FORUM/The Substance of Style/SS 2018
Larrimor’s A SEASON OF STYLE OUR EDITED
SELECTION FROM THE WORLD’S BEST DESIGNERS
FABRICS THAT MAKE THE RIGHT MOVES
CELEBRATING THE EVERYDAY
Passion + Performance
With Victory Comes Preparedness
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ASKLISA AT LARRIMOR’S, IT’S ALL ABOUT DEFINING YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.
set your heart on a certain “it” brand. Don’t worry about what your girlfriends are wearing, and most importantly, don’t give up. The perfect skinny jean will be your go-to base for showing off great tops, tees and jackets—even dresses! (See the L’Agence shirtdress on page 35 that also works as a dramatic topper over pants.) Once you find a basic pair, start branching out. Remember last season’s emphasis on sleeve shapes and treatments? This year, it’s all about the hem. Look for gorgeous embroidery, fringe and crossover tulip detailing. If you still aren’t a fan of the way you feel, not to worry. There are other great pant options out there (including the drapey belted silk variety pictured at left) that are more forgiving.
WHICH BRANDS SHOULD BE ON MY RADAR FOR SPRING 2018?
Our team is excited to be adding many new designers to the contemporary area this season. We’re bringing in a selection of Helmut Lang’s fabulous shirts, dresses and novelty knitwear, curated by us to be edgy and fun but still wearable for your lifestyle. Other new favorites include denim, tees and T-shirt dresses from Rag & Bone, girly-but-sophisticated dresses from Tanya Taylor, and jeans from Hudson. In our collections area, check out Kobi Halperin. He previously designed dresses and wovens for Elie Tahari and recently launched his own (gorgeous) line. We’re always impressed with Incotex women’s pants, which are classic with a twist: think ostrich feathers at the hem of a tailored black trouser, or a wide-leg silhouette in pencil-stripe linen. Circolo 1901 offers beautifully made jackets and dresses, and Italian-based Bagutta presents some of our favorite shirts. Also not to be missed: Eleventy, a brand we’ve loved so much in men’s and have recently started carrying for women. Its knit jackets are my favorite, versatile enough to look great at work and around town.
You loved purple when you were little, right? Well this is a purple for a girl who’s all grown up! Ultra Violet is great, but it’s a very specific shade. It might not be your purple, so try out a few others. At Larrimor’s, you’ll find purple accents on printed shirts and blouses from Johnny Was, and on great new readers and sunglasses from Eyebobs. (Purple tortoise, anyone? It’s surprisingly versatile and works for all skin tones.) Why not incorporate a purple scarf or hat into your look for the Kentucky Derby or Parks Conservancy Hat Luncheon? Or try purple stone jewelry from Deborah Grivas and Margo Morrison; it tones down beautifully when worn with brown or black, and really pops against white. The hue will transition into fall paired with khaki and olive, or as a deep rich jewel tone set against navy, chocolate and black.
I LIKE HOW SKINNY JEANS LOOK ON OTHER WOMEN, BUT I’M NOT SURE HOW TO WEAR THEM. ANY ADVICE?
There actually is a skinny jean for almost every body type, so there’s no need to settle for anything you don’t feel comfortable in. The trick is to keep trying on different brands and styles until you find the perfect wash, rise, leg opening and amount of stretch that works for you. Citizens of Humanity is a good place to start; the Barb and Nico styles from Hudson are loved by many; and L’Agence’s Margot silhouette can be very flattering on a lot of shapes. But don’t get hung up on a certain size or
IMAGE COURTESY OF L’AGENCE
PANTONE’S COLOR OF THE YEAR IS ULTRA VIOLET. ALTHOUGH I LIKE PURPLE, I’M JUST NOT SURE I CAN WEAR IT. WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?
growing in love ANOTHER HENNE MOMENT
Jewelers for Life®
ASKTOM TACKLING YOUR FASHION QUESTIONS.
I LOVE WEARING FLIP-FLOPS IN THE SUMMER, BUT ARE THEY APPROPRIATE FOR THE OFFICE OR GOING OUT TO DINNER? Dress codes vary by establishment, but in general, we say trade the flip-flops for some nice leather sandals. (And be sure to get a pedicure!) Many sandal styles for spring ’18 are hybrids, offering fine craftsmanship, comfort soles and natural air conditioning. (One warning: if you’re diabetic, some doctors advise against open footwear…) Another comfortable and fashionable choice is espadrilles—we have some great-looking fashion updates on this timeless classic. And sleek leather sneakers with no-show socks are always a great option!
What does one wear to a spring/summer wedding? I received an invitation that reads “festive attire”—what does that mean? If the invitation says “black tie,” you’re best off in a tux (black or navy are safe bets). If the one in your closet is more than three years old, you’re probably ready for an update, as current styles are trimmer and lighter weight to move with you. “Festive” denotes cheerful/joyful/celebratory, so no need to go black tie for this kind of event. For men, festive attire can mean a jazzy patterned sport coat (with dark jeans and cool sneakers) or perhaps linen pants with a vest. A suit is always appropriate, but feel free to add levity with a fun printed shirt, a fabulous tie or pocket square, cuff links, lapel pin or novelty socks. Eschew the pineapple/palm-tree printed shirt (unless it’s a beach wedding) but don’t be afraid of color. Bottom line: Get creative and express yourself in clothing that makes you feel happy! (For what’s happier than a wedding?)
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A SUMMER BELT? TORINO BELT, EDWARD ARMAH BOWTIES
My heavy black and brown leather belts look all wrong with linen pants and light-colored khakis. Why not try a braided fabric belt with leather or suede trim? Or else a leather belt in a lighter shade of tan, taupe or olive? We agree that a dark horizontal line across a not-so-toned torso is not always a great look, especially on large-size guys. Let us show you some great summer belts that flatter.
A LITTLE FINER A LOT MORE CAREFUL For your designer clothing you need the
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From hoops to sheaths, corsets to cut-outs, The Body: Fashion and Physique, on view at New York City’s Museum at FIT through May 5th, examines the complex history of the “ideal” body in fashion and considers the relationship between the fashion industry and body politics from the 18th century to the present. It features more than 50 objects from the museum’s permanent collection, including dresses by Martin Margiela, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Siriano, many of which have never been on view. Within the exhibition, garments are supplemented with images from the popular press, fashion media, film and other sources to highlight how the fashion industry has contributed to the marginalization of certain body types within our culture. —BSL
For a fashionable read, few names in the ballet world inspire such admiration and awe as David Hallberg, who has chronicled his life in A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back (Touchstone). A principal guest artist at American Ballet Theatre, Hallberg reflects on themes like inspiration, selfdoubt and perfectionism as he takes readers into rigorous rehearsals and triumphant performances of ballet’s greatest roles. He also reveals the loneliness he felt as a teenager leaving America to join the Paris Opera Ballet, the ambition he had to tame as a new member of American Ballet Theatre, and the reasons behind his headline-grabbing decision to be the first American to join the top rank of the Bolshoi Ballet. Most inspiringly, Hallberg details his comeback from a crippling ankle injury and unsuccessful surgery that threatened his career. —BSL
PLEASED AS PUNCH
Even if you can’t fight like Rocky Marciano, Rocky Balboa—or even Rocky, the Flying Squirrel—you’ll feel like a world champion putting up your dukes in Williamson Sporting Goods’ custom-made Stansfield Boxing Set. Available in black or blue, each set (which will set you back a mere $195,000) features a crocodile heavy bag with ostrich overlay panels and gold chains, a speed bag with alternating crocodile and ostrich leather panels, and crocodile boxing gloves with ostrich leather wraps and metallic gold leather lining on each glove. Talk about a knockout! —BSL
ROLL OUT THE BARREL The next time someone tells you they have a great bottle of wine at home, you can tell them you have something even better! For the first time, Bodega Numanthia and Loewe, two luxury houses rooted in Spanish history, have combined their expertise to create unique barrels of Numanthia’s iconic wine, Termanthia. What makes them so special is that they will be crafted from French oak wood and covered in Loewe leather. Buyers can personalize which calf leather tint they want (tan, black, oxblood, navy and red are the options) as well as choose from one of seven additional leather tints for his or her own initials to be appended on the barrel. Each order is custom-made and custompriced (via firstname.lastname@example.org) and will take about six months for delivery. —BSL
THE ART (AND SCIENCE) OF THE SALE Few execs in any industry
person for life,” guaranteed to
sales and profits.” (Mitchell
have mastered the art of sales-
inspire employees and grow
cites a recent study of con-
manship like our colleague
sumers in 27 countries and 20
Jack Mitchell of the Mitchell
Mitchell believes that every-
industries: nearly 70 percent of
Family of Stores. His first two
one is a seller, or needs to be.
them were unhappy with how
books—Hug Your Customers
Yet despite a vast sales advice
they’ve been treated!)
and Hug Your People—were
industry, most firms have a dis-
widely acclaimed bestsellers,
proportionate number of lack-
tional and practical aspects of
bringing Mitchell accolades,
luster sellers, causing business-
selling, the book also discusses
speaking engagements and
es to stall. “If companies would
the power of humor and touch,
requests for more. His new
only create an environment to
valuable components of making
book, Selling The Hug Your
motivate their sales force, then
a human connection with your
Customers Way, is a “proven
salesmen would sell more prod-
customers. This one’s a must
process for becoming a pas-
uct and develop more loyal cus-
read—and will be hot off the
sionate and successful sales-
tomers, resulting in greater
presses by early June! —KAG
Focusing on both the emo-
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WHAT WOMEN WANT Just for fun, we conducted an online survey (friends and friends of friends) to find out how women like guys to dress. The questions were open-ended so all responses were unaided. The sample was national, mostly professional women (lawyers, writers, marketing execs, event planners, teachers, health care workers) between 25 and 50 who were surprisingly opinionated about what their men should wear. Here, a few interesting findings: • On a scale of 1 to 10, the average ranking for the importance of a guy’s appearance was a 7 (2 to 10 range). One respondent noted that “for work colleagues, appearance is a 10 because it reflects our brand.” Another ranked it 10 for boyfriends and/or partners “because we reflect each other.” • Asked what they notice first about how a guy is dressed, 60 percent notice his overall style (neat or sloppy, casual or buttoned up) vs. a particular
apparel item. 30 percent say they look first at the shirt (pattern, color, fit), 30 percent at the shoes (“shoes reflect his overall style and the care he puts into his things”), and 20 percent at how well the clothes fit. • Asked what specifically would attract them to a guy, the majority once again cited an overall look (comfort, confidence and fit were noted most often), rather than a specific item. “I’m attracted if the guy looks like he’s given it some thought,” writes Natalie, a personal shopper. “I often tell my 35-year-old boyfriend that he dresses like an 8th grader!” admits another respondent. “I go for well-groomed and confident,” writes Samantha, a marketing exec. “And a nice fitted suit never hurts!” Casey looks for quality casual clothes that fit. “And to me, rolled-up shirt sleeves revealing tattoos is very sexy.” • Fashion turn-offs included flashy logos, clothes that are unclean, wrinkled, too baggy or too tight, man buns, graphic tees, short shorts, stains, cheap fabrics, pleats, clothes that are “too beige,” underwear showing, and “anything that looks more feminine than what I’m wearing…” The most common criticism was “sloppy,” a turn-off cited by 40 percent of respondents. • Asked to describe a perfect outfit, respondents divided their preferences into work, weekend and date night categories. For work and dinner out, items most often mentioned were button-down shirt (“tucked in”), fitted pants, tailored suit (“pocket square and tie bar are nice touches”), blazer, nice loafers (“not tassel shoes like my 75-year-old 6th grade teacher wore”), dress pants, nice jeans. For weekends, popular responses included plain T-shirt, cool sneakers, jeans—fitted and dark. Less frequent but interesting responses: “maybe a hat,” “vintage T-shirt,” “some facial hair.” Or as one respondent noted, “There is no perfect outfit. Guys should experiment to find a look that reflects their personality.” • Other meaningful comments: “Clothes are important,” says Michelle (who described herself as a domestic goddess). “You’re telling the world how you’d like to be treated.” “The nicer someone is, the more I like how he dresses,” notes Kim. And from Emma (a lawyer), “Guys should not wear black socks and sandals with Michigan basketball shorts. But since my husband does, I probably shouldn’t be taking this survey…” BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN
IMAGE COURTESY OF ELEVENTY
If you think women don’t care what their men wear, think again!
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DESIGNERS Michael Bastian is a classic American designer who understands clothes and the men who buy them. “I’ve always looked to design the stuff I’m dying to wear but can’t find,” he confides. “What are the perfect basics? Where can I find a good cashmere crewneck that fits just right? That became a founding principle when I first launched my collection, and I still design things that I’m personally looking for each season.” Bastian started his career as a department store men’s apparel buyer, working his way up to fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman before launching his own collection in 2006. He won the Council of Fashion Designers of America Menswear Designer of the Year award in 2011, and is the darling of fashion editors and bloggers. “American designers are
“Things feel more designer-y, more branded. But I sense the pendulum is swinging back to an environment that appreciates heritage. Michael Bastian Gray Label is definitely an American brand. I’ve spent lots of time in Italy, where luxury brands are too perfect, almost untouchable. Ours is about being a little rumpled, and very approachable.” The collection builds from a foundation of basics—a great pocket T-shirt, a slim cargo pant—layering on effortless fashion pieces like a tropical leaf-printed short, a washed linen shirt, and a garment-dyed sweater that embodies “James Dean cool.” A deconstructed blazer in a shirting fabric is perfect for a casual dinner at an outdoor café, while a plaid cotton/linen bomber jacket is sure to be your go-to spring jacket for seasons to come.
Michael Bastian presents a cool casual luxury collection for spring ’18. BY JOHN RUSSEL JONES
hailed as either modern—Calvin Klein—or preppy—Ralph Lauren,” says Bastian. “I like to take the best of both worlds and land right in the middle. I’ve always admired the work of Perry Ellis in the 1970s and ’80s. I don’t think people remember what that brand was like when he was designing it.” Bastian applies a sense of luxury to his designs: besides his stint at Bergdorf’s, he’s also partnered with luxury brand Brunello Cucinelli. “We launched in that ‘#menswear’ moment, just as bloggers became influential. We’re now in a label moment,” he explains.
Rounding out the collection: great swim shorts in a perfect length, with a side pocket and secure back zipper pocket. Spring’s easy, washed-down palette ranges from indigo and olive to gray, white and ivory. As for Bastian personally, he’s in a domestic state of mind. “My life has changed a lot recently. I got married last June and often work from home. I’m more house-focused these days, so it’s been a weird year. For Christmas, it was all about whether or not I wanted a Magic Pot,” he jokes. Wherever his mind is, it seems to be working.
T H E S H I R T M A K E R S I N C E 19 2 8
Light Space INTER SECTING
P H OTO G R A P H Y : S E R G I O K U R H A J E C S T I L L - L I F E P H OTO G R A P H Y : B R I A N K L U TC H HAIR|MAKEUP: LIAM DUNNE WA R D R O B E : W E N DY M C N E T T
PETER MILLAR TO BOOT
PERFECTING THE PANTS!
New to the US last year, Brax has quickly taken menswear by storm. BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN
It’s not too often that the men’s fashion industry experiences the type of paradigm shift that’s happening now. You might or might not have noticed, but welldressed men these days are dressing themselves just a bit differently than the mainstream. Their clothing is fitted but never tight, in fabrics that are softer and lighter than the stuff in most closets. The look is effortless and classic but completely modern, especially their pants, which are both comfortable and fashionable: more casual than dress pants but dressier than jeans or loose khakis. “These are the go-to pants guys need now,” says Russ Fearon, president of Throat Threads Apparel, US distributor of the German-based Brax. “The modern aesthetic, soft luxurious feel and stretch comfort of these pants means phenomenal value for the sophisticated-casual consumer.” Brax might be new to the American market, but the company has been crafting luxury pants in Europe for 130 years. For Germans, Brax is ranked right up there with Mercedes and Porsche: a prestige brand renowned for its beauty, precision and performance.
“What this really means is consistency,” Fearon explains. “In sizing, fabric, fit and finish, our standards never waver.” In fact, fabric is a key selling point for Brax. “The company has been using the finest Italian and German weaving mills for its pants for more than 100 years,” Fearon continues. “All the fabrics are exclusive to Brax, and we work closely with the mills to create something that’s highly engineered, with a luxury feel, at a great price.” Most Brax pants retail between $200 and $300 and they’re washable, a convenience that American men appreciate. Key looks for spring ’18 include numerous interesting textures and a new fit that features a comfortable waist and rise with a slimmer leg and narrower bottom. Also important for spring/summer: lots of white! “I think Brax has carved out a space all its own: a pant that’s perfectly positioned between sophistication and leisure,” sums up Fearon. “The reaction has been amazing: upscale stores that started out testing 100 pairs ended up selling 1,000. It’s tough these days to find an apparel item that generates this kind of response.”
Every day is worth celebrating. 38
he cork is popped. Tiny bubbles dance, swirl and burst joyfully to awaken the senses. The occasion? Tuesday! What better way to honor family, friends and life than with some bubbles, be it Champagne or another sparkling wine? Crystal Hinds, owner and operator of Effervescence, the acclaimed Champagne bar located on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans, agrees. “Some of my fondest memories of my [French and Italian] family getting together are of the Champagne toasts: the sound of the pop, the good times, my dad saying a few words and everyone clinking their glasses. The older I got, the more I wished we could do that every day... until I ultimately realized, ‘We can!’ “Around the world, people drink sparkling wine all the time. It’s only recently that Americans are finally catching on: sparkling wine pairs well with many foods, and bubbles can be enjoyed throughout the year.” Hinds’ philosophy reflects a growing sentiment across the US. Exceptional Champagne bars now dot the map from coast to coast. Each has its own distinct vibe, but all are places to explore the different flavors and nuances of Champagne and sparkling wines from various winemaking regions in the country and around the globe. Effervescence is housed in a renovated historic home and feels like a cross between a lounge and a modern bistro. It offers close to 400 choices of Champagne and sparkling wine—33 by the glass—and 10 different flights that change throughout the year, including vertical tastings that provide the opportunity to compare the same wine from different years. With so many choices, budding enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike will find bubbly to expand their palates. Hinds suggests that customers feel at ease asking servers and sommeliers for suggestions, explanations and information. “We pride ourselves on having a knowledgeable and informative staff.” Many Champagne bars also host wine education classes or special tastings geared toward different levels of knowledge, and serve small plates that exquisitely complement their selection of sparkling wines, including cheese and charcuterie boards; caviar and oysters are always favorites as well. In most cases, the culinary fare provides an exclamation point to the evening. “I want our clients to really taste the flavors of the food and the sparkling wine: taste how they blend together and don’t overpower each other!” Effervescence has become a destination for dinner as well as for bubbly. The food is served on sharing plates for everyone to taste, to celebrate the gathering of friends and the communal experience of dining. Says Hinds, “In many formal settings, people feel that the Champagne cork should ‘sigh,’ never pop, but at Effervescence our philosophy is to pop the Champagne! We want to hear it!” BY LESLEY RUBENSTEIN
Four More Spots to Enjoy Fabulous Fizzy Feasts Visit these exceptional sparkling wine bars to enliven the spirits!
AMBONNAY CHAMPAGNE BAR
FLUTE BAR AND LOUNGE
POPS FOR CHAMPAGNE
• An intimate setting • Recognized by Food & Wine Magazine, among others, as one of the Best Bars in America • Features Champagne and sparkling wines by the glass and more than 100 different options by the bottle • Hosts tasting classes • Serves upscale snacks like truffle popcorn, cheese plates and olives
• Two locations with distinct personalities • Offers sparkling wines, Champagne, sparkling cocktails and a full bar • Features live jazz • Hosts Champagne School • Serves small plates such as Vietnamese-fusion spring rolls and house-made fois gras terrine with chutney
• The granddaddy of Champagne bars that’s been open for more than 30 years • Close to 150 choices of Champagne and sparkling wines; also serves cocktails, wine, beer • Hosts Mangum Mondays • Features live jazz • Serves a seasonal menu of small plates featuring charcuterie, oysters and caviar
• A sophisticated new spot • Features Champagne and sparkling wines by the glass and bottle, as well as other wines • Festive nibbles include cheese, charcuterie, caviar, waffle tater tots, chocolates and more • Offers brunch
THE RIDDLER PHOTO: KASSIE BORRESON
Having witnessed my clothes flowing out of my closet and into the living room, my well-intentioned friends confirmed that I had an abnormal relationship with my things. Filled with heaps of clothes that had long overstayed their welcome, my burgeoning closet was crippling me. To sum it up, I’d turned into a closet case who couldn’t let go of anything. Even the women of Grey Gardens would have been appalled. But the problem amounted to more than a messy home; it was the daily trauma of getting dressed. Admittedly, I would freeze with confusion every morning, struggling amidst the chaos to pull together something suitable. And here’s the irony: like many people, I owned lots of clothes but never had anything to wear. Either nothing fit anymore, or else it had sadly slipped out of style. I realize I’m not the only one afflicted with a tendency to hoard; there are entire reality shows about it! If you, or someone you know, has a similar problem, let me share my surprisingly obvious fix—a timely closet cleaning. But to do it right, you’ll need a professional, a knowledgeable fashion insider to help execute that long-overdue cathartic purge. How I did it: I simply called my favorite store and explained my dilemma. They suggested that one of their consultants stop by to help me obtain some clarity. This consultant would act as my fashion therapist to help unravel the mystery of—to paraphrase The Clash—what should stay and what should go.
Fortunately, it’s no mystery to a professional! My style maven quickly determined which pieces were lost causes to be ditched and which could assume a meaningful new life by being donated to a worthy charity. He even took the rejected pile with him and donated it for me. What a relief! He also removed my delusions about my baggy cargo shorts ever again looking good on me (or anyone), boldly declaring the time had come for them to take a quick hike to the trash bin, along with all those billowy button-down dress shirts. He then put his expertise to work on what remained of my wardrobe, showing me fresh combinations that never occurred to me, and suggesting a few new pieces that would modernize my look (trim chino shorts, a slim-fit polo in purple, an unlined sport coat, incredibly lightweight jeans). I felt no pressure, but the few pieces I ultimately added are the ones I wear most often, the ones that inevitably lift my mood. And so my life has changed. A new confidence has replaced the frustration and wasted time of trolling through stuff that consumed endless emotional and physical space. An unexpected benefit: in addition to obtaining sartorial solace, I discovered my Peloton buried beneath a massive pile of shirts. With those extra minutes I gain getting dressed more efficiently, I can now allocate time to shrinking my midsection for a more comfortable fit into those new chino shorts. I’m starting now: summer’s waiting. BY HANS GSCHLIESSER
20TH CENTURY FOX/KOBAL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
No, I’m not talking about slim suits or skinny jeans. I’m talking about putting my overstuffed closet on a diet.