Sober palettes and stark, clean lines plus soft layers with artistic touches equaled plenty of attitude for the season.
Vera Wang: Carpe diem. Or, in Vera Wang's case, carpe deal. Right now, dueling suitors are in hot pursuit, trying to lure Wang with very different propositions: St. John, reportedly hoping to sign her on as creative director, and, at the other end of the price divide, Kohl's, said to be eager for some kind of Vera Wang brand of its own. The spectacular collection the designer showed on Thursday, a gorgeous rendering of the season's dark romance, should only heighten their passions.
Wang continued her recent moodiness into fall, now with a rich, dark palette and mesmerizing ombrés she attributed to a Rothko inspiration. The results looked painterly indeed, with a woman-of-mystery vibe. Yet, while Wang noted a late-Fifties film noir feeling, in their sculptural gentility her clothes also owed a debt to Paul Poiret, especially in large-over-small volumes and high-belted dresses and jackets. By day, her suits made a convincing argument for dressing up. She stripped fur of all grandeur — colored mink for a coat over a wrap skirt or long vest over a sheath — and gave new character to the basic cardigan simply by adding a buttoned belt.
One of the collection's strengths was in the details with which Wang added surprise without overstatement — a suit with an off-center yoke in back; a pair of big rosettes on the back belt of a brocade jacket, and in a nod to Goth, black or blue corsages placed unexpectedly on the hip of a skirt or the belt of graceful gowns. It all had an aura of seduction with just the right touch of the artist — a touch that, with appropriate modifications, might flourish as beautifully from a home base in the heartland (and if Menomonee Falls, Wis., isn't heartland, what is?) as one in Irvine, Calif. Stay tuned.
Calvin Klein: What do 1920s Berlin, Lee Miller and a confused customer have in common?
They all inspired Francisco Costa's fall collection for Calvin Klein. Costa is in a hot seat, and he knows it. Given Phillips-Van Heusen's recent solid performance, some observers wonder whether the company's heart is really in the process of reestablishing its designer business. Those coming from a fashion perspective can't imagine the American industry without a thriving designer-level Calvin Klein. It's Costa's job to prove to his bosses that the fashion set has it right. Thus, he proceeded somewhat clinically for fall, building on the appeal of his blockbuster spring collection."People liked spring," he said before his show. "Business is tough, and we have to establish our connection to the customer a little bit more." Costa chose to continue two major elements from last season — its airiness and its artistic touches — while shifting his palette from white to black with flashes of bright red, which, of course, is no small change. While spring felt directed to an artsy free spirit, fall bore a darker, hipper edge, perhaps more so than Costa intended. So much, in fact, that in his beautiful tailoring — a sheer shirt floating between the slick components of a pantsuit; deep mink cuffs countering the austerity of a jacket — one felt a command of urban sportswear similar to that of Helmut Lang in his heyday. Suffice to say, it was impressive.
At the same time, Costa sought to maintain spring's delicate balance of a minimalist aesthetic rendered with significant decoration. This time, he honed in on a herringbone motif, manipulating it variously in a gorgeous, slouchy embroidered jacket over tweed pants; inventive sweaters with multiple patterns twisted into each other, and most frequently, as decorative appliqués on sheer dresses. These achieved differing degrees of success; some lovely enough to take your breath away, others overwrought in their artsiness, one or two nearing that nearly naked threshold to tacky. Such indulgence aside, with these two collections, Costa has proven himself worthy of the big leagues. Now it's up to PVH to determine if it's serious about staying in the game.
Proenza Schouler: Remember the Power Woman? Much maligned in her Eighties heyday, she enjoyed an impressive renaissance in Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough's fall Proenza Schouler collection. The key to it all? According to the designers, "a return to a sharper, cleaner line." Not to mention plenty of attitude. The mood they celebrated stood in marked contrast to the one they put forth last season, as if spring's muse, a gentle dreamer, had been pushed aside by her cooler, hipper sister. What the two share is a yen for decoration, played out here with savvy control against the stark, clean lines of the clothes. It made for another beautiful outing from this young pair.The collection addressed several of the trends unfolding in New York this season — sober palette, graphic motifs, art world references and, perhaps most significantly, the turn from gentle girliness. That about-face is not the first of the designers' young career, but here Hernandez and McCollough toughened up without camping out. Except for some stiff, roomy coats and a fabulous fly-away leather jacket, their shapes were mostly lean with inset waists, the surfaces etched or inlaid with those geometric patterns. At times, as with a lacquered silver dress, the power vibe coursed through with some measure of discretion. At its most overt — a hardware-heavy leather jacket over a shirred purple skirt; draped bustier gowns with grommet-fastened waists — the clothes channeled fantasy superheroines of the best kind — the superchic kind.
J.Mendel: Now that Gilles Mendel has caught the attention of the young Hollywood set — don't worry, socials, you'll always be his first love — he's playing up the gowns as much as the furs. Yes, he has a sure hand with mink and broadtail, but for fall, he displayed equal skill with the pretty chiffon frocks he's been exploring for the last few seasons. Long and short silhouettes fluttered and flounced in gauzy layers, but the loveliest vision was a gray hand-pleated number anchored with a few rhinestones at the waist, topped with an anthracite mink — just the right amount of glamour for the social or red-carpet circuit. As expected, the designer cut a bevy of beautiful coats, mostly in sliced and slanted broadtail and mink, though the crocodile looks were a tough sidenote that didn't fit with the rest. And even though Mendel has been doing knitted fur for a while, his white mink Aran cardigan was a fresh, smashing new take.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)