Often, the best style in New York is not seen on runways but on sidewalks.
Who hasn't spotted someone buying grapes at the Greenmarket in the most
perfect pair of pants or delicious summer dress, and been too shy to ask:
"Where did you get that?" These ten stylish but often below-the-radar lines
are the resources for many of the city's greatest dressers.
BY AMY LAROCCA
Catherine Malandrino Catherine Malandrino specializes in
combining, as she puts it, "the best elements of street and chic":
She knows the power of a sweater pulled off a shoulder, or a newsboy
cap tilted at just the right angle. This season, seek out the tops.
"I thought about the blouse," she explains, "the perfect blouse,
and then I just twisted and twisted and twisted." Sometimes that
meant ruffles, sometimes that meant wrapped waistlines. Also, Malandrino,
who used to design for Diane von Furstenberg, is always an excellent
resource for printed dresses, which, with a pair of flip-flops,
epitomize New York summer cool.
(Catherine Malandrino blouse, $310, and pants, $280. Both from a
selection at Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel, Intermix, and Saks
Fifth Avenue. Banana Republic belt, $32 at Banana Republic stores.
Barbara Bui shoes, $345 at Barbara Bui.)
D&G Dolce & Gabbana always plays to our most sexy, rock-and-roll instincts, and
in the D&G line, it caters to them with trim hip-huggers, slouchy denim, and
plenty of irony (certified sex instructor declares one hooded sweatshirt).
If the more grown-up collection brings to mind Madonna, then think of D&G as
where to go when you feel like channeling Britney Spears. The spring
collection is all urban sass and Flashdance: tiered tulle skirts and
knickers, as if a girl had taken her ballet-class uniform and tarted it up.
D&G also won our hearts with its naughty take on I LOVE NY T-shirts, and how
can we resist? a print that incorporates the cover of this magazine.
Eley Kishimoto Seek out Eley Kishimoto to embolden your wardrobe: The prints devised by
this London-based husband-and-wife team combine the strongest graphic
elements of Marimekko with the Day-Glo, Palm Beach flamboyance of good Lilly
Pulitzer. The combined effect manages to always look original, and is the
ideal way to avoid blending into a sea of black outfits.
Eley Kishimoto applies its prints to everything from shoes to wallpaper to
perfectly cut tank tops in the highest of compliments, even Louis Vuitton
and APC have used them. This spring's prints are both floral and nautical
(sailboats, thick ropes). The best pieces are miniskirts, striped shirts,
and belted shirtdresses.
Jill Stuart Jill Stuart understands the dynamic of casual urban dressing, how to be cool
and sharp without sacrificing the cute and feminine. This season, Stuart
works wonders with her smart interpretation of the ubiquitous patchwork
trend: applying it to A-line skirts, peasant blouses, and sundresses, with
just enough discipline to stay safely out of Holly Hobby territory. Jeans
lovers will also gobble up her denim because the fades look so real, and the
vintage embellishments (heart-shaped pockets, the occasional leather piping)