12 posts tagged "Kirna Zabete"
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 Yoox.com. 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 Style.com.
“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 www.kbleyewear.com.
“The color inspiration mainly came from the beach and sea glass,” Mendelsohn tells Style.com 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.”
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 Kirnazabete.com.
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 www.kbleyewear.com. Plastic frames are on the agenda for Spring 2010.