As part of our coverage of fashion week in New York, we bring the first half of our NYFW round-up with the trends, collections, and looks that have stood out to us so far…
1. 90s Revival
The ever-referential nature of fashion has evidently moved on to new inspiration for this coming spring: the 1990s. And if any sartorial statement quintessentially sums up the era of grunge it would undoubtedly have to be a button-up shirt tied at the waist, a practice which we saw at both the N.Hoolywood (photos above left and middle) and General Idea (above right) menswear showings last week. Interestingly enough, the revival of this old trend takes on a decidedly modern meaning, with genderless dressing rising in popularity. There is something almost skirt-like about tying a shirt around one’s waist, reminiscent of the more extreme men’s dresses popularized by designers such as Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh. However, femininity was all but non-existent at N. Hoolywood and General Idea, with slouchy trousers and sweaters emphasizing the more masculine aspects of the modified skirt.
2. Richard Chai “Love” Spring/Summer 2013
As one of the first designers scheduled to show at NYFW this season, Richard Chai faced the daunting task of making an impactful statement right at the beginning of the week. However, the designer expertly rose to the occasion with his mens and womens offerings for spring under his “Richard Chai Love” label. Chai’s reinterpretation of technical textiles such as nylon and neoprene saw the fabrics elevated in the form of oversized parkas, polo shirts, and dresses. Textile innovation continued with a pair of t shirts embroidered with iridescent hologram pailettes, the embroidery strategically applied to mimic camouflage.
We really like how Chai allowed the textiles to speak for themselves by avoiding the temptation to overwork the straightforward silhouettes and keeping most of the looks monochromatic. The A-line skirts, minidresses, and double breasted coats are ideal for the person wanting to make a statement without appearing or needing to scream for our attention.
3. Must-Have Outerwear at Billy Reid
Despite the warming temperatures indicative of spring dressing, the outerwear at Billy Reid’s S/S runway presentation was anything but superfluous. In fact, the jackets, vests, and overcoats which Reid sent out will undoubtedly be essential transitional pieces when combatting the ambiguous climate which can sometimes accompany the first weeks of the new season. Animal hides were at the forefront, with washed black lambskin, tan goat suede, and camel calfskin making appearances in both the men’s and women’s collections. As for lighter options, a utility jacket, done in bone coated cotton, or a washed linen twill jacket possessed just the right amount of stiffness without sacrificing that classic and effortless American aesthetic which has brought Reid so much success.
Prabal Gurung, Lacoste, Cushnie et Ochs, Tess Giberson, Rag & Bone; these are just a handful of the brands which featured monochromatic white as a major (and in some cases the only) theme for spring.
Despite this common thread, we were most receptive to Gurung’s interpretation. The designer avoided the sometimes clinical nature of an all-white palette by mixing clean, modern lines with tradition and heritage, as seen through the incorporation of long-trains and transparency, inspired by the traditional kurtas worn by women in Gurung’s native Nepal. As we’re expecting to see much more white before the week is over, now is as good a time as any to start investing in instant stain remover.
5. This Dress From Houghton
Beginning with a recent trip to Shoreditch, London, Houghton Creative Director Katharine Polk sought inspiration for spring 2013 in the colours and street art of East London. While easy floral pyjama tops and delicate lace pieces made up the bulk of the collection, we were
absolutely stunned by the gowns which appeared towards the end of the show. One in particular, rendered in the most delicate of ivory silks and hand embroidered literally left us breathless.
Held on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel, the venue couldn’t have been more appropriately chosen with the models floating down the runway, their ethereal gowns seemingly weightless in the open air. While embroidered garments can very easily come across matronly, Polk avoids this with a plunging neckline flanked by almost invisible spaghetti straps. In a single look, Polk effortlessly dictated how women will want to look next summer.
Follow us on Twitter @corduroymag for daily updates from #NYFW and check back next week for part two of our fashion week recap!
- James Lavapie