An All-American Briefcase
J.W. Hulme Co. experiences a revival of American spirit and style.
October 18, 2011
In 1905 John W. Hulme and his brother started making tents to help the effort against the impending war. After 20 years in service, they had built a reputation as one of the premier canvas companies in the business, but as the war ended and defense budgets started dwindling, they needed to broaden their audience and the range of items they carried. Thankfully for us, the canvas and leather bags they designed for hunters and sportsmen are experiencing a resurgence in style. In 2003 Chuck Bidwell and Jen Guarino purchased the company and brought back to life the classic American-made, skillfully crafted bags. They are currently developing additional professional styles, and high-end retailers like Barneys can’t seem to keep them in store. Our favorite is this briefcase-cum-weekender bag, available in shades of rich brown or black leather. It’s perfect for presentation documents and a laptop during the week, or a change of clothes for that last-minute Friday escape to the mountains. Overnight briefcase, J.W. Hulme Co. ($940). Barneys New York, Copley Place; barneys.com
Guide: Men's Grooming and Spa Destinations
Feel like a king with these high-end shaves, face and body treatments.
October 18, 2011
Bright green accents the men’s lounge at Bliss
Ardan Medspa & Salon
Ideal for the busy man who doesn’t always have the time to pamper his skin, the Ultra Sonic Facial is an antibacterial, antiviral treatment that uses an antioxidant infusion and microcurrent therapy to rejuvenate and cleanse. 72 Central St., Wellesley, 781-235-7788; ardanspa.com
Enjoy the brownie buffet and cheese and crackers in the deluxe men’s lounge at Bliss before your Extreme Sports Massage. Whether you’re in pain from a long run or a long day at your desk, the massage will relax your back with a parafango pack, soothing oils and gels. The W Hotel, 100 Stuart St., 877-862-5477; blissworld.com
Try the 90-minute Gentlemen’s Kur, which begins with a vigorous eucalyptus-infused mineral salt body exfoliation to prepare the skin for the Hydrostorm water therapy that follows; it increases circulation, relieves muscle tension and eases respiration, while color therapy helps restore the body. A full-body aromatherapy massage completes this energizing service. 275 Newbury St., 617-437-0006; emergespasalon.com
G20 Spa & Salon
Get your skin set for winter with the men’s conditioning facial, which includes a deep pore cleansing, thorough skin analysis, exfoliating treatment and finishing masque. The aestheticians use products made specifically for men’s skin, which is often damaged by shaving. You won’t be able to get enough of the aromatherapy-infused hot towels and therapeutic facial and hand massages. 278 Newbury St., 617-262-2220; g2ospasalon.com
Trust your feet and hands to the skilled nail technicians at MiniLuxe for the Gentelmen’s Manicure and warm oil pedicure. In the sleek unisex environment men can enjoy some TLC as their nails are cleaned, trimmed and buffed to a shine. An invigorating sugar scrub and massage will leave you in a better state of mind. 296 Newbury St., 857-362-7444; miniluxe.com
Salon Marc Harris
Enjoy customized skincare at the hands of the talented aestheticians. Ask for Anne Cecile Curot at the Financial District location. The salon offers a three-page men’s facial menu, and Curot is a master at tailoring treatments to each client’s needs. Relax on a heated bed as you’re given a prefacial enzyme treatment, steam, extractions and a foot massage. 4 Avery St., 617-375-8510; 115 Newbury St., 617-262-2222; 125 Broad St., 617-443-8633; salonmarcharris.com
During the refreshing Gentleman’s Transformational Facial with Scalp Massage at the luxurious SpaTerre, the esthetician cleanses your face under steam and polishes skin with a microbeaded glycolic exfoliator. After extractions, your skin is massaged and nourished with a hydrating mask. The treatment is completed with an eye serum and facial moisturizer. Hotel Viking, 1 Bellevue Ave., Newport, RI, 401-848-4848; hotelviking.com
While the “Hollywood stubble,” which maintains two days of hair growth, is the most requested look for facial hair grooming, master barber Karen Belair of the Barbershop Lounge will also do a close shave with a straight-edged razor, using soothing After-Shave Balm from The Art of Shaving. 245 Newbury St., 617-450-0021; barbershoplounge.com
The Sports Club/LA
Decompress with the Zen for Men package. Featuring a Gentlemen’s Facial with all-organic OM4 men’s products and a customized Zen Body massage, this package is designed solely with a man in mind. The facial focuses on purifying, hydrating and revitalizing the male complexion, while the deep tissue massage works out those problem areas. 4 Avery St., 617-375-8200; thesportsclubla.com
This Fall, going gray is a good thing.
October 10, 2011
Owner and buyer, Louis Boston
“The beauty of the color gray is that you can pair it with anything. It anchors a great pattern by giving it a solid foundation. Bostonians love this color for fall as an alternative to black. One of my favorite pieces is a charcoal cashmere softtailored sports jacket. It’s fantastic for fall as it functions as a sports jacket but feels like a cashmere sweater.” 60 Northern Ave., 617-262- 6100; louisboston.com
VP and director of menswear, Saks Fifth Avenue
“We’ve seen monochromatic dressing on the runways the past few seasons. To translate this trend to real life, wear different shades of the same color, rather than the exact same shade head-to-toe. Gray is the foundation of a man’s wardrobe. For fall, include a gray flannel suit, chunky cashmere sweater jacket, lightweight V-neck sweater and even a tweed sport coat.” The Shops at Prudential Center, 617-262-8500; saks.com
Founder and designer, Simon Spurr
“Gray has increasingly become an essential color in a modern man’s wardrobe and could even be described as the modern man’s new black. Essential to city dressing, monochromatic gray tones work as a sophisticated camouflage against the concrete and glass architecture of the city.” Saks Fifth Avenue, see above
4 Fall Trends to Try
The new GM at Saks Fifth Avenue tips us off to fall’s top trends.
September 12, 2011
For Gretchen Pace, few cities are more ideal for cozying up in fall fashion than Boston. And she should know, returning to our city from a stint working at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Orange County outpost. Longing to wear chunky knits and leather boots while California temperatures soared into the 80s had her pining for the cooler New England coast.
“Fall and fashion alone are a reason to live in Boston,” Pace says. She took over this spring as general manager, returning to the Boston store where she began her career with Saks. And compared to the past few seasons, “This fall’s collections have more life to them,” she says.
CAMEL AND COLOR While neutrals remain important (“Camel in 2011 is a fashion must—whether it’s a beautifully tailored jacket, chic cashmere cape or a tony accessory, you must be wearing a fabulous shade of camel.”), color has also jumped back into the mix, with deep greens and rich teals of all shades coming into stores. “They pair beautifully with camel,” says Pace.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL She’s also enjoying the military-inspired looks for fall. “We’re seeing it in jackets and dresses,” she says. “Alexander McQueen, which has been so popular since the royal wedding, is doing it in a big way with double-breasted buttons that actually flatter, as they taper in from the shoulder to the waist.” A stronger shoulder has also evolved from the military styling. “It’s not quite the big old shoulder pad of the ’80s,” Pace says. “It gives confidence and winnows waists,” but won’t make you feel like you should tuck a pigskin under your arm.
NEW SHAPES The longer, flowier pants and skirts that we saw emerge over the summer come back even bigger with the change of season. “They work so well in the colder weather,” she says. “Paired with a tailored top, this is a terrific look. Wes Gordon’s higher-waist pant is most flattering with its wide leg—it creates length and slims the waist so you can still be a petite and wear the style.”
HEIGHT OF STYLE Pace also cites touchable, sumptuous knits with a lot of texture, from brands such as Vince, TSE and Brunello Cucinelli, as hot items. Hemlines and heels come in at all heights this season, and for Pace, the boot holds a special place in her heart. “I always feel comfortable and confident in boots,” she says. Boots are now their own category, not merely a subset of shoes. “You need a refined, sleek and sexy one, and a daily one like the Chloé riding boot or the man-tailored ones from Chanel and Prada.” Lace-up, menswear-inspired booties get the high-heel treatment, and Pace’s favorite footwear style for fall is Yves Saint Laurent’s new platform pump in rich plums and raspberries. They’re colorful and comfortable, so you can strut at your own pace.
Jewelry Trend: Rose Blossoms
Premier fashion jewelers turn to classic blooms for their emblematic pieces.
September 05, 2011
A rose takes on new beauty when it’s drawn by the hand of Monsieur Dior; or a camellia, when drawn by Mademoiselle Chanel. Today, their timeless designs remain as present as ever, and the combination of onyx and gold is a striking and sophisticated rendition for fall.
Having grown up with a traditional English-style garden surrounding his mother’s home, Christian Dior was always drawn to the classic rose. That bloom and later the pattern became critical motifs in the couturier’s life and work. It remains a recurring theme in the Dior Joaillerie collections, and this season the onyx stands out as an intriguing take on the eternal emblem of romance.
Similarly, Coco Chanel was always drawn to the camellia flower, with which she adorned her little black dress. The camellia is still the house’s hallmark, reappearing throughout the ready-towear, haute couture, accessory and, of course, fine jewelry collections. The intense black onyx variation provides a striking interpretation of the flower for fall and seasons to come.
Gwendoline ring in yellow gold, diamonds, yellow sapphires and onyx, Dior Fine Jewelry ($12,800). Copley Place; dior.com
Alison Barnard's Denim Empire
Denim and dress guru Alison Barnard has turned the North End into a fashion destination.
September 05, 2011
"I've always loved shopping,” says Boxford native Alison Barnard, “and I want it to be a simple process for people.” The owner of the boutiques In-jean-ius and Twilight started her North End denim store as part of a business plan in graduate school and was delighted to see the shop become a hit soon after its opening in 2005. Having worked in retail and witnessed shoppers buying jeans throughout the year, she knew how important the staple was to a woman’s wardrobe.
“I made it my mission to understand each brand, then put together a variety for the store,” says the 33-year-old, who is proud to sell jeans—including J Brand, Paige and Citizens of Humanity—that fit most body types, as well as hard-to-find brands like Red Engine and CJ by Cookie Johnson. In all, there are nearly 30 brands of jeans available at the boutique.
It wasn’t long before Barnard’s repeat customers clamored for her to open a boutique that would showcase her talent for editing dresses and separates. Two years later Twilight opened, filled with Nicole Miller dresses, Akiko’s silk-jersey tops and Alex and Ani bangles. This fall, a new wall will be devoted entirely to accessories and jewelry.
In Barnard’s words, “To do one thing really well has always been my philosophy.” Mission accomplished. In-jean-ius, 441 Hanover St. Twilight, 12 Fleet St.
Riccardo Dallai Thinks Global
Riccardo Dallai Jr. is bringing both classic designers and international upstarts to Newbury Street.
August 23, 2011
Riccardo Dallai Jr. is gently pulling at the shoulder on his black zip-up sweater. It’s Dior, yes, but that’s not entirely the point. He is trying to show off the subtle but thoughtful design he enjoys so much in his personal wardrobe.
“I talk to a lot of Bostonians who want to change their look,” says Dallai, who runs the fashion-forward Riccardi boutique on Newbury Street. Started in 1978 by his clothesminded Florentine father and his Pisan mother, Riccardi has been exposing locals to new designers for years.
“My father was the first person to carry Dolce & Gabbana in Boston,” recalls the Winchesterraised Dallai, who is now taking the reins of the successful business, tempting customers with pieces by notable designers such as Balmain and Rodarte, and up-and-coming Japanese designers like Neighborhood and Sacai, discovered on his travels to international showrooms.
What is your favorite item in your wardrobe?
I am a sucker for really lightweight knits and T-shirts. But no stripes!
Whose style would you love to emulate?
Gianni Agnelli, the late owner of Fiat.
What is your earliest fashion memory?
Trying on too-big blazers in the Comme des Garçons showroom with the owner, Rei Kawakubo. I was 13, on a buying trip to Milan with my dad.
What are you wearing this fall?
Cardigans. They have definitely replaced the hoodie.
Sneakers or loafers?
Tod’s suede loafers.
Which new brands is Riccardi carrying this season?
Givenchy for men and Carven for women are new. We also have Opening Ceremony’s main-line collection for men and women as well as Rodarte’s women’s line for Opening Ceremony.
Where would you shop if you didn't own a boutique?
My favorite store in the world is Loveless in Tokyo—it’s always an experience. I also love 10 Corso Como in Milan. In Boston, Stel’s has easy, contemporary pieces.
What item should everyone own?
A man should have a one-button blazer in black, and a woman should have a timeless statement handbag. The handbag is a calling card for a woman equivalent to a nice watch for a man.
Inside Look: Gap’s 1969 Collection
The denim mega-brand greets fall shoppers with new fabrics, designs and a peek inside its L.A. design studio.
August 05, 2011
FROM LEFT: Women's corduroy legging in rust ($59.95); Men's slim trouser in dolphin grey ($69.95); Women's high-rise pintuck trouser ($79.95)
With its new 1969 Collection ad campaign, Gap is giving shoppers a documentary film-style glimpse at the inner workings of its downtown Los Angeles design studio. The campaign’s debut video (launched Monday on gap.com) tours the nerve center of the L.A. design studio, christened the Pico Creative Loft. Starring Gap’s creative team of designers and merchants, the short film—dubbed 1969: LA and Beyond—hones in on the team’s creative process, the brand’s evolving designs and how Gap denim is worn in different cities. In itself, the 1969 collection is an evolution which begins with traditional jeans and moves on to include stretch leggings in fun patterns, corduroys in splashy colors, tailored dress shirts and jackets and other revamped denim designs.
J Brand’s Digital Revolution
The brand’s new website makes shopping from your computer anything but a solo mission.
July 25, 2011
J Brand just upped the ante for its fashion forward and social media-inclined shoppers. Visitors to the brand’s revamped website can now virtually try on clothes, get opinions from their friends and inspire people all over the world with their sense of style. The new site is filled with denim recommendations for various body types and features enhanced photography and zoom options from all angles. Perhaps the most exciting innovation is the ability to share virtual ensembles with followers and friends on Twitter and Facebook for feedback. Also new are style notes from top fashion experts such as NYLON editor-at-large, stylist and girl about town Dani Stahl, Esquire fashion editor and stylist Nic Screws and L.A. stylist of Rachel ZoeProject fame Brad Goreski. Style inspiration photos and guest blogs from contributors such as Song of Style’s Aimee Song add to the shopping and style spotting experience on the new site. And the new J World page allows visitors to upload personal style snapshots as well as browse photographs posted by others, which are seemingly endless in numbers and sartorial inspiration.
Accessories Find: New Bangle Bar
Alex and Ani bring eco-friendly bangles, rings and more to Newbury Street.
March 02, 2011
Newbury Street newcomer Alex and Ani’s bangle bar features the cult brand’s new expandable rings and bracelets to fit all sizes. Alex and Ani’s jewelry is created from eco-friendly and recycled materials. “Build your wrist” by choosing your combination of bangles and charms.