Forget boho. Forget embellishments. Designers have cleaned up their acts, ushering in looks that are stark, airy and simple.
DKNY: Compared with last season's eclectic overload, there was far more physical and visual breathing room at Donna Karan's Monday presentation of her DKNY collection. "You know when you just want to feng shui and clean house?" asked Karan, moving nimbly between the mannequins set up in the airy, glassed-in lobby of the Lever House. Why yes, in fact, and judging from the crowd murmurings, others agreed with the designer.
Karan's house-cleaning appears, by early indications, to be the order of the day all around. Finally swinging away from embellishment to the nth degree, there was nary a jewel or bead to be seen. Still, as she was quick to point out, Karan hasn't scrubbed away the sensuality or detail, though the latter was restricted to flat pleats on chiffon dresses and belts tied into bows that were more stark than sweet. Instead, those elements showed up in a form so stripped down that even dresses in a silver-touched eyelet, and collarless coats and fullish skirts in a graphic floral print, shed their romantic connotations. Of course, few know better than Karan that sometimes a girl just needs a good basic, so those same floral coats are reversible to a solid hue. And another staple — dark blue and white denim — was barely recognizable in two sleekly tailored baby-doll dresses. Leave it to Karan to once again deliver clothes that don't make modernity and femininity mutually exclusive qualities.
Ellen Tracy: Designer George Collins Sharp decided to take Ellen Tracy in a new direction for spring, preferring a clean and simple aesthetic over the rich and baroque direction of last season. Sharp favored a nautical look, and he started the show with stark, navy-and-white pieces, including free-flowing pants, a sharp peacoat and cute, striped sailor knits shot with Lurex. Sharp's best moments were when he played graphic against print, as in the aforementioned sailor knit, this time in beige and white topping an ombréd full floral skirt. A flirty aqua paisley halter dress was a noteworthy choice for the girl who wants to surrender all that boating gear for a fun frock. Sharp should show some styling restraint, however, when combining colors such as aubergine and lavender into monochromatic looks that didn't ring modern or fresh.Behnaz Sarafpour: There are times when Behnaz Sarafpour seems to understand so clearly exactly what her customer wants to wear, especially for the evening hours when benefits and parties beckon. With a fabulous resort collection as the proverbial wind at her back, Sarafpour showed a spring lineup that continued, at least partly, in that vein. The best looks worked a lovely combination of creamy ivory and black that had a welcome formality the designer balanced with a chic, playful edge: shorts paired with an admiral's jacket; trompe l'oeil bow ties on a dress. One stunner frock with a ruffled U-neckline came in a pure white silk cloque. And Sarafpour's use of raw-edged raffia — for a skirt paired with a tortoise-patterned sequin tank and a dress with jet beads — felt fresh.
However, a few missteps were glaring: dresses in safety orange defied explanation, and lace collars, often over white cotton tanks, looked straight off the Mayflower. In terms of styling, the Van Cleef & Arpels chokers distracted rather than dazzled. As this collection shows, Sarafpour should let her designs be the center of attention.
BCBG Max Azria: Calling all aspiring Lindsays, Nicoles and Jessicas. Max Azria's spring muse was the California girl, but she's no "O.C." cutie or surfing Betty. This girl is all Robertson ranger, that is, the sort of girl who shops that glitzy Los Angeles boulevard in deceptively effortless yet studied slouchy layers — oversized sunglasses optional. To wit, the big news here: volume. Billowy cotton voile topped slouchy little shorts, while tops and dresses were given a fresh spin on boho when sporting nubby pastel-hued macramé detailing and insets. The volume bug has bitten many a designer, but Azria was able to make the look fresh most of the time, as in low-slung, striped pajama pants that played to the cozy side of cool. But those sack-like strapless dresses looked, well, kinda like sacks.
Charles Nolan: Charles Nolan's show was all about pretty clothes — to wear, not just applaud. This collection was mostly a study in style, one that evokes a range of romantic references, such as Merchant Ivory, for starters. Nolan noted that he likes the concepts of "dressing" and "ceremony." Accordingly, even a ribbed cotton tank got all dressed up. He showed it in white, under an ivory silk-taffeta ruffled duster, and with a black cotton taffeta suit. A glazed silver version was tucked under a terrific navy linen coat and white, gauze pleated skirt.Nolan's shirttails took the refined route, too, especially via the striped, jacquard belted dress, or the pintucked frock in handkerchief linen. And there were some gracefully controlled versions of that ubiquitous pouf look, making it incidental to — rather than the point of — soft skirts and dresses. His rich palette, as well as those huge-brimmed hats and oversized papier-mâché pearls, gave this collection an elegant Gatsby-meets-Babe Paley kind of spirit.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews