July 30 2014

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25 posts tagged "Vanessa Traina"

No Grand Statements Here, Just Beautiful, Wearable Clothes


When Kate Wendelborn launched Protagonist back in October, her mission was to create a collection of pared-down, refined tops that any woman could wear. The line of silk T-shirts; crisp button-ups; and cool, deconstructed turtlenecks has been exclusively available at The Line, which was cofounded by Wendelborn’s twin sister, Morgan, and Vanessa Traina Snow (who styled Protagonist’s latest lookbook). Beginning with Fall ’14, however, the brand will be available at retailers such as Barneys, The Webster, and Isetan in Tokyo.

“We really wanted to start small and be in control, then let things grow as organically as possible rather than pushing it right away,” Wendelborn said. Clearly, she’s on the fast track. It’s smart to offer timeless classics in a contemporary market saturated with trendy designers. Call it clean, call it minimalist, call it normcore, even, but above all else, Protagonist is chic.

This season, the label is expanding into a full ready-to-wear range with pants and skirts, as well as a ramped-up knitwear program. In addition to its signature shirting staples, highlights from the new collection included sleek bodysuits with extended sleeves, chunky cashmere crewneck sweaters, cigarette trousers, and flattering pencil skirts with zippered side slits that came in either distressed leather or spongy crepe. Elsewhere, Wendelborn introduced pattern for the first time. “I thought about what a print would be for someone who doesn’t like print. Usually I stick to neutrals because I want the clothes to be blank canvases that draw the focus to your eyes and lips,” she said.


Wendelborn aims to create versatile essentials for a variety of women. “I didn’t want to design for one hard character straight down the middle. One woman will wear that shirt one way, and another woman would do it completely differently. They are two different people and two different—gosh, this sounds so corny—protagonists,” she told While everything appears to be elemental, Wendelborn goes through a complicated process to get to a simple point. There’s a deliberate intention behind the exaggerated, seven-inch cuffs on collared dress shirts, for example, or the sliced cutouts on turtlenecks that highlight the collarbone. “We’re not necessarily trying to make a grand statement. We’re just simply trying to say something,” she said.

Protagonist’s Collection No. 3 (from $270 to $1,400) will be available at Barneys New York, The Webster, Isetan, The Line, and more. For more information, visit


Photo: Courtesy of Protagonist

Vanessa Traina Draws THE LINE



Vanessa Traina is a busy bee. Somewhere between styling Joseph Altuzarra’s Spring ’14 runway and preparing to head to the shows in Paris, Traina’s found time to serve as the executive creative director of THE LINE—a luxury e-tailer that launches today and features a tightly edited selection of clothing, beauty products, and home goods. Handpicked by Traina, the site’s stock includes what the stylist calls “quintessentials”—that is, pieces that are clean, simple, and, above all, timeless. “With all of the fast fashion today, we felt the need to strip down and get back to the basics,” Traina said. “We are not aiming to bring you the hottest trend of the season; we are presenting items that are elevated yet familiar.”

One not-so-familiar brand is Protagonist (above), which, designed by Kate Wendelborn is launching exclusively with THE LINE. Protagonist captures THE LINE’s minimalist focus: brushed wool pullovers, crisp white blouses, and boxy tunics (in shades of black, white, and blush) look current yet trend-proof.

Other brands featured include Reed Krakoff, Rodin Olio Lusso (best known for its cult-favorite beauty oil), interiors range Andrianna Shamaris, J.W. Anderson, Assouline, and Vince, among others. “We are very excited about the brands that we have on board,” Traina said. “We essentially wanted to create the perfect, seasonless wardrobe—those items that you can throw on no matter the day, time, or season.”

Photo: Courtesy of The Line

Surf and Snow


Max Snow's Surf Lodge collection, Lindsey Wixson in Max Snow's Surf Lodge collection

Artist Max Snow isn’t new to clothing design—he’s been creating his own black jeans and T-shirts for years. This summer, however, he turned it into a more official gig when he agreed to create a limited-edition nine-piece capsule collection for the Surf Lodge in Montauk. Snow’s luxe assortment of swim trunks, tank tops, wool baseball caps, and selvedge-denim jackets (with prices ranging from $75 to $595) will get their official debut tomorrow, at Snow’s weekend pop-up shop at the East End hotel. To accompany the collection, the Surf Lodge artist-in-residence for the summer will unveil his new series of black-and-white images (making their exclusive debut here, on, a few of which feature Lindsey Wixson sporting the pieces.

“Who wouldn’t want to spend a summer in Montauk?” asks Snow, who also hosted a weekend of partying and performances at the Surf Lodge, with Willie Nelson and Courtney Love, earlier in the season. “To be honest, the whole thing was a very organic process, and I’ve really enjoyed it from beginning to end,” he says. Continue Reading “Surf and Snow” »

Max Snow’s Ladies In White


From now until February 2, New York-based artist Max Snow’s latest photography project, The Lady of Shalott (named for Alfred Tennyson’s poem) will be on view at Paris concept shop Colette. Featuring eerie black-and-white images of nude women hiding under sheer veils, their faces often obscured with white, the exhibition includes shots of such fashion stars as Rebecca Dayan and Arizona Muse. Not surprising, considering the artist’s wife is stylist Vanessa Traina—who, it should be noted, was also photographed for the show. Decidedly (and, perhaps, deliberately) more covered up than the rest of Snow’s subjects, Traina was shot wearing the custom Givenchy gown she donned for their wedding last August.

The Lady of Shalott runs through February 2nd at Colette, 213 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris.

Photo: Courtesy of Colette

Putting Off The Ritz

------- contributing editor and party reporter Darrell Hartman circles the city and, occasionally, the globe in the line of duty. In a new column, he reports on the topics—whatever they may be at whatever given moment—that are stirring the social set.

As usual at the most recent Paris Couture collections, there were openings—including a big one for Louis Vuitton’s haute joaillerie store on Place Vendôme. But this time around, there was a major closing, too. As just about everyone knows by now, the Ritz is shutting its doors at the end of July. Not forever, just for two years and change. Of course, to a lot of fashion people, that is forever.

“Everybody’s talking about it,” Claire Courtins-Clarins told me at the Louis Vuitton party. We were, incidentally, at the Ritz; Vuitton had booked the hotel’s pool room for one last go-round. The Atelier Versace show had happened there two nights before—poignantly, considering it was Gianni Versace’s old venue. (That’s Gianni, below, with the usual clatch of supermodels backstage at the Ritz during one of his Couture shows.) Immediately after Donatella’s runway came down, a VIP section went up, for an after-party with a performance by M.I.A.

If the hotel owes its place in the fashion annals to anyone, however, it’s Coco Chanel. The designer lived there from 1934 until 1971, albeit on the less glamorous Rue Cambon side. “Poor Chanel, I use the front door of the Ritz, she must use the back,” Elsa Schiaparelli liked to snipe. Continue Reading “Putting Off The Ritz” »