18 posts tagged "Steven Alan"
Considered a hometown hero of sorts among L.A. designers, Clare Vivier has made an impactful impression with her unfussy brand of simple, chic handbags. Since launching her eponymous collection in 2008, the designer has finally found a lasting home for her wares in the shape of her first stand-alone flagship in L.A.’s Silver Lake. “It was our time to create this whole atmosphere that really tells the story of the brand,” Vivier says of the new store (opening today) that tells said story—and speaks to her steady growth. Her range of made-in-L.A. handbags have resonated because of their functionality and, more importantly, because they’ve been an apt antidote to the saturation of luxury label overload. “It was that perfect timing when people were inundated and done with the designer It bag. It felt very special, made in California, and they were good-looking pieces but not at a luxury market price.” (The clutches come in at around $150 each.)
The 750-square-foot space (pictured) was designed by L.A. architect Barbara Bestor to bring a taste of Paris to the east side of L.A.—a point of reference that often informs Vivier’s unfettered aesthetic. The built-out white walls showcase the best-selling candy-colored fold-over clutches, totes, and select items from Steven Alan (a frequent collaborator). The store houses Vivier’s first foray into footwear, a sleek sandal from Italy that comes just in time for summer, and a men’s accessory collaboration with Steven Alan again come fall. “I’m always thinking about the working girl,” Vivier said of her decision to expand into extended accessory categories. And while she might eschew other luxury whims, the designer’s flagship will debut a new monogramming program that will allow for customization and made-to-order designs.
Clare Vivier, 3339 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. (323)-665-2476.
“Embellishment was extraordinarily intimidating,” says New York-based designer Rachel Antonoff, whose namesake label, sold at retailers like Barneys and Steven Alan, has for several seasons skewed more cute than glam. (“I design for myself in my daydreams,” she jokes, “so it’s me—but a little bit taller.”) But she took a new step in a more elevated direction for Fall when, on the recommendation of friend and fellow designer Timo Weiland, she enlisted the help of Milaaya Embroideries, a Mumbai-based fair trade sewing co-op whose client list includes big name designers such as Balmain, Lanvin, Marni, and Givenchy. “I loved all the fabric people in New York, but this was just a really special environment,” says Antonoff, who equates Milaaya’s New York headquarters (they also have offices in Milan and Paris) with “a candy land of embellishment swatches.”
The result is a brightly colored, checkered embroidery that adorns select pieces of Antonoff’s Fall ’12 collection. Dubbed by the young designer as “the chiclet,” after the gum, the playful pattern of glass beads and cotton threads can be found on chic, collared dresses (the Jack combo dress, pictured) and simple T-shirts with festive sleeves. This foray into embellishment has already garnered “best-selling” potential from a slew of interested buyers, and the designer plans to continue the experiment in seasons to come. That is, if she can overcome her new problem. “Now I have to figure out how to avoid going embellishment crazy,” she says. “It’s like chocolate, once you have a little taste you have to learn how to scale back.”
Some people choose jeans based on what they do for their backside. Others select denim based on its backstory. If you belong to the latter camp, you may have already heard about Carrie and Matt Eddmenson’s Nashville-based brand Imogene + Willie. Born in 2009, after Carrie’s family shuttered a decades-old company that developed washes and finishes for some of the biggest names in the business—Levi’s, Double RL—I+W specializes in hand-sewn selvedge jeans and a semi-custom fit policy at its 12th Avenue South store courtesy of an in-house “denim whisperer” named Rhett.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who discovered the shop while filming Country Strong, put Imogene + Willie on the global map when she mentioned the label on Goop. But the Eddmensons weren’t in a rush to capitalize on the good press. “We strategically didn’t wholesale until now because we wanted to have physical contact with every person, and therefore every jean, that was purchased during our first two years,” Carrie told Style.com. “Those first 10,000 people were super-special because they helped us develop our fits.”
Some of those 10,000 folks can be seen in Love Fades, a new limited-edition book by the photographer Joshua Black Wilkins. The portraits, which were taken over the course of four sessions outside the 12 Avenue South store, feature fans of the brand wearing their I+W denim. As you can tell by the pics, these jeans are definitely good for your backside, too.
Imogene + Willie denim is now available at Steven Alan in New York and on www.imogeneandwillie.com. Signed and numbered copies of Love Fades can be preordered for $150. See Lovefadesiw.tumblr.com for more information.
After designers Sean Monahan and Monica Paolini landed their New York-based contemporary women’s line, Sea, in stores, retailers like Barneys could hardly keep the label’s patterned silk sets and leopard-print pieces on the racks. This month, the duo gives us more to love with their new line of handbags.
“We wanted our bags to have the look our customers have come to expect from the ready-to-wear collection,” Monahan tells Style.com. “Hopefully, they are quite functional, easy, but fun to wear, with a spirited and optimistic personality.”
The bags are all of those things; they are, like the clothes, slightly edgy yet at the same time feminine and sophisticated. There are 17 styles for all different functions, from clutches to hobos to messengers, in the same stretch printed canvas from the clothing line, bubble lamb, and calf leather. Our favorites, of course, are the leopard-print numbers, including the Penelope shoulder bag ($495) and the Mayfair shopper ($475).
Sea handbags will be available January 15 at The Tannery.
The weather forecast remains uncertain, but hell or high water, I’m making for the beach this weekend—and if all goes according to plan, in a new suit, too. More and more labels are getting the message that guys don’t want knee-length trunks any more; cuts this season are slimmer and shorter. My favorites are turn-the-dial-up-even-further with wild colors and wilder prints (like iconic British artist Alan Aldridge’s lolly-licking series for the luxury line Orlebar Brown). My favorites, above.
Clockwise from top left: Vilbrequin morae sea urchin swim shorts, $230, available at MrPorter.com; Alan Aldridge for Orlebar Brown Bulldog classic beach short, $295, available at OrlebarBrown.com; Steven Alan North Print swim short, $105, available at StevenAlan.com; Saturdays Surf Grannis board short, $75, available at SaturdaysNYC.com; Gant by Michael Bastian side-stripe swim trunks, $125, available at Barneys.com