2009 February 17
(NEW YORK) Michael Bastian
Michael Bastian’s fall collection stood out among the slick tailoring and futurism of other fall menswear collections. It seemed apt that the designer chose Kerouac, hitchhikers, and My Own Private Idaho as inspiration. The presentation, attended by Kanye West and an impressive gathering of editors, featured a looped runway in the form of a road. The collection was replete with plaid and camouflage as well as being both lived in and luxurious.
Set against the hallowed backdrop of the New York Public Library, Jill Stuart's fall collection was more studied this time around--albeit just as girlish and ruffled as seasons past. She opened her show with layered black dresses dripping with lace and shredded yarns, which tempered the sweetness of the purple chiffons and satin trousers of subsequent looks. But don't think that the Jill Stuart girl has gone completely tough: in a move to perhaps avoid a wardrobe malfunction, Jill made sure her models were wearing undergarmets—even if that meant they were entirely visible under her ethereal, sheer pieces.
Perhaps relative newbie Joseph Altazurra underestimated his appeal; he presented his collection in a tiny gallery space in Chelsea that was packed full. The collection was small and not terribly varied—monochromatic dress and skirt looks in draped and twisted knits, followed by a series of sharp, skinny leggings suits. It was their mix of beauty, craftsmanship, and wearability that made for what is certain to be a successful collection. “It was kind of the ‘40s meets the ‘80s, but very body conscious,” said the designer. “I didn’t want the clothing to be cold and distant, I wanted it to be emotional, like you could connect to it.”
While much of Fashion Week has tightened the reigns and piled on the somber, Tracy Reese's collection showed no sign of such gloomy tidings. Despite less than happy circumstances (the designer's mother passed away earlier this week), her collection showcased an optimistic and ebullient outlook. Bright patterns, luxurious stoles and a show-stopping gold lame' suit danced down the runway. Proof positive that good taste transcends age? The front row was filled with a mixture of bright young things like Kelly Pickler, Solange Knowles, the Hilton sisters, and older and equally chic women like Aisha Cole.
A real life Gossip Girl fairy tale, the Luca Luca show was held in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel to the admiring eyes of socialite clients and top-notch editors. Despite having to stand due to the lack of seating, they couldn't help but smile at the sweeping floor-length gowns and timeless separates that designer Luca Orlandi is known for. "I really wanted to focus on luxurious dressing that's half fashion and half longevity," Orlandi said. Judging by the cheers and hollers greeting his post-show exit, it's safe to say that the audience agreed with his sensible approach.
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