12 posts tagged "Preen"
Trends came and trends went in 2010, but brilliant, bold color may well be what we remember from the year in fashion—and no color more than red. “Red is inescapable,” our man on the street, Tommy Ton, noted about off-the-runway style, and at the shows and presentations, crimson ruled. Above, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite options shown in New York, Milan, and Paris this year—many of them hitting stores in 2011, lest you worry the look may leave us early. Shrinking violets need not apply.
Top, left to right: Suit by Givenchy; coat by Jil Sander; suit by Preen.
Above, left to right: Coatdress by Chloé; top and pants by Haider Ackermann; gown by Altuzarra.
As the creative director and buyer for the online menswear retailer Oki-Ni, John Skelton was well aware that more than a few women were shopping for dude’s duds on his site. Now he’s applying that unisex sensibility to his new store. LN-CC—which stands for Late Night Chameleon Cafe—launches online early next week with a mix of fashion-forward menswear from the likes of Raf Simons and Rick Owens, cult Japanese brands including Wacko Maria, and up-and-comers such as specs-maker Illesteva. Ladies’ goods include clothing from Preen and jewelry from Lara Bohinc and Mawi. So far, so good—and Skelton has gone unisex one better by asking several of the menswear brands he’s stocking to make versions of their apparel and accessories in women’s sizes and fits. (A few of the women’s labels at LN-CC will be returning the favor.) “We didn’t want to get into anything girly,” Skelton explains. “There’s a certain sensibility at work here, that a certain kind of woman appreciates, and we’re staying true to that.”
Meanwhile, the LN-CC e-commerce site is only the tip of the iceberg. Skelton and partner Dan Mitchell are knee-deep in construction on the 5,000-square-foot Late Night Chameleon Cafe store in East London, an appointment-only space that is being designed in collaboration with set designer Gary Card and which will host a library curated by Donlon Books owner Conor Donlon and a wide-ranging selection of music titles. The shop is due to open in October. “We really felt strongly that we didn’t want this to be a place people just wandered in and out of,” Skelton explains, when asked about the decision to make Late Night Chameleon Cafe open only by appointment. “We want this to be a destination, a place people come to with a sense of purpose, and where they spend some time, and engage.”
A selection from LN-CC’s wares, styled by John Skelton: jacket by Rick Owens, shirt by Damir Doma, trousers by SILENT by Damir Doma, necklace by Lara Bohinc.
Womenswear has been borrowing more and more from menswear of late, and for their latest collection, Preen designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi went after big game, sartorially speaking: They’ve commissioned tailoring from the historic Savile Row house Gieves & Hawkes, which has until now only produced menswear. According to G&H head of design Frederik Willems, the Preen garments were built off menswear blocks and reworked to female-friendly specs. Preen is planning to feature six to eight of the collaborative pieces (like the preview sketch, left) at tomorrow’s show, accessorized with the womanliest of womenswear: Nicholas Kirkwood shoes.
Nirvana, for sunglasses fanatics, is to be found in a converted schoolhouse in the Clerkenwell area of London. That’s where the Linda Farrow archives are housed—a few filing cabinets’ worth of specs dating from the origins of the Linda Farrow brand in the late 1960′s. Aviators of all shapes and sizes and superbly wacky ’80′s frames in iridescent metal and candy-colored plastic number among the styles that Simon Jablon found in his mother’s warehouse several years ago. The trove inspired him to launch the Linda Farrow Vintage brand in 2003. Initially, Jablon and partner Tracy Sedino were selling off the archive; these days, they’re working to augment it. The brand is already a profligate collaborator, working with Raf Simons, Luella Bartley, Veronique Branquinho, and Jeremy Scott, to name a few, and with the launch of the new Projects range this summer, Linda Farrow Vintage will
be bringing yet more designers into its fold. “We’ve always loved working with young, creative designers,” explains Jablon, “because every time we do, we learn something. They’re constantly bringing us ideas that seem impossible to execute.” Projects comprise styles from designers such as Giles, Tim Hamilton, Antonio Berardi, Charles Anastase, and Preen. As Jablon notes, additional designers may be added to the Projects roster in seasons to come. And in the meantime, he and Sedino have combined the very new and the very, very, very, very old in the latest Linda Farrow Vintage frame—the Mammoth. This limited-edition addition to the archive features—seriously—woolly mammoth tusk. “We’re only doing 100 pieces,” says Jablon. “The melting of the polar ice caps has exposed quite a lot of mammoth tusk, enough that a bit of it has found its way to market, but the bottom line,” he adds, “is that you can only produce so many sunglasses that are over a million years old.”
Some brands are tortoises. Others are hares. Preen is incontrovertibly—and in the best way possible—the former. Over the past dozen years, Preen designers Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton have taken an incrementalist approach as they’ve gone from hawking togs at the Portobello Arcade to selling out their Power dress on Net-a-Porter. Now the designers are making the leap into accessories, launching a range of bags for Spring 2009. True to their tortoise-y nature, however, Bregazzi and Thornton are getting ahead, rather than getting ahead of themselves: There are a modest four styles in Preen’s debut bag collection, all of which have been snapped up by Selfridges and Harrods in the U.K. (They’ll also be available at forwardfoward.com and ASOS.com.) “Our intention is to expand the range slowly,” says Thornton. “We’ll be adding a few extra styles for Fall, but we really hope to keep things tight.” The focus for now, he adds, is on playing with the bags’ fabrications and finishes and thinking about ways to update details on the Quatro (pictured above at left), $750, and the Roxy (on the right), $538, the two styles that will be recurring staples. Not that Bregazzi and Thornton don’t have a little time left over for plotting Preen’s next move. “Shoes,” says Thornton. “But we’ve got to build on the bags first.” Slow and steady wins the race.