Only true shopaholics know the pleasure of finding that unique brand that still hasn’t received critical acclaim… You literally have to shop all of the time to truly discover these little fashion gems and you have to have an open mind and creative eye. Anyone can wear DVF, BCBG, and yes even one of my favs Jill Stuart, but only a select few have the ability to cut through the clutter to find a little bit of fashion salvation in a sea of ubiquity… Luckily for you, I am one of those unique shopaholics, so I want to share some of the brands that you should pay close attention to this Spring.
On the top of my list for the last couple of seasons has been an amazing little French brand called Heimstone. I had the pleasure to meet/interview the two young designers on a dreary day last winter and have to tell you that not only were they beyond fab, but I adore their clothes. Part rock-n-roll, part girly girl, the collection has a distinct point of view. Imagine details from the rocker Spring ’09 Balmain jackets subtly imposed on a flowing little dress. They also love the idea of a built-in corset as a signature element, which I think is genius. This season they move the collection forward by experimenting with patchwork, piecing and cutouts. The dresses are the definite standouts, but some of their little jackets are also on my covet list. You can still find a few pieces on LaGarconne on sale if you hurry!
Another line that will absolutely be on my must have list is Aussie brand Life With Bird. So downtown girl casual…think almost 80’s punk meets Kirsten Dunst waif. Now if you are cringing at the description, don’t freak, the collection is easy and wearable and fun and girly…perfect vacation attire. You can find it on LaGarconne and Satine right now.
I LOVE Lover! I first happened upon it at Barneys a couple of years ago and have since followed the cool chick brand… I am always drawn to their more structured pieces that have a school girl meets irreverent hipster vibe. The collection has a harder edged ease…basically less flowing and draped, more constructed. Tough to find, but Barneys always has some key styles as does Steven Alan in Tribeca.
Perhaps the most well known of the brands is Mayle. I want everything from the Resort collection…it is perfect! From the best dresses, to go-to blouses, this collection is vintage-inspired, smartly detailed and always feminine. I also think it offers some of the best jumpsuits/rompers and harem pants of the season, so if you want to try these trends, Mayle is a great way to go. Net-A-Porter still has some seasonless pieces on sale and the Mayle website or the store in Nolita has the best of the Resort line. This collection is great for work as well as play, so it can be a great wardrobe builder!!!
By the way, buy some of your spring clothes from Resort collections, as I often find some of the most creative pieces for these small concise capsules.
Next on my covet list is Mischen for the perfect party dress… Sometimes the overall collection point-of-view is a bit all over the place, but for that special item, it will always be a go-to for me. Right now I desire a nude beautifully draped, wrapped little number with a WOW piece of pink lace subtly grazing the shoulder. I am also loving some of the embellished, tiered dresses. Again LaGarconne is the best bet for sale, but if you prefer the in store experience, Intermix in NYC should have the new collection soon.
I also want to mention some brands that didn’t necessarily make my must-have list as a full collection, but will be sure to have some amazing pieces in stores soon. Look for Karen Zambos Vintage Couture and Twinkle by Wenlan for great resort dresses and Tsumori Chisato and Future Classics for special, more high-design fashion.
Remember don’t rely on the obvious this Spring…think outside of the box and explore lesser known brands. Nothing wrong with ubiquity once in a while, but those with true style will always strive to be a bit underground, a bit creative and always truly inspired!!!