Whew – after an eight day marathon of runway shows and presentations, it took all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put this fashion editor back together again – with a little help from my manicurist of 10 years, a very talented Swedish masseur, a very aggressive Eastern European aesthetician, and a slew of home hair repair treatments! No matter what the Beauty Editors may say, looking camera ready from 9 am to 9 pm for an entire week takes its toll on even the most seasoned editor. At any rate, I’m glad that I’m almost back to normal and ready to report on the best of what I saw this past New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2010!
Last season, many of us agreed that presentations were a gift from the heavens in an already overpacked Fashion Week. With a good pair of shoes and expert subway route planning, an editor could easily hit 3 presentations in an hour between runway shows. This season, some excellent designers came to my attention thanks to the hard work of my expert Fashion Week Scheduler, James Collins. My Fashion Week actually began the day before the tents opened when I attended a delightful presentation of Mackage’s Spring/Summer 2010 Collection. This Canadian outerwear brand has long been a favorite of New York editors for winter coats, and they recently introduced a line of â€œpackablesâ€, lightweight nylon jackets and coats in a signature array of colors. Leave it to designers from a Northern climate to truly understand that outerwear can be warm for winter or waterproof for spring – and still be lightweight and extremely stylish. Your classic Burberry trench will have some competition for wear time next spring.
Luxury knows no season and fur designer Helen Yarmak, best known for supplying discerning ladies with only the most supple of sables, didn’t hold back for Spring/Summer 2010. On the terrace level of New York’s landmark Crown Building, she presented an utterly sophisticated collection of furs for women bound for exotic destinations who might catch a chill in a private jet or poolside at sunset. The emerald green broadtail biker jacket – shown over a nude maillot with matching Louboutins – was the stuff that fashion editor’s dreams are made of.
Fabiola Arias, known for her meticulous attention to detail and extensive hand work presented a delightful capsule collection of cocktail dresses and evening gowns that was truly a vision of beauty. Hand-cut and individually sewn square fabric paillettes and strips had an organic quality to them and lent a sense of movement to a classically static presentation. Victor de Souza hosted a presentation of his collection in EZ Studios, just a few blocks from Bryant Park. The models, some of whose hands were dipped in paraffin, were made up to embody the futuristic vision of this very talented designer. The pale makeup palette and complexly simple hairstyles only enhanced the beautiful lines of this cutting edge collection.
Although presentations are a great way for editors and buyers to see at once how the pieces in a collection relate to one another, runway shows have an appeal all their own. Perhaps it’s the ambient adrenaline, but there is definitely a charge in the air. The Rad Hourani show at Milk Studios was one of the most anticipated of the season and this avant garde designer did not disappoint. Geometric cut leather with hard edges was juxtaposed against supple chain fringes and what appeared to be lightweight chain mail. Slashed or zippered leggings were the perfect complement to the structured tops, dresses, and jackets.I had barely caught my breath at the Loris Diran show at the Altman Building, when it was taken away again by a seemingly endless stream of color and volume to detail pouring down the runway. Diran’s exacting attention to detail was evident in every look from the perfect drape of a sunshine yellow one-shouldered dress to the perfect pleating of a paper bag waist on a long line tangerine strapless dress.
Before you think that I spent all my time offsite, I must tell you about my favorite shows in the Bryant Part tents – all three brilliant pieces of theater. Nothing beats the sights and sounds of the Custo Barcelona show. The exuberance of the designs on the runway mirrors the energy of the assembled international fashion crowd. The supermodels of yesteryear may have moved on to careers in Olympic cell phone hurling and designing furniture, but the sight of our favorite girls like Iekeliene Stange of Marilyn stalking down the runway in a colorful confection of an outfit still melts even the most jaded of fashion hearts.
My other two favorite shows were both inspired by Japan and its culture and heritage. Of all the collections I saw, Ports 1961 will probably translate best from the runway to the racks at better department and specialty stores. Like water flowing around river pebbles, an endless stream of models glided this way and that, sporting day dresses, day coats, cocktail dresses, and evening gowns that were decidedly Asian-inspired, yet distinctly wearable in our increasingly borderless world.
I have said in this column before that the genius that is Chado is otherworldly. Designer Ralph Rucci is truly one of the great American talents in fashion design. Women as diverse as Deeda Blair and Martha Stewart share my enthusiasm for Rucci’s transcendent designs. From beautifully tailored suits for day to peekaboo evening gowns, Rucci always delivers a comprehensive collection that lifts us out of the plane of existence of commercial fashion. The Genji gown was definitely a showstopper – from its unusual color (that would seem to flatter any skin tone) to the beautiful obi sash hem that was custom made by Hiroto Rakusho of Kyoto, Japan.
New York Fashion Week was a blur of colors, shapes, and details. In the coming weeks as we see the collections from designers in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, the trends that will shape fashion for Spring/Summer 2010 will emerge. The fashionable among us will draw up their shopping lists for the most editorial of looks while the stylish among us will seamlessly integrate the trends of the season into their existing wardrobes or draw on their own personal fashion archives. Stay true to your fashion passion and you’ll be sure to look great next year!
Check back next month for my report from the Left Coast. Until then, stay stylish!
1. Mackage Spring 2010 RTW
2. Helen Yarmak Spring 2010 RTW
3. Fabiola Arias Photo: Fabriola Arias PR
4. Victor de Souza Spring 2010 RTW
5. Rad Hourani Spring 2010 RTW
6. Loris Diran Spring 2010 RTW
7. Custo Barcelona Spring 2010 RTW
8. Ports 1961 Spring 2010 RTW
9. Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2010 RTW