Yes, it’s over. You can rest your eyes for now. At the bleary end of a runway season, I am exhausted just looking at the shows from Paris. I would love to watch the clothes sway down the catwalk, but from an outsider’s viewpoint, judging from the photos on Vogue.com, Style.com and Instagram, my feed was filled with so so much identifiable pieces (see: plaid, oversize coats) that I created my top five hit list– a great exercise in editing down the collections.
We know that Mr. Slimane has been the talk of Paris Fashion Week with his Neo-Grunge throwback to the 90′s collection for Saint Laurent, consisted of baby-doll dresses and flannel shirts, but there were plenty of others looks and powers that be that deserve attention. Despite the number of shows, it’s easy to pick out the winners and the trends we will see next fall. One thing is for sure, fur, whether real or faux, is a must buy. And the rest? Chew on this.
1. Restraining Order
My first example, Céline’s “fit and flare” dresses and skirts seen here in ivory, were simple, but hardly plain. Contemporary and highly covetable, the fluid looks shown by Phoebe Philo nailed the I-can-pull-off-chunky-sweaters, ankle length boots, and skwishy-bags whilst remaining chic without a hitch factor on the head. And so much of what made her collection so potent is in the proportions of the top and skirt, or the clean-cut of some gray wool shifts. The edge was amped up with the thick-heeled, above-the-ankle boots shown below. Perfected takes on the tried and true, see also Dior and Hermes.
And now let’s turn our attention to MMM, Maison Martin Margiela, where crisp white shirts are just that–crisp and white, but not without a twist to the oversized sleeves that basically paralyze the functionality of the hands. Masculine, yes, but this could become the backbone of many a woman’s wardrobe. Menswear suiting et al.
2. White and black.
Trends come and go but polar opposites always attract. Black and white give the ultimate graphic punch. See looks from Hermes and Gareth Pugh below and also check out Dior and Mugler for inspiration.
3. Mad for Plaid.
It takes a certain woman, possessing a complicated personality of sorts, to pull off the ability to layer plaid. The pattern, seen in many incarnations, were seen at Céline, Stella McCartney layers, and also glamorous coats at Louis Vuitton.
4. Surreal Patterns
There were florals and paisley, plaids and unpredictable patterns like the all-seeing eye at Kenzo (most likely the IT pattern for next Fall) and Bambi at Givenchy. Mix it all up in a blender and you get a melange of prints that connect with a global street beat while screaming “look at me”!
5. Wrap it Up
Large oversize coats ruled the runways this season, but some of the oversize heaviness, unless you are towering over 5 foot 8″ can be a tad overwhelming. But the belted up coats, nipped in at the shoulder or waist, minimized all the heaviness and excess fabrics were “straight-jacket chic.” From Nina Ricci and Carven, go.
This may be monotonous for some, but for the rest of us obsessed style hounds, the season starts and ends in Paris. As Cathy Horyn so eloquently states,“Paris fashion gets its weight from ideas, whether from the past or from the street, and its authority from the way designers like Raf Simons for Dior can reorient your thinking about notions like modernity and good taste.”
Such open-mindedness can really set your wardrobe apart from the rest of the fashion pack. Are you on board?
Do you have what it takes to be the next Fashion Star?
Can you gush for hours about your collection and try to take your label to infinity and beyond?
If you don’t know what it takes, you will want to open your eyes for 3 minutes, and watch Daniel Silverstein, premier designer of NY-based 100% NY, share his secrets before he is launched into the spotlight on NBC’s Fashion Star.
I had the incredible opportunity to get the inside scoop on Silverstein at his new showroom, the quiet before the storm. His inspiration behind the Fall 2013 collection is substances that infiltrate one’s psyche. There are colors that range from whites to reds, designs are produced locally, right here in New York, which add up to jumpsuits, gowns, harnesses, and everything in-between. Cutting down on the carbon footprint (some dresses are made out of plastic bottles!) he reduces waste, and turns out a wearable, comfortable, sexy collection. Speaking of comfort, he has heard and addressed the complaints of so many women-the mere fact that guys can wear jeans everyday and be comfortable, why can’t we?
I am so excited to see the sheer level of talent – Louise Roe is the new host this season!, rise to the challenge of being the next Fashion Star. The stakes are high. It’s go big or go home. Daniel’s mantra? “You don’t have to look ‘eco’ to feel amazing. I want to take this brand to infinity and beyond.” And that he will, trust. Watch.
Take a trip down memory lane to 1995. I was just at the age when going out to clubs was super cool (with a fake ID of course), and the Grunge scene was making its way into pop culture. The music, a blend of part punk, part heavy metal, and all guitar, was in. Nirvana, and Pearl Jam were constantly playing and Courtney Love was in the spotlight. In fashion, the highly styled bright-colored clothes of the power-yuppified 1980′s, cleared way for this so-called grungy-era which consisted of a messy swamp of plaid, denim, and layers over more layers. Nothing made sense but it didn’t have to. Fitted was out and sloppy was in. I was a big proponent of lazy-wear and this fit me to a tee. My frizzy large hair and ripped/dirty jeans were in. Even better? My clothes were comfortable. I was a happy camper.
Fast forward to 2013, where fashion month has spoken and the message is clear: The 90′s are back with a vengeance. Shows like Rodarte, Vivenne Westwood, Henry Holland, and Dries Von Noten grabbed at the concept. Yesterday at the Saint Laurent show, Twitter reactions went something like this:
“We don’t need another bad version of Topshop.”
“Is this a real joke on the fashion industry?
No, it’s not a joke. See random mash-ups of sloppy cardigans, plaid shirts, and sparkly dresses accessorized with ironic strings of pearls and black bows, fish nets and biker boots.
These negative reviews define a backlash to Slimane’s version of what YSL should be – a nod to the late Yves. The departure to lowbrow fashion will upset some, probably most, but the concept goes like this. The youthful and wealthy French fashion girl will be the customer here, not me. My 90′s icons? Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs immediately spring to mind as masterful mediums of pop-cultural watershed. That’s all well and good, but today, I am no longer willing to wear baby doll dresses with fishnets, leather bustiers, and messy layers. (I did a test drive yesterday on Instagram and it was quite a joke). I will let all of the teenagers test out those waters.
But wouldn’t it be radical if we could reinvent the Saint Laurent look, not literally, but in our own words? And isn’t that what personal style is all about? The long-term effects of grunge culture is sure to creep into the internet, shops, and our lives as we know it, so I decided to embrace it for a bit with a little collage of what’s to come. If there is nothing else new under the fashion sun (BTW, I am so on-board with the Saint Laurent line for Spring) to embrace, neo-grunge might be my friend yet again. Trash and Vaudeville, Dries Von Noten, Topshop, here I come. Fashion is supposed to be FUN! Shopping trip anyone?
Collage by Carina Gupta
From left we go: optimized links et al. Topshop crop top, what would grunge be, without you? Topshop vintage overalls, alice + olivia striped pumps. Vince Camuto retro sunglasses, Ray-Ban retro glasses, Etoile Isabel Marant crying for Freedom! jersey tank. Tibi vintage washed denim vest, Free People maxi skirt.
A renewed sense of modesty is happening in fashion. Enter it into your vocabulary, as it will be required knowledge in the upcoming season.
As I mentioned in a previous post, this new chapter is here to stay. Taking steps toward “glamorous gloom”, with an absence of bright colors, highlighted in last week’s NY Times article, over in the city of lights, there are plenty of players taking the reigns. I like to call it Neo-Grunge, equipped with baggy layers, loose-fitting, and covered-up silhouettes resembling blankets. Here’s a baby look.
The Show: Dries Van Noten
The takeaway: Van Noten successfully fused masculinity and femininity by pairing skirts and ostrich feathers with flannel trousers. A modern and grown-up take on last season’s flirtation with grunge. The use of ostrich was a perversely glamorous counterpoint to the flat-shoed, gray-flanneled sobriety of the outfits they anchored. And how about them high heels with ankle socks? It ups the comfort factor, for sure.
The Show: Rick Owens
The takeaway: Primal and electrifying. All white, black and ivory all-the-time, from Owens @Owens, he is all about “the big coat, the big boots, and the big T-shirt,” and he masters that so effectively. The coats had the big-sleeved volume of kimonos, the boots had needle heels instead of a Frankenstein-soled chunk, and the T-shirts were sportily layered in mid-thigh tunics, some with asymmetric tails. Apparently along with the coat, tee, and boot, bleached faces and frizzy hair made a big debut, giving it an air of gothic mysticism.
The Show: Lanvin
The takeaway: A teenage/schoolgirl atmosphere seemed to permeate the collection with offerings like ruffled dresses and in the shoe department – a scaled-down version of a man’s Oxford. Gone were the ballet flats of yore, this season, the tough-girl is emerging. A constant motif in the collection that struck me right away, as I quite eloquently verbalized on Twitter (Oh my, those necklaces at Lanvin)!, they are happening. Words like “help”, “happy”, and “love” were emblazoned on the model’s necks. Elbaz wants us to think about the ever-changing world, women changing, and what is on our minds. And in case we forget about “love” we can always read it on a necklace.
The Show: Balenciaga
The takeaway: The highly anticipated Alexander Wang’s first show for the house of Balenciaga, fulfilled his modest plan of going back to the roots and “translating them into a functioning, full wardrobe.” Sticking to a palette of basic black and white, Wang alluded to 1950′s modernity in the opening cocoon coats with a bit of fur, cap sleeves and loose tops, true to Wang’s downtown edgy style. There were some 1960′s styles making a quick appearance in the petal skirts and peplums. I especially liked the faux marble sweaters, and the crackled leather-looking pieces which were actually painted knits. Very clever, Mr. Wang. Smart graceful and modern, Wang took baby steps into fulfilling his challenging duties as head designer for the house. Read Cathy Horyn’s NYT’s review here. Her review is spot on, and a must-read to really get a sense of the fabrics and details of the collection. A viewpoint one cannot get solely from pictures online.
What do you think about his collection? Is Wang better off sticking to his awesome T-shirts or do you think he will master his creative potential over at Balenciaga?
Share your thoughts!
In the city of light, the international shows are happening right now, and I’m noticing a push against the bright colors and digital prints over the past few years. Focused on basic blacks and white, covered-up sporty separates, or layered skirts over pants, there is a rise of modesty. I’m particularly fond of the designer Guillaume Henry for Carven, known as the “little engine that could” house, that just keeps churning out OMG stand-out textures, recognizable prints, and smart creations.
The Carven woman, elegant and vulnerable, loves cozy textural fabrics, and I can attest, so do I. A faithful label hunter, I admire the way Henry has his finger on the pulse of fashion. I was in awe of the all innocent young things, now grown up mascots at recent Carven shows, (just barely out of French school), and the way he plays with textures. This Carven dress, one of my all-time favorites, plays with an hourglass silhouette with thick sweatshirt fabric that adds the perfect twist to the norm. Paired with a black moto jacket for the right dose of swag, a vintage fur stole, my favorite Rag & Bone Newbury boots, and a bright clutch for a pop of color, this look experiments the play between spicy and sweet.
What I’m wearing, optimized links, et al. Stetson Cable Knit beanie, get a similar one from Acne , Carven dress, Dsquared2, Fendi vintage stole, Wolford tights, 3.1 Phillip Lim comic bag, get a similar one here, Rag & Bone Newbury camel boots.
If I were to pick an ice cream flavor that best epitomizes this dress it would be Baskin-Robbins’ Rocky Road. For those of you uninitiated, it is chocolate ice cream with almonds, overflowing with tiny marshmallows. And it’s awesomely delicious. Am I right or what? Peep below.
Comfy like a teddy bear without the bulk, I adore the Frenchness of this dress. In conclusion, one thing is for sure.
Photography: Lydia Hudgens
Try as I might, I can wear French clothes and eat French things, but I will never be French. But I can laugh in slow motion!
For Carven’s Fall 2013 collection in Paris, appealing to the label’s faithfuls, he turned up the volume on rounded oversize coats in baby blue, pink, camel and blush. Look at the short- sleeved glossy pink fur paired with a black pencil skirt. No convincing necessary.
In spite of geographical separation, (New York is almost 4,000 miles away from Milan), I consider myself lucky that I am able to watch the shows across the pond live-stream every morning on Style.com. Sitting at my desk, I have an unobstructed vantage point, being able to finally see the runway without a concern about elbowing my way to a wide open runway to get the right shot. Friends on Instagram and Vine are doing their job correctly by sending “Wish you were here” notes from the shows, with un baiser, a croissant, and after-parties to create the right dose of FOMO, sending me running to the nearest hospital. Nonetheless, I can still conjure my thoughts, see the trends, and see what everything is amped up for: the furs! the glitter! the frantic commentary! Even the high-fashion language excites me. Are you ready for the X Games of glamour?
From the blindingly high volume of looks that strut down the runways in Milan, and behind the smoke and mirrors, here is my breakdown.
The Show: Dolce and Gabbana
Footnotes: Rich red and gold patterns of Catholic-looking icons weave through the dazzling over-75 piece collection. Starting with golden mosaics from Sicily’s Cathedral, the show was regal with gold crowns, elaborate footwear, with compelling looks that are downright scandalous.
The Show: Prada.
Footnotes: Lug soles, tweed dresses, fur cuffs and “everything she likes” was up on the runway. She did a great job on producing a done-undone quality of the outfits, with tweed or beaded chiffon dresses dangling over drab cardigans, the garments left partly unbuttoned so they fell off shoulders. The midcentury silhouette, with deep fur cuffs on hard leather jackets and gray flannel suits, was another Prada favorite. Do take notice of those banal doctor bags. Full disclosure: I own one from the 1980′s, and I might just take it out of its webbed cloth bag next season.
Fashion Week is anything but boring. It is comforting to know that we are living in a never-changing cycle of fast fashion and that will always remain the same. With the ongoing debate in the press (see: Suzy Menkes’ article “The Circus of Fashion” in T magazine where the new poseurs outside of Lincoln Center are creating a circus), I find myself pleasantly surprised and content with dressing for myself, and not gagging for attention from the paparazzi. I shutter at the notion that people who do not actually have tickets to the shows, stand outside waiting to be photographed in every possible way. The article struck me when it said, “fashion has always been an industry populated with wonderfully colourful characters and self-promoters alike, but in the glare of fashion’s growing ‘circus, differentiating between the two is rarely as simple as whether their native medium is digital or analogue”. Since when can’t we just be ourselves without pretense of the pomp and circumstance? Wow…how things have changed from just a few years ago. That said, change is good, right?
This season, like any other, I meticulously created outfits on my bedroom floor, days before fashion week even started. Among the vigorous reporting that I do from the sidelines, there is also a lot to be said for taking styling cues from the street. I took virtual footnotes from both the runways and the concrete catwalk. Maybe I wouldn’t wear head-to-toe-Prada, or over-the-top insane amounts of Jamiroquai Seuss hats (remember Marc Jacobs from last year?) but I am always amazed by all the creative experts at Fashion week. Bare legs with white shoes? That happened. Menswear looks paired with fuscia single-sole heels? No brainer. Add socks? Why not!
The inclement weather actually worked to my advantage this season, sharing cabs with strangers who quickly became my friends. From “Hey! Are you going to Milk?” to “Wanna have drinks after the shows?” became the catch-phrases of the week. As far as what I wore, I pulled staples that I love (leather sweatshirt, chunky necklaces, and my blanket vest) while bearing in mind my Blahnik’s weren’t great for the ice and snow. I was waiting for a Carrie slip from SATC, but it never happened. Trying to stay original, I am neither the black crow nor the peacock. I just have a personal style blog and I am a stylist. And I watch “Girls” too.
It’s not about what you wear, it’s all in the attitude. Smiling optional.
Yesterday I tweeted that I once I find something on my hunt for fashionable finds, it no longer appeals to me as a purchase, but rather the thrill of the hunt itself that is so satisfying. Like a predator that feeds on its prey, an animal finally gets their plat complet and this often ends in death. For me, it is procuring that item that I find so satisfying, not the actual purchase. This goes back to my editorial days when the fashion department would call in copious amounts of items for the monthly issues we were styling. That said, there are certain items that I do not overlook and cannot live without (see white boots, pastel bags), no matter how long these items remain in my cart.
During fashion week, I was craving a neon beanie. Most of my outfits were black, white, or a shade of grey and all I needed was a pop of color. I did not own one, but everybody else seem to show up with a highlighted head. The beauty of the beanie is that it will never go out of style, and they give your noggin’ the warmth and über-cool factor it deserves.
Whether you crave the neon version or the pom-pom variety, here are beanies for your shopping pleasure. And to top it off, get it?, everything is on sale and under $60.00!
Stay warm and be cool. February is almost over.
Contrary to popular belief, the beanie has never eclipsed. The now ubiquitous hat, seen all over the streets in cities likes New York, London, and even gasp, suburbia!, is very similar in nature to comfort food. In colder climes, you know it feels good to eat oatmeal, so you keep doing it. Same truth goes to the indispensable use of the beanie. It is a discreet arbiter of cool.
From the concrete jungles of New York and London’s Fashion Week, peep down below to spark your imagination. It is sure to be landing in Milan and Paris as we speak. I especially like Kate Lanphear’s, T Style Director, (fourth one down) spiky black number. It takes the typical black beanie to a whole other level.
It is always right after Fashion week that I reflect on the amazement and all the hoopla and circumstance that takes place during the shows. The designers spend umpteen amounts of money on a full-fledged production, clothes are fitted (or not) on waif-like models, the venue is secured, playlist ready, and the mood is set.
A friend of mine, who is a store buyer, said she doesn’t attend the shows anymore because of lack of time and interest in the shows. She would rather “generously write her orders up in a quiet showrooms post-fashion week.”
I then wondered if shows don’t matter, and if the designers did without shows, what would happen? Would the buyers still write their typical ‘buy’? Would the press, bloggers and vox populi alike still write their lengthy reviews? And finally, what about the front-row celebrities donning their favorite designer clothing? I for one, love the combination of the music, the muse, and the mood of each show. I am transported into a different time and place, and I project, that is the magical message the designer wants to get across to each member in attendance. Hoping to leave you enthralled and inspired as well, click down below for a trip that transported me from show to show. From the downtown girl in The East Village at Rebecca Taylor, to the gilded age in 17th Century Paris at Jenny Packham, to the Russian opera at Christian Siriano and the countryside at Misha Noono and back home. You’ll need to pack a bag. Let the show go on.
The first stop is at home with Rebecca Taylor where she used leathers, shearlings (love that return of the furry sheep), zippers, and embellishments, to add a tough edge the downtown girl. I was particularly enthralled with the copious amounts of layering in the form of biker jackets, thrown over pleated chiffon, and utility pants. Blue dress, leather details. Yes, please.
Second stop, Paris for Jenny Packham. Beaded gowns in washed pastels and jewel tones, she does Hollywood better than almost anyone around. Inspired by 17th Century Paris salons. relaxed gowns were shown side by side with tea-length dresses. Here it’s the details of the hair: low-slung ponytail on the nape of the neck, was so simple, so sleek, and so Parisian.
Third stop, the interiors of Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre for Christian Siriano’s show. From opulent gold beading and heavy velvets, he showed plenty of looks that his celebrity clients worldwide would love.
Venturing into the sportswear arena, one of my favorite looks from the collection were these leather sweatpants-style trousers. Place your orders ladies!
And if you haven’t had enough visual fodder, we take an adventure to the Russian countryside with Misha Nonoo. Heavy on the red palette, Nonoo’s Brtis had raccoon sherpa hats, yes, but also clean-cut sharp tailored jackets, smart blazers, and adorbs magpie intarsia sweaters.
And for the last stop, before you head back to reality, it might be a better trip if you’re blindfolded.
And finally back in New York where Steven Alan showed a typically well executed and commercially viable womenswear collection perfect for New York days. There’s just something about the slouchy blazer, and the loose-fitted men’s shirts that I love. You’re on your own to fight jet lag. Welcome home!
All photos taken by New York Fashion Hunter. Edited by Orlando Loredo.