2012 February 10
Fall 2012: Cynthia Rowley, Costello Tagliapietra, Tadashi Shoji, NUMBER:Lab
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(NEW YORK) Cynthia Rowley
Maybe Cynthia had a recent run in with the Kings of Leon because this collection was sexy and (almost) on fire. Rowley has always had a penchant for prints, and this time she showed graphic red flames that licked silk pencil skirts and collered dresses. It made for a sultry introduction, especially with interspersed hits of burnt orange leather t-shirts and chocolate brown overalls. Guess the fire burned out, though, as a decidedly more sedate crop of dresses and knee length skirts emerged, sporting mellow clusters of embroidery. Drab, loose jumpsuits appeared in a very dark, almost-plaid iteration. Redemption was found, though, in the form of cool knit sweatshirts with a zebra-esque pattern on the front and bell sleeves. And then, the light was found: a white shirt dress with a jeweled collar, otherwise known as the perfect day-to-night ensemble for a girl of both uptown and downtown persuasions.
My my, did the boys raid DvF's archives circa 1978? Prints in bright colors, feminine waistlines, and flattering silhouettes were in abundance in the Costello Taglipietra fall collection. Let's talk cut first, of which there was many an option to pluck up: asymmetrical one shouldered which lent a peek of skin, halter neck that gathered and blousooned at the bottom, kimono style deep V neck and tied waists. In fact ,the collection was almost exclusively dresses, with only a few looks that featured matching jersey pants and top (i.e. jumpsuit in disguise), a cape coat with a fantastic hood that must be made for dreary NYC weather, and a black trouser and long sleeved silk skirt get-up. The design duo knew to let their strong, timeless dresses shine though, not fussing with overaccessorizing, complicated shoes, or distracting hair. hats off gentilehommes!
Nary a pant in sight, but it's truly incredible what a wide spectrum of dresses can be look like when you're trained and talented. Working with lace, velvet, light-as-air chiffon, and silk, Shoji showed an elegant woman who knows exactly what she wants when it comes to her evening apparel. Those desires? Understated, washed English florals on silk, perhaps, or maybe a boatneck top on a tiered, floor-length gown. The only miss in the whole 34 look lot was a severe Victorian lace number with a neckline cut restrictively high. But Shoji proved he embraced modernity and sensual dressing in a gold lace spaghetti strap number with an intricate chevron pattern that drew the eye down and elongated the look. Two gowns in emerald green and ruby red took the cake for the simplest of chic dresses: timeless but never, ever boring.
If you were distracted by the male models, you probably weren't the only one. Oh, whoops, the focus is on the clothes, right? After last season's crop of slightly Lords of Dogtown with a dash of tennis court prep thrown in, skateboards in hand, Luis Fernandez went decidedly apres ski for fall. Think sleek quilting, pared-down suiting, and a strong peppering of parkas in shades of charcoal, cherry, khaki, and camel, with a zing of cobalt tossed in for good measure. And in lieu of the aforementioned skateboards? An assortment of wintry accoutrements--an ice pick here, a ski helmut there--that drove home the most athletic looks. Toggled toppers, a few cowl necks, and trousers thickly seamed in the front showcased Fernandez's subtle attention to detail. One can't help but wonder: what pursuit of leisure will lend inspiration next time around?