Archive: » 2013 » September

Rosie Assoulin

Fresh out of the gates, Rosie Assoulin emerged at the front of the pack of new designers to watch this week following her impressive Resort debut, which was picked up by retailers including Moda Operandi, Fivestory, and the Webster. Her Spring presentation (which drew a crowd of top editors, buyers, and street-style stars) proved that her initial success wasn't just a case of beginner's luck. Architectural volumes and modern eveningwear separates were the takeaways from Assoulin's premier collection, and she expanded on those ideas here while introducing more color to the mix (after sticking to a predominantly...

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Wes Gordon

Moving from presentation to runway is a big deal for a young designer; the transition has a very "coming up from the minors" feeling about it. Wes Gordon made the leap for Spring, and proved that he was ready to play with the professionals. "Casting was interesting," he said in his studio a few days before the show. "When I asked the models to walk, there was an actual reason to see them do it." Gordon was just a babe in the nineties, but like many of his peers, he was inspired by that era—particularly the elegance of the supermodels and, even if he didn't mention her, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy....

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Marc by Marc Jacobs

At the Marc by Marc Jacobs show today, there were girls whose lank tresses were snared at the throat by knotted scarves. The boys' scarves, on the other hand, trailed neatly ironed from their back pockets. They wore guitar picks around their necks; the girls had signet rings. There was a huge emphasis on shine: Lurex, satin, sequined stars, and metallic trainers worn with everything. And there was an attractive used quality to it all: a washed satin top and shorts, a suit with the languor of pajamas, a coat in crinkly metallic leather, a silver leather bomber jacket. As usual, the styling of Jacobs...

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Naeem Khan

Last thing first: Naeem Khan closed his show with a sneak peek at his upcoming bridal line, launching in October. There will be lace. Back to the beginning: Khan found inspiration in all things Latin this season, a sweeping landscape that was home to Frida Kahlo, flamenco dancers, Mexican churches, and the Moors. The models were crowned in Kahlo's signature headband braid (no unibrows), and the dresses dripped with vermilion roses. There were a few distinctly Spanish silhouettes—like an embroidered georgette peasant blouse and trumpet skirt—and a few distinctly Khan silhouettes, including...

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Sachin + Babi

After several seasons of experimenting with ideas all over the map, Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia reined it in for Spring and nailed down their message with a new collection that successfully synthesized their signature specialty fabrications with clean silhouettes. The opening series of crisp white cotton pieces, including an easy tunic dress, boxy jacket, and on-trend culottes, were decorated with peekaboo floral motifs created by lattice stitching. Blooms were incorporated throughout the lineup, but they were done in distinctly abstract ways. Blown-up magnolia petals looked graphic embroidered onto...

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Sass & Bide

After showing in London for the past five years, Sass & Bide made a triumphant return to New York fashion week (it's in good company, with fellow Aussies Dion Lee and Zimmerman also joining the NYFW calendar). The move was well timed, as the opening of the label's first stateside flagship will be on Broome Street in late November. As usual, the message was in the mix this season. "You can't put the collection in any particular category," said designers Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke backstage. "It's a considered clash—a polished confusion." Combining masculine and feminine elements,...

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Dennis Basso

Dennis Basso's dress business is picking up. "I've immersed myself in it," he said the day before his Spring runway show. All those gowns have to be worn somewhere, and Basso says he gets orders for everything from mother-of-the-bride ensembles to debutante gowns. But part of this dress push is most certainly a red-carpet play, too, which might be why he drew from the glamour of Old Hollywood favorites like Ava Gardner and Jane Russell to guide this season. Good thing the staid reference wasn't literal. "This wasn't about creating a vintage look," he said. And the collection was better for it. The most...

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Sophie Theallet

"Sensuality and seduction." That, according to Sophie Theallet, was the point of her Spring 2014 show. And you didn't need the designer to spell it out for you, either. Right off the bat, with a first look all in red tones that featured a clingy sheer knit top and a skirt with flounces fit for flamenco, she established a tone of ripe sexuality. Theallet being Theallet, this was handled in a decorous, grown-up way, with an emphasis on the subtleties. The waistband of that flounced skirt, for instance, was made from ultra-pliant glove leather. Likewise, the silks this season were hammered, and the knit...

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J.Crew

Think "summer" and the mind will instantly unpack a handful of stock images: surfers, girls in bikinis, cutoffs, spaghetti-strap sundresses. Summer is the casual season. But as J.Crew's Tom Mora noted at today's presentation, 'twas not ever thus. Though the latest Crew womenswear collection was inspired, in part, by California surf culture, Mora got somewhere richer and stranger by strapping that reference to a theme of summer on the Venice Lido, circa the turn of the twentieth century. "Back then, going to the beach meant dressing up," he pointed out. "It was very polished." With that in mind,...

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J.Crew

Can clothing have a complex? This season's J.Crew menswear collection didn't come off as neurotic—much the opposite, in fact—but in certain ways it did seem to be enacting the central anxiety of the modern urban male. To put it plainly, what is the nattily dressed, desk-jockeying, city-living guy supposed to do with his vestigial ache for rusticity? What was man created for if not to head for the country and achieve a meditative oneness with the great outdoors? Well, thank goodness for the national parks. Frank Muytjens seized on America's national parkland for inspiration this season,...

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