No Such Agency

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Last week, I ventured into Chinatown to visit the ready-to-wear showroom of No Such Agency, a boutique PR firm. They, along with a handbag brand and a lingerie brand, occupy the Triple A Loft, a cool, airy space filled with natural light. A zebra greeted me when I stepped out of the elevator, and I wandered past the mod yellow sofa and issues of WWD and Electrify in the lobby to the No Such Agency space, a charming area with a minimalist desk and table, an old-fashioned window, a floor-to-ceiling mirror, and six racks of samples. An intern greeted me and showed me around, telling me all about the collections.

I was immediately drawn to the Daniel.Silverstain rack. “I want to focus on this brand because I would wear every item here,” I stammered. I don’t always say this. Liking every item from a clothing brand is rare, in the way that it’s rare to enjoy every song in a music artist’s repertoire. What was it about these few items, hanging on a single steel rod, spaced a few inches apart? There was the recurrent pairing of black and white. There was the dramatic asymmetry, the kind that makes you feel perpetually a step ahead of the here and now.  There was the formality of each piece – being in my early twenties, I often like to dress older so I will be taken more seriously. And even though common prints and materials were used across items, as is typical for a seasonal collection, no two pieces blended together. There was nothing redundant, nothing forgettable. I could envision every item on myself, each one standing out on a crowded block, each one making a distinct impression.

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This is the Fall 2016 collection, shown last September as a see-now, buy-now presentation. Titled WHITE.CITY, it was inspired by the effects of the Bauhaus movement on Tel Aviv in the 1950s.

Me in the layered blouse, black pants, and crocodile-embossed shearling coat with separating panel in orchid. Though I prefer warm weather, I have always gravitated toward the grandeur of a long winter coat. All runway photos by Robert Mitra/WWD.  

Daniel Silverstain founded his luxury apparel brand in 2013. He takes inspiration from industrialism, modernism, and futurism. “I design to inspire women to be bold, to be courageous, to stand out, and to create a story of their own,” he says. Originally from Israel, Silverstain started his fashion career at the Israeli division of KEDS Kids in 2006, advancing quickly to Design Director. In 2009, he moved to New York to pursue a BFA in Fashion/Apparel Design at FIT. While in school, he interned at Marie Claire for a semester (see, even acclaimed designers pay their dues) and worked as an assistant designer at 3.1 Phillip Lim and a designer at Muuse and Elie Tahari.

He launched Daniel.Silverstain soon after graduating. Last year, he co-founded Flying Solo, a designer-owned retail incubator in Little Italy. Flying Solo provides a platform for startup brands to enter the brick-and-mortar market without selling to a retailer, which requires accommodating a retail markup and often supplying high minimum orders, or maintaining their own boutique, especially in New York where rents are high. Flying Solo is owned and operated by twenty-eight fashion brands.

     Daniel Silverstain Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe, my favorite actress now that she’s an actress, in a Daniel.Silverstain coat for Cosmopolitan. Photo by Max Abadian.

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I recognized KUT from the Kloth from Nordstrom, where I sold their jeans in the Point of View department alongside brands like Caslon and NYDJ. I really enjoyed seeing the brand on its own, in its complete form. I always knew they had great-fitting jeans, but I didn’t know that they also had dresses, tops, jackets, and pants! I loved the profusion of florals, the pinstripes, the sweeping bell sleeves, and the whimsical paper bag waist on a pair of dress pants.

Me in the Luz blouse and Regina pants. Life Stride shoes.

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The effervescent bell sleeve of a pink blouse. 

KUT from the Kloth is based in Los Angeles. Their core focus is “to offer women of all shapes and sizes the perfect-fitting jean”. They started with the denim concept in 1977, but expanded to add sportswear in 2006. The company has a strong commitment to workers’ rights, requiring that all of their suppliers and vendors adhere to their Code of Ethics policy. They make sure to work only with factories that do not employ workers younger than 15, pay a fair wage, properly dispose of all hazardous materials, and have an environmental management system in place that includes disaster and emergency preparedness. After the Rana Plaza collapse, this is welcome to hear.

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The Ruthy dress and Rosie skirt. 

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The off-shoulder flutter sleeve dress and Adyson dress. 

You can find KUT from the Kloth on their website, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Century 21, Zappos, Bluefly, and many boutiques nationwide. As a resident of Bushwick who likes to shop at little shops, my source of choice is Néda in Park Slope.

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No Such Agency’s fashion showroom makes appointments for editors, stylists, celebrities, bloggers, and “micro-influencers” to select samples to borrow for photo shoots and events. The biggest appointment witnessed by the girl I talked to was from Vogue, to select pieces for a Karlie Kloss spread shot in Australia. Karlie Kloss has been my favorite model since this article in 2007, so I was pretty excited. No Such Agency keeps six brands at a time. The founders, “This British power couple”, consistently choose independent ready-to-wear brands “with a cool vibe”. They also have a showroom in Los Angeles.

Besides fashion, No Such Agency represents clients in the media, music, art, and lifestyle industries; in other words, everything creative and glamorous. The founders, Dan and Helena Barton, came from marketing at Diesel. Dan has worked at Maison Margiela and DSquared2. Helena has worked at Rag & Bone and All Saints. On the music side, she has worked for James Brown, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, and Franz Ferdinand.

TBT — Senior Year

rules-of-etiquette

Emily, Kalpana, and me. Rules of Etiquette jumpsuit. Jessica Simpson pumps. Apt. 9 belt. Photo by Travis W. Keyes

I cannot believe that almost a year has passed since I graduated. Here I am with my friends Emily and Kalpana at an event for the Epson Digital Couture Project. It was a Tuesday night, at 5:30 or 6:30, when I received a text from Kalpana asking if I would like to go to a party she had been invited to. I love surprises, so I said yes right away. The party was at a huge industrial space in the Meatpacking District, walking distance from my dorm. Kalpana introduced me to her friend Emily, whom she had met through modeling. It was a great night, and we have all had fun together since.

That jumpsuit is one I had looked at day after day in the Savvy department when I worked at Nordstrom, and finally bought when it dropped to half price. What drew me to it was that while it’s attention-grabbing with a bold tribal pattern, the fit is relaxed and extremely comfortable. It’s like a onesie that you can do more than sleep in. I also love the duality of the print with its colors reversed — seeing two versions of the same lines reminds me of looking at a photo and its negative. I placed a belt between the two sections to accentuate this and paired it with matching pumps.

When I look back at my past, it feels a bit charmed. It’s funny, how one can go through the present without seeing the good, and go through the past without seeing the bad.

 

 

 

Neighborhood Store — 3.1 Phillip Lim

I have always had a cute, girly sense of style, but now that I am almost done with college I want to look more streamlined and professional. At 3.1 Phillip Lim I don’t have to choose; and on a more casual day, I can even declare my love for the world’s favorite city! 3.1 Phillip Lim is located at 48 Great Jones in Manhattan, two blocks away from my building. The brand’s boutiques can also be found in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore, and new stores are scheduled to open in Macau and Bangkok.

3.1 Phillip Lim Store 3.1 Phillip Lim dress 3.1 Phillip Lim jumpsuit

Patchwork lace dress in navy, $895 ~~~ Tuxedo jumpsuit in powder pink, $895

3.1 Phillip Lim top  3.1 Phillip Lim knitwear  3.1 Phillip Lim Store 2

I Heart NY t-shirt in soft black, $145 ~~~ Long sleeve pullover with mixed yarn in black-white, $650

3.1 Phillip Lim outerwear 3.1 Phillip Lim Store 3 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt

Fur bomber in black-white, $4,500 ~~~ Eyelet A-line skirt in caribbean, $450

3.1 Phillip Lim Store 4 3.1 Phillip Lim pants 3.1 Phillip Lim shoes

Cropped flared pant in black, $495 ~~~ Martini mid heel sandal in raspberry, $450

3.1 Phillip Lim wallet 3.1 Phillip Lim handbag 3.1 Phillip Lim Store 5

Cash wallet in raspberry, $225 ~~~ Pashli satchel in black-cream, $1,050

If I Could Buy the Entire Collection, I Would

Moschino Pre-Fall 2015

I will admit, the McDonald’s stuff kind of freaked me out. When I think of McDonald’s, I think of a place where college students go at 4am because there is nowhere else to eat when they are studying, and where homeless people go at 4am because there is nowhere else to sleep. I also don’t think barnyard red and sunshine yellow are a pleasing color pairing, fast food connotations notwithstanding.

But as Katy Perry would say, that was then and this is now (“Part of Me”). For Pre-Fall Jeremy Scott is still basing the collection around one obvious motif, but this time it is much more chic. The pieces below evoke objects found in a clothing atelier, like tape measures, order forms, hangers, and garments still under construction.

Moschino 7 Yes   Moschino 11 Yes  Moschino 3 Yes  Moschino 6 Yes  Moschino 8 Yes  Moschino 5 Yes   Moschino 15   Moschino 12  Moschino 10 Yes   Moschino 1 Yes   Moschino 4 Yes   Moschino 13   Moschino 9 Yes   Moschino 14

Standouts from Pre-Fall 2015

While I understand that the planning and execution of a single seasonal collection involves more time and work than the average end consumer could even imagine, the idea that the fashion world has two seasons per year, while the weather and our lifestyles have four, is still a bit of an odd idea to wrap one’s head around. Even more trippy is the fact that technically, February is the first month of “Spring/Summer” and August is the first month of “Fall/Winter”. It is as if the fashion world is proof that a parallel universe does indeed exist.

Thankfully, Resort and Pre-Fall collections are here to (somewhat) normalize the annual cycle, so that, just as we plan our year around four seasons, we can plan our fashion calendar around four different points of reference. Pre-Fall collections are the epitome of “short and sweet”; they do not involve as many looks as the average Fall collection, yet the looks are more wearable than the theatrical ensembles one might see on a Fall runway. Here are ten such looks that caught my eye:

Theia   Giamba 5

Theia, Don O’Neill ~~~~ Giamba, Giambattista Valli

Rodebjer  Co

Rodebjer, Carin Rodebjer ~~~~ Co, Stephanie Danan and Justin Kerr

Noon by Noor  Mantu

Noon by Noor, Shaikh Noor Al Khalifa and Shaikh Haya Al Khalifa ~~~~ Mantù, Jane Hayward

Public School  Yeohlee

Public School, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne ~~~~ Yeohlee, Yeohlee Teng

ICB   Won Hundred

ICB ~~~~ Won Hundred, Nikolaj Nielsen and Anna Bauer

An Alice + Olivia Fantasy

My fantasy is to travel the globe in search of new Alice + Olivia pieces. Here is how I would go about it…

START: ALICE + OLIVIA BOUTIQUE, NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Alice + Olivia boutique  Alice + Olivia from Alice + Olivia

Cherry pouf dress, $698

SCOOP, NEW YORK, NEW YORK

Alice + Olivia from Scoop              Scoop

Lewis drop waist knit skirt, $220

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, NEW YORK

 

Saks Fifth Avenue           Alice + Olivia from Saks Fifth Avenue

Lang two-tone strapless cut-out waist jumpsuit, $440

NORDSTROM RACK, WESTBURY, NEW YORK

Alice + Olivia from Nordstrom Rack                          Nordstrom Rack

Dakota ankle strap flat, $120

MYTHERESA.COM ON THE PLANE

mytheresa Alice + Olivia from mytheresa

Verity fur jacket, $1,315

OXYGEN BOUTIQUE, LONDON, ENGLAND

Alice + Olivia from Oxygen Boutique      Oxygen Boutique

Wynn sleeveless slim fitted dress, $525

SELFRIDGES, LONDON, ENGLAND

Selfridges                     Alice + Olivia from Selfridge's

Floral ball gown skirt, $900

SMETS, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Alice + Olivia from Smets              Smets

Sheer crochet top, $235

LA CASA MODA, SCHORNDORF, GERMANY

La Casa Moda   Alice + Olivia from La Casa Moda

Breton sweater, $173

EXCELSIOR MILANO, MILAN, ITALY

Alice + Olivia from Excelsior Milano     Excelsior Milano

Mandy dress, $352

SHOPBOP.COM ON THE PLANE

Alice + Olivia from shopbop

 

Vintage box leather car pouch, $225

LANE CRAWFORD, SHANGHAI, CHINA

Alice + Olivia from Lane Crawford          Lane Crawford

Perna flower swing coat, $810

THECORNER.COM ON THE PLANE

Thecorner                         Alice + Olivia from thecorner

Knee length skirt, $490

NORDSTROM, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Alice + Olivia from Nordstrom                               Nordstrom Headquarters

High waist wide leg pants, $365

DSW, NOVATO, CALIFORNIA

DSW                   Alice + Olivia from DSW

Dina floral pump, $290

CUSP NEIMAN MARCUS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

Alice + Olivia from Neiman Marcus Cusp                             Neiman Marcus

Eddie floral-print boot-cut pants, $298

BLEU, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Bleu                           Alice + Olivia from Bleu

Sarita sequin drop shoulder top, $385

ZAPPOS.COM ON THE PLANE

Alice + Olivia from zappos                        Zappos

“Only you could know how perfect our trip is XOXO” Stella, $345

TOOTSIES, HOUSTON, TEXAS

Tootsies                         Alice + Olivia from Tootsies

Cady patterned shorts, $290

AND BACK HOME TO NEW YORK, WITH A BETTER WARDROBE TO SHOW FOR IT!

My Favorite Things at Nordstrom

I work at Nordstrom in Corte Madera, California, mainly in the TBD and Savvy departments, but also in Point of View, Individualist, Dresses, and Men’s Clothing when needed. Here are the best things I have noticed during my days there…

Kensie   Natasha Couture                     Astr

Kensie, $15              Natasha Couture, $48            ASTR, $49

Joa   Sondra Roberts        kate spade 2 (2)

J.O.A., $92              Sondra Roberts, $98                           Kate Spade, $109

Jane Post   Alice + Olivia        St. John

Jane Post, $325             Alice + Olivia, $345                         St. John, $2,595

Departments (from top left): Hosiery, Trend Accessories, Savvy, Savvy, Trend Accessories, Accessories, Studio 121, Via C, Via C