2011 September 12
Spring 2012: Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger Women's, Lela Rose, Tracy Reese, Thakoon, Daryl K
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(NEW YORK) Diane von Furstenberg
DvF began with a clean white canvas and built a collection and a vision from there. “The light appears and everything changes,” was the first step with a series of crisp white—shirt dresses in cotton poplin, followed by a white ‘60s style shift with the palest green trim. Complimenting some of the swinging silhouettes of that era, the models were topped off with foot-high beehives brimming with texture and volume. There was a little Pierre Cardin nod with a linen sack dress accented with a turquoise collar and sharply color-blocked leather clutch. Von Furstenberg is yet another design heavyweight pledging allegiance to the powers of color-blocking for spring, such as with a straight-silhouetted jersey shift in a trio of wheat, aqua, and deep brown hues. After about eight more neutral-heavy looks, each dabbed with a pop of strong color in some element, and then, the clothes moved into prints—because where would DvF be without a fabulous print? The audience slowly eased into the patterns with a chic poppy print in pebble, black, and accents of yellow. Things got bolder and better when a fiery orange-red jumpsuit drenched in giant cherry blossoms. There was a dash of menswear (see: Kelly green plaid golf shorts with a deep brown blazer) before the real strength of the show took root in the form of a Marimekko-esque green flower print, bursting with color and cut in a series of minimalistic shapes. Appropriately, the show closed on a high-necked halter frock in a lime and Kelly green flower power print.
Tommy Hilfiger Women's
Tommy’s classic Americana took a slight reverie down memory lane back to the sixties for an amalgam of ponchos (say hello to more color-blocking!), crisp tweeds, voluminous raincoats, many of which coordinated with the generously-proportioned totes in equally juicy color matches; even tank-style one-piece swimsuits marched down the runway with the same color-blocked schematics. The palette of hues was groovy but polished, with plenty of tangerine touches, moments of maroon and bright blues and greens in practically-primary hues—but, in typical Hilfiger fashion, the simple, clean lines meant nothing clashed or looked distractingly busy. A moment of saucy red leather suiting lent some spice to the otherwise peppy—though not overtly preppy—spate of looks, and wooden-heeled loafers grounded the getups, just made for stylish loafing around.
Classy as ever, Lela Rose’s show started off in a different, quieter manner than usual: with a three-minute long moment of reflection in pitch darkness as John Lennon’s voice sang “Imagine.” The crowd sang along in a touching moment of solidarity and remembrance before the clothes took center stage. With the neon graveyard of Las Vegas and Coney Island as her inspirational foundation, Riose created a refined, lady-like collection of full dresses, sleek separates and a sprinkling of outerwear. The first few looks were gray silk dresses with pale flower prints, though the tone definitely shifted to more and more color. Of note was a V-neck cap-sleeved dress that looked like a Coney Island ice cream trunk had melted into a wearable puddle of yellow, cream, and Creamsicle-orange stripes. Neon orange color popped on the inside of khaki above the knee coats. The most striking print was a little more Vegas than Big Apple. Bright purple, blue, lime, and orange slashes showed up in a sequence of skirts, shorts, and shift dresses (the latter modeled by the designer herself). She continued to play with pattern through the end of the show with several numbers in sheer Swiss-dot and pale metallic champagne gowns. Suddenly, Coney Island and Vegas look surprisingly chicer than ever before.
The hats were looking a little jaunty, the parasols a little flirty, and the clothes totally wearable at Tracy Reese. The designer said she wanted to keep the clothes feminine and real, and she achieved her goal. Using mostly crepe silk and fine knits, Reese whipped up pearly-hued jumpsuits with wide sailor collars, hooded knee-length anoraks in case of spring showers, and lacy short-shorts. Known best for her frocks, she showed a gorgeous array, notably an off-the-shoulder mini dress in coral and white stripes that packed plenty of sass—and another shoulder-bearer in an elegant dove grey silk faille number, nipped at the waist and flared at the hem. The final look was literally cheeky, as a model donned a transparent lace tiered gown with knit lingerie underneath.
The electric Wild West that Thakoon Panichgul dreamed up for his spring collection was a hybrid of glitzy brights befitting a beauty pageant, mussed up with the twang of a cowgirl’s swagger. Turquoise silk skinny pants were paired with matching blazers and tops that were accented with orange lace. Saloon dresses with full hoop skirts added curves to the lithe models, and like any good Western classic, paisley abounded: red and orange takes on simple collared skirt dresses as well as on jackets, which were gussied down with denim paneling. The uniting factor between several shifts in color and print was the bright gold metallic horizontal stripes that broke up monotony on skirts, paisley floor sweeping gowns, and khaki shorts. All that glitters may not be gold, but Thakoon certainly understood the importance of this precious metal in his collection.
Bon anniversaire, Daryl K! Designer Daryl Kerrigan feted her 20th year crafting edgy streetwear with a rockin’ runway at Gavin Brown's gallery. Models strutted to the drum beats of Gang Gang Dancer’s Lizzy Bougatsos in a retrospective of Daryl K favorites, including her standby leather leggings, mesh tanks, and slouchy jodhpurs. New this season was a painterly abstraction (avec red, turquoise, saffron, and lilac hues) from artist, club owner, and musician Spencer Sweeney. “We’ve been in the same circle for a long time,” said Kerrigan about her print collaborator. “He has a great New York energy I infused in the clothes. You can actually see the brush strokes in the digital prints.” Then, why the blue paint splotches on Kerrigan’s arms? “Oh, Spencer started painting a white sleeveless jacket last minute. I was his assistant, holding the jacket and swinging it around to air-dry it.” A true artist collaboration at its best.