Tag Archives: Marc Jacobs
If you’ve ever uttered the words, “I’m just not a hat person” and believed it, then you haven’t met Alessandra Rivera. The New York City-based milliner and Parsons alum, nestled in her cozy Nolita studio, devotes her days to creating one-of-a-kind, handmade hats for her ready-to-wear lines for men and women as well as filling custom orders for individuals, fashion shows, and businesses. We’re not talking those cheap fedoras you find in Chinatown to lose later that afternoon after a few brews on the Hudson. Rivera’s craft is reminiscent of a bygone era, where luxury was personally tailored to fit your taste (gasp! not vice versa?!), and such pieces, like hats, became investments that lasted. Clearly, that was before the Forever 21 generation where instant style can be yours in bright yellow plastic.
Just last week, she finished a hat for a guy who shot her an email, simply asking for something that “looked sharp” but that he could wear everywhere–from on stage, playing banjo with a band, to fishing and hiking in the mountains. After a few personal and style-related questions and a photograph of her subject, Rivera had completed a sketch and was gathering the chosen fabric, trim and leather for this gentleman’s hat. This week Rivera’s designs are being shown at African Fashion Week. From costume to everyday, funky to classic and everything in between, it’s all being dreamed up and sewn up in this arts and crafts haven that Rivera calls her home-away-from-home.
“Everything, every hat, even the same style in the same color, will have some variation. This is not a conveyor belt,” she says, while she adjusts a knob on her sewing machine and begins looking over her spools of leather. Her meticulous eye and attention to detail has gotten her more than a little noticed and she has collaborated with the likes of Marc Jacobs, Martin Margiela and Lanvin just to name a few on her very long list.
Citing Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz as an artistic idol for his “ingenuity” and “the backthought that goes into every piece,” Rivera’s millinery reflects exactly what she values. With locally sourced materials the quality of the fabrics, ribbons and embellishments set her apart from anything I’ve ever seen. She even hand-paints the hatboxes herself. My own accessory bucket is looking more “blah” and un-special by the second. In fact, junk!
As an avid hat lover and wearer myself, it never struck me to actually invest in one that fit me like it should, rather than slump down, wiggle around or break down after just a few wears. I don’t really know why. We invest in handbags, flattering dresses, and tailored suits. We see the bigger picture. Quality seems to trump quantity over time. Feeling good in what you’re wearing is the end goal, right? Well, why not hats? And, that’s exactly what Rivera felt we were all missing out on. Amidst a world of mass production, that’s a feat. And amidst a New York City backdrop, I’m even more impressed. Sew on.
“Bring me someone who doesn’t think they look good in hats or someone who doesn’t normally wear them, and I’ll change their mind. I’ll show them that they’re wrong. They’ll feel good about what they’re wearing–whether it’s a tee shirt and jeans or a couture gown.”
Peruse and shop some of her styles, or if you like, shoot her an email. If you can think it, she can make it. Or, if you’re lacking inspiration, she’ll help you out and design something dope just for you. Seriously, just ask.
Text by Olivia Inkster, Photos Olivia Inkster or courtesy Alessandra Rivera
WEDNESDAY November 7th
6-9 pm at The Altman Bldg
135 W 18th St NYC
to benefit HOUSING WORKS
SHOPPING | CELEBRITIES | SILENT AUCTION | COCKTAILS | HORS D’OEUVRES
After the Hurricane those of us in NYC would like to see some semblance of normalcy return. And when the power goes back on downtown we’ll want to get out and about. Fashion for Action fundraiser to benefit Housing Works’ mission to end AIDS in the New York Community is a great place to begin!
The benefit will begin with a ticketed Opening Night Reception .Designer Thom Browne has returned as Honorary Chair with Co-Chairs Dree Hemingway, Patricia Clarkson and Cat Greenleaf. Stylist and casting maven, Natalie Joos will also host an exclusive VIP Hour. Shoppers will have advanced access to over $1 million worth of designer labels from over 250 designers including Marc Jacobs, DVF and Christian Louboutin all sold at up to 70% off retail. There will also be specialty shops by BCBG Max Azaria, Brooks Brothers and a Chanel vintage jewelry trunk show of curated pieces.
A 4-day free public designer sale at out Chelsea Thrift Shop 143 West 17th Street (Between 6th and 7th Avenues) will follow the Opening Night Reception.
Tickets for Opening Night Reception can be bought through the Fashion For Action site.
All proceeds from Fashion for Action will benefit Housing Works lifesaving programs such as job training, medical and legal care, transgender services and counseling for men, women and youth living with or affected by homelessness and HIV/AIDS in New York-a very timely way to get your shopping done this Holiday season!
I love this classic rocker girl look the girls are wearing here! So perfect for the end of summer, don’t you think? Obviously the guy walking by would agree!
I asked Abigail and Emily to share a little more about their Wanderlust ways!
How did you meet?
We met in middle school through a mutual friend, from there the chaos started.
How/why did you start WanderLust?
Growing up together we shared a closet, and when we went to separate universities (worst idea ever) we both had panic attacks, because half our closet was missing. So, we started the blog as a way to update each other on what we would soon share when we reunited after we graduated.
How would you describe it?
WanderLust is definitely a bit edgy and dark, needless to say. It’s now a photo journal of our professional work and creative projects.
What’s the best part of being a blogger in NYC?
New York is the place to be for fashion in the US. So, being a blogger here presents incredible opportunities.
Top, shorts, and clutch: LF Stores
Sunglasses: Tom Ford
Boots: Jeffrey Campbell
White lace top & purple shorts: LF stores
Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff
Stay tuned for our final visit with Abigail and Emily on Friday!
PRIESTESS NYC is the zany avant-garde brand that makes hysterically cool
clothing for a great cause!
CODY ROSS is the cult-proprietor behind PRIESTESS NYC, a unisex fashion
brand that pushes the parameters of artisanal design and champions good
causes. He’s also a stylist, advisor to fashion start-ups and cultural
excavator for i-D, Bullett and China Vogue. Cody recently combined
efforts with video artists BRITTANY KUBAT and CHARLES BILLOT to make a
short but sweet fashion film for the sake of promoting Designers Against
Aids (DAA), a wonderful non-profit charity that seeks to put an end to
HIV/AIDS through education and out-reach programs, especially targeting
youth culture in developed and developing countries. This collaborative
fashion vid is possessed of an avant-garde zeal filled with sassy and
seductive clothing and coaxes every detail—visual, sartorial, sound and
ambience—to perfection. In just under 2 minutes you a get a throttling
vignette with razor sharp synths and pulsating strobe, abrupt tempo
changes and an all-out magnetic mix of unisex gear (styled by Aussie vixen
LISA NGUYEN) boasting dapper proportions, nifty silhouettes and
mesmerizingly sexy models caught up in a flirtatious vortex. The best
part, however, is that PRIESTESS NYC is seeking to make a B-I-G difference
with proceeds from the clothing going toward DAA’s educational arm.
Peep-out the video here. Pledge your support. Get involved! Word up!