Of a Kind

Ok, brilliant: trompe l’oeil saddle shoes from Band of Outsiders. —erica

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Go Way Back: Wrap Dresses

So sleek and flattering and comfortable—ahh, the wrap dress. But where did it come from, anyway? Turns out DVF doesn’t deserve all the credit. Read on, read on. —maura brannigan

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The Origin: Contrary to popular belief (i.e. fashion folklore), Diane von Furstenberg did not actually invent the wrap dress in the seventies. She made it her own, for sure, but we gotta give credit to Italian legend Elsa Schiaparelli for developing the style in the thirties. 

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The Evolution: The dress goes mainstream with the help of Claire McCardell, a major design force in the forties who is all about ready-to-wear (unlike Schiaparelli, who isn’t so focused on practicality).

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Let’s fast-forward a couple decades to 1970. Now’s the time to thank Diane von Furstenberg, who shows up in New York with a suitcase packed with 12 jersey dresses. Having just finalized a divorce, DVF reports wanting to create a more liberating dress—one that’s in-sync with the current movement toward sexual freedom. 

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Things take off in a BIG way. By 1976, Diane von Furstenberg sells more than a million (!!!) of her signature dresses, landing her on the cover of both Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. The former awesomely deems her “the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel.”

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While the design is most synonymous with the 1970s women’s-lib movement, it enjoys a resurgence in the late 1990s as a stylish (and again, practical) alternative to the power suit. Carrie Bradshaw, for one, was spotted in a shmancy DVF version several times throughout Sex and the City—as was the resident workaholic, Miranda.

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Two high-profile fans: Michelle Obama, who wears one on the Obama’s first White House holiday card, and Kate Middleton, who can sell pretty much anything she puts on. 

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One of the most iconic looks in American Hustle is a wrap dress worn by Amy Adams to seduce, oh, just about everyone. 

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The Right Now: Happy 40th birthday, DVF’s wrap dress! This means a whole year of tributes—and a blowout exhibit titled “Journey of a Dress” in L.A. But did you do the math? If DVF moved to NYC in 1970, why wasn’t the anniversary back in 2010? Because it took four solid years to get the biz off the ground!

Head this way for the scoop on more wardrobe icons.

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Of a Kind

Well, here’s a bit of design genius, courtesy of Laura Amstein: That clutch there is made to slip inside the larger bag just so—meaning it’s ready for some hardcore day-to-night action. —erica

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Of a Kind

Eldridge Bookend by Wolfum for Of a Kind

BUY / 25 of a kind / $62

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Couple Up: Joey Lawrence and Keri Russell

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Back when—in 1994 specifically—these two were some Disney drama: Keri Russell and Joey Lawrence dated when she was on The Mickey Mouse Club and he was on Blossom…but then she went and got back together with one of her fellow Mouseketeers, Tony Lucca. Whoa! Here’s what they looked like all paired-up in nineties eyewear. —erica

Joey Lawrence: Randolph Engineering shades, a velvet blazer by Acne, and Dries Van Noten pinstripe pants.

Keri Russell: A Paige denim shirt in case it gets cold, a floral dress from Thakoon Addition, and orange-lensed Elizabeth and James sunglasses.

More “Couple Up” realness here.

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See How Annabel Inganni Makes Color and Pattern Magic

It’s curveball central over here.

“I feel a bit like a mad scientist—I never know exactly how something will turn out,” says Annabel Inganni, who dreams up totally fly color combos and geometric motifs for her home line Wolfum. The pillows, coasters, glassware, and trays are always a little surprising, spicing up any space as a result. Check out the process involved in turning up her consistently unpredictable results. —alisha prakash

Pre-Design Prep

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“There is nothing more inspiring then a beautiful book. I collect any and all on fashion, photography, architecture, graphic design, and, of course, pattern and textile history. It’s always important to reference the origins of printing and textiles while simultaneously looking forward at technology and new techniques.”

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“I love looking through magazines. I find the simple pleasure of ripping pages out and making collages satisfying. I can find inspiration for color, a new product or graphic, or just an overall concept. I put it into a book so I can revisit it at any time. I create a story in each few pages and suddenly a concept is defined, a mood articulated.”

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“Lists, lists, lists—I love them. I like the physical action of writing them and then crossing things off. I thrive on organization—and am pretty hyperactive—thus I multitask all the time. I have a bunch of notebooks where I keep my concepts and ideas, in some sort of nonsense order.”

Color and Pattern Concepting

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“I always start with Pantone chips—picking way too many and then narrowing down to a group…and then within that, even smaller groups that I know will be unexpected yet look wonderful together. The colors always look so different on fabric than on the wood once they are processed, so it is imperative to test each color individually so that I can create the right combinations. It becomes a little game of mix-and-match.”

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“I don’t have a true work space, so I often take my laptop to the library or just to the couch, to draw. Working on the computer allows me to easily change up colors or scale. I do all my sketching in Illustrator. I am a control freak and like the organization and discipline of working on the computer. I start with a concept, whether I am playing with a shape or brush stroke. Once I find an element I like, I play with scale and manipulate it a million different ways until I see what it is meant to be.  Sometimes this is a quick process and other times it takes weeks to perfect the print.”

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“These are my fabric color test swatches. I have a hard time deciding what colorway or scale to use in the collection, so it helps to print them out. This way I can arrange and re-arrange to find a perfect balance.”

Finished Products!

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“My napkins reflect the breadth of my graphic work. I love seeing them all stacked together. It reminds me to revisit my past designs and look for fresh elements in my older work.”

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“Since I design each graphic specifically for the item, it’s always a bit of a surprise how the print will come out. With the coasters, each one within the set has an element of the larger image, so when they are put together, they end up being somewhat of an art puzzle for your tabletop. Since I pre-test all my colors on scraps of wood, I design into the colorways I think are most striking and then run several samples. As soon as I see The One, I know it and can build from there.”

Mixed prints for your bookshelves coming tomorrow—you do not want to miss this edition.

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Explore Annabel Inganni’s Los Angeles Hideaway

It’s tucked into a hillside! No joke!

When East Coast girl Annabel Inganni headed to Los Angeles 15 years ago, she very quickly, as she puts it, “released some of my inner bohemian.” For her, that means making the outdoors as a huge part of her living sitch and getting down with sunny colors (also evident in her killer home goods line Wolfum!). See how she keeps things chill and airy at her Monterey Hills pad. —carly pifer

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“Our house is small, but we have expanded by designing our deck to be our outdoor living space. This is our only dining table, so we often enjoy our meals outdoors, lighting a fire in the winter. Garden boxes, where I grow different veggies and flowers year-round, edge the deck to keep my daughter safe.”

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“Since our house is below the street, nestled in the hillside, most people miss our stairway down. I love how it twists through the yard—its design and materials echo all the natural elements. It feels so good in Los Angeles to be surrounded by so much green.”

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“Gardening is a passion of mine, and I have several boxes throughout the deck and yard. Two are dedicated to herbs, while several others have fruits and veggies in rotation—mostly lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, and now strawberries for the summer!”

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“I found this orange velvet fabric in a thrift store and had our vintage Knoll by Eero Saarinen chair reupholstered. Since I am married to a furniture designer, most of our house is built-in, so I love adding these bright, unique pieces where I can.”

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“Immediately when you enter the house, you are greeted by this vintage Marimekko fabric that I stretched to hang over our couch. I love the simplicity of the Lokki print, which, again, reflects the organic nature of our home.”

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“Our bedroom has a wall full of art collected throughout the years. The portrait is of my grandmother, Barbara Bird, whom my daughter Birdie is named after. Others are from travels to Paris and Rimini, Italy, as well as finds from local thrift shops. There is also a vintage Audubon print, which I adore.”

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“Our vintage Verner Panton Flowerpot pendant lamp is one of my favorites. Not only is it orange—my favorite color—but the shape is also sleek and sweet at the same time. It gives off a very romantic, soft light.”

Annabel made us a bookend that will look right at-home in YOUR home—see it tomorrow!

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Of a Kind

This Humanoid wrap is, like, practically a whole outfit. —erica

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The Insider: Andrea Linett

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If you ever meet Andrea Linett, chances are you’ll want to single-white-female, oh, everything about her. Thankfully, she doesn’t think that sentiment’s creepy: She named her blog I Want to Be Her to celebrate that girl-crushing we all do. Why else is she just the coolest? She co-founded Lucky, has consulted for eBay, and most recently joined forces with her childhood best friend—designer Anne Johnston Albert—on Jolie Laide, a line of bags and (perfect) tees. Plenty more reasons to sweat her below. —mattie kahn

Q: So, who was the first woman who made you think: I want to be her? 

A: My babysitter Francine. She was French, she had hair down to her ass, and she probably wore hip-huggers and, like, a little scoop-neck, cap-sleeve tee in my mind. She drove a convertible. I was really little, but I remember thinking, “Wow, she is one cool chick.”

Q: Since you work with your best friend: What is the secret to a great partnership, would you say?

A: I think that we respect each other. We’ve been like sisters since we were fourteen. I just think you have to have mutual respect and understanding. I think that’s really the key. Plus, we have the same taste, so that helps.

Q: Who is the most glamorous woman you know?

A: The most glamorous woman I know is Linda Dresner. She doesn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks and always looks super cool in her leather hot pants—she’s got legs!—and her signature head bandana. And her house and everything she owns is incredible.

Q: Walk us through your weekend uniform.

A: My weekend uniform is one of my Jolie Laide T-shirts. Of course I have to plug Jolie Laide, but it’s true. They only come in black and white, so I’ll wear one of those and either my black Trash and Vaudeville plain jeans or a pair of AG Jeans that I’ve had to patch several thousand times and, in the summer, No.6 platform clogs. I have three pairs. I wear them so much they’re actually disgusting. And in the winter, I always, always, always wear a pair of ankle boots. It’s either Rick Owens or Ann Demuelemeester or Acne or Martin Margiela.

Q: Good collection!

A: Yeah, I know, right? Then once it gets a little colder usually I’ll wear a vintage Wrangler denim jacket. And I don’t leave home without a scarf ever—even in the summer. Air conditioning is an assault when you least expect it. I always have a scarf in my bag. Always.  

Q: What is your favorite indulgence?  

A: Reflexology. I’m obsessed with it. If I’m feeling flush, I’ll go to Angel Feet, which is like the Rolls Royce of reflexology places. Otherwise, I go to a place called Tell Mama on East 6th Street—it’s totally bare bones, but it’s like $40 for an hour. You lie on a table, and I have a special mix on my iPod. I just put it on—it relaxes me—and I kind of pass out listening to that while I get my reflexology. I’m telling you, there’s nothing more relaxing. It’s my favorite thing in the world. If I were a rock star, I would do it every day.

Meet more unreasonably awesome people over here.

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Of a Kind

Tie game! Back to cool! These Chris Van Veghel bags offer many a pun-portunity. Oh, and they’re pretty great to look at, too. —erica

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