Thursday, March 31, 2011

Robert Graham


Transcend the Ordinary

This is my buddy, Max.  I’m not sure if Robert Graham knows it, but this guy is your biggest fan.  photoI’ve never seen a fella (ok, especially not a straight one) so devoted to a brand, the color pink and pattern mixing.  Granted, Max’s mom is a long-time employee of Neiman Marcus and has done a wonderful job exposing him to the finer things in life – but his love of these shirts is endlessly amusing to me.  It’s charming really.

As a matter of fact, it is the inspiration for my post today.  Max is my colleague at Lambert, Edwards & Associates…until the end of today that is.  This young lad is moving on to advance his career.  I’m happy for him, but admit that I’ll miss seeing his smiling face, jovial laugh….and those Robert Graham shirts.  This one’s for you, Max! _6319619

The Robert Graham brand was founded in 2001 by Robert Stock and Graham Fowler.  Stock, an award-winning American fashion designer and Fowler, an English textile designer, combined their two surnames to start the luxury label (Fowler left the company in 2002).

Since its inception, Robert Graham has captivated consumers with an aesthetic experience that pushes the boundaries of the status quo.  Each piece is an unconventional work of art designed for a confident individual that appreciates high quality craftsmanship. 


_6258249The company’s motto is –KNOWLEDGE WISDOM TRUTH.  They believe that those three words mean something different to everyone that reads them.  Since fashion also is very individual, the words embody the spirit of the collection and define their unique customer base. 

The words are so special, that they are sewn or printed into every piece – sometimes hidden, sometimes not – and Robert Graham owns the trademark.




Who is Robert Stock? 

Before starting his highly successful brand, Stock built an impressive resume in the business. 

As a kid from the Bronx, he began taking fashion cues from his dad, who had a love for beautifully tailored dress shirts.  He realized early on that he had a penchant for the Savile Row style, an influence that continues today in the Robert Graham collection through its impeccable quality, detailing and a subtle wink of British–inspired humor.


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Stock landed a partnership with Ralph Lauren — a fellow Bronx native whom he met in the mid 1960's – and collaborated with him on the successful Chaps collection.

In 2000, Stock felt there was opportunity in the men’s market to design something fresh and unique and went on to create the Robert Graham label.  When describing the line he says, "Expressing yourself without reservation, without explanation, just feeling confident.  Enjoying a life well lived.  That is my vision for Robert Graham."

In preparing for this blog, I asked Max to model one of his favorite Robert Grahams (above).  Not wanting the others to feel left out, he made them all pose for a photo themselves – some of his eclectic colors, prints and patterns proudly displayed below. 

Max – don’t let these shirts or your friendly face become strangers to LE&A!  We miss you already, buddy.  

RG Shirts 003

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Must-Have: The Trench


The Art of the Trench

The warm and sunny weather here in Detroit over the last few days has me ready to shed my winter coat and debut the jackets!  Nothing says spring like a great trench coat (ok, and maybe baseball).  It’s a top pick for the season – just ask Tory Burch who answered “ a great trench” when asked on The View last Friday for her thoughts on the must-haves for spring.

Though it began as a military uniform, the trench coat has become a cornerstone of the 21st century wardrobe.  It perfectly balances style and function with its chic-yet-classic construction.  Burberry has long been known for their trenches – they’ve even celebrated the iconic coat by creating a social networking site, The Art of the Trench, to document people wearing them around the world. 

Royal fiancĂ©,  Kate Middleton, started a fury earlier this month when she wore a gorgeous Burberry trench on a surprise visit to Northern Ireland.  The chic double-breasted trench sported military details and a flared ruffled hem and within a day was sold out on the company’s web site.  This trench is my top pick with its classic, romantic styling – I must have it. 

smythe trench - saks


A great classic investment piece, Smythe, gives us their impeccable tailoring with a modern take on the trench.  I really don’t think the photo does this one justice.  The details abound with the flattering double pockets, beautiful waistline and exaggerated lapel. 

Once you experience a Smythe tailored jacket, you become addicted for life.



Tory Burch site

Tory Burch has created quite a lifestyle brand and serious devoted clientele. 

I love her sophisticated “Luther” version in ivory.  It looks so elegant with a pretty dress and would be incredibly chic with a great pair of jeans or a sleek pair of ivory trousers.          

Amazing attention to detail here.



Eliz & James nord Hipsters, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, have really impressed me with their Elizabeth and James collection.  The ladies have been trendsetters for years and have done well with many branding efforts in fashion, but its this line that has really peaked my interest. 

I love the hip, yet vintage styling in their belted twill trench.  The A-Line coat has leather trim detailing on a shoulder flap and center back belt and belted cuffs.  

Really great piece.



Elie Tahari - nord


Elie Tahari’s “Sylvana” trench stands out to me because of its three button closure and bright white shade.  It’s one of those jackets that you see on a woman passing by and find yourself thinking about it hours later wondering where to find it. 

Other details include a tonal grosgrain ribbon adorning the flap pockets and belted cuffs.  A buckled tie cinches the waist and the back sports a stormflap and large inverted pleat.


Milly - nord     

Always a favorite designer of mine, Milly’s Piped Stretch Twill Trench is about as cute as they come.

Each spring, I find myself captivated by navy and white so this trench really caught my eye.  The navy piping is a great contrast to the white twill and great interest, particularly on the belt. 

This jacket is immensely flattering and chic.




Asos 3What I love most about trenches is that they are classic and can be interpreted in so many different ways, making them a staple for any age and any style.

Sites like Top Shop and ASOS are great for finding unique styling at affordable prices.  The 70’s belted trench from ASOS comes in other shades and is only $125!   The tan color shown here really pops with the slightly darker belt and the deep covered pockets are fabulous.  


Top shop 2

Top Shop’s Tall Stone Storm Flap Trench has great detail and perfect flirty length.

The right trench can be worn with anything and is a great investment piece for any budget.  It’s smart to own one in a classic cut and color, but also add to your collection with a bright colored version or different texture.   



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Another sassy take on the trench is the Corset Lace Back Trench at ASOS.  I adore the fun, youthful styling shown with this coat which really helps convey its attitude.

The single breasted jacket features dual pleats at the front and a full skirt.  The back features a laced panel woven through eyelets to gather in a bustle.  

At under $60, this one is truly a steal. 

Now that I have at least four trenches on my wish list, I better narrow it down a bit.  In a dream world, I’ll have Kate’s trench and maybe a kicky fun version from ASOS.  I’ll report back when I make the big decision.

Bring on the trenches…..and SPRING!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Romantic Jewelry at BHLDN



In my final review of BHLDN, Anthropologies new bridal destination, I will share thoughts on just a few of the many unique and romantic pieces that  make perfect finishing touches to wedding day garments – whether for the bride or her lovely maids. 


The charming Frozen Rock necklace by Dana Kellin (above) is one of my favorites.  I see this as a timeless treasure that would become a signature piece in a woman’s collection - worn on both special and everyday occasions (and always carrying memories of her wedding day).  

Also love these whimsy little charmers – “Cascading Earrings” from Lee Angel.  Great for the girl that wants to add a little fun to her classic look.   




I couldn't agree more with the description of the “Tussled Necklace” by Lee Angel on the site: “ We think the put-together look is a bit, well, stuffy.  Throw on these tangled strands over your dress for a bit of glamorous dishevelment.”

In true Anthropologie style, this is an unconventional classic and will add interest and volume to any bridal gown.  




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BHLDN is chalk full of pretty earrings.  What I love about these hand-set crystal hoops is their simplicity of imperfection.  They are “hand-hammered” giving them a little bit of a crooked appearance.  The Crystal Fob Drops are the perfect dainty size and are ideal for special occasion dressing.      

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And how about the retro-glam styling of the “Bygone Earrings” by Lee Angel?  I love the understated drama that they radiate.  These should be worn with pulled back hair so you don’t miss a second of them.   The Galore Earrings have a vibrant Indian inspiration with beautiful turquoise beading mixed with crystal and glass beads.  I think they would be a great color compliment to a bridal gown, but also perfect for bridesmaids.  

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Love the super-cute “Oui” ring with little floral accent.  Just one of those little things that commemorate the special day.  Bracelets are often a forgotten touch, but I adore this silk based, neutral toned crystal piece of loveliness from GB Couture by Emily & Ashley.  The sheer chiffon tie makes it adjustable for all wrist sizes. 


I am definitely a brooch lover and I simply can’t take my eyes off of this one.  The “Twinkling Agate Brooch” by Anton Huenis is composed of natural elements so the color and shape of the stones will vary slightly.  That said, the design is such a statement piece and adds the perfect amount of fancy to special occasion or any feminine classic dressing.  

BHLDN sure has a fan in me - I hope you all like it too.  Brides-to-be are lucky to have this amazing new resource of choices to create their perfect wedding day look. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Delicates at BHLDN


Ooh La La!

After a brief break to cover the Oscars, I must get back to shining a light on Anthropologie’s new bridal collection, BHLDN.  I mean, what's a wedding without pretty undergarments to complete the look?  BHLDN has pulled together an eclectic collection of delicate, feminine lingerie that would make any woman feel beautiful….and probably delight a new husband. 

The Vanity Table  Peignoir by Fleur Wood has an old Hollywood glamour feel and is made of lacy georgette fabric.  The perfect wedding night gown.   



Another favorite – the Chantilly Bra and Knickers are standouts.  I love the lace-edge features and the ruched bikini. 


19869460_011_aThe Tracings set from the Simone Perele Avant Premiere collection is so lovely and delicate….and yes, sexy as heck.  The lacy boy short is a great look.    




Only Hearts always designs the most ladylike, feminine bras and panties.  How adorable is this?  The “Knotted Gamine”  metallic lace bra and panty features soft blue mesh bows that can be tied wherever you like – at the center of the bralette or on the strap, at the hip of the thong or on the back.20159364_049_a    

20002002_049_aFinally, I adore the sweet, whimsical nature of Mimi Holliday’s bra and panty from the Joie de Vivre collection.  So cute.       



If you’re not ready to walk down the aisle, or you walked down it long ago, there might be a few pieces here that would make a great treat anyway!