This is going to be very long...

Monday, 23 February 2009

So I basically got a bit carried away when deciding on my favourite collections from NYFW and have ended up with a stupid amount of pictures. But hey, what's blogging for if not posting photographs of beautiful people wearing beautiful things?!

What I find so amazing about Fashion Week is that it never gets old or boring. I always expect that eventually, the designers are just going to run out of ideas and send their models down the runway naked, carrying signs that say "sorry, there is nothing left - we're done." Fortunately, this never happens; fashion is constantly evolving and designers continue, season after season, to be inspired by anything and everything. I imagine that the thought process of a designer goes something like this - "hmmm Fall RTW...what shall we do? Ummm...oooh! Look at that pigeon outside! Hmmm...I'm thinking pigeons, I'm thinking feathers, I'm thinking the splatter effect that bird poo has...yes yes! I've got it!" And thus a collection consisting of grey feathers, bat wing tops and paint splashed jeans is formed (if, next season I see this look on the catwalk, I am SO going to track down the designer and demand royalties...)

Anyway, from what I've read on other blogs which have reviewed NYFW, one of the most popular shows was Rodarte and understandably so. Apparently taking their inspiration from Frankenstein, the Mulleavy sisters presented a collection that made me think "urban warrior", with jackets, dresses and skirts seemingly covered in bits and pieces of...well...anything. I imagine that the Mulleavys are a bit like magpies building a nest, wanting to include as many pretty, shiny, soft and fluffy things as possible. The Frankenstein reference was very clear, with the chopped up, pieced together clothing and those killer leather boots, which looked all bind-y and constricting - ladies, you have my approval!

Although it's called Ready-to-Wear, a lot of the stuff you see on the catwalks is only really 'ready' to be worn by people like Roisin Murphy or Lady Gaga, and quite frankly, I'm neither of those people, so it was nice to see some shows that featured strong, yet simple pieces. ADAM, a designer I'd not really come across before, featured a collection of straight-forward outerwear and then some colourful, sparkly pieces. Hardly life-changing stuff but I could actually see real people wearing his designs, rather than just the filthy rich and quirky...

Miss Sixty is a label I've not paid attention to in a long time as I've always seen it as trying a bit too hard and coming off as trashy. I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised by this collection, which looked like it might have been inspired by the type of people you'd see coming out of a biker bar at 3 in the morning. With lashings of leather and acid washed denim, the models looked trashy yet fabulous - like Mimi from RENT.

How many photos of Sasha can you find in this post?

Badgley Mischka went for straight-up, smart glamour, but in a minimalist way. There was a lot of simple black pieces, with a few brighter colours thrown in for good measure. What I like about this label is the clever twists they put on an otherwise typical garment, for example, there were several LBDs where fabric had been draped or gathered to create something unusual. There was also something very "liquid" about the collection, with dresses made in the most fluid, silky fabrics imaginable. When I first looked at that blue dress, I thought 'mermaids'.

I think it's safe to say that Derek Lam is no animal lover. His collection featured fur, leather, suede and possibly snakeskin (though I can't tell, what do those gloves look like to you?) by the bucketful. Even so, I have to say, this was one of my favourites. Despite using an almost completely neutral pallet of camel, baige, grey and cream, the pieces were dramatic and sexy. I LOVE that dress on Gracie Carvalho!

When I first looked at Oscar de la Renta's collection, I wasn't overly impressed, not because it wasn't beautiful, but because it all seemed a bit samey. Then I got to the dresses and silently scolded myself for ever doubting him. Apparently all this talk of recession and the economy and all that boring stuff doesn't worry our Oscar; like Derek Lam, he made use of fur, but also went crazy for embellishment and fancy, fancy accessories. Silhouettes were mainly kept sleek, with cinched in waists and narrow skirts. (how stunning is that black, off the shoulder dress?!) He also provided us with a much needed injection of colour, with dresses in jewel-bright shades of red, cerise and yellow.

Another designer really embracing colour was Matthew Williamson, whose show featured prints aplenty and lots and lots of very bright shades of blue and turquoise (lovely). Obviously not a lover of wallflowers, Williamson was all about rich detail; dresses were made of the most incredible mosaic and tribal printed fabric, while accessories included zebra print shoes, gem stone bib necklaces and chunky fur stoles.

Another of my favourites was Anna Sui, who basically went mental. Her collection can only be described as "Gothic-Victoriana meets Woodstock meets 1920s flappers meets the countryside". In addition to all the black lace, high Victorian collars and brooches, Sui used bright paisley and floral prints in purples, blues and oranges, as well as loads of feathered headwear, patterned tights and a selection of leather biker boots and embroidered suede ones. AMAZING!

Competing with Sui for the award for most outrageous headwear, was Diane Von Furtsenberg, whose main concern is clearly that people wrap up warm this Fall. Describing the collection as "nomad", Von Furstenberg sent her models down the runway in an array of colours and prints. Layering was the key here, with massive cardigans, thick leggings, chunky socks under strappy heels and of course, hats.

My two absolute favourite shows were Zac Posen and Marchesa - I'll admit it, I'm a girlie girl at heart. Posen did Victoriana with 1940s structure and lots of shimmery, shiny fabric. As I mentioned in my last post, I adore the jewelled tights and, paired with the ribbon tie shoes, they remind me of a high fashion ballerina. Another fan of embellishment, Posen's designs sparkled with sequins galore and everything was kept super feminine with billowing sleeves and plenty of ruffles.

And finally, Marchesa. Ah, Marchesa. It was just...magical! Designer Georgina Chapman said she wanted to create a fantasy feel to the whole collection, and she definitely succeeded. With a selection of feathers, smokey tulle and ribbons, the dresses were fairytale without being too fairytale - the shapes were unusual to say the least and the colours were either very pale or very dark. The overall effect was dreamlike and ethereal and reminded me of the Childlike Empress from The Neverending Story.

So there you have it - my picks from New York. The incredible thing is that this is just a handful of the shows and if I had days to spare, I'd write about so many more! Unfortunately there is just no time because London Fashion Week is happening right now! RIGHT NOW!

Oh dear...

(all photographs from

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