Monday, 24 February 2014

New York: Autumn/Winter 2014/15 RTW - A Review...

New York Fashion week is described best by its reigning queen, Warhol favourite, serious entrepreneur and real life princess, Diane Von Furstenburg. 

"New York brings pragmatism and directness to fashion, and the fact that anything is possible...The essence of New York style is that its direct and its practical".

New York is unquestionably a city where kooky and off the cuff clothes just don't work. The only exception being Alexander Wang's relentlessly complex, high tech hipster aesthetic which as amazing as it is, it is definitely not rule of thumb in the city that doesn't sleep!   

See, where London is all about brave new talent and strong ideas, New York is where wearable, marketable clothes are created and celebrated. We are very quick, us Brits, to criticise our American counterparts for being "too safe" and less "edgy" but maybe they don't want to be edgy, maybe they just want wearable, luxurious clothes that work in all environments.

Marcus Wainwright, one of the designers behind the amazingly cool New York label Rag and Bone said of their customers
"Our girl wants to feel cool with out taking too many risks and feeling like a clown." I think this is definitely something we can learn from our friends over the ocean. Lets face it, we seen a few clowns in search of an appearance on a street style blog outside the shows at LFW last week. 

I think this season NYFW designers proved that American style is all about everyday luxury and a wanting to look fabulous everyday. 

All that being said here is my review if NYFW Autumn/Winter 2014/15.


PATCHWORK is most definitely having a moment at this New York Fashion Week and 3.1 Phillip Lim is definitely part of it. The designer was clearly looking to warmer plain’s for inspiration oh that and his imaginary muse called Soleil. Colours were comic strip bright (shots of purple to touches of turquoise) and lots of frills on knits, the return of his signature bomber (remember the gorgeous SS13 bomber we seen on Cheryl Cole recently!) Well this time around they are in lavender and black, and worn with layered wrap skirts. This was a more tender approach in contrast to Lim’s usual hard streetwise feeling clothes – though there were still some great jackets to LUST OVER.

A dress from Adeam


A hard, utilitarian theme ran through Wangs collection for Winter 2014/15.  There was a huge emphasis on pockets and storage which cropped up on jackets and military stiff, wool slip dresses worn over leather shirts and bun bags worn slung round the waist of tailored shorts and trousers. However the fabulous raincoats, tres special shearling leather jackets and a variety of boots where my favourites and they will definitely be snapped up quickly by Wangs legion of loyal fans. 

And Re Walker

Clothes as Art at the And Re Walker presentation.  I especially loved the double backed trousers. 


Quirky, Cool and all out BOSS clothes from Band of Outsiders.  This collection is as cutting edge and fun as its predecessors but at the same time tres, tres wearable. LOVED THIS!


I love BCBG by Max Azria, the clothes are just so clean and luxurious. I love the almost Mondrian feel to the geometric prints and the fluidity of the tunic like dresses. The touch of fur in the form of collars and muffs gave the collection a luxurious touch. Then came a gorgeous array of outerwear including heavenly long line bombers and a lavish, panelled, leather and fur collarless coat. BCBG is definitely the older, cooler, well travelled sister to Herve Legers young, sultry enfant terrible!


It was all about the textured knits at Calvin Klein with the emphasis on grungy comfort. 

Clover Canyon

Clover Canyon has slowly over the last few seasons became one of my favourite collections.  Always patterned and always colourful this year there were plaid patterns and grungy silhouettes.  Plaids  then turned to graphic prints on tunics layered over shin length skirts and trousers either worn belted or a cropped sweater over the top.  Oh and some joyful knee length mack’s in vibrant prints.  With this collection there is certainly no need to be glum next winter.  


The newly appointed Stuart Vevers changed Coach’s outlook for autumn/winter 2014 and delivered a more youthful take on fashion than the safe options we have seen before from the label. There were customary American sportswear references combined with miniskirts, toggled duffle coats, oversized houndstooth-print jackets and work wear elements, while on the accessories front, we had cosy cute booties and long, loose-trailing scarves. An effortlessness, an elegance and a trendy sensibility emanated from it all. Bold in colour and concise in output, it was a well-edited first outing.


The collection opened with the designers iconic wrap dress which was fitting as the label is celebrating 40 years since the legendary dresses initial design with its ‘Journey of a Dress’ Exhibition in LA.  For Autumn Winter 2014/15 it was a black and gold love knot print and worn by Karen Elson. The show was titled Bohemian Wrapsody and the emphasis here was all on the wrap. There were wrap blouses and wrap cardigans, some long and lean, others cropped and embellished in diamantes and sparkle. They were partnered with bias-cut maxi velvet skirts and long jersey trousers, the sort that make your legs look like they go on for days with the right shoes!  Some fabulous pieces from the first lady of New York Fashion.


Donnas 2nd younger fashion house brought us ‘A New York Mashup’.  It was a collection full of urban staples that any young urban hipsters worth their street cred wouldn’t be seen without. There was a status “it” sweatshirt emblazoned with a giant “D”, sleeves streaming in sequin shards, all black New York Yankee caps and a flirty, neon lace minidress which was a surprise sighting in the mix, but Donna said, this was a mash-up.  Refreshingly rebellious clothes.


Sumptuous sexualised evening elegance from Donna Karen. My favourite look was a black tuxedo jacket posing as a mini dress with thigh-high suede boots and fur topped officer hats, just dangerously gorgeous. There were also some racy diaphanous cobweb knits over sheer pleated skirts and a  series of beautiful bias cut burnout velvet gowns that we will definitely see again over the upcoming awards season. 

Elizabeth and James Parka


A covetable collection from the brilliant husband and wife duo behind the cult label.  A compilation based on texture ,full of wish list pieces of a cosy nature. 


Pretty dresses for strong ladies. 


International Concept Brand (ICB) is a brand designed for women who view themselves and society from a global perspective. This collection was no different evoking the inner confidence of Prabal Gurung’s contemporary, young, cliental while offering sophisticated, fashionable, and elegant style.  Just gorgeous clothes I’m dying to wear!


More beautiful styling from Jenna Lyons and the team at JCrew. Fabulous outerwear in the usual array of colours and print. I especially loved the army bombers worn tied at the neck… I see that shrobbing trend isn’t going anywhere!


Beautiful jewel coloured furs and two pieces.  New York Luxury outerwear at its best.


Somewhat of a rock n roll, non challant, enfant terrible collection that reminded me of a diluted version of Heidi Slimane’s Rock n Roll grunge collection for Saint Laurent, especially those sparkly tights. 


I love Karen’s modern design aesthetic.  These clothes are very wearable and very cool. Oh and you just can’t beat her fabulous glasses. 


Kate Spade basically did J Crew for the Upper East Side and it worked.  Very Pretty Clothes indeed.  I love that embellished dinner coat with the feathers.


Voluminous work wear in monochrome and vibrant primary colours with a hint of metallic thrown in to boot. 

M Missoni

Cool prints and cosy, modern knits.  The Missoni we know an love but a little more youthful and a lot more edgy. 


All eyes were on Marc for his first show for his namesake line since giving up the reigns of Louis Vuitton and passing the creative responsibility for Marc by Marc to Kate Hillier and Luella Bartley and once again he didn't disappoint.  Leaving last season’s Victorian foray clearly in last season, Marc took us to a sixty’s utopian future with clean lines and luxurious materials.   The palette of colours was muted and cleansing with beiges, air superiority blue and browns.  Lines were clean with mid length and long tunics worn over leggings, trousers were cropped and worn with sheer V neck t-shirts and later a high dose of glitter was added to the mix and soft, elegant dresses with delicate ruffle details.  Outwear was in the form of bombers with added fur, chenille and suede.   Accessories also had a sixty’s vibe with round toes,  small heeled boots and some divine shoulder chain bags in ostrich and suede.   All in all this was definitely the start of a new era for Marc with his genius honed on one collection that was proven in the detail.   

Marc by Marc Jacobs

This was the first outing for Kate Hillier and Luella Bartley as the creative directors of Marc Jacobs second, more youthful line and they certainly took the bull by the horns so to speak.  This highly anticipated collection certainly did have revolution written all over it, both physically and metaphorically the girls certainly weren’t afraid of making the label their own and taking it back to its head turning youth. There was lots of must have pieces that will probably reach cult status and not only for you young twenty-somethings who will die for the sportier go-faster pieces but us over 20’s too, like Hillier and Bartley's themselves. Namely, a smart navy jumpsuit that looked like a trouser suit, and a mannish grey tailored jacket with red and blue facing on the collar and lapels, which can be belted with one of their huge waist cinchers or not, it's a fierce piece for any important meeting. There were also relatively simple grey waffle knits too - a signature piece for those who know their Marc Jacobs references, and this brilliant British duo were smart to revisit it this time around partnering it with stiffened and tiered, plissé pleated skirts and layered up with sweeping bow shrugs. (I LOVE THESE BOW SHRUGS – FASHION DIY ALERT)  These two certainly are a partnership to be reckoned with! Definitely watch this space.


Fabulous fashion forward work wear from Marissa Webb.  Some really good styling ideas for future office to cocktails attire.  

Michael Kors

Simple everyday luxury from Michael Kors.

Narciso Rodriguez

Simple, powerful clothes inspired by Sixties German minimalism, Lynn Chadwick’s bronze sculptures and the book cover of Jessie Dumont’s I Prefer Girls, about lesbianism in the Sixties.  Beautiful clothes with an air of fluidity.  I presume that this is the type of work wear that will take us from office to evening in winter 2014/15.  Like Marc Jacobs makeup was simple but futuristically strong.


Another example of modern, cool, quality fashion from the brains behind the exciting re-emerging Kenzo!  I love opening ceremony and just wished they sold more in the UK. There are definitely some cult pieces in this collection.  

Polo (Women)

Ralph Lauren showed his new Polo line for women before his Ralph Lauren Women’s collection to show he stark difference between the two.  The POLO collection is certainly younger and where Ralph Lauren Collection is dedicated to elegance and tailoring this POLO collection was more dedicated to fun, comfort and trend. There was huge leather rucksacks, great Navajo knits, leather jeans, biker jackets and miniskirts all emitting a youthful, luxurious optimism.  Some great looks for winter.  I loved the high heeled hiking boots. 


Prabal looked to his native Nepal for inspiration for his latest collection which was beautifully evident in the saffron-shaded pashminas and scarves piled high and up around necks and shoulders (scarves becoming very much a garment in their own right here), jingling and jangling bells on anklet-clad sandals, contour-hugging wrapped dresses and twisted cut-out tailoring.  A beautiful collection and keep a look out for those evening gowns in the upcoming award season. The make up again was very minimal.

A very desirable jacket from Preen - Line

Proenza Schouler

A confident and slick collection from Jack and Lazaro at Proenza Schouler.  Concentrating on structured outwear  and hourglass shaped coats with voluminous sleeves worn over printed trousers, shin length jersey skirts and buttoned up shirts in opposing patterns.  The structured theme transferred to boxy dresses worn with the same print long t-shirt underneath and long sleeve, voluminous , peplum tops worn with clashing print trousers and some lovely, tres want-able brogues.  We also welcomed back the use of colour in Proenza Schuler’s collection, it was a more exciting, joyful collection then those of late which have been more muted.  These guys are helping changing the shape of fashion for next winter so jump on board. 


The duos mood board for the collection had images of military wear and the Falklands War " clarified Wainwright. "But also, a lot of Fifties silhouettes... It was a bit of a mash-up." What we seen was a layered multi-clash of textures and volumes - from shearling gilets to gigantic bushy, dreadlock knits and oversized functional hoodies, partnered with combat trousers or otherwise sleek pencil skirts in fuzzy lumberjack check or tailored Bermuda shorts worn over ribbed thermal leggings. The Fifties touch came through strongest in the shape of shiny satin bowling shirts and varsity jackets embroidered in the name of the model wearing them.  Me predicts these jackets and shirts will be cult pieces this year.


The Mulleavy sisters brought us kooky librarian geek-chic comprising of bookish Oliver Peoples spectacles and knitted berets, zig-zag sweaters and paper bag-waisted trousers that all gave a nod to the Seventies, Sonia Rykiel, a little of Missoni and Janine from Ghost busters. Lurex turtlenecks and glittery raincoats with Mongolian fur collars and cut-out shoulders came next. It’s those, and the Star Wars gowns that will no doubt reach cult status the world over. This was exactly the sort of collection Rodarte fans will go wild for. Fun Nostalgic fashion at its best but not as good as their last collection, in my opinion of course.


New shapes and new ideas from Rosie Assoulin. A new designer that will change the way we wear clothes.  Rosie really is one to watch.


Very very cool clothes. A dress was pieced together from flannel tartan and sparkly leopard-spot jacquard; the effect was grunge princess. There were special little touches like adding a sporty drawstring waistband to menswear trousers and a lace-trimmed silk slip underneath a pinstriped pencil skirt with a deep slit.  A button-down shirt and long, slender wool skirt was in fact a trompe l'oeil dress. Among the lineup's many cool sweaters, a brightly colored, patterned poncho and a patchworked fisherman's knit very much stood out.

Resourcefulness was the theme for the outerwear with the sleeves of a leather biker jacket, for example, zipped off so it could double as a vest. Clever thinking also informed the labels new shoe collaboration. The lambswool-lined Vans are sure to be a hit.

T By Alexander Wang

A lesson in layering from T by Alexander Wang and also more tunics over leggings.  I’m starting to smell a trend coming on!


Gorgeous separates.  Adore the grey sculptured Gillette.


Bright, vivid colours to brighten up the winter mood from Thakoon.  I loved the cute sweater wraps and caplets. Oh and the fabulous, floral-printed puffa jackets and collaged, asymmetrical-hemmed skirts and dresses, to die.


The first few looks from the Olsen goddesses for AW 2014/15 can only be described as Teddy Bear Chic and the ultimate comfy winter wardrobe. (if you weren’t scared of frightening away ones boyfriend that is)  The collection then moved into more classic, winter pieces with sharp tailoring mixed with voluminous shapes such as the gorgeous wide, lapelled pea coats and knee length, funnel neck coats in black and cream.  The trend for scarves and blankets worn as outerwear returned again, this time in the form of gorgeous charcoal, cashmere blanket capes and grey cashmere scarves worn draped flat under jackets of the same luxurious material.  Modern, lavish, Winter Wishlist Clothes!  Coats were definitely the focus of this collection from the twins and I believe we will most definitely see some of these coat shapes on the high street this year. 


A steer towards minimalism this Winter at Tibi.  Classic winter pieces, Luxurious wool coats in various shapes, tailored, cropped trousers, jeans and luxurious joggers worn with cashmere jumpers, crisp shirts and tunics. Laid back fashion at its best and truly wearable clothes such as the pretty chiffon dresses worn over long sleeve T’s and matching printed chiffon trousers and shirts. This year’s Tibi’s boots are thigh length, strapped and gorgeous.  Cricket is a big fan of Tibi too and I hope they pick up some more of the collection this year. 


Fabulous work wear and grungy practicality from Timo.


The American great outdoors was Tommy’s theme for this coming autumn winter. (sorry I know that sounds silly when we are still in the middle of the last one!) Plaid provided the foundation here, from tartan wool cashmere sweater dresses to mohair pieces and silk shirting, it even appeared as accents on peacoats. The mountaineering idea was cleverly played out in less obvious ways too, like bungee cord button holes and elasticised drawstrings cinching in the waist on performance jackets.
I also personally loved the ski wear inspired pieces, especially the dresses, perfect for a bit of après ski!
Like Tommy Hilfiger's last few collections, this was another one aimed at the younger lady. Those fun tiered miniskirts partnered with shrunken teddy fur bomber jackets is a modern edgy look that will appeal to twenty-something's the world over.


Modern day Joan of Arc’s where the theme from Tory Burch. That's if Joan of Arc wore knee high's.


This collection from Victoria showed perfectly how she is growing into a fully fledged designer with a broad repertoire of well tailored, slightly masculine, modern, wearable clothes, not just her signature starlet dresses.  This collection was very Celine and sat very much in the Philo school of design but it was more of a homage to clean cut design rather than plagiarism! This was actually one of my favourites shows from the week and I particularly loved the long sleek lined jackets with box pleats in the back and the chunky, gold chains fastening everything from coats, skirts and halter neck tunics. Divine.

Look out for the full LFW review later this week.

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