For the past few days, all eyes of the fashion world have been fixated on New York. Fashion Week has brought some of the best and most unique designs to our attention. Different materials are being used this year, such as alpaca. In addition to some new fabrics being debuted on the runway, we also see the use of knits and furs. This is not uncommon or unexpected for the fall 2014 collections. Overall trends are wovens and relevant in each designers’ collections. Among these integral trends are: fringe, fur, neutrals, graphic prints, knits and chiffon. Personally, my favorite fashion shows were Alice + Olivia, Badgley Mischka, and Marchesa. However, I cannot neglect to mention the intriguing shows of Anna Sui, Clover Canyon, and Betsey Johnson.
To elaborate on the use of fabrics, this year has seen a rise in the use of Alpaca, a material like mohair, for a few different reasons. First and foremost, Peru is trying to further their economy. As a result, the Peruvian government has compensated a few designers for using the material – in hopes that it will become a trend. The Peruvian government actually flew a few designers to their country in order to demonstrate how humanely Alpaca is sheared. In return, the designers were rewarded with a $1,200-$5,000 stipend. However, some designers were already sold on the idea and had already made garments constructed with Alpaca in their collections. One such designer is Ralph Lauren. Although Alpaca has not yet reached his runways collections, the Peruvian Trade Commission is hoping that it will eventually.
Now, to focus on the best part: the runway shows. Alice + Olivia’s collection had the best styling. I loved their use and pairing of tights, knee high boots, and accessories. Designer, Stacey Bendet, used the inspiration of Benjamin Lacombe’s pop-up books to create a fantasy/fairytale collection. Overall, the mood felt dark, sexy, and had a Victorian element. It was not unlike being in an episode of ABC’s, “Once Upon A Time.” For those of you who are die-hard fans, this is the collection for you. As for Badgley Mischka, I can honestly say that old school glamour was brought to the runway. What I love most about the collection is the continued use of metallics, florals, gold, lace, fur, animal prints, and embellishments. Artist Gustav Klimt and architect Josef Hoffman were the inspiration for Mark Badgley and James Mischka. True to the turn-of-the century Vienna inspiration, each design exuded richness, luxury, and impeccable quality in their fifties silhouettes. Marchesa designers, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, were inspired by Scottish motifs this season. This inspiration was channeled and translated into “tartan” lace cocktail dresses. These dresses were exquisitely dip-dyed, foiled, and re-embroidered. Most stunning was the drapery that adorned the tiered tulle skirts. These three shows, specifically, is what piques my interest and makes me look forward to fashion week every time it rolls around.
Anna Sui’s show may not have been my very favorite, but it was by far the most interesting to view – in a good way. The overall feel of her collection wavered from heavy silhouettes to soft fabrics and flowy outfits. Cumulatively, it was a good collection with plenty of decorations and embellishments. Many of these drew inspiration from Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American movie star. On a different note, Clover Canyon had a very artistic version of Rozae Nichols’ inspiration of her Irish heritage. For Clover Canyon’s third anniversary, there were too many patterns and colors. It made the collection visually overwhelming and hard to get a good grasp on the designs. Although it was a good attempt to pull off Mary Katrantzou’s well-known use of patterns, it was overkill. To me, it seemed like Nichols tried a little too hard. After all, there can be too much of a good thing. Lastly, I cannot neglect Betsey Johnson’s collection. As always, it was an extremely bright and colorful show. Although I do love most of her designs, this modernized 80’s look pushed designs a little too far. That being said, I am biased because I truly hate 80’s fashion. Give this show a shot if that is a decade you choose to style yourself after. It is very Betsey times ten.
Overall, New York Fashion Week never disappoints. Not surprising, since it is the city that never sleeps. Hopefully, we will see more use of Alpaca. It is not only a unique material, but it is sheared humanely and has great warmth for colder climates. Each designer’s use of fur was truly remarkable and each created a different feel with his or her designs. From Alice + Olivia to Anna Sui, we saw a combination of colors and great use of fabrics. Although some were more successful than others, each designer did a great job of putting on a show. Whether you are into the mystical designs of Alice + Olivia or into the retro 80’s fashion of Betsey Johnson, there is something for everyone. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? After all, it is New York, New York.
Tags : Alice + Olivia, Anna Sui, Badgley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Classy, dress, fashion, Fashion for Women, Formal, Girlzone, Keren Craig, ladies, MARY KATRANTZOU, New York, New York Fashion Week, style