19 posts tagged "Saks Fifth Avenue"
The couture shows will start in Paris on Monday. But next Tuesday, Parsons will bring the (vintage) haute stuff to New York with its latest exhibition, Sophie Gimbel: Fashioning American Couture. Curated by Beth Dincuff, the show explores the legacy of the late Mrs. Gimbel, a mid-century fashion fixture who designed for, ran, and oversaw the buying for Saks Fifth Avenue’s Salon Moderne—an elite shop within Saks that introduced American clients to couturiers like Chanel, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga and Mainbocher—from 1929 until it closed in 1969. Mrs. Gimbel (who was married to Adam Gimbel, the former president of Saks and the grandson of its founder) smartly showed her made-to-measure gowns during the Salon Moderne’s afternoon fashion shows, alongside looks by her French counterparts. Her clients were icons like Greta Garbo, Édith Piaf, actress Claudette Colbert, and the Duchess of Windsor. She even made Lady Bird Johnson’s suit for her husband’s 1965 inauguration. With that in mind, one has to wonder why most of us aren’t well acquainted with Mrs. Gimbel’s work. “I think that the idea of American made-to-measure, or American couture, has been overshadowed by American sportswear, which is obviously something we do very well,” says Dincuff.
Known for her ultra-feminine designs (think big big skirts, lots of tulle, and demure, romantic silhouettes), Gimbel hit her stride in the forties (a savvy businesswoman, she launched her ready-to-wear range in 1943). When journalists couldn’t travel to Paris during WWII, she was featured in Vogue‘s first September American fashion issue. She championed the sporty American body that was fashionable at the time, and rebelled against Dior’s post-war New Look. “She didn’t like the extremeness of it,” explains Dincuff. “She felt it was impractical.” Rather, she preferred that sartorial extravagances be beautiful and functional, like ornate buttons or luxe cardigans draped over strapless ball gowns. Continue Reading “Sophie Gimbel: Made to Measure for America” »
Label: Nicholas Kirkwood
Need to know: Crazy colors, wild patterns, and sky-high heels are what we’ve come to expect from London-based shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood. He offered all this and more in his Spring collection, which was inspired by waves. His oceanic theme was apparent in snakeskin gladiator sandals with mirrored resin heels. Instead of going the typical “urban warrior” route, the designer reinterpreted the popular style into something more feminine, using fluid, swirling baroque shapes (not unlike rippling waves) instead of typical straps. Crests splashed over the sides of electric blue, orange, or yellow pumps and sandals in metallic leather and suede. Kirkwood also translated his beachy-inspiration into graphic plastic fan heels, and the metal toecaps on quirky, demure flats mimicked a wave shape. Printed watersnake sandals seemingly inserted into open-toe Mary Janes were a clever take on classic footwear, and the iridescent epoxy resin beads on a range of snakeskin sandals felt particularly aquatic. The designer also introduced a 55mm heel into his collection for the first time, showing it on pointy chevron-printed neon pumps. “It’s a way to get that height that people want without being so mumsy,” explained Kirkwood. “A low heel can still be cool. And it can be young, too.”
He says: “I became a little obsessed with waves this season. We’ve done them in multiple colors and forms. And I was feeling more of a closed-up silhouette, something that’s feminine but not too girly.”
Where to find it: Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, and in Nicholas Kirkwood stores.
Now in her fourth full season, Nellie Partow has made a name for herself as a designer who eschews trends in favor of timelessness (give or take a statement jumpsuit). Chalk her straightforward aesthetic up to her ten years working at Calvin Klein before she set out on her own.”You can only be authentic to yourself,” Partow told Style.com this week at a preview of her Spring ’13 lineup. “I’m driven by making interchangeable items that will live in my customers’ closets for years.”
Like her previous collections, the latest features gorgeous silks, wools, and linens sourced entirely from family-operated Italian mills, and was produced in New York’s Garment District. “I fully support local businesses in both countries,” she says, even if that means getting her textile orders in a little early to account for Italy’s famous month-long summer vacations. “I still don’t know anyone who finishes silks like the Italians; it’s in their blood.”
Knits have emerged as a signature. There were several rose gold-colored tanks here that incorporated a variety of cable stitches that “look like pieces of armor on the body,” according to Partow, and took two weeks apiece to hand-knit. Other standouts include tailored jackets with flouncy peplums as well as easy shift dresses trimmed in python-effect nubuck. (Partow, like many of us, is tired of loud prints and prefers playing with subtle textures). The designer herself is a self-described “pants” girl (as an avid boxer, she’s apparently got a bit of a tomboy streak in her) and showed a lipstick red cap-sleeve jumpsuit that will have women forgoing their evening gowns for all-in-one functionality. For Partow, classic shapes plus quality fabrics multiplied by self-confidence equals true style that doesn’t fade. It’s a simple formula that proves difficult for many designers to execute, but considering recent pickups by Saks Fifth Avenue, where she hangs next to labels including Stella McCartney and The Row, and a slew of smaller boutiques, it appears Partow is on the right track.
They’ve got the face, the body, a portfolio full of ad campaigns and editorials shot by top photographers in the industry, and a runway roster to match. But with our new “Model-Slash” feature, Style.com profiles girls whose ambitions and drive extend beyond the catwalk.
Life is a beach for IMG model Tori Praver (pictured), who was discovered at age 12 while shopping with her mom at a local grocery store in Maui, then went on to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues in 2007-2009 (and other publications including Elle, Marie Claire, and Glamour). In 2008, the blonde bombshell parlayed her experience modeling swimsuits into designing them when she launched her own namesake swimwear line, which has doubled in sales every year since. This Saturday, Praver will present her new Resort ’13 collection during Miami Swim Week (which officially kicks off Thursday) with a cocktail party at Laure Heriard Dubreuil’s The Webster. “I love the feeling of being in Miami at this time. Everyone is so excited to show their suits and there is such a good summer vibe everywhere,” Praver, who is showing for her fourth time at Swim Week, told Style.com. She continued, “It’s my chance to show new designs to every major swim buyer and editor in the industry at one time—and it only happens once a year.”
Growing up surfing in Hawaii, Praver had “literally drawers and drawers of bikinis, and always saw herself designing them down the road.” To get things going, however, she needed an extra push. “I was on a Sports Illustrated shoot and told the editor, ‘Well, one day I want to have my own swimwear line,’ and the editor responded, ‘Why wait? You should start it now,’ ” Praver explained. “So I did, and somehow the stars aligned.” No kidding—Praver just so happened to meet the owner of a swimwear factory while vacationing, then before she knew it, she was drawing silhouettes in her down time and churning out samples. “The whole thing has definitely been learn-as-I-go, and I made a lot of mistakes, but it was just for fun and not my main source of income. I never expected it to become a job in and of itself,” Praver said. At this point, it appears Praver’s bathing suit business has, in fact, eclipsed her modeling career—the line is now sold at top retailers like Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Webster, and Intermix.
Each piece (sold separately) is double-lined, seamless, and often features Praver’s signature, flattering micro-ruching. “The best part is actually seeing girls and, believe it or not, sometimes their moms and even grandmothers at the beach in my suits,” she says. In the future, she plans to introduce a small capsule of ready-to-wear (cover-ups, mostly) and continue to grow her brand organically. And when she’s not on business in New York, Praver makes sure she gets plenty of beach time—let’s call it research? “The L.A. area is definitely more laid-back. That’s where I’m doing most of the actual designing, meeting with my factory, maybe surfing, and definitely a lot of yoga,” says Praver, who considers Venice Beach home (where she lives with her fiancé, pro surfer Danny Fuller, who recently snagged the new Chanel Allure Homme Sport fragrance campaign).