Something for everyone, indeed. From drop-dead lace gowns to sportif stripes, designers are delivering looks for Ladies Who Lunch as well as downtown hipsters.
J.Mendel: Whatever the weather, Gilles Mendel knows how to keep his furs cool. And for spring, that means making even the most luxurious of them fun, young and light as the proverbial feather. How about a white mink cardigan over a pale gray chiffon Windbreaker and white cotton shorts, or a slate broadtail coat paired with a sequined T and cotton shorts? The designer paid plenty of attention to his ready-to-wear, too, trimming cotton jackets or coats with python or plastic borders, and cutting a great raincoat in white lacquered chiffon. He showed some very pretty silk evening gowns — the most special, a mousseline and Chantilly lace pleated peasant number. While Mendel continues to broaden his scope, he is still best known as a fur designer. And with good reason.
Tracy Reese: With her strong penchant for ladylike wares, Tracy Reese took the audience on a delightful stroll from the Forties through the Seventies. It was pure retro-sportif — without a bit of the kitsch factor that can often weigh down a collection. A standout Lauren Bacall-worthy linen sailor suit was followed by a slew of pretty dresses that spun stylishly through the decades, whether sequined, swingy or with sweet scallop trims.
Zero + Maria Cornejo: Maria Cornejo has become a fashion darling with her Zero + Maria Cornejo collections, probably because she has that special knack for making the simplest silhouettes fun and interesting, and her more complicated designs, effortless. The result: clothes that look as terrific as they are easy to wear. In her softened architectural spring mode, the designer focused on boldly printed box-shaped dresses; she also went for volume and draping above the waist in tops over skinny skirts or slim-skirted dresses. Cornejo showed her spirited side with free-wheeling, swingy rain jackets in patent leather that were first rate. All of it was shown with ballet flats or sandals and socks — underscoring Cornejo's comfort factor.
Cynthia Rowley: Cynthia Rowley is living la vie sportive — Seventies style. Though it's been a decade long mined by designers, she managed to offer a refreshing take: slouchily cool suits, wide-leg trousers, long cardigans and separates in the vein of a latter-day Annie Hall. However, she could have done without those overly fringed dresses; they made one want to take a pair of scissors to them. But even with such missteps, Rowley delivered a strong showing — right down to the delightful end when she and the models bicycled off the runway in their sporty best.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)