Christos Garkinos of L.A.'s vintage emporium Decades is definitely one of the chicest men in town, so it's not much of a surprise that he's about to launch his first women's collection ever with HSN. He'll be making appearances on the shopping channel, as well as doing trunk shows around the country -- not a usual practice for HSN, but a very normal one for Garkinos, who travels the country with vintage designer wares all the time.
On Monday, HSN introduced his collection, plus a number of jewelry collections (by Fern Mallis and Iris Apfel) and a hair collection from another hometown boy -- famed hairdresser Jose Eber -- in New York's Empire Hotel, planted in a geographically desirable location next to Lincoln Center, as the temperature on hovered around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The second floor suite was packed with curious journalists, HSN staff and hosts, and well wishers.
Garkinos was totally in denial of the New York weather, decked out in a Mr. Turk colorful paisley jacket on a white background and buttercup yellow trousers. "It's my spring 2014 collection so I thought I'd dress for spring in L.A.," Garkinos said jovially to Pret-a-Reporter. The retailer is actually a huge fan of the home shopping channel. "I watch it all the time," he admitted. "The first thing I ever bought as an adult, age 22, was a set of pillows from HSN."
The first piece introduced was a soft, long-sleeved peasant blouse in a blue-green summer sea color, with a very specific memory in mind.
"On my 15th birthday, my mom asked me what I wanted to do, and I said I wanted to go see Sophia Loren launch her perfume at the mall near where I lived in Michigan. I got up on a chair to wave to her and she was waving back, but then I feel off the chair," Garkinos recalled. "But I'll never forget the blue green peasant blouse she was wearing. This is an homage to her."
Garkinos' collection has, in fact, many wearable spring summer pieces: the peasant blouse also comes in coral, a hot matte sequin pencil skirt, an open work knit fisherman sweaters (in white, violet and coral), and a Chanel-style sweater jacket (in an off white or blue). No piece runs more than $118, with many costing much less like a black long-sleeved dress with ruched sides for $89. Another great look is a chiffon shirtdress (in print or violet with pintucking) with an accompanying slip underneath.
And if you don't feel like wading through hours of home shopping, it will all be on HSN.com starting March 1 and Garkinos is signed up for at least two more seasons. "You could actually wear the white fisherman sweater with a black bra and the black sequin skirt to Giorgio's," he advised of his weekly disco club fix.