2011 September 12

Spring 2012: DKNY, Y-3, The Lake & Stars, Derek Lam, EDUN, Jen Kao

DKNY Spring 2012 DKNY Spring 2012
Giorgio Niro
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DKNY’s seasonal homage to New York City made a splash yesterday at Donna Karan’s Fashion Week stomping ground, Cedar Lake. A yellow cab parked out front, and outfitted with a glowing DKNY emblem, served as the backdrop. “Ten years ago we had to cancel our show because of 9/11, which was the same date as my wedding anniversary. It was a difficult time for me personally and professionally,” said Karan. This season, the designer paid tribute with a charitable donation to Action America and an allegiant collection entitled “American Expressionist,” based off the American dream and Americana artists like Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, and Ellsworth Kelly. The patriotic élan was shaped into nautical office-wear (complete with a captain’s jacket and fitted ankle pants), bright Pollock-esque or floral separates, two-tone floppy sun hats, airy gowns layered over one-piece swim, and breezy short-in-the-front and long-in-the-back skirts. A red, white, and blue color palette  dominated with grass green, pink sky, and sand as accent. “You know what’s strange?” asked Karan. “My collection ten years ago had a lot of similarities—both have the same fluidity and ease and both have a lot of white, graphic elements. I didn’t realize it right away. That’s what happens when you’re in the zone.”

Just as the lights were dimming, a shushing group of photogs at Y-3 silenced the chatty crowd, sidelined with Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Pitt, Common, and Peaches Geldof. This time around, Yohji Yamamoto brought his Fall fascination with him into Spring, as plaid and militaristic elements popped up again with inside-outside tartan sweats, green and red plaid leggings, olive fatigues, and punk-like smock coats with tulle explosions sticking out underneath asymmetrical hems. Black anchored the collection with bits of red-green or orange avec  black flair on Yohji-fied separates. En point for Spring: One-pocket, t-shirt dresses, leather cut-out hi-tops, and part culotte, part capri pants.

The Lake & Stars
Maayan Zilberman
and Nikki Dekker traveled south of the border on a recent road trip to Mexico City with the designers of Anndra Neen to find their inspiration for Spring. Mid-century men’s shirting and sportswear played a lead role in the where-anywhere boudoir collection. To that note, a white ruffle-bottom slip doubled as daywear, a black and blush silk lace bathrobe transformed into a glitzy cocktail dress, and vintage-inspired bralettes, belly-skimming bottoms, and sheer flutter shorts (in black, coral, and nude-netting) could be mixed and matched with just about anything. Underthings as outerthings? We’ve seen the like before, but The Lake & Stars add a fresh tweak of their own season after season.

Derek Lam
Sharp tailoring, lots of leather and strong graphic details, in wide-trim or patterned form, amounted to a formidable lady for Spring 2012 at Lam. Pitch-perfect marigold and cherry were less cheerful and more sophisticated in Lam's deft care; patterns, sheers and leather shifts had a dose of edge while remaining unshakably tasteful across the board. For the woman who lives in pencil skirts and shell tops, this is the collection to pre-order in practically its entirety (or, alternately, to languish over and recreate however possible). And for those typically more averse to slightly prim staples, Lam's latest could very well change that. 

Breezy, easy eden at EDUN! Bono, wife Ali Hewson, and creative director Sharon Wauchob trotted out the philanthropic brand’s latest wares to the beats of heavy African drumming, punctuated with the steady pounds of rain showers. In a dark warehouse across from the Hudson River, tribal florals and small-set patterns in kerchief-hemmed tops, pocketed halter dresses, and sophisticated low-slung ruby capris painted the runway. Outerwear in a potpourri of peach and nectarine hues, perforated or in poncho-esque anorak iterations, lingered on the mind. The front row was graced by the likes of Naomi Campbell, Sting, Christy Turlington, and Courtney Love, which is precisely the kind of almost-show-stealing spectacle we’ve come to expect from this show every season. 

Jen Kao
A hazy kaleidoscope of dusty pastels, threaded through with peeks of dialed-up versions of the same hues, moseyed down Jen Kao's runway in the designer's trippy knits, impeccably styled layers, and delicate segments of wispy floral macrame. Cutouts all over the place--mid-thigh slashes, collarbones peeking out, shoulders on display and small squares of visible midriff--only added to the intrigue. Although the vibe was a bit festival-esque, Kao culled inspiration not from Coachella or Burning Man, but from bad dreams. "I always had these awful, awful nightmares as a kid, and that’s why I wanted to turn this collection into a romantic story," explained Kao backstage. "Instead of being paralyzed by something sinister to happen to you, you’re waiting for the love of your life." Fashion as closure and catharsis, non?