CHARGED WITH THE CHALLENGE OF COPING WITH A fragile economy, erratic weather patterns and reluctant buyers, contemporary is getting practical.
For fall, fabrics trend toward year-round, silhouettes turn simple and dresses lose some of their luster in the minds of cost-cutting manufacturers. Despite the economic implications, this modesty breathes new life into the contemporary and young contemporary markets after seasons of Sixties' overload, unremitting baby-doll frocks and intimidating, for some, skinny pants. Fall's looks, while pared down, are sophisticated, colorful and seasonless — the ideal blueprint, manufacturers hope, for weathering the economic maelstrom.
Contemporary and young contemporary exhibitors arrive with airy fabrics ideal for layering; straight, fitted bodies punched up with pintucks, pleats and shirring; short novelty jackets, and plenty of immediates to address the most cautious buyers.
Fall apparel fell flat at retail last year, due to an almost total absence of true fall weather in many regions, and manufacturers are adjusting accordingly. This season, cold-weather fabrics take a backseat to lightweight knits, silk, chiffon and organza, and heavier coats and jackets are offered sparingly for later deliveries, if at all.
Orion London, a nine-year-old London company, exhibits for the second time with a new crop of lighter fabrics, in addition to its traditional mix of wool and rayon. Sheer chiffon, light silk and soft satin are used on the line's printed tunics, dresses and cardigans, priced $60 to $72 at wholesale.
For fall, 213 Industry, a young contemporary line of tops and dresses, offers chiffon, voile and lace. "We're definitely focusing on seasonless fabrics that you can wear six months a year," said company president Michelle Kim. "Chiffon is the number-one fabric and it can be layered with silk crepe or printed tunics."
The Los Angeles brand also incorporates a cotton and wool fabric into its lineup, but will reserve heavier items such as herringbone jackets and coats for October deliveries, according to Kim, in order to address the unpredictable weather patterns in the South and on the West Coast.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)