2009 February 13
(NEW YORK) Rachel Roy
Roy presented a rather spring-y fall collection, in four different color sets: taupe, pale yellow, gray/silvery blue, and black. Asymmetrical looks like one-shouldered dresses, cutout dresses, and corsetry ruled, using her signature mix of structure and drapery. "The inspiration really came from strength, wanting women to dress strong and wanting them to dress monochromatic," said Roy. "I wanted them to be kind of about their business in a way that had nothing to do with how long you want to talk about clothes as much as what's important in society, yet they're chic and they're dignified and they can change something." The sophisticated looks were capped off by old, mirrored jewelry (created in collaboration with Subversive's Justin Guinta), classic pointy pumps by Manolo Blahnik, and bags designed by Roy herself.
Relative newbie and Angeleno Geren Ford showed her Fall 2009 collection against a gorgeous backdrop: on the 8th floor of Milk Studios, her models stood on platforms against the window with the Hudson river behind them. The iconic New York view was relevant to Ford, who cited '70s and '80s New York City as her inspiration behind the feminine looks. Ruffled blouses, floaty print tunic dresses, and an adorable black tulip wrap skirt were all topped with dainty details, like tiny gold buttons. "I happened to be here presenting our spring collection when I was designing this [one]," Ford said, "and I just felt that 'Lauren Hutton in the 70s, clean, easy, classic, things are crafted but can last forever' vibe."
Catherine Holstein's nerdy-hipster aesthetic took a slightly darker turn this season in what is surely not the last recession-inspired collection. "With the way things were in the economy, the dark period and whatnot, it kind of took on this passing through the night, pushing through-because I had that mentality the whole time, that we just had to push through the times," Holstein said. The models sported messy hair and black lipstick. Not all was doom and gloom: leopard-print looks were surprisingly sophisticated, oversized plaid shirts added a grunge element, and the floppy hats that topped off several of the looks (designed in collaboration with Ellen Christine) gave a slightly '70s vibe to the collection. Cohesive? Not necessarily. Sellable? Absolutely.
For fall, Monique Lhuillier channeled the "Modern Ballet Russe," as she called it. The collection--shown in the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel--was full of the glamorous eveningwear that Ms. Lhuillier is known for. Heavy on embellishment, the gowns were a departure from the economic turmoil outside the hotel's walls. Several models posed in front of the Oak Room's Bloomberg stock ticker, which provided a sharp contrast and striking photograph for the attending lens man. The styling, courtesy of Jill Davidson, was superb: bodysuits that looked like ripped stockings were layered under the ornate gowns to provide a depth to an otherwise pretty collection.
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