Yesterday I was treated to an old school salon-style presentation at Zac Posen‘s airy TriBeCa studio to view the designer’s resort collections. As Nancy Sinatra and Carole King wafted through the space, models twirled in Posen’s creations as Posen himself commented on the fabrications (ruffled layers of chiffon, organza, scuba stretch duchesse, hand-painted tulle), the references (“’30s garden party,” “Marisa Berensen glamor,” “Fortuny/Madame Grès,” “Fellini”), and the construction (pleating, ruffles, pintucking, ruching, bias cuts).
Last week the New York Times ran a lengthy profile on Posen detailing the designer’s initial sky rocket to fame and “fashion darling” status, subsequent setbacks (a lukewarm reception after moving to Paris for two seasons), and how he’s currently keeping his business in the black. The article touched on the difficulty of someone like Posen, whose strong suit is undeniably high-glamor evening wear, reaching profitability without offering separates and sportswear, too. But with these latest resort collections–for Zac Posen Collection and for his contemporary collection Zac Zac Posen–Posen has infused more daywear sensibilities. The evening dresses are still the standouts–they are just so striking–but many of them were a bit softer, less structured, and there were plenty of shorter-hemmed cocktail appropriate frocks. Amy Astley and Jane Keltner de Valle from Teen Vogue both seemed happy about the price points and look (London’s “teddy girls” in the ’50s, a moto-edge) of Zac Zac Posen.
Even though Posen had live models to showcase both collections, the real “model moment” was in the lookbook featuring the inimitable Pat Cleveland and her daughter Anna.
“I was really proud to be shooting mother and daughter Pat and Anna Cleveland,” Posen told us. “It was a magic moment. It felt so iconic. I felt like we were expanding for the public the age range of how fashion is shown today.” And Cleveland, who is in her 60s, looks just as striking in Posen’s creations as her daughter. “It’s a part of fashion history having Pat, and it represents the age range of the actual customer,” Posen said.
Click through to see the full lookbook.