for the world’s top designers has her in a state of bliss. “The real difference this time is that we will be reprinting, which means it’s no longer limited-edition and I can mix patterns on unexpected fabrics like lace,” Gatta tells

Photo: Courtesy Photo; Sketch: Courtesy of

KBL’s Beach-Ready Frames


“Design starts from pencil to paper—we aren’t interested in vintage frame copies,” Kara Mendelsohn of KBL Eyewear explains. “We want to do something that is present and based on what’s happening now.”

That has been the mantra of the KBL founders, (Mendelsohn, her husband Adam, and Dave Barton—all with backgrounds at labels like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Thakoon, and Oliver Peoples), since they started the innovative eyewear label in 2009. Since launching with wire-frame sunglasses, KBL has added plastic frames, optical, and hand-finished matte patina, (picking up a host of celebrity fans along the way, including Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, and Blake Lively). Today, they rolled out their Janette Beckman-lensed campaign, featuring their six latest styles, on their newly revamped Web site

“The color inspiration mainly came from the beach and sea glass,” Mendelsohn tells of their Spring 2012 collection, made up of bicolored stainless steel and hand-finished matte patina and acetate frames in crystal, gray, beige, and emerald. “We also are introducing a new technique on some frames, sanding them by hand to give it the authentic look of driftwood.” One of our favorite frames is the rounded Higher Incentive in matte driftwood. KBL’s affordable shades (around $175 for sunglasses and $200 for optical) are available at Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kirna Zabëte, and their Spring ’12 collection is for sale on their site now. Coming up next from KBL, expect a collection made with materials that “have never been used that will enable us to continue to do unique shapes.”

Photo: Courtesy of KBL Eyewear

Where To Go On FNO


It’s that time of year again: Fashion’s Night Out is just around the corner. It seems like every store and e-commerce site on earth has activities planned—find them all at—but as for us, we’ve got our itineraries set. Below, a few New York favorites. See you there.

Bergdorf Goodman
BG has an all-star lineup of fashion folks making appearances at the store throughout the night, including Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, and Glenn O’Brien. But we’re most excited about the designer dog show, with Joseph Altuzarra, James Mischka and Mark Badgely, and Reem Acra all hitting the runways with their pets, judged by Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig.

Alexander Wang, GQ‘s Best New Menswear Designer of the Year, and the runners up, including Michael Bastian and Patrik Ervell, will be on hand to debut the capsule Dockers pieces they designed.

Bruce Weber
Legendary lensman Bruce Weber, Nan Bush, and friends will be on hand at The Standard Hotel Biergarten, where Weber is debuting limited-edition new underthings from his Weberbilt collection and serving vegan cookies from 6 to 9 p.m.

At the 57th Street store, you can design your own monogrammed Chanel bag in the label’s very first handbag studio.

Dolce & Gabbana celebrates Fashion’s Night Out with personalized T-shirts featuring guests’ portraits shot by celebrity and backstage photographer Roxanne Lowit.

Kirna ZabĂȘte
Get there fast-exclusive designs from Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Peter Som, and Thakoon will be on sale at this high-end downtown shop. Did we mention a Proenza bag for $300?

Macy’s Herald Square
Three words: Anna Dello Russo. (OK, two more: Karolina Kurkova.)

Manolo Blahnik
Manolo, milkshakes, and SJP. That’s what’s on the docket at the designer’s 54th Street store, where Blahnik and Sarah Jessica Parker will be debuting their shoe collaboration. There will also be Manolo milkshake trucks stationed around the city throughout the day and night.

Marc Jacobs
The designer is hosting a carnival-themed block party on Bleecker Street. At Bookmarc, photographer David Armstrong will be signing copies of his new book, 615 Jefferson Avenue, and for those inclined to be in front of the lens, there will a photo booth in place. Plus, there’s a Spin-to-Win wheel.

Opening Ceremony at the Ace Hotel
This Argentine-inspired carnival, with live dancers (outfitted by Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, and Suno) and games, is sure to draw the usual hip OC gang. And an unusual addition: Miss Piggy, who will make a special appearance to unveil the new Muppets x OC collection, set to bow November 23.

Stella McCartney
Alexa Chung, Jen Brill, and Elettra Wiedemann will be manning the turntables at the designer’s Meatpacking district store. Where the cool girls go, a chic crowd is likely to follow. Sip on eco mojitos (how very Stella) and pick up her limited-edition FNO charm bracelet (above).

Photo: Courtesy Photos

After Years Of Search, A Jean Worthy To Share The High-Design Racks


Kirna Zabête is one of New York City’s premier retail destinations, carrying a coveted mix of Givenchy, Balenciaga, Alaïa, and Proenza Schouler. You can count on finding covetable designer labels there. But until now, there’s one thing you couldn’t get there: jeans. That changes with the first denim addition to the store’s designer roster: Mother, a line spearheaded by Lela Tillem (formerly of Citizens of Humanity) and Tim Kaeding (formerly of Seven for All Mankind), which launched for Spring ’11.

Several years ago, Kirna Zabête co-founders Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini realized the need to include a denim line in their store; even the most Balmain or L’Wren Scott-loving customer wants a good pair of jeans. But with the buyers’ exacting standards, it took years to find a label that measured up. “We do special clothes, not jeans,” Easley explained. But Mother fit the bill, especially at their reasonable price point—they retail between $155 and $242. “You don’t want to go to the park in $500 jeans,” she added. “We like to cross merchandise. You could wear these to the beach with your Alexander Wang T-shirt or pair them with your new Alaïa jacket when you travel.”

The skinny Wilder jeans ($205) and the wide-leg Lookers ($196) are now among the high-end offerings. And as Easley—who is, in fact, a mom—notes, they’re “great for someone 25, someone 45, and everyone in between.”

On sale now at Kirna Zabête, 96 Greene St., NYC, and at

Photo: Courtesy of Mother

Adam And Kara Mendelsohn’s Double Vision


He’s a former director of sales at Oliver Peoples, she ran the sales and merchandising team at Thakoon. Together Adam and Kara Mendelsohn and their partner Dave Barton have launched KBL, a new line of wire-frame sunglasses that just might give Ray-Ban a run for its money. Economy-wise, experts are saying the worst could be over, but the days of $400 and $500 shades may be gone for good. At least that’s what this husband-wife duo figured. KBL’s aviators retail in that Ray-Ban/Carrera sweet spot of $110 to $135. But these sunglasses have plenty going for them beyond their nice price. They’re built like much more expensive eyewear, with milled frames and distortion-free/shatter-resistant lenses that block nearly 100 percent of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. Even better, they’re inspired by vintage guitars (Adam’s a bass player) and come in eye-catching shades of metallic candy apple red, shell pink, and our favorite, surf green. The collection will be sold at Barneys Co-op, Kirna Zabête, and Otte. For more information, visit Plastic frames are on the agenda for Spring 2010.

Photo: Nicola Kast