I just did my first of several features for The Book, Neiman Marcus' luxury magalog. Here's a piece about Donna Karan's work in Haiti.
I just did my first of several features for The Book, Neiman Marcus' luxury magalog. Here's a piece about Donna Karan's work in Haiti.
Didn't make it to the spring couture shows? Not to worry. I covered the best of the bunch—Alexis Mabille, Armani Privé, Chanel, Giambattista Valli, Versace, Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Christian Dior and Bouchra Jarrar—for Rue La La.
What inspired you for fall 2012?
My heritage, Greek and Egyptian. My love for the ancient queens and goddesses of those regions. The strength, presence and confidence they embodied can translate to today’s modern woman.
How does this play out in terms of colors, materials and shapes?
Beautiful and rich jewel tones with luxurious fabrics—silks, jacquards and laces.
What music did you listen to while designing this collection?
Sometimes I need peace and quiet—or the opposite. I love danceable music that's fun and lively.
What do you look for when casting your show?
How do you stay energized/balanced in the weeks leading up to NYFW?
Working out; I have a high level of discipline. Sleep as much as one can, but that doesn’t always work.
What other show(s) are you looking forward to seeing this season?
Ralph Rucci, Victoria Beckham, Marc Jacobs.
How do you plan to unwind after Fashion Week?
I will not be unwinding for a while yet, but hopefully somewhere warm and interesting for inspiration.
Fotini Copeland will present her fall 2012collection on Tuesday, February 14th in The Box at Lincoln Center.
I just did a wrap up of Milan Fashion Week for Rue La La's new blog, The (Style) Guide. Everything you always wanted to know about Gucci, Prada and Versace but were afraid to ask...
While much of Dries Van Noten's exceptional spring 2012 collection featured prints based on the work of English photographer James Reeve, I am completely enamored of his voluminous black pieces that harken back to the swingy silhouettes of Spanish couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga c. 1950s. Take, for instance, this black lace-trimmed sack dress and lace front a-line tunic, which the designer reigned in with slim taffeta pants and a fitted blazer with military details. They are true perfection—and I cannot. stop. thinking. about them. Dries Van Noten, caveat tempter!
images courtesy Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com
I did a little best of roundup of the London Fashion Week spring 2012 shows for Rue La La, featuring designers emerging (Thomas Tait, Louise Gray), established (Burberry, Paul Smith) and somewhere in between.
I swung by the Standard Hotel during New York Fashion Week to catch up with my old pal, Anna Sheffield, and check out her new bridal and commitment collection, which I wrote about for Rue La La's blog. The collection is terrific (I may have to renew my vows!) and Anna, as always, was a pure delight. I heart nice people. And nice, talented people? Anna, you had me at "I do."
Designer: Francisco Costa
Location: Calvin Klein Garment Center showroom
Crowd: Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Chloe Moretz, Ashley Greene, Lara Stone and David Walliams.
Inspiration: A celebration of the female form.
First Impressions: Costa paid tribute to womanly curves by way of the slip dress (a CK staple) in muted shades of gardenia, petal, pale yellow and nude, anchored by soft suiting and evening coats in gunmetal and black.
Standout Piece(s): A cream satin wrap dress with gently cascading pleats that had Kate Middleton's name all over it, an ivory blouse with sheer chiffon bib and matching trousers, and a silver wrap coat whose high-sheen fabric lent it a slightly futuristic feel.
Designer: Gemma Kahng
Location: Her Garment Center studio
Crowd: Elle, WWD, Daily Front Row.
Inspiration: French country interiors.
First Impressions: Capitalizing on the buzz from her appearance on Joe Zee's reality show, All on the Line, comeback kid Kahng presented a tightly edited collection of 18 black and white looks with an emphasis on romantic, quasi-Victorian cuts in sexy, skin-baring lace and figure-flattering stretch silk georgette, all worn with off-kilter buns and duct tape sandals.
Standout Piece(s): A lace-bodice black dress with strategically-placed fabric panel and flirty lace peplum that formed a tail down the back of the skirt, a deeply-v'ed ivory lace dress that was equal parts vixen and ingenue, an elegant cutaway jacket with sheer lace sleeves, and a sweetly sexy lace-trimmed romper.
Location: Paul Rudolph House
Crowd: Editors from Dossier, The Business of Fashion and other industry insiders.
Inspiration: All clear! Literally. Almost everything in the collection was made of crystal clear plastic or resin.
First Impressions: Set amid the funky splendor that is the Paul Rudolph House —filled to bursting with the late architect's uber-modern furniture offset by tribal treasures he'd collected over the years, with a white bunny named Cuckoo overseeing the proceedings from his perch on a living room shelf—SSWTR presented see-through shoes, shades, bags, jewelry and an umbrella and raincoat, along with their now-iconic Rectangular Four-Sided Bag and Bodega Bag, rendered for spring in lush grey suede
Standout Piece(s): Luxe pearl t-shirts, foldable square sunglasses, perfectly detailed clear Belgian loafers and the aforementioned Four-Sided bag in a tony black/cognac combo.
Designers: Daniel Silver and Steven Cox
Location: Industria Studio
Crowd: Brian Coats, Luigi Tedini, Steven Kolb, Eric Wilson, Patrick McDonald.
Inspiration: "Us," said Daniel Silver. "It's always about us. Each season begins where the last season left off."
First Impressions: Tempering their more avant-garde leanings, the DB duo sent out a gorgeous collection of lightweight suits, waxed cotton jackets, pleated trousers and organza parkas in murky solids and abstract florals prints. The show was dedicated to Cox's mother, Diane, who had passed away three weeks prior, and the lineup reflected the idea of death and rebirth, with somber black suits giving way to floral separates that seemed to signal the start of spring and, with it, the sprouting seeds of hope and renewal.
Standout Piece(s): A snug black blazer atop roomy nylon trousers, a sleeveless heather grey hoodie with matching pants (which added up to a very luxe tracksuit), and a series of rose print shirts, shorts and anoraks in lush shades of pink and purple.
Designer: Adi Gil, Ange Donhauser, Gabi Asfour
Location: St. Patrick's Cathedral Youth Center in Soho
Crowd: Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Hamish Bowles, Cory Kennedy, Fabiola Beracasa, Waris Ahluwalia, Meredith Melling-Burke.
Inspiration: Dubbed "InSHALLOm," the designers (of Lebanese, Israeli and Russian descent) crafted clothing that showcased symbolism from Jewish, Arab, Israeli and Palestinian culture—the evil eye, the hamsa, the six-pointed star and keffiyeh prints—in a presentation that was as much about art as it was about fashion.
First Impressions: Avoiding what could have been a heavy handed execution, the trio wielded their We Are the World muse with a feather-light touch, with the aforementioned symbols used to create beautifully designed—and emotionally stirring—dresses, tunics, leggings and swimsuits that made the political feel extremely personal. As far as message collections go, it was pretty damn effective—and pretty damn wearable, to boot.
Standout Piece(s): The Meish dress with Insalaam bolero and stockings, the ragged-edged Keffiah dress with curvy waffle wool topper, the ivory jumpsuit topped by a black Star of David harness, and a pair of swimsuits with matching mesh boleros.
Designer: Anna Sui
Location: The Theater at Lincoln Center
Crowd: Lisa Marie Presley, Sofia Coppola, Taryn Manning, Bryanboy, Patricia Field, Mickey Boardman, Corinne Bailey Rae.
Inspiration: The illustrations and photographs of Antonio Lopez and Juan Ramos circa 1970s France.
First Impressions: As with Seventies-era fashion, Sui's collection also contained a plethora of references to the Forties by way of flirty rompers, nipped-waist blazers, sweetheart-neckline dresses, fur chubbies and and ankle socks with wedge sandals, all rendered in the whimsical, wildly colorful prints for which she is beloved. They were worn by some of the industry's biggest girls (Karen Elson! Karlie Kloss! Jessica Stam! Joan Smalls!), all of whom also wore flirty smiles and seemed to actually be having fun on the runway. And why wouldn't they be, all decked out in their sassy, saucy finery?
Standout Piece(s): A black daisy print chiffon dress with matching turban and purple/black/white ombré marabou shrug, a heart-strewn romper beneath an embroidered denim blazer, a red lipstick/heart print dress with a sexy tulle panel encircling the torso, and a black and green fairy-print top and pants that looked like the just the thing for a modern day, Jerry Hall-does-Betty Grable fashionista. And the accessories—including two-tone striped spectator wedges, cherry-strewn espadrilles and Sui's luggage for Tumi and computer cases for BookBook—were also immensely appealing.
Designer: Julian Louie
Location: The Standard
Crowd: Style.com, WWD, Fashionologie and various Vogues.
Inspiration: Manipulating and collaging photo-realist images taken at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
First Impressions: The Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize finalist continued to evolve his sporty-elegant explorations with this 15-look outing, using contrasting panels of leather—and the aforementioned photo-realist grass and flower prints—to punch up his shift dresses and box pleat skirts. All were worn with seriously covetable wedges made in collaboration with Aldo, many bearing the same Photoshopped prints as the clothes.
Standout Piece(s): A long sleeve dress with floral print bodice and colorblocked taffeta skirt, a minimalist beige sheath enlivened by a floral side panel, a kaleidoscopic floral print sheath worn with grass-print wedges, a bold collage-print colorblocked dress cut with the ease of a henley, and a beige silk dress whose colorblocked leather sleeve recalled a very chic motocross jacket.
Designers: Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo
Location: CIRCA Accessories Salon at Lincoln Center
Crowd: Veronica Webb, Steven Kolb, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Nylon, Harper's Bazaar.
Inspiration: Natural and architectural colors, shapes and textures.
First Impressions: Alpert and Kobo made great use of the CIRCA space, setting up three iPad/headphone stations to allow guests to view their artsy spring 2012 videos, alongside cases displaying their rugged/refined wares (think: diamonds strung on hemp, textured white gold amulets on leather cord and other inventive high-low pairings).
Standout Piece(s): Finely wrought rose gold rings studded with black diamonds, organic diamond balls strung on vintage glass beads, and textured white gold bars threaded through cotton webbing that can be tied around the wrist to stupendously chic "this old thing?" effect.
Designer: Phillip Lim
Location: St. John's Center
Crowd: Bryanboy, Ahn Duong, Olivia Chantecaille, Stephanie La Cava, Linda Fargo, Amanda Hearst, Tennessee Thomas, Oh Land, Richard Chai, Theo Hutchcraft.
Inspiration: Kites in flight.
First Impressions: Oooh, purty. Visceral reactions aside, this was a lovely—dare I say lyrical—collection that continued to evolve Lim's edgy sportswear oeuvre while staying true to his brand DNA (vis-à-vis his now-classic carrot pants, boy-meets-girl outwear and easy-breezy tops and dresses, fashioned for spring out of asymmetrical silk squares that fluttered evocatively as the models walked). One of the best collections of the New York season, and a visual treat from first look to last.
Standout Piece(s): It's hard to narrow it down, there were so many. But a few covetable must-haves were the black collapsible panel jumpsuit with softly draped shoulder strap, the sherbet-hued kite tail tops worn with white thigh-split trousers that nodded to downtown designer Daryl K, an oversized sleeveless denim jacket that actually makes acid wash look cool again (yes, really), the lightflash print sleeveless anorak and the shell pink leather vest. To which I say: yes, please!
Designer: Jeremy Scott
Location: Milk Studios
Crowd: Michael Stipe, Patricia Field, Cory Kennedy, Leigh Lezark, Geordon Nicol, Peaches Geldof, Irina Pantaeva, Ellie Goulding, Sky Ferreira, Waris Ahluwalia.
Inspiration: Daisy Mae meets Daisy Duke—and her stonewash denim/metallic leather-wearing boyfriend—in this fun, purposefully cheesy collection.
First Impressions: Yee-haw! Look out, fashionistas, there's a new sheriff in town, and he's laying down the law with slinky mesh halters, pale fringed denim, OTT western-inspired leathers and butt-baring chaps (for him and her).
Standout Piece(s): "Greetings from Paradise" postcard-themed shifts, a cute cactus print maillot, a silver mesh dress festooned with 3-D hearts, and an ivory and silver cow print mini. The menswear might not have been as wearable, but it was a hell of a lot of fun to see, as witnessed by Cory Kennedy and other front denizens guffawing as the bare-assed male models strode by. Cheeky!
Designer: Bibhu Mohapatra
Location: The Box at Lincoln Center
Crowd: Ken Downing, Robert Verdi, Fern Mallis, Lizzie Tisch, Lauren Goodman, Alexis Bryan Morgan.
Inspiration: Helmut Newton photos from the Seventies and Eighties with exposed skin as embellishment.
First Impressions: Edgy-elegant clothing for edgy-elegant women (and to sure, Mohapatra designs for women, not girls). While he is known for his gala-worthy evening gowns, there was a good amount of daywear this time around, as well, all of it in shades of icy blue, grey and shell pink enlivened by jolts of poppy and turquoise.
Standout Piece(s): A silver-grey bodysuit with side-gathered orange evening pants, a cement grey suit worn with a matching blouse that recalled Margeaux Hemingway in her Studio 54 heyday, a chain print ivory shirtdress with just the right dose of tough-luxe sexiness, and a decolletage-baring cocktail dress with figure-flattering embroidery defining the bodice.
Designer: Vera Wang
Location: The Stage at Lincoln Center
Crowd: Madeleine Albright, Kim Kardashian (who got married in a Wang wedding dress), Lauren Santo Domingo, Rachel Roy, Beyoncé and Solange Knowles, Rachel Feinstein, Suzy Menkes.
Inspiration: Alice in Wonderland.
First Impressions: Exploring the juxtaposition of fluid and structured pieces with an emphasis on finishings, Wang jumped on spring's color bandwagon with swirling shades of yellow, mint, magenta and indigo, while her trippy prints were inspired by a distorted 18th century French wallpaper pattern, which gave the short-in-front, long-in-back gowns an otherworldly effect. While it was great to see Wang experimenting with color and silhouette, there was a lot going on here and it was hard to envision how many of these looks would transition from the runway to, well, Kim Kardashian—or any non-storybook woman's—closet.
Standout Piece(s): That said, the white piqué peplum coat that opened the show pushed the sartorial envelope without being too outré. Ditto a charcoal tailored vest worn with a matching perforated corset and mini. And a pair of psychedelic print cutaway gowns—one in shades of white and yellow, the other in indigo with a plunging v-cutout—were mesmerizingly beautiful.
Designer: Karen Walker
Location: Exit Art
Crowd: Rumi Neely, Natalie Cantell, Chelsea Leyland, Samantha Swerta, Laura McLaws Helms and other blogosphere It girls.
Inspiration: The American Girl by way of Betsy and Iris in Taxi Driver.
First Impressions: In keeping with spring's biggest (or at least most vibrant) trend, Walker piled on the prints and colors to cute, if sometimes jarring, effect, heightened by Forties 'do-rags, neon lips and handbags, oversized rose-tinted sunglasses and a cacophonous PiL soundtrack.
Standout Piece(s): Walker's prints worked best when offset by solids, as in the yellow/mustard/navy checked blouse and tuxedo jacket paired with navy menswear trousers or a pair of sweet daisy print pants tempered by a grey cashmere twinset.