As stars came out last night to show their support at the Heart Truth’s Red Dress fashion show, anxiousness continued to escalade but luckily today all us fashion junkies got our first fix of what is sure to be an exciting, innovating, and colorful New York Fashion Week. Although most were great, there were a few flops as was clear at the Mara Hoffman and Duckie Brown shows. If prayer is what you need, go to church, Mara Hoffman does not hold the answers. It was evident that spirituality was her theme, as we saw very earthy printed caftans, macrame-detailed gowns, turbans, and tassel adorned dresses. With so much inspiration this collection could have been so much more, unfortunately only a few pieces were salvageable from the lack-luster review. A bit of the same trauma occurred over at men’s only Duckie Brown. There we saw an array of neutral loose tops, relaxed fitting pants, loungy cardigans, and coats that varied from tweed and cashmere to fur. There’s a fine line between comfortable and sluggishly lazy, and Duckie Brown clearly crossed that line, luckily the fine tailored coats were there to save the day. If menswear is what you seek, go to Nicholas K. Mixed in with a mostly female collection, we saw leather jackets, velvet pants, fur-trimmed necklines, plaid prints, and unexpected colors. It was very New York rock, a bit edgy but a bit laid-back. Filled with innovative cuts and fitted pieces, it was reminiscent of Emmanuelle Alt’s wardrobe, proving that this is the settle way to look cool.
Porter Grey opted this season to defy the rules of weather with a collection mostly composed of suede shorts, leggings, skirts, and short suits. Apparently the girl in mind lives closer to the Equator. However these cold defying pieces were hot, hot, hot! With flirty wool sweaters, tweed blazers, cozy wovens, and back-less dresses, this collection was ultra chic and ultra young, what any lost romantic would wear. Truly a treat from beginning to end. Another collection which was very provocative but that was equipped for the temperatures to come was BCBG Max Azria. With plunging neck-lined dresses and sheer pieces, it would’ve all been too vulgar but with the touch of the long sleeves underneath it was all very soft and gentle, just the right amount of sex appeal. With flowy skirts and settle prints, Azria once again proved that simplicty can be synonymous of elegance.
BCBG Max Azria
At Tadashi Shoji we were rewarded with what the label does best, wearable dresses that real women want to wear. Although the collection lacked innovation, Shoji made up for it with the body flattering printed pieces. Although the mixture of colors ranging from yellow and purple, to navy and nude were quite delighting, the biggest treats were the feather-like tulle dresses. This was the perfect example that if you’re going to play it safe, play it well. Whoever knew it could pay off? Another great example was Richard Chai were we witnessed a parade of neutral tones and minimal yet innovative cuts. Loose coats, printed skirts, and relaxed fitting pants revealed a more mature esthetic. This collection was edgy and stylish, but very grown up at the same time.
When in doubt, head to Luca Luca, a show that never disappoints. This season mustard yellows and floral reds were in stocks with hints of green, gold, and white. With volumized sleeves, pleated skirts, and earthy tree limb-like prints, the show proved to be young, fun, and sexy. If you were going through a fashion withdrawal, then this was sure to give you your fix. A collection that no woman should miss out on.
Wrapping up the night came the alumni of Project Runway, Irina Shabayeva was unexpecting and a bit theatrical as her last two shows proved to be, but from judging tonight’s volumized coats and fur-trimmed pieces, we can definitely say the winter is her forte. Although we can see why she won her season, it was Christian Siriano who proved that if all the winners were to compete, he would come out victorious. In a mostly black collection, it was very easy to get washed out, but his use of textiles proved to be his greatest ally. The dresses ranged from volumized skirts and loose-fitting pants, to larger than life collars and silhouette caressing gowns. Although the pink and green pieces were pretty refreshing, the orchid inspired cocktail dresses were spectacular, very reminiscent of a young Alexander McQueen.
With the fashion industry always being a bit prejudice to those who gain momentum trough unconventional ways (ie. Project Runway) these two truly proved why there spot at Lincoln Center this year is just as worthy as the rest. As day one wraps up, if it was any sign of what’s to come, then we have seven more fascinating days of fashion.