Nudie Jeans Turns Up the Sound

The men's denim label welcomed The Bowery Riots to Saks New York.

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Joey Ramone wore them tight & shredded. Jimi Hendrix? Partial to patches and kick-flares. Denim shares an intimate history with rock ‘n’ roll, and no one knows that better than Nudie Jeans. As if to prove it, the Swedish denim label introduced garage rockers The Bowery Riots to a live-wire crowd of fashion misfits and rock fanatics at Saks New York. The drink of choice: whiskey (neat, of course). The sound: bluesy garage punk with the amp set to smoldering.

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Joey Ramone wore them tight & shredded. Jimi Hendrix? Partial to patches and kick-flares. Denim shares an intimate history with rock ‘n’ roll, and no one knows that better than Nudie Jeans. As if to prove it, the Swedish denim label introduced garage rockers The Bowery Riots to a live-wire crowd of fashion misfits and rock fanatics at Saks New York. The drink of choice: whiskey (neat, of course). The sound: bluesy garage punk with the amp set to smoldering.

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Like their music, the band’s look is an ever-evolving mash-up of past and present. “What you wear changes how you feel; it encapsulates something,” says lead singer Justin Dean Thomas. “Someone like David Bowie had a concept in mind when he was being Ziggy. He became certain characters when he wore certain get-ups.”

To bassist TJ Rosenthal, it’s the pioneering spirit of rock that influences what the band wears today. “With the British Invasion, the look became a lot tighter. Then punk bands like The Clash brought this new DIY aesthetic, and it’s a diversity that we really love.”

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This drive to shift cultural standards is something Nudie Jeans embraces, using its jeans as platform to promote eco-friendly production within the textile industry. Like music, Nudie Jeans sees fashion as a driver for social change, and to Bowery Riots drummer Warren Stubbs, that’s a concept worth turning up the amp for. “Social activism is something everyone should be aware of. If you have a soap box to stand on, get up on there and speak your mind.”


Donna Karan’s Spring Break

Saks hosted the designer's South Beach party. Poolside, of course.

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031814_DONNA_KARAN_SPRING_BREAK_BANNER_760x362It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been having a Donna Karan moment for three decades now and luckily it shows no signs of stopping. To celebrate the label’s 30th anniversary and the launch of our Bal Harbor store’s designer floor renovation, Saks Fifth Avenue hosted Donna for a few days of sun and fun with the South Florida fashion crowd.

And a busy few days it was. Thursday afternoon found Donna and newly-minted Saks President Marigay McKee at the SLS South Beach hotel, lunching with clients and enjoying an intimate Q&A discussion. Later in the evening, cocktails were served alongside an exclusive runway showing of Karan’s Spring 2014 collection. Invited guests—including the ever-photogenic Adriana Lima—took in the gauzy gowns and boho prints, afterwards indulging in a little bubbly and DJ beats.

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Friday morning, customers visited Saks Bal Harbor’s newly renovated Donna Karan boutique to shop that spring collection at a trunk show benefiting the Women of Tomorrow, a Miami-based mentoring program. (After all, is there a more empowering female role-model than Karan?) As her Florida sojourn came to an end, we caught a few minutes with the designer to chat about her latest inspirations and spring getaway plans.

In your spring show, we saw a lot of blue, terracotta, leather & geometric prints. What was your inspiration?
Where is your girl going?

Karan: Spring was a journey – literally. I went to India in search of a particular scarf, which ultimately I never found. What I did find was a world of color, pattern and texture – all created with the artisan hand. I took the many hand-blocked scarves I found and twisted and sliced them into dresses and skirts that look effortless and breezy. I also played with sunbaked leather the color of terracotta and embellished it with grommets and jigsaw patterns. Though the journey started in India, it quickly came home to New York in a chic urban wardrobe that takes her anywhere she’s going.

Now that it’s starting to warm up, what are your plans for spring? Any getaways?
Karan: I have a million projects going on with my design work, my foundation Urban Zen, as well as helping my daughter with her new restaurant in Tribeca. The thing I’m most desperate to do is travel, and I’m trying to plan some trips for April. I’m also hoping to have a yoga retreat in Parrot Cay where I have a home.

Where (or what) are you looking to for inspiration at the moment?
Karan: Inspiration is all around me. New York fuels everything I do – the energy, the excitement, the buildings, lights, the colors. The view out the windows of my design studio, for example, never fails to take my breath away. Sure, I can go to India and be mesmerized, but ultimately it always comes back to New York.

You started as an assistant designer and worked your way up. What advice do you have for aspiring designers looking to make it in fashion industry?
Karan: The best advice I can give is to get a job in retail. Get to know your customer – what she likes, what she needs, how she wants her clothes to fit her body. Yes, you need the technical training to make the clothes, but you also need to get in that dressing room and understand the woman you hope to dress.

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Manolo Meets Manhattan

Inside the mind of a master at his first New York Fashion Week presentation.

The temperatures may have been steadily dropping, but even the threat of snow and ice couldn’t keep oft-jaded fashion insiders away from Manolo Blahnik’s first-ever New York Fashion Week presentation. Inside Chelsea’s Paul Kasmin Gallery, guests explored the imagination of one of fashion’s ultimate masters. The collection swung—as if in mid-flight—among the crowds while a projected quartet of films literally and figuratively illuminated Blahnik’s inspirations. As for the collection itself? A sumptuous display of east-meets-west ornamentation: here, a lushly embroidered boot; there, a pink satin bottine in crystals and studs. After taking it all in, you’re left to wonder what may have inspired this frenzied flight of fancy and why (luckily for us) Blahnik debuted it in New York. Fortunately, he was able to satisfy…

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The temperatures may have been steadily dropping, but even the threat of snow and ice couldn’t keep oft-jaded fashion insiders away from Manolo Blahnik’s first-ever New York Fashion Week presentation. Inside Chelsea’s Paul Kasmin Gallery, guests explored the imagination of one of fashion’s ultimate masters. The collection swung—as if in mid-flight—among the crowds while a projected quartet of films literally and figuratively illuminated Blahnik’s inspirations.

As for the collection itself? A sumptuous display of east-meets-west ornamentation: here, a lushly embroidered boot; there, a pink satin bottine in crystals and studs. After taking it all in, you’re left to wonder what may have inspired this frenzied flight of fancy and why (luckily for us) Blahnik debuted it in New York. Fortunately, he was able to satisfy our curiosity with his signature sense of wit.

Does your spring collection have an overarching theme?
Blahnik: There are a lot of different influences…turn-of-the-20th-century richness and elegance, Boldini paintings—especially the portraits of elegantly dressed, sophisticated women—and obviously details coming from my beloved Spain.

What’s one style rule you wish women would break? And would adhere to?
Blahnik: I wish all women always had an immaculate manicure and pedicure. Grooming is very important! But no one should wear a matching bag with shoes. It’s a trend very much of the past and I never liked it.

Why did you decide to present for the first time in New York?
Blahnik: We had a very successful London presentation last season so I decided, why not do the same in New York? I wanted people everywhere to see the thoughts behind my creations!