The news from the New York collections is Glamour, with a capital G. And retailers are lapping it up.
This story first appeared in the February 18, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It seems as if everybody got the memo about ladylike and polished looks for fall, from established pillars such as Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan, to emerging talents like Joseph Altuzarra.
Standout collections included Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Carolina Herrera, Theyskens’ Theory, Rodarte, Jason Wu, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Thakoon, Chado Ralph Rucci and Phillip Lim.
“Bring back the glamour,” said Stephanie Solomon, vice president of fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s. “When glamour is back, it usually is good news for retail.”
“I saw beautiful, wearable clothes and I saw dollar signs,” said Jeffrey Kalinsky, executive vice president of designer merchandising at Nordstrom Inc., referring to Jason Wu. “He got all the elements right this season.”
Even contemporary designers featured dressed-up clothes, albeit at lower prices. “The contemporary market has always been casual, with sportswear and anoraks,” Solomon said. “This time, we saw luxurious fabrics, beadwork, real and fake fur and leather.”
Here is what retailers had to say about New York Fashion Week:
Colleen Sherin, senior fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue
Standout collections: Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Rag & Bone, Phillip Lim, Jason Wu, Theyskens’ Theory and Calvin Klein.
Key trends — keepers: High-impact outerwear such as parkas, anoraks, puffers, peacoats, capes and vests, often with hoods and dramatic fur collars; new takes on shearling; culottes; tuxedo-inspired looks in blouses, jackets and pants; feminine skirts and dresses pared back to chunky knitwear, and global-inspired prints.
Stephanie Solomon, vice president of fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s
Standout collections: Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and the contemporary designers showing collections filled with references to Hollywood glamour.
Key trends — keepers: Trim or fur on vests or jackets; statement coats with leather sleeves or other interesting details; longer lengths such as pencil skirts, and ladylike blouses. It feels right to dress up again.
Key trends — losers: Very wide-leg, pleated palazzo pants won’t fly off the shelves this fall.
Linda Fargo, senior vice president for the fashion office and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman
Standout collections: Adam, Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Carolina Herrera, Rodarte, Narciso Rodriguez, Jason Wu, Naeem Khan, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Altuzarra, Derek Lam, Theyskens’ Theory and Chado Ralph Rucci.
Key trends — keepers: As a reaction to this winter, outerwear and fur were exceptionally strong and diverse. Longer lengths, clean tailoring, plaids, pleats and lace. Black, gray and inky colors with reds — bright color for winter has broken through and will be in demand.
Sarah Rutson, fashion director at Lane Crawford, Hong Kong
Standout collections: There were very few. Alexander Wang for his reworking of tuxedo shapes; Rag & Bone; Proenza Schouler’s Santa Fe prints and macramé; The Row’s spot-on tailoring, and Marc Jacobs, who gave us something different from everyone else’s huge lack of diversity.
Key trends — keepers: Colored fur and Mongolian lamb; fantastic knitwear; wide-leg pants, and some very well-executed tailoring. Lush color in berry tones and a strong pop of sharp blue, orange or red.
Key trends — losers: Midcalf-length skirts and dresses don’t look good on any woman and look so frumpy and old that they’re very hard to pull off; kilts and plaids, and, after three seasons, parkas.
Averyl Oates, chief buying director, Harvey Nichols, London
Standout collections: Rodarte’s exquisite long dresses; Marc by Marc Jacobs’ Forties and the Seventies looks with a modern vintage feel; Alice + Olivia’s flapper-era dresses; Donna Karan’s sophisticated urban clothes and Oscar-worthy gowns, and Theyskens Theory’s slouchy jackets, coats and knitwear. At Marc Jacobs, all of the trends came together, but his Seventies influence was more strict and severe. The clothes, although in some cases extreme, were ladylike and sexy.
Key trends — keepers: Outerwear, Forties silhouettes.
Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus
Standout collections: Proenza Schouler’s multicultural references balanced with a ladylike point of view; Marc Jacobs’ knits and ruby red cigarette pants; Jason Wu’s ladylike elegance; Prabal Gurung’s outstanding show; Donna Karan’s clothes that will go from the runway straight to a woman’s wardrobe without a second thought; Alexander Wang’s return to the future; Altuzarra’s aggressive outerwear, and Thakoon’s electric blue and tomato red jackets.
Key trends — keepers: Colors such as cranberries and merlots mixed with magentas and shades of pink, and winter white — it’s becoming the new camel.
Key trends — losers: The whole idea of Seventies and boho was perfect for the spring season. My eye is laser-focused on the polish and elegance of ladylike dressing.
Jeffrey Kalinsky, executive vice president of designer merchandising at Nordstrom
Standout collections: Jason Wu; Theyskens’ Theory; Alexander Wang’s cool outerwear; Joseph Altuzurra’s fur-trimmed parkas, and Michael Kors’ glamour.
Key trends — keepers: Fur; a big move toward grunge, and lingering Seventies influence. Being of the generation that grew up on the Seventies, I never get tired of that decade.
Key trends — losers: There were a lot of long skirts and, while I always love a good long skirt, I’m not feeling them as much for fall.
Barbara Atkin, vice president, fashion direction at Holt Renfrew, Canada
Standout collections: Marc Jacobs summed up the season — a return to elegance that was refined and polished. Marc by Marc Jacobs took that signature to an accessible price point. Also, Michael Kors’ easy man-tailored coats and perfect cigarette pants; Alexander Wang; Theyskens’ Theory’s sensibility, and Rodarte’s clothes, which were more accessible in their wearability. We’re on the lookout for new collections. We’re picking up Rachel Zoe and we’re buying Kelly Wearstler.
Key trends — keepers: Elongated hemlines; higher-waisted pants; rounded shoulders; knits, and a return to the suit.
Nicole Fischelis, group vice president and fashion director at Macy’s Inc.
Standout collections: Doo.Ri, Jason Wu, Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Chris Benz, Richard Chai, Eden, Suno, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Chado Ralph Rucci, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs.
Key trends — keepers: Fur is very important, for example, parkas with fur trim; chubby jackets, natural or recolored fur coats or vests; knitwear with interesting textures, patterns and colorations; midlength skirts; cropped skinny pants and wide-leg pants; tuxedo looks; pant suits, and interesting new greens and reds and shades of blue.
Amanda Brooks, fashion director, Barneys New York
Standout collections: Alexander Wang’s young and cool show was wearable for a diverse audience; Rodarte’s more realistic approach to wearing [the collection] in real life; Altuzarra’s great separates and inspiring coats; The Row’s beautifully made investment pieces; Prabal Gurung; Phillip Lim’s great clothes at a great price that all the cool girls will want to wear; Thakoon’s feminine silhouettes; Zero + Maria Cornejo; M. Patmos; Proenza Schouler, and Derek Lam.
Key trends — keepers: Sporty parkas with fur, shearling bomber jackets and anoraks; unconventional hemlines; chunky knit sweaters, and high-waisted pants.
Key trends — losers: Sweaters over long skirts for day.
Ed Burstell, managing director, Liberty
Standout collections: Alexander Wang for street-inspired luxe and glamour; Daryl K, a woman for a woman’s body; Joseph Altuzarra’s sensual and tough show with amazing outerwear; Theyskens’ affordable drama, and Marc by Marc Jacobs’ focused, cheeky and easy looks.
Open-to-buy: Our budgets are up 10 percent with additional money for new resources; we’re looking at four new brands.
Key trends — keepers: Vibrant color; winter white; street glam, and fashionable, functional outwear.
Key trends — losers: Colorblocking again; fake heritage; camel overload, and wearing everything plus the kitchen sink just to get your picture taken.