2010 September 14

Runway Reviews: Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Max Azria, Derek Lam

Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2011 Diane Von Furstenberg Spring 2011
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After almost 10 years of walking the runway with Nathan Jenden by her side, Diane von Furstenberg had a new man on her arm for Spring: Yvan Mispelaere, who replaced Jenden in February after he left to focus on his eponymous line. Calling the Spring collection a transformation may be reading a bit too much into the presence of a new creative director (after all, Diane is still Diane), but it did seem a distinct return to a more classic DvF—right down to the wrap dresses that made her famous. Bright, bold colors came in prints that might have come straight from the designer's vast archives: graphic sqaures, cartoony toiles, bold florals and waves, which were constructed into easy jersey dresses and polished shorts suits. Solids had their place—several pantsuits in bright sherbet shades were tailored and trim, and will appeal to the office-dwelling DvF fan more than the vaguely bohemian offerings of seasons past. Her collection may have been titled goddess (and it did include the requisite white Grecian-esque dress), but it seems that the modern, everyday goddesses will love these clothes more than those mythical beings.

Tommy Hilfiger is a master at reinterpreting the idea of classic all-American style, and after 25 successful years in business, he must be doing something right. Showing to a full house of all the top editors (and A-listers), his Spring 2011 collection was ‘country club with a twist.’ With Peter Som at the design helm, he achieved a fresh take on the classics with the element of surprise. New takes on preppy staples included cropped jackets paired with eyelet skirts or wide-legged herringbone pants, solid white separates punctuated with bursts of colors at the edges, and sundresses with open backs or peek-a-boo cutouts. Even if you’re not a member of the country club set, this collection has something for everyone.

Max is the consummate romantic. His Spring 2011 collection was romantic and dreamy with a touch of St Tropez. The majority of his silhouettes were easy, flowing, long A-line and asymmetrical bias-cut dresses in a neutral palette of warm beiges and creams, with an occasional pop of peach and mint. Subtle architectural references embellished these gauzy dresses with cutouts mimicking the iconic design of the Chrysler building that were achieved with linear strap placement. For the sun drenched, effortless look, Max used natural fabrics such as silk georgette and crepe, and textured cotton and gauze.

Inspired by Peter Schjeldahl's "Way Out West" article in The New Yorker this past January, Derek Lam was moved by the writer's descriptive language. "It was less about the artist and the article and more about his poetic language. This collection is what I've always done, my touchstones, but in a way clarifying it," Lam explained post-show. "I wanted to explore more with new fabrics and finishes to make the clothing look and feel modern." Immaculate lines and crisp pieces like a bright indigo linen twill blazer and oatmeal leather and suede shorts felt feminine and fresh from first look to last. Lam smiled, "I wanted to convey the feeling that it is an optimistic spring."