To Dye For
"I hesitate to use the word tie-dye, because it has such Grateful Dead connotations," says Michael Lublin, co-owner of the new shop MoMo FaLana (43 Avenue A; 212-979-9595). Lublin and his partner, Maureen Roberts, are known for the hand-dyed vintage slip dresses they sold at the 26th Street flea market to fans like Naomi, Claudia, and Shalom. Now their new cashmere cardigans, embroidered shawls, and colorful bed linens have already caught the eye of Uma Thurman, who may wear a psychedelic item or two in her upcoming film Last Word on Paradise. Just don't come looking for the sixties style's usual accoutrements here: You won't find any bongs or incense.
First Petit Bateau's cheap children's tees became must-haves for the post-pigtails set. Now British duo Max Karie and Pippa Brooks have introduced ShopGirl, a collection of cotton and thermal underpinnings. The superthin knits from Damart (Europe's largest thermal-underwear producer), once favored by old ladies, have been modernized and tarted up with lace trimming on the pink and gray camisoles, cardigans, and panties (available at Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman; prices range from $35 to $100). Though patterns of waddling ducks and pink ribbons may suggest childish innocence, the look is more Rollergirl than schoolgirl, and the underwear has already shown up as outerwear on Drew Barrymore, Courtney Love, and Traci Lords.
Just when you were ready to stow Helmut Lang's paint-splattered jeans in the back of your closet until the next eighties revival, Evisu Genes, a Japanese denim line of pants, skirts, and jackets, arrives Stateside at Barneys. The cardboard-stiff clothes are woven on original Levi Strauss looms and then hand-painted with seagull-like shapes on the rear as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Western clothier's traditional back-pocket stitching. Though the design looks like a haphazard graffiti tag, the jeans have already achieved cult status in London, where the rolled-up look (some pairs are also painted on the inside) is the latest streetwear uniform. If the hefty price ($225- $245) seems steep, you can always try finger-painting your 501s.
Entering the race to roll out millennial merchandise, designer Martin Margiela has come up with his own high-concept party favor: the wine-cork necklace. The cleverer-than-thou designer intends the chain and pendant ($100, available at Untitled and If) to be both evening accessory and holiday souvenir. The bauble comes with instructions advising wearers to replace the necklace's cork with the cork from the first bottle of wine they drink in the year 2000. Clever, maybe, but not very practical: When the clock strikes midnight, the only revelers struggling with corkscrews will be the disgruntled few who haven't been able to get their hands on a bottle of champagne.