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Warmest regards and thanks again for being here~ Michael Cress

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Georgina Chapman: Beauty, Style and Grace

Heads turned when Georgina walked down the street in New York. A U.K native and growing up between the Alps and the British Virgin Islands, she has an International style that is all her own. Oh, and she loves hats! Woman really should wear stylish hats more these days, it's an unfortunate break from our sartorial past.

In this shot, Georgina (not to be confused with the designer of the same name) is wearing cream leather Jaime Mascaro boots, the baquette clutch is Stephane Kelian. The beautiful white cotton and silk fitted jacket is from Fray. The Fedora was a recent acquisition from LF in Southhampton (N.Y) and a lovely off-white scarf.

As much as New Yorker's love to wear dark colors in the Fall and Winter, the light colors are a pleasant respite for weary eyes desensitized by black. It's little wonder Georgina's style, and beauty, turns heads on Manhattan streets.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Out and About

This lovely lady was spotted across the street from the Plaza. Sporting a scoop-neck blouse, jeans and some interesting black lace-up peek-toe heels, she looked good and it showed in her walk. Fortunately no one was injured by the purse's swagger.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Warm Regards,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Urban Cool

Frendy Lemorin: Actor, Model and Blogger ( http://General-Made.Blogspot.com)

Frendy is looking hip with Billonaire Boys Club (BBC) jeans, Bape Cardigan and Tee. On the feet, he's sporting a very rare pair of Kanye West Nike Air Yeezy's (he's not giving up sources how he got his hands on them). He looks comfortable and the style is all his- he owns it. Each piece is well thought out and high quality. These get top marks in the Urban-wear department. He's cool and it shows. For the sneaker crowd, the Yeezy's are enviable. Looking good Frendy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I was sitting at my favorite coffee joint working away on the laptop. My buddy Mark Fisher, a well known photog who's shot everything from the Stones to the highest of high fashion, said "come on, let's get a shot". Wondering what on earth got into him, he led me across the street, stood over a bicycle and told me to get on. Thinking this is hokey, he starts shooting away.

Back inside 30 minutes later, he spins his laptop around and shows me an image. My jaw dropped. The vintage quality, the colors, the timelessness of the image was striking. The artistry of a true professional is amazing. He looked out that window and knew exactly what he wanted, the image in his mind was already there and made it come to life.

Mark said this would be great for the site. I was a bit reticent about putting it up- but everyone who's seen it seems to have enjoyed it... so here we are! A tribute to the great American photographer, Mark Fisher.

Sartorially, I'm accustomed to commenting on others but here are a few comments on what I happened to be wearing that day. I started with checking the weather to gauge what would be required to be comfortable and that dictated weights and textures. I started with the jacket and worked out from there. The jacket is a nice mid-weight wool, forest green and cream houndstooth, perfect for a mid-50's Autumn day. Next choice was a pair of caramel-brown, mid-weight trousers with wonderful texture. Next was to choose a nice button down shirt to pull both jacket and trousers together and went with a soft yellow solid. The vest at this point gets a bit tricky to pull it all together while not distracting. I went with another mid-weight, a subtly textured light brown vest with thin tan vertical pinstripes. The light-brown was darker than the trousers and complimented the colors in the jacket and shirt.

Brown shoes were a foregone conclusion, it was just a matter of which shade. I went with a cognac- I love the richness of the color and felt a darker brown would have been too harsh. With socks, Style 101 says match the socks to the trousers (not the shoes). Style 201 says you can bend this rule if you're careful and thoughtful about it. I wanted a color that would compliment, not distract- but ultimately allow the bottom of the outfit to pull the top together and ultimately draw the eyes upward towards the face. The color needed to be pleasing between the trousers and the shoes but pull out colors from the jacket, shirt and vest. A nice light tan with subtle brown patterns did the trick for the light cream in the houndstooth, the light brown (and matching tan pinstripes) in the vest and a general comparative lightness with the shirt.

Last choice was the pocket handkerchief. Silk is a nice subtle textural contrast to mid- and heavy-weighted and textured clothing. To mix additional patterns or not? I took the easy route and chose a very subtle-yellow tinted silk solid, much lighter than the shirt and soft enough to bring out the cream in the jacket without overwhelming it. White could have worked as well but a stark white could have been distracting and overwhelming. I thought a matching cream (to the houndstooth) or yellow (to the shirt) would have been too contrived (ironically, given the effort).

Mixing colors, patterns and textures takes some understanding of the basics and plenty of practice... of which I'm personally still doing and probably always will. The elegance of the timeless fashion icons prove the sartorial journey's worth the effort. So, there was a window into one of the New York Sartorialist's small pleasures of life, as insanely obsessive as it may be.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet New York's Newest Promising Young Model

Less than two weeks ago Chloé Callahan was sitting in class at the University of Toronto as a Neurobiology major. She was asked through her local Toronto agency to come to New York to meet with one of the major agencies. The trip to New York was for three days. She's not leaving. Immediately signed and put to work, she hasn't had time to catch her breath as things are moving so quickly. 

A San Francisco native, the choice to move to New York to model full-time was an easy one. Her family is fully supportive of her opportunity, in spite of the necessity to suspend school. She's already in a sublet apartment and his heading back to Toronto over Thanksgiving so she can pack up her belongings destined for their new New York home.

Tall, thin, a classic beauty. Chloé has a bit of an Eastern European look- in fact a number of the other models were shocked when she spoke and realized she was pure American. Warm, outgoing and a pleasure to talk to, she'll be easy to work with. America is grateful.

So now Chloé Callahan's wild ride continues and we'll get to see her in action in print and on the runways. We'll keep our eye on her and report back on her progress in the NYS. It's truly amazing how life can turn on a dime. Good luck Chloé!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twiggy Was Fat!

I was working my way up Broadway in Soho to go do my thing and I ran into a shoot. Of course, New York being New York, you can't shut down streets and sidewalks every time you have a shoot or filming for the City would be in perennial lockdown. That lends to getting close to the action.

First thing I noticed was a girl wrapped in the customary blanket when a shoot is required in temperatures 30 degrees colder than the outfit's minimum threshold. A stylist was working her over to make sure there was enough black eyeshadow. As all's fair in love and the sartorial, I decided to participate a bit.

It took a few minutes for the half-dozen or so to do their customary thing and I'm taking shots the whole time. I finally settled in right above the photographer who was kneeling (wonder if hers came out better than mine?). Being the self-described New York Sartorialist, I was trying to focus on what she was wearing to see if it struck me one way or the other.

Somehow, I was having a hard time getting focused on the sartorial. I only had one major impression of the whole scene. All I could think was... "They haven't let this poor girl eat in months, can't I run and get her a sandwich?". Thought of it for a moment and in despair realized they would wrestle me to the ground before I could make the hand-off. Just another day in the world of high-fashion.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Profile In Style: Jenny Romanelli

This Italian beauty gets her fashion-sense honestly with both parents working in Fashion and Jenny herself having worked in fashion and as a model.

In this image, Jenny has on a Gianfranco Ferré dress, a butter-soft leather Gucci jacket, handbag by Blumarine and Italian leather boots. The quality of every piece is quite evident and striking. The details are refined; the earrings complimenting both the dress and the bag, the bag color and red fingernails pull in the red in the Gucci jacket labeling, subtly drawing the eyes upwards towards the face and punctuated by the red lipstick… just in case you somehow weren’t already paying attention. It’s subtle but quite intentional and well thought out. An illustration of true elegance.
True fashionista Jenny Romanelli is, the New York Sartorialist had some questions for her.

What is your hometown?  Florence, Italy. Actually, it’s a small neighboring town just outside Florence, called Vinci. The birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci.

Who are your style icons?  Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. They both had beauty, elegance and style.

Describe your personal style:  It’s fairly classical. I don’t buy things because they are “in fashion” but because I like them. I like to buy quality, not to have for just one year but that I can have and wear for a long time. I would rather have less but higher quality.

How do you build your daily look?  First, I make sure that I’m dressing for the day or the occasion.  I start with my dress or trousers and work out from there. The next is shoes, I LOVE SHOES! The next is the earrings, they need to match with everything else. Finally I pick the bag and the jacket to match. (Indeed, in a different ensemble, she uncannily showed how the earrings matched the outfit, the hardware on the bag as well as her belt. The bag complimented the outfit and matched the boots and the belt!)

… The New York Sartorialist is feeling better about not being the only one putting this much thought into a look.

What is the most stylish City?  Probably Paris, but it’s just different. I like New York, everyone dresses to show who they really are- whatever that may be, it’s very individualistic.

How would you compare New York to Italy? In Italy, everyone follows fashion so it seems everyone is wearing the latest trends. In New York, as I said- everyone dresses in what they feel suits them.

What are your favorite stores?  Of course I like Gucci and Armani but I really don’t shop to go look around. Maybe its opposite of most people. I get something in mind I want and I go to stores looking for that one particular thing. I do love Jimmy Choo shoes, Blumarine and Gucci bags. I look for quality, not the labels.

Favorite place to visit?  India. I love their culture and how they think in that they strive to be in peace and relaxed. I just feel I’m in such closer contact with myself, doing yoga and other things- it’s just their way of life.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Gucci Icon-Temporary Collection Tour

On October 24th, Gucci opened a temporary store in Soho to showcase their Icon-Temporary collection. The collection is made up of 18 Gucci designed sneakers (16 for men, 2 for woman). Not your your average sneaks. An entry-level pair starts at $520 and ranges upward to $1,400 for the black alligator trimmed kicks. You do get unique Gucci packaging if the price tag makes you hesitant. Each pair also comes with either silver or gold Gucci dog tags. It's safe to say you would be the only kid in the neighborhood sporting a pair of these sneakers and they do scream for attention in a wild array of colors and materials. Speaking with the Gucci people, many buyers are planning to keep them as collectors items, so the special Gucci packaging could be even more invaluable.

For Gucci, as for many other luxury brands, it's not entirely unusual to bring a line to market that is out-of-the-box. What makes this different are the details. Exclusive these are! Only four pairs in each size are available. Temporary stores first in New York, then on December 1 they will be opening a temporary store in Miami before moving on to London and Tokyo. Each location is slated to be open for two weeks!

Upon the move overseas, the entire collection will be switched out for different models.  Never to be offered for sale again. New York got a break; they extended it for three weeks. Location. The present store is located on Crosby Street, which runs parallel to and east of Broadway between Spring and Broome. Not a high traffic area, nor in what would be considered the heart of Soho near other luxury boutiques.

The New York Sartorialist loves Gucci as much as the next fashionista for their high quality and stylish wares; however, this is puzzling. I'm clearly missing something in this initiative and how they're going about it. Branding and exclusivity is important for any luxury brand. Understood. Why keep it a virtual secret? Why put it on a backstreet in Soho where few will see it instead of near other luxury stores and boutiques where other luxury buyers are likely to be?

The New York Daily News reported several days ago that Gucci is about to have "some major layoffs". Even prior to this news, the business side of the NY Sartorialist scratched his head as to the economics of this flash-tour. Retail rent in Soho, even on Crosby Street is not cheap. In preparation, the store was gutted and the interior was molded to fit the Gucci image. Special lighting put in place, walls, fixtures, computers, special cases, etc.. Neon Gucci signage on the exterior, a full-time immacuately dressed security guard, staff used from the 5th Avenue store. Furthermore, it must be costly to design and fabricate a pair of shoes that perhaps only 50 will be made. Multiply that by 18. Then double it for an entire new collection overseas.

The pure economics, even at an average of $700 a pair, must be horrible. If few know about it, is the branding benefit/brand equity of the venture worth it? If nothing else, the Gucci employees facing layoffs may not feel so.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Man on the Street

Perhaps the pattern won't become permanent fashion, but you have to give Ricardo credit- he's wearing it with his own brand of style. On the way back from a party, it took confidence to pull this off and he had in spades. This Jill Sander suit is meant for getting attention, and that it does. Perfectly fitted and tailored, coupled with confidence- he owns it. The attitude is what made the difference between being a big hit or a big miss. Next time you reach for that accessory that may be a bit out of your comfort zone, remember- it's not necessarily what you're wearing, but how you wear it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What is Style?

Style is not effortless. It's anything but. However, if you're naturally interested in how you live in all areas of your life, care fundamentally, you're going to apply it to every aspect. Your wardrobe, the tailoring, what you eat, where you live, the work you do. Good manners and manner of the heart. How you speak to and treat others as well as the thoughts you allow to occupy your mind. Style is not a garment, literally or figuratively to wear for the world to see. A stylish life is about being true to yourself and a fundamental interest and passion for how you live it.
 To live stylishly, meticulously applied to all of life, it will- it must, emanate and exude from your being. It can be seen in any view of your life, no matter how large or small, from how you make your bed to how you enter a room. If you do care about style, that attention is just the natural thing to do.

Cary Grant said "It takes 500 small details to make a favorable impression". To me, this is what he meant. Not only attention to every sartorial detail, but attention to every detail in general. If one does these things, others would say you had effortless style.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Vintage Italian Race Cars, Luxurious Clothes... Who Wouldn't Go?

These guys know how to suck you in... huge open doors to see in as you walk by, Italian racing paraphernalia going up the high ceilings, luxurious clothes, and... an Alfa Romeo Vintage Race Car!!! Awesome. Granted, I have a thing for Alfa's since my first car was a red '86 Alfa Romeo Spider convertible, but this was something special nonetheless. It's an Argentinian based store called Etiqueta Negra. Never heard of it? Neither had I. This is the first stateside store, opened in December of last year on Lafayette Street on the border of Nolita and Soho. Reports are that in spite of the tough business environment, business has been good. They carry both men's and woman's lines, both of which are classical and high end luxury quality. The company prides itself in providing top-of-the-line quality at lower price points consumers will find with better known luxury labels. They have plans to open several more stores in North America, both in Manhattan and elsewhere. Let's hope they keep the eye-candy coming... both the clothes and vintage roadsters!

Etiqueta Negra
273 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-4015


Friday, November 6, 2009

Man on the Street: Choreographer Prince Riley

Tasteful, confident style!
Prince Riley
Choreographer- NYC

The Beauty is in the Details

This beautiful lady looks stunning, stylish, elegant and fun in her oh-so detailed and unique Mark Jacobs!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Boutique Review: Nolita's SEW

Why pay over $2,000 for an off the rack suit when you can have a supremely crafted bespoke suit, made right here in Nolita? Third generation tailor and designer, Scott Wasserberger learned the craft early. Scott's father, Arty taught him at an early age the value of classical, well-made garments. Seeing his son's penchent for rebel-rousing when Dad was at work, Arty began taking Scott to work with him at an early age. From there, he caught the passion of bespoke design. Eventually taking over his father's design and tailoring business in Brooklyn, Scott had a vision and changed paths. Four years ago, SEW (for Scott Evan Wasserberger) opened on Mott Street in Nolita and hasn't looked back.

A long, narrow shop with both walls tastefully lined with SEW creations of suits, sportscoats, vests, shirts and more, you instantly feel you've found an oasis from the fashion quagmire. Entering the store, you're instantly greeted with warm smiles and helpful, passionate- but not pushy staff. More often than not, Scott is there and sometimes his father Arty is as well- truly a New York character that will leave you smiling. There are some ready-to-wear items available on display and illustrate the sampling of great design, tailoring, cloths, colors and detail in which to choose from in a bespoke garment. Virtually every detail will be carefully designed just as you like it with .All items are made here in New York, nothing is sent overseas. Have something in mind you can't find? Run it by them, chances are good they can make it for you. For those who truly care about fine craftsmanship, tremendous style and great value- SEW is a can't miss.

One of the newer lines is the woman's "Boyfriend Shirt", which has been extremely popular. Made in a variety of colors and styles, there's enough variety for the most discriminating buyers to leave happy.

As for trends, Scott sees greater interest in grey's and silver's over blue's for traditional suits and sportscoats, particularly with the younger buyers who view the traditional navy blue as too conservative.

Other trends are that velvet jackets are in the early stages of coming back as are rounded collars for dress shirts. Vests, particularly vintage styles have regained their popularity but are being worn casually in less traditional ways.

Since the downturn in the economy over the last two years, buyers have tended to stick with basics and have bought less whimsical or occasional items. According to Scott, the tide is beginning to turn as people are feeling the need to break-out.

Whether buyers are looking to stick with supremely crafted traditional items or looking to add that "rockstar" item to their wardrobe, SEW is an excellent boutique to explore.

Bespoke suits start at $2,100 and custom shirts at $200 (minimum of 2).

229A Mott Street
(212) 686-1630

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cheers! Ted Danson and the New York Sartorialist

The New York Sartorialist was hoping for just a shot of Ted but he was having nothing to do with it. "Only if you're in it with me!" Who was I to refuse? Dressed casually on a cool night in a silk button-down, a smart Loro Piana scarf and a nice black mid-weight jacket- he makes a casual evening in Manhattan look quite stylish.