Monday, March 31, 2014

Born to Run

Finsk heels

I haven't been to Sweden in almost two full years now (!!!) so it was quite a refresher when my Stockholm-based friend Travis came to visit, with all the brands from his new showroom, We Shall Run, in tow.  Travis was full of the latest Swedish fashion news, which I've been totally out of the loop on, and graciously also introduced me to a handful of new labels, most of which are based in Northern Europe.

I loved the surfer and hacker inspired collection of Stockholm based designer Anders Haal, who presented his first collection this season after a long stint designing for Ann-Sofie Back.  I also got a peek at the androgynous line Patouf, which has been around for years, but which I never came across when I lived in Stockholm.   Elegant, yet understated and casual, I was impressed by how many of the pieces from the collection could be worn by either sex.  I'd also never heard of Claudia Ligari, an Italian designer whose collection also has a bit of an androgyne feel, with well crafted menswear style pieces made for the ladies.

My new favorite?  A line called Frisur, with plenty of enhanced basics: casual sweatshirts with fun embroidery, custom designed knit fabrics that make for great sweaters and sweatpants, and well-fitting jackets.  Most impressively, the collection is completely affordable, with plenty of styles priced under $100.

There was also an old favorite: FINSK.  I'm probably most impressed that Travis is now representing this well established avant-garde shoe collection, as well as their secondary line Skin by Finsk.  Known for their colorful and architectural, if sometimes dangerous looking designs, Finsk heels often resemble a carefully stacked Jenga set or pile of building blocks.  They're a natural editorial/blogger favorite, and I immediately had to order their version of a stacked heel boot.

Obviously there's been plenty going on in Stockholm since I left.  It makes me want to get on a plane headed North ASAP…

Skin by Finsk boot

Frisur embroidered Sweatshirt

Claudia Ligari

Claudia Ligari

Patouf

Patouf

Haal

Haal
-Tiffany

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Daydream Nation


Of all the Buzzfeed quizzes/procrastination tools floating around, it might actually be worth wasting your time on finding out which 90's indie band you are.  Amongst the questions: Pick the best TV Static.  I picked the undulated rainbow waves, the ones that most resemble the digital prints of the RICHARDS Fall/Winter 2014 collection.  Sarah Richards looks towards both the hyper-real and the obviously synthetic while designing her prints each season.  For this collection, she's melded what look like the static color bars from your television screen and pop-up windows from your computer with enhanced naturalistic images of gallivanting Orca whales and crashing tides.  It might sounds like a dizzying collide of nature versus technology, but it creates a fun interplay within the casual silhouettes, which are perfectly cut to highlight the contrast of the different print patterns.  In case you were wondering what my quiz results were, I got Sonic Youth, who would incidentally serve as a pretty good soundtrack for this collection.








-Tiffany

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Send in the Clowns


While I am generally averse to sports watching, the Olympics are another thing entirely, and last week I was amongst the masses who collectively watched with bated breath as Yuna Kim skated to Send in the Clowns.  That she ended her figure skating career with a silver added to the underlying melancholy of the moment, a moment which coincidentally resonates with the Pierrot-inspired, sad clown mood of the season.  Suzanne Rae, for one, has truly distilled the signature loose shirt and wide-pantalooned chic of the world famous clown for Autumn 2014.  These exaggerated shapes are balanced out with Suzanne's signature basics, matching each dramatic form with an equally practical function.  Both are important sides of the alter-ego persona that Suzanne imagined while designing the collection. I am always a big fan of tented dresses and billowing silhouettes, items that disguise the shape of the body rather than revealing it, so I too am relishing this direction.










-Tiffany

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Araks Autumn 2014: Balancing Act


The Araks girl is obviously modeled after the designer herself: femme but not fussy, minimal yet tinged with an eccentric flourish, sophisticated but somehow not self-serious.  These are all traits that I would aspire towards, and looking at Araks Autumn 2014, I think I've found a style sensibility that I am equally inclined to adopt.  The collection is clownish and playful, with exaggerated trapeze silhouettes, over-oversized sleeves, smatterings of ruffles, and arrays of perfectly placed polka dots.  Nonetheless, the polka dots are rendered in a sparkling lurex that peeps mischievously out from under transparent silk chiffon, or pops out as a peplum from a wool dress; the wool jackets are more lady than little tramp.  It strikes just the right balance: pushing boundaries just enough to feel new and interesting, without ever veering out of the comfort zone of wearability.







-Tiffany

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sight for Sore Eyes


A movement towards greater social responsibility in fashion has been gaining momentum in the past few years, garnering just as much attention as eco-consciousness, and becoming increasingly important to many emerging brands.  SHAUNS is one such example.  Following a similar business model as the footwear brand Tom's, founder Shaun Paterson created the "GIVE Sight" program, sponsoring an eye exam and a free pair of prescription glasses for someone in need for every pair of SHAUNS glasses sold. Unlike Tom's however, a brand which I conceptually love but aesthetically find to be a bit too crunchy for my taste, SHAUNS creates gorgeous, chic, Italian-made glasses.  Based in the Bay Area, where Scottish-born Paterson attended Stanford Business School, the brand emits a warm West Coast vibe, appropriately sunny for a a company that sells shades.  The cool palette and the elegant, fuss-free designs are modern and versatile without being overly trend-driven, and even though Paterson allegedly hates the word 'minimal' most of the frames fall into this category.  My personal favorite is the bold geometric Moray with icy white frames and lavender lenses, which will easily make any winter-sick heart start California dreaming.







-Tiffany

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