Fashion Week, Shows

New York Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2015

Here it has all kicked off once again. Down the catwalks hundreds of models have been strutting, thousands of lucky attendees have been instagramming, and at home, millions of regular people like you and I have been watching. The only was us mere mortals can experience fashion week is by living vicariously through others. We can watch the live streams, we can see the images on style.com or nowfashion (whatever is your preference), we can like the posts on instagram but, sadly, we never really experience it. I can only imagine the sheer thrill of waiting for the lights to come on and the runway to be lit, for the first girl to come stomping down the catwalk, commanding your attention and leaving you completely mesmerised. The goosebumps that one must get upon seeing something that you know is going to be a game changer: to be in attendance at a show that you know is going to be remembered as iconic is a moment for life experience. I can only hope someday to be one of the lucky people who gets to do the rounds, ie. New York to Paris and everything in between. But for now, I am content with just seeing it all online. I truly am thankful for technology, without it I, along with many many others, would be left in the dark before finding out what was happening in the world of fashion. So yes, whilst technology may have ruined the whole exclusivity idea of fashion week, and many of those high up in the industry wish that the whole circus idea would go away, I am glad for it. Without that, I don’t know what I would do. Perhaps one day when I get to experience a real fashion show for myself I will agree with them, but for now, I can’t.

I also understand where real fashion journalists, and the designers, are coming from when they say that bloggers need to shut up. (Perhaps not in those terms but you get the idea). Many bloggers, myself included, are completely under-qualified to write reviews on shows. We lack the knowledge to write in depth, we lack the ideas to make connections between the fashion and other cultural entities. However, that is not to say we are not entitled to an opinion. When I write about fashion, I do lack depth, and I know that it is truly down to the fact that I don’t yet have the knowledge; not just of fashion but of history, art, film – everything that I may need to know. Once I become educated on all the many facets of life, perhaps I will write better. But for now, I can literally only say if I like something or not, aesthetics-wise, and I do apologise in advance for that. I also understand that without actually being at the shows, seeing something in the flesh, you cannot fully appreciate it. Upon seeing a 2-D image, I can only judge it off of that. There will be little details that will be missed unless you are actually there. Just looking at the images, probably, makes it more difficult to comprehend just how incredible a garment is. For that reason, once again, I can only judge by face value. So yes, take this long-winded introduction as a bit of an advanced apology and let us enjoy what we are all really here for, the fashion.

BCBG Max Azria 

This was a show that I predicted that I would love and luckily I wasn’t disappointed. From a commercial viewpoint, I think this ought to sell well and I know that if I had the money, even though it is much cheaper than many other brands I’m still stuck on the high street, this would be my attire of choice. I think that BCBG is a brand that doesn’t pretend to be fussy. It doesn’t have that haughty image that many brands have. Its name stems from a French phrase “bon chic, bon genre” meaning “good style, good attitude” and I think that sums it up well. What is presented is never groundbreaking, game changing, pioneering – words that are always thrown around, usually hyperbolically, in fashion – but it is always wearable, and more importantly sellable, which realistically is what matters: fashion is a business after all.  This collection was no exception. The show began with dreamy shades of blush pink and transitioned seamlessly into pale blues, lilacs, and whites. The clothes wear floaty and feminine and truly beautiful. I loved the styling, particularly how the belts were tied – a little trick that I will probably incorporate into my own wardrobe.

Alexander Wang

This was a collection that when I first seen it, I wasn’t blown away: Then about an hour later I looked back and my view had changed already. That often happens with Alexander Wang’s collections for me, I am indifferent to begin with then I re-look and fall in love. I think what he does right is creates clothes that people can see themselves in. The designs are never fussy; always just classic American sportswear, but with a little twist. This season I particularly loved the flippy-hem pleated dresses, they look great in motion; worn over a skin-tight black polo neck (or turtleneck for all the Americans) and also the bomber jackets. For this collection, Wang reportedly used trainers/sneakers as an inspiration, which can be seen in the white and green colour scheme of his tennis dresses (Stan Smiths?). Furthermore, the black high-waisted trousers and cami top combination WILL be worn by people all over the world, and probably already is; I know I, for one, plan to recreate that look for work sometime. However, I hated this button-up collarless top (and its variants) and I sincerely hope they don’t catch on. Overall, the collection had that cool vibe that attracts people to Alexander Wang to begin with. He is young and he speaks to the youth, and it definitely shows in the clothes.

Jason Wu

Jason Wu achieved international recognition when he first dressed Michelle Obama back in 2009, and again in 2013. Since then his brand has rapidly expanded. Now he has sold a majority stake in his brand to investment firm InterLuxe. This means one thing: growth. And to achieve growth, it is vital for him to design clothes that will sell. That is what Wu does best though, wearable luxury. This collection started off with a safe colour palette of khaki green, white, and navy blue then got a little more interesting as the show progressed. There were high slits in the skirts and a couple of deep, plunging necklines but the collection remained very refined. There were three stunning beaded dresses that were the stand-out pieces from the show for me, and also a floor length silky cut-out maxi dress and a khaki belted suede coat that stuck in my mind.

Altuzarra

The soundtrack to this show was Mia Farrow’s eerie lullaby from Rosemary’s Baby because the designer used the movie’s “ill-fated, sinister beauty” for inspiration. But really, there was a whole mix of things in the show: super-high slits in skirts, lattice skirts, sexy sheer pieces, and what the designer called “deflated 18th century dresses” (which were in a league of their own in terms of beauty). There were so many different elements in this collection that could be easily interpreted as different collections altogether if you seen them out of context. However, oddly, they managed to flow together cohesively. The move from the gingham to stripes, from stripes to lattice, from lattice to florals, from florals to sheers and back to florals again, however wordy it sounds there, worked. Only when you see the images all next to each other does there look like there is a separation between the sections. That aside, the collection had just the right amount of sex -provided by the thigh-high slits – and demure: although one is unlikely to describe the Altuzarra woman as demure.

Diane von Furstenberg

Everybody loves Diane von Furstenberg. A former princess and a fashion veteran who is probably best known for her wrap dresses, Diane’s show is always a highlight of NYFW. I love the gingham print, especially on the first dress and the wide-leg trousers. The collection was fun and flirty and, most importantly, screamed out summer. Besides the clothes, the hair and make-up at this show was great. I loved the sexy-undone Brigitte Bardot (Anna Ewers is her modern-day twin) style hair with smoky eyes – definitely a runway look to try in daily life. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but I am happy that Kendall Jenner walked this show. I feel like it is one of the few that she has booked off of her own merits (I can’t think of the Kardashian (k/c)onnection to DVF) and she looked damn good. Also, is she (photo linked) not just one of the most stunning models of this season?

Milly

This collection was so up-my-street. If I were to dress, every day, in one collection from NYFW that I have seen so far, this would be it. It was cool and sporty, yet didn’t really veer into tomboy territory. Lots of black = a win in my mind, especially now that it is my uniform for work. The collection employed lots of organza, sheer fabrics and mesh, along with simple sportswear shapes. I particularly loved the floaty skirts which were paired with crop tops and jackets. Furthermore, the double-layer wrap over on this skirt was so lovely. To be honest, I wanted to buy almost everything; narrowing down images to include in this post was very difficult. Overall, it was wearable and really, to the business-minded me, that’s what matters the most.

Rodarte

RODARTE IS BACK!! After that disastrous collection last season which raised quite a few eyebrows, they have done a complete 180 and turned things around. The Mulleavy sisters were inspired by all things aquatic, with mermaid-esque dresses and slanted hemlines. There were tops with ruffles that reminded me of waves. In keeping with the sea theme, some of the models had eyebrow piercings, like fish hooks, all the way along the brows which made them look slightly scary. I also loved the super-high-waisted skinny jeans and the big industrial-clip-like belts. Basically, this collection marks Rodarte’s return to their former glory which is brilliant, considering how bad last season was. I am so glad they are back.

 

And the rest…

There was a gorgeous silk print called “Bahamas sunset” at ZAC Zac Posen, the designer’s relatively new bridge line. Having seen the resort collection in person, I can confirm that the clothes are well made and definitely need more recognition. I have no doubts that this collection will be popular with department store buyers due to the lower-price point and its functionality (as opposed to Zac’s mainline ballgowns). The material of this little jacket is super interesting in person (the same type was used in resort, just a different pattern), a lot heavier and stretchier than you would imagine it to be.

The opening look of Zimmerman is insanely gorgeous, floaty and ethereal.

I liked Lisa Perry’s use of vinyl – it was cool and worked well.

At Nicole Miller I adored this print, I can already anticipate Zara taking it.

The use of colour at Cushnie et Ochs can only be described as luxurious and the draped silk looked expensive, in the best sense of the word, but the second half of the collection was so different from the beginning that if I seen two images together I would think they were from different shows.

Sally LaPointe‘s show is worth looking at. I loved the styling with the belts – they reminded me of the boho-style circle ones that were popular in the early 2000s.

Christian Siriano produced a beautiful collection, full of interesting layers of fabric that still remained interestingly sheer and lightweight.

My favourite Spice Girl and quickly becoming one of my favourite British designers, Victoria Beckham once again excelled. Despite her lack of formal training, her genuine love for fashion helps her successfully create classically beautiful collections time and time again. (Some of my favourite looks have been linked throughout the previous sentence.)

The sunshine yellow colour used by Nanette Lepore was so refreshing, I particularly liked this look (worn by Frida Aasen).

Zac Posen was, as always, classically stunning and filled with that old school glamour that we rarely see nowadays, in the age of normcore and casual fridays. My particular favourite looks were the bridal-style gown at the end, the black Hitchcock-blonde-esque cocktail dress & the red, figure hugging gown at the end which Anna Cleveland wore so well – the shape was incredible.

Badgley Mischka was floaty, floral and feminine – just super pretty, especially this dress.

As I expected, Oscar de la Renta was heavenly.

I loved Marc Jacobs’ military style collection. You can tell already that it will start a trend, because generally whatever Marc Jacobs makes becomes the norm.

Narciso Rodriguez was another collection that I could see myself wearing every single day. I loved the plunging v-necks, especially on this outfit. Basically, if anyone in Narciso Rodriguez’s PR team fancies sending me over the whole collection I would be eternally grateful. (I’m kidding about this by the way, I think).

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