Timo Weiland used Saul Leiter’s early works as the premise for his Fall 2015 palette. “He shot New York scenes in the 1940s and 1950s — rainy and snowy cityscapes that still feel relevant and timeless today.” The sleek palette feels very palpable in New York’s dreary season. Sleek nonchalance and a hint of grunge snaked through the presentation, with the chunky knit beanies hinting at a laid-back attitude. The cardigans and sweaters hung loose, cocooning the silkier fare below. The textures and colors feel so right for a rainy urban landscape.
It’s a trusty ensemble of wandering urban nomads at Nicholas K. Nicholas and Christopher Kunz cited “gothic cinema” as inspiration behind their fall 2015 collection, specifically “The Cabinet of Caligari.” Church bells opened the show to a sombre procession, with models clad in black and deep oxblood draping. Sheer, flowing dresses accompanied the hard-edged leather details, case in point a careful trim all around the edges of a see-through chiffon dress. Pinstripes made an appearance in a dark faint shimmer and an edgy reinterpretation of menswear tailoring. Floor skimming asymmetric capes and generous cardigan hemlines felt luxurious and relaxed. Trusy Nicholas K details, like aviator caps and buckled pants legs seamlessly drew the Spring 2015 season into the fall.
BCBG Max Azria
Lubov Azria emphasized BCBG Max Azria’s focus this season as “textures and patterns are layered with ease, creating a home-spun elegance.” Indeed, the looks were layered effortlessly, striking a pattern of differentiation with their multitude of cozy textures. A fringed leather skirt over brown leather boots, soft asymmetric hem sweater and embellished jacket in one look, and a leather shirt with a knit collar and lace appliqué in another, fed the idea of a rich variety. The color scheme veered in the demure direction, with deep navies and burgundies cutting through a taupe and camel landscape. The heavily appliquéd and fur trimmed jackets at times looked stiff, but the movement of the pieces underneath pulled the looks together without sacrificing the ease BCBG set out to achieve.
Richard Chai Love
In a departure from last season’s colorful fare, Richard Chai produced an offering of demure, grungy layers in a range of beautiful dark and dusty hues. The strong point was undoubtedly the impressive outerwear collection, but the very wearable separates proved to be worthy opponents. A dusty mauve capelet over a gray wool dress with sheer blouse underneath struck a subdued yet extremely prominent note. Casual pieces like a gray hoodies with print paired well with men’s trousers, long parkas and even a silky button up dress. Reflective blue vinyl jackets provided flashy fun underneath the dark overcoats.
“Seventies bohemia, a seminal era of artistic expression and the feminine spirit,” is how Serge Azria described the mood for his presentation. An easygoing vibe accompanied the suedes, leathers, and flowing dresses adorned in micro-floral print. The collection would appeal to the artistic bohemian fashionistas everywhere, as well as offer laid-back separates for those seeking another vibe.
Jonathan Simkhai jumped, fearlessly, headfirst into expounding on the mesh motif while keeping silhouettes sleek and sexy rather than raunchy. He tapped into a racing spirit with his first formal runway show, drawing on elements of high-speed race cars to emulate fierceness in his clothing. A smooth transition from day to night provided an ample choice for any occasion.
Creatures of the Wind
Mink stoles with giant stars draped across structured khaki coats resembled military sashes in a journey through mid-century America. Fur collars outlined coats, in a very appropriate nod to the ’20s and ’30s, while mod dresses signaled at the ’60s. The ’70s flair came in the form of beautiful flowing shirt-dresses and neck-tie blouses made of a silver and black lamé. The pieces were strong and sexy, perfectly laid back with an aura of sophistication.
Kaelen Haworth was inspired by Audrey Horne of “Twin Peaks” when designing her collection this season. It was both cute and girly, with a hint of mischief. The tweed jacket with a fringed hemline captured the mood perfectly, while one armed button up shirt-dress seemed slightly out of place. A strong point came in the form of a fuzzy leotard and cardigan duo, looking both sweet and naughty.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli infused grunge with a playful and naive spirit this season. Maybe this is the direction grunge reinvention needs to move toward, leaving the more sinister thoughts behind. Of course, it’s now something new entirely. The sweet ensembles still carry a hint of angst and frustration without forcing the subject. A dark flower print dress gets a Gothic lolita update with a ruffle trimmed fil coupe overlay, and of course the hunter green plaid shirt. Plaid on plaid with white stockings had a schoolgirl vibe, while the looks graduated into the nighttime with a more reserved monochrome palette and faux fur jackets hinting at a rebel vibe. A circus motif circulated around several of the looks, bringing levity and fun into an otherwise angst-y subject.
A penchant for a simple, clean aesthetic and a flair of deconstruction sealed Protagonist as a label for cool-girl staples. Kate Wendelborn expanded on the style she knows best, strong menswear inspiration, only this time she took it a step further with carefully constructed women’s pieces, such as a beautiful deep burgundy pencil skirt reaching down the lower calf. Another careful decision to incorporate a leather pencil skirt with a slit reaching up the thigh cemented a film noir image of a femme fatale. A knit dress overlay gave us a peek at the silky slip underneath, playfully encouraging a witty approach to seeming “basics”.
Stuart Vevers brought a bit of the country into the urban jungle this season with unfussy shearling coats and biker jackets. Black moto boots shifted the mood into a rebellious and rugged nomad territory. With bandannas tied around the neck and cool wayfarers adorning the face, the collection proceeded to touch on the great open fields of the west and a grounded Americana approach. A rugged swear, fringed and fastened with leather straps, adorned the American flag in black and white. While the sweaters and the outerwear dazzled, many of the bottoms were a bit less impressive. Fortunately, the area can easily be filled in with a number of simple options that will still make the amazing jackets and tops shine.
The collection’s strong points came from the simple and down to earth elements. A sweatshirt and pants duo gained a cool street vibe with the addition of a sheer flower printed skirt hanging like a train in the back. A shirt dress with a perforated bottom and half sleeves looked raw and demure, but the fussy mink stole paired with the burning flower print (which Jonathan Cohen photographed for the collection) looked fussy and more fitting of the yellow curled hem dress. Particular highlights were the evening looks, with long ball gown skirts highlighting the beautiful prints and rugged details like the frayed hems.
Katie Ermilio “let the fabric do the talking” this season, focusing on a clean aesthetic in this strong evening-wear centered collection. A demure tone set the palette, with bright pops of yellow and red signaling an “all eyes on me” call. Satin and giant bows dispersed playfulness into the evening attire, while lace and fur mixed in a daring attitude. One would’ve never guessed that vintage ski ensembles carved out the influence.
Keeping up with its fun nature, Desigual took its fun, colorful prints well into the winter courtesy of a heavier fabrics and long sleeves. Knits alternated in texture and design, all the while displaying folk inspired prints alongside more water-color flowing patterns. A colorful puffer coat’s design cinched in along with its pattern. The designs slowly flowed into a monochromatic category before rising up again with darker patterns taking center stage. Felt hats with large multi-color pom-poms sealed the deal for winter style.
Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo cited two women as inspiration for their fall collection: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Donna Karan. Crisp white separates reminisced of lounge-wear. Accompanied by a coat cinched at the waist, an air of mystery and seduction ensued. The collection evolved slowly to silky evening gowns made of silk overlaid with lace. Electric pops of vinyl skirts and coats in bright hues invited a more fun approach while keeping the edginess of the styling. The standouts came in the form of blown up leopard print, which is having a revival moment, making an over-sized coat a mind-blowing statement piece. Closing out the show were several slinky metallic numbers interspersed between darker counterparts for evening-wear.
Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra have supreme confidence in their style, so much so that they let their personal aesthetic influence their designs this season. Coupled with photographs Jeffrey Costello took on their nature walks, the collection unfurled a mood of calm and collective disposition. Digital prints of a snowy forest paired beautifully with the collection’s earthy colors. Clean menswear inspired tailoring and soft draping translated into the line’s signature femininity. Wool and silk mixed harmoniously to create warmth for the chilly fall season.
Rachel Comey’s strong points remained in the wonderfully romantic dresses, such as the simple, white number gathered at the waist and around the shoulders. Several fringed knit sweaters and cardigans played off well against unfinished denim hemlines and a pair of shimmery olive culottes wonderfully complemented a long navy cardigan.
Tadashi Shoji’s influence this season? “Sky voyage.” A fairly simple response for such a loaded topic. The reference can take many meanings, but Shoji decided to focus on the lightness and freedom of flight. Feather-like tulle skirts accompanied light and airy silk, while a literal feather dress provided an even more opaque reference. Feathers were embellished into light as air gowns that billowed as the models walked. Simple column gowns draped gently, grazing the ground. The patterns of gears and engines were done so meticulously and with such fluidity that it was almost hard to distinguish them as something mechanical. It was all a beautiful and light affair.
A folksy and whimsical vibe dominated the Honor show, with plenty of cute prints and jewel colors. Pretty babydoll dresses and a beautiful blue coat with a print of sitting deer looked ultra feminine and magical. A pretty scalloped dress with wing sleeves looked sweet and stunning.
Kanye West x Adidas Originals
“I want to create something better for you. We have been limited. It’s bigger than who I am even in my present living. It’s about what when I was on earth what did I do to help?” Kanye clearly wants to leave a legacy that’s not simply confined to music. While many will argue he’s left enough of a mark to forever go down in history as a somewhat controversial character, it’s not enough for Kanye. For his collaboration with Adidas this season, he drew inspiration from the London riots in 2011. The presentation was part art instillation with social and political message and part fashion. The models were arranged in a manner suggesting a military organization. Stripped down to nude bodystockings, the ravaged sweatshirts, undergarments and accessories which resembled military gear stood in stark contrast. While everything on display will be sold, it’s clearly not a style for everyone. The message was driven, however, and if anyone can reach a wide audience quickly, it’s Kanye. Unfortunately, the only way fashion will make an impact is if the mass public is willing to accept the designs. This season might have to fizzle out.
Marissa Webb knows where her strong point lies: feminine portrayal of masculine tailoring. Keeping up with the strength of female character, she picks up pantsuits out of the gutter and reinvents them into the most coveted staples of a cool girl’s wardrobe. A simple gray top is cinched with a cloth belt and paired with wide leg trousers of same hue. While it sounds simple, it looks rich and complex. A slinky red shirtdress reiterates the confidence her collection portrays, while a soft pink vest and pant duo over a pale pink silk blouse announces its sweetness without looking like a pushover.
Creatures of Comfort
Jade Lai presented a rich collection of his and her items mixed together to form a laid back and hastily prepared wardrobe. The inspiration? Bonnie & Clyde. A couple on the run with a suitcase to share. The feminine pieces were more fitted and reminisced of the ’40s, while the more masculine pieces had an appropriately looser fit. Rich cobalt and burgundy hues popped out in the midst of the darker hues.
After so many years, Norma Kamali has a very trusty fan base, and rightly so. Her most recent collection once again proves to be very accessible and easy. Kamali has reinvented herself as a woman focused on the lifestyle, not just the clothes. The items prove to be extremely wearable and forgiving for any woman. A brilliant collection of coats accompanies sportswear referenced dresses and separates. Her sleeping bag coat gets a facelift with some winter appropriate print and a sleek legging and crop top duo underneath.
Alexa Adams and Flora Gill unleashes a fury of wonderfully sleek knits this season. The colors played off each other, highlighting each hue and shimmering with interspersed detailing. Silhouettes were sleek, long, and slightly flared. A somewhat ’70s vibe could be sniffed out, though the feel was wonderfully current. A particularly strong point came in the form of swinging zebra-print-like skirts and dresses.
Rachel Antonoff turned somewhat scientific this season. Specifically, she turned to a fictitious biology professor and a coed she fathomed up to inspire her line. While the clothes clearly riffed on a schoolgirl life, the somewhat off-kilter prints of fallopian tubes, dissected frogs and a bold statement “Seymour Pussy” clearly makes a mischievous girl. The line has cute and ironic appeal.
Polo Ralph Lauren
Lauren offered up a collection of old trusties, the range consisting of a myriad of looks for every occasion. Luxurious knits cozied up to slim fit bottoms and fringed suede boots, while a hot pink full evening skirt cleverly paired up with a ribbed turtleneck sweater for the nights out.
A body hugging ensemble of dresses sparkled and swayed at Cadena’s first runway show. Mesh paneling and thigh high slits in the dresses played around with sensuality, but both elements at once seemed beleaguered at times. The long glimmering gowns, such as the black and embellished silver number, were the strongest point, taking a step toward gowns reminiscing of Zuhair Murad.
Pas de Calais
Continuing the calmness of last season, Yukari Suda looked to Pas de Calais region of France as well as clouds in designing the fall collection. The soft and rustic linen pieces paired beautifully with a strong outerwear collection. Hemlines remained long and flowing, with edges often frayed and unfinished. This not only added to the sensibility of the line, but cemented it as a source for cool, laid-back separates.