August 23 2014

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7 posts tagged "Matches"

Simkhai On The Prize


Two years after starting his namesake line, 27-year-old up-and-comer Jonathan Simkhai is hitting his stride. His Spring ’13 collection, which put a Venice Beach twist on urban essentials, earned attention from key buyers (he’s currently carried at Barneys, Louis Boston and Matches in London) and helped him grab the attention of the CFDA (in October, Simkhai was accepted into the Fashion Incubator program). At last week’s 12-12-12 concert, Kristen Stewart was snapped in a sporty neon green look from Simkhai’s pre-fall lineup. Just days before K. Stew wore his graphic button-up shirt and checkered track shorts, Simkhai was busy dressing models in those same pieces at the historic Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, where he shot his new pre-fall lookbook. “I loved the contrast of showing luxury pieces in an unpretentious setting with history,” Simkhai told on set. “My customer is equally at home in a dive bar or out at an event. She’s laid-back, fun, and has a rebellious streak.” Simkhai’s previous collection was inspired by surfer and skater culture, but the designer shifted to a punk-rock vibe for pre-fall, decorating his mood board with black-and-white pictures of bands like The Clash. Accordingly, chartreuse-colored jacquard separates were printed with a micro-checkerboard pattern reminiscent of classic Vans, while flirty leather skirts and flared dresses had feminine bits of organza peeking out from under the hemlines. Novelty sweatshirts and varsity jackets rounded out the offerings—they’re just the kind of nonchalant items a girl like Stewart would wear from her morning errands to an afternoon press conference.

Photo: Emese Tot / Courtesy of Jonathan Simkhai

Dragon Takes On Bento Box, Conquers Paris


Chances are, the last time you wore jewelry that looked like food, it was back in preschool, and the jewelry in question was a necklace made out of Froot Loops. But Australian designer Lucy Folk, for one, continues to endorse the decorative potential of edibles. Folk’s collections, which are sold at her flagship boutique in Melbourne, as well as shops such as Colette in Paris and Matches in the U.K., feature earrings that look like tortilla chips, farfalle- and penne-shaped pendants, and, for the man who is carb-averse, crab-claw cufflinks. For her latest outing, Folk teamed up with Yukimi Nagano, the Swedish/Japanese lead singer of electro-pop band Little Dragon, on a collection inspired by bento box meals. Motifs include pumpkin seeds and grains of rice, while the palette of the more colorful pieces incorporates pickled ginger pink and wasabi green.

According to Folk, she and Nagano met through a mutual friend, and quickly discovered their mutual affection for each other’s work. Collaboration seemed a natural next step. “Because Yukimi grew up with a Japanese father who loved to cook, it seemed fitting that we create our bento collection using a smattering of the much-loved cuisine of her childhood,” Folk explains. Now that the collection is arriving in stores, Folk and Nagano are celebrating in two ways: On Wednesday, they’re throwing a launch party at Colette, featuring actual, comestible bento boxes, as well as a Little Dragon DJ set, and today, they’re debuting their video for the collection exclusively on Keep an eye out for a familiar face or two.

Photo: Courtesy of Lucy Folk

Putting On—And Taking Off—The Best Of British Fashion


London calls, and the world answers. London fashion week is in full swing, and what better time for an English retailer to indulge in a little justified bragging? Matches tapped London’s best designers for a new installation at its Marylebone flagship, which it debuted over the weekend to a crowd that included Giles Deacon, Norton & Sons’ Patrick Grant, Elizabeth Saltzman Walker, Tallulah Harlech, and the British Fashion Council’s Caroline Rush. The store’s mannequins were ingeniously dressed in key looks by U.K. labels including Stella McCartney, Roksanda Ilincic, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, and Christopher Kane.

Matches’ stock is very English; its clientele, says CEO Tom Chapman, more a mix. “Fifty-five percent of our clientele is online, and half is international,” he said. “We send bucket loads to Australia and China—we’ve gotten used to tiny feet sizes. Then again, we get a lot of cool hunters after that very latest thing—and to be honest, much of that is created by our very own homegrown talent. They do us proud.”

The atmosphere last night on the South Bank, on the other hand, was a trifle more French—à la Moulin Rouge. The foxes were out for the launch of Marios Schwab’s new lingerie collection for Kallisti at the Crazy Horse. And not just the dancers who modeled the lingerie. A renegade (yet fashion-savvy) fox broke into one of the venue’s dressing rooms and chewed through dancers’ Louboutins right before show time.

For Schwab, lingerie has long been a part of life. “My dad worked in the lingerie industry for Triumph,” he said, “so I have always been surrounded by the stuff.” But it may be more topical just at present. “My seamstress is reading Fifty Shades of Grey during every break,” he laughed. “I think these days people are thinking, screw it—literally—we want to enjoy life, and our bodies.” A ten-minute show was enough to titillate the likes of Leigh Lezark, Harley Viera-Newton, Eliza Doolittle, and Pixie Geldof. And that, of course, was the point. “Being provocative is back on the menu in fashion,” Schwab said.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

While Others Go For The Gold, Young London’s Designers Go For The Red, Blue, And Green


The upcoming Summer Olympics have inspired plenty of designers to think sporty. But even those without court and pool on the mind are celebrating the event in their own ways. The Games are on English soil this year, so U.K. retailer Matches is indulging in a little well-deserved patriotic peacocking. The store commissioned a handful of London’s young guns—Jonathan Saunders, Erdem Moralioglu, Mary Katrantzou, Richard Nicoll, Holly Fulton, Roksanda Ilincic, J.W. Anderson, and the label Herself—to design limited-edition T-shirts whose proceeds will benefit the Disposessed Fund, which fights poverty in London. “London is the center of attention at the moment with the Jubilee and Olympics right around the corner,” said Saunders (above, with a model in his design). “Not to mention the fact it has become the epicenter of such innovative design. I’m just happy to be a part of it in my own way.” His own way being one that won’t look at all out of place once the Games have bestowed their final medal and gone on their merry way. The shirts retail for £60 each (about $94) and are available today at Matches stores and for those outside the country.

Photos: Courtesy of Matches

Pleats, Please


Before last September, the name Emilia Wickstead was one of those slightly privileged pieces of information passed around amongst the chic set—including Samantha Cameron—in Belgravia, Chelsea and other tony London nabes. But during this past London fashion week, the 28 year-old Central Saint Martins grad went from quietly doing made-to-measure in her three floor atelier on Cadogan Place to a ready-to-wear debut in a full runway show.

“It was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done,” said Wickstead last week over a breakfast of eggs and soldiers at Café Cluny. And this is from a girl who recently not only designed her own gown for her Tuscan wedding—photographed by British Vogue for its November issue—but also custom-designed ten different dresses for her ten bridesmaids. Stress aside, with an exclusive at Matches for her Spring collection, and a late of meetings with stores in New York to lay the groundwork for next Fall, things chez Wickstead are off to a promising start.

Now that edgy London’s much more of a lady’s town (see Erdem, Saunders, Ilincic, Katrantzou), Wickstead’s unadorned brand of elegance fits right in. Still, her clean-lined pieces like sharply pleated skirts and dresses and lantern-sleeved tops and crisp tailored pants aren’t stuffy. Rather they have a delicate but cool romance that recalls Chloé. You can also detect a hint of American and Italian sportswear that’s evidence of Wickstead’s transcontinental resume which includes stints at Proenza Schouler, Narciso Rodriguez, and Giorgio Armani. Fittingly, Wickstead reports that more than half of her client base is made up of New Yorkers, among them ex-pats Elizabeth Saltzman and Lillian von Stauffenberg. For them, she’ll still be running up custom dresses made by her in-house machinists and patternmakers. The ready-to-wear, however, will impressively be made in Italy. “I use Prada’s pleaters,” says Wickstead. Consider our ears perked.

Photo: Courtesy of Emilia Wickstead