New York Fashion Week Wrap-up: Spring 2015

New York fashion week is but a distant memory as the world focuses on the European contingency; however, there were heaps of trends and ideas swirling around the vortex that is Seventh Avenue.

Instead of a good/bad list, I’m going to focus on the few collections that caught my attention, for better or worse, but don’t worry, I’ll be producing a steaming pile of fashion turkeys when the season is done and dusted.

Gary Graham

I’m an unapologetic fanboy when it comes to Graham. He’s been in the business forever and with each season, his collections continue to show growth and evolution. He works with a vocabulary that includes words like: washed, romantic, treasured and quiet. Each look, this season, is like a small revolution in a dictatorship of fashion conformity. This is one designer that fights for the individual, and he refuses to surrender.

Marc Jacobs

Ugh.  You know, for a designer that his career on turning the fashion industry on its collective ear, he sure knows how to produce some of the most predictable and complacent clothes on the market. This season was all about cargo pockets, and that’s about it. Half of the clothes looked like rejects from the GAP clearance rack in 1989. There was a slight stab at innovative, half-dome embellishments, but they were used ad  nauseam and I lost all interest after the 5th time. Add the Birkenstock slides and goofy fit of a few of the pieces, and what you get is a phoned-in collection that will excite no one.

Donna Karan.

Donna Karan knows her customer very well, and by the look of this season, a little too well. We’ve seen all of these looks from her before. In fact, this collection felt like a retrospective, of sorts. Was it clean? Yes. Was it saleable? Sure. Was it forward and in-line with a designer of her caliber? Hardly.  If it wasn’t for the Stephen Jones hats, this collection could have been swept under the rug and forgotten about, but still, there was a sleek coolness to the overall collection. Even though this season was steeped in complacency, she perfectly nailed proportion.

Michael Kors

Let’s be honest, I’m not Mr. Kors’ biggest fan. When he parades out the same cashmere turtleneck 10 years in a row, my eyes tend to glaze over and I forget what season it is; but for spring 2015, things felt right again at the house that Michael built. He was definitely not breaking new territory with white shirts and dirndls, but the air of nostalgia on the runway seemed more comfortable than how it was at Karan. The pieces reminded me of the Kors of the 90’s -that’s when I started to pay attention to design, and so it fits that I feel like this collection took a step in the right direction. That or maybe it was something I ate. I dunno. Whatever.

Ralph Lauren

Wait, what? Lauren? Really? Well, OK. Yeah, let’s just round out the archives trip with the big RL. Seriously Ralph, another safari collection? I mean, it’s not like we doubted you could pull it off the last 20 times you did it, so what was the point for this go-round? Dude, for real, leave the Serengeti behind. Let’s move on to greener pastures. Did you knock it out of the park with some of the evening pieces? Yeah, but you’ve done those shapes before, so don’t get cocky. Fine, I’ll let you have this season, but come on, find a new continent already! I hear Antarctica is beautiful this time of year.

MBMJ

Skater chic… again. OK, Bartley and Hillier, we get it -you’re going for a youth market. Of course, I don’t know any youths, who ride skateboards and surf, that can afford a 400 dollar dress, but hey, that’s just me. Your inaugural season was a blast and this being your sophomore outing felt, well, like more of the same. I mean, even the cuts were a wee bit repetitious. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the collection, but let’s kick it into gear and start working with another subculture already. The one thing I will always give you guys credit for is the way you cut the clothes. They look fresh, innovative and interesting. Keep it up, but move on.

Oscar De La Renta

Oh Oscar, Oscar, Oscar. What happened this season? This was the most confusing collection that I have ever seen from Mr. De La Renta. Normally, this house is on coast mode because, let’s face it, the guy doesn’t do “ugly,” but there must have been a fly in the water cooler because more than a lot of the looks were clunky and ill-advised takes on fashion clichés. The sheer pieces were the most egregious. The overlays were fine but what is with the abbreviated linings that chopped the models off at the thigh? The lines on the body were distracting and unflattering. This season’s color story was all over the boar to the point where it looked like a collection of leftover patterns and prints. Hell, even the embellishments lacked charm and elegance. I’m just going to write this season off for ODLR and hope that next season, they switch to the Culligan man for their liquid needs.

Rodarte

OK, it’s officially opposite day here on the blog. Yup, I like the Rodarte collection. There, I said it and I’m not taking it back. Honestly, this has been the most straight-forward and cohesive collection I’ve ever seen from the Mulleavy sisters. As goofy as the fabric and color mix was, the embellishments, trims and styling worked beautifully together  in some kind of hypnotic rhythm. Heck, even the daywear was smart, interesting and, dare I say it, wearable . Yeah, I should probably leave it at that because if I think about it anymore, I’ll probably change my mind or something. In conclusion: good collection, keep up the momentum and umm… OK. BYE.

Vivienne Tam

I honestly don’t think Tam gets the press and recognition she deserves. She’s been in the design industry for well over 20 years and has a consistent clientele that buys her pieces religiously. This collection slipped under the radar, but I guarantee you, it will be a hit on the store racks. It was one of the most sincere outings for Tam. It incorporated a lot of her recurring themes: Asia, wit and graphic prints. The shapes were clean and the pieces would work seamlessly into an existing wardrobe. Tam doesn’t do a lot of overt, statement pieces, but some of the looks were stand-outs in their boldness. In my opinion, it was a smash hit and I look forward to many years of continued success from her.

OK kiddos, London is up next.

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