You sort of know what to expect from Marc by Marc (cheerful, fun, girly), Phillip Lim (sleek, tailored, the clothes I want to wear), and Anna Sui ('70s inspired, kooky, playful), but that is not to say that these designers don't put out great collections season after season. There's something comforting, too, in knowing that when you go to see any of these designers, you know you're in for a good show. And Spring/Summer 2011 was no exception. We've also included our final menswear review of George McCracken's show in this, our final review roundup from New York Fashion Week.
Marc by Marc Marc Jacobs continued his romp through the 1940s via the 1970s, and romp is a good word for this collection. It was full of bright stripes and bright colors and most of all it was big bold fun. Big hair (crimped and picked out), big sunglasses, big colors. Daydresses, jumpsuits and hot pants. And of all the mid-calf length skirts that have come down the runways this past week, Marc by Marc's version is the one I want: In bold solid colors or stripes, it hits at just the right length and is perfect belted over a knit top. - LEAH CHERNIKOFF
3.1 Phillip Lim For SS 2011, 3.1 Phillip Lim presented clean, tailored sportswear--pieces every girl would love to have in her closet come spring. There were sleek collared tops paired with laser-etched leather shorts, fitted tuxedo jackets, embroidered tunic tops, and luxe slouchy pants. Throughout the collection, Lim played with paneling. Dresses and shorts had aprons and smocking, and several squares of sheer or beaded fabric were overlaid on top of one another on cocktail dresses and gowns to an almost Mondrian effect at times, though the color palette was muted in grays, camels, and nudes with an occasional burst of a color called "bougie blue" (think of a sky blue) on the line sheets. - LEAH CHERNIKOFF
Anna Sui SS11 marked Anna Sui's twentieth anniversary of her label, which meant there was a lot riding on her show. Aside from presenting a memorable collection for NYFW, Sui is also releasing a book this November about her work.
For Spring, Sui created a subtle collection that, while touching on classic Sui themes, still felt new and inventive. Inspired by Days of Heaven, but looking a little Andrew Wyeth meets Janis Joplin, Sui worked in a neutral, blue, lilac, peach, and black palette. Flowing gypsy dresses with aprons, adorned short-shorts, and a series of silvery white dresses were all eye-catchers.
Models wore wreath-like headwear and John Lennon glasses to match with their relaxed springtime vibe. Pre-show Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young played at my delight, a perfectly calm way to set the tone for a sedately beautiful show. With such a unique vision and meticulous execution, Anna Sui's next twenty years are likely to be just as wonderful as her first. - STEFF YOTKA
George McCracken If you don’t know George McCracken, you’re in the same boat as I was until a few days ago. But it’s a name, and a line, I won’t soon forget.
I’m a bit of a pants Nazi, a stickler for tailored, wearable, jeans and trousers: No fade, no zips, no asinine stitches, labels or pockets. They need to be perfect, and McCracken has produced a line of pants that come closer than any similarly sized labels (and many larger ones, too) to achieving that standard.
Using double-faced cotton, and military and workwear as points of inspiration, McCracken has fully tailored his trousers in pink, yellow, and sage (the double cotton allows for layering of different colors—flip your pink cuff up and there’s orange underneath) keeping all their masculinity, but denying any rigidity, or formula. The slim fit drab military pants were my favorite.
And yet I liked his jeans even more (all except the blue ones, which are banal). His white and sand denim cuts, classic straight-leg, 5-pocket jeans were simply sexy: well-constructed, well tailored, and lacking any offensive bells and whistles.
Brands like J Crew, Diesel and Ralph Lauren should take note—this is what guys jeans should look like. - JOHN ORTVED