Some bold. Some beautiful. Some bizarre. It’s New York Fashion Week. We shouldn’t expect otherwise on the runways.
Designers unveiled their Spring 2014 collections in New York the past eight days, and if it’s cropped tops you’ve been longing for, you won’t be disappointed. Styles range from cropped-to-the-waist shirts to the more abbreviated bra top. Cut-outs and sheer fabrics also reveal some skin.
Not for you? Other recurring runway themes included feminine, often wispy, dresses – some with below-the-knee hemlines. High-tech fabrics such as neoprene. Scores of sporty influences; think baseball jackets and track pants. Pleated skirts. White, white and more white. Shiny fabrics. Some oversized menswear styles. And orange lips and nails. It’s never too early to think Halloween, we suppose.
Here is a sampling of reports from the Associated Press of the more than 100 shows staged at the Mercedes-Benz tents at Lincoln Center or other locations in New York.
– Susan Martin
By Samantha Critchell
Kors offered scarf-neck georgette blouses with the bow undone, a whisper light wool georgette pleated skirt in “banker” gray and a crisp white trench to top it off. There was also a sand-colored suede trench. Good thing his muse can make decisions.
A ticking-stripe boyfriend shirt was worn with denim shorts and a wrap made of white fox – yes, summer fur – with an unexpected stripe lining.
He had some moments that seemed 1970s inspired, with disco studs on slinky dresses with full hemlines and palazzo pants with bra tops.
To say the designers at Proenza Schouler loosened up their look for next spring, you have to know the starting point: The collection typically is inventive, cool and fairly aggressive.
Their clothes are for the model types – the young women who jet-set the globe in search of the next great party, the one that starts after midnight.
So to see the words “understated domesticity” and “serene and polished” in the notes Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough used for their runway show was more than a little surprising.
But, as promised, there was movement and ease, mixed with their other hallmark, experimental fabrics.
Accordion-pleat, below-the-knee skirts were shown in a myriad of metallics, tiered tops and jackets were paired with cropped, loose-leg pants, and a series of cotton crepe outfits were printed with the shadings and shadows of well-loved garments
Lepore thinks we’re emerging from an edgier, harsher period into a new Romantic era. In fashion, anyway. And so her designs are full of what she calls “a softness, a sexiness, a boudoir feeling, a neo-Romanticism.” Her preview was one of those collections that made fashionistas happy: pretty, flouncy, colorful, wearable. Her emphasis on softness came through in the very first garment — a pair of silky shorts with a flouncy ruffle, in a blush color but with a white stripe.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
Jacobs has lots of cheerleaders in the fashion world. But in his spring Marc by Marc Jacobs collection, he put some on the runway, too. At least, that was the feel of some of his clothes for the designer’s more moderately priced line, and one he has lots of fun with.
Shiny short satin dresses, rompers and jumpsuits for the girls, and satin football-style jackets for the guys, in bright reds and pinks, made it seem like these kids were headed to a hipster pep rally.
Jacobs also had fun with tuxedos. A blue tux jacket was paired with tuxedo pants in the same color, but these were funky short tuxedo pants, and they were paired, like all the outfits, with sneakers — some low-tops here, and high-tops elsewhere. Great for the prom, preferably a fashionable one.
Hoffman, a Buffalo native, has some hashtags for us: Fearless. Rainbow. Vibes.
As in good vibes. As in good vibes inspired by color, light and happiness playing out in her bold spring collection.
She said the collection is fit for a gang of rainbow warriors. As in warriors with extra-long braids down their backs, some dressed in sheer beaded chiffon adorned with neon orange, yellow and green. Others went into runway battle in bright tribal prints for midleg looks, shorts and swimsuits.
“I’m being a little bolder this season,” Hoffman said, “as fortune favors the bold.”
Wang aimed for all A’s on her runway: artful, architectural and athletic. She made the grade with silk gauze baseball jackets, chiffon gowns with mesh panels and often-beaded, racer-style backs and a stretch-mesh hoodie paired with a net bustier and stretch jersey skirt.
Many of her looks were black, which made the flashes of cobalt blue, geranium red and citron yellow more impactful. She used a painter’s brush-stroke print on camisole slips and chiffon gowns to make another visual statement, and delicate fabric petals decorated the back of slim-cut sheaths.
Hilfiger filled a hangarlike venue on the West Side with sand and built his own boardwalk for surf-inspired styles.
“It’s really from the inspiration of Melrose to Malibu, and we brought Malibu to New York,” he said. “It’s about surfing and skating, sporty lifestyles, about color and the modern cool woman.”
There were color-blocked neoprene pieces – one of the biggest trends emerging from these seasonal previews — shown alongside denim and olive surplus styles.
Top model Joan Smalls had on a leather basketball jersey (No. 1, of course) paired with denim track pants.
The best of Karan’s spring collection was classic Karan, day-to-night stretch dresses (especially a one-shouldered, block-print number), coats that you wouldn’t want to take off, a man-tailored shirt definitively cut for a woman.
There were rich colors of tobacco and terra cotta, and it seemed navy was Karan’s new black.
She opened the show with a series of indigo-colored viscose dresses. There also were beaded, wrap miniskirts with silk tunics barely tucked into the waistband.
But the key piece was the scarf skirt, which was light and had a lot of life.
“It was all about a search for a scarf. I think as signature to what Donna Karan is about is a bodysuit and a scarf and the tailoring,” Karan said.
Twenty-five years in fashion is worth celebrating, and that’s what Donna Karan did Sunday at her DKNY show.
She was all smiles as she did her lap of the runway after her parade of flirty, colorful looks.
Karan wasn’t afraid to pay homage to the late 1980s when this brand – geared toward a younger woman with a smaller paycheck than her signature collection – was launched.
“We celebrated the city of life,” she said. “It happens in New York City. They’re clothes that last forever. They’re clothes that have been inspired from nylons to lifestyle to yoga to bathing suits.”
Cynthia Rowley was true to, well, Cynthia Rowley with fun and funky dresses and two-piece sets featuring thick embroidery. A full, long skirt in rose was paired with the embroidery in yellow, one of the standouts at a presentation she turned into a Mexican fiesta in a cavernous hotel space that was once part of a seminary.
Turk’s show was a road trip and she packed all the necessities: bikini, jean jacket, mesh track pants and – for date night – a black-and-white striped cropped top and matching pencil skirt with a floral hemline.
The outfits she presented did have a decidedly West Coast vibe. She’s based in California, after all, but it’s not the first caftan that stylists, editors and retailers have seen this season.
Jill Stuart had rock chicks on holiday in mind for her edgy but girly spring collection. Caftans, micro-minis and teeny shorts with tunics came mostly in the requisite black and white for a beachy yet chic-y vibe.
There was plenty for New York streets, too, including a little black dress in black crepe with black lace. “You can look like a rock star girlfriend on holiday in New York,” Stuart offered
Never mind that she normally dresses young women who can get away with fluttery miniskirts every day of the week, Rebecca Taylor put old-school work wear to work in her spring collection. She showed perforated bomber jackets, denim T-shirts and carpenter pants.
“Key silhouettes experiment with proportion – crop tops, full trousers and teacup skirts are paired with soft modern volume in rounded sleeve shapes. Very crisp white poplin shirting and geo-eyelet are layered with tactile matelaffe, laminated knits and crystal-encrusted lace,” the show notes said.
Fashionistas gushed not only over the creative casual clothes and the striking patterned gladiator heels, but also the entertainment: live music from singer Janelle Monae. Minkoff, a designer especially popular with younger women, has long used live music at her runway shows. This time, she partnered with American Express as part of their American Express Unstaged program, which pairs artists and makes their collaborations available through digital media. The runway show with Monae was live-streamed, as was another mini-concert afterward in a private room nearby in the Lincoln Center tents, where Monae performed songs from her new album, “The Electric Lady,” to be released next week.
Associated Press reporters Leanne Italie, Jocelyn Noveck and Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.