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Brioni Offers a Menswear Triple Threat with Three New Openings

Brioni Bal Harbour

The world of women’s fashion gets the big names (Coco and Christobal, for starters), while on the menswear front, the names might not be as recognizable. But just because menswear’s biggest names don’t roll of the tongue of even the most well-versed fashion follower, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have the heritage and history of their female counterparts. Brioni, a name that’s been in the business since 1954, has set its sights on U.S. expansion, opening up three stores — East, West and Midwest, for perfect geographic balance — to serve the sartorial elite.

Brioni Chicago

€œWe are extremely proud of celebrating these openings in the U.S.,” said CEO Francesco Pesci. €œWhich we consider a very important market for the development of our expansion strategy.”

Back in 1954, Brioni started out as a family-run tailoring shop. They say that Italian men take their sons to meet their tailors the same way that American dads take their little ones out to play catch, so it’s no surprise that many Italian gents are more concerned with the fit, craftsmanship and fabrication of their suits — where most American men wear suits because the have to, the Italians wear suits because they actually want to. This love of all things sartorial might just be why the classic Italian look has changed little since the midcentury.

Heritage brands such as Brioni and more modern, fashion-focused tailoring houses such as Dolce & Gabbana still retain that slick Italian style of suiting. Brioni, however, has the pedigree, having dressed high-powered businessmen, Hollywood’s elite and more throughout it’s 50-plus years of cutting impeccable suits.

Brioni Costa Mesa

And while Europeans know the brand as a go-to for top-tier tailoring, Americans are just now getting a taste of Brioni’s brand of la dolce vita. Three new stores have opened to showcase the brand in its entirety. Chicago’s Gold Coast gets the biggest dose of Italian cool while Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza and Florida’s famed Bal Harbour shops received boutiques with a smaller footprint. The three boutiques mark an almost doubling of Brioni’s retail presence, bringing the count of stateside stores from four to seven. Each one is designed with clean lines to better showcase the brand’s tailoring. Travertine floors, bronzed brass fixtures and ribbed wood let the suits take the spotlight. Each location offers made-to-measure services and a full range of mens’ apparel and furnishings, letting guys in the know get dressed from head to toe. Tailoring services at each location assure that each and every well-heeled gent gets out with the best-fitting suit they can get, whether they’re looking to peacock at Fashion Week or just head to the office.

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Off the Cuff: Our Favorite Statement-making Cuffs Under $80

Street Style Sweden

For the past few years, wrists have been laden with layers (and layers, and layers, you get it) of bling, baubles and bracelets in every material, color and metal you can imagine. While we admit we’ve got a little bit of a magpie situation on our own wrists, we think it’s time to do a little winter refresh of our wrist wear and pare it down to just a few necessities. It’s a clean, strong look that’s easy (physically, at least — we don’t know of any known cases of bracelet withdrawal, but we’re prepared for the worst) on your budget and easy on your actual wrist.

We’ve scoured our favorite spots for the cleanest, most minimally luxe pieces we could find, bringing together big names and a few online exclusives you won’t find anywhere else. So let your strings, beads and rhinestone friendship bracelets take a breather until summer — when tan skin and maxidresses beg for a few extra accessories — and get cleaned up with our favorite cuffs.

Banana Republic Exotic Leather Bangle

The combo of gleaming gold and an exotic skin isn’t just for budgets that can afford expensive French leather houses. The Banana Republic Exotic Leather Bangle ($35) gives you the look of a fancy Euro brand without the quadruple-digit price. Banana Republic’s jewelry is sturdy, classic and, like their clothes, perfect for work or play. This statement-making piece combines a faux python leather with gold, but it’s also available in a rich brown python, a mock stingray texture and classic camel leather. Pair it with a simple leather-band watch (we didn’t say we were going completely cold turkey) for a rich look that’ll turn heads without weighing you down.

Available at Banana Republic.

Giles & Brother Hexagon-Capped Cuff Bracelet

One of our favorite labels for statement-making jewelry is Giles & Brother, the lower-priced offering from designer Philip Crangi. The designs are a little more industrial, a little more tarnished and way less precious than something from his main line (not to mention they’re a whole lot less expensive). While the railroad spike is a classic, we’re also falling for the more geometric Hexagon-Capped Cuff Bracelet ($70), which is small, but packs a big impact thanks to its geometric accents and brass finish.

It’ll tarnish a bit the more you wear it, so wear it often and wear it well and it’ll boast a finish all its own.

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

BaubleBar Large Tortoise Maxine Cuff

If you want to skip out on metal altogether, try the BaubleBar Large Tortoise Maxine Cuff ($36) for an alternative to heavy metals. The tortoise-effect acrylic takes a preppy staple and makes it a little cooler with its oversized shape and easy on, easy off cuff design. Wear it with a basic white oxford and jeans if you’re channeling the Upper East Side’s Upper Crust or with distressed denim and your go-to tanks if you’re more into that particular brand of French insouciance favored by the likes of Lou Doillon and Isabel Marant

Available at BaubleBar.

Madewell Tracecraft Bangle

There’s something about a stack of bangles that just screams Coachella or Laurel Canyon. If you don’t want to lose that Boho babe vibe, try the Madewell Tracecraft Bangle ($24.50), which is a strong contender in the Pamela Love and Stevie Nicks coven of cuffs. Its burnished finish and geometric cutout design is both delicate and bold, organic and industrial. It’s a lightweight way to give any outfit a little more character without a jingling collection of wrist bling.

Available at Madewell.

Henri Bendel Screw You Baby Cuff

We’ve got one more pick that’s reminiscent of a more expensive, more French jeweler. And while the more, say, upscale version might spell out LOVE, the Henri Bendel Screw You Baby Cuff ($78) is a little more in-your face. Not everyone has to know just how cheeky the name is, however, because they’ll be admiring the mixed metals, clean design and goes-with-everything look. You really will wear it with everything, because it’s a simple piece that’ll match any outfit, especially since it’s also available in yellow and rose gold versions.

Available at Henri Bendel.

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Now Open: Jimmy Choo Men’s Flagship is the New Man Cave

Jimmy Choo Mayfair

It feels like guys are having a sartorial renaissance. Wingtip, San Francisco’s most storied haberdasher, opened a new flagship in the City by the Bay; Christian Louboutin, the French cobbler that sends women’s tongues wagging with every red-soled release, is opening men’s-only stores to sate his growing clientele; and now another fashion favorite is joining in on the game.  Jimmy Choo, the British shoe line beloved by starlets and stiletto connoisseurs worldwide, has opened its very first men’s-only flagship in London.

€œWe are thrilled to have opened a new men€™s flagship store in Mayfair, the spiritual home of the Jimmy Choo man. Dover Street is fast becoming a shopping destination for luxury fashion and cutting edge designers. The store is an exciting next step in the growth of Jimmy Choo Men,€ said Pierre Denis, Jimmy Choo CEO.

Jimmy Choo Mayfair

The 1,200 square-foot store might seem small, but it’s full of the brand’s offerings and plenty more.

Situated in an historic Georgian building, the store is a bi-level man haven. A vintage Deco bar serves up martinis (and anything else you’d want) on the ground floor, where seasonal collections are displayed in plush grey flannel displays. Vintage furniture fills the store, giving the store a mix of Mad Men mystique with the sex appeal that the brand is known for. The second story expands the brand’s story, with glass cases displaying small leather goods, bags, tech accessories, scarves and belts alongside more classic shoe styles. Guys can sit back and relax, because personal stylists can help them round out their shoe collections or snag timeless pieces to get them off on the right foot. (We couldn’t resist.)

The Jimmy Choo Men’s Flagship is located at 32a Dover Street, in Mayfair, London.

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Monday Muse: ABC Carpet & Home Inspires BCBG Max Azria

BCBG Max Azria Spring 2015

BCBG Max Azria is always one of the very first shows of New York Fashion Week. Before the fashion crowd gets weary from the heat and humidity of New York and the street style photogs have filled up their memory cards, L.A.-based BCBG wrangles starlets into the front row and shows a collection that undoubtedly strikes a fine balance between the season’s trends and commercial appeal. In short, the clothes that you see on the runway will soon be in stores just as they are, and more importantly, real customers will get to wear them.

For spring, Lubov Azria and Max were inspired by the rugs strewn about Lubov’s favorite store: ABC Carpet & Home. New Yorkers have been heading to the interior emporium for decades, filling their apartments with designer home goods, one-of-a-kind finds and even building their sofas, settees and more from scratch. Lubov was drawn to the Color Reform rugs, pieces that have been treated with bleach and dye so that their colors are more weathered and faded, as if they’d been bleached out by the blazing California sun.

€œThey take these rugs that are old or imperfect and they neutralize and bleach and recolor them to give them new life,€ Lubov told Vogue backstage.

€œIt€™s like a chromatic rebirth. That€™s what I call it.€

BCBG Max Azria Spring 2015

Rug patterns appeared on light-as-air dresses and gauzy blouses. And as she has been doing for the past few seasons, Lubov focused on a longer length. The BCBG of the past — party dresses and cocktail frocks — has been taking a backseat to a more bohemian vibe. The Spring 2015 collection continued that trajectory, offering up plenty of long dresses that seemed to float down the runway. Many wrap silhouettes were cinched with obi belts, which were reminiscent of American rag rugs, and many of the pieces looked tactile, rich and textured through clever pattern mixing, subtle draping and pliss© treatments.

And since Lubov is a real California girl, the entire collection had an ease and casual air that made these dresses approachable and wearable all at once. Red carpet events? We’re sure to see a few of these dresses on those, but for beachside strolls and trips to the Brentwood Country Mart, a few of the pieces would be just perfect for that, too.