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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hooked: Alexander McQueen

From the strangest of birds comes the latest and most covetable of nests, Alexander McQueen's Egg Chair. Better than the Golden, Fabergé and even Cadbury varieties, the ovum throne comes upholstered in fall's signature houndstooth tweed and accented with skull zippers and other signature McQueen hardware. Originally designed as seating for McQueen boutiques worldwide, the Egg Chair is now being released in an uber-limited run of five. Yes, five. A second series will appear just in time for Christmas. Available exclusively at Alexander McQueen boutiques, price upon request.

—Franklin Melendez



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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hooked: Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Margiela's eyewear debut, L’Incognito, brought you sleek anonymity with its black-barred face redaction. Now the Maison brings you the Mono Lens, a highly evolved descendant of the classic aviator—or, perhaps more accurately, a car windshield you can strap to your face. The ultimate in retro futurism by way of Dada playfulness, the latest model also manages to reflect fall's armored mood, in its own perverse way. $495 at Oki-Ni, available in amber or gray.

—Franklin Melendez



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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hooked: Comme des Garçons PLAY X Converse

Never one to pass up a juicy collaboration, Comme des Garçons is joining forces (again) with Converse on a limited-edition line of sneakers. Following their 2007 debut with Junya Watanabe Man, the Chuck Taylor All Star line is getting the full Rei make-over. But rather than spinning into the conceptual outer reaches, the collaboration goes back to basics—and this time Comme's secondary PLAY line is getting in on the action. The four pared-down styles—two high-tops and two oxfords in black or white canvas—hark back to the original military classics, offered in various color-blocking combos and embossed with PLAY's slightly disarming, unblinking heart logo.

The shoes will hit the ground running at the end of August at Comme des Garçons boutiques worldwide, as well as select PLAY retailers. At just $100 a pop, the collection shows a commitment to recession-friendly prices—and we can think of no better way to spring into fall.

—Franklin Melendez



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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hooked: Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang wants to thin out your emaciated wallet even more this fall, but his Frankie Creeper hi-top boot is pure easy spirit. Not quite a pump, not quite a sneaker, this hefty hybrid is tricked out with a loads of hard-edged attitude, including heady-duty hardware and even a little kilt detail for good measure—perfect for faux skinhead looks or, better yet, Spinderella-inspired Nineties redux.

Christened after his model pals (Frankie, Hanne, Lara), the new kicks are available in kidskin, mock croc and our fave, stone-washed black denim. At $480–520, they’re a moderate enough splurge to ensure a meager diet for weeks to come, which means you're bound to look much better in his matching biker shorts. Available in LA at Opening Ceremony, Oak in NYC and the newly launched AlexanderWang.com.

—Franklin Melendez

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hooked: Rick Owens for Eastpak

Who else but the Dark Lord could fill Raf Simons' exacting shoes? Rick Owens is taking over the reigns at Eastpak for their next high-profile collaboration, bringing his unmistakable sensibility to their utilitarian staples. The capsule Rick Owens DRKSHDW Eastpak collection features eleven styles finished in perennial Owens shades of mud, slate and black. Our fave is the classic backpack in distressed canvas treated to look like kangaroo skin (like those sumptuous Owens floppy boots for fall). Morbid? Yes, but just as covetable—and ideal for packing all your candles and cauldrons for witching-hour séances. $296 at Oki-Ni

—Franklin Melendez

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Hooked: Peseta for Marc by Marc Jacobs

For their third collaboration with Marc Jacobs, Peseta—the whimsical Spanish bag maker—revisits hobo chic with their irresistible Ukelele bag, channeling the spirit of Charlie Chaplin's iconic tramp character. Patched together from scraps of durable materials, like worn-in denim, canvas and Dust Bowl-style gingham, the bag comes outfitted with hidden pockets and charm galore. Utilitarian and unisex, it's perfect for pursuing summer wanderlust, joining a traveling vaudeville troupe or indulging in the city’s many picaresque adventures. In the spirit of the Great Depression, it's also easy on a recession budget, at only $98 a pop; it can pay for itself as a donation bin while you sing for your supper on the street. Available at Marc by Marc Jacobs boutiques in Paris and London.

—Franklin Melendez



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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hooked: Tatty Devine for Peter Jensen

The quirky lasses at Tatty Devine have teamed up with Peter Jensen to bring to life (or at least three dimensions) his too-cute-for-words bunny logo. In the spirit of previous collaborations, the gals have tapped into their cartoonish whimsy, whipping up a line of accessories and prints for Jensen’s 2010 resort collection. You can find the silly rabbit, designed by illustrator (and longtime Jensen pal) Charlotte Mann, frolicking on everything from shift dresses and swimsuits to oversized tees and charm bracelets. But our favorite, hands down, are the plastic rabbit sunglasses, available in black and a variety of pastels. Daring yet adorable, the wacky frames are perfect for poolside lounging or foiling the plans of a wabbit-hunting baldy. A limited number will be released into the wild in November.

—Franklin Melendez





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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hooked: Be@rbrick

Not much time left to see the three larger-than-life Be@rbrick figures installed in the windows of Dover Street Market, temporarily transforming the shopping mecca into a conceptual animal preserve. Part of Comme des Garçons' ongoing collaboration with the iconic Japanese toymaker MedicomToy, the ursine display embodies the new Black line, preppy basics embossed with the Be@rbrick silhouette—which pretty much amounts to Comme's Play line, but with anthropomorphized bears. An adorable assortment of T-shirts, sweatshirts, button-downs and the like will tempt even the most discerning of tastes (we'll resist the obvious Goldilocks reference here). But our favorite from the bountiful menagerie are the charm keychains, which feature the cuddly critters in colorful metals. More portable than the seven-foot variety, they let you take your toys with you wherever you go.

—Franklin Melendez



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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hooked: Ruby & Maison Martin Margiela

Leave it to the French to transform a dowdy safety precaution, the bike helmet, into a coveted accessory. Since 1996, Ruby has been keeping fashionable noggins cozy and cushioned with its slick line of Jet Helmets. Now the culprit behind dreaded helmet hair has been reinvented into a vision straight out of Speed Racer (the original, not the crappy remake), with the added bonus that it can withstand a high-impact collision. Can you say that about your Speedy bag or gladiator sandals?

For its latest venture, Ruby has enlisted the help of Maison Maison Margiela, which is apparently feeling extra frisky in the wake of its twentieth anniversary celebration. The result is a limited-edition carbon shell painted in Margiela's inimitable Meudon White (that familiar white coat over boots, jeans, jackets, etc. that you've doled out big bucks for), which Margiela and his studio elves at rue St. Maur have scribbled with their tiny signatures for a sublime graffiti effect. The Ruby & Maison Martin Margiela helmet promises to make your flash down the road that much more dashing. Limited to 600, available in Paris at Colette.

—Franklin Melendez

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Hooked: Alexander McQueen

No one delivers tough girl like Alexander McQueen, but for the girl on the go, fall's hobble shoes, hubcap headgear and a face full of Leigh Bowery make-up might prove a tad, um, time-consuming. For a speedier solution, opt for his Faithful bags, distilling fall's edge into more portable, practical dimensions. Inspired by the 1968 cult classic The Girl on a Motorcycle (watch the trailer on YouTube—seriously, watch it), the bags channel a rebellious Marianne Faithfull, who ditches her hubby and hits the road in skintight black leather, like a cross between Marlon Brando and Pamela Anderson.

The tote ($2295) deconstructs the classic biker jacket, offering enough zippers, studs and buckles to keep you balanced on your chopper. But our favorite is the clutch ($895), with its matching driving glove conveniently attached. It's perfect for outrunning the authorities while keeping all those bad-girl essentials handy. At Alexander McQueen stores in July, available in classic leather and, for a bit of wanderlust, an assortment of exotic skins.

—Franklin Melendez



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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hooked: Bernhard Willhem x MYKITA

Titillated by the thrill and pageantry (and perhaps the spandex), Bernhard Willhelm whipped up an ode to winter sports for his latest men's collection—specifically, the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. The nod to sport during the disco decade might also explain Bernhard’s less than utilitarian take on the gear, which, needless to say, doesn’t follow IOC regulations, much less keep the frost from nibbling at your medals.

Still, as you're speeding down the slopes in a neon leotard and a face full of make-up, as Bernhard showed for fall, rest assured at least one thing will be protected: your vision. In collaboration with the techno-chic wizardry of MYKITA, Bernhard has produced a limited series of monochrome, mirrored aviators with ultra-lightweight sheet-metal frames. Sleek and aerodynamic, these are the jetsetting alternative to clunky goggles. Available in three athletic-y hues, they’re sure to give you that swinger's edge while deflecting snow-glare and harmful UV rays.

—Franklin Melendez

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Hooked: Jil Sander

Leave it to Raf Simons to transform the lowly utility belt—usually reserved for portly repairmen and outdoorsy lesbians—into spring's most daring accessory. But not quite a utility belt, and not quite a purse, fanny pack or holster, the inventive hybrid is made up of three various detachable compartments that give order to all those loose ends crammed untidily into your clutch or pocket: iPhone, concealer and credit card. Of course, in Raf’s expert hands the utilitarian goes full-on luxe with supple calfskin in shocking red, yellow and blue, as well as the more minimal-friendly black and white. $965 at Jil Sander boutiques worldwide.

—Franklin Melendez





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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hooked: Lanvin Strassée

Who says conspicuous consumption is over? To top off a vibrant spring collection of sumptuous color, effervescent shapes and shocking animal prints (who ever thought we'd see lavender leopard from Lanvin?), Alber Elbaz has come out these oversized sunglasses, brazenly encrusted with large, colored crystals. Called Strassée, they're a little bit Dame Edna, a little bit Betty Rubble and all rock-hard glamour. True, at $1500 a pop, you might need your own stimulus package to make them a reality, but at least you can feel assured they're not the handiwork of some madcap bedazzler. Each of two colors comes in a limited edition of only 250, exclusively at ILORI.

—Franklin Melendez





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Monday, February 2, 2009

Hooked: Sruli Recht

It's all about extremes in Iceland, land of fire and ice. True to form, despite having the worst performing economy in the world, the little island nation has reason to celebrate. Yesterday, Johanna Sigurdardottir was named Iceland's prime minister, the world's first openly gay head of state. How better to cozy up to that than with one of these versatile Blankoats (250€), designer Sruli Recht's "non-product" of the month? Available in coal or teal, the Blankoat is proudly grown, shorn, knitted, cut, sewn and boxed in Iceland...



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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hooked: Tom Ford Jeans

By Erik Rocca...

In the spirit of turning an economic frown upside down, Tom Ford is rolling out what might very well be the world's most expensive jeans, venturing into the ever-crowded denim market with two pre-washed, pre-shrunk Japanese selvedge men's styles. Exactly how much are they? $990. Per pair. And no, that's not in Zimbabwean dollars.

In a valiant attempt at understatement, the pants are discreetly marked with a straight line stitched across the back pocket and a small black tab reading either TF001 (the boot cut, modeled after Ford's personal style—chest hair optional) or TF002 (the straight leg). And for that touch of Texan taste, the front buttons are plated in 18-karat gold and the pockets are lined in silk. So that would be where the expensive part comes in.

Arriving in stores now. Available in indigo, black and white—for your inner disco baby.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hooked: Gram x SWD

Come March, the Swedish wunderkinds at Gram add extra spring to your step with their latest collaboration, a limited range of shoes with Annika Berger. In case you've been living under your rock-star hair, the sprightly Swede is the mastermind behind SWD/Skyward, the unisex line whose techno prints and unapologetic proportions have been shocking hearts and blinding retinas far and wide. The collaboration, Gram x SWD, merges their shared experiments in surface and material with transparent soles and an artful "folder paper" imprint. The result is somewhere between Rauschenberg and roadkill—perfect for post-apocalyptic raves, day-glo fallout and walking boldly into the future. €150-190 at Gram, Doshaburi in Barcelona and Shine in Hong Kong.

—Franklin Melendez





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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hooked: Hussein Chalayan

If you find yourself in a 70s chrome 'n' wood mood this February, Hussein Chalayan has a shoe for you—a tan leather mule, to be exact. It reminds us of our family station wagon (sans grape juice stains), which makes sense since speed, and the inevitable crash that goes along with it, was the theme of his spring collection. Hussein, how do you always get inside our heads? $1100, exclusively at Opening Ceremony in NY and LA.

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