By Kiara Walker
I thought writing this review would be easy. I thought I would have so many great collections to choose from that I would end up having to expand my “#NYFW Top 10″ list. Nope, that’s not what happened. In fact, I was disappointed by some of the collections shown at NYFW, but, as I discussed with my friend @anika_gupta on twitter perhaps that’s because I expected too much. Perhaps I expected London or Paris Fashion Week instead. Luckily, they’re soon to come and London Fashion Week has begun.
Why are you being so harsh? Tell me!!
Harsh? Hardly. Critical? Yes. There were many highlights of the NYFW season, of course, but overall I felt rather underwhelmed. Will these clothes sell? Of course! Because the fashion monster is already on a roll and it can’t really stop. No, not even when some of the silhouettes aren’t that fresh or the colors are kinda stale or that the clothes look like they’ve aready been marked at half price. They must sell and we must buy. That is the fashion gospel truth.
Nevertheless, I decided to change my list from the optimistic “Top 10″ to the “I Don’t Know Anymore: List of #NYFW Shows”
Alexander Wang was fun to look at. I imagined wearing his clothing in a sexy sci-fi lounge on another planet or strutting down a dimly lit brig on a spaceship. I like to think that Princess Leia, in the modern world, would be sufficiently satisfied with this collection (and she would probably add a coat/jacket to be more presentable considering her political position).
No but seriously(Hey, I was serious!)…
The A.Wang brand took advantage simple ideas/basic concepts and made them refreshing. The use of negative space to expose and create new shapes; not only in the pattern pieces cut, but also in the criss-crossing of the netting and knit used. He also used the negative space to outline shapes that we often take for granted, like the angles of a lapel or the shape of a pocket. Even the shoes were stunning, a sexy blend between gladiator and strappy sandal. Alexander Wang has never been one to blast color on the runway, but with the design of the garments, one almost never notices the consistent trail of black, white, gray and silver, especially when it’s so easy to match with what’s already in one’s closet.
2. FELT LET DOWN
I just knew that the Calvin Klein Collection would hit the fashion spot that the other designers missed. But I couldn’t find the chic and sleek minimalism that had made it so delicious. Many details felt haphazard (Why is that there?) and too basic. And by “too basic” I mean that Calvin Klein Collection has never been predictable in terms of design detail and I found this rather unsettling. Some garments didn’t “fit” properly, I mean they were awkward, the “new” shapes weren’t gutsy enough, and I’m not sure if the Mickey Mouse ear shapes did the collection justice. I don’t mean to say that the collection was sloppy, of course not. I just didn’t feel the love connection that CKC usually gave me and so, I was left unfulfilled and hope to fulfill my lust for fashion elsewhere. (Gosh I hope my designer friends at CKC never see this…)
Donna Karan’s Spring 2013 collection was sexy! And minimal enough to be placed in a variety of fashion taste categories. I loved this collection because it looks very easy to wear (perfect for Spring) and it looks like a tabula rasa for experimentation with accessories; no necklace, ring or earrings is too chunky or small for these looks! The color palette was not exaggerated and its quietness perfectly matched the discreet details. Feminine indeed, but many of the garments allowed just enough space for black leather and metal spikes (use with caution), and added sex-generic garments for the perfect balance of androgyny.
4. IDK ANYMORE:
The Marc Jacobs collection was one I feel that you either liked or didn’t like. At times I felt the collections were brilliant (like the gradient graph coat and skirt look, and the varied stripe floor length dress) but often times, while observing the show, I had some doubts. The flounce didn’t work on every garment and made some fine garments look rather unnecessarily comical. Not that clothing can’t be whimsical…I didn’t like all of the wide stripe jersey dresses and didn’t think they all worked (the neutral one was cute), but I loved the varigated stripe dresses toward the end. Still, I enjoyed the fun factor!
(Above) “Love this…”
Here goes another tabula rasa collection: Tess Giberson. What do you think? It’s rather wearable and many of the looks would look great on a variety of body types. I like this collection because of the details. Yes, many of the looks were all white, but the white was off-set (in a positive way) by the variety of textures used, including: knits, leather, and sequins. The proportions were perfect and with the use of the ties, the wearer could easily adjust fit and lengths. A rather edgy but still feminine collection…but you’re still not convinced? Maybe you don’t like all the white…still this collection can easily be matched with colored garments. Or you can dye the garments in the bathtub like I’m doing right now (multi-tasking…) *cue dramatic gasp* “Never!”
(below) A layered look
I appreciate Thakoon’s collection for the graphic prints and delicate hint of next season’s colors. And then, in addition, the mix of prints and fabrics; not everyone can mix a flower print and an eyelet fabric without creating a dowdy look. Throughout his collection, he was dedicated to his romantic theme of florals, birds and their cages by using prints, colors, and silhoutte shapes (some voluminous and others slim).
7. I GUESS…
I would just like to say that I liked the red leather looks in Proenza’s collection. I also liked the angles and the swirls created through the seaming details. I like it when my eyes observe a look from top to bottom instead of getting lost in the middle and not being able to appreciate the whole garment. I liked that the boys at Proenza Schouler kept the edge their brand is known for, and even though the collection itself didn’t excite me as much as their other spring collections, some of the details did. @anika_gupta thought that their collection looked too much like their Resort collection. What do you think?
8. FELT LET DOWN:
I would like to cheat on #8 and include two designers in the same category.
Michael Kors…I thought for a second I was at a Tommy Hilfiger show, which shocked me because Michael Kors was maintaining such an “affordable chic” streak that I just had to jump on the Michael Kors fanatic train. But I guess this is my stop because I did not feel inspired as I kept making transfers between Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger, when I should have felt and known (in my heart *tear*) that I was on the MK train. It didn’t have the edge his other collections have. However, it’s not like designers can’t take a different direction…I feel like you don’t understand what I’m saying…stop judging me!
(Above) The styling still feels like MK
(below) MK was more present in the later looks like the one below
(below) Rodarte…started well, but honestly, I just don’t know what to think.
(below) “Ok I feel you…this is going to be good…”
and then..”Um, okay this is interesting…”
“Ok you lost me…”
Hey, I know some of us can pull each of these off. I know I could. But do they all belong in the same collection? What is the connection style wise? Theme wise?
Alice + Olivia produced a fun collection to our relief that, though still made up of the basic silhouettes, offered enough imagination for us ladies to think “hey, that’s cute”. I think I will indulge myself with this collection just because the garments are fun and free-feeling, but at the same time, poised and chic.
*cue the aws* “Awwwww”
10. I WANTED MORE
Narciso Rodriguez’s collection was as precise as it was direct and minimal. I liked the collection as a whole. The way he tapped into the 90s and added the floral sequins/beading on tops to add texture to otherwise flat color. It’s wonderful because from far away, it looks like a velvet burnout. Cool! Still, I think, I would have liked to see these details and treatment repeated more. Can you imagine a full length, beaded dress? Or perhaps a print that looks just like the beading…
Well, these are my thoughts, but I’d like to hear what you think!
Written to the album “The ArchAndroid” by Janelle Monae
twitter: Walkek35 and WindsorSparrow
View the Gallery of Fashion Art at http://www.galleryoffashionart.com and on facebook at: facebook.com/galleryoffashionart.
- GoFA Exhibition#1 (thinksoul25.com)
- NYFW Runway Recap: Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2013 (styleblazer.com)