Male Box: Spring Summer 2013 – What Was Old Will Be New Again!

September 17, 2012 • Magazine, Male Box, New York Fashion Week Spring '13

New York Fashion Week has come to a close and editors all over the world are trying to put ourselves back together again after the marathon of shows, presentations, and fashion flash mob dance performances – all while crashing our deadlines! While it’s too early to tell if the styles we saw will be full blown global fashion trends or North American microtrends, one thing is certain. Spring Summer 2013 will be fresh!

Pants – in all their various permutations – will be very important next year. We saw everything from super skinny to full on palazzo. Quintessential California girl Rebecca Minkoff sent hippie chicks down her runway rocking microfloral prints and embellished hip hugger bellbottoms. Perhaps best known for her handbags, Minkoff re-entered the world of ready-to-wear in 2009. Since then, she has been building a strong following with her easy-to-wear designs.

Noon by Noor, well known for sophisticated evening wear, also brought us pants, but for evening and in the most luxurious fabrics possible. Overall, the collection would be best described as minimalist with the occasional flourish. Designers Shaika Noor and Shaikha Haya al Khalifa brought us an exotic color palette featuring peach, pink and gold. My personal favorite was a peach evening suit featuring feathers epaulettes that evoked all the sophistication of YSL’s Le Smoking while still feeling quite modern.

Last month I rattled on about tea length dresses and wondered if anyone heard me. Well apparently, someone did – and took heed.  Throughout the week, many designers offered longer skirts and dresses, bravely daring to go well below the knee in some cases. Designer Giovanna Randall founded Honor with the idea that good business practices are as important as good design to a fashion company. For Spring Summer 2013, she delved deep into the history of fashion to explore classic skirt shapes from A-line to tulip to even the much-reviled hobble. Reinterpreting these shapes for modern lifestyles and pairing them with ultra modern bodice shapes, she has created new silhouettes that both evoke fashion’s past and herald its future.

Fashion editors have been whispering for several seasons that Chicago’s own Creatures of the Wind are surely destined to be the new Rodarte, who themselves were once the “new” Proenza Schouler – you see how obsessed with the new we fashion types are! At any rate, their talent for design is undeniable and for next season they certainly met – if not exceeded – expectations. While the silhouettes read vintage, the fabrication is fresh. Designers Shane Gabier and Chris Peters debuted on the scene last season with a bewildering presentation based on a 17th century novel called “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies”. For their first proper runway show this season, they set aside just enough of the quirkiness so that fashion editor types like myself could actually look at the clothes, which were inspired by 1960s haute couture. The resulting collection was the perfect cocktail of vintage inspired shapes, colors and textures constructed to fully accommodate the modern woman’s active lifestyle. Imagine jackets and skirts with all the excruciating chic of Babe Paley in her heyday that not only allow you to walk gingerly from a light lunch at Le Cirque 2000 to your awaiting chauffeured car, but also allow to you to power walk the dog, aggressively hail a taxi or even make a mad dash for a subway.  Keep an eye on this dynamic design duo. Something tells me that they’ll be bravely fighting fashion boredom for many seasons to come.

Well, dear reader, London, Milan and Paris beckon as fashion waits for no man – or woman or, for that matter, beleaguered fashion editor. Check back soon for my predictions on global fashion trends for Spring Summer 2013 as well as for my picks for the must-have styles for Fall Winter 2012.

Photos: Randy Brook

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