When we arrived on time for a trio of Saturday evening presentations at MAC & Milk, we couldn't possibly have predicted the insanity we were in for. With the fur-coat-wearing, Blackberry-brandishing masses attempting to simultaneously check in for Suno, Erin, Pamela Love, Billy Reid, Illesteva, and Altuzarra, suffice it to say that there weren't quite enough iPads on hand to make the process run smoothly. After over an hour of waiting in the throng, we were informed that all the eighth-floor presentations had finished. While we aren't surprised that 450 West 15th St. is an incredibly coveted show locale (regal and historic as Lincoln Center may be, it just doesn't carry the same edgy-cool factor as MAC & Milk) we hope that as the week progresses, the downtown venue will step up its game and be better able to handle the crowds. At any rate, from the looks of recently posted photos of the collections, it seems as though we missed some lovely clothes. We've been fans of Suno's cheerful, colorful mixed prints ever since their collection launched, but this fall, designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty went a far more grown-up route. Their mature, elegant collection featured silk maxi skirts, plaid capes, and cropped trousers--all, of course, in the brand's trademark bold patterns. This time around, though, the dusty-hued florals and geometric circles were inspired by quirky grannies. The offerings might have been miles away from the cool, clashing kanga prints for which the label's known, but they certainly bore that Suno stamp. (As did the must-have Loeffler Randall-designed platforms) What's more, those sweeping aprons and shockingly bright knits served as the perfect proof that one can make a powerful style statement without baring any skin.
Meanwhile, Erin Fetherston unveiled her contemporary collection, Erin--and we have to admit, the designer's new $195-$600 price point seems a far better fit for her sweet, feminine pieces. The accordion-pleated frocks, neat single-button blazers, and creamy color palette of ivories and beiges were vintage Fetherston, and we loved the Heidi-style braids the models were sporting. Shots of shimmering lamé took certain looks in a more party-appropriate direction, and we liked seeing the platinum-bobbed designer try her hand at a hooded parka. It looked girly without being too precious, an issue for which Fetherston's been somewhat skewered in the past. For our part, we can't wait to see how a fresh focus and wider audience help Erin evolve.
Pamela Love took her beloved baubles in a different direction this season, too. Instead of showing more of her trademark talon cuffs and tribal spikes, Love incorporated raw, rough crystals into her latest crop of designs. Colorful stalagmite-like gems rose from crescent-shaped pendants, jutted out from multi-finger rings, and added a delicate touch to weighty silver bracelets. It was a wholly celestial affair overall, and we liked the lighter, more new-age feel the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist seemed to be embracing.
Photos: Suno ** ALL photos: IMAXTREE Erin Fetherston **images courtesy of Style.com Pamela Love **images courtesy of People's Revolution