It’s New York Fashion Week, which means the Fashionista team is running around town like crazy to bring you the best of what’s new from the city’s brightest designers. Read on for our first-hand reports on the latest from the runways, and click here for even more reviews.
As Jonathan Simkhai told Fashionista in the days leading up to his Spring 2015 presentation on Saturday night, his girl isn't afraid of breaking a glass or two. And he delivered nicely on that ideal of an active, fun young woman, rendering her in shades of dusty pink, sky blue, black and white. A certain cool girl sportiness came out in a few shrunken mesh track jackets and the slim silhouettes; the black and white striped hem of a mesh skirt paired with white tennis shoes was the most overtly athletic look. Meanwhile, the concept of broken glass came through in skirts cut through with lines of either mesh or transparent fabric, giving them a shattered effect. Less literal were some embroidered skirts in blush and sky blue; done at a smaller scale, their jagged patterns took on a softer, prettier effect.-- Eliza Brooke
Wearing a rubberized raincoat in a hot presentation room is not the best fate a model can hope for, but such was the case at Isa Arfen's Spring 2015 presentation at Milk Studios on Saturday night. (To be fair to the production team, there was a large fan directed at the stage.) The 1960s were an influence — you didn't need to look further than a few very '60s printed looks to see that — and super-saturated grass greens, reds, oranges and blues played prominently in the collection. Set among a number of black and navy looks on the bright white stage, though, the bright colors took on a somewhat unsettling effect. Or maybe that was just the blindfold-like sunglasses that some of the models were wearing. For its ability to mix all the aforementioned together in one look, the standout piece was a black sleeveless jumpsuit with wide, cropped legs and two pockets at the hip detailed with some of that bright green and a mass of shiny black fringe. That felt modern (2015 modern, that is).-- Eliza Brooke
Read our full review of the Altuzarra spring 2015 collection right here.
Edie Parker’s Brett Heyman put a new spin on her classic acrylic clutches. While many of them maintained the same boxy structure, marble aesthetic, and metallic touches, this collection had more of a zen vibe. Some of the clutches featured animals (whales and elephants) while others literally spread messages of peace, with words like "om," "namaste," and "karma" written in the brand's signature cursive. The colors were rich and vibrant, varying from soft jewel tones to bright yellows and pinks. The collection even featured some clutches that appeared to have a denim surface, mirrored circles, and bright patterns, reminiscent of Antik Batik's fabric clutches that have a relaxed homemade-hippie vibe. -- Leah Roth
Each season Charles Harbison takes a range of seemingly divergent influences and somehow manages to put out a collection that makes perfect sense. For his third outing with his namesake line, Harbison started out with a color palette inspired by painter Brice Marden, and then Japanese tea ceremonies, which led to Zen gardens and neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu — whose music filled the room at MADE Fashion Week — and finally his muse for the collection, jazz patroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter. “There’s no method to it at all,” the designer confessed.
That translated into big and beautiful flower embellishments on a mini skirt and crop top, a feminine gold silk twill jumpsuit with a plunging v neckline and loose-fitting trousers and coordinating overcoats. Harbison admitted he’s “not a big fan of the peplum,” so he made his own interpretations to compliment the more masculine silhouettes: a longer version on a black and peach floral print dress and a sheer flower print and black dress, and on dainty crop jackets. Overall, it was a strong collection, perfect for the confident and feminine Harbison woman — and for a designer on the verge of getting big. -- Ann Binlot
A few spring 2015-specific trends may be popping up this Fashion Week — anoraks, apron tops — but Tibi’s show proved that some of the trends that started appearing on the streets this past spring and summer will still be around, and in stores, next year. Designer Amy Smilovic sent off-the-shoulder blouses, flat mules, crop tops, culottes, jumpsuits and even Pharrell hats down the runway, much to editors’ delight. The whole vibe was crisp, comfortable and easy, except for the Pharrell hats — those will never be easy for anyone other than Pharrell.-- Dhani Mau
Read our full review of the Alexander Wang spring 2015 collection right here.
An Asian influence was at play on the spring 2015 runway at Hervé Leger, though nothing too literal -- a Kimono-style sleeve here, Ming vase style-sequin work there. Metal hardware on dresses and square shapes at sleeves were details surely directly inspired by Samurai warrior vests on display at the Met. Of course, no one is trying to reinvent the wheel here: There were plenty of bandage dresses, which will certainly please the brand's mega-fans, many of whom were in attendance on Saturday. -- Tyler McCall
The first couple of days of New York Fashion Week consist largely of the city’s cooler, younger designers, so Ralph Rucci’s luxurious, classy affair was a bit of a shock to the senses. The show took place in the designer’s shiny new-ish offices, where everyone had a front row seat and the whole thing felt very European. The clothes, too, were on another level. Jamie Bochert opened the it in a gorgeously simple white short-sleeve wrap dress, which was followed by white suiting, then black suiting, then a few painterly abstract prints were introduced, on the accents of jackets, tea-length skirts and, most interestingly, on a translucent tailored rain coat. But it was the evening wear that made the biggest impact (though I, personally, am still thinking about that first wrap dress): It was all long, slim and understated glamour. As we could tell from being so close to the models, the construction of every piece was on point — unsurprising from the first American designer to ever officially show couture. Meanwhile Ralph Rucci, the company, is in the midst of a revamp with a new CEO who intends to build and expand the brand for a wider audience. This subdued, approachable (yet utterly luxurious) collection should help.-- Dhani Mau
This season at Ostwald Helgason, the fine art-inspired design duo looked close to the personal. "We were inspired by Susan [Ostwald] growing up in Eastern Germany behind the wall," explained Helgason just minutes before the show, as models shimmied into wide-striped, color-blocked separates, subdued, auburn-shaded skirting, and lightweight, honeycomb-patterned sheer dresses lined with flower embroidery. The idea was to translate Ostwald's experience -- "how people at that time perceived brands, perceived fashion, perceived authenticity," said Helgason -- into new Ostwald Helgason classics. Basic, utilitarian pieces, like a somber blue A-line dress marked with an X, and simple staples (see: the opening look, a more art than prep school cream shirtdress) marked the collection. It was a sophisticated range trimmed of the fuss from past assortments. "It's really a twist for the brand," said Helgason. "We removed ourselves a bit and I think it's very authentic and reflective." We couldn't agree more. -- Ashley Simpson
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: This was a collection made for music festivals. Between the loose tank dresses and the marijuana print, these are the clothes trust fund kids will wear to Coachella this year. (Or maybe barter for food at Burning Man?) Baseball caps with long brims and trailing ties are begging to end up in some sort of "Best of Coachella" style roundup. To Hoffman's credit, it still felt sophisticated — nothing like the knockoffs it will surely inspire at Urban Outfitters come festival season. —Tyler McCall
For spring 2015, Rebecca Taylor wanted to get away from the structured looks of seasons past. "I wanted the inspiration to feel like it was coming from a very fragile place, something that feels quite relaxed, undone, something that feels quite casual " Taylor said. "I feel like over the past few years, fashion has become a little bit uptight, quite strict in New York, and I wanted to go back to that quintessential Rebecca Taylor girl."
That meant lots of floaty, knife pleated chiffons with thin, loose knits layered on top -- Taylor is an expert at layering, after all. She also offered work wear (well, if you work in a creative environment) with flare-leg pants and blazers. Tiger lily embroidery was paired with a cartoon tiger print, which managed to be adorable without feeling cutesy. She carried the culotte shape over from resort, this time in the form of jumpsuits with sexy keyhole cutouts -- we're sure the Rebecca Taylor girl can't wait to get her hands on these for date night. -- Tyler McCall
Amir Taghi's Spring 2015 collection was very much in keeping with spring's perennial themes: pastels, lace, chiffon. Lilac seemed to be the designer's color of choice and the looks seemed to fall under two categories: Short frilly dresses and long pencil fitted dresses. His strongest look was a magenta suit, which broke from the rest of the collection in color, shape and fabric. While he experimented with some leather, it would have been nice to see more durable fabrics in addition to the flimsier fabrics. The cat-eye sunglasses were a fun pop to most of the outfits and helped put a modern spin on the classic silhouettes. -- Leah Roth
For the second season running, Prabal Gurung took his girls to the Himalayas, and such a trek requires one to be a little bit resourceful, plenty sporty and, if you stop along the way to contemplate your majestic surroundings (or you ever find yourself in a Mount Everest avalanche-type situation) probably pretty zen, too. All of these ideas were present in the designer’s spring ’15 collection, which included the addition of new, utilitarian elements like mountain jackets, heavy-duty climbers belts, expedition vests and drawstring details to Gurung’s typically pretty evening gowns and feminine separates.
The pieces that stood out most to me were probably the most simple: The double-layered dresses with toppers that gave them an architectural feel. The finale looks — floaty chiffon gowns with athletic racerfront tanks layered overtop — were the best of the bunch, and they were breathtaking.
A trio of sporty asymmetrical sweaters that appeared in the middle of the show, however, were what most of the editors seated around me seemed adamant about getting their hands on next season, so we’re going to go ahead and say that they’re the earliest contenders for must-have street style bait come winter. Those, and Gurung’s first line of in-house footwear, which debuted on the runway. You heard it here first. -- Alyssa Vingan
Remember yachtcore? Well so does Lacoste. The tennis brand took inspiration from the world of yachting for its spring collection, and the result was a wearable line of sporty yet interesting pieces.
The show opened with Julia Nobis in a pale blue vest dress and continued on with a regatta-worthy color palette of yellows, reds, whites and greys in athletic silhouettes. Sneakers accompanied many of the looks; others had white sport sandals. There were logo sweatshirts for the men, while ladies could get into the preppy spirit with Lacoste jerseys with billowing, folded trains. The collection felt very street style ready, which might be the boost Lacoste needs to get back on the fashion set's, um, backs. -- Steff Yotka
"This season started with the reference of an Australian artist called Jeffrey Smart. I was attracted to these roadside landscape that were quite primary in tone and palette, but quite dark in feel, so it was this idea of taking elements from a more construction, highway aesthetic and adapting that into contemporary fashion," explained Dion Lee after his spring 2015 show. The designer, who is reknown for his work with intricate cut outs, brought together industrial elements like seat belts, chains and reflective material with his signature cut-out and structured style. Bold dressers will fall in love with the cobalt architectural jackets and the painterly tops and dresses with slit sleeves. But the real high point were the black chain-embellished dresses that closed the show – just saucy enough for the red carpet but also chic enough for real life. -- Steff Yotka
Jill Stuart, for the most part, ditched the frills this season in favor of a more casual assortment of dresses, blouses, skirts and jumpsuits with a very strong, deliberate '70s vibe. Don't get me wrong: Stuart is known for pretty and this collection is definitely that, but there was an effortlessness this time in simple, high-waisted long skirts paired with button-downs, summer suiting and unfussy dresses nipped at the waist, all in neutrals and pale pastels. On the less casual side, and in keeping with the '70s theme, were some sexy one-shoulder dresses ready for the disco. Just add some blue eyeshadow and you're good to go. -- Dhani Mau
Prism by Anna Laub
Designer Anna Laub's line Prism continues to grow. The brand's signature sunglasses were shown in a new 3D leopard stripe while the swimsuits took on a textured feel in sporty shapes (a favorite was a low-back pink one piece). Prism also presented shoes and bags, in this case leopard espadrilles with a light platform and '70s-styled purses in distressed leathers. As always, Laub's presentation was an NYFW favorite, hosted at Le Bain and complete with popsicles. -- Steff Yotka
Christian Siriano looked to not one, but two artistic inspirations for his light and sculptural spring 2015 collection: Australian glass sculptor Sergio Redegalli and installation artist Tara Donovan. “Sergio’s work is massive and oversize, but I loved how light it felt,” Siriano explained backstage. “I wanted things to feel sculptural, but also feel light and long and lustrous and elegant, like his work did.” Meanwhile, Brooklyn-based Donovan’s work brought in an innovative textural element to the mix.
To bring that inspiration to light, Siriano worked with laser lattice cutting on stark white, lacey burnout organzas, luxurious jewel-encrusted pieces—including a fully adorned sheer jumpsuit (definitely not made for a sitting down type of party)—and a shimmering, light-as-air embossed lurex that could easily be mistaken for a novelty brocade. “[It has] that lustrous and almost reflective feeling because that’s how Sergio’s work is,” Siriano explained. “Every angle reflects onto a body of water that it’s on and that creates the lightness.” The runway shoes, created by Payless, of course, accented the day-dreamy collection with aquamarine crystal-encrusted peep toe heels, sparkly sea foam green mules, and a clear strapped sandal with a pastel ribbon swirling up in the air. But interesting news: Siriano says that he’s planning on launching his own shoe collection. “Hopefully for spring,” he said. “In stores in February.” -- Fawnia Soo Hoo