Patrik Ervell

Patrik Ervell

Patrik Ervell

Patrik Ervell

Patrik Ervell

Alexander Wang

Moncler, it's time to count your goose down feathers. Alexander Wang, prince of the New York street urchins, has taken on the puffer jacket, creeping perilously close to the Franco-Italian brand's luxury turf. But in Wang's night-crawler hands (let's face it: he probably designed the jackets on a cocktail napkin at the Boom-Boom Room) the black puffer looked like a medieval cloak, short in front, and trailing dramatically with a sweeping cape out back. It was the first of many spectacular outerwear items by Wang, who's back to doing the hardcore fashion we love him for.

 

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Altuzarra

Big, bad outerwear over tiny, couldn't-swat-a-fly dresses. That was Joseph Altuzarra's opening to his fall collection, which sounds more basic than it actually was. In reality, asymmetrical hems, skirts sliced to reveal ample thigh, and sheer inserts all revealed Altuzarra's impeccable cutting. A voluminous parka cape over a grey wool pencil skirt, for example, had us (happily) thinking of Tippi Hedren à la The Birds in the Meatpacking District. Altuzarra loves a patchwork-and with his artistic draping, mixed fabric weights and weird layering-- so do we.

 

Altuzarra

Altuzarra

Altuzarra

Altuzarra

Altuzarra

DKNY

The skinny pink and red neon letters, reading ‘Something New York’ in the brick-walled space of the DKNY show, clearly spelled out this collection’s big theme for those who were slow on the uptake: Two Tones. Take for example, a black cape coat with stark white sleeves, or a black biker coat with inserted stripes of cream wool paired with platform shoes with cream tongues and black bodies. Later, the graphic colour blocking and striping moved into cherry red, camel and hot orange territory. But the New York girl silhouette - stovepipe trousers and straight-line stiffened coats borrowed from ‘uncle’s’ closet - stayed the course as staples.

DKNY

DKNY

DKNY

DKNY

Calvin Klein Men's Collection

Calvin's trademark men's look - so tight it appears glued to the bones - was loosened up for autumn. Certainly there was still a waft of sartorial cling film on a few cinnamon-shaded suits, but the new news was the trousers that appeared to have been blown up with a gust of wind. Also noteworthy, the dearth of the men's classic shirt, replaced by that 1970s staple of lotharios worldwide - the sleek turtleneck. In this case it held full court under everything from formal suits and casual outwear. But our favorite piece was the puffer zip-front hooded sweatshirt, which gave a rich techno layer to an otherwise very slacker item.

 

Calvin Klein Men's Collection

Calvin Klein Men's Collection

Calvin Klein Men's Collection

Calvin Klein Men's Collection

Diane von Furstenberg

Three stalwarts of old-school style and unquestionable allure were stimulating muse choices for Diane von Furstenberg's 'American Legend'-themed show for Fall: Millicent Rogers - a grand Standard Oil dame who had a thing for Native American and Rodeo wear, Gloria Vanderbilt - the high-society American heiress who caved in early to the celebrity denim line itch, and Diana Vreeland - the black lacquer-headed, red nail-varnished former editor of American Vogue who was thin as a whippet and just as stingingly sharp. The clothes were sporty and easy (think culottes and Aztec wrap dress) and not nearly as deep nor labored-over as these three power ladies would have expected; but we're in another era, as DVF, another iconic lady, knows full well.

 

Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg

Y-3

Y-3, Yohji Yamamoto's sporty collaboration with Adidas, gives the Japanese designer a chance to design 'normal' clothes that the average person (who is infinitely more interested in football than in fashion) can easily ingest. The most outlandish details were the waterproof zippers, neoprene inserts and ergonomic quilting on outerwear. Also relate-able to the Average Joe were the new high-tech fabrics with weighty names such as 'Cool Max Wool' (wool that breathes and won't overheat you) and Diaplex, (wool herringbone bonded to Gortex) - a ski-slope favorite that now molds to the body with fashionable ease.

 

Y-3

Y-3

Y-3

Y-3

Thakoon

American designer Thakoon Panichgul has a thing for the cult period piece, 'Dangerous Liaisons', and sartorially speaking, so do we. However (though our memory may be foggy), we don't remember Glenn Close or Michelle Pfeiffer sporting tribal feathers on top of their massive powdered wigs. By the looks of the Thakoon runway, maybe they should have. Thakoon's take on classic dressing allowed for a highly constructed silhouette, cinched at the waist and bursting with gathered peplums, but the clothes were anything but antiquated. Fresh, cool, and practically 'downtown', it's obvious why Panichgul is one of NY's young designers to watch.

 

 

 

 

Thakoon

Thakoon

Thakoon

Thakoon

Thakoon

Tommy Hilfiger

We've been introduced and consequentially charmed by 'The Hilfigers', the familial figment of Tommy Hilfiger's imagination that has been perfectly crystallized in print ads by photographer Craig McDean and stylist Karl Templer. The fictitious family - never far from a country club and a bottle of champagne - is happily making greater inroads onto the actual Hilfiger runway, where the quirky cross between preppy and hipster continues. In this season's 'indie-prep' line-up, the cool quotient was inspired by indie rock bands - think girls in ties, soft fedoras, oversized eyewear, and silk printed pyjamas paired with mannish overcoats.

 

 

 

Tommy Hilfiger

We've been introduced and consequentially charmed by 'The Hilfigers', the familial figment of Tommy Hilfiger's imagination that has been perfectly crystallized in print ads by photographer Craig McDean and stylist Karl Templer. The fictitious family - never far from a country club and a bottle of champagne - is happily making greater inroads onto the actual Hilfiger runway, where the quirky cross between preppy and hipster continues. In this season's 'indie-prep' line-up, the cool quotient was inspired by indie rock bands - think girls in ties, soft fedoras, oversized eyewear, and silk printed pyjamas paired with mannish overcoats.

 

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger

Zero + Maria Cornejo

As one of the very few New York-based designers who are maniacal about fabric research and innovation, Maria Cornejo is always someone we watch out for on the runway. This season she took on the world of camel hair (last season's it-fabrication) and reinvented it as a buttery leather. Camel and caramel coloured jackets, pencil skirts and tops, even hooded, drape-front shearling outerwear, all had a clean 1970s vibe, while silk ombre tie dye dresses rounded out a more girlish offering.

 

Zero + Maria Cornejo

Zero + Maria Cornejo

Zero + Maria Cornejo

Zero + Maria Cornejo

Marc Jacobs

Even the wild bounty of polka dots and the size and brilliance of silver dollar coins were not enough to distract from the incredible fabrics and workmanship found on the Marc Jacobs runway. A blouse made from ultra-light clear plastic actually looked comfortable. Alligator was lacquered to give it a shiny, armour-like gloss on cropped jackets. And Jacobs went nuts for rubber, which he sourced from London-based leaders in sexual fantasy gear, House of Harlot. Certainly, there were fetish undertones to this collection, but thankfully no dominatrix costumes or Torture Garden gear - just great looking clothes with a saucy flair.

 

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

Thom Browne

Thom Browne loves to stretch the boundaries of traditional fashion codes, pushing them out of their straight-laced, conventional boxes until they're no longer recognizable, and it's always a treat to guess what his next victim will be. This season, it was tartan plaid, which was blown up, down, and out to resemble everything from window-panes and argyle to a blurry haze of pattern. Browne also blew up his pencil skirts to cream-puff proportions while cape-topped coats were so air-filled that the models looked as though they were wearing giant Humpty-Dumpty egg costumes.

 

 

Thom Browne

Thom Browne

Thom Browne

Thom Browne

Donna Karan

The Hitchcock heroine - an icy blond with the reductive silhouette probably resulting from an all-melba toast diet - was at the heart of Donna Karan’s signature Fall 2011 collection. Slim, sleek and slightly retro, the women wore hip-hugging pencil skirts that were lopped off right below the knee, while hip-length jackets were cinched with tiny belts. But the gown action, in long and languid form, had its heart firmly set in the glamour-laden 1930s.

 

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Rodarte

This season, Rodarte’s mood board was awash with pictures of whirling tornados and red sequined high heels. But the only obvious Wizard Of Oz influences in this collection were the ‘open plain’-style, wheat-chaff prints that grazed the bottom of full length silk column dresses, or the warm tones in heels that recalled the colour palette of rolling golden bales of hay. The Mulleavy sisters played with new proportions, with V-like shapes, and indulged in lines that fell strongly to the floor, like the split front floor-length coats layered snugly over string-bean full length dresses.

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Rodarte

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel’s bread and butter may be jeans but their Black Gold label is wrangling the leather for Fall. For men, that means suede jackets with columns of Edwardian buttons and skinny-calf trousers. And for ladies, it meant great-looking second-skin leather pants in burgundy or olive laced up the side, cropped just above the big boots, or bustier-style leather dresses and tops.

 

 

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel Black Gold

Diesel Black Gold

Marc by Marc Jacobs

In their quest to peg that iconic femme-fatale look of the season, many designers forget that a seductress still need to be practical - which means that when women attempt to sport that come-hither look, most can’t make it past the office security check-point. Marc Jacobs seemed to get that formula right; sultry pant-suits, metallic leather full-length skirts, oversized eyewear and fluid satin blouses all played to both sides of the female coin: working woman extraordinaire, and a lady who wants to let loose.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

3.1 Phillip Lim

It’s easy to get excited about Phillip Lim’s clothes, mostly because the looks he shows on his runway could be airlifted right into your closet and onto your back without any commercial adjustments. Take for instance, his new volume trousers - slightly carrot shaped, but not aggressively exaggerated - or his leather-armed baseball T-shirts, which are unexpectedly polished and sportily elegant.

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

Ports 1961

What’s wrong with prim, pretty and easy to wear? Nothing - this is American fashion, after all. Ports 1961, now in the hands of designer Fiona Cibani, went gently down the approachable route, but made sure it raced ahead with excellent fabric choices. Fashion came in the form of metallic herringbone that contrasted nicely with prim proportions (think schoolgirl blouses) and the crinkly bouclé wool and super-slit skirts that were held up with ultra thin-metal belts.

Ports 1961

Ports 1961

Ports 1961

Ports 1961

Proenza Schouler

One of the most intriguing elements of the Proenza Schouler show was the clothes' seams, a detail which in contemporary times has been pushed out of the aesthetic limelight and nearly forgotten (Thank you China, and your turbo manufacturing). Proenza's stitching, done in Italy, was very visible and ran diagonally or zig-zag across the garments, giving the modern clothes an unforeseen home-spun quality. One yellow silk dress for example, had multiple perforated lines across its surface that looked like binder paper ready to be ripped from a note pad. The loaded prints, designed by the duo, were based on Native American art, but were pixelated to remove their ethnic cliché. To round things off, a healthy dose of manual labour was sprinkled on via paint and embroidery - all done by hand.

 

 

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

Calvin Klein Collection

Minimalism continues to plough like a freight train through Francisco Costa's collection at Calvin Klein Collection. This is, however, the hard-core fundamentalist version of the minimalist oeuvre, which means that lines were of a rigorously reductive nature, and the no-color clothes were cut with exact precision. Though the shapes were limited in their scope, the clothes were given a personality with their unusual tactile quality, which ranged from fuzzy to gritty. One gleaming black dress, for example, had the look of freshly laid asphalt, while hairy alpaca coats were shaved and stiffened up like slabs of concrete.

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein Collection

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has already conquered the West, firmly establishing himself as a US institution, and is currently trailblazing his way through Europe. This season, the quintessentially American designer turned his thoughts to the East, the only corner of the globe not fully taken over by his brand of preppy glamour. The Oriental influence came through in overt ways, from the black lacquered set and kimono printed tuxedo jackets, to the dragon print capes, and also on models’ liquid red lips and loops of bugle beads.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren


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