Snapshots from New York Fashion Week
Designers at New York Fashion Week, faced with a grim national mood, looked for solutions far, far away. Vacation destinations, both exotic and less so, were the inspiration for several spring 2010 collections.
Though the styles shown were meant for spring, you might not have known it by looking. The garments previewed at the Sept. 10-17 event made the models look more covered-up than usual. Leather, suede, long sleeves and black were all over the runways.
There were nods to the usual spring look - leather was lightened up to be more luxurious and buttery than the rock-star looks in stores now for fall 2009. But for the most part, the clothes spoke to the idea of seasonless dressing, which is all the buzz among retailers, since the weather - and the economy - seems less predictable than ever.
Kors had a clear vision for his new collection: Use strategically placed pieces of a colorless acrylic material to add lightness and sex appeal to a season of "urbane renewal."
The Perspex pieces, which went down the sides of a black swimsuit and across the waist of a sky-blue shift for a full view of the models’ skin, gave Kors’ overall look for spring a bit of a ’60s vibe.
A white leather shift dress with a zigzag of zippers down the front (worn by Kors muse Carmen Kass) kicked off the show. A bleach-splatter fitted dress, silver crinkle lamé sheath and black "cage" dress - with a slashed bodice and checkerboard of black patent leather as its back - all looped back to Kors’ interest in graphics and architecture.
But the collection also had a softer side, best illustrated by the painterly watercolor prints in lilac and sea foam used for silhouettes, including walking shorts and an origami-folded skirt.
Oscar de la Renta
The de la Renta collection had some of the elaborate beadwork and embroidery that are the designer’s hallmark, but he also was aware of the times and the world around him, avoiding anything that would be considered too haughty.
A teal-blue coat with citrine-green embroidery topped a white lace dress. A strapless gown was covered in sunburned bronze-and-red sequins, while another gown had a bejeweled turquoise and coral waistband.
Safari jackets were paired with skinny silk-faille pants, and a pair of linen gaucho pants was worn with a white cotton blouse and a bronze tweed jacket. The models in the more traditional de la Renta evening wear - taffeta and organza gowns in bright fuchsia and red as well as a black lace-and-organza ruffled and embellished one - wore lace mantillas on their heads.
The most elaborate outfit was the finale piece: a strapless gown made of layers upon layers of gray and blue tulle with a bodice covered in crystals.
Forget clothes for a minute: Mizrahi knows how to put on a show. With a rain spray, wind machine, spotlights and a staircase incorporated into his catwalk, Mizrahi even sent out one model in a golf cart wearing a black-sequin shorts suit - and a white top hat, of course.
The evening wear is what sparkled: A strapless black cocktail dress with a giant white rose on the bustline, and a fluted gown covered in black lace and tufts of tulle, both captured classic Mizrahi and his theme of a retro country club.
Mizrahi also needs a fix of kookiness, though, and this go around he accomplished that with an iridescent lava lamp-fringe coat.
The Rodriguez spring collection was a study of restraint on one side and freedom on the other. They came together for a knockout finale dress: a fairly simple, silver silk tank-style gown with a shorter hemline in front and a flowing back that caught the wind of the runway and had a parachutte-like effect.