2011 September 10
Spring 2012: Jason Wu, Peter Som, Rag & Bone, SUNO
FirstView View Gallery
(NEW YORK) Jason Wu Fashion’s boy-next-door is taking a walk on the wild(ish) side this season with KAWS, a New Jersey tag artist-turned-painter who collaborated with Wu on the floating petal print popping up on the runway. But! Vibrant graffiti art wasn’t the only thing on this designer’s mind. The starting point for his Spring collection was sporty elements mixed with “iconic haute couture shapes and Pop Art influences.” Translation: High-waisted noir sport shorts with an ivory silk blouse and Swarovski-beaded collar, a sculptural electric yellow ball gown, and a pink debutante skirt paired with a pleated silk V-neck. Amidst the pack of tapis rouge show-stoppers, a few noteworthy pieces held their own, namely the chartreuse “painted” python handbags and the ultra-fem peplum windbreakers with ruffled hoods.
It wouldn’t be a Peter Som runway without un peu de print-on-print. This time around, the designer screened blown-up buds on downtown Mod silhouettes like a super swingy dress or a pair of blossoming skinnies. “I was inspired by the artist David Schnell and his floral paintings. I wanted that downtown, '60s feel,” Som said backstage. To offset the cobalt, fuschia, and tangerine flower power, Som sent down an assortment of tweed separates, feathery cha-cha dresses, lacquered leather knee skirts, monochromatic maxis, and a zebra retro-kini—just for fun. The photo prints actually managed to make florals a little bit sexy; the slouchy trousers were especially solid. Who could resist? Not Tommy Hilfiger, who congratulated his friend and collaborator backstage after the well-received show.
Rag & Bone
Under the glow of Old Hollywood stage bulbs of St. John’s on West Street, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville entertained Mary J. Blige, Malin Akerman, Carmelo and La La Anthony with a directional, sportif collection inspired by “festivals, raves, parachutes, '70s surfing, and architecture.” With such an amalgamation, editing is key, and the “It” Brits didn’t disappoint. Their expertly curated lineup riffed on the classics, giving them more street cred with the downtown Rag & Bone set. Take, for instance, the turquoise surfer poncho layered with a crepe pantsuit. Not your average mom ‘n’ pop coverup! The highlights: See-through parachute skirts, patchwork blazers, and those scene-stealing goggle-y sunglasses that double as headbands.
After this show, you’ll no longer associate Suno with just one continent. Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty shifted from Africa to Asia this season, moving away from their signature (and desirable) prints straight from the source to a slightly lighter look, sans quite as much color. Cotton prints certainly opened up the show, but the look was blue on white with black, while delicate pinafore dresses looked more dairy maid than exotic princess. Still the masters of the mix-pattern trend, a plaid blue dress with a profusion of ruffles at the trim stood on its own instead of with the usual mixture of other things. Even the shoes were sleeker: Loeffler Randall kept the boho love alive with wooden platforms, but encaged the foot in a nude woven bootie that played it a bit safer than the sky-high printed platforms everyone has come to love. When the design duo did go bold, it paid off. As the show strutted to a close, a pair of firecracker red metallic shorts that lit up the runway. We’re not sure how flattering hip cut-outs are, but the pleated silk pants by themselves were still gorgeous, proof that a little refinement can pay off.