Summer Fashion Notes by Marilyn Kirschner

Get Collared

Karl Lagerfeld

We are all familiar with the magic of a great white shirt. It’s a year round wardrobe staple and could not be more perfect right now, with the unofficial start of summer. And doesn’t it instantly make everything you’re wearing look better? But if you think about it, sometimes, it isn’t the whole shirt, but the parts of the shirt that do the trick: the cuffs, and especially, the collar. I love a good, stiff white collar because of the chic, chaste, formal correctness it immediately imparts. And I am hardly alone. Karl Lagerfeld is similarly obsessed, as a starched white collar is his sartorial signature. In fact, during the course of a documentary on him, he opened a drawer in his home to reveal dozens and dozens of crisp white collars.

KARL white poplin collar with cameo

Staying true to form, when the designer launched KARL, a moderately priced line exclusively for , he offered five collars; the one in white poplin with a cameo sold out quickly. When he launched his inexpensive line for Macy’s Impulse, the standouts were the white cotton high collared shirt, a black chiffon dress, and a gray chiffon blouse, (both of which had crisp white collars). Several women tweeted that they thought the latter two were the best looks on the line and wished the collars were sold separately. Luckily, some are.

Eleven Objects gold rattan with wood beads and crystals

Enter Eleven Objects, , the brainchild of Linh Thi Do and Christine Rhee, who founded the line upon simultaneously coming to the conclusion that “their wardrobes would be vastly improved by a different kind of accessory.” According to their bios, “Linh Thi Do worked in product development at TSE and Alexander Wang as well as production for YEOHLEE and doo.ri. She studied biology and fine arts at Rice University and then received her Associates degree in fashion design at Parsons School of Design. Christine Rhee studied architecture at Princeton University. She designed her eponymous line, CRHEE, which was featured in Marie Claire, WWD, and Teen Vogue, and has also worked as a marketing coordinator for BOYY.”

Eleven Objects White Croc embossed leather collar

Unsurprisingly, what initially grabbed my attention was their chic white croc embossed leather collar, $275, which I found on . And so practical, I might add, since it can be worn on anything. It doesn’t need to be laundered to keep it looking bright white and spotless. While I happen to think that it’s almost impossible to improve upon the austere simplicity of a crisp WHITE collar, that doesn’t mean variations on the theme are not similarly desirable. Quite the opposite. Pink Clouds has collaborated with Eleven Objects, and is currently offering 9 collars, ranging from about $195 for the relatively simple coral/red or yellow/navy, to a tan pony leather collar with gold studs, $325.

Eleven Objects black silk twill with Swarovski crystals

And if you click on to , you will find some really unexpected interpretations, all guaranteed to instantly transform the simplest t shirt into something quite special. The spring 2012 collection ranges in price from $95 – $975, and runs the gamut from unadorned versions in silk taffeta, to those that are more inventive and embellished such as the gold rattan with wood beads and Swarovski crystals; the navy silk twill with semiprecious coral, pyrite and Swarovski crystals; and the peach taffeta with ‘beach’ embroidery. (FYI, you will also get a preview of their fall 2012 line).



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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