2012 February 9

Fall 2012: Steven Alan, DEGEN

Steven Alan Fall 2012 Steven Alan Fall 2012
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(NEW YORK) Steven Alan
Card-carrying members of Steven Alan's all-American troupe journeyed south-of-the-border for Fall in a soft spoken, Mexican-tinged collection that carried some serious weight stateside. Naturally, there was plenty of plaid to go around; slightly rumpled beanies, fedoras, and cozy cardis shared the spotlight. (After all, we are in downtown doyen territory.) "It all started with the Diego Rivera exhibit at the MoMA," explained the designer at his early morning presentation yesterday for both his men's and women's lines. Rivera-like references showed up in subtle cues from Alan's trademark reverse seam shirting—this time with raised zig-zag stitching nodding to hand-woven falsa blankets—to a folkish ranch skirt in Frida Kahlo red paired with a striped riding jacket, cinched at the waist with Alan's latest addition: belts! "We've never been more tailored," said Alan. "The focus now is on expanding eveningwear, silk dresses, and accessories like belts and handbags for women and suiting for men." Ergo a gold-accented brocade number for cocktails and floral silk housedresses (of the thirties and forties variety) layered with ruff-and-tumble olive army parkas for "the woman who's been wearing the line since the beginning."

In September, 23-year-old Lindsay Degen caught The Daily's attention at the launch preview of her eponymous knit line, DEGEN, with the help of a band of needle-clinking knitters, a couple gallons of ice cream, and a series of dread-locking sessions for editrices in need of some urban sprucing. But there was one problem. "People kept asking me after we launched if they could buy my clothes, but I said no," laughed Degen. "I only made one of each!" This season, there were no sugary treats or side-show gimmicks. It was all about highlighting Degen's first full ready-to-wear line entitled "Ask Tell" in reference to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The Brooklyn-based designer honed in on "bizarre military patterns" like dazzle camo, a bold paint scheme crafted by Modernist artists on WWI Navy battleships to confuse German U-boats' sonar systems. Degen mimicked the eccentric patterns with hip-locked waves and a charming "Boats in the Distance" motif on teeny tiny knit hotpants, ultra-soft leggings, hand-painted platform sneaks, and vibrant mis-matched maxis. New this season: ankle trousers, oversized, slouchy sweaters, skirts, and relaxed dresses. All in all, this coterie of knits has the kind of quirky-cute appeal that will cater to indie buyers in search of something slightly off the beaten path.