NEW YORK — Dr. Zhivago would have felt right at home during fall fashion week.
Embroidered and embellished looks, fur hats, full, billowy skirts and long, double-breasted coats were plentiful on the New York runways, as was a return to darker, more romantic looks with lots of little black dresses, regal gowns, velvets, blouses and lacy trims taking center stage.
Retailers said they were particularly impressed with the showings of several young designers, including Derek Lam, Zac Posen, Thakoon, and Jeffrey Chow. Among the standouts from the more established crowd were Calvin Klein Collection, J. Mendel, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. Probably the most controversial show of the week was Marc Jacobs, not only for his tardiness but also his voluminous dresses.
Here’s what some key fashion executives had to say:Kal Ruttenstein, senior vice president of fashion direction, Bloomingdale’s: “Overall, the week was very exciting. There was a lot of diversity, and more volume to the clothes, giving the designers greater ability to play with shape. Among the most important shapes is the skirt in all of its new ramifications: dirndl, pleated, tiered and bubble. There were lots of rich fabrics, but we like them in casual shapes, like velvet in jeans. The inspiration of Imperial Russia gave a romantic feeling to the season. We especially liked it when it was not too literal. With all of the peasant blouses, gold chains and fur hats, sometimes it became too Zhivago-esque.”
Ruttenstein cited Marc Jacobs for an inspirational collection involving oversized shapes, an incredible color palette and great fabrics; Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein for a modern collection of narrower shapes, shorter lengths and new ways of putting the clothes together; Zac Posen for his new maturity and elegant, deceptively simple dresses, and Ralph Lauren for a polished American sportswear collection infused with a new sexy attitude.
Ruttenstein also said two contemporary designers made great strides: Rebecca Taylor, with a touch of the Slavic but in a modern, fun way, and Derek Lam, for great trenchcoats, full skirts and narrow pants. He also cited Proenza Schouler for mixing corsetry with modern clothes and Costello Tagliapietra for unique, modern and simple fluid jersey dresses.Robert Burke, vice president and senior fashion director, Bergdorf Goodman: “I can’t remember a season that has been more divided in the opinions. I thought Calvin Klein was a huge standout, a very strong collection and really pivotal for Francisco Costa. It was modern and feminine and very innovative. Ralph Lauren had a very focused and strong show, one of the most solid of the week. J. Mendel was also very strong and incredibly well-designed. And Vera Wang also had a great show. I thought Marc Jacobs was very directional, interesting and a salable collection.
Issa Rae stopped by WWD's NYC headquarters to talk about season two of "Insecure," which premieres this Sunday on HBO. Click link in bio for all the details. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery; Styled by @mayteallende)
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"