2012 February 11
Fall 2012: Cushnie et Ochs, Suno, Kate Spade, St. John, Doo.Ri, Correll Correll, Charlotte Ronson
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(NEW YORK) Cushnie et Ochs
There are some people who do prim and proper, and then there are the Cushnie et Ochs ladies, who prefer “second skin looks that are revealing but not too revealing.” What began with several knee length jersey knit dresses with décolletage revealing cutouts turned into an entire collection that capitalized on the art of not showing it all off. Shiny, wet hair and natural makeup balanced the sex goddess looks, which got even cheekier. A collection “ooooh” rippled through the crowd as a plush fox fur trimmed blazer strutted by. The color built upon itself as the clothes continued, turning up more emerald green and colbalt blue silk tones before retreating back to nude and black. And boy, did the nude looks stop hearts: slim pencil dresses, perfectly cut and unembellished, save for two zippers that looked like brasserie underwire. Zippers acted as a foreplay of sorts, trimming racerbacks and high-waisted wool pants, taking the place of seams and highlighting all the places a woman wants glorified. The best selling point? Carly and Michelle look as good in their designs as their models. Let the clamoring begin!
The past couple of seasons, we've watched Suno designers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty scale back a notch on their trademark mixed prints in order to inject a higher dose of wearability on the retail floor. Still, the dynamic duo has managed to up the ante without diluting their signature aesthetic as was evident this season in a range of Suno originals: paper rose, cosmic floral, ziggy stripes, and The Daily's favorite, toile hunters. The fun-loving quirk was splashed on daytime separates from garden party pants to silk sundresses and after-six party looks like the sparkly cosmic wrap dress and matching jacket that's ready for takeoff at the sales counter.
Everything cheeky, everything French, everything girly: The Kate Spade presentation, styled by Brad Goreski, was a little jaunt in the city of lights (which seems to be on everyone's minds! Bonjour, Jason Wu for Target much?). Models stood on raised columns of various heights around the venue, which designer Deborah Lloyd attributed to the Palais Royal's uneven columns of similar styling. The colors were vivid, a nice departure from the usual dark fall spectrum. Of course, in keeping with KS heritage, a myriad of looks were based on strong black and white combos, such as the trenches and dresses that had “Pardon my French” delicately scrawled in cursive. The more mod looks, culling from London circa the sixties, included bright colored shift dresses in reds and oranges and boiled wool topcoats with polished gold buttons. There was no shortage of bags, the brand’s biggest seller. And they came in mostly oversized clutch sizes (polka dots or patent red leather, anyone?) and structured handbags with thick, chain-link hardware. Always looking for the extra details, mittens had question marks boldly knit in; and upon closer inspection, a series of enamel bangles featured rows of explicative signs and symbols.
It's not merely the knit brand your grandmother wore anymore! Now it’s that luxury lifestyle brand which keeps uptown girls young and old frothing at the bit for OTT decadence and class. Black and red couldn’t be more modern, especially when the bold hues get incorporated into an asymmetrical tunic, with just enough of a shoulder glimpse to be a wee bit sexy. Another standout: A shirred mink top with eye-catching ocelot print, in contrast to the slew of other leopard prints that've been inundating our wardrobes for seasons. See, St. John musses up their hair to get their furs on and off! Arm Party? Check! A limb full of coral bangles (we’re talking up to the elbow) accented one-shouldered black silk in the best way possible. Camel tones served as the base for shifts accented with black and red bands, as well as holding it’s own subdued power in the form of a knee length overcoat. Oh and let’s talk about those incredible fur cross-body bags that are so large you could fit a bottle of Veuve inside but maintain a cool vibe with the Navajo brass buckles adorning the chocolate leather strap. Not to mention the fact that there was enough brown and black worn together to abolish any notions you ever had that the two colors together equaled a heinous faux-pas. Definitely not in the St. John world. George Sharp most certainly understands that the way into a woman’s heart and closet is through clean, luxury looks interspersed with “must-haves.” Cheers to his British and American aesthetics!
For Fall, Doo-Ri Chung's design-propelling buzz words included “long, languid, sensual, volume, and effortless." How apt these terms were! Instead of saving the best for last, the designer showed her strongest look first and set the tone for the show: a sleek all-white ensemble of perfectly tailored wide-leg wool pants with a thick silk waistband to highlight the figure, topped off with a body-con jersey crossover top that developed into a turtleneck at the top but kept us guessing with knit, sheer sleeves. In a nutshell: Dressing for a woman’s body, but with a certain ease. Especially appreciated, judged by murmurs in the crowd, were the satin booties and heels that featured hidden platforms and solid square heel bases. The Doo.Ri woman clearly doesn’t teeter around at unnecessary heights. The colors gravitated more towards a typical fall palette of rich burgundy wine, chocolate leather, and dark greens which were found on knit jersey dresses and thick leather headbands that kept hair pulled back and precise. Even the laser cut-out silk dresses towards the end of the show weren’t too fussy. Per usual, looks like Ms. Chung kept her side of the bargain.
Fresh off an Ecco Domani fashion foundation award, the Correll twins are taking their success in stride. What started as a small knitwear line in Berlin has now evolved into a full collection based in NYC. The design duo have certainly flourished in their Lower East Side location, and their presentation spoke to that. Extremely subdued ombre was as loud as it got, but that allowed the fabric and hand-knits to shine even more. Silk dresses in deep rust colors boasted unfinished hems actually looked organic, in lieu of giving off an “I want this to look edgy” vibe. Floaty chiffon dresses were grounded on occasional hand knit cardigans that looked like they were spun from recycled cloth, not the typical symmetric wool yarn. Sex appeal was understated in the curve-hugging metallic knit racerback dress that looked like the model had walked out of a beach in Ipanema where the girls just innately understand the point of dressing for comfort and style. With style stars like Altuzarra and Rodarte in the Ecco Domani grant ranks, we can expect to see even more from this dynamic duo.
Not a Yankee? Not a problem. Charlotte Ronson has spent enough of her years in the grand old US of A to know what the all-American girl wears. And what better way to start off than with a jacket that looks like a slightly more luxe version of your high school boyfriend’s varsity letter topper? Ronson’s signature play dresses were updated for the season with an intricate Navajo Indian chevron print in greens and navies, saving us from looking a little too costume-y. Every look in the collection was paired with tights, and Ronson made a bold move to include white opaque. Surprisingly, the pale gams worked perfectly under Fair Isle knit sweaters and mahogany-hued pencil skirts. Speaking of knits, neon made a very marginal but well-placed appearance in a few cropped, hooded, and V-neck sweaters that stitched neon yellow into the caramel and black pattern. The Amelia Earhart leather aviator hats might be a little too runway for most people’s taste, but the leather bib top, was a quasi-accessory that leads one to wonder how it might look layered over a white t-shirt or chiffon dress.