Runaway Reviews Part Two

Lacoste at fashion week 2010

Lacoste at fashion week 2010

Peter Som
Peter Som was once a cocktail and evening man, but if the last three collections are any indication, the designer is hell-bent on becoming a day dresser. The term “quirky,” though overused, is an apt way to describe Fall, which is governed by a mish-mash of brights and prints and textures and sparkles and even fur. It’s a complicated look, even for Margot Tenenbaum. But daring sophisticates are sure to love the neon furs, floor-grazing chiffon skirts and slim-fit cardigans, which are best worn belted. But this is one designer who can really cut a dress–not to mention the wonders he can work with a gown–and the social darlings he dresses could potentially be left in a lurch.

Vivienne Tam
This collection, themed The Year of the Tiger, featured extremely detailed pieces all inspired by animals from the Chinese Zodiac. ‘Snake’ prints, ‘Rooster Feather’ sequins and even a ‘Rat’ appliqué were invoked. Intricate patterns were visible on every pair of lace tights under the garments and hand folded, red origami animals served as pendants on select pieces. Models with clean makeup strutted inside a jam-packed Mercer Street gallery, where the looks ranged from feathered dresses to the strapless origami Tiger finale.

Karen Walker
Bob Dylan meets the Von Trapp family was Karen Walker’s focal point for her Spring collection, appropriately titled “Salzburg, USA.” And though you may have trouble picturing Dylan in lederhosen made from window dressing, Walker pulled off a collection perfect for her quirky-cool customer. On the Sound of Music front? Chunky knits, uniform-esque skirt and short suits, and a series of prints based on the aforementioned curtains. Tying in the Bob Dylan were not only a new slew of sunglasses for Walker’s successful eyewear line, but skinny suits and boyish tailoring. Neither inspiration, luckily, was taken too literally, party frocks and a slew of great coats (often with plush oversized sheepskin scarves and trim) made for a collection of separates that will work whether you’re in Austria or America.

Diane von Furstenberg indulged her masculine side, honing in on menswear elements and revamping the silhouettes so that they flirted with androgyny but ultimately arrived at femininity. Blazers, cardigans and trousers championed unfussy comfort, while rows of ruffles, feather knit sweaters, and lamé jacquard dresses all underscored the strength found in pretty. The classic wrap dress was updated in a jersey butterfly print; the nature theme was referenced again with a beetle-emblazoned satin dress. “This collection is titled ‘Metamorphosis,’” the designer explained. “The shapes are based on a man’s wardrobe, but the femininity is seen in high heels and then beautiful chiffon and feathers.” The fusion of elegance and “manliness” realized von Furstenberg’s objective, which she cited as, “living a man’s life in a woman’s body.”

Thakoon Panichgul delivered a buffet of designs rooted in the rawness of nature. The designer favored a sooty palette, and gray rumpled velvet jackets and black silk and twisted yarn pullovers injected the collection with an edgy energy. Pops of yellow chiffon felt airy and weightless against the denser fabrics and hues. Pom poms punctuated the fanciful nature that Panchigul cited as integral to his collection. Inspired by an image of a half-shaven sheep, Panchigul saw the beauty it what many would have written off as alarming. “There was something quite beautiful about that image, and it captured everything that I wanted in my collection,” he explained. “It was raw, primitive and soft all at once.”

Alexander Wang
How do you know if you matter in the fashion world? By whether you were at Alexander Wang’s runway show obviously. Opting for a celebrity-free front row, Wang packed the house with It-girls and every high-profile editor and buyer a young designer could dream of. Everyone else was forced to watch the show live-streamed on SHOWstudio or broadcast in Times Square.

Wang delivered to his powerhouse audience a reinterpretation of the suit he refers to as “Berlin schoolboy meets velvet du jour.” And by reinterpretation we mean completely ripping a suit to shreds and putting it back together in the subversively hip way only Alexander Wang could. Many of the suits, if you could call them that after they were given the Wang treatment, were cut to reveal stomachs and backs and short enough to show skin above thigh-high legwarmers.

Beyond the suiting, there hasn’t been this much velvet and chenille in a collection since the 90s—crop tops, skirts, jackets, wraps, leggings—but if anyone could bring it back it would be Alexander Wang and his horde of loyal followers. And no Wang collection is complete without a few perfect party dresses, which closed the show. A few girls looked ready to snatch a Grecian-inspired, asymmetrical gold jersey mini straight off the runway.

The color kings at Lacoste once again showed they could color block with the best. Dubbed ‘Sportswear Stretched,’ the collection was another step in bridging the gap between sportswear company and fashion heavy-hitter. The front end of the collection showed off pieces from the brand’s Club line which was primarily neutrals in order to let the form do the talking. Then the crowd got the vibrant sport-inspired pieces they were accustomed to. Few of the women’s looks were without ‘longjohn leggings’ which extended over the better part of the models’ shoes. Designer Christophe Lemaire described the leggings as his answer to sweatpants. Sportswear Stretched was about stretching form, and stretching a brand toward a new realm.


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