Friday, October 10, 2014


October 14 begins a roughly 2 month celebration of one of the great brands and masters of what is today referred to as “haute joallier.” Verdura is one of the most highly respected and iconic jewelers of the 20th century and still retains its status and its place in the hierarchy of fine jewelers worldwide. This once in a lifetime exhibit has been curated by Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera along with their daughter Patricia Lansing. This rare opportunity affords the viewer “face time” with some of the most incredible and legendary creations ever to have been turned out by the Verdura workrooms. Many pieces have been “loaned back” to the company so that they may be exhibited for this occasion.

Having been afforded a one on one with Nico Landrigan (CEO) a while ago, it seemed highly appropriate to reissue and update the results of our meeting. As one of the great highlights of that meeting, Mr. Landrigan (CEO) was kind of enough to offer me the chance to actually ”fondle”  Mademoiselle Chanel’s Maltese  cross cuffs which were retrieved from the company vaults. If one ever has experienced a true fashion moment, well that was mine!

Besides, Mlle. Chanel, Duke Fulco di Verdura was more than acquainted with the likes of Diana V., Greta G., Babe P., Marlene D., Doris D., the Porters, a few Astors, a Hepburn, and countless other luminaries who remained loyal clients during their lifetimes.  Many of the original designs that once belonged to these ladies are still available provided that you shop at the salon above Fifth Avenue in NYC or at one of rare points of sale worldwide.

Lest we forget to mention the Duchess of Windsor, Mona Bismarck and Millicent Rogers; if none of these names are familiar to you; you can just be awed by the genius of the design that goes into every design and the exquisite pieces that are still turned out by “the jeweler to the stars.”
As Mr. Landrigan said “our jewelry is like art for the body” and I must say it is the equivalent of owing any Monet or Picasso as they are all meant to be treasured in much the same ways.

Here are a few facts you might not be aware of:

Did you know that the “Duke” was introduced to Coco Chanel by Cole Porter and his wife?
Did you know that the first Maltese cross cuffs that were sold in the Chanel Boutique somewhere around 1930 and were “costume jewelry?”
Did you know that Chanel originally hired Verdura as textile designer?
Did you know that the original Verdura salon (1939) was at 712 Fifth Avenue, just a few doors down from the present 745, and the opening was backed by the Porters and Vincent Astor?

So there are a few choice tidbits of background about the profusely and prodigiously talented Signor Verdura.  Now it is even more interesting to know that since the Landrigans took ownership of the legendary name and archive, that business remains an open secret amongst the cognoscenti as there is less that points of sale in sale in the world and 2 of them are in New York City.  They have no wish to turn the name Verdura into a Tiffany&Co. or even a Cartier which would have meant that the product might be classified as a more “mass produced” entity.  This rather brilliant mind set /business model   is what allows the brand to retain its allure, cachet and mystique which are coveted qualities in today’s marketplace for any luxury category.

The salon in New York allows the visitor to see the entire world that encompasses the brand and its products.  You can see sterling purse pens and pencil sharpeners to the most elaborate historical pieces that are hidden away in the archives.  Needless to say, the aura of the salon invites the serious and not the curiosity seeker that are found street level at its neighbors.  Just as its beginnings, Verdura remains unrivaled when it comes to original design and astounding workmanship. To this day the name still reflects consummate good taste and with its ownership comes the privilege of possessing a piece of great history.  All Verdura designs have descended from the hand of the eponymous designer.

October 14 through December 23 .., 745 Fifth Avenue

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ZINK style fall 2014

It is a case of utility meets fashion or Hermes meets 21st century modern. Possibly it is hubris trumps boredom and good design meets those smart enough and tasteful enough to understand and pay attention to it! The ZINK Everyday collection is all about form meeting function. The bags are constructed of the hand distressed leathers that retain a slightly well-worn patina that only gets better with age and use. The canvass pieces are trimmed in pebble grain leather to heighten their appeal and curability. And much to the amazement of many, there is a croc saddle bag that will haunt you until you own one.

Newly added to the world of Zink is SHAHMINA which is the softest finest cashmere available. The natural shahmina has not been dyed so it is presented in its 100% natural unaltered state. The fabric is realized from the first shearing of the Pashmina goat. The shawl is hand woven and takes 12 days to make. SHIBORI is a Japanese term for several methods of dying cloth; it requires the use of thread for binding to achieve a tie dye effect. Lastly is the LADAKHI shawl that is of the most exquisite textiles ever woven. It is the most delicate and precious of fabrics originating in the courts of royalty around the world.

Zink is the brainchild of Ben Freedland who began the company in Austin Texas armed with the idea that he was going to use classic shapes and make them his own by putting his imprimatur on the shapes.  From totes to duffels , from structured to soft and small to large, Mr. Freedland has stepped up to the plate by  providing all of us with an alternative to the “it” bag of any given moment and believing that not everyone wants the same old black bag or even brown one.  Another key selling point of the collection is that many of the pieces are unisex or “asexual” which all, course, depends on color and size… yes size does matter!

The ZINK collection includes the core canvas and the natural-dyed hand-woven lines; and seasonal designs that feature limited edition colors, fine upholstery fabrics and exotic patterns sourced from Freedland’s worldly travels. Brass and chrome hardware, YKK zippers and high-quality leather round out the features in the ZINK collection.”

 Mr. Freedland will be expanding the ZINK range on a fairly constant basis so you have stay tuned for all the new style and pieces that will appear. Clearly, the man and his company are on the path of expansion which will hopefully mean that Zink will be integrated into your lifestyle sooner than later.
Look for Zink at its flagship in Austin, Texas or online at …..

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Louis Vuitton.. Paris ..spring 2015

Where to begin? First observation was the models are getting younger or look to be that and that is a major distraction when you consider the price of these get ups. Oh my,  brought up the dirty word price which is directly related to another dirty word sales. My bad?

One can’t really be sure what Nicolas Ghesquière is thinking but one can surely see what he is selling so to speak. Firstly all the leathers which look like either leatherette or eel skin and not exactly what most women think of when they think spring not to mention fisherman sweaters ... Another highly relatable item for spring. Then there is his nod to Hermes which is almost amusing given the tug of war that the mother ships were having over stock ownership. Moving right along we always need to discuss silhouette and proportion as Nicky has never met a woman he didn’t wasn’t to dress up like some Barbie doll, a majorette or worse like Jeremy Scott! The man really needs to talk to a women and  listen to what she has to say about body image etc. then there is velvet let alone quilted velvet  for spring which just makes one sweat looking at it and lastly but surely not least .. the prints! OMG! We all know that prints are highly personal and yet in my opinion Nicky has managed to find universally unattractive if not truly fugly prints!

One can be oh so sure there is a litany of inspirations and reasons why he has chosen all of his shapes and materials but as has been said many times … The clothes have to speak for themselves and what they are telling me is … can someone tell Nicky what season it is and this is not how rich people want to dress!

PS .. someone will have to explain the knee guards to me because these girls are surely not using them for kneeling! Did anyone notice there is some bad Balmain in the mix?