Accessories news from around the globe, from unique boutiques to charming jewels and exciting new collaborations.
This story first appeared in the February 8, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Even with two young kids and an ABC sitcom in production, Nicole Richie hasn’t taken her eye off her House of Harlow label, expanding this season with a new collection of casual-chic footwear and keeping up with her other accessories, too.
For example, she turned an eye toward the brilliant blues and greens of her favorite animal for the Peacock Cuff ($148, Kitson, shopkitson.com). Jack the Ripper even helped in the creation of the Pearl shoe, which was inspired by the dark Victorian fashion in the 2001 flick From Hell. “I wanted to corset the back of the shoe to give it a little something,” she says ($225, Step by Sloan, Charlotte, N.C., 704.376.1275).
Finally, the designer looked to masquerade-ball masks, such as the one shown here, for glam inspiration in building her five-style eyewear collection for spring. “Sunglasses are like mini masks,” she notes. “You can have a complete look without worrying about makeup and what your face looks like all the time” ($125, Kitson, shopkitson.com).
Life is a Cabaret
Paris’ Moulin Rouge, the fabled club and home of the boistrous cancan, is feting its 120th anniversary with a collection of glitzy accessories. These include a feathered shoe designed by Maison Clairvoy and necklaces by On Aura Tout Vu (from $2,893, Moulin Rouge, Paris, +33.01.53.09.82.82).
—Natasha Camilla Montrose
Nathalie Queyraud is inspired by all things fashion, from designers to shows and their front-row fixtures.
For her fledgling costume jewelry line, Défilés, she interprets looks from the Paris collections in the form of enamel-coated metal pins and charms ($60 to $200, Sophy Curson, Philadelphia, 215.567.4662).
Queyraud, whose picks range from runway looks to likenesses of designers, says, “I find the universe of the shows so magical and wanted to pay homage.”
Thai One On
For Koi Suwannagate, there’s no place like home. This spring, the Los Angeles–based ready-to-wear designer found inspiration in her Thai heritage and collaborated with a coterie of artisans, including Prinnuj and Worakij Kijjaraksuvanich of the two-year-old Prinn fine jewelry line. The partnership resulted in an enchanting lineup of gold and silver finery revolving around the lotus plant, including arresting rings with mobile—Suwannagate terms it “dancing”— gemstone flora ($950 to $8,500, Relish, Washington, 202.333.5343).
What to do with a beautiful perfume bottle after the fragrance is gone? If you’re Peter Copping, Nina Ricci’s creative director, you fashion jewelry from the house’s famous bottle stoppers. “I love that Nina Ricci is a small house with a great couture heritage—which I would like to reinterpret in an updated way,” he says. To that end, Copping set the actual Lalique-designed crystal stoppers in delicate gold settings for necklaces, rings and bracelets with discreet charm and elegance. Here, clockwise from top: Coeur Joie (1946), Capricci (1961) and Fille d’Eve (1952). The pieces start at $500 and will be available in August (Nina Ricci, Paris, +33.01.40.88.64.51).
— Roxanne Robinson-Escriout
Diane von Furstenberg has found something fresh to mine from the Seventies. For spring, telephone wire bracelets made a vibrant addition to her collection’s tribal goddess vibe. Von Furstenberg sourced the bracelets from South Africa’s Senzokuhle Wire Co. through Vital Voices, an organization that enables impoverished women around the world to earn money while preserving their artisanal traditions ($40 to $60, Diane von Furstenberg, New York, 646.486.4800).
Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy did a pas de trois with French dance shoe firm Repetto. Rodarte for Repetto ballet flats are jazzed up in texturized, marbled leather, and there’s also a lace-up flat ($495, Bergdorf Goodman, New York, 212.753.7300).
Beazie Roberts likes imposing gems. The fine jewelry designer, who trained at London’s venerable Benjamin Warwick jewelry firm, sets hefty rocks like an electric 23-carat blue paraiba tourmaline and a whopping 19-carat mandarin garnet into white and rose gold ring settings, or lilac tourmalines into white gold–set drop earrings. Roberts, who’s based between London and Bangkok, where she sources her stones, adds that she often makes her picks on the basis “that you can see them from across the room.” ($800 to $13,600, beazieroberts.com).
The art-accessories connection is growing ever stronger.
This season, French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan has teamed with Coach on a collection of beach-themed goods ($98 to $598, coach.com). The lineup spans a range of chic wares—from handbags to costume jewelry to a beach towel—all emblazoned with Le-Tan’s whimsical sketches. A leather and canvas sling bag with turnlock closures, for instance, features a breezy seaside tableau, complete with beach umbrella and sombrero. No word on whether Le-Tan was inspired by his daughter Olympia Le-Tan’s foray into accessories with her 2009 line of customized book-shaped minaudières.
London designer Peter Jensen, meanwhile, enlisted photographer Laurie Simmons—famous for her dollhouse imagery—for a collaboration. Simmons created a shoot showcasing Jensen’s spring collection, to serve as both look book and backdrop to his presentation. The designer photographed model Barbora Dvorakova wearing his clothes in his studio and turned the images into paper dolls before handing them over to Simmons. She styled and shot them using her own collection of dollhouse backdrops and props. The accessories ($100 to $250, Selfridges, London; Beams, Tokyo, and Steven Alan, New York) came courtesy of Hong Kong–based sibling designers Jing and Kay Wong of Daydream Nation, who made the same girlish jewelry for the paper dolls and their live-model counterparts. “We couldn’t use the same yarns for the doll versions,” gripes Kay of one obstacle. “We had to use really thin threads for the crochet designs.”
Claudia Marodim may be Brazilian, but she understands the global appeal of British style. After a stint as logistics manager at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Marodim moved to London, where she launched Go-British, an online boutique offering a plethora of quintessentially British accessories, luggage, millinery and clothing labels. Lines sold on the site include gloves by Dents, Hunter Wellingtons, Penhaligon’s fragrances and Globe-Trotter suitcases, alongside labels like Vivienne Westwood, Richard James and Aquascutum. There are also numerous products exclusive to Go-British, such as a Victoria Grant beret embroidered with a Union Jack design and Linda Farrow Vintage gray wayfarer sunglasses. Prices range from about $15, for a “Made in England” tea towel by Pintuck, to $6,145, for a set of three Holland & Holland brown crocodile photo frames (Go-british.co.uk).
Jean Paul Gaultier is famous for his nautical striped sweaters, and might soon be for sneakers as well. Sixty-year-old French footwear firm Pataugas tapped Gaultier to create a line of limited-edition sporty kicks. The collection was inspired by nautical themes, including Breton sailors and fishnets, and comes in five styles of high- and low-tops ($250, Bergdorf Goodman, New York, 800.558.1855).
House of Worship
According to Rodney Burns and David Malvaney, owners of the new Los Angeles boutique Church, to be distinctive is to be divine.
When assembling their accessories assortment, Burns and Malvaney took pains to select about 30 designers who create one-of-a-kind items or those with limited availability. For example, Church is the only store in the U.S. that sells Lone Ones, a jewelry line known for its hefty chain-link bracelets and necklaces. The shop is also home to Ludevine’s jewelry with fossils, Ron Donovan’s exotic skin heels, Dafne Balatsos’ spiked bags, Melissa McClure Jewelry Alchemy’s handcrafted necklaces and bracelets, Galadriel Mattei’s cashmere hats and headbands and what Burns calls jeweler Susie Fox’s “everyday bling.” A silver and leather jewelry line developed by Burns and Malvaney under the store’s Native label is launching this year, as well. “If there’s a stylist around the corner looking for a piece for Rihanna, I always want to be the store where she can get it,” explains Burns. “I want to be as avant-garde and as special as possible.”
Hats are enjoying a renaissance these days, and selections couldn’t be more varied. Case in point: New York–based milliner Albrizio is relaunching the mini hat, a witty headband style that was popular for the company in the Sixties and Seventies ($40 to $100, davidsteelnyc.com).
Meanwhile, for those who want to make a grand entrance, young designer Federica Moretti has created quirky straw hats and visors with black ribbons for her spring collection. ($216 to $260, Barneys New York, New York, 212.826.8900).
—Sarah Haight and Alessandra Turra
Charles Dickens logged many miles traveling the world. So it’s fitting the owner of The Old Curiosity Shop in London, a store that reputedly inspired the celebrated author to write his novel of the same name, would want to bring a bit of Dickens abroad. Daita Kimura first turned the humble 60-square-foot space into a shoe salon in 1992, producing handmade heels and boots for locals under The Old Curiosity Shop label. Now, Kimura is expanding outside the U.K. The Japanese designer, who cobbles the pairs in the basement of the half-timbered building that opened in 1567, is offering two collections: handmade shoes (from about $500, Comme des Garçons boutiques in Tokyo) and Spanish factory-produced ready-to-wear versions (from $350, Elsa, Antwerp, Belgium, +126.96.36.199.54).
Balinese-born Heaven Tanudiredja’s kaleidoscopic pendants measure up to 12 centimeters deep, lending a 3-D effect. Festooned with arrangements of tulle, crystals and antique finds, each piece is produced in the designer’s atelier in Antwerp, Belgium ($800 to $2,000, Blake, Chicago, 312.202.0047). “I want to represent beautiful craftsmanship,” says Tanudiredja, who is in talks to develop a collection with a local diamond dealer.
Giles Deacon’s first fine jewelry collection is characteristically playful. A bracelet featuring sparkling Mickey Mouse ears and a spiderlike ring in gold are among the gems on offer (from $325, Selfridges, London, selfridges.com).
—Natasha Camilla Montrose
In Her Shoes
In its 90-year history, Delman has attracted a panoply of high-profile fans, including Marlene Dietrich (fond of pumps), Ava Gardner (glitzy, high-heeled sandals) and Marilyn Monroe (strappy slingbacks). Now, the firm is staging a retrospective with the help of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Its graduate students in the Fashion and Textile Studies program are curating the exhibition, dubbed “Scandal Sandals and Lady Slippers: A History of Delman Shoes.” It will feature items from the school museum’s collection and Delman’s comprehensive archives, including the lasts of famous patrons and magazine ads designed by Andy Warhol and Erté. The show at The Museum at FIT runs from March 9 to April 4.
Lowering the Bar
Glamazon shoes certainly have their place. But many women—from professionals who don’t like wearing sneakers with suits, to tall girls who want to stand eye-to-eye with shorter guys, and first ladies alike (Jackie Kennedy, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Michelle Obama)—have a warm spot for the kitten heel.
Some stats: The kitten heel stands 1.5 to 2 inches in height, with a curved, skinny spine that sets the heel in from the sole. After making its debut in the Fifties, designed for teenagers not quite ready for high heels, the stiletto mini-me gained popularity in the Sixties, when no less a fashion fave than Audrey Hepburn donned a pair of low-heeled slingbacks in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That chic black number, pointy toe and all, morphed into various styles by the late Nineties, when Manolo Blahnik began crafting kitten heels in all manner of looks, from feather-flourished to sleek slingbacks. So, if you refuse to teeter on tip-toes, you’ll find plenty of kitten silhouettes for spring, from J. Crew to Louis Vuitton to Marni.
Phoebe Philo, the new creative director of Celine—who gave the world a memorable “It” bag with the best-selling Paddington for Chloé while she was creative director there, years back—is at it again. Bells and whistles? They’re out. Philo’s bags, shoes and accessories for Celine are modern classics with smart details and luxe skins in neutrals and rich tones. Here, the designer discusses this new era of sober, sleek essentials with just the right dose of style.
WWD: What is the most important feature of a handbag for you?
Phoebe Philo: The attitude it gives—precious and small or tougher and large, depending on what you need. The quality of the leather, the quality of the construction, the detailing, the craftsmanship.…In the end, it is all of these elements.
WWD: How do you draw inspiration?
P.P.: We look at all kinds of research, from abstract ideas to photography and vintage. It gives us a starting point, and through the development, we try lots of detailing and know-how from our factory that creates the individuality in the end product.
WWD: How important is function?
P.P.: Obviously, it depends what you need. In the evening, it is less important, but for day, it drives me crazy if a bag is not functional.
WWD: Why do you think it’s important to invest in good accessories?
P.P.: We are building a wardrobe, where the most important thing is that the ideas and quality are strong, which, of course, will always give it added value.
WWD: How will the line evolve?
P.P.: We will see!
This Just In
Akris’ first foray into accessories comes in the trapezoid-shaped Ai handbag, made from Mongolian horse hair (from $3,489, Akris, Paris, +188.8.131.52.47.49).
Le Silla has partnered with Italian designer Albino D’Amato on a collection of metallic stepped wedges inspired the Manhattan skyline ($770, Penelope, Brescia, Italy, +39.03.02.9043).
Pirelli’s PZero Racing watches feature advanced technology and materials—like carbon fiber—plus a band that replicates the tread of its signature MS38 tire ($780 to $997, londonjewelers.com).
Lara Bohinc has turned her hand to footwear, producing a seven-piece collection including high-heeled sandals in python skin, suede and goat leather, and black leather shoe boots with gold chain mail embellishments ($697 to $1,041, Harvey Nichols, London, +44.870.192.5127).
Barbara Bui is launching her first collection of sterling silver and crystal jewelry, inspired by serpents, with carefully placed emeralds, snake heads and scales covering chain necklaces and bracelets ($450 to $2,720, Barbara Bui, Paris, +33.01.42.66.05.87).
Loewe creative director Stuart Vevers is reinventing the house’s 35-year-old Amazona bag in a hot pink patent leather version with brown leather handles and a mini option ($1,100 to $15,000, Jeffrey, New York, 212.206.1272).
Pomellato’s M’ama, non M’ama collection includes rings and earrings set with cabochons such as fire opal, amethyst and peridot to evoke emotions like passion, desire and jealousy ($960 to $1,250, Pomellato, New York, 212.879.2118).
VBH’s Bruce Hoeksema has injected a dose of flavor into Asprey’s luxury handbag offerings, with a menagerie of exotic skin bags, including a tubular clutch in ruby-polished python, shown, and a bronze-polished crocodile envelope clutch ($1,600 to $18,000, Asprey, New York, 212.688.1811).
Shoe designers spied the neck for inspiration this season. Tabitha Simmons and Manolo Blahnik, shown, paid homage to the necktie ($762, Manolo Blahnik, +44.207.352.8622).
Yves Saint Laurent’s new Rive Gauche tote, which takes five hours to make by hand, consists of Spanish lambskin and French calfskins that have been specially tanned, assembled into leather squares and finished with a ignature “Y” ($1,295 to $2,895, at Yves Saint Laurent, New York, 212.980.2970).
Shoe designer Ruthie Davis and jewelry designer Fiona Paxton have teamed up to create a sandal called Love, adorned with megafringe on the ankle strap ($795, Neiman Marcus, 800.365.7989).
Globe-Trotter has collaborated with Agent Provocateur on a trolley and suitcase featuring a pink silk lining that’s printed with retro pinup girl postcards ($1,300 and $2,100, globe-trotterltd.com).
Pour La Victoire is adding bridal accessories to its range with a collection of bejeweled shoes and handbags ($75 to $250, Zappos.com).
Catherine Malandrino is adding jewelry to her Malandrino collection, incorporating embroideries and rough-hewn stones that are threaded with a silver chain ($320 to $1,350, Saks Fifth Avenue, 877.551.7257).
Church’s is taking its best-selling women’s shoe, a brogue called Burwood, in a more feminine direction for spring with pastel colors, metallic combos and green nubuck ($425, Church’s, New York, 212.758.5200).
Talk about dance fever—Jimmy Choo’s new Zap shoe lights up like a disco floor when you wear it ($2,495, jimmychoo.com).
Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry is introducing his accessibly priced Deviated collection for spring, featuring layered strands of pearls, chain and mesh ($85 to $525, Henri Bendel, New York, 212.247.1100).
Miss Trish Splash, a witty, sea-themed collection of flip-flops, is the latest addition to Trish Carroll’s kitschy shoe line ($55 to $65, Bloomingdale’s, 800.777.0000).
Fine jewelry house Ilias Lalaounis is adding a limited edition 18- and 22-karat gold collection designed by fellow Greek ready-to-wear designer Sophia Kokosalaki ($900 to $2,500, Matches, London, matchesfashion.com).