Some of the recent fall collections were all about the pretty and polished, with designers turning out simple cocktail dresses, smart little jackets and great-looking patterned coats.
Chado Ralph Rucci: As always, for his Chado Ralph Rucci collection, Ralph Rucci showed detailed clothes with superb cut and craftsmanship in exquisite materials, albeit with his typical architectural pomp. Still, what distinguished this line from previous efforts was the sheer number of accessible clothes. His lemon-colored cashmere jacket and the deep forest green high-necked cashmere coat, for example, didn't suffer any of the Rucci tricks, but rather were enriched by a monotoned paisley embroidery. The snug, sexy sheaths with tiered lace overlay worked a light-handed flirtiness, a rare treat in a Rucci collection. And the black silk velvet off-the-shoulder gown reflected the best of his talents — a perfect mix of cut, artistic flair and drama.
Zac Posen: Just ask Drew Barrymore — growing up in the public eye can be a tough, slow process. Zac Posen, all of 25, continues to experience his own growing pains, mired in conflict between youthful notions of glamour and the realities of modern dressing. Caught in the middle: his overwrought fall presentation, too much by day — the shoulders, the snakeskin, the ponderous silhouettes — and by night — full skirts, feathers and a pair of models wrapped so tightly they couldn't walk. Which is a shame, because Posen has made considerable strides. On the upside, a demure plaid dress, sporty jackets and skirts, a terrific peacoat, and for when the lady wants to be a vamp, a smartly cabled mink-and-lamb trenchcoat, all featured interesting — but reasonable — quirks of construction. And at night, when he controlled the urge to overflex his considerable technical muscles, he came up with a chic navy satin sheath and a terrifically effortless silver sack dress. But these looks needed some toned-down company. Would that Posen could relax, flip through a few celebrity tabloids, watch the starlets banter with Letterman, pay attention to the comings and goings of thirtysomething socials. Which is not to say he should design to the blandest common denominator. But like it or not, these are casual times, and most women just don't feel comfortable in highly complicated clothes.Sweetface: Add "quick study" to Jennifer Lopez's title of actress/pop diva/designer. The tight Sweetface collection Lopez showed on Friday indicated the willingness — not to mention the savvy — to take her lumps and learn from them. After her much-ado-about-little extravaganza a year ago and a one-season hiatus from the runway, Lopez returned with a shrunken presentation. It pulsed with "I-still-have-much-to-learn" humility, all while she worked her superstar wiles to uber advantage, greeting her guests before the show wearing a politely sexy dress and pumps. "I wanted to do something more personal, so you can really see the clothes," she said.
With an Airstream trailer as the backdrop, out came her models — each in La Lopez hair and makeup — in an appealing dialogue between ladylike dressing and street-smart style, the former attributed to a Sixties obsession triggered by her work in the biopic "El Cantante." Dresses were cut close to the body in plaid gabardine or full-skirted in lace or metallic tweed, cinched with belts; outerwear ranged from a plaid swing coat belted in front to a shiny hooded vest trimmed with fur, and deep-ribbed, knit-cuff knits lent attitude to skinny jeans. The results were more polished than before, and twinkled with the glow of a still-new endeavor really coming together.
Matthew Williamson: Times are tough for designers who revel in all things bohemian. And Matthew Williamson seems to be having a particularly hard time of it. With its overly retro silhouettes, his perplexing fall collection resembled a casting call for extras in "The Ice Storm" — a seeming attempt to turn tailored wool groovy. So, too, his usual strengths of color and print appeared to malfunction. His palette swung from excessively bright to dull and muddy. And a fluorescent Aztec print that ran throughout in silk dresses, bow blouses and flouncy skirts was appealing in none of the above. In all fairness, there were redeeming factors, namely those cashmere sweaters and bouclé-and-lamé coats and yes, there will always be a customer for beaded chiffon.
Cynthia Rowley: As the New Amsterdam Boys Choir performed a medley of reworked pop ballads, Cynthia Rowley was singing the blues. Channeling painter Yves Klein's yen for the color, she worked her flirty little pieces in every imaginable shade, only throwing in spots of red, gold and pink here and there. Some noteworthy looks included her pretty puff-sleeve blouses worn with cropped skinny pants, delicate lace dresses and a playful trapeze coat. Yet that color fascination seemed to be the designer's only focus, as the rest of the collection was incohesive: exaggerated cowl-neck dresses; an ill-fitting satin cocktail slip worn jumper-style over a knit top; an asymmetric-gone-haywire dress. Then there was the peculiar "Magical Mushroom" motif worked into all of her prints, and also etched into the gold-plated hardware. It all left us wondering if Rowley was spending too much time in "Wonderland."
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty