“Directly below Shiprock you’ll find Santa Fe Dry Goods—the only store in Santa Fe that carries labels like The Row, Dries Van Noten, Issey Miyake, and Lemaire. Their neighboring home store, Wild Life, carries brands including Mad et Len and Astier de Villatte.”
Press clipping from: “Haunted Inns and Desert Dreams: The Seductive Charms of Santa Fe” by Alexandra Malmed
In 2008, Anne Schramm decided to start a small niche knitwear label in Berlin that would tie together generations-old knitting techniques with the best cashmere yarns available. Her pieces combine crochet and knit traditions that have been passed down through her family for generations. Every sweater is made to last a lifetime.
Recalling vintage and classic silhouettes with a contemporary twist, Anne’s collection ranges from lush, oversized wraps to closely tailored cardigans and just about everything in between.
Ultimately, Anne prides herself on creating uncomplicated yet exquisite designs. Sourcing fiber from Capra Hircus Laniger goats — which live in a habitat where there are significant changes in temperature — results in the development of a finer, more prized undercoat known as cashmere down.
Cashmere down is ten times warmer than wool, but with unparalleled lightness and softness. The loose knitting of these lofty and lush yarns makes them perfect for wearing in fall, winter or spring. One is simply never too hot or too cold.
While there is a huge range in the quality of cashmere available on the market, in Anne’s sweaters one is immediately aware of the superior quality against the skin… a form of sensory intelligence.
Her material choices are more crucial to a garment’s character than its silhouette or structure…although truth be told, she excels in all three.This dedication to the hand is what draws us again and again to her work – while we adore the drama and artistry of her runway shows, the real joy is found touching our way through her showroom.
A floral brocade spun from virgin wool and vegetable silk, a cotton and linen velvet with a peach-like finish and tufted alpaca yarns that layer like the wooly coat of a bison are just a few of the curious fabrics that comprise Uma’s latest delivery. This menagerie of rare and exquisite textiles is made exclusively by The House of Lyria in Prato, Italy. Riccardo Bruni, the creative force behind this studio, believes in infusing his designs with “structure and substance,” through muted palettes, organic materials and wholly unique looming processes.
From Riccardo’s fabric laboratory – the Lyria textile archive is said to contain 30,000+ different works – Uma carefully selects the foundations of her collections. Her evocative narrative is built upon winter-weight cottons modeled after crumbling Venetian plaster and liquid silks dyed with ash and coffee that echo the distressed polish of antique wood. The visual effect is equal parts romantic, gritty and deeply, deeply human. To interact with Uma Wang’s designs intimately is to discover that texture is far from just a matter of the hand, but an element experienced with all five senses.
Yarn is so simple, we almost forget its necessity. Woven, knotted, knit… its many incarnations form the building blocks for all fashion and textiles.
Designers Michel Bergamo and Cristina Zamagni of Boboutic describe yarn as “an endless line,” wholly rejecting the use of scissors. To cut a string of yarn as a shortcut of convenience is to sever its integrity as a material – both metaphorically and literally. In their singular approach to knitwear, infinite possibilities are found.
Boboutic is known for the sheer loftiness of their knits – squeezing a sleeve is akin to sinking your fingers into the fleece of the world’s softest goat. The plush is so mesmerizing, we are often at a loss to describe it (although our favorite descriptors lay somewhere between “marshmallow” and “cloud”). This effect is achieved through the designers’ unusual and architectural approach to knit. They describe the practice as “an ideal medium,” utilizing the versatility and flexibility of yarn to build and sculpt their garments as if they were clay.
In exploring the inviting hand of Boboutic, we were drawn to the work of Japanese fiber artist, Naoko Serino – an internationally recognized fiber artist who has been described as one of Japan’s textile pioneers. Much like Michel and Cristina’s unending yarn, Naoko builds up layers of interlocking jute and wool to carve gravity defying sculptural installations.
As temperatures cool and days shorten, we find ourselves in need of clothing that warms the body and heartens the soul. Here, we’ve compiled a guide to the softest fabrics to carry you through the season.
From the high plateaus of Asia, cashmere is beloved for its lightweight ultra-soft hand. Due to its scarcity – it can take a year’s growth, from four goats, to create a single cashmere sweater – it is even more prized as a textile.
Hypoallergenic, water resistant and resistant to pilling, alpaca contains microscopic air pockets that make the garments both light and insulating. Native to South America, alpaca is nature’s kaleidoscope, naturally occurring in 22 colors from black and brown to gray and ivory.
Known as one of the warmest textiles, there are nine types of wool: Alpaca, Angora, Camel, Cashmere, Lambswool, Melton, Merino, Mohair and Shetland. Favored for its natural elasticity and versatility, wool can be woven into heavy, dense fabrics and lightweight, soft fabrics.
Lofty and fluffy, raccoon hair offers terrific warmth and density. It is the ideal choice, for anyone with wool and cashmere allergies, in search of a soft warming fabric. Unlike more delicate fibers it is naturally resistant to pilling.
Soft, durable and resistant to pilling, camel wool is ideal for outerwear because of its insulating properties. Made by nomadic communities in Mongolia who clean and card the textile before spinning the wool by hand, very limited quantities are available to international markets.
Is there anything that says autumn quite like suede?
Supple, durable and smooth, with a surface that reads like brushed velvet – what an incredible material. Alongside leather and cashmere, the opportunity to reintegrate this texture into our wardrobes is one of our favorite things about the deepening of the seasons. Top of our minds for this effort is the work of Corîu – a small Italian atelier quietly developing some of the most sought after accessories in the industry. Inspired by his home of Acquaviva delle Fonti, Italy, designer Giordano Lapegna created this label to celebrate suede and leather and continue a legacy of fine Italian craftsmanship – one divine handbag at a time.
As a fifth-generation family with a rich tradition in maroquinerie, Giordano and his team craft their bags from organic Tuscan leather, a full-grain hide known for its earthy texture and finish. Suede is developed from the inner-facing surface of the hide, hand-treated and finished by Corîu’s artisans to have an exceptionally soft touch.
Subtle moments of refinement permeate the collection, which prizes structure and simplicity over flash and complication. The styles, which range from totes to messengers to buckets, are influenced by a time long past, reminiscent of an era defined by exquisite medicine bags and handmade satchels.
Corîu’s design philosophy is most recognizable by their clean lines and uncluttered surfaces. In place of a logo, a small brass detail – modeled after a boat cleat – stands as the brand’s sole signature. This subtle approach, married with the atelier’s dedication to craft, comes together in something Giordano calls “the magic of the handmade” – a special quality held by goods that eschew mass production. The authenticity of this ethos works well with a variety of styles, seamlessly translating the rich traditions of Italian craftsmanship into pieces tailored for the contemporary wardrobe.
Dries Van Noten’s designs are a sensory feast – to experience them fully is not to just submit the eye to his creativity, but the ear, hand and mind as well.
The light caught on a gilded jacquard is just as important as how a blouse slips against the skin, the way silk harmonizes against silk or the nostalgia evoked by his silhouettes. He truly emphasized hearing alongside feeling and seeing in the runway show for this collection – the catwalk was set behind a live performance by the experimental drumming of Belgian musician Lander Gyselinck. However, when experiencing the pieces independently, Dries interest in perception and memory comes first to mind.
In this delivery, Dries explores how we care for cherished clothing – mending and repairing things over and over again… even when they are nearly falling apart, because they are just that important. Dries referred to this as “the opposite of showing off,” instead turning his focus to the small things that comprise a darling object, such as embroidered details, hidden darting and shimmering velvets.
Your mother’s best pair of palazzo pants, a blazer two-times too big borrowed from your favorite brother, the slinky dress you found in an Italian thrift store that feels tailor-made for your shape – it’s sentimental dressing moments like these that Dries calls upon and references throughout the collection.
This fascination with garment as memory extends even to Dries obsession interpreting and reinterpreting florals – an element universal to history and the human experience. Where in previous seasons he has abstracted his botanics, now he showcases natural elements in divine splendor. Magnified aster push up against nigh-invisible embroidered roses, contrasted by itty-bitty lilies poking out from a tufted jacquard. If his collection this past spring was about reconstructing and deconstructing his library of florals, this one is about replanting the archive altogether.
For Avant Toi, color is central not just to the way we dress, but to our perception of the world. It’s a powerful tool to influence the mind, spark creativity and serve as a wellspring of inspiration.
With each piece they design, their straightforward cashmere and silk silhouettes act as a blank canvas upon which they splash their paint box of dyes– ranging from deep black to vibrant pink, depending on how designer Mirko Ghignone’s wishes to influence the world. To dress in the bold hues of their oranges and reds is to exude confidence and vitality, while softer pastels of cream and tan evoke a sense of serenity and calm. Seasonal-driven jewel tones, such as the plum and cobalt central to their latest fall delivery, wrap us in the inspiration of autumn – of purpling foliage, darkening skies, and longer, deeper shadows stretched across the garden at dusk.
Avant Toi is perhaps best known for their avant-garde approach to dyeing, wherein they experiment with processes such as hand-painting, misting and distressing to create unique patinas on each piece. Of note for fall are their poncho styles, which feature an open knit that layers well with silk, cotton and cashmere.
Plum, particularly, has proven to be a timeless, and deeply versatile color. It works well in both casual and formal contexts, and can be warmed with the addition of brown accessories or act as the playful counterpoint to a black ensemble. For those of daring heart, it makes a striking companion to yellow tones, such as ochre and gold.
Ultimately, color’s universal attraction eclipses the boundaries of language and connects us to style on a profound level. Avant Toi’s palette is a bold departure from the conventional, pushing us to explore more deeply what hue can and should be within a wardrobe. Their use of dyes is an expression of emotion and personality, and their unique devotion to the practice transcends the limitations of seasonal trends.
As the sun descends over Paris, an indescribable magic envelopes the streets. Small boutiques cast a warm glow from their glazed windows – a visual feast of couture and confections alike.
Walking the cobblestones reveals a pageant of well-dressed individuals, each a testament to Paris’s legendary style. Locals and visitors alike echo this aura of elegance – informed by the many maisons who call this city home. Despite hailing from Sicily, Nanna Pause’s aesthetic intuition is right at home in this French scene – she did cut her teeth at Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton after all.
A creative force in the industry for the last 20 years, Nanna has developed her namesake line to play well among the greats of fashion’s past while simultaneously influencing its future. Gone are the days of overcomplication and forced obsolescence – each piece of Nanna Pause is designed to not only be effortless, but to feel fresh within a wardrobe long past its current season.
Nanna refers to her pieces as perennials – a reference to their longevity in shape and style. Her core textile choices are brushed cashmere, camel hair and baby alpaca, chosen not only for their softness, but for their durability and ease of wear. Her works pair well with the cashmere scarves and wraps of Alonpi, another Italian favorite with a storied French connection.
As we take our Parisian stroll, we feel the kiss of cashmere against skin – a delight for the senses. Amid the backdrop of the city of lights, one’s imagination is captivated by the history of who has walked here before. The soft, amber light of the lampposts accentuates century’s old architecture, turning even the most mundane evening into an inspiring adventure. As day shifts into night, we are enamored with not only fashion’s connection to such a storied place, but our own – where elegance and inspiration are woven into the very fabric of existence.
“All the world’s a stage,” or so they say – while we may love the drama of dressing, we’re not always so interested in the drama of dressing.
To define and distill one’s own personal style is a challenge many of us struggle with over a lifetime. What do I wear to this event? Is this pant flattering? Am I wearing this flashy jacket, or is it wearing me? …What a headache. At its best, personal style is simply a translation of the inner self. Are you refined? Bohemian? A little bit of everything? “All the world’s a stage,” but you, the individual, is the only audience that matters. This is a tenet central to confident dressing – and one that designer Angelo Iannello of Masnada understands firsthand.
Angelo’s artistry is evident at first blush – the cascading vegetable silk, exposed stitchery, unique textures and colligated prints speak to a subtle drama often found in high-taste design. However, peek behind the curtain and find the deft creativity of Angelo’s team. This is a group of textile artisans informed by deep artistic backgrounds, such as painting, photography, and perhaps most interestingly, theatrical costume design.
The collection is equal parts Victorian posterity, Art Deco elegance and contemporary grunge. Unafraid to mesh patterns and textures, Angelo combines checker, houndstooth, floral jacquard and paint splatter, as if each is merely a small part of a larger ensemble cast.
A devotion to art and performance is mixed with Angelo’s extensive research into how shape informs the identity of a garment – to present a jacket with a tailored waist is to compete against centuries of intellectual and formal wear informing that garment’s soul. The tailored jacket in Angelo’s hands becomes a symbol of femininity – cut close to the waist (without too much restriction!) to highlight the silhouette. To play with – and ultimately deconstruct – these visual cliches and preconceived notions is to redefine what fashion is and can be. What a pleasure it is to watch Masnada do it with such panache.
When curating our own interior spaces, we often think first of the tonal presentation.
Are we called to the bright colors of maximalism or to the creamy gold tones of art deco? Do we find ourselves enraptured with bright contemporary concepts or the sweet pastels of an eclectic palette? Or does something older and more storied draw our eye? An aesthetic steeped in history and the tones of earthy brown and red… that is our desire for an intelligent fall interior. Though this rich chroma catches our attention through seasonal relevance, it’s elevated by the addition of an antique textile or two. Our favorites of late: throw pillows faced with exquisite vintage Persian rug remnants set against hand loomed silk and cashmere blankets, boucle dyed sheepskins and plush, oversized cushions made of antique Baloch saddlebags.
A coalescence of Europe and the Middle East, the vintage Persian rug pillows originate in Iran – likely Tabriz or Mashhad – while the contemporary complements come to us courtesy of House of Lyria in Prato, Italy. In the former, the surface quality is determined by the number of raj in a pillow. Similar to the thread count found in linens, this grading refers to the number of knots found per 7cm of weaving structure. Ranging from 24 raj to 120 raj, the increased number of knots required for pattern and pile is an indicator of skill and the overall softness of the finished work.
What strikes us most within this combination is the earthy quality – the environment that nourished the communities these textiles originate from is present in both the palette and the woven motifs. To incorporate these types of goods into a modern living space is to coexist with the memory inherent to antique and vintage pieces – not only the many skilled hands were responsible for their creation, but the presence of earth and nature within each. To live alongside something with such age and character, and find it in total harmony with its soft surroundings… What a treat for the eye and mind.
One of our favorite things about fall is the opportunity for rich color – unlike the ethereal textiles of spring and summer, fall’s heavier fabrics can hold a more nuanced depth of color.
This presents us with full permission to dress exuberantly, in all the plums, blues and currant reds native to the cooling season. This is a pursuit Mieko Mintz takes full control of, imbuing her unique collection of jackets and coats with the imaginative presence of full-spectrum color.
Collaborating with a cooperative of female artisans in West Bengal, Mieko breathes new life into the timeless tradition of kantha – simple, running stitches originally intended to mend and repair fabric. The historical significance of kantha in West Bengal is directly interwoven with the stories of the women who practice it, echoing a longstanding culture of gentle upcycling and creative expression present in India for millennia.
In the patchwork of vintage sari fabric, find floral motifs, cascading paisley, and geometric abstractions all juxtaposed to create a narrative entirely new. She expertly orchestrates combinations so that they flow together with elegance – a challenging task when faced with an archive of thousands of fabrics.
Through combining contemporary design with this storied method of craft, Mieko’s works transcend their origins to create a stylistic voice and authority wholly unique to her. Her designs are a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of color, celebrating both the hands who made it and the people who wear it. Through her commitment to the rich heritage of kantha and a vibrant approach to design, Mieko weaves her own tapestry of resilience, creativity and color to create fashions that inform our notions of dressing as art.
Carsten Rundholz is perhaps most famous for his unconventional design.
With each collection, he shows the world new ways to experience garments and fabrics we thought we knew. Post-COVID, his work took on new life – instead of structure being the delightful surprise, he turned to color to drive the themes of each delivery. This exploration of hue led him down a path few creatives dare trek – to infuse bold tones with such authority and grace that they are wholly transformed. Through this hard, deep work Carsten once again teaches us something: the possibility of rich color to be worn as a neutral. Within this mastery of color harmony… therein lies his genius.
Most often one hears that the true neutrals are sand, ivory, taupe and other shades of beige. They are abundantly used in design as a shortcut to coordinate hues and ground a look. However, colors of nature, especially those rooted in the earthy spectrum, can all function in the same fashion – as Carsten has demonstrated through the ambers and rubies of this collection. Pinks can melt into brown when they have warm undertones, just as brown can go to cranberry when the tones are similarly matched.
By studying the effects and subtleties of his dyes and fabrics, Carsten achieves an intense and versatile palette. Each piece is washed and dyed and re-washed through multiple color cycles to infuse them with an incredible harmony of hues.
In a sweep of remarkable texture and color, weathered-and-worn takes on new meaning in Rundholz’s collection for AW23.
Through a stylized and deliberate patina, designers Carsten and Lenka create clothes that seem to tell their own stories – a washed jean jacket bleached by a trek through the desert; distressed cashmere sweaters stretched loose and cozy from months of storied travel; a cotton skirt that gathers panels of fabric like stamps in a passport.
What surprised us most about this season was the newfound dialogue between the three Rundholz collections – what once were distinct and deliberate boundaries between their design approaches instead blend into a delightful conversation of aesthetics. Olive and blue tones cross between Rundholz Mainline and the exuberant hand-dyes of DIP, while black and military green whisper back and forth between the two and Black Label. This blending of worlds facilitates opportunity… to mix, match and discover the very limits of the Rundholz universe (something we have not come even close to uncovering!)
Like a curious traveler discovering an old growth forest – diverse, divine and dauntless – we eagerly explore the varied silhouettes within this ouvre. A-line fitted dresses, sharp coats, slim high-waisted pants and a range of pleating effects abound throughout this delivery. The colors and textures are alluring – familiar and comforting, yet completely innovative and mysterious. In this, Carsten and Lenka weave a tale of texture like an untouched wilderness on the edge of the urbane path.
Tension, despite its pejorative undertones, is a necessary and underestimated element.
It is what heightens the drama of a well-composed painting, what makes you laugh after the delivery of a great punchline and what makes the strings of a violin sing when bowed. It’s omnipresent in a crowd of free minds, in an intimate conversation with a lover, in the last few breaths before an empire falls. Tension is so well hidden within these greater moments, that we write it off, take it for granted, tsk tsk its very existence. And yet, the void it leaves when absent is palpable… and dreadfully boring. In Trippen’s A/W 23, they navigate a world rife with this element, providing the protection necessary to skip over its lows and dance within its highs. This is not footwear for the weak of will and spirit, but the armor of the artistic, courageous and uninhibited.
Among the dramatic offerings of the season is the Fluster, a sky-high platform balanced on Trippen’s Geisha sole. A curtain of leather fringe brushes the ground from the ankle, a flowing element that hides the side zipper and adds movement to every step. Fear not the height – inside the block-style heel is a series of air chambers that cushion the footbed and provide lift.
In the Voltage, find an outcropping of leather that rises from the upper like a shield. Influenced by the aesthetics of old-world cowboy boots, the angular cuts of this style hold an understated and rustic flair. This is a fresh interpretation for the Splitt sole, which showcases a square toe as opposed to the prototypical round almond style.
“There’s a certain tension in the air – pervading everyday life, tangible in the subtlest of interactions. Tension’s magnetism lies in the tightrope it walks between energy both positive and negative: bringing momentum, power and exhilaration, yet also giving rise to inertia, resistance and opposition. No longer reserved for the natural world, the laws of electricity appear to hold sway over social, economic, and political dynamics. Navigating high voltage zones require us to tread with care. Amidst a climate taut with friction, our primary act of care is to remain grounded.”
Khata, a Tibetan gifting custom, is to bestow a ‘greeting scarf’ upon friends, relatives or guests.
If given upon arrival, it indicates a wish of welcome and happiness. When shared at departure, it symbolizes a safe journey home. So begins Sabina Savage’s enchantment with Tibet. The collection is a celebration of Tibet’s rich and endlessly fascinating artistic traditions, drawing on the stories and mythology native to its culture.
Her three designs for the collection – The Wind Horse, The Snow Lion and The Song Deer – are inspired by the thangkas of the region, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist style of painting on cotton or silk. Dripping with detail and color, these small works of art are often found in temples, monasteries and places of meditation. Sabina spent a great deal of time exploring the symbolism, textiles, rugs, architecture, sculptures, armour, jewelry and saddlery of Tibet – this collection is the union of her intense research with her equally intense imagination. Scrawled across each design is བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས, or tashi delek, a felicitous greeting meaning “good luck and good health.”
The Snow Lion
The Snow Lion brings the gift of strength. Its armour is detailed and impenetrable, its roar embodies the sound of courage and truth. It does not fly up the mountain, but its feet do not touch the ground. The Snow Lion’s appearance mimics the snowy glaciers and landscape around it, and when required, it will produce healing milk from its paws.
The Wind Horse
The Wind Horse brings the gift of luck and good fortune. As it ascends the mountain, it soars upon the air and bears the flaming jewel that fulfils all wishes. On its back rides the tiny mongoose, expelling brightly coloured jewels from its mouth; a sign of prosperity. The Wind Horse is the pivotal element in the centre of the four animals symbolising the cardinal directions (Tiger, Lion, Garuda, Dragon).
The Song Deer
The Song Deer brings the gift of serenity and harmony. Its presence is of happiness, but also sensitivity and watchfulness. It is accompanied by gentle music; conch shell trumpets are softly played, and the breeze of the white cranes’ wings herald its arrival. The parasol protects those around from harmful forces, and winter flowers blossom as The Song Deer near.
The magic of Ireland is lost on few. Among its rolling green hills and thousand-year-old stone villages live fates and faeries alike – supposedly, or not, depending on who you ask.
The inspiration and mythos of this place lies in its natural splendor: a brush of early-autumn grass against the hand; the pleasant cool of royal ferns laced with dew; a carpet of velvet moss under bare feet. Tucked in the forests of Wicklow, an emerald county along the Irish Sea, find Lainey Keogh and her cashmere fantasy.
Described as a “Spinner of Dreams,” Lainey and her small team of local artisans hand-knit each piece using traditional Irish weaving and knitting techniques. Though they are no stranger to the heavier knits required by winter – many of us are familiar with the Aran stitch used to protect from the elements – quite a few of their methods are influenced by the country’s heritage of lace-making.
In Lainey’s collection, she dances between the worlds of plush and light cashmere, using modes such as feather and slip stitching to create her sensual textures. Within her woven oeuvre, find undulating chevrons, floral jacquards and delicately webbed diamonds that drape like butter against the skin. The unifying theme is color – the yarns are steeped in baths of solely organic, environmentally-friendly dyes to create this rich palette.
To live and grow in a place such as this is to be wholly formed by natural influence. The inspiration of Wicklow’s forests, a province vast and ancient, is omnipresent in every stitch of a Lainey original. In her Cocoon coat, find a tapestry of vines along the forest floor; in her ponchos, the wind-blown sky above its dense canopy. To wrap yourself in her cashmere is to immerse yourself in the land of daydreams, and embody Lainey’s vision of fire, fantasy and the feminine divine.
Greetings from the road! This week and last have been a whirlwind of color, creativity and camaraderie as we hit the pavement to find new designers, styles and inspiration for Spring/ Summer 2024.
We found an abundance of good energy – and an equal amount of laughter and joy – in Paris, Milan and beyond, each city serving as the perfect backdrop to dive into next year’s collections. Please enjoy this small update below, and join us on Instagram to follow along in the moment.
For Dry Goods
The Palais Royal was among our first stops in Paris, home to some of our favorite showrooms, such as Monies, Sophie Hong and Rianna + Nina. At Monies, we dove straight into their realm of striking stones. And what timing it was! This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the Monies label – we were thrilled to join Gerta, Nikolai and Hesse in celebrating the occasion.
Afterwards we stopped by Sabina Savage to pal around with Sabina and Jo – a total treat. In her spring collection, Greek themes abound – pegasi and amphorae have us imagining Mount Olympus just beyond the Eiffel. Next up was the incredibly joyful stylings of Aneeth Arora – such a pleasure to work with our dear friend Carola in the Pero showroom. The racks were full of nostalgic favorites, such as vintage-inspired florals, gauzy hand-woven cottons and a hint of red tartan. In between it all, we discovered a handful of incredible new artists who will be joining our mix – a surprise we cannot wait to share in the new year.
For the Workshop side of house, we kicked our week off with Uma Wang’s runway show – a fantastic display we look forward to every year. Her showroom was replete with tufted jacquards and beautiful silk linen pants dyed with coffee beans. Next year’s fabrics, created by the fabulous Riccardo Bruni of The House of Lyria, are inspired by the frescoed walls of an ancient Venetian home. A stop by Christian Peau revealed silks in bright red and cardamom alongside their selection of delightful python leather handbags – a zing! of playful and edgy that opened our eyes to the possibility of spring dressing.
The theme of this buy was definitely color – Trippen blew our hair back with bright pops of red, orange and navy. In the hidden showrooms of Paris, we explored a forest of handmade hats and spent some time with two of our favorite designers and friends, Makoto and Karin of Horsaki Design & Handel. We nabbed a few stunning runway looks from Sacai before skipping down to Italy for a stop in Lucca, a small city outside of Florence, to see more of our favorite people – Barbara and Klaus from Bergfabel, and Gaia from Avant Toi.
Overall, these trips are not just about buying – although we do find the most amazing things! They are about seeing the visionaries and artists who make all this possible. To get to see our designers in person – and hug, chat and laugh with them – is among life’s greatest pleasures. We are thankful to be part of this little community championing the beauty and dedication of the handmade. It is humbling and inspiring to call them friends. In the end, these connections are what make the world go round.
When Japanese designers Mitsunori Ishimatsu and Miho Kuroda traveled to India in the early aughts, their team met artists craftsmen making the country’s most beautiful textiles – liquid silks, polished cottons and hand-woven linens a treat for the eye and hand.
Delicate stitchwork danced across it all – a final flourish from the masters of its creation. It was here the duo saw firsthand the possibilities of fabric… and understood the rarity of careful, manual work.
Founding their label, AODress, in 2009, Mitsunori and Miho sought to achieve a style that reinterprets the cultural textile traditions through their own contemporary sensibility.
Their pieces are produced entirely in Japan using hand-spun fabrics, primarily from India. Combining the rich hues of navy and black with delicate stitchery, their works hold the Japanese tenet of Shibui – the tranquility found in subdued but well-made goods.
While their styles read as simplistic at first blush, the touch of the hand draws you closer. On an intimate level, find tiny florals scattered across a cotton shirt or patchwork stitchery on a tunic. A sumptuous velvet coat grips the imagination with a glint of beading across the bodice. To be wrapped up in pieces imbued with the presence and character of the handmade is to really consider and cherish the effort that went into each and every detail – what a pleasure for the skin and mind both.
Ümit Ünal has been crafting his collection of high handwork goods for over 30 years.
However, his aesthetics were formed far before that. His upbringing in Istanbul honed his eye, from afternoons spent working in his family’s atelier to walking the streets surrounded by a millennia of history to childhood games played with scraps of fabric. Even his neighborhood, comprised of an eclectic mix of Anatolian, Armenian and Greek crafting masters, formed the foundation of his brand today.
Ümit’s silhouettes are taken directly from life – classical shapes and patterns, such as collared shirting and Scottish tartan, are reinterpreted through his unique aesthetic lens. By focusing on fit and feel before embellishing, he ensures pieces that are wholly practical while still celebrating the maker’s touch.
We find Ümit’s signature stitchwork to be twinned with the leatherwork of Marco Campomaggi – an Italian designer exploring the intersection of sculpture and functionality through his collection of handcrafted bags.
The lengths we go to make garments feel distressed; the hand stitching and hand knitted items; and the specific color combinations — all reflect our archeology and our history.
The Casey Casey studio is deeply Parisian, an atelier workshop where each piece is thoughtfully crafted by hand.
Inspiration is not born solely from the act of making – one must nourish the eye and mind to spark creativity. Designer Gareth Casey does this by stealing away to his farm. The small acreage is not so far away from the streets of Paris… but far enough to breathe with both lungs. It is here that the creative tends to his garden, and by doing so tends to his mind.
At the farm, wands of agrostis sway against a curtain of oleander and bougainvillaea. Gareth kneels in the grass, cotton shirt bunched up to his elbows, and pulls weeds from the damp autumn soil.
Taking this earthy experience back to the studio, Gareth designs his pieces to be not only attractive, but intensely liveable. His textiles are chosen not only for their finish and softness on the skin, but their superior durability – an echo of the workwear inspirations of Casey Casey’s roots.
Gareth describes himself as “ferociously independent” – an apt descriptor for those who are drawn to his brand. In creating, he strives for designs that awaken the senses without the artificiality of flash. His pieces are not precious because they are gilded or embellished, but rather because their simplicity resonates with those that share this philosophy. Work, relax, play – these pieces fit into all the places life itself flourishes.
Chiaroscuro, an Italian term literally meaning “light-dark,” is a technique that has been harnessed by history’s greatest artists.
It is bright light and velvet dark mingling in the brush strokes of Da Vinci, Caravaggio and Rafael. Its inclusion signals drama, excitement and mystery – the contrasting tones a tease of secrets emerging from the shadows. Imagine our delight to find this creative force hidden within charcoal gemstones as well.
Though diamonds are typically envisioned in a pure, crystalline state, darker varieties are often rarer and more coveted. This shift in color is caused by inclusions within the gem’s invisible matrix – artistic remnants of the earth it came from.
Our curation of charcoal gems includes salt and pepper diamonds from Ellis Mhairi Cameron, luminous Tahitian pearls from Jean Prounis and unusual grey sapphires from Denise Betesh.
Within these gems, nature applies her own daubs of black to the canvas. This earthy chiaroscuro is unlike any other – born from a millennia of tectonic activity and compacting rock. To catalyze this divine creativity in precious metals – gold, palladium and silver alike – is akin to adding the right frame around finished artwork… visual perfection.
Picture this: a late afternoon roaming the acreage of your family’s Tuscan winery.
This rural land has nourished generations, through gardening, animal husbandry and now, the art of artisanal viniculture. The air is heady with the aroma of fermenting grapes and fresh-cut grass, a scent somehow more potent and nostalgic than the liquor of its origin. Tucked within this natural bouquet is the warm scent of vegetable tanned leather simmering nearby in a tub of wine. This is the heritage and process of designer Tommaso Cecchi de’ Rossi – and the best way to peek into his unique approach to leather goods.
Described as a “restless engineer,” Tommaso moved back to his family’s Tuscan vineyard to pursue his craft after studying agriculture in Florence and a high-profile career in the US. Merging the interests of organic studies and design, he established his namesake label in 2009.
Tommaso dyes his leather through a process he calls Pellevino – wherein the material is steeped in wine and other natural extracts to achieve its color. As with many things intuitive and resonant, this technique was born by accident when a bit of wine was spilled… the resulting burgundy a lit match for Tommaso’s creative bonfire.
In shapes both angular and solid, rounded and softly pleated, Tomasso’s designs embody a feminine modernity. Each is hand-sculpted on wooden molds, which creates structure without the need for seams. While he first began creating bags purely for personal use, he soon found joy in creating pieces for others. Today, the Cecchi de Rossi only creates and delivers their handbags in limited edition runs.
Color is always the first signal of the weather shifting – so funny how a leaf turning from emerald to chartreuse can pique the mind and awaken a new attitude.
As the temperature dips in the evenings, the trees around our homes start to tinge golden ochre and deep burgundy. Keen on this seasonal delight, Daniela Gregis has peppered her latest collection with the brightest of these tones – tomato red. Set against a darkened backdrop of cotton, silk and, of course, cashmere, Daniela presents her interpretation of this key color.
Tomato red took the runway by storm as the shade du jour for the Autumn 2023 season. Slightly more orange-toned than typical cherry varieties and brighter than deep scarlet, the bold hue enamored us with its joyful vibrancy – and reminded us that dopamine dressing is still very much a thing!
Not only is this rich color surprisingly wearable, despite the initial zing of its presence, but it carries a depth unseen in its paler cousins. Within this hue, we find the aroma of diced San Marzanos simmering in a pan, the delight of cheeks and noses reddened by the chill of early morning air and quiet moments as the day darkens into a crimson sun dipping below the tree line.
As the Northern Hemisphere embraces fall, the sun becomes less bright day to day. Dressing in warm tones brings a psychological warmth to the person wearing them, and to those they encounter. In this, we are encouraged to carry on the brightness of summer even as we march into the colder months – perhaps paired with a few foundational black and blue pieces for balance.