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.
According to the Veronicas, their spring 2015 collection is "all about the bright side." And indeed, there were plenty of highlighter hues. Neon pink, fluro yellow and baby blue punctuated the collection, which felt very 1960's Palm Beach—think Lilly Pulitzer prints and Slim Aarons' poolside snaps.
There were even garden and tiger prints, and the combination of short suits and baby doll dresses felt reminiscent of the brand's fun and feminine aesthetic.The duo have been longtime fans of creating wearable, fun-to-wear pieces, and this collection is in much the same vein. The standouts of the presentation (which thoughtfully included cocktails and canapés for guests) were the lace pieces, in particular an asymmetrical lace skirt, a white lace blouse, and a few of those "bright" skirts. -- Tara Lamonte-Djite
Polo for Ralph Lauren
Holograms brought to life on the runway at Polo for Ralph Lauren.
Rag & Bone
Zero + Maria Cornejo
"With a world in turmoil and full of so much conflict, it feels relevant to evoke a certain peaceful naivety with this collection," Maria Cornejo said in the show notes for her spring/summer 2015 collection. So, hey, don’t ever say that fashion people live in a bubble, K? “I think we’re all overwhelmed with such negativity right now in the news,” the designer told me backstage after the show. “Because of the media, everything is so available and there is always bad news. So I just thought it would be really nice to do something a bit nostalgic and a bit more romantic.”
Known for her minimalist, near cutting-edge aesthetic, the designer revisited softness with silky fluid asymmetrical dresses, delicately voluminous lace pieces-- a white rise-fall v-neck top paired with matching shorts were especially pretty -- and buttery soft stretch leather outfits (the zip jacket and cropped trousers look that opened the show was to die for). One detail stayed consistent throughout the collection: a swoopy diagonal ruffle almost floating off long tunic tops, light dresses and tailored trousers. “The frill,” she said. “For me it was the idea of doing a frill that isn’t a frill.” Cornejo kept the color palette edited and easy on the eyes: black, white, a dusty rose and shades of blue. And, interestingly, the designer only used just one prin (from a photograph of tiles at the ICA in London) in the entire collection. “It evoked everything to me that the collection should be,” she said. “It was feminine. It was pretty and the colors were lovely.” -- Fawnia Soo Hoo
Watching the spring 2015 collection come down the Libertine runway, I could only think of a quote from Travis in about his skateboard: "I wanna wipe all of this out and concentrate on one main decorative statement." The vibe was California skater goes to Japan: Every item was embellished within an inch of its life, from paint splattered tights and pompom coated pants to graphic tee shirts and over the top manis. It won't win any awards for subtlety anytime soon, but damn, was it fun. —Tyler McCall
As a lady with, ahem, larger breasts, I'm always distinctly aware of practicality on the boob front while watching garments come down the runway. If I had a grading system for this practicality, Reem Acra's spring 2015 collection would fail spectacularly. Between deep (and I mean DEEP) plunges and underboob cutouts, this is not a collection for the well endowed -- nor for the lady looking to go unnoticed. Gowns were so heavily embellished that you could hear them coming down the runway. Still, fans of the brand will be pleased with all the princess-y gowns on offer for spring. —Tyler McCall
Read our full review here.
For a spring/summer 2015 collection that looks like it could have come out of the ’50s, Barbara Tfank took a thoroughly modern approach to search for her starting point: Instagram. That's where she discovered the enchanting floral-imbued art of painter Anne Siems. “I saw her work, and I thought, Oh my god, I love it, because I spent many years working with flowers as a flower designer years ago,” explained Tfank. The collection had a prim-and-proper, uptown, old money feel, with black-and-white off-the-shoulder frocks and dainty A-line cocktail dresses covered in flowers. Tfank sourced a vintage whimsical bow-print taffeta for a full-length evening gown accented with functional pockets. The designer had another cocktail-hour ensemble of black and platinum in a rich medallion brocade A-line skirt and a hand-crocheted crop top. Feminine and refined, whimsical and classic — this one is ideal for the ladies who lunch.— Ann Binlot
The Rosie Assoulin presentation on Monday was like a Who's Who of the street style set: Miroslava Duma, Anya Ziourova, Taylor Tomasi Hill — if Tommy Ton's shot her, she was probably in attendance. That's because these women not only have exquisite taste, but they also appreciate fashion as an art form, which is something that Assoulin has proven is of high importance through her use of dramatic volumes, rainbow colors and contrasting textures each season. In fact, the designer had an artist on hand to live-paint the spring 2015 looks at they were presented.
The designer told Fashionista her new collection really embraces summer, especially the vacation vibes that are evoked from things like white terra cotta, straw baskets and pottery, all of which inspired both the clothing and Assoulin's first-ever accessories: bags and hats made of straw that will retail from $500 to $900. "I like taking things like poplin and straw and mixing them with silk in a way that feels light and fresh, but also wearable — which is not a dirty word to me," Assoulin says.
My personal favorite looks included an easy white tee paired with a silk, tiered red skirt, a white skirt and top adorned with a rainbow cape inspired by artist Jim Lambie and a voluminous off-the-shoulder cherry red top that would be an ideal piece to pack for a European summer vacation. A number of the looks are convertible as well, including a pair of pants with voluminous ruffles that can be worn to the front or tied into a bustle in the back, and an evening gown that has tiers that zip off into a shorter, more dance party-friendly style. While Assoulin is primarily known for her evening wear, she insists she's all about the mix. "Wearing a beautiful silk bustier with a pair of sweatpants, thats what we’re trying to do — bridge those two things." —Alyssa Vingan
Alice + Olivia
3.1 Phillip Lim
Designer Hanako Maeda (Adeam spelled backwards) designs modern, streamlined clothes informed by both Tokyo (where she was born and lived until she was five) and New York, where she is now based, though she visits Tokyo frequently and sources and develops many of her fabrics there.
This season, specifically, was inspired by a piece of performance art by Yves Klein titled "Anthropometry" that involved models painted blue making imprints of their bodies onto paper. All of these influences translated into a blue-heavy collection of lightweight pieces that moved beautifully. On some dresses, chiffon and georgette pieces were draped to move with the body. On others, form-fitting neoprene or ribbed knits clung to it. The whole thing felt sporty and futuristic, but still feminine, and that's a hard balance to strike. -- Dhani Mau
For spring 2015, blogger favorite Karen Walker looked to the English countryside and its eccentric horticulturists -- a theme frequently taken up by London designers, but rarely by those outside the UK. And it wasn't your typical, flowy, floral-bedecked take, either: "flower shop" was stenciled boldly onto a pale blue sweatshirt, and suede, color-blocked mini-dresses and flared jeans had a distinctly '70s vibe. What we liked best of all were the headscarves tied beneath broad-brimmed hats, made glamorous with Walker's signature glasses. We're not sure if it's a look that could be pulled off on the street, but we'd like to try. -- Lauren Indvik
There's a reason Dennis Basso's presentation is a hotbed of socialites: The man knows how to design a party frock like a pro. For spring, he played in a white, grey, dusty pink and yellow palette that touched on floral references as well as arts and crafts-style geometric motifs. The resulting gowns, cocktail dresses and furs has a lightness about that them that Basso's blondes will likely love. A favorite for the younger (or more experimental) set will likely be a fur tank in blush and grey with a symmetrical pattern on the front. It's wild enough for a downtown dance party, but will still go with pearls.
The high point of the show, however, was when the woman seated next to me exclaimed, "Who wears a sweatshirt and jeans to Dennis Basso?!" (She was wearing a Cartier Panthère ring, FYI.) —Steff Yotka
Review to come.
If one word could sum up the spring collections we've seen in New York thus far, "easy" might be it -- there's a comfortable, roomy, luxurious simplicity to many of the looks we've seen, which are often shown with natural hair and minimal makeup. Theory's collection, presented Monday morning, was right in step, with a sleeveless trench in a rich natural linen, tied neatly but not too snugly around the waist, with matching wide-legged trousers. Low-waisted wool trousers and boxy cotton tops featured elsewhere in the collection, paired with flats and an occasional blocked heel -- oh so easy. -- Lauren Indvik
This was Wang's first collection to be presented at New York Fashion Week, and despite a somewhat dull middle section, there were some highlights. Inspired by Oscar-winning film “Black Swan” and the ballet it inspired, Swan Lake -- the color palette was mostly (surprise) black and white. Though there were a few bright red looks, with a splatter effect that recalled some of the more stunning and shocking parts of the film. Wang’s finale looks were maybe a little too literal with their feather-like fringe, but still pretty nonetheless. —Tyler McCall
Known for her very fem Paris-meets-Upper East Side aesthetic, Michelle Smith went decidedly edgier and sportier for spring 2015. She drew inspiration from conceptual artists Dan Graham and John Baldessari—the latter of whom brought about the vibrant color palette (on top of a minimalist black and white base) of cobalt, poppy, yellow and mint hues. In an homage to Graham, the runway was set in a winding maze-like pattern surrounding a zig-zag formation of trippy two-way mirrors—definitely making the models earn their catwalking keep.
Smith also really upped her fabric game this season by incorporating some key textural innovations, which she created herself, like what Smith calls an organza mesh. “Because from far away it actually looks like silk organza and when you’re up close, it has a technical double face aspect,” she said backstage before the show. A delicate illusion filament gave an ethereal texture to a sportier halter top, a streamlined sleeveless vest and a filmy drop waist dress. She also creatively sandwiched thin wisps of raffia between two silk organza layers for another texture technique, to a sculptural, airy effect. Smith accessorized her looks with handbags, including an adorable fringed mini-bucket bag. “I call them my New York City pet,” she laughed. “I want one in every color and they look like little fluffy dogs." —Fawnia Soo Hoo
See the full collection and our review here.
Review to come.
After being honored on Wednesday for her artistry, Herrera presented a collection for spring which proved just how deserving she was of the award. Opening looks featured graphic florals on white garments, which lead into color splashed on daywear and eveningwear alike. Thanks to open-backed crop tops and nice harness-style strap detailing, this collection skewed a bit younger than seasons past without abandoning the Herrera customer altogether. —Tyler McCall
Lela Rose is a designer for modern Audrey Hepburn types. Her kimono-inspired spring collection was full of traditional feminine silhouettes: There were full skirts and pencil skirts, neat little jackets and plenty of A-line gowns; trousers appeared in only two of the 43 looks. The kimono influence could be seen most clearly in the fabrics — glossy silks that shimmered with floral prints, embroideries, and jet and silver beading — and, occasionally, in the rounded shape of a cropped jacket or the heavy backside pleating on blouses and gowns. The key to wearing a full skirt, Rose says, is to keep it slim up top. "A full skirt is so fun, so feminine, it just makes you feel good," she said backstage before the show. "And I think that's what clothes should do: They should give you a new attitude and make you think, 'Oh! I'm going to have a good day!'" — Lauren Indvik