Like I said earlier, It was a lackluster season for the Big Apple, but a few rays of sunshine shown through the dense fog of blandness.
New York: THE GOOD
Comments follow pictures.
Gary Graham – it was difficult to pick just one piece from this collection. I love how dark and studied the entire line is. The colors are rich and the cuts are inspired. It’s like they were imagined by a futurist’s vision of the past. I know that makes no sense, but take my word for it, the collection is beautiful.
Nicholas K. – Like Graham, it really isn’t about one specific piece, but rather the totality of the collection. This is the second season in a row that I like the collection, even the weird looks. This coat/jacket thing is a great example of how a little ingenuity can go far with the cut of a garment. It’s just this side of odd, but still completely wearable.
Assoulin – I love this blouse. It is not easy to update the basic white shirt, but Assoulin did a fantastic job this season. It is cool, modern and with a couple of trips to the gym a week, very wearable.
Donna Karan – This was an anniversary year for Donna and she went through the archives with voracity! The collection was a clean compendium of past seasons’ best pieces, so to pull one look was a bit tough. I chose this dress because it highlights her beautiful work with devore velvet and how wonderfully strong her customer can be. This is sex appeal without being vulgar.
Jill Stuart – I love Stuart’s collection season after season, but often it recedes to the back because she doesn’t get that much press. She consistently creates wearable pieces that sell and this season was no exception. I love this dress for its honest simplicity. It is the purest definition of the Little Black Dress, but with a smart twist. I personally think the boots are a bit heavy, but overall this dress is a simple knockout.
Jonathan Simkhai – I have a thing for Japanese clothes. I love the rigor that they reflect and I kinda fell in love with these pants that remind me of warrior hakamas. Working forward facing pleats is always a challenge because of how they walk, but the strict lines of the pinstripes paired with the geometry of the top made sense to me.
MBMJ – LUELLA BARTLEY IS BACK!! OK, I’m calm now. The totality of the collection was good. It was youthful enough to hit the customer base, but approachable enough to entice new glances. This bow wrapped capelet is typical Luella and sure to be a hit in the stores. The dress, eh, it’s a bit simple, but works in the context of the entire line. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do next season.
Philosophy – LOVE it! It’s the coolest, most updated tuxedo you’ll want to own next fall. It’s a new classic and just different enough to get you noticed without anyone pointing for all the wrong reasons.
Ralph Lauren – I hate to admit it, but I loved the Ralph Lauren collection this season. It was smart, sophisticated and pulled together. This opened the collection and frankly, dropped the mic. This dress is a beautiful example of line and cut flowing harmoniously together in a crystal clear river of design. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to turn myself into the creative writing police.
Theory – Ignore the skirt because I have no idea what’s happening with it. I love any designer that can throw a monkey wrench into tradition and have it turn out an updated classic. This jacket gives said tradition a new lightness without an over-studied view of design. It’s clean, refined and mostly, interesting.
Zac Posen – WHAT THE HELL??? How did he make the list??!?
I REALLY don’t want to admit that I kinda liked this collection, I SAID KINDA!!!!! But, I think this suit is one of the purest looks on the runways this season. It’s classic tailoring with Posen’s ubiquitous seaming. It leans on the side of simple, but this simplicity will never be read as boring. GOD DAMMIT ZAC!!!
Thom Browne – No, I’m not inhaling huge clouds of marijuana as I write this. Yes, I know this look is ridiculous, but hear me out. Thom Browne knows how to make clothes. If you think those sleeves are in any way, shape or form easy to draft and construct, you’re drunk. This suit shows a level of design skill that is VERY much lacking in fashion today. It will (maybe) be played down for the stores, but ultimately, he is selling an idea. My only qualm is that he could stand to do less of this and focus more on approachable clothes with these details, but at this point, I need a drama fix left vacant by the haute couture shows, and Browne is fitting the bill nicely.
OK peeps, I’m fastidiously working on my Forgotten Traditions piece and will do an update In a few days.
London fashion week is up next, but I’ll probably skip it unless there is a riot or something, then Milan and finally Paris.
See you then!