I very rarely agree with the opinions of major editors, knowledgeable critics and fashion experts concerning the collections shown during New York Fashion Week. When it comes to major designers, I gravitate towards unconventional beauty, but beauty all the same, and drowning me in a sea of ill-fitting jackets, crop tops and bulky dresses doesn’t really get my motor running. I can’t make or break a show with my review of the collections, but it is well known that the best thing about fashion is that it never goes out of style to have your own opinion. Here are my picks for the best and the worst:
I really do want to like her clothes, but it just comes down to the fact that she bores me. Every once in a while she’ll spit out a mini dress and it’ll keep me interested for another minute, maybe. I don’t find her use of color interesting and I don’t find the details of her work feel organic or inspired. I get the picture in my mind that she always works on her designs and sketches in the same mood, and because of this her designs are forgettable and monotonous.
For the record, I love some of Prabal Gurung’s designs, but I didn’t feel the show at all. I didn’t see that there was a re-invented Marilyn Monroe walking the runway (the designer’s inspiration for the collection), I saw a lot of plastic and cheap colors. I found the Easter-vibe lipstick distracting and unflattering, and the prints shown were confusing to the eye. Even though I liked a few looks, there was not one that I wouldn’t have wanted to tweak a little. The reference to the retro woman was a nice sentiment, but I don’t that it came across as anything other than a pencil skirt that was trying too hard.
BCBG Max Azria:
Azria has earned his stripes many times over, and has proven his ability to design a beautiful piece of clothing that is wearable and can be personalized, but I found this collection tired and predictable. I’ve seen structured white tops paired with flowing bottoms many times before. And by the time flowered prints were introduced to the runway, it felt like a way to try and recover from an otherwise bland factory line of clothing that wouldn’t stand the test of time.
I drooled a few times during the show, and this is not a new effect that Zac Posen designs have on me. This year was full of surprising details, gorgeous silhouettes and a myriad of influences. The collection was rich, flattering and combined structural accents with unique lines. From flowing classic gowns, to ruffled looks to little-girl-cute cuts, Posen made me want every single one.
The pieces were a great lesson in savvy print use, femininity sans girlishness and accessibility. After all, these are supposed to be the “ready to wear” collections. There were playful fabrics and great shoes, paired with perfect accents of bright color and a cheeky flirtatiousness that made it easy to participate in the show. Plus, Minkoff herself is adorable and she had Janelle Monáe play live on the runway. Bottom line: I love her bags, and I’ve realized that I love her clothes even more.
Creatures of the Wind:
Every year, there is someone who gets my “ugly-pretty” vote. This is an endorsement that comes with a slight surprise on my end because the collection isn’t anything that I could hope to wear, and when truly examined, it tends to start seeming odder and odder. But, this year, Creatures of the Wind piqued my curiosity as soon as the first look stepped out. I love the neon pink, the gold, the vintage feel and the fact that I saw neck scarves, turtlenecks, loafers, clogs and satin and I didn’t run for the hills. Gabier and Peters did something right, although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.