2011 September 10
Spring 2012: Cynthia Rowley, Yigal Azrouel, Costello Tagliapietra, Mandy Coon, Sally LaPointe, Doo.Ri, Billy Reid
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(NEW YORK) Cynthia Rowley
Opulence in decidedly wearable forms took center stage at Cynthia Rowley, where the designer unveiled a 34-piece collection showcasing the “optical exuberance of gold, flash mobs of floral and animated shapes.” Models walked on a metallic runway in flourished, numbers with flounce to spare. Standouts included a henley dress in a smoky botanical print, a black tuxedo jacket revealing a rainbow lattice top beneath, and a stunning white silk forced-perspective dress. As usual, Ms. Rowley delivered what her customers have come to expect from her around the world. Expect to see troves of these flared-skirted frocks coming to a cocktail party near you once springtime rolls around.
Yigal Azrouel drew a curious crowd of Highline onlookers and street gawkers before his Spring 2012 show, as journos and buyers stood in a lengthy queue wrapping around the block of the 14th Street locale. If there was any doubt, the wait proved to be worth it. A classic masculine/feminine dichotomy played out—a departure from his mythical, fantasy flick-inspired Resort collection. First, there was the romance—think sheer white button-down dresses and floor-sweeping citrine crepe gowns with slits up to there. Then came a troupe of boyish separates from suiting in optic grey or Mars red, to Yigal’s favorite: a manish double-faced cotton overcoat in marine. “For Spring, it’s all about the woman who wears almost anything but doesn’t try very hard,” said Yigal backstage. “She’s effortless.”
Real-life partners Jeffery Costello and Robert Tagliapietra might be the kings of bear culture, but when it comes to women's fashion, they're all about making women look gorgeous. "We started with the word romance," Tagliapietra remarked post-show about the collection’s roots. "We're just doing our job, and that's making beautiful dresses for beautiful woman to feel confident. We liken it to little flowers. The way we pattern-make, everything glides around the body. There's almost a liquid quality to them. They flow with the body!" We're going with this flow.
Mandy Coon's been on the scene since 2009, but her latest crop of 22 looks marked her runway presentation debut, and broke out of her usual noir-saturated numbers to try a little color for spring. She explained: "In the fall, I just went with black and gray. That's what I want to wear—but this time I played with color." Coon should stick with color, her royal blue looks stood out, but if you're still expecting black from this emerging designer, there's still plenty for you to satisfy. Color us impressed.
Sally LaPointe Amid moody music, smoke and fog machines, and sparkling chandeliers, a futuristic dominatrix was born. With a nod to Gareth Pugh via the severe black head caps and black lipstick, the collection still managed to look (dare we say) sexy. The color scheme remained muted: black, softened to beige, then warming to a dusty rose, and wrapping up with a flash of electric yellow. Somewhere in the shift from dark to light, there was a covetable “decaying wall” print all over a billowy silk pant and top duo that looked like a fearless cape. Silhouettes ran the gamut from demurely-proportioned to extremely small in scale, while peplum mini skirts emphasized curves and a muted green silk faille cropped top was toned down by a monochromatic, flowing silk skirt. Architectural, severely-cut brocade and velvet jackets and vests in shades of silver and champagne, with peeks of the shoulder region, were simply too chic to handle. We predict Lady Gaga will be a-calling (again)!
The minimalist designer got knotty, as per usual, with a line-up of icy greys, plenty of white and a plethora of purples ranging from a juicy grape to darker burgundies. Draping action concentrated at the waist for the soft, easy-looking dresses, giving way to loosely-slung trousers strewn with lightly-traced feathers. White, wide-legged linen trousers, cropped into knee-length shorts for some ensembles, got the monochromatic treatment with sheer tops squiggled with undulating curlicues of even more white. The collection truly shined at its most subdued, quietly masterful moments, indicative of the aesthetics that Doo-Ri Chung made an impression when she debuted her eponymous line a decade ago.
Alabama’s golden boy turned out a crisp, enormously likeable round of dapper looks with a dash of scruff (which also made an appearance on the models in the form of facial hair and/or tousled locks). Weathered khakis cuffed at the ankle and shorts in a range of retro-hued patterns, like the quaintly quilt-inflected pair covered in hexagonal patchwork, were topped with cream-colored henleys, a touch of plaid, plus jackets in equally mellow neutrals. Moral of the story? Reid’s Southern charm has us swooning all over again.