Perhaps it was telling that we were blasting The Cranberries’ “Zombie” on our way to Nicholas K’s 9 a.m. show this morning. True to their trademark downtown-meets-military aesthetic, brother/sister duo Nicole and Christopher Kunz sent out a collection that My So-Called Life’s Angela Chase would flip for. A mix of goat hair-trimmed leather toppers, cocoon-like parkas (a Nicholas K signature piece), and plenty of velvet separates in autumnal evergreens and burgundies--the looks seemed straight out the 90s grunge-glam movement. And since those endless layers of leather and wool can swallow a person whole, the designers cinched the silhouettes with plaid button-ups tied offhandedly around the models’ waists. We especially love the skirts (cut in both flannel and leather) that riffed off the same vibe with their built-in “belts” fashioned from actual sleeves. Each look was shown with either combat boots or creepers (the indisputable shoe of the moment). Unfortunately, comfy and cool as they might be, stacked-sole flats aren’t always the best for strutting—one model took not one, but two tumbles in her chunky lace-ups.
Over at Porter Grey, sisters and co-designers Alexandra and Kristen O’Neill worked a far more feminine vibe. Though their fall line was chockablock with body-con minidresses and silk Peter Pan-collared blouses in lovely shades of mustard and maroon, the outerwear was the undisputed highlight. We flipped for the button-free, architectural camel coat, the mod little black topper finished with an exposed zipper, and a double-breasted, tuxedo-style jacket in heather gray. There was also a fantastic take on a motorcycle jacket with asymmetrical zips, and a standout maxi skirt with gleaming gold buttons and delicate pleats. The sisters made ample use of leather, cutting jacket sleeves, coat pockets, and epaulets in jet-black lambskin. It was these little touches that helped add a bit of edge to the line’s sweet and feminine vibe.
**All photos: IMAXTREE (Nicholas K) and Blue Stripe PR (Porter Grey)