Why is it that late nights inevitably seem to happen before early starts? Or at least, I find that to be the case. Despite my mid afternoon kick offs on Sunday and Monday, I refrained from hitting the town, choosing to spend both evenings show going, blogging and drinking Pinot Grigio from the comfort of the sofa. Well that all went out the window come Monday but when there’s as fabulous a party as the W Magazine bash on the cards, frankly it would be a CRIME to stay home. Suffice to say, I felt a whole lot less smug and sensible the next morning.
Blouse & Skirt: Whistles
Bag: Jaeger London
Necklace: Anne Bowes Jewellery
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Regardless of my fuzzy head and aching feet, nothing was going to stop me attending the J.Crew presentation. Judging by the high heeled hoards that poured into the Studio at Lincoln Centre, I was the only person who felt this way. Indeed, such an impressive turnout before 9.30am on day 6 of New York Fashion Week was a true testament to the sartorial clout of a brand once associated with soccer moms and suburban sports casual. Under the expert direction of Jenna Lyons, J.Crew has – as I’m sure you know – become one of the most in demand labels around. Industry big hitters including Hamish Bowles, Caroline Issa and Natalie Massinet were all in attendance and of course, Lyons’ latest collection were a treat to behold.
Clashing brights, eye popping prints and acid hues were kept elegant with sleek silhouettes and immaculate tailoring. Detailing was as exquisite as always including everything from shimmering sequins and floral appliqué to embroidered boucle and subtle hints of sparkle woven into lightweight summer tweed. The tailored, print trousers that have been sending fashion folk giddy will be sticking around next season and J.Crew supplied them in every imaginable incarnation, ranging from jazzy patterned silk styles to glimmering rose gold. Preppy and playful yet still oh-so-sophisticated, J.Crew’s latest offerings were simply perfection. Frankly, there wasn’t a single piece I wouldn’t give my right hand – or at least a few months worth of itsu trips – to own.
I left J.Crew with a spring in my step, or at least as much spring as it’s possible to have in 6 inch heels. Next up was Rachel Roy who had also opted to host a presentation at her mid town showroom. Inspired by the idea of an enchanted garden, Rachel delivered a collection that was both wearable and elegantly luxurious in a palette of rich summer shades and warm earth tones through to hot pinks and eye vivid coral hues. Pattern clashing and colour pop tailoring combined with fluid fabrics and classic silhouettes made for a covetable blend of flirty femininity and grown up glamour that will no doubt have well-heeled New Yorkers heading to Rachel’s boutique in droves.
Next on my ever-so-slightly hungover agenda was Diesel Black Gold, a brand I’ve heard that is always guaranteed to pull in a star studded FROW. Indeed, everyone from Petra Nemacova and Adrien Brody to Anna Dello Russo and Franca Sozzani headed down to Pier 59, an incredible venue for a must-attend show. The cavenous, warehouse esque space provided the perfect backdrop for a collection inspired by urban skate parks and 90s fashion imagery. A performance from a troup of professional skateboarders provided an opening specatcle and set the scene for an array of looks that fused streetwear with tailoring to create a powerful, urban aesthetic. Think chunky buckled belts, grid-like cut-out detailing and assymmetric hemlines combined with buttoned-up shirting, sharply tailored jackets and a strict palette of monochrome and neutrals, punctuated with hits of neon bright. Designer, Sophia Kokosolaki reminded us that Diesel does a whole lot more than just denim through the impressive range of materials she used, including PVC, technical fabrics, waxed and treated denim and sheer overlays. Of course, there were lashings of leather remininding us, once again, of the chic-but-sweaty summer to come.
By this point my caffeine levels had reached a critical low and not even a post-show adrenaline rush could replenish them. Two hours and one venti, skinny, quadruple shot (desperate times, desperate measures) Starbucks iced latter later however, and I felt just about human again. Although to be honest I reckon my recovery might have had less to do with the four shots of espresso I’d consumed and more with the fact that my next show was Marc by Marc Jacobs. As you all know and are probably beyond bored of hearing about, I love Marc Jacobs. Whether he’s designing for Louis Vuitton, his own label or it’s adorable little sister brand, the man is an absolute genious. Plus his shows are some of the most in-demand on the New York schedule I was thrilled to be able to attend one. I probably don’t need to tell you that it was a good ‘un, but of course, I will anyway. The charming, youthful aesthetic always present in Marc by Marc Jacobs collections appeared in full force that afternoon. Encorporating everything from girlish gingham and wholesome cotton checks to florals, pinstripes, boucle and silk jacquard, Marc offered up a masterclass in playful print and fabric combination. The overall feel was hippy meets preppy meets something else entirely, a heady sartorial blend if ever there was one. Socks and sandals, layered scarves and loud, multi-coloured bags further enhanced the collections’ deliciously pile-it-on aesthetic. A whopping 51 looks encompassed everything from neatly tailored spring coats to eye-popping print swimwear, taking the Marc by Marc Jacobs girl from the city to the beach and beyond.
Last but certainly not least on my day 6 schedule was the one and only, Oscar de la Renta. Held 25 floors up, overlooking Bryant Park, the show had a rather intimate feel to it, despite the calibre of the guests in attendance. Grace Coddington, Alexandra Shulman, Lisa Love, Joe Zee, Anna Wintour… The front row read like a ‘who’s who’ or the international elite. But of course, that’s exactly what you’d expect from a New York fashion institution like Oscar. From my second row seat – very nearly fainted when I saw my allocation – I had a fantastic view of what were some of the most beautiful garments I’ve ever laid eyes on. Oscar pulled out all the stops this season, with a collection that provided the political wives with uptown elegance, the film stars with red carpet fabulousness and the more adventurous with brightly coloured PVC. The collection was an exquisite explosion of textured and detailing, ranging from leather flowers, embroidered lace and chiffon pleats to multi tiered, beaded, organza confections. In a palette encompassing everything from monochrome shades to eye-watering pink and green combinations, the designer provided a sartorial feast for the senses. Classic silhouettes, cinched waists and peplums oozed ladylike luxe and reminded us that no one does feminine glamour like Oscar. Closing with an array of spectacular, shimmering gowns, the collection was the epitome of princess-worthy, fashion fantasy and made me long for the days of debutante balls.
Love Ella. X