2011 February 14

New York Fall 2011: Derek Lam, Lela Rose, DKNY, Behnaz Sarafpour, Timo Weiland, Suzanne Rae

Derek Lam Fall 2011 Derek Lam Fall 2011
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Derek Lam The famed ballet choreographer George Balanchine held the title of muse at Derek Lam fall 2011. The focus was squarely on new combinations—notably, Lam’s use of conventionally summertime fabrics like poplin and crepe combined with fall’s favorites shapes. The breezy mix added plenty of movement to the collection and conveniently lightened autumn’s restrictive layers. Winning combos ranged from a lovely floor-grazing black poplin gown with a pebbled leather bodice to the silk-rayon and twill trousers teamed with a navy flannel blazer and gold lamé necktie blouse. Keeping in line with fall’s trending cover-ups, Lam sent a bevy of eye-catching coats down the runway from your classic pea in smoke blue to an olive wool cape to a slate Alpaca-wool coat with cashmere collar. “Your best season yet,” praised André Leon Tally backstage. Front row revelers agreed.

Lela Rose stayed true to form with a fall collection centered on filmy evening gowns and airy cocktail dresses printed with the imagery of artist Gerhard Richter. “His hazy, obscure photo-realism paintings inspired me. I tried to achieve that in different fabrics by veiling them in light dip dye. He used to scrape his canvases so we took the same tools he used to make our prints,” said the designer backstage. The effect? Covetable cocktail attire like embroidered frocks with peplum skirts, brocade sheaths, and a standout organza dress with a dip dyed feather skirt and veiled shoulder. The less formal nightwear mixed harmoniously with the accessible evening gowns reminding us of Rose’s true calling. Saccharine separates, on point for work or play, rounded out the runway in a palette brimming with metallic, black, forest green, sapphire, camel, juniper, and blush.

Behnaz Sarafpour showcased her fall collection in The Box February 13 with twenty tightly edited looks in black, gray, charcoal, and crème. The sculptural presentation was inspired by Sarafpour’s love of Brancusi art, which began during her schooldays at Parsons. Daywear featured slim leather and knit ankle trousers, wool crepe trenches, and knit capelet jackets. For eveningwear, the designer constructed toe-grazing georgette gowns worn with pointy black patent pumps thanks to Manolo Blahnik for Behnaz Sarafpour. The ensemble du jour had to be her black sequined maxi skirt with a cream blouse, and black handknit capelet. Stunning in its simplicity—just like the rest of the collection.


“New York has always been and will always be my muse,” declared Donna Karan. For DKNY ‘11, the designer penned a love letter to her New York mods with a collection comprised of city sleek separates in an urban color palette of black, cream, navy, and gray with pops of lipstick red, foundation blush, henna, and tangella. “This is for the girl who’s going to work and being responsible but she’s also going out at night. It’s not just about work or play—it’s a combination of both for the working woman,” remarked Karan. Case in point: a lovely shearling coat layered over a knit biker jacket and skinny zipper pants or a georgette pleated colorblock mini dress that could be worn with or without the collarless crepe shirt. Outerwear stole the show with reworked classics, in particular a cropped knit puffer and a “cape coat” worn nonchalantly over the shoulders. “The cape is my favorite!” Karan revealed. “That’s why it’s in black. I only wear black.”

Suzanne Rae takes us back in time with a Victorian grunge-inspired collection for fall 2011. The Brooklyn-based designer, and Parson's alumnus, is slowly making her mark on the industry with street designs that are both feminine and feminist. Staging her presentation at Lincoln Center’s penthouse, Rae utilized the space to showcase her 28 rotating ensembles and a live concert by New York pop rock band, Mother Feather. The Victorian Gibson girl was transported into the 90’s with flannel jumpsuits and hemp crop tops worn with high-waist stirrup pants and gold oxfords. A color palette of black, brown, gray, and cream kept the line warm and sophisticated while lace, flannel, and plaid added just the right amount of texture. Take note, this is one designer to keep an eye on.

Timo Weiland “We were thinking of Gloria Vanderbilt taking a fictional trip to India in the 1960’s with Keith Richards,” said Alan Eckstein of Timo Weiland’s fall inspiration. Eckstein and Weiland explored their socialite-meets-rocker theme in handmade jacquard cut to cropped coats, biker jackets, and a lovely tiered tank dress for women. A Himalayan landscape print brought the adventure to life in a wide lapel womenswear coat, a long scalloped shift dress, and a high-waisted ruffle skirt. The rock-chic sensibility was evident on the menswear side too with reversible polka dot-to-stripes button-downs, casual colorblock Angora sweaters, and slim 5-pocket jeans in plaid, camel, navy, and royal blue. The verdict: Not too chichi, not too down and dirty. A sensible, day-to-night showing.