Minimalism and new restraint are terms that we've all been talking about over the past few seasons, but in the world of Oscar de la Renta, no such things exist. As you would expect, his collection was all about luxury, which is fitting considering that a recent report showed that the wealthy no longer feel embarrassed to show off their money since the recession.
The designer took us on a journey around the world, but the collection had a particularly Russian feel. Ethnic prints appeared in abundance on outerwear, and the show opened with a jacquard printed coat in black, red and white. Fox fur appeared everywhere - think the skirt sections of dresses, hats and gillets - which will make sure that you're warm come fall's plummeting temperatures. The standout piece, for me, was a grey strapless gown with silver embroidery over the bust and dramatic grey tulle worn by Lindsey Wixson.
Marc Jacobs isn't the only designer celebrating a big anniversary this season. Today Michael Kors' fall collection marked the mega-brand's 30th birthday.The collection was all about "thirty years of American luxury," Kors told Hilary Alexander. "A playback of 70's sporty decadence, 80's athleticism, 90's spare tailoring, and the sexy freedom of the 21st century. The whole look is long, lean and leggy."
So how did the translate? Dresses came in grey in sporty racer back styles empitomising the brand's penchant for minimalism. A low cut jumpsuit had a strong 70s feel coming in caramel teamed with a thick luxurious rose coloured coat and statement silver choker. The same clean long lines appeared on a nude all-in-one belted at the waist and teamed with a long coat. Kors also offered some tailoring particularly on a silver trouser suit that was given instant sex appeal by a white chest baring white blouse and heels.
Marc Jacobs has every reason to celebrate. Besides producing another critically acclaimed collection for his mainline, yesterday saw him produce one of the most cohesive collections for Marc by Marc Jacobs. If that wasn't enough, the collection marked the diffusion line's 10th anniversary after starting the trend of sister lines back in 2001.
I always prefer fall collections to spring/summer shows. Designers tend to be a lot more experimental with colours and fabrics and this collection is a good example of that done well. Jacobs played with textures in a big way. One look featured a silk striped dress in ivory and later he showed a huge faux fur jacket teamed with ankle boots and later introduced tweed trousers, velvet skirts and corduroy pieces.
Fans of the 70s will be pleased because the era was referenced throughout. Models came with sleek glossy blown out hair and Jacobs showed a selection of fedoras and oversized sunglasses and blouses came tucked into tailored belted trousers and gold jackets.
Max Azria has a hard job on his hands at Hervé Léger. Each season he has the task of modernising the brand's signature bandage dress and make it look fresh and interesting. Considering the fact that the dresses are constantly sprawled across the pages of magazines on celebrities on the red carpet, it's imperative that each season he shows us something else.
The designer took the challenge head on this season adorning dresses with gold and silver metalwear giving the otherwise sexy pieces a tough edge. A black elegant halterneck dress was instantly updated by the use of silver hardwear embroidered all over it. The colour palette was mainly neutral with pieces coming in varying shades of gold, sand, tan and beige but Azria also through in a few black dresses and a coat in the same hue for good measure.
New York Fashion Week is already coming to a close so fashion week tiredness is begining to kick in but you can always count on Laura and Kate Mulleavy to have us transfixed and taken to a distant world at Rodarte.
The designers put aside the controversy and showed yet another strong collection yesterday to the likes of Karen Elson and Kanye West. Inspired by the Great American Plains, the duo sent models down the runway in beautifully draped silk maxi dresses in a variety of shades all boasting a windswept wheat print along the hemline. The collection played with texture too with lace dresses appearing with chiffon and sheer tulle skirts were teamed with thick nude jumpers. Taking inspiration from 'Wizard of Oz', the collection also featured some striking red numbers covered in sequins.
Donna Karan brings out the romantic in me so the fact that she showed her collection on Valentine's Day was fitting. Last season I was transfixed by her gold goddess gowns so I must admit, I was concerned about whether she'd be able to match last season's benchmark with her fall collection.
She didn't disappoint. Despite showing a collection in romantic subtle shades like peach, nudes, camels and taupes, the Donna Karan woman this season is far from a shrinking violet. Draped dresses and 50s style dresses nipped in at the waist were feminine but powerful. After in the show notes, Karan said that she aimed to create pieces that would make women command the room.
There was Grace Kelly feeling in the air. Pearls appeared in abundance with pencil skirts and sheer blouses, dresses were fitted showing of a feminine silhouette, gloves appeared and all came over the elbow and shawls were delicately wrapped over models heads.
If it's elegance that you're looking for, Carolina Herrera is the designer to go for. For anyone else, sticking with elegant, classic pieces would result in a regurgitation of past ideas but season after season Herrera manages to work with these themes in different ways.
Her signature pieces felt more relevant this season because of Herrera's use of colour and print. A floor-length dress came in silver at the top and blue at the bottom; a shorter style appeared in pink and red print and conservative dresses in simple shapes came in bright blue or red adding a relaxed feel to the otherwise dramatic evening based collection. Caroline Trentini stood out in a gold sequin gown that I'm sure we'll see on Renee Zellweger very soon.
This season Diane Von Furstenberg and designer Yvan Mispelaere wanted to celebrate Americas legends, the show notes reveal, and particularly all things Wild West.
The reference was clear on wide brimmed black hats teamed with the brand's classic wrap dress in a black and white print teamed with over the knee suede boots or a simple dress in red. The inspiration was made even more apparent by the horse shoe shaped runway. A black jumpsuit with printed green lines teamed with a statement necklace and black fur jacket stood out, as did a beautiful black sequin gown.
I've always preferred Donna Karan's mainline over DKNY despite the fact that my age would indicate that I should prefer the latter. The florals the designer showed last season didn't resonate but this season she got the mix of youth and aesthetic perfectly.
Like many designers this season, Karan played with colour by clashing bright hues. A pink and red striped mohair knit came styled over a nude blouse; a toffee oversized cardigan appeared on top of a bright red mini dress and an oversized burnt copper single breasted jacket was teamed over a nude blouse under a pink, white and red dress. I know what you're thinking - colour overload - but take our word, it really did work.
That said, the black piece worked just as well for those of you that aren't fans of bright colours. Karan offered up some sleek tuxedo jackets and black skinny jeans teamed with a black biker jacket and beautiful white coat with black panels down the side. Black also appeared on sheer dresses teamed with steel toe black wedges.