New York really does have it all, especially during this fashion week, when beautifully tailored separates, luxurious embellishments, sassy satins and jolts of color are flooding the runways.
BCBG Max Azria: Max Azria has always had the bottom line with a capital “B” on the brain, and though his foray into musical theater last year as a producer on “The Ten Commandments” may have seemed like folly, you can bet he was taking a close look at those box-office receipts. This man wants to bring fashion to the people, as stated in his show notes, “by offering innovative, high-quality clothing at contemporary price points.” Thanks, Max, it seems to be working.
One of the things that works in Azria’s favor is that for the last few seasons, his runway has been all but devoid of the references that occasionally burdened his past collections. Azria stuck with the freewheeling hippie chick he embraced last season, working crocheted insets into fluttering chiffon dresses and showing tops in earthy colors such as tobacco and evergreen. Salt-and-pepper tweed coats looked fresh when cut in two tiers, and evening dresses were pretty chic in sedate columns of tomato red or bottle green — a bit different than the usual flapper-type frou of the past.
Matthew Williamson: Bravo, Matthew! Quite simply, it was the best work the designer has shown since coming to New York in February 2002. That’s not to say there was a dearth of pretty clothes at past shows. On the contrary, a Williamson affair always has prettiness to spare. However, it’s become too easy for him to rely on the proven formula of Indian-inspired color and sparkle that makes his collection a must for bohemian babes.
With fall, the designer forged ahead to offer more refined options for frosty days, such as a slouchy cashmere jacket trimmed with silver beading and a creamy panne velvet skirt. And though Williamson’s forte is the flowing dress, his strength for fall actually lay in his beautifully tailored separates — from coats and jackets with pale panels of paisley-printed pashmina to sharply pleated multicolored cotton skirts. And when he showed some of his classic materials, such as a pink, turquoise and chocolate ombré silk, he bested a typical dress with a swingy pleated skirt that was paired with a terrific beaded knit tank. Could this show signal an upgraded path ahead for the designer? We’ll see at spring.Reem Acra: Reem Acra’s show got off to a promising start, as her embroidered tulle dresses, sequined coats, lace sheaths and embroidered chiffon coats came down the runway. All of these were simply shaped, beautifully embellished and in a rich palette of copper and brown. The glitter pitch was just right in the saucy gold macramé- and tassel-fringed mini, paired with a skinny gold lace top. But then Acra wandered off course. Her lamé HotPants and a plunging lamé embroidered gown looked dated, and her use of gold in these pieces offered more glitz than glamour. It’s hard to understand the disparity between the first segment and much of what followed. Yet, there were some moments when Acra’s talent for the understated side of glamour appeared, most often in black with her dance dress in lace, tulle and velvet, or the embroidered slipgown. When it comes to evening collections like this, even with all the shimmer a given, it’s crucial to remember that more is not necessarily better.
Yeohlee: Yeohlee’s presentations have become more like high-spirited family reunions than formal fashion shows. Last season, her pals modeled to a cheering crowd inside a subway station; this time, her show was downstairs at the International Center for Photography. But what was significantly different for fall was Yeohlee’s newfound sassy sensibility as seen in her slinky one-shoulder gown in ink satin and another number that was more bare than there. The black lacquered wool gown, with its single sleeve in tiers of white organza, was a knockout on eBay’s Constance White, who, along with many others, was part of the designer’s nonprofessional model brigade. Of course, Yeohlee’s inventive, architecturally driven outerwear, which we’ve all come to expect from her, was also on display — most of it shown with lean black pants and matte jersey tops or bodysuits over skinny black pants.
Sass & Bide: Sass & Bide designers Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke should have modeled their fall wares themselves, pregnant bumps and all. When the designers — wearing exactly what the models wore, along with with piled-on accessories and spiky, big hair — stepped out to take a bow, they made sense of everything that had come before. Both are outrageous, fun, rock ’n’ roll and very, very cheeky. With them, it’s about personality and not the clothes. And it’s only that type of girl — larger-than-life and unafraid — who can pull off Sass & Bide’s dresses and tops with harness details or oddly placed grommets, which means that they aren’t quite for everybody. Too many straps flew around or dangled, detracting from otherwise well-structured jackets and pants, while yellow piping went here and there for a Tron-like effect on swingy dresses.Middleton and Clarke secured a solid red-carpet fan base with their first two collections, but if that clientele is to include the nonboldfaced fashion types, the duo needs to rein in the tendency to overdo a look. They should take their strength — tough chic glam — and build from there. Their finale, a layered wrap dress with bright yellow flowers played against liquid black, is a good place to start.
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