Give Me Your LAVUK

Last month I discovered LAVUK, a label blending elegance and modern living, who I featured in my weekly column for the online fashion community Lookbooks.  I had several delightful email exchanges with designer and founder Natasha Gindin about the inspiration behind her collections along with her path into fashion design.  Born in former Yugoslavia and now living and working in Los Angeles, Natasha’s talents were nurtured by the owner of a boutique she worked in, in Santa Monica.  Within a little studio tucked away inside the store front; “I was often helping out the designer with some styles that she was stuck on… I learned a great deal from her.  She was the first one to spot my talent” Natasha explained.

The rather unusual name LAVUK combines two words: LAV = ‘lion’ and VUK = ‘wolf’- the names of Natasha’s twin nephews who were born at the same time she took a leap of faith and started her own clothing brand.

She lends a touch of the Adriatic to her spring 2012 collection with colours of cyan blue and orange-red; “The sea is so full of inspiration starting from variety of fishes to seaweed to shallow and deep sea colours…”

Now based in Downtown Los Angeles, Natasha has a strong ecological focus that I admire. Every garment purchased results in a tree being planted through the American Forests organisation.  LAVUK garments are also created using eco-friendly dyes and fabrics; “I try to do everything I can from my end” Natasha told me. “The time is now or never, I believe.

You can buy LAVUK from several stockists across the USA, including the delightful Lower East Side boutique Kaight in New York City and Hangr 16 that I visited when I was in San Francisco last year.  To see the full LAVUK range, visit their website.

Happy Easter, Blog Reader! StyleOnTheCouch xo

Wearing: Gloria maxi skirt and Amelia Earhart hand printed draped top, both from LAVUK.  Shoes (just seen) Izabela, Nine West.  Lace top (just seen) Stella McCartney ’Clemence Baking’ set; from Journelle. Sunglasses, GUESS.

Stripes and Sparkle for the Sea…

Stripes – last summer we saw a lot of this on the catwalk; wide bands of orange, blue and red at Prada, billowing striped maxi dresses at Jil Sander and fruity striped jumpsuits at Marc Jacobs.  Without a doubt last year stripes were bold.  This spring, stripes give way to florals, but stripes remain a perennial fashion favourite for me – a pattern with lasting charm.  Floral is cute, stripes can be a little more edgy:

Besides, I’ve been experiencing mixed feelings about the ‘prettiness’ of the current spring fashions anyway.  I like to dare myself to be different but the florals we are presented with this summer are now feeling a bit too pristine and glossy for me.  As you can tell, Blog Reader, I’m having a few doubts this weekend about where florals will ultimately sit in my wardrobe… (for a great discussion on this read the excellent and thought-provoking article by Daphne Merkin in Elle about spring’s ‘new prettiness’).

So, I’m taking a trip to Turkey in May and thoughts are already turning to my holiday wardrobe.  I spied this split stripes maxi dress in Anthropologie and thought it was the perfect item for my travels.  Anthropologie have some lovely items in store right now and most of them make me think about holiday wear. I love this cute flared Akebono Halter Dress and these Kivi wedges by Leifsdottir are such a crazy unique style to make a statement in (although sadly I don’t think I’ll be trekking around the ruins of the Lycian Way in these).

There is something quite comforting about a dress you can roll up and pack, then unroll throw on and wear day-to-night… I’m thinking about this dress for long walks on the beach, lunch by the sea (my head is in Turkey already, my body is still in New York City, can you tell I’m missing Europe?!)

Photos: the fabulous Lydia Hudgens.

Taking any trips this year, Blog Reader? What else do I need for the perfect summer holiday wardrobe? Also, your thoughts on stripes?

Wearing: Striped dress from Anthropologie; boyfriend jacket from ASOS; Izabela suede pumps from Nine West; diamond pendant necklace from Anjolee.

Doing The Splits.

Current obsession: skirts with splits.

Back in 2010 I remember a resurgence of skirts and dresses with splits on the catwalk, I’m thinking specifically here of Versace (never shy of exposing the thigh, I admit), Lanvin and Zac Posen.  I found this amazing high-waisted slashed maxi skirt in the Rodarte for Opening Ceremony collection and well, I couldn’t do splits by halves so I just went for it.

The design of the skirt is incredibly flattering.  The high waist gives a sculpted look with enough fabric before the slashes begin to make me feel ‘secure’ in wearing it.  The splits stop just shy of being too revealing although it’s still a bold design to carry off. Don’t ask me about walking down the stairs* or gusts of wind….

There are some amazing pieces available in this kind of style right now.  I’m particularly noticing leather skirts with splits in – Rodarte designed a shorter version of this here in leather, for the same collection for Opening Ceremony.  I’ve included some of my inspirations for this style here – I’m particularly drawn to the Burberry Prorsum mustard dress above and the ASOS pencil skirt in mint is on my never-ending wish list (a perfect spring skirt!)

Image above: left to right: Burberry Prorsum slash front silk dressASOS pencil skirt in mint and Lanvin side split beach maxi from Net a Porter.

Above, left to right; Cecile halter maxi dress from Reiss (see me wearing this dress here); Rodarte for Opening Ceremony slit leather skirt and McQueen split leather pencil skirt on Net a Porter.

Will you be daring to brave the split this year, Blog Reader?

Main image, top: wearing: skirt from Opening Ceremony; blouse, Madison Marcus, from Barneys NY, shoes, Andriana from Nine West.

*I don’t care, I’m wearing a little piece of Rodarte and I shall get taxis EVERYwhere.