2011 September 9
Spring 2012: Wes Gordon, Rachel Antonoff, Cushnie et Ochs
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(NEW YORK) Wes Gordon
Wes the wunderkind is back in action with one of the prettiest collections seen this week. Lean and sophisticated is the M.O. for the precociously polished 25-year-old designer, who excels at employing a flavor of femininity that's light-handed and perpetually erring on the side of chic instead of cloyingly girlish and sweet. The designer endeavored to do "spring that's not chintzy, because spring can sometimes go light, silly, and disposable," said Gordon. "We worked a lot with the mills on the embellishments, and this is for the downtown girl who wants to dress up a little bit." Even a deluge of bows doesn't look fussy when tied with Gordon's nimble hands, be it a Kelly green knot nipping in a pair of pair of flared peachy trousers or the floppy loops adorning most of the daintily skinny-strapped heels. Dusty cornflower blue skinny trousers and jackets are cropped exercises in perfection, and even python print gets the demure treatment, fashioned as a shapely, voluminous pair of high-waisted shorts or angular and lapel-less jacket. Simple, pulled-back coifs and classic orange-y red nails kept the attention right where it needed to be: on Wes' sharply tailored yet softly detailed separates to lust after. In short: can we pre-order?
You know you're at an Antonoff affair where the setting is somehow nostalgic (last time, it was a high-school gym; this time around, there were painted backdrops that lent the vibe of being in the pages of a children's book). A few models wore school girl coiffures, like plaited pigtails, up top, while saddle shoes and shiny brogues to toughen things up in the pieds region. Short frocks strewn with teensy florals potpourri of polka dots—whether in a blown-up navy and white iteration or sheer white eyelet—comprise the majority of the collection. Antonoff culled inspiration from "Minnie Mouse and Wednesday Addams," and calls the line "a juxtaposition between innocence and decay; sweet and creepy, basically." The signs of creepiness and/or decay are a bit more difficult to decipher, but even in her descriptions, Antonoff always manages to keep things interesting!
Cushnie et Ochs
Such saucy dresses rarely saunter past the provincial pearly peaks of white picket fences, but leave it to Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs to sex up the proverbial backyard. Silhouettes ran the gamut, from flared minidresses to sleeker, (oh-so-slightly) longer hemlines in tight pencil skirted form, with plenty of clavicle-baring cutouts and cleavage-highlighting necklines, sharply carved in a variety of vampy plunges. "We came up with this idea of Carly and me meeting as ten-year-olds," said Ochs. "It's not sot so much about playing house, but about a young girl's idea of what it's like to grow up. Barbie told us we could do it all, and we can!" Which certainly explains the only two colors complementing a truly neutral spread of white, black, and khaki, with nary a pattern in sight: bubblegum pink and daffodil yellow.