Last week, all eyes were on New York as designers presented collections that will set trends and influence wardrobes everywhere for the coming 2014 Spring season. Though I was entertained by the first half of the collections, I was really looking forward to the heavy hitters that were still to come. Luckily the designs that closed the week delivered the polarizing collections I was waiting for. Here are the highlights.
Marc Jacobs. Bad. Bad. Bad. I really can’t explain how much I think he missed the “marc” (HA) on this one. He came across to me as nothing more than a silly boy playing with underdeveloped, teenage ideas. I am not impressed by your chopped-off wigs and stiff fabrics. Everything was flat, the colors were beyond boring and I couldn’t find a hint of vision in there anywhere. And those disgusting knee length shorts?! A waste of fabric.
Ralph Lauren. This collection was just OK. I love a retro vibe, I like color and I think simplicity is wonderful, but something about these pieces just seemed weak and cartoonish. I was put off by the lackluster designing and the assumption that the neon color would carry the pieces. If you took away the bright greens and yellows, the clothes could have been designed the night before in a hung-over moment of procrastination. And by the way, you really have to choose either a knee-high sock or a popped collar, you can’t have both.
Michael Kors sent an absolutely immaculate collection down that runway. The fit of each garment was beyond fabulous, reminding me that there are more places on a woman to flatter than just the waist. The palette he chose was subdued, but each piece had a charm and effortlessness to it which made the calm colors seem like a brilliant new idea. I was pleased by a tasteful and mature use of leather in accessories, jackets and shoes, but he kept it young by including a couple of flirty bra tops. He included a bit of vintage, but never too much as to keep us from looking forward, and I was also more than pleasantly surprised by the playful, yet controlled use of print. Michael Kors managed to keep it simple AND interesting.
Oscar de la Renta. He didn’t let anyone down this season. Can we say variation? This was one of the few shows that I felt really stretched out and showed us what a brand can do. Starting the show were some more conservative, beautifully constructed black and white designs that winked at being minimalist. The show then evolved into one with full skirts, bright colors, shift dresses, gowns and ruffles… All elements of design that you love, but can’t seem to find in once place looking so freaking chic. Each design was proud and restrained, letting the models wear them and look oddly appropriate for any occasion even as they made their way down the runway in a floor-length turquoise mermaid dress, or a coral gown with toole. It was truly a lesson in playful beauty.
Carolina Herrara. Wonderfully done, Carolina. Everything was punchy, unique, modern and creative. This collection held my favorite pieces of the season. The ideas and innovation were practically jumping off the runway. Her collection actually inspired me to dress well and be original. She had great necklines paired with unexpected linings and prints from a 1990s graphic design dream team. Who would have thought that I would fall head-over-heels in love with a black and orange coat dress? And, to top it all off, she went with updos for her models, which looked absolutely perfect.
The Row. The Olsen’s have a fashion cult following, it’s true. Their red carpet and street style always leaves at least hundreds of girls and boys (myself sometimes included!) lusting after their wardrobe, but does anyone know what’s going on here? Is it wearable? Is it a collection with direction? Or appeal, for that matter? Much like a modern art installation that you weren’t ready for, I was confused. The Row has the unique distinction of showing pieces that I can almost laugh out loud at upon first glance, and then warm to. This one is up for debate.