Shala Monroque © vogue.com
Proof that fashion sites are becoming influential industry players, this week Net-a-Porter launched a capsule collection made exclusively for them by designer Esteban Cortazar. For those who don’t know who Cortazar is, a brief history: Esteban began his fashion career very early at the age of 17 with his eponymous label and was quickly catapulted into fashion darling stratosphere by editors and buyers alike. Eventually he went to Paris to take over the reigns of Ungaro, but fashion can spit you out as quickly as it embraces you and after two years he was fashion house-less.
Natalie Massenet believed in Cortazar’s talent, and voila, that is how we found ourselves in NaP’s offices this week chatting with Cortazar and falling in love with both the designer and his collection. “I want the clothes to have tailoring and a softness, like a knife cutting through butter,” he told us, holding up silk gowns, wool capes, chiffon tops that were a mix of sharp lines and feminine details. This initial collection is mostly in whites, creams and the palest nude pinks, because “I wanted to start with a blank canvas,” he continued. When we commented that one gown in particular, looked very “Gwyneth Paltrow”, he smiled knowingly yet revealed nothing. Since his pieces are already turning up on some very fashionable women, we imagine this charming designer and his stunning designs will be in the spotlight very soon.
View the entire Esteban Cortazar collection at Net-a-Porter →
Rineke Dijkstra, Vondelpark, Amsterdam
We have decided to take a fashion break (beware, we are writing our Fall wish lists and compiling the season’s must-haves and will share soon) and cleanse our palettes with an art field trip. First stop, Karen Kilimnik’s exhibition at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, CT. The solo show is open through September and features 60 of the artist’s paintings, drawings and installations–all from Peter Brant’s personal collection. Lunch at Méli-Mélo and a quick spin through Privet House down the street will make this part of the field trip complete.
With portraiture in mind, our other stop will be the Dutch photographer, Rineke Dijkstra’s first retrospective at the Guggenheim (through October 8th). Dijkstra is fascinated with photographing young people, mostly because their emotional vulnerabilities still show so close to the surface. A good bit of stop, think, and ponder on a hot summer day.
Karen Kilimnik’s ‘Prince Albrecht at Home’
Finally, a new book that we cannot wait to read! With great reviews in the NYT’s and on Tory Burch’s blog, Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter’s recently released novel, looks like a cannot-put-down story. Set in 1960′s Italy and Hollywood today (and many other locations), this is the beach book we have been waiting for.
When we met Gaby Basora, the designer behind the five-year-old line Tucker, we were a bit taken aback. Tucker, her line of printed silk separates, is feminine, breezy, full of pastel and saturated shades. Tucker is very upbeat in nature. When Gaby showed up for our meeting at her Soho boutique and showroom on her bicycle in heels, high-waisted jeans, a Tucker sailor top and oversize, very 70′s sunglasses which made her eyes look like saucers, we immediately decided she was one the coolest, über-downtown mother-of-three boys we’d ever met. She was not who we expected, and we loved her for it. Gaby is engaging and wickedly articulate, and her enthusiastic, grand-scale vision–of keeping her designs made in New York to help a dying business, of helping other business women, and the desire to teach young talent, is contagious. A truly modern and inspiring woman.
Why the name Tucker? I had an appointment to show my collection to Barneys in 2006 but had no name for it. I heard stories of designers losing control over their names and with the deadline looming, labels had to be ordered. I woke up from a dream with the name Tucker on my mind. I love the connotations of language, so I looked up the meaning in the dictionary. One definition: piece of cloth draped over the bosom. GULP!
What is the key to a successful print? Where do you find your inspiration? It varies and is often surprising. Whether a print is successful or not is never a sure thing, which I like. Inspiration comes from everywhere, from something as pedestrian as gum on the street to something as abstract as Marguerite Duras’ writing. A travel to Turkey brought back inspiration from tiles. And films. My mother built and ran an art house cinema at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I like making film vignettes for Tucker–homages to the women who wear Tucker or have inspired me. We just finished a film with Kinga Burza, who directed the short film, Candy.
What do you want women to feel when they buy a piece from Tucker? Clothing and dressing is an opportunity for communication, to say something about yourself and to connect. The experience of feeling beautiful, special, daring, unexpected, manly or womanly is an opportunity for exploration. But now it is also essential to be comfortable and move easily. Tucker offers a chance for women to make the look their own. I love that in one week, Richard Branson’s mother was pictured in The Wall Street Journal wearing printed Tucker pants and then Tom Ford’s thirteen-year-old niece was in a Tucker blouse in French Vogue.
Summer essentials: My Dannijo cuff–my young son says it’s my Wonder Woman bracelet; sunglasses from Selima; bicycle from Bicycle Habitat; mixing up bikinis from Bantu and Giejo; and, of course, Tucker.
Fave family activities: An impromptu tea party, serving all flavors of Girl Scout cookies at Strawberry Fields in Central Park; walking over the Brooklyn Bridge for tacos at Gran Electrica; the Guggenheim Museum, because the staircase is frightening and gorgeous and gives me vertigo; lunch and dinner at Bar Pitti; frisee salad at Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie; playing ball in the park.
Fave downtown NYC spots: Left Bank Books; La Maison Supreme for vintage glassware; Face Place for facials with Tommy; and Olatz for linens.
Keeps me sane: Reading, walking and laughing.
Last summer we couldn’t wait to read The House in France by Gully Wells and Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. Sadly, this summer, there are few new books that are destined for our beach bags. So we decided this is the year to re-read not only our own favorites, but each others’ as well.
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. At the top of my favorite book list for quite a while. Didion’s classic from 1970 is a cautionary tale of a young woman who succumbs to the banalities of a soul-less Hollywood. Think of it as the Less Than Zero of the 70s, but far more poetic and sad.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lhari. Lhari mostly writes about Indians struggling with traditions in their homeland and America. There is a realistic, touching quality to her words and the title story evokes the mysticism and romance of India.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. I am a sucker for big romance and this heart-breaking story has it with a capital R. The movie that came out in the late 90s with Ralph Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas works just as well, but the part when Laszlo must leave Katherine behind in the cave–I cry buckets!
When You’re Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. Because it’s summer and you need some levity. The birds in the house in France and his grocery store experiences in Japan still make me laugh on a third read.
Julia Leach tucked Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem in her Chance event gift bags and after reading the first two stories, I went on a bit of a Didion binge and bought The Year of Magical Thinking, Play it as it Lays and The White Album.
Evening by Susan Minot. The movie did this wonderful book a great injustice and deserves a re-read.
Mohawk by Richard Russo. One of my favorite authors and I have read all of his books except his first. I will this summer.
J. Crew deck-stripe board shorts, $68; Cara accessories striped bangles, $12 each; TKEES flip flops, $48;
Ray-Ban aviators;Parasol color-block swim shirt, $165. Image © Vogue.com
Each season we’re on the lookout for a good cover-up, a kurta, an over-sized linen shirt, the usual. But then I saw a woman in Palm Beach come to the pool wearing a different striped mariner T-shirt paired with a pair of printed board shorts every day. She was older, but she looked cool. Then Preston and I were introduced to Parasol, a line by KiC friend Alexandra Kotur, creative director of Town & Country magazine and partner, lawyer Tiffany Molder, of SPF fabric surf shirts and bottoms. Now, even J. Crew is in on the action with board shorts and rash-guard tops. The great thing is, not only do these pieces work as coverups, they are can be worn in and out of the water and offer an extra layer of protection. And the idea of mixing stripes and prints is fun. It feels modern and sexy.