FAST KNOCK-OFF: Remember what we said about the rush to copy the engagement ring given by England’s Prince William to Kate Middleton recently? Well, QVC is already selling a copy of the ring for a low-low $39.64. The QVC ring has been designed by Kenneth Jay Lane and is available on qvc.com. Just ask for the Kenneth Jay Lane Princess Simulated Sapphire Ring and you’ll be living the life of royalty.
TREND CHECK; BOUDOIR SHORTS: Just look at some of the sexy new shorts coming onto the market! They make yesterday’s hot pants look mild by comparison. Not that these shorts are in any way crass; oh, no! They are as refined and dainty as anything could be, making them all the sexier! But for the living room, or your favorite restaurant? That’s right!
Take for example Mark + James’ gold sequined shorts, recently photographed by a major fashion publication over a tiny silk blouse and Marlene Dietrich – style marabou bolero. What a fabulous look! Or, choose a blousy, little top and shorts outfit over a brown crystal fox stole. Another fabulous winner.
These new shorts are anything but retro, even though they’ll surely be pegged as such. These are a brand new look, shorts made out of lace, silks and sequins, looking suspiciously like panties or bedroom attire, worn with gossamer blouses and au natural colored, shiny fishnet hose. Like Bruce II’s leopard patterned, cotton and linen lace shorts or Contrarian NY’s gunmetal sequined high waisted silk shorts worn with a cummerbund.
What would you wear with these fancy shorts? First, think in terms of dressy fabrics and sexy shapes. Pointed, radically high sandals maintain the updated trend. Then add delicate jewelry, like long classic, Chanel chains, and silvery bracelets, preferably.
BIG, SIGNATURE JEWELRY PIECES ARE ALL THE RAGE BUT DAINTY, LITTLE PIECES STILL ENJOY HIGH POPULARITY. LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES:
BRANCHING OUT ALL OVER: We’re supposed to be in a recession, but you’d never know it from the way hot retail stores are opening around the world. Now Forever 21 is making news with its aggressive expansion agenda. The store has just opened a 45,000 square foot unit on Fifth Avenue in New York City – albeit for a temporary, 6-month stint – saying it hopes to be on Fifth Avenue permanently.
Overseas, Forever 21 has leased space in numerous upscale neighborhoods, such as Oxford Street in London. The firm has also opened units in Birmingham and Dublin. A 50,000 square foot unit will open next year in Hong Kong, and another in Tokyo. “We plan to open in one of the major cities in China over the next year,” said Larry Meyer, Forever 21’s senior vice president. “Next year, we’ll open in Vienna, Brussels, Antwerp, and Barcelona as well as France.” See what we mean?
In addition, the company is in no way skimping on luxury in its new stores. Even though it is a lease, the store on Fifth Avenue sports conveyor belts hanging from the ceiling to give apparel a spin. Vintage motorcycles exaggerate the stores’ young, edgy look. Rich materials such as marble, along with wood herringbone floors, original moldings, and coffered ceilings further the firm’s reputation for globally sophisticated style.
Accessories in the new store have been given a Fifties-style bakery environment, with products displayed with fake treats like chocolates. Designer and daughter of the founder, Linda Chang, explains the design, saying, “I like it to be a grabby experience.”
IGNORING THE BASICS: Swarovski is expanding into eyeglasses and rings as part of its lifestyle brand. The looks are interesting, with many innovative ideas that will doubtlessly characterize future collections if this one is as successful as planned. The sunglasses are being produced by Italy’s Marcolin, and an unexpected aspect to the glasses is that most of them do not feature crystals as a dominant design factor.
“I wanted to pay attention to the message that this is an entirely new area for Swarovski, said creative director Nathalie Colin. “Rather than going the easy route with stones and sparkle, I was inspired by the architectural language of crystal.”
–Of course, you can’t expect total change overnight. There are still a number of crystals in the temple design of the eyeglasses, thank heavens.
The ring collection, which includes 12 styles retailing from $360 to $495, also uses enamel rather than crystal. “We have focused on a cleaner, purer interpretation of brilliance,” Colin said. But, hey, this is Swarovski! What is going on here?
WE TEND TO LOVE CRYSTAL ABOVE ALL ELSE. IF YOU DO, TOO, LOOK HERE: