Next week-end, the Hamptons season will start. A ritual for the Rich and Famous and for the lucky ones who secured a rental in this chain of upscale villages facing the Atlantic. On Sunday, many owners left their beautiful premises with manicured gardens, well-tended grounds and pristine pool. Many have worked around the clock to get their house ready for the Renters. This special breed blossoms between MD- LD ( Memorial day to Labor Day), likes to shop and eat well, and this is good for the economy. They should check out Pierre’s new take out on Main Street Bridgehampton, next to his restaurant. Excellent chocolate croissants pains au chocolat cost no less than $3.25 and the double cappucino sky rockets at $6 . It is Pierre’s, and all the ladies will forgive Pierre Weber upon a smile. Husbands might be more reluctant to do so.
The crisis is over is the message on Main street East Hampton where new shops have mushroomed in what seems a blink of the eye. The new Tory Burch store is definitely worth a look
So is the new Lilly Pulitzer’ temple!
There are now three French women designers on Main street! Cocorico!
Catherine Malandrino opened a few years ago and has established herself as an Hamptonian ( even if she prefers St Trop’!). Next to her is Christiane Celle with her large Calypso store that includes fashion and interior design. New on the block, on the other side of Main Street, is Vanita Rosa, a brand created by Valerie Bourdin. This Parisian ex-model worked six years with Dolce & Gabbana prior to creating her own line. She has shops in Paris and St Barth and corners in Beautiful People’s places including Saint Tropez, Courchevel, Monaco…. Like Christiane Celle, she found her inspiration in St Barth and her collection bears some resemblance with Calypso’s….
It is all very summery and light with delicate cottons.
Far from this girly universe, next door is John Varvatos’Rock’N Roll store. It has been around for a while but remains one of my favorites .
“Do you know the way to Saint Tropez?” asks Women’s Wear Daily on the cover its May 12th edition reporting on the recent presentation of Chanel 2010-2011 Cruise collection on the port .
The Cruise collection
“There is something magical about Saint Tropez. It is so easy and it does not require complicated clothes”, said Karl Lagerfeld to WWD. He favored chiffon dresses for a Hippie revival look.
Fashion was always part of the mythology of Saint Tropez. Paul Poiret might have been the first couturier to make Saint Tropez his home, preferring the secluded calm of his Villa Treizaine to the bustle of the port. Today many fashion designers including Tommy Hilfiger or Catherine Malandrino vacation in Saint Tropez. Yet, Karl Lagerfeld is right . Saint Tropez has invented a certain type of style, a laid back, lazy fashion that happened on the port, in the late Sixties, somewhere between la Plage de la Ponche where real Tropeziens loved to go and the “new “port where elegant Chris-Craft competed with pristine yachts.
When the Rock and Roll stars invaded Saint Tropez, Martine Vachon had her Vachon store planted on the left side of the port when looking at the sea. She designed unpretentious and rather conservative collections with lots of knitwear and marine dresses and jackets. Her designs did not make it in the history of fashion but her shop was a must. Parisians (In the late Sixties it was mostly Parisians and celebrities who visited Saint Tropez) who enjoyed all the fashion in the world year around could not help buying a few items “ for the Summer”. There was also “Choses”. The store still exists. It was the place to find tee-shirts before the name even existed and espadrilles that lasted – if lucky! – for the Summer months. But the best was Lothar’s. This German maker had opened his store in 1969 and specialized in faded tie-dyed cottons. Pale blues, washed out greens and discolored pinks were the basic colors of his collections that included trousers, shorts, long dresses and simply cut shirts. Nothing was more sexy than a blue Lothars shirt largely opened on a tanned chest. Lothar’s men resembled the Blue Men of the desert. Gunther Sachs, the volatile husband of Brigitte Bardot,had adopted that dégaine.The total look was still trendy and there was no shame in buying the green trousers matching the green skirts or the same burgeoning top worn without a bra. Between the thin layer of Lothars cotton and the skin, there was nothing. An impeccable figure was required. Jane Birkin was the reference. Shopping at Lothars meant avoiding stops at Sennequier for a café Liegois or at the boulangerie for a slice of Tarte tropezienne.