Wednesday, July 26, 2006


People often ask me what is the best brand that makes shoes, or what I can recommend. The truth is, it's hard to recommend things to people who have different tastes, so sometimes I would rather give practical advice instead of an aesthetic one. My best practical advice is to buy shoes with leather soles. Leather soles let your feet breathe and keeps them cool in the summer - rubber just won't do it. But don't buy just any leather soled shoes. Look for the "VERO CUOIO" sign stamped on the outside of the solde - it is a sign of an Italian leather sole association that adheres to the strictest quality standards, and produces the best shoe soles in the world from vegetable tanned leather. So, do your feet a favor...


Sunday, July 23, 2006


I never fully judge a collection until I see it in stores. It's one thing to see the pictures, and another one to hold a garment, feel the fabric, see how it fits, and how it works with other pieces. I wanted to share my initial reviews of the first FW 06 shipments that NYC stores are receiving right now with my dear readers, especially those who don't have stocklists in the immediate vicinity. I will do a part II once final deliveries come in, probably in mid-August. I think FW06 was one of the strongest menswear seasons in recent history (Junya Watanabe and CDG flops notwithstanding), and my wallet is already shrinking from the blows it will have to take in the few coming months.


First thng first - Ann's collection. The stores bought it well, I think - no blue velvet, and no silver leather. If Ann forgot that her forte is black, the NYC stores certainly didn't. Lots of outerwear, coats, short jackets, and blazers done inn jet-black virgin wool, or virgin wool/ramie (if you don't know what ramie is, consult wikipedia). The wool/ramie mix feels amazing - very soft and cozy. The outerwear is going for around $1000 to $1500, blazers for $700+. The cropped pants off the runway were also present - I liked them. They looked like a nice slim fit, with buttons on the bottoms of the legs - yours for a mere $700. A couple of dress shirs and tshirts were filling in the space - those were nothing special. And there were jeans, again. WTF? Ann isn't someone I associate with jeans - this is freaky. They were another filler item - definitely not worth $350. Noone bought any leather yet (if at all), as Ann's leather prices are through the roof.

Reviewed at: Atelier, IF Boutique


Raf's strengths this season seem to be the fabrics. The suits are done in a very luxurious wool - I thought it was cashmere at first - I just know Raf never does cashmere, so I had to look at the tags. The knitwear is top-notch as usual, but the fabrics are a little rough - I personally don't mind that. The prices certainly went up - I wonder if Raf's new gig at Jil Sander is boosting the ego, and the prices - hopefully not. Everything is slim, slim, slim - the suits, the knits, the dress shirts. Dress shirts with the signature scripted "R" are present in several colors and fabrics - cotton in black and white, and some funky fabric in silver. The classic drainpipe dress pants are also on order, done in virgin wool. Noone bought those breakthrough jackets with the double zippered collar. Atelier bought the cape, which I thought was awesome for someone who can pull that off. Prices, suit jackets around $1k, dress pants $400-650, shirts $200-$450.

Reviewed at: Atelier, Barneys


Rick = leather, denim, soft knits - all on order, and top notch, as expected. Leather jackets are cool, including the leather/cotton combos (see picture). Oh, yea - you bet Atelier bought the 5 inch heels. Leather jacket will set you back around $2K, but that's besides the point. Some black blazers were present too. No coats yet, which I think for the first time was the highlight of the collection, but I was assured that they'll come in later. I'll be waiting...

Reviewed at: Atelier


I am not a fan of DH, but I used to be. This collection was Ok, but I still wouldn't buy it. The suits were strong, this is one DH's strength - black luxurious wool, slim fit, fully canvased - a classic. Lots of raw denim jeans - $235-400. The standout piece was the double-brested military coat (see pic), which was pretty cool, and pretty good quality. The price was Ok - $1465. I liked the fact that the coat did not cut off my circulation when I tried it on, so buy true to size. The only thing that I did not like about it that below the chest it only closes with a belt - so if you live in the windy city of Chicago, for example - you'll be screwed.

Reviewed at: Saks


Every season I think to myself, "What will this insane genius will come up with next?" And when you think he outdid himself, that means you don't know Carol. No surprises that I found myself twisting and turning the dress pants and jeans with double seamed saddle, luscous grey blazers with overlock bright green stitching, buttons with off-center buttonholes, and exposed construction, and textured long-sleeve tees in vertical stripes. Damn, I want it all. Jeans are $1k, tops $500. Bring lube for your wallet.

Reviewed at: Atelier


I thought that this collection was the strongest N(N) collection ever (moreso because I don't think he's a good designer), so I actually shlepped to their boutique in the freaky part of Tribeca. The clothes were really amazingly well made with a lot of attention to detail, and practically everything was black and slim. Lots of different blazers ($1200-1400), some knits, including the cape with horn buttons ($1400). The fabrics on the blazers are very dressy, luxurious wool. I did not like the excessive padding on the blazers though - it made them too stiff for my taste. There was also one coat, which I did not like, and some capes. A ton of non-descript tshirts for $200 - don't know who on Earth would want to buy those. Oh, and there was a soft cotton hoodie with 3-D pockets for a "mere" $310 - run people!!!

Reviewed at: Number (N)ine boutique


Last, but not least, and a very impressive collection. There wasn't much at the store yet, but the standout was the black wool peacoat - let's just say that it was the best peacoat I've ever seen. I've never wanted a peacoat, because I don't like them, but I wanted that one. Jet-black, gorgeous wool, lots of tiny details that keep you just staring at it again and again. At $1400 it was palatable by today's standards. The burgundy vintage looking leather jacket (see pic) was $1475 - also a very decent price. I liked it - the leather was a little beat up, and somehow buttery and a bit rough at the same time, 3-d chest and bottom flap pockets, and a funky button closure in addition to the zipper. I just hope the quality control at Cloak has improved, so if you buy this and it falls apart in a year - don't blame me! Oh, yea - and skinny jeans were there too - buy them now, because they go F.A.S.T.

Reviewed at: Cloak boutique

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sad Day for Fashion: House of Rochas to Close

Yes, indeed. Reuters reports that Rochas will cease to exist as of this fall. CLICK

It turns out that Procter & Gamble, the epitomy of disposable cheap crap, actually owns Rochas. It happened by default, when they acquired the entire house while pursuing its fragrance business. This fact of course was carefully kept under the covers all this time, so as not to turn off the rich customers (who wants to associate themselves with P&G while buying a $3k suit?). The house's Belgian designer, Olivier Theyskens, who is in my opinion one of the best womenswear designers at the moment, will find himself unemployed, hopefully not for long. I would like him to go back and do his own line that would consist of Haute Couture and a small ready-to-wear to support it, sort of the way Ann Valerie Hash does. I see other people wanting him to go to Chloe, but I think he's to good for it.

Where would you like to see him?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My Latest Acquisition

I am usually not the one to brag too much about my purchases, except maybe to a few of my friends (well, Ok, maybe occasionally on the FashionSpot ;-0), and I've certainly have not done it in cyberspace in a while. This I had to share, though. I am now a proud owner of this Lmaltieri (CDiem's fabrics line) jacket. I think it should go in the dictionary under "understated elegance." About the jacket. It is done in two layers. The fabric tag reads I. 150% wool, 30% silk, 20% Linen, II. 100% Cotton. The black piping you can see is cotton, the entire outside and part of the inside of the jacket is wool, the back is silk, and sleeves lined in linen. The jacket is reversible. You may notice there are no buttonholes per se; instead, thick thread is seamlessly sewn into the piping of the jacket. Perfection.

The jacket

Collar detail

Jacket reversed

Fabric label

Monday, July 10, 2006

Former Carpe Diem assistant Maurizio Amadei launches his own line.

Former assistant for Maurizio Altieri's label Carpe Diem has launched his own line of mostly bags/wallets/belts made of leather. Beautiful products, you can definitely see CDiem's roots here.

Check them out CLICK .

Something is going on at CDiem. Former assistants are fleeing, and the word on the street is that Altieri himself is no longer interested in the CDiem project. SOS - the coolest brand on earth may be in trouble.
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