2011 September 11
Spring 2012: Prabal Gurung, Ruffian, ADAM, Erin Fetherson, Lyn Devon, Libertine
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(NEW YORK) Prabal Gurung
It's safe to say there's a wee bit of pressure for fashion's golden boy to perform miracles of chicness these days, but Prabal Gurung lived up to the hype with his intoxicating spring collection, which wowed against the purple backlighting of the IAC building. Gurung mashed up the pretty—explosive tuffets of tulle in lavenders, turquoise and pink perched on hemlines and necklines—with the slightly kinky—harnessing details and naughty nurse’s white latex, ombre-d with gradations of purple, or dripping in faux paint. Mesh factored into many a confection, sometimes in tried-and-true monochrome paneling, most often to nip in the waist, but also appearing in small, wing-like plumes. The abstract, slightly trippy swirls gracing many of Gurung’s getups, drawn in a cool set of blues and purples, were inspired by Essential Flowers,” a series of works by Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki. “The subversive layers to the flowers, and the feminist slant” to Araki’s work intrigued Gurung. Although it was difficult to divert one’s attention from the visionary action on the runway, the crowd (perhaps unsurprisingly) included just about every major player in the industry—and a bubblegum pink bow-bedecked Nicki Minaj, who Gurung revealed backstage has never actually worn any of his dresses—though that was alright by him. Jaws dropped with each look, and his collection elicited a metaphorical sigh of relief that this boy met—exceeded, even—expectations, rendering Gurung as one of the big boys in town.
For Spring 2012, the Ruffian boys, Claude Morais and Brian Wolk, decided to explore their namesake—the famous female racehorse—and the society surrounding the world of racing. "We were thinking about girls who rode by day and cocktailed by night," said Morais. Stately women spanning generations—Charlotte Casiraghi and Countess Jacqueline de Ribes—served as muses. The Ruffians horsed around with a profusion of color in their latest collection including their signature red, yellow, and pink. Besides the obvious jockey cues in some looks, the boys opted for chic pencil skirt and bralette combos in black satin for evening and voluminously-sleeved white looks, ruffled yet still streamlined at the hem, to a stunning black and white swimsuit. Viva La Ruffian!
Adam Lippes doesn't mince words when it comes to what he's all about: his customer. "The starting point in designing every collection is the woman who wears our clothes," he explained. His current collection came from looking outside his window, and not just at any old Gotham view—Lippes’ West Chelsea space affords him prime vistas of the High Line. "It's become this runway in the sky. We can basically reach out and touch the High Line!” Lippes said. “It was fun to watch people this spring and summer from all over the world hang out there—people get dressed up for the High Line." Lippes dabbled in the paler parts of the color wheel for much of the collection, punctuated with “really sharp pinks” and pops of rouge.
It’s a mod, mod world out there, according to the latest batch of brief-hemmed shift minis that dominated Erin Fetherston’s newest looks for her ERIN diffusion line. While the silhouette of choice was quite consistent, the short and sweet frocks spanned the gamut from sheen-filled satin in all-over and colorblocked iterations, to layers of lace and pink, plus lots of looks strewn with butterflies and flowers. A bit of flouncy, ruffled overload for some, but the perfect dose of girlish froth for the girl who dons only dresses. Although Fetherston did throw in a couple of skinny cigs-and-jacket combos and some shiny cuffed lipstick-red satin shorts for women who prefer to wear the pants.
Who knew Lyn Devon had a penchant for picnics? Devon welcomed lunching ladies at the W Hotel yesterday to show off her Spring 2012 collection, filled with hues of limeade, grenadine, indigo, and picnic orange. “I was influenced by American picnics and taking essential picnic-wear into a more urban and luxe direction,” said the designer in her hotel suite. On the menu? Grassy silk crepe separates and sheer shirting, sporty swim-inspired frocks, blue leather high-waisted trousers (in lieu of denim), and silk macramé “basket weave” day dresses. “I handpainted all the prints on a large scale, and then we shrunk them down to use in the collection,” said Devon. Most impressive were the basket-weave accessories in collaboration with Anndra Neen and the covetable romper gown, which was just as it sounds—a dual-toned romper with a slitted gown bottom, allowing the button-up shorties underneath to peek through. Parfait for an park outing in the park!
“I was thinking of the pen and ink drawings I had done years ago, so I pulled out ink and a brush and experimented with graphic prints on paper. 50 pages later I thought things were starting to look interesting,” said Johnson Hartig, who took over Libertine two years ago from then-partner Cindy Greene. What began as a scheduled presentation in the Garment District, quickly turned into a repeat runway show with PR reps scurrying to bring out white benches for confused editrixes while models puffed on fake ciggies and vogued down the makeshift catwalk. On view were Hartig’s signature silk-screens, which took form with oodles of doodles (mostly saccharine florals and cheeky Xs and Os) and painterly brush strokes. Black and white classics, like 60s swing coats or corporate suiting, were punked out with unfinished hems, striped fingerless gloves, and “tax the rich” emblazoned on the front. What prompted the liberal slogan? “I mean, come on. Wtf. Who do they take us for? I just felt so strongly about it that I needed to incorporate something subtle in the collection,” explained Hartig. Subtle, indeed.