You don't need a front row seat to get a peek at New York Fashion Week's best fall 2016 designs. Check out our reviews of the latest shows, straight from the runways all over Manhattan.
And Marc said, "Let there be boots" -- and they were platforms (worn by Lady Gaga, who surprised everyone by walking the show) -- and they were high. Very, VERY high. And they were good.
Marc Jacobs gave his fans lots to think about with his fall runway show at the Park Avenue Armory Thursday evening, but it's the boots that'll likely garner the most buzz. The models (Gaga among them) clomp-clomp-clomped atop vertigo-inducing platforms downtown gals will flip for. (Though if they do so whilst wearing these babies, they're risking serious injury.)
There was a haunting, vintagey feel to the collection, with its voluminous doily-necked dresses and coats tarted up with feathers, beading, sequins. The inspiration, according to program notes, was Keiji Haino (cut to Wikipedia on overload, getting a slew of extra hits this evening), a Japanese experimental rock musician known for his interest in "Ma" (yikes, back to Wikipedia), a Japanese concept akin to "pause" or "space." (Still with us? Hang in there.) The program went on to quote Haino, who defies "the notion that you can't create something from nothing."
And so back to the models, walking in a large, bright white ring, to a soundtrack that was merely a sharp ping ... ping ... ping, with long pauses in between, and the soft clomp of those boots, and the clothes -- great glossy laser-cut skirts, or the long denim skirt-and-jacket combo glommed with chains, feathers, Mickey Mouse pin, Playboy patch (like stuff saved from college in a dusty box under your bed). The effect was mesmerizing, and a welcome relief at the end of a fashion week where all the talk is about crass commercialism (how runway shows must change because shoppers want clothes right away -- nobody can wait for anything anymore -- gimme, gimme, gimme). Here was something that coaxed you to stop ... breathe ... look.
Haino himself has likened "Ma" to "the deepest now" -- put another way, being totally in the moment. Present. And never, ever repeating yourself. If there's one thing we can count on from Jacobs, it's that. -- Joseph V. Amodio(Curious about Keiji Haino? Check out Red Bull Music Academy Daily and Electronic Beats.)
There were two distinct temperatures at Ralph Lauren's early morning downtown show. The first was warm as his models paraded in a cozy selection of cardigans, jackets and wide legged pants (gauchos even) in a savory palette of truffle, dark brown and taupe. There were plaids upon plaids -- different patterns layered together. One standout look was a fab dark loden tartan poncho worn atop tartan sweater and skirt. All very restrained, ladylike and perhaps a touch conservative.
Then things got very cool -- as in, the coolest girl in town. There was a rock 'n' roll Ziggy Stardust vibe to the indigo, lacquered-looking skinny jeans topped by crisp blouses and embroidered jackets. Yes! Advice to actresses heading to the upcoming red carpet: Choose any one of Lauren's sensual matte velvet evening dresses, particularly the pleated amethyst halter held up by gold hardware. A glorious blue velvet coat was embroidered to the hilt with gold thread and worn with a crisp ruffled blouse and slim black pants. Gals with good abs should go for the gold swirl of a skirt topped by a cropped turtleneck -- signature Ralph.
Lauren said he was paying homage to individualistic types, "a woman who dares to be herself. By day her style is effortless and sophisticated in languid menswear. At night she transforms herself with the bold spirit of a cool rocker imbued with a modern romanticism." -- Anne Bratskeir
Anna Sui has a very specific eye, drawn to a crazy-quilt mix of wild prints and hippie-style skirts, dresses and vests. In each case, the adage -- this is not your grandmother's fill-in-the-blank -- still applies.
Sui injects a certain electricity into her collections, which makes them more than just hippie-fetish, and adds little twists all her own -- like the cardigan trimmed with puffs of fur worn atop a crinkly chiffon dress. Or a fur coat with blown-up black-and-white houndstooth. Or those granny boots, trimmed in shiny metallics. Throw in some collaged and decoupaged handbags (by pals John Derian, James Coviello and Melissa Morales), glittery librarian glasses and Erickson Beamon jewelry (long, dangly pendants of brightly colored stones) and you've got a complete retro (though somehow not dated) look. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Bibhu Mohapatra had us heading to Google when he noted his collection was inspired by "the haunting enigma of the Empress Dowager Cixi." Not as up on our dowagers as one ought to be (aside from loving Maggie Smith on "Downton Abbey," of course), we learned Cixi was not to be messed with, a royal Chinese concubine who in the 1800s wound up ruling China -- ruthlessly -- for 40 years. His collection telegraphed her legendary life, with its Far East flair (there were Asian floral prints, sinewy lace, dragonflies and red, red, red), hard edge (leather harness belts) and no-holds-barred sex appeal (thigh-high slits revealed hosiery with superhot garter-like bands at the top).
The historic inspiration gave rise to some very modern looks -- like the fur-lined parka worn over a metallic jacquard mini, or the pink and scarlet chevron-print mink that one could picture Rihanna or Christina Aguilera snapping up. They're not exactly dowagers, but they're survivors, and these days that may amount to about the same thing. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Silken flowers, cascading jewels, pearls, feathers and bolts of tulle and silk make up the dreamscape of a runway known as Marchesa. Georgina Champman and Keren Craig were inspired by the paintings of John Singer Sargent and looked, notes said, to channel "the seductive, empowered feminine nature," of his work.
The palette was mostly soft and lingerie- like -- a canvas for the embroidery and other massive embellishments -- though a few of best looks were black and red. As for silhouettes? One dress was so massive that it brushed against first rowers on either side of the runway. Another big-skirted brocade number conjured Queen Elizabeth -- tiara and all.
Within the mix, shorter cocktails and slimmer columns that were less of dress but equally impactful. One of the most beautiful looks in the lineup was a red to black ombre ballgown trimmed in laser-cut flowers. Bottom line, if you want to steal the spotlight, these are your go-to. Watch for Marchesa to turn up on a red carpet real soon. -- Anne Bratskeir
"This will really represent them," said Chirlane McCray, Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife (wearing, for the record, a black, white and red outfit by Anni Kuan) before the DKNY show. She was referring, of course, to Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne, the design duo from Public School who took over the reigns of the brand last season after Donna Karan stepped down. She was right.
Last season the designers basically stuck their toes in the water of DKNY's DNA. This time around, they dove in.
To be clear, this is a not your mother's DKNY. The vibe was urban, hip and inspired by "strong girl bands from the '90s who were able to show sexuality with a tomboy feel," notes said. The runway was an androgynous whirl of black, white, navy and scarlet, along with one feisty print, as models stormed it in what appeared to be patent army boots. Fabrics were ripped, shredded and overall deconstructed. Proportion was key: A tiny cropped sweater might be tucked into a slouchy pair of overalls, a shimmery red dress featured a widened row of what looked like sneaker lacing, a sci-fi puffer coat wore the girl walking in it. Tough stuff with a little pretty, imbued via some lacy white pieces.
Throughout the show, the designers riffed on the DKNY logo -- an icon -- spreading it across T-shirts and clothes and in some cases apparently leaving a space for it with the phrase, "Logo Goes Here." For the finale, all the models wore sweatshirts that blared slogans such as "Dazed Kids," "Designers Know Nothing Yet," and "Don't Knock New York." McCray probably really liked that one. -- Anne Bratskeir
Inspired by Art Deco Society of New York and the architecture that surrounds the world's most stylish city, Naeem Khan showed a glitzy, glamorous collection featuring gowns with geometric beaded shapes, plenty of gold patterns and textures, and just enough black to keep the collection anchored in New York. Models stood high like skyscrapers in monstrously tall Christian Louboutins, just a glimpse of which were visible under tulle-layered ball gowns, made elegant by slim sequin bodices. Khan debuted his handbag line on the runway: Though more shiny, fingerprint-prone (according to a stylist backstage) boxes than bags, the small clutches elegantly accented the couture outfits. To conclude an already impressive collection, Khan walked in the finale with 11-year-old Trinity Faith Moran of Texas, wearing a custom gown by the designer, to fulfill her wish made with the Make-A-Wish foundation. -- Melissa Kravitz
He's got the moves. He's got the motion. Michael Kors' fall lineup was all about movement: feathers, streamers, slashes, chains and flippy strips -- all fluttering, swooshing and swooping down this high energy runway. It was, in ways, a departure from the signature polished tailoring synonymous with the brand, though fear not, there were plenty of smart peacoats, trim houndstooth tweed jackets, cushy cashmere sweaters and ladylike blouses with neckties to be had.
But Kors was in the mood to party. There were a slew of flirty sequin dazzlers, metallic brocades, and rocker chick looks held together by metallic rings for girls who just want to have fun. And while fall colors usually go toward subtle -- coffee, camel, gray, white, and black -- he had them, Kors didn't stop there but infused the collection with happy blasts of powder blue, wisteria and bright green. Speaking of happy, the pale blue intarsia mink jacket emblazoned with cute flowers was an instant smile. Kors' didn't walk, he sprinted down his runway to take his bow. Yep, he's definitely got the moves. -- Anne Bratskeir.
Narciso Rodriguez made a name for himself in part by creating sexy sheaths for actresses like Julianna Margulies to wear whilst snapping up their Emmys. They were sleek, smooth, super form-fitting. He's since played with volume, and this season fiddled in a major way with texture, offering up pleats (more like gentle waves, really, on wool wrap coats and a yellow cashmere sheath), grids (on a dress and coat), even thick-knit sweaters (a rarity for Rodriguez).
His hems, which have grown more asymmetrical in recent seasons, are super-slashed -- you can almost imagine him getting out his aggressions with scissors and a dramatic flourish.
One of the best looks mixed two unexpected shades: a terracotta wool cashmere coat worn atop a russet-toned silk slip dress with diagonal hem and the texture of softly crinkled paper. The model walked by looking serene, each step a sleepy, sexy sigh. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Morgane Le Fay
Inspired by Shakespeare's sonnets, Morgane Le Fay's "Star Crossed" collection took a romantic spin at the High Line Hotel. Looks named after Othello, Portia, Ophelia and other Shakespearean characters brought just a touch of drama with a hoop skirt or transparent top.
The second half of the show, mostly dresses and tunics, all in black, were certainly the strongest looks, featuring layers, ruffles and plenty of unique shapes not quite costume-worthy but surely ready for a New York sidewalk debut, where the city is any fashionista's stage. -- Melissa Kravitz
Ralph Rucci's RR331
Be careful who you sell your brand to. Ralph Rucci learned that the hard way when he sold his revered Chado Ralph Rucci label to investors and then was kicked out, no longer able to design clothes under his own name. He debuted a new label, RR331, on Tuesday, reminding society ladies everywhere that he can still create exquisite concoctions. And major buzz. The line of 23 dresses, formalwear and coats bears the Rucci hallmarks -- phenomenal craftsmanship, luxe fabrics, serious fur -- and some favorite design elements, like the slashed dresses held together with strips of tulle. On one remarkable bustled gown, zippers serve as seams, and it appeared the whole bodice came apart in panels.
Rucci also paints, and several of his abstract works (which he paints with his body -- stripped down to skivvies) hung alongside the dresses. As for the new name -- it's a sly wink to his old label using his initials, plus the number of steps in the Japanese tea ceremony, or chado, which inspired the name of his first brand. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Carmen Marc Valvo
Backstage after his stellar show, Carmen Marc Valvo described his process. "I thought, 'I can't make another lace dress, I am sick of it.' So I took all this lace and cut it, patterned it, lacquered it and placed it in new ways." The result? "A little bit cubist, a little bit Art Nouveau, with a dash of Audrey Hepburn," he said.
The almost all-black collection included touches of wine and champagne, and one red gown. Valvo, known best for his dresses, sent a surprising amount of sportswear down his runway, and it was very good. Short and swingy fur trapeze coats with three-quarter sleeves topped slim crepe pants. In the dress department, little chemises of reconstructed lace featured rounded fur collars -- a touch of '60s mod. There were the prerequisite caviar beads, a jazzy all-over sequined gown or two, and a painterly giant flower by a large gilded stroke. The last look, a black ribbon embroidered two-piece formal number, was a showstopper. -- Anne Bratskeir
Victorian femininity went goth at Ohne Titel's runway show. The backdrop of gloomy, rainy 10th Avenue set the mood for models, pouting in dark lipstick, showing off the newest collection.
Standout pieces ranged from black bodysuits to ruffled turtlenecks with skirts and thigh-high boots, comfy, feminine knits that would pair well with a cup of tea and a Gothic novel come fall. -- Melissa Kravitz
Alice + Olivia
It was back to 1960s New York for Alice + Olivia's newest collection.
Models, pouting in sheer lipgloss, lounged amid industrial scaffolding and underground subway scenery as Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin songs played throughout the grungy-glam presentation. The clothes, however, were anything but grungy. A straphanger would be the best-dressed on the MTA in an ensemble consisting of a leopard-printed vest, collared shirt and embroidered bell bottom jeans with a corresponding handbag.
Alice and Olivia's signature beaded and shimmery formalwear was of course part of the new line, along with a few menswear-inspired suits, embossed with intricate floral and metallic patterns. Just like New York itself, in any decade this collection had a wide, impressive range suited for a wide variety of fashionistas. -- Melissa Kravitz
Long, lean and lithe were the buzzwords on Vera Wang's runway where models, including Kendall Jenner, donned the designer's luxurious and predominantly streamlined looks for fall.
A series of black-and-white ensembles -- some of the tops appearing to be boned and breast-plate-like -- read vaguely monastic but were sexed up with swingy pleats, leggy slits, and strappy backs that had an aggressive lady warrior vibe. More ethereal and almost poetic, sheer printed dusters and overlays with minascule bras beneath worn with narrow, structured pants -- a perfect pairing. Wispy columns laden with sparkly geometrics will make go-to eveningwear.
Only furs, especially the big sleeveless jobs with barrel like bottoms were voluminous. And watch for the details including beefy platform shoes with tiny peg heels, and lush fur belts. In all, a smashing lineup for the urban Bohemian. -- Anne Bratskeir
It was time for horseplay at Tory Burch's early morning show at Lincoln Center (she was one of the last holdouts there) -- no kidding around -- as the designer focused on her childhood love of horseback riding and equestrian details. Coats were done up in bold jockey colors -- so crisp -- and there were skinny jodhpurs and smart bomber jackets as well. The whole lineup was pretty-sporty-prep, right back to Burch's base, and turned out in rich, wintry colors -- hunter green, cobalt and cinnamon. There was also lace and leather striping and a few prints -- a darling floral and big graphic horse, neither of which we'll be saying "neigh" to next fall. -- Anne Bratskeir
As the young actress Odeya Rush was being ushered to her seat at the Zac Posen show on Monday night, she said, "I'm scared to sit. This is so tight," referring to her classic corseted Zac dress that hugged every curve. (Her handler assured her that she looked beautiful and would be fine.)
But that was the last the assembled saw of those signature Posen silos. There was nary a ball gown in sight. Instead the designer, who said he was inspired by Ugandan Princess Elizabeth of Toro, and used a lineup of almost all black models to underscore the point, loosened up and added suitings. Some of the flowery Liberty-print dresses, in beautiful jewel tones such as jade and saturated blue, were intricately draped and luxed up with sparkling glass beads. They were not what you would consider a fall or winter staple, though refreshingly lovely just the same.
More seasonally appropriate were pantsuits in shades of wine, crimson and oxblood -- dressy -- they featured velvet trim, big buttons and slightly puffed shoulders. Looking for a not-so-basic black dress? There were any number of them here -- draped, paneled, some with spaghetti straps, others with shoulder flutters, some dappled in jet beads, done up in stretch cady, which was, said Posen in notes, "to highlight the comfort of wear." Perhaps Rush would've preferred one of these. -- Anne Bratskeir
Rag & Bone
The sight of drums at the top of the runway, including congas, a drum set plus marimba (or was it vibes? -- hard to tell, it was dark), was the first indication that Rag & Bone's David Neville and Marcus Wainwright had something primal in store. Or at least rhythmic -- their musical taste usually spills over onto the runway, and the tracks never fail to disappoint. This time it was Mauro Refosco and Joey Waronker, of the band Atoms for Peace, pounding out an intoxicating beat as male and female models (R&B showed both men's and womenswear) strode down the wide runway, guys on the right, women on the left.
It was interesting to see the men side by side with the women -- especially given that the guys seemed more like the peacocks, in a very subtle R&B sorta way, mind you, while the women evoked a darker, subtle vibe, with shades to match (mostly black, some denim, the occasional pop of red).
The familiar R&B reference points were all there -- the work shirts, the menswear tailoring mixed with sport (there was a great pair of wide windowpane-print track pants with zippers at the ankle, and later a more traditional track pant with white stripes down the side). Then there was their "ash pant," patchworked with nylon and leather or cotton selvedge denim, delivering a sexy moto-pant look. The knits also stood out, particularly the oversize sweaters with loose, barely braided cables, and tunic-like color-blocked fisherman sweaters, one shade in front, another in back, as if two sweaters were cobbled into one, left partially unbuttoned and yanked off one shoulder. All of which was worth pounding drums over. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Early Monday evening, a major transformation occurred in the basement level at the Skylight Modern, a gallery space on West 27th Street. Designer Thom Browne worked his magic and turned the place into a replica of Washington Square Park circa 1920, complete with full-sized trees, park benches, a clock -- even a little snow -- all surrounded by sketches of buildings.
Out from a doorway came a succession of models who meandered through the park, their clothes elegant but definitely off-kilter. Browne was thinking of repurposing, turning an old favorite garment, something a woman loved, into something new rather than tossing it out. The most evident example of changing the function of an item was the fabulous headgear most of the models wore -- stiff bands of cloth that swirled like sculpture around their heads. They were, in actuality, men's ties and an amazing visual.
Garments here had been pulled apart and put back together in a new and entirely surprising way. There was a fur coat with an added-on collar and an entire blazer artfully stitched onto the bottom; random patches on pant legs, ostensibly where there had been holes; a mechanic's jumpsuit with a tacked-on fur collar and cuffs; a suit with two contrasting sides, one half a dark suit jacket and skirt, the other with a shorter light gray jacket and pant leg. A couple of furs had rugby-like striped trim, and what could have been a favorite stretched-out cabled sweater featured a stiff petticoat beneath.
The finale dress, a bridal gown, was a feat of engineering with its structural and wildly elaborate back draping. It was all very dreamlike, and said Browne of the handiwork, "most challenging" to produce.
Noted and quite appropriate in this park-like setting, a few dog-shaped handbags that looked a lot like Hector, the real-life dachshund that showed up in the park after the show. Guess whose dog he is? Yep, that would be Browne himself. -- Anne Bratskeir
Fall 2016 brought "a glimpse into the world of a femme fatale" for Reem Acra.
Lace, silk, flapper-style fringe, plenty of sparkle and intricate beading combined Hollywood glamour with a hint of burlesque in this risqué red carpet collection. Models glided in rhinestone-studded gladiator heels, wearing skin-tight gowns in pastels, reds and blacks, some with elegant trains, others swishing mermaid-esque on the gleaming black runway; they were all exquisite. -- Melissa Kravitz
Libertine feels the Bern.
At least, the models want you to believe so. Not the first to use picket signs on the runway this season, Libertine's finale shifted focus from the colorful clothes (a bold pink-and-red striped fur and plenty of creative patchwork that resembled couture scout vests were favorites) to a parade of well-dressed and coiffed models. They smiled and held signs reading, "Oh Hill No," "Women's Rights 4 Eva" and "Lib for Today," among others. Models who weren't picketing snapped selfies and showed off luxe capes and sequin leggings, embodying the playful yet hyper stylish of the collection. The final picketed message of "Buy More Libertine" -- which received both laughs and cheers from guests -- may have been targeted at a different demographic: one that can actually afford Libertine. -- Melissa Kravitz
Gossip guru Perez Hilton wore the perfect thing to Jeremy Scott's afternoon show. It was a gigantic white, fuzzy coat with built-in colorful flashing lights. Kooky, which sort of sums up Scott's wild runway romp called "Cowboys and Poodles." Here, beehived models wore variations on cowboy clothes -- crop tops with fringe, shorts with fringe, satin Western shirts, metallicized jean jackets along with a series of furry animal prints including cow.
And speaking of prints, they were positively crazy here, featuring cartoon characters Ren and Stimpy, Judy Jetson, telephones, guitars, the planet Saturn and more.
Scott's girls are sexy and saucy and definitely not shy. For them, more is more, such as in the case of a miniskirt drenched in little plastic charms that rattled as the model walked.
In all, a fabulous blast. The audience went wild when Scott took his bow. -- Anne Bratskeir
When Tommy Hilfiger's invite arrived looking like the ticket to an old-timey luxury liner, we knew he was up to something. And Tommy didn't disappoint. Arriving at the Park Avenue Armory, signs directed "All Passengers" past piles of steamer trunks to the deck of a ship -- complete with portholes, shuffleboard and massive smokestacks, with steam trailing into the air.
Tommy set sail for all points glamorous, as models strolled the deck in sharp nautical stripes, embellished officer coats, sailor shorts and tops and slinky sequin slipdresses circa 1940-something, perfect for a trip. You're booked First Class, naturally. This is default dressing for Hilfiger, who knows his signature looks and natty nautical flair, and sticks to it.
His secret is in the flair, imbuing it all with new excitement -- yes, we want that cashmere pea coat! And his brilliance is in the details, from the glittery pumps worn with frilly socks, and fleet-week print shoulder bags, to the elaborate sets, complete with exotic hotel stickers on the luggage (let's all meet at the New Plaza Hotel in Manila, or the Burlington in Shanghai, shall we?) and antique fire extinguishers on deck ('cuz, y'know, things have been known to go wrong on ships).
The only surprising thing post-show is that no one -- no one -- jumped on the bow of the ship to strike the Leo and Kate pose from "Titanic" -- not until one brave Frenchwoman did it, laughing with embarrassment as her friend shot the photo. Why be embarrassed? If there's no iceberg in sight, hey, we say go for it. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Inspired by photographer Berenice Abbott, Karen Walker's Fall 2016 collection, entitled "Magnetic," was bright, playful and definitely drew in her audience.
Models sported chunky sunglasses and layered looks (turtlenecks are here to stay) like a "Surrealist smock" and plenty of "electromagnetic skivvys" -- colorful, patterned ensembles sure to get the wearer photographed in next season's street style.
The refreshingly vibrant clothes, especially on a dire February Monday, were paired with Chelsea boots and flats -- heels would have been totally unnecessary for the delightful gaudiness of these looks. Going for "utilitarian with an air of androgynous chic," according to program notes, Karen Walker's 29 outfits were undeniably feminine yet with an added edge far beyond glamour and couture. -- Melissa Kravitz
Emphasizing texture and dimension in her Fall/Winter line, Lela Rose showed formal wear prominently featuring bell sleeves, layered, patterned fabrics like crêpe and cotton in rich jewel tones and plenty of loosefitting pants and dresses perfect for layering.
The second half of the show's impressive 47 looks featured more ready-to-wear separates, like chunky cable sweaters paired with monochromatically matching pants and knit tops paired with glitter and sequin skirts, ala J. Crew for many seasons. Most notable, perhaps, is that Lela Rose is following in the footsteps of Rebecca Minkoff and others, offering three looks from her show (all appropriate for February 2016 and hopefully still trendy enough for September, their intended season) immediately for purchase online.
As Fashion Week morphs into shopping week, Lela Rose's designs retailing at $1,500 and up for a casual dress, worn by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman, still may just be coveted on the runway for many. -- Melissa Kravitz
Carolina Herrera delivered her vision of refined elegance at the Frick Collection on E. 70th, where the lineup reflected the designer's intent to blur the lines between day and night, and meld sharp tailoring with romantic femininity.
Karlie Kloss opened the show in a Prince of Wales plaid wool pleated dress that would have read conservative had it not been for the shapely plunging neckline. Perhaps the last thing you'd expect from Herrera would be cargo pants but an alternate universe version of them appeared here -- black, boxy wool jobs with elongated sequin pockets topped by a silk blouse with mink sleeves ... wow.
Texture was a focus with several looks boasting graphic laser cut flowers. In one particularly outstanding look, a desert sand-colored evening gown was drenched in three-dimensional jasmine blooms.
In an Instagram preshow, the lightness and fluidity of the fabric was illustrated on a worktable and it was evident on the runway, particularly in a wild swirl of a ball skirt in pale misty green. Most of the colors were muted, save for some rich variations on purple; such as the knockout iris gown Kloss wore to close the show. -- Anne Bratskeir
Warning: We're going to use the "M" word. But it seems only fitting, because modesty (there it is) becomes Derek Lam.
Maybe we should've whispered it, given that "modesty" seems a dirty word in an era when outlandish behavior makes you a reality show star and women build careers and reputations (hey, Ms. Minaj, hey, Ms. Kardashian) on the size of their booty. (Yes, we said the "B" word, too.) And yet there is Derek Lam, outfitting the likes of a different type of woman, who wants to stay no less current, but prefers to flash a tad less skin. And so for fall, among various high-necked pieces, he offers a humble turtleneck -- really a mock turtle -- which doesn't fold over but stands up straight, with a slight ruffle, and striking a fresh look under scoop- or V-necked belted wool dresses for work, or other dresses for evening, one beaded and crocheted, another in velvet and scooched down below the shoulders.
As if that weren't cozy enough, there were also great coats -- in diagonal plaid mink, fuzzy green mohair and patchwork plaid hair calf with Nutria trim. Trust us, if next fall is as cold as it was today, you'll appreciate all the high necklines and layers. -- Joseph Amodio
If you love a trunk show, you would have loved a Rachel Zoe presentation -- there's always the feeling that Zoe herself just hauled a steamer trunk from her own L.A. digs and flung open the latches with a hearty "have at it, girls!" And that no-holds-barred spirit is what draws the likes of the Olivias (Palermo and Culpo), social media diva Bethany Mota, singers / actresses Lennon and Maisy Stella, and singer Zella Day, who all showed up to see what Zoe is up to for fall.
Glitter and shine seem to be her guiding lights, in a collection fueled by 1930s glamour (and more than a touch of 1990s attitude). Cases in point: A spaghetti strap column dress striped with pearls and silver stones or the shiny, fringy skirt paired with a white knit turtleneck and blazer. Another turtleneck, cotton-bud white and dotted with pearls, gave a soft-edged glow to daywear, while a maribou-edged cocktail dress did the same for evening. You could see Zoe in each of these, which is all part of the point. She is not only the brand's namesake, but it's cover model. -- Joseph Amodio
As you stepped out of the elevators at Spring Studios in TriBeCa, heading to the J. Crew presentation, you were immediately greeted by a wall of flowers and a cloud of springy fragrance. But wasn't it just 18 degrees outside? No matter. The brand -- like the staffers at its retail locations -- know how to welcome a crowd. And warm a crowd, too, as we all stood in the middle of a wide open space on the sixth floor, with sun streaming in through the massive windows, melting our frostbit earlobes. Maybe we were just thawing out, but there seemed to be a sunny-ness to the collection, too, with its pow colors -- from a power-pink yeti coat and berry tweed blazer, to a Dijon yellow thick-knit scarf, trailing to the floor.
There were great multi-culti mixes -- like the butterscotch topper, acid rose long blazer and striped shirt worn with dark denim culottes and leopard heels. A shell glistening with sequin fireflies, worn with chinos and tweed blazer. And where will shoe and bag fanatics turn next? Perhaps geo-print disco loafers, jungle-kitty boots, zebra shopper or chartreuse crop bag?
As if that wasn't enough wooing, staffers handed out petite bouquets of flowers as you left. That's right ... with all the rushing around from show to show, we'd almost forgotten it was Valentine's Day. -- Joseph Amodio
"Curious, intrigued and slightly undone" is how Prabal Gurung described his serene runway -- a wintry mix of hushed organic tones -- snow, pewter, blackberry and sky. The designer called the collection "a romantic collage of ideas," and it was stunning.
The must-have item (and we mean this moment): Lush oversized hand-knit tunics that read so cozy yet were undeniably chic over billowy satin skirts. This was a luxurious lineup with high-end fabrics including burnout velvets; silk chiffon and crepe back satin, slightly toughed up with intentionally unfinished hems.
Sleeves got special attention -- gracefully belled, some tiered. There were huge, fluffy furs and longhaired shearlings that rippled as the models walked and Gurung's use of graphic feather prints throughout the show added to its ethereal quality. The clothes seemed to float down the runway conjuring snowflakes softly falling. -- Anne Bratskeir
Diane von Furstenberg
House party! Diane von Furstenberg hijacked New York Fashion Week as we know it and harnessed social media at the brand's Sunday early evening gig in her corporate headquarters on 14th Street where she also lives.
It was two glam floors of "performance art," if you will, the most fabulous (and it was) happening on the second where the industry's hottest models including Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss partied on a slightly raised platform along with von Furstenberg herself, who sometimes directed and, at others, actually got into the melee. They danced wildly to songs like "I'm Every Woman," sung into makeup brushes and took selfies all in the designer's looks for next season.
Von Furstenberg occasionally came off the stage, sometimes to pull people onto it (Carine Roitfeld obliged while one fellow frantically ran away), other times to kiss friends (Nicky Hilton, Olivia Palermo and Internet sensation Alexis Ren among them). She surveyed the throng, all (including us) recording the moment on cellphones and cameras. .
Were they happy? Yes, they were, and you could see it click in her eyes. ... This was a hit. Adding to the ambience -- trays of wine, hors d'oeuvres and pink macarons for Valentine's Day.
Downstairs, lesser-known models moved about office desks to animate work clothes, others came in and out of doorways and dressing rooms.
As for the clothes? Lots for celebrating -- choose a feather-light lame long dress with a high slit or an airy black chiffon maxi with gold metallic stamping. Go for a saucy black-and-white cocktail or a jumpsuit, color block or sparkly embroidered black.
For day, prints galore -- a floral sundress for your vacay, a leather ensemble with a stripe-y skirt for biz, shorts, skirts, tweeds and more.
As the Council of Fashion Designers of America chairman von Furstenberg has publicly recognized the need for New York Fashion Week to change and called for it. On Sunday night she made it happen. "It's not the same old boring fashion show," said one industry heavy in the audience. And aside from the business of it all, "Everybody will leave here smiling," said Coco Rochas, who attended the event dressed in a lacy von Furstenberg jumpsuit. They did. -- Anne Bratskeir
The fashion flock trekked way downtown on Sunday afternoon to the Roxy Theatre for Tracy Reese's collection and with good reason. The designer, inspired by her hometown, Detroit, had commissioned an almost nine-minute movie, titled "A Detroit Love Song," which she presented in a small theater there.
The film, a beautifully edited composite of automobile, music and dance images also juxtaposed the city's growth -- modern, glistening skyscrapers against its darker side -- abandoned, rundown homes and bleak, deserted streets. Interspersed were Reese's models wearing the designer's broodily romantic lineup. Afterward, it was off to an attached barroom, complete with a jazz piano player and Reese's models posed in vignettes.
There was a moody, morning-after look about them -- slightly messy hair, touches of smeared mascara in stark contrast to the feminine, put together looks. Silos, for the most part, were spare affairs, though texture added interest: intricate beading, crochet, bias fringe and embroidery. The color story was the city's story according to notes -- dark navy, black, deep red moving toward the light -- dark green, blue and pink.
Reese worked the plain and fancy equation expertly, such as a chunky knit atop a slip dress. And a surprise -- quirky sock garters added interest and enhanced the show's vintage feel "There is so much richness in Detroit," said Reese after the show. "There's so much there." -- Anne Bratskeir
Monique Lhuillier took us on a trip to the '70s Saturday evening, mixing psychedelic prints with bell-sleeve cuts, bootlegs and plenty of flower power. The designer upped the ante with her palette this season, after the crisp apple greens and pinks seen in her Spring Summer '16 show -- this time adding more shades to the spectrum, from mints to emeralds to deep forest greens, as seen in sheer lace shirts and jacquard midi skirts. Deep shades of red and burnt amber dotted shirts in the form of poppy flower decorations and fur collars.
Plenty of sparkle embellished dresses, jackets and dazzling rhinestone socks -- an accessory models paired with platform sandals.
Jacquard gowns and candy-colored tulle were highlights of evening wear, alongside sheer, floor-length column dresses that gave off a mixed vibe of pretty girl with a hard-rock edge.
The designer cited late-'60s 'it' girl and style icon Talitha Getty as a source of inspiration for a collection that's "eccentric while remaining sophisticated and ultra-luxurious."
Hilary Duff, Abby Cornish, Naya Rivera, Ashley Madekwe, Jennifer Morrison, Jamie Chung and Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, were among celebs spotted in the front row of the show at The Arc at Moynihan Station. -- Keira Alexander
No, that's not a sweater. Wait -- is it? Christian Siriano had Jaime King, Coco Rocha, "Orange Is the New Black's" Jackie Cruz, "The Hunger Games' " Willow Shields, "Masters of Sex's " Isabelle Fuhrman, Leigh Lezark, Naya Rivera -- it was a long, fresh-faced front row -- plus the rest of us all guessing as models trooped onto the runway in knit dresses, wraps, scarves -- and other items that looked knit, but weren't. The tricked-ya digital-knit print on jersey and wool gave the texture and look of knitwear, but "makes it more wearable, a little easier, less warm, which I like," said Siriano backstage before the show.
Siriano's toying-with-texture collection was inspired by textile artist Sheila Hicks. "I like her idea of 'the art of yarn,' how yarn feels like poetry, even though it's . . . you know . . . just textiles. It's kind of cool."
It's also feminine, which the Siriano gal loves -- take the tiered ball skirt exploding in a column of soft ruffles, the crochet-embellished LBDs, and the flowing gowns with braided straps. Near the end, however, he threw in some tailored menswear suits and blasted David Bowie. As if to say a hint of androgyny never hurts. -- Joseph V. Amodio
You can tell a lot about a designer by the way he (or she) takes a bow. Joseph Altuzarra isn't shy (oddly, a lot of his colleagues are) -- he bounds down the runway like an athlete taking his victory lap. The boyish grin, the good vibes -- he seems like the kind of guy you'd want to join for dinner. Or, better yet, a vacation. Maybe he'll even bring his front-row pals (Olivia Palermo, Kate Bosworth, Caroline Issa, Eva Chen and Rachel Zoe).
Well, OK, the designer does the next best thing with his fall collection, transporting us across the globe, blending ethnic styles and influences: from the paisley prints (India) to pearl-dotted handkerchief-hem dresses (Venice) to color-blocked pants and tops with fringe (Morocco, Turkey). It's a vibrant, youthful mix, all vaguely Moorish, which explains the white gazebo-like structure in the middle of the runway that the models all marched through.
His Ghianda handbag line gets a new addition with the Saddle Mini, its silver chain straps wrapped in scarves. This, plus the calico-print booties with block heels and the multi-strapped Mary Janes will have women, if not vacationing, then on the move. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Herve Leger by Max Azria
Think Hérve Léger and, natch, the iconic, often barely there bandage dress comes to mind -- that body-girdling, uber-sexy dress -- favored by celebs and body-beautifuls alike. That's why the appearance of coats -- and very good ones at that -- was so surprising on the brand's Saturday afternoon runway and so welcome on what was, perhaps the coldest day of the year. A black, oversized lamb-and-wool job was a cozy foil to the bandaged swimsuit and skintight skirt worn beneath. Another in pale blue got its swagger from a series of randomly placed dog chains looped through grommets. As for the clothes, dubbed in notes, "sensual but defiant," there were those classic body-con silos along with some fit and flares (a little more breathing room) turned out in plaids, stripes and loads of eyelet fringe, The palette ran from multicolor to ripe merlot, with lots of ivory and black. To amp up the attitude and underscore the fierceness -- safety pin embellishment -- referencing punk in a most luxurious way. -- Anne Bratskeir
The frigid temps had little to do with Jill Stuart's vision for next fall; we counted only three coats in the lineup: two chevron-striped reefers and one great blue duffel. But then Stuart's focus has always been on party girls -- some demure and others high-spirited -- and for them there was plenty to celebrate. Good girls will swoon for the sweet cotton-candy-colored asymmetrical little slither; a darling black miniskirt of layered ruffles topped with a floral turtleneck; or a tiered ruby midi dress. For late-night revelers, a micro mini with a single sci-fi ruffle; a sultry pinafore gown (revealing at the sides); a gorgeous metallic stamped maxi or a sequin-dotted charcoal jumpsuit. Noted: cropped pants across the board, including one pair of gauchos and fab metallic booties in red worn with matching fishnets ... very cool and covetable. -- Anne Bratskeir
Rebecca Minkoff played it safe in her spring 16, yes spring, not fall, runway show. Suede jackets and skirts, fringe, draping, flowy tops and monochromatic outfits paired with low, chunky heels and small, cross-body bags were all iconic Minkoff, who played to her fans in this show. After seeing an instant desire for her newest designs appear on social media right after her Fashion Week collections showed, Minkoff mixed things up this season with #SeeBuyWear, a show offering clothing available for purchase immediately after the models showed it off. "This is how it should be," Minkoff noted in her program, after declaring "Fashion Week is broken." As one who embraces change in the industry, with her high-tech SoHo dressing rooms and her trendy wearable tech accessories, maybe Minkoff has the right idea. The spring show, titled "The Disruption," showed nothing shocking from Minkoff. Some loose-fitting jeans and NY/LA screen print tops will easily be replicated at Forever 21, perhaps without much visible difference. Models' looks were cute and re-creatable by shoppers and those without stylists, not as edgy as looks from Minkoff's past, but definitely marketable to online shoppers. -- Melisa Kravitz
FENTY PUMA by Rihanna
When Puma announced a little more than a year ago that Rihanna would be its new women's creative director, the earth shifted. Or so it seemed. She started small, with a collection of creepers sneakers -- and the fashion world snatched them up so fast you'd think we'd never seen shoes before. Such is the power of RiRi.
Now imagine the buzz in the room at the start of her first Fashion Week runway show, held in J.P. Morgan's old bank on Wall Street. Uh ... ka-ching is in the air once again. Her Fenty line (her last name is Fenty, by the way) includes menswear and womenswear ... and it was molten-lava hot.
Like the women's jumpsuit with barely pulled together lacing that curved from cleavage over to thigh and down the leg. Or the corset hoodie. The low-slung boxer shorts. The low-cut sailor shirt (her fans are her "navy"). Sexxxy. Plus, the fab, oversize furry hoodies, fuzzy backpacks, new creepers (of course) and spike-heel sneaker booties. Will people buy? Probably -- her influence in this industry feels as potent as Steve Jobs' once did in his. Better get your orders in early. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Talk about getting cold feet -- Nicole Miller's audience felt it, literally, when the smoke machines switched on and a cool steamy mist engulfed the floor.
Paparazzi, some hunched low along the runway, looked like they were rising from the primordial ooze. It all made for a mysterious, icy vibe, as models stormed down the runway, proving you could still be fierce wearing -- wait, what was this? -- eyelet, lace and crochet.
The collection of high-necked dresses, with ruffles or tiered patchwork panels separated by sheer slits, looked like, um, granny dresses. But granny never flashed skin like this. Leave it to Nicole to dream up the sexy (and wearable) granny dress, with her signature prints: vibrant, offbeat. The footwear looked built for serious cold, especially the high-heel lace-up mukluks. And given that our feet felt like popsicles by the end, well ... she should've started selling them right away. -- Joseph V. Amodio
Milly showed a darker side on the runway this season, with navy, emerald and black pieces dominating the collection. Designer Michelle Smith cited "the sensuality of the female form" as her inspiration for the new line, "The Intimacy of Winter," as a program labeled the show.
Models in dark lingerie and unbuttoned overcoats, flouncing mini-dresses with lacy bralettes visible underneath as well as some more modest knit wool and trouser ensembles, strutted in Manolo Blahniks through a mazelike runway as hip-hop blared throughout the Pier 59 studios. Enough ruffles and tailored skirts made this collection identifiable Milly, though with added edginess: Think black bandeau over a navy turtleneck. So intimately winter chic. -- Melissa Kravitz
Does Jennifer Hudson -- sitting front-row at Jason Wu's packed show -- like the deconstructed look? "Deconstructed" is usually code for arty (fashion students), to-die-for (fashionistas) or pretty-impossible-to-wear (the rest of us). But Wu proves it can be done with a delicate hand, to fantastic effect. Like the window-pane-print wool dress with cutout back, or the camel rib-knit sweater pulled down off the shoulders and open in back, tied with bands of ribbon. Everything had a lightness to it, from the camel strapless dress with sprigs of floaty feathers to that long, brown leather coat with white fur collar tied up top with a ribbon that trailed down the sides. This collection is feminine, wearable and will look great on any woman -- whether you've got an Oscar at home or not. -- Joseph Amodio
Polo Ralph Lauren
Welcome to the fabulous world of Ralph Lauren's Polo collection, shown at the company's swanky Madison Avenue headquarters where guests were ushered in by a well-coiffed wait staff proffering champagne; hefty vodka, ginger beer and lime drinks; and miniature tacos and burgers. It was a perfect menu to pair with the saucy lineup -- signature Ralph with a youthful, sexy edge.
The looks didn't stray too drastically away from Ralph's classic vibe, yet they read modern with a touch of the irreverent tossed in for good measure. (After all, giant vodkas at 2 p.m. ... how irreverent is that?)
Polo girls apparently like to mix it up in eclectic ways. Menswear was a central theme here -- a cocktail dress with suspenders, a fitted charcoal jacket and vest worn with matching shorts ... the model accessorized with a derby hat. In some cases, silhouettes relaxed -- drapey cocoon-like toppers were glammed up with a flash of shine beneath.
Opposites attracted in several looks, such as a sturdy silver-fringed leather jacket over a sleek little black dress. An easy and soothing palette included gray, caramel and black with subtle metallic touches.
The presentation pretty much had it all, including a gorgeous Irish setter, Emma Roberts mingling and Ralph himself taking a look-see at the whole scene. In all, lovely. -- Anne Bratskeir
It was a new direction for designer Tadashi Shoji, who toned down his traditional froth fest and went tribal on the collection. Inspiration included tattoo parlors transformed into "dress making ateliers," notes said, and sequins replaced the painterly brush strokes of tribal body painters. To that end, there were more than a few mesh bodysuits that literally looked painted on and featured embellished, sparkly geometric patterns.
"It's new for him," said one brand rep, adding that the uber-body-con looks would suit the likes of Jennifer Lopez.
Still, there were plenty of more forgiving looks, including billowy gowns with holograph-like sequin embellishment -- very pretty. Oversized faux furs -- one in dark leaf green -- smacked of the '70s and boasted a casual cool. Colors ran neutral -- black and ivory predominant -- along with some copper and gold metallics and a touch of sapphire.
Necar Zadegan, who plays cutthroat attorney Delia, the mega-fashion plate on Bravo hit "The Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce," sat front row, and mused about getting Tadashi into the fashion mix. "I'd like to use Tadashi on the show," she said. -- Anne Bratskeir
Live music, champagne and breakfast-themed finger foods (OK, French fries with dainty ketchup bottles) welcomed guests to the Rainbow Room on Friday morning, where models in nude makeup and Spade's newest styles posed on a rotating stage under the ballroom's elegant chandelier.
Though the presentation of women on a pedestal was questionable (think Sofia Vergara's widely panned Emmy's bit), models elegantly and playfully showed off a mod collection featuring accessories including Russian-style fur hats, bejeweled sunglasses and masculine-cut tuxedo tops, coats and pants, making for a lighthearted morning that could make one nostalgic for a former, more formal version of New York she never even lived in. This is the way to sell clothes. -- Melissa Kravitz
Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection
On one of the coldest days of the year, one show in particular warmed hearts.
The Red Dress Collection, that joyous runway romp, closed the first day of New York Fashion Week with style, grace and laughter. Sponsored by the American Heart Association and Macy's, the show featured a diverse group of celebrity models wearing designer red dresses to generate awareness of the dangers of heart disease for women.
The models were r-e-a-l-l-y in it: Florence Henderson (in Pamella Roland), would have shocked the daylights out of her beloved character Carol Brady with her vampy runway moves. Likewise, Fran Drescher (wearing La Petite Robe di Chiara Boni) had the audience roaring as she rummaged through her purse on the runway -- she powdered her face and brushed her hair as she walked -- absolutely hilarious. The "Today" show's Tamron Hall (in Romona Keveza) brought some feisty dance moves to the catwalk, though no one was more graceful than Misty Copeland, the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. A guy in the front row actually bowed down onto the runway as she swished past him -- she blew him a kiss. Skylar Diggins (in Michael Costello), the star basketball player, wore sparkly flats with her frothy dress and strode the runway like she meant business while Ta'Rhonda Jones, of the hit show "Empire," wore a crazy tubular get-up by Conrad Booker. Gigi Gorgeous, the transgender Internet personality, dazzled in a Laurel Dewitt ensemble that resembled the Statue of Liberty. Long Island's own Madison Beer, the 16-year-old recording artist, looked leggy and lovely in a slinky Halston Heritage number. But leave it to Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Monica (regal in Dennis Basso) to get the audience on their feet. She did just that with excellent rendition of "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," belted out right on the runway. -- Anne Bratskeir
Rachel Antonoff isn't toying around.
Sister to Fun. frontman Jack Antonoff, the designer took her FW16 presentation in a musical direction with a choreographed performance on the 15th floor of the Grace Building. With the backdrop of the illuminated nighttime NYC skyline, dancers performed to "A Secretary is Not a Toy" from Broadway's "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" while modeling Antonoff's fun-spirited, (mostly) business-appropriate collection.
Sartorial secretaries sang, danced and posed in 50s-inspired A-line skirts, flowing blouses and bright patterns that could even make one look forward to midtown secretarial work come this fall. Colorful character shoes were a playful, if not practical, addition to dancers' and models' feet -- business casual can go comfortable with looks as polished as Antonoff's. -- Melissa Kravitz
When temps plummet and icy winds induce frostbite, you can't help but dream of fur -- well ... just a little. But then those PETA ads come to mind, with all those poor little baby lynxes and minks. Enter Marissa Webb, with a smart eye and a knack for making faux fur look just as real-- or at least cozy and fun -- as the real thing.
Atop fluttery (almost springlike) floral dresses she layered a few choice, vibrant and, yes, faux-fur jackets, vests and a fab tunic-like piece she called a luxe funnel neck "popover." Looks just as warm as the culinary kind -- and just as satisfying. -- Joseph Amodio
A head-bopping playlist prominently featuring Grimes -- just ask Miss J. Alexander, nodding along in the front row -- ushered in models with stick straight hair, flouncing layered outfits and Desigual's signature quirky-cool style.
Inspired by "the vibrancy of city life and all of its creative lifeblood," Desigual's new collection featured an array of patterns in subtle maroons, golds, grays and blues. Mohair, fur and vegan leather (formerly known as pleater) played up the textures in this sprightly collection more likely to be featured on "Girl Meets World" than "Girls." -- Melissa Kravitz
Mathieu Mirano, 24, who hails from Long Island, was inspired by his trips to Egypt and experiencing his first sandstorm there; hence, glamorous models were set in a gigantic sandbox (Louboutins and all) at his Thursday afternoon show at the Piers.
The feeling of the desert winds was something Mirano wanted to capture, he said at the presentation. "I stood still for hours using my sense of physical touch to understand what the wind would appear like if it weren't transparent."
The result? His most sophisticated collection yet -- all evening -- produced in the lightest fabrics -- glittering liquid silk, metallics, fringes -- in vivid rainbow hues.
Mirano has steadily gained a celebrity clientele, including Lady Gaga, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore, and it's not hard to see why.
"His cuts are perfectly on point and his dresses are exquisitely made," said Harper's Bazaar executive fashion and beauty editor Avril Graham, who has worn Mirano to major awards ceremonies.
While the clothes were knockout, there were other stars at the show who had little to do with Egypt ... giant tortoises frolicked in the sandbox, some ambling right up to the models. (a few of the ladies were frightened while others stroked the gentle giants.)
"The set just looked a little incomplete," said Mirano, who got the idea from another trip to the Galapagos Islands. "I originally wanted a mountain lion, but that wasn't going to fly." The tortoises appeared to be having a blast, and we were assured by their animal handler that they were enjoying themselves as will any gal who gets hold of one of Mirano's gowns or dresses. -- Anne Bratskeir
Punk met grunge met goth at R13's debut NYFW show.
The unfinished wooden floors and exposed brick at Soho Lofts functioned as the perfect natural catwalk for models lumbering in Doc Martens, showing off the former Ralph Lauren designer's stylishly ripped denim jackets and jeans along with simpler turtlenecks and tees. Transparent eyelash sweaters were shown with nothing worn underneath, for shock value, perhaps, but ready-to-wear did not come to mind with this look.
With R13 jeans retailing at over $300 a pair, those wearing them may want the pants to be the star of the outfit. -- Melissa Kravitz
Monochromatic layers defined Nicholas K's new collection.
An army of models -- most with hair wrapped under their chins in a beard-like fashion that will probably not catch on in NYC -- walked to techno drum beats and the sounds of nature in calf hair slippers and layered outfits, debuting midnight black, beige, maroon and tan collections.
The standouts, perhaps at least for this attracted by warm-looking, comfortable apparel at 9 a.m. on NYFW's first morning, were the velvet ensembles, just luminous enough to signify high fashion and not quite colorful or loungey enough to boomerang back to the velour sweatsuit trend. Models poured in the same purple, almost black, lipsticks. A look that will easily be replicated this fall. -- Melissa Kravitz
The vibe was eclectic with a capital "E" at the BCBGMAXAZRIA show where the muse was, "a performer whose individualistic style reveals her artistic ingenuity," according to notes. It was a funky mash-up set to David Bowie music and styled in a way that quirky girls might pull from their closets - a jumble of this and that. Included in the mix: slashed leggings that read like torn stockings; layers and ruffles galore and a mix of hand knits, raw denim and woolen stripes. Some silos were long and lean affairs with cutouts while others featured curvy, exaggerated lines. A wintery palette of gray, cream and camel was grounded by dark blue. Heavy doses of sparkly Lurex underscored the point: this arty girl wants to shine. -Anne Bratskeir
New York Fashion Week officially begins Thursday Feb. 11, but we had a tantalizing fashion appetizer served up Wednesday night -- plus champagne and actual appetizers -- by Elizabeth Kennedy, a getting-hotter-by-the-second red carpet designer coveted by stars like Molly Sims, Maura Tierney, Christina Hendricks and "Orange is the New Black" diva Laverne Cox.
Kennedy kicked things off old school with an elegant show held at the Four Seasons. It was like old time Paris -- guests sat at tables and banquettes, as models strolled through, stopping here and there, to pose, turn, cock their head, then float on by -- all while Beyoncé and Mariah throbbed through loudspeakers. Her classic gowns have a contemporary take -- like the paisley strapless with peplum trailing down one side, or a yin-yang-type gown cut vertically down the middle, jet-black on one side, black-and-white beading on the other, and deep-V back, revealing the model's shoulder tattoo. Other dresses were wrapped with long satin sashes trailing into long trains.
How do you get all that silk in the car? Perhaps Uber has an app for that. -- Joseph Amodio