Tibi New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 10, 2008
Color, volume, angles. These three notions all came together to create Tibi’s spring collection. Designer Amy Smilovic, also played a great deal with an Asian theme, as nearly every model had an obi-style belt wrapped around their svelte waists. As you might detect, that annoyed me a great deal. In some ways the collection worked. It was fun to look at. It even looked fun to wear. With so many designers choosing muted color palette’s (beige and white) or typical floral prints and pastels for spring, Tibi was a bit refreshing. Lemon-yellows, tangerine-oranges, mint-greens. The color selection could make mouths salivate and surely it did for many fashion folk after days of back to back shows and no time for meals.
The low-point was definitely the over-saturation of the Asian theme in this collection (obi’s, mandarin collars, kimono-style jackets). It actually seemed passé as many of us are now programmed to associate this region with being modern and very architectural when it comes to design. It felt more “China-town” than well, China.marquita-harris
Thuy New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 10, 2008
So close your eyes and imagine if you witnessed Amy Winehouse going in for a job interview at J. Crew and you’d get the general idea of this collection. Thuy was all about incorporating a messy and undone chic on a traditionally polished look. Chignons looked as if the models had slept on them, skirts were
Some of the fabric choices were beyond me. The satin pieces and stiff boxy jackets looked incredibly heavy for spring, though great for winter. The one piece that I really liked was towards the end. It was a shiny, black, asymmetrical dress with pockets and a corseted fit. It actually had a Balenciaga-esque quality to it. There was also a round-necked double-breasted coat (you noticed I said coat and NOT jacket…people this is spring!) with cropped sleeves that was beautifully done. There was also a canary-yellow dress that was sexy and alluring, without being over the top. But otherwise this was not a strong collection. Many pieces seemed out of place and the silhouettes unflattering. It seemed like too much thought went into the styling and items as individual pieces.
Diane von Furstenberg New York Fashion WeekSeptember 10, 2008
Diane Von Furstenberg’s collection was beautiful. It was feminine and embodied the essence of spring. In comparison to season’s past this has to be one of DVF’s more happier and liberating collections, as models wore tunics, safari dresses and tiered dresses in lightweight fabrics. From the floor sweeping dresses, to the leather flowers pinned in the models heads, the collection tapped the late 60s to early 70s and captured the vibe of a socially tumultuous period, where the only antidote was self-prescribed optimism. As much as I would like to NOT be so obvious as to compare modern times, I suspect this had to be a deliberate connection.
DVF allowed dresses to dominate the collection, which seemed like a conscious decision not because of an ongoing trend, within the entire industry, but because what is more freeing, flowing and sexy than a dress? One of my favorite aspects of this collection were the playful prints and the usage of so many strong colors. A billowy chiffon dress in white with black detailing was one of my favorites. From a distance this collection was…well…a lot. The fabric choices, the colors, the headpieces, the long hair etc. However queen DVF knew exactly where to stop: the borderline of excessive.
Charlotte Ronson New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 10, 2008
Lindsay Lohan’s breasts. This is what I remember most about this show. They stared at me from across the catwalk, as she sat with her gal pal in tow. One would think as such a supporter of the Ronsons, Lohan might’ve toned it down in order to disperse the attention where it was needed most (the collection.) A wise man once told me “after you see a show, let it marinate for a day before you draw any conclusions.” This couldn’t have been truer for the Charlotte Ronson Show. It was over 24 hours ago that I saw CR. When I left I was still dizzy from the paparazzi flashes and the sea of iPhone’s waving about, to try and get a piece of Lohan. The fact is the collection had its highs and then stagnated. The highs included dusted stone-gray denim that looked as if it were stuck in the back of mom’s closet from the eighties. They seemed to fit in with Alexander Wang’s industrial chic, that’s been so popular lately (and to which I am a huge fan). There was also a lace ruffle tank, with a gathered skirt with pockets in a soft shade of pink that was quite pretty and appropriate for the coming season. The overall look had an uptown meets society girl undertone.
Otherwise the show was mostly all buzz and no sting. The fabric choices were slightly amateurish and very Project Runway (you know, when a budding designer discovers a “new” concept and becomes hell-bent on using it in every crevice of the collection.?) The palette was however, very on, with its dark hues and splashes of bold colors. I do look forward to seeing how this label develops next season as this was the Ronson’s first collection. Stay tuned.
Fashion week. It’s here folks.September 8, 2008
published September 4, 2008
New York fashion week will soon be upon us and the stakes are high. As a member of our London team some seasons back and witnessing the rise of Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab and Christopher Kane, my expectations are through the roof. Naturally New York is where it’s at. It’s my favorite city and home to my favorite shops, celebrities and personalities. Although many places remain unexplored on my roster of cities to visit, I’m convinced that the world is no match for the Big Apple. However ,in recent years (and several seasons) this city has played it safe. Namely American design. Be it the economy, the fact that we’ve seen it all or our wishing well has dried up is anyone’s guess.
Once upon a time Marc Jacobs was edgy, Proenza and Schouler were the “it boys” and Imitation of Christ was pretty cool. Well it seems we’ve gone officially commercial. After organic diets, Target capsule collections and falls from grace, America’s crass thirst for commerce has gotten the best of its artistic nature. We’ve reached the period where we’ve hit our stride and have surrendered to our comfort zones. Afterall when one discovers a formula that works, why rock the boat? But this isn’t a hitch against the aforementioned. It’s merely a desire to see something new in the city named New York. But all is not lost. For starters Alexander Wang’s fall collection left me wanting more. His neutral palette and industrialized downtown vibe was a perfect contrast to the tailored silhouettes that appeared this season. Other favorites are Rodarte for their ability to blend texture and color and L’Wren Scott for her silhouettes. But most of all I am excited to see what I’ve never seen before. There are a slew of Parson’s Grads vying for the spotlight this season and that’s always a treat. It’ll be an even sweeter treat to see who’s around this time next year.
After season upon season of supremely feminine frocks, I’ve a hunch that we’re in for a return to androgyny or at least a more subversive take on Spring 2009. Pants? Shorts? Hopefully this isn’t too much to ask. However, whatever happens this season, Papierdoll will be there in the trenches, whether sitting front row or standing in the far corners of the room. No designer will be spared. No creation unstudied and no opinion left in question. After all this isn’t politics, it’s fashion.marquita-harris
Andy & Debb New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 8, 2008
The Andy & Debb show was one of those shows that allowed you to exhale… It was beautifully tailored, well-edited and just a pleasure to look at. The inspiration behind it was a simple delicious little treat: a cupcake. The intricate pleats were like swirls of icing and the bubble hem dresses and tops were like light fluffy cakes. A wool and silk zibeline cropped jacket with a folded back and ivory satin miniskirt was a favorite look along with a silk organza dress with a scalloped bodice (it looks just the way it sounds.) The color palette was very soft with touches of pink, mint, ruby and chocolate. They also put a modern spin on the jodhpur, by updating the fabric to stretch satin (so it hangs roundly instead of squarely from the thigh.)
In recent articles Korean couple Andy Kim and Debbie Yoon have been called the new Y & Kei (they’re both based in Seoul and are a husband-wife team.) I call them the next best thing to hit Bryant Park.marquita-harris
Abaete New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 8, 2008
Fitted bodices and a color blocking scheme reminiscent of a Piet Mondrian print (at least in the beginning) seemed to be the general scheme of things at Abaeté (pronounced ah-BYE-ah-tay). As far as the shape, the elements of underpinning such as boning, exposed casing and girdles created an overtly structural form for designer Laura Poretzky. Unfortunately the focus of the collection was a bit skewed. It seemed she was using too many already proven strong concepts together (the strong color choices, the strict lines, the Gabriel sandals.)
Naturally, this made what could have been powerful statements work against instead of for each other. However I definitely enjoyed the pleated one-shouldered dresses in pink with tangerine and white with cornflower blue. She also delved slightly into swimwear which would’ve been great to see develop more. It seemed those pieces captured a more concise interpretation of the entire collection.marquita-harris
Rubin Singer New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 6, 2008
Rubin Singer was ok. The fact is after seeing so many shows today, I’d almost forgotten about the collection, the show and the designer entirely. This means something. It’s not so much the collection was horrible, I just expected a wee bit more. Strong pieces included an above the knee, silk-chiffon halter cocktail dress with stripped detailing. It was cute and flirty but maintained a timeless sophistication. Ahhhh now it’s coming, the memory is kicking in slightly. Stripes. There were a great deal of them. In the lining of dresses…across the bias of dresses etc. Singer also had a pension for polka dots, high-necks and belted waist. The color palette was fairly neutral with splashes of ocean blues, and coral reds. And this is a literal “splash” as silk-chiffon dresses with prints inspired by paint drippings made there way into the collection. Overall the collection was good. Not bad. Just good.marquita-harris
BCBG Max Azria New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 6, 2008
BCBG had a rather powerful collection. It was pretty and flirty, yet it managed to dress a more sophisticated and “all grown-up” woman. The palette was a mixture of grays and deep blues (something we’ve been seeing a lot of this season.) The palette is much more toned down for the label (What! No canary yellow? No grass green?). But the pieces were very strong.
Rompers and jumpsuits were staples peppered amongst the dominating dresses. Slouchy jerseys and silks were the fabrics of choice. Standout pieces included a turquoise cowl-necked dress with a belted waist and front pockets. Many of the dresses had pockets which clearly defines the beautiful yet functional vibe the husband and wife team were going for. Not to mention the feminine qualities were much more toned down, without being too androgynous. Overall this was a solid collection.marquita-harris
Michael Angel New York Fashion Week Spring 2009September 6, 2008
It was an early morning show for Michael Angel, who officially opened the season at Bryant Park. Journalists, buyers and the other lot of fashion folk woke wearily and sauntered in to the venue. Little did they know they’d be fully awakened by the second look. It seemed Angel honed the 70’s with strapless dresses, that seemed to have built-in fans as models slinked down the catwalk. An immediate image of a young Bianca Jagger came to mind. The prints for the collection had a Georgia O’Keefe-like quality with the strong colors— yellows, blues, grays, blacks— and light contouring. Metallics in mostly silver also played a major part in the collection giving it a slight edge for spring. The only deal breaker was the blue metallic shorts. They which could have been fun and interesting, however the Bermuda tailoring made them appear boxy and old-fashioned. Overall while it wasn’t a jaw-dropping collection, it certainly had several strong points and a beautiful take on what spring is all about: easy and breezy.marquita-harris