I wore… Coat & Shirt: Whistles, Jumper & Bag: Jaeger, Skirt: Zara, Boots: Massimo Dutti & Beret: American Apparel.
Prabal Gurung is one of my absolute favourite designers so I was thrilled to be invited to his show for the first time this season. Having spent an obscene amount of money on taxis the previous day thanks to the blizzard, I decided to walk to the venue from where I’m staying in Soho. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to walk half a mile in 6 inch heels when there’s more than 6 inches on snow on the ground but I definitely don’t recommend it! By the time I arrived at St John’s centre in Chelsea I had lost pretty much all sensation in my extremities. This wasn’t helped by the fact I’d swapped my snuggly fur hat/Sandro coat combo for a beret and infinitely thinner Whistles duffel but the legendary Bill Cunnigham stopped me for a snap making the pneumonia risk more than worth it. Prabal Gurung is New York fashion royalty and the strictly A List nature of his FROW certainly showed it. Jamie King, Miroslave Duma, ELLE Editor Robbie Myers were all in attendance as well as Anna Wintour flanked by two burly, black suited bodyguards. There are few clearer indicators of a designer’s star status than when their second row is equally elite and with Kyle Anderson, Leandra Medine, Bryan Boy and Rumi Neeley in the line up, that was most definitely the case on this occasion. After a pretty sizeable wait, the show began and almost before the second look hit the runway, I’d named it my favourite of the week so far. Much as I adore a floral frock (something Prabal does truly beautifully) there’s something about a fiercer kind of femininity that really gets my sartorial pulse racing. Gurung’s latest offerings could be best described as “military couture” thanks to exquisitely scuplted khaki tailoring and lashings of leather complete with studs and warrior worthy, buckle detailed footwear. Glossy pelts, gold embroidery ornate Russe prints exuded high fashion luxe while flared hemlines and plenty of peplums stopped things from getting too serious. Rarely is does an A List event go by without a Prabal Gurung gown or two on the red carpet and this time around he delivered an array of sumptuous silk stunners with thigh high slits and billowing trains toughened up by chunky belts and leather harness detailing. It was the kind of killer show that you didn’t want to tear your eyes off even for a second and I long for the day that I might be powerful/chic/wealthy to be part of Prabal’s fashion army.
Prabal Gurung AW13
Exhilarated from a truly inspiring show I tottered back out into the sunny but still arctic streets. As per usual free taxis were few and far between. Just as I was giving up hope of finding one I managed it and arrived in the Meatpacking district just in time for Rebecca Taylor. I don’t know whether you remember my interview with the lovely Rebecca last year but she cited David Bowie as her all time style icon. The king of punk rock androdgyny’s influence was certainly evident in her latest collection which swapped last season’s pretty pastels and whimsical prints for tough girl biker jackets, zip detailing and yep, you’ve guessed it, lashings of leather. Leather has been something of a perma-trend for God knows how many seasons now and Rebecca Taylor offered up some incredibly covetable pieces. Trousers, tees, skirts, dresses and sleeves all came re-imagined in buttersoft skins and rich shades of navy and burgundy. Zip detailing, deliberately frayed hems and mannish tailoring all added to the tomboy vibe but being the clever designer she is, Taylor kept the girly girls happy with hits of lilac, blush and shimmering sequins.
Rebecca Taylor AW13
By this point my morning latte seemed like a distant memory so I hot footed it to the nearest cafe for some sustenance. One very tasty turkey wrap and about a pint of coffee later I felt vaguely human again and set off for Lincoln Centre. As you’ve probably realised by now, I’m not and never will be a Herve Leger kinda girl but I do appreciate a brand who sticks to a signature, time tested aesthetic quite like they do. That said, Max Azria’s latest collection for the legendary purveyor of all things body concious did take a couple of risks this season. The brand’s trademark bandage dresses came adorned with all manner of embellishments and some where even paired over matching drainpipe trousers. And it wasn’t all frocks this time around either. There were also several uber luxurious fur trimmed parkas, crop tops and high shine, low rise tracksuit bottoms. Delivering exactly what your glamazon customer wants while introducing at least some elements of change is no mean feat and for that, I applaud them.
Herve Leger by Max Azria AW13
Generally speaking, I am the most commited high heel and impractical (but hopefully stylish) clothing devotee during fashion week and my ability to wear ridiculous shoes for twelve days and nights on the trot has left wimpier dressers speechless. On this occasion it was so hideously, bone chillingly cold went home and put on jeans and a jumper. Despite being mildly less frozen, the second I arrived at the Tibi show I regretted this decision. All the resort collection Lobster print around gave me an extreme case of outfit envy and my niggling feeling of scruffiness worsened considerably when, most likely due to a mistake on some poor frazzled intern’s behalf, I was seated on the Front Row. The ONE TIME I opt for comfort over style and I find myself sitting directly opposite the ever immaculate Olivia Palermo! Luckily it wasn’t too long before the show began and I could forget my personal humiliation.
I’ve been a big Tibi fan since its early days and I find the evolution of designer Amy Smilovic’s style fascinating. Much as the print dresses of yore appealed to my girlier side, the high fash lo fi aesthetic she’s developed exudes a rather more sophisticated feminist. Smilovic is both an incredibly talented and a thoughtful designer and a real sense of purpose came through in thus collection. Besides exuding modernist elegance Tibi collections cater to a woman’s everyday sartorial needs and for AW13 they’ve provided the ultimate capsule wardrobe. The athletic influence was clearer than ever with semi sheer mesh bombers, neoprene, hoods and highlighter hues paying homage to American sportswear classics. I may not usually be all that partial to sports luxe but Amy’s latest offerings were so cool they made me want to swap my beloved A-line minis for tracksuit bottoms. Sculptural jackets were paired with super skinny motorcycle/sweatpant hybrid trousers and oil slick black leather OTK (that’s over the knee, obviously) featured heavily. All in all the collection was cool, covetable and crucially, practical and will no doubt keep Tibi devotees very happy.
Love Ella. X