New York Fashion Week: Spring 2016

New York fashion week ended yesterday. I can’t honestly say that I’m sorry to see it pass again. I have given up trying to squeeze any sense of newness or imagination out of it because that well was wrung dry ages ago. Most designers have waded into stagnant waters and are happy to just stand in the stillness of blank creativity until the roots take hold.
Honestly, I don’t even know why I bother reviewing the collections from this City anymore.

Having said that, there were a few pieces (note I said pieces and not necessarily whole collections) that stood out, for better or worse. So without any more upsetting ado, here is all I could get from the city that never sleeps; although, an argument could be made that most of the New York based designers are permanently napping.

Anna Suianna sui

You know, this was probably one of Anna’s best collections in seasons! There was such a reckless abandon with her prints and styling, you couldn’t help but smile. This dress is a perfect example of how she blended her tropical state of mind into a wearable look that easily makes the bridge between theatrical and wearable.

DKNYdkny

The guys from Public School took over the reigns at DKNY this season and I think I agree with that decision. They kept the spirit of the house alive, but infused it with a brilliant sense of tailoring and charm that had been lacking in recent seasons. Frankly, that’s all anyone can ask of designers taking over a house, and they accomplished it with grace and aplomb.

Gary Grahamgary-graham-003-2000

I used to hate this guy. I thought he was an arrogant idiot who designed the crappiest clothes on 7th avenue. Really.Of course, I was an arrogant idiot myself then, so I probably just saw too much of me in him at the time. Then I really started to study what he was doing. Not sure why, but I saw there was something I initially missed. There was a refined rawness to his pieces. Something that was/is lacking SEVERELY in New York. I now look at Graham’s collections and see beautiful poetry played out in fabric. Is it for the masses? Hell no! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I would be disheartened to see Graham pander to the public. I would like to see him forever create his work to the rhythmic sounds of his own orchestra. This collection is no exception to the way Graham works. It’s beautiful, tragic and as always, perfect in its own world.
Oh yeah, and, he seems like a nice guy.

Marc Jacobs

marc jacobs

Umm, I hope you don’t have anything to wear for the Fourth of July, because Marc has got a wardrobe for you! Seriously, the ENTIRE collection was red, white and blue. This was also the goofiest fashion I think I have ever seen. It was set out like the Academy Awards and the models, all looking like someone told them their cat just died (Dang girls, could you at least smile a little?!?!) walked a red carpet and auditorium. This dress was the least garish of the bunch. It works, but OMG is it going to get lost in a sea of patriotic nonsense come the spring.

Nicholas K
Nicholas K

I know, I know, I probably like thier work a little too much. I’m not even a hug proponent of post-apocalyptic chic, but the team at Nicholas K really knows how to refine the ragged. This season saw them using dip-dyeing in a variety of clever cuts. Their M.O. doesn’t vary much from season to season, but they always seem to take their traditions and make them seem fresh without abandoning what you already have in the closet.

Norma Kamali norma-kamali-spring-2016-019

OMG this collection was wacko! Norma does things the way she wants and this season didn’t see that mindset wain. I’m not going to comment on her goofy bell bottoms or her All-in One dress that she revived, but rather, I’m going to mention the ONE look that should show other designers how to work. THIS is how you do a sheer dress. THIS!! This frock gives the illusion of a nude body without showing a thing. A woman wearing this will get heads turning, not to look at her panties, but to look at HER. Forget the rest of the collection and go out and get this look – it’s a brilliant winner.

Oscar De La Renta

Oscar De la Renta

OK, so I though Peter Copping was going to work at ODLR, but I think I’m wrong. This was his first full outing as head designer and well, it completely missed the mark, save for a couple of looks – this drippy Eau de Nil nightmare not being one of them. I don’t get it. It’s like he looked a the archives, said, “Ehh, whatevs.” and then did the exact opposite of what needed to happen. Horrible experiments in denim, awful suitings and overwrought evening wear were laid out like a horrible banquet no one needs to sample. He really needs to understand that this isn’t a house without a history and that he genuinely needs to research his customers before treading into the open waters of mediocrity again.

Proenza SchoulerProenza Schouler

Who keeps giving these guys money to make this shit? Actually, apart from a few ill-advised celebrities, who is wearing this nonsense? I’m all for experimentation, but this model looks like she skinned a yak over a chain link fence. I’ve been over these guys since the beginning. I feel sorry for anyone conned into wearing this stuff on a red carpet.

Ralph Laurenralph lauren

Wow Ralph, you went back to your nautical references. How original. Oh look, a striped shirt and a blazer with white pants. However did you come up with that innovative combo? You iconoclast, you. SERIOUSLY???!!! THIS is what you showed for spring? The same crap you paraded down a cat walk in 1983 and then in 1988 and then in 1992 and then… YOU GET THE POINT!!! I rarely think cleaning house is a good thing. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but please Ralph, let it go and hire a new designer for your house. You’ve earned your rest, let someone else have a go. Someone who doesn’t enjoy the sea, or African safaris, or English dandies or ANYTHING ELSE YOU’VE DESIGNED 50 TIMES OVER!!!! For real, which one of your clients needs this look AGAIN?????

Thom BrowneThom Browne

Skill? Check. Innovation? Check. Intricacy? That’s a big old check. The need for a new perspective beyond inset pieces and clumsy theatrics? Well, we’re not there yet. Browne is one of the few people in New York I would call a demi-couturier. The guy knows how to make clothes and he knows the discipline and rigor of couture, but at this point, how much more of these bizarre installations do we really need? I wish he would drop the drama and make a collection that focused on pushing his ideas to the stratosphere. He’s almost there, but dammit, he keep missing the mark. Having said that, this collection was brilliant in its workmanship and textiles.

OK, I’ll peruse the London catwalks and see if there is anything worth mentioning.

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