NEW YORK A ROUGH START FOR ROBINSON AT ANNE KLEIN...KORS SCORES...AND TODD DOES CONSERVATIVE HIP.
Anne Klein: Everybody understands why Anne Klein had to part ways with Richard Tyler. But that doesn't explain why the company's executives felt the need to put this very, very, very, very commercial fall collection on a runway. Patrick Robinson's premiere effort simply didn't belong there. Retailers noted the collection's salability, and many voiced relief that Robinson seems to have a firm handle on what the Anne Klein customer wants. But some called the show dull, and one even said that it is no longer a designer sportswear collection. What it was, however, was a lineup of perfectly acceptable basics. There were pinstriped pantsuits, blazers over tight shirts and the most innocuous little dresses imaginable. A play of matte against touches of shine ran throughout; pinstripes were often metallic, and many of the shirts were satin under wool jackets. There were also some appealing leathers and good belted coats. Everyone has acknowledged fashion's newfound reality factor, and clearly Robinson's ascent and first collection are part of that picture. Reality does indeed bite--but fashion requires some bark, as well.
Michael Kors: If there's a case to be made for showing in an overcrowded Seventh Avenue showroom instead of the cavernous Bryant Park tents, Michael Kors made it Wednesday afternoon. He understands that subtlety is lost on a big runway, and his happily in-your-face collection was close enough to see every stitch. In this largely soporific season, Kors's clothes were a refreshing wake-up call. Michael has built his reputation as an American master of minimalism--in the Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn style. And this collection was an homage to both, full of clean, elegant shapes, luscious fabrics and the most discreet details. He celebrated Hepburn in "Charade" with stretch crepe jackets over sleek strapless catsuits, and also did a good-looking group of butter-soft leathers and suede--the best a soft dirndl skirt and a sexy seamed sheath. Kors barraged the audience with one strong suit after another in everything from pale gray flannel to rich oatmeal or gray tweeds. His jacket shapes ranged from cropped looks with sleek funnel necks to fitted classics paired with pencil-slim pants or the leanest skirts. And when the temperature dips, Michael fortifies his women with multi-ply cashmeres, fur-trimmed meltons and luxe reversible shearlings that had Bergdorf Goodman's Dawn Mello reaching out to touch.Todd Oldham: It was a study in contrasts. In the audience, RuPaul towered above a frenzied crowd of cameramen and reporters, while Susan Sarandon, Stephen Baldwin, Ivana and Ivanka, Ricki Lake, Cari Modine and Ann Magnuson vogued for their fans. Then Todd's models tiptoed down the runway, showing Conservative Hip clothes that were probably considerably tamer than anything their mothers ever wore. Clearly a case of wolves in sheep's clothing. Serving it all up with a healthy dose of attitude, he sent out some very slick fitted vinyl pantsuits; skin-tight, floor-length gray flannel dresses, and a handful of glamorous beaded and draped evening gowns that must have had his front-row Oscar regulars salivating. He also rolled out pieces from his new jeans collection, produced under license with Sun Apparel. There were high-waisted palazzo pants, a long, Empire-waist jacket and five-pocket jeans with printed fleur-de-lis linings--all in unwashed denim. But the demure hipsters' uglier, brasher cousins were just too over-the-top. The loud upholstery prints suggested the Von Trapp family's play clothes, while some truly unflattering gowns with black leather corset strings made poor Tatjana Patitz look like an expectant motorcycle mama.
Han Feng: Han Feng has broken new ground. Her intricate, tailored pieces were simply beautiful--literally. Cashmere swing coats and Empire dresses in icy shades of sherbet sailed down the runway. And as her palette deepened, her clothes became more architectural, as in her carved suits with sculpted velvet waistcoats. Over the suits, there were terrific ankle-length cashmere coats and luxe mink wraps from the Tepper Collection. Evening, however, was a little reminiscent of last season, and the bustled and bowed opera skirts were a bit kooky.
Joan Vass: Simplicity reigned at Joan Vass, which gave everyone a chance to appreciate her expert knits. There was lots of texture, from mohair bouclA cardigans to mohair and alpaca coats and colorful mAlange knit dresses. Low-slung, slightly flared pants in satin and wool and cashmere looked great mixed with cabled sweaters. But Vass was in the dark for evening with some unfortunate dresses that mixed a knit bodice with a chiffon skirt.
Cynthia Steffe: Cynthia Steffe eased herself into the schedule with a low-key breakfast in her showroom. Clusters of mannequins with whimsically painted faces lined the walls in Steffe's understated rendition of Mod. There was lots of stretch satin from sleek, boot-cut black jeans to a lemon ice Western shirt and a tube skirt with a dyed-to-match fur-collared melton topper. But will her customers really wear a white vinyl miniskirt?Kalinka: Concise, fun and very stylish--that's the kind of collection Kalinka served up this season. In contrast to the large splashy presentations of the past, she showed in a much more intimate, raw space in the same building as her 39th Street showroom. Among the 27 looks were a smartly cut, metallic pinstripe suit with long trumpet skirt, a dainty, sponge-printed georgette V-neck dress and a tea-length striped sequin lace dress backed in iridescent taffeta that would have been right at home in any flapper's drawing room.
Jennifer George: She's never been one for excess, and maybe that was the problem for Jennifer George. Though she stuck to her usual clean, spare shapes, the fabrics this season just didn't cut it. From suits in olive glitter to dresses of nickel-size black and white sequins, George's attempt to dabble in the world of Mod simply fizzled. The cloudlike duvet jacket done up in gray flannel over a cashmere poor-boy and miniskirt were more in keeping with the good sportswear that made her name.
Magaschoni: In an attempt to appeal to a broader audience, the company turned the reins over to Susan Standen, who also does its diffusion line, Mag. The result: a fun, wearable group of clothes at a lower price. Standen showed narrow nylon pants, trenches and some good fake fur-trimmed jackets inspired by Emma Peel in "The Avengers." But the collection ran into problems when the designer sent out ill-fitting red dresses and a group in Pepto-Bismol pink.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion