Cynthia Rowley Fall 2012: Leather and Mullet Hemlines Aren’t Going Anywhere

After three seasons of showing in the official Fashion Week tents, Cynthia Rowley went rogue and held her Fall/Winter 2012 show at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building (a.k.a. Diane Von Furstenberg’s husband Barry Diller’s offices or that funky white structure, on the West Side Highway, that looks like an odd snow formation.) But once the show started (roughly 30 minutes late—early by fashion standards), it was pretty evident why the venue choice was kind of genius. The New York-based fashion designer is an art aficionado in her spare time and for this showing, she displayed a pretty impressive black and white mosaic of flat screen live-action video from the catwalk as a backdrop to the actual runway show--a perfect match to the building's super sleek and modern facade. The lovely and youthful Rowley can always be depended on for her playful, art-inspired designs and the same can be said for her line-sheets. This time, she listed “mechanics, cobblers, & leathermen”, “women artists making big, strong work” and “Rachel Feinstein’s carriages” as inspirations, plus “Youtube breaks” and “Portlandia clips” as recess activities.
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After three seasons of showing in the official Fashion Week tents, Cynthia Rowley went rogue and held her Fall/Winter 2012 show at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building (a.k.a. Diane Von Furstenberg’s husband Barry Diller’s offices or that funky white structure, on the West Side Highway, that looks like an odd snow formation.) But once the show started (roughly 30 minutes late—early by fashion standards), it was pretty evident why the venue choice was kind of genius. The New York-based fashion designer is an art aficionado in her spare time and for this showing, she displayed a pretty impressive black and white mosaic of flat screen live-action video from the catwalk as a backdrop to the actual runway show--a perfect match to the building's super sleek and modern facade. The lovely and youthful Rowley can always be depended on for her playful, art-inspired designs and the same can be said for her line-sheets. This time, she listed “mechanics, cobblers, & leathermen”, “women artists making big, strong work” and “Rachel Feinstein’s carriages” as inspirations, plus “Youtube breaks” and “Portlandia clips” as recess activities.
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After three seasons of showing in the official Fashion Week tents, Cynthia Rowley went rogue and held her Fall/Winter 2012 show at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building (a.k.a. Diane Von Furstenberg’s husband Barry Diller’s offices or that funky white structure, on the West Side Highway, that looks like an odd snow formation.) But once the show started (roughly 30 minutes late—early by fashion standards), it was pretty evident why the venue choice was kind of genius. The New York-based fashion designer is an art aficionado in her spare time and for this showing, she displayed a pretty impressive black and white mosaic of flat screen live-action video from the catwalk as a backdrop to the actual runway show--a perfect match to the building's super sleek and modern facade. The lovely and youthful Rowley can always be depended on for her playful, art-inspired designs and the same can be said for her line-sheets. This time, she listed “mechanics, cobblers, & leathermen”, “women artists making big, strong work” and “Rachel Feinstein’s carriages” as inspirations, plus “Youtube breaks” and “Portlandia clips” as recess activities. Rowley incorporated lots of digitized, abstract prints in earthy oxblood, caramel and forest green tones and embellished baggy sweaters and silky fabrics with chunky candy-colored, flower-shaped jewels. Instead of the maxi-dress that populated last fall’s runways, the skirt lengths were all at a ladylike knee level and in a subtly revealing four-panel design that breezily showed some leg during each strut. Rowley’s cuts were very boyish—oversize, straight and boxy—and there was even a jewel-embellished workman’s jumper. Leather isn’t going anywhere for fall, but it’s in the form of roomier, relaxed silhouettes—boxy mullet tops, manly jackets and my personal favorite: leather boyfriend jeans. I mean, leather leggings aren’t always that forgiving, but in a slouchy, cuffed, but still super-hot-'cuz-it’s-leather form? Why didn’t someone think of this earlier? The front row was packed with an eclectic mix of the designer’s friends and supporters: America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker, Lily van der Woodsen Kelly Rutherford, Leigh Lezark (who created the runway mix), Smash and Broadway actress Megan Hilty, an adorable Abigail Breslin and leather-clad Rebecca Romijn. “I think that what Cynthia Rowley does is so awesome,” the tall blonde model-turned-actress told me after the show. “The balance of masculine and feminine is always really good. The blue leather was killing me—the blue asymmetrical leather and the masculine jackets and coats. I have to get one.”

Photos: Imaxtree