Sachin & Babi
Cool chromatic prints weaved and meshed through Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia’s designs in their Fall 2015 RTW collection. Glimmering embellishments and fun touches like spontaneous fur patches on otherwise simple separates elevated the fun factor. The stiffer quilted skirts against the sequined varsity jackets hinted at a re-invention of the prep uniform, making sense of the strength the duo cited as inspiration, “I am not afraid. I was born to do this,” by Joan of Arc.
See by Chloé
Clare Waight Keller tapped into a poetic and liberal arts focused school-girl for her Fall ’15 presentation. Muted, earthy tones dominated the cozy knits and mohair pieces. The fringed purple and mustard mohair coat made a statement alongside flared dark mini-skirts and Tangerine Tango collared dresses.
Gary Graham has a gift for digging at historical roots. Crisp tailored shirts and coats are adorned with ornate embroidery. Silky separates in micro-print with simple shearling layered over the top fuse together into an earthy romantic image. Graham chooses to punctuate the incredibly detailed embroidery with fur and velvet textures, which works in his favor and inspires a nomadic feel.
Pookie and Louisa Burch found inspiration in “Garry Winogrand’s and Nicholas Nixon’s photographs of people.” The street photographs of New Yorkers impeccably dressed with casual refinement translated into scarf necklines, crisp tailoring and pressed cuffs. Colors remained muted, with an earthy camel tone serving as the mediator between creamy whites and rich browns. A wispy faux-fur coat reaching down past the knees allows for a statement alongside smart tailored pieces.
Derek Lam 10 Crosby
Elizabeth Giardina wasn’t shy about continuing her downtown menswear inspired vibe into the fall/winter season. A wise move considering the rich textures and patterns make a bold statement paired with muted tones punctuated by sapphire blues and velvet burgundy. The micro-floral prints provide exciting juxtaposition against the blocky, sloping shoulder silhouettes. The Seventies vibe extended into the relaxed fits and savvy layering of patterns and textures, not to mention the consistent use of the silk scarf.
Juicy is working hard to graduate beyond sporty velour suits which transposed young girls into the Eighties. This season they introduced a Mod influence: abbreviated hemline shift-dresses and black/white/red color combos. The jackets offered a grown-up Barbie sophistication, while a light denim sweatshirt and athletic pant offered hints at a casual day uniform. If only the bright gold embellished crown weren’t there. The brand still appeals to a blingy clientèle, although it’s making strides.
ZAC Zac Posen
Stepping away from a pure evening focus, Posen incorporated a slew of sculptural outer and day-wear. The celestial focus offered a metallic sheen in the fabrics and a speckled gradient reminiscent of a starry sky. A metal gray jacquard cocoon dress allowed for a day-to-night transformation while a bright orange-red ensemble consisting of a striped turtleneck and speckled skinny pant underneath a structured peacoat reminisced of cool ’60s Brits. The feminine flair was infused in spared doses with the soft pink gown and pink dahlia prints.
Tomas Maier successfully deployed an arsenal of casual chic day and evening-wear (not to be mistaken with fussiness). The cool, downtown chic vibe reverberated throughout the collection’s menswear inspired pieces and loose cashmere duos. Maier struck a high note with his interpretation of a velvet suit borrowed from his menswear collection. The smart suit comes with an uncomplicated drawstring for the pants to accentuate the ease of wear for even the most luxurious ensembles. The foil stamped sweater in a rare pop of color added a preppy flair of girlishness to the overall soft-masculine collection. Maier struck success with this season’s offerings.
Organic by John Patrick
John Patrick embraced neoprene this season, a fitting choice considering the fabric’s resilient nature. Choosing to reinvent the wheel is no easy task, but the collection heartily took a bite out of everyday basics by spicing them up ever so slightly but keeping the intent of the item intact. Case in point: a sleeveless neoprene trench and ever so elongated button-ups. Easy to wear pieces allow the savvy shopper to incorporate any of the basics without succumbing to a non-imaginative look.
Tina Lutz connected with her own history while designing the Fall 2015 collection: “My German heritage and the resurgence of traditional costumes commonly known as trachten. I challenged myself to come up with my own modern interpretation of lederhosen and dirndl.” The subtlety of her German heritage plays off perfectly with the rich textures of the knits. An array of different sized pom-poms and a soft fringe adorned expertly crafted cashmere and knit blends. The result hinted at a Germanic origin without sacrificing a modern and clean edge.
Fall-time on the prairie isn’t as rugged as it seems. The beautiful free-flowing collection emphasized floral print chiffon juxtaposed against structured leather boots and heavier shearling coats. The collection was infused with a cult-rocker vibe via metallic pleated skirt and boots. Faux-fur leopard coats with baby blue Mongolian fur collar made an appearance that jolted the collection’s more bohemian roots and lent a mischievous air, successfully pulling off Taylor’s “gamine” inspiration.
Sylvie Millstein cited inspiration from “elements of frost and fog. I imagined a modern day heroine from the film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ navigating with elegance and sensuality through a terrible urban blizzard.” The color scheme was fitting, coming in shades of soft taupe, white, black and deep burgundy. While the sleek silhouettes and simmering sensuality were agreeable with the theme, she showed most strength in the collection’s juxtaposed over-sized separates and silky draping. The creamy ensemble of silky slit skirt and long, soft scarf with the shorter sleeved sweater and arm-warmers captured the ethereal element of a vanishing heroine. A similar ensemble in charcoal gray and black provided a demure counterpart.
Bevin Butler, the sharp designer behind label Cade, expounded on her desire to create cutting edge professional clothing for the modern day career-woman. Continuing the trend from last season, the former lawyer introduced wonderfully tailored looks that still maintained a flair of self-expression and individuality. A tuxedo jacket vest plunged down nearly to the hem of the neatly tailored trousers, while a soft peach wool winter coat’s open collar invited architectural interpretation to a common winter staple.
Odile Benjamin drew inspiration from “the wonders of nature — flora, fauna and natural mineral formations.” Playing with a range of textures and patterns, Benjamin invited a very grounded interpretation of the natural world. The hues remained true to nature, while the patterns invited everything from floral landscapes to mesmerizing agate. The silhouettes in the meantime remained bold and structured, standing ground to the more fluid influences of nature.
Shoshanna Gruss delivered a line-up of free-spirited looks which gave a nod to the Seventies. Mix-match patterns in similar tones accompanied abbreviated hemlines and loose fitting blouses with tie necklines. A range of simple separates, such as the camel skirt and horizontally striped sweater cinched with a fringe rope belt, sparkled with luxurious simplicity.
Trina chose to have fun this season, busting out colorful tweeds and fun-loving leopard print against electric hues. An eclectic mix of separates and flowing dresses hinted at a Seventies inspiration in her San Francisco inspired landscape. The collection’s outerwear stole the show, parading everything from over-sized silhouettes to colorful patchwork faux-fur.
Ji Oh effortlessly fused work and play with her Fall 2015 presentation. Casual ensembles, like a polka dot top and bottoms, were accompanied by relaxed fitting mohair coats. Menswear inspired tailored pieces stood in contrast, providing clean and simple silhouettes with the classic pinstripe.
It’s an over-sized knits craze at team Alfaro. Not a bad thing for the fall/winter season. It’s a trend I embrace with open (warmth-seeking) arms. Loose, creamy knits overflow with rugged fringe. while the tighter knit counterparts swath the body with the eagerness of monastic robes. The simple muted tones and their navy/oxblood counterparts allow for a ready integration into daytime as well as evening hours.
Lisa Perry picked up right where she left off last spring with her Sixties vibe. Choosing her “view of the [Queensboro Bridge] and beyond” as inspiration, Perry swerved into geometric exploration with patterns. Meanwhile, the silhouettes remained Mod and girlish, with A-line dresses and short hemlines accentuating the model. The orange and gray dresses were particular standouts of the presentation.
Josie Natori cited “crossroads of Eastern intrigue and Western glamour” as her inspiration this season. The result was an exceedingly luxurious looking collection with plenty of Turkish flair. The textures were rich and bold, fittingly so with the deep color scheme accented with gold touches. A number of trapunto pieces, such as a long fringed shawl draped over the front of a dress and cinched at the waist, and the black evening gown, awed. Natori displayed an excellent balance of refinement and subdued luxury, despite the sometimes heavy looking layering.
Emma Fletcher approached her new collection whimsically and with a fresh perspective. The playful silhouettes and seemingly demure prints were inspired by a ’70s children book The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast. As a result, the Seventies vibe (as well as the Sixties!) reverberated through the silhouettes. The collection proved to be extremely wearable and young.
Denim still took center stage despite the label’s attempts to evolve. “1970s Manhattan” ruled in the lineup presented by Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson, who successfully captured the mood with easy and cool ensembles. A raw sienna suede trench was a risky plunge that completely paid off. The casual cool separates fit very well with the denim brand’s aesthetics.
The “organic curves of Cesare Casati” inspired Jeffrey Dodd’s second season of showing. Curves were indeed heavily present in the clothing, skimming the body precisely while allowing for gentle draping to balance out the crisp tailoring. Silk and leather worked together in harmony, providing refinement and sophistication. A short blue fur coat was a bit of a misstep, but it was quickly forgiven.