Designer Collections

Among the exciting new-for-Spring brands at SPACE is the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund winner Brother Vellies. Designed by Aurora James and fabricated in collaboration with African artisans in developing communities, it’s a line of supremely wearable shoes that you can feel supremely good about wearing.

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In a photo studio converted to a sort of butterfly house out on the far west side yesterday, Aurora showed how a recent trip to Ethiopia transformed her ideas about the language of women and really killer boots and handbags.

SEE BV’S OVER-THE-KNEE BOOTS AND SUSTAINABLE, UPCYCLED FUR

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One of our favorite New York Fashion Week traditions is getting into town early and stopping off at Jeffrey Kalinsky’s office in Chelsea to talk about the week ahead.

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Yesterday we went by and got Jeffrey’s take on the Show to Watch Out For. Spoiler alert: it’s very likely not a name you’ve already heard. If you’re a fan of Lady Gaga or just the type who loves knowing things before everyone else does, get in on this.

WATCH THE VIDEO

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They say you never forget your first, and we’ve found that applies to anything and everything. Your first kiss, your first trip to Paris, your first CHANEL purse. Those are all locked in. Likewise the first New York Fashion Week show of Nordstrom’s VP Fashion Director, Jeffrey Kalinsky.

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We hung out in his adorable Chelsea-neighborhood office the other day and let him tell us all about it. Any guesses—before you watch!—as to what decade it was?

HEAR JEFFREY REMINISCE ON FASHION WEEKS PAST

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Herve Leger will show their fall collection on Saturday, but yesterday we managed to get 15 minutes with the iconic woman behind the bandage dress, Lubov Azria, to tell us about how she’s wearing the current collection.

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These are the dresses that are coming into our stores and online now, and these are the dresses that are going to show up come Saturday, because as we pointed out in our runway report last season, an Herve Leger show is full of Herve Leger dresses.

GET HER TAKE ON SPRING’S TOP STYLES

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“They’re perfect for what’s happening in fashion and art and architecture—this great kind of melting of all things,” Jeffrey Kalinsky told me this past November on a crazily warm New York day.

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All photos by Laura Cassidy

He was talking about Snarkitecture,  the of-the-moment, in-the-mix design practice headed by artist Daniel Arsham and architect Alex Mustonen. Harnessing the trend for mixing the chicest ready-to-wear with the best built environments, our VP Fashion Director set out to collaborate with the best and commissioned the Brooklyn-based crew to create a backdrop (only part of it is seen here) on which to shoot his favorite looks from Valentino, Gucci, Simone Rocha and more on China-born model Fei Fei Sun for our new season Designer Collections lookbook.

We were there at New York’s Pier 59 Studios, and we’d love to take you behind the scenes.

GET A CLOSE-UP ON THE SET AND THE STYLES

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Hear that? It’s the sound of a legion of editors and bloggers stuffing shoes into designer luggage and tucking eye cream into carry-on bags. That’s right: It’s time for New York Fashion Week again. The shows begin February 10; let’s prepare by way of review. (Of course, since spring collections are arriving every day now, you can also review and prepare by shopping!)

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Marc Jacobs photo: Jessa Carter for The Thread

HERE’S WHAT WE WERE ALL TALKING ABOUT LAST SEASON

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It’s Carolyne’s birthday—she’s 30 this year, and doesn’t she make it look amazing? _11783708

Manolo Blahnik Carolyne

The Manolo Blahnik signature slingback in all its iterations—high to low heels, suede to patent leather finishes, neutral tones and knockout yellow—is named for the woman who came up with the original silhouette back in 1986.

WHO IS CAROLYNE ROEHM?

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If you were to compile a list of the hottest designers in fashion, Jonathan Anderson would have to be really close to the top. The young Brit collected both the menswear and the womenswear prizes at the recent British Fashion Awards (“I was embarrassed because it must have looked maxi-greedy,” he told Business of Fashion) and between the chic ruffles and upbeat colors in his London-based signature line, J.W.Anderson, and his retooling of Spain’s luxury it-bags-and-more brand Loewe, he’s not just a designer and a creative director, he’s an international force.

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Jacket design for J.W.Anderson and Luis Venegas’s The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain via J.W.Anderson

Which is probably why Spain’s coolest publisher wanted to do a book with him. That volume, comprising 130 pages of collections, collaborations and more, was released yesterday at one of Anderson’s “workshops” (more on that in a moment) in the East End neighborhood of Shoreditch. 

TAKE A TOUR OF THE NEW J.W.ANDERSON BOOK

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If a single piece of clothing could signify this moment in time—could represent early 2016 and the current winter-into-spring era—it would be the bomber jacket. It works equally well for men and women, and as a cardigan-like layer or true protection against the elements.

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Chloé reversible embroidered tech satin bomber

Just about every designer showed some variation of this timeless staple during the last round of Fashion Weeks, so now that all those want-worthy spring styles are showing up in our stores, we’ve only seen the beginning of bombermania.

Starting with the richly ornate and totally cozy olive-green Chloé number above, we selected our top nine iterations of this must-have-right-now topper.

SEE THE REST OF OUR FAVORITE BOMBER JACKETS

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Nature always plays a role in fashion—designers draw inspiration from flowers, plants, trees and world travel, and those things and more show up in overt and abstract ways in prints and patterns. But every once in awhile things get even more specific. Remember how, for a time, there was a bird on everything? Yeah.

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Daniela Villegas and an image from her Instagram account, courtesy Daniela Villegas

Insects certainly aren’t everywhere but they are omnipresent in the elaborately beautiful work of SPACE designer Daniela Villegas. “I love to use real elements from nature as good omens for the pieces, and as lucky charms. These elements are gifts from Mother Earth; using these treasures in my work is a way to celebrate and acknowledge how majestic nature is,” the Mexican-born jeweler told us.

She also told us how 1989’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids informs her thinking, why she likes ants, and what she’s looking forward to about her Tuesday, February 2 date to meet with shoppers at SPACE in Nordstrom Seattle.

READ MORE: “IT’S IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS ALWAYS ALERT…”

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