Tuesday, September 23, 2008

International Delights

It’s stunning how often over the past few weeks I’ve come across a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that item. Whether that reflects the resourcefulness of contemporary designers or my own design restraints, I’m not sure. But for a case in point, here’s a delightful hypothetical: What if an Asian-themed garment top had to pass the Roman Holiday test (imaginable on the shoulders of Audrey Hepburn)? Leave it to an Italian designer to answer that question. The Kimono Knitting Mini Vest, apropos on windswept streets splashed with fall colors but even lovelier against a snowscape, is a wonderful find.

Connecting the traditional Japanese values of ideal beauty and elegant urbanity with the fearless Western extravagance of 100% Merino wool, Coccole Di Lana’s cozy creation would probably elicit sighs of envy just about anywhere. (What’s more, the woman finds time to fill custom orders! Check out the Bottone Scarf for a gorgeous example of what can be done with wool when a truly gifted designer is given the right blueprint. Sorry ladies, this one is taken!) You may not have ever associated a kimono cut with cool weather before, but isn’t there a first for everything? Maybe Gus Portokalos was on to something in My Big Fat Greek Wedding: “Kimono is from the Greek himona, is mean winter…”

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