James Dean Meets Ward Cleaver: The Look of LOVA

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The Beatles had it right: All you really need is love. If that's in short supply, though, you can always set your sights (through heart-shaped glasses) on the sharply-tailored menswear of LOVA. The debut collection, tinged with nostalgia for the blithe, carefree decades following World War II, was crafted by Daniel Murphy, Nikolas Apostolopoulos and Giuseppe Valentini. A period-inspired line infused with good sense and a touch of "Mad Men"style, it arrives not a moment too soon.
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Though the line conjures images of Rebel Without a Cause James Dean with a splash of Ward Cleaver for good measure, LOVA Design never descends into costume. According to Murphy, "by applying specialty fabrics like sharkskin, silk, and cashmere with modern tailoring, the clothing has a decidedly modern appeal." Slim gingham shirts with button-down collars paired with expertly cut suit shorts, summer-weight silk jackets, and short-sleeve cardigans are perfect for the gentleman with a raffish edge (or those who wish they were.)
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LOVA's fall/winter 2008 was influenced by photographs and journeys of the troika's new acquaintance—a dashing émigré from Communist Poland. Similarly, spring 2009 will bring a collection inspired by the music, style, and lives of the seminal punk band, the Clash. This we gotta see. Incidentally, it turns out that "lova" is Serbian slang for "cash money" and not a casual form of "lover," much to the designers' surprise. Money, cash, punk—whatever. For us it's love, love, love.
Available at Oak, 208 North Street, Brooklyn, 718-782-0521: www.oaknyc.com and Odin, 199 Lafayette Street, 212-966-0026; www.odinnewyork.com and Scout, 7920 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, 323-658-8684: www.scoutla.com. For more information go to www.lovadesign.com.