This Exuberant Cardigan Is the Ideal Antidote to Office Air Conditioning

 PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN, C/O THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN, C/O THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

AH, THE CURSE of corporate-office air-conditioning. As I sit here grumpily at my desk in Midtown Manhattan, I’m wearing my favorite gauzy, white, short-sleeved summer blouse, but you’d never know it because the Arctic air calls for a heavy wool cardigan. Anyone who wants to express a seasonally carefree style message come August and into steamy September tends to resent such artificially chilly conditions. The way out of that bitterness? An insulating layer that’s more interesting-looking than the drab sweater you keep tucked in a file cabinet at work. 

Miu Miu, designed by Miuccia Prada, is known for playful sweaters. By splattering on pattern, or adding details like rhinestones or ribbons, the brand injects wit into the world of fuddy-duddy knitwear. This particularly charismatic cotton cardigan is striped in Day-Glo shades of neon pink and green, toned down with mustard-colored hand-knit trim—an exuberant, maximalist palette that gives the wearer permission to combine it with just about anything. Once fall arrives in earnest, its collar and heavy-duty resin buttons make it substantial enough to wear as a lightweight jacket. 

 Miu Miu Prefall 2018 C/O Vogue.com

Miu Miu Prefall 2018 C/O Vogue.com

Natalie Kingham, fashion and buying director at MatchesFashion, advocates for fashion-forward cardigans as a way to boost rather than drag down the delightful summer outfit beneath it. “They can be popped over a summer dress without disguising the fact that [your outfit] is summery,” she said. “By the end of September, beginning of October, it feels too early to wear a coat but certainly not too early to wear a shirt over your dress or something heavier like a cardigan.” After that, if you’re lucky, any shivering will be complemented not by Xerox machines but, as nature intended, by picturesque snow.

 

Original story here

 

The Case For Wearing Nightgowns All Day - WSJ

 The Bennet sisters and their mother (far right) in white nightgown-esque dresses in the 2005 film version of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ PHOTO: EVERETT COLLECTION c/o The Wall Street Journal

The Bennet sisters and their mother (far right) in white nightgown-esque dresses in the 2005 film version of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ PHOTO: EVERETT COLLECTION c/o The Wall Street Journal

IS THERE A JANE AUSTEN fan out there who hasn’t envisioned an alternate life as Lizzie Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice,” at least the Lizzie in the Keira Knightley movie version? You know, the thoughtful, combative girl who finally gets the guy in a dewy field at dawn while wearing a white nightgown and coat. Such a romantic nightie plays a pivotal supporting role in countless period films, signifying vulnerability, rebellion and great taste in linen. As Jane Eyre in the 2011 adaptation, Mia Wasikowska runs away from Thornfield Hall’s ghost in a dirty, white, ruffle-collared dressing gown; Emily Blunt learns she is to be queen in frilly white sleepwear in “The Young Victoria”; and Kirsten Dunst pretty much reigns as the queen of nightgowns in multiple Sofia Coppola movies. 

 Clara Cornet of Galeries Lafayette wears a Simone Rocha nightgown-ish dress in Paris. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES c/o The Wall Street Journal

Clara Cornet of Galeries Lafayette wears a Simone Rocha nightgown-ish dress in Paris. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES c/o The Wall Street Journal

You needn’t be an Austen heroine to appreciate the crossover appeal of a gauzy nightgown that does double duty as bedtime fashion and easy weekend dressing. Several ready-to-wear brands of the moment make daytime pieces that recall nightdresses of the past, like London brand Egg’s oversize white shirt dresses, and Danish label Cecilie Bahnsen’s ruffle-trimmed cotton sheaths. And then there are the actual sleepwear labels, like the Sleeper, based in Ukraine, and London’s Three Graces, which tout the appeal of wearing their wares beyond the bedroom. Their high-quality fabrics and sundress-like cuts allow for a seamless night-to-day transitions.

Ms. Dunst’s nightdresses in Ms. Coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette” directly inspired two of the Sleeper’s most recent nightgown designs. Constructed from heavy linen with romantic ruched trim detailing, both are legitimately nice enough to lunch in. Asya Varetsa, co-founder of the Sleeper, said that she wears her own gowns for morning dog walks: “I put on my loafers and I’m ready to go. It’s so easy and convenient.”

 Kirsten Dunst and Jamie Dornan in ‘Marie Antoinette.’ PHOTO: ©SONY PICTURES/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION c/o The Wall Street Journal

Kirsten Dunst and Jamie Dornan in ‘Marie Antoinette.’ PHOTO: ©SONY PICTURES/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION c/o The Wall Street Journal

It would be a shame to keep the broderie anglaise detailing and playful prints of these midnight-midday hybrids to yourself. While they can of course be worn to bed, it’s au courant to let them leave the house. “They are light, delicate and airy,” Catherine Johnson, founder of lounge wear brand Three Graces London, explained over email. “It’s totally understandable why some of our clients don’t want to keep them just for the bedroom.”

The Sleeper’s Ms. Varetsa thinks the trend is catching on this summer because of the nightgown’s versatility. “It works on the beach, over your swimsuit,” she said, “but you can easily put on a belt and beautiful sandals and go to dinner in it.” And even though romance revolves more around Tinder and after-work drinks these days than fated encounters in fields, you can channel a bit of Lizzie Bennet’s impetuousness in it, too.

 

SLIP SERVICE // Three beyond-the-sheets nightgowns and the shoes that take them outside

 From left: Lounge Dress, $320, the-sleeper.com; Sandals, $310, kjacques.fr; Nightie, $195, thesleepshirt.com; Sneakers, $50, vans.com; Three Graces London Dress, $480, net-a-porter.com; Porselli Flats, $230, usonline.apc.fr PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY JUDITH TREZZA

From left: Lounge Dress, $320, the-sleeper.com; Sandals, $310, kjacques.fr; Nightie, $195, thesleepshirt.com; Sneakers, $50, vans.com; Three Graces London Dress, $480, net-a-porter.com; Porselli Flats, $230, usonline.apc.fr PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY JUDITH TREZZA

I Wanna Rock

A new wave of innovative jewelers - all women - is bringing craftsmanship to the Instagram generation. Are these the heirlooms of the future?

by: Rebecca Malinsky

Originally published: February 15, 2018 in The Wall Street Journal

 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

BRENT NEALE

Bright Young Things

We discovered New York City designer Brent Neale on Instagram, which is how many of her customers follow her work. When she’s made a new piece, she immediately posts it on the photo sharing app, often triggering a prompt sale. And although her conspicuously cheerful and colorful designs might seem strategically created to pop on your iPhone screen, they hold up in person, too. One indicator of Ms. Neale’s design sensibility: She doesn’t own a single black dress. “I love colorful things,” she said. “They’re fun and happy, and it’s important to wear things that make you feel that way.” Though she has many favorites among her collection of semiprecious rainbows, gold ladybugs with ruby spots and patches of emerald-adorned grass, she singles out a pair of turquoise double-flower drop earrings (above) for their versatility: “The length is slightly lower than your chin, so they’re flattering on peoples’ faces,” she said. “You can wear turquoise and flowers with anything.” Brent Neale Earrings, $6,800, modaoperandi.com

 

 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

NATAF JOALLERIE

Astronomical Gems

The first piece of jewelry Shannon Nataf designed for someone other than herself was a silver ring shaped like a cloud, with diamonds set into the edge. This gift to her mother was meant as a reminder to look for life’s silver linings. “It felt really empowering that you could put meaning into things that were beautiful and also tangible,” she said. Ms. Nataf has gone on to create a celestially themed line whose pieces look like small works of art when viewed in a case. On the body, they become extra-intriguing: A pair of “infinité” hoop earrings, for example, loops from the inside to the back of the ear, evoking Saturn’s rings. Ms. Nataf’s designs play with accepted notions of, say, what a ring should look like, or how a charm sits on a necklace. Curious why the stones in jewelry rarely come into contact with our skin, she made a ring whose pearl rests beneath its gold setting (above). For the future, this iconoclast plans to continue “mixing things around and turning them inside out.” Pearl Ring, $1,970, Diamond Ring, $2,400, natafjoaillerie.com

 

 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

RETROUVAÍ

Retro Baubles

Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Kirsty Stone (yes, Stone) first caught our attention with her gold pinkie ring with a flying pig motif, a playful suggestion that anything is possible. The quaint reference to “when pigs fly” has a certain throwback charm, as do Ms. Stone’s classic signet rings, so redolent of your grandpa. “All of my pieces have some sort of nostalgia,” Ms. Stone said. “I get a lot of emails about my fantasy signets and the flying pig.” One female head of a Fortune 500 company wrote to reminisce that she’d printed a flying pig on her first business cards out of college. Although Ms. Stone’s designs are essentially empowerment symbols, they’re not cheesy. Take her gemmed compass pendant (above): The subtext of this midcentury style is to trust your own intuition. To Ms. Stone, a woman’s collection of jewelry is all about the stories behind the objects. “I hope my pieces stay in families for generations,” she said. We would be surprised if at least some of her clients aren’t planning to pass them along. Compass Necklace, $1,980, and Yin-Yang Necklace, $2,485, retrouvai.com

 

 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

JESSICA BIALES

Varsity Spirits

Jessica Biales was a practicing attorney before starting her jewelry business. “I was a really bad lawyer,” Ms. Biales said with a laugh. And while she played around with signet-ring designs for a few years, it was the early 2017 launch of her collection of “Breton” striped metal signets that took her brand to a “whole new level,” she said. Her decision to combine her love of the classic navy-and-white striped Breton sailor shirt with her jewelry proved fateful. The buzzy rings were picked up by Dover Street Market and Colette, two retailers known for discriminating jewelry selections. As a follow-up, she launched Collegiate by Jessica Biales, setting out to refresh the traditional class ring. The customizable, enamel-striped rings are set in silver as well as the gold she typically uses, allowing her to bring the price down to $400, a reasonable price for a graduation gift. Each ring can be designed with university colors or just the wearer’s favorite shades, if school spirit isn’t the graduate’s thing. Emerald Signet Ring, $3,000, Collegiate Signet Ring, $400, and Block Signet Ring, $840, jessicabiales.com

Moc Something Up - WSJ

FMRV4_Moccasin_Grouping_96.JPG

IF YOU HAVEN’T YET heard the urban legend about the rat that scurried across a sandal-clad woman’s toes in the New York subway, my apologies for ruining your summer. I’ve certainly curtailed my city sandal-wearing since hearing that tale. Thankfully, a more sanitary summer-shoe option—the moccasin—may already be in your closet. If not, the style, currently in vogue, is easily within reach. 

This tanned leather slipper is generally traced back to the Native Americans. Designs varied greatly from tribe to tribe, with elements including porcupine quills and beading, according to Cécile R. Ganteaume, associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian. Over the past century, the slip-ons have been creatively reinterpreted by stalwarts such as the 72-year-old Minnetonka Moccasin company and luxury brands like Saint Laurent.

“It’s lightweight,” said David Miller, the third-generation CEO of Minnetonka Moccasin. “You can wear it without socks, slip it on, slip it off.” 

This summer, New York-based designer Gabriela Hearst has riffed on the classic, encasing a croc-embossed leather moccasin in colorful crochet that’s too nice for forest traipsing but suitable for lazier vacationing. “They can liven up a serious outfit,” she said of the adaptable shoes, “but also go on holiday.” Tod’s, the Italian accessories brand that has cornered the market on nubby-soled driving mocs, trimmed this season’s version in extra-long fringe, aptly naming it the Yorky. 

“Moccasins work for everything,” said Los Angeles-based stylist Laurie Trott, who, come summer, shuns overly trendy sneakers and overly heavy brogues. Ms. Trott considers them a perfect non-statement statement shoe. “They’re stylish but not wearing you.” 

Subtly fashionable, versatile and excellent at foiling rats—who needs more?

Original story here

Once And For All: Are Leggings Pants? - WSJ

 Illustration: Steve Scott/The Wall Street Journal

Illustration: Steve Scott/The Wall Street Journal

Why We Hate Them

Few sartorial sins violate good taste as much as wearing leggings outside the gym (though strolling about in a visible thong comes close). Even if you’ve wriggled into leggings to flex and grunt, proceed with caution. Many a fitness enthusiast doesn’t realize that these second-skin bottoms can be see-through from behind when stretched. Having been subjected to this vision at my Pilates class, I can attest to its unpleasantness.

Still, opting for leggings as ready-to-wear is a far worse offense. “But they’re so comfortable!” their defenders cry. So is my terry cloth bathrobe, but I’m not going to throw that on for a breakfast meeting. The “comfort” argument has also been used to justify sweatpants—another garment best suited for workouts or aimless Saturday mornings alone—since the ’90s when Jerry Seinfeld’s character on “Seinfeld” said of sweats: “You’re telling the world, ‘I give up. I can’t compete in normal society. I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.’” Leggings, sweatpants’ slimmer cousin, denote a similar lack of effort and imagination.

Known for her feminine dresses and floral prints, New York-based designer Tanya Taylor said she’d never feature leggings in her collections: “They don’t feel like our customer,” she said. Leggings, she argued, should be restricted to times when comfort is your only priority. “I don’t think they’re something that you should wear to work.” 

Anne Huntington, the 34-year-old vice president of business development at Huntington Learning Center and founder of creative agency AMH Industries, concurred. Because she travels constantly for work, Ms. Huntington said, “Even if I’m taking a phone or video call, I’m dressed as I would be in a face-to-face meeting. It puts me in a professional mind-set.”

She added that even a packed schedule doesn’t validate the laziness of leggings. “If you’re busy, you have to be ready for any situation.” Including a more dressed-up affair that bears no resemblance to an aerobics class.

Clothing affects how others perceive us, and how we perceive ourselves. Multiple studies have linked dressing up with positive performance at work. An outfit has the power to inject us with confidence or lull us into a malaise-infused sense of security. We can do better than leggings. We can get dressed. 

—Katharine K. Zarrella

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Why We Love Them

According to Norma Kamali, the 73-year-old fashion designer who espouses a fitness-as-life philosophy, we’re getting the leggings debate all wrong. We should be debating the fit of leggings, not issuing blanket statements about their appropriateness. When worn too tight, they’re shocking; when worn just right, they’re sleek. “I believe that leggings [can be] even more provocative than bikinis or mini skirts,” cautioned Ms. Kamali, “because they are worn on the street and they are closer to looking like you have second skin than any other piece of clothing.”

Which brings me to my defense of leggings as pants: How you style them matters. I’m in the camp that considers them a wardrobe staple, suitable for working out, the office and even more formal events. The same discreet, dark base layer can go under a blousy white shirt for work, a sweatshirt for the airplane or a crisp jacket for a cocktail party.

“Leggings are versatile. They can be dressed up and down, worn with heels, flats or sneakers,” confirmed Christine Centenera, whose uniform-inspired line Wardrobe.NYC is composed of just eight pieces with one pant option being a legging. “We all live active, busy lives,” the very busy Ms. Centenera said of her formula’s ease. 

Plus, wearing leggings as pants—stylish pants!—has a fashionable legacy. Since Lycra’s invention in 1958, body-skimming pants have featured in iconic looks: Emilio Pucci did patterned ones in the ’60s; and in the ’80s designers like Ms. Kamali and Azzedine Alaïa made soignée versions for women who aspired to look like Madonna.

Today, brands like Live the Process offer athletic leggings with fashionable higher waists, while Versace and Céline have made intricately cut designer pairs. Céline’s stretch-heavy fall 2016 show was the watershed moment in my own leggings story, inspiring me to buy a slim-but-not-too-skinny pair from that collection: matte black with a zip up the front that opens nicely over flats or boots.

Leandra Medine Cohen, founder of fashion site Man Repeller, was in her own sporty-yet-luxe Céline leggings when we spoke. “I least frequently wear them to work out,” she said, “which is the great irony in my relationship with them.” For those who say leggings should be confined to the gym, consider this: Ms. Medine recently wore hers to a wedding with a tuxedo jacket, crystal-encrusted belt and strand of pearls. Which is as far from the yoga studio as one can get. 

—Rebecca Malinsky

Original story here

Strands That Deliver - WSJ

 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal. Necklaces from top: Mikimoto, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Sidney Garber. Top, Chanel

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal. Necklaces from top: Mikimoto, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Sidney Garber. Top, Chanel

Perhaps you've spotted a woman who hangs heirlooms around her neck just so; or you fondly recall Carrie Bradshaw’s piled-on pearls and chains; or you just like browsing through the thousands of photos hashtagged #layerednecklace on Instagram. Doubling, tripling, even quadrupling up on necklaces has looped back into vogue as an irreverent way to wear jewelry. For the novice, balance is key, as demonstrated in the five approaches shown here. Don’t be afraid to adopt a high-low strategy: Your kids’ crafted beads are fair game, as is that fine jewelry piece you’ve never known quite how to deploy. So next time you leave the house, instead of taking off one piece of jewelry, as mom implored, consider putting another on.

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 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

The Skeptical Minimalist 

If your taste skews less-is-more, stay within your comfort zone by juxtaposing just two delicate pieces. From top: Kataoka Necklace, $2,980, 180 the Store, 212-226-5506; Beach Stone Necklace, $1,800, cvc-stones.com; Rosetta Getty Dress, $890, Bergdorf Goodman, 212-753-7300

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 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

The Avid Bohemian

Talismans lend themselves to gypsy excess, so it typically works to pile on meaningful lockets and chain-strung coins with abandon. From top: Eye Necklace, $1,493, litofinejewelry.com; Tassel Necklace, $3,750, Lalaounis, 212-439-9400; Coin Necklace and Chain, $2,200, azleejewelry.com; Horse Coin Pendant, $2,950, templestclair.com; Retrouva Necklace, $8,900, Ylang23, 866-952-6423; Monete Necklace, $20,000, Bulgari, 212-315-9000; Dress, $5,050, louisvuitton.com

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 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

The Freewheeling Vacationista

If you like to incorporate a beachy aesthetic into your look (even when you’re stuck in the office), go multicolor and mix larger beads with subtler stones. From top: Emerald Necklace, $8,400, Jemma Wynne, 212-980-8500; U-Tube Necklace, $120, roxanneassoulin.com; Turquoise Bead Necklace, $6,490, Irene Neuwirth, 323-285-2000; Bead Necklace, $2,475, Carolina Bucci, 44-207-235-0051; Shirt, $55, everlane.com

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 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

The Treasure-Hunting Gallerina

Curate your necklace stack as artfully as you approach everything else, by combining playful costume jewelry and more organic materials. Collar Necklace, $1,200, agmesnyc.com; Face Necklace, $165, ninakastens.com; Resin Necklace, $228, toryburch.com; Officine Générale Shirt, $280, saks.com

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 Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

The Doyenne-in-Training

If you’re lucky enough to have classic heirlooms like pearl strands lying around (or some cheeky knockoffs), piling them on fearlessly will help make them look less matronly. From top: Pearl necklace, $16,480, mikimotoamerica.com; Tiffany & Co. HardWear Necklace, $9,500, tiffany.com; Blossom Necklace, $2,610, louisvuitton.com; Diamond Rope Necklace, $215,000, Sidney Garber, 312-944-5225; Vest, $1,500, Chanel, 800-550-0005

Original story here

Lauren Hutton's Indigo Mood - WSJ

Let the gap-toothed model's easy style inspire you to begin a love affair with the new jean skirt

Originally published April 13, 2017

by: Rebecca Malinsky

 

 Lauren Hutton in 1974

Lauren Hutton in 1974

A REFERENCE TO THE 1970s is nothing novel in fashion. About five years ago, designers began to mine the bohemian and rock’n’roll elements of the decade, and even now, floaty maxi-dresses, cotton eyelet blouses and brown suede jackets continue to line store racks. 

As far as denim goes, the era’s jeans (flares, high-waist straight legs) have gotten the lion’s share of attention, but now the spotlight is shifting to the denim skirt. As in this 1974 image of Lauren Hutton, shot in New York for the Daily News’s Sunday Magazine, the fabric, with its workwear roots, takes on feminine allure when draped around a woman’s waist.

This spring, denim and ready-to-wear brands alike are showing variations on Ms. Hutton’s cornflower-hued skirt. From Madewell’s button-fly pencil and Levi’s patch-pocket A-line to Chloé’s light wash, all share a hint of the denim-obsessed decade.

The lingering influence of the era is understandable. “The ’70s is one of the first times women wore T-shirts and trainers and denim and casual clothes,” said Jessica Lawrence, head of design and brand for M.i.h Jeans, a London-based denim brand. “Dressing was so formal up until the late ’60s.” Fittingly, the decade’s icons like Jane Birkin, Mariel Hemingway, Ali MacGraw and Lauren Hutton had the sort of breezily bewitching beauty that could make jeans and other casual kit as elegant as haute couture.

As for how to wear the skirt, Ms. Hutton as pictured here is an excellent starting point. “Who doesn’t want to look like Lauren Hutton,” said New York fashion consultant Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton. “That photo has a timeless look that’s cool and has a bit of sex appeal without being obvious.” 

 From left: Chloe, Stella McCartney, MiH Jeans

From left: Chloe, Stella McCartney, MiH Jeans

Ms. Gunlocke Fenton loves denim skirts for their combination dressy and casual sensibility. She wears them with a pressed men’s shirt and flat leather sandals from K. Jacques. “I like that look when it’s a little cleaned up but still has a thrown-on vibe.”

Simplicity rules, both when designing and wearing a jean skirt. “If you think of Lauren Hutton or Jane Birkin, you think of a denim skirt that sits at the waist with a simple A-line,” said M.i.h’s Ms. Lawrence, who always offers at least one denim skirt per season. This spring, however, M.i.h has three. None is overwrought.

Caroline Maguire, fashion director of e-commerce site Shopbop advocates the denim skirt’s ability to multitask for both work and weekend wardrobes. At the office, said Ms. Maguire, “you wear it with something a bit more understated. You switch it up on the weekend.” Come Saturday, Ms. Maguire wears her denim skirt with a hoodie and Golden Goose sneakers. “I still feel pulled-together because I’m not wearing a sweatsuit,” she said. “I’m wearing a denim skirt.”

Original story here 

In The Air: Pastoral Report - WSJ

In both fashion and design, themes drawn from the French countryside are abloom this spring. Here’s our pastoral report

April 6, 2017 in WSJ

By: Rebecca Malinsky

EVERY MAY 1, French teenagers line the Paris streets selling freshly picked blooms of Lily of the Valley. The flower, France’s national symbol of spring and Labor Day (both celebrated that day) is shared among friends and relations as a token of luck. “My mother has been planting lily of the valley for 40 years,” said Parisian jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann of the garden at her family’s country house. “I grew up with this tradition.” Her recent lily of the valley-themed collection was created while she was pregnant with her daughter, as a way to connect the three generations of women in her family.

 From Left: Jaquemus, Emilia Wickstead, Derek Lam

From Left: Jaquemus, Emilia Wickstead, Derek Lam

Many of the French-country-inspired looks that walked the spring runways similarly romanticized the simple life, if not as sentimentally. Up-and-coming Paris designer Simon Porte Jacquemus’s collection took its cues from santons, tiny clay figurines popularized in 18th-century Provence. His models wore lace-trimmed cotton blouses accessorized with huge straw sunhats.

London-based designer Jonathan Andersondisplayed a fondness for old-fashioned fabrics in both collections he works on. At Loewe, he showed burlap-like linens woven to appear worn-in and a plethora of faded French blue stripes, while at J.W. Anderson, his namesake line, he favored flowing, linen peasant dresses, some with pastoral tablecloth prints.

Top Row: The Row, Loewe, John Derian/Astier de Villatte
Middle Row: Doen, Svenskt Tenn, Robert Clergerie
Bottom Row: Rebecca Taylor, Tabitha Simmons, Marc Jacobs

 

Nine time zones away, San Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum is celebrating spring with an exhibition of early paintings by Claude Monet, the impressionist who created his canvases en plein-air and shaped many Americans’ ideas of what French landscapes look like. “One of the hallmarks of [the impressionists’] approach to painting was this idea that you would go to nature and you would stay there and paint,” said Melissa Buron, associate curator of European Painting at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Of course, if you have the cash and a sufficiently humane work schedule, you can hop a plane and go to those fields yourself.

Home-goods designer John Derian may have said it best when it comes to our current cultural yearning for a piece of trés chic country life: “People retire and fantasize about being in the country,” he said. “Why wait? Why not have it around you now?”

Original story here

Your Budget, R.I.P. - WSJ

These extravagantly priced - with a design influenced by the tradition of Victorian mourning jewelry - are something we dream about owning

By: Rebecca Malinsky

 

 King and Queen Cachette Beryl Vert Earrings, Dior Fine Jewelry, PHOTO: F. Martin Ramin for WSJ

King and Queen Cachette Beryl Vert Earrings, Dior Fine Jewelry, PHOTO: F. Martin Ramin for WSJ

Nothing creates buzz quite like a royal wedding, as the recent news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement made amply clear. But a royal death runs a close second: A few generations back, Queen Victoria caused a similarly seismic stir with an elaborate display of grief after the passing of her husband Prince Albert in 1861. Limiting herself to somber black dresses for 40 long years and placing a lock of his hair into her locket, she defined a new category of attire: Victorian mourning dress.

In 2014, the exhibit “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York cataloged the many ways Queen Victoria’s ideas have resonated through the years, from the tradition of wearing black to funerals to the crafting of jewelry that pays homage to a loved one. The elaborate mourning jewelry created during the Victorian era is highly collectible and still influential today.

While this new pair of earrings, a mismatched “king” and “queen” set, from Christian Dior’s high-jewelry collection isn’t meant to honor anyone in particular, the set does nod to the style, said Dior Fine Jewelry creative director Victoire de Castellane, who used filigreed gold to allude to the strands of hair in traditional mourning lockets.

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Why they’re so very expensive: The gemstone in each earring is an unusually large pale green beryl—4.24 carats for the rectangular king; 4.8 carats for the oval-shaped queen. “I started with the idea of pastels,” said Ms. de Castellane. “I wanted a romantic, poetic color.” A plentiful use of diamonds hints at the excessively luxurious décor of the Palace of Versailles, also among Ms. De Castellane’s inspirations.

Where we’d wear them: Definitely not to a funeral (way too show-offy) but perhaps a dressy, yet sober event like the upcoming productions of “King Lear” or “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

How we’d feel wearing them: Happily alive in ornate earrings that might turn deadly Queen Cersei Lannister in “Game of Thrones” beryl green with envy.

Original story here

Would You Carry A Clear Handbag? - WSJ

The trend in transparent bags is quite divisive among women. We examine the pros and the cons of going clear

Why We Love Them

LIKE YOU, I’m constantly throwing odds and ends into my bags. By the end of most days, I’ve accumulated a good 5 pounds of pure nothingness: receipts, 75 cents in nickels, yet another lip balm, a handful of business cards, a granola bar wrapper, etcetera ad infinitum. These piles of junk are actually a great impetus to invest in a clear bag, which acts as a forced organizer and life coach. Put that loose change in the wallet that you adore for its organizational capabilities. Charge your phone at night so you’re not running out the door on 9 percent, forced to throw in a Mophie and its accouterments. Find time for breakfast; those packaged bars aren’t good for you, anyway. The clear bag helps us think about what we actually need with us for the day.

 Chanel handbags, Photo: F. Martin Ramin for WSJ 

Chanel handbags, Photo: F. Martin Ramin for WSJ 

While the see-through bag may appear to be the kind of novelty only appropriate for young “it girls” with Instagram-ready lifestyles, the trend is nothing new. In the 1940s and ’50s women—including Elizabeth Taylor—went gaga for Lucite purses that are now collectors’ items. And today, women of all ages who adopt a playful approach to fashion are going clear. Take Staud’s plastic tote with its interior leather pouch—it has been restocked three times since December and has a wait list of 1,000 people. Sarah Staudinger, the brand’s co-founder and creative director, says women into their 70s are among its legion of fans. 

At Chanel’s spring 2018 show, the models accessorized tweed suiting and lace evening wear with see-through PVC boots, bags and bucket hats. Chloe King, digital director for Miami-based fashion retailer The Webster, is a fan of designer Karl Lagerfeld’s playful vision for the clear bag, iterations of which he has designed for Chanel for decades. Ms. King would wear one dressed down with a big sweater or a bohemian dress. There is a “hard/soft contrast that makes it a cool addition to a look,” she explained.

For those who don’t take themselves or fashion too seriously, clear handbags are quite simply delightful. As the normcore style with its determined practicality fades out of fashion, organizing a see-through bag’s contents is an amusing way to personalize your look. “Part of the fun is what you put inside it,” Ms. King asserted. “It’s asking to have clementines and playing cards and earphones in there.” 

—Rebecca Malinsky

 From left: Staud, Celine, Zara

From left: Staud, Celine, Zara

Why We Hate Them

EVEN IN times that call for greater transparency, I object to the current craze for clear handbags. I don’t want to look at your crumpled receipts and balled-up yoga clothes. And before you tell me you’re one of those tidy types who “curates” her load down to the perfectly bare essentials, I will judge you for that, too.

One of the few privileges of being a woman is the right to travel with all manner of personal effects. While my murse-averse husband makes do with the space in his pockets, I delight in my haul (even if my shoulder doesn’t) and never leave home without a cornucopia of toiletries, a phone charger and enough reading material to sustain me through the year. My bucket bag holds a certain romance for me, and it’s mostly to do with the multitudes contained within. “We all have many mysteries and secrets, and the bags we carry are a reflection of that,” agreed Los Angeles-based handbag designer Clare Vivier, whose 10-year-old line Clare V. hasn’t once veered into clear.

Ms. Vivier is something of a holdout, as more and more brands churn out containers that allow their owners to reveal their possessions to the world beyond their Instagram followers. “It’s just so unattractive!” said Kristofer Buckle, a celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Blake Lively and Mariah Carey. “The only people who should carry a clear plastic bag are prison workers or Bloomingdales employees.” 

Those who buy into the trend have two undesirable options: They can either expose their dirty laundry or treat their bag’s innards with the excruciating meticulousness of an origami artist. No matter how edited a bag’s interior may be, “it doesn’t read as easy and stylish,” said Kate Young, a stylist who works with stars like Margot Robbie and Dakota Johnson. “It says you’re trying too hard.” Ms. Young’s anti-clear stance holds for one exception: A plexiglass Charlotte Olympia clutch with an interchangeable satin lining.

Handbag and accessories designer Gelareh Mizrahi, whose cheeky luxury line contains (opaque) python takes on “thank you” bodega bags, lamented the number of women she sees choosing plastic over mystique. “When you start sleeping next to somebody new, isn’t it more fun to wear beautiful pajamas than walk around completely naked?” she asked. Some things need not come spilling out.

—Lauren Mechling

Original story here