Much as I’d moaned about the bitter cold on New York Fashion Week day 4, it was infinitely less grim than the following morning which was so rainy it almost put London to shame. Just as I was despairing that thanks to my lack of umbrella (it didn’t survive snowstorm nemo) I was going to resemble a drowned rat by the time I got to the subway my lovely friends at Kurt Geiger came to the rescue by offering to loan me their London taxi for the entire day! I have to say I felt pretty swish as I left the apartment and stepped straight into my waiting car.
I wore... Hat: Vintage, Coat: A.P.C, Jumper: Boutique by Jaeger, Skirt: Urban Outfitters, Bag: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Boots: Massimo Dutti, Gloves: Accessorize.
After a not-so-brief Starbucks stop we were on our way to the ICB building for show number one, Belstaff. I love it when a heritage brand makes a major comeback and Belstaff has done just that. The FROW was a veritable feast of fashion big hitters including Nina Garcia, Natalie Massinet, Bryan Boy, Jemma Kidd, Suzy Menkes and Jefferson Hack to name but a few. Every second guest seemed to be sporting a supple skin something perhaps in homage to the label’s leather legacy, or maybe just because leather’s so totally OTM (of the moment in case you didn’t know!). I was very glad I’d picked that morning to wear my own black leather mini and my general sense of smugness was only enhanced when I took my second row seat and discovered that the benches were cushioned, a surprisingly rare occurrence during fashion week.
The show was seriously delayed, even by NYFW standards due to a fash-eds-stuck-in-traffic disaster but when it finally did begin it was every bit as impressive as expected. The collection opened with an array of belted waxed jackets (who knew barbours could be so seductive?!) before moving on to elegant motorcycle inspired ensembles complete with quilted knees and elbows. This was utility chic at its absolute chicest and besides excellent outerwear X offered thick, ribbed knits paired with sheepskin lined knee high boots, bare legs and flippy minis. Of course the collection included a whole lotta leather encompassing everything from luscious pleated skirts in regal burgundy to grown up toffee toned trench coats. A hooded aviator style coat lined in THE most luxurious shearling elicited an audible gasp from some guests (i.e me) and the final looks introduced an element of eveningwear with gleaming silver, chain mail embellishment. All in all Belstaff’s AW13 collection was the epitome of tasteful opulence and will no doubt be a big hit with both the fash pack and jet set.
At the end of every show there’s always a highly undignified scramble to get out of the venue. Evidently the combination of schedule stress and lack of taxi anxiety can reduce even the most poised style maven’s to a rabble of scrambling teenagers. On this particular occasion I didn’t join the fray because I had a sizeable break until my next show and my own personal driver. I was feeling so nonchalant in fact that I offered to give a few of the lovely ladies from Glamour and Marie Claire a ride to their next destination. Evidently the old saying that “no good deem goes unpunished” holds true even during fashion week and half and hour later we were still sitting in midtown traffic. Eventually I got so fed up that I decided to continue on foot and bought an umbrella that I lost within ten minutes. In the end I set up camp in the nearest Starbucks to make the most of their free WiFi. Two hours, several coffees and one slightly dubious Panini later it was time to venture back out into the damp for one of, if not the most eagerly anticipated shows on my schedule, 3.1 Phillip Lim. As you all know, I’ve got a bit of a “thing” about Phillip Lim (hello understatement of the century) and I apologise in advance because after last week my obsession’s going to hit new levels. Despite the rain, I spied a lot of his SS13 collection on my fellow guests which made me even more determined to get my hands on a piece of it than ever. Once inside the cavernous venue we were treated to steaming hot chocolate a, dare I say it, rather more welcome refreshment than champagne on such a grim day. 3.1 Phillip Lim always pulls in a good and this season’s line up included pretty much everyone who’s anyone ranging from Derek Blasberg and Taylor Tomasi Hill to Garance Dore and Hanneli Mustaparta. After a very enjoyable people watching session the lights went up and the show was at last ready to begin.
3.1 Phillip Lim AW13
At the risk of gushing, Phillip Lim’s AW13 collection was genuinely one of my favourite collections ever. Building on last season’s grunge inspired look, Lim’s latest offerings felt a both effortlessly thrown together in that tomboyish was he does so well but still beautifully cohesive. Rather than sticking predominantly to one main “story”, Phillip Lim creates an attitude allowing for enough different colours, fabrics and styles to constitute an entire and oh-so-covetable wardrobe. Bad girl tartans and zip detailed motorcycle jackets sat alongside angora turtlenecks, patch worked furs (evidently a major trend for AW13) and shearling trimmed azure overcoats. OTK boots are evidently back with a vengeance for autumn and Lim paired his with low slung minis, statement sweatshirts and a healthy dose of devil-may-care attitude. Slouchy tailoring is always something Phillip Lim does well and this time around he turned his hand to the traditional velvet trouser suit, transforming it into something modern and totally relevant. A colour palette including everything from rich autumnal shades of olive green, navy and burgundy to neutrals and cool monochrome hues confirmed my belief that if you can afford 3.1 Phillip Lim, you don’t really need to shop anywhere else ever.
The novelty of having a car was still far from wearing off and with a spring in my step I skipped out of the show and into my waiting London taxi. My next destination was the Meatpacking District for the Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet presentation. I absolutely adore their last collection and this time around was no different. Tartans, leathers, plaids, prints and burnished metallic brocades all came in to play, applied to city chic separates, cute cover ups and of course, deliciously girlish cocktail dresses. Flared minis, boucle tweeds and perfectly coordinated accessories provided Park Avenue Princess prep while sleeveless leather motorcycle jackets and sharp suiting hinted at something bolder. As with every Alice + Olivia collection I see, virtually all of it went straight on the wish list. Day 5 was shaping up to be one of the best of New York Fashion Week and it still wasn’t over yet!
Alice + Olivia AW13
Sadly, once again, I’d had to wave goodbye to my ride at 5pm so instead of gliding to a waiting car I made for the subway. At that exact moment a free taxi approached and, given quite how impossible they are to find usually, I took this a sign that I should take it and all good budgeting intentions went straight out the window.
After a couple of hours frantic blogging, email sending, outfit changing and, I’ll admit, watching an episode of Girls it was time to head back uptown for my final show of the day, Marc by Marc Jacobs… Yep, like I said, day 5 was awesome. As with Phillip Lim and Alice + Olivia, I really don’t need to tell you how I feel about this label. Marc by Marc is always a hot ticket show but this time it reached new levels thanks to the mainline Marc Jacobs show being postponed until Thursday evening when a lot of people will have already left for London. Lincoln Centre is never exactly a dull environment but that evening the atmosphere was electric. If anyone ever needed proof that Marc Jacobs wields serious power then they need only refer to this occasion. Every major fashion editor this side of Timbuktu was in attendance and the fact that Susie Lau was in the fourth row and Joanna Tillman in the second spoke volumes. As well as causing a fashion frenzy unlike any I’d seen all week (and I’d seen a fair few I can tell you!) Marc also managed to achieve the impossible and get virtually everyone in their’ seats on time. No sooner had I ogled Anna Dello Russo’s head-to-toe Louis Vuitton ensemble the show began, less than 15 minutes behind schedule!
Marc by Marc Jacobs AW13
While I liked the Marc by Marc Jacobs SS13 collection a lot, his latest offerings were on the next level. The 1970’s never cease to inspire designers and for AW13 Marc really did pay homage to the iconic decade. Waists were cinched and prints punchy with plenty of pinstriped shirts and preppy plaid on offer. Wide leg wool trousers, everyday tailoring, ribbed turtlenecks and midi skirts came in a palette of typically seventies hues ranging from rich merlot and azure to burnt orange, olive green and violet, perfectly complimented by voluminous ‘do’s and luscious, berry stained pouts. As expected at Marc, there were plenty of big name models on the catwalk including Lindsey Wixen, Daphne Grunewald and Cara Delevigne who gave it her trademark swagger. To summarise, it was playful elegance and utterly delightful, yet another would-be capsule wardrobe collection.
Exhilerated from a truly fantastic day of fashion week-ing I headed back downtown again for the 3.1 Phillip Lim aftershow party. This has been a pretty lengthy post so in the interest of keeping things concise, it was SUCH a fun night and I may or may not have told Phillip I wanted to marry him.
Love Ella. X