2012 September 8

NYFW Spring 2013: Jason Wu, Jen Kao, Rag & Bone, Charlotte Ronson, Behnaz Sarafpour, Tommy Hilfger Men's

Jason Wu Spring 2013 Jason Wu Spring 2013
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(NEW YORK) Jason Wu
Lean and mean! A wise collab with La Perla gave Jason just the dash of sauce he needed to make his polished clothes feel sexy as hell. His always-impressive technique is especially appreciated in the laser-cut leather and appliqués. Gone, at least for a season's worth, were the feminine, bow-happy black tie frocks erring on the side of proper (and FLOTUS-worthy, of course). Wu got a bit wicked instead, opting for a handful of harness, an excess of hides, bralettes galore, blazers primarily intended for play, not work, and a sprinkling of elbow-grazing gloves. Intrinsically innocent styles - rompers and trimly collared necklines, for example - played out sexily in Wu's latest. All of which will certainly leave Wu acolytes guessing about how Fall '13's direction throughout the spring. What could be better? 

Rag & Bone 
Whether it's their beloved denim line or the covetable boots every model lives in, the R&B boys have always known how to make a collection that translates from the runway to the Barney's selling floor. Spring '13 was no exception, as they worked on their signature look of lived-in, sexed up, and on-trend with a healthy dose of blazers and a few pops of neon. What started with black and colored denim moved into white, before progressing to neon green, finishing up with a perfectly ripe melon color on Karlie Kloss. Nothing was too fussy, with open shirt dresses layered on top of black satin skirts and topped with cropped leather vests. Lace sweetened up some of the tough looks, with 3-4 inches peeking out from under the hems of hot pants and midlength skirts. Perhaps Aymeline Valade rocked the most quintessentially Rag & Bone look of the show: a pinstriped shirt unbuttoned to her navel, topped wit h white gauzy shirt dress, a shawl-collared blazer for extra warmth and some seriously chic black leather pants tuxedo-striped in white. Something tells us those pants will be the "it" pair for spring, and probably far beyond. Even the few white on white looks remained deliciously androgynous. Let's not forget the accessories! The best shoe? A mule slingback featuring tiny bows in the back. Reinvented in carmel, white, black, and blue, these are bound to be another success du season. 

Jen Kao 
Blackout at 4 p.m. in the New York Public Library? Only Jen Kao could pull that sort of prank off. Her show, which was in the rotunda of the Bartos Forum, commenced with a strict announcement that no flash photography was allowed. In a pitch black room, the style set watched as models glowed on the runway and grid of the stage underneath blacklights. Though everyone in the room was trembling over frustration that they couldn't Instagram the eerie-cool moment, the effect was a sole focus on the glow-in-the-dark construction of the clothes. The lunar themed looks were finally illuminated by light. A first look of a muted yellow anorak with a high funnel collar set the tone for the futuristic theme. Latex, neoprene, lace, and leather were the materials of choice, sometimes all combined together in patchwork, multicolored dresses. This Xenon girl must be an athlete, however, as there was major placement of mesh inserts on track shorts and dresses that had a lot of asymmetrical panache to them as well. By the end of the collection, Kao had taken us from intergallatic to sporty spice to edgy cool girl all in a cohesive collection. Top it off with those wooden stilts of shoes and iridescent makeup and you're ready for anything.

Charlotte Ronson 
From the very first look, an athletic net cut-out pullover casually thrown over a flounce dress and accented with a floppy tote, to the finale (a tank resembling fields of daisies, varsity jacket, bottomed out with a skirt, Ronson's latest kicked our expectations up a whole lot of notches. Wedges reached quite some heights, a few parfait backpacks came out to play, and there were some office-apropos dresses in the mix. Also on the menu: tasteful cutouts, vinyl varsity toppers, and peplum blouses. Something for everyone!

Behnaz Sarafpour 
Amid a slightly Titanic scene, Sarafpour's show gathered the attendees in the ballroom of the Jane,  looming grand staircase and all. Cozily lit by numerous chandeliers, the spate for Spring '13 was rife with shades of pale pink, yellow, and white, lending an angelic aura. Feminine designs were punctuated with edgy details; as models walked across the ballroom and back onto the grand staircase, all eyes were on Sarapfour's ingenious mix of classic yet edgy; not always an easy feat to pull off. Bravo, Behnaz! P.S. The second-to-last look, an art nouveau embroidered mesh T paired with a jewel-toned green silk crepe and satin skirt, was especially spectacular. 

Tommy Hilfiger Men's
How very American of you, Tommy: Red, white, and blue abounded in the designer's spring men's collection, shown under the blazing late afternoon sun yesterday. The guys looked clean cut and ready for the country club in a palette of tans and navies, punched up with bright red and yellow accents. A pinstriped suit got slapped with a bold crest, balanced out by a horizontal stripe button-down underneath (take that, naysayers of stripes-on-stripes!). Shirts were untucked, maybe not even so much to defy formal dressing as to show off the starched white hems of the shirts. For cooler spring evenings, throw on one of Hilfiger's V neck sweaters (detailed with a slightly exaggerated dip in the front) which sported major navy and red knit cabling and complete with leather trimmed slant pockets. More than a few women might look fabulously cozy in this as well. The classic boat stripe white and navy shirt was paired with a matching bag and espadrille slip ons, and khaki shorts blended well with double brested blazers. A few sleek white leather iPad cases and leather weekender bags floated down the runway, too, reinforcing the urban-to-jetset lifestyle of Hilfiger's hommes.