New York Fashion Week Spring 2010: Toni FrancescOctober 1, 2009
It was the New York debut of Catalonian designer Toni Francesc for Spring 2010, and the newcomer more than held his own with beautifully and thoughtfully constructed pieces in his Spring 2010 collection. While the influence of the collection’s inspiration – water – was clearly evident in sheer, drapey silks, it was the juxtaposition with stiff cottons in sharply folded lines that really brought out the elegance of the clothes. Having seen a lot of “origami” inspired pleating and shapes on the Spring 2010 runways, Francesc wielded the device more artistically and gracefully than many.
One possible detriment to the beautiful designs was the overuse of volume at the hips – much maligned across the industry for years. While it can often make for a more interesting silhouette, this is called ready to wear, and very few women are ready to wear extra layers of bubbling volume at their hips.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2010: Tory BurchSeptember 30, 2009
The Tory Burch Spring 2010 presentation was my last stop on my way out of town during New York Fashion Week. As I’m increasingly finding each season, Burch’s collection was a fun combination of uptown chic with a rock-and-roll edge that’s given a polished appeal. Critics who dismiss the designer as a safe staple for colorful tunics and logo flats are really missing out, because the closer I look at the details of Burch’s designs the more interested in them I become.
Being a less preppy sort, personally, I’m immediately drawn to the studded leather skirt (and okay, everything studded), over-the-top sparkly party blouses and dresses and chunky jewelry Burch put on display. But more classic types will find plenty of well-cut neutral basics and pops of bright color to satisfy Burch’s usual niche as well. This is a smart strategy of holding on to enough of one’s signature aesthetic for your usual fan base while adding in touches of something different to draw in new customers. That Tory’s a smart cookie.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2010: Andy & DebbSeptember 25, 2009
Andy & Debb was another collection that played heavily on a theme – this time circles and round shapes. The tailored, 50′s silhouettes were often softened with bubble skirts, rounded lapels and hems on jackets and the collection’s signature circle-cut collars – the layers of which fluttered as the models walked the runway. Linen and silk created a nice textural variety, but the line would have benefited from more variety of color.
Too much neutral on the runways this spring! While neutrals allow for maximum versatility for today’s more scrupulous high-fashion consumer, shouldn’t the shopper be given something exciting they can’t help but splurge on? A showpiece in their current wardrobe as opposed to an accent?
The classy separates at Andy & Debb were just what they should be, but like the color variety, lacked excitement.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2010 – Monarchy CollectionSeptember 18, 2009
The Monarchy Collection Sprign 2010 Collection was glitzy and glamorous. The whole thing had an air of being “too cool for school” while at the same time … not being very cool at all. The looks created by Eric Kim – especially for the women – seemed a bit dated and 90′s, calling to mind the girls of Guess Jeans ads. Not something one typically associates with high-end fashion. Also a bit disorienting was the fact that the men’s pieces were much more tailored and put together, if over styled. I didn’t get the impression that these men and these women were going to the same place.
If you’re looking for a hot date dress or something to drive the ex wild, you’ll certainly find it here. And men could really find a lot of basic items for their spring wardrobe in the collection. But overall, not very fashion forward.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2010 – Yigal AzrouelSeptember 18, 2009
Yigal Azrouel approaches a modern minimalism in a way that really knocks that 90′s Calvin Klein style out of your mind when you think of the word “minimalism.” It seems as if we can’t dress without layers much of the time, anymore, and this collection says that’s okay, that can still be minimalist. And extra emphasis is put on the layered effect with one of my favorite trends of Spring 2010 – cut outs. Slashed tops and vests, asymetrical cardigans on men and women, this is very New York layered, not Hollywood, California layered. “Fabric is slashed with scalpel precision to create graphic, bold shapes,” the show notes say. Easy tailoring and a muted color palette allow the shapes to and cutouts to remain the focus of each garment.
“The collection and silhouettes are more defined and structured, I played with the contrast of bands and outlines against skin,” Yigal says. While Rodarte may be getting all the post-apocolyptic buzz for spring 2010, in a less dramatic end of the world scenario, I can see Yigal’s stern faced women and men repopulating the earth quite stylishly.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2010: Diane von FurstenbergSeptember 14, 2009
Where other designers may falter with global fashion influences, Diane von Furstenberg does ethnic at its best in her Spring 2009 Collection. Her designs evoke both a Jet-set lifestyle of parties and yachts and a leisurely afternoon in a foreign market scouring trinkets. It’s this relaxed, easy glamour that eludes so many designers in their collections, and so many women in their lives. But not the women of von Furstenberg’s runway. Coco Rocha, Chanel Iman, Karlie Kloss and a genuinely diverse group of mannequins were as beautifully nomadic as the fashions themselves.
The collection is called Oasis and DVF offers this quote to sum it up “Looking into Antiquity … for effortless beauty.” She casts her girl as “an Orientalist figure” who effortlessly sets out across horizons. The color palette of browns, purples and rich earthy colors is described as “Pre-Raphaelite” in the show notes, muted but bold.
Fluid and feminine dresses were clearly the star players, but structured jackets deserve a nomination for their supporting roles. As usual, von Furstenberg presented an elegant collection in which most women will find something to love.
Full photo gallery to come – more of my personal pics and a runway video on the blog!
New York Fashion Week Spring 2010 – Ports 1961September 14, 2009
click photo for full gallery
It was another ethnic collection from Ports 1961 designer Tia Cibani who found her inspiration in Asia for Spring 2010. On the heels of a tribal Spring 2009 collection and rather lackluster Fall 2009, these heavy-handed international themes are beginning to wear. Perhaps it’s because I’m not much a fan of the obi-belt, but I’d prefer to see Cibani explore her sophisticated silhouettes, which she crafts beautifully, without conforming to some stereotypical cultural standard. Such a wide-ranging interest in global fashion can seem disingenuous.
But, the fabrics and cuts were indeed beautiful. There were lots of day dresses in a muted palette (in keeping with a major trend this fashion week.) The best of the Asian influence came in the origami-like folding of fabrics which is always a beautiful affect.
QVC takes to the tents with a fashion show and partySeptember 13, 2009
Multimedia retailer QVC has had a big presence in the tents this season with a booth in the lobby, a blogger reporting on runway trends, and tweets and Facebook posts from some of the hottest shows. (If you’re clicking over to twitter and Facebook, be sure to follow @papierdoll and become a fan of our Facebook page as well!)
Check out looks from their runway show, styled by Rachel Zoe pictured above, at this link. QVC has been letting the fashion world know that it’s not all Slankets and Marie Osmond figurines by publicizing their collaborations with designers like Isaac Mizrahi (coming this fall), a line from Rachel Zoe (available now) and Erin Fetherstone (on this Wednesday.) I’ve always enjoyed when QVC worked with fashion reality-TV names like Chloe Dao from Project Runway (I have two of her dresses for QVC) and Clinton Kelly from What Not To Wear.
So maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised at the fun celebrities at the QVC cocktail party! That QVC made it’s name with television made it a perfect match that so many television personalities were in attendance. Sidling up to the bar next to Zach Morris (Mark Paul Gossalar) was a surreal experience, though not as exciting as meeting Weeds star Justin Kirk. Morris, Kirk and former InSync-er Lance Bass were all hotter in person than they are on TV. Gretta Monahan (The Rachel Ray Show style correspondant), Joanna Garcia (from the short-lived but entertaining, heartfelt Priveledged and soon to appear on Gossip Girl), the craziest Bravo Real Housewife of them all – New Jersey’s Danielle, Hilary and Hayley Duff and Amanda Bynes all looked cute at the party.
QVC on-air host Albany Irvin shoots a post-show segment as the runway is being torn down. I’m actually staying in the same hotel as Albany and have seen her looking stylish all week, she may be my new favorite QVC host.
New York Fashion Week Spring 2010 – Michael AngelSeptember 11, 2009
Strong, graphic shapes and prints at Michael Angel made an excellent first statement at 9 a.m. on Thursday – the first official slot of Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in New York. If the strong shoulders and colors didn’t give away the adherence to the 80s revival – large, bright geometric earrings announced it loud and clear.
“It all began with a photo of Nancy Cunard. Strong influential women play a key role in this collection through their art, voice or personal style. Schiaparelli, Nancy Cunard, Josephine Baker, Tamara de Lempicka,” Michael Angel stated in the show notes. Anyone admiring of his designs would do well to Google image search these women for personal style inspiration. (Actually, everyone should Google image search Schiaparelli.)
Angel notes that silhouette is focused on the torso – this is largely accomplished through the contrast of an extremely structured, sometimes voluminous jacket or top paired with a soft, flouncy skirt. The skirts were Barbie-girl bouncy and added a whimsical touch to the super-serious, Balenciaga-like shapes on top.
The show notes end with all caps: “THERE IS FUN TO BE HAD THIS SPRING 2010.” And that’s exactly what I left thinking, “That was a fun show to kick off the week.” The fashions were uplifting and likable, even if they weren’t to everyone’s taste.
“It” Is Out – Quality Handbag Design Is InDecember 19, 2007
Ladies, it’s no longer about the It bag with an upper case I.
“For this season, it’s less about the statement pieces,” said Natalia Konovalova, founder and creative director for Bulga, USA. “You must design as a collection for details that must be special on their own, must stand out on their own and connect with the subject. They’re very individual pieces because every owner is unique.”
Doesn’t that sound more fashion forward than chasing after the latest bag seen on Jessica Simpson? Oh – but wait! – Bulga bags have been seen on Jessica Simpson – bonus points!
That was one of the things that helped launch Bulga as a major brand after it was founded by Konovalova in 2003. Konovalova was a model who came to America and began designing in 2001, while attending FIT.
“FIT was the school to go to, it was technically rigorous,” Konovalova said. She partially credits FIT for her attention to details. “It’s French piping on seams, it’s just an exquisitely finished bag and then something extra.”
Part of that exquisitely finished bag is the leathers, which Konovalova speaks of lovingly. Fine Italian leathers are hand-picked for their color, feel, femininity and lightness.
“The client has to be excited and say only Bulga would have it,” Konovalova said. “I don’t design for a regular client, I design for a spoiled person that is very exposed to the quality, exposed to the designer market so they know the difference in the materials and design.”
The Bulga philosophy stresses confidence, quality, and originality. No surprise that those are the same things many fashionistas wish to portray.
“Bulga prides itself on giving women all over the world the power to enjoy their confidence and independence with power that our products add to their pleasure of life,” the company Web site reads. “From detailed, exquisite silhouettes to pleasurable, elegant lining, each bag is a statement to the power of femininity.”
Now isn’t that better than a statement piece?
To the bags! Some of my favorites are the $300 Misa Bag in new black worn by Jessica Alba, which also comes in silver snake – a favorite of Rihanna – and the Helmut Bag recently seen on the Martha Stewart Show.