2011 September 10
Spring 2012: Luca Luca, Rebecca Taylor, Mara Hoffman, Nicole Miller, NAHM, Tommy Hilfiger Men
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(NEW YORK) Luca Luca
Don’t stash your color-blocked looks quite yet. Raul Melgoza is extending the life of brights and reinventing them in lime and turquoise combinations for his refined uptown ladies. Shapes were soft and feminine in silk and crepe de chine fabrics, billowing down the runway. Cuts were the focus, with limited prints and patterns: only a few bright patterns sprang up on blouses, and the ‘wow’ factor was in the details, like a striking turquoise and royal blue pinstripe running down a pair of pants. Accessories were minimal, though the twisted turban headband popped up on nearly every look, coordinating to whatever rich silk color was in the accompanying getup. The brand’s hallmark floor-sweeping gowns sashayed by during the show’s concluding looks, rife with thigh-high slits. Ending on a familiar yet memorable note!
An urban jungle of sorts sprang up in the thick of Rebecca Taylor’s latest looks, via a series of soft snakeskin printed halter dresses and blouses in light peach, complemented by—or perhaps clashing harmoniously with?—pony-hair leopard print heels that were too chic to handle. The palette remained soft throughout the collection with pale yellow silk, more peach in knit form, and dusty gray blue. Of course, Taylor touched on the signature floral prints that lend such (marketable) sweetness to her collections, though this time, they were reworked in darker shades of gray with metallic threading. An especially beautiful deep gray silk dress with full sleeves sprang to life in a bright, multicolored poppy print, trimmed in a futuristic holographic material. For a bit more pizazz, Taylor fashioned neon yellow laser-cut lace into sexy crop tops and subtly-placed neon yellow skinny straps fastening the halter to a nude mini dress. After all, there’s no better way to imbue neutrals with attitude than with a smidge of neon!
Ole, ole! Things are heading down south this season, in the best way possible, for Mara Hoffman’s eponymous line. The translation was rather literal, but Mara pulled it off with aplomb. Aztec chevrons in bright neons made a delightful first impression on visitors to the Box, while printed silk caftans got grounded by wood-soled lace-up sandals laced with Hoffman’s trippy prints. There was also some sizzle to spare, from the silk ruffled dresses with a flamenco feel, to the sheerest featherweight caftans offering peeks at the bright pink bustier bathing suit tops and skimpy green bottoms. Mara added texture to the silk and jersey looks with thick tubular necklaces, some dangling near navel grazing length. Don’t forget the knit trapeze-styled earrings in pink, with tiny dangling puffballs a la a sombrero’s trim. With the four-piece string band playing traditional tunes in the background, it was a neon-soaked, print-drenched fiesta. Cinco de Mayo had a September redux of sorts!
Harkening back to the ‘80s with her visual cacophony of patchwork motifs and checkerboard patterns on just about everything, from leggings to tanks, Nicole was right on the race track with her latest looks. A little NASCAR inflected, a lot of stripes—skinny ones! Sequined ones! Casual cotton hoodie-d ones!—and some super-bright, strap-happy platform-laden stompers made for a raucous visual spectacle of sorts. You’re going to love Nicole’s show; I think it’s something different for her,” Joe Zee predicted pre-show. Different is right.
Ally Hilfiger and partner in design Nary Manivong continued their quest to tinker with the classic shirtdress, from sleeveless to diaphanously armed, open-backed to dropped waist, with a series of sheer, intricately-trimmed ivory sweet nothings. The myriad shirtdresses were supplemented by a small selection of ‘70’s prints, gleaning inspiration from Parisians in Lao during that timeframe. Tommy even stopped by the presentation at Milk Studios to support the talented twosome—but not in a “helicopter parent” kind of way, if there is such a design world equivalent. “I would never meddle with their creativity.” No need to, Tommy; there’s plenty to be proud of with this young design duo’s focused output.
Tommy Hilfiger Men
Hilfiger, along with uber-talented creative consultant Simon Spurr, is like the fashion flock’s equivalent of Neil Armstrong—the first-ever designer to do a show on New York's instantly "iconic" (Hilfiger’s word of choice for the park) Highline. Boiling weather, traffic jams, and the sight of James Mardsen weren't enough to distract from the designer's 2012 collection, which was inspired by pop art stalwarts like “Andy Warhol, Basquiat, and Damien Hirst.” Looks included motorcycle jackets, single-breasted jackets, and plenty of camouflage in cool shades of green and blue. Sticking with his successful formula, he explained, "we're seeing really bold strong colors, and modernizing the classics." Another winning season for the boys!