Less is more. As old as the adage may be, it still rings true. Designers practiced restraint this season, sending out clothes that -- while subtle and subdued -- couldn't be more chic.
Zac Posen: A giant leap forward. We've all been waiting for Zac Posen to move past youthful, campy icon idolatry and into the more grounded type of mind-set on which long design careers flourish. With the collection he showed on Thursday evening, he finally made the leap, taking "spontaneity" as his preshow buzzword.
Apparently, Posen was referring to the clothes' newly relaxed attitude, because there was nothing spontaneous about the process that got them there. Rather, these clothes resulted from careful consideration of how to evolve his overtly glamorous point of view, beginning with a distinct effort to turn down the volume on his usual exuberance. Posen loves his details — usually tricky and plentiful — but here they came in a happy combination of give and take away. Thus, intricate cutwork and embroidery decorated simple silhouettes, which were often worked in a neutral tone-on-tone palette. When he strayed from either, as in a fussy lavender trench, it didn't work, but luckily he did so infrequently.
While 9-to-5 is hardly Posen's favorite time block, he offered plenty of pretty looks befitting a Sunday afternoon — an adorable plaid bubble dress; a button-down blouse tucked into a pleated lemony yellow silk skirt. One could even imagine wearing a sweet, plaid button-down shirt and wide khaki pants to work on Monday morning. (And a lovely white jacket with cutwork lapels over a cotton blouse and dark jeans, depending upon where you work.) But those huge hobo bags were perhaps the most obvious indicator that daylight — and a serious business savvy — is dawning chez Posen.
Of course, one can change only so much within a season. When it came to high evening, Posen couldn't resist letting it fly just a little, ending the show with two enormous gowns in silk plisse, one trussed up with puffy bows and another evoking Scarlett at Twelve Oaks, its skirt wider than the runway. Yet while these set the already-raucous crowd applauding and hooting, it was the calmer gray chiffon stunner on Gemma Ward and a pintucked red silk number that might actually make it to the best-dressed list.Chado Ralph Rucci: Chado Ralph Rucci's legion of fans and customers seems to be growing, even picking up a younger contingent. Most fashion insiders know the Chado drill: exquisitely made clothes; architectural shapes; seaming and details that are intelligently conceived and imaginative, gorgeous materials, though this depends on how you feel about wearing leather or alligator clothes. Still, with all its virtues, Rucci's approach has never been everyone's proverbial cup of tea. Fashion as art — even good art — rarely is. The cut, seaming and detailing in the collection are at once complex yet quiet, so subtle, in fact, that the designer's seasonal changes are almost indistinguishable. But there are always some breathtakers. Among those for spring: the cut-to-perfection, short white wool crepe dress, accented with printed organza or the black jersey version with copper insets; the bronze silk rainsuit, and an exquisite alabaster silk crepe bias-cut gown. And the stone-printed flippy chiffon sleeveless dress looked gorgeous. One wonders, however, how that body-hugging golden alligator torso felt.
Rucci also presented his fall 2005 couture collection, that was not shown in Paris this year. Why, one might ask, must the already complex intricacies of Rucci's designs become even more so for couture? Rucci really lost his Zen with that busy beige cashmere suit — a jigsaw of pieces further complicated by its ombréd shading. The luxury element, up a notch in extravagance, was more successful when he chucked the complexity. Consider his sable jacket over a double-faced knitted cashmere sweater and embroidered suede jeans; a black double-faced cashmere coat with its boullion-embroidered Buddha. But the real beauty of this segment was more restrained and nonetheless dramatic — a simple, strapless gown in hues of blues and greens with a huge 17th-century Japanese falcon motif. Now, that's enlightenment.
Derek Lam: "A lot of people are surprised that I worked at Michael Kors," said Derek Lam, backstage after his Friday show. It's true that Lam's romantic leanings are a far cry from his former boss' clean and sporty vision. However, as the designer further explained, he considers good old American sportswear to be his roots. This season, he set out to explore them and, hopefully, give them a new voice.As is often the case, a designer's personal inspiration is right on trend; Lam's limited color palette and subtle frills fit quite well with those of other designers' spring showings. From across the street, you might not notice tonal details — the cream embroidery on a white skirt or the white handkerchief-inspired pockets on a white linen dress with a script passementerie "D" and "L" on either. But such subtleties are sure to be a hit with the girl who is feeling the need to tone down the bohemia and finally lose her Sienna Miller fixation. A couple of looks, such as a boxy white coat and a white cotton shift, were downright minimal. But more often, there was a successful and well-balanced diet of the romantic and the sportif. One exception, the colored silk blouses with trompe l'oeil Peter Pan collars, ventured a little too close to classic Marc Jacobs and didn't quite fit.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye