Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NY Fashion Week #4

The trends this season are amazing consistent across the board. It's funny how so many different designers can feel the same thing at the same time, no? Sometimes I feel like they have secret designer tea parties (I just can't see Marc Jacobs or the Mulleavy sisters in a board room) and plot what they're all going to show next season. I know it's not real, but I think it's adorable.

Derek Lam, Vera Wang, Christian Cota: Although most of the fur this season has been dramatic and a little over the top, Derek Lam proves that you can do fur in a more restrained, feminine way. I love the idea of adding just a bit of texture and volume to a very office-appropriate pencil skirt/sweater combo. Vera Wang always does deconstructed glamour beautifully, but even she toned it down a little this season for slightly more minimalist shapes. The slightly baggy, slim, long john-esque pants are definitely here to stay, and they work so well with a slinky tee and an oversized but sleek knit sweater. The bib necklace adds just a bit fairytale whimsy on top. The blonde wigs at Christian Cota were distracting, but this dress reminds me of a more wearable version of Spring 2010 Givenchy. The cut is so similar, with the long, cuffed sleeves, deep v-neck, and the low defined waist and kicky skirt. The lighter fabric and livelier print here are a nice transition from the edginess of the Givenchy look into a girlier, easier to wear dress.

All Rodarte: The Mulleavy sisters. What is there to say? They're always genius. This season wasn't as cohesive or mind-blowing as their Spring collection (which was a little heavier and darker, compared to their very light and flowy Fall collection. Seasonal opposite day?), but even so, it was still fan-freaking-tastic. The sisters embraced their crafty sides, putting together a collection inspired by sleepwalking and composed of scraps and swirls of fabric. It could have looked haphazard, but instead it came across as eccentric but chic. A multi-print mini dress would work equally well for day or for night, and combines the mixed print and assymetrical draping trends so nicely. The floral legging/harem pants are also sure to be a hit. The knits were a little more polished this season, but equally cozy as they twisted in a sweater or across a skirt. But the highlight was the series of wedding dresses, all in a floating, floral printed white chiffon. There was something refined and yet deconstructed and ethereal about these dresses that hinted that perhaps the Rodarte sisters have grown up a little. I mean, who wouldn't want to walk down the aisle in that dress, socialites and hipsters alike?

Badgley Mischka, Badgley Mischka, Dennis Basso: I have to be honest, I'm not a big Badgley Mischka fan. Sure, they do glamourous and sophisticated, but it's not usually very directional or unique. The standout pieces for me were this LBD from their diffusion line, which manages to be simple and complicated at the same time, just the right balance of sweet and edgy, and this grey gown. The juxtaposition between the detail and structure of the top half with the messy, almost shredded-looking skirt is breathtaking. It embodies two totally different spirits, and could thus work for a wide range of red carpet attendees. In a season full of furs, I'm sure Dennis Basso was practically jumping for joy backstage. His take on the trend fell a little more on the traditional side, but the man still has a gift with furs that you don't see in a lot of younger designers. This fox fur capelet/jacket could come across as nouveau-riche or bulky, but the way it falls so gracefully over the models' shoulders keeps it classic and chic. And the high drama of that collar? I die.

Marc by Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Sophie Theallet: Marc by Marc is always adorable. This season he channeled the '90s movement towards miltiary surplus after the fall of the Berlin wall (that's a mouthful). I love his use of a very typical grungey, '90s print on a kicky, '60s/'70s inspired little dress. The peek of that petticoat out from under the skirt balances out all the edge of that exposed zipper perfectly. Narciso Rodriguez turned out gorgeous little geometric dress after little geometric dress. Usually I find his clothes a little stark and minimalist for my tastes, but this season they seemed younger, more free-spirited than before. The asymmetrical cut of this dress is really on-trend, and also cuts up the dress into very geometric shapes, but the pop of orange at the waist and the shimmer of the silver at the bodice livens all those hard shapes up. Wouldn't this be adorable on a young starlet at a more casual red carpet event? Like the Grammys! So cute. Sophie Theallet is always reliable for that relaxed, French-girl-chic look that we've all come to love. This mauve wrap jacket is such a fun take on the fur/aviator jacket trends, and would help any girl stand out in a sea of motorcycle-inspired jackets.

Sophie Theallet, Michael Kors, Michael Kors: The way this chiffon dress slips just off the shoulder and then flares out into that flowing, full skirt is simultaneously so fun and carefree and so flirty. The muted color palette keeps it grown-up and avoids any peasant dress references, but the boho shape ties it all back to the '70s. I even loved the Michael Kors show this year, guys! Americana sportswear is not my thing, but this year his show had an edge and a sense of luxury to it that made it all feel fresh and new. I would do terrible things to get my hands on that shredded fox fur anorak. The combination of the hot silhouette and on-trend fur is just killing me. There's something very badass and primal about it that works so well with the inherent luxuriousness of the fur. Michael even took a little trip to Studio 64 with a serious of black, sequined dresses. My favorite had a lovely boatneck and slits down the sleeves, exposing skin in an expected and classy way. The heavy belt anchors the drapey fit, and the slits at the hem keep the below-the-knee cut from feeling staid or stuffy.

Image Sources:
Derek Lam:, Vera Wang:, Christian Cota:, Rodarte:, Badgley Mischka:, Dennis Basso:, Marc by Marc Jacobs:, Narciso Rodriguez:, Sophie Theallet:, Michael Kors:

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