Proper or pretty, superchic or full of whimsy, spring's runways were packed with refined, sober looks that still kept everything cool, lean and sexy.
Anna Sui: Charm and cool are rarely synonymous in fashion, yet a deftly prepared elixir of the two has long fueled Anna Sui's appeal. The collection she showed for spring was no exception, packed as it was with oh-so-sweet fancy frocks. In a way, it recalled her early pre-kitsch styling years, with dress after dress perfect for attending a Chelsea art opening, underground rock concert or independent flick premiere.
Long a lover of whimsical prints, this season's were inspired by the Twenties-era's magazine Gazette de Bon Ton. "Everything was so delicate," she says of its charming fashion illustrations. "That's what I was going for in the prints and the clothes themselves." To that end, a butterfly print was a focus of the collection, but there were also orchids, roses, daisies, shawl and curtain prints rounding out the airy repertoire. And they turned up in just about every floaty dress shape imaginable — long, short, fitted, full, Empire, drop-waisted and on and on. Lest it all become too frilly, Sui accessorized with butter-soft laser-cut boots, metallic espadrille wedges and soft, low-slung hobo bags roomy enough to hold every necessity of a girl-about-town. Delightful as it all was, however, the endless dress brigade grew repetitive.
When Sui did digress, it was with pulled-together sportswear, such as a tan embroidered coat over a sequined halter and cropped pants. Such looks seemed to come out of nowhere, but nevertheless opened a window into Sui's secret chic.
Cynthia Rowley: Mod fever has infected many a New York designer, and Cynthia Rowley is no exception. Rowley's show began oddly enough, with a model crashing through a wall of candy glass, clad in a silk shift dress suspended from a Lucite disc. In fact, Rowley went crazy for Lucite accents, either in those discs adorning necklines, in marble-sized balls adorning headbands or in a shoe's platforms. Unfortunately, such tricky accessories and a runway covered in candy glass shards drew attention away from some cute clothes. The best: a Swiss cotton jacquard dirndl dress with a pouf hem and an ultrasuede skirt topped by an organdy blouse and V-neck sweater. Rowley's Space-Age shifts were also rendered more wearable when that Lucite was replaced with a silk disc.Tory by TRB: "We'll always do the tunic," said Tory Burch at her spring presentation in her bright Madison Avenue showroom. "It's something that's flattering and easy to wear. And for some women, it is their style." But by the designer's own admission, the tunic played a lesser role for spring — a cameo, if you will. With an unwavering view on wearability, Burch is one who prefers to refine and build rather than reinvent. Spring and summer are naturally her seasons, and she naturally knows what her customer likes to wear: comfortable, superchic clothes that are a no-brainer to put on and go. Working in some of the softest fabrics — including a buttery washed linen and whisper-thin distressed leather — Burch designed exactly that. Among the great basics of boatneck tops and khaki trenches and pants, both wide and slim, were printed dresses, pretty ruffled shirts — plain and printed — cotton voile tanks and yes, tunics. Some of them were simple with flat bronze paillettes, others a bit more glitzy with bugle beads. Swimwear, new this season, came in her classic Moroccan print and another pattern of tiny lobsters with gold-ring hardware. Also of note is Burch's burgeoning accessories collection — as covetable as her clothes.
Yeohlee: Even though Yeohlee Teng showed some strong looks, we were still left wondering, "What was she thinking?" Yes, the black velvet coat was beautiful, but for spring? Why did she show that great inside-out pocket coat or Balinese-print top with jeans from another company? And what was Fern Mallis doing modeling in the show? Still, what did make sense were the delicate sheer cotton lace tops, the structured mini sundress in printed cotton and those knockout swimsuits. The latter, in fact, included some of the best this season, at a time when swimsuits are showing up everywhere. Yeohlee's were Victorian one-piece versions with boyshorts in black matte jersey, worn under a white, felted leather jacket or a waxed cotton coat, and best of all, the wheat cotton knit under a matching cardigan. More of these, as well as her sexy little summer dresses, might have given the collection some point of view.
Douglas Hannant: Douglas Hannant has become the darling of the Young Ladies Who Lunch and Party, and they were all there decorating his front row Thursday morning. So for spring, he dished up more of what they like — a proper and pretty collection of lean, spare suits and dresses, done mostly in white with occasional touches of peach and lime. Only the fabrics — cotton guipure lace, waffle tweeds, embroidered tulle — got elaborate, sometimes to a fault. There is certainly nothing offensive about Hannant's clothes, but what this collection lacked was personality and youthful verve. Still, his faithful flock, who have plenty of personality and verve of their own, can find some appealing numbers — the cotton waffle tweed sheath, edged in tulle; an A-line slipdress with ribbed knit trim and a cluster of crocheted ruffles, and the enchanting, long cream point d'esprit Empire gown.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty