Smart Set: Lola Ehrlich
Lola Ehrlich might have the same first name as the heroine in Barry Manilow's "Copacabana," but she does not share the affinity for yellow feathers in her hair. Instead, the milliner prefers the cloches, bucket hats, and fedoras she designs -- and if Fashion Week was any indication, so do stylish skulls about town. Her fedoras ($80-$500, available at Bergdorf Goodman) trumped the beret as the topper of choice among stylists. "I've always done fedoras," says Ehrlich, who's been a hatmaker for eleven years. "It's a great hat if you have uneven features. I can cover all of humanity with a fedora."
The word couture is usually reserved for beaded gowns with ruffled underpinnings and silk-embroidered tulle skirts, not T-shirts with crude hems, raggedy seams, and snagged fabric. But Molly R. Stern's roughed-up m.r.s line of T-shirts and dresses (skirts and jackets debut this fall) is changing the definition -- with a little help from fans like Milla Jovovich and Gisele Bündchen. Stern works as a makeup artist by day and spends her free time perfecting spiral stitches sewn into material while it's on her client's body. You can inquire about these made-to-measure pieces at Hedra Prue in NoLIta -- or, for $100 to $250, choose a torn-and-frayed number from Stern's m.r.s ready-to-wear line.
It's not makeup. Aramis's new Surface skin-care line is a set of "self-improvement tools" that are "undeniably masculine." So why does it take me twenty minutes and the help of two women to put the stuff on? There are four creams and gels ($20 to $35) and three shades of concealer ($15 each), all designed to even out the tone of my skin, hide blemishes, and -- yes -- give me the ruddy glow of a guy who's been tooling around the back nine all day. I was worried that I might look too much like Liberace's chauffeur, but a male co-worker took one look at me, cried, "I could use that!," and started smearing my Skin-Smoothing Gel under his eyes. The rest of the world wasn't as impressed. When I took my new look for a spin at a Vanity Fair party that night, not one person told me how pretty I was. Finally I went to the bathroom and threw on more blush -- or rather, Healthy Look Gel. The extra dash of color must have done the trick: A few minutes later, at a party at Brasserie 8 1/2, a woman walked right up and asked my name, "because you have an interesting face."
Dust in the Wind
Last year's dirty-denim craze is being replaced by this season's dusty one. Alongside stacks of stiff, dark jeans, A.P.C. (131 Mercer Street; 212-966-0069) has placed its Kit D'Usure, a cardboard box that houses two sandpaper mitts and a cheeky book detailing how to rub your butt and knees for the perfect aged-denim look ($12). Afraid you'll sand through to your skivvies? Paper Denim & Cloth, a brand-new line of jeans that uses durable denim and vintage finishings ($128, available at Henri Bendel), is sold in varying states of distress.