As the international fashion weeks roll out, we’re still processing everything we saw in New York – especially as a lot of it has shown up in London and Milan.
From bluemarine to seafoam, colors inspired by the sea are big for spring 2009. While blue and white are often used in combo, it’s anything but nautical – much more chic and streamlined.
Above are some of the more innovative blues we saw on the runways – from Jonathan Saunders, Tuleh and Peter Som. Tuleh took the colors of a seaside sunset straight from the landscape for his skirt suit and Som’s design captures all the colors of the ocean.
Blue is definitely going to be popular in its basic, primary-color incarnation. DKNY and Tadashi Shoji both had short, blue dresses floating down the runway in light, airy fabrics with lots of movement.
In fact, fabrics that move a bit like the waves seemed to be a popular way of helping the hues evoke images of the sea. Iodice did it with long, flowing gowns and Jonathan Saunders kept his short but still quite dressy. We love the shape of his dress and how the colors enhance it.
Now that the madness of New York Fashion Week has ended, I have a bit more time to contemplate what I saw walking down the runways. Florals were big again for spring, but there were fewer romantic gardens and more modern, artistic looks. I loved the long brushstroke stripe-y feel of the prints at Rodarte, Michael Angel and Diane von Furstenberg, above. While Kate and Laura Mulleavy used their swirling colors to create movement and add shape to stunning effect at Rodarte, Michael Angel’s watercolors were my favorites. The fluidity of the print gives the fluidity of the fabric an extra oomph, making it more chic than boho. Sure, a hippy-chick might wear these shapes, but she’s no flower child living in a van. She has a more meticulous, cultivated look. Diane von Furstenberg’s prints were just perfect for a party, they look fun and easy. Just what you want after being released from winter’s layers.
To see how desigers rethought florals for 09, keep reading. Also, to see more pics and a review of each collection, click on that designer’s name.
Tadashi Shoji’s Spring 2009 collection was perfect for the girl who wants to look beautiful without standing out too much. With the exception of a few pieces done in sunburst yellow (a very nice shade that is in between lemon and fluorescent yellow) and ultramarine, most of the pieces remained in a neutral color palette and without too many frills.
Carmen Marc Valvo’s Spring 2009 collection was aptly titled Plain Geometry. Though there was nothing simple about CMV’s intricately overlaid fabrics and seemingly effortlessly draped gowns, the collection had a clear emphasis on basic geometry. A handful of looks utilized satin ribbons woven to create a checker board of squares — a black silk ribbon basket woven strapless cocktail dress and an ivory basked woven one-piece swimsuit stood-out from the bunch.
Michelle Smith’s Milly collection was a complete throwback to the 1960’s. The models strutted down the runway in yellow, purple and green. The flowy dresses and tops were made of chiffon and tie-dyed to reflect an era that designers seem to replicate often.
Ok, so I’m not going to lie, I was a bit worried about the Joanna Mastroianni show. While waiting in line, I saw some unfortunate outfits. Several, actually. There was a woman wearing metrocards on her pants – dangling metro cards. [Editor’s Note: Those pants are clearly this woman’s signature style because I saw them earlier in the week as well.]
But I was highly impressed with the show, mainly because I love bright colors paired with black and white. Read on for more.
It was all in the details for Vera Wang yesterday, when she presented her spring ’09 collection which centred around the accessories. Playing to her signature strengths of draping and delicate embellishment, it was the jewellery that made the biggest statement. Thickly encrusted motorcycle and bib necklaces hung low against loosely layered shift dresses, and stretchy leggings. It may not appeal to everyone’s taste, nor will it create the biggest ripples at fashion week, but it was a pleasure to see Wang transform simple shapes into things of beauty.
Reem Acra’s Spring 2009 collection was all about vibrantly bright colors and semi-precious stone detailing – sound like a fairy tale? Indeed many of the looks did look straight-out of a fairy tale, but not in a good way. A chunk of the collection with its abundance of embroidery, uber bright fuchsias, sea blues, apple reds and gold veered towards the costume and even tacky costume at that.
Iodice sent a sea of beautiful, flowing dresses down their spring 2009 runway. Fabrics were flowing but had some weight to them, and a subtle sheen. There were also lovely, glowing satins. We’d love to see this designer get on the mainstream radar with some red-carpet love, and there were plenty of subtly draped options. Their glamorous swimwear in classic silhouettes also deserves a mention.
Chris Benz showed his spring 2009 collection in a small theater on the west side, and the clothes definitely matched the vibe. Pretty tops and dresses that could easily go a little too Sunday brunch to be cool pass the test with interesting layers and pairings. Saturated tropical pinks and oranges were muted with soft neutrals and pale blues and yellows. It seems like spring is going to be a very colorful affair.
Ports 1961 definitely sent one of the more interesting collections of spring 09 down the runway, with headgear that resembled felt Thanksgiving craft projects and tribal-inspired styles in shiny primary colors. Not to mention that all of this was set to the musical stylings of Cowboy Junkies. It was a lot to take in. But, there was a lot to like about the more understated pieces seen on the catwalk, too.
Click image to enlarge. [Images: courtesy of Diesel Black Gold]
With show after show of colourful femininity, the Diesel Black Gold show was a refreshing change, presenting an edgy punk-meets-classic collection. Dotted with distressed denim that has been sprayed with bleach, menswear was given a new lease of life and interpreted for women. Add some low-slung cummerbunds, tailored military jackets, and feather millinery for some 19th century sophistication, and you have a casual too-cool-for-school range, sure to be a winner with the young crowd. Take for example, Daisy Lowe and Mark Ronson (pictured above, left) – this fashion week’s hottest couple, seen just about everywhere.
Swimwear fashion isn’t really my thing, I usually order one swimsuit a year from J.Crew in some variation of a V-neck or key-hole style. But watching the pretty, sexy styles parade by at Gottex had me thinking about branching out.
Messiahs of the red carpet gown, Marchesa, presented their spring/summer ’09 collection not on the catwalk but at an installation this week. As some have put it, it seems a shame not to see these pieces of artwork float about on the runway, but still, they are more than worth the pause in an otherwise too-hectic-for-words fashion week schedule.
Another late show…let’s add it to the list! So, I waited ONE hour for the Max Azria show to start. Who knows what they were doing back there! There were a few great pieces but the collection was pretty simple. First they showed a collection of leather jackets and vests. They all that came to a “V” at the bottom and had monster shoulder pads. They looked similar to that one vest Miss. Britney Spears wore in her “Toxic” video.
My eyes are still flickering from the Nanette Lepore show. There was only one row separating me from Lauren Conrad and Lo Bosworth of The Hills and the photogs were clicking-away right up until the very last second before the show. How celebrities don’t get migraines from all these flashes I’ll never understand. Migraine aside, Nanette Lepore presented a collection that mixed neutrals with pops of color (poppy, lime green, teal, hibiscus, leaf, stone), and prints for a floral-filled, feminine and romantic Spring collection that was heavy on the ruffles, paisley and stripes.
Being my first time at fashion week, going to my first show – Tony Cohen – was a bit overwhelming. Surrounded by all the beautiful people and clothes was intimidating for the first day. I was a bit unsure of myself , wondering if I was going to be able to get “in.” After about an hour of waiting for standing room, we all were allowed into the room.
Peruvian Shumaq designer Vanessa Barrantes (who is a total sweetheart BTW!) got her inspiration from a recent trip to Mexico in a small beach town. “I was feeling relaxed, and in turn the look became relaxed and sexy,” she told me.” They are fun and the dressing and shorts are fitted to the body, high-waisted with emphasis on the waist. I wanted clothes that felt good. ”
Using eco-friendly organic cotton as the basic fabric for her clothes, with denim and jersey, she has created a line that is flirty, playful, summery, sexy and feminine. The emphasis is on what feels good. And believe me, these clothes looked great! The dazzling palette of sherberty colors was sweet and fresh, hinting at happiness.
If you’re looking for flirty, feminine and fun, Tracy Reese never disappoints. Plus she puts on a good show.
When the strings of lights above the runway slowly lit up as the music began to pulse, everyone eagerly anticipated the first look.
The theme was soft, wearable dresses that translated to everyday wear; clothes that were effortlessly chic and sassy. Soft chiffon and slim ruffles combined with fitted belted waists added an ethereal look that just made the models merely float down the runway.
For more on Tracy Reese and who was front row (hint: an Ugly Betty star) keep reading.
Tory Burch showed her Spring 2009 collection at the Matthew Marks Gallery in Chelsea this afternoon and I literally could spot the ladies who lunch crowd that was gathered waiting for the show to start (decked-out in head-to-toe Burch), a mile away. Backstage I got some scoop on the Redken hair products and Bobbi Brown cosmetics that were used to achieve the looks – check out ShinyGloss for those details.
When it came to the collection itself, I was most impressed by the accessories (no surprise given that Tony Burch is a CFDA-award winner for her accessories). The gold-spiked cuff bracelets and skinny belts were very reminiscent of Hermes Collier de Chien and were instantly eye-catching, as were the lust-worthy stacked gold bracelets, bold chain necklaces, sexy pumps, straw fedoras, and handbags embellished with neon-detailing (yes, it seems that neon will once again be back next spring).
Matthew Williamson’s show Tuesday morning exploded with colour. Pinks, oranges, blues, purples and greens burst onto the runway in a rainbow of hues. Wearable separates included cigarette trousers, bubble minis, maxi dresses, and tailored jackets. But it was his shiny PVC that really got folks talking.
“When the economy is not that good, we need to achieve, to do something even more special,” Carolina Herrera told the AP. And special it was indeed. The designer put on a show of feminine sophistication in her signature dresses – a favourite on the red carpet by the likes of Renee Zellweger, who sat on the front row after keeping the crowds waiting. Details in ruffles and beading added a luxe element to Herrera’s after-five gowns, and the odd tuxedo jacket thrown over the top reminded me of the end of many evenings. All that was needed was the models to walk along, bare-footed with heels in their hands.
Preen’s design duo was minus one very important person over the weekend. Thea Bregazzi was forced to remain in London, expecting the arrival of her first child, leaving husband and design partner, Justin Thornton to oversee their New York show alone. Little de-constructed mini dresses were the theme of the day, panelled with sheer mesh to show of that extra bit of skin, and laced together like corsetry in cut-out sections.
I have to say it. More bandage dresses? Are you serious? Yes, the Herve Leger collection was beautiful. And yes, the dresses had a new look, assymetical lines and some new cutouts and details. And they still look beautiful. But do we really need more of them? They’ve been all over, from the red carpet to the sidewalk, on every celebrity. I had a difficult time seeing past their continued presence to think about the rest of the collection. But I’ll do my best.
Donna Karan celebrated her 20th anniversary collection yesterday morning, in front of a celeb-packed audience including Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci and Nicole Richie – who wore a DKNY striped tank to suit the show’s theme. Karan’s spring 2009 offering was a fun nod to New York, even right down to the gold DKNY plate necklaces – a Carrie Bradshaw reference.
See a catwalk video of the collection after the jump…
The melodious blend of flowy silky fabrics and subtle shiny jewelry made Ashleigh Verrier a hot topic on Saturday afternoon in the Salon at Bryant Park. Even though there was a hurricane raging outside, dripping water and umbrellas everywhere, the crowd was more than ready for Verrier.
The models were all quite glossy with dewy checks, bright lips and messy behead, but the soft mauves, silvery grays and mix of black/white and color exploded onto the runway while they strutted to pop rock.
Style.com calls them the new Y & Kei, and this new Seoul-based duo seems ready to make the prediction reality. This show is the surprise hit of my fashion week. Okay, it’s only day two, so we’ll see. But the pleating of all widths and textures, soft watercolor prints, beading and precious buttons had us enthralled. With reduced seating in the already small promenade in the tents and a lack of celebrity-wattage this show had the feel of a special, exclusive find.
The video above showcases the colors and silhouettes, but to see more of the fabulous details (trust us, you’ll watch this girl as she walks away) keep reading!
Charlotte Ronson may not be the most famous of the Ronsons in tabloid culture, but she had enough celebs (including her family) at her show to fill the pages of People. But I already regailed you with tales of the front row and am ready to tackle the fashion. Fortunately or not, the two seem tied together, however. Whether Charlotte was inspired by Lindsay Lohan or vice versa I don’t know. But there was a lot of that party girl’s brand of sloppy-T-shirt chic on this runway.
We saw more play between body-concious designs and fuller, more billowy proportions at Abaete today. With tight-fitting dresses and what can only be considered biker shorts filling out a major part of the collection, it was a little difficult to resolve those styles with the more doll-like proportions of some pieces. The dress above is one of those that managed to pull off the more curve-hugging shape without looking like activewear.
For pictures, more of my backstage experience and an exclusive runway video, keep reading!
Rabid fashion fans hauled their cookies all the way downtown today, as they will only for shows at the illustrious Bumble & Bumble downtown space. Good thing they provided such delicious macaroons once we got there.
The occasion? The Liz McClean show. McClean showed her background as a stylist with the easy-to-put-together pieces in the collection, sprinkled with rock and roll influences. Our favorite pieces? The whispy silk ballet skirts that came in black, orange and gray.
BCBG Max Azria was the second show of the day today, and the designer continued to offer fuctional pieces for womens’ everyday wardrobes. Expanding on the fluid silhouette of last season, BCBG went a little hipper and less ladylike with the shapes. And everything in jersey – dresses, long and short jumpsuits and pants. Truth be told, clingy jersey dresses just aren’t my thing. But Sharon just loved them (look out for some reviews from her next week!) so those more inclined to that sort of thing will probably be pleased. Check out more pics, and a video, for yourself after the jump, and let us know what you think in the comments!
Aussie designer Michael Angel was the first show on the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week schedule, and he started things off with chic aplomb. The show was a study in contrasts – but not in the way you might think. Each piece was a cohesive design, but the show fluctuated between slinky-sexy body-conscious silhouettes and more freeflowing (but still sexy) shapes. The maxi dress is going nowhere if Michael Angel has anything to say about it. He reinvented the piece with a more polished, less boho incarnation in painterly prints to die for.
To check out more looks from the show, continue reading.
Part of the fun of fashion shows held outside the tents is getting to see some of the fabulous venues around New York City. (We can’t wait to tell you about the downtown Bumble & Bumble space after Liz McClean later!) But what is with the setting stealing the show? First Lorick’s fabulous sets and then Be EcoChic presents its collection in the Hall of Biodiversity at the American Museum of Natural History.
But, Be EcoChic had celebrity on its side. Who’s going to be looking at the giant whale poised over the runway when Alek Wek is strutting her stuff?
It’s hard to separate Lorick, the sweet and sophisticated fashion line of model Abigail Lorick, from Gossip Girl. Especially when Eleanor Waldorf, for whom Lorick is the ghost designer on the show, is walking around.
But the Gossip Girl connection wasn’t the only surreal scene at the installation-style show. Adorable, elaborate sets were conjured up all over the space with models lounging, drinking tea and nibbling on cake, as seen above. The detailed scenes threatened to outshine the clothes until you realized each piece was just as detailed.
Much buzzed about since her recent capsule collection for Urban Outfitters, LA designer Geren Lockhart presented her Spring 2009 Geren Ford collection at NYC’s Bowery Hotel tonight. The collection was a nod to artist Vanessa Beecroft and her influence was apparent not only in the presentation, which had the models posing on white pedestals, but in the printed scarves that graced many of the models. While the collection was nothing innovative in the way of silhouette, the collection, with its loose-fitting shift dresses, pleated shorts, drawstring tanks and ruffled tops, was utterly wearable.