Fantasy. Sophie Buhai SS21

Sophie Buhai is one of my favourite, contemporary labels specialising in jewellery. The L.A. talent is rewriting the rules of luxury with her handmade, softly sculptural, sterling silver and gold vermeil blings. Her spring-summer 2021 collections delivers all her signatures with some gorgeous updates. From freshwater pearls to sensual curves and bulbous shapes (think earrings resembling water droplets), those pieces are here to last forever. Find it alongside new statement ear and hand pieces, inspired by time spent in the garden, featuring metal renditions of the vines from the designer’s favourite spot. Those pieces – which are actual wearable art – make me think of Claude Lalanne’s delightful works (the artist especially known for her collaboration with Yves Saint Laurent – ‘Les Robes Lalanne’ and bodily adornments from the 1969 haute couture collection). In her signature, intricate electroplating process, objects like leaves, twigs, petals, berries and other organic materials are completely transformed into copper. But back to Buhai. The “Fantasy Collection” is now available for pre-order on her site. I recommend taking a look at it…

Photos courtesy of Sophie Buhai’s website.

Team Work. The Elder Statesman Resort 2021

It’s interesting how two brands, of different scales and formats, emphasized the topic of team work in times of confinement. At Gucci, the resort 2021 collection reveal was an entire, 12-hour long social media event, where Alessandro Michele’s design team, no longer anonymous, modelled the clothes they have designed for not only the look-book, but the advertising campaign. At the same time, we’ve got The Elder Statesman from Los Angeles, where Greg Chait, the founder of the tie-dyed cashmere heaven, presented the collection on his team. But here, it wasn’t just about the studio designers. The whole The Elder Statesman family was here, wearing their garments in context of their work at the brand (from crotcheting to dyeing) and personal passions (farming!). The family aspect was even more clear once you take a glance at the clothes. The pen-and-ink artwork prints come from Greg’s grandmother, Thelma Chait, a prolific artist not acknowledged in her day. Chait and his cousin unearthed a storeroom full of Thelma’s drawings, books, and writings last year, with the designer planning on using them as a foundation for a collection since. The messages of unity, humanity, and love in her illustrations would feel right for any time – she produced much of her art in the groovy and turbulent ’60s and ’70s – but they weave into this collection for 2021 like a soothing balm. Her stick figure of a human, arms circled about its head like a halo, appears on a sweater, as a button, and as a brooch, while her rainbow pen strokes are interpreted as a tie-dye. A map shows fields, cities, deserts, and forests in a sacred geometric pattern on the back of a cardigan worn with ombré cashmere sweats. Making these pieces feel all the more beautiful is the way they were put together and photographed. Knitting, Chait told Vogue, was permissible during California’s lockdowns as a form of manufacturing at home. He and his team drove around Southern California delivering yarns, looms, and ideas for weeks. Already close, the team found a new camaraderie, he explained, and so it was obvious that Thelma’s collection should be represented on the people who made it. Benjamin, a senior knitter, opens the look book in a cashmere sweater with orange trimming, his loom in hand. Chait described him as “a legend,” and went on discussing the importance – both corporately and personally – of each of his colleagues. China, the brand’s VP of sales, models a matching knit set inspired by Thelma’s line. Ariel, the head of dyeing, poses in an ombré of her own design alongside buckets of dye and her dog. Jo, who did the collection’s hand-crocheted flowers, is shown in a gingham shirt-jacket mid-stitch. Chris, a sales associate from the West Hollywood store, wears a jacket made of the new “Cloud” fabric, a paper-thin 100% organic cotton. For the first time, Chait’s own daughter, Dorothy Sue, appears in the collection in a rainbow set made from a Japanese fabric that is 93% cotton and 7% cashmere. No offense Gucci, but my heart is utterly stolen by The Elder Statesman.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Yoga in the Morning, Oscars in the Evening. Tom Ford AW20

Here we are again: the fashion month has started. But it actually kicked off in Los Angeles, not New York, for a brief Tom Ford moment. The Oscars night is this Sunday, so Ford just couldn’t split between the two coasts – dressing the actors is his domain. And he has always mentioned LA as the city that reasonates more with his brand’s identity than the Big Apple. Rene Zellweger, Miley Crus, John Hamm, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Moore all took a rest in the front row last evening, and saw what you can always expect from Tom: sublime eveningwear, for both men and women. Will any of these lace dresses hit the red carpet tomorrow? Big hopes for the crystalline numer with double velvet bows. While the after dark part was great (or actually properly classic), the ready-to-wear definitely didn’t impress this much. Backstage, Ford was speaking about the Los Angeles way of life, which surely is all about Chateau Marmont, yoga and palo santo, but I’m still not sure if jersey sweat-pants, sweat-skirts and sweat-tops (with merch-like logos…) aren’t too lazy for a fashion show (and it’s not 2014 outside!). The floor-sweeping tie-dye caftans styled with all that athleisure-wear didn’t help either.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Clothes To Love and Live In. The Elder Statesman SS20

Post-fashion-month, now there’s time to look closer at the labels that aren’t looking for fashion show spotlight. The Elder Statesman is one of my favourite labels that are under the radar and its spring-summer 2020 is all about good vibes (yes, really, I used this expression – but it matches the collection perfectly!). Greg Chait has turned The Elder Statesman into the coolest of cool and the luxe-est of luxe: the proof is in the many copycats of his tie-dye knitwear and slouchy casual spirit. For summer, Chait offers body-cropped hoodies, shirtdresses in woven, dyed jeans, and the mentioned tie-dye knits. Chait takes great pride in the cashmere, cotton, and wool blends he uses, many of which he develops himself with his team. These products are beautiful, but they are also made to wear and to be lived and loved in.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Chloë Sevigny x Régime des Fleurs

100 ml of pure heaven. I’m talking about Little Flower, the perfume made in collaboration between Régime des Fleurs, the fragrance label founded in Los Angeles by Alia Raza and Ezra Woods, and Chloë Sevigny, the film and fashion icon. Little Flower is Régime des Fleurs’ provocative take on Sevigny’s favorite bloom – the rose. Dewy, romantic and fleshy, with a woody musk finish. With black tea, bleeding heart (it’s actually a flower name, but then… who knows?), blackcurrant bud, peony, palo santo incense, pomelo, honeysuckle and a precious Ottoman rose absolute. I love Chloë Sevigny, I love Régime des Fleurs, I love roses – so I’m dying to try this perfume out.

Chloë Sevigny photographed by Inez & Vinoodh and styled by Haley Wollens.