London Fashion Week
Meet Nadia + Zehra, collaborators for their own line called Nadiazehra, seen here visiting Somerset during London’s Fashion Week. The twin sisters are inspired by color, children, and toys — which you can feel in the excitement of their color palettes and curious expressions.
(Photo by Melodie Jeng for TIS. Text: Jauretsi)
Richard Chai Q & A
New York is revving its engines for the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, so what better time to talk to Richard Chai on the eve of his Spring 2014 collection debut? We sat down for a lightening fast chat with the designer.
Jenny Bahn: On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressful are the weeks leading up to fashion week?
Richard Chai: The weeks leading up to MBFW are about a 7, but quickly turns to a 10 the week before.
JB: Inspiration for this upcoming season?
RC: For Spring/Summer 2014, I have been playing with this idea of soft geometry, creating this juxtaposition between angular prints and softer, more fluid silhouettes.
JB: Who is the “Richard Chai Girl”?
RC: She is sophisticated, spirited and an individual.
JB: Every woman should have what three items in her closet?
RC: A great coat, a classic menswear inspired blazer and an effortless dress.
JB: What’s your most indispensable tool as a designer?
RC: For me, it has to be a No. 2 pencil for sketching.
JB: What is one item you might need delivered in an hour using eBay Now during MBFW?
RC: An iPhone 5 charger.
JB: If you could be a fly on the wall at the atelier of any other designer, past or present, who would it be?
RC: Rei Kawabuko’s Comme Des Garcons Studio.
(Photos courtesy of Charles Roussel. Text by Jenny Bahn)
It Takes Two
Elizabeth and Kathryn Fortunato, the duo behind Lizzie Fortunato Jewels, have a perfectly synergistic relationship, which one might expect from twin sisters. With Kathryn holding down the business side of things and Elizabeth (aka Lizzie) taking over the creative, the two have developed a brand that epitomizes the art of chic and playful jewelry. Theirs is a routinely press-worthy collection, easily found within the pages of Vogue, In Style, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.
The Inside Source sat down and had a moment with the two before they jetted off from their downtown NYC home to Paris, where they’ll be showing their Fall 2013 collection.
Jenny Bahn: Tell us how you two created the Lizzie Fortunato line.
Lizzie Fortunato: I’ve always been interested in design (I made my prom dress in high school and was creating jewelry in college) and Kathryn is the entrepreneur who has… [MORE] monetized my passion and creativity! I’m lucky. She’s the salesgirl and the numbers person, and I just get to do what I love doing: assembling unexpected, different pieces.
Kathryn Fortunato: It was pretty unintentional — we are twin sisters!
JB: In the last year, you’ve branched off into bags. When did the idea move beyond just designing jewelry?
LF: We were doing a lot of seed beading in our jewelry and several of our retailers kept saying that it would really translate well to other accessories, and that got me thinking: If we can bead a necklace, why can’t we bead a small clutch, or a shoulder bag, or a huge tote bag? I design bags that I would want to carry. They’re striking like the jewelry, but really durable and practical, too.
JB: Do you have any go-to books for inspiration?
LF: A World of Necklaces [by Anne Leurguin].
JB: Do you have one particularly inspiring piece of vintage jewelry in your archives?
LF: I have a vintage belt from my grandmother that I wear all the time. I’m interested in replicating the hardware on it for one of our bags.
JB: What’s your favorite part about living in SoHo?
KF: Smile To Go, Reformation, Saturdays Surf, American Two Shot, and all our great local Crosby Street spots that make for neighborhood living.
LF: My fifth-floor walkup is like a treehouse sanctuary in the midst of the chaotic, bustling, and inspiring streets around me. I always find inspiration strolling through the streets just outside my front door.
JB: Least favorite part about living in Soho?
LF: Tourists… and double-wide strollers.
KF: Broome Street traffic, and almost everything on Broadway.
JB: You two make the Paris rounds often. What are your favorite spots there?
KF: Our studio space in the Marais is perfectly situated to great food and shopping: Tabio for socks, Rose’s Bakery, Derrière, Frenchie. Also, I am learning the 9th arrondissement and love it, especially Hotel Amour. Last season we spent a lot of dinners at The Sporting Project’s Fat Radish pop-up dinner series.
LF: We always stay and show from the Marais — steps away from Bob’s Kitchen, which has amazing salads and juices. I also love Ten Belles for breakfast and recently discovered Nanashi for Japanese/French fusion. Visiting Le Bon Marché is always inspiring and I never leave without visiting (but rarely purchasing at) L’Eclaireur.
JB: What’s your advice for picking out an accessory you’ll have for a lifetime?
LF: Buy pieces that you’re comfortable in. As with dressy dresses, you don’t want pieces that are uncomfortable or that you feel you need to be adjusting or pulling on throughout the night. Some of our biggest statement necklaces are the easiest and most comfortable to wear so pick something that you forget you even have on and then rock it all the time!
KF: Classic pieces. I love neutral colors, especially in bags. They tend to be more timeless.
JB: If you were stuck on an island and you were only allowed to pick one outfit to wear — impractical and/or fabulous — plus all the jewelry you could get your hands on, what would it be?
KF: Hmm, disappointing as it is, I’m a basic girl. Perfectly tailored ankle pants from Apiece Apart, Dieppa Restrepo loafers, a Phillip Lim blazer, and tons of jewelry might be my choice! But if I were dressing up on the island, well, I wouldn’t mind a Proenza dress!
LF: I love this question! Yet it’s so hard because I’ve kind of developed a uniform that I live in (short pants, loafers, boyfriend blazers in shades of navy, grey, black, and white — all accented with big jewelry), which is the opposite impractical or fabulous! I suppose if I could have anything it would be one of those amazing pink skirt/white shirt combos from Raf Simmon’s a few seasons ago at Jil Sander. I think this would be quite perfect to be stuck on an island in.
(Center photo courtesy of NY Mag. Text by Jenny Bahn)
Lizzie Fortunato / Lizzie Fortunato / Lizzie Fortunato Jewels / Lizzie Fortunato Jewels / Lizzie Fortunato Jewels / Lizzie Fortunato Jewels
Fashion Industry Gets Together for Sandy
Do you live on the Eastern Seaboard (South Carolina to Maine) and have been too busy to drop work duties to go volunteer on Sandy relief efforts? Do you live anywhere outside this area and feel powerless to help victims of the storm? The good news is you don’t have to feel guilty anymore. In fact, we encourage you to go out shopping and spend furiously, taking into account that the designers listed below are ALL donating funds towards Sandy relief.
The list below is culled from the CFDA website, who listed all their designer members’ strategies for donating funds. Some are sending 10% proceeds while others are using donations to organize their staff members to help firsthand. For a detailed list of each designer’s contribution, visit CFDA: The Fashion Industry Responds to Hurricane Sandy.
These links below should be your digital shopping mall this season, since each and every designer is doing their part to give back to those in need this holiday season.
(Photo: Carlos Ayala via CFDA)
Billy Reid’s Travel Set for eBay Holiday Collection
It’s that time of the year to begin to incubate your New Year’s vacation. The eBay Holiday collection, to be launched mid November, will feature special Limited Edition items from jewelry to clothes, all made by seven top Designers. To prepare you for the online treasure of goods (which we suspect will sell out in a wink), here’s a peek at Billy Reid’s travel collection (see each item here). Packing suggestions for the “power trip” include a surfboard, beach towels, sunscreen, and the “idea notebook” (to take over the world with big thoughts for 2013). Add a bunch of sharpies (to doodle your way through large concepts), and pack it with a Lion swimsuit to bring out your inner Queen. With the right luggage and tools, there will be no stopping you next year, but just remember to sit by your computer on November 12th to snatch up these Billy Reid pieces for eBay. Queue exotic locale.
(Billy Reid for eBay Holiday Collection 2012 by jauretsi: We Are Handsome 1 piece swimsuit, $370 / Sun care, $32 / Almond Surfboards Almond Surf Shop Sandia Fish / MASLIN Zebra hide towel with leather holster, $385 / Recycled Paper Note - Double Ring A5 - Plain 80)
Ruffian for eBay Holiday Collection
Brian Wolk and Claude Morais are the creative minds behind the brand Ruffian, one of the seven designers behind eBay’s Holiday Collection to be released online on November 12th. My personal favorites in this series are their ruffled scarves, coming in three colors (pink, black, and tan).
Here’s a glimpse into the duo’s world as they share their philosophy on mixing cutting edge with classic — the “punk” and the “princess”. To view all the pieces, visit eBay’s Holiday Collection 2012 on Pinterest.