Wednesday, September 30, 2009

As Know As - Japan

As Know As is one of our favorite brands from Japan. It is quintessentially Japanese with voluminous dresses and draped silhouettes. But surprisingly a stand out piece from the collection comes from the jewelry line. These large ear cuffs worn around only one ear are gorgeous statement pieces. A little daring for American girls but nothing new on the streets of Tokyo.

Sold at Babel Fair Winter 09

Friday, September 25, 2009

Alessa - Brazil

Alessandra Migani, Brazilian designer of her self-named line Alessa, has gained international attention with her quirky off beat unique prints. She has been described as a conceptual artist over a fashion designer to which, she responds positively. “The image of the brand is wearable art not commercial or plain. It is a story telling collection,” the quadrilingual designer states. Alessa’s last collection focused on gastronomy featuring related prints she created. One such print illustrated mouths she cut out of magazines, while another was created from photographs of colored glasses (pictured left). She constantly finds inspiration from everyday life. We sit in her bright pink house that serves as both her showroom and her home in the Ipanema section of her hometown Rio De Janeiro. She often uses her hometown as a backdrop staging fashion shows on top of Sugar Loaf mountain, in her own house, or even at the car repair garage her parents once owned. Alessa states that her clothes are “very Brazilian.” But her prints and oversized dresses seem very different from the scantily clad Brazilians we have observed so we ask her to clarify. She describes the Brazilian mentality saying her clothes are informal and emerge from humor and creativity. “So to what or to whom would you compare Alessa to?” we ask. After a pause she replies with a smile, “Carnival!”
Sold at Babel Fair this Fall 09

Sunday, September 20, 2009

France: Happy Therapy Perfume?

Okay so how do you take perfume to the next level? Of course it is the French who have found out. Smiley, developed in France and not sold in the U.S. until now, is described as a "happy therapy." Smiley claims to contain "micro nutrients to activate happiness." The medicinal anti-perfume bottle was designed by acclaimed designer, Ito Morabito. When sprayed it starts off with a citrus scent and fades into a spicy musk. Whatever it's supposed to do, we are obsessed. Smiley grows on you. We're not sure if it's happiness or love.
Sold at Babel Fair this Fall 09

Korea: Jacey Chae Bags

Jacey Chae, a Korean designer, creates bags inspired by everyday objects. Her most recent collection was influenced by - who would guess it - men's apparel. The two seemingly opposing elements actually work quite well and Jacey Chae has been featured regularly in Asian Vogue and on Korean celebrities. Chae uses suit and trench coat details on her bags. There's something compelling about carrying a well-dressed man around town.
Sold at Babel Fair this Fall 09

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tokyo Flash: Time to Read

The Japanese can make even something as mundane as reading a watch cool. Tokyo Flash is a watch line out of Japan focused on sleek designs and creative time displays. The watches range from using binary code (yes, binary code) to a series of flashing lights to display what time it is. These unisex watches have a Star Trek techie feel and are made of light weight titanium. Sport one this fall and get the Lady Gaga in you going.
Sold at Babel Fair this Fall 09

Friday, September 18, 2009

Brazilian Shakespeare

New Brazilian brand Giulietta has a website that captures every little girl’s fantasy. I dare you to go on it and try not to turn instantly idealistic and well… happy. In an interview with Babel Fair, designers Priscila Barlehos and Rosa Duarte describe Giulietta as inspired by “modern romance” and Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” They are self-proclaimed romantics and find inspiration everywhere – except other brands. Barlehos and Duarte are quick to point out the uniqueness of their brand and their insistence on individuality. The flower sequin dress made by hand takes ten days to make by several people, a dedication rarely seen these days in the world of fast fashion. Both designers have had extensive experience with big Brazilian labels before launching their own dream. Being Brazilian has had an impact on their work they state noting the light colors and feel of the clothes. “Very carioca” Barlehos says. Carioca is a word to describe a native from Rio De Janeiro. Focused on soft pastels with gold touches, Giulietta for sure will bring a little bit of the romantic carioca feeling to the world.
Sold at Babel Fair this Fall 09

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Babel Fair Blog

Our focus on international brands and designers combine two of our loves: fashion and travel. How many times have you been excited to find new designers or brands in another country? Yes there are the must-see sites and the restaurants - but there is something about the thrill of finding rare fashions to bring home and a secret joy in announcing that your leather sandals are from Greece. Or your bag is from Rome. Continue to check out our blog for trends from around the world.