Leah Chernikoff is the editorial director of Fashionista.com. Before that she was a features reporter for the New York Daily News and has freelanced for theWall Street Journal, Bon Appetit, NYMag.com and more. She has been known to look at a cat or two on the internet and welcomes a Boggle challenge anytime.
So yesterday was my last day at Fashionista. On Monday I start my new job as editor of Elle.com. Though I'm excited to take on this new challenge with a brand I've always loved, it's really hard and sad for me to leave this place. The majority of my three years here have been spent with Lauren Sherman. She hired me, left, and then came back as my editor at large. So it seemed fitting to reminisce about all the good times with her.
This year marks Francisco Costa's 10th year as creative director of Calvin Klein Collection. It's a big milestone so there's bound to be more attention focused on this spring 2014 collection. Of course, he delivered.
It was sort of fitting that a thunder-storm dumped sheets of rain on New York right before Marc Jacobs's spring 2014 show. As we came in to the Lexington Ave. Armory dripping wet (OK, those of us without drivers came in dripping wet), it was all the more disorienting to be washed up on the hot (really hot! intentionally hot!) shores of some post-apocalyptic, post-rager beach. Bits of drift wood, a life-preserver, a beat up bus to "Dark Hollow", a giant Adirondack chair, and pieces of unstable looking boardwalk dotted the massive set. Cigarette butts and mussed-up old Vogues were submerged in the black sand that covered the runway. So what kind of clothes could possibly make sense in this kind of setting?
And the Ralph Lauren theme for spring 2014 is...mod! Of course, Lauren is never subtle about these things, so we were clued into the '60s vibe from the moment the first model stepped onto the runway in a black long-sleeved mini with a stark white collar worn with black knee socks and black patent Mary Janes.
Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez can always be relied upon to move the fashion conversation forward. In their spring 2014 collection, you could see elements of resort (in the use of pleats) and some continuation of last season's more sculptural and demure themes in a jacket here and there; but for the most part, the ideas were new. In a sort of seasonal reversal, this spring collection has a heavier, more grounded feel, while fall was full of crisp white looks.
The Steven Alan girl is just so cool. She's always got her staples--perfectly fitted button downs galore, a boxy dress or three--but this season she's even more relaxed. "We're playing with proportions a lot--and it's so new for us," Alan said. "We wanted to be really true to the brand and at the same time think of what's next, what are our customers missing from their closet, what do we really love?"
Narciso Rodriguez is making the clothes we all want to wear right now. At least that's the thought that came to mind as I took in the designer's beautiful spring 2014 show. Maybe it's because we've reached saturation with all the over-the-top, take-my-picture please street style looks. Or maybe it's because everyone is feeling the '90s right now and no one does minimalism better than Narciso Rodriguez.
Fashion people are pretty fond of hyperbole, so we tend to tune out any kind of freaking out over fashion week. It's just clothes people! Except just a few hours ago around 50 editors and buyers got stuck in a freight elevator leaving Philosophy by Natalie Ratabesi. A source tells us that fire trucks were even called to the scene. But far be it for something like a stuck freight elevator to stop an editor from getting to his or her next show.
There had been rumors that Galliano would be back to work with de la Renta on his spring collection. But as soon as the lights went up and the first model (Karlie Kloss) hit the runway, it was clear this collection was pure OLDR.
Backstage, the designers said they were inspired by the real LA girl. What that means is open to interpretation but based on the clothes that came down the runway she's not the typical tanned and veneered Hollywood starlet.
If Donna Karan's front row was any indication--Ali Larter, Joy Bryant, Marisa Berenson, Goldie Hawn--this collection was intended for women of any age. The show notes explained that the collection was inspired by Karan's search for a hand-blocked scarf. It was a journey that took her, she said, from India to Israel, and while she never found the scarf she was looking for, she found inspiration for spring 2014.
For Spring 2014, Thakoon Panichgul sent out an unabashedly girly collection. His models were dripping in pearls--they comprised the handles of long cross body bags and were loosely draped, flapper-style, around models' necks. (According to Style.com, the pearls are part of an ongoing partnership with Japanese jewelry company Tasaki.)
When DKNY hit the scene 25 years ago the year was 1988. The Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" had just been released, so it was a fitting way to start off this awesomely nostalgic anniversary collection. And like the song, the clothes had a fearlessly fun 'I don't give a f*ck' attitude to them. Because what could be more New York than that?
"Exploring new proportions has allowed me to further develop my silhouette and I have set boyish elements against a sense of femininity," Victoria Beckham said of her spring 2014 collection. Boyish elements from the oh-so-girly Victoria Beckham? The same Victoria Beckham whose two-year-old daughter Harper took in the show on her daddy's lap wearing a pleated white dress with bows at the shoulders and a perfect top knot? Well, not too boyish.
Somebody fetch us a heating pad, will ya? The ovaries... oh, how they ache...
Earlier this week fashion activist Bethann Hardison (yes, that's on her Twitter bio) put out a call to action: she sent out letters to the governing fashion bodies in each major fashion city (New York, London, Milan, Paris) stating that it can "no longer be accepted" that designers "consistently use one or no models of color." The result of using an all-white model cast, she said, is "racism" regardless of the reasoning behind it. She went on to call out every offending designer. (See the full list here.) We caught up with the Jourdan Dunn, one of five models of color that walked Jason Wu's show yesterday, to get her take on Hardison's campaign.
"Who is that guy sitting next to Anna Wintour?" This was perhaps the most overheard question at the Rag & bone show yesterday. He was tall, handsome, muscular, so clearly an athlete... right? I think? Still, the fashion crew was clueless. Luckily my brother came to the rescue, informing me, after I sent him a photo text, that Wintour's newest seatmate was none other than NBA star Russell Westbrook, "arguably one of the best point guards in the entire league." We caught up with him after the show to chat about his fashion aspirations (yes, he wants to launch his own line) and just what exactly he was talking to Wintour about.
The '90s redux trend is still going strong. At Rag & Bone's spring 2014 show, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright reached back into our late '90s closets to put their own spin on cropped halter tops, iridescent halter slip dresses, and overalls (not going anywhere, sorry).
Rachel Comey scrapped her fashion show this year. Instead, she presented her spring/summer 2014 collection to a small group of friends, editors, artists, and celebrities during an intimate dinner party held at the Pioneer Works Center for Arts & Innovation all the way out in Red Hook, Brooklyn. "I just wanted to create an experience that was meaningful for me and my crew," Comey told us. "There's so much that gets drilled into you with a runway show, you have to do things a certain way, and I just wanted to fuck it all and do what I wanted to do."