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Category Archives: Fashion
The weather is certainly feeling like. . . winter at last! Hurrah! Looking back at some pretty, dreamy, celebratory pictures from the 2009-2010 Hermès winter ad campaign featuring model Raquel Zimmerman, photographed by Eric Valli.
A few weeks ago, I was able to combine a sprint shopping session with a meeting in Manhattan. I was pleasantly surprised – the city was feeling rather outdoorsy. Good timing with the onset of winter and stores ramping up for the holiday onslaught. In addition to stops at Best Made Company and Uniqlo already documented, here are some more alpine and outdoor findings.
Intricate laser cut and bonded detail on Mountain Force women’s Joplin jacket. This Swiss brand is the pinnacle of technical outerwear design and engineering. Check out this season’s line at a specialty retailer such as Paragon Sports or if not familiar with the brand, spend some time on the Mountain Force web site to get an idea of the precision in design, details and manufacturing, premium materials and covetable styling.
Lots of photo-real wildlife on outerwear this season. Volcom Snowboarding women’s Astrid jacket features wolves (left) and Quiksilver men’s Forever jacket with birds (right) both offer the performance of Gore-Tex in 2-layer shell construction.
xSweaty Betty is now stateside! The British line of women’s performance sport apparel now has retail shops in Soho and Greenwich, Connecticut. I am long familiar with the brand for workout, running and yoga gear but was surprised to learn they offer ski. The ski collection is tightly edited with a precisely merchandised color palette. Base and mid layers come in unique interpretations and bold body-conscious outerwear bib and jacket styles give the impression of a one-piece suit. My feeling on Sweaty Betty ski and the rest of the line is this – it is not cheap (pricier than Lululemon) but is a fresh alternative to the competition and a welcome addition to women’s performance apparel.
xxOver the past few years, Fjällräven has become a favorite outdoor brand of mine, luring me in with their rucksacks, tight logo and heritage to realize there is so much more. The Swedish specialty outfitter, named after the arctic fox, has a long history producing functional equipment and apparel for exploring the outdoors. Fjällräven claims to be the inventor of the framed backpack and in 1960 became the first brand to manufacture and distribute this innovative equipment. As for apparel, Fjällräven is famous for their G-1000 waxed fabric that is durable and resistant to the elements.
Fjällräven’s second New York City shop is located on the corner of Greene and Grand Streets in Soho. A well-merchandised store shows off the fabulous full product range – beyond the adorable and colorful Kånken backpacks most readily associated with this brand. Fjällräven products possess function and classic looks steeped in heritage and rich color for all that is involved in an outdoor lifestyle. (Yet another example of Swedish design being responsible for some of the finest sporting product available.) For the merchandise and shopping experience, I recommend Fjällräven as a must on any NYC shopping list.
Changing gears to fashion – clean and bright Joe Fresh prominently features this shiny and white deer family for holiday. (Reminiscent of the Hermès 2010 winter ad campaign.) It is always nice to see this icon of the outdoors.
I am currently in a flannel phase. But who isn’t, really? Either because of, or as a fortunate coincidence, there has not been a better selection of flannel shirts readily available since the 1990s grunge wave. From affordable choices at trend-driven fashion retailers such as Uniqlo and American Eagle to premium offerings from heritage outfitters such as Filson and Penfield, there are many fine options in the mid-range from outdoor sport brands.
Bored with tech-y styling and challenged to find lightweight mid-layers, I am on a mission to find options — the flannel shirt could be a solution. Certainly, this dressing approach is nothing new to much of the snow-sliding population, but for many it falls way outside the realm of acceptable performance layering. For me, I will chance the “no cotton” rule in appropriate conditions!
My personal favorite by far is Patagonia’s Fjord Flannel. High quality, not too heavy, not too light, crazy soft, nicely tailored for wearing hem-out and enough sizes available to fit just right. Women’s Fjord Flannel shown here, check Patagonia for the Men’s Fjord Flannel.
Dakine offers a performance flannel shirt of polyester with a brushed cotton-hand feel – truly more appropriate for snowsport layering than cotton. Cypress blue check for women, Oakridge traditional buffalo plaid for men.
xxxxxBest Made Company® is dedicated to equipping customers with quality tools and dependable information that they can use and pass down for generations. We seek to empower people to get outside, use their hands and in doing so embark on a life of fulfilling projects and lasting experiences.
Founded in 2009 with their now-famous axe collection, Best Made’s product line of tools and supplies has grown to include apparel, bags, knives, first aid kits, enamelware, maps, badges and assorted other utilitarian items in luxe execution. Product is tightly edited, presentation and merchandising are delightfully straightforward. The aesthetic and brand identity are simple, clear and deftly make the nostalgia of camp and the great outdoors modern.
Best Made Co. is function, quality and community – and absolutely worth a visit: in person at 36 White Street, Tribeca, New York, NY or on-line at bestmadeco.com. Communications from the brand, both printed and electronic, are a pleasure to receive.
Uniqlo is alpine-themed! All windows and displays in the 34th Street Manhattan store are outfitted with this mountaineering-inspired look to promote the Ultra Light Down and Fleece programs. Climbing rope, harnesses, sky-high heels and skateboard decks – somehow this mash-up works to merge outdoor with fast fashion.
Found this in my mailbox yesterday – J.Crew goes to the mountains! The December 2013 Style Guide was photographed on location in Zermatt, Switzerland, land of the Matterhorn. Nice job on the styling, pleasant mood infusing fashion with a little sport. In terms of authentic snow product, J.Crew continues to carry select jackets from luxury ski brand, Authier. All images from this Style Guide are available on J.Crew’s Pinterest.x
Mountain shoots are nothing new to J.Crew. A mini look back at a few mountain moments from winters past:
My shopping advice to everyone is this — run, don’t walk to the nearest Uniqlo store (or computer for uniqlo.com) to scoop up some ultra light down. With prices of $49.90 for vests and $69.90 for jackets, it is all too easy to consider an assortment.
Last week, after five hours and as many hooded down vests later, I emerged from a Manhattan Uniqlo overwhelmed but hardly defeated by the excessive goodness in store. Sure, the down collection is nothing new – but the success has driven more selection in styles, colors and prints! To me, the prints are the real coup: polka dots, gingham, plaid and more for women; camouflage, houndstooth, denim and others for men. I was defenseless against the super-cute hooded vests with dots and checks!
The designs are simple and flattering – the women’s styles in particular benefit from this approach, as they are not overdone with excessive quilting and shaping. In terms of weight, these garments fall in the down “sweater” category, perfect as outerwear in cool (not cold) temps and excellent layering weight. As for quality, the fill is 90% down / 10% feather with downproof nylon shell fabric. Zippers are YKK. The included stuff sack is a reasonable size that makes for easy storage. The concept of the compact stuff sack is widely promoted as an integral part of this collection with instructional videos running throughout the store and down garments put into their pouches by sales clerks at checkout.
It is exciting to see performance apparel stories take root in mainstream fashion. Uniqlo has been effective in educating consumers about the benefits of down (light, warm, packable, versatile, comfortable, natural) and showing how to make it a part of everyday dress. (Another success is their Heattech program developed with leading technical fabric supplier, Toray.)
Personally, I have been a big fan of Uniqlo since the Japanese fast fashion retailer opened the SoHo store in 2006. Some of my most worn staples are Uniqlo, product quality is excellent and price can’t be beat. I expect the same of these down pieces and am thrilled to have added to my vest collection for daily uniform wear and broadened my on-hill layering options. And I can’t wait to layer a polka dotted hooded vest under a contrasting color technical shell!
In addition to gorgeous print ads, Hermès produced a lush lookbook to showcase the new ski collection. The inspiration for the line evidently is 19th century mountaineering.
Garments utilize traditional materials updated with technical performance characteristics: anti-UV calfskin leather, waterproof broadcloth, windproof stretch canvas and goose down, cashmere and mink which require no updating to provide warmth and luxurious softness. Accessories include goggles, leather-wrapped helmet and silk balaclava in an exquisite print for which Hermès is legendary. The color palette is quiet and subdued with curry yellow punctuating chalk white, camel and black. Consult the Hermès web site to view the collection.
All this fanciness does not come cheap – a quick estimate puts the price tag for a Hermès ski jacket and pant ensemble at seven thousand dollars, never mind the requisite layers and accessories. My next post will swing to the other end of the spectrum and get real with incredibly pleasing ultra light down at the entry price of fifty dollars from fast fashion giant Uniqlo. . .
All that is generally considered to be luxury ski apparel has been trumped this season by French fashion house Hermès. After being absent for many decades, Hermès is re-introducing ski – part of the brand’s heritage since the 1930s. The tightly edited line consists of luxurious and functional apparel and accessories.
As typical of Hermès, the print ad campaign is beautiful, charming and dreamy. A continuation of A Sporting Life theme, this campaign features Norwegian model Iselin Steiro with photographs by Nathaniel Goldberg.
Snow Hot featuring Kate Bock, photos by Arthru Belebeau. SELF, November 2013.
Ski Lift: Even as temperatures dip, the colors remain hot – neon to be precise. ELLE, October 2013.
Crystal-encrusted ski goggles. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS 2013 brand campaign featuring Candice Swanepoel, photo by Nick Knight.
The Après Ski Shop. . . Inspired by the Alpine mountains. Ready, set, snow. Banana Republic, Holiday 2013.
Tom Ford for The Man’s Store, Neiman Marcus, Holiday 2013.