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FrontRunners: Vintage Clothing

William Kissel

Alexander Julian (800. 432.8713, www.alexanderjulian.com), the designer behind one of menswear’s best-selling brands in the 1970s and ’80s and the recipient of five Coty Awards for his expressive use of color and texture, left the fashion business more than a decade ago to concentrate on a signature line of home furnishings. This fall, however, he returns to his roots with a new collection, Alex­ander Julian Private Reserve, which debuts at Neiman Marcus, Richard’s of Greenwich, and Andrisen Morton in Denver. His new tailored sportswear is made of fine wool, cotton, suede, and cashmere, incorporating the rich color palette of California’s wine country. It also draws liberally from Julian’s vast design archive, including a new version of a convertible dress-to-casual shirt first introduced in the 1980s.

Julian, an oenophile and gourmet, says his collection is intended for a client with refined tastes. “He is a connoisseur who knows his way around a wine list and knows that Private Reserve is the top,” says the designer. To underscore the wine connection, Julian is also uncorking his own Alexander Julian Private Reserve red wine, a collaboration with winemaker David Elliott of Lan­caster Estate in, coincidentally, California’s Alexander Valley. Both the clothing and the wine carry a label with a sepia photo print of the designer’s 33-acre Connecticut estate, where the collection is designed. However, unlike the wine label, says Julian, the clothing label specifically reads: “Contains no sulfites.”

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