Fall/Winter 2013

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Petite Fall Playbook x Blogger Jean Wang, Part II

Find out how to flaunt fall’s chicest trends from our Petite Fall Playbook.

The Trend: “Stand out from the crowd in bold black and white,” says Stephanie Altieri, the buyer for our Petite Women’s Shop. “This seasonless color combo can carry you year-round.”

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Extra Petite blogger Jean Wang shows The Thread how to make a play on fall’s black-and-white trend from her petite point of view.

The Look: Vince Camuto Lace Print Crepe Dress, slim logo belt and red satchel

THE THREAD: Which accessories do you think help to enhance a petite frame?

JEAN WANG: With any body type, it’s all about dressing in the right proportions. I love a good, slender-heeled pump. For handbags, I like big bags as much as the next gal, but choosing a size that doesn’t overwhelm your frame is key to looking put-together. When shopping for handbags, I like to ask a friend to snap photos of it on me from the side and back, to check how the proportions work with my frame.

THE THREAD: When do you feel you’re at your most beautiful?

JEAN: There’s not a specific moment, but I started to feel my most beautiful after I was able to embrace my own body type and better understand how to dress for my proportions. Having that confidence in yourself and your body helps you feel more beautiful in any situation!

Get more stylish advice from Jean in Part I of our Petite Fall Playbook guide.
And head to Jean’s blog for everyday fashion inspiration that fits.

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Interviews

Thakoon Panichgul on Street Style, Wardrobe Essentials & Adopting a Uniform

It’s been nearly a decade since Thai/American designer Thakoon Panichgul quit his job as an editor at Harper’s Bazaar and launched his namesake collection of feminine, boundary-pushing clothing. Now, after more than a few seasons of glowing reviews—Vogue called his most recent show “disarmingly gorgeous”—we grabbed the designer for a quick Q&A, starting with the scoop on his fall collection.

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Tell us about the inspiration behind Fall 2013.
This collection was about looking at what makes great classics, and twisting them into new ideas with witty and feminine takes.

Thakoon Animal-Print Shearling CoatThakoon Dragonfly DressThakoon Black Lace Sweater

Thakoon Animal-Print Coat | Thakoon Leather-Back Dragonfly Dress | Thakoon Floral-Print Lace Dress

Describe the woman who wears your clothes.
She’s feminine, sophisticated and bold. She loves fashion, but wants it to work with her busy lifestyle.


What inspired you to work in this industry?
I love the dialogue between fashion and culture. I also love when I see a beautiful woman wearing something new and unexpected—all of a sudden it changes your perception. That’s the beauty of fashion, those moments.

What does the future of your brand look like?
We’ve grown steadily and organically, gaining loyal customers season after season. It’s a solid ground that we’ve been building, and for me it’s about that kind of growth. We have accessories on the horizon as well.

Photo by The Sartorialist

Do you pay attention to street style?
I pick and choose what I see and like. You can’t look at it too much because your job is to propose something new. But then again, when you see something that looks fresh, you take note.


If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be?
A musician, definitely.


What’s your all-time favorite band?
That’s difficult. I think the Eagles and Coldplay are certainly up there.

How about your favorite book?
A Confederacy of Dunces.

What’s the last great movie you saw?
Blue Jasmine with Cate Blanchett. She’s so phenomenal in it, and I’m such a fan of Woody Allen.


If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
To the beach in Thailand.

Thakoon Printed Dress | Thakoon Sequin/Lace Sweater | Thakoon Knit Fair-Isle Dress

Do you have any advice for a young woman trying to cultivate her personal style?
You should always have a uniform of sorts. I hate when I see someone dressed girly one day, and edgy the next day. That’s playing dress-up. If you know your personality, what you like to wear and how you want to look, just stick with that look and silhouette, and in the long run, you’ll have a distinct style.


Name three wardrobe essentials every woman should own.
A great cocktail dress, a classic men’s shirt and a great pair of pants.


Who’s your design hero?
Elsa Schiaparelli.


If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?
Salvador Dali. I’d love to hear his perspective on the world and what he sees.

Thakoon Panichgul backstage, Fall 2013

Photo by Fernando Colon


What’s the one thing you always have to do before any show?
Drink water!


Please share a little-known fact about yourself.
I love leftovers.

Describe your morning getting-ready routine.
Two cups of coffee, a quick shower, and lots of moisturizer—that’s it.

Mary O’Regan

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Lead with Your Legs

One of the best parts about colder weather? It’s the excuse to get those cute tights you’ve been eyeing since August, or show off those superfun socks with your boots! Whether it’s gold brocade or shimmery herringbone, hosiery does double duty in keeping you stylishly warm. Get ready to do some power walking.

Spot on: SPANX ‘Dotted Lines’ Shaping Tights

Fancy free: Hue Foil Brocade Leggings

Let it shine: Lyssé Sequin Stripe Control Top Ponte Leggings

Zig or zag: Hue ‘Shimmer Herringbone’ Tights

Check out our trend lookbook for more styles and how to wear them.

—Kristyn Asseff

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Petite Fall Playbook x The Extra Petite Blog

Stephanie Altieri, the buyer for our Petite Women’s Shop, has curated a selection of her must-have fall fashions. Broken down into five persuasive trends, the Petite Fall Playbook will help you to look your best—in styles selected just for your size.

Try the Precious Metals trend.

The Thread taps Jean, the blogger behind ExtraPetite.com, to model the Precious Metal trend from the Fall Playbook and gain some expert sizing advice in the process.

THE THREAD: Describe your personal style.

JEAN: I love mixing classic, feminine pieces with the occasional trends, and pairing splurge items with bargain or thrifted finds. Personal style for me is constantly evolving—discovering and refining it through fashion experimentation is all part of the fun.

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THE THREAD: When it comes to fall essentials, what are your must-have items and why?

JEAN: For fall, I love lightweight coats that can carry me through winter with some creative layering. At the top of my list is the belted trench, which is a classic piece that’s incredibly flattering on every body type. It’s comfy over a simple tee in early fall, and it can be doubled or tripled up over thick sweaters and scarves once the temperatures cool down (the waist-cinching belt saves you from looking too bulky!). To switch it up, a leather jacket is another fall must-have—a fitted one in a neutral color will pair just as easily with jeans as it will with a dress for the office!

THE THREAD: The motto for your blog is “The quest for fashion that fits.” Can you share any styling/shopping tips that you’ve learned through blogging?

JEAN: The most important lesson I’ve learned is that buying a few well-fitting, quality pieces beats owning a closet full of mediocre-fitting items that you’ll forget about next season. I used to buy a number of items that fit okay but not great. Some of these were bought for the thrill of a sale, or for instant gratification. I’ve since learned to have a well-thought-out wish list and to only purchase things that are quality enough to warrant spending extra on tailoring (if necessary!) to make them fit perfectly.

I often hear from readers who are just starting out building a wardrobe or who are on a budget and are unsure where to begin. My recommendation is to look around for inspiration and make a list of the top pieces that will suit your lifestyle for years to come. Shop for those items patiently and with a critical eye for quality and fit. Don’t forget that small tweaks, like a hem job, can make a big difference. (Another reason why I love the Nordstrom card—it’s an allowance for free alterations each year!)

Discover the City Slicker trend.

Check out Jean’s take on our City Slicker trend when you visit her blog.

—Qianna Smith

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A Vision of Love by Burberry

Cute couple alert! Burberry’s Christopher Bailey taps Sienna Miller and her fiancé Tom Sturridge for the brand’s fall campaign, photographed by Mario Testino.

Who can resist the allure and charm of this real-life vision of love? The sultry couple got engaged in 2012 and are proud parents to daughter Marlowe, 1. “This was a shoot full of love and laughter,” said Bailey to Vogue UK. “It was such a treat to work with Sienna and Tom, and to capture their magic together.”

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Pretty Sweet: The Factory Girl star wears Burberry Prorsum Heart Print Mulberry Silk Blouse.

Treasure your love for Burberry Prorsum.

Qianna Smith

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Made for the Met: MARC JACOBS ‘The Metropolitan’

MARC JACOBS unveils an original handbag masterpiece: the ‘Grand Metropolitan’ satchel.

Neo-classical shapes and structured modernism swirl together to form the super-feminine design of the ‘Grand Metropolitan.’

HERO

Inspired by New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, this Nappa-and-suede day bag features gold-finish jewelry motifs that make it a uniquely covetable object for fall.

Make an artful handbag investment with MARC JACOBS.

Qianna Smith
Images courtesy of Marc Jacobs

MET photo found on MTA

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Tory Burch Trunk Show Fall 2013

In the mood for romance? Fall in love with the designs of Tory Burch and create your own poetic story this coming season. The rich colors and luxe textures fused in this art nouveau-­inspired collection are available online today in our special pre-sale trunk show.

Simply Lovely: Tory Burch ‘Dayton’ Stretch Cotton Sheath Dress, photo by Norman Jean Roy

Embellishment Enchantment: Tory Burch ‘Collins’ Leather Midi Dress & ‘Kerry’ Silk Blouse

Daytime Darling: Tory Burch ‘Lainey’ Bouclé Panel Cardigan, ‘Jasmine’ Silk Top & ‘Tobie’ Stretch Tuxedo Pants

Step out in style donning Tory Burch ‘Imogene’ Pumps, as seen on the runway at New York Fashion Week.

Tory Talks to The Thread: “The decorative styles of Gustav Klimt and René Lalique inspired Fall 2013′s free-spirited and romantic mood,” says Burch, who launched her namesake lifestyle brand in 2004.

“We focused on the details: dragonflies and scarabs printed on dresses as well as wrapped around the heels of shoes, metallic prints and patterns, mixed textures and subtle volume. It all centers around the idea of 24-hour dressing—special pieces to wear from day to evening.”

Romantically Chic: Tory Burch ‘Tatum’ Silk Dress

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 A Passion for Mixed Textures: Tory Burch ‘Patsy’ Tweed Coat

Polished Liaison: Tory Burch ‘Walda’ Sweater, ‘Kerry’ Silk Blouse & ‘Leigh’ Skirt

Qianna Smith

Runway images courtesy of Tory Burch | Behind the scenes shot by Noa Griffel

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Interviews

London Calling: Nicholas Kirkwood Fall 2013

Known for the architectonic quality of his designs and his wondrous use of color, Nicholas Kirkwood has wowed the fashion world since launching his namesake label in 2005. Britain’s shoe wunderkind phoned The Thread while en route to London from New York’s JFK airport to discuss paving his own path to success.

And the Winner Is… Kirkwood kicked off the new year by snagging the prestigious BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund Award and presenting his spring 2013 collection on the heads of models

THE THREAD: Since winning the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund award in January, which mentor has been the most influential in advancing your business?

NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD: We have two mentors. One has a financial background and the other one is Kurt Geiger, who I’ve actually already been working with. The advice we’ve received on brand building and wholesale distribution from a retail stance has been really helpful, particularly because I’m growing my own retail business.

Mad Hatter: Kirkwood worked for the Royal family’s go-to milliner, Philip Treacy, for five years and embraced his architectural aesthetic

THE THREAD: Philip Treacy is constantly challenging the perception of what a hat should be and the role it should play in a woman’s dressing. Do you feel some of his rebellious spirit rubbed off on you in terms of your approach to shoe design?

KIRKWOOD: Philip has certainly served as inspiration. I was surrounded by his creations every day. He gave me my first introduction to the world of accessories, and that was definitely a turning point for me in terms of the direction I wanted to take my career. His studio is like a creative playground. Working with him allowed me to think about shoes in a different way, maybe in a more sculptural way, because at the time I had a limited art background. The sculptural element really came natural to me.

HERO

Tulle Jewel: Nicholas Kirkwood Ruffle Trim Pump with dramatic goldtone stiletto heel

THE THREAD: Manolo Blahnik has served as an inspiration for you too. If you ever had a chance to interview him, what one question would you have to ask?

KIRKWOOD: Wow, that’s quite a question. I suppose I’d ask him at what point did he feel he was really at the top of his game, and what did that feel like?

British Besties ♥ NK: Model Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora—English ‘it’ girls—are both known to rock Kirkwood designs for work and play. This past May, Rita wore a custom-made pair of pumps by Kirkwood to the MET gala

THE THREAD: How does the city of London and its fashion influencers inspire your creative point of view?

KIRKWOOD: London is a creatively open city. It’s got great schools like Central Saint Martins that have a longstanding history of producing some of the greatest artists and fashion inventors. Naturally there’s a certain energy to London, which makes it a very inspiring city to live and work in. There’s an independence in London’s culture which really motivates people to try something new, and you can see that in everything from music to art to fashion.

THE THREAD: You created a very edgy yet timeless pump to complement the dress that singer Rita Ora wore to this year’s MET gala, PUNK: Chaos to Couture. Can you tell us a little more about the design?

KIRKWOOD: The design is based on a classic pump shape. Rita had a dress made up by Thakoon, which had chains running through it and gave the fabric a metal element. I wanted the shoe to look as though someone splashed or kicked a load of studs on the front of the shoe and they just randomly degraded out.

Style Mystique: Jennifer Lawrence promotes her upcoming movie X-Men: Days of Future Past at Comic-Con in San Diego, donning a bandage dress from Alexander McQueen Resort 2014 and sleek pointy-toe Lace Pumps by Nicholas Kirkwood

THE THREAD: You’re not short on the number of celebrity fans or fashion design awards: Footwear News Emerging Talent Vivian Infantino award in 2006, AltaRoma/Vogue Italia award for accessories design in 2007, British Fashion Awards Swarovski Emerging Talent in 2008. With so many admirers and accolades, what is the best compliment you’ve ever received about one of your shoe designs?

KIRKWOOD: Funny enough, [the rapper] Rick Ross mentioned me in a his song [“All I Really Want”: “Baby girl, my money good, who turned her on to Nicholas Kirkwood.”] and that was definitely a compliment.

Walk This Way: Kirkwood has designed the runway shoes for New York-based design duo SUNO for the past three seasons. For fall ’13, his clever use of color on these ‘80s inspired Chelsea-print ankle boots feels so right now

THE THREAD: Do you feel shoes are the index of a personal status?

KIRKWOOD: It’s a combination of things. Certainly before the shoe years, it was about the “it” bag. Handbags were so prominent for so long. Maybe just in the last 8 to 10 years, have shoes become increasingly more of a focus, even from a designer’s point of view for their runway shows. Shoes maybe were viewed more of just an accessory to show off the clothing, and now they really have become almost an item within themselves. Almost every year, every season, designers are trying to outdo each other with their show shoes. It was probably about three years ago or so that shoes were getting crazier and higher.

Fall Fabulous: Slip into chic comfort wearing the Nicholas Kirkwood Stretch Suede Bootie

THE THREAD: Your fall/winter 2013 collection runs the gamut of shape, color and material. Would you say you have a hero shoe in this latest offering?

KIRKWOOD: I really wouldn’t say there’s a particular shoe. The hero is perhaps more in the fabrication. Also, I started using a new kind of hardware, right on top of the shoe in a way that resembles a buckle. And for spring 2013, I did a zigzag print in suede to explore how to use an exact pattern without printing it. I’m always trying new things that interest me.

Ready to answer London’s call? Ring in fall with Nicholas Kirkwood.

Qianna Smith

Portrait courtesy of Nicholas Kirkwood

[Photo Credit: Vogue.com, Bridgetteraes.com, Trend911.com, Nicholaskirkwood.com, Nellalouvella.blogspot.com]

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L’Agent: Lingerie on Cruz Control

Agent Provocateur (AP), makers of fashion’s fiercest unmentionables for the last 19 years, is launching its first-ever diffusion line, L’Agent, in collaboration with Spanish ingenues Penélope and Mónica Cruz.

L’Agent embodies the seductiveness of AP’s core aesthetic, yet it’s designed with a comfortable, everyday approach to intimate apparel in terms of shapes, cuts and colors.

Leading AP’s legacy in lingerie is the brand’s creative director, Sarah Shotton, whom we phoned in London to get the lacy details on the collection, which is available online and in Nordstrom stores starting today.

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Bound for Britain: Last summer, Penélope and Mónica camped out with Sarah at the London-based studio of AP to conceive and design the L’Agent collection

THE THREAD: Tell us how the partnership with the Cruz sisters got started!

SARAH SHOTTON: It began with a conversation on set. Mónica modeled for the AP fall/winter 2012 collection, and while she was getting her hair and makeup done for the shoot, we got to chatting. She mentioned that she and Penélope have been buying and collecting AP for about 15 or 16 years, if not more. Mónica said, “We love what you do. We love the brand. We love all the lingerie.” She just said that she and her sister really wanted to design lingerie and would love to work on a collaboration with us. At the time, Gary Hogarth, AP’s CEO, and I had already been discussing producing a wholesale line. So it was perfect timing and very organic. They adore the brand, and we adore them.

Lovely in Lingerie: Mónica Cruz was hand-picked by Sarah to model for AP’s fall/winter 2012 collection

THE THREAD: How involved were the Cruz sisters in designing the collection?

SARAH: We shot Mónica in April of 2012, and since then, we have been working closely together. This is not a collaboration where somebody else designs it and they just put their name on it. Penélope and Mónica have been actively involved in the creation of this line and have spent a fair share of time with me in London, conceiving ideas and looking through our archives.

We were three girls working together, having a giggle and designing what we want women to wear. It’s been really sweet because I was pregnant at the time, and then Mónica became pregnant, and then Penélope became pregnant. At one point, we were all pregnant. I had my “King George” nine months ago.

Sister, Sister: Penélope and Mónica have previously collaborated with two Spanish brands: Loewe, on a handbag line, and MANGO, on several clothing collections (photo by Mert and Marcus)

THE THREAD: L’Agent features 15 styles that range from bra and brief sets to basques and babydolls. How hard was it to narrow down the selection?

SARAH: It was really hard! We knew from the start that this would be an ongoing partnership [expected to last at least five years], so for some styles, we were like “That’s great for next season or the season after that.” I suppose for this launch collection, we had to design something that would have mass appeal. I think when you watch the campaign video that Penélope directed, you’ll see lots of different types of women, personalities and lifestyles, who are wearing lots of different types of lingerie.

Practical Panties: The Cruz sisters set out to design a range of lingerie that women could wear every day, and they gave each piece a Spanish woman’s name. Clockwise: ‘Isi’ Quarter Cup Bra & Low Rise Thong‘Zanita’ Bra & Thong and ‘Penélope’ Underwire Balcony Bra, Waspie & Brief

THE THREAD: How important is lingerie for the fashion-conscious woman?

SARAH: Lingerie is really important to women worldwide. It’s unbelievable, the trends in lingerie right now. When I started with AP 14 years ago, women were still a bit afraid of edgy, out-there lingerie, but not anymore. It’s almost like in the ’40s and ’50s. Women wore great lingerie because their dresses wouldn’t fit properly if they didn’t. Women who wanted a tiny waist and a pointy chest would wear underwear that created that effect.

I think the modern woman now knows that it’s important to have lingerie for different occasions and for different outfits. We all know it’s really important that, if you’re going to play sports, you wear a sports bra. I think we are more aware of creating a lingerie wardrobe today, especially after the book 50 Shades of Grey (which mentions the brand).

In the Director’s Chair: To celebrate the launch of L’Agent, Penélope makes her directorial debut in a film starring her husband, Javier Bardem (center), model Irina Shayk, and her sister Mónica, who was pregnant at the time

THE THREAD: What inspired Penélope to direct the campaign video?

SARAH: The video is something that Penélope really wanted to do. She was like “I haven’t directed anything before. I really want to direct my first piece for the L’Agent launch.” Penélope had an idea of a party, and I think she’d been dreaming about it for ages. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard. She was literally outlining the direction of the film non-stop—and pregnant at the same time! A lot of her friends and family were involved. It’s a very special piece with a funny little message at the end.

Spanish Style: The Madrid-born design duo wanted the collection to have an alluring Spanish point of view. L to R: ‘Rosalyn’ Quarter Cup Bra & Thong, ‘Mónica’ Bra & Tanga & ‘Penélope’ Underwire Balcony Bra

THE THREAD: Music and film have been cited as outlets for your design inspiration. Were there any films or characters played by Penélope that you felt came alive in the collection?

SARAH: It’s funny, because when we were working on this collection, they wanted the line to have a very Spanish feel, even in the colors they were thinking of—like red flamenco. Obviously, I love Penélope. She’s such a great actress and has played so many different types of characters. I would say there’s a lot of Volver in the line. She’s very sexy and voluptuous in that film, which is very L’Agent. There are also some aspects of her fiery character in the film Blow with Johnny Depp. She had a really strong attitude in that movie, and you can feel that in the bold and sassy pieces of the line.

Enchant. Entice. Empower. Transform in L’Agent.

Qianna Smith

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Interviews

Fall 2013: Phillip Lim’s Biker Babes

We hit up designer Phillip Lim for the scoop on his new, moto-themed fall collection, a few personal predilections and one surprising fact you’d never guess.

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How does street style affect your work?
I think it’s really changed as of late. I like to look at original street style for its authenticity and complete irreverence.

What’s the inspiration behind your fall collection?
It’s inspired by the partners, lovers and girlfriends of the café racer generation, and a spirit of irreverence and strength coupled with a desire to look great.

Describe the woman who wears your designs.
She’s cool, easygoing and, most of all, effortlessly chic.

Name three wardrobe essentials every woman should own.
A perfect pair of trousers, a scarf and a good jacket that can transition from day to night.

How would you describe your own fashion sense?
Classic with a sense of madness.

Who’s your design hero?
[American minimalist sculptor] Richard Serra.

Name the last great movie you saw.
L’Amour Fou.

If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
I’d like to visit the Maldives Islands—before they disappear.

What’s your all-time favorite band?
The XX. I could listen to them all day every day.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself.
I used to fly pigeons in California.

Check out Lim’s just-released campaign video, ‘SONOMAMA,’ which pays tribute to the café racer generation with a greaser-meets-girl story line starring Japanese actress Kiko Mizuhara, Louis Simonon (son of The Clash bassist Paul Simonon) and Japanese rockabilly gang Black Shadow.

Then shop a few of our favorite pieces from the new collection below:

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