I’d like to start this by saying that I am so over New York Fashion Week and, as I write this, we are only halfway through. I’ve had this conversation with a few people already and I have come to the realization that fashion week, now more than ever, is just a spectacle and not at all reflective of the fashion industry as a whole. I am disappointed to see coverage on the shows focusing on the models or the afterparties instead of the clothes (often with zero mention of the actual designs), coming from actual media brands and magazines all the way down to microinfluencers on social media. It is now totally clear that fashion week is just a marketing vehicle, but who for? In my opinion, fashion week is about models and influencers building their brands even more than actual fashion brands. It is all about what shows people have attended (and sat front row, and snapchatted, and Instagrammed) and what model is going to be the newest socialite with the most followers online. It’s really sad to be honest. However, I think that actual buyers and people who attend the shows because it is their business to be there are still, obviously, working hard and are detached from the whole circus of it – Man Repeller actually published a good piece about the Alexander Wang show which I felt summed this up, sort of. This New York Times article was a fantastic take on this topic too. Anyway, I’m going to follow a similar format as I did last season and post images of looks that I particularly loved and also link you to some others. Let fashion month commence!
I’ve been really terrible at blogging for the entire month of February. I have a zillion drafts saved with various titles about events that happened throughout the month, yet I have no desire to write about them now because it’s just too late. Like, aren’t we all over New York Fashion Week? Hasn’t the shock of Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy departure worn off? I feel like instead of typing out my thoughts on these events, I’ve discussed them in person, either with my friends or in school. That being said, I’ve kept a long-running note on my Macbook with various observations that I’ve made throughout fashion month so instead of breaking my posts up by city, I’m just going to put it all in one post in a rambling post. I hope you enjoy!
Ok, so the exciting thing about New York Fashion Week was the fact that Raf Simons was back. Even though he had only been gone for such a small period of time, it seemed like an eternity in fashion when everything moves so quickly and a few seasons feels like 4 years. I personally liked his debut ready-to-wear collection for Calvin Klein, especially the transparent plastic over the trench coats (reminded me of the Doom Generation which I was obsessed with when I was fifteen) and the heavy focus on outerwear. However, I can see that the #mycalvins will be a thing of the past and that sucks but the Moonlight cast underwear ads are incredible so we’re all good. Alexander Wang was another show that I really liked, especially these two looks (a and b), and the venue was cool. The long leather coats at The Row were super cool. I loved this suit at Jason Wu. A theme I noticed throughout NYFW was grey blazers, in some form of check. This made me mad at myself because I used to own the most perfect vintage Ralph Lauren one a few years ago but I gave it to charity because I rarely wore it. Big mistake. I normally love Area’s lookbooks but they moved to a show format this season which was kind of sad actually but it does show growth for the brand. I’m obsessed with this coat from Proenza Schouler. Anything that combines vinyl-looking leather and fur/shearing, I’m onboard with. Narciso Rodriguez’s collection was very much how I wish I dressed on a day-to-day basis.
By the time London Fashion Week rolled around, I was in LA. During that time I barely touched my phone for social media or email purposes. I just used the Maps app for directions.
I didn’t like the runway at Gucci because I think it was too distracting for the actual showgoers, plus there were too many looks. The standout ones were a, b, and c – I’m so happy about the return of snakeskin boots. The colors at Max Mara were perfect. Honestly everything about that show just looked so good. The styling was sublime. I was so into the red boots at Fendi. I want a pair already, it was an instant sale (if only I could afford them). This coat at Prada is to die for. The dry-cleaning theme at Moschino was hilarious, they even put a wire hanger in the model’s hair.
This dress at Jacquemus is so beautiful, it reminded me of vintage Chanel with a twist. This brand has the best IG. I love the new Saint Laurent, even if it’s just 80s redone. I’m so desperate for a pair of the logo earrings. From this collection I loved the sparkling mini dresses (a and b), the latter of the pair being a better version of the one I wore on New Years. Surprisingly I found myself liking a lot of looks at Off-White. I say surprisingly because although I like Virgil Abloh and admire his work ethic, I have never been the biggest fan of his clothes. However, this collection was interesting to me, even though it was entitled “Nothing New” I thought it was different for him. I want to wear this look, but I also like a, b, and c. This coat at Mugler was 80s power shoulders to the max and I thought it was so fun. Balenciaga was actually interesting to me. Normally I’m not a big fan of Demna Gvasalia but this collection was great, particularly a, b, and c. It was sad to see a Givenchy collection without Riccardo Tisci (I wasn’t ready for his departure to be a real thing) but I do like how they directly referenced pieces from his tenure. It was a nice tribute. Louis Vuitton rented out the Louvre for the show and honestly this is an instance where the design standard matched the location. I loved it. In particular, a and b.
It has been a crazy few weeks. This is one of the first posts that I’m actually writing in New York since I arrived here. For a quick update, I moved around 4 weeks ago now. I lived in dorms for two weeks then I decided to move out on my own and here I am in my own apartment now. Truly living the dream. Anyhow, I missed fashion week sign up because I was apartment hunting then signing a lease. I’m a little bit disappointed that I had to keep up to date with things just via the internet instead of being there to experience it myself, but hey there’s always fashion week again in February. FIT is great though as they help you get involved in a variety of shows. I have friends who did the Tommy Hilfiger rehearsal show and got to walk the runway to help them time the music and rides to the marks hit by the models. It sounded super cool.
It is very strange because this is the first time that I’ve ever been in the same city as fashion week when it was actually happening yet I felt very disconnected from it. The only show I streamed was Alexander Wang, I barely looked at the Vogue Runway app, and I even scrolled past a bunch of images on Instagram. I was very distracted with other things unfortunately. However, I’ve had a look through literally every collection available on Vogue Runway (I always have an urge to type style.com here) and here are my thoughts.
It is strange to think that a year ago Brandon Maxwell was just Lady Gaga’s stylist. He has come so far in such a short time. Think of all of the celebrities who have worn his designs recently: for example, Naomi Campbell at the VMAs (she wore two different looks). I really like what he does. His designs are slightly old Hollywood but feel modern. He uses all of my favourite fabrics (you know I die for silk and satin), he picks colours that I would pick, and he chooses shapes and silhouettes that I love. Basically, I think we have a similar aesthetic. It is nice to know that there’s another designer at fashion week whose show I can look forward to seeing. This season my favourite look would have to be the black pant suit with the silk, plunging top underneath. Super sexy. I also loved the second look, the white dress with the tiered, flouncy skirt.
As I’ve said a million times on here before, I love Sally LaPointe. I want to dress like her woman. In fact, a lot of the time I already do. Her designs speak to me and I feel like they are made for me, which is what I’m always looking for when it comes to fashion week. I want to see pieces that feel very me. This season she did a lot of cool embellishments with beading and feathers, plus she had some cool corsetry that wasn’t too extreme for me to feel intimidated by. The only thing I didn’t like was the lace up pants but that’s something I’ve always hated, not just by her. I also liked how there was a little bit more daywear in this collection. For example, the floaty shorts that she showed in a few colourways could be worn during the day more casually, with a cotton t-shirt, or in the evening paired with the embellished tops as shown in the show. The look with the cropped khaki pants and the sheer blouse would also work during the day. Overall, a great collection from one of my true favourites. I hope her brand continues to grow.
As always, I livestreamed the Alexander Wang show. One day I’ll be there I hope but for now the livestream is almost as exciting. There was a lot of cool lingerie inspired pieces, hidden details like the floral linings on skirts, a fun soundtrack, and the afterparty looked dope. I didn’t like the neons but loved the lace up details, even though they weren’t entirely new. The surplice necklines were also appreciated as the whole robe style is my favourite look. I cannot count the amount of tops and dresses I own with this look because it looks sexy, even if you have small boobs. Once again Wang produced a commercial, sellable collection and that’s what I like about his brand. It’s accessible but still exclusive in a way. You feel cool wearing it.
As soon as I spotted this collection I knew I had to mention it. It was one of the few collections this fashion week that stopped me scrolling and made me really look at it. Let me start this off by saying I have never seen any Dion Lee clothes in store so I have no idea what it really looks like. Based off the runway images, it is cool. However, I’d like to make an effort to see some in person so I’m going to research some New York based stockists. The first thing that struck me was the colours of the four opening looks. Beige. My favourite neutral. Couple the colour with another element that I love, belts, and I knew we were onto a winner.
And the rest…
I loved Wes Gordon‘s lookbook. It was cool seeing places that I’ve actually been used as the locations for the shots. Also, the clothes were super pretty and very me. I can see myself in a lot of the pieces, unmodified, and that’s rather rare when it comes to “fashion week” clothing.
Narciso Rodriguez is a brand that I don’t think gets nearly enough hype. Every single season he produces a collection of beautiful, streamlined, wearable pieces that I can imagine a lot of people wearing. I’d love to know how well the line sells as I can imagine it being the unassuming kind of designer goods that wealthy people actually buy. This silver fluid slip is to die for.
I would love this dress (or the Zara copy, let’s be honest) from Carolina Herrera because it makes me think of something Grace Kelly would’ve worn back in the 50s. Very Hitchcock but less restrictive. I love anything with a matching belt.
I expect to see this Proenza Schouler look on many magazines covers/in editorials next Spring. It’s very striking.
I found a few items in the Yeezy show kinda cool, but I think that may be because I was still on a high from his concert when I seen the show images. I stood in line for an hour for a t-shirt. I sipped the Kool-Aid.
Hellessy’s interpretation of the off-the-shoulder trend was the best I’ve seen.
Area always have the coolest lookbooks. I think it’s the lighting that does it. I don’t even need a show from them because their lookbooks highlight the product even more effectively I think.
I really liked Oscar de la Renta this season then I found out that it was the designers from Monse who did the show. It all makes sense now, especially given that when I seen Monse my initial thoughts were favourite show so far. It is definitely a brand to keep an eye on over the coming seasons.
Jonathan Saunders’ first collection for Diane von Furstenberg was interesting. I found the shapes more youthful than usual. It was cool but still DVF. I especially liked the two tone wrap dress with the toffee and the black and white stripes. Very cool.
There’s something about American fashion that clicks with me; It is something that London fashion cannot do. It is an intangible thing, a mood perhaps, that resonates with me more than British fashion does. That sucks for me, you know, being British, but it also means that I know I can connect with the brands and the overall style in New York. Now I know what you’re thinking, there are so many different styles in this city, how can you connect with it all? What I mean is that everything, or most things, shown at New York Fashion Week are wearable, commercial, saleable – whatever adjective you’d like to use. That is not to say that the creativity isn’t there, because it is, but it seems to be that American designers create things that are of use in daily life and that don’t need to be changed completely before being sold in stores. I like that. I’m all for a conceptual idea, as long as that can translate into something wearable. Keep in mind that the two biggest fashion schools in New York – FIT and Parsons – both teach technical design and also business skills alongside the whimsical, imaginative part of fashion design. Maybe that’s what gives New York designers an edge – that, plus being in one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
I have mixed emotions about Riccardo Tisci moving the Givenchy show to New York. Part of me screams “yaaaayy” because it means we get to see it sooner, but part of me is also sad because it is one less show to look forward to in Paris. I understand the move though. You see, one of Givenchy’s most iconic moments originated in New York – think croissant, diamonds, French twist, and black dress – so it makes sense to bring the brand back here.
The show, held on September 11th, was a celebration of and call for tolerance. Tisci brought music from different cultures and played them in one show to show we can all live in harmony, and with a location which provided unobstructed views of the Freedom Tower and the light shining from the spot of a horrific American tragedy, it seemed like a fitting message. The venue itself was something that boosted this show. The sunset was beautiful and the set-up allowed for thousands of guests, many of whom were fans who won tickets; when I saw that announcement online I was insanely jealous of anybody living in New York. The actual runway itself seemed rather perilous, especially for Joan Smalls in her insane gown with fur all around the skirt – beautiful but very impractical.
The actual clothes were stunning too. I love the undone, bedroom look and I feel that Tisci really tapped in on it with this collection. There was lots of lace and satin, and I felt that everything was just soft and feminine. I can imagine that lace trimmed cami tops and slip dresses, at the very least, will be popular in fast fashion stores as in each collection that Tisci puts out, at least one item becomes a trend. For example, the lace-up body suits of two seasons back are still everywhere (and worn by average people). I predict that a lace trimmed cami will be this season’s equivalent (or at least I hope so). I also hope that the draped shoulders on many of the tops is picked up on because it is such a pretty look that I’d love to recreate myself. The basic colour palette actually made this show more likeable for me as I do tend to stick to blacks and neutrals. If I were a buyer, I’d take a lot of pieces from this show and order lots of them; it is a wearable and likeable collection, that’s what sells. Perhaps one of the less commercial but all-in-all beautiful looks in the show was the feathered jacket and bejewelled top worn by Magdalena Frackowijk. The detailing is just beautiful with the ombre feathers and the jewels shine when the light hits them. I feel like a celebrity could have quite the red carpet moment in this – I’d like it to be Lady Gaga, wearing the long brown wig that she frequently wore circa 2010. I just love Riccardo Tisci and I always know that I can count on him for a great collection.
Finally, the show had the best dressed guests (wearing Givenchy, of course). My personal favourites were Carine Roitfeld and her daughter Julia – I’d take either of their outfits – and also Uma Thurman.
Also, this may be a slightly unpopular opinion but I love the menswear. It is sleek and unfussy. Tisci made a double-breasted suit look modern which is no mean feat considering that they usually conjure up images of the 80s. Oh, and it helps that the models are always so handsome.
I can say with confidence that Joesph Altuzarra is my favourite New York based designer. He has surpassed Alexander Wang, which for quite some time seemed impossible. Season after season, I see him building a strong brand which I think will just continue to grow. You can already see him establishing a DNA – skirt with high slits, the saddle bag, the sexy-but-not-vulgar aesthetic. Think of his Starfish skirt which you can now buy in a variety of colours; it is a style that is widely available on the high street now too. I’m not sure imitation is the best thing for a designer, especially with a fairly young brand, but it does show success because it means you’ve made something worth copying, something that a lot of people want.
This season, I can see his clothes on regular women. I can see myself in many of the pieces and I can see people I know in them too. Maybe that’s why the brand speaks to me. It isn’t just for celebrities going to events but real women who can wear them to their own events: work, parties, shopping, and restaurants – you name it. And the beauty of it is, single pieces can be bought and the outfit isn’t ruined. You can weave pieces in with items you already own and look just as good. That’s what makes a good collection, because realistically customers don’t buy full runway looks (unless they’re famous). People usually mix and match with things that are already in their wardrobes – even if magazines like to act like we do, people don’t change their entire wardrobe each season, we just add to it. The espadrille inspired heels were actually rather cool (Altuzarra had a Spanish influence this season) and the alligator coat was to die for. I hope both of these items get the editorial coverage they deserve.
I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love Zac Posen as a brand. I class him as America’s closest thing to a couturier as he designs the most beautiful ball gowns and they are so well constructed with boning and corsets. In fact, his design studio in New York is pretty much an atelier.
Something that Posen does well is ball gowns, yet this collection featured very few. However, it was still a knockout. In fact, it showed me that Zac Posen can do something other than eveningwear and it was more of a step back to his roots. It’s easy to forget that he began doing daywear. Since beginning his tenure designing at Brooks Brothers, Posen has been inspired to produce more daywear. Realistically, that’s where the sales are, and I think this collection will fare very well with the buyers.
There were quite a few day dresses that I thought were brilliant and there were actually a lot of looks that would’ve worked just as well in Paris. If Posen wasn’t such an American brand, Paris would be his stomping ground. A couple of pieces reminded me slightly of Raf Simons for Dior, or even vintage Christian Dior illustrations. I feel that even though this was a step away from the red-carpet gown heavy collections of late, there are still quite a few looks that I predict will be worn by stars.
My only criticism would be the slightly deconstructed slip dress with the satin and sheer panels – it seemed off-brand. I could see it more in a Haider Ackermann show than Zac Posen, but Ackermann would’ve used a less shiny satin. Overall, my favourite Zac Posen collection in years, purely because I see a lot that I’d want to wear myself.
CUSHNIE ET OCHS
I often cannot fathom how young this brand is, just because they have such a clear and consistent vision from season to season. As always, you can expect a killer colour palette which just pops and a good model selection – something that matters to me in a show. It often bugs me seeing the same bland models but Cushnie et Ochs usually have a good variety and also lots of models of colour which is important, not just for representation, because the colours just pop against their skin tone and that really brings the collection to life.
This collection was inspired by 90s hip-hop, a movement often ignorned in fashion in favour of grunge (what many people think the 90s was all about). I think someone in particular that needs to be acknowledged for their impact back then is Lil Kim. It is easy to ridicule her now, but you cannot deny that she was the coolest. She was a Versace queen, someone who wore high fashion designs in real life, and someone who was never afraid to take a risk. I often think that Miley Cyrus tries to do nowadays what Kim did back then. However, the moment has past and it has already been done.
My favourite look, in particular, was number 29 which is actually already shoppable (Moda Operandi is doing a trunk show). Cushnie et Ochs is a show that I always look forward to in New York, and a brand that I truly wish success for.
You can understand when looking at a collection like this why Thakoon is favoured my Anna Wintour. He makes damn nice clothes. When you think about it, NYFW really is a showcase for daywear – there’s only a few designers who really specialise in eveningwear – which actually makes sense as it is in line with the principles of American fashion. It has always been sportswear (not activewear, there’s a difference between the two) that has dominated the American market, with clothes that are made for everyday life. It takes a good designer to make daywear equally as exciting as eveningwear and I think that is something Thakoon has done this season.
This collection seems to be a true representation of what women would actually wear as opposed to some far-out notion or a design that only a Kardashian would go for. There were plunging necklines that remained classy, cool patterns, and a dress that reminded me slightly of the Emilia Wickstead one that Gigi Hadid wore to the VMAs. It was a similar style and looked phenomenal on the runway, but if I were a buyer I’d be requesting some changes before I put it in stores – which I suspect will happen anyway. However, a lot of the other looks were ready-to-wear straight off the catwalk with no changes needed.
There were two white jackets which really stood out to me. One of them was just an oversized, western style denim jacket which I think would look really cool with jeans and also dresses. The other was a floral textured jacket of a similar shape. The texture reminded me of the wallpaper in my aunt’s house. That sounds strange but I found it sweet. I really did love this collection.
And the rest…
Jason Wu brought back ruffles and flounce. I feel like this is a trend which has been emerging for a couple of seasons now but this may be what pushes it to the mainstream. I believe it is because Wu did it in subtle ways, as well as the more overt. For example, the green trench coat that opened the show combined fringing and ruffles but was still insanely beautiful and not at all weird looking (when I say fringing and ruffles together that sounds awful, I know). The fringing worked because it was more a fray than a fringe, and the coat looked so fresh because it was a shade of green that wasn’t khaki. There were some insanely intricate details (on the lace t-shirt style dress, for example) which made this collection so good, but you could easily miss them if you don’t look closely. There was one dress in this collection, the floral halterneck, which made me wish that Gossip Girl was still on the air. Blair Waldorf would’ve worn the hell out of it at a garden party in The Hamptons, I just know it.
Phelan’s debut collection was on another level for a debut, but then again, the designer is not fresh out of school but is actually an Alexander Wang knitwear alum – and you can tell this by her use of knitwear. The bubbled texture that was created on a jumper was very cool as was the brushstroke print on one of her dresses which had matching elbow length gloves, always a winner for me. I loved this fluid, body-hugging dress. It was my idea of sexy. However, I’d like to change the neckline to a curved plunging V: think Nicki Minaj’s VMA dress but not as low. I’d stop the plunge at the part where the shaping begins to mould around the chest.
Sally LaPointe, a favourite of mine for the past year or so, endorsed the duster coat. This is a move which some people may loathe (I know a lot of you are over them) but I’m still a fan as I feel they are so versatile, even though they don’t go with everything. Also, I loved the fur clutches. I love finding different ways to use fur.
The hair and make-up at Diane von Furstenberg was just like her own. I love that she has created a brand completely based around herself and what she would wear. The photo of Kendall Jenner that is circulating of her backstage is one of my favourites from fashion month thus far, as is the beauty shot of Aya Jones. I drew parallels between DvF and Jenny Packham’s show, mainly because the two of them featured black dresses and skirts with beautiful, intricate embroidery. In DvF’s case, it was gold butterflies which looked wonderful on Anna Cleveland, and for Jenny Packham it was silver flowers.
I find it quite odd that Vera Wang is primarily known for being a wedding dress designer because she makes such badass clothes. I actually thought her collection was cooler than Alexander Wang (the king of New York cool). I loved these looks – x, y, z.
Elie Tahari’s show reminded me of Olivia Palermo because there was so much there that I think she would wear. I feel like his woman is a glam New Yorker who wants looks that can translate into the office as well as after work fun – I don’t know if that was what he was going for, but if so, he hit the nail on the head. CG also reminded me of Olivia as it all looked so pulled together and that is how I’d describe her. I loved the short neck scarves which reminded me of Grace Kelly in an era gone by.
Rosetta Getty produced another strong lookbook, although the model’s poses were rather odd. I feel like she is the master of understated luxury – the kind of clothes that you buy because you want to wear high quality fabrics and stylish yet classic designs. Everything always looks so cosy.
I want Kerry Washington to wear this Naeem Khan gown, that’s all.
One of the dresses in Jonathan Simkhai’s collection reminded me of my morning commute and oddly that’s not a bad thing. The pattern of the mesh seemed to me like when the train is speeding across the rail bridge and you catch glimpses of the water but your view is obscured by the frame of the bridge – I may be way off on one here. There were a few really cool outfits here, namely these ones: 1, 2.
Prabal Gurung had one of the most beautiful colour palettes of the week, yet it is one that I would struggle to pull off myself. I adore the marigold, it is one of the most beautiful colours out there and looks absolutely magnificent on Lineisy Montero.
The biggest shock of the week for me was that I actually liked Jeremy Scott. I look forward to his collections for Moschino because they’re always a bit of fun and you need that relief by the time you get to Milan. However, I’ve never been a fan of his mainline. Oddly, I loved the hair and make-up. It reminded me slightly of the Barbie show for Moschino but instead of pink there were pale orange lips. It seemed like a parody or an exaggeration of the 60s. I actually thought there were a few pieces that would look really good if they weren’t worn as the full runway look. Take the opening outfit as an example: the top could be worn with both high waisted jeans and flats during the day or with a black pencil skirt and heels at night; the skirt could be worn with a black t-shirt and a pair of Nike’s. Finally, the squiggle pattern trench coat that Anna Cleveland wore was cool and I hope it gets an editorial moment next season.
The carnation coloured dresses at Oscar de la Renta were seriously stunning. I adore the colour and I also loved the crocheted (?) midi dress and the form fitting crinked dress that Aya Jones wore too.
It pains me to say this, but for two seasons in a row I haven’t loved Alexander Wang. He was always my favourite New York designer but I just don’t love this collection. This year is a big year for the brand as it is its 10 year anniversary. It feels insane to me that Alexander Wang is such a young brand (and that the designer is only 31) when you think of the influence that it has had on fashion. Growing up, the brand was always a name I’d heard because it was so big but I don’t think I realised just how new it was. To think of the success that Wang himself has had (he’s practically built an empire and he certainly has a cult-like following) just blows my mind. I wish him decades more success. As for this collection, not a huge fan, but I did love a few of the looks which I’ll insert below. And hey, the after party looked insanely fun – he scores points for that alone!
3.1 Philip Lim is another brand celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and for this show I can already see a couple of looks which will definitely be copied by Zara – this, for example.
I don’t think I ever realised that ADEAM’s designer was Japanese and it explains some of the influences to me a bit more. I love the whole cross over thing with straps like obi belts and dresses folded like origami. My favourite look was this black dress with the interesting straps. I know we’ve seen a lot of dresses with similar necklines recently (even in high street stores) but I think this is an interesting twist having the straps folded. ADEAM is a brand I plan to keep an eye on.
Lady Gaga’s stylist Brandon Maxwell made his debut this season and I have to say that I adored his collection. I love Lady Gaga’s style for the most part – she takes risks – and I found that this collection was practically made for her, but it would work for other people too. I think people forget that Gaga doesn’t just wear meat dresses nowadays. There was some sharp tailoring, cool tops, and dresses that could fit in many women’s wardrobes. I hope this gets picked up by stores and I am looking forward to seeing what price point it is at. I hope that perhaps in a few seasons time people will be talking about Maxwell because he’s produced several consistent collections, not just because he’s Lady Gaga’s stylist. Here’s the full collection.
I’d wear practically everything in Protagonist’s collection, as usual then.
Tibi is designed for every woman. It must be. Every time I see the collections I can think of a bunch of people who different items could suit. I like that in a brand. For example, nowadays Saint Laurent is slightly limiting as to who their customer could be (for a lot of the runway pieces anyway) but Tibi could suit every age group. I love the oversized white suit. I love a slouchy take on a women’s suit – makes it a bit less power dressing, a bit more badass.
New York is the most commercial of the four main fashion cities. London is known for the raw creativity and young talent, Milan for the sexy Italian fashion, and Paris for the elegance and established houses. This fashion week has been no different. It is still predominantly commercial (read: ready to wear in its most literal sense) but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I think it can be easy to think all the good designers show in Europe but that is not really true. Take Joseph Altuzarra, a fairly young designer who shows in New York, who loved and lauded in fashion – he shows in New York. I think the fact that New York’s schedule is so packed makes it more difficult to split the good from the bad, and it is definitely easy to be overwhelmed just looking at the amount of names. However, there are some shining stars on that show schedule that cannot be ignored.
I like Jason Wu, mainly because he is consistent. Season upon season, collections full of sophisticated designs are sent down the runway and they are often faultless. There are touches of fur all throughout the collection, along with crocodile, cashmere and silk. It all screams luxury yet it isn’t over the top. It is the type of collection that a rich woman will walk into the store and buy because she genuinely likes the pieces, materials and overall quality, not just the name on the tag. If I had the money, I think I could live in this collection. The outerwear is strong: a belted fur coat for the chilly evenings when you still want to look glamorous, a long overcoat for day-to-day usage. There are office appropriate looks, as well as looks for fancy dinners, nights out and even weekend-wear. It has everything that I could want… well minus denim. However, in the fantasy in my head I am a wealthy Manhattanite who flounces between her fun job at the office and charity galas and events. You know, the kind of stuff I’ll never actually do. However, I loved this collection and although it wasn’t exactly out-there, it was stunning. There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe if you execute things to a standard as high as this.
If Altuzarra as a brand is known for one thing it is the shoes. In particular, the lace up, high legged heels that Kim Kardashian has been sporting for the past year or so. Now they are sold everywhere from Zara to Missguided, with some high-end brands making their own version. Who did it first isn’t the point here, but Altuzarra certainly is loved for them. This season marked the debut of his first bag, and while it will be as popular as his shoes is the big question. I’m not so sure. It is a saddle shape, slightly (and I say slightly) reminiscent of the Gucci “Jackie” bag, with tassels and braiding, and it comes in many different colours and leathers. The collection itself was classic Altuzarra. Thigh high slits were rife, as were touches of fur (well more than touches, the fur was huge), mainly on jacket lapels. Some pieces felt a little bit heritage mixed with sex. There was Prince of Wales check blazers and coats teamed up with lace or sheer fabrics underneath. However, my personal favourite looks were towards the end of the show, and were more glitzy evening wear than country. In particular, I adored this wrap-front, sparkling ensemble including the shoes. The model twinkled as she walked.
The Olsen twins’ line is one of the most talked about luxury brands of the moment, and I understand why. Mary Kate and Ashley are no amateurs and have certainly proven themselves in fashion, no mean feat considering they are essentially celebrity designers. I wrote a post at length on this before if you’d like to read more. I think the understated luxury, the sophisticated but relaxed elegance, of The Row is essential in its success. The colour palette of browns worked brilliantly. I think I prefer brown and other neutral colours at the moment over black, they are softer and just look more comfortable. Yes, there may be such thing as too much black – something that I would never have admitted 6 months ago. Their oversized fit works for them, especially in the jumpers that I have heard nothing but positivity about. I adore the belted coats and the long, sweeping dusters. Even the tailoring didn’t look rigid. I’m crazy about this dress, minus the trousers underneath. Once again, another hit for The Row. I can bet already that it will be a best seller: if I were a buyer, I’d take the lot.
I stand by my review of Sally LaPointe’s pre-fall collection, and I will give a similar one to this show. Whilst it wasn’t quite as good as the previous collection (purely because I didn’t want it all, like literally every single piece like last season), it was still brilliant. The clothes are unfussy, relaxed and luxurious – for the modern woman, of course. There are fur accents on many pieces, something that is considered a signature of the designer, and a few strictly evening pieces. My favourite look was the white oversized v-neck and fringed skirt combo, paired with some grey mules.
There were few things wrong with this collection. The colour palette was spot on, the cosy-but-luxurious knit pieces worked brilliantly, the fur accents (made of shearling, not real fur) added a little something extra to the looks to take them from average to brilliant. Ralph Lauren is the King of American fashion and has been for decades, that is a given. Despite this, I sometimes find his collections boring. However, I loved this one. The little black dress in my collage (bottom row on the far right) is a piece that I want in my wardrobe when it comes out. It is timeless, elegant and just looks expensive. Also, I adore the suede trousers and belted cardigans, such a good look. I get the feeling that the fairly newly introduced Polo line for women was slightly unnecessary, especially when the mainline looks so good.
And the rest….
Kanye West x Adidas Originals was underwhelming. There were a couple of good pieces (this coat for example) and I did like the pointy-toed boots, but overall this whole body-stocking thing is just not for me nor were the wig caps…
I liked this particular outfit from Rebecca Minkoff’s Patti Smith-inspired collection. It looks so cosy.
I usually adore Alexander Wang but this time around I didn’t. I don’t know if it was the ridiculous boots that the models could barely walk in or the deathly stares that they were giving, but I couldn’t connect. I liked a few looks (such as x, y & z) but overall it was a miss for me.
Protagonist made its NYFW debut this season and produced a collection full of brilliant basics, the kind of pieces that every woman would want in their wardrobe. I particularly loved this shirt-dress as it is so nipped in at the waist.
I loved these two (x & y) looks at Diane von Furstenberg, and I felt like they were slightly unexpected, perhaps more overtly sexy than what the brand usually goes for. It helps that Grace Mahary is wearing one of the dresses as she makes pretty much anything looks great.
There were quite a few looks that I loved at Zac Posen, including this blue dress with the interesting neckline. I felt that this dress was slightly off-brand, it looks more clubbing-party-girl than I would imagine the Zac Posen client to be. Also, I am in love with the top of this dress. It is the most stunning thing ever and I just love the way the mesh moulds around the model’s body and forms sleeves. However, from the waist down I am not crazy about it.
Natasha Poly looked insane opening Michael Kors in this incredible fur coat. You could not miss it as it was all over Instagram. The whole look was strong, including the bag (and for the most part I hate Michael Kors bags).
This was said to be Proenza Schouler’s most creative, let-loose collection in years and I think that is clear to see through the designs. Some of it may not be the most wearable but at least it is gaining attention which, hopefully for the brand, will translate into sales – perhaps of accessories. I loved this dress, the tights underneath not so much.
I adored Tibi. The laid-back, day-to-day elegance of this collection was unparalleled by any other brands this fashion week. The clothes were soft and so wearable. Look at these this look for example; a cosy sweater but this time with knitted cropped pants. It took me a while to come around to this whole knitwear thing (especially on the bottom half) but I cannot resist the warmth that they provide, especially with the sub-zero temperatures that we are experiencing in many places.
Finally, I liked Marc Jacobs and the whole Diana Vreeland reference. Often I don’t get Marc’s own line and I much preferred his work at Louis Vuitton. Now that he focuses on his own line full time, it is the only offering we get from him. I loved these three looks (x, y & z)