March 31, 2012

Curry favor

Bring exotic flavor to the spring table with a vibrant lamb curry redolent of the spices of India

Around Easter, my thoughts turn to cooking lamb. Because I love the warmth and earthiness of a curry, I asked Raj Vaidya, head sommelier at Daniel, for an Indian version made with lamb. Raj went straight to the source— his mother, after whom this recipe is named. Rekha Vaidya has been making a chicken version of this dish for years. Because she never wrote down the recipe, Raj’s sister once watched as she prepared it, jotting the instructions on paper to preserve them.
Despite its many spices and aromatics, including lemony amchoor powder made from dried mango, this curry is not overly hot or spicy. The spinach and cilantro give the dish a vibrant green color, making it a wonderful herald of spring. And if you are lucky enough to have leftovers, Lamb Rekha only gets better the next day. What you lose in color from reheating, you gain in intensified flavor.
What to Drink
The lamb curry is a family recipe provided by sommelier Raj Vaidya of Daniel, who recommends pairing the dish with an earthy Cornas wine from the Rhône Valley, such as Auguste Clape’s Cornas Renaissance 2009 ($74). “Gamey and rich, the Syrah grapes play off the lamb, and the herbaceous and smoky notes marry well with the spices in the curry,” says Vaidya. Another good option is J. L. Chave Sélection Saint-Joseph “Offerus,” Rhône 2007 ($29), a softer and more aromatic Syrah.
Watch - Three Days' Worth of Chanel
Parties in Tokyo in Under Five Minutes

Ain't no party like a Chanel party. The French fashion house hosted three days of events in Tokyo last week to celebrate its upcoming book, The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL's Classic Revisited. In addition to an exhibition of the photos from the book — which show Sarah Jessica ParkerVanessa Paradis, and Carine Roitfeld wearing the jacket — the house also restaged its recent couture show and threw a party in a Chanel pop-up store complete with a performance by Azealia Banks.

Everyone from the women in the books to models like Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss showed up for the festivities, and Karl Lagerfeld, of course, was there for every second of the fun. Take a glimpse at it all, below.

Stefano Pilati Says Being Let Go From
Yves Saint Laurent Was "Beautiful"

What's next for ousted Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati? For the moment, he's not planning to jump back into the fray — or to do anything else for that matter.
Pilati told the audience that assembled to listen to him talk at the French Institute Alliance Française Tuesday night that after decades of being in the fashion industry, he's not exactly chomping at the bit to create more clothes. "I started to work in fashion at a really early age, and somehow leaving Saint Laurent ended a chapter, a career I started almost 30 years ago," he said. "For some reason, I realized I haven't planned any move."
That reason could be a number of things — Pilati ran through his entire history in the fashion business, having worked in retail and as a stylist before hitting it big as a designer for Miu Miu and YSL. Fashion writer Jim Chi quoted Pilati in a tweet as saying that "it's pretty beautiful what's happened to me," referring to being replaced by former Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane a few weeks ago. "I'm really happy, which is something I never believed I could be under these circumstances," he said. And while Pilati might not be sure what his future circumstances will be, he was more than happy to talk about his past.
On making YSL profitable with the addition of accessories: "I lived the business aspect of fashion since day one . . . It's not something that for me was like, 'What do you mean? I am a creator! Who cares if you can sell it?' No way . . . I put aside my ego, I put aside my freedom, and I worked hard to respond to what the market was asking for . . . You design something and you want every single woman or man to wear it. You know that they're going to pay for it, so you're going to get some money somewhere. Maybe it's my education, but I never thought, 'I hope nobody gets this except for me.'"
On leading YSL after Saint Laurent's death in 2008: "A lot of people started to ask me, 'Do you feel something has changed?' or 'Is it going to change for you now that he's not alive anymore?' At first, I said, 'No, I don't think so, why?' I've always tried to do my best, but in fact it had changed. I could really feel the fact that his physical presence wasn't there anymore. In a way it gave me a sense of freedom."
On how young people should approach working in fashion: "Don't lose your passion, be true to yourself . . . Go to work as soon as you can . . . Do any job in fashion. No matter what. I've been a salesperson in a shop. I've been an assistant, a stylist, done internships . . . I knew that I wanted to work in fashion. That for me was the same thing, to be a fashion designer came up, but you have to try many things."

Club Monaco's Website Now Features E-Commerce

After a brief delay, Club Monaco fans will be able to buy the brand's clothes online this week. The new e-commerce site is still in a soft launch phase, but the brand's representatives told Fashionologie on Monday that its Facebook fans will get access to the site on Tuesday, and everyone else will be able to shop online Wednesday.

That'll be useful for fans of the brand who don't live anywhere near one of its stores. Club Monaco has just over 100 brick-and-mortar locations around the world, which means the site will be a useful tool as the brand continues to build a fan base. What we've seen of the site so far is functional and clean, but it's also pretty engaging. The brand's Tumblr, Culture Club, has prominent links on most of the pages, and some key products — like the women's black leather jacket in the P.S. You Need This section — are cleverly animated. And so long as the site stays stocked with a fresh assortment of products and new ways to entertain browsers and hardcore shoppers alike, we think it'll be a top shopping destination.

If you want early access to the site, you'll have to like Club Monaco on Facebook now. In the meantime, check out a few of the products we'll be buying when the site goes live.

Medora Sweater, $98.50

Carlyle Moto Jacket, $595

Rebecca Cashmere Wrap, $229

Dori short dress, $249

Kira skirt, $169.50

Zoe Karson T-shirt, $98

Olivia Frame Clutch, $119.50

Adela Pleated Skirt, $139.50

Sunny Striped Scarf, $69.50

Tommy Ton Messenger, $225

See the Entire Kenneth Cole Collection Fall 2012 Lookbook

As promised, Kenneth Cole's new line, Kenneth Cole Collection, is more luxurious and fashion forward than his main line. One need look no further than the Collection's Fall offering for proof.

The clothing combines a heightened design aesthetic with materials that are about as rich as it gets. Leather jackets are lined with fur collars in both the men's and women's collections, and there's no shortage of pony skin — not just in the handbags and shoes, but also in the garments themselves. That shouldn't come as a surprise; Cole said when he created the line he wanted to make clothes his customers would want to invest in. With a price point that ranges from $400 dresses to $900 outerwear and beyond, that's exactly what it will be.

Take a look at the full collection here — including accessories and menswear.

Karl Lagerfeld on Jackie O's Chanel
Knockoff, Daphne Guinness's Reading List

Those stories and more in our daily news roundup.
  • Karl Lagerfeld said in a recent interview that the pink Chanel suit Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 was actually a knockoff. But a little investigative digging reveals that the iconic suit was actually made to Chanel's specifications with fabric Chanel sent to a tailor in New Jersey. [Fashionista]
  • The reason Daphne Guinness has been sending so many erudite-sounding tweets lately is because she's actually been quoting famous books and poems. Highlights include excerpts from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra — all cut down to 140 characters or fewer, of course. [The Cut]
  • Madonna's commercial for her new fragrance, Truth or Dare, has been making waves with TV network executives for being too risque. ABC reportedly asked for the bra she wears in the commercial to be "digitally made bigger, and to extend higher to cover more of her chest, and her corset longer to cover more of her bottom." [The Huffington Post]
  • Perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain has been fined a grand total of $24,000 for making racist remarks on French television last year while describing how hard he worked on his iconic scent Samsara. The fine was split up among the French government and three antiracism organizations that sued Guerlain after his gaffe. [Styleite]

March 30, 2012

H&M Confirms Launch of New
Retail Chain (Update)

Days after rumors circulated that it would open a new luxury fashion label, Swedish retail giant H&M has confirmed that it's planning to open a new brand in 2013.
While the company wouldn't characterize exactly what price range the chain will occupy, CEOKarl-Johan Persson said in a press release that the new chain is part of a plan to secure H&M's future as a major player in retail.
"We have many different projects in progress and already next year we will be launching a completely new store chain," Persson said. "Like Cos, which today is very successful with good profitability, the new chain of stores will be independent and complement the other offerings from the group. We have great faith in this new brand and we see considerable potential for further initiatives."
Cos is the highest priced and most fashion-oriented of the many brands H&M owns and operates, and if that's the brand that compares best with the new business, it's possible that next year will see the launch of the rumored luxury line.
Rumblings of an H&M-backed luxury line started over the weekend after the Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri reported that the company would venture into high-fashion territory. Representatives for H&M did not respond to requests for more information about the new line by the time of this post.
Update: An H&M spokeswoman told Fashionologie that the new brand will cost more than H&M, but is not being classified as a luxury label. "A new store chain will be launched in 2013 under a separate brand with a higher price point," she said. "It will not be a luxury brand, but it will be a retail chain that will follow the same ambition as H&M, to offer our customers the best price for a comparable item."
Unless you’ve placed yourself on a magazine ban, or been living beneath the safety of a rock, you’ve heard the murmurs aboutVogue Paris losing its edge. Whether it is blog posts about lackluster covers, or tFS rumblings, it feels like everyone has an opinion on the excitement level (or lack there of) in the post Carine Roitfeld era.
While we admit to missing the sexed up, controversy courting, boundary pushing days of Mme. Roitfeld, the Emmanuelle Alt helmed VP has its high points - Wham lipsync moment non-withstanding. April’s issue features a striking beauty story by Karim Sadli, featuring Malgosia Bela reinvented by four of the top young talents in hair & makeup. Anthony Turner, Lucia Pica, Yadim &James Pecis create a series of strong, attention grabbing looks for Malgosia that showcase their creativity and modern views of what a striking editorial look can be — how’s that for excitement.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer hasn't aged a day since her first campaign for Guess in 1989, and now she's back to help the brand commemorate its 30th anniversary.
Schiffer posed for photographer Ellen von Unwerth— who shot the first few Guess campaigns in the '80s — for new photos that evoke the black-and-white sultriness of the original ads. Unveiled today, the new images capture the ageless Schiffer celebrating "30 sexy years!" of the brand. Schiffer told WWD that nothing has changed since she last worked with the brand: "Guess will always have a soft spot in my heart, and I'm excited that 23 years later we can still work together so successfully."
The pieces Schiffer wears in the ads are part of a capsule collection that will be sold this year. Take a look at a few images, old and new, here.

Wren Summer 2012 Lookbook

Get warmed up for the new season with Wren's just-released Summer 2012 lookbook. Styled by Giorgia Tramontano and photographed by Closet Visit's Jeana Sohn, the collection is brimming with exactly the sort of chic and breezy separates one would expect from the California-based line: dip-dyed eyelet frocks, paper-bag-waist skirts, sequined box jackets, and punch-hued shorts. The collection doesn't hit stores and until May, but you can peek the whole assortment — modeled by Ingrid Sophie Schram — right here, in the slideshow.

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