Commonwealth Proper's Pocket Squares
Exclusive to Philadelphia men, Commonwealth Proper's floral pocket squares embody spring.
May 13, 2013
Floral pocket squares, Commonwealth Proper ($55 each).
A well-dressed man understands the importance of a great accessory. Though a handcrafted monk strap and a polished tie bar certainly contribute to a sophisticated ensemble, no accessory proves more powerful than the pocket square. Printed, multicolored, embroidered, or monogrammed, this classic accessory lends a touch of personality in an elegant manner.
“The pocket square serves as the final detail that brings together a man’s outfit,” says Commonwealth Proper founder Craig Arthur von Schroeder. While polka dots and stripes are among the most common patterns, the savviest customers are opting for a bolder print this spring: abstract florals. “Instead of the often two-tone nature of polkas and stripes, floral pocket squares have many colors, meaning they’ll work with even more garments. The pattern is the perfect way to take your sartorial game to the next level,” he says. Commonwealth Proper, 1732 Spruce St., 215-435-0809
Knit Wit Adds New Labels for Spring
This season's biggest trends come to life with exclusives from Paul Smith and Jil Sander Navy.
May 10, 2013
Knit Wit’s playful interior.
Convinced that the Philadelphia woman is no less stylish than her New York, London, or Parisian counterparts, store owner Ann Gitter has been stocking her boutique, Knit Wit, with the latest designers for years, introducing four to six new vendors every season. This spring she adds Minnie Mortimer, Zoe Karssen, and Gary Graham to the selection.
“The spring [runways] had a lot of prints and in general felt very lighthearted, so I’m carrying a lot of fun pieces this season,” Gitter says. Included are Paul Smith’s pencil skirts with bright, graphic daisies and his shrunken cardigans in a charming polka-dot print. Both exclusive to Knit Wit, the pieces offer a twist on classic wardrobe staples. “There is always something humorous [but classic] about Paul’s designs. You can wear the polka-dot cardigan to work, but it’s still cool enough to wear out to dinner or elsewhere,” says Gitter. “Plus, if you wear these pieces together, you get a great mix-and-match feel.” '
Combining contrasting prints was a big trend for Jil Sander Navy as well. The label’s navy and cream pleated striped skirt makes a statement when paired with a similarly colored, starburst-print cardigan. “If the skirt were done in any other fabric, it would look conservative, but the stripes are sewn in the wrong direction so they actually pop, and the competing patterns look fantastic together,” Gitter explains, citing Jil Sander Navy’s black slim coat as a favorite this season. “It’s exclusive to my store and features a gorgeous honeycomb fabric. Pair it with skinny pants and platform pumps, and you’d be absolutely stunning.” 1729 Chestnut St., 215-564- 4760
Craiger Drake Expands to New Space
Craiger Drake Designs opens its new showroom on Walnut Street.
March 11, 2013
Animal-inspired cuff bracelets from Craiger Drake’s Spring collection.
Although it has been less than three years since Philly resident Craiger Drake launched his namesake wholesale jewelry collection, the designer has already found himself in need of more space. Drake’s new 3,000-square-foot showroom, just down the block from his original location, features abundant jewelry displays, an expanded lounge, and a space for customers to choose loose gemstones. This spring, the shop boasts its new collection of sterling silver and yellow-gold animal bracelets complete with luxe diamond, sapphire, and green onyx details. 1701 Walnut St., 215-253-6507.
Eyesite Introduces 2 New Brands
Eyesite’s newest collections lend a touch of funk to the retro trend.
March 04, 2013
Therapy sunglasses, Thierry Lasry ($425).
This spring, high-end optical boutique Eyesite introduces two sought-after brands to Philadelphia with statement-making styles. Thierry Lasry sunglasses, which have framed the faces of celebrities including Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and Anne Hathaway, are now available at the Rittenhouse Square store. “What Lasry does is take retro to the next level—retro futuristic,” says Eyesite owner Gene Kogan. “His shapes are indeed retro-inspired, but the colors range from classic tortoiseshell and black matte finish to vintage acetate, which mixes a lot of different colors and textures. Think retro elegance—a sophisticated cat’s-eye.”
For more modern shades with nostalgic overtones, look to Theo Eyewear and Tim Van Steenbergen’s collaborative René collection, inspired by the Expressionist and Art Deco movements and named in honor of Van Steenbergen’s grandfather. 124 S. 19th St., 215-557-0757
Joan Shepp Welcomes Big-Name Labels
The shop adds designers like Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent to its inventory.
February 25, 2013
The industrial-chic interior of Joan Shepp’s boutique.
The upscale boutique run by Joan Shepp and her daughter Ellen has been bringing the illustrious world of high fashion to Philadelphia’s best dressed for more than 30 years. “Most of the designers we carry are not only exclusive to us in Philadelphia, but exclusive to us within the greater Pennsylvania area,” Ellen explains. The white-walled industrial space proves the perfect canvas for perusing Shepp’s museum-worthy collection of women’s ready-to-wear and accessories from such visionary designers as Ann Demeulemeester, Balenciaga, Rick Owens, Givenchy, and Pierre Balmain.
“We’re constantly adding new designers, and for spring, we’ve picked up Kenzo and Stella McCartney; Nicholas Kirkwood’s shoes are fantastic, and although we’ve been carrying Yves Saint Laurent’s handbags and shoes for a while, we will be exclusively stocking Saint Laurent’s full ready-to-wear collection.” Shepp’s men’s department will introduce equally notable labels this season, with pieces from Dries Van Noten and Issey Miyake among the refined offerings. “There’s a Dries Van Noten blazer coming in that’s a must-have for the Philadelphia man this spring. It’s special but not dressy, so you can wear it more often,” she adds. With a one-of-a- kind inventory that runs the gamut from basic to ball gown, the boutique offers stunning pieces for every occasion. 1616 Walnut St., 215-735-2666
Lagos Celebrates 35 Years
Lagos toasts 35 years with a trio of new collections.
December 17, 2012
Muse 35th Anniversary Collection Blue Sapphire Cluster Ring, Lagos ($995).
Among Philly’s pantheon of trailblazing companies that have elevated the city’s status on style, Lagos has continuously led the way in jewelry. Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, Lagos remains one of the nation’s preeminent jewelry designers—its items are sold in 300 stores nationwide—with a flagship boutique on Rittenhouse Square. “It’s hard to believe that it has been 35 years,” says Steven Lagos, the company’s founder and creative director. “It’s amazing to look back and see what we’ve accomplished—Lagos has become everything I had hoped for.” In honor of its 35th anniversary, Lagos just released Muse, a spectacular blue and pink sapphire collection, as well as Venus Link, a collection that showcases malachite and turquoise stones. The company has also ventured into gold, which was a small presence in previous collections but now plays a more dominant role in the metal scheme.
Most exciting to Lagos himself, however, are the company’s increasing forays into couture design. “The couture is a complete folly,” he says. “It’s my lab—a place to experiment and develop new ideas and concepts. It’s also an opportunity for our customers to own an original. It’s the difference between a lithograph and a hand-painted creation. The couture can be inspired by a one-off unusual gem that I find, or may explore a particular jewelry-making technique.” And according to Lagos, he and his team are anything but slowing down. “With 35 years behind us, we have a lot of experience and momentum,” he says. “I have so much more I want to do. In many ways I feel like we’re just getting started.” 1735 Walnut St., 215-567-0770
Hope Chest Finds a Home in Philly
Suburban lingerie boutique Hope Chest comes to the city.
December 10, 2012
Silk bra ($136) and silk tease tanga in peacock, Shell Belle Couture ($82).
After spending years making sure that the Main Line’s most discerning shoppers were properly bedecked in fine lingerie at Haverford Square’s Hope Chest, Jennifer Rosen has opened a new location in a quaint jewel box of a boutique on Chestnut Street—only now she can stake claim as an owner. Rosen meticulously handpicks her collection of fine lingerie, bras, shapewear, and sleepwear.
Offering hard-to-find luxury brands, many of which are from Europe, Hope Chest carries the likes of Simone Perele, Cosabella, and Hanky Panky, as well as Claudette and CLO Intimo, Hanro, and Jenna Leigh. “Bras and panties are two pieces of lingerie that are on your body during almost every waking minute of the day,” she says of the importance of taking the time when choosing these essentials. “It’s amazing how many of my customers say their confidence level changed when they started giving their undergarments a little more attention.” 1937 Chestnut St., 215-665-9169
The Penn Museum and Tiffany's Present Bejeweled Show
The Penn Museum, along with Tiffany & Co., celebrates a special anniversary with an antique jewelry show.
October 22, 2012
The Wave lapis bracelet and holding stand from Seven Fingers Jewelers.
From October 26–28 the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology presents the Treasures Jewelry Sale & Show—a handpicked collection of vintage and high-end jewelry from more than two dozen American and British designers. In years past, the fundraiser for the museum’s women’s committee showcased a range of antique goods from the world’s cultures. This year, however, jewelry will be the main attraction, to be showcased within the Penn Museum’s renowned Asian and Egyptian galleries.
In honor of the 175th anniversary of Tiffany & Co., as well as the 75th diamond anniversary of the women’s committee, the joint sponsors decided on a jewel theme for 2012, says the show’s chair Marguerite Goff. “What more appropriate way to celebrate an anniversary than with jewelry?” she says. She also notes that this year’s Treasures sale and show will focus on designer jewelry made of precious metals and gemstones, and “by chance, several of the antique jewelry exhibitors even have Penn connections,” including alum Sally Kay, now based in New York City, as well as Evelyn Clothier Jewelry, J. Rudy Lewis, and B Square Gallery.
The jewels will be artfully displayed alongside the museum’s rare and ancient artifacts. To continue with the jewel theme, Tiffany & Co. will lend chairman and CEO Michael J. Kowalski for a gourmet breakfast—à la Audrey Hepburn—and a Q&A session during Friday’s event. Special tours and a Thursday-night preview gala are also on the weekend agenda. 3260 South St., 215-898-4000
The Philadelphia Collection Returns
The Philadelphia Collection brings fashion to the fore this September.
August 27, 2012
The city’s collective eye turns to all things style when The Philadelphia Collection returns September 13–20. Now in its third year, the event promotes retail and fashion in the City of Brotherly Love. “The Philadelphia Collection has proven a success over the past two years, not only with consumers through unique shopping concepts and events, but also by strengthening the city’s national reputation as a vibrant shopping destination and a top contender for fashion retail,” says Michelle Shannon, vice president of marketing and communications for Center City District.
In addition to a full calendar of more than 100 trunk shows, designer sales, and open houses centered on fashion, accessories, and beauty, The Collection’s signature events include gatherings like Phashion Phest, the Rittenhouse Row Fall Gathering, Nicole Miller’s XIX Most Fashionable Women in Philadelphia, and FBH The Agency’s Ready to Wear Runway Show. The Philadelphia Collection will also fête the first major event of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator with a fashion show at Macy’s Center City, featuring four selected designers-in-residence. The Incubator, a collaboration between The City of Philadelphia, Center City District, and Macy’s, nurtures emerging designers on a number of fronts, from free studio space where they can produce their collections to business mentoring and retail critiques.
Fashion sketch by Kaitlyn Doherty, Philadelphia Fashion Incubator designer-in-residence
Bernie Robbins Jewelers Celebrate 50 Great Years
Bernie Robbins Jewelers rings in its 50th anniversary with exclusive designer previews.
June 25, 2012
The Bernie Robbins Jewelers flagship in Somers Point.
This year Bernie Robbins marks its 50th year as a regional mainstay, today a top destination for Philadelphians in search of stunning pieces from Ippolita, Penny Preville, and Gurhan. Owner Harvey Rovinsky, a third-generation jeweler, along with his wife, Maddy, helped to turn the one-time Center City appliance store into a jewelry business in 1966.
“It was in the early ’90s that we transformed into a luxury jeweler,” Rovinsky recalls. “The industry happened to be in its infancy at the time, and that was really the way we would stand out in the local market.” The company will kick off a year-long celebration with a special edition of its annual “Chic at the Shore” summer event series, at the Somers Point flagship.
Throughout the summer, Bernie Robbins previews pieces from the newest jewelry collections, many of which are available exclusively until the fall or holiday seasons. This year’s event series promises Friday evening in-store happy hours and trunk shows every Friday and Saturday in July and August. Special Thursday night happenings will feature The Magic of Forevermark and A.Link diamonds, and The Year of the Dragon with John Hardy and chef Joseph Poon—events definitely worth skipping the beach for. 507 New Road, Somers Point, NJ, 609- 927-4848