FA2L is for anyone who cares about beautiful things–clothing, shoes, accessories, home furnishings–and the interconnected tribes of those who make, sell, market and desire them. If something speaks to you, buy it now or hold your peace: there are links in each story, so the item you want is just a click away. I'd like to hear from you, too: please view my profile, use the email button and send me your comments.MG

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Great Spring '10 Accessories Are Shirting the Issue

Women love to borrow men's clothes, especially great cotton shirts. There are two reasons, really: women associate garments with the guys who wear them, and they appreciate fine material. No argument here: at FA2L, we recognize the talismanic power of clothing, plus we're mad for traditional shirt fabrics. The names alone are exciting–chambray, madras, oxford cloth, poplin, batiste–and the glory of a well-made cotton button-down, produced by a first-class haberdasher (Charvet, perhaps, or Thom Browne's Black Fleece collection for Brooks Bros) is something beautiful to behold. Best of all, these fabrics, and shirts made from them, usually get better with time. They launder well, soften beautifully and gradually take on an owner's personality.

Women's fashion designers are obviously catching on: many Spring collections were inspired by, or made from, typical menswear fabrics (see Dries Van Noten or Céline). Two slightly more fanciful discoveries are shown above–Otis Batterbee's tattersall eye mask, with a velvet back and soft velvet straps to keep it in place (no more annoying, hair-pulling elastic bands); and Omelle's Jaewon sandal, which cleverly references a man's entire warm-weather wardrobe (including hints of a seersucker jacket, a small-brimmed hat, even old-fashioned spats). These shoes are so special, all they need is a breezy shirt (steal your boyfriend's) and some chic, tailored shorts–or, if you're not that brave, a pair of slim jeans. Slip them on and step into summer.