Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: SEW, A Needle Pulling Thread!

Having worked at Nina Ricci Haute Couture, you would think that I had been initiated into the world of custom clothing for myself long ago.  Somehow, there was a disconnect.  I will be the first to defend Haute Couture for it’s artistry and I can totally justify the cost based on materials and the hours of work that go into each garment.   However, making custom hand sewn garments for socialites and Arab Princesses that cost a King’s ransom never really made them feel accessible to me.  Then I went to Bangkok.
In Bangkok, I went to my first custom tailor and experienced my first round of made-to-measure clothing.  I must admit that I was sucked in and it opened me up to wanting to explore this world further.

One afternoon, I went to visit a friend in Nolita (North of Little Italy).  How could I have guessed that the run-down neighborhood we avoided on our way to Little Italy for cannolis or the San Gennaro Festival had gentrified and gotten a cute name as well?  I was awestruck by all of the great small designer boutiques and ended up wandering around all of the streets experiencing all that Nolita had to offer.  

And then I hit pay dirt!  I discovered a small boutique that is all about men’s custom tailored garments.  I ended up meeting the owner of SEW, Scott Evan Wasserberger, and fell in love with made-to-measure all over again.  Wasserberger, a third generation tailor, not only knows his craft inside out, but he also has an exquisite collection of fine fabrics to choose from. Luckily for you, I filmed my visit!  So sit back, relax and learn all about fine tailoring!  And then start thinking about paying SEW a visit and experiencing custom clothing for yourself!

Photos and Video by Ritika Wahal

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: The Denim that Saved the Planet!

Eco-friendly, global warming, Kyoto Protocol: all phrases that I had never even heard of 20 years ago.  Yes, we had Earth Day and there was concern for the environment as a whole, but nothing on today’s level of planet consciousness.  The effort to heal the earth has been so amped up that unless you are Sarah Palin, you have to start looking at all of the ways that we effect our planet on a daily basis from what we drive to what we wear.
Coming out of the fashion industry, I am well aware of the challenges that the manufacturing of apparel poses in regards to the environment.  Thankfully, more and more companies are emerging with an eye towards producing garments that are truly fashionable AND are kind to our environment.

The latest company to come on the scene with this mindset is the Chicago based M2F™ Brand Denims.  Introducing their new eco-friendly line for the Fall/Holiday 2010 season, their collection of vintage denim in eleven colors and four slim-fit stretch denim styles (straight leg, classic bootcut, skinny leg, mini short) is a product that is right on mark for the direction the apparel industry needs to be heading.

The M2F™ name stands for Made2Fade Technology™.  The company was founded on this yarn technology that creates denim that is able to be produced in an unlimited number of colors that fade and wear like traditional blue jeans.  This is the first product on the market that is able to offer truly vintage finishes in colors. Since other colored denims have had to be solid dyed twill fabrics, where the dye penetrates to the core of the yarns, they do not wear and fade in the same way as traditional denim.  The colors are amazing, with the fall color palette including Swiss Chocolate, Black Tea, Greek Olive, Brick Red, Genuine Teal, Purple Haze and multiple shades of original blues.  M2F™ has their own factory that produces their yarn and M2F™ has spent a considerable amount of time developing the finish of their denim, creating a denim that is buttery soft.

If that wasn’t reason enough to check this denim collection out, M2F™, is also committed to creating their denims using earth friendly technology.  The yarn used in making M2F™ Brand Denims has been certified by the internationally recognized OEKO-TEX lab in Sweden, whose rigid 100 point testing guarantees Made2Fade™ yarns to be free of substances that can harm your health. The Jeans are individually colored in a dye bath that uses 50% less energy & water, while eliminating 100% of the toxic chemicals typical of traditional textile dyeing procedures.

M2F™ Brand Denim is just hitting the marketplace now, so check them out at Fred Segal, E Street Denim in Chicago, & on-line at Planet Blue.  While this is their first entry into the marketplace, I am looking forward to this revolutionary company expanding and becoming available to everyone nationwide. And of course, wishful thinking......looking forward to a men’s line for myself as well (hint, hint)!

Photos Courtesy of M2F™

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: ShoeFete! For the Love of Shoes!

A few weeks ago, I made a pilgrimage to one of my favorite shrines, Bergdorf Goodman.  After I had gone through the entire Men’s Store, I made my way across the street to the main store.  Inevitably, I found myself in the shoe department drooling over the latest Chanels, Louboutins, Choos and Manolos.  I have no practical purpose for them whatsoever, so it isn’t even a question of buying them.  For me, it is more like going to a gallery and appreciating a fine piece of art.  I guess I have a bit of Carrie Bradshaw in my DNA.
Imagine if you could shop for shoes in your own home or in the home of a friend in a relaxed party setting?  You could try them on, get feed back from friends, sip a nice glass of wine and just play!  Well, if you live in Southern California you can do just that with ShoeFete.  Created by mother daughter team Caryn and Ali Shaye, ShoeFete brings the shoes to you through shoe parties. Shoefete offers a line of super trendy shoes and purses at amazing prices.  These shoes and bags are not only sexy, but they are Vegan!!  As a connoisseur of fine shoes, all I can say is that these are top notch.

You can host a shoe party in your home or business and they will bring the shoes and purses to you.  The host automatically gets a pair of shoes of her choice and the more her guests spend, the more free shoes she gets.  Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
If you are lucky enough to live in Southern California, check out ShoeFete and become a host!  And, while I won’t buy the shoes for obvious reasons, invite me too so I can appreciate the artistry of the shoes over a glass of wine. ;-)