By  on February 4, 2008

From photographer Lee Miller to Alpine maidens, downtown girls to a perfect circle, and even "fabulosity" — anything and everything got designers' creative juices flowing for fall.

Lacoste: Lacoste's spirited collection, shown on sheepskin carpeting in a virtual snowstorm, looked just right for the Alpine schoolgirls who inspired designer Christophe Lemaire. But that's not to say their urban sisters wouldn't also be delighted with the cuddly sweatshirt jumpsuits or layers of thick ski shrugs over long sweaters. Lemaire teamed peacoats, waterproof ponchos or preppy gray flannel blazers with everything from shorts and mini kilts to riding pants and pleated mid-calf skirts. As for the gals who want to lose the layers, they can strut about in his snappy short and skinny shirtdresses.

Baby Phat/KLS by Kimora Lee Simmons:
Kimora Lee Simmons' trademark fabulosity was on full display for her fans, including her beau Djimon Honsou, as well as Joss Stone and Tyra Banks. That, however, was the only real theme as she channeled everything from bankers to flappers, and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" to hip-hop hotties — just to name a few. Lack of focus aside, there were some real gems in Baby Phat's cheetah-print denim and KLS's pleated silk minidresses.

Alexander Wang: Alexander Wang's got the hype, the retail presence and even his own celebrity stylist, model Erin Wasson. But the young designer has to show he's more than just a flash in the pan. Enter a high-energy fall collection that was certainly a step in the right direction. Wang has a consistent vision and a strong sense of his customer, who's a little bit gritty and molto street chic. She can pull off his trompe l'oeil silk cargo pants — made to look like trousers worn low over boxers à la K-Fed — and wear his roomy blazers, ripped denim and off-kilter tanks with a just-got-out-of-bed confidence. And she'll toss the pretty "It" tote aside for his leather clutch, inspired by a men's toiletry bag. But Wang has to fine-tune that message, because his dressed-down vibe hewed too closely to those of others, like Marc Jacobs' neo-grunge affair of '06.

Julia Jentzsch: Lee Miller — model, Man Ray's muse and World War II photojournalist — inspired the masculine-feminine motif of Julia Jentzsch's sensually rendered collection. Jentzsch's military references were anchored in a drapey silk tunic and felted wool skirts as well as coats with crisp, but never severe, cuts. Her dresses don't necessarily have — or need — sizzle. Rather, they are subtle and elegant. Best this season were slender salt-painted satin slipdresses in blue with black tulle. However, several evening dresses were repeats from spring reworked in other fabrics, unfortunate in a showing of only 21 pieces.Elise Øverland: According to Elise Øverland, her designs are about "the way I live my life," which is apparently at a party that calls for sexy, short silk dresses and edgy leather gear. A feminine palette of pinks and purples and a little Seventies spirit softened up her signature rock 'n' roll looks. And while the purple suede bell-bottoms and jacket with all-over embroidery channeled her days designing stage costumes for Stephen Tyler a little too much, the same decorative treatment worked well on a short dress and a coat.

Threeasfour: On the heels of their CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund mentorship, Gabriel Asfour, Angela Donhauser and Adi Gil delivered a focused, commercially viable collection. The trio remained loyal to their signature circle motif, working it into winding seams and curving cuts that were structured on outerwear, such as a chunky gray peacoat, and soft on filmy dresses cascading with ruffles. A familiar shimmery, metallic palette prevailed. Some overzealous cutouts and awkward puckered seams served as a reminder of the group's all-too-avant beginnings and their ongoing struggle to grow up without selling out.

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