Designer Serkan Sarier shot into the fashion industry in Spring 2011 when his first collection for Brood won the praise of fashion industry insiders like Sally Singer, Eric Wilson and Vera Wang--something that even seasoned designers can only dream of, let alone first-timers. Fast-forward one year later, Sarier's career trajectory shows no sign of slowing down--that is if his Spring 2012 collection, shown at a discreet Chelsea gallery, is any indication. Yes, there were a number of the fashion industry's heavy-hitters present (Vera Wang and Sally Singer both held court), and yes, there was a giant silver malformed balloon hovering in the background (more on that later) but still, it was the clothing that really got our attention.
Earlier this week, I stopped by a Soho showroom to check out the spring 2012 collections of Eryn Brinié and Kai-Aakmann. Both are chic, modern, affordable brands based out of Korea that we've really, really liked ever since they arrived stateside around 2008. Eryn Brinié (which is not an actual person, but a name meant to evoke the Parisian feel of the brand) even had a store on the main drag of Broadway in Soho for a while, which sadly closed last year. Seeing Eryn Brinié's spring collection made me even more sad that I wouldn't be able to just pop into a store (which happened to be just 4 blocks from our office) and buy the whole thing next spring. I wanted everything. It was all pared back, sweet, feminine pastel perfection. Highlights include a peachy double-breasted slouchy silk blazer, a knee-length grey dress with subtle pleating, a black bias cut dress with sheer draping on the shoulders and a simple The Row-esque white maxi skirt. The best part: it's all under $300. So what happened to the store?
You always know what you're going to get with Kate Spade: Feminine silhouettes, charming prints and quirky-cool accessories. And the Spring 2012 presentation was no exception. Creative Director Deborah Lloyd mined the life and work of Australian artist Florence Broadhurst whose incredibly interesting life story and gorgeous prints served as an interesting and fruitful source of inspiration. If you're not already familiar with Broadhurst, you should definitely Wikipedia her--like now. Born in Australia in 1899, Broadhurst travelled the world first as a singer, then a comedienne, before settling briefly in Shanghai where she set up a finishing school for girls. From there she went on to live in England and Australia, marry twice, found the Florence Broadhurst Wallpaper company, which became known for it's striking, hand-painted prints, and build an accomplished oeuvre as a landscape artist, only to be found murdered at the age 78 in 1977. (See, we told you it was interesting).
It wasn't enough that the latter part of New York Fashion Week was dancing the Charleston (well, not literally), or that a select few London shows saw their waistlines drop. Now, Milan has jumped on board the 1920s trend, and that was just in the first day. You may have noticed some vintage-inspired looks at Gucci or even Alberta Ferretti's light-as-air exits at the beginning of the show. Filming of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is underway in Australia and we think designers are getting a little inspired.
New York Fashion Week wrapped last Thurdsay, and while the event won it's fair share of sartorial praise, for many it was yet another reminder of how painfully un-diverse the fashion world and particularly, the runway, is. The site Loop21 has analyzed diversity on the New York runways for a few seasons now, and the spring 2012 report is in. The site found an uptick in the number of models of color on the runways this season, highlighting the efforts of Tracy Reese, J.Crew, St. John and Imitation of Christ for putting on the most diverse shows. Kudos also to Costello Tagliapietra, Ohne Titel and Rad Hourani, each of whom cast over half their shows with non-white models. But while numbers may have been up since last year (where 25 out of 144 shows featured no black models at all), they're still pretty dismal. According to the report, out of more than 200 designers showing at New York Fashion Week, 20 of them featured no black models. And for the most part, the runways are mainly white, with percentages of models of color hovering somewhere in the 20% region. Writing for the Huffington Post, Loop21 contributing editor Kelly Goff notes that there are still some designers who could do better.
more We obviously couldn't highlight just five best dressed from New York Fashion Week--where editors and celebs alike turn out in get ups that out s
After watching Simon Spurr prepare for his Spring 2012 show, we already knew what to expect: expertly tailored menswear mixed with subtle hints of country charm (think English riding boots and denim). Of course, the recent CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year nom offered many classic, slim cut, three piece suits, but there were plenty of striped patterns as well. “The graphic prints were inspired by a guy named Norman Wilkinson who came out with the first version of camouflage for the British navy, called Dazzle Ships in 1920,” Spurr told us backstage. He incorporated the striped, zig-zag patterns into many pieces, including suits, knits, and a blazer or two.
New York Fashion Week has come to an end. And while what we really want to do is shut off our computers and tune out on Bravo, there are a few collections (sadly only a few) that we still can't stop thinking about. So, here are our ten favorites, in no particular order. Also, London Fashion Week started today, so stay tuned for more reviews!
Before Jeremy Laing’s show began on Sunday, I was talking to a fashion editor friend about arrhythmias. We were relating stories of hearts misbehaving, our internal electrical systems misfiring. And then the lights went down and Jeremy Laing brought our hearts, those imperfect/perfect systems, to the runway. This is a heavenly collection made real by the former Alexander McQueen apprentice. His looks were stable, determined, but ethereal. These were dresses, skirts and shorts from an unearthly place. “We used a range of sand-washed textured georgette and crinkled chiffon. I wanted lightness, transparency and a ghostly feel,” says the designer.
Nomia designer Yara Flynn has always been popular with the avant garde art-y/fashion-y set, so it was fitting that her spring 2012 presentation involved mixed media. A video of models on beach in Montauk opened the show, Georgia O’Keefe's haunting voice provided the soundtrack. A real live runway show followed the short film to show off Flynn's collection inspired by O'Keefe's travels to New Mexico. Her signature cutouts on dresses and reinforced knees on pants were still there, but there was a heightened maturity and grace to this collection. “I obviously didn’t go to New Mexico to shoot a video,” Flynn said. "And I didn’t want it to be too literal, so we went to the dunes in Montauk. My brand is associated with downtown and I wanted to take it somewhere purer.”
In the world of menswear, like in the rest of the fashion industry, certain niche designers always draw a distinguished crowd; Patrik Ervell is one of them. And for good reason. His look is always cohesive, sleek, and never safe. To wit: this year, to the surprise of everyone, he displayed several women’s looks that offered the same simple, striking aesthetic, which he’s captured with his dagger-sharp suits for men. Ervell notes that this collection was the culmination of his ten years in New York City, a place where “the powers of commerce and finance” mix with “the grit and toughness of the street.” To his credit, I wouldn’t fuck around with the person Ervell visualizes wearing these clothes. There’s nothing mean about them, but they’re hard-edged, crisp and cool.
Having earned an Ecco Domani Fashion Fund award and been named a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist, Vietnam-born Wayne Lee has been an editorial favorite for several years now. I found it telling that although her evening show nearly overlapped with Proenza Schouler's, Barneys Fashion Director Amanda Brooks, Marie Claire's Zanna Roberts Rassi, and a number of other masthead toppers turned up to see Wayne's collection. On the runway, it was a thoroughly black and white affair. The designer sent out a number of snowy looks to start things off, from silk tuxedo dresses to wispy leather vests to incredibly soft-looking lambskin bike shorts. I particularly loved a round-shouldered cape blazer in ivory viscose twill, dubbed a "falcon cape" in the run of show. Turns out Wayne had been inspired by the lightness and grace of birds of prey, and she beautifully captured the slope and quiet power of wings in those vest dresses and cutaway tanks.
Two rising stars made their New York Fashion Week debuts this week. Thirteen-year old actress Elle Fanning, who is basically our favorite fashion person right now, and singer/rapper Nicki Minaj, who boggles our minds, were two of NYFW's most ubiquitous front row guests. Unfortunately, their paths never crossed, so we had to use photoshop to see what their outfits would look like next to each other. Without a doubt, both ladies have become known for their noteworthy, if extremely opposite senses of style. So, click through for a side-by-side comparison of the looks they worked during this past fashion-filled week. Who do you think made more of an impression?
Most of the beauty looks this season were minimal, natural, and quite pretty and wearable (well, except the wet mullets). But those aren't fun to look at, are they? No, we don't think so either. So please click through to see the 10 looks that we never hope to see on someone in the subway at three in the afternoon but that we loved seeing on the runways.
Congratulations, you made it through Fashion Week! And as a treat for making it through all those shows, industry parties and celebrity sightings, some lovely person by the name of David Sherwin has created this amazing video of NYFW-attendees dancing to the tune of Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me." If that doesn't sound like the awesome-est thing already, get psyched for seeing some of our favorite industry adorables, like Susie Lau of Style Bubble and Phil Oh of Streetpeeper shake their groove thing. It's truly the antidote to any post-Fashion-Week blues--and it's a visual refute to the accusation that the Fashion Week takes themselves too seriously.
In the last few seasons Ralph Lauren has traveled to the Far East and the American West. Yesterday he traveled back in time to a Gatsby-esque '20s. Models channeled Daisy Buchanan in flowy menswear-inspired wide leg trousers paired with ruffle front silk blouses and dainty cashmere cardigans, silk chiffon dresses and floral print skirts--every looked capped off with a cloche hat. The first set of looks were in an Easter egg basket palate of, according to the line sheets, "daffodil," "robin's egg blue," "celadon," and "blush." (A quick question here--Ralph Lauren opened with a hole ridden sweater that looked moth ball eaten--Kors showed "distressed cashmere"--what gives guys?) The Easter parade gave way to a series of all-white looks, glammed up by luxe ostrich feather capes and collars. But the show stoppers were undeniably the evening wear that closed the show--a modern Daisy needs something to wear to all those parties! And so does Olivia Wilde, evidently, who was sitting front row. Which is just as well because she would look stunning in any of the gorgeous silver and ivory beaded gowns that closed the show.
When we heard Kylie Jenner would be walking in Avril Lavigne's Abbey Dawn show this fashion week, we have to admit we were a little surprised to hear we wouldn't be seeing Kendall on the runway. While both are tall and pretty, we've seen Kendall pursue her modeling career on Keeping Up With the Kardashians (come on, you know you watch too). Maybe she was too scared or didn't want to Pippa her little sis. Or, perhaps Sherri Hill, the line of prom wear that Kendall has been the face of for almost a year, had an exclusive on the in-demand model. She walked in three very flashy outfits for Sherri Hill's runway show Wednesday night while Kim and Kourtney looked on from the front row. Hopefully Kris was backstage with Kendall, since she's actually only 15, still under the CFDA-recommended 16-year age minimum for runway models (though we realize, duh, Sherry Hill is not a member of the CFDA). But, as we've learned, the Jenners don't seem to care about that and it's not like the CFDA can arrest them, so there ya go. Click through for a video, courtesy of E!
Even though the anticipation of waiting for Marc Jacobs nearly killed us after he postponed his show due to Hurricane Irene--it's fitting that he showed last. Because not only does Marc Jacobs consistently present one of the best and most important collections each season (in terms of setting trends), but he also really puts on a show. And last night, Jacobs literally put a show. A heavy gold curtain parted to reveal a full cast of models draped Fosse-style over wooden chairs across the length of the stage (think of the "Cell Block Tango" number from Chicago or A Chorus Line)--and you could actually hear the audience gasp ('Are they going to dance? Sing?' we hoped). Earlier that night, Jacobs' sent out an urgent email canceling all backstage beauty press due to "a very long technical rehearsal" and now we understand why. The show was intricately choreographed, with models exiting the Broadway-esque tableau at precise times to walk the stage, which was set like a dance hall in a barn--a simple wooden frame lined with bulbs bisected the runway. And in another nod to Fosse, Jacobs, clad all in black (he was even wearing jazz pants), crouched behind his models, clapping along to keep time and give his dancers models cues--and all of it to a Phillip Glass soundtrack of voices counting to eight over and over--standard for choreography. It was as if Marc was winking at us, taking the stage because he knew he was at the center of it as the name on the tip of everyone's tongue to succeed Galliano at Dior. Jacobs told WWD that taking the job at the storied French house “has nothing to do with salary. I mean, I’d be honored to do Dior. But I work with a team, and I’d like to be able to keep working with them. I think it would be really exciting. I wouldn’t be able to say no.” But we should talk about the clothes.
This week’s many wild prints, bright colors and feminine silhouettes had nothing on Anna Sui, perhaps because that’s always been what she does best. The vibe at last night's show was cinematic, decadent and high-energy, with loud disco tunes and dramatic spotlights. Karen Elson was the perfect show-opener. We hadn’t seen her all week, except as musician-Karen, when she gave us a taste of her undeniable ability to captivate an audience. She did it again last night as model-Karen--we were transfixed by her red curls, bright red lips and a maximalist, fully accessorized look that included a fur caplet, black turban, digitally printed floral shirtdress and pink, red and purple checkered sweatervest. A bevy of superstar models followed like Karlie Kloss, Jessica Stam and Jourdan Dunn. Also, Lindsey Wixson’s gap-toothed, red-lipped smiles were particularly memorable.
There's a serious explosion of color going on in our most recent batch of shows. To see the rainbow, go to our Fashion Week page and check out Nanet