A fashion magazine cover is a highly covetable place for any designer look. Each season a select few looks are deemed worthy by editors and become repeat offenders. Last season, a sequined gold Balmain dress sparkled from the front of at least seven covers while Miu Miu put in its best effort to become the fall 2010 cover star. Both brands set the bar sky high, daring any new dress to beat them. The spring 2011 collections showed up for the challenge. This season is drawing to a close and while the cover wars still rage on, we've narrowed down the top five most popular cover looks. Click through the see what made the cut.
Forget diamonds--shoes are a girl's best friend. The SS11 runways were full of new "best friends" for shoe addicts everywhere. From Alexander McQueen's and Rodarte's sculpted wedges to Calvin Klein's lucite and wood stilettos, there's something for every girl, even sneakers (from Giles and Yohji Yamamoto, of course)! Trying to pick a favorite may cost you hours, so why not just love them all? Click through to see the best of the best shoes from the Spring runways!
If not one of my favorite looks of the New York Spring 2011 Men’s collections, Yigal Azrouël’s one-piece, short-sleeved “jumpsuits,” with their lower halves cut well above the knees, remained a standout, if for no other reason than it reminded me of a romper. Which, in fact, it is. The idea of a romper for men should not be so outlandish. They were, after all, created with boys in mind. The style, if we can call it that, goes back to Victorian times, when the garment was designed as playwear (ideal because of the mobility it allowed within the dressing/undressing ease of a one piece) for boys, and boys only—though eventually the practicality was extended to little ladies as well. In the '50s, the romper became stylish for not-so-little-ladies, and during the last half-decade has experienced a resurgence, found on runways from Vena Cava to BCBG, thanks in no small part to American Apparel, who more than anyone have made the sexy, playful romper ubiquitous. While the romper for men (I’m officially dubbing it a “stomper”) may not offer the same pin-up appeal, it looks rather appealing. If not exactly dashing, it’s a fun subversion of the workwear theme, which will be hard to escape next spring—and on the right guy it could look almost cool.
I’ve seen a lot of shows this week, mostly established designers with a known aesthetic. I’m always excited to see what they produce, but that element of surprise isn’t always there. The Twentyten is a relatively new label, but I suspect name recognition won’t be a problem for them much longer. Jeff Dodd, David J. Krause, and Nina Zilka are the designers behind the label, and they all met as students in the Pratt Institute’s fashion design program. The name is a reference to their graduation year. This is their fourth collection together, and their first as members of the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation. The Incubator’s mission is to “link sustainability to enterprise.” The Twentyten designers are the first fashion designers to be members (the Incubator is for all design disciplines.) They don’t get financial support, but they get invaluable services such as assistance with business plans and exhibition space, like the open sunny loft overlooking the Hudson where they displayed their wares. The designers make everything locally in NY’s Garment Center, and several of their pieces are made from scrap leather and organic bamboo. When I read the inspiration for the collection, I was slightly worried that this was going to be a beautiful yet unwearable, artsy mess. The collection was based on a “fictional female character and her descent into madness.” (Quite appropriate for the last few days of fashion week.) What I saw when I walked in, however, was an utterly hip and wearable collection of tops, pants, and dresses. The vibe is definitely downtown, but I live uptown and I wanted a good chunk of this collection.
I was reasonably sure when I walked into the Alice + Olivia presentation that I wouldn’t be seeing much white minimalism. I was correct. Gold glitter covered every surface, and Stacey Bendet was dressed in a silver twinkling bolero, black sparkly beaded dress, and bejeweled hair piece. Even her eyelids were glittery. I got to chat with her for a few minutes, feeling quite bland in my black and grey ensemble. Thank goodness my earrings were sparkly. Fashionista: So tell me about the collection: Stacey Bendet: The whole concept of the show was supposed to be this sort of timeless travel. The feel is a mix of '50s, '60s, '70s and I wanted everything to be mixed and matched in a way that it all felt fresh, but each piece you’re not sure when it came from. It’s very cool and detailed and classic, and I want you to be able to pick it up and wear it ten years from now.
If you don’t know William Tempest, you soon will. He’s a baby-faced 24-year-old Englishman with an amazing pedigree (stints at Giles Deacon and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac) who already counts Emma Watson, Kate Moss, and Victoria Beckham as fans. After his first collection debuted three seasons ago, he was compared to a young McQueen. This is his first season showing in New York. I asked him what he found different about showing in New York vs. London and he told me, “The energy’s just really different. I was excited to do a presentation here so that I could actually meet editors and buyers in person.” He’ll also be showing in Milan this season. His clothes are clearly ready for their international close-up.
Dhani and John both spent yesterday afternoon praising at the church of Sternberg, an experience deserving of more than one review. Here are their takes, starting with Boy: Dhani's Review: After standing in line anxiously for about 20 minutes (behind Tavi and a girl who I thought was her same age but is apparently her agent), I was overrun with anticipation. I walked in to find six or seven girls on risers wearing black sunglasses and Boy’s signature preppy with a twist staples. I was instantly obsessed with a pair of platform wooden espadrilles. I thought I was in for a pretty typical presentation, perhaps with some sort of collegiate theme. That was until I realized how large the room was and suddenly felt like I was in the rain forest. I turned to my right and saw what looked like a bunch of girls standing in a shower. Indeed, there was the inaugural presentation of Girl, Sternberg’s new lower-priced line for women. The models were being misted with water against dim lighting and a backdrop of windows and trees--which might sound weird, but was actually really beautiful. Out of each setting, this one may have fit the best with the haunting music by composer Thomas Newman, instantly recognizable if you’ve ever seen American Beauty or Six Feet Under. Despite the haze, Girl was really cute. While Boy has always been an interpretation of Band’s menswear, Girl is, fittingly, unmistakably girly. Everything was soft, pale, and drapey.
Under some train tracks in an outside alley in Chelsea, Sharon Wauchob debuted her first collection for Edun. Edun is, of course, the eco-label founded by Ali Hewson and her famous husband. You know who it is. He sings in a band. He wasn’t there. (Gavin Rossdale was, however.) Edun has been plagued by some inconsistency issues since its inception in 2005. After a big welcome from retailers in the beginning, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Edun was carried at only 67 stores worldwide, down from hundreds at its heyday in 2006. The company floundered further after creative director Rogan Gregory left in 2007 and the industry as a whole was hit by the recession. Enter LVMH, who purchased 49% of the company in 2009. Sharon Wauchob was hired as creative director, and most of the company’s production was moved to China after retailers complained about the quality of the garments coming from African facilities. Ali told the WSJ, “It’s a fashion company. That needs to be first and foremost.” Some t-shirts, denim, and jewelry will still be produced in Africa, and the company is hoping to increase African production in the future.