Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lumina Clothing Company | Raleigh, NC, USA

You're always up for American brands that are committed to manufacturing their products here in the States, so when the folks at Lumina reached out, you were grateful for the opportunity to take a few of their pieces for a spin.  

Lumina is a Raleigh, North Carolina-based company composed of four young entrepreneurs whose professional backgrounds range from architecture to nuclear engineering. When they launched Lumina in 2009, their objective was to not only design and build clothes of superior quality, but to do so in a way that was "innately North Carolinian and [would] bolster the industries that were once so predominant in [the] state, but have fallen away, such as textiles, agriculture, and manufacturing." With a storefront in Raleigh, the ultimate goal is to have their entire operation in North Carolina. In the meantime, all products are manufactured in South Carolina, Chicago, or New York.   

The lightweight "Casual Poplin" shirt in purple gingham was perfect for the 80-degree afternoon you spent lounging, swimming, and luncheoning at Halekulani. At 5'9", you're sporting a size small, which you figure equates roughly to a 14.5" (neck)/32" (sleeve). The fit is spot-on--slim, but not Gitman Vintage micro. In other words, you can still move actively. You can see this shirt being a versatile all-rounder; it could just as easily be dressed up with blazer and tie.

Also in the mix are a bag and two ties. The Lumina x Parrott Market Tote is a collaboration with Parrott Canvas of Greenville, NC. It's a no-frills tote that's big enough to serve as an everyday carry. So far, you've had it on the beach and in the city. Work and play type stuff. The understated design features durable canvas duck and riveted leather straps. You expect it will wear in beautifully. The ties ("Alexander" and "Richmond") are classic, simple and clean. At 2 5/8" in width, they're right where you need them to be and, of course, solidly constructed.  

For more North Carolina heritage- and durable, workwear-inspired items, visit LuminaClothing.com.

Monday, January 14, 2013

InAisce F/W 2013-4: "Seeking Aether"

While the fashion world gads about the globe in its biannual parade of pomp and  peacocking, InAisce is quietly blowing minds with its latest collection, "Seeking Aether." It seems to be the way designer Jona prefers to operate. This season he continues to display his talent for bold silhouettes and rich textures, which are tailored brilliantly from diverse materials. For example, luxurious silks, wools, and cupros are juxtaposed with large felted wraps. And, as always, the collection is not without artistic vision. From InAisce: 

"The Fall/Winter 2013-4 Collection, Seeking Aether, explores the sense of exile felt by the human heart. It is a study of the quest for belonging and purpose despite the fog of mystery shrouding over our origins, and an expression of hope for eventual homecoming...The collection is represented in the lookbook by Ger Duany, a South Sudanese refugee whose own journey of exile from--and return to--his homeland is a tangible illustration of the larger theme."  

It's also worth mentioning that Jona embarked on InAisce's first ever collaborations, resulting in the following three projects:
INAISCE + CLAUDY JONGSTRA: Renowned Dutch artist Claudy Jongstra has felted enormous wool+silk wearable art pelts for the collection. Jongstra’s sustainable farm in Holland provides the “studio” for every step of the creative process, including raising the sheep for the wool and growing the plants for the dyes.
INAISCE + LAYER-0: Italian shoe artisan Alessio Zero has applied traditional Italian craftsmanship to the InAisce FW 13/14 boots and shoes. With the form based on a turn-of-the-century Pacific Northwest logging boot, old-world Italian and American aesthetics merge in the fast-forward context of the collection
INAISCE + ARTEMAS QUIBBLE: Fellow New Yorker and leather artisan A. Jason Ross has collaborated with Jona to innovate several belts for the collection, utilizing hardware based on antique furrier’s tools. Despite their primitive provenance, their geometry and functionality belong in a world yet to come.