Tag Archives: Jason Wu

The End of an Era

It’s been quite interesting, reading all of the articles that have come out since last Friday when it was announced that I have begun preparation to close the doors of our beloved Louis this July.

Regardless of the speculation of our critics, moving to the Fan Pier was the best decision I have ever made for Louis. While my family has been in love with Boston for nearly a century, the thing that kept us relevant was the fact that we were forward thinkers and believed in evolution.

I am grateful for Joe Fallon, for sharing his vision with me and for introducing the rest of you to the gorgeous, undiscovered property that has been our home since 2010. If you ever gazed out of our windows or sat on the balcony of Sam’s while sipping a cold beer, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you’ve been missing out.

To reiterate, business has been on point and invigorated by young CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners including Tim Coppens, Paul Andrew, Public School, Proenza Schouler, and Jason Wu. We were further inspired lately by the beautiful minds of Simone Rocha, Rosie Assouline, Jonathan Simkhai, Jacquemus, Greg Lauren, Baja East, and countless others. Traveling around the globe 5 months each year and getting to know each and every one of them personally has been my pleasure and I am grateful for the art and discovery.

I have been choosing what Boston’s most fashionable would wear for decades, and now it’s time to make some choices for myself. I look forward to this early retirement and all that it will afford me, including spending valuable time with the people who have exercised incredible patience while I have been focused on the store. Furthermore, I am excited to pursue interest and passions, both personally and in the community, that I have only dreamed about until now.

To the naysayers of this announcement, we expected you, and we appreciate your interest.

For our supporters, we thank you – for patronizing Louis. We are grateful for the posts, comments and tweets that acknowledge Louis as a beacon of light in Boston fashion. Trust us, we are going to miss you just as much as you are going to miss us.

Like you have said, it is the end of an era – a wonderful, fashion filled, evolving era.

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The Lost Art of Outerwear

Perhaps you’ve noticed that over time different categories in fashion have all but been eliminated from the shopping experience. I can think of at least two of them that are centered in and around the extreme changes in the weather found in New England – the place we all so fondly call home – regardless of how much we need them.

Like you, I too wait with baited breath for the warmth to come after a long, drawn out, cold New England winter…and often non-existent spring. And, perhaps like you, I wait until at least June – after I’ve seen the sunshine for more than 5 minutes – before I even begin to think about shopping for a bathing suit. The issue is that by the time we all feel brave enough to stand under the florescent lights in an unforgiving dressing room, the bathing suits have been marked down considerably and warm sweaters and tall boots are beginning to emerge from the stock room.

As a result, bathing suits, historically a rather large category, are simply getting lost in the shuffle. We don’t even know they’re there before it’s too late and the retail season is coming to a close. A great bathing suit is difficult enough to find, especially if they’ve become nearly obsolete from department stores. Well, some still carry a small assortment, but it’s certainly not what it used to be.

Actually, it’s nothing like it used to be.

The same holds true for outerwear.

People, we live in New England, and to be honest we really can’t afford to have the same thing happen to this category as well. We’re not in California, it really does get freezing here, and during the winter months we need to wear a coat every day to endure the brutality of the season. We really need variations of outerwear in the region because A.) The weather gets really, really cold, and B.) Who wants to wear the same coat over and over and over again?

And can we just talk about “puffers” for a minute?

I don’t need to call out brands, you know who they are, but is it really necessary to reach for a “puffer” every time you venture outside? I get that we have some really cold, crummy, awful days around here…and I get that you can roll it up in a ball and stick it in the washing machine to fluff it up again…and I get that it keeps you warm, BUT it’s not appropriate for every scenario in your life, and I hate to break the news but they really don’t look so great…on anyone.

Do you think the new “shiny” puffers are helping matters?

Don’t answer. It’s a rhetorical question.

Because certain regions in the country (including us) have such a dire need for outerwear during the winter months, you would think the category would be exploding with function and creativity. But it isn’t. Or should I say, it hasn’t been.

And because we have fallen into the habit of reaching for what has become, for lack of a better term, the lowest common denominator in outwear, our heads have been down and we’ve been missing the fact that some people are doing some amazingly new and different things with coats these days. Especially this season where I really saw designers taking fabric with vastly different properties and putting their efforts back into outerwear.

From Proenza Schouler’s wool and neoprene wonders to Jason Wu’s wool and shearling creations to Lucas Nascimento‘s modern interpretation of the 1940’s to Jonathan Saunder’s clever patchwork designs, there seems to be new life circulating around an old “category.”

Fabulous!

Last month we had some incredibly warm neoprene pieces from Jacquemus, and this month they are sold out completely – and we’re just coming to the end of October. Which leads me to believe that some people are packing away their puffers and really starting to get it.

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Jonathan Saunders

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Alice Roi

 

Is That The Groom? (It’s Wedding Season)

It’s wedding season.

You know how I know? Gorgeous young brides-to-be are walking though the doors of Louis Boston with desperation in their eyes, and bewildered fiancés following closely behind them.

Several weeks ago, one such bride-to-be entered the store, with her bewildered fiancé not very far behind her. She had actually been in two month earlier when she purchased a brilliant Jason Wu gown for her wedding. Designed in ice colored satin and silk, it was sleeveless with an intricate high collar. But the element of design that we knew would take their collective breath away during the ceremony was the dramatic open back – with just a delicate chain that draped flawlessly across in just the right place. It was all at once, soft, sophisticated, sexy and kick ass!

There I was, recalling every detail of the dress, and at the same time my mind was working its way through our inventory so I could pull some things for him that would compliment her perfectly, and he said…

“I don’t want to wear a suit.”

“Excuse me?” I said. Not really believing what I was hearing. I took him gently by the hand and said “I understand, you’re getting married in July, by the water, and you don’t want to wear a heavy suit…” and he interrupted me to say, “If I have to I’ll just wear navy.”

Huh?

And this is the part where I got to do what I truly love to do: style someone who doesn’t understand his own potential. I pulled a featherweight cotton suit with 1% cashmere (to hold it all together), a blueberry and white checked linen shirt, and a pair of kick ass Common Project sneakers, before I nudged him toward the dressing room.

Thinking about her dress again, I knew this look was going to compliment her well. I knew that when she saw him she would feel proud to approach him as she was walking down the isle. And as I was thinking that, to my amazement, he was turning around, looking at himself in the mirror not believing what he was seeing. He looked great and now he knew it.

He looked at me and said he couldn’t believe how comfortable the pieces were and how well everything fit him. I explained again the difference beautifully tailored pieces could make.

He grinned. He nodded. He looked at himself again in the mirror. I really thought he was there.

Then he turned to me and said, “What if I don’t wear the jacket…just the shirt and the pants?” Besides the fact that he looked incredible from head to toe, and that should be reason enough, I explained that the pants were part of the suit and were not sold separately.

He shrugged and said, “I don’t want to buy the suit. I never wear a suit.” Then he turned and walked back into the dressing room.

I took one look at his bride-to-be and saw her face drop. She quietly said, “If he doesn’t wear a jacket, won’t I look nicer than him? Won’t I look too dressed up?”

So I excused myself, pulled him aside and whispered to him, “I know you don’t know what she’s wearing, because it’s a secret, but your fiancé has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure she looks super sexy, and sophisticated for you – because she wants to. Don’t you want to do the same for her? She loves you in this suit…”

Don’t get your hopes up. He walked back into the dressing room, pulled on his old jeans and t-shirt, and they started to leave. She looked back at me with a defeated look on her face before she shrugged, as if to say, “what can I do?”

I wondered what he was going to do, and I prayed, for her sake, that he wouldn’t be renting a tux.

I wondered why he wasn’t willing to take more pride in himself and his appearance on his wedding day. Even if he did only wear the suit once, wouldn’t it be worth it to look back in later years and feel proud of who he was, and how he looked for the occasion? A wedding is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities where a man should move outside of his comfort zone and raise his own bar – just a little bit, or even a lot.

Having been in this business for a very long time, I know that men used to really care about how they looked. Unfortunately we now live in the age of “Casual Friday Everyday,” and a lot of men just don’t really care at all. The times may have changed, but one thing should remain the same, and that is an understanding that there is a certain decorum that we should all adhere to when it comes to how we present ourselves for certain, if not most, occasions. Don’t you agree?

In other words, why do you want to look like everyone else on your wedding day?

In the end I’ll probably never know how he shows up to the wedding, but I will know that his bride looks stunning.

Guys, you don’t have to do anything, but don’t you want to?

 

Bowie? Say it isn’t so…

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Jason Wu Fall ’14 Preview @Louis

There really are so many good things; but one of the best…about being Louis, is the relationship I have with some incredibly talented designers. And it’s because of these relationships that we are able to bring some really unique experiences to Boston season after season.

While all eyes are now on the signs of spring that alluded us for so long and are beginning to come to life right out side of our walls (or should I say magnificent windows), ours were on designer Jason Wu a few weeks ago when he brought a preview of his Fall 2014 collection to Louis.

Jason debuted his first collection in 2006, we hosted a party to celebrate him and other young American designers at the ICA in December of 2007, and by 2008 he had been nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award and won the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award. Also that year, Bruce Weber shot the designer for an editorial spread called “Summer Camp” in W magazine. Since that time he has certainly amassed some very well known clients, the most “famous” perhaps, being Michelle Obama.

Assuming you’ve been here and assuming you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m currently quite excited about a new crop of designers and interesting pieces that reflect an aesthetic of urban and athletic luxury…but that’s not what I appreciate about Jason, or why he fits in so well with what we do here.

I like to call Jason Wu the “lady collection” in my mix. However, he’s really never too ladylike, and there’s an edge his designs possess that continually keep me interested.

Presenting to a rapt audience, Jason showed us some gorgeous pieces for fall. In addition to the sportswear and bias dresses in beautiful colors and fabrics he’s known for, he brought some striking dresses and bags that truly turned heads.

The collection was loved by all of course, but for me…it was really about his coats. A category that has sadly been lost to the “North Face” set who haven’t been able to slip out of their “puffers,” Jason’s coats were sexy and sophisticated and as always tailored to perfection.

So when the chill comes back (after it hopefully leaves us for good this spring), remember, you have some pretty incredible options…

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(All images from Style.com)

They Really Did It… They Are That Good

Proenza Schouler have been pushing boundaries in fashion slowly and quietly from their very first collection. That was the first thing that struck me about their collections, they were innovative ….but quietly so. They weren’t trying desperately to get the attention of the press but to get the attention of a women wanting to wear modern looking, well made clothes. They did get press (they are , after all,  young, charming, talented and good looking which made you just want to meet them) by using their comfortable laid back attitude that complimented their work….and it didn’t hurt that the many young, hip, New York women consistently wear their clothes.

They fell into the press trap only once by showing clothing that was impossible to wear. From that season on they have learned from their mistake and concentrated on creating fabrics and designs that consistently update a woman’s wardrobe in a refreshing desirable way.

In the Spring/Summer 2011 collection the boys showed women’s suits that brought the category to new heights. The shapes were innovative and the fabrics that they developed to accomplish this weighty look were as light as a feather. “Are you sure you are going to be able to produce this?” was my first question…”we are going to try” was their answer. That takes guts. Designing and producing a line of clothing takes great effort and most manufacturers take a safe route (like anything else pushing to get great product takes fortitude and determination ). Here are some of the results.

Notice the drape of the jacket...the fabric is like a light weight soft towel

This suit shows the "new volume" that is still sexy ...check out how well the Jason Wu shoes match

The boys also were mixing fabrics….a georgette dress with these soft terry feel jackets. The results were so desirable that I defy you to look at these combinations and not lust after them even if they won’t look good on you…..that’s fashion!

I hope you can see the subtle coloration they have use to accomplish the perfect summer look.

Look at the cut of the jacket, small shoulders with volume at the bottom to give the wearer shape and interest.

Look at the way the print at the bottom of the dress works with the trim of the jacket

I couldn’t leave this post without showing my favorite dress for summer from these amazing talented boys….the dress has two layers and then they designed a sweet yellow bra to wear under to give yet another subtle detail. The overall look of this dress is really in the details. Thank you boys!!!!

Thank You Margeaux, you do this dress justice!