Like last season, Jason Wu proved that he can produce more than just beautiful evening dresses. Over the past few seasons, Wu has confirmed his show as a must-see in New York in its own right, outside his association with Michelle Obama.
For Fall 2010, he continued to move the brand in a different direction, opting for an emphasis on outerwear in the form of big coats with masculine accents. Draped strapless dresses, feathered skirts with rustic burnt-yellow cardigans and polka-dot blouses styled with bright brown airy skirts are only a few of the must-haves. Wu sent several voluminous strapless, over-the-knee dresses down the runway, which might not be to everyone's taste. However, he also sent feathered dresses in ivory, and strapless draped dresses ready for a red-carpet appearance.
As it's been widely reported, Cathy Horyn commented that Christina Hendricks' Golden Globes dress by Christian Siriano didn't work because "you don't put a big girl in a big dress." We smell more potential for allegedly "big" girls to wear big dresses now that Siriano's rolled out his fall range, which includes more of his signature in-your-face ruffles, plus a satin-bodice closer dress with a train that would put most wedding gowns to shame.
That said, the 'Project Runway' alum did restrain himself at times. He included sleek leather jackets, second-skin sheath dresses with shoulders hinting at Balmain, and easy satin pencil skirts that could work on everyone from office dwellers to the social set. What perhaps drew the most whispers at the show, however, were the oversized bows Siriano used to flank his models' shoulders and hips. Would those work for everyone? Maybe not. But it takes a big personality to find out.
Organic designer John Patrick took note from Pierre Cardin, Joni Mitchell and Princess Diana for his A/W10 collection, and that last reference of his would probably find the most wardrobe staples from the range. Patrick used what he called "Sloane Ranger" tweeds for a large part of his selection, from a shorts suit to black-and-white cropped trousers to perfect-fitting jackets. Prim and proper with an edge? We know a BrIT girl or two who could pick that up.
Patrick mixed patterns and textures to great appeal for fall. We enjoyed the youthfulness of tossing refined pieces together, as if an actual up-and-coming socialite had to dress quickly for Sunday brunch. Our favourite piece of the set is a boatneck chiffon day dress just sweet enough for a good family, but with enough sass to head to the wrong part of town.
The BCBG Max Azria time slot was, unexpectedly, an unfortunate one. It was the first New York Fashion Week show in the tents for the season, at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. Anna Wintour dashed out of the show early, before Max and Lubov Azria took their bows. She, like many members of the fashion industry, found out that Alexander McQueen hanged himself in London that day. But as it had to, the show went on.
Fortunately, the show was a good one - and we dare say this BCBG collection was one of the brand's best in ages. Models stomped down the catwalk in what seemed like variations on the scarf: asymmetrical-hemmed silk dresses, billowing skirts and long-sleeved cape dresses, for example. Each look was light enough to move with the breeze, but in a palette of hard neutrals injected with dusty yellow, the styles were more Leigh Lezark than Ashley Tisdale. All told, we'd buy every piece from A/W10. With our new black leather strappy wedges and a bit of an attitude, we'd be ready for the urban jungle every day.
Tia Cibani gave us a bit of everything for fall: graphic-print full-lenth gowns, slouchy long-sleeved pantsuits, and metallic sheath dresses, to name a few. The Ports 1961 designer was going for "discovery and invention" in her A/W10 collection, and that amounted to architectural silhouettes with touches of rich tailoring for this increasingly popular New York favourite.
Cibani's strong points were probably at her simplest, as in a sweetly printed sage-green dress that invoked details of the Old World. She added variety with layering - whether adding thick wool cardigans to evening dresses or printed, '70s-silhouette capes to cocktail styles - keeping with the trend this season that more can be better. But no matter which looks the Ports 1961 customers flock to this fall, they'll want to remember one thing: to pair every outfit with the heavy-metal necklaces models sported on the runway.
Zoe Saldana; Sophia Bush
Who wore it best?
Rachel Comey usually loves a good print, and this season, her collection proved no different. Taking guidelines from '70s housewives, the designer tapped into a rich, dusty colour palette that makes the perfect complement to some of her more muted pieces: granny-chic floral pantsuits and chubby wool scarves. We say: a perfect hipster blend for people who weren't actually around in the '70s.
Besides a waist-belted asymmetrical red and orange dress paired with heeled booties and green socks, some of our favourites were a strong-shouldered charcoal blouse and an all-cream cardigan-and-trousers combo. These are the types of things you scour vintage shops to find, and thanks to Comey,you can stop all the frantic searching. So grab a pen and paper out of your fur handbag (another offering this season) and make your wishlist for fall.
For fall, Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai wanted to roll out clothes for “the Vena Cava woman to wear in her cabin upstate.” Incorrectly, we assumed that would involve feminine takes on plaid and big boots. But one of the designers’ influences was a weekend in Woodstock, so that meant the Vena Cava girl had to be ready to rock. Enter bodycon asymmetrical black mindresses, sheer black tops to pair with slouchy belts, and a skeleton-print gossamer gown.
For all that, the collection didn’t veer too far into the rocker lifestyle. Mayock and Buhai introduced fur stoles on the runway, which, we must point out, ties in the cabin retreat. But the final proof that a Vena Cava outdoors-woman is unlike any other? The models accessorised their cabin gear with fishnets, purple-streaked ponytails and blood-orange lips. That's our kind of upstate retreat.
Mena Suvari, Amber Rose
Mena Suvari wore a simple blue strapless dress with opaque tights to Chrisian Siriano's runway show yesterday at New York Fashion Week, while Amber Rose opted for a graphic-print dress with extravagant shoulders.
Who wins your style vote?