MRNY - Oak NYC

31.7.11


Since this is my first Mademoiselle Robot dispatch from New York, I thought I'd start with a bit about a Brooklyn based shop that carries a good deal of fashion eye candy – Oak. Occasionally I stop in to stare (and sometimes even touch), slack jawed and up close, at the beautiful clothes with the upper triple digit price tags that will someday be, after I’ve married well, mine all mine

It can be intimidating to go into, say, Prada or Gucci or Dior on Madison Avenue, but Oak – Oak is a store I can go into and feel well, at least at ease if not quite at home. Opened in 2004 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Oak showcases some of the most avant-garde menswear and womenswear designers today, including Oak’s eponymous label. 



Oak Wrap Dress

I love a store that showcases both men’s and women’s wear – it’s not often I step into a men’s store to admire the goods, usually confining myself to fashion magazines and lookbooks, so any store that allows me to bask in the splendor of all fashion is aces in my book. 
Sally LaPointe Metallic Chiffon black drape dress
One of the newer designers (her label launched in February 2010) showcased at Oak is NYC-based Sally LaPointe, whose black gown (pictured above) pulled me outside of my fashion comfort zone. I tend to be drawn to the more baroque variety of fashion. The majority of my wardrobe consists of demurely cut dresses with fanciful, whimsical, and/or floral prints – most days I look like I could be a grade school teacher (albeit one with naughty tattoos) – but I also see beauty in more subtly complex designs, such as Sally LaPointe creates. A lesser designer’s attempt at such a piece may turn out looking like a garbage bag gone awry, but this dress is a sophisticated and exquisitely crafted ready-to-wear piece. A rich, metallic black so shiny it gives the illusion of a shifting white pattern.  I would love to wear this dress to a late autumn outdoor party with some granny ankle boots and my favorite light layer, picked up from H&M about six years ago and much admired wherever it goes; the print looks like something you’d see on a fainting couch in Louis XIV’s court, with a mandarin collar and distressed, brassy buttons. 


 Sally LaPointe blue mini dress over metallic blue leggings
Sally LaPointe silver mini dress over silver leggings
I was taken with the designer’s A/W 11 collection, in which prints are the anomaly. Mostly shades of black, gray, and silver, with a very few blues, oranges, and reds to round out the color wheel, in this collection she achieves an effortlessly draped, buttery, melting metal look – simultaneously sharp in its angles and creamy in its feel, like a most luxurious silk. It’s a futuristic look – I actually thought (fondly) of style icon Judy Jetson when looking at the runway photos – but not in a schmaltzy, “Back to the Future II” kind of way.  

Sally LaPointe floor length red dress

The colors in her collection are few, but rich ones - deep, tangeriny reds that recall stewardesses of yesteryear. This particular red dress, less of the metallic and more of the creamy, fits like a luscious kid glove.

Elegant, simple pieces like these serve as a reminder that there’s beauty in the minimal, and as inspiration to venture beyond the overtly beautiful, bedazzling print zone into the realm of the understated, well-tailored, single toned piece. 



Oak Williamsburg
208 North 8th Street
Brooklyn NY, 11211

Words by Carina Kleter
Photos courtesy of Oak NYC & Sally LaPointe

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The return of Cloak!

29.7.11

'A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away'. No wait, that's not it. 'A few years ago in New York', yes that's better, I became obsessed with a label called Cloak. Remember the easy breezy days of menswear?  When Hedi Slimane was at the top of his game, and basically, everything was black? Well, Cloak dates from around this time, and although I may have stumbled into the Cloak store in New York, looking for an actual cloak, as in the item, I still loved the clothes  I saw. The label folded in around 2007, as so many daring and unique fashion houses and designers do, but the creative talent behind the brand, Alexendre Plokhov is back, designing under his own name. This is very, very exciting. 



Alexendre Plokhov Fall 11

The word goth is thrown around far too much nowadays, and it's been applied to Plokhov’s designs before, but it's not quite adequate enough to describe the aesthetic. Anything with a focus on black can easily be dismissed as 'goth' but Plokhov transcends that. First there's the ultra sharp tailoring. Then the mind-bending construction where sometimes you're not quite sure exactly what is what. Then there's an intangible Victorian quality, borne out of a kind of overstated elegance, masculine but grandiose at the same time.



 Cloak - Fall 2005


Looking back at the 2005 collection I feel like I'd be happy to wear any of those clothes today -  and that's a pretty good sign. I don't feel like Plokhov's designs quite match up to the grandeur of what was produced for Cloak, but it's a long, uphill struggle for designers that lost financial backing.  It seems almost like Plokhov has been de-fanged. The clothes aren't quite as daring as they once were. Nevertheless, I'm going to keep my eye on Plokhov because I know, that he's going to make the clothes that I want to wear. 

Wishlist -
Franks of Australia Shorts (and weather to match)
A fringe like Eleanor Friedberger ( a boy can dream)
 Givenchy Rottweiler Sweatshirt


All words by Warren Beckett
Follow me @RobotMonsieur
Pics from style.com and Alexendre-Plokhov.com

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Forever 21 for over 31

28.7.11

You already know that American high-street giant Forever 21 has opened a store in London yesterday. You probably saw the photos of the huge queues outside the store on Oxford street (opposite Bond Street Tube). Hell, you may even have been to the store to get your hands on some bargains.

I went there too. On Tuesday night there was a trolley dash event of sorts in the store and I went with everyone's favourite Fashion Goose, Emily. We split up promptly after realising quite how huge the task ahead of us was: look at everything in one hour (there are three massive floors of stuff). While Emily headed to the accessories, I went on a very personal quest: I wanted to know how many pieces I could get with my £100 budget (I was given a gift card). The trick was that I didn't want to just cram my basket full of stuff but I wanted to find the pieces that didn't look cheap and that were "grown-up" enough to fit in my 30-something wardrobe. 
Sure enough I avoided the printed tee-shirts (I have loads, I don't wear them), the tiny hot pants, the items that were too wildly trend led or whatever was an obvious designer rip-off and I went for some pretty basic items - mainly tops.


These are clearly not things I will keep forever, and a lot of what I bought is actually a lesser version of items I already owned but in a way that's quite good - at least it works for me. The morale of the story: if you are over 31, you can still venture into Forever 21, there will be a few pieces there to add to your closet.


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Why I Love Sandro AW11/12

27.7.11

I like a bit of Sandro in my wardrobe as it satisfies my cravings for a little bit of girlishness without being over the top. However, when I saw the AW lookbook, the first thing that came into my mind was French film Diabolo Menthe (Diane Kurys, 1977). I used to be obsessed with it as a young impressionable teen and I suppose it also influenced my style somewhat. 

So there you go, 33 years later, one of my favourite movies is translated into a collection that will lentement mais surement make its way into my closet.

This is almost making me wish Fall would hurry and bring its chilly bum over now. Mind you, it may as well be Fall here.





All images courtesy of Sandro


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Introducing MRNY and MRLA

About once a year, I make a change to this blog. The change I am making now is more of an addition, or an expansion if you prefer. I am taking on board three new contributors and the twist is that they are based in America. One in New York and two in Los Angeles.


They will be reporting from parties, events and generally all the fun stuff they do over there. But let me introduce them to you...





Pretty sweet, right? I will tell you more about both of them with their very first posts...




Their posts will fill the weekend spots and I am sure you will love them! As for the third contributor, it's a surprise, but I can tell you he is based in L.A. too.


Of course you will still have the usual Friday post by the one and only Monsieur Robot and all the other days, ramblings from me. Seriously guys, you are spoilt.




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Wishlist - Bloombury AW11/12

26.7.11

I don't often post the lookbooks I get sent because most of the time I look at them and think "hmmm... yeah... ok. I will take photos of some details at the press day". I am professional like that. Then, from time to time, something lands in my inbox and makes me go wild with excitement. It was the case with the Bloombury collection photos, received yesterday. Something about their subtly feminine austerity made me go all warm and fuzzy inside. This is perhaps because I am all over tailoring at the minute and Bloombury has pretty much captured exactly the type of tailoring I want to wear.

The brand started in 2010 and is based in London and according to the website it aims to create high-end day wear with androgynous femininity (my computer just tried to change this to "felinity" by the way, people. Thought you might like to know that). 

I am currently visualising their advertising campaign which would include me walking around in Bloomsbury wearing Bloombury. So guys, are you coming over to close that deal or what?

If like me you are now obsessed with wearing ONLY Bloombury for the rest of your life, here is a list of their London stockists:

West Village (South Kensington)
Olive loves Alfie (Islington)
Sixty 6 in St Johns Wood 

All images courtesy of Bloombury


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Comme un Garçon

25.7.11

This is the second instalment of my suit experiment in preparation for Fall. In case you were wondering, no, I am not wearing this today. I took the photos last week when it was still October. 


Oh also: I am updating my Facebook shop so have a look at lunchtime and there should be some cute stuff in there!



I am wearing: trousers + jacket from Zara, shirt from Oysho, vintage bow-tie, shoes c/o Swedish Hasbeens, bag c/o MCM.

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Singular Music Festival

22.7.11

Last week, while most of my blogging buddies were partying with Dolce & Gabbana, I opted for a more low-key option: a little sailing on the Thames for the Singular Music Festival. I was due a serious catch up with my friend Federica and as we both like boat trips, it seemed like the best thing to do on a warm Wednesday evening. So we headed to the Golden Flame to join the Pepe Jeans team and listen to Delorean play an intimate set while admiring London by night. Being French and watching a Spanish band with an Italian friend, I almost felt like I was back on the Continent.

Here are some snaps I took that night, some with my Olympus Pen and some with a toy camera.

(that's the toy camera)













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