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from the runways: calvin klein

25 Feb

although new york fashion week has sadly ended, i’ll be bringing you a few more reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning!

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 what is it about the calvin klein brand that keeps us enthralled season after season? is it designer francisco costa’s groundbreaking silhouettes? is it the line’s new-fangled textiles? is it the show-stopping production overwhelming the essence of the show?

so if it’s none of these, what is it? perhaps why we – and by we, of course i mean me – love a ck lineup so much is its sense of consistency. not to be confused with boring, the designs from this house are reliable. sure, you may see an interesting twist here or an eye-catching detail there, but what you really get from costa are pieces you can count on for the long haul.

and if that’s not a sign of a great line, i don’t know what is.

in an ode to that, costa sent out coats, dresses and trousers for autumn/winter 2013 all exuding that ck trustworthiness we’ve come to expect.

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simple yet impactful silhouettes complimented the strategically lit venue and pounding music wafting through the air. even feminine dresses had strong shoulders and architectural pleating.

the buckle seemed to be the focal point – or eye-catching detail, if you will – this season. dotting all the aforementioned ensembles, and even the shoes, this gilded accessory was the consistency vein running through the entire collection.

everything about a calvin klein show is executed with precision. the clothes right down to the models’ turn-on-a-dime struts around varied routes are calculated and structured. nothing is left to chance, and as a result, we know we’re gonna get something good.

and that, my friends, is what a costa-led presentation is all about.

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ed note: since i had to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

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from the runways: nanette lepore

14 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning! 

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there’s something thrilling about settling in to watch a fashion show. what will the music be like? will there be a crazy light show? what beauty regime were the models put through? what will the story line be? and most importantly, how will the clothes look?

it’s often easy to forget, but fashion shows are still about the clothes. developing them, showing them, and hoping buyers will buy them and editors will write about them. but with the amazing productions that shows have turned into – lookin’ at you karl – it’s natural to get distracted from the very essence of why we all cram into bleacher like seats on days when the weather can only be described as treacherous.

nanette lepore and her team of producers did a nice job of keeping the balance between design showcase and fancy production. simple lights, backdrop and music did the trick as models paraded down her runway in non-overwhelming makeup and slicked back hair pulled into small twisted buns.

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but while the logistics of the show didn’t take over, there was still a good story to be told. lepore took us to mars for fall, using images of the recently news making mars rover as her inspiration. the music accompanied this muse quite nicely with its techno-space-agey notes and upbeat tempo.

the clothes and accessories were an appropriately scaled ode to outer space as well, featuring futuristic materials. there were iridescent tops, holographic purses, shoes and belts and some peculiar shimmer reminiscent of scales – perhaps lepore was trying to tell us something about her martian models?

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her looks were modest but still flirty. peeks of shoulder, collar bone and thigh indicated the lepore girl doesn’t mind a bit of intrigue, but still respects tasteful style.

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there were plenty of light weight trousers, skirts and arm baring tops, making the collection more suitable for early fall. but the abundance of outerwear – seems to be a theme this season – could easily carry our girl into the throes of october and november.

all-in-all, an interesting, boundary pushing collection for a designer who usually embraces the über girly. well done, ms. lepore.

ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

from the runways: jenny packham

12 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning! 

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jenny packham, one of the new kids on the fashion block – err, runway? – has left no lingering questions as to what design niche she wants to be a part of. from the bevy of delicious ball gowns that floated down her runway today, it’s clearly eveningwear packham thrives in.

and thrive did she ever today. the designer transported us into an eery setting reminiscent of a trippy cartoon romance. punchy fairytale-esque melodies with a techno edge accompanied dewy faced models as they moved robotically down the runway, looking like strange mechanical dolls.

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and packham’s looks perfectly suited this oddly entrancing scene. beautifully crafted gowns and sweet but not saccharin cocktail dresses filled the collection, reinforcing the designer’s tendency toward the glamorous.

there was an astute color gradation that equally caught my attention – starting out with a rose colored gown, the collection moved smoothly from blush to red to whites to black then navy and finally to an olivey-seafoam green (which sounds awful but is really quite pleasing). the colors were as much a part of the design element as the tailoring itself.

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and how ‘bout that tailoring? bewitchingly captivating, if you ask me. there was something about the fluid movements of packham’s gowns and the youthful yet seductive air of her cocktail dresses that i couldn’t take my eyes off of – the ruby red décolletage-baring dress particularly comes to mind. oh, and the off-the-shoulder black number.

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subtle hints of sensuality – exposed collar bones, bare sides and a peek at the small of the back thanks to low-slung necklines, sheer fabrics and keyhole cutouts – were peppered throughout the collection, further adding to packham’s credibility as a designer who doesn’t shy from intrigue.

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and while there was nothing particularly groundbreaking in this collection – hey, that’s entirely understandable for a designer still feeling out her path in the fashion world – the looks were divine nonetheless.

ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

from the runways: marc by marc jacobs

12 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning!

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it seems to me that marc is trying to tell a story about his perpetually youthful muse this season. perhaps once a wallflower, afraid to embrace the girl she knew she was deep down. perhaps a late bloomer, unsure if she would ever come into her own. perhaps once timid, mousy and painfully shy.

whatever the case, the marc by marc girl has sure grown up for autumn/winter 2013. while not going in the way of the sex play theme we see way too often nowadays, there was an unmistakable air of acknowledged advancement about jacobs’ looks.

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once flouncy skirts segued into curve hugging – a loose, respectful hug, mind you – silhouettes and slightly unflattering proportions bloomed into properly buttoned up blouses and trousers, with even a ladylike belt thrown in here and there.

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but this is not to say the lineup was boring, pious or elderly. the playfulness of the line rang true throughout the show’s entirety, reminding us that were indeed in the presence of a marc jacobs collection.

polka dots, plaid and stripes were all still there –just a bit grown up this time. attention hungry – and perhaps slightly jarring – color palettes became muted and scaled back. spritely shapes were refined and tailored down into internship appropriate looks (i say internship because there’s no doubt the mbmj girl is still in her youth). and that once uncertainty about how best to flatter her figure was transformed into confidence and wisdom.

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oh, and the fabrics – wool, satin and perhaps jersey (can’t quite put my finger on that last one). there’s something about the tactile this season, no?

not a bad lineup for the fall months. can’t wait to see these looks in real life. what’s your take?

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ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

from the runways: rebecca minkoff

11 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning!

the rebecca minkoff girl is a dream. hip, stylish, confident. and the designer’s autumn/winter 2013 collection certainly lived up that cool girl charm – right down to the live show by nashville duo, wild cub. that’s right – a live music performance right on the runway. how’s that for shaking things up?

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and speaking of shaking things up, minkoff employed an interesting muse for this season’s inspiration – none other than that american hero, neil armstrong. ms. minkoff dubbed her collection “an ode to neil,” according to style.com, and wove subtle hints of the space race era into her pieces. and i mean subtle in every sense of the word – i didn’t even realize the designer had her creative eye set on armstrong or space until style.com clued me into the word, “space,” sprawled across a t-shirt and spacesuit influenced elbow joints on a white leather jacket.

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but beside that small disconnect, everything else was in sync with the minkoff brand – fresh, young and flirty with an edge. true rebecca minkoff style.

as the first model stormed the runway after an intro from the aforementioned jam sesh sporting a white leather bomber and army green trouser shorts, it was clear this show would get your heart racing in more ways than one. i could feel my pulse rise in excitement as each look followed. there were thigh-skimming dresses intermingling with trousers for girls who don’t take themselves too seriously and skirts topped with sweaters for days when you just feel like being slouchy in the best way possible.

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but i would be sorely remiss if i didn’t mention the more-than-impressive outerwear present in almost every look. sumptuous leather to fur trimmed to all-over plaid in silhouettes ranging from waist length to floor length, and even a short sleeved black number, these pieces undoubtedly stole the show.

and that’s what fall is all about, am i right? the minkoff girl is definitely one i’ll be channeling come october.

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ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

from the runways: jason wu

11 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning!

there’s nothing like a jason wu collection – classic yet modern, ladylike yet edgy, lighthearted yet impressive. all in all, wu never fails to impress.

and impress did he ever for autumn/winter 2013. as guests filtered into the park avenue venue, seeking refuge from the treachery outside, softly pulsing music filled the air, perfectly mirroring the upcoming collection – unassuming yet impactful.

the first look out, a black trench adorned with fur clad pockets, set the tone for the whole show – a very grown-up “extreme femininity,” as wu described it. the collection was a visual journey through rich color palettes and a level of texture play i don’t think we’ve ever seen from the designer before. black faded into white, which melted into snake patterned tops, then lace, then jolting red, caramel, more black, white, and of course, some royal blue thrown in for good measure. and the texture? fur, feathers and leather throughout. this wasn’t the sweet color/textile theme we usually see from wu. no, this was an array of mature, womanly hues in elegant materials, perfect for the designer’s maturing aesthetic and customer.

of course there were the classic dresses, gowns and trousers – and even those characteristic wu stripes – but what stood out most for me were the exquisitely executed outerwear pieces. beautiful cinched-waist trenches, short jackets with bold shoulders and an incredible all white fur coat topped off with patent black belt are what really signified the designer’s segue into a more mature customer base.

but while wu’s muse does seem to be coming into her own age-wise, it’s equally important to note the maintenance of that youthful vigor the designer burst onto the scene with in 2006 – it’s just a bit more refined this time around.

ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, the live streamed shows are the next best thing to being there in person. please excuse the low quality photos, and check out style.com for the full collection – and better looking images.

from the runways: 10 crosby derek lam

8 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways. happy fashioning!

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the 10 c girl has always been one for doing things differently – odd proportions, seemingly non-compatible pattern pairs and the curious menswear-esque shoes to round things out have consistently been the core of derek lam’s diffusion line muse.

for being only a couple seasons old, this line has stayed true to itself, allowing that girl to keep doing things her way. this season saw similarly off-kilter silhouettes and interesting shoes. but something new was the play on texture that purposefully trotted to the spotlight, cueing the line’s typically eye catching color palettes to take a back seat.

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case in point: this faux pony hair coat to kick things off. perhaps a tad off-putting at first glance – i repeat: faux pony hair – upon deeper consideration, it’s easy to gain a profound respect for these initially deterring pieces as each maintain the brand’s serious approach to tailoring and share the clout so carefully cultivated in lam’s eponymous line.

equally begging for a second glance were the tuxedo influenced pieces. there were impeccable black trousers complete with cummerbund and a jacket overlaying a cross body piece of fabric you couldn’t quite wrap your head around – was it a bandeau gone awry? a misplaced bra? did she simply forget to put her blouse on?

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work-appropriate ensembles rode along side casual looks perfect for city roaming on a crisp weekend afternoon, aligning the collection, yet again, with that muse who never forgets to have her share of amusement in life. slouchy sweater dresses and a few top and shorts combos perfectly touched on that off-duty look while dresses with liberal silhouettes would seamlessly carry our girl into dinner and drinks.

overall, a pleasing and autumn appropriate execution from design director elizabeth giardina. i’m already craving the crisp winds and rich colors of fall.

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photos from style.com.